Hot Takes – Nov. 5th, 2018

There is a Deep Blue Sea 2?!?  What was the need for a 2nd one?!  When people used to bitch about how Hollywood had no original idea’s left, I kind of rolled my eyes.  But when Deep Blue Sea gets a sequel…that’s where I draw the line!  I went and saw that movie twice in the theatre.  Once was my buddy going on a bit of a blind date with this girl and I tagged along because I knew both of them, the other was…I really can’t remember, but I know I saw it twice.  I’m glad LL Cool J made it out alive, but it was pretty weird that he was the chef and the comic relief guy, yet lived.  At the start of the movie I would have guessed Sam Jackson would have mother fuckered his way to the end of it.  Another movie I remember going to was a really bad Schwarzenegger movie with Sarah Watts not long after Deep Blue Sea came out, and making out with her through the whole thing as some poor schmuck watching the show by himself was sitting like two seats away.  Ahhhh youth, where you think making out during a movie is something you should do with a date.  Only thing cooler than me that night was the Tommy Hilfiger khaki’s I was likely rocking.  This trip down memory lane is brought to you by Tahiti Treat, and by Bonkers (the candy, not the awful cartoon with the dumb cat).  Tune in next time for another episode of Soups on High School, onto hockey.

 

John Stevens is out as Kings coach, and that was so badly needed.  I think we all agree that it was his fault he has the oldest team in the league, the slowest team in the league, the biggest cap mess in the league, and that his elite goaltender has been hurt all season.  Good riddance John Stevens you cancer, and Pacific division you better get ready for the ambush the Kings are about to embark on now that they’ll have a coach in Willie Desjardins who can fix their speed, age, and goaltenders meniscus.  Hope you enjoy the new contract Drew Doughty…

 

Big win for the Leafs in Pittsburgh Saturday night, and I felt as though they really needed it.  On one hand, I feel as though with Mike Babcock behind the bench this team will never really be in trouble during the regular season.  On the other hand, as it stands right now the John Tavares “trade” is a one for five deal that the Leafs are losing badly.  Tavares in, Matthews, Nylander, Bozak, JVR and Komarov out.  I worry that things could go sideways here, and it really wouldn’t be anyone’s fault with Nylander holding out and now the Matthews injury, but I can already see the Toronto media turning on them a bit.  That’s not good, because the pressure is so ridiculous with this squad that I worry it could crush their season.  Again, shows you how stupid the media are collectively.  A month ago I’m bitching because they’re overrating this team so badly, now I’m bitching because you can see it coming that they’re going to now underrate them pretty badly.  Leafs fans, don’t get obsessed with where your team may finish in the standings.  The media will, but you shouldn’t.  Just worry about the Nylander thing coming to a head and Matthews getting healthy.

 

Speaking of the Nylander thing coming to a head, I feel as though he’s getting dealt.  Just seems as though both sides are dug in.  He is worried about getting dealt down the road, and they’re worried about getting him on a deal where they can deal him down the road, so he’s going to get dealt by December 1st.  Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday that the Canes would be “all in” on him.  So what does that mean?  Pesce?  I think Pesce would be for sure, and that would be a hell of a get for the Leafs, a perfect fit with Morgan Rielly giving them a very legitimate top pair.  But could they get more?  What would it take to get Pesce AND Necas?  That might be the move I’d be looking to make if I were Kyle Dubas.  Get your D-man but while you’re doing it get your replacement for Nylander as well.  Necas is a very similar player to Nylander.  I highly doubt the Canes would move him, but when it’s reported that you would be “all in” on a player, that sounds to me like they’d be willing to overpay.  I’m not saying they’d do Pesce and Necas for Nylander only, but perhaps for Nylander and Dermott?  Or Sandin?  I’d probably do Sandin over Dermott because I’m sure the plan is to have Dermott on their 2nd pair next season with Gardiner almost certainly gone as a UFA.  Something to think about anyway.  I have a lot of faith Kyle Dubas will do the best possible move he can here, but it does feel like he’s lost a lot of leverage throughout this process.

 

So I went off about this on Twitter last night and I’ll do it again here.

When will the media start speaking up about this absolute trash?!  And I know that it is the league, it’s not the refs, but it still needs to be ripped to FUCKING SHREDS and the media won’t acknowledge it.  Teams couldn’t be tighter then they are right now, so the refs are deciding a shit ton of games with their horse shit approach of managing games rather than officiating them.  Just a coincidence that teams get the same amount of PP’s most nights is it?  Just a coincidence that we hardly ever see 5 on 3’s is it?  Just a coincidence that when we do see 5 on 3’s that both teams will receive them in the same game is it?  And as I’ve said recently when I’ve bitched non stop about this, I’m not asking that everything gets called, just a standard be set in the games they STICK TO IT.  And how about we don’t put the whistle’s away until about 1:30 left in the third rather then 9:59?  Man, it just couldn’t be any bigger bull shit than it is and what’ll eventually happen is that the majority of the league is going to catch on that the strategy needs to be just do as much shit as you possibly can and challenge the refs to call everything.  And guess what’ll happen?  They won’t.  In my opinion you already see some teams doing this, like the Bruins.  Probably wouldn’t work against the veteran teams who have “earned the calls”, but against most teams it sure would.

