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GAME PREVIEW: Game 18/56 Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers

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Oilers look to split two game matchup by knocking Jets off course tonight

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (9-8-0, 4th in North) vs.

Winnipeg Jets (9-5-1, 3rd in North)

17 February 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet West

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Arctic Ice Hockey

LOAD UP THE WAGON

It wasn’t a good night for the defence, and it certainly wasn’t a good night for the goaltenders. The Winnipeg Jets scored four goals on their first eleven shots, eventually chasing Mike Smith from his crease. The Oilers fought back from a 4-1 deficit to make it 5-5 early in the third, but a giveaway from Dominik Kahun set the table for Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler to tip in a shot from the point. This is a game the Oilers should have won, but lapses on defence and a night to forget in goal helped tilt the ice greatly in Winnipeg’s favour.

The Oilers will get another crack at Winnipeg tonight as Edmonton looks to split the two game series. Can they find two points tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

Anytime you give up six, it’s obviously not a great night...We left [Smith] out to dry there early and we tried to claw back, but it was just not a good enough defensive game from us, and we just made some mistakes that cost us.

Source

That’s Tyson Barrie on his club’s 6-5 loss to the Jets on Monday night.

A night to forget for Mike Smith and the defence. Hey, where’s Caleb Jones?

THE JETS ARE SAYING

We will feel like we gave up way too much, but there is a section, when you play Edmonton, that they take away from you, that they generate and it’s just so good...

Source

That’s Jets head coach Paul Maurice after Monday’s 6-5 win over the Oilers

Your job becomes a lot easier if everything you toss on net goes in. The Oilers made it interesting after Mikko Koskinen relieved Mike Smith, but the Jets did enough and held on for two points.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • I think the defence could look dramatically different today than it did prior to Monday’s game. Evan Bouchard got a look on the left side after Lagesson left the game with an injury. Bouchard was doing some work along the boards in practice yesterday, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him on his left side if Lagesson isn’t able to go tonight.
  • Devin Shore was waived yesterday, and I hope that signals Ethan Bear is ready to come back to the lineup. With Bouchard doing work on his left side yesterday, I believe Bear’s return is a distinct possibility.
  • Also, play Caleb Jones for cryin’ out loud. It’s been over two weeks. The defence looked mighty suspect in Monday’s loss, playing your best players is a good option.
  • UP TOP: Tyler Ennis might break into the top six after Dominik Kahun’s giveaway that would eventually lead to Winnipeg’s game winner. Club could opt to go 93-29-56, though I think it’s more likely that Ennis might play alongside Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto while the top line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujärvi remains untouched.
  • NET GAINS: Sure sounds like Mike Smith (2-0-0, .935 SV% / 2.11 GAA, 1 SO)_is going to get another kick at the can after a forgettable start on Monday night. The Jets could roll with former Oiler Laurent Brossoit (2-1-0, .918 SV% / 2.98 GAA), though they may turn back to Connor Hellebuyck (7-4-1, .917 SV% / 2.58 GAA)_who picked up the win on Monday.
  • SCRATCHES: For the Oilers, Zack Kassian is week-to-week with a hand injury. William Lagesson and Gaetan Haas are day-to-day. For Winnipeg, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nate Thompson are day-to-day.