IMPRESSIONS

We all got a really good look at the OKC Barons on Saturday night, and I have to say that Oilers fans would be well served by a full season’s viewings of that AHL team. Now, that’s not going to happen, but we can be secure in the knowledge that development is happening and the group will be stronger because of this year.

GOOD THINGS

I thought the lines clicked well:

  1. The Million Dollar Line: Lots of good things, including Hall’s moon shot that used a part of the net never seen before. Lots of fast breaks and creativity, suspect Hall will eventually move off the line and Hartikainen will move back up (spread out the offense). Man do these guys carry the puck well.
  2. The Euro Line: Effective night for this trio imo, not a lot of finish (sorry) but some jam (sorry again) and Paajarvi driving to the net. I do think Hartikainen’s PF forward mode has been clicked to “on” position–he seems to get a piece of everyone now, even on the forecheck.
  3. Arc de Triomph line: Arcobello is a clever bugger and might be well suited to a minor league “Reasoner” role–the guy who mentors the kids, in this case Pitlick and Hamilton. I liked their forechecking game and suspect both kids will post some crooked numbers when they get more prominent roles (when the lockout ends).
  4. Dutch cleanser: VandeVelde has impressed with his checking ability, as has House. Byers has looked addled, but that might be me (I’m not fond of the “2 minutes for boarding” types). The line has 2 capable AHL PK men in VV and House, and of course the Oilers love their enforcers. I like this 4line.

PAIRINGS

  1. Schultz-Fedun: A nice pairing, both right handers handled the sorties well imo. Schultz seemed very aggressive on Saturday night during the three periods. Fedun was cheating towards his own blue all night–makes sense. This pairing could work all year imo.
  2. Zahn-Teubert: I thought both played well, and at this point Teubert is probably the first callup. Zahn is a load out there, no doubt. I don’t think there’s a puck mover on this pairing, but remember Martin Marincin is at the ready so that’ll help.
  3. Henry-Plante: Plante has played better recently, suspect he has had some injury issues early in the year. Henry is a calm guy back there, good pickup for the Barons. KISS pairing.


GOAL

Yann Danis played well, I thought the broadcast spent way too much time on the Heat goaltender without giving credit to Danis. Abbotsford took 19 shots in the third, and the only goal came from (imo) a coverage lapse by Anton Lander.

Solid game overall, and very enjoyable after watching “8-track television” online feeds–although I’m thankful for anything hockey. Bottom line: Oiler fans should be pleased with their young players, and the won-loss record isn’t the important item. Progress is being made. That’s the key.

If the Oilers can graduate one or two useful players from this experiment that’s a major win. Now, who are they? That’s the question. History tells us it could be Teemu Hartikainen or Magnus Paajarvi, but it could also be Teigan Zahn or Tyler Pitlick.

One final thing: how did Eberle avoid getting an assist on the Hall goal?

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41 Responses to "IMPRESSIONS"

  1. dessert1111 says:

    I thought the lines and pairings were the best they have been for the Saturday game. I would consider swapping Arcobello and Lander, but Lander seems to play better with other European players, and Arcobello is probably a good mentor. I don’t love Dane Byers’ game — inconsistency and penalty-taking are my biggest concerns, like a minor league Eager — but if the choice is him or Abney, I am happy to take Byers every game with Tyrvainen getting some reps.

    Relieved to finally see Fedun with Schultz since this pairing makes the most sense to me as a top pairing. Would like Marcinin to be with Teubert and the other guys take turns as the third pairing. The problem is out of those four remaining guys, none are great puck-movers, but maybe one can compensate or pick up the slack in an easy minutes role.

    Hopefully we see more games like this last one! Might be time to send a Martindale or an Abney down in my opinion.

  2. Lowetide says:

    What’s up with Martindale? Sure he’s in the doghouse, but you have to let him out sooner or later.

  3. Rondo says:

    Having the elite players is a double edge sword.

    They lesser players don’t take leadership roles and do not have as much responsibility.

    The sooner the elite players can get back to the NHL the better it will be.

  4. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    What’s up with Martindale? Sure he’s in the doghouse, but you have to let him out sooner or later.

    Isn’t/wasn’t he injured? Thought I’d heard that but don’t have the proof of it. Regardless, I agree with DESSERT that he should be sent down if/when healthy.

  5. gd says:

    Saturday was the first game I was able to watch the Barons and thought it was a great quality game from each team. In fact that was probably one of the top 5 “Battle of Alberta” games of the past decade. It reminded me of one of the better Oiler games from the second half of last year where they play pretty well, but the refs aren’t calling very much which neutralizes the Oilers biggest strength. The Heat had great D Zone coverage and the Barons had 2011-12 Oiler like D Zone coverage, which I can’t tell if it is because of coaching, the diff between 21 year olds and 25 year olds, or just poor defensive players.

    Pitlick played exactly how I had heard, with fast, aggresive play, but not much offensive instincts. I noticed he took a few faceoffs, and I wonder if maybe he should be guy we try to develop as a C. With his speed and size, if he could become somewhere between a Bolland/Gaustad/Horcoff would that not be the perfect 3rd line C to RNH/Gagner? With the org having so many playmakers on the wing, does that give them room for a Centre with more grit?

  6. oilersfan says:

    Regarding Saturday nights game… I do find it disappointing that our top three players aren’t ripping up the AHL a bit more. I know it is a good league, and it plays tough D, etc. That being said, the best players in the AHL on defence, for the most part, would be the worst players on a NHL team. Shouldn’t there be some matchups where two first overall picks and an almost 40 goal scorer in the NHL would feast on and score more than a point per game??? Seems strange to me that Eberle gets almost a point per game in the NHL but only a ppg in the AHL. Based on NHLE shouldn’t he be getting 2.2 points per game?? That would seem reasonable to me given his skill set and the quality of competition.

    Regarding the lockout and Deadmanwalking’s respoinse to my post in the last thread. Do I take a 10% pay cut every 7 years? Well, I am a commissioned sales person in the investment business. I have had many years where I get a 10% raise or a 10% pay cut. In 2008 I took a 70% paycut. Look around you. Outside of alberta the global economy is skirting a recession and has been for 4 years. If the ROI on the average NHL team is 7% per year as Brian Lawton said, then absolutely the players should expect and even embrace a paycut. If they can lock up this collective agreement for 10 years they should be happy with what the owners are offering to make the business stable. It is a better alternative to take a 10% cut now, like I said, actually only a 4% cut after taxes and paying the agents…than a 100% pay cut they will get if the season is cancelled and a smaller pie next year when revenues shrink.

    And , the other obvious answer is they aren’t taking a 10% pay cut every 7 years. Since the last lockout the salary cap has gone up 75%. If they take the cut, in two years it will likely be back to where it is now, and in 8 years will likely be up by 40%. I haven’t checked if average players salaries are up 75% like the cap is, but i suspect even after taking the initial 24% paycut the players got all that back in 2 years and are likely up by about 50% now in average salaries.

    Like I said, unless Fehr is just bargaining hard at this point, if he thinks it is worth it for the players to miss a season, he is like the bad realtor who advises you to list your house at too high of a price when the only offer out there is 10-15% below what you want.. There is only one real buyer here, the NHL owneres. 95% of these players would only make a fraction of this money in any other league. The players’ friends, parents and siblings should be kicking them hard in the ass to accept a 4% pay cut in real dollars and get back on the ice before it gets bigger and bigger with games getting cancelled every two weeks.

  7. russ99 says:

    oilersfan,

    The NHLPA has moved on a number of issues, it’s the NHL that won’t budge on contractual areas such as time before FA, arbitration, max years of a contract, etc.

    Those are a tough sell to players already moving towards what ownership wants. Ownership wants to “win” on all those areas – that aren’t reasons why the lockout happened.

    Until both sides are bargaining in good faith, this is going to drag on. NHL has good reasons for what they want most of they want, but in bargaining it’s give and take, not take and take some more.

  8. Gerta Rauss says:

    LT
    Is that song by the Jam “Eton Rifles” the genesis for the nickname for our former captain Moreau..?

  9. oilersfan says:

    Russ99

    what have the players moved on? 20 teams are losing money. The 10 that make money are giving 200 million to the 20 teams that don’t. The point is, 90%, or 96% when you consider the taxes and paying your agent, is a lot more than 0%, which is what they are headed for. at some point perceived fairness is less important than getting paid.

    In the last 5 years at the two firms I work for, the employees were told we are getting less of the pie of the money we make. We grumbled but we know the firms we work for are making less than they used to and if we don’t like it, tough. We can go work somewhere else or accept the terms we are offered. Reality sucks but we took it because we know 90% is better than 0%.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    LT
    Is that song by the Jam “Eton Rifles” the genesis for the nickname for our former captain Moreau..?

    Yes.

  11. franksterra says:

    Sorry for non-hockey post, but that Jam/JD TV clip has me wiping away tears:
    - they’re so damn good. and (were) so young
    - the UK is still totally mired in the class system. But those working class bands made magic though
    - the TV show Something Else. We just don’t treat our kids with any respect these days, in terms of culture, music, media, fashion. The commodification of childhood and adolescence is complete. What show in Canada or the US would show the equivalent of the Jam or JD playing live for 16-20 year olds today? Google Patti Smith You Light Up my life for another example of an artist treating young people with respect and dignity. And the show is even called “kids are people too” ffs!!

    sorry, rant over

  12. franksterra says:

    btw David Cameron lists Eton Rifles as a fave song. Berk.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Love the Jam, from the first time I heard them. I’d been reading Melody Maker and knew they had hit, but no ne was playing their music! Back then, the only new music you could buy was in a place called Obscure Alternatives (it was in the Tegler building, downtown Edmonton).

    The only time I could get there was Saturday mornings and I used to have to wait for two or three hours for the guy who owned the joint to wake up, kick his gf out and open up! I bought the Jam, Clash, Sex Pistols and some incredible American music like Television and Talking Heads from that store.

  14. franksterra says:

    There was a place on Whyte Ave, near 109th back in the 80′s. Southside sound did used records and was east toward 104t St. This was new stuff, lots of UK and international, coloured vinyl, EPs…I went there all the time but can’t remember the name now. Any ideas? Owner was skinny guy with biggish slightly spiky hair and pointy boots. Skinny Puppy and Billy Bragg were two of my faves at the time, at opposite ends of the spectrum. Loudest. gig. ever. Skinny Puppy and Severed Heads. 700 Wing. Many years ago.

  15. franksterra says:

    on a hockey note. The WOW trade strikes fear. Not pleasure. Trust levels still low.

  16. Lowetide says:

    I think the wow trade is Luongo and involves Gagner. DSF may drink himself to death.

  17. Reg Dunlop says:

    The lock-out saga bores me so lets talk music. Joy Division is cited as a major influence by many artists. I finished high school in ’79 and followed popular music closely, through fanzines and haunting SUB records and Melody Lane; I vaguely heard of Joy Division but couldn’t access actual music until after their demise. They only released a couple of albums, all very depressing and had it not been for the singer’s mental illness, addiction and suicide they would have faded into obscurity un-noticed. Bleak and over-rated. The Jam never translated well in North America but were beloved in UK. Odd because they were a Who tribute band with talent, should have been big here. As far as post-punk bands rate, Joy Division lag way behind The Jam, Gang of Four, XTC, PIL, Ultravox and even the equally depressing Bauhaus.

    Anyone old enough to know about, care about or have the spare time to argue about the merits of anglo-pop in the late ’70s? Is anyone as fed up with the state of the NHL as me?

