Hope everybody’s feeling optimisic today, if for no other reason than to offset my inherent pessimism whenever the Oilers play anyone but Ottawa.
Edmonton scored five goals against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Connor Hellebuyck, last time around but still managed to lose in regulation. Hopefully their ability to battle back from 4-1 down to tie it 5-5 early in the third will buoy them into another good performance tonight, and their inability to close doesn’t turn into a losing streak of any length.
Don't see Draisaitl, Lagesson, Barrie on the ice for practice today. Looks like Turris filling in for Leon. Ennis to top six, Kahun to bottom six.— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) February 16, 2021
News from yesterday’s practice. Do you see where the pessimism comes from? Kyle Turris doesn’t look like he could stay in the AHL right now and yesterday he was filling in for the absent Leon Draisaitl on a line that had already been struggling in most of the key 5v5 metrics — other than GF%, of course — over the last little while. Fingers crossed for a maintenance day.
William Lagesson and Tyson Barrie both missing practice also throws the current D rotation out of whack, but Caleb Jones might be strictly better than both of them and his drawing in will be a net-positive if it comes to it.
Long chat between Dave Tippett and Kyle Turris at the end of practice. Meanwhile, Evan Bouchard working with Jim Playfair on picking up pucks off the wall on the left side. pic.twitter.com/rHynX6OScx— Tom Gazzola (@TomGazzola) February 16, 2021
Of course, Tippett could just move Bouchard to the left side and dress Kris Russell instead. It might get weird.
Tyler Ennis getting back into the top six feels like a long time coming based on his play — and results — of late, but there’s a risk in taking him off a Jujhar Khaira line that was never really effective without him. Maybe Kahun can help Khaira similarly and benefit from the easier matchups.
Let’s see what happens.
(And then complain about it probably.)
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