 

Ok, let’s get to the Oilers, who have now gone 8-4-1 on the year, 8-2-1 in their last eleven.  The truth is that the last two loses they had, both should have been wins.  Cam Talbot had a bad night against the Pens, and then the special teams were disgusting against Minny.  Outplayed both teams, both should have been wins.  So as good as 8-2-1 looks, 10-1-0 would look even sexier!

 

What’s for real here?  Koskinen?  Chiasson?  The logical observer in me suggests this can’t continue.  If Koskinen or Chiasson are doing this with another team, I know for me I’d be saying “well that won’t keep up, they’re frauds right now.”  Having said that…I know what I’m seeing.  And what I’m seeing is two players who look legitimate in their play.  Nothing is cheap with either of these two.  With Koskinen, this isn’t exactly out of nowhere.  This is exactly why Chiarelli gave him that deal.  He rolled the dice that Koskinen could be the calibre of a starting goaltender and through three starts that’s exactly what he is.  And the team looks more confident with him in net at the moment.

 

I don’t like McLellan going with Talbot tonight.  It’s not because I’ve instantly given up on Talbot at all, I actually think we’re going to see his play shoot up because of the extra rest he’ll now receive, obviously the knowledge that he is now being pushed to up his game, but also the team pressure that will be taken off him.  And it actually isn’t a belief of needing to ride the hot hand.  The reason I don’t like it is because the Caps just saw Talbot who shut them down.  You give them Koskinen who teams still don’t have much film on, and a different look between the pipes then what they just saw.  Just my opinion, but in fairness maybe they know something I don’t?  MAYBE the thought is that you save Koskinen for the tougher team?  Because the Caps have been scuffling.  Lost three of four, but more so they only have one regulation win in their last nine (3-4-2 in that time).  And Talbot does have a .924 SV% in eight career games vs the Caps.  Again though, I personally like the idea of giving a team a different look.

 

Back to Chiasson.  He’s a guy who when Calgary signed him I was pissed about the Oilers missing on.  I liked him a lot just because of the size and speed.  Not that he’s a great skater, but for a 6’4 guy he can go pretty good.  I honestly didn’t know his shot was THIS good, but that’s why I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t legit?  When has Chiasson got to consistently play with a guy like Draisaitl before?  Maybe he has, but I’ve always known him as a 3rd or 4th line guy.  He does everything right out there, and while I realize that he is a streaky scorer, all he has to do playing with Draisaitl or McDavid is work hard and get open.  And it’s not like we haven’t seen this script before.  Pascal Dupuis bounced around the league and was a guy who had all the tools, finally started putting it together in Pittsburgh at age 30.  We just saw it with Patty Maroon two years ago, he was 28.  Should we be so shocked that a 27 year old with all the tools is emerging after given a chance to play with a high end centre?  We all know the way he’s scoring won’t keep up.  Even for the best snipers they can keep up THIS level of production.  But because he’s become such a solid all around winger, I do believe that he’s found a home in the Oilers top six.

 

If both Chiasson and Koskinen are legitimate, and the team continues to stay healthy, they’ll be a playoff team.  It’s as simple as that.  I mean, they don’t even have the special teams going good yet!  And you can see the confidence of the team has shot through the roof.  Since the Pittsburgh game, they haven’t been leaning badly on 97 either.  It’s crazy though that as good as they’ve played, you still see so many things that they’re still in the process of cleaning up.  The puck moving from the back end is improving, but still has so much more room to get better.  There were plays in the first last night by both Klefbom and Larsson where it was old habits.  Klefbom very early in the game ripped one along the boards from behind the net to Caggiula that caused a turnover when he had a lot of time to skate it and set it up.  After a great heads up play by Puljujarvi to skate it back and keep possession rather than dump it in while they were changing, Larsson fresh off the bench took the puck, skated it to the redline and ripped it into the Detroit zone.  No need for that.  There was zero pressure, just skate it back into your own zone, wait for the change, and break it out.  It’s coming though.  And while I hammered on McLellan early on in the season, maybe he had made the adjustments and the players were just taking a while to get that shit out of their heads?  Let’s hope we just see more and more of a team trusting their skill and being better game managers.  By the way, seriously that was a great decision by Puljujarvi.  The big knock with him is hockey sense and yet if you’d never seen him play and watched that Detroit game Saturday you would have said “wow that Puljujarvi kid is so smart out there, made a lot of very heady plays”.  This whole team man, it’s insane what a turnaround it’s been.  3rd in the West in points percentage, tied for 4th overall, and we all know the schedule they’ve had work with that let up for a bit but toughens back up HARD tonight and tomorrow facing the East finalists back to back.

 

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