The Edmonton Oilers are less wildly unpredictable than they were awhile ago. Whereas early in the year we had no idea which team was going to show up, these days we can wander through our afternoons thinking the club has a legit chance to win every night. The Oilers are one of the feel good stories in the entire NHL 11-12.
Late in yesterday’s thread, Traktor posted “was Smyth this good the last time he was an Oiler? His board-work can only be described as art” and my brain got rolling and damned if it isn’t an excellent question.
In 00-01, he went 82, 31-39-70 +10 on a team that fnished +15 overall. That was the year he was with Weight and Guerin to start the year and then when Carter came over they ran with that trio (sans Guerin who had been traded) before Comrie came up at New Year’s. Anyway, Smyth was golden that year.
It doesn’t matter, Smyth is Smyth and all the memories are good ones (save July 2006 through Feb 2007 and that wasn’t his fault). I don’t know that he’s ever played this well, but my memory isn’t what it used to be back in the day. Perhaps the younger set will have an idea.
Colorado is 2-7-1 in their last 10 and the Oilers aren’t much better (4-6-0) but have been making steady progress after a losing streak early in the month. Avs are in dangerous territory, just 2 points clear of Calgary (heh heh) but I kind of feel Colorado is a sleeping giant. Duchene, Stastny, Landeskog–these two teams are going to be battling forward sets for a decade. It’ll be fun, unless you’re Calgary.
I thought Jonathan Willis did a splendid job grading the game yesterday. His report is here.
Nation Radio hits the air today at noon on Team 1260. Among the scheduled guests:
- Corey Pronman, NHL Draft Expert for Hockey Prospectus.
- Scott Taylor from Jets Nation. Taylor has been bringing it since joining the Nations Network and will back up his words with more words.
- Kent Simpson from the Edmonton Oil Kings (color commentator). Kent will give us some insight into an interesting Oil King team and how they look this season and we’ll get updates on the usual suspects (Gernat, Pelss, Reinhart, bonus Bunz).
- Tom Benjamin from Canucks Corner. Tom is a wise observer of the game, so we’ll cast our questions a little wider than just Canucks, but there will be plenty of time for discusiion about the suddenly surging Vancouver squad.
- Kent Wilson from the Nations Network. Kent will discuss the Flames pickup of Blake Comeau (a wise move) and we’ll have another look under the hood of this year’s Flames.
Twitter: @itsnationradio or lowetide_
I read comments and questions posted here and at ON.
Hope you can tune in.