G38 2015-16: KINGS AT OILERS

The stories surrounding Edmonton’s NHL team this morning could not have been anticipated before Christmas: Zack Kassian is an Oiler, Brad Hunt and Anton Lander will be feature players on the PP. The Oilers are beaten up on the blue, need over 40 stops per win, and can’t piss a drop on the 5×4. No wonder they want to change the script.

HAWKWIND, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
  • Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2
  • Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-4-1
  • Oilers after 37 in 2014-15: 8-22-7, 23 points (-54 GD)
  • Oilers after 37 in 2015-16: 15-19-3, 33 points (-18 GD)

G38 last season was an OT loss to Calgary and sniper Josh Jooris (lordy). Still a point was a point back then, remains the same tonight. Edmonton is between a rock and a hard place, there is a very good team in town. One good thing? LAK played last night in Vancouver, and their arms are tired from raising them in the air.

OILERS BLUE, 2015-16

OILERS DEFENSE OVER SEASON

  • Brandon Davidson skated yesterday, McLellan’s Oilers have a timeline and that may mean we see the defender on the weekend.
  • Brad Hunt will play—my guess is Gryba will be his partner—and based on reports we should see him hammer pucks on the power play. If he gets one through, Hunt probably hangs around through the end of January on that one goal. It has been a lean time for the 5×4.
  • I would go Sekera—Fayne, Nurse—Schultz, Hunt—Gryba. Mr. McLellan will not do this.
  • The fact they are fiddling with Schultz on the PP and are trying him on his off side suggests they are looking for solutions and getting him farther from his comfort zone. This doesn’t normally end well.
  • I like the top three names on that list a lot, and would be fine with Nurse and Gryba on the third pairing. Sekera is feeling the range now, very important to get him with an effective partner. I love Darnell Nurse, but the NHL is almost impossible for a rookie defenseman to play 24 minutes. The Oilers have no margin for error and this is too much of an ask of Nurse in my opinion.
  • Reinhart not being in the NHL now suggests to me they want him to have success in the minors, play a lot, and return as a regular. That may not come until the trade deadline.
  • David Rundblad is on waivers.

RUNDBLAD!

David Rundblad has skating issues, but also brings skill. He is RH, 6.02 187 and scores 18 points per 82GP in the NHL. He can pass the puck—the main reason I have noticed him—and he has a plus shot. If there is an expansion draft, he could hit 45 points and become a fan favorite in Las Seattle. He is a $1.05M cap hit and has another year to go on his contract.

Here is my take: Edmonton is probably at least satisfied with LH side blue for next season: Sekera, Klefbom, Davidson, Nurse, Reinhart. Now, they can move Sekera over but don’t have to, and if he stays left I would say Edmonton has the position covered.

RH side? There are lots of options, very few are both good and satisfy Todd McLellan’s style. Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne, Eric Gryba? Edmonton could retain one of those men, but the fact is each is too one dimensional. They need another Sekera over there, and then Edmonton could keep one of those one-dimensional men third pairing. Like this:

  • Klefbom—Sekera
  • Davidson—Hamonic
  • Nurse—Rundblad

You could do that, right? So that is my answer. If Peter Chiarelli has questions about the future of Gryba, Fayne and Schultz as Oilers—and that may be true—then Rundblad is worth a waiver claim. My own personal opinion, as a fan? I like Mark Fayne more than the rest. He is an NHL defenseman. I would run him for the rest of the season in the top four and stop pissing around. Save the lost causes for the country songs.

If the Oilers claim Rundblad, and I think it is possible (but another team could beat them to it), Justin Schultz is probably in a spot of bother on this roster.

CENTERS, 2015-16

oilers centers over season

  • Leon Draisaitl’s numbers have come down but they are still fan-freaking-tastic. His line is still averaging 7 scoring chances for per game. Nuts.
  • Connor McDavid’s numbers remain rookie perfection.
  • RNH is improving in important areas, if the three high C’s can approach 2.00/60 at 5×5 that would be wild times.
  • Lander is getting PP time tonight. In the name of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer LET THE MAN SCORE!
  • I am liking Letestu more as the season wears along. Not much EV offense, but that 3line can be counted on more than early days and that is progress.

WINGERS, 2015-16

oil forwards over season

  • Taylor Hall is across the board great this season, these numbers are drop dead gorgeous. One day, if he keeps this up, maybe he will approach a point-per-game.
  • Jordan Eberle’s offense is climbing, can he reach 2.00/60 at 5×5? That 2line came alive last game, hope they can build on it.
  • Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot will both eventually be too expensive but it is nice to have veteran wingers who know what the hell they are doing. Pouliot has been inconsistent lately, but the two-goal game was a nice reminder of his skill.
  • Nail Yakupov is long forgotten, but that kind of production (and McDavid) will really help in the second half of the year.
  • When everyone is back and healthy, added to Kassian (who will play for Edmonton sometime after the AS break) who is going away? My 14F are McDavid, Leon, Nuge, Letestu, Lander, Hall, Pouliot, Hendricks, Pakarinen, Purcell, Eberle, Yakupov, Korpikoski, Kassian.
  • Not making my list? Khaira (minors), Gazdic (waivers), Slepyshev (minors), Miller (minors) and Klinkhammer (waivers).
  • Korpikoski had such a bad start he will never recover his fancies, but he has improved those numbers markedly over recent games.

If you want to see what the Oilers will look like in two years, check out the LAK tonight and ask yourself how many Eberle’s and Nuge’s he will cast on a PC Oil team in skill positions. Answer: Several. David Krecji, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin are not big men. I think Chiarelli would like wingers to be bigger, to be able to win more battles. Kassian is one hire, there will be more. I think Lucic has a lot of miles on him, but would not be surprised to see a strong pitch from the Oilers if the big man reaches the FA window.

Nail Yakupov. It must be Nail Yakupov. Nathan Beaulieu, Michael McCarron, Artturi Lehkonen. You won’t get all of them, but Yak City would be a nice addition for the Habs. They have a more structured group and need a sniper, plus Montreal has oodles of two-way centers—someone could find chem with Yakupov. I hope he doesn’t go, for me the things Montreal values should also be important to the Oilers.

Edmonton’s forwards are actually fine in my opinion. If they ran this crew for the rest of the season:

  • Hall—Draisaitl—Purcell
  • Pouliot—McDavid—Yakupov
  • Lander—Nuge—Eberle
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Korpikoski

Would that be a good forward group? I think it would be, you could replace Lander with Kassian if you had a mind too but the RNH trio would probably see some tougher matchups, especially at home. I think the Oilers have a scratch they want to itch in regard to McDavid and Eberle, so we might see this:

 

  • Hall—Draisaitl—Purcell
  • Pouliot—McDavid—Eberle
  • Yakupov—Nuge—Kassian
  • Hendricks—Letestu—Korpikoski

lucic capture

CHIARELLI’S OILERS

A lot has been made about trading RNH, you can’t watch a national broadcast (I wish the national broadcasters would watch the Oilers once in awhile) without the Nuge being mentioned as a trade option.

  • Todd McLellan on the subject of Peter Chiarelli: “When it’s all said and done we’re both without our families in Edmonton, so we spend a lot of time together. I think that’s been really valuable. I would say [his philosophy] is strong down the middle. The goalie plays in the middle, and he likes big, heavy, strong and hard centermen. But that’s not a philosophy that’s unique to Peter. That’s a philosophy that travels around the league. If you can be strong down the middle with a goaltender and big, strong centers, then you have a better chance of winning than losing. But the people you augment those stars with are real, real important too.” Source

In 2010-11, during the Stanley season, Chiarelli’s Bruins had five centermen take over 300 faceoffs:

  • Patrice Bergeron (6.01, 195 ) took 1439 FOs and won 56.6 percent.
  • David Krejci (6.0, 186) took 1149 FOs and won 48.7 percent.
  • Greg Campbell (6.0, 197) took 832 FOs and won 51.7 percent.
  • Marc Savard (5.10, 191) took 328 FOs and won 50.9 percent.
  • Tyler Seguin (6.01, 200) took 303 FOs an won 49.5 percent.

When we hear big, heavy, strong, I think the thought process migrates toward height and weight, but if you watch Bergeron or Krejci (not big men) they are strong and hard on the puck, relentless forecheckers and backcheckers. Big is perhaps not the ideal word.

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (6.0, 189) 567 FOs and 46.0 percent.
  • Mark Letestu (5.10, 197) 486 FOs and 52.3 percent.
  • Anton Lander (6.0, 184) 444 FOs and 55.2 percent.
  • Leon Draisaitl (6.01, 214) 459 FOs and 47.3 percent.
  • Connor McDavid (6.01, 190) 151 FOs and 36.4 percent.

Peter Chiarelli liked big wingers, and loved two-way centers who played a 200-foot game in Boston. That’s one reason Tyler Seguin was expendable in my opinion: Krejci and Bergeron played more complete games and Chiarelli likes Lucic and Horton types on the wing.

NOTES:

  • There is no Lowdown today, will be back tomorrow. Canada at the WJs will be on TSN1260.
  • If Rundblad is claimed, I will have a post on it.
  • Errol White is at the World Juniors, and has sent me some photos and his read on the tournament so far. I plan on posting it some time today, either here or at ON. Stay tuned.

 

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425 Responses to "G38 2015-16: KINGS AT OILERS"

« Older Comments
  1. square_wheels says:

    Lowetide,

    Well back to yesterday’s dialogue about my dislike of Katz, a very dark part of me wanted him to follow through on his threat to move the team. With Oakland, at least you could close that chapter and move on.

    Part of me was hoping the city and province told the Billionaire to kiss their ass and leave, then I could somehow become team neutral and just enjoy the game for its beauty.

    I have lots of friends/colleagues new to Canada so they all pick up great teams like LA or Chicago, so this decade of kicks to the balls really makes a guy negative when it’s truly just a game.

    But, somehow i still care.

  2. Centre of attention says:

    http://downloads.oilers.nhl.com/2015-16/20151229_post_mclellan.mp3

    Todd post game.

    I agree with everything Todd said.

    Disappointing performance from Talbot, otherwise the Oilers were right there with the Kings.

  3. Yegfoundation says:

    Professor Q,

    Let’s hope not. Where does the Nuge land in your assessment of current Oiler forwards to build a Stanley contending team?

    I’ve got:

    1) Connor
    2) Hall
    3) Dria
    4) Eberle
    5) Nuge

  4. Centre of attention says:

    Cool fact, 5 goalies were pulled tonight in the NHL.

    Tough night for a lot of guys.

  5. dangilitis says:

    Greg: Not having a completely ridiculous unpossible goal go in in the first 5 minutes of every game certainly helps.

    Just read this – damn you for jinxing Talbot tonight!

  6. Professor Q says:

    Lowetide:
    I cheered avidly for the Oakland Seals. If you can trump that we will talk.

    Do the Vancouver Grizzlies count?

    I suppose I’m fairly young, so small sample size. :p

  7. Professor Q says:

    Yegfoundation:
    Professor Q,

    Let’s hope not.Where does the Nuge land in your assessment of current Oiler forwards to build a Stanley contending team?

    I’ve got:

    1)Connor
    2)Hall
    3)Dria
    4)Eberle
    5)Nuge

    I always fluctuate between Nuge and Eberle. Drai and McDavid do change everything, though.

  8. dangilitis says:

    square_wheels:
    Professor Q,

    We can’t keep planning for year 5 to 10 when the near term is this fucking grim. Give Leon and Connor shelter but fix this D.

    Suspect Chia agrees, this summer is going to be bold. If only Drai, Hall, Connor and Pou remain I wouldn’t be shocked.

    Personally, I would have no player on a no-trade list but I don’t think that it’s possible to get a better return on Hall, Draisaitl, McDavid at the moment. Pouliot definitely not on my no-trade list but I agree he fits a “heavy player”.

    Even so, I would still be plenty shocked if all of RNH, Eberle, Yakupov and Purcell are traded over the next 6 months

    I do believe that one of those first 3 will be traded. Each of them are highly skilled undervalued players, and so you are going to lose any trade you make with them. That’s fine if it addresses D or G in a meaningful way, otherwise as a GM you have to tell others to fuck off when they peddle Hrudey narratives at you and offer magic beans or Reinharts, because they don’t move the dial now.

    Eberle and RNH are very good to excellent top 6 forwards for the next 5-10 years and if you don’t believe that the conversation is not going to go far with any GM. That’s what I believe, and that’s how Chia needs to approach any trade talk for either. Again, he can lose the trade with one if the return substantially helps address galling weaknesses of the Edmonton Oilers, but I don’t think you can or should lose more than one of these trades or one of these players.

