After three consecutive last-place finishes, the youthful Edmonton Oilers are hoping to make positive strides under first-year coach Ralph Krueger.
Kicking off their season on a positive note, though, could prove difficult at Rogers Arena.
The Oilers try to pick up a rare road win Sunday night over a Vancouver Canucks team hoping to bounce back from an ugly loss in its opener.
Edmonton opened 8-2-2 last season but struggled down the stretch, finishing 32-40-10 and last in the Northwest Division. Despite those lackluster results, the Oilers open 2012-13 with plenty of optimism thanks in large part to their immensely talented core of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19 years old), Taylor Hall (21) and Jordan Eberle (22).
Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, will center Edmonton's top line with Hall - the first overall pick in 2010 - on the left and Eberle on the right. Nugent-Hopkins had 18 goals and 34 assists in 62 games as a rookie last season while Hall posted 53 points in ...