RE 13-14 TAYLOR HALL: HEROES

Taylor Hall is 21 years old and the leader of a group of talented kids on the way to glory. This past season, he was among the very best forwards in the NHL. Stand back.

RE 13-14: 70, 37-45-82

  1. That’s a HUGE reach. Not really. Hall was 1.11/game last season, this is 1.17/game. For me, Hall looks like he has another gear. This estimate assumes that he’ll take another step forward and that’s the bet here. Taylor Hall passed the point per game plateau in the short season, my bet is he’ll stretch it out this winter and push for the 1st All-Star team.
  2. Doesn’t he need to make the 2nd All-Star team before that? Already earned the award, didn’t get it because NHL.
  3. What are the arrows that lead you to believe he can score at this rate? Last season, he got a late start because he was recovering from the shoulder surgery. This fall, he’s going to be taking a running start. Plus, he’s been improving each season so it’s a reasonable bet he’ll do it again.
  4. You didn’t project Eberle to step forward like this after his big season. Yes.
  5. You keep saying he’s going super nova? WHEN? Well, Hall’s 5×5/60 this season was 3.15 and that ranked him 6th in the NHL among forwards who played 30 or more games. That number was second in the western conference behind Jonathan Toews (3.19). This is good company he’s keeping. And he was 2nd among LW’s in that category, behind Pittsburgh’s Kunitz who had a linemate pushing the river. If Taylor Hall doesn’t get one ounce better–and I believe he will get better–that’s an outstanding player, the best Oiler player in 20 years.
  6. What is he good at? I don’t think there are a lot of limits on him at this point. He seems to be in the scoring zone all the time–there are times when he touches the puck three times in three different areas of the offensive zone during one sortie–and does a lot of things that put him in the batter’s box often. And he’s frightening to the defensemen, you can see it now, they’re just throwing their stick in there and taking a penalty when they’re beaten–that didn’t happen a couple of years ago, they weren’t convinced–and he’s a target for the opposition every night. He is stunning at taking a pass in mid-flight, man I’ve watched Oiler wingers botch that breakout pass for two decades and this guy treats every pass like it’s a delicate flower–cradles it, controls it and then he’s gone baby gone. It’s kind of breathtaking.
  7. Lindy Ruff doesn’t think he’s developing defensively. Lindy Ruff can kiss my ass.
  8. Are the Oilers a different team with him on the ice? Yes, yes. More swagger, more attitude–that moment he hit Clutterbuck, you knew that was no valentine–and he has a helluva motor. I think he and Eberle have a real chemistry and it’s likely to be a long time before those two spend extended time on other lines.
  9. What would be better than having Taylor Hall? Having two Taylor Hall’s? I don’t know. He’s a dream. A wonderful, wonderful dream. I remember the first time I saw Ralph Intranuovo or Andrew Cogliano skate like mad down the ice and curl inside the blue; it’s exciting, something is happening!–I’m waiting for more to happen, but it never did, because they were miles from the scoring zone. Hall acts like he’s prepared his entire being for that moment where he’s one on one with the blue–he’ll try to skate by, deke by, run over, fake, shoot, whatever, but it’s all about pressure and it’s all about going for the kill. It’s like God is rewarding us for all those curls inside the blue line with one bad ass stud who’s kicking butt and taking names.
  10. So, you like him? Man. Man o man. What a player.
  11. Should Eakins play him with Nuge and Eberle? I’ve been thinking about this and suspect the answer is yes. Hey, maybe try Samwise with this group but chemistry is chemistry and sometimes it just works; the Oilers should have enough firepower to put together a formidable 2line.
  12. What can he be? I think we’re seeing an impact player here. It looks like he’s going to be an even strength monster and a power play contributor at a high level. He’s going to get the tough opposition and he’s going to grind the other team. I cannot wait to see this guy play 7 playoff games against one team. They will hate him like we hated Modano, and that my friends is music!
  13. What’s a good nickname, aside from Hallsy? Chance. Shift after shift after shift. Chance Machine. Man.
  14. What’s the next step for Taylor Hall? 40 goals, playoff run, 1st All-Star, major award. There’s no guarantee they all happen this year, but then again 2013-14  could be the year Edmonton heads back to the promised land (second season). Ladies and gentlemen, a giant walks among us.

TAYLOR HALL 10-11

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.78 (4th among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 3.27 (8th among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 10.3 (best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 52.0% (4th easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 51.2% (7th best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 186/11.8% (4th among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 65gp, 22-20-42 (led the team in goals as a rookie)
  • Plus Minus: -9 on a team that was -52.

TAYLOR HALL 11-12

  • 5×5 points per 60: 2.07 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.95 (2nd among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 6th toughest among regular forwards
  • Qual Team: best teammates among regular forwards
  • Corsi Rel: 15.2 (best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 56.5% (3rd easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 53.6% (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 207/13% (3rd among F’s>100 shots)
  • Boxcars: 61gp, 27-26-53 (led the team in PP goals-13)
  • Plus Minus: -3 on a team that was -26

TAYLOR HALL 12-13

  • 5×5 points per 60: 3.15 (1st among regular forwards, 6th in NHL, 2nd in WC)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 5.74 (3rd among regular forwards)
  • Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards (top line opp)
  • Qual Team: 2nd best teammates among regular forwards (top linemates)
  • Corsi Rel: 20.3 (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Zone Start: 54.8% (easiest among regular forwards)
  • Zone Finish: 47.9% (2nd best among regular forwards)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 154/10.39% (6th among F’s>70 shots)
  • Boxcars: 45gp, 16-34-50 +5 (led the team in points)
  • Plus Minus: +5 on a team that was -15

THE LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

rocknrollaIt’s a big day on the show (10am, Team 1260) as we have a LDWLT first. Scheduled to appear:

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74 Responses to "RE 13-14 TAYLOR HALL: HEROES"

  1. Ducey says:

    Uh, oh,

    LT is talking to himself again.

    I look forward to the part where he asks himself why he hates all the Oilers’ defensemen.

  2. Ca$h-Money! says:

    I love this assessment. For all the criticism you get for not being a optimistic enough in this series, I love that you go here with Hall. It’s not unreasonable. He’s fantastic.

    He will be number 2 on the team in goals this year, but clearly our best player.

  3. Ducey says:

    Zone starts a concern? What if the new coach starts him more in the defensive zone?

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ducey:
    Zone starts a concern?What if the new coach starts him more in the defensive zone?

    It would cut back on the offense, but that may be the better plan for the team. I’m assuming he gets the same opposition but plenty of offensive zone starts.

  5. flyfish1168 says:

    Excellent read. But i do believe we have a 2nd Hall on this team. I believe Yakupov can be this player but from the starboard side. I remember there was a few shifts with them together, i couldn’t believe the speed and puck movement they had. Nail maybe the player that reaches 40 before Hall.

  6. bookje says:

    Why do you hate Taylor Hall so much.

    Hall RE13-14: 82, 42-58-100

  7. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Read the title “heroes” thought “great, bowie! prefer the German version. hate that 90s version by Dylan’s kid”…. and blammo, there’s the German version! cool.

    Hall?:
    Joe the Lion
    Made of Iron

    ——-
    “Lindy Ruff doesn’t think he’s developing defensively. Lindy Ruff can kiss my ass.”

    But Hitchcock thinks he’s music.

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

    Lowetide,

    I know I just tweeted you about this exact same thing LT, but that Lindy Ruff line is gold. Everyone was thinking it, you had the cajones to say it.

    As to the post: Hall is just an absolute beast. This team will go as far as he wants it to, provided we get that darn center depth sorted… I’m starting to freak out about it already!

  9. Jordan says:

    Why the German version of Heroes? I mean, it’s Bowie, so its still good, I just don’t get the reference…

  10. Lowetide says:

    Jordan:
    Why the German version of Heroes?I mean, it’s Bowie, so its still good, I just don’t get the reference…

    Better version. Believe me.

  11. G Money says:

    Hall was 1.11/game last season, this is 1.17/game – I think he does this even if he doesn’t get better, just because Nuge will have two shoulders. And he *will* get better, he’s two years from his peak!

    You keep saying he’s going super nova? WHEN? – 6th in EV scoring in the league? He’s gone supernova already!

    Lindy Ruff can kiss my ass. – Lindy Ruff is now in the Western Conference. I hope that every . single . game . that we play Dallas, Taylor Hall takes it upon himself to make Lindy Ruff kiss his ass, over and over and over.

    It looks like he’s going to be an even strength monster and a power play contributor at a high level. – He already is!

  12. thebiggestmanintheworld says:

    To think there was a debate about him going first overalll…..

    Taylor Hall-76-41-45-86 and a Hart nomination……

  13. Captain Smarmy says:

    Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov. Holy hell that will be the stuff of defensemen nightmares.

  14. oliveoilers says:

    Thandie a reference to Hallsy being a Rocknrolla?

    This kid (Hallsy) gets it. When other coaches/players didn’t, he did. I’ve played sport to a pro-am level only, but even there we were taught to oppose your will (or game plan) on the other team. Too many times I believe the oilers have tried to play chess against other teams. Other teams with better tacticians in charge. You have to have a couple of players that you can just ‘loose’ on the opposition. Players to whom you say “defence? You don’t need defence where we’re going.” We have other plugs for defence. Let them be scared of us for a change. Let them adjust their game plan instead!

  15. RexLibris says:

    This may seem a little off-topic, but I wonder if having a teammate/mentor like Hall on the roster doesn’t accelerate some of Yakupov’s development due to both sheltering and modelling. Hall and Yakupov have some similarities, not least of which appears to be a dogged singlemindedness towards the win – at all costs – and the OIlers have a Big Brothers tandem set up right now in Hall and Yakupov.

    I’ve spoken with some Flames fans who still have reservations about Hall’s game, repeating the usual lines that he needs to change his game or he’ll become a one-trick pony or wheelchair bound by the time he’s 26. I’m not sure I can frame a counter-argument to them without it turning into a rant, but I suspect that this season perceptions of the young Mr. Hall will change around the league.

  16. russ99 says:

    Ducey,

    No way. Krueger fed the kid line a constant diet of toughs last year, which was probably his best move as Oilers coach.

    So if Eakins spreads the ice time around better and line matches better than Krueger did, extra own zone starts won’t make much difference to this group, and I see them having more success under a coach that will pick spots where they can excel.

    Btw: I’m waiting until they give Hall the “C” before getting his sweater. Which I hope will happen this fall.

  17. striatic says:

    Ducey: I look forward to the part where he asks himself why he hates all the Oilers’ defensemen.

    hint: it’s the sideburns.

  18. Numenius says:

    LT, you say that Hall has chemistry with Eberle, which is true. But the beautiful thing about Hall is that he has chemistry with everyone. I can’t think of one top 6 forward he wouldn’t click with. He just adapts to whomever he’s with. It’s astonishing.

  19. wheatnoil says:

    Let me preface my comment by saying this first: I love Taylor Hall and he’s the best damn player the Oilers have and it’s not even close.

    LT,

    That said, I feel like you’re pushing things in terms of “reasonable”. If I had to predict what Hall would do next year, I think I’d agree whole-heartedly with you. However, if 1.17 P/G is the “line in the sand”, that means that a “reasonable line in the sand” is equivalent 6th, 5th, 4th, 4th (tied) in the league over the last 4 seasons. Even if he continued at 1.11 P/G, that would be an impressive 14th, 7th (tied), 4th, 6th (tied) in the league.

    In my opinion, for Hall, reasonable is him running in place. All you can expect from an elite player, a top 10 forward in the NHL, is to continue as a top 10 forward in the NHL. If he becomes a top 5 forward, then you sing and dance and have a beer… and then you have another. (Hell, I’d do that even if he repeats last year)

  20. linkfromhyrule says:

    G Money:

    Lindy Ruff can kiss my ass. – Lindy Ruff is now in the Western Conference.I hope that every . single . game . that we play Dallas, Taylor Hall takes it upon himself to make Lindy Ruff kiss his ass, over and over and over.

    this. Imagine a first round playoff series where we actually eliminated Dallas for once… Oh man I can’t wait!!

  21. bookje says:

    Growing up 98% of the German that I experience was in movies involving Nazis with many of them involving POW camps. The other 2% was 99 luftballons. So when I traveled to Germany, every time I was in a department store and some announcement was made on the PA system like “Verkauf auf Damen-Unterwäsche” I would have the strange sensation of being in a POW camp.

  22. Bushed says:

    Hall is a beast for sure. The Toews comparison is spot on. Hall has already made this “his” team just as Toews has in Chicago (possibly my favorite player outside of Edmonton).

    The Clutterbuck incident shows Hall will push back like Toews, too. But Chicago has more size and grit on their team to back him up when the going gets rough.

    I have nightmares about some asshat (probably a Canuck–or Chara) pulling a Fedun move on Hallsy, RNH, Yak, or Ebs. Yeah, yeah, I can already hear the “make them pay on the powerplay” stuff, but what good does that one goal do you when one of your stars is in rehab (or worse) for a year (or career)?

    I’d really like to see MacT put that size/grit item up to the very top of his agenda ASAP. Even overpay. If Sam Gagner is our “send a message” guy (please stop doing this Sam–not everyone will hold off on you like Beauchemin did), expect our team to be run nightly.

    Either that or get Glen Anderson as an assistant coach, to teach our young guys “you’ll have to eat a yard of this hockey stick before you get to me” hockey. And even then, Glen had lots of mean surly beef to back him up when he played.

    I’m not saying we need a pure enforcer; a Kevin McClelland type would be awesome–tough mean SOB who can still play the game.

  23. oliveoilers says:

    bookje:
    Growing up 98% of the German that I experience was in movies involving Nazis with many of them involving POW camps.The other 2% was 99 luftballons.So when I traveled to Germany, every time I was in a department store and some announcement was made on the PA system like “Verkauf auf Damen-Unterwäsche” I would have the strange sensation of being in a POW camp.

    I lived in Germany for 4 years and all I learnt was “Achtung! Herr Kartopffel-kopf!”

  24. striatic says:

    RexLibris: I’ve spoken with some Flames fans who still have reservations about Hall’s game, repeating the usual lines that he needs to change his game or he’ll become a one-trick pony or wheelchair bound by the time he’s 26.

    oh god. people who say things like that about Hall simply haven’t watched him play, other than goal scoring highlight reels.

    i am shocked that LT didn’t mention this, but Hall is a hell of a playmaker. in his draft year he had more production via assists than Seguin, and yet Seguin was dubbed “the playmaker” and Hall “exciting, reckless scorer”

    i call bullshit.

    let’s look at his assist highlights instead:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIT4RRNNpTo

    Watch this saucer pass through traffic:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,718&event=EDM566&cmpid=embed-share-video

    Watch him operate behind the net like Gretzky:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,718&event=EDM768&cmpid=embed-share-video

    Playmaking Chemistry with Yakupov:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,705&event=MIN255&cmpid=embed-share-video

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,705&event=MIN266&cmpid=embed-share-video

    Soft hands in front of the net aren’t just for goal scoring:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,540&event=CGY604&cmpid=embed-share-video

    In conclusion, Hall is a Playmaking Play Maker:

    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,540&event=CGY39&cmpid=embed-share-video

    It isn’t like these are difficult to find either. these are all from the last month of last season.

  25. linkfromhyrule says:

    Bushed:

    I have nightmares about some asshat (probably a Canuck–or Chara) pulling a Fedun move on Hallsy, RNH, Yak, or Ebs. Yeah, yeah, I can already hear the “make them pay on the powerplay” stuff, but what good does that one goal do you when one of your stars is in rehab (or worse) for a year (or career)?

    I’m just not sure how everyone arrives at this conclusion that if we have big enforcers in our lineup, our players will somehow not get cheap shotted etc. It’s kind of a false argument. Nuclear deterrents don’t always work. Players take nasty/cheap hits no matter what team they play for, and having a 6’5′” goon is not going to change a thing

    That being said, some size would certainly go a long way in a playoff push/in the playoffs, but in a different way entirely.

  26. RexLibris says:

    Either that or get Glen Anderson as an assistant coach, to teach our young guys “you’ll have to eat a yard of this hockey stick before you get to me” hockey.

    Loved that line. I remember there being quite a few amateur dentists on those old Oilers teams – Lowe, Anderson, Messier, Semenko. All were willing to offer their services to anyone foolish enough to ask.

    That being said, the last thing I want is to see is MacTavish prioritizing a knuckle-dragger like McGrattan. I too fear some marginal depth defender or Carcillo-type pulling a dumb stunt on one of our stars, but to be honest that is a possibility, intentional or not, every time they step on the ice.

    Anyone could have ended Lidstrom’s career, or could still on someone like Datsyuk, with a single outlandish act of goonery, but we can’t expect the team to play that way forever. I’ve always cheered for the tough-as-nails guys who could play, and even some who couldn’t (MacIntyre, for instance), but I think we need to stay away from the skating gorillas for now.

  27. commonfan14 says:

    Am I the only one waiting to see when LT is going to officially update a certain playing card analogy he is fond of in regard to the Oilers roster?

    I feel like this post is the first step.

  28. Jesse says:

    “7.Lindy Ruff doesn’t think he’s developing defensively. Lindy Ruff can kiss my ass.”

    Actually gave a fist pump when I read this.

    In the few opportunities Hall had to play with Yakupov on his right wing late last season there were some real fireworks. I would love to see more of that.

  29. striatic says:

    i think my comment had to go to moderation because it had too many links to Hall’s playmaking.

    shows how much of a playmaker he is.

    playmaking! it’s a huge part of Hall’s game.

  30. khildahl says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Jacob “I don’t want to ride my dad’s coat-tails, but am going to use his stage name” Dylan.

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    A) Hall can take care of himself; the Clutterbuck hit was the sign of that. No goon needed. The kid will keep backing off those who wish to intimidate with similar physical play (good idea to schedule 10 games missed to disciplinary action, LT)

    2) I agree that this is reasonable. With an actual 2 line around and Lander goading other teams into penalties, this Oiler team will not lack for offensive opportunities. Hall can cash in on what he’s given, no doubt.

  32. commonfan14 says:

    Bushed: I’m not saying we need a pure enforcer; a Kevin McClelland type would be awesome–tough mean SOB who can still play the game.

    It’ll take a while, but Nurse could eventually be on the ice for 25 minutes or so every game – which could fix a great many things.

    I don’t know if people are adequately excited about him yet.

  33. Bushed says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    First, I clearly stated “I’m not sure we need a pure enforcer”.

    And no, there is no player alive who can stop cheap shots from other teams.

    But most teams that go deep in the playoffs have size and toughness (Detroit might be the only recent exception that proves the rule). Look at Boston, LA; even Chicago had a few big beasts on the roster for their cups.

    And the glory years of Gretz, Kurri, Coffey et al had an endless lineup of toughness elsewhere on the team (Semenko, Jackson, McSorley, McClelland, Messier), not to mention a few “filthy” players to fill out the lineup, too.

    Yes, the game has evolved, and the days of the nuclear deterrent are likely numbered. But I’m not convinced that it’s a good idea to ice a team with no deterrents. And apart from the fighting/revenge factor, there is still the issue of being able to respond to another team’s physical game.

  34. LMHF#1 says:

    Too many goals, not enough assists. This should be the year he focuses more on what he’s most effective at – passing off the rush. Hopefully to our Russian friend who may just pot 50 if he gets it going.

  35. striatic says:

    LMHF#1:
    Too many goals, not enough assists. This should be the year he focuses more on what he’s most effective at – passing off the rush. Hopefully to our Russian friend who may just pot 50 if he gets it going.

    agreed. Hall gets a ton of assists this year with Eberle and Yakupov and J. Schultz.

  36. Bushed says:

    commonfan14,

    I agree with you on Nurse. I’m also hopeful about Khaira (sp?).

    I just hope our young guns can survive “team toughness” until they get here.

  37. linkfromhyrule says:

    Bushed,

    Yes, I agree with you on the playoffs part as I stated in my comment, but the top six on our team is basically set due to the gagner contract (barring a trade of either perron or one of eberle, yak, hall, RNH) for the next few years. We have nurse in the pipeline, who is gonna be one mean SOB in a couple years, but he is still a ways away. The reality is our top six either needs to learn to play big, or we will get pushed around in the playoffs. Some backup from our defence would help too

  38. Professor Q says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I prefer the Wallflower’s version myself. Also, why do we or the Oilers care what other coaches think of Edmonton’s players? Should not the only thing that matters be how Eakins uses them and the amount of ice-time/zone starts he gives?

  39. wordbird says:

    flyfish1168:
    Excellent read. But i do believe we have a 2nd Hall on this team. I believe Yakupov can be this player but from the starboard side. I remember there was a few shifts with them together, i couldn’t believe the speed and puck movement they had. Nail maybe the player that reaches 40 before Hall.

    Might not be this season, but at some point Hall and Yak will be linemates. THAT’S gonna be something…

  40. Bushed says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    Agreed.

    But I don’t know how our top 6 will play big. Hall and Yak seem to have some physical response to their games. Ebs seems to use smarts and dangle to avoid many (but not all) hits. RNH is amazing for his awareness of positioning relative to other players (love when he uses that to actually make hits), but I wouldn’t call him a physical player. Gags means well, but fighting should not be an option for him, and he is also not a physical player. So where is that “big” play going to come from? (I’m not challenging you on this; it’s a rhetorical question.)

    Did you see the MacT video on the Oilers site after the Gagner signing? His first comment seems to suggest that he had some doubts about signing Gags right up to the last day. I’m guessing that MacT is seeing the top 6 the same way we are, and although swayed by the “always an Oiler” argument at the last minute, is still keenly aware of the issue.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into that first comment?

  41. linkfromhyrule says:

    Bushed,

    I don’t know, that is the million dollar question. I don’t know that physicality is something that can be coached into them. Perhaps the oilers can be similar to Detroit, but I doubt that. Joensuu is a good sized player, but with almost no experience. It seems to me the only way this team is getting bigger and more physical is on the back end or in its bottom six.

  42. justDOit says:

    striatic,

    Thanks for posting those – after watching the hat trick vid a few times, those were great!

    Scalar Taylor is on a vector to stardom!

  43. stevezie says:

    No one is mentioning the Oasis version? It was just a b-side, but I loved the noise.

  44. striatic says:

    Bushed: Did you see the MacT video on the Oilers site after the Gagner signing? His first comment seems to suggest that he had some doubts about signing Gags right up to the last day. I’m guessing that MacT is seeing the top 6 the same way we are, and although swayed by the “always an Oiler” argument at the last minute, is still keenly aware of the issue.

    the way i tend to think of the top two lines, is that these are your first and second powerplay units more than anything else.

    i don’t like the idea of the third line as being this “saw off checking line”, because this concept hasn’t worked for the Oilers for the past few seasons. against some teams it works, against others it fails miserably.

    the idea of Perron playing on the third line sometimes and moving a bigger player into the top six when he does should be a legitimate option. a lot of this depends on the team you are going up against.

    i think the idea is that Joensuu might be that guy but he is a huge gamble, albeit at low cost unlike Clarkson.

    this is why people [Gregor] are always talking about guys like Kyle Clifford, a big LW who can maybe play up in the lineup.

    personally, i don’t think a size of “size” in the top 6 is a big deal, so long as those players are “strong”. against most teams in the NHL, this kind of configuration is just fine. the key is to have talented 3rd line players who can step up into the top six situationally.

