The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Jason Strudwick
January 28 2014 11:46AM

In the summer after taking over as GM, MacT said he wanted to change up the look of his bottom six forwards. He wanted them to make a positive difference in the game rather than - at best - to have been a neural influence on the game. His changes have been slower to work than most had hoped but I think we are starting to get there.

The bottom six lined up like this last night.

  • Jones - Gordon - Hendricks
  • Gazdic - Smyth – Joensuu

That is four new players in this group from last year. Gordon, Hendricks, Gazdic and Joensuu are all big guys. They all play hard (I am giving Joensuu the benefit of the doubt here). Dallas Eakins needs to have players that are predictable, pillars. With Gordon, Hendricks and Gazdic he has that predictability. It is not that their games are not played without mistakes. He just knows they will go hard every night.

Both lines have played well but I really like the Gordon line. This line can all kill penalties, gets in on the forecheck and are responsible defensively. Often you see Eakins putting them out there against the top line of the opponent.

I especially like their ability to cycle the puck in the offensive zone. They work it in the corner, cycle around and have been getting scoring chances. The momentum they create with those types of shifts is huge. Something the Oilers have been lacking in recent years. It sets the table for the next line and puts an opponent on their heels.

The truth of the matter is that this type of line is the fourth line and not the third line of Stanley Cup contending teams. That is due to the depth of high caliber teams. The Oilers are not at that level yet but it give you an idea of what the Oilers require.

I think that next year there could be up to three new players in this group. Younger, faster and more consistent players will find their way in this group. Expect Tyler Pitlick to get a long chance to prove he can be one of those guys after the Olympic break.

Yakkity Yak

I have found it hard to praise Nail Yakupov this season. The defensive lapses and giveaways have been the reason. Lately he is starting to give me reason to change the way I see him.

He has been more responsible with the puck. He has not been holding on to it so long that he gets smothered and coughs it up. He is using he team mates more, something they will appreciate, and is getting the puck back in open areas.

When Yak is playing well he is emotionally connected to the game. His play improves when he is playing with passion. Passion lets his game flow, he is not thinking as much. He doesn't look frozen with indecision.

He is at his best when playing with an edge. He is chirping the other team and at times being dirty. Last night he hit Ryan Stanton from the Canucks from behind and it should have been a penalty. It draws a crowd and gets Van off their game. We saw it earlier this season against the Jets. Two of their leaders, including their captain Ladd, were distracted by him.

Yakupov needs to play this way. He is at his best and the other team gets off their game. When he is in this mode he also moves his feet when he has the puck. Too often we have seen him stand still with the puck, it doesn't work for him. He needs to attack with speed and take the puck to the net.

We saw this last night on Perron's second goal. He drove the net with the puck, shoots which creates a nice rebound for Perron. Sounds simple to do but skilled players like to slow the game down. I don't think Yakupov is at that place right now.

Back to Back

If I were a coach and management team I would want to see what a newly acquired player was made of. Ben Scrivens played Sunday night at home versus the Predators and Eakins went with Bryzgalov in Vancouver Monday.

I know that the stats for playing goalies back to back do not suggest it is a good idea. At this point of this rough season for the Oilers I would have gone against the stats and played Scivens.

Can he handle playing back to back games? Eakins might know because he coached him before but what about the management or his teammates? Don't you the fans want to know?

The situation may come up where the Oilers need to win a pair of back-to-back games. Maybe the he is your starter next year or the other goalie is hurt. Can the Oilers count on him to know how to handle that work load and preparation?

As a teammate I wanted to know the answer to that question? This weekend was the perfect time to find out.

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Czar
January 28 2014, 12:30PM
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@Spydyr

Regardless of how pathetic the last 8 years have been I love it when we beat those fvcking D-bags from Vancouver.

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#2 Rob
January 28 2014, 12:10PM
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Yak should learn Tikanese...agitate and score goals...Yak could become Tik 2.0

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#3 bazmagoo
January 28 2014, 12:05PM
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@Oilbaron

I think Ekblad looks like a stud, but losing is rarely the answer my friend. The team needs to build some confidence and get some wins under their belt. Really impressed with the Oil since the Hendricks trade, looking like another MacT miracle. Could the team actually be playing for Eakins as well? Wow!

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#4 BC BOY
January 28 2014, 12:24PM
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Hopkins has been looking great of late! skating awesome and looks stronger! lets hope Yak and Perron find chemistry then we will have two solid pairs of Hall/Hopkins and Yak/Perron

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#5 Oilbaron
January 28 2014, 11:48AM
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Let's just hope they don't win too many games this year. I could really go for an Ekblad

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#6 Serious Gord
January 28 2014, 12:16PM
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Rob wrote:

Yak should learn Tikanese...agitate and score goals...Yak could become Tik 2.0

He's way better than tik. HE should strive to become SuperTik.

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#7 kim
January 28 2014, 01:43PM
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wasn,t rollie a career back-up?

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#8 Spydyr
January 28 2014, 12:12PM
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It is still groundhog day. This happens every year. When the games mean nothing the team wins a few with the pressure off. As soon as the playoff teams start ramping it up for the playoffs the Oilers will once again end the season with a whimper.

Eight years have shown this to be true.

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#9 BLAKPOO
January 28 2014, 12:27PM
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@bazmagoo

Agreed. Winning is what the guys we have now need. I'll take current team confidence over a few spots in the draft any day of the week.

Even if we happen to drop to a 3rd overall pick, Sam Bennett is that hard-working, chippy, 200-ft centre that fills Gagner's spot perfectly. Assuming, of course, that Ekblad's off the board by #3.

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#10 He Who Knows
January 28 2014, 12:33PM
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An energy line that we have not seen since Glencross left. Hendricks is exactly what we need. The play of the bottom 6 will get the top 6 going too. It would be nice if the Oil don't get the 1st overall, otherwise we will never hear the end of it. Lowe still needs to step down.

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#11 K_Mart
January 28 2014, 12:39PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I won't give joensuu the benefit of the doubt and that brings it down to three players going into next year hoping that smyth and jones are gone and that two come up from the minors and macT can find another elsewhere.

I think that hendricks will be a bust by around mid-season next year or even in sept - TOO slow, so that's another need, dropping MacT to just two players he's found that will be around next season (IMO) Not exactly an excellent job.

...

Yak is indeed coming around. He's getting enough minutes with a spunky player in Perron who seems to have a similar attitude to yak and is fast enough and physical.

Gagner continues to embarrass himself and his chief benefactor MacT. But at least he is fast enough to keep up with the play unlike smyth.

Signing Gagner is most definitely the biggest mistake MacT has made as GM on the actions side of the ledger. His inactions in not buying out hemsky and not getting a bonafide starting goalie (he still hasn't) rival that action for first overall of the many mistakes MacT has made thus far (and god knows he is going to have ample opportunity to make more in the next few months).

....

I think most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie - not a starter. I'm not sure that the oilers management got the memo. He's a FOE so that may well be impairing their judgement just as it was with Acton.

"most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie..."

Where did you get this impression?

The jury is still out on Scrivens. I heard Strudwick say he spoke with some goalie coaches that preferred Dubnyk's game to scrivens' but that's not exactly a line in the sand.

Scrivens' NHL career looks like this:

2011-12 Leafs 12 GP .902 sv%

2012-13 Leafs 20 GP .915 sv%

2013-14 Kings 19 GP .931 sv%

2013-14 Oilers 3 GP .926 sv%

Average of .918 over 54 games...Same as Carey Price this year. Not to compare the two, but you get the point.

... He was a call-up in Toronto, then was given a back up chance in LA, and now is being given a shot as a starter. I'd say that Scrivens' ability as an NHL goalie is still undetermined, and he is working his way up.

Let's wait further before judging, but if he maintains the pace he's had over the last 54 NHL games he's not only a starter, but he's an above average starter. Especially if he does so behind d cores like that of the oilers and the leafs.

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#12 Guy Lafleur
January 28 2014, 02:57PM
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Anyone else think YAK started gettin his poop in a group after LUKE put the big arm around him in the penalty box and said ..dont worry little buddy Luke gots ur back !!! A Pavel- Gino relationship starting here !!!

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#13 Wonger
January 28 2014, 12:37PM
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Full marks to all of the Oilers for two wins back to back - with a gritty, tough win against the Canuckleheads! I recognized the end of the Bear stock market in 2009, and I am predicting or calling the end of the Oilers fall. This team will get beter and better over the next 5 years with MacT and Eakins running the show! Many more changes between now and next September - goaltending, bigger, tougher, better D, more size and grit on the top two lines - MacT and Eakins are fixing and will continue to right this ship!

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#14 Randaman
January 28 2014, 12:42PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I won't give joensuu the benefit of the doubt and that brings it down to three players going into next year hoping that smyth and jones are gone and that two come up from the minors and macT can find another elsewhere.

I think that hendricks will be a bust by around mid-season next year or even in sept - TOO slow, so that's another need, dropping MacT to just two players he's found that will be around next season (IMO) Not exactly an excellent job.

...

Yak is indeed coming around. He's getting enough minutes with a spunky player in Perron who seems to have a similar attitude to yak and is fast enough and physical.

Gagner continues to embarrass himself and his chief benefactor MacT. But at least he is fast enough to keep up with the play unlike smyth.

Signing Gagner is most definitely the biggest mistake MacT has made as GM on the actions side of the ledger. His inactions in not buying out hemsky and not getting a bonafide starting goalie (he still hasn't) rival that action for first overall of the many mistakes MacT has made thus far (and god knows he is going to have ample opportunity to make more in the next few months).

....

I think most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie - not a starter. I'm not sure that the oilers management got the memo. He's a FOE so that may well be impairing their judgement just as it was with Acton.

I agree on Gagner but how does a back-up become a starter? By playing and earning it. Has Scrivens had that opportunity? NO! Not every goalie is Roy or Brodeur but we may have a diamond in the rough here. He has obviously had excellent coaching in L.A. Ranford knows a thing or two about winning. No?

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#15 Ed in Edmonton
January 28 2014, 01:15PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I won't give joensuu the benefit of the doubt and that brings it down to three players going into next year hoping that smyth and jones are gone and that two come up from the minors and macT can find another elsewhere.

I think that hendricks will be a bust by around mid-season next year or even in sept - TOO slow, so that's another need, dropping MacT to just two players he's found that will be around next season (IMO) Not exactly an excellent job.

...

Yak is indeed coming around. He's getting enough minutes with a spunky player in Perron who seems to have a similar attitude to yak and is fast enough and physical.

Gagner continues to embarrass himself and his chief benefactor MacT. But at least he is fast enough to keep up with the play unlike smyth.

Signing Gagner is most definitely the biggest mistake MacT has made as GM on the actions side of the ledger. His inactions in not buying out hemsky and not getting a bonafide starting goalie (he still hasn't) rival that action for first overall of the many mistakes MacT has made thus far (and god knows he is going to have ample opportunity to make more in the next few months).

....

I think most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie - not a starter. I'm not sure that the oilers management got the memo. He's a FOE so that may well be impairing their judgement just as it was with Acton.

Gord, I really think you should take a breath.

Your assumption on Hendricks seems based on nothing beyond the bile for all things done the MacT that have not proven to be unarguable successes (Perron trade, Gordon signing). Hendricks has been effective so far and had shown enough in his NHL career to be sought after last year as a UFA for a 3rd or 4th line role. How can you assume he will be totally unproductive next year? Your assumption seems totally baseless.

I wouldn't count Jones out yet. But the Oil should only offer him a 2 way minimum wage contract, he won't get any better offers.

Gagner is regressing to his norm. About 0.7 ppg, good offensive ability but weak in most other areas of the game. The Perron-Gags-Yak line has been good for the last 2 games so lets see how this progresses. No doubt that 4.8M for Gagner is a blunder that MacT will need manager around as best he can.

There is no way the Oil can assume Scrivens is their answer regardless of how well he might play from here on in. He is auditioning for a back-up role either in Edmonton or somewhere else in the NHL. I'm not saying Scrivens will never be a number 1, just that a 30 game audition isn't enough to stake next year on.

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#16 Rob...
January 28 2014, 02:05PM
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Jason Strudwick wrote:

I am not interested in what the stats are for all goalies. I want to know what Scrivens is made of.

The test results are in. The initial findings suggest 12% Snips, 37% Snails, and 51% Puppy Dog Tails, that's what Scrivens is made of.

*Yeah, I have no shame.

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#17 Comrade GT
January 28 2014, 01:04PM
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Ya these guys need wins and confidence, not losses and another high draft pick. Although Ekblad would help.

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#18 Serious Gord
January 28 2014, 12:15PM
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I won't give joensuu the benefit of the doubt and that brings it down to three players going into next year hoping that smyth and jones are gone and that two come up from the minors and macT can find another elsewhere.

I think that hendricks will be a bust by around mid-season next year or even in sept - TOO slow, so that's another need, dropping MacT to just two players he's found that will be around next season (IMO) Not exactly an excellent job.

...

Yak is indeed coming around. He's getting enough minutes with a spunky player in Perron who seems to have a similar attitude to yak and is fast enough and physical.

Gagner continues to embarrass himself and his chief benefactor MacT. But at least he is fast enough to keep up with the play unlike smyth.

Signing Gagner is most definitely the biggest mistake MacT has made as GM on the actions side of the ledger. His inactions in not buying out hemsky and not getting a bonafide starting goalie (he still hasn't) rival that action for first overall of the many mistakes MacT has made thus far (and god knows he is going to have ample opportunity to make more in the next few months).

....

I think most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie - not a starter. I'm not sure that the oilers management got the memo. He's a FOE so that may well be impairing their judgement just as it was with Acton.

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#19 God
January 28 2014, 01:35PM
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This team just beat two teams playing seriously badly. We've learned that several of our players can play reasonably against bad teams.

This isn't a serious improvement, it's a bare minimum expectation. We only think it's the team going in the right direction because they've escaped absolute condemnation and risen to mediocrity.

I'm not buying it Struds. This is Kool-Aid.

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#21 Tikkanese
January 28 2014, 02:43PM
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Rob wrote:

Yak should learn Tikanese...agitate and score goals...Yak could become Tik 2.0

I don't even know if Tikkanen himself understood Tikkanese.

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#22 Wigswag
January 28 2014, 01:13PM
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@Spydyr

My expectations are that will change.

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#23 Sal-Sational
January 28 2014, 02:09PM
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@Serious Gord

AKA NAIL TIK-EM-OV... see what i did there..

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#24 Spoils
January 28 2014, 12:38PM
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I have been loving that second line - Gags, Perron, Yak.

I have always seen Gordon as a 4th liner that should get extra minutes for key draws.

With Hemsky and Smyth possibly gone next year - you have

Gordon - Jones - Hendricks - Joensuu - Gazdic - Pitlick - Lander

and to me they are fourth liners. Also, given we need to make a bold move for a #1D, we might have a gap in the top 6 to fill.

seems like there is a lot of creative work needed to get a playoff level 3rd line.

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#25 David S
January 28 2014, 03:20PM
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Ed in Edmonton wrote:

Gord, I really think you should take a breath.

Your assumption on Hendricks seems based on nothing beyond the bile for all things done the MacT that have not proven to be unarguable successes (Perron trade, Gordon signing). Hendricks has been effective so far and had shown enough in his NHL career to be sought after last year as a UFA for a 3rd or 4th line role. How can you assume he will be totally unproductive next year? Your assumption seems totally baseless.

I wouldn't count Jones out yet. But the Oil should only offer him a 2 way minimum wage contract, he won't get any better offers.

Gagner is regressing to his norm. About 0.7 ppg, good offensive ability but weak in most other areas of the game. The Perron-Gags-Yak line has been good for the last 2 games so lets see how this progresses. No doubt that 4.8M for Gagner is a blunder that MacT will need manager around as best he can.

There is no way the Oil can assume Scrivens is their answer regardless of how well he might play from here on in. He is auditioning for a back-up role either in Edmonton or somewhere else in the NHL. I'm not saying Scrivens will never be a number 1, just that a 30 game audition isn't enough to stake next year on.

I've read at least two articles today saying Gagner's D game is really coming around, Yak too.

If Gagner is "regressing" to .7PPG and helping Yak discover his game with sweet saucers like we've seen lately, I'll take that hard working 60 point 2C any day.

Jeez man. Just exactly who do you think we could trade for that would be as good as Gagner in that 2C role? And if you're passing judgement on Sam's performance so far this year outside of the last ten games or so, you're not doing it right.

Face it. He's got some value for sure but he's not going to get you that juicy 1D or 2C. But take heart. Maybe you can still get Shea Weber in NHL14.

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#26 Taylor Gang
January 28 2014, 03:38PM
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Gagner is playing better! Hurray! More trade value!

Let's be honest, Gagner is brutal, I'd trade him for a guy who puts up less points but tries harder, wins faceoffs and hits. I don't know about you guys but the whole point of hockey is to win, so to suggest losing on purpose is ridiculous. Play to the end, it's never over until it's over.

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#28 Randaman
January 28 2014, 06:11PM
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Burnward wrote:

If Burke gets a shot at Ekblad, I have a feeling that's the guy. I'm sure he sees a lot of Pronger in the kid.

I disagree. Calgary has lots of size and grit. I see them targeting Reinhart if he is available. They need skill more than size.

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#29 Rick Stroppel
January 28 2014, 03:36PM
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Spydyr wrote:

It is still groundhog day. This happens every year. When the games mean nothing the team wins a few with the pressure off. As soon as the playoff teams start ramping it up for the playoffs the Oilers will once again end the season with a whimper.

Eight years have shown this to be true.

THIS WILL NOT BE AS BAD AS PEOPLE THINK

IMHO, two things will benefit the Oilers down the stretch:

1. Many of the top teams are sending 8 or 10 players to the Olympics. Jet lag, pressure-packed games, more jet lag, and possibly emotional let-down. For all of the Oilers (except three?) this is an excellent opportunity to regroup and recharge. Speaking of which, what are the limitations on practices and other team activities during the break?

2. I am not sure how the new playoff system works, I think the division leaders and the other top two teams may be locked into home advantage. Those very good teams may have nothing to gain or lose down the stretch, they may be playing back-up goalies and resting players.

PS: I am old-fashioned and I do not think that any professional team should EVER lose deliberately. That is not the Oiler way.

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#30 Spydyr
January 28 2014, 01:17PM
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Wigswag wrote:

My expectations are that will change.

Man, I hope so it is about time.

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#31 westcoastoil
January 28 2014, 03:33PM
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Was at the game last night - few observations:

Yak and Perron did indeed look quite good and it is easy to envision that they could look very dangerous with an even stronger centre. Gagner made some nice plays, but also got lucky a few times where he let guys go or made a bad defensive read but Van. didn't capitalize.

How do you say "big easy" in Czech? Marincin. I've noticed he's starting to jump into the rush the odd time when it's warranted too. Bumps to come for sure, but he could easily be Edler in a couple years.

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#32 Walter Sobchak
January 28 2014, 04:49PM
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My concern over Scriven's isn't whether he's a starter or back up, it's if he decides to bolt a UFA season.

That would suck, especially if he does become a starter.

For those that think Mac-T got a back up, so what? We need one of those too.

As for Hendricks, hated the trade at the start ( I mean hated it) I still don't like the trade can't get by term and $ for a player you can find this summer for half that, also don't like that he said no to the Oilers last summer.

I have to say he's fitting in nicely.

As for Gagner, it's nice he's playing better, I hope he continues that good play so his stock can rise a bit more, I don't care about Gagner's past just what he brings the rest of the way to trade deadline.

Yakupov, still love this kid, there is a real player here, would be a shame if the Oilers trade the wrong player.

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#33 oilersd
January 28 2014, 07:58PM
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Still not sold on Joensuu. Same for Jonesy - once he gets a new contract, it'll be the same old Jonesy like before. Hopefully a Pitlick or a Moroz can step up.

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#34 A-Mc
January 28 2014, 12:21PM
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Oilbaron wrote:

Let's just hope they don't win too many games this year. I could really go for an Ekblad

I'm a little concerned about that as well. I want that Ekblad pick... The Oilers stunk it up so well that i think it's only deserving that we pick the guy we want! lol.

BUT losing is bad and all that crap. *sigh*

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#35 Truth
January 28 2014, 01:35PM
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I saw this on Twitter last night and I apologize to whoever did the work for it but I just can't find it again now, but the statistics of starting goalies in back to back situations have actually showed to be worse than that of the average back-up.

Essentially you are practically guaranteeing that your starting goalie will look (and play) worse than your back-up goalie if you play him in back to back situations. In that case, there is no benefit to starting him, unless, of course, you have a below average back-up goaltender.

To me it would be similar to calling up Klefbom and playing him with Nick Schultz against the top offensive players of the opposition. He will probably just look bad.

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#36 Sisyphus
January 28 2014, 04:29PM
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You know, it's funny. All the sudden a couple of wins after such a terrible season, and suddenly everyone seems to be very "All is well, we've turned the corner, we've got this now!". Yes, two good solid games, absolutely. But two games out of how many they've played this season? Until this turns into at least a couple more solid wins, I think we've jumped the gun.

The fundamental weaknesses still exist, and we're all forgetting we're losing almost the entire D corps this off-season, probably both Scrivens and Bryz wont be interested in re-signing, and we'll still have lost Hemmer and stuck with Gagner.

A few good games is certainly enjoyable, but for everyone to be acting as though everything is fine now is just ostrich-like.

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#37 Serious Gord
January 28 2014, 05:28PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

I don't even know if Tikkanen himself understood Tikkanese.

I recall back in the day that other Finnish players couldn't understand what the hell he was saying...

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#38 Dangilitis
January 28 2014, 09:32PM
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Randaman wrote:

I disagree. Calgary has lots of size and grit. I see them targeting Reinhart if he is available. They need skill more than size.

Burke has a fever, and the only prescription, is more truculence...

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#39 freelancer
January 28 2014, 12:16PM
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Great article Struds! Out of curiosity, you have any names you would consider the Oil targeting to fit on that third line?

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#40 Wigswag
January 28 2014, 03:56PM
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@loweblows

With Burke at the helm... who ever is biggest.

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#41 Zarny
January 28 2014, 04:14PM
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Wigswag wrote:

With Burke at the helm... who ever is biggest.

Uh huh...that's why Burke picked Morgan Rielly right?

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#42 Spydyr
January 28 2014, 01:08PM
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Czar wrote:

Regardless of how pathetic the last 8 years have been I love it when we beat those fvcking D-bags from Vancouver.

Understandable, it only happens once every seven or so games.

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#43 John Kirsch
January 28 2014, 03:11PM
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Good god we beat two crappy teams let's not get carried away.

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#44 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 28 2014, 04:15PM
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As a fan, I'd like to know if Hall can play all 60 minutes. I mean that literally. What better time then the next game to see if he's got the stuff?

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#45 Burnward
January 28 2014, 05:46PM
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loweblows wrote:

If Calgary picked 2nd who would they pick- A dman or offense? Input..

If Burke gets a shot at Ekblad, I have a feeling that's the guy. I'm sure he sees a lot of Pronger in the kid.

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#46 **
January 28 2014, 06:14PM
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" At this point of this rough season for the Oilers I would have gone against the stats and played Scivens."

Good thing Strudwick is not a coach.

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#47 oilersd
January 28 2014, 07:34PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

My concern over Scriven's isn't whether he's a starter or back up, it's if he decides to bolt a UFA season.

That would suck, especially if he does become a starter.

For those that think Mac-T got a back up, so what? We need one of those too.

As for Hendricks, hated the trade at the start ( I mean hated it) I still don't like the trade can't get by term and $ for a player you can find this summer for half that, also don't like that he said no to the Oilers last summer.

I have to say he's fitting in nicely.

As for Gagner, it's nice he's playing better, I hope he continues that good play so his stock can rise a bit more, I don't care about Gagner's past just what he brings the rest of the way to trade deadline.

Yakupov, still love this kid, there is a real player here, would be a shame if the Oilers trade the wrong player.

I agree with you on Scrivens for sure although I think if the team can sustain the recent progress in their on ice play and Scrivens can find a fit in the locker room the chances of resigning him go up significantly.

With Hendricks I like that he was friends with Jones and Gordon. This helps him fit in and provides an invaluable performance incentive that costs you nothing. And he, like Perron, is already making these guys stand a little taller.

Gags is trade bait. I like his skills but if the oil don't beef up down the middle they are gonna continue to lose their lunch money to the bigger teams in the league (of which their are many) no matter how well they play.

Yak looks to be finding is identity out there, but he or any one of the top six may end up getting moved if the organization truly covets a stud number one Dman.

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#48 Randaman
January 28 2014, 09:00PM
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oilersd wrote:

Like both players but it leaves the oil short at Centre and adds another left winger to an already crowded position.

Left wing is crowded? Hall and Perron, then what? Smyth? I like Smyth but his time has come in my view

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#49 freelancer
January 28 2014, 12:24PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

I won't give joensuu the benefit of the doubt and that brings it down to three players going into next year hoping that smyth and jones are gone and that two come up from the minors and macT can find another elsewhere.

I think that hendricks will be a bust by around mid-season next year or even in sept - TOO slow, so that's another need, dropping MacT to just two players he's found that will be around next season (IMO) Not exactly an excellent job.

...

Yak is indeed coming around. He's getting enough minutes with a spunky player in Perron who seems to have a similar attitude to yak and is fast enough and physical.

Gagner continues to embarrass himself and his chief benefactor MacT. But at least he is fast enough to keep up with the play unlike smyth.

Signing Gagner is most definitely the biggest mistake MacT has made as GM on the actions side of the ledger. His inactions in not buying out hemsky and not getting a bonafide starting goalie (he still hasn't) rival that action for first overall of the many mistakes MacT has made thus far (and god knows he is going to have ample opportunity to make more in the next few months).

....

I think most of the league knows that Scrivens is a backup goalie - not a starter. I'm not sure that the oilers management got the memo. He's a FOE so that may well be impairing their judgement just as it was with Acton.

Agree with most of your points. Looking now I think it would have been a mistake to buy out Hemsky especially with Yak's slumps throughout the season. (I think they should have acquired someone else to fill that role better but that's a different conversation entirely). There may be some value for Hemsky now at deadline considering he's been reasonably healthy and a good performance at the Olympics could gather more interest.

My hope with Scrivens is management knows he is a backup, albeit one who could push another average starter such as a Lehtonen or a Holtby... key word being hope.

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#50 Burnward
January 28 2014, 07:56PM
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Randaman wrote:

I disagree. Calgary has lots of size and grit. I see them targeting Reinhart if he is available. They need skill more than size.

Sounds like a homer call!

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