In Oilers news, the boys have been playing well. Khabibulin has earned the 3rd star of the month from the NHL (Dubnyk played lights out in his few starts as well), the Nuge is staying all year (although as per Bob MacKenzie just said on twitter, this burns the first year of his contract, once he plays 40 games it gets him closer to UFA) and the defense looks to be playing way way better than I predicted. TSN was going on about how good of a shutdown pairing Smid and Gilbert are. I figure that made a few heads explode in Oiler fan land. And Potter has looked very good as well. The rest haven’t stood out but they are not getting murdered either so that’s good.
Except Sutton decided to help Landeskog look behind him, and in what must be a record for longest time between hit and suspension, just got a 5 game Shanaban (got the saying from a post on Puck Daddy, I like it and will continue to use it). Figured it was at least 5 because of the in person meeting.
As for the rest of the Oilers, the kid line (Kids & the Hall, Baby Oil…whatever the line name is) is carving up the soft parade (as Lowetide calls it) and the Horcoff/Smyth/Jones line is killing the toughs. Personally I can’t wait for Hemsky to return (he expects the 3rd game of this road trip) to reunite that line and see what kind of dominance they can perform.
The third line has been kind of invisible, but last game it looked as though Paajarvi had his legs going so I imagine it’s only a matter of time…ideally when the kid line starts to drag. Eager has also been playing well. I’d like to see Omark playing, but it’s just a case of too many bodies at this point so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets traded (or someone else does).
In league news, Elliotte Friedman had a bit on Hockey Night in Canada where he discusses the fact that re-alignment is gaining steam with only some eastern teams against it. I’m all for the return to the 4 divisions and dammit, THEY MUST RENAME THEM TO THE ORIGINAL NAMES! I’m also a fan of divisional play in the first round of the playoffs (that is how you start/maintain rivalries).
And some quick hits: Avery has passed through reentry waivers and will join the team tomorrow (?); Torres went as Jay Z for Halloween and cause a whole lot of ruckas over him going in blackface; City of Vancouver is finally charging 60 people with charges earned during the riots; Bryzgalov is currently lost in a forest somewhere; Kronwall just resigned for 7 years/4.75 avg with Detroit; And finally the Canadiens decided to fire their assistant only a couple hours before a game…every one is upset.
Fight of the week
And here is the first month standings of the keeper pool…but only what there is so far (as you can see, not everyone has reported in the stats)…I will update once it has been completed.