Edmonton Oilers (23-24-3) (7th, Pacific)
Philadelphia Flyers (22-23-6) (7th, Metro)
1100 AM MST
Wells Fargo Center
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Broad Street Hockey
BACK ON THE BEAT
How was your bye week? Good? Great. The Oilers have 32 games remaining in the regular season. They’ve got 49 points on the year, and a week of inactivity has placed them in seventh place in the Pacific. They’re averaging less than a point per game in the standings, and that’s not good enough if the goal is playoffs. We are going to talk about playoffs until they become realistically unattainable. Probably going to still talk about them for a few weeks after that.
Two points are available in Philadelphia on this matinee Saturday. The Flyers are looking for their seventh straight win. Can the Oilers put a stop to all of that?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
“It’s coming along. Obviously, yesterday was the first practice with contact with the guys...this is a big difference.”
That’s Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom on his recovery from a finger injury.
The Oilers were hopeful to have Klefbom back in the lineup this weekend to take on either the Flyers today or the Canadiens tomorrow, but he may have experienced a setback after a Thursday practice.
THIS IS A TEST
It’s that time of Oilers fandom again: time for “Are The Oilers Going To Rush A Player Back From Injury Again?” Listening to Klefbom on that interview from yesterday makes it sound like he may have suffered a little bit of a setback after Thursday’s practice. The Oilers are desperately looking for points in the standings, and they’re anxiously awaiting their best defenceman’s return. With five games coming up over the next week, you can bet that the club is looking to get Klefbom back in the mix. He needs to be 100% before that happens.
The Flyers are saying
“I can’t say enough about the way the guys played tonight. That has to be the best game we played...A little bit of a slow start, but you know, nothing that we couldn’t recover from.”
That’s Flyers head coach Scott Gordon on his club’s 3-2 OT win over Boston on Thursday night.
Travis Sandheim scored the OT winner for the Flyers, who have won six straight.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
Lucic-McDavid-Rattie— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) February 1, 2019
Malone (flight delayed)
- It really is breathtaking. The roster, that is. Don’t look too much into the Klefbom / Larsson right now, there’s a fair shot that all of those D pairs get jumbled before today’s game. Puljujarvi’s back on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Colby Cave (AKA “where the magic happens).
- The Oilers and the Flyers both average exactly 2.82 goals scored per game. They’re also very close in goals allowed (3.25 GA/G for the Oilers, 3.37 GA/G for the Flyers). Could see a high scoring affair today.
- NET GAINS: The Oilers are going with Cam Talbot in today’s matchup (9-13-2, .894 SV% / 3.27 GAA / 1 SO) while Carter Hart (8-5-1, .922 SV% / 2.48 GAA) will go for the Flyers in net.
- IN A LITTE WHILE: Andrej Sekera is likely to return for the Oilers before too long. The Oilers have more than a couple of players who might be on their way to another club in order to free up cap space after Sekera comes off of LTIR. I think the Oilers calling up Brad Malone a few days ago (650K) was a pretty strong tell that guys like Tobias Rieder, and Kyle Brodziak might not be long for the club
- PLAYOFF PUSH: Oilers have 49 points in 50 games. They’re probably going to need somewhere near 90 points in a weak Western Conference this season to entertain any ideas of going to the second season, so there’s your math. Edmonton needs to figure out how to pick up about 41 points in 32 games to make it work, or about 1.3 points a game. Yeah, about that.
- SICK BAY: Andrej Sekera (ankle) and Oscar Klefbom (finger) are out for the Oilers. The Flyers are without defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere (lower body), goaltenders Michal Neuvirth (lower body) and Brian Elliott (lower body), and forward Pascal Laberge (hip)