New Jersey Devils(9-2-0) vs Edmonton Oilers(3-7-1)
The Oilers woes continue after the loss to Pittsburgh Wednesday night. This season the Oilers have allowed the 9th most goals for per game(3.27) and scored 31st fewest goals per game(2.18). Where have the struggles for Edmonton begun? Cam Talbot’s poor play, not enough scoring depth, Leon Drastali out for a couple of weeks. But luckily they get another shot on home ice against a tough New Jersey team that does not quit, ever. The Devils have raised some eyebrows this season and with a win tonight they will be the fourth team to reach ten wins on the year. New Jersey is off to one of the best starts in franchise history and have seen depth production, unlike their opponents. Tonight will feature a battle between one of the hottest offenses vs one of the coldest offenses. Corey Schneider seems to be getting his “Schneider ways” back under him posting six wins and a .921 save percentage. Tonight will be a game the Oilers need to win if they want to have any confidence going into their road trip next week vs four tough Metropolitan teams. Going out on a limb and taking Connor McDavid, sorry the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3.
Nashville Predators(5-5-2) vs Anaheim Ducks(6-5-1)
This game will feature two teams that have struggled mightily to score goals, while Anaheim may have an excuse due to some recent injuries, the Predators have zero depth scoring after Filip Forsberg’s eight goals, the next person behind him is Roman Josi with three(who missed three games). Ryan Johansen has yet to record a goal, Nick Bonino is still on the team correct? We’ve heard nothing about Bonino since getting dealt to Nashville, he has one goal through five games. Viktor Arvidsson has only three goals and five points on the year. This was a problem we were all worried about when James Neal left and it has ranged true, Nashville is desperate for one of their top six guys to step up. They rank 30th in the NHL for goals for(28) but have done a good job keeping the puck out of the net on the flip side(34 goals against). Now Anaheim, on the other hand, every week it is someone new going down with an injury right now the Ducks have Ryan Getzlaf, Kevin Bieska, Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler(long-term) and Patrick Eaves all out. With these guys out, no one on the front end has stepped up to fill the void, Rickard Rakell has only five goals and 7 points through 12 games, Jakub Silfverberg has one goal, 5 points on the year and “Scorey” Perry continues to struggle early on with only two goals. The Ducks luckily have seen guys like Ondrej Kase and Brandon Montour step up, but when 30-year-old Andrew Cogliano is leading the charge, something needs to change. Just like Nashville, they do a fine job of keeping the puck out of the net(36 goals against ranked 17 in NHL) but goals for have been a struggle ranking 22nd in the NHL with 35 goals for. This will be a low scoring game without a doubt and both goaltenders have been off to solid starts so even more of a reason to see a 2-1, 3-2, game. Tonight, I’m going with Ducks, 2-1.