Edmonton Oilers (12-16-2) @
Columbus Blue Jackets (19-10-1)
5 PM MDT
Nationwide Arena, Columbus OH
TV: Sportsnet Oilers
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: The Cannon
Zero goals is a very tiny number. It’s actually no number at all. The Oilers went from scoring six goal in Montréal to scoring absolutely zero goals in Toronto the next night. Zach Hyman scored Toronto’s lone goal early in the first, while the Oilers couldn’t solve Curtis McIlhenney in 41 shots (and four power plays).
The Oilers roll into Columbus tonight looking to avoid going five games under .500 before returning home. Can the Oilers steal a win out of Columbus?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"We didn't win, and that's the most obvious thing, but we were happy with our game...We played hard, we were very competitive. We've strung two good games together now, but unfortunately we didn't get the result. Tonight the puck wasn't going to cross the line for us, it didn't matter what we did… I can't complain about the effort of our group.."
That’s Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on his team’s performance after a 1-0 loss to the Maple Leafs on Sunday.
After a sleepy first, the Oilers did well for themselves. They did everything but score, which, unfortunately, is still valued highly amongst the rulemakers of the game. A couple of posts and a tonne of shots weren’t enough to escape Toronto with even a single point. A similar effort tonight will likely come with better results.
The Blue Jackets are saying
"It's kind of one of those things where, once you go down that dark alley, one thing leads to another, and it's hard to kind of get out of it...It's not so much pointing the fingers, but sometimes you tend to blame, you know … your teammates or linemates. That's something you can't do, and it's something I've tried not to do. One thing just led to another, and being a healthy scratch was probably the best thing for me, honestly. It gives you a chance to hit the reset button, look in the mirror, watch some film and realize the things that you do well and just get back to doing that.”
That’s Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson on getting healthy scratched in Columbus’ most recent game against the Arizona Coyotes. Atkinson has just nine points (6-3-9) in 25 games this season after signing a seven year deal worth north of 41 million. Likely to regress? Probably. His S% is below 8, which is a bit below his career average of 11.3%. If he scores a pair of goals tonight, then Torts will look like a mad scientist.
Have some of this
"We were very competitive & we've strung two good games together. Unfortunately we didn't get the result but I can't complain about the effort." Coach McLellan on #Oilers performance in back-to-back pic.twitter.com/JBl2oK58HL— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 11, 2017
- CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT THE EFFORT: I’ll be putting something out this week on Todd McLellan and how much slack he’s going to get from Peter Chiarelli. I don’t disagree with him about the Leafs game, but how long do you think he’s got on a club that’s not getting it done with Connor McDavid on it?
- COLUMBUS NUMBERS: Like Leafs on Sunday, things are doing just fine for Columbus right now. Bobrovsky’s kicking out the saves with an all around SV% of .930 (good for third among goalies with 20+ games played). They’re only 22nd overall in goals scored, but when your netminder stops nearly everything under the sun, things can work that way. Artemi Panarin is doing the heavy lifting for the Jackets, he’s got 26 points (7-19-26)
- POWER PLAY PULJUJARVI: If you’re going to put him in the top six, you gotta let him play the power play now and again. 0:00 in Toronto though the Oilers had four power plays? What’s the point?
- Look for Laurent Brossoit to get the nod tonight once again. Other than one shot on Sunday, the man was perfect. He’ll likely face off against Sergei Bobrovsky.
- SICK BAY: The Oilers are missing Andrej Sekera, (ACL), while Adam Larsson (upper body injury) and Cam Talbot (see: Larsson) are day-to-day. Columbus is without defenceman Ryan Murray (upper body, day-to-day) and Sam Vigneault (finger, day-to-day)