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WGD: Game 51: Red Wings vs. Oilers

The Red Wings road trip through Western Canada so far as been a disaster. In both games, they had a lead going into the third period and in both games they lost it. Their losing efforts as of late have plummeted them to the bottom of the standings where, after the Los Angeles Kings won their matinee game yesterday, they sit in last place.

The good news is they roll into Edmonton tonight where they won’t be the biggest disaster. The Oilers are currently out of playoff contention, though by a mere three points, and Peter Chiarelli seems determined to sink them even further. Yesterday, he waived Ryan Spooner, effectively turning Jordan Eberle into nothing. Then, it was announced that Mikko Koskinen, the goalie whose played a mere 31 NHL games, has been extended for three years at a $4.5-million AAV. He’ll apparently be their starting goalie of the future.

But enough about their head office moves. What about their play on the ice as of late? The Oilers are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and 12-12-1 at home. Funnily, they are 11-11-2 on the road, making them a perfectly even and balanced team. Thanos would like them. In their only other game against the Red Wings this year, the Oilers won by a score of 4-3.

THE RED WINGS

LW C RW
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI

Rating: 74.7#37 LW

Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN

Rating: 79.1#22 C

Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST

Rating: 75.6#48 RW

Thomas Vanek
THOMAS VANEK

Rating: 73.2#50 LW

Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN

Rating: 72.6#89 C

Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA

Rating: 75.5#31 RW

Darren Helm
DARREN HELM

Rating: 71.4#129 LW

Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING

Rating: 69.9#168 C

Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Rating: 76.2#41 RW

Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE

Rating: 68.5#128 LW

Christoffer Ehn
CHRISTOFFER EHN

Rating: 71.5#126 C

Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Rating: 70.0#112 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL

Rating: 72.1#72 LD

Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Rating: 75.3#27 RD

Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER

Rating: 72.3#65 LD

Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN

Rating: 71.3#72 RD

Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON

Rating: 69.8#119 LD

Filip Hronek
FILIP HRONEK

Rating: 73.1#41 RD

Dennis Cholowski will sit for another game, much to the chagrin of the Red Wings fan base. Blashill must have liked the year Filip Hronek played in his 14+ minutes of ice time against the Canucks.

He must’ve liked how the whole lineup played since there is no change to the lines at all. The Vanek-Nielsen-Mantha lined contributed both goals in the game on Sunday afternoon. Both goals were at 5-on-5 as the Wings again went scoreless on the power play, something that has been nagging them all season.

THE OILERS

LW C RW
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Rating: 75.9#44 LW

Connor McDavid
CONNOR MCDAVID

Rating: 90.4#1 C

Jesse Puljujarvi
JESSE PULJUJARVI

Rating: 70.4#97 RW

Jujhar Khaira
JUJHAR KHAIRA

Rating: 69.1#121 LW

Leon Draisaitl
LEON DRAISAITL

Rating: 79.6#19 C

Alex Chiasson
ALEX CHIASSON

Rating: 70.1#100 RW

Ryan Spooner
RYAN SPOONER

Rating: 69.7#116 LW

Colby Cave
COLBY CAVE

Rating: 71.2#132 C

Kailer Yamamoto
KAILER YAMAMOTO

Rating: 72.7#60 RW

Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 69.8#114 LW

Kyle Brodziak
KYLE BRODZIAK

Rating: 70.3#161 C

Zack Kassian
ZACK KASSIAN

Rating: 69.9#105 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Darnell Nurse
DARNELL NURSE

Rating: 73.8#38 LD

Adam Larsson
ADAM LARSSON

Rating: 71.3#70 RD

Kris Russell
KRIS RUSSELL

Rating: 72.0#75 LD

Matt Benning
MATT BENNING

Rating: 71.1#73 RD

Brandon Manning
BRANDON MANNING

Rating: 69.0#127 LD

Alex Petrovic
ALEX PETROVIC

Rating: 68.3#100 RD

What more can be said about the Oilers? Jesse Puljujarvi, the frequent target of trade speculation, has played himself onto the top line with Connor McDavid. The recently-waived Ryan Spooner is still holding down a third line spot and Leon Draisaitl anchors the second line.

Their blue line is devastated with injury right now, with Oskar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera are still out, leaving Adam Larsson and Darnell Nurse to lead the top line.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard vs. Mikko Koskinen

The newly-extended Mikko Koskinen will get the start tonight as he steps forward as the Oilers starting goalie for the next three years. He’ll be up against the not yet-extended Jimmy Howard.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck drop is going to be at 9:00 P.M. ET tonight so make sure you set those alarms nice and loud for tomorrow morning. You’ll be able to watch the game on NBCSN if you’re in the U.S. and pretty much every Sportsnet Channel if you’re tuning in from Canada.

As always, make sure you’re following us on Twitter for all kinds of fun in-game reactions, gifs, and all the other things you’d expect from a hockey blog twitter account.