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Lightning @ Oilers Game 6 Preview

Maybe they'll win one tonight. Hello, Tampa Bay.

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has had a nice start to his season.
Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop has had a nice start to his season.
Tom Pennington

tampa bay lightning logo


oilers logo black text
3-1-1, 7 points, 1.4 p/g Ranks 0-4-1, 1 point, .2 p/g
Eastern Conference - 5th Western Conference - 14th
12th P/G 30th
10th ST 11th
18th ES 30th
7th Goal 30th
7:30 PM MDT - SNW
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Raw Charge

Your Time Is Gonna Come

The Oilers were unable to score any goals in Friday's 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Canucks.  Including Friday's zero goal affair, the Oilers have amassed just eleven goals in five games this season, putting them at 25th in goals per game.  Only Boston, Florida, Buffalo, Colorado and Winnipeg are averaging fewer goals per game than the Oilers so far this year, and you've got to figure that Boston isn't going to be in this particular company for very much longer.

The Oilers are still looking for victory number 1.  Tonight, they'll have their hands full as the Lightning visit RX1

The Oilers are saying

"Huntsy's done a great job but we do have to weigh five-on-five play.  We feel Nikitin's coming up to speed now.  He got hurt in camp and that held him back a little bit but we feel he can take the minutes on that second power play right now"

There is a lot here.  Maybe I'm reading too much in between the lines, but here's what I take from that statement
  • Nikita Nikitin's ankle wasn't in very good shape when the season started, but an injured Nikitin was supposedly better than Klefbom, or any other available defenceman on the team.
  • Brad Hunt is a little better than an injured Nikita Nikitin. Hunt got some PP2 time to start the year off, but now that Coach "feel(s) he (Nikitin) can take the minutes on that second power play right now", Hunt catches the bench.
  • It's come to the coach's attention that Brad Hunt's 5 on 5 isn't very good.  (Side note:  Brad Hunt's 5 on 4 isn't very good either)
  • A healthy Brad Hunt is better than a healthy Jeff Petry.  Or, so it was implied.

The Opponent is saying

You need to have depth in this league, I think probably every NHL team probably plays, guaranteed ten defencemen during the year, at a minimum.

Taking Coach Cooper's thought about "ten defencemen"  into consideration, who would be the ninth and tenth guys for the Oilers?  Maybe one of Klefbom / Hunt? After that?  Keith Aulie?

Have some of this
  • 6/9 - After tonight, the Oilers will have three more games to decide whether or not they'll keep Leon Draisaitl on the big club.  It's too early to trot out Anton Lander or Will Acton as a full time thing, isn't it?
  • The Lightning will be without a big piece on defence for the rest of their road trip, as Victor Hedman blocked a shot with his hand in Vancouver. Luke Witkowski has been recalled from Syracuse (AHL)
  • Ference on the top line with Petry?  Oh.
  • Jonathan Drouin is expected to play in his first game of the season for the Lightning tonight.
  • Luke Gazdic has been cleared for contact.  I'm sure Jesse Joensuu has already been advised.

The Tampa Bay Lightning

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan
Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Tyler Johnson
Jonathan Drouin - Vladislav Namestnikov - J.T. Brown
Nikita Kucherov - Brian Boyle - Brett Connolly

Matt Carle - Anton Stralman
Andrej Sustr - Jason Garrison
Luke Witkowski - Eric Brewer

Ben Bishop

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Teddy Purcell - Leon Draisaitl - David Perron
Benoit Pouliot - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Martin Marincin - Justin Schultz
Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens