Very little has gone right for the Edmonton Oilers this season, but at least they’ll get some much needed reinforcements for Tuesday’s game against Florida.
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk will have an opportunity to turn his season around now that he’s recovered from an ankle injury. They’ll also get back 37-year-old forward Ryan Smyth (groin), who is projected to play alongside Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner.
“We need Smytty in the lineup right now,” Oilers coach Dallas Eakins told the Edmonton Sun. “When things are not going great, you look to experience and leadership.
“The more guys like that we can have in the room, the better. So he will definitely calm the storm and helpfully be able to pick up some of our guys and hopefully give them some confidence.”
Leading the Oilers out of their current rut will be a sizable task. They’ve lost five straight games, dropping their record to 3-10-2 this season. They’re six points behind the next worst team in the Western Conference and tied for 29th in the league overall.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.