In a season where nothing rhymes, it’s important for the organization to gather up as many positive arrows as possible. The season has been a disaster, but there have been some good things for the organization, players making progress. Here’s my list:
- Taylor Hall is having a career season (66, 25-42-67) and has been healthy.
- Jordan Eberle is still posting good boxcar numbers (71, 23-32-55) despite a trying season.
- David Perron (69, 26-25-51) was MacT’s best move last summer and paid dividends in several areas.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should deliver his best boxcars (71, 16-32-48) despite enduring a difficult year.
- Boyd Gordon (67, 8-13-21) was an absolute Godsend, the best free-agent signing in a long time.
- Martin Marincin (35, 0-3-3) arrived ready. It’s a rare thing.
- Ben Scrivens (15, 2.83 .922) was a very good mid-season pickup and signing.
It’s important to keep these things in mind as we move into summer. This season has been such a disaster that it’s very easy to throw out the baby with the bath water, but there have been holes filled and progress has been made. The problem came from Edmonton’s dire circumstances that occurred from neglect via management’s inertia. Plenty of work to be done this summer, but there have been good things.
The Oklahoma City Barons have signed CJ Ludwig to a contract for next season. The story is here. You can also read it here. Ludwig is an interesting prospect and was clearly a major part of his college team when struck by injury in December. I like this kind of signing, low risk and the player clearly has enough talent to push the next level.
The NCAA tournament sweet 16 gets underway tonight, with Dillon Simpson and UND playing against powerhouse Wisconsin. UND is the #14 seed, Wisconsin #4, but the one thing we know about college hockey is (like basketball) anything can happen. Chris Peters has a brilliant preview of the entire tournament here.
Terry Jones writes an article asking if Oilers Nation is hesitant to jump on the ‘be bad for Ekblad’ bandwagon. I think the problem is twofold:
- how many times can you get excited about drafting high? It’s become a sick joke, Edmonton drafting first or third or even sixth. The Oilers themselves stopped the draft party idea a few years back (can’t remember when) because it draws attention to a generation of suck.
- shame. There’s a certain shame Oiler fans wear these days, the team is the brunt of jokes and honestly it’s difficult to mock other teams and get into the general fun of chiding other fanbases. As an Oiler fan since 1972, I can say this period in fandom has been an exercise in humility—perhaps deserved for my generation who had a ‘cock of the walk’ attitude in the 1980s, but certainly undeserved for anyone under 40.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy Friday, we have some fluidity to the show. 10am TSN 1260, scheduled to appear:
- Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. We’ll talk Hall/Eakins, Leafs fail, HNIC/TSN playoff coverage.
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We’ll talk Reinhart v Draisaitl v Ekblad.
- Jeff Chapman, Copper and Blue. Oilers-Ducks, Selanne, draft, summer improvements.
- Jill Horbay, FC Edmonton. Eddies are going to have a big season, we’ll talk offense.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter.