The Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers might be in similar situations big picture-wise, but one could be forgiven for believing that they were two teams going in different directions on Saturday.
With Winnipeg’s 3-2 OT win, the Jets have now won three straight games under new (interim?) head coach Paul Maurice. On the other end of the spectrum, the Oilers’ changes haven’t netted impressive results yet, as their losing streak is at four games and they only have two wins since Dec. 28.
The simple and fancy stats seem pretty ugly for the Oilers.
The biggest insult of the day might be that Winnipeg’s young players stepped up a bit more than Edmonton’s much-ballyhooed bunch. Jordan Eberle made it 1-0 and David Perron secured the Oilers an eventual charity point with his 18th goal with just two minutes left in the game, but it was Jacob Trouba (two goals, including the OT-winner) and red-hot rookie forward Mark Scheifele who made the biggest difference.
Here’s video of Trouba’s clinching tally:
Blake Wheeler obviously deserves plenty of credit, as that clip above showed off one of his two assists.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.