  45. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Professor Q:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I prefer the Wallflower’s version myself. Also, why do we or the Oilers care what other coaches think of Edmonton’s players? Should not the only thing that matters be how Eakins uses them and the amount of ice-time/zone starts he gives?

    Fair enough.

    I think there are two reasons people pay attention to Ruff.

    1. Ruff is part of the Hockey Canada Coaching Club (not a real organization). He is in the room and on the ice when these decisions are made and has direct and real impact on Hall’s play internationally. Hall and all of us care about that.

    2. Ruff represents a very real opinion about Hall, which is dead wrong. See also Mark Spector.

    This is a group of people that seems to hate brashness (though I don’t really think that applies to Hall even if I agreed that was a character flaw) and feel the need to take people down a peg. See also the Perron article after he left STL.

    These people exist and create narratives and shape the way most people view the game. It leads to tangible effects (like the all star fiasco), but more importantly leads to huge gaps between perception and reality amongst the majority of hockey fans.

  46. TeeVee says:

    Bushed,

    “I’m not saying we need a pure enforcer; a Kevin McClelland type would be awesome–tough mean SOB who can still play the game.”

    McClelland is my all-time favorite “Oiler Tough”.

  47. Bushed says:

    striatic,

    You have some interesting points here. I agree re. the third line, and am also hopeful re. Joensu.

    It would be nice to have another “somewhat skilled, tough SOB” option. I thought Eager would be that guy, but with the concussion history I fear that ship has sailed.

    I still wonder, though, if our top 6 will be “strong” enough for a deep playoff run?

    Guess we’ll see a preview in a few months.

  48. Bag of Pucks says:

    With apologies to Doug Weight, Hallsy is the best we’ve had in these parts since the dynasty years. Can’t wait to watch him light it up this year. Any player that is willing to eat a crossbar to score a goal WILL win a Stanley Cup one day.

    Love that Bowie is the musical artist for this year’s RE. A true rock and roll chameleon. With Eakin’s propensity for keeping the opposition guessing, I think Ziggy/Aladdin Sane/The Thin White Duke/etc. is a very prescient choice for this season.

    Can’t wait to see who the choice is for Ashes to Ashes. Omark?

    Btw, last night’s outing by Kavis Reed was the worst coaching performance I’ve seen by an Edmonton HC in 30+ years. Absolutely BRUTAL.

  49. khildahl says:

    Bohologo,

    I guess the options for “I’m Afraid of Americans” are pretty limited. I vote for Petry.

  50. Numenius says:

    striatic: the way i tend to think of the top two lines, is that these are your first and second powerplay units more than anything else.

    i don’t like the idea of the third line as being this “saw off checking line”, because this concept hasn’t worked for the Oilers for the past few seasons. against some teams it works, against others it fails miserably.

    the idea of Perron playing on the third line sometimes and moving a bigger player into the top six when he does should be a legitimate option. a lot of this depends on the team you are going up against.

    i think the idea is that Joensuu might be that guy but he is a huge gamble, albeit at low cost unlike Clarkson.

    this is why people [Gregor] are always talking about guys like Kyle Clifford, a big LW who can maybe play up in the lineup.

    personally, i don’t think a size of “size” in the top 6 is a big deal, so long as those players are “strong”. against most teams in the NHL, this kind of configuration is just fine. the key is to have talented 3rd line players who can step up into the top six situationally.

    Absolutely agree with this. Personally I’d love to have someone like Clifford in the bottom six who can play up when needed. Joensuu may or may not be that guy.

  51. Gerta Rauss says:

    It’s like God is rewarding us for all those curls inside the blue line with one bad ass stud who’s kicking butt and taking names

    My buddy and I used to have a drinking game-a chug every time Robert Nilsson carried the puck over the line and then button hooked to the side boards. Brule did a similar thing with a little spin once over the line and then a fade away slapper.

    Good times.

  52. Professor Q says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: Fair enough.

    I think there are two reasons people pay attention to Ruff.

    1. Ruff is part of the Hockey Canada Coaching Club (not a real organization). He is in the room and on the ice when these decisions are made and has direct and real impact on Hall’s play internationally. Hall and all of us care about that.

    2. Ruff represents a very real opinion about Hall, which is dead wrong. See also Mark Spector.

    This is a group of people that seems to hate brashness (though I don’t really think that applies to Hall even if I agreed that was a character flaw) and feel the need to take people down a peg. See also the Perron article after he left STL.

    These people exist and create narratives and shape the way most people view the game. It leads to tangible effects (like the all star fiasco), but more importantly leads to huge gaps between perception and reality amongst the majority of hockey fans.

    I see, thank you and the enlightenment is greatly appreciated! I did not have my thinking cap on today.

  53. Numenius says:

    On the enforcer question, I have high expectations (perhaps unreasonably) for Belov. In addition to his skill, he has size, a mean streak, and is potentially the player the other team will have to be most wary about when they’re on the ice. I’d guess he’ll get extra chances to prove himself for that very reason.

  54. G Money says:

    striatic: i call bullshit.

    When you call bullshit, you really call bullshit!

    Bushed: I still wonder, though, if our top 6 will be “strong” enough for a deep playoff run?

    Realistically – I do not think there is any way to take the team of last year and in one year transform them into a team built for a deep playoff run.

    MacT’s job for this year is to make them a playoff team – even if in all likelihood that means a first round sweep exit.

    That experience in itself will expose a myriad of strengths and weaknesses, which it would then be MacT’s task to address next year.

    That said – I do not have any fear that our top two lines are good enough to be get us to the playoffs, they unquestionably are. I fully expect all three of RNH, Yak, and Hall will be pushing for top 10 in the league in a few years. What an embarassment of riches.

    What I fear is that the bottom two lines, which were overwhelmed in shots, chances, and goals for the last two years, are no better this year, and that would be enough to keep us out of the playoffs.

    Side note: notice that size doesn’t actually enter into the equation that much. Our biggest players last year were the ones that often gave up the most goals.

  55. commonfan14 says:

    Bag of Pucks: With apologies to Doug Weight, Hallsy is the best we’ve had in these parts since the dynasty years.

    Not that he deserves it, but I think the real apology should go to Chris Pronger.

    It’s a deeply troubling thing to think about, but if the Oil had a chance to trade Hall for a 30 year old (and divorced) Pronger right now, would they do it?

    I’m pretty sure MacT would.

  56. Bag of Pucks says:

    Omitting Pronger was an oversight. I guess length of tenure factors into the memory banks.

    Odd bit of synchronicity on the Interweb today. Listening to the Team1260 interview with Doug Weight this morning prompted me to head to youtube to check out Dougie’s glorious goal against the Flamers in 97. Lo and behold, Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ is the backing track accompaniment.

    What a beauty!

    http://youtu.be/9tg8lsAmrxg

  57. Ice Sage says:

    Weight also outfoxed Pronger a few times in SCF ’06.
    No matter, Taylor H is superlative.
    When the movie is made, it’ll be ‘Kids and the Hall”

  58. Bar_Qu says:

    If we can vote for Bowie songs, I’d love Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby in there somewhere. Maybe Yakupov (marches to his own drum, not what you expected, etc).

    The tune makes me chuckle every Christmas and is the only version of that carol I actually like.

  59. TheOtherJohn says:

    Pronger…… first ballot Hall of Famer and, arguably, the best defenseman in Oiler history

  60. Ice Sage says:

    G Money: When you call bullshit, you really call bullshit!

    Realistically – I do not think there is any way to take the team of last year and in one year transform them into a team built for a deep playoff run.

    MacT’s job for this year is to make them a playoff team – even if in all likelihood that means a first round sweep exit.

    That experience in itself will expose a myriad of strengths and weaknesses, which it would then be MacT’s task to address next year.

    That said – I do not have any fear that our top two lines are good enough to be get us to the playoffs, they unquestionably are.I fully expect all three of RNH, Yak, and Hall will be pushing for top 10 in the league in a few years.What an embarassment of riches.

    What I fear is that the bottom two lines, which were overwhelmed in shots, chances, and goals for the last two years, are no better this year, and that would be enough to keep us out of the playoffs.

    Side note: notice that size doesn’t actually enter into the equation that much.Our biggest players last year were the ones that often gave up the most goals.

    If the Oil make the playoffs, I agree they’ll lose first round, but I can’t find a single NHL team, as currently constructed, that will sweep them – too much parity and, if Oilers prove resilient and well-coached enough to make 2nd season, they’ll put up a tussle.

    Meaningful games into late March would suffice for me, taking a looooooong view of things

  61. M Parkatti says:

    I’m most looking forward to the Bowie songs… I consider Low to be one of the best albums ever, even the Eno-enslaved 2nd side.

    Hall and Yakupov, hadn’t really considered that. So, what, Howe/Lindsay type strength on the wings now? I like it.

