Oilers at Kings, G11/07-08

Oilers are the late HNIC game from Los Angeles tonight. Hundreds of years ago the Habs played a game in LA on HNIC. It might have been 1971, somewhere in there, don’t remember why.

Anyway, this guy was worth watching. Juha Widing played for the Kings when they wore these uniforms and even though this isn’t a great photo I wanted to post it for old time’s sake.

Whitey Widing had a short life (37) but he blazed a trail and that’s for sure.

I don’t know if you followed the really good debate between Mudcrutch and James Mirtle (I can’t find it right now but it’s on MC’s site) about Jason LaBarbera but it looks like the guy has turned a corner and is punishing the other side.

Hey, that’s great.

I think the Oilers have some nice things happening, it’ll be fun to see if Hemsky’s line can have another good night, to see about the kids and if Pouliot draws in.

The blueline gets the blood pumping and the goaltending needs to be better.

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53 Responses to "Oilers at Kings, G11/07-08"

  1. HBomb says:

    The Kings are a fun team to watch in a similar way to the Oilers, with their young guys being a bit older.

    Kopitar’s a gem. I’m a big fan of Frolov. Cammalleri is a pretty damn impressive hockey player. Dustin Brown must be good, based on the 6-year extension he got this week. And I’ve heard all sorts of things about Jack Johnson.

    Add in Jonathan Bernier coming down the pipe, as well as one Thomas Hickey, and they’ve got some good things going in So.Cal.

  2. Art Vandelay says:

    In the words of G. Costanza:
    “What I am about to say I do so with an unblemished record of heterosexuality”:
    I’ve spent my whole life calling that the Egg Set. But it dawns on me now that the shape suggests a portrait-photo frame or portrait mirror.

  3. Lowetide says:

    It’s funny. I still spell center and defense based on those hockey cards I got as a kid, and yet the entire hockey world spells in centre and defence.

    Oh well.

  4. Aram Dellalian says:

    hey, i’ll be at this game. really looking forward to checking out Gagner and Cogs in person.

  5. Lowetide says:


    If you have time come back and give us your input on the game, would you?

  6. Pat says:

    LT, do you have the complete set? I just completed mine a couple months ago. My checklists, of course, are marked.

  7. Lowetide says:

    No, I haven’t collected cards for 35 years. I had the 69-70 set, in fact many many doubles (it was easier of course, WAY fewer teams).

    I do have this card, however.


  8. Rube Foster says:

    Juha Widing…

    As I mentioned in a past post, when I collected hockey cards as a kid I always seemed to get a half dozen Juha Widings every year. No one ever wanted to trade for one of my many Juha Widing cards in part because we had absolutely no idea how to pronounce his name. For some reason I also seemed to get an inordinate number of Frank St. Marseille cards too.

    I forgot that he died young, what a shame. A Finnish born, Swedish guy who moved to Canada to play Junior in Brandon. The first Finnish born player in the NHL and one of the Kings high scorers until Marcel came to town. He ended his career a WHA Oiler. For the life of me I can’t recall seeing him play but by all accounts he was a wonderful player.

    Thanks or the memories LT.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Widing was a fast skater and a terrific puckhandler. He was absolutely the best player on the Kings when I saw him play (which wasn’t often, remember) and the old boxscores rarely had him off the scoresheet in LA games.

    Before Marcel Dionne, the Kings biggest stars were Juha Widing (pronouced YOO-HAA VEE-DING btw) and Rogie Vachon and most nights it was them and not much else.

  10. Ribs says:

    Don Cherry with praise for the Oilers. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  11. Daniel says:

    What’d he say?

  12. Ribs says:

    …Says he enjoys watching the Oilers and knows that they are having a tough time. Noted that he appreciates the play of Marty Reasoner.

  13. Simon says:

    Decent penalty killing by the Oil tonight.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Fun period. Kings have a bunch of nice hockey players. Blake doesn’t look like Blake anymore, that’s too bad.

    Anyway, nice to see Stoll score and isn’t that Ales Hemsky a piece of work? I’m back to liking Pouliot again, and I swear Jacques will score tonight.

