Isn’t this a premier game for Monday night. The Edmonton Oilers after getting embarrassed against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night travel to New Jersey where they meet up with another less than aspiring team tonight. The Devils are gutted with a lack of offensive talent, so they have some excuses for their lack of success this season. With a record of 21-23-9 the Devils are pretty much where everyone thought they would be at the start of the year. The Devils are definitely who we thought they were. If they had some offense, they wouldn’t be too bad of a team. At least a team that would be able to contend in the playoffs. As it is though, New Jersey will need to look in the off-season to fix the offense. The Devils have always been known for playing what many would call a boring brand of hockey. Defense reigns while the offense plays a complimentary role. It was like that as long as Brodeur was there and continues to today. The problem with this team is that there isn’t much offense at all. There has to be at least a little offense, but that isn’t the case with the Devils.
The Oilers have been playing better of hockey of late I guess we could say. After losing eleven straight games, yeah winning four of your last ten games is a big run. That last game against the Leafs may have been their worst loss of the season though, getting shellacked at the hands of the punchless Leafs who snapped a 12 game losing streak. I expect a much better effort from them tonight, but will it be enough for a win? The Oilers’ best effort often isn’t enough to get a win, so we’ll see how they do against the Devils Monday night.
Edmonton Oilers @ New Jersey Devils
The problem for both of these teams really comes down to scoring. Well, the Oilers could be better on defense as well, but their offense is pretty inept this season. And for a young team with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers should be a little more lively on the offensive end. However, they have been anything but, instead, they are near the back of the NHL in the goal scoring department. Note that the Oilers are scoring only 2.21 goals per game which puts them at 28th in the NHL. In their last ten games they’ve only been able to score 2.10 goals a game. The only teams that are worse than the Oilers in scoring is the Hurricanes and Sabres.
We don’t have to look very far to find the Devils’ offense. New Jersey ranks 27th in the NHL, just a hair ahead of the Oilers averaging 2.23 goals a game. Consequently, the Oilers and Devils are scoring an average of 4.44 combined in their games. Before getting destroyed for 6 goals against the Canadiens the Devils allowed 1, 1, 1, 2, and 1 goals in their previous five games. They play tight defense most of the time, but they have games where they get killed for 5+ goals that skew their goals against statistic to 2.64. Against bad offenses, they are better than the number indicates. I am going to make a regular size play on the UNDER 5 in this matchup, where we have two of the worst offenses in the NHL taking the ice in New Jersey Monday night.
Pick – UNDER 5 GOALS (-110) 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)