Waking Up With The Edmonton Oilers- Game Day Versus Coyotes

The Edmonton Oilers look to continue their winning ways as they face the Arizona Coyotes.
Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18)
Edmonton Oilers left wing Zach Hyman (18) / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a big win against the Golden Knights on Wednesday the Edmonton Oilers are back at it tonight as they host the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes are coming off an OT win against the Vancouver Canucks, a win that helped out the Oilers.

The Oilers will look to help themselves tonight though. Two points tonight would set the stage for a very exciting game tomorrow against the Canucks. If the Oilers win both of these games then they would be tied with the Canucks for first in the Pacific and will have a game in hand on the Canucks.

Before the Oilers even look at the game tomorrow they need to get past the Coyotes tonight. The Coyotes in the past week have beaten both the Canucks and the Vegas Golden Knights in the past week. You may think this game should be an auto-win, but the Coyotes clearly have shown up against superior opponents.

The way the Oilers are playing as of late though I think the Oilers stroll out of this game with a victory. However, there is one big question mark around this team that will affect the rest of this game and that is the Connor McDavid injury. If I were the Oilers I would not want him in tonight, an extra day break could shift McDavid from 90% to 100%. Heading into the playoffs you want to have a 100% Connor McDavid.

It may be nice to have the top spot in the Pacific Division, but you don't need to have that to win the Stanley Cup, you do need Connor McDavid to win. The Oilers and McDavid need to look at the long term when it comes to his health, so skipping one more game won't change much.

As much as McDavid moves the needle in any game the Oilers play I don't think they need him to beat the Coyotes, the fact they beat the Knights 5-1 without McDavid shows this team can play a good enough game to win tonight and the risk is not worth the reward when it comes to McDavid.

Connor McDavid injury is not without concern for Edmonton Oilers fans. Connor McDavid injury is not without concern for Edmonton Oilers fans. dark. NEXT

If McDavid was healthy I would not "load management" him, but since he has something lingering I am not putting him in. When it comes to Saturday if he is good to go I put him in. It isn't make or break, but winning the Pacific makes for a slightly easier playoff run.