FIRST PLACE!

Well sure it’s early and the margin is the slimmest possible, but  hell boys and girls the Oilers are atop the NW division this morning. Rarified air to be sure, don’t go too fast this morning there’s not as much oxygen at this height.

nw capture

You never know, this could be the high water mark of the season. We should drink deep, because one never knows what might happen the rest of the year.

The scoring list is as one might expect:

oilers capture

The kids are all off to significant starts, leaving the vets choking on the dust of the future. Holee I didn’t expect Ryan Smyth to have zero’s everywhere. A few notes:

  • That goal by Horcoff puts him ahead of Esa Tikkanen on the all-time list. He is now in 8th, with Doug Weight (7th), Ryan Smyth (6th), Paul Coffey (5th), Glenn Anderson (4th), Mark Messier (3rd), Jarri Kurri (2nd) and Wayne Gretzky (1st) still to catch. Smyth would rank #5 on this list if Lowe hadn’t traded him. 
  • Hartikainen and Paajarvi should be a thing for the rest of the season.  Use Belanger in that role with an eye to passing the job off to Lander perhaps in the fall. Folks, that was as good as either has looked to my eye–Hartikainen was imposing his will and Paajarvi drove to the net and drew a penalty–and credit to Ralph Krueger for giving them the push. That was the third line last night. I wonder if they can do that on the road?
  • Hall was flying last night, it was a joy to watch. That kid creates so much havoc and he’s not close to his peak seasons yet in terms of maturity.
  • The Eberle goal was astounding. I’m not sure what we can say about him beyond the fact that he–like Steve Shutt and Joey Mullen and others before him–Eberle has some kind of sixth sense about shooting angles, changing shooting angles, being in the right place, quick release and accuracy. Astonishing shot last night.
  • The Nuge may one day be the first player to win the scoring championship without anyone noticing. A pretty pass to Hall got him an assist on the night but he was so effective in a variety of situations. When he’s 22 we’re going to be in awe. Such a smart hockey player. Improved faceoff night.
  • Yak had a terrible game. Scored a goal, too.
  • I loved Gagner’s effort all night, especially on the 4th goal. He also did well in the FO circle.

mbs

The first of this year’s OIL CHANGE series goes tonight, I’m very much looking forward to it. I am in no way connected to the Edmonton Oilers and have no inside information, but this is a funny town when it comes to the hockey team. In the days leading up to the draft I heard the following:

  • The Oilers had a top 5 list and Yakupov was on it but not close to #1. 
  • The scouts liked Ryan Murray, MBS wanted Reinhart (which would have involved trading down one spot but Columbus didn’t want Yakupov) and no one wanted the Russian #1.
  • Craig MacTavish has had a major impact on the organization since arriving.
  • The Oilers were very high on Mitchell Moroz, and might take him as high as the second round.
  • During the draft broadcast on tsn, James Duthie says that the final decision was made by management after the scouts had given their recommendation.  He further said that the scouts would be finding out with the rest of us what the final decision had been by management. I would dearly love to see how that played out.

Will we get the full story? Unlikely. The Oilers are a lot about show business so we’ll see something that catches our eye but only enough to keep us guessing.

The one thing I would like answered tonight: what changed from Wednesday morning to Friday night? Or were the Oilers conducting a counter-trey to keep the suspense? If we get that much information tonight I’ll be satisifed.

Coach Krueger said yesterday that NK will be evaluated and may be on the road trip. If Khabibulin misses the first 10 games, why bother? Not to be cruel, but Danis appears to be a capable backup and the Russian is either injured or about to be injured. How much sense does it make to send Danis down and risk waivers?

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

77 Responses to "FIRST PLACE!"

  1. crude says:

    Who made up that Moroz story?

  2. Woodguy says:

    I missed most of the game last night, only catching parts of the 3rd period in a Vegas bar that had the Dys/LAK on the HUGE screen, so I didn’t see Harski and PRV do their thing, but lordy is it a breath of fresh air to read all the positive comments.

    Many of us have bitched and moaned about pluggers on the 4th, whereas good teams have decent young players there who are trying to push their way up the depth chart.

    It makes every line better when your 4th isn’t a black hole. Great to see, thanks Ralph!

    83 and 89 are getting killed 5v5 via shot differential. Horrid results so far.

    I understand their position gives 4,93,14 the premium ice time and the premium kids are killing it 5v5 (just no puck luck yet), but its a concern.

    Do you move the rookie off the 89 line? Who do you put in?

    I really want 83 and 64 to figure each other out because 64′s shot is lethal and 83 is still a sublime passer, but its not working yet.

    89 is working his ass off in that position and the young man has really matured in terms of accepting his responsibilities as the C on that line.

    Man I wish Vic would update his TOI widgets to see which D pairing are playing with who and who the main opponents are. Right now there is a lot of guessing.

  3. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    This needs more sloppy photoshopped scribbling…

    oh wait… that’s the other site! haha.

    At any rate, last night was a rare relaxed, enjoyable win. That’s not the kind of affect I associate with the Oil… still not sure how I feel about it.

    The first shift… to be a downer… Yak made two brutal giveaways… and that first PP was awful… but after that the special teams went for the brass ring and looked great.

    Also, that 4th line and putting Harti on the 2nd PP unit… awesome!

    Congrats to Horcoff… that’s a great milestone. I watched the Avs feed — it was very good, if very relaxed — but they didn’t catch that.

    They did note Hejduk is 4 games from 1000 as an AV… great achievement. I hope we can say that about a few of our kids years down the road.

  4. BlacqueJacque says:

    It will be interesting to see if MBS ends up being right about Reinhart, or if management avoided a mistake for him.

    Also amazing to think where the Oil would be without Schultz Jr. Really starting to think the Oil had meetings with Schultz or at least his agent before the draft and knew they didn’t need a d-man.

  5. Bruce McCurdy says:

    The Eberle goal was astounding, but that pass he made to Hall was even more so. Behind the back, right through the slot, right on the tape. If Hall had buried it, as he really should have, it would have been all over the highlight reels.

    Eberle made a somewhat similar pass to RNH in a recent game, got everybody going one way, then slipped it behind his back to the teammate waltzing right up the middle.

    The confidence he is showing in dangling, dishing, and drilling the disc is, uhh, delightful.

  6. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s astounding that he was drafted 9 spots after Colten Teubert.

  7. Zack says:

    One thing that really caught my eye was the “DRAFT WEEK POST #4: TRUST YOUR BOARD” in the related posts… http://lowetide.ca/blog/2012/06/draft-week-post-4-trust-your-board.html

    I think it’s impressive Hall is leading the way with a +3 to boot.

  8. Woodguy says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    It will be interesting to see if MBS ends up being right about Reinhart, or if management avoided a mistake for him.

    Also amazing to think where the Oil would be without Schultz Jr.Really starting to think the Oil had meetings with Schultz or at least his agent before the draft and knew they didn’t need a d-man.

    I don’t think there’s even a question they talked to him before he could declare as a FA.

    Stauffer mentioned he Tambellini going to watch him on college on one of the road trips last year.

    Why would a GM go watch a player who is Anaheim property unless they knew something?

  9. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    khildahl:
    Bruce McCurdy,

    It’s astounding that he was drafted 9 spots after Colten Teubert.


    “Size! Toughness! Plays with an edge! Sandpaper!”

  10. stevezie says:

    Everytime I watch Reinhart play I find that #1 rumour harder and harder to believe.

  11. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Sigh. I try to compliment somebody and it immediately gets turned into a feeding frenzy at the expense of another player.

  12. sliderule says:

    Yakupov is going thru the learning curve for NHL rookies.He is going to have a fair share of brutal turnovers till he gets it.I don’t think playing with 83 on the power play isnt the answer for oil as 83 doesn’t seem to want to tee up yaks one timers.

    We have to remember that it took Hall about 10 games as a rookie before he did much and Lightning were thinking they should have sent Stamkos back halfway thru season and then he caught fire.

    Patience is the virtue.

  13. gangplank says:

    sliderule,

    Not getting soft minutes isnt helping either.

  14. bookjLe says:

    Woodguy: I don’t think there’s even a question they talked to him before he could declare as a FA.

    Stauffer mentioned he Tambellini going to watch him on college on one of the road trips last year.

    Why would a GM go watch a player who is Anaheim property unless they knew something?

    You would want to be very very careful as tampering could easily cost you a couple of first round draft picks. Much safer to simply send subtle messages like – going to watch him at a college game – wink wink – nudge nudge. In a friendly chat with his agent you can say something like “A player like Schultz is the type of guy who can come into the NHL and make an immediate difference” . Keeping things vague would be your best approach. I highly doubt there was some kind of deal struck.

  15. bookjLe says:

    LT – great article. As per Khabibulin, I expect that if they play him, they will keep 3 goalies for a short period of time and secretly hope he hurts his back. Though if he plays well enough (remember,he was awesome for 10-12 games last year) then they will probably risk Danis. Khabi is apparently a good goalie mentor (something Tambellini has said quite a few times) and he speaks russian and can also help mentor Yakupov.

  16. In the Grease says:

    sliderule,

    Agreed, and if anyone watched Kreuger’s pre-game interview yesterday, he talked about having patience, and letting the lines develop chemistry, in fact, he specifically said moving Yak to another line would be like him “starting from zero”, so if we take his words at face value I don’t see any change there – despite some speculation here last night – based on one bad game. I don’t think Kreuger wants to risk undermining his confidence either. Growing pains have to be tolerated.

  17. bookjLe says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Sigh. I try to compliment somebody and it immediately gets turned into a feeding frenzy at the expense of another player.

    You need to stop dissing Teubert!

  18. denny33 says:

    Woodguy,

    Ladies and Gentlemn – the Colorado Avalanche are not a very good team. Further, they were without their Captain Landeskog and Ryan O’reilly.

    Quick: Without looking who do you fear in the Avalanch lineup last night besides Matt Duchene?

    Sportsnet lead the broadcast off with a devastating statistic – the incredibly talented Edmonton Oilers have only scored 4 even strength goals in 4 games.

    Well, you can make that 5 games. All of our goals were scored on the PP last night. ( great )

    The positives are definitely the work of Hartikainen and MPS. You definitely cannot fault the effort of our top line – Hall looks like he is giving his best all the time. RNH is fighting the puck to start the year. And Eberle is simply fun to watch.

    And this will be tough for me. For the first time, I witnessed MPS have a good game. He actually drove the puck to the net and created a legitimate scoring opportunity.

    No question, solid play by our 3rd and 4th liners and great PP .

    However, does nobody here seem concerned that we did not score at even strenth again?

    Ryan Whitney continues to have a tough time in his own end.

  19. dessert1111 says:

    LT, who is the silly person who labelled Eberle and Hartikainen as centres? Maybe it’s a tell that the organization wants to convert them ;)

    In all seriousness, I think Eberle might have played some in junior and Hartikainen pre-draft, but it’s weird that anyone who makes a living involved in hockey doesn’t know Eberle is a RW.

  20. BlacqueJacque says:

    I was impressed that Krueger put Yak out for an empty net opportunity. On the one hand, Yak was the last player deserving of it, but on the other hand I thought it sent him a message that “yeah, we benched you, but it’s for you to get your head on straight and not a punishment.”

    that ENG was all Gagner though. Great checking.

  21. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Sigh. I try to compliment somebody and it immediately gets turned into a feeding frenzy at the expense of another player.

    ok. fair enough.

    there’s a definite whiff of unforced/counterfactual/zero-sum gamesmanship going on there.

    Still, you can’t keep people from taking an interest in draft years and expectations met, failed, or surpassed… They are an interesting time piece — like a billboard top 40 from any given year — that can be insightful about the thinking at the time as much as anything else.

    bookjLe: LT – great article. As per Khabibulin, I expect that if they play him, they will keep 3 goalies for a short period of time and secretly hope he hurts his back.

    based on last year and Teubert/Plante (IIRC), even if they hope Nik takes himself out of the picture, they aren’t afraid to make certain players travel back and forth between leagues…

    speaking of which… what is Danis’ waiver situation?

  22. bookjLe says:

    denny33,

    Concern about even strength scoring – Yes, but it will come as the kids get older and the older get their legs in shape from the long layoff. Also, its a very small sample of games.

    Happy to see the team winning – Yes, the PP will likley continue to do very well (#1 overall is not a stretch) and unless they stop calling penalties in hockey, this will help them win games.

  23. Clay says:

    So, today’s fun fact… Smytty is at #6 on the Oiler all-time list, but how long would it take for him to get to #1? Assuming he can maintain his career scoring average, he’d need to play 1540 more games to tie Gretz at 1669. Almost 19 full seasons. Godspeed Smytty!

    That “4th Line” last night was a real treat. That looked to me like a line that could realistically start generating some secondary offense, or at very least, not bleed GA. Small sample size disclaimer, but if that display wasn’t a one-off, it’s not hard to imagine that the Horcoff line will be the “4th Line” by season’s end.

    A team deep enough to have a 4th line of Horcoff-Smyth-Jones/Petrell is a team deep enough to make the playoffs.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    dessert1111:
    LT, who is the silly person who labelled Eberle and Hartikainen as centres? Maybe it’s a tell that the organization wants to convert them

    In all seriousness, I think Eberle might have played some in junior and Hartikainen pre-draft, but it’s weird that anyone who makes a living involved in hockey doesn’t know Eberle is a RW.

    per

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/17/shine-on

    they were both Cs in jr. (or so their scouting reports claim). I remember reading that an finding it surprising.

    not sure who said they were Cs now. was it in a broadcast?

    I don’t recall any pro coach even discussing it… they rarely even sub in for a faceoff when the C gets thrown out.

    Still it would be interesting to find out when they switched positions and what residual skills they may have.

  25. wordbird says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    I was impressed that Krueger put Yak out for an empty net opportunity.On the one hand, Yak was the last player deserving of it, but on the other hand I thought it sent him a message that “yeah, we benched you, but it’s for you to get your head on straight and not a punishment.”

    I agree on Yak. He had a terrible start, couldn’t make a decent pass to save his life (the whole lineup was pretty sloppy passing-wise, to start, although things definitely improved). He’ll figure it out though. Jeez he can shoot the puck. When it all starts to click for him, look out.

    Khabibulin needs to fall on his sword already. Any additional setbacks physically, he’s gotta see the writing on the wall (perhaps Chabot could use an assistant/consultant?) Hopefully mgmt has a contingency plan if he hangs ‘em up. I’m assuming we’ll see Danis start somewhere in the next batch of games, interested to see what kind of game he’s got this year.

