The last time Edmonton and Colorado met, the Oilers handed the Avs their worst loss of the season — a 8-2 thumping in which the Oil poured it on at the end, scoring twice in the final 90 seconds.
In light of that, Dallas Eakins is preparing for more fight out of the Avs when they host his team at the Pepsi Center on Thursday.
“They’re going to be looking for redemption,” Eakins said, as per the Oilers’ Twitter account. “We have to prevent them from doing that.”
One player definitely seeking redemption is Semyon Varlamov. The Avs goalie was on the hook for all eight goals in the aforementioned blowout and will get the start tonight.
Another guy to keep an eye on is Colorado head coach Patrick Roy. He was remarkably composed following the loss to the Oilers, saying “I’m not disappointed at all” and “we need to learn from it.” He also didn’t think much of leaving Varlamov in for all eight goals, as the Avs had a game the next night in Calgary with backup JS Giguere scheduled to start.
In fact, Roy doesn’t seem fired up for tonight’s “grudge match” much at all.
“It’s hard not to think about it, but it’s not something I’ve brought up,” he told Sportsnet’s Gene Principe. “I’m not worried about revenge.”
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.