The Edmonton Oilers are in Boston for a Thursday night showdown with the Bruins. With some expectations last season, a year after faltering in the playoffs, the Oilers couldn’t even get to the playoffs in 2017-18. It was a sour season for a team that features one of the best players in hockey, Connor McDavid. Many people will tell you that he is the best player. It’s crazy to think that he is still only 21 years old. It almost feels like he has been around for a lot longer because of the leadership role he has taken on in Edmonton at such a young age.
McDavid is going to be here for a lot longer, so Oilers’ management better find a way to help him out. Last season was a waste for McDavid, and I can guarantee you he’s going to start to get frustrated if he sees Auston Matthews winning games in Toronto. McDavid accepted a massive contract so that does put some strain on the salary cap, but it’s something they will have to figure out.
The Oilers made the playoffs in 2016-17, so it was a major step back for them a year ago. They went from 47-26-9 to 36-40-6 in only a year. Edmonton opened the season with a loss against the Devils, 5-2. Like a few other teams, the Oilers have had a long layoff, with a four-day break between then and now. The NHL schedule is a bit weird at the start of the season, including no games on Friday which is the most perplexing. The Bruins enter with a record of 2-1-0, as they bounced back after a horrific performance against the Caps in the opener. They got pounded 7-0, but have since responded nicely. Get our free Oilers vs. Bruins pick below.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins Pick
The Bruins opening night game wasn’t exactly the best example of what this team is like. If you knew nothing about hockey and watched them play the Capitals, you would have believed they are a dead last hockey team. They shook it off and responded with a 4-0 win over the Sabres and a 6-3 win over the Senators of Ottawa. The Bruins’ offense had fun at the Senators’ expense, as they rattled off 6 goals on 30 shots.
Patrice Bergeron was the big winner of the day, as he netted a hat-trick to lead the Bruins. Head coach Bruce Cassidy said he got nothing out of his leaders in the opener, and Bergeron certainly answered the call. Rask hasn’t gotten off to the hottest of starts in net, though. He enters with a less than ideal save percentage of 0.84.
Rask got destroyed by the Capitals and then allowed 3 goals to the Sabres on Monday afternoon. He hasn’t had the best career against the Oilers, as Rask enters with a 2.83 GAA and 0.898 save percentage. The only teams he has been worse against in his career are the Capitals and Ducks. This would be the third worst team in the NHL.
Cam Talbot has nothing to gloat about either. He took it on the chin against the Devils, as they scored 5 goals on him in his only outing this season. Talbot has been okay with a 2.72 GAA against the Bruins in seven outings. The Oilers allowed 3.2 goals per game for 27th in the NHL a season ago. They’ve started this season out by allowing 5 to the Devils. Edmonton didn’t do much to address the blueline in the offseason, so McDavid and company are likely going to have to light the red light often. That includes tonight against the Bruins. The OVER has gone 3-1 in their last four meetings, and it will likely be 4-1 after tonight.