Welcome, friends, to Hockey Night at GDB in Canada when we get this evening's match between Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. It's the last game before the Christmas break, and it would be really nice if the boys get back to the winning column before we all roll out here.
When the Oilers didn't play on Tuesday night, we had all the time to spread and knock everything that was wrong in this two-game losing streak, while gathering a plan for everything that had to be changed. As a fan of your team, solving the problems of the universe is part of the package, and we have had the most week to do just that. One big issue here is that Ken Hitchcock has put his new line together and will help his friends. We've got Draisaitl back in the middle of the second row, the Gritensity line got a punch with Lucic, and Jesse Puljujarvi got the best chance he has this season, when he is on the right side of McNuge. We haven't seen Hitchcock change its lines so much because he's been behind the bench, but he would have spin when he dropped two ugly games against Vancouver and St. Louis.
To make the Christmas presents go, the last game before the break is in contradiction with the Tampa Bay flashes when you are stuck in a two-game losing tube as you get coal under a tree when desperate for fresh Pogs. Needless to say, this is not an easy game with the ship and I would lie if I said I was not a little nervous. Tampa is able to set goals in bundles, and Edmonton lacks the two best defenders (three, if you have dropped Sera), you have the potential for a long night, and it is before the factor is that the break is coming in less than 12 hours. If the Dealers are already thinking of their family members in their home instead of a few days focusing on this game, we have all the bad times. Taking into account the late injuries and general special groups, we all need the same page and burn all the cylinders.
Once again, would someone be really surprised if the dealers placed the touch tonight? Recently, I discovered that the Oilers have been playing a little competition, so perhaps the best league's best is exactly what they need to fire? Hopeful thinking? I mean, I know that wasn't the case when Oilers first met the flash in November, the game disappeared quite conveniently, but I still think that the guy gets faith in the wonders of Christmas. To put it mildly, the victory over Tampa Bay Lightning would be a great breakthrough and a simple gift that I think every Oilers fan could use right now. Considering that the roller coaster has been in this season so far, I think two points would be a perfect presence for both the team and the fan. And, moreover, the victory would be more tonight for Oilere than for Lightning, and it is the giving season.
Merry Christmas, all! Enjoy the game.
Corsican numbers (fans 5 × 5)
RNH – McDavid – Honeycomb
Rieder – Draisaitl – Chiasson
Caggiula – Brodziak – Kassian
Lucic – Spooner – Rattie
Nurse – Larsson
Gravel – Jones
Garrison – Benning
On Thursday, Gregor went through new lines and driveline combinations, and it goes without saying that Hitchcock is heading for a new look. When the team dropped their last two games into disappointment, the dealers needed to be reset, and maybe these new trios will shoot the engines again. Needless to say, if Oilere had had time to get points on all four lines, it would be time tonight to go fine.
Palat – Stamkos – Gourde
Johnson – Point – Kucherov
Killorn – Cirelli – Miller
Erne – Paquette – Callahan
Hedman – Girardi
McDonagh – Cernak
Stralman – Sergachev
Tampa Bay Lightning has eight players with 20 points or more. For comparison, Oilers has three. Needless to say, we need an all-time lock for Hitchcockian, and some answered prayers from Hockey Gords if we were going to keep them off the board.
The crude fee:
Two players from Tampa Bay must be Connor McDavid (apparently) and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid has 16 points in the last 10 games, and Draisaitl has 14 points at the same point. Alex Chiasson has been an amazing scoring machine with 15 goals this season. It puts him behind his third team, just behind McDavid and Draisaitl. He also shoots absurd with 31%. But Tampa Bay is a talent for the entire lineup to alleviate his effects. The biggest problem I see for Edmonton is their clear scoring depth, which is not McDavid (49), Draisaitl (42) and Nugent-Hopkins (31). The next closest player has 19 points (Chiasson). Compare it to Tampa Bay, which has eight players with 20 or more points, and three players with an average score per game.
If there is one area that could cause Tampa Bay, it's Mikko Koskinen's play. Oilers netminder has compiled a solid season so far. His GAA is 2.18 and the savings rate is .928. It's pretty good considering the team ahead of him. If Koskinen calls to the level he did during the recent Oilers rise, this game could be really interesting.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite the great effort, the Oilers are simply over and down and fall to 4-2 points.
FULL DATE OF USE: There have been fathers who are waiting for the whole year to wear their Santa Claus and today are their nights. Live your best life, gentlemen.
NO-SO-EFFECTIVE DAY USEA: When this is the last game a little and also descends on Saturday night, Rogers Place runs out of beer, which calls the staff to dig a tunnel at Labatt Brewery. The result is a steady flow of steady beer and an increase in real estate taxes of 3.26%.
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12.22 – 11.30 MT