There are two ways to look at the games these teams have played this season. If you're Hawks fan - the games have been things of beauty. If you're a Oilers fan - you might have thrown a bottle at your TV.
In the two meetings the Hawks have out scored the Oilers 12-2. The first meeting was a penalty heavy affair (40 PIM total) that saw the men of four feathers score a shortie, a power play and a even strength goal and record their first shut out of the season.
The second meeting was somehow even more embarrassing for the Oilers when the Hawks stomped them with 9 goals (including 4 power plays goals and another shortie). 15 Hawks got on the scorecard that night - 15! Worth nothing, in a game where your team scores 7 goals more than your opponents -you would think it'd be hard to come away with a minus rating.. but Buff did just that ending the night -1 despite an assist.
As Sam pointed out in the last preview - Ice is a huge factor for the Hawks in this game. Edmonton has almost ideal ice conditions every year and we saw what the Hawks can do given those conditions back in December.
Though the Oilers are 6-4-0 in the last 10, things still aren't going the way they hoped this year. They're just on the edge of the playoff picture and just 4 games above .500. McTavish has held onto his job so far but Penner is doing his damndest to end that.
We know a thing or two about overpaid players and Penner is certainly that. His size and skill should make him a game changing player but he's playing behind his pace last year and is the bane of McTavish's existence most nights. He scored one of the goals against the Hawks but is a -2 overall in the two games. He also doesn't have a point in his last three games. The Hawks D should still watch out for him though just in case he decides to actually play tonight.
Watch for the Hawks to take advantage on special teams as the Oilers are near the bottom of the league for both categories (one more shortie please?) and make Dwayne Roloson wish he was never born (I'm going to go ahead and sit Dwayne tonight on my fantasy squad).
Lets Go Hawks