60 IN 49

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers reached Mile 60 last night, about six weeks quicker than one year ago—and it was April 7 two years ago. Music! Even more important, the club swept the Calgary Flames for the first time in exactly forever. Good day, sunshine!

  • Glen Gulutzan: “It’s embarrassing. Our resolve to stick to it wasn’t there.” Source

SMOKE ON THE WATER, YEAR OVER YEAR

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
  • Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in November 2016: 5-8-2 goal differential -3
  • Oilers in December 2015: 7-6-1, goal differential -9
  • Oilers in December 2016: 7-2-5, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in January 2016: 4-5-2, goal differential -5
  • Oilers in January 2017: 7-3-1, goal differential +4
  • Oilers after 49, 2015-16: 19-25-5, goal differential -28
  • Oilers after 49, 2016-17: 26-15-8, goal differential +14

The Oilers have won at least seven games in all months but November, it has been a very strong run for the team since the end of November. We discussed January and its importance after Christmas, and agreed (we did not agree) that 17 points in 14 games was reasonable.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: Columbus, Boston, New Jersey, Ottawa (Expected: 2-1-1) (Actual: 2-2-0)
  • At home to: San Jose, New Jersey, Calgary, Arizona, Florida, Nashville (Expected Result: 3-1-2) (Actual: 4-1-1)
  • On the road to: Calgary, Anaheim, San Jose (Expected Result: 2-1-0) (So Far: 1-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected Result: 0-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-4-3, 17 points in 14 games
  • Current Results: 7-3-1, 15 points in 11 games

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

Score effects were in place early and often last night, so I am going to refrain from the usual display and just talk about each player.

  • Andrej Sekera played 18:30 5×5 and he was (along with Kris Russell) on his heels much of the night. Took a couple of penalties, and was solid as always on pass and carry. Sekera’s strength defensively is that he is very smart and quick, so can both recover well and anticipate with aplomb. My appreciation of his ability keeps growing as this season wears along.
  • Kris Russell played 19:03 5×5, three blocked shots and led all Oilers in even strength and PK time on ice. He responded physically to all of the tomfoolery, am sure Todd McLellan liked that side of his game. Russell got beat one-on-one a couple of times but he (like Sekera) can recover well.
  • Adam Larsson played 15:54 5×5 and had possibly the most eventful game of his season. He took a slash or hit to arm/wrist/hand/somewhere in there, but amazed me by coming back and playing a regular shift. Three assists, +3, three blocked shots and four hits (he is very physical, ask Johnny Gaudreau). I really like his game, he can pass the puck well and is on track for 20 points this season.
  • Oscar Klefbom scored 1-1-2 while playing 16:27 at 5×5. Klefbom has now scored eight goals, that is a significant total for this time of year. Three blocked shots, lots of time on PK and PP, in fact his 22:41 was just 10 seconds shy of the leading total among all Oilers (Sekera). Strong game.
  • Brandon Davidson played 12:33 at 5×5, was +3 and had three blocked shots. I liked his game, felt he should have played more.
  • Matt Benning played 12:57 at 5×5, had an assist, +3 and three blocked shots. He jumps down into the offensive zone very well, and plays a physical style. He’s bona fide, he’s a suitor!
  • Laurent Brossoit stopped 38 of 41, .927. This was his first NHL win.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Jordan Eberle had his best game of the season, going 2-2-4 and showing his offensive ability. Nice to see him regressing like a madman, and that line (Nuge and Pouliot) is coming together now. Six shots on goal, he is now on pace for 53 points on the season (in the range of expected).
  • Patrick Maroon didn’t have a lot going on, sent an errant pass that ended up in a shortie and his line (McDavid-Leon) got caved in possession. Tough to be critical of a player who has 18 goals before the All-Star break and makes $1.5 million, he also ran a little interference on the 97 goal.
  • Matt Hendricks played just a little shy of 10 minutes at 5×5, he took a nasty head shot from Sam Bennett and I wondered if he would be back. Was most noticeable on the penalty kill.
  • Milan Lucic had another fight, two shots and played on an improving line. No line did well in possession but the third group hung in there. Passing has improved to almost pre-Oilers level, I think his final 33 games will give Oilers fans a better impression of his abilities.
  • Leon Draisaitl had one assist, took a physical pounding and returned in kind. I really like his game alongside McDavid, wonder if he ever goes back to 2C. He thinks the game at such a high level and is a big, strong man.
  • Drake Caggiula is coming along now. Got an assist, was 50 percent in the dot, not sure he is a strong power-play option yet. His wheels are badly needed in the bottom 6F.
  • Anton Slepyshev was very strong in about 10 even-strength minutes. Scored a dandy goal, had three shots and used his speed to play an aggressive game on the forecheck. He has the puck on his stick more now, that is a sign of an AHL player transitioning to the NHL. Really cheering for him, Edmonton needs inexpensive wingers with skill.
  • Zack Kassian got an assist (a beautiful feed), and once again he had some good speed in this game. I am unsure about when or what happened, but he has extra jump lately in the skating department. Makes a world of difference. Maybe he is more involved because of the PK time? Just a guess.
  • Mark Letestu scored again, he keeps doing that despite playing on the fourth line. Three shots, 44 percent in the faceoff circle. On pace for 17-21-38 this year, cannot recall the last time those numbers appeared for a forward who called the fourth line home.
  • Benoit Pouliot had two assists, he is showing well now. It was a tough first half, but he could be a big piece of the puzzle in the second half of the season.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored 1-1-2 (EN) and is now posting boxcars consistently. I always liked his two-way play and PK work, and that was on display last night. What is also obvious is that the offense is coming back for him after a dry spell. He is 2-4-6 in his last seven games.
  • Connor McDavid scored a stunning goal, we should never take those beautiful sorties for granted. Effortless skater, his acceleration has no defense. His line received a lot of attention, and I was impressed (and alarmed) to see him come to the aid of Leon. Went 50 percent in the dot, on pace for 82gp, 27-67-94 and the Art Ross Trophy.

PIKES PEAK

This is a massive spike year over year, and Edmonton is in a very good spot. Notice the goal differential, telling us this is no fluke. Their goal share is 52.5, shot share is 51.2, Fenwick 51.4 and Corsi 51.0, all 5×5. This isn’t a fluke, and despite some clear issues (which may be addressed at the deadline) this Oilers team is the best in many years—as is reflected in the standings.

JOEY LALEGGIA

I am not certain when, but at some point the Bakersfield Condors moved defender Joey Laleggia to left wing. And it is working out quite well. Since the beginning of January, Laleggia is 7gp, 5-0-5 and playing a major role in the offense for the club. Position changes are often last chance Texaco’s, but in the case of Laleggia this move makes a lot of sense. A small forward (5.10, 185) in this organization has a chance, especially if he has terrific skills. Back on defense? Just one of a giant group in the Leftorium.

TODAY

I am going to enjoy today. This Oilers team has pushed so far up the mountain before the All-Star break it may take some time to take it all in. I think we can begin to talk trade deadline buying, talk playoffs (although they are not certain) and talk about building toward the Stanley Cup with some traction from this season no matter what may come.

Todd McLellan and Peter Chiarelli have been part of the Edmonton Oilers less than two seasons, and the results have been terrific. We can talk about the gaps and holes, and even about what might have been, but what is here now deserves to be discussed and celebrated. That was a big damned hole.

 

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spoiler

delooper: SNL “To sir with love”

I nearly puked. We’re talking about a warmonger who was given the Peace prize. This is so not SNL.

Chachi

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
OF17,

If the Oilers trade Slepy for Stafford I will throw up.

We would need a vomitorium so we could all join you.

Chachi

Bruce McCurdy: Heh, last night they were 30/70 numbers

This is funny, very funny.

greenshifter

I was at the the Portland vs Kelowna game last night to see Caleb Jones in action. A very Jekyl and Hyde performance.

In his own end without the puck he was not very good. Anticipating plays and coverage was poor. He did a lot of floating around, 1 hand on stick, looping circles and not engaging in battles. He did, however make a very strong play defending a 2 on 1.

