Wilton Felder’s I Want You Back

by Lowetide

The first time I saw Michael Jackson, he was on the Ed Sullivan Show with his brothers, singing “I Want You Back.” We don’t think of Michael Jackson in the same way now, but back in 1969 we only knew that he could sing like Diana Ross, and was not yet a teenager. The song became something of a staple for me as I grew older (I loved the Jackson 5) but didn’t find out about Wilton Felder’s work on the recorded track until I was in my 50’s. Oh my, what a bass track, three minutes of brilliance.

In yesterday’s game, Connor McDavid had a moment I’ll remember a long time, and it wasn’t the brilliant front-man stuff he does that everyone notices. Oilers fans are a bright bunch, so you probably already know what I’m talking about here. The game in doubt, McDavid went screaming through the neutral zone crowd and drove like a torpedo to his own net. He arrived just in time to intercept a Mika Zibanejad goalmouth pass meant for the streaking Jesper Fast. Crisis averted! Beautiful music!

In a long season it becomes cliche to pick out specific moments as being important in real time. We don’t know what tomorrow brings. That said, the Oilers badly needed to win, and if 97 doesn’t go runaway train on the play, we might be having a different conversation today. Yesterday in Manhattan, the captain went full Wilton Felder to give the Oilers deliverance. I’ll remember that play for a long time.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton is going to bring it all season long. Proud to be part of a lineup that is ready to cover the coming year. Outstanding coverage from a large group, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis, Lowetide, Minnia Feng and Pat McLean. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $3 a month!

  • New Lowetide: College and AHL prospect update.
  • New Lowetide: Panic storm on the horizon as Oilers remain a one-man show
  • New Justin Bourne: How hockey has changed for the better and allowed its young stars to shine.
  • Lowetide: Joel Persson’s early season performance in the SHL.
  • Lowetide: Practice lines in Boston, anger in Edmonton and Kailer Yamamoto remains on the No. 2 line.
  • Jonathan Willis: At 34, is Kyle Brodziak just too old to help the Oilers?
  • Jonathan Willis: Why Todd McLellan’s name keeps showing up on those ‘first coach fired in 2018-19’ lists
  • James Mirtle: Sizing up the NHL 2018-19 by age, height and age (Oilers content)
  • Black Dog: Edmonton’s future is bright, but there are all kinds of questions in the present.
  • Lowetide: Evan Bouchard survives first game.
  • Lowetide: Ryan McLeod takes demotion in stride, while a Condo of Condors impress on opening weekend.
  • Jonathan Willis: On AHL opening night, Caleb Jones and friends make it clear they want NHL jobs.
  • Lowetide: Orange, white and blue October: In 1979, the Oilers rocked the NHL.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: After the death of his father, Sweden trip holds special significance for Adam Larsson, and one of his opponents.
  • Scott Wheeler: How the eye test fails to properly evaluate Evan Bouchard.
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Why the Nuge-McDavid-Rattie line has been so successful.
  • Lowetide: The 2018-19 Oilers are in a period of transition.

DEFENSE, LAST NIGHT

  • Klefbom-Larsson were 13-6 in 13:07, 4-3 shots and 0-2 in HDSC. I thought Klefbom was the calm one in this game, slowing the pace and re-setting as required. Brennan Klak and I were on the air during the game, and Klak wondered about Larsson’s pinches (he seems to be more aggressive). A big reason this pairing had issues, although there were no GA with the pair on the ice (the two blue on the Zibanejad goal were Larsson and Nurse). Klef-Larsson went 6-3 in 5:24 against Kreider-Zibanejad-Fast. I like this pairing. Klefbom rescued the puck from the blue line just before Edmonton got the winner. Oscar missed the net a lot, seemed to be an ongoing issue for the entire blue. Is shooting wide in the vague hope of a cool MSG bounce the new normal? Seems a poor bet, if true.
  • Garrison-Bouchard were 11-8 in 8:42, shots 6-5. Bouchard has some real nice offensive acumen, he was exposed defensively more than once. Rookies gonna rookie. Garrison helped when calamity hit, but they were 1-5 HDSC (!!!). I’m not sure how long either man spends in Edmonton this year. They were 0-1 in 1:21 against Kreider-Zibanejad-Fast, two games in a row we’ve seen pairing matching lines. Bouchard is +7.94 in Rel, early days but the puck is headed in a good direction when he’s on the ice.
  • Nurse-Russell were 10-21 in 16:07, this duo were the workhorse pairing for the team, that appears to be Nurse’s role (I think Larsson’s back is a worry). Went 6-13 in 8:57 against the Zibanejad line (1-1 for Nurse), it was the matchup both coaching staffs settled on. I thought Russell was far more effective than Benning has been so far, not sure where that puts the group.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 23 of 24, .958. He now owns a .932 even-strength save percentage for the season. Early days, good numbers.
  • NaturalStatTrick and NHL.com.

