The Edmonton Oilers 5×5 offense is going to explode someday soon, and today I wish it would rain. The club’s shooting percentage is low, their ev chances are good and their goaltending looks sustainable as long as Dubnyk is in the net. The PP is humming, but the EV goals have not arrived. Yet.
Taylor Hall has 35 shots on net so far this season and 2 goals. 5.7 shooting percentage. Last season, Hall’s shooting percentage was 13 per cent, meaning that he should have scored 4.55 goals by now if he was in the same shooting range as a year ago. Hall has been amazing this season–he’d get my MVP vote over Ales Hemsky–but lady luck has not been his friend. You know that old expression ‘when it rains, it pours?’
It’ll be coming down in buckets soon. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Andrew Berkshire is a helluva writer and despite his Habs focus offers up a perfect description of the Oilers current situation based on shooting percentage:
- Berkshire: The Edmonton Oilers are going to start scoring a lot soon. Well, their current injury situation may drag this out a bit longer, but eventually a bunch of pucks will fill the net for them at even strength.
The story I heard about “My Girl” is this one. Smokey Robinson wrote the song (inspired by his wife) and wanted it for his own group (The Miracles). One day Eddie Kendricks (of the Temptations) wandered into the room Smokey was working in and began discussing the recent success (or lack thereof) for the Temptations. He begged Robinson for a song, and Smokey (perhaps the greatest pop songwriter in history–and baby that’s saying something) played “My Girl” and then handed it to the Temptations (where David Ruffin would sing the song of his life and the Temptations would have their signature song).
The Temptations were the recipients of one of the greatest gifts in pop history–who gives that simple guitar line, those beautiful words and that incredible melody away?
The Edmonton Oilers played the role of The Tempations the day Justin Schultz arrived as an Oiler. Holy Hell this young man is a hockey player, as sweet as that opening guitar line in My Girl and as successful as the #1 hit for 1965. It’s a dream, a freaking dream.
Lineup might look like this today:
I like the top line–have been suggesting it for some time–but am also intrigued by that 2line. I’d rather see it at home where they could get some protection, but then again with Horcoff and Belanger out there’s not going to be a lot of protection.
It’s hockey day in Canada, and the Oilers are on the road and the CBC splits the nation. I don’t think the Oilers are getting the respect they deserve from the CBC. Surely this team is more entertaining than one of the other Canadian teams.
The lines listed on the Al Gore for the Red Wings feature trouble and double trouble:
Their blue is in shreds compared to previous seasons, injuries and losing Lidstrom will do that to a team.
There’s a small story underneath the season and that’s the emergence of both Hartikainen and Paajarvi as NHL regulars. Through 10 games, here are their numbers:
- Hartikainen: 9, 0-1-1 10:18TOI. He’s missed only 1 game, and his TOI has risen from game 1 (6:10) through the last game (13:27) and it looks like the coach is going to have him in a feature role today. He’s getting 2 minutes a night on the PP, and even more impressive has been has work along the wall. Hartikainen is turning the corner, and in a season that is still a lot about ‘is our children learning?’ the big Finn is a shining light.
- Paajarvi: 7, 0-0-0 10:17TOI. A wrinkle this season is some time on the PK (1:13) and he’s certainly playing a more physical game which includes driving to the net. Paajarvi’s miles from being the player he can be, but has some exceptional bullets on his resume for that 2-way role the Oilers need so badly.
The big story this season is the playoffs, but one of the truly interesting underlying items surrounds those secondary wingers behind Hall, Hemsky, Yakupov and Eberle. Hartikainen and Paajarvi finding useful roles would be a huge addition to the club’s depth.