Red Wings at Oilers, G13/07-08

This is Frank Mahovlich. He used to barrel down the left wing and release bombs from inside the blueline in a time when goalies could get beaten by the best shooters on that kind of play.

When I was a kid, the Red Wings had really old guys. Alex Delvecchio looked like the guys who lived in the old folks home I delivered papers to when he was still playing in the NHL, Gordie Howe was an icon who seemed to be as old as hockey itself.

The modern Red Wings are back to having an “established” roster, as only one of their forwards is 23 or under (source: their website) and only one defender is 23 or under. The forward is Jiri Hudler and the defender is Derek Meech.

The Oilers on the other hand have 6 forwards 23 or under (Brodziak, Cogliano, Gagner, Jacques, Pouliot, Stortini) and incredibly FIVE defensemen who are 24 years old on the dot (plus Smid who is 21).

The Oilers feel the need for a rebuild was there, the Red Wings eschew that kind of activity and have done so (to my knowledge) for most of the last 20 years. The Red Wings can be accused of being long in the tooth, but it’s obvious to everyone their plan involves competing for victories every night Detroit is on the schedule.

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56 Responses to "Red Wings at Oilers, G13/07-08"

  1. Keegan says:

    I am really excited to make it out to this game tonight with my Dad who is a long time wings fan. If you dont mind I will try & post some thoughts after the game.

  2. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Man. Imagine a team that had a well defined plan, that knew the value of keeping it’s long time veterans around while developing their young talent at the same time!!! What a novel concept.

  3. Big T says:

    Interesting quote in the SUN today from MacT regarding Zetterberg’s line.

    “You have to try and get the puck and get some offence going against them,” MacTavish said. “That’s why I like (Tom) Gilbert and (Denis) Grebeshkov against them because they can grab the puck and move it and not turn it over.

    “If you do turn it over in a critical position against them you’re going to dig it out of your own net. They’re a handful.”

    First of all we have to be clear that MacT is actually saying what he thinks… not always the case. Assuming he is, at least maybe we can understand his rationale behind playing Grebeshkov and Gilbert against top lines. Seems bat shit crazy to believe these two can hold their own against Zetterberg but we’ll see.

    T

  4. goldenchild says:

    The Journal says “Tarnstrom likely odd man out”. How in the fuck does that make sense? I would agree with this type of thinking if they were trying to tank to get a higher pick,but not when you have traded away your #1.

  5. digger says:

    To be fair though, I can’t help but wonder how great that Detroit plan would’ve looked at this stage if they hadn’t hit the jackpot on 2 late round picks in the late 90′s, and a 3rd rounder in ’89 hadn’t turned into a 3 time Norris trophy winner.

    The Wings have some smart guys running that operation, but it hasn’t hurt that their player procurement department came up with some outright fortunate decisions along the way.

  6. Bruce says:

    Nice pic of my childhood idol, Frank Mahovlich, in the type of pose that used to appear in Weekend magazine. Players were renowned for pulling fast ones in those pix; in this case, the Big M holds his stick to suggest he might be a right-hand shot. For sure you can’t tell from the curve of his stick which way he shoots.

    The Wings have some smart guys running that operation, but it hasn’t hurt that their player procurement department came up with some outright fortunate decisions along the way.

    True, but I can’t help thinking back to the words of Kent Nilsson before the 2002 draft when he said something like: “Hudler might be the most talented guy in the draft, but he’s small so he’ll get passed over and then Detroit will take him in the third round.” Well, they decided not to wait and took him in the second round, 58th overall.

    Whether Hudler turns into another Zetterberg or Datsyuk is still an open question, obviously, but the fact that Nilsson pinned the team that would draft him (and it wasn’t his own team, the Oilers, of course) says something about the Wings’ philosophy and scouting system. I’ll bet somewhere among Hudler, Filppula, Kopecky, and Franzen is a late bloomer or two who will carry the mail for the Wings for years to come.

  7. Black Dog says:

    Well, when your late round picks come through time and time again it starts being less about luck and a lot about doing things right. Mirtle had a great link a while back to an interview with Ilitch, Devellano, Holland and Bowman and these guys knew what they were doing – esp. with the Russians. They took risks but these players were known – the risk was getting them to the NHL.

    Having the money helped them out but we have seen since the lockout – they have shed a lot of guys, they’re always right there and I would say they are Cup favs again. If Niedermeyer does not score late in G5 then they were probably on their way to the Finals

  8. Bank Shot says:

    I’ll bet somewhere among Hudler, Filppula, Kopecky, and Franzen is a late bloomer or two who will carry the mail for the Wings for years to come.

    I doubt it. Franzen is 28 already. Kopecky is basically JF Jacques. Hudler and Flippula are at 24, way behind where Zetterberg and Datsyuk were at the same age.

    Good management behind that team though.

  9. Devin says:

    This Tarnstrom thing is beyond infuriating. The propaganda arm of the EIG (The Journal) is in full blast today against the poor guy. I am now convinced that Hejda didn’t resign because he damn well didn’t want to play (sit) for these idiots.

  10. Devin says:

    Just for fun, the GA/60 of the Oil D that have played ~100 mins of ES or more (according to behindthenet, it’s possible this doesn’t scrub for EN-EV events)

    Gilbert 2.34
    Tarnstrom 2.62
    Pitkanen 2.73
    Souray 3.20
    Staios 3.24
    Grebeshkov 3.52
    Greene 4.35

    Umm, yeah MacT, Tarnstrom is really the problem here :(

  11. Bruce says:

    I doubt it. Franzen is 28 already. Kopecky is basically JF Jacques. Hudler and Flippula are at 24, way behind where Zetterberg and Datsyuk were at the same age.

    Thanks, b.s. (That’s you, bank shot) I had forgotten that Franzen was that old (actually 27), in my quick research of my post this morning I just noticed he was drafted in 2004. Which is to say, real late.

    I didn’t mention Samuelsson because the Wings stole him by other means; nor Kronwald because he was a (late) first-rounder; nor Grigorenko because he’s in the minors just now; nor Holmstrom who at 34 hardly represents the future, other than the fact he still seems to be improving. But the Wings have had the Euro pipeline working for the past two decades, and it has shown in their results.

    Having the money helped them out but we have seen since the lockout – they have shed a lot of guys, they’re always right there and I would say they are Cup favs again. If Niedermeyer does not score late in G5 then they were probably on their way to the Finals

    Well there’s more than one way to spend that money, b.d., and it doesn’t all show up on the cap. Wisely-invested $$$ can result in top-notch scouting and development. A smart, big-money team is always going to have an edge. Chin up, Leafs fans, you’re halfway there!

  12. rickibear says:

    Gentlemen: As a season/minipak holder i was just asked to do a small survey.

    1. Do I like the current schedule(8 div games/team, 4 per confrence team.)
    Yes or No

    I said no.

    2. Would you prefer a schedule of:

    A. playing each team at least ONCE.

    B. Playing each team at least Twice (Home and Away.)

    I choose B.

    God I can only hope.

  13. allan says:

    The survey is here if anyone is interested.

  14. ClaytonMagnet says:

    According to the website, looks like Tarnstrom and MAP are in, Roy and Zack are out. And, of course, the hot goaltender sits.

  15. goldenchild says:

    Devin said
    Just for fun, the GA/60 of the Oil D that have played ~100 mins of ES or more (according to behindthenet, it’s possible this doesn’t scrub for EN-EV events)

    Gilbert 2.34
    Tarnstrom 2.62
    Pitkanen 2.73
    Souray 3.20
    Staios 3.24
    Grebeshkov 3.52
    Greene 4.35

    Great Stuff Devin, I was wondering if I was watching a diff game. So according to the journal 23 is going to be moved because they like Grebs, Smid and Roy more, there is no mention of Greene btw and nobody asks the question why a guy who has been as sound in his own end as anyone on the team is the one to be moved?

    I don’t mean to make Tarnstrom out to be james Norris but on this team I felt more comfortable with him out there than just about anyone else on the roster. Makes 0 sense to me.

    As for the game hopefully 14-10-83 stay hot and it would be nice to see 78 get some puck luck.

  16. rickibear says:

    Devin: Thanks for that. It surprises me. Last year

    Staios: 2.51ga/g
    Smid: 2.71ga/g
    Greene: 3.16Gga/g

    Though it is early.

