Game Notes

Patrick Thoresen is a real nice player, does lots of things well. Late in tonight’s game, after the Oilers spent several minutes unable to hem the Canucks in their own zone, he barrel-assed into the Canuck zone and forced the play. First pressure in forever, the team got some traction and shortly thereafter Hemmer scored to tie the game.

I’m not saying he did it single handedly, and maybe it’s me reading too much into the play. However, Thoresen is one of those players who can give his team a lift in several ways: a goal, a nice pass, a check, maybe an aggressive forecheck.

Some other notes on the night:

  • That Kemp guy needs to get sent down soon.
  • Smid looks good to me. Blocked shots, a hit, some nice passes.
  • Cogliano continues the parade of impressive outings by the kids. I have no idea where Rob Schremp is on the C depth chart now, but MacT probably needs to give him a night with wingers like Penner or Hemsky before it gets unfair.
  • Jacques did some things tonight. Got a major, hit some people.
  • I admit to a giggle when Souray scored. That was real nice.
  • Brodziak looks like an NHL veteran now. Talk about arriving right on time. IF the Oilers make the playoffs in the spring and I hear one damn word about the drafting job 2001-07 I’ll scream.
  • Slava Trukhno is my new favorite Oilers prospect. He was before, but now it’s reaching Pouliot proportions. Jeez he’s a nice prospect.
  • How on earth do they send Tom Gilbert down?
  • Ales Hemsky had 3 takeaways, a goal and an assist.
  • Gagner looked 18 years old tonight.

It’s always fun to guess who’ll get sent down, I’ll go with Syvret, Simon, Kemp, Huxley, Rourke, Johansson sometime this weekend.

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27 Responses to "Game Notes"

  1. Josh says:

    With under 2 mins left and the oil on the PP Trukno tried to cut through about 3 defenders before the puck is poke checked away. The crazy thing….if he could even skate he’s in all alone.

  2. Lowetide says:

    He’s going to have to improve his footspeed but it isn’t going to be as big an issue as, say, Schremp.

    Why? Trukhno has more dimensions to his game. He is a minus skater, but he does appear to have another gear (I was impressed at how quickly he got back on a broken play at the offensive left point blueline, he was in a race and made it look silly by halfway between center and the other blueline) and he has other things that make him valuable.

    It is certainly a tell that he got PP point time, and it is CERTAINLY a tell from the coach that he gave him the PP point chance AFTER he took a penalty on the PP deep in his own zone trying to do too much.

    Wonderful player.

  3. Devin says:

    Brodziak looked great again tonight.

    Funny you giggled on the Souray goal. Me too – wasn’t that a fun sequence? I laughed because he was pointing to Trukhno, and Hemsky just stands there looking confused before passing it to Souray. Souray is like, no, THIS is what I meant and sends it to Truk. Then – and at this point I kind of laugh – Souray takes about a 10 second windup and everyone and their dog knows he’s going to shoot. He scores anyway :)

  4. Devin says:

    LT- that’s what I was commenting on in the last game thread. Trukhno isn’t a “good” skater, but he doesn’t lack for straight-line speed. It just takes him about 5 steps to get going. Still, it was a heartbreaker when he let that puck get by him on the last PP — all night he was great along the boards in both ends.

    Sucks for guys like Almtorp. He looks really savvy out there, but this team just has too many tweener-level guys at once.

  5. striatic says:

    Gagner may have been unimpressive, but so was Roy. Souray’s powerplay bungle cost Edmonton the game.

    For a team which through the summer had many offensive questions, i’m seeing cracks in the defense as a more serious issue.

    Cogliano and Hemsky looked great tonight. Cogliano in particular really impressed me.

  6. Josh says:

    My comment on Trukno was entirely a compliment. The only real negative to his game is his skating. I was saying that if he was a good skater he would have beaten 3 guys and been in alone. Not sure which 3 canucks (probably AHL defencman) but still an accomplishment.

  7. Jordan says:

    you forgot to mention Matt Greene still enjoys the penalty box

  8. PunjabiOil says:

    MacT on Cogliano as per punjabsoil.blogspot.com (shameless plug) – I’m assuming you missed this in today’s EJ

    “Well, speed is obviously a huge element in the game of hockey,” MacTavish said. “It’s something that (Cogliano) possesses.

    “But I really caution guys like him in particular. Your days of getting the puck and completely outskating everybody are gone. It does happen, at times. It happened (Tuesday night) where he beat a Toronto defenceman wide. But you’ve got to play the game with your head here.

    “It’s the combination of the speed and the hockey sense and the head that will really determine how much success he has at this level.”

  9. Keegan says:

    Does anybody know any site where they are playing highlights of all the goals? I dont have cable and tsn scimps out on like half the goals in some games (and it pisses me off!!!).
    nhl.com doesnt even have any highlights or recaps (cheap bastards).

  10. Ribs says:

    All I can say about about Trukhno is wow. Where has this guy been?
    He was playing like Pouliot with an edge. Reading plays, being in position, smart passes, taking it to the net…This is the best I’ve seen him for sure.

    Thoresen showed why he escaped the scissors last year in this game and that was definitely nice to see.

    It was fun watching Jacques and Isbister play eachother as they are essentially the same player. Whether that is a good thing or not is another discussion.

    Cogliano is going to piss me off. I can tell already. It was cute seeing Marchant blow by everyone and fall on the goalie for a year or two but it gets old pretty quick for me nowadays. I guess someone needs to fill Dvoraks “Time-Waster” role.

    Souray looked great out there. It’s hard for me to blame him for the winner because he was making the right play (Oilers were on the PP). It just didn’t work out is all. It happens.

    Plus I hope Garon feels some shame for letting Brad Frikking Isbister score on him.

  11. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Keegan – TSN cuts out half the goals, unless they’re Maple Leafs’ goals. And then they show each goal from every angle. That breakaway goal from Ponikarovsky the other night was nice, but did it deserve 25 replays and post game reaction from both camps? Only on the Toronto Sports Network…

    Love how all these young guys are cranked up. Except poor old Schremp. I remember not being able to wait until he was in the lineup, doing the lacrosse thingy and such. Now he seems like the forgotten one. It’s an exciting to be an Oiler fan, just because of all the question marks. Lots to keep us tuned in this year.

  12. namflashback says:

    quote from MacT in this morning’s paper:

    re: Gagner with Penner and Hemsky

    “We always have the luxury, if he starts there, or if Horc starts there, whoever starts in that position (to change) based on the game and what the need is within that game.”

    The average fan will blast MacT for the “blender.” The observant fan will reflect back on this quote. It looks like feels ready to work another young phenom into the lineup.

  13. Ribs says:

    The quote above that one seems more telling than the one you’ve posted.

    “It’s too early to tell right now,” said MacTavish, admitting it’s probably unrealistic to expect Gagner to fill the role on a full-time basis.

    To me that’s pretty much a no-go for Gagner if he doesn’t amaze in pre-season.

  14. Vic Ferrari says:

    I’m not a fan of pre-season games, rarely watch them.

    But Smid/Greene played the lion’s share of the icetime vs the Sedins/Shannon line. Playing about 80/75% of the available 5v5 minutes.

    I hope that is just Huddy practising for the helluvit, and not foreshadowing. But I’m sensing a Pitkanen/Staios, Smid/Greene, Souray/Tarnstrom alignment is in the offing.

    The NHL shows the shots at evens were 23-7 favouring VAN. I’ll assume that the Canucks were shooting at every opportunity, and that the Oilers carried more of the play then that low shot total suggests.

    Prospects aside … Hemsky’s line only managed one shot on goal at evens all night (Hemsky’s goal), and they playing mostly against people I’ve never heard of. What happened?

  15. Rod says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into the shot total last night. It seemed broken or stuck or something. At one point the Canuck radio crew* mentioned that, but then in the third, kept going back to the low shot total (and how it meant a rough night for the Vancouver goalies).

    Best example I can give is that the Oiler weren’t credited with any shots between their 3rd and 4th goals. 3rd Oiler goal was supposedly the 8th on net (radio mentioned the shot total right after the goal). I’m sure the Oil had some shots before the next goal. For example, a shot from the point stopped by Sanford, rebound to Trukhno and he tried a wrap-around. Wrap-around went straight through the crease to Sanford on the other side, but the shot from the point should have counted. Somehow though, the 4th goal was the 9th shot (like I said, the radio crew kept bringing up the shot total).

    No question Vancouver outshot Edmonton. 29-9 isn’t likely very accurate though, so it’s difficult to reach any conclusions based on the reported numbers.

    *watched the game on NHLCI-Online free preview (1st and 3rd was OK viewing…2nd was horrid as the feed kept breaking up). Anyway, since there was no TV broadcast, they were showing the arena feed combined with Canucks radio.

  16. Dennis says:

    What’s the quality like when it comes to watching these games online? I would’ve loved to check out last night’s match because lots of the cool kids weren’t playing in the TO game that I saw on CI;)

    LT, Thor just works harder than most guys and I don’t think there’s any question about that. I mentioned this last year but when the Oilers were worse than a dog’s breakfast after the Smyth trade and all the injuries, this guy just didn’t fucking quit. I kept watching the games, mostly because I couldn’t find my Cat O Nine tails, and Thor’s work ethic in the face of absolute hopelessness was something to behold.

    He’s got the motor and the will so give him solid coaching and he should be a guy that comes out on top while playing top six min and being a vital part of the PK. I imagine a scnario where he could be the compliment on a line with two offensive guys and he’s basically the defensive conscience.

  17. uni says:

    The quality was a deal better than we saw on TVU or Sopcast in the past.

    It did break up in the 2nd but was back up in the 3rd.

  18. Big T says:

    When Pisanin wen tdown I was quite worried but it looks like Thoreson and Brodziak should be able to pick up his minutes. Sure hope that 34 can make it back though – at least for next season.

    Next season’s team could be pretty good. There will be some impressive forwards in Horcoff, Stoll, Pisani, Moreau, Brodziak and Thoreson. Add to that Torres and Pouloit and you’ve got yourself what should be a quality EV team at forward.

    Horcoff, Hemsky and Penner with Souray and Stoll/Pitkanen/Truhkno should have the PP in the top half of the league next season as well.

    The Hemsky – Penner line should be able to feast on the weak match-ups (at least at home) and every other line should be able to hold its own or better against pretty much whomever gets thrown at them.

    Will the defense be good enough??? Not sure, but it’s possible. Especially if Souray is used as a special teams guy and nothing else.

    Obviously that I’m looking to next year already says something about how I think they’ll do this year but am I being to optimistic???

    Who cares, it helps me deal with what’s probably going to be a long season. Lots of fun watchin gthe kids perform though.

    T

  19. Black Dog says:

    Dennis, like a Gagner/Trukhno or Gaqner/Hemsky combo down the road maybe.

    Its been a good camp – this team isn’t going anywhere likely; I’m of the mind the D is going to be terrible – but I think they will score more goals then expected. Horc mentioned the other day how it was nice to get passes on the tape when he was at full speed. Pisani made a similar comment last season at one point although he was talking about the lack thereof I believe.

    Anyhow the kids lead me to believe this may be a team in a few years. Last year’s gang are doing well – Smid, Pouliot, Thoresen and Stortini are all solid – and the crop coming up seem to be good players – Trukhno, Cogliano, Gagner, Nilsson, Brodziak, Almtorp, Gilbert – they all have something to offer, imo, and its nice to see.

  20. Rod says:

    You got it T. Looking ahead to next year will certainly help deal with this season. With the playoffs looking like a minor miracle, it could be a long 82 games. Then again, the Oil could finish anywhere from 8th (stars line up for them; injuries on other teams) to 13th (with luck like last season). Surprises do happen. It’s not like the Avs looked impressive or threatening at the start of last season.

    Dennis: Video quality of NHLCI-Online was, uh, marginal. It wasn’t awful, it wasn’t great. If you have no other option for viewing the game, it’s a decent choice I guess. Quite pixelated once it’s full screen, but you can see what’s going on, who the players are, numbers, etc. The puck was visible every now and again. Definitely not on Souray’s shots of course. Basically had to wait for the announcers to indicate what happened on those (out of play, in the net…who knew?). Second period was a dog’s breakfast though. Only saw five minutes at most as it kept breaking up in the 2nd.

    The key selling features probably are:
    - the ability to view four games at once (fairly small). Of the games available, you choose which ones go into the four boxes.
    - the ability to view a game after it’s finished. Isn’t clear whether you can start the game on demand, or if it’s just in a loop. I’m not sure how far back a person can go. If its more than a few days back, that could be an interesting feature.

    It’s $200CAD at the early-bird price ($170USD for the puck fans south of the border). Nothing I’ve seen yet to make me consider actually subscribing. NHLCI seems a much better option. Combine ‘em, and NHLCI-Online is 50% off (after rebate). Still, the quality on TV is orders of magnitude better.

