THE EDMONTON EXPRESS

Lowetide
April 18 2013 09:03PM

As the end of a brilliant, trying season nears its end, the American Hockey League gave out the first of what should be several awards to young Oiler Justin Schultz. The "Eddie Shore" Award--named after the "Edmonton Express"--has never been given to a rookie defender before this season.

Schultz was outstanding in OKC, with 18 goals and 30 assists in just 34 games, topped off with a plus-8 rating. His performance in Edmonton after the lockout ended was very strong, but the long season and those 30 minute AHL games have taken their toll. Here's Schultz numbers by month:

  • January: 7, 3-2-5 +2
  • February: 12, 3-4-7 -6
  • March: 15, 0-4-4 -7
  • April: 8, 1-4-5 -6

Schultz is -15 since Valentine's Day and his game has become wildly inconsistent. As talented as this young man clearly is, the offseason can't come soon enough.

IS THERE A CONCERN?

Playing NHL defense when everything is right is hard enough, playing on an empty tank must be a very difficult thing to do. Schultz has played big minutes all year long (21:33 a night in Edmonton, my bet is much more in OKC) and has remained healthy and from this angle there's been a lot of try.

The learning curve, the longer season, playing on a team that is struggling too--it all adds up to a tough finish to an outstanding rookie season. All things considered, the future looks bright.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Looking back, perhaps Schultz TOI should have been monitored more closely when he was in the AHL, but that's quibbling. The coach played his best and surely Eddie Shore would have loved the big minutes from the rookie. And maybe that's what we should take away from this season--the Shore award is awarded to the AHL's best defenseman--full stop.

Justin Schultz showed he belongs in the NHL--and that at least part of this season was an education. No sin there, that's what rookie seasons are for, to learn on the job.

I think Justin Schultz is the best young defenseman to land in Edmonton in a long long time, and worthy of an award named after the original Edmonton Express, Eddie Shore.

High praise indeed.

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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 TSN 1260.
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#51 BoJangles
April 18 2013, 11:58PM
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@DSF

So are you saying the Oilers should get rid of Schultz?

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#52 GVBlackhawk
April 19 2013, 12:07AM
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DSF wrote:

Point is, Burrows doesn't need to play with the best to be an actual NHL player who can keep his head above water.

Kesler was 23.

As for Junior, I'm not sure what you think "great offensive numbers" are.

Erik Karlsson put up 78 points as a 21 year old.

In that ballpark?

Karlsson won the Norris trophy. He put up the best offensive numbers for a Dman in years. That's your measuring stick?

Don't be Such a Fool.

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#53 Dog Train
April 19 2013, 12:11AM
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No small feat considering he hasn't played an AHL game since January. Schultz will be fine, he has been overworked this season and it's natural for a college player to wear down near the end of his first pro season. His offense is obviously an asset but he does need to learn when to hold them and when to fold them. This isn't the AHL anymore and bad pinches as well as jumping in the rush at the wrong times will burn you in the big league.

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#54 GVBlackhawk
April 19 2013, 12:11AM
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DSF wrote:

Point is, Burrows doesn't need to play with the best to be an actual NHL player who can keep his head above water.

Kesler was 23.

As for Junior, I'm not sure what you think "great offensive numbers" are.

Erik Karlsson put up 78 points as a 21 year old.

In that ballpark?

And the point is, playing with good players makes you better. Burrows has not put up very good numbers without Henrik Sedin or Bryan Kesler centering him.

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#55 dougtheslug
April 19 2013, 12:16AM
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Time Travelling Sean wrote:

J Schultz looks lazy in his own zone, no one is going to deny that, but he is a rookie. This is what rookie seasons are for. How many players peak during their rookie seasons? Esp defensemen?

Brodin is a good D-man, playing with a very good D-man in a very structured, established system suited for D-men.

Also being tired isn't a lame excuse, from 40 games a season against college players to 78 games playing 20-25 minutes a night against professionals, it does take adjusting, look at Conacher, 18 points in his first 20 games, then 7 in the next 20. He played in 36 AHL games before the NHL season started.

