Tuning the Engine

Reading this morning that Robbie Schremp is playing on a line with Hemsky and Cogliano in Phoenix as the team gets ready for the game Thursday.

It’s a pretty sweet spot for the kid and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility he has success in that role. His foot speed will rob him of chances with these guys, but he does have a nose for the net and is a shooter (always important on a Hemsky line).

I think this is just another glance at possible lines we’ll be seeing for the next few years. With Ryan Smyth gone and the Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky not quite clicking, this experiment could get a couple of shifts, a couple of games or be around awhile.

Thinking out loud I’d say this group is going to be lacking in “back checking” prowess but the kid Cogliano can make up for a myriad of mistakes with that speed and Hemsky isn’t mashed potatoes at EV against tough competition either.

That’s the difficulty for Schremp on the road imo. With the chances of him getting out there against the soft parade less than 50/50 (is that fair? on the road?) it would seem to me Schremp’s chances of impacting the game offensively aren’t top dead center.

However, considering PHX is the opponent, he’s been given the hottest bat and the greatest player to spend time with, Robbie Schremp has to view tomorrow night as Christmas Day.

And for the Jesus of Cool, it might just be a coming out party.

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25 Responses to "Tuning the Engine"

  1. Oilman says:

    No excuses for Robbie or Robbie lovers if he can’t make something happen on a line with Hemsky against Phoenix….this is what the masses have been calling for right.

  2. kanadienkyle says:

    Is he is the Jesus of Cool now? I was very partial to Hockey Jesus.

  3. Selena says:

    I hope they just win.

  4. Scarlett says:

    This is the biggest xmas gift Schremp will ever get. Playing with Hemsky and against Phoenix? He’d better not eat too much turkey before the game!!

  5. Big T says:

    That’s a line that would only work against a few teams in this league this season. If they can’t get results against the softest of soft parades out there then WTF!!!

    I’m pretty sure MacT can out coach Wayne as 99 isn’t much uf a line tactitioner… and that’s why he feels he can put Schremp on that unit and not get killed.

    T

  6. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Until his first multi-point game, he is only the Jebus of Cool to me…

  7. Ribs says:

    Hoorah, Schremp finally gets an honest shot to stick with the club.

  8. goldenchild says:

    I agree with Big T, this may work against Phx but seems like potential disaster against a good team. I was hoping they would try Cogs on the wing with 10 and 83 at some point.

    Is there any mention of what the other 3 lines look like?

  9. Todd says:

    Schremp will need more than one good game to prove he is the player we all hope he is but he also needs the opportunity to show MacT. If given the chance he will give the oilers some much needed help scoring goals.

  10. penaltyshots.ca says:

    I can’t believe that an NHL GM who has given his team so little to work with, was given a four year extension. Has anyone noticed Lupul’s stats this year?

    I guess that one way in which the the four year extension will serve hockey fans will be by Lowe’s priceless reaction when the Sabres offer Gagner a 1000 percent raise and he dons the Buffalo head and crossed sabres.

  11. RiversQ says:

    I’m pretty sure MacT can out coach Wayne as 99 isn’t much uf a line tactitioner… and that’s why he feels he can put Schremp on that unit and not get killed.

    IIRC, Wayne’s a bit of a taskmaster on the bench. I’m pretty sure he matches hard.

    It’s too bad he always chooses a knife to bring to the gunfight every year.

  12. voxel says:

    Penaltyshot, As for Lupul, look more carefully beyond just goals + assists. He’s hovering just above even at event differential on a good team.

    He’s also the worst PKer (SHGA/60) on the Flyers so far.

    As for Schremp, he’s got to be clearly better than the vets to stick.

  13. Big T says:

    Riv;

    I’ll have to pay close attention on Thursday but, at least in the early part of Gretzky’s coaching career he coached a lot like Tony Granato. If you say he’s improved I’ll watch for it. I’m probably guilty of not paying attention and just assuming he hadn’t changed.

    T

  14. Bruce says:

    re: Lupul, 5 GP, 1-5-6, +5, say what? His only minus game was (no surprise) here in Edmonton. But before we get too excited, I say let’s wait awhile and see where he is in three months. I watched this guy pretty closely last year, and everything about him barked “mutt”.

    Now Jason Smith OTOH is a guy that is badly missed. He’s +3 and has blocked 22 shots in 5 games. Scored an empty netter to clinch the win in his first home game as a Flyer (and as their new captain), that must have been a nice moment for him. And to see the replay of him clocking Bobby Holik last night made me smile in a wistful kind of way. Gator never was the kind who picked his spots.

  15. rickibear says:

    Souray gone with seperated shoulder.

    I would think Smid gets called up.

  16. Dennis says:

    I think Cogs might be able to keep his head near the waterline playing tough min but I don’t know if Jayne knows that so he’s probably gonna be licking his chops seeing Cogs and RS on the same line together and they’re gonna get his hardest matchup, ie especially if MacT wants to remain stubborn and insist those guys stay together and insist a lot of ESTOI for them.

    Not sure if he’ll do that though because the 14-16 tandem needs to get untracked plus you’ve got the likely 27-10-89 line to feed as well.

    Breaking news: excellent news on Souray being out and I’m not even joking about that. The Oilers are asking way too much from him at ES and giving him way too much fucking juice and considering that Smid didn’t get killed playing top four min last year while playing tougher min than Souray and in a tougher division and Conf, I welcome Souray in and Smid out.

