The Edmonton Oilers are back in action tonight after a solid road trip that was capped by a huge playoff-like third period shutdown of the Pacific-leading Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night. The team has played well during this latest three-game win streak and have an excellent opportunity to exact some revenge on Seattle Kraken team that beat them at home two weeks ago.
Seattle lost their home matinee yesterday against Tampa Bay and roll into town second in the Pacific Division, four points ahead of Edmonton who are currently in the second wild card spot. The Kraken had an eight-game win streak going prior to yesterday’s loss.
Projected Oilers lineup
Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft has kept his cards close to his vest with regard to the lineup in the past weeks. What has been reported at practice line rushes is not what Woodcroft has gone with at puck drop including using the 11 forward-7 defencemen strategy that has made it difficult for opposing coaches to matchup against, even with last change.
There are also plenty of rumblings that Evander Kane is close to returning and it is possible he plays tonight, which would completely change the dynamic of the top nine. The most constant line in an ever-changing lineup has been the Kostin–RNH–Janmark line. A forward line that has performed well in either a second or third line role.
Jason Gregor notes that the Oilers will have to make some considerable moves to comply with the cap if Kane returns. There are also some rumors that Kailer Yamamoto may go to the injured reserve list.
Jack Campbell improved his play during the three-game win streak posting a 0.906 SV% and 2.41 GAA while Stuart Skinner was away from the team for the birth of his baby boy.
Projected Kraken lineup
This was the lineup the Kraken started with yesterday.
Bjorkstrand – Gourde – Tolvanen
Burakovsky – Beniers – Eberle
McCann – Wennber – Donato
Tanev – Geekie – Sprong
Larsson – Dunn
Schultz – Oleksiak
Borgen – Soucy
Phillip Grubauer was the stater against Tampa Bay and he played well only allowing two goals on 29 shots before the Lightning would add two empty netters. Martin Jones is expected to start tonight and is 7–0 in the new year posting a 1.86 GAA and 0.926% SV% during that run.
Advanced stats versus the Kraken
The Oilers have a slight edge with CF% at 50.79 in the two games versus the Kraken, which is inline with their season CF% of 50.85. They have outscored the Kraken 6–4 at 5v5 and have a HDGF% of 62.50 going 5 HDGF and 3 HDGA.
Moneypuck.com has the rested Oilers as 61.5% home favourites against a Kraken team who are playing the second of a back-to-back.
Personally I have this game as a 50/50 coin flip despite the fact the Oilers are rested and the Kraken played yesterday. There is quite a bit of uncertainty with the Oilers lineup including who starts in net and if Kane is available. Jones has been hot lately and it’s possible he steals one for his team. If Skinner starts I have some concerns about where his head is at after experiencing the birth of his son. There are many lifestyle changes that need to be made when a child is born and it could affect his routine or cause fatigue from irregular sleep patterns.
The Oilers are also notorious for poor efforts after having time off at home and their play at Rogers Place has been inconsistent this year to say the least. We could see a 2–1 playoff like game with both goalies dueling it out or a 6–5 barn burner.
What is your prediction for tonight’s game? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire