Oilers at Avalanche, G16/07-08

This is Tom “Bomber” Edur, who played for the Colorado Rockies 76-78. He was an excellent young defender who put up solid numbers in 5 pro seasons (3 WHA, 2 NHL) before quiting to become a Jehovah’s Witness.

He played on bad hockey teams in the NHL, and I suspect bad hockey teams are somewhat prone to losing their players to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or Wal-Mart, or the Russian Super League.

Either way, the Rockies left Dodge City and became the almighty NJ Devils in a straight up trade with Eastern North America for the Quebec Nordiques (not really, but the memory blurs).

MacT apparently read the riot act after practice yesterday, ripping all players a new one and getting out enough frustration to lose his voice.

There’s only so many things a coach can do, and when your side has 6′s and 7′s and 9′s and the other side has jack’s and king’s, well then things like “bible study” and “new career information” become part of the team lexicon.

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122 Responses to "Oilers at Avalanche, G16/07-08"

  1. goldenchild says:

    I live in Vancouver so I dont hear what the talk around the team is but I can imagine there are a lot of fans calling for MacT’s head. I just can’t imagine there is another coach that can look at that bench and make it a winner.
    He has proved that when he has the horses he can get the job down but there are too many ponies on this roster.

  2. Lord Bob says:

    Not shown: MacTavish then deciding that his defensive matchup against the Sakic line will be Denis Grebeshkov and Mark Lamb.

    Craig MacTavish accusing his players of not doing everything they can to win is like Jim Schoenfeld accusing Don Koharski of having too many donuts.

  3. Oilman says:

    no Christmas, no birthdays, no haloween, no blood, door to door abuse, discouraged to vote….or play for the 1970′s Colorado Rockies….hmmmmm – tough choice.

  4. goldenchild says:

    I would take Mark lamb at C against Sakic over anyone not named Horcoff on this roster, he scored maybe the biggest goal of the entire 1990 run against the Jets. I always liked that guy

  5. ClaytonMagnet says:

    From Dan Tencer – “As a final note, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff were both absent from practice today and subsequently were not on the ice for the meeting.”

    So, did MacT actually take the two guys who are performing aside, and say “hey, look, I’m going to tear the team a new asshole at practice today, but you guys are ok, so take the day off.”???

  6. Black Dog says:

    Sounds like – the quote was that they were excused.

  7. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Interesting. If I’m Hemsky or Horcoff, I show my leadership by standing there and taking it with the rest of the team. Mind you, they probably didn’t know what MacT was going to do.

  8. jon says:

    Horc and Hemsky have nagging injuries and were out of the practice as a result. Horc stopped taking faceoffs mid-game versus Minnie so it could be an upper body thing.

    Then again, they are the only players on the team consistently putting up points so I’m sure that didn’t hurt.

  9. Paulus says:

    I’m pretty sure Jon is right, Hemsky missed practice ere the loss in Minneapolis and Horcoff looked like he was passing a stone or something after his nice goal in the same game. I just remember Ron Low hanging over him at the bench as they announced his name.

    Plus, if they were at practice, I doubt even they’d be spared MacT’s ministrations, despite their play so far.

    Oh, and I’m Paul, long-time listener, first-time caller. Love the blog, etc.

  10. Dennis says:

    Don’t you think there’s a certain finality to ripping players to this extent? That’s what I’ve always thought.

    MacT just laid it all out there so if the team comes out tonight and gets outworked and takes some dumb penalities, what does it say about his ability to motivate them or they’re willingness to listen to him?

    Listen, the Oilers could lose 4-3 tonight and hit three posts and/or two of the Avs goals could caroom off someone’s ass. If that happens, then at least the Oilers worked hard, right? But if the Oilers get zoomed and outworked, I think they’re sending a message that whatever MacT’s selling, they aren’t buying it.

    It’s just not that difficult for guys to work hard. A guy like Penner can’t because he’s a bit of a fatso, we also would’ve accepted he’s “a lot” of a fatso, but there are other guys who can bust their asses. On the other hand, for kids like 12,13, 37, 77 and so on, there’s a limit to what they can accomplish because of their lack of experience and even though they may be talented, we’re not talking Crosby and Malkin, either.

    MacT’s really setting himself up for failure here, IMO. Injuries ARE an excuse when you don’t have the depth to cover them but maybe there’s the rub. By almost putting his neck on the line and asking for more effort, and in the process perhaps exposing his current level of motivation, MacT is saying that, yes, we do have enough to win even with all the injuries.

    And maybe that’s a way of trying to make the public believe that Lowe’s provided him with the ammo for success.

    Which, honestly, really isn’t the case.

  11. jon says:

    I remember the camera going to MacT on the bench versus Minnie. One of the Oilers had just taken another bad penalty, and MacT just looked awful.

