In an article about the Minnesota Twins, Bill James wrote a brilliant piece on a team getting something out of a truly wayward season. He called it “THAT was one Ugly Baby” and I think that might apply to this year’s Oilers.
They are dead, as dead as dead can be. And yet there are things that could show progress. Like Paajarvi’s development.
That’s Blind Faith in Hyde Park, their first live gig. Basically Steve Winwood and some nobodies, they sure sound wonderful. I think they could have been something if they’d have a guitar player.
- RNH: “To me being good defensively is very important. I want to be trusted by the coach and that all starts with my defensive play. I’m going to keep working on it and I’m not going to let myself get frustrated by it. I’m just going to keep working.”
Who knows how this turns out, but when a kid this good also has a work ethic–sky’s the limit. The Nuge hasn’t found the range, so maybe he explodes (as he did last year) with a hat trick or a 5 assist night. He’s most certainly showing well in many aspects of the game we associate with mature players.
Any word on Hartikainen? We’re at the point in the season when players disappear like Von Trapps over the hills. That 4th line remains a disaster, but the Oilers aren’t going to do anything to address it with Horcoff and Hartikainen so close to returning. Or not.
A nice article by Jesse Spector on this waiver thing some teams are using nowadays.
In honor of Magnus Paajarvi, whose sideburns and waiver ineligibility means he’s probably playing his last games for Edmonton before heading to OKC:
I wish the Red Wings would send us Jim Nill as the next GM. I don’t think there’s an secret to the Red Wings success, unless you think “do everything humanly possible to win each game” is a revelation.
They do things so logically. Consider:
- The Red Wings needed some offensive punch so reached into the Swiss-A league for Damien Brunner. He played with Zetterberg during the lockout and plays with him now in Detroit. The other linemate in Zug–Linus Omark–won the scoring championship and I dare say at some point the Red Wings will sign Omark and bring him over for a look-see. NOTHING GUARANTEED mind you, that’s the Detroit way. And it works.
- The Red Wings needed someone to replace Nick Lidstrom’s minutes, and I thought Brendan Smith would turn into a feature player (he’s 24, and has 2.5 years of AHL experience). No sir 18 minutes a night and he doesn’t play every game. Detroit will NOT push a guy. Zetterberg played 16 minutes a night as a 22-year old rookie, and that was 4th on the team among forwards. Datsyuk was 8th in F TOO as a 23-year old rookie. Of course, both of them performed very well and would soon increase their role but the point is that Detroit took care to make sure the long term was always the goal. Detroit puts their young players in a position to succeed, and have an amazing track record.
I don’t think the Oilers win tonight, and it’s clear they’ll be in the NW basement when they return from the road trip
I keep hoping one day management will find a team they believe in and give them help at center and on defense when it’s needed. I can’t imagine the restraint it must take to watch Taylor Hall risk life and limb on one end and not send the troops an upgrade on Chris VandeVelde on the other.
In hockey terms, it’s tragic.
Roman Hamrlik’s waiver moment is such a tell; the Oilers could have risked waivers on Whitney or Potter, they could have traded Peckham, hell they could have put Eager on the IR (I don’t think he’s right, just my opinion).
I don’t recall a team with this level of Jacks and Kings (although young) who are willing to flush a season over a lack of 6′s an 7′s. The Montreal Expos used to do this, they’d have Gary Carter and Andre Dawson and Tim Raines playing at high levels and ruin the balance with Doug Flynn at second base and Dan Driessen at first base.
And you know how the story ended for the Expos? They traded Gary Carter for four 6′s.