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Oilers @ Coyotes Game 78 Preview

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big bear chase me

Christian Petersen


Oilers3

@

Phoenix
26-42-9, .792 p/g Ranks 36-28-13, 1.104 p/g
Western Conference: 14th Western Conference: 8th
29th P/G 17th
26th ST 13th
29th ES 15th
30th Goal 19th
8 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Jobing.com Arena
The opposing view: Five For Howling
Tickets - TiqIQ

It Works Every Time

The Oilers hung tough for the first two periods with the Ducks on Wednesday, but three goals yielded in the third period ended up costing the Oilers two points in the standings. If you're the glass half full type, they took another big step toward securing another top prospect in this June's Draft Lottery Sweepstakes™. Again.

The Oilers face the Phoenix Coyotes tonight in the fifth and final meeting this year between the two clubs. Edmonton is 0-3-1 in the first four meetings. The Oilers can help play "spoiler" to Phoenix's bid for the playoffs, or they can put another brick in wall in their bid for the first overall pick in NHL Entry Draft. Again.

The Oilers are saying

"I think there are a lot of people in our market that were wondering if (the players) were going to start mailing it in. Believe me, I'm not going to sit here and accept losing games by a goal, but it's hard to critique that group when they're fighting so hard"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on his team's level of compete, pushback, jam, crust, intangibles, ésprit de corps, effort level, "never say die" attitude.

Credit where credit it is due. It's like watching a garbage fire when the team crumples in the third period, but they're at least making it interesting up to that point. Edmonton looked like the better team in the first period of Wednesday's caper, and it was a pleasant surprise to see Philip Larsen score the team's first goal. (nervous look towards liquor cabinet)

The Opponent is saying

"We are still out of the playoffs right now, but we all know how important these points are. So we have to make sure we win the rest and get in"
That's Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal doing some late season math work.

The Coyotes have five games remaining in the season. A clean sweep (5-0-0) would give the club 95 points and give them a very strong shot at making the playoffs Tripping up against the Oilers could not only throw a major wrench in Phoenix's postseason plans, it would probably be used as a benchmark in some late season playoff run speeches next year. "We're not going to give up two points this year like we did last year to the Oilers, are we?"

Have some of this
  • Ben Scrivens (7-10-0, .916SV%) is likely to get the start for the Oilers tonight.
  • Calling up Steve Pinizzotto gave the Oilers a band aid on the third line. Pinizzotto filled in for Tyler Pitlick (knee) who is day-to-day.
Fraser

  • A good way to get a lot of shots against your goaltender is to do stuff like this. Here we see Mark Fraser giving the puck up to Anaheim forward Rickard Rickell when pressure arrives. Fraser is like the eighth best defenceman on the Oilers, but he brings a growl and clears the front of the net. Think he gets an extension this year?
  • DRAFTWATCH- If the Oilers finish 29th overall, they'll have just under a 19% chance of winning the first overall pick. The highest they could draft would be 1, the lowest they could draft would be third overall. Just think, Oilers fans. One of Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, Leon Draisaitl or Aaron Ekblad could be the next eighteen year old the Oilers start an entry level deal on in October. Next year would be "the fifth year of the rebuild" (according to Daryl Katz). That's when the good stuff starts happening, right?

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Anton Lander - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - Steve Pinizzotto

Matt Hendricks - Will Acton - Philip Larsen

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Mark Fraser - Anton Belov

Ben Scrivens

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Phoenix Coyotes

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Brandon McMillan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Rob Klinkhammer - Mike Ribiero - Lauri Korpikoski

Kyle Chipchura - Jeff Halpern - Martin Erat

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Michael Stone

Chris Summers - Derek Morris

Thomas Greiss