Hawks at Oilers, G54 ’10-’11

That’s Bobby Hull getting ready for a faceoff, late 60′s or early 70′s. He has hair, so my guess is early 70′s (Bobby ran out of hair at the end of te 60′s but had some surgery to get the Elton John look later).

The other player is Bob Plager, St. Louis Blues. Tough as nails, he spent so much time fighting his brothers (and everyone else) the Blues acquired both Barclay and Billy just so he’d be on the ice more (I kid).

The Hawks are a fun team to watch because there’s so much skill on the ice most of the time. Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Hossa, man Chicagoland has a lot to be proud of with this group. I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs, all those trades last summer took their toll.

Still, a fun team to watch.

Among NHL goalies with at least 10 games played, Devan Dubnyk ranks in a tie for 24th in save percentage (.917). On the other hand, 6 goalies who have played 10 games or more have a worse SP than Nikolai Khabibulin. They are: Rick DiPietro, Jonas Gustavsson, Dan Ellis, Mike Smith, Ty Conklin and Justin Peters. At some point the Oilers are going to be forced into sending NK to the minors. I wonder how many times owner Katz will sign off on demoting guys he’s paying millions before he wonders why they were signed in the first place. It took Mike Illitch awhile, so we wait.

Taylor Hall’s rookie season looks like a dead ringer for the Steve Stamkos rookie season. That’s too much pressure to put on the kid (Stamkos ripped 51 as a sophomore) but the math is a nice fit:

  • Stamkos actual: 79gp, 23-23-46
  • Hall projected: 82gp, 26-24-50

Hall is playing about three more minutes a night than Stamkos did as a rookie. His even numbers (53gp, 13-13-26) will tower over Stamkos as a rookie (79gp, 14-15-29) but again Hall is playing about 3:40 more a night at evens than did Stamkos.

Ralph Krueger will coach the next two games, as Tom Renney will spend the week with his family, Renney’s father passed away last week.

Lots of trade rumors around the Oilers currently. Tambellini did some solid work last deadline and one hopes he can do more of the same this time. I think names like Vandermeer and Jones are possible, but Hemsky and Penner unlikely. I suspect a team asking after either of them will find the Oilers want NHL players in return; most deadline deals involve prospects and picks.

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