Well Done Yak, Well Done

Jason Strudwick
March 16 2014 10:18PM

Nail Yakupov

Since March 13th’s game against the Blues, as a group the Oilers have been much more engaged. Twice the Blues surrounded Taylor Hall and there were none of his Oiler teammates to be found. In my last entry I detailed the reasons this is unacceptable on any closely knit team.

The night after the Blues, the Oilers went into Detroit. Detroit is not a team close to the Blues physically but there was one chance for the Oilers to prove they had learned a lesson the night before.

Again Hall was involved in the play. He was skating up the ice and got involved with Justin Abdelkader. The two were going at it and Hall took a good run at Adelkader. Not surprisingly it was Oilers’ team captain, Andrew Ference, who quickly skated in to his young teammate’s aid. He is a veteran and understands the importance of supporting his teammates between (and after) the whistles.

23-Hendricks-2

Sunday it was Matt Hendricks who stirred the emotional pot on the ice. He had a huge hit behind the net on ‘Canes dman Brett Bellemore. Clean hit but a hard one. The type of hit D hate. It doesn’t hurt but it looks big.

Bellemore’s partner Ron Hainsey came back to Hendricks to support his team mate. Their gloves came off quickly. Bellemore also got involved with his hitter and it was two Canes versus Hendricks.

The play was moving away from that area. It took a moment for the players on the ice to notice what was going on. Yakupov was visibly looking in another direction. Once his head rotated in that direction of the two vs. one he DID NOT HESITATE. He went flying in there like Jimmy SuperFly Snuka and took down a Cane.

I LOVED IT.

He did not think, he simply reacted. ‘One of my teammates is in trouble and I am going to go in there to help out.’ Perfect. That is the response you expect from a team that is playing hard for each other. A team that supports one another.

This issue is not a small detail for a hockey team. Show me a team that does not stand up for each other and I will show you an unsuccessful team.

So the question is what happened since the Blues game to bring on this very clear reaction?

Dallas Eakins 12

I have no doubt there was a discussion. It may have been head coach Eakins, one of the assistants or the older players. I suggest it would have been some combination of the three.

They would have said that you never want a teammate to feel he is on an island, on or off the ice. If he doesn’t feel like he is getting support within the dressing room or on the ice why is he going to help you when you need it? They would have said it is very dangerous to team unity. What Yak did sunday was not overlooked by me. Well done.

The Hendricks Jolt

23-Hendricks-1

Matt Hendricks has been exactly what I had hoped he could be for the Edmonton Oilers. He has brought life to this team both on and off the ice, something that has been lacking.

He has proven to be a player that is connected emotionally to the games. His style of play drags his teammates into the game. They get charged up by his hits and chirping. It is contagious.

Then you have a situation described above against the Canes. The players realize that it is OK to get a little dirty. Everyone will live.

Since his arrival the Oilers’ record is nine wins, seven losses and four overtime losses. There is no doubt that Scrivens has had a bigger impact but that doesn’t minimize the Hendricks contribution.

He plays all-out every night. He finishes every hit. Some may be a little late or in the grey area of the rule book. His teammates don’t mind but I know the opponents do. Great. The opposing team needs to feel uncomfortable.

27-Gordon-2

He and Gordon have a nice little chemistry going. They are similar players that play the game in straight lines. They are good at cycling in the offensive zone. The two of them and whoever is with them have had many good games working the puck low and generating momentum for the next line. Something that makes life easier for the top two lines of the Oilers. After a good shift in the offensive zone the ice feels like it is tilted in the Oilers favour.

I liked it when Perron was the other winger on the line. He adds scoring ability to the line. He can also play an aggressive, solid defensively style of game that compliments the line. In my opinion that line could play against any line and hold their own.

A third line of Gordon, Hendricks and whoever is a line that a team making the playoffs is happy with. A fourth line of the same is ultimately how Stanley Cup winners look. That is the challenge for MacT.

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.
Avatar
#51 A-Mc
March 17 2014, 10:15AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

I screamed "HULK SMASH" when Hendricks flattened that guy.

Avatar
#52 @Oilanderp
March 17 2014, 10:21AM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Manfly wrote:

and i don't know why some are still against having some sandpaper on this team, after watching this team be physically shoved around and not giving it back and backing down for years now.

No one is against it. Some would prefer that this 'sandpaper' be able to play hockey first, though.

Avatar
#53 michael
March 17 2014, 10:27AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
18
cheers

Yak is slowly becoming the player you thought he was at the draft.His scoring will come as the team stabilizes its zone play.Look at the other night in St Louis.He was picking up minuss for being on the ice. Twice RNH lost his man and twice Yak paid for it on the minus side.

Yaks overall play has improved nicely. The scoresheet is not the only place where you can have an impact.That play proved as much.Showing up for your teammates is huge.It is in my opinion a major plus for Yak.Like the night he and Gazdic went after the Dallas players.

I want Hall in the penalty box a little more towards the end of this season. I want Hall to throw a few more elbows and get a few more facewash penalties. He needs to start pushing back more to establish more respect in the league.Ditto for EBS and RNH.

Matt Hendricks has done everything that he has been asked to do since arriving to Edmonton. Many of the pundits blasted him as bum because of his 4 year contract . Well that sure as cow poop was a load that did not stick to the wall. He has played with intensity and sureness. What more can you ask of the guy.

Add Pitlick to that line next year and it should be a solid line.

What has Gazdic done except become the enforcer that we need.

Smyth is the hard question. He has done it all and looked good this year with reduced minutes.10 goals playing 4th line minutes an the occasional PP. If its me I resign him for next season. At a lower price.Say 1.2 million.

Matt Hendricks is a glue guy.He may be Krazy Glue. But I'll take 6 of him in my bottom 6 everyday of the week.

Bring on the Preds

Avatar
#54 DrDave
March 17 2014, 10:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

That was Yak's highlight of the year IMO. Good on you Nail, be the Hammer more often!!

Avatar
#55 mesa
March 17 2014, 10:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
Jason Strudwick wrote:

Yak still has some ways to go but this part of his game is great .

agree. but when yak start last year he depended on his talent ,it was not enough to be a good nhl player so he had to learn a new system and here were we needed a good mentor for him and RNH and young D.that were the problems started so those player had to learn the hard way and do it by them self.hope it is not to late .

Avatar
#56 pelhem grenville
March 17 2014, 10:34AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
pkam wrote:

83 wasn't wearing the 'A' this season. I believe that 'A' is from N. Schultz or Eberle.

K pkam but if 14 was wearing the letter and 23 got it dontcha think ALL HELL WOULDA BROKEN LOOSE BY our fearless leader The Wanye...we'd have all been headless by now ...

83 wore it for so long I dunno ...I do feel Hendricks is a top notch choice to wear it ...no... not top notch ...pERFECT!!!!

Avatar
#57 mesa
March 17 2014, 10:46AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
21
cheers

the thing i love about Matt hendricks is he not playing for a new contact to pump his value.unlike Bryan Bickel last year .everybody was in love with his game and people want to throw money on him.i take hendricks over him anytime.

Avatar
#58 Rod from Viking
March 17 2014, 11:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers
Andrew wrote:

Part of Yak's problems this year have been on him for sure. The main issue is Eakins. Yak couldn't have run into a worse coach to work with him to develop his talent and team game to NHL expectations. Eakins is a total bone-head and my biggest fear is Mact is afraid to change him out for fear of criticism and keeps him hear to save face. I can see the Oil start moving the talented creative players out for Eakin clones. Yak has cimply not had the right coaching. Eakins turned Yak into his own personal speed-bag and a lightning rod for the media to feed on.

Eakins is the wrong coach. He reminds me of Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle in style. Oh wait where did Eakins get his coaching style?

Yes but don't forget he got Kadri to eat carrots instead of Lays for a snack.

Avatar
#59 The Soup Fascist
March 17 2014, 11:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
9
cheers
Rod from Viking wrote:

Yes but don't forget he got Kadri to eat carrots instead of Lays for a snack.

But you must admit Ron Wilson is a vastly superior hockey man, afterall he DID invent the game.

Avatar
#60 NsxZero
March 17 2014, 12:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
13
cheers

@Rod from Viking

But now that Messier is on board shouldn't players be eating Lays? Can't eat just one...

Avatar
#61 Rod from Viking
March 17 2014, 12:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
The Soup Fascist wrote:

But you must admit Ron Wilson is a vastly superior hockey man, afterall he DID invent the game.

Agree, and after thinking about it Buggs Bunny probably could have got Kadri to eat carrots as well.

Avatar
#62 HOFFFF
March 17 2014, 01:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Jason Strudwick wrote:

Jimmy was one of my all time favorite wrestlers. Nothing like seeing him sail across the ring from one corner to the other

Mine too! Him and 'The Ultimate Warrior'. The Macho Man Randy Savage was close up there, but it was more because of Elizabeth. Sadly they are both gone now. :( Hard to believe Jimmy is 70 now!

Avatar
#63 Will
March 17 2014, 01:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
11
cheers

Why is everyone advocating for Gordon and Hendricks to be on our fourth line? Don't we want a third line that can match up against top competition and shut them down by winning the draw, then grinding the other team on the forcheck and cycle? Isn't that what a third line does?

Avatar
#64 Wonger
March 17 2014, 01:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers
michael wrote:

Yak is slowly becoming the player you thought he was at the draft.His scoring will come as the team stabilizes its zone play.Look at the other night in St Louis.He was picking up minuss for being on the ice. Twice RNH lost his man and twice Yak paid for it on the minus side.

Yaks overall play has improved nicely. The scoresheet is not the only place where you can have an impact.That play proved as much.Showing up for your teammates is huge.It is in my opinion a major plus for Yak.Like the night he and Gazdic went after the Dallas players.

I want Hall in the penalty box a little more towards the end of this season. I want Hall to throw a few more elbows and get a few more facewash penalties. He needs to start pushing back more to establish more respect in the league.Ditto for EBS and RNH.

Matt Hendricks has done everything that he has been asked to do since arriving to Edmonton. Many of the pundits blasted him as bum because of his 4 year contract . Well that sure as cow poop was a load that did not stick to the wall. He has played with intensity and sureness. What more can you ask of the guy.

Add Pitlick to that line next year and it should be a solid line.

What has Gazdic done except become the enforcer that we need.

Smyth is the hard question. He has done it all and looked good this year with reduced minutes.10 goals playing 4th line minutes an the occasional PP. If its me I resign him for next season. At a lower price.Say 1.2 million.

Matt Hendricks is a glue guy.He may be Krazy Glue. But I'll take 6 of him in my bottom 6 everyday of the week.

Bring on the Preds

Absolutely love HENDY!!!!!! Great job YAK!!!!!! Thanks for drawing attention to this STRUDS!!!!!! Long overdue!!!!!!! HENDY FOR MAYOR!!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#65 Toni
March 17 2014, 01:53PM
Trash it!
9
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers

Now that Yak showed he has grit, he needs to be traded as he does not fit in with J. Shultz , Eberle, Garnier which are the world superstars.

Avatar
#66 Serious Gord
March 17 2014, 02:16PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

The manic depressive behavior on this site is something to behold.

Are they playing better of late? Yes.

But could they play any worse than they were?

Since the Olympics they are 4-5, and 5 of the teams they played are not in the top sixteen. Thus they are miles away from contending for a playoff spot next year if this is as good as they can be.

And is yak playing better. Well he better shouldn't he? He's 20, not 35. That he and the rest of the youth wing of the team have on balance regressed this year is reason for very serious concern. They could soon become the lost generation if they don't start playing to their prodigious potential.

I'm being neither manic nor depressive - just realistic. This team should be doing far better than it is - yet it isn't. And the cause(s) of that failure needs to be addressed.

Avatar
#67 Rob...
March 17 2014, 03:21PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
6
cheers

@Serious Gord

I haven't seen anyone planning a parade route. I also see a lot of posts suggesting many of the young Oilers need to take notice of what Yak did.

On a slightly related note, if you are or were married, I would love to have been a fly on the wall the first time you were asked 'Honey, does this dress make me look fat?'. I have no doubt you would have knocked that answer out of the park.

Avatar
#68 Casey
March 17 2014, 03:52PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers

Anyone think matt Hendricks should play on the 2nd line for a game?

Avatar
#69 Serious Gord
March 17 2014, 04:21PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Rob... wrote:

I haven't seen anyone planning a parade route. I also see a lot of posts suggesting many of the young Oilers need to take notice of what Yak did.

On a slightly related note, if you are or were married, I would love to have been a fly on the wall the first time you were asked 'Honey, does this dress make me look fat?'. I have no doubt you would have knocked that answer out of the park.

I'm talking about fixing this nightmare of a team - not getting laid.

Avatar
#70 Rob...
March 17 2014, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Serious Gord

And post 66 helped how? Please, tell me how any of the words in that post provided any of the ideas or insight necessary to help fix this team. I call BS.

Avatar
#71 Serious Gord
March 17 2014, 05:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
Rob... wrote:

And post 66 helped how? Please, tell me how any of the words in that post provided any of the ideas or insight necessary to help fix this team. I call BS.

Being mindless fans - gleeful one minute - suicidal the next makes it easy for management to ignore us. Consistent firm critiques and a determination hold those who fail to account and recognize those who excell both on the ice and in management is how we as fans can cause beneficial change.

My post above is one of many in that vein.

Avatar
#72 Rod from Viking
March 17 2014, 05:13PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
5
cheers
Serious Gord wrote:

I'm talking about fixing this nightmare of a team - not getting laid.

Which one will take longer to happen? A little more positive energy will do wonders with both situations.(just saying).

Avatar
#73 michael
March 17 2014, 05:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Rob... wrote:

I haven't seen anyone planning a parade route. I also see a lot of posts suggesting many of the young Oilers need to take notice of what Yak did.

On a slightly related note, if you are or were married, I would love to have been a fly on the wall the first time you were asked 'Honey, does this dress make me look fat?'. I have no doubt you would have knocked that answer out of the park.

When my wife asked me that I said "They must have given her the wrong size at the store,it should be a seven not a 3." After 16 years of marriage its now "Your overflowing with sexy."

Its like that guy pushing that rock up the hill in greek mythology.He gets to the top and its rolls all the way down back to the start again.But in the case of our "young" players that rock is defense.There are nights like last night against Carolina and there are 3rd periods like we had against St Louis.

The scoring is down on the team but the GF are also way down. Scrivens and VF are a large part of that turnaround. But the players are focused on playing defense. The balance will come next year when out overall team defence improves and the thinking about defense becomes less thinking and more inate. Once that happens the team will be less like Keystone cops and more like Oilers ala 1984.

TIME AND PATIENCE

Avatar
#74 chuckcouples
March 17 2014, 05:22PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
8
cheers

Does anyone else think that the reason nobody came to Hall's defence is that most of Hall's teammates don't like him?

Avatar
#75 Greasy Goal
March 17 2014, 05:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
4
cheers
chuckcouples wrote:

Does anyone else think that the reason nobody came to Hall's defence is that most of Hall's teammates don't like him?

Why wouldn't they like Hall?

Avatar
#76 MICHAEL
March 17 2014, 05:41PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers
Serious Gord wrote:

The manic depressive behavior on this site is something to behold.

Are they playing better of late? Yes.

But could they play any worse than they were?

Since the Olympics they are 4-5, and 5 of the teams they played are not in the top sixteen. Thus they are miles away from contending for a playoff spot next year if this is as good as they can be.

And is yak playing better. Well he better shouldn't he? He's 20, not 35. That he and the rest of the youth wing of the team have on balance regressed this year is reason for very serious concern. They could soon become the lost generation if they don't start playing to their prodigious potential.

I'm being neither manic nor depressive - just realistic. This team should be doing far better than it is - yet it isn't. And the cause(s) of that failure needs to be addressed.

If your GM for a day Gord please tell me how you would change this team in the off season.

Where are the solutions? Your good at pointing out the problems we all can see and recognize. Yet I fail to see where you offer solutions that are in this realm of reality.

On Bob's show today he offered up a solution that you may find to your liking.

Take a minute and tell us what you think.Not what you feel.

Avatar
#77 Andrew
March 17 2014, 06:01PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

Just read Lowetides article regarding douchebag-level comments made by Dreger and that ultimate hanger-on Matheson. The integrity level of Dregers bombastic characterizations of Yakupov is what I would expect from eastern media who have no respect for any Oiler player. But Mathesons below the belt comments are shocking.

Why are these self-appointed high foreheads not getting on RNH and Justin Shultz who both are horrible on offence an D and play with no balls whatsoever. Yak doesn't need me defending him but he is a 20 yr old kid playing hockey in the best league in the world. He is playing for a coaching staff that is inept in the extreme and have mind-effed just about every young player on the team.

Matty needs to take that big smoking turd out of his mouth so he can see past the haze.

Avatar
#78 belch from Calgary
March 17 2014, 08:54PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Greasy Goal wrote:

Why wouldn't they like Hall?

Ask any Oiler except Ebs off of the record and the result may be shocking???

Avatar
#79 Dangilitis
March 17 2014, 10:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

K, Jason, but would you not agree that ideally Hendricks should be on the 4th line on an above average team? And Gordon should be replicated on the 4th, rather than making Smytty play out of position?

Comments are closed for this article.