Observations from Tonight’s Game

Through something called the “NHL Video Portal” and an 11 year old who knows way more than her Daddy about a lot of things, I was able to enjoy a pre-season game between Toronto and the Oilers.

Slava Trukhno had a nice game tonight, scoring the first Oiler goal and being credited with an assist on Shawn Horcoff’s goal later in the game. Trukhno backed up the scoring with a nice display of that “wide variety of skills” they talk about and he should get at least another game in the pre-season.

Shawn Horcoff was the offensive story, scoring the tying goal in regulation and then setting up the winner by the Oilers new Chaos Defensemen, Denis-Andre Grebeshkov. “Grebs” is a high event player who probably needs an eye test based on the large number of errant passes this evening.

I’m not going to give the minutes and such like I did last night (nhl.com is slow getting this stuff updated), but here are a few other things:

  • Ladislav Smid: Looks good compared to last season. Still a young defender so mistakes should be expected, but he seems to be building on last season.
  • Matt Greene: I think he maybe just likes the penalty box.
  • Denis Grebeshkov: I don’t care if he has a one way deal, or that he scored the winner tonight, he cannot be one of the 6 best defensemen in camp based on what we’ve seen so far this pre-season.
  • Carter & Roy: Hopefully they’re okay, Carter looked out of it.
  • Pouliot: Played pretty well but the results seem to be going to his competition in terms of scoring. Played fewer than 15 minutes in regulation according to nhl.com, and that’s with Anson Carter playing just 2:39. One assumes he’ll show better when the rosters begin to tighten up, but he should be having more offensive impact in these games.
  • Robert Nilsson: He did a lot of nice things in this game. Saw some effort coming back a few times, he looked confident with the puck.
  • Andrew Cogliano: Looks like he’s decided to join the “Gagner-Schremp-Cogliano” three-legged race MacT set up with his quote before TC opened. It is as of now impossible not to see Todd Marchant when Cogliano has the puck because of extreme speed similarities. Pray God he has better hands (as the scouts claim), but even if he doesn’t a Marchant at #25 in the draft is a good pick.
  • Danny Syvret: Looked out of place, he’ll be sent out soon.
  • Jonas Almtorp: He looks really good out there, smart hockey player.
  • Zack Stortini: Did I see him take a faceoff and win it?
  • Devan Dubnyk: I know very little about goalies except that watching them always reminds me of the season I had Mitch Williams as my closer in my roto league, but he looked good to me.
  • Garon: Made a tremendous save early (I believe off Darcy Tucker), save of the night for the Oilers.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.

33 Responses to "Observations from Tonight’s Game"

  1. PDO says:

    I only saw the end of the second and most of the third.


    I won’t comment on Horcoff because he was awesome and that’s all that really needs to be said on it.

    Few notes I had though…

    - Syvret needs to be gone.
    - Grebeshkov is pure chaos. He certainly does some nice things… but the fact that teams can already see they just have to dump and chase to beat him wide is very telling.
    - Nilsson needs to do two things:
    #1) Learn to make moves with his feet moving.
    #2) Learn to drive the puck to the bloody net.
    - Cogliano wasn’t overly visible for a lot of what I saw, but he made a couple of very nifty plays on the defensive side of the puck and drove hard to the net before a goal… things like that will get noticed.
    - I’m a little disappointed with Truhkno’s speed.
    - Staios is in midseason form already, and was huge on that last PK.
    - Ever seen Stoll lose 3 draws in a row?


    Here’s hoping they play Torres on the PK this year. Seeing him out there is a good sign. MacT also had Horcoff, Pouliot, Stoll and Almtrop out on the PK from what I saw.

  2. speeds says:

    I guess it was Trukhno who made that pass to Horcoff on the 2nd goal. That was a really nice pass, MacT sounded impressed with Trukhno.

    MacT quote (re: Trukhno): “He’s a player.”

  3. Lowetide says:

    Are you guys teasing me? Are these quotes on the Oilers site?

  4. kurri_17 says:

    Yup, Marchant — Cogliano — After watching tonight I saw Marchant over and over — created stuff that resulted in goals, just didn’t score them. Those rushes of his will create PP opportunities though. I think Cogs is one year in the AHL away.

    The vancouver game will also be on the free trial of NHL center ice FYI. I’m so excited to watch Penner, Gagner and Hemsky if they keep them together.

  5. kurri_17 says:

    As to Cogs hands. I do think another year will help that along. Maybe a consistent 60 pt player? I think he’ll be worth so many more pts though in what he is going to create with those legs of his. PP goals and stuff like tonight where defenseman are drawn away and chaos happens resulting in smart goals like the Horcoff feed to Grebs (who smartly came in at the right time, despite everything he did wrong)

  6. Boondock says:

    (who smartly came in at the right time, despite everything he did wrong)

    Ummmmm….. it was in overtime and both forwards were caught down low and his d partner had fallen in the far corner….

    Pinching to the net in that situation isn’t the right play, even though it worked out this time. If that pass was deflected or if Grebs fanned on it, it’s a 2 on 0 the other way.

  7. kurri_17 says:

    good call B

    I was watching on the TV – I never saw if there was anyone else back. I thought he was a single pincher but maybe missed it. :-(
    Personally I like good anticipation and it seemed to be that :-)

  8. Boondock says:

    Yeah, his partner joined the rush and went down going to the net. Cogliano passed the net after his chance and Horcoff retrieved the puck.

    Although with Cogs and Horcoff on the ice, any Leaf sans Salmelainen probably would have been caught on the backcheck.

  9. Scarlett says:

    Cogliano is super fast. If his hands can catch up to him, he’ll be a player. He’ll be here next year I think. I liked Trukhno tonight. Good offensive and was out there killing penalties too.

  10. gary b says:

    that’s an interesting idea for Torres (PK). not to make excuses for any times he’s MIA in the past, but that sounds like a logical step for him and his development as an NHLer – increased involvement and more responsibility. we all know he can be a real badger out there when he wants the puck, so if they could get him dialed in on the PK, that would be very helpful.

  11. K says:

    A little quote from Paul Maurice after the game:

    “Some of the miscommunication out there was as much the defence’s fault as his,” said Maurice. “I was really happy for him. [On Pogge] They had a fairly deep lineup with some of their shooters.

  12. Chris! says:

    Am I the only one who couldn’t get the NHL Centre Ice preview to work? I went here (http://oilers.nhl.tv/team/console) about halfway through the game, but only got a minute-long preview video. Couldn’t find the game itself. What am I doing wrong?

    Also, I see we went 1-7 on the PP last night — how are we looking so far out there?

  13. voxel says:

    NHL Centre Ice worked perfectly for me… I even caught some of the Sens vs. Flyers (Lupul is still a floater) game and the Wild vs. Wings game (Boogard is still a monster)

  14. Boondock says:

    Chris, you have to go to the Centre Ice tab on the right to see the game.

  15. Jason says:

    Matt Greene: I think he maybe just likes the penalty box.

    Maybe he’s a chronic masterbater

  16. Jonathan says:

    Does our defense seriously look like this?


    There’s no way Grebeshkov gets sent down. We’ve seen the one-way contract thing before. Also, given what they traded to get Grebeshkov, I can’t see them trying to sneak him through waivers.

  17. Ribs says:

    I think I’m beginning to hate pre-season. This team looks pretty horrible.

    The Falcons should be really good though!

  18. HBomb says:

    Does our defense seriously look like this?


    There’s no way Grebeshkov gets sent down. We’ve seen the one-way contract thing before. Also, given what they traded to get Grebeshkov, I can’t see them trying to sneak him through waivers.

    The unfortunate part about this is that Tom Gilbert should be no worse than 7th on that depth chart, possibly alternating through with Tarnstrom and Smid on the 2nd and 3rd pairings.

    However, due to Grebeshkov’s one way deal and Roy not being waiver-exempt, Tom Gilbert is going to get fucked over when the final cuts are made.

  19. goldenchild says:

    I watched the game on Leafs TV through my FTA a few things that stood out.
    Horcoff was Horcoff, which is of course a good thing, he looked like a man among boys.

    Truhkno always seems to be around the play in a good way, he showed nice hands on the goal, on the tying goal he was standing right in front of Pogge and there was a shift before that goal where he and Horcoff controlled the puck in the corner for most of the shift that resulted in a nice 1-timer from Sanderson.

    Nilson has a little jam to his game I didnt expect, he’s gonna need it cuz he doesn;t skate well enough to rely soley on his skill. He certainly knows the job is his to lose and played like he intends on keeping it.

    if Syvret gets called up that will be our cue that the season is over.

    Grebeshkov made about 4 of the worst D to D passes in a row that I can remember. Add to that, that he has a little spaz in him. I guess you could say I’m not overly high on him.

    Cogliano is gonna have to figure out what kind of NHL player he is gonna be, I hope he becomes Marchant but I think he would rather be Sanderson in his prime. Doese he have that kind of offence? His AHL year will be very interesting in terms of his role and how much he can generate. His play on the winner was vintage Marchant or Salmalannan one of the two.

    I am Pouliot fan I think he can help this team this year but he wasn’t overly noticible 5 on 5. He did a ncie job on the PK but outside of a few nice passes and a couple of good battles won it was a pretty uneventful night. Maybe he is just adjusting to the wing but he is gonna need to produce some offence in the pre-season.

