Game #74: The squeaky wheel needs some oil
It’s a metaphor for this team being annoying in how they don’t work properly
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 9:00 EST
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Copper and Blue
Columbus Blue Jackets (40-29-4, 84 points, 5th Metro, 8th East)
Edmonton Oilers (32-34-7, 71 points, 6th Pacific, 13th East)
There are fewer than 10 games remaining in the season, and the Blue Jackets are still struggling to find their groove. They cling to a one point lead over Montreal for the final playoff spot. There are several important games to follow before ours tonight, with the Canadiens hosting the Islanders, the Hurricanes hosting the Lightning, and the Penguins visiting the Predators. Let’s root for the Islanders, Lightning, and Predators to all win in regulation.
Player to Watch
The Finnish netminder returned to the NHL this season after a seven year absence and took the starting job from the subsequently-traded Cam Talbot. His .908 save percentage and 2.89 GAA were enough to convince GM Peter Chiarelli to give him a three year contract extension with a $4.5M AAV and 15 team no-trade clause.
Chiarelli was fired the next day.
The Jackets have struggled mightly to score since the trade deadline and tonight’s as good as any to snap out of it.
Yesterday, the team signed goalie Elvis Merzlikins to a one year entry level contract. He cannot play for the Cleveland Monsters, but the ELC will expire at the end of the season and he will become a restricted free agent. He is expected to compete for the starting job next season assuming Sergei Bobrovsky departs ... The Jackets have won both of their games at Rogers Place so far.
The Other Bench
The Oilers have lost four of their last six, including Tuesday against St. Louis. The Copper and Blue recap ends with the line “Blues win 7-2, and I am ready for the season to end.” so that tells you how fans in Edmonton feel right now ... Their top players are still lethal, as we learned at the start of the month. Beyond Draisaitl, McDavid, and Nugent-Hopkins, only two other players have double digit goals. Columbus has nine players in double digits, which includes Anthony Duclair but not 20 goal scorers Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel ... There’s one Edmonton making the playoffs, at least. The Oil Kings won the Central Division of the WHL thanks to an 11 game win streak to end the season. The Oil Kings are led by Columbus draftee Trey Fix-Wolansky, who signed his ELC last week.
03/02/2019 EDM 4 @ CBJ 0
03/21/2019 CBJ @ EDM
|2.78 (20)||GPG||3.03 (12)|
|3.31 (26)||GAPG||2.92 (12)|
|20.9% (11)||PP%||15.3% (27)|
|75.3% (30)||PK%||84.7% (3)|
|47.86% (25)||EV Corsi %||50.04% (13)|
|98.9 (27)||EV PDO||99.9 (15)|
|Leon Draisaitl, 43||G Leader||Cam Atkinson, 38|
|Connor McDavid, 69||A Leader||Artemi Panarin, 51|
|Connor McDavid, 105||P Leader||Artemi Panarin, 76|
|Zack Kassian, 91||PIM Leader||Pierre-Luc Dubois, 60|
|16-17-2||Home / Road||20-13-2|
|Artemi Panarin||Pierre-Luc Dubois||Cam Atkinson|
|Ryan Dzingel||Matt Duchene||Josh Anderson|
|Lukas Sedlak||Boone Jenner||Riley Nash|
|Alexander Wennberg||Brandon Dubinsky||Oliver BJORKSTRAND|
|Zach Werenski||Seth Jones|
|Markus Nutivaara||David Savard|
|Hott Scarrington||Adam McQuaid|
|Leon Draisaitl||Connor McDavid||Zack Kassian|
|Jujhar Khaira||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Sam Gagner|
|Joseph Gambardella||Colby Cave||Alex Chiasson|
|Milan Lucic||Kyle Brodziak||Ty Rattie|
|Oscar Klefbom||Adam Larsson|
|Darnell Nurse||Kris Russell|
|Andrej Sekera||Matt Benning|