    Yakupov had a promising start to this season derailed by an injury. He has given the Oilers a gift in signing for an additional year on the cheap. I don’t think he’ll be the driver on any line and that’s a shame for a #1 OV, but if he could show consistent offense for the next 1.5 seasons then at minimum he ups his trade value for next year and at max he becomes someone who can dependably ride shotgun with McDavid for the foreseeable future. To me, there is absolutely no rush to trade him unless the team trading for him makes an offer that addresses need and truly considers his current value plus his potential and value contract. I doubt you’ll find many such teams right now, so again, no rush to make it happen.

    With Purcell, call me crazy but why not sit down with him now and have a conversation? If he is willing to take a 2-3 year deal, at under 3 mil, that is a cheap solution for what has seemed to be a good fit for a 1st line forward

  9. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    I cheered avidly for the Oakland Seals. If you can trump that we will talk.

    I don’t know.

    Had the Oilers not taken Nicholson’s advice last summer they might have given the Seals a run for their money.

    Just needed some white skates.

    Besides, cheering for the Seals then was the frivolity of youth. Like buying an AMX as your first car rather than a responsible hatchback.

  10. OF17 says:

    square_wheels:
    Lowetide,

    Well back to yesterday’s dialogue about my dislike of Katz, a very dark part of me wanted him to follow through on his threat to move the team. With Oakland, at least you could close that chapter and move on.

    Part of me was hoping the city and province told the Billionaire to kiss their ass and leave, thenI could somehow become team neutral and just enjoy the game for its beauty.

    I have lots of friends/colleagues new to Canada so they all pick up great teams like LA or Chicago, so this decade of kicks to the balls really makes a guy negative when it’s truly just a game.

    But, somehow i still care.

    Don’t wish for something you don’t want. There is no better feeling in sports than having your team. YOUR team, the one that literally nothing would change your allegiance. 40 years of ineptitude and still, they’re the one you want to win. What fun is cheering for a team if you only like them when they’re good? It means nothing. YOU haven’t won, since that team isn’t a part of you. When the Oilers, god willing, win the Cup again, it will be as if we all have won, every last one of us, in a way that someone who started following LA 3 years ago simply can’t understand. Don’t wish for a shallower experience. You never know when the world will force one upon you anyways.

    And plus, who said you can’t watch LA-Chicago games and have fun while being an Oilers fan?

  11. hunter1909 says:

    Many of us fans gave up last year, but McDavid made believers out of us all over again.

    Then Draisaitl emerges in the wake of McDavid’s injury and with a few wins, plus Darnell Nurse plus the odd decent goalie performance and for a few heady moments the Pacific Division’s Wildcard spots beckoned.

    Hilarity in Calgary during the current 4 game losing streak. Another season in the bin.

    Another 29th place finish beckons.

    Chiarelli+McLellan weren’t around in 2006.

    I’ll return to scoreboard watching until they string together another few W’s, lol.

  12. Stelio Kontos says:

    Enough here to not lose hope in the future like last year, but the season is over. Question now is can we get rid of some of the deadweight?

    Win the lottery. I’m not that fluent in this years draft, but it looks weaker on defence. Jake Bean looks ok, and Chychrun is supposed to be good. I like keith’s boy, and obviously matthews is a bonfide number 1.
    Purcell for a first or second potentially.
    Maybe flip gryba for a pick and sign someone more useful.
    Put terence on a raft.
    Replace korpikoski.
    Pray lander comes back from the dead.
    Find a hint of offence to go with latest on the 4th line (could possibly be kassian replacing gazdic).
    Find another pouliot level winger.

    Figure out the goalies.

    Hold your water on the defence. Another sekera level signing should tide over until the kids are ready.
    I seriously worry about reinhart. Brazil looks closer to NHL ready.

  13. OilClog says:

    In all my years of living in enemy territory on the beautiful coast, being in north saanich and wondering if the house on the hill behind me was coming to say hello..

    Apparently not a big earthquake, still left feeling like a ant with 5 broken legs.
    It was about 3 seconds of hmmm.. Did the dog fart.. 3 seconds of shit water pipe?.. 10 seconds of oh shit run to tv.

    Then it was done.

    Tomorrow I’ll definitely have some extra vinegar for life.

