I’ve learned a lot about the AHL this fall and winter, the main item being this: the level of competition expected from a ‘three in a row’ weekend should be reduced by many fold by the time Sunday rolls around.

Tonight the Barons face the Griffins–Detroit’s farm team–and continue to be in tough for the top of their division. OKC is currently third, behind Charlotte (trail by 2) and those pesky Houston Aeros by 1 point. The high powered offense for the Barons rarely runs two lines deep and their defense is young and error prone. If not for Ebs, Hall, Schultz and Danis this club would be well down the table.

The scoring race is getting ridiculous, and reflects top end offense and then a large dip to the secondary moderns. As it currently stands, the OKC Barons have the following men in the league’s top 100 scoring:

  • #1 Jordan Eberle 32, 24-25-49
  • #2 Justin Schultz 32, 17-28-45
  • #6 Taylor Hall 24, 13-20-33
  • #11 (tie) Mark Arcobello 30, 9-21-30
  • #55 (tie) Teemu Hartikainen 32, 10-12-22
  • #80 (tie) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 19, 8-12-20
  • #92 (tie) Magnus Paajarvi 32, 4-15-19

Nuge will return and maybe Arcobello can help a secondary line. However, the men listed here have spent gobs of time together and the offense flows from the top 3 names on this list (plus the Nuge when he was here). Some balanced scoring will be required if this team is going to go deep into the second season.

Those worries are miles away. For now, we look forward to fresh troops in Grand Rapids.

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86 Responses to "OKC V GRAND RAPIDS 4.1.13"

  1. commonfan14 says:

    “Nuge will return”

    Let’s hope not.

  2. bookje says:

    For the record, I think its totally insane that a defensman has the second highest scoring total in the AHL. I think it is nearly unbelievable that he is an Oiler prospect.

    The future of the Oiler looks amazingly bright. For that reason, I am predicting the collapse of the NHL.

  3. Rocknrolla says:

    I’m almost removed from the NHL season. Seems like we will know by Thursday if they cancel the whole season or not…What has been the saving grace is being able to watch these boys down in OKC.

    Finding a stream, checking the schedule, keeping tabs on their development with help from the likes of LT and the other bloggers and radio hosts. This is what we love about hockey, not only the game, but attaching ourselves to a team, and being a fan.

    I pity the other fans across Canada, who might only have 2 or 3 of their teams young players to follow. It has truly been a blessing to have this OKC season. So I say screw the NHL, let them sort out thier big boy problems in their big boy pants.

    We will watch our future here in OKC, and hopefully see these kids learn how to win the Calder Cup!

  4. Ducey says:

    Moroz with a goal and an assist last night.

    Now has 7 pts in his last 8 games…

  5. eidy says:

    LT. Why isn’t MPS included in the list. The large drop off is from him to everyone else not harti to him. MPS isn’t getting first line pp time and is still in the range of #10.

    I think it’s a coin flip as to who has had the better season so far between them

  6. Lowetide says:

    LT. Why isn’t MPS included in the list. The large drop off is from him to everyone else not harti to him. MPS isn’t getting first line pp time and is still in the range of #10.

    I think it’s a coin flip as to who has had the better season so far between them

    My bad, he wasn’t listed among the top 100 but is in fact tied for 92nd. I’ve put him up now. And I agree it is a coin flip, as reflected in my previous post.

  7. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Moroz with a goal and an assist last night.

    Now has 7 pts in his last 8 games…

    Believe it or not,that was Moroz’s first multi-point game of the entire season. Never scored more than one point in his 35 games during the 2012 portion of it, before finally breaking through in his first game of 2013. Winning goal, then set up the second in what eventually became a 4-0 Oil Kings win; Travis Ewanyk also with assists on the same two goals.

    The way the team is currently set up those two guy are the tough-minutes line with veteran grinder Klarc Wilson. It is clearly the “third” line in the hierarchy, but it is a damn good third line, undoubtedly one of the best in the Dub. Both Ewanyk and Moroz are currently +13 on the season, right in a pack of half dozen team leaders all in the +13 to +15 range.

    The Oil Kings have two loaded scoring lines with Moroz seeing a little bit of action on the second PP unit, otherwise a whole lot of time teamed up with (other) plumbers. Still, this little burst of 6 points in 6 games is a welcome sight.

