PLAYOFF RAMBLINGS

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My take on the first week of playoffs, Cooke, Keith, Getzlaf, Sam Bennett and more

COOKE

Matt Cooke made another really bad decision. My guess is he gets 7-9 games. He’s done worse, but with his track record and the significant injury to Barrie, I expect he will get something fairly severe. I know some people want more but I doubt that happens.


Bryan Bickell’s knee on Vladimir Sabotka was almost as bad in my opinion but it was Bickell not Cooke.

I played with Tyson Barrie last season and he is one of the best young players I’ve ever played with. He will be a star one day. This could be a series changing loss for Colorado.

KEITH – BACKES

This whole “Wakey Wakey” Duncan Keith story is just ridiculous. Its hockey, it’s in the heat of the moment, be thankful that’s all you heard.

Besides, Keith got filled in the next game by Steve Ott for all his stick work and yapping in the series. It was a questionable hit, but if you are doing those things eventually someone will find you.

GETZLAF – ROUSSEL

The Ducks aren’t happy with the Stars targeting Getzlaf’s face knowing he has 52 stitches and a significant jaw injury. If it’s the regular season I probably have a huge problem with it.
It’s the playoffs now and you do everything you can to win. If you can affect the other team’s best player and it helps you win, you do it. 
While we’re on the topic, how about Ryan Getzlaf? He takes that puck in the face and comes back and dominates game two and didn’t back down one bit when push came to shove in game 3. That’s a leader and that’s what the NHL playoffs are all about.
I’ve said it before, that if I’m starting a team he’s my pick after Crosby at forward. After his Olympics, regular season and now gutsy playoff performance, I might even rethink that order.

ROBIDAS

It was crushing to see veteran Stephan Robidas break the same leg he broke earlier in the season in game 3. The guy is an absolute warrior and I think most in the hockey world wanted to see him have a deep playoff run and shot at the cup.

BAD CALL

I’m 0 for 1 already in my playoff bracket. I picked the Lightning to upset Montreal, just a stupid pick.
The late penalty call on the Bolts that allowed the game winner was just as stupid however. Take both players if you have to make a call at that stage of the hockey game. Either way Montreal was the better team, but the series may have gone one more game.

MACKINNON

Nathan MacKinnon is a phenomenal talent. When he was in Edmonton a few weeks back I was drooling over him. He hasn’t stopped in the playoffs and I’m not surprised. His ability to stick handle and shoot while moving his legs at top speed is incredible. He will chase Crosby for scoring titles in a couple years.

SAM BENNETT

I still take Ekblad if he’s available at 3, but I heard Sam Bennett on Gregor yesterday talking about his game and you can tell he plays with an edge. I haven’t seen either play and have just heard others talk about their styles, but if it came down to Bennett or Draisitl for the Oilers, I’m starting to lean towards the kid with some jam.
He’s not small at 6’1 and if Draisaitl doesn’t play physical (he’s just big) maybe he’s not the best choice. They need some grit and more character that can play. Guys like Toews, Bergeron and Landeskog aren’t monsters but they are heavy enough and competitive enough to engage physically with the biggest centers around the league.
I’ve heard about Draisaitl all year in Edmonton but there is a reason Bennett is ranked higher. He’s a year younger and put up 90 points to go along with 118 penalty minutes.

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  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’ve been persuaded over the last month. I used to be 100% readily. Now if Bennett is available I think you have to take him. Only way I see that happening is if buffalo decides to grab Reinhart over him. Florida will take Ekblad and buffalo will take Bennett or Reinhart.

  • 916oiler

    Some good views of others offensively in your blog . Impressed/surprised with J. Virtanen with his speed ,shot and nastiness -maybe best of group . Draisaitl seems more like a P. Mahovolich clone – physical, but not nasty and not overly fleet afoot . Does not seem to have darting speed . Choice might be close for top 6-7 , and character and defensive abilities (not shown on those videos) will probably be the determining factor in how they are drafted .

  • oilabroad

    You keep hearing over and over again that the oilers are not tough to play against, so adding a big soft Euro is likely not the answer to their problem. They need grit, sandpaper, call it whatever you want but they have to become a tougher team to play… Bennett is the only C in the top 4 to bring this element

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win, and teams desperately need players like him. Colorados top blueliner on the shelf accomplishes a few things. It throws a wrench into their 5v5, 5v4, every area of their game. One more layer of adversity that could make the difference.

      Not seeing an Oiler suspended these last 5 yrs says they have nobody willing to do what it takes yet.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Oilers should move heaven and earth to land two of the top 4 or 5 kids in this draft. Perhaps this is the summer it all comes together after more than a couple failed attempts over the last 4 years. It’s not as though a playoff spot is hanging in the balance next year anyways.

