We’re reaching the midway point of this NHL season and lots of things are coming into view. There are many predictable things–Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver are at the top of the western conference standings and Jordan Eberle is in the top 10 in scoring.
The Oilers spent a decade without a “first shot scorer” and now they’re falling out of the sky. Taylor Hall can score goals in close and by picking corners, RNH’s passes make tap-ins a breeze, and then there’s Jordan Eberle. (NOTE: I am not comparing Eberle to BH).
Jordan Eberle is a sublime young player. Terrific passer, ridiculous hands allow him to stickhandle in close (that goal against Russia was no fluke) and buddy has been scoring from outside the normal areas lately. I don’t know if it’s luck or he’s found another foot on his fastball (Dennis mentioned changing scoring angles the other day) but he does appear to be beating goalies when he shouldn’t be doing it.
God in heaven, please make this big brained prairie boy strong and sturdy, with a will of iron and endurance you don’t normally see outside the porn industry. Amen.
This is Dave Hrechkosy. He scored 29 goals for Oakland as a rookie and never got close again. Losing teams–hey, I was a Montreal Expo fan, do you really want me to tell you about the Pepe Mangual/Bombo Rivera summer–have things like that happen all the time. 29 goals one year, 4 the next.
I’ve decided that the Oilers organization “test subject” in the Pepe/Bombo/Hrechkosy study is Magnus Paajarvi. Let’s see how this turns out.
Anaheim GM Bob Murray told Helene Elliot last night that he has two untouchables–Sakku Koivi and Teemu Selanne–but everyone else in play. Ryan Getzlaf would be perfect for any team, but the Oilers don’t have the bullets to acquire him without dealing one of the first overall’s or Eberle (as part of a package). Their good defensemen are veterans like Beauchemin and Lydman, fine players but not quite right for the rebuild. Fowler is an interesting prospect but he’s struggling defensively and that often ruins young D–it’s been happening for decades (see Seals, Oakland: Rick Hampton).
St. Louis is a different team now that Hitchcock is in charge. He’s very easy going right up until the first mistake. His (reported) style is similar to Billy Martin’s baseball style. Legend has it that when Martin got to Oakland he had a meeting with his starting pitchers. They all agreed that they were going to throw strikes.
FIRST game of exhibition baseball, Rick Langford throws the first pitch. Ball one! TIME! Martin comes running out of the dugout and out to the mound. “I thought we agreed we were going to throw strikes?!!?!!”