  8. Zipdot says:

    Moroz = Lucic again!

  9. Lowetide says:

    Scratches for #OKCBarons: Davidson, Plante, Ringwald, Hamilton, Tyrvainen, Pelss, Marincin

    Plante, Hamilton and Marincin sit tonight. New guy is in!

  10. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    Lines for #OKCBarons, LW-C-RW: Hall-Arcobello-Eberle; Paajarvi-Lander-Hartikainen; Byers-Green-Pitlick; House-VandeVelde-Lizon

    Lizon. Huh.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Oklahoma City Barons ‏@OKC_Barons

    Defence pairings for #OKCBarons: Deck & Schultz; Fedun & Tuebert; Lafranchise & Henry

    New 3rd pairing.

  12. bendelson says:

    For some reason Lafranchise has never been able to meet expectations…

  13. jp says:

    Moroz = Lucic again!

    Haha. There’s only one Lucic. Not sure if there are any other players who’ve topped out at 30 goals in their best Jr season then managed to scored 30 in the NHL. Maybe there are, but certainly not many of them.

    Bruce’s post above got me thinking about whether Chopper would be a better comp for Moroz though. I know that’s still a very unlikely best case scenario, any 2nd round pick would be thrilled to have the 900 game career (with a stint as team captain) that Moreau did. It’s sure a lot more realistic than expecting Moroz to become the next great NHL power forward though. If Moroz is playing a shutdown role now it must be hurting his offensive production at least a bit; no doubt playing with Ewanyk isn’t helping in that regard either. Assuming he’s actually a solid defensive player, developing to the point that he cap pot 10-15 goals per year isn’t that huge a stretch. A Moreau-type on the Oil 3rd line sure would look nice… Anyway, I never expected Moroz to become Lucic, but the Moreau comp feels plausible to me, and I’ll be ecstatic if we get anything resembling that out of Moroz.

    For some reason Lafranchise has never been able to meet expectations…


  14. Lowetide says:

    For some reason Lafranchise has never been able to meet expectations…

    ah dammit. Great line.

  15. murphy says:

    Marincin out again, that’s a couple times this year isn’t it? Just goes to show young d-men take time if they ever do develop into their potential.

    Marincin, klefbom, musil and gernat should all be in OK city next season to develop property. Even an extra season after that may be needed for a couple of them (if they ever make it further is another discussion). We need a vet top 4 option to bridge the gap for a couple more seasons, potentially whitney if he can return to health.

  16. Lowetide says:

    Murphy: Exactly. Smid should have been in the minors for at least two seasons before he was in Edmonton. Said it at the time.

  17. Lowetide says:

    That Griffins line featuring Sheahan has dominated the Hall-Arco-Eberle line. Man, it hasn’t been close.

  18. boilerhog says:

    Any feeds boys??? I NEED AN EXCUSE TO DRINK

  19. Lowetide says:

    Lander (Hartikainen, Paajarvi)

  20. Lowetide says:

    Keep checking it usually works as the 1st period wears on

  21. Rocknrolla says:


    Great hockey name!

  22. boilerhog says:

    Thanks opening beer now

  23. dessert1111 says:

    Does Deck deserve consideration for a 2-way NHL contract?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Dessert: I think he does, if he can do this for another 40 games AND do it with someone aside from Schultz.

    Notes from the period: Hall-Arco-Eberle line didn’t get much done 5×5, that Sheahan guy is outstanding. I like the Griffins D a ton, you can really see what a stout D does for the forwards. Like the Lander line tonight plenty of jump, Green is the only 3line guy I’ve noticed and it wasn’t good. VV was solid on the PK

  25. justDOit says:

    These web streamed games are going to make Sportsnet broadcasts seem like blu-ray quality – or they will when October rolls around.

  26. Lowetide says:

    OKC getting their asses kicked tonight, and it’s the big line being exposed. Riley Sheahan is a wonderful hockey player.

  27. YoungOil says:

    Schultz with a -4 tonight, Ebs, Hall, Arcobello -3. Ouch.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Awful hockey. Hall has made some really bad decisions.

  29. Rebilled says:

    Ride’em Swedish Cowboy?

  30. YoungOil says:

    5-1 now…………………………….wow. Just wow.

  31. Rebilled says:

    Jesus. They’re drunk as hell.

  32. Dipstick says:

    Tonight’s game is quickly curing my addiction to hockey.

  33. bookje says:

    This kind of reminds me of early 80′s Oilers hockey. The team used to come out half asleep (perhaps sobering up), piss around for a while while the other team built a big lead and then about two thirds of the way through the third period Fuhr would start stopping pucks and the rest of the team would wind it up and win 7-5.

    I await the 6 unanswered goals by the Barons.

  34. Bob Arctor says:

    …Riley Sheahan is a wonderful hockey player.

    Guess he’s cleaned up his act


  35. YoungOil says:

    Tonight’s game is quickly curing my addiction to hockey.

    Yeah, mine too.

  36. Lucinius says:

    How dare they waste a goal by Lander.

    I mean, seriously, do they always lose when he scores? (Talk about small sample size.)

  37. Lowetide says:

    Hope so. I did some stunningly stupid things as a kid so don’t usually comment but holy hell that’s an event that is kind of a call for help.

  38. OilLeak says:

    Schultz with a -4 tonight, Ebs, Hall, Arcobello -3. Ouch.

    And Arcobello with the only shot on net from that group. I’ve missed the whole game till this point, not sure if I want to tune in for the third.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Honest question, and I’m not trying to be a jackass here: do you think the NHL guys on the Barons KNOW the lockout is over and are distracted? I wouldn’t even mention it ordinarily but the difference in level of play has been so drastic.


  40. RickDeckard says:

    According to the AHL.com summary there were only 5 shots for either team in the first. How is that even possible?

  41. Lucinius says:

    Such an optimist, LT.

    Sure you haven’t hit the booze too hard?

    Maybe they’re thinking ahead about getting drunk with a telletubby later — maybe the purple one?

  42. Lowetide says:

    Lucinius: I’ll have you know that the first drink of the weekend is 10 minutes away!

  43. Rebilled says:

    Honest answer : You’re grasping at straws? Good teams have bad nights, and it’s on the road. However, I DON”T KNOW.

  44. Lucinius says:

    LT; fair enough, but does that mean you’ll be finishing the last drink of the work week in nine minutes (5, now!).

  45. Lowetide says:

    LT; fair enough, but does that mean you’ll be finishing the last drink of the work week in nine minutes (5, now!).

    I don’t drink during the week anymore. Friday after 7 through sunday at 5pm. There was a time in my life where mid-week drinks were a little out of control.

  46. YoungOil says:

    Deck having a pretty good night statistically (compared to rest of the team). Has he not played with Schultz?

  47. OilLeak says:

    I joked that the Oilers should have been relegated to the AHL last year, perhaps this game is proof of that.

  48. Lowetide says:

    Youngoil: They seem to be changing up lines and pairings.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Schultz (Eberle, Hartikainen)

  50. OilLeak says:

    How does Pitlick miss the net with that chance from the slot? How?

  51. Lowetide says:

    I don’t think he even hit the net!!! wow.

  52. OilLeak says:

    Lander led the Barons with 5 shots, well that always happens.

  53. hunter1909 says:

    Arcobello LMAO what a useless player he’s no good even in the AHL – the MacT koolaid crowd anointing yet another future flop.

    Teubert shoved a guy into the boards in a cool way, so was wondering: is he as bad as the media say? He’s a prospect, right?

    Assuming there’s no NHL season, expect the Barons to start a 12 game win streak, err, maybe.

  54. hunter1909 says:

    NHL players, voting to scuttle their season, their league and their livelihood if their puerile “union” gets de-something-or-othered? Because then there simply ends up some kind of litigation comedy for the ages?

    The devil in me wants these fools to do it. It really, really does.

  55. Lowetide says:

    2 assists for Dillon Simpson so far tonight.

