MOOD INDIGO

by Lowetide

I am sure we can all agree the Oilers have a pretty nice LH depth chart on defense. Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera, Brandon Davidson, Darnell Nurse, Griffin Reinhart and we will end it at Jordan Oesterle. The right side? I count Mark Fayne, with Eric Gryba signable but similar to MF. We haven’t run the list of possible blue in awhile, thought I would update and review.

BLUE STEEL, SUMMER 2016

  1. Jason Demers, Dallas Stars. The book end for Andrej Sekera?
  2. Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche. Quality option for puck mover.
  3. Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes. Would be higher, question availability.
  4. Travis Hamonic, NY Islanders. This is a solid player and a great option for Edmonton.
  5. Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks. Solid offense, not completely proven.
  6. Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers. Strong, effective defender.
  7. Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes. Major knee surgery.
  8. David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets. Range of skills.
  9. Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets. Strange year for a talented young player.
  10. Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils. The more I look at his career, the better the fit.
  11. Mark Pysyk, Buffalo Sabres. The numbers imply there is a player here.
  12. Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Big shot from the point has high value. Very young.
  13. Ryan Murphy, Carolina Hurricanes. Some chaos, but good speed and puck-moving ability.
  14. Brandon Montour, Anaheim Ducks. This could be a special player.
  15. Cody Franson, Buffalo Sabres. That hammer from the point would come in handy and he fits a real need.
  16. Jordan Schmaultz, St. Louis Blues. Puck-moving prospect.
  17. Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay Lightning. Another player with a puck-moving element to his game.
  18. Colin Miller, Boston Bruins. With the other Miller signing, maybe he is available.
  19. Eric Gryba, Edmonton Oilers. I think management likes him.
  20. Ville Pokka, Chicago Blackhawks. Young defender in the Chicago system.
  21. Frank Corrado, Toronto Maple Leafs. Very little evidence but he showed up in some good places.
  22. Ryan Sproul, Detroit Red Wings. Puck-moving defender in the AHL.
  23. Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames. A year removed from a fantastic offensive season.
  24. Taylor Aronson, Nashville Predators. Minor-league defender.
  25. Matt Irwin, Boston Bruins. Depth defender.

NUGE AT THE WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS

I hope RNH makes it, believe he has earned it, but am not counting on it happening. I do think Peter Chiarelli probably hurt his trade bargaining position by keeping his center off the initial list. He may regret it, but I am glad of it. I don’t think Taylor Hall makes the big team, either. Not being critical of either man, and do believe both belong on their respective teams.

STEVEN STAMKOS, OILER

https://twitter.com/NicholsOnHockey/status/736185811339616258

It is day one. Any news? Not yet.

mcdavid capture 12

NHLE’s (LAST YEAR)

Last season, Oilers fans knew there were very good prospects coming to camp with bona fide NHLEs. If a player who is outside the NHL and has an equivalency that suggests big league talent, that is an early tell. Here are some from last year.

  1. C Connor McDavid 23-40-63
  2. C Leon Draisaitl 15-26-41
  3. R Andrew Miller 15-20-35
  4. D Brad Hunt 11-19-30
  5. L Anton Slepyshev 17-11-28
  6. R Iiro Pakarinen 16-10-26
  7. C Bogdan Yakimov 10-13-23
  8. D Darnell Nurse 7-16-23
  9. D Jordan Oesterle 5-9-14
  10. C Jujhar Khaira 4-5-9
  11. D Brandon Davidson 3-4-7

All the numbers from last year are here. Most of these guys played in the NHL. The point here is that if you are a defender with 20+ NHLE points (Hunt, Nurse) I think it probably indicates some offensive ability. If you are a forward with an NHLE of more than 60 points, you should probably just go ahead and purchase a home.

NHLE THIS YEAR

  1. L Matt Tkachuk 14-35-49 (not yet drafted)
  2. L Drake Cagguila 22-22-44
  3. D Ziyat Paigin 13-28-41
  4. R Patrick Russell 17-17-34
  5. L Josh Winquist 9-24-33
  6. L Jere Sallinen 10-15-25
  7. R Tyler Pitlick 7-15-22
  8. D Jordan Oesterle 4-18-22
  9. C Jujhar Khaira 8-13-21
  10. D Ethan Bear 6-15-21

If the Oilers draft Matt Tkachuk—I do think it is possible (though not a lock) then Tkachuk is NHL-ready according to NHLE. Edmonton would not need him right away (LW depth chart is very good, actually) and as you can see Drake Cagguila is also a bona fide LW prospect.

