GDB 27.0: BACK-TO-BACK?

Jason Gregor
November 29 2013 10:14AM

Ilya Bryzgalov couldn't have written a better script. In his first start as an Oiler, Bryzgalov 33 shots and picked up his first win and first shutout. Brzygalov is the first goalie to register a shutout in his first game as an Oiler since Jussi Markannen did it in 2001.

Does Eakins go back-to-back with Brzygalov or should he play a rested Devan Dubnyk?

Before you start yelling and ferociously hitting your keyboard with insults that I'm an idiot for even asking the question, read on.

The Oilers haven't won back-to-back road games on consecutive nights since December 1st and 2nd, 2010 when they beat Toronto and Montreal. Dubnyk beat the Habs 4-3 and the next night Nikolai Khabibulin shutout the Leafs 5-0.

Last night was Bryzgalov's first NHL start since April 25th, a span of 217 days, so he's likely a bit fatigued.

Eric T from NHLnumbers.com and Broadstreethockey wrote this piece about why you shouldn't play goalies on back-to-back nights.

He compared goalies who played on consecutive nights to goalies who played on one day's rest. Goalies playing on back-to-back nights, who usually are the starters for their respective team, see a significant dip in their SV%.

I understand that Eric's numbers are just guidelines and Eakins will go with his gut instinct, he's decided to start Bryzgalov, but considering how hard it is for Edmonton to win road games on consecutive nights, starting Dubnyk isn't as outlandish as you might think.

Dubnyk has played much better recently, he shutout Columbus ten days ago, and for the first time in a long time the Oilers are healthy and have competition for icetime throughout the lineup. This team needs some internal competition, and when I take into account Bryzgalov's recent lack of recent playing time, potential fatigue and the Oilers history on back-to-back nights, I'd lean towards starting Dubnyk tonight and going back to Bryzgalov on Sunday in Dallas.

Eakins doesn't like to mess with a winning lineup, and you could easily argue why starting Bryzgalov tonight is the right decision as well.

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jones-Arcobello-Joensuu

Ference-Petry
Grebeshkov-J.Schultz
Belov-N.Schultz

Bryzgalov

No need to change any forwards or D-men. Eakins was able to roll four lines last night due to the solid play of the 4th line, but also because the Oilers were protecting a lead. I'm not sure we will see many games where the difference in icetime from the top forward, David Perron 18:29, to the lowest, Ryan Jones 11:12, is only seven minutes.

Eakins was able to rest his top forwards, Hall played 17:12 while Eberle played 15:45, so they shouldn't have heavy legs tonight in Columbus.

QUICK HITS....

  • It is interesting how people's attitudes and thoughts change after a win. The Oilers won and no one was ripping Eakins for only playing Nail Yakupov 12:54. Earlier in the season after another loss many fans were livid that Yakupov was only playing 14 or 15 minutes. Winning cures almost everything, and it sure would be a refreshing change to discuss more victories than losses.
     
  • The 4th line played very well last night, but it was only one game. I need to see how Eakins will use his bench in tie games or when his team is trailing. I suspect it will be much different, but Jones and Arcobello, not surprisingly, were flying.
     
  • The Blue Jackets have been wildly inconsistent the past few games. Over their last six games they won 4-1, lost 7-0, won 2-1, lost 6-2, won 6-0 and lost 4-0. That is why betting on hockey is extremely painful for me.
     
  • Since the Blue Jackets entered the NHL, the Oilers have dominated them to the tune of 29-10-3-5, and they are a respectable 10-6-3-4 in Columbus. Most of the Oilers love playing the Blue Jackets:

    Nugent-Hopkins: 1 goal and 11 points in 7 games.
    Hall: 4 goals and 12 points in 9 games.
    Eberle: 6 goals and 12 points in 10 games.
    Hemsky: 14 goals and 39 points in 33 games.
    Smyth: 19 goals and 47 points in 46 games.
    Gagner: Eight goals and 21 points in 23 games.
    Jones: 6 goals and 13 points in 17 games. Most career points vs. any NHL team.
    Perron: 11 goals and 25 points in 29 games. Most career points vs. any NHL team.
     
  • The Oilers are at the midway point of the "easiest" stretch of their schedule. The Oilers had an 11 game stretch where they play CGY, CBJ, FLO, CHIC, NSH, CBJ, DALL, PHO, COL, CGY AND CAR. The Oilers are 4-1 thus far, and if they want to climb out of the basement in the western conference and get to where they don't need binoculars to see Minnesota or Vancouver's point totals, they need to go at least 4-2 in the remaining six games.
     
  • Eberle has 12 points in his last 11 games. He had 10 points in his first 10 games. In between those streaks he went five games without a point. If he stays healthy, don't be surprised to see him reach the 70-point mark again.
     
  • Hall has 19 points in 19 games, and he has 56 games to play. He should surpass 70 points as well.
     
  • Nugent-Hopkins has 20 points in 24 games. He'd be on pace for 66 points, but with a slight increase in production he could reach 70 as well.
     
  • The last time the Oilers had two 70-point players was in 2005/2006. Hemsky had 77, while Shawn Horcoff had 73. Jarret Stoll had 68 points that season.
     
  • If Eberle reaches the 70-point mark he'll become the 9th player in Oiler history to have multiple 70-point seasons.

    Jari Kurri had 10.
    Wayne Gretzky had 9, but 137 points was his lowest total. Sick
    Mark Messier had 8.
    Glenn Anderson had 8.
    Doug Weight had 6.
    Paul Coffey had 5.
    Esa Tikkanen had 3.
    Ales Hemsky had 2.

    Twelve players have done it once: Jimmy Carson (100), Blair MacDonald (94) Vincent Damphousse (89), Mike Krushelynski (88), Joe Murphy (82), Craig Simpson (76), Eberle (76), (Ken Linseman (75), Dave Lumley (74), Horcoff (73), Zdeno Ciger and Ryan Smyth (70). 

MIRROR, MIRROR...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite bucking the odds and playing Bryzgalov, Eakins looks smart and the Oilers pick up their 30th victory over the Blue Jackets by a 4-1 score.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: RNH, Hall and Eberle combine on a first period goal.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Denis Grebeshkov decides to give Wanye and Oilersnation a late 6th birthday present. Grebeshkov is the only player Wanye ever picked as his GOAT two years in a row, and after learning he wasn't Wanye's GOAT for a 3rd time, Grebeshkov repays Wanye by scoring his first goal of the season. It is also his 2nd career against the Blue Jackets, which ties his career high for goals vs. one team.

DAY TWO...MONTH OF GIVING...

We had an excellent first day. Yesterday we raised $7,000 thanks to Brad's bid and the fine folks at Petersen Buick GMC for donating a one-year lease on a 2014 GMC Sierra.

Today's package includes....

You can bid by calling 780.444.1260 or 1.800.243.1945. All the proceeds will go to Santas Anonymous. Thanks in advance to all of those who make a bid.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#101 THRNHJE
November 29 2013, 11:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers

GDP: 3-2 Oilers win in OT

OGDP: Arco wins majority of his faceoffs, and looks like a God on ice in the 4th vs. 4th matchup.

NSOGDP: The Jackets are fired up to redeem themselves and start a full on ice battle, and its a russian goalie showdown when Bobs and Bryz meet at centre ice and Bryz gets the takedown.

Avatar
#102 Johnnydapunk
November 29 2013, 11:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I'm kind of torn about who would best be the one to start. The thing that Bryz seemed to have brought with him, is a sense of control that the Oil played when he was in net. Again it's one and a half games he has played so not much can be read from that, but it feels like when Dubnyk is in net the Oil play a bit more panic-y if that makes any sense.

It will be interesting what Dubnyk's mind is like now, I still question his mental strength and with Bryz pulling off a shutout in his first game and getting a decent number of shots as well, I don't think that Dubnyk has the confidence to "fight" and his play will suffer as a result. Time will tell I guess.

I guess if I was Eakins, I would give Bryz the right of first refusal, ask him how he feels, if he feels good and has no signs of being tired or sore, then go with him as the fear I would have is that he gets an injury from going full power too fast.

Guess we have to see which Columbus shows up, the one who underestimated the Oil and got spanked, or the one who did the spanking. It should be a good game nonetheless.

Avatar
#103 Bucknuck
November 29 2013, 12:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
12
cheers

What's that feeling? Oh... it's been fun to be an Oiler fan for the past couple of weeks. I could get used to this.

I'm happy that Bryz played like it was 2006 again. With decent goaltending this team has a chance to climb the standings.

Avatar
#104 HardBoiledOil
November 29 2013, 12:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

play Bryz again!! it's not like he's played a lot this season....he should still be fresh.

Avatar
#105 mayorblaine
November 29 2013, 12:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Will wrote:

To everyone upset about people jumping on the Bryz 'bandwagon', after our goalies let us down at the beginning of the year, I don't think it's a bandwagon people are jumping on when the replacement gets a 33 shot shut out in his first start. It's more like a sigh of relief. Sure it's just one game, but the guy got a shut out on 33 saves. It is a big deal, especially on this team.

without question goaltending, particularly Dubnyk, was shakey at best in the beginning of the season. in saying that, you know our problems were never that one dimensional?

Avatar
#106 Tazman
November 29 2013, 12:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I agree that its probably 50/50 who should start, but from my point of view, Bryzgalov seemed to give up a startling amount of rebounds last night. Good thing we were playing the offensively challenged Preds. Hopefully, once he's a little more comfortable, he'll start smothering some of those. GDP: Second consecutive shutout. Bryz gets NHL First star for the week!

Avatar
#107 vetinari
November 29 2013, 01:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Bryzer impressed me last night by playing the game in a calm, controlled style. Sure, there were a few signs of rust and some rebounds but being in the right position allowed him to make the second and third stops that were necessary. In fact, the whole defence looked a little more relaxed last night. My hope is that even if he is a short term solution, he passes along some positioning tips and mental preparation techniques to Dubnyk.

Avatar
#108 Blucifer Copperballs
November 29 2013, 01:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
OilCanFan wrote:

"The Oilers won and no one was ripping Eakins for only playing Nail Yakupov 12:54. Earlier in the season after another loss many fans were livid that Yakupov was only playing 14 or 15 minutes. Winning cures almost everything, and it sure would be a refreshing change to discuss more victories than losses" - Jason Gregor

I won't rip him because I think the reason Yakupov only played that amount was due to the Arcobello line seeing more ice that the previous 4th lines. I will question why the Gordon/Smyth/Perron line was out more than than that and I think Gordon and Smyth should have had less ice time then they did. A lot of players had lower TOI than usual like Eberle playing less that Smyth which to me is wrong. Before you give the argument about LW vs. RW, Perron could play either.

That lower TOI for everyone will hopefully translate into a win tonight in the back to back on the road. And they'll need the rest, CBJ will be pissed after their last trip to Edmonton.

Avatar
#109 pkam
November 29 2013, 01:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Raine wrote:

Disagree. The Oilers gave up quite a few good quality scoring chances and the one timer from the slotnwas present again. Not nearly as bad as say the first dozen games but plenty of good shots came Bryzgalovs way. Bryz played cool, calm and collective and these chances looked a lot less significant as past games. I'm not all on the Bryz band wagon but he played fantastic last night.

Like you say, one game. But don't let good goaltending over shadow the chances the Oilers allowed.

I don't think anyone debate for Dubnyk in his first 5-6 games.

But if you compare our last two games (the Hawks and the Preds), we played much better last night. How many of those quality scoring chances that we gave to the Hawks happened last night?

One question, do you think the result will be different if we swap the goalies in these two games?

Avatar
#110 Pouzar99
November 29 2013, 01:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Stay calm folks. Who knows which CBJ team we will play tonight? The guys we waxed 7-0 or the ones who walked into Toronto and pasted the Leafs 6-0. If they have any pride they will be looking for redemption. We have a good shot at this one, and a win would be great, but temper your expectations. If the boys play well and win we might be on the move a bit. IF.

Avatar
#111 Will
November 29 2013, 01:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Dubs-nik wrote:

Bachman?

True his follow up performance wasn't stellar, but then he got injured so whose to say how he would have fared over a few more games. Also, Bachman was kind of untested. Bryz is an NHL goalie with both bad and exceptional seasons to his name. There's just a bit more credentials to back up the hope Edmonton has secured better goal tending.

Avatar
#112 Arius Mumin
November 29 2013, 02:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Oilers recalled Grebs because 4 Russians is always better than 3 Russians.

Avatar
#113 A-Mc
November 29 2013, 02:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Brian Elliot has let in 4 goals on 11 shots in this SJ/STL game.. and it's only the 1st period.

Tough night

Avatar
#114 pkam
November 29 2013, 02:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

Dubnyk faces a lot of low percentage shots from bad angles and long range..Coaches tell their teams to shot from anywhere against him.

Save percentage is not the end all when looking at how good a goalie is.

Personally I prefer a clutch goalie who makes the big save when needed.Something Dubnyk has never done on a consistent basis.

Big saves lift teams soft goals deflate teams.A goalie who constantly lets in weak goals wears on a team.They try to hard to block everything scared to let a shot through.Anyone who has ever played hockey will tell you that.

Teams will try to win one for the goalie if he steals them games then lets in a bad goal.If the team constantly fights back to get close in games then the goalie lets in a soft one.You get what happened the first 20 games this year.A lost season.

I really have no idea how you come up with the idea that Elliot is a better goalie than Dubnyk.

I don't watch the other team's games but I watch the highlight in NHL.com. Did you?

If you didn't, then go to NHL.com and watch some of the highlight that Elliot played when he was a Sens and count how many soft goals he let in.

If you want an elite goalie, Dubnyk is not the answer, but neither is any one of the three you mentioned.

Avatar
#115 HardBoiledOil
November 29 2013, 03:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

guyz....if Bryz plays well the rest of this season, he'll be the #1 goalie they've been looking for, and he'll earn himself a good paying, 3 or 4 year contract and they can stop searching.

Avatar
#117 HardBoiledOil
November 29 2013, 03:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
OilCanFan wrote:

And there is a chance it will be somewhere else

i know he's said some less than flattering things about Edmonton in the past, but i'm not convinced that if he plays well the rest of the season he'll necessarily sign a new contract elsewhere.

Avatar
#118 Johnnydapunk
November 29 2013, 04:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
pkam wrote:

Only Dubnyk let in weak goals and no other goalies do?

Bryz is so much better than Dubnyk? Did you watch the playoff between the Pens and Flyers in 2012? I guess 0.887 SV% and 3.46 GA in 11 games is so much better than Dubnyk's start this year.

I really hope Bryz will ever play like that again. At least not as an Oilers.

Actually his numbers were better in the 2012 playoffs than Dubnyk's were in the first 11 games this season

Bryz GAA 3.47 SV% .887 5W 6L shots faced 326

Dubnyk GAA** 3.90-4.00** SV% .872 3W 7L 1OTL shots faced 327

** GAA for Dubnyk an approximation using the guide that each game he played was 60min, just couldn't be arsed to calculate exact minutes, but the number is quite close.

Bear in mind that the first round of the 2012 playoffs Philly played the Pens in what was a goal fest with very little defending, an NHL record was set for most goals scored by both teams in the first 4 games of a series. Philly also won that series and seemed to lose their shooting and scoring touch in the conference semi's as Uncle Daddy only had to face more than 30 shots once in those 5 games.

Really weird stat was that Bryzgalov faced the exact number of shots in both the first and second round of the playoffs that year, both series facing 163 shots in each. Weird as....

Anyways, saying all of that, Bryz was facing far better shooters in those 11 games and you can argue about the Oilers defence if you wish but they both faced about the same number of shots.

Avatar
#119 Johnnydapunk
November 29 2013, 04:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
HardBoiledOil wrote:

i know he's said some less than flattering things about Edmonton in the past, but i'm not convinced that if he plays well the rest of the season he'll necessarily sign a new contract elsewhere.

I also agree with you Manfly, again it is very early to speculate, but if the Oil put up semi respectable numbers, give some indication of potential, and the fans and media keep it sweet with Bryz, I'm sure he would consider staying if it works out for both teams. I don't know how big of an issue money is as he is getting paid by Philly for the next 14 years.

Again all I'm hoping for is some stability in the net and maybe Bryz can offer that.

Avatar
#120 Mikey
November 29 2013, 05:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
fantheoilman wrote:

Just as long as Bryz doesnt do any commercials for the gas company i will be happy to see him sign a 2-3 year deal.

What about oil company?

Avatar
#121 Chainsawz
November 29 2013, 06:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers
Spydyr wrote:

That last four games includes the game Dubnyk allowed four goals on only 14 shots and got pulled.

You can believe Dubnyk is the answer moving forward here.I don't and neither does the GM.

IMO they will pick up one of Hiller , Halak or Elliott this summer.

Did you watch that game where Dubnyk let in 4 on 14? Cause if you did you wouldn't be critical of Dubnyk at all. He was left hung out dry on all of those.

Still not a fan of Dubnyk but that game was not reflective of Dubnyk's current work.

Avatar
#122 LoweBlow
November 29 2013, 06:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

So we shut them out or we get shut out. Is that the deal? This team IS bipolar!

Avatar
#123 The Real Scuba Steve
November 29 2013, 06:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

What is happening to Bryzgalov?

Avatar
#124 GK1980
November 29 2013, 10:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

I often watch you tube videos of past oilers teams and the 2006 playoff run. what a feeling watching that tema sicceed like they did. Will this team EVER get tp that level? It's sad its the only enjoyment I get with regards to the Oilers. Watching past highlights. The 2006 playoff run still gives me shivers. When is the last time any of us felt like this since that run? I guess we just got to hold on and hope MacT has a plan and knows that the heck he is doing.

Avatar
#125 GK1980
November 29 2013, 10:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Zamboni Driver wrote:

The funniest thing I have heard in eons was on Gregor's show today. Recounting Oilers who are top-10 at their position.

He said Hall (Taylor Hall, who has 7 goals)...okay. I'll go in with that I guess. Barely.

The funny part was the long hesitation for Nugent-Hopkins, long long pause, after which he decided that no, RNH is not there yet.

I almost drove in the ditch.

RNH is not a top 30 centre in the NHL. Maybe not top 50.

And he's our 'star first line centre' - maybe that's part of the problem, ya think?

That's what I have mentioned before. We draft these forst overall and "assume" they will be legite NHL stars. This is a huge mistake. The NHL is vastly diffeent then ripping up juniors. Tambellini thought this was the answer, we always need a legitimate top 6 with experiance. throwing the kids in to the fire and assuming they could carry this team is a mistake. the kids needed proper top 6 mentoring, "Top Six" mentoring.

Avatar
#126 Old School G
November 29 2013, 11:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Zamboni Driver wrote:

The funniest thing I have heard in eons was on Gregor's show today. Recounting Oilers who are top-10 at their position.

He said Hall (Taylor Hall, who has 7 goals)...okay. I'll go in with that I guess. Barely.

The funny part was the long hesitation for Nugent-Hopkins, long long pause, after which he decided that no, RNH is not there yet.

I almost drove in the ditch.

RNH is not a top 30 centre in the NHL. Maybe not top 50.

And he's our 'star first line centre' - maybe that's part of the problem, ya think?

I do like your point. I think Nuge is an absolutely great hockey player, and will be among the best in time. We need to strengthen our entire C depth. We absolutely need a top tier C still. Maybe not to take on the 1 Line role but to support Nuge in a greater capacity than Sam G can. I like Sam G just fine on the W. We all know Hemsky is going to be dealt whether we like it or not it just seems inevitable. Sammy could assume Hemmer's spot with a new, more suitable 2C, this player will add a dimension we haven't had in a while. We still need a top end D man or two to guide JSchultz, Petry, Nurse, Klefbom, and the rest of a promising crop of prospect D. This teams going to be really good when MacT adds the pieces needed to be more competitive in the West. Some big times moves need to happen yet but we're looking to be coming along just fine, I'm looking forward to this.

Avatar
#127 Old School G
November 29 2013, 11:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
camdog wrote:

LW - Hall, Perron RW - Yakopov, Eberle

Gags at 5 million on the third line is a lot of cap.

I was looking at the TSn Fantasy Rankings RNH is 32, of course there are some ahead that are worse but many behind that are overall better players. He's not a top 30 centre right now, there are alot of really good centers in this league.

On a side note Cullen's fantasy numbers have Smyth with a higher fantasy rating then Hemsky. If Smyth can maintain his checking role he might bring more in trade value at the deadine as a 4th line winger, then Hemsky at his cap hit.

I see what you're saying. I would welcome Gagner being moved if MacT is able to make it happen, I still have no idea what all is involved in this handshake NTC between MacT and Gagner before his actual NTC kicks in.

I personally think Hemsky, Smytty, NSchultz, Dubnyk and Gagner, if workable will all be moved at some point. Do I like it. No, of course not. I'm a fan of these guys, they've been good soldiers but if they are needed to be moved to make this team relevant again then I am all for it.

Avatar
#128 Rob
November 30 2013, 09:45AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Lofty

Got to agree with Gregor. Hall definitely top 10 winger and is starting to develop into a guy that is hard to play against. No other player on the Oilers roster is currently top 10 at his position, I think we as Oilers fans sometimes see our young players with beer goggles on. Are RNH and Eberle great players? They sure show flashes of it. Great players are consistently at the top of their game, night in and night out.

The addition of Perron was a nice start but MacT may have to move one of the four studs and a pick to get an established top 6 star to mentor the youth on this team and take away some pressure.

It's not Junior anymore boys, there are other players out there as good if not better than you are.

Avatar
#129 camdog
November 30 2013, 09:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Jason Gregor

RNH is a 25-35 centre in the NHL, which is pretty good for a young guy. He isn't a number 45 and he isn't a number 15. RNH excels on the powerplay and is average at even strength. Eberle is a top 20 RW and Hall a top 10 LW.

The question we all have is RNH good enough to lead this team on his back to a cup? Not now, maybe in 2-3 years or maybe not? Which continues the verbage that we need another solid centre on this team before we can be competitve.

Avatar
#132 S cottV
November 30 2013, 10:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Taylor Hall was 2nd in points amongst LW with 50 last season...He has 19 points in 20 games this year.

Barely? Please tell me the 10 better LW...

As for RNH, don't lie and suggest there was a long, long pause..I said he isn't there yet.

He has played 127 games, and you talk like the kid is a crap player. Please show me the 50 centres who are better?

I noticed you didn't mention the point we were discussing. I said I don't understand why people rip on Dubnyk because he isn't a top-ten goalie.

Last year he was likely in the 15-20 range amongst starters. I said name any Oiler who is top-10 at their position...

Hall is the only one. RNH isn't there, but he hasn't played two full seasons, and you think that is the funniest thing you've ever heard.

If you listen closely I've stated for years the Oilers haven't protected the kids enough, but that doesn't mean RNH is bad, it means he shouldn't have to be a #1 centre this early in his career.

Absolutely - he is two years away from being a bonafide 1C. Hall and Eberle are ahead of his time and need veteran 1C support now - to be at their potential max effectiveness. With RNH in 1C training, Gagner in 2C and no bonafide 1D or 2D, we do not command the middle and cannot push the play up ice from the back. We have a bunch of skilled wingers playing mostly on the wrong side of the center ice line. So - if MacT wants to relieve his impatience, he better find a way to plug the 2C, 1D and 2D holes or it will be more of the same. If he can get that done, when RNH comes out of training - the team will be in a position to win consistently.

Avatar
#133 Robin Brownlee
November 30 2013, 11:16AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@Zamboni Driver

Gregor and Strudwick don't need anybody running to their defense.

When I see somebody saying RNH might not even be in the top 50 among NHL centres -- hyperbole you now admit -- it doesn't ring anywhere near true.

It reads like somebody looking for a reaction, which you got, or somebody who is of the mind that all MSM guys are dummies, which they are not. In any case, I don't see talk of RNH in the top-30 mix as the knee-slapper you made it sound like. It's not as black and white as you portrayed.

Avatar
#134 Zamboni Driver
November 30 2013, 11:25AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Robin I actually meant running to the defense of RNH, Eberle and Hall not the Jay's.

My point is the Oilers best players are not playing nearly well enough (two goals when it's already 4-0 vs. Columbus look good on individual stats sheets and that's it).

and it's not blasphemy to say that.

I don't think MSM guys are dummies at all, but I don't understand why it's not brought up that a significant part of the problem is just that - the best players simply aren't good enough. "Yet", I understand, but this City is damned sick of "pretty soon..."

Avatar
#135 Rama Lama
November 30 2013, 12:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

RNH is going to be a very, very good centre for many years but he needs to gain at least 10 lbs of muscle so that he can impose his physical will and be able to protect the puck better.

You cant' teach smart and this kid has all sorts of this.......you can add size and when this kid has that going for him he will be a clone of Datysuk.

The second line centre has to be discussed as well as defense but not the NUGE!

Avatar
#136 Clarko
November 30 2013, 12:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Naky wrote:

Team didn't play well again last night but not playing Dubnyk is a total rookie NHL coach mistake that's all on Eakins' shoulders. This is not the AHL, Mr. Eakins, no matter how much you want it to be. There are a handful of reasons why Bryz shouldn't have played the back to back and that's even if he had played right from training camp.

This is probably the third game this season that was winnable or could have been won if not for rookie level mistakes from Eakins like that game he pulled LBB and then sent him right back in on a 'gut feeling' or his other questionable lineup decisions early in the season.

His defense always seems to be that he goes with his 'gut feeling', except that his gut feeling is almost always the wrong decision when that hindsight is 20/20. Let logic and reason dictate some of your decisions and maybe some more things will go your way too. This guy's goalie management skills thus far has been brutal.

Didn't really matter which goalie started last night. Logic and reason dictates that if you don't score a goal for the first 50 minutes of any hockey game, you most likely aren't going to win that hockey game no matter how your goalie is playing.

Just like the Blackhawks game where Dubnyk was hung out to dry, Bryz didn't get much help last night either.

Avatar
#137 Arius Mumin
November 30 2013, 01:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

What game can Hall take over? When?

Comments are closed for this article.