Edmonton Oilers (17-17-2)
Winnipeg Jets (20-11-6) @
6 PM MDT
Bell MTS Centre - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey
Oilers are winners of four straight and they’re coming off the break. They’ve finally pulled back to a Bettman .500 record with a 17-17-2 record, good for 36 points in 36 games. They’ve got their work cut out for them, but they’ve looked as good as they have all season in recent games.
Tonight, the club takes a trip to Winnipeg to face the Jets. The Jets have performed well so far, good for 46 points and third place in the Central Division.
Can the Oilers drive for 5?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"Leon’s skating much better and he’s physical on offence. That’s not just forechecking but it’s holding people off when he has the puck and is creating space for himself and his linemates".
That’s Oilers coach Todd McLellan on Leon Draisaitl’s production since being moved to centre.
Three centres down the middle (97-93-29) has been a big hit so far. Draisaitl has 12 points (2-10-12) in 13 games since being moved from the first line.
The Jets are saying
“It’s tough to come back from two goals down...They’re one of the highest scoring teams in the league and they have one of the best home records and you dig yourselves a hole like that early, it’s tough to come back”
That’s Jets forward Adam Lowry after a 5-2 loss to the Islanders on Saturday. The Islanders ran wild on the Jets, powered by a hat trick from Mat Barzal.
Have some of this
Kailer Yamamoto (@spokanechiefs) scores off the Brady Tkachuk feed making it 4-0 USA. #WorldJuniors #Oilers pic.twitter.com/gVjPxeKKfX— Shayne Pasquino (@shaynepasquino) December 27, 2017
- OUR LARGE ADULT SON KAILER: The World Juniors are taking place in Buffalo right now, and that’s a pretty goal from Kailer Yamamoto off of a quick one from Brady Tkachuk. Yamamoto making himself available is something we’ve already seen him do quite a bit in his limited time we’ve been able to see him. A good bet that Tkachuck is a top five pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
- STROME SIGNALS: Ryan Strome has three goals in his last three games. Is he beginning to find some consistency in his game?
- JET BOY, JET GOAL: The Oilers could have their hands full tonight on defence. The Jets are scoring quite nicely this year. They’re tied for fourth in the league with the Maple Leafs in goals scored per game (3.24), while they’re toward the middle of the pack in goals allowed (2.81). You know Patrik Laine (18-11-29) is a major player for the Jets, but so is Mark Scheifele (15-22-37), while Blake Wheeler leads the club in points with 41 (9-32-41).
- MASTERFUL 97: I feel like we don’t talk about Connor McDavid enough. Two more points against the Canadiens (1-1-2) puts him at 43 on the year, including this goal on Antti Niemi from Saturday. Talk about an early Christmas gift, Antti Niemi between the pipes was like a bicycle wrapped in a bow under the tree. Just please, leave the shot blocking to Kris Russell next time.
- IN NET: Four wins in a row for Cam Talbot, since coming back from injury, expect him to run with the wolves (14-10-1, .908 SV% / 2.84 GAA 1 SO). Connor Hellebuyck (18-4-5, .920 SV% / 2 SO) is a likely choice for the Jets.
- SICK BAY: The Oilers are missing Oscar Klefbom (IR - shoulder) while the Jets will go without Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom.