–The Oilers decided to keep Jesse Puljujarvi on their roster this season, but is that the right decision? He’s been a healthy scratch in three straight games, and even though he’s burned the first year of his entry-level contract, there’s still reasons to send him down to the AHL or Europe. (Edmonton Journal)
–The NHL season is almost two months old, but there are still some players that aren’t producing as much as we expected. The Hockey News looks at five players that aren’t living up to expectations right now. (The Hockey News)
–When we think of this year’s top rookies, we think of guys like Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Mitch Marner, but Carolina’s Sebastian Aho tends to fly under the radar. “He’s got a lot of skill, and he’s pretty smart and shifty. It’s not easy to come into this league and play well, and I think he’s done a pretty good job. Coming in and being able to handle the NHL at that age is impressive,” ‘Canes defenseman Justin Faulk said of Aho. (Sports Illustrated)
–Canadiens forwards Michael McCarron and Artturi Lehkonen go head-to-head in a “cookie race”. The first player to get a cookie from their forehead to their mouth (without using their hands) wins. (Top)
–You probably don’t think of Alabama-Huntsville as a hockey factory, but they’ve produced an NHLer and their program is improving. “Not too many people can believe the route that I took, but I wouldn’t change it. I hope that anything that I’ve been doing at this level is helping out that program,” said Oilers goalie Cam Talbot. (New York Times)
–On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated the 25th anniversary of their 1991 Stanley Cup victory. It was a big deal. Unfortunately, Jaromir Jagr couldn’t attend the event, but he had a pretty good reason. (NHL)
That, according to McDavid, was a surprising development because, he said, he felt fine.
McDavid was tripped during the second period. As he fell to the ice, McDavid smacked his face on the ice and was in discomfort as he got up. Shortly after, he was removed from the game and put through protocol. He did return for the third period, but the Oilers lost in overtime.
“Yeah, I was pretty shocked, to be honest,” said McDavid.
“I hit my mouth on the ice. You reach up and grab your mouth when you get hit in the mouth. I think that’s a pretty normal thing. Obviously the spotter knew how I was feeling.
“Sh***y time of the game, too, I guess. It’s a little bit of a partial five-on-three and a power play late in the second period where if you capitalize, it could change the game.”
True. Because the Oilers did get a brief five-on-three in that second period, with the game tied at a goal apiece.
But the potential threat of a concussion to any player, not just its young star and top point producer, is something the league must take seriously, especially given the complex nature of such injuries.
“I don’t write the rules,” said coach Todd McLellan.
“We abide by them. It’s compounded when you have a five-on-three and you lose arguably one of the best players in the world. For me, I understand and I get and I support the attention that’s being paid to head injuries. It’s … sometimes it’s the inconsistency that’s a little bit frustrating. Ryan Kesler went down the other day and he went down pretty hard. No one wants to see that, even with an opponent, but there wasn’t a call from anywhere. But it’s there for a reason and we have to live with it.”
This hasn’t been a great weekend for the Chicago Blackhawks.
They lost on Saturday and lost again on Sunday, as the Winnipeg Jets came into Chicago and, thanks to a late goal from Andrew Copp, left with a 2-1 victory. The Blackhawks didn’t have Jonathan Toews in the lineup, as their captain remains out with an injury.
The news wasn’t particularly promising Sunday. Toews, who has four goals and 12 points in 21 games this season, is being kept off the ice for the next few days, because his injury isn’t improving.
“When you’re missing a guy right away for a couple of games, it may not really show up and guys are excited to get that chance. The longer you go, missing a great player, there’s going to be a hole,” Patrick Kane told CSN Chicago.
“Nothing we can control. It’s something guys like myself and other guys have to step up and try to [help], whether it’s taking on more ownership and leadership, playing the right way and do whatever you can to help this team win.”
The Blackhawks have been kept to two or fewer goals in four of their last five games. They haven’t scored a power play goal in the last five games, going 0-for-13 in that stretch.
In addition to missing Toews, the Blackhawks are also without goalie Corey Crawford for two to three weeks.
This is a difficult stretch they’re going through.
“Well, you certainly miss his presence in all aspects of your team game, his leadership as well, as good as anybody that’s played,” coach Joel Quenneville said of Toews. “You use all those important minutes.”
Connor McDavid is going through the league’s concussion protocol, according to multiple reports during Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
Per Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun, McDavid was ordered to undergo the protocol after falling to the ice when he got tangled up with Jared Spurgeon. As McDavid fell to the ice, his face hit hard and he appeared in immediate discomfort.
McDavid held the NHL lead with 34 points in 26 games coming into Sunday’s contest.
Updated: McDavid has returned to the Oilers bench to begin the third period.