If it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. And that’s the same mentality that Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins has entering tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals as the rookie coach will leave his lineup the same. Coming off a fine performance in Montreal, the tail end of their six-game road trip out east, the Oilers will look to make it three in a row tonight against Alex Ovechkin and the Caps tonight but it won’t be easy.
Washington enters tonight one game below .500 with a 4-5 record and have averaged 2.8 goals for this season while they’ve given up an average of 3.2 per contest. This could bode well for the Oilers who have averaged exactly 3.0 goals per game but the problem hasn’t been the offense, it’s been the defence. Giving up an average of 3.9 goals per game, the Oilers must find a way to isolate the scoring chances for Ovechkin and company and one way to do just that is to stay out of the penalty box.
The Oilers special teams in general has been rather lackluster lately and allowing number 8 to one-time his rifle from the off-wing on the man advantage could prove to be costly, especially considering that the Caps have the best power play in the league.
It’ll be interesting to see if Eakins and the Oilers make any changes to their man advantage tonight, looking to spark the PP. Speaking of changes or not making any, let’s take a look at the same lineup as the one that earned the victory against the Canadiens. Followed by some note worthy items.