Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Charlie Don't Surf!

Watched Apocalypse Now the other night. What a movie.

My favourite scene and perhaps my favourite scene from any movie is when the First Cavalry (now in choppers rather than on horses) attacks the Vietnamese village, coming in out of the rising sun, Ride of the Valkyries screaming, its just absolutely fantastic. The movie itself is a great movie, although not one of my alltime favourites, but its hard to think of a scene from any movie that is as unforgettable as this one. Its just fabulous.

And of course part of the reason is Robert Duvall. Duvall is one of my favourite actors, always has been. Now he's made bad movies, every actor had, but while DeNiro makes Meet The Fockers over and over again (get it? its funny because Fockers sounds like fuckers, hahahahaha) and Pacino has never been the same since Scent of a Woman when he DECIDED THAT HE HAD TO SUDDENLY SHOUT for no real reason in the middle of ordinary dialogue, Duvall has, like the late great Paul Newman, aged wonderfully.

And it helps that like Bill Murray he sounds like a very very cool guy. (Would have liked to have been on the set of Get Low, which starred Duvall and Murray). And of course he's Robert Duvall. Robert Frickin Duvall.

Charlie Don't Surf!


Just as Charlie Don't Surf, I don't scout nor do I draft and as far as I know nobody else who comes to these parts does either.

So I tend to find it pretty funny when folks who, for the most part, have barely even seen any of the teenagers that will be up for the Oilers in June, have such strong opinions about these same players. I read a comment somewhere the other day from some clown that the Oilers had better not pick Larsson because he couldn't fight.


I have learned my lesson after figuring last year that Seguin, sight unseen by me, was the better choice that Hall, based on, well I can't even remember what now.

And of course with that said its entirely possible that Seguin has the better career. One season does not the whole tale tell.

But I've learned my lesson and I'm just going to stay out of it. My gut says Larsson but my gut also told me to go home with that chick with the shaved head back in 94.

Actually my gut was right that time.

Alright it was my gut that told me that that last glass of wine last night was a good idea. It was not.

This draft is wide open and many of us are lamenting that there is no Crosby at the top of the board, forgetting that Jagr was not the top pick his draft year. Sakic was not. Forsberg was not. Datsyuk was not. Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Toews, Doughty, Pronger, Keith, well I can go on and on. Impact players can be found almost anywhere and I seem to remember that Stamkos wasn't highly rated compared to other years. For that matter neither was Hall really. The thought was that last year was a good but not great draft and this year we are hearing more of the same. No great players this year folks are saying as if the ability to play hockey skipped an entire annum's worth of youngsters. I would bet that five years from now a few of these top guys are terrific NHL players and probably every one of the top six or seven has a career.

Of course the problem is getting one of those guys who ends up terrific.

What do I think? Well first of all I have seen barely anything of any of these kids. A tiny bit of Landeskog and Larsson at the Juniors and a little bit more of Courturier. So nothing really. And nothing of Nugent Hopkins or Strome or Hamilton or the kid from New Brunswick.

So really I have very little to say except that I would think that the scouts have seen them all a thousand times, have done their due diligence and hopefully they will make the right pick. Who do I prefer? No idea. Always take the best player available I say even if Landeskog is it regardless of the fact that the one place the Oilers look set is on the wing. the knock on Landeskog is that he may not be an elite level offensive talent so he may be out anyhow. Courturier seems to be dropping like a stone. To me his skating is the biggest red flag and I can't see him being a fit on a club that looks to be building around the idea of pace but his skating has been what is it for a while so one thinks that scouts are seeing something else. He is getting knocked for not using his size and one thinks maybe the idea is there that he does not compete hard enough. Why else the plummet? He could be this year's Fowler, falling into someone's lap.

I think its between Nugent Hopkins and Larsson myself. The latter does not seem to have the offensive numbers that would point to a number one pick overall but as I said my gut likes him. He impressed me in limited viewing and when I hear Lidstrom's name mentioned with his then the ears perk up as they must.

As for RNH well his size does not concern me, he will bulk up, its the fact that his numbers tend to be skewed towards the power play more than would seem healthy.

Now I do know one guy who has actually seen a lot of Nugent Hopkins and this guy, Bruce McCurdy, has seen more hockey than I ever will. Bruce is a pretty astute observer and he, unless I misunderstand him, thinks the kid is the real deal.

Now Bruce, like myself, doesn't surf either. But he's seen the kid firsthand and he speaks glowingly about him.

