Bad news for Edmonton Oilers as speedy winger Joakim Nygard on the shelf
Game Day #7: Oilers vs Flyers
This is in from the Edmonton Oilers, news that winger Joakim Nygard will be out two to four weeks with a rib injury:
This in from Bob Stauffer of the Oilers on the line-up for tonight's game:
Haas (Nygard not in ice)
Koskinen in starter's net
- Just as it looked like Nygard was ready to move up to the second line on merit, he's now out, a blow to both him and the Oilers. Nygard was impressing with his speed and skill, so much so that it seemed he would have been a good fit with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the second line. But not to be.
- Tomas Jurco did not make the most of his time on a line with Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal, so no surprise to see Alex Chiasson get this chance. That said, a line with Neal and Chiasson on the wings has plenty of grit and skill, but not much speed.
- Patrick Russell is back into the line-up on merit. The Grind Line with Riley Sheahan and Jujhar Khaira was at its best on the road trip when the hard-charging Russell was out with the two bigger forwards. They were not only able to cycle the puck effectively, they were able to create a few Grade A scoring chances.
- The fourth line is full of players with something major to prove right now in Jurco, Markus Granlund and Josh Archibald. They've all had slow starts. Remember, as I mentioned yesterday, at even strength the Oilers are routinely getting out-chanced on Grade A chances right now, 56 to 43 (Bruce McCurdy and I review and record all Grade A chances for and against the Oilers. The Cult has done so since 2010-11). And a lot of that negative gap has to do with the bottom lines not getting it done.
- Overall, the Oil's top three shooters, Draisaitl, James Neal and Connor McDavid, have 40 Grade A scoring chance shots (with Draisaitl at 19, Neal at 12 and McDavid at 9). All the other forwards combined have just 18, Kassian with five, Chiasson, three, Patrick Russell, Markus Granlund and Joakim Nygard, two, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan, Jujhar Khaira, one, and Josh Archibald and Gaetan Haas, zero.
- I wonder if this injury does not accelerate the Oilers plans in regards to Kailer Yamamoto. Yamamoto is crushing it in the AHL right now, playing like the skilled and attacking winger that Oilers fans always hoped he would be (Below he sets up Malone at the o-zone blueline and Gambardella at the d-zone blueline on two different rushes).
Yamo is fast, wily and he's shooting the puck better than ever. Sam Gagner is also playing strong, smart hockey. Given that the Oilers prefer to keep players on the farm for an extended period, Gagner would seem the more likely call-up if Edmonton is looking for help from the farm at forward (Below he tips a point shot for a goal and rockets a one-timer shot on net after a Gagner pass).
At the CultSTAPLES: Persson doing OK-ish but may need helping hand STAPLES: Three line-up changes that might just work MCCURDY: Player grades in Oilers loss to Hawks McCURDY: Oilers have been kings of the small comeback STAPLES: Ken Holland drawing early praise from insiders LEAVINS: In praise of Matt Benning
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