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GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche

Oilers’ six game win streak will be tested against Colorado

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (42-25-5, 2nd, Pacific)

Colorado Avalanche (51-14-6, 1st, Central)

09 April 2022

Rogers Place

8 PM MT

TV: CBC

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Mile High Hockey

SIX IN A ROW

A 3-2 finish over the LA Kings has the Oilers holding onto a six game winning streak. Connor McDavid would pick up a goal and an assist in the victory, while Warren Foegele and Evan Bouchard would have tallies for the Oilers. Mike Smith earned his eleventh win on the season when he turned aside 28 shots from LA. The Oilers are now three points ahead of the Kings in the standings, and they’ve got a game in hand. The Oilers will have some stiff competition to make it seven in a row today as they’ll host the NHL’s cream of the crop in the Colorado Avalanche. A win today would have the Oilers flying high. Can they pull it off?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“Those numbers don’t happen every day...He’s driving us forward, sure, with his offense, but he’s also driving it with his attention to detail on the defensive side of things, and when your captain does that, and when the leading scorer in the National Hockey League commits to playing like that, I think it resonates with the rest of the group and becomes a contagious type attitude.”

Source

That’s Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft on Connor McDavid’s play as of late.

A goal and an assist for number 97 give him 29 points in his last fifteen games played, nearly two points per game. Now at 108 points with 10 games remaining in the season, it’s anyone’s guess as to how high McDavid will fly. 120 points? 125 points? More?

THE AVALANCHE ARE SAYING

“Penalties hurt us at the end...We had one opportunity with the empty net in order to probably put that game on ice and we didn’t capitalize on it, and then we end up getting called for a penalty. I like the fact that our team stuck with it in overtime. You certainly don’t like to give up a lead, but the Jets are a dangerous team. They have some shooters over there.”

Source

That’s Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar on his club’s 5-4 OT win over the Jets last night.

I try to avoid tired sports cliches, but good teams find a way to win. A late penalty to Colorado allowed Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers to score the tying goal with sixteen seconds in regulation, making it 4-4 in Winnipeg. The Jets would get a point out of the game, but the Avalanche would pick up two when Avs defenceman Cale Makar would bury his 25th midway through OT.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • Good things happen when you win six games in a row. Oilers are averaging 4.5 goals over their six game win streak. As we’re all aware, scoring a bunch of goals will help eliminate any perceived weaknesses with your roster. The good part? Oilers have yielded just 13 goals in those six games. That’s very good. Oilers are scoring and getting solid goaltending. Could get used to that pretty quickly.
  • The Avalanche are absolute rockstars among the NHL. They lead the league in points, they’re third in goals per game (3.8), they’ve got a top 5 power play, and they’re seventh overall in goals allowed. The Oilers might catch a break due to the Avalanche playing in Winnipeg last night, but Edmonton will have their hands full against a club that’s got eight players with 40 points or more.
  • Mike Smith played very well in his last two games, he helped the Oilers pick up two wins in the process. Mikko Koskinen (25-10-3, .902 SV% / 3.10 GAA / 1 SO) will look for his 26th win of the season tonight. It’d be a career high for Koskinen if he can backstop the Oilers to a win. Colorado will likely go with Darcy Kuemper (33-9-3, .925 SV% / 2.40 GAA / 5 SO) as Pavel Francouz picked up the W in Winnipeg last night.
  • Ten games to go for the Oilers, and Connor McDavid leads the league in scoring (108 points) by a full five point margin over Jonathan Huberdeau (103). Leon Draisaitl (101) is right behind. McDavid will probably say that he’s more interested in getting the Oilers to the playoffs, but there’s always the chance he’ll go supernova in the games leading up to the end of the season.
  • Speaking of the second season, the Oilers are sitting nicely in the Pacific at second place. With 89 points, a .500 record down the stretch (5-5) will get them in without issue. Three wins might be enough to do it, but 5-5 will leave no doubt. A good foot forward is to win your seventh game in a row tonight.