“JERRY? IT’S FRANK COSTANZA! MR. STEINBRENNER’S HERE, GEORGE IS DEAD, CALL ME BACK!”

I’ve been watching this Oilers season with one major worry: a long, sustained streak without points. A losing streak. Last night, Taylor Hall reminded me of the real worry: injury to your best player.

Of course, an injury to Hall no doubt leads to a free fall (the Oilers have talent, but not experience and no one pushes the river on this team like Taylor Hall). More than that, Hall is at a point in his career where a major breakout in total points and impact should (and is) happen:

  • Age 19: 65, 22-20-42 .646
  • Age 20: 61, 27-26-53 .869
  • Age 21: 18, 4-14-18 1.000

This is an emerging talent, posting 1/1 against tough competition and a guy who (at even  strength) is just outside the top 30 in league scoring. Hall makes things happen–like Hemsky–and losing him in this part of the season could be devastating.

We wait.

The Radio show hits the airwaves today at noon Edmonton time on Team 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow from mc79hockey. Tyler has been delivering outstanding work for years now, and this season has written items on the Gagner-Hemsky mystery, powerplay zone entries, Ryan Smyth, Ryan Whitney and more. We’ll talk about those things and more, while attempting to reassure each other about Hall.
  • Jim Byers, pbp man for the OKC Barons. I’ve been dying to talk to Jim about this season. The NHLers were flying early, giving the Baron faithful a taste of young talent at the top levels of the game. Now, the AHLers are back (Cheechoo is killing it) and some of the prospects are getting traction. We’ll talk to Jim about it.
  • Corey Graham, pbp man for the Edmonton Oil Kings. There’s a buzz going on about Curtis Lazar (now has 35 goals) and we’ll talk to Corey about improvements in his game during the year. Also, Martin Gernat is back and the very talented Oilers draft pick is beginning to post numbers offensively. Moroz and more, we’ll also talk about the OK chances in the playoffs.
  • Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus. It’s all about the 2013 draft, with the Jones-MacKinnon-Drouin at the top and some of the guys pushing into the top 5. We’ll talk about overall draft quality and then discuss some Oiler prospects Corey’s seen recently.
  • Tom Lynn from Veritas Hockey. We’ll talk about the difficulty of figuring out the new CBA (perhaps Jay Feaster can tune in), how much impact the lockout had on players in Europe and the draft and preparing kids for that big day.

Hope you tune in! The show is brought to you by Western GMC Buick and our sponsors are Kitchen Studio and Wallbeds Etc, The Beer Hunter, St. Albert Source for Sports and EMHL.

Comments and questions welcome, best way to reach me with comments and questions is lowetide_ on twitter or in the comments section. Thanks!

One of the things that we’re going to be looking at for the rest of this season is roster makeup beginning this fall. The wingers are a very interesting lot, because beyond the top 3 (as listed here) I can see any of the other wingers heading out at the deadline or over the summer:

  1. Taylor Hall
  2. Jordan Eberle
  3. Nail Yakupov
  4. Ales Hemsky
  5. Teemu Hartikainen
  6. Ryan Jones
  7. Ryan Smyth
  8. Ben Eager
  9. Lennart Petrell
  10. Magnus Paajarvi
  11. Darcy Hordichuk

The group of wingers below that are unlikely to push for regular employment any time soon:

  1. Toni Rajala
  2. Phil Cornet
  3. Kristians Pelss
  4. Tyler Pitlick
  5. Curtis Hamilton
  6. Antti Tyrvainen
  7. Dane Byers
  8. Cameron Abney

I think the Oilers SHOULD move out Jones, Petrell and Hordichuk while elevating Hartikainen, Paajarvi and adding someone like Dustin Penner. What will they do? I think the Aaron Volpatti waiver claim tells us exactly what they are looking for moving forward.

And it is NOT Paajarvi.

 

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

82 Responses to "“JERRY? IT’S FRANK COSTANZA! MR. STEINBRENNER’S HERE, GEORGE IS DEAD, CALL ME BACK!”"

  1. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Its about time LT, welcome back! Listening to the Nation Radio podcast on mondays on my way to work became my ritual before. I then had to “replace” you with Stauffer. No comparison. Seriously glad you’re back on the air.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Are the shows going to be achieved anywhere like with Nation Radio?

    Won’t catch today’s show as I’m going sledding with my daughter.

    I think I listened to podcasts 75% of the time and live 25% of the time.

    Not being able to listen to the show after it aired would be a tragedy.

  3. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    P.S. can you ask Pronman if he thinks Lazar has a good chance at being a top 6 NHL center? Seems like he has all the tools but is way too streaky for my liking.

  4. Chris Hext---formerly EasyOil--- says:

    Woodguy,

    Is the show not affiliated with OilersNation anymore?

  5. BlacqueJacque says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—,

    If it was, it’d be posted there.

    My bet is ON didn’t want to pay for the content.

  6. M Parkatti says:

    I’ll be tuning in today LT. BTW, what’s the new show ‘called’?

  7. Doug McLachlan says:

    LT, love that you are back on the air. Will the show be on iTunes as a podcast too?

    Please ask Corey about Barkov. Saw him good live last year and was impressed. If the floor falls out from under us I’d be thrilled to get the Finnish pivot with the Russian name.

    Also, please delve into the Feaster near-miss on ROR with Tyler. Curious to get his take on the SNAFU that almost was had Columbus made a side deal with Colorado to not match.

  8. Lowetide says:

    re: podcasts

    From what I understand, the show will be archived here
    http://www.theteam1260.com/podcasts.aspx

    I don’t know when it goes up, though. Will ask my producer Connor Halley.

  9. jimbones100 says:

    I have gained a better appreciation for the game and the anlysis of player and personnel decisions for Lowetide and others on this blog. Thank You for that. Having opinions outside of the MSM has really opened my eyes.

    One very interesting debate is the use of role players (Jones, Eager, Pettrell) over our prospects (Nordickids, Yak. I think we can all agree that the coach is playing the players who he feels give the team the best chance to win. I also heard Ken Holland on the radio say that Detroit was fortunate over the years to have great pro depth which allowed their prospects to develop and theteam wasn’t forced to rush them.

    Therefore. Should we be upset or happy if the nordic line spends the season in the AHL. Are the Nordic line better than any current players on the roster today in helping the team win? For me Eager is my only complaint but I trust Ralph’s ability to evaluate and move Eager off the roster if required.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Jim: Paajarvi and Hartikainen will be eligible for waivers this fall. At that point they’re going to have to make a decision.I’d bet money we’ll see Paajarvi dealt and Harski kept.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Hope you tune in! The show is brought to you by Western GMC Buick and our sponsors are Kitchen Studio and Wallbeds Etc, The Beer Hunter, St. Albert Source for Sports and EMHL.

    So is it called “Lowetide at High Noon”?

  12. Woodguy says:

    Chris Hext—formerly EasyOil—:
    Woodguy,

    Is the show not affiliated with OilersNation anymore?

    I don’t see them on the sponsor list.

  13. Lowetide says:

    M Parkatti:
    I’ll be tuning in today LT. BTW, what’s the new show ‘called’?

    Lowetide at High Noon.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: So is it called “Lowetide at High Noon”?

    Yes. Because Gary Cooper gets Grace Kelly at the end of the movie. :-) I’m open to suggestions, but believe me this was the best of the lot.

  15. LMHF#1 says:

    Any chance this becomes a call-in show at some point LT? I know there are positives and negatives to that but one of these days I may feel the need to relive a “discussion” with ol’ Mudcrutch himself (or a much more reasonable chat with you of course). Just wondering.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Yes. Because Gary Cooper gets Grace Kelly at the end of the movie. I’m open to suggestions, but believe me this was the best of the lot.

    I thought it was a great choice before you pointed out the connection to Grace Kelly.

    Now I think its pretty much perfect.

    Like her.

  17. oilgreg says:

    I hope you are wrong on this one, LT. But if you are correct and Paajarvi is dealt, I hope there is a good return. With Paajarvi’s speed and skills, I can see him becoming a good NHL player. I recall how it took the Sedin’s several years to reach their potential.

  18. bookje says:

    Lowetide: Lowetide at High Noon.

    tag line: predicting the 3 for 1 trade and team balance since 2006. Any day now. Book it!

  19. Lowetide says:

    LMHF#1:
    Any chance this becomes a call-in show at some point LT? I know there are positives and negatives to that but one of these days I may feel the need to relive a “discussion” with ol’ Mudcrutch himself (or a much more reasonable chat with you of course). Just wondering.

    I’m always open to it, but was told by a very smart man in radio that the nature of the show probably didn’t line up with phonecalls. I’m all over the map, but have taken calls in the past and would certainly do so any time–especially if it is relevant to the subject at hand.

  20. Woodguy says:

    From Matheson today:

    The Blues, humbled by the Blackhawks 3-0 on Thursday, simply wore down the Oilers, as the Los Angeles Kings can also do. The San Jose Sharks did it to the Oilers in the first month of the season. Bigger players,

    it’s as simple as that.

    - See more at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Louis+Blues+score+four+unanswered+goals/8038613/story.html#sthash.tAs0sJW8.dpuf

    Bigger eh?

    STL goal scorers:

    Schwartz – 5′ 9″ 179lbs
    Shattenkirk – 5’11″ 208
    Sobotka – 5’10″ 198
    Backes – 6’3″ 225

    Backes is obviously big, but the other 3? Not so much.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    Lowetide: I’m always open to it, but was told by a very smart man in radio that the nature of the show probably didn’t line up with phonecalls. I’m all over the map, but have taken calls in the past and would certainly do so any time–especially if it is relevant to the subject at hand.

    Gotcha. I can see how the show wouldn’t lend itself a fair amount of the time and with the broader group that makes up a radio audience. Good luck finding the show’s groove. Certainly enjoyed it last year.

  22. Woodguy says:

    From Tychkowski in the Sun:

    The bigger, stronger, hungrier Blues essentially pushed the smaller, weaker Oilers out of the game.

    “A lot of the (lost) battles aren’t because of a lack of will or understanding of the game,” said Krueger. “They overpower you. They’re such a physically strong team. It’s something that we battle up against.

    Even Krueger is saying its because the Oilers are too small.

    Hey coach the first 3 goals came from guys under 6’0 who owned your players.

    Its lack of NHL quality players.

    NHL quality players with size >>>>>NHL Quality players without size>>>>>>>>>>AHL quality players with size>>>>>>>>>>>>AHL quality players without size

    Oilers need the first category, but you know…you absolutely fucking know that they will trade the 2nd category and get the 3rd category back.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    Woodguy:
    From Tychkowski in the Sun:

    The bigger, stronger, hungrier Blues essentially pushed the smaller, weaker Oilers out of the game.


    “A lot of the (lost) battles aren’t because of a lack of will or understanding of the game,” said Krueger. “They overpower you. They’re such a physically strong team. It’s something that we battle up against.

    Even Krueger is saying its because the Oilers are too small.

    With Krueger’s comments you can at least refer to the fact that strong does not necessarily mean big as well. He’s still not correct but at least that’s a more reasonable argument.

    Tych and Matheson are just plain out to lunch though.

  24. Lowetide says:

    WG: How many big NHL forwards are there who deliver physical play, score often and are big? I mean, I like Dustin Penner but he doesn’t have that ‘Hartnell’ gene the Oilers are looking for.

    I expect the first major error of the MacT era will be around this issue. Gagner for Wayne Simmonds? I don’t think they get him, Philly loves those guys. So, Dorsett in CBJ? Chris Neil in OTT? Matt Hendricks in WAS? Clowe?

    Brendan Morrow is slowing, bet Dallas would move him.

  25. Captain Happy says:

    You’re missing the point WG.

    Big teams like STL use their size and strength to wear down the other teams’ smaller forwards and D.

    That their skilled players then score is what the game is all about.

  26. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: Lowetide at High Noon.

    For some reason I hear a ‘the’ in the tittle; Scary dark radio radio voice “THE Lowtide at High Noon, radio show” Seems about right for a scary team. Congratulation being back on air.

    Your scary prediction, seem to be a fair assessment of the group think of the Hockey inteligenia of the Oilers that we need more Coke Machines and less Paarjarvi. The inevitability of this make me sad.

    I am whole heartily in agreement with Woodguy. Skill and speed trump size, but then again I played hockey with a helmet so I am probably to soft to know whats right.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Andy Strickland ‏@andystrickland

    Word last night among some #Oilers people is Taylor Hall is nursing a hamstring….lacked usual explosiveness against #stlblues

  28. TheOtherJohn says:

    You guys are looking at St L through the wrong prism. They are a very big team and and have some decent sized skilled players plus Jaden Schwartz. shattenkirk and Sobotka are the same size as Hall and Hemsky, you know, the big guys in our top 6.

    Not calling for Coke machines. Don’t need them buy when your top 6 is play close to 2/3 of he game having Ben Eager as big as Backes playing 6 mins a night does not cut it. If you look at Young Willis’ article on size at ON teams competing for SC have at least 2 big bodies in top 6.

    Fully expect additionl size in top 6 may be complimentary to our skill guys but they are needed (and NO I do not mean Mitch Moroz). W Simmons, A Ladd, M Hanzal, T Brouwer, GlenX . Also expect guys like that will cost valuable assets. Maybe in April when Lowbellini get back from sabbatical and start getting ready for the lottery they can consider adding some top six size.

    Expect they do not want to trade one of our top 6 young skill guys, in part, because that player may go on to have real good career elsewhere. Ie traded wrong guy. Wrong approach what trades make your team better

    LT wife making me walk canyons in Az so I’ll miss live show. Preliminary kudos to Tyler Dellow for pointing out Eberle’s 11/12 S% was unsustainable. Now that that point has been proven can we get him back to 11 or 12 %

  29. Ribs says:

    What, the Horcoff and Die Show would’t go over well?

  30. Lowetide says:

    Ribs:
    What, the Horcoff and Die Show would’t go over well?

    that’s the podcast! :-)

  31. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Delighted to hear you’ll be back on the radio where you belong, LT. Your show has always kicked butt.

  32. rickithebear says:

    Lowetide:
    Andy Strickland ‏@andystrickland

    Word last night among some #Oilers people is Taylor Hall is nursing a hamstring….lacked usual explosiveness against #stlblues

    Slight ham pulls and slight tears are ideal fixed with steroid blended with Bio receptor DMSO.

    Continual muscle manipulation for 36 hours. Don and good as new.

  33. Jesse says:

    Can’t wait for the show today. Looks like it’s gonna be real solid.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Capt. Happy:
    You’re missing the point WG.

    Big teams like STL use theirsize and strength to wear down the other teams’ smaller forwards and D.

    That their skilled players then score is what the game is all about.

    I would hardly call Sobatka skilled.

    He’s a 3rd line “energy” guy who has never scored 10 goals in a NHL season.

    He played keep away against 15, 19, 20, 55, and 94.

    Ever Oiler on the ice (except Belanger) is listed at 6’2″ and Mr. 5’10″ abused them like AHLers on that play (including a ECHL save attempt)

    I understand the need for size in the right line up, but pointing out that STL “wore them down” is completely full of shit.

    At the end of the 1st period and after the STL made it 3-2 (with Sobotka’s goal) the OIlers owned the puck and created most of their scoring chances in those two segments.

    So they weren’t wore down in the 3rd when the owned the puck for about 10 minutes until Backes scored?

    That’s crap.

    The Oiler’s biggest problem was retaining possession once they got the puck.

    Zone exits were almost non-existent. Off the glass and out ruled the day.

    Couldn’t make a pass, couldn’t take a pass.

    And the worst offenders on the team were generally the biggest men.

    Bad hockey players lost the game, not small hockey players.

  35. Hammers says:

    I would add Eager to Jones , Petrell & Hordichuck to your list of players traded, as far as the wingers are concerned . I still don’t get Hartski being rated over Magnus . . The real problem is still down the middle . I think we have missed Horc more than anyone discusses but he is the logical buy out with no one to replace him . It’s a big (6.2 or so ) center we need before wingers.

