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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Colorado Avalanche

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Oilers seek eighth win in eleven games with visit to Denver

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (16-12-2) (5th, Pacific)

Colorado Avalanche (17-8-5) (2nd, Central)

7:00 PM MST

Pepsi Center

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Mile High Hockey


The Oilers scored just one goal in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. The goal belonged to Connor McDavid. The shutout belonged to Mikko Koskinen. The win belongs to all of us. Inject it into my veins. Give me all of your wins under Coach Hitchcock.

The Oilers look to make it eight wins in eleven games under their new bench boss. They’ll face a tall drink of water with a visit to Colorado today. Can the Oilers make it happen out there?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

“They were both full participants today, we’ll see how they feel later, but both guys went twice today,...They went earlier in the day for about an hour then they came back to us for 30 minutes, so they were on for long sessions today.”


That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock on Drake Caggiula and Tobias Rieder. Both have been out with injuries as of late. Rieder suffered a facial injury nearly a month ago, and Caggiula was placed on IR last week after suffering a hand injury in practice. Both players have made the trip with the team, and we may see them back on the ice sooner rather than later. (Caggiula will be out at least for tonight after going on IR on Wednesday).

The Avalanche are saying

“When I was small, I just always liked to do all kinds of sports so I was pretty active. When we won the Olympic games in ‘98, it was pretty big for our country and all of a sudden, I wanted to be a hockey player...Growing up, we were watching NHL. We had all kinds of magazines and posters, so it was my childhood dream”

That’s Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz. Francouz was signed as a free agent from the KHL just a day after Mikko Koskinen was signed by the Oilers.

Francouz has sparkled in the AHL with a .920 SV%, a 2.62 GAA and a 12-4-1 record with one shutout.


  • Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock has done very well in one-goal games since becoming bench boss in Edmonton. His most recent tally of a 1-0 victory over Calgary continues this trend. Here’s hoping there’s some more goals on the sticks of the Oilers, as the Avalanche are scoring 3.6 goals a game. That’s good for fourth in the league.
  • Colorado has a pair of forwards who are leading the league in points. Both Mikko Rantanen and Nathan Mackinnon have 48 points in 30 games. They’re currently both tied for the league lead in goals. Fortunately, the Oilers still have Connor McDavid.
  • NET GAINS: Fresh off of his third shutout, expect Mikko Koskinen to get the start for the Oilers tonight (9-3-1, .929 SV% / 2.06 GAA / 3 SO). Look for Semyon Varlamov (10-7-3, .918 SV% / 2,63 GAA /1 SO) to start for the Avalanche.
  • SICK BAY: Andrej Sekera (ankle) and Drake Caggiula (hand) are out for tonight, both Caggiula and Tobias Rieder (face) may play in Winnipeg on Thursday. For the Avalanche, they are without the services of forward Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder) and defenceman Mark Barberio (upper body).