    Smid looks stronger, seems to carry the puck with a little more confidence, looks to still be progressing nicely.

    At some point somebody is gonna have to tell Greene that its better if stays on the ice and not in the box.

  20. Rod says:

    hbomb: I agree that Gilbert could be here as the 7th guy (over Grebs in particular), but it could be argued the ice-time in the A will do him more good than staying here. He’ll be 1D in Springfield, with loads of PP time. Up here, he’d be rotating between the PB and 6th. Long-term I think Gilbert is a higher slot d-man than Roy, so I don’t mind the extra playing time going to Gilbert anyway. Then next year, if Tarnstrom or Grebs move on, the door’s wide open.

    Anyone else wondering what the NHL is doing with their stat pages? They moved goalies from the “Official Scoresheet” onto the “Official Super Stats” page…apparently for the sole purpose of including the completely irrelevant stat of goalie TOI (including EV, SH, and PP sub-totals). Yeah, breaking out that stat for goalies is crucial. As if that wasn’t strange enough, they removed that info for the players that actually take shifts. Goalies are on the ice the entire game, but their TOI info is more complete on the “Super Stats” page than skaters. Brilliant.

    BTW, I realize full shift-by-shift TOI info is available on another page. I just can’t figure out why they have the info for goalies on he Super Stats page, but not for skaters.

  21. Cam Fraser says:

    I was at the game last night:

    - Stortini did win a faceoff after Horcoff was tossed. His game was very impressive tonight; he could keep up and was making smart plays and timely checks. He even got some PP time.
    - Grebs impressed me offensively, which is the most important thing as an unknown commodity. I have faith in Huddy and Staois to bring him along.
    - Syvret, as mentioned, is not ready for this jelly.
    - Nilsson impressed–steady, smart plays and good skates.
    - Sounds like Huxley tried to stick up for Carter, but the Laff wouldn’t dance. Gregor said last night that had they dropped the mitts, Huxley would have been suspended for 10 games because he came onto the ice during a delayed icing.
    - Sanderson is so g-d fast and always creating space and time for his linemates. He’s going to be my new favorite player, taking Marchant’s place.

    To me, Sanderson and Stortini were the standouts, specifically because I saw that they can play effectively at this level and help their linemates on both sides of the puck.

  22. Jonathan says:

    I don’t have any problem with Roy taking a spot over Gilbert, simply based on this team’s need for defensive defensemen. If, however, Grebeshkov beats a more capable Gilbert for the last spot, as seems likely, no ammount of AHL ice time will console me. Gilbert trns 25 this season- if he doesn’t make the NHL this season, odds are he’s a career minor-leaguer.

    On a different note, Pouliot’s play so far has to be considered disappointing, particularly given his lacklustre performance at last years camp. With all the competition available, and strong performances being turned in by the likes of Brodziak, Stortini, Gagner, etc., he really shouldn’t be playing like he has a spot. Especially given that this was a player who was known in junior for his intelligence and character, a complacent attitude is disturbing.

  23. namflashback says:

    I think it is ridiculous to worry about the return for MAB. Sure his contract was sweet, but he was an undrafted player, was inexpensive during all his AHL and NHL years with the club. There was no bet to be covered and he provided great value for the cash flow out. If Grebs doesn’t work out, trade him for a pick, waive him and if nobody picks him up, let him return to the RSL and suspend him to clear the contract space.

  24. Jonathan says:


    Leaving aside the possible humiliation being out-traded by Garth Snow would bring on Lowe, I didn’t so much mean that the price they paid was exorbitant, but the fact that Lowe traded Bergeron and a pick for this guy indicates the level of faith he has in him.
    That alone probably means that Lowe will insist on his inclusion on the roster opening night.

  25. Rube Foster says:

    Let us not throw Grebs to the scrap heap just yet.
    If the Oiler scouting staff has been good at anything over the past couple of years it’s been unearthing undervalued European D-men, Exhibits A & B – Spacek & Hejda.
    Yes, despite a big goal last night there were numerous moments where Grebs looked awful. And though I do love the new handle he earned (Dennis-Andre) I’m not sure I understand why people are ready to toss him off the boat. He’s only played the JMC and one exhibition game!! Let’s give him some time to adjust to the NHL game, before we vote him off the Island. Hedja spent a ton of time in the press box back last year before he got his chance and as I recall it looked like he made a world of adjustment to his game based on how he played in the preseason and how he played when he got his chance.
    Lets just hope that someone in the Oiler brain trust learned something from the MAB era and if Dennis Andre does earn a spot on the blue line – which I agree seems likely, they don’t pair him up with Greene…By the way it’s not that I don’t like Tarnstrom and his perm, but my 20-20 rearview mirror tells me that Hejda would’ve been a much better fit our blue line this year.

  26. namflashback says:

    jonathan, rube,

    I didn’t mean to imply anything wrt to Grebeshkov — just addressing the sentiment that I’ve seen in this comment and other threads that somehow the 8 essentially nhl l-way contracts is a big deal.

    In terms of “asset value” Grebeshkov (first rounder, reasonable prospect) was created in a trade for a player who came to the Oilers “free.” The barrier of “the asset shouldn’t be wasted” is lower than the “is he good enough to help the nhl team win.”

    Never seen the player play — just commenting on the asset value.

  27. Rod says:

    Yeah, Gilbert is 24. Dennis-Andre (thanks Rube) will be 24 in less than a month, and Roy just turned 24. They’re basically the same age by this point, so not a lot to choose there.

    AHL games played + playoff games (from the all-knowing hockeydb.com):
    Gilbert: 48 + 10
    Grebeshkov: 166 + 19 playoffs
    Roy: 132 + 0

    Gilbert: 12
    Grebeshkov: 33
    Roy: 17

    I don’t really see the problem with getting Gilbert more AHL experience. Worst case he plays all year and is still short of the GP totals of Roy. Last year was the first he played more than 41 games in a season since 2001/02. Would more time in Springfield really derail his career? At least the Oilers control an AHL team this year…finally.

  28. Big T says:

    Jonathan said…
    I don’t have any problem with Roy taking a spot over Gilbert, simply based on this team’s need for defensive defensemen. If, however, Grebeshkov beats a more capable Gilbert for the last spot, as seems likely, no ammount of AHL ice time will console me. Gilbert trns 25 this season- if he doesn’t make the NHL this season, odds are he’s a career minor-leaguer.


    I don’t understand your thinking that if Gilbert spends another year in the AHL that he will somehow be banished there for all eternity. There’s a flaw in that thinking.

    I’d like to see the guy up with the club but agree that Roy is a better fit for the team right now… not even taking contracts into account.

    As for Gorbechev, Too early to tell, but he does have some fine skills. It’s his decision making that needs some work. Thus far, he seems like a project, but a project with a high ceiling.


  29. Jonathan says:

    Big T, Rod:

    My point wasn’t so much that Gilbert would be banished to the AHL for eternity, it was more that an NHL prospect who hasn’t cracked the big league by 25, statistically, is likely to never make it. I didn’t relize Grebeshkov and Roy were both the same age, I had them pegged as a year younger.
    As an example, see T.J. Kemp- he’s 26 years old, and largely regarded as a career minor leaguer. I can’t recall him ever referred to atthis TC as a prospect or a youngster; rather he’s depth.

  30. Big T says:

    Agreed that most prospects meet the grade before they’re 25 but if there is a log jam in front of them that keeps them back – rather than their ability to play the game – there isn’t much to worry about in this way.

    Gilbert could play in the third pairing this year on most any team in the league. In another year, even if he spends this one in the AHL, he’ll be that much more experienced. And that much more likely to have a NHL job.

    Saying that Gilbert is statistically unlikely to stick because he is too old is flawed logic. The majority of players who don’t make it by then just don’t have the skills to play at the big league level. Gilbert, by many accounts does. The boy’s gonna be fine.


  31. Dennis says:

    On the Horc goal, there was an absolutely beautiful pass made from below the left-faceoff circle in the Oilers end and I kept rewinding the play but I really couldn’t see who made it. I want to believe it was Truk but I’m not really sure.

    In any case, looks like I posted my postgame comments in the wrong thread, ie I put them in the comments on the players site which is one thread below.

  32. speeds says:

    I couldn’t catch that either Dennis, I initally thought it was Stortini, but MacT said that it was Trukhno that made that pass (with the following quote), so I’m going to go ahead and credit Trukhno ;).

    MacT quote on trukhno – “Real nice assist on Horc’s back hand goal where he cross seamed it, backhander. He’s been impressive too, he’s a player.”

    It’s too bad that the replays didn’t go back farther, that pass that made the goal (whether it was Stortini or Trukhno).

  33. Dennis says:

    This was the first time I’d ever seen the kid play and it’s the most curious I’d been about a guy since I’d first read about Horc in a THN preview mag many years ago. Both LT and Speeds had been pimping him, he had good size and he had some good numbers too. After first glance, I didn’t see anything that made me think that he won’t be ready to play at least ‘some’ NHL games once he’s played a full season in the A, or perhaps even before that if things change up top or down bottom regarding the depth chart and/or the org’s attitudes towards Pouliot or Schremp.

    In any case, Kenta Nilsson is driving the sewage truck that’s hauling an awful lot of waste out of Europe but whomever’s in charge of scouting the Q is picking up the slack.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca