ENS Gameday Preview: Wild @ Oilers

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Nothing says ‘Thursday’ quite like a February Oilers/Wild debauchery. I’m going to see Deadpool for the second time in four days instead of watching a generation-long bottom feeder play the team that single-handedly made me nap an extraordinary amount of times during our days in the ol’ Northwest Division. I’m bored just thinking about it. Each time we exchange pleasantries with Minnesota I refreshingly think back to juggernauts like Antti Miettinen and Stephane Veilleux. Nothing will make you want to siphon alcohol like 60 minutes of a Wild/Oilers game. Ugh, shit.

It’s been a long time since our latest loss to the Wild, and a lot has changed. Just recently, Minnesota fired their head coach Mike Yeo and replaced him with somebody else equally as boring. A team with high playoff aspirations at the start of the year has fallen completely out of the picture and right into lottery contention. Christ, imagine Minnesota winning the lottery? If you thought we’d ruin McDavid just picture what Minny would do to Auston Matthews. It’s against the law to play for the Wild and exceed 65 points.

Lineup

Niki’s back! But his much anticipated return will have to wait at least another game.

Adam Clendening checks back in. I’m going to be completely honest, I already forgot about him.

With Kassian still out, one would assume Tony Lander will remain in the lineup. Terrible news for anybody who loves good hockey.

What Needs To Happen

This is a franchise that perpetually beats us. They’ve had 16 different coaches over the last six years and all of them basically sweep us then ultimately get fired for not being able to beat anybody else. The good news for the Oilers is that Minny played last night in the Saddledump, beating the idiots 5-3. Actually, since they canned Yeo, the Wild have been red hot. They dropped a combined 10 goals in two games on both Calgary and Vancouver.

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I do enjoy that.

No word yet on who’s starting for Minnesota. Dubnyk played last night, so there’s a good chance it’ll be Darcy Kuemper. Like the Wild, Kuemper’s struggled of late. He hasn’t given up under three goals in his last three starts, sporting a cool .864S% over that stretch. The last time we played a tendy with no confidence McDavid had five points. But it was also against the Leafs, so.

If it’s Dubnyk we’ll probably be shutout, because Oilers.

What Can’t Happen

Honestly, who cares.

What Will Happen

There are only 24 games left in the season!!

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It’s almost over, thank Christ!

Just kidding, we’re absolutely still in the hunt. By my count, we’re going to have to win at least 20 of the last 24 to have a chance at fourth place. Totally obtainable.

It’s impossible, you say? Can’t be done, you say? Just wait. Last year, the team we’re playing tonight began what will probably forever be the heaterest of all heaters ever to heat up anything. The Wild went 26-8-2 during their final 36 games to miraculously earn a playoff spot. Unsurprisingly, that heater started against us. Time to return the favour amiright guys?!

It’s probably impossible. Oilers still win 6-2. I don’t care who gets them as long as Connor gets at least four and catches Sam Bennett.

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