Edmonton Oilers (3-5-0, 5th in North) vs.
Toronto Maple Leafs (6-2-0, 1st in North)
28 January 2021
8 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Pension Plan Puppets
Time To Get To Work:
The Oilers are shaking off a devastating final period that cost them a win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. It has been the talk of the town for the past two days and the Oilers should be hearing quite a bit of it. Their defensive play was atrocious and in dire need of some changes and changes are what we got. Dave Tippett did some tinkering to his defensive pairs this morning.
Kris Russell will be a healthy scratch while Slater Koekkoek returns to the lineup. Caleb Jones will play in his second straight game on the team's second pairing with Adam Larsson. You have to assume Evan Bouchard is still banged up if Larsson is in over him for today.
Upfront, we have the same top two lines being deployed as they have had some success. The team will also trot out the same struggling third line as they hope to finally turn their fortunes around. The only changes in the forward group see Devin Shore and Joakim Nygard come in on the fourth line while Jujhar Khaira and Patrick Russell come out.
Mikko Koskinen plays in his ninth straight game.
Three Things To Watch:
- Special team play remains a critical part of the game for the Edmonton Oilers. Their powerplay found some life in Winnipeg as they went 2/2 on Tuesday but their penalty-kill betrayed them, giving up two goals against. Look to see if that power-play success continues and if they can improve their PK.
- Speed is the name of the game on the fourth line tonight. Nygard’s presence adds a whole lot of it to that line while Shore and Archibald are good utility guys. The Jujhar Khaira-Patrick Russell duo got slaughtered against the Jets so this will be an interesting matchup for the new guys.
- We are entering the first fatigue watch of the season for Mikko Koskinen. He has started every game so far this season and Tuesday’s loss was the first real sign that he was starting to get tired. The Oilers will have to put up a better defensive response in front of him to make sure he doesn’t have to do more than he needs to.
- Let. Go. Oilers.