  17. Rube Foster says:

    Oh the Big M!
    The original power forward!
    Umm… maybe that was Gordie or perhaps even Dit Clapper but that’s for another one of LT’s blast from the past posts.
    Imagine Dustin Penner with Cogliano’s wheels and Stoll’s shot? That sum would equal a young Frank Mahovlich.
    I never really saw the zenith of the young Frank Mahovlich but I do have great memories of him when he revitalized his game later on in his career during a very productive run with the Habs. In his days in Montreal he still had the shot and the imposing offensive presence but though he still skated beautifully he was certainly no longer the fastest man in the league . My dad even took me to watch him play the Alberta Oilers when he was with the Toronto Toro’s in the WHA. My Dad loved the Big M and I believe that affection for Big Frank was genetically passed on to me.
    I distinctly remember watching a Hockey Night in Canada game where the Canadians hosted a tribute evening for Mahovlich, they were probably honoring and acknowledging his 500th goal. Mahovlich addressed the crowd in both English and very halting Francais. The forum crowd ate up the Big M’s struggling French like hot poutine. He maybe the one guy who played significant games for the Leafs and the Habs who is equally adored in both Cities, Detroit too for that matter.
    As great as Frank Mahovlich was the two things I remember best is that the Big M was four inches shorter than the Little M (Brother Pete) and that Frank had this huge reputation of “Don’t do anything to get the big fella stirred up, if you do there will be hell pay!”.
    Here’s hoping our 27 finds his inner Frank Mahovlich, tonight would be as good as any night to transform into the Big P.

  18. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I had that survey sent to me today as well, ie I’m on the official site’s mailing list.

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’m sick to fucking death of playing the NW guys eight times a year. I look ahead on the sked and I absolutely sag when I see we’re playing Minny or Col. I can stand the games against Van and Cgy because I hate them so much but I would gladly go to a four or five games from each divisional rival just to balance things out a bit more.

    For example, I’m pretty jacked about the Oil visiting the rinks of the SE Div because they never play there. Then again, I’d like the league to go to as close to a balanced sked as possible and at the very least, play each team in a home and away series every year. Some match-ups create their own juice but I’d love to see some fireworks in a game at Rexall with the Caps in town because we’d had some beefs with them during an earlier game in Wsh.

    As for macT’s comments on the D pairings vs Zberg’s line, I believe that forwards drive the bus, though last year’s Oilers D made me realize that you need defensemen that can move the puck as well, so if the Oilers come out no worse than even tonight vs Det’s big line, it’s because the HST line played some great hockey against them and made them play in their own end to the point where they didn’t have enough legs to get to our O zone. But if they do get in there and pin in the 37/77 pairing, well then let’s see how fucking valuable it is to have guys that can pass.

    The Oilers just can’t seem to find any balance when it comes to building their D corps. ’07 was the year of rolling the puck up around the rim of the boards and hoping to gawd someone would tip it out and because our season was helped to go awry by too many defenders, a useful baby like Hejda got thrown out with a non puck-moving bathwater. Then we sign Transtrom, and trade for Pitkanen and Grebs, all the while promoting Gilbert, and now we’ve got one guy who’s a defender first in Staios and yet another whose main role at ES SHOULD be a defender but try telling that to him, ie Souray, plus the Oilers keep wasting prayer candles on Greene. And when they give that up, they can do that with Smid too. Meantime, way too many goals are being scored on shovels and tap-in’s around the net and the Oilers are now terrible at boxing out, defending passes and winning one-on-one battles.

    It’s really an impressive mess; it’s to the point where you’d almost think the Oilers tried to stockpile offensive defenseman without considering the benefit and value of defending defensemen.

    Oh wait, that’s exactly what they did.

  19. Dennis says:

    Oh yeah, “great” numbers for Greene, it looks like the guy’s really going backwards.

    Good on him!!

  20. momentai says:

    Those numbers you’re quoting seem off, Devin if they’re strictly ES. If they include PK GA numbers, then I might be able to see why Greene’s number is so high. Otherwise, it doesn’t jive with what I have.

    Steve Staios: 3.31
    Tom Gilbert: 2.20
    Matt Greene: 3.21
    Dick Tarnstrom: 2.92
    Joni Pitkanen: 3.00
    Denis Grebeshkov: 3.84
    Sheldon Souray: 2.46
    Ladislav Smid: 4.78

    It’s a small sample size for Smid thus far but he’s already had 4 ES goals against. The plus side, though, is that he’s even on the season thus far so his ES goals for is equally as high.

