This week in the puck drop we look at some Oiler fan reactions to the trade of Dustin Penner as well as the evolution of the modern enforcer and how the Leafs shots have broken down this year.
Tyler Dellow looks at the Dustin Penner trade and shakes his head. He condemns both the Oilers management for their lack of vision and the hometown fans and media for continuously giving a pass to the club's ineptitude:
"Joseph de Maistre said that every country has the government it deserves. Edmonton, with the rink full every night to watch a terrible team and a media that exists to rationalize and justify the decisions of people like Lowe and Tambellini by way of terrible logic and faulty reasoning, has the hockey team that it deserves. It might get lucky and have a decent team in a few years time if a bunch of these young players turn out but that won't be the team that it deserves - it will be the team that the NHL's cartel policies gift them with. Don't get too used to it - they'll screw it up again. And Edmonton will deserve it."
Over at Behind The Net, Gabriel Desjardins looks at the specialization of enforcers in What Does it Take to be a Goon? Desjardins shows that goons have steadily gotten bigger and heavier over the years, gradually changing from ill-tempered, average-sized skaters to lumbering pugilists. Ironically, this evolution of goons from simply the meanest guy on the team to a designated giant who can't actually play hockey at the NHL level is the reason enforcers are an anachronism in a capped NHL environment. Like a mutant variant in a species that no longer confers an adaptive advantage, the current version of the goon is vestigial and bound to be bred out of the game altogether eventually.
Back to the Edmonton Oilers, Derek Zona of Copper and Blue looks back fondly on Dustin Penner's time with the team. Although frequently denounced as "unmotivated" and "having a poor work ethic", Penner was frequently one of the club's top three forwards during his tenure in Edmonton, despite playing on a lousy team and frequently against top six opposition.
Penner's contributions extended beyond production and underlying numbers, however, and Zona relates how he stood up for teammates and was a valued member of the community off the ice. He should be a good addition for the Kings going forward.
Finally, Steve Burch of Pension Plan Puppets examines at the Leafs shot locations this season. He perused ESPN game-cast and collated the distance and location of each shot Toronto has managed thus far. According to Burch (and ESPN shot counters), the Leafs have averaged 8.69 "good" shots (from scoring locations) this season and 20.5 "bad" shots (per game). The club scored on 17.25% of good shots and just 5.04% on bad ones.
Follow the links for more details and discussion.