BAD TO THE BONE

Lowetide
November 29 2013 07:21PM

On about day two of the National Hockey League's existence, someone said to someone "we need more size" and began a quest that continues to this day. The size/speed/skill prospect trifecta is so rare that NHL teams can go a decade or more without having one—Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor.

DRAFTING COKE MACHINES IS A LONG SHOT

Jonathan Willis wrote an interesting piece on the subject of size recently, and it got me thinking about the discussion regarding the current Oiler forwards. Perron misses being a power forward because of size and speed (he's certainly skilled enough) but has a definite role in the physical side of the game. A line containing Perron has the ability to score and agitate, and offers the opposition a unique set of challenges. 

Tonight, Perron stood out in a big way, imposing his will on the other team, agitating the opposition and trying to get things going. He's also a good hockey player, so he's agitating other good players for the other side. The club could use more actual NHL players who have an edge, and size is fine but the idea is to acquire players who are difficult to play against, tough to defend, difficult to predict from shift to shift. 

AGGRESSIVE FORECHECK

Perron's style forces the issue, pressures the other side and causes errors, which means turnovers and chances off the rush. The NHL has all kinds of players who bring that extra element along with significant skill; I would include Sidney Crosby, Dustin Brown, Brendan Gallagher, Scott Hartnell, Ryan Kesler and others. How many of those would you consider power forwards?

This is an element the Oilers should have in spades, and they do get their chances, but there are also long periods when breaking out against Edmonton is a breeze (and at least some of this has to do with coaching style and the system played under a coach's direction) and tonight is a perfect example.

I think that sometimes when we say "the Oilers need to be more physical" what we mean is "why can't the Oilers be more aggressive on the forecheck, finish their checks and make sure that every pass is challenged when possible?"

That's a major area of opportunity, and Perron's really good at creating turnovers that can turn into chances. On a night like tonight in Columbus, when the Oilers aren't really interested in competing for 60 minutes, a player like Perron stands out in a good way.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

You can't just stand there and watch greatness walk away, playing NHL hockey requires a lot of work without the puck. The Oiler players have all of the skills, but for prolonged periods this season:

  • They have been passive defensively
  • They have looked like they are unsure of their next move
  • They have not  been making it difficult for the other team to execute passes
  • They do not look like they're engaged in each and every play in the game

The Nashville game was a golden example of pressuring, rolling four lines and allowing your best players to wheel.  It looked like the coach and players had finally arrived at an agreeable system, and the learning curve for both finally arrived at something that could be successful.

Tonight in Columbus, the Edmonton Oilers were miserable again. The Oilers need more guys who get agitated at losing, and can agitate the opposition and are actual NHL players.

More David Perron's, please and thanks.

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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#51 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 30 2013, 08:36AM
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Way too many penalties last night, three guys in the box for unrelated minors at once? Come on.

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#52 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 30 2013, 08:38AM
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Everyone on this team is suffering because there isn't a #1 and #2 blue liner on this hockey club. The Oilers have some skill....but there isn't a capable pair of defenseman around to get them the puck with time to do something with it.

A couple of top pairing D'men, and a second line center. The Oilers are still wandering in the desert.

Good thing Kevin knows a lot about winning. I'd hate to see how bad it could've gotten without it.

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#53 Serious Gord
November 30 2013, 08:40AM
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Suck It wrote:

You have no idea.

Well, if you think that's the case - refute my point with FACTS rather than insults.

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#54 Mikey
November 30 2013, 08:41AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

"..:Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor..."

I'm no expert on oilers draft history, but please could someone list the draft picks that the oil have made - serious draft picks - ones in the first two rounds - who would fit the definition of being potential "complete power forwards"?

Because I can't think of any. And if I'm correct, and very few to nil have been then LOWETIDES assertion is wrong and it may in fact be a very damning indictment of management and scouting.

Dont' be so lazy, took less than 1 min. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00005632.html

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#55 Serious Gord
November 30 2013, 08:50AM
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Mikey wrote:

Dont' be so lazy, took less than 1 min. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/teams/dr00005632.html

I looked at that list but other than looking at position and size metrics I don't know the characteristics of the player at the time of the draft. If memory serves from when I looked last night there may have been five or six forwards over 6' - two were centers - drafted by the oil in those two rounds since 2000. But how many of them were thought to be bidding "complete power forwards"? That's the question I would like answered. But on the face of it drafting only one ever two years maximum does qualify as much of an effort.

