LANDER’S LAST, BEST CHANCE

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Anton Lander (wearing the “C” in photo by Rob Ferguson) was recalled to the Edmonton Oilers today. Again. There’s a difference this time, though. Anton Lander got the call to play for coach Todd Nelson in Edmonton and that could make all the difference.

TODD NELSON

Edmonton’s new coach is a believer in Anton Lander, having coached him during the Swedish center’s time in Oklahoma City.

  • Nelson: “One thing I’ve always liked about Anton is he holds himself
    accountable first, then holds others accountable. That’s why he’s a
    captain. Sometimes it’s not always pleasant being the captain, but he
    finds a way to get guys motivated, get them on board with what we’re
    trying to accomplish.”
    Source

TOP 10 SCORER

lander top 10 scoring

Lander has been impressive this season with the Barons, scoring well enough to land inside the AHL’s top 10 scorers. He won’t have the same kind of impact in the NHL—partly because he won’t see the power play much if at all. Lander in OKC this season is 26GP, 3-10-13 with the man advantage, fully half of his overall production.

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HOW WILL NELSON USE HIM?

In last night’s game, coach Nelson used Boyd Gordon between David Perron and Jordan Eberle from the beginning of the game. As we discussed earlier this week, Edmonton’s two of Edmonton’s centers were not performing well offensively:

OILERS CENTERS NOW

Todd Nelson’s solution? Run Gordon with better wingers and give his team a chance to ice two scoring lines.

What does that mean for Lander? Chances are he’ll get those 4line, tough zone starts we’ve seen Gordon’s line handle for the last year and a half. It’s a good situation for Lander, who hasn’t delivered much offensively but has some nice things on the defensive side of the ledger. He’s been an effective penalty killer and is a good bet to help that 4line deliver (possibly with veteran Matt Hendricks and rugged Steve Pinizzotto).

Once Lander gets comfortable, the offense may come more frequently.

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IS THAT A NEW ROLE?

Yes. In training camp, Dallas Eakins described the role Lander would be applying for:

  • Eakins:“If
    (Lander) is going to play here, he has to be able to play centre, he has
    to play left-wing and he has to play right-wing. He has to be able to
    step in on the power play and kill penalties. He has to be able to wear a
    bunch of different hats.”

DOES ANYONE BELIEVE IN HIM?

Todd Nelson. Todd Nelson believed in Lander, that’s why he is here today.

  • MacTavish before training camp: “We’ve got Leon Draisaitl, which is a
    big question mark for an 18-year-old’s ability to come in. We’ve got
    Anton Lander, who has shown an ability to score and be a real good
    player at the American League level. We’ve got Mark Arcobello, who when
    we sent him back had two points per game at the American League level or
    very close [to it]; he’s got potential to fill one of those roles. When
    you look at our depth chart, I understand and certainly agree with that
    position having the most question marks.”
    Source
  • Todd Nelson: “He’s been a leader his whole life.”

Anton Lander will never get a better shot at an NHL job than now. Godspeed young man.

    • dougtheslug

      The constant carousel of AHL’ers coming up to squad is indicative of a team in tanking mode from above , and likely why Nelson was promoted at this time .

      Like the fans , I doubt the core of club expects much with defensive woes , mediocer goal tending and lack of any center depth . Put all three negatives in one team and as a recourse you’d expect a digression in offence as well , which is also happening .

      Somehow this poorly assembled team has to at least be entertaining for rest of the year as already tier one fans are being disappointed with the on ice product more so than previous years . But the kicker , to get changes going , appears to be gaining momentum from the tier 2 and 3 fans that constitute the future of hockey business here along with all the sponsors . A mass reduction in tier 2 and 3 fans will destroy the future business side of things , and that Katz is going to have to address pronto to appease the fans and business .

    • SimmerDownBoys

      I don’t even really care how Lander does since this season is a bust. He cannot possibly be less productive than Drai. If his arrival means that Drai can be sent down to regain his game then it’s a plus for the future of the team. If Lander can prove his value as a 4C then it’s plus plus.

    • SimmerDownBoys

      Unfortunately LT picked a bad title for this thread. I for one do not believe this is Anton’s last chance. It maybe for the Oilers but definitely not the NHL. Anton has enough tools in his resume to be an NHLer somewhere.

    • dougtheslug

      1 win in 18 games. Wow. If visually the Oilers look more engaged after 2 games under Nelson why did it take MacT 2 seasons to figure out Eakins. What a buffoon. Thanks for killing all the joy in hockey. FU KATZ.

    • someguy

      I’m wondering if Lander shows well that it gives the Oilers the chance to send Draisatl back to junior.

      I mean, the guy has 2 goals and 7 points in 33 games. At that current rate he’s on pace for a whopping 17 points. Sam Gagner was a failure, but at least he put up a decent rookie season. Draisatl won’t even have that unless he picks up the pace.

      Then, bring in an outside guy for the other center spot and send Arcobello back down to the Barons.

    • I read all the posts beating up arrco and wonder what everyone wants from him.He kills penalties is solid defensively and when you play him with some skill has proved he can put up good numbers yet Hall gets all the love and is so one dimensional that he is no longer the engine that drives the bus lets start looking at this team the way it is not how you hope it should be based on draft position