JUST LUCKY I GUESS

Lowetide
October 02 2013 06:04PM

 

Mark Arcobello graduated Yale in 2010 and signed at the very bottom of the hockey business--an ECHL contract with no major league affiliation. That's not exactly the end of the earth for a pro prospect, but you can see it from there. Arcobello's story--small forward with skill--results in a career ended long before the NHL a large percentage of the time. However, once in a long while a player hangs around long enough, scores enough, impresses enough people, and finds his way. 

Last year, Mark Arcobello had a cup of coffee in the NHL.  That made him a success in hockey no matter what else happened afterward, but for Arcobello it meant one thing: try harder, do more, impress more. The line between a top flight AHL player and an NHL role player isn't a huge one, but a player like Arcobello can get buried early and never recover.

Entering this year's training camp, Arcobello was "one in a crowd" of centermen trying to find an NHL job behind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner and Boyd Gordon. Along with Anton Lander, Andrew Miller and Will Acton, Arcobello had some things to recommend him but was far from the favorite for the 4line/extra C job the Oilers had available. 

How then did he end up on the 2line opening night? During the summer, GM Craig MacTavish had this to say about the small C:

  • MacT: I liked him last year, I was an advocate of giving him an opportunity, especially in our bottom six last year, but he only came up for the one game. It all boils down to your ability to make plays with the puck. When he played with Hall and Eberle in Oklahoma City this year earlier, his production was excellent. It was actually on par with Nuge. I’m not saying that he’s Nuge, but it was on par with Ryan. So I think that we’ll get him to training camp. When we signed him again to a contract I had a conversation with him and told him that he would get a look at training camp. He hasn’t played in an exhibition game or didn’t last year, so we’ll get a look and the rest will be up to him to prove to the coaching staff that he’s got enough game to warrant a bigger look as training camp goes by. I promised him that opportunity and we’re going to give it to him.

As it turned out, Sam Gagner's injury gave two centermen a chance for opening night, and Arcobello (plus Will Acton) beat out Miller (who was injured) and Anton Lander. 

OPENING NIGHT

Last night, Mark Arcobello played 15 minutes for the Edmonton Oilers, had 4 shots on goal, an assist and went 52.9% on 17 faceoffs. He enjoyed three minutes on the powerplay, 2 takaways and 1 hit. His Corsi? 14-9 +5, the 4th best Corsi/min total on the team. 

Just lucky I guess. Again. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Don't bet against Mark Arcobello. Too small, not enough skill, can't skate fast, he's heard it so often he can't hear you. Mark Arcobello has overcome odds and left players in the dust for several years now at the pro level. 

We have to respect that, because history tells us a lot of players of his type never got this close to making it. Can he go beyond this?

Don't bet against it. He's just lucky, I guess. 

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.
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#1 Cynic
October 02 2013, 06:46PM
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Marchant was a plug through and through. He was in the NHL only thanks to expansion-era watering down of the talent pool. Arcobello will be here 15GP or less, knock around Europe for 3-4 seasons, and be working at his dad's construction company by 30. Let's stop pretending he's anything else.

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#2 Spydyr
October 02 2013, 06:09PM
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AHL player, time will show that.

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#3 David S
October 02 2013, 06:29PM
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Unfortunately LT your assessment forgets to mention his hands of stone. An NHL player would have buried that open net he faced last night.

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#4 Walter Sobchak
October 02 2013, 08:03PM
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Spydyr wrote:

AHL player, time will show that.

I can't understand the negative props on this?

Do people really believe Arcobello is an actual NHL player? I'm honestly baffled by this!

It's the same thing with Omark for Pete sake!

So people are willing to go to war this season with Arcobello and Acton and are willing to accept them as they would RNH & Gagner!

Arcobello & Acton are here cause the GM messed up bad.

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#5 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 06:12AM
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OilLeak wrote:

I bet you kick puppies in you spare time for fun. Provide some useful insight or stop trolling and GTFO.

