A year ago today the Oilers traveled to Arizona to take on the Coyotes, they lost that game (of course they did), and the next day the calendars turned to 2014. Since then the Oilers have played 77 games, winning 24 and losing 53, including 11 games in overtime or a shootout. With a win tonight the Oilers will wrap up 2014 with a 32% winning percentage, with a loss it'll drop to mere 31%. I think it's safe to say, that whether or not 2014 will be seen by future generations as a successful year for the Oilers will be determined by the outcome of this one game.
How To Tune In
7:30PM on Sportsnet One.
What To Watch For From The Oilers
Coach Nelson says he's sticking with Scrivens due to last night's strong performance, as well as his relief performance Saturday in CGY.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 31, 2014
This really can't be said often enough, starting the same goalie in back-to-back games is a lousy idea. On the one hand I get what Nelson is doing here. Ben Scrivens has been looking more like an NHL goalie than a garbage fire in recent games, and so he wants to give him a chance to go right back out and put another strong performance heading into 2015. That makes a little bit of sense. But on the other hand, it's just a bad idea to chase hot goaltending.
What To Watch For From The Flames
From Matchsticks & Gasoline:
It's the final game of 2014, and right now, things in Alberta are pretty happy. We've got the Calgary Flames on a three-game winning streak, and the Edmonton Oilers actually won a game themselves. The two just met up four days ago, in which three quick Flames goals - including Joe Colborne's first of the year, and two goals by Johnny Gaudreau in 16 seconds - sunk the Oilers, although the Oilers did their best to battle back. They couldn't manage it, though, and two games into the five game season series, the Flames have a 2-0 lead. Battles of Alberta are always meaningful, though, in a way only Albertans really get nowadays, so it should be a fun finish to the year.
I didn't know that off days were filled with magic and/or miracles.
Coming off his back injury, Nikitin will use the off day to "improve his foot speed and get him ready for Colorado" says Coach Nelson.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 31, 2014