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Preview: Game 60 Oilers vs. Avalanche

Calvin Pickard will start for Colorado as the Oilers look to get back on track with a W.

Nail Yakupov scored his fifth goal of the year in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Wild.
Nail Yakupov scored his fifth goal of the year in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Wild.
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports



30-26-4, 64 points, 1.067 p/g Ranks 22-31-6, 50 points, .847 p/g
Central Division - 5th Pacific Division - 7th
20th P/G 30th
16th ST 18th
27th S/G 24th
22nd Goal 26th
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The opposing view:  Mile High Hockey

Nail Yakupov Scored And The Oilers Still Didn't Win

There are 22 more games in the 2015-16 NHL season.  A season that started with some guarded hope as Connor McDavid was selected first overall is now shaping up to end very much like one of the last nine seasons where the Oilers fail to qualify for the second season.  Injuries have helped derail this three ring circus, but it's the middle of February, and the only thing we're talking about after Connor McDavid are lottery balls.

Imagine what it'd be like without McDavid.  We cannot.

The Oilers pitched another L on Thursday as they dropped a 5-2 contest to Minnesota.  Connor McDavid scored his tenth of the year, and Nail Yakupov scored his fifth.  Nail Yakupov?  Y'all remember him, yeah?  The 2012 first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft scored his fifth goal of the year while on a line with Lauri Korpikoski and Mark Letestu.  There's a shred of hope in me that believes that once Purcell is traded for a second round pick that Yakupov will get some T6 time, but it wouldn't at all surprise me if Pakarinen or Kassian or someone else ended up playing up there instead.  The Oilers finished the first period tied at two, Minnesota would grab second period goals from Thomas Vanek and Mikeal Grandlund, while Charlie Coyle would finish with an empty net goal in the third.  En fin.

Patrick Roy and his Colorado Avalanche are in town further stake their claim at a second season.  Can the Oilers grind out a W?

The Oilers are saying

"The power play, obviously, was a big part of their (Minnesota) success, getting the two right off the bat"


That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on his club's 5-2 loss to Minnesota on Thursday night.

Minnesota's first two goals were on the power play from Jason Pominville and Matt Dumba.   The Oilers were knotted at two with the Wild at the end of the first, but goals from Thomas Vanek and Mikael Granlund helped put the game out of reach for the Oilers.

The opponents are saying

"We could use another puck-management forward and a solid D-man...You are not going to get top-four (defenceman).  Teams aren't giving those guys up."   Source

That's Avalanche GM Joe Sakic on his team's upcoming trade deadline.

That's a shame, Joe.  I really wanted another top four defenceman.  Two of 'em, actually, that'd be great.  For the Oilers, Joe.  The Oilers.

Have some of this

  • Nikitin was a healthy scratch on Thursday night.  Might we see him tonight?
  • Calvin Pickard (3-3-1, .917 SV% / 2.75 GAA / 1 SO) will start for Colorado tonight.  Look for Cam Talbot (12-19-3, .911 SV% / 2.71 GAA / 1 SO) should go for the Oilers.
  • McDAVID MARK - McDavid's tenth goal gives him 26 points (10-16-26) on the year.  Even with his lengthy absence due to a fractured clavicle, 26 points is good for seventh on the team in scoring.
  • PACIFIC WATCH / SHOOTING FOR SIXTH:  With a few wins, the Oilers might draft sixth overall.  Maybe.  Until then, start grabbing your lotto tickets.
  • Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee)  and Oscar Klefbom (leg), are out for the Oilers, The Avalanche are without John Mitchell (undisclosed), Ben Street (chest),  Jesse Winchester (concussion) and defenceman Brad Stuart (back).