THE PAKLEDS

  • There’s a lot of chatter about Taylor Hall and the Olympic team these days, and I think it’s time we had a chat about what’s fact and what is fiction in this developing story.

If the men choosing the Canadian Olympic team choose to pass over Taylor Hall this time, I believe it would mean Hall is having a mediocre season. I seriously doubt that happens, the young man has his health, is brimming with confidence after a stellar year and spent another season pushing the river on an otherwise poor hockey club. Taylor Hall’s inability to get his name placed on Team Canada probably has more to do with the team he plays for than any sins of his own (real or imagined). There is an old timey hockey belief that if Hall can’t get his team to the playoffs he can’t be that good, which is crazy, but that line of thinking remains based on the decisions we see every year.

No, unless Team Canada’s decision makers are Pakleds (and they are not–these are smart hockey men) Hall’s prominence in league doings this fall and winter will make him an obvious choice.

During the RE series (here) I wrote the following:

  1. 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.

That’s pretty much it, there’s a gap between progress made and the world adopting it as such, and that’s the bubble we’re in right now. Much of the msm is balking at the idea of Hall being named to the team, but that’s just the lag between levels of ability being reached and our brains accepting them as fact; John Tavares is getting a lot of positive chatter in regard to the Olympic team, Hall not so much. That one year lag is the issue in my opinion.

It isn’t the only one, however.

stauffer

This is the kind of ‘old manning’ that hockey men have been doing for ages and ages, and is something that has been endured by youth since Garry Unger bunked with Don Cherry and before. If you understand shot differential, then you understand that “what Taylor Hall is leaving” is a grand trail of positives. He is a young player, and there’s every chance he will not play on the 1PP, but  the idea that Taylor Hall isn’t among the 25 best Canadian men for this Olympics is laughable.

Even the Pakleds looked for things to make them go and I know Mike Babcock is a lot smarter than the Pakleds. Let’s see how this story rolls out over the winter, and let’s see who the detractors of young Hall are as we slide into October and November. And, should it come to pass that Taylor Hall is not on the Olympic team, we have a grand nickmame for the decision makers for Team Canada.

Pakleds.

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36 Responses to "THE PAKLEDS"

  1. tlatos says:

    Obviously it would be a huge mistake on TC part to not pick Hall, but on the bright side he’d be better rested for the playoff drive.

  2. supernova says:

    The great thing as a Oiler fan is it puts the pressure right on Hall ( and ebs).

    Attitude is a funny thing. It almost seems Hall could be in the same spot as Omark is to the Oilers.

    Both have to prove their worth, and their willingness to play possibly out of position, and is their attitude in check.

    To the non OIler fan it probably does look like Hall had am attitude issue, I have heard that from Canuck, and Flames fans.

    As an Oiler fan I love his attitude.

    The thin line…

  3. Woodguy says:

    The Pakleds in the NHL are mostly the journalists and some management. (and of course a lot of fans, which is ok for the fans, no so much for the other two)

    They are inside the ship(or industry of hockey), they use it, but they really have no idea what makes it go.

    That leads to Pakleds:

    -getting shocked that Whitney doesn’t have a contract
    -stating that Cam Barker is a top 3 Dman in the NHL,
    -that Cody Hodgson took Maholtra’s job
    -that the best players on the team are the ones most responsible when a team misses the playoffs
    -moving players up the roster and expecting the same results as they had when sheltered

    They’re in the ship, they can fire the guns, but how the whole thing actually goes is just a big black box.

    Pakleds.

  4. Captain Smarmy says:

    Babcock and Hitchcock know what’s up. TSN’s shit sipper panel isn’t making the picks.

    But I’m a cable cutter and I’m not going out of the way to watch these olympics so I guess I don’t care that much.

  5. Southern Oil says:

    Don’t know if I have the link posted correctly, but Travis Yost also weighs in with some good points.
    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/Chemistry-or-Talent/134/53605#.Uh9XtZLVDX4

  6. regwald says:

    People mention Hall’s attitude and maybe to some degree he needed a bit of a reality check at the Championships, but I also think Ruff exposed himself by his actions as well.

    It’s one thing to teach a kid a lesson with a benching, but given the profile of the tournament and the shortness of it and it’s not like Hall was going back to spend the year in Buffalo. Ruff didn’t just try to teach Hall a lesson he repeated the same one over and over and over again and beat him with it. I think it reflected a bit badly on Ruff as well.

  7. Brackenburied says:

    Dowbiggin’s comment is typical BS. Stating something as fact with nothing whatsoever to back it up. This is not a dump on MSM as this tactic is not unique to them.

