Another off day as we limp toward the NHL’s All Star break this weekend. A few news items from the Windy Champion worth discussing still, of course, so let’s dig in.
Kailer Yamamoto’s reintroduction to the first team has so far been a success, but that might be in part due to a bit of good luck. The line of Yamamoto, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have outscored opponents 7-1 at even strength while running about 48% CF/FF/SF/CF with a 1.119 PDO. Worth noting however that those shares numbers are likely worse than they would otherwise because the Oilers have spent so much time leading in the time they’ve been together. A real second line completely changes the dynamic of this club, so it’s worth watching that group to see whether they can improve their underlying numbers and keep outscoring like that. I’m not sure you can for sure say they’ve got one just yet, but the early returns are fairly encouraging.
Yesterday Adidas and Sportsnet (and maybe others?) released their teaser-trailer for Connor McDavid’s ‘Whatever It Takes’ documentary, detailing his return from a serious leg injury suffered last season. A couple thoughts:
- clearly McDavid’s injury was more severe than anyone let on, as I heard about McDavid’s fracture only when I watched the trailer
- as I noted on the TL yesterday, something about the commoditization of his injury didn’t sit right with me
- watching that goal against Vancouver in his return with NFL Films-type music was good TV
- watching that injury against Calgary in similar fashion was decidedly not
- if you missed the trailer, catch it here:
Zack Kassian joined Kevin Bieksa and Ryan Kesler’s podcast to discuss various topics. The most concerning bit about it for me was their suggestion that he’s going to get paid. In italics.
Ken Holland sat down with Sportsnet to talk trade deadline strategy. He includes a quip from his time with Detroit when the Oilers, as an 8 seed, knocked off his Red Wings in round one en route to the SCF. It appears as though the lesson he took from it was ‘anything’s possible’, but the keen observer will note that those Oilers were obviously better than an 8 seed and got horrendous goaltending for most of that season before acquiring Roloson. I’m not sure he learned the right lesson there.
Hot Links: Monday, January 20 (Copper and Blue)
3 Trade Deadline Moves The Oilers Should Explore (Sportsnet)
McDavid Opted Against Surgery, 10-Month Recovery For Knee Injury (Score)
Kassian Talks Road To Sobriety: ‘You’ve Got To Be Willing To Help Yourself’ (Score)
Edmonton Oilers Get Through Rough Patch Of Schedule To Get Back In Division Race (Sun)
Sam Gagner Looks To Gain Traction With Edmonton Oilers (Sun)
McDavid-Draisaitl Magic Paying Off In The Standings For Oilers (CBC)
Health, Instant Chemistry And Suddenly A Dangerous Second Line (Oilersnation)
Q&A: Oilers GM Holland On Trade Deadline Approach, Battle Of Alberta (Sportsnet)
Lowetide: Kailer Yamamoto Gives Oilers A Midseason Spark, One Of The Best In Team History (Athletic)