Wild at Oilers, G10/07-08

This is Ron Chipperfield. If you subscribed to the Hockey News 1970-74 you know he was among the most famous junior hockey players of that era. Chipperfield was an impact offensive talent in junior for the Brandon Wheat Kings (although he went to the Memorial Cup as a member of the Dauphin Kings, spring 1970) and scored goals seemingly at will before turning pro.

He was drafted by the California Seals but signed with Jim Pattison and the Vancouver Blazer (WHA). I always wondered why the HOCKEY NEWS rated him #1 overall for the 1974 draft but he went 17th. The story at the time was that teams were afraid he’d sign with the WHA (they called it “jumped to the WHA”, did that in every news story for many years) and he ultimately did sign with them but in hindsight the reason he went 17th probably had to do with his skating and the fact that underagers were part of the 1974 Entry Draft.

“Seemingly at will” does not apply to tonight’s goal total in regard to the Edmonton Oilers. As hockey opponents go, the Minnesota Wild are tiresome. If they score the first goal I usually go to the book shelf in my house and grab a little light reading. Beating the Minnesota Wild after being down 1-0 is a mountain, beating them after being down 2-0 would probably bring the apocalypse. Being down 3-0 and then scoring 5 unanswered goals would be the kind of thing a strong Stanley contender might do.

I’ll be hoping for a powerplay goal, expecting Garon to play in goal and Grebeshkov should be in the pressbox. Betting on Edmonton to win this game is folly.

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107 Responses to "Wild at Oilers, G10/07-08"

  1. Matt says:

    The point of this is not so much to brag as to reinforce your point, but this from Jean Lefebvre re: CGY-MIN last night:

    “…it was the very first time — ever — the normally very defensively conscious Wild had lost after holding a three-goal lead.”

  2. kanadienkyle says:

    It seems to me that the Oilers have had thus far had the misfortune of playing teams after they have been beaten badly or played a bad game.

    I can’t imagine Jacques the Trap Lemaire will be too happy, and the frustration will likely be taken out on the Oilers.

    I will declare a moral victory if we score 1 goal.

  3. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I’d like to take this oppourtunity to thank the Flamers for poking the bear for us. I fully expect the Wild will be twisting the knife tonight.

    Regarding who’s in net, wouldn’t they play Roli against his old team, then Garon against his old team on Saturday?

  4. guitarzan says:

    Won’t comment on Xtians vs Lions tonight – but thank you from all of us for remembering Chipperfield and the other 70’s fellows we grew up watching. Your site is first class.

  5. digger says:

    Hmm, tough choice here:

    Watching the Oilers get the life slowly choked out of them like a Burmese python on a pig, or replacing all the toilet paper in my house with rough grade sandpaper?

    As God is my witness, I’m not sure which one would cause less stress in my life.

  6. dstaples says:

    Lowetide, I greatly enjoy your blog, and have for some time. I’d like to do a story on you, as I’m a reporter with the Edmonton Journal. Can you contact me. My number is 498 5829. My email is dstaples@thejournal.canwest.com
    David Staples, The Edmonton Journal.
    Sorry for contacting you in your “comments” section, but I saw no other way to send you a note.

  7. Mr DeBakey says:


    Make sure that Staples mentions that, like MacT,
    the chicks find you irresistible.

  8. speeds says:

    While I would love to read a story about LT in the EDM Journal, I would prefer to read a regular column written by LT in the Journal.

  9. Black Dog says:

    Don’t forget us little people when you hit the bigtime, LT.


  10. ClaytonMagnet says:

    There’s a blurb on the Oilers’ website that says Smid is drawing in and Tarnstrom is likely sitting out. If this is true, then that lump in MacT’s throat is officially his nose.

  11. namflashback says:

    – on Tarnstrom out — injured? or does MacT like the pain THAT MUCH

    – on Smid — welcome back to #1 minutes Laddy

    Digger — you might as well eat sandpaper and see if that will do the job from the inside out.

  12. Rube Foster says:

    Wow LT,
    First Rory in Ontario and now the Edmonton Journal. This Staples fellow better be setting you up for a hatchet job or you could/should be taking his job.
    Thanks for the Chipperfield post. He was a dandy with the late seventies Oilers and didn’t he bring us Ron Low in a trade with the Nordiques – who’s jersey he looks so dapper in.
    After seeing how Sam-wise dropped like a sack of hammers when bumped by “The” Finger last game (has anyone in the NHL ever had the nickname “The”) I wouldn’t mind if the Oilers let young Mr. Gagner watch this one from the press box.

  13. Jonathan says:

    Re:Gagner. Given that he led the Oilers forwards in ice-time last time out, it seems unlikely that he would be scratched. The Oilers site lists him as a player to watch, too.
    As for Tarnstrom, he must be hurt. It makes no logic to scratch him when along with Staios and Gilbert he’s been the most reliable defensive option available.

  14. Bruce says:

    has anyone in the NHL ever had the nickname “The”

    Garth Butcher

  15. Dennis says:

    Wow, the MSM picks one blogger to hit the limelight and wouldn’t you know it’s someone who supported the Pronger trade AND thinks that we got a good return for Smyth?:)

    A coincidence;)?

    As for tonight’s game, I listened to the podcasts on the official site and Smid said he was playing 25 min a night down in the A and that the org told him he had to go down there and work on his defensive game. Also, Smid said he’s being re-united with Staios on the old ’07 second pairing so that leads to the next para..

