Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week

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The Western Conference-leading Edmonton Oilers had a number of names back at practice on Monday, but head coach Dave Tippett was quick to qualify these appearances. As the Oilers look to stay hot and cement themselves as the team to beat out west, they want to be at full strength and are heading in the right direction. However, some players are further along than others in their recoveries.

Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Defensemen Darnell Nurse and Duncan Keith are the closest to returning to the lineup, per Tippett. Keith has been dealing with a nagging upper-body injury that was reaggravated early last week and has sidelined him since. Nurse landed on injured reserve two weeks ago with a broken finger, but appears ready to go. While Tippett stated that Nurse needs to be officially cleared by the team’s medical staff, which could keep him on the shelf through his three-week recovery timeline, Keith is more of a matter of how he is feeling and when he personally believes he is ready to return. Nurse is the Oilers’ leader in average time on ice while Keith is unsurprisingly the team leader in career time on ice, so Edmonton is eager to get both back on the blue line.

Also within a week or so of returning is forward Devin Shore. While not quite ready to return just yet from an undisclosed upper-body injury, Tippett did not rule out that he could return next week. Though Shore has played a limited role for the Oilers so far, the 27-year-old forward is a useful piece for a team constantly looking for depth up front.

They could receive more reinforcements up front at some point from rookie Dylan Holloway as well. However, of all the players back on the ice at practice, Holloway is the furthest from returning. Holloway initially suffered a fractured wrist back in March which required surgery in September, with Holloway receiving a three-month recovery timeline. Tippett expects the 2020 first-round pick to see his recovery through in full, making it unlikely that he plays at all in December. Still, the fact that he is back skating is encouraging for the Oilers, who would very much like to see the talented young forward in NHL action.

Finally, the most high-profile injury in Edmonton this season has belonged to expected starting goaltender Mike Smith. Smith landed on injured reserve in October and it was unclear how long the veteran netminder would remain on the shelf. The situation became more muddied earlier this month when he suffered a setback just as he was expected to return. Well, Smith has been on the ice four days in a row now according to Tippett, including taking live shots for the first time today. With Mikko Koskinen playing well, the Oilers won’t rush the 39-year-old Smith back into action, but it seems like he is poised to return sooner rather than later.

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Related slideshow: Which players have scored the most points in NHL postseason history? (Provided by Yardbarker)

Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week
Oilers to welcome back a number of injured players this week

Which players have scored the most points in NHL postseason history?

When we think of the careers of NHL players, we think about their point totals. You know, how Wayne Gretzky has more assists than anybody else has points or Alex Ovechkin gunning for the Great One’s goal record. However, that’s all about the regular season. Let’s not forget the playoffs! After all, the goal is to hoist the Stanley Cup, right? Just as with regular-season points, playoff points are tallied and cataloged. Which players have the most career postseason points? These are the top 25, all of whom have scored 160 playoff points or more.

Gordie Howe

We start with Mr. Hockey himself. Howe played a lot of his career at a time when the postseason was quite a bit shorter, so he didn’t play in as many games on a year-to-year basis. Of course, he also stuck around for a long time which helped him accrue 160 playoff points. However, there’s something his son Mark can say that even Gordie can’t. Mark had 92 career postseason points in the WHA, the most of any player in that league.

Mike Bossy

When you talk about Bossy as a player, you are required by law to mention that he could have had even better numbers. Due to injuries the Hall of Famer only played until he was 30 and retired after 10 seasons. The Islanders made the playoffs in all 10 of those seasons and won four Cups, giving Bossy the chance to rack up 160 points as well.

Bobby Smith

Smith is the only player on this list who is not either in the Hall of Fame or a lock to make it someday. He won the Calder as a rookie with the Minnesota North Stars and won a Cup with Montreal in 1986, but he was never a truly elite player. That being said, he had 160 playoff points to go with 1,036 regular-season points, so nobody can knock his career by any means.

Al Macinnis

Our first defenseman on this list is also the last of four players to finish their careers with 160 postseason points. MacInnis was famed for his huge slap shot, as he was one of the rare players who could get over 100 miles per hour on a slapper in the days of wooden sticks. Those big shots certainly helped him on the points front.

Denis Potvin

Rangers fans are never happy to see Potvin’s name, but the Islanders legend is another member of that ‘80s squad that won four Cups in a row. When you are playing that deep into the playoffs, especially in the offense-happy 190s, you are going to rack up the points. Potvin had 164 of them in the postseason.

Evgeni Malkin

Malkin is the first active player on this list, and one of only two total. Given that the Penguins are a perennial playoff team and Malkin likely has a few years left in him, he can probably climb further up the list, maybe even into the top 10. For now, Geno has 169 playoff points.

Peter Forsberg

Forsberg’s career was shorter than you might have realized, and also hindered by injury and NHL lockouts. He played in 708 career regular-season games, but in that time won a Calder, an Art Ross, and a Hart in his Hall of Fame career. The Swede added 151 playoff games where he often dominated, tallying 171 points and winning two Cups.

Mario Lemieux

It’s maybe a little surprising to see Lemieux this far down the list. Super Mario is an all-time legend of the game and won two Cups with the Penguins. Surely he would be in the top 10, right? Apparently not, as Lemieux had “only” 172 postseason points, which is “only” good for 18th.

