(Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports)
All is quiet in the NHL landscape tonight. Only two games are being played throughout the league this evening, those are the two that are being aired on TNT, and that is what we are here to talk about now. Our first game on tonight's slate sees the Washington Capitals heading north of the border to take on Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, and then later on we'll have the Montreal Canadiens on the west coast to take on the Vancouver Canucks.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert, in fact, I'm the exact opposite. These are just my personal takes and my personal bets going into tonight's contests. Odds mentioned in this article are subject to change prior to puck drop.
Lets take a look at our results from last week:
Game 1: Washington Capitals @ Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers come into tonight's game riding a three game losing streak, and are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Edmonton's offense took quite a large two weeks ago, when center, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, was placed on the injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in a February 26th game against the Florida Panthers.
Edmonton's goaltending still remains the team's core issue, as they look to hopefully add an impact goalie by the March 26th trade deadline. The Oilers currently sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division with 64 points, just three points behind the Dallas Stars who are holding onto the last playoff spot in the Western Conference for dear life.
The Washington Capitals aren't too far behind their opponents tonight in terms of recent struggles. The Capitals are who every Eastern Conference team wants to see in the first round of the playoffs this year. Despite having Alex Ovechkin who is putting up Hart-worthy numbers this season and is right in the thick of the Rocket Richard Trophy race, the Caps continue to struggle.
Washington and Ovechkin desperately need more help on the offensive side of things, which is why they just recalled Axel Jonsson-Fjallby from the Hershey Bears, and are in the hunt to acquire a big-name forward such as Claude Giroux for example, come the March 21st trade deadline.
Keep in mind that tonight will be the second of a back-to-back for Washington, as they took on the Calgary Flames last night in a 5-4 victory. So, with that being said...
Connor McDavid O 1.5 points
Game 2: Montreal Canadiens @ Vancouver Canucks
In case you missed it, I laid out all the struggles and problems that are facing the historically bad 2021-22 Montreal Canadiens in my breakdown of the Tyler Toffoli trade a few short weeks ago.
However, Montreal has been hot as of late, and I mean hot hot. Winners in 7 of their last 10 games, including a five game win streak in that span, the Canadiens are managing to stand up to some of the big boys of the league, defeating the likes of the St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Calgary Flames among other teams.
The Habs are about as hot as they come right now with new head coach, Martin St. Louis, breathing new life into the team and some of their young stars, such as rookie sensation Cole Caufield, who has found his stride after a stint in the minors due to struggling mightily to start the season.
Much like the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks are another red-hot team right now who have found their groove after a mid-season coaching change. The Canucks were among the team's that were in the league's basement in the first half of the season. And just like I said a few weeks ago when I last wrote about Vancouver, with a roster as stacked as theirs, it was quite a surprise that they were struggling as bad as they were.
Well, after bringing on new head coach, Bruce Boudreau, Vancouver has managed to steadily work their way up the standings. They went from being one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, to being within striking distance of a playoff spot as of today.
Vancouver currently sits in sixth place in the Pacific Division with 62 points, only five points behind the Dallas Stars who, as I mentioned above, hold onto the final playoff spot in the west by the skin of their teeth. What a feel good comeback story over in Vancouver.