    Grebeshkov after the Anaheim game (where I’ve heard he played solidly) brought his ESGA/60 number down. And Gilbert’s numbers are pretty great all things considered. 7 GA at ES with 191 minutes of ES icetime (second only to Staios at 199:25) giving him the best average on the team. It looks like we may have a keeper on our hands.

  21. Bank Shot says:

    Oh yeah, “great” numbers for Greene, it looks like the guy’s really going backwards

    He’s had some bad luck in the last three games. He was on the ice for the terrible Parrish and Kopitar goals.

    He’s also been on for a goal that was scored exactly as a penalty expired, and one that was scored a few seconds after a penalty expired. Tarnstrom and Souray were also on the ice for that one.

    If you phase those out. Greene is at 2.86 ga/60! Yeehaw!

    Tarnstrom has actually been on for 2 goals scored right as the PP expired as well, and that crappy Kopitar goal so he’d probably leading the Oilers D-corps in GA/rate if he were in Gilbert’s shoes.

    Gilbert has only played 9 minutes on the PK so it’s not a surprise his GA rates are lower then everyone elses.

  22. Bruce says:

    My Dad loved the Big M and I believe that affection for Big Frank was genetically passed on to me.

    Well said, r.f. My very earliest hockey memory was waking up late one Saturday night when my Dad and older brothers were watching the late game on HNiC. (In Newfoundland, all games were late, broadcasts started at 10 p.m. with the game in progress)

    Anyway, Dad was in a good mood — the Leafs must have been winning — and he invited me in to watch for a few minutes. And when he said “Here comes the Big M!” there was excitement and approval in his voice that resonated with me, to the point he was the player that I remembered and followed from that point. By the time I tuned in in a major way in ’62-63, Leafs were a powerhouse, sweeping the Prince of Wales Trophy and Stanley Cup back in the days when the “double” actually mattered. Mahovlich was a huge part of that team, perhaps the most dynamic Leaf (although Johnny Bower, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Dave Keon and Eddie Shack gave him a run for his money.) Your Penner/Cogliano/Stoll hybrid comes close to describing him. Big Frank was a load, and when he got going he was almost impossible to stop.

    “He maybe the one guy who played significant games for the Leafs and the Habs who is equally adored in both Cities”

    Only guys I can think of that won Cups (which is how you become “adored”) in both places were Mahovlich (4 in T.O., 2 in Mtl.); Dick Duff (2 and 4), and Bert Olmstead (4 in Mtl, then 1 in Toronto).

  23. Bruce says:

    My Dad loved the Big M and I believe that affection for Big Frank was genetically passed on to me.

    Well said, r.f. My very earliest hockey memory was waking up late one Saturday night when my Dad and older brothers were watching the late game on HNiC. (In Newfoundland, all games were late, broadcasts started at 10 p.m. with the game in progress.)

    Anyway, Dad was in a particularly good mood — the Leafs must have been winning — and he invited me in to watch for a few minutes. And when he said “Here comes the Big M!” there was excitement and approval in his voice that resonated with me, to the point he was the player that I remembered and followed from that point. By the time I tuned in in a major way in ’62-63, Leafs were a powerhouse, sweeping the Prince of Wales Trophy and Stanley Cup back in the days when the “double” actually mattered. Mahovlich was a huge part of that team, perhaps the most dynamic Leaf (although Johnny Bower, Carl Brewer, Tim Horton, Dave Keon and Eddie Shack gave him a run for his money). Your Penner/Cogliano/Stoll hybrid comes close to describing him. Big Frank was a load, and when he got going he was almost impossible to stop.

    “He maybe the one guy who played significant games for the Leafs and the Habs who is equally adored in both Cities”

    Only significant guys from that era I can think of that won Cups (which is how you become “adored”) in both places were Mahovlich (4 in T.O., 2 in Mtl.); Dick Duff (2 and 4), and Bert Olmstead (4 in Mtl, then 1 in Toronto). The Big M probably made the biggest contributions; after being The Man in Toronto for the best part of his career, he delivered huge playoff performances for the Habs, tying Phil Esposito’s record for 27 points in a playoff season in ’70-71, and had another huge run with 23 playoff points in ’72-73. (Mahovlich was a strong runner-up to Ken Dryden and Yvan Cournoyer for the Smythe those two years.)

    I too had a chance to see the Big M in the WHA, in fact he was the attraction for my first Coliseum game, and he was a very smart, skilled veteran who was an energy conservationist by that point. Or maybe the Oilers just didn’t stir the big fella up …

  24. Devin says:

    Momentai I’m glad you dropped in because I figured the behindthenet stats couldn’t jive with the ones you posted a few days ago when we discussed the same issue (and you convinced me to abandon any defense of Grebeshkov) ;)

    I just pulled these numbers from Desjardins
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/2007/5_on_5.php

    so I’m not sure if they’re off or not. I think you’re right in questioning them because they have Smid at 8.01 GA/60 “5-on-5″ when he’s played 50 mins and allowed 4 goals — which would suggest your numbers are right. I’m actually stumped as to how Desjardins got these figures. If there’s a flaw in his script then someone with some blogger street cred should let him know.

  25. Bruce says:

    Oops, sorry, the first one was posted my mistake. Whatever, I’m doing my best to distract everybody from those brutal defensive numbers posted by my man Matt Greene to this point. How about that Tom Gilbert? :)

  26. Devin says:

    All- use Momentai’s numbers here. The Desjardins 5-on-5 numbers I posted appear to be skewed. Not sure how, yet, but they can’t be correct. So much for Mirtle’s big stats roundup post ;)

  27. Dennis says:

    Ah, I thought those numbers were all at even’s. That’s not to throw away the PK numbers but for a good initial gauge, it’s nice to see how the young fellows are doing at EV.

    It seems like Gilbert’s getting some love here and I think it’s well deserved. Right from the first time he showed up last winter in SJ, I liked how he just knew when to jump into the play and how he could do it without getting caught. These days, it looks like he’s laying back a little more but I don’t mind that because the O side of his game is something that’s always been there and I love how he’s seemingly rounding out by throwing the occasional big check and pinning guys against the wall. I think as he gets more comfortable with knowing the opp’s tendanices, he’ll go back to jumping up again more and more. Of course, he’s currently playing tough opp so his head’s probably spinning just trying to keep his head above water.

    It’s too bad that he got kabonged last year in Cbj because he’d probably be even further ahead had he been able to play out the shitstorm that was the ’07 season. In any case, by macT’s rule and by the fans’ eye, this kid looks like the first one of the Smid-Greene-Gilbert troika that’s poised to perhaps step up and be a valuable top four dman. Yes, I know Smid played top four min last year but in his latest form, I don’t see a lot of improvement. Meanwhile, Gilbert isn’t getting murdered at ES and in a few games he’s been playing the toughest of opp, and while being partnered with a greenhorned risk-taker to boot.

    That’s not exactly an umbrella to take into the wind but young Gilbert’s emerged, at least thus far, pretty much unscathed,.

  28. Devin says:

    Dennis – by “MacT’s rule” lately you’d almost expect Gilbert to be sent down so that Roy can play, or something equally stupid.

    Anyway, those Desjardins numbers do not include PKGA. They are “5-on-5″ numbers according to Gabe and as far as I can tell it’s possible there’s 4-on-4 missing or something else that NHL.com considers ESTOI (or vice versa in this case). My guess is Greene’s been scored on a couple times at 4-on-4. Anyway, momentai’s numbers stick to the general trend either way. Greene and Grebs suck, Gilbert is excelling. I love him too, Dennis :)

  29. momentai says:

    Well, after every game I update my numbers as I know that I can trust them moreso than anyone else’s. I’m weird like that.

    I really do hope that MacT’s faith in Grebeshkov proves fruitful because the boy needs to be reined in. It’s going to be an interesting night if MacT decides to march out Gilbert/Grebs against the Zetterberg line. We’ll see whether or not Grebs is learning. We all know that being able to learn is something MacT values. I’d really like to know that there’s a reason to his madness thus far in doling out icetime.

  30. namflashback says:

    In a moment of “saw him ok,” Greene looks to be doing a better job where he ought to. Good separation play on dangly puck carriers like Tanguay and Huselius.

    In the games when Roy has been playing, Greene has been playing LD. It appears to be a slightly tough adjustment for him to do.