    Of course blackouts apply to both, so Oilers games carried on TV or PPV won’t be available in the Sportsnet West region. Maybe that’s why I’m not too enthused about NHLCI-Online. It was great to see a pre-season game though.

  21. IceDragoon says:

    Good evening.

    I’m a day late… again. 8-) Haven’t even had a chance to read the papers, but wanted to contribute this before Lain bumps it off the front page.

    As soon as someone figures out how to fabricate more than snippets of time, please let me know. thanx :-)

    That NHL video portal is neato. The quality of the picture and delay leave a little to be desired, but listening to Rod and later watching the play works for pre-season.

    As I mentioned yesterday, this game looked like ‘sink or swim’ pressure for weeding out kids and wannabees. Not a lot cleared up for MacT methinks. Kemp and Simon don’t need any more evaluation at this level. But the kids, I thought, showed well on the road.

    Wish we had shift charts, they give a quick confirmation of match-ups we think we see. Parsing thru the TOI is tedious, some of the info doesn’t match, and I don’t have the tech savvy to make the computer do it for me. Looking back thru fuzzy memory, and recorded goals, TOI and fuzzy event trackers…

    Defense

    Smid
    -1
    TOI – 24:38
    EV – 19:36
    PP – 1:57
    PK – 3:05
    On ice for – 4on4 ga and pkga.
    He’s a kid, but he’s a vet, but he’s a kid. He has looked stronger, faster and more confident. The first two days of camp he was solid teamed with Bisaillon. Since then he’s been paired with Greene, except for PK time with Staios in JMC & game 2 and Roy last night. I’d rather he was playing with anyone but #2.

    Souray – 1 ppg
    -1
    TOI – 22:43
    EV – 13:35*
    PP – 6:35
    PK – 2:33
    On ice for – ppgf, evga and pkga.
    Looks like it was the second day of TC for Sheldon. Nice goal, but he is really rough around the edges. yummm… chaos… not enough speed to cover… *breathe* He may be one of the chaps, along with Penner, MacT was commenting, needed to be brought up to the fitness level of the core/corps. Huddy’s got his work cut out for him.

    Gilbert – 1 ppg
    –1
    TOI – 22:15
    EV – 14:46
    PP – 4:29
    PK – 3:00
    On ice for – ppgf and evga.
    He’s smarter than MAB, but at this point he still needs a solid ‘stay at homer’ to be effective. We don’t seem to have one for him. If I had my druthers, he’d be playing top ‘A’ minutes to start the season and get the first call-up. If we are taking MacT at his word, he’s probably sticking around for a couple more games.

    Greene
    -1
    TOI – 19:31
    EV – 17:11
    PP – 0:42
    PK – 1:38
    On ice for – 4on4 ga and pkga.
    Thought he showed better when he was with Tarnstrom on days 1 & 2, for whatever that’s worth.

    Roy – 1 eva
    +1
    TOI – 15:35
    EV – 12:26
    PP – 0:07
    PK – 3:02
    On ice for – 2 evgf, evga and pkga.

    Kemp – 1 eva
    +1
    TOI – 10:09
    EV – 9:54
    On ice for – 2 evgf and evga.

    Forwards

    Brodziak – 1 eva
    –1
    TOI – 20:25
    EV – 13:49
    PP – 3:43
    PK – 2:53
    On ice for – evgf, ppgf and 2 evga.
    He kicked it up another notch playing with Cogs, imho. Gosh he’s looking good.

    Gagner
    even
    TOI – 20:03
    EV – 15:07
    PP – 4:48
    PK – 0:08
    On ice for – evgf, ppgf and evga.
    Lain, the only thing that makes him look 18 to me, is his strength. There was much chaos in this game. After his on ice ppgf/evga shift early in the game, I thought he got his head into a simple road game. I think Horcoff’s experience would have pulled Hemsky and Penner together a little better, but Samwise acquitted himself well, imho. MacT kept throwing him out there. He took 21 face-offs/43% – 10 v Kesler, 6 v Sedin. Cogs was next with 11/36% – 3 v Sedin, 2 v Kesler. Not bad for his first road game against some real NHLers.

    Hemsky – 1 evg and 1 ppa
    +1
    TOI – 19:23
    EV – 14:29
    PP – 4:46
    PK – 0:08
    On ice for – evgf and ppgf.
    He was erratic, especially early.

