OCTOBER SKY

The Edmonton Oilers are 3-7-0 after 10 and many fans have that old sinking feeling. Dallas Eakins rolled through the first 10 games at 4-5-1 before the money ran out and the engine blew. Eakins was 4-5-1 in October, and then 2-9-3 in the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald November before the team gave up in December (2-8-4). I don’t think we’ll see that happen this season, but I do understand why Oilers fans would feel that way, and I don’t think it’s crazy to have that funny, familiar, awful feeling again. If you’re looking for positives, you’ve come to the right place—beginning with Scott Cullen’s power rankings this morning.

The Oilers seem to have a period each game (of about 45 seconds based on last night) where they lose the melody and it costs them. If you check online you can find tweets and posts that point blame at damn near every defender who played last night, and the truth is this group isn’t good enough to skate in a playoff game. Darnell Nurse was fun to watch but he’ll need lots of pro sorties before he can be counted on every shift—it’s a tough damn job.

I think Peter Chiarelli probably plans to have Andrej Sekera, Oscar Klefbom, Griffin Reinhart and Darnell Nurse as part of next year’s top six D—meaning RH puck movers (one for sure, maybe two) are coming to town. Hell, maybe we even saw him last night. One area they need to add: complete blue. Look, the reason you’re mad at Gryba and Fayne this morning is that they can’t skate with Dallas and Washington and Minnesota. And you’ll be mad at Schultz and Sekera the next time Edmonton faces a heavy team—one of the big reasons for that? Lack of a complete defenseman. Klefbom and Nurse have the skills to play a wide range (don’t know about PP) but that’s a couple of years away. Help is coming. Trade now, sign summer. One of the two. Or both.

TODD MCLELLAN

  • “We’ve been together(as a team) for 2 months…I can live with mistakes but not the same ones over and over again.” (quote via Gerta Rauss)

SACRE BLEU, LAST NIGHT

oil d oc 27

  • Brandon Davidson was part of some devastating moments in the game but he delivered what can be expected, and I think McLellan used him properly. He faced the Coyle line 5:39, going 2-5 (5×5). No sense hammering him on the GWG, he was ‘also in photo’ but the die was cast long before.
  • Eric Gryba made a goofy decision on the fourth goal against, no idea what he was thinking. Vapor lock, it’s certain he knows better. Gryba also killed his wide receiver early in the game with a suicide pass across the middle. War-on-Ice has him playing five minutes against all three of the top Minny lines, struggling only against the Coyle trio. If Reinhart can return Thursday, that’s probably a good adjustment for this pairing. Travis Yost nailed it about this player: He can defend, but can’t move the puck. Very limited.
  • Darnell Nurse played 7:25 against the Parise line and the Oilers battled to 7-7 5×5 on the sorties. It was a good first effort, got a goal, a rebel yell and I hope another game to show he belongs. It was nice to see his Dad interviewed (family was at the game) that’s a night to remember. It would have been nice if they could have held the lead to make that the winner. I remain convinced, and have stated many times, he is one of the six best defensemen in the organization now. If they’re asking me, the play here is to allow Nurse to play games in the NHL until he struggles two games in a row. If he doesn’t do that all season, music! If he does, then the lessons need to be learned away from Rexall. This young man is manna from heaven, folks. Todd McLellan: “thought he played a good game… a solid contributor tonight” (Gerta again).
  • Andrej Sekera struggled last night to my eye, needs to make quicker decisions. Played 7 minutes against the Koivi line (8-9 5×5 Corsi events) and wasn’t crisp with his passes. I do think fans are being way to hard on him, the last several games have shown a veteran’s calm when he is out there. Needs to hurry up a little is all, and I think he needs a more mobile partner.
  • Oscar Klefbom was my pick for best defenseman, some disagreed based on comments in the GDT. He and Nurse formed the only mobile tandem of the three and the puck was moving north often when they were out there. Picked up an assist on the Nurse goal. 5-7 in 7 5×5 minutes against Parise.
  • Mark Fayne tipped a goal and was also in photo for some severe moments. The Wild are not a good matchup for him, he simply doesn’t have the speed to contend against them. I suspect he’ll be heading back to the EC at some point, maybe in summer. Oilers need him to be better.

CENTERS, LAST NIGHT

oil c oc 27

  • Connor McDavid is a splendid hockey player, the mind struggles to fathom peak McDavid. I’m enjoying the hell out of this. 5-1 v the Coyle line, seems everyone got to see everyone last night.
  • Anton Lander finally got out of the ZS doghouse but the line couldn’t cash. They were 4:21 2-5 against the Parise line, but 14-7 the rest of the time. Man needs a goal. And better linemates. He was 62% in the dot, kind of eating Letestu’s lunch there lately. I think he might have been a little quicker on the GWG but hesitate to fault anyone based on the initial tomfoolery.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continues to take a beating in the comments section here, but to me he’s Dave Keon and that’s all there is to say about that. 6:09 and 5-5 against the Parise line. RNH is the hill I die on, folks. There’s no good reason to trade him, not know not for the next decade. He was shy on the offensive side last night, seems to be trailing the rest of the class in that area. Then again, he’s the only gifted forward who doesn’t get much time with McDavid 5×5 so there’s that, too.
  • Mark Letestu is the incredible shrinking man, playing piddly bits of the game. I think he should be playing a more prominent role, but 43% FO put him behind Lander and the kid last night.

WINGERS, LAST NIGHT

oil w oc 27

  • Taylor Hall was flying last night, 1-1-2 and could have had more. Played a lot, as McLellan found a way to run his three best wingers an absolute ton. 8-4 v Parise but 2-8 v Koivu last night.
  • Benoit Pouliot was 7-5 v Koivu and 5-8 v Parise, who for me was better than his linemates last night. Pouliot’s presence on the McDavid line is effective, he needs to change his number—I keep thinking it’s McDavid because of the number.
  • Nail Yakupov had a good night (6-9 v Parise but they fought the good fight against Koivu) and was rewarded with an assist on an ‘all No. 1 overall’ goal. On pace for 72 points (!!!) this season. Still, he does goofy stuff, brought the puck into the Oil zone when the blue were leaving, isolating himself for no reason because of it. Also passed to absolutely no one at least once.
  • Rob Klinkhammer’s injury might be a knee, but we’ll find out more in the next 48 hours. Matty has some things on the injury here and it appears that RW on the Hall—Nuge line is ‘Spinal Tap drummer’ dangerous this season.
  • Teddy Purcell isn’t going to show well in games against the fast trains, simply can’t keep up. I think he’s at a career crossroads now, the need for speed is so pronounced Edmonton might be his last NHL stop. Great skills that he does have, though.
  • Lauri Korpikoski has me scratching my head this season, he seemed so effective in his career for a long time but appears to be in the ‘I’ll just skate around for 60 seconds without actually doing anything’ stage of his career. Most players get it over with as rookies, Korpikoski is unique I’ll give him that. Took a big hit on a dumb pass by his defenseman but did return. A vexing player.
  • Anton Slepyshev didn’t play much but I liked him when he was out there. You can see what McLellan likes about him, do worry that this might not be the right way to develop the player.
  • Iiro Pakarinen was a positive despite the Corsi totals. Scored a goal, has enough skill to get into good places (as he did on his goal) and I hope we see him more this season.

