CENTRAL’S MID-TERMS

Central Scouting released their list today, and got some buzz for their choice of Sam Bennett as the #1 North American. I don’t see it. For me, this is coming down to a two player race and the players are not at all similar—this should be fun!

DESJARDINS NHLE

  1. Sam Bennett 16-25-41
  2. Leon Draisaitl 13-25-38
  3. Sam Reinhart 13-25-38
  4. Michael Dal Colle 15-22-37
  5. Aaron Ekblad 11-14-25

This is the North American list, and I think the #1 pick is probably in that group.  Bennett has a small lead in NHLE, but it’s early and his scouting report from Brock Otten looks interesting. We’re too early in the game, but the two players we’ll probably be talking about for #1 overall come draft day are the following.

  • LEON DRAISAITL: With pro size, Draisaitl plays brings a consistently high compete level and has excellent hands and offensive talent. More of a playmaker than a scorer, Draisaitl has shown that he can be an offensive catalyst night in, night out, and should wind up having a good opportunity to make the jump to the NHL next year.
  • AARON EKBLAD: The 17-year-old, Belle River, Ont. native is an imposing presence on the blueline as his tenacity and physical presence in combination with his size are an extremely rare combination. Ekblad’s offensive game has continued to evolve and his heavy shot and offensive zone skills project well to the next level. Ekblad has always been labeled as having ‘heavy feet’, but as he continues to develop it looks like an area of his game that is becoming less of a concern.

Scouting reports are here. Buffalo takes the German, Oilers get the blue.

Mid-terms from Central here.

 

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77 Responses to "CENTRAL’S MID-TERMS"

  1. Gerta Rauss says:

    I saw the rankings and came to the same conclusion. I think you’ve got the top 2 correct, and unless we win the lottery, I don’t think the Oilers have a chance at either player.

    So, if Ekblad and the german are off the board, are you OK with trading the pick..?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    I saw the rankings and came to the same conclusion. I think you’ve got the top 2 correct, and unless we win the lottery, I don’t think the Oilers have a chance at either player.

    So, if Ekblad and the german are off the board, are you OK with trading the pick..?

    That’s my choice, yes. Trade the pick, even if it’s only down four or five spots, and add a player.

  3. Gerta Rauss says:

    Lowetide,

    Agreed-Ekblad and that Der Spiegel kid are the only 2 that interest me at the moment.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Central has a 6.07 Russian D named Tryamkin. He should into seclusion right now, an NHL GM will take him top 5 if scouts don’t see him.

  5. Ryan says:

    Speaking of the draft, Nischuskin’s looking like a beast this year in terms of corsi.

    Speaking of corsi, the corgis are barking like crazy in LA. Their player usage chart is like porn for hockey nerds.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/los-angeles-kings/2013

  6. Ryan says:

    Speaking of where Sam Gagner could end up…

    Zona lost me years ago when he started crying about the Oilers not having Omark on their 4rth line… regardless, he has a couple good reads on Gagner:

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/1/13/5294876/potential-trade-destinations-for-sam-gagner-western-conference

    http://www.coppernblue.com/2014/1/9/5288200/potential-landing-spots-for-sam-gagner-eastern-conference

  7. gogliano says:

    One thing about Bennett is he is a late birthdate. 8 months younger than Draisaitl. June 20 1996.

  8. Ryan says:

    Speaking of the 2014 NHL Entry draft..

    My money’s on Ekblad if he’s on the board… otherwise trade the pick.

  9. speeds says:

    Lowetide: That’s my choice, yes. Trade the pick, even if it’s only down four or five spots, and add a player.

    I don’t think it’s a given Ekblad goes #2; this time last year would would have thought Jones would drop to 4th or that Larsson would have dropped to 4th in 2011.

    tough to reach too many conclusions from those two drafts, but it’s possible many teams have decided to shy away from D at the top end if they can give themselves any reason to select a forward.

  10. speeds says:

    Also LT, I don’t think you need to move down at that range to add a player. What’s wrong with identifying a guy like Frolik (a guy many in the Oilogosphere had a least some interest in) and picking him up for a 3rd?

    Maybe MacT can move some current players for picks at the deadline, and turn those picks into current players (better fits for EDM?) at the draft, without fooling around with the 2014 1st?

  11. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    Also LT, I don’t think you need to move down at that range to add a player.What’s wrong with identifying a guy like Frolik (a guy many in the Oilogosphere had a least some interest in) and picking him up for a 3rd?

    Maybe MacT can move some current players for picks at the deadline, and turn those picks into current players (better fits for EDM?) at the draft, without fooling around with the 2014 1st?

    Sure. Maybe Dillon Simpson for that matter.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Bob Stauffer ‏@Bob_Stauffer 5h

    According to OKC Barons Head Coach Todd Nelson forward Curtis Hamilton will probably be out 5 to 6 weeks with a knee injury

    Well, damn. the kid cannot get a break.

  13. gr8one says:

    LT,

    What’s the word on Ekblad being NHL ready next year?

    I know that’s tough to project, especially for D-Men, but is the thinking that he’ll challenge for an NHL roster spot or still need seasoning?

  14. gr8one says:

    Lowetide:

    Well, damn. the kid cannot get a break.

    Or, can…and that’s the problem.

    But really, man that sucks.

  15. hunter1909 says:

    Looks like oilers are in a great position to take the top defenceman in Ekblad.

    I wonder if anyone can come up with a nickname for him?

    2014 oiler fans: you’re like a fan from some woe begotten northern English soccer team, who’s only memories of glory are in black and white.

    Meanwhile socal teams are like Arsenal/Spurs – having it easy as always.

  16. Prince Rupert's Oildrop says:

    gr8one: What’s the word on Ekblad being NHL ready next year?

    I know that’s tough to project, especially for D-Men, but is the thinking that he’ll challenge for an NHL roster spot or still need seasoning?

    At only 18 years old? Doubtful…

  17. Chunklets says:

    Lowetide:
    Central has a 6.07 Russian D named Tryamkin. He should into seclusion right now, an NHL GM will take him top 5 if scouts don’t see him.

    Tryamkin is a very interesting prospect. He went -4 in 32 games last season as an 18-year-old on an absolutely godawful Avtomobilist team (their GF-GA on the season was 104-180, in 52 games). The team is much better this year (GF-GA in 45 games: 113-107), and Tryamkin is +3 having played 38 (he gets about 17:00 a night, same as last season). There’s not much sign of offense, at any level, but there’s definitely a player there.

    As a side note, Avtomobilist have some monstrosities on their blueline. In addition to Tryamkin (6’7″, c.230 lbs), they have the awesomely-named Dmitri Megalinsky, who’s “only” 6’3″ but weighs north of 240.

  18. Pretendergast says:

    Knowing our luck in the draft, we’ll win the lottery and have to take Bennett when he shows he’s the bpa and can’t be passed up, just like 2011 and 2012. Though I’d rather have those players in a heartbeat, we get ourselves into the situation again where we can’t get the ideal player we need because of circumstance. Lose 1 or 2 more last year we get Seth jones, then are we having a draft conversation?

  19. jp says:

    hunter1909:

    I wonder if anyone can come up with a nickname for him?

    Strongblad

  20. jp says:

    Lowetide:

    Well, damn. the kid cannot get a break.

    That’s terrible. Mentioned by the GM for a callup and everything. Can barely imagine how frustrated he must be.

  21. Tarkus says:

    jp: Strongblad

    I fully endorse this nickname.

  22. jp says:

    Lowetide: For me, this is coming down to a two player race and the players are not at all similar—this should be fun!

    Ignoring the possibility of the pick being traded, and what position it actually is, who would you like to see the Oilers take?

    Edit: did you give a Draisaitl endorsement the other day?

  23. Lowetide says:

    Tarkus: I fully endorse this nickname.

    Hahaha. Strongblad. It would be a great name for an adult diaper

  24. hunter1909 says:

    Am totally apathetic re the Olympics. I don’t care if they lose every game, lol.

    -oiler fan-

  25. Young Oil says:

    I know I’m in a small minority here, but like last year, I want to give Stu as many bullets as possible. What has kept Chicago, San Jose, and LA consistently in the playoffs is the fact that they constantly have a pool of NHL ready prospects at the doorstep. Our pool is getting there, but still needs a couple of years (at least). There’s quite a bit of much needed size in this draft. That’s why I trade most of our upcoming UFA’s, save Smyth and Petry, or Hemsky if we can get him signed to a reasonable contract. Completely spitballing of course, but here’s a quick possible scenario:

    Trade Nick Schultz to Anaheim for their two 3rd round picks (similar to the Murray for two 2nds last year). The picks would be #73 and #89 currently.

    Trade Ales Hemsky (only if he wants to move on) to any contender (most likely Pittsburgh as they want to replace Dupuis) for a first round pick, say #28.

    Trade Ryan Jones for to any team for whatever you can get (let’s just say Ottawa for a 5th round pick, #130)

    Trade Belov to Detroit for a 2nd round pick, #46 (I’d like to resign him, but management doesn’t seem to high on him.)

    Then, the Oilers would have picks 2, 28, 46, 61, 73, 89, 115, 121, 130, 150, 151, and 181.

    12 magic bullets for Stu, in a draft very deep in size and skill. Could have multiple Chase-like selections. I will post some compelling names who are “in the range” shortly due to a long post, which I apologize for.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 6m

    Just talked to Sportsnet’s John Shannon who believes Oilers UFAs have next to no value leading into trade deadline.

  27. Woodguy says:

    Scouting reports are here. Buffalo takes the German, Oilers get the blue.

    Don’t think so.

    EDM finished 28th or 27th, but they don’t win the lottery.

    That scouting report on Ekblad scares the shit out of me.

    Heavy feet and dominates his opponents physically.

    Works great today against teenagers, but how does he rate against Kane and Kopitar?

    Heavy feet can be real bad for NHL Dmen.

    If I were close to drafting him I watch him skate and skate and skate and skate and get about 10 different opinions on his skating.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 6m

    Just talked to Sportsnet’s John Shannon who believes Oilers UFAs have next to no value leading into trade deadline.

    I think John Shannon’s opinion has even less value.

  29. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 6m

    Just talked to Sportsnet’s John Shannon who believes Oilers UFAs have next to no value leading into trade deadline.

    Seriously just awful.

    Even Rishaug and Gregor agreed that they way he’s playing Hemsky gets a 1st.

    Goalies are always worth something. So Doobie and Brzy get picks.

    400lb concrete plyon Murray got 2 2nds so you can get at least a 4th for N.Shultz.

    If I’m MacT I mass email the other NHL GMs and let them see I’ve emailed them all.

    The title of the email is “FIRST 4TH ROUNDER GETS N.SHULTZ”

    The body of the email is: “Go!”

  30. fifthcartel says:

    Lowetide:
    Reid Wilkins ‏@ReidWilkins 6m

    Just talked to Sportsnet’s John Shannon who believes Oilers UFAs have next to no value leading into trade deadline.

    This made me laugh, a lot.

  31. RexLibris says:

    Me@JustMyOpinion

    Just talked to Oilers who believe John Shannon’s opinion holds next to no value leading into trade deadline.

  32. Young Oil says:

    #2: Ekblad if he’s there, Draisaitl if he’s not.
    #28: Alex Tuch (6’4, 213lb RW, ranked #21 among NA skaters)
    #46: Oskar Lindblom, 6’2” 187 lb LW from Sweden, already praised for 2 way game, ranked #23 among Europeans.
    #61: Pavel Kraskovski, 6’4” 187 lb C, very similar to Yakimov it seems, ranked #27 among Europeans.
    #73:Brett Pollock, an 6’2” 183 lb Center for the Oil Kings, ranked #71 among NA skaters.
    #89: Alexis Vanier, a 6’5” 214 lb defenceman with offence, ranked #82 among NA skaters.
    #115: Best goalie available at this point.
    #121:Aaron Irving, 6’1” 190lb Dman for the Oil Kings going at a good offensive clip, #119 among NA.
    #130: Alexis Pepin, 6’2” 224 lb LW, scoring 0.5 PPG in the QMJHL, ranked 136 among NA.
    #150: Another goalie, definitely need to restock the shelves.
    #151: Travis Sanheim, 6’3” 189lb defender who has been improving over the course of the season, #167 among NA.
    #181: Cody Donaghey, 6’1” 182 lb Dman scoring well in the QMJHL, ranked #172 in NA.

    Now, this was all very rough, and rather pointless, but every single one of those players could add some size to our team, and have nice frames to fill out, and are all scoring well in their respective leagues. I just wanted to show that I don’t think this is a good draft to trade away picks.

  33. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Scouting reports are here. Buffalo takes the German, Oilers get the blue.

    Don’t think so.

    EDM finished 28th or 27th, but they don’t win the lottery.

    That scouting report on Ekblad scares the shit out of me.

    Heavy feet and dominates his opponents physically.

    Works great today against teenagers, but how does he rate against Kane and Kopitar?

    Heavy feet can be real bad for NHL Dmen.

    If I were close to drafting him I watch him skate and skate and skate and skate and get about 10 different opinions on his skating.

    I think the Oilers finish 29th.

  34. jp says:

    Young Oil,

    I agree with you, though I’d still entertain moving the first for the right price. Also Petry is an RFA, not UFA (this is good).

    John Shannon aside, there’s a lot of draft picks stored in those UFAs.

    I’d like to see Belov re-signed and Hemsky take 3X4M. If they aren’t in the plans, take the 1st for Hemsky and the 2nd/3rd for Belov.

    I have no idea what Schultz is worth, but he’s worth something. Take it. (I like the mass email idea)

    If you can get a late pick for Jones, and maybe even Potter, do it. Unlikely anyone would take Grebeshkov, but you never know – maybe that’s why he’s still around?

    I also think at least one of the goalies will be on the move. Likely both if a potential goalie of the future is brought in. Dubnyk will likely recover from this year, but it won’t be with the Oilers. He should be moved unless they can get more for Bryz.

    Now over to you Stu.

  35. digdeepnbleedblue says:

    Ekblad has always been labeled as having ‘heavy feet’, but as he continues to develop it looks like an area of his game that is becoming less of a concern. – The Scouting Report

  36. RexLibris says:

    On the draft, I know that fans all want a defenseman, but if the Oilers are picking 3rd and they have a choice between a big center and a blueliner, I’d take the center. This team may be lacking a stud defenseman right now, but drafting one isn’t going to remedy that. And they have so many developing defenders that I think it is a secondary area of prospect priority.

    They are seriously lacking depth at offensive center, and that needs to be addressed through this draft if the opportunity presents itself.

    Draisaitl would be fantastic. Hopefully he says something German-sounding and the scouts sour on him.

  37. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers finish 29th.

    You have that much faith in the Flames finishing ahead?

    They did win tonight, so anything is possible.

    Personally, I think Burke adds bodies ahead of picks at the deadline and the team wills itself to finish 28th or even 27th.

  38. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: You have that much faith in the Flames finishing ahead?

    They did win tonight, so anything is possible.

    Personally, I think Burke adds bodies ahead of picks at the deadline and the team wills itself to finish 28th or even 27th.

    We’re close to the deadline now, I’m not sure the Oilers can make a player for player deal beyond Gagner, and it makes no sense to keep 83 or the goalies unless they plan on signing said goalie. So, you’re shopping Gagner and there’s likely interest but the payment probably won’t be 100 cents on the dollar.

    IF you trade Hemsky for a pick, your team isn’t as good. And if you trade Sam Gagner for a big forward with size/less skill, that probably means fewer GF.

    The good thing is they’ll find someone to take Nick Schultz. Beyond that, I don’t see a lot of help coming.

  39. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    So basically the Oilers are nearly as bad as the Flames (by their record, recent math suggests far, far different) but could get worse over the short term.

    I know there are many Flames fans who believe that the impending sale of Cammalleri, Stempniak, Stajan and Butler will further deflate the team into 29th or 30th overall.

    My opinion is: how much are these players helping right now? Because it doesn’t look like much.

    Btw, Cammalleri with a concussion. Bad news for Burke. Good news for the value of Hemsky as he and Cammalleri were the two major RWs up for sale.

  40. RexLibris says:

    Derek: I heartily agree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gz1DIIxmEE

    Seconded.

