Edmonton Oilers: Previewing the Colorado Avalanche Matchup

EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 25: Nathan MacKinnon
EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 25: Nathan MacKinnon /

The Colorado Avalanche will face off against the Edmonton Oilers to kick off the month of February. The Oilers will need to show their fanbase they are on the right track.

The Edmonton Oilers kick off the month of February by facing off with the Colorado Avalanche. This 14 game schedule for this month is critical to gauge if the Oilers will be trending towards the playoffs or packing it in for next season.

A lot of pressure mounts on management, the coaching staff, and the players to make sure they are on the same page regarding their direction as a franchise. Many fans are wondering if this team will remain competitive or will management will entertain trade scenarios throughout the month, which could hurt the morale of the talent that is working their tail off to secure wins.

That’s why it’s imperative that the Edmonton Oilers start off strong against their opponents tonight. What has hurt them this year is their lack of engagement when kicking off games in the first period. Their lackadaisical effort has allowed their opposition to net a few goals early and force the Oilers to climb back in the game with their overaggressiveness. It will be crucial on what not to do against their opponents tonight.

The Opposition

It will be the first match-up against the Colorado Avalanche this season. The Avalanche might not have their All-Star forward Nathan MacKinnon, who’s still dealing with a day-to-day injury suffered a few days ago. Even without their star player, the Colorado Avalanche are a dangerous team for the Edmonton Oilers.

What is scary about the Avalanche is their power play (ranked 11th in the NHL)—which will be a cause for concern for the Oilers. Sporting one of the worst penalty kills in the National Hockey League; the Edmonton Oilers will need to be cautious on not being too aggressive on their forechecks and backchecks, so they don’t force the linesmen to award power play opportunities to the opposition.


The Oilers will need to be sound on the defensive side of the ice. The Avalanche average 3.24 goals per game which are suitable for fourth in the NHL, so that is something the Oilers will need to be wary moving forward.

The silver lining that the Edmonton Oilers can take is that the Avalanche only average 30 shots per game, which is in the bottom 5 of the league. They make quality shots on net than they do in quantity, which could give the Oilers some wiggle room on taking away those scoring opportunities.

This game will be a litmus test for the Edmonton Oilers. They’ll be facing the Avalanche two more times this month after this game tonight. We all know that Connor McDavid and the first two lines will show up on offence, but it’ll be a team effort on the defensive end. If they can be disciplined enough and not hand away power play opportunities to the Avalanche, this game could be winnable for the Oilers.

It all depends now if the Edmonton Oilers can display that consistency for three straight periods. They have the talent to pull it off, the only thing we question is their mental fortitude.