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Oilers at Flames: BOA I

The Oilers head down the QE2 for a showdown with the Flames in what should be a hockey match. We're not convinced.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers are officially struggling. An 0-4 start to the season and a string of uninspiring defensive performances have the fanbase in panic mode. Most fans would have you believe it's all Taylor's fault. Most fans are dumb. The Oilers and their awful defensemen take on the Flames and their awful forwards in the season's first Battle of Alberta. Try to stay awake. Besides, if the Oilers finish the season 78-4-0, you'll be sad you missed their first win.

How To Watch

Puck drop: 8:00PM MST
Radio630 CHED

What To Watch For

The Oilers defense continues to disappoint.  Sure, it's filled with big human men, but none of them can make an exit pass. The Oilers attack continues to suffer as a result, and one can't help but wonder how much longer Darnell Nurse will stay in California if this keeps up. The Oilers are still without a powerplay goal, and will split Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid up onto two different units for the first time this season.  Also, Rob Klinkhammer draws in for Anton Slepyshev, despite the latter having probably his best game as an Oiler on Thursday. He is Russian though, so there's that.

The Opposing View

From Matchsticks and Gasoline:

The trumpets will be sounding, the people will be bowing, the press will be hailing...all for the first competitive appearance of Connor McDavid in the Battle of Alberta.

No? No, probably not. He'll play, but he'll get the same response any player in an Oilers jersey will get. No, we'll be focussing on our own young messiahs, Sam Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau, to which we owe a huge debt of gratitude, as without them, the Flames would be pointless. Which, incidently, is what the Oilers are.

Projected Line Combinations

From Jack Michaels:

Taylor Hall Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Matt Hendricks
Benoit Pouliot Connor McDavid Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski Anton Lander Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic Mark Letestu Rob Klinkhammer
Oscar Klefbom Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart Eric Gryba
Cam Talbot
Anders Nilsson