Smid Recalled

The Oilers recalled Ladislav Smid today. I think it’s fairly likely he’ll see action in the next two or three games based on the most recent performances by Denis Grebeshkov. The Russian has been poor to very poor for much of his time with the Oilers and one would guess he can be safely sent down when Sheldon Souray returns without worrying about losing him to waivers.

All of this means a window of opportunity for Ladislav Smid. Craig MacTavish is looking for solid solutions with both Joni Pitkanen and Souray on the shelf, and Tarnstrom, Staios the ever improving Matt Greene and quality young D Tom Gilbert could use some help.

Mathieu Roy and the now recalled Smid have outstanding opportunities to move up the depth chart in the next few weeks, especially considering Denis Grebeshkov is dead in the water based on performance.

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16 Responses to "Smid Recalled"

  1. Lord Bob says:

    I liked Grebeshkov when he came over (I didn’t like the trade as such, since I thought Bergeron was better than the rest of the Internet, but…), but he’s sure made me eat some crow lately.

    I’m beginning to think I’m not really cut out for this “hockey” thing. Nice to see Smid back up, though: I think he’s simply too good for the AHL.

    (Expect him to go -5 in his first game.)

  2. Lowetide says:

    Lord Bob: The trick is to forget predictions as quickly as possible. I once swore Chris Hajt was going to be a quality regular and honestly haven’t given up hope. He’s playing in Bolzano Italy this season which is a short flight from Edmonton.

  3. Jonathan says:

    The only problem with that, of course, is that Grebs will probably bolt for Russia (like he did when he was assigned to Bridgeport) if he’s assigned to the minors. No big deal, I suppose, if he can’t hold a spot based on merit. After all, what’s Allan Rourke for ;)?

  4. Devin says:

    I don’t know. Grebeshkov was awful last night, sure, but he was actually quite good against CGY and reasonable against PHX. He is making more mistakes than an NHL player should, but I doubt his GA/60 is worse than Greene’s and he has been playing harder minutes.

    Eg. Last night he was being matched against Sakic-Wolski-Brunette and finished ES -1. Greene was mainly playing against the Wyatt Smith line and finished ES E.

    Against Calgary Grebeshkov mainly got Iginla-Tanguay and finished E, while Greene got Huselius-Langkow and finished -1.

    It’s all a small sample, and I dunno either guy’s EVGA/60 or SHGA/60 number, but I would be surprised if Grebs is any worse than Greene either way. Grebs is equally capable when you run him out in tough situations v. easy ones, so far, so there’s that. I tend to think Grebs will generate more offence over time than Greene (easy bet there) and I doubt he’ll give much more back than Big#2 does.

  5. 48_briere_48 says:

    Grebeshkov was terrible last night and the Oilers will have no regrets when they finally get Smid back

  6. Vik says:

    I’m wondering if Grebs is just having trouble adjusting to the NHL. I realize he played some with the Isles but it’s been some time now and to me, it looks like the game is moving too fast for him at times. And there have been a couple times with the puck where he looked like he was worried about making a mistake and just tried to get it off his stick as soon as possible (or maybe he’s just been taking tips from Torres).

  7. PDO says:

    Devin:

    You sound like the guy justifying his ugly girlfriend because the girl with a big crush on him is even uglier, so what other options does he have?

    Sorry Dennis, I know the girl analogies are usually your turf ;)

  8. Rube Foster says:

    Yes grebs was BAAAD last night but that is what you can expect from such a developing player. One night OK – Calgary, the next night BAAD – Colorado.
    I don’t think we have to throw Marc Andre Grebeshkov to the wolves just yet.

    Grebs was in the top four pairing last night with Gilbert. Top four is just too much to ask from Marc Andre Grebeshkov right now.
    On a very positive note the coaching staff let Greene play in the 5-6 slot with Roy and he handled the assignment much better than he did when they had him in the top four with Souray.

    We’re going to have to hope that Smid can step into those top four minutes without embarassing himself beacuse right now Grebs, Greene & Roy need the shelter of the 5 & 6 spots.

    Lets hope Tricky Dick can hold it together and be our number one for a month or so without over extending himself.
    This could get worse, I’m not convinced that Staois is playing at 100 percent and I don’t just mean his battered shnose.
    Is this where I add we could really use a guy like Hejda right now?

    Maybe K-Lowe is a genius after all and he knew we’d need a roster with with nine NHL defensemen to make it past game 10 in the season. At least we’re not calling up the seventh best d-man from the QMJHL to man our point like we had to do last year.

  9. Devin says:

    pdo- boy do you know me ;)

    Nah, I would be the first guy to throw Grebs overboard, it’s just we have nobody worth playing back there. So you’re right that I’m looking for positives where there may be a dearth of them, but a consistent theme in my posts is that Greene sucks more at _preventing goals_ than any other guy on the roster. And, after all, that’s the job of d-men. Goal differential, people! (that’s the whole point of the blogosphere, the hockeymajik/ “Greene is the next J. Smith” shit is what we have the mainstream media for).

    I see some minimal progress from Grebs (he was ridiculously bad in the preseason) but I don’t see Greene making any progress after 2.5 years. Sure, if you call skating boldly out of the zone and then losing the puck when you cross your own blueline progress, then Greene is trending up. FTR I think Sanderson is dead useless too for some of the same reasons (I don’t care what he looks like, he doesn’t get shit done out there).

  10. Asiaoil says:

    I’m all over a trade of Grebs and Schremp for a bigger gritty veteran RW at this point. We were soft and too young up front coming into this season – but losing Moreau, Pisani makes this hole gaping.

  11. momentai says:

    Devin: Thus far, for the d at ES, it looks like this:

    Player – ESGA/60
    Staios – 2.84
    Pitkanen – 3.00
    Gilbert – 2.21
    Tarnstrom – 2.34
    Greene – 2.97
    Souray – 2.46
    Grebeshkov – 5.26

    Denis has only played 56:59 of ES icetime but he’s already been on the ice for 4 goals. He’s certainly looking to be a high event player if this is any indication.

    My only concern with Grebeshkov is is tendency to have brain cramps in the offensive zone. I heard from somewhere on the blogs here the term tunnel-vision when describing his play and I think it’s an apt one. He becomes oblivious to his responsibilities and tries his damndest to pinch and maintain the offense. It’s a far cry from Gilbert who hasn’t been burned as much by illtimed pinches into the offensive zone.

    I’ll welcome Smid back in the lineup.

    Sometimes it astounds me that our defense is so young. I can’t help but think we’ll severely miss a guy like Tarnstrom next year when Lowe will eventually let him walk.

  12. doritogrande says:

    Asiaoil,

    What does a Schremp+Grebs trade get us? Are you thinking a Glen Murray type, or something closer to a Gary Roberts (doubt he’s availible, but his kind of grit).

    I think at this point, having watched the game Tuesday, that we lost the MAB-Grebs trade. We essentially traded a slapshot from the point with defensive liabilities for defensive liabilities. Smid will help the defensive end, but I pray it isn’t at the expense of Matt Roy, who I think played a solid game and provided toughness along the blueline that has been sorely lacking.

    Smid hasn’t exactly torn up the AHL like many predicted him to based on his NHL experience last year, but injuries create opportunities. We all saw that last year with the development of Gilbert and the surprising play of young Brian Young.

  13. ClaytonMagnet says:

    If GMs around the league are paying any attention at all, Schremp-Grebs doesn’t get much.

  14. Devin says:

    momentai – thanks for the numbers – I guess I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have been. Hopefully Grebs sits in favour of Smid or else improves quickly. Seriously- how good can the RSL really be? Mikhnov is ripping it up and Grebs was supposed to be a pretty solid guy over there.

    Doesn’t surprise me that Gilbert and Tarnstrom have been our two best at keeping the GAs down — they have looked great.

  15. Dennis says:

    Grebs is certainly a work in progress, he’s one of the pattened guys who was made a D because some coach wanted some offense from the backend. He’s a forward first and defenseman second and he’s gonna either have to learn to cut down on his mistakes handling the puck and his overall positioning OR else he’s gonna have to really drive the bus when he’s on the ice and make sure that he wins out in the high event sweepstakes.

    One thing I have liked him about so far is that he’s really an excellent passer. He made a couple of touch passes the other night that were flat out nice to see.

    BTW, good job on eyeing the matchups and listing the numbers, Dev and Mo.

    Gilbert hasn’t been playing tough min all the time but that ESGA is really promising.

    I think we’ve got something in that guy. He knows when he jump up and he has the skill to make something happen when he does and he also has the size to be able to round out the other side of the game if that’s something that interests him. Now we just need to keep giving him his AB’s and hope that he’s a quick study when it comes to positioning.

    For all the ink over the years about Greene, I think Gilbert’s a way better bet to turn out to be something worth talking about. In terms of their age, Greene broke in at a younger age but I’d like to think that Gilbert will be a better player once he gets to the 200 GP mark then Greene will be. And in the end it’s not a fair comparison anyway. Greene’s a big guy but it’s much harder to teach a guy skill then it is positioning and because of Gilbert’s existing O skills and his size, his ceiling’s much higher than that of Greene’s.

  16. dubya says:

    Doritogrande,

    I think Smid went 1-4-5 and +3 in 8 games in Springfield, playing ~25min a night. I think that’s as close to ‘tearing up the AHL’ as a defenceman like Smid can get.

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