The most intriguing name is Ziyat Paigin, who will not be coming over (one more year to go in the KHL). It will be interesting to see if he can duplicate his breakout season (ZP was traded back to his old team, sometimes a trade can impact performance/opportunity).

The rest of the list is interesting if not compelling. I think Jordan Oesterle and Jujhar Khaira making the list bodes well for their NHL chances in the coming year.

BENOIT POULIOT

If the Oilers are considering Matt Tkachuk at No. 4 overall, it follows the club may decide to deal a LW at some point in the next 12 months. The current NHL depth chart is damned good, but Benoit Pouliot—an effective NHL player—may have enough value to bring solid return. The dual additions of Drake Cagguila and Matt Tkachuk might give us an indication that dealing Pouliot is in fact likely in the coming months. The question I have is this: Will that trade come this summer? It could be framed as dealing from strength to address weakness (RHD), so in that way is a traditional trade idea.

PROJECTED OILERS ROSTER

current oilers roster

I wanted to talk for a minute about the Erik Gudbranson trade. We have chatted about the value of the trade, but for me there is huge appeal in the timing of the deal. Vancouver, for better or worse, have already addressed a big part of their summer’s work and can now move on to the next step.

Peter Chiarelli did a lot of his heavy work around the draft last season, and one suspects he will do the same this year. In adding Griffin Reinhart, Cam Talbot and Eric Gryba in one fell swoop, it allowed the team to focus on free agency and Andrej Sekera.

I wonder if the team would be wise to make a move now, today, for a RH blue. It would allow the club to address a need early and then see what is available for the next order of business. The reason I mention it? Still wondering about the Griffin Reinhart deal and the bonus item. If Peter Chiarelli knew about the cap bonus and potential impact, he would have factored in McDavid and Draisaitl and known that only two of the three (Reinhart being the third) could be on the roster.

Did he know that? No idea. I will say that in all honesty my confidence in the people surrounding him is such that it would not surprise me to learn that the Oilers table did not have that information. And that alone is cause for concern.

I would feel better if Peter Chiarelli broke up his summer into bite-sized chunks instead of relying on his staff to give him all of the important information in real time. Jmo.

hurdle gif

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

Friday show, I am off next week so we will leave it all out there today! TSN1260, 10 this morning. Scheduled to appear:

  • Steve Lansky, Big Mouth Sports. The SC Final is set, who you got? Plus World Cup of Hockey.
  • Matt Iwaynyk, TSN1260. Iwaynk’s five steps to Oilers contention is real, and it is spectacular. We will discuss today (it really is a good list).
  • Paul Almeida, SSE. A gent who we have missed in the last couple of weeks, we will talk about a large number of items—including his very early call of Matt Tkachuk to the Oilers.
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v4ance

Gret99zky: In fairness, it can be argued that Edmonton is the cradle of analytics and has won exactly jack shit (other than the lottery) for over a decade.

In fact, the Edmonton Oilers organization has become the measuring stick by which failure at the NHL level is measured.

Edmonton as a community has fostered a strong group of advanced thinkers who have found new ways of objectively looking at the game and at specific players using the numbers.

Edmonton OILERS as an organization have been out of the playoffs due to bad management, bad scouting and bad developmental systems.

Having good analysts in the city does nothing to affect the performance of the team.

This really is one of the dumbest comparisons I’ve seen on here in a while.

"Steve Smith"

bendelson: Since when does a top gunn like yourself feel the need to explain your comments to the masses?

The easy answer is “since it provided an opportunity to mock somebody else’s mangling of the English language, particularly when the person in question richly deserved to be mocked, if not necessarily for his mangling of the English language”.

And remember that not every reader here has built up the dossier on me from Google stalking that you evidently have, so some readers may require some additional context.

Oilspill

Klima’s_Bucket:
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you,” he says. “We won a Stanley Cup in Boston and we didn’t use analytics.” Jim Benning to Ed Willes of The Province

Remember analytics are the sprinkles on the cake. I rather doubt any team makes major decisions from a numbers sheet. It may be used to break a tie. They are better for fantasy leagues.

Gret99zky

Klima’s_Bucket:
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you,” he says. “We won a Stanley Cup in Boston and we didn’t use analytics.” Jim Benning to Ed Willes of The Province

In fairness, it can be argued that Edmonton is the cradle of analytics and has won exactly jack shit (other than the lottery) for over a decade.