    Where, you couldn’t quite clearly hear it but a reporter asked MacT something about Tarnstrom and the lineup and MacT almost got snappy again, and there was something about a press conference too, but MacT said he wouldn’t comment on the lineup so I’m thinking that Tarnstrom has gone from the first pairing on Tues night to the pressbox tonight. Which would be an absolute gobsmacker from this end considering that I thought 23 had a good game on Tues and that his sitting would mean both Grebs and Roy get to stay in the top six and as a result, it makes us even LESS expereienced.

    Then again, MacT gave a glowing review and/or a vote of confidence for Grebs today and basically said he’s staying up.

    Note: I listented to it again and Tarnstrom is sitting out and MacT did get snappy again. It starts with a reporter saying that Dick said he isn’t playing and MacT gets super saucy and says, “Did he have a press conference.?” Then he asks, “what’s the question” and he’s saucy again and the reporter asks if Dick’s playing and macT said he won’t comment on the lineup.

    MacT looks ready to blow despite what he said to Macguire the other night about having patience with such a young team.

    That may be the case but it looks like he’s bound to take it out on the fouth estate in the meantime.

  16. Oilman says:

    I’m sure if they ever want to do a piece on someone who saw MAB as a valuable D-man and consistently misuses the word “acumen” they’ll look you up dennis;o)

  17. Mr DeBakey says:

    That MacT/Tarnstrom comment was weird.
    The whole deal is weird.

    Is he hurt? Say so.

    If he’s not. Why the hell isn’t he playing?

    The whole thing lacks acumen

  18. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Betting on Edmonton to win this game is folly.

    Maybe that’s why Tarnstrom is sitting out: might as well break in the new kids if we’re going to lose and also protect Tarnstrom from Boogard.

    – Mustafa Hirji

  19. Lord Bob says:

    – on Tarnstrom out — injured? or does MacT like the pain THAT MUCH

    Remember in 2006 when we got Tricky Dicky and he sat pretty well all the time in favour of, among others, a rookie Matt Greene?

    I think MacTavish has always hated Tarnstrom. He’s certainly the softest regular defenseman we’ve had in the MacTavish era and he’s not known as a guy who busts his ass on every play; both trademarks of MacTavish hatred.

  20. Steve says:

    Maybe that’s why Tarnstrom is sitting out: might as well break in the new kids if we’re going to lose and also protect Tarnstrom from Boogard.

    I like Tarnstrom a lot more now that I realize that his signing wasn’t a ticket to Springfield for the legendary Brad Gilbert, but I’m still not sure that he ranks among the top ten Oilers that I’d want to protect from Boogard. If that was really the thinking, wouldn’t we set Hemsky in favour of Stortini?

  21. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I hope MacT does blow. Some emotion from someone on this team would be a nice change. The fact that a team is coming into their building, after playing 22 hours earlier, and is HEAVILY favored to win, should have every last one of them ready to tear someone’s head off. A hallmark of a winner is the absolute hatred of loosing. I see defeat and disappointment on a lot of Oiler faces from loosing, but not rage. Of course, we don’t see what goes on in a closed dressing room. But I think that loosing has become habit for this team, and when you’re trying to bring up some young potential franchise players, this is a bad mindset to create for them. I hope, if they do get squashed tonight, that we at least see some fire in their eyes.

  22. Oilman says:

    It does lack acumen…reaks of lack of acumen…really where has the acumen in the game gone?…it’s a lack of respect really…..damn instigator rule

  23. Rube Foster says:

    Bruce – good “acumen” on you.
    Speaking of Garth Butcher’s “acumen”, I always thought his nickname should’ve been Abdullah.
    This is prime time to mention Garth Butcher because when the CanuckleHeads wore those French’s Mustard colored flying V “acumen” jerseys, Butcher looked like a Halloween costume.

    By the way Tricky Dick has been our best d-man for the past few games so something has to be fishy if he’s sitting out tonight. I do like the idea of a Staios/ Smid reunion I think it’s good for the kid but also good for Staios. Scuba Steve hasn’t looked very comfortable on the ice this year and playing with his old pal Laddy should help him.

  24. Dennis says:

    If someone’s following me that closely, they should take some of that time and learn how to watch a game instead.

    Then, those nameless guys would know that Bergeron was a valuable dman because he did a good job exploiting soft minutes.

  25. Bruce says:

    Butcher’s other nickname in my row was “Raccoon” cuz he always seemed to sport a couple of black eyes.

  26. Oilman says:

    dennis, he lost his spot to a blind guy who couldn’t find his own end when he could still see…..and don’t be so touchy….you only want readers who mindlessly agree with everything you say…whadaya work for the Journal? You should be flattered that I actually pay attention;o)

  27. Dennis says:

    Haha, point taken, bud:)

    I know that I can be a know-it-all but then again, most people are like that when it comes to a point of confidence.

    That being said, I won’t bend on my take on Bergeron. We could get into a thing where the Oilers thought his spot was better suited to breaking in a kid who might eventually mature into someone that could go on to take top four min, and that’s something Bergy was unable to handle, but in terms of if Bergy had value, I certainly think he did. Both in terms of what he could do with the soft min AND how little he was being paid.

    It was a weird end for him though. Just as he was getting a little something going on the PP, they sat him down and gave that spot to Toby Petersen right at the time you’d think they’d be showcasing his offensive acumen:D considering they were floating him around the league and Isles, in particular, were no doubt watching him

  28. Ribs says:

    Did someone release the hounds? Why is everyone so worried about not having Tarnstrom in the lineup? Did he suddenly become a #1 defenseman while I wasn’t watching?
    Relax, people!

    I can’t wait for tonights game on the other hand. Okay, that was pretty sarcastic. I hate these games against Minny. I’ve always hated them.

    But I have new hope!

    It comes in the form of Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner. These guys are making games fun to watch again. Just when I had thought the Oilers speed game had slowed to molasses for good, these two skilled forwards are operating at gear not seen in these parts for many a good year.

