Tonight the Oilers wrap up a 5 game road trip, their longest of the season. Currently they have gone 2-1-1 in the first four games, a very respectable mark for a team that lacks skill and wins through hard work and teamwork. Tonight the Oilers could improve their record on this road trip to 3-1-1. If the Oilers have any hope of making the playoffs they would need to keep playing at that pace or higher. Even then with so many teams ahead of them who will also be eating up points throughout the rest of the regular season, it will extremely tough for the Oilers to climb the standings. Even with their great run of games lately, the Oilers haven’t gained any ground on the final Wildcard spot.
The Buffalo Sabres earlier this year held a playoff spot and had an impressive 10 game winning streak. They’ve since gone 33 games without winning back to back games. To put that into perspective, the 2014 Buffalo Sabres who were built to tank for Connor McDavid (But ended up with Eichel) only ever went 31 games without back to back wins. The Sabres have fallen off since their 10 game heater.
As much as I’d like the Oilers to win one of the lottery selections and grab Hughes, Kakko, or Cozens. Personally I’d much rather just see this team continue to roll as a team like they have been lately, it’s way more fun to watch this last week or two (Outside the Toronto game, that was awful to watch). I’d be very happy to see the Oilers win a bunch of games and play some enjoyable hockey for the remainder of the season. Even if that mean’s finishing 10th in the west and getting a lower pick in the first round. Theres lot’s of forward talent available in the first round, so let’s have fun win some games and see what Happens.
I’ve seen improvement from Andrej Sekera in every game since his return, I think he can work his way back to being a decent 2nd pair defensemen next season, I don’t want the Oilers to buy him out. I think the play should be to try and trade Russell and give one of the young guys a shot on the third pair and sign a veteran 7th D, or just keep Gravel around on a cheap contract.
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Lucic – RNH – Chiasson
Rieder – Cave – Currie
Gagner – Brodziak – Rattie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Skinner – Eichel – Reinhart
Sheary – Rodrigues – Okposo
Wilson – Mittelstadt – Pomminville
Girgensons – Larsson – Thompson
Scandella – Ristonlainen
Dahlin – Bogosian
Hunwick – Montour
McDavid vs Eichel number 1 vs number 2 in the 2015 draft. Also we have Reinhart vs Draisaitl, #2 vs #3 in the 2014 draft. The Oilers for as bad as they have drafted in the past, one in both of the scenarios as the Oilers have the 2 better players from both those drafts. Sabres won finally won a draft lottery this past season and selected stud defensemen Rasmus Dahlin, he is an exciting rookie to watch so keep an eye on him tonight as well.