The Oilers got more bad news on the injury front on Monday, as alternate captain Ryan Smyth returned to Edmonton with one game remaining on the club’s Eastern road swing.
Smyth, 37, appeared to be hurt at some point during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Ottawa, a game in which fellow Oiler Taylor Hall also left after a knee-on-knee collision with Sens defenseman Eric Gryba.
Hall has already been flown back to Edmonton for a MRI; it’s unclear what Smyth has returned for, as the club only said he’ll be looked at by its medical staff.
Smyth was a healthy scratch earlier in the season but had picked up his game lately. The veteran winger scored three goals in back-to-back games against Montreal and Toronto last week and had nine shots on goal in his last two games, against the Isles and Sens.
Edmonton finishes its three-game roadie on Tuesday against Montreal. The club has recalled forward Tyler Pitlick from AHL Oklahoma City to fill the voids left by Smyth and Hall.
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: