By , September 24, 2010 8:43 am
Here Paajarvi splits the D and absolutely does not fall on his butt after whiffing on the shot

Here Paajarvi splits the D and absolutely does not fall on his butt after whiffing on the shot

So for those of you that missed last night’s game, allow me to make you kick yourself even more… wow, was Magnus Paajarvi ever on fire last night. At age 19, he looked to be far ahead of Ales Hemsky’s development curve (I mean, at the same age). But let’s bear in mind that the lineup the Lightning iced was weak, and the East has never been known for being as skilled defensively as the West (a few teams aside). Also, really it IS just one game (although Paajarvi has looked solid in all games so far).

On Paajarvi’s first goal, he did whiff the finishing shot, but he also did split through a wall of lightning defenders to get in alone on Elli$. His second goal was an undisputable beauty of a one-timer, which makes you wonder if he is perhaps the guy Hemmer needs to connect with on the power play. His third goal probably had no business going in, but as they say you have to be lucky to be good, and he showed that he’s not afraid to take a shot. Add to that, his shot was obviously well on target as well, so credit to him for getting it through the d-man’s legs and right inside the post.

So I think it is clear to say that this kid was a steal at 10th overall, however, and he will make the starting roster for October 6th. It’s hard not to think way ahead of ourselves and get too excited about a player, but I had always thought he would be our biggest chance at the Calder trophy this year, and that may be the case. Hall was no slouch last night either, despite not being able to top a 4 point night from Paajarvi (including the first Hattrick since Gagner’s in March, 2009 – tip of the hat to Hemmerlady and the Oiler’s Message Board).

It looks like we finally have something to get excited about in Oilerville. We might still struggle to win games, but there should be some exciting hockey to watch this year. And I think Cogliano is also probably pretty excited, if he gets to stay with Paajarvi for the remainder of the year.

12 Responses to “Määgnificent”

  1. Ktown says:

    Well, sure – we could all worry that it was only his first game, preseason against a weak opponent, but I think it’s a great feeling to be thinking this way at all.

    He had a great game last night, and played well in all situations. He’s got exceptional speed, but what I think sets him apart from a lot of players is that he has hands to go with his speed – he can control that puck at amazingly fast speeds. That was the knock on Marchant, that’s the knock on Cogliano, that’s the knock on a lot of fast but very average NHLers.

    Magnus is going to be special given the mix of skills that he excels at.

  2. Racki says:

    Yah, I hope that trio from last night stays together. The tough part is doing up lines that keeps guys like Brule and Gagner in the top six. But I suppose we could go with (for the top 9):

    Hall Gagner Hemsky
    Paajarvi Cogliano Penner
    Brule Horcoff Eberle

    Horcoff and Hall seemed to have good chemistry, but I worry about putting Gagner with Brule and Eberle. But I’m sure Renney will figure out some sort of magic lines.

  3. Ktown says:

    I don’t mind your lines at all, Racki.

    Despite what everyone has said, Eberle, Hall, Paajarvi and Oilers management knew they were playing this year. I think what’s interesting is that common speculation had Paajarvi playing third line.

    I think if Maggie keeps up his play, he’ll earn his spot on the second line like you’ve got.

    I didn’t see Horcoff and Hall together – I’m guessing Joey Moss cup? But I thought Hall looked pretty good with Gagner and Hemsky last night, I thought Ebs and Horcoff looked good together on Tuesday, and obviously Penner, Cogliano, Paajarvi looked really good as well.

    Those are a potent three lines. I don’t think we’ll set records for most goals in a season, but there’s some serious ability to set the pace in a lot of games…

  4. Racki says:

    Yes they played together for the Joey Moss Cup, and Horcoff has seemed to be a pretty good mentor for Hall from interviews I’ve been hearing.

    And you know, Quinn takes a beating in Edmonton for last year (and deservedly so, in a lot of cases) but one thing that was nice in the early goings of last season that WORKED well was that every line had some elements of danger, and also had some ability to defend. It was pretty well balanced. What I think we’ll see this year that is similar is that we’ll have at least 3 lines that can be dangerous as hell on a given night. If one line isn’t clicking, then maybe one of the others will.

    Brule… I wish I could figure out where to put him. He’s kind of in the same boat as Cogliano – a good player, but not the first guy you think of when you have guys like Hall, Penner, Paajarvi, Eberle, Hemsky, Horcs… So that’s kind of why I had him with Horcoff and Eberle. Nowhere else to put him. Some of these guys are interchangeable parts though.

  5. gr8one says:

    If Gagner, and especially Cogliano could actually get good at faceoffs, those lines would give me a metaphorical boner.

  6. Racki says:

    Yah it seems like a waste having Brule on the wing, really, since he’s one of few guys on the team that can win draws.

  7. Racki says:

    Hmm, another option, if we were to feed Paajarvi top line minutes:

    Paajarvi Gagner Hemsky
    Penner Brule Cogliano
    Hall Horcoff Eberle
    Jones/MacI/Reddox Fraser Stortini

    The top line is probably one of the more dangerous combo’s we have available (and we’ll see it in action tomorrow to find out if that’s true or not). The 2nd line, well, I think those 3 definitely could work well together, plus would be able to go against a power line if need be (btw, I just caught wind as I type this that they’re putting Omark with Penner and Brule at practice today). Line 3… we’ve seen Horcoff with the kids, and I think he works well with them. Why not give it a shot? Line 4, that’s just our regular, run of the mill line 4 that hasn’t really varied much.

  8. Racki says:

    LOL, I swear I didn’t pick my lines based on today’s practice (aside from Paajarvi with Gagner/Hemsky).

    The Oilers twitter just said that they’re trying Horcoff with Hall and Eberle right now too. I guess those other two lines just make sense, if Paajarvi was on the top line.

    Glad to see Omark getting his best chance! Hopefully those are the lines for tomorrow’s game.

  9. Racki says:

    So Tencer says that the Hall Horcoff Eberle line and the Penner Brule Omark line will likely be in the line up tomorrow vs. Vancouver. Also he thinks Khabibulin will see some action tomorrow too.

    Thumbs up for all of that.

  10. MetalOil says:

    Well…..So long as we can get him off the bar stool it looks like Khabby will get his first start of the preseason tomorrow night against the nuglies.

  11. Racki says:

    haha, all kidding aside, I still think Khabi is our best bet this year. Especially considering he will have a lot to prove (consider this a contract year, Steve-O). The question is always whether he’ll stay healthy though. But if he does, I predict a really big year for him. If he doesn’t stay healthy… well.. stay off the streets in Phoenix, everybody!

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