  8. Jesse says:

    Woodguy: The Pakleds in the NHL are mostly the journalists and some management. (and of course a lot of fans, which is ok for the fans, no so much for the other two)They are inside the ship(or industry of hockey), they use it, but they really have no idea what makes it go.That leads to Pakleds:-getting shocked that Whitney doesn’t have a contract

    I’m well familiar with the rest of the list of tripe that comes from the MSM, but I haven’t heard anyone who’s gone this far out to be shocked that Whitney doesn’t have a contract. Was this Spector too?

  9. Woodguy says:

    Jesse,

    Matheson

  10. supernova says:

    Brackenburied:
    Dowbiggin’s comment is typical BS. Stating something as fact with nothing whatsoever to back it up. This is not a dump on MSM as this tactic is not unique to them.

    Brackenburied,

    I happen to travel a fair amount this past season, and when I was in different NHL cities.

    I heard from fans, and media alike, that the perception is Hall has a attitude problem. Have actually been told that hall is a Canadian Russian.

    Of course being that Hall is my favorite Oiler, I was his first line of defence.

  11. Jesse says:

    Tbh, if it doesn’t go as far to affect his chances of making the Olympic team, I’m kind of happy to see the rest of the league starting to drum up a hate for Hall, Yak and his swagger, and whoever else is on the Oilers. It’s been too long since the Oilers have had anyone worth really hating, and as much as I hate to compare Taylor Hall to Miley Cyrus, love or hate, they don’t talk about you unless you’re making an impact on their radar.

    Besides, Taylor Hall is sort of a litmus test for whether or not someone has a grasp on the happenings of the entire league. Lindy Ruff? Fail. TSN? Fail. Yost, an EC blogger? Pass.

    This sounds an awful lot like me saying, anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, and it that’s exactly what I’m saying. Haha.

  12. D says:

    Woodguy:

    They’re in the ship, they can fire the guns, but how the whole thing actually goes is just a big black box.

    Used to work on a ship in a past life – this is very accurate WG.

    LT – the doubters will always be there until the Oilers start consistently winning in the regular season and pushing deep into the playoffs. Even though winning is really the measure of a team, it is used by many to judge the players as well. Kind of like a business that goes bankrupt – even though bad decisions were made by management, the employees end up shouldering the blame.

  13. Jordan says:

    I love the Star Trek references. LOVE EM’!

    Because no matter what else is discussed or brought up in the discussion, there’s a very good chance a picture of 7 of 9 will show up.

    *sigh*

    WRT Hall. The issue isn’t that the Holland et all would need to be suffering for multiple intellectual disabilities to exclude Hall – it’s about the tone and story that surrounds the young man.

    That story has been written by Pakleds like Matheson and Spector who see the game through the eyes of someone who watched it 20 years ago. The same stories for an entirely different game, played by a different caliber of athlete. But because they shoehorn him into those old narratives about not having figured it out yet and all that crap that the numbers tell us is completely false, it leaves bigger questions about him as a player.

    I agree wholeheartedly about this being an issue with the Oilers as a team and an organization. If this team had won last year and seen the second season, there wouldn’t be these questions, because the story would be how Hall managed to carry this team for the first time in nearly a decade. Instead it’s “Why didn’t he?” Which implies “Why isn’t he good enough?”

    I look forwards to the articles this year about how losing so much taught Chance and the others what it really takes to win. It will display how horribly out-of-touch the MSM is with the real story of hockey in Edmonton. And every one of those stories (while painfully cliched) creates more opportunities for insightful fans to figure out that what these hacks are writing (while entertaining and full of great quotes) is complete equine defecation.

    Just because I haven’t re-iterated it yet this week – Hall scores 110 Points this season.

  14. jfry says:

    Redline report when hall was drafted suggested he needed yo butter his head to get it in the locker room door. I haven’t seen indications of it, shit the guy sent me a framed stick cause I know his best friend’s dad.

    But…the perception of hall as the if cock has been out there even in non msn.

  15. Hammers says:

    Biggest problem I see is Hall may start at center thereby holding him back even more, as he is a fantastic LW .Eakins has to do what he thinks is best for his team & hopefully Hall does what’s asked of him But I’m hoping to see Gags/Hall/Yak to start if RNH isn’t ready . We wait .

  16. G Money says:

    It all boils down to the first half of this season.

    If Hall continues (let alone improves) from last season, he’s a top 10 forward in the NHL, which probably makes him top 8 for Canada.

    Combine that with the fact that his style is ideal for the big ice, and if they leave him off the team (say, in favour of “versatility” i.e. a centre who scores 30 pts less per season), they are stupid. Out and out morons. “Pakled” is too complimentary a term.

    On the other hand, if he has a slump, if he has an injury, the old world mentality will not look past that, and he won’t be on the team.

    It’s on Hall. He’s a winner. He’ll be there.

  17. Buddy says:

    I love Taylor Hall, but I also watched every game at the World Championships this spring, and Hall really did not play particularly well. He really seemed lost at times. And obviously, like it or not, but that will be a factor for the guys picking the team. Not the only factor, but one of them.

    That said, I really hope he makes the team, because that will mean he’s having such a smoking hot year for the Oil that they can’t leave him off.

  18. G Money says:

    Woodguy: The Pakleds in the NHL are mostly the journalists and some management.

    And with respect to Taylor Hall, also MInnesota Wild bloggers. Don’t forget about them. They may even have set a new standard in “F**k the fact’s, I’m going to believe what I believe!”.

  19. oliveoilers says:

    Know we’re going on about Ruff, but a certain Claude Giroux (whom I admire as a player) was also equally bad, but kept getting shifts. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I too believe Ruff did himself no favours. No BS about not knowing players from another conference. How about it’s your job to know and scout your players before you put them on the ice? A few years ago, Canada could just play shinny against these teams, but they have all made significant strides and Canada is now the team to beat. It’s like the oppositions cup final, if they crash out but at least beat Canada, somehow the tournament is worth it. It is flattering in a way. But not to even put Hall on the 2nd power play? Hopefully, Hall hits Babs, Hitch and Ruffs teams hard in the season.

  20. Ribs says:

    Lindy Ruff is an ass. Hall putting up a whack of points on that team would have helped his chances quite a bit, I think.

  21. melancholyculkin says:

    Every Olympics some obviously lesser player gets talked up in the media due to silly reasons like “chemistry” or “faceoffs” or whatever. This year it’s Kunitz and, to a lesser extent, Bouwmeester. I’d like to think Hockey Canada learned from the Rob Zamuner fiasco, but this is the same group of people who left a rookie who scored 100 points off the team in 2006, and a sophomore who scored 50 goals off in 2010.

    Canada’s lucky to have such a wealth of talent, because Hockey Canada does not have a good track record of player evaluation.

  22. melancholyculkin says:

    At least we can take solace in the fact that USA will probably send Jack Johnson over McDonagh or something equally asinine.

  23. LMHF#1 says:

    With all the sideburns talk around here, I’m amazed no one has mentioned the Mattingly vs. Puig situation in Los Angeles. Kind of get a kick out of the reversal.

    HEY LT! There are still some Schremp fans left!

  24. Wolfie says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Every Olympics some obviously lesser player gets talked up in the media due to silly reasons like “chemistry” or “faceoffs” or whatever. This year it’s Kunitz and, to a lesser extent, Bouwmeester. I’d like to think Hockey Canada learned from the Rob Zamuner fiasco, but this is the same group of people who left a rookie who scored 100 points off the team in 2006, and a sophomore who scored 50 goals off in 2010.

    Canada’s lucky to have such a wealth of talent, because Hockey Canada does not have a good track record of player evaluation.

    This drives me up the wall! I just finished watching Sportsnet’s talking heads give their two cents on who goes and who doesn’t. They’re talking up the chemistry that Kunitz has with Crosby and the fact that Crosby is hard to play with…blah,blah, blah. How about the fact that Pittsburgh has brutal depth on the LW? Put Hall on Crosby’s wing for a season and see what happens.

    The fact we’re even discussing Hall as anything but a lock for team Canada is mind boggling. Like I mentioned on Twitter in a response to Bruce. It’s Stamkos all over again. Sometimes you overthink things.

  25. LMHF#1 says:

    Strongly disagree that Omark can’t be molded. The tools are there if an intelligent coach gives it some thought.

  26. rickithebear says:

    melancholyculkin:
    At least we can take solace in the fact that USA will probably send Jack Johnson over McDonagh or something equally asinine.

    True Def. Dmen face the best !
    1. ist comp @ even
    2. on the PK.

    Dmen 2.34 Ga/60 or better versus 1st comp @ even
    and better than 6.05 GA/60 on PK
    Chara
    Boychuck
    Kieth
    Hjalmarsson
    Oduya
    Polak
    Jackmann
    Smid
    Petry
    A. Larrson
    j. Johnson.

    Asinine?

    yes! LOL!
    Truly Asinine!

  27. hags9k says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by the politics of hockey teams. It is a factor from jr. novice to the beer league teams to the Olympic team.

    We all know Hall should be there, but will he be there is a completely different question.

    Don’t underestimate Crosby’s stroke here. If he wants Kunitz, he’ll have Kunitz. I’m not saying it’s the way it should be, but it’s the way it is.

    It’s the same reason little Johnny rides pine while the asst coach’s nephew sees 1PP.
    Here’s hoping Hall can force his way through the BS, and that Stevie Y and Babcock can limit the BS to begin with.