Denis Savard

Considering that the Blackhawks didn’t win a Stanley Cup from 1961 until well after Savard was retired, it’s a bit of a surprise that Savard managed to accumulate so many playoff points. The master of the “spin-o-rama” move, Savard played a long time, including a stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that was over a decade from existence when he started his career. Savard played in 16 postseasons and notched 175 points.

Sergei Fedorov

Fedorov began his career just as the Red Wings were becoming a juggernaut that would win three Cups with him. The Russian was a defensive stalwart, winning the Selke twice. Of course, he could also rack up points, and tallied 176 in the playoffs before retiring.

Jean Beliveau

Beliveau also retired with 176 postseason points. He spent all 20 of his seasons with the Montreal Canadiens during a time when they were going from dynasty to dynasty. Beliveau played in 17 postseasons and won a whopping 10 Stanley Cups. Even in shorter postseasons that meant a lot of time to tally points.

Ray Bourque

Famously, Bourque left the Bruins after many years to join the Avalanche to try and win a Cup. Fortunately for him, it worked out. Not that the defenseman didn’t do his best to get the Bruins a Cup of their own. You don’t notch 180 playoff points in just one postseason.

Bryan Trottier

Trottier is the top guy on this list from those Islanders dynasty teams. The secret, beyond his tremendous skill? He played 18 seasons and made the playoffs 17 times, which means he got a lot more bites at the apple than Bossy. Also, he joined the Penguins later in his career, winning two more Cups before retiring and helping himself reach 183 points.

Nicklas Lidstrom

Lidstrom is the best defenseman of his generation, and maybe the best defenseman ever, so it’s no surprise that he’s on this list. The Swede picked up a whopping seven Norris trophies in the regular season and added four Cups in the postseason. Oh, and 183 postseason points.

Steve Yzerman

From one Red Wing to another. Lidstrom and Yzerman were the pillars of the Red Wings dynasty. In fact, when Steve Y retired, Lidstrom took over from “The Captain” as, well, the captain. Yzerman’s early years as a Wing did not yield many playoff appearances, but he still finished with 185 points in the playoffs.

Joe Sakic

We enter the top 10 with a player who was on the other side of the Red Wings-Avalanche rivalry in the ‘90s. Sakic is Mr. Colorado in many ways. He played his entire career with the franchise – starting in Quebec – and then joined the front office to run the team. Sakic once had 34 points in a single postseason, and all in all he had 188 of them.

Doug Gilmour

Gilmour doesn’t have the same reputation as Sakic. He never won a Conn Smythe or a Hart. What Gilmour does have, though, is 188 playoff points, the same as Sakic. Sure, it took him 182 games to do it over 17 seasons, but that’s still impressive. He also did it for six different franchises, as opposed to the one-team man Sakic.

Sidney Crosby

We get to our second, and final, active player on this list. In the battle between Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, you can definitely point to Crosby’s playoff success as a big factor in his favor. Crosby has hoisted multiple Cups and notched 189 postseason points. By the time he retires, he will almost definitely be in the top five.

Brett Hull

Brett Hull and his big slap shot racked up a ton of goals in his career. In the regular season, he had 741 of them, the fourth most of all-time. Then, Hull added 103 more goals in the playoffs to go along with 87 assists, giving him 190 playoff points.

Paul Coffey

Coffey is the defenseman with the most points in postseason history. He played for a long time and had a knack for joining up with teams loaded with talent that made lengthy playoff runs. Or maybe they made those runs because Coffey was on the team? Either way, he had 196 playoff points.

Jaromir Jagr

Jagr is the first player on this list that has over 200 postseason points. He’s also the highest-ranked player on this list that wasn’t part of a specific dynasty. In a way, that’s another honor to throw on his name. Let’s not forget Jagr’s sojourn to the KHL for a few years as well. He could have had even more than 201 playoff points.

Glenn Anderson

Was Anderson a great player? Sure. He had 498 career goals and is in the Hall of Fame. However, he was definitely a product of the team he spent the bulk of his career on. The first decade of his time in the NHL was spent with the Edmonton Oilers. You know, the team that won four Cups in five seasons and added a fifth in 1990. Anderson had 214 playoff points, and that’s definitely impressive. We also just have to note the three players ahead of him were all his teammates for those ‘80s Oilers teams.

Jari Kurri

The Finnish superstar once had over 60 goals in three straight seasons. That would make you a legend now, but in the ‘80s that was a bit easier. He never led the NHL in goals, after all. Kurri then left the Oilers to join the Kings, along with a teammate you’ve heard of and added some more postseason points. In the end, Kurri retired with 601 regular-season goals and 233 playoff points.

Mark Messier

There is a huge jump from Kurri to Messier. Moose had a whopping 295 playoff points. Of course, it wasn’t all about the Oilers. Famously, Messier moved from Edmonton to New York and led the Rangers to a Stanley Cup in 1994, ending a 54-year Cup drought. He had 30 points in those playoffs.

Wayne Gretzky

Well, we are talking about points and the NHL. Who else would be on top of this list but Gretzky? The Great One is a big reason why the top-four players are all Oilers. However, Gretzky’s numbers are truly insane. He retired with a staggering 382 playoff points. That’s almost 100 more than Messier! Gretzky had more playoff points than Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic combined. Truly, he was one of a kind.

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