Blue Jackets at Oilers, G24/07-08

This is Curt Fraser. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but played his junior in the WHL with Victoria Cougars. Fraser played for Canada in the World Juniors (bronze, maybe 1978) but played for the USA in the Canada Cup (1987?).

I bet there are Canuck fans who don’t know Fraser was born in Ohio.

Columbus is the biggest city in Ohio, and from reports the nicest. The most famous cities in Ohio (Cincinnati, Cleveland) have MLB and NFL franchises but can’t boast an NHL franchise.

I guess they’ll have to drive to Columbus.

The Blue Jackets are my new second favorite team. After years of being the California Seals with Doug MacLean shooting himself in the foot every 5 minutes, ownership is applying solid and reasonable ideas like hiring the best coach available and then picking up an extremely bright executive to help him put together a good team.

Lots of former Oilers are performning well for the Jackets, especially Jan Hejda and Jason Chimera. I think the Jackets might pick up a player or two for the stretch run and a team facing them in the first round is going to have more hell than a little bit.

Have you ever heard Randy Newman’s Burn On? He’s a clever bugger, and the song’s lyrics always kill me:

Theres a red moon rising
On the cuyahoga river
Rolling into cleveland to the lake

Theres an oil barge winding
Down the cuyahoga river
Rolling into cleveland to the lake

Theres an oil barge winding
Down the cuyahoga river
Rolling into cleveland to the lake

Cleveland, city of light, city of magic
Cleveland, city of light, youre calling me
Cleveland, even now I can remember
cause the cuyahoga river
Goes smokin through my dreams

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42 Responses to "Blue Jackets at Oilers, G24/07-08"

  1. Ribs says:

    It always seems like we never get to see these guys. I always want to watch the Jackets games vs. the Oil a bit more closely but it always turns into a throw away game and I lose interest because no one’s trying all that hard and the no names rule the ice all night.

    Anyone else get the same vibe?

    Oh, and I can’t wait for the inevitable Hejda love. I hope he sinks his team this night.

  2. ClaytonMagnet says:

    So, a few days ago, the Oilers website had Moreau listed at 2-3 weeks, now he’s back to OUT INDEFINITELY again. Must’ve been trying to rehab that foot by playing hoops again.

    On the bright side, Pisani is 2-3 weeks now.

    Anyway, if we win, then we have the same amount of wins on the year as the Flames. Does that say more about Edmonton, or Calgary?

  3. jon says:

    I predicted at the beginning of the season that the acquisitions of Hejda and Peca would pay dividends on a Hitchcock team, but I don’t think anyone could have predicted that the team could begin turning things around as quickly as this season.

    There are indications that the Jackets have had problems giving a good effort against lesser teams, so that’s one thing the Oilers have on their side.

  4. Dennis says:

    Well, there were Habs fans that were ready to kill Hainsey but now he’s turned it around in CBJ. What did they know that no one else did? Or how did they squeeze the potential out of him? Russel had some good buzz and now he’s doing well. Hejda had very good numbers last year for a guy that played on an awful team. It will make much more of a lesser impact but he is to Howson what Kipper was to Sutter. Kesla’s finally playing well and Foote’s bouncing back.

    From what I’ve seen of them, they don’t give up a lot of quality opps and of course Horseface Leclaire is off to a great start as well.

    When I think of the Jackets visiting Edmonton, I think of 94 getting hurt last year during a Sat night game in early Dec. And I also think of a game in the ’04 season when Marchant was playing with 94 and it was a real shootout where you honestly couldn’t trust Salo as far as you could throw him.

    One last note on the BJ’s: I’ve never been as wrong about a former Oiler as I was about Chimera. Honestly one of the dumbest guys I ever saw in our silks and I never thought he’d amount to anything.

  5. Bank Shot says:

    Just how good are the Jackets this season?

    They’re over .500, but so are 12 other teams in the Western Conference.

