It’s easy to forget that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is not yet 20. It’s also easy to forget that despite having a major falloff offensively the young man is effective in other areas, the areas of the game we associate with more mature players. It’s easy to forget–when he’s winning puck battles or back checking like a demon and winning the puck–that he has some lingering injury issues that will probably shut him down for “Oilers shoulder surgery TM” sometime this spring.
No word yet on Taylor Hall’s return, but reading the tea leaves I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the lineup tonight. Oilers are a different team with Chance in the lineup, and that top line rattles and buzzes and percolates with #4 driving the sports car. Taylor Hall seems to help the wavelength.
Jim Matheson suggests that St. Louis is looking at Ryan Whitney.
- Matheson: The word is that the Blues may be looking at him now, feeling he can be a better alternative than Wade Redden or Ian Cole on the back end.
I’d love to see Ian Cole as an Oiler, but they’d have to move soon as he’s a Jarmo Kekelainen prospect and I suspect the Blue Jackets will be after him.
Mike Brown will probably be in the lineup tonight, my guess is that he plays on the 4line instead of Petrell.
If the Oilers don’t run Paajarvi out there after the last game, expect another Woodguy post to appear–and this time he’ll be pissed!
The disconnect between Edmonton’s msm and the Oilogosphere in terms of what this trade means is incredible. How two groups of people can have such a massive gap in evaluation of the trade borders on impossible–but it has happened before. Bill James early writings were scoffed at by many baseball people, and his views were framed at just shy of blasphemy, but most of the things he wrote about in 1984 are now commonplace in baseball.
The nature of the beast in hockey is that there is no central figure–yet–but things like the gap between media and advanced stats observers will create a need (probably propelled by television) for an advanced stat guru. I always though Tyler Dellow was the best candidate, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him on the tsn trade deadline show one year or part of Sportsnet’s free agent special.
Scoff if you wish, but we’re beyond ‘if’ and well into ‘when.’ If I could offer one piece of advice to anyone wanting the mantle, I would suggest the following:
- pick something that you know to be true but that hockey people would find alarming.
- Write something that delivers the news without bias but plenty of color, with phrases like “the Sedins are older now, but if you were to use a 19-year old for his entire career in such a way (drastic offensive zone starts), that 19-year old might outscore his generation by 500 or more points.”
That might do it.
I don’t have much to say about tonight’s game, an Oilers win means we can talk about a successful road trip being possible and the second season still being in sight. A loss means you’ll see me talking more about the draft beginning tomorrow.
It is not a must win, but we can see it from here.