The Edmonton Oilers' winning streak is at 14 games and counting after beating the Red Wings, yesterday, in Motor City. They haven't lost a game in over a calendar month and coincidentally or not, the streak started right when GM Mike Cleary pulled the trigger on the Victor Hedman vs Matthew Tkachuk blockbuster trade.
Since joining the team, Tkachuk has been on a tear with 11 goals and 5 assists in those 14 games. Moving down from the top to the third line, Casey Mittelstadt seems to have finally found his rhythm back with 3 goals and 12 assists in the last 13 games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is currently tied at 1st in assists and ranks 14th in points in the entire league. That's the kind of return you'd expect -or at least hope- from a player aquired for what turned out to become the 1st overall pick in the 2019 draft. What's impressive, though, is that Nuge has done it despite missing 9 games with a concussion. Had he not miss any time, he'd be in the thick of the Art Ross Race with Marian Gaborik and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The 26 year old has also just been named the starting center in the next All-Star Game. RNH is MVP.
A very pleasant surprise is the stellar play of Erik Portillo. It wasn't in the Oilers' plans to use Portillo in the big league during his rookie season. But circumstances -we'll get to that in a minute- had the team re-think their strategy; the rookie goaltender was finally called up in January and Edmonton hasn't looked back since:
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