Expecting a rough and tumble game, Matt Hendricks and Eric Gryba will be in the lineup for Edmonton tonight against the Kings.
The Oilers may be a team all about the high-flying, goal-scoring young talent that has propelled them into playoff contention for the first time in over a decade, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rough edge to the team. Matt Hendricks and Eric Gryba will help bring the grit for tonight’s game against the LA Kings.
It’s a tale as old as hockey itself: Your superstars, like Connor McDavid, need some room to score, and players like Hendricks and Gryba are there to create that room. Both players are known more for their numbers of hits and penalty minutes than for their contributions to the scoreboard, and their skillsets will be put to good use against a desperate LA Kings team.
Hendricks, 35, will be playing in his 519th career game, and his 40th with the Oilers this season. The 6’, 207 lbs forward has 51 PIMs and 78 hits so far this season. He will play on the fourth line, replacing Slephyshev.
Eric Gryba, 28, has 253 NHL games under his belt, and has 51 PIMs and 129 hits in 35 games for the Oilers this season. The bruising defenseman will take bottom pairing minutes instead of Matt Benning.
The lineup change comes during a 3-game winning streak, the Oilers having taken out the hapless Vancouver Canucks in a 2-0 shutout victory on Saturday March 18th.