I wonder what that says about Yak, who seems to be trending in the opposite direction. Seems to be gaining strength and smarts each game as the rest of the team staggers to the finish line. Hopeful sign?

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#56 Sailge
April 19 2013, 12:32AM
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DSF comments on here morning, noon and night.

And he hates the Oilers.

Wow

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#57 oilfan in yyc
April 19 2013, 01:00AM
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Why does DSF come to this site, go back to studying for your junior high exams. Karlsson won the Norris but didn't deserve it, great offensive numbers, no defence, playing protected minutes. Shultz will be a much better all around defenseman.

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#58 Walter Sobchak
April 19 2013, 05:31AM
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dougtheslug wrote:

I wonder what that says about Yak, who seems to be trending in the opposite direction. Seems to be gaining strength and smarts each game as the rest of the team staggers to the finish line. Hopeful sign?

I think you hit it right on. If you go by 5 game segments the amount he has learned and improved upon is impressive.

I can't help but think with his ability to pick the NHL game up quick that he's going to be a very good hockey player come year two and three.

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#59 Chet134
April 19 2013, 06:35AM
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DSF wrote:

Jonas Brodin, who is 3 years younger than Schultz, plays 23:08 per game and is +7 to Schultz's -17.

Justin Schultz is Jack Johnson.

Lots of PP production and a terrible adventure at evens.

Mmmm let's think. Brodin has Suter to mentor and play with plus minny plays much more of a defensive style. He has also played in the swedish elite league which is professional hockey. Schultz came from university hockey, plays with Schultz who really is a third pairing defenseman on a good team and our players hasnt bought into the coaches. Your expectations on Schultz are way too high. Really he should be playing 15 min a night. Minny is a playoff team and we aren't close. bring in a number one defenseman and then judge.

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#60 Romulus' Apotheosis
April 19 2013, 06:57AM
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hahahaha

you guys are hilarious.

another day, another meaningless, contextless, malicious player comparison!

who could have guessed?

Thing is... there is no information gained by this exercise.

Back to the subject:

Schultz is awesome. This kid is going to very good, for a very long time. I'm delighted to have him. Can't wait to watch him mature.

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#61 Hammers
April 19 2013, 07:28AM
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Don't understand why they won't send him down at season end . Yea his young and tired but that goes with the territory .He should go if OKl make it .

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#62 Serious Gord
April 19 2013, 07:35AM
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Dsf makes some good points. Rookie season or not it has been a Shakey one - especially as he's a 23 yr old rookie.

My one concern not mentioned so far is his lack of (or little use of?) a big shot from the point. It seems to me that the other teams know this and pressure him a lot more on the point as a result.

But the jury is out - needing more evidence before delivering a 'no doubt' verdict. If he is another Johnson at least oil fans can console themselves that a whole bunch of other teams thought he was the bees knees too.

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#63 Todd
April 19 2013, 08:00AM
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RE: DSF

I wish I had more time to waste, cause then I'd make a site called "sh!tDSFsays.com". It would be a real hit....

Not sure why people keeping feeding him, but the guy is ALL OVER THE MAP. When you make 1000 disparaging remarks eventually some come true. Some don't. DSF likes to bring up the ones that pan out, and forget all his sh1t that doesn't. I actually appreciate him because its entertaining. I spent 30 seconds and found this gem of a thread where DSF hijacks a thread much like this and argues how smart Dale Tallon is, and how the Panthers are "miles ahead" of the Oilers failed rebuild.

http://oilersnation.com/2012/6/17/dale-tallon-things-get-worse-before-they-get-better

You'd have a hay day if you wanted to summarize all of his conflicting statements, failed predictions and over the top comments. He is just full of piss and vinegar... Hopefully 12 months from now we'll all be able to laugh about how negative he is when this team is preparing for a playoff run.

My favorite is still DSF arguing all last summer and again as recent as a few weeks ago that Yakupov was not the best player in the draft, and that Peter Mueller is (and still is) a better player. Classic.

