No Room for Squares: MacTavish Not Interested in Middle of the Road D

Source: The Oilers Rig
Date: 2014-04-21

MacTavish is looking for a high-end defensemen. If so, why is he so skeptical of the UFA market? In his press conference the other day, Oilers’ GM Craig MacTavish said a variety of interesting things about the blue line. Of interest to me were his comments about adding to the defence from outside the system (yesterday, I discussed my take on the development process under MacTavish). I want to highlight these comments and elaborate on what I think MacTavish has in mind for the off-season on the blue. Off-Season Wish List: A Very High-End Defensemen  My focus going into the off-season is: I’m going to be hard at work, I’m going to be making the phone calls, I’m going to be having d

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Bossa Antigua: MacTavish Should Liberate Kulikov from Floridian Frustration

Source: The Oilers Rig
Date: 2014-04-21

Yesterday, I looked at some of the UFA defensemen available this off-season. Today, I want to look at one young RFA defensemen who is ostensibly in rough water with his team but is performing well and might make a good fit for the Oilers. (Source: Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) At his end of the year presser, Panthers’ GM Dale Tallon said this about Kulikov: [Question ON KULIKOV?] Again, inconsistent, everyone’s got to get better. All of us, from me down. We all got to do a better job be more consistent in what we do. That’s what I expect from him to be more consistent, play to his capabilities. We do it some nights we have it, some periods we have but we don’t have it enough on a

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Assessing The Rubble – Part Two

Source: The Oilers Rig
Date: 2014-04-21

Late last week, we looked into the Oilers’ coaching situation in part one of my series that is assessing the rubble of what remains of the Edmonton Oilers franchise. I gave my vote of confidence to coach Dallas Eakins, while also advocating for changes within the ranks of the assistants, specifically looking at Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger. Tonight, we look at the back-end of the Oilers roster. Goaltending: The Oilers entered this season with Devan Dubnyk and Jason Labarbera, but both goalies imploded and cost the Oilers big time at the start of the season. Neither was playing at an NHL level, and they cost the team somewhere around five wins. It was a beyond bad stretch of goalten

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WHL: Lazar scores twice, Oil Kings take 2-0 lead over Tigers

Source: TSN
Date: 2014-04-21

Go to TSN.ca for details. #TSN

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HELLO AND GOODBYE

Source: Lowetide
Date: 2014-04-20

Frans Tuohimaa made his AHL debut last night, and had a wonderful game. His boxcars: 1 win, 1.85 GAA and a .950 save percentage. We never really know these European kids until they arrive, I don’t remember a more impressive Euro debut since the team moved to Oklahoma territory. Steve MacIntyre played his final pro game last night. He made his hockey living the hardest way possible, and he was very good at it. I hope he enjoys a peaceful retirement. (photos by Rob Ferguson. all rights reserved)

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Edmonton Oilers power play about the same under Eakins as it was under Krueger, except for puck luck

Source: Edmonton Journal - Cult of Hockey
Date: 2014-04-20

If Oilers GM Craig MacTavish had a dollar for every time an Edmonton Oilers hockey fan said or wrote that the Oilers power play under Ralph Krueger was better than the power play under Dallas Eakins, MacTavish could buy a new sports car today. But while Krueger’s power play had better puck luck, it didn’t generate a greater rate of scoring chances and it actually generated a lesser rate of shots. In other words, the main difference between the two power plays was a handful of bounces that went Krueger’s way and didn’t go Eakins’ way. Of course, this argument will rankle some fans. They will rightly point out that Krueger’s power play generated a higher ra

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2014 NHL Draft Snapshots 6-10

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-20

Follow me @IanEsplen for all thing Flames and the NHL draft.   Every year, like other hockey writers, I make up my list of the top 50 players that are eligible for the NHL Draft. These rankings are based on my opinion of who the 50 best players are in the 2014 draft class, "NOT who the first 50 players will be at the draft in June. So over the next couple of weeks I'll reveal my final rankings and give a little insight on each player. After that I'm hoping to line up some interviews with some of them and do something a little more in depth with them, along with some of the other kids that are eligible.   So here they are. The players that are 6-10 on my list. &nbs

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Boudreau and Turning Corsi% Into Goal For%

Source: Mc79hockey
Date: 2014-04-20

I just want to wrap up my fixation on Boudreau and offensive zone faceoff losses, which I’ve discussed (in order) here, here and here. It occurred to me that I should probably discuss the goals for/against. Nobody who pays attention to Corsi cares about it for abstract reasons. They care about it because Corsi is [...]

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Past first round draft picks

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-20

Today is game day for the Sharks as they look at go up 2-0 on the Kings before they head off to Los Angeles. But first, I wanted to look back at the past Sharks first round draft picks, but also include any notable later picks. Just to make this a bit shorter, I will begin with the 2003 draft and go all the way until 2013. As you'll see, there were some good draftees, but also some real swings and misses.   2003: Milan Michalek, 6th overall. Considering Michalek is still in the league and scored 35 goals just two years ago, I would say this is a fairly good pick. He has been a solid top 6 forward for his whole career, but may be headed on a downward slope now. However, this draft

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Winnin' with MacKinnon

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-20

I'm sure you've noticed some similarities between the Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers.  Both have a strong core of young, talented players. Landeskog, Duchene, MacKinnon, O'Reilly for the Avalanche. Hall, Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Yakupov for the Oilers.  But that's about where this comparison ends.  Like I mentioned in my previous article discussing the Avalanche's Corsi numbers, Colorado's puck possession isn't great, but man, do they ever play some nice hockey. Heck - there's no need to have the puck in the attacking zone for any long stretch of time when you've got MacKinnon - that kid practically breaks the sound barrier when he goes end-to-end. And then

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Should the Oilers trade the pick?

Source: Puckrant
Date: 2014-04-20

A couple of things you might have noticed during the Oilers 2013/2014 regular season: 1. The fans are sick of this team losing. 2. The fans are sick of draft picks and would rather management find ways to bring in immediate help. 3. Fans are sick of all the lame excuses the come from ownership, management and coaches. If someone else connected to the Oilers tells them to just be patient, there's going to be a revolt. 3. Germans love David Hasselhoff At the end of the season, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish had a media availability. In it, he said a few things that raised people's eyebrows. Aside from offering a huge endorsement of head coach Dallas Eakins (which was predictable) he

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RE 13-14 RYAN SMYTH: ALMOST INDEPENDENCE DAY

Source: Lowetide
Date: 2014-04-20

When he left us the final time, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It is a great injustice when our heroes find their feet of clay, for them and for us. Doubly so when an everyman—one of us, touched by God—has to hang ‘em up. It’s a damn tough day, even for the strongest man. RYAN SMYTH 10-11 (LAK) 5×5 points per 60: 1.62 (6th among regular forwards) 5×4 points per 60: 3.37 (3rd among regular forwards) Qual Comp: 2nd toughest among regular forwards Qual Team: 5th best teammates among regular forwards Corsi Rel: 8.9 (2nd best among regular forwards) Zone Start: 51.9% (7th easiest among regular forwards) Zone Finish: 48.0% (8th best among regular forwards) Shots o

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