Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche Gameday Preview (3/25/15)



Game: Colorado Avalanche (33-27-12, 78 points) @ Edmonton Oilers (20-39-13, 53 points)

Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Time: 6:00 PM MT

Where to find it: TV – Sportsnet, Radio – 630 CHED

Oilers Preview:

Coming off of a tough matchup against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night, the Oilers will be without C Boyd Gordon (back spasms) and D Andrew Ference (Concussion). Despite the rap that Ference receives for being a “bad” defencemen, it was quite apparent Monday night that his physical play was missed against a heavy hitting Winnipeg Jets.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has already set a career high in goals this season (23) and is riding a 15 point, eight game scoring streak. On top of that, Nugent-Hopkins is leading all NHL Forwards in average TOI/Gm, logging 20:52 of ice time per game.

Special teams will play a big factor in tonight’s matchup as the Avalanche currently have the 29th ranked power play, and the 6th ranked penalty kill while the Oilers have the 19th ranked power play, and the 28th ranked penalty kill.

Look for the Oilers to continue to build on the recent success scoring on the Powerplay.

The Oilers have a chance to play spoiler as the Colorado Avalanche are currently sitting ten points out of the final wildcard position. The Avalanche have ten games left in the season, including two matchups against the Oilers. Should the Oilers be able to win both matchups against the Avs, those are four points they could really use.

More from Oil On Whyte

The otherside – Four questions with Mile High Sticking Editor Austin Manak:

1. Which Avalanche player(s) should Oiler fans be worried about tonight?

The first player Oiler fans should worry about is Semyon Varlamov. He is the Avalanche’s MVP, and has really elevated his game over the past couple of weeks. He’s shown he is human, losing his last two starts, and giving up three goals in each. His six prior starts were all victories, and Varlamov posted a 1.17 GAA and 0.962 save percentage over that stretch, while facing nearly 32 shots a night. When Varly plays well, the Avalanche win. Simple as that, and he’s been on his game lately.

Tyson Barrie is one of the most under-appreciated offensive d-man in the NHL, and is one of my favorite players to watch. Gabriel Landeskog has also been on a tear lately, and really has displayed a nice scoring touch. Landy has 11 goals and 20 points in his last 18 games.

2. Right now, you guys sit ten points out of the last wildcard spot. Do you think you guys can turn it on and make it?

Short answer: No way.

I do think that the Avalanche are going to play hard, and play well down the stretch. Patrick Roy has this team fighting to the finish, and I’m proud of the way the Avs are competing each and every night. They aren’t giving up. Roy had a line the other night, saying “when you wear the Avalanche logo, you battle.”

Too many teams are playing well around the Avalanche and the gap is too big for them to have any shot at the playoffs though. It’s a fools errand to make up ground in this conference right now. But don’t tell the Avalanche that.

3. When you look at the Edmonton Oilers, what’s the first thing you think of?

When I think of the Oilers, I always wonder when things are going to click for them. They obviously have some talent in place with all the high draft choices in recent years. You’d think they’d get on track eventually.

Jordan Eberle has always been a guy I enjoy watching, just because of his flashy play and bold nature. 

I also imagine how good the ice must be in Edmonton, since that is something the Avalanche play-by-play guys often swoon over when Colorado is in town.

4. Wanna give us MacKinnon?

Only if you win the lottery and give us McDavid!

Line Combos:

Oilers (Lines from Tuesday’s practice):

Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Teddy Purcell – Derek Roy – Nail Yakupov
Taylor Hall – Anton Lander – Andrew Miller
Luke Gazdic – Matt Hendricks – Rob Klinkhammer

Justin Schultz – Oscar Klefbom
Nikita Nikitin – Mark Fayne
Keith Aulie – Martin Marincin

Ben Scrivens

Avalanche c/o Daily Faceoff:

John Mitchell – Matt Duchene – Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog – Ryan O’Reilly – Alex Tanguay
Cody Mcleod – Marc-Andre Cliche – Dennis Everberg
Jordan Caron – Freddie Hamilton – Danny Briere

Nate Guenin – Tyson Barrie
Jan Hejda – Zach Redmond
Brad Stuart – Nick Holden

Semyon Varlamov