Oilers at Flames, G8/07-08

This is Mike Rogers. He’s from Calgary and was an outstanding junior for the Centennials in his hometown in an era where that team produced some fine talents (Danny Gare, Bob Nystrom) and some sad stories (Derek Black).

He played for the WHA Oilers and then at the end the NHL Oilers with some tremendous offensive seasons in Hartford and NYC thrown in between.

I don’t think the Edmonton Oilers have much of a chance tonight. Even if Roloson stands on his head, even if that new line clicks for two more from Raffi, even if they stay out of the penalty box.

The Calgary Flames are at home, have more NHL players at D and F and will surely take advantage of enough of the Oiler kids mistakes to make this an easy win going away.

Tonight’s game gives Kevin Lowe a chance to test the roster of his making against a team he’ll need to beat in order to make the second season. The last time the Oilers faced a similar opponent Lowe’s men ended up wearing their collective ass for a hat and one would be foolish to predict a different outcome.

For the Oiler fan there are things to watch, however. Is Dustin Penner getting into game shape? Is this improvement Matt Greene has been showing an actual step forward? If Gagner dresses, can he stand up under torture?

For me, I’ll be happy if Pouliot plays, thrilled if he scores. Small victories this season.

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52 Responses to "Oilers at Flames, G8/07-08"

  1. Andy Grabia says:

    The Calgary Flames are at home

    Isn’t that a reason for them not winning?

  2. Lowetide says:

    Andy: They were 30-9-2 at home a year ago. Unless you’re counting the 1-1-1 start this season, which I think we can agree is too small a sample to draw a conclusion.

  3. Ribs says:

    I’m not buying this whole “Penner’s just not in shape yet” type of thinking. This is about as in-shape that he will get. I don’t know why anyone would think differently. He’s a big guy and he’s only going to move so fast.

    Should be an interesting game to watch tonight. Jarome and Huselius are pumping the net full of pucks with Keenan behind the bench. I hope some of the gameplan from MacT is to shut those two down. I hate seeing Hemsky get rocked in the corners three times and then watch Huselius walk around our defense without being touched. Punish that guy!

    I wish Souray was a go for this game. Ah well…

  4. Doogie says:

    Fun fact of the day: Rogers is now the colour analyst for the Flames’ radio broadcasts on FAN 960.

    And I seem to remember reading that the Flames haven’t won a regular season game at home in 60 minutes since the trade deadline or something absurd like that. Is that true?

  5. MetroGnome says:

    And I seem to remember reading that the Flames haven’t won a regular season game at home in 60 minutes since the trade deadline or something absurd like that. Is that true?

    not even a little bit.

  6. mike w says:

    Here’s a big tip for a struggling PP: big slapshots from the point haven’t worked in about the last 90 Oilers games.

    Just wrist it. And quick.

  7. Dennis says:

    A very bad period by Cogliano and our special teams just fucking suck. The penalty kill might actually be worse than the PP.

    Nice job by a few guys on the goal, though. Props to 2 for having the composure to move to the side in order to get his shot on goal and then a nice little tap by 10 to give 89 the open side.

    I can’t believe that MP is out and both 22 and 46 are in and I don’t know how much longer Grebs will play over Smid, either.

    In AHL news, SF won 5-2 tonight and here’s the boxscore: http://stats.theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1003572

    Big nights for Smid, Thor and Schremp.

  8. uni says:

    I love how instead of chanting “Let’s go Flames!” they decided to chant “Oilers suck!” when that penalty was called. Just seems so odd to me that fans would do that.

  9. Dennis says:

    Here’s hoping that MacT plays the fuck out of 14 for the third period. He awnsered the Nolan/Stortini fight with that knock on Moss and then he fought Warrner when the inceasingly marginialzed Flames defenseman asked him to go. This is the closest thing I’ve seen to leadership from Torres.