    Now if only the veterans would amp up their game like we know they can. Then we might have something here. We might even have a winning team in our midst.

    Rah, rah! Go team!, and whatnot.

    So, who plans on paying the PPV fee to watch this game? How about the next 2 that air this month? (That makes 4 PPV games in one month, by the way.) 630Ched for me tonight, methinks.

  29. Jonathan says:

    “Why is everyone so worried about not having Tarnstrom in the lineup? Did he suddenly become a #1 defenseman while I wasn’t watching?”

    Don’t joke. On this team, anything is possible.

  30. Devin says:

    Actually, yeah, he did suddenly become a #1 D-man, and didn’t look too out of place there either. Just in time for MacT to replace him in that role with an AHL callup. God this team is frustrating.

  31. RiversQ says:

    Dennis said…
    Wow, the MSM picks one blogger to hit the limelight and wouldn’t you know it’s someone who supported the Pronger trade AND thinks that we got a good return for Smyth?:)

    A coincidence;)?


    Dennis is just jealous, but that was fucking brilliant.

  32. mc79hockey says:

    I for one think that this is an encouraging development. Grabia is having open exchanges with a half lucid John MacKinnon, Lowetide is wanted for interviews…good stuff all around.

  33. dubya says:

    Heard via HF that 1260 is reporting that Pisani has responded to treatment and is resuming workouts with a possible early December return. Man, if we could get Moreau and Pisani back…

    I’ve been a MacT supporter for a long time, but I cannot for the life of me imagine why Grebs would play ahead of Tarnstrom. Jesus, I think he’s losing it.

  34. jon says:

    So let me get this straight… Tarnstrom is sitting in favour of Grebeshkov?

    The same Tarnstrom who has been the only Oiler defensemen to not make noticeable errors on a period by period basis?

    The same Grebeshkov who single-handedly lost last game for us?

    Something is not right here. Maybe Lowe is fully embracing the rebuild and the coincidental skyrocketing of our 1st round pick up the ranks is his apology gift to Burke.

    It’s a strange world the Oilers live in, and I don’t much care for it anymore.

  35. RiversQ says:

    Grebeshkov over Tarnstrom isn’t the only weird move so far. The bench coaching has been a little erratic, Pouliot has pretty much been mistreated IMO, and even Brodziak sitting out one of the VAN games was bewildering. (Mind you, Brodziak hasn’t maintained his form, but he hasn’t been a liability either.) I really don’t know what MacT’s up to lately. Usually it’s pretty clear what he’s up to, but lately it’s been a different story.

  36. Rube Foster says:

    I’m on the Dennis MAB train!

    MAB had/has value as a number five d-man and power play specialist.

    Only in a Canadian city could your number five defenseman earn so much vile and scorn from the fans to the point of getting run out of town. Do you think there is any place other than Edmonton where a fifth defenseman who got shipped out of town the previous year is debated with as much frequency and fervor? Man I love this town!

    Bergie’s problem in Edmonton was that people remembered that couple week run he had paired with Pronger back in 2006 and wrongly assumed that MAB was a top four even top two d-man. I think there were even parts of last year that the Oil management themselves forgot the reason they got Spacek was because they knew then that Bergeron was a five dressed up as a two – que the Trooper. Compounding MAB’s problems was the insistence by the Oil that he be paired with Greene, when he would’ve been much better off with a guy like “Saint” Hejda.

    As your 5th d-man playing soft minutes, at his price tag you’re doing just fine with MAB. The big shot from the point on the PP is added gravy. The MAB bonus if you will.

    Oh yeah, The Dickster’s been our number one D-man since the game in Phoenix – I wish I was jokeing. The only thing that makes any sense with him in the press box tonight is that he’s hurt and the Oilers are smart enough not broadcast his tender bits. Hurry back soon oh tricky one.

  37. Dennis says:

    I’m too old to buy into the whole “when we get this and that guy back.”

    Well, wait, maybe it’s not age or experience that has anything to do with it, it’s rather that a guy like 34 isn’t trying to come back from a hangnail and Moreau’s lost me when it comes to me having any faith in the guy’s durability. He’s not even skating yet and is, by his own admission, a long ways away from being in game shape.

    When I see them on the ice, that’s when I’ll believe it.

    As for when Tarnstrom became a #1 dman, that’s not really the point. The point is that he’s better than some of the guys who Will be playing tonight so I think it’s cause for a raised eyebrow or two.

  38. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide….YOU CAN DO IT!!

    I think I mentioned in another thread this past week that you should be writing for the Sun/Journal as a guest columnist.

    Can’t wait for the read in the Journal. Top quality blog here.

  39. Vic Ferrari says:

    Tarnstrom being sat? damn. It makes sense in that none of MacTavish’s other moves make basic sense either.

    I wonder why he’s being so snippy though, surely he realizes that nobody in the scrum will call him on it.

    “Who did Tarnstrom play against mostly in the last game?”

    “What were the scoring chances, for and against, when Dick was on the ice on Tuesday?”

    Good questions both. And MacTavish knows the answers off the top of his head. If asked: I wonder if he would have bullshitted or just vented and changed the subject?

    Jesus. This team needs an enema.

  40. Jonathan says:

    Just so we’re clear, this makes our defensive pairings the following:
    That’s five guys who ought to be playing a bottom pairing role. Four if you really believe in Gilbert.

  41. Dennis says:

    As far as going totally young and thus giving Burke a better pick in the process, myself and PDO had a conversation not too long ago where I was pissed that by playing so many kids in so many roles, it increases the chance of Burke getting a super high pick.

