<span class="vcard">Jason Brough</span>

Roy doesn’t think he’s wrong to be so optimistic about the Avs

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Patrick Roy knows there are Colorado Avalanche fans who would like him to be a little tougher on his players, and not so darn positive all the time.

But even with a record of 2-5-1, and even with the worst puck-possession numbers in the league, he really, truly doesn’t believe it’s been that bad.

“I’m looking at all our games we’ve played so far, and out of our eight games, (in) seven of them we were either ahead, even, or one goal down…only two times we were two goals down in those seven games,” Roy told 104.3 The Fan this morning ahead of tonight’s game in Tampa Bay.

So, essentially, his argument is that the Avs have kept things close. For the most part.

Roy also said he isn’t worried that his players have tuned him out, and he defended the structure that the Avs employ.

And no, he doesn’t worry about getting fired.

“I’m not nervous about that at all,” he said.

Give the interview a listen here:

Justin Schultz out 2-4 weeks; Draisaitl on line with Hall and RNH

Darren Helm, Justin Schultz

Edmonton defenseman Justin Schultz will be sidelined 2-4 weeks with a back injury, the Oilers announced today.

Schultz was hurt Sunday and missed Tuesday’s loss in Minnesota. The 25-year-old offensive specialist has just one assist in nine games while logging an average of 21:47 in ice time.

The Oilers are also without defenseman Griffin Reinhart due to injury. Darnell Nurse was called up to play Tuesday and proceeded to score a goal against the Wild.

The blue line is not the only area that’s been hit by injuries. In addition to Schultz and Reinhart, forwards Jordan Eberle, Matt Hendricks, and Rob Klinkhammer are all on injured reserve.

The Oilers called up young Leon Draisaitl this morning. He’s expected to be in the lineup tonight versus Montreal, playing the wing on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

“We wanted Leon down there more gaining experience but because of how deep we are injury-wise, he’s the next forward to come up and he’ll play with two very good players tonight,” coach Todd McLellan told reporters.

“This will be a good evaluation tool for Leon as it was for Darnell (Nurse) when we called him back and he played in Minnesota.”

Related: Where does Draisaitl fit?

Boudreau does the playoff math, and it’s no ‘easy task’ for Ducks

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At 1-6-2, the Anaheim Ducks have already dug a sizable hole in the race for a playoff spot. Tonight in St. Louis, they need a win, and badly.

“The level of urgency is as high as you can be,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks’ website. “There are only so many points on the table in 82 games. You have to start putting games together. If you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that’s 47 wins for us right now. That’s not an easy task.”

To match the 45-30-7 record the Flames squeaked into the playoffs with last year, the Ducks would need to go 44-24-5 over 73 games.

That’s why Boudreau’s seat is as warm as it’s been during his time in Anaheim. Another loss tonight and all eyes will be on GM Bob Murray.

The Ducks return home after tonight’s game. They host Nashville on Sunday.

Goalie nods: Miller to make 10th straight start for Canucks

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Back in September, Canucks GM Jim Benning said of Ryan Miller: “Some people look at his age, but I think he’s going to be real good for us this year.”

It’s still early, but so far Benning has been proven correct — Miller has been very good, starting all nine games for the Canucks and registering a save percentage of .930.

With backup Jacob Markstrom still not ready to return from injury, the 35-year-old will start once again tonight in Dallas. The Canucks’ temporary backup is Richard Bachman, who may or may not get the nod tomorrow in Arizona.

Only Vancouver and Pittsburgh have used just one goalie in 2015-16. And as you’ll see below, Marc-Andre Fleury‘s streak will come to an end tonight.

Antti Niemi will start for Dallas.

Elsewhere…

Jeff Zatkoff will make his season debut for Pittsburgh, versus Chad Johnson for Buffalo.

Eddie Lack will get his third start for Carolina, going up against Isles backup Thomas Greiss in Brooklyn.

Cory Schneider for New Jersey. Steve Mason for Philadelphia.

Semyon Varlamov for Colorado. Ben Bishop for Tampa Bay.

Frederik Andersen for Anaheim. Jake Allen for St. Louis.

Carey Price for Montreal. Cam Talbot for Edmonton.

Corey Crawford for Chicago. Michael Hutchinson for Winnipeg.

Johansen is back, but now Saad is sick

Brandon Saad, Ryan Johansen
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Ryan Johansen is back and feeling “100 percent.”

Of course, these are the Blue Jackets so it can’t be all good news.

It’s not.

Brandon Saad is sick — reportedly with a “stomach flu-type ailment” — and won’t play Friday in Washington.

But hey, at least Johansen is back.

“It’s good to be back out there with the guys,” he told the Jackets’ website after practicing Thursday. “(The recovery) was just taking care of your body: all the little things, nutrients, fluids, and do everything you can to get yourself ready to play.”

Johansen has yet to be in the lineup for a Columbus win in 2015-16. He missed the last two games with an illness; they were the only Jacket victories of the season.