  56. jp says:

    Updates from tonight’s games: G A P +/- PIM Sh
    K. Jones 0 1 1 1 0 3
    McCarron 1 0 1 ? ? ? (goals in 3 straight apparently)
    Simpson 0 2 2 1 0 2
    Laleggia 0 1 1 0 4 0
    Gustafsson 0 2 2 3 0 2
    Gagner 0 2 2 ? 0 ?
    Rajala 0 1 1 -1 0 8
    Cornet 0 1 1 -1 0 2
    Martindale 1 0 1 -2 0 6 ( finally first of the season I believe)
    Bunz on the bench

    Gustafsson is catching my eye a bit. After a slow offensive start he’s up to 32 5 10 15 14 30 86
    Top scoring D on his team, leading his team in +/- and tied for most shots (top 10 overall in +/- and D scoring)
    In his last 13 GP (arbitrary point based on when I last checked) he’s 13 2 8 10 7 12 33

    It is the Swedish 2nd league, but for some NHLer context:
    Kopitar is 30 10 24 34
    Landeskog 17 6 8 14
    P Berglund 30 20 12 32
    Backlund 23 12 18 30
    Solid numbers for all, but they’re not eating the league alive.

    You never know, Gustafsson might just be a find. Would be interesting to see him in OKC next year or the year after.

  57. Lucinius says:

    Yakupov with a goal on the powerplay, nice one-timer off a great pass, Russia leads 2-0.

    Poor stick use on the pk.

  58. Lucinius says:

    RNH with a powerplay goal; 2-1. Picks off a ping-ponging rebound and fired it home.

  59. Lucinius says:

    3-1 lead now for Russia; Binnington pulled. Last goal, MacKinnon went down to block it and failed to do so — went right between his legs.

  60. Lucinius says:

    Yakupov on first PK unit out against RNH that managed to shut it down.

    Zharkov looking good and feisty this game with a lot of speed and aggression on the pk.

    The boy deserves better box cars playing like this.

  61. Lucinius says:

    And then Zharkov off for holding.

    Also, interestingly, someone told me in chat that Yakupov’s line has gotten the tough sledding with a lot of d-zone starts against opponent’s top lines.

    RNH with an assist on Huberdeau’s powerplay goal. 3-2 Russia. Ryan Murphy with his first point of the tournament — for an offensive defenseman and powerplay specialist!?

  62. Lucinius says:

    Haha; period ends, RNH is skating closely behind a Russian, with minimal incidental contact that neither he nor the Russian care a whit about. Ref skates out from the boards in a dash to grab and separate RNH from the Russian — RNH gives the ref a look of ‘Wtf, man?’ Just the look on RNH’s face was hilarious.

    Edit: And I”m all alone here again — you people need to stop being old geezers and stay up!

  63. jp says:

    I’m here, though missed most of the 1st.

    RNH with 3rd point on nice PP pass.

  64. Lucinius says:

    As much as I like Makarov I will never, ever understand this Russian coach’s goaltending decisions. You can get bounced from the next game whether you win or lose.

    RNH with an assist on Scheffle’s powerplay goal; 3-3 now.

    Yakupv was on the pk unit; not his fault, though. One of the Russian defensemen abandoned his post.

  65. Lucinius says:

    And… the Russians pull back ahead, 4-3, even strength goal. Subban’s played pretty well in relief. Canadian goaltending is weird.

  66. jp says:

    Not a fan of that Nike ad.

  67. Ozzieoiler says:

    I’m here. It’s been a crazy game so far. Lots of mistakes and lots close calls on both sides. Canadian D look like they are disfunctional.

  68. Lucinius says:

    I was never a big fan on the Canadian D. Not sure who they would have, or could have brought instead, but.. Murphy, Hamilton haven’t impressed. Reinhart has had some really, really bad moments, as has Reilly.

  69. Lucinius says:

    Also really, really dislike Spot’s hard-on for playing all 13 forwards consistantly. Pick four lines and slot the 13th in as needed.

  70. Relio says:

    First time poster but long-time creeper since 2006. Love the site, your writing and your insight on all things oil.

    I was at the OKC-Grand Rapids game so thought I would leave a few comments on the atmosphere at the game and couple things I noticed.

    I drove down from metro Detroit and got stuck at work later than expected so as a disclaimer these comments are from periods 2 and 3 while sitting in the 1st row behind oilers bench – gotta love $28 tickets.

    Sure was good seeing OKC live than on the shitty barons feed!

    HENRY got high-sticked in 2nd, no call. After that he just looked pissed all night he had this terse look every time he went to bench.

    DECK – Even though he is 22, Deck looks young like who let the bantam player on the ice young, but he is fast. One play in 2nd he pinched and was at least 15 feet back and caught up to his man on a rush. Also was very impressed with his shot accurate through traffic.

    Hall- Giveaway was horrible that led to goal. Hall was quiet on the bench and didn’t show much emotion even though he was flying around.

    Teubert – really does remind me of an early mistake prone Matt Greene, hopefully he turns into Matt Greene.

    Harti – lander – hall line – thought they had a few good moments. If there is a training camp HARTI needs to staple himself to SMYTH and learn to screen better and get his big ass in front of the goalie.

    ROY – from my eye looked calm, good positioning, and no big rebounds

    Pitlick – seemed invisible in a bad way. Also he needs to bulk up on some of that good Oklahoma beef. He looks skinnier than his 195lbs suggests. After he missed that open shot in the slot in the 3rd he slammed his stick into the boards on the bench.

    Lizoun – got a lot of shifts I counted at least 9 in two periods, but didn’t do much IMO.
    3rd – Tartar
    2 – Smith
    1 – Sheahan

    BARONS BENCH – was quiet the whole night. Not much talking between players or even much emotion. After the 5th Griffins goal there was no life on bench and the team looked completely deflated.

    GRIFFINS FANS: hawk-ee is thriving in Grand Rapids. Supposedly since the lockout GR is up 20% in ticket sales. Last time I was at a Griffins game a few years ago there were less than 1000 people seriously (granted it was a Tuesday evening) but today Van Andel arena was packed. The announced attendance was 7452. Saw 3 oilers/barons jersy’s. Last wings-oilers game at the joe I saw at least a 100 oil jerseys guess there is not too many oilers fans living in west Michigan. Since it was student night thought I would have been heckled but everyone was nice.

    Van Andel Arena – Havn’t been to many AHL arena’s so can’t really compare but it is a nice facility (capacity 10800). Even saw 2 hotdogs in a t-shirt gun shot from center ice go all the way to the 2nd last row of the upper deck. And like all michigan profesisonal sports teams they have to play Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”

  71. Lucinius says:

    Another powerplay coming up; cue the RNH show.

  72. Ozzieoiler says:

    The quality of D is there. But the seem out of sync. It looks like they don’t know where to go with or without the puck.

  73. Lucinius says:

    Looks like yet another assist for RNH on the Murphy pp goal. 4-4.

  74. Lucinius says:

    Ah, was wondering when the Strome penalty would occur. Happens every game.

  75. Lucinius says:

    Yak! Second pp goal, 5-4 Russians. Don’t take a penalty is the rule today.

  76. Ozzieoiler says:

    Damn. Missed the start of the period and missed the goal!

  77. Lucinius says:

    One thing I like about the TSN online feed; I can rewind at will to see things again.

    There’s Murphy un-doing some of his work today with a bad penalty. Let’s see if the scoring fest on the poewrplay continues..

  78. Lucinius says:

    Grigorenko and Yakupov on the ice at the same time; stellar implosion and the end of reality as we know it incoming!

  79. Lucinius says:

    Canada scores a goal without RNH, mayhem and bedlam ensue! 5-5.

  80. Lucinius says:

    RNH with the excellent defensive play to rob Zharkov of an excellent scoring opportunity. OIler star snuffing Oiler prospect!

  81. Lucinius says:

    Its been a pretty enjoyable game to watch, since I don’t care which side wins. Sloppy, but enjoyable. Fire wagon hockey often enough that it kindles fond memories of times gone by.

    Overtime next. Want either RNH or Yakupov to end it.

  82. Lucinius says:

    And the Russians win on a strong power forward move by Nichuskin, just after Canada had a shot to win it and a fantastic save by Grigorenko. Not a great goal against by Subban. But, honestly, I think Russia deserved the win. Canada did as well, but not quite as much.

    Canada’s streak of 14 straight medals? Over.

    RNH will win the point race, short of an American having a Gagner of a game,

  83. Lucinius says:

    And RNH and Yakupov get their respective player of the game decisions. OIler sweeps!

  84. Lucinius says:

    RNH gets a watch (big surprise!) Yakupov doesn’t.

    And with that, I’m crashing to bed. Enjoy the replay those of you sleeping through this.

  85. Ozzieoiler says:

    Lucinius, you failed to highlight who Nichuskin blew by to score the goal.

    Murphy! Waving a stick at a player won’t stop anyone in a house league let alone a WJC game.

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