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Oilers @ Wild Game 50 Preview

Is this team better today than it was yesterday?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports



15-29-5 .744 p/g Ranks 25-19-5, 1.122 p/g
Western Conference: 14th Western Conference: 8th
29th P/G 12th
26th ST 27th
28th ES 11th
30th Goal 11th
6:00 MDT - Sportsnet West
XCel Energy Center
The opposing view: Hockey Wilderness

Top Stories

  • The Oilers made a couple of moves yesterday. They dealt maligned goaltender Devan Dubnyk (11-17-2, .894 SV%) to Nashville for centre Matt Hendricks (2-2-4 in 44 GP). Second, they dealt a third round pick to Los Angeles for goaltender Ben Scrivens (7-5-4, .931 SV%). If you'd like a quick refresher on these deals, you can get 'em here, here and here, and a nice recap here. Hendricks has played wing in Nashville this year so there's a little flexibility on where he can play. I don't think he's an upgrade on Anton Lander, but if he's in Edmonton for the duration of his contract, I don't see how Lander ever sees the light of day again. I like Ben Scrivens and I don't think a third round pick was too much to get him, although the Oilers will need to get to signing him soon if they're going to make this deal count. Also, it makes no damn difference who's in goal unless this team fixes the frickin' defence. Good luck, Scrivens.

The Oilers are saying

That was my team growing up... it's going to be fun to throw on that jersey and play for that logo.

That's Ben Scrivens upon learning he'd been dealt to the Oilers.

You know what they say, if you can't draft an Oil King, you might as well trade for a local product. A Spruce Grove native, Scrivens says all the right things about getting to come play for his favourite team growing up.

Here's the deal: I want to see Ben Scrivens succeed. I don't have the foggiest idea what this team has planned for him as far as him being the starter or backup. Here's what I do know: if the Oilers sign him, he'll be the only goaltender on the team with any NHL experience signed past this year. So look, I want this to work out. But for the love of anything that's good, if this team doesn't get some help on D fast, he's going to get blasted.

The Opponent is saying

"We've got to make sure that we put some fuel back in the tank. We've got to make sure that we're ready to compete tomorrow"
That's Wild coach Mike Yeo on the Wild playing five games in seven days. Edmonton will be their sixth game in nine days.

Things might have been getting a little hot under the collar for Mike Yeo at the end of 2013, as the Wild were losers of six straight games. Things seem to have straightened out a little, as the Wild have won five of their last seven.

Of note:
  • The Wild don't score very much. They're 27th in the league averaging 2.29 goals per game. If you're not scoring a ton, you'd better have some solid defence. They're allowing only 27.5 shots per game, good for fifth overall in the league.
  • Minnesota is missing some key pieces in Mikko Koivu (ankle) and Zach Parise (foot). Josh Harding hasn't played since December 31st due to an illness.
  • UPDATE: Ales Hemsky will not be in the lineup today due to an ankle injury.  Hemsky has returned to Edmonton, and could be out for Saturday's game at Winnipeg as well.
Random Jim Matheson Tweet Of The Day
You don't say. Well, let's march Scrivens in here, it'll be different this time.

    The Edmonton Oilers

    Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Sam Gagner

    Nail Yakupov - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle

    David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Ryan Smyth

    Luke Gazdic - Matt Hendricks - Ryan Jones

    Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

    Nick Schultz - Anton Belov

    Jeff Petry - Martin Marincin

    Ben Scrivens


    The Minnesota Wild

    Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

    Dany Heatley - Charlie Coyle - Jason Zucker

    Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine

    Stephane Veilleux - Erik Haula - Torrey Mitchell

    Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

    Marco Scandella - Nate Prosser

    Jonathon Blum - Clayton Stoner

    Darcy Kuemper