Thursday, October 20, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #6 Oilers vs. Wild
The Oilers come into tonight's game with the Wild with a 2-2-1 record, coming off of a very tough 2-1 loss to the Flames. The Oilers look to get back on track tonight, hopeful that Taylor Hall and perhaps Sam Gagner, will both be back in the lineup tonight. Jeff Petry was assigned to OKC yesterday, a move that bugs me to no end, but a move that I understand why it was made. Petry was their best and debatably, only mobile Dman on the current team. Taking him away comes at the peril of the team that has a bunch of club foots in Sutton, Barker, Potter and Peckham. Gilbert and Smid are OK, and Whitney is coming off of a severe ankle injury, limiting his mobility. Petry was the only Dman that could be sent to OKC without having to clear waivers, so I'm sure to coaching and management it was a no-brainer. Minnesota comes into this game with a 2-2-2 record and coming off of a 4-2 loss against the Penguins. I expect Khabibulin to get the start tonight, continuing the theme of flip-flopping goaltenders. Another potential winnable game for the Oilers. Much like the game against the Flames, a game they will have to win if they want to become credible. Note to Tom Renney, please use Ben Eager more at the beginning of the game. He's a better player than you think he is.
- I have a hard time giving this the Oilers yet. Until they can prove over many games they can hold the fort, they likely will lose this matchup. Backstrom is a very credible goaltender and one that has been tough on the Oilers.
- The Oilers youth and speed need to be on display tonight for the Oilers to win.
- Ryan Whitney is the difference here. The Wild really don't have a #1 Dman.
Special Teams Oilers
- The PK has been solid to start the year, will need the PP to pick things up.
- If this game was in Minnesota, the Oilers would be in trouble. Thankfully, it's in Edmonton and Edmonton has won most of the games here recently against the Wild.
Game Time: 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet Oilers.