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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Columbus Blue Jackets

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Hey, can anybody score a goal over here?

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs
Pierre-Luc Dubois co-leads the Blue Jackets in points (7) in 11 games.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers (8-4-1) @

Columbus Blue Jackets (5-4-2)

30 October 2019

Nationwide Arena

530 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet 1

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: The Cannon

FALLING FLAT

Save for the last ten minutes of yesterday’s game, the Oilers fell flat against the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings hadn’t won in eight consecutive games (0-7-1), but they emerged victorious against an Oilers club who’s got some problems scoring on the road. The Red Wings scored two first period goals, and the Oilers couldn’t catch up. Leon Draisaitl made it interesting late in the game when he scored his tenth of the season, but the Oilers couldn’t make up for lost time. Filip Hronek tucked one into a yawning net late in the game to give Detroit a 3-1 victory, ending their eight game winless streak.

The Oilers are back at it tonight with a visit to Columbus. Can they shake their goal-scoring blues?

Let’s go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

We have obviously got to find a way to get out of the gates better,” said McDavid, the Edmonton captain. That has to start tomorrow (against the Columbus Blue Jackets). It’s exciting that we can go right back out there and start working to fix this

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid after yesterday’s lacklustre 3-1 loss to the Red Wings.

The goals have dried up. If the top two lines can’t keep doing what they did for the first two weeks of the season, there’s got to be some help from the bottom six. The bottom six aren’t doing it right now, and it’s costing the Oilers in the win column.

The Blue Jackets are saying

Our battle level wasn’t there tonight, you could see that. You’re going to come out on the wrong side of those games if you’re not ready to compete

Source

That’s Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner after Columbus’ 7-4 loss to the Flyers on Saturday night.

The Blue Jackets surrendered five unanswered goals in the third period, which has got to be a bitter pill to take.

LINES

Just like yesterday, but put Joel Persson back at 2RD tonight. Kris Russell to 3LD. Brandon Manning to press box.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • THE WELL IS DRY: Remember when the top line was scoring three, four goals a game? Remember how much fun that was? Remember when the Oilers doubled up the Flyers by a 6-3 margin and it looked like everything was golden? Pepperidge Farm remembers. The goals? They’ve dried up. The first line had a goal last night, but that’s where it ended. Another goal from somewhere, anywhere in the lineup would have done wonders for a club that was out of it for 45 minutes of regulation.
  • NUGE: You may start to hear some criticism of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his lack of 5v5 production, and that specific point has some valid criticism. 93 has yet to score a 5v5 goal yet this season. You know who else hasn’t scored any goals 5v5? 5v4? 4v5? 4v4? Literally everyone else on lines three and four. Except Joakim Nygard, he had one 4v4. Thanks, Jim. It’s a solid bet that Nugent-Hopkins’ lack of 5v5 production is a blip on the radar. Hold onto your hats.
  • SITTING COWBOY: Anybody object if we get a peek at Willam Lagesson? He’s been up for a handful of games and we haven’t gotten a look yet. We know what Kris Russell brings ot the table. Maybe we see some regular season Lagesson, maybe we see a tape-to-tape breakout pass. Little things, they go far.
  • We noted last night that the Red Wings were in the bottom five in most every statistical category that mattered. Today, the Blue Jackets aren’t bottom five in every statistical category, but they’re not a screaming hell ou their either. Like yesterday’s matchup with the Red Wings, there’s room to take advantage. The Jackets aren’t scoring a bunch (21st in the league), they’re 26th in the league in goals against. They have an inefficient power play (26th in the league), and the 24th best PK. There’s plenty to like here if you’re the Oilers. Can Edmonton take advantage?
  • NET GAINS: Tippett ought to go back to Mike Smith (3-3-1, .914SV% / 2.48 GAA / 1 SO) as Koskinen got the start in Detroit. The Blue Jackets are likely to roll with Joonas Korpisalo (5-3-1, .896 SV% / 3.08 GAA)
  • SICK BAY: The Oilers will be without Adam Larsson (fibula), Joakim Nygard (ribs) and Josh Archibald (foot). Defenceman Joel Persson will play tonight. The Blue Jackets are without defencemen Ryan Murray (hand) and Markus Nutivaara (lower body). Forwards Alexandre Texier and Brandon Dubinsky are out, while Sonny Milano is day-to-day.