Edmonton Oilers: Previewing the NY Islanders Game

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Connor McDavid
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Connor McDavid /
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The New York Islanders will be squaring off against the Edmonton Oilers tonight. It will be a memorable one as the Islanders’ Jordan Eberle will be visiting the team that drafted him back in 2008 since being traded last summer.

The Edmonton Oilers will be facing off against the New York Islanders for the second time this season tonight. The last time these two teams faced off the Oilers won that first matchup in overtime. This game will be a special one for Edmonton fans as it marks the return of Jordan Eberle back to Rogers Place.

The last time an Oiler fan saw Eberle was during the playoffs last season when he only had 2 points in those 13 games. Getting shipped to the Islanders for Ryan Strome during the offseason was a controversial move.

So far this season Jordan Eberle has 23 goals and 24 assists in 66 games. That isn’t bad for a guy who was playing the right-winger position for the team. He was always a player that can be slotted as a center or a winger depending on how the team he played for needed to deploy him.

Just because he had a lousy performance in the playoffs last year didn’t mean he needed to get traded right away. It seems like the Edmonton Oilers felt that Ryan Strome had more potential down the line than Eberle, but so far this season it’s hard to say that as a fact.

Gameplan

The one major thing that the Edmonton Oilers will need to do in this game is strike first and score the first goal. They’ll need to change the formula on how they approach every game for the rest of the month.

It’s disheartening to see that this team that is ranked third in the league in losing games when trailing after the first period. The only two players who usually show up are either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl to bail out the team by squeaking out wins.

That’s why it’s vital for the Edmonton Oilers to maintain the momentum they gathered from their recent win against the Arizona Coyotes. Four different players in that game scored a goal that was not named Connor McDavid. They will need to keep that trend going and try not reverting to their old habits.

Defense

As long as they try to keep John Tavares and his line in check, then they should be fine. The wild card on the defensive side of the Oilers is Mathew Barzal and his dazzling playmaking abilities. The Oilers will need to be wary of how they approach the 20-year-old center as he’s been the glue for the New York Islanders all year-long.

Being shorthanded against the Islanders will be a short night for the Edmonton Oilers. Since the New York Islanders are ranked 12th in the league in the power play, the Oilers can’t make any stupid mistakes on their home ice.

They’ll need to do whatever they can to not get beat by giving the opposition any advantage whatsoever. The worst thing that could happen has Jordan Eberle out of all people scoring goals on a 5-on-5 play or in special teams.

Next: Nugent-Hopkins Should Be On The McDavid Line

It is a scenario that can be avoided if the Edmonton Oilers replicate their winning performance from Monday night to this game tonight.