    But then again, the brass truly believes that the ’09 team is better if some of the ’08 kids play bigger roles, evne if it means Burke gets a super pick, well then I guess you have to run with that idea.

  42. Vic Ferrari says:


    I don’t know what your goals are here, that’s your business. Flattery is a powerful thing, and politely declining Mr Staples’ request is sensible.

    Some of the guys on the intarweb are aspiring writers, an invitation from a local paper would be a boon to them. But if the upside of this for you is “Lowetide has made the Oilogosphere as popular as HFboards and OilFans!” … damn, think it through.

  43. dubya says:

    I’m too old to buy into the whole “when we get this and that guy back.”

    Yeah, I’m not suggesting that those two will return and lead the charge to the top of the division. But IF 34 really does come back (keeping in mind he played with the condition last year before a more severe flair up) and Mr. Glass can stay in one piece, it gives us two guys who can kill penalties, defend against top competition, and provide some leadership. With our defense coming in with an average age of 12, that can only help.

  44. Dennis says:

    I hear ya, Dubya.

    If both those two guys come back, it will almost instantly cut down our GA, both from the ES side of things and also on the PK as well. The latter unit has been struggling like a MoFo but those two guys would give it some instant calm. Plus, those two fellows make it a much easier call to put together six forwards to take the tough sledding and then you can let a Gagner/Penner combo see if they can make hay with the soft min.

    And don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Pisani fan and I honestly thought the world of him before he went all Druce-ian on us in ’06. Guys like him who are unsung, and up to that point were underpaid and thus bargains;) have always been favorites of mine.

    Moreau, on the other hand, I like that the guy plays the tough min and can kill a penalty but he still takes some stupid penalties that just drive me nuts.

    And of course it just gets under my skin how brittle/unlucky he’s become. Either way, it does the Oilers no good.

    On the bright side of things, we’ve got a tonne of guys that we have to make decisions on; especially guys in their third year of A service time like Nilsson, JFJ and Pouliot. Plus, throw Brodz into that mix as well. Guys like Moreau and Pisani out means that the kids auditions go a little longer and gives us time to see who’s worth keeping. Bringing back both 18 and 34 will force the Oilers into quite a few decisions. If they were both good to go tonight, for instance, then two of Jacques, Pouliot and Brodz would be out and two of those guys plus Stortini would be back in SF.

    So it will be fun to see how it all shakes out. Hopefully, MacT picks the right horses to bet on in terms of playing time between now and when one of 18 or 34 returns.

  45. jon says:

    For the MAB booster in the crowd, he’s been a healthy scratch three times in a row so far this season… A scratch by a very good head coach in Ted Nolan.

  46. Ribs says:

    “Actually, yeah, he did suddenly become a #1 D-man, and didn’t look too out of place there either.”

    “Oh yeah, The Dickster’s been our number one D-man since the game in Phoenix – I wish I was jokeing. “

    There’s a big difference between being a #1 defenseman and our #1 defenseman, guys.

    “As for when Tarnstrom became a #1 dman, that’s not really the point. The point is that he’s better than some of the guys who Will be playing tonight so I think it’s cause for a raised eyebrow or two.”

    A raised eyebrow seems a lot more sensible than the roof is caving kind of feeling I got from reading previous posts.
    In the end, Tarnstrom in this game or not isn’t going to matter much.

  47. Vic Ferrari says:


    In terms of result, it doesn’t really matter if Hemsky and Horcoff are benched either.

    It would be nice to hear an explanation, though. But since no player on this team seems to have a role that lasts for more than one game, if that, there is plenty of room to question the coaching staff.

    Even if you think MacTavish is just great, surely you don’t think he’s above questioning.

  48. ClaytonMagnet says:


  49. gary b says:


    gotta love Rod Phillips.

  50. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Holy Crap!

  51. Dennis says:

    Well, it looks like the HST line is paying off;) early for the Oilers

  52. Ribs says:

    Vic – With Gagner and Cogliano leading the team in points, with whatever the top line is not scoring, and having the worst Power Play in the league, I think the Oilers have more serious problems than worrying about what schmuck out of schmuckdom MacT throws out on defense any given night.

  53. Ribs says:

    of course I would say that during a game in which Horcoff and hemsky both score goals, hah.

  54. Devin says:

    Torcsky – can they keep this up? Beauties so far. Horc! PP!

    I cannot stress how important scoring at least one PP goal/game is. 3-1 now and it’s a much safer game all of a sudden. If the Oil can score at 18% or so on the PP they’ll be fine (provided they keep up their pretty decent ES scoring rates).

  55. Ribs says:

    …and a power play goal. hot damn.
    Not playing Tarnstrom is the best thing the Oilers have done this year! hah… j/k.

  56. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Score first..Hemsky snipes…PP goal…if they hold on to win this one, we’ll have nothing to complain about tonight!

  57. danny says:

    Grebs is making one bad decision after another again tonight.

  58. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Seriously though, what do the coaching staff see in him that the rest of us are missing?

  59. danny says:

    How many weakside tap-ins are we going to give up this year? Holy moly… as soon as theresd a shot/scramble i just look for the glove side of the net for the puck to come across the line.

    Rolosons rebound control has been sub par all season. I hope its not his age and its just something he needs to fine tune in practise.

  60. PDO says:

    After what feels like decades of ordering the Oilers to play Minny, only to want to take sandpaper for my eyes for 2 and a half hours for my $14..

    I said screw it tonight.

    What happens? Horcoff takes a game over all on his own. Sigh.

  61. danny says:

    … ahhh Kevin?

    Whats the real story behind that dent in the door again?

  62. Bank Shot says:

    Seriously though, what do the coaching staff see in him that the rest of us are missing?