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#56 Mikey
November 30 2013, 08:53AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I looked at that list but other than looking at position and size metrics I don't know the characteristics of the player at the time of the draft. If memory serves from when I looked last night there may have been five or six forwards over 6' - two were centers - drafted by the oil in those two rounds since 2000. But how many of them were thought to be bidding "complete power forwards"? That's the question I would like answered. But on the face of it drafting only one ever two years maximum does qualify as much of an effort.

I would agree. Its because the Oilers follow the mantra. Skill and speed before need. Even if the player they need is ranked 5 or spots lower than the guy that is "better" at 18 years old.

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#57 Bryzarro World
November 30 2013, 08:54AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

'Your.' I don't usually grammar Nazi, but if you're gonna respond with two words, you should probably get them both right.

It's not your fault you're a tool, it's your parents and the FOXP2.1 gene....

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#58 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
November 30 2013, 08:54AM
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Just wanted to comment on your gif there LT.

I have that same pair (mens of course) of Levi jean short shorts, but they just don't have the same affect on the opposite sex when i'm wearing them. Thought I could make this work, even with a very subtle muffin top thing I got going on. Could it be my almost athletic thunder thighs I was blessed with? Am I missing sumfin? The clerk told me they looked great....

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#60 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 30 2013, 09:00AM
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@Bryzarro World

Ouch, my feelers.

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#61 YFC Prez
November 30 2013, 09:15AM
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** wrote:

Who let the troll out?

Why you Heff to be mad?

I understand sticking up for your fellow man. But when that fellow man visits someone's blog and complains about the contents without adding anything of value what so ever , he should expect to be called on it.

I happen to like Lowetides contributions so I respectfully disagree with grumpy oil and yourself.

The very first article I ever read here was one by Wanye featuring some world class ms paint of a giant star shaped Jordan Eberle ( that was pretty much the worm that got me hooked). Yes I know what goes on at the nation.

My only question for you is when you call out one of the bloggers for quality of work why get your panties in a knot when the call is returned from another commenter. Time to relax I think.

* hugs *

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#62 nunyour
November 30 2013, 09:30AM
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Alsker wrote:

We truly lack that one guy who shows 0 regard for his fellow man providing they wear a different jersey than his. Marchment was as dirty as they came and we sought him out because he was exactly what we required!!! Don Jackson wasn't dirty per say but reminded opposition forwards why the boards are made of wood and why the glass hurts whem your face is planted into it. What a difference that 1 guy makes on a team, not a coke machine that lumbers about aimlessly but the guy that punishes the other team because he enjoys it!!!We saw it for years in Regehr, remember, the guy every body hated because he wasn't on our team. Every guy on the team will play and inch or 2 taller and 20lbs heavier once MacT finds him and then we can start talking about turning the corner.

yes please,someone like Tootoo.

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#63 S cottV
November 30 2013, 09:36AM
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Stack Pad Save wrote:

I don't know if you understand how hockey is played, but if you spend more time with the puck, you have a greater chance of scoring, also you are more likely to get hit. Last night the Oilers only line with consistent possession in Columbus' end was the RNH-Hall-Eberle line and they consistently won puck battles. That is toughness.

The other scoring lines did very little of that.

What last nights game highlighted to me was that Columbus is another young inconsistent team like the Oilers and when you got some big, strong puck moving D-man, who are willing to engage you are going to be an effective team. Wish the Oilers had some more of that on the back end.

Sometimes you give up possession 200 feet away and regain possession with a strong forecheck. Hall screws around 1 on 3, gets stuffed - turns it over and 30 seconds later its in the back of our net, aided by the fact that RNH has no idea what he is doing in his own end. So the big line gives up a gift to get things going. Not the thing you want to do on the road - back to back.

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#64 andrewmk20
November 30 2013, 09:41AM
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@Jordan Nugent-Hallkins

A lot of questionable penalties on both sides though. Refs were calling holds and hooks when players were just touching their sticks and gloves to the sides of other players.

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#65 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 30 2013, 09:44AM
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@andrewmk20

That too, the special teams were just awful last night from top to bottom.

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#66 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
November 30 2013, 10:01AM
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Its only a game

Why you heff to be mad boys

We will win again*

* eventually

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#67 2004Z06
November 30 2013, 10:07AM
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S cottV wrote:

Sometimes you give up possession 200 feet away and regain possession with a strong forecheck. Hall screws around 1 on 3, gets stuffed - turns it over and 30 seconds later its in the back of our net, aided by the fact that RNH has no idea what he is doing in his own end. So the big line gives up a gift to get things going. Not the thing you want to do on the road - back to back.

But, but how is this possible? That's 18 million per year on that line.

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#68 Oilerz4life
November 30 2013, 10:10AM
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nunyour wrote:

yes please,someone like Tootoo.

The team as a whole needs to play with grit and toughness. So someone please explain to me how bringing in one Tootoo type player is going to change the whole Oiler culture now? The Oilers need a helluva a lot more sandpaper injected into their line-up than one guy, but we need tough hockey players, not cheap shot artists. So explain it to me then, how is that one guy, whoever it is, going to bring about that dynamic shift in Edmonton's game?

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#69 roger
November 30 2013, 10:15AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

No doubt. The 80's isn't the same era team that Marchment played on but I agree with the whole white glove treatment point. On a side note, there's no chance a player would get away now, with the dirty stuff Marchment pulled off back then. I was at the game that he took out Greg Adams knee on knee and he did that stuff all the time, even against Weight, when he played against the Oilers at one point. Although I agree that the Oilers need a whole new level of toughness, I dont see that type of hockey being tolerated lol. Funny to think that the answer to Oilers problems would be to send out a cheap shot expert to defend our fragile team.

i remember that game being an unabashed doug weight fan, I was wondering why laraque didn't do anything. the next shift weight was on with marchment he tried to force feed marchment his hespler, oh good times.

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#70 Oilerz4life
November 30 2013, 10:24AM
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roger wrote:

i remember that game being an unabashed doug weight fan, I was wondering why laraque didn't do anything. the next shift weight was on with marchment he tried to force feed marchment his hespler, oh good times.

Those were good times. That Oilers team had heart. This Oiler team has more talent and still the underdog team from then, the ownership group era, would plaster this current roster all over the boards!

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#71 oilerjed
November 30 2013, 10:28AM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

The team as a whole needs to play with grit and toughness. So someone please explain to me how bringing in one Tootoo type player is going to change the whole Oiler culture now? The Oilers need a helluva a lot more sandpaper injected into their line-up than one guy, but we need tough hockey players, not cheap shot artists. So explain it to me then, how is that one guy, whoever it is, going to bring about that dynamic shift in Edmonton's game?

Simple addition by subtraction. Every time you bring in one guy that is willing to play hard all of the time you can move out some half ass lazy puck dangling SOB(Hemsky- and its OK to throw him under the bus cuz he is my goat). That's how you change the culture. One better player at a time until the only players you have left are the ones who get it. Note to self management

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#72 Dockstaff
November 30 2013, 10:34AM
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@Serious Gord

That's the tricky thing about drafting a power forward, there is no stat(s) to accurately show who is/isn't. You need aggressive with a touch of mean, goal scoring, defensive ability, and size. Most draftees are skinny kids that won't get real big until 21 or 22.

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#73 tileguy
November 30 2013, 10:39AM
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When is it time to admit that the rebuild needs to be blown up? I think that time is here now, everybody agrees that we need size and grit and there is not much of it on the farm, maybe Nurse in 2-4 years.

It is time to make trades with the kiddies. Overpay or 2 for 1 or maybe stockpile some draft picks. We are not going to become a competitive team like this.

Sure glad I don't pay thousands for season tickets, and quietly sit back and do nothing. Kev, you gave it your best shot, time to move on.

BOLD moves are needed if we are going to compete in time for the new elephant, errr I mean arena.