  36. Bruce McCurdy says:

    One guy like David Backes goes a long way to making an entire team look “big”. They use the guy in all situations and he does everything. Last night he led the Blues in attempted shots (9) hits (6) faceoffs (14) of which he won 64%. A goal and an assist for dessert. When he isn’t playing keepaway with the puck he’s playing takeaway instead.

  37. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    Not calling for Coke machines. Don’t need them buy when your top 6 is play close to 2/3 of he game having Ben Eager as big as Backes playing 6 mins a night does not cut it. If you look at Young Willis’ article on size at ON teams competing for SC have at least 2 big bodies in top 6.

    There is no question that having bigger men WHO CAN PLAY top 6 minutes is a great benefit.

    The problem with everyone calling for size is that they are taking about the Sestitos and Volpattis of the world.

    Those are not the guys who help you win.

    But it will be someone like that who they get.

  38. Woodguy says:

    Bruce McCurdy:
    One guy like David Backes goes a long way to making an entire team look “big”. They use the guy in all situations and he does everything. Last night he led the Blues in attempted shots (9) hits (6) faceoffs (14) of which he won 64%. A goal and an assist for dessert. When he isn’t playing keepaway with the puck he’s playing takeaway instead.

    Agreed.

    The OIlers need Backes types, not Eager, Volpatti, Sestito, etc.

    They are damn hard to get.

  39. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: How many big NHL forwards are there who deliver physical play, score often and are big? I mean, I like Dustin Penner but he doesn’t have that ‘Hartnell’ gene the Oilers are looking for.

    I expect the first major error of the MacT era will be around this issue. Gagner for Wayne Simmonds? I don’t think they get him, Philly loves those guys. So, Dorsett in CBJ? Chris Neil in OTT? Matt Hendricks in WAS? Clowe?

    Brendan Morrow is slowing, bet Dallas would move him.

    My biggest fear is that they give up too much for too little to compensate for size.

    Want a good player, be prepared to give up a good player + a good prospect.

    I like Simmonds a lot.

    What they give up has to come off the wing as they have no C depth.

    I really think nothing of consequence happens this year, but this summer something big will happen.

  40. Hammers says:

    Woodguy,

    Unfortunately I have heard that before . This summer never happens . No :D” No Center who wins 51% +of faceoffs .I don’t trust our GM to do anything.

  41. MrSmitty says:

    I really hope they don’t trade away either Harsky or Paajarvi.

    Tambo really screwed up giving Eager and Belanger 3 year deals imho, 2 would have been alot better.

    I hope they can dump a couple of these bottom six guys and sign some decent third liners in the summer via free agency.

  42. Captain Happy says:

    Woodguy: I would hardly call Sobatka skilled.

    He’s a 3rd line “energy” guy who has never scored 10 goals in a NHL season.

    He played keep away against 15, 19, 20, 55, and 94.

    Ever Oiler on the ice (except Belanger) is listed at 6’2″ and Mr. 5’10″ abused them like AHLers on that play (including a ECHL save attempt)

    I understand the need for size in the right line up, but pointing out that STL“wore them down” is completely full of shit.

    At the end of the 1st period and after the STL made it 3-2 (with Sobotka’s goal) the OIlers owned the puck and created most of their scoring chances in those two segments.

    So they weren’t wore down in the 3rd when the owned the puck for about 10 minutes until Backes scored?

    That’s crap.

    The Oiler’s biggest problem was retaining possession once they got the puck.

    Zone exits were almost non-existent.Off the glass and out ruled the day.

    Couldn’t make a pass, couldn’t take a pass.

    And the worst offenders on the team were generally the biggest men.

    Bad hockey players lost the game, not small hockey players.

    Once again, you’re missing the point.

    The “hits” stat may be flawed but consider that the Blues outhit the Oilers 27-16 last night with the hits being delivered by:

    Backes – 6’3″ 225 – 6 hits

    Polak – 6’1″ – 225 – 5 hits

    Sobotka – 5’10″ 200 – 4 hits. (plays much bigger)

    Jackman 6’0″ 205 – 2 hits

    Getting pounded by those guys DOES have an impact.

    Not sure where you’re getting the notion the Oilers “owned” the luck in the 3rd period since they were outshot 11-6.

    Perhaps they couldn’t maintain possession because they were being smacked around.

  43. godot10 says:

    Paajarvi is the fifth best winger on the team after Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and Hemsky.

    Hartikainen is better in the offensive end, but he isn’t remotely as good defensively, and needs help getting the puck up the ice.

    Paajarvi has been crawling out of the deep ditch that Renney cast him into. Hopefully there is enough time for him to drag himself all the way out before he is traded.

    The Oilers really need to commit to playing Hartikainen and Paajarvi together for a season or so, and I think they will end up with two pretty good value-for-money wingers. I don’t think the centre much matters.

  44. Rocknrolla says:

    Welcome back to the radio waves LT! Great to have you back!

  45. Ribs says:

    Petrell as 6th man at end of game took me back to the MacTavish days again. Krueger has been making some odd choices at the end of close games all year.

  46. Ribs says:

    Stars’ Benn fined $10,000 for cross-checking Jones – Link

  47. Smarmy says:

    Ribs: And the worst offenders on the team were generally the biggest men.

    I was close at thinking it would be $7500 the leagues discipline has nothing to do with player safety and is pretty much the joke everyone thinks it is.

  48. danny says:

    Benn fined $10K for a blatantly deliberate cheapshot away from the play altogether… Hall suspended for 2 games for a marginal hockey hipcheck gave someone a charley horse.

    Shannahan is a moron.

  49. TheOtherJohn says:

    Each of the guys I identified are not Volpatti types. They are big bodies that are hard to play aginst and will be 50 point players. They would likely be the 5th and 6th best players in the top 6. With a top 6 the size of the current Oiler top forwards are not going 3 playoff series against other big physical teams, unless the Oilers are converting at 25% on the PP.

  50. DBO says:

    i understand the need for functional size, but just an fyi, we have 3 or the top 30 heaviest players in the league (Peckham, Fistric and Eager). Most are D, but forward wise size does help in the grind of playoffs. But functional size is the key.

    Big guys who can actually play, not necessarily physical but can play and who may be available:
    - Dustin Penner (7th largest, loves pancakes)
    - Brian Boyle (9th largest and one of the league leaders in hits and faceoff %)
    - Martin Hanzal (no idea if we could pry him from Phoenix, but he would be a solid 2nd line centre)

    I’ve mentioned Boyle a bunch, but if you added Boyle and Penner, this lineup can make the playoffs and now has functional size

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle (top line)
    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky (were great before)
    Smyth-Horcoff-Jones (played well last year)
    Yakupov-Boyle-MPS (Boyle great compliment to MPS and Yak. I think this would work really well)
    Eager-Petrell

    Both Boyle and Penner can be had, and for not much. Penner for later round pick, Boyle has been scratched and playing 4th line minutes now and could be had by dealing some vets on expiring deals since NYR have to play for today and have money issues next year.

  51. Gino says:

    In my opinion our first line is set for the next 5 yrs with Hall and Eberle as wingers and the nuge at center.
    Our second line in the future will have Yakupov full time and ? and ?, this is the line we need to make the trades to upgrade or fill in the future with grads Hartikainen or Paajarvi on the other wing.
    I don’t know who that second line center should be or the second winger we can all speculate on who should get moved out.

    Gagner currently center on the 2nd line is putting up excellant offense numbers, in my opinion rarely helps out the defense and is outmatched in our own zone and the stats don’t lie.
    Maybe he can bring us that dick of a top 6 winger we need from a team that needs a center.
    Hemsky currently our 2nd line winger love him or hate him is leading the team in goals and appears healthy for the first time in years.
    Maybe he can bring us that dick of a 2nd line center we need from a team that needs a winger.
    Even with Gagner leading the team in points and Hemsky leading the team in goals something is still missing on that 2nd line.

    Do we need 2 strong powerplay units I would much rather prefer 2 strong lines 5vs5
    The bottom six wingers can be filled with Paajarvi , Hartikainen, Smyth, Eager and Jones short term until we find some more dicks which are hard to play against.

    As for our bottom six center position if Horcoff and Belanger are healthy I don’t have problem runniing with them until we can get younger, faster and grit at these positions.

    Trades will be the only way to improve that 2nd line so its as hard to play against our teams top 2 lines 5vs5.

    Just my thoughts.

  52. Derek says:

    Speaking of big guys who can play, coppernblue have an update on 6’4 212 lbs Daniil Zharkov:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/3/2/4055954/oilers-daniil-zharkov-catches-fire-belleville-bulls

    A link from the article:

    http://www.bellevillebulls.com/video/index/id/a76f71d4a61ed4ff0a0b7c1c5f6914fd

    A hattrick on the night for Zharkov and an incredible effort at the 3:48 mark.

    It would be nice if one of this big guys would turn out for the Oilers sooner or later. Overall still a disappointing year for Zharkov, but recently hes been playing well.

  53. commonfan14 says:

    Lowetide: Yes. Because Gary Cooper gets Grace Kelly at the end of the movie.

    Craziest thing about that movie is Harry Morgan already looking old in it.

    Was he ever young?

  54. hags9k says:

    godot10:
    Paajarvi is the fifth best winger on the team after Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and Hemsky.

    Hartikainen is better in the offensive end, but he isn’t remotely as good defensively, and needs help getting the puck up the ice.

    Paajarvi has been crawling out of the deep ditch that Renney cast him into.Hopefully there is enough time for him to drag himself all the way out before he is traded.

    The Oilers really need to commit to playing Hartikainen and Paajarvi together for a season or so, and I think they will end up with two pretty good value-for-money wingers.I don’t think the centre much matters.

    Pretty much agree but I would put him at about 6th for wingers behind also Smyth. But still I don’t know how LT can place him at 10. Unless LT is listing in order that he thinks is the organization’s depth list perhaps. That would make sense, because it makes no sense. Batman fire Lowe already. If they flush PRV it will just be another huge embarrassing failure that gets somebody promoted. Enough already. Petrell, Hordichuk, and Hartikainen should be fighting for their jobs, not Magnus. Not even close.

  55. bookje says:

    To be fair, a crosscheck to the back sucks and knocks the wind out of you, but with both players in nearly standing positions, there is unlikely to be any meaningful injury. A hit like Hall’s could be career ending.

  56. RMGS says:

    Here’s another brilliant stereotype-busting interview of Nail Yakupov by Andrey Osadchenko translated from the original Russian. The rookie’s an absolute delight.

