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This in from Bob Stauffer of the Oilers: “Jay Woodcroft says that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will NOT play tonight vs Vancouver.”

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And from TSN’s Ryan Rishaug: “Woodcroft says 97 and 29 will sit tonight. Nurse still out. Koskinen starts. Broberg won’t play, Kassian will.”

my take

1. It’s a nothing game, so why risk Draisaitl or McDavid? Of course, you could have said the same thing about the San Jose game, and Drai and McD played in it without incident. On a matter like this I’m good either way, leaving it up to the best instincts of the coach and the two players to make the right call.

2. Good to see Kassian back in the line-up. That stick to the face against San Jose looked like a stick to the eye to me. Kassian was evidently in massive distress as he skated to the bench and on the bench, where he was comforted by Evander Kane and Mike Smith.

3. When I call McDavid and Draisaitl the NHL’s “biggest guns” in the headline, am I doing that to purposefully troll Leafs fans? Yes, I am. Of course, McDavid. is indeed the NHL’s biggest gun. There’s no real debate about that. As for Draisaitl, well, he came up short in the goal scoring race this year to Auston Matthews. But over time, and in the coming playoffs, I’ll take big Drai and his Executioner’s Shot over any other scoring ace.

4. McD wins the Art Ross Trophy this year, with Drai in fourth place for now. Have to say I’m impressed with Matt Tkachuk finished seventh. He’s a helluva villain for the Calgary Flames, but also a helluva player.

5. I don’t like how loud it is at Oilers games. I find it hard to carry on a conversation with the person next to me. But, evidently, I’m in the minority on this one.

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Trucks block a street in front of Parliament Hill during the protest against Covid-19 mandates, in Ottawa on February 18, 2022.
Trucks block a street in front of Parliament Hill during the protest against Covid-19 mandates, in Ottawa on February 18, 2022. Photo by Andrej Ivanov/AFP via Getty Images

At the Cult of Hockey

McCURDY: Game grades in win over San Jose

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