    Regarding Lupul, I think I’ll blog on that over at Ty’s site in the next day or so and I welcome everyone to chime in

  17. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Direct quote on Souray injury from the very informative Injury Report section of the official Oilers website:

    “INJURY REPORT

    The injury report is inactive in the off-season. Please visit again when the 2007-2008 NHL season begins. “

    They sure have their stuff together…

  18. Bill Needle says:

    As for Schremp, he’s got to be clearly better than the vets to stick.

    Considering how the Oilers vets are playing, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

  19. Lowetide says:

    My spider senses tell me this is a pump and dump, but I’ve been down on Schremp pretty much from the get go so am making a concerted effort to cheer for him.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Souray currently leads all Oilers in TOI/G. His absence could do a number of favourable things:
    1) Give Smid a chance to play. I remain unconvinced that any of Grebeshkov/Greene or Roy are better options at this point than Smid. It’s hard to say if Smid will get a chance to prove it, however, as he may just find his way into the pressbox, or may not even be the guy called up (although I think this only happens if MacT really wants to give Grebs a chance in the lineup and knows that the callup d-man won’t play.)
    2) Rejuvenate the PP. I know that was the whol point of bringing Souray in, but so far this season our PP strategy has been – pass to Souray – PK blocks shot – puck is iced. If we can get away from this dependance on Souray’s shot, which is so easy to defend against, maybe we can score PP goal #2 on the season.
    3) Rejuvenate the PK. This seems unlikely as despite my best efforts, I can’t think of 4 quality PK-ing d-men on the Oilers team. I just know that Souray hasn’t been one of them so far.

    As for Hockey Jesus/Hemsky/Cogs, I’d like to echo Lowetide’s numrous statements that Hemsky is ready to explode. Thru six games, he leads the Oil in shots, and has yet to score. He has too good a shot for that to continue. If he decides to do it against Phoenix, he’ll drag Schremp along with him.

  21. Jon G says:

    Man, earlier this week I thought Rob was in the dog house because MacT said in a press conference that he had to work on the defensive aspect of his game. Good to see him getting a shot at helping this offensive power outage

  22. Big T says:

    I don’t follow the hate-on for Souray’s play. This is much the same as those who had the hate-on for Laddy last year. Sure he couldn’t keep his head above water but he was being asked to do way too much. Considering he was a 19 y/o rookie, he did very well.

    Souray is the same. he’s being asked to do way more than he should be. He’s a decent 4/5 guy and at least an average PKer.

    Clearly he doesn’t drive the PP and anyone who thought otherwise was mistaken. He does have a very good skill on the PP in that he has a quality shot that hits the net at an above average rate. In the absense of other things to key on, the other team simply keys on Souray and thus, he’s ineffective.

    Two years ago, other teams cued on Pronger for the first part of the season. To compensate, CFP sent it back over to Stoll who took advantage for a time. When teams began to cue on Stoll, Pronger took advantage. The same thing needs to happen for Souray to be effective on the PP when he returns.

    As for Stoll-Torres…. I have no idea why these two are still joined at the hip. Stoll is not a guy who creates a lot of EV offense. Almost his entire offensive output comes from the PP. Stoll-Torres do not belong on a soft minute line – they are too low event to take advantage.

    T

  23. dwillms says:

    I don’t have any problems with Souray’s game, but it’s pretty easy to see why people are down on him.

    He’s the highest-paid player on the team, and the 12th highest-paid defenceman in the league. Of the 12, the only other ones whose contracts run as long are Rafalski and Timonen.

    So, $5.4 mil/year for someone who is only:
    * A decent 4/5 guy
    * At least an average PKer, and
    * Doesn’t drive the PP

    This is the cause of the frustration by fans, not his play on the ice (IMO).

  24. Big T says:

    Agreed on price dwilliams;

    But is that Souray’s fault or Lowe’s???

    Instead of booing or slagging Souray, boo Lowe on that move.

    T

  25. Dennis says:

    Some good points and I’ll try and perhaps further this along a little.

    The whole 14/16 as a duo makes a lot of sense when you think about it. First off, look at the LW depth chart when Torres came up: it was Smyth and Moreau and with the former playing power vs power and the latter also in the mix for tough min, it just made sense to give Torres the soft. And then when you look at us down the middle, Stoll came up with Horc and Reasoner in the mix and those guys basically mirror images of 94-18 in terms of the roles they’d play and then later Peca stopped over for a season. So, while I’d agree with you that it’s time to take the cherry min from them, when you think about how they broke in and who they lined up alongside of depth wise, it made sense that they’d get the soft.

    The best moments of 14′s career came when he teamed up with 34-Peca playing top six tough min during ’06. And Stoll took Peca’s place for awhile last season in that role and I think they did pretty good as a unit playing tough min because both Smyth and hemsky were out at the time. So, maybe that’s something to shoot for if 34 ever gets back. It would be interesting to then see who’d go the soft min. Could you give the 14-16-34 line the usual 27-10-83 min and thus latter the latter try and feast ala Selanne-McDonald-Kunitz last year? That might be worth a look.

    As for Souray, two seperate issues on his value to the team and his actual worth and yes, BOO to Lowe for signing him. As far as what he was bringing, MacT either thought they could turn him around or was told by Lowe to play the shit out of him because he was asking way too of him. He’s a third pairing guy and he’s even behind Smid as far as I’m concerned. I’m relieved that he’s out of the equation because I don’t think MacT had the balls or sense to cut his icetime if he was healthy so now that he’s not, he’s no longer a concern.

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