How did you feel the last time you saw one of the guys on your team just line up a player and smoke him? How about if that hit lead to a turnover and a goal? Or how did you feel watching Canada’s world junior teams in the late 90s go out and destroy their opponents through huge body checks and intense forechecking pressure? I know how I felt… Effin’ great!
I was watching the Habs/Oilers game the other night and it was the 2nd period and the game just wasn’t going anywhere. I commented upon Twitter that I’d wished the Oilers had some energy players to go out and mix it up a bit. Well this tweet was soon replied upon by some of my followers, some of which have unfollowed me due to my stance.
— Woodguy (@Woodguy55) October 30, 2015
Now in my unfollower’s defence, perhaps he thought I meant that I wanted someone to go out there and fight, which was not my meaning and to @woodguy55’s fault, he never bothered to clarify. I suspect he/she was just looking for an excuse to unfollow. Which is fine. My brand of tea isn’t to everyone’s liking.
If you’d like more clarification on what @woodguy55’s definition of an energy player is, you can read it here at his blog. It’s an excellent article! But I reckon we’ve got different definitions of what an “energy” player is to say the least.
What I meant was I wanted to see a few guys go out there and muck it up a bit, throw some hits, and try to create some energy in the crowd and the team. I thought that might spur the team onto a goal. Fighting at that point in the game would’ve accomplished nothing and it does beg the question, when did an energy player’s definition go from hard working mucker/grinder to goon?
— McCrazyCoach (@crazycoach21) October 30, 2015
@crazycoach21 was right. A goal did create energy which spurned an amazing three-goal comeback for the Oilers. Kudos to him as he was right.
Now I’d like to comment on the tweet preceding that of McCrazyCoach’s. This Oilers fan is of the opinion that role players or “energy” players are shitty. Wonder if he’d say that to their face? I disagree with that sentiment and I love role players. They do the jobs that skilled players won’t, don’t, or can’t do because if they did do them their careers would be over before they knew it. Of course the numbers can’t support that theory but the day that Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, and Tyler Seguin start leading the league in blocked shots and hits is the day they’re no longer NHL superstars. Thus the reason you cannot have a team without energy players.
People, like myself, respect what bottom 6ers sacrifice for their teams. Every hockey player worth their salt will say that these players are the glue that holds the team together and I’d say the likes of Dave Hunter, Lee Fogolin and Dave Lumley were plenty important to the Oilers Stanley Cup winning teams of the early 80s; as important as say the Bruins 4th line of Campbell, Paille, and Thornton to their Stanley Cup or Dave Bolland and Andrew Shaw to the Blackhawks’ Cup in 2012/13.
The point is energy players bring an element to the rink that skilled players cannot unless their name is Doug Gilmour, Peter Forsberg, Eric Lindros, Wendel Clark, or Alexander Ovechkin. There are plenty more but you get the gist. Some players are paid to score, some are paid to hit or block or do whatever else it takes. Rob Klinkhammer racked up nearly 30 hits in that time before his injury but I don’t see anybody complaining about that. Why? Because he was doing an effective job in a lineup spot he’s got no right to be in. Matt Hendricks had 10 hits and 10 blocks and was an ace on the faceoff dot. But to hell with them because their shitty hockey players. Well Maybe it’s to hell with you if that’s your opinion.
Hockey is a physical game, if you don’t like it go watch figure skating.
I think the team is really missing the element that Rob Klinkhammer and Matt Hendricks bring to the table. When I seen that Tyler Pitlick was getting recalled I thought that he was coming up to fill-in for the injured veterans… Not the case but the real replacement did okay.
Today will be the second installment of the Battle of Alberta! I’m only hoping it goes as well as the first one did. Historically role players have played an important… role… in these games. So I’m looking forward to watching but I think we all know who will be running the show… Connor McDavid!
Anyways, that’s all I wanted to say. I just had to get that off my chest. What’s your definition of the energy player? Do you think they’re required or are surplus and will soon go the way of the goon? Let me know in the comments below!