Game 8: The Pacific Division Road Test | - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Game 8: The Pacific Division Road Test

The Edmonton Oilers will face one of their bigger tests today as they challenge the Vancouver Canucks, in Vancouver. It's not so much that the Canucks are a formidable opponent, it's that they're a division rival and a Western Conference team that Edmonton needs to be beat if they want to seriously contend for a playoff spot. It's matches like these that the Oilers simply cannot lose.

Thinking about the Oilers being 7-1-0 makes me giddy. We knew a strong October was important, but wow, that would be something if the Oilers could muster up that kind of start. It will require that Edmonton focus and not take the Canucks lightly. Despite being losers of three straight games, the Canucks were at one point 4-0 to start the year.

The Canucks are not a good team when it comes to scoring goals. In this area they struggle, so if the Oilers can get out to an early lead, it's just a matter of pushing down on the gas and not letting the Canucks climb back into it.

One of the players to watch is Loui Eriksson who has not yet scored a goal playing with the Sedins. The Oilers used to be notorious for getting struggling players back on track. They can't let that happen tonight.

Jordan Eberle

He is very good against the Canucks so I expect him to have a good game. In 30 games, he has 12 goals and 9 assists. He's been good in games so far this year and there seems to be a bit more urgency to his defensive game than in years past. I think is the McDavid effect.

Eberle staying on this line means only good things for his career and if the McDavid, Eberle and Lucic line continue to do what they're doing, there's going to come a game where between the three of them, they put together a 12 or 13 point night. That would be wonderful if it was tonight.

Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson

Isn't it great to watch two defensemen who get it? There is a calming effect for me when I watch the Oilers play seeing these two players on the ice. I feel a sense of confidence I've not felt in years knowing that in any given dangerous chances being produced by the opposition, these two are ready, with one move, to break it up and send the Oilers the other way for a scoring opportunity.

I read an article the other day that talked abou Larsson and how he's fitting in with the Oilers. Part of that article talks about his impression of Connor McDavid and Larsson said something to the effect of " if you're a defender and McDavid is coming at you, it's best to just fake losing your balance so as not to look foolish". I got a good laugh at that.

Cam Talbot

He is the hottest goaltender in the NHL with four goals allowed in the last four games and a better than .970 save percentage. It's amazing how he turned things around from the start of the year and with netminding like this, Edmonton has a chance in every game.

He'll be going up against Ryan Miller. This is a match up the Oilers win on paper.

Anton Lander

Talk about a turnaround from a player who was waived by the team just before the start of the regular season. Lander is contributing in many ways, but his 61.8% faceoff numbers are unreal. He and Leon Draisaitl have been a pleasant surprise in that respect while Letestu has dipped just below the 50% line.

If Lander keeps up his play, both Matt Hendricks and Iiro Pakarinen will be in tough to land spots back in the lineup when they return from injury.

But, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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