The Lightning just got dealt a huge blow

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without one of their best players for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs, as Steve Stamkos has been sidelined for six-to-eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle.

This is obviously a huge blow for the Lightning. Stamkos ranks second on the team in both goals with 29 and points with 66. Losing him will leave a gaping hole in their offence, especially on the power-play, where his one-time shot represents a lethal weapon for the team.

On the flip side, while you obviously never, ever cheer for injuries, this could be a pretty big break for the Leafs, who seem poised to meet Tampa in the first round of the playoffs. As of right now, the Leafs have a four-point lead on Florida for the third seed in the Atlantic Division. They’re nine points behind Tampa for the second spot, so catching them before the end of the season is incredibly unlikely. Tampa is also seven points behind Boston at this point, so it looks like Toronto and Tampa would be the first-round series.

Obviously, the Lightning will be no easy task in a playoff series, but facing them without Stamkos, their captain and likely their best goal scorer, makes things look a little bit brighter for the Leafs, a team who have had to navigate through their own fair share of injuries.

But we’ll worry about the Lightning when we get there. Making the playoffs is the first task at hand.

JN Flight Plan 67 Winnipeg Jets Edmonton Oilers

It’s not a divisional matchup, but tonight’s game against the Oilers is still vitally important. With Edmonton only two points up on the Jets, Winnipeg can pull even with the Oilers and get themselves back into a wildcard spot with a victory. Edmonton on the other hand, is jockeying for position with both Vancouver and Calgary as they are racing for second in the Pacific. After being hurt a few weeks ago, Connor McDavid is back with the Oilers and has scored six points in his three games after returning. The Jets will need to be at their best as both teams desperately need the points.

Winnipeg Jets (33-27-6 / 5th Central)
@
Edmonton Oilers (33-23-8 / 3rd Pacific)

Feb 29, 2020 – Puck drop: 9:00 PM CST
Rogers Place – Edmonton, AB
TV: Sportsnet – Radio: TSN 1290

VS EDM 3-0 W Last Game VS WSH 3-0 W
1-2-2 (2 L) Last 5 Games  2-2-1 (1 W)
LEON DRAISAITL – 37 Goal Leader KYLE CONNOR – 32
LEON DRAISAITL – 62 Assist Leader MARK SCHEIFELE – 42
LEON DRAISAITL – 99 Points Leader MARK SCHEIFELE – 70
28.60% (1ST) The Power Play 19.90% (17TH)
84.10% (2ND) The Penalty Kill 77.70% (24TH)
MIKKO KOSKINEN
(16-13-2 / .911 SV%)
Starting Goalie CONNOR HELLEBUYCK
(27-20-5 / .920 SV%
L VS VGK (30-33 / .909 SV%) Last Goalie Start W VS WSH (34-34 / 1.000 SV%)
15-10-5 AT HOME Road v Home Record 16-13-3 ON ROAD

Last Oilers Game

In a Pacific Division battle for first place the Oilers weren’t able to get the job done. They fell 3-0 to the Golden Knights despite getting some excellent chances early in the game.

Fun Oilers Facts…

  • Leon Draisaitl is having an excellent season. In fact, he’s the first player since Messier in 1989-90 to hit the 90 points mark in 57 games or fewer.
  • The Oilers rank third in the NHL with 19 victories when leading after the first period.
  • McDavid scored his 450th career point earlier this month which made him the 5th youngest player to ever do so.

What They’re Saying…

The essence of what makes Zack Kassian the player he is at his best is he plays on the edge. He walks a line he occasionally steps over. Having crossed it again with a flick of a skate that took him out of the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup for seven games, Kassian steps back into the fray against the Winnipeg Jets Saturday.

Amends – Oilersnation.com

Last Jets Game

It was good performance from the Jets as they beat the Capitals 3-0. Kulikov’s slapper in the first period ended up being the game winner as Hellebuyck earned the shutout at the other end.