On the other hand when the puck was on his stick he turned into a different player. His wheels would start turning and would make very nice passes when under pressure. Also led quite a few rushes and some quality chances came from some. He QB’s the powerplay and walks the blue line very well. By far he is the best skater on Portland.

What I saw last night was the opposite of how he played in the WJ tournament, where he was used as more of a defensive player and his offense abilities weren’t on show. He can play the tough, hard defensve minutes but why he wasn’t doing it last night I’m not sure.

But the night belonged to Kole Lind of Kelowna. Can this kid ever create offense and has unreal hands. Can skate well, goes to the net, runs the PP from the half wall. 3 or 4 times he left defenders looking for their jockstraps.

Cal Foote also looks good. This kid is thick and hits hard. Looks like a linebacker out there! Kelowna has some massive kids on their blue! Didn’t show much offensively but was solid in his own end. Get’s to loose pucks quickly and wins battles. Skating was pretty good for a big guy.

Got home late and watched Oilers demolish the Flames!
Great night!

OF17

GMB3: The irony of paying defenders to defend but not defend too often. A real catch-22

I think the idea is that you want defenders that defend effectively and quickly. Get the puck back as soon as possible as far away from high danger areas as possible and get a flat pass to a guy in a position to make a play. Paying guys to either defend or transition without the other element is missing the point IMO. It’s why I’m such a big fan of most of our D corps. Sekera, Klefbom, Larsson, Davidson, Benning, and Nurse are all good at playing that style of game. Shut things down, get the puck, and be effective in transition. Puts your forwards in a position to create offense and your goalie in a position to make saves.

OF17

square_wheels:
OF17,

UFA D with lots of (perceived) miles left, maybe he’s thinking Vegas signs him and he leverages that extra year ?

I’m looking at Buffalo for him. Not a lot there for LHD, and Bogosian would solve a lot of Russell’s issues with being hard at the lines and winning puck battles. At the same time, Russell’s passing and puck skills would cover a lot of Bogosian’s weaknesses. Seems like a pretty good fit, and Buffalo will have the money to pull it off.

GMB3

Woodguy v2.0: That’s the issue with Russell.

When he defends, he defends fairly well.

The problem is that the Oilers defend much more when he’s on the ice than when he’s off.

Last night he had a 0% Zone Entry denial.Not one time did CGY attack his side and not gain the zone.72% of the time they did it under control too.

He looks good defending, but defends too much.

The irony of paying defenders to defend but not defend too often. A real catch-22

frjohnk

Bruce McCurdy:
OF17,

In his last 7 games, Larsson is 0-6-6, +8. Every last one of them a secondary assist, but each time a solid play to win/move the puck up to a forward with room to do something with it.

He isa defence-first guy without question, but not defence-Only. Now on pace for 20 points, none of them on the PP.

Btw, some may have seen it already, but the other day I wrote <a href=”http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/it-took-a-while-but-oilers-rearguard-adam-larsson-has-been-finding-his-form“>this post on Larsson, riffing off my own entry in this comments section the day before, & borrowing FrJohn’s stats from this forum.

Great article Bruce.

I think has played better as he has gotten more used to the coaching/systems/players on the Oilers team.

And I don’t think we have seen his best yet.

square_wheels

OilClog,

YES PLEASE !

square_wheels

OF17,

UFA D with lots of (perceived) miles left, maybe he’s thinking Vegas signs him and he leverages that extra year ?

hunter1909

OF17: My point is that I’d only be comfortable bringing Russell back in a 5/6/7 role, and all of those slots are currently taken by more qualified candidates.

Although I can see your point, in the end Russell’s been a good addition.

square_wheels

Is this the NHL now ???

Detroit outshoots the Rags 21-19 but lose 1-0 in OT.

Worst game of the year award ?

Pescador

Woodguy v2.0: The stiff-arm is perfectly legal, yet players have gone away from it.

I’ve seen stiff-arm get called “holding” hip-check called “tripping”

Refs should do some remedial work on what’s legal and what’s not.

