Edmonton Oilers: 3 Keys To Victory Against The Calgary Flames

The Edmonton Oilers played their first game of the season, with a 3-2 shootout win on Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers look to continue a good start to the season with another win against the Calgary Flames. Edmonton won both of the preseason games against the Flames. Unfortunately, this is now the regular season. Here are 3 keys to an Oiler victory.

1. Keep the Pedal to the Metal

In the game on Wednesday, the Oilers were up 2-0 against the Vancouver Canucks and let the lead slip away. They seemed to change their playing style in the middle of the game. Instead of playing a clean break out and skate it in style. They switched to a chip it out and dump in game. They just sat back and waited for attack after attack.

If the Oilers do get a lead against the Flames they need to keep their playing the game that got them there. This team may be better defensively than years past, but the strength of the Oilers is still their offensive. Plus if you are playing the opposing teams end, you aren’t in yours.

2. Keep it Clean

The Edmonton Oilers were short-handed 5 times against Vancouver. They only gave up one power-play goal though. In a 3-2 game one goal is a lot. As I said in my 3 Keys To Victory Against The Vancouver Canucks article, I brought up penalties being important in that game as well. The main note on being shorthanded for the Edmonton Oilers is the fact that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are held off the ice.

The 80% penalty kill percentage is about the same as last years 82.5%. So as long as the Oilers can keep it at under 2 penalties taken a game they should be able to win the special teams battle. With the powerplay percentage of 27.6% last year winning that battle should be easy if they draw more penalties than they take.

3. Keep Winning Faceoffs

Last season the Oilers struggled to win faceoffs. In the playoffs last season there was a few goals where the Winnipeg Jets scored goals right off faceoffs. Last season the Edmonton Oilers won only 50.4% of their faceoffs. On Wednesday they won 64%. If the Oilers can keep that percentage up all year that is going to be excellent news for this team.

When you win a faceoff you get to start with control. In the NHL puck possession is everything. Getting to start your break-out or set up an offensive play is a huge advantage. The Oilers are good at executing both of these things, but they need to win the faceoff first.

The more games the Oilers play together the stronger I think this team is going to get as they build chemistry. I believe the Edmonton Oilers will win this game, as I think that the Calgary Flames are a weaker team than the Vancouver Canucks which the Oilers beat Wednesday.

Edmonton played Calgary on Saturday night.