Honestly, I’m glad to be rid of the October nights, they were lovely for sky watching and long walks but the hockey was miserable, like a summer cold or losing a friend. Good riddance to bad rubbish!
I’ve been thinking lately about the draft day rumors Edmonton was involved in (Cory Schneider, Braydon Coburn) and the free agent that got away (Dave Clarkson); those three names would fit nicely on the current team (although the club would be way over the cap) so as things roll along this winter that’s probably a good shopping list for the team.
I think Coburn may eventually be in play based on the insanity in Philly; I think a goalie may shake loose in Ottawa sooner than later (they’re horrible); The Flyers also have an assortment of PF candidates, from young Tye McGinn to the failing Scott Hartnell (he looks done) and of course Ray Emery.
That Jake Allen kid OKC played last night is the real item. He’s not going anywhere, but he’d be perfect fit. I wonder if St. Louis makes a play for Hemsky nearer the deadline?
It’s important not to get overly excited about the 2013 draft crop, they’re brand new and should be doing well in their respective leagues. It is interesting to note that so many of them have been posting solid numbers compared to their own past.
- Darnell Nurse (14, 3-11-14) is a point per game player after 41 points in 68 OHL games one year ago. He’s getting PP minutes this year and his boxcars should be outstanding at year’s end. I had him as the #1 prospect in the summer, he’s certainly not going backwards.
- Marco Roy (1, 1-3-4) finally got into game action last night and had an immediate (and enormous) impact. I’m thrilled he’s back, this is a fun player to track because offensively he’s easily the best forward in the system. I had him #4 in the summer, we’ll see where he ranks on this year’s list (which will begin later in the month).
- Bogdan Yakimov (22, 5-5-10) is posting exceptional numbers in his first KHL season and if he can continue to be an offensive contributor throughout the year one wonders what the club does with him this summer. I suspect he’ll stay the full two seasons in Russia, but his size/position/skill make him an attractive option. I had him #8 in summer, he’ll move up on the winter list.
- Anton Slepyshev (15, 1-1-2) after going 11, 4-2-6 at the same level (KHL) one year ago. I’ve heard good things about him but the boxcars aren’t there, and his shots per game are down from 2.4 to 1.1 year over year (and he’s playing 2.5 minutes less per game). It’s early, but he’ll no doubt drop from #7 (I had him there in summer).
- Jackson Houck (18, 8-5-13) started off poorly but has improved a great deal in the last 10 days. He’s off from a year ago (69, 23-34-57) but only by a couple of points. He should post some big time numbers, but his WHL team (Vancouver) isn’t good; Houck already leads his team in goals. I had him #13 in summer, not sure where he’ll land this time.
- Kyle Platzer (15, 4-4-8) got off to a terrific start (4, 4-2-6) and then all the high numbers returned from their NHL teams and he’s buried again. The most impressive thing about him might be his performance in Penticton and early camp, where he looked like he belonged alongside true skill. I had him #20 in summer, would guess he’ll move up a little next time.
- Aidan Muir (10, 3-3-6) has 20pims and 22 shots, he has only one assist on the PP so those are even strength numbers for the most part. 6.03, 195, fascinating prospect, he is exactly a ‘draft and follow’ and is so far worth following. I did not rank him in summer, we’ll see about him this month.
- Evan Campbell (5, 0-0-0) Impossible really to read much into nothing, he does have three shots on goal. Campbell is not a young prospect (turned 20 in March) so time is of the essence. Was not ranked in summer, will not be ranked in winter unless there’s some crooked numbers on the way.
- Ben Betker (15, 1-2-3) has had a nice start to the season, and we know a little more about him now. He’s a big man (6.05, 200) with impressive footspeed, and that’s a winning combination for a defenseman. We’ll be tracking him forever, but there might be a player here.
- Greg Chase (16, 13-9-22) is an amazing story early this season. I liked him plenty (ranked him #19 in summer) but what he’s doing is beyond what anyone could have projected. He’s 4th in goals and just outside the top 10 in total points. 4-2-6 on the PP, meaning he’s getting good minutes for the first time and taking advantage. Sign this guy.
The Red Wings are death to the Oil, has been such for a long long time. But, you know, this team has to turn north at some point and have been burning daylight from opening night. I remain convinced this 14 game prologue does not define, or represent, the whole. The lessons learned in youth define and sustain. They’re down, they’re injured, they’re broken.
Start as you mean to go.
I don’t have lines, don’t have pairings. They don’t matter. The Oilers tonight (and Tuesday, and Thursday) need to dig deep and the blender is likely to be out early and often. Sweet Jesus this team needs a Pisani, but they’re going to have to make do with what they have. The man child Nugent-Hopkins may have to lead them all.
Ladies, it’s time to cheer like hell. The sun is climbing, the night is gone, the dark is fading and I’m all alone, so close to home.