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The All Star 8 game review!

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NHL: JAN 11 Oilers at Flames
Is there a dance coming up soon?
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome Back to the All Star 8 game review! Let’s look to see how it’s going:

First 8 games - 7 and 1 (14 points)

Games 9 to 16 - 3 and 5 (3-3-2) (8 points)

Games 17 to 24 - 4 and 4 (4-3-1) (9 points)

Games 25 to 32 - 4 and 4 (4-3-1) (9 points)

Games 33 to 41 - 2 and 7 (4 points)

Games 42 to 49 - 6 and 2 (6-1-1) (13 points)

We went streaking! This is our second big heater of the season. We’ve only had 1 true stinker all season after 49 games. Now, if you add up our last 2 segments (17 points) they are worse than the previous 2 segments (18 points). However, I think it’s fair to conclude now (I think we’re out of small sample size territory) that we get about 9 points every segment. I’m 95% certain that if we get 9 points in the remaining 8 game segments that we’ll make the playoffs and that would be a tremendous success story.

The last 8 games have been sublime! We got point in 7 of the last 8 games which is tremendous. The only game we didn’t get a point in was a game we were tied in after 2 periods. Our future 16 million dollar man went ‘old school’ and ‘took care of’ Tkachuk. This resulted in us losing, Kassian suspended and Tkachuk with the W. That’s our only regulation loss in 8 games. I’m a fan of Kassian, I want him on the team. Just not at 1RW money and 1RW term. No way he’s a 1RW for the next 4 years. It’s Kris Russel all over again.

Here are out best scorers for this amazing segment:

The best part, to me, is that RNH finally is playing with top 6 players. I didn’t feel he was slumping before. I felt he was playing with Spengler Cup type players and struggled as a result. Now he has an all world player and a potential future Top 6 NHL player on his line. Look at that, he looks great! Kailer Yamamoto might be one of the 3 biggest additions this season. Neal (for Lucic), Yamomoto (from farm) and Bear (from farm) are the Top 3 additions for me. Should be noted that Neal is a bottom 6 player and top powerplay guy. He shouldn’t be on a top line but it’s so much better than Lucic. Chiasson is also proving to be a very good bottom 6 player. Please note Kassian played 6 games in this segment on the top line and isn’t in the top 10 in scoring.

Let’s look at the goalies:

Smith needs to get credit for this heater too. He’s been outstanding. It wouldn’t surprise me if he lost his next 5 and then won the next 5 after that. To me, the hallmark of a starting goalie is consistency. He doesn’t have that anymore but when he’s hot, it’s tremendous!

I’m not a huge fan of either goalie but they’ve done an outstanding job of combing for so many points. They’ve both had heaters and are very much a big part of why we are a playoff team this season.

Speaking of playoffs:

We’re in them! We’ve been in the playoffs on every single 8 game review. We’ve also been in the playoffs at Canadian Thanksgiving, American Thanksgiving, Christmas and the All Star break. A lot of writers (like me) will be regretting their preseason previews in April. It’s fantastic. Being a fan of a playoff team is so much more fun. I’ve never been happier to be wrong and I hope it continues.

We also signed Caleb Jones to a very good contract! Holland hasn’t made any major mistakes (I don’t like the Sekera buyout, I hate the Marino trade ). This signing was great. I’m very worried that we’re on the cusp of a Kassian extension that will hurt us for years. I’m wondering why Benson hasn’t been called up? I can’t think of a single thing that guy could do to get the call? He just made the AHL all star team as well!

There is such a thing as too much AHL. I believe in the AHL for development. However, once you play over 100 games in the AHL you also run the risk of becoming an AHL player. The time to call up Benson was a month ago. I’d love to see that Kassian/Chiasson/Has third line rolling. I’d also love to see them all back next year making between 1 and 2 million. Alas, that probably won’t happen.

Speaking of AHL All Stars:

I wrote an article over a year ago called: Why Bouchard won’t succeed in the NHL this year. Of course, he was put in the NHL right away. I didn’t like it, it didn’t work. However, we’re now at the point where it’s time to consider calling him up too! His group of equals are all in the NHL now and playing regularly. Note that I never considered Dahlin and equal and though Rasmus should’ve been in the NHL right away. He was and it worked. However, Evan was drafted around guys like Dobson, Boqvist and Hughes. That is his group. They are all in the NHL now. It’s time to give Evan the nod too!

You might be thinking there is no room for him. My argument is that there is always room for a guy like Bouchard. Low cap hit and high ceiling. Well seasoned. He doesn’t need 100 games in the AHL. Third pairing with some powerplay time. Let’s see how this looks. The only good reason I can think of is that it’d mean we’d have to protect him from the expansion draft? I’ll let our trusty readers let me know if that is the case.

You might also be noting that I’m saying we need to call up 2 more guys from the farm (Benson and Bouchard). The reason I want this is because I’d like to see us make some trades and dump some salary. I’d like to see Kassian, Larsson and Russel all traded before the deadline. I think those 3 could get us some very good returns in decent draft picks and immediate players to help out today. Kapanan comes to mind right away. I doubt any of this happens and it’s more likely that all 3 are on our team after the trade deadline. Kassian will have a shiny new extension as well. However, I think we could lower our cap and improve our team with the moves.