    That breakway pass Grebeshkov made to Hemsky was pretty nice.

    He fanned on a puck pretty badly in the first, and got tied up a bit with Gaborik for the penalty, but I thought that was a decent decision to close the gap there.

    His own zone work hasn’t been perfect, but its been adequate.

    Outside of that there hasn’t been anything terribly damning about his game tonight.

  63. Bank Shot says:

    What happens? Horcoff takes a game over all on his own. Sigh.

    Um not really. His first goal was a nice deflection by him, then another deflection by the Wild D-man.

    His second goal bounced off the goalie then off a Wild defenceman’s back into the net.

    He’s been getting the bounces.

  64. PDO says:

    Bank Shot:

    Thanks. That’s what happens when I only have Yahoo ;).

  65. Devin says:

    Did that really just happen? Holy Schnikes!

  66. Ribs says:

    Just saw the highlights on TSN. Wow.

  67. uni says:

    Man I need some sort of satellite feed again for games =(.

    Here’s hoping this is the first of many many many multigoal-multipoint games by Hemsky-Horcoff-Torres.

    Also that was short-lived euphoria.

  68. Ribs says:

    ..And Greene fumbles the ball, again.

  69. uni says:

    It sounds like Roloson put it in himself.

    Greene is showing signs of the much anticipated improvement lately from what I hear as well.

  70. Ribs says:

    Fine, Greene was okay on that one.

  71. mc79hockey says:

    I’ve missed Ladi Smid on the PP.

  72. PDO says:

    Sounds like Hemsky just Horcoffed the puck into the net for the winner.


  73. uni says:

    Wow…everytime the Oilers win I miss the game…I’m not watching another Oilers game…ever.

  74. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Well, they just ruined a lot of Sportsline tickets!

  75. Lord Bob says:

    Betting on Edmonton to win tonight was folly, which is why bookies make so much money.

  76. Bank Shot says:

    It sounds like Roloson put it in himself.

    That goal was seven shades of weak. Greene played well the entire game and didn’t deserve a minus. I don’t believe that the Roy-Greene pairing gave up more then a couple of chances.

    All in all the defense wasn’t bad, except they were really scrambly around the crease. Gilbert/Grebeshkov had a bunch of moments in which they were probably equally to blame. Smid/Staios had a few as well, which have to be hung on Smid.

    Stoll played well tonight. We’ve heard the theory that Pisani was the cause of Stoll’s good streak last season, but perhaps Torres had more to do with it. That guy can just take over games when he’s on his rag. Hopefully it sticks for good this time.

  77. ClaytonMagnet says:

    “There’s virtually no chance (Sam Gagner) won’t be in the lineup”


  78. Dennis says:

    It makes my head hurt to see us icing an AHL defense corps, granted they’d be a damn good AHL defense corps;) with Tarnstrom sitting out. I don’t know what’s going on but to see Smid out on the last PP with time winding down and Tarnstrom in the pressbox, it really makes you wonder.

    As an aside, Smid is back! And he’s super high event!!!!

    Nice job by the HST line but I thought Gagner looked lost tonight and did Penner even play?

    The defense is just terrible. I know that 78 is one of my faves and that maybe I’m picking up for him after he gave the puck away in the O zone, but here’s two things about that:

    1: He gave up the puck about 160 feet away from his net

    2: Roy was beat nearly clean by Parrish and that doesn’t happen for Mark Parrish.

    Hey, it’s not Roy’s fault because he’s an AHLer. But then again, so is Grebeskov and all of Smid, Greene and Gilbert belong in the bottom pairing.

    After tonight, this looks like the Year Of The Grebeskov.

  79. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Totally off topic, if you get a chance, watch the Boston highlights tonight, in particular, the Chara fight. Haven’t seen that much blood since McCarty suckered Lemieux.

  80. RiversQ says:

    Gagner looked like a kid tonight. I thought the Wild played him a little tougher physically than I have seen in most of the games.

    The defense obviously does not look good. Just like last year, they’re a team that’s missing 2-3 players from their top two pairs and there isn’t a team in the league that can handle that.

    I did like Penner taking a run at Rolston, but that’s about all he did.

    The top line looked like a legit top line tonight and since they’ve got some pedigree I can’t see any reason why that won’t continue. Hemsky is playing a little more complicated game than he did for the first 5-6 games, but when you outchance the opposition every night you’re going to get the results.

    After last year where he couldn’t but a break, Horc deserves another couple goals off the dman’s chest this season.

  81. PunjabiOil says:

    I was at the game…scored a couple of tickets from a scalper.

    – Torres is playing with full confidence. He’s playing like a man possessed. I counted 4-5 hits, and strong with the puck on the board.

    – Roloson has to limit the rebounds. Played fairly well otherwise.

    – Hemsky had his best game of the season.

    – Stoll playing with more fire, but shooting blanks 5 on 5 in the results category

    – I think the Sanderson Cogliano Pouliot line was on the ice for 3 goals. Brutal night for the line, although I though Cogliano looked sharp. Pouliot, I’m a fan of, but it’s time for the number crunchers to swallow the pride and admit Parise is the better player. MAP was weak on the puck, turned the puck over a few times, and created next to nothing on offense.

    – Penner is making favourable impressions when he uses the body.

    – Gilbert looked great. Smid had a rough outing. Grebeshkov received zero cheers in the pre-game announcement or when he was mentioned on the assist. He played solid though, and MacT trusted him all night. Time to put Tarnstrom in for Roy next game, however.

    – Sanderson sucks.

    – Likewise, Reasoner is not the same player he used to be either.

