Two early-season powerhouses of the NHL’s Western Conference will face-off in Edmonton on Monday evening, as the Arizona Coyotes head north to do battle with the Oilers.
Edmonton was expected to struggle again in 2019-20, despite their top-heavy lineup. While Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have again been as good as advertised, a greater emphasis on a team-oriented game has dominated the conversation surrounding this new regime. Head coach Dave Tippett has instilled a sense of pride in defending into his team, and he’ll test that out against his old squad, the Arizona Coyotes tonight.
While Tippett has the reputation of being a solid NHL coach, Ray Tocchet has to be climbing the ranks as well. Arizona are also one of the most surprising groups in the league so far, entering tonight’s clash with a stellar 8-4-2 record. Both teams sit in the post-season right now, and despite the fact that there’s still a lot of season left – the Coyotes and Oilers are showing many within the league that they’re legitimate contenders.
Both squads are seeking that validation that says they aren’t pretenders, and are instead contenders. A battle against one another will go a long way in showing which group is ready to take that next step. Read on below the odds for a game breakdown and betting suggestion for the Coyotes and Oilers in Monday night hockey action.
Coyotes vs. Oilers Betting Odds:
Arizona Coyotes (-102)
@ Edmonton Oilers (-108)
Over 5.5 (+105)
Under 5.5 (-116)
Coyotes vs. Oilers Pick:
Though there have been a ton of good sentiments surrounding both of these squads over the course of the first month, only one team enters Monday night with good underlying numbers and metrics – the Coyotes.
Edmonton did start hot, but a tough stretch has again exposed their critical lack of depth at both the forward and defense positions. They are also battling a fair bit of injuries at the moment, and that has taken a toll on the quality of lineup that Tippett has been icing. For Monday’s clash, it is expected that Edmonton will be without the services of Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald, and Adam Larsson still remains out on the back-end. Their depth is just too thin, and though they’ve been squeaking out victories – their methods aren’t sustainable.
Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen have gotten good results so far this year, but neither goalie should inspire much confidence. Right now, Edmonton is giving up too many quality chances and playing without the puck far too often for their hot streak to continue.
Look for the Coyotes to be aware of this and use their style to take full advantage of the depleted Oilers. Arizona has had many down years of late, but have accumulated a ton of quality young players. At the moment, many seem to be blossoming at exactly the right time, and that scoring depth has propelled them to an impressive 8-4-2 record out of the gate.
Tonight, expect Arizona to push the pace and get the better of Edmonton in the shots and chances categories. They have been a solid team in this regard all season long, and their four strong scoring lines should easily overwhelm the lack of depth the Oilers possess. Aside from a couple minor injuries, the Coyotes look poised to end their playoff drought this year, and they have a high-octane and balanced attack to thank.
The Oilers have been good at home but the Coyotes’ depth should prevail at a small underdog price on Monday night. Expect them to be able to get pucks beyond the Edmonton defense, owning the Oilers in zone time and chances, en route to a road victory.