First Star, Worst Star: April 3, 2016


Just over a week left in the regular season, spring has sprung in a big way here in Edmonton and I’m sure we’re all very much looking forward to summer. Take a break from putting together Auston Matthews based line combinations for next season, and take a gander at this week’s First Star, Worst Star!


Fighting has seen a steep decline this season, which has been a bummer for a lot of fans. BUT it looks like something else may be making a comeback just in time; 

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First we had Dustin Byfuglien with the hit of year on Mark Stone #RIPMarkStone. 

I think my favourite part of this hit is that Byfuglien barely moves. And unfortunately for Stone running into a stationary Dustin Byfuglien is basically the same thing as running into the end boards at full speed. I also really enjoy seeing Pageau trying to get at Byfuglien, who could probably just pick him up and toss him into the crowd without much effort. 

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Then a few days later is was Tom Wilson’s turn to check the soul out of an opponents body. 

Not quite as devastating as Byfuglien’s hit, but man did he ever lay out Zadorov in a big way. You can even hear someone yelling head’s up right before the moment of impact, but by that time it was too late and Zadorov had already punched a ticket to the dressing room. 

You never want to see players getting hurt out there, but luckily in both these cases the players were able to skate off under their own power. Hell, Mark Stone even tried to come back into the game! I love huge hits like this and we don’t see them very often anymore. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new trend where we’ll get to enjoy clean, physical play on a regular basis. The people demand more huge hits! 


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Well, I mean, we all KIND OF expected Saturday night to happen the way it did, right? Only the Oilers could come into a Saturday night game against the Flames, fresh off almost a full week of rest, for the final battle of Alberta at Rexall place and lay an egg that stinky. You know what, I’m just gonna let Todd McLellan do the talking here. 

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#FarewellRexallPlace indeed. Only two games to go until we can start our annual summer detox and start counting down the days until Auston Matthews dons an Oiler jersey on the stage in Buffalo, and we get to see how many more inches Harrison Katz grew this year. ONE DAY the draft won’t be the only thing we have to look forward to every year. One day…

  • Kman15

    Am I the only one who thinks its funny that everyone is mad that the oilers suck after the loss to Calgary like we’ve been doing poorly all season

    Anyway we can max out at 71 points so odds are we don’t draft lower than 4th so that’s a bonus sorta kinda

  • toprightcorner

    These players need to learn that it is a privilege to play in the NHL.

    – Bag skate
    – half hour break
    – bag skate
    – half hour break
    – clean the ice by hand
    – bag skate
    – intervenous to replace fluids
    – bag skate
    – half hour break
    – bag skate
    – wash your own equipment by hand
    – lunch
    – run stairs for 10 minutes
    – empty all the garbage bins at Rexall
    – run stairs for 10 minutes
    – make them take the bus home in work out clothes

    Maybe then they will learn how professional athletes should play.

  • @Hallsy4

    I DEMAND EBS BE PUNISHED. Him and T MAC battle it out at center ice. The loser is dismissed from the team immediately. If ebs wins, he’s dismissed in the summer anyways

  • Oilerz4life

    Anybody who thinks it’s great to see a player get his lights knocked out by a hit of any kind should watch the movie Concussion. I used to think all the latest concern over concussions was horse crap and players needed to man up like the good old days. And then I watched this movie.

    The effects that concussions have on the brain are not fully understood but it can be utterly devastating. Anybody who thinks that is funny or cool is completely ignorant to the effects of this kind of thing AND if any sports writer thinks it’s great is in full on douche mode. I love hockey like anyone else, but anybody who thinks it’s great to catch someone with their head down and knock their lights out, or send anybody flying head first into the boards is a complete jerk off.

    The effects of repeatedly getting your head knocked around by fighting is not cool either, it just isn’t. The more that is understood about the effects of multiple concussions on the brain should make that aspect of the game a thing of the past, and I couldn’t give a s#it if you downvote me.

  • 2centz

    As far as D go,Pittsburgh has a right shot RFA D Man that has 7pts in 15 games and is a +10. Given the right circumstances and opportunity,he could be a future Norris trophy winner 😉 After all,he is only 25yrs old…

  • Oilerz4life

    Just watched the Zadorov hit and man, if you think that hit is a good thing I just lost respect for you Jeanshorts. You honestly would amount to a pretty tasteless sports blogger in my books, if you advocate that type of thing in this day and age.

  • Morgo_82

    I think the entire roster should thank their lucky stars that McLellan can’t legally beat the snot of them, otherwise I can see him walking in that dressing room with two steel folding chairs, a barbed wire covered baseball bat, a kendo stick, a metal trash can and a table. Then we could watch as he goes all ECW on their asses until he passes out from exhaustion. God knows they deserve it.

  • Am I right?

    What do you think might have happened if the leaders on the team had called each other and the coach Sunday morning and suggested an optional meeting and practice.

  • Wintoon

    What has happened to the Oilers recently is not about talent it is about leadership.
    This year, the team has totally lacked a player who can or will take charge and lead.

    Some have said Hall should be the next captain of the club. While he may have been a scoring leader, he has not ‘lead’ this team in the time he has been here. Leadership is about attitude, strength of character and having others buy in to where you want to go. Seeing his body language and facial expressions again on Saturday tells me he is not the answer.

    Perhaps Messier can communicate what is needed to Connor during their little chats.

  • madjam

    First stars go to Hall, Eberle , Hopkins and Yakupov for putting up a supplimentary core around them for last several seasons that no one could expect to flourish under . The carousel of coaches just adds to their miseries , as does a horrendous defence they have had to overcome each season . Surprised they have done as well as they have considering the mess of the club around them . They are not Kane , Crosby . Toews , Malkin, etc. but then they are not paid those type salaries either , and we should all remember that and not expect them to be that dominant to begin with . Having to carry another line of youth is only semi helpful at best of times . So they had a bad night , big deal considering all they have had to deal with over the year (s) . They are the reason we are as good as we are , not the supplementary core which is worst in the league to begin with for upteen years .

    Worst star is Chia for not helping obtain a better defence , or more timely help for supplimentary core . To easy to blame the players , but TM did not get Sharks into playoffs last year either .

  • Spiel

    How can you tell this has been a long season for T-Mac?

    The Oilers have a core (use that term loosely) that is entitled and feels very secure in their $6m/yr “career” contracts. While financially prudent, those contracts have backfired on the Oilers. Hall, Eberle, RNH were handed the keys to this franchise without earning any of it. Compounding the problem is a message from ownership and senior management that losing to win (a draft lottery) is an acceptable means to an end. The culture of losing is embedded deep in the organization now.

    Remember Eakins’ comment about “being sold a bill of goods” by management? Becoming clear that the lie he was told was that Hall and the boys were hardworking young professionals.

    • madjam

      Hall, Eberle and Hopkins would all get $6M on an open market , don’t kid yourself. The contracts did not backfire , management did in not surrounding them with enough team talent to compliment them . Losing has not been a goal of owner , management or coaching – although they have certainly underperformed in forming a contending team . Try and fix the holes those 3 would create for anything less than $18M . You can find better contracts , but I doubt you could frankly get any one of them in a straight across trade for those players . Patience should have paid off by now , but blowing it all up now will set us back even further for next season . Culture of losing comes from a team overall lack of decent players , especially on the defensive side , and lack of stellar goal keeping . Making more holes , or filling them worse in lineup , does not solve the problems inherit in clubs structure as it is today .

      • Spiel

        The point is those players were never on the open market. They were/are RFAs who the team has under control. Instead of bridge deals, the Oilers chose the career contract route. Bridge contracts would have given more flexibility to have veteran help.

        However, what good are veteran players if the young players won’t listen to them.
        The way T-mac talks about it these young players still have not learned some of the basics of being professionals in the NHL. Look beyond the points these three have put up as a result of being handed plum opportunities and playing time. They are more easily replaced than you might think.

        • madjam

          The bridge contract has it’s flaws and an RFA has option to sign an offer sheet elsewhere . Ie: Hamilton 5.9M , O’Reilly 7.5M and Saad 6.5 M – all big long term deals and lots of money for them and others in those age groups . We might have lost all three to more than 6M at that time . It’s a risk most GM’s are getting away from . MacT. was right at the time to sign them long term because it looked like they might exceed expectations . Still they are probably worth the 6M in comparison to others .

  • MorningOwl

    “You never want to see players getting hurt out there”

    except Oiler fans here, who have posted many times how they want to see guys like Gaudreau get creamed and taken out… and then when Oilers go hard after him with huge illegal checks, there is a hope and glee here, and a desire that it actually hurts the guy.

    what character.what amazing people.

    The funny thing is, regardless of the chicken-sh*t hacks and cowardly attempts to hurt a genuine superstar and generational player like Gaudreau, he STILL schooled McDavid… in every metric.

    Face it, Oilers were worse with McDavid in then they were with him out. Generational player? haha just the next to be destroyed in the oilers bumbling rebuild.

    • Randaman

      Seriously Jeff,

      Not one Flame fan hinted that they would like to see McDavid get creamed?

      Glass houses my friend

      I like Gaudreau and Monahan too, just so you know there are actually hockey fans on this site for the most part. You been to Flames Nation where you can hear a pin drop??