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/3/2/yakupov-you-want-to-out-there-and-win-games-just-because-of-krueger

    Great to hear you on the internetwaves again, LT!

  57. slipper says:

    Captain Happy:
    You’re missing the point WG.

    Big teams like STL use theirsize and strength to wear down the other teams’ smaller forwards and D.

    That their skilled players then score is what the game is all about.

    Is there like a thing happening around here where Captain Happy explains things to Woodguy as though WG has a mental disabilty. Like an inside joke, or something?

  58. DeadmanWaking says:

    I read Mindsight by Dan Siegel yesterday. There’s good stuff in here, but unfortunately it’s embedded in a thick mousse of mamby-pamby holism. I didn’t read it as the grand edifice presented, but instead related it to a dental filling I once had that scared me. If I bit down too hard on that tooth–with anything hard at the center of the tooth rather than around the biting edges–I had the weird and distressing sensation that the tooth might split open into three or four shards. Gradually I developed a habit of not chew certain kinds of food on that side of my mouth. I mentioned this to a dentist, who said he couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

    Essentially this is what Mindsight says about the human brain: if, for example, an emotion is too powerful, we can end up shutting down the pathway that accesses that emotion. Maybe this is a reasonable survival strategy growing up with abusive parents, but not so helpful in managing your adult life and intimate relationships. The whole book is about re-learning how to chew with all your teeth, even the ones with scary fillings where your tooth feels like it wants to explode.

    This made me think about missing teeth in hockey chit chat.

    I sometimes have the feeling when the waiver wire comes up of people regressing to their inner ten-year-old and the avid and frictionless trading of hockey cards. It seems difficult for some to grasp that these transactions have a non-trivial human cost. On one level I sympathize: bearing this in mind is hard work when we have no tangible model for how those human costs stack up in real life. We’re fighting against an un-availability bias. This never works in a group setting.

    Maybe at some point if LT interviews the right subject–an insider to the GM/coach relationship–he could ask a pointed question about this. For one thing, I’m thinking the burden on the coaching staff of incorporating some guy off the wire is far more than one might suspect without adding it up: bringing him into the town, bringing him into the room, assessing, teaching him the system, sussing out his communication style (does he tell you he’s hurting, or merely collapse on the floor?), establishing expectations, rebuilding confidence (these waiver guys have lots of that), reviewing medical history, slotting him into the line-card, and managing player-player harmony (esp. with linemates who look out of step), deciding who to send down, having a chat with the devastated fellow on the way out to defuse the Omark melt-down, then following up with the coaches in Oklahoma on how to build him back up again.

    Any guesses? Say, three to six hours of dedicated attention by the head coach to fully and properly fold the replacement-player-of-the-day into the mix, and more from the rest of his staff (including trainers and equipment managers)?

    If this time doesn’t come out of sack time with the wife, where does it come from? MacT recently commented that Krueger looks exhausted at the end of every day, and that he had forgotten how much energy the job takes–and that he started to think he didn’t miss it that much, after all.

    So, again, if it’s not subtracted from Krueger’s quality sack time, where does it come from? That extra one-on-one video session with Nail Yakupov? “Sorry Nail, I was planning to review that with you, but there’s a new kid in town–some replacement level chump. Just view it yourself. I’m sure you’ll see what I intended.” Sure, maybe he will see most of it and prioritize it correctly against what he learned yesterday, without the extra guidance of the coach’s hard-line vocal inflection.

    I visualize Tambi upstairs thinking “The upside for today’s waiver wire guy is Peckham minus perhaps a major blunder per game–if he fits into the culture. Is that worth diverting three to six hours of Krueger’s time from the video room with Nail and Justin over the course of the next month? Ouch, that makes my stomach hurt. I don’t know, maybe I’d be better off working a bigger trade that fixes a real need over the longer term.”

    I’m just guessing on what the human cost of these transactions really are on the dressing room floor, so if a chance comes up to ask, please do.

    I’ve long wondered about this. Anyone remember when we had trouble integrating Mike Peca for half a season? If Peca is hard to slot, let’s just assume waiver-wire guy is going to be problem free? Well, you say, Peca was a harder nut because he thought he had talent. And moreover MacT didn’t have the first clue how to properly deploy a face-off winning defensive center who could take the body and also bang in a point or two.

    That quiz on Actors’ Studio also asks for favourite word and least favourite word:

    Lipton: Favourite word?
    MacT: Tongue-tie.
    Lipton: Tongue-tied?
    MacT: No, tongue-tie. I wish I’d kept it.
    Lipton: [Drawing a blank, decides to press on] Least favourite word?
    MacT: Retarded. That fucker cost me ten grand. And to think I could have grabbed some lumber and blind-sided the ref to the ice for the same price.

  59. prairieschooner says:

    Jones was standing still at the time of the hit he did not see or expect to be hit as opposed to an up tempo situation when the muscles are a little more ready for some sort of contact.
    This seems more like being rear ended in a traffic accident.

  60. hunter1909 says:

    Seems to me that Gagner’s starting to play too well to trade away without mega tears – like Dubnyk, the team will have to learn to compensate for his shortcomings because what he actually does manage is approaching eliteness.

    That pass he made to Yaks could be made again and again, once they figure out each other’s timing.

    What some who post in here do not appear to recognize, is the HUGE leap forward the team has made overall this season, without training camp naturally impacting a younger team. Whereas last season teams were hammering the Oilers into the ice, this year it’s starting to tip towards the other direction.

