“Teemu Magic Hands” or “Things Mike Brown Can’t Do” (GIF)

Teemu Magical Hands In Rockford

On Saturday night, amid a sudden outburst of Barons scoring in Rockford, Teemu Hartikainen did this. It simply screams “sign me to another contract or else”. I mean, c’mon, those are “magic hands”. Four on four, the team down a goal, he breaks away, and does that?!?! Nasty.

*Bonus points for causing a goaltender to “drop his drawers”. Boom! Roasted!

Anton Lander Recalled To Edmonton

After a three goal, three assist, dominate performance against the Rockford IceHogs, centerman Anton Lander has been recalled by the Edmonton Oilers. Don’t think for a minute that this wasn’t in the works prior to the hat trick plus three. It was. The Oilers need for a solid centerman has been the topic of discussion for the better part of the last week. Eric Belanger, suffering a groin injury, necessitated a callup. The two likely candidates based on recent history were Chris VandeVelde or Anton Lander.

It has been very interesting to see Anton Lander work with the likes of Toni Rajala and Teemu Hartikainen. Those three have a knack for being completely aware of the other on the ice. A rarity on the farm for the better part of this season.

If you’re worried about the center position for the Barons, don’t. It wasn’t that long ago that they iced a fourth line completely of playmaking centers. They’ll be fine.

Lander has earned the callup, but really it’s more about drawing the longest straw first. Godspeed, Anton.

Official Release:

The Edmonton Oilers, parent club of the Oklahoma City Barons, recalled centerman Anton Lander.

Lander, a 6-0, 194-pounder from Sundsvall, Sweden, is is fresh off of establishing a Barons franchise record with six points (3-3-6) in the team’s 7-3 win over the Rockford IceHogs. He has appeared in 45 games with Oklahoma City this season, scoring 19 points (8-11-19).

This is the second recall this season for Lander. He has appeared in four games with the Oilers this season, registering one assist. The Oilers 2nd round draft choice (40th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft has appeared in 60 games with the Oilers and scored seven points (2-5-7).

Barons Dominate Two Periods Of Scoring, Beat Rivermen 4-2

Whew! That was close. On a Friday night in Peoria where goaltender Brian Elliott was taking a leave of absence from the St. Louis Blues to condition his game, the Barons looked to spoil his parade. Indeed, Oklahoma City would dominate the scoring for a full forty minutes, and narrowly escape with a closer 4-2 victory than the final score might suggest. Two points are two points. No points deducted for style either.

The first period was a good one for Yann Danis, who hadn’t been all that good to start games in recent memory. The official stat sheet reads twelve shots stopped on twelve attempts for Yann, and for Peoria that’s a pretty good number. For Oklahoma City, things were a bit slower. Two chances on the power play were ended quickly by the Rivermen, and somehow the team only rifled seven shots on net. But it was a late period goal by Tanner House, with a strong setup by Curtis Hamilton, that finally broke the scoring dam for OKC. With one minute and eleven seconds remaining in the first period, the Barons would score that goal to round out the twenty minutes with a 1-0 lead.

Brian Elliott would take some heat. Wearing number one, he’d be anything but for quite some time. A beauty of a goal by Toni Rajala which earned Kendall McFaull his first pro point, placed the Barons in a two goal lead. Later, Mark Arcobello would make good on a power play opportunity for his squad, and further move the Barons away from Peoria. From the third goal forward, the Rivs became very careful in terms of committing penalties. Despite the Barons only going 1/3 on the night, Peoria realized the need to play smart hockey that depended on five on five play more than anything else. That gameplan would pay off.

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Workin’ For The Weekend: ‘Nois Continued “What You Need”

INXS
Begging the question/answer – What You Need

INXS, the band with a confusing logo/name, spent most of the 1980’s developing a knack for being new wave, garage-like, all while simultaneously heading towards bar anthems. It was odd in the 80’s to have a highly successful turn as a band from Australia unless you were INXS. And to some, they brought the music of the land down under, the pipeline it needed to cross (several) ponds. The Farriss brothers rolled out the instrumentation while front man Michael Hutchence provided the vocals and an identifiable image for an un-identifiable group of Aussie’s. While not my favorite group of the 80’s, I continually find myself enjoying them as the years roll on. Interpretation – Neal enjoys things more as he gets older. Sigh.

Recently on a car trip through central Oklahoma and beyond, I had the pleasure of enjoying the album Listen Like Thieves by, you guessed it, by INXS. It’s a funky album with instrumentation that goes under appreciated almost thirty years later. And there are some great tracks featured throughout. “Kiss The Dirt”, “This Time”, and the one that broke the Aussie to US barrier, “What You Need.”

Originally intended to be a funk track in the vein of James Brown, the band turned “What You Need” into a party anthem while keeping the rousing funk rhythm portions in tact. Highly impressive vocal gymnastics gave it some much needed punch, and solidifying it as one of the most loved songs of 1985.

Lyrically speaking, INXS always kept things simple. They favored the performance value of the skilled sound machine they assembled. But when Hutchence spoke/sang, you listened. Because of the rarity with which the lyrics out-trumped the music itself, you felt as if the band was really getting to the heart of the matter. Case in point, “What You Need” is a purely uplifting rollick down the freeway. It’s a story, really, of someone who needs a kick in the pants. “Forget about the trouble in your life”, “Don’t you get sad and lonely”, “This is not the end of it all”, are all lyrics that crescendo with the simple sentiment…”I’ll give you what you need”.

Be better. Do better. Get better. Themes we all need to hear on a daily basis.

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Teemu Returns, But Barons Lose To Chicago In Shootout

Rajala to Lander Setup
The Rajala To Lander Setup. Nice.

First off, a bit of an apology. Life has become life, and things around the head farm hand’s house have been mighty busy. Nonetheless, we solider on towards a new crop of writings that will both entertain the mind and dazzle the senses. Or just be quality bathroom reading material. I digress.

The Oklahoma City Barons, hanging around in the Windy City to face the Chicago Wolves, understand what needs to be done to make the postseason. And despite their valiant efforts of late, they’ve fallen towards mediocre land, and that’s where they’d stay on a Wednesday evening. Despite scoring first and last in regulation, they’d again go to a shootout where they’d be “out skilled” by the Wolves (handily I might add in terms of WOW), and surrender an extra standing point TO A TEAM THEY ARE CHASING FOR A FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT. The Barons would lose 3-2.

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C.J. Stretch Oddly Released From His PTO With Oklahoma City

AHL Hockey: Feb 26 Barons vs Stars
The man. The myth. The mustache. Photo by Steven Christy.

It’s been an odd day of transactions for the Oklahoma City Barons and Edmonton Oilers.

First, the day began with Teemu Hartikainen returning to OKC for what will likely be the remainder of the season (sans injury to an NHL guy). This isn’t all that odd given how often he’d been scratched with the Oil. But it is odd considering that once his promotion to the NHL was complete, we in Oklahoma City never expected to see him return.

And in another move, C.J. Stretch has been released from his PTO which is likely a move to “lighten the load” just a bit as the end of the season rapidly approaches. Case in point, both Ben Eager and Darcy H0rdichuk didn’t make the trip to San Antonio from Oklahoma City on Saturday night because there just wasn’t room to “bunk” so many bodies. So they stayed behind. Stretch was bound to be the first casualty mainly because he was unable to traverse to Stockton (based on his PTO), and upon ending said PTO, he’d return to the team from whence he came (Ontario Reign).

Also odd, Stretch was positioned to be the guest on tonight’s weekly Barons radio show at Buffalo Wild Wings. I guess no one showed him that remote that “extends” games. Maybe it could have worked for his contract.

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Teemu Hartikainen Assigned To Oklahoma City

AHL Hockey: Jan 12 Barons vs Checkers
Teemu. Gumby. Die happy. Photo by Steven Christy.

Announced today, the Edmonton Oilers have sent forward Teemu Hartikainen back to the Oklahoma City Barons.

His permanent spot with the NHL club seemed solidified as the lockout ended, but instead the team has turned just a bit towards Magnus Paajarvi who’s having a pretty solid two-way-typa season. Unlike Hordichuk and Eager before him, this isn’t a demotion for Hartikainen, but rather an opportunity. He still plays a key role (at least in my mind) on the back half of an already youthful Edmonton Oilers team. You could argue the case that his non-existent shoulder issue’s kept him from playing, but that’s not the truth. He’s perfectly healthy. What you can’t argue is that sitting out game after game after game is worthy of his time. Thus you send him to OKC for the final 15 or so games, let him play some really good minutes with other prospects (like Rajala and Lander), and ride out the season where he softly lands on a new contract within the organization. Fingers crossed.

Where might he fit in? Two places.

Hartikainen – Arcobello – Cheechoo is likely going to happen. Or some version of Hartikainen – Lander – Rajala. Either version of a forward line is exciting. With a little bit to prove, and some good rest under his wings, the next couple of weeks will be fun. And remember, keep calm and Teemu on.

via Twitter:

 

Oklahoma City Wins On The Road In San Antonio, 3-2

After a 3-2 loss the night before, the Oklahoma City Barons would travel to San Antonio where another 3-2 score would be considered. However, OKC was on the “good” end of this one as the team dug themselves out of an early two goal deficit, score twice in the second, once in the third, and netted two consecutive power play goals en route to a one goal lead against a South Division opponent.

No Darcy Hordichuk. No Ben Eager. No Colten Teubert. The Barons would travel light to San Antonio following a loss on home ice the night before. Hordichuk and Eager would be left home, as Todd Nelson puts it, “they aren’t used to the overnight travel like we are”. That’s awkward. The reason Colten Tuebert didn’t make the trip was due to a rolled ankle. But what it all really boils down to is there just isn’t enough bunk space with such a heavy playing roster. So the team soliders on.

Jared Gomes and John McFarland scored goals for the Rampage in the opening twelve minutes of play. It appeared that a sulky night was in the works for Yann Danis as those two goals would come with only eight shots on net. Not entirely because of his “problems”, but really due to an overall defensive scheme for OKC that wasn’t committed to breaking down an opponent, the team looked lumpy. And thus destined for another defeat.

But then the second period began.

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Houston Defeats Oklahoma City 3-2, “Magic Beans” No Option

Houston Americans vs. Oklahoma City Barons 3-22-13
The watchful eye. Photo by Rob Ferguson.

The story of Jack and the Beanstalk is fairly well known. Although it’s been repackaged and re-imagined for decades, the plot remains the same. The young lad, Jack, has one task – provide for his family. When the milk cow dries up, he’s sent to market to sell it, and in return bring back something of substance to his widowed mother. Instead he squanders it for magic beans. What a dummy. This is where the story takes a science fiction turn. Mom is mad, throws the beans out the window. The stalk grows, there’s a giant, a bag of gold coins, gold egg laying hen, harp, etc., etc. Jack somehow chops the beanstalk down, kills the giant, he and his mother live happily ever after. That’s nice, but what’s always bothered me is the realistic front half of the story. Jack has one task. Can’t do it. Stupidity ensues.

At home, against the Houston Aeros, in the last half of March, the Oklahoma City Barons have one task – win games. Yet somehow they squander opportunity after glorious opportunity and lose. Not only did they lose the game, but they’d lose two in-division points with sixteen games remaining.

On Friday night, the Barons would struggle post-first period at the Cox Center, and eventually lose to the Houston Aeros 3-2.

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