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Posts Tagged ‘Taylor Hall’

Beware of the December winning streak

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

At times I almost forget that last years 30th overall Oilers club wasn’t among the NHLs bottom feeders from day one of the season. In fact for the first couple of months of the year the Oilers were in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. And fueled by an impressive five game road winning streak they were actually two games above the 0.500 mark – well the pseudo NHL version of 0.500 anyway – with a 15-13-4 record on December 15.

But as soon as the team got back from that road trip things went from okay to terrible in a hurry. The Oilers dropped their next seven games before posting a win against the mighty Maple Leafs on December 30th. To prove that the seven losses before that game weren’t a fluke the Oilers would manage to lose their next 13 games and not win a single game in the month of January. All told it would take the Oilers 28 games to match the 10 points that they got on that 5 game road trip. Read more…

There is a time and a place for composite sticks

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

In the world of professional sports, technology advancements can help give an athlete or a team a competitive advantage that could be the difference between winning and losing. Swimsuit technology has gotten so advanced that FINA (the international governing body of swimming) has had to ban certain types of suits to ensure a competitive balance in the sport. Golf has been impacted by new club technology and advances in golf ball technology as well. The result is the ball is being hit farther than ever before and golf courses need to be lengthened just to keep up. Augusta National, the home of The Masters, was lengthened in 2002 and 2006 and now measures 7,445 yards; up 520 yards from 6,925 yards just a few years earlier.

And of course technology has changed the game of hockey too. New materials have led to lighter equipment. The Reebok Edge jersey is a technological advance over previous versions. But in the game of hockey technologies biggest impact has been on the hockey stick.

Once upon a time hockey sticks were made of wood, now most players use a composite stick. Composite sticks are lighter and more flexible than there wooden counter parts. I don’t know if it has been scientifically proven but most players believe they can shoot the puck faster using a composite stick. A lighter, more flexible stick would tend to back up that claim. But these sticks aren’t all upside; there have drawbacks too. Chief among them is that they break far more frequently.

And it’s their lack of durability that makes me question why they’re used by so many NHL players. Read more…

Oilers Training Camp Starts And I’ve Got Paajarvi Fever

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Can you believe that training camp is finally upon us? The Oilers last laced up the skates more than five months ago when they wrapped up their season on April 11 with their 47th loss, a 7-2 beating at the hands of the Ducks. Considering that the 2009/10 Oilers finished 33 points out of the playoffs and 17 points behind the second worst team in the western Conference I can’t even remember the last time they played a game that actually matter for anything. I assume it was sometime in January.

But last season is in the past and I for one am ready for a new one to start. I certainly don’t expect the Oilers to make the playoffs this season but I’m excited for the new season all the same. Barring another 500 man games lost to injury I don’t think that this years incarnation of the Oilers will be as bad as last years club and that alone should be reason for excitement. That the Oilers have multiple young potential stars in camp this year only helps to make fans like myself even more excited.

If I was to guess I’d say that Hall is the guy most fans want to get a look at, but not me. Of course I’m interested to see Hall. He was of course the first overall selection in last years draft so what hockey fan wouldn’t be interested to see him play? Maybe I’m suffering from Taylor Hall overload after listening and reading about the kid for four solid months leading up to the draft, but whatever the reason he’s just not the guy I’m going to watch. For my money Paajarvi is the guy to see. Read more…

Hall Will Wear Number 4 But I Wish He Wouldn’t

September 8, 2010 2 comments

According to the Edmonton Journal, Taylor Hall will be wearing the number 4 when he joins the Oilers this season. Hall will be only the Oiler other than Kevin Lowe to wear that number during the Oilers NHL history. I don’t know for sure but I have to assume someone wore 4 during the Oilers seven seasons in the WHA. To be totally fair what number a player is going to wear isn’t really all that important but this is Edmonton and the only Oiler related news available right now consists of trade rumors for Souray and the state of Cogliano’s contract negotiations, so this counts as significant news.

Kevin Lowe is a huge part of the Oilers history. Everyone already knows the facts but they’re worth repeating: he was the clubs first pick in the 1979 entry draft; he scored the teams first goal in the NHL; he was a part of all five Oiler Stanley Cup winning teams; he has served time as the team’s captain, coach, and general manager; and he is the only Oiler to play more that 1000 games for the team. Bruce McCurdy thought enough of Lowe to include him on the Oilers Mount Puckmore. Regardless of what you might think of some of his most recent work in the Oilers front office you can’t deny his impact on the history of the Oilers. Read more…

Oilers Sign Gagner

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

The Oilers and Sam Gagner have reached an agreement on a two year deal worth an average of $2.275 M. The first thought in my head when I heard of the signing was “finally”. Well actually it was “what the hell took so damn long”. September is nearly here and the Oilers and yet there were still contracts to be hammered out with both Gagner and Cogliano. Crossing off “Contract with Sam Gagner” now leaves a new contract with Cogliano alone at the top of Steve Tambellini’s to do list. Trade Souray should be up there too but I would bet that it’s on the back burner right now when compared to getting these deals finished.

The biggest hurdle with the Gagner and Cogliano deals is the term; Tambellini said as much in an interview he did on Oilers Lunch on Wednesday. The players are looking for longer terms and the team is looking to keep the term shorter, I would assume to reduce the risk of signing a deal that looks ugly a couple of years from now. Gagner and Cogliano are both young and there seems to be a good upside to both but the team still hasn’t figured out what type of pros these guys are going to be. Read more…