In fact, the Edmonton Oilers organization has become the measuring stick by which failure at the NHL level is measured.

Kiltymcbagpipes

I don’t get why it is so hard for some of you to understand. Taylor Hall, P.K. Subban and Phil Kessel for that matter are defensive liabilities who make a lot of questionable plays with the puck. If you want to play for Team Canada you better be able to play a 200 foot game. Why is that so hard to understand?

They have lots of guys who can score like Hall AND bring something else to the table. ie. faceoffs, physical play, PK, experience. Claude Giroux for example has the most points in the NHL over the last 5 years AND was 1 of 4 players going into playoffs who averaged 1 PPG in playoffs AND is fantastic faceoff guy AND can check the opposing team’s center AND Penalty kill.

Taylor Hall can push the river.

Maybe, just maybe you are a bias fan who thinks your guy is better than he is? Or you are an armchair GM who thinks he knows more than Team Canada brass. Either way, you’re wrong.

stevezie

I’m pretty shocked Perry is off the team, but i endorse it. The gap between him and whoever took his spot is not huge and that play on Laine is the dirtiest thing i saw all season. I think.

But then how do you take Marchand?

I’m not as apoplectic as some (I assume Hbomb is talking to a hostage negotiator as we speak); it was a close call. But I’d take Hall over Marchand. Their career averages make it clear.

Why is Carter an automatic?

And who is picking team USA?

stephen sheps

bendelson: You could, yes.
I will be cheering for him to do well enough to garner a 6th Rd pick from Columbis this fall…
If we buy him out in advance, then I will simply cheer for him b/c he is Korpikoski!!!

Your plan lacks the passive-aggressive cruelty of mine, which is actually out of character for me anyway. I like it better. 6th round pick it is!

I’ve been cheering for the Finns for a long time, and not just because the Oilers are better when they have good Finnish players. While traveling in Europe 6 or 7 years ago, I found myself in Prague and became friends with a couple of Finns. It happened to be during the WHC that spring (the tournament was in Germany that year), so we went and watched the Czechs vs. Finns at a little pub. The Finns lost a close game, but I really enjoyed watching international hockey with people from other nations and decided that the Finns would be my #2 team from that point forward.

bendelson

stephen sheps: I forgot Korpikoski made the team. Can I cheer for them while still hoping for a non-contact related injury to Korpse preventing him from playing in the tournament and starting the year on LTIR?

You could, yes.
I will be cheering for him to do well enough to garner a 6th Rd pick from Columbis this fall…
If we buy him out in advance, then I will simply cheer for him b/c he is Korpikoski!!!

stephen sheps

bendelson:
stephen sheps,

Cheering for Finland or really just Korpikoski?

I forgot Korpikoski made the team. Can I cheer for them while hoping for a non-contact related injury to Korpse preventing him from playing in the tournament and starting the year on LTIR?

bendelson

stephen sheps,

Cheering for Finland or really just Korpikoski?

stephen sheps

Rondo,

that makes two of us.

all good

just didn’t want to seem like I was being dismissive of your point of view

Rondo

stephen sheps,

I’m only guessing.

stephen sheps

Rondo,

ok, I can buy that. It seems a bit of a tired argument, but it’s certainly a reasonable and believable one, especially in the eyes of hockey management types. Armstrong especially seems more risk-averse in his main gig’s roster construction, so yeah, I can believe that explanation.

I don’t have to like it though… 😉

Younger Oil

To me, Hall and Subban’s omissions from the team show that the management were trying to get a team of “team players” rather than the best players possible.

Not saying that it is a good decision, or the correct evaluation of the players, but it seems as if that was their thought process.

I seem to remember it being similar for the last couple of Olympic squads, and it worked well with them.

Woodguy

G Money: If I recall correctly, sh% from Shots to Corsi drops by about 25%.

So WG’s 13 goals becomes 9 or 10 goals.

Note that this isn’t a goals against, it’s a goals differential i.e. this quantification of playing a ‘typical’ LHD on the right results in 9 or 10 goals as some combination of fewer goals scored and more goals scored against.

Ducey said shots, so I assumed shots.

Rondo

stephen sheps,

Maybe Hall is just a high risk player like Subban and against the best you can’t get away with it as much.

stephen sheps

Woodguy: Yes, but the result it wonderful.

As a Prairie family fish usually isn’t eaten more than 1.5 times a week and I got a lot of fish.

