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Preview: Oilers vs. Bruins Game 26

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WORLDS ON FIRE

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports


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Edmonton
13-8-1, 27 points, 1.228 p/g Ranks 8-15-2, 18 points, .72 p/g
Eastern Conference - 8th Western Conference - 14th
15th P/G 30th
13th ST 17th
9th S/G 20st
24th Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet One
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Stanley Cup Of Chowder


Relax.  Don't do it.

Everybody pull up your pants and have a seat.

The Oilers played another bad game on Monday night, and this one was against the Maple Leafs.  Making his debut  in net that night was Garret Sparks, who turned aside all 24 of Edmonton's shots en route to his first career shutout.

On Tuesday, everybody was freaking out, man.  It really was a sight to behold.  It's time to trade Jordan Eberle, it's time to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, it's time to trade Taylor Hall.  Step back.

"SOFT SKILL"

With respect to Ryan Rishaug, the term "soft skill" is a bad and wildly inappropriate.  Stop saying this.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been playing the toughs every year after his rookie season.  Exactly what is "soft" about 93's game? Remember a few years back when he was playing with a busted labrum and the Oilers weren't completely out of the playoff discussion during the lockout season?  Yes, that was the year where they traded for Jerred Smithson.  That one.

Everybody wants to win, and they want to win now.  I'm about the farthest thing from a team apologist, but unless something once-in-a-lifetime opens up to be acquired on the blue line, you're going to make a three-for-one trade that doesn't address this team's biggest weakness, and that's on the blue.  Gonna trade Jordan Eberle?  OK!  What comes back? Sprockets and loose receipt papers along with a fourth round pick won't make this club better today.  It'll also hurt in a year, or two, or three, or five.

I realize that nearly anything is possible, but teams aren't usually in the market to trade top line defenceman after a quarter of the season has passed.

Stop drinking before noon.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"When I look at this trip as a whole, we had some key, key people really underperform  on this trip"

Source

That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on finishing a five game road trip at 1-3-1.

The Oilers scored six goals in five road games.

The opponents are saying

"...I don't think right now we have an edge, but we should take advantage of the fact that we got here early and should feel a little bit more comfortable with the time change and everything else."

Source
That's Bruins head coach Claude Julien on traveling to the Western Conference.  They don't have an advantage due to the time change, you guys.

The Bruins have won five straight, which is a pretty good number if you're coming in to face the Oilers, who have won eight games in two months.

Have some of this
  • YEAH, WE'RE GONNA NEED YOU TO COME IN ON SATURDAY - So much going on here.  No Pouliot, no Letestu, look at that third line.  Look at that fourth line.  Don't look at all. Do not look.
  • Oilers PK game will need to be on point, as the Bruins' power play is first in the league at 32.4%.
  • Anders Nilsson (5-7-1, .911 SV% / 2.70 GAA) starting once again for the Oilers..  Boston is in Edmonton tonight, Calgary on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday.  I see them at Rask-Gustavsson-Rask over the next three.  Tuukka Rask (8-7-1, .899 SV% / 2.94 GAA) hasn't been tearing it up in net, but the Bruins have been scoring a fair bit over the last five (3.4 goals).
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle),  Nail Yakupov (ankle) and Benoit Pouliot (lower body) are out.  Mark Letestu is questionable. Boston is without defenceman Kevan Miller (concussion) plus forwards David Pastrnak (foot) and Chris Kelly (leg)