Edmonton Oilers (18-18-3) (6th, Pacific)
Arizona Coyotes (17-20-2) (7th, Central)
7:30 PM MST
Gila River Arena
TV: Sportsnet/Sportsnet 1
Radio: 630 CHED
THE MILK’S GONE BAD
Leon Draisaitl had two goals, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had one, but it wasn’t enough as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Edmonton Oilers by a 4-3 margin on New Year’s Eve. Brendan Lemieux had a pair for Winnipeg, Brandon Tanev had one and so did Blake Wheeler, while Connor Hellebuyck had 21 saves. The Oilers are now winless in their last six games, and patience has run dry in Oil Country. They’ll visit Arizona tonight to try and right the ship. Is there an end in sight?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
I thought those guys that we go to every game played their hearts out...McDavid, Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins played their hearts out, and we need more support for those players. The cavalry isn’t coming for those players. We need the bottom end of our team to start playing better if we expect to get to the next level. We’re covering our own weight at the top, but we need better play from the bottom end of our group.
That’s Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock after Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
Oilers could use some of that 32% shooting Alex Chiasson right now, but they’re not going to get it with him on IR. 97, 39, 29 and 93 are holding the bill right now. Secondary scoring is nearly nonexistent on this club. When is Milan Lucic going to score another goal? He finished the calendar year of 2018 with a total of two goals.
The Coyotes are saying
“You want to be a good NHL team or player, you’ve got to be consistent. It’s hard to do it all the time, but that’s what good teams do. … Maybe we just have some players here who just can’t do it and we’re going to have to find some players that will. To just implode like that, it makes no sense to me”
That’s Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet on his club’s 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights on Saturday.
Since peeling off four straight wins in early December, the Coyotes have won just four of their last thirteen contests.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
Hold up— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 2, 2019
I can't believe this is actually true
You only need FOUR goals to be in the Top 5 of the Oilers' current forward corps?! pic.twitter.com/uKrjpdCjl1
- This should probably make you angry.
- Since the six game losing streak began, the Oilers have scored 15 goals - not great, but not the worst thing ever. They’ve allowed 29, which is a spicy meatball.
Oilers lines at practice:— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) January 1, 2019
No Yamamoto. Defence pairings are the same as last night.
- LINE SALAD: Ah yes, the coveted Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian trio. That sure looks like Milan Lucic on line 2 as well.
- BUT SOMEBODY’S GOT TO WIN: The Coyotes are ranked 29th in goals scored. That’s not good either.
- NET GAINS: Who starts? I’ve got Talbot going for the Oilers (7-11-2, .896 SV% / 3.30 GAA), and Darcy Kuemper (5-11-2, .909 SV% / 2.90 GAA) for the Arizona Coyotes.
- SICK BAY: Andrej Sekera (ankle), Kris Russell (groin), Oscar Klefbom (finger), Alex Chiasson (knee) and Kailer Yamamoto (upper body) are out for the Oilers. The Coyotes are without Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Ranta (lower body injury), and Jason Demers (knee). Nick Schmaltz (lower body) and Brad Richardson (flu) are questionable.