Random Thoughts: Raphael Lavoie expectations, losing Jeremy Coupal, and all kinds of goals

Photo credit:twitter.com/Condors
11 months ago
It wouldn’t be a Saturday without a fresh round of Random Thoughts from your ol’ pal Baggedmilk, would it? Of course not. That’s why I’m emptying my brain of all its delicious contents in the hopes that you can help me solve the latest round of questions that have been rolling around in my head.

What should we expect from Raphael Lavoie?

When I look at the Oilers’ roster as it’s currently constructed, the thing that sticks out most to me is that there is a wide-open hole on the right side that needs someone to step up and fill. For Raphael Lavoie, you’d have to think he’s looking at that open spot at 3RW and seeing his name there provided that he can have a strong camp and pre-season. But even though there’s room for him to land with the big club, what I don’t know is what would even be considered fair expectations for a 22-year-old forward who just finished his second full professional season down in Bakersfield. Even saying that Lavoie will crack the opening day roster seems like a lot of pressure to put on the kid, especially when you consider the expectations we all have for the team he’s trying to make. So, I guess, my question is what should we expect from a young man that just posted 25 goals and 45 points through 61 games? Is just cracking the roster enough? Does he need to do that and score 10? These are the things rolling around in my head for some reason.

Jeremy Coupal, We Speak Your Name

Earlier this week, we learned that the Edmonton Oilers have parted ways with their video coach, Jeremy Coupal. For most franchises, no one would know or care who the video coach is, but here in Edmonton, Coupal was our guy. He was the one coach on the Oilers’ staff that we always wanted to hear from since he was essentially a master at getting goals called back. Now, I’ll be totally honest here, I have no idea how Coupal’s goal cancellation record compares to his peers but last season it felt like he couldn’t miss and I need to know who’s going to be filling that role. Then again, maybe I’m just attached to Coupal because we’re in a market where knowing the video coach is an actual thing, but even so, whoever the new person ends up being will have some big shoes to fill because our boy Jeremy had an eagle eye over these past few seasons.

Looking to kill an hour?

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If you’re reaching the point of the offseason when you’re really missing the Oilers, may I recommend spending 53:16 minutes watching every goal the Oilers scored last year? In case you forgot, the Oilers put 325 goals in the back of the net last season and that meant countless opportunities for me to say, “Oh, shit, I forgot about that one.” And when you consider all of the Oilers that had incredible years, it’s easy to forget how impressive the boys were on the offensive side of the puck. I know everyone talks about how good the Oilers’ power play was last season — it really was beautiful to watch some of those tic-tac-toe goals back again —  but we mustn’t forget some of the 5v5 beauties that happened as well. At the very least, how can you go wrong with watching back all 64 of Connor McDavid’s goals again? Guy was on another planet in 2022-23, and I had a blast reliving those moments.


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Was that still not enough highlights for you? Then how about this video that got posted on Reddit by u/MPetez that shows Connor McDavid picking up four primary assists and a Connor Brown hat trick from their days together in Erie? Obviously, we’re looking at two kids that were just getting started on their journey to the NHL, but I have to admit that I’m very much hopeful that some of that early days chemistry can somehow carry over to the big dance.

Happy birthday, Oscar. We miss you.

It was weird to see Woz post that it was Oscar Klefbom’s 30th birthday on our Instagram page on Thursday. Obviously, we all assumed that Klefbom wasn’t coming back as a result of the shoulder issues he’s battling, but to see that we lost him right in his prime for absolutely nothing is another dose of heartbreak that we Oilers fans don’t ever get credit for living through. With Klefbom out after the weird bubble playoffs and Adam Larsson claimed in expansion, we essentially lost a very good second pairing for jack squat and I demand that people acknowledge how messed up that is for us. This team would look a lot different if we still had Klefbom patrolling the blue line, and it bums me out to no end that we lost a player of his calibre so long before his 30th birthday. Either way, happy birthday, Oscar.

Better Lait Than Never

On this week’s episode of BLTN, I talked about basically everything I could think of outside of the Oilers. Seeing as the team hasn’t had much news happening lately, I figured it would be the perfect time for a little bit of nonsense on the podcast and that’s exactly what happened. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get podcasts. New episodes come out every Wednesday.

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