PROMISED LAND

Among the quotable quotes being delivered pell-mell and willy-nilly by Craig MacTavish the other day, his description of the depth chart at center caught my ear for one major reason:

  • MacTavish: “We’ve got Leon Draisaitl, which is a big question mark for an 18-year-old’s ability to come in. We’ve got Anton Lander, who has shown an ability to score and be a real good player at the American League level. We’ve got Mark Arcobello, who when we sent him back had two points per game at the American League level or very close [to it]; he’s got potential to fill one of those roles. When you look at our depth chart, I understand and certainly agree with that position having the most question marks.” Source

The Oilers like their question marks better than the ones who were available in the days after July 1, or more accurately that were available after Olli Jokinen made his decision. That’s my read, speak now or forever hold you peace. Let’s have a little deeper look at Lander, and maybe we can project him into a role that coach Eakins didn’t see him in last year.

  • Dallas Eakins: “If (Lander) is going to play here, he has to be able to play centre, he has to play left-wing and he has to play right-wing. He has to be able to step in on the power play and kill penalties. He has to be able to wear a bunch of different hats.”

lander8

First, let’s establish that Lander in fact filled an offensive role in the AHL.

  • Lander EV in 13-14: 43, 8-14-22 .511
  • Lander PP in 13-14: 43, 10-16-26 .605
  • Horak EV in 13-14: 53, 14-15-29 .547
  • Horak PP in 13-14: 53, 7-12-19 .358

This is a quick comparison (Lander to Roman Horak) and both would appear to be legit NHL prospects based on their 2013-14 season. Lander is a little shy of Horak at evens, but this is a small sample size and the conclusion I reach is that both could be NHL players in the right situation. Fair? Earlier in the offseason, I looked at Lander’s current position as being extremely similar to Theo Peckham’s the summer he signed for 2011-12. Giant opportunity here, but nothing has been decided at that time.

I think we can add to that statement, and reasonably assume the following: Edmonton believes in Anton Lander enough to pass over other options that were available late, and we should expect he gets a full shot at being a regular this season.

landerferguson5

During his short NHL career, Anton Lander has been gifted with the following linemates 5×5:

  1. Lennart Petrell 221 minutes
  2. Ben Eager 199 minutes
  3. Ryan Jones 171 minutes
  4. Magnus Paajarvi 112 minutes
  5. David Perron 99 minutes

His Corsi for % 5×5 with Paajarvi? 55.2. Lordy.

VOLLMAN SLEDGEHAMMER (CORSI REL)

oilers 13-14 vollman sledgehammerHere’s Lander posted on the sledgehammer, via Rel. He’s in the softer end of the graph (but not the softest) and his zone start is no bargain. He’s also behind Arcobello in terms of qual comp, and I think that’s something we can probably assume will continue in 2014-15. So, if we can agree Leon will be in the right hand lower quadrant (soft opps and a zone start push), and Lander will probably be secondary toughs with a more difficult zone start, then it’s up to Nuge, Gordon and Arco to play the heart of the game between them.

Anton Lander is going to get his chance this season, but it’s very likely in a controlled situation. He may be closer, and the AHL numbers are very encouraging, but he’s behind Nuge, Gordon and Arcobello as an NHL center. Agree?

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46 Responses to "PROMISED LAND"

  1. Woodguy says:

    This is certainly Lander’s shit or get off the pot year.

    He’s been a captain everywhere he’s played, so he has the right, gritty, hearty, gamer stuff.

    I observed he was too deferential in the ozone this year.

    Its a common occurrence for players trying to make the NHL. They defer to their line mates instead of making the play in front of them.

    Based on the verbal from Lander lately, I think he realizes that and is going to concentrate on “playing his game” rather than trying to not makes mistakes.

    I think that’s the mythical “when the game slows down moment”

    When you take away thinking and just read & react and trust yourself, it gives you much more time to make plays.

    Best advice given on this subject?

    “Don’t think, you’ll only hurt the ball club”

    I think Lander is ready to trust himself at the NHL level.