Would you ship any of that fish to America? I can’t get good west coast fish to save my life down here…

Woodguy

G Money:
Woodguy,

I presume a classic case of enjoying the process more than the result.

Yes, but the result it wonderful.

As a Prairie family fish usually isn’t eaten more than 1.5 times a week and I got a lot of fish.

stephen sheps

Rondo:
stephen sheps,

I guess Giroux is a C and great at face-offs.

So are Toews, Jumbo, Geztlaf, Tavares and the best of them al when it comes to taking faceoffs, my favourite player in the NHL Patrice Bergeron.

In a way, you kind of made my point for me – Hall being an actual winger and all.

But as I said, it’s a great team and I am not complaining about Hall’s omission – I do get it – but I am disappointed for him and think he should be there.

P.K not making the team is what makes me actually angry.

Wolfie

Rondo:
Wolfie,

Marchant and Giroux took Hall’s spot

Giroux had a bad year. Marchand….. Whatever.

Hall is a top 5 LW in the NHL. Probably top 3 with Benn and Ovechkin ahead. Ovechkin doesn’t play for Canada.

Reminiscent of Rob Zamuner in Nagano.

LadiesloveSmid

If Taylor Hall was a “winner” he’d be on the team.

Just a selfish guy that hits top 10 in scoring at 20 & 21 by feeding himself he puck from behind his own goal line because no one has done it for him. If they fix the damn D this summer, Hockey Canada is gonna eat their own shit. I’m a spiteful **** when it comes to these things, but I’m cheering for NA and against Canada

Professor Q

Caramel Batman,

Yes, I know. Unfortunately. Even when a lot of Oilers personnel run Team Canada.

I don’t know, maybe being a dirty and terrible person, and trying to take out an 18 year old because he’s jealous?

LadiesloveSmid

Going to be very different cheering against Canada, and for the same team as most flames fans. I’d love to see a group of rag tag teens and young 20s beat the odds and win it. Defence is somewhat underwhelming and I’d take Galchenyuk over Drouin any day of the week, but they have Connor!!

Very happy for RNH. Will definitely be invested in this now.

Cassandra

Professor Q: How did he have no chance?

Did you even watch the most recent tournament?

And Perry deserves to be left off after his actions.

He had no chance because the people who run Team Canada don’t like him. Listen to the media. They don’t think for themselves. The way they think of Hall is the way the executives they talk to think about Hall.

What did Perry do?

Cassandra

Rondo:
Caramel Batman,

Didn’t know Perryis on the PK.You need to build a team not an AllStar team.

That’s simply not true. Any of these guys can penalty kill. They are the best players in the world. You need to find four guys out of the 12 who can do it. I think they’ll manage. Trying to build the best team by so some secret recipe of teamness is exactly the wrong way to build a team.

The best team is the team with the best players. Always. So take the best players. Always.

This isn’t rocket science.

Cassandra

Hahaha, Jack Johnson is on USA. Who is running that clown show? Their roster is a parody of hockey management stereotypes.

And Giroux on Team Canada is unnecessarily stupid, while Marchand is a horrible human being and a good but not great hockey player. There is no planet on earth where he is better than Hall or Perry.

If I’m Hall I’m not surprised, but I don’t see why he bothers to go the World championships when they so clearly don’t respect him. I like Duchene as a player, but I don’t see why Duchene is always on these teams and Hall is not. Would anyone trade Hall for Duchene straight up?

Rondo

stephen sheps,

I guess Giroux is a C and great at face-offs.

Professor Q

Caramel Batman:
Hall had no chance to make the roster.None.I thought Perry would be in before him.

Now the fact that he and Perry were left off for Brad Marchand is ridiculous.These people have no idea what they are doing.

That said, they are a million miles better at this than the rubes running Team USA.How the fuck you leave off Phil Kessel and Tyler Johnson while having Abdelkader and Callahan on the team is beyond intelligibility.

I’ll say it again.Hockey professionals are grossly incompetent.Indeed, there is nothing professional about them.They have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

How did he have no chance?

Did you even watch the most recent tournament?

And Perry deserves to be left off after his actions.

kinger_OIL

I’m on my phone. Boyle was the wrong guy I will put in the right one.

– many two L’s can and always have play effective D together end of story

– RH LH is optimal yes but if sub optimal is less expensive and allows to address other things you do it

– a L L D combo works often.

– it is not 3 ld rd pairings or bust.

– it is wrong to suggest otherwise.

Rondo

Caramel Batman,

Didn’t know Perry is on the PK. You need to build a team not an AllStar team.

G Money

kevin: Is it 2 shots on goal, or 2 shots toward the goal, or does it matter?

If I recall correctly, sh% from Shots to Corsi drops by about 25%.

So WG’s 13 goals becomes 9 or 10 goals.

Note that this isn’t a goals against, it’s a goals differential i.e. this quantification of playing a ‘typical’ LHD on the right results in 9 or 10 goals as some combination of fewer goals scored and more goals scored against.

Cassandra

Hall had no chance to make the roster. None. I thought Perry would be in before him.

Now the fact that he and Perry were left off for Brad Marchand is ridiculous. These people have no idea what they are doing.

That said, they are a million miles better at this than the rubes running Team USA. How the fuck you leave off Phil Kessel and Tyler Johnson while having Abdelkader and Callahan on the team is beyond intelligibility.

I’ll say it again. Hockey professionals are grossly incompetent. Indeed, there is nothing professional about them. They have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

stephen sheps

Rondo,

I get that, I do w.r.t Hall.
Counterpoint – Hall is one of the few natural wingers and a phenomenal 5v5 producer whose 2 way game is vastly under-rated and improving (see last week’s tournament). Lots of players will be playing out of position on this team up front.
Counterpoint 2 – I would have taken Hall over Giroux, not Duchene or Marchand. Giroux is coming off hip and abdominal surgeries and might not be fully recovered.
Counterpoint 3 – (admittedly the weakest of my counterpoints) Hall has proven international chemistry with Crosby

P.K I really can’t explain. Who replicates his skill-set? And why is he consistently overlooked by Hockey Canada?

Seriously though, how did Team USA pass over Johnson?

That said it’s a great team and I am sure they’re going to win the tournament. I understand why Hall was passed over but as a fan of the Oilers as well as the player, I am disappointed for him.

I will just be cheering for the young guns and the Finns this time around. The Finns have been my international #2 for a long time so that’s nothing new. The kids look like they’re going to be fast and fun to watch. I think they’ll make some noise.

G Money

Woodguy,

I presume a classic case of enjoying the process more than the result.

Rondo

Wolfie,

Marchant and Giroux took Hall’s spot

Snowman

Kiltymcbagpipes,

Yeah Hall makes such bad decisions he played the most and also the last minute in a gold medal game at worlds…

Terrible decision making… can’t be trusted… energetic player…

two time memorial cup mvp… two time world champion….0.91 ppg career… third most productive player 5×5 in the NHL over the last 4 years…

G Money

No Subban or Hall on Team Canada.

Kessel left off Team USA.

It is literally possible that Team USA will be last in this tournament.

Team N. America might very well finish third (and I’ll be cheering for them to beat both of their older N American counterparts).

This has been your seemingly daily reminder that "as smart as an NHL exec" is a low bar.— Emmanuel Perry (@MannyElk) 27 May 2016

Wolfie

Well it looks like I’ll be cheering for team NA. I understand loads of talent will be left off Team Canada’s roster…. But leaving Hall at home is inexcusable.

Woodguy

kevin: Is it 2 shots on goal, or 2 shots toward the goal, or does it matter?

That matters.

I assumed when Ducey mentioned 2 shots per game he figured it out correctly, but I didn’t check.

Professor Q

Rondo,

Yes he is.

Woodguy

Kiltymcbagpipes,

Post less

G Money

kinger_OIL: G: just real simple. Take Yandle’s CF%:

Yandle(L) – Klein (R) 50.9%
Yandle(L) – Boyle (L) 53.5%

Nice cherry pick, there Kinger. Yandle has played a total of 3500 seconds with lefties McDonagh and Staal. Yes, he did very well with both of them.

(which happens)

Which leads to the question, if that was such a good combo, why did he then play more than 80,000 seconds (yes, you read that right) with right handed shooters?

Boyle is a rightie by the way.

Lefties: 52 min with McDonagh, 7 min with M Staal.

Righties: 369 min with Girardi, 428 min with Klein, 234 min with McIlrath, and 305 min with Boyle. (He was above 50% CF% with everyone but Girardi)

If that screams to you that he can play on his off side … oh boy.

Professor Q

Kiltymcbagpipes,

Taylor Hall finished 23rd in points after being Top 5 to Top 10 most of the year.

That’s Top 25+ if you ask me…

http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/edmonton-oilers/jason-gregor-taylor-hall-deserves-spot-on-canadas-world-cup-of-hockey-roster

Omega93

Woodguy:
Ducey,

2 more shots a game is 13 more goals against a year assuming .917 SV%

Are you sure it’s not a big deal?

Is it 2 shots on goal, or 2 shots toward the goal, or does it matter?

Rondo

stephen sheps,

They are building a team not an All Star team. PK Subban style is already on the team. Hall is just not an elite 200 ft player, and that what was needed for him to be on the team.

Professor Q

Really odd decisions, it seems.

No Hall, especially after his recent IIHF performance?

No Subban?

Aya.

LadiesloveSmid

Kiltymcbagpipes,

Marchand had 42 points last year, is that relevant? Or is he a 37 goal scorer now?

Bottom line: grit, intensity, truculence, regina boy, hockey blood lines, visually better, sniffing glue

LadiesloveSmid

when did Boyle start shooting left?

kinger_OIL

G Money,

G: just real simple. Take Yandle’s CF%:

Yandle(L) – Klein (R) 50.9%
Yandle(L) – Boyle (L) 53.5%

– WTF! L L better than R L?

McDonaugh (L) – Yandle(L) 65%
McDonaugh (L) – Klein (R) 49.3%

– see above

– Now I don’t know here cases which ones play their off-wing (not sure how you find that info), but clearly two L’s can play together and do fine, in many cases

– You get Yandle (for instance) and pair him with Klef (for instance), because Yandle seems to do ok when paired with some other L D’s, and in small minutes Klef and Sek were 50%

– One can’t be blinded with the finding that LH-RH is optimal, and say that good D become bad D when paired with same sided winger as you have.

– Many top-4 L D play well with another L D, and they don’t become 3rd line D becasue they are playing with another D that shoots the same.

– And that’s the point: find a L D that does fine with another L D, and you are 90% optimized for 80% of cost (I’m making up this figure)

– You make is seem that there is no sense at all in having 2 L play together because they will fall off a cliff. This is clearly not the case.

– The mistake you’ve made in your conclusion is that just becasue LD/RD is optimal, you can’t/won’t accept a sub-optimal becasue it doesn’t work. But it does and there is ample proof in practice.

Kiltymcbagpipes

Taylor Hall is a good player but not Top 25 player in the NHL. Better players like Couture and Perry were left off. Brad Marchand scored 37 goals and is more of a reliable player. But here’s why in a nutshell he didnt make it:

Taylor Hall is an elite skater with a lot of determination but has questionable decision making on the ice. He makes several bad decisions every single game which fans often overlook due to his athleticism and his hard work and due to the fact he has been the team’s most effective point getter. He wont score you big goals, he will make many ill advised passes, he will take too many low percentage shots, he attempts too many one on two’s and he will pout when things arent going well. He does get points based on his speed and the volume of shots he takes however his game would not translate in the playoffs where streaky perimeter shooters like him are easy to shut down. Better suited in a complimentary role like a Phil Kessel who he has often been compared to instead of the go to guy. Note: Kessel didnt make a weaker Team USA.

Bottom line, Taylor Hall is a frustrating player to watch. He is a nice energetic player with a lot of skill but just cant be trusted in either zone on a regular basis or when the game is on the line. Nowhere near a complete hockey player he is just a streaky offensive player who relies on his speed too much instead of being patient to let plays develop. If that is the best player on your team then your team is in trouble as he has zero intangibles. Despite diehard fans trying their best to justify him as an elite player the reality is he is not a top 25 player in the league as shown once again by him being excluded from Team Canada as they selected players with a better overall game. You can’t blame the Oilers mismanagement in the past for him not making it as he has had the chance to showcase his overall game with Team Canada a couple of times now and failed to make enough of an impression.

Note to upset Oilers fans:

Being the best player on the worst team doesnt add credibility it takes away from it as there are so many holes in his game that drive coaches crazy that are overlooked because of his offensive production. You see him getting pts and “pushing the river” other people see him as a puck hog who doesnt use his teammates well and makes bad decisions. This is reality no matter how you try to slice it with a graph or piechart. Boston traded away Kessel years ago who was their top scorer and they won the Cup the next year. Edmonton while further away then Boston should consider the same. Streaky one dimensional scorers are replaceable, top pairing defencemen are not. This Team Canada snub yet again should be a wake up call to Oil fans that Hall isnt as good as they think he is. Unless they think they are smarter then the entire Hockey Canada brass who have played and coached at the highest level in the world….