Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Unlike the San Jose Sharks, who have about eight natural centres amongst their top 12 forwards–moving Patty Marleau and Joe Pavelski and Scott Gomez to the wing–the Edmonton Oilers are seriously lacking in that commodity. With Shawn Horcoff breaking a knuckle on his hand and Eric Belanger busting two toes , both blocking shots, the Oilers are down to two regular healthy centres in young guns Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner, with farmhand call-up Anton Lander also on the scene.
They will likely bring up OKCity’s checking centre Chris VandeVelde now that Horcoff is out a month or more with Lander in the No. 3 hole and VDV as the fourth-line pivot. But they are painfully thin after that, with only little Mark Arcobello left on the farm. As GM Steve Tambellini says “centres can move to the wing, but it’s tough the other way around.” Whole different set of circumstances, with face-offs and defensive zone coverage and playmaking.
Which brings us to the next wildcat question. Would they consider calling Jason Arnott’s agent, brother Wade? Why not come full circle with Arnie, drafting him at 18 and giving him a shot as a free-agent at 38?
continued with more names mentioned...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Whitney is a a good player and a proud player, a player who was out-of-this-world when he first came to the Oilers in that Lubo Visnovsky trade before he wrecked his ankle stepping in a rut in the Rexall Place ice just after Christmas in 2010, isn’t playing well. He’s way better than he’s looking through the first eight games of this season where 48 games are sardined into 98 days.
I like Whitney, and not just because he’s a good quote, always an excellent thing for a scribe. I like Whit’s wit, I like his ability to normally get the puck up ice on the tape with a crisp pass, I like it that he’s had the ability to play big minutes, and he’s always worked the point on the powerplay. Not the first unit, now, but the second. But, he’s having trouble and this is something the Oilers’ defence, which isn’t the best in the league, can’t have.
Whitney should be a go-to guy on the Oilers’ blueline but looks like Tom Poti out there right now and you know how it was for the quiet, lanky, puck-moving but not overly physical Poti, when he was an Oiler.
from Jonathan Willis of The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
The Edmonton Oilers’ only realistic internal choice in net right now is Devan Dubnyk.
Backup Nikolai Khabibulin is playing out the string off a brilliant career that should have ended before he joined the team; he’s old, often injured, not very good when healthy and above all not a credible alternative to Dubnyk. The organization has been reluctant to use third-stringer Yann Danis, a minor-league journeyman with impressive credentials but who is suffering through a hard season. Beyond those two, it’s hard to find a competent AHL starter, let alone an NHL option.
But how does Dubnyk compare to other goaltenders, outside the Oilers organization? Because there are still plenty of questions around Dubnyk – he has never been a full-season starter in the NHL – a comparison to other goalies from recent seasons should offer some guidance as to what to expect from the player.
Here is the OT goal, scroll to the 1:45 mark to understand why Tippett could be upset.
Tippet's reaction to the goal is the first thing addressed in his post-game media scrum which is in the 2nd video below...
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
The American Hockey League has determined that Justin Schultz is eligible to be their rookie of the year.
Jason Chaimovitch from the AHL office has done the research and informed your correspondent Tuesday Schultz looks to be legal.
“It’s an unusual circumstance but I took a look at our by-laws and I do not think there are any games-played restrictions or anything else involved on eligibility for AHL Awards,” Chaimovitch reported.
Which, while only 11 days into a 99-day season, certainly sets it up, doesn’t it?
Edmonton Oilers’ Justin Schultz could became the first player in the history of hockey to win the rookie of the year honours in two leagues in the same season!
Kerry Fraser of TSN discusses why the Mikael Backlund goal from Saturday nigh should not have been allowed.
Backlund was not pushed into Oiler goalkeeper, Devan Dubnyk by Ryan Smyth or any other Oiler teammate.Mikael Backlund followed the puck into the crease and crashed the net (and Dubnyk) though his own initiative. If that isn't enough reason for some to understand why this goal must be disallowed let me provide the technical reasons to support this call.
Rule 69.3 Contact Inside the Goal Crease - If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his crease and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
More specifically, Mikael Backlund's actions on this play are best described by the bold type in Rule 69.6 Rebounds and Loose Pucks - In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a stop the goal will be disallowed.
more and watch the goal below, All I know is these calls could go either way and as I wrote yesterday, replay should be allowed to make sure the call on the ice is the correct one.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
These are not your father’s Edmonton Oilers, this swashbuckling young team, and for proof, consider the father of Thursday night’s scoring hero, Sam Gagner. Gagner was 7 the year his dad, Dave, played for the Flames. Dave Gagner was Jarome Iginla’s first centre in Iginla’s rookie season and helped him find his way in the NHL.
The younger Gagner has a picture of himself, as a boy, posing with Iginla at the Saddledome – and went on the ice there, the way children of NHL players do, after practice at Christmas, during school breaks.
The Oilers of 2012-13 are steeped in the tradition of the Battle of Alberta, which, after a few less than enthralling years, resumes Saturday in Calgary with a new, clearer focus. It is Edmonton’s youth and promise against Calgary’s veteran uncertainty. The Oilers feature Taylor Hall, who lived in Calgary until the age of 12 before the family moved to Kingston. There is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who played his junior hockey in Red Deer, the city perched right in the middle of the two cities, where some fan.
TSN analyst and three-time Stanley Cup-winning defenceman Aaron Wardalso had no issues with Yakupov's reaction. "There should be no one that has a problem with this," Ward said on the NHL on TSN on Thursday night. "It was genuine, in the moment, it was a big goal and the second of his career."
But the visiting Kings didn't take kindly to Yakupov's post-goal antics. "I won't even say anything about that, it wasn't something that was looked on in a positive light in our dressing room, but so be it," forward Jarret Stoll said after the game. "He made a great play on the goal and did his celebration."
If you went to bed early of missed the game, here is how the latst ninute or so of regulation played out plus OT.
Edmonton thinks they have tied the game at 1 with about 66 ticks left on the clock....
Then Nail Yakupov did tie the game with 4.7 seconds left...
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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