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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
Off the ice, it feels like there’s never a dull moment for the Edmonton Oilers.
Connor McDavid is admonishing anonymous teammates for a perceived lack of buy-in. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli continues to make … interesting moves, with Mikko Koskinen‘s extension being an eyebrow-raiser, and Ryan Spooner being a tragicomic waiver addition.
It’s almost easy to miss the actual on-ice product of a team fighting for a spot in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Oilers risk heading into the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak, as they fell 5-2 to the Flames on Saturday and 7-4 to the Hurricanes on Sunday.
McDavid and the Oilers face a Red Wings team that’s currently tied for last place in the NHL with 43 standings points. There’s plenty on the line, including Koskinen playing in his first game since signing that extension, so we’ll see how Edmonton responds on Tuesday.
What: Detroit Red Wings at Edmonton Oilers
Where: Rogers Place
When: Tuesday, Jan. 22, 8 p.m. ET
Live stream: You can watch the Red Wings-Oilers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Tyler Bertuzzi – Dylan Larkin – Gustav Nyquist
Thomas Vanek – Frans Nielsen – Anthony Mantha
Darren Helm – Luke Glendening – Andreas Athanasiou
Jacob De La Rose – Christoffer Ehn – Justin Abdelkader
Niklas Kronwall – Mike Green
Dan DeKeyser – Nick Jensen
Jonathan Ericsson – Filip Hronek
Starting goalie: Jimmy Howard
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Jesse Puljujarvi
Jujhar Khaira – Leon Draisaitl – Alex Chiasson
Ryan Spooner – Colby Cave – Kailer Yamamoto
Milan Lucic – Kyle Brodziak – Zack Kassian
Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson
Kris Russell – Matt Benning
Brandon Manning – Alex Petrovic
Starting goalie: Mikko Koskinen
Ken Daniels (play-by-play) and Ray Ferraro (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Rogers Place in Edmonton.
LeBrun places a potential price tag for a Ferland trade as a first-round pick and a prospect.
On paper, that’s a totally sensible move for a contender to make, with LeBrun adding the Pittsburgh Penguins to the list of potential suitors.
For one thing, Ferland is super-cheap in 2018-19. The 26-year-old only carries a $1.75 million cap hit, so a contending team could easily make Ferland merely part of a shopping spree, at least from the perspective of being under the $79.5M upper limit.
Depending upon the quality of the prospect, that potential trade is pretty reasonable for a solid rental. Ferland is coming off of a 21-goal season from 2017-18, and with 13 goals in just 40 games, is on an even better pace (.33 per game) in 2018-19. Just as enticingly, Ferland is the sort of rugged presence that teams believe they need for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Considering some of the prices in previous years – the Predators giving up their first rounder for Ryan Hartman, the bucket of picks Vegas sent for Tomas Tatar – Ferland could be a nice find.
But this is a “buyer beware” situation, at least depending upon the potential plans of a would-be buyer.
“Tom Wilson money”
Yes, Ferland is dirt-cheap today, but a team would be wise not to sign Ferland to an extension before seeing him play.
For one thing, there’s a Tom Wilson comparison that might inflate his market value. During a recent edition of Hockey Night in Canada, Nick Kypreos reported that Ferland is looking for Wilson-type money for his next deal. That would mean a six-year contract in the $31M range, or at least something coming in around a $5.167M cap hit.
There’s no denying that Wilson is having a career season, even with that hefty suspension in mind. His 13 goals puts him one behind last season’s career-high of 14 in 78 games, even though Wilson’s only played in 29 this year. Even so, Wilson’s on a five-game pointless drought, and his 20.6 shooting percentage indicates that he’ll be cooling down a bit more.
So, the market’s already inflated for a physical winger who can score. There’s also slight concern over Ferland’s scoring.
Nature vs. nurture
That alignment makes great sense for the Capitals for a number of reasons, including the fact that they already paid Wilson, anyway.
But a would-be buyer should be cautious about extending Ferland for the simple reason that he’s basically had nothing but outstanding linemates during the past two seasons, when he’s generated far and away his best numbers.
Last season, he was glued to Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, a pairing that’s boosted Elias Lindholm to easily the best work of his career. As you can see from Natural Stat Trick, he’s frequently lining up on Carolina’s best line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen, too.
Now, it says a lot about Ferland that he can hang with such high-level forwards. Plenty of other players have squandered opportunities with players like Gaudreau and Aho.
Still, if a team is investing in Ferland beyond 2018-19, it’s fair to wonder how Ferland would handle being the top guy on a lesser line, or otherwise show that he’s worth that Wilson-type money.
After all, it’s not as though Ferland’s lighting opponents on fire. Generating 25 points in 40 games this season, and 21 goals (and 41 points) in 2017-18 is promising, and fantastic value at $1.75M per season.
Would he really be worth something in the $5M range?
That question might only really matter when the free agent frenzy kicks in during July, but there’s no guarantee that a trade partner wouldn’t also be eager to keep Ferland around longer term.
There are risks involved even in giving up that first-round pick and prospect, but it’s easy to see why someone would want to at least rent Ferland. A longer lease option could be quite costly, though, so potential teams should really be careful here.
Considering how things have gone for the likes of James Neal, Patrick Maroon, and Milan Lucic, sometimes it’s dangerous to invest in power forwards, even when they’re well-marketed like Ferland seems to be.
If you’re trying to get NHL players to show some personality, you could do worse than to bring up TV and movies. Especially if you’re not allowed to ask them to do “The Floss.”
Of course, you do run the risk of feeling like a nerd. Actually, scratch that: you’ll probably end up feeling like an old nerd.
Luckily, it’s worth the risk and such feelings, at least in the case of the NHL’s “Puck Personality” video, where players of various ages are quizzed on pop culture from nostalgic TV shows and movies.
A few stray thoughts:
- Vladimir Tarasenko, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Chris Kreider seemed to do quite well.
- “Older” players stood out, too. Nicely done, Eric Staal.
- Max Domi‘s plus/minus on this one: not great.
- The “I was born in 199x” segment was painful, and that’s only going to get worse once kids from the 2018 NHL Draft end up in more of these. Actually, that’s my only beef with this vid: why not ask Rasmus Dahlin if he knows any of those references?
- The “Full House”-style interstitials and effects were a great touch. Wonderful work overall from the NHL. Speaking of that, this extended credits sequence is great, and evokes a little bit of “Too Many Cooks.”
By Time Reynolds (AP Sports Writer)
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers are hoping for deja vu.
A year ago, the Panthers shook off a disastrous start to the season and caught fire after the All-Star break – only to miss the playoffs by a single point. This year, they’re heading into the break on a three-game winning streak and playing perhaps their best hockey of the season after spending the first three months of the year sputtering near the bottom of the NHL.
So here they go again, trying for another late and improbable playoff push.
”We have that confidence back, that swagger,” goaltender Roberto Luongo said after a 6-2 win over San Jose on Monday night.
They’ll need more than swagger.
The Panthers were 24-8-2 in the final 34 games last season, getting 50 of a possible 68 points down the stretch. This year, with 34 games left when they return to the ice on Feb. 1, they’ll need a similar run. Florida is 10 points out of the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, and 11 points from catching Boston for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot out of the Atlantic Division.
”I think we are starting to turn the corner,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. ”We have a long way to go.”
As unlikely as it seems – especially for the Panthers, an often-woebegone franchise that hasn’t won a playoff series since 1996 – there is a potential path to the postseason.
Florida (20-20-8) has 12 games between Feb. 1 and Feb. 23, and 11 of those are on home ice. That’s the good news. The flip side is this: Of those 12, eight are against teams that are currently in the top half of the NHL, including matchups with Tampa Bay, Nashville, Washington, Pittsburgh and Vegas quickly after the All-Star break ends.
”It’s nice to be back to feeling the way I like to feel and the confidence is there,” said Luongo, who has won consecutive starts for the first time in more than a month. ”The guys are playing well in front of me. It’s a two-way street. When the guys play well I feel good and when I feel good the guys play well.”
There is a clear urgency, and it started last week with the team on what was then a seven-game losing skid.
Florida was without Vincent Trocheck for 27 games after he broke his right ankle in November. When he returned to practice last week, the Panthers’ plan was to keep him out until after the break in order to make sure he was fully ready to go.
Trocheck successfully argued otherwise. Not only did he play in three games since returning to practice – in a four-day span, no less – the Panthers went 3-0-0 in those games, clearly sparked by his comeback.
”We’re having fun,” said Trocheck, who has two goals and two assists since returning. ”It’s fun to win some hockey games. It’s been tough for us this year in that department. To go into a break like this with a little bit of momentum, having some fun, it’s going to make a big difference for the second half.”