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Tag Archives: Houston Aeros
Hope everyone had a great weekend, and saw the great news of the NHL and NHLPA continuing serious talks in terms of CBA talks. In my last two articles, we looked at the rumor flying around Edmonton on the Oilers possibly making a big time trade once the lockout is over, and we also looked at the injuries to Andy Sutton and Nik Khabibulin, and how they could be career ending.
Today, we’ll take a look at the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, who feature some of the NHL’s best young talent in their lineup every night.
The last time we checked up with OKC, the Barons had just beaten Lake Erie 4-3, back on October 23rd. Since then, the Barons finished off their large home-stand, and are now on the road. Let’s take a look back.
On October 26th, the Barons fell 6-4 to the Houston Aeros, but followed it up with a 4-2 win over the Texas Stars just two days later.
To start off November, the Barons saw Taylor Hall enter the lineup, scoring in his first game. Jordan Eberle had two of his own, including the game winner, and the Barons won 4-3 over Houston this past Friday night.
The Barons and Aeros, who are the Wild’s AHL affiliate, met again Saturday night. The Barons led 3-0 in the 3rd, but blew the lead and lost 4-3 in the SO. Eberle and RNH both had goals in the loss, and Justin Schultz continued to tear it up.
Then today the Barons headed off to San Antonio, where the Hall-RNH-Eberle line made it’s AHL debut. The line was held pointless, and the Rampage held off the Barons deadly attack, beating OKC 2-0.
The Barons now sit at 5-4-0-1 and are 3rd in their division. OKC has found the back of the net quite a lot, but the defense has been a problem. Let’s look at the good and the bad since we last updated on the Barons:
The Good: Justin Schultz is only one thing, and that thing is a beast. Schultz looks more than NHL ready, and appears to be the puck mover for the forwards that the Oilers needed so badly last season. So far on the season, Schultz has six goals and nine assists for 15 points in just ten games. He also had a nine game point streak going, which was snapped in San Antonio today.
Overall, Schultz has looked great for the Barons, and will be an Oiler when the NHL season opens up.
Teemu Hartikainen has played himself onto the Oilers in my mind. So far on the season, Hartikainen has three goals and six assists for nine points, but has also brought a very solid physical presence to the Barons top six. For a team that is lacking size up front, Teemu could be just what the doctor ordered, and he is proving it in OKC. He’s been a bright spot.
Taylor Hall has played two games, scoring one goal so far for the Barons. Good to see him back on the ice, and he will be ready for the NHL’s start. He’s just getting warmed up right now. Jordan Eberle 11 points so far and is dominating just as expected, while RNH has 10 points and has looked good so far too.
RNH has also begun to improve in the dot, which is great news for Oilers fans. He struggled their last season, and has been using the AHL to improve in that arena.
Martin Marincin has also been a bright spot for the Barons, continuing his strong play points wise, and overall. His defensive game has improved already since the start of the season, which is a good sign. While he is not ready for the NHL just yet, Marincin continues to look good at the AHL level, and will be a huge help for years to come in Edmonton.
The Bad: At forward, Magnus Paajarvi has yet to really find his groove, and it looks like he still needs some more development time in the AHL. While Paajarvi hasn’t been bad, he hasn’t been good. He needs the whole season in OKC, and needs to keep working on his game.
Anton Lander is another forward that is struggling right now. Lander has the potential to be a perfect third line center in Edmonton, but has struggled in OKC this season. Once the lockout is over, expect Lander to get a much bigger role on the Barons, and hopefully see his play improve. He’ll need the rest of the season to develop just like Paajarvi.
Outside of Schultz and Marincin, the Barons defense has been terrible this season. Alex Plante, former first round pick and AHL all-star last season, as looked terrible, and looks like he doesn’t belong at all on the roster. It’s become clear his days in the Oilers’ system are numbered.
Taylor Fedun is coming off of a terrible injury, but he too hasn’t looked very good. A lot of slack for him however, and you can expect him to improve as the year goes on. Colten Teubert has looked okay to this point, and has probably been the third best defender for the Barons.
Overall, OKC’s defense has been alright at best, which is saying a lot considering how good Schultz has done to this point. They’ll need help, and an AHL trade or two could be expected. The two young Swedes will also need to improve as well, not only for the Barons, but for their NHL futures.
The Baron’s positives are all good signs for the Edmonton Oilers moving forward, as just about all of those players will be in their lineup this season.
CBA Update: Most of you have already seen this elsewhere, BUT…Bill Daly and Steve Fehr had some productive meetings from Saturday afternoon to early Sunday morning. That is a great sign. The NHLPA had a conference call today, and will have another tomorrow.
The two sides will meet again in New York on Tuesday. Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr could attend.
Brandon Davidson: Thoughts and prayers are with Oilers prospect and Barons defender Brandon Davidson, who was diagnosed with cancer this past week. Davidson is undergoing treatment in OKC.
The Barons are all doing movember for him, I’ll be growing one out too! We all support you during this time Brandon, best of luck and we wish you a speedy recovery!
Thanks for reading and follow on twitter @BigcatThomas14 !
Just a quick article tonight summarizing some things currently going on in the NHL and with the Edmonton Oilers organization. The Barons are off again tonight, so I’ll do the quick hits before a busy weekend for them. I’ll touch on the hot button topics from around the league too!
Islanders Off To Brooklyn: The New York Islanders announced a press conference in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning, and as soon as the press release came out, the writing was on the wall. After years of fighting for a new arena in Nassau county, where they currently play, the Islanders gave up hope of a new deal.
The team announced that after the current lease at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Colosseum ends after the 2014-2015 season, the Islanders will move to the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The New Jersey Nets will begin play there this season as the Brooklyn Nets.
Owner Charles Wang announced he would keep ownership of the team, and would also keep the New York Islanders name and team colors/uniforms. The arena saga in New York is now over, and the Islanders will get the new arena they so badly need, and will also stay in the New York market.
My thoughts on this are simple. The Islanders needed a new arena, they simply couldn’t stay where they are now. The Islanders will also be keeping their name and logo/color and that something I like. Technically, they will still be Long Island, and are only moving about an hour at most away.
I give a thumbs up to this move, and think the Islanders finally made a good investment here. Good on them and I wish them luck in Brooklyn starting in 2015.
Ryan Miller Is Mad….Real Mad: Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who has noted that he would not go to Europe to play during the lockout, is getting frustrated, and above all things mad. In an article written on ESPN.com
“If a team needs a goalie, I need to start considering it.”
That was what Miller wrote to ESPN.com in an interview yesterday. He would consider playing in Europe now as the lockout continues to extend, one that he feels should be over already. Miller vented his frustration, not by blaming the owners, but by blaming BOTH the NHL and NHLPA.
“I think that a deal is there to be made and recent events lead me to believe the NHL is simply testing us. After they have satisfied their curiosity about the strength of our resolve we will have real negotiating for the first time in this whole debacle.”
“The two sides are close enough to a deal that missing the bulk of a season is wrong and missing an entire season is not only insane, it is a blatant disregard for the sport, the fans and the culture we have grown over decades — just to satisfy egos, not the needs of either side.”
Some pretty strong words from the all-star netminder. He blames both sides and says that the NHLPA and NHL are both in it for ego reasons, and not in it for the best interest of both sides. He’s 100% right too, which is the sad part about this.
He also admits that deal is visible and within reach, but the Fehr and Bettman need to check their egos at the door and get this done for both sides, and more importantly, thee paying fans.
My thoughts? I’m against the players peaking out, because it has come back to hurt them so far, but Ryan Miller makes an excellent point here and tells it how it is. He doesn’t spin it in favor of one side, and gives an honest look at it. It’s refreshing to see, and he is right. A deal is within reach but its’ all ego right now.
Hopefully this ends a lot sooner rather than later.
No CBA Talks In Sight: Just a quick update here. The NHLPA came out this week and requested a meeting with the NHL, which was quickly shot down by Bill Daly. Daly said that if the NHLPA didn’t want to build off of the NHL’s last offer, or have a new proposal, there was no point in meeting.
On top of that, the deadline to get a deal done to save an 82 game season in that would start on November 2nd is now past. The NHL also removed the offer it made last Tuesday from the table, meaning the new CBA has yet to be proposed.
There are no meetings that we know of scheduled, but both sides say they are open to negotiating. Hopefully BOTH Fehr and Bettman put their egos aside, get in the room, and bang this thing out.
Oilers In The AHL: Oilers defender Justin Schultz is coming off of an AHL player of the week performance and has eight points (4 G, 4 A) in five games this season. He is looking NHL ready right now, and we are finally understanding why the Ducks and their fans were so mad losing him.
Super kids Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are finally starting to click. Eberle has five points (2 G, 3 A) in five games, as does Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has the same stats as Eberle.
Borderline Oilers Magnus Paajarvi (1 G 2 A) and Anton Lander (0 P in 4 GP) have struggled to start the season and show clear signs of rust. Meanwhile, Teemu Hartikainen has had a great start scoring two goals and adding four assists for six points in the early going of the season.
Martin Marincin has been a pleasant surprise, and is has three points (2 G 1 A) in five games so far. The Barons are 3-2-0-0 on the season.
Barons Upcoming weekend: The Oklahoma City Barons will play two games in three nights this coming weekend, with two opponents they will meet for the first time this season.
On Friday night, the Barons and Houston Aeros will take each other on for the first time this season. The Aeros feature top young players like Mikael Grandlund and Charlie Coyle on their roster, and should be a handful for the Barons on Friday night.
The Barons will have Saturday off, but will return to the ice on Sunday, where they will take on the Texas Stars for the first time this season. The Stars will feature top prospect Cody Eakin, and also feature veterans and former Oilers Toby Peterson and Cam Barker. It should be an even game on Sunday in OKC.
Tomorrow I will have a Barons game preview for the match-up with the Aeros, look for that mid-afternoon on Friday.
Make sure you follow on twitter @BigcatThomas14 for up to the second NHL and Oilers/Barons updates!