Edmonton and Winnipeg meet up for the first time on Tuesday night. The Oilers enter the night with a 1-2 record, while the Jets roll in with a 3-2 record. Edmonton will look to try and get back to an even record on Tuesday night. Winnipeg is looking to climb back towards the top of the Western Conference.
Winnipeg was one of the top teams in the NHL last season with a 52-20-10 record. The Jets finished behind only the Nashville Predators in the standings. Winnipeg beat the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators in the first two rounds of the playoffs, before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in the third round.
The Oilers had a much more disappointing campaign last season. Edmonton finished with a 36-40-6 record. The Oilers finished in sixth place of the Pacific Division. Connor McDavid put up another really solid year, but he did not get much help. Edmonton will look to bounce back this season and try to make it back to the playoffs.
Last Season’s Meetings
Edmonton and Winnipeg met three times last season. The Jets took care of business and took the season series in a 3-0 sweep. In the first meeting, Nikolaj Ehlers dominated with three goals and an assist in a 5-2 win. Connor Hellebuyck put up a great performance, stopping 37 of 39 shots.
The second meeting of the season shifted to Winnipeg and it was a much closer game. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had two points, but it was not enough. Joel Armia notched two goals for the Jets and Ehlers added another assist in a 4-3 win.
In the final game of the season, Winnipeg cleaned up with a 5-0 win. Five different players notched a goal and eleven players registered a goal in the win. Connor Hellebuyck had a 35-shot shutout in the win.
Edmonton realizes that they were absolutely dominated last season and I believe they will be looking for revenge on Tuesday night. I do not expect the Oilers to just roll over at all. Edmonton could really benefit with an upset win over the Jets in Winnipeg.
Early in the season, power play and penalty kill numbers can look a little messy, but as the season progresses they begin to balance out. Both teams are a little messy to begin this season. I expect this game to get a little feisty, which could lead to both teams seeing plenty of time on the power play.
Edmonton’s power play has scored on two of ten attempts. That puts the Oilers near the league average on the power play. Edmonton’s penalty kill has been rough to begin the season. It has allowed three goals on eight attempts.
Winnipeg’s special teams has jumped out to a much better start. The Jets power play has scored on three of twelve attempts. Winnipeg’s penalty kill has stopped teams on 19 of 22 attempts this season. If the Jets can continue to play really well on the penalty kill, Edmonton will struggle to get scoring chances.
Cam Talbot will likely start for the Oilers on Tuesday night. Talbot has started out this season with a save percentage of .901 and a GAA of 2.71. He has posted solid numbers, especially for the fact that he only has one win. Last season, Talbot posted a .908 save percentage and a 3.02 GAA.
I believe Connor Hellebuyck will start in net for the Jets on Tuesday night. Hellebuyck has began this season with a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.50. He finished last season with a save percentage of .924 and a 2.36 GAA. Hellebuyck should give the Oilers some trouble.
Both goalies are capable of putting up solid numbers on any given night. I give the edge to Winnipeg though. Hellebuyck had success against the Oilers last season and he will look to start out this season with another win.
Edmonton has struggled to get the offense going so far this season. The Oilers have scored five goals in three games. Out of those five goals, Connor McDavid has had the score or an assist on every one of them. Edmonton will need other players to step up to help carry the load offensively.
The Oilers and Jets are both coming in off wins. Edmonton pulled off a 2-1 victory against the New York Rangers. Winnipeg won 3-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes. Edmonton earned their first win of the season, which could help them gain some steam to take into Winnipeg.
BetOnline has the Oilers listed at a money line of +171. This implies that the Oilers have a 37 percent chance to win this game. While I agree that the Jets are the better team, I believe the odds should not be that far apart. Edmonton is coming in off a victory and looking for revenge on last season. I believe that this could be the game that their offense finally starts working. I am picking the Oilers on the road.