Monday Mailbag – What is the ceiling for Vincent Desharnais?
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By baggedmilk9 months ago
Happy Monday, Internet friends, and welcome to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help get your week started and break down all things Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at the goaltending rotation, Vinny Desharnais’ play, Draisaitl’s slowdown, and a whole lot more. If you’ve 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.
Feb 7, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter (24) tries to score on Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (36) in the second period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
1) @Sherzz10 asks – Say the goalie situation in Edmonton stays consistent as it has been up to this point. Could you see Jay riding the hot hand come playoffs or rotating regardless if goalie A wins the game before?
It is rare you see a team switch guys back and forth outside of the 2017 Penguins when Fleury started 15 games and Murray started 10. I’d guess they would ride the hot hand, but if both are playing well heading into the playoffs I won’t be surprised if both get some playing time, I just don’t see it being split evenly.
You play the guy who is on top of his game. Skinner started off better while Campbell was struggling, but Campbell has been better lately. Good coaches read the situation as it unfolds rather than setting a pattern determined to stick with it. Let results dictate.
I think he’ll ride the hot hand. Teams don’t run a straight rotation in the postseason. I would imagine that Woodcroft rolls with whoever is the hottest when the playoffs start and that goalie will get a chance to run with the job until he has a bad game. No need to overthink this.
Ride whoever is hottest. That’s the move, always the move.
Jan 21, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Vincent Desharnais (73) and goalie Stuart Skinner (74) celebrate their victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. Oilers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
2) @eastcoastoilfans asks – What is a realistic ceiling for VinnyD or is this it? Do you see a scenario where he could become a top 4 d-man if he improved, and what areas would he need to do that in?
He is a rookie. Granted he is 26, so he will get more comfortable, but if he is a reliable third pairing guy, who is one of your top PK guys he will have great value to the team. It is too early to say he can’t become a solid second pair defender.
Probably not. He’s 26, so he’s not still a developing young prospect. Let him be what he is — a tough, competitive third-pairing guy who knows his role. Nothing wrong with that when you’re getting an NHL paycheque.
I don’t think he’ll ever be a top-four guy but I think he could grow into being a really effective third-pairing defender. I love his size, I love that he has a mean side, and he’s been solid on the PK. He has all the makings of a really good bottom-pairing defenseman.
I think if he just keeps doing what he’s doing then that would be great. Steady, simple, quiet… unless… you know.
Jan 27, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) during the shoot-out at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
3) @AHockey1993 asks – What is going on with Leon Draisaitl? Only 7 SOG in his last seven games (after the Philadelphia game). His efforts against Detroit and Philly after the all-star break are very concerning. Is he injured? Tired? Playing down to lesser opponents? We need him to really pick it up down the stretch.
I noticed Dylan Holloway taking a few faceoffs with Draisaitl on the wing v. Montreal, which tells me he could be nursing something. I thought he played well v. Ottawa. He showed last year he has a high pain threshold and a great ability to perform when banged up.
You overreact. He hasn’t looked particularly sharp at times since the all-star break, but that happens. Draisaitl had four shots in the loss to Montreal and eight shots against Ottawa. That aside, you need to take a broader look than SOG.
He had a couple of bad games coming out of the break but looked much better vs Ottawa and Montreal. He said himself at All-Star weekend that he hasn’t been happy with his level of play and I would expect him to find a different level down the stretch.
Ebbs and flows, my friend. Ebbs and flows.
Dec 1, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) and center Leon Draisaitl (29) look on prior to the game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
4) @karl_frahm asks – There still seems to be no clarity on whether to split up 29 and 97 or overload them. If overloading is the preferred long-term solution, can we construct a Stanley Cup contending second line with the remaining roster or do you believe we need to add a piece in the future?
If Hyman-RNH-Kane is your second line I see no issue with it. Draisaitl and McDavid had a short stretch where they played regularly, but in 2023 the Oilers have played 16 games and are 10-3-3, with the third best points% in the NHL. McDavid played 43% of his 5×5 time with Draisaitl. When the team is healthy, and if they continue to dress 11-7, which works well, I don’t see it being an issue. Woodcroft doesn’t “load up” them up regularly. He uses the uneven number of forwards to his advantage. I think it is smart. It creates uncertainty for the opposition.
Clarity? Situations and results dictate player deployment. There are plenty of forwards to choose from when it comes to creating two very capable top lines in McDavid, Draisaitl, Kane, Hyman, and RNH. They’re the first five.
No, if they want to run the two big guns together, they need to add a solid centreman before the deadline. Toews or O’Reilly could give them that luxury and that’s why I believe those two should be at the top of their list in terms of deadline additions. Get a defensively responsible centreman and build up more forward depth.
I think the team is better off when those two are split up, but I also recognize that there are times when it’s just fun or necessary to have them together. Way she goes. Ride the wave.
5) @j_w4lk1ng asks – Scenario: You own a fast food location attached to your house. (It must include a drive thru.) You don’t have to work there but it must be staffed and open the normal business hours. Which one do you choose?
I rarely eat fast food, but if I had to pick I’d go with McDonald’s as it is the most profitable. I just wouldn’t have a “ball play area.” Though.
Scenario: No, although Baggedmilk’s idea sounds like a money-maker.
What a question. I’m torn on wanting something that’s open 24 hours. On one hand, I could have a snack whenever I want. On the other hand, there could always be people pulling up. I think my answer might be Dairy Queen. Solid burgers, really good chicken wraps, and blizzards whenever I want. That sounds good to me. Reasonable hours too.
I open my own franchise called Brownlee’s Old Fashion Sodas where you should up to the window, order, and I slap you with a leather glove. The people love it because my prices are fair, product is superior, and Robin Brownlee’s old fashion sodey recipe is to die for.
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