SCHULTZ AND GETTING BETTER

I’m noticing sides forming in the “Schultz camp” or the “Fayne camp” as bloggers and commenters alike look to lay blame. The fact is most Oilers defensemen are going to be exposed depending on opponent. Edmonton’s defense (for the most part) either can’t defend against speed, can’t win battles against heavy teams and stop the cycle, or both. Last night was probably both, but the real problem is too many one dimensional players. That’s why Darnell stood out in a good way, he can beat you so many ways—or at least he should be able to when fully ready. Look, I’m not smart enough to know if thrusting Nurse into the NHL now is a bad thing for his overall development, but have cheered for teams who pushed Mike Ivie and Sam Gagner into the majors so respect the concept of too much, too soon. I honestly don’t see it with this player. That said, Larry Robinson played over 100 games in the NHL 1971-73 and it didn’t seem to hurt him 1973-1992, so there’s that.

Offensively, this team is going to kick out the jams and leave nothing but the bones many nights, you can see it coming. Connor McDavid was touched by God himself, you can see it now and if you look real close you can see what he will be down the line. Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and the power of his thunder who can understand.

millerscrossing

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Today on the show (10am, or whenever Eric is done rambling on about Klopp), TSN1260:

  • Jesse Spector, The Sporting News. The Kansas City Royals are involved in another classic World Series.
  • Tim Fragle, Vimy Director. We’ll talk about making things easier for younger players—modelling rinks based on size and age of player, and possible benefits.
  • Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. Oilers last night, Oilers without Schultz and the impact of the headman pass on their overall game.
  • Corey Graham, TSN1260. The Oil Kings are having an interesting season.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. 90 minutes (depending on Klopp talk)!

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232 Responses to "OCTOBER SKY"

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  1. Bruce McCurdy says:

    October Sky is a hell of a movie. It’s based on a book called Rocket Boys, a boyhood memoir by NASA engineer Homer Hickam recalling how the launch of the first Sputnik in October 1957 galvanized him and many other American youngsters to build their own rockets. It stars a young Jake Gyllenhaal as the kid and the always-excellent Chris Cooper as his coal miner dad. It’s a terrific drama that runs the gamut from poignant to comedic, tragic to triumphant.

    Note that “October Sky” and “Rocket Boys” are anagrams. Very clever.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy: Note that “October Sky” and “Rocket Boys” are anagrams. Very clever.

    Too clever by half, I’d say…

    HE’S A WITCH! BURN HIM!

  3. RexLibris says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    Btw, when LT today asked if you ever spoke to the Loons about the Oilers D, I was expecting you to reply that they were the D.

    Good interview today. Always a good day when I get a chance to hear you on the radio.

  4. Bruce McCurdy says:

    RMGS:
    Have folks watched the doc, Red Army, by Gabe Polsky? Great film and insight into one of the best hockey teams of all time, if not the best.

    It has lots of excellent archival footage and interviews, but I was most impressed by hearing Scotty Bowman say that he basically let the 5 Russians unit on the championship Red Wings of the late 90s do their own thing. He claims he never exactly figured out their plays and tactics but knew enough not to mess with brilliance. Given today’s NHL, I was shocked.

    I’m also going to look for those hockey books written by Anatoli Tarasov.

    I wrote this review of Red Army when it passed through Edmonton a few months back. Movie was so good I went back to Metro Cinema a second time to watch it again.

    Tarasov shows well on that movie and is still considered to be one of the most innovative hockey coaches of all time. His book Road to Olympus (or in paperback, Russian Hockey Secrets, but the same book) is a terrific read. A few years back at the Cult of Hockey we undertook a project we called Tarasov Numbers to both riff off and honour his early contributions to advanced stats.

  5. Doug McLachlan says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I like this idea too, pretty much the moment that Eberle gets back.

    I floated this idea previously. Work with the pairs that click:

    xxx-Nuge-Eberle
    xxx-McDavid-Yak
    Hall-Lander-xxx

    If we don’t want to disturb Pouliot (who seems to get his smash and grab role with the McYak) we continue with him on the second line.

    I am really eager to give Drai some time in the AHL but sooner than later we bring him up and let him weave some sweet magic with a pair of skilled veterans. Putting Hendricks into the crashing winger to spring for Hall.