#sh!tDSFsays

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#64 Todd
April 19 2013, 08:18AM
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@Todd

"I would suggest we follow the Panthers trajectory" - DSF, June 12, 2012

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#65 Eddie Shore
April 19 2013, 08:29AM
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Todd wrote:

"I would suggest we follow the Panthers trajectory" - DSF, June 12, 2012

For context:

FLORIDA 43 13 24 6 32 10 102 153 -51

EDMONTON 42 16 19 7 39 14 106 120 -14

Sorry for the horrible formatting, but you can figure it out.

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#66 oilabroad
April 19 2013, 08:29AM
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DSF wrote:

Oh here we go.

Now its Coffey.

Coffey's worst defensive season as an Oiler was a +4 in his rookie season.

When he was the same age as Schultz he scored 40G 86A 126P +52.

Mentioning those two players in the same sentence is punishable by death.

pissed off at myself for being caught up in the troll net, but this statement shows your ignorance. Paul Coffey was almost ran out of town early in his career, any offense whatsoever was overshadowed by atrocious play in his own end... Slats skewering him in the paper was a daily occurence at that time and there was plenty of trade talk. You are clueless if you think his +4 at that time made him some kind of defensive dynamo... I know you get asked this daily, but seriously, why are you here??

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#67 @Oilanderp
April 19 2013, 08:34AM
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Wow, another perfectly good article completely ruined by Deliberate Stats Fudger. So annoying to have to fast forward 75% of the posts. So. Annoying.

Every week I drift further and further from this site.

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#68 CaptainLander
April 19 2013, 08:54AM
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Schultz could get 120 points a season, be a plus 80, win a bunch of Stanley cups and Norris trophies and DSF would still rip into him because of the way he ties his skates. Haters gonna hate.

Nothing wrong with Schultz's first year in the NHL.

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#69 geoilersgist
April 19 2013, 09:01AM
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This is for you DSF http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/04/19/the-hidden-offensive-game-of-oilers-rookie-justin-schultz/

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#70 pelhem grenville
April 19 2013, 09:20AM
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... our very own liability...what must other sites think of us allowing such a thing like having a resident troll...you've allowed him to be that to the detriment of our OilersNation site...soooooooooooooo just once...if it's at ALL possible...let the creature hijack a thread as you've all been saying since he arrived...hijack it and no one reply...no one...just once

come on sheeple...can you do that? once...?

imo Wanye should have pet troll t-shirts being marketed by ON...or have a photoshop contest immortizing all trolls including his nibs...

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#71 Rama Lama
April 19 2013, 09:25AM
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There once was a troll who lived under a dark, damp, old bridge. There was a path under the bridge which was used as a short cut by many from an adjacent village.

Each and ever day the people using the path complained to the town master about a nasty smelly troll who would steal their food, and grab what ever he could. The town master was confused, as he too lived in the same village and used the same path, except when it came to crossing the bridge he would go over and not under it. He told all the village people about his short cut over the bridge and the problem was solved.

The moral of the story is if you want to avoid a troll, then stop feeding it by avoiding it!

BTW the poor old troll soon became hungry and moved to another bridge.........his name was DSF.

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#72 Spydyr
April 19 2013, 09:31AM
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Of the 71 comments before this one 41 were either by or to DSF.

It has ruined the comments section.Please stop feeding the troll.

This is Oilers Nation not DSF nation.

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#73 westcoastoil
April 19 2013, 09:38AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Of the 71 comments before this one 41 were either by or to DSF.

It has ruined the comments section.Please stop feeding the troll.

This is Oilers Nation not DSF nation.

amen

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#74 ubermiguel
April 19 2013, 09:58AM
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When was the last time any Oilers or Oilers-prospect won an individual award?

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#75 Jprime
April 19 2013, 10:36AM
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Spydyr wrote:

Of the 71 comments before this one 41 were either by or to DSF.

It has ruined the comments section.Please stop feeding the troll.

This is Oilers Nation not DSF nation.

What he said.

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#76 Team Seguin
April 19 2013, 10:59AM
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I agree with the ban DSF statements. So J Schultz is a lousy dman? That's why 30 teams wanted him?

I don't like the doughty comparisons, but the guy is good, no question. It's his rookie year in the NHL, doesn't matter what his age is, he has to learn the NHL. Karlsson took a few NHL seasons to figure it out too.

Please MacT, don't trade Ebs, Nuge, Hall, or Yak.

the rest is fair game, but don't trade those pieces or you will get owned.

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#77 Spydyr
April 19 2013, 11:17AM
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Team Seguin wrote:

I agree with the ban DSF statements. So J Schultz is a lousy dman? That's why 30 teams wanted him?

I don't like the doughty comparisons, but the guy is good, no question. It's his rookie year in the NHL, doesn't matter what his age is, he has to learn the NHL. Karlsson took a few NHL seasons to figure it out too.

Please MacT, don't trade Ebs, Nuge, Hall, or Yak.

the rest is fair game, but don't trade those pieces or you will get owned.

I'm not for banning DSF or anyone for that matter.

What I'm suggesting is stop feeding the troll.People ask him questions like he is some sort of expert.He is not .He is a person with too much time on his hands who has become jaded and bitter at the Oilers management.Who can really blame him for that.

Let him make his statements he has as much right as anyone here to do that.Just be the bigger person and let them go.Don't get drawn into his trap and that is what it is a troll trap.

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#78 Pucker - B class
April 19 2013, 12:02PM
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geezus you guys! Why do you even reply to DSF?? It just wrecks the thread.

This is just ridiculous. Let him make his comments and move on.

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#79 Cheap Shot Charlie
April 19 2013, 12:46PM
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@Pucker - B class

Personally, I love DSF. It's annoying when all the posts are directed to him when the article could sparks stimulating conversation. But in cases, like this one, where it's more of a "Here's some interesting information for all fans" article fewer posts get put up and he offers some funny points of view and gets some guys going.

However, I do like the idea of making a website of "Sh!tDSFsays". I'm glad I don't have enough time on my hands to make it but I'd visit it every once in a while.

I love DSF like I love Sean Avery, the Wildrose party or Paris Hilton - if their weren't people saying stupid things who would care about hockey interviews, politics or poodles in hand bags.

Stupid is as stupid does and it's hilarious!

DSF, you deserve a *HUG*.

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#80 DieHard
April 19 2013, 12:56PM
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I enjoy reading all the comments. I had to stop at #36. I couldn't care less to read any more DSF and and responses. On to the next article.

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#81 Swift Young Fox
April 19 2013, 01:47PM
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Justin Shultz is a good rookie defenseman and I hope he gets even better and helps the Oilers win.

You can compare him to Orr, Brodin, Bieksa or even a bag of pucks. I don't care. Justin Shultz is Justin Shultz. Let's cheer for him as an Oiler.

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#82 Time Travelling Sean
April 19 2013, 01:55PM
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@Spydyr

Sorry :c

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#83 Pucker - B class
April 19 2013, 02:00PM
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Cheap Shot Charlie wrote:

Personally, I love DSF. It's annoying when all the posts are directed to him when the article could sparks stimulating conversation. But in cases, like this one, where it's more of a "Here's some interesting information for all fans" article fewer posts get put up and he offers some funny points of view and gets some guys going.

However, I do like the idea of making a website of "Sh!tDSFsays". I'm glad I don't have enough time on my hands to make it but I'd visit it every once in a while.

I love DSF like I love Sean Avery, the Wildrose party or Paris Hilton - if their weren't people saying stupid things who would care about hockey interviews, politics or poodles in hand bags.

Stupid is as stupid does and it's hilarious!

DSF, you deserve a *HUG*.

I don't mind him hanging around either.

He shouldn't be fed though.

A negative props button would be great for sorting.

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#84 TigerUnderGlass
April 19 2013, 02:01PM
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@DSF

Alex Burrows had a a 25 goal season BEFORE he played with the Sedins.

This is false.

Comments are closed for this article.