Top Seed Implications: Wild @ Oilers

Slap hands, everyone! We’re post all-star break and the Oilers are still tied for first place in the PAC-7. There’s nowhere I’d rather be. And what better way to kick off the unofficial second half of the season than having the top team in the Western conference roll into town. Let’s get at it.

Lineup

You really shouldn’t change anything about a lineup that just deteriorated three straight divisional opponents. But good news, Oilers fans:

Oh shit yes. Daryl might be closer than we originally thought!

Tonight’s Opponent

Hope you’re ready for a snooze fest.

Why The Wild Stink

As Shanny referred to them earlier in the year, they are hockey’s missionary position. The most boring, but effective hockey team in the league. Well, maybe they aren’t the most boring to watch anymore, but the rest of their organization is without question, the most boring, least newsworthy franchise in the league. Aside from the fact that they spent a billion dollars on Suter and Parise a few years back, you just never notice them. They’re just there, getting bounced out of the playoffs in the first round every year. At least mix in a lottery win or something.

Special shout out to their bum equipment manager who tried to chirp the city of Edmonton that one time. You live in St. Paul, bro. Relax.

Why Their Fans Stink

There may be 25,00 Minnesota Wild fans on the planet. I’ve never met one, but I can’t help respect the fact that they pay money to go watch their team beat the Jets 2-1 on Tuesday night. God bless them for being excited when they backed up the Brinks trucks to Suter and Parise in free agency in 2012. 8 more years to go on those babies, not looking good.

Which Wild Player Stinks

Christ Stewart. Just for the sole fact that a loyal reader once heard him call Edmonton a “fucking dump”. He then went onto play in Buffalo and St. Paul. Suck it, Chris.

Do not be surprised to see Stewart try to be a tough guy at some point tonight.

Why They Might Not Stink

That’s not a terrible record. And a +51 goal differential is not too shabby. Devan Dubnyk has been lights out but word on the street is that Darcy Kuemper gets the nod tonight. Either way, the Wild are a damn good club.

No way they come out of the West though.

The Roundup

Edmonton is cruising for their fourth straight win, and it’s going to be a hell of a test. Bruce Boudreau has Minnesota playing some mighty good hockey. They’re still stingy, as usual, but he has them scoring goals this year. Edmonton will need to be sharp defensively coming off the break, because the Wild are a team that sit back and wait. The fewer mistakes, the better the chance for the Oil. Duh.

Connor McDavid will surely get a steady dose of Ryan Suter tonight, so look for him to have a big game. He seems to do that against good d-men. If Edmonton’s top two lines are clicking like they were prior to the break, this is a winnable game for the Oil.

Predictions

This one may be a slow start coming off the break, but Connor McDavid gets the building buzzing with an early marker for the good guys. The game is a tight one the whole way, but the Oil hold on for a 4-3 win. Nuge with 1, Big Rig with 2. Let’s GO!

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