I don’t know if Jordan Eberle will ever shut up the critics who predict his ridiculous shooting percentage is destined to fall back to more mortal levels at some point in his fledgling career as a pro, but I hope so (even if I think not). That said, does it really matter?
On a rip right now with the OKC Barons that’s just nuts, as spelled out nicely in a balanced piece by Jason Gregor here earlier today, Eberle has spent the past two seasons making goaltenders at the NHL and the AHL (in particular) levels look like stiffs flopping around in your typical local beer league circuit.
"Unsustainable," insist the smart guys, dourly pumping their calculators and arriving at the obvious. Of course it’s unsustainable – you don’t need a spreadsheet to conclude it’s highly unlikely Eberle will continue to score at the rate he has been. He’ll drop off. Eberle, after all, isn’t pumping rubber against the-guys-in-field-hockey-equipment gunners like Charlie Simmer and Warren Young did during their days in the NHL. SIUTBOHC is unlikely.
I know this is a bizarre concept, but is there any chance fans – Wanye prancing around in his No. 14 jersey naked from the waist down in some California rooming house doesn’t count — can just sit back and enjoy the display Eberle is putting on right now without endlessly dissecting what we’re seeing?
For those so inclined, there’ll be lots of time for I-told-you-so when the NHL eventually gets up and running again.
BACK THE TRUCK UP
David Staples writes a lot of good stuff at the Edmonton Journal’s Cult of Hockey. Saturday, Staples, an award-winning reporter (and unabashed Oiler fan), was relaying high praise about Justin Schultz offered by Craig Button, including a reference to Paul Coffey. You can find the item here. Staples wraps up the item with the following:
"My take? High praise, obviously, from Button, as Coffey was the best or second best defenceman of his era.
Schultz’s game is different than Coffey’s game. Coffey was more of a pure speed, hard-shooting type, Schultz more of a darting type. His game is from the Brian Leetch/Phil Housley school.
So I wouldn’t compare Schultz to Coffey just yet. But having seen Schultz play 24 AHL games, I agree he’s a special player, every bit as strong a prospect as the Oilers other top prospects Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Yakupov."
While there’s no question Schultz has been outstanding during his first stint in pro hockey as a member of the OKC Barons, we might want to throttle back on the hype. Coffey talk? How many NHL games has Schultz played?
Again, Schultz’s astounding tenure with the Barons might be something that’s better off just being enjoyed in the here and now.
OF NOTE . . .
. . . OKC defenseman Brandon Davidson, 21, diagnosed with testicular cancer in October, began chemotherapy treatments today. His initial treatment cycle will last three weeks and then he’ll be re-assessed.
. . . This on Twitter today as the NHL lockout hits the mind-numbing bog that is the courtroom. Darren Dutchyshen?@dutchysc "I just filed a disclaimer of No interest in the NHL and NHLPA! "@DarrenDreger.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.