Awwww yeeeeaaaah! What’s up! It’s your Psychedelic Pspaceman, the Electric Cowboy, a.k.a. Kosmic Burrito back with a hot fire mixtape fo’ that azzzzz….
What? No? My bad, wrong trip….ugh this is so awkward now. I better go take off my M.C Hammer pants.
Hey BLH’ers, it’s been a few minutes since we chilled, and I’m excited to be back here in the Beer League Heroes Universe! What I’ve got cooking in the Kosmic Kitchen today is a healthy mixture of random thoughts and different trips that I’ve been on. Bon appetit!
— Kelsy Nielson (@kelsynielson) November 2, 2016
Twin Daddy Talbot
Man, has this guy been magical or what? Ok Ok, minus that Buffalo game and Talbot has been money so far. After a slow and rough start last year, he has erased any doubts in my mind of that becoming a reoccurring trend this season. First off, though, congrats to the brand new Daddy! Twins as well! Wow, that makes his start to the season that much more impressive to me. I’m a father myself, I have three sons aged nine, eight, and five. But I could not imagine having to handle two newborns at once, AND being an NHL netminder. So that is why my hat is tipped to you, Papa Cam. Twins, and a great run so far.
As of today, his stat-line looks like this: He has a GAA of 2.31 which is tied for 20th in the league, and he sports a SV% of .927 which places him 15th in the league. He’s played in 11 games and his record is 7 W’s, 3 L’s, and 1 OTL. I think it’s safe to say that he’s cementing himself as a true Number One netminder in the NHL. My only fear is that we’re going to have to give him a rest soon, and eventually have to give The Monster his turn in net. DUN DUN DUNNNN…
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 21, 2016
Tyler Pitlick Needs to Stick…With the Team
To quote the incomparable Mr. Gord Downie, “It’s been a long time running. It’s well worth the wait”. I think this can apply to Tyler Pitlick, who looks like he has finally arrived. But for how long, though, right? I mean yes, he is filling a 4th line role quite admirably, but they have some dudes coming back from injury sooner or later (IE: Hendo, Pakarinen, & Caggiula). And hockey is a business, right? But Pitlick for sure has my backing. I love this guy; he hits anything moving, has blazing speed, and his tenacity for the puck is fantastic. After all the setbacks that he’s had from injury, *knocks on wood* I hope that this is finally the year that he gets to play a full season. He’s been great so far and his work ethic is incredible. I’ll even step out on a limb here, if Pitlick can play a full season and was actually bumped up to 3rd line minutes, I think that he could score 15+ goals and possibly add another 15+ helpers. Like I said, he’s been dynamite in his role so far this season. I for one hope that he sticks it out all year. I can’t help but root for the underdogs, I mean, I am an Oilers fan right? So far this season, he has posted a stat-line that looks like:
11GP 3G 1A 4P 0 +/- (he’s on track for 21 goals at this point, can he maintain that pace? Probably not)
Considering he only has seven points in his entire NHL career (all of 38 games played), this is a fantastic start to the year for him. The Oilers have benefited from a healthy Pitlick in the lineup, I’m sure we can all agree on that. I for one would rather see Pitty stay in the lineup than Hendo or PakMan. But that’s just my opinion
Taylor Hall text to Jordan Eberle: congrats on being the new whipping boy bud.
— Brian (@SAOilersFan91) November 2, 2016
Is Eberle Getting Feistier in His Old Age?
Is Ol’ Man Eberle getting a bit grumpier as time passes? Seriously, though, is it just me or has this guy’s “board play” vastly improved this season? I’ve made a point to literally try and watch every game this season, and so far it’s been mission accomplished. Yes, I am married with kids, so I know that some dudes are probably like, “He’s lying! Every game and he has a wife and kids! How does he do it?”. Easy, my wife is mad cool and I live in Toronto, so my kids are usually in bed during most games. So back to Oscar the Eberle, from my view on the couch it looks like he’s definitely worked on his board game in the offseason. He’s playing a way more physically confident game this year than any other season that I can recall, which isn’t a whole lot since my mind has subconsciously erased many bad Oilers memories. But his attack on the forecheck has also kicked up a notch, and me likey! I don’t know if this is a result of the addition and influence of Milan Lucic, if it is something that Jordan set out to work on this offseason, or if it’s just happening with his “old age”. But I hope that Eberle keeps it up all year. Up until this point, he has a stat-line that goes a little something like this:
11GP 3G 4A 7P -5+/- (I’d definitely like to see some more goals from Eberle)
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 6, 2016
At the very start to the still-young season, I thought that Lucic was playing a strong, physically dominant game. But his play as of late has lacked that edge, most specifically I’m thinking of the Toronto game. Man, they could have used his muscle during those 60+ minutes in the 6ix. But I’ll touch on that game a bit later on. All I’m saying is, they signed Looch to lead, bang, score, and intimidate/police the ice. I hope that version comes back, and real soon! I have no worries that he won’t return. But a “physically quiet” Looch is an ineffective Looch, and that’s the version that has been hitting the ice recently. Milan’s stat-line is looking alright to start the season:
11GP 4G 3A 7P 0 +/- (he’s on pace for 30 goals at the moment, that I can’t complain about)
If MacT were still in charge, Kris Russell would have a 6 year contract ready for him at the end of the game.
