There is always room for improvement.
However, I’m a little skeptical as to why Kreuger thought it a good idea to tinker with the lineup after Edmonton’s 2-1 OT victory against the Kings. Specifically, why he thought it a good idea to inject Darcy Hordichuk into the lineup while pulling Teemu Hartikainen out.
Hartikainen is no slouch. Guy is exactly what I’m looking for to fill out my bottom six, and he can power play. Guy is a pest to play against, and he’s no dummy with the puck. He was on the ice for about six and a half minutes on Thursday and just under ten for that disaster against San Jose, and I’d be shocked if he wasn’t in the lineup for tonight’s game versus Colorado. But on Saturday, he was absent from the lineup.
The team went into Calgary on Saturday, and Ben Eager is out recovering from a concussion. In went Darcy Hordichuk for what I can only assume was “toughness”. And Hordichuk is a great addition if you need him to pound the salt out of someone.
Hordichuk played for 1:11 on Saturday night. One minute, eleven seconds. When he got on the ice, he took a penalty.
Because you already know how this story ends, the Flames netted a power play goal from Jay Bouwmeester, and the Flames then led by two in the first. The Oilers would then substitute someone in for Hordichuk on the fourth line.
Hordichuk played a total of one minute, eleven seconds. Unless you’re scoring two goals in that time, there is no way you can be effective in one minute and eleven seconds. It’s a waste of a roster spot that someone’s going to have to fill in as the game goes on.
“Toughness” and “grit” and “jam” and whatever word you want to use for physicality is great, but the player you suit up for that role has to be able to do other things than just beat the crap out of someone. And don’t think I’m pinning this loss entirely on Hordichuk, because that would be dumb. But, using him on an ‘energy’ line for a total of one minute is dumb too.
What’s more effective, one minute of Hordichuk or six of Hartikainen?
Was anybody deterred by Hordichuk’s seventy one seconds of ice time on Saturday?
Did he send a message? What if he got two, three, or four minutes of ice time? Think it would’ve made any difference?
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