OILERS AT CANUCKS G55, 13-14

The Oilers last gave us a pleasant surprise early this month and it might be awhile before we see another. Or not. There seemed to be a glimmer of hope in last night’s game, a sense of freedom, a time to wheel and a time to smile. Not quite graduation day, but maybe a weekend furlough.

 OFFERED WITHOUT COMMENT

eakins smiling colbertThere were a lot of positives last night, I thought the Nuge-Hall-Eberle line was flying and Justin Schultz wasn’t far behind. Yak Yakked, the 3 and 4 lines rolled and the blue looked good. Ben Scrivens looked great. Now, do that 15 more times between now and the end of the season and Dallas Eakins might get some of his hair back. I was happy for the coach last night, can’t imagine the pressure he’s under at this time.

THE BOXCARS

top 15 scorersTaylor Hall is among the 15 best scorers in the NHL this season. It’s been a difficult season for Chance, but there’s just too much talent here. The Oilers are blessed with many outstanding players, and honestly I don’t know if Hall will lead the team in points more years than Nuge or Ebs or Yakupov. I do know he’s a brilliant Edmonton Oiler, and enjoying his wonderful hockey is one of the extreme pleasures available to us these years. That top line is the best since Weight-Smyth-Guerin, and by the time they’re through we might be talking about that trio as one of the best in team history.

hemskycapture

KEEPING HEMSKY

I can’t think of one good reason to trade Hemsky. Oh hell I know Yakupov and Eberle are the future on RW, but they could move Hemmer to LW and he’s played well in a third line role this season. You can’t pay him $5 million next season, but perhaps $3.5 times 2? I think we have to remember that he’s not 35 years old, and could hang around long enough to raise Stanley (are we even allowed to say that word anymore)?

TRADING HEMSKY

They’re not going to get enough for him. I think MacT will shop 83, but if we’re to believe the past Hemmer didn’t attract high value a couple of years ago (Lowe ended up signing him) and his point totals have been going down since the draft picks arrived to take the heart of the order. It’s going to be a disappointing return. Ottawa may be interested.

smyth moose jaw

RYAN SMYTH

Ryan Smyth tied Wayne Gretzky for all-time PP goals by an Oiler (125), he is one behind Glenn Anderson for the lead.

  • Smyth“To even tie a record with Gretz is obviously an honor. I’ve played a little bit longer than those guys (Gretzky and Anderson) here, but needless to say, those guys are Hall-of-Famers, great players that grew the game to where it’s at today.”

 TRIO

schultz justin

Justin Schultz appears to be back to last year’s levels. At the beginning of the season, Schultz’s offensive numbers were fine but his coverage issues ended up in the net too often (this was a result of wonky goaltending, but Schultz isn’t Lidstrom defensively either). In November, he suffered a groin injury and (as was mentioned by I believe Spoiler last night in the comments section) has taken a long time to recover.

That said, he looks better recently, and that gives Edmonton three good defensemen in the ‘yout’ division for the next several years. In Schultz, Jeff Petry and Martin Marincin, the club has three players they should be able to count on, and a solid mentor in Ference who will probably play with all the new hires on the third pairing.

MacT’s choice of top pairing defenseman to add to the trio is a huge deal. If he chooses wisely, this thing could be fabulous long term. Keep Ekblad and Nurse in junior another year, bring Klefbom or Fedun or Gernat up as warranted, and start moving up the standings in a real way.

CALLUPS

Oscar_Klefbom_062812_(1_of_1)_thumb

Ference being hurt and all, I wonder if we see a callup this week. Reports on Oscar Klefbom have been encouraging, and it might be an idea to get him into a game before the Olympic break. Chances are he’ll be part of the team after the trade deadline, so a cup of coffee now would be a good way to begin the process.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

margret1

It’ll be a fun show today, 10 this morning on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:

  • Tyler Dellow, mc79 hockey. We’ll talk about that top line, the value of good goaltending, zone exits and entries.
  • Travis Yost, Hockeybuzz. The Senators had their version of ‘the Shift’ on the weekend, and we’ll talk about the Senators position in the standings. It isn’t good.
  • Noah Love, National Post. Trade deadline, Leafs and Reimer, and hopefully Tottenham Hotspur.
  • Kady Hobbins, Puckrant. Kady wrote an article the other day that’s worth talking about in relation to the Oilers and their season.

@Lowetide_ or 10-1260 on twitter today. Hope you tune in!

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313 Responses to "OILERS AT CANUCKS G55, 13-14"

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  1. mumbai max says:

    Is it just me? It seems like after a LONG year with a steady and chilly head wind,
    there seems to be softening in the air.

    Marincin arriving and making us think that just maybe it is possible for a non first round prospect to actually be a good player. Add Klefboms emergence to this item. WOW, real prospects becoming real players.

    ALL of our prospects in junior and elsewhere doing well. UP ARROWS LT.

    J Shultz emerging from the fog.

    Scrivens, the home town boy arriving, and being….ARTICULATE. And a pretty good goalie to boot.

    Hendricks and his in your face boyish unapologetic enthusiasm. No need to be cool when you are The Tasmanian Devil.

    Gazdic turning heads. Maybe this dude is a real hockey player?

    Calls going in our favour! Two called back goals in one game! Phantom calls going in our direction instead of against us.

    The power play.

    Gagner backchecking. Well ONCE anyway.

    And finally, and I hate to say this, but the exit of Dubnyk and Smid seems to have the feeling of spring cleaning to it. N Shultz and Gagner out the door will enhance that feeling I think.

    Spring is in the air, and we truly deserve it.

    (or it is about to snow 3 feet and go to minus 20!)

  2. Ice Sage says:

    Both teams scored too much last night and that shelled-out Vcr team will get the goalie interference calls tonight. They have Oil’s number like the Oil have Nashville’s. A 2-1 game with extra time and a shootout would be encouraging.

    Yak vs Lack – Goil

  3. book¡je says:

    I think it’s clear – Dubnyk was a darksider!

    :)

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “You can’t pay him $5 million next season, but perhaps $3.5 times 2?”

    More like 3.25-3.35M X 3. No clauses. I like the 3rd year.

    ———–
    “I think MacT will shop 83, but if we’re to believe the past Hemmer didn’t attract high value a couple of years ago (Lowe ended up signing him) and his point totals have been going down since the draft picks arrived to take the heart of the order.”

    I see what you did there.

    ———–
    “Keep Ekblad and Nurse in junior another year, bring Klefbom or Fedun or Gernat up as warranted, and start moving up the standings in a real way.”

    I see what you did there too.

  5. Ben says:

    Eakins rocking the hemlock there.

  6. Henry says:

    Hemsky should stay. Unless they can get a first for him, they will lose the trade. Even with a first, they will likely lose. At the very least MacT has to explore signing him.

    I’m wondering if we will see quite a bit of Ryan Smyth on the PP prior to the deadline in an effort to get him his (fantastic, well deserved) record before renting him out.

  7. Pouzar says:

    LT,

    Player A: .73 PPG
    Player B: .74 PPG

    Player B’s GM requesting a 1st rounder and a prospect.

    Player A???? 2nd rounder? 3rd rounder???

  8. boxman says:

    Wow, 7 comments without soul sucking negativity! Yahoo!! Go Oilers!!!

  9. goldenchild says:

    LT, Best line ever?? If they end up better than Tikks-Gretzky- Kurri or Simpson-Messier – Andersonthen we are in for some real fun. Unfortunately the last decade as an Oiler fan does not allow me to dream that big but I would love for you to be right or for them to be even close.

    I keep saying the same things in regards to Hemsky, I willbe happy for him if he gets to a good spot and root like hell for the team he ends up on in playoffs but I cant see anyway Oilers replace what he brings at deadline or in offseason for the price it would cost to extend him. Its just dumb to move him without trying everything you can to resign him first.

    Lots of fun watching last night, love Yak, happy he got one last night and was getting PP time, stay with him Eakins the kid is a star, more PP time please!

    This is the first year I will not be attending a Oilers game in Van, had tix in Dec butthey were playing terrible and I got rid of them. Was planning on going tonight for my last chance to see 83 in Oiler colors but with him out didnt see the point, especially after a great perfomance last night, cant remeber the last time they played well B2B. I’ll be back next year.

  10. GriffCity says:

    SIGN HEMSKY! Would be nice to show the league that we are capable of retaining players as well.

  11. slopitch says:

    An oilers win! I want them to win a close game next. It seems they either win big or lose (and often lol). At some point, this team is gonna start developing in a hurry. Screw the pick, go win some games!

    Hemsky for Jaskin
    Nultz for Bos 2nd (basically a 3rd
    Elevate Klefbom

    Oh and Gadzic needs to beat up Kassian already!

  12. Oilanderp says:

    So…

    4v5 PK save %? 89.7%

    5v5 close save %? 89.6%

    One of these things just does not belong.

  13. Numenius says:

    Great to see Eakins smiling. Hope we get to see more of that.

    I’m more endeared to him now again after he had the humility to acknowledge that his job could be on the line.

  14. FastOil says:

    Hemsky should be signed if they keep him. They need to get any value they can out of him as a UFA, get value out of all players or at least try as in Omark.

    Trade him for something, he can have a breather from it all, and sign him back in the summer if the price is right.

    I think the problem here for the team however is his physical game for what is a bottom 6 role, but he should be kept to offset Hendricks who is going to get a big 3rd line (undeserved) push. Gordon and Hendricks bring enough physical play to that line.

    Oh and nice game last night. With decent goaltending and reasonable consistency I can now see them making the playoffs next year. The “outclassed” line in the sand as I see it has gone to the top 6 WC teams. The bottom 6 and even the Canucks now really don’t have the same level of skill, the point of course of the years of oblivion.

    I can’t however see any playoff success without a proper goalie, 1 or 2C and 1LD. It’s a lot but not many players at this point for reasonable balance.

    That would be a story, a 45 -50 goal swing in goal differential, which I believe is possible because the team (unlike the equally horrible in this category Sabres and Flames) actually has a lot of good players (just not quite enough). Lots of meat for the stats guys to chew on if that happens.

    Take no prisoners boys!

  15. oilersfan says:

    Pouzar player b is camalleri and player a is hemsky

    Dont forget hemsky is bigger and younger than cami too

  16. Pouzar says:

    oilersfan:
    Pouzar player b is camalleri and player a is hemsky

    Dont forget hemsky is bigger and younger than cami too

    Yup.

    Conclusion: Burke is back on the bottle.

  17. Numenius says:

    Gagner’s play last night particularly encouraged me. There was a confidence I haven’t seen since because asshole Kassian.

    I also wonder if Yak’s slump was in any way connected with Gagner’s. I think Yak got/gets a lot of encouragement from Gagner, and so not having it while Gagner was in the doldrums could have been a factor.

  18. Pouzar says:

    Numenius:
    Gagner’s play last night particularly encouraged me. There was a confidence I haven’t seen since because asshole Kassian.

    I also wonder if Yak’s slump was in any way connected with Gagner’s. I think Yak got/gets a lot of encouragement from Gagner, and so not having it while Gagner was in the doldrums could have been a factor.

    Corgis don’t back up Yak or Gagner

  19. Caramel Obvious says:

    This team’s fortunes really depend on JSchultz and Yakupov. If Yakupov becomes a star and JSchultz plays engaged this team has a chance with the right moves. If they don’t, I don’t think it matters what else they do in the near future.

    And of course, you should sign Hemsky for $3.5 million. Would he?

    Last night was they best they’ve played up and down the lineup this year. Gagner still looks terrible to me, though. If he were a complete player that would really, really, help. At this point that’s wishcasting and with his salary I think he should be traded either way. How much surplus value do people think he has? I’d rather have Hemsky than Gagner and no one is going to pay Hemsky five million next year.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get and sign Hemsky with his money and you come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get and sign Marcel Goc and a winger with his money and you come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get, play Arcobello at center, and sign Dan Girardi and you probably come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get, and trade for an RFA Perron style in the offseason that you can afford with his money and you come out ahead.

    Add it all up and the only way to lose a Gagner trade is if you do nothing with the money you save. Now that seems quite possible, but still.

  20. FastOil says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    This team’s fortunes really depend on JSchultz and Yakupov.If Yakupov becomes a star and JSchultz plays engaged this team has a chance with the right moves.If they don’t, I don’t think it matters what else they do in the near future.

    And of course, you should sign Hemsky for $3.5 million.Would he?

    Last night was they best they’ve played up and down the lineup this year.Gagner still looks terrible to me, though.If he were a complete player that would really, really, help.At this point that’s wishcasting and with his salary I think he should be traded either way.How much surplus value do people think he has?I’d rather have Hemsky than Gagner and no one is going to pay Hemsky five million next year.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get and sign Hemsky with his money and you come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get and sign Marcel Goc and a winger with his money and you come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get, play Arcobello at center, and sign Dan Girardi and you probably come out ahead.

    Trade Gagner for whatever you can get, and trade for an RFA Perron style in the offseason that you can afford with his money and you come out ahead.

    Add it all up and the only way to lose a Gagner trade is if you do nothing with the money you save.Now that seems quite possible, but still.

    I would really they rather be patient with Gagner. The Oilers have to stop liquidating players. I don’t think Gagner has an attitude problem, so Eakins can work with him throughout next season and get him to acceptable.

    The pattern of eviscerating the team has put it where it is. Eviscerate sideburns and learn to appreciate the players clean shaven for what they are.

    I’m not saying keep him necessarily, but don’t sell low anymore.

  21. RexLibris says:

    and by the time they’re through we might be talking about that trio as one of the best in team history

    I don’t know, that Gretzky-Kurri-Pylon trio was okay too.

    ;)

    Anyway, things look good right now. Funny how Marincin’s coming along these past few games makes us believers in Klefbom, Gernat, and the rest of the developing D corps. I’ve always felt Marincin could be a good 2nd pairing defender, but it is a relief to get some evidence to support that.

    The Oilers need to re-sign Hemsky (get good players…) and I was thinking the same thing, 3 years at about $3.5 million. He can slide up and down the lineup, move to the other wing, play with skill or not. He has shown an ability to work within Eakins’ system and has some veteran presence. Some I have spoken to have suggested that he doesn’t have a good relationship with management but I see the opposite. If he didn’t like management he would’ve flown the coop two years ago, taken a Semin-style deal and tried to play himself into a contract elsewhere.

    I think Hemsky buys into the Oilers.

    Put it this way, let’s imagine that the Oilers are trying to make the playoffs next spring and need to add a depth winger with veteran leadership who can score. Sounds like Hemsky. So why not add that asset now when all it will cost is some money against the cap and a roster spot that would otherwise be added to an already busy off-season to-do list?

    It just makes sense.

  22. Surly says:

    Watched the new Oil Change yesterday and Eakins was gushing over Hemsky (in particular his commitment/toughness…especially focused on the last game in VCR when the trainer said he was out but Hemsky wanted to stay in). I sure hope they re-sign him…an excellent player (opinion in large part formed by the many great posters on here over the years who have helped to de-bunk some of the common myths about the player).

    Enjoyed the focus on Nurse too. He is so humble and mild mannered in his interviews then looks like one mean SOB on the ice. Can’t wait for this player to arrive but just hope they allow the time necessary. In a way it would be best if his first NHL game was to open the new arena in 2016 (one more year of Jr, one year in the AHL).

  23. DeadmanWaking says:

    We always talk about size, but what Marincin presently brings to the table is wingspan on wheels.

    I keep getting the sense that Hendricks was brought in to change the culture on the bench; a bit on the ice, a bit in the room, but mostly on the bench.

    He’s got an interesting demeanour. From his post game interviews I keep getting the feeling that he’s a Fozzie Bear Mark Messier–that rare beast–an affable yet impatient man. He seems to dissect the game–or the shift–after the fact almost effortlessly, like some kind of Rear Window RNH. There’s value in a man who can correct your mistake while you’re still in the middle of making it (or collecting your pants). That’s the fastest of all learning loops.

    Stick positioned badly? The player should be dreading the skate back to the bench even before the puck even arrives. If Fozzie Bear were prone to flashes of the messianic glint that presaged pushing you into your locker and taking your lunch money, would you blow him off? Some gentle giants just have the knack of being a human event horizon for lousy excuses. It’s the ability to project that you’re listening attentively with every straining cell in your body, but not a single neuron is buying the merchandise. Plus there’s a big wookie foot wedged into the fight or flight turnstile, so good luck flipping your stripes.

    Just a guess. For what he’s getting paid, you hope there’s a big ticket item in there of terrifyingly tangible intangibility no one wishes to curry. (Sorry about that, I just had to subvert the natural phrase.)

  24. LMHF#1 says:

    FastOil: I would really they rather be patient with Gagner. The Oilers have to stop liquidating players.

    I see this sentiment and don’t agree.

    In the modern UFA/RFA/Deadline era, you could easily run a strong team like this:

    Keep 5 of top 6 forwards as “core”
    Keep 1 bottom six player you really like and is signed to a strong deal.
    Keep 3 defencemen. One top guy, one specialist and one who’s “reliable”.
    Keep 1 starting goalie

    Procure everyone else each offseason or by re-signing players willing to accept value deals.

    I’m not saying you HAVE to get new people, but unnecessary attachment isn’t going to help you out. This type of system would as a side benefit rid fanbases like Edmonton of their ridiculous attachment to pluggers and try-hards (when I refer to a try-hard, I mean a guy who looks like he’s putting forth an effort because fundamentally he isn’t any good – like Ryan Jones for example).

  25. LMHF#1 says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    We always talk about size, but what Marincin presently brings to the table is wingspan on wheels.

    You’d have to think he will bulk up as well, but the most important thing is that he is large in the way you’ve noted and uses it to his advantage. He’s tracking to be like Pitkanen was in this way. Beauty.

  26. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1: You’d have to think he will bulk up as well, but the most important thing is that he is large in the way you’ve noted and uses it to his advantage. He’s tracking to be like Pitkanen was in this way. Beauty.

    Even with his skinny frame I have noticed an ability to pin bigger forwards to the boards pretty effectively.

  27. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar: Even with his skinny frame I have noticed an ability to pin bigger forwards to the boards pretty effectively.

    Yep. Pin and then take the puck. Just like Joni. Pitkanen was probably the best I’ve seen wear the jersey at that aside from Pronger. That’s why I keep referring to him.

  28. Caramel Obvious says:

    FastOil,

    There was a time I agreed. However, the time for patience is prior to the $5 million contract. The key is the opportunity cost of that money. If they are forced to pass on other moves because of the contract then patience with Gagner is bad even if he turns the corner. However, if they do nothing with the money then they absolutely should keep him.

    So the question has less to do with Gagner and more to do with what other opportunities are out there.

  29. Pouzar says:

    LMHF#1: Yep. Pin and then take the puck. Just like Joni. Pitkanen was probably the best I’ve seen wear the jersey at that aside from Pronger. That’s why I keep referring to him.

    Yup it’s a wonderful thing. Something tells me Nurse will be good at this as well. Just slows down the madness in the d-zone.

  30. jake70 says:

    On signing Hemsky. Good to see posters put dollar values attached to signing him. It’s easy to say “sign him”. Like Gagner or any player where they come up for renewal, the rubber hits the road in the cap hit and term. For me, it’s not a sign him or don’t, it’a ..if you sign him what do you give him?… .

  31. LMHF#1 says:

    Pouzar: Yup it’s a wonderful thing. Something tells me Nurse will be good at this as well. Just slows down the madness in the d-zone.

    I’m holding out hope that Nurse is the mean one. Like Pronger or early Souray where you hate to go into the corner or in front of the net against them.

  32. spoiler says:

    Posted this after the game last night. Re-posting it as it seems to have some things relevant to the discussion in the comments this morning:

    SInce the Scrivens and the Hendricks trades, they’ve sulked for a game and then been after it. It’s almost like they’ve gained a bit of swagger rather than their usual china doll shells.

    There’s been far better puck support these last couple of games. Guys are hanging around the DZone, coming back deep to help out, actually contributing rather than observing and waiting for a free puck. I can’t count the number of times I saw Gagner go cover the Dwall on a mate’s battle rather than circling out over the middle of the blue line. Fewer boneheaded mistakes, fewer optimistic cross ice passes when before they were many. They seem to have a system and the conscience to stick to it.

    The Nashville, Phoenix, Winnipegs of this world we are very near to beating regularly, I believe. I don’t think we need another player to be at least as good as those teams. We just need decent goaltending, efforts like this week, and the swagger and discipline required to seize the win.

    Scrivens gave the Preds some gaping nets tonight. But he also held them in the game when they did get hemmed in. I think he gives them a confidence back there (“so far so good”). Hendricks is apparently very vocal on the bench (Stoll was hilarious when we had him), and we have had glimpses of his attitude. He’s been playing with a certain Cooke-like Torresness. That’s an element this team has certainly been without. Do opposing players have their heads on a swivel when any other top 9 player is out there? If that’s what it takes for Ebs to launch himself into a body check, I’m all for it.

    Tonight we played without Ference, Hemsky and Arcobello. That’s far better depth than what Bumbellini had on this team last year. I think Bartleby is an upgrade on Dooby and Bryz on The Barber. MacT has smartly given himself a lot of dice rolls this season. A lot of auditions. And more winnowing to come.

    And there has been a Marincin effect as well. Martin the Marincin has been a gordsend. The last Oiler defenseman I remember having a debut this good is Petry. Got caught in outer space tonight, but as WG said above, a rookie mistake, gonna see ‘em and they gotta make them to grow. I think those expecting him to add 30-40 pounds though will be disappointed. I doubt he will be ever be more than 20 pounds heavier than he is now. And I’m already impressed with his strength. He pins players better than anyone else on the team. It’s astonishing.

    We’ve been promised Klefbom after the deadline, and he has been playing well lately. If he can bring the same level of D as Marincin…

    And the better these guys do, the tougher it is for Nurse to crack the line-up next year.

  33. LMHF#1 says:

    spoiler:

    And the better these guys do, the tougher it is for Nurse to crack the line-up next year.

    No interest in either Nurse or Klefbom being in the lineup next year. Too many quality UFA and RFA (for trade) options. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a deep group of fairly veteran D for once? Get Ference to the 6/7 slot where he belongs?

  34. RexLibris says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    We always talk about size, but what Marincin presently brings to the table is wingspan on wheels.

    I’m imagining he and Gernat as a defensive pair, basically holding hands at the blue line, their sticks touching the boards, and shouting “Red rover, red rover, send your forwards over!”

  35. Ducey says:

    I am torn on Hemsky and Gagner.

    I can’t see how you can bring both back. Agreed?

    I have pretty much given up on Gagner. He doesn’t engage enough for my liking. He excels when he can get some space with the puck but is terrible at getting it back, working in traffic or reading the play.

    On the other hand, he was better last year so maybe its his jaw, and he has done better his last 10 games (8 points).

    I expect that there is little on the trade market for Sam, he is still young, many of his flaws are fixable, and the no trade doesn’t bother me, so I’d keep him.

    I would trade Hemsky. His advanced stats are ok but his boxcars keep dropping every year. He is always going to miss time with injury (and many games he does play he is banged up) and doesn’t seem to have learned how to keep himself from getting run over every 5th game. He is likely to get old real fast.

    Hemsky seems fairly comparable to Devon Setoguchi. He netted MIN a 2nd rounder this offseason.

    If you can get a 2nd for Hemsky, trade him. You can always sign him in the offseason. Once he sees what the market is like, you are likely to be able to get him on a one year contract at reasonable dollars.

    If you lose out on him, oh well. You could sign Setoguchi or someone else to fill out the third line.

  36. Ducey says:

    RexLibris: I’m imagining he and Gernat as a defensive pair, basically holding hands at the blue line, their sticks touching the boards, and shouting “Red rover, red rover, send your forwards over!”

    If you have seen Gernat play, he is a rover. Too much so.

  37. verdad says:

    How can anyone logically not see that flushing Lowe out of the organization is essential to the future of the Oilers?
    Accountability can only be achieved if Lowe is flushed.
    How can any player be credibly asked to be accountablie when an utter inepititude sits atop the organization?
    Why does this blog not come to terms with this fundamental necessity?

  38. spoiler says:

    Some questions in my head this morning:

    1. Can the Oilers play like this when they’re on the road and can’t shelter the second line?

    Part of the problem here isn’t Gagner and Yak. Part of it is that the Kids and the Hall line, when not facing the toughs that the opposing coach is now running up against Gagner, has to kick out the jams. They have to score (or at least dominate their easier matchup) to re-focus PvP attention on their line.

    When the other team’s alpha wolves are circling Gagner and his linemates, they have to realize who their opposition is, simplify their game, and focus on defense and puck support.

    2. Can Gagner bring consistency to the defensive game we saw last night?

    Where defensemen hear dog whistles, Gagner hears the Call of the Wild, sees the hot blonde making googly eyes at him from behind the other net, and smells the sweet perfume of freshly minted money that his agent tells him good boxcars bring.

    Can he break these primal instincts and allow himself to be Pavlov-ed into playing D when the dinner bells rings? Consistently? Shift in and shift out? He has a few games to show that he can and that this is the pack he wants to go hunting with.

    3. Have we seen the last of the Edmonton China Dolls?

    Has the insertion of Scrivens and Hendricks, who seems like a more vocal version of Ference with a streak of mean, given this team some confidence and swagger? We haven’t seen them sink into their individual shells and lose the thread of the team system when getting scored on for about three games now. Composure, what a concept. Hopefully this weakness in their young psyches has been banished forever. Marincin has helped calm the frozen waters too.

    And I don’t know what Hendricks is doing to get a player like Ebs to throw a bodycheck with such abandon, but if he has given this team physical confidence, I am all for it.

    4. Is Scrivens the answer?

    He’s boasting an amazing SV% this year, but is it reflective of the player or that heavy stifling duvet with which the Kings blanket every opposing team? He sold the farm on a few saves last night, but Nash couldn’t cash on the opportunities. And the one goal he did allow he probably wants back. I want to see more before deciding whether or not he’s the goal line general we hitch our flag to. His play looked focused and determined when getting bombarded, let’s see if he can maintain it.

    5. Will the Oilers continue to play a system with conscience and discipline?

    How often did we see jailbreak zone exits last night? The night before? Have these players finally started listening to the coach? Did the trades get their attention? The new players? The weariness of losing? I don’t know. I also don’t know if I trust it. They’ve shown glimpses of good puck support and good puck management in games before. A couple in December. The blueprint game a couple of weeks ago that LT commented on.

    While this aspect has largely seemed a two steps forward one step back process this year, hopefully they’re finally turning the corner. This also seems to come back to the china doll composure paragraph above… sticking to the system and not going all lone wolf when the vultures are circling.

  39. Snowman says:

    The thing I love about 85 is his stick. He is so calm both on offense and defense and he rarely moves his stick more than he has to. There were a couple great examples in the game yesterday where he used his long arms and long stick and calmly checked the puck carrier and then made a good second play to either win the battle or make a good first pass after he gained possession. Being able to move just enough to do the job and no more or no less is a great subtle skill that goes overlooked.

    Regarding the Nurse and Klef, bring them up for a couple soft stretches next year. Send them down and bring them up for a couple more. No need to rush those guys but you definitely need to introduce them to the next level. I believe this regardless of how Marincin has done this year. You can be fortunate once. But you have to follow your experience of D men development rather than assume that because A is ready so are B and C. You might be right. You might be horrible wrong. The risk at this point is exposing more young guys to losing. No need.

    I think Hemsky might take a 3 year deal for 3-3.5. I get the feeling he likes it here and I gotta be honest I like him here too. I like the idea of signing the asset while it just costs you money instead of trying to fill a spot with a rental when we start making the playoffs (hockey gods willing). Gagner on the other hand.. I like the player (defense aside) but I think you gotta upgrade the size even if you lose a bit of the scoring. I like the idea of a steady bigger center with perron and yak. You get some grease, a cannon and a solid center to hold them together and I think that’s a good recipe for a scoring second line to compliment the skill of the kid line. Hemsky on the 3rd to give you a bit more bottom six offense to go with Gordon’s defense. That’s what I’d like to see.

  40. spoiler says:

    LMHF#1: No interest in either Nurse or Klefbom being in the lineup next year. Too many quality UFA and RFA (for trade) options. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a deep group of fairly veteran D for once? Get Ference to the 6/7 slot where he belongs?

    This is far too categorical. If they’re ready, and the best options, they should play. I expect Nurse will get a half year in OKC, but if he proves himself ready earlier, it would be silly to hold him back. There are no absolutes in player development.

  41. RexLibris says:

    Ducey: If you have seen Gernat play, he is a rover.Too much so.

    I watched Gernat several times with the Oil Kings. Love his offensive instincts, but I thought his defensive game was better than his reputation implied. He was often on the 1PK with Reinhart and his positioning I found was usually more sound than Reinhart.

    Maybe he becomes another Boris Mironov, but with the right partner I’d take that talent any day.

    Marincin – Petry seem to do well together. Maybe Gernat and Klefbom can mesh into a solid pairing. This defensive group isn’t half bad and we haven’t even mentioned Musil, Fedun, Simpson, Davidson, Gustafsson, Laleggia or Nurse. Given the attrition rate on blueline prospects I think this depth is probably about adequate.

  42. OilClog says:

    Hendricks contract doesn’t look so bad now does it..

    Were always going to pay more for players to come here.. So far his extra $900000 isn’t looking so bad for what he’s bringing to the team now does it.. Everyone that was freaking out about his pickup sure looks alil silly. Imo

  43. Surly says:

    jake70:
    On signing Hemsky.Good to see posters put dollar values attached to signing him. It’s easy to say “sign him”. Like Gagner or any player where they come up for renewal, the rubber hits the road in the cap hit and term. For me, it’s not a sign him or don’t, it’a ..if you sign him what do you give him?… .

    3 years x $4-$4.5million. Only go to $5million if you truly believe there will be a challenge attracting UFAs to our team/market.

  44. goldenchild says:

    OilClog: Hendricks contract doesn’t look so bad now does it..Were always going to pay more for players to come here.. So far his extra $900000 isn’t looking so bad for what he’s bringing to the team now does it.. Everyone that was freaking out about his pickup sure looks alil silly. Imo

    I am def missing something here but what has he brought besides horrendous penalties 200 feet from his net? And the issue everyone had with the contract wasnt this year its the last 2 of the deal where odds are he will not be an NHL player.

  45. Pouzar says:

    spoiler: This is far too categorical. If they’re ready, and the best options, they should play.I expect Nurse will get a half year in OKC, but if he proves himself ready earlier, it would be silly to hold him back. There are no absolutes in player development.

    Is Nurse eligible for AHL next year?

  46. Ducey says:

    verdad:
    How can anyone logically not see that flushing Lowe outof the organization is essential to the future of the Oilers?
    Accountability can only be achieved if Lowe is flushed.
    How can any playerbe credibly asked to be accountablie when an utter inepititude sits atop the organization?
    Why does this blognot come to terms with this fundamental necessity?

    1. This is a blog, not the borg. There are lots of ideas floating around here. I will share mine.
    2. It does no good to scream and yell about management. Some seem to think that the Oilers are a democratic institution. Accountability? Grow up.
    3. Most people around here enjoy talking about what they see on the ice
    4. From my perspective, Lowe is largely irrelevant. The team will be no different for the rest of this season whether he is there or not. I also believe Eakins and MacT will do what they want to do, and that Lowe is simply a sounding board.
    5. I also believe (and I am likely in the minority) that having Lowe around is a good thing. He has a ton of experience. He has made his share of mistakes but there are few successful coaches or GM’s that have not flunked out of several jobs before finding the right fit. There is nothing that says Lowe can’t have learned from his mistakes. Contrary to the thoughts of the MSM and the pitchfork wavers, people are not static and tend to evolve over time.
    6. Finally, I see the organization as generally headed in the right direction. Things are not improving as fast as some would like, but with time, and some luck, they should.

  47. stevezie says:

    Ducey: 3. Most people around here enjoy talking about what they see on the ice

    Totally.

    We can see what’s happening on the ice. We can’t see what’s happening in the boardroom at all. We can see the results, and attempt to extrapolate, but we really don’t know. I don’t understand the excitement over the part that you can’t see.

  48. Pouzar says:

    Ducey: 1.This is a blog, not the borg.There are lots of ideas floating around here.I will share mine.
    2.It does no good to scream and yell about management.Some seem to think that the Oilers are a democratic institution. Accountability?Grow up.
    3.Most people around here enjoy talking about what they see on the ice
    4.From my perspective, Lowe is largely irrelevant.The team will be no different for the rest of this season whether he is there or not.I also believe Eakins and MacT will do what they want to do, and that Lowe is simply a sounding board.
    5.I also believe (and I am likely in the minority) that having Lowe around is a good thing.He has a ton of experience.He has made his share of mistakes but there are few successful coaches or GM’s that have not flunked out of several jobs before finding the right fit.There is nothing that says Lowe can’t have learned from his mistakes.Contrary to the thoughts of the MSM and the pitchfork wavers, people are not static and tend to evolve over time.
    6.Finally, I see the organization as generally headed in the right direction.Things are not improving as fast as some would like, but with time, and some luck, they should.

    This.

    I have little time or interest in whining about Lowe’s perceived influence on this organization one way or the other because it’s all a guess. I have even less time for those calling for MacT or Eakins head on a platter after less than a year.
    As far as anything non-player related the only thing I find peculiar is the tenured positions of the assistant coaches here.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Pouzar: Is Nurse eligible for AHL next year?

    No. OHL or NHL.

    Because of the OHL/CBA transfer agreement IIRC.

    I believe he could go to Europe though. (which won’t happen).

  50. FastOil says:

    DeadmanWaking:
    We always talk about size, but what Marincin presently brings to the table is wingspan on wheels.

    I keep getting the sense that Hendricks was brought in to change the culture on the bench; a bit on the ice, a bit in the room, but mostly on the bench.

    He’s got an interesting demeanour.From his post game interviews I keep getting the feeling that he’s a Fozzie Bear Mark Messier–that rare beast–an affable yet impatient man.He seems to dissect the game–or the shift–after the fact almost effortlessly, like some kind of Rear Window RNH.There’s value in a man who can correct your mistake while you’re still in the middle of making it (or collecting your pants).That’s the fastest of all learning loops.

    Stick positioned badly?The player should be dreading the skate back to the bench even before the puck even arrives.If Fozzie Bear were prone to flashes of the messianic glint that presaged pushing you into your locker and taking your lunch money, would you blow him off?Some gentle giants just have the knack of being a human event horizon for lousy excuses.It’s the ability to project that you’re listening attentively with every straining cell in your body, but not a single neuron is buying the merchandise.Plus there’s a big wookie foot wedged into the fight or flight turnstile, so good luck flipping your stripes.

    Just a guess.For what he’s getting paid, you hope there’s a big ticket item in there of terrifyingly tangible intangibility no one wishes to curry.(Sorry about that, I just had to subvert the natural phrase.)

    Love that image of Messier. I too hope Hendricks can bring that type of accountability “you can’t refuse”, mortal fear bringing that most unique clarity of thought.

  51. Hammers says:

    As well as Martin is playing / growing we still need a veteran “D” who is a step + above Ference . Not sure who it may be but Gags plus any one of Gernat , Musil , Fedun , should get you something . That would give us X player / Petry / Schultz / Marinchin / Ference / Klefbom / Nurse / . We need to see Klefbom this season & hopefully for 20+ games . I thought we needed 2 veteran “D” men but now I believe 1 may do it . Hell if I had to I would let Perron & a minor league “D” go for that veteran we must have and partly because the year Gags has had , he may not get us what we need .If its Perron then Hemsky has to be resigned .That then lets you draft a center with the 1st rd pick .If our last 25+ games are decent the German kid may fall to us .

  52. FastOil says:

    LMHF#1: I see this sentiment and don’t agree.

    In the modern UFA/RFA/Deadline era, you could easily run a strong team like this:

    Keep 5 of top 6 forwards as “core”
    Keep 1 bottom six player you really like and is signed to a strong deal.
    Keep 3 defencemen. One top guy, one specialist and one who’s “reliable”.
    Keep 1 starting goalie

    Procure everyone else each offseason or by re-signing players willing to accept value deals.

    I’m not saying you HAVE to get new people, but unnecessary attachment isn’t going to help you out. This type of system would as a side benefit rid fanbases like Edmonton of their ridiculous attachment to pluggers and try-hards (when I refer to a try-hard, I mean a guy who looks like he’s putting forth an effort because fundamentally he isn’t any good – like Ryan Jones for example).

    I see your point. I am not sentimental about Gagner. I would just like to see them get proper value which will not happen now. I have advocated replacing him for years, basically from the beginning because he is a weak skater and also avoids real physical (effective) play, and is always on his ass which for me is not acceptable for a small player. I think it makes them ineffective unless they are as good as Kane.

    But giving him away like so many other able NHL players have been devastates the team’s depth. A guy like Hendricks doesn’t = Gagner IMO. Hendricks can be signed as said every year for little. Top level skill players no matter the issue are harder to find. And if Gagner ever decided to amp it up and play some D as well, he’d be 3X Hendricks.

    Gagner in a package for a good return I could go for, but on a team with 1 bona fide fully ready now good centre, trading centres away is probably a bad idea. Arco while a good story doesn’t seem like enough of a sure bet, like trading Gilbert because Petry was looking good was a bad idea.

  53. Doomoil says:

    Was there a reason given why Arco was out yesterday and again tonight?

  54. OilClog says:

    goldenchild: I am def missing something here but what has he brought besides horrendous penalties 200 feet from his net? And the issue everyone had with the contract wasnt this year its the last 2 of the deal where odds are he will not be an NHL player.

    I guess you’ve missed the rest of it eh

  55. Ducey says:

    RexLibris: I watched Gernat several times with the Oil Kings. Love his offensive instincts, but I thought his defensive game was better than his reputation implied. He was often on the 1PK with Reinhart and his positioning I found was usually more sound than Reinhart.

    Maybe he becomes another Boris Mironov, but with the right partner I’d take that talent any day.

    Marincin – Petry seem to do well together. Maybe Gernat and Klefbom can mesh into a solid pairing. This defensive group isn’t half bad and we haven’t even mentioned Musil, Fedun, Simpson, Davidson, Gustafsson, Laleggia or Nurse. Given the attrition rate on blueline prospects I think this depth is probably about adequate.

    I think Gernat has a chance to be quite good but he was a riverboat gambler with the Oiler Kings, often able to make up for offensive forays with his long reach and great skating. He needs to settle down and add some weight. His strength was barely adequate for junior.

  56. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Doomoil:
    Was there a reason given why Arco was out yesterday and again tonight?

    not sure about last night… but tonight I think you get the “don’t change a winning lineup” routine.

  57. FastOil says:

    Caramel Obvious:
    FastOil,

    There was a time I agreed.However, the time for patience is prior to the $5 million contract.The key is the opportunity cost of that money.If they are forced to pass on other moves because of the contract then patience with Gagner is bad even if he turns the corner.However, if they do nothing with the money then they absolutely should keep him.

    So the question has less to do with Gagner and more to do with what other opportunities are out there.

    Somebody has got to play the position. Unless that money converts for sure into a better centre than Gagner it’s a loss. It would have to be in the bag or an even trade. Arco is not a better overall centre than Gagner despite a good run. The only luxury on the team is RW.

  58. teddyturnbuckle says:

    I like Hemsky but his spot needs to go to a grittier player. That is why MacT will trade him. You can’t have all skilled players in the top 9.

  59. spoiler says:

    Pouzar: Is Nurse eligible for AHL next year?

    No, that half year refers to the season after next. Sorry that wasn’t very clear on my part. I expect he will do another year of Junior and then half year of OKC, as that is reasonable and doesn’t place an unfair burden on the player. But if he comes into camp next September and blows the doors off Rexall, they will have to decide from there whether or not it is right to take a chance on him progressing or regressing in Junior. You can pick up a lot of bad, lazy habits when you are dominating a league. Or gain offensive confidence (although he doesn’t appear to need it)… Stupid eligibility rules…

  60. Melman says:

    What’s the deal with Larsen’s “illness” – not that I’m dying to see him back in the lineup. Seems like it’s been a while – is it mono or a way of avoiding calling him out as a HS?

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Melman:
    What’s the deal with Larsen’s “illness” – not that I’m dying to see him back in the lineup.Seems like it’s been a while – is it mono or a way of avoiding calling him out as a HS?

    I don’t think you could get the player to play along with that kind of thing. He’s talked about how frustrating it is.

    Mono could be it; persistent flu; some kind of parasite; lyme disease… anything really. docs at a loss apparently.

  62. Truth says:

    I would like to see the Oilers rotate Marincin, Klefbom, and Fedun one at a time in the NHL for the rest of the year. Marincin is playing relatively fine now and clearly has the tools to be an NHLer one day. He was directly responsible for the only goal last game in making a very ill advised pinch, but that play will be burnt into his mind now. Send him down, let him continue to develop.

    Fedun would be the next call-up, by all accounts he has played well in OKC. Bring him up for 10 games no matter what and send him down. Then call up Klefbom for 10 games. I think it is imperative that they each get a shot, not only for the organization to show them that good play is rewarded, but to show what the NHL level of play is all about. Hopefully that gives them additional motivation to come back next year even more prepared (assuming they re-sign Fedun).

  63. flyfish1168 says:

    Should we start the opening faceoff with our 4th line tonight?

  64. Caramel Obvious says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    I like Hemsky but his spot needs to go to a grittier player.That is why MacT will trade him.You can’t have all skilled players in the top 9.

    When did Gregor start posting around here?

  65. hankster says:

    FastOil: Somebody has got to play the position. Unless that money converts for sure into a better centre than Gagner it’s a loss. It would have to be in the bag or an even trade. Arco is not a better overall centre than Gagner despite a good run. The only luxury on the team is RW.

    I can’t stand reading this Gagner crap while remaining silent. If a player is not defensively responsible or able, he often allows the 5 alarm scoring chances. Particularly in the slot where all good teams protect very well. In short, he has been a huge liability to this team for the last four years. Rookie and sophomore years are forgiven as players learn to play defence.

    On a team where Eberle and Hall already cheats for offence, add to that Yakupov still learning defence in the NHL, you still think Gagner’s coasting back into play is not a problem. We simply can’t afford to keep catching this fallling knife by holding onto a defensive liability that he brings every night.

    I don’t subscribe this “showcasing” theory. Other teams are not dumb nor blind to this player’s deficiencies. Otherwise a reasonable Gagner deal would have been made already to address the mix /balance of this roster. Minimize his minutes and we minimize the damage of worst goals against in the entire league. Btw, Arco is much better defensively despite being even smaller than Gagner. Good defence wins games. Enough dangles already.

  66. Ice Sage says:

    flyfish1168,

    Hendricks, Jones, Gadzic to start?
    Katz has the 25K in Rexall gift cards on it’s way to Gary already.
    We can play the Flame game, non?

  67. FastOil says:

    hankster: I can’t stand reading this Gagner crap while remaining silent.If a player is not defensively responsible or able,he often allows the 5 alarm scoring chances.Particularly in the slot where all good teams protect very well.In short, he has been a huge liability to this team for the last four years.Rookie and sophomore years are forgiven as players learn to play defence.

    On a team where Eberle and Hall already cheats for offence, add to that Yakupov still learning defence in the NHL, you still think Gagner’s coasting back into play is not a problem.We simply can’t afford to keep catching this fallling knife by holding onto a defensive liability that he brings every night.

    I don’t subscribethis “showcasing” theory.Other teams are notdumb nor blind to this player’s deficiencies.Otherwise a reasonable Gagner deal would have been made already to address the mix /balance of this roster. Minimize his minutes and we minimize the damage of worst goals against in the entire league.Btw, Arco is much better defensively despite being even smaller than Gagner.Good defence wins games.Enough dangles already.

    Actually as I said earlier, I have advocated moving him from basically the time I found Lowetide. Not my kind of player either.

    Gagner playing better is a lot more valuable though. He has draft pedigree and high end skill. Given the season is lost and the barn full, why give him away? IMO that’s what has been a major management problem, giving away players and getting little back. Give it some time even if he has to go.

  68. Lowetide says:

    teddyturnbuckle:
    I like Hemsky but his spot needs to go to a grittier player.That is why MacT will trade him.You can’t have all skilled players in the top 9.

    I think you can, but need to have strong 2-way players in the group. The Habs of the 70s could let Lafleur and Cournoyer run free because they had Lemaire, Shutt, Mondou, etc. Those are insane two-way talents—nobody mentions Mondou but he was crazy good—and the Oilers don’t have those kinds of players.

    they could run Hemsky on a third line with 2001 Marchant and Moreau, though. I have no doubt that would work fine.

  69. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: they could run Hemsky on a third line with 2001 Marchant and Moreau, though. I have no doubt that would work fine.

    Hemsky is kind of filling the Pisani role right now. Needs to PK more to have it fully, but he also brings more speed and secondary offense (not that Pisani wasn’t money on a break)..

  70. Lois Lowe says:

    Caramel Obvious,

    Yeah, on Friday he was strawmanning the advance stats crowd by saying that they are arguing Petry is a more effective player than Hall because the Corgis say so. Has anyone made that argument, ever?

  71. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 3h
    Eakins on @oilersnow “Hall has taken some of our teachings too far and we want to loosen the reins on him” @mc79hockey

  72. mumbai max says:

    verdad:
    How can anyone logically not see that flushing Lowe outof the organization is essential to the future of the Oilers?
    Accountability can only be achieved if Lowe is flushed.
    How can any playerbe credibly asked to be accountablie when an utter inepititude sits atop the organization?
    Why does this blognot come to terms with this fundamental necessity?

    Perhaps because it is really not that important?

    Lowe is a red herring. The Oilers issues are about the general manager making the right player moves, the coach optimizing the players, and the players working their butts off.

    The hatred and vitriol for Lowe are uncalled for.

    Hockey is a sport. The Oilers are our passion. I for one want the experience to be fun and joyous.

    I am not interested in spending my life hating someone who is probably a pretty good human, and probably doing his best. Especially when he is in a peripheral role.

    Take a chill pill man, and enjoy the hockey. This too shall pass, and it will be fun again.

    p.s. ‘an utter ineptitude’ is not a thing :-)

  73. spoiler says:

    Lowetide: Woodguy ‏@Woodguy55 3hEakins on @oilersnow “Hall has taken some of our teachings too far and we want to loosen the reins on him” @mc79hockey

    Framing or For Real?

    He allegedly reads the blogs (and thus Godot, lol), but still that is a very interesting thing to say.

    I wonder if that started last game… At least twice last night we saw him pull a half circle wheel it up through the neutral zone, hitting the blue line with incredible speed and great effect. He did seem to play a little looser, with a little more abandon.

  74. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: Framing or For Real?

    He allegedly reads the blogs (and thus Godot, lol), but still that is a very interesting thing to say.

    I wonder if that started last game… At least twice last night we saw him pull a half circle wheel it up through the neutral zone, hitting the blue line with incredible speed and great effect. He did seem to play a little looser, with a little more abandon.

    lol. I giggled, this was good. What I found interesting is he (and the team) seemed so relaxed and (your word) looser last night. Sometimes a talk with a young person can be instructive, they may have misread a previous statement. As a parent, I can say it’s happened a few times to me, and I’m perfect!

  75. YoungOil says:

    Lowetide: I’m perfect!

    Hey folks, I’m a long time lurker here, but I logged in just to confirm LT’s statement. This blog has been a must read for many years, and I hope it continues to be amazing. And Go Oilers!

  76. Lowetide says:

    YoungOil: Hey folks, I’m a long time lurker here, but I logged in just to confirm LT’s statement. This blog has been a must read for many years, and I hope it continues to be amazing. And Go Oilers!

    Oh God. I’m NOT perfect! Ask Mrs. Lowetide! WAIT DON’T ASK MRS. LOWETIDE!

  77. YoungOil says:

    Lowetide,

    haha, LT, you should host a party or a get-together of some kind. all the avid readers should be invited and I’ll ask Mrs. Lowetide then.

    (to get you off the hook, we can make this Lowetide’s official oilers stanley cup party) I dont know how you feel about the Oilers winning a cup now.

  78. flyfish1168 says:

    Lowetide: Oh God. I’m NOT perfect! Ask Mrs. Lowetide!WAIT DON’T ASK MRS. LOWETIDE!

    In my mind this is the perfect blog. I creep on a few blogs from the Oilers and other teams. They all die along with their team but this one has survived many 30th place finish and only getting stronger. So long live Lowtide

  79. Young Oil says:

    YoungOil,

    Sorry, I should probably say that I didn’t realize that this username was already taken (without the space)! Do you want me to get a new account/username? Sorry for the non-hockey talk, I just don’t want to create confusion between usernames (Not that I have a reputation around here or anything!)

    Also, LT, you are by far the best sports writer I have had the chance to read! You make following the Oilers so much more enjoyable, thanks for everything you do, and creating a great blog, as well as all of your writing on other websites!

  80. prairieschooner says:

    I enjoyed watching the game last night Thank you Oilers.
    Marincin appears to have benefitted from his time in OKC.
    I do not feel that Klefbom has learned all he has to learn (he lost a huge amount of time through injuries)
    Nurse will be a tough call and I would probably prefer him to stay in junior or go to Europe for a year.
    If the Oilers can truly beef up the D so that Nurse can develop with sheltered minutes then go for it.
    A number 2 or 3 D man would push everyone down a spot and that would be a big help

  81. Minister D- says:

    verdad,

    Because there’s no logical connection between firing Kevin Lowe and the Oilers winning more hockey games, though it’s clear that such a firing would make certain fans feel a lot better. But, I gotta say, that’s a funny definition of “logical.”

  82. knighttown says:

    A lot of positivity around here (not from the original poster who seems to be taking a more measured approach) but I’m not quite sure I’m ready to be sucked back in. Yes we just pounded Nashville but haven’t we done the equivalent of that all year?

    Just a stark reminder that our record against the top 10 in the NHL in goal differential is 3-18 with wins versus Tampa, Pittsburgh and Colorado. All three of those teams would be teams I would consider to be good matchups for us.

    To me the problem teams are the big and/or structured/disciplined teams so Boston in the East and Anaheim,STL, LA, SJ, Phx, Minn, VAncouver and Chicago. Nine of them. They don’t match up well with them.

    Their record against these 9 teams?

    0-and-20

    The record against the other 21 teams including some pretty good squads?

    16-18

    Yes I know I’m cherry picking a little but I could have said Minnesota would be a matchup problem before the season started.

    The final third of the season MUST start to show progress against this type of a team. 0-20 is ridiculous. As an example, Calgary is 6-16 against these teams. Nashville is 8-11.

    Whether it’s coaching or personnel or whatever, we have to make matching up against the Oilers harder for these teams. It can’t be as simple as Toews/Keith shut down the whole Hall line and then have Kane destroy the Gagner line.

    Although I do admire Eakins plan to make Hall and co. become a line that can handle anyone, I’d suggest he’d be better to do that in 2/3 of the games and “hard match” whenever possible against these other guys. I know Gordon gets the tough zone starts but I’d suggest that it’s time to let Gordon/Hemsky/Hendricks/Petry/Marinicin take on the toughs in an attempt to get Hall/Jultz and then Gags/Yak.

    Anyway, the point, and there is one is that the Oilers have 15 games against these teams. Even something as middling as 5-15 would show SOME progress. It starts tonight. Prove to me that a trip to Van City is something other than guaranteed loss night.

  83. RexLibris says:

    Going back to my earlier Kelly’s Heroes reference from Oddball, we need to start with the positive waves. Think righteous thoughts about how beautiful this team is.

    Maybe then we can lure back apostates like Blacquejacque and others who have forsaken the Oil for other, healthier pursuits.

  84. G Money says:

    Young Oil: Sorry, I should probably say that I didn’t realize that this username was already taken (without the space)! Do you want me to get a new account/username?

    You can go into your account profile, add a nickname, and then use the nickname as your display, all without changing the account/user name. Perhaps “Youngest Oil”, “Even Younger Oil”, “Older Young Oil”, etc. might help to distinguish you chronologically, depending on how you feel comparatively!

  85. Melman says:

    G Money,

    since you are dispensing handy account advice, how does one affix an avatar?

  86. Ducey says:

    We were discussing Ekblad the other day and whether D men drafted high turn out. I wondered how Dmen picked in the top 5 had fared over the years. Looking back 20 years:

    1993: #2 Chris Pronger
    1994: #1 Jovanovski, #3 Tverdovsky
    1995: #1 Berard, #2 Redden, #3 Aki Berg
    1996: #1 Phillips, #2 Zyuzin #5 Ric Jackman
    1997: #5 Eric Brewer
    1998: #3 Brad Stuart, #4 Bryan Allen, #5 Vitali Vishnevsky
    1999: none – highest Dman went #10 – someone named Branislav Mezei
    2000: #4 Rusty Klesla (634 NHL games)
    2001: none until Komisarek went at #7
    2002: #3 Bouwmeester, #4 Pitkanen, #5 Ryan Whitney
    2003: none Ryan Suter was the highest at #7
    2004: #3 Cam Barker
    2005: #3 Jack Johnson
    2006: #1 Erik Johnson
    2007: #4 Thomas Hickey, #5 Karl Alzner – LA went off the board with Hickey
    2008: #2 Doughty, #3 Bogosian, #4 Pietrangelo, #5 Luke Schenn
    2009: #2 Hedman, NB: OE Larsen went #6
    2010: #3 Gudbanson
    2011: #4 Adam Larsson
    2012: #2 Ryan Murray, #4 Griffen Reinhart, #5 Morgan Rielly
    2013: #4 Seth Jones

    As LT would say, your mileage may vary (especially if you drive an Hyundai (see recent class action)) but I see two obvious busts in there (Barker, and Hickey) and two superstars (Pronger, Doughty). Otherwise there are a lot of guys who play(ed)/ will play in the top 3 for a long time.

    The odds of winding up with a top 3 Dman by adding Ekblad would seem pretty good.

  87. cabbiesmacker says:

    When referencing the fans desire to see Lowe keelhauled did Kady really say “”Will it magically bring back 1990 Grant Fuhr?”

    Did she mean 89/90 seasons .868, 3.89 Grant Fuhr or 90/91 seasons .897, 3.01 Grant Fuhr?

    Cocoa had been replaced as #1 by that time if memory serves.

    Mind you 24 years ago so by the looks of it she’d have been about 6.

  88. G Money says:

    knighttown: The final third of the season MUST start to show progress against this type of a team. 0-20 is ridiculous. As an example, Calgary is 6-16 against these teams. Nashville is 8-11.

    Despite the record, there is an observed difference in the Oilers’ performance against the “good” teams vs the “good big” teams. The former it is often competitive (even in a loss), while the latter is a seeming lost cause.

    This is probably where the size issue comes into play. The Oilers and Flames are often lumped together as being “small” teams. This is true to some extent, but it does not mean that they are comparably small.

    In fact, when the Oiler forwards go into the Flames zone, the Flames D outweigh the Oilers forwards by 1/2 lb. When the Flames forwards go into the Oilers zone, the *Flames forwards* outweigh the *Oilers D* by four lbs! (on average for both)

    (Data, current NHL rosters: Oilers D 195.6 lbs, Oilers F 197.1 lbs, Flames D 197.7 lbs, Flames F 199.7 lbs)

    The 2 lbs of muscle may not seem like much, but it likely makes up a half to a third the difference between the little clubs and the big clubs.

    Basically, even though both are small teams, the Oilers are easier to push around than the Flames.

    The Oilers can make up the size deficit with skill against the Flames, but not against the Kings or Ducks.

    We do need to get bigger, especially on D.

  89. G Money says:

    Melman:
    G Money,

    since you are dispensing handy account advice, how does one affix an avatar?

    Ha, even trickier! Your avatar on Lowetide (a WordPress.org site) is the avatar you create on WordPress.org. You should be able to sign in to that site using your Lowetide account credentials. You then upload a picture that becomes your avatar, and BAM you have an avatar on all WordPress sites, provided you sign in using the same credentials.

  90. Pouzar says:

    We win tonite gonna be a lovefest up in here!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO OILERS GO!!!!!!!!!!

  91. Younger Oil says:

    G Money,

    Thanks a ton! Just decided to add the ‘er’ haha!

  92. justDOit says:

    G Money: Ha, even trickier!Your avatar on Lowetide (a WordPress.org site) is the avatar you create on WordPress.org.You should be able to sign in to that site using your Lowetide account credentials. You then upload a picture that becomes your avatar, and BAM you have an avatar on all WordPress sites, provided you sign in using the same credentials.

    You can also use a site like: http://en.gravatar.com/

    As long as the email attached to your login is the same on all sites you visit, this will allow you to use one avatar for all of them (like ON).

  93. justDOit says:

    Four losses in a row, and the sky is falling in MTL. I think it’s time that they trade their goalie. Yeah, that’s it – he’s a bum.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=442308

  94. "Steve Smith" says:

    justDOit,

    Nah, I think their problem is their top defenceman – doesn’t play the white way. I think they should try to replace him with Ekblad.

  95. justDOit says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Here’s something you’ll never hear your SO say: “Why can’t we both be right?”

  96. YoungOil says:

    Young Oil,

    Haha, you didn’t have to change it. I never post here anyways.

  97. book¡je says:

    cabbiesmacker:
    When referencing the fans desire to see Lowe keelhauled did Kady really say “”Will it magically bring back 1990 Grant Fuhr?”

    Did she mean 89/90 seasons .868, 3.89 Grant Fuhr or 90/91 seasons .897, 3.01 Grant Fuhr?

    Cocoa had been replaced as #1 by that time if memory serves.

    Mind you 24 years ago so by the looks of it she’d have been about 6.

    In 90/91, that was good enough for 9th in the league.

  98. "Steve Smith" says:

    book¡je,

    Yeah, but there were only eight teams in the league at the time.

  99. Lowetide says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    justDOit,

    Nah, I think their problem is their top defenceman – doesn’t play the white way.I think they should try to replace him with Ekblad.

    I seriously will never forget that clip. Awesome in its horribleness.

  100. VanOil says:

    spoiler: Hemsky is kind of filling the Pisani role right now. Needs to PK more to have it fully, but he also brings more speed and secondary offense (not that Pisani wasn’t money on a break)..

    Unlike Pisani, Hemsky can fill in on the 1st PP unit anytime, on any team. Finding an experienced 3d line winger that can fill in on a top PP unit is harder in my estimation than finding one that can fill in on the 1st PK unit.

    Even if the team loses all of Gagner, Jones and Smyth I think they will be able to cobble together some very good PK units next year. RNH and Arco have impressed me and Gordon and Hendricks are your prototypical vet PKers. Plus if we ship out Gagner for a more 2 way style 2nd line Center like Couturier, Matthias or Brock Nelson they would probably pitch in.

    Of the thing the Oilers need to fix or worry about regressing with I have the PK pretty far down the list. Plus fixing some of the 5 bell deficiencies such as Defense and Goal keeping will likely have a major impact on this area.

    I would be happy if they signed Hemsky for 3 years 10M as he is probably a better Vet hockey player than any they will bring in to fill the role. If the can polish up and ship off Gagner, Smyth and Jones (3 real life NHLers) and turn them into one mediocre or better NHL Defender such as Kulikov or Coburn, or one 2nd line Center such as Couturier or Nelson all the better.

    To bad 3 for 1 unicorns trades are pixie dust, so I full expect Hemsky to go for magic beans at the deadline and the 3 I have shipped out to be back and producing fairy farts for the Oilers next year. But wow will we have some good PKers.

  101. OilClog says:

    Gazdic is quickly becoming very much a part of this team, seems it all happened for a reason.

  102. cabbiesmacker says:

    book¡je: In 90/91, that was good enough for 9th in the league.

    …among backups?

  103. book¡je says:

    Lowetide: I seriously will never forget that clip. Awesome in its horribleness.

    Link? I don’t know what you are talking about.

  104. "Steve Smith" says:
  105. VanOil says:

    A passing thought on MacTs continued trips to Philly; as NHL trades seem to be all about money in ~ money out this year more than ever.

    Does GMs swapping problems like Gagner and Lecavalier make sense? They are both 2nd line Centers having horrible years. Gagner is more likely to recover based on age and could bring a scoring threat to Phillies wings as they are sorted at Center. Lecavaler might be falling off a cliff that he never comes back from but a larger veteran Center with all kinds of Grit and Eye Glow could look pretty good between Perron and Yak for the next 42 years of his contract while he is pushing his Zimmer frame up the ice. If it allows you to trade back in the draft for a more NHL ready defender and pick up the German cowboy to be a long term replacement it might just work.

  106. G Money says:

    justDOit: You can also use a site like: http://en.gravatar.com/

    As long as the email attached to your login is the same on all sites you visit, this will allow you to use one avatar for all of them (like ON).

    Something is tickling my memory – it may even be the case that WordPress takes you to or uses gravatar?

    In other words, it is quite possible that we are both right! Indicating beyond a shadow of a doubt that you and I will never be in a relationship of any kind…

  107. Gerta Rauss says:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/podcastplayer.htm?pid=98&iid=46093

    Eakins pre game audio

    -same lineup with Bryz in net

    G Money: You can go into your account profile, add a nickname, and then use the nickname as your display, all without changing the account/user name.Perhaps“Youngest Oil”, “Even Younger Oil”, “Older Young Oil”, etc. might help to distinguish you chronologically, depending on how you feel comparatively!

    I was pulling for New Young Oil

    David: “So, we became the Originals.”
    Nigel: “Right.”
    David: “And, uh, we had to change our name, actually.”
    Nigel: “Well, there was another group, in the east end, called the Originals and we had to rename ourselves.”
    David: “the New Originals.”
    Nigel: “the New Originals.”
    David: “Yeah.”
    Nigel: “And they became…”
    David: “…the Regulars.
    They changed their name back to the Regulars. And we thought we could
    go back to the Originals, but what’s the point?”

  108. Lowetide says:

    Dellow with a very interesting video/article

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6607

  109. Derek says:

    Someone on the internet made a funny thing about Douglas Murray. Swap in Nick Schultz for the Edmonton version:

    http://i.imgur.com/vN59uST.jpg

  110. oilersfan says:

    If any if you have ESPN classics they just showed 2006 game six San Jose vs oilers. Will show again at 10:00pm our time

  111. spoiler says:

    oilersfan: If any if you have ESPN classics they just showed 2006 game six San Jose vs oilers. Will show again at 10:00pm our time

    Nice. Thank you. I can PVR that puppy.

  112. Captain Smarmy says:

    Lowetide:
    Dellow with a very interesting video/article

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=6607

    This is a pro-click. I don’t know where he finds the time to do all that work.

  113. Derek says:

    What the duece are the Canucks wearing?

  114. spoiler says:

    Derek: What the duece are the Canucks wearing?

    Ha! I am sitting beside a 60 year old Canuck fan who just said the same thing. Although he didn’t go with deuce.

    Is it camo? Have they gone into hiding?

  115. steveb12344 says:

    spoiler: Ha! I am sitting beside a 60 year old Canuck fan who just said the same thing.Although he didn’t go with deuce.

    Is it camo?Have they gone into hiding?

    There is something deeply ironic about wearing Army Fatigue “camoflauge” on white ice.

  116. VanOil says:

    Derek:
    What the duece are the Canucks wearing?

    Canadian Forces night in Vancouver. Big Army base right by the rink just like Edmonton.

  117. Derek says:

    Hahaha, the pre-game chat with Spector is all about Gazdic and Kassian talking at the center line during warmups. Time for some show-running. I haven’t seen a grown man that hot and bothered about hockey since Pierre Mcguire and Strong-Muscular-Thigh-gate.

  118. Halfwise says:

    I note the announcer said “Lootenant Commander”. Peasant.

  119. spoiler says:

    Great battle win behind the net there by Marincin.

  120. spoiler says:

    Good, smart, safe road hockey so far. Matchups are doing okay other than Kids vs Kesler.

  121. spoiler says:

    Too many giveaways in a row by the Canuckles leads to a Perron snipe.

  122. Derek says:

    Nice! Gagner, despite all his faults is a pretty damn good passer.

  123. Lowetide says:

    Perron 20 (Gagner, Yakupov). Nice goal.

  124. Halfwise says:

    Just like they knew what they were doing.

  125. jp says:

    Who is this team? A “good” Gagner is a great thing for this team regardless of whether they keep him or not.

    And a very nice goal.

  126. Pouzar says:

    Yak nice shift!

    Oh my!

  127. VanOil says:

    J Schultz will not miss having N Schultz passing him hand grenades in his own zone when the Elder is gone. I hope it has been a good learning experience for the kid.

  128. Lowetide says:

    VanOil:
    J Schultz will not miss having N Schultz passing him hand grenades in his own zone when the Elder is gone. I hope it has been a good learning experience for the kid.

    Smid used to do that to Staios, but he was a kid. Schultz the elder is hockey’s Benjamin Button.

  129. Marcus Oilerius says:

    When Don Cherry references the game next time around, he’ll point out how it was won in the warm-up by Gazdic, and how Gagner’s heart grew three sizes.

  130. PREDICKTER says:

    Hall and breakaways reminds me of Todd Marchant.

  131. Pouzar says:

    I wonder…is the game slowing down a tad for Yak…nice quick decisive passes on that shift with a good backcheck

  132. VanOil says:

    Lowetide: Smid used to do that to Staios, but he was a kid. Schultz the elder is hockey’s Benjamin Button.

    This will have me snickering for days. Thanks

  133. spoiler says:

    Nuge couldn’t steal that puck back but he looked like Gretzky puck hawk there anticipating the pass.

    Slumpbuster! Drink!

  134. Halfwise says:

    Hockey gods….

  135. VanOil says:

    Pouzar:
    I wonder…is the game slowing down a tad for Yak…nice quick decisive passes on that shift with a good backcheck

    He had a smart cross ice dump in earlier in the game as well, instead of the 1 vs 3 deeke from earlier this year.

  136. Halfwise says:

    Has Bieksa been back on the ice since Hendricks hit him?

    edit: yes

  137. Pouzar says:

    Seriously, can we smash the remaining 3 teeth in that idiot Kassian’s head? WTF are we waiting for?

  138. Derek says:

    Pouzar:
    Seriously, can we smash the remaining 3 teeth in that idiot Kassian’s head? WTF are we waiting for?

    While they’re at it there’s these Kesler, Burrows and Bieksa guys on the other team…

  139. VanOil says:

    I don’t recall ever hearing live commentary of the other commentary team. Was Debrusk really pounding the desk on the Edmonton feed or he is just getting worked up for another night out?

  140. PunjabiOil says:

    Where did DSF go?

  141. RexLibris says:

    When I get upset about the Ference contract, I think of Garrison and I feel better.

  142. Captain Smarmy says:

    Yak City is heating up.

  143. spoiler says:

    Lovely drive by Yak sets up Perron on the doorstep.

  144. RexLibris says:

    I like what Yakupov does to the Canucks.

  145. jp says:

    Fucking LOVE that!!! Perron, Yakupov involved. Kassian the goat! Nice!!

  146. Lowetide says:

    This is a nice game. I don’t know how much gas they’ll have in the third, but a nice goal there.