— BLH (@BeerLeagueHeroe) October 27, 2016
Is the Russell Honeymoon Over?
To say that this is a hot topic amongst the Oilers blogging community, would be an absolute understatement. Hot? More like a smoldering inferno of molten hot lava, burning within the Universe’s most active volcano. It’s the perfect scenario for the old “Analytics VS Non-Analytics” argument, FOR REAL!
Straight up though, I love analytics. I think that they add so many other dimensions to how we can track a player’s performance, flow of the game, etc… But with that being said, I am not going to pretend that I understand every advanced stat or even what goes into how these geniuses track them HaHa! That’s why I’m extremely happy that I work with the man, G-Money. Whom I personally believe is one of THE BEST in the Analytics/Advanced Stats world. I usually ask G any kind of analytical question that I have, or how a player’s advanced stats looked after a game. The man is named “Money” for a reason people.
So onto my Russell trip, the beginning of the season I thought he was looking pretty decent and playing a well-rounded, strong game. I was (unrealistically) wishful that he put some of his analytic woes behind him for good. But his play since around game five or six (somewhere around there) hasn’t been that great, it has kind of dropped off. Which has only added more fire for the analytics side of the argument. Plus, you can just clearly see that he isn’t playing that same strong game that he displayed through the first five or six. Hmmm, I think that history shows you which player we’ll see for the rest of the season. Don’t get me wrong, he’s fearless to put his body on the line and block all those shots. I also like his speed, and willingness to play the puck and move it up ice. But I think it’s a “what you see, is what you get” type of thing from here on out. But here’s to hoping that he proves me wrong for the Oilers sake. Currently, Russell has a stat-line that looks like this:
11GP 0G 3A 3P 6+/-
Did Hell Freeze Over? And No! I’m Not Talking About Another Eagles Reunion Tour!
Anton Lander scored a goal…what the what? My mind is blown…that is all.
10GP 1G 2A 3P 4+/- (Seriously, Anton Lander scored and is on pace for eight goals!)
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 2, 2016
Nazem “The Rat” Kadri and the First Installment of McDavid VS Matthews
First off, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The Toronto Maple Leafs did a decent job of shutting down Connor McDavid and they did it using a “Layered Defense” system. It wasn’t just Nazem Kadri himself. But let’s be honest, he did a great job of playing that annoying, pesky, “Esa Tikkanen” type of shadow role. He was very Esa-esque that night.
But back to the “Layered Defense”, the first layer was obviously Nazem, and then the second layer was most commonly Morgan Reilly. The third layer, and the one that the infamous Toronto Media wasn’t talking about was the great game by Frederik Andersen. All they talked about was Nazem Kadri’s defensive coming out party. Yes, the Leafs played Connor annoyingly well, but also look at that game this way, they faced an insanely hot Freddie Andersen that night. He stopped 44 out of 46 shots….PURE FIRE! So I think that was what really shut Connor and the rest of the team down.
But back to “The Rat”, why the bloody hell didn’t someone like I don’t know, ummm, Milan Lucic go and push him around, intimidate, or even face wash him and talk some smack for Pete’s sake? Dude, it was so infuriating watching his antics take place. It’s not just Looch’s fault either, ANYBODY should have stepped in and put an end to this Rat pushing around their captain. Like honestly, what the what? They better not let that kind of crap take place again.
So I think that was what really shut Connor and the rest of the team down HaHa. But back to “The Rat”, why the bloody hell didn’t someone like I don’t know, ummm, Milan Lucic go and push him around, intimidate, or even face wash him and talk some smack for Pete’s sake? Dude, it was so infuriating watching his antics take place. It’s not just Looch’s fault either, ANYBODY should have stepped in and put an end to this Rat pushing around their captain. Like honestly, what the what? They better not let that kind of crap take place again.
What it’s Like Living in the “Center of the Hockey Universe” and Not Be a Leafs Fan
Annoying HaHa…as I’m sure that you are all aware, the Toronto Sports Media is absolutely bonkers! I’m almost convinced that MLSE owns TSN, and SportsNet. HaHa! But seriously, thank goodness for the internet and live streaming, the NHL Centre Ice package, Android boxes, and alternative media. But living here also has it’s perks, I can visit the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever, and enjoy the Raptors and Blue Jays as well. Not to mention that 90% of my friends are Leafs fans, and we LOVE talking smack with each other. Before McDavid got drafted, it was next to impossible for me to find some Oilers gear to buy around here. I had to do my shopping online.
Well ladies and gentlemen, thanks for tripping with me again! Until next time, stay trippy my friends!
As always, you can chat and follow me Twitter @kosmicburrito