The Oil Kings come into tonights game riding a 4 game winning streak, with their most recent win an absolute drudging of the Swift Current Broncos 11-1. This win streak kicked off with a 5-0 win over these same Medicine Hat Tigers less than two weeks ago.
The Oil Kings come into this King of the Central division in sole possession of first place after the Lethbridge Hurricanes lost their game in hand two fall exactly two points back. The Oil Kings now sit at 78 points, the Hurricanes sit at 76. If you are wondering where the Tigers sit, they currently hold down the first Wildcard spot in the Eastern conference but are only 2 points up on the 9th place Brandon Wheat Kings who do have a game in hand. The wildcard race is very, very tight it is a three horse race between the Tigers, Rebels and Wheat Kings, if the Wheat Kings win their game in hand then all three teams will be tied at 67 points in 60 games.
At this point in the season every game is so important to the teams involved when fighting for playoff position. Every game against other playoff bound teams are sure to be fast paced and exciting, get ready for a great game as the Tigers try to avenge themselves after getting blown out 5-0.
The magic number for the Oil Kings to officially clinch a playoff spot is 6 points, with a win tonight that number drops down 4 points (Or 2 wins). It’s getting close, these are exciting times for Oil Kings fans. After a couple of down seasons of rebuilding, it seemed like the Oil Kings were destined for at least one more year without playoffs. They were supposed to be better, maybe fight for a wildcard spot but they have been a wonderful story. They are first in their division, well on their way to playoffs and could potentially have home ice advantage should they advance all the way to the conference finals.
Players to Watch
Vladimir Alistrov – Had a 3 point game against the Broncos, his line has been on fire the last few games. Ranked 151st by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters), However I’ve seen him as high as 61st on some rankings, some say he could go in the third round. Watch him now before he goes big.
Jake Neighbours – Had a goal last game, 21 points in 40 games as a 16 year old. Not Draft Eligible until 2020, he is young and will do great things as an Oil King before he moves on to bigger and better. Get excited about this guy Oil Kings Fans.
Josh Williams – A potential late first round/ second round pick in this year’s upcoming draft. He was acquired by the Oil Kings from the Tigers. It won’t be his first game against his old team but any game against your former team will have you waking up early ready to put on a show. No matter the reason you get traded you always want to show that team they made a mistake. Look for an impact game from him tonight.
James Hamblin – Undrafted, he is the Tigers leading scorer. The offence of this team runs through him. A local Edmonton product, he should have some friends and family in the stand he’ll want to impress.
Brett Kemp – Played parts of three seasons with the Oil Kings before being sent to Medicine Hat as part of the Josh Williams trade. He had 39 points in 40 games before being traded, so he knows how to score at Rogers place. Though he scoring has declined since the trade him only 10 points in 18 games.
Mads Sogaard – The Tigers starting netminder, though he has shared his crease pretty evenly with Jordan Hollet. Sogaard currently has a very impressive .925 sv% in 31 games with the tigers this season. He also played 5 of 6 games for Denmark at the World Jr. Championships, though they didn’t win a single game and were relegated by Kazakhstan. However, that wasn’t a reflection of Sogaard rather than the lack of depth and talent throughout the rest of the roster.