That says a lot.

If I were a betting man I would lay money on Nugent Hopkins being the choice right now.


Bruce said...

I surf the net, does that count?

Thanks for the vote of confidence, now millions of people will know who was wrong should it come to that.

Yes I have seen a lot of hockey, but I'm a long way from having the expertise to judge or project, especially when I have only seen one of the prospects up close. That said, like you and the chick with the shaved head, I know what I like.

uni said...

I really wish that Rundblad hadn't decided to become an offensive juggernaut this season, and Larsson hadn't been injured.

I'd feel a lot better going into the draft with a full season of an uninjured Larsson getting prime PP minutes. If he didn't produce then, well there wouldn't be as many questions. If he blew the doors off the hinges we'd be all set.

I'm ragie a bit that Larsson isn't the clear #1 with a bullet right now.

hunter1909 said...

"Don't these people ever give up?"

*My fave Kilgore quote*

As a matter of fact the original Apocalypse Now is one of my all time fave movies. Watch it in a cinema if you ever get the chance. It's like a journey to nowhere.

Having read the Red Deer coach talking about "Hoppy" I now reckon they're going to take him 1st overall. I've been pilloried for daring to quote his coach, but wtf why can't a professional hockey coach's opinion mean anything?

From what I read, Hopkins has an incredibly good attitude(all the greats have that, more or less in spades), a real desire to improve, and already he's defensively responsible - which the coach reckons cut into his final goals total.

His coach also says he's got the frame to grow bigger, and will be 190(I don't really understand how that can be called small when Gretzky was 165 soaking wet). Despite players constantly running at him during games he's never afraid of trouble, and as often as not the guy trying to make the big hit gets flattened.

Like Sakic, if they leave him in Red Deer for another year he's probably going to put up killer numbers, and grow big enough to step into the pro ranks the next season.

Since it's not exactly a top hockey team, these Oilers, with lots of sophomore players to help ensure another top pick next year, lol, and given the fact that these days there are now 'top teams' that can go through an entire cycle of contention without winning the cup - the more time spent developing the players they already have, while collecting yet more top picks next year goes a long way to that mythical 6th cup.

Obviously Kevin Lowe and others who should be sacked are still on board, the process might not even work, but after watching the Oilers rejects last night fuck up their playoff game v the Sharks, I'm a huge fan of these guys developing nice and slowly.

They're going to be at the bottom next season anyway.

matt said...


But when you are an Alberta team looking to rebuild (to the point where you've fired training staff as part of creating the right culture) and need an offensive centre, and a bona fide #1 pick is an Alberta boy (more or less) who happens to be an offensive centre with excellent attitude, it's called fate, karma, serendipity, the universe rubbing your nose in it, etc. RNH all the way.

spOILer said...

They almost blew that shot in Apocalypse Now. You only get one attempt on an elite effect like that, and they almost effed her up.

So it is an apt metaphor for this post on the #1 draft pick.

I believe in Bruce when he says RNH is good. Problem is, he can't make any comparative statements and drafting is all about how you compare to the other top talents.

The other thing is that RNH is a passer. This Oiler squad has passers galore. What we don't have is enough finishers.

If we're going to draft a forward, draft a finisher. From what I've ssen so far, the young C with the best combo of skating, shooting and competing is Huberdeau.

Given two players of relatively equal ability would you take the passer... or the shooter?

Great match for Tottenham today, Pat. Rags are calling the first half one of the best halfs of football this season. ManU fans are pumped because Arsenal only takes the one point.

My side, Bolton got CREAMED in the FA Semis on Sunday. Was like watching a car accident unfold in slow motion.

RNH April 93 Bday -- 31 goals
HUB June 93 Bday! -- 43 goals

Take The Hoob.

Bruce said...

@spOILer: Taylor Hall is the shooter.

Black Dog said...

LT just posted ES numbers for the top forward prospects

RNH does not look good.

Damnit, I think we've got way too much time on our hands, these guys are just getting picked apart.

I think Matt is right though, they are going to take RNH - he's the sexy pick. Plus he may be the bpa. Although we won't know for sure for years.

And if he isn't then we can blame Bruce. ;)

Black Dog said...

spOILer - I think I would consider Hall, Eberle and MPS all shooters, jmo though

yeah big point for Spurs last night but they really blew it last month, a run of games against the dregs of the league and they got a couple of draws out of it. Might cost them top four which would be a huge drag.