Oilers/Ducks: The Big Question Going into Game 2

Who really won the Adam Larsson trade?

Ha! I’m just kidding but I’ll touch on the hysteria that was caused when Adam Larsson scored two goals for the Oilers in game 1.

The real question is, How badly is Connor McDavid hurt?

The reason I bring this up is because the panel at Hockey Night in Canada was talking about it briefly during the 2nd intermission if I recall correctly, and then even more briefly during April 27’s Oilers Now! segment w/ Elliotte Friedman.

If you want to skip right to the McDavid conversation, jump to 5:58. I’ll quote some of it below too if you can’t be bothered.

Stauffer – “They brought up the question of McDavid’s health just based on Anaheim’s ability to shut him down. So if you could just clarify, and I know you didn’t specifically state it, but what did get said?”

Friedman – “It was Nick Kypreos and Ron MacLean who were really talking about it, but I didn’t disagree. They showed some video last night of McDavid and he didn’t have, and even Craig Simpson said it during the broadcast, and Simmer I think is really perceptive. He didn’t have “the burst”. We didn’t see him unload the speed and some of that you’ll look at and say, “okay, it’s Anaheim that’s preventing him from doing that.” But the one that really stood out for me is, there was a breakout, I think it was the 2nd period, but they were looking at him… (There’s a part there that I can understand, the audio isn’t great and there’s pucks being shot in the background, I don’t think it’s important to the context of the quote though.) He just didn’t have the burst.

You know, what’s the best breakout the Oilers have? You pass it to Connor and he goes and it just didn’t happen a lot last night.

He took that big hit from Manson, he took that big crosscheck from Sorensen in the last series, and there were a couple of shots of him pulling his equipment or his rib area. And sometimes, you know Bob, in our business it becomes a bit of the Zapruder film, like what are we looking at here? But it was just weird. It wasn’t the Connor McDavid we know.

So we were all wondering if there was something bothering him and I’m sure we’ll find out if it’s true at some point.

So that’s 5:58 – 7:42, and right after Friedman stops talking there, Stauffer breaks into talking about the JFK assassination and therefore ends the conversation of McDavid being hurt. I thought it was an odd way to go about it anyhow.

I didn’t think much of this as I watched the game but after I heard this from Friedman and Stauffer, I thought back and something did come to the forefront of my mind, and what I remembered thinking is why wasn’t McDavid bringing up the puck during the powerplay?

It was Leon Draisaitl that was lugging the puck into the Ducks zone time after time, right? I guess I just thought it was part of the game plan because of Kesler’s shadowing of McDavid but now when I think back, what Friedman said is right. Why wasn’t McDavid holding down the Turbo button?

I can believe this. Klefbom looked like a ghost on the bench during the game where he sat for the 3rd and Draisaitl has been hacking up a hairball during pre and post game interviews for some time now. Pat Maroon is looking a shell of his regular season self and Eberle has gone back into a shell.

Therefore, I believe that McDavid IS dealing with some sort of injury that is holding him back from hitting warp speed. I hope that it’s a short-term thing though and it mustn’t be that bad because Connor was at the optional skate yesterday morning.

But as Elliotte Friedman said, we’ll find out soon enough.

Mark Spector Hates Women and Taylor Hall! What the F*ck Are You Talking About?!!

You’ve read the piece that Spector penned after game one I’m sure and if you haven’t yet, you’ve been exposed to the reactions on Twitter.

I like Spector, he tells us how it is and he doesn’t give a shit if you like it or not. He doesn’t care if you followed the Oilers in the 80’s or if you’re a new fan nor does he care if you are male or female, a cat or a dog, but this article got some panties (or boxers or granny undies or whatever your preference ladies) in a bunch.

Here’s one specific Tweet that lit the hockey world on fire:

That part about hockey MEN really pissed off a lot of people and I can see why it would but good lord people! Can we stop playing the victim card here?

“Oh my god, he didn’t say people. He’s a sexist!”

