March 03 2012 09:57AM
There's still some rough edges and he's a bit of a riverboat gambler, but Jeff Petry today is a solid NHL defenseman. Just in time.
Last night's even strength minutes for the Edmonton Oilers were a revelation. The "big man on campus" has yet to play 100 games in the best league on planet Earth. And yet, there he is playing huge minutes:
EV TOI LAST NIGHT AGAINST DALLAS
- Jeff Petry 21:41
- Ryan Whitney 21:24
- Ladislav Smid 19:56
- Corey Potter 19:21
- Andy Sutton 15:26
- Nick Schultz 14:18
The kid also spent over 2 minutes on the PK and skated miles last night. Edmonton's performance overall was hit and miss among the blue, but as Bruce McCurdy points out the Smid-Petry tandem was easily the best of the group. Petry seemed to be far more physical--almost punishing--last night and that kind of play will make him a fan favorite in no time.
I'm new to the twitter and the language, but in that world Petry would be "trending" at this point in time. In our mind's eye, he's graduating from "guy who looks good but is too new to trust" to "dammit, get Petry out there."
A year from now we'll have forgotten his salad days. There were years and years when the Oilers drafted a defenseman and waited and waited and waited without seeing any measurable success. It only makes sense then to stop and take a moment to acknowledge the moment when a draft pick earns a mark in the "good choice:" column.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
When we talk about "next year" in Edmonton--and let's face it that has been the major sport for about 6 years now--Jeff Petry gets written in pen alongside Ladislav Smid. Whatever else happens in the summer, Dan Petry's boy has arrived. Don't tell anyone, but he might end up being a better player than Dad.
How's that for chin music?
NATION RADIO is on at noon today, Team 1260 and the website has a listen live button. If you can't make it live, download is available here at Oilers Nation within 24 hours of the show's broadcast. Scheduled to appear:
- Black Dog Hates Skunks author Pat McLean. Pat was a very vocal supporter of keeping Ales Hemsky and wrote a brilliant series in defense of the signing. I'll ask Pat about the Hemsky signing, the trade deadline, what it's like to live in Toronto the weekend the Leafs replace a coach. And I'll also ask him if he has any connection with twitter sensation @SHorcov.
- David Staples from the Cult of Hockey. David has been writing some exceptional items lately on the direction of advanced stats and updates us on the Sloan Sports Conference and the Oilers new stats analysis think tank that includes Cult of Hockey's Bruce McCurdy.
- Dennis King from mc79 hockey Dennis is probably the most unique voice in the Oilogosphere choir and brings it with humor and a lot of common sense. We'll talk Hemsky, deadline, Oil PP and I'll ask his opinion of Lennart Petrell's future.
- Rod Pedersen from CKRM Regina and the Sportscage. I'll ask him about Oiler prospects Martin Marincin and Brandon Davidson (both Regina Pats) and the news this week that Saskatoon has made inquiries about NHL relocation to their city. Since my wife is a Rider fan, I may slip in a question about them to appease the masses. :-)
- Tyler Dellow from mc79 hockey. Tyler has been quite vocal about main stream media, and we'll talk about that along with Hemsky, deadline and I'll throw a question or two out there about the Leafs as well.
Interesting guests top to bottom. Hope you tune in.