    Man, that would really help the Oilers.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Ideal career projection for Lander would, in my opinion, be if you were able to click and drag his Vollman bubble from where it is to somewhere between where Gordon and Smyth lie.

    Facing tough competition, delivering a modicum of offense, and getting poor zone starts, but making it work for 12 or more minutes a night.

    I also think we’ll have to start framing Lander not only in who’s in front, but who is behind as well.

    If Yakimov develops at pace then Lander may get squeezed out by MacT’s guys (Gordon and Yakimov).

  3. Ryan says:

    One of my last recollections of mc79hockey was him banging on the drum to sign Roy–albeit a player described as ‘completely done’ by Mckenzie. I’d still liked to have at least had Roy as an option.

    I don’t think Lander’s AHL offense will translate to the NHL level. He doesn’t have any hockey abilities that jump off the page. As a starting point, smallish players without plus skating need really great hockey sense to play in the NHL. He doesn’t have that. I think his ceiling is maybe a Colin Fraser (though Fraser never posted Lander’s AHL numbers).

    If you look back, we’ve all wasted a lot time talking endlessly about players with far more potential than Lander who’ve carved out ‘meh’ careers like MAP, Potulny, or creme brule. :)

  4. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: Lander’s scouting report, from the beginning, was more of a defensive prospect. I think we all agreed long ago that offense was the red flag, but he’s really not like any of those prospects.

  5. Ryan says:

    Dammit, the above post took a lot of effort for me to stay on topic for once… :)

    Now back to your usual off-topic programming from me…

    Really great read if you missed it here on the role of knuckle-draggers as deterrents in the NHL–this from the perspective of a team with lucic, Thornton, and Chara…

    http://www.stanleycupofchowder.com/2014/8/14/5997223/how-shawn-thornton-may-have-ended-marc-savards-career

    Don’t miss the link to the deadspin article.

  6. nycoil says:

    Good morning LT.

    I’ve highlighted this quotation from you on the comments section of a recent post.

    “Schultz can be traded before the big contract, but if they go deep and massive he’ll be around a long time. Steve Tambellini’s long term deals with the kids were splendid, and MacT (correctly) put the breaks on with both Justin Schultz and Nail Yakupov.
    I think the dollar amount, which is clearly too much for what was delivered but about what you might expect (no raise, but he gets same as last year more or less) in real terms, clouds the bigger issue.
    Craig MacTavish purchased no free agent seasons at $5-6 million a year. That’s a good thing in my opinion, and dwarfs the minutiae.”

    Is it not possible it was Schultz’ camp that but the brakes on a long-term deal? For what it is worth, my friend who works in hockey management (Abbotsford Heat, Amarillo Bulls, etc.) who plays regularly in Kelowna with Schultz says Justin told him yesterday the Oilers wanted a long-term deal, but his camp wasn’t happy with the dollars, so his camp insisted on a one-year deal to prove himself and then get the big bucks next summer.

    Now one could argue the end result is the same so it doesn’t matter, which is fine. I’m simply saying there is a possibility that Schultz’ camp saved management from themselves.

    Back on this topic, I think Lander can bring more to the table than what he has shown, but as you point out, his EV scoring wasn’t out of this world, and he isn’t going to get any power play time with the Oilers. So I hope he gets some time on Gordon’s wing to learn the defensive side of the game from him. I had the same hope for him last year, too, however. And the centre depth is cringe-worthy, you are right.

    Off topic again:
    Saw Eugenie Bouchard play last night at the US Open. She nearly defeated herself but pulled it together to win. Good for her. The women’s side of the draw is wide open so she has a great chance to make history. Cheering her on.

  7. oilspillcali says:

    Lowetide do you ever get tired of writing about Lander? I feel like you dug up a dead horse and are beating it again. Lander is to good for the AHL and struggling with the NHL because he gets crappy linemates 98% of the time. This is his chance this year but wasnt it also his chance last year and the year before that? He sound like the Oilers incarnate

  8. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    What do you see as Lander’s celing then?

  9. Mr DeBakey says:

    nycoil: Saw Eugenie Bouchard play last night at the US Open. She nearly defeated herself but pulled it together to win

    She’s hot in New York. She was on the cover of the Sunday Times magazine last week.

    Woodguy: Man, that would really help the Oilers.

    Hope and Plan; two words found on the same page of the Edmonton Oilers dictionary.
    But yes, if Lander’s an NHLer that’s one more hole filled.

  10. Lowetide says:

    oilspillcali:
    Lowetide do you ever get tired of writing about Lander?

    No! Look for my new blog, LANDER-tide coming soon! :-) The last time I wrote about Lander was a month ago, here.

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2014/08/re-14-15-anton-lander-shine.html

    As I write about 80 posts a month on the Oilers, one on Lander in that time period seems fairly reasonable.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Lowetide,

    What do you see as Lander’s celing then?

    Third line checking center. Khaira is in the same division. A guy like Pouliot had a higher trajectory, and when faced with the idea of being a checking C he balked all the way to Switzerland. Marty Reasoner had the same career choice and went the other way, becoming a productive player. Lander never had that choice imo, he was always going to be a complementary offensive player. The question isn’t will he score 50 points in a season, it’s will he score 25.

  12. Ryan says:

    Lowetide,

    Ive always preferred drafting the centre with offensive ability, then living thru the growing pains of them accepting their third line role rather than using high picks on guys with reputations for ‘defensive accumen’ like a Lander or Ewanyk.

    I’d be thrilled if Lander could carve out a career as a 3rd line centre. At this point, I think a 4line centre is a more realistic aspiration for him.

    There’s still a pretty good chance with a player like Lander that two years from now, he’s either finishing is career in the SEL or making $ in the KHL.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Ryan:
    Lowetide,

    Ive always preferred drafting the centre with offensive ability, then living thru the growing pains of them accepting their third line role rather than using high picks on guys with reputations for ‘defensive accumen’ like a Lander or Ewanyk.

    I’d be thrilled if Lander could carve out a career as a 3rd line centre.At this point, I think a 4line centre is a more realistic aspiration for him.

    There’s still a pretty good chance with a player like Lander that two years from now, he’s either finishing is career in the SEL or making $ in the KHL.

    I think Lander gets another NHL chance. The one thing he has is a unique skill set. You mention Fraser, well that’s a guy who has had a decent career playing a specific role. If Lander can score 7 goals a year from the 4line and PK well, he’ll play into his 30s in the NHL.

  14. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: I think Lander gets another NHL chance. The one thing he has is a unique skill set. You mention Fraser, well that’s a guy who has had a decent career playing a specific role. If Lander can score 7 goals a year from the 4line and PK well, he’ll play into his 30s in the NHL.

    I agree. I think if Lander could carve out a Fraser-esque career, that would be pretty good for him.

    I mean this sincerely and without any disrespect for a Fraser or Lander.

  15. Hammers says:

    You hit the nail on the head with Eakins comment of Lander playing all positions & PK duty .That’s exactly what will happen . Start on the wing & go to the middle once an injury hits or Leon goes down ( won’t happen ) Playing his game as WG said is what he must do . Expect him to play with Gordon & Hendricks to start because of PK and “D” ability . Gazdic is out to late Oct so Eakins option is Pitlick / Lander . Pitlick , Aulie & 1 more “D” for Nurse to get his 9 games ??? .

  16. Ryan says:

    Lowetide: Third line checking center. Khaira is in the same division. A guy like Pouliot had a higher trajectory, and when faced with the idea of being a checking C he balked all the way to Switzerland. Marty Reasoner had the same career choice and went the other way, becoming a productive player. Lander never had that choice imo, he was always going to be a complementary offensive player. The question isn’t will he score 50 points in a season, it’s will he score 25.

    I think I’ve read more recent articles than this one, but this is the best Google’s proving me with at the moment.

    http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2011/9/27/2452941/common-misconceptions-how-much-should-that-forward-score

    For an average 3rd line centre, they cite 14 goals and 36 points.