Have I got that right? Or do you actually believe that he’s trolling the entire female portion of the hockey-loving population?

Then I read this article from Megan Fowler entitled, “The Never Ending Breakup”. I’m not sure why I did that. Not that blogs devoted to Taylor Hall are a bad thing but I think Fowler takes it to a near stalker-like level.

“Taylor Hall is the boyfriend you can’t get over because even though you made excuses for why you broke up with him, you know deep down that he’s the best you’ve ever had and the guy you replaced him with is good, but not great. There’s lots of fond memories, and maybe a little regret about the breakup because you know in your soul you made a mistake and no amount of justifying things will make it better. The fact of the matter is that you broke up with him; he wanted to be with you forever and instead of letting him come to grips with no longer being part of your life, you keep reminding him of how much better you are without him. In doing so, however, you draw attention to your lingering affection for him. It hurt your feelings when he said he wasn’t going to pay attention to you anymore, because all you want is for him to look your way. He might actually miss you but he’s never going to admit it, especially not when you constantly drag his name through the mud and compare him to other, lesser, partners you’ve had.”

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It’s a bit much isn’t it? The part where an actual scribe like David Staples, Mark Spector, or Kurt Leavins can’t write an article about the Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall trade and them being in favor of it because it means Fowler will write a rebuttal because she feels they’re taking pot shots at her boy is ridiculous.

Anyways, I’ve gone off on a tangent here. Fowler’s favorite player is Taylor Hall, good for her. But how many articles entitled, “Farewell, My Prince” or “An Open Letter to Taylor Hall”, does the Oilogosphere have to endure?

Coming soon, The Taylor Hall Fan Fiction Collection…

She “covers” the Edmonton Oilers folks…

And of some folks weren’t mad about the “Hockey Men” part, Maybe this little ditty did it for them:

Somebody wondered aloud, forgive me as I can’t remember where I read it, if Hall had crossed Spector somehow and this is his way of getting back at him. Sounds like a long shot but I could believe it.

The problem I find from the Spector article are thus:

  • Show me where he’s wrong?

Hall’s Oilers couldn’t make the playoffs and Larsson’s have. The Oilers traded a skilled winger for one who is hard AF and actually does embody everything that the old Oilers lacked. Nearly every team has this sort of player on their defense and I don’t mean almost every team in the NHL, I’m talking nearly every team in pro hockey. Are all of those people that run those teams wrong? If you think so, check your ego at the door, son.

  • “Edmonton got what they needed, and the price was well worth it.”

Can you say with a straight face after the season Larsson and Hall have had that the Oilers did NOT need a player like Adam Larsson and that the price was right? Can you tell me the last time a top-pairing defenseman was dealt for a 53pt LWer?

  • “The stats geeks still hate the Hall trade. The reason? Because their craft isn’t far enough along at this point to quantify the qualities in Larsson’s game that makes Edmonton better.”

Are the analytics types mad because he used “stats geeks” or because the old dinosaur is calling them out or because he’s right and the likes of Henderson, Mirtle, and Berkshire haven’t found a way to tell us what it is that Larsson has done to make the Oilers a better TEAM with statistics?

Well he must be right to some extent because he’s getting a lot of mockery handed his way and in my short time on this plain of existence I’ve learned that if you’re getting made fun of for something you believe, it must be putting some fear into those who are mocking you or why else would they even engage you? Put downs and bullying are one sure way of telling someone you don’t understand or are afraid to.

The bottom line is not whether or not the Oilers would’ve made the playoffs with Hall, it’s that for whatever reason, everything fell into place after he left and I think that pisses off a lot of hockey influencers because they can’t figure out why. The numbers tell them that this team with Hall would be substantially better and only minimally worse without Larsson. I feel bad for you if you’re stuck in the black hole that contemplates what the Oilers would be with Hall right now. He’s a wonderful hockey player (truly) but ineffective on a Chiarelli/McLellan led hockey team but hockey can be a mysterious beast sometimes and there are instances where some things can’t be explained logically.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!