    If and only if Hall returns for the season, based on what I’ve seen so far am still positive that playoffs are within reach, at least theoretically. He’s starting to really terrify the opposition.

  61. prairieschooner says:

    With the Oilers penchant for hanging on to guys for longer than we generally think they should, surely MPS will get a real chance to come good.I hope so.
    Is Sam Gagner at the height of his marketable value?
    If we trade him would we be able to get bigger and have decent point production?

  62. slipper says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    … embedded in a thick mousse of mamby-pamby holism.

    Thirty Shades of Lowetide. Today, on Team 1260.

  63. RMGS says:

    Just watched last night’s game after reading the recaps and stat summaries. Is it too late for the requisite “angst?” :-)

    Yet another Corsi vs scoring chance disconnect. The proportion of Oilers’ chances relative to their shots directed at net must be one of the league’s highest (though I’d love to see what proportion of their chances generated are second/third chances). What will it take to convince the players to shoot and drive to the net more? The odds are on their side.

    He still can’t turn very well, but Whitney was good by eye and stat.

    Dubnyk has to have at least the go-ahead goal, if not the tying goal.

    The coach is messing with my mind. I want to like him, but he can’t sit 91 or play Jones on the second line or give “the puck is a grenade” Eager that much ice time or put Petrell out as the extra man.

    The “size” narrative is baffling. Take a look at the Habs – a team with “small” top six forwards and top 4D sprinkled with “size” (Pacioretty, Bourque) scoring goals in the tough areas off second chances, playing “gritty” hockey, and whose underlying numbers (mostly) confirm what we see. Please don’t point to their “size” on lines 3 and 4 and the mythical “softening” effect (as if matching were nonexistent). Those two lines are being regularly outshot and outchanced.

    Without Hall, the team’s badly hobbled, but I just hope they don’t rush him back.

  64. slipper says:

    Not to get off topic, but on a hockey note: At the tail end of the ’06 season and into the playoffs I am certain more than 1 head was scratched in Edmonton wondering where THIS Mike Peca had been all year. But I scoff at the idea of the initial struggles of Peca falls on MacTavish for not being able to utilize him properly. It’s more likely that the whole previous season being lost to a lockout, combined with Peca’s age, had more to do with his struggles. I think there’s something to be said as well for a player of Peca’s ilk to be able to elevate their level of play for hockey games that matter.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Capt. Happy: Once again, you’re missing the point.

    The “hits” stat may be flawed but consider that the Blues outhit the Oilers 27-16 last night with the hits being delivered by:

    Backes – 6’3″ 225 – 6 hits

    Polak – 6’1″ – 225 – 5 hits

    Sobotka – 5’10″ 200 – 4 hits. (plays much bigger)

    Jackman 6’0″ 205 – 2 hits

    Getting pounded by those guys DOES have an impact.

    Not sure where you’re getting the notion the Oilers “owned” the luck in the 3rd period since they were outshot 11-6.

    Perhaps they couldn’t maintain possession because they were being smacked around.

    Against CHI the Oilers out hit them 42 – 29

    42 to 29 for the Oilers.

    CHI was getting hit by such big men as:

    Petry 6′ 3″ 200lbs – 7 hits
    Eager 6’2 236 – 5 hits
    Jones 6’1 200lbs – 5 hits
    Smid 6’3 207 lbs – 4 hits
    Smyth 6’2 192lbs – 4hits
    Fistric 6’2 233 lbs – 3 hits

    So why the hell did CHI maintain possession when they were being smacked around?

    Oh, I know.

    They have better hockey players.

    Also,

    Not sure where you’re getting the notion the Oilers “owned” the luck in the 3rd period since they were outshot 11-6.

    In the 10 minutes after STL went ahead the Oilers got 7 of their 20 Scoring chances.

  66. sliderule says:

    The reason you need bigger players with a certain amount of skill is not to pound the other team into submission but to win puck battles.

    The oiler smaller players do not win too many battles.Players like Eberle and Nuge can hold onto the puck with their trickery and passing but in a scrum for a free puck they don’t come out with it enough.

    The only prospect the oilers have that is close to what they want is Hartikainen.MPS they have given up on.

    In the 2012 draft the oilers went searching for puck recovery types and that’s why they went of the board with Moroz and followed up with Khaira and Zharkov.

  67. Woodguy says:

    TheOtherJohn,

    W Simmons, A Ladd, M Hanzal, T Brouwer, GlenX

    I like that list of guys, but Hanzal might not have enough offense for 2C

    He’s playing with more offensive players and in a more offensive spot this year and has 10pts in 12 games.

    He’s playing with Vrbata and Boedker.

    3 Euros. Spector would lose his shit.

  68. Woodguy says:

    sliderule,

    The oiler smaller players do not win too many battles.Players like Eberle and Nuge can hold onto the puck with their trickery and passing but in a scrum for a free puck they don’t come out with it enough.

    I agree that Eberle doesn’t win enough battles, but RNH wins more than he loses.

    I wish it was tracked and published, but by my eye RNH comes out of the corner with the puck much greater than 50% of the time.

  69. Woodguy says:

    bookje: tag line: predicting the 3 for 1 trade and team balance since 2006.Any day now. Book it!

    Did you listen bookie?

    Just loaded up the podcast and he uses your tag line and attributes it to you.

    Awesome.

