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NHL Thursday Night on The Ice - Edmonton Oilers Vs. Arizona Coyotes
Better in the Desert
The Coyotes were not expected to be a great team this NHL season, but 15 games in they are only 2 points out of first place thanks to some better than expected performances from Mikkel Boedker, Max Domi and Martin Hanzel. The team’s top scorers are the biggest reason for the Coyote’s earlier season surge. With some improving chemistry and player development – Max Domi is just a rookie – the Coyotes have one of the better trios of scorers early in the NHL season.
The McDavid Effect
The Edmonton Oilers once again landed the first overall pick, the fourth time the franchise has had that honour since 2010. Even with all these high draft picks, the Oilers had been mediocre at best and bottom of the league at worst. Things were finally looking up when the Oilers nabbed the next “Great One” by drafting Connor McDavid this season. The Oilers went 5-8-0 over their first 13 games with McDavid – not a great record, but the play of the young players was finally improving. On the fateful 13th game, McDavid suffered a severe injury and will miss a substantial period of time. In the next two games - not including Wednesday’s game – the Oiler lost both and are likely to be much less competitive until he returns at some point in the New Year.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes are favoured in this matchup between Western conference foes with the over/under set at 5.5. Neither team has an All-Star goaltender nor - outside of Coyote’s defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson - is neither team loaded with much talent on the blue line. The Coyote’s and Oiler’s average under 3 goals each per game, but have had their biggest offensive outbursts in games like these, against teams with weaker defensive games. Look for the Coyotes to sneak by the Oilers and continue to keep pace in the Pacific division.
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