The Edmonton Oilers got a lift from Richard Bachman Sunday night, and there’s word now that the troops will be returning over the next 7 days. Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall, Ryan Smyth, Jesse Joensuu–that’s a better trade than any you can make on the open market, and it’ll give the Oilers a better chance to catch up after their dreadful 3-8-2 start.
- Belov-J Schultz
I like Perron on the top line, that trio has to score and Perron should give them a lift. The 2line features a couple of veterans along with Arcobello who has been moving the play in the right direction this year. I have Gagner-Yakupov together because for me that’s the ideal C for the young Russian, and Jones is the best available winger for them.
I’m absolutely certain you’ll want to throw your line preference in the comments, please feel free. This might be the most fun we have all day!
Defense brings Grebs back in and we assume Dubnyk is still nursing an injury, so it’s Bachman. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on Saturday should Bachman post a quality start tonight–he might get this job without a stumble, although I’d bring Dubnyk back in when he’s ready to go.
That’s Les Binkley in goal (a great story), with Peter Stemkowski the Leaf C and he’s being checked by Al MacNeil of the Penguins (this would be 67-68). If you click on the photo you can get a good look at the Leaf uniform (this is a beauty, vintage SC 1967) and the players and fans in back.
I don’t have much to say about tonight, beyond:
- It’s a home game for the Leafs
- They usually win games while getting outshot
- They will probably win and outshoot the Oilers tonight
The Oilers? The Oilers are a team in the National Hockey League. Beyond that, I’ll wait to see what happens tonight and in the 6 or 7 games beyond it. I think we owe this group that much time, but after that we’ll have to figure out what the hell we’re going to discuss all winter.
Norm Ullman played for both of tonight’s teams, he was a terrific player (among the best Edmonton born players in my lifetime, along with Johnny Bucyk, Mark Messier, Scott Niedermayer, Jarome Iginla, Phil Russell and others). That’s not really fair, Ullman is from Provost which also produced Curtis Glencross in the modern era. I saw Normie Ullman as a WHA Oiler, it was a great thing. Bruce McCurdy has been talking recently about those WHA days, if the season goes sideways early maybe I’ll scout around and see what I can bring you. Would that hold interest? Too boring? Let me know.
How much does this team miss Taylor Hall? A lot. The fleet winger I like to call “Chance” (because he causes so many) really opens up the ice and rattles the other guy with speed and a willingness to drive to the net. Tom Benjamin has a brilliant piece up in which he says of Hall “I think he is probably the best player in the West” and is a brilliant look at the Leafs and advanced stats. Much of what Benjamin is talking about speaks to our recent conversations here on this blog.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
10 this morning, TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk about wonky goaltending, Hall, the price to pay on the trade market.
- Steve Dangle from Leafs Nation. We’ll preview the Leafs home game tonight at Rexall.
- James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail. Mirtle has become the best source available for Leafs coverage, with both ‘real news’ stories and bona fide analysis using advanced stats. We’ll talk about this team’s success, and why the analytics world keeps waiting for a market correction.
- Lisa McRitchie, Kukla’s Korner. Lisa has a terrific article on Mitch Moroz up and we’ll talk about it along with a few other WHL stories.
10-1260 via text and @Lowetide_ on twitter. This will be a fun morning!