  6. Dennis says:

    They’re fourth overall in the Conf in goal differential

  7. Bruce says:

    6 shutouts

  8. goldenchild says:

    According to TSN Samwise gets to ride shotgun with 10 and 83, personally I would like to see 13 get a shot for a couple of games.
    here are the lines, I guess Tarnstrom out and Mickey Rourke in

    Gagner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Torres – Stoll – Stortini
    Sanderson – Reasoner – Brodziak
    Penner – Cogliano – Nilsson

    Pitkanen – Gilbert
    Staios – Smid
    Grebeshkov – Rourke

    As for Columbus I’m not a fan of either team but Ohio St vs Michigan is a game i look forward to every year in Late Nov. The passion of the fans and hate for the other team is pretty special, 2nd only to Duke vs UNC in hoops IMO. I don;t think any of the pro rivalries are anywhere close to those 2 not even Yankees- Sox.

    I would imagine the BJ’s have had a tough time getting any space in the local papers the last few weeks but they look like they have turned it around

  9. Black Dog says:

    A whack of those shutouts (and wins) came early. They’ve come back to earth a little.

    Still, the benefits of having an elite coach …

  10. Lowetide says:

    goldenchild: Mickey Rourke. lol. Good one.

    Gagner on LW with Horcoff is an interesting twist, and as Dennis mentioned over on MC it breaks up Cogs/Gagner and that’s probably a good idea at this point.

    I also like that 4th line a little, hopefully they can get something done.

  11. Bruce says:

    I also like that 4th line a little, hopefully they can get something done.

    Presumably you’re talking about the Stoll line?

  12. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: No, I was talking about the Cogliano line. But I do see your point.

    It’ll be interesting to see which RW gets the fewest minutes tonight, Nilsson or Stortini.

  13. goldenchild says:

    I agree with Bruce if by 4th line you mean Stoll, then a little is about all you could like them.

    WTF has happened with 16? you keep thinking he will snap out of it but what if he doesn’t? We’re Fucked! I mean even more then we are currently, which is pretty fucked.

  14. uni says:

    Brodziak!

    And Sanderson has 5 points in 5 games haha.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Brodziak (Sanderson, Grebeshkov). Brodziak isn’t listed as a rookie on nhl.com despite having played only 16 NHL games before this season.

    Anyone know?

    One thing MP fans like me have to admit is that Brodziak grabbed a job by the neck and never let go of it this fall.

  16. speeds says:

    He also played 9 games the season before last, and you can’t play more than 25 games combined in the previous 2 seasons to be considered a rookie.

  17. Lowetide says:

    speeds: Yeah, but he played 10games in 05-06, and then 6 in 06-07. Total: 16.

    What gives?

  18. speeds says:

    oops, guess I was wrong. Here’s the qualifications:

    To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in 25 or more NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.

  19. Lowetide says:

    speeds: Ah, gotcha. Dumb rule? I think maybe.

  20. uni says:

    I kept reading about it, but man from that one period alone, I had more than one double take trying to figure out who that other forward is only to realize it’s Pitkanen jumping up in the rush or at the side of the goal on that Horcoff backhand chance.

    And isn’t he coming back from an knee injury? Can he skate at a higher speed than that?

    And Nilsson is just breaking my heart with another disappearing act, dude better start playing again.

  21. Andreas says:

    Was Roloson screened on that shot? I really expect him to make the save there. I’m wathing FSN feed and they never showed a good replay.

    I also thought Smid made a good recovery on the backcheck that led to the penalty shot, Nash did almost everything himself to get out of balance and missing to get the shot away.

  22. Ribs says:

    Pitkanen loves to jump in like that, Uni. I tried to watch as much of him as I could last year and that was what I noticed most. He’s often an extra forward on the rush and he needs a partner to hold back for him or his +/- goes down the tubes.
    I love it (Coffey fan).

    I’ve liked Ron Hainsey for a long time too and it’s fun to see him running the PP and really buying in to Hitchcocks game plan.

  23. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I think Rourke has earned a full time spot imo. He just keeps making sensible plays, and no big no-nos.

  24. uni says:

    I’ll say this for Rourke, he knows when to pinch so far, and he’s no slouch defensively. You’d want to keep him around the 12-15 minute mark for him to be effective but he can be. Just wish he could skate faster, and that we had better options on the back end.