  70. DeadmanWaking says:

    Here’s an idea. Do you think we can drum up a Benngay product endorsement for Ryan Jones? With buxom Swedish masseuses to minister TLC to the black and blue stripe on his back? To run twenty times per day in the Texas market?

    That would properly close the karma loop.

  71. Lowetide says:

    slipper:
    Not to get off topic, but on a hockey note: At the tail end of the ’06 season and into the playoffs I am certain more than 1 head was scratched in Edmonton wondering where THIS Mike Peca had been all year. But I scoff at the idea of the initial struggles of Peca falls on MacTavish for not being able to utilize him properly. It’s more likely that the whole previous season being lost to a lockout, combined with Peca’s age, had more to do with his struggles. I think there’s something to be said as well for a player of Peca’s ilk to be able to elevate their level of play for hockey games that matter.

    iirc there was a meeting between MacT and Peca near the end of the season where Peca basically said ‘I’ll buy in’ and from then on he was a different player. I have no idea where to find it to offer as proof but that’s my recollection.

  72. gogliano says:

    This isn’t going to happen but I’d like to see the Oil ship off their #1 pick and a marginal prospect/player for a defensive C that legitimately hits above the Mendoza line. I don’t think Gagner is the problem but he’d look a lot better if we had another center who was cut from a different cloth than the Gagner/Nuge mold. Obviously Horcoff was supposed to fulfill this role but I think solidifying the middle long term would be a pretty nice use of the pick. Hanzal might not bring a ton of offense but with Nuge/Gagner as your other centers he’d make a nice addition.

    But also agree with Hunter that this team has already made a huge leap forward. We were terrible last year and we’ve climbed up to a “saw off” team with two of our best players drafted in the last two drafts. When Yak/Nuge hit Hall’s age the flood will come.

  73. HeavySig says:

    Lowetide,

    Mike Peca arrived with a lot of fanfare in the summer of Pronger and I loved the idea of having a guy like him on the team. They then proceeded to miscast him as the first line center where he was expected to provide offense. While he did have a some reasonably productive point totals in previous seasons, Peca wasn’t really that kind of player.

    Once MacT had the Oilers invested in the whole defensive mindset (yeah, they trapped the shit out of those playoffs), Horcoff was firmly rooted on the first line and Stoll was having a good year, racking up power play points. Peca didn’t have to try and be something he wasn’t, and just went back to being one of the best checking centres around. I do recall something about Peca talking about the heart to heart he had with MacT and how having that defined role made everything work out better.

    I believe the Peca quote came from a post season interview article somewhere.

  74. "Steve Smith" says:

    HeavySig:
    Lowetide,

    Mike Peca arrived with a lot of fanfare in the summer of Pronger and I loved the idea of having a guy like him on the team.They then proceeded to miscast him as the first line center where he was expected to provide offense.

    My recollection is that Horcoff was the first-line-centre-designate from the get-go; I remember being deeply skeptical.

  75. HeavySig says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    I think the filthy Russian was #1 most of the season, but they definitely had some unreasonable expectations of getting offense out of Peca.

  76. godot10 says:

    gogliano:
    This isn’t going to happen but I’d like to see the Oil ship off their #1 pick and a marginal prospect/player for a defensive C that legitimately hits above the Mendoza line.I don’t think Gagner is the problem but he’d look a lot better if we had another center who was cut from a different cloth than the Gagner/Nuge mold.Obviously Horcoff was supposed to fulfill this role but I think solidifying the middle long term would be a pretty nice use of the pick.Hanzal might not bring a ton of offense but with Nuge/Gagner as your other centers he’d make a nice addition.

    But also agree with Hunter that this team has already made a huge leap forward.We were terrible last year and we’ve climbed up to a “saw off” team with two of our best players drafted in the last two drafts.When Yak/Nuge hit Hall’s age the flood will come.

    Trading the first round draft pick in one of the deepest drafts in recent history for a defensive centre would be the height of shortsighted stupidity, IMHO.

    Every non-playoff team has a lottery ticket on Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon.

  77. hags9k says:

    gogliano:
    This isn’t going to happen but I’d like to see the Oil ship off their #1 pick and a marginal prospect/player for a defensive C that legitimately hits above the Mendoza line.

    When Yak/Nuge hit Hall’s age the flood will come.

    I disagree with the first part. We need to keep our first round pick in a deep draft and chance for the lottery.
    Totally agree with the last point. The patience we all knew would be required when this rebuild started is in very short supply now.

  78. gogliano says:

    godot10: Trading the first round draft pick in one of the deepest drafts in recent history for a defensive centre would be the height of shortsighted stupidity, IMHO.

    Every non-playoff team has a lottery ticket on Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon.

    Not making a trade for a 2.7% chance scratch and win–the Oiler’s current odds if they stay at #21 overall, which I hope they don’t–when you have three #1s and J. Schultz idling in the drive way and ready to make a run strikes me as the stupid play, if we’re keeping track.

  79. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Did you listen bookie?

    Just loaded up the podcast and he uses your tag line and attributes it to you.

    Awesome.

    That is awesome. I will listen tonight (kids kept me busy all day). It’s like Bookie is famous now, however I continue to toil away in obscurity. Now I know how Peter Parker and Clark Kent feel!

    Anyway – that’s awesome LT – thanks!

  80. slipper says:

    Beauty, Heavy Sig. I vaguely remembered that article.

    I think in situations like Peca and the Oilers had that season there’s a lot of fluff churned out in the dailies that’s sold as explanations and creates false narratives.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca