Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Coach Dallas Eakins had high praise when talking about Tyler Pitlick after tonight's 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Paul Martin) by ESPN with a 6.33 rating. When you look at the list, he's in good company. Hopefully, after a decent year this season, he will move up the list to possibly the top 30, maybe even the top 20.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Today, while Edmonton still sits in limbo, while decisions are trying to be made with a new arena district (which by the way, will stimulate towers to be built up and around the arena) I am referring today to TWIN TOWERS as in 'players'. Yes! As in Marincin and Gernat. Both of these boys are no stranger to 'the air up there'.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
TIDBITS FROM CAMP:
I will highlight in red anything that was information that i received on perspective players leading into saturday's night split-squad games in Edmonton and Calgary. If it is not highlighted it will be my perspective and or views.
Unfortunately for Cam, this could be the beginning of the end. His off ice work while good, has not been great and his progress has been stalled while other potential players are about to supplant him if things don't change ASAP. My take on Abney will be, this is his final year to prove himself. He will either be traded or released at the end of season most likely
Was hardly recognizable on the ice these past couple days but is that always a bad thing? It could turn out to be his best chance. Will be in a fight with Lander for that 4th line spot. Is not slotted into OKC's plans in their line combo's currently but that could change drastically should he falter in the opportunities given.
A decent showing with skilled players Yakupov and Omark could prove to be his best chance. His outcome from the game in Edmonton Saturday night could either elevate him into the opening night lineup or actually see him with a ticket back to OKC after a few pre-season games. Is currently slotted into the Barons #1 Centre slot and MacT has been very direct that he wants players to play in OKC around the same role they would play should they be playing for the Oilers. Maybe one line higher but no more.
Grows a stache like nobodies business but will that be enough. Will be the 13th or 14th forward going into the season. Plays exactly the game he knows how to play and knows how to use gamesmanship which is extremely important for the role he fills.
Hits well, is relentless and has a scoring touch too. Did I mention he is a agitator and likes it too? The Oilers are very high on Chase and have been pleased with what he has shown them this camp so far. Not every jr player gets to play even in a scrimmage let alone game action. If he continues to develop this year back in jr, his path and future looks bright with the Oilers.
Sick skills and looks to really have his shot back. His minor injury last season really hindered his shot. This year I would expect his shooting % goes back up. Will be interesting to see who he is paired with in the early regular season games.
Had his good and bad moments playing in the centre pivot position. It will take time to adjust but Hall is a world class player and at the very worst it is highly likely he will fill the team need better by playing centre for up to 5 games then playing left wing and leaving this team extremely weak down the middle. RNH hs confidence in Taylor, why shouldn't we? Taylor is learning what needs to be done in that centre pivot spot from good mentors in his coach Action and RNH himself. If we all recall, he did mention last year if the team did try him at centre he didn't want it to be a 2 or 3 game stint but given some time to really try it out. My guess? He will play a minimum of 10 games at centre and then be evaluated after that.
Time is running out for Curtis and his injuries have likely been his greatest downfall to really exhibiting what his true value is to the Oilers. His off ice work was said to have improved last development camp but now we missed seeing what progress could have taken place by, no on ice action. If not this year, then the next Curtis will likely be on the outside looking in. Only thing that saves him is a big year in OKC IMO.
A big tough, determined player that Dallas Eakins really appreciates has brought him to Edmonton on the basis he will push the bottom 6 forwards and or at worst play the power forward role in OKC, Most likely in the end will be a call up for bottom 6 winger role in Edmonton this season.
Will be monitored very closely this year and Oilers want to be cautious with him but are excited about his future with the organization. Debate is on if he reports to OKC or ends up in WHL with Everett. Likely he goes to WHL but some of that decision will be who gets assigned to OKC with other players from camp, bets are he goes to WHL.
Anton is pencilled into a 2nd line role in OKC to open the season but only Lander can change that destiny. Concerns are more about his confidence and Oilers would like to see him less concerned with points and more on just playing the same game, shift in and shift out. If he finds his game in pre-season, he starts in Edmonton, if not, other options are considered.
His all around game is coming around but it looks more and more everyday he will have to decide to become a role player in a 4th or 3rd line tops role. Would be great if he accepted he may not have the Hockey sense to be a elite skill guy at pro level. Is pencilled in as 3rd line centre in OKC to start the year.
While the last regime was not happy with what they saw in Omark, this new regime is very happy with his potential. Dallas has great respect for his skills and wants to provide a prime opportunity for him to show himself well. It is still a win-win for both sides no matter how this comes down. If Linus can show even just ok, defensively he will get a shot, if he shows what he did in the past without the puck, he won't be in Edmonton past the pre-season games. OKC would be happy with 1 more year of Omark and when the year is completed he is a UFA who can go and try his own luck. I wouldn't count Omark out and don't forget, it's not his toughness that is in question, it is his ability to cover his defensive role.
Perron is a interesting player. this guy has a lot of Yakupov in him when it comes to life and the game of hockey. He almost eats, breaths and lives hockey. Really love the fact he lines up so perfectly on his off wing just like Yakupov. If these two can have some chemistry, it may provide for some interesting hockey. David has no concerns going to the tough area's of the ice and does not mind some rough play. Perron appears to really like the red carpet treatment he has received and you can tell by his actions he loves he is in hockey country.
Like so many before him, Tyler is about to fall off the face of the hockey world really quick, if he can not be consistent with his play. Almost makes you wonder what happened somewhere. Was there something others knew that made him available at 31st OV at the draft. I think the injuries and confidence is what has stalled his major growth. He still has time to prove himself to the Oilers brass but time is starting to run out. He needs a strong year in OKC if he stands to even have a fighting chance. Will likely only get 1 or 2 pre-season games and then get assigned to OKC.
Roy has looked good to date but at scrimmage on a line with speed and against bigger, quicker players he has realized pretty quick, he isn't in the CHL anymore. Marco has performed above expectations and a good showing back in Jr should go a long way into his growth development. There look to be some high praises of his game with oilers brass.
Honestly, upon tweeting about the scrimmages, I was not trying to follow Yakupov very much but anytime he is on the ice, he draws the attention of every fan too him. He has become the newest darling of the fans and girls are going crazy over this cute Russian. His game seems to even have another step since last season and with some confidence behind him the limits are endless. There is no way this organization will be even considering a trade of this player unless something were to breakdown in their relationship. Nail's best game is when he is confident and given opportunities to rise to the occasion. One thing that was noticeable in the scrimmage is his relentless pursuit of the puck when the other team had it. Let's hope that spills over to the early pre-season games and becomes a contagious habit. If Omark ever stood a chance to make the Oilers, it will be because Yakupov elevates his game.
Some MSM have pencilled him as the 7th or even 8th d-man in the depth chart, not so sure the Coaches and scouts agree. They are very high on his physical battle for pucks, his passing ability and his skating and see him suited well for the NHL. Just too bad his struggles with Visa have been a pain.
Friday, September 13, 2013
Not trying to sound insensitive to all he has done or who he is, Andrew is one of the last people who I would put in as captain and here are my reasons why....
1) He may be a fitness warrior but so was Horcoff and was he the right captain? Some will say yes, I would argue that he was the most experienced for the job after Ethan was done and not much else was a option at the time.
2) Speaking of experience, what experience does he have with his teammates as a veteran? Sure he is a veteran to the league but not to Edmonton and it's not like he is respected already as a Edmonton Oiler. I understand picking a veteran of the league on a team that is real young and there is no leaders but is not leadership what our young stars have been developing?
3) What does a captain do? It's not just on ice and locker room stuff, it's the intangibles. Does he know our city, will he organize events on behalf of our team players? How could he? He doesn't know enough about our culture or team. (Not that our culture has been great but it is improving)
4) Sure he appears good right now as a on ice player but media likes have penciled him in as a top 2 d-man on the Oilers and question is..can he even perform at that level skill wise? Maybe, maybe not! We won't know until the season moves into full swing. Why take a chance on naming your captain when he may stink out the joint or be a d-man that fans make their new scape goat? (He may do all right in the end , we won't know until halfway through a season even.
5) Lastly, why name a captain who is only a stop gap? If your going to name your captain and he is here now, make that decision to crown him when the time is right. I think IMO it is not beneficial to name a good leader a captain just because of that personality. I highly doubt Ference plays better or this team plays better because a 'C' goes on his jersey.
Will be tweeting more on Oilers Training Camp , so follow me on twitter for updates.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Bunz first half
Rimmer second half
Lines courtesy of Bob Stauffer
Monday, September 9, 2013
Forward line guesses
1st line guess
LW Perron C Hall RW Eberle
LW David Perron, Perron's skill will fit nice with Hall and Eberle who are already highly skilled forwards.
C Taylor Hall, This line has Hall at centre because of the fact Hopkins could be hurt for 10 games or so, (give or take) Hall is also at centre on this line because Eberle is a first line player and he has more chemistry with Hallsy than Gagner. Yes, I do know Hallsy is not very good away from the puck, but he has outstanding speed that will help him with back checking.
