Edmonton’s Taylor Hall may have been one of the league’s best left wings last season, but he may be starting this season out at center.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will miss most of October rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder and the team will try out Hall and Sam Gagner as their top two centers.
Hall playing center isn’t a totally new thing. He’s done it in a pinch the last two seasons and has even had some success at winning faceoffs. Of course, it’s not the ideal place for him as he was one of the top point producers on the left wing last year with 50 points in 45 games. Taking a player like that out of their best position isn’t optimal.
The key part for Edmonton out of this, however, is that Nugent-Hopkins comes back at 100-percent. Rushing him back to action won’t do him or his shoulder any favors.
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: