Edmonton Oilers Look to Fly Past Detroit Red Wings


The Edmonton Oilers roll into tonight’s contest winners of two straight games. Hardly a win streak but a win streak none the less. However, both victories have come on the road against divisional opponents in Calgary and Vancouver and upon returning home there is no doubt that a few road victories can build a little confidence.

The Detroit Red Wings travel to face the Oilers at Rexall on a two game losing skid and are looking to rebound after a disappointing effort against the Montreal Canadiens this past Saturday.  Traditionally, the Red Wings have always found ways to best the Oilers, earning a winning streak of eight consecutive victories in meetings with the Oil.

Detroit comes into this game featuring former 2014 first round selection Dylan Larkin, their leading rookie scoring winger who will go head to head with Edmonton’s own rookie phenom Connor McDavid. Larkin has tallied six points in his first five games (2 G., 4 A.) and will be playing alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader on the top line. McDavid seems to have finally been able to adapt his game to the next level as he exploded in Calgary (2 G., 1 A.) and tallied in Vancouver (1 A.). Both Larkin and McDavid are already in the conversation for the Calder Memorial Trophy, recognizing the National Hockey League’s most outstanding rookie.

Off note, Oilers forward Matt Hendricks is on IR, as he was in discomfort blocking a shot during the game in Calgary and has since missed time recovering. The first call up from the Bakersfield Condors will be forward Andrew Miller, a NCAA graduate that has had a strong showing in the first four games in the AHL. Miller previously played nine games in the NHL last season and had some success playing with Taylor Hall. As a skilled scoring winger it was important to bring up a guy that has shown well, that was right handed and had some previous experience.

Keys to the Game

1. Generating Offence – If the Edmonton Oilers can generate enough scoring opportunities they have a legitimate chance in keeping up with the Red Wings. The Wings are among the poorest in the league at shot differential. If the Oilers can suppress the on average 21.4 shots per game the Red Wings get through to the net there will be the shot clock working in the Oilers favor. In the first four games the Oilers have been outscored 13-5 and must find a way to generate better scoring chances and converting. You win by out scoring your opponent!

2. Offensive Zone Control – The Red Wings have struggled this season to control the puck and play when they have been trapped in their own zone. The Red Wings are winning only 46.5 % of face offs and have shown inconsistencies in their transition game. If the Oilers can spend more time in the offensive zone they can take advantage of the Red Wings inability to regain the puck, keeping them hemmed in. Red Wings also give up the third most shots on average per game with 33.4 meaning that the more and more offensive zone time the Oilers can get the better chance they have at getting multiple shots per possession.

3.  Play with Hungry Confidence – After a shaky 0-4 start and then rallying off two straight victories its important for the Oilers to play with the mindset that “We can win this one” as opposed to “lets not lose by too many”. With a new regime in the press box and behind the bench the last two victories were an early taste of what can happen when it all clicks and new tactics and game plans are implemented and executed.

Players to Watch

Edmonton: Taylor Hall has been on an absolute tear on the last road trip to Calgary and Vancouver, playing a fierce and fast style to his game. The past three games Hall has also averaged 5 shots per game and been rewarded with four points (2 G., 2 A.). If he can come out using his speed to beat defenders and keep shooting the puck he is bound to send a few more past the goalie.

Detroit: Dylan Larkin has put himself on a phenomenal point per game pace tallying a scoring point in every game for the Red Wings so far this season. While there is not much to be afraid of on the Oilers blue line chances are he will get a point at some time during tonight’s contest. This kid has the speed and offensive prowess to tally a few against a team that isn’t as strong defensively.

Projected LineUps




Korpikoski LanderPurcell



Klefbom Schultz



Starting Netminder:


Detroit Red Wing Lines:



Tatar Sheahan – Nyquist







Starting Netminder:


Oil Score Prediction

I believe the Oilers will fall 4-2 to the Red Wings.  Though the Oilers have made strides this past few games I still think the Red Wings manage to battle past them. The Red Wings have a red hot scoring line featuring Larkin that has been dominant.

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