Yes, things change between July and October. The fact of the matter is this: it’s July, and I wish it was October. So here’s a glimpse into my head. Your head may vary.
- Smyth on line one. Where else do you put the guy?
- Dubnyk starts. I’m not sure if the club will go through with this, but in my head this is non-negotiable. There’s not one single reason that Khabibulin should be the number one goaltender this year unless the squad is trying to deliberately tank. Let’s win some damn games this year. Even if it’s only 30 or 31, it’s an improvement.
- Khabibulin has an asterisk next to his name. I include this asterisk because it is a special provisional asterisk. Meaning: who knows what’s going to happen with Khabibulin between now and camp. I have him pencilled in as number two. We’ll see what kind of mind altering drugs are consumed between now and opening day that might change the good word.
- I’ve got Jeff Petry making the final roster. Good for you, Petes. You’ve made it to the blog. Opening night awaits.
- I’ve also got Anton Lander opening on 4C. Why? Between the choice of Brule, VV and Lander, right now I’m going to shoot with Lander. Again, in your head, that might be different.
- Probably most noticeable is that you don’t see the first overall pick anywhere down the middle. That’s not a mistake. I’ve listened to several intelligent people tell me why RNH should start out of the gate this year, and while I’m not opposed to him playing a few games (under 10, as to not light his entry level contract on fire), but if he starts getting tossed around out there and the Oilers are losing by four goals or more, then get him out of there. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi will all have contracts that expire in two years. Unless RNH is really, really good, really, really fast, there’s no reason to throw him into the fire.
- Then again, maybe he’ll score eleven points in seven games. Don’t count on it, but it’s fun to dream.
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