  18. Lowetide says:

    Love Gang of Four, a lot. I don’t post their music but love it. I was always listening to PIL when they came out (“getting rid of the Albatross, sowing the seeds of discontent!”) but faded after their first album. Probably because I met a girl. :-)

  19. Gerta Rauss says:

    Skylarking is one of my favourite albums to listen to start to finish(the only way to listen to an album, imo)

    I saw SNFU a handful of times in the mid-80′s-they are still kicking around the West coast with an occasional gig here and there. I saw the Circle Jerks at the Polish hall in ’85?? ish..I think Euthanaisa opened for them-I seem to recall it being very loud and me spilling beer all over the floor.

    Good times.

  20. dessert1111 says:

    gd,

    I often wonder aloud, with the Oilers depth at centre vs. their depth at wing, why they aren’t constantly auditioning several of their AHL wingers who might be able to play centre. Pitlick, Hall, Paajarvi all come to mind.

  21. Reg Dunlop says:

    A friend of mine played drums with SNFU at the start. I saw them play Borden Park bandstand along with 50-odd people on the lawn that day, then helped break down their gear. It was a privilige to do so.

    My musical tastes in the late ’70s included American post-punk groups like Television and Talking Heads. Listening today, their music has not always aged gracefully.

    To go off on a tangent, I think Joe Sakic was an all-time great that belongs in the HOF, Bure and Oates are maybes but Sundin? Ahead of Shanahan?No chance if he didn’t play in the centre of the universe.

  22. dessert1111 says:

    Lowetide:
    I think the wow trade is Luongo and involves Gagner. DSF may drinkhimself to death.

    Did you hear anything in particular that made you suspect this LT? Did I miss something? I’ve heard some people wonder if it’s Luongo, but I don’t think I recall seeing anyone putting it this strongly. And I may as well add that I think this would be a poor decision.

  23. skidplate says:

    Lowetide:
    I think the wow trade is Luongo and involves Gagner. DSF may drinkhimself to death.

    Or that is when DSF finally sees the positive side of Gagner’s game.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Reg: I still love the TH and Television. Love that stuff from the 70s and early 80s.

    Dessert: Nothing I’ve heard. I just take worst case scenario and live with it for awhile. That way, whatever they do seems less horrible.

  25. Rondo says:

    I’d rather get Seth Jones with Oilers 1st round pick + ?

  26. godot10 says:

    Reg Dunlop:
    The lock-out saga bores me so lets talk music. Joy Division is cited as a major influence by many artists. I finished high school in ’79 and followed popular music closely, through fanzines and haunting SUB records and Melody Lane; Ivaguely heard of Joy Division but couldn’t access actual music until after their demise. They only released a couple of albums, all very depressing and had it not been for the singer’s mental illness, addiction and suicide they would have faded into obscurity un-noticed. Bleak and over-rated. The Jam never translated well in North America but were beloved in UK. Odd because they were a Who tribute band with talent, should have been big here. As far as post-punk bands rate, Joy Division lag way behind The Jam, Gang of Four, XTC, PIL, Ultravox and even the equally depressing Bauhaus.

    I don’t think epilepsy is a mental illness. Is “depression” brought about by an inability for one’s epilepsy to be controlled medically “mental illness”?

    New Order (Joy Division less Ian Curtis) certainly faded into obscurity un-noticed. Bleak and over-rated. The movies “24 Hour Party People” and “Control” are highly recommended for those who want to learn more of the history.

  27. godot10 says:

    Lowetide:
    Love Gang of Four, a lot. I don’t post their music but love it. I was always listening to PIL when they came out (“getting rid of the Albatross, sowing the seeds of discontent!”) but faded after their first album. Probably because I met a girl.

    I saw the Gang of Four live at Carleton University in August 1981. One of the days that literally changed my life.

  28. Lowetide says:

    godot10: I saw the Gang of Four live at Carleton University in August 1981.One of the days that literally changed my life.

