The surging Detroit Red Wings (7-2-1) visit the Edmonton Oilers tonight in an important Western Conference matchup that has huge play-off implications.
Mathematically eliminated from play-off contention during the team’s last road trip, the Oilers (2-7-1) are left to celebrate small miracles; a successful power-play marker, solid PK kill, a period without another player injury, or perhaps the first NHL victory of a young netminder.
Devan Dubnyk will get the nod in net for the Oil tonight. The rookie backup is still looking for his first big league victory after 10 NHL starts. In his defence, the Oilers have been putrid defensively. The lanky goaltender, however, has shown flashes of excellence, as he continues to refine his game.
Ironically, the Oilers have won both games vs. Detroit this season, both coming prior to Christmas, and before the team imploded.
Tonight’s contest is far from meaningless for the Red Wings, who currently hold down eight spot overall in the conference (34-23-12, 80 Pts), one point ahead of the Calgary Flames. It also marks the beginning of a four-game home stand for the Oil, who take on Dany Heatley and the San Jose Sharks next, in a rare Sunday nighter down at The Drug Store.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice Oiler fans!
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.