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Game Thread: Coyotes vs Oilers - Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas

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One last game before the Christmas break. The Christmas break is eight months long, right?

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is the Oilers' last chance to impress Santa before the big night. I wouldn't think that too many of the Oilers players are on Santa's nice list right now, they haven't just been bad lately, they've been bad all year, but leaving the big man with a good final impression can only help them I guess. And against a Coyotes team that played last night in Vancouver (and got the crap kicked out of them), maybe, just maybe, they'll be able to squeak out a rare win tonight and make Santa reconsider those lumps of coal.

How To Tune In

Sportsnet West will have the broadcast tonight. Puck drop is a little earlier than usual, 6PM this evening.

What To Watch For From The Oilers

Do any of these three things make sense to you?

  1. Call up Anton Lander, not when Boyd Gordon is hurt, but after he returns to the lineup.
  2. Play Lander in one game for 16 minutes and then send him back to OKC.
  3. Dress Luke Gazdic in the next game.

If you think any of the above make sense, congratulations, you're qualified to be in charge of the Oilers, And If none of those things make any sense to you then I apologize, you deserve a better fate than watching Gazdic "play" hockey.

What To Watch For From The Coyotes

Keys to the game from Five for Howling:

Goaltending - The Coyotes need consistent goaltending - and they don't have that. Smith has had a very tough season (5-15-2 record) and is one of the worst goaltenders in the NHL right now. Dubnyk has had a relatively nice season by comparison (6-3-2 record).

Special Teams - The Coyotes currently sit 10th in the NHL in the power-play department at 20.0%. If the Coyotes get an opportunity on the power-play, then you need to take full advantage of it as the Oilers sit 20th in the league in the penalty-kill department.

Final Thought

I guess light switches in Switzerland are as tricky as an open book boating exam.