Edmonton had five goals on Thursday night, and Connor McDavid had a hand in each one of them. Jordan Eberle had his first career hat trick, and the Maple Leafs fell on the road to the Oilers by a 5-2 score. I struggle to think of the day where I'll run out of superlatives to hurl at Connor McDavid, but he's the most fun thing I've watched come near this club since the summer of aught six. Jordan Eberle is no slouch either, scoring two goals and netting the empty netter for his third of the night. Cam Talbot turned aside 34 of 36 shots en route to his twelfth victory of the year, and the Oilers try to put their awful road trip in the rear view mirror.
A struggling Winnipeg Jets team will face off against the Oilers tonight at RX1 as the Oilers try to string two victories in a row. Let's go to the tape.
That's Oilers head coach Todd McLellan on his recent line changes, specifically Taylor Hall.
Todd McLellan's got some strange line changes for today's matchup against the Jets. More on that in a paragraph or two.
The opponents are saying
"Somewhere in the next two or three games, both Pavelec and Hutchinson will get games and then we'll make decisions about where we are going forward after that." Source
That's Jets head coach Paul Maurice on his goaltending situation.
Ondrej Pavelec had good 2014-15 (.920 SV%) but prior to last year, he's never had a season with a SV% higher than .915. Pavelec has been out since November with a knee injury. He's got one more year on his deal with a 3.9MM cap hit. I'm sure the Jets know what they're doing, because sending Connor Hellebuyck down to the AHL after posting a SV% of .918 with a 13-11-1 record just doesn't make much sense.
It's not the first time the Jets have stood by Pavelec, and it seems reasonable to believe that they'll continue to do it for at least another year. Nobody in their right mind would take on that contract for a guy with a career .908 SV%
Have some of this
Initial line rushes: Pouliot-McDavid-Eberle Hall-Letestu-Kassian Pakarinen-Draisaitl-Purcell Yakupov-Hendricks-Korpikoski
Everybody's on board for that top line. Everybody Connor McDavid works with helps to bring home the bacon. Yakupov/Hendricks/Korpikoski is a very bad line for Nail Yakupov, and it reminds me of the days where Dallas Eakins would scratch Yakupov for Roman Horak in an attempt to send a message or some other sort of message that the rest of us cretins wouldn't be able to understand. Hall/Letestu/Kassian doesn't do anything for me either. Let's hope 4 and 29 get reunited, and it'll feel so good.
Laurent Brossoit (0-0-0, 0.00 GAA) will get his first start of the season for the Oilers. The Jets have activated Ondrej Pavelec (5-6-1, .906 SV% / 2.82 GAA) yesterday and sent Connor Hellebuyck to the AHL. Michael Hutchinson (6-10-1, .908 SV% / 2.87 GAA) could also go for the Jets.
PACIFIC WATCH / SHOOTING FOR SIXTH: The Oilers took two points on Thursday night, helping them bolster their season point total to 49, but the club remains eleven points out of third in the Pacific. We're going to continue to count how many points the Oilers are out of the playoffs until they're mathematically eliminated, or I feel too embarrassed to write it. The latter isn't likely to be an issue.
Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand) and Oscar Klefbom (leg), are out for the Oilers, although Oscar Klefbom is rumoured to be drawing nearer. Winnipeg will be without defenceman Grant Clitsome (back).