Friday, October 20, 2017

McDavid is not Gretzky and that is perfectly OK.

I don't even remember Gretzky all that well anymore.  You'd think I would watch youtube videos or the bio videos of 99 I bought but it hurts too much to watch knowing I will never see Gretzky play hockey like he did through the eyes of a child when I say him last play.  What is the same is wanting more than anything to be able to turn on the TV and being able to watch both play.   The McDavid spin doopsey doodle to Maroon a fire hydrant on skates, smart enough to put his stick on the ice and score, is why McDavid is must see, don't call for ice or you will be blackballed for not watching Oilers hockey, TV!

5 observations in Oilers 2-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

1.  Maroon scores so as I like to say to summer student workers you are not completely useless and if you want to get paid be the fire hydrant.  Being strong on your stick, in the right places is all you need to really do with McDavid.  Get out of his way, when he doesn't have the puck, get him the puck and make yourself open in a good scoring spot ready to receive the puck.  It is as easy and hard as that.  I still won't like Maroon's game until he reaches out and punches someone. 

2.  Oilers were a 100 point and then some team last year because of Talbot just as much as McDavid. Talbot has to be better than the other goalie for the Oilers to win.  A good goalie will steal wins when the rest of the team is out of sync.  If Talbot isn't playing well you can't sit him at the start of the year.  You ride him until he works his way out of the flaws in his game because if Talbot isn't one of the top goalies in the league the Oilers are not winning any cups. 

3.  I didn't mind when Kassian hit the Chicago player from behind.  It isn't my favorite type of hit but for Kassian he has to toe the line between being a bring the ice type player and a dirty one.  Intimidation is one of the most underrated skill sets in sports as it can't really be quantified with analytics.  In my experience fear of an opposing player changes how you play the game.  Kassian is one of those guys with crazy eyes who you just don't know if he will lose his mind on the ice.  There is value to that type of player.  The rub is upon occasion Kassian pulls a Kassian and plants an opposing player face first into boards.  It is the type of hit you don't want to see, but you live with as in the larger picture it puts fear into the opposing team. 

4.  I really liked the fourth line of Pakarinen, Malone and Kassian.  I felt like they brought a level of grit that teams are going to have trouble handling.  Malone is good in front of the net, Pakarinen has speed to burn and Kassian is well Kassian, a beast with a mean streak bringing the ice to most games.  They are the type of line that will hurt to play against.  Perfect for a fourth line needed to  change the energy of a game with a big hit or a strong cycle game in the opposing zone. 

5.  Ryan Strome is a really solid player 5 feat from the net.  He doesn't skate real well.  Isn't going to out physical anyone but has really nice hands close to the net.  When you combine him with Lucic and RNH there is something there.  I hope McLellan gives them a few games to continue to gel.

What did you see? Don't be shy.  Leave a comment. Will Yamamoto last more than 9 games?   

Until tomorrow... Stay COOL :)

Master Iceman

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