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Game Thread: Islanders vs Oilers - See You Next Season, Draisaitl

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Game 40. That means we're almost at the halfway point. That's a depressing thought.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers did something smart today. No, I'm not kidding, they actually did something smart, the sent Leon Draisaitl back to the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL (by all accounts it'll be a short stay, after the CHL trade deadline is lifted he'll be on his way to Kelowna). Of course keeping him around past game nine, and burning a year of his entry level contract in the process, wasn't the best possible use of the asset, but for once the Oilers decided not to throw good money after bad. And in Edmonton we call that a good day, maybe even a great day.

How To Tune In

Sportsnet West has the game starting at 7:30PM MST.

What To Watch For From The Oilers

With a win tonight the Oilers will match their longest streak without a loss in regulation, four games. Okay, only one of the first three was a win, and going four games without a loss isn't exactly good, but it seems to me that the Oilers have been a little closer of late. They've got a point in five of the eight games played since Dallas Eakins was fired; yeah, yeah, yeah, just one win. And ff they could close out a game that record would be substantially better. Four times under Todd Nelson they've entered the third period with a lead, but have just a 1-1-2 record to show for it. Obviously close isn't good enough, and this is something that need to change ASAP, tonight perhaps, but maybe the Oilers just aren't used to playing with a lead, I'm certainly not used to watching them play with a lead.

What To Watch For From The Isles

From the fine folks at Lighthouse Hockey:

Most Islanders fans recognize what Edmonton Oilers fans are going through, or have gone through, for what seems like year after year since Lockout II. A rebuild that goes on and on. Arduous losing streaks and frustrating mistakes that seem symptomatic of a deep sickness, an eccentric and overly loyal owner, a braintrust of former players who are tight with one another.

Except not really. The Oilers' swan dive coincided with a trade of a popular captain to the Islanders, who were making one more 2000s playoff appearance. While both have been through political drama to replace their respective Coliseums, the Islanders owner at least offered to build his own. While both have had top five picks more often than not, the Isles have been just not-bad enough to miss out on the "can't miss" top selections every year but 2009.

And most importantly, the Isles as currently constructed are populated by multiple waiver claims and picks from throughout the draft -- not just the lottery prizes.

Not just lottery prizes? I don't understand how it's possible to build a team in this fashion.

Final Thought

Unfortunate news. Get well soon.