ENS Gameday Preview: Oilers @ Coyotes
After a very impressive come from behind victory last night against the Anaheim
Mighty Ducks, Edmonton is right back in action tonight in the desert to take on the Coyotes.
Last night certainly wasn’t a perfect performance for Edmonton by any means, however it was a huge win simply because of the fact that the Ducks usually just bully the Oilers out of the arena anytime they play. But Toddy Mac has this team playing differently. They don’t fold immediately after a goal against which is more than we’ve been able to say over the past 5 or 6 years. The defense is still bad, but they are playing a much more structured game. Oh and Leon Draisaitl looks like a beast. It would be massive for Edmonton if he can keep his level of play up to help fill the void while Connor McDavid is out of the linuep.
Arizona comes into the game with a better record than they should have at 8-6-1. They have had very good production out of their younger players like Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, but it should be expected for them to cool off and for the Yotes to start racking up the losses and get back into the Auston Matthews sweepstakes before the year is done.
Hall – RNH – Draisaitl
Purcell – Lander – Eberle
Slepyshev – Letestu – Yakupov
Gazdic – Miller – Pakarinen
Nurse – Sekera
Klefbom – Fayne
Reinhart – Gryba
Benoit Pouliot will miss this one because he is sick so Tony Slepyshev has been recalled from Bakersfield to take his place. Anders Nilsson gets his second of back-to-back starts as Toddy Mac wants to stay with the hot hand.
What Needs to Happen
The Oilers will be the tired team in tonight’s game so they will need make sure they have a good start. If they get lots of pucks and traffic towards Mike Smith early and make his life uncomfortable, that will be the key to getting on the board early to set the tone for the rest of the game.
Arizona swept all five games against the Oilers last year which simply cannot happen if Edmonton hopes to become a competitive team. The Coyotes stink.
What Can’t Happen
What is Going to Happen
I smell a streak coming.
The Oilers stay hot with a 5-2 win over Arizona. The line of Hall-RNH-Drai give the Coyotes terrors all night and combine for four goals. Yak with the other.