EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED (EARLY 20)

The Edmonton Oilers may not pick first in the coming draft, but they’re going to get another outstanding player. The top 4 selections in this year’s draft are cornerstone prospects, and there’s plenty of quality and depth deep into round one. Here’s my first look at the 20 best players for the 2013 NHL entry draft.

jones12

  1. D Seth Jones, Portland (WHL). Big, strong, skilled, massive wingspan, tough, physical, can do it all.
  2. L Jonathan Drouin (QMJHL). There’s just too much here to keep him at #3. Stunning offensive season, elite skills.
  3. C Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL). Excellent skater, quick hands, great shot. Natural center, can play a physical style.
  4. C Sasha Barkov, Tappara (SM-Liiga). Big, strong Finn with terrific offensive skills across the board. 6.02, 205.
  5. C Elias Lindholm, Brynas (SEL). Cerebral player in the Sam Gagner mold, he’s had an impressive couple of weeks.
  6. C Sean Monahan, Ottawa (OHL). Outstanding skills, complete player. A little shy offensively in this company.
  7. L Anthony Mantha, V’al Dor (QMJHL). LOVE this player. Pronman: “Mantha is an intriguing package of tools as he is 6’4” with good speed, a heavy shot, and offensive instincts.
  8. D Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL). Big strong defensemen with good speed and a developing offensive game.
  9. L Valeri Nichushkin, Traktor (KHL). 6.04, 196 fast and skilled. Emerging since World Junior’s.
  10. D Rasmus Ristolainen TPS (SM-Liiga). 6.03, 207, has a wide range of skills and is playing in SML. Strong, 2-way defender.
  11. C Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL). Skill forward with terrific speed and hands, strong on the puck. Sightly undersized.
  12. C Curtis Lazar, Edmonton (WHL). Tough skill C. Pronman: Lazar is a plus skater with a similar amount of two-way work ethic.
  13. L Kerby Rychel, Windsor (OHL). A trending player, he’s skilled and mean. Button: He will play nasty and physical, which makes it very uncomfortable for opponents. Skating is below the others around him in the draft.
  14. L Alexander Wennberg, Djurgarden (Allsvenskan). Lanky skill center with speed and quickness; playing in Swe2 league.
  15. D Ryan Pulock, Brandon (WHL). Liked this kid from the start. Good offense from the blueline and a good size/speed combination for the blue (6.01, 211)
  16. D Nikita Zadorov, London (OHL). 6.05, 230, strong defenseman with a big shot and a massive wingspan.
  17. L Adam Erne, Quebec (QMJHL). Another exceptionally skilled winger, he’s also rugged and has average NHL size.
  18. D Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert (WHL). Highly ranked because of his skating and puck moving ability. Morrissey is a great example of the “new NHL” defenseman: good speed, excellent at moving the puck and solid defensively.
  19. L Max Domi, London (OHL). Skilled W with speed and his Dad’s low center of gravity. He’s really coming on.
  20. C Fredrik Gauthier, Rimouski (QMJHL). 6.05, 210 C with skill, intimidating size and he’ll likely play on a skill line.

mar11

 

If the season ended today, the Oilers would pick 4th according to sportsclubstats.com. Let’s say the top 3 go like this:

  1. Florida: D Seth Jones
  2. Buffalo: C Nathan MacKinnon
  3. Tampa Bay: L Jonathan Drouin
  4. Edmonton?

I think the Oilers race to the podium in order to select Barkov. What say you?

Note: This post was done before last night’s game. The post is not meant as a commentary on the state of the Oilers, although the playoffs are a faraway echo. One of the things I wanted to do this weekend after talking to Corey Pronman and Kirk Luedeke two weeks in a row is to post a top 20 to see how the quality goes 1-20:

  1. The top 4 are a scream. Cornerstone, foundation, franchise-altering.
  2. Numbers 5-8 are top flight prospects, just a little below elite level.
  3. The prospects 9-13 are going to be very good NHL regulars based on resume and performance.
  4. The top 20 has quality and variety. Something for everyone.

It’s my feeling that the Oilers will get an outstanding player if they choose anywhere inside the top 12. The standings suggest there’s no way to avoid it.

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122 Responses to "EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED (EARLY 20)"

  1. daryl says:

    With the usual suspects as trade deadline possibles and this review of the first round depth, do you think there’s any chance of getting another first?

  2. mumbai max says:

    This list highlights the difference between getting a high first and getting a low first.

    Would I trade Hemsky for a top 15 first round pick? Probably. Would I trade him for
    a bottom 15 first round pick? No way. Far too much of a crap shoot.

    The biggest difference is that the Oil need ‘real NHL hockey players’. If you get a top
    10 pick in this draft year you are getting one. Below that you are trading for
    magic beans. High quality magic beans, but magic beans none the less.

    The problem of course is that it is clubs with low picks that are likely to panic and
    overpay at the deadline. A bit of a catch 22.

    Patience is a virtue. As much as people are freaking out a bit during this road trip,
    I think it is time to continue to be prudent. Listen to the overypayers, but don’t clean
    house to make the bloggers happy. It is dark. Next comes dawn. Every day so far anyway!

  3. leadfarmer says:

    Since there is no interconference play the NHL really should do reverse seading alternating bottom teams from each conference. 15th, 15th, 14th, 14th, and such.

    Which undersized winger from western canada do we pick?

  4. gcw_rocks says:

    I think Lazar is way to high on this list. Yes, the goals are trending well, but the points are not, which I think reduces his value.

    And in answer to your question, I think you have it exactly right. Barkov all the way unless they really hate his skating. Then, I think they go with any of Monahan, Mantha, or Nichushkin. Still enough hockey left to be played that I don’t think you can determine which one yet.

  5. RMGS says:

    I know little to nothing about any of these prospects, so I’m just hoping (not so?) Magnificent Stu recommends to the new GM (hah!) the BPA and not Curtis Lazar when the team chooses 3-7.

    And, I just saw a commercial-free replay of last night’s hang-on-for-dear-life match. I can’t stand the Hawks, but I’m glad they’ve been an important part of the very few in-season entertaining moments for Oilers fans over the last couple of seasons.

  6. sliderule says:

    It has to be Barcov or Monahan .

    At WJC you could see Barkov is not quick but neither is Getslaf or Benn.

  7. tlatos says:

    I don’t watch QMJHL hockey at all. Is Drouin really that good?

    His SH% is up from 8.9% to 24.8% since last year. Crosby was just over a 19% shooter in the Q. Mackinnon has been steady at 15%.

    Drouin’s Assist per game have doubled to be the same as Crosby’s rookie season, 1.31 vs 1.37. Mackinnon showed improvement from 0.8 to 1.0

    The Q keeps track of scoring chances and Drouin has converted 34.2% this year vs. 13.5% last year. Mackinnon has been flat at 21.7%.

    Mackinnon also gets more shots/gm (4.5 vs. 3.5) and chances/game (3.2 vs. 2.5) than Drouin.

    I’m guessing he gets more ice time to explain some of his improvement but how much of the hype on him is based on a lucky hot streak?

  8. striatic says:

    sliderule: It has to be Barcov or Monahan .
    At WJC you could see Barkov is not quick but neither is Getslaf or Benn.

    agreed. problem is that there is a good chance the Oilers don’t pick low enough to get either of them.

    my prediction before the season was 11th in the west, 20th overall. this is still an achievable position.

    i don’t think the Oilers do any better than that, so i would add Lazar to the list of potential options.

    the list should be Barkov, Monahan and Lazar – in that order – depending on where the Oilers finish up. personally i hope the Oilers do well enough to not be able to take Barkov and end up taking Monahan.

    looks like this is shaping up to be the Year of the Big, Skilled Centre.

  9. gcw_rocks says:

    tlatos,

    Excellent comment! I worry about that with Drouin as well. I hope he is not on the board when the Oilers pick. I worry about Benoit Pouliot with this guy.

  10. Genjutsu says:

    LT: First time Posting long time fan of your work, so first off thanks for all your great work.

    In my opinion, and its too early to get a true sence of this draft, but to me this is the one that will really set the tone for the future of this team. It looks loaded in a way that we have not seen in recent memory.

    Living in Montreal now and I’ve been telling my Habs fan buddys here that I would give my right eye to have 6 picks in the top 100 like they do this year.

    Actually watching them win kinda makes me a litle jealous too.

    Keep up the good work sir!

  11. Bar_Qu says:

    Not knowing much about him, what (if anything) is wrong with Lindholm, or are we expecting he will be gone by the time the Oilers pick? He seems big enough and at 192lbs should fill out to be the centre that is coveted.

    Just curious, since I would take the big player with the big brain over the big player from Canada (Lazar), but I don’t see him as part of the discussion here.

  12. Minister D- says:

    Given Stauffer’s non-stop pumping of Lazar’s tires during the lockout, I’d wager that the Oilers are just dumb enough to take the guy as high as 5th or 6th overall. It could be this year’s ‘Moroz pick.’ Barkov is the kind of guy the Oilers need, so, naturally, there’s a good chance they’ll see right through him. Only abject failure might constrain them to choose more wisely. That makes me a sad panda.

  13. bookje says:

    I think Gene Principe will be highly disappointed if the team does not select Lazer!

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    If the draft class is as good as it is supposed to be, I’d prefer the Oilers trade the pick for an established, early 20′s player (top 5 forwards, top 3 defencemen) who can step right in and contribute. If not, then pick of course but this opportunity should not be overlooked.

  15. denny33 says:

    I would agree with LT completely – top 3 or 4 – are ‘cornerstone type players and I think at this point we should have a clear interest in playing Danis and getting RNH and Eberle healthy for next year…

    This will include showcasing Whitney and others for possible trade deadline moves. Whitney has been playing better offensively.

    Difficult line for management to take – but in a shortened season – we find ourselves 14th in the West in March. ( last place Calgary has played 2 less games than us )

    I personally am resigned to one more season of rebuilding. Has anyone hear that before?

    May I also ask that in the deepest draft since 2003 we actually get a solid NHL player outside the first round? Or am I pushing it now…

  16. FrankenOil says:

    Minister D-,

    I think that’s a pretty uninformed take on Lazar. The guy is playing 2nd line minutes on a Memorial Cup contender and scoring goals. Maybe he isn’t a playmaker, but the kid is a beast and a leader. (typical not the size of the dog but the size of the fight in the dog player). He was easily the OK’s best player (ok, him and Samuelsson) in the Memorial Cup last year. He plays with an edge and can score goals. Just to say he is a product of a pump-up campaign isn’t fair. If I were you, I’d actually watch a few OK games before you make a generalization like that. He was in the top-10 going into the year and was dinged for a scoring drought and is now climbing back to his pre-season draft ranking thanks to a very strong second half. IAs it stands (obviously) I’m a huge fan and would be thrilled if the Oilers selected Lazar.

  17. striatic says:

    bookje: I think Gene Principe will be highly disappointed if the team does not select Lazer!

    you don’t think he’d be overjoyed with Barkov? i’ve heard his bite is pretty good too.

  18. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Barkov foot speed is deceiving, he pushes as needed, and in fact his bursts are very good as described by Mackenzie in the mid-year rankings.

    Barkov has to be the intended target with the lottery pick.

    If the Oilers can get another pick inside the 10-15 range the Oilers would be absolute fools not to pick Bo-Horvat, will be everything Lazar is not.

    I have the opportunity to watch Lazar a lot and he is far too streaky and is not what the Oilers need moving forward, they need another Horcoff replacement and Horvat is that player.

    Outside shot that teams pass on Mackinnon due to size?

    I can see it falling like this

    1. Jones

    2. Drouin

    3.Barkov

    4.Mackinnon

    5. Monahan

  19. Roughneck says:

    gcw_rocks,

    I assume you mean MAP, the guy the oilers drafted who got all the looks because of Crosby. Drouin is not that guy, he is a puck pursuing hound much like Taylor Hall was and competes hard in all battles. He reminds me a bit of yak in body type, squat an big stumps but a bit more powerful when darting around.

    in the oilers defense i thought MAP would be better than he was. He turned out to be a complete pussy when he got to the show, he might as well have been swedish. (kidding!!).

  20. justDOit says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    I think Kevin Quinn would have some serious objections to having Barkov, Horvat and Horcoff on the same team!

  21. Hammers says:

    My guess is Mantha unless Tambo is still here and gets lucky again then it could be Jones .

  22. eidy says:

    I would love to get Barkov. He could be our staal if this week we are doing the pittsburgh rebuild. He and MacKinnon are almost a full year younger than Jones. I like Drouin, but he is riding some serious shooting percentage right now as well.

    MacKinnon would also be a great addition. A great end to the season might end like this,
    lose tambo/lowe, trade whitney/eager/jones/belanger for picks or prospects or boyle from new york, sign smid, manage to get 3 or 4 in draft and take barkov or macKinnon if he falls (then don’t rush them), acquire some actual nhl players to complete the roster… then bam, stanley cup:)

  23. FrankenOil says:

    I am going to feel bad for Lazar if the Oilers pick him. I already see it here this morning that he’s going to get the Horcoff treatment around here (getting blamed for something that wasn’t his doing). Just because the OIlers reached for Moroz, doesn’t mean that taking Lazar is a bad pick if they take him outside of the Top 6 or 7. He had one bad offensive month (November where he was goalless). Even when he was struggling, Laxdall made a point (and so did many other observers) that Lazar wasn’t cheating offensively just to try and break out of hius slump and justify the draft hoopla. He’ll be a helluva pick for this team and exactly what they need more of – high motor player who can play both ends of the rink.

  24. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    justDOit,

    Hahaha a bit of a tongue twister……Huge Horvat fan though, he is a player of interest for sure.

  25. striatic says:

    FrankenOil: Just because the OIlers reached for Moroz, doesn’t mean that taking Lazar is a bad pick if they take him outside of the Top 6 or 7.

    if Barkov and Monahan are gone, it isn’t a reach to take Lazar.

    i think what people are worried about is picking Lazar instead of, say, Monahan if the Oilers pick 5th or 6th.

  26. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Hammers,

    I like the thought of Mantha, however the Oilers need a center more then they need LW.

  27. Lois Lowe says:

    Oh the life of an Oilers fan. The day after a win over the best team in the league and we’re discussing who to take in the lottery. I am personally onside with Barkov; I like that he’s playing against men, that he has decent size and I have heard nothing about his first-off-the-iceness.

    I wonder how many of the C’s in the first round get converted to wingers in the show though; so I am eying Nicushin if we’re in the range of 4-8.

  28. Bos8 says:

    If the Oilers go supposed best talent and pick another winger/D, I might just whimper and hang up. For God’s sake a Center. Break the mold. (Maybe an exception for Jones)

  29. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    striatic,

    It would be if you keep Gagner, where does Lazar fit in then? If the Oiler’s for some inexplicable reason choose not to draft a center then chances are good they keep Gagner.

    Lazar is not going to be a Horcoff type player, he’s not great on the draw and his defensive game while good is not great.

    The Oilers need a Peca, Horcoff, type player; Lazar is not that guy IMO

  30. jfry says:

    I hope we stay away from lazar, and it has nothing to do with the kid. I’m just tired of taking ok players because our scouts can see them more easily. Its a flaw in our system. Id love to know the average distance from the organization hq that most teams pick a player. Oil goes something like this: Edmonton, red deer, lethnridge, BC. Our whl And bchl (for fuck sakes) cronyism is worrysome.

  31. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Lois Lowe,

    That win was an apparition; it should not have taken place anyone who follows hockey would know that.

    Theres a good chance Colorado proves that.

    I take Barkov too. big body offensive minded.

  32. Bos8 says:

    Lazar has a motor? So passing is not on his motor skill list.

  33. icecastles says:

    Hammers: My guess is Mantha unless Tambo is still here and gets lucky again then it could be Jones .

    In the new rules, no team can move down more than one place. Is there a limit to how many places in the order a team can jump if they win the lottery?

    Also, seen Lazar play quite a few times. Excellent player. On an excellent team, which can skew things. Number one reason I wouldn’t take him though? He’s a winger, and he’s a small man. I firmly beleive in BPA, but context has to be applied and I can’t imagine at this point in the Oilers rebuild adding another small player (no matter how much fight they purportedly have, which I beleive may be a bit overstated wit hLazar) or another winger when there is such extraordinary need and so little waiting in the wings (no pun intended) in defense or especially at center.

    I agree with LMHF#1 that unless they are in the top three, they are in a prime position to be trading that pick. I think it’s time to start pushing the timeline and not stretching the bubble of the young core so wide that some guys are already past their prime by the time the 2013 draft superstar is hitting his prime.

    Last year they said the playoffs were the objective. Not just this year, but last year as well. They HAVE to stop the perpetual development phase at some point and start winning now. Not the cup maybe, but I do’t see how they will ever become a SC contender if they don’t even acquire any playoff experience.

  34. Matt.N says:

    The best D or C available. Not Drouin. We don’t need another winger. There isn’t enough seperating these guys to call it B.P.A and take the winger.

  35. denny33 says:

    FrankenOil,

    i am not going to disagree with your assessment of Lazar…because I have not seen him play.

    However, he is rated in the mid 20′s by a lot of org. Craig Button has him at 23.

    As such, I don’t see how he could possibly be on the Oilers radar screen.

  36. justDOit says:

    icecastles: In the new rules, no team can move down more than one place. Is there a limit to how many places in the order a team can jump if they win the lottery?

    No. This year, for the first time, any non-playoff team can win the lottery and draft first overall.

  37. striatic says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: It would be if you keep Gagner, where does Lazar fit in then?

    Oilers NEED to keep Gagner, at least in the short term.

    with Lazar, you can do like Boston did with Seguin and move him to RW at first. eventually you need to make a choice between the two but not next year given the Oiler’s lack of depth at C.

    similarly, Barkov or Monahan can start out at LW.

  38. icecastles says:

    justDOit: No. This year, for the first time, any non-playoff team can win the lottery and draft first overall.

    Jesus. Forget the NHL Awards, the draft is the event they need to start holding in Vegas.

  39. Clarkenstein says:

    Appreciate the list LT but I’d like you to put their height/weight beside their names. I’m only interested in the biggest, meanest motherfucker on the board when the Oil pick. *sarcasm off*

  40. sliderule says:

    On the optimistic side if we could beat Avs we would have six more home games than road in our final run.

    We might be able to make a push for playoffs with all those home games.

  41. icecastles says:

    sliderule: On the optimistic side if we could beat Avs we would have six more home games than road in our final run.

    I think that will still be the case if they lose against the Avs.

  42. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    striatic,

    That’s my point, Lazar plays wing now, he is not or will not be a NHL center, there is no place for Lazar on this team, if he’s not good enough in the JR to play center he won’t all of a sudden become one in the NHL.

    The Oilers need a legit elite big Center, they need someone who will push the play and move the puck, not turn it over, get muscled off it or be a defensive liability.

    If the Oilers can get another pick in the first round then I still think Horvat would be a player the Oilers NEED more then Lazar.

  43. Clay says:

    Even with the game last night, I’m at the point where every win for the OIlers from here out is bittersweet. I guess losing has become acceptable to me as well.

    Worse case scenario for the Oilers is they pick third, and Jones and MacKinnon are gone. Drouin may become better than all of Ebs, Hall, and Yak, but can the OIlers really afford to take another small, skilled winger? Would they trade down at that point? I shudder to think how many ways Tambo could screw that up.

    My thinking is that, regardless of where the Oilers pick, if Jones isn’t available, they’ll pick the best C available. If they pick third, and MacKinnon is available, holy hell. MacKinnon – RNH – Gagner up the middle doesn’t sound too bad.

  44. Clay says:

    Btw – speaking of Jones as a freak. Anyone remember his dad in the NBA? In a league where at least 3/4 of the players are genetic freaks, his dad looked like an extraterrestrial. He was 6’8″ and like 260lbs, but his wingspan was measured at 7’6″. It’s no wonder they talk about his son’s wingspan and range.

  45. denny33 says:

    Clay,

    Great question- I was going to pose this one to all in here….

    What if Tambo draws 2nd pick – Drouin is staring us in the face?

