“You lose a guy like Kopi, he’s easily one of the best players in the world. You’re not going to replace a guy like that, so everyone’s just got to pick up their own game and pick up a little bit of slack. Obviously we miss him, but hopefully he’ll be back soon.”
Video: McDavid snaps scoring drought with a little help from Stars’ Klingberg
Connor McDavid has snapped his scoring drought, which had reached 10 games prior to Saturday. And while it wasn’t the prettiest goal, he’ll take it. So will the Edmonton Oilers, looking to snap a five-game losing skid.
Looking to make a pass in front of the Dallas Stars net, McDavid tried to send the puck across to an open Milan Lucic, who was looking for the one-timer.
The puck never made it to Lucic. Instead, it was deflected into an open net by Stars’ defenseman John Klingberg, giving the Oilers a 1-0 lead early in the first period.
“His best play came after some penalty problems (earlier this season). We delivered a stern message and he responded really well. He’s given us what he can but the timing, the reading, the reacting, not much is getting done for Benny. He needs to take a breather,” coach Todd McLellan said of his decision to remove Pouliot from the lineup.
“It’s hard putting three players in at the same time but we need a jolt. I think it’s a little much to expect them to lead us to the winning Wonderland but they can have an impact because they’re fresh.”
After a strong start, the Oilers have lost five in a row.
They’re still second in the Pacific Division, but McLellan will provide another shake-up for his team with some lineup changes for Saturday’s contest with the Dallas Stars.
Caggiula, the reigning NCAA Frozen Four most outstanding player that signed with the Oilers when his college career ended, has yet to play a game this season due to a hip injury suffered in pre-season.
“It was a more severe injury that we thought,” said Caggiula. “I skated two or three days after it and felt good, but the day before opening night, I fell on the ice and tweaked it. Another look at it and it was worse.”
Rangers rookie Buchnevich might be dealing with more than just back spasms
“Right now we’re going to have our doctors take a good look at him. This obviously might be more than just back spasms. We’re going to take a look at this and we’ll come up with a plan and I’ll share that plan with you.”
The Rangers have been one of the big stories in the NHL so far this season. They’ve averaged a league-leading 4.11 goals-for per game, which is well ahead of second-place Columbus in that category.
Buchnevich didn’t waste any time becoming a contributor to that high-powered offense.
In 10 games, he has recorded eight points. He had a scoring streak of four straight games before coming out of the lineup due to his ailing back, and his possession numbers (55.6 per cent Corsi For) have been strong through 120 minutes at five-on-five.
The Rangers will look to rebound from a 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets on Friday, as their schedule enters a difficult stretch next week.
They host the Florida Panthers on Sunday, then travel to Pittsburgh to play Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Monday. The Rangers and Penguins meet again Wednesday in New York.
On Monday, the 2016 class was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s a night of many emotions for those who are honored, as well as their families.
The focus will soon shift to who should be in the Hall of Fame next year.
— Teemu Selanne enters his first year of eligibility. He certainly has the credentials, with 684 career goals and 1,457 points. He’s an Olympic medalist and a Stanley Cup champion. He began his NHL career with a bang, scoring 76 goals — a remarkable achievement that may never be broken.
— Daniel Alfredsson enters his first year of eligibility. He’s never won the Stanley Cup, but he is an Olympic champion, with 1,246 regular season games, 444 goals and 1,157 points in his career. That’s quite impressive for a sixth-round draft pick. He played 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators and one season with the Detroit Red Wings.
— Dave Andreychuk enters his ninth year of eligibility. He captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004 and played 1,639 games in the NHL. He ranks 14th all-time in goals with 640. He’s accumulated 1,338 points over his lengthy career.
Now, have your say. Choose up to four players, the maximum number of NHLers for an annual Hockey Hall of Fame class. For write-in suggestions, put those in the comments section.