Author: James O'Brien

Justin Schultz
AP

Justin Schultz returns to Oilers’ lineup

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It may be too late for a playoff run, but the Edmonton Oilers could at least be in a position to finish the season on a strong note.

The reason is simple enough: they’re getting injured players back in February. Connor McDavid is the obvious headliner, but another noteworthy Oiler is back on Thursday, as defenseman Justin Schultz returns to the lineup.

Again, it’s not an addition on the same level. Despite coming in to Edmonton with hype of his own, Schultz has produced mixed results … maybe at best.

Still, it gives you a better idea of a full-strength version of the 2015-16 Edmonton Oilers, even if noteworthy omissions remain.

Here are the full lineup tweaks for Edmonton’s game against the Ottawa Senators:

WATCH LIVE: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, celebrates his goal with teammates in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, in Washington. The Capitals won 5-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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There’s a popular Washington Capitals blogged titled Russian Machine Never Breaks for a reason: Alex Ovechkin rarely misses a game. Even with a physical style that sometimes gets him in trouble.

We only get so many chances to watch the unparalleled sniper after he’s received about a week of rest in the middle of a season, so it should be interesting to see how he fares against the New York Islanders on Thursday.

You can watch the game on NBCSN and also stream it via the link below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

PHT Morning Skate: Could Byfuglien beef up the Kings?

Dustin Byfuglien
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Los Angeles Kings are already a tough team to deal with. Imagine if they add Dustin Byfuglien to their beefy bunch. (TSN’s Insiders)

In case you didn’t notice, Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo seem like they’re on pretty good terms these days. (Puck Daddy)

Johnny Gaudreau elbowed in on “Johnny Football,” now he might join Marshawn Lynch in being linked with Skittles. (Sportsnet)

These 30 players could spice up the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. (The Hockey News)

Yeah, that Connor McDavid goal was something else. Here’s a collection of people raving about it. (TSN’s BarDown)

A retrospective on Shayne Corson’s career. (Greatest Hockey Legends)

P.A. Parenteau scored the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first overtime goal of 2015-16 last night. Feast your eyes on it:

Stay healthy, Connor McDavid

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) skates during the warm up before taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets in an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.  (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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Connor McDavid‘s return was successful, and it was glorious. Let’s agree not to let him miss months with an injury again, then.

Simply put, the hockey world is a better place with a healthy McDavid. Here are some helpful tips to avoid excessive McDavid absences:

McDavid: Try not to block shots (see: Ryan Hugent-Hopkins) or foolishly drop the gloves (learn from Taylor Hall).

Oilers head coach Todd McLellan: Don’t ask McDavid to block shots. Watch RNH’s injury in an endless loop if that’s what it takes.

Teammates: Maybe go for finesse over power if you’re aiming your shots in McDavid’s general direction. Also, don’t bump into him or check him in practice. Sheesh.

Opponents: Hey, if you want to take a little off those checks you deliver, that would be great.

Pests: You know that terrible/annoying/terrible-and-annoying thing you were planning for McDavid? Don’t do that.

Department of Player Safety: If someone takes liberties with McDavid … well, you know what to do.

/Hatches some conspiracy theories in advance

Fans: Try not to get him sick while asking for autographs. Maybe wash your hands first?

***

Honestly, even Calgary Flames fans should root for a hearty, healthy career for McDavid. It’s just the right thing to do.

Seriously though, do we really want to miss out on more of this?

Darcy Regier leaves Coyotes assistant GM post for ‘personal reasons’

regiergetty
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona Coyotes senior vice president and assistant general manager Darcy Regier is leaving the team for personal reasons.

The team confirmed Regier’s departure during a game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings.

Regier was hired by Arizona in July 2014 after 17 seasons as Buffalo Sabres general manager. He is the highest ranking of three Arizona assistant general managers, including Chris O’Hearn (hockey operations) and John Chayka (analytics).

Regier is also the general manager of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. The Coyotes had no further comment.