Shawn Horcoff was injured February 4th and we heard he’d be gone a month; this means that Horc should be ready to roll early next week. Right? Well, no. For the first time in history, an injury timeline estimate was incorrect.
- Horcoff: “I can’t grip (a stick) yet. I’m two weeks away.”
So the Oilers have the Nuge (something’s wrong), Sam Gagner, Eric Belanger and Chris VandeVelde. Razor thin. And still no outside help at center. If inertia were a skill, Tambellini would be Gretzky.
Lots of chatter everywhere on the Oilers drafting. It’s gone from “Magnificent Bastard” to “they can’t do anything right” and for my part I am sincerely sorry for anything I did to create high or false expectations. You have to allow 5 seasons to pass in order to get a first real “glimpse” of a specific draft, so that means we can properly evaluate the 2008 draft this summer.
So far, it’s a helluva draft. The Jordan Eberle selection was brilliant and not in fact a slam dunk (although you’ll see that a lot, too)–and that pick was the inspiration for the “Magnificent Bastard” nickname. The club did not have a second or third round selection, but in the 4th round (Johan Motin) and 5th round (Phil Cornet) found fringe NHL players. The script could change on either, but at the 5 year mark that’s what we know. The 6th round saw MBS select Teemu Hartikainen, who is now at the 45 NHL game mark and pushing for regular duty (he has been a regular this season). I believe the 2008 entry draft is already a success, but if Hartikainen has a career then that’s a quality draft.
2009? Well we’re coming up on the end of year four and things look a little brighter. Magnus Paajarvi is back in the show and at the 136 game mark this morning. Even if the Oilers flush him I believe MP has earned a second chance with another team, but there’s skill there and he’s been working well with Samwise this season. A nice run through the end of the season would do worlds for Paajarvi’s future with the club. Rajala is having a nice run in the AHL, Bigos will likely be signed and turn pro this fall and Roy has struggled but is stoning the ECHL at this moment.
Linus Omark won the Swiss-A league’s scoring championship (48, 17-52-69) and one hopes employment with the Detroit Red Wings. Watch out folks, if he lands with an NHL team expect mondo coverage on this blog–even if it is Calgary!
Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts is a highlight of my week, there are always several interesting items. One of them this week involves Ottawa coach Paul MacLean:
- 26. For example, one of the ideas MacLean likes to preach is “fast defence.” Basically, he wants his forwards to create three lanes of support for defencemen trying to move or pass the puck out of their own zone. When the AHLers are called up, they understand what that means, no explanation necessary. “You can never move the puck fast enough for Paul,” Richardson said.
Ralph Krueger and Steve Tambellini were in OKC to see last night’s game. Among the highlights:
- Brett Clark (12, 1-10-11) scored a nice goal and played his usual strong defense.
- Toni Rajala (22, 7-10-17) had 2 assists, +1 and 4 shots on goal.
The Barons are 2 points out of a playoff spot with miles to go. It seems coach Nelson has settled things down after the airlift and has the team headed in the right direction.