The Edmonton Oilers really needed to deliver a solid performance against the Panthers to snap a three-game losing streak. They failed to do it and are now stuck with a four-game skid and a record of 23-28-3. A playoff bid is slipping away day-by-day for the Oilers. With the loss to the Panthers, 7-5, the Oilers are 18 points behind the Wild for the final wildcard. The fat lady is warming up and is just about ready to unload on the Oilers. The Panthers’ offence certainly unloaded on the Oilers the other night, as they railed Cam Talbot for 6 goals.
Florida tacked on an empty netter to make it 7-5 and a demoralizing loss for the Oilers. The offence was there, but the goaltending and defence left Connor McDavid hanging. If this continues for the Oilers, and they don’t turn it around and make a playoff run next season, you’re going to start to see a frustrated McDavid. There is no way I could see him demanding a trade, or the Oilers thinking of such an idea, but in the back of his mind, he’s going to want to be gone.
Taylor Hall finally got his wish and departed Edmonton for New Jersey. There is just no way the Oilers will entertain that thought. He’s a franchise player, but as McDavid watches Auston Matthews succeed in Toronto, he’s not going to be too happy. It’s going to be up to management to figure it out. Talbot had such a nice year in 2016-17, helping the Oilers to the playoffs in a big way. However, he’s been regressing, and the Oilers’ record is reflected in that. We’ll see if they can find some momentum in Las Vegas tonight, as they take on the Golden Knights at the T-Mobile Center. Head below for our free Oilers vs. Golden Knights pick.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights Pick
The Golden Knights, on other hand, are a team heading up. While the Oilers were expected to play the role of a contender in 2017-18, and the Golden Knights as an expansion pushover, the exact opposite has happened. In their first year as a franchise, Vegas have been the aggressors. The Knights are coming off a 5-2 win against the Blackhawks.
The Hawks have been miserable this season, as the end of an era seems to be here in Chicago. Vegas is just getting going, though. They enter Thursday with a record of 37-15-2, and are averaging a whopping 3.39 goals per game, 2nd in the league. There is not one person who could have seen that coming.
The Oilers have allowed 13 goals in their last two games, a 6-4 loss to the Sharks and 7-5 to the Panthers. Overall, the Oilers have given up 3.33 goals per game for 28th in the NHL. In their last ten games, they’ve been ripped for 3.9 goals per outing. The Knights have scored 3.5 goals per in their last ten games, and at least 4 goals in four of their last five games. The Oilers have at least been scoring the puck, with 3.3 per game in their last ten. However, that defence has been anemic. And Talbot’s numbers have ballooned to 3.18 GAA and a 0.901 save percentage. The OVER has gone 7-3 for both the Oilers and Golden Knights in the last ten games. I can’t see anything but a 4-3 or 5-3 final score at the T-Mobile Center tonight on the Strip.
PICK: OVER 6.5 (-110)