Pittsburgh have failed to inspire confidence so far this month, winning just four of their last 10 National Hockey League fixtures. As a result, the Penguins have slipped down to fourth in the Metropolitan Division – nine points behind the New York Islanders in top spot.
Plenty of punters believed that Pittsburgh would go all the way this year but it is difficult to put too much faith in the Penguins after their recent slump. On current form, the Penguins are closer to missing out on the playoffs than lifting the Stanley Cup crown.
Meanwhile, it isn’t going much better for the Edmonton Oilers. Now sixth in the competitive Pacific Division, it is going to take a major shift in mindset for Edmonton to climb the ladder in the coming weeks. Time is running out for the Oilers to qualify for the postseason…
Edmonton have failed to reach the playoffs in nine of the last 10 years – a damning statistic for the organisation. Connor McDavid is a supreme talent but he must be frustrated at the lack of progress. Failure to advance could force the 22-year-old to push for a move away from Rogers Place.
Pittsburgh have an excellent record in this fixture and Edmonton may find themselves up against it in the first period. The Penguins have won eight of their nine games against the Oilers since February 2015 and that may be enough to tempt punters to side with the hosts here.
Penguins Must Take Full Advantage Of Remaining Home Games
Pittsburgh are about to embark on a run of three consecutive home matches and punters will fancy the Penguins to win all three games. Strong form on home ice is key to Stanley Cup glory and six points from those matches will give Pittsburgh a real chance.
888Sport are going 11/20 for Mike Sullivan’s side to notch a huge victory in this one. If you are looking at this game on paper, Pittsburgh are the standout team but the Penguins will need to be at their brilliant best to keep Edmonton at bay.
If the Penguins can win all three home games, they will head to the New Jersey Devils off the back of four successive victories and momentum may carry Pittsburgh through their difficult road run. Write the Penguins off at your peril.
Oilers Preparing For Another Year Of No Playoff Hockey
Unfortunately for Edmonton, another year of failure looks likely this year. The Oilers have won just 24 of their 55 regular season fixtures in 2018/19 and you’d be hard pressed to put too much faith in any team with a sub .500 record.
As good as he is, McDavid cannot carry this Edmonton side to the postseason on his own. He has notched an incredible 81 points in 54 NHL appearances this year and fans will be hoping that some of his teammates can step up to the plate in the coming weeks.
Betway are going 50/1 for Edmonton to go on and win the Western Conference title – just making the playoffs would qualify as a significant achievement now. The Oilers are on the verge of another playoff-less campaign and changes may be afoot in the offseason.
A high-scoring affair could be on the cards here. Pittsburgh will be determined to put on a show for the passionate home fans and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the Penguins rack up an early lead.
However, Edmonton should create chances of their own and it would be foolish to predict a complete whitewash. With McDavid on the roster, the Oilers are always in with a chance. Unfortunately, their defence may fall short once again.
TIP: Pittsburgh Penguins to win
CORRECT SCORE: Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 Edmonton Oilers