    Do you remember PREM? It was like SPAM (meat in a can) only made from the less attractive droppings after the SPAM people left the killing floor.

    Grebeshkov? PREM.

  15. Black Dog says:

    PREM? In our neck of the woods we had KLIK, I believe.

    Good period. Penner looks like what we are hoping for – physical, nice play to draw the penalty.

    I love Tom Gilbert. The kid is poised. And Greene – I think he’s figuring it out. He’s progressing. And that’s nice to see.

    Grebeshkov – I don’t get it. Him over Tarnstrom on the PP. Hell, him over Smid on the PP. Its a mystery.

    Overall a nice period. Raffi is a force. JFJ and Pouliot are making some things happen.

    I like this team. Not much of a team but I like them.

  16. NBOilerFan says:

    Cherry always has nice things to say about the Oilers.

    I still can’t believe a 6’4″, 230lb man in Penner has the moves and soft hands to make the plays he does. He would be absolutely scary if he could skate a bit faster (though he isn’t bad for a big man).

    Not sure what happen to Torres about a week ago, but his last 3-4 games have been sweet to watch. Nice of Stoll to finally get the 1st of the season out of the way.

    Kinda surprised to see Roloson back in tonight, I suppose Garon will play tomorrow, but thought it might be reversed.

    Man this LA team has scary firepower.

  17. Lowetide says:


    Agree on Penner, forgot to mention him. Also I think they must be giving Torres a bonus for each time he’s physical on a shift. He seems to be so much more involved.

  18. uni says:

    Don’t want to jinx him, but from what I’ve heard on the radio, and seen so far this game…is Greene finally turning that corner?

  19. Black Dog says:

    uni – this is the fifth game i have seen this year and this is what I have seen from Greene

    - far better decisions when he has the puck and he’s moving it better
    - far better taking his man one on one – he’s using his body and staying out of the box
    - good solid work down low

    - now I find he flops around here and there and also he struggles finding his man when the play is in front of the net but so do a lot of his teammates presently

    I think he’s getting better and watching Smid tonight he looks like he has improved as well. Of course that’s all you’re hoping for.

    Penner is having a good game.

    See on that goal, Gilbert was nonchalant a little but wtf was Grebeshkov doing right beside him – Nagy got position on him.

    Seriously I have nothing good to say about this kid. He needs to sit and take a look at what is going on out there.

  20. Simon says:

    Yeah I noticed Penner too. He’s going to score goals this year.

    Power play Oilers.

  21. Black Dog says:

    LT if your man doesn’t stay out of the box he may be taking a seat next game.

    Neither penalty was great – other then that he has had a good game but he’s had good games before and found himself in the PB.

    Who’s scratched beside Roy – Stortini? Can’t see him coming in for Pouliot. Let’s hope not.

  22. Slipper says:

    I was about to say Penner was having a good game until he prematurely bailed on the Nagy goal. I think I saw MacT mouth “where was he going?” when the camera shot to him after that play. You just can’t cheat to the rush when there’s two Kings 5 feet away from the puck in your own zone.

  23. Julian says:

    The puck has spent 80% of this period in LAs end, but EDM aren’t getting any shots out of it. Incredibly frustrating.

  24. Simon says:

    Bah. 3-1 Kings. I hope this isn’t the wheels falling off.

  25. Black Dog says:

    That was a stinky one.

    I don’t know slipper – I think MacT may have been talking about Grebs – Gilbert has the puck in the corner, Nagy moves over to check him and Grebs is right behind him. He then lets Nagy get between him and the net.


    Anyhow every single game I have watched this season they have lost. I’m worse then the damn PP. I’m off to bed – cue the comeback!

  26. Slipper says:

    I guess it’s just a matter of opinion Black Dog. I think the wingers need to support the side boards in their own zone. Atleast remain in support until puck possession is secured. If Penner stays with the play the other sequence of events doesn’t even occur, as Gilbert gets popped but Penner plays the puck.

    Atleast that’s my view of things.

  27. uni says:

    Thanks BD, and I was about to say the same thing, seems when I watch a game they lose, then I realized that they’ve lost more games than they’ve won so this is likely just probability doing its thing.

    Also I think that it was MikeW who said it, but by far the worst part of a CBC broadcast has to be damn incessant Ghian Ghomeshi and Little Mosque on the Praire advertisements. The latter is just plain horrible stereotypically bad so called ‘humour’ and the former just seems like pretentious drivel trying too hard to be ‘cool’.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Yeah Pouliot seems to be “snake bit” as the old snuff chewing managers like Ralph Houk used to say.

    If they send him out it may not be a bad thing, as he isn’t doing as much as he should with the puck.

    Roloson let in a killer goal in that third period, but I swear this team has defensemen who like to get together on the ice.

    I wonder if they go to the bathroom together. I’ve been watching since the 60s and don’t think I’ve seen a team that likes to have their defensemen cuddle as much as this one.

    Plus Millen was rambling on that period about wanting Gilbert-Gresbeshkov pairing on against Kopitar’s line because they move the puck efficiently.

    They can grab that puck from the back of the net every GD time.

    Jesus Christ. I think MacT is shoving this team up Lowe’s as. I mean I know he isn’t.

    But IS he?

  29. Slipper says:

    I was wondering the same thing LT. Or maybe MacTavish is just trying to be ironic.

  30. momentai says:

    Lowetide said…

    Jesus Christ. I think MacT is shoving this team up Lowe’s as. I mean I know he isn’t.

    But IS he?

    I don’t know. But it sure would explain why Gilbert/Grebeshkov have been getting the responsibility they have been receiving. Well, that and Tarnstrom sitting last game.

    Someone should seriously sit Grebeshkov down and tell him to go against his instincts when pinching. Just don’t. Let Gilbert do it because if you do it, you’re going to lose it. Tunnel-vision indeed.

  31. PunjabiOil says:

    I think MacT is shoving this team up Lowe’s as. I mean I know he isn’t.

    But IS he?


    Another post of the “entertaining as fuck” variety

  32. Steve says:

    I thought Greene looked the best I’ve ever seen him – barely noticed the guy, which is huge for him. Gilbert doesn’t look like a rookie. Grebeshkov at least showed some offense to go with his lousy defense.

    Roloson isn’t looking so hot. I hope he’s not tired, because if he’s tired after playing nine out of eleven games, try to imagine him in February.

    Up front, I’m still liking Cogliano. Hemsky’s playing like The Best Hockey Player in the History of the World, Ever (which is my nickname for him at least once every game I see him in). The other vets are looking okay. Gagner hasn’t done much, but I guess you can’t expect the youngest player in the NHL to stand out every game. As for Penner, I know I’m not the first to remark on it, but has there ever been a player that big who plays that small? Cory Cross maybe.

    Given that this team definitely isn’t making the playoffs, I didn’t find the game too depressing. It sort of reminded me of a lot of games between 1997 and 2000 which, if it’s not exactly a good thing, isn’t really a bad thing. If this team is well-managed, if no key cogs get badly set back from injuries, and if it gets a goalie, it’s going to do pretty well about 2009-2010.

  33. PDO says:

    It’s funny. I still spell center and defense based on those hockey cards I got as a kid, and yet the entire hockey world spells in centre and defence.

    Oh well.

    Hey, me too. I think you’re lying about your age LT ;).

    On a completely unrelated note, wouldn’t it be fucking awesome if Grebeshkov wasn’t a full bag of shit?

  34. Ribs says:

    A few things….

    I think I liked it better when I just had Greene to complain about. Grebeshkov is just too easy a target.

    Gilbert looked poised on many of the plays Grebs was bringing chaos to. A good game for him.

    Smid had an alright game. He looks the same as he did last year and he should be on this teams roster.

    Staios still looks like he’s missing his best friend without Smith in the lineup. I hope he gets over it, or whatever is bothering him, soon.

    Poo and Cogs were fun to watch tonight. Too bad they couldn’t translate it into results. Poo’s Stat sheet for tonight might be mailed to him in Springfield.

    It was nice to see some of the core guys stepping up a bit. Horc, Stoll, and Torres, seemed to have some gusto at different times during this game.

    Penner is slow. Sloth-like at times. Status: Normal.

    The power play was the most glaring disaster from this game. The point shot thory HAS to be put to rest. At least until Souray finds his way back into the lineup. Stoll and Grebs just isn’t going to cut it.

  35. danny says:

    Rolosons save % after tonights game has him hovering close to 30th overall at .892%

    Garon is .833%

    Id cut Roli a little slack considering the oilers injuries and defense corps, plus youth up front, but his save % is very indicative of his play.

    The team actually looks pretty decent at times, last season we were getting results this time of the year but knew we didnt quite deserve them, I think its a bit opposite so far. The record could be pretty decent by now if not for:

    Moreau/Pisani/Stoll AWOL
    Horrendous Save% by Rolon
    Attrocious PP%

    This is a team though that if they can hover within 4 or 5 games of .500 by January, i see enough from them to think a 10 win month or two is possible.

    First things first, get healthy, get a pplay, and make some damn saves.

  36. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Funny how, when watching Oiler highligts this year, at least one opposing team’s goals starts with the commentator starting with “Grebeshkov gets caught pinching…”

  37. Dennis says:

    I don’t really know what’s going on with Roli. He’s still good enough that he can make some really big saves but then he goes and gives up that killer goal to Kopitar and he looks about 189 years old on Sullivan’s goal. Plus, he didn’t look good in the games vs Col and Minny either. There’s just nothing else to say besides the fact that the guy’s struggling. And the latest lie to come out of MacT’s lips was how Garon was going to see significant time this year. I know it’s still early and the early Garon returns haven’t been promising but it doesn’t like look they have big plans for him. The only reason why you wouldn’t have throw in garon tonight was if you thought he’d be too amped up to face his former team.

    Pouliot had a really good night except for the penalty. Him and Cogs have some real chem and they started buzzing the net and if you keep doing that, you will score. Hanna Barbera made a wicked save on Cogs when you could feel the Kings getting ready to fold and the Oilers blew the Kings out of the water when it comes to SC’s, ie scoring chances.

    Horc’s new line looked great but the D is a major work in progress. I don’t see significant progress from Smid and Grebs is throwing a fuck into Gilbert’s learning curve and the idea of playing them against Cammy’s line is seemingly the last example of how MacT is fucking the guys like me, Vic, LT, Cam and Ty, the guys who’ve always had his back.

  38. RiversQ says:

    Ugh, that seemed like a winnable game for these bunch. Bad night for Roloson.

    I thought Pouliot and Cogliano came on in the second half of the game, but were fighting it early on.

    Gagner was pretty much invisible again. It’s hard to justify burning a year of this contract right now. It’d be nice to see more of him on the PP at this point. Especially when MacT insists on sending two dmen out there most of the time.

    Penner was full on Jekyll and Hyde. Just sheer power on that puck he took to the net in the first period, but some really bizarre stuff along the wall on a few occasions (like when he hit that puck with his purse while trying to tap it back to Grebeshkov). I’m with slipper when it comes to asking your wingers to support the damn puck. It does seem like Penner is now able to get a few things done every game now. That’s a good sign. He’s a great fit with Stoll IMO.

    I thought Gilbert struggled a little tonight too. That was dumb hockey and a bad giveaway on the 2nd goal. Grebs wasn’t much help, but what was Brad thinking?

  39. Bank Shot says:

    Ever notice how other teams bury their chances?

    Patty O’Sullivan finishes his two on one, and Nagy gets it done when in all alone. Pouliot’s breakaway is stopped (Oilers never score on these, might as well shoot it in the corner and change), and Hemsky can’t get a shot on net during his two on one.

    Other then that it seems like the Oilers never can get a goalie moving from side to side. Even when they suceeded in getting the Kings to scramble a bit in their own end, they never really broke down coverage enough to get anyone wide open.

    27th in league scoring just won’t cut it. I think sometimes the bad defense and weak goals makes everyone forget just how bad the offence has been.

    Looked like Grebeshkov had the talent to turn a corner, but his brain cramps decided otherwise.

    Matt Greene never lets a guy walk around the slot completely uncontested (like on the Nagy goal). He makes good defensive reads. Always has. He didn’t seem to have his skating legs early last night though.

  40. RiversQ says:

    Bank Shot said…
    Ever notice how other teams bury their chances?

    Well, I would argue the Oilers have done reasonably well in terms of scoring chances for an against. In fact they’ve probably been even or better in half the games. That’s not quality chances though – for example, The Oilers probably had ten more scoring chances than the Kings last night, but the Kings had the best ones by far. How many shots did Roloson stop from inside his crease? 2 or 3 for sure?

    The Oilers did bury their chances against Minny, but yeah it has still been a problem. I like to wait until Game 20 before declaring much on the stats side, but the ES offense has some issues.

    Matt Greene never lets a guy walk around the slot completely uncontested (like on the Nagy goal).
    Oh for sure.

    Like on the Cammellari sloughfoot/scoring chance where Greene bailed out like he was on a slip n’ slide? I’d say that was the very definition of “uncontested.”

    He makes good defensive reads. Always has.
    Hmm… I don’t know that I’ll disagree too much with this. He does have trouble recognizing when someone is going to drive wide on him (either that or he just can’t turn his hips quick enough). He also makes mediocre reads on the PK (ie. he doesn’t box out the backdoor forward when a shot is coming – he doesn’t even know where he is). Other than that, I think he has improved in this area.

    The major improvement in Greene has been handling and moving the puck. I don’t consider him a liability anymore. He has calmed down a lot

  41. PunjabiOil says:

    27th in league scoring just won’t cut it. I think sometimes the bad defense and weak goals makes everyone forget just how bad the offence has been,


    The Edmonton Oilers 2007-2008 NHL club in a nutshell

  42. Dennis says:

    Well, Riv, he’s also not taking so many penalties so we have to give him props for that too.

    The problem is that there’s way too many bottom pairing D on this team, and we can include a healthy Souray on that list as well, and until some of them show the ability to step up and be dependable top four guys, the team will keep getting more and more exposed and the scoring chances allowed with be those of the Jim Dandy variety.

    Up front, it would mean that 78 and 13 would have to play the role of puck recovery, but I wonder how young 89 would mesh with them? Maybe we could build a line to try and eat the other team’s 14th line and we should shove someone else with 16-27. I will agree with you on 89′s invisibility, though. I didn’t like his game last night at all. He seemed very timid.

    But once again, the HST line was flying again. I think we should be able to count on them for a goal a game, whether they mark at ES or on the PP. They’ve had some great chem right out of the box and that’s not a super surprise because 10-83 have played together for a long time so it was just basically up to 14 to figure out how to fit in.

  43. Bank Shot says:

    Like on the Cammellari sloughfoot/scoring chance where Greene bailed out like he was on a slip n’ slide? I’d say that was the very definition of “uncontested.”

    He was caught flat-footed on that play, but he was caught flat-footed between the puck and the net which is a pretty important distinction.

    Cammalleri had to beat both Greene and Roloson on the play, unlike many other occasions this season where an opposing player has ended up with a completely clear lane to the net.

    You can point to goals by Holmstrom, Hlinka, and Phaneuf where Greene failed to box the guy out, but Greene was actually within two feet of the guy, in those cases actively trying to break it up.

    I’ve seen a tonne of other goals and chances like Pitkanen and Staios leaving Gagne all alone in front of the net, Souray drifting into the corner instead of staying between Thornton and the puck leading to a goal, Souray and Tarnstrom both taking the same man in a goal mouth scramble causing a goal, Iginla left completely alone, Svatos getting behind Staios and Tarnstrom for a breakaway, Grebs and Gilbert in the same corner leaving Nagy with a clear lane to the net, on and on and on it goes.

    From what I’ve seen Greene hasn’t left a player completely unmolested in a scoring area this season, and the Oilers haven’t surrendered a breakway while he has been on the ice.

    Greene puts himself into postion to make defensive plays, and that IMO is why he’s been given alot chances by the coaching staff. His puck handling skills will never be better then average, but that’s secondary to what he does without the disc.

  44. Bank Shot says:

    Also, Greene has never had the opportunity to play with a solid, responsible partner.

    Probably the best defensemen that he’s been paired with in his NHL career are Tarnstrom and Gilbert.

    The kid’s had a tough row to hoe in that regard. Never had the benefit of playing with a guy that could bail him out from time to time.

  45. Dennis says:

    I can’t feel too badly for Greene in that regard, though, because he’s never really had to play against anyone of any stature, of it he has he didn’t do it for a long stretch. Maybe during last year’s shitstorm, yes, but other than that? No. He’s basically been protected since they broke him in during the ’06 season.

  46. Ribs says:

    From what I’ve seen Greene hasn’t left a player completely unmolested in a scoring area this season, and the Oilers haven’t surrendered a breakway while he has been on the ice.

    Hahahhahahahaha……..good one.

  47. Ribs says:

    Oct.4 – Marleau. Untouched.
    Oct.8 – Holmstrom. Fell Down.
    Oct.13 – Morrison. Untouched.
    Oct.18 – Mueller. Untouched.
    Oct.23 – Hlinka. Untouched.

    Greene is awesome.

  48. Black Dog says:

    Yeah, I think Greene is progressing. He’s staying out of the box and he’s doing good work along the boards and handling one on ones far better.

    But like a lot of his teammates he has had issues picking up his man in front of the net. And that has resulted in a few goals.

    He is definitely getting better, which is great. And he still has a ways to go, which is understandable.

  49. Bruce says:

    It’s funny. I still spell center and defense based on those hockey cards I got as a kid, and yet the entire hockey world spells in centre and defence.

    Not the entire hockey world, just that 98% of it that lives in Canada. Weren’t those hockey card companies all American? I remember thinking how they couldn’t spell worth shit.

  50. Bank Shot says:

    Oct.4 – Marleau. Untouched.

    Ermm yea.. This was a two on one situation down low. Greene couldn’t really tie up Marleau and let Thornton walk right out front.

    Oct.8 – Holmstrom. Fell Down.

    He lost a battle with a guy that scores 90% of his goal 5 feet from the net. It happens.

    Oct.13 – Morrison. Untouched.

    Don’t remember.

    Oct.18 – Mueller. Untouched.

    This is one where Greene is guilty of being out of position. He went to pick up the puck behind the net and Roloson played it away to Souray who coughed up the puck. Greene probably could have gotten to the front of the net quicker.

    Oct.23 – Hlinka. Untouched

    Roloson pinball bumpers it right onto Hlinka’s stick as he strolls in from the high slot. Greene is a second too late to make a play.

    The Mueller goal is the only one of these that is a good example of a defenseman totally blowing his coverage.

    I tend to think of stuff like the Holmstrom goal as a minor defensive sin.

    I get more choked up when I see stuff like Iginla’s hands going up in the air while Pitkanen is still looking in the wrong direction 5 feet away.

    Greene typically isn’t guilty of stuff of that. He’s not perfect at it, but it’s one of his strengths, and he’ll likely continue to improve there.

  51. Bank Shot says:

    He’s not guilty of stuff *like* that. His own zone threat recognition is a strength.

  52. Aram Dellalian says:

    LT & All,

    A bit late in replying here, but better late than…

    I went out to see the kids. Gagner got some quality minutes. PP time, all that…but didn’t impress. Didn’t disappoint, either. Cogliano is hungry. REALLY a joy to watch. Though i’m biased, Torres looked great as well. Sure, he’s streaky, but he brings the energy every game…and takes dumb penalties.

    What struck me most was Penner’s errant pass that led to the kings first of 4 straight goals. Gahhh. If there were a performance to payment ratio…..he’d have to be near the bottom. Though he did redeem himself a bit against ANH. Ah well.

    Bottom line, i’ve never been so happy with a team doing as mediocre as the current crop of Oil.


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