GAME PREVIEW: Edmonton Oilers @ Florida Panthers
5:00 PM MST
TV: SN-West, FS-Florida
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Litter Box Cats
STILL ON EARTH
The Oilers head into this one after having their milkshake drank two nights in a row, first by the defending champion Capitals, and then by the always good Tampa Bay Lightning. All is not lost, however, as the Oilers are still two games north of Bettman .500 and are well and truly through the most difficult portion of their schedule now.
Their two losses have seen them fall out of the early playoff picture for the time being but we must remember to pinch ourselves as, it is almost mid-November, and the Oilers are still relevant. And not just because we are contractually obligated to pretend they are, either. A win tonight and a Canucks loss will see the Oilers move level on points but ahead through goal difference. And we wait.
Cam Talbot will return to mind the crease after Mikko ‘The Answer’ Koskinen earned the first blemish on his record as an Oiler in Tampa. The Panthers will trot out future HHOFer Roberto Luongo, who appears to have put his injury behind him and is coming off a win over the Jets in Finland.
VERY MUCH EARTHBOUND
As per Jack Michaels:
EDM pregame skate at FLA:
— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) November 8, 2018
So Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson draw back in, at the expense of Jujhar Khaira and Kailer Yamamoto. What’s nice is when you find ways to sewer not just one, but two separate 20-year-olds at once. Nothing says ‘position to succeed’ like ‘fourth line beside Brodziak and Kassian’.
Turns out all you need to avoid being scratched is a proactive agent.
The Oilers are saying
If you’re Peter Chiarelli, the question is do you make a coaching change right away or wait a few more days until the Edmonton Oilers fall out of a playoff spot?
That’s Postmedia hockey writer Michael Traikos weighing in on the Joel Quenneville firing.
FWIW, I would have fired Tod before end of business day in London the day the Coach Q news broke. Tod actively costs this team in the short and long term on a regular basis.
The Panthers are saying
That was huge for us. Watching him play so composed after being off for a month, he is a big reason why we won the game tonight.
That’s Panthers coach Bob Boughner waxing poetic about the return – and performance – of their number one.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- Based on the bodies of work so far this season, you have to like Edmonton’s chances tonight. The Panthers have started poorly and the Oilers were cobbling together a foundation in the games prior to their recent skid.
- With Chiasson returning tonight, who gets to be the lone right-handed shooter on the top power play? Or will Tod surprise all of us and put Rattie net-front and Chiasson on the left dot?
- Ryan Strome collected his first point of the season in Tampa Bay. Florida better have a good levee system because the flood gates have surely opened. (Note – I’m very much not sure about those gates.)
- Connor McDavid saw his eight-game point streak snapped in Tampa Bay, but will almost certainly get his name back on the sheet tonight. So far the Oilers captain has been held pointless in just two of fifteen contests this season.
- SICK BAY: Andrej Sekera is out (achilles). For the Lightning, Derek McKenzie (shoulder), Jamie McGinn (back), Michael Haley (leave), Mark Pysyk (UBI, GTD).