FORWARDS, LAST NIGHT

  • Caggiula-Strome-Puljujarvi were a dream in possession, this line is a recent compilation and I’d like to see more. They had two HDSC’s, and that’s exactly what the Strome line has been lacking. Went 12-3 in possession (8:57), 8-0 in shots, no goals but drew a penalty (Caggiula on the chance, via a JP pass). Encouraging, although we have to consider qual comp. Went 7-0 in 4:18 against Claesson-Shattenkirk, I think you have to give them credit for delivering solid performances when on the ice. A goal would have been nice, but this line performed well.
  • Nuge-McDavid-Rattie were 13-14 in 14:04, 9-7 shots, 1-0 goals, 3-0 in HDSC. McDavid belongs in a higher league, the words we have at our disposal can’t really describe his impact. I did think both wingers played well, Nuge grabbed the points but Rattie made some good plays to keep the play moving. Went 12-8 against Skjei-mostly McQuaid, 3-7 against Marc Staal, 7-9 Brendan Smith (I can’t figure out the pairings for these events) against 97.
  • Khaira-Brodziak-Rieder were 6-7 in 8:18, 2-2 in shots. I liked the line overall, for me JJ and Rieder are going to be the Pisani’s for the group this coming season. Notice how close the fourth line (8:18) is to the third line (8:57) in 5-on-5 icetime together. McLellan is rolling rolling rolling rawhide. Went 5-1 against Claesson-Shattenkirk in 3:24.
  • Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto are a headache. Went 6-14 (Lucic) in 10:39 (6-9 Yamamoto), 1-8 shots, 0-1 goals, 3-11 scoring chances, 0-7 HDSC. This is insane. Seriously. Yamamoto grabbed two penalties through working hard and keeping his feet moving, Lucic and Draisaitl were noticeable on the power play. Todd McLellan should run Rieder-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi until they fire him, but he won’t do it. The second line is a mess, Leon is apparently going to score all of his points while spending time with 97. Lucic, too.

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 2015: 0-3-0, goal differential -6
  • Oilers in October 2016: 2-1-0, goal differential +1
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-2-0, goal differential -1
  • Oilers in October 2018: 1-2-0, goal differential -5

The Oilers are in league with the 2015 and 2017 teams, goal differential has 2 EN goals and three on the PP so there’s a story to tell. I don’t think this year’s team is a more (or less) promising playoff contender but the 5-on-5 goaltending is better in the early days.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • On the road to: Sweden to play NJD (Expected: 0-0-1) (Actual: 0-1-0)
  • On the road to: Boston, NYR, Winnipeg (Expected 1-2-0) (Actual 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Washington (Expected 1-3-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Nashville, Chicago (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Minnesota (Expected 0-0-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 3-6-2, 8 points in 11 games 
  • Current results: 1-2-0, 2 points after three games

Huge win for the team, they haven’t won a lot in Manhattan in recent seasons. The Winnipeg game will be interesting, we’ll discuss their chances of getting a point tomorrow. This Oilers team, as currently constructed, is more about building for the future than winning a playoff spot now.

MCLELLAN AND PULJUJARVI

  • McLellan post-game: Jesse’s had some moments where he’s played very well, and he’s still learning in some other moments where he’s got caught doing things that affect the team at the other end, or maybe the teammates coming on to the ice. We’ve talked and talked and talked to him about it, and he’ll have to just keep working at it.” Source

I’m parsing words here, but it seems to me that quote, compared to previous ones on the same subject, expresses frustration in a more pronounced way. Perhaps I’m missing this completely, but the coach said ‘talked and talked and talked’ and there’s an edge in the way he said it. Where I come from (same place as McLellan), the end of the sentence is usually “and dammit I’m done talking” but the coach measured his words carefully. There does seem to be a little more freedom in his words there, not exactly MacT discussing Dustin Penner but it caught me when listening.

By the way: There are only two reasons for a coach to be more open than previous avails about a specific player.

KATZ

  • Elliotte Friedman:Yesterday Daryl Katz was at Oilers practice, today he was at the game, he spends a lot of time in New York City. It just ratcheted up the intensity and the nerves in Edmonton. It’s three games into the season, you hate to call it a must-win, I think in a lot of ways that was for Edmonton. I think Katz let it be known how frustrated he was with the way things were going, and the Oilers needed this win today, badly.” Source

The win helps, the pressure remains. I am convinced keeping the young talent is the right thing to do, but there are a lot of “Catch-22” bullet points on this roster currently.

Jesse Puljujarvi is a central figure in an internal organizational battle right now. He has talent, they believe in him, but JP is banished to the bottom-six forwards. Is that a coaching decision? Do the centers on the skill lines have trouble playing with the young Finn?

Sometimes there’s a breaking point (Glen Sather used to browbeat the young Oilers until Mark Messier stood up to him, and in that instant the world changed for team and player) and sometimes there’s a breakthrough on the ice for the player.

I’d stay the course, damn the torpedoes, keep those coaches teaching and keep pushing for wins even if things get more difficult. Daryl Katz may have a different approach. This feels like something has to give, perhaps it will.

262 comments
0

You may also like

0 0 vote
Article Rating
262 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
OriginalPouzar

Two important players last night for the Oilers were the much maligned Drake Caggulia and Kris Russell.

Caggulia doesn’t get props for “tenacity” in spite of poor play and poor PK this game, he gets props for actually playing well – forechecking well, winning board battles, being on the right side of the puck. It helps that he was NOT on the PK (at least I don’t think) – he needs to stay away from the PK.

I’ve been very adamant that Kris Russell is not good enough at 2RD and cannot play there – him substituting in to that position for a struggling Matt Benning was a key to the win – Russell played well in tough minutes.

Wilde

It’s strange how McLellan’s not a players’ coach, and must do what’s best despite how players feel about something, but letting the forwards pick their linemates isn’t considered the inmates running the prison by the speaker of those first two sentences.

There’s a smarter way to phrase this, I tried and gave up.

OriginalPouzar

To be fair to McLellan, that quote on Jesse was in response to a direct question regarding Jesse’s turnovers and, while his line did well today including in possession, despite some nice offensive plays, Jesse did turn the puck over 4-5 times including multiple times in bad spots and 10 seconds before the puck was in our net. Add this to unnecessary penalties in each of the first two games (each time leading to a GA) and Jesse has been making mistakes that have ended up in our net.

I was quite happy to see that, even after his turnovers, he still got ice including in the last few minutes – McLellan did not “punish” Jesse for the mistakes.

Dicky94

I think Chia will make a trade first to try help Todd if the team continues to struggle. If that don’t work than the coach will go.

AshetonisGod

OriginalPouzar:
To be fair to McLellan, that quote on Jesse was in response to a direct question regarding Jesse’s turnovers and, while his line did well today including in possession, despite some nice offensive plays, Jesse did turn the puck over 4-5 times including multiple times in bad spots and 10 seconds before the puck was in our net.Add this to unnecessary penalties in each of the first two games (each time leading to a GA) and Jesse has been making mistakes that have ended up in our net.

I was quite happy to see that, even after his turnovers, he still got ice including in the last few minutes – McLellan did not “punish” Jesse for the mistakes.

I agree it was encouraging that JP still got minutes after mistakes, and he seemed to play well too. Discouraging sign was Larrson also in picture on Connor’s brilliant back check. Whether it’s a balky back or balky effort, it’s troubling.

Ben

Love JP, think the future’s bright, but he does have some Yak in his game.

For talented young offensive players I imagine it’s the toughest thing to learn: how to try to make something happen while staying on the right side of the play.

And if you’re not outscoring your mistakes (either because of ability or usage), tough for the coach to stay onside.

But there’s a solution! Bakersfield. (And he can bring Yamo with him.)

Wilde

Lowetide: I’d put Pulju there.

You know what’s worth a shot?

98 wants to play with 18 but 29’s struggling?

Just make that the line.

Jethro Tull

Funny how MJ ended up looking like Diana Ross. Gee……The Wiz.

For “I Didn’t Realise They Did That” foe $500, Alex, try ‘Quincy’ on Netflix. The part where he left Dr. Dre speechless at the harshness of his upbringing was a particularly poignant moment.

TMac has to crack the JP code. He doesn’t have anyone with the talent to play up the line up for a sustained amount of time. If he hasn’t already, he needs to consider more unorthodox methods.

flyfish1168

Lowetide: Part of the problem is that we don’t really know. In watching 97 and JP together, I’m going to guess it is not a chemistry dream. I don’t fault either man, but absolutely buy the idea that the head coach doesn’t throw him on the top line if others are having success. Same goes for the Leon line, except that line isn’t scoring. I’d put Pulju there.

