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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets

Sam Gagner is back as the Oilers hit the road after going 2/2 at home

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames
Sam Gagner has been recalled.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (7-1-0) vs

Winnipeg Jets (4-5-0)

20 October 2019

Bell MTS Centre

500 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

TWO FOR TWO

The Oilers picked up two more points on Friday night with their 2-1 victory over the visiting Detroit Red Wings. James Neal scored his ninth of the year, while Ethan Bear would score the game winner on a perfectly placed wrister from the blue line. Mikko Koskinen picked up the W for Edmonton after turning aside 25 of 26 total shots.

The Oilers are winners in 7 of 8 games so far. Today, they’re in Winnipeg to take on the Jets. Can they keep the wins flowing?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

Bear has been amazing. It’s fun to watch him. His confidence level is out of this league, he’s doing everything right. It’s great to watch him right now.

Source

That’s Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen on the performance of Ethan Bear

BEAR COUNTRY

The Oilers’ fifth rounder from the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is firing on all cylinders right now. He scored his second career goal in Friday’s 2-1 victory over Detroit. It was the game winner. Bear is playing just a notch over 20 minutes per game, third among active D.

The Jets are saying

It’s not going for us right now...Obviously, scoring one goal, you’re not going to win many games that way.

Source

That’s Jets captain Blake Wheeler after his club’s 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Friday night.

The Jets have lost three straight, scoring just five goals over that time.

LINES

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Sam Gagner is back and Gaetan Haas has been optioned. I wholly and emphatically endorse this move. Plop Gagner somewhere in the middle six and let him do his thing. Gagner spent 25 games with the Oilers after being reacquired for Ryan Spooner last season, he put up ten points (5-5-10).
  • NINE FOR NEAL: James Neal scored his ninth goal of the season on Friday night. He’s going to cool off eventually, but until then? Keep popping them in. He co-leads the NHL in goals with Boston’s David Pastrnak.
  • JET BOYS: The Oilers will have their hands full trying to contain Winnipeg’s top line of Mark Scheifele (4-8-12), Patrik Laine (3-9-12) and Blake Wheeler (3-3-6). Unlike the Red Wings, the Jets have a pretty good second line with Nikolaj Ehlers (3-5-8) roaming the ice.
  • D-TAILS: Winnipeg’s defence has undergone a stiff transformation over the offseason. They’re down two big pieces with Jacob Trouba (trade), Dustin Byfuglien (personal leave) missing from the lineup. Hey, at least they’ve got (checks notes...) Dmitry Kulikov and Neil Pionk.
  • NET GAINS: Koskinen has played lights out over the last two games, so it’d be easy to go back to him for tonight’s game (4-0-0, .934 SV% 2.21 GAA). Tippett said that he’d employ a rotation, so he may opt for Mike Smith (3-1-0, .917 SV%, 2.51 GAA). Expect the Jets to run with Conor Hellebuyck (3-3-0, .917SV% / 2.70 GAA).
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers are without Adam Larsson (fibula) and Joel Persson (concussion). The Jets will miss Dustin Byfuglien (personal), Mark Letestu (undisclosed), Anthony Bitetto (lower body) and Bryan Little (concussion).

Lets’s. Go. Oilers.