Yes indeed, although when Gator did it it was much more then just the ol running back stiff arm. He would make the initial contact with his shoulder then extend the “stiff arm” into the opposing players chest. It always looked like he was just pushing guys down to the ice but there was so much leverage there, which imo is where the skill was & like Bruce alluded to he would most often separate the puck from the man. Either way he was the best at it and if you never got a chance to see it that’s a shame.

OF17

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”,

Yeah, wouldn’t be my first choice (Slepyshev in a deal for Hanzal would be my target), but the pieces line up so nicely I think it’s a real possibility.

OF17,

If the Oilers trade Slepy for Stafford I will throw up.

N64

Good thing they’ve padded the lead heading into a challenging stretch. Oilers are at .610. But that breaks out to .389 against the top 15 teams. That’s all they play the next 7 games. So the over/under for the next 7 games would be 5½ pts.

Washington .740
Columbus .735
Minnesota .720
Pittsburgh .700
Montreal .655
Chicago .655
NYR .640
San Jose .640
Anaheim .620
Ottawa .615
Edmonton .610
Toronto .580
Nashville .555
St. Louis .545
Carolina .535

OF17

hunter1909: I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here. For my money, Russell’s been an exemplary player this year.

If you think Russell has been exemplary, we probably won’t have a lot to talk about here, since I’ve seen him on the opposite end of the spectrum. My point is that I’d only be comfortable bringing Russell back in a 5/6/7 role, and all of those slots are currently taken by more qualified candidates. If one of those more qualified candidates gets traded or claimed by Vegas, I’d rather shop elsewhere for a replacement than tap Russell for it.

Russell has been a definite improvement on the calibre of D we’re used to seeing in these parts, but we can and should aim higher moving forward, especially since we really only have the 2RD hole to fill.

hunter1909

Jethro Tull: Yes and no. Vancouver earnt a reputation for diving and the big bad bruins were the prototypical old guy’s hockey team with grititude. The point is calls aren’t being made when they’re supposed to be. Consistency is a dirty word to them. What one ref in one game against a certain team or player calls, another lets slide.

Btw, not sticking up for the ‘sucks, don’t ever think that!

Nice halibut reference! “All i said was that bit of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!”

LOL I just love how the refs were able to “take over” the NHL during that series. The Canucks were a good team but the diving was sickening. As everyone and their little sister knows, the NHL is a “copycat” league. Getting rid of that evil trend gives the refs a whole lot of leeway in my book, is all.

hunter1909

OF17: I’m not expecting Serge Savard, but I am expecting a player that can both defend and pass effectively. Russell has one of the two. We’re also not talking about a bottom pairing player. In ability maybe, but not in role. We have Nurse, Benning, and Davidson to hold down the 5/6/7 roles for the foreseeable future, and if Davidson goes, I can’t see Russell accepting or being given the 7 slot. I don’t like Russell at RD, so where does that leave him? I’d rather go get a UFA for a million bucks or park Reinhart in the press box than keep Russell. It’s an even talent exchange or better, and you have an extra $2 million or so to play with.

I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to say here. For my money, Russell’s been an exemplary player this year.

OF17

Bruce McCurdy,

Hadn’t seen your article yet Bruce, thanks for posting. I definitely agree that there’s been a shift in his play the last 7-10 games or so. He’s looking more like how he looked in New Jersey, where he would’ve had a lot more points IMO if he had some forward talent to work with. Makes me more confident that he’ll hit that ~30 point level in time, which combined with his defense, physicality, skating, and breakouts would make him one seriously valuable defender. My favorite type of defender too, one that puts both goaltenders and forwards in an excellent position to succeed.

OF17

One thought: I bet Slepyshev is gone at the deadline. The Oilers are going to have to make some room for players next year. If not traded, I’d count McDavid, Draisaitl, Maroon, Lucic, Eberle, Letestu, Kassian, Puljujarvi, Nuge, Caggiula, and Pitlick as near-certain Oilers next season. That’s 11 slots with Khaira, Slepyshev, Lander, and any new additions still to factor in. Khaira, Lander, and Slepyshev are all too good for the AHL, and I bet they’d choose Khaira if they had to pick one. That leaves Slep in a bit of a weird place with regards to next year’s roster, and he’s shown enough this year to pique teams’ interest IMO. Dealing him, maybe in a package, for a rental forward makes a lot of sense.

Matty just might get his Stafford acquisition after all. Lucic-Caggiula-Stafford would be an interesting line.

Jethro Tull

hunter1909: People love to rip the refs, but they play an integral part in policing “The Game”.

Just imagine if Vancouver, with all that diving had won that cup. By now the entire league would be diving like so many freaking pieces of halibut, and it would be horrible. The refs intervening and letting Boston whore those West Coast flakes goes down in Hunter’s book as one of the great services to professional sports.

Yes and no. Vancouver earnt a reputation for diving and the big bad bruins were the prototypical old guy’s hockey team with grititude. The point is calls aren’t being made when they’re supposed to be. Consistency is a dirty word to them. What one ref in one game against a certain team or player calls, another lets slide.

Btw, not sticking up for the ‘sucks, don’t ever think that!

Nice halibut reference! “All i said was that bit of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!”

Bruce McCurdy

OF17,

In his last 7 games, Larsson is 0-6-6, +8. Every last one of them a secondary assist, but each time a solid play to win/move the puck up to a forward with room to do something with it.

He is a defence-first guy without question, but not defence-Only. Now on pace for 20 points, none of them on the PP.

Btw, some may have seen it already, but the other day I wrote <a href="http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/it-took-a-while-but-oilers-rearguard-adam-larsson-has-been-finding-his-form“>this post on Larsson, riffing off my own entry in this comments section the day before, & borrowing FrJohn's stats from this forum.

Kris11

This team is finally, finally starting to make me just a little bit hopeful. Having lived and watch Oilers games all these years, that hope is really scaring me

OF17

hunter1909: Geez this is a bottom pairing player we’re discussing. You can’t expect Serge Savard at this level.

I’m not expecting Serge Savard, but I am expecting a player that can both defend and pass effectively. Russell has one of the two. We’re also not talking about a bottom pairing player. In ability maybe, but not in role. We have Nurse, Benning, and Davidson to hold down the 5/6/7 roles for the foreseeable future, and if Davidson goes, I can’t see Russell accepting or being given the 7 slot. I don’t like Russell at RD, so where does that leave him? I’d rather go get a UFA for a million bucks or park Reinhart in the press box than keep Russell. It’s an even talent exchange or better, and you have an extra $2 million or so to play with.

Frank the dog

pocession charge: The Flames fans were stunned but the building sure wasn’t quiet.The Oilers fans made sure of that with lots of cheering and chanting (Let’s go Oilers).What surprised me was that most of the Flames fans didn’t leave early.

That’s because the Flames fight to the end and sometimes come back. Especially against the Oil.

Timeisnow

The point is, Oiler fans are starting to like and appreciate Adam Larsson. The comparables are all really good, tough as nails dman, who we all want on our team. The good part is he’s just starting to show who he is.

hunter1909

OF17: His calmness, passing ability, and silky skating are nice

Geez this is a bottom pairing player we’re discussing. You can’t expect Serge Savard at this level.

OilClog

Hemmer for the stretch drive!

hunter1909

Jethro Tull: Since when has the mere fact of legality ever influenced a ref’s decision? They call it how they feel it.

People love to rip the refs, but they play an integral part in policing “The Game”.

Just imagine if Vancouver, with all that diving had won that cup. By now the entire league would be diving like so many freaking pieces of halibut, and it would be horrible. The refs intervening and letting Boston whore those West Coast flakes goes down in Hunter’s book as one of the great services to professional sports.

Bruce McCurdy

dangilitis: Waiting to hear 50/50 numbers?

Heh, last night they were 30/70 numbers

OF17

In addition to all of the positives already mentioned, one thing I appreciated in Larsson’s game last night was that he was jumping into the play on offense more often. Can’t remember when exactly it happened, but there was a sequence where Larsson dropped down in the offensive zone to recover a puck, held it to get past the defender, and sent it to a forward parked in the crease for a deflection. No goal, but it was a legit scoring chance, and we haven’t seen Larsson make that move too often this season. He’s getting more comfortable, which is good.

He’s also regained a lot of confidence in his passing. He was deferring to Klefbom far too often on breakouts at the beginning of the year, but now it’s a lot more balanced, and that’s increased the pair’s effectiveness quite a bit. General pattern seems to be one of them recovers the puck, draws a forechecker, crosses to the partner, and then the partner starts the breakout. Having both guys capable of playing either role in that exchange is huge, since it gives the pair so much versatility. Klefbom-Larsson is going to be a very good pair for a long time. All we need is someone to pair with Sekera to go with Nurse-Benning, and we’ll have one of the better and more balanced transition D corps in the league.

Russell is easily my least favorite D in the top 7 right now (Nurse included). Guy passes neither eye test nor number test for me. Ever notice how he loses almost every puck battle he’s engaged in? He gives it his all, which is respectable, but Russell might be the worst player on the team at actually winning those puck battles. That’s the biggest reason why his numbers are so bad IMO, since it’s almost like playing with 4.5 guys as soon as the opposition gets clean possession in our zone. Combine that with Russell’s difficulties holding lines, and no wonder the pairings he’s on get caved. His calmness, passing ability, and silky skating are nice, but they’re far outweighed by his less noticeable weaknesses. For a team built to win one-on-ones and play a strong disruption and transition game, I’m having a hard time figuring out why Russell is given such high marks.

hunter1909

Eventually Leon’s going to make a huge impact on German ice hockey.

Just think: In 20 years(I’ll probably be dead by then lol) Germany will start producing incredible hockey players. Look out Canada!

Jethro Tull

Woodguy v2.0: The stiff-arm is perfectly legal, yet players have gone away from it.

I’ve seen stiff-arm get called “holding” hip-check called “tripping”

Refs should do some remedial work on what’s legal and what’s not.

Since when has the mere fact of legality ever influenced a ref’s decision? They call it how they feel it.

Frank the dog

Stelio Kontos:
Can guarantee the balance photo won’t live up to the hype.

It’s more a case of LT declaring balance than whatever the photo is, although I’m sure that it’s an impressive photo.

Woodguy v2.0

Bruce McCurdy: What made that check particularly effective was that Gator’s left hand would be on his own stick which would be chippingaway at the puck at the same time he was depositing said player on his ass. He could play the man and the puck simultaneously as well as anyone.

The stiff-arm is perfectly legal, yet players have gone away from it.

I’ve seen stiff-arm get called “holding” hip-check called “tripping”

Refs should do some remedial work on what’s legal and what’s not.

hunter1909

frjohnk: When Larsson cranked Johnny Hockey, I gave a Woot!. More please. We now have Regher, they now have Hemsky.

Larsson is a monster. Just a wonderful, wonderful player.

Suddenly Chiarelli’s Oilers have so many great players…McDavid…Larsson… Leon…Talbot…Lucic…Nurse…Maroon…(lol at Maroon but wtf)

dangilitis

pocession charge: The Flames fans were stunned but the building sure wasn’t quiet.The Oilers fans made sure of that with lots of cheering and chanting (Let’s go Oilers).What surprised me was that most of the Flames fans didn’t leave early.

Waiting to hear 50/50 numbers?

frjohnk

When Larsson cranked Johnny Hockey, I gave a Woot!. More please. We now have Regher, they now have Hemsky.

Also wanted to note that there was one play not mentioned here was when Johnny had the puck on the right wing close to top speed and Klefbom stayed with him skating backwards. Klefbom’s mobility was redlining but he stopped Johnny because of his mobility and positioning. Not many Dman in this league can do that.

I know that Woodguy says Russell is Dreamy but Id say so is Klefbom 🙂

Bruce McCurdy

Pescador: Gator will always be one of my all time favourites.
https://youtu.be/FowcQYlKrI0
Bout minute 2:40 he scores a beauty.
His patented defensive play where he would have his right glove at his own chest as he closed out attacking forwards against the boards & then extended said arm(hand) simultaneously as he made contact was a sight to behold. It almost always resulted in that player being unceremoniously dumped on their ass, it made for some thunderous checks.
This is why Edmonton and Adam Larsson work well together.

What made that check particularly effective was that Gator’s left hand would be on his own stick which would be chipping away at the puck at the same time he was depositing said player on his ass. He could play the man and the puck simultaneously as well as anyone.

hunter1909

Larsson’s starting to remind me of that other NJ Devil, Scott Stevens.

Bruce McCurdy

I have a ton of respect for Matt Hendricks & his remarkable feat of 500 games played, but if I wanted to compare Gator to a forward I’d pick someone like Mike Grier. And if I wanted to compare him to a another d-man I’d choose someone like Lee Fogolin, Craig Muni or Adam Larsson.

hunter1909

prefonmich: Chia has definitely ‘Bruinized’ this roster and it has made all the difference.

Like it or not snowflakes, Chiarelli’s given Edmonton a team to reckon with.

You want toughness? How about an old family friend of ours who I learned had been in the Canadian Parachute Regiment in WW2. The dude was one of the kindest, gentlest human beings you could ever hope to meet in your life. Then you read up on what the Canadian Para’s achieved in WW2, and suddenly this guy has a knife between his teeth, lol.

Pescador

NYCOIL “Gentleman Backpacker”:
Timeisnow,

Calling him the Matt Hendricks of D-men is a disservice to Gator. Gator was one heck of a stay-at-home D, warrior tough as nails and a great leader. I know you were complimenting him but he was a lot more valuable than Hendricks.

Gator will always be one of my all time favourites.
https://youtu.be/FowcQYlKrI0
Bout minute 2:40 he scores a beauty.
His patented defensive play where he would have his right glove at his own chest as he closed out attacking forwards against the boards & then extended said arm(hand) simultaneously as he made contact was a sight to behold. It almost always resulted in that player being unceremoniously dumped on their ass, it made for some thunderous checks.
This is why Edmonton and Adam Larsson work well together.

Bruce McCurdy

Imagine Kelly Hrudey’s comments if Benoit Pouliot or Zack Kassian took the damfool penalties that his boys Tkachuk & Bennett did.

Bruce McCurdy

pocession charge: The Flames fans were stunned but the building sure wasn’t quiet.The Oilers fans made sure of that with lots of cheering and chanting (Let’s go Oilers).What surprised me was that most of the Flames fans didn’t leave early.

“This is not what the Saddledome crowd came to see” mourned Dave Randorf after the first period, utterly oblivious to the raucous ovation that that the Oilers were receiving from their several(?) thousand fans at that exact moment. There was no suggestion at any time that anyone in the building — including the broadcast crew itself — might not be rooting for the Flames.

hunter1909

Younger Oil: the past 10 years has beaten the confidence and optimism out of me.

That’s perfectly understandable.

However, as a veteran Oilers fan(dynasty), I can honestly assure you they’re certs to make the post season. I’d have given them 1 series for certain until last night…but now I’m leaning toward a 2 series playoff victory lap in 2017.

They’re still not good enough to take out the Sharks/Hawks. Everyone else is fair game.

hunter1909

Rebilled:
King Leon reminded me of King Doug Weight last night.

With respect, Leon makes Weight look like a lightweight.
Leon is a freaking Tiger tank.

hunter1909

leadfarmer: Larssons true value won’t be realized until a 7 game series.Then when he grinds the oppositions best players to a pulp people will realize why that trade made sense

Larsson is a sublime player. This is why the unwashed don’t understand him.

He’s almost single handedly righted that rotten leaking MacT Oilers defense.

Taylor Hall is a wonderful, wonderful player. If there were any way I could get him back I’d want to do it, other than the cap situation down the road which means someone is going to have to go anyway.

hunter1909

Missed last night’s game but geez…I sure came close to my running 7-2 Oilers victory prediction.