Category: Around the NHL

Random player targets…

By , June 9, 2013 2:26 pm
So you want to be bold, Mac?

So you want to be bold, Mac?

So MacTavish wants to be bold? Well here’s some targets being thrown around right now:
Continue reading 'Random player targets…'»

Craig Button’s Final Draft Rankings 2013

By , June 4, 2013 9:21 am
Seth Jones, ranked #1 overall on Button's 2013 NHL Draft Rankings

Seth Jones, ranked #1 overall on Button’s 2013 NHL Draft Rankings

So some don’t put a tonne of stock in Craig Button’s draft rankings, much preferring Bob McKenzie’s list (which is based off a survey of NHL scouts). But it still is worth looking at.

Button has Seth Jones ranked #1 overall. Nathan MacKinnon sits at #3, which is probably different than what a lot of scouts have him at (most probably have him at 1 now). The Oilers fans may be disappointed if Button’s list is accurate to the actual draft, with the top six. I think it will be as far as players taken, although not necessarily the order. That means the better centers, including Sean Monahan, will be gone by the Oilers #7 pick. So the question a lot of people are asking is “should the Oilers trade their #7 pick?”

I’m on the fence on that idea. On one hand, I think the Oilers fans need to break away from the mentality of drafting a guy, then seeing him play that same year. Realistically, the player should be going back to junior for at least a year, and perhaps a year or two of AHL. So we could be talking somewhere between 3-5 years before seeing a player in action. So think of this draft as stocking the cupboards, unless we trade up and get in the top 4 somehow and land Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin, MacKinnon or Sasha Barkov. This doesn’t seem likely, although it’s possibly we could move up to #5 (Carolina Hurricanes pick) and perhaps one of the big names will be still available by then if someone deviates slightly. Anyways, I think MacT should consider all options with this pick.. moving up, moving down, using it. And really, it sounds like he is. It will be interesting to see what can happen.

The other play of interest on this list is Edmonton Oil Kings’ Curtis Lazar. I’ve seen him as high as 12 (on the ISS rankings). Button has him way down around 32. That seems unlikely. But I think if Lazar lingers, the Oilers should trade their 2nd, and another pick (perhaps in another draft) and get a late 1st. I don’t see Lazar lasting past 20th though.

To wrap up, teams are always going to need centers, and they’re always going to need defensemen. I don’t want to see the Oilers drop too far down with their pick unless they get a good offer in exchange. No matter where they pick, I hope they choose the best d-man or center available (unless we get into a position of picking a guy like Drouin).

Playoff Predictions, Round 3.. and some Oil news..

By , May 31, 2013 11:24 am


So, to start.. yesterday MacTavish inked big Russian D-man Anton Belov to a 1-year deal (reportedly a cap hit of $1.525M with bonuses). This supposedly was the best we could do as far as length, on an entry level deal… and once it expires, he should be an unrestricted free agent. It’s a fairly low risk move. The Oilers have full expectations this guy can jump into the lineup next year. He sounds fairly raw in his defensive game, which may be a concern. But it sounds like he’s a good puck carrier, and fairly physical. In the KHL this year, he had 9 goals and 17 assists in 46 games for Omsk. He also played in the World Hockey Championships and is being considered for the Russian Olympic team. He also was 3rd on his team with a +19 plus minus rating. He is 6’4″, 216 lbs, according to Elite Prospects. The scouting report on him had this to say:

A large defenseman, Belov is still an excellent skater. He can control the offensive game with his passing skills and hard shot. Could improve his defensive game.

Oilers sign Omsk KHL defender Anton Belov

Oilers sign Omsk KHL defender Anton Belov

Seems alright.

The Oilers are also in the mix for a goaltending phenom out of Finland, Antti Raanta. Raanta played 45 games this year for Assat Pori in which he put up a 21-10-11 record, with a remarkable, league leading GAA of 1.85 and SV% of 0.943. He tweeted just a short bit ago that he’s made his decision. Edmonton, Minnesota and another team were said to be in the mix.. and Michael Russo, beat writer for the Wild, feels that the Wild are out of consideration now. Come on Edmonton!

On to the playoff predictions…

Playoff Predictions

Round 2 saw Racki getting 4 out of 4 series winners correctly ( 11 for 12, bitches!), Steve-O, Hemmerlady and Metal&Oil each got 3 out of 4 winners correct, and Trogdor fumbled blindly for 2 out of 4 correct. Series lengths, different story. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d count how many wins each player was off by. Maybe next year… that’s my Steve Tambellini motto.

Post your round 3 predictions in the comments!

NHL Playoff Predictions, Round 2

By , May 14, 2013 10:01 am
Toronto, post Bruins series Apocalypse

Toronto, post Bruins series Apocalypse

First off, a round 1 summary:

Series Winner Racki Steve-O Trogdor
Hawks vs Wild Hawks in 5 Hawks in 5 Hawks in 5 Hawks in 4
Ducks vs Wings Wings in 7 Wings in 6 Ducks in 7 Ducks in 6
Canucks vs Sharks Sharks in 4 Sharks in 6 Sharks in 6 Canucks in 6
Blues vs Kings Kings in 6 Kings in 4 Blues in 7 Kings in 6
Pens vs Isles Pens in 6 Pengs in 4 Pens in 5 Pens in 5
Habs vs Sens Sens in 5 Habs in 6 Habs in 6 Habs in 6
Caps vs Rangers Rangers in 7 Rangers in 7 Rangers in 7 Rangers in 6
Bruins vs Leafs Bruins in 7 Bruins in 6 Bruins in 4 Bruins in 5


To sum:
Racki got 7 of the 8 series winners correct, matching 2 of the game lengths of those winners.
Steve-O got 5 of the 8 series winners correct, matching 2 of the game lengths of those winners.
Trogdor got 5 of the 8 series winners correct, matching 1 of the game lengths of those winners.

Big winner.. RACKIIIIII!

On to round two.. here are the match ups:

Hawks vs Wings
Kings vs Sharks
Pens vs Sens
Bruins vs Rangers

Submit your predictions in the comments! And if you predicted in round 1, mention how you did too for round 1.

In other news… how is Leaf Nation doing? That was a monumental loss. I can speak from experience in saying that it’s much easier to be blown out in a series/game than it is to have a win firmly in your grasp and completely blow it. I tend to smile whenever the Leafs suffer, but I think when you’ve suffered for 50 some years, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry, now and then.

Craig MacTavish season wrap up, plus our playoff predictions, and more

By , April 29, 2013 1:22 pm
"It wasn't me that screwed this team up, it was Kevin!"

“It wasn’t me that screwed this team up, it was Kevin!”

Craig MacTavish season wrap up

So let’s start with a summary of MacTavish’s season wrap up…

– Overall team strength and depth and competitiveness needs improvement.
– Says these will be addressed, through a large degree, through personnel changes (i.e. waiting for the current guys to get bigger, or stronger isn’t going to help)
– Needs core guys to be better defensively and without the puck. Need structure in their game to have success.
– They need to add some specific role players that have a threat to score, even marginally. He says their current role guys, the best they were ever going to be on a given night was a “non factor”. Not a lot of upside in their current group.
– Says the few times that the role guys had an impact, they ended up winning games.
– Defense needs more foot speed to play a style that best suits the skill set this team has. The defensemen have to be able to Continue reading 'Craig MacTavish season wrap up, plus our playoff predictions, and more'»

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