    – A win is a win, I guess. Not bad that they’re 4-6 in the first 10, considering the schedule. Time to make some advances in the next 10-15 games.

  82. RiversQ says:

    – Penner is making favourable impressions when he uses the body.

    Yeah, the sort of impressions made when you poke the Pillsbury dough boy.

  83. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Mike Keenan just said “acumen”. LOL.

  84. Art Vandelay says:

    …scored a couple of tickets from a scalper.
    That can’t be an easy way to make a living.

  85. PunjabiOil says:

    That can’t be an easy way to make a living.


    Trick is to wait until a few minutes til game time.

    We ended up paying far less than face value.


  86. PunjabiOil says:

    MAP -3

    Sanderson -2 (Said it from the beginning, he’s done and has no hands. Speed is there, but what purpose does it have when you can’t finish or play defence?)

    Cogliano -2 (I’ll attribute it to his linemates)

  87. RiversQ says:

    PunjabiOil said…
    MAP -3

    Sanderson -2 (Said it from the beginning, he’s done and has no hands. Speed is there, but what purpose does it have when you can’t finish or play defence?)

    Cogliano -2 (I’ll attribute it to his linemates)

    He goes to one game and all of a sudden he’s an expert and Pouliot can’t play the game. :rolleyes:

    Two of the three GA had an awful lot to do with Smid failing to tie up his man in front of the net and/or not clearing rebounds.

    For one of the Smid GA, Pouliot was out challenging the pointman just like he was supposed to. Can’t blame him there.

    I guess you could fault Pouliot on the last goal but Dennis is right about where the turnover was and what Roy contributed to that play.

    I dunno, I don’t think Pouliot has been as strong as in recent games (the CGY game comes to mind) but he created two chances and made one mistake on the Parrish goal. I don’t think that’s all that bad frankly.

    Sure he took a beating in the results, but one game is not indicative of his play this year IMHO.

    Cogliano usually wins a surprising number of puck battles for a small guy, but he didn’t do that tonight and it showed.

    I can’t argue about Sanderson. I don’t think he has been terrible, but he sure doesn’t seem to get the results.

  88. Dennis says:

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what happens if Moreau ever comes back and what happens if him and Pisani come back. Would the Oilers just say fuck it and waive Sanderson? I don’t think 78 deserved a -3 but if there was ever a game where MacT had an ‘excuse’ to bench him, it’s this one.

    Plus, the other whipping boy JFJ, he was out there trying to hit people all night and bullied Nummilen in particular which drove Boogaard to distraction, along with the penalty box after he hit someone late on an icing play.

  89. Dennis says:

    A couple of notes about the OT.

    – I found it odd that macT didn’t go with a 83-89 combo. Those guys have the best creative minds on the team and had some good chem on the PP in Cgy last week. MacT had Gagner in his last six forwards for the extra session so I thought he’d get thrown out there with Hemsky

    – When MacT cut the forwards down to nine, 13-22-78 took the pine. I still thought it was funny that Cogs didn’t draw an OT shift though. The guy’s our fastest skater and could’ve took someone wide. His pattened move thus far seems to be to take a guy wide and get enough seperation to the point where he has an open line to pass to the driving winger.

  90. PunjabiOil says:

    He goes to one game and all of a sudden he’s an expert and Pouliot can’t play the game. :rolleyes:

    Roll your eyes all you want. The fact is, the offense hasn’t came from him, aside from 3 games back in February.

    He’s already had 2 years of professional hockey experience behind him. He’s been weak on the battles. Sure, he’s had a few games where he’s played solid, cycled the puck well, etc. – but like Sanderson, you have to measure him on results, and he’s yet to make any impact. At what point is it okay to admit that for a 17th overall pick in a deep draft, he has not covered his bet? I had questions about his offence (he’s a PPG player in the AHL), and each and every game, he’s not showing much while guys like Parise and Getzlaf are on the scoresheet night in and night out.

    Like Dennis, I agree with Jacques – he’s bringing an element to this hockey club which is why he’s been playing

  91. PunjabiOil says:

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what happens if Moreau ever comes back and what happens if him and Pisani come back. Would the Oilers just say fuck it and waive Sanderson?

    Seems sensible to me.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    I found it odd that macT didn’t go with a 83-89 combo.

    Maybe on the PP as well where the Oilers stink, and they have a late chance to win the game. Nope, throw Reasoner over the boards….

    Roloson gets all the blame on the Parrish goal. That was a bad angle chance and the puck went right through him. Pouliot did run around a bit on one of the other goals. He was on the wrong side of the ice, and couldn’t reach his pointman in time to block the shot/force the D-man to put the puck into a less dangerous area.

    He’s not making much of a case for himself with 0 points on the season. He’s looked good offensively at times, but if he isn’t getting it done, it gives Craiger a reason to try other things.

  93. tyler.hildebrand says:

    Frequent reader, infrequent commenter, and perhaps a little late into the conversation for this, but Vic’s comment – It would be nice to hear an explanation, though. But since no player on this team seems to have a role that lasts for more than one game, if that, there is plenty of room to question the coaching staff. sums it all up for me.

    Maybe a veteran team could handle the constant juggling, i.e ‘The Blender’, but with this many kids in the lineup, a little bit of consistency, and a few defined roles would go a long way.

    How can anyone expect a team, particularly one as young as this one, to establish any sort of chemistry or consistency when the same three guys go over the boards for a shift together once every 2nd period. It seems like anytime one line gets anything going, they get tossed into the ‘blender’ hoping the three guys on that line might spread their mojo to the rest of the bench or something.

    Then, to add to that mess, moves like MAP in the PB after the last MIN game when he was clearly the best player on the ice, or Uncle Dick in the PB tonight when a guy like Grebeshkov has been an absolute nightmare, are total head scratchers to me.

