Oilers at Canucks, G6/07-08

This is Brett Callighen as a member of the Rhode Island Reds in about 1976. He was maybe 23. Callighen came out of nowhere to have a nice pro career and played left wing with at least one above average center in his time in Edmonton.

Tonight’s an important game for this club. They are starting to look like the down slope on a rollercoaster ride and although it hasn’t reached “they’ve traded Ryan Smyth and they are bleeding out at an arena near you” proportions there are lots of signs that this team is in a slump.

The defense looks like the Marx Brothers, the goaltending looked like they had just smoked a spliff in a Cheech and Chong movie and half the forwards looked like they would rather spend some time in Springfield.

Fresh meat from the farm to ponder, the kids that are alright are all that, and the veterans we love (like Horcoff) are showing up as always.

Plus Hemsky’s about to explode.

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35 Responses to "Oilers at Canucks, G6/07-08"

  1. Kev says:

    Sic ‘em Raffi.

  2. Bruce says:

    Early season trends:

    Hits:

    Edm 14 SJ 12
    Edm 14 Phi 24
    Edm 13 Det 19
    Edm 4 Min 10
    Edm 17 Van 34
    ————–
    Edm 62 Opp 99

    Recognized that not all statisticians score hits the same way (tho’ that game in Minny really was a no-hitter), but presumably a given statistician scores them the same way for both teams within each given game.

    Last night Vancouver not only had double the number of hits, they also had 18 blocked shots to just 5 for Edmonton, and (lest we forget) 28 saves to 14. Oilers are going to need a far more determined effort than that.

  3. HBomb says:

    I read over on Oilfans this morning a couple of people bitching about Horcoff.

    Yet, I’m seeing him as being one of the team’s best forwards among “the mere mortals” at this point (Hemsky being excluded due to his supernatural levels of awesomeness).

    Am I crazy? Or are there a bunch of people out there who clearly don’t know jack squat about hockey?

    On the other end of the spectrum…..Jarret Stoll looks like total shit right now.

    And in the “huh?” category…..JF Jacques might have played his best NHL game EVER last night, yet he’s on a plane to Springfield today. I don’t get it, I tells ya…especially when they’re bringing up no-talent goon Zack Stortini to take his place in the lineup.

    However, I will forgive this move if the former Sudbury Wolves captain puts on of the Sedin sisters through the boards tonight (both hit Oiler players from behind on the same shift last night, with zero retribution….I absolutely hate the dirty style that Vancouver’s team plays and the large-scale pacifism that is the Oilers response. This is one thing that has ALWAYS bugged me about MacT’s coaching…)

  4. Shawn says:

    The Horcoff thing is apparently due to his lack of finish for missing a couple of great chances. Forgetting that he is tied for the team lead in points and is working harder than almost anyone on the ice.

    Hemsky looks like he’s on the cusp of something, but he’s so stubborn about this past first mentality. Watching some clips of him shooting frustrates me because he’s got such a great shot. Terrific one timer, incredibly hard and accurate wrist shot, very good touch down low… he has all the makings of a guy who could score 30-40 goals if he had it in his head to do it.

    Is that ever going to change?

  5. speeds says:

    I’m interested to see who sits tonight, I would imagine it will be one of Schremp, Pouliot or Stortini.

    I find it hard to believe that Schremp and Stortini will be “better” options than Pouliot, having played last night and flown across the country to play with linemates they aren’t familiar with.

    Then again, I was surprised to see Pouliot sit last game, as I thought he looked reasonably good against MIN

  6. Devin says:

    shawn: yes. Hemsky has so far been generating an inordinate amount of scoring chances that his linemates haven’t finished. Horc had a tap in last night (if his stick was on the ice it was a gimmie), and this is one of many examples. Maybe 1 in 10 quality SCs he’s generated have found twine, but that ratio will change.

    Hemsky’s clearly more in control this season than ever, and remember he’s at 4pts in 5GP with ZERO PP points. If he can continue to score .8 ES PPG then he’ll score over 90 total, mark my words. It’ll come.

  7. theDrizzler says:

    Brett Callighen…

    Awesome. For no explicable reason, far and away my favourite player when I was six.

  8. Lowetide says:

    Late word that Schremp, Pouliot and Stortini apparently have drawn into the lineup and that Brodziak is a healthy scratch.

    MacT must be using a Ouija board to consult with Toe Blake on this stuff. Holy moly

  9. uni says:

    Hemsky can generate and dazzle all he wants, but he’s infruriating in that at some point you’d think it’d show up on the scoresheet more consistently.

    We all know what he’s capable of…but damn is it frustrating waiting for it to impact games.

  10. Dennis says:

    I said this earlier but Brodz has three years in the A so he’s a fourth year pro and that means that, at least personally, I won’t be so kind to him if he blips. I really haven’t liked his last couple of games.

    In regards to MacT’s thinking, who the hell knows anymore.

    One thing to look out for tonight: has anyone else noticed that gagner is prone to taking really long shifts? I clocked a couple of dandies from him last night

  11. Black Dog says:

    That Gagner play was a nice one. Plucked the puck out of the corner against two Canucks and then the setup.

    He’ll learn pretty quick re the shift length Dennis.

  12. Lowetide says:

    We shoud just give the sedins a point to begin each game and save our energy for the first 5 minutes.

    Vic said the other night that Naslund was awonk and so far it looks like more of the same. Nice hog tie by Bieksa on Cogliano there.

  13. Black Dog says:

    That was a beauty shift. That’s the way to handle the Sedins indeed.

  14. PDO says:

    Oilers – 0
    Matt Greene – 1.

    The Oilers control the game for 19 minutes, then the Matt Greene shit show commences and we’re down 1-0. What the hell is wrong with this guy? Gets the puck behind the net with time, rips it around the boards because he can’t make a first pass, skates to the bottom of the circle while looking at Morrison in the slot, watches Morrison shoot, stands beside Morrison and watches him put the Canucks up 1-0.

    Trade the bum already.

  15. mike w says:

    Wasn’t that a Souray giveaway?

  16. PDO says:

    Mike:

    Nope, though he went behind the net to talk to Greene while Greene whipped it around the boards for some strange reason.

  17. Black Dog says:

    Think it was Souray but it was just an odd play all around – Greene comes behind the net and Souray takes it and whips it up the boards.

    So they’re both behind the net.

    The look on Schremp’s face – “Aw shit, I’m a minus”

    First time I have seen Gagner play and he looks like a kid at times but he certainly makes things happen – he’s not afraid to get his nose a little dirty either.

  18. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Wait until you see Gagner make a beauty pass. He’s the real deal even if it isn’t this year and I’m not saying it isn’t.

    nhl.com is screwed. Schremp was on the PP, I SAW HIM ON THE PP and they have him 19 seconds on the PK. He was in the O-zone playing rw for a faceoff and then he was the cause of an offside.

    Right?

  19. Black Dog says:

    Yeah – how about that play – turns, back to Penner (who looks fine tonight), then takes the return pass in the slot and had a nice shot, Horc tied up or there’s a goal.

    Yes LT – he gave it away and then got it back and fell over the blueline.

    Nerves.

    Jeez, this team. They looked fine in the first and a good start here. But down 1-0.

  20. Black Dog says:

    Torres, Gagner and Cogliano nice PP shift because they were moving their feet and the puck.

  21. PDO says:

    I love when it feels like we’re playing 10 against 5.

    I can understand not calling it goaltender interference… but to allow a goal while Naslund falls on top of Roloson?

    Sigh.

  22. uni says:

    When it rains it pours. Naslund lying on top of Roli as the puck goes into a vacant net. Sometimes I wonder if I should just go to bed early.

  23. danny says:

    its so deflating to see all the bounces go vancouvers way again… how many times has that been the story the past half decade? meh.

    A good game in a lot of respects, A couple questionable decisions from Souray and the obligatory couple by Greene. Brutal penalty by Sanderson.

    Gagner is here for the rest of the season. He’s ahead of Hemsky during his rookie year.

    Maybe the Oilers get a lucky bounce in the 3rd and it involves Luongos knee? … and with that cue the hemsky concussion.

  24. uni says:

    Kinda fun watching Ritchie hold onto Souray for dear life. Sadly that’s probably the only thing being won tonight by someone in the dark uniforms.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Watching tonight’s game, I’m struck by the similarities between this club and the 93-95 group.All those young forwards, from Arnott to Weight to Ciger to Rice to McAmmond to Smyth to Czerkawski to Satan and Marchant and beyond.

    They won’t lose 50 games but they could top 40. It’ll be fun watching the kids and the ANA lotto.

    As for tonight’s team, I think maybe we have seen the pinnacle of Craig MacTavish chasing offense at the expense of reason.

    I expect a tighter rhythm section after a few days practice. Think Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” tight.

  26. rickibear says:

    LT: Went to the game friday with my three year old. The awe and excitment being right next to the oiler bench held a childs attention for most of the game. Did not see which guy thru my son the end of second puck. That sight is what made me remember why we are fans.

    The young guys last night and tonight stood out to me. Gagner was brilliant on Fri. Cogliano just creates. Watching the game I too thought of the young 94 team.

    Important to note we are getting killed on our penalty kill. Thoerson, Stoll, Pisani, Reasoner were our best Pk guys last year.

    We miss Moreau, Thoerson, and Pisani which made us top 3 on PK.

    But 1.2M on Brodziak and Thoerson as compared to 2.5M on Reasoner and Sanderson.
    I just don’t know.

    The fourth goal tonight I did not see what happened to the two Dmen that cycled from the left corner to the right and freed up the guy in front of the net.

  27. Bruce says:

    Anybody else remember Naslund getting away with an even more blatant goaltender interference on Roloson in a game in Vancouver last year? Just skated right through the crease and took Roli down as another Canuck shot into the suddenly empty net.

    Tonight’s contact was more incidental except Naslund was clearly in the crease, on his own, and the onus is on him to avoid the contact. Of course when the referee is yet again the infamous Mr. Ben Dover, the Oilers get the usual result. Pisses me right off.

    Some things to like about tonight’s game, many of them involving young guys. I really like some of the instinctively right plays that Gilbert, Gagner, and Cogliano make. Schremp too in a couple of instances. One touch passing in some cases, or finding dead space to buy time for a safe pass. In time this team could get real good at puck movement.

  28. Asiaoil says:

    Well my level of optimism pre-season did not include the absence of Moreau and Pisani – but is anyone surprised that we have not made any moves to get more vets into the lineup? No this looks like another year of obvious holes that get left unfilled and the results will surprise no one.

    The Brodziak disappearing act doesn’t surprise me and the RW is a total mess. Really what could you expect running a RW of kids behind Hemmer? Dennis was wondering why I wanted a guy like Marty Lapointe – how about 900 games more NHL experience than everyone not named Hemsky combined and a bit of toughness?

    The defense I can deal with as we are developing multiple kids and I like pretty much all of them except Grebeshkov. Want a trade, need a trade, but that doesn’t mean anything will happen until it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too late. Cogliano’s a beauty now and Gagner will be soon enough – but all the other fringe young forwards (Nilsson, Schremp, JFJ) plus Grebeshkov could be dumped for short term help as far as I’m concerned.

  29. Dennis says:

    The thing that I’ll take away from this game is how I learned that muting Jim Hughson is the only way I’ll live past 40,

    The guy is such a homeristic piece of garbage, it’s just unreal. He spent the opening portion of the first period breathlessly exclaiming how the Oilers normally couldn’t find a solution for the Sedins but when Penner’s line had a good shift against them, followed by two more instances where the Sedins had to take penalties, he didn’t even bring it up. I wound up switching back and forth between the baseball game and CBC and because sattelite is a little slower on the previous channel function, I had time to hit mute before the CBC was in play. And let me tell you, when you’d rather listen to Tim McCarver instead of someone else, then someone else fucking sucks.

    I went through this with Irvin and Cole, ie guys calling national games with local biases and tonight tore it for me and Hughson. I know the Sedins are good but when they win 5 cups apiece, then you can wake me and tell me with both hands in your pants how the Oilers are lucky on one particular PP because the Sedins are tired from dominating the one that had just previously expired. You know what, better yet, I’ll even listen to your shit once they win two playoff rounds in the same goddamn season.

    As for the game, the Oilers are in big trouble with Souray. Not only is he signed for way too much for too many years, he’s also not being allowed to get his shot off on the PP and he basically thinks he’s the shit. What was he doing pinching down on the PP? Go fuck yourself, buddy. Imagine that being said by Terrance and Phillip and it will be funnier:)

    No more games until Thurs so four days to see if the media has the nuts to take a shot at Lowe over Penner or Nylander, or whom the fuck ever will take the money, over Smyth PLUS having to deal away Smith because you didn’t get the job done correctly on Pronger tjr first time.

    Plus Souray, of course.

    Could be quite interesting.

  30. Bruce says:

    Oh yeah, hits tonight: Oilers 14, Canucks 9. Stortini had 3 in just 7:48 TOI, and I didn’t think the early fight — silly as it was — hurt the Oilers cause at all. For sure Cowan became a non-factor, just 3 shifts for a total of 24 seconds after having been a pain in the Oilers’ side on Friday.

    The only other guy on either team with more than 2 hits was Dustin Penner, with a game-high 4. Penner also had 5 shots and 1 takeaway, a pretty solid night’s work. He played a big man’s game tonight, and was unlucky not to have more to show for it.

    In fact I’d say the same for the Oilers generally — it was a decent effort, but they weren’t very lucky. Canucks made them pay for a couple key mistakes: the Greene-Souray miscommunication on the first goal, and Roloson’s critical drop of Krajicek’s floater that led, about a minute of pressure later, to the game-breaking 2-0 goal that stood up as the winner. But the Oilers’ energy level and physical commitment can hardly be criticized, they just got beat.

  31. Rube Foster says:

    It’s staring to dawn on me that the best thing about the Oiler season this year is going to be checking in and seeing what blast from the past LT profiles on his pregame post. As much as I love those post and I really do love those posts, this is obviously not a good thing for the Oilers and those who follow them.
    Brett Callighen looks 14 years old in that picture, and he really didn’t look a whole lot older than that at the height of the GMC lines considerable success. There was a very brief period of time when a few people thought Callighen was secret to that lines success. Those were probably the people who kept saying Gretz was a flash in the pan. I wonder what ever happend to those people?
    Is there any other team in the league that would miss a couple of third liners more than the Oil miss Chopper and Fernando? Right now the Oilers just aren’t very hard to play against.
    I’m with LT, I don’t think MacT is going to have much patience trying the Young Gun offense angle when we get results like this weekend. I’m very afraid that we may be but days away from a return to the Toby Peterson brand of safe hockey that was so “successful” and painful last year.
    That defense must be giving Lowe an ulcer. You know what this defense needs? A guy like Kevin Lowe. Do think K-Lo’s got a come back in him?
    Do you think Chuck Huddy has the defense practice that two guys behind the net thing? Joni and Dick looked like beer league defense men on Pyatt’s goal, bad beer league defense men. Man o’ man, makes me shudder to think what’s going to happen when Staois goes lame, and maybe it’s just the bad vibes of the weekend kicking in but I’ll be shocked if Staois holds up for the entire season.
    OK, looking for some positives here. How about that hit and fight in the third period by Gorman Souray? Yes, we overpaid for him, but there are lots of things he does well and that are really useful, it’s just unfortunate that the Oiler coaching staff hasn’t figured out that carrying the puck isn’t one of them. Please can we find him a MacIver to play with. Boy, I’m tired of ranting about Greene but please lets not play him with Gorman anymore. You know, I’ve seen this before, it’s the Jeff Beukaboom story. Remember Steve Smith getting hung out to dry by Beukaboom time and time again. Sather was smart enough to know that Beuk was going to be good, he was also smart enough to know that Beuk wasn’t going to be good fast enough to help the Oilers. Oh yeah, I was trying to be positive… a little life from Stoll and Cogs showing he’s not so interested in checking out Springfield on the shorty. Nice to break up the Booby Lou shutout.
    It could be a long year. Hate to put too much pressure on you LT but keep those pregame post gems coming.

  32. Bruce says:

    PS: Agreed with Dennis on Jim Hughson, self-anointed King of Canucks Nation. As George Carlin said, makes me want to puke in my soup.

  33. Keegan says:

    I am begining to tire of the phrase “He was unlucky not to have more to show for it.” Is it just me?
    I mean when is it bounces & when is it the fact that we are losing too many battles.
    Things like “beauty chances if only ______ wasnt tied up/hadnt lacked the finish.”
    I do realize though that I have to put things in perspective, but I also realize we are on our way to having some of the lowest goal scoring in the league again.
    I take losses easier if we made it a bit closer & had a bit more highlights.
    I guess Hemsky is kind of the epicentre of that though. The lack of a single worthy supoorting role around him on this team is a huge thing holding us back from potting a few more & maybe tilting those bounces in our favor.

  34. Bruce says:

    I feel your pain, keegan, I really do. A little more finish would be great. But I look for positives where I can find them, even if a goal isn’t the instant reward.

    Tonight Penner made an absolutely beauty play where he was about 20 feet behind Krajicek (?) in a 1-on-1 race for a loose puck along the boards near the Vancouver blue line, but caught up with him, chipped the puck by and into the corner, and then did the exact right thing by driving it right to the goalmouth only to be thwarted by Luongo.

    Watch the highlight reels and you’ll see Nik Antropov make a similar move bulling toward the net from the corner, but the Penguins gave him a second whack at it, and their goalie was Dany Sabourin, not Roberto Luongo, so in it went.

    If Penner keeps making plays like that one, he’ll get his goals. He was unlucky not to bag one tonight.

  35. HBomb says:

    If Penner keeps making plays like that one, he’ll get his goals. He was unlucky not to bag one tonight.

    Someone said on CIO that they thought Penner was looking like Lupul part 2.

    I don’t see it. Now, I’m the first guy to say they screwed up by not signing Smyth and having to go out and get Penner was a plan “C” reactionary move to said mishandling that could cost them a high first rounder.

    But you know what? This guy has got a unique skill-set. Soft hands for a big man, works excellent along the boards, and seems to be at least half-aware at both ends of the rink.

    His biggest problem? Conditioning. And considering he didn’t spend the long summer in LA with Chad Moreau like a lot of other guys, PLUS he’s coming off playing until mid-June (which we all know from last year can take it’s toll and show up throughout the next season), I’m not surprised. I’m hoping they can do what they can to get him up to speed over the course of the season, but having the ability to train with our S&C guys next summer is going to make a world of difference to this guy.

    In short….he’s shown more jam in six games than Lupul may have shown in his entire career to this point. Apples to oranges comparison.

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