Edmonton and Washington have chosen #1 overall in the draft three times each since 1974. Edmonton’s selections were better. Honest.
The Caps picks (Greg Joly, Rick Green, Alex Ovechkin) boast the great 8 and two defenders who never did deliver on their promise. The Oilers three (Hall, Nuge, Yakupov) are not Ovechkin level talents, but if the Oilers are patient they’re going to have a murderer’s row that no Capitals team could ever manage (and the Washington Capitals have had some stunning offensive talents).
The Oilers had a nice group of wingers not long ago, but losing Taylor Hall, Ryan Smyth and Jesse Joensuu in a short period means coach Dallas Eakins is going to have some work to do. He cobbled together an interesting group for the Montreal game, let’s review the lines from G10:
- Nuge-Yakupov-Eberle: Nuge-Eberle have always played well together, it’s going to take some time for Yakupov to feel comfortable. He’s so damn talented that once he catches fire this should be fun. Oilers don’t have a lot of options if this goes south, though.
- Arcobello-Perron-Hemsky: I like this line plenty, thought they did some really good things the other night. When everyone gets healthy, the emergence of Arcobello is going to create a nice problem.
- Gordon-Jones-Pitlick: I have no idea how much credit to give anyone but Gordon, so he gets a lot of it. Severe zone starts, skated miles, does a lot of things well. I also liked Pitlick’s game, hope he can add some offense to it.
- Acton-Eager-Gazdic: Acton’s a bigger body, Gazdic is certainly a capable Droid, Eager didn’t accomplish much and I’m not sure he’s going to be around a long time.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Oilers keep showing up in trade rumors, it’s usually a tough winger with skill or a top 4 defenseman. I’m not certain about the blueline, seems to me Petry is making another step forward this season and if Laddy can settle in (and he’s been better, suspect there was an injury early) that’s a solid pairing. Belov-J Schultz looks good to my eye, that big Russian is a nice addition; after that, Ference provides the leadership Eakins wants, Nick Schultz is not able to keep up and Denis Grebeshkov has played about 5 minutes all season.
I think we’ll probably start hearing rumblings about Oscar Klefbom being close to ready at some point after Christmas, and the club will make room at the deadline (depending on where they are in the standings).
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10 this morning on TSN 1260, we’ll set the scene for the Capitals-Oilers. Scheduled to appear:
- Scott Reynolds from Copper and Blue. We’ll talk about the end of the road trip, wingmen and the blue. Plus tonight’s game.
- Rob Parker from Japer’s Rink. Rob will give us the inside scoop on the Caps powerplay, Ovechkin and the brilliant Backstrom.
- Alan Hull from Copper and Blue. We’ll talk Boyd Gordon and his tremendous play, plus Perron, Eberle and more.
- James Dator, Catch Scratch Reader. James will help us make sense of the Thursday nighter.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on the twitter. Hope you can tune in!