  14. admiralmark says:

    OilClog:
    In all my years of living in enemy territory on the beautiful coast, being in north saanich and wondering if the house on the hill behind me was coming to say hello..

    Apparently not a big earthquake, still left feeling like a ant with 5 broken legs.
    It was about 3 seconds of hmmm.. Did the dog fart.. 3 seconds of shit water pipe?.. 10 seconds of oh shit run to tv.

    Then it was done.

    Tomorrow I’ll definitely have some extra vinegar for life.

    That wasn’t an Earthquake that was the effect of all the Canuck fans jumping off the bandwagon.

  15. SwedishPoster says:

    It wasn’t too bad of a game, outside of the second period collapse it was probably the best game they’ve had since Klefbom went down. Talbot falling apart along with some lost puck battles killed us.
    The PP looked better, Hunt is far too easily outmuscled in the d-zone but once on the PP he grows a couple of inches and almost reaches 6 feet.
    Lander had his best game of the season imo. Confidence boost from being put on the PP? Hopefully he can build on this game.

    It’s starting to become truly annoying that the team plays their best games against better teams and craps the bed against the lesser ones. Show up like last night against Calgary or Vancouver and that’s probably two points.

  16. frjohnk says:

    Hey, look at the bright side, we are only 4 points out of a playoff spot

    At the beginning of the year, if someone said that on Dec 30th if the Oilers were only 4 points from 2nd spot in the division, would you take it?

    I would.

    In the next week or so, we are getting 2 of our 4 best D back.

    And we are also getting closer to the return of McDavid and Yak. 2 not too shabby players if I say so myself.

    I don’t know if Chia will make a push to get some D help, but this team and where the division is at ( nobody pulling away) will make it interesting.

    But I’m guessing by the time the Oilers are either officially out of playoff contention, or praise the Gords, actually make the playoffs, there will be a lot of us with pulled muscles and broken bones from climbing and falling off the band wagon every couple of days.

  17. PhrankLee says:

    Well that was a bizarre 90 seconds.

    But not a bad game by the team.

    Except our overage backup/starter. Talbot is not turning out to be the “trending toward elite” goaltender we hoped we were getting.

    I am not too disappointed, mind you. I love our guys and I love our team but starting the year with 2 backups 2 years in a row is frustrating.

    Watching blind angle shots get through a guy paid millions to prevent them by routine means gets under the skin.

    I’m never a guy who says.we should have picked up player x instead of player y.

    Still not. But someone needs to fix this guy’s psyche. Pronto.

  18. PhrankLee says:

    frjohnk: But I’m guessing by the time the Oilers are either officially out of playoff contention, or praise the Gords, actually make the playoffs, there will be a lot of us with pulled muscles and broken bones from climbing and falling off the band wagon every couple of days.

    But some of us are on the bandwagon permanently.

    Being an Oiler fan has taught me the ins and outs of pride, shame, gluttony and famine.

    I am a better man for suffering through the decade with unwavering support. I do not know how anyone has discipline enough to say “Im not going to watch for a few games…” I just could never do that.
    I understand why some people do but I am way too invested emotionally to miss a game.

  19. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    PhrankLee,

    I don’t know, it’s not hard.

    Free time is a scarce resource. Spending time watching the Oilers is time not spent doing something else. If all watching the Oilers does is, ultimately, make me grumpy, then I owe it to the people around me to consider not doing it.

    It’s not like I don’t watch the games and instead watch Arizona vs. Chicago. Last night for example I went to my local WHL game instead, and periodically checked my phone for (dissapointing) updates on my phone. That was a better use of my time.

    When the Oilers are terrible then there are other, better uses of my time. When they are good there are still other, better uses of my time, but watching the Oilers game becomes a more appealing trade off.

  20. stevezie says:

    Ca$h-McMoney!,

    I agree. I’ve never stopped following the team, but there have been stretches where I have stopped watching.

    This is supposed to be fun. When it isn’t, stop. Cheering for the Oilers is not a higher moral calling.

  21. Really? says:

    It is obvious that the Oilers have some glaring defensive weaknesses. We all know that and so does Chiarelli.

    What will be extremely interesting is how Chiarelli addresses these problems between now and the February 29, 2016 trade deadline.

    Will he try to correct the problems and potentially go for the playoffs this year or will he decide to do the heavy lifting this summer?

    The answer may/will depend heavily on the impact Connor McDavid has on the Oilers when he returns to the line up.

