When I was a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, you could see arriving summer storms on the horizon for hours. The sky would turn black, in steps, taking more of the heavens each hour, like a painting slowly reaching completion. The wind would blow harder and eventually Mom would call us to come inside. I always loved those storms, was the last to go inside. There’s something about the oncoming violence of a Saskatchewan storm (they really are exceptional) and the anticipation of it that appeals to me, gotta say.
I do not like storms without warning. They shock the system and addle the mind, creating anxiety, chaos and uncertainty. When I was very young, my Dad would use a calm voice to still the storm. I remember that voice, the tenor and the tone. I find storms without warning even less appealing now than then. We’ll have to be each others calm voice in the days to come.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) November 4, 2015
We can begin with the positives: This isn’t a concussion or a knee injury, and it was not a catastrophic injury that impacted McDavid’s ridiculous foot speed. It’s a bad turn for a gifted young man and it’s craptastic news for this northern town where the wind howls all winter long, but it could have been worse. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.
#Oilers Todd McLellan: "(McDavid has) got an upper body injury that's going to keep him out long term. Still being evaluated."
— Chris Wescott (@TheChrisWescott) November 4, 2015
The imagination is an evil thing sometimes. Long term? What the hell does that mean? Well, it means long term! In these days of miracle and wonder, it’s difficult to wait for anything. We’re going to have to do just that, though. We’ll know in due time (God I hate that phrase).
OILERS D LAST NIGHT
That’s a helluva set of stats, even with the Flyers playing back to back. The third pairing (by minutes) ended up doing very well, although that second goal was an adventure. I saw Griffin Reinhart good last night, he had calm feet and made some good decisions. Hard to fault Gryba by the numbers, not sure what he was doing on the second GA—he did pick up an assist, though. This duo faced the VandeVelde line mostly, based on my reading of War-On-Ice.
The Nurse—Sekera duo faced the Laughton line with Simmons and Read, doing well (13-6 against Laughton). Nurse was a little chaotic at times, there’s some Dion Dimucci in him for sure. If you’re sitting down trying to put Nurse in a good spot for his NHL rookie year, second pair with Sekera is a nice spot.
Klefbom—Davidson went 12-8 against Giroux and for me that’s the story on defense. I don’t know if this thing will last, and good grief they’re way too inexperienced, but last night was impressive from both men, who were +2 on the night. Terrific.
OILERS C LAST NIGHT
Nugent-Hopkins went 8-9 against the Giroux line and scored two. McDavid had some jump before the injury, and I thought Lander and Letestu played well in their extended time after McDavid left the game. One thing we need to talk about: Replacing McDavid. Moving Leon over is the obvious choice, but the team has very little in the way of depth and I wonder if adding a veteran C might be an idea worth pursuing. The third and fourth lines had impressive evenings, but that’s a lot about the Flyers, too.
McDavid’s loss, for however long it may be, is part of the season’s story. The Oilers can’t just sit around and mope, let’s see action. In the name of all that is holy, a turn north is vital. Peter Chiarelli can’t stand pat and watch the losses pile up when the skies of November turn gloomy.
RECORD BY MONTH, THIS AND LAST
- Oilers in October 2014: 4-5-1
- Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0
- Oilers in November 2014: 2-9-3
- Oilers in November 2015: 1-0-0
- Oilers in December 2014: 2-8-4
- Oilers in December 2015:
Godspeed, young man. Heal like a hero. By the way, I said the same thing about Taylor Hall exactly one year ago.
WINGERS, LAST NIGHT
Lots of positives here, including a solid 3line for the first time this season (that I recall). Purcell and Hendricks combined with Letestu and owned the Schenn line, and I imagine we’ll see that trio again Friday night. Lander with Gazdic and Pakarinen also had a solid evening. Hall was splendid plus some more, despite the numbers presented here. What a hockey player. The Flyers are ghastly, Oilers could use a few more nights like this one.
Without a trade, Edmonton probably has to break up the 1line, although the blow is less painful due to the return of Jordan Eberle. A possible roster Friday night:
- Bob McKenzie: “Now, there are teams that have expressed some interest to the Oilers about Nikitin. And the Oilers would love better than to rid themselves of the contract. They recognize they may have to take some money back. But some of the teams that are interested – Nikitin hasn’t played a lot down there. He had a work visa problem. He’s only played several games in the American Hockey League. Once he gets back up to game speed, it’s believed there are teams, including maybe the Colorado Avalanche, who have some interest in him.” Source
Heh. Hahahaa. Oh my God. Defense is in short supply and veteran defensemen hold their value like crazy. The best line is ‘once he gets back up to game speed’ because that’s the issue really. When you’re 29 and skate like Pierre Bouchard, it’s time to sing show me the way to go home. I love those Russian blue like Igor Ulanov and was always curious about Nikitin, but the speed of the NHL keeps getting crazier and Niki’s wheels won’t turn.
The best part of this table is the -5 goal differential (looks like Calgary is having a helluva good time there) and that’s another reason Peter Chiarelli needs to cast about for help while 97 is out. The new management team was brought in to turn north, and No. 25 is slight improvement during a tough part of the schedule. I say no to a 2-9-3 November, who is with me?
No hay nada como una taza de café para comenzar el día. (Natalie Wood) pic.twitter.com/qlYrct3DDg
— antonio serrano (@tonilonestar) October 20, 2015
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A very busy day on the show, 10 this morning TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Bruce McCurdy, Cult of Hockey. The disappointment of McDavid’s injury, the 5-8-0 start and the plethora of young blue who played last night.
- Kurtis Mucha, Director of Goaltending Development for Vimy Hockey. If you have goalie questions (and I’m not going to ask if they’re voodoo) send them in!
- Paul Almeida, SSE. Almeida will join us to talk about what to do with the roster during the McDavid injury window. Stand pat? I don’t think that will be Paul’s recommendation.
- Reg Leach, author of “The Riverton Rifle—Straightshooting on Hockey and on Life”. We’ll talk about the glory days for the Philadelphia Flyers, his own success and struggles, and a very revealing book.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Don’t worry, we’ll get through this together. Feel so bad for young McDavid this morning, his parents too. As a father of two kids about that age, I’m often reminded that—despite appearances—18 is still 18. I’m glad this young man has such a strong support group, and terrific parents. Every young person deserves as much.