A matchup of disappointment tonight in Arizona, as the Oilers and Coyotes take the ice for a meeting of below .500 teams. Morale is at an all-time low for the Oilers, who have been experimenting and trying new things, yet getting the same result. Rookie goaltender Laurent Brossoit has been going through a kind of test phase of sorts with the Oilers the past month. The Oilers know this season is shot, so why not see what other tools they have deep in the bag? It’s the same in baseball, when teams who have no chance of the playoffs, start minor leaguers on the mound to see what they have for the following season. Brossoit has been a bit of failure, posting a record of 0-3-1 with a 3.32 GAA.
It isn’t all his fault, though, goaltenders of past in the Oilers’ organization can testify. The defense isn’t up to snuff so it has a direct correlation on the failures in net. Thus, starting goaltender, Cam Talbot, is playing better than I feel his stats indicate. Talbot should be getting the start tonight. He enters with a 2.50 GAA and 19-24-4 record. Tablot came over from the Rangers after play good hockey filling in for an injured Henrik Lundqvist.
The Coyotes had to endure a big stretch of this season without their starter, Mike Smith. I think on a good team, with a reliable defense, Smith’s numbers would look better by tenfold. As it goes, Smith has a 2.78 GAA and record of 12-10-1 with the Yotes. He is already 34 years old, so starting anew with a good team looks like a longshot. His best days are behind him, but he is capable of churning out some good performances. In his last three starts, Smith has allowed just 3 goals. He has saved an average of 34.6 shots in those games, for an impressive save percentage. Let’s get into this matchup a little more in-depth below, a contest which not too many people will care about in the late night hours of Tuesday night.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes NHL Pick
The Oilers are 29-39-5 and are in contention for last place in the NHL and another seat for the number 1 pick in the draft. It sounds like a broken record the Oilers at the podium for the first pick. The Oilers whiffed on selecting Nail Yakupov, or so it seems, but they do have something special with Connor McDavid, undoubtedly. The Leafs won last night, so the Oilers would get an upper hand tonight with a loss. They’re not going to lose on purpose, of course. There are players on the current team looking for future contracts. As an organization though, it would be in their best interest to tank the rest of the season.
The Oilers have had rather unfavorable results against the Coyotes. The Yotes are 8-2 over the Oilers in their last ten meetings. This extends back to March 4th of 2014. The Oilers only win against Arizona in the desert since then was a 3-2 shootout win. Edmonton also owns one of the worst records in the NHL, with a mark of 11-21-5. The Coyotes have taken at least a point from the Oilers in 22 straight games. I don’t think the Oilers are going to be too motivated for this game. Travelling all the way down to the desert, following a loss against the Avs at home.
The Oilers did win one of their biggest games of the season three games ago against the Blues, a 6-4 victory. It seems to me that the Coyotes beat up on the weak teams, and cannot handle better teams. Whenever they play a superior opponent they don’t even compete. However, give them a creampuff and they seem to play well, notably at home, where they are 18-14-4. I don’t think the price is expensive enough here. The Coyotes should be attracting a higher number than -120. Arizona is coming off two rather depressing games, a 2-0 and 3-0 loss to the Lightning and Sharks. They should like the opponent they have tonight a little more.
PICK: COYOTES TO WIN -120