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Oilers @ Jets Game 26 Preview

Like a bridge over troubled water, but with heavy duty explosives.

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

oilers logo black text


winnipeg jets logo 4
6-15-4, 16 points, .64 p/g Ranks 12-9-4, 25 points, 1.12 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Western Conference -8th
30th P/G 16th
19th ST 13th
29th ES 24th
28th Goal 4th
7:00 MDT - SN, SN1
MTS Centre
The opposing view: Arctic Ice Hockey

Condolences and well wishes go to the family and friends of the recently departed Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau.

It Cannot Possibly Get Any Worse Than This

The Oilers dropped their tenth consecutive game on Monday night, this time losing in fine fashion to the Phoenix Arizona Coyotes to the tune of 5-2.  You think you can't dig any deeper?  The Oilers allowed four goals in the second period.  Two were shorthanded.   Both were from a guy they traded for Kale Kessy. Sentence fragments.  Yes, you think your day was bad?  Yeesh.

If you're the owner of a team that soon will miss the playoffs for the ninth consecutive year (or "fifth year of the rebuild"), maybe you'll consider addressing that point in your annual "letter to pissed off fans". Then again, maybe you'll send Gretzky to Seattle for a Monday Night Football game along with Pat LaForge just for shits and giggles.

The Oilers are dead last in the NHL again (or as it's sometimes called, "December").  The Jets are hovering on the bubble in the Western Conference thanks in large part to Ondrej Pavelec not playing like Ondrej Pavelec.  To the preview!

The Oilers are saying

"To come here and have to eek pride out of guys to get out there and pay attention, do details, and cover the same details, over and over and over again, it's not right.  I think it was touched upon last game, Scrivy (Ben Scrivens) said you can't play that way in the NHL and win, and it's unacceptable.

That's Oilers captain Andrew Ference on his team's performance in their 5-2 loss to Arizona on Monday.

There's nothing any more besmirching that I can say that hasn't already been said.  The team is bad, they're 29th in the league in goals scored, they're allowing two goals in a minute from Tobias Rieder, their future Norris trophy winners can't play defence, the fourth line went from very good to criminally vulgar in about five games.

In other words, things look to be just about right for this time of year.  Maybe a little worse than normal, but not by much.


Can you imagine what's going through Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel's minds right now whenever one of them hears the word "Edmonton"? It can't be good.

The Opponent is saying

"On any NHL team, there's one or two guys out of your lineup, but there's seven or eight guys that are playing with something, some of it's overuse, some of it's bruises or blocked shots"
That's Jets coach Paul Maurice on his team's injury front.  The Jets will be without defenceman Tobias Enstrom, who was placed on injured reserve with a lower body injury.  They are expected to get centre Bryan Little (knee) and centre Adam Lowry (suspension) for today's game.  I'm wondering who the other six or seven players are who are suffering from overuse, or are banged up.

Have some of this
  • CiRCLE THE WAGONS? - If the team loses on Wednesday to Winnipeg, could it really be the end of Dallas Eakins' tenure as Oilers coach?  At least a couple of people tend to think so.
  • THREE - the number of beers per period consumed on average by fans of the Edmonton Oilers
  • DID YOU CHECK OUT THAT FOURTH LINE OF LUKE GAZDIC WITH BOYD GORDON AND STEVE PINIZZOTTO? What a show.  Gordon had over 13 minutes, Pinizzotto had eight, and Luke Gazdic somehow snuck in with six minutes of ice time.  I've never wanted to see Matt Hendricks in a specific spot on the roster more than now.  (That spot is 4LW)
  • I'd expect to see Ben Scrivens get the start tonight.  It could be Viktor Fasth again, but it could also be a polar bear.
  • I eluded to Winnipeg's goaltending sitch as a big part of their success.  Ondrej Pavelec has played in twenty games, and he's got a sparkly .919 SV% so far.  That's quite a bit of a bump up from his career average of .906, and it's even higher than last year's .901.  Or, the year before that when he was .905.  You get the idea.  If Pavelec keeps those numbers lofty, the Jets could entertain thoughts of a second season.  Backup Michael Hutchinson is holding it down with a .949 in eight games. These numbers are really spectacular, especially if you're used to watching the Jets.  All bets come off the board when Ondrej Pavelec resumes being Ondrej Pavelec.
  • The Oilers are still winless against the Western Conference (0-12-3).  Tonight, that all changes. (drinks)