Welcome, Edmonton Oilers fans! Here’s the latest on how the Oilers are doing down on the farm in Oklahoma City.
Presently we’ve got ourselves a real logjam in the South Division of the AHL‘s Western Conference. The Charlotte Checkers (13-8-0-2) currently lead the division with 28 points, the Houston Aeros (12-6-1-2) are in second with 27 points, and the Oklahoma City Barons (11-6-1-2) and Texas Stars (11-8-2-1) are tied for third with 25 points.
The Barons come into San Antonio tonight to face the San Antonio Rampage for the final two games of their current seven-game road trip. They are 3-1-0-1 on this trip and will be looking to finish strong with two wins against the Rampage, who currently sit in last place in the South Division with 19 points (8-11-0-3). This will also mark the beginning of a brutal stretch for the Barons, as they will be playing five games in eight days.
The Barons have split two games with the Rampage this season, winning 5-2 at home back on October 19th and losing 2-0 in San Antonio on November 4.
Leading the way for the Barons will be the AHL’s top two scorers, Justin Schultz (11-20-31) and Jordan Eberle (12-15-27), with the rest of the usual suspects–Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8-12-20), Teemu Hartikainen (6-10-16), Taylor Hall (5-11-16) and Magnus Paajarvi (2-11-13)–rounding out the attack. The Rampage will counter with Jon Rheault (6-12-18), Drew Shore (5-11-16), Greg Rallo (7-4-11), Quinton Howden (6-5-11), Colby Robak (3-8-11) and James Wright (3-8-11).
As per the usual, special teams will be key to the Barons’ chances for success this weekend. The Barons are second in the Western Conference in penalty minutes with 429, so they will have to be disciplined if they hope to beat the Rampage, who are seventh in the conference in penalty minutes with 359. The Barons are 20-for-89 on the power play and are 21-for-95 on the penalty kill. The Barons are 0-for-6 on the power play against the Rampage so far this season, while the Rampage have scored on 2-of-8 power play chances.
Neither team is particularly disciplined, so this could turn into a goal fest real quick.