    None of the moves made by MacT with the lineup, or Lowe for that matter but that should go without saying, make any sense to me. I have no expectations for this team, because you can’t possibly expect any rational moves out of either the management or the coaching staff, should be a fun year.

  94. boopronger says:

    I think people overreact about the blender. The team isnt playing well – what do you expect. You want the lines to stay the same? fuck no. you mix it up. Find something that works. Just watch, gaurenteed next game the top line will be torres, horcoff, and hemsky. Probably be that way for a number of games. why? cuz they played good together.

  95. namflashback says:


    I’m with boopronger on this. If the team is losing, and if it is because a line getting “exposed” by the opposition coach, you need to make a change for two important reasons:

    1 – it didn’t work
    2 – other team’s use video for game planning too

    A talented, but inexperienced line like Penner-Cogs-Gagner may put up a nice goal (or two) against Colorado — but IIRC, that was a set-up due to an incomplete change (maybe I’m wrong, but the back D for the Avalanche had just changed).

    Some of the chemistry seen is a trick shift change by MacT getting the young guys out against the right D pairing.

    I didn’t watch this game, but it looks like Lemaire got his Rolston-Bouchard line out several times versus 8-13-78. The other Oiler lines looked to have done very nicely. Do you leave that line to “gel” or do you go on the road and hope that Carlyle will not be paying attention and not put BertGetzrry out against them?

    No doubt that player chemistry is important. However, line matching to shore up weaknesses or potential problems is too.

  96. Jonathan says:

    I really don’t get the Sanderson hatred. He had one great game against Philly, production wise, but that’s still better than all of the young guys with the exception of Cogs/Gagner/Brodziak.
    Stoll, still has 1 point and -7 in 10 games. Pouliot is -6 and 0 points in 6 games. Jacques has his habitual 0 points along with -3 in six games. Not saying Sanderson is all that great, but I’d much rather have him playing the 4th line minutes than Pouliot/Jacques/Nilsson/Stortini/Schremp. He’s a perfectly acceptable, if overpaid, 4th liner. And, last I checked, the Oilers were spending like drunken sailors so 1.5 million isn’t that unreasonable compared to some other guys in the lineup.

  97. Dennis says:

    Well, 78 is now -6 but that’s really one terrible game that’s weighing him down. Hey, I admit that I’m pretty close to being back to where I was last year on him when it comes to his offense, I just don’t know where it will come from, but to tie in the Sanderson point, if Moreau came back today I’d send down Stortini and keep Sanderson around as a 13th man to keep the kids on their toes.

    I still wouldn’t play him a lot though because if this team’s building, then it’s better to give a kid icetime in hopes that he’s better for the ’09 season.

    One last note here, the propaganda compaign on behalf of Grebeskov has begun.

    From Matheson and today’s Journal:


    The Oilers decided to scratch Dick Tarnstrom, who is averaging 20:22 a game (two points, plus-one), to go with a kiddie corps on the back-end.

    Edmonton had four defencemen — Smid (77), Denis Grebeshkov (37), Tom Gilbert (21) and Mathieu Roy (18) — on the ice who have a combined total of 153 games of NHL experience.

    ”Grebeshkov had a strong game.”

    He got his first point as an Oiler on a feed to Shawn Horcoff, and also sent Ales Hemsky in alone with a long pass—

    Now, some dummy’s gonna read that over his morning coffee and all of a sudden he’s a convert, fuck that old bastard Tarnstrom, this kid Grebeskov is good!!

  98. Pleasure Motors says:

    Grebeshkov had a strong game.

    As bad as Grebeshkov has looked, he’s played some tough minutes over the last two games. He and Gilbert played the most against Gaborik last night, and against Sakic-Brunette-Wolski on Tuesday.

    Now, it’s probably obvious he can’t really handle those, but being able to create some offence (the assist, the stretch pass) in that situation bodes well for a third-pairing chaos defender, no?

    Not that, you know, we didn’t already trade away a reliable, third-pairing chaos defender to get him.

  99. Bank Shot says:

    Not that, you know, we didn’t already trade away a reliable, third-pairing chaos defender to get him.

    I guess the coaches felt that MAB was just never going to get it. He never seemed to improve on any of his deficiencies.

    Apparently David Staples has a blog as well, and he had this Mactavish quote about Grebeshkov, “What he is lacking is correctable,” MacTavish told reporters on Wednesday, “and I have been happy with the way he’s responded to the coaching.”

    This isn’t to say that Grebeshkov is going to be a stud player, but he has already shown vast improvement over his training camp play, which makes it likely that this guy, unlike MAB, is capable of learning.

    If that’s true then he’ll cut down on some of the outrageously bad, high-risk puck decisions that are still part of his game, and then there really won’t be much to complain about when it comes to Denis.

    I’m not sure why Mactavish sat Tarnstrom as he has exceeded my expectations in the early going. Mat Roy Just looks outclassed for example, and I’m not sure he has a high NHL upside besides being a pretty good fighter.

    Roy could become a Staios type player down the road, but that’ll likely take years, and his upside isn’t that high that we should be worried about losing him.

  100. Jonathan says:

    A glimpse from the future:
    Edmonton Journal, October 28, 2007
    by Jim Matheson


    Faced with a parade of injuries that includes forwards Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau, the Oilers decided to employ Jean-Francois Jacques on their third line against the Kings.

    With other rookies- notably Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner and Kyle Brodziak stealing the spotlight, J.F. Jacques’ strong play has been lost in the mix.

    ”Jacques shows power-forward potential.”