    Bennett and Dal Colle, Bennett and Draisitl, Ekblad and Bennett. Keep them both here in the fall, and with Dallas Eakins running things, the Oil would challenge for next yrs top prize Connor McDavid. We’d need the Oilers to keep Dallas the whole season next year to accomplish this. Bringing in a new coach halfway through the season would certainly cost the Oil that lottery pick again. The Oilers could come out smelling like roses in time for the new building to open.

    Another 12 months of suckage would actually be worth it, especially since the Oilers have been a box office success ever loss along the way. Katz sure doesn’t seem to mind this current state, while he hides in Vancouver.

    It would also conform to Ray Ferraros “It’s going to get worse before it gets better” statement a couple weeks ago. Send the season ticket holders down the river without a paddle for one more year please.

  • Lofty

    WOW,

    who to pick!! my head is spinning… Well its pretty clear that the Oilers Brass need to get this one right…. FLamers could have 2 solid Centers in year 2 of the rebuild.. ALREADY!!!!!Cross our fingers nation.. maybe even pray a lil……..

  • Aitch

    When we talk character and culture Bennett has to rank higher on the scale than Draisaitl. When we talk skill and talent, Reinhart has to rank higher than Bennett. While there are similarities in the style of play when comparing Reinhart and RNH, how can this be bad when they are both incredibly talented players.

    Personally, I believe the Oilers have to take a centre with their #3 overall pick. We will have to trust to MacT to choose wisely from the assets available when the Oilers go to the podium in June. I only hope that the decision is (in this order) Reinhart, Bennett, Draisaitl based on who is still on the board.

  • Aitch

    I have no problem with that call late in the Habs-Bolts game. Sure, the refs might put their whistles away late in games, but that was a blatant trip. It was like the kid knew and dared the refs to call him on it. What would you send the other guy off for? Getting tripped?

    • Brian Sutherby

      I’m not denying it was a penalty, it was. My problem is right before that he could have called a penalty on the Habs player crosschecking, tackling you name it and didn’t. The Lighting player got up and tripped him, so take both players for coincidental penalties if you have to make that call late in the game. Have a feel for the game.

  • paul wodehouse

    …Sam…the kid with some jam…while there may not be a youtube video of Leon Draisaitl chasing down someone for a fight in junior I’m hoping the oilers are pretty good at left wing with #4 who shouldn’t be fighting anyway cuz he really can’t without getting hurt … Sam needs not to fight even in junior AND clearly this team needs a player who is large and plays 2or3C! Jam comes with 4th liners IMHO.

    • Dan 1919

      Well Bennett is a natural centre but plays whatever position he needs to play. I’d take a guy who can put up a ton of points while still playing on the edge any day. How many times do we complain on the nation about how none of the Oilers players play with any fight in their game, then you see a kid who goes out there and fights a guy or gets some PIMs because he likes to engage in the physical side of his game…then guys like you come out waving the red flags saying “whoa there boys we don’t need physicality in our top 6”

      The Oilers don’t need a guy who is marginally bigger than Bennett, they need a guy who can step up his game and be that second line 2way gritty center who puts points on the score sheet.

      Leon is going to turn out just like all those other players with size that don’t use it in Edmonton, queue the Dustin Penner hatred reel. People complained through the teeth that Penner didn’t try or play a physical game with his size…do you really think that Leon is going to use his size out there the way you expect him too? Not a chance bud.

    • Brian Sutherby

      Jam doesn’t mean fighting. It means character, the will to finish checks, win puck battles and be able to match up physically with similar players. The type of thing you need to win in the playoffs. You need that in your top 6 too. The guys I mentioned aren’t fighters.

      I put the clip as much for the hit on the forecheck as the fight. Don’t see many top 6 Oiler forwards get in on a forecheck like that.

      • Lofty

        Perron needs someone else to run around and cause trouble with. I think if you have two “jammers” on the 2nd line it’ll rub off on Yak. At that point that line could become what the Oilers need… menaces.

        I think of it as the mindset of frat boys. They’re all tough and cocky when there with the boys, but there nothing without them.

  • paul wodehouse

    …to be fair there oiler al…oilers IS the only show in town…where else would fans of hockey go if they lived in Etown…Calgary?

    Cooke needs a rest of the playoffs and 25-35 games into next season type suspension…

    he’s a very bad man…

  • oilabroad

    How dumb are the Oilers Brass…. bet a hundred bucks they would have taken Jones had they had the first pick in the McKinnon draft.

    Watching playoffs.. some great tough hockey.
    Sorry to say, but Oilers would not last a period with some of these teams. Very sad situation, this rebuild as gone sideways bigtime.

    Tampa, Dallas, Colorado, Columbus dont have the
    luxury of 7 year rebuilds, when they had half empty buildings prior to this year. The dumbie fans in Canadian cities keep showing up regardless.Maybe thats why there is only one Canadian team in the playoffs.

    • Sorensenator

      They probably would have picked Jones because they drafted forwards in the first round like 67 years in a row.

      The Oilers have not had a #1 defenceman since Chris Pronger and Jones has the potential to be that guy.

      MacT made the right decision by settling with Darnell Nurse.

      And we are going onto year 5 of the rebuild. 7 years ago the Oilers were trying to puke things together to make a run at the playoffs again. Their record was 41-35-2-4. I pretty sure teams that finish above 500 are not in a rebuild stage. Yes players came and left but that happens on every team, every year.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Comments like this make me laugh especially the love in with the avs, you realize they have 4 top three picks on their roster right now right where the Oilers have 3. The one thing that the Avs have done better than the oilers is having impact players come out of round one with Stasny and O’Rielly, where the Oilers are currently beyond terrible.

    • Craig1981

      No, the Oiler’s wouldn’t of, but many fans at Oilers nation would of because “we don’t need another small forward”

      Unless it is really close take TBPA. I don’t see a draft that the Oiler’s obviously took the wrong player.

      Rienhart, Bennett, or Ekland, I am happy with either one.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        MY point really was that Colorado didnt play the
        let Jim Mckenzie make the pick for us.McKinnon is 3 years behind the Nuge. McKinnon in his third year will be playing at 200 lbs. plus.
        , something that cant be said for RNH. RNH needs to go to the gym all suummer long.

        PS. Speaking of taking the wrong player.. time will tell, but at this point Landeskog is a much better player. He plays like a man and not a junior.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Wow so you predict the future now, I love this hard on for Mackinnon as I stated before in another post you people realize that first Mackinnon is playing the wing right now – a much easier position to play. I would also point out that in RNH’s rookie year his points per game is higher than Mackinnon’s. If you got such a hard on for the avs then go hop back on the bandwagon. As well if you think Landeskog is a better pick because he “plays like a man” then you need to give your head a shake.

          • Sorensenator

            Jeremy, funny I did give my head a shake the other day and saw Colorado at the top of the league and Edmonton in the basement at 29th ..yet again.

            PS. I have nothing against RNH, think he may turn out to be a good player, he just needs to grow a pair!.Landeskog is ahead in his development.

        • Craig1981

          But the Oilers didn’t have the option between Nuge and McKinnon. McKinnon is a talent that the Oilers could use, but they never had the option to get him.

          RNH was not as good as Landeskog this year, but it also isn’t clear 3 years into their career the Oilers should of taken Landeskog.

          McKinnon might prove to be better than Yak, RNH, and even Hall…….I think its even likely, but its no fault of the Oilers, McKinnon’s draft year wasn’t on a year they picked 1st.

          • Sorensenator

            Sorry Craig, dont mean to go back and forth on this, but my original point was that Colorado didnt take the BPA,where the Oilers would have.

            I was comparing NUGE to Landeskog. I know its all hindsight, but right now Landeskog looks like the more mature player. Not saying Nuge wont be there one day.Fair or not Landeskog beat Nuge on the Calder.

          • Shaun

            McKinnon is an elite talent for sure, I believe in the Crosby mold, the Oil have not lucked out and gotten that type of “generational” player like Pitt has with Crosby and Malkin. Next year we are looking at perhaps 2-3 potential generational players in CMD, Hanifin and Eichel. The Oil I believe be will get one of these studs, but who knows with are luck we will finish ~9.

          • Sorensenator

            Beat Nuge on the Calder only because Nuge hurt his shoulder and missed the last 20 games.

            Nuge had 52 pts in 62 games… Pro rate that over 82 games and you got 69 pts which is better then Nathan McKinnon.

            I believe Nuge is in transition right now. Eakins made him do some crazy diet and workout regime and he gained 9 pounds of muscle but seemed slower on the ice. Sometimes we should just let things happen naturally.

          • Sorensenator

            You can’t evaluate picks in hindsight. Otherwise people would be saying you should have taken Datsuyk over literally everyone else in that draft.

            You have to look at the circumstances at the time of draft. When they picked, given the team make up, given they drafted a winger the year before, should they have taken Landeskog? No. All day no.

            Comparing players in hindisight is ridiculous.

    • Aitch

      Columbus? You can’t rebuild something that was never built to begin with. They’ve been on a slow climb since joining the league… and they probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs this season either if they hadn’t moved out East.

      Not every team needs a rebuild to get back in contention. Some teams suck just badly enough with some good players that they only need tweaks.

      • 916oiler

        Take of your MacT glasses. Your saying that
        the Oilers are a better team than, Columbus,Dallas,
        Colorado and Tampa, who all happen to be in the play offs.

        Dont tell me if the Oilers would have moved to the East they would be in the playoffs this year… not likely.