Last night, the Edmonton Oilers lost their sixth straight game, a 6-0 shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues.
For a team that’s lost a lot this season, seeing the streak run to six games is a new low. The Oilers have had three separate five-game losing skids, but this is the first time a streak has gone past that and for first year head coach Dallas Eakins he’s had about enough of it.
“I’ve had enough misery already,” Eakins said. “There has to be a change in the commitment level and accountability.”
Any rookie coach dealing with a losing situation is going to find things difficult, but the issues with the Oilers are something else. If this keeps up, we’re all going to wind up feeling real bad for the guy, especially since the talent level of the team shows that they should be much better than this.
Yet here we are looking at the likelihood of the Oilers missing the playoffs for the eighth season in a row.
Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin has been starting to get noticed more by fans and media around the league of late. He’s also getting the attention of some of the league’s biggest name players as well.
New Jersey Devils star, and future Hall of Famer, Jaromir Jagr was asked about Nichushkin and couldn’t help but gush over his play of late as Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice shared.
“Maybe it was his best three games I watched, but I said, ‘This guy is going to be the best in the world one day,'” Jagr said.
Jagr said Nichushkin is the one rookie that has impressed him the most this season. He also says he’s never seen an 18-year-old physically dominate in games the way Nichushkin did in the games he watched.
When you consider the kind of force Jagr was when he arrived on the scene with the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1990-91 as an 18-year-old, that kind of praise isn’t being thrown around lightly.
Nichushkin has had praise like this already this season when teammate and captain Jamie Benn compared him to Evgeni Malkin. Hearing it from a guy of Jagr’s caliber may carry a bit more clout.
If Nichushkin fulfills Jagr’s prophecy one day as the best player in the world, we can at least know that we were warned in advance.
While the Los Angeles Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night, they had to do it for most of the game without captain Dustin Brown.
Brown was given a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct for his hit on Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl. Hertl left the game and did not return.
As could be expected, Kings coach Darryl Sutter didn’t agree with call and said as much following the game as Jon Rosen of L.A. Kings Insider shares.
“You lose a player for almost the whole game when you’re in this type of schedule – that is not the right call. Clear. No more questions about it. I saw it live and I saw two or three replays. It’s not the right call.”
Unsurprisingly, Sharks coach Todd McLellan didn’t share the same viewpoint but said it was up to the NHL Department of Player Safety to decide how bad it was.
Brown has a bit of a history with bad hits around the knee. His hit on then Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michal Rozsival during Game 5 of the 2012 Western Conference Final left Coyotes players and fans alike furious over the lack of call or league discipline for the hit.