Oilers at Coyotes, G7/07-08

This is Bruce MacGregor. The “Redheaded Rocket” as he was once called. MacGregor had some decent scoring seasons in the original 6 and at age 23 he scored 21 goals and looked like a guy who might be a big time scorer.

He ended up being a very responsible two-way winger who could get you 15-20 goals a season (career high 28). He had an exceptional playoff run in 63-64 and ended up playing 893 NHL games before coming to the WHA and the Oilers.

MacGregor hung around in a management role for many years with the Oilers under Glen Sather and was Assistant GM when they were rolling for all those SCF’s.

The Oilers could use a Bruce MacGregor right now, in the Fernando Pisani role. They could use a Doug Hicks or Dave Langevin too, and if Lee Fogolin dropped in it would be manna from heaven.

Still, there is lots to like about our team.

Like a victory. Tonight.

Bruce MacGregor guarantees it.

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62 Responses to "Oilers at Coyotes, G7/07-08"

  1. Keegan says:

    Just wondering, how much of a hot seat do you think MacTavish is this year? Especially with the Lowe extension? I dont know, I do like MacT (though his lack of ideas for the PP are getting very tiresome). The Hartley firing just brought it up in my mind. I mean it is a very different set of circumstances, but do you think the EIG would use MacT as a way of appearing like they are accountable for the results of this season (if they flop). Just curious as to your thoughts.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I think there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on Lowe. He left the gate again with a team out of balance, and the injuries are piling up. He spent a lot of time in the summer saying he was disappointed in his inability to get some blueline help before Christmas.

    One imagines he would redouble his efforts to improve his team so he doesn’t have the same regret next summer.

    MacT? I think he’s pretty much playing the hand that has been dealt and is finding a solution that answers the problem.

    The are roles for players on the roster and there are holes for players who aren’t on the roster. That’s Kevin Lowe’s department imo, and I sincerely believe he’ll address it.

  3. Keegan says:

    Fair enough. I just cant imagine that Lowe thinks he is in the hot seat at all not. That extension was like a get of jail free card. I guess I just have to hope things dont go bust for the year but if they do, I could see them cutting MacT loose.. The management of this team kinda pisses me off sometimes though.
    Heres to 2 points & if that fails, to 2 more pints to drown your sorrows.

  4. Lowetide says:

    keegan: I have more beer standing by, but my weeknight limit is 2 (although I pout them into a big glass that takes 1.5 beer to fill, so three) so unless it’s 4-1 PHX at the end of one I’m pretty much done now. :-)

    Lowe will feel pressure because if this team loses 45 games again this season the fanbase will begin to fall off, tickets will be more easily available and at some point many season ticket holders will ask the question “why do we even bother to buy season tickets when we just give them away?”

    You can’t make fans watch garbage, no matter the crest on the front of the uniform.

  5. PDO says:


    You can’t make fans watch garbage, no matter the crest on the front of the uniform.

    Are you sure?


    I’ll throw this out there, but…

    How far off is a Stoll for Hamhuis trade?

  6. Dennis says:

    I don’t think we can really learn much about our team tonight other than can they go into the arena of a junk team and come out on top.

    As for who’s on the hot seat, I’d have a hard time believing Lowe could ever be fired if he wasn’t fired before this season began. The guy’s done such a shitty job, it’s hard to believe he could do anything that made him look worse. As for MacT, maybe a new voice could wring something more out of this club but I can’t see it being that much more.

  7. mc79hockey says:

    God that’s an empty arena. I mean that’s appalling for a WHL team. This has to be tough on Gretzky – he’s on a terrible team in a town where nobody cares.

  8. mc79hockey says:

    It took Schremp days to get down the ice there.

  9. mc79hockey says:

    I was going to praise some of Matt Greene’s work on that PK and then I find out that he’s the guy who thought the smart play was to shoot Roli’s stick into the corner.

  10. mike w says:

    Are the Diamondbacks still in the MLB playoffs or something?

    Hockey is alive in well in the sunbelt! (cough)

  11. uni says:

    That empty arena in ‘Yote Town is Karma coming back to bite Gretzky in the posterior for the Mickey Mouse remark.

    As for Hemsky, he’s been the ‘weakest’ link on my fantasy roster and I keep putting him in over one of Vanek, Jokinen, or Brind’amour right now cause lord does he ever look good across the other team’s blue-ice. Dude better get 10 points in the next 3 games =).

    I also find it funny that despite his torrid start, no one in my fantasy league will touch Comrie. That Antropov is a doozy though, now if only Mikhnov could do that for the Oil.

  12. mike w says:

    I’m first in my pool but absurdly, stupidly, I had Torres as my last pick in the pool and have kept him there… finally pays off!



  13. Lowetide says:

    So, if Matt Greene is on the PK, does that count as a 5-on-3 or a 6-on-4?

  14. Lowetide says:

    That was one sweet powerplay. Think Craig Simpson would come back?

  15. mike w says:

    Tarnstrom looks terrible and good within seconds of each other.

  16. PDO says:

    Tarnstrom looks terrible and good within seconds of each other

    We had another player like that, and we traded Ana’s 2nd rounder in ’08 so we could get a player who always looked terrible and sign Tarnstrom.

  17. uni says:

    Oh, Oilers game is on Sopcast (myp2p/nhl link) again if you’ve got a few minutes to kill before bed.

    Man I hate working on the East Coast, gonna have to go to bed soon, and if the Oil are going to run up the score on anyone this season it’s likely to be the Coyotes.

  18. mike w says:

    And as for Grebeshkov: he seems more comfortable the farther away from the defensive zone he gets, which isn’t meant as a slight. He didn’t look half-bad handling the puck on the PP.

  19. mike w says:

    Man I hate working on the East Coast

    I hear you, buddy. I have to be up in 8 hours…

  20. Dennis says:

    Did anyone else see what I did during the first Oilers PK? 8 and 16 were both on the left point and the right point was wide open. I have never seen that before.

    Some other stuff:

    - Jayne’s face contorts like a slimmer Paul Bearer and I love how he tries to look tough behind the bench.

    - I like 8 but I can’t imagine why he’d be double-shifted while 88 takes the gate. That’s some bad MacLovin’ for young Schremp

    - Oilers spending way too much time defending while on the PK. Where’s the old team that would use three pairs and just pressure down ice all the time? I guess they just don’t have the depth anymore.

    - Oilers were severely outchanced in that period but Roli was gold

    - The solitary Oilers PP was terrible

    - Not sure if it’s been changed yet or if it will be BUT one of 77 or 23 deserved or deserves a second assist on 14′s goal. One of the D pinched down to tap the puck to 83 before he found 14 for the goal.

  21. PDO says:


    I definitely saw that, and I also saw Matt Greene inexplicably send Roloson’s stick into the corner. I think my little sister understands more about hockey at than Greene at this point.

    This team has so many problems, I don’t even know where to begin. The forwards have no depth. We have 2 D who can play NHL hockey, and a third who looks like he’s close to being there in Gilbert. We suck on both the PP and the PK. Minimal energy.

    It’s just disappointing to watch.

    Thankfully, I’ve got a few beers here after a terrible day and a game that we might actually (sadly) lose to Phoenix.

    Staios got the 2nd assist.

  22. mike w says:

    I don’t know, all of Phoenix’s chances and shots seemed to come off of the PP and PK.

    The Oil have settled down.

  23. uni says:

    Bah, back to the radio broadcast. Stoll sounds like he’s playing a physical game, that’s encouraging.

    RE: Grebeskhov; haven’t seen him play much. I know he’s supposed to be raw right now, but what do you all think his overall likely potential is from what you’ve seen?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Grebeshkov looks like a chaos D so far, so it’s hard to get a read on him until his feet calm down. He does have talent, that I’ll say.

    Does he have more than Tom Gilbert? I don’t think he does, plus Gilbert’s a better player defensively.

  25. mike w says:

    I thought the penalty called was lame.

  26. Lowetide says:

    MacTavish is the PP coach? Oh my God.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Tarnstrom looked as bad as you can on that play.

  28. PDO says:

    3 points, rapid fire style:

    - Matt Greene is terrible at hockey.
    - Dan Carcillo is a garbage hockey player.
    - Grebehskov is a bigger, slower, Bergeron. With a lesser shot.

  29. mike w says:

    Greene played well on the PK. Penner is a silhouette. Torres is Doctor Confidence.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Cogliano-Torres-Hemsky is a nice group of first rounders. Cogs plays on that line for 75 games and he could win the Calder.

  31. mike w says:

    And yes, Carcillo is a dipstick.

  32. mike w says:


  33. Lowetide says:

    Dennis mentioned this and we’ve all kind of adopted it, but when Roloson is on it’s like he’s playing catch.

  34. uni says:

    Wow, nothing like a Phoenix broadcast to make you miss CBC. If you thought Hughson’s Van-Sedin love was bad try hearing about Gretzky love and how he communicates on the bench for 10 minute stretches.

    When Brodziak scored they weren’t even calling a play-by-play, but telling some inane story and then almost as a side note mentioned that “Big Brodziak scored”.

  35. Dennis says:

    All along I’ve said that we need someone to pull a Bieksa; we need a guy to come from nowhere and look like a top four fellow. I’ll nominate Gilber for that before season’s end. Of all the howling a lot of us do, no one seems to be able to pick out any terrible errors from Gilbert’s jack and I think that says a lot. I noticed a nice little stickcheck on Doan but then whomever was supposed to be supporting him, that guy didn’t get the job done.

    Maybe my hunch about Gilbert is wrong, though. One of these Sat’s I’ll tape a game and take a closer look at ut during some Sunday that there’s no early interesting football games of note.

    Nice to see 14-16 showing a little synergy in that frame. Hemsky’s an easy guy to please; all he really wants is a linemate that wants to shoot his brains out.

  36. mike w says:

    The announcers in the US (Fox Sports, mostly) end up chatting so much about everything except the game itself (Gretzky on the bench, how Joe Thornton is a leader and likes surfing, etc), and most importantly, who has the puck.

    It actually takes the viewer away from the play. Drives me nuts.

  37. Lowetide says:

    I think one thing we need to remember with Raffi is that he’s always been streaky. He’s had a tremendous impact on this game and sometimes hitters get a good streak started when he faces a #5 starter.

    Here’s hoping, he certainly has been dangerous tonight.

  38. Dennis says:

    We all know the really terrible moves Lowe made but it looks like a ‘just’ terrible move might be MAB plus a pick for Grebs.

    Grebs reminds me of Bergy because it’s like someone decided they’d try and get offense from the backend because a guy could pass and skate but they didn’t mind that he was small and not overly physical. Of course the difference was that Bergy was a bonafide soft min success story and I’d imagine he was dealt because someone, probably MacT, didn’t like him. Otherwise, if you’re dealing him and a pick for Grebs, you’re making that move becuase you believe the guy you’re bringing in has a chance to be more than Bergy, ie you think he should be a top four.

    It’s very early in his Oilers tenure, though he has some Euro league and A experience and some NHL as well, but there looks to be a very slim chance that Grebs can even equal Bergy’s worth, let alone surpass it.

    Like I said, a potentially quiet awful trade.

    Couple of other things:

    - 89′s showing his age tonight. He’s not putting the puck in the right places and he’s skittish on the chip from his own end and I’ve only seen one noteworthy pass from him.

    - Penner would be easier to like if he wasn’t essentially making Smyth’s money and we didn’t have to spend a 1st rounder on him to do so.

  39. Dennis says:

    MikeW, you’re the CIO guy, right? And you’re still living in TO? If the latter’s true, why do you have the Yotes feed?

    My experience with CI is you’ll always get the Can team’s feed if they’re playing an Amerk team

  40. Devin says:

    I maintain Raffi doesn’t know how to raise the puck (correctly) more than a foot off the ice. I don’t think I’ve seen him take an effective shot at the top half of the net since 06. Anyway, he’s having a nice game.

  41. Lowetide says:

    Schremp’s had all of 3 minutes. as HF imploded yet? He’s had a couple of nice things happen tonight but with all these other offensive kids in the lineup I wondered where they’d find room.

    Turns out it’s the bench, but maybe he’ll pop one late.

  42. LittleFury says:

    Enjoy your #1 pick Mr. Burke.

  43. uni says:

    Wow…Torres just renewed my faith in the hockey gods.

    And you’re a witch lowetide…although that wasn’t really an explosion, but PHX and their goal tending carousel cures many ails.

  44. Dennis says:

    It’s amazing how quickly that building cleared out after the ENG;)

    You read a lot, primarily in the Globe, about the Preds situation and maybe it’s because Balisille’s involved and wants to bring a team into that area. BUT, you have to imagine that if Christ wasn’t coaching Phx and didn’t have an ownership stake, more people would be writing more stories about that mess.

    As for the game, a win’s a win but we just gave up 40 shots to the Yotes and we didn’t outchance them by any stretch.

    Regarding Schremp, I don’t know how he plays and Pouliot doesn’t. I’ve got nothing against Robbie but MP’s a draft class older and we’ve got enough guys to worry about at ES and to have to hide, it looks like a better idea to have 78 in than 88.

    - I didn’t think we could make it through the game without the 2/37 tandem giving up a goal.

    - Some really loves Gagner when he’s playing with a one goal lead with under 5 min left.

    - I don’t like him but Stortini made a couple of plays tonight and he worked his ass off.

  45. jon says:

    I find it pretty darn funny that reading this post after watching the game springs to mind the similarities this player’s similarities (at least in description here) to Torres. Good game for the ginger though.

  46. Bank Shot says:

    I definitely saw that, and I also saw Matt Greene inexplicably send Roloson’s stick into the corner. I think my little sister understands more about hockey at than Greene at this point.

    Roloson probably threw it on the ice and Greene didn’t want to trip over it. Don’t you guys remember that Rolie spiel where he was talking about he occasionally throws his stick away, and he learned it from Hasek, and he plays better without it…. yada, yada, yada?

    In short, Roloson is pretty flaky. He probably should have dived less tonight, but excellent game otherwise.

    The rest of the team looked pretty bad considering they won. Well the Cogliano-Hemsky-Torres line dominated, but that was essentially the sole bright point. That line had 10 shots, the remaining forwards… 6.

    Every defenceman was sketchy at times. Turnovers, bad reads, missed checks.

    The Oilers in gneral are passive all over the ice. Constantly in the trap, but backing up over the redline before the other team clears their own zone making it a pretty damn ineffective trap.

    No puck pressure on the PK, just four guys skating backwards towards Rolie.

    What the hell is up with the D-zone coverage? I’ve seen it multiple games in row where one Oiler will be battling in the corner with two opponents and the second Oiler will be standing 5-10 feet back waiting to see the outcome of the battle. The Oilers lose these battles about 90% of the time….go figure. I KNOW it’s part of the game plan because it happens so often, I just can’t figure out the point of it.

    Their “Cycle” usually consists of four guys standing in cement shoes trying to catch it back and forth in the corner. They don’t move. They don’t support the puck( offense and defense). They are just flat out disoreinted and confused.

    I’d like to pin all these problems solely on personell because Lowe didn’t do a good job, but it just has to be more then that to it. They were playing the Phoenix Coyotes for cryin’ out loud and they were still getting it handed to them all over the ice.

  47. Bank Shot says:

    I didn’t think we could make it through the game without the 2/37 tandem giving up a goal.

    Horcoff blew his coverage on that goal.

  48. dwillms says:

    My 2 cents:

    1) I wish Raffi could play a game where he wasn’t either ‘invisible’ or ‘unbelievable’. After he got the soft 1st goal, you knew it was his night. I don’t think he could have played any better.

    2) I really liked both the 27-10-89 & 14-13-83 lines tonight. I hope they stay together for at least another game.

    3) I just can’t understand why Greene sees any icetime. He played 5:15 on the PK, and all I remember is him knocking Roli’s stick into the corner & barely grazing Mueller as he tapped in the PP goal.

  49. PunjabiOil says:

    Wow, Phoenix was at the most, 1/3 full today.

    Not surprising. I can’t see the NHL sticking in that market for much longer.

    After arriving in Phoenix, the team posted six consecutive .500 or better seasons, making the playoffs in every year but one. Attendance, however, regularly flirted in the bottom 10 category, never topping the 15,604 mark hit in the first year.

  50. Rube Foster says:

    To those who said all that Rafi needed was some spoon fed lovin’ from Ales – you’re geniuses.
    I didn’t think Grebs looked that bad for a guy who’s been in the press box for a week. I thought his penalty against Doan was actually a very nice, dare I say Marc Andre like hip check. I’ll agree with Dennis though, at this point Grebs doesn’t look as good as they guy we traded him for but I’m willing to give him some time and see how he develops. I also like Dennis’s take on Gilbert, he continues to look solid. I will say that unlike Greene the coaching staff aren’t asking too much from Gilbert and are putting him in spots where he has a better chance for success. IMO they should be taking the same approach with Greene. Asking Greene to play 20 minutes a night is asking for trouble. I’ll give the Oil credit. They need to win these kind of games and they did. Good on them.
    Looks like we stumbled on to something with the cogs, hemmer, rafi line. Hopefully they stay hot for a while. Cogs continues to look like he belongs, it would be nice if he could win a face-off though. There was zero chemistry from the Penner, Horc, Gagne combo but on paper they have potential.
    Boy Staios was playing like a guy with a broken nose or something.
    We are a soft, soft team. When Tarnstrom always seems to be the guy who ends up pulling people off of your netminder you are in trouble. You think Carcillo tries that crap with the goalies in Minnesota? The Oilers might be able to get away without being hard to play against with the low rung squads and the some of the eastern teams but they’re not going to have a lot of success in the western conference with that type of SOFT game.
    Oh my, poor Wayne. I hope he’s going to make a lot a money on the real estate deal the Coyote ownership group has with the mega-entertainment complex thing in Glendale because coaching the Coyotes looks like it’s taking years off of his life. It’s hard to see the utter lack of joy on his face in a hockey rink. Wayne doesn’t deserve that coyote crap, he should be at home having fun with his family and enjoying the sight of Janet vacuuming the house while wearing that white bathing suit from the Flamingo Kid.

  51. voxel says:

    MAB was a scratch tonight. Don’t think either team got the better deal long term.

  52. Rod says:

    Tonight vs. Washington wasn’t the first. MAB’s been scratched two straight games now…and a healthy scratch at that. Hmmm. An NHL coach–not named MacTavish–puts MAB in the pressbox. Imagine that.

    With the odd schedule–NYI have one game in eleven days to end October–and how well Berard and Campoli produced against Washington, MAB could be out for a while.

    Did I mention I’m glad MAB is gone? :-)

    Anyway, stamping the MAB / Grebs trade as “awful” is a reach. Long term potential is definitely on the Oilers side of that trade. Of course it’s anything but a guarantee, but I think the risk was clearly worth it.

  53. namflashback says:

    I didn’t think we could make it through the game without the 2/37 tandem giving up a goal.

    Horcoff blew his coverage on that goal.

    Plus the Phoenix player set a nice pick on that play to impede #2.

    27-10-89 were out of synch all night, and didn’t even have the Doan line to contend with. However, they were quite good against Vancouver.

    I hope the D-zone awareness improves, because Calgary is going to be all over them in a hurry on Saturday night.

  54. momentai says:


    27/10/89 did have the Doan line to contend with. It’s more difficult on the road to get your matchups but all night MacT left out the Horcoff/Cogliano lines out against Doan.

    I think it says something immensely positive that Gagner/Cogliano and even Brodziak early on have been used against good opposition.

  55. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I was at the Flames-Kings game last night. First – Cammalleri is the real effen deal. Worth the price of admission. He’s, like 5’2 and 87 pounds, but no one could take the puck from him down low.

    Second – even though Kipper looked to be pulling his head out of his ass a bit last night, the Flames looked nervous all night. Lots of mistakes in their own end. If Rolli can match ol’ Pack-A-Day, and all the stars are lined up juuuuust right, maybe.

  56. namflashback says:

    Momentai, check out vic’s time on ice program. You’d be surprised (I was too) that 14-13-83 got more Doan time than Horc. Both MacT and Gretz seemed happy to let it go that way too.

  57. Dennis says:

    That’s a pretty stupid move on Jayne’s part. You don’t want to let the other coach run your bench and dictate the TOI but both 14 and 83 have played tough min before and if you’ve pre-scouted 13, well you know that’s the way he’s likely headed.

    Meanwhile, Penner’s always played against nobodies and Gagner’s 12 years old. Sure, Horc’s battle-tested but there’s only so much he can do. So a bad job of matching by Jayne.

    - One the 2/37 GA: Yeah, 10 missed his assignment a little but sometimes the hockey gods have a way of evening things out. Even if 2/37 wasn’t directly responsible for the goal, you can’t tell me that if someone told you beforehand that these guys were gonna play together all game, that you wouldn’t have thought they’d be on for a GA.

    - Cogs is the best player we’ve had out of the wrapper since Hemsky and I predict he’ll be the fastest player to make an impact tough min wise since Horc. He’s bonafide good. What I like about the kid is that I don’t really notice him in Van and then bang, he scores a shortie. Then, it’s not that I thought he was shitting the sack last night, but I didn’t think he was super good but then he makes the breakaway pass to 83.

    - As much as I like Gagner and as much as I’d bet that pretty soon most people will love him, the fact that he’s playing in the last 5 min with a one goal lead tells you more about the intentions of thise season then it does about his abilites. Simply put, this is year two of the rebuild and MacT can’t honestly say they expect to make the playoffs and then play an 18 year old in the dying mintues.

    - Nice to see Brodziak take the kick in the ass and then come back and ram in down MacT’s throat. I have no fucking idea what MacT’s thinking when it comes to the 6th dman and the last two forward spots but Brodz came back with a goal and and empty-net assist so good on him.

  58. momentai says:


    I’m not surprised at all. Those results certainly jive with what I saw on the ice. While definitely had to contend with Cogliano often, Horcoff was not far behind in terms of that matchup.

  59. Master Lok says:

    Perhaps Dennis, Brodziak took MacT’s criticism to heart and played his butt off. To some, that might be an example of good coaching.

  60. Ribs says:

    And…there goes Schremp back to the A.

    It’s still tricky for me to decide whether he’s got the stuff to stay up in this league or not. He’s a guy that thrives on the power play but that’s about it when he’s paired up with mediocre talent guys. It looked as if he was having a pretty good game but I guess not good enough for the MacTster. I hope he gets another chance soon. JFJ for the Calgary game makes sense.
    Rob needs to learn how to skate. It’s just sad watching him chop away like that, yikes.

    Not too much to remark on in this game…

    I don’t know who needs to be hit in the head first. Greene for being so terrible on the PK, or MacT for putting him there.

    Cogliano is something special. Hemsky is going to love having this guy around. Passers and speedy guys go together like peanut butter and jelly.

    Gagner – good enough for me. I figure I have until the end of the month before I have to admit I was wrong about him not sticking around in October. And I will do that gladly.

    Torres was bombastic. It’s fun to watch him for a couple games out of every season where he is a man possessed.

    Grebeshkov still seems pretty useless to me. Bring back Smid!

    Am I the only one who likes Carcillo? He seemed pretty good alongside our prospects last year in WBS!

    It’s my birthday on Saturday. Here’s to a win against the dreaded Flames. (Crossing fingers)

  61. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I think PDO is pretty savvy for a young fella;) but I noticed him talking smack about Carcillo the other day. I happened to see him do a couple of nice things last year and he’s rough too.

    He has all the intent of a Stortini but he can actually skate and has some hands too. Jacques will never be, and probably doesn’t want to be, what Stortini thinks he can be and what Carcillo is.

  62. Rube Foster says:

    Oh by the way Bruce MacGregor and Walt Tkaczuk on the PK for the Rangers in the early seventies absolutely beautiful.

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