    Those are number Boyd Gordon has never seen in his career.

    Even our beloved Nuge would fall clear of their below average 1st line centre production.

    Dry Saddle would need 19 goals and 49 points to cover his bet as an average second line centre,

    Anyways, by these numbers, the lack of depth at centre is even more concerning.

  17. wheatnoil says:

    The Oilers like their question marks better than the ones who were available in the days after July 1, or more accurately that were available after Olli Jokinen made his decision. That’s my read, speak now or forever hold you peace.

    I believe they were also in discussions with Ribeiro, but how serious those conversations were and what kind of offer was made isn’t quite clear to me. Ribeiro appears to have taken less money in order to go to a place where he’s out of the limelight, but how much less I don’t know.

    Either way, I’d say the Oilers saw Jokinen and Ribeiro as upgrades. They passed on Roy (Stauffer hinted that they weren’t convinced he was much of an upgrade on Arcobello) and Legwand (Rishaug tweeted that it was pretty lukewarm both ways in terms of interest).

    I maintain Legwand would’ve been a perfect fit. However, that ship has sailed.

    I think Lander’s a great fit as a utility infielder and he’s got enough other intangibles that he’d be able to carve out an NHL career for himself in that role. He’s pretty well respected back in Sweden, though, so I imagine the pull for home could be pretty strong if he had to spend an extended period of time in the AHL for this or another organization (which I would understand).

    RexLibris:
    If Yakimov develops at pace then Lander may get squeezed out by MacT’s guys (Gordon and Yakimov).

    On the other hand, if Lander can at least hold his own at the NHL level, he might be the best thing that could happen to Yakimov’s career… a little roadblock that keeps the Oilers from promoting him too early, letting him round out his game in the AHL so when if/when he comes up he’s got the best chance to succeed. If Lander can take a step up, he might be able to help the Oilers save themselves from themselves.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Ryan: 10 centers scored 70+ points last season.
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?season=20132014&gameType=2&team=&position=C&country=&status=&viewName=summary#

    As long as we say “even our beloved Nuge would fall clear of their below average 1st line centre production, AS ONLY 10 MEN DID IT IN THE ENTIRE NHL” I have no quarrel with your statement.

    Beyond the original author’s definition of average.

  19. oliveoilers says:

    Colin Fraser? The same Colin Fraser that used to be an Oiler? Let me get this straight. People are advocating Lander become a player that we already had and flushed? I hate it when WG does this but this is so Because Oilers it some how has raced through preposterousness, left incredulousness in the dust and somehow approached from the other direction as to make sense to people.

    Lander won’t be allowed to ‘play his game’ because a) that’s not how DE does things, and b) even if it was, he still wouldn’t be allowed as the Oilers clearly see him as a loyal foot soldier in the Boyd Gordon role, not as a free-wheeling triple threat. He does what he’s told, when he’s told to do it. Lander just has to do it well enough that Khiara doesn’t take his lunch next year.

  20. oliveoilers says:

    Ryan: I think I’ve read more recent articles than this one, but this is the best Google’s proving me with at the moment.

    http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2011/9/27/2452941/common-misconceptions-how-much-should-that-forward-score

    For an average 3rd line centre, they cite 14 goals and 36 points.

    Those are number Boyd Gordon has never seen in his career.

    Even our beloved Nuge would fall clear of their below average 1st line centre production.

    Dry Saddle would need 19 goals and 49 points to cover his bet as an average second line centre,

    Anyways, by these numbers, the lack of depth at centre is even more concerning.

    Aren’t those average 2nd line C figures awfully Gagner-esque? However, you should be aware that goals and points are secondary on this blog to the Corgi’s, their relatives and the Fenway’s and WOWYs. I wonder what the average 2C is for these stats?

  21. cdean says:

    This may be off topic but closely related to Lander. This is in regards to Leon. LT you seem to have penciled him always in the 2C role and I know that if the Oilers are not making it hard for him to make the team that they will still not have him starting out at 2C. I believe that from last year that the Oilers have Arcobello pencilled in at 2C and Lander and Leon will fight it out for 3C. When I say 2C and 3C I’m talking about offensive lines. I do believe that Gordon will see more TOI than the 3C.
    Wingers for 3C will likely be Pouliot and Purcell but the 3RW could change.

  22. Lowetide says:

    cdean:
    This may be off topic but closely related to Lander.This is in regards to Leon.LT you seem to have penciled him always in the 2C role and I know that if the Oilers are not making it hard for him to make the team that they will still not have him starting out at 2C.I believe that from last year that the Oilers have Arcobello pencilled in at 2C and Lander and Leon will fight it out for 3C.When I say 2C and 3C I’m talking about offensive lines.I do believe that Gordon will see more TOI than the 3C.
    Wingers for 3C will likely be Pouliot and Purcell but the 3RW could change.

    Yes, I guessed Leon would end up on as 2C but your point may well win the day. It’s absolutely a moving target.

  23. Melman says:

    it’s really too bad Horak bolted. There was an NHL opportunity for him here and that little extra depth on the “almost ready” tree would have been more comforting.

  24. Ryan says:

    oliveoilers,

    Gagner did drive us all crazy with his patented, ‘also seen in photos.’

    However, his departure will leave us with a significant hole in ‘average 2line centre’ production which will be even more noticeable since thus far, the Nuge is nowhere near average 1line c production.

  25. wheatnoil says:

    oliveoilers: Aren’t those average 2nd line C figures awfully Gagner-esque?

    The problem with Gagner was not his ability to produce offense. He was always well shy of being a 1C offensively, but his defenders (myself included) did point out that he he produced reasonably offensively for a 2C.

    If he was able to mark his man in the defensive zone, we’d be having a very different discussion about the Oilers depth at C.

  26. oliveoilers says:

    Ryan:
    oliveoilers,

    Gagner did drive us all crazy with his patented, ‘also seen in photos.’

    However, his departure will leave us with a significant hole in ‘average 2line centre’ production which will be even more noticeable since thus far, the Nuge is nowhere near average 1line c production.

    I heard a rumour that Gagner was trying to get his own ‘photo-bomb’ section on the chive.

    Don’t it always seem to go, but you don’t what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? Seems to it in well with LTs Joni RE.

    On the flip side, while we will miss Gounyay’s production, we will also be missing his corgis.

  27. book¡je says:

    Woodguy:
    I think that’s the mythical “when the game slows down moment”

    I think Lander is ready to trust himself at the NHL level.

    Man, that would really help the Oilers.

    I hope you remembered to click your heels together 3 times when you said that!

  28. Woodguy says:

    Ive always preferred drafting the centre with offensive ability, then living thru the growing pains of them accepting their third line role rather than using high picks on guys with reputations for ‘defensive accumen’ like a Lander or Ewanyk.

    Ewanyk and Lander are worlds apart in offensive ability.

    Lander just scored over 1pt/gm in the AHL.

    I doubt Ewanyk will reach .30pts/gm in AHL.

    He didn’t score in the WHL, there is little hope of him scoring in the AHL, and none of him scoring in the NHL.

    I agree that using a 3rd round pick on someone who projects as Ewanyk does is poor asset management.

  29. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Running late to everything these days, I’ll catch up on these articles when I get a chance. But, if you have time and want to learn about Benjamin Massey,

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/08/meet-blogger-benjamin-massey/

  30. PeOiler says:

    Some candy for all the draft addicts here, ‘We Stand Together’ is a behind the scenes doc about the QMJHL draft from the perspective of the Charlottetown Islanders.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWYZTFuwcrg

  31. BrazilianOil says:

    IMO Lander should play wing with Gordon and Hendricks starting the DZS.

    and now off Topic:

    I’m planning to watch the Oilers live for the first time in my live. I gonna carry my poor english to the States and watch a couple of games. My question is:

    I should travel to florida to assist the Panthers and Lighting games or make a trip to NY, then i can choose the Rangers and Sabres or the Devils and the Islanders in February?

    Just hoping they win at least one game!!

