Edmonton Oilers (13-17-2)
Minnesota Wild (17-11-3) @
12 PM MDT
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul , Minnesota
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Hockey Wilderness
Thursday night saw the Oilers catapult 46 shots onto Nashville’s netminder Jusse Saros. Just like in Toronto, they were unable to solve the backup netminder even once. Nashville scored four times en route to a shutout victory over Laurent Brossoit and the rest of the Oilers, and there was no rejoicing.
The Oilers will receive Cam Talbot back for today’s game, while Minnestoa’s Devan Dubnyk is out with an injury for the Wild. Can the Oilers pick up a W while on the road?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"We took some needless or careless penalties that cost us.” “You got the second best or the best power play in the League and we take a couple that put us behind the 8-ball"
That’s Oilers head coach Todd McLellan discussing Thursday’s 4-0 loss at home to the Predators. Todd’s got to know that his PK is just a tire fire right now. The Predators went 2-for-3 on the power play to help keep the Oilers last in the league while a player short.
The Wild are saying
"I think it's more night to night. Still have to earn it, you're still getting pushed every night...I just want to go out and compete and give the team a chance to win.”
That’s Wild backup netminder Alex Stalock on getting thrust into the spotlight of starting position. Devan Dubnyk is week-to-week with a lower body injury. Stalock will get the green light in today’s game versus the Oilers. Can the Oilers solve their backup goalie ‘curse’?
Minnesota is currently fourth in the Central Division. They’re tied for 17th with Philadelphia in team scoring (2.87 GPG). Coincidentally, they’re also tied with Philadelphia in goals allowed (2.91). They’re perfectly adequate, yet their special teams aren’t quite the dumpster fire that the Oilers are. They’re led by Eric Staal (12-15-27, 31 GP) and Jason Zucker (14-11-25 in 31 GP).
Have some of this
Connor McDavid had all the illnesses, according to this TV graphic. (via @NextSportStar) https://t.co/EGIVRjalTc pic.twitter.com/OZGsvMdQbF— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) December 15, 2017
- AND? I guess body language didn’t make the cut.
- CAN’T BUY A THRILL: The Oilers have some pseudo-voodoo going on right now with backup netminders. They hang a wall of shots against Curtis McIlhinney and Jusse Saros, but can’t buy a thing. Today, they’ll face off against Alex Stalock. In Minnesota. Early in the day. No sweat.
- POWER PLAY PULJUJARVI: Nope. Still not happening. Maybe today?
- IN NET: he Oilers get Cam Talbot back for today’s game (10-10-1, .903 SV% / 3.00 GAA 1 SO) after missing the last seven with a lower body injury. Talbot can turn aside 50 shots, if the Oilers don’t score a couple, it’s gonna get weird again. The Wild will counter with Alex Stalock (8-5-3, .916 SV% / 2.61 GAA / 1 SO). Stalock is coming off a shutout of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a contest where he turned aside all 28 Leaf shots on Thursday night.
- Is it time for Adam Larsson yet? Soon.
- SICK BAY: The Oilers are missing Andrej Sekera, (ACL), while Adam Larsson (upper body injury) day-to-day. The Wild will be missing Devan Dubnyk (lower body injury), Jared Spurgeon (groin) and Zach Parise (back).