    This will test a lot of people’s virtue for Best Player Available…..I take Drouin in a nanosecond.

    I would still propose we at least investigate the merits of trading up to obtain Jones. Like Pronger, Suter and Weber – Jones could play nearly half the game. A team like Columbus – some have said – is more interested in a forward at this point in their rebuild….

    Agree with Clay – Jones is a franchise maker. Cornerstone. Along with J. Schultz, and Klefbom – could settle our D down for years. Granted – Tambo has to address bottom 6 forwards.

  46. icecastles says:

    denny33: This will test a lot of people’s virtue for Best Player Available…..I take Drouin in a nanosecond.

    The general thinking is that when you have a top pick, you take BPA, then draft for need after that. With 3 1st overalls already on the team, I think some context has to be applied. Depending on who is available at our selection (Jones is a no-brainer as he fills a need and is BPA by a crazy margin), I think need has to be considered by the org.

    Horc is in is twilight years, and Belanger’s future here is not the brightest. Unless they have a crack at Jones, they have to go for the center if there’s a potential elite available. And to take yet another winger just seems silly to me unless there is a huge gap between him and any available center/defenseman.

  47. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    denny33,

    Tambellini need to address more than the bottom six, the Oilers NEED centers more then they need anything else.

    Who will succeed Horcoff and is Gagner good enough to push this team forward? I say no he’s not.

    The Oilers need at least 4 centers going forward, as much as I agree that you should never pick for need the Oilers need this position, where they will be picking the Oilers have an opportunity at an elite huge center.

  48. pboy says:

    I can’t wait to hear the spin from Stauffer/Specter in regards to Horcoff’s return. The guy shows his leadership skills by calling a players only meeting, then he plays a solid up and down game after missing 17 straight. What an asshole! Get him out of here.

  49. Captain Obvious says:

    There are four players who would have been strongly considered for first overall any of the past three years. For instance I would never take a Dman that high in the draft but by all accounts Jones is a much better player than Murray.

    Any of the top four would make me happy, but I think Mackinnon is the best player followed by Barkov.

  50. OilClog says:

    Mackinnon or Barkov. Unless some horrible miracle tragedy happens and we end up 1st.

  51. justDOit says:

    OilClog:
    Mackinnon or Barkov. Unless some horrible miracle tragedy happens and we end up 1st.

    You mean like Dubnyk missing the rest of the season?

  52. Bos8 says:

    This trip from hell showed up the small skill forwards. They simply ran out of gas. Yes, they can dance but they also wear out struggling against the cycles game after game. Going forward the Oilers crtically need a shut down line with some size. They have one member in Paajarvi.

    Next year I’d be tempted to bring up Martindale, Hamilton and Pitlick for the fourth line. They can’t score but neither does the Oiler bottom six.

  53. justDOit says:

    Montador on waivers today from Chicago. CoH has an article up on him. Other than his last serious injury (concussion), I don’t see how he wouldn’t be an upgrade for the Oilers. Hossa had a very serious concussion recently too, but I don’t see his play suffering because of it.

  54. Amadeus says:

    Take this for what it is. Heard it from a co-worker who talked to Smid’s father-in-law.
    Smid loves it in Edmonton. His wife and her family are from here.

    Apparently Smid and his Agent went to Tambellini last year and offered 5 years at $2.7 M / year.
    Tambellini never returned his calls. They attempted to make contact again recently, and still no response. Now they told Tambellini that they will not be signing with Edmonton.

    Expect Smid to be traded by the deadline.

    If this is true, then Tambellini is an idiot. Also, where is MacT with his voice of reason?

  55. DBO says:

    Montador on waivers. concussion issuesin past and 2 yrs at $2.75 cap still left on deal, actual dollars $4.1 mill. 25 pt two way dman Staios esque. worth a shot? if healthy he is a top 4 on this team based on experience and performance, especially if they move Smid. But ideally a solid 3rd pair RD. not sure if he fits, but he is better then Potter. 12.23 on ice corsi last year, relative corsi 6.9. Nice option for depth and 3rd pair next year, especially if they upgrade 1 LD

    Smid??? – Shultz Jr.
    Shultz Sr. – Petry
    Fistric – Montador
    Klefbom/Potter

    If they keep Smid, you have 6 actual NHL dmen and have some depth with Klefbom and Potter.

  56. VOR says:

    Bar_Qu,

    The problem with Elias Lindholm is that he didn’t look like much of a player, a kid in a man’s league, up until December 2012 when he began to improve considerably. That got him on the world junior squad for Sweden. However, he was purely a role player at World Junior’s (which isn’t uncommon for kids this age).

    Then (post WJC) he got moved permanently on to a line with Calle Jarnkrok who was already emerging as a major talent in the SEL and Lindholm simply exploded. The problem is the two kids are cousins and while they don’t read each other like the Sedins they have a truly amazing chemistry together that neither may have apart. Plus, Lindholm started the season listed at 5’11″, 183.

    On the plus side an odd thing is happening. Every new report on Lindholm has him bigger. If it is true that he is in the midst of an insane growth spurt and he shows up at the combine at the 6’1″ and 194 that the Swedish media are now claiming is correct Lindhom well may rocket up all the rankings. In other words size and concern about whether or not somebody else is driving the bus is keeping him anywhere from 5-10 OV and one of those issues may be about to resolve itself.

    Perhaps more interestingly, as of the last month, the Swedish press have started comparing the kid to Peter Forsberg. Even some opposing coaches in the SEL have pointed out similarities – Lindholm is supposedly an explosive exploiter who thinks the game well and plays both ends of the ice hard. His own coach says the comparisons are unfair because they put too much pressure on Lindholm who still has many things to learn. However, he doesn’t say the comparison is wrong, just unfair.

    The last time a draft had four superstar sure things at positions 1-4 OV (1990) it was the sleeper who went 5th who was the BPA and it wasn’t actually even close. A lot of scouts apparently suspected that Jaromir Jagr was a generational talent and of course they were right. But there were all these nagging questions about his heart, his intensity, etc. Pittsburgh didn’t give a crap about the questions, they cared about the talent every scout had raved about.

    Lindholm may be going through the exact same thing. All the arrows are pointing in the right direction but the scouts have their doubts. Lindholm is too small, not assertive enough, too dependent on another player, etc.

    I hope that answers your question and maybe gets some Oilers fans talking about Lindholm who is the forgotten guy in this draft.

  57. denny33 says:

    Bos8,

    Makes me wonder how this group will perform during the playoffs – when things tighten up – Dramatically…….Of course, I am speaking hypothetically as the playoffs are a wishful fantasy of mine…

  58. ashley says:

    Bos8:
    This trip from hell showed up the small skill forwards.They simply ran out of gas.Yes, they can dance but they also wear out struggling against the cycles game after game.

