Article content

Game Day 56: Oilers vs Kings

This in from Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic, Edmonton lines at the morning skate for tonight’s game against Los Angeles, with grinding winger Mattias Janmark promoted to the second line.

Article content

Draisaitl-McDavid-Hyman
Kane-RNH-Janmark
Foegele-McLeod-Perry
Holloway-Ryan-Brown

Grade A 55 games

My take

1. What’s not to like about Mattias Janmark earning a promotion to the second line, in large part I’ll suggest  because he took on Flames grinder Blake Coleman after Coleman threw a nasty hit on Connor McDavid? If the Oilers are going to reward this kind of behaviour, a promotion is a fine way to do it.

At hockeyfight.com, 59 per cent voted that Janmark won the fight. It was only his second NHL fight.

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

2. Janmark not only fought Coleman, his win pumped up his entire team in the process. It wasn’t enough to get the Oilers past the iffy goaltending and defence it had against Calgary, but it was a huge moment for the team. We can all recall how in the Decade of Darkness, a chronic issue was the team not standing up as one when star players like Taylor Hall, Ales Hemsky or Jordan Eberle got walloped with nasty hits. That’s no longer the case. This team consistently stands up for one another.

3. Of course, Janmark also has three goals in his last four games, so no doubt that’s also part of coach Kris Knoblauch’s calculations here. Janmark has broken out of his scoring slump. He’s also a fast skater (outside of Connor McDavid and Ryan McLeod) and as sound a checker as Edmonton has. Los Angeles has two lines that can score, so it’s likely wise to have Janmark out there more often in order to help Edmonton take care of its own zone. Evander Kane isn’t a noted defensive player, so Janmark can help his line in this capacity.

4. Whatever tinkering the Oilers do with their lines, there is no winning tonight’s game if Stuart Skinner does not have a steady game. In six straight games now, the Oilers netminders have let in iffy goals, with Skinner giving up two such goals against the Flames. Those goals against will break your back and did so to the Oilers against Calgary.

At the Cult of Hockey

STAPLES: Knoblauch offers great wisdom on McDavid’s scoring drought

LEAVINS: 9 Things

McCURDY: The Calgary Flames take the latest Battle of Alberta 6-3

STAPLES: Oilers Comeback attempt versus Wild just short

Recommended from Editorial

Share this article in your social network



Source link

By admin