    It wasn’t one of those things where he rubs his eyes and grimaces, but he just stood there for several seconds with his head down as if in intense thought.

    I think that MacT has too much pride to quit mid-season, but if the team does finish near the bottom someone’s head is going to roll.

    My bet is that MacT saves himself and his friend Lowe by stepping down.

  12. godot10 says:

    //My bet is that MacT saves himself and his friend Lowe by stepping down.//

    Why would they quit? This is a young team with a lot of talent that is only going to get better. This is a rebuild, with a lot of the future in place. Yes…it does suck that we are bad now. We are in the bottom 5 instead of the bottom 15 because of injuries.

    Hemsky, Cogliano, Gagner, Penner, Horcoff, Pisani, Moreau, Torres…those are 8 pretty good forwards. And well Stoll can be the #4 centre.

    The defense needs more work…but they’ve got Staios Souray, Smid and Greene as #4, #5, #6 and #7, and potentially Gilbert, Chorney, and Pitkanen as #1, #2 and #3.

    Lowe and MacT and the Oilers have the 11th best record in the NHL since it went to 30 teams according to Mirtle. It would be foolish to NOT allow them a rebuild.

  13. Vic Ferrari says:

    Oilers are -270 underdogs in this game LT. Welcome to 1996.

  14. rickibear says:

    godot10: Don’t forget Petry playing top pair Min 30/Game at Michigan State

  15. Vic Ferrari says:

    Did I say 1996? I meant 1993!

    The future’s so bright I gotta wear shades!!!!11!1!!one!!

  16. Graham says:

    isn’t Lowe using the Carolina Hurricane model of rebuilding after a cup run? go to the finals one year, and then rebuild by losing your heart and soul player (Smyth/Francis) and breaking in new talent to take over (Cogliano/Gagner-Staal), while continuing with the guys who got you there in the first place (Horcoff/Brind’amour)…

  17. NBOilerFan says:

    I read all these comments regarding MacT and his frustration and potential for giving up and stepping down…. then I clicked on the pre-game audio and he couldn’t sound more positive and the opposite of what many of you just said.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Vic: I think they’ll be better than 1993, just because Lowe HAS to make a deal to stay out of the lottery. We can talk about the EIG all we want, but if his legacy is “the guy who signed Penner and then lost Stamkos” then that’s his for all-time and no one can do anything about it.

    Dennis is a hammer on a drum and if the blogosphere was punk rock he’d be Johnny Rotten but his points re: Lowe since summer 2006 are on target and the icing on top would be losing the first overall pick for a 15-goal scorer.

    The EIG can retain him all they want, but Tommy Ivan is still known as the GM who sent away Phil Esposito for 10 cents on the dollar.

    I suspect Lowe is active, and right soon.

    oilman: You seem to have a knowledge of the ‘truth’. Did you stray, too?

  19. Black Dog says:

    Tom Kurvers for Scott Niedermeyer all over again.

    Killer!

  20. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t know LT, I figure that it’s preferable to be known as the guy who fell on his sword. I don’t see how Lowe can make a deal to address now with what he’s got without fucking over the future.

    The pick is no longer ours and doesn’t matter. Just keep whispering that to yourself.

  21. Lowetide says:

    MC: I agree the smart thing to do is stay the course and play the kids who can survive at the highest level, but this team has an undercurrent that runs counter to ‘rebuild.’

    The counter is Lowe imo. And the Oilers do have some nice things (Chorney looks like a player, for instance) that could be packaged with people like Raffi Torres.

    Terrible for the long term, but there will soon be clearance between the CHI’s and the PHX’s and the Oilers.

    I think Lowe mentioned this past summer about being frustrated at his inability to make a November move to help the team.

    This year, my bet is he makes it so.

  22. Oilman says:

    LT….I lived for a short time in the Southern US with a baptist girl….the Witness down there are basically viewed as Heaven’s Gate Lite…not much love

  23. Dennis says:

    Lain, Lowe has a lot less wiggle room to make a move this year, read: take on salary, then he did last year.

    Last season, the talk was we needed some D to move the puck and I think we had something like 3. odd mill to work with?? This year we’ve got maybe 1.4, at least that was the indication from one of this week’s Journal’s.

    And, you know, I never get why you always expect the best from Lowe when it comes to making a trade. All those years when Lowe would crow about making a quanity for quality deal and he did that once.

    Once.

    Because, let’s remember that the Peca move was more about picking up salary than anything else.

    It looks like the Oilers are indeed in it to win it; and by it, I mean the first overall pick for the Ducks.

    As I said earlier this week over at Ty’s place, Kevin Lowe has done more far to sully the reputation of Kevin Lowe than Brian Burke could ever hope to.

  24. Dennis says:

    Smid with a shift that couldn’t be replicated by a monkey.