    But then Nurse has to be called Trogdor.

    “Strongblad and Trogdor on the blueline”.

    I like the sound of that.

  41. teddyturnbuckle says:

    Not sure if Hemsky gets us a first rounder. They have to let him go even for a second rounder though. Hope Hemmer wins a cup. Good player just too much of the same on the Oilers.

  42. Derek says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    Not sure if Hemsky gets us a first rounder.They have to let him go even for a second rounder though.Hope Hemmer wins a cup.Good player just too much of the same on the Oilers.

    Yea the Oilers are loaded up to the gills with defensively aware forwards who can play against tough opposition, which is why the corgis ululate their praise each and every evening.

  43. teddyturnbuckle says:

    I would be happy with either a center or defenseman at the draft. We need both at free agency also to allow these guys time to develop. If we show up with Sam Rienhart next year in the 2 centre spot it will be another steep learning curve. Great for the future but not for next year.

  44. Lowetide says:

    RexLibris: Seconded.

    But then Nurse has to be called Trogdor.

    “Strongblad and Trogdor on the blueline”.

    I like the sound of that.

    Hmmm. We had a Trogdor. Was it Dragan Umicevic?

  45. Derek says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. We had a Trogdor. Was it Dragan Umicevic?

    I believe it was, but he wasn’t much of a burninator. He just kind of fizzled out.

  46. jp says:

    Lowetide: Hmmm. We had a Trogdor. Was it Dragan Umicevic?

    It was.

    He had one nice year in the SEL. Not a burninator, but a Dragan nonetheless.

  47. dawgtoy says:

    Hopefully they don’t end up with nicknames like Ekbad and Klefbomb. Those nicknames would likely indicate rebuild 2.0. Playoffs 2028, Stanley cup 2031.

  48. Lowetide says:

    jp: It was.

    He had one nice year in the SEL. Not a burninator, but a Dragan nonetheless.

    hAHA! I love it. God we’ve been hanging around a long time.

  49. justDOit says:

    RexLibris:

    … Draisaitl would be fantastic. Hopefully he says something German-sounding and the scouts sour on him.

    Maybe he’ll say that he ‘prefers his juice concentrated’, in a thick accent.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers finish 29th.

    BUF and CAL finish behind them.

    EDM has 19 home and 15 road left.

    March is their easiest month by far and I expect them to play much better as a team by then and also to have traded N.Shultz by then

  51. jp says:

    dawgtoy:
    Playoffs 2028, Stanley cup 2031.

    And a different Ryan winding down his career.

  52. VanOil says:

    Shark Jumped? Contagious lunacy? Trying for 30th?

    Eakins going full MacT tribute mode and putting Gadzook on the top line.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Gretzky+Semenko+throwback+move+Edmonton/9383054/story.html

  53. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: BUF and CAL finish behind them.

    EDM has 19 home and 15 road left.

    March is their easiest month by far and I expect them to play much better as a team by then and also to have traded N.Shultz by then

    Sure. And they could fix the power play and the goaltending could work better. However, Buffalo has a new coach and is winning a little more, and the Flames will not die. Edmonton’s season appears to be Bart Simpson hammering his head from under the coffee table and yellow “ow” every time he hits it, without ever figuring it out.

  54. godot10 says:

    I love the smell of hopelessness in the oilogosphere in the evening. It smells like victory.

  55. justDOit says:

    godot10,

    or at least, what we think victory smells like. It’s been a while…

  56. jp says:

    godot10:
    I love the smell of hopelessness in the oilogosphere in the evening. It smells like victory.

    Ah Godot, you’re such a card.

    Did I use that right LT?

  57. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy: March is their easiest month by far and I expect them to play much better as a team by then and also to have traded N.Shultz by then

    Yeah. Just when you’ve joined their “Let’s simply tank until we win” program…

  58. Lowetide says:

    jp: Ah Godot, you’re such a card.

    Did I use that right LT?

    Very well done!

  59. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: I think the Oilers finish 29th.

    If they finish two games below .500, Bettman .500 that is, then it’s a coin flip whether they finish either 2nd or 3rd last, with a very slight chance of finishing one place either side of that. That tells me a lot of things with some other teams has to come together too.

    And of course, any record poorer than Buttman .500 steadily increases the odds of finishing last or 2nd last at the expense of finishing 3rd last.

    http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Western/Pacific/Edmonton.html

    I think it is very likely we have a shot at Ekblad and not Draisaitl. It’s too hard to tell this early how the draft is going to shake out, but if I had to place the bet today,my money would be on Draisaitl going 1st overall.

  60. Stamsky Hemkos says:

    Ekblad the “Bladiator”

  61. David says:

    Huge fan of Bennett. Would love it if the Oilers get him. I still think Reinhart has the inside track at first overall.

  62. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: BUF and CAL finish behind them.

    EDM has 19 home and 15 road left.

    March is their easiest month by far and I expect them to play much better as a team by then and also to have traded N.Shultz by then

    Correction. February is their easiest month. You can’t lose when you don’t play!…sounds like my high school football team’s motto.

  63. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    Buffalo I’m not sure of. They are a long ways back. That being said, back in 2010 Edmonton and Carolina were tied for 30th around Christmas and Carolina ended up drafting Skinner at 7th, I think.

    Lots of road ahead. Each team has something pushing them forward. In Buffalo it is Ted Nolan’s presence, with the caveat of potentially trading Ryan Miller. In Calgary it is Brian Burke’s historical reluctance to simply trade away players without getting a warm body in return, as well as their play last season after the Iginla and Bouwmeester trades. For Edmonton it is the gradual (oh, so gradual) improvement of the core group, again held in check by the potential, even likely, departure of two top-six forwards and perhaps Ryan Smyth…again.

    The Oilers have a heavy home-schedule remaining, but that hasn’t been worth much of late so I’m not putting much faith there. Edmonton is also 2 games ahead of Calgary and 4 ahead of Buffalo. We’ll have to re-evaluate at the Olympic break.

    One thing working in the Flames’ favour of finishing dead last is their winning % when outshooting their opponent. Currently it is .176! That is….incomprehensibly bad.

  64. denny33 says:

    godot10,

    Indeed…..it smells very differently in here from say October.

    So many people thought they were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Turned out to be a train with oil on it…..

    Now the debate gingerly slides to will Calgary catch us for 29th……

    Put me in the sell everything we can at the deadline….even Mac T -now- admits this team is nowhere to competing with the west.

    Massive holes at D and C…….need more picks to fill the LARGE gap in talent.

  65. jp says:

    RexLibris,

    Buffalo is 4 pts back with 4 games at hand. They could very easily catch your high school football team.

  66. Tarkus says:

    Because I’m rocking a case of insomnia at the moment:

    If Draisaitl does go #1, that would make Prince Albert the second CHL franchise since the Entry Draft began in 1979 to have had three 1st-overall NHL picks (along with Chris Phillips in ’96 and Mike Modano in ’88).

    The first? The London Knights–John Tavares in ’09, Patrick Kane in ’07, Rick Nash in ’02.

    However, four other franchises have had two #1′s: Sarnia, Rimouski, Windsor, Cornwall.

    Side note: Wouldn’t it be funny if the Oilers drafted William Nylander? How would Mother Nylander react?

  67. gogliano says:

    Buffalo has also managed to shoot 6.1% on the season, which is mind blowingly bad. Like a team of Smids and MPSes. Seems unsustainable to me, certainly more unsustainable than EDM’s and CAL’s bad goaltending.

  68. Marc says:

    hunter1909:
    2014 oiler fans: you’re like a fan from some woe begotten northern English soccer team, who’s only memories of glory are in black and white.

    Meanwhile socal teams are like Arsenal/Spurs – having it easy as always.

    As a Newcastle supporter, I can confirm this. Sigh.

    Actually the most fun I’ve ever had cheering for Newcastle was the season they got relegated. They were at or near the top of the second division for the whole season, so every game mattered. It was loads of fun – much better than the mid-table mediocrity and early cup exits that you usually get with Newcastle.

  69. Henry says:

    Oh no, Matty’s trading Hemsky again. At least this time he’s not slagging him in the process.

  70. jp says:

    gogliano:
    Buffalo has also managed to shoot 6.1% on the season, which is mind blowingly bad.Like a team of Smids and MPSes.Seems unsustainable to me, certainly more unsustainable than EDM’s and CAL’s bad goaltending.

    It likely is more unsustainable, especially once they have Gagne helping out.

    The next worst teams are NYR and Cgy, both at 7.6%. That’s a big jump, though Buffalo has gotten good goaltending at least.

    At the other end of the spectrum, StL is shooting 12.1%. Next best is Chicago at 10.8%, and only 2 other teams over 10%. They’re good, but that number is coming down.

    StL also leads in PDO – 1036
    Followed by Boston 1021

    And at the bottom Florida, Calgary, Nashville, Buffalo, Edmonton (976-985). No correlation with winning, hey?

  71. Ca$h-Money! says:

    jp: It likely is more unsustainable, especially once they have Gagne helping out.

    The next worst teams are NYR and Cgy, both at 7.6%. That’s a big jump, though Buffalo has gotten good goaltending at least.

    At the other end of the spectrum, StL is shooting 12.1%. Next best is Chicago at 10.8%, and only 2 other teams over 10%. They’re good, but that number is coming down.

    StL also leads in PDO – 1036
    Followed by Boston 1021

    And at the bottom Florida, Calgary, Nashville, Buffalo, Edmonton (976-985). No correlation with winning, hey?

    I agree PDO is something to be considered, but at the same time while a high PDO contributes to winning, having a good team contributes in many cases to a high PDO. Look at Boston: Rask plays nearly every game, so the save percentage is functionally his alone, and this year he is sitting at .930, which is functionally career average for him. That means they get to 1021 by shooting around 9%, which isn’t really all that crazy. So basically career average goaltending plus good but hardly spectacular shooting percentage gets them to the second highest PDO in the league.

    Is there some luck there? Probably, but also likely only a little bit.

  72. Hammers says:

    Lets not forget Buffalo has 4 games in hand on us so win 2 of them and we are tied but it’s for 30th .The thought of ending up dead last makes me want to puke . If I feel that way how do you think Hall & the core feel . Surely a team in the bottom 12 would be considering a trade to get one of the top 3 . Player plus pick .As for Ekblad we don’t have 6-7 years to wait . As of today Nurse over Nistishkin looks like a mistake . Pick top forwards & trade for “D” or go after UFA’s

  73. Pouzar says:

    Hammers:
    Lets not forget Buffalo has 4 games in hand on us so win 2 of them and we are tied but it’s for 30th .The thought of ending up dead last makes me want to puke . If I feel that way how do you think Hall & the core feel . Surely a team in the bottom 12 would be considering a trade to get one of the top 3 . Player plus pick .As for Ekblad we don’t have 6-7 years to wait . As of today Nurse over Nistishkin looks like a mistake . Pick top forwards & trade for “D” or go after UFA’s

    Nurse? A mistake? I didn’t just read that!

    WTF is Nistishkin? Bad attempt my friend.

  74. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar: Nurse? A mistake? I didn’t just read that!

    WTF is Nistishkin? Bad attempt my friend.

    Agreed. Nichushkin looks crazy good, but calling Nurse a mistake is imo unfair to the prospect. Nurse will have his chance, and keeping him on the farm was the right thing to do in this case.

  75. sumaclab says:

    Lowetide,

    Disagree. I think the Oilers finish 26th. Paul Maurice may inject some life into the Jets short term. But I think that the Oilers post March 5th will be in a position of strength in comparison to teamslike Buffalo,Calgary, Nashville and the Jets.

    As you pointed out the Oilers FA are not as desirable to the 16 playoff teams. I could see Hemsky moved. Realistically I see a late 2cd round pick coming back. So many of the top teams are capped out. Taking on salary is going to be tough.

    The Oilers are stuck. until the off season.

  76. Pouzar says:

    Lowetide: Agreed. Nichushkin looks crazy good, but calling Nurse a mistake is imo unfair to the prospect. Nurse will have his chance, and keeping him on the farm was the right thing to do in this case.

    Yeah lets see it play out first but it’s one of those situations where we desperately needed both and I am more than fine with Nurse.

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