The Oilers have won 10 of their last 12, including a 4-3 victory over the Canucks on Tuesday night. They came back from a 3-0 first period deficit in large part thanks to a relentless forecheck.
“We’re just kind of all over everybody. When we’re playing our best, all five guys are involved. It’s good sticks. It’s creating loose pucks, and we’re coming up with those pucks,” explained Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “Then we can use our offensive skill and abilities to play from there and create a lot of offence out of that.”
“Forecheck is about trying to check the puck back in the offensive zone,” said head coach Dave Tippett, who thought the Oilers forecheck got better as the game went on Tuesday. “It’s about positioning, about getting your stick on pucks, creating loose pucks. I like our quickness in that respect.”
Mike Smith will start in goal again. He’s 5-0 in six appearances this season with a .934 save percentage.
The rest of the Oilers lineup is to be determined, including the possible return of defenceman Ethan Bear. He hasn’t played since Jan. 30 when he was hit by a puck while sitting on the bench.
The Oilers and Canucks are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.