  31. Bruce says:

    Geez, stuff happens fast in the blogosphere … by the time I posted that correction, Greene has been vindicated to some extent by new numbers. While the TOI numbers seem about correct for 5v5, surely the Behind the Net GF/GA numbers are gross stats that are not “normalized by situation. Here are the special teams ATOI for all seven (PP / PK):

    Gilbert 2.34 (0:52 / 0:45)
    Tarnstrom 2.62 (2:06 / 2:12)
    Pitkanen 2.73 (4:11 / 1:54)
    Souray 3.20 (4:52 / 3:25)
    Staios 3.24 (0:08 / 3:05)
    Grebeshkov 3.52 (3:31 / 1:32)
    Greene 4.35 (0:13 / 3:11)

    So it’s not surprising to see Staios and Greene near the bottom of GA/60 list. OTOH, Gilbert and Tarnstrom are at the top of the list fair and square. Pitkanen, Souray and Grebeshkov should be better than they are, which pretty much jives with my take on things. OTOH, I have no explanation, none, for how Greene would lead the defence crew in GF/60 at 3.26. I like what behind the net is trying to do, but there’s a fly in this ointment.

  32. Dennis says:

    I’m sure most folks know this by now but the reports from today’s update of the official site had 78 back in for 46 and Tarnstrom back in for Roy.

    BTW, I’m gonna tape tonight’s game and compile the scoring chances for/against, along with which line was on the ice both ways. Considering that MacT seemed to be making a fun of the D pairings, I’ll try to include our pairings as well.

    I should have it up by Wed or Thurs.

  33. Pleasure Motors says:

    I liked how he just knew when to jump into the play and how he could do it without getting caught.

    I think Gilbert might actually be the best defenceman we have for that. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get caught with the team going the other way, and there’s been a few times he’s stepped into the play when I couldn’t even see the hole from the TV camera, and he made it work.

    Not bad for a guy we got for the rotting husk of Tommy Salo.

  34. mike w says:

    Anyone watching thisDay-in-the-life of Dusitn Penner?

    Matt Greene is quite the comedian. And apparently they live in the suburbs together.

  35. danny says:

    Greene gets hurt. My guess is 4-6 weeks, but thats just a guess no official word.

    Mercy already… mercy.

  36. Dennis says:

    4-6 could be a bit conservative, that looked like a really bad deal for Greene.

    Overall, though, I can’t really complain about all the injuries. Some teams get drilled every year but the Oilers have had wonderful luck with injuries for years.

  37. danny says:

    I’m hoping its a break.

    If he tore his ligaments up, which is a probability ( I couldnt watch the replay I get too grossed out watching things bend and break in slo-mo).

    Theres been a couple franchises thats had terrible injury luck for extended stretches, but stumbling to their level of misfortune isnt something you see throughout the NHL.

    Guess its just our turn now. Just waiting for Calgary to get theirs.

  38. mike w says:

    If the “analyst” Rob Brown says that the Oilers have to get the puck deep one more time I’ll strangle a cat.

    God I hate PPV, aka the Buy Oilers Tickets network.

  39. danny says:

    Fuck. Brutal.

    Tonight was a MacT game though. He had the reigns on the team, they didnt give up much at all. Of course they generated absolutely nothing offensively.

    Tough goal, I thought souray was injured?

  40. mike w says:

    ARRRGH.

    What can you say? A well played game defensively, with few real mistakes, but nothing resembling offence whatsoever.

    What worries me is that the decision-making isn’t up to snuff with team speed, which doesn’t seem like an easily remedied problem. Of course, NOT HAVING EVERY GO DOWN WITH INJURIES WOULD BE A START.

    Sigh.

  41. momentai says:

    That’s quite a karmic kick in the jewels. Here we all are bitching about putting Tarnstrom in the pressbox and he apparently loses an edge to let Flippula score the winner with 25 seconds left. Fuck. Fate must hate the blogosphere. Haha.

  42. Slipper says:

    In fairness to Tarnstrom, Sam Gagner could have tried back checking and thus not allowed Datsyuk all the time and space in the world to make a seemless pass through the neutral zone to a player (Flippula) with a full head of steam.

  43. Dennis says:

    Well there was a time when we’d have just one major injury a year, ie Smyth in ’98 and Weight in ’99 and things like that. Overall, though, we had some wicked luck up until last year.

    Some positives about tonight’s game:

    - I didn’t beat up anything when Det scored the winner and I didn’t even swear loudly enough to wake up the ladyfriend

    - I thought Grebs had a really good game. I liked Gilbert’s game too but I thought Grebs was better

    - In the third period, for some reason, Stoll began to hit like he was hitting last year just before Pahlsson cheapshotted him. I don’t know what took him so long and if he doesn’t do it on Fri I guess it was just a blip on the radar, but it was nice to see. Him and Cogs had some chem too and ever notice how Cogs goes straight for the side of the net and always looks for the centring pass?

  44. Slipper says:

    In fact as soon as I saw 89 standing there, applying no pressure on the pucks and watching the transition game go the other way, I muttered “oh fuck, here we go”.

  45. Bank Shot says:

    Ever notice whenever they show a clip of the Oilers practicing, they are just kind of loafing around.

    Do they actually conduct any drills at full speed, or is that just what they do when the media are around?

    Because if they do practice at 3/4 speed that would certainly explain why it seems to take them so long to make decisions in the offensive zone, and elsewhere as well for that matter.

  46. Ribs says:

    A night not as expected.

    This looked like a game that would be played in December. Matchups were in full effect and the torches were put out. Going through the motions with a good team like Detroit can only be seen as a good thing. The more games that can be played like this one, the better chance the Oil have of raping someone of the coveted 8th seed.

    With that being said, Oilers hockey has to be put into full effect. Those last three minutes have to be Go-Time in games like this. Cogliano has been stepping up to this plate so far this season. Who’s next?

    Staios with a gaol. I hope it gets him running at full power again.

    Greene out. I hope it’s not too bad.

    Gilbert and Grebs matchups actually kind of work, wow!

    Power play with Stoll and Grebs looks sillier every game.

    Pouliot, Gagner, roughed up this game, but good enough.

    JFJ and Sanderson… Did anyone miss them? Not me.

    Hoorah for the Pinkness.

  47. goldenchild says:

    momentai said…
    That’s quite a karmic kick in the jewels. Here we all are bitching about putting Tarnstrom in the pressbox and he apparently loses an edge to let Flippula score the winner with 25 seconds left. Fuck. Fate must hate the blogosphere. Haha.

    Exactly how I felt when then goal went in, he played a really solid game for 59 mins 30 sec but the 2-1 goal is nobody’s fault but his. HF Boards must be thrilled.

  48. danny says:

    MacT pinned the goat horns on the line change… namely Marc Pouliot deciding to change when DET is rushing the puck… leaving the whole left side wide open and Dick “not the fleetest of foot” left exposed.

  49. goldenchild says:

    I noticed MP leavng the ice on that play as well, its too bad I thought he was real good lsat night and got better and better as the night went on.

  50. Ribs says:

    A lot of grief for Poo it seems.

    It was a bad change I’ll admit, but a guy really shouldn’t be able to score against two defenders and a goalie like that.

    An ugly one all around. It happens.

  51. Bruce says:

    It was a bad change I’ll admit, but a guy really shouldn’t be able to score against two defenders and a goalie like that.

    Yeah, let’s have a system where we funnel the play to the outside for 59 minutes and 30 seconds and then abandon post in the dying seconds. Thanks to Pouliot’s dereliction of duty it was a speed mismatch and Tarnstrom had no angle either. Sure he could have played it better — tackling Filppula would have been a good idea at that point — but blaming the other D or the goalie is harsh. The breakdown occurred up-ice.

  52. Ribs says:

    I’m not saying Pouliot is free of blame for this. Just that the defensemen and Roloson could have played the puck better as well. Tarnstrom and Roli were both caught out of position on the play.

  53. oilerdiehard says:

    Dennis – Have you caught many games recently? Stoll started looking like his old self as far as hitting goes about 4 games or so ago. He has been hitting pretty regularly and hard since then.

  54. Dennis says:

    Yes, unfourtunately, I have been watching all the games and I really can’t remember Stoll hitting that hard and that consistently as he was on Tues night.

  55. oilerdiehard says:

    “Yes, unfortunately”

    Good answer. That gave me a chuckle.

    The stats say Stoll has 20 hits so far in 13 games. I took a quick look and he has 10 hits in the last 4 games. So that at least somewhat jives with what I eyeballed, I think.

    It looks like the Anaheim game he did not hit. Hopefully he can keep that up every game. He certainly is more effective when he is really hitting.

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