It's Past Time to Recall Linus Omark

Jonathan Willis
November 03 2013 07:59PM

There is a one-line argument against recalling Linus Omark. It goes like this: he’s a small winger whose primary ability lies in the offensive zone, and the Oilers are a team in need of big wingers who play a solid defensive game.

It doesn’t matter. It’s past time to bring him up.

The Left Wing Depth Chart

Let’s have a gander at the Oilers’ left wing depth chart from last night’s 5-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

On the top line we have Ryan Jones. Jones is an NHL everyman – he can score a bit, hit a bit, kill penalties, and while he isn’t big he isn’t small either. He’s a very good fourth-liner, by which I mean he’s the kind of player who excels in a fourth line role and can step into the top-nine once injuries start hitting.

Nail Yakupov, a natural right wing, played on the second line with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky. I like Yakupov a lot as a player, and despite a slow start I’m not particularly worried that he’s the next Patrik Stefan. Initially, I thought playing him at left wing made a lot of sense – he’s a left-handed shot after all, and the team had and has a need at the position. These days, I subscribe to the idea that the best place for Yakupov to find his game is where he’s found it in the past and where he feels most comfortable: on right wing. I also subscribe to the notion that the Oilers need a productive Yakupov at right wing more than they need an unproductive Yakupov at left wing.

A 28-year-old minor-league journeyman fresh off injury filled the third line left wing spot last night. I know that Ryan Hamilton has a history with Dallas Eakins, and more importantly still I know he’s 6’2” tall and weighs 219 pounds. Those virtues do not suffice to explain why a guy with no history of being an NHL player and coming off a long time on injured reserve to boot is getting a top-nine job.

Finally, fourth on the left wing depth chart is Luke Gazdic. The Oilers get out-shot by a ridiculous rate with Gazdic on the ice; but fortunately for him his plus/minus doesn’t reflect that reality because the goalies have turned aside all 37 shots they’ve seen with him on the ice. That doesn’t change the fact that Gazdic is on the ice to hit and to fight rather than because of his ability to score or prevent goals. The argument about whether that sort of role player is an effective part of an NHL team is for another day; suffice to say for now that he isn’t a credible option above line four.

Meanwhile, in the minors

I understand that Linus Omark is a flawed player. I get why, on a healthy Oilers roster, he isn’t a fit – and by that I mean not only do I grasp the argument, I agree with it.

But when the situation changes, things must be reassessed. We have already seen the most cogent argument in favour of Omark right now – the Oilers’ emaciated left wing group. But there’s more. Omark currently leads the Barons with 12 points in 12 games, and he’s producing under some difficult circumstances.

Last night, for example, Omark played on Oklahoma’s top line with C.J. Stretch (an ECHL find last year) and first-year professional Andrew Miller. He typically played against either one or the other of the Chicago Wolves top-two lines – both of which were loaded to the gills with players with NHL experience. The Barons got scoring from all over, but won the game mostly because Omark was able to drive his line to 20-7 shots/missed shots advantage at even-strength.

Omark’s own scoring has been hit-and-miss – a four-point game here, a four-goal game there – but the constant is that his line has generated scoring chances.

Omark is not going to play the heavy game the Oilers would love to see from their next call-up, but then Luke Gazdic and Ben Eager (or, for that matter, Kale Kessy) will and arguing for anyone in that group to get a promotion is crazy. Overall play counts for something, too, and it’s something the Oilers have lacked that Omark can give them.

What I’d “Like” To See

It seems obvious that the Oilers’ forward lineup is going to be a mess until such time as the injury brigade gets back. Taylor Hall and David Perron and Ryan Smyth, not Linus Omark, are the solution to the Oilers’ left wing problems. Until those players return, the Oilers’ lines are going to be ugly.

In the meantime, though, I think the best deployment of personnel probably looks something like this (ordered by quality of competition):

1. Ales Hemsky – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle. The Oilers don’t really have a power-vs.-power line; Taylor Hall or David Perron is needed to give them one. Of the bad available choices, though, Ales Hemsky seems like the best fit. He’s had the power-vs.-power job before, he’s a veteran guy, and he actually looked pretty good when Tom Renney spotted him here back in 2011-12.

2. Ryan Jones – Boyd Gordon – Mark Arcobello. The Oilers’ don’t really have the pieces for a strong defensive “third” line either. Gordon is a fit as that line’s centre, Arcobello gives the line a second faceoff man, and while Jones isn’t an ideal fit he’s been okay in previous incarnations of this line (the Smyth – Horcoff – Jones trio doing a nice job at points).

3. Linus Omark – Sam Gagner – Nail Yakupov. I know. This is an all-offence line, geared toward offensive zone starts and deployed against the other team’s bottom-six. It gives Yakupov a chance to play offensive minutes at his natural position, Gagner a chance to ease back into the lineup and both of them a third player in Omark who can help drive offensive results.

The comments section may disagree, and honestly I’m not wild about it myself: there’s no combination of forwards that I particularly like right now for the Oilers. But what I do think is that regardless of how the lines are arranged, Linus Omark stands a better chance of getting the job done in the top nine than a couple of players the Oilers currently have there and a far better chance than any of the potential fourth-line promotions.

Even if it’s something as simple as sticking Omark in the Jones’ slot on the top line, bumping Jones down to the Gordon line and sending Hamilton to Oklahoma on a conditioning stint, I think the Oilers are better off with the guy who is driving results in Oklahoma than they are with the current crop of candidates.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
Avatar
#51 D
November 03 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
11
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Man, look at the list of players that congratulate him after that goal:

  • Jean-Francois Jacques
  • Magnus Paajarvi
  • Ryan O'Marra
  • Gilbert Brule
  • Nikolai Khabibulin
  • Ryan Whitney
  • Theo Peckham

Oilers management's idea of a Stanley Cup championship roster right there.

Avatar
#52 VK63
November 03 2013, 11:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
8
props
D wrote:

Oilers management's idea of a Stanley Cup championship roster right there.

Or evidence to support a contraction argument..... :))

Avatar
#53 ThatGuy109
November 03 2013, 11:48PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
13
props

@jack

Real stats are hard:

http://theahl.com/stats/player.php?id=3737

While -8 isn't exactly stellar, it's not -50

Justin Schultz -10
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -10
Ales Hemsky -11
Nail Yakupov -12

Present company isn't exactly doing much better so it's worth a shot. Maybe he'll spark something, maybe he won't. You'll at least know what you have in the guy.

Avatar
#54 D
November 03 2013, 11:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
2
props
VK63 wrote:

Or evidence to support a contraction argument..... :))

That too :)

Avatar
#55 @Oilanderp
November 04 2013, 01:36AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
9
props

Give him a shot. My God in Hell, wtf does it take? Jeebus give him a shot, and a good one! Also can he play defense/goalie?

P.S. Does he sell drugs? These ones aren't working. What a horrible time to give a 1 pt/game call up a chance!

P.P.S. Or we can put Jones on the top line. *coughs in a need help sort of way*

Avatar
#56 Rheal1
November 04 2013, 04:35AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
7
props

Another article on a roster revamp. God Awful. Whip that horse yet again. In the meanwhile, Calgary wins against a Stanley Cup champ. Quietly and without stars, the Flames are .500 and climbing that ladder. Sad sad sad... Albeit stuck with many key players that are currently injured we will see how the Oilers fare this week. I expect 3 pts out of 6. Yes I am over optimistic.

Avatar
#57 Rheal1
November 04 2013, 04:49AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
5
props

It is beyond time to hit that proverbial panic button. First step is to dismiss Kevin Lowe. Second step is to shake up the roster. Deal one of the kids & a 2nd rounder for immediate help, which means a goalie; Ryan Miller and a Buffalo top 2 Dman. Next trade the 1st round draft pick for immediate help, namely another top 2 Dman. Get an enforcer to protect the kids for some prospect that is in OKC (Cheechoo?). Change the approach of Eakins for @#$sakes! We need immediate results now. Oilers are no longer in a rebuild!!!

Avatar
#58 Oiler Al
November 04 2013, 04:52AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
+1
1
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Man, look at the list of players that congratulate him after that goal:

  • Jean-Francois Jacques
  • Magnus Paajarvi
  • Ryan O'Marra
  • Gilbert Brule
  • Nikolai Khabibulin
  • Ryan Whitney
  • Theo Peckham

Get these guys back in to Oilers jerseys, cant do much worse that whats happening right now!

Avatar
#59 Andrew
November 04 2013, 06:01AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
30
props

There seems to have come a change in the atmosphere in Oiler-ville. Omark schmo-mark.

Something is broken in Middle Earth. The real culprit here is the owner. He hires mostly buddies to run a multi-million dollar hockey business that they have neither the expertise nor the training to do. He started with keeping 'he of the SIX rings'. He started as coach and had no head coaching experience to speak of. When the shine wore off that he got bumped up to GM. IMO a firing via promotion. Again no experience at the pro level. Now he's taken arguably the second biggest chair in the organization with, wait for it ...no experience as president of hockey ops.

We wonder why the organization is busted?

Then a while back we find out the Oil mandarins have put us in classes. That's about the most brain dead thing they could have ever said. 'He of the SIX rings' will NEVER hear the end of that gem.

The unease with Katz started to get really ugly with the arena debate and that's when I started to get concerned.

The organizational arrogance starts at the top. No surprise with that one.

I know this is blasphemous but I would almost rather see the team go elsewhere to someone who has a clue and gives a crap than see this group of Oiler cronies embarrass me any further and that's the truth...

Avatar
#60 Loweblows
November 04 2013, 06:55AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
11
props

I see a team that is lost and defeated the moment the game starts. I dont see the Oil getting even 1point on this road trip. It really must be hard to be a writer on this site. I am sure you could pull out an article from 7 years ago, change a few names and it would still apply.

Avatar
#61 Spydyr
November 04 2013, 06:58AM
Trash it!
11
trashes
+1
19
props

Ales Hemsky – small , skill player

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – small , skill player

Jordan Eberle – small , skill player

Mark Arcobello – small , skill player

Linus Omark – small , skill player

Sam Gagner – small , skill player

Nail Yakupov – small , skill player

Do you see a pattern here. I certainly do, it adds up to eight straight years out of the playoffs.

Why can't "the braintrust"?

Avatar
#62 Loweblows
November 04 2013, 07:11AM
Trash it!
7
trashes
+1
14
props

Longtime, diehard fan here but is obvious KLowe has a job for life. In my twisted masochistic mind Knowing the season is lost the only joy I will get now is watching the Oilers get hammered into the ice evry night. Honestly I hope they lose every game. I dont care about this team anymore.

Avatar
#63 BIngBong
November 04 2013, 07:17AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
11
props

Sorry if this has been mentioned in previous comments, but from listening to Ference and Smid after the Detroit game, it really sounds like there's another split in the locker room - between vets and kids - yet again. Horcoff (and maybe even Moreau?) dealt with this, and couldn't fix it. It sounds like it's still happening. It sounds like the kids (Hall, Eberle, Petry, etc.) refuse to listen to what needs to be done, and refuse to change their game for the better. THhey're the go-to guys - the guys who bring the skill - but until they're willing to change their game we'll never win. Horcoff tried telling them this, Smyth has tried, and now Ference will have a shot.

Avatar
#64 Crackenbury
November 04 2013, 07:31AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
6
props

I've moved past the anger stage and have come back to trying to determine what's wrong. I've watched every minute of every game this season and most every season.

With the exception of the Vancouver game this team looked much better than past seasons to start the year. Out shooting, out hitting and out chancing the opposition. As much as I like Dubnyk and think he can be a good NHL goalie, it's his start to the season that tanked this team. They play in fear of getting scored on and when scored on first completely fall apart. There's no confidence in any goaltender to hold them in a game.

MacT needs to get an actual proven NHL starter in the net. One or two solid goaltending performances along with wins will do a world of good for the overall play of this team. They're just not this bad.

Avatar
#65 Loweblows
November 04 2013, 07:35AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
8
props

"People dont realize it can get worse than this"!-this is a quote from Ladi Smid. Sounds like they have given up already. As I see it there are no holes in this lineup, just one massive crater.

Avatar
#66 StHenriOilBomb
November 04 2013, 07:51AM
Trash it!
13
trashes
+1
7
props
Spydyr wrote:

Ales Hemsky – small , skill player

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – small , skill player

Jordan Eberle – small , skill player

Mark Arcobello – small , skill player

Linus Omark – small , skill player

Sam Gagner – small , skill player

Nail Yakupov – small , skill player

Do you see a pattern here. I certainly do, it adds up to eight straight years out of the playoffs.

Why can't "the braintrust"?

WOAH... hold on a moment... you're blowing my mind. I never realized this before.

Thanks for the insight.

This is why people don't like your comments - stating the obvious.

Avatar
#67 Spydyr
November 04 2013, 08:09AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
5
props
StHenriOilBomb wrote:

WOAH... hold on a moment... you're blowing my mind. I never realized this before.

Thanks for the insight.

This is why people don't like your comments - stating the obvious.

Really? It is not obvious to "the braintrust".

Or are they just that bad at their jobs?

Avatar
#70 Spydyr
November 04 2013, 08:22AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
5
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Out of curiosity, would you prefer the team to ice a line-up entirely of guys like Jean-Francois Jacques (big, unskilled player) or is the "skill" part of your complaint redundant?

A team should be made of up all types of player. They all have different roles. This team is full of the same type of player at forward. In todays NHL size , speed and grit are needed to win. Every team has skill. The will to win and having some balls and pride would go a long way too.Perhaps standing up for your teammates and playing as a team might help also.

To answer your question the small part is redundant?

They have been and are the softest team in the NHL for far too long.Stats guys might not care but an out school fan like me certainly does.

Avatar
#71 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 04 2013, 08:22AM
Trash it!
6
trashes
+1
9
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, out of curiosity again, is it this pattern:

  • Pavel Datsyuk - small, skill player
  • Henrik Zetterberg - small, skill player
  • Daniel Alfredsson - small, skill player
  • Daniel Cleary - small, skill player
  • Tomas Tatar - small, skill player
  • Stephen Weiss - small, skill player
  • Gustav Nyquist - small, skill player

Now, before we get into the 'Jonathan, you fanboy, Zetterberg's way better than Eberle!' comments, let me say this: I'm not saying Edmonton's guys are as good as Detroit's, and I'm not ignoring the Franzens and Bertuzzis in Detroit's lineup.

What I am saying is that harping on a team for having good players who happen to be little is kind of stupid.

Your use of "kind of" is far too generous.

Avatar
#72 vetinari
November 04 2013, 08:22AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props

No use complaining about having nothing but "small, skilled" players if you can't change the mix, and frankly, in a salary cap world, the bulk of your roster changes are going to come in either the summer or at the trade deadline. Well, summer has come and gone and all we really added was some much needed peskiness with Perron but nothing else. That only leaves the trade deadline as the last major chance to try and change our roster in a real, meaningful way.

However, there is more than one way to win in the modern NHL but we seem to be stuck in NHL94 mode-- try and bludgeon your opponents into submission. Eakins either has to adapt his system to the type of players that he has available to him (yes-- soft, skilled and fast) or else have MacT overpay and acquire three or four players that can play Eakins system.

If we have to move to a more "European" puck possession system that works from the perimeter, then do it if it will win games. Just stop trying the same thing over and over again-- the players aren't sold on it and all it is doing is destroying morale.

Avatar
#73 pelhem grenville
November 04 2013, 08:22AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
0
props
Bryan in SK wrote:

I've had a headache since the puck dropped last night. Yet, I can't believe I'm sitting here at my computer reading Oilers blogs again! Talk about Stockholm Syndrome.

I wish I could be cured from this disease.

...pour it all out on the Blades and Green Riders B in SK...

Avatar
#74 Rheal1
November 04 2013, 08:28AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
4
props

Why cant we look to trade with the Flyers to balance our team? And the Sabers of course for Miller.

Avatar
#75 Ed in Edmonton
November 04 2013, 08:36AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
2
props

Bringing back Omark is one of the purest examples of shuffling deck chairs one could think of. With Hall and Perron injured and Yak playing at a Junior level, left wing is a disaster. But then again Jones, Hamilton try to supply some grit the Oil badly need. Surely no on can seriously consider Omark to be part of the solution.

The Oil brain trust (if they have one)must also realize that they are in next year territory and need to make moved base on this. At the same time, their base is starting to give up, so they need to do something to improve the team now. Seems like a no win situation.

Avatar
#76 Kr55
November 04 2013, 08:39AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
7
props

The Oilers should at the very least be trying to turn Omark into a tradeable assest. Even if they don't like him, it's bad asset management to just bury him in the minors all year. I hope the plan is still to bring him up, but calling up Ryan Hamilton recently really gives me doubts.

Avatar
#77 ubermiguel
November 04 2013, 09:02AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
vetinari wrote:

No use complaining about having nothing but "small, skilled" players if you can't change the mix, and frankly, in a salary cap world, the bulk of your roster changes are going to come in either the summer or at the trade deadline. Well, summer has come and gone and all we really added was some much needed peskiness with Perron but nothing else. That only leaves the trade deadline as the last major chance to try and change our roster in a real, meaningful way.

However, there is more than one way to win in the modern NHL but we seem to be stuck in NHL94 mode-- try and bludgeon your opponents into submission. Eakins either has to adapt his system to the type of players that he has available to him (yes-- soft, skilled and fast) or else have MacT overpay and acquire three or four players that can play Eakins system.

If we have to move to a more "European" puck possession system that works from the perimeter, then do it if it will win games. Just stop trying the same thing over and over again-- the players aren't sold on it and all it is doing is destroying morale.

You are onto something here regarding the Swarm. Look at the parts you have and build a system to fit them. Although playing defense in not limited by size, and there seems to be a lack of that.

Avatar
#78 Spydyr
November 04 2013, 09:04AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
4
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, out of curiosity again, is it this pattern:

  • Pavel Datsyuk - small, skill player
  • Henrik Zetterberg - small, skill player
  • Daniel Alfredsson - small, skill player
  • Daniel Cleary - small, skill player
  • Tomas Tatar - small, skill player
  • Stephen Weiss - small, skill player
  • Gustav Nyquist - small, skill player

Now, before we get into the 'Jonathan, you fanboy, Zetterberg's way better than Eberle!' comments, let me say this: I'm not saying Edmonton's guys are as good as Detroit's, and I'm not ignoring the Franzens and Bertuzzis in Detroit's lineup.

What I am saying is that harping on a team for having good players who happen to be little is kind of stupid.

OK you have it with Detroit. What about the other 28 teams .Most are built as complete teams. You know with some size and grit in their lineups.

Just to state the obvious. Edmonton is not Detroit. Not even close to the same ownership, management, coaching, scouts both pro and amateur.

Avatar
#79 Rheal1
November 04 2013, 09:08AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
9
props

Katz & Lowe are probably reading these sites and laughing big time.

Avatar
#80 Lochenzo
November 04 2013, 09:11AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
1
props

I think Dallas Eakins nailed it. Fear of losing is in their heads. I don't know the personalities in the locker room, but if the Oilers ever needed a locker room prankster, now is the time. Just something to loosen things up.

Avatar
#81 VK63
November 04 2013, 09:14AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
7
props

Not to be contrarian BUT.... the usage of small + "skilled" is undermined by a complete lack of offensive production, so what skills we talking about here?

Avatar
#82 Puck_In_Throat
November 04 2013, 09:17AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props

Jonathan, how about this convincing argument:

OUR PP STINKS! I don't care if Omark plays 8 mins of EV Strength, if he can spark the PP (why not? it sucks, shake it up) then he is worth the call up.

Avatar
#83 tileguy
November 04 2013, 09:19AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props

Talk about dying on the vine, Omark playing the Eakins system will just frustrate and he'll be on a plane back to Europe before December. Keep him in the minors where perhaps he can be part of a package.

Avatar
#84 Ed in Edmonton
November 04 2013, 09:20AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props
VK63 wrote:

Not to be contrarian BUT.... the usage of small + "skilled" is undermined by a complete lack of offensive production, so what skills we talking about here?

You have a point. Many nights the Oil just look small, not skilled.

Avatar
#85 2004Z06
November 04 2013, 09:23AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
1
props
Andrew wrote:

There seems to have come a change in the atmosphere in Oiler-ville. Omark schmo-mark.

Something is broken in Middle Earth. The real culprit here is the owner. He hires mostly buddies to run a multi-million dollar hockey business that they have neither the expertise nor the training to do. He started with keeping 'he of the SIX rings'. He started as coach and had no head coaching experience to speak of. When the shine wore off that he got bumped up to GM. IMO a firing via promotion. Again no experience at the pro level. Now he's taken arguably the second biggest chair in the organization with, wait for it ...no experience as president of hockey ops.

We wonder why the organization is busted?

Then a while back we find out the Oil mandarins have put us in classes. That's about the most brain dead thing they could have ever said. 'He of the SIX rings' will NEVER hear the end of that gem.

The unease with Katz started to get really ugly with the arena debate and that's when I started to get concerned.

The organizational arrogance starts at the top. No surprise with that one.

I know this is blasphemous but I would almost rather see the team go elsewhere to someone who has a clue and gives a crap than see this group of Oiler cronies embarrass me any further and that's the truth...

So did you sign the petition?

Avatar
#86 Sidney Frosby
November 04 2013, 09:25AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props

We need size....Why not get one of the Filingo brothers or both! throw in Dubinsky also.

Avatar
#87 2004Z06
November 04 2013, 09:26AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
7
props
Rheal1 wrote:

Why cant we look to trade with the Flyers to balance our team? And the Sabers of course for Miller.

Miller already said he will not come to a Canadian team. Get over it!

Avatar
#88 MattL
November 04 2013, 09:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
7
props

I used to wake up, look at the calendar, and be sad if there wasn't an Oilers game to watch that night... Now it feels like a mini-vacation if there's no game.

Avatar
#89 Smokey
November 04 2013, 09:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

Since we are a lock to be outta of playoff unless we pull a "Dodgers Win The Pennant" miracle on ice, Omark needs to brought up. Fans need to get one more round outta Omark and a second to Nashville for Shea Weber joke.

We need Omark's 60 foot game on the PP. I'd play him fourth line and both PP units to get resuscitate the offense. Playing him with Gagner and Yakupov is risk reward. But who cares, its all about entertainment. I'd unleash the hounds and play firewalls hockey like in 2008 when the kid line played 20 games of beautiful hockey.

Heck put him on the penalty kill, it can't be worse then now.

Avatar
#90 Smokey
November 04 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props
Smokey wrote:

Since we are a lock to be outta of playoff unless we pull a "Dodgers Win The Pennant" miracle on ice, Omark needs to brought up. Fans need to get one more round outta Omark and a second to Nashville for Shea Weber joke.

We need Omark's 60 foot game on the PP. I'd play him fourth line and both PP units to get resuscitate the offense. Playing him with Gagner and Yakupov is risk reward. But who cares, its all about entertainment. I'd unleash the hounds and play firewalls hockey like in 2008 when the kid line played 20 games of beautiful hockey.

Heck put him on the penalty kill, it can't be worse then now.

I got spellchecked bad there, Holy Smokes

Avatar
#91 Tapdog
November 04 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
6
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, out of curiosity again, is it this pattern:

  • Pavel Datsyuk - small, skill player
  • Henrik Zetterberg - small, skill player
  • Daniel Alfredsson - small, skill player
  • Daniel Cleary - small, skill player
  • Tomas Tatar - small, skill player
  • Stephen Weiss - small, skill player
  • Gustav Nyquist - small, skill player

Now, before we get into the 'Jonathan, you fanboy, Zetterberg's way better than Eberle!' comments, let me say this: I'm not saying Edmonton's guys are as good as Detroit's, and I'm not ignoring the Franzens and Bertuzzis in Detroit's lineup.

What I am saying is that harping on a team for having good players who happen to be little is kind of stupid.

First thought on the two lists is experience, the Detroit crew carries 4343 regular season games with 530 in the playoffs. The Oiler gang barely surpasses Alfredsson's total of 1193/121, coming in at 1495 reg season games and are you ready.... 30 playoff games! At some point that experience will allow for a different outcome but without a better form of balance now, what these skilled players are learning is not what is desired!

For me the difference lies in the balance of the teams make up. What is the support group in the bottom six. At this point the Oilers bottom six still is not hard to play against. That group needs to have the ability to change the flow of games. I do not see that here. Big hits, agressive play and yes the odd goal would be great but they are just too easy to play against. Largely due to their lack of willingness to play that continual agressive style. They need to find players that want to, not have to! Detroit's bottom six is never that easy!

Avatar
#92 Smokey
November 04 2013, 09:37AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props

@Rheal1

Don't fool yourself, Lowe can't read, and Katz has pharmaceuticals to make him laugh.

Avatar
#93 DSF
November 04 2013, 09:38AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
7
props

The Red Wings first line includes Todd Bertuzzi - 6'3" 230

The Wings second line centre is Joakim Andersson - 6'2" 206

Johann Franzen is 6'3" 225

Justin Abdelkader is 6'1" 220

Mikael Samuelsson is 6'2" 220

Their D includes:

Jonathan Eriksson - 6'4" 220

Jakub Kindl - 6'3" 215

Brian Lashoff - 6'3" 215

Kyle Quincey - 6'2" 210

Brendan Smith - 6'2" 220

Danny DeKeyser - 6'3" 190

Appears to me they have plenty of size sprinkled throughout the lineup and even players like Danny Cleary and Nik Kronwall play a very heavy game despite their size.

Avatar
#94 Jason Gregor
November 04 2013, 09:50AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
9
props
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Also, out of curiosity again, is it this pattern:

  • Pavel Datsyuk - small, skill player
  • Henrik Zetterberg - small, skill player
  • Daniel Alfredsson - small, skill player
  • Daniel Cleary - small, skill player
  • Tomas Tatar - small, skill player
  • Stephen Weiss - small, skill player
  • Gustav Nyquist - small, skill player

Now, before we get into the 'Jonathan, you fanboy, Zetterberg's way better than Eberle!' comments, let me say this: I'm not saying Edmonton's guys are as good as Detroit's, and I'm not ignoring the Franzens and Bertuzzis in Detroit's lineup.

What I am saying is that harping on a team for having good players who happen to be little is kind of stupid.

JW,

Your last line about harping on a team for having good players is the problem.

The Oilers players aren't that good. They keep losing, despite all the alleged potential. The players have yet to show they can play consistent hockey, so you can't compare them to Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Alfredsson.

The only similarities they have thus far is size, but none of the Oilers possess the same consistent, NHL skill that those three have. Also the Wings have lots of size in Bert, Franzen, Abdelkader which helps.

The Oilers might eventually be as skilled as the small Wings, but so far they haven't shown it consistently.

Avatar
#95 Rama Lama
November 04 2013, 09:50AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
3
props

JW, what make you think that DE will play this player? Based on his line combinations, I suspect he would place LO on a line with Gazdic and Eager, and then expect him to score.

You mentioned Yakupov playing his off wing and not being able to find his game? There are many others that have been type cast by this coach and it's obvious his arrogance in all thing coaching will not let him change.

I not beyond blaming all the players, rifts in the dressing room, and retarded management for all this but the coach and his systems need a serious re-working!!

Bringing up Omark will accomplish nothing, if he is not used properly.

Avatar
#96 Belly
November 04 2013, 09:55AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
3
props

I wonder if L.Petrell is still available for penalty killing......

Avatar
#97 6 ring circus
November 04 2013, 10:06AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props

On a side note, the Eskimos have fired Kavis Reed,let's just hope the Oiler's and Eskimo's make the right changes, so that Edmonton sports fans can once again be proud of their sports teams.

Avatar
#98 Hemmercules
November 04 2013, 10:14AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
3
props

An Omark-Yak-Gagner line would be comedy. Might as well put Petry and Smid out there with them and see how many odd man rushes they can give up in one shift.

Watching Ference in his post game interview the other night was so depressing, you could just see the horror is his eyes knowing he has to play the rest of the season in that blue and orange jersey (at lest until the deadline when they inevitably trade him).

Avatar
#99 Spydyr
November 04 2013, 10:14AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props
6 ring circus wrote:

On a side note, the Eskimos have fired Kavis Reed,let's just hope the Oiler's and Eskimo's make the right changes, so that Edmonton sports fans can once again be proud of their sports teams.

Ed Hervey should of gone with him. It is the same as the Oilers going through a coach a year but Lowe keeps his job. Then forces assistant coaches on the new coach, it is a laughable disgrace.

Avatar
#100 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 04 2013, 10:16AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
5
props
Jason Gregor wrote:

JW,

Your last line about harping on a team for having good players is the problem.

The Oilers players aren't that good. They keep losing, despite all the alleged potential. The players have yet to show they can play consistent hockey, so you can't compare them to Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Alfredsson.

The only similarities they have thus far is size, but none of the Oilers possess the same consistent, NHL skill that those three have. Also the Wings have lots of size in Bert, Franzen, Abdelkader which helps.

The Oilers might eventually be as skilled as the small Wings, but so far they haven't shown it consistently.

It's like you didn't read the comment you are responding to.

Comments are closed for this article.