I haven’t seen enough of Colten Teubert to know exactly where he’s slotted on the Edmonton Oilers organizational depth chart, but I most certainly do know I like the kick-some-ass-ask-questions-later instincts he’s been showing down on the farm with the Oklahoma City Barons.
Before going on, full disclosure: I’m a sucker for players who show the brass it takes to stick up for teammates with no questions asked and I put more weight in that quality than some people do. I like the jam it takes to play that way, just as some observers have an elevated appreciation for, say, the more cerebral and passive game others play – Tom Gilbert comes to mind.
Teubert, 22, has ridden to the rescue a couple of times in recent games, the latest example coming in OKC’s 4-2 win over the Texas Stars Sunday when he doffed the gloves after Jordan Eberle took a knee. Teubert did likewise in reaction to a late hit on Justin Schultz the game before. It’s just a part of Teubert’s make-up.
Some guys have it. Others don’t. It’s tough to teach. That nasty edge will be, it must be, given Teubert’s limitations in other areas and the make-up of the Oilers core group of players in the next several seasons, his ticket to the NHL sometime down the road, as Lowetide so deftly put in his post today. It’s a degree of nastiness that’s going to come in handy.
KUDOS FROM THE COACH
"Teuby did a good job after that," OKC coach Todd Nelson told reporters after the game when asked about the knee thrown at Eberle. "That’s fine with me. It’s absolutely fine. Teuby did a great job both nights. It’s good to see our guys stick up for each other."
Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones followed up by asking Nelson for a report on Teubert’s play and progress this season, to which he said: "I think he’s been pretty consistent this season. His play away from the puck has been, you know, very good.
"As long as he just keeps it simple out there, he’s going to have a lot of success. I like the way that he’s playing physical. I like the way he’s defending. He’s playing a good shutdown role and that’s what we need him to do."
Teubert looked like he was in over his head much of the time in the 24 games he was pressed into with the Oilers last season, and that’s because he was. No surprise whatsoever in that. Teubert has a lot of work to do and adjustments to make, but the element he possesses is something the Oilers are going to need, especially if knee surgery puts an end to the career of big Andy Sutton.
With Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and (maybe) rookie Nail Yakupov forming the core of the forward mix for the next decade, the Oilers are going to need functional toughness – a bad-ass who take a regular shift and take care of business without a written invitation. That’s Teubert’s opening right there, although Theo Peckham will get the first crack at the gig, and should.
Teubert’s willingness to fill that job description as a third-pairing defenseman or a guy coming out of the press box when needed by itself won’t land him a regular NHL job, even with Edmonton’s lack of size and grit up front, but it’s a start. You either have it or you don’t.
HALL READY TO ROLL
Nelson had Teemu Hartikainen penciled in with Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle against Texas, but it doesn’t take a vast intellect to deduce that could and likely will change when Hall arrives back in OKC after being cleared to play.
My best guess is Hall will get some time to find his game legs because he won’t have them yet, despite his stint with the Barons. Once Hall gets up to speed, he’ll bump Harski and Magnus Paajarvi down a notch on the left side.
WHILE I’M AT IT . . .
. . . There is a context and perspective that comes with age and experience and that’s why I find myself smiling at times when I read Lowetide. I like how he turns a phrase (and insists on running pix of hot dames, many of whom are old enough to the grandmothers of our readers now).
So it went with his choice of TINKER, TAYLOR, SOLDIER, SAILOR for his item Saturday. I love a catchy rhyme. Remember HICKORY, DICKORY, DOCK . . ? Never mind.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.