    What is the evidence for this premise? I don’t mean to pick on you specifically, but I keep seeing it written here, and I haven’t seen the facts to support the presupposition. Hence, I’m unsure if your conclusion follows:

    Bos8:
    Going forward the Oilers crtically need a shut down line with some size.

  59. DBO says:

    Or even better for our D next year:

    UFA/trade – Shultz
    Smid – Petry
    Shultz – Montador
    Fistric

    Wow, actual depth if we add a top end LH dman. Maybe Grebeshkov, who knows but go get someone and we have an actual NHL defense for first time since Pronger.

  60. BlacqueJacque says:

    I take it that in light of yesterday’s somewhat undeserved win in Chicago everyone has given Lowebellini a stay of execution? Tomorrow should prove entertaining. Based on the season record, the team feels like a bunch of champs who can coast. At least, that’s the way I read their effort levels.

  61. VOR says:

    Another interesting piece of draft history. This draft is being compared to 2003. Most people think the strength of 2003 was all those first rounders who have become iconic players.

    Lets pretend you didn’t have any picks in the first round in 2003 you had missed your chance, right?

    For sake of argument lets say you had 6 picks in the second round.

    You could have gone:

    Patrice Bergeron
    Loui Eriksson
    David Backes
    Matt Carle
    Shea Weber
    Jimmy Howard

    That would be a pretty good draft year.

    If this draft is as deep as the talking heads are saying then the Oilers should be stock-piling draft choices.

  62. Bos8 says:

    ashley: What is the evidence for this premise?I don’t mean to pick on you specifically, but I keep seeing it written here, and I haven’t seen the facts to support the presupposition.Hence, I’m unsure if your conclusion follows:

    The last three games and the Chicago game makes four. They had that pep talk, things were going good and then they were hunched over every stoppage in play. All that was left in the tank was that 20 minute burst. A good third line would give the top kids some shelter from the big guns, every once in a while.

    Right now the kids are sucking slough water. They’re hurting – wrist, shoulder, hammy.

  63. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Horcov for Barkov ’74!”

    Seriously though… pick up some more Dave Clarks from Tor. and get Seth Jones.

  64. Minister D- says:

    striatic,

    That’s precisely it. I wasn’t knocking Lazar per se, but the ‘single-minded pursuit’ that seems to be an eminent failing of this particular management group; my worry is that they like Lazar so much that they’ll pick him at the expense of a better player, hence the, ok, admittedly somewhat unfair ‘Moroz’ reference. But the reference wasn’t directed at Lazar as a player so much as the incompetence of Oilers management to do the right thing at the right time.

  65. knighttown says:

    Very interesting nugget (shooting percentage) on Drouin for sure. I’m in Halifax and what I will say about Drouin is that is rise has been astronomical. This guy was still playing midget at Christmas-time last year because he didn’t think he was ready. I thought he was a complement to MacKinnon last year but this year he’s been carrying the best/2nd best team in the country since MacKinnon has been injured most of the second half.

    He is built like Gagner but has the sating of Hopkins versus say, Hall or Paajaarvi. Quick enough in a straight line but amazing edge control allows him to skate like a helicopter flies…straight ahead, the laterally, then backwards then ahead again. I’d rank his skating as an A-. He won’t be as dangerous off the rush as Hal but will create tonnes of space n tight quarters. MacKinnon skates like Modano. Absolute rocket skates with the jersey flapping. He’s an A+.

    MacKinnon is bigger and plays bigger. I’d suggest Hall versus Gagner.

    MacKinnon possesses a nice pair of mitts but in this regard there really is no comparison. Drouin’s ability to dangle is better than any Oiler. He could be Top 5 in the game at this aspect…Kane, Crosby, Malkin…in this general vicinity.

    I know it’s going to shock people but this guy is exactly what the Oilers need. Offence in the new-NHL is generated off the cycle and this kid will drive people crazy. He’ll get to every puck first and defensemen won’t be able to contain him and will back off and when they do he’ll use his Nugent-Hopkins like passing to make them pay.

    I do think the shooting percentage is inflated but goals aren’t going to be his thing. Maybe 25/year at his peak. Even saying that I think he brings more offence than any Oiler.

    There, I said it.

    Early on in the Kane/Turris/JVR race I also predicted that he’d lead the Western Conference scoring race if that’s where he ended up. I see similar for this kid.

  66. Clay says:

    BlacqueJacque:
    I take it that in light of yesterday’s somewhat undeserved win in Chicago everyone has given Lowebellini a stay of execution?Tomorrow should prove entertaining.Based on the season record, the team feels like a bunch of champs who can coast.At least, that’s the way I read their effort levels.

    I certainly haven’t. The gaping holes in the roster still exist. As does the dithering.

  67. Bos8 says:

    And I won’t even go into the FO debility. First you have to do the takeaway to get puck possession. More work.

    Sure this road trip was a foretaste of the playoffs but then, both teams would be equally tired. I think the team will bounce back. Get their second wind, so to speak. I’m glad Kreuger is maintaining an even keel.

  68. crude says:

    The Oilers need to take the best centaur available. Make it happen Tambo!

  69. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    VOR,

    This all day long.

    Get as many picks in the first and second and send most of them to the farm or back to JR and develop them properly.

  70. Minister D- says:

    *inability … to do the right thing at the right time

  71. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    ashley,

    Not everything requires advance stats

    They got pounded on by bigger meaner more competitive teams….or did you not watch the games how’s that for evidence statistician.

    Good grief.

  72. bookje says:

    crude:
    The Oilers need to take the best centaur available. Make it happen Tambo!

    I don’t even know if that is legal, but it would help a great deal in terms of team toughness. I can imagine a few skate wearing hoof kicks to the head would keep opposition players in line.

  73. Woodguy says:

    Roughneck:
    gcw_rocks,

    I assume you mean MAP, the guy the oilers drafted who got all the looks because of Crosby. Drouin is not that guy, he is a puck pursuing hound much like Taylor Hall was and competes hard in all battles. He reminds me a bit of yak in body type, squat an big stumps but a bit more powerful when darting around.

    in the oilers defense i thought MAP would be better than he was. He turned out to be a complete pussy when he got to the show,he might as well have been swedish. (kidding!!).

    Given that Crosby didn’t play for Rimouski until AFTER MAP was drafted I’m not sure if I can believe you scouting report on Drouin.

  74. Captain Obvious says:

    Amadeus:
    Take this for what it is.Heard it from a co-worker who talked to Smid’s father-in-law.
    Smid loves it in Edmonton. His wife and her family are from here.

    Apparently Smid and his Agent went to Tambellini last year and offered 5 years at $2.7 M / year.
    Tambellini never returned his calls. They attempted to make contact again recently, and still no response. Now they told Tambellini that they will not be signing with Edmonton.

    Expect Smid to be traded by the deadline.

    If this is true, then Tambellini is an idiot. Also, where is MacT with his voice of reason?

