NHL Notebook: Edmonton Oilers sit in the top 10 in NHL power rankings, could the Toronto Maple Leafs stash Matt Murray on the LTIR and more

Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
9 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers have risen up the power rankings in recent weeks and now sit ninth in the NHL, according to Daily Faceoff.
Daily Faceoff’s Scott Maxwell has been doing weekly power rankings all season, and for most of the year the Oilers sat around the 18th spot in the league, just below average. But a string of wins into the All-Star break valuted them up the list, and now, they sit at ninth this week.
Here’s what Maxwell wrote about the Oilers this week: 
Record: 30-19-8 (.596%, 13th)
5v5 Goal Differential: +9 (13th)
5v5 xGF/60: 2.89 (7th)
5v5 xGA/60: 2.56 (14th)
PP xGF/60: 10.12 (2nd)
PK xGA/60: 8.25 (20th)
5v5 PDO: 100.3
Previous Week: 9th (0)
Just as the Oilers were starting to challenge for the top spot in the Pacific, they went ice cold with losses in four straight to the Habs, Wings, Rangers, and Avs. The latter three were at least in overtime, but you would hope for at least one or two of those being wins, especially when the losses to the Rangers and Avs saw them blow three goal leads.

Could the Leafs stash Murray?

We’ve seen teams not be shy in stashing players on LTIR ahead of the playoffs. We’re looking at you, Tampa Bay.
But now, there’s another big name team that could consider doing it with one of their big name players: the Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Matt Murray.
On Monday’s episode of Daily Faceoff Live, Frank Seravalli pondered what could happen with Murray who has been on the LTIR since Feb. 9 with an ankle injury:
“Technically, he looks fine, but I know they’re trying to rebuild him. I watch the goaltending coach and Murray’s dialog which happens a lot before practice. You see everything from how to hold the stick, how to move from post to post, and a lot of different things that look like they’re rebuilding him again. It’s interesting but also makes for the justification that he’s not ready in case they make that decision.”
If Murray’s ankle keeps him out of the lineup longer than initially expected, the Leafs have some options regarding how they may approach this final portion of the season.
“I think ideally, based on what the Leafs do and what’s on the table, they absolutely do not have to make any sort of move (just yet). It’s eerily similar to 2021 when Frederic Andersen was hurt — they didn’t have to do anything with his cap hit — and with 11 or 12 games to go, they had Zach Hyman and Bogosian get hurt, and they were able to move the LTI money around to allow Andersen one last regular season game before the playoffs began. Certainly, that’s not unprecedented.”
Seravalli went on to add that there hasn’t been a timetable set on the goaltender’s return, either.
“There’s no timeline on Murray’s return. Every time we’ve asked, they’ve just not put a timeline on it. All they’ve said is that February 28th is the earliest he can be activated, if they choose to do that and if he’s ready. There are a lot of different permutations that could happen with that cap money, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this helps them build out their roster.”
Murray carries a cap hit of $4,687,500, and is far from the only player on the long-term injured reserve for the Leafs. Jake Mizzin ($5.625-million), Nick Robertson ($796,667) and Victor Mete ($750,000) all are out with various injuries bringing their total LTIR pool up to $11,859,167, according to CapFriendly.

Pettersson says he’s happy in Vancouver

It has been far from an ideal year for Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks, but the star center has no plans on going anywhere.
Pettersson was on Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours Saturday where he touched on a number of topics that included staying in Vancouver, his teammates and potentially being the next Canucks captain.
“I’m happy. It’s a great city to play in, and obviously, there’s been some down years now. But I’m focusing now on finishing the season well, and then I’ll deal with what’s ahead. I don’t like to focus too much on what’s ahead, I like to live in the moment.”
And when asked about potentially signing a long-term deal, and if he’d be interested in becoming captain, here’s what he said:
“Yeah, I am. But, again, it’s something I don’t like to focus on now. I know we can, or I guess we will, discuss that in the summer. So looking forward to that, but at the moment I’m just focusing on right now.”
“That’ll definitely be an honour. But for me, I don’t want to stress or rush into a decision. I’ve never been a captain. Everyone knows I’m a pretty quiet guy. So it would definitely be an honour, but I want to take my time thinking about it in the summer and make a decision.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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