Edmonton Oilers (18-17-3) (6th, Pacific)
Winnipeg Jets (24-12-2) (1st, Central)
7 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West / TSN 3
Radio: 630 CHED
The Oilers were worked over in their last game, a 7-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday afternoon. The score looks nicer than it actually was, it was more like 7-2 until a couple of garbage time goals kicked in. Ty Rattie had three assists, there’s that. Caleb Jones scored his first NHL goal, and Connor McDavid did Connor McDavid things on a goal that’s just too good for words.
This was the goal that would bring the Oilers to within three. Too bad it was scored with four seconds remaining in the game. Edmonton looks to put a halt to their five game winless streak as the Central Division Jets are in town. Can the Oilers end 2018 on a winning note?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
"Connor actually reached out... He said he's happy to have me & thinks I can help the team. Obviously, with our history & when a guy of that calibre reaches out to you, it's pretty special." – Brandon Manning (@mandog1990) https://t.co/pz3rThQ7z6— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 31, 2018
I talk to a lot of Oilers fans. Some older, some younger, each with varying degrees of affinity for the team that wears the oil drop. Most fans are passionate, and they’re able to tell you moments in their life that were defined by the team. The first Cup in 84. Gretzky’s 92nd. The Cujo save against Dallas. The Patrick Stefan open net whiff. There are too many moments, but you’re getting where I’m going.
Naturally, you can imagine my surprise when Pistol Pete picked up the phone to acquire Brandon Manning and a prospect for Jason Garrison and Drake Caggiula. You remember Brandon Manning, right?
What in the actual hell is this, Peter Chiarelli? 801 players have played a game in the NHL, and you believe it’s in the club’s best interest to acquire the one who claims he intentionally broke Connor McDavid’s collarbone three years ago? Do you know that you’re going to get fired sooner than we do? This is utter garbage. Brandon Manning isn’t a good hockey player to boot, he’s got another year in his deal at 2.25MM after this one. Even with all the injuries to the blue line right now, Manning is probably the 7th best defenceman on this club. Think Eric Gryba at 2.5 times the price. You’ll remember Eric Gryba, the player who the Oilers are paying for this year and next year to go away to New Jersey, yeah?
More garbage from Peter Chiarelli. Absolute filth. Utterly vile.
We should be used to it by now.
Maybe he’ll get fired after a loss tonight. Doubt it.
The Jets are saying
That would be the very earliest part of the window. I don’t know what it’s going to look like in the next two or three weeks...
That’s Jets head coach Paul Maurice on the status of Dustin Byfuglien.
The Oilers catch a break with Dustin Byfuglien out of the lineup. Byfuglien suffered a lower body injury in Winnipeg’s 3-1 loss to the Wild on Saturday afternoon. He’ll be out at least until the All Star Break in January.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- In less-ragey news, the Oilers shipped Chris Wideman to the Panthers along with a conditional third round pick in 2019 for local product Alex Petrovic. You’ll remember Petrovic was a player that the Panthers thought so highly of that they protected him over Jonathan Marchessault in the expansion draft in 2017. He’s a former teammate of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins while the pair were in Red Deer. Petrovic averaged a little less than 18 minutes of ice time a game in Florida this year, he’ll likely step right into the lineup on the third pair. We talked a little about it yesterday.
- Top line Ty Rattie had three assists in Edmonton’s 7-4 loss to the Sharks. On ya, Rattie.
- The Jets are doing just fine for themselves. They lead the Central Division at 50 points, they’re fifth in the league in goals per game averaging 3.39, they’re ninth in goals allowed at 2.82. They’re going to get tested with Dustin Byfuglien out of the lineup for a little while, can Tyler Myers and Jacob Trouba hold the fort?
- Joseph Gambardella was recalled by the Oilers yesterday. The 25 year old from Staten Island currently leads the Bakersfield Condors with 21 points (12-9-21) in 28 games. With Ryan Spooner being the healthy scratch against San Jose (and Chiarelli reportedly trying to trade Ryan Spooner already), the forward may make his NHL debut tonight.
- NET GAINS: I’ve got Mikko Koskinen (11-6-1, 918 SV% / 2.52 GAA / 3 SO) in net for the Oilers this evening. Connor Hellebuyck (16-11-1, .908 SV% / 2.88 GAA) is likely for the Jets.
- SICK BAY: The Oilers are without Andrej Sekera (knee) and Oscar Klefbom (finger). Alex Chiasson (knee). Kris Russell was day-to-day a couple of days ago (groin), so keep an eye open to see if he returns today. Kailer Yamamoto is also day-to-day with an upper body injury. The Jets are without Dustin Byfuglien (lower body),