Game 78 Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche (7:00 p.m. MT, Sportsnet)

Lately, the Edmonton Oilers have played the role of the Ford F-150 while visiting teams have played the role of the animal unable to dodge the tires. They have been run over.

The Oilers are 11-0-1 in the last 12 home games, and the loss came on a 2–1 shootout loss to Colorado. The Oilers haven’t lost playing real hockey since March 5. This is the most dominant gaming homestretch in franchise history.

The Oilers’ longest home scoring streak is 14 games. It has happened twice. They went 11-0-3 in 1989-90 and 10-0-4 in 2003-04, but neither time won 11 of 12 games. Tonight, the Oilers could improve to 12-0-1 and secure the most wins during a home point streak in franchise history.

Announcement – Continue reading below

Edmonton hasn’t just won games recently. They have mastered them.

They are outscoring teams 57-27. That’s an average of 4.75 goals/match and 2.25 goals against/match.
They have outscored teams by an average of 40.8 to 33.6.
Edmonton has had 40 shots on goal in eight of 12 games and had 50 twice; on Wednesday against Dallas and again on April 9 in a 2-1 loss to Colorado.
The power play is 26.7% scoring eight goals in 30 opportunities.
The penalty is 90.6%, which allows three goals in 32 shots. But the Oilers have scored three shorthanded goals so their net PK is 100%.
They have scored first in nine of 12 games.
They led after the first period in eight games. He won them all.
They are 10-0 when they win after 40 minutes.
They still have to continue after the first or second period.

This dominant stretch of home games illustrates the importance of the Oilers finishing second in the Pacific division and having home field advantage in the playoffs. Since the Oilers started this home stretch, they are 4-4-1 on the road and were outscored 29-27.

Do they play very differently on the road? The Oilers were 6-0-1 against playoff teams during this streak at home and 2-4-1 on the road. So the quality of the opponents was not a big advantage at home. Jay Woodcroft doesn’t chase matchups very often at home, but he does look for them when he can. That might be a small part, but right now the Oilers are just a very confident bunch at home.

Announcement – Continue reading below

I’ve noticed that the crowd has been much more boisterous recently. And the best part is that much of it is organic by the fans themselves. The building has been noisier and the players are feeding off the excitement. It’s great how energized the crowd has been, and I only hope it gets bigger. It has always puzzled me why Oilers fans can be so loud in the playoffs, but rather subdued in the regular season. I think the recent increased atmosphere has helped the Oilers on the ice and the fans should be applauded for it.

Excitement is a big part of the game, and an energized crowd helps the home team. Especially a team with more skill throughout the lineup than we’ve seen in quite some time.

LINEUPS…

oilers

Kane-McDavid-Yamamoto
McLeod–Draisaitl–Hyman
Foegele–RNH–Ryan
McLeod-Kassian

Nurse – Ceci
Keith–Bouchard
Kulak-Barrie
russell

blacksmith

Woodcroft sticks to a winning formula. Makes sense. I see no reason to change anything. We will see some changes in the lineup in the last four games. mikko koskinen will play. I would play him in two of the last four games, and I’m sure Woodcroft will insert Derick Brassard, devin coastY joseph archibald in a game or two. It’s rare for someone to go unbeaten in the playoffs, so getting him a game or two next week would be wise.

Announcement – Continue reading below

Avalanche…

Lehkonen-MacKinnon-Nichuskin
Burakovsky–Kadri–Compher
Myers-Sturm-Newhook
Cogliano–Timon–O’Connor

Byram Makar
Girard-Manson
J. Johnson–E. Johnson

kumper

Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t played since March 10, and now Devon Toews will miss his third straight game tonight. Mikko Rantanen he didn’t play Wednesday and it could be a decision at game time, but it looks like Erik Johnson will be back. Edmonton needs to take advantage of the avalanche that is missing some key players.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers avoid losing all three games to the Avs this season and earn a 3-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: It’s going to be another fast, exciting and well-executed game. McDavid and Draisaitl combine for a PP goal.

Announcement – Continue reading below

NOT SO OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Evan Bouchard scores for the first time against the Avs. He is also his 41st point of the season, which would be the 13th best point total by a rookie defenseman in the 2000s, but due to the strange NHL rule, Bouchard is not considered a rookie.

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