    Perron 21 (Yakupov)

  147. Pouzar says:

    WOW

    love it

  148. VanOil says:

    Nuge with a great play on the zone exit, Yak with a goal mouth drive and Perron with the sure hands finish. Music

  149. RexLibris says:

    VanOil:
    Nuge with a great play on the zone exit, Yak with a goal mouth drive and Perron with the sure hands finish. Music

    Nuge – http://www.humancloning.org/

    Just saying.

  150. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    This is a nice game. I don’t know how much gas they’ll have in the third, but a nice goal there.

    Perron 21 (Yakupov)

    Both teams should be lacking some gas though… No excuses tonight.

  151. VanOil says:

    The Official Pre-Season LT RE for Yak was some where around 30-30-60. Given the sophomore slump and the overall team/team-mate suck-age a Yak surge to a 20-20-40 finish would bring me hope for the 40+ goal seasons in his future.

  152. spoiler says:

    Canucks look a little flat. What’s the odds of Torts ripping them a new one between periods and us seeing a different team in the second?

  153. Pouzar says:

    I dunno if it’s a contract year but Stastny looks great this year….any chance we could land him for that 2nd line?

  154. Halfwise says:

    This is just stating the obvious, but it’s amazing how puck luck improves when you are in the right part of the ice. The forecheck pressure works when the guys support each other.

  155. VanOil says:

    RexLibris: Nuge – http://www.humancloning.org/

    Just saying.

    The new Syfi show Helix teaches me that this is legal in Arctic Ice flow laboratories. It has also teaches me I should not watch scary shows before bed time.

  156. book¡je says:

    spoiler:
    Canucks look a little flat. What’s the odds of Torts ripping them a new one between periods and us seeing a different team in the second?

    I presume Torts is still on a commissioners vacation, no?

  157. steveb12344 says:

    spoiler:
    Canucks look a little flat. What’s the odds of Torts ripping them a new one between periods and us seeing a different team in the second?

    The odds would be 0%, since he’s not allowed any contact with the team right now.

  158. spoiler says:

    book¡je: I presume Torts is still on a commissioners vacation, no?

    You’re right. Maybe a cardboard cutout miked up to wherever he’s hiding out?

  159. Zelepukin says:

    It feels like half the team has just realized that by doing the smart play and not making stupid mistakes, wins you hockey games.

  160. Halfwise says:

    spoiler:
    Canucks look a little flat. What’s the odds of Torts ripping them a new one between periods and us seeing a different team in the second?

    Torts is still in the time out chair with his gum on his nose.

  161. spoiler says:

    Pouzar: I dunno if it’s a contract year but Stastny looks great this year….any chance we could land him for that 2nd line?

    Yeah, he is UFA and there’s a lot of us here who would be happy with that. Can’t see it though.

  162. spoiler says:

    Gagner swoops down low and breaks up a scoring chance… who is this man?

  163. Oilanderp says:

    Things are getting a bit Harry out there for Potter.

  164. jp says:

    That’s too bad. Potter keeping up with Perron. He’s got a knack for that unfortunately. Just thinking how Potter really is a reasonable 6/7 D (for whatever that’s worth).

  165. Pouzar says:

    gimme a frickin break

  166. VanOil says:

    Two goal night for Potter. He needs to sacrifice a chicken in the intermission. http://youtu.be/vYSKRsJVrrE

  167. Derek says:

    Oilanderp:
    Things are getting a bit Harry out there for Potter.

    Get out, Gene.

  168. spoiler says:

    The Gagner line is eating up Sedin & Co. tonight.

  169. sliderule says:

    How many seeing eye deflections have the oilers have had go in for the positive ?

    None!

  170. Oilanderp says:

    If Potter skated on only one leg for the rest of the game, it would reduce Vancouver’s chances of scoring by 50%.

  171. Marcus Oilerius says:

    Shoot the puck, Mr. Hall.

  172. jp says:

    Zelepukin:
    It feels like half the team has just realized that by doing the smart play and not making stupid mistakes, wins you hockey games.

    Feels like it for sure. Gotta guard against too much optimism though. But I will enjoy it for the time being.

  173. SK Oiler Fan says:

    That was a stick to Eberle’s hands while trying to shoot. zebra staring right at it. No call of course.

  174. spoiler says:

    I’m glad the ref out of the frame had his arm up or I was gonna have to yell at my television rudely.

  175. Halfwise says:

    I will believe this team will contend when they improve at chipping the puck out across their blue line when things are going badly. They get so damned close, so often.

  176. Kitchener says:

    Yak City getting his elbows up on Vancouver. Grit = Great.

  177. Pouzar says:

    Yak can pass da pill

  178. spoiler says:

    Bryz absolutely brilliant there.

  179. Zelepukin says:

    Pouzar:
    Yak can pass da pill

    where as Smytty passes like a peewee player.

  180. Lowetide says:

    Perron is a helluva streaky player. He looks all world tonight.

  181. Gerta Rauss says:

    We’ve found a way to lose these types of games all season. A strong 3rd period would be a welcome sight.

  182. Pouzar says:

    This is the best game I’ve seen Yak play this year. Maybe I wasn’t watching close enough.

  183. fuzzy muppet says:

    Winnable game. Even got some timely saves. Time to Earn one.

    Lets go boys.

    64 looks excellent tonight

  184. VanOil says:

    Marincin’s sophomore slum is going to be gutting. His skates like the wind, tall like a tree and tough like a trunk late 20s are going to be wonderful. His one man anti swarm; skate to the front of the net and make it yours defensive system seems effective.

  185. Derek says:

    Pouzar:
    This is the best game I’ve seen Yak play this year. Maybe I wasn’t watching close enough.

    Agreed.

  186. Pouzar says:

    Kypreos: “Ladd is a legit 30 goal scorer.”

    uummmmmmmmmmmm what?

  187. Zangetsu says:

    Lowetide,

    Call him Crepes?

  188. VanOil says:

    Pouzar: Ladd

    With the Hitman sure in the NHL not so much. Maybe he meant this second generation Ladd, http://images.askmen.com/galleries/actress/jordan-ladd/pictures/jordan-ladd-picture-1.jpg

  189. jp says:

    spoiler: Framing or For Real?

    He allegedly reads the blogs (and thus Godot, lol), but still that is a very interesting thing to say.

    I wonder if that started last game… At least twice last night we saw him pull a half circle wheel it up through the neutral zone, hitting the blue line with incredible speed and great effect. He did seem to play a little looser, with a little more abandon.

    There really is something to this I think – and maybe not just for Hall. They definitely are more loose, in both the good and bad ways. It’s like a weird mix of last season and earlier this year (or maybe purely last year…). They’re wheeling and looking like they’re having fun out there which is great. But the turnovers and questionable puck management seem to be creeping back in too. JSchultz pinching hard and almost getting caught 5 seconds after a breakaway. Hall flying, but also turning the puck over at the blueline. There’s a balance there somewhere. I guess (hope) they master it at some point.

    That said, is Eakins in control of this? Did he reign them in, take a boatload of the mistakes out of their game through the first 50 games. then say “go play boys, but don’t forget what you learned”? I dunno, but if he just did that, it’s a very, very good sign – he can reign them in again as needed if they go too far. If all this really did just happen over the first 50 games, I think Eakins has got them. That proper balance of creativity and responsibility isn’t far away at all. We will see.

  190. Surly says:

    A regulation win for the Oil would be splendid…I’m just so conditioned to be braced for a gut wrenching loss (a Kassian shot off Potter’s backside and in with about 2 min to go sounds about right).

    Marincin…what a talent…look forward to watching him play over the years.

    That pencil on Spector’s ear does not make him look smarter.

  191. rickithebear says:

    Pouzar:
    Kypreos: “Ladd is a legit 30 goal scorer.”

    uummmmmmmmmmmm what?

    I would love Ladd.
    even strength goals the last 3 seasons.
    12th E. Kane, Pavelski 51G
    14th Eberle, P. Kane, Ladd 49G
    18th Sharp, B. Ryan 48G

  192. Lowetide says:

    Joensuu!!!!!

  193. gr8one says:

    Pouzar:
    Kypreos: “Ladd is a legit 30 goal scorer.”

    uummmmmmmmmmmm what?

    Prior to the lockout he had consecutive seasons of 29 and 28 goals respectively. Last year, in an 82 game schedule he was on pace for 30.75 goals.

    He’s well off that pace so far this season, but based on the quality of team/linemates he’s played on in his career, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to call him a legit 30 goal scorer.

    I for one would love to see him in Oiler silks.

  194. fuzzy muppet says:

    Yes! (e)

  195. jp says:

    Well done JJ. And nice pass by Smytty.

    Joensuu could be a useful player yet. Maybe the Fins make some magic together next season.

  196. Halfwise says:

    JJ!

  197. book¡je says:

    Yay – a fourth line!

  198. Pouzar says:

    DA BIG FINN!!!

  199. jp says:

    VanOil: With the Hitman sure in the NHL not so much. Maybe he meant this second generation Ladd,http://images.askmen.com/galleries/actress/jordan-ladd/pictures/jordan-ladd-picture-1.jpg

    THAT is Andrew Ladd’s daughter??? Holy Shit!!

  200. Lucinius says:

    rickithebear: I would love Ladd.
    even strength goals the last 3 seasons.
    12th E. Kane, Pavelski 51G
    14th Eberle, P. Kane, Ladd 49G
    18th Sharp, B. Ryan 48G

    Ladd is a great player. He isn’t, however, a “legit 30 goal scorer” because he’s never done it. Nor is he on pace to do it this year (he’s on pace for what? 18 or 20 goals this year?). Also, at 28 he’s unlikely to see a big boost in his ability to score, as he’s at or near his peak already. Sure, maybe on a team better than the Jets he could hit it, but its hardly a guarantee.

    Just one more example of Kypreos being a blithering idiot, honestly, than anything else.

    That said, he’s a player I’d love to have on the Oilers, but a legit 30 goal scorer he is not.

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