Boyd Gordon had a strong season for the Edmonton Oilers. Asked to face tough opposition and do it from the dungeon, he delivered more offense than expected and did a nice job of damage control. The Oilers enjoyed his performance so much, they’ll ask him to do it again. It’s a helluva way to earn a living.
BOYD GORDON 13-14
VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)
RE 13-14 REVIEW
||BOYD GORDON RE 13-14
||BOYD GORDON ACTUAL 13-14
RE 14-15 PROJECTED
||BOYD GORDON RE 14-15
- Gordon’s ZS was severe. Oh my GOD yes. Second toughest among forwards in the entire NHL.
- Will the Oilers run a tough zone 4line with Gordon as C as rumored? They can call it the fourth line, but if we add up the TOI one suspects that Gordon will be playing third line minutes, possibly second at even strength.
- Who did Gordon run with most last season? Ryan Smyth and Matt Hendricks were the most common linemates. That’s $7.1 million in cap money.
- Any negatives? Not from here. I think you could make a very good argument for Gordon as MVP. He took the dirty end of the stick and survived it, throwing 8 goals onto the pile for good measure.
- Any regrets about his handling?Hmmm. Yes. Dallas Eakins and Craig MacTavish were days away from beginning the season with 12 forwards who could take and make a pass, think the game in real time, execute coverage and display enough hockey acumen to either fill a role or project themselves into filling a role by season’s end.
- And then? They added Gazdic and others and now we’re left with badly needing an effective third line because the four line is spent a different way.
- Can Gordon and Gazdic play together effectively? Dallas Eakins had them both for the entire season, they were on the ice together 5×5 for 14 minutes.
- Oh. Yes. Oh.
- So, Gordon on the third line? Yes. That’s why the Draisaitl/Arcobello numbers are shy, because Gordon is going to play a lot of minutes. As he should.
- What are the lines for your RE? I don’t want to spoil things, but Gordon’s linemates are mostly people you would expect. I nicked Pouliot a shade because he’ll play on that checking line with Gordon sometimes.
- What? I’ve said this before, but there will be nights in Chicago or LA when the team is in the game but the 2 and 4 lines are getting caved. I suspect Eakins will run the top line, a Pouliot-Gordon-Hendricks line and then cobble together three veterans from the other two lines (say Perron-Arco-Purcell) and then bench Gazdic and the rest.
- So Gordon will play a lot? Some nights I think you’ll see Nuge and Gordon over 20 minutes each, with the other two sharing the final 20. If Arcobello can win the confidence of the coach, then there is less concern. That could happen, although it did not a year ago. Leon is a complete wild card, we may be fretting over nothing. He might waltz into LA the first time and push people around—but counting on that is idiotic.
- What does Gordon need to succeed next season? Daniel Winnik or similar. The wowy’s tell us that Gordon-Ryan Smyth had a good time of it relatively speaking (Corsi 5×5 for % of 46.8) and that ‘actual NHL player’ is badly needed on that line.
- Matt Hendricks! Sure, and he played far better than I thought he would. Still, you’d like a capable two-way winger who can penalty-kill and get the puck out of the zone under control. Passing. Taking a pass, making a pass. Gordon can do that, he needs a partner in crime he can count on when the guns are running.
- Will he get Winnik? I suspect not.
- Is there an internal option? There are three. Anton Lander is a defensive player who can also take and make a pass and he can penalty-kill, too. I like him for that slot as we currently stand, but he’ll also be needed for center depth. Tyler Pitlick showed some nice things, and although he lacks experience there seems to be some awareness of Pitlick from coach Dallas Eakins. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
- And the third player? Will Acton.
- WILL Acton? He’s like a smell that won’t go away.
- You are killing me here! Haha. Cool.
- What was the quote again? Eakins: “One day he asked if he could sit in on the penalty-killing meeting. Before long, he was on the penalty kill. He’s like a smell that just won’t go away.”
- Do you have Will Acton on your RE? That would ruin the surprise.
- Does Joni Mitchell have a song called ‘I killed the blogger and ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti?’ No, she’s not that kind of writer.
- Boyd Gordon is going to have a difficult year. Yeah, I hope he’s eating his Wheaties.
- Why this song? I had a helluva time finding a song for him but decided this one fits the best. I think Cactus Tree is about wanting to do more than one thing with your life and being unable to for a number of reasons. When I think of Gordon I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Sean Brown a few years ago. I asked him about his experience after leaving the NHL and heading to Europe. Brown said he fell in love with the game again, realized how much he missed passing and skating the puck up and being counted on to move the play forward. His NHL job was to be consistent and make the simple play, and finding a bigger role was like a breath of fresh air and he loved it.
- So Gordon’s heart is full and hollow like a cactus tree? Gordon has one of the toughest assignments in the NHL and he’s making $3 million a year. No one should feel sorry for him, but it’s a tough road. It would really help if Daniel Winnik could join him, or if Anton Lander turns into something useful.