  25. uni says:

    Ribs, thanks for the scouting report, and I never saw Coffey in his hay day so Pitkanen is as close as it gets for me I guess.

    And this has got to be some of the worse ice I’ve ever seen at Rexall.

  26. Dennis says:

    I can’t say for sure but I think it’s Pronger’s fault that the EIG’s too fucking cheap to buy a new iceplant.

    Or at least that’s my guess. Everything else is Pronger’s fault.

  27. gary b says:

    holy cats a REGULATION WIN???

    some poor sod in the upper deck is like “hey… where’s everybody going? it’s only been 60 minutes?”

  28. uni says:

    Uh-oh, if they Oilers win their next game they might reel Dennis back in again. At least I think it was Dennis that said 3 games in a row and he might give a *%$@ about them this season.

  29. heed says:

    regulation win! is it 1999? screw it, i’m partying like it is.

  30. gary b says:

    also weird – Oilers vs. Jackets has more scoring than tonight’s MNF football game between Miami and Pittsburgh

  31. Andreas says:

    A very nice play by Cogliano to get to that Nilsson feed and really strong goaltending from Roloson and we are 6-3-1 in the last 10 not to shabby for this young team.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Well this felt good. Roloson played well, he was a star there on the 5-on-3, and Pitkanen looks way better than he did earlier this season when it was tough to get a line on him. Gilbert Golbert and Staios are nice on RD and it’s agreed Mickey Rourke deserves at least 6 and a half weeks.

    Sorry. :-)

  33. Black Dog says:

    Nice, LT. Groan.

    Still, 3 and 1 over the last 4? I’ll take it.

  34. HBomb says:

    Rourke looks like the type of guy that’s your perfect seventh defenseman to me.

    Once Souray, Tarnstrom and Roy are healthy, maybe one of the latter two or Grebesh-cough becomes a trading chip perhaps?

  35. RiversQ says:

    Call me nuts, but wouldn’t it have made a little more sense to sink $4MM into a new iceplant?

    If it really was the best ice in the league, it could probably help the recruiting effort more than a granite fucking countertop.

  36. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I like Rourke as well. I like having your 7th dman as a guy who’s just happy to be here and won’t rock the boat when he sits. On the other hand, when he gets in, you only notice the good things he does.

    As for how the D shakes out when everyone’s healthy, I’ll wait and see that happen before I detail how I’d run that show. Though, I will say, I’ve always liked Roy’s ability to get his shot on net but it seems to me that Rourke’s a safer bet.

    In any case, things will really start cooking when Sheldon Lidstrom gets back in the lineup!!!

    Nice to see Roli pitch a good game tonight. I’m a Roli guy and I choose to remember the good things he does. The guy played behind a D last year that couldn’t make a breakout pass and he still nearly posted a .910 PCT. That impressed me. That being said, we needed Roli to do something like this tonight and we’re gonna keep needing him to do it for awhile.

    His PCT heading into tonight was not acceptable and even the goal Hainsey scored tonight was one that could;ve easily been stopped.

    Some other things:

    - Hemsky didn’t have a strong game tonight and 89 made one great pass to Horc and then two unbelievably stupid ones in his own zone that hemmed us in for what seemed like ages. You just can’t hide this kid at evens and I’m not sure what we can do with him. Fuck, MacT’s even shelved him on the 2nd PP unit too. This won’t become an issue until both 18-34 get back but it’s hard to slot in gagner right now.

    - Nilsson probably gave himself another two games with that assist

    - Now that 13 has blown a SH breakaway, well, we can finally feel justified in making the Marchant comparisons. I think the kid’s gonna be a helluva player when he learns more offensive moves and he gets stronger.

    - Not that Penner had a lot to work with but I didn’t really like his game tonight. I think he’s gonna be a useful player but I really can’t figure him out. He’s bigger and stronger on the puck than anyone we’ve ever had but there’s only so much use for a guy like that when he’s really not a good skater. One thing I noticed tonight on the plus side was he did a good job on the wall getting pucks out.

    - Outside of the stupid last penalty, I liked 24′s game tonight. he’s been super high event so far and it’s not easy being asked to play tough min all the while carrying a kid

    - PP looked good even without scoring.

    - 8′s a real buzzsaw when he puts his mind to it and Lain’s right, going forward, 51′s gonna be a real bargain. He’s already killing penalties and dabbling with tough min.

    Overall, not really impressed with the team’s effort and especially not the forwards. Too much needed from Roli to pull this one out. 16′s line didn’t get totally killed on the hard match vs Nash but they didn’t create fuckall offense, either. I’m not sure what the hell the Oilers cna do with Torres and Stoll unless it’s to trade them if Moreau and Pisani can get back.

    And, yes, Uni, three wins in a row before I fully invest.

    Again;)

  37. Dennis says:

    But, Riv, they have a door with dents from 1980′s players!!

    Imagine that being said by Cartman:)

  38. Ribs says:

    Thank god for Horcoff. If he hadn’t shown up and Roloson removed one of the two horse shoes shoved up his ass tonight the Oilers would have been in some real trouble.

    Ferraro mentioned how Hemsky has matured in the past couple of years and it really did show in this game (I suppose if the Master of Obvious points it out…). He dished it off to Gagner a couple of times when I know he normally wouldn’t have to get him into the game and he still went into some dangerous corners even when no one was coming to help him. Still my favourite Oiler.

    Cogliano is fighting him this year for the top spot though, I can’t get enough of his determination. He tugboated big Penner and little toot Nilsson for the entire game and still managed to make a measurable impact on the scoresheet. Well played.

    Gagner looked like he was on a line with guys he wasn’t used to playing with…Weird, huh?

    Stoll and Torres… did they dress tonight? I think they’re on a 3 week bender in Mexico with that Stortini fellow. The only plus for this line was Stoll laying into some Bluejackets and Stortini escaped the game without needless penalties.

    Brodziak pops a grinder goal. Looks good on him.

    Defensemen didn’t look all that great. Smid had a particularily rough night. I hope he’s okay. That one looked like it hurt.

    Joni and G-Bert logging some nice ice again. Good to see.

    Rourke has indeed played very well. Maybe I’ve got my grizzled veteran to replace Greene by happenstance?

    I like to look ahead a game or two after each game and this week has me looking at Colorado and Anaheim. The Oilers have a bunch of loose buttons that need tidying if they plan to come out with victories in those matches.

  39. Bruce says:

    It’ll be interesting to see which RW gets the fewest minutes tonight, Nilsson or Stortini.

    It’s Nilsson by a hair, 10:29 to 10:47, the two lowest totals on a fairly balanced summary tonight (all forwards between 10:29 and 16:28 TOI except Horcoff with a workhorse 22:26). Didn’t see the game so can’t comment on their effectiveness, but I see Nilsson had 1 shot, 1 assist and +1, while Stortini managed 3 hits and nothing negative whatsoever.

    Interestingly, Raffi “0-for-November” Torres was third lowest at 11:12. He had a fourth-line type performance with 1 shot, 1 hit, 1 giveaway, and the usual 0 points. That’s an embarrassing 14 straight without a sniff. Who does he think he is, JFJ?

  40. namflashback says:

    Dennis,

    Gagner is starting to make bad own-zone decisions. Reverse back to the D when the D-man has 2 forecheckers on his doorstep. Neat play if you have space — against a hard on the puck team — not so much. If he’s going to make that play he has to be far quicker with it — stop the puck on the side boards and IMMEDIATELY dish it back. Instead, he is holding the puck, which lets the forecheckers get in the D-man’s face.

    Then the firedrill started again. Nillson was on the wrong side of the play multiple times — but certainly lasered that pass in there.

  41. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I really don’t know how you can hide Gagner. My latest idea;) would be to have 18 play with 13-89 on a decided 4th line in terms of EV and just slot them in here and there. And move a guy up the lineup on another line if he’s having a good night, ie 18 could replace 27 on the top line if we’re protected a lead.

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