Word late last night that Shawn Horcoff has a broken knuckle, so the Oilers depth at center–already poor–is down to greenhorns and wunderkinds. As of this morning, here are the NHL GP totals for the likely 4C’s for tomorrow night’s game:
- RNH 71
- Sam Gagner 375
- Anton Lander 59
- Chris VandeVelde 17
The word this morning on Horcoff’s injury is that it is going to be awhile, and with Belanger out for at least this week the club is going to need some innovation. If the next game was Saturday it might make sense to airlift someone in–an experienced center–and if both Horcoff and Belanger are going to be out for a long time then they’ll have to make a trade today.
This is Steve Tambellini. Bet VandeVelde.
The positives as I see it (corsi numbers via Boys on the Bus):
- Despite being matched up against the Sedin line, Hall (-2 Corsi), Nuge (-2) and Eberle (-3) had a solid game. Hall kept a furious pace for much of the night.
- Dennis King scoring chances had the overall totals dead even (18-18, Oilers 16-15 outside ST).
- Dubnyk played a helluva game despite the two regulation goals being the kind you’d like the G to stop. Sounds weird I know, but DD is 9th in the NHL in SP and was splendid on stopping the actual scoring chances. I’m of the mind to suggest that the Bieksa goal was a seeing eye single and unless Hasek wants to come back goals like the one Hansen let in are part of the game. I’m still onside with Dubnyk, although checking twitter he’s taking some heat.
- Lander (+3), Paajarvi (+2) and Hartikainen (-1) had a nice game and RK rewarded Paajarvi with some late shifts. If those three kids can turn a corner together, that’s going to represent a helluva development year no matter the standings. A word of caution, though: the famous Bulldog line that started the 2000-01 season together ended up producing only one actual NHL player (Daniel Cleary) while the other two (Brian Swanson, Michel Riesen) were cups of coffee.
- Justin Schultz is a wonderful player.
The Oilers making moves in summer is one thing, but in-season problem solving (Gilbert for Schultz the elder, etc) isn’t a strength. Last summer’s list is a good one:
- June 11: Oilers hire MacT as Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations.
- June 19: Signed Lennart Petrell to a 1-year, $825,000 contract.
- June 27: Named Ralpk Krueger head coach.
- July 1: Won the Justin Schultz sweepstakes.
- July 1: Signed Ryan Smyth to a 2-year, $4.5M contract.
- July 1: Signed Darcy Hordichuk to a 1-year, $850,000 contract.
- July 1: Signed Yann Danis to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
- July 5: Signed Jeff Petry to a 2-year, $3.5M contract.
- July 5: Signed Devan Dubnyk to a 2-year, $7M contract.
- July 16: Signed Theo Peckham to a 1-year, $1.075M contract.
- July 20: Signed Sam Gagner to a 1-year, $3.2M contract.
- August 22: Signed Taylor Hall to a 7-year, $42M contract.
- August 30: Signed Jordan Eberle to a 6-year, $36M contract.
You could add the Fistric deal to the bottom there, but that’s a pretty nice group of deals. Not all are positive, but there are some nice additions. I’m hoping we see the MacT factor in whatever they do, and for obvious reasons believe the VV callup is the likely solution.
However, if this team is serious about the post-season, a well timed pickup of this generation’s Marty Reasoner would be a welcome item this day.