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Preview: Oilers vs. Jets Game 35

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A single home game gives Oilers a chance to put the brakes on a three game skid

Connor Hellebuyck looks to get the nod for Winnipeg tonight.
Connor Hellebuyck looks to get the nod for Winnipeg tonight.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports


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Edmonton
15-15-2, 32 points, 1.00 p/g Ranks 14-18-2, 30 points, 1.161 p/g
Western Conference - 10th Western Conference - 13th
22nd P/G 29th
28th ST 19th
17th S/G 21st
26th Goal 28th
7 PM MDT
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Rexall Plce
The opposing view: Arctic Ice Hockey

Pump the brakes!

The memories of a six game winning streak are fading fast as the Oilers have now dropped three straight.  The Oilers managed to hang forty shots on Colorado, but it was the Avalanche who skated away with a 5-1 victory on Saturday night.  Blake Comeau got the Avalanche on the board on an Oilers power play.  The Avalanche would add two more with PPG's from Tyson Barrie and an even strength tally from Nick Holden in the second.  Andrej Sekera would score Edmonton's lone goal  from Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl early in the third, but Jarome Iginla and Jack Skille would give Colorado two more notches in the belt.  The Avalanche finished with five, the Oilers, just one.

The holidays are here, and Edmonton won't play again until Saturday after tonight.  If nothing else, it would be nice to head into the break with a win and a bandage on a three game skid.  Let's go to the tape

The Oilers are saying

"Are we expecting to score six on him?  Not a chance...Even on his bad nights we're not getting six on him.  We gave up way too many to have a win."

Source

That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellen on Edmontnon's 5-1 loss to the Avalanche on Saturday.

It started bad, and it ended...more bad?  Worse?

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov turned aside 39 of 40 shots, holding more than his end of the bargain up.

The opponents are saying

"It's tough to explain sometimes...You're together as a team (on the road) and don't have to worry about anything else but hockey and concentrating on the games.  You can get on a roll.  That's what we need to do."

Source
That's Jets defenceman Mark Stuart on his team's inability to win on the road.  Winnipeg has just six wins on the road, only four teams have fewer.  Yes, you're aware of at least one of them.

Have some of this

  • MCDAVID - He's been skating and is "weeks" ahead of schedule in the recovery process.  That's good.
  • Connor Hellebuyck (5-2-0, .925 SV% / .914) is probable to start for the Jets tonight, while Cam Talbot (4-9-1 .897 SV% / 3.14 GAA) is my pick to start for the Oilers.  Anders Nilsson has fallen a back to Earth a little bit and is no longer stopping damn near everything, so look for Talbot and Nilsson to start splitting a bit more.
  • FAYNE BACK UP - Mark Fayne was recalled after Brandon Davidson sustained a rib injury on Saturday night.  Fayne spent five games in Bakersfield, and should fit right into the lineup.  The Oilers' defence is getting mighty thin.
  • EVERYBODY'S JULTZIN' AROUND - Justin Schultz hasn't been winning many friends as of late.  The gaffe that led to an Avalanche shorthanded goal didn't win very many new fans.  Put your GM shoes on:  What do you do with this guy?  Staple him to the bench?  No, because there's no depth.  Ship him out?  What do you get in return, a bucket of chum and some tape?  WHAT DO YOU DO with Justin Schultz?
  • Connor McDavid (clavicle),  Nail Yakupov (ankle), Oscar Klefbom (finger),  Rob Klinkhammer (ankle) and Brandon Davidson (ribs) are out for the Oilers.  For the Jets, Ondrej Pavelec (knee) and Grant Clitsome (back) are out indefinitely.