Islanders at Oilers, G39 ’10-’11

That’s Denis Potvin keeping Buffalo’s Gilbert Perreault from the front of the net. Potvin was a complete player: skilled, big, tough and mean. Dirt mean. Filthy.

He became the first OHL defenseman to score 100 points in a season, thus breaking Bobby Orr’s record. The chant “Potvin Sucks” comes from the February 25, 1979 game at Madison Square Garden in which he broke Ulf Nilsson’s ankle. Fred Shero got the Rangers to the SCF’s that season, a healthy Nilsson might have made a difference.

The NY Islanders drafted Potvin 1st overall in 1973. He was an obvious top pick (Sam Pollock kept offering more during a pre-draft walk around the Mount Royal Hotel with Isles GM Bill Torrey) and delivered quality throughout his HOF career.

The NY Islanders and Edmonton Oilers are in a race for 29th overall tonight. The winner gets two points, the loser gets the #2 overall pick and a better chance to win the lottery.

I’m reading in a places that the performanes of Couturier and Larsson were disappointing at the WJ’s. I think we need to suss things out a little in our minds. Did Couturier have a lot of powerplay opportunity? Was this Canadian team a 5×5 monster (whammo!!!) as we’ve seen in previous seasons? The better plan (imo) is to see how he dominates the QMJHL. Gabe Desjardins NHLE’s have him doing fine there (82gp, 12-25-37) is on par with a player like Jeff Skinner (19-16-35) and when you add Couturier’s physical presence then we’re talking about a damn good prospect.

So too with Larsson. His offense (NHLE: 82gp, 2-16-18) added to the secondary numbers we know (less than 18 minutes a night, he’s +14 which is the best number on the team) suggest he isn’t getting a lot of PP time but doing well at EVs. I’d suggest that David Rundblad is the PP QB on Skelleftea this season.

My point is that we need to wait a little longer and see how this thing turns out. Taylor Hall had a more prominent role on a better offensive team a year ago (compared to Couturier) and Larsson is a guy whose value isn’t going to measured strictly by boxcars.

We need to look closer.

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