Colorado Avalanche Need a Win against the Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 1: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 1, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 1: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 1, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Avalanche head to Edmonton to face the Oilers. This is starting to feel like a must-win to stop their current losing skid.

The Colorado Avalanche continue their western Canadian road trip with a visit to the Edmonton Oilers. This is the first time the two teams are meeting.

The Oilers are fresh off a Thursday game that saw them drop a 4-1 decision to the Florida Panthers. Right now the Oilers have a slightly better record than the Avalanche — 8-7-1 to Colorado’s 7-6-3.

Colorado, of course, is coming off that 5-2 loss in Winnipeg. That loss marked the fifth in as many games.

Historically, the Colorado Avalanche have played well against the Oilers, going 70-48-5-6 (ties) all time. However, last season Colorado struggled a bit, losing one in Colorado and one in Edmonton. Their lone victory from last year came in overtime in Edmonton.

How to Enjoy the Game

Game time: November 9, 7:30 pm MT
TV Networks: Alt, SN1, SNW (Oilers’ feed)
Radio: Altitude Radio (AM 950)

Tonight is an NHLTV free game.

Get the Top Line Rolling

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For the Colorado Avalanche, one of the keys to the game will be getting that top line of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog rolling. MacKinnon and Rantanen each have four points in the last five games, while Landeskog has three. That’s not dreadful, but that’s not dominance.

For some reason, MacKinnon in particular has been struggling. Last year he could do no wrong with the puck. This season, it’s almost like he’s fighting against his instincts.

If the top line doesn’t perform well tonight, the coaching staff may have to look into breaking up the band, at least temporarily.

Shut Down McJesus

Oilers superstar Connor McDavid has one fewer point than Mikko Rantanen and one fewer goal than both MacKinnon and Landeskog. However, he is the Oilers’ messiah. And he has not been struggling as much the last five games, having recorded five points.

Colorado has the defensemen to shut him down, whether it’s the big lug, Ian Cole, the elite two-way d-man, Erik Johnson, or the physical destroyer, Nikita Zadorov, Colorado can shut McJesus down.

Unless they put some puck-moving defensemen out there against Connor. He’s probably the fastest player in the NHL. No amount of Girard spin-o-ramas is going to change that.

Play Tidy Hockey

Mistakes have been costing the Colorado Avalanche in each game. Turnovers, odd-man rushes, missed defensive assignments — and turnovers. I repeat that because of MacKinnon’s dreadful turnover that lead to a goal in Winnipeg.

Altitude TV analyst Mark Rycroft declared in his pre-game show that he wanted to see “tidy” hockey against the Jets. That happened at times, but it got might sloppy toward the end.

I think we all want to see the Colorado Avalanche tighten up their game against Edmonton.

Next. EJ Thinks Avs are Close to Success. dark

After tonight, the Avalanche will head home to face the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. They have two more meetings with the Oilers, On December 11 and April 2, both in Colorado.