  28. Магия¹º says:

    supernova: Brackenburied,

    I happen to travel a fair amount this past season, and when I was in different NHL cities.

    I heard from fans, and media alike, that the perception is Hall has a attitude problem. Have actually been told that hall is a Canadian Russian.

    Of course being that Hall is my favorite Oiler, I was his first line of defence.

    Ask Travis Harmonic about Hall’s attitude problem. Nothing shorter than the attention span of Tranna media. They’ll have to remember soon enough. And then their story of the moment will be those un-named boobs who missed the rise of Hall story. All he has to do is earn an All-Star nod. Wait…

    Hall (like He who must not be named) does have one attitude problem. He doesn’t suffer well the boobs who feel validated by access to NHL vets and hand out penalties on the dues system. Oddly enough guys he would not face in Sochi.

  29. commonfan14 says:

    Wolfie: This drives me up the wall! I just finished watching Sportsnet’s talking heads give their two cents on who goes and who doesn’t. They’re talking up the chemistry that Kunitz has with Crosby and the fact that Crosby is hard to play with…blah,blah, blah.

    Chemistry is always going to be factored in, which is why the kids could really throw things out of whack for Team Canada if Nuge is good to go and the three of them come out guns blazing in the first half of the year.

  30. regwald says:

    melancholyculkin:
    Every Olympics some obviously lesser player gets talked up in the media due to silly reasons like “chemistry” or “faceoffs” or whatever. This year it’s Kunitz and, to a lesser extent, Bouwmeester. I’d like to think Hockey Canada learned from the Rob Zamuner fiasco, but this is the same group of people who left a rookie who scored 100 points off the team in 2006, and a sophomore who scored 50 goals off in 2010.

    Canada’s lucky to have such a wealth of talent, because Hockey Canada does not have a good track record of player evaluation.

    What ? You don’t like Rob Zaumner in an Olympic jersey …

  31. Andropod says:

    Ruff was not competent enough with a star studded cast to get them past bronze. Enough said.

    Babcock would have “seen Hall good” against Detroit a few times, and with Assistant Tom, he will have the inside track on what makes Taylor tick. Hopefully that, along with a stellar opening to the regular season, puts Taylor on the team.

    Having said that, ask most people who have mixed with the oilers socially at some well known local bars, and they will tell you that while all the young guns have swagger, Hall really is a bit of an ass off ice. Not sure if some are judging him by his off ice social persona than his work at the office, and if those are the ones deciding on Hall, then forget the gold.

    While Crosby may be “difficult” to play with, Hall and Eberle hardly skipped a beat with Arcobello. Doesn’t that say something for the two wingers? Imagine them with Crosby centering them.

  32. delooper says:

    Maybe too many people took this video too seriously? http://youtu.be/bIRV0ATzW8Q I showed it to my girlfriend and she thought it was serious. Hmm…

  33. Andropod says:

    delooper,

    That was funny at the time.
    How about him wearing the flames jersey? I wonder if his stock went down with mgmt. after that?

  34. Logan91 says:

    While I agree with the fact that Hall should make the team, I also agree with Kunitz playing with Crosby. Everyone is jumping the gun a bit though, because nothing is even set in stone.

    The thing is, Crosby is very fast and he does make a lot of unpredictable plays, and the only player that has the chemistry with Crosby to follow those plays is Kunitz.

    Team Canada doesn’t have time to try and have a player build chemistry with someone like Crosby. They sure aren’t going to pair him with a player and just hope for the best during the Olympics, especially when ever game matters. They are going to pair the players that they know work well together.

  35. cc says:

    There is no doubt Hall has the speed to play on the big ice. But that’s where it stops at this time in his career. Eberle on the other hand has proven he’s capable at the international level. He’s has the leadership, skills and experience, and a little thing called sense. Sense to be in the right place at the right time. In fact I would put Ebs in this line-up to play with Crosby before Kunitz.

    And while we’re at it let’s make Ebs the next Oilers captain.

  36. DeadmanWaking says:

    Pakleds, “old manning”, and blunders indelible are an eternal chew:

    The leitmotif which I recognize in Galileo’s work is the passionate fight against any kind of dogma based on authority. Only experience and careful reflection are accepted by him as criteria of truth. Nowadays it is hard for us to grasp how sinister and revolutionary such an attitude appeared at Galileo’s time, when merely to doubt the truth of opinions which had no basis but authority was considered a capital crime and punished accordingly. Actually we are by no means so far removed from such a situation even today as many of us would like to flatter ourselves; but in theory, at least, the principle of unbiased thought has won out, and most people are willing to pay lip service to this principle.

    Scratch the dogmatist, authoritarian “what’s done is done” PHWA from “most people”.

    One suspects our man of action will put it to them, nevertheless.

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