RW Jordan Eberle, Eberle is a good little forward that has great skills that would blend well with anyone especially with Hall and Perron in this case.
2nd line guess
LW Hemsky C Gagner RW Yakupov
LW Ales Hemsky is another highly skilled forward who will hopefully bring leadership to Yakupov and if he can pass more, he might be valuable in the long run on this line.
C Sam Gagner I don't think has the defensive game to play 1st line minutes, so thats why I slot him here. He will finally have the contract stuff off his back and hopefully plays well because of it.
RW Nail Yakupov, His shot, his skating, and his puck skills will hopefully work well with Hemsky this season. Hopefully they can find some offensive chemistry.
3rd line guess
RW Omark C Gordon LW Smyth
C Boyd Gordon, Maybe a bit of an overpayment, but still a good signing. Gordon is a good player that is two way.
RW Linus Omark, He was signed recently and it could be because the Oil want three scoring lines, or just for depth. Any such way, I have him here to add some scoring on this line.
4th line guess
LW Jesse Joensuu, He was a first round pick, Lowetide says he is "very similar player to Temmu Hartikanien" which means he is a big grinder who will chip in a few goals, but is pretty slow.
C Anton Lander, He is a a good PK player which with Horcoff gone, he fills. He will chip in maybe 9 goals. He is a bubble player.
Other players that could be in on opening day.
Andrew Miller, Will Acton, Ryan Hamilton and Mike Brown.
Player to watch on offence: Taylor Hall who had 50 points last season and I Think will have 70 - 80 points this year keep your eye on him.
Defence pairing guesses
1 pair guess
LD Smid RD Petry
LD Ladislav Smid, He is a good heart and soul player who will block shots. Sometimes he will make a dumb play, but he's been improving every year. He is a good shutdown guy who logs PK mins and also can be trusted late in a game.
RD Jeff Petry, He was not as good as some people would have thought last season, but I think he will bounce back and not score on his own net vs the Wings and cost us a game (yes i'm still hurt over a regular season game.)
2 pair guess
LD Ference RD J.Schultz.
LD Andrew Ference, Ference was a good signing. Maybe not because of his contract, but because he is a solid veteran D man and will help J.Schultz when it comes down to those tough times.
RD Justin Schultz, Schultz is our best defence if not now then in the very near future. He had a pretty good season with points (27 points) but, I think he is going to get more. If he really wants to be good this season, he will need to improve without the puck.
3rd pair guess
RD Anton Belov, Some say he was the best D man in the KHL last year. He has some grit to him and will be good guy to keep your eye on. Not sure how he will adapt to the smaller ice surface though. Should be interesting.
Other D man that could be in on opening night
Phillip Larson, Oscar Klefbom and Denis Grebeshkov
Jason LaBarbera, Jason is a proven backup who might actually challenge Dubnyk if he faulters. Chances are that doesn't happen, but if they do, LaBarbera would love to step in.
Remember, this all could change if RNH comes back early or if more injuries happen from now until the regular season starts. but if nothing does change, these are my opening night lines.
This was written by NHL rumors guy AKA Noah Fuchs
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Here are today's lines for the Oilers vs Canucks Young Stars game. Watch the game live on EdmontonOilers.com
Saturday, September 7, 2013
The fitness craze hit Edmonton the day the Oilers decided to can Ralph Krueger and hire Dallas Eakins. Eakins made no secret in the fact he loves to be fit and he fully expects his players to be as good or in better shape then himself.
For the most part, I laughed when he said that. No way the young kids on the team are going to get nuts about fitness like the new coach. But, the day they signed Andrew Ference, I'd imagine coach was all smiles. Little did he know just how much of a fitness fanatic Ference really is.
Ference had started a fitness group in Boston and a couple of days a week, he and his group would go out and run stairs or run up long steep hills. Now that he's returned "home", Ference brought that same mentality here. He's started up a group in Edmonton and it looks like its been three days a week of busting their collective asses running and exercising all around E-Town. Last I heard there was about 70 people that have joined him and it seems like more and more show up every time they go out.
The newest member of the November Project is Ference's new coach, Dallas Eakins. He will be joining them the next time they hit the pavement.
I can almost be certain, the Eakins/Ference love affair, is just beginning. With that said, no doubt in my mind that Andrew Ference will wear an A on his new #21 Edmonton Oilers jersey. The coach wants fitness instilled on the Oilers, so that will make Andrew Ference as his new BFF.
-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-