  26. jonrmcleod says:

    I checked last season’s standings and the Oilers were first in the NW after 16 games. However, unlike last season, the Oilers aren’t benefiting from a ridiculous SV%, and you’d think that they will start to score a few more goals on their 5-on-5 chances.

  27. khildahl says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    Sigh. I try to compliment somebody and it immediately gets turned into a feeding frenzy at the expense of another player.

    Sorry, not my intention. I singled-out Teubert because we’re all familiar with him. I like him as a prospect and hope turns into an NHL player.

    I’m just really happy that Eberle was available at number 22, and I suspect there are 16 or 17 fan bases complaining about it these days (just mention Shane Doan or Zach Parise in this city for reference).

  28. wordbird says:

    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    Danis (EDM) on waivers

  29. khildahl says:

    wordbird:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    Danis (EDM) on waivers

    Ugh. I hope this doesn’t bite us in the ass. Luckily, goalies seem to be making it through these days.

  30. Captain Obvious says:

    The best thing about last night’s game was, like all good teams, they played without a fourth line.

    The worst thing about last night’s game was that Yakupov is a terrible NHL player right now. Lost in his own end and fighting the puck when he finally has it. The good news is that he can change, unlike Petrell who is a terrible player to his core.

    This teams has a lot of potential. Hall and Eberle have taken huge leaps forward and that can cover a lot of problems. At the same time they are carrying four replacement level players in Yakupov, Petrell, Whitney and Potter. If they have one more solid forward and one more solid defenseman they’d have a chance with the growth of everyone else.

    Oh, and Subban signed a preposterous deal. I don’t understand why he agreed to it. When is he arbitration eligible? If he really wanted to play why didn’t he sign a one year deal and then start over in the summer?

  31. coolwasabi says:

    My thoughts:
    - Taylor Hall wasn’t kidding when he said he was working on his playmaking abilities in the AHL.
    - Eberle’s wrister is pure sex. It’s Sakic-esque.
    - Waiving Danis for Khabibulin, literally the worst goalie in the NHL, makes me mad.
    - Khabibulin must be one hell of a locker room presence. That’s the only rational explanation.
    - The other explanation: Oilers management is irrational.
    - MPS + Harti looked great. I hope they can keep it up.

  32. Mad Professor says:

    Re: lack of 5v5 scoring: Krueger made the point after the game that it’s their 5v5 play that draws the penalties. I hadn’t thought about it like that before. Of course, it’s impossible to measure if the team was about to score 5v5 just before going on the power play. I do know that lack of 5v5 scoring hurt them at the end of last year, when the refs suddenly swallowed their whistles. I still think its a cause for concern, but the season is still young.

  33. BlacqueJacque says:

    Khabi may just be there for Yak to have someone to express himself to.

  34. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Did anyone see Burrows’ Omarkian shootout fail last night?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jexnsg6pSIo

    what a douche!

  35. BlacqueJacque says:

    I just checked on Daniil and Jujhar. Daniil is 37, 10-7-17 and Khaira is 23, 4-13-17. So jujhar can’t seem to put it in the net, while Daniil rather looks like a bust for a top 6 position.

  36. Lucinius says:

    About Khabi; all I know is that the management and coaching staff are singing his praises with how he’s helped Yakupov and his adjustment to life over here.

    You’d think Horcov could deal with that, being another dirty Russian and all…

  37. RMGS says:

    wordbird:
    Elliotte Friedman ‏@FriedgeHNIC
    Danis (EDM) on waivers

    It risks giving Mr. Dithers too much credit, but the Hovinen acquisition looks like actual foresight in case Danis is picked off.

  38. GetYerAivazoff says:

    Holy mackerel, we have a lot of goalies here!

  39. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Khabibulin is frequently lauded as a mentor by Victoria Azarenka, now the #1 women’s tennis player in the world. This 2009 article gives some background.

  40. jake70 says:

    He’s far from polished but if Hartikainen has last night as his baseline, he will have a decent run for an NHL career.

    Yak looks like Taylor Hall in his first 10 or so games……remember Hall later on in year 1 commenting that he has more time with the puck than he anticipated comming into the league…..I see that in Yak, has more time in certain situations to execute the play than he realizes. That burst he made to keep the puck in the O-zone was fantastic.

  41. Clarkenstein says:

    Oil are keeping Khabi around for a reason. They are going to play Dubnyk as much as possible to see if he can play. Never mind the minor detail that they gave him $4Mil before finding that out. Now if after, say, 25 games it appears this team is destined to be out of serious contention again they throw Khabi back in to throw another season for a low pick. I jest… sort of. I’m not sure the brass feels that this is the year they want to leave the lower echelon. But who knows what the hell they are thinking.

  42. DeadmanWaking says:

    Bruce McCurdy: The confidence he is showing in dangling, dishing, and drilling the disc is, uhh, delightful.