    Drai-Nuge-Eberle
    Pouliot-McDavid-Yakupov
    Hall-Lander-Hendricks
    Klink-Letestu-Korp

    Hmm, no room for Purcell…who knew?

    Are we approaching Unicorns yet?

  6. G Money says:

    vishcosity,

    I said this in a previous thread, and I believe it remains true.

    People are suggesting that the loss of Eberle shouldn’t be used as an excuse.

    But the RNH line, without Eberle, has gone head to head with the best lines on the best teams, and generally held its own. The one lousy team that we played (Calgary), the RNH line owned the souls of the top (Monahan) line on that team. Head to head, Nuge was at 93% CF against Johnathanfigureskater, 59% against Giordano, and 79% against Seanahan. Outscored them too.

    Expecting 2/3rds of our top line to win the head to head battle with complete first lines of the best of the best is a tad unfair.

  7. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    You may already be familiar with it, but there’s a phenomenal documentary series called “When We Left Earth”. It spends a lot of time on Mercury and Gemini before going on through the Shuttle retirement. There’s a lot of great footage from those early missions.

  8. Bruce McCurdy says:

    khildahl:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    You may already be familiar with it, but there’s a phenomenal documentary series called “When We Left Earth”.It spends a lot of time on Mercury and Gemini before going on through the Shuttle retirement.There’s a lot of great footage from those early missions.

    I’ve never seen it. Thanks for the heads-up.

  9. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Doug McLachlan: I floated this idea previously. Work with the pairs that click:

    xxx-Nuge-Eberle
    xxx-McDavid-Yak
    Hall-Lander-xxx

    We’re on the same page. In training camp McLellan had Nuge-Eberle, Hall-McDavid, Lander-Yak but mixing & matching the latter two pairs is OK by me.

    If Pouliot stays with 97-10 then McLellan has to find a good complement for 93-14, who had lots of success** with 67 last year.
    (** — relatively speaking, these are still the Oilers we’re talking about)

  10. Магия 10 says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    October Sky is a hell of a movie. It’s based on a book called Rocket Boys, a boyhood memoir by NASA engineer Homer Hickam recalling how the launch of the first Sputnik in October 1957 galvanized him and many other American youngsters to build their own rockets. It stars a young Jake Gyllenhaal as the kid and the always-excellent Chris Cooper as his coal miner dad. It’s a terrific drama that runs the gamut from poignant to comedic, tragic to triumphant.

    Note that “October Sky” and “Rocket Boys” are anagrams. Very clever.

    I was expecting a pic today with their rocket heading for the mine or knocking them down. Kinda like the young Oilers.

  11. AsiaOil says:

    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t – move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    G Money:
    vishcosity,

    I said this in a previous thread, and I believe it remains true.

    People are suggesting that the loss of Eberle shouldn’t be used as an excuse.

    But the RNH line, without Eberle, has gone head to head with the best lines on the best teams, and generally held its own.The one lousy team that we played (Calgary), the RNH line owned the souls of the top (Monahan) line on that team.Head to head, Nuge was at 93% CF against Johnathanfigureskater, 59% against Giordano, and 79% against Seanahan.Outscored them too.

    Expecting 2/3rds of our top line to win the head to head battle with complete first lines of the best of the best is a tad unfair.

  12. Caramel Obvious says:

    AsiaOil,

    At first glance I thought your suggestion of RNH for Coyle and Spurgeon to be reasonable. But then I looked up Coyle’s numbers. His career high in points is 35 and he’s been a break even possession player his whole career.

    The Wild are getting the best player in that deal, and it’s hard to improve when you are trading away the best player.

  13. vishcosity says:

    AsiaOil:
    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t– move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    Regardless of whom they play with or against. These 20 year olds should be able to push back Kopitar when supported by Doughty despite being handed Ference and Davidson.

    Now where is that damn ledge? Again I cannot see the ledge.

  14. dustrock says:

    Doug McLachlan: I floated this idea previously. Work with the pairs that click:xxx-Nuge-Eberlexxx-McDavid-YakHall-Lander-xxxIf we don’t want to disturb Pouliot (who seems to get his smash and grab role with the McYak) we continue with him on the second line.I am really eager to give Drai some time in the AHL but sooner than later we bring him up and let him weave some sweet magic with a pair of skilled veterans. Putting Hendricks into the crashing winger to spring for Hall.Drai-Nuge-EberlePouliot-McDavid-YakupovHall-Lander-HendricksKlink-Letestu-KorpHmm, no room for Purcell…who knew?Are we approaching Unicorns yet?

    As much as I am a Drai booster, I’m not sure I put him against the toughs with RNH and Eberle.

    Might be better to have Pouliot on this line, although I suppose some might say he’s not much better defensively than Draisaitl or something, who knows anymore.

  15. Dicky94 says:

    Doug McLachlan,

    I like it. But would rather move Letestu up with lander and Hall. Matt between Korpse and Klink. No room for Teddy is a good thing.

  16. Sugar Reijo says:

    Doug McLachlan
    xxx-Nuge-Eberle
    xxx-McDavid-Yak
    Hall-Lander-xxx

    Love this idea. Nuge, McDavid, and Hall all need to carry the puck to be at their most effective.

  17. Bruce McCurdy says:

    AsiaOil:
    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t– move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    Hall’s top opponents by TOI:
    Forwards: Stastny, Steen, Lucic, Toffoli, Tarasenko, Carter, Kuznetsov
    Defenders: Pietrangelo, Bouwmeester, Gunnarsson, Weber, Edler, Josi, Tanev, Suter

    I’d call that “more than the dregs” all right. Against them and others of their ilk Hall is a plus player with a positive Corsi and is second in the league in shots on goal. Doesn’t sound to me like he’s been treading water.

  18. Centre of attention says:

    It baffles me that you narrow-sighted people think that Hall should not be with Nuge and Ebs. Slepy should move up to Landers line consistently and that will give him a straight shooter.

    Hall-Nuge-Eb’s is an amazing trio, not just a pair. They are proven more then Pou-Nuge-Eb’s who only have half a season worth of sample, where Hall-Nuge-Eb’s has produced the most offense of any line since 2011 when Nuge was drafted.

    Playing Hall on the third line is beyond ridiculous, any arguments for it are wrong. Plain and simple. Hall is great with Nuge and Nuge will flourish with Hall/Ebere as his wingers.

    The people who are still talking about trading Nuge need to get their prescriptions checked…

  19. Adam Wu says:

    AsiaOil:
    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t– move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    They are “holding their own” against ELITE top lines composed of players more experienced than they (often also top 5 picks) AND in many cases making more money than they are being paid.

    When matched against other top, but not ELITE lines, they have outperformed.

    They have done this with the third member of their line often outmatched by the opposition’s third member.

    They have never, ever, faced, for any length of time, any “dregs”, as no opposing coach has ever dared to put “dregs” on the ice against them.

    This is EXACTLY what we should expect from #1OVs who were not “generational” talents.

  20. godot10 says:

    AsiaOil:
    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t– move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    Taylor Hall has 4 goals and 8 points in 10 games. Considering that the power play has been sub par, these are not bad numbers.

    Nugent-Hopkins has 3 goals and 5 points in 10 games. He is scoring at a 25 goal pace which is reasonable, but like Hall he is missing a couple of assists, because he doesn’t have a right wing finisher and the power play has sucked.

  21. Woodguy says:

    AsiaOil:
    Respectfully disagree G…

    I do in fact expect a pair of of #1 OV picks in their 5th and 6th years in the league who are being paid $6 million each to more than “hold their own”. Expectations for these guys are far too low and they are being paid to out-perform against more than the dregs. If they can’t– move em out for someone who can – because they are under-performing.

    Here is every C (and their points) who outscored RNH last year 5v5 and also plays against the toughs:

    GETZLAF, RYAN 47
    TAVARES, JOHN 46
    SEGUIN, TYLER 45
    CROSBY, SIDNEY 45
    RIBEIRO, MIKE 44
    STAMKOS, STEVEN 42
    HUBERDEAU, JONATHAN 40
    TOEWS, JONATHAN 40
    BACKSTROM, NICKLAS 40
    BRASSARD, DERICK 39
    BACKES, DAVID 39
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 37
    O_REILLY, RYAN 37

    Which do you suggest we get?

    edited to remove Malkin, Carter, Brassard and Duchene as Crosby, Kopitar, Stepan and ROR last year saw the toughs on those teams respectively.

    You can also make the argument that Bolland saw the toughs on FLA, but its close (mostly due to Bolland only playing 53 games) so I’ll leave him in.

  22. AsiaOil says:

    Clearly would not do that deal unless Spurgeon is coming along for the ride – a 1 for 1 trade of RNH for Coyle is not a winning deal for the Oil as you said. Add Spurgeon though and it starts to make sense. I think a deal with NASH might be possible as well where we downgrade center a bit but upgrade defense a lot. Gotta give to get and we can’t become too attached to our shiny #1 OV toys.

    Caramel Obvious:
    AsiaOil,

    At first glance I thought your suggestion of RNH for Coyle and Spurgeon to be reasonable.But then I looked up Coyle’s numbers.His career high in points is 35 and he’s been a break even possession player his whole career.

    The Wild are getting the best player in that deal, and it’s hard to improve when you are trading away the best player.

  23. Woodguy says:

    AsiaOil,

    Here’s those same C’s and their salaries:

    GETZLAF, RYAN 8.65
    TAVARES, JOHN 5.5
    SEGUIN, TYLER 5.75
    CROSBY, SIDNEY 8.7
    RIBEIRO, MIKE 3.5
    STAMKOS, STEVEN 7.5
    HUBERDEAU, JONATHAN 3.25
    TOEWS, JONATHAN 10.5
    BACKSTROM, NICKLAS 6.7
    BACKES, DAVID 4.5
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN 6
    O_REILLY, RYAN 7.5

    Doesn’t look like RNH is over paid.

    At all.

    He’s also the youngest on the list.

    edit: Huberdeau is actually 1.75 months younger. Sorry.

  24. Woodguy says:

    AsiaOil,

    Add Spurgeon though and it starts to make sense. I think a deal with NASH might be possible as well where we downgrade center a bit but upgrade defense a lot. Gotta give to get and we can’t become too attached to our shiny #1 OV toys.

    You also don’t want to trade them for players that can be obtained for much, much less.

    Man.

    The Oilers go forever with no C depth and now that there is depth people want to give it away.

  25. AsiaOil says:

    If RNH was making Huberdeau’s or Backes salary we would not be having this conversation 🙂

    Nor is it a conversation without McDavid on the team.

    RNH got paid too much too soon and that’s going to be a problem that will cost another impact player in due course if he stays. Really hard to demonstrate how this is not an overpay given his age and numbers. The old mgmt group were just desperate to sign him long term and didn’t appear to negotiate at all. I’m not saying trade him tomorrow unless a really good deal comes along – but I don’t think there is much evidence that RNH can put up points without being helped by serious (and expensive) talent on his wings.

    Again – not slagging the player AT ALL. He’s a really nice two way center who is probably best deployed as a #2 behind a big physical #1 like Getlaf or Backes – or as a #1 with a couple of big physical wingers like in STL or LA. Not his fault he’s miscast to a degree in EDM and they just opened bank vault without negotiating. He does have his limitations though against bigger teams and that isn’t likely going to change – and that’s a problem that is aggravated by the lack of toughness in the rest of the top 6.

    We need balance on this team – and to get it – somebody off that top line has got to go.

    Woodguy: Here is every C (and their points) who outscored RNH last year 5v5 and also plays against the toughs:

    GETZLAF, RYAN47
    TAVARES, JOHN46
    SEGUIN, TYLER45
    DUCHENE, MATT45
    CROSBY, SIDNEY45
    RIBEIRO, MIKE44
    STAMKOS, STEVEN42
    CARTER, JEFF42
    HUBERDEAU, JONATHAN40
    TOEWS, JONATHAN40
    BACKSTROM, NICKLAS40
    BRASSARD, DERICK39
    MALKIN, EVGENI39
    BACKES, DAVID39
    NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN37
    O_REILLY, RYAN37

    Which do you suggest we get?

  26. AsiaOil says:

    …and some people want to hoard their shiny toys and not address balance by dealing from strength to address weakness.

    Hey I know that RNH is golden child around here – I’m just asking people to consider their assumptions.

    Woodguy:
    AsiaOil,

    Add Spurgeon though and it starts to make sense. I think a deal with NASH might be possible as well where we downgrade center a bit but upgrade defense a lot. Gotta give to get and we can’t become too attached to our shiny #1 OV toys.

    You also don’t want to trade them for players that can be obtained for much, much less.

    Man.

    The Oilers go forever with no C depth and now that there is depth people want to give it away.

  27. Bruce McCurdy says:

    AsiaOil: We need balance on this team – and to get it – somebody off that top line has got to go.

    Why not just go into full “narrow-minded” mode and put Hall on another line?

  28. RMGS says:

    Bruce McCurdy: I wrote this review of Red Army when it passed through Edmonton a few months back. Movie was so good I went back to Metro Cinema a second time to watch it again.

    Tarasov shows well on that movie and is still considered to be one of the most innovative hockey coaches of all time. His book Road to Olympus (or in paperback, Russian Hockey Secrets, but the same book) is a terrific read. A few years back at the Cult of Hockey we undertook a project we called Tarasov Numbers to both riff off and honour his early contributions to advanced stats.

    Great review, Bruce, and thanks for the book reference. I dare say there was a point in time that I caught a hint of some of that Tarasov magic watching the Nuge with Hall and Eberle (was it under Ralph Krueger?). NHL hockey today can be downright atrocious to watch.

  29. AsiaOil says:

    Sure short term that might help things out a bit – I like your idea of Hall and Lander together – not sure what Hall would think about being separated form his buddies though.

    There are some really tough decisions that will need to be made to move this thing forward – and some guys are going to have to be moved to address inevitable cap issues given the salaries that were given out and the wildly unbalanced character of this team. Just sitting back and letting the kids develop (several are not kids anymore) and hoping it will all work out fine is not the way this mgmt group is going to handle this.

    One or two high profile guys are going to get moved and people are going to be pissed off because it will be their favorite – but as long as it balances the team and creates more wins – no one aside from McDavid is off-limits.

    Bruce McCurdy: Why not just go into full “narrow-minded” mode and put Hall on another line?

  30. RMGS says:

    SwedishPoster: Todays coaches, in any sport, could probably learn a lot from Tarasov. Very interesting man.

    Coach McLellan is bona fide, but I’ll admit to being a little disappointed in some of what he seems to be preaching for offensive play. A lot of straight lines and dumps in deep, then cycling. I know that’s what wins Cups, apparently, but I can’t help but feel that a lot of creativity is being stifled.

  31. Bag of Pucks says:

    Woodguy: The Toews argument was as straw man, not ad hominem.

    Ad hominem is when I attack the poster and not the argument and I didn’t do that.

    If you’re going to insult me at least get it right or make it good.

    Love the irony of someone treating my point with condescension while admitting to constructing a straw man.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Bag of Pucks: Love the irony of someone treating my point with condescension while admitting to constructing a straw man.

    I wasn’t ironing.

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