  32. Hammers says:

    BrazilianOil:
    IMO Lander should play wing with Gordon and Hendricks starting the DZS.

    and now off Topic:

    I’m planning to watch the Oilers live for the first time in my live. I gonna carry my poor english to the States and watch a couple of games. My question is:

    I should travel to florida to assist the Panthers and Lighting games or make a trip to NY, then i can choose the Rangers and Sabres or the Devils and the Islanders in February?

    Just hoping they win at least one game!!

    Wait & go to Vegas . Any idea how many of us that go to Vegas would go when the Oilers are playing .

  33. Henry says:

    BrazilianOil,

    If you live in Brazil, there is little new to to discover in florida. I recommend nyc in February or most any other time. If you want to learn english not in books, classes or the internet, go to the carnegie deli then to a rangers game. Bring lots of money.

  34. RexLibris says:

    BrazilianOil:
    IMO Lander should play wing with Gordon and Hendricks starting the DZS.

    and now off Topic:

    I’m planning to watch the Oilers live for the first time in my live. I gonna carry my poor english to the States and watch a couple of games. My question is:

    I should travel to florida to assist the Panthers and Lighting games or make a trip to NY, then i can choose the Rangers and Sabres or the Devils and the Islanders in February?

    Just hoping they win at least one game!!

    My choice in that situation would be to go to either Tampa Bay (for the attraction of Stamkos) or the Rangers in order to watch a game at MSG.

    Florida holds little interest for me, and maybe it’s just my shady memory, but it seems the Oilers rarely win in Florida (which must put them in a league minority).

    The Devils hold little interest for me by way of venue or roster (and certainly by style of play) although they do have some very nice players there. The Islanders could be interesting though as a roster. It would be interesting to watch a game at Nassau Coliseum before the duct tape and bailing twine gives out.

    So, in brief, my vote would be for the Lightning or Rangers.

  35. BrazilianOil says:

    RexLibris,

    Henry,

    Hammers,

    Thanks for the answers. Probably I go to the Rangers and Sabres pack. Will be in November and hopefully the Oilers will not be out of playoff race yet. Do you know if i can buy the tickets together or i need to go to the Rangers and Sabres sites to buy them?

    Sorry LT for the off topic, but i’m exited about it!

  36. Bank Shot says:

    I’d probably recommend NYC as well. You could see some snow, and there is an infinite amount of things to see/do on non-game days. As well Tampa and Sunrise are like 3.5 hours apart so Florida would involve more travelling where as NYR and NYI are both accessible with the subway.

    Of course if you want to save some money or don’t like colder weather then Florida is the better bet. NYC is pretty expensive for accommodations.

  37. raventalon40 says:

    Sorry to go off topic, but check out this great photo of Carol Vadnais and Bobby Orr together:

    http://ronriesterer.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/NHL-HOCKEY/G0000HhzbrfHOi3g/I0000cQH2bCtJ1Yw

    Then think about the fact that they are both D-men and that is the Seals goaltender.

    RIP.

  38. Lowetide says:

    raventalon40:
    Sorry to go off topic, but check out this great photo of Carol Vadnais and Bobby Orr together:

    http://ronriesterer.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/NHL-HOCKEY/G0000HhzbrfHOi3g/I0000cQH2bCtJ1Yw

    Then think about the fact that they are both D-men and that is the Seals goaltender.

    RIP.

    Great photo. That’s Gilles Meloche in goal for the Seals, Wayne Cashman behind the net and Derek Sanderson (hippie!!) going to get the puck. Sadly, it was probably NOT a Bruins power play.

  39. raventalon40 says:

    BrazilianOil:
    RexLibris,

    Henry,

    Hammers,

    Thanks for the answers. Probably I go to the Rangers and Sabres pack. Will be in November and hopefully the Oilers will not be out of playoff race yet. Do you know if i can buy the tickets together or i need to go to the Rangers and Sabres sites to buy them?

    Sorry LT for the off topic, but i’m exited about it!

