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Hockey-78

James Neal Off To A Hot Start

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Neal.jpg.38bfb494ed3112175cb998dd6fc65103.jpg

 

7 goals in 4 games. He scored 7 goals in 63 games last season. Hands down, Oilers is a big winner in Neal-Lucic trade like many of us thought.

 

He's on a roll but will it last?

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
Cleaned up title and added web photo

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8 hours ago, Hockey-78 said:

7 goals in 4 games. He scored 7 goals in 63 games last season. Hands down, Oilers is a big winner in Neal-Lucic trade like many of us thought.

 

Neal always had better chances to bounce back. Lucic had been given tons of opportunity but hadn't returned to any kind of form in two seasons. plus there was clear physical decline which could be seen: his skating was never great but has become very poor. He can't take or make passes, etc. In Neal's case, he came into Calgary physically burned out from back-to-back short summers< quickly fell into the coach's doghouse and found himself way down the batting order.

 

Edmonton can give him more opportunity than Calgary could to get back to form. So, he immediately finds himself on Nugent-Hopkin's wing, and on power-play 1, with McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH.

 

8 hours ago, Hockey-78 said:

He's on a roll but will it last?

 

I don't think so, but it's nice while it's going.

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He just bought a home here...can't wait to spear him if I see him.

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27 minutes ago, flyercanuck said:

He just bought a home here...can't wait to spear him if I see him.

 

I dunno…..
I think a knee on knee would be more appropriate :ph34r:

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In all seriousness, I was one of those who also thought that if one of Neal-Lucic was going to rebound, it would be Neal.
Not all sure why he wasn't successful in Calgary, but JR made some pretty sound observations as to possible causes.
Neal is and always has been the more complete hockey player of the two, like him or not.

I will add that perhaps team style might have something to do with it.
Calgary, at their core, have always been a defense first type team.
Sure, they have more offensive players now than they have had in recent years, but still, the team identity, and one where they play their best is defense and goaltending, backed up by strong a strong attack style..particularly from the blue line.

To me, that pretty much leaves Neal out of most equations there....unless he quickly adapts to that, which he obviously didn't.
Pittsburgh, Nashville once they moved away from the older Trotz system, Vegas, and now Edmonton.
All highly offensive (or at least, have the idea to play that way), all more about the attack with perhaps putting defense secondary (basically betting that the goalie can just take care of himself), and playing with fantastic like-minded linemates who all want to play that north-south style....with a coach that encourages it.

That suits Neal just fine.
Then there is health of course.

Will Neal continue the way he has been playing? Well the numbers he is putting up are downright ridiculous.....he can't possibly maintain that for an entire season. So no...he won't keep up that pace.

But can he still have a fine year, help bolster the Oilers, and put up the kinds of numbers people are used to seeing from him?
Absolutely. As long as he stays healthy, I don't see why not.
Playing alongside three of the NHL's best forwards and with a backend lead by Nurse that is slowly coming around won't hurt his chances of doing so either.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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Ken Holland was recently asked about the trade:

 

 

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27 minutes ago, JR Ewing said:

Ken Holland was recently asked about the trade:

 

 

 

Yea....proposal was so unbelievably a no-brainer, that I can see why Holland barely had time to put on his bathrobe and slippers before he slam hit "accept" on that deal.... all the while laughing like a maniac.... 
The cook caught him COMPLETELY by surprise when he told him Calgary was on the other line...…… :shifty:

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Neal still 5th in goals, 12, but his +/- looks miserable.

 

Lucic with no goals, 3 assists. Recently suspended for stupidity.

 

The trade of this decade?

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On 11/11/2019 at 7:59 AM, Hockey-78 said:

Neal still 5th in goals, 12, but his +/- looks miserable.

 

Lucic with no goals, 3 assists. Recently suspended for stupidity.

 

8 of his 12 goals were scored on the PP and he's been on the ice for a single short-handed goal and 5 empty-net goals.

 

On 11/11/2019 at 7:59 AM, Hockey-78 said:

The trade of this decade?

 

It was won by Ken Holland the moment the deal was made. At the time, I couldn't figure out what the Flames were thinking, and I still can't.

 

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      He just bought a home here...can't wait to spear him if I see him.
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      Ken Holland was recently asked about the trade:    
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      Yea....proposal was so unbelievably a no-brainer, that I can see why Holland barely had time to put on his bathrobe and slippers before he slam hit "accept" on that deal.... all the while laughing like a maniac....  The cook caught him COMPLETELY by surprise when he told him Calgary was on the other line...…… 
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      In all seriousness, I was one of those who also thought that if one of Neal-Lucic was going to rebound, it would be Neal. Not all sure why he wasn't successful in Calgary, but JR made some pretty sound observations as to possible causes. Neal is and always has been the more complete hockey player of the two, like him or not. I will add that perhaps team style might have something to do with it. Calgary, at their core, have always been a defense first type team. Sure, they have more of

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