How Todd McLellan keeps his lousy faceoff guys from hurting the Oilers

Jonathan Willis
February 02 2016 09:00AM

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Todd McLellan has a bit of a problem. He has three good faceoff choices in Matt Hendricks, Anton Lander and Mark Letestu. He also has three inferior faceoff options in Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl, though of course he never seems to have them all at the same time.

The good faceoff players are all fourth-line quality players and all (more or less) veterans. McLellan can’t double-shift those players all the time, and besides he needs to develop the faceoff skills of his young stars. How does he balance those competing priorities?

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The Pacific War Room

Nation World HQ
February 02 2016 07:00AM

PacificWarRoom 

In an effort to keep fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the Smythe Pacific Division… The fine folks at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room!

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McLellan on McDavid: “He’s ready to go.”

Jonathan Willis
February 01 2016 10:32PM

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As expected, Connor McDavid will return to the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup on Tuesday. In his post-practice availability today, head coach Todd McLellan made it clear that McDavid was completely healthy and would be playing against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Can Anton Lander save his NHL career?

Jonathan Willis
February 01 2016 05:17PM

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Anton Lander has many fine qualities as an NHL centre. At his best, he’s an excellent two-way forward, chipping in offensively and taking care of business in his own end of the rink. He kills penalties, he wins faceoffs and both his youth (believe it or not, he’s only 24) and his price-point are items in his favour.

But none of that’s going to matter unless he can generate something more than zilch offensively, which is all that he's managed this season.

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North By NorthGretz Podcast Episode 14

North By NorthGretz
February 01 2016 11:43AM

ChrisBubbles

This week the boys talk about the Clendening signing, Dennis Wideman and Shawn Horcoff’s troubles, their favourite Wayne Gretzky moment, Chris The Intern yells about traffic circles and much, MUCH more!

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