The Warmup: Blue Jackets Set For Battle Against Oilers

By Ed Francis on December 16, 2021 at 7:16 pm
One win, one loss, and two porous third periods have been the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets' first two games of the current road trip, which continues tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Here, you'll get everything you need to know – including keys to the game, where to watch and listen, and more – before the Blue Jackets and Oilers battle it out in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Where to watch, listen and stream tonight's game...

WHO: Blue Jackets (14-12-1) vs. Oilers (16-11-0)

WHERE: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

WHEN: 9:00 p.m. ET

TV: Bally Sports Columbus (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)

RADIO: 97.1 FM (Bob McElligott, Dylan Tyrer)

STREAM: ESPN+ (out of market only)


This was supposed to be the Blue Jackets third game of a season-long five-game road trip, but with the Calgary Flames recent COVID-19 outbreak, Saturday's game has already been postponed. It cuts the road trip to four games, but the team will head back to Columbus before completing the road trip Monday in Buffalo.

COVID-19 has not had an effect on the Oilers (yet), but Edmonton fans are still feeling sick. The Oilers have lost six straight games, including the first five of a six-game homestand that concludes with Thursday's game against Columbus. Edmonton has scored two goals or less in five consecutive games; their longest such streak since a six-game schneid that started on New Year's Eve of 2017.

ALL-TIME: The Blue Jackets are 22-36-3 against the Oilers all-time, but just 8-22-0 in Edmonton. It's the first meeting of the year between the two teams. Their last meeting was the Blue Jackets' second-to-last game before the COVID-19 pause during the 2019-20 season, a game that Edmonton won 4-1. 


What do the Blue Jackets need to do to win tonight? We're glad you asked.

  • Skinner Gets The Start: Edmonton will start Stuart Skinner in net, who has won just two of his seven starts on the year but does have a .918 save percentage and 2.76 goals against average. He's given up at least three goals in his last three starts, though, and Columbus would be wise to test the Oilers #2 goalie early and often.
  • 42 With 38 & 28: Alexandre Texier gets top-line duties Thursday, playing alongside captain Boone Jenner and leading-scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand. Texier looks to be having the break-out season that the 5th Line has been waiting for. The Oilers defense is likely to focus on Jenner and Bjorkstrand, which should give Tex the opportunity to make plays and get his name in the scorecard.
  • DEFENSE!: Edmonton surely won't make it six in a row with two goals or less — unless the Blue Jackets biggest weakness, their defense, can have a shutdown night. The Oilers will get their fair share of shots, but it's all about shot quality. If the Blue Jackets can put Elvis Merzlikins in a position to not have to stand on his head, they'll have a chance to pick up their 9th-ever win in Edmonton.

From the head coach...