It’s Halloween Nation and it’s on and poppin’. This article is like a variety pack of candy treats. Enjoy.
I went to my first Oilers game as a fan Tuesday night since 1998. I enjoyed watching from a totally different perspective. The atmosphere was awesome even though I’m sure Oiler fans hated all the Leaf fans.
I used to love when road fans invaded our barn. You could hear the noise and feel the intensity from the crowd. Players feed off it. Unfortunately sometimes the opposition feeds off of it as well.
COUPLE THINGS I SEE
Many people still want to talk about this swarm D zone and how it’s failed and it’s all Eakins fault the teams league worst Goals against average is 3.79. If you have games previously recorded on TV, go back and watch how many times the Oilers have control of the puck in their own end and turn it over.
I wrote a piece in last week’s mail bag that I’m more of a “standard D zone” coverage kind of guy but when you constantly turn the puck over who cares what system you are playing, it results in a mad scramble for everyone.
Mistakes happen but this is something I haven’t seen change from game one of this season. When you make soft plays with the puck in your own end or you don’t fight hard enough to get it out at the blue line, you can play whatever system you want, the puck will end up in the back of your net more often than not.
EAGER & JONES
Both guys got sent down at the start of the season and one guy has come back rejuvenated and hungry and the other one I’m not really sure.
Ben Eager should have been fighting Ryan Jones to fight Kyle Clifford the other night in LA. Instead he lets a guy that is outmatched in toughness but clearly not heart, do his dirty work. Fantastic on Ryan Jones, that goes a long way with your teammates and fans.
On the flip side I haven’t seen Eager engage anyone whatsoever since he’s been recalled. I get it, (I have a bad melon too) maybe he can’t fight with his head but I don’t think he is effective without that element of nastiness to his game. They may as well dress another skill guy because he’s not good enough offensively to not be in scrums or putting fear into opponents.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Did anyone see this Carter Ashton hit last night?
I have said it on Jason Gregor’s show several times that players with the puck have to be aware of where they are on the ice and take onus on many occasions for getting popped with their head down or a spin at the last second and taking a hit from behind.
I worry a bit where the game is headed and think guys expect to not get hit now and want to blame everyone else for why they got hit. This can potentially lead to more injuries in my opinion. It’s an incredibly fast game and expecting someone to not hit you anymore or that player X will be able to pin point his target 100% of the time is not a very smart way to play the game.
However, last night was not one of those hits and I absolutely hated it. Carter Ashton see’s numbers the whole way and hits the guy five feet from the boards.
Hits like this and the back side chin clip are the ones I have a problem with. Unless hitting is completely removed from the game, I think even with all the steps to penalize guys there will always be a grey area but this type of hit is pretty black and white, incredibly stupid.
Our Pre-season champ ‘Slick Rick’ sent us this photo of himself celebrating his championship, good on you Sir. I aspire to be you one day.
Every month the scores reset on StreakCred and every month everyone starts anew. October has now come to a close and Bender Chiefs is our winner, running away with a streak of 20. Bender Chiefs now has his choice of an autographed Corey Perry, Jamie Benn or Ryan Getzlaf jersey and a $200 prepaid visa.
If you haven’t already signed up for Streakcred it’s never too late. Each month, prizes and streaks reset so feel free to come join the new party with us in November. We have autographed jerseys stacked to the sky at Wanye Manor and each month we will reveal who the winner gets to choose from. Sign up here to get onboard with this month of Streakcred.