Winnipeg Jets (16-17-5) at Edmonton Oilers (11-24-3) 8:30 p.m., Rexall Place TV: TSN Jets, SNET-W Radio: TSN 1290
For the second time this season the Jets and Oilers will meet in Edmonton Tuesday night. The first meeting was on NHL opening night and was a thrilling back and fourth game that eventually saw the Winnipeg Jets take the win on the back of Jacob Troubas first NHL goal, the winner in a 5-4 game. Before that game, the expectation was Winnipeg would be about who they are today, and experts wondered if this was the Oilers year to finally grow up and take the next step. The experts were right on Winnipeg, and so far this season, the Oilers have not been able to take that step, and are fighting to stay out of the bottom of the Western Conference standings. An all Canadian match up Tuesday night in Oil country, Jets and Oilers, Lets go!
For years now fans around the league have been waiting for the Oilers to take their next step. Filled with young talent it appears the Oilers have all the pieces to the puzzle, they just cannot put it together. Currently the Oilers are in the middle of a 6 game slide where they have failed to pick up even a single point in the standings. Most recently Edmonton was a victim of the St. Louis Blues, who thrashed the Oilers for 6 goals on Saturday in a shutout win. The Oilers troubles start with the back end, they have no problem scoring goals, but stopping them is a whole other story. Coming into this season Edmonton was going to rely Devan Dubnyk to make saves, that however has not worked out as weak goals have plagued the young Canadian. That, as well as the failure of any backups the Oilers had, led Edmonton to bring in veteran Ilya Bryzgalov, who started the season without an NHL job and signing with Las Vegas in the ECHL. Though Bryzgalov has had his shining moments since coming to Edmonton, he has been shaky as well, and has not been able to carry the load. The record looks bad and the Oilers are on a slide, however they will be looking at tonight as an opportunity. A home game against a tired team coming in on a back to back, the Oilers know they can win this one.
The Jets continued with their back and fourth results Sunday night. After getting a huge win at home against Florida they traveled to Vancouver and suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Canucks. The Jets should be genuinely happy with the game, though they could not come out of it with a W, they played very well against a high calibre opponent, and just did not have the bounces go their way. They can be happy as their hot players stayed hot, Evander Kane, Mark Scheifele, and Blake Wheeler all picked up a point Sunday night and that is big for the Jets. When these players are playing well it makes the Jets a much scarier team to play against. Winnipeg comes into a situation where they have been bad historically. Back to back games have been a sore spot since the team returned to Winnipeg, and they will be looking to buck the trend tonight in Edmonton. The Oilers have not been able to win in 6 attempts so if there is a team the Jets could beat on a back to back, the Oilers may be a good candidate.
Lay it all on the line: Last game before the Christmas break, who cares if you are tired on a back to back, you get time to rest so there are no excuses to not come out hard.
PK: Last time these teams played the Oilers power play struck twice. They have so many dangerous players that if you give them the man advantage you are in trouble. Shutting it down is a must for the Jets.
Goaltenders: The Oilers netminders have been prone to giving up bad goals this season, at times the Jets have as well. Whichever goalie plays better will win it for his team.
Al Montoya (5-2-1) GAA: 2.23 SV% .920
Devan Dubnyk (9-15-2) GAA: 3.38 SV% .892
Slater WPG, (Sports Hernia) out
Postma WPG, (blood clot) out
Halischuk WPG, (arm) out
Oilers streak continues
Jets 3 Oilers 2
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