POWER PLAY

In recent days some Oiler fans have expressed that Aaron Ekblad’s offensive numbers are similar or superior to those of Darnell Nurse in his draft year. Is this true?

Last spring, I compared three 2013 draft eligibles and their offense by discipline. I found that Darnell Nurse’s numbers were skewed due to a lack of powerplay time. Nurse at even strength had an impressive draft season.

Nurse’s even strength scoring as a 17-year old were well shy of Seth Jones, but beyond another outstanding puck mover from the 2013 draft, Josh Morrissey.

How does Ekblad compare?

  • EV: 34, 3-9-12 .353
  • PP: 34, 10-10-20 .588
  • PK: 34, 1-0-1 .029
  • TOTAL: 34, 14-19-33 .971

At even strength, Nurse and Ekblad are comparable. Nurse has the edge, but this is mid-season and that could change. I think it’s fair to suggest both players will get enough offense from their EV totals to be considered "two way" defensemen—there are no Laddy Smid stay-at-home defensemen in this look at the blue.

Ekblad appears to be an outstanding power-play talent. I don’t know enough about him to say he’s going to be an impact player above the OHL, but at age 17 he’s certainly an impact player in the discipline at the junior level.

BROCK OTTEN, OHL PROSPECTS

Brock Otten is a fine blogger and reports on the OHL via his brilliant OHL Prospects blog. Here, he discusses Ekblad and his season during a mid-year review:

  • 1. Aaron Ekblad – Defense – Barrie Colts
    Everyone knows about his ability defensively, but it’s certain aspects of his offensive game that have impressed me most this year. In particular, his ability to get his point shot through to the net and his ability to control the point have really improved to the point where I think he has definite powerplay QB potential at the next level to go with his shutdown ability in his own end.

Otten’s observations are reflected in the Ekblad numbers.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

There’s a long way to go this draft season, and Aaron Ekblad has his issues. Skating has been mentioned, and the fact that he appears to be the only man in the group (the other prospects have "projectable size") is also in some reports.

We should probably start talking about Ekblad’s power-play performance in the first half of the OHL season. His numbers on the powerplay for his age are sparkling.

      • Dan 1919

        True. And he did have some momentum going at the start.

        Now, LT, I know from your other blog that you aren’t keen on picking a defenseman with the first or second pick. But man. This kid looks to have some of the things seriously lacking on the Oilers back end. First of all, a heavy slap shot, and from what I saw at the WJ’s he’s not afraid to use it. (Honestly, when is the last time an Oiler D-Man really ripped a shot from the point?) Second, he is big. That one is obvious but not any less important. And third, he plays a little bit angry. What’s not to like here?

        • Lowetide

          Yeah, I can’t disagree with any of what you’ve said. I know it flies in the face of prevailing wisdom, but Ekblad does appear to be the answer. We’ll have to see how the rest of the season rolls out.

  • Lowetide

    At least after all this winning, we will have something to look forward to this summer……. A number #1 overall pick.

    And then I wake up and the day repeats itself over and over and over.

    The Oilers are like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day.

  • Dan 1919

    After watching Matt Hendricks play tonight I realized:

    Craig MACTAVISH IS A FREAKING GENIUS???

    MacT bent Polie over and gave it to him without Vaseline… He rocked him
    In that trade. Talk about grit. Hendricks is what the Oilers have needed for years. Finally.

    Dubnyk is a washed up fluke. Good riddance. They are pretty pissed off at us in Nashville. They could’ve found a better goalie in the WANT ADS!

    I’m gonna go out tomorrow and purchase a Matt Hendricks jersey and maybe also a retro Craig MACTAVISH jersey.

    Keep up the good work MacT

        • Rick Stroppel

          SO IT ISN ‘T JUST ME

          From his picture, Josh Oiler looks like an adult. Yet he talks like a twelve year old (“did it without Vaseline”). BTW, do you think that is really his picture? Isn’t he afraid somebody is going to recognize him?

          OILERS NATION: If you respond directly to his posts, it will make him think that he is saying something worth responding to.

          ON EDITORS: I know we believe in free speech, but is it possible to censor posts on account of sheer stupidity?

          ” Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.”

      • Rick Stroppel

        No, that does not make you a bad person. This dud is out of reach when it comes to hockey or he does it to grab attention. After reading his comments few times in the past, I start to trash him automatically just like Lowtied articles. They usually write something about what if this happen or hope…

        • Rick Stroppel

          FACE IT, JOSH OILER IS A JACKASS

          Please re-read Josh Oiler’s post # 6 above. In it he:

          1. Says that MacTavish did something to Poile “without Vaseline”. Funny, if you are an imbecile.
          2. Claims MacTavish won the trade big time AFTER THE PLAYERS HAVE PLAYED TWO GAMES WITH THEIR NEW TEAMS. Astute hockey comment?
          3. Says he is going to buy a Hendricks jersey and a “vintage” MacTavish jersey. I hope he tells us where you go to buy a vintage MacTavish jersey.

          ALL HIS POSTS ARE AS BAD AS THIS.

          I think this clown actually knows his posts are BS. For the most part, like Lowtide, I actually find the MAJORITY of posts here thought-provoking and sometimes quite funny.

          Josh Oiler is uniquely idiotic. I was exaggerating when I said I trash his comments without reading them. Usually I read the first sentence or two, it’s all I can take. He is literally wasting our time.

          As for Josh Oiler: PLEASE IGNORE HIM. Do not prop him, or trash him, or respond to his stupid grade 5 arguments. Maybe he will go away.

          Just my opinion.

    • "Frank the dog"

      Wow, don’t you think that’s a bit premature?

      The guy was invisible before tonight. He takes a puck off the skate and takes some questionable penalties, one of which will probably get him suspended and you’re rushing out to buy a jersey. We’ll you better get up early to avoid the stampede buddy.

    • two smokes

      I agree with you that Hendricks is a good player, is he gonna save the oil. No. He might be a future fourth liner. Like the guy think he does all the little things right but that was not an amazing trade….also its pretty hard to take you seriously with you imagining ol mact giving it polie…. That’s messed up man

    • Lowetide

      MacTavish is going to need time. The Oilers were a mess. He added Perron, Gordon, Ference this summer, and he missed on others.

      There’s a lot of work to do, but I believe MacT will do it. I have no idea how many Oiler fans believe that tonight, though.

      • Dan 1919

        I agree too, MacT has done good work so far. Obviously signing Eakins may have been a bit too much too fast but the team was ultimately doomed regardless because of the AHL defence and terrible tending.

        Hate to say it, but for one more summer I will remain interested to see what moves MacT makes for the back end. If they are as good as the Perron, Ference, Hendricks additions, next year could end up being a dogfight for 8th spot.

        I expect heavy trashes.

        • Serious Gord

          Ridiculous.

          MacT (and Klowe):

          didn’t unload or buyout hemsky
          Signed gagner to a crazy contract
          Signed a rookie and now failing coach to an unprecedented FOUR year deal
          Didn’t replace dubnyk
          Sign grebeshkov
          Kept Smyth
          Signed belov

          He has made far more mistakes than good moves. I expect him to continue in that fashion…

          • Batfink

            I disagree on Hemsky and Belov.

            You are completely correct on the other Mact mistakes. Gagner contract was a huge negative now it’s untradeable, even without the no trade clause.

          • Dan 1919

            What about Hemsky? He had Zero trade value when MacT took over. I don’t see any argument for or against Hemsky until we see what happens with him at the deadline, not much value anyway.

            MacT aggressively went after Schneider and couldn’t seal the deal. You can’t win them all, welcome to real life, not NHL 2014. When Dubnyk failed miserably he then all but said you’re fired when he paid another team to take him. Accept the failed investment and move on.

            Garbagekov and Belov were both a no risk attempt at doing anything to hopefully help the backend… didn’t really work, Belov is alright.

            Smyth is another mute point, hate to break it to you Gordon, with or without him the Oiler’s are terrible. Having no Smyth on the team doesn’t mean we would have picked up Weber.

            So correction, MacT has made several no risk moves that haven’t resulted in much, and several excellent moves (better than can ever be said for sleepy Tambi).

            Hind sight is 20/20 and we all know Kruger should have been kept for at least one more season but as mentioned no coach will get a roster with this weak of defence into the playoffs.

          • toprightcorner

            Why do MacT haters always forget to mention the theft of Perron or trading Horcoff without retaining cash that nobody thought possible. They also forget MacT was the key man in getting J. Schultz.

            Buyout Hemsky? you don’t buy out a guy when cap isn’t an issue. Hemmer has also been decent.

            There was no reason to replace Dubnyk based on numbers in previous years though MacT did say he hast yet proven to be a top starter.

            Grebs was low cost, low risk and hasn’t hurt the team playing on the farm.

            There was no market to trade Smyth, no sense to buy out the most loved Oiler in last 15 years and he has played very well as a hard working veteran in the bottom 6.

            Belov was was considered the top dman in the KHL and was a low cost risk that hasn’t been bad. Good 6/7 dman, problem is team depth forced him to ply higher.

            Eakins was widely considered the best up and coming coach and was widely praised around the league. 50 games coaching an already terrible team is too early to be judged fairly.

            MacT has made some questionable moves just like every GM in history. You cant fix 5 years of Tambo screw ups in 8 months. If MacT never said ‘bold moves” he would have far less haters.

            Next time at least include all the facts and properly think them through before presenting your case. Hate MacT all you want, just don’t back up your case with hot air!

  • Lowetide

    In January, in the fourth year of a rebuild, with 30 games left in the season, ON bloggers are enthusiastically analyzing the player they hope Oilers will draft first overall.

    Is it even possible to imagine a more epic fail?

    • Dan 1919

      Hahaha sorry to be rude, but you’re still buying the koolaid?

      4 years min before a Nurse/Ekblad line actually brings enough to the table to no longer be “developing” and actually be making the Oiler’s difficult to play against.

      By that time what has Hall decided about this team, asked for a trade? Yak will be signed back in the KHL disappointing people there as well. Ebs is still here as the un-probable lifer. Nuge has lost interest in the games and just reads advanced physics books on the bench that make him even more wizard like.

      This rebuild has failed, the biggest downfall was not trying to bring any support along the way and now it’s too late, it’s salvageable only by “bold” moves that are actually as risky as they seem. Still a chance for success if MacT has some huge gonads, but there’s a far better chance that we are the islanders for a loooong time.

  • Dan 1919

    WHO TRASHED MY COMMENT^^^!!! I think I know something about PROFESSING the future IF THERE’S EVER A CONCERN

    I’m going to bed, I don’t need this crap.

    Go Oil

  • camdog

    MacT has made mostly good moves, but one disastrous one. Firing Kreuger and hiring Eakins. JW did a good analysis on 5-in-5 play under Renney, Kreuger and Eakins, in which the last two were pretty even. If he had also addressed special teams the results would have been very different. When you compare the PP stats, accounting for SH goals given up, as well as PK stats, accounting for SH goals scored, the gap between Kreuger and Eakins is massive. How did this coach destroy our special teams? Keep MacT but fire Eakins. Not until after he has gotten us Ekblad, however. The guy cannot coach.

  • There’s a ways to go yet but I wonder if Ekblad could even drop to #3. I know the BPA method is preached and all that but I really can’t see Buffalo taking a d-man, and I imagine the Flamers have a man-crush on Reinhart.

  • camdog

    The team was a mess when Lowe was GM, the team was a mess when Tambleini took over the team, the teams is now a mess with Mact as the GM.

    So overall this team has been an absolute mess for 8 years now. To put faith in a man that was here when the mess began, a man that was hired GM without an interview process, whom was anointed GM by the same man that started this mess is really tough to believe.

    Maybe you are right and Mact will fix the ship or maybe he won’t. In 2-3 years we will know the answers.

    • Dan 1919

      Not to stick up for Oiler’s management as we all know what a travesty this team is right now. But as MacT said in his GM onboarding interview, he never did anything to let this team down in the past. He coached a relatively poor hockey team to play competitive and gritty while challenging for a playoff spot yearly.

      His boss KLowe is a lot harder to defend. He played with Gretzky?

  • billythebullet

    Every time I read through the comments it’s more and more baffling to read so much hate and pessimism. For people who couldn’t be bothered to cheer the team through hard times it’s weird to see them bothered to write nasty hate mail on blog sites.

    Look Mom I can turn my back on the Oilers, I’m a knowledgable analyst who should crawl into a hole when things do turn around.

  • Rick Stroppel

    Lowtied has all of the weakest links of articles in the Nation! Please give up!!! Last article was to bring back Hartkinen now ekbal. As if the funs have patient to wait another rebuilt after another. May be it is worth it to watch, how this team plays a physical opponent like Kings or Ducks. Our top six players are mejets and as a result they disappear. Beside they have no clue how to defend and play the most minutes. That is the biggest problem of ours.

    • Batfink

      Dude, who is Lowetied? is he related to tonguetied?

      and these mejets you speak of…at least they have been to school, and have advanced training using spallchak.

      Troll, with a capital T…slither back down Highway 2 where you belong…

    • Lowetide

      I enjoy writing for ON and the comments section are always a blast. For me, ON offers a very unique forum of passionate fans and I never actually know the reaction my posts will get.

      As I’ve said many times in the past, it’s been an extreme pleasure to be a part of the Nation and I hope it continues. Wanye and the band have NEVER restricted what I write and you’re certainly correct that my articles come from a different view.

      I hope you enjoy the other fine writers here at ON, and perhaps something from me interests you in the future.

      Either way, I appreciate your input!

        • The Soup Fascist

          I like it!

          In terms of picks, if we have a choice, as much as drafting D men early seems to be risky, it has to be Ekballs if the Oil pick first or he is still available when they pick.

          Reinhart would appear to be a slightly less talented RNH clone. The only other top 5 pick worth considering is the big German centre. But he was invisible in the WJHC – granted on a terrible team.

          Bring on Ekblad.

          Wow talking draft in January is terrible. Worse yet, it was topical in November this year. I am guessing not a big topic in Chicago, LA, Anaheim or San Jose.

          Sigh.

    • toprightcorner

      Nothing makes a person look dumber then misspelling the person name you are trying to troll.

      I’m sure LoweTIDE wont lose sleep if you skip his articles and readers will be happier if you also skipped posting comments.

      The one thing I like about Lowetide is that he provides insight and articles on things we would otherwise not consider. He doesn’t just want to present solely a good read but create debate where we expert wannabe’s can share our thoughts.

      Maybe stick to reading articles that are meant for a grade 3 audience and it will match your spelling level. May I suggest the high quality writings of Eklund, he would be more at your speed.

    • Lowetide’s writings are literate, subtle, wryly humourous and intelligent.

      This post is barely readable, subtle as a bullet to the head, humourless and shows a lack of intelligence about the Oilers problems.

      I think I see where the disconnect is.

  • Batfink

    Er, guys, we HAVE sparkling PP talents. It’s just that the coach hates them to score on the PP because he thinks it’s unfair. So he takes one of the best PP in the league last year and does what he’s done with the rest of the team and give them a confusing bat-poop crazy system.

  • "Frank the dog"

    Looking more and more to me that this is little more than a stare down between Hall-Eberle-Gagner-Jultz with Yak as a wannabee, and the Coach of the Day.

    Drop your level of play as soon as you don’t like something the coach is forcing you to do.

    They played well for Krueger only as long as they agreed with what he was telling them. As soon as he tried to crack down on the defensive side, they put him into a 10 game losing streak.

    This approach succeeded in evicting Quinn, Renney, and Krueger, and may well succeed with Eakins, right now it’s neck and neck.

    Not sure which is the pack leader, in the last doc I watched, it was declared to be Eberle.

    When comparing that collection of sublime talent, not many people will stick with the coach as opposed to trading one’s elite talent away at a discount.

    MacT is a well qualified GM doing the best job anyone could have done in the circumstances. Eakins has always worked well in the past with young people despite the mantras of the assorted trolls and naysayers. Both are intelligent, capable men. Fixing this team is obviously not as easy as fire the coach or trade our elite for top tier players.

    It’s somewhat obvious that most elite players do not want to play in Edmonton, or they will only play here for a huge premium.

    The players that MacT has accumulated bear testimony to that, and it’s not for lack of trying.

    If you take a look at each step MacT has made, each one has visibly improved the team.

    So yes we have been losing for 8 years, but if this team is fixable then MacT and Eakins may represent our last and best chance. If the players win over Eakins, then the only coach with any chance of success, would likely be Todd Nelson, who clearly enjoyed the young core’s trust and respect. But he’d also be out the door as soon as what he wanted went against what the young core wanted.

    So for us to get back to winning, in fact it’s the coaching carousel that has to stop, and the young core that has to be won over.

    As Yak is clearly the weakest link in the chain, he is the most likely to break first. The outcome will either be a genuine NHL star, or a KHL player that ends up never going anywhere.

    So yes, the losing is painful, and I may refuse to watch them when they are listless and dispirited, as they were when MacT traded Dubs, who was obviously part of the clique.

    But it seems to me, that MacT and Eakins are the best available coach and GM for now. I do think that Eakins should be given the chance to select his own assistants, which will likely happen over the off season if he is still here then. But the core problem is actually how to persuade the clique to play two way NHL hockey of their own accord. FWIW

    • Batfink

      Seriously? Do you watch Ancient Aliens as well? Maybe they’re in on it too. There is no conspiracy theory. These guys do not even get a SNIFF of this league, no matter how skilled, if their attitudes are suspect. It seems that you have no comprehension of what they have to do to even get a shot at the NHL. If what you say is true, it would have manifested itself by now. Trade for cents on the dollar, a la Mike Comrie, would have been made to get the guy gone. The lunatics do not run the asylum. Have you considered the other side of the coin? May be the players are doing exactly what Eakins wants them to do and that he just can’t coach at this level yet?

      • "Frank the dog"

        If you had ever studied organizational behaviour, or had any experience of any kind at a senior management level, then you would have some comprehension of what I am talking about.

        However as I have said elsewhere, people who lack knowledge or experience are still free to make comments like yours. So fire away, buddy, Im sure there are more than a few people who would join your chorus.
        BTW, You obviously watch AA I don’t, never have, never will.
        As for your other comments: This manifested itself when Quinn was coach, and he said as much, as quoted on another blog a while back.
        I have a pretty good idea of what they go through to get to the NHL but do you have any idea of how Junior coaches behave with players of this level of talent that consistently win games for them? As in give them breaks not given to other players?
        The are not lunatics, they are mostly intelligent, capable, millionaires who have grown up in a generation of entitlement. One has to have a high level of drive to get to the NHL, and whereas most players have to learn the next level of play in the AHL, these players mostly skipped that level and as such have never been forced to learn those fundamentals until now. Witness Hall’s treatment at the hands of Lindsay Ruff, and Hitchcock’s comment about Eakins and the Oiler, and you may begin to understand. Go back to Jonesy’s presser and you’ll see that even he understand that Eakins systems are pretty much NHL standard, and much different to the OHL etc.

        • Batfink

          Let me see, I completed 12yrs in the Army, the final 4 of which were in a senior managerial role. In order to take up that post, I had to complete a set of civilian management courses accredited to the IMI (feel free to google) and a multitude of military management courses. After my service, I thought I had done with schooling, but my new job sent me straight back to management school. I’m not saying I’m a good manager, but I have dabbled before. Enough to know that leadership starts at the top. You’ve heard of ‘the buck stops here’? It is a mantra of modern management. Eakins is the leader, and I could and have spouted for hours on the pro and cons of his management style.

          When you are the de facto leader, you take responsibility for ALL aspects for both success or failure. If his players do not respond to his style, HE must change it until he finds a way to get across what he needs to. Whatever other misgivings Eakins gives me, he does not come across as weak willed.

          I did not literally mean the players are lunatics. It was an analogy. That is like a metaphor. Or possibly a simile. What I meant, and I suspect you knew, is that the players do not run the team.

          You see, I did play sport, good enough for semi-pro, but not for the bigs. Hence my foray into the military. I know EXACTLY how coaches treat players. And I know how other players treat players who are A55 hats.

          I do watch Ancient Aliens from time to time, but I am not enough of a fan to call it ‘AA’ yet 😉 I watch it with my daughter to laugh at the next hypothesis and guess which crack pot will be coaching the Oilers next year.

    • toprightcorner

      I have felt the same at times, you mentioned “docs you watched”, would be interested if you could share.

      I believe Eakins is the first coach since MacT that hold players accountable and most of the elite guys we have drafted grew up so skilled they were never held accountable and that is tough to take.

      Some players could believe that if Eakins has a worse record than Kreuger, he too will be fired.

      to me Eberle and Gagner seem to be the ones that show signs of trying for offence but lacking on effort on defense. just watch how many times that when the buck is turned over that they turn the wrong/long way which takes themselves out of the play, or they stop, pause for a second and then skate hard so they will never catch anyone but look like they are working hard getting back.

      I think Eakins could spot the culprit and just hope MacT will get them off the team

      • "Frank the dog"

        IIRC the documentary was Oil Change, when they were all playing in OKC, and hanging around together, it was generally acknowledged that Eberle was the social leader of the gang. I’ve seen the comment in other places as well, IIRC on LT’s blog.

        The problem is this is a bit high stakes to simply cut and slash. I suppose you can cut and slash in Junior, and in the AHL and at the lower levels of player in the NHL, but it’s a bit different when you are talking about the core players of your rebuild, and they know that too.

        That doesn’t mean that these young men are bad, just that they are a bit misdirected right now.

        Having to dump one or more of them for less than full value would represent a loss, and having any of them leave in an antagonistic manner would also represent a loss for the Oil.

        There was a very interesting blog by LT elsewhere a while back, that talked about how Dallas turned around as a team as soon as the GM at the time moved a player that no-one suspected he would trade. It turned out later that the player represented “darkness” on the team, and once that was removed the dynamic of the team changed as a whole.

        The question, if we have the same problem here, is who is the darkness? This is not a new discussion, as LT knows, but with all the constants except for the assistants changed, that’s starting, from a people management perspective anyway, to look like the case and the rest of the league knows that.

        I tend to agree with you, I see Ebs as primary, and Gags as secondary. Tough nut to crack, for sure.

    • Wax Man Riley

      With all due respect, the notion that “the Oilers played for Krueger only as long as they agreed with what he was telling them. As soon as he tried to crack down on the defensive side, they put him into a 10 game losing streak” is rather far-fetched. Check the facts.

      The Oilers beat Calgary 8-2 on April 3, 2013, to move into 8th place in the Western Conference. They then went on the road and lost in quick succession to Vancouver, LA and Anaheim, the last one a heartbreaking 2-1 loss that effectively sealed their playoff fate.

      There was no 10 game losing streak. They lost 3 more game, RNH was shut down for shoulder surgery, and they went 3-3 the rest of the way (bad news in retrospect because it cost them a higher draft pick).

      Under Krueger both PP and PK were top ten in the league. Players were motivated, and progressed. They did not have Krueger fired. That was MacT, on a whim hiring an AHL coach who had the notion that AHL tactics would work at the NHL level.

      • Wax Man Riley

        Doug I usually agree with you but Kruger was hired partly on Hall’s and Eberle’s request and the team finished very poorly last year, on hind site I wish Eakins would have been hired as an assistant but he wasn’t .This team needs the assistants to be shown the road letting Eakins hire his own, a couple more veteran gritty defence men that can play and are winners, and a trade that shakes up the core .
        If this hasn’t changed the teams fortunes by next November give Dallas the boot.

        • Wax Man Riley

          I agree the team finished poorly, but that was because they were, in fact, an inferior team, and once the big boys on the west coast ramped up their game for the playoffs, the Oilers were left in the dust. For sure roster improvements are needed.

          My point is that the players aren’t to blame for the coaching changes so far. As has been documented here and elsewhere, Tambo sacked Renney for his own reasons, and MacT discharged Krueger not at the dictate of the players, but because he saw something shiny and new in Eakins.

          The team may have quit on Eakins, but I think it is because Eakins is not up to the job, not because Hall, Eberle, RNH et al are spoiled brats, a story which a segment of posters seem to be trying to sell. Andy P’s account of the Oiler’s quitting on Krueger was pure fiction, as I was trying to document.

  • Lowetide

    Andy P: I resisted that idea (and you laid it out really well) because it’s a difficult thing to prove and an awful thing to find out. I do think that if a team were going to do it, they would look just like this one.

  • Batfink

    I for one am totally on side for getting Ekblad…….in fact if for some reason we do not end up with the first overall pick, we should try and convince the holder of that pick to swap with us.

    We do not need another forward, we need puck moving defenceman with size. The last time I checked, every team covets this type of player and no one gives them up for free. We all know you draft these guys and then hope they develop into something special.

    Having two players of this caliber ( Nurse and Ekblad) will rocket us into a top team.

    For those people who want to trade this pick away, be very careful what you wish for. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make!

  • toprightcorner

    If Ekblad’s skating is suspect then pass. How many top 4dmen are there that cant skate?
    A good dman that can’t skate usually has a long career in the minor leagues.

    I say use the pick in a package for a proven top pairing dman. That’s more important than a possible dman in 3-4 years.

  • toprightcorner

    Krueger got shafted… for sure. That may be why there is so much venom towards Eakins.

    The roster is better.

    But the players are under performing.

    Who knew trading Horcoff would have such an impact.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Good comments as usual.
    I am not blaming the players even though it may look like it, this team has a losing culture that has been caused by management, all the things the young guns have we’re probably offered not demanded.
    To me this season was a combination of a coach that is used to coaching players that will do anything the coach says to make it too the show not knowing how to handle first overall picks and veteran NHL’s and having to work with incompetent assistant coaches, poor goaltending,poor defensive play, tough schedule to start and injuries that put Hall at Center with the wrong line mates .