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G49: Oilers vs Blue Jackets - Long Break Incoming

January 25, 2023, 7:52 PM ET [15 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Oilers are absolutely rolling right now having won their last 6 in a row. Tonight Edmonton plays against the struggling Blue Jackets followed by the lowly Hawks on Saturday. Both are teams that are tanking... (NHL employee whispers in my ear)... my apologies, I've just been told that Gary Bettman says that NHL teams definitely don't tank... also that fans really do love the digital boards.

Regardless of whether these teams are tanking or not, they are bottom dwelling teams and the kind of games that the Oilers should be able to earn an easy 4 points from. That being said, they are still NHL teams. A couple nights ago, the Blue Jackets took the Flames to OT. If the Oilers ease up at all than they can still get burnt.

There is even more reason to put the foot all the way down on the gas pedal because the team is about to have over a week off. Due to the team's bye-week and the All Star Game, the Oilers play their last game on the 28th of January against the Hawks and don't play again until the 7th of February, on the road against the Red Wings. It's a shame that this break is right in the middle of this hot streak by the team but the schedule giveth and taketh away.

What is important right now is that the team focuses on the games that are in front of them and is able to regroup after the All-Star Break, ready for the final push into the playoffs.

Tonight, Edmonton will be without Evander Kane who is currently in San Jose, dealing with his bankruptcy hearings. The team has been aware of this for some time. No word yet if they expect him to miss the game on Saturday as well.

Expect Stuart Skinner between the pipes tonight. Skinner was excellent early against the Canucks last Saturday when Vancouver came out hard and kept Edmonton on their feet for the first few minutes. With the long break in-between I would guess that Campbell will get the start on Saturday against the Hawks.

Zach Hyman was given the First Star of the Week after putting up 4 goals and 5 assists in three games (not including the goal that shouldn't have been overturned due to "goaltender interference"). Hyman hit a career high 27 goals and 54 points last season and has already shattered that previous best. In a mere 47 games this season, Hyman has 24 goals and 56 points and is well on pace for a 80+ or even 90 point season. Credit where credit is due, the early stages of the Hyman contract are certainly paying off in Edmonton.


A couple quick notes. There is some talk and concern that Kailer Yamamoto might be done for the season. It's sounding like his lasting injuries are concussion related and the fact that he is having such severe lasting symptoms is concerning for a player as young as he.

What should be the Oilers targets at trade deadline? Right now I am getting the inkling that they want to bring in Jonathan Toews as well as one more left shot defenseman but Broberg is changing what the team thinks they need to acquire. If Broberg continues this level of play, who comes out of the lineup if another top 4 D is added? Once again the name Carson Soucy is being brought up in relation to the Oilers but Seattle may roll with what they have and risk losing the player to free agency.

Enjoy the game!
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