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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Detroit Red Wings

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Wings are in Edmonton after getting thumped in Calgary

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens
Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier is likely to get the nod tonight
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (6-1-0) vs

Detroit Red Wings (3-4-0)

18 October 2019

Rogers Place

700 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Winging It In Motown


You want the good or the bad first? Okay, the good. Edmonton is back in the win column, baby! A 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers puts two valuable points into the standings. McDavid went off for five points in Wednesday’s win. Leon Draisaitl had three points, even Zack Kassian got in on the action. The power play went 2/2. Things are great! WOOO! Okay, the less than great news: the Oilers allowed 52 shots on goal, which seem like a lot because it is. The good? Mikko Koskinen turned aside 49 of those shots. The bad? That’s like a week and a half’s worth of shots.

Coach Tippett said that he wasn’t too pleased with Edmonton’s effort on Wednesday night even though they scored six goals and picked up the victory. I’ll take six goals all day and all night, but the Oilers will have to tidy up things in their own end. Have they cleaned up their act in time to host the Red Wings?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

Nobody is going to be upset when the club cashes in for 6 goals (including 2 on the power play), but the club simply can’t afford to allow 52 shots with any regularity. Tippett is on the nose here. Credit to Mikko Koskinen for keeping the Oilers on top instead of letting it get into an 8-6 fiasco.

The Red Wings are saying

We gotta make sure we’re getting pucks on net and we’re being dirty, trying to get those dirty goals. Right now, they’re coming tough. We gotta continue to be hard in those areas and win those net-front battles and those stick battles. That’s how some of their goals went in. We just gotta continue to throw pucks there and just continue to work for our breaks.


That’s Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader after last night’s 5-1 loss to the Calgary Flames.

The Red Wings began the season on a 3-1 run. Since then, they’ve been 0-3, scoring just four goals while allowing 15. Yeesh.


Lines will be available after the morning skate


  • There’s a lot going on when Joel Persson is out of the lineup. First off, Kris Russell gets put back up on the second line, and then Brandon Manning is in the lineup. Barring a catastrophic situation, I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep Kris Russell on the third pair. If Lagesson is in tonight, he should pair with Russell.
  • GOOD STARTS: Detroit had a fine start to their season by picking up 3 wins in their first four games. Since then, they’ve gone 0-3 and allowed 15 goals and scored just four. The Wings are on the second half of a back-to-back. The Oilers have to turn it up out there.
  • A FINE LINE: The Red Wings have a nice set up top with Dylan Larkin (2-5-7), Anthony Mantha (6-4-10) and Tyler Bertuzzi (3-4-7). The scoring threats fall off significantly after that. If the Oilers can keep this trio off the scoreboard, they’ll take away the biggest weapons in Detroit’s arsenal.
  • SECONDARY SCORING: It hasn’t happened yet, but the Oilers are going to eventually need some help from lines 3 and 4. Connor McDavid has 17 points in his first 7 games (!!), Leon Draisaitl is right behind him. James Neal is still making it work out there, so’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Zack Kassian has had a good start to the season. After that? The dropoff is precipitous. After those five players, the rest of the club has just five goals. Of those remaining five goals, the defence has 3. (Klefbom, Bear, Manning)
  • NET GAINS: Mikko Koskinen (3-0-0, .927 SV% / 2.60 GAA) had a monster game against the Flyers, and I’d expect him to get the start this evening. The Red Wings are likely to counter with Jonathan Bernier (2-1-0, .888 SV% / 3.33 GAA)
  • SICK BAY: For the Oilers, Adam Larsson (fibula), Joel Persson (concussion) and Joakim Nygard (rib) are out. The Red Wings will miss defenceman Jonathan Ericsson (undisclosed), centre Chase Pearson (middle body) and winger Adam Erne (upper body).