There are three things in life that are certain; death, taxes, and people complaining about the All-Star rosters. At the end of the day the All-Star Game is a promotional event that is for kids, and for the NHL to make more money off their most marketable players.
Having said that, whether or not Leon Draisaitl does end up on an All-Star team he is absolutely an elite player. Connor McDavid is a generational talent but people are not talking nearly enough about how good Leon Draisaitl is.
Since the beginning of the 2016/2017 season to today, Draisaitl is the 16th highest producer in the NHL with 198 points in 200 games, he is higher than the likes of Tavares, Schiefele, Barkov, and yes, Taylor Hall. That is not a player who is producing simply because he plays with Connor McDavid.
At the time I did not like the 8 year, 8.5 million dollar deal Chiarelli had signed Draisaitl to. Leon was coming off a career high year and only his second full NHL season where in 82GP he went 29-48-77, followed by a brilliant first playoff run with 16 points in 13 games. Many, including myself felt that giving up that much before proving he could perform away from McDavid was risky.
A different GM might have been able to get the cap hit down by a million dollars or so but let's be clear; Leon Draisaitl being paid an extra million dollars a year is not the reason the Oilers are not a playoff team. Both McDavid and Draisaitl are on pace to have 100 point seasons and the Oilers may still miss the playoffs...Instead of criticizing Draisaitl for not producing as much away from McDavid we need to criticize the GM who has failed these players.
1) Chiasson Returns. Alex Chiasson, third leading goal scorer for the Edmonton Oilers returns tonight... there is a sentence I never would have guessed I would type at the beginning of the year. Chiasson has been out since December 27th with a knee injury and Edmonton has missed him and his 16 goals. His Sh% is still unsustainable and the team should not expect him to perform like this long term, but in the here and now he can help out this team.
2) Nuge Gets Some Help. On that same thread, RNH has quietly scored 3 goals in his past 5 games and has mostly done so without the help of McDavid. The Oilers are starved for offense past the Big Three but Chiasson returning should give Nuge some help.
3) Jones Still Shining A year ago Ethan Bear was the bright future for the Oilers blueline. This year it is Caleb Jones who deserves all the praise. Hitchcock has steadily increased Jones ice-time and the young 21 year old hasn't simply survived, but thrived. As the year continues and players like Russell and Klefbom return to the lineup, Caleb Jones should remain in the NHL... kinda makes the signing of Brandon Manning look like an even worse idea, doesn't it?
4) Better Than The Oilers. That is what the LA Kings are... at least in the last 10 games. The Oilers awful 6 game losing streak, at home nonetheless has given them a 3-6-1 record, compared to the Kings who have a 5-4-1 record. Considering the likes of San Jose and Anaheim that Edmonton will be facing soon, this is a win the Oil desperately need.
FILM OF THE DAY
Nothing special here related to the game. I watched Bird Box a few days ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Check it out on Netflix.