When I worked in sales, there were entire years of uneasy. There is a weekly nut (budget goal) and there is an end of the week and your entire body feels the ticking of the clock. Go long enough outside your comfort zone and you either succeed out of fear (of failure) or you find another job. We’re creatures of habit, we like the comfort that comes with control, repetition and consistency. Sometimes we create false ceilings and get comfortable with a plateau, and then someone comes along and challenges us to find higher ground. The real fear is finding out there is no higher place for you than the place you’re standing today.
RYAN STROME IN A RECTANGLE
- This is from Puck IQ and is genius. I’ve posted it so many times you might be sick of it, but not me.
- It tells us Strome was most effective against gritensity last season, but was below average relative to other Islanders in all three disciplines.
- This is what he’s up against, this is the points where I write “the problem is you develop a past.”
- Strome has a past. He may have been framed by addled thinking in Brooklyn but he owns it, at least until proving otherwise. His chance to prove otherwise may include time with Connor McDavid as RW.
- Todd McLellan’s comments on Saturday were a challenge, probably backed up in a private conversation.
- Todd McLellan’s comments on Saturday do not mean a roster shuffle. It’s too early to make a decision on way or another.
THE BATTLE AT RW
Edmonton enters the week with some questions on the starboard side and a plethora of possible options. The prospects vying for spots are good to great, but none all come with at least one question mark.
- Ryan Strome is coming off two seasons of disappointment offensively. He needs to shoot the puck while playing with 97, has eight shots in two games (1-1-2).
- Anton Slepyshev hasn’t played yet. He’s at 80 percent now according to reports, you’d like to see him play at least two games this week.
- Jesse Puljujarvi was slowed by an injury last week, played in just his second game of preseason on Saturday. He is now 2gp, 2-1-3 with five shots on goal, courtesy a fantastic 20 minutes with CMD. His touch pass on the McDavid goal was sublime, the young man is a unique set of skills in a fast, rambunctious package.
- Drake Caggiula may have hammered down the RW spot on Leon’s line, he is 2gp, 2-2-4 on the preseason. He has speed, can play in all three disciplines, and has chem with McDavid if it comes to that as an option for 1line.
- Kailer Yamamoto is 3gp, 4-1-5, as seven shots, and appears to be the smartest man on the ice at all times. Cerebral player with ridiculous hands, plus speed, forechecks like a demon. I had him No. 11 in the draft, really liked him. Even I’m surprised at how well he has done up until now. If he has more games like the first three, the Oilers won’t be able to send him back to Spokane.
- Zack Kassian has a spot in the lineup, no question. It’s likely on the fourth unit with Mark Letestu.
- Iiro Pakarinen is likely an extra forward to start the season, but could go higher if others falter.
I wrote about acquiring Josh Leivo the other day, also wonder if Jarome Iginla is on the Oilers’ radar. Jaromir Jagr isn’t coming here, but he’d be an excellent option if only for the jersey sales. I think Peter Chiarelli has this right, though. Take your Cod Liver Oil by finding internal solutions at RW. If they all don’t work, make a trade in-season.
THE BATTLE ON DEFENSE
The first six look set (Klefbom-Larsson, Russell-Benning, Nurse-Gryba) but we could see an acquisition here. As for the rest, I’d say Yohann Auvitu still has the edge despite some wobble. Ryan Stanton is in there, Dillon Simpson and Mark Fayne, too. Colin Miller would be a helluva get at this point, but we’ll see how everyone performs this week.
If a bubble player gets two games this week, the team is considering that player seriously. The next round of cuts will get us close to 23 men. I’ll guess the next cuts are Mark Fayne, Ryan Stanton, Ty Rattie, Brad Malone.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Pierre Lebrun, TSN & The Athletic. Massive week for NHL teams, Oilers still have some major decisions.
- Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL weekend was nuts.
- Jason Gregor, TSN1260. Oilers getting a good look at RW’s, who has the edge?
- Alex Thomas, The Oilers Rig. Who gets voted off the island next?
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!