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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes

Oilers head to Arizona to face struggling Coyotes club

Chicago Blackhawks v Arizona Coyotes
7-10-17 in 19 games in Arizona. Could he be on the move prior to the trade deadline?
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (28-18-6) 2nd, Pacific vs

Arizona Coyotes (26-21-7) 5th, Pacific

04 February 2020

Gila River Arena


TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Five for Howling


Saturday was one for the memory bank. The Oilers absolutely demolished the Calgary Flames at the Dome. Leon Draisaitl had four points, Connor McDavid had a pair of goals. Kailer Yamamoto scored thirty seconds into the game, the goalies got into a scrap, and most importantly, the Oilers emerged with two big points and sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division. Bonus? The Oilers have games in hand on everyone in the division.

The Oilers will meet up a Coyotes club that’s been hemorrhaging goals recently; they’ve yielded 20 goals in their last five. Can the Oilers keep the good times rolling against a divisional opponent who’s faded a bit recently?

Let’s go to the tape.


That can only make our group stronger in here and better as a team. I think there’s things you can get out of games. There’s a lot we can take from this tonight. We stuck together. We got a big win against a good hockey team and kept moving up in the standings.


That’s Oilers goalie Mike Smith after Edmonton’s 8-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

After a December to forget (0-4-1, 828SV%) , Mike Smith is 6-0-2 since the new year (.914SV%).


We can’t have four, five six guys pulling zeroes every night, you just can’t, or we’re not going to go anywhere. Our team is built around 20 guys, and we can’t have just 13 guys playing, it’s impossible to win.


That’s Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet after his club’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks on Saturday.

After leading the Pacific, the Coyotes are now winless in their last five.


  • We’ve got to be getting closer to Tyler Benson time in the lineup, yeah? Benson was recalled two games ago and has yet to crack the lineup. I’d like to see him up top with McDavid, but would settle right now to see him anywhere on the left side that isn’t line 2.
  • YIELD: The Coyotes can’t stop a beach ball right now. They’re 2-5-3 in their last ten games, they’re completely winless in their last 5 (0-3-2) and they’re yielding an average of 4 goals a game in their last five. A significant chunk of this can be attributed to goaltender Darcy Kuemper’s lower body injury, which has shelved Kuemper since December. Antti Raanta has been left to take care of the lion’s share of the business with mixed results.
  • Four more points for Leon Draisaitl in Saturday’s 8-3 shellacking of the Calgary Flames will give you your NHL Scoring Leader. Connor McDavid (79 points) trails Leon Draisaitl’s 83 points (29-54-83) by four total. 83 points has Leon Draisaitl on pace to break the 100 point mark around the first week of March. Wouldn’t that be good?
  • Kailer Yamamoto has ten points 5-5-10 in eleven games so far this season. I could probably get used to that.
  • Given the choice, I’m all about the Oilers scoring more goals. As much trouble as the Coyotes have keeping goals out of their net, the Oilers are just killing it right now. Over their last five games (4-0-1), the Oilers have scored 26 goals, which is about 5.2 per game. It ain’t gonna last forever, enjoy the outburst for as long as you can.
  • HALL: You knew you weren’t getting out of here without a Taylor Hall thought. Since getting traded to the Coyotes, they’ve fallen a bit back of the race. They’re by no means out of it yet, but with just 20 days until the trade deadline, you’ve got to think that the Coyotes think about moving their mid-seaosn acquisition at the deadline if they fade further from the playoff light. Taylor Hall has 17 points (7-10-17) in 19 games since being dealt to the Coyotes earlier this year. You bet I’d make a deal.
  • NET GAINS: I’ve got Mike Smith going for the Oilers tonight (13-9-4, .899 SV% / 3.00 GAA / 1 SO), Adin HIll (1-1-0, .924 SV% / 2,70 GAA) is likely for the Coyotes, though Antti Raanta (9-11-3, .913 SV% / 1 SO / 2.93 GAA) may get the nod.
  • SICK BAY: Kris Russell and Joakim Nygard are both on IR, while James Neal was held out of Saturday’s Battle of Alberta with a foot injury. For Arizona, Darcy Kuemper (lower body) is out, while Ilya Lyubushkin was out Saturday with an illness. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is day-to-day with a lower body injury, while centre Barrett Hayton is week-to-week with a shoulder injury.