The Arizona Coyotes are about to face the Edmonton Oilers, a team they have not lost to in regulation in 22 games. That’s years, folks. Tonight, hopefully, will not be the day this streak ends.
View from Edmonton
For more on the Edmonton Oilers, check out The Copper & Blue.
The Oilers are having one of their best starts in recent. Having traded away Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov over the summer, the team is treading in the right direction. They also have some kid named Connor McDavid in the line up. McDavid has has 9 goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 21 games played. He might be good.
The Oilers are currently 12-8-1, which is a far cry from what they were in the past few years. They still have issues with defense and sometimes with their goaltending, but they did just shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 5-0.
Here come the Oilers, and this time it’s not in a clown car.
View from Arizona
How most Coyotes fan are feeling right now.
That’s the hope of the season going down the drain.
Mike Smith was horrible against the Canucks, but always seems to bounce back well on the next game. It’s not certain who’s starting the game yet, but if it is Smith, he will have a lot to prove.
With Richardson down, Jordan Martinook has taken his center position with Shane Doan and Tobias Rieder. This is a good stopgap until the team decides whether or not they need to acquire another veteran.
With the lack of depth down the middle, we could see Ryan MacInnis at some point in this season, if they cannot get Dauphin going. Or we perhaps Tyler Gaudet again, or something like Chris Mueller from the Roadrunners.
At this point, I think we’re just looking for a good old fashioned, have a lead and keep it win.
Can the Coyotes get a convincing win? - It’s nice when you can win in the shootout or overtime, but when you are giving up leads late in the game to get to said shootout or overtime, it’s a bit of a buzzkill. Hopefully the Coyotes can win this game tidily in regulation.
Will Jakob Chychrun play tonight and be effective? - I’m perplexed as to why Chychrun was scratched verses the Canucks, but here’s hoping he plays again tonight. For an 18 year old, just starting in the NHL, he looks like he’s been doing this for a long time. If he is playing, he could see tough minutes, which will show everyone how talented he really is.
Can the Coyotes keep McDavid off the score sheet? - We just don’t know. Oliver Ekman-Larsson will most likely paired against him most of the night. It could be an advantage that Tippett coached him with Team North America but...
Players to Watch
Edmonton - Connor McDavid- McDavid is currently one of the best players in the NHL. He is going to be a treat to watch, even if it makes our hearts hurt... a lot.
Arizona - Radim Vrbata - Vrbata has started to find his game again with the Coyotes. And with a team leading six goals, he could find himself in a place to score more during this game. He and his linemates are starting to click and I have a feeling he is going to have a very big game soon.
Edmonton has quite a few players on IR. They will be going without Mark Fayne, Brandon Davidson who they lost towards the beginning of the season. Still on IR from last year is Andrew Ference and Iiro Pakarinen.
For the Coyotes Brad Richardson will miss an extended period of time and is on injured reserve. Otherwise the team is healthy coming back from Thanksgiving, thankfully.
Tonight’s game begins at 7 PM Arizona time. You can watch the game live at Gila River Arena, watch it on Fox Sports Arizona or listen on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.