Monday Mailbag – Reasonable points expectations for Evander Kane
Photo credit:Tom Kostiuk
By baggedmilk9 months ago
Happy Monday, everybody! As always, I’ve got a brand new Mailbag set and ready to help you get your week started and also to make sense of everything that’s going on with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week, we’re talking about reasonable expectations for Evander Kane, resting star players down the stretch, and more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Jan 29, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers left wing Evander Kane (91) during the warm-up session before the game against Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
1) Dave B. asks – What is a reasonable expectation for Kane for the remainder of the season points-wise?
Patrick Maroon scored 27 goals playing LW with McDavid. Kane is a better player. I think him scoring 40-45 points in 43 games is realistic.
He’s a .66 PPG player for his career. Has three points now and 40 games to play. No reason not to expect 30-35 points from him.
Well, he has two goals and an assist in his first three games and the team has 39 games left. Assuming he stays healthy, my prediction will be 17 goals and 20 assists. He should be riding shotgun with either McDavid or Draisaitl for the whole time and he’s a perennial 30-goal guy, so I don’t think my guess is unreasonable at all.
If he can get anywhere north of 15 goals in the final half of the season, I think that would be a huge success for him.
Nov 12, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (29) and center Connor McDavid (97) talk during a stoppage in play in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
2) Kevin asks – The Oilers schedule gets really heavy over the next couple of months and I’m wondering if you think it would be beneficial to rest players like McDavid and Draisaitl for certain games as they do in the NBA with load management?
I do not. Those two average 21-22 minutes a game. McDavid and Draisaitl would not be happy about it. I could see them sitting out the final game of the season if it is meaningless, but no reason to sit them out. Coach could lower minutes in blowout games, but no reason to sit them out. McDavid has spoken often about how he likes being in rhythm and historically his best month of the season is March, which often has the most games.
Depends where the Oilers are in the playoff race and, most important, how the players feel and what they say they want. The other option is to manipulate their ice time in the games they do play — cut back on ice time in games where they lead comfortably etc.
I mean, maybe if they go on a run and have both a playoff spot and home-ice advantage locked up then sure. But even then Im not convinced that there’s a reason to sit them out just for the sake of rest. You can dial back their minutes, but don’t healthy scratch them.
I understand the question but I highly doubt either guy would be rested for full games unless the Oilers are so firmly locked into the playoffs that the games don’t matter.
Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Pacific Division forward Connor McDavid (97) of the Edmonton Oilers competes in the fastest skater event during the 2022 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
3) Clay asks – All-Star weekend happened this week and I’m wondering if there are any changes you’d like to see implemented ahead of next year’s festivities?
Anything that is more interactive with fans would be good. Maybe have a few all-stars do colour instead of playing. Players with some personality who will add something fun to the broadcast.
I’d rather they dump the whole thing because no matter how you dress it up with skills competitions etc, no-hit hockey played at three-quarter speed has zero appeal for me. Of course, I’m not a sponsor so what I think doesn’t matter. The other thing is I think children enjoy it because they aren’t watching with a critical eye, so that aspect almost makes it worthwhile. Almost.
I wrote about this in my ASG recap blog, but they should play music the whole game, tighten up the amount of time between periods and events, and not have any whistles in the actual game. Just have players tag up. Straight up pond hockey rules.
After seeing Zegras’ shootout goal, I’d love some kind of stick stills type of even where guys have to show off what they’ve got with the puck on their stick in some kind of obstacle course or something like that. Also, more than four shooters in the hardest shot contest.
Jan 11, 2020; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom (77) against the Calgary Flames during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
4) Steve asks – I’m really excited about the forward grouping now with the addition of Kane. Has there been any update on two players and whether they might be available at all this season? Wondering about Oscar Klefbom and Josh Archibald?
Klefbom will not be playing this year. Still unknown on Archibald. The last report I heard was that he hasn’t had any issues in the first step of returning to training. But the next steps will be more high tempo. Another thing is that his vaccination status hasn’t changed so if he did return he’d likely only be available for home games, unless isolation rules change by April or May when he might return.
Oilers are waiting on heart monitor results with Archibald. He hasn’t been ruled out for the season. Haven’t heard anything new on Klefbom. My guess is he’s done for this season at the very least. Young enough to come back next season if he wants to, but does he want to?
Don’t hold your breath on Klefbom. I honestly have no idea about Archibald.
Klefbom, I wish. Archibald would be nice, I guess, but I’ve kinda forgotten about him already tbh.
5) Andrea asks – Rocky Wirtz was an embarrassment at the Blackhawks town hall meeting this past week and it makes me wonder if the NHL has any real desire to change the culture in the sport. What is everyone’s take on his outburst and how should the NHL handle it?
His response made little sense. Unsure why he was being so secretive about what the Blackhawks are doing. His son wanted to answer, and likely realized his father was making an ass of himself, but Rocky didn’t let it go. Dumb decision. But not sure what NHL can do. I’m not big on cancel culture, but also don’t think a dumb outburst is grounds to force him out anyways. What I would do is make him take a sexual abuse course so he has more understanding about the topic, because he clearly is still uncomfortable having a simple conversation about it.
Wrote about this Sunday. Bettman already gave Wirtz a pass on this because the Wirtz family name has had weight in the league since dad Dollar Bill Wirtz owned the team. I think there is a segment of the league that is eager for change but the majority of people who are in positions of power and influence are going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into 2022.
There should have been a better reaction from the league. Gary Bettman just chalked it up to an emotional outburst, but it was extremely troubling and if I worked in that organization, I wouldn’t feel confident that the higher-ups have actually learned anything from what happened to Kyle Beach. Awful stuff.
I wrote about this on Saturday in Random Thoughts, and I thought the whole thing was embarrassing. The guy had to know a question like this was coming and to respond like that was absolutely mind-blowing.
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