October 23 – Day 12 -It’s not really my heritage, but I’ll celebrate anyways since there’s hockey

Eight points are on the line on this fourth Sunday of October. Edmonton visits Winnipeg at 3 p.m. (NHLN/SN/TVAS2) and Minnesota at the New York Islanders drops the puck at the completion of that contest at 6 p.m. Arizona at the New York Rangers (NHLN) starts at the usual starting time of 7 p.m., and Vancouver at Anaheim (SN), this evening’s nightcap, gets underway an hour later. All times eastern.

Although I have my qualms with the plethora of outdoor games played these days, this afternoon’s contest in Manitoba should be worth the watch.

Unknown-5Unknown-4Welcome to Investors Group Field. Canadians know this place as the home of Winnipeg‘s football team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. All of us on this website are Americans, so we are more familiar with it hosting seven matches during the 2015 Women’s World Cup, including two involving *ahem* the World Champion USWNT.

I’ll wait for you to get settled down again. I know, I still celebrate every time I think about Megan Rapinoe’s two goals in this stadium.

Anyways, back to the sport we’re supposed to be talking about: football. Wait, no, the football stadium was taken over by hockey. Right.

The Edmonton Eskimos Oilers enter today’s game with a 4-1-0 record – the third best in the Western Conference, and fourth best in the league. Their lone blemish came last Sunday against Buffalo, falling 6-2. They’ve found their success with the puck on their stick, scoring 20 goals so far this season (seven more than the league average). Last year’s first overall pick in the NHL Draft has been at the forefront of the Oil‘s attack, as Connor McDavid has eight points to his name, including four goals.

Opposing them this afternoon is the 2-2-0 Winnipeg Jets. The last time we watched the Jets, Patrik Laine scored the first hat trick of his career against the only kid drafted before him in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft en route to a 5-4 overtime victory. Just like Edmonton, offense is where Winnipeg shines. They’re led by center Mark Scheifele, who’s six points are evenly split between goals and assists.

Some players to keep an eye on in today’s game include Edmonton‘s McDavid (eight points [tied for third-most in the league] on four goals [tied for fourth-most in the NHL]), Kris Russell (+6 [tied for eighth-best in the league]) and Cam Talbot (four wins [leads the NHL]) & Winnipeg‘s Dustin Byfuglien (four assists [leads the team]), Laine (four goals [leads the team]) and Scheifele (six points for a +4 [both lead the team]).

With home ice, Winnipeg is favored at a -123. While that would certainly make a nice story, I don’t think that’s what is going to happen. I believe it will be the Oilers taking the two points from this game with an exemplary performance from McDavid on arguably the biggest stage he’s had in his young professional career.

Hockey Birthday

  • Fred Shero (1925-1990) – He may have played defense for 145 NHL games (all with the Rangers), but Shero is more known for his coaching career. He amassed a 390-216-118 career record en route to four Stanley Cup Finals appearances, winning half of those with Philadelphia.

The Boston Bruins have had trouble of late defending home ice, going 17-18-6 a season ago. That trend continued last night when they fell 4-2 to their arch-rivals, the Montréal Canadiens.

The Habs won this game in the second period. After a scoreless opening frame for both sides, First Star of the Game Brendan Gallagher (Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk) broke the draw with a snap shot with 8:19 remaining in the second to give the Canadiens the lead. That lead doubled 6:03 later when Phillip Danault (Alexander Radulov and Greg Pateryn) scored his first of the season.

5:34 into the final period, Third Star Dominic Moore (Tim Schaller and Noel Acciari) scored a wrister for the Bruins to pull the home team within a goal, but Paul Byron‘s (Shea Weber and Andrei Markov) short-handed snap shot 1:58 later returned the Habs‘ lead to 3-1 – and proved to be the game-winner. Ryan Spooner‘s (David Backes and David Krejci) power play snap shot at the 8:09 mark once again pulled Boston within a score, but they were unable to find the back of the net again. Second Star Torrey Mitchell tacked on the insurance goal with 7:13 remaining for the Canadiens to seal the victory.

Carey Price earns the victory after saving 19-of-21 (90.5%) of the shots he faced, while Anton Khudobin takes the loss, saving 25-of-29 (86.2%).

With that road victory, the DtFR Game of the Day series now stands at 9-4-1, still favoring the home teams by six points.

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