    I’m of two minds. On the one hand, I don’t believe anyone could be so stupid as to turn down Smid at 5/2.7 million. On the other, there is no stupidity about the Oilers that I would not believe.

  75. leadfarmer says:

    bookje,

    Surgically create whitney into a centaur and with four legs he might be able to keep up.

  76. "Steve Smith" says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    Drink!

  77. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Obvious,

    That explains the lack of talk about his resigning. Loosing him would mean lottery talk again next year. He is a player you must hold on to. I doubt his asking price is 5/2.7. No one negotiates that poorly. Sign him for 4 years at 3.5 per.

  78. Gerta Rauss says:

    bookje,

    I’d give a $100 for the Oilers to draft anyone from the Greek Mythology tree…I hear Appolo is good in the room.

  79. delooper says:

    Gerta Rauss: I’d give a $100 for the Oilers to draft anyone from the Greek Mythology tree…I hear Appolo is good in the room.

    Cupid and Aphrodite are archetypal good in the room.

  80. godot10 says:

    Amadeus:

    Apparently Smid and his Agent went to Tambellini last year and offered 5 years at $2.7 M / year.
    Tambellini never returned his calls. They attempted to make contact again recently, and still no response. Now they told Tambellini that they will not be signing with Edmonton.

    For the last two years, veteran 3rd pairing defensive NHL D have been getting $3 million per season easy. No agent would offer up Smid for $2.7. This rumour is totally bonkers.

  81. russ99 says:

    If we end up drafting after 6 (possible with the remaining schedule favoring home to road), what’s the word on Darnell Nurse? he’s 6-5 and sounds pretty dynamic.

    Other than Teubert, we really don’t have a big, tough defenseman in the system. Musil and Bigos are more #4-6 guys with little offensive upside.

    Considering our kid forwards and the potential of adding a number of players with experience and size to the top 9 this summer, I wouldn’t mind us drafting a big defenseman with top pairing potential.

    Also, considering we have two second-rounders this year, we could have a chance to move up into the low first round.

  82. Gerta Rauss says:

    delooper,

    Can you imagine Zeus going into the corners hucking those lightning bolts…talk about TV ratings!!

  83. denny33 says:

    knighttown,

    Great breakdown of two high end players I don’t get to see play …

    Thanks,

  84. Bar_Qu says:

    VOR,

    Sounds like Lindholm could be this year’s Couturier, based on what you are saying.

    Thanks, I was wondering why didn’t hear more chatter about this guy – seriously, they need to start measuring players in centimeters to avoid this ‘inch-creep’ or bias against someone below 6′.

  85. denny33 says:

    russ99,

    I am with you …if we find ourselves at # 6 – I would be very interested in Nurse.

    While I completely agree we need a centre – I don’t want to reach for one…

  86. crude says:

    leadfarmer:
    bookje,

    Surgically create whitney into a centaur and with four legs he might be able to keep up.

    Nah, we need a natural centaur.

  87. Bar_Qu says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    bookje,

    I’d give a $100 for the Oilers to draft anyone from the Greek Mythology tree…I hear Appolo is good in the room.

    Hercules is who the Oilers hope comes free – 2 cent head, but he can really hit.

  88. justDOit says:

    denny33:
    russ99,

    I am with you …if we find ourselves at # 6 – I would be very interested in Nurse.

    While I completely agree we need a centre – I don’t want to reach for one…

    Principe will make you regret wanting to draft Nurse.

  89. pboy says:

    Stauffer is can’t miss today. Horcoff isn’t going anywhere next year!!!! He’s exactly the type of player this organization needs.

    I could never figure out who Stauffer reminds me of and today it finally came to me. Bob Stauffer is to the Edmonton MSM as Bill O’Reilly is to the Republicans in the US. Last week Big Bob was talking about how Comrade Horcov needed to go, he wasn’t as good in the room as you would think, they need his cap space going forward……..then the Oiler’s downward spiral continues and the mood in town goes from hating Shawn and his contract to calling for the heads of K-Lo his Can’t Shoot Straight Gang. One win later, theCaptainshawnhorcoff is an integral piece of this team again.

    There was one amazing call today. A caller from Red Deer compared Darryl Katz to Philip Wrigley. Wrigley owned the Chicago Cubs for 35 years and was unwilling to clean his sentimental favorites out of the Cubs organization to the detriment of the team and they stayed losers during his tenure as owner. The caller said that Katz is showing some of the same qualities, keeping friends in jobs they have proven themselves unqualified to do. Stauffer said that you can’t make that comparision because Katz has only owned the team for 5 years now. Because rebuild.

  90. delooper says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    delooper,
    Can you imagine Zeus going into the corners hucking those lightning bolts…talk about TV ratings!!

    Nobody would challenge Zeus in the corners, they’d be too afraid he’d rape them.

  91. Lois Lowe says:

    I think Cerberus on the 4th line could provide the right kind of pugnacity, truculence and THUNDEROUS BODYCHECKS that the Oilers need.

    In all seriousness, the Oilers are pretty much Icarus. Having flown too close to the sun (1OV x 3) their wax wings have melted and now they are falling falling falling.

  92. crude says:

    delooper: Nobody would challenge Zeus in the corners, they’d be too afraid he’d rape them.

    He would probably draw defenders to him, disguised as a beautiful swan.

  93. OilClog says:

    delooper: Nobody would challenge Zeus in the corners, they’d be too afraid he’d rape them.

    Lupul would :)

    I’d like some Osiris thrown in there, anyone that comes back from the dead with a golden phallus, does the deed, creates another god, then goes back to ruling.. well. He’s my #1 choice.

  94. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    fuck you

  95. OilClog says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    ashley,

    Not everything requires advance stats

    They got pounded on by bigger meaner more competitive teams….or did you not watch the games how’s that for evidence statistician.

    Good grief.

    The 2-4-2 record isn’t enough of a stat for Ashley? Or is there a more important one then that , trumping everything else?

  96. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    This coming from the king of trolling others comment for his own amusement.
    The only guy who never had an original thought of his own but piggy backs on others comments.

  97. leadfarmer says:

    crude,

    He’d make a good goalie. Imagine him stacking the pads, or “kick save”, and again, and again.

  98. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    OilClog,

    really? They almost lost to Chicago, got beat handely by St.Louis, The Wild, would not even play Hall against the Wild.

    Plus they are 2-4-2….that would indicate a lossing record against bigger, more competative teams, or is that not enough of a stat to tell you that?

  99. TheOtherJohn says:

    godot10: For the last two years, veteran 3rd pairing defensive NHL D have been getting $3 million per season easy. No agent would offer up Smid for $2.7. This rumour is totally bonkers.

    Most NHL teams do not spend $3m on their 3rd pairing. Minnesota did though when they signed Nic Schultz

  100. "Steve Smith" says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    “Steve Smith”,
    The only guy who never had an original thought of his own but piggy backs on others comments.

