Tag: Viktor Fasth

Edmonton Oilers v Colorado Avalanche

Hot Oilers trying to prove they’re moving in right direction


Back in December, Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish got a little heated while trying to defend the woeful Oilers. Less than a week later head coach Dallas Eakins was fired. Edmonton didn’t see an immediate or dramatic uptick once Todd Nelson took over as the team’s bench boss, but they have an opportunity to finish on a high note thanks to their current 5-1-1 stretch.

“First and foremost, it’s a pride thing, so it doesn’t matter where you are in the standings, losing is never fun. There are a lot of guys playing for contracts, playing for a lot of different things,” goaltender Richard Bachman noted to the Edmonton Journal. “We want to show people we are coming together as a team and that we are trending in the right direction.”

Bachman, along with fellow Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth, is among those that are scheduled to test the unrestricted free agent waters this summer. There certainly are plenty of players on Edmonton playing for contracts or trying to make a strong impression to help themselves ahead of the 2015 training camp. Beyond that though, as Bachman said, there’s also a need for Edmonton to prove that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. That breaking up this core isn’t the franchise’s only possible path to success.

Not that they can accomplish that with a handful of strong weeks at the end of the season. The Oilers have struggled for far too long to get the benefit of the doubt by going on a winning streak long after they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. Still, the Oilers seem upbeat and perhaps that’s a start.

“I feel that the atmosphere in the dressing room has changed since I was last in here,” defenseman Brandon Davidson said, who was previously summoned in December. “That’s a big part of it. Guys are having fun doing things the right way.

“We don’t have a playoff, but for us, this is everything, especially for most of us going into next year.”

Whether or not this is a sign of things to come for Edmonton in 2015-16, one thing we can say is that this hot streak has hurt their chances of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

“I’m sure there’s a whole group of fans hoping for us to lose, but we’re having fun winning,” said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. “Game 1 or Game 75, it is still fun to go out there and win — and we’re playing good teams, teams that have full lineups and teams that are chasing playoff spots. … I know I’m having a really good time with (Miller and Anton Lander). We play hard and we play with energy.”

Contrast that with where he was three months ago when he wondering what he did wrong after watching yet another one of his coaches get fired. Or against captain Andrew Ference calling out his teammates over their lack of pride.

Maybe times have changed. Then again…


In Edmonton, Yakupov’s future seems bright again

Agent: No extension talks between Sabres and Neuvirth

Michal Neuvirth

There have been no discussions for a new contract between Buffalo and pending UFA goalie Michal Neuvirth, player agent Patrick Stefan told PHT on Friday.

Neuvirth, 26, assumed the Sabres’ No. 1 gig following Jhonas Enroth’s trade to Dallas and has been the goalie of record ever since. Over that stretch, the Czech netminder — who’s in the last of a two-year, $5 million deal — has played very well, allowing just five goals on 103 shots (.951 save percentage) while earning high praise from onlookers:

Neuvirth’s numbers on the year remain unimpressive — 4-15-2, .310 GAA, .913 save percentage — though his playing opportunities were limited earlier in the year with Enroth in the fold.

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see if Sabres GM Tim Murray opts to begin negotiations, as the current state of Buffalo’s goaltending behind Neuvirth and Anders Lindback (another pending UFA) is murky. Matt Hackett, 24, and Nathan Lieuwen, 23, could still turn into NHL-caliber netminders, but they’re not there yet; the club’s three most recent draftees (Linus Ullmark, Cal Petersen, Jonas Johansson) don’t project to be ready anytime soon.

As for heading to free agency… Neuvirth would be one of the youngest and most intriguing UFAs on the market, and could probably garner more interest than, say, Antti Niemi or Viktor Fasth. Problem is, this projects to be a buyer’s market for goalies and there aren’t many starting opportunities available.

Goalie flip: Oilers take Scrivens off IR, put Fasth on

Arizona Coyotes v Edmonton Oilers
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Edmonton lost one goalie to injury today, but got another one back.

The club announced that Viktor Fasth, the goalie of record in six of the last eight games, was headed to IR after suffering a lower-body injury during Monday’s shootout loss to Winnipeg:

Thankfully, there’s a replacement at the ready as Ben Scrivens has been activated off IR and is set to play in his first game since Feb. 9.

Scrivens, who’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury, will likely draw in this evening when the Oilers host the Bruins at Rexall. The 28-year-old has experienced a difficult campaign — 10-17-7, 2.99 GAA, .895 save percentage — but was effective in his last outing, allowing just one goal in a win over the Devils.

Richard Bachman, who’s up from AHL Oklahoma City, will likely serve as Scrivens’ backup tonight.

Costly win: Jets’ Perreault, Stafford banged up last night


It’s been a breakthrough season for Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault … at least when his body isn’t breaking down.

The Jets managed a 5-4 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, but it came at a cost, as Perreault and newly acquired forward Drew Stafford suffered injuries. Perreault’s seems to be lower-body related while Stafford deals with an upper-body ailment, the Winnipeg Sun reports.

“There’s not much you can do. We’ve dealt with it throughout the whole year and we’ve got enough guys that can jump up in the lineup and fill roles,” Andrew Ladd said. “Hopefully, those guys aren’t out too long.”

Perreault, 27, reportedly left in a walking boot:

Updates regarding either forwards condition aren’t expected until Wednesday.

Viktor Fasth was hurt on the Oilers side in that game, so there was generally a significant physical toll to yesterday’s game.

Oilers lose Fasth to knee injury (Updated)

Viktor Fasth

The Edmonton Oilers have been trying to at least end their disappointing 2014-15 campaign on a positive note and lately they’ve done okay in that regard with a 6-6-1 record following their loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 15. Their task of staying competitive got even harder tonight though.

Goaltender Viktor Fasth suffered a knee injury while attempting to stop Blake Wheeler’s deciding shootout goal in Winnipeg’s 5-4 victory tonight, per the Oilers Twitter feed.

Edmonton was already missing netminder Ben Scrivens due to a hamstring injury, which means it might turn to Richard Bachman on Wednesday against Boston. Bachman, 27, has a 3.02 GAA and .901 save percentage in 36 career NHL contests. Before being called up by Edmonton, he posted a 2.30 GAA and .921 save percentage in 22 AHL games in 2014-15.

The Oilers are also missing forward Taylor Hall (leg) and defenseman Nikita Nikitin (shoulder).

Update: Edmonton might be able to start Scrivens after all on Wednesday, per Jack Michaels.