Friday, October 28, 2011

Obsessed with the Oil

I am absolutely fascinated by the early success of the Edmonton Oilers.  They have scored the second fewest goals in the league and are leading their division - how is this possible?

I love the multitude of surprises in this young season.  Dallas is leading the Pacific and Colorado was in the lead of the North West until the Oil bursted out the gates at 5-2-2.  In the East Florida and Ottawa are in playoff positions.  Look at the MLB, for example; there are only a handful of teams in competition each season - the same handful give or take a team or two, but in the NHL a team that let in 7 goals in back to back games is in playoff contention.

But back to the Oil, what is with Magnus Paajarvi?  It's obvious that team defense is making them competitive but can Tom Renney not find a way to give this 20 year old who had an impressive 34 points in his rookie season straight out of Sweden some more ice?  He's pointless in nine games to open the year, a minus-1 with no PIMs.  He was doled out a meager 8:39 of ice time over just 13 shifts in Thursday's win over the previously undefeated Capitals.  He's 6'2, 200Lb. already and has decent wheels, an early first round pick with all the tools and he was given eight seconds of power play time in that game out of eight Edmonton odd man advantages - HOW????

You have to give him some minutes, at all, not just meaningful ones but enough to even get his head in the game.  He hasn't played more than 14:50 in the last five games.  He's listed as a left winger but he's at his best playing the right side, his off wing as a left handed shot and using his speed and deft puck skills to create scoring chances.  He had a minute more than Ben Eager in the Capitals game and that can't continue.

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