  62. Gerta Rauss says:

    Bar_Qu:
    If we can vote for Bowie songs, I’d love Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby in there somewhere. Maybe Yakupov (marches to his own drum, not what you expected, etc).

    The tune makes me chuckle every Christmas and is the only version of that carol I actually like.

    Love that song(the video is equally as good)

    I play it (at least) once every holiday season despite any protestations from the family.

  63. jbfuzz says:

    In other news, Dan Tencer moves to the morning. Thank God. A cigarette smoking chimp could do a better job. His schtick (arrogance combined with the timed repetition of obvious, ridiculous statements) wears pretty thin after about half a segment. If I listened to CHED I’d be fucking terrified of the new morning show.

  64. oliveoilers says:

    jbfuzz:
    In other news, Dan Tencer moves to the morning. Thank God. A cigarette smoking chimp could do a better job. His schtick (arrogance combined with the timed repetition of obvious, ridiculous statements) wears pretty thin after about half a segment. If I listened to CHED I’d be fucking terrified of the new morning show.

    I agree. I made the mistake of listening to his ‘the Olympics should be held in North America in perpetuam’ diatribe the other day. What a bigot.

  65. justDOit says:

    oliveoilers: I agree.I made the mistake of listening to his ‘the Olympics should be held in North America in perpetuam’ diatribe the other day.What a bigot.

    And that wasn’t on April 1st? Yikes…

    Isn’t ‘American Gladiators’ still on?

  66. denny33 says:

    Taylor Hall is a genuine superstar, no question. Offensive force.

    While Lindy Ruff continues get filled in with bullets – did anyone watch the World Championship?

    1. Stamkos and Giroux were near dominant and had great chemistry

    2. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Matt Duchene had to be broken up.

    People can shoot the messenger all they want….

    Taylor Hall turned the puck over a TON on the offensive rush. Don’t get me wrong – Matt Duchene is a puck hog and had no desire to pass – but Taylor was a turnover machine.

    Taylor Hall has a weakness in his game – he is very prone to turnovers on the rush. Individual moves to beat D-man.This catches his linemates going 100 mph going one way and his D-man while the opposition team turns for a rush the other way.

    In the NHL with his speed it works – mostly.

    In elite tournaments -it seldom works. And with the caliber of opposing Dman – it turns into an instant rush the other way…

    If people would choose to believe it is just Lindy Ruff – then they may choose to do so…

  67. Lucinius says:

    denny33,

    Nevermind the number of turn overs Duchene had?

    Or, you know, the three turn overs Giroux had that led directly to goals against, yet got rewarded with even more ice time?

    Yes, Hall had turn overs during the World Championships.. but not a single one turned into a goal against (most never even turned into a scoring chance against — a couple of which due to his own retrieval of the puck on the back-check). He didn’t have a great time at the Worlds — but I doubt it was on him, entirely, considering he was getting next to no ice time in the first period in the first game. He got four minutes in the first period of that game.. and another four minutes the next two periods.

    Nevermind the fact Ruff screwed up all but the first line in terms of combinations (as evidenced by the second line struggling to score the entire tournament) and pairing Hall with Duchene was moronic considering how they each play the game.

  68. 99thoilerfan says:

    TeeVee:
    Bushed,

    “I’m not saying we need a pure enforcer; a Kevin McClelland type would be awesome–tough mean SOB who can still play the game.”

    McClelland is my all-time favorite “Oiler Tough”.

    Who was the other member of the “Bruise Brothers”?
    I had ( dam ex ) a poster of the two… was a beer ad?…

  69. 99thoilerfan says:

    Bar_Qu:
    If we can vote for Bowie songs, I’d love Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby in there somewhere. Maybe Yakupov (marches to his own drum, not what you expected, etc).

    The tune makes me chuckle every Christmas and is the only version of that carol I actually like.

    So True! a Fav of mine, with Bob Segar “little drummer boy” 1A

  70. 99thoilerfan says:

    TheOtherJohn:
    Pronger…… first ballot Hall of Famer and, arguably, the best defenseman in Oiler history

    So far… maybe… Nurse is going to make us forget about old…what his name again?

    #donotgivenurse44

  71. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lucinius,

    Yeah, but that 2nd PP unit Ruff put out there was a scorcher! I think they may have even scored a goal…once…maybe. Way better than putting Hall and/or Eberle out there.

  72. Lucinius says:

    theres oil in virginia,

    Oh, god.. Don’t get me started on the powerplay Canada deployed (even if that wasn’t Ruff, but Trotz or Tippet). Canada consistently has issues with powerplays on the big ice because they screw up how to deploy the point-men and make it a cake-walk to defend.

  73. mumbai max says:

    Hurricane

    An homage to Cyclone Taylor while still getting his own name.

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