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#74 RexHolez
November 30 2013, 10:39AM
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We just have to be patient guys.... Isn't that the message we keep getting force fed for how many years now. We don't need to do strange things like assemble players that can build team chemistry or have a purpose! we dont need quality d-man or goaltending! We got 3 1st overall picks!! It doesn't matter if they can fit into a team system! Just give it time, any year now this perpetual bottom feeder team is gonna magically turn around and click!! These championships are gonna start rolling in so fast we're gonna run out of room on the shelf! Does that about sum it up??

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#75 Rama Lama
November 30 2013, 10:46AM
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LT I could not agree with you more on Perron.......on drafting "Coke Machines" , that can play the game of hockey, I could not disagree with you more.

It's not as hard to draft these types of players, as you suggest. They are there to be had, but our obsession with the skill/speed option over size/skill option is the real problem.

Each and every year player like this are drafted by other teams. You can go down the list of every team and find players like this, except for the OIlers. I suggest it's a matter of will and scouting strategy.

Your notion of these players being rare is true but IMHO they are there if you are looking for them.

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#76 CMG30
November 30 2013, 11:05AM
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I Really have no problems with the Oilers drafting the most skilled guys first because there are no guarantees with the picks and that way you have the best chance to avoid a bust. (At least in the first few rounds, after that it's kind of irrelevant to me as most of them are a crap shoot anyway) The NHL is littered with teams that drafted for position over quality and a good many of those teams ended up worse for it.

Having said all that, when you draft for skill you're not going to have a balanced team and therefore you must be willing to move some of those guys for the pieces that you still need. Sadly, this part of the process takes patients because deals involving those caliber of players are not easy to make happen.

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#77 Bucknuck
November 30 2013, 11:16AM
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Watching the game last night, I couldn't help but think: "The Oil need more Arco and less Gagner."

I am a Gagner fan, and I was happy when they resigned him, but I am a bigger Arco fan. The guy is always checking, always skating, and always making plays. I don't understand why he isn't being played more.

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#78 HOFFFF
November 30 2013, 11:18AM
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Too many pretty boys. Great danglers but that's it. Ebs and Nuge skating around with eggs in their pockets. Sammy snowpants gets tossed to the side like a flyweight. Buncha perimeter pussys.

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#79 S cottV
November 30 2013, 11:32AM
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Whether poor drafting, poor development, and or failure to make the right trades - the Oilers are in trouble because they do not command centre ice on the first two rotations and they cannot push the play up and out from the back end. RNH will not be a bonafide 1C for two more years, Gagner has no presence at 2C and there are no legit 1 and 2D men. The result is lack of possession and too much play on the wrong side of the red line and Corsi stats clearly show this. What good are high end wingers in these circumstances? Strength in the middle and a back end that pushes up and out - will make average wingers and goaltenders look better than they are. Weakness in the middle and back end will make pretty good wingers and goaltenders look awfully average. The Oilers are @ss backwards in the way this whole thing appears to have been mis-orchestrated. MacT needs to relieve his impatience by filling the 2C, 1D and 2D holes and that wont be easy because it does not appear to be in the system in the near term. If can be addressed - the team will be in a position to win consistently, once RNH matures into a legit 1C. Right now he is clearly and rightfully so - in training....

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#80 Jimmer
November 30 2013, 11:41AM
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I have a fever and the only cure is more Cow Bell....and David Perron.

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#81 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 30 2013, 12:15PM
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I can't get enough of that picture of Perron. I'd think twice before going near a guy with that look on his face.

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#82 nWo4life
November 30 2013, 12:24PM
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@Jakethesnake

Comparing Hall to Messier is like comparing Prince Charles to Mike Tyson.

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#83 EHH Team
November 30 2013, 02:07PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

"..:Edmonton sent their last complete power forward away on November 15, 2000—and spend dozens of draft picks in vain pursuit of a successor..."

I'm no expert on oilers draft history, but please could someone list the draft picks that the oil have made - serious draft picks - ones in the first two rounds - who would fit the definition of being potential "complete power forwards"?

Because I can't think of any. And if I'm correct, and very few to nil have been then LOWETIDES assertion is wrong and it may in fact be a very damning indictment of management and scouting.

How about: 2012 - #1 - Hall 2012 - #32 - Moroz 2010 - #31 - Pitlick 2010 - $46 - Hamilton 2009 - #10 - Paajarvi

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#84 @Oilanderp
November 30 2013, 02:44PM
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"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."

- Arnold Glasow

Don't trade a piece of the core for wins now. In the light of the years to come, it will be seen as a fool's move. Eventually these kids will stop looking around for someone on the team to do what needs to be done, and they will do it themselves.

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#85 Arius Mumin
November 30 2013, 03:02PM
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@Oilanderp wrote:

"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."

- Arnold Glasow

Don't trade a piece of the core for wins now. In the light of the years to come, it will be seen as a fool's move. Eventually these kids will stop looking around for someone on the team to do what needs to be done, and they will do it themselves.

Either Hall or Eberle has to traded.

The recipe for success doesn't include both of them in it.

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#86 Serious Gord
November 30 2013, 03:21PM
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EHH Team wrote:

How about: 2012 - #1 - Hall 2012 - #32 - Moroz 2010 - #31 - Pitlick 2010 - $46 - Hamilton 2009 - #10 - Paajarvi

So nothing before 2009? Paajarvi really?

Hall sort of, but was he picked because he was a potential power forward (which he doesn't seem to be now) or because he was the consensus number one?

Moroz and pitlick - sure but they certainly don't fit lowetides 13 year "pursuit" narrative.

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#87 EHH Team
November 30 2013, 04:11PM
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@Serious Gord

Lowetide's statement was that the Oilers tried to draft power forwards; not necessarily that they turned out to be complete power forwards.

Paajarvi is 6'3" & over 200 pounds, so I think he fits into the range of size to be a power forward (given he doesn't play like one, at least at this point).

Moroz & Pitlick were both early second round picks, so they clearly fall into the range of Lowetide's pursuit narrative.

Even though Hall was considered the best player available, that doesn't remove him from the debate imo.

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#88 Rama Lama
November 30 2013, 04:46PM
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EHH Team wrote:

Lowetide's statement was that the Oilers tried to draft power forwards; not necessarily that they turned out to be complete power forwards.

Paajarvi is 6'3" & over 200 pounds, so I think he fits into the range of size to be a power forward (given he doesn't play like one, at least at this point).

Moroz & Pitlick were both early second round picks, so they clearly fall into the range of Lowetide's pursuit narrative.

Even though Hall was considered the best player available, that doesn't remove him from the debate imo.

Hall to me is a power forward. A power forward is a guy that can score just a easily as throwing a hit.

To me its more attitude than size and toughness. A prime example was Darcy Tucker........he scared guys with his skill and had a relentless ability to always finish his checks.

I for one could care less how the guy fights, for me it's always about showing up and never backing down. If there is one hockey metric that is totally under-rated and rarely if ever measured it's intimidation. I wish when hockey scouts went hunting they try and find the guy ( apart from hockey skill) that has demonstrated a complete will to win.......some call it heart.

Find me that guy Mac T? There is another Wedel Clark out there somewhere.

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#89 Oilerz4life
November 30 2013, 05:26PM
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oilerjed wrote:

Simple addition by subtraction. Every time you bring in one guy that is willing to play hard all of the time you can move out some half ass lazy puck dangling SOB(Hemsky- and its OK to throw him under the bus cuz he is my goat). That's how you change the culture. One better player at a time until the only players you have left are the ones who get it. Note to self management

I can see that, there is a whole lot of change needed, I think we are all agreeing on that, with needing more grit. I don't see just adding one guy doing much with this group though and I can't see a dirty player doing much good. Lol on the Hemsky point.

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#90 Serious Gord
November 30 2013, 05:34PM
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EHH Team wrote:

Lowetide's statement was that the Oilers tried to draft power forwards; not necessarily that they turned out to be complete power forwards.

Paajarvi is 6'3" & over 200 pounds, so I think he fits into the range of size to be a power forward (given he doesn't play like one, at least at this point).

Moroz & Pitlick were both early second round picks, so they clearly fall into the range of Lowetide's pursuit narrative.

Even though Hall was considered the best player available, that doesn't remove him from the debate imo.

Lowetide said complete power forward - and that that was the quest and that dozens of picks had been spent on it. IMO anything later than the second round does not qualify as a serious attempt.

Pajaarvi has never in his career amateur and pro has ever fit the mould of power forward - he has nil physical game.

Lowetides narrative was since 2000 clearly that is a best debatable and mostly likely fanboy fiction.

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#91 Johnnydapunk
November 30 2013, 06:10PM
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As much as the 6Rings circus does my head in, I hate the fact that a problem the Oil will always have is that it seems like Edmonton is on the No trade list for a lot of players, which means either, signing players to bigger contracts than other teams have to pay, and having a more of a limited choice of players who would come here on a trade. Seems like so many players have a trade clause in their contract that it can't be easy to get players we need here. Until the Oil become semi decent and give the impression that there is a chance to make a cup run, they will be stuck with a limited choice or players.

Doesn't help that 6Rings has burnt a few bridges in his reign of terror here which can't make trades or signings any easier.

Maybe that's why I'm annoyed but not apocalyptic about the Oil's sometimes painful play,we can only work with what we can get.

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#92 Dave
November 30 2013, 06:24PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

Hall to me is a power forward. A power forward is a guy that can score just a easily as throwing a hit.

To me its more attitude than size and toughness. A prime example was Darcy Tucker........he scared guys with his skill and had a relentless ability to always finish his checks.

I for one could care less how the guy fights, for me it's always about showing up and never backing down. If there is one hockey metric that is totally under-rated and rarely if ever measured it's intimidation. I wish when hockey scouts went hunting they try and find the guy ( apart from hockey skill) that has demonstrated a complete will to win.......some call it heart.

Find me that guy Mac T? There is another Wedel Clark out there somewhere.

To be a power forward don't you need to be skilled and mean ?

Mark Messier / Gordie Howe.

Taylor Hall - not mean enough.

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#93 Hair bag
November 30 2013, 07:02PM
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roger wrote:

i remember that game being an unabashed doug weight fan, I was wondering why laraque didn't do anything. the next shift weight was on with marchment he tried to force feed marchment his hespler, oh good times.

Laraque was the worst enforcer ever, he was one of the toughest guys to ever play but he had no clue how to play his role. No one was afraid of him because he never held anyone accountable - he basically had staged fights against other tough guys. I never once saw him grab a Cooke or a Marchment, cheap shot artist, etc and put any fear into them for their actions. Other teams were afraid of guys like Probert, Domi, Brown because they went after anyone that messed with their teammates. Laraque was more concerned with getting in front of the media, still is....my rant is done. As you can tell I'm not a fan.

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#94 **
November 30 2013, 08:41PM
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YFC Prez wrote:

Why you Heff to be mad?

I understand sticking up for your fellow man. But when that fellow man visits someone's blog and complains about the contents without adding anything of value what so ever , he should expect to be called on it.

I happen to like Lowetides contributions so I respectfully disagree with grumpy oil and yourself.

The very first article I ever read here was one by Wanye featuring some world class ms paint of a giant star shaped Jordan Eberle ( that was pretty much the worm that got me hooked). Yes I know what goes on at the nation.

My only question for you is when you call out one of the bloggers for quality of work why get your panties in a knot when the call is returned from another commenter. Time to relax I think.

* hugs *

So long as you stay in your cage, it's all good.

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#95 **
November 30 2013, 08:46PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

Your mom....

Dammit mom!, now there's 2 trolls out!

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#96 Randy
November 30 2013, 10:35PM
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Is Bill Ranford one of the best goalie coaches in the NHL?

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#97 mackb
December 01 2013, 12:03PM
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I found this visual representation of the Oiler's "Rebuild" if they were a shed: http://imgur.com/a/wixkx/layout/blog

Good quality lumber, good quality nails and screws. All the right pieces. And Six Rings and his buddies hammering and sawing away...

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#98 nunyour
December 01 2013, 01:28PM
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Oilerz4life wrote:

The team as a whole needs to play with grit and toughness. So someone please explain to me how bringing in one Tootoo type player is going to change the whole Oiler culture now? The Oilers need a helluva a lot more sandpaper injected into their line-up than one guy, but we need tough hockey players, not cheap shot artists. So explain it to me then, how is that one guy, whoever it is, going to bring about that dynamic shift in Edmonton's game?

One is better than none,and it's a start,it would be nice to see someone on the other team knocked on his ass,instead of the oilers all the time.As far as cheap shots,we are always on the receiving end of those too.

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