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Oilers @ Flyers Game 12 Preview

Oilers embark on Eastern road trip without Taylor Hall. Hello, Philadelphia

Do Daigle Drive Mercades?  Yeah yeah.
Do Daigle Drive Mercades? Yeah yeah.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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4-6-1, 9 points, .818 p.g Ranks 4-5-2, 10 points, .909 p/g
Western Conference - 13th Eastern Conference - 13th
25th P/G 24th
27th ST 3rd
26th ES 23rd
27th Goal 23rd
Wells Fargo Center
The opposing view: Broad Street Hockey

Deep Waters

Edmonton closed their seven game stay at home by losing a game and their best player for two to four weeks.

The Oilers missed two more points by dropping their latest effort to the Canucks by a score of 3-2.  That's the third time Vancouver has taken two points over the Oilers this season.  The Oilers rolled snake eyes facing Vancouver, as they lost Taylor Hall to a knee sprain as he crashed into the net.  Estimates see him out of the lineup for two to four weeks, which means he'll likely be in the lineup in eight or nine days from now.  If you're late to the party, we haven't even gotten close to talking about what happened on defence, and that irritable part of me can't wait to share it with you.

Let's do this already.

The Oilers are saying

"It's a team sport.  We need to lean on others and need to lean on some call-ups."
That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins talking about how the Oilers are going to have to step up in the wake of losing Taylor Hall for up to a month.

Losing Taylor Hall is like losing three wheels on that sweet Ford Escort you got sitting in your driveway.  It's kind of like ripping a giant hole in a big ol' bag of jellybeans and going on a 50 km hike.  When you get at the end, you barely have any jellies left.  It's kind of like getting kicked in the gut right after you eat.  Twice.  Daily.  For two to four weeks.  Taylor Hall is the straw that stirs this cocktail, and Benoit Pouliot (undeservedly) has got some loafers to fill in the interim.

I haven't even gotten to the call-ups yet.  Scroll down.

The Opponent is saying

"There is definitely improvement and it felt good...I thought it was good to get the warm-up in and see how it reacts and go from there."
That's Flyers defenceman Braydon Coburn on his recovery from a foot injury.

If you asked me to name a team with a defence similar to a tire fire, I'd probably say Edmonton's, but I'd next say Philadelphia's.  Nick Schultz is on this team's second line, which is more than I'd wish on an enemy.  Carl Colaiacovo will make his debut for the team after signing on for a year.  We're not in Taylor Chorney-Colten Teubert territory yet, but man, we're close.

Have some of this
  • LET'S TALK ABOUT THE CALL UPS - Yeah, okay.  Keith Aulie is up, which is bad for business.  Fortunately, Nikita Nikitin is expected to go after sitting out a bit with back spasms.  I honestly can't express how glad I am that Nikitin is ready to go, and that says a lot about this team.  Brad Hunt was jettisoned to the AHL (surprise, no takers!) and Oscar Klefbom was recalled in his place.  The Oilers made no move regarding Taylor Hall, but they're going to dress Will Acton.  Yeah, whatever.
  • The Oilers have yet to win on the road, compiling an 0-2-1 record in three tries.  Barring a barbaric outing in Buffalo, that should change this week.  Tonight would be a nice start as well.
  • Viktor Fasth will be making his third start for the Oilers tonight.  Fasth hasn't played in three weeks after he went down with a lower body injury during That Debacle In Los Angeles. Fasth's numbers aren't any good right now, so I'll conveniently skip them.
  • The Flyers are going with Steve Mason between the pipes. Mason hasn't been having much fun, going 0-4-1 with a .887 SV%.  Someone's got to win this one.  Why not Edmonton?
  • WE'RE BAAAAAAACK! The Oilers are two games below a statistical .500 and they're going to play five games on the road in the next seven days without their best player.  If they do something abysmal like 1-3-1 before coming home to face Ottawa, things could really start to unravel in that way that we're accustomed to.


The Edmonton Oilers

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

Nikita Niktiin - Justin Schultz
Oscar Klefbom - Mark Fayne
Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Viktor Fasth

The Philadelphia Flyers

Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds
R.J. Umberger - Sean Couturier - Matt Read
Zac Rinaldo - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Chris VandeVelde

Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit
Michael Del Zotto - Nick Schultz
Carlo Colaiocovo - Luke Schenn

Steve Mason