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Heritage Classic: Oilers @ Jets - McDavid, Laine Set To Face Off In Winnipeg

Oilers can grab ahold of the top of the Western Conference with a victory today. No, seriously.

Patrik Laine has burst onto the NHL scene with five points (4-1-5) in four NHL games.
Patrik Laine has burst onto the NHL scene with five points (4-1-5) in four NHL games.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports



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4-1-0, 8 points, 1.6 p/g Ranks 2-2-0, 4 points, 1 p/g
Pacific Division - 2nd Central Division - 6th
3rd P/G 18th
14th ST 26th
22nd S/G 21st
20th Goal 27th
TV - Sportsnet
Radio - 630 CHED
Investors Group Field
The opposing view:  Arctic Ice Hockey


Milan Lucic - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Zack Kassian
Patrick Maroon- Leon Draisaitl - Jesse Puljujäärvi
Tyler Pitlick - Mark Letestu - Anton Lander

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Jonas Gustavsson

Four Wins In Five Games

Enjoy the wins.  Don't look too far into them.

Milan Lucic's third period goal gave the Oilers the go-ahead on Thursday night, while Cam Talbot turned aside 33 of 34 shots en route to Edmonton's fourth victory in five games. Tyler Pitlick's name found the scoresheet once again, and Connor McDavid scored his fourth goal of the year on an empty-netter.  The Oilers are winners of four of their first five, and it's good to be an Oilers fan right now.

The Oilers can catch the upstart Canucks (upstart canucks?) with a victory in Winnipeg today.  Yesterday's alumni game saw the Jets' legends emerge victorious on a late goal by Teemu Selanne.  Edmonton can seize first place in the Western Conference with a victory over the Jets.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"It's going to be a huge experience...Games against Winnipeg are a really good experience and good games too.  It's going to be tough out there for sure and two points on the line.  We've got to be ready."


That's Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom on meeting up with with the Jets in today's outdoor matchup.

A win today would catapult the Oilers into first place in the Western Conference.  No pressure you guys.

The opponents are saying.

"It's not something you're really worried about...It's early in the year, it happens to a lot of teams.  If you look at the trends in the past ten years, there's always a lot of goals scored at the beginning of the year." Source

That's Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck on the beginning of the NHL season.  Turns out everybody's allowing a bunch of goals these days.  Well, everyone except Vancouver, whatever that's about.  Only Calgary and Carolina  are allowing more goals per game so far.

Have some of this

  • UP AND DOWN: The Oilers recalled Matt Benning from Bakersfield and assigned Ben Betker.   Along with Betker goes Laurent Brossoit, which would signal the activation of Jonas Gustavsson from injury.
  • SECONDARY SCORING: It's been just five games, but Tyler Pitlick has three goals in those five games.  Keep putting the puck in the net, and it'll be 40 goals this year.  Seriously though, is fifteen out of the question?  Oilers will need to get goals from those not-so-likely sources, and Pitlick's little rainshower has been a wonderful addition these past five games.
  • EVERYTHING IS JUST FINEConnor McDavid's assist on Milan Lucic's GWG on Thursday paired nicely with his empty netter en route to Edmonton's 3-1 win over the Blues.  McDavid has eight points (4-4-8) in five games played. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • BACK:  After being healthy-scratched the previous two games, Jesse Puljujäärvi will likely play with Leon Draisaitl and Patrick Maroon.
  • Cam Talbot (4-1-0, .904 SV% / 3.32 GAA) will start for the Oilers today. The Jets will likely run with Connor Hellebuyck  (1-1-0, .863 SV% / 3.45 GAA)
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee), Drake Caggiula (hip), Mark Fayne (undisclosed) Brandon Davidson (upper body) and Matt Hendricks (lower body) will not dress for the Oilers tonight.  For the Jets, Bryan Little (lower body) will be out.