    If you can’t decision Owen Nolan, you should stop fighting and your coach should stop playing you. Nice job by JFJ to bully Huselisis, not once but twice, mind you.

    I think I might love Sam Gagner someday soon. That give and go between him and Hemsky when 89 went to the sideboards to collect the rebound was the sweetest thing I’ve seen from this club in years.

    The Oilers PK is beyond fucking brutal. The same holes are being picked time after time and they’re asking Roli to be nearly super-human in order to keep us within striking decision.

  10. momentai says:

    I think Grebeshkov has been a gong show tonight. A couple of botched passes in the offensive zone and some mistakes in his own end… Gilbert looks like the veteran on that pairing.

    I cannot believe the Oilers have made such a switch on their pp. They went from a team that funneled EVERYTHING to the point with Souray to having NOBODY willing to shoot from the point now. WTF. Seriously. When Tarnstrom had that slap shot that went off Kipper’s glove and the crossbar. I was saying… FINALLY. What’s with this aversion to shooting at the point when you have the opportunity. Pitkanen is woefully guilty of this one as he’s played catch with Hemsky a little too much on the pp.

    Tarnstrom has been really good tonight I think. Youth and talent are no substitute for experience.

  11. Bank Shot says:

    Stortini got beat up by Nolan. Oh the Humanity!

    Me likey JFJ’s game tonight. He’s been running right the hell over some guys.

    Grebeshkov has been pretty sketchy with the puck at times. His positioning has been there so far however which is a big improvement over training camp. If his puck poise improves as well we may have a hockey player on our hands.

  12. Bank Shot says:

    Big nights for Smid, Thor and Schremp.

    Don’t forget about my boy Spurgeon who has apparently recovered from his undisclosed injury.

    He might be another nice grinder plumbed from the depths by the Oilers scouting crew.

  13. Black Dog says:

    Yeah its good Raffi tonight – he’s feeling good about himself – hit, fights, he’s shooting the puck and the play isn’t dying with him at all.

    PP looks good but another 0 fer. Pitakanen won’t shoot at all. Still they are moving the puck and moving their feet and at some point I think its going to start to click. Gagner just knows what he is doing out there.

    Jacques has done a little better so they’ll probably send him out tonight. Why Stortini is out there over Pouliot, Thoresen, hell take your pick, is beyond me. Can’t fight. Gets knocked over pretty easily. Doesn’t contribute much of anything.

  14. Black Dog says:

    Here we go – one more PP – once again, can they finally get it done?

  15. P says:

    One positive tonight is the noticeable lack of offsides. So that should offset the lack of shots/coherence on the powerplay.

  16. uni says:

    Well, at least I’ll get another win in my fantasy league with Kipper =(.

  17. PDO says:

    It just wouldn’t be a hockey game if Matt Greene wasn’t the reason for a GA.

    What does Matt Green and Jarret Stoll net in a trade?

  18. PunjabiOil says:

    Post Game Thread – Oilers Special Teams cost the game

    The PP had 3 opportunities to take the lead when it was deadlocked at 1. Obviously the team deeply misses Smyth, who often go possession in the zone. Besides that, I don’t think the point has been strong. I thought Tarnstrom looked good in his limited time there, and they should look at Stoll on the other point. Instead, Pikachu insists on ”playing Hemsky” at the point. Has he shot the puck once this year?

    The PK allowed 3 goals today. Obviously missing Souray there, but the fowards are being too passive. I don’t think the right personnel is there either.

    Gagner and Horcoff looked great out there. Penner was good and bad – just not a 4.0M player. He’d better get things turned around quickly.

    Stortini adds nothing to the team.

    Jacques is getting better each and every game – seems like he’s learned a thing or two. Torres was really impressive, and notched up his intensity. Stoll is coming out as well.

    Roloson kept the team in it tonight.

    Grebeshkov has happy feet. I’d like to call up Bobby Smid any day now.