    When I was in NY in May I got to see a Habs vs Rangers game for $220 bucks, courtesy of StubHub. in the PLAYOFFS. Game 4 ended up being $450 bucks, but still, great prices for NYC sports entertainment.

    That’s where I would check, but closer to the date.

  40. raventalon40 says:

    Lowetide: Great photo. That’s Gilles Meloche in goal for the Seals, Wayne Cashman behind the net and Derek Sanderson (hippie!!) going to get the puck. Sadly, it was probably NOT a Bruins power play.

    Old school hockey

  41. Ryan says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Running late to everything these days, I’ll catch up on these articles when I get a chance. But, if you have time and want to learn about Benjamin Massey,

    http://www.theoilersrig.com/2014/08/meet-blogger-benjamin-massey/

    This. :)

    “I think that, as Oilers bloggers, most of us are trying and failing to be Lowetide. Nobody can take a mediocre enforcer getting called up from Oklahoma City and turn it into a 500-word post worth reading with such consistency.”

  42. VanOil says:

    If we dream of a Center line up in 2016-17 of Nuge, Draisaitl, Yakimov, Kharia then are Arco and Lander just place holders? Sure I am righting off this season and next thinking this way but LTs balance picture from the other day has 10th place team written all over the sunken hull.

    If over the next two years one of Lander or Acro grabs a bottom 6 Center role AND one of Yakimov or Kharia can do the same we may yet see the fame balance photo.

    *these assumptions include the Oilers selecting a Goalie with there high 1st round pick next year because I have heard the 2015 draft will provoke such lunacy

  43. nycoil says:

    BrazilianOil,

    I can help you plan your trip.

    Like right off the bat, I’m going to tell you you probably don’t want to go to Buffalo. Buffalo is a long, long way from NYC. About 10 hours by train.

    Looking at that road trip, Philadelphia is only an hour by train from NYC. I’d probably go to the Philly game Nov 5, then MSG Nov 9. Don’t buy face value tickets for either one. As others have suggested, use StubHub.

    Oilers games sell at a discount because they are not a draw here. There will be empty seats for both and season ticket holders will be very happy to sell you their tickets.

    If you’re considering February, the weather will be a lot worse, but New Jersey, and NYI are accessible from the City fairly easily. Jersey has a nice arena but Long Island is a real pain in the butt to get to.

    P.S. Have to disagree with Henry and throw my hat in for Katz’s over Carnegie any day of the week :)

  44. RT26 says:

    I would love to see them play Lander on a third line with Pouliot and Purcell . Give him 25 games of fair and honest opportunity and see what he can do. I think that would be a great 3rd line. Let Hendricks, Gordon and Joenssu have a shot at 4th minute D zone starts and Perron, Arcobello and Yak feast on easy O zone shifts.

  45. Frank The Dog says:

    Hammers: Wait & go to Vegas . Any idea how many of us that go to Vegas would go when the Oilers are playing .

    They’ll have to lay on extra flights for those games and every flight will be full!

  46. Mesmer says:

    BrazilianOil,

    I am likely too late to the party for you to see this, and I have an opposite view on which trip to take.

    I am a budget conscious traveller who likes the sun, and while I love New york I can’t imagine January or February being ideal times to visit it (even if New York prices are at their lowest that time of year).

    If you head to Florida it will be the cheapest and shortest flight for you. The climate will prove comfortable for you, and in particular if you have never been there before there are a lot of tourist things to do while you are there. Hotels are plentiful and competitive, as are car rentals. I find Florida easier and safer to get around than New York and imagine you could cover the cost of hotels on what you would save on the cost of the hockey alone (when compared to ticket prices in New York and Philly)
    The two games are only a few nights apart and you will have a plethora of under-priced prime seats to choose from. There is ample parking at both rinks.

    I have many friends in Florida, and it actually costs me less to treat one of my friends there to the two games each year than it does to treat a friend to two games here – flight costs included! I am not guaranteed the time off work so far, but if I manage to make it there in January I would even have enough left over in savings to buy a couple of fellow Oilers fans such as yourself a beer.

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