    Penner
    +1
    TOI – 19:06
    EV – 14:26
    PP – 4:32
    PK – 0:08
    On ice for – evgf and ppgf.
    Tentative.

    Sanderson – 1 eva and 1 ppa
    -2
    TOI – 15:57
    EV – 11:53
    PP – 3:15
    PK – 0:49
    On ice for – evgf, ppgf, 2 evga and 4on4 ga.
    Ladies and gents, we have our high event winner.

    Cogliano – 1 evg and 1 ppa
    -1
    TOI – 14:28
    EV – 10:17
    PP – 2:59
    PK – 1:12
    On ice for – evgf, ppgf, evga and 4on4 ga.
    The kid’s play is stronger. He’s meshing well with Sanderson and looked like he’d been playing with Brodziak for a while.

    Simon – his mom cares
    even
    TOI 13:08
    EV – 9:20
    PP – 1:29
    PK – 2:19
    On ice for – pkga.

    Trukhno – 1 ppa
    even
    TOI – 12:22
    EV – 6:39
    PP – 4:45
    PK – 0:58
    On ice for – ppgf and pkga.
    Kid’s a smart player. If he keeps working on his speed and strength he’s going to make the show. ummm… not now. ;-D

    Almtorp
    even
    TOI – 11:04
    EV – 8:46
    PP – 0:05
    PK – 2:13
    On ice for – pkga.
    Has a good head for the defensive game. Does he get another p-s game, tho? Maybe. He’s going to Springfield, not back to Sweden, right?

    Thoresen
    even
    TOI – 10:14
    EV – 6:53
    PP – 0:05
    PK – 3:16
    On ice for – pkga.
    He’s still a tough little bugger to play against. And, yes… he can change momentum.

    Stortini
    even
    TOI – 9:17
    EV – 8:27
    PP – 0:48
    PK – 0:02

    Jacques
    even
    TOI – 8:33
    EV – 7:02
    PP – 1:29
    PK – 0:02

    L8r
    Louise

  22. Lowetide says:

    Louise: Beauty post. Terrific stuff. Great points on Cogliano and Smid imo.

  23. Dennis says:

    Great stuff, L. I really appreciated it.

  24. NBOilerFan says:

    Slightly off-topic, but interesting top-2 lines for tonights tilt against the Flames…

    Torres-Stoll-Nilsson
    Moreau-Horcoff-Brodziak

    Could this be the first look at the making of the potential 2nd and 3rd lines to start the season, with a Penner-Gagner-Hemsky 1st line?

    I guess Gagners play over the next few games will help decide this, but it just wouldn’t surprise me that MacT is feeling this out. That 1st line combo faired pretty well so far in pre-season.

  25. IceDragoon says:

    You are welcome, gentlemen.

    I wanted to see this laid out for myself and it’s an easy enough thing to share.

    Unlike Vic, I enjoy watching the kids progress. They’re not costing us points in the standings and coaches do more funky ****. ;-D

  26. Dennis says:

    Yeah, NB, looks like a true glimpse for sure. All that’s missing now is the pivot for Pen-Sky.

  27. IceDragoon says:

    So…

    Who here thinks that Schremp or Cogliano are going to get a game with Hemsky in the last three pre-season games?

    Dennis,

    I suggest Horcoff and maybe Gagner.
    ;-D

    Cogs and Robbie both had multiple shifts with 83 over the first two days. Neither could keep up with his vision NOR maintain their positioning with him. Cogs was faster in both his read and recover, tho.
    Go figure.
    One of them would have to morph (good word, Lain :-)) into a perfect fit right now.

    Gagner followed Hemmer’s read instantaneously, and for an 18 year old his positioning is scary good.

    As I said in an earlier topic, MacT really blenderized him on day 2, he played with everyone. I’m sure MacT told Daum between periods to throw the NHLers at him, because more often than not, thats what happened. And he still kept creating/supporting scoring opportunities, while maintaining defensive awareness. Gave Penner a smart cross crease tap-in while being checked late in the scrimmage.

    Horcoff has centred a few different lines so far, but he hasn’t centred Hemsky yet. Days 1 & 2 he was with Penner and Stortini (till Sam’s few shifts)… men among boys. Horc is primed and has been the obvious straw that stirred the drink on all his lines. Dustin and he read off each other very well, there was some nice flow, good cycles, good chances.

    I’m hoping this NHL portal thingy works tonight. I’m anxious to see him with Moreau and Brodziak.

    L8r
    Louise

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