Monday Mailbag – September 7th

Mailbag

It’s a long weekend Monday and we’re back with another edition of the Mailbag. Each and every week, I take your questions and send them out to the Nation writers so that you have an opportunity to learn something. As always, I need questions for next week and if you have something you can you can email me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or DM me at @jsbmbaggedmilk on Twitter. You know the rules. With that, here is this week’s mailbag. Enjoy!

MissCleo

1) Craig S. asks – What NHL prediction were you way off on? Meaning is there a prediction that you made that was completely off in terms of a team or player?

Jeanshorts:

Pretty much every season since about 2011. I ALWAYS seem to tell myself, “There’s NO WAY the Oilers can be any worse this year than they were last year!” And then inevitably they somehow ARE worse, or finish last in the league back to back years, or only win like four games in the first two months of the season, etc… I probably should have learned my lesson by now, HOWEVER there’s NO WAY they can be worse this year than they have the last three years!

Jason Strudwick:

There were times when I skated with a guy and thought he could become a strong NHLer. He would seem to have all the skills needed until the game started and it fell apart. I won’t name names but if someone could figure out how to build tool boxes for players will all the tools, they could make a lot of money.

Lowetide:

I genuinely thought Marc Pouliot would be a very good NHL player. That’s a violent miss.

Matt Henderson:

I thought the Arizona Coyotes would have relocated by now. Really, after several failed owners and tens of millions lost every year I figured it would have already happened.

Robin Brownlee:

Lots of them. Just last season I thought the Flames would be dog excrement. I picked the Oilers to finish ahead of them. Was only off by 35 points.

Jason Gregor:

San Jose Sharks winning playoffs…three years in a row. Fool me once shame on you, fool me thrice…I’m an idiot.

Jonathan Willis:

There have been a few, and as much as they sting at the time I generally appreciate them in hindsight because they teach me things (not least my own fallibility). I was wrong about Mathieu Garon, who taught me caution with respect to goalies. I was wrong about Curtis Glencross, which taught me to respect things like Corsi, but I was also wrong about Patrick O’Sullivan which taught me to respect the limitations of Corsi. I was wrong about Eric Belanger, too, which forced me to a greater appreciation of aging curves.

Every failure is incredibly valuable. Failures teach humility and a necessary consciousness of one’s own ignorance. Failures inspire better performance, because there are few things more humiliating than having to eat crow after getting something very wrong; it encourages diligence. And in many cases, failures inspire improvement in one’s worldview.

Baggedmilk:

I remember thinking that Magnus PRV would be the best of the three rookies that the Oilers had in 2010. I thought that the time he spent playing in the Swedish Elite League would have benefitted him more than it did. I also remember thinking that Ethan Moreau was a good choice to be captain a few years ago. SWING AND A MISS!

GoCrazy

2) Alex C. asks – With Rexall Place being in its final year I wonder what is the rowdiest moment that you can remember from that building?

Jeanshorts:

For some reason *winks and nods* a lot of my Rexall memories are fairly hazy, but two that stick out to me are 1) When Adam Oates scored his first goal. It was nearing the end of February and at that point it felt like the old boy was never gonna score a goal in an Oilers uniform. But he potted one and we LOST OUR DAMN MINDS! The Oilers also won the game in OT against the Canucks so all in all it was a really fun night. 

And 2) more recently the game against Carolina last year when Draisaitl scored his first NHL goal. It’s always exciting to watch a guy score his first as a pro. The Oilers whomped Carolina something like 6-2 that night, and that win was their third in a row after starting the season 0-4-1. “THIS IS THE TURN AROUND THEY NEEDED” we screamed at people on the LRT after the game. Needless to say the rest of the season didn’t quite turn out as planned. But everyone still had hope and optimism at this point because we’re all fools who never seem to learn our lesson! 

Jason Strudwick:

It would have to be during the 2006 Cup run. The national anthems were amazing.

Lowetide:

Oh God. Well in the 80s and 90s there were entire sections of young males who would scream TAKE ‘EM WIDE BUCKY! every time Kelly Buchberger got the puck. A few fights over the years but nothing similar to some of the things we read about in today’s ballparks and arenas. Seems more violent now, although they’re isolated incidents and that could just be my fading memory.

Matt Henderson:

I can think of the entire 2006 run being loud and crazy. As for personal memories about things getting rowdy, I don’t know. I saw Tom Poti get booed at home during the American National Anthem while he was standing in the starting lineup. Does that count?

Robin Brownlee:

I think the 4-0 win to send the 2006 Stanley Cup final back to Carolina for Game 7 was about as fun as the building has been in a long time. 

Jason Gregor:

Game six of 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

Jonathan Willis:

I’m sure Robin or Lowetide will have a better answer here because they lived the rich history of this team. For me, it’s any of a hundred moments from that 2006 run; that building was just insane.

Baggedmilk:

I was at the 2006 playoff game when Smytty got his teeth knocked out by that Pronger clearing attempt. When he came back to get an assist on Horcoff’s OT winner I thought the roof was going to blow off the place. If it wasn’t that night then it would have been game six against Detroit in the opening round. Pure. Lunacy. 

3) @Dwaynewhitford asks – I think the Oilers are missing a really good entrance song before games. What would your suggestion be for a song to get the boys pumped up?

Jeanshorts:

Here’s my perfect scenario: The lights go down and they start the video presentation portion of the opening, with highlights and whatever set to The Ecstasy Of Gold by Ennio Morricone (AKA the song from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly). The song builds to a crescendo and the entire arena goes black. The opening riff to Ride The Lightning starts blasting and lights strobe to the beat. The main guitar riff kicks in and the boys come flying out of the oil derrick. I’ve got a half stock just thinking about it. THEY’D NEVER LOSE AT HOME AGAIN!

Jason Strudwick:

It is very hit and miss. It needs to be upbeat with good tempo. For this team I would go with “Youth Gone Wild.” Seems appropriate.

Lowetide:

Smoke on the Water? Too old? How about Sweet Caroline? Something from Merle? NO? I may not be the best candidate for this question. OH! Gimme Shelter, Stones. PERFECT!

Matt Henderson:

Anything by Roy Orbison. Or Slash. That gets me pumped up.

Robin Brownlee:

Boys had better be pumped up before they come through the gate. I think fans care a lot more about the music than the players do. In that regard, lots of good choices but it’s all a matter of taste. Give me something like Welcome To The Jungle any day.

Jason Gregor:

Stadium is pitch black, and you play the first 70 seconds of For Whom the Bell Tolls. Just the music and the bells. It would rock.

Jonathan Willis:

Brass Bonanza, because it’ll drive Lowetide nuts. He can’t handle it as a ringtone; you can literally hear the spit hitting his microphone when he rages about what a wretched song it is. Watching his mind slowly break as he listens to it 41 times a year would be a true joy. In all seriousness, though, I’m the worst guy to ask about this kind of thing; I don’t have a real suggestion.

Baggedmilk:

I’ve been banging this drum for a while but I think that the Oilers should come out to Invaders Must Die by the Prodigy. It’s a banger and it would get the place going. Even the title of the song makes sense!

The masterpiece is complete! #ghostbusters #glowinthedark #talbot

A photo posted by OilersNation (@officialoilersnation) on


4) Emmett S. asks – Cam Talbot will be the third straight goalie the Oilers have deployed with a limited track record. Do you think he will he be any different than Scrivens or Fasth?

Jeanshorts:

I fully understand people’s reservations about this, considering we’ve now been burned twice with similar scenarios. But everything points to Talbot being in elite company, whereas Fasth and Scrivens were never in that neighbourhood. If you haven’t already PLEASE check out these incredible breakdowns by @Woodguy55 that explain the whole thing a million times better than I ever could. Now I know a majority of you on here just LOVE math and stats, but it’s well worth your time, especially if you have a lot of reservations about what Talbot may or may not do this year (read them here and here).

He also did a great job debunking the “Talbot was only good because the Rangers defence was awesome” narrative. Maybe I’m being too optimistic because I thought Talbot was on the verge of a breakout before he was even in the conversation to be an Oiler, but I think he’s going to be fantastic this year!

Jason Strudwick:

This is my concern for the team this year. The team will need to become much better at playing a two way game or it won’t matter who is in net.

Lowetide:

Yes. I think Todd McLellan will bring more structure and Talbot will meet the challenge. I am a little surprised the competition brought in for Ben Scrivens had so little experience and do wonder if we might see something early in the year (depending on how things are going).

Matt Henderson:

If he isn’t then the Oilers should just give up. I mean it. Just play a 6th skater and be done with the whole position.

Robin Brownlee:

Yes. He’s shown more than the other two when he had to because of an injury to Henrik Lundqvist and he’ll have a better team in front of him than they did.

Jason Gregor:

Yes. He was starter for two consecutive months last year. He did not falter, he actually got better after a rough first four games. I believe he has much more potential.

Jonathan Willis:

I think he’s a good gamble. His numbers are exceptionally good, so good that even though we’re dealing with a relatively small sample of shots faced we can have a reasonable degree of confidence that he’s an above average NHL goaltender. He looks to me like a better gamble than Scrivens a year ago. With that said, there’s still an element of risk here and we aren’t going to know for sure until we see how he fares on the ice.

Baggedmilk:

How dare you ask me this question? I jumped head first into lake Talbot and I will not have you questioning his unproven abilities. Honestly though, this same thought has worried me from the start. Most of the goaltending options were unproven this summer but the Oilers had to do something to improve their situation anyway. Luckily for us Chiarelli got the best goaltender of the lot, and I hope that he’ll be the player that everyone thinks he can be. 

Shadow

5) Francis asks – Connor McDavid casts a pretty big shadow. Does that help or hurt other top prospects like Darnell Nurse and Leon Draisaitl? Why?

Jeanshorts:

I think it helps. It takes a little pressure off them in the sense that now everyone expects McDavid to basically single handedly turn the franchise around (which is silly, but that’s a story for another mailbag), so as long as they can become legit contributors to the team I think everyone will be happy. I can also see how it would motivate guys like that to step their game up. These are all sociopathic competitors, and while I’m sure they’re excited to play with a world class caliber player like that they also don’t necessarily want to play second fiddle, either. As we’ve already talked about at length this summer internal competition is nothing but positive, so if Leon Draisaitl is motivated to put up points at a McDavid-like pace, that spells nothing but good things for the Oilers franchise, and the fans.

Jason Strudwick:

They don’t care. Their goal is to make the NHL and become productive players. If Connor helps them become a good team it is better to have him in your dressing room than going against him.

Lowetide:

I don’t think any of these young man would be overwhelmed by the spotlight. Both Nurse and Draisaitl have played in the NHL and both are older than McDavid.

Matt Henderson:

Prospects that need to be in the spotlight are probably not the kinds of people you want on your team anyway. McDavid getting all the attention won’t hurt anyone you want on the Oilers. Nurse doesn’t need accolades, all he needs is some experience. If things play out the way they are expected to, 99% of the NHL will be in McDavid’s shadow soon enough.

Robin Brownlee:

Helps them. Draisaitl and Nurse will be playing on a team that’s made better by McDavid’s presence. How can that possibly be a negative?

Jason Gregor:

Helps them. What is the possible way it could hurt them? Playing with great players should only make them better.

Jonathan Willis:

I don’t know how much it really matters, truth be told. I’m not sure that McDavid mitigates the expectations faced by Darnell Nurse, who is expected to be the Oilers’ No. 1 defenceman long-term; the hopes for him were going to be high with or without McDavid’s presence. In Draisaitl’s case, it makes it less urgent that he immediately emerge as a top-six centre but it simultaneously reduces his opportunity to take a job down the middle over the long haul.

Baggedmilk:

Flying under the radar can only be a good thing. Let the other rookies/prospects focus on playing hockey while the whole world is watching Connor McDavid. Having McDavid on the team will likely give some of these guys some time that they may not have had otherwise – that can only be beneficial. 

  • Jeanshorts….. Your suggestion for the opening sequence has just replaced my need for cialis. Thank you.

    The Ecstasy of Gold has to be the S&M Metallica version. There’s a Jordan Eberle Vid in YouTube using that song and it is damn good, although it goes in to black and yellow after, not quite the epic climax of ride the lightning.

  • Orm Nullman

    For an entry song I think something to remind them that they need to work their butts off like AC/DC It’s a long way to the top would be appropriate.

  • Craig1981

    BIGGEST MISS so far was Yakupov . Had him slated for being the next Mike Bossy offensively , all he had to do was get a lot better on how to play without the puck . Was looking not bad under Kreuger , but then his entire game seem to unfold the last two seasons . What is most difficult to measure with a player seemingly having all the skills and abilty to translate it on ice or game is that vast wasteland between their ears . How they process it determines just how far they get . Reason’s for Yakupov not becoming that player I thought he might , was not coaching so much as a lack of a true leader on our team that could up his play and back his talk and call out team members in time of need and others to follow . Instead it seems like locker room might have more whiners than true leaders . We still lack that leadership today as Ference can no longer up his game . MacT. and Eakins probably made him Captain because no one else on team had emerged as that type of leader .

    Oilers need a song like Rocky , emblematic of blue collar city we are , and the commitment of team to that type of work ethic . A more White collar team to south has stolen that from us , which seems ironic in retrospect .

  • j

    Riff Raff by AC/Dc would be a great opening song.In fact AC/DC should christen the new arena. Only 13 sleeps till Angus and the boys invade Commonwealth, gonna be epic.

  • As Pronger once alluded to , no players want to come to blue collar Edmonton , because the avid fans are so knowledgeable and work ethic crazy , that players find that to difficult to cope with . Pronger ” I could score 30 goals and they’d still hate me ” , hard to fathom that any other place . No wonder there was such a mass exodus after that season ! If it wasn’t for Sekara wanting to get on McDavid bandwagon , we’d probably not have him here either . Calgary perceived more as a white collar city by players and not as knowledgeable or avid as Oilers blue collar fans , so they have an advantage we do not .

  • McWeber

    My mouth wrote far too many cheques that the oilers couldnt cash last year, especially against flames fans. Also Night Witches by Sabaton would be so badass for an intro/p>

  • j

    I have been reading a few blogs about the oilers as of late especially about the cap limitations with bringing both Nurse and Reinhardt up to the NHL this year-and my question to you would be? a couple of teams have made some of their older players and like(Rangers}Durie) management of player development could the oilers do something like this with Ference
    to save some cap room and room for a different captain

    thanks
    j

  • Wax Man Riley

    If I am an opposing coach and McDavid gets off to a promising start I am going to target him whether he be on 3rd or even 4th line . WHY ? With his abilities he may become the leader the Oilers have lacked for years , and rest of club will follow him . Previously they targeted our first line and have been successful on Oilers not getting to next level leadership wise , but McDavid changes that dynamic , and entire perspective that Oilers will probably become this year in results and team play . Whiners should start to turn into winners . Hall and Eberle seen their play and stats move markedly upwards playing with s good leader and required committment from someone like another elite talent – S.Crosby !

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    That’s funny RB. My wife & I went to Flin Fln for the first time to watch our son play in Royal Bank Cup. Huge sign painted on arena wall said ‘Welcome To The Jungle – Don’t Feed The Animals’! Lived up to it’s reputation. Fun time.

  • camdog

    I like the work Lowetide has done in respect to the background check on Anders Nilsson. Looks like he was a little sick the last time he was in the NHL/AHL. He has real NHL promise.

    The Oilers for the first time in my lifetime have 4 goalies capable of playing NHL minutes into a season. Now of course that doesn’t mean any one of them will be a top 20 goalie, but it sure beats going into the season with 1 goalie and hoping he can be top 20.

  • Bucknuck

    I’ve wanted a deadly entrance song for years now. Can’t go wrong with Metallica and both Ride the Lightning and For Whom the Bell Tolls have deadly opening riffs.

  • Bucknuck

    Jeanshorts NAILED it. Ride the lightning would be the best starter song I have ever heard at Rexall. Totally old school… like the people paying for most of the tickets. And it came out weeks after they won their first cup! How appropriate…

    Pure genius.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Loved Jeanshorts’ entrance music idea. Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC would be cool, with the boys flying out of the gate just as the riff kicks in. Creeping Death by Metallica, again with the lights off during the build up, then BOOM – Oiler spot lights and pyrotechnics when the drums fire up.

    I also think the league should implement personalized goal songs.

  • I am the Resurrection could be McDavid’s theme song. The rest of the team can come out first to some useless generic arena song, then McDavid can come on the ice with I am the Resurrection playing, and we’ll simply stand and applaud for 8 minutes, after which he’ll go on to show us that he is truly the hockey equivalent of that song. Better than everything.