I am frustrated seeing Milan stapled to Leon and 1PP. If our Centers are talking about the difficulties playing with JP I wonder what the narratives are about Milan. Milan doesn’t play a top 6 skill game anymore. He plays a limited bottom six with his physical play and poor forecheck. I feel with the new NHL where speed is king Milan is at best the 13th forward.My comments are harsh but that is the reality of the new NHL. JMHO

Woodguy v2.0

AshetonisGod: I agree it was encouraging that JP still got minutes after mistakes, and he seemed to play well too. Discouraging sign was Larrson also in picture on Connor’s brilliant back check. Whether it’s a balky back or balky effort, it’s troubling.

Larsson isn’t the swiftest skater to start with and he was bagged at the end of that shift, but his skating stride there screamed “my back is killing me!”

Moonlight

I think by not firing McLellan last season Chiarelli made a bet that he has that option in the chamber for this season. If McLellan is fired Chia still has a job. This would be Chiarelli’s last lifeline. If it’s an interim coach does Chia get fired at season’s end if the new coach can’t right the ship or is he given one last opportunity to hire a new coach? I say this because a lot of folks are certain that without success this season that both Chia and TMac are on the way out, I don’t think that’s a certainty.

HT Joe

Lowetide Said: “Jesse Puljujarvi is a central figure in an internal organizational battle right now. He has talent, they believe in him, but JP is banished to the bottom-six forwards. Is that a coaching decision? Do the centers on the skill lines have trouble playing with the young Finn?”

If there is any truth at all that Draisatl is refusing to play with JP, then staple Lucic to Drai’s ass all season long and see how that goes. There can’t be any truth to this rumour, could there??

Woodguy v2.0

flyfish1168: I am frustrated seeing Milan stapled to Leon and 1PP. If our Centers are talking about the difficulties playing with JP I wonder what the narratives are aboutMilan. Milan doesn’t play a top 6 skill game anymore. He plays a limited bottom six with his physical play and poor forecheck. I feel with the new NHL where speed is king Milan is at best the 13th forward. JMHO

Based on all the verbal last year and this summer I believe this to be true:

1) Lucic has asked for a trade

2) Peter tried to accommodate him, but the returns (based on his last 40 games last year) were below what Peter would accept

3) Lucic will be given all the rope he needs this year to ensure the return on the eventual trade is palatable

dustrock

I actually thought by eye Draisaitl was making some pretty good plays 5v5 but Yamamoto, though he’s got a non-stop moto, can be closed off the puck because he weighs like a piece of paper (cue Fat Albert).

Lucic is just horrific. He’s not fast but the hands are coninuing to be a struggle. Plays die on his stick over and over and over again.

We’ll never know who decided he gets PP1 time and 2LW time when he should be playing 3LW. Is it lack of options for McLellan? Demand by veteran player Lucic? Demand by Chia for purposes of pride or showcasing or both?

The 5L PP is unbearaborrible and it needs to be fired into the sun. The PP goal was a moment of brilliance by McDavid.

Why can’t Puljujarvi get PP time? Why can’t Bouchard get PP time? If you’re keeping a guy who destroyed the OHL on the PP for 9 games and not giving him a shot while Klefbom can fire howitzer after howitzer 10 feet from the net.

Larsson looks like he’s 36.

Talbot was very good but also very lucky. This against a team that is ostensibly rebuilding.

Still no goals in 3 games without McDavid.

Gonna be a long season.

dustrock

Woodguy v2.0: Larsson isn’t the swiftest skater to start with and he was bagged at the end of that shift, but his skating stride there screamed “my back is killing me!”

Absolutely. He couldn’t even stride, really.

who

Moonlight:
I think by not firing McLellan last season Chiarelli made a bet that he has that option in the chamber for this season. If McLellan is fired Chia still has a job. This would be Chiarelli’s last lifeline.If it’s an interim coach does Chia get fired at season’s end if the new coach can’t right the ship or is he given one last opportunity to hire a new coach?I say this because a lot of folks are certain that without success this season that both Chia and TMac are on the way out, I don’t think that’s a certainty.

I agree with this.
I think Chia holds off on firing Tmac for as long as he possibly can. If he can get to January before he replaces the coach it probably buys Chia one more summer.
And one more summer might buy him enough time for some of the teams holes to be filled internally with our young prospects. It also might give him an opportunity to unload 1 of his bad contracts.
At this point I think he is hanging on, jusy trying to buy 1 more year.

AshetonisGod

Woodguy v2.0: Larsson isn’t the swiftest skater to start with and he was bagged at the end of that shift, but his skating stride there screamed “my back is killing me!”

That’s the interpretation I’m leaning toward. Larsson is a warrior, hard to see him skimping on effort. But it’s also the more troubling interpretation. Lack of effort is typically easier to correct than a bothersome back.

Jethro Tull

Woodguy v2.0: Based on all the verbal last year and this summer I believe this to be true:

1) Lucic has asked for a trade

2) Peter tried to accommodate him, but the returns (based on his last 40 games last year) were below what Peter would accept

3) Lucic will be given all the rope he needs this year to ensure the return on the eventual trade is palatable

Strange. Palatable returns on trades has never worried Peter here or in Boston before.

I suspect no-one would take him.

dustrock

Article on The Athletic about Chicago struggles with Saad.

Maybe we can grab him. A veteran winger with some offensive talent? Yes please.

Professor Q

Lowetide: Is it a rumour? I hadn’t heard it.

Commenters here have stated frequently that Draisaitl and McDavid don’t want to play with Puljujärvi due to various reasons. Now where they got this info and whether it is true or not, can not be determined.

leadfarmer

If lack of hockey sense is such an issue with JP why didn’t they trade him before the rest of the league figures it out.

Professor Q

dustrock:
Article on The Athletic about Chicago struggles with Saad.

Maybe we can grab him. A veteran winger with some offensive talent? Yes please.

I’d rather have Panarin.

godot10

McLellan prefers to get rid of players, rather than coach them.

I first made this point three years ago.

leadfarmer

dustrock:
Article on The Athletic about Chicago struggles with Saad.

Maybe we can grab him. A veteran winger with some offensive talent? Yes please.

Not for 6 mil per. We have enough underperforming contracts

HT Joe

Lowetide: Do the centers on the skill lines have trouble playing with the young Finn?”

You had written “Do the centers on the skill lines have trouble playing with the young Finn?”. Other posters had previously indicated that McDavid and Drai don’t like playing with JP. I took this collectively to mean that Drai (and McDavid) don’t want to play with JP. Am I just misinterpreting everything? Sorry to create confusion if I’m wrong.

fishman

AshetonisGod: That’s the interpretation I’m leaning toward. Larsson is a warrior, hard to see him skimping on effort. But it’s also the more troubling interpretation. Lack of effort is typically easier to correct than a bothersome back.

If Larsson is struggling with his back Oilers are in a world of trouble. You could argue this is a team with no true no 1 D pairing. They have 3- 2 nd pairing guys in Lars,Klef and Nurse. The rest are 6,7,8 guys.There is no salvation on the farm (Bear perhaps another 6???)

If they lose Larsson for any length of time (or Klef or Nurse) a very weak D gets worse. Likely leads to desperation trades! Thanks Chia!

flyfish1168

Woodguy v2.0: Based on all the verbal last year and this summer I believe this to be true:

1) Lucic has asked for a trade

2) Peter tried to accommodate him, but the returns (based on his last 40 games last year) were below what Peter would accept

3) Lucic will be given all the rope he needs this year to ensure the return on the eventual trade is palatable

Unfortunately, this may mean lost year for one of the top 2 centers and potentially more deterioration of his value. Here is hoping for the best 🙂

dustrock

leadfarmer: Not for 6 mil per.We have enough underperforming contracts

Oh I was hoping to find some way to move Looch there as part of the deal.

Oilin4

The most important stat this season might be the TOI for 98. Early season and it doesn’t look good, all hovering around 10:00. Not enough. If the season is about growth, send Yamo down, move PoolParty up and play the daylights out of both of them.

godot10

OriginalPouzar:
To be fair to McLellan, that quote on Jesse was in response to a direct question regarding Jesse’s turnovers and, while his line did well today including in possession, despite some nice offensive plays, Jesse did turn the puck over 4-5 times including multiple times in bad spots and 10 seconds before the puck was in our net.Add this to unnecessary penalties in each of the first two games (each time leading to a GA) and Jesse has been making mistakes that have ended up in our net.

I was quite happy to see that, even after his turnovers, he still got ice including in the last few minutes – McLellan did not “punish” Jesse for the mistakes.

One has to let rookie quarterbacks throw interceptions so they learn the boundaries of their ability and judgement.

Puljujarvi is a driver. He is going to turnover the puck while he is learning to be the player he is. This is a more challenging process than with Laine who just shoots the puck.

Woodguy v2.0

Jethro Tull: Strange. Palatable returns on trades has never worried Peter here or in Boston before.

I suspect no-one would take him.

I think its along the lines of “I don’t want a problem contract back”

Derek

I believe Jesse and Milan are two sides of the same coin. Milan is stapled to Drai and PP1 to pump his numbers to make him tradeable. Jesse is in the bottom 6 and PP2 because they want him to drive those units, so that if he’s putting up the offensive numbers to get paid at the end of the year he’s earned them.

Unfortunately this strategy seems to be sewering the even strength play of their second line center and the confidence of their 4th overall pick but hey, Oilers gonna oil.

Woodguy v2.0

flyfish1168: Unfortunately, this may mean lost year for one of the top 2 centers and potentially more deterioration of his value.Here is hoping for the best

It will turn out like always

Woodguy v2.0

Brossoit starting for WPG and Byfugelien out for those of you who play daily fantasy.

innercitysmytty

Woodguy v2.0,

That logic on Lucic seems correct. But regarding item #3 the best position for Lucic to succeed and create some sort of trade value may be on the 3rd line with some PP time but not necessarily always PP1. Not sure how the coaching (or maybe management in this case) thinks that playing him on the second line, looking out of place and not producing will help his trade value. Collateral damage is once again the team is making decisions that aren’t based on winning.

innercitysmytty

dustrock,

One of the most frustrating things about Lucic is that for a big guy and supposedly one of the strongest guys in the league, he loses an inordinate number of board battles. That should be his bread and butter, but he either gets pushed off the puck, or is not quick enough with his stick.

Dicky94

Woodguy v2.0,

Thought for sure Brossoit would play Tuesday to throw more salt on the wound.

godot10

Matheson didn’t make a hockey play on Pettersson. He acted with malicious intent. He should get the book thrown at him. It was an unprovoked assault.

HT Joe

Lowetide: I’m just throwing things out there, but “rumour” suggests someone (imo) has heard some kind of confirmation. To be clear, I’m speculating, not passing along a rumour.

Thanks for clarifying, and sorry for muddying the waters!

Professor Q

godot10:
Matheson didn’t make a hockey play on Pettersson.He acted with malicious intent.He should get the book thrown at him.It was an unprovoked assault.

It was absolutely criminal. Isn’t this how the Bertuzzi Accord began? With the league not taking action at first?

Litke 94

Larsson made up for the failed backcheck anyways, with some massive blocked shots late in the game. He is a warrior.

He has been our best defensemen through 3 games imo. If you’re a fan of the defensive side of the game and smart, subtle plays to disuprt offense, then he is a joy to watch.

Hoping like hell is back holds up. We need him.

jtblack

1 win doesn’t change the narrative:

Goals when #97 is in the ice – 5
Goals when 97 is off the ice – 0

Unless that changes and changes quickly; the season will be over faster than a McDavid back check.

McNuge93

godot10:
Matheson didn’t make a hockey play on Pettersson.He acted with malicious intent.He should get the book thrown at him.It was an unprovoked assault.

I agree. I like physical hockey but hate the intent to injure stuff particularly with star players. Even hated when Johnny G’s wrist was broken even though he is a Flame.

AshetonisGod

innercitysmytty:
dustrock,

One of the most frustrating things about Lucic is that for a big guy and supposedly one of the strongest guys in the league, he loses an inordinate number of board battles. That should be his bread and butter, but he either gets pushed off the puck, or is not quick enough with his stick.

Good points. I think it’s the stick. His stick handling is very slow and awkward. Watching him receive a pass is painful. He has to coral it, get it into place, then think about where to pass it. It’s like watching a 50 year-old trying to carry a cup of soup filled to brim from the range to the table.

Bag of Pucks

Imagine a world where Chiarelli does get Boston to trade him Hamilton. No Reinhart trade and likely no Hall trade or Lucic signing. Kind of makes me hate the Bruins with the heat of a thousand suns.

Bag of Pucks

Saad for Lucic would be a good trade for the Oil imo. Saad’s more of a complementary player so I suspect part of his recent decline is tied to Toew’s downturn.

Reacquiring Saad was a weird trade for the Hawks. They traded Panarin who’d established excellent chemistry with Kane so they could reunite Saad with Toews.