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

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#6 JJ
October 02 2013, 10:36PM
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Sorry LT, but this is a joke of an article. Nice try, cherry-picking 4th best Corsi of all things in your argument. Hell, he better have that kind of Corsi and F/O percentage if he's being started in the offensive zone against weak competition all game. Especially with the line-mates he had.

Arco is a career AHLer. He had so many open nets, so many chances and couldn't do anything with it. Plain and simple, no need to be pussy-footing around with it.

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#7 Walter Sobchak
October 02 2013, 09:42PM
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Wax Man Riley wrote:

It's because this article isn't about the Oilers' Centre depth. It's not about management. It isn't about the Calder.

It's about someone that is making it; he's living a dream. Haven't you seen Rudy? It had nothing to do with Rudy not making the NFL, and if all someone gets out of this article is "AHL player, time will show that.", then they didn't read it, they just skimmed it so they could DSF* the thread.

*I have a copyright pending

A false sense of reality!

Arcobello wouldn't make this team had injuries not occurred to RNH or Gagner, he's not made anything!

He was gifted the spot on a technicality, not skill, right place at the right time, and maybe just a shade better then Millar!

However, you go with Rudy! Rudy had enough talent to barley make a down in College NOT the NFL, which makes Rudy just a very good high school player!

Thanks for playing though.

Keep living the dream In those techno coloured blue & orange goggles

, maybe if you want it bad enough, Hartikianen, Petrel and Omark will magically BE better too.

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#8 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 08:09AM
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@djc

That's not my résumé, just don't like being called a troll, when clearly I'm not. Nor do I take this blog at all seriously, I believe if someone calls you out, then I should be able to back it up. Done.

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#9 Walter Sobchak
October 03 2013, 06:06AM
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StHenriOilBomb wrote:

C'mon man, everyone needs a break. Arco's here because he's outplayed a ton of guys who were more highly touted, bigger, stronger, and given more opportunity than him. He's beat the odds already, even if his only NHL games are as an injury replacement.

Yes & NO, I agree that people need a break from time to time......IF they earn it!

Arcobello got it by default. The Oilers need an NHL center NOT an inexperienced AHL center. I don’t care how feel good the story is, the Oilers need to win, and win now!

10 games in and the Oilers could be in a massive hole.

I guess giving this dude his shot is oh, so good though.

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#10 merfer
October 03 2013, 09:15AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

THIS

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#11 DSF
October 02 2013, 09:31PM
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Mark Arcobello is Andrew Ebbett.

Arcobello:

5'9" 165

4 years at Yale

Best NCAA season - 15G 34P

Ebbett 5'9" 174

4 years at U of Michigan

Best NCAA season - 14G 42P

BEST NHL SEASON - 8G 32P

Neither player is skilled enough to play top 6 in the NHL and both are too small to play in the bottom 6.

Ebbett has managed to play 191 NHL games since his college career but that was 7 years ago.

Arcobello will likely follow a similar career path.

At the age of 30, Ebbett can't find employment in the NHL.

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#12 Walter Sobchak
October 02 2013, 09:51PM
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Hair bag wrote:

Nobody is saying he is or isn't, only that he deserves his shot - no different than what Omark already has (65 NHL games). He's not going to replace Nuge or Gags but in the meantime lets see what he can do. You must have some kind of crystal ball because you already know what he will be - there have been plenty of players that weren't drafted but through hard work forged a career for themselves. If they listened to guys like you there would be no underdog stories...sit back and watch instead of pretending you're some kind of expert.

Really?

Let's take a bet and see where Arcobello is next year.

What say you? $100 says he's in the AHL or Europe but not in the Oilers org.

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#13 fuzzy muppet
October 03 2013, 09:04AM
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I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

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#14 Spydyr
October 02 2013, 10:09PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

A false sense of reality!

Arcobello wouldn't make this team had injuries not occurred to RNH or Gagner, he's not made anything!

He was gifted the spot on a technicality, not skill, right place at the right time, and maybe just a shade better then Millar!

However, you go with Rudy! Rudy had enough talent to barley make a down in College NOT the NFL, which makes Rudy just a very good high school player!

Thanks for playing though.

Keep living the dream In those techno coloured blue & orange goggles

, maybe if you want it bad enough, Hartikianen, Petrel and Omark will magically BE better too.

Some people can't handle the truth

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#15 DSF
October 03 2013, 09:56AM
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Charlotte Checkers ‏@CheckersHockey

The Checkers have signed NHL veteran Manny Malhotra to a 25-game professional tryout contract. More: http://bit.ly/16kEtXj

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#16 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 11:40AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

Thank you. Gagner's injury was impossible to predict, but we've known that Nuge was going to be out since April. There's no excuse for not having addressed the depth at center by this point.

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#17 OilLeak
October 02 2013, 09:56PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Really?

Let's take a bet and see where Arcobello is next year.

What say you? $100 says he's in the AHL or Europe but not in the Oilers org.

I bet you kick puppies in you spare time for fun. Provide some useful insight or stop trolling and GTFO.

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#18 Cynic
October 02 2013, 10:26PM
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I think my comments were interpreted as a jab at Arcobello. They were aimed at Oiler fan. Completely off-planet, as usual.

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#19 fuzzy muppet
October 03 2013, 09:21AM
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@Batfink

I understand the injury argument. But they were short-handed at center going into the season.

Being strong down the middle is imperative to winning. They had Gordon and Sam Gagner. They KNEW RNH wasn't going to be ready and they didn't do a damn thing about getting a pivot that can play in this league. They gambled and subsequently lost.

Unless they go out and acquire another NHL (not AHL!) center, they are up poop creek without a paddle and we are discussing which prospect we want by January.

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#20 Reg Dunlop
October 03 2013, 09:36AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

No question the oil fumbled away this situation, relying on a tiny AHLer to fill in for a quarter of the season but what is really unfortunate is that in the process the oil turned the games best young left wing into a non-NHL caliber starting center in the process. Lottery, here we come.

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#21 Reg Dunlop
October 03 2013, 09:43AM
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Further to the point, with Dubnyk fighting the puck, does anyone remember how Hall dropped into a butterfly back when Kruger pulled the tender last year with the oil down and out of the game and Hall skated off shaking his head? He looked good, maybe we should try him out in net. We could turn a non-NHL caliber center into a solid backup option in goal.

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#22 mayorblaine
October 03 2013, 09:52AM
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Wes/Ronnie is no troll. to further that, anytime someone disagrees with you does NOT mean they are a troll. simple really. ie. DSF.

differing opinions are good.

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#23 DSF
October 03 2013, 09:54AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

What was Ebbett's best season in the AHL?

Ebbett's best - 18G 72P in 74GP

Arcobello's best - 22G 68P in 74GP.

Both at the age of 24.

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#24 djc
October 03 2013, 07:45AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

When you start listing your resume in a comments section and trying to prove how much of a fan you are, it might be a sign you are taking yourself and this blog a bit too seriously.

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#25 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 08:30AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

You're talking to an internet forum LEGEND, son. Show some respect!

Good for Arco, but I don't think I'm going to miss him when he goes back to the AHL. Faceoffs were a nice surprise though.

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#26 HardBoiledOil
October 03 2013, 07:03AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

I joined the Nation one year after you did, I am a regular contributor to the blog.

I have gone under the name Wes Mantooth - Water " Wes " Sobchak & now Ronnie Mac

I have also contributed commercial time for Lowetide when his show was known as the nation.

I have two dogs which I don’t kick, I am a paramedic/Firefighter, and I am a season ticket holder for the Edmonton Oilers & OIl Kings.

so ya, guess I just troll around.

^you da man, Wes!! :-)

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#27 pkam
October 03 2013, 02:06PM
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Tyler Hoeksema wrote:

New lines at practice have Eberle switched with Yak. Smytty remains out of his element and 15 strides behind on the first line. Geez

I don't like Smyth in the top 6 neither, but you have to realize how many time Smyth is the first man back.

Eakins is using the Smyth experience to cover the defensive weakness of Hall.

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#28 Where's Your Towel
October 02 2013, 06:11PM
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The sooner we get our regular centers back, the better. That being said, it's awful nice not to be *relying* on a guy like Arcobello to be better than expected.

I'm glad that the (healthy) depth chart means a prospect like Arcobello has a bit of a mountain to climb if he's going to push his way into the lineup. Even if he doesn't fill a hole on this team, maybe this opportunity shows he's an asset that can bring back what we need.

Or his performance gives us the chance to put Gagner back on the wing and make LW truly solid.

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#29 @Oilanderp
October 02 2013, 06:56PM
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@Cynic

Hey I work at a construction company....

*covers face full of tears and runs away sobbing at his wasted potential*

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#30 Quicksilver ballet
October 02 2013, 09:39PM
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On the bright side, still 81 opportunities left to blame Smyth, Hall or Dubnyk.

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#31 OilLeak
October 02 2013, 09:53PM
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DSF wrote:

Mark Arcobello is Andrew Ebbett.

Arcobello:

5'9" 165

4 years at Yale

Best NCAA season - 15G 34P

Ebbett 5'9" 174

4 years at U of Michigan

Best NCAA season - 14G 42P

BEST NHL SEASON - 8G 32P

Neither player is skilled enough to play top 6 in the NHL and both are too small to play in the bottom 6.

Ebbett has managed to play 191 NHL games since his college career but that was 7 years ago.

Arcobello will likely follow a similar career path.

At the age of 30, Ebbett can't find employment in the NHL.

This is actually a very fair comparison coming from DSF. If he becomes Ebbett that's not bad at all. I disagree with your comment about playing in the bottom 6 though. Arcobello has a decent defensive game and I think using skill on all 4 lines is preferable to big guys that do nothing but punch faces and muck.

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#32 Time Travelling Sean
October 03 2013, 12:42AM
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DSF wrote:

Mark Arcobello is Andrew Ebbett.

Arcobello:

5'9" 165

4 years at Yale

Best NCAA season - 15G 34P

Ebbett 5'9" 174

4 years at U of Michigan

Best NCAA season - 14G 42P

BEST NHL SEASON - 8G 32P

Neither player is skilled enough to play top 6 in the NHL and both are too small to play in the bottom 6.

Ebbett has managed to play 191 NHL games since his college career but that was 7 years ago.

Arcobello will likely follow a similar career path.

At the age of 30, Ebbett can't find employment in the NHL.

What was Ebbett's best season in the AHL?

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#33 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 03 2013, 08:57AM
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Oiler fans dissing Marchant... that is new to me.

Marchant is pure gold over here in my world. Pure Damn Gold.

Every Oiler team, every year could use 2 or 3 Marchants and never once think to itself... this guy isn't helping.

Marchants win you games.

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#34 DSF
October 03 2013, 10:45AM
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@Lochenzo

Yeah, I saw that too.

I don't think I would gamble on Malhotra either.

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#35 TigerUnderGlass
October 02 2013, 06:43PM
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David S wrote:

Unfortunately LT your assessment forgets to mention his hands of stone. An NHL player would have buried that open net he faced last night.

True. No NHL player has ever missed am empty net.

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#36 @Oilanderp
October 02 2013, 06:54PM
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I prefer to turn my head to the right.

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#37 Frank the dog
October 02 2013, 09:30PM
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Wasn't it Nuge that recommended Arcobello to the Oilers Brass, or was that someone else he recommended? Didn't they play together somewhere at one time?

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#38 Rocket
October 02 2013, 10:01PM
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@Walter Sobchak

I agree but at least The Oilers aren't relying on Liam Reddux or Alis Kotalik to fill the gaps.

All I want is for Arcobello to play decent and not embarrass himself or the organisation.

And having him help prospects in the AHL is OK by me.

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#39 Hair bag
October 03 2013, 01:21AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Really?

Let's take a bet and see where Arcobello is next year.

What say you? $100 says he's in the AHL or Europe but not in the Oilers org.

You're an idiot! The point is I don't give a sh*t where he is playing next year, I only care to see what he does in the next 10games or so and does he hold his own with the best in the world. The fact is that he is a skilled type player but he is definitely not better than Nuge or Gags so he likely won't have an opportunity to play once they get back - barring another injury. BUT, that doesn't mean he isn't a good hockey player and that he can't compete in the NHL - that is what I am interested in seeing. Maybe he is playing in the AHL or Europe next year but that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have the skill to play in the NHL, it just means that he might be in an organization where the numbers are against him because he doesn't have the size to play a bottom 6 role and the top two centers that he has to beat out are high first round draft picks with more talent. Alas, let the kid play - I am positive every game he plays in the show is a game more than you ever have....give the kid some credit. Sometimes on these blogs I wish I was sitting across from you in a bar so I could see if you really are stupid or just an ass looking to antagonize - it's too easy to come on here and be a prick - it's a little different when you are looking someone in the eye.

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#40 Batfink
October 03 2013, 09:15AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I'm not trolling or trying to be negative but I 100% mean this:

If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line center, your team sucks.

There's no argument against it.

This team will likely be buried in the standings by the time they get healthy. And the blame falls where it usually does: management. They have ONE NHL center...

ONE

A different perspective. If Mark Arcobello is your 2nd line centre - when both of your top 2 centres are injured - then your team doesn't suck. If the Pens lose their top two, not saying Gags and Nuge is Sid and Malks, do the Pens make the playoffs? Mark just has to hold the fort. The more skilled guys will be asked to dig a little deeper. It is ever thus on injury hit teams throughout the sporting world.

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#41 Batfink
October 03 2013, 09:46AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

I understand the injury argument. But they were short-handed at center going into the season.

Being strong down the middle is imperative to winning. They had Gordon and Sam Gagner. They KNEW RNH wasn't going to be ready and they didn't do a damn thing about getting a pivot that can play in this league. They gambled and subsequently lost.

Unless they go out and acquire another NHL (not AHL!) center, they are up poop creek without a paddle and we are discussing which prospect we want by January.

An interesting argument, but I don't think the MacT is that inept as to not have thought of this. There are some givens, going on what you suggest:

1. You have to give something up to get something. All joking aside, the rights to Omark do Not get you an NHL centre.

2. It's a sellers market. Other GMs know our situation. Ref point 1.

3. What do we do with this NHL centre when RNH and Gags is fit? Send him down? Fourth line? Maybe we gave up a certain rugged winger who would be useful down the stretch....

I'm saying we're more screwed by circumstance than by bad management THIS TIME! I think we're just that desensitised we don't recognise the differences in the situation between last year and this.

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#42 Spydyr
October 03 2013, 10:56AM
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I just hope Malhotra does not get injured even more.You have to give him props for the courage it takes to keep trying a come back.

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#43 tileguy
October 03 2013, 01:17PM
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Reality Check wrote "You have to wonder why there is so much hating going on in Oiler country." 7 (likely 8) years of missing the playoffs will do that.

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#44 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 02:33PM
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@pkam

I'm not saying we should have gone out and spent $5M on Grabovski, but we should have tried to address the position with either someone who could play 4th line regularly and be serviceable in the top-6 on a short term basis, or a legit 3/4 line center and temporarily play Gordon on the second line.

Having Acton and Arcobello walk onto the team out of training camp because there is no competition at center is unacceptable. And if you think having too many NHL centers is a problem, have a look at last year

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#45 Mike Krushelnyski
October 03 2013, 03:23PM
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So don't you think some of those 50 contracts could have been better used on an NHL center rather than loading up on goons and depth defencemen?

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#46 LinkfromHyrule
October 02 2013, 06:15PM
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After many doubted him during preseason, he delivered when it mattered. Maybe this game was a fluke, maybe not. You cannot argue with that stat line, although he definitely should have scored when he had that great chance on pavelec. Oh well good on him for doing what he has!

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#49 Supernova
October 02 2013, 07:24PM
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Good on you arcobella!

You have worked hard, beat the odds and have your shot.

Hard work meets opportunity! Timing is everything.

However this shakes out I am happy for you. Livin the dream!

On a related note this is one of the few wins I can give Todd Nelson credit for, I have been hard on Nelson for lack of players making it to the show! But I can give credit where it is due. Good job Todd, good job Mark.

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