In the file of Oiler memories I can draw upon to say ‘at least it’s not as bad as that time….’ I’m down to Shayne Corson and Michael Largue, and I admit I’ve looked up Largue on twitter for fun. We’re on the bad side of town for morale, ladies, we’re two blocks up from the Poe mysteries.
I remember the Canucks from the beginning, and it’s been a strange and unusual journey for the team. At the expansion draft they gathered good players and tried to compete right away, and won 24 games in year one (respectable). Vancouver has had ups and downs, but they’ve never been truly bad as a team, not really. Since Marc Crawford arrived as coach, the Canucks have been in the upper echelon of the NHL. If there’s one thread that has run through Canucks history for me, the kingdom of Sweden (Thomas Gradin through Markus Naslund and to the Sedins) has been it for me.
They are now exiting the window of Stanley opportunity, having won enough to get to another G7 of the SCF. Canuck fans are the only people I know who have endured two G7 SCF losses (1994 and 2011) and my dear friend Gord Wilson passed before seeing them raise the Cup. It’s a tough team to cheer for, those Vancouver Canucks.
Jonathan Willis has a nice piece up on the Hendricks deal and analytics, and I do think he raises some excellent questions. We know the Oilers look at the numbers, but we don’t really know where they use them and how much importance they put on them. The Hendricks deal can help in two areas (faceoffs and penalty-kill) and may aid in reducing the playing time for guys like the Nuge. Having Nuge come out after a PK makes more sense to me than using the young man in a penalty-killing role. It certainly doesn’t counter Jon’s argument, but the idea of a 4th liner who can also kill penalties is a good one.
The next callups should see Tyler Pitlick and Taylor Fedun join the party, and I imagine we’ll see that before the Olympic break. Edmonton’s trades last week tell us teams are beginning to make their decisions for the deadline, and the Oilers have to be ready to move pieces around to make room. The Dubnyk trade was a reaction to the Kings being ready to move on from Scrivens, and the Nashville trade looks (to me) as though it was a place to dump DD.
LAST 10 (25-40)
25 goals in their last 10 games, everyone is off the pace a little here and the minus numbers also tell a story. Eberle has four goals, and there’s a set who have three (Hall, Nuge, Yak, Gordon) but this isn’t a team that has all of their cannons firing. The power play is ghastly, and among the things we don’t talk about enough in my opinion. How many games this season have been lost due to special teams? That area and goaltending are big damn issues.
Here’s last 10 for goalies, chalk up 40 on the big board. They (goalies, defense) can’t possibly be this bad. I know Dubnyk struggled in his first Nashville game, but it’ll be interesting to see how much he regains his reputation in a new town.
The Katz letter seems to have released more venom from the fanbase, but I think that was expected. The next step? It’s still in the fans corner, because the Oilers have made their situation clear. It’ll be interesting to see what happens at the game tonight. A win would certainly help, but the real reaction from fans will need to be more than booing. The Edmonton Oilers have the best fans in the world, we collectively have the faith of a child (that’s not being critical, that is a statement of fact) and perhaps this is a coming of age for fans and owner.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
It’ll be a lively show today, 10 this morning on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Tyler Dellow, mc79 hockey. We’ll discuss Hall’s year and reasonable expectations for the rest of this season.
- Mark Spizzirri, Puckrant and Sirius XM. What’s going on with the Red Wings?
- James Mirtle, Globe and Mail. Ben Scrivens, Leafs on a roll, getting outshot and winning.
- Andrew Bucholtz, 55-yard line. One of the CFL’s all-time QBs is retiring today, we’ll talk about it.
10-1260 on text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. It’ll be fun!