If it’s Tuesday, this must be Oklahoma City! 2013-14 Edition.

(Cross posted and updated from ArtfulPuck)

We are only 23 games into this OKC Barons season but we’ve seen a great deal of transition, evolution and a multitude of transactions. As of Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 4th, the Barons and Oilers have implemented 74 transactions for the Barons roster and we are not even halfway through the season yet. That breaks down to 3.22 transactions per game on average! This has to be a record of some sort, right?

To give you a better understanding of a normal season’s transactions here are the past three season’s alongside this 2013-14 season. As you can see, the first two months of this season’s transactions amount to more than half of the previous three seasons. Keep in mind that 2012-13 was a partial lockout for the NHL, therefore October, November and December transactions were slightly lower than normal.

CHARTS UPDATED: December 4, 2013

 

2013-14

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

Apr.

10

9

9

Mar.

14

16

27

Feb.

19

15

16

Jan.

28

31

12

Dec.

(9)

9

20

12

Nov.

37

11

18

12

Oct.

28

5

9

6

 

74

96

118

94

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And, if you are wondering what positions are being moved around the most? As of Dec. 4th this is the breakdown:

 – Left Wing – 

 – Centers – 

 – Right Wing – 

 – Defensemen – 

 – Goaltenders – 

12

18

2

30

12

_______

Some of the transfers are “paper” only, Arcobello’s mid-November transfer for instance, and some players are merely “passing” through on their way elsewhere, Chet Pickard for instance. This season seems to be one where MacT has a quick “recall” and “send down” trigger finger. So buckle up, OKC fans!

December 2013 = 9 … so far.

12/04/2013 Corey Potter (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
12/04/2013 Martin Marincin (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
12/04/2013 Anton Lander (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
12/04/2013 Will Acton (C) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
12/04/2013 Denis Grebeshkov (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
12/02/2013 Corey Potter (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
12/02/2013 Jason LaBarbera (G) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
12/02/2013 Kale Kessy (LW) ADD Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) from Bakersfield (ECHL)
12/02/2013 Ty Rimmer (G) ADD Recalled from loan to Quad City (CHL)

_______

November 2013 = 37

11/27/2013 Denis Grebeshkov (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/26/2013 Austin Fyten (LW) DEL Loaned to Idaho (ECHL)
11/26/2013 Erick Lizon (RW) DEL Loaned to Wichita (CHL)
11/25/2013 Kale Kessy (LW) DEL Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) to Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/25/2013 Tyler Bunz (G) DEL Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) to Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/22/2013 Steve MacIntyre (LW) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/19/2013 Jason LaBarbera (G) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/18/2013 Alex Lavoie (C) DEL Released from PTO
11/18/2013 Curtis Hamilton (LW) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/17/2013 Ilya Bryzgalov (G) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/16/2013 Alex Lavoie (C) ADD Signed to PTO
11/16/2013 Mark Arcobello (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/16/2013 Oscar Klefbom (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/15/2013 Mark Arcobello (C) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/15/2013 Oscar Klefbom (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/12/2013 Corey Potter (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/12/2013 Taylor Fedun (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/11/2013 Ilya Bryzgalov (G) ADD Conditioning loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/11/2013 Mario Lamoureux (C) DEL Released from PTO
11/08/2013 Ben Eager (LW) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/08/2013 Chet Pickard (G) DEL Loaned to Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/08/2013 Chet Pickard (G) ADD Signed to SPC
11/08/2013 Joel Broda (C) DEL Released from PTO
11/08/2013 Laurent Brossoit (G) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/08/2013 Linus Omark (LW) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/08/2013 Olivier Roy (G) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/08/2013 Roman Horak (C) ADD Loaned from Edmonton (NHL)
11/07/2013 Justin Maylan (C) DEL Released from PTO
11/05/2013 Linus Omark (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/05/2013 Ryan Hamilton (LW) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/04/2013 Taylor Fedun (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
11/03/2013 David Musil (D) ADD Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) from Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/03/2013 Martin Gernat (D) ADD Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) from Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/02/2013 Anton Lander (C) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
11/01/2013 David Musil (D) DEL Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) to Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/01/2013 Martin Gernat (D) DEL Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) to Bakersfield (ECHL)
11/01/2013 Philip Larsen (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)

_______ 

October 2013 = 28

10/31/2013 Anton Lander (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/31/2013 Corey Potter (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/31/2013 Denis Grebeshkov (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/29/2013 Anton Lander (C) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/29/2013 Mario Lamoureux (C) ADD Signed to PTO
10/27/2013 Corey Potter (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/27/2013 Richard Bachman (G) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/27/2013 Tyler Bunz (G) ADD Reassigned by Edmonton (NHL) from Bakersfield (ECHL)
10/26/2013 Anton Lander (C) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/25/2013 Justin Maylan (C) ADD Signed to PTO
10/24/2013 Corey Potter (D) ADD Conditioning loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/22/2013 Ben Eager (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/22/2013 Taylor Fedun (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/21/2013 Taylor Fedun (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/21/2013 Tyler Pitlick (RW) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/18/2013 Denis Grebeshkov (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/18/2013 Erik Burgdoerfer (D) DEL Loaned to Bakersfield (ECHL)
10/18/2013 Erik Burgdoerfer (D) ADD Signed to SPC
10/15/2013 Joel Broda (C) ADD Signed to PTO
10/15/2013 Philip Larsen (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/15/2013 Ryan Jones (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/11/2013 Brandon Davidson (D) ADD Returned on loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/11/2013 Denis Grebeshkov (D) ADD Conditioning loan from Edmonton (NHL)
10/11/2013 Philip Larsen (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/07/2013 Joey Leach (D) DEL Loaned to Bakersfield (ECHL)
10/07/2013 Nicolas Tremblay (C) DEL Loaned to Bakersfield (ECHL)
10/06/2013 Brandon Davidson (D) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)
10/04/2013 Ryan Hamilton (LW) DEL Recalled from loan by Edmonton (NHL)

_______

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969). Most of you are far too young to remember this movie, but trust me … it fits in an odd, quirky sort of way.

Oklahoma City Plays Wonderful “Half Game”, Outdone By Texas In The End

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy

On Tuesday evening the Texas Stars entered the Cox Center knowing that they had gotten the best of Oklahoma City this season. They are a far superior team in just about every category. The power play, the prospects, the puck protection – they are a sturdy squad. Even without Travis Morin, their leading scoring, they are still minor league potent. And again the Barons would concede a game that they were entirely capable of winning. The 5-4 defeat of the Oklahoma City Barons by the Texas Stars also meant that winter was coming, and that the Barons wouldn’t head back home until December 20th.

The first period was exceptional by both squads, and it was Martin Marincin that would rifle a shot past starting Texas netminder Cristopher Nilstorp. With assists given to Fedun and Omark, it would be the first of two helpers for both players. Less than two minutes later, the Barons would gift the Stars their first opportunity on the power play which, it’s important to note, would come back to bite them. The best PP completion rate in the AHL would quickly even the game when Curtis McKenzie scored his first of two of the evening. When the first twenty minutes came to an end, Laurent Brossoit had faced ten shots, stopped all but one, and Nilstorp eight, letting in one. The 1-1 first period would also feature really strong performances from both defensive cores, something that the Barons couldn’t manage through the back half of the game.

The second period began with a Derek Nesbitt power play goal, his sixth of the season, with additional assists again to Omark and Fedun. The Barons appeared to be in control. Matt Ford would get whistled for an errant cross-check, and again the Stars would make good on the power play chance as Colton Sceviour would score his first of two goals en route to a four point night. Less than a minute later, the fourth line of Oklahoma City would score while featuring returnee to the lineup Kale Kessy, alongside Travis Ewanyk and C.J. Stretch. Ewanyk, scoring his third of the season, tied the game just past the mid-way point. Then things got dicey for the Barons defense. McKenzie, on a helper from Sceviour, would net the go ahead goal in the final minutes of the second period to again end the period with a tied game.

Knotted at three goals a piece, the Stars would outrun and outgun the Barons for the remainder of the game. Martin Gernat, having a pretty solid game up until this point, would be benched for much of the third period after an awful giveaway that led to a goal. Marincin looked lost at times, as did the remainder of the OKC defensive core. This led to a Fortunas goal, and the first lead of the game for the Stars. C.J. Stretch would even the game up four minutes later, but it was pretty apparent that the Stars had tilted the ice in their favor. Scoring his second of the game, Sceviour whistled a goal around Lareunt Brossoit, and the Barons would lose to the Texas Stars 5-4 on home ice.

Despite letting in five goals, Brossoit looked pretty solid. Any time you give the stoutest power play in the entire league four chances, and they convert on half of those, you know you are in for some trouble. Although only facing 27 shots, Brossoit was rarely caught out of position. The defense in front of him was sloppy enough to make the entire squad look bad post-30 minutes of game time. He’s not seasoned enough to steal one for your team, but this could have been a game where the final was 7-4. He kept his squad in it.

The Barons begin a road swing that includes six games taking place in Chicago, Rockford, and Milwaukee before returning to the Cox Center on December 20th. This will be an interesting trip for OKC. All non division games, all very important to win prior to Christmas. Can they win 50%? Right now, with the team being under .500, that’s a tall task. Capable, yes. Probable, no.

Workin’ For The Weekend (Holiday Edition): Stars at Barons “2000 Miles”

How many videos in the 1980’s featured a lovely lead vocalist standing on a street corner, dressed as a Salvation Army representative, receiving donations amid a snowy scene? The correct answer would be one.

In 1983, the Pretenders released the single “Middle of the Road” which was an instant hit. On the B-side was the droopy eyed track, “2000 Miles”. The accompanied video screamed “Merry Christmas, I’m So Alone”, but in the end it is a wonderful track with a holiday flare and an ominous background.

Penned in honor of Pretenders guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, who died the year before from heart failure brought on by cocaine intolerance. His life long struggle with drugs ended his life, and the Pretenders were cautiously aware of the pitfalls that surrounded other band members as well. His death brought on a bit of a change in the life of a few of them, and that makes “2000 Miles” much more than a Christmas tune. It is about a desire to do better, be better, and become fully important to the world.

Back to the Christmasing.

I love this song. It is great year round, but I find myself enjoying it more at Christmas time. The sequential guitar intro that is woven throughout the verses, and sing songy non-chorus, is absolute Pretenderish goodness. I’ll always love the simplicity that the Pretenders brought to the indie-pop genre long before such things were cool. Joan Jett, and a few other band leaders dominated the 80’s because they were just so good at perfecting their craft. You din’t care if they were male or female because they were so good.

“2000 Miles” is indeed a tragic song of travel, longing, and heartbreak, but it sure is a classic romp. It has a sonic glitz that fits well into the holiday genre, but the rock tendency of the band exudes from every downbeat. He’s gone, the snow is falling, it gets colder day by day, I miss you, he’ll be back at Christmas time – WONDERFUL!

It’s Christmas time once again, which means that the yule log is selected, the nog is extra thick (and spicy), and the Grinch tee comes out of 11 month retirement. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and for hockey fans we have a tendency to give our 20+ games played reviews, call a spade a spade, and pray for some hope of betterment. The truth is, however, that the long standing tradition of “playing well after Christmas” is common in Oklahoma City, and with the Barons. They just can’t help themselves. They love a good finish.

With the end of the season feeling like 2000 miles away, can you hear people singing? Is there hope? Is there a chance to be back in the loving arms of the Western Conference? Always.

The 11-8-2-2 Texas Stars square off tonight against the 9-10-03 Oklahoma City Barons in Bricktown. The four year series severely favors the Barons, but this season is quite different. 1-2-0-0 is the mark for OKC, but the Stars are the far superior team, there is no doubt.

Good in net (Nilstorp), offensively gifted (Morin in Dallas, but still Sceviour and Mueller exist), and defensively seasoned (Oleksiak and Connauton in Dallas, but still Fortunas?). Okay, so maybe with Morin, Oleksia and Connauton in the NHL the Barons have a chance to win this game. Strike while you can, is what I say.

The Barons will have to overcome the best-by-a-landslide-in-the-league Stars power play, and stingy penalty kill. Both huge tasks that OKC hasn’t been exceptional at in recent games.

But Oklahoma City gets Corey Potter back, they’ll get Brossoit as the number one, and possibly Ty Rimmer. Two young goaltenders with a lot of promise means that it can be a coming out party or an utter disaster. The way Brossoit has emerged as a solid prospect tender is promising, no doubt, but Rimmer remains a bit of a question mark despite the Oilers love of him.

Huge games are needed from Anton Lander and Roman Horak, the two centerman the Barons rely on the most. Likewise, coming off a lengthy injury, Ryan Martindale has to return to form in the third line centering role for the Barons to have any chance in tonight’s game, and the remainder on the road through December 20th.

Defense continues to be puzzling. Klefbom is hit or miss, but easily one of the Barons most solid defenders of late. The infusion of Potter helps, and nudges out Gernat or Musil in the bottom pairings, but he is a quality AHL defender. That leaves Marincin, Davidson, Fedun, and Hunt to carry the rest of the load. Nelson/MacT like what they see from Brad Hunt, and his minutes will continue to be well over 19:00 per game. Fedun adding scoring support has me excited, but the hope is that he can remain doing what defenders need to do the most, and that’s, well, defend.

The game starts at 7:00pm tonight. Join us on twitter, listen online, tune in at AHL Live, or just return to Tend The Farm for the postgame. Go Barons!