    The team didn’t play that poorly on ES, but failed to get it done on the special teams. Of course without elite talent, or even a guy like, say, Ryan Smyth, goals are difficult to come by with, and I think we’ll see the growing pains throughout the year.

    It’s a rebuild, no matter how much Kevin Lowe states to the contrary.

    Division game 4, and we’re 0-4. Doesn’t really matter if next year we play 24 division games instead of 32 – you aren’t going to make the playoffs if you get kicked around in your division.

    PDO – I’d definitely look at a Stoll + Greene + Schremp for quality deal.

  19. Bank Shot says:

    What does Matt Green and Jarret Stoll net in a trade?

    Hopefully some bricks and mortar to seal up the net until the Oilers figure out how to score more then a goal per game.

  20. dwillms says:

    At least the PP looked better during the 2nd, although the one near the end of the 3rd looked terrible again.

    Does anybody know what exactly Pitkanen was doing on the Iginla PP goal? He didn’t take Langkow behind the net, didn’t take Iginla in front of the net, and didn’t even have his stick on the ice to break up the pass.

    I don’t know if I’ve seen boards in any rink look more like a pinball machine than tonight.

    Is it a stretch to say Phaneuf is one of the top-5 defenceman in the league? What about top-3? After watching their game against Colorado on Tuesday and tonight’s game, I think I’m almost convinced. I can’t come up with anybody better outside of Lidstrom and Pronger.

    As sad as this may seem, I don’t see how we could play much better on the road against Calgary than tonight, other than burying the breakaway chances and getting anything out of the PP. You can call the goaltending a draw, but they simply have more talent, experience, & depth in every other area.

  21. PDO says:

    Does anybody know what exactly Pitkanen was doing on the Iginla PP goal? He didn’t take Langkow behind the net, didn’t take Iginla in front of the net, and didn’t even have his stick on the ice to break up the pass.

    Brodziak wasn’t much better. It wasn’t his responsibility, but he looked at Iginla in the #’s, and turned away while he was uncovered.

    Is it a stretch to say Phaneuf is one of the top-5 defenceman in the league? What about top-3? After watching their game against Colorado on Tuesday and tonight’s game, I think I’m almost convinced. I can’t come up with anybody better outside of Lidstrom and Pronger.

    Massive.

    Chara, Zubov, Regehr, Ohlund, Markov (Andrei), Kaberle, Phillips, Gonchar and Boyle off the top of my head are no brainers.

  22. Dennis says:

    The PK is an absolute fucking mess and there’s really no hope for this team until that’s addressed or fixed. Granted, we’re missing Smith down low and we’re missing Smyth, Pisani, Moreau and Thor up front. Not sure how much of a difference each of those guys made but the current group are dogshit. The attacking team always has the puck and is always applying pressure. I’m not sure what we can do within our own ranks; maybe it’s an idea to turf Brodz for Pouliot or try and get back Thor but maybe that’s not the awnser either. I know that 94 could kill penalties by playing hounddog in the O zone and we’ve basically lost that.

    Stoll looks ready to break out so I’ll predict it happens on Tues vs Col or next Sat in LA. I skipped this coming Thurs vs Min because no Oiler can score against them.

    I guess you can never worry about where Ana’s gonna pick with our ’08 selections but I have a hard time imagning that we’ll keep playing gagner like we did in Phx and keep not trying to go away from things like 37/77 vs Iginla. Maybe Hughson brainwashed me but after he mentioned that matchup, it seems like I was seeing it a lot. I hope I’m wrong though. Maybe we’ll see a trial by fire for 20 games and then we’ll play where we actually try and win games.

    It’s hard for me to discuss the PP rationally. You can talk about chances all you like but one goal in over 30 opps is all that needs to be said.

    And the other thing is that I fear we’re going the Lupul route with Penner. He didn’t have constant chem with 83 so that was split up and now he’s weighing down 10-89 as well.

    He’s running out of options

  23. Ribs says:

    Well, Huselius and Jarome lit the lamps as expected I guess (picked them in the pool for this week, please don’t hurt me).

    Grebeshkov vs. Iginla line happened way too often this game and was exploited several times. I can’t see a need for Grebs when so many better players are available for his role. Smid – Gilbert is ten times better than Grebs – Gilbert.

    Tarnstrom looked like a real veteran player tonight. It was nice to see.

    What’s the deal with Reasoner, Horcoff, Stoll , and Torres on a power-play together?

    Gagner with his first goal, cheers!

  24. Lowetide says:

    I thought the Oilers played as well as could be expected. They have lots of people on the ice when NHL players are out there and that’s going to hurt.

    Imo we could write that 45 times this season after a loss. It is what it is. Watching Zack Stortini during a loss is a little different than watching Czerkawski during a loss, but it’s similar too.

    Nice things from Gagner, I like Gilbert too and Matt Greene is showing some signs.

    A nice little list of positives on the way to 45L.

  25. PDO says:

    LT:

    You said a few posts ago, and consequentially, a few beers ago ;), that when you a pour a beer it’s really 1.5 beers.

    What do you do with the .5 of a beer? That’s the real question, because tonight there’s not enough beer to go around in Edmonton.

  26. Lowetide says:

    PDO: That’s why I stock up. The key is that you need to have a plan so that the beer doesn’t spend a long time in the fridge and gets rotated through quickly. A person needs to stay with a plan and sacrifice things like driving after 3pm SAT or refraining from answering the phone it is ringing and you can’t find it.

  27. Dennis says:

    Listen, Lain, when Zach scores a goal in the playoffs off a faceoff feed from Mats Lindgren, well, then, and only then!!, can you compare him to Supers Marisuz

  28. Bill Needle says:

    I think I’ve figured out Grebeshkov’s role on the team. He makes Greene look great by comparison. Grebeshkov was brutal and had trouble making the easiest of plays tonight.
    As for Bobby Smid, I’d settle for Bobby Clobber over Grebeshkov.

  29. David says:

    “Penner was good and bad – just not a 4.0M player. He’d better get things turned around quickly.”

    Why? Like Horcoff, he has an unreasonably rich multi-year contract signed, and Lowe wont be able to trade him, so there is really no downside to his play …

    Glad we gave up some top draft picks for the guy.

  30. PunjabiOil says:

    Why? Like Horcoff, he has an unreasonably rich multi-year contract signed, and Lowe wont be able to trade him, so there is really no downside to his play …

    __________

    I never understood the hate for Shawn Horcoff. He’s earning his money, playing the tougher minutes, logging up minutes, playing the PK, and is tied in team scoring with 6 points. He earned every cent of his contract – I just can’t figure out how anyone would consider him untradeable.

    As for Penner, I was referring to it from the fans POV

  31. PDO says:

    Why? Like Horcoff, he has an unreasonably rich multi-year contract signed, and Lowe wont be able to trade him, so there is really no downside to his play …

    You just had to say Horcoff is overpaid, didn’t you?

    Forwards in the NHL who make between 3-4 million a year this year or next are (excluding rookies):

    Horcoff, Hemsky, Sedin, Sedin, Morrison, McDonald, Kunitz, Cammalleri, Frolov, Nagy, Cheechoo, Samsonov, Modin, Sullivan, Tkhacuk, Weight, Ruchinky, Sturm, Roy, Afinogenov, Connolly, Hecht, Fisher, Tucker, Blake, Zubrus, Comrie, Straka, Kozlov, Whitney, Williams and Horton.

    …. how many of those players would you rather have than Horcoff? The Sedin’s need each other, maybe Cammy, Afinogenov, and Horton. That’s about it? His contract is a friggin bargain.

  32. Asiaoil says:

    Goofy Horcoff comments like that is what makes HF completely unreadable these days – thank god this site is around.

    As for the Oil this year – the loss of Moreau, Pisani and Souray on a team with paper-thin veteran depth is a death sentence. We needed another vet RW and a steady 2nd pair dman BEFORE those guys went down. But of course Lowe will sit on his hands and somehow hope things will all work out pre-trade deadline. What’s with that anyway? Does he think that he’s worked hard enough through the summer that this is his time for a little mental R & R? Frustrating to see a season with a bit of potential being pissed down the drain by dart board decision-making in the summer and no decisions at all in the fall (other than playing yo-yo with marginal AHL callups).

  33. Santa Merda says:

    Am I the only person who thinks that MacT is playing Russian Roulette with the lines lately?

  34. Dennis says:

    MacT’s getting ready to blow and start giving people some jabs and/or tickets to the pressbox or SF.

    I read his comments today about idiotic decision-making on the PP and for a guy that preaches patience, that’s about as strong as his language gets. Then I just listened to the postgame podcast and assistant coach Daum is talking about an “ill-advised” penalty that was taken with six minutes left and we all know that was Penner taking a tripping penalty about 125 feet away from his own goal.

    I’m thinking that Daum wouldn’t feel empowered in making a statement like that unless he heard MacT and Co go nuts over such a stupid penalty. Of course Penner had another ticky-tack foul earlier in the game too.

    Basically, it’s all coming to roost for the guys who said we’d miss Smyth and we got nothing tangible for him and that Souray and Penner were supremely overpriced mistakes. Not to mention the guys who are just befuddled as to why the Oilers brass would let Hejda walk away. I agreed with the Penner move but the Smyth and Souray moves are still killing me everytime I watch these team play.

    3-5 early on with two early wins being greatly aided by posts and with a team that can’t get anything going in the O zone unless they carry the puck over the blue, which can lead to a bevvy or turnovers unless it’s guys like ZBerg who are doing the carrying, this team looks like a squad that misses 94′s ability of puck recovery and just misses him greatly overall.

    Of course he’s coming to town on Tuesday and these are the days it never rains but it pours.

  35. Lowetide says:

    I haven’t read or heard the comments Dennis, but imo MacT must have been talking about Pitkanen on the PP.

    Is that your impression?

  36. Dennis says:

    Yeah, Pitkanen and GrebMESSKov, at least that’s what I remember going from memory.

    Also, considering that Penner loses way too many battles for his size and that he looks fat and disinterested and that he just took two dumb penalties last night, I think we’re probably two more games away from MacT making thinly veiled comments that basically amount to “wake the fuck up.”

    14-83 will probably stay together for awhile and now it’s most likely 27 who’s keeping the 10-89 combo down though I’d have no idea who they could try and use to flesh out that line. But, if MacT tries out someone else, then 27′s options keep getting more and more limited. It smacks of last year’s Lupul when he ran out of guys to play with.

    No snipe on offense and there are some guys who aren’t really close to creating chances game in and game out. On defense we don’t have enough defenders and for as much as I love Smith, I’ll still defend the Pitkenen trade because if this team is ever to be good again, it will have to be built around youth like him and Smid. That being said, it’s games like last night where it looks like JP was made a D because he’s big and is a great skater and passer. He doesn’t mind using his size in his own zone but he doesn’t have a fucking clue positionally by the looks of some shifts.

    It’s a good time for Smyth to be coming back to town, I think. We’ll see if your media has any nuts but we all know the awnser to that one and I wish I could stop asking the question:)

  37. Lowetide says:

    I was actually encouraged by the team last night. Maybe it has to do with expectations, but Gagner scored a goal, Horcoff looks like he’s going into make every one of his shifts a positive, Stoll appears to be waking up and that kid Gilbert just keeps going about his business. Plus Roloson made a stunning save off someone (the Flames are the most faceless team in the NHL. I can recognize maybe three of their forwards based on stride, style etc) so there are some things to like.

    Penner comp for Lupul is an interesting one. I’m not down on Penner (just that lottery pick that will be Denis Potvin) but imo it would be best for the fanbase to think in terms of “11 goals” as opposed to “35 goals.”

    It’ll be easier.

  38. Tyler says:

    Penner comp for Lupul is an interesting one. I’m not down on Penner (just that lottery pick that will be Denis Potvin) but imo it would be best for the fanbase to think in terms of “11 goals” as opposed to “35 goals.”

    How can you not be down on a guy who costs you what Penner costs, cost the picks that Penner cost and for whom you figure people should be thinking 11 goals instead of 35? Oh, and he’s 25 to boot?

    People are going to be spitting on him in the streets by Christmas.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Tyler: Nah. Dustin Penner was offered a deal and took it. Unless you’re against free enterprise it’s all good.

    Kevin Lowe on the other hand is a different matter.

  40. Tyler says:

    I don’t blame him for the money LT. To the extent that I blame him, it’s that my favourite hockey team is stuck paying him what they are. The question, as always, is whether the return on Dustin Penner plus the money freed up is better than Dustin Penner. I’d like to say that it is, although I don’t know what we’d have to take to get rid of him at his paycheque. Lupul?

  41. Lowetide says:

    Well the problem is that Penner played last season on a team with enough actual NHL players to give him the soft parade and linemates who could help him kill it.

    I wrote on July 26 “As bad as it felt to lose the SCF, or endure Pronger being dealt, or even to watch Ryan Smyth crying at the airport, this takes the cake. Kevin Lowe has mortgaged the future in his search for mediocrity.”

    Among the comments in the thread that followed were “Yes you’re absolutely right Lowetide. We should save all those draft picks a) because we’ve been so terrific at turning those into quality NHL’ers the past few years, and b) because about the same time as all those wonderful prospects become NHL ready Hemsky will be down the road. Far better we just sign him to a wonderful contract and then give him nobody to play with. (cue the shakes head and rolls eyes icon).”

    The answer to that of course is your comment. After all, why ruin a season when you can ruin 5 of them?

  42. Lowetide says:

    One thing I meant to include in my post is a question for you, Tyler. Let’s say we’re in Vegas and there’s a betting line on this question:

    “How much of the Dustin Penner offer sheet and the Sheldon Souray signing had to do with the EIG and Katz?”

    At the risk of being labelled a Lowe apologist, I think there may be some kind of interference in this one. It does happen. I remember one year the Expos owner (what’s his doodle, can’t remember his name the rum runner) told his GM to trade Tony Bernazard because he didn’t like him.

    Seriously.

  43. Dennis says:

    Penner will get a better ride from the fans for a number of reasons:

    - He wasn’t acquired for Pronger
    - He’s not local
    - He was picked up during a summer when nothing was going right for the team and there’s enough fucking idiots who believe that Smyth was greedy and that Lowe had to spend the money on someone, to the point that they’ll excuse such a deal, or at least for this season.

    The Flames are an interesting crew. They have some real offense right now but in the process they’ve obviously lost a lot of that grit element that used to power them. From an asthetic/entertainment standpoint, it’s something you’d defintely trade if you were a Flames fan but there are times when I don’t think the veil’s coming up on Kipper as much as it is that they wind up asking too much of him when the chips are down.

    I don’t watch all of their games so it’s really too much for me to say this with any certainty but I think they’re tweeners when it comes to style of play. They’ve got flash but do some of them have the guts and wil to fight through some adversity? And as much as most teams are susceptable to a major injury, their D corps looked like monkeys last season with Reghr. And when I look at their defense this season, they’re putting a helluva lot of stock in Aucoin.

    As always, it will be an interesting race in the NW this year. If the Oilers manage to win three divisional games off someone, that will fuck that team’s chances of taking the crown because I think at least three of our divisional opponents are gonna kill us unless a lot of things come around. Minny looks solid and we know they’re bonafide when Gabby’s healthy. Col have question marks in goal and given their D, they will certainly need the forwards to drive the bus.

    When it comes to Jim Hughson’s team, I keep harping on how we need someone to pull a Bieksa and become a top four dman out of thin air but I’ve seen two Van games this year and parts of three others and Bieksa is really struggling. Aaron Miller looks done and with Salo out, they’re really hurting. Plus, Morrison and Naslund are a few miles closer to the glue factory and given how they were lucky all last season, ie all the one goal-wins, and with CBJ and Chi possibly making some headway in the Central, you might not see Van make the playoffs this year and they could be fighting with Col for the last spot berth from the NW.

    BTW, speaking of guys who are done, just watch Samsonov one of these games;)

  44. Rod says:

    re: Penner
    The guy hasn’t shown a lot yet, but maybe he’s just a slow starter… OK, a really slow starter. Last season he started out with 1G and 1A through seven games. He popped another in game 8, but still nothing that would suggest 29 goals.

    Two of the next three are against a couple teams that aren’t exactly in the running for the Jennings. There’s a chance those games could get the offense rolling a bit, Penner included. Then again, MacT could decide to blenderize everything and throw that chance out the window.

    As for the money allocated to Penner, it doesn’t really make a difference this year as most other pieces had already landed somewhere. Smyth was already gone, etc. The money wasn’t going to be spent if not on Penner (unless you think Forsberg would have come here). Banking it for the following year wouldn’t have gone over well either.

    Year one, and possibly year two are an investment in getting a better return in years three through five. No question it’s a gamble…but it beats paying for diminishing returns (like most UFAs).

    I think Penner will be fine once he settles in. I’d guess somwhere between 15-20.

    The scary part is the “team toughness” angle the Oilers espouse, with Stortini as the centre-piece. He’s awful as an enforcer. I can’t recall another fight involving an Oiler’s heavyweight that as so discouraging. Stortini spent all his time leaning away from Nolan, hoping to avoid a punch. It was embarrassing.

    They need to get a real enforcer. I suppose Stortini could be a supporting member as part of a team toughness mindset. As enforcer though? If he’s the kingpin, the Oil will get pushed around like George McFly. It’ll be ugly.

  45. Dennis says:

    1: I’d imagine you’re thinking about Charles Bronfman

    2: You’re a Lowe-apologist:)

    Seriously, though, Lowe fucked up enough shit with Pronger and Smyth that he shouldn’t have even been in the driver’s seat come this past summer. He did enough before you could come up with excuses for him for Souray and Penner

  46. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Yeah, Bronfman that’s the guy. Told the GM (who was it? Murray Cook? Probably Fanning) to get rid of Bernazard and then of course we had to get get someone like Doug Flynn (I don’t recall exactly who it was, every Expos fan my age automatically thinks the answer to every 2b question is Rodney Scott).

    As for the Pronger deal, I thought it was a good deal so there was really no reason for me to call for his head. And I do think it’s pretty natural for people to give some leeway for the SCF run.

    Plus of course Ryan Smyth was clearly the bad guy in his scenario and that brings us back to do.

  47. Bruce says:

    re: idiotic decisions on that last powerplay. Surely there were enough of them to go around rather than being put on one or two guys. That powerplay so completely sucked that I just wanted to call up the entire Springfield team — inc. coaching staff, management, and ownership group — to take over. I mean, down a goal in the last 10 minutes and not once in two minutes did the Oilers ever get clean control of the puck in the Calgary zone. Not even once, it was fucking pathetic. The only good play made by anybody was Tarnstrom’s desperation dive to break up the inevitable 2-on-1 against.

    1-for-33 on the season, we might as well try Greene and Stortini and Jacques out there for all the good the “offensive” guys are doing.

    Speaking of 22 and 46, they were the only Oilers with more than 1 hit last night (2 each) despite having the least amount of ice time on the team. Calgary had 7 guys with multiple hits, and the body count for the game was 22-9.

    This is not fun. Getting clobbered by Vancouver and Calgary is distasteful enough, without the certain knowledge that our lottery ticket is going to Brian F. Burke.

  48. Lowetide says:

    bruce: I felt the Phoenix win was more discouraging than the Calgary loss (if that makes any sense). The Oilers PP is horrible of course and apparently the frustration for MacT surrounds that area of the game.

    But really from the coach-player perspective there are some nice signs. Gagner scored a goal after looking overwhelmed the previous game, Gilbert is a nice player, Raffi’s coming out of it and according to Millard at HF they’ve moved Pouliot back to center with Stoll playing on a revved up 2line.

    The Oilers aren’t going anywhere. However, if they can finish say 11th in the conference that means ANA picks farther down in the top 10 which means a poorer chance of getting a genuine impact player.

    These are the things to follow this season imo. Gilbert’s progress, Gagner’s skills, Cogliano’s run at the Calder. Plus of course finishing 11th.

  49. Bruce says:

    Thanks for the words of “encouragement”, LT, and yes of course there are ALWAYS things to watch. I can’t remember who wrote it on what blog, but this team feels a bit more like the ’93-94 Oilers than the ’92-93 version that hit rock bottom. It took a few years to dig out that time, too, but already by ’93 Weight and Arnott gave us reason for hope, much as Gagner and Cogliano do now. I do like Gilbert, one of K-Lowe’s best trades (for a completely shellshocked Tommy Salo), although there will be times like last night’s 4-1 goal where he looks completely overmatched. And I’m not as down on Greene as many seem to be, at least he’s got a bit of an edge to his game and the heavens know we need as much of that as we can get. e.g. I liked the way he went after Hale last night when he kneed Hemsky. But like Gilbert and pretty much any young blueliner not named Vlasic he needs his 200 GP in before he can be expected to be a truly competent NHL defender.

    As Charlie Brown once said, “if you learn from your mistakes, I must be the smartest person in the world.” Let’s hope that “if” applies to enough of these young Oilers and they actually are learning … I can accept growing pains much more happily than I can, say, watching the sameoldsameold stationary powerplay that has sucked for decades. We had a saying back in the 80s, “if you want to slow down the Oilers, take a penalty!” Unfortunately, it still applies.

    Let’s face it, the team is seriously short on the leadership side without the likes of Smith and Smyth, Pisani and Moreau. Today marks the first anniversary of the last time Ethan played a meaningful game, and there is just no way to replace his experience and intensity through Mass. transit.

    10% of the way into the new season the big off-season moves — Pitkanen, Souray, Penner, Garon — haven’t borne much fruit but it’s a little too early to write all those guys off; I just hope the fans don’t turn on them as scapegoats for the mistakes of management, cuz that won’t help one bit. Let’s give them a chance to grow into their new roles, and to grow on us a little bit.

  50. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Yeah, I really do think there are things to like about this team even now.If MacT doesn’t quit to coach the Rangers or something he’s going to like this team a lot more one year from now.

    He may have a 4line LW and 5thD making 9M total but he’s going to like this team.

  51. MetroGnome says:

    Calgary had 7 guys with multiple hits, and the body count for the game was 22-9.

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in hit counts. It’s a fairly nebulous stat and tends to get exaggerated in the home team’s favor more often than not.

  52. Bruce says:

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in hit counts. It’s a fairly nebulous stat and tends to get exaggerated in the home team’s favor more often than not.

    I largely agree, like any stat, esp. the subjective ones, hits have to be taken with a pillar of salt. But after 8 games (and 6 different scorekeepers) the count is Oilers 103, Other Guys 147, which is starting to seem statistically significant. For sure it does nothing to belie my concerns that the Oilers are softer than they need to be.

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