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Coyotes @ Oilers Game 29 Preview

Oilers begin five game home stand tonight against Phoenix

Perry Nelson



15-7-4, 1.38 p/g Ranks 9-17-2, .714 p/g
Western Conf: 8th Western Conf: 14th
9th P/G 28th
8th ST 24th
16th ES 29th
25th Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT - Sportsnet West

Rexall Place

The opposing view: Five For Howling

Top Story:

  • The Oilers emerged with a victory in Dallas on Sunday, but lost the services of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in the second period. Stars forward Ryan Garbutt collided with the spaceman and appeared to cause him discomfort to the head and/or neck. Bryzgalov is listed as having an "upper body injury" that will keep him out of tonight's game. It's unclear how long Bryzgalov is expected to be out, however it should be noted that the team has not listed him on the IR. Jason LaBarbera was called up from Oklahoma City, defenceman Corey Potter was sent down. I hope it's not a concussion.

The Oilers are saying:

"I like our game but I think we can be better"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on how he believes the better.

It very much encourages me to hear that Coach Eakins thinks the Oilers can be better. I'd really be scared if he thought a 9-17-2 record culminating with a 3-2 shootout victory was the cream rising to the top.

The Opponent is saying:

"Don't give up goals against, that would be a good start."

That's Coyotes coach Dave Tippett in response to the question "Is there something else you can do to have a better first period?"

Phoenix is sitting in the eighth spot in the Western Conference. They're fourth in the league in goals scored with 3.12 goals per game. Fourth! Why aren't they higher than eighth in the conference? They're 25th in goals allowed at 3.15 per game. (The Oilers are 28th with 3.36.) The Coyotes allow more shots than the Oilers (average of 34.5) per game, and Mike Smith (12-6-4) hasn't had a SV% greater than .900 over his last five starts. While the Coyotes do pretty well with the puck, it hasn't been exactly smooth sailing in their own end.

Of note:

  • Former Oiler Gilbert Brulé signed a one year, two-way deal with the Coyotes over the weekend. Brule has had some past off-ice issues cloud his time in the NHL, it's good to see him land another job with an NHL club.
  • Jordan Eberle had himself a pretty good November with 13 points (6-7-13) in thirteen games. His shooting percentage was 17.6% on the month. Eberle currently sits at 23 points (9-14-23) in 28 games. Over a full season, that's...67 points. A pretty good November he had.
  • Boyd Gordon will likely be held out of today's game with a busted knuckle, bad back, bad leg, and bad shoulder. Only took four injuries to let Will Acton back in the lineup.
  • "Derek Morris is old school". Blow it out your ear.

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - David Perron

Jesse Joensuu - Mark Arcobello - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Anton Belov

Denis Grebeshkov - Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk


The Phoenix Coyotes

Shane Doan - Mike Ribeiro - David Moss

Tim Kennedy - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Rob Klinkhammer - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Kyle Chipchura - Jeff Halpern - Jordan Szwarz

Michael Stone - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Connor Murphy - David Schlemko

Mike Smith