Edmonton Oilers (25-15-2, 3rd in North) vs
Winnipeg Jets (27-14-3, 2nd in North)
17 April 2021
Bell MTS Place
5 PM MST
Radio: 630 CHED
IT’S BEEN ONE WEEK
The Oilers haven’t been in action since last Saturday’s debacle in Calgary. Since then, there’s been a trade deadline and a week without a game in the standings. For a week without a game played, there’s been plenty of things going on for the Oilers leading up to today’s contest in Winnipeg. The Jets are playing their fourth game in six after toppling the Maple Leafs by a 5-2 margin on Thursday night. Which Oilers team will we get? Will the Jets have their legs tonight? The Oilers have the early game tonight on Hockey Night in Canada for a change.
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“It’s nice to have some breaks but at the same time, you want to be in that rhythm and this time of the year, you want to be playing really well and be in a groove going into playoffs...We’ve got a big, 14 games to finish here so hopefully, we can get into that rhythm and avoid any more interruptions.”
That’s Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie, who’s ready to get into the groove.
Six nights and one trade deadline later, Barrie (and the rest of the Oilers) are ready to get back to playing hockey games. The Oilers are very well rested, and they’ll be meeting a Jets club who haven’t had more than one day off in over a week. Will the Oilers avoid a slow stat tonight?
THE JETS ARE SAYING
“If you have the opportunity to play your whole career with one organization, you want to jump at that opportunity...Knowing the coaching staff here, knowing what the organization’s like, it’s such a hard opportunity to pass up, being able to sign this extension. I know my role in this organization, I love my teammates, I love playing for this team. I’m thrilled I got it done.”
That’s Jets centre Adam Lowry on signing his new five year deal with the Jets. Lowry’s new deal takes him through the 2026-27 NHL season.
Adam Lowry’s new deal is a sparkling 5 year deal valued at 3.25MM a year. Lowry is having a fine year in this shortened NHL season where he’s got 20 points in 44 games so far. The Jets are showing much confidence in a player who is well liked by his teammates, but has yet to reach the 30 point mark in six previous seasons. I wish Adam Lowry well, but I can’t help but notice the parallels between this deal and another deal you and I are familiar with. Good for Lowry on getting his number.
HAVE SOME OF THIS
It’s been a week, but no games. Surely, there’s something to talk about, right? Plenty.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on injured reserve stemming from an upper body injury against Ottawa. He hasn’t been in the lineup since April 7th and won’t play tonight. Gaetan Haas was centre in last week’s game versus Calgary, there’s a fair chance we see a little more of that tonight. Edmonton’s next game is on the 19th back at home versus Montréal.
- HOLLOWAY ROAD: Congrats to Dylan Holloway on getting the deal done. Edmonton’s first round selection from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft signed his entry-level contract yesterday. Holloway recently finished an exceptional season at Wisconsin and will have a good chance to make the main roster next season. With Holloway’s skill set, the Oilers hope he can become an impact forward in short order. Holloway is recovering from a broken thumb right now, but is expected to be ready to roll by the time next season is here.
- The Oilers made a move to acquire a defenceman on Monday’s trade deadline when they picked up Dmitry Kulikov from the New Jersey Devils for a conditional fourth round pick. Kulikov is a low event player who played most of his time with P.K. Subban and has been relatively effective at that role. Kulikov is averaging a bit more than 19 minutes per game this season, so make a note to keep a look out for how (and with who) Kulikov is deployed.
- Slater Koekkoek is reported to be ahead of his expected return time. Koekkoek had previously thought to be out for the season after sustaining a broken collarbone months ago, but he was seen skating with the main group yesterday.
- ONE TO WATCH: The Jets took down the Leafs on Thursday by a 5-2 margin, it was Toronto’s third straight loss. Nikolaj Ehlers scored a pair of goals in Winnipeg’s victory to give him 20 on the season, and he’s got five goals in his last five games.
- NET GAINS: The Oilers are likely to run with Mike Smith in net tonight (14-4-2, .918 SV% / 2.47 GAA / 2 SO), while the Jets will likely go with Connor Hellebuyck (21-11-3, 2.48 GAA / 2 SO).
- CATCHING UP WITH THE STANDINGS: Most of the North Division has caught up to Edmonton’s games played. Edmonton now has two games in hand on Toronto and Winnipeg. A regulation win for the Oilers will bring them to within three of the Jets and six of the division leading Maple Leafs.