    The only guy? Come, come, that is nowhere near accurate.

  101. prairieschooner says:

    My inside baseball guy tells me that there may be an upcoming management move being made by the Oilers.
    Please note that there are many management positions with the Oilers before we go jumping to conclusioins
    But it will be interesting!

  102. OilClog says:

    Wes Mantooth-11,

    Ummm. *Scratches Head*

    why he is so angry?

  103. "Steve Smith" says:

    OilClog,

    He didn’t realize that you were agreeing with him.

  104. justDOit says:

    prairieschooner:
    My inside baseball guy tells me that there may be an upcoming management move being made by the Oilers.
    Please note that there are many management positions with the Oilers before we go jumping to conclusioins
    But it will be interesting!

    Assistant to the travel manager?

  105. pboy says:

    George? George, is that you?

  106. BlacqueJacque says:

    How many times do we have to settle that ridiculous size argument?

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/3/11/style-vs-substance-and-the-edmonton-oilers

    Like, there was an article about it today on the front page of ON.

  107. DBO says:

    pboy:
    George? George, is that you?

    Maybe some nice cotton jersey’s, they would feel great.

  108. prairieschooner says:

    justDOit,

    Probably a little higher profile

  109. commonfan14 says:

    prairieschooner: justDOit, Probably a little higher profile

    Morgan? Wilhelm?

  110. ASkoreyko says:

    Wes Mantooth-11:
    ashley,

    Not everything requires advance stats

    They got pounded on by bigger meaner more competitive teams….or did you not watch the games how’s that for evidence statistician.

    Good grief.

    This is one of my favourite arguments.

    You make the assertion that your point is so self-evident that no quantifiable evidence is required other than the final outcome.

    “Of course it is going to rain, it is colder today than it was yesterday! You don’t need to be a meteorologist to understand that!”

    Then make sure you throw in a insult that does nothing to advance the discussion any further and call it a day.

    Clearly hits=wins. It has been proven over and over and over again…

  111. "Steve Smith" says:

    ASkoreyko,

    You’re clearly just piggybacking on my “drink!” comment, you hack.

  112. "Steve Smith" says:

    VanOil,

    It’s like everything I’ve ever said…in wine form!

    (Much of what I said has previously been in whine form, but this is new. Now we just have to wait for me to be in fine form, which could take a while.)

  113. VanOil says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Well, you always are refreshingly dry.

  114. ASkoreyko says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    We all have to start somewhere!

  115. bluenotenorth says:

    Here are the 2013 NHL Draft Lottery Odds.

    Draft Lottery Seed First Overall Stay At Same Pick Drop One Pick
    1 25.0 25.0 75.0
    2 18.8 25.0 56.2
    3 14.2 43.8 42.0
    4 10.7 58.0 31.3
    5 8.1 68.7 23.2
    6 6.2 76.8 17.0
    7 4.7 83.0 12.3
    8 3.6 87.7 8.7
    9 2.7 91.3 6.0
    10 2.1 94.0 3.9
    11 1.5 96.1 2.4
    12 1.1 97.6 1.3
    13 0.8 98.7 0.5
    14 0.5 99.5 0.0

    In previous years 1st Seed had a 48.2% chance of getting first – pretty close to a coin toss.

    The 2013 approach really changes things up for the top seeds.

    In 2013 the odds are greatest that the 1st Seed will drop one pick – 75%.
    The 2nd Seed has a 43.8% chance of either 1st or 2nd but a greater likelihood of 3rd – 56.2%
    The 3rd Seed has a 56.2% chance of changing picks – either 1st but more likely 4th.
    For the 4th seed and lower, the odds are greatest that they stay at the same pick, although there is a 42.0% chance that one of this group grabs 1st.

    (sigh) Tanking just does not have the guarantees it used to.

  116. regwald says:

    prairieschooner:
    My inside baseball guy tells me that there may be an upcoming management move being made by the Oilers.
    Please note that there are many management positions with the Oilers before we go jumping to conclusioins
    But it will be interesting!

    does that mean they finally fire Quinn and get him off the payroll once and for all ?

    all kidding aside, I would be very happy to see a shakeup in Management.

  117. Marc says:

    For what it’s worth, Matty has three Oilers on his top 20 UFAs who could move at the trade deadline: Whitney, Khabi and Jones

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/Hockey+World+Corey+Perry+Jarome+Iginla+Ryan+Clowe+play+move+trade+deadline/8076627/story.html

    No Smid.

  118. DeadmanWaking says:

    Wes Mantooth-11: That win was an apparition; it should not have taken place anyone who follows hockey would know that.

    Hamlet’s father was an apparition, one which nervous-Nellie Hamlet chose to classify as an aberration. I never quite get this common intuition that any outlying data point that runs significantly against the grain is best discarded. The Oilers made skill plays to score most of those goals. A proper outlying data point is one where a raccoon does his business in your rainwater collection cup.

    Even before the game, I knew Chicago wasn’t as good as the standings indicate, and the Oilers not as bad as the standing indicate. If both of those trends regress to the mean–as the statistically shrewd expected–on the same night, this is somehow an apparition to be completely discounted. Come on, just deal with it: Mother Statistics has ice in her veins. Anomalies, aberrations, and apparitions are her stock in trade. She refuses to live within her means until her banker issues a margin call. Her teetotaling banker is notorious for taking long naps and sometimes emanating the distinct impression that he’s taken up residence in a Mexican retirement resort. Then just when you least expect it, he’s back on the job.

    My reasonable expectation for this season was to cover about 60% of the ground between finishing 29th in the league to making the playoffs, or even a bit better than just making the playoffs if everything broke right. The upside outcome made a hissing sound as it escaped from the damaged tissue of Horcoff’s former knuckle, as the murmur began to spread that the food is bad, and there isn’t enough of it.

    I have yet to define becoming 60% less good at missing the playoffs, but there it is. It needs to happen. Because next season we must make the playoffs, or take a write-down on coaching equity (which will most likely extend the rebuild and not hasten it).

    I’m going to write something more about my contrarian stripes someday soon when my breakfast cereal tastes just right. But for today, I’ll just lay one giant contrarian egg.

    First I’m still operating on the presumption that Oiler management is more competent than the natives can cope with. This is a presumption, because there’s no hard evidence (and what soft evidence we have mainly runs the other direction). And even if come to my senses and agree that Oiler management is grotesquely incompetent, I will the construe their incompetence narrowly and not paint anyone from Tambi to Lowe to MacT to Katz as too dim to cut their way out of a wet paper bag. MacT might be wrong, or he might be crazy, or he might be a dinosaur unable to sufficiently adapt his stripes, but under no viable interpretation of the available facts is he less than several brutal face-plants into the end boards separated from becoming a complete idiot. Anyone who thinks that construing MacT as an idiot is the wide and smooth entrance to a mandatory goat goring is one hell of a lazy mental bastard. You know, sometimes smart people need to be fired regardless. You know, sometimes the facts suffice. I’m not defending MacT whatsoever. I’m defending the entire tradition of human credulity. He may be many things, but “idiot” does not make the short list.

