Eakins: ‘If you play scared in this league, you’re going to get killed’


By now you’re familiar with the Edmonton Oilers struggles to start the year. They’re the worst team in the Western Conference and only the Buffalo Sabres are keeping them out of last place in the league.

After losing 5-0 to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, coach Dallas Eakins gave an honest assessment of his team as John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal shared.

“We’ve got a group that’s hurting, they’re dying, they’ve lost their confidence,” Eakins said. “If you play scared in this league, you’re going to get killed.”

Getting drubbed by the Red Wings and getting just 14 shots on goal on home ice sure looks like a team getting killed.

The Oilers have a 3-10-2 record and are quickly drowning in a loaded Western Conference. In the Pacific Division alone they’re 10 points back of fifth place Los Angeles and 13 behind fourth place Vancouver and 15 points out of first place.

Vigneault calls Murphy hit on Dorsett ‘very, very dangerous’


New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had strong words for Carolina Hurricanes rookie defenseman Ryan Murphy after the Rangers’ 5-1 win.

Vigneault was upset with a low hit Murphy put on Rangers forward Derek Dorsett that resulted in a clipping minor penalty for Murphy. Katie Strang of ESPN-New York share the story.

“I mean, in my opinion, that’s real dangerous,” Vigneault said. “Any time you’re going for knees, you’re looking at career-ending injuries here.”

“That was borderline very, very dangerous.”

On the upside for the Rangers, Dorsett wasn’t injured on the play.

Murphy, meanwhile, is in his rookie season in the NHL and has been one of the top first-year players early this year. Getting noticed on the big stage of Madison Square Garden like this probably wasn’t in his plans.

Goalie nods: Break out your backups

With one game already underway, here’s a look at who will be in net tonight around the league…

Their names are J(h)onas

Good luck getting Weezer out of your head when the Ducks face the Sabres in Buffalo. Jhonas Enroth gets the call for Buffalo while Jonas Hiller will make his third straight start for the Ducks.

Hiller is trying to make sure his team doesn’t drop two in a row to Eastern Conference opponents after losing in a shootout to Boston on Thursday night. Enroth, meanwhile, has been great for the struggling Sabres going 1-2-1 with a .939 save percentage. Goaltending hasn’t been the problem in Buffalo.

Mrazek tostart in Edmonton

Petr Mrazek was a call-up for the Detroit Red Wings yesterday and he’ll get the start in Edmonton against the Oilers.

Mrazek got the call when Jonas Gustavsson went down with a strained neck, This will be his third career start and first this season. He’ll go up against Edmonton’s Richard Bachman who is making his third appearance with the Oilers.

Budaj faces former team

Montreal’s Peter Budaj will make his first career start against his former team, the Colorado Avalanche, in Denver tonight. Doing so on the road against former Habs legend Patrick Roy’s team should give him plenty of motivation. Jean-Sebastien Giguere will start for Colorado.


— Boston’s Chad Johnson gets the call on the road against the New York Islanders while Kevin Poulin likely goes for the hometown team.

— The Penguins will give Jeff Zatkoff his third start of the season tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets will counter with their own backup Curtis McElhinney.

The rest are all probables and subject to change.

— Jaroslav Halak vs. former Blues farmhand Ben Bishop in Tampa Bay for Blues-Lightning

— Justin Peters vs. Henrik Lundqvist in New York for Rangers-‘Canes

— Steve Mason vs, Martin Brodeur in New Jersey for Flyers-Devils (no fighting, please)

— Scott Clemmensen vs. Braden Holtby in Washington for Panthers-Caps (no really, no fighting please)

— Jonathan Bernier vs. Roberto Luongo in Vancouver for Leafs-‘Nucks

— Carter Hutton vs. Jonathan Quick in L.A. for Preds-Kings

— Mike Smith vs. Antti Niemi in San Jose for ‘Yotes-Sharks

Leafs place Bozak (lower-body) on LTIR

The Toronto Maple Leafs will officially be without Tyler Bozak for the next couple weeks due to his lower-body injury.

David Alter of Sportsnet 590 in Toronto reports the Leafs have placed Bozak on long-term injured reserve. He won’t be eligible to return to the Leafs lineup until November 19 against the New York Islanders. According to Alter, the move allows the Leafs the ability to activate Nikolai Kulemin from injured reserve and not have to make a roster move to facilitate it.

Bozak was injured on October 25 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was a surprising late scratch the following night against Pittsburgh and has been out of the lineup ever since. Nazem Kadri has taken his spot on the team’s top line alongside James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel.

Devils’ Zajac (ankle) out vs. Flyers tonight


The New Jersey Devils won’t have one of their top centers in the lineup on Saturday night when they face the Philadelphia Flyers.

According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Travis Zajac is nursing a right ankle injury and will miss tonight’s game.

“It’s always the next morning how it feels when you wake up, but I’m not concerned about it long term,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said.

Zajac’s injury is described as day-to-day. Meanwhile, Jacob Josefson will take his place in the lineup and play between Dainius Zubrus and Damien Brunner.

This season has been a disappointment for Zajac as he has just one goal and three assists in 12 games and has a minus-5 rating to go with it.