Edmonton Oilers (25-29-6) (7th, Pacific)
Anaheim Ducks (24-28-9) (6th, Pacific)
8 PM MST
TV: CBC, Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
The Oilers are winners of their last one game in a row. OT heroics by Connor McDavid propelled the Oilers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders. The victory helps bring the Oilers to (looks at notes...) eight points of the second Wild Card position in the Western Conference. Hey now.
Two struggling teams meet tonight as the Anaheim Ducks are in town to take on the Oilers. Edmonton will have to cobble together a lineup without Connor McDavid tonight. McDavid is serving the first of a two game suspension that resulted from a hit to the head of the Islanders’ Nick Leddy. Can the Oilers take down a Ducks squad without their captain?
Let’s go to the tape.
The Oilers are saying
We are highly disappointed in the NHL’s decision to suspend Connor McDavid for two games. We strongly disagree with the decision and it is difficult to accept for our team and most important our fans at this critical point in our season. We will unequivocally support Connor as he explores his options.
That’s Oilers CEO and Vice-Chairman Bob Nicholson on Connor McDavid’s two game suspension for an illegal check to the head of Nick Leddy.
Options? McDavid’s got a couple of games off. Guy probably needs a break.
I’m disappointed too, Bob. Disappointed that we’re all going to watch these two games without The Show.
The Ducks are saying
At the end of the day there’s six, seven teams all right there...I still think it’s up for grabs. Even tonight, it’s always tough to lose and these are valuable points, but that team is one of the best in the League and I think we saw what we can do as a team if we’re skating and playing the way we can. It [stinks] to lose, but it’s something we can definitely build off.
That’s Ducks forward Troy Terry after Anaheim’s 2-1 loss to the Flames last night in Calgary.
The Ducks are ahead of the Oilers by just one point in the standings. The Oilers remain eight points out of the second wild card spot, the Ducks trail by seven.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
- What does a club without Connor McDavid look like? It’s going to have Milan Lucic next to Leon Draisaitl or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. There’s also a pretty good chance that the bottom two lines are even tougher on the eyes than usual. Proceed with tempered expectations.
- The Ducks are having a very bad season. They’re dead last in goals scored (2.21 GPG), and they’re 17th in goals allowed per game (3.07). Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks in scoring with a scant 39 points (11-28-39),
- NET GAINS: The Ducks are on the tail end of a back-to-back, and Kevin Boyle would be the next goalie in the rotation. Boyle has a .955SV%, a 1-1 record and a shutout in his young season. The Oilers could toss new acquisition Anthony Stolarz in net, but I’m thinking they’re still figuring out exactly how sound an investment they’ve made into Mikko Koskinen (15-14-3, .906 SV% / 2.87 GAA / 3 SO).
- PULJUJARVI: Something is rotten here. Puljujarvi takes a pregame skate, is scratched, and then goes on IR.
There's no conspiracy here with Puljujarvi. He's not making this medical issue up to. say, avoid going to Bakersfield. He's hurt. If he needs surgery, he could be done for the final 22 Oiler games.— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) February 22, 2019
How did he get injured? He’s headed to the US for a second opinion. If he gets surgery, he’s not going to the AHL, and he won’t get moved by Monday’s deadline.
Like everything else with this team, it all comes out in the end. Stay tuned.
- SICK BAY: Jesse Puljujarvi is on IR (undisclosed). Jujhar Khaira is also on IR (undisclosed), and Connor McDavid is off on suspension until Wednesday. For the Ducks, they’re without Ryan Getzlaf (upper body), goaltender Chad Johnson (head), goaltender John Gibson (head), and Ondrej Kase (shoulder).