    I remember the first time I heard GOF it was an EP with Anthrax and Damaged Goods. It was phenomenal.

  29. edwards_daddy says:

    “The movies “24 Hour Party People” and “Control” are highly recommended for those who want to learn more of the history.”

    The Joy Division documentary film also gives a fascinating insight – and counter balances Control which was based on Deborah Curtis’ book.
    Music coming out of the Uk in the early 70s and 80s was fantastic directly influenced by the utter chaos the country was in over that period. Through the Pistols and The Clash to Joy Division and The Cure and finally to The Smiths and The Fall – for 7 or 8 years the UK produced some truly great music.

  30. franksterra says:

    Peter Hook has a new book out on Joy Division which is supposed to be excellent.

    and, er, Harski rocks

  31. Rebilled says:

    Can you really see Luongo being traded to a Canadian division rival? The guy can’t handle the pressure in Vancouver so he’d ‘choose’ go play under the Northern Microscope? He’d have to sit on the bench like Cujo did when he went back to play in Toronto for the Wings.

    ‘We all got a really good look at the OKC Barons on Saturday night, and I have to say that Oilers fans would be well served by a full season’s viewings of that AHL team. Now, that’s not going to happen, but we can be secure in the knowledge that development is happening and the group will be stronger because of this year.’

    Do you mean watching them on Sportsnet or that you’re sure the lockout is going to end LT?

    Either way, the development in the AHL will definitely help the young Oilers. I wonder if the management is looking at it as a wrench in their rebuild ‘plans’ though. They might have planned one more year of tanking(NK had one more year) to get a high pick again. If so, they’ll have to adjust their plans and that would require ‘thinking’ and ‘replanning’.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Rebilled: Edmonton loves its goalies, even the bad ones. Its a great city to be a goaltender.

  33. stevezie says:

    Lowetide,

    And a lousy place to be a skilled guy who isn’t overly physical. I still meet people who claim to have never loved Gretzky because he was too soft. In Edmonton I meet these people!

    Considering how hard Moreau played I’m surprised so many people turned on him. Goalies and grinders, we just loves ‘em.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Agreed.

  35. Rebilled says:

    I don’t think Luongo would want to play against the Canucks as often as he would have to playing for the Oilers.

  36. DSF says:

    Lowetide:
    I think the wow trade is Luongo and involves Gagner. DSF may drinkhimself to death.

    What the hell would the Canucks do with Gagner?

    3rd line centre?

    They already tried Wellwood there and gave up on him.

    Dale Weise was their defacto 3rd line C last season with Malhotra playing injured.

    Weise’s offensive zone starts were 20 percent (Malhotra’s were 13 percent).

    That’s certainly not Sam’s game.

    Although I agree that might make me drink myself to death.

  37. hunter1909 says:

    I wish I knew more about music.

    There are other movies I can take you to.

  38. oilswell says:

    I was also at the 700 club for the Skinny Puppy/Severed Heads gig, but remember NoMeansNo at the Howlin’ Wolf as being louder. Seemed to be quite a bit of fine industrial/electronic coming out of Vancouver about then (Front Line Assembly, etc.)

  39. stevezie says:

    I saw NoMeansNo in 2006 and I couldn’t believe how hard they rocked or how long they played. I honestly felt encouraged about the aging process.

  40. VOR says:

    DSF,

    Dude, really.

    Weise is not a center. He took four faceoffs all year. You are probably thinking of Cody Hodgson, they traded him to Buffalo, or Andrew Ebbett who took some draws in his 18 games, or Sammy Pahlsson who is gone this year, or Maxim LaPierre. Based on minutes player and draws the Canucks 3 and 4 C this year are Maxim LaPierre and Manny Malhotra. They both got killed last year at evens and collectively didn’t score as many points as Gagner.

    Whoever you meant it wasn’t Weise. Are you a Canuck fan or not?

  41. VOR says:

    DSF,

    You are not much of a Canucks fan if you don’t know Dale Weise is not a center.

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