Wild at Oilers, G45 ’10-’11

This is Mary Richards. Richards changed popular culture forever with her strong work for WJM-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is among the most famous people from Minnesota, along with Robert Zimmerman and Prince Rogers Nelson. Plus Paul Bunyan.

The Minnesota Wild had a terrible start and there was talk of firing the coach and blowing it up. However, the roster boasts some very nice NHL players (Havlat, Koivu, Cullen, Burnette, Burns and on it goes) and things finally turned around for them. I don’t know that the Wild will make the post-season (anyone remember how easy it was to make the playoffs 25 years ago? mid-season NHL games are about 110% better than they were) but there’s a nice story there.

Lots of rage about the Oilers powerplay, and I think it’s deserved at this point in time. I don’t blame the players per se, for me it’s about movement. When I see Detroit’s powerplay, at least two possible outlets are moving targets at any time. The Oilers run their powerplay station to station and defending it is pretty easy. The 6-on-3 the other night has more to do with these men thinking too much as opposed to any lack of skill, but that’s my opinion.

Logan Couture is back and healthy, so the Calder race isn’t as close as one would like; having said that, Taylor Hall’s new linemates should give him a very nice push:

  1. Jeff Skinner 45gp, 16-20-36
  2. Logan Couture 46gp, 20-10-30
  3. Taylor Hall 44gp, 14-13-27
  4. Derek Stepan 47gp, 13-14-27
  5. Bryan Bickell 44gp, 12-14-26

A strong 2 week stretch for #4 will have him in the conversation.

Lots of great comments all over the blogosphere about Bob McKenzie’s latest rankings. I’m onboard with Couturier, but would be fine with Landeskog or Larsson. The one thing BM’s list really drives home is that the Oilers should pick up another pick in the top 50. The list is so fluid–and the overall strength is so strong–that the Oilers could absolutely kill this draft as they did a year ago.

Bob McKenzie’s list is something we should pay close attention to this winter. Why? Look at last season’s draft:

  • #1: Taylor Hall: #1 Bob McKenzie
  • #31: Tyler Pitlick: #25 Bob McKenzie
  • #46: Martin Marincin #71 Bob McKenzie
  • #48: Curtis Hamilton #57 Bob McKenzie
  • #61: Ryan Martindale #58 Bob McKenzie

I’ll have a longer look at McKenzie’s list this weekend.

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