Joey Moss Observations

I took my kids to see the Joey Moss Game today. I didn’t plan to, but my daughter read about it in the paper and asked me who Joey Moss was and why he was so important. I told her the Joey Moss story, about Wayne Gretzky and his relationship with Joey, and how that blossomed into a special relationship between a person of importance and the community he lives in.

It was a bonus that we got to hear him rip it up with the coolest “Oh! Canada” anyone will ever hear, and the kids got to eat all afternoon while Dad watched the town team and Mom played on her palm pilot (“how you enjoying the game, hon?” “GREAT!”).

TEAM BLUE
  1. Ales Hemsky: Oh my gentle lord. Look, I know this is a scrimmage game but he was playing against other NHLers and none of them looked like Guy Lafleur. Quite seriously the most ridiculous display I’ve seen from 83. My wife asked me (seriously) if his team had scored every time he was on the ice. He was that good today. 3 goals, 2 assists.
  2. Dustin Penner: He’s just a half gear behind, but there’s plenty to like anyway. I’ve seen him muff breakaways twice now (today’s was actually a terrific block on Roloson, but not a good hockey play) but he plays a strong physical game and as the coach says the play doesn’t die with him. 4 assists.
  3. Sam Gagner: Certainly a member of the “hands team”, I’d say that Gagner is now a serious contender for a roster spot. Although he’s just a kid he looks like he knows what he’s doing in the offensive zone. You’ll want to see success when the real games begin, but this is a nice foundation. 2 goals, 2 assists.
  4. Raffi Torres: He was flying out there today, he looked dangerous every time he was on the ice (with or without the puck). Set the tone early with a sweet cross ice pass to Roy over the blueline that was the key to a beauty goal and then ripped a snapshot that fooled Roloson maybe a minute later. For those who never saw Bobby Hull play, Raffi did a nice impersonation in the third period when he got the puck near center as team white was changing their D pairing. Raffi roared over the blueline and sent a bullet at Devan Dubnyk’s head that scared the crap out of the assembled group around me. THAT was what Bobby Hull did, exactly. 1 goal, 1 assist.
  5. Jarret Stoll: He opens up so many things when he’s on the ice. Stoll can impact a game on so many levels that when you think back to a game’s events he always seems to be in the mix. He took the big faceoffs, he almost killed Liam Reddox when it looked like the kid had a clear chance at on goal against (I think) Deslauriers. Among the mere mortals, it was between Stoll and Torres for the best player on the day. 1 goal, 2 assists.
  6. Robert Nilsson: Skill level is impressive, but he’s not going to be as impressive in NHL games because he can’t do these things (yet) at speed. In one sequence alone there were three specific examples of him getting multiple chances from dilly-dallying defenders. Rest assured, he does that in a real game and Nilsson will be wearing his ass for a hat. Still, he can make plays. 1 goal, 1 assist.
  7. Kyle Brodziak: The most impressive of the group I call the minor leaguers. I don’t think he’ll be one opening night. Played the off wing today and didn’t skip a beat, in fact it seemed to help him offensively with a better shooting angle. Physical all day, his goal combined hustle, speed and skill in equal parts. 1 goal.
  8. Rob Schremp: His nickname should be “also in photo” because he doesn’t really do much in the moment when things count. On the second Moreau goal, Shawn Horcoff got the puck to Pouliot high right slot, and Schremp was right there for Christ’s sakes and didn’t get anything done (it was kind of funny because Anson Carter was backing him up, also getting nothing done). It was indicative of his day imo, as he looked a day late and a dollar short in all three zones.
  9. Anson Carter: The play above was partly Carter’s fault, as the guy who scored (Moreau) was Anson’s mark (maybe his nickname could be “also in photo as well”). The thing Carter does well though is get scoring chances. He’s like a slut really, and I mean that in a good way. If there’s a chance to make a play into a scoring chance he’ll do it. We got an example this afternoon when a defender sent a pass/shot into the opposition zone in what looked like a harmless play. Damned if Anson didn’t come from Laredo and get a pretty darn good scoring chance. I don’t know who he’ll be up against for a roster spot, but I bet he makes the club even if it’s a 13F.
  10. Slava Trukhno: I like this kid plenty, and he didn’t disappoint today. Lots of energy, much better skating and he made some nice passes. What I liked mostly from him today is that he was waiting until a play developed before moving the puck. It’s a hard thing to do, and is probably just a natural talent thing taking over, but Trukhno has it. Also battled well I thought in the corners a couple of times. Won’t make the team this year, but he’s a very nice hockey prospect.
  11. Tim Sestito: Outclassed by plenty in this group, but no one outworked him.
  12. Ryan O’Marra: The biggest difference between O’Marra today and Friday for me was the he didn’t play with Hemsky. Still plenty of effort and really he can do a lot of things (carry the puck, deke and make a play, shoot the puck). Appears to have a wider range of offensive abilities than the scouting reports say based on the two times I’ve seen him in this camp.
  13. Bryan Young: He’s going to be Don Awrey, and that is high praise. Smart, smart, smart kid makes the simple play and has calm feet.
  14. Steve Staios: He didn’t jump into the play as much as most of the other 2-way defenders, possibly because he was partnered with a younger player much of the time. Looks healthy, and that’s important. 1 assist.
  15. Ladislav Smid: He’s playing with more confidence in all areas this year folks. He is way more physical than he was a year ago and doesn’t seem to have that delay in his puck moving we saw a year ago. You never know, he could regress when the hits get harder, but to my eye he’s a man this fall.
  16. Matt Greene: I thought he played well today. Nothing spectacular but he hung in there and didn’t wander as much as normal.
  17. TJ Kemp: I didn’t really notice him, as he’s an AHL guy imo. However, if you don’t notice defensive defenders it’s usually a sign they’ve had a good game.
  18. Mathieu Roy: Looked all world on the first goal, took the feed from Torres and sent a nice feed to Nilsson for the easy goal. Looked confident and played tough all day. I honestly don’t think this guy clears waivers. 1 assist.
  19. Mathieu Garon: Best goalie on the day imo, he looks really calm and today was helping himself by not making things complicated (not too many juicy rebounds, didn’t try to do too many things). 14 stops on 15 shots.
  20. Jeff Deslauriers: Didn’t play as well as he did on Friday, let in a goal (Pouliot) most goalies at an NHL camp would have stopped. 4th best goalie on the day. 11 stops on 14 shots.

TEAM WHITE

  1. Shawn Horcoff: Had a nice game, played so well they double shifted him plenty (although it might have been Cogliano didn’t play. I don’t have any notes on Cogliano) and he was the best player on his team. Horcoff is such a damned smart hockey player that I find myself watching things like when he retreats after a turnover or how deep he’ll go one the forecheck before getting back. A smart hockey player, he’s going to have a long career. 2 assists.
  2. Marc Pouliot: Impressed me on several levels today. The goal was nice (not for the shot) because he made a nifty move at the end to get a better shooting angle and clearance from the defender. He battled every shift and paid a price physically (I think it was Smid who hit him pretty damn hard) and made a stunning pass to Marty for what would have been an easy goal but Marty didn’t have his GD stick on the ice. 1 goal, 1 assist.
  3. Geoff Sanderson: He’s a perfect example of why this team needs more NHL players. On a day when he really didn’t do much offensively, he still battled and blocked passing lanes and generally made it difficult for the other guy. I’m warming to him, but he needs to stop falling down all over the place.
  4. Ethan Moreau: I think he might be about to have a huge year. Remember when some of the Oilers came off the lockout year and played at a high level for a long period because they were rested and healthy? That’s Ethan right now. Splendid game again, he was flying, scored twice and pretty much hung on to the puck for as long as he wanted whenever he wanted, although he turned it over to Stoll in the slot for a bullet shot. 2 goals.
  5. Andrew Cogliano: I’m sorry, didn’t notice him doing anything. Maybe he didn’t play.
  6. Patrick Thoresen: Lots of effort, just like Friday, but no results today. Effective on the PK and he certainly can make people miss. I think his goal total is going to go up by plenty this season.
  7. Jean Francois Jacques: Looked much better today, battled hard, used his body effectively to block out defenders, the whole deal. Scored a goal too, and that’s news. He had a head of steam pretty much every shift. 1 goal.
  8. Marty Reasoner: Quality veteran stood out today with smart decisions and effective work in the usual spots (FO circle, PK). Makes his linemates look better. 1 assist.
  9. Zack Stortini: There was a point in the game where I felt he was the best RW for the white team, but he faded and didn’t do much after a terrific 25 minutes or so. Drove to the net with authority before the light seemed to turn off mid-game. 1 assist.
  10. Liam Reddox: He’s an interesting player. Reddox is an aggressive player who is a little out of his league with this group but manages to get the opposition on edge all the same. Got slammed into the crossbar by Stoll when driving to the net and then creamed at the other end later in the game (by some defender, don’t remember).
  11. Jonas Almtorp: Didn’t do much with the puck, but he’s impressive as a guy blocking lanes and causing difficulty for your breakout. Very well coached.
  12. Troy Bodie: I liked him today. Short on skill but with plenty of size and he didn’t turn the puck over in bad spots.
  13. Joni Pitkanen: Rushed the puck with authority but little result today, more I think a reflection of not being familiar with his D partner. Big man who can play it any way required, he’s going to be a fan favorite. Was exposed a couple of times, but then again everyone playing D for the white team was guilty of that today. He is an amazing skater, forward, back or sideways. Stood up at the blueline plenty today, stood out from the others in that area.
  14. Dick Tarnstrom: Seemed to fallback and let the other guy rush the puck today, he was effective along the wall and pasted Pouliot once on the boards by the blueline.
  15. Denis Grebeshkov: Tried to force things a little to my eye today, didn’t seem to be the natural puck carrier we saw Friday. Made some mistakes with the puck and reacted slowly on at least one goal I saw, but he’s a good player. 1 assist.
  16. Tom Gilbert: Exposed today a bit I think, this was a tough game for the white D because the top two lines came in waves. Jumped into the play a lot.
  17. Danny Syvret: He’s really small compared to this group now. Moves the puck well, had a chance to pinch in and didn’t in the second period and honestly was one of two defenders who looked out of place on the day. 1 assist.
  18. Sebastian Bisaillon: The other guy who looked out of place. Didn’t seem to have an answer for the forecheck and backed up, conceding the blueline too easily. Not ready.
  19. Dwayne Roloson: He looked good despite all the goals. He stopped breakaways and chances in tight, maybe you could fault him on the Torres goal but golly it was a shooting gallery from the Hemsky and Stoll lines in this game. 11 saves on 17 shots.
  20. Dubnyk: He looked a little nervous to me, but outplayed Deslauriers by a fair margin. Looked much better than Friday to me. 7 saves on 9 shots.

That’s all I’ve got.

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10 Responses to "Joey Moss Observations"

  1. the weaz says:

    I’m a huge Horcs fan and I was happy that he was one of the players that really stood out today… despite the pounding that his White team received. All in all, it was a good game to watch, maybe even a bit uplifting.

  2. Andy Grabia says:

    You’ve got me all revved up, LT. Great stuff. Thank you.

  3. jon says:

    Thanks for the excellent report, glad to hear that Hemsky is doing just fine. Hopefully Penner can make his salary at least arguable this season.

  4. Mustafa Hirji says:

    My God, those uniforms are hideous! Especially the white ones!

  5. PunjabiOil says:

    Thanks for the report. I was invited by a friend to go…..I politely declined, busy day.

    Now there is some regret.

    Any mention of attendance?

  6. Lady_Byng says:

    PunjabiOil said…
    Any mention of attendance?
    .

    I went, and there wasn’t an official announcement, but the lower bowl was pretty much full, and a few people scattered in the 2nd level. A pretty decent turn out.
    The jerseys are ok, but I don’t get why the arm stripes only got half way around. They really just look like a glorified practice jersey.
    Great report LT, pretty accurate report from what I saw. I had friends sitting on the other side, so I missed some of the game because they kept on text messaging me.
    I don’t think Cogliano was playing though, because I didn’t see him out there at all either.

  7. Bendelson says:

    Practice jersey is bang-on lady_byng.

    They aren’t the worst in the league, but there is no way this new design will last long in Edmonton. The material might be of benefit, great… but the new jersey design is nothing short of silly.

    A major disappointment.

  8. Black Dog says:

    An Awrey reference! First of TC. :)

    Thanks for a great post LT – this is becoming my first stop anywhere on the net when I get going in the morning.

  9. CM says:

    I didn’t see Cogliano out there either and I was looking for him…I don’t think he was in the line up…

  10. namflashback says:

    Well, let’s see how some real pre-season work goes.

    That’s are pretty solid showing for Samwise nonetheless.

    By the the way they are lining up the players into positions, it looks like this is the setup:

    Samwise versus Schremp at soft C
    Nillson on Stoll’s RW until he has a bad game. Cogliano will have to have a big set of games to surpass the other two (not that he doesn’t have more to offer than Schremp, its just that they look like they are willing to pump and dump Schremp). Almtorp and Sesito seem a grade below.

    Nillson versus Carter for the soft RW. Pouliot, Thoreson, for the tough RW duties. Stortini for energy duties on the 4line. O’Marra next in depth.

    LW — well, not a real competition it seems. Sanderson, Brodziak, and JFJ for that last slot. Only one of Brodziak or JFJ can make the team in the spare F slot. Brodziak has more utility value than JF (can play any F position, PK).

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