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Kraken @ Oilers PREVIEW: Get through it and come home

Player Photography provided by @Jennthulhu_Photos on Instagram

The Need to Knows

  • The Time:ย 6pm PT
  • The Place:ย Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Place to Watch:ย ROOT-Northwest, ESPN+, SportsNet+
  • Place to Listen: KJR 93.3-FM

Know Your Enemy

If you haven’t checked in on the Oilers in a while, things have taken a turn for them. Early this season they were struggling, but it was mostly the product of rotten luck. The Oilers were getting their chances, but they just weren’t converting. Now they are converting. And they are winning. A lot. The Oilers have won eleven in a row (!!) heading into this game.

The Oilers have two absolutely firebreathing dragons in Connor McDavid (consensus best player in the world) and Leon Draisaitl (a top 5 player in the world), both who have won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP.

But unlike previous years, it’s not just the McDavid/Draisaitl show this year. Forward Zach Hyman is having an outstanding year, and defenseman Even Bouchard is having a Norris finalist-caliber season, both with 42 points.

In fact, only one team in the NHL had worse luck than the Oilers as of December 3rd, a team that went on a nine-game win streak of their own. You may have heard of them.

Game Preview

This would be a more interesting game if the Kraken were healthy, which they certainly are not.

Matty Beniers, Andrรฉ Burakovsky, and Vince Dunn have missed the last two games. Beniers is definitely not playing this game, as he is on injured reserve and is not eligible to come off it yet. Jordan Eberle said half the team was battling some sort of sickness, presumably the flu. Larsson left the game against the Penguins on Monday with an illness. This thing is going around, and it’s unfortunate that it happened when it did, as it ended Seattle’s win streak. It would have been fun to have dueling 11-game win streaks heading into this game. Alas, that’s not the universe we live in.

This is a really tough spot:

  • against an extremely good team
  • at the end of a road trip
  • injuries are mounting
  • team is down with the sickness

Seattle plays Edmonton tonight and Toronto on Sunday, but then the schedule lightens up considerably. It’s a tough playoff race, but the Kraken have the 6th easiest remaining schedule, per Tankathon.

Get through these next two games and reset. And if they can steal a point or two tonight, all the better.

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