If we can believe Bob McKenzie (and we can) Craig MacTavish is in the market for something that would make a “dramatic difference” on the Oilers blueline. Who could that be?
If we’re talking about a dramatic difference we’re likely dealing in a fairly complete skill set, a horse who can play 28-30 minutes a night when needed. The Oilers have been mentioned in the same breath as Phaneuf in the last few months and it makes sense in that Phaneuf’s skills allow him to play in all three disciplines.
I’ve talked about Phaneuf in the past, notably here and here. I don’t think the Oilers deal with Toronto, but a bold move would be Phaneuf, not the youngster Gardiner (who I like a lot). And it sure as hell doesn’t involve Nail Yakupov as the return.
It’s interesting to see who coach Eakins is running a lot so far this season.
EV MINUTES DURING WINNIPEG GAME
- Petry 21:53
- J Schultz 18:37
- Smid 16:29
- Ference 16:15
- Belov 12:43
- N Schultz 10:04
The main PK men were N Schultz (3:37), Ference (3:29),Petry (2:39), Smid (2:12). PP minutes went to Schultz the younger and Belov. The EV minutes are about what we might have expected leaving the station, with a clear top 4D and then the new NHLer Belov plus Schultz the elder rounding out the group.
EV MINUTES DURING THE VANCOUVER GAME
- J Schultz 18:27
- Ference 16:56
- Petry 15:37
- N Schultz 13:30
- Smid 12:27
- Belov 12:10
Petry played 6:12 SH, Smid 6:04, Ference 4:40, N Schultz 3:34, and once again J Schultz and Belov were the PP men. This looks pretty much the same as game one, Smid and Petry are off their minutes but there’s a massive spike in SH minutes for them in this particular game.
EV MINUTES DURING THE NJ GAME
- J Schultz 22:38
- Ference 19:25
- Belov 18:42
- Petry 18:10
- Smid 13:48
- N Schultz 12:33
Petry and Smid (2:52), Ference (2:28) and N Schultz (2:27) are once again the PK men, with Jultz and Belov on the PP. There’s one tweak here in this game, and that’s Smid moving down the EV minutes list. His PK total is identical to Petry, and yet Smid played over 4 minutes less than Dan Petry’s boy.
It’s way too soon to read much into this, but I’d say the Ference-Schultz tandem is looking more like the #1 pairing in the two most recent games. If the Oilers are going to make a trade with Toronto involving a defenseman, I don’t think Ference or Justin Schultz are involved, and Petry would appear to be a relied upon defender thus far. The Belov-Smid minutes exchange is curious, but probably comes with a reasonable explanation for why Petry played his final four shifts with Belov while Smid sat. Smid may have blown a shoe, or spit the bit but it’s something to watch over the next little while.
Note: I do not hate Smid, just making a bloody observation. Jackals.
I’ve talked to a few Oklahoma City folks since the weekend games that opened the 2013-14 season for the Barons, and it looks like the forwards who made an impact were (drumroll, please) Tyler Pitlick and Ryan Martindale. Each had a goal and both are playing regular minutes. None of the rookies made a massive impact (new AHL players this season include Oscar Klefbom, Martin Gernat, David Musil, Travis Ewanyk, Andrew Miller, Nicolas Tremblay and Kale Kessy) but our blogger network (Tend the Farm, Artful Puck) is watching closely and we’ll have updates as the season rolls on (plus making both blogs a daily visit is a great idea).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Game day tomorrow, so we ready ourselves with lots of talk from the wild world of sports. Scheduled to appear on TSN 1260 beginning at 10 this morning:
- Michael Parkatti from Boys on the Bus: We’ll talk about the early season numbers and what they tell us about the team and coach Dallas Eakins.
- Jason McKee head coach and GM of the Spruce Grove Saints. We’ll talk about the Saints and the AJHL as an option for players (university options, etc).
- Andrew Bucholtz from 55 yard line. CFL weekend on the way, plus the trade deadline is later today. A deal early this week points out the extreme importance of Canadian linemen.
- Corey Graham the voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings. We’ll talk about the impressive start by Mitchell Moroz and the early season struggles of the club.
- Paul Almeida from Azorcan Global. We’ll talk about the World Juniors and soccer tours.
10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter.