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Game Preview: Oilers at Colorado

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The Oilers close out a four game road trip in Colorado.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton

@

Colorado
14-17-2 30 points Ranks 16-16-1, 33 points
13th Western Conference 8th Western Conference
0.91 (26th) P/GP 1.00 (21st)
28.5 (22nd) S/GP 27.8 (27th)
2.58 (16th) G/GP 2.73 (10th)
8:00 PM MDT
TV - CBC
Radio - 630 CHED
Pepsi Center
The opposing view: Mile High Hockey

The end of the road trip

After a perfect five game road trip the Oilers headed out on the road for four games. With stops in Boston, New York, Chicago, Colorado it wouldn't have been surprising to many if the Oilers struggled through the first three games of this trip, and wouldn't you know it, that's exactly what happened. Against the Avalanche the Oilers have a good chance to get themselves back in the win column. The Avs are just a couple points better in the standings but with a league worst CF% of 43.7% and a PDO of 101.7 there is reason to believe that they're not quite as good as their record might indicate.

The Oilers are saying

A brand new first line. When we last saw this trio in action they were lighting things up. The Connor McDavid got hurt and lines had to be shuffled. Tonight Todd McLennan goes back to what was working so well before in an effort to get an Oilers offence that has been sputtering a bit in recent games back on track. At Preactice yesterday Matt Hendricks was the man tasked with fillining in between Jordan Eberle and Teddy Purcell.

The Avalanche are saying

We're playing solid defensively. Everything comes from defense. If we're playing solid defense, we're going to get success.

Semyon Varlamov following the Avs win over the Islanders on Thursday night.

This is exactly hte kind of quote that you expect from a player. It doesn't make it true though. The Avalance are dead last in Corsi Against per 60 and third last in Fenwick Against per 60. They're winning games right now, nine of their last 13 in fact, but the results are almost certainly masking some bad play, regardless of what Varlamov says.

Have some of this

  • One of Anders Nilsson or Cam Talbot will start in goal tonight. No word yet on who though. The backup tonight is expected to start on Monday against the Jets in the Oilers' final home game before the Christmas break.
  • The Oilers tweeted yesterday that Benoit Pouliot could be back in the Oilers lineup tonight. He's missed the last seven games with an undisclosed injury.
  • Speaking of injuries, Connor McDavid is skating. If you didn't know what that random cheer was yesterday afternoon, now you do, it was the collective cheers of everyone in Edmonton.
  • Taylor Hall leads the Oilers in goals (15) assists (20), points (35), plus/minus (+11), power play goals (3), game wining goals (5), basically everything. Perhaps most impressive though is his shot total, currently 130, or 64 more than Teddy Purcell who is second on the team with 66.