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G39 - Preds @ Oilers - Kane Signing Imminent

January 27, 2022, 1:21 PM ET [104 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Evander Kane decision is on the forefront of most Oilers fans minds right now. Kane now 30, produced 22 goals last season in 56 games on a weak Sharks team and put up 30 goals the season before that. He is tough to play against, physical, and get's under the skin of the opposition. On paper these are all great check marks for the Edmonton Oilers who have struggled to produce offense at 5 on 5.

The issues come from everything off the ice. I'm not going to go into all the allegations again in depth but there have been many. Forging COVID vaccine documents, sexual assault allegations, gambling issues, simply being a jerk to his teammates. Some we know without question are true such as the COVID related rule breaks which earned him a 21 game suspension. Others have not been fully corroborated such as the claims from his estranged wife which the court was not able to find evidence of.

All evidence points to at some point today we will get official word on Kane signing with the Edmonton Oilers and that there will not be any additional suspension being handed out. This move is going to split the fanbase on whether or not it is the right decision. I know this because I've seen it play out on social media over the past couple weeks. I have friends who have stated that they will not watch any more games this season if Kane is an Oiler and witnessed them get attacked for their thoughts.

Hockey is supposed to be for everyone. You are allowed to disagree with another fan's point of view but you do not have the right to attack them for their thoughts. If you plan to keep cheering for the Oilers and Evander Kane for the remainder of this season than go for it. If you decide that you will not support the team during this time than that's okay too. What each individual chooses to do is about to them and ultimately their business, and their business alone.

I will continue to blog for the Edmonton Oilers and provide you details on the team, players, games, and everything else you require to get your daily hockey fix in.

The Oilers have now put two wins together and are making the push once more to earn a playoff spot. Currently the Oilers sit 6th in the Pacific Division but that is a little misleading.

Vegas sits in 1st and 11 points up but Edmonton has 5 games in hand.
Anaheim sits in 2nd and 8 points up but Edmonton has 7 games in hand.
LA sits in 3rd and 6 points up but Edmonton has 5 games in hand.
Calgary sits in 4th and 4 points up. Both teams have played 38 games.
San Jose sits in 5th and 4 points up but Edmonton has 5 games in hand.

If Edmonton can string some wins together here I realistically see them third in this Division, behind the Golden Knights and Calgary. In order to do that they obviously need to win some more games. They cannot afford another lengthy losing skid.

Despite the 3-2 victory, Edmonton dominated the Canucks for most of the game and if not for a brilliant performance by young goalie Spencer Martin it could have easily been a 5-2 victory by the Oilers. On the other side, not only did the Oilers again find themselves down to a 2-0 deficit but one of those goals was a shorthanded goal. The Oilers still need to find ways to clean up the boneheaded mistakes because with their goaltending those are more likely than not going to end up in the back of the net.

We thought we might see RNH centring his own line but at the last minute Tippett pulled the switcheroo and moved him onto McDavid's wing and had McLeod centre the third line. It ended up paying off. Not only did the RNH and McDavid line post strong numbers and scoring chances but McLeod scored the first goal of the game for the Oilers and their only even strength goal. It was a goal that Martin likely would want back but regardless McLeod found a way to produce on his own line.

Tonight we will see the return of Hyman and in a bit of a surprisingly sound move, Tippett elects to place him on the third line:

RNH-McDavid-Yamamoto
Foegele-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
Hyman-McLeod-Kassian
Shore-Ryan-Sceviour

Nurse-Bouchard
Keith-Ceci
Lagesson-Russell

Koskinen

Some might want Foegele and Hyman swapped but I like this move. Hyman was used in a similar fashion in Toronto to boost the 5 on 5 play of whatever line he is on. The top six right now are playing well at 5 on 5 and just haven't been getting the puck luck but their possession numbers and shot attempts are all looking good. Hyman on the third line gives McLeod a skilled player to play with and should give the Oilers another real threat.

This is a smart move and it would make me believe that Tippett wasn't in charge of lines anymore but then I saw the fourth line and Devin Shore in and I realized that Coach Dave is still very much in charge.

Tippett's reasoning for Shore in over Benson before was that he needed more penalty killers in the lineup with Hyman and RNH out. Now both of those players are back in the lineup and Shore still somehow gets into the lineup.

Benson is more physical and gives the bottom six a different element. Brendan Perlini is producing right now. Both of these players are a better choice than Shore and I just don't see what the coach sees in this player.

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Tonight the Oilers cannot afford to go down a goal or more. The Predators have won three in a row and are a stingy team defensively. Not only do they have one of the best defensive cores in the NHL with Josi and Ekholm leading the way but the transition from Pekka Rinne to Juuse Saros has been seamless. Saros is one of the best goaltenders in the league right now and the Oilers will need to be on their A game to beat him. Edmonton might need to find a way to score 4+ in this game against a really good goalie.

I will update this blog if we get official confirmation on the Evander Kane signing tonight.
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