In 2003-04, the Edmonton Oilers employed Eric Brewer as one of their main options defensively. He averaged 17:36 at evens, 3:16 PK and 3:47 with the man advantage. Brewer also played with an edge, combining excellent speed (he could close like a freight train) and size/toughness. Eric Brewer brought a “complete” skill set to the game. Although he was not an ideal PP option, he was judged the best available (3-7-10 that season, Schultz is 1-10-11 this year).
Dallas Eakins had a media avail yesterday morning, and it was outstanding. He’s not quite MacT, but in a way Eakins is better because the filter isn’t as refined. Dallas Eakins is obsessed with winning, coaching and strategy, and doesn’t have any trouble sharing.
NOTE: I want to give specific credit to Rom and Tyler Dellow for their brilliant work yesterday. I’m mining a different area of the Eakins presser, but these are two great reads with high value. I agree across the board, specifically with speeds’ comment in the Dellow input section.
I agree completely with the idea that intimidation doesn’t work in today’s NHL. I also believe you can’t have 6 Phil Larsens running around back there because physical strength and winning battles is part of the game. So, we’re not talking about intimidation here, we’re talking about execution. Eric Brewer could execute defensively, his speed and size made him an effective young defender when he was an Oiler.
I believe that’s the solution for Dallas Eakins worry about solving both sides of his brain in terms of the blue. Complete defensemen. Pronger was one, but we’re unlikely to find that guy unless Ekblad comes here and turns into something scouts aren’t suggesting at this time.
- On Petry: “And it’s an evolution of a defenseman. I think in the market you’ve got to be very, very careful of pushing guys out of it too quickly. And, I think if you look around at different organizations you can easily get down on a guy, move him along and then you are dying for him back.”
- More Petry: “And, Petey’s a guy were continuing to work with. I know he had a rough road trip. I don’t know I think if you went back through the last 25 or 30 games leading up to that I would guess that he was pretty close to a even player going up against the other guys’ top lines.”
This is a very good sign. Losing organizations often end up being development teams for the better clubs, and dealing Petry now is pretty much what the Kansas City Athletics did for the Yankees in the 1950′s. The Petry summer is a test for MacT/Eakins, I’m tickled with the coach’s answer.
- On wanting a physical defenseman or a puck mover: “When you look around the league now, the teams are changing their makeup. There’s teams that are playing a heavy game, but not a lot of meanness. They just go and they check and they play high-pace so, it’s a cross… I don’t have the answer for you.”
- More of same: “I can easily stand here and argue “Yes, we need that.” We’ve got a guy back there that’s more than willing to fill the role with Mark Fraser and, uh, one side of me says “absolutely, we need the toughness up front, we need it on our back end.”
- Final portion: “But, Mark [Spector], I… and that’s the honest to God’s truth, there’s one side of me that says: “Yes, we need to old school it and we’ve got to have those guys.” And, then there’s another side of me looking at how teams are, some other teams are building and… I’m not sure.”
My answer is Eric Brewer a decade a go, and two years from now, Darnell Nurse. The answer next season? MacT/Eakins may go with Fraser. Theo Peckham may have been that guy but couldn’t walk the final mile.
SCORING LAST 10
The 1line is ripping it up. One of my favorite moments of the season came last night, as TSN brought their bag of putdowns and criticisms to the show and one by one the storylines blew up. Hall the fourth best LW in the league? Ka-BLAMMO!!!! ZING!!!! BOOM SHOCKA LOCKA!!!! 1line keeps teasing? BONG!!!!! SCHTOOMPH!!! KAW KAW!!!! It was glorious! I giggled like an idiot. Now let’s push this giant ball of oil out the window, and get Hall his 2nd All-Star team nod that idiots took from him one year ago.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
at 10 this morning on TSN 1260, we hit the air. Scheduled to appear:
- Scott Burnside, ESPN. We’ll discuss injuries in Chicago, and possible coaching changes throughout the league.
- Neal Livingston, Tend The Farm. They’re bringing in new farm workers, and they’re good!
- Rob Soria, Oil Drop. Rob’s views on the Oilers future are unique, we’ll drill down on the toughness/effectiveness question.
- Darrin Bauming, TSN 1290 Winnipeg. The season is lost, but there is reason for hope.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!