Edmonton Oilers (6-6-0, 4th in the North) vs.
Calgary Flames (4-5-1, 6th in the North)
06 February 2021
8 PM MST
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline
Death, Taxes, Third Strings Getting Claimed:
The Edmonton Oilers head into tonight’s BoA with some disappointing news from a few ends. Firstly, the team will be without their de-facto backup as Troy Grosenick was claimed on waivers by the LA Kings. This will force Stuart Skinner into the backup role for tonight. Secondly, Ethan Bear will miss his second straight game as he was put onto the IR after getting hit by an errant puck on Sunday’s game against the Senators.
As for roster changes, much of the attention will be on the backend. We still don’t know if Evan Bouchard will get another shot after an impressive debut. If I were a betting man I would say both Bouchard and William Lagesson get another look while Kris Russell and/or Slater Koekkoek get a birds-eye view from the press-box.
The forward group should be left nearly untouched except for James Neal most likely drawing in on the team’s fourth line. Gaetan Haas didn’t practice on Friday but there is no indication that he will miss any action. Except for him to be trusted with that 3C assignment that he has impressed in so far.
Also, Jujhar Khaira was recalled from the taxi squad this morning so it’s a good bet that he also draws back in. I wouldn’t expect him to get a lot of 5-on-5 time but he will definitely be a regular on the PK tonight.
That’s all we have to go on in terms of the roster. Let’s hope I got at least one of these guesses right.
Three Things To Watch For:
- Ohhhhh baby! The battle of Alberta has been resurrected in recent matchups and I expect there to be more fireworks tonight. The Oilers injected some GRIT into the lineup with Khaira and Zack Kassian was already practicing his Tkachuk trash-talk with Brady this past weekend. It’s going to be a fun one and I feel obligated to list the Tkachuk/Kassian feud as the thing to watch for tonight.
- Special teams could be a HUGE factor tonight. The Oilers are riding a wave of PP success recently, scoring on five of their last nine chances. Tyson Barrie has been a big reason for that as he has found his groove on the blueline, scoring six points in his last three games. Watch for him to be a factor there. Also, Khaira should help the PK efforts tonight.
- Who else but Connor McDavid. The Oilers captain has a total of 25 points against the Flames in 20 games against them. He currently leads the league in scoring with 24 points and is scoring at a TORRID 2.0pt/game pace. He’ll have plenty of motivation to keep that going against a struggling Flames team.
- Flames Suck, yo.