  22. sliderule says:

    When the Kings made their run to the cup they brought up Nolan and King to play on their bottom six.

    These two knew their job was to hit and intimidate .

    Not necessary to fight but get in the oppositions face.

    Our bottom line has Gazdic(tries to hit but mostly misses and doesn’t try to intimidate),Pakirinin (not much hitting and no intimidation, and Lander (mostly no hitting and a patty cake if he does try and he just wants to be friends)

    This means our skilled players get run by the opposition with no worries about someone hitting them.

    Our best player Hall and our young defenceman Nurse have to do all the pushback by hitting and face washes .They shouldn’t have to be only ones doing this.

    If we have anyone in minors who fits the role say Kessy or Moroz bring them up and run them with Khaira .Just make sure they know their role hit and get in the opponents face.

    I am tired of oilers being run and known as soft.

  23. PhrankLee says:

    sliderule: I am tired of oilers being run and known as soft.

    This is changing. Taylor Hall is showing the team what effort is. Not what it looks like.

    I have not seen him take a game off.

    Easily, leaps, bounds, pecks and bushels above anyone else on the team.

    Now add to that he has grown enough to angle a guy like Lucic into the boards in a very serious hit. He is a man now. His trunk is getting it’s man strength. He was fast but not solid in the past.

    He has matured into fast low and solid. Incredible.

    Leading the way an NHL captain usually does.

    By great example.

    Except the selfish penalties. But hey, Taylor Hall.

    It’s pretty clear to me that we will have arguably the best LW and clearly best C in the NHL a year from now.

  24. GCW_69 says:

    sliderule:
    When the Kings made their run to the cup they brought up Nolan and King to play on their bottom six.

    These two knew their job was to hit and intimidate .

    Not necessary to fight but get in the oppositions face.

    Our bottom line has Gazdic(tries to hit but mostly misses and doesn’t try to intimidate),Pakirinin (not much hitting and no intimidation, and Lander (mostly no hitting and a patty cake if he does try and he just wants to be friends)

    This means our skilled players get run by the opposition with no worries about someone hitting them.

    Our best player Hall and our young defenceman Nurse have to do all the pushback by hitting and face washes .They shouldn’t have to be only ones doing this.

    If we have anyone in minors who fits the role say Kessy or Moroz bring them up and run them with Khaira .Just make sure they know their role hit and get in the opponents face.

    I am tired of oilers being run and known as soft.

    Hits per 60 seems to be, in order: Hendricks, Iiro, Gazdic, Korpse, Lander then the rest of the team. Lander throws more than double the number of hits per 60 than Pouliot, Nuge, and Leon, and triple Eberle, Purcell, and McDavid. Iiro is more than double Lander. Hitting in the bottom six is not the problem.

    I was a little surprised at the hit per 60 number for Leon. You would expect your big body centre to hit a little more to wear down the defence. Leon appears to be a gentle giant.

    Sadly, this team does need Lucic in the top six. Since Lucic plays on the left, it probably needs to be Lucic in and Pouliot out since he isn’t replacing Hall.

  25. dangilitis says:

    GCW_69: Hits per 60 seems to be, in order:Hendricks, Iiro, Gazdic, Korpse, Lander then the rest of the team.Lander throws more than double the number of hits per 60 than Pouliot, Nuge, and Leon, and triple Eberle, Purcell, and McDavid.Iiro is more than double Lander.Hitting in the bottom six is not the problem.

    I was a little surprised at the hit per 60 number for Leon.You would expect your big body centre to hit a little more to wear down the defence.Leon appears to be a gentle giant.

    Sadly, this team does need Lucic in the top six.Since Lucic plays on the left, it probably needs to be Lucic in and Pouliot out since he isn’t replacing Hall.

    Doesn’t that go to show you that Draisaitl can play heavy without having to bash anything in sight? I saw him rub several Kings off the puck last night and it involved contact that wouldn’t be labelled hitting. Who cares if he’s hitting or not. I want the best players emotionally invested, I see that with Hall and Draisaitl without having them taking numbers. RNH and Eberle need a player like that on their line, and last year Pouliot was that man. Hopefully the last 2 games are a sign of more to come from that trio, because that line needs more ability to hem a team in their own end. RNH is still young enough to build more muscle, as well.

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