    So I am confessing that I have not yet fixated on a convenient falsehood to make the problem of thinking hard go away.

    Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?
    Lizard brain.
    Lizard brain who?
    Does it matter?
    Of course it matters!
    You surprise me; I’m here to demand a lynching.
    Oh, well then, come on through.
    Ah, that’s more like it. Which way to the Seething Tower?
    Center of town, can’t miss it.
    Righteo.
    God speed.

    If I were Tambi–a Tambi consistent with the thin lingering possibility that he’s neither a complete idiot nor bad at his job–I would be buying not selling at the trade deadline. I’d be renting an overpriced 1D on an expiring contract–one who still brings serious game–at the expense of a middling future draft pick, even with the playoffs receding into the mists of better luck next time.

    Yes, I’d move hell or high water to become 60% less good at missing the playoffs right up to the last day of the present season. A high pick is worthless to a team in the midst of a crisis of confidence. Krueger needs twenty games with a balanced roster to re-establish credibility and belief before we go live on next season. He needs twenty games of competing against other teams who are still struggling to make the cut, and not a bunch of useless pre-season games that just leave everyone guessing.

    I just don’t think you can go from where we were to 100% less good at missing the playoffs in a single season, where two of your five best players are rookies, one on defense in his first professional year, and the other “the least structured player playing without the puck we’ve seen in a long while”–not when a recent BPA was a thin, under-aged center coming into a team lacking size down the middle, who might push the river for a decade or more, but not yet; not when the New 100% is presto pressbox. These are problems larger than a GM can solve in the off-season Sunday swap-meet by tinkering with the third and fourth lines–however painful it is to watch the present debacle unfold. If he’s spending real money, I’m still debating whether it was wrong to keep his powder dry for one more painful season.

    The story line that would have legitimately taken us to the playoffs this season is that young Yakupov demonstrated Brett Hull’s ability to buzz and float around the margins of the play until the very instance he lowers the boom. If he has Fischer’s genius for getting back more than he gives up by sacrificing the orthodox line, it’s not yet apparent on the game sheets.

    Anyway, I’m only expending enough words for the moment to sketch out my heresy, and not to fully defend it. Sometimes if I write a longer piece which reveals more about myself, my squeeze likes to take a gander. The other day she complained that reading longer posts under on her Mac was killing her eyes, with the white on black design style, so I cobbled up the following userstyle under Firefox’s Stylish addon.


    @namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
    @-moz-document domain("lowetide.ca") {
    .comment-author-deadmanwaking {
    background: #FFFFFF !important;
    color: #000000 !important;
    font-family: "Times New Roman", Times, serif;
    }
    .comment-author-deadmanwaking .comment_text {
    /* display: none !important; */
    }

    .comment-author-lowetide {
    background: #000000 !important;
    color: #FFFF80;
    }
    }

    If one removes the comment symbols, one removes my comments. Suit yourselves. I am myself opposed to tossing people into the big black void–even Capstan Harpy on a bad day. It’s not sociable. To kvetch is human. It’s just one of those things we have to learn to live with the moment we step foot outside of a gated community of group think.

    Just as an experiment, there’s a clause in there to change Lowetide’s contributions to a yellow font. Stylist is pretty easy for small things (if you grasp the selector mojo). What you can’t do is substitute content you;re given for different content. For that you need GreaseMonkey or something of its like, which contains actual code snippets, and not just declarative rules.

    It has long been known that a font designed to display well in black against a white background will often be horrible if used to display in white against a black background. Real world display devices do not have uniform pixels: the geometry of the pixel changes in subtle ways depending on pixel brightness and colour. This can really mess a font up. Knuth wrote entire books about this back in the early 1980s.

    On my squeeze’s Mac, none of the more readable serif fonts we tried were evenly vaguely acceptable rendered white on black, so in the end we just switched the colour scheme to what the fonts demanded, design unity be damned.

  119. DeadmanWaking says:

    My edit timer expired just as my eyes landed on “evenly” in the last sentence. It was a close run thing. My daily adrenaline rush.

  120. stevezie says:

    ASkoreyko: This is one of my favourite arguments.

    You make the assertion that your point is so self-evident that no quantifiable evidence is required other than the final outcome.

    “Of course it is going to rain, it is colder today than it was yesterday! You don’t need to be a meteorologist to understand that!”

    Then make sure you throw in a insult that does nothing to advance the discussion any further and call it a day.

    Clearly hits=wins.It has been proven over and over and over again…

    True, but you are flirting with one of my favourite arguments, that just because we haven’t yet found a satisfying way to quantify something it doesn’t really exist.

    You don’t “just” need to watch the game, but it will add something.

  121. ashley says:

    Sorry, I only got a chance to look at this thread now after posting yesterday.

    I think Willis put together a nice article, as usual. He hints at the things that make a good hockey team, but doesn’t come out and say specifically what those are which I assume is astute since it’s such a complex analysis, pinning a conclusion on one or two factors would surely be foolish.

    This is the problem with the size argument. There is so much more to it than that. I think I could make a reasonable argument that speed; especially quick acceleration from a stop/turn, hands, and anticipation (“hockey sense”) each individually have far more value in obtaining and maintaining puck possession than size. I’m sure there are many others.

    If you can get someone that has those qualities at a similar level to a smaller player, then the bigger guy certainly seems like a good bet. But if only one of those qualities (quick acceleration, hands, hockey sense) is better in the smaller man, I would rather have him. You read correctly, I think hands trumps size. I only need to look down our roster at Ben Eager for an example. Same for quick acceleration. Same for anticipation or hockey sense.

    I also don’t buy the “big teams wearing us down” argument which is often posted as fact. For one thing, I’ve never heard any player indicate that they were worn down. If we’re going to do the eyeball thing, our smaller players (who aren’t really that small by raw measurement….an argument I’ll leave for now) are just as energetic and feisty at the end of the game/season as they were at the beginning. If anything, Penner, Boyle, and other players sharing their body habitus look lazier toward the end of the season than a guy like Liam Reddox, Sam Gagner or Nail Yakupov. Maybe it gets tiring bending over that big body to tie up skates day after day.

    I can understand the draw to the coke machine. It’s so easy to do the analysis. All you do is pull out the roster of your losing team and look at height and weight and then say: Aha! there is the problem.

    It’s just not that simple. Worse than that, it’s dangerous thinking. It’s the kind of thinking that has quality GM’s lurking around hoping to exchange one of their meatheads for one of our skill guys because they read an article by Matheson that the Oilers want to get bigger.

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