It’s not always easy for Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney but he’ll be back in the lineup tonight.
Whitney’s time in Edmonton has been marred by numerous injuries and his start to this season has been no different as he’s played in just four games. All this coming off a season that saw him play just 35 games last year. Whitney’s return couldn’t come at a better time for Edmonton as they’ve been dealing with a host of injuries to their blue line.
As Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports, coach Tom Renney is keeping his return in perspective.
“We’ll have to be patient with how we deploy him. We’re at the quarter pole of the season and the guys are all up and running, but Whit isn’t.”
In Whitney’s short time playing last season, he piled up 27 points in those 35 games and having him rejoin an Oilers team that’s scoring goals in bunches, Oilers fans should be all tingly about seeing Whitney come back to anchor their defense. They should enjoy the ride while it lasts as Whitney has had a black cloud hanging over him since joining the Oilers.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: