It’s another sunny Saturday here in Edmonton and that means your ol’ pal Baggedmilk is back with another round of Random Thoughts. As I do every weekend, I’ve dumped my brain’s contents out into this here blog post and I invite you all to join me for a leisurely tour through my idea factory.

NURSE NEEDS TO STAY HEALTHY

Advertisement
Ad
As we draw closer to the start of the 2021-22 NHL season, I find myself thinking more and more about the Oilers’ depth chart and what role each guy will fill during the upcoming campaign, and when it comes to the LHD position, I’m starting to get nervous about what it might look like if anyone gets hurt. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’m underplaying how important it is for Darnell Nurse to stay healthy this season because I’ve got a horrible feeling that we’d see the milk go bad in a real hurry if he goes down for any length of time and we’ve got a left side that features Keith, Russell, and Koekkoek. I know that’s a little bit of doom and gloom to read on a Saturday morning, but it’s the truth and you know it. If the Oilers are going to be successful this season then they need their best defenceman to play at his best and to do it every night. Now, the good news is that ol’ Darryl hasn’t missed any time over the past four years and that durability certainly makes me feel better, but at the same time, it’s worth noting how important he is to this team’s success. Stay safe out there, Darryl! I’m sorry for probably ruining your weekend.

EVAN BOUCHARD IS THE WILDCARD

Advertisement
Ad
With only 21 NHL games on his resume but a wealth of potential to push him forward, Evan Bouchard is easily the biggest wildcard we have on defence this year. To this point in his young career, Bouchard has averaged 14 minutes in TOI and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect that this number will rise in the 2021-22 season either by need or because of his own progression. I don’t want to put any more pressure on Bouchard than there already is, but if he can find a way to not only handle the extra workload but actually excel with having more on his plate, then I think a lot of our worries about the defence will evaporate. The kid has got the tools, size, and smarts to make it happen, and I wonder how many at-bats it’s going to take him to realize some of that potential. I mean, is it that unreasonable to think a guy with his talent will be able to work himself above the third pairing by the time the season wraps? I don’t think so. That said, expecting him to do so is another dose of risky business that this defensive group will have to manage as he learns the ropes of what it means to be an NHL defenceman. I’m pulling for you, Dad. Gord knows we need you.

THIS McDAVID DRAWING IS INCREDIBLE

As I was cruising the Internet to find things to include in this article, I came across this incredible pencil coloured drawing from u/acrobaticgoalie on Reddit and thought it would be perfect to share with you guys in this feature. Personally, I love when talented people like this share their work and I wanted to give it a bump. According to the artist, this 14×17 drawing took about 71.5 hours to complete, and I just wanted to offer up some endless kudos for the amazing work. As somebody that always wished I was able to draw like this, to see someone crush a project for a guy we all love is always fun to stumble upon. Great picture, I love it.
Advertisement
Ad

JAROMIR JAGR RULES

If you’ve stopped paying attention over the past few years, NHL legend, Jaromir Jagr, is still playing pro hockey for the Kladno Knights, the team he is a majority owner of in the Czech 2 league. Last season, Jagr posted two goals and 12 points in 19 games with the Knights, helping the club he is the majority owner of to get back into the Czech Extraliga. Now, only months out from his 50th birthday, Jagr told The Hockey News that he’s coming back for a totally different reason.
“Do you know why I’m still playing? I have a responsibility to the club, otherwise I wouldn’t fly here and I wouldn’t be making a fool of myself. But if I quit, the partners and sponsors would leave and the club may be done. I have no choice. People don’t understand it, but I don’t care. Only God will judge me. I expect much more from myself, and I also believe that I have it in me.”
Listen, I’m 36 years old and sometimes I throw my back out getting out of bed so I have no idea how this dude is still playing pro hockey at his age. Even as the fitness freak that we all know that Jagr is, the fact that he’s still doing it is incredible.
Advertisement
Ad
“It’s not easy anymore, believe me. Because mostly during my career, I felt that if I wanted to score a goal, I would score. But suddenly, this doesn’t work. At the same time, people still expect it from me, and that’s probably the worst feeling, when people think I can but I know I can’t. Plus, I can’t even tell them. I just know that I will do my best to help the club. I don’t know if anyone can understand my role. I don’t even want to be in such a position, but I have no choice. As long as my father breathes, I take the club as my responsibility. He held it for 20 years. As a son, I would be embarrassed if I left.”
While I don’t think anyone assumes that Jagr at 49 is anywhere close to the player he once was, it just makes me happy to know that he’s still playing and I hope he keeps the dream alive for as long as he can. Somehow, I just feel like the hockey world is a better place with him still in it.
Advertisement
Ad