I was interested to see how Todd Nelson would run his left-wing lock yesterday. Benoit Pouliot fell ill and the callup (Ryan Hamilton), the waiver grab (Matt Fraser), the enforcer (Luke Gazdic) and the NHLer (Matt Hendricks) had quite the chore. The script changed as the day wore along so I’m going to list all wingers and their EV time-on-ice from the Carolina game:
- Nail Yakupov 19:50 (2 SOG)
- Teddy Purcell 16:55 (3 SOG)
- Matt Fraser 14:02 (1 SOG)
- Jordan Eberle 13:57 (1 SOG)
- Matt Hendricks 11:30 (1 SOG)
- Ryan Hamilton 11:26 (0 SOG)
- Rob Klinkhammer 9:52 (0 SOG)
- Luke Gazdic 7:30 (0 SOG)
It was a bit all over (Hendricks played center, too) but this gives you a reasonable idea about how Nelson solved, or tried to solve, the problem. Going into the game (when I found out about Pouliot) my suspicion was Nelson would play the hell out of Eberle, Yakupov and Purcell. That’s what he did (Eberle was on the PP, impacting his minutes at evens and he got banged up a little on the first Nuge goal) but there was also a large scoop of playing time for Matt Fraser. It was an opportunity missed for the young man, there was a golden pass from Yakupov (brilliant individual play by the Russian) and another time when he was around the net with the puck in play but he couldn’t finish. Matt Fraser may never have a better chance to make an impression.
Big win for Canes but Oilers’ Ryan Nugent-Hopkins should have been one of game’s 3 stars. Hat trick, assist, plus-2. That should do it.
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) March 9, 2015
Nuge made so many great plays ASIDE from the hatty the mind boggles. Good gracious what a hockey player. He wasn’t much in the face-off circle but as a passer, shooter and checker yesterday was truly outstanding. Watching Nugent-Hopkins play the game, even in this absolute disaster of a season, makes being a hockey fan worthwhile. Man what a hockey player.
Glen Sather was not a great hockey player. If you ask me for a recent Oiler as a comparable, I’d suggest a slower, smaller Matt Hendricks with maybe a little more skill. Slats was a helluva trader though and a fine coach to boot. When we talk about coaching or managing ‘trees’ it’s interesting to look at those 80s Oilers teams and how many of them tried their hand at management in some flavor.
- Wayne Gretzky: Unsuccessful coach.
- Mark Messer: He, uh, well, I don’t know. He was involved somehow with the Rangers and now Oilers. No real idea what he does.
- Kevin Lowe: Easily the most successful manager of the group, he coached a season and was GM of a team that made it to G7 SCF. Since 2006 his reputation has been tarnished by Edmonton’s track record.
- Craig MacTavish: Easily the most successful coach in the group, his GM record is not trending in a good direction.
- Colin Campbell: Literally no idea what he does, beyond emailing the league about his boy.
- Ron Low: Had success as an NHL coach, protected Edmonton from Satan during the end times.
- Jari Kurri: He is hockey Pope of Finland.
- Charlie Huddy: Brilliant defensive coach.
There are many others (hadn’t realized until looking at the list but from Fuhr to Habscheid that 80s team had some famous players and fringe players who stayed in the game. Quite the stretch across the league these many years).
67’s fall 3-2 in Mississauga. Of greater importance…Travis Konecny injured in the 3rd. Watched the end of the game with his arm in a sling
— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) March 8, 2015
LOWETIDE TOP 10, 2015 DRAFT
- (1)C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) Hockey Jesus.
- (2)C Jack Eichel, Boston U (NCAA) Franchise.
- (3)R Mitch Marner, London Knights (OHL) Money.
- (4)C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL) Big C with skill.
- (5)D Noah Hanifin, Boston College (NCAA) Complete defenseman.
- (6) D Ivan Provorov, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)Electric skills.
- (7) D Zach Werenski, Michigan (NCAA) Offensive defender with range of skills.
- (9) C Mathew Barzal, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Intelligent play-making center. Sublime skills.
- (8) D Oliver Kylington, Farjestad (SHL) Complete defenseman.
- (12) C Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) Tremendous two-way player, excellent skater.
I think we have the Top Six surrounded now, the order goes back and forth but for me Mitch Marner has done enough to warrant No. 3 overall. There’s still some time to suss out the Strome-Hanifin issue and Provorov has moved a long way. Barzal is a late breaker due to injury and this Konecny fellow looks like a really good player. There’s so much in this draft I honestly can’t see Edmonton trading the Pens’ first rounder. They’ll keep it and select a player.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Scott Burnside, ESPN. Are Boston and LAK going to make the playoffs?
- Guy Flaming, Pipeline Show. We’ll talk about Oil Kings and 2015 draft.
- Jeff Hauser, Radio Hauser. NFL free agency exploding!
- Dennis King, Oilogosphere Icon. Oh, those Oilers plus the Raptor!
10-1260 text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. See you on the radio!