    Having recently unstooled myself, I quelled my sorrow with consecutive viewings of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. There’s bountiful scoring in odd-woman situations, not much scoring at parity. Woody somehow conscripted an AHL cameraman: most of the hot stuff was exit screen bottom, or lingering on unattended rings (type: gas range). The best scoring chance was denied with time expiring by a deflected shot–and you don’t even get a good look at how the shot was fired.

    Cruz was full value for her Oscar win. After SJ peels off to France on a loon change, Cruz and Bardem have a loud Latin tussle in the center of a cobblestone street. No-one notices. This is Spain. Scoring title? No biggie. Everyone scores. Excoriating spittle? No biggie. Everyone scorns. Decapitation? Depends on how you leave your feet.

    Cruz dazzles in this scene. She’s “crazy as a snake” to begin with (as one reviewer points out). That’s the easy part: the loud fight. The hard part: she’s dancing on her edges in the shifting tension between fight or flight–half her body is turned to engage in violent confrontation (real violence), the other half of her body is writhing to tear away and storm up the street. Incredible. I was half expecting Dr Strangelove to wheel up, place a well-behaved hand on his forehead, and genuflect in honour. All those years in ballet school listening with one ear finally pay off (I sure hope she didn’t hear that remark all the way from Spain). In this scene, these star-crossed lovers have wisely taken their tiff into the street.

    Indoors with the same dynamic, the flight leg sells door slam, the fight leg smolders for a fire iron wrap-around. Bad scene: twin bellows catapulting blazing woods of discord off scorpion-tipped rake hooks.

    The mature Romeo gauges the temperature and “picks” his lane wisely: deflected into the night, the acrid fumes can continue to roil for days or weeks–or even blacken eternity; conceded full vent at full pent … well, one hesitates to ponder … I’ve tried to avoid upstaging The Brick Chimney Cremation of Smeed McGee. I’ve been plenty angry, but always some nubbin of self-preservation tilts me just enough to more scared than angry. I’ve still got all my parts.

    So with this double dose of hot Latin blood and man-advantage scenarios to stoke my dreams, what’s first on my mind in the morrow?

    Declensions.

    Singular, plural, and more plural.

    One person ignores the alarm: lazy bones.
    Two people ignore the alarm: lazy bonus.
    All the way to brunch: lazy bonuses.

    Delectable. Not.

    OK there, Mr Sandman, this, uhh … captures the mood in a rather cold way. One might say I’m not “crazed” by this Latin triptych. How about we flip the pillow and try again? More heat please!

  43. 48 percent body fat says:

    GO check out the oilers 5×4 pp60 on behind the net. 89 is killing everyone and that is not even updated from last night. I suspect he will be sitting around the 16 ppp\60 when updated.

  44. delooper says:

    Unstool could mean to stand up from a stool, or it could also mean defecalate.

    The progress of MPS, and the generally solid play of Dubnyk to start the season are the high-points for me. I think everyone expected Hall and Eberle to be magic. I’m curious to see how RNH’s second year goes. So far he’s been more quiet-and-effective than last year’s wizardliness.

  45. Clarkenstein says:

    I love it when I read you DeadMan. Makes me feels so damn normal.

  46. bookjLe says:

    I think Khabibulin will be fine for 12 games or so. NK had a .910 save percentage while being overplayed for an old goalie in 11-12 – sure that includes the first 12 or so games where he played at a .940 rate, but all the Oilers need from him is about 10-12 games so expecting a .915 or so from him seems reasonable. Added to that, he speaks Russian, is a veteran presence, and kicking him to the curb serves no benefit. The biggest risk he poses is injury.

    Yan Danis has about a .912 in the NHL in about 30 games. He had a .910 in about 30 games in the KHL . He had a .905 this year in the AHL and an AHL average of about .915 over 160 games.

    Yan Danis, despite having a somewhat cool name has demonstrated himself to be a below average AHL goaltender.

    I think some people are so invested in the team emotionally that they need to create drama when there is no drama. The Oilers are making the rational decision here. Given that Danis is about 36th in the AHL when it comes to AHL save percentage stats and 44 when it comes to GAA, I don’t think it would be shocking if 30 other NHL teams pass on him and he clears waivers.

  47. Bar_Qu says:

    I’m disappointed with the general tone of optimism and genial good feelings towards the Oilers here.

    Can we please discuss hypothetical future shortfalls in the bottom 6? Or on defense? C’mon.

    I don’t want to come here and read that my team is doing well and has a possible path to further good things to come.

    Where’s Captain Happy? Traktor (you know they are saying good things about Horcoff, right)? Hunter1909′s evil-guiness-soaked-contrarian side?

  48. eidy says:

    so let me get this straight…. taylor hall is good today.

    I’m getting back on the bandwagon

  49. BONVIE says:

    denny33:
    Woodguy,

    The positives are definitely the work of Hartikainen and MPS. You definitely cannot fault the effort of our top line – Hall looks like he is giving his best all the time. RNH is fighting the puck to start the year. And Eberle is simply fun to watch.

    And this will be tough for me. For the first time, I witnessed MPS have a good game.He actually drove the puck to the net and created a legitimate scoring opportunity.

    No question, solid play by our 3rd and 4th liners and great PP .

    I agree I haven’t seen MPS this effective since his rookie year if he plays like he did last night and drives the puck to the net and cycles it down low the way he did with Hartikannen the points will come. Even when he was up against that big 4th line he was in their battling for pucks and taking the body.

  50. dessert1111 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: per

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/17/shine-on

    they were both Cs in jr. (or so their scouting reports claim). I remember reading that an finding it surprising.

    not sure who said they were Cs now. was it in a broadcast?

    I don’t recall any pro coach even discussing it… they rarely even sub in for a faceoff when the C gets thrown out.

    Still it would be interesting to find out when they switched positions and what residual skills they may have.

    It’s what they’re listed as in the table LT uses in the post, actually. Guess I should’ve mentioned that! Though to be fair I make my living as a copy-editor.

    As a side note, I have noticed that Eberle seems to be subbing in when RNH gets tossed lately, whereas last year I think it was mostly Hall.

  51. Magnus says:

    I would eventually like to see Horcoff between Harti and MPS after they’ve gotten a bit more experience at their current role. I think they would make an effective third line. Smyth, Belanger and Jones on the fourth. Seems like a pretty balanced forward line-up.

  52. Bar_Qu says:

    denny33:

    The positives are definitely the work of Hartikainen and MPS. You definitely cannot fault the effort of our top line – Hall looks like he is giving his best all the time. RNH is fighting the puck to start the year. And Eberle is simply fun to watch.

    And this will be tough for me. For the first time, I witnessed MPS have a good game.He actually drove the puck to the net and created a legitimate scoring opportunity.

    No question, solid play by our 3rd and 4th liners and great PP .

    This is the new role PRV needs to take on. Here in Calgary, there is a hue and cry over Baertschi playing on the 4th line, but really effective players start there to learn how to play both ways before moving up. Horcoff did it, and he has been effective 2-ways for a long time *ducks*.

    I am pleased with the win over the Avalanche, not because it was a decisive victory – the lack of 5v5 is still obvious – but because it showed two guys who can and should push a ‘heart n soul but nothing else’ guy like Petrell out of the roster. If they keep it up, once Jones gets back, they should keep their spot while Petrell gets put out on waivers, imo.

  53. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    dessert1111: It’s what they’re listed as in the table LT uses in the post, actually. Guess I should’ve mentioned that! Though to be fair I make my living as a copy-editor.

    As a side note, I have noticed that Eberle seems to be subbing in when RNH gets tossed lately, whereas last year I think it was mostly Hall.

    not sure how I missed that… or how the person who put that chart together did for that matter!

    at any rate, it looks like after the regular Cs here’s the stats:

    FOW FOL %

    Smyth 5 6 45.45%
    Hemsky 3 3 50%
    Hall 2 0 100%
    Eberle 1 1 50%
    Harti 1 0 100%
    Petrell 1 0 100%

    so it looks like Smyth and Hemsky are the prime alternatives with Hall, Ebs and others coming in on rare occasions.

    Last year Hall got more chances than Eberle:

    Hall 23 34 40.35%
    Eberle 12 15 44.44%

    but Smyth was still the primary alternative and Hemsky took only 6 draws all year.

    We’ll have to see how the year develops, but it doesn’t look like the team is going to be relying much on them in the dot.

  54. harrigan says:

    How much sense does it make to send Danis down and risk waivers?

    Edmonton Journal just reported that Oilers have put Danis on waivers and are bringing NK back as backup for the upcoming road trip. Link: http://bit.ly/WNjHI4

  55. stevezie says:

    Captain Obvious,

    I’m surprised this isn’t a bigger deal on here. How do Petry and Subban get paid so little while O’Rielly and Benn get paid so much? (Looking to the future)
    Also, doesn’t this makes Gilbert’s contract here look significantly worse? I am a Gilbert fan, but compare him at that point in his career to Subban now and I think it is no contest.

  56. rickithebear says:

    KHB in his first 8 games of the first 3 years.

    24 Games 14W 6L 4OTL 2.42GA .921SV%

    After the first 8 games:
    80 Games 15W – 55L – 9 OTL 3.25GA .894SV%

    IF we are lucky the 8 back to back games for KHB:
    Jan. 31 @SJ
    Feb. 9 @COL
    March 1 @ STL
    March 8 @ NAS
    March 26 @ STL
    April 4 @ VCR
    April 22 ANA
    April 26 @MIN

    At Dubnyk’s current performance.
    We need 4 points from these 8 games.

  57. delooper says:

    Stevezie, isn’t this a case of people realizing if they want to play in a fixed town and if they want that team to be any good, they can’t ask for very much money?

