The Anaheim Ducks streak of wins has now reached six straight games. Their effectiveness has gone way before those six games though, as the Ducks have been a force ever since around Christmas time. The Ducks look to keep the good vibes going against the Edmonton Oilers. You want to talk about two teams have gone in opposite directions at the same time. Look no further than the Ducks and Oilers. The Ducks are elevating their play to the top of the league, while the Oilers look like they couldn’t care less. The Oilers have lost five straight games, looking like the same Edmonton team that we saw last season. They are losers in eight of their last ten games. Additionally, the Oilers have gone 8-22 since December 15th. Conversely, the Ducks have gone 21-8 since that time. Like I said, there couldn’t be two teams who have been on different ends of the spectrum. The Ducks were able to just get by the Sabres two nights ago in a 1-0 victory. They can win in a lot of different ways, the high scoring matchup or low scoring grind it out 1 goal game.
The Oilers have found ways to lose in just about every way imaginable over the last thirty games. As I write this article up, the Oilers are currently in LA playing against the Kings. The puck just dropped, so I can’t give much feedback about that one. Tough draw for the Oilers though out here in California, having to play a tough, physical Kings team and then turning around the next night to play the blazing Ducks. These are the real Ducks, I’ve said it before. Too much talent on the roster for them to flounder and burnout this season. Getzlaf earned yet another point against the Sabres. That makes it 14 points in his last nine games. He had sort of a slow start, as did Kesler, but both of those guys have gotten the Ducks right back on track.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Pick
The Oilers to me have just looked dejected. Absolutely no confidence or motivation on the roster. Connor McDavid appears to be the only player that has been giving his all on a nightly basis. Taylor Hall has looked like he doesn’t care, and Nail Yakupov has blossomed into one of the biggest busts of the decade. I’m not kidding about Hall either. Against the Avs this past Saturday night, the Oilers scored, but Hall was called for goalie interference. It was a questionable call, but Hall didn’t do anything to argue the call. The only guy that did that was their head coach behind the bench. You know when somebody has the look of ‘whatever who cares’ on their face, well, that was Taylor Hall.
It was probably way before then, but after that instance, it was clear that some of the Oilers have given up on the season. There is still a lot of hockey to be played, and the Oilers will pull some wins, but the way they’ve looked lately has been utter disrepair. Edmonton is allowing 3.05 goals per game, tied for 2nd last in the NHL. They are also 26th in scoring, with 2.41 goals per game. They run into the Ducks who have potted nearly 4 goals per game in their last ten games. The Ducks were held to only 1 goal last outing.
Anders Nilsson should be getting his first start tonight since coming back from the minors. Note that Nilsson allowed 13 goals in four starts before getting sent down. He has a 3.14 GAA and 10-12-2 record on the year. Look for some rust against this explosive offense of the Ducks. As I type this, the Oilers and Kings are knotted up at 0-0 through the mid-way point of the 2nd period. The Edmonton defense came to play. However, do we expect to see it two night’s in a row? Notably against an offense like the Ducks, who also only scored 1 goal in their previous outing? I think the Ducks take advantage of the Oilers’ misery tonight and posts an easy win.
PICK: DUCKS -1.5 (+120)