After a huge road win in a tough building the Oilers have to be feeling pretty good about themselves heading home. It wasn’t the greatest game but a win in the NHL is a win and its even better after you’re called a junior team.
There are still holes and areas that need to be improved but they come home with two big wins to close out this road trip when it looked like they may get skunked.
They are in no position to get comfy and still have a long way to go if they want to win consistently in this league. Turnovers and soft puck play is still far too prevalent in their game but let’s finally talk about some positives for once shall we?
I loved that he gave it to Lars Eller after the game. I don’t think Eller meant any real harm with the “play a little bit like a junior team,” remark and I’d be shocked if deep down Eakins didn’t kind of agree with him (I did).
Regardless, he got his team to respond. He was clearly hot about it and even if it wasn’t that big of a deal to his players, he made it one. Smart.
Another great start for this guy. If it wasn’t for him this game may have been a different story. Every team needs great goaltending. He has been great as of late and is now making that big save or two or five that every team needs throughout a game.
Scores a huge goal and is one guy I see every game sticking up for his teammates and protecting his goalie. He doesn’t fight a lot but he makes it known you are going to have to answer to someone if you want to hang around in front of the net.
What a filthy dish.
A tough start to the night with a turnover but he doesn’t let it affect his game. He was fore-checking and hounding defenseman all night. He jumped in when the kid Pitlick was in a little hot water and then was rewarded with a real gritty goal. He drove to the net hard, stopped in front, was strong on his stick and slammed home the game winner. Awesome
I’m no doctor but you guys don’t mind if I play one on the Nation right?
Word has come out that Taylor Hall has a second degree MCL sprain. These are not fun. I’ve had a first degree and a second degree MCL sprain over the years.
The first degree was manageable and something you can play through albeit painfully with a brace on. It’s not fun for a few weeks but eventually it settles down.
The second degree was much more significant. Crutches and a thigh to shin brace had to be worn for the first week. Just bending the knee was difficult task for quite some time. I missed 3 weeks and came back playing with a knee brace. It was a battle for the remaining 2 months of the season. Every time I fell and the knee had to bend or whenever I dragged that skate a little and it tugged on the inside of that leg it was excruciating.
BAD NEWS FIRST
Everyone heals differently but I would expect Hall to have to wear a brace for an extended period of time and wouldn’t be surprised when he returns if he’s still laboring a bit. This is a nasty little injury that I doubt he’s 100% comfortable with at the four week timeframe even if he’s able to play.
NOW THE GOOD
This goes without saying but this is a great diagnosis and much better than a season ending ACL injury people feared. MCL’s heal up over time without surgery and he will eventually get back to 100%.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. For medical advice or hockey talk, submit your weekly mailbag questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @briansutherby