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In The Dark... Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers Game 16 Preview

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The Oilers are up and down and staring down a daunting road trip. If they want to make the playoffs, they need to beat teams like the Wild.

Since being traded for on July 2nd, Schultz has tutored Schultz.
Since being traded for on July 2nd, Schultz has tutored Schultz.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Fighting Saints

@

Edmonton Flyers
7-6-2, 1.07 p/g
6-6-3, 1.0 p/g
Western Conf: 8th Western Conf: 11th

7:30 p.m. MST | Sportsnet
Rexall Place
Tickets

The opposing view: Hashtag Hockey

Top Story: And so it goes. After charging back against the Avalanche, the Oilers played one of their worst games of the year against the Kings. Taylor Hall's passengers on the bus, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were especially bad and looked completely overmatched. Up and down, up and down, it's the way of a young team. One bright spot was the tandem of Teemu Hartikainen and Magnus Paajarvi. They were dominant on the puck down low when they were matched later in the Kings game and could use a skilled centre to help them convert. If they stick together as a pairing - the Oilers might help themselves and their goal-scoring issues by putting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between the two.

The Wild added eleventy billion dollars in payroll in the off-season and...didn't get much better. They're still a bottom five Fenwick team, but they're winning over the last handful of games, so there is hope. They're one of the teams competing for the 8th spot in the West and if Edmonton wants a shot at the playoffs, they need to beat that grouping.

The Oilers are saying:

"The Gilbert-Schultz trade seems a win-win for both teams, which is often not the case. The Wild wanted a puck-moving defenceman and the Oilers wanted a shutdown guy to play alongside prized rookie Justin Schultz."

--Edmonton sports writer Jim Matheson, making things up. Justin Schultz was still in college and property of Anaheim when the Oilers made the trade. This is really awful stuff from a paid professional writer, but where are his editors?

The Opponent is saying:

""You have to find a way to be good … at least.""

--Mike Yeo on his team.

Belief in the coach isn't working.

Key matchup: Push Zach Parise into his own zone and you beat the only Wild line capable of winning a possession battle. If Shawn Horcoff wasn't out with a broken knuckle, Ralph Krueger could send him and Ryan Smyth out to hold on and run Taylor Hall at a lesser line. Without Horcoff, Krueger might want to try a PvP matchup and let the Gagner line take it's chances against Minnesota's lower lines.


Edmonton Oilers Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Jeff Petry Hip 02/15/2013
Justin Schultz back 02/15/2013

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Jones
eye 01/18/2013
Andy Sutton knee 01/16/2013
Anton Lander foot 02/07/2013
Shawn Horcoff Knuckle 02/04/2013


Minnesota Wild Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mikko Koivu other-illness 02/19/2013
Niklas Backstrom other-illness 02/18/2013
Justin Falk other-illness 02/18/2013
Pierre-Marc Bouchard other-illness 02/18/2013

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Josh Harding other-illness 02/12/2013