The Edmonton Oilers are 1-1 on their road trip and with some luck could be 2-0; they are in Philadelphia this morning to play the equally ghastly Flyers. If there were a Stanley Suck final, these two teams would be locks for the final four. However, it’s early and there’s plenty of blacktop to catch up.
Both organizations badly need this man—(dum, dum, dum!)–Bernie Parent! Now, Bernie was born right at the end of the war, so he’s not moving too quickly these days. However, Parent’s come along about once every 7 years–some little town in Czech produced a BETTER version of Parent out of beer bottles, binder twine and the leftovers of multiple defenestrations–and the Flyers got one and have tried (in vain) to get more over the years. They’ve spent money, first round picks, veterans, you name it, but they’ve never gotten a Parent close to their Parent. And that’s a long, long time.
Both organizations badly need this man–(dunh, du du dunh!)–Chris Pronger! He played one beautiful season in Edmonton before bringing Stanley to California. In Philadelphia he came close enough for jazz to doing it again, and now he slumbers in the backyard as the robins play Chris Pronger to earthworms. Edmonton has been looking high and low for a big man (how hard can they be to see?) since the Rake left for the airport.
If you’re a draft fan like me, the NHL draft site “NHL Draft Analysis” will no doubt mean all kinds of wasted hours figuring out who’s zooming who over 25 years at the draft table. Here is the Oiler draft record 1979-2011:
The blue line (representing real value added) from 2010-11 looks very similar to another period on the graph–kind of cool.
Oilers will need to go on a crazy (like 7 of 9) to make a significant move up the standings, but they’ll eventually pass a bunch of eastern conference teams (and Calgary, who have been slightly worse in their last 10 than the Oilers). This crazy early season of road games piled upon road games is coming to an end, and hopefully the club can get things in order and push beyond last year’s finish.
POSSIBLE LINEUP FOR TODAY
- N Schultz-Fedun
MacT’s comments yesterday were telling–they like this club despite the record–and I think the Smid trade doesn’t happen without Dallas Eakins as coach. That’s something we need to talk about as time rolls along, the fact that the veterans who pre-date MacT/Eakins are in real danger because there’s no loyalty there. A list of players who could be dealt at any time might include Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Devan Dubnyk. That’s just the way it is.
We’ll see a lot more of this in the summer, Oilers have 13 free agents and I bet MacT signs only a couple (Belov, possibly Dubnyk and Hemsky).
The Oilers have employed a tremendous number of players this season, it’ll be a record by season’s end. We’ve seen 3 goalies already, Bryzgalov would be 4. Edmonton used six goalies in 1979-80, I bet they end up very close to that number this season. The loyalty to Dubnyk is over, we may see him traded this season.