    He got his first career goal and point tonight against the Kings (in only his 51st game), a power-forward style goal that sam him charge to the net and a clearing attempt by Rob Blake bounce in off of his skate by bewildered goaltender Jason LaBarbera.

    It’s the kind of goal that the Oilers expect to see a lot of out of Jacques.

  101. Dennis says:

    Jonathan, I almost choked on my apple when I read that. It was awesome. All I needed was a mention of how Brady Murray is Andy Murray’s “boy” and you would’ve had me fooled.

    It’s sort of exciting to on the ground floor of the Grebs thing, though;)

  102. Bruce says:

    78 is now -6 but that’s really one terrible game that’s weighing him down.

    6 GP, 0-0-0, -6
    61:54 TOI
    6 shots, 6 hits
    3 giveaways, 0 takeaways

    That’s one terrible game alright, he’s been on the ice for 60 minutes and we’ve been outscored 6-0 (7-1?). At times he looks decent, but at those times nothing happens, for or against. Not much being generated from this guy in the positive sense, no matter where MacT hides him.

    I don’t want to be overly critical of the young man himself, who is still a developing player, but he is a test case for management and scouting given the history leading up to his selection in the draft. Fairly or otherwise, he will be compared to Parise and to a lesser extent, Getzlaf. Of course we also got an extra pick out of that deal who has turned into something of a player, so the fairer comparison is MAP + JFJ vs. ???. But it would be encouraging to see some numbers that weren’t zeros or minuses associated with those guys.

  103. dubya says:

    6 GP, 0-0-0, -6
    61:54 TOI
    6 shots, 6 hits
    3 giveaways, 0 takeaways

    Certainly not encouraging. I’ve read a fair bit of the analysis showing that MAP appears competent at keeping the puck out of his own net, but do wonder how much of that is the level of competition and linemates. i.e. was MAP playing with Thoreson against the other teams 4th line? If so, not getting scored on is hardly a huge accomplishment, and it might explain why he can’t get anything going offensively against better competition. Or was he playing tough minutes last year?

    I dunno, but if he’s no longer keeping the puck out of the Oiler’s net I think he needs to be back in the AHL re-learning how to put it in the opposing team’s.

  104. Jonathan says:

    “Not much being generated from this guy in the positive sense, no matter where MacT hides him.”

    I’ve strongly felt for some time that Pouliot, if he isn’t a head-case, at least displays head-case like qualities from time to time, and was extremely upset when the Oilers traded down to pick him. That said, I don’t think he’s really played sheltered minutes. The only in-depth lineup analysis I’ve done was of the Colorado game, where he played 10+ minutes with Cogliano/Sanderson against equal parts Sakic/Laperriere lines. If memory and observation serve, however, he hasn’t played on a soft-minutes line this season.

  105. Jonathan says:

    A quick glance at the Minny game shows Pouliot again with Cogs/Sanderson, getting 7 minutes against a mix of everyone (incl. Gaborik’s line), but primarily vs. Veilleux/Rdivojevic/Koivu.
    At this point, though, it would be nice to see some production out of him. He and Stoll seemed to have some nice chemistry in camp; maybe give them 4th line duty together to get something going (though of course Stoll would continue playing special teams and taking key faceoffs).

  106. Dennis says:

    I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t played on a soft min line, I’d take a guess and say he’s playing the second softest min. Horc’s taking on the toughies, Gagner’s getting the candy and Reasoner’s taking on the second toughest. Does that sound about right?

    I’m a Pouliot guy but even last year when he was up here keeping the puck in the good end of the ice, I always struggled with how he was gonna create his offense.

    By comparison, Cogs is a darter when it comes to scoring goals. He’s gonna be in and out, flashing into the slot or sneaking in through the side. And he creates offense with his passing because he blows by dmen and that gives him lots of room to make a pass. Gagner knows how to find room already and he’s a great playmaker. He doesn’t have a shot per se so he probably winds up being a garbageman like Comrie.

    But with Pouliot, I was worried about his offense right from the first year in the A because he had some serious buzz and he didn’t have a great start. But, it was a split affiliation so it’s hard to make your hay when you’re on the wrong side of the ledger and by the end of that year, Dogs coach Don Lever had some really nice things to say to him. Then last year he had a poor start as well but really came around. But even last year he had a hard time creating offense and he had a couple of really good games but outside of that, the creating chances thing was hit or miss. But he didn’t give up a lot either.

    As for who he played with, down the stretch anyway, Skyora played with Petersen and Lupul and Reasoner played with Thor and Winchester. Lupul’s line was always playing the soft and 10/83 were always playing the tough so let’s say Pouliot played second toughest, maybe?

  107. IceDragoon says:


    Gagner doesn’t get candy… well ok, coach tries to seize opportunities… he gives candy. And he’s hauling his 5’11”, 190lb, cute, little, 18 year old, ***.

    Don’t forget, he was Horcoff’s RW for some games, and that means facing significant time against #1s by default. And you, yourself, noted that 10 pulled the Stastny gig vs the Avs, while young Samwise saw 9.3 minutes of Joe Sakic. That’s some soft… ;-D

    As for Pouliot… a little bird has peeped that he has been spending considerable time in the gym since TC. How that may have effected his play last night, I couldn’t say. ;-p I had other obligations… Rodvision painted my backdrop.

    Lemaire sure took that line to the woodshed tho,
    -7 in 7 minutes.

    Lain… Are you able to lock your discussion threads? It would be a shame for some spammer to bump the response number in 94’s thread. I’ve noticed a few in the archives.

    As to your impending fame… ;-D
    You know the smart buggers in here, plus Dennis is hilarious, so read… walk… talk to the one(s) who helps you see the most [important] angles… and… it’ll all be good.


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