Tough choices…

By , October 16, 2013 6:05 pm
I'll go with the Jaromir Jagr in the bottom right..

I’ll go with the Jaromir Jagr in the bottom right..

So there’s been some talk out there lately about acquiring a new goaltender, possibly moving one of the young guns to get one, and other things. I’ll offer my take.

The Oilers are very stacked with high-flying offense. Currently, we’re looking at Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner, David Perron and Ales Hemsky (who may be gone before the end of the year). This is an obvious position of strength.

On the blue line, the Oilers currently have (at the NHL level): Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Anton Belov, Justin Schultz, Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference. Of these guys, Justin Schultz and Anton Belov are standouts. Neither, at this point, are what I’d consider clear #1 guys, however. They’re definitely above average.. but there is no d-man in this group that you feel safe with on the ice in any situation.

In goal, we have Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera. Of course, questions Continue reading 'Tough choices…'»

L – Oilers 2 , Capitals 4 – Game 6 – 2013-10-14 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , October 14, 2013 11:31 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Washington Capitals
logo at logo
1-3-1 Record 1-4-0
Location: Verizon Center
Date: October 14, 2013 @ 5:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

So the hot button topic for the Oilers these days is of course goaltending. Even Dubnyk would admit how disappointing this has been for the Oilers this year (that article I just linked makes me feel terrible for Dubnyk). I feel bad for him too, as you know he is the type that tries to carry the team on his back, even if it’s questionable whether he’s the guy that can. He wants to win every game, and I believe he competes hard, but there have been some questionable goals going in the net lately. When it rains, it pours for a goaltender. It’s hard for a goalie to battle back once they’ve lost that confidence. I really hope he can regain his form. I never really thought of him as a top-level goaltender, but he was all the Oilers needed. Unfortunately, as of late, he hasn’t been his usual self. He’s regressed a lot. He’s not making stops that he should be able to stop and you know he’s beating himself up over it. My stance is that the Oilers need to go out and grab a cheap goalie as a stop gap. They can re-visit goaltending in July. Dubnyk will be a UFA then, and there will be some good goalies on the market (assuming close to status quo on contracts).

Anyways, on to tonight’s game. I would have to figure that Labarbera gets the start in this one. Yakupov is rumored to be sitting out this one, again. Joanne Ireland has a good article up about Yakupov. Well, it’s good and it’s bad. It has a good bit from Eakins, explaining the decision. I was fine with it to begin with. I didn’t really care for Yakupov’s response in the article though. It worries me a little bit, to be honest. I’m the type to give most players the benefit of doubt when it comes to quotes though. So I won’t read much into it at this point, and you can all go there and read and formulate your own opinions. I just didn’t like the “I really don’t like skating all the time, and forechecking, and hitting somebody every shift. I don’t think it’s my game” quote. It might not be your game, but if it’s the Oilers’ game, you do it. That’s what I want to hear. I’ll let him off the hook for now, and hope that he gets back on the ice soon and plays the team game fully. We can criticize some other players on the team for doing things like making bad passes, or pinching in at the wrong time, but I think most guys on this team are doing their best to play Eakins’ system. Is Yakupov? I want to think he is. I am not going to give up on him or anything… just want to see him play the team game here and not complain about it. Anyways, enough on that!

The Oilers are playing good enough hockey that they should be winning games. Hopefully they get a good battle out of their goaltender tonight and can win this one.

Continue reading 'L – Oilers 2 , Capitals 4 – Game 6 – 2013-10-14 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

OTL – Oilers 5, Maple Leafs 6 – Game 5 – 2013-10-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – CBC

By , October 12, 2013 12:25 pm
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Toronto Maple Leafs
logo at logo
1-3-0 Record 4-1-0
Location: Air Canada Centre
Date: October 12, 2013 @ 5:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Call this the reverse-Corsi battle. The Oilers are doing quite well in “Corsi” (Google that if you don’t know what it is.. but basically the way “stats guys” prefer to measure how well a game is going for a team), the Maple Leafs are not. The Maple Leafs are winning… the Oilers are not. So the “stats guys” predict a rise for the Oilers, and a drop off for the Maple Leafs eminent. It’s rare to see the “stats guys” talk in a positive light about the Oilers, so it will be interesting to see how this pans out after 82 games. The Oilers are also doing very well in one regular stat.. face off percentage. The Oilers are 3rd in the league with a team 56.8%. I believe this is due to a better “team” focus on faceoffs. The wingers are just as important to winning a draw. I also believe that Gordon is phenomenal at this skill, and his knowledge is likely Continue reading 'OTL – Oilers 5, Maple Leafs 6 – Game 5 – 2013-10-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – CBC'»

L – Oilers 2, Canucks 6 – Game 2 – 2013-10-05 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC

By , October 5, 2013 10:22 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
logo at logo
0-1-0 Record 0-1-0
Location: Rogers Arena
Date: October 5, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Whatever happened to the Battle of Alberta? Seems like Calgary dropped out, and Vancouver made it about the Battle of Western Canada. There is some bad blood between these teams. The last game these two played was in pre-season. In that game, Dale Weise took a run at Taylor Hall, seemingly trying to decapitate him with a hit to the head. Weise was suspended 3 pre-season games for the hit. The other incident was from Zack Kassian. It doesn’t seem like a far fetched story that Kassian is still learning how to skate properly and keep his arms from flailing around like an infant… after all, he’s only in the NHL. Kassian broke Sam Gagner’s jaw when the brick-head missed a check... on the play he decided he’d swing his arm and stick as hard as he could towards Sam Gagner’s head. This was accidentally on purpose. I’m not so sure he meant to hit Gagner in the face, but you’d have to be beyond useless of a hockey player to really swing your arm like that after missing a check. I’m not even sure that Doug Glatt would have done that. Kassian will miss this game, as he was suspended for the remainder of the pre-season plus 5 regular season games. I’m sure the Canucks will miss him so much compared to the Oilers and Gagner. That’s the way it goes, I guess. Anyways, those stories set the mood for this one. Bad blood.

I don’t entirely blame the Canucks. This is the type of game I want to see the Oilers play, minus the stupid stick swinging by Kassian. The Oilers are missing that edge in the game. I’m hoping that Luke Gazdic brings some of that edge. In his first game, he had a goal and a decisive fight win vs. Chris Thorburn (who is no slouch). He looks like he can play hockey, plus he’s a very skilled fighter. As long as he can play hockey around a Mike Brown level (obviously better would be preferable) I’ll be happy. I think this 4th line will need to play an important game tonight. Going into Rogers Arena, Eakins won’t have last change, so it will be tough to get the right match-up for that line.
Continue reading 'L – Oilers 2, Canucks 6 – Game 2 – 2013-10-05 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC'»

Andrew Ference named 14th Captain of Edmonton Oilers

By , September 29, 2013 9:20 am

The decision on captaincy has been made. It will be Andrew Ference. I like this, as Ference is known to be a good leader and it takes the pressure off the kids. Hall would have been great, but I’d like him just focusing on other things right now. Smyth could have been good, but he’s at the tail of his career. I think this is a great decision. Your thoughts?

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