You're Doing Fine! Oklahoma! OK!

Lowetide
November 13 2011 10:30AM

A picture is worth a thousand words. For instance, I'm fairly certain the Barons coaching staff would have had this defensive sequence drawn up a little differently, but stuff happens in the heat of battle. Checking the standings, OKC's Barons are flying to historic heights, but the boxcars look pedestrian.

What's that about? Who's the MVP? How are the prospects doing?

Jim Byers is the OKC Barons play by play man and a gentleman. He takes time every few weeks to update us at Nation Radio about the team and it's prospects. Yesterday, I had a chance to ask him a few questions and found his answers interesting.

  • Who is this team's MVP? Mr. Byers suggested that AHL veteran Ryan Keller and goalie Yann Danis were the key elements in this tremendous start. Keller has a nice range of skills and is a veteran hand. Although it's unlikely he'll be an Oiler this season, Keller's contributions in the organization are obvious to OKC fans. Danis has backstopped the team through most of this season and by eye and boxcar is having a terrific run. Like Martin Gerber a year ago, Danis has been splendid.
  • Which of the "younger group" has done the most? Byers didn't hesitate. Answer? Phil Cornet. Byers said he's been exceptional around the net and on the PP. Great hands, and he's forced his way up the depth chart at the expense of veterans and more highly touted prospects. Byers also told me that Tyler Pitlick has been a very physical player and very involved despite being kept off the scoreboard recently (Pitlick scored last night).  Curtis Hamilton has been involved at even strength plus a little on the PK, but neither he or Pitlick is getting much special teams time. We should factor that into their boxcars. When I asked him which of the kids (Pitlick/Hamilton) was playing more and having an impact on the game, the answer came back Pitlick.

YES?

  • How is Plante doing? Well, according to Byers. Plante has been more involved on the offensive side recently, and had a fine game with Taylor Chorney their first night back together as a tandem. I think both prospects may end up being AHL level players.
  • What about Omark? Splendid player at the AHL level, I got the feeling Byers was surprised to see him and more surprised he isn't back in Edmonton. By eye and boxcar, he's a fine hockey player.
  • Hartikainen? He was a HS recently, coach sending a message. Hartikainen has been strong on the PP and remains one of the marquee prospects in the group.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Nation Radio should be up and running here at ON sometime in the next 24 hours, it's an interesting show with lots of great guests. Jim Byers is certainly worth a listen. I'm a big fan of math, but a good scouting report is important.

C2a6955161684b5e3189319acfa5ebe4
Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
Avatar
#1 Dangerous Neil
November 13 2011, 10:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Fist of the day!

Avatar
#2 Shane
November 13 2011, 10:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

So aside from Omark who's our first callup? Hartikainen as a HS doesn't sound promising

Avatar
#3 freeze
November 13 2011, 10:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Glad to see such a strong farm system developing. Also nice that the young prospects have to earn their ice time and are pushed to be better by some quality vets.

Avatar
#4 sizedoesmatter
November 13 2011, 10:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I would love Hartikainen to be called up our third line is to small. It would help shutting down the other teams top lines also Gagner should move up he is terrible in a checking role

Avatar
#5 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 13 2011, 11:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Yes? Please!

Why was the second coming of Esa T an HS?

Good to see Chorney fit back into the A like a glove. Looking forward to the Nation podcast (c'mon Wanye!).

I'm glad the team is a success and that Danis is playing so well... he's a two-way contract, right? if something terrible happens he comes up? Wondering though, how's LeNeveu doing?

and what about our kid goalies? I can't find much on Roy in Stockton... is there much on that team (other than Roy and Martindale) worth looking into?

is it safe to assume Pitlick has nudged Brule and O'Marra down the depth chart... is there any chance of recovery for those guys, or should I start to write them off and look to the Hamilton's and Cornet's for the future? How realistic is Cornet's seemingly out-of-nowhere success and how far can it legitimately take him?

incidentally, here's an official press release on Brule's progress:

http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=600835

this quote from Gerry Fleming stands out:

"There's an old saying in hockey: you can use this time to be bitter or you can use it to make yourself better. I think Bru's taking the step that he's going to make himself better."

esp. if Brule's issue has been largely non-physical in nature, it's encouraging to see him having a good, enthusiastic attitude (not that he had a bad attitude). that suggests maybe he's turned, or is turning a corner headspace wise. I'm cheering for him.

thanks again for the stellar article LT.

[edit] from the same Brule article. I love this quote:

""This is my second time down in the AHL from being in the NHL so I'm used to this before. It's never an easy transition but I'm still playing hockey for a living and you can't complain about that," Brule said."

That's awesome! there are definitely some players and fans who see going to the A as akin to death... Brule, though, seems to have figured it out... not only is it an opportunity to succeed and get back on track (not many other lines of work offer so many second chances and opportunities for self-help... a whole other league as a safety net).. but also -- you get paid to play hockey!!! that's amazing. it's good some people don't forget that.

Avatar
#6 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 13 2011, 11:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
freeze wrote:

Glad to see such a strong farm system developing. Also nice that the young prospects have to earn their ice time and are pushed to be better by some quality vets.

Agreed 100%. Competitiveness through the whole organization!! Some people around here seem to really discount the impact of that holistic approach. Glad to see the Oil doesn't.

Avatar
#7 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 13 2011, 11:21AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

here's something fun for your sunday afternoon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq0F_SikCng

Avatar
#8 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 13 2011, 01:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

What gives here Lowe Tide?

Oklahoma article,

and NO Miss OK??

Edit: Still a good read tho. :)

Avatar
#9 sharpy140
November 13 2011, 01:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Romulus' Apotheosis

easy to have a good attitude when you are being paid 1.9 mil per year

Avatar
#10 CM
November 13 2011, 01:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thoughts and Prayers to the family of Kyle Fundytus, a defencemen for the Southside Athletic Club who passed away this morning due to an injury in last nights game.

Avatar
#11 Spydyr
November 13 2011, 03:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
sizedoesmatter wrote:

I would love Hartikainen to be called up our third line is to small. It would help shutting down the other teams top lines also Gagner should move up he is terrible in a checking role

What is it going to take for the coaching staff and the people here to realize Gagner is terrible in every role?

To small, to slow, to soft on the puck, weak in the corners.

None of that is going to change.

Omark has a slow start down to the minors he goes.PVR has a slow start, to the press box he goes.Gagner has a slow start. Lets promote him a line or two.

One of these players has a father who is friends with the GM.Can you guess which one?

Avatar
#12 misfit
November 13 2011, 05:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I figure we'll see consensus among Oiler fans and coaches on Gagner long before we can expect people to learn the proper use of the words to, two, and too.

Avatar
#13 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 13 2011, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
sharpy140 wrote:

easy to have a good attitude when you are being paid 1.9 mil per year

one would think/hope that would be the case for both players and fans... and yet... have you ever read the comments on this site... for some being sent to the A is a high crime.

Avatar
#14 ricky p
November 13 2011, 10:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@misfit

Misfit, your two bitter about language usage. I hope you can learn too relax and too let it go. I two struggled with it but learned too let it go. I guess that makes to of us. ;]

Avatar
#15 Spydyr
November 14 2011, 07:59AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
misfit wrote:

I figure we'll see consensus among Oiler fans and coaches on Gagner long before we can expect people to learn the proper use of the words to, two, and too.

When your only rebuttal is I forget a "o".You must agree.

Sorry we are not all perfect like you.

Avatar
#16 Evials
November 14 2011, 04:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Wen peeple fergit ta uze werds rite, itt ez reely enoyeng, rite spider? Soree, spelt yer naim rong.

Avatar
#17 Evilas
November 14 2011, 04:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Misfit, I thought this was a hockey fan site, not a grammar critique site?

And yes, I even spelled my name incorrectly, just for consistency.

Comments are closed for this article.