    If you’re paying all your really good players 6 million dollars a year, it means your team can have about 9 really good players tops, and everyone else will likely be awful or on entry-level deals.

  58. Captain Obvious says:

    stevezie:
    Captain Obvious,

    I’m surprised this isn’t a bigger deal on here. How do Petry and Subban get paid so little while O’Rielly and Benn get paid so much? (Looking to the future)
    Also, doesn’t this makes Gilbert’s contract here look significantly worse? I am a Gilbert fan, but compare him at that point in his career to Subban now and I think it is no contest.

    I’m really baffled by this. I really don’t understand why Subban signed this deal. I believe he is arbitration eligible in the summer. If the Canadians are intent to play hardball it seems to me that he would be better off signing a one year deal for the minimum and then going to arbitration in the summer. Is there any way he gets less than $4M in arbitration. It seems impossible. I think he is much closer to $5M. That way he has a better chance of getting an offer sheet or traded and the worst case scenario is still more money than what he gets now.

    The logic of this RFA business is really crazy. Everyone said that it was a waste of time to give an offer sheet for Subban because Montreal would match anything. Well if Montreal would match 6yrs/$30 million or more then that is what Subban is worth. I can understand not wanting to play hardball when your career is on the line but this contract is preposterous. He had nothing to lose by waiting since there is no way for the offer to get worse.

    And if the Canadians actually think so little of him then teams should have been lining up to trade for him.

  59. DBO says:

    so a little more then 10% of the year played. I would think that at game 10 the team should know what they have and decide on changes. I do think that if last night’s game is any indication that our 4th line will stay intact for a long time , and when Jones comes back he’ll play with Horcoff and Smyth (they played well last year as a unit). That would give Ralph two solid “3rd” lines, and hope that one of them will bring it 5 on 5, and that each game one of the top 2 lines gets going. Our special teams will always be solid, and if our 4th line is now settled, with Jones settling the third, we may have our lineup we run with until injuries crop up.

  60. Captain Obvious says:

    delooper,

    Why would Subban want to play for Montreal? The fans are delusional and will turn on him in a second and management publicly disrespected him. Business is always personal, especially when the two parts are negotiating across an imbalance of power.. Bergevin tried to fix his contract structure on the back of Subban’s wallet and reputation.. For me that would be unforgivable and I would make it my mission to not only get out of Montreal but to do so in a way that damaged Bergevin as much as possible.

    So Subban’s actions are doubly mysterious. From a sheer economic perspective he settled for much less than is necessary. From a personal perspective of honour, he settled for less money and allowed himself to be insulted in the process. I can understanding swallowing your pride in exchange for more money. I can’t understand swallowing your pride and taking less money.

    The only explanation is that Subban doesn’t think he is taking less money but unless I’m missing something I don’t see how he could possibly get less than the nothing he is getting now.

    Huge win for Bergevin. He took advantage of Subban’s innocence and the Canadians are much better for it.

  61. godot10 says:

    One isn’t arbitration eligible until the 3rd contract, I think.

    This is Subban’s and O’Reilly’s 2nd contract.

    I think Subban’s contract is one of, if not the richest two year 2nd contract given to a defenseman in the cap era. He shifted most of the money into the 2nd year, and it pretty much guarentees a floor of $3.7 million for the last two year before UFA.

    Benn is a first line franchise centre, and the GM is established there. Montreal has a new GM, which makes it tougher for Subban to get a long contract, since he has really only done it for one year.

    I don’t think Colorado is going to offer O’Reilly much more in dollars or term than what Duschene. No way he gets the Benn contract. The Duschene contract is a generous offer. Gagner is in what year 6 and only earning $3.5. The Duschene contract is a million more per season that what Gagner got in his second contract. I doubt the Av’s move off of two years, but maybe they go to $4 million per season for Duschene’s $3.5 million.

  62. FPB94 says:

    Good stuff. MTL was already looking good with Bouillon playing PP time. Now it’s going to be sweet.

    Some cool balance with 2 shots 2 passers on the blue.

    Weber might get cut loose; he could be useful in EDM.

  63. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=414754

    Team mates reacting to the Subban signing.

  64. Marc says:

    Some interesting thoughts on the Oilers from the teams that have played them in the Friedman piece I just linked to:

    17. Justin Schultz gets a lot of praise for how he moves the puck, but opponents point out that other Edmonton defencemen deserve credit for their ability to get it to the forwards. On Nick Schultz (Justin’s partner): “There’s no panic with him. He makes the right plays.” Corey Potter and Jeff Petry also received mention.

    18. More on the OIlers, from some of their opponents: “Their poise with the puck is amazing, fun to watch. They will get chances every game.” Biggest issue is already pretty obvious: “They are going to struggle in their own zone, the goalie will have to be good.”

  65. BlacqueJacque says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    It could be just TSN trying to manufacture a story, but those quotes sound ice cold. Not a popular man in the room. Thanks for sharing the link.

  66. DeadmanWaking says:

    “wrap-around fire iron”

    Somewhere, Tiger winced.

    I didn’t pick that one up over the keyboard, but surely my ants knew. Some days, too many ants. As I was contemplating this, I started humming “The Ants Go Marching”. It’s a rousing march that doesn’t end well. That one’s not the children’s version. So I asked my ants: Why did “Ants” come marching just then and now?

    Dr Strangelove, combat toe to toe, natch, smuggled in with a wheelchair cameo. What I did not know, until now, that same tune with an Irish croon is a major drowner.

    Karan Casey – Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

    Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
    Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
    Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg
    Ye’re an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
    Ye’ll have to be put with a bowl out to beg
    Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye.

    A tune for all occasions. More Guinness please. Or something stronger.

    Patrick S. Gilmore hailed from the school of go big or go home. He really puts our petty Burghers to shame.

    The ensuing National Peace Jubilee of 1869 was an enormous undertaking. Gilmore had to rely on all the methods of persuasion at his disposal to pull off such a monumental project. The logistical nightmare included building a hall that would seat up to 50,000 and finding over 1000 instrumentalists and 10,000 singers from various cities. He then had to arrange for all the musicians to arrive at Boston at the same time, coordinate their arrival at the hall, arrange for the rehearsal, and work with the school system to create a large children’s chorus.

    Damn, that’s a lot of ants. Pretty clear the “ant” version was composed by an early arrival up in the nose-bleed seats, with plenty of time to kill, and rosy companions to amuse and annoy. The ant that stops to “pick up sticks” must have signaled the arrival of the conductors’ platoon.

    Companeeeee, halt!

    A troop of tiny Beethovens drilling with those white batons would be way cool. If I had my very own Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, I’d have him on it.

  67. raventalon40 says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Gerta Rauss,

    It could be just TSN trying to manufacture a story, but those quotes sound ice cold.Not a popular man in the room.Thanks for sharing the link.

    There’s a video link too!

  68. "Steve Smith" says:

    stevezie:
    Captain Obvious,
    Also, doesn’t this makes Gilbert’s contract here look significantly worse? I am a Gilbert fan, but compare him at that point in his career to Subban now and I think it is no contest.

    It makes the Gilbert contract significantly worse in the same way that San Jose’s trade for Joe Thornton made all other trades that season look significantly worse. Sometimes there are outliers.

    That I’d take Subban at $5.75 million over Gilbert at $4 million ten times out of ten doesn’t speak terribly ill of Gilbert or his contract.

  69. godot10 says:

    When Gilbert signed his contract, it will be when Subban’s new contract expires in 2 years. Subban will earn significantly more the $4 million per season for six years that Gilbert got when he was 25. Subban is currently 23. Subban will earn significantly more than Gilbert did when Gilbert was 23 and 24.

  70. BlacqueJacque says:

    Given Subban’s unpopularity among his teammates, perhaps that’s a factor in the price?

  71. Lowetide says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    Given Subban’s unpopularity among his teammates, perhaps that’s a factor in the price?

    That contract is a tough one to explain, kind of like Petry’s but even moreso. I don’t think and would hope that popularity among teammates was not a factor.

    I do think that the new GM wanted to begin his regime with a “win” and he did that, but if I’m Subban’s agent I remember this day and shiv the Habs on the first morning of equal footing.

  72. Bulging Twine says:

    I remember MBS being asked last June how the meeting went with management (scouts and management)

    His answer was, “it was…confusing”

  73. FastOil says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    The problem with getting people to work together and succeed is people.

    People who choose to make low quality decisions in their environment waste immense amounts of other’s time and effort.

  74. Captain Obvious says:

    Marc,

    That link doesn’t explain anything. If Subban would have been arbitration eligible next year, and I think he would, then he would have gotten more than 3.75M next year no matter what.

    If he’s arbitration eligible in two years then the motivation behind the contract makes a little sense though the dollars are still low.

    Subban is a #1D right now, with no improvement at all. He signed his contract at the same time as Tyler Myers. I’d rather have Subban.

  75. dessert1111 says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: not sure how I missed that… or how the person who put that chart together did for that matter!

    at any rate, it looks like after the regular Cs here’s the stats:

    FOW FOL %

    Smyth 5 645.45%
    Hemsky 3 3 50%
    Hall 2 0 100%
    Eberle 1 1 50%
    Harti 1 0 100%
    Petrell 1 0100%

    so it looks like Smyth and Hemsky are the prime alternatives with Hall, Ebs and others coming in on rare occasions.

    Last year Hall got more chances than Eberle:

    Hall 233440.35%
    Eberle 121544.44%

    but Smyth was still the primary alternative and Hemsky took only 6 draws all year.

    We’ll have to see how the year develops, but it doesn’t look like the team is going to be relying much on them in the dot.

    Thanks for sharing those numbers, they are certainly interesting. Ironically it looks like the wingers might be better in the dot than half the centres!

  76. delooper says:

    …and back to 7th. A less unusually high ranking, but still unusually high.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca