I’m beginning to think they should just run highlights of the games and get straight to the media conference. Dallas Eakins is one of the most entertaining things about this Oiler team, and last night was no exception.
- Eakins: “You know what the perfect game is? The perfect game is no hits. You know why that is? It’s because you have the puck. You don’t have to hit anybody. You have the puck. Stat sheet said we outhit them 28-13. Would I have liked more hits? I don’t know, I thought we were good tonight.”
In the last 10 hours, I’ve been told “you’re going to have to help me out with what u see in Eakins. If he werent an “analytics” guy, analytics guys would be up in arms” and the answer is in the quote. Dallas Eakins is devoted to winning hockey games, even in a season that shows a 15-31-6 record (which, if they continue on this course, will end with 23 or 24 wins, a nadir in franchise history). I like Dallas Eakins for the same reason liked Whitey Herzog: they both stayed up at night trying to figure out how to beat the other guy. You can’t be great when paying attention to the things that don’t matter: the entire Vancouver Canucks history tells you that much, over and over again.
There were some very good things last night, the Ference-J Schultz pairing shone as brightly as I can recall and Taylor Hall was above .500 too. Extra skater had the same numbers for Hall at 5×5 however the 5×5 close is a disaster (Hall at 28.6%). I saw something in between—for me, this game was not quite even but the Canucks received outstanding goaltending and Nick Schultz heard a dog whistle, and the game was close enough that this game usually ends in OT during the Bettman era. I thought Ben Scrivens played well last night.
That’s my take. I agree with Eakins, you can’t go head hunting in a close game and the idea that winning doesn’t matter is poison. Of course it matters. That’s why they play the game.
I wonder how deep the Oilers are willing to go this trade deadline. There’s a list of obvious exports (Bryzgalov, Nick Schultz, perhaps Hemsky, maybe Gagner, a few others) but if a team came calling for Justin Schultz, would they listen? Depending on the offer they’d have to, but he’s going to be a very good hockey player.
Next question, and one asked on twitter yesterday by Michael Parkatti: what about Schultz as a forward?
LOWDOWN AT LOWETIDE
Lots to talk about today, 10 this morning on TSN 1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Michael Parkatti, Boys on the Bus. About last night, Schultz as a forward, Scrivens.
- Steve Dangle, Leafs Nation. Leafs have won 6 in a row, and have caught the Habs.
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. A very good hockey mind will give his take on last night, the deadline, and the wrath of the Hockey Gods.
- Harrison Mooney, Pass it to Bulis and Puck Daddy. Vancouver has a suspended coach, an injured Sedin, and a bunch of role players stepping up.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. Great guests, should be fun!
PS, Mark Spector is going full Hemsky on Dallas Eakins here.