The Edmonton Oilers are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games, and have scored 31 goals in those 10 games. Music! They’ve allowed 34. Crap! Dubnyk’s save percentage is .902, Bryzgalov’s is .893 and they could both be here past the deadline unless scouts see something resembling quality. Bryzgalov gets the start tonight.
LAST 10 GAMES, BOXCARS
I don’t know that anyone has the answer about Taylor Hall this season. His Corsi for % is very low based on his own established level of ability, and yet the points keep coming! If he played a full season and posted the same totals over those games as he has in the last 10, Hall would pass 100 points. That’s exceptional production in the modern era. The only people who can explain this kind of thing are Leafs management people, and I don’t believe what they’re saying.
The other players are posting good numbers too, Yakupov is settling down and Nuge is on the way to a fine season. I wonder if the Oilers are seriously considering bringing back both Hemsky and Smyth—they are worthy based on this season—and I would think the club signs 83 if the deadline offers are poor. That’s an actual NHL player we’re talking about here.
HALL’S A FREAK (EV PTS/60)
Here we see Hall towering over his teammates at the plate. I can’t believe the Oilers good fortune, and sincerely hope they get to the postseason and make some memories 2015. That #4 is all dressed up with no place to go. The Nuge number is heading in a good direction and 89 is recovering too. Yakupov is climbing the charts and it seems to me Justin Schultz has been more active offensively of late, as his game returns from the wobble he’s been in this season.
JUSTIN SCHULTZ PLAYER CARD
Speaking of Schultz the younger, his Extra Skater player card has some interesting things. His Corsi for % is identical to last season, but his shots on goal are WAY down and the young man’s shooting percentage is off a little too. His TOI has increased, and I think the Oilers could get an enormous boost if his game comes around in the second half. By eye he’s been less chaotic and that’s a good sign. In an ideal world, he would get 3rd pairing EV and 1st power play minutes, but that’s extremely unlikely. A settled Schultz playing second pairing minutes effectively is a monster piece in the blue puzzle for the Oilers.
TRADING PLAYERS: SAM GAGNER
Gagner’s Corsi for % is up from last season, but his shooting percentage has been cut in half and his numbers are off the pace because asshole Kassian. I honestly don’t know how you trade the guy to a contender, which means he could end up with the Panthers or the Islanders or the Leafs. If they could find a way to get Hamonic or Maata? Would that be enough? Surely it would. One suspects other teams are trying to get him on the cheap, knowing the no-trade kicks in soon and of course they don’t really know what they’re getting in Gagner this season.
I have a hard time pegging his value, and am beginning to think the best plan might be to bring Sam back next season. It isn’t ideal, but people will not be happy with a horrible return for the young man and I suspect the offers are 30 cents on the dollar.
THE 2010 DRAFT
This blog has been obsessed with the 2010 draft for a long time, and when we talk about prospects it’s important to factor in what injuries can do to them. The 2010 Oilers draft has a list of injuries one mile long to names like Pitlick, Hamilton and Czerwonka, along with the genuine tragedy of Kristians Pelss and the real life challenges of Brandon Davidson.
Curtis Hamilton had a superb run around the new year, scoring goals like a madman and causing MacT to mention him in the Staples interview. Now word comes he’s out as much as 6 weeks with another knee injury, and that might just do it. You never want to write off a prospect, and Hamilton could be important because his resume reads like a 1970 Peterborough Pete (defensive acumen) but he has to stay healthy. A damn shame.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
Lots to discuss today, and it’ll revolve around the game in Dallas. 10 this morning, TSN 1260, scheduled to appear:
- Alan Hull, Copper and Blue. Which way Gagner, Hemsky at the deadline, powerplay.
- Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. 2014 draft, Marincin’s place on the 2014-15 blue, solving a position in one summer.
- Mike Heika, Dallas Morning News. We’ll check on our man Horcoff, and find out about the Nill fix at center.
- Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report, New England Hockey Journal and the New York Hockey Journal. American kids in the draft and the increased importance of the USHL in scouting.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. This is going to be a fun morning! Make a damn trade, Oilers!