Fun Jets Facts…

  • The Jets are an impressive 16-16 on the PK over their past seven games. The great penalty killing lately has moved them from last in the league to 24th which is a really solid improvement this late in the season.
  • This has been the best February in franchise history. The team has had seven wins in the past, but the eight wins this year is a new franchise record. They can even bump that up to nine wins tonight.
  • With Kyle Connor continuing to rack up the goals, he currently sits with 99 for his career. When he hits the 100 mark, he will be only the fifth member of the 2015 draft class to do so.
  • The Jets are 6-0-1 in their last seven games against the Oilers.

Be sure to check out our Twitter feed for any late updates to the game lineups!
You can also get up to the minute lineup combos for the Jets
including power play and penalty kill lines by checking out our line combo page.

Edmonton Oilers Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 73.7#43 LW

Connor McDavid
CONNOR MCDAVID

Rating: 83.0#3 C

Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Rating: 75.0#28 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.26#8 FL1
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Rating: 76.1#19 LW

Leon Draisaitl
LEON DRAISAITL

Rating: 84.9#1 C

Alex Chiasson
ALEX CHIASSON

Rating: 70.6#111 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.21#3 FL2
Jujhar Khaira
JUJHAR KHAIRA

Rating: 68.9#139 LW

Riley Sheahan
RILEY SHEAHAN

Rating: 69.8#130 C

Josh Archibald
JOSH ARCHIBALD

Rating: 71.8#88 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.17#28 FL3
Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 68.9#138 LW

Gaetan Haas
GAETAN HAAS

Rating: 70.1#129 C

Patrick Russell
PATRICK RUSSELL

Rating: 70.0#128 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.64#26 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Darnell Nurse
DARNELL NURSE

Rating: 73.8#34 LD

Ethan Bear
ETHAN BEAR

Rating: 72.3#65 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.07#22 DL1
Caleb Jones
CALEB JONES

Rating: 71.6#80 LD

Adam Larsson
ADAM LARSSON

Rating: 70.6#99 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.13#26 DL2
William Lagesson
WILLIAM LAGESSON

Rating: 72.7#58 LD

Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Rating: 70.4#102 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.54#21 DL3
GOALIES
Mikko Koskinen
MIKKO KOSKINEN

Rating: 66.0#47 G1

Mike Smith
MIKE SMITH

Rating: 64.8#55 G2

Winnipeg Jets Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 77.4#8 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 77.4#16 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.5#15 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.12#10 FL1
Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 76.0#20 LW

Cody Eakin
CODY EAKIN

Rating: 71.0#106 C

Patrik Laine
PATRIK LAINE

Rating: 74.8#32 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.93#15 FL2
Jansen Harkins
JANSEN HARKINS
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.6#70 C

Jack Roslovic
JACK ROSLOVIC

Rating: 71.9#85 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.27#11 FL3
Gabriel Bourque
GABRIEL BOURQUE

Rating: 68.0#145 LW

Nick Shore
NICK SHORE

Rating: 70.5#115 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 70.5#114 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.68#24 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Dmitry Kulikov
DMITRY KULIKOV

Rating: 71.2#94 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 75.3#25 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.25#21 DL1
Nathan Beaulieu
NATHAN BEAULIEU

Rating: 71.3#93 LD

Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.6#76 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.44#24 DL2
Anthony Bitetto
ANTHONY BITETTO

Rating: 69.7#120 LD

Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN

Rating: 70.3#103 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.00#29 DL3
GOALIES
Connor Hellebuyck
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK

Rating: 70.5#14 G1

Laurent Brossoit
LAURENT BROSSOIT

Rating: 64.1#58 G2

FGD 66 Trying to trample on Tampa 2pm MT, SN West

In the fourth game of their lengthy five game road swing, the Calgary Flames (33-25-7, 73 points) are down in Florida for the first of two back to back afternoon games. First up? A visit to their opponents in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, the Tampa Bay Lightning (40-19-5, 85 points).

The action starts around 2 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

(It was in.)

The Flames

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Mangiapane – Backlund – Tkachuk
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Lucic – Ryan – Dube
Bennett – Jankowski – Rieder

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Andersson
Forbort – Gustafsson

Cam Talbot is expected to start for the Flames, backed up by David Rittich. The extras are Michael Stone, Oliver Kylington and Zac Rinaldo. Don’t expect any major lineup changes, as the Flames got Mark Giordano back last game and looked pretty dang good aside from the last 10 seconds of the third period against Nashville.

The Flames are on a nice little run, having captured five of a possible six points so far on this trip and rolling along at a 6-3-1 clip over their last 10 games. That’s a pace that will probably get them into the playoffs. More heartening is the structured, composed, mature style they’ve shown in Boston and Nashville. They battled in both games and while it’s a tough way to play, it’s a style they need to become familiar with if they’re going to make any noise in the playoffs.

If they get there.

The Lightning

Projected lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Palat – Point – Kucherov
Coleman – Cirelli – Killorn
Gourde – Goodrow – Johnson
Verhaeghe – Paquette – Stephens

Hedman – Cernak
Sergachev – Shattenkirk
Coburn – Bogosian

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts for the Lightning, backed up by (Forever A Flame) Curtis McElhinney. They’re not carrying any healthy extra bodies right now. Heck, I’m still amazed that the roster they do have is somehow cap compliant.

The Lightning are, at their best, basically the NHL’s version of the Harlem Globetrotters. But they’ve had some bad habits creep into their game, as some injuries and the notion that their playoff spot is all but assured has led to some minor malaise. They’ve lost four in a row and are definitely grumpy about it. They’re a beatable team right now, but the Flames will need to take the game to them and not give them an inch of breathing room.

The Numbers

Flames Lightning
Wins 33 40
Points 73 85
Adjusted Corsi 50.3% 53.7%
Power Play 20.1% 22.7%
Penalty Kill 82.6% 82.0%

Injury Report

The Flames are without D Juuso Valimaki (ACL surgery) and D Travis Hamonic (upper body).

The Lightning are missing D Braydon Coburn (lower body), D Jan Rutta (lower body), D Ryan McDonagh (lower body), C Steven Stamkos (lower body) and F Pat Maroon (undisclosed).

When Last We Met

This is the first of two meetings between Calgary and Tampa this season. They close out the season series in mid-March back at the Saddledome.

Know Thy Enemy

Here are some key Twitter peeps to follow for tonight:

Oilers Mike Green out 3-4 weeks with knee injury

Newly obtained Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mike Green will miss out on 3 to four weeks with a knee injury.

The Oilers revealed Friday that Green has actually a sprained MCL. He was hurt in a loss against Vegas on Wednesday.The Oilers obtained

Green in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings early Monday, hours before the NHL’s trade deadline. When he suffered the injury, green was playing his 2nd game with the Oilers. The 34-year-old Calgary local has 3 objectives and eight assists in 50 combined video games with Detroit and Edmonton this season. The Oilers( 33-23-8)entered Friday night’s action holding the final and third playoff

area in the Pacific Division.

CanucksArmy Utica Comets Pre-Game Game 57, Laval Rocket at Utica Comets

Utica Comets Pre-Game

Game #57

Laval Rocket at Utica Comets

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific

The 26-24-5-3 Laval Rocket, (Montreal affiliate) are in town today to take on the 31-20-3-2 Utica Comets at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 Pacific for game number 57 of the season. With 60 points, the Rocket currently hold down the sixth spot in the North Division, while the Comets are in third with 67 points for their season’s work.

Laval shows a record of 3-5-1-1 over their previous 10 contests, while the Comets have gone 6-3-1-0 over that same span. The Comets have won three straight and are coming off of a 7-3 dismantling of the Toronto Marlies. The Rocket, for their part, last played to a 4-2 loss to Rochester.

The Comets have been relatively consistent this season whether they’ve been at home or on the road, showing a record of 16-10-2-1 at home and 15-10-1-1 away from the Adirondack Bank Center. The Rocket, meanwhile, have gone 16-9-2-2 at home while going 10-15-3-1 on the road.

The teams do not look remotely the same in terms of goal differential as the Comets have outscored the competition by a margin of 199-174, leaving them at a plus-25 for their efforts. Laval has been outscored by a count of 177-165 to leave them at minus-12.

The Comets have had the better overall special teams this year, no matter how you slice it. Utica has gone 50/225 on the power play this year, giving them a success rate of 22.2% overall. At home, they have gone 26/119 for a 21.8% success rate. Their penalty kill has allowed 45 goals while down a man 237 times to give them an overall success rate of 81.0%. At home, they have allowed 21 goals while down a man 127 times for a success rate of 83.5%.

The Rocket, for their part, have an overall record of 49/254 on the power play, giving them a success rate of 19.3%. On the road, they have gone 20/129 for a 15.5% success rate. Their penalty kill has allowed 46 goals while down a man 241 times, giving them an overall success rate of 80.9%. On the road, they have allowed 22 goals while down a man 121 times for an 81.8% success rate.

Laval was kind of stripped for parts at the trade deadline this year, between call-ups and trades, they have lost their top three scorers. That leaves newcomer Laurent Dauphin as the club’s current points leader with 12 goals and 13 assists, giving him 25 points in 54 games split between Milwaukee and Laval. Alex Alain sits second with nine goals and 12 helpers, giving him 21 points in 56 games, while Otto Leskinen rounds out their top three with his two goals and 18 assists, putting him at 20 points in 48 games this season.

Jake Lucchini is the team’s rookie leader with seven goals and eight assists, giving him 15 points in 57 games split between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Laval. Brogan Rafferty leads all Comets rookies with seven goals and 34 assists to give himself 41 points in 52 games this year.

Reid Boucher is back in his rightful spot atop the AHL scorer’s list with 31 goals and 32 assists, giving him 63 points in 49 games. Those 63 points represent a new single-season record for the Comets… and for Reid. Boucher’s 32nd assist is a new high for him and his next goal will mark a new high as well. Nikolay Goldobin sits second with 19 goals and 30 assists, giving him 49 points in his 49 games played, while Justin Bailey sits third with 27 goals and 18 assists, good enough for 45 points in 48 games. Bailey scored his 100th pro goal yesterday and matched his career-high of 45 points in the AHL.

Season Series

The two clubs have squared off in five games already this season with the Comets holding a three-games-to-two advantage while outscoring Laval 20-18.

The Comets power play has had success against the Rocket, going 11/25 for a 44% success rate, while they have allowed six goals to Laval while down a man for a success rate of 70%.

This series has been Carter Camper’s world and everyone else is just living in it as he has picked up eight points for his efforts. Reid Boucher has six points, as does Jake Evans, but he is currently up with the Habs. Nikolay Goldobin and Jonah Gadjovich have five each, while eight others have picked up four points along the way.

In net, the Comets have used Mikey DiPietro and Zane McIntyre, while Charlie Lindgren, Michael McNiven, and Cayden Primeau have all suited up for the Rocket.

DiPietro shows a record of 2-0-1 while putting up a goals-against-average of 2.99 along with a save percentage of 0.919%. McIntyre managed a record of 1-1-0 while putting up a GAA of 4.50 and a save percentage of 0.845%.

Lindgren has gone 0-1-0 with a 3.07 GAA and a save percentage of 0.880%, while McNiven shows a record of 1-0-0 with a 3.95 GAA and 0.886% save percentage. Primeau, for his part, has gone 1-2-0 while putting up a 4.11 GAA and a save percentage of 0.831%.

Scratched Last Game For Utica

  1. Vincent Arseneau: LW/RW – Lower-body injury, (hip surgery) out for the season, AHL deal.
  2. David Pope: LW/RW – Upper-body injury, day-to-day. NHL deal.
  3. Tyler Graovac: C – Lower-body injury, (broken foot) day-to-day. NHL deal.
  4. Lukas Jasek: C/W – Undisclosed injury, no timeframe. NHL deal.
  5. Carter Bancks: W/C – Veteran scratch. AHL deal.
  6. Matt Petgrave: LD – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.
  7. Stefan LeBlanc: LD/W – Healthy scratch. AHL deal.

The two clubs will get after it today in Utica at 7:00 pm Eastern/4:00 pm Pacific. As always, stay tuned for your CanucksArmy Post-Game Report following today’s action.

 

Red Wings at Senators 022920 Odds and NHL Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post

The Detroit Red Wings are 3-17-1 over their last 21 games including a 1-8 skid over their last nine games. The Red Wings will try to snap a four-game losing streak when they visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

Detroit is a +155 road underdog on the NHL odds in Ottawa at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Senators (-175) are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games against the Red Wings including a 3-2 loss in their last meeting.

Red Wings at Senators | OddsShark Matchup Report

The Red Wings dropped their fourth game in a row in disastrous fashion on Thursday night, losing by a final score of 7-1 on the road against the Minnesota Wild. Detroit has been outscored 19 to five over this four-game losing streak and 35 to 12 over its last eight games. The offensively-challenged Red Wings have scored exactly one goal in six of those eight games and on the season now sit at 1.97 goals per game; a full half-goal worse than the 30th ranked Los Angeles Kings (2.47 goals per game).

In their last 19 games with two goals or less on offense, the Red Wings are 0-19 on the moneyline.

Ottawa ranks third-worst in the NHL in the standings with 56 points (22-31-12), third-worst in goals against (3.32 per game), and sixth-worst in offensive production (2.68 goals per game). But against a Red Wings squad that ranks comfortably dead last in all three of these categories, the Senators are a betting favorite for the first time in their last 13 games. In 10 instances as a favorite this season, Ottawa hasn’t fared well with a 2-4-4 record.

Saturday night’s total is set at six goals at sports betting sites. The UNDER is 7-1 in the last eight games between the Red Wings and Senators.

Games Detroit has a realistic shot at winning are few and far between down the stretch. This is one of those rare instances where the Red Wings have a chance, but it’ll take a much better effort on offense than what we’ve seen of late. Giving up less than four goals for a change wouldn’t hurt, either.

Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for analysis on this week’s top games. As well, the OddsShark Computer serves up daily NHL picks for bettors.

WGD 67 Three things to watch for against Ottawa

The Detroit Red Wings continue their home-stand today against the Atlantic Division rival Ottawa Senators in a match up of two teams near the bottom of the NHL standings. With now less than 18 games and just about one month remaining in the NHL season, things are getting down to the very end. As always, we have lines and three things to watch for in today’s preview:

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

Filip Hronek is back on defense for the Red Wings after missing time with a head injury and that’s a massive gain for the Red Wings blue-line. Sam Gagner has now slotted onto the second line for Detroit, more or less taking the spot of Andreas Athanasiou. I would expect Jonathan Bernier in net tonight after the meltdown Jimmy Howard had on Thursday against Minnesota.

Ottawa Senators

Michigan Hockey fans are very familiar with Josh Norris. The young hot-shot center prospect is now anchoring Ottawa’s top line after a monster AHL season. Bobby Ryan slots in on the wing, and is the talk of the NHL after his hat trick a couple nights ago.

Three Thoughts

1.) Maybe don’t give up 7 goals?

This is the third preview I’ve written in less than a week and I continually feel like the poor social media interns who have to come up with three “keys to the game” for each Red Wings game that get posted on Twitter and Instagram.

The first thing to watch for is the reasonable hope that perhaps Detroit will not surrender 7 goals like they did on Thursday against Minnesota. The defense has been bad all season long but it has only gotten worse, giving up four or more goals in four straight games and in seven of the last eight. So let’s just call it a victory if somehow Detroit doesn’t surrender four or more goals this time out.

2.) Fresh faces

Sam Gagner has now played one game in a Red Wings uniform and Cody Goloubef has now played two. While the most interesting acquisition, Dmytro Timashov, is still dealing with visa-related issues, these two players are at least something to watch in that they are new to the team. Neither have had a big impact yet, and neither are expected to, but again, we’re looking for small points of intrigue here.

Goloubef has logged 160 career games on four different teams as a journeyman type, while Sam Gagner is a proud member of the He Used To Be Good hall of fame. A former consistent 40+ point middle six forward, he’s now on his sixth team and has just 25 points combined over the last two seasons. On the wrong side of 30, Gagner is looking to re-start his career and hopefully show something in the final 15 games in Detroit that could allow him to weasel back onto a contender in the near future.

3.) Mantha back in the groove?

Anthony Mantha’s goal on Thursday was the lone bright spot in the abysmal 7-1 loss to the Wild. With the season now entering the final stretch run, the Wings would like to see the oft-injured Mantha return to the 40 goal pace he was on pre-injury, giving them a reminder of the talent they do still have on the roster. Mantha’s combination of skill, size, and wrist shot make him such a dangerous goal-scorer, he just needs to stay healthy. He failed to do that again this year, but another strong close to the season like he had last year could rejuvenate optimism about Mantha as we head into another long offseason.

WWYDWFE Bringing back the scratch tickets

In Ken Holland’s first summer at the helm of the Edmonton Oilers, he invested in a bunch of cheap scratch tickets in search of hidden gems to fill up the roster.

Given the fact Holland had very little room financially to work with, he avoided making even a medium-sized splash in free agency, instead opting to raise the floor of the roster with solid depth contributors. Holland added Joakim Nygard, Gaetan Haas, Markus Granlund, Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald, Tomas Jurco, and Mike Smith on one-year deals, giving the roster some much-needed depth.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday FRIDAY EDITION question. With the Oilers still in a fairly tight space financially, which of Holland’s scratch tickets would you bring back next season?

Joakim Nygard has already been given a one-year extension worth $875,000. The Swedish winger didn’t produce much offensively, but he added some much-needed speed to the Oilers’ lineup and was effective in a checking role at even strength.

Gaetan Haas, Holland’s other professional European signing, has also been very quietly effective for the Oilers this season. His five goals and 10 points aren’t eye-popping, but he has a positive shot differential at even strength and is just barely in the red in terms of goal differential. Like Nygard, Haas adds speed to the bottom-six, which is key in the modern NHL.

Markus Granlund has been a major disappointment for the Oilers so far. It wasn’t that long ago Granlund posted 19 goals playing with the Sedin twins, so there was some optimism he could be a fit alongside Connor McDavid. Instead, Granlund has mustered just four points and cleared waivers to be sent to the AHL. If he isn’t producing offence, he isn’t doing much. It’s hard to imagine Granlund will have another NHL gig next year.

Tomas Jurco is a name Holland is familiar with from his time in Detroit. Holland drafted Jurco with the 35th overall pick in the 2011 draft and while the Slovakian winger has been excellent at the AHL level, he’s never been able to translate it to the NHL game. Jurco’s season has been derailed due to injury as he had hip surgery back in December and it’s reasonable to assume he won’t play again this year. I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing Jurco back as AHL depth, but it’s hard to imagine him breaking out as an NHL player at this point.

Riley Sheahan is another one of Holland’s former Red Wings. Drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft, Sheahan has carved out a career as a defensive centre and penalty kill specialist. His penalty killing alone has been a massive boon for the Oilers, as he and Josh Archibald have played a key role in Edmonton going from one of the worst penalty kills in the league last year to one of the best this year.

Josh Archibald was also brought in to help fix Edmonton’s penalty kill. As I said above, he and Sheahan have had a massive impact on improving the Oilers’ penalty kill, but Archibald has also shown the versatility to move up the lineup at even strength. Archibald has filled in for Zack Kassian on the McDavid line in the past and didn’t look out of place at all. He’s scored 10 goals this year, eight at even strength and two shorthanded.

Mike Smith was a controversial signing given his age and his ugly 2018-19 season in Calgary, but it made sense given his familiarity with head coach Dave Tippett. Smith has been on and off this year for the Oilers, putting together some good stretches along with some bad ones. All told, he has a .903 save percentage through 35 games played.

Tyler Ennis was a trade deadline addition that cost Holland virtually nothing. The local Edmonton product scored a goal and an assist in his first game with the club and didn’t look out of place alongside McDavid. He has 35 points in 63 games this year, his best total since his days as a key player in Buffalo.

Mike Green was Holland’s other deadline rental. He was having a miserable season with the tanking Red Wings, but Green has looked revitalized as an Oiler, though its only been a couple of games. He’s nowhere near the elite offensive defenceman he used to be, but Green, who turns 35 in October, can still help as a veteran depth defender.

So, which of these scratch tickets would you want to see back next season? Sheahan and Archibald seem like no-brainers to me because of how effective they’ve been on the penalty kill. Haas, like Nygard, is very solid depth at a cheap price. Granlund is easy to wave goodbye to and Jurco could go either way for me. It’s hard to say how much more Smith has in the tank but none of Edmonton’s AHL goalies seem ready for an opportunity just yet. We’ll have to see more of the deadline additions, but I’ve always viewed Ennis as a nice fit for the Oilers.

Ultimately, what it comes down to with all of these guys is the price. An issue Holland has had in the past is overpaying for depth players. If you look at Detroit’s salary cap picture, you’ll see names like Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm bogging them down. Overpaying a depth guy by $750k might not seem like very much, but it all adds up. If you slightly overpay your entire bottom-six, you slowly lose out on $3 or $4 million to possibly add an impact player.

What say you, Nation? Which scratch tickets would you bring back? How high would you go on contracts? Would you offer any of them multi-year deals? Or should Holland continue with the one-year, show-me deals? 

Discover Jasper this Winter

With the landscape sparkling and the fireplaces at their coziest, there’s no better time to experience Jasper than in winter. Dust off your skis and snowboards and gather some friends as Marmot Basin is opening this Friday, November 8th. Check out the Escape Card for half price lift passes all season long! Whether you prefer a calm and cozy night next to a fireplace or yearn to see the mountainous backcountry without breaking a hip, you’ll find a winter activity that’s right up your alley.

Leafs vs Panthers tonight has massive playoff implications

The Leafs needed a bounceback, statement, character, whatever kind of win you want to call it in the worst way on Tuesday against the Lightning. They got it. But while that was a game to feel great about for a couple days, the reward for it is the setup for tonight’s monster game against the Panthers – the only team really chasing and capable of catching the Leafs to bump them out of the playoffs.

How much is on the line tonight? About as much as a regular season game can possibly be worth at this stage in the schedule. MoneyPuck.com has as much as a twenty percent swing in playoff chances for either team. Truly bonkers. Thankfully they also project the Leafs as road favourites in this game with a 53% win probability. I’m sure that will ease everyone’s mind. Image

It might seem like this season has been going off the rails for Toronto, and to a point that’s true, but with the playoff seeding set up as it is, their cutoff to get in is going to be on the low side. Going into this evening, the Leafs are projected to hit 95 points on the season by Micah Blake McCurdy’s HockeyViz model. The Panthers? Around 94. Whichever team edges out the other is going to nab that three spot.

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There are stressful times ahead, no doubt, but the Leafs can do themselves an enormous help to punch their ticket with a win tonight, preferably within 60-minutes.

Of course, they’re going to have to do it with a skeleton crew on the back end. The injury to Muzzin on Tuesday puts them in a bind on the left side for at least a couple more weeks until Rielly is set to return. If there was ever a time for Travis Dermott to step up and become a true top four mainstay like people have projected the last couple years, now would be convenient.

Here’s how the lineup looks against Florida, via Daily Faceoff.

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#37 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#7 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 77.0#10 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.99#4 FL1
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.2#16 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 78.3#14 C

Denis Malgin
DENIS MALGIN

Rating: 69.5#134 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.68#8 FL2
Pierre Engvall
PIERRE ENGVALL

Rating: 71.7#90 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 71.7#89 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 72.2#77 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.84#15 FL3
Kyle Clifford
KYLE CLIFFORD

Rating: 70.4#114 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 68.1#156 C

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 70.6#112 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.72#26 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.4#91 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 71.8#73 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 71.58#28 DL1
Rasmus Sandin
RASMUS SANDIN

Rating: 72.4#64 LD

Tyson Barrie
TYSON BARRIE

Rating: 75.3#20 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.85#12 DL2
Martin Marincin
MARTIN MARINCIN

Rating: 70.9#103 LD

Timothy Liljegren
TIMOTHY LILJEGREN

Rating: 72.7#56 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.82#17 DL3

Andersen will get the start, and that news definitely isn’t as alarming as it has been in recent weeks given how he looked against the Lightning on Tuesday. But he’ll be up against Bobrovsky, who’s been doing his own off-and-on act over the course of the season – they’ve both been wildly inconsistent. This game might hinge on whichever goalie doesn’t fall back into those earlier ruts.


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