The Oilers need to play .610 hockey to make the playoffs. With a 9-game roadtrip looming, that looks impossible.
|8-6-2, 1.25 p/g
||6-7-3, .938 p/g|
|Western Conf: 7th||Western Conf: 13th|
1:30 p.m. MST | Sportsnet
The Coyotes keep doing what they do. Despite being trapped in one of the worst ownership situations in league history, they remain a lock in the 5-8 battle for the playoffs. Except for signing Derek Morris, Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney has pulled all of the right strings in building a bargain-basement, but very competitive team. They lack an offensive superstar, but have one of the best defensemen in the league in Oliver-Ekman Larsson.
The Oilers are saying:
"We need to start positioning ourselves for the reality of the next few weeks"
--Edmonton coach Ralph Krueger on the upcoming road trip. True to form the Oilers have planned and prepared for the season far later than they should.
The Opponent is saying:
"It’s fun to get compared to him, but I’m not even close to him. I watched him a lot when I was younger and when we played against him. I met him my first year at the All-Star Game and talked to him a little bit. It was awesome. It meant a lot to me. He’s a great guy."
Key matchup: Who will step up for the Oilers with Taylor Hall in the press box? I've written extensively about Hall's impact on Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - can they hang on without Hall pulling them along? Or will Sam Gagner finally break up his terrible possession streak? The Oilers have little chance in the next two games without Hall if Hopkins can't fend for himself and Gagner continues to falter. Unless the Oilers can somehow force Dave Tippett to triple-shift Derek Morris, the key matchup is the Oilers versus their own shortcomings.
Edmonton Oilers Injuries
Phoenix Coyotes Injuries