    Holy fuck, anyone who can look this bad won’t ever be all that good.

  25. Dennis says:

    Roli’s starting to resemble Salo: he’ll make these great saves but then goals come from situations that normally wouldn’t cause the bat of an eyelash.

    I could never relax when Salo was in goal; everytime a shot was on net, it had the potential for a goal.

    I’m beginning to feel the same way about Roli. Fuck, maybe he woke up and realized that Lowe signed him and that usually means you have to suck.

  26. ClaytonMagnet says:

    “Hey Dwayne, the puck’s sitting at your feet. Dwayne. Hey, DWAYNE! The PUCK IS SITTING AT YOUR… never mind.”

  27. Black Dog says:

    Nice play by Stoll on the Hemsky goal – he should get two assists for that one.

  28. Black Dog says:

    That’s what I like about Gilbert – a little gamble and he busts his ass back and breaks up the oddman rush easily.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I don’t expect the best from Lowe when it comes to making a trade. I do think though that it would be prudent to give this roster a little better chance to compete every night.

    And I’ve said that all along. They needed a Don Awrey and a two-way RW from the get-go, and that was before the injuries.

    This game is on Roloson so far I’d say. 3-2 Oilers and some nice things happening but the team should be ahead in this game by 2 at least.

  30. Black Dog says:

    Looks like poor Brodziak is going to have a heart attack there.

    Jeez it looked like Staios got hurt there – he was favouring his hand for a minute.

  31. Lowetide says:

    I bet this game ends 8-6.

  32. Dennis says:

    Yes, Lain, but HE NEVER DOES IT!!

    Some game thoughts:

    - Is it too early to wonder if Gagner will tear up the WJC?

    - Some nice chem between 10-12 and Cuthbert was right, it started on Monday in Min. Not sure what that leads to, though. Tonight, for instance, Horc’s going against Sakic, or at least that’s how it looked to me, so he’s bringing 12-27 along with him. If say 12 could hang playing tough because 10-83 could carry him, maybe we have something. Probably not though. But, 12 had a very good period. Two scoring chances and two great passes.

    - Great patience by 13 on 51′s goal. 13 also drew a penatly later on and then tried to take a guy wide. One of these months, and it might not be this season, it will all click in.

    - When the CBC cut Cuthbert, I hoped that Edm would hire him to do their local telecasts and then let him go for national casts just like that douchebag Hughson. Also, is it wrong to love Healy? Fuck, that guy was making a lot of sense in that period.

    - Two good/effective PP’s in a row for the Oilers. When was that last time that happened? Chris Pronger was probably still here.

    - Speaking of Pronger, on his simian shift, I loved when Smid stood behind the net for a couple of seconds to watch stuff happen. What a goddamn dummy. Did anyone else catch when Jones said Lowe probably had more concussions than any other player? Then he traded Pronger for Smid.

    What a goddamn dummy.

  33. Dennis says:

    Finally, on a positive note;), does anyone else in the league have the balls to consistently try to dangle D like 83 does? And I’ll be damned if he’s not batting .500 doing it, either.

    If Ellis hadn’t gotten his skate on that shot last Fri, you’d be seeing that goal for the next 25 years.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: YES, but it doesn’t mean that making a deal right now is crazy. And that’s my point. It IS a wise decision to deal for help now because this team deserves to be more competitive. Guys like Horcoff, Hemsky, Torres, Staios etc deserve more help.

    And frankly, watching the kids play against people you know they can’t handle HAS to be a bad way to learn.

    Has anyone seen a defenseman mature more quickly when being overmatched at the NHL level? Suspect it’s impossible to do.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Roloson has made up for the first period goal now plus quite a bit, nice game for him.

    Smid’s a deer in the headlights, but I like him as a player. We’re seeing him too early really but you can see flashes.

    Some stunning passes by Oilers centers tonight. Really impressive.

  36. Black Dog says:

    Have to love Tom Gilbert. And Brodziak is having a nice game on the PK.

    Smid had a nice play – two forecheckers on him hard and he reversed it smartly.

  37. Lowetide says:

    I’d love to know the time of possession in each zone tonight. Avs seem to have the puck for oodles in Oilers end. Shot clock has it 26-15 Avs but I think it’s little worse than that.

  38. speeds says:

    that was a pretty rush by Smid

  39. Lowetide says:

    Agreed. He’s got to hit the books without the puck and certainly has been owned around the net tonight but he has some nice things.

  40. pboy says:

    If Nilsson was playing on a team with some better finishers, he could have 10 assists already on the season. It would be nice to see the kid pot a few (he’s had enough chances) but you can’t say he isn’t creating chances for other players out there.

  41. Steve says:

    As a guy who’s already paying more attention to the 2009-2010 Oilers than the 2007-2008 Oilers, I like what I’ve seen tonight. Gilbert, Cogs, and Hemsky have all looked great, and they’re going to have to be key cogs (no pun intended, believe it or not) next time the Oilers are contenders.

    Smid? Well, he has a track record of netting some pretty sweet returns in trades.

  42. Andy Grabia says:

    Dennis is a hammer on a drum and if the blogosphere was punk rock he’d be Johnny Rotten

    That went down smoooove.

  43. Dennis says:

    Yeah, and then on the very next rush, he gives it away for nothing. Smid has so far to go, it’s not worth talking about.

    Lain, I’m not saying this wouldn’t be a good time to make a trade, I’m just saying that Lowe doesn’t make trades.

    And when he does, you wish he didn’t.

    Very encouraging night by Nilsson, BTW. Lots of nice passes and some scoring chances, too. And, this is Cam’s point, but now he’s doing it in close quarters, instead of just off the rush.

    I wish we could get Ryan Smyth back so we could trade him again for Nilsson’s twin brother.

    Oh, and I’m not a big fan of Svyret, but why isn’t he up instead of Young? And, if Pouliot isn’t in Van by next Wed and Stortini is there instead, someone should smack Lowe in the nose.

  44. PunjabiOil says:

    that was a pretty rush by Smid

    It was, but it was finished off with a weak pansy ass shot no where near on goal.

    I’ve caught two turnovers Smid made this game behind his goal.

    He’s got a way to go.

    Growing pains.

    Other Game Notes
    *Nilsson playing smart hockey. The guy has eyes on the back of his head, and doesn’t seem like a liability out there either.

    *Hate to harp on it, but it’s the lack of finish the reason the Avalanche are still in the hockey game. A good team gets the ”Clincher” goal.

    *Gilbert playing composed hockey

    *Ryan Smyth having an off-night.

    *Penner looks to be in better shape. Foreshadowing what to come?

  45. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Did you like the Pitkanen trade? Just asking.

    As for roster makeup, you know I’m a Pouliot guy but seems to me it’s MacT who needs a slap if Stortini plays, no?

  46. vb says:

    I’m watching the yankee feed and it’s pretty clear the puck bounced up on Smid. Can’t fault him for the turnover to Stastny.

  47. Lowetide says:

    ‘Home for troubled teens’? How many of them are Oilers defensemen?

  48. PunjabiOil says:

    Oh, and I’m not a big fan of Svyret, but why isn’t he up instead of Young? And, if Pouliot isn’t in Van by next Wed and Stortini is there instead, someone should smack Lowe in the nose.

    Stortini is what I call a filler for the organization.

    I doubt he’s in the organization’s long term plans.

    He’s a guy the Oilers will play 5 minutes a game, and he won’t kill the Oilers on ES.

    Until a guy like Pouliot or Schremp earn their minutes in the NHL, they aren’t going to get the free passes. Long run focus on development.

    Or it may just be dollars and cents.

    Lowe mentioned they didn’t bring up another forward because of the cap space.

    It may just be because they’re already paying guys like Moreau, Pitkanen, Souray, Greene, Pisani to watch the games in the press box.

    As I speak, Kevin Lowe buying advertising time for the Cash is King Lottery. And Jarrett Stoll really struggling.

  49. Andy Grabia says:

    I love how Lowe feigned surprise at Cuthbert’s question about the charity. “Oh, thanks for asking, Chris.” My cynicism about this team and the media is obviously waay off.

  50. PunjabiOil says:

    ‘Home for troubled teens’? How many of them are Oilers defensemen?

    _________

    LOL. Line of the night.

  51. Lowetide says:

    I think it’s time we take the “young” out of “Tom Gilbert is a good young defenseman.”

  52. Black Dog says:

    Agreed LT – Gilbert is quick to recover from mistakes and takes care of his partner’s as well.

    Nilsson has looked great.

  53. Lord Bob says:

    Did Ales Hemsky just let go a slapshot from the blueline? Did that just happen?

  54. Black Dog says:

    Really good third period for the Oil.

    And Torres had what, ten shots?

  55. Aram Dellalian says:

    wow! amazing hockey tonight. LOVE this team…15th place and all.

  56. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Whoever the fuck at TSN thought it was a good idea to wheel out Bob Clarke, prop him up and have him grunt a few sylables should be fired.

  57. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Marty Reasoner?

  58. Lord Bob says:

    Reasoner? Is MacTavish trying to get fired? He might as well have sent out Garon.

  59. ClaytonMagnet says:

    MacT must’ve been in a hurry to catch the flight out of town…

  60. Andy Grabia says:

    I blacked out when I saw Reasoner. Roli looked weak, though. So we lose. Ho hum.

  61. PunjabiOil says:

    With Nilsson and Cogliano on the bench, you wonder what the fuck MacTavish is thinking when he brings out Reasoner.

  62. pboy says:

    Typical stupid fucking decision by MacT. Nilsson was flying tonight and Horcoff played his usual solid game but they weren’t given a look at the shootout. For a head coach MacTavish makes one hell of an assistant coach.

  63. Lowetide says:

    The Reasoner choice is curious, no doubt. Disappointing loss but probably more positives than we’ve seen since the end of G2/07-08.

    Nilsson looked confident in a road game and competed all over the place. Now he’s going to need to build on that and at this point (he’s not 20) it would be nice if we don’t have to wait three games for another strong performance, but that was a nice game.

    Hemsky’s ridiculous. He could retire now and we’d be talking about him in 20 years. He does so many things in a game you can’t remember them all.

  64. Rod says:

    Only explanation: MacTavish has completely lost it. Nilsson, Cogs, and Horc sitting right there, and he goes with Marty. He of zero goals. Yeah, good choice. Way to reward all the excellent work put in by 10, 12, and 13.

  65. HBomb says:

    Listen, the Oilers could lose 4-3 tonight and hit three posts and/or two of the Avs goals could caroom off someone’s ass.

    Dennis buddy, care to send me Saturday’s winning lottery numbers?

    That’s more or less what I saw tonight.

    Reasoner in the shootout though? As the voice in the background during any gunfight on Trailer Park Boys says…..”WHAT IN THE FUCCCCK?”

  66. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Reasoner scored for us in SO against Colorado last year during our end of the year skid to win us that game. I think MacT was trying to get Reasoner to repeat the feat.

  67. Bank Shot says:

    DENNIS SEZ:Listen, the Oilers could lose 4-3 tonight and hit three posts and/or two of the Avs goals could caroom off someone’s ass. If that happens, then at least the Oilers worked hard, right?

    AH!!! It’s a prophet.

    Roloson pooched it on the first two goals, and he looked real sloppy all night. Why did he shoot the puck away from Young right to an AV? Rediculous. He made some nice saves, but there were alot of near misses(Ryan Smyth bad angle shot) and stuff just seemed to be hitting him. Dwayne seems to get completely lost when the puck is behind his net.

    I think Mactavish really showed his hand tonight on who his go to guys currently are.

    Craig was basically running two lines and the Reasoner line only to give the top two a breather. Four defencemen in OT.

    Anyways, I could watch the Oilers lose like that all winter. Fun stuff. They’ll maybe even win some if they can keep it up.

  68. Dennis says:

    19′s been in a couple of shooutouts and I think the word is that he’s pretty good in them. Personally, I would’ve had 12 in there instead of 14, because even thought Raffi had a great game, the only thing I saw him do in an SO was go five-hole. Back to 19 for a second, he pulled a really nice move but just drew some pipe.

    I was really impressed with Nilsson. The guy was great offensively and he was actually trying to be hard on the puck as well. It was almost like a light went on and he said, “I understand that I have to work to stay in this league.” Hemsky was magic, stoll was hitting and torres was all over the place.

    Horc was great too and can anyone else remember when we had a two on one except that Horc had to hold up to let Penner catch up? The guy’s just out of shape.

    It’s the kind of game we win if Roli doesn’t give up two bad goals and we don’t have a pitiful defense. And, yes, Gilbert is good. There was one play where he closed ground on Sakic so fast, it was sick. It’s too bad he got dinged in Colu during the shitstorm last year and lost some games because of it, otherwise he’d be even further along. I think we can soon start trusting him with Smid’s responsbilities and hope that Smid can find some chem with someone other than Staios and in the bottom pairing. Once Souray and Staios get back, I’d just keep trying different pairs until someone clicked together.

    And, LT, yes, I liked the Pitkanen trade. Why, may I ask;:)?

  69. Ribs says:

    Reasoner hit the post. That’s about a foot closer to a goal than Hemsky’s shot. Whoopee. Roloson sucks at shoot-outs.

    Some nice things to take away from this game. MacT must have gotten through to his players. Everyone looked better.

    Well, besides Stortini. Can we send him back to Jungle B now?

    Cogs regained his steam and looked great once again. Gagner, not so much.

    Nilsson looked like the guy who played a few games last year after a trade that sent Smyth to the Islanders. Now, can he keep it up?

    Torres upped his crack dose tonight. flinging pucks everywhere and skating around like a mad man. What the heck happened in over time when he he pulled a Tazmanian devil on the ice?

    Penner was kind of hard to watch with the puck. Nilsson had to slow down to a stop to wait for him on several occasions. He was good in front of the net for the most part.

    Gilbert looks better each game. Any skating problems that I saw in training camp before last season seems to have vanished.

    Grebeshkov….bleh…Double bleh to Tarnstrom in this one. Smid looked akward at times as well.

    Stoll made some nice plays and looked a bit more focused.

    Hemsky is golden.

    Flames matchup on Saturday. Hopefully the team doesn’t forget MacT’s lashings by then.

  70. PunjabiOil says:

    I think MacT was trying to get Reasoner to repeat the feat.

    The same MacT that didn’t start Garon against his former club because he “doesn’t believe in those type of things?”

    Nilsson was 1/1 in the shootout. You put him in there in opening game, and he flawlessly put it on goal. The guy has SO experience in the AHL too…and you go with Marty Fucking Reasoner?

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

  71. RiversQ says:

    Until a guy like Pouliot or Schremp earn their minutes in the NHL, they aren’t going to get the free passes. Long run focus on development.
    This doesn’t make any fucking sense.

    I’m ignoring the names there too because they don’t matter.

    Right now Stortini is taking his free pass and watching it whip around the ice unabated before finally hugging it tightly to draw a penalty.

    Determined game from Nilsson tonight. He’s getting some things done in close quarters now and at least he’s trying hard in his own end.

  72. RiversQ says:

    Hemsky was magic, stoll was hitting and torres was all over the place.

    Stoll may have been hitting but he was chasing the play all night and really got fuck all done.

    The Oilers have to seriously consider parting ways with Stoll if possible. He’s a decent special teams player and a faceoff specialist and I can’t see paying $3MM+/yr for that.

    A big fat offer sheet from Burke or Buffalo would be just fine with me.

  73. RiversQ says:

    Not that it matters, but LT you aren’t making a lot of sense here.

    First you want to deal Torres and parts for something and then you say he needs help. Which is it?

    Personally, I think it’s the latter.

    What does this team even need at this point?

    Interesting thing about tonight’s game:

    Torres is clearly the best LWer on the team, Horcoff is the best Oiler centre by a mile and Hemsky might be the best Oiler period. They were all on the same line before but it all looks the exact same way if you put them on different lines as they did tonight.

  74. Josh says:

    Great game from Hemsky again tonight, really does what ever he wants with the puck just needs to get a little more killer instinct. A stat indicating him coming into his own:
    Takeaways: 4
    Giveaways: 0

  75. Josh says:

    Oh and I missed the first half of the game..what happened to Young? Shows him having 1 shift and being a -1 then nothing…

  76. PunjabiOil says:

    This doesn’t make any fucking sense.
    _______

    Right now Stortini is taking his free pass and watching it whip around the ice unabated before finally hugging it tightly to draw a penalty.

    Hence, Stortini is just a “filler.”

    I doubt he’s in the long run organization’s plan.

    The Oilers just don’t seem to be a team that will give inconsistent first rounders any free passes, even if they’re better than the ”fillers” of the lineup in guys like Stortini, Peterson, etc.

    Schremp, Pouliot, Nilsson, O’Marra. These guys have to earn their way up, even if they are better players than the “fillers”

  77. PunjabiOil says:

    Oh and I missed the first half of the game..what happened to Young? Shows him having 1 shift and being a -1 then nothing…

    Nothing happened to him. The Oilers just didn’t want to risk sending him to the wolves. He played a grand total of 36 seconds.

    Gilbert, Staios, Tarnstrom with 28 minute games. Grebeshkov with 15 minutes.

  78. Bank Shot says:

    Oh and I missed the first half of the game..what happened to Young? Shows him having 1 shift and being a -1 then nothing…

    He went behind the net to pick up the puck from Rolie. Dwayner shot it away from him into the corner(to a Colorado player) at the last second, which caused Young to throw the binders on and wipe out.

    In the ensuing scramble Lappeirieree scored on a 78 foot deflection, and Young got the hook.

    Stoll and Reasoner were the play killing twins out there tonight. Stoll is showing some signs of life now though. Perhaps he’ll round back into shape. Reasoner could really use Moreau and Pisani to carry him around the ice.

  79. Dennis says:

    The success of the forwards will go according to how some of the kids fare and how Penner does when they send him to The Biggest Loser.

    On the backend, I’ll be interested to see just how good they are when Pitkanen and Souray get back. Smid, Gilbert, Staios will make the cut but I wonder who’s the 6th guy, Grebs or Tarnstrom?

  80. RiversQ says:

    The Oilers just don’t seem to be a team that will give inconsistent first rounders any free passes, even if they’re better than the ”fillers” of the lineup in guys like Stortini, Peterson, etc.

    That still makes no sense. What has Stortini done to get his free pass?

    The fact that he’s not a first rounder affords Stortini the latitude to get blasted in terms of shot differential, contribute no offense, take penalties at an alarming rate, and generally just drag his linemates down?

    Surely you can see there’s nothing rational about playing Stortini.

  81. PunjabiOil says:

    What has Stortini done to get his free pass?

    The fact that he’s not a first rounder affords Stortini the latitude to get blasted in terms of shot differential, contribute no offense, take penalties at an alarming rate, and generally just drag his linemates down?

    Surely you can see there’s nothing rational about playing Stortini.

    I’m not sure Stortini is exactly getting a free pass either. He’s been sent up and down, and like tonight, received very limited minutes.

    He’s basically a pawn. Not really part of the long run organization’s plan.

    For the record, I agree he hasn’t done much in his time here – but who exactly do you put out there right now? I know your a MAP fan, but he’s created little offence and has bled GA.

  82. Vic Ferrari says:

    The Oilers should have won this game. They were outchanced, but COL just flat out missed a lot of their chances. Two terrible goals on Roloson in the first.

    Still, a fun hockey game. I wish that more teams played like the Avs and Kings. Both teams tonight just so aggressive in their own end of the rink. Shootouts are fun, too. Cuthbert calls a good game, I disagree with Dennis on Healy though … He brings a lot of energy, but I have trouble meshing his words with what I’m watching.

  83. jon says:

    godot: I’m not saying they are quitting, I’m saying MacT must be considering quitting. If this team finishes in the lottery, you can beat Burke is going to give the MSM a few choice quotations. At that point or some time earlier, the greater majority of the Oiler fanbase is likely going to come to one of two conclusions, both unacceptable to the EIG: 1) This is a rebuild and it’s Lowe’s fault, fire Lowe. 2) This is a good team that didn’t play to its potential, fire MacT.

    I just think that Mact would consider his options and conclude that winning that one last cup is probably not in the cards. Bailing out his friend would just be a coincidental benefit.

  84. Pat says:

    This is a really, really morbid thought that just occurred to me: I’m almost glad we didn’t get the cup in 2006. We see how much deference Lowe/MacT get on account of that cup run. Can one possibly imagine how much that deference would be elevated if we had actually won?

    I love MacT’s quotes, but I wonder whether that Burke/Wizard of Oz reference is more applicable to our own situation – how much success is smoke and mirrors?

  85. mike says:

    That was fun hockey for me to watch. I’m impressed with MacT’s ability to read the situation to read the riot act and actually make it work, clearly not having lost the team (though I was worried). The team last night looked like the same crew who played with San Jose, Philly, and Detroit.

    I wonder if maybe it could be time to consider that possibly Lowe has assembled a group of kids who while being the youngest in the league, also simultaneously compete with the best in the league.

    I still think KLo and MacT are among the best and have for a while. As for me, I don’t easily forget the 2006 season or expect one team in 30 to be above par consistently, nor do I easily dismiss the fact that MacT has all of one allstar candidate this year and about 10 rookies.

    I mean really, what do you expect from the youngest team in the league? I can gleefully hope for them to be able to compete with the elite, and here, no less, they do.

    I think the Hossa brothers are coming once oil get a couple D men back from the IR.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I just wanted to make sure we agreed on the summer.

    1. Pitkanen trade=good, especially for future.
    2. Garon signing good.
    3. Gagner draft very good.

    Pretty much everything else this summer I felt was wonky, with the Souray and Penner signings the pinnacle.

    RQ: I don’t want them dealing Torres or Chorney or any of those guys. To be clear, imo a rebuild should and is being done (which makes Souray, Penner’s OS and keeping Roloson kind of strange) and staying the course is a good idea.

    However, even in a rebuild you need veterans to take the heavy lifting until the kids can do it. Even when they left the starting gate with 9 defensemen they were short a Don Awrey, and they also could have used a veteran guy on RW imo who could tackle the tough minutes.

    But those things shouldn’t cost Raffi and Chorney, and in fact Mike Johnson was on waivers just the other day.

  87. mike says:

    I think the only reason Souray is here is for a media whipping post. Deflect attention so to speak. Besides Horc, he could be Oiler’s best vet, which is another issue entirely.

    And Penner, maybe, just maybe, with a lucky dose of “fitness training” could maybe turn into a Lindros Burtuzzi type. If so, would it still be a bad deal? Is that too much of a gamble compared to shots at players who are currently 17 yrs old?

    We all agree the draft is a crap shoot I think. Penner was an NHL player last year while none of the picks going to lord vader have logged a single minute yet.

    Klo and MacT have delivered a disproportionate number of SCF appearances compared to the rest of the league. To throw them under the bus when 1/3 of the roster cannot drink in a US bar, two years after taking 3/4 SCF games (with the back up goalie) is a bit unfair just now, thinks me.

  88. Big T says:

    LT;

    As much as I hate to give up the picks I’m less concerned about the Penner offere sheet. I’d much prefer to give up one years worth of draft picks than what was it, 5 years of 1st rounders for the Vanek offer sheet??? That is too much.

    If I could make a Souray for Hejda trade I’d do it in a second. That Souray contract really doesn’t fit into the rebuild, we’re agreed on that for sure.

    Back to Penner, I think Lowe is gonna try and ride the ’83/’84 year players. How many 24y/o are there on this team, 7?? 8?? Not sure I agree with the mentality but my guess is that he thinks they’ll all peak at the same time.

    Praise Jebus that Nylander walked this summer though. What a gong show that would have been.

    T

  89. goldenchild says:

    Another disapointing loss they prob deserved better. he’s isnlt the most productive player in the league but I’m not sure there is another player besides 83 that I would want to watch night in and night out, his skills are from another planet. Nilson looked very good, another strong game by 10 who is putting together a very nice start to the season prob should of finished on one of the great chances he got.

    Oh one more thing I HATE Grebeshkov!

  90. DeeDee says:

    Klo and MacT have delivered a disproportionate number of SCF appearances compared to the rest of the league.

    Um, is 1 disproportionate?

    Really?

  91. ClaytonMagnet says:

    GC – “I’m not sure there is another player besides 83 that I would want to watch night in and night out”

    I’ve heard that Pittsburg has a talented kid whose an up-and-comer. Washington too.

  92. goldenchild says:

    ClaytonMagnet haha yeah I guess you got me there maybe a little hyperbole on my part but you get the point, he’s fun to watch.

  93. mike says:

    Deedee-

    Name a front office with more rings than KLo and MacT and I’ll accept your slight. Or do wins only counts when they are off the ice?

    Or, name a front office which could arguably know more about what it takes to win the title, and that will be good enough for me too, unless you prefer seasons where the team is out by the end of the second round, then I have nothing.

    As for me, I prefer to see the oil win the title compared to being consistently competitive in the regular season.

    Grebsekov, to me, shows flashes of Pronger like skills. I like watching him skate out of the zone with the puck because it seems threatening often. I don’t recall an oil rookie Dman who could do that, or not since Paul Coffey anyway. Granted, the turn overs are less fun to watch, but MacT calls him very coachable, and if anyone would know better, I trust they would have more rings than MacT.

    As for me, I have no rings, a fact equally true for probably everyone currently dogging Oiler’s FO.

  94. mc79hockey says:

    Name a front office with more rings than KLo and MacT and I’ll accept your slight. Or do wins only counts when they are off the ice?

    You’re assuming that winning rings as a player is equivalent to knowing how to win them as an executive. If anything, these guys (more Lowe than MacT) have illustrated that they do not – both of these guys road Gretzky’s coattails. I don’t say that disrespectfully, there’s no shame in that, but that’s why they won Cups. They pissed away their best chance with the Penner signing.

  95. jon says:

    If anything, these guys (more Lowe than MacT) have illustrated that they do not – both of these guys road Gretzky’s coattails.

    Psst… They won a few cups between them without Gretzky.

    Agreed on the point though that winning as a player does not necessarily breed winning as an executive. I think you could make the argument that something translates over to coaching, but definitely not management in my opinion.

  96. DeeDee says:

    Mike,

    It wasn’t a “slight”. I just never heard anyone call 1 SCF appearance “disproportunate” before.

    Especially from a club that has had such success in the past.

    I would submit though that the number of Stanley Cup rings should not be the sole measure one should use to gauge the effectiveness of management.

  97. Steve says:

    Hemsky might be the best Oiler period.

    “Might be”? Who else is in contention for that title?

  98. Steve says:

    Name a front office with more rings than KLo and MacT and I’ll accept your slight. Or do wins only counts when they are off the ice?

    Well, when evaluating how good somebody is at winning as a coach or GM, then yes only off-ice wins count. Similarily, nobody’s suggesting that we sign Ken Hitchcock to play left-wing, because for that only on-ice wins count.

  99. mike says:

    Why possibly would only the off ice wins count? Did they learn nothing on the ice about what it takes to win?

    I am grateful that they both chose to come back to our sub arctic climate. I don’t remotely blame Nylander or Pronger for choosing family over Edmonton, and I think KLo did an excellent job regarding both those situations, and Burke’s slander too. Totally professional I think on every level.

    I think you should pray for Jesus to coach the team because no one else could win with ponies in the role of stallions.

    If a GM makes out well on 55% of his trades, should he keep his job? What do you really think is possible?

  100. Slipper says:

    As soon as someone compares Denis Grebeshkov to both Chris Pronger and Paul Coffey in the same paragraph, shouldn’t the internet automatically self destruct?

  101. mike says:

    ha ha ha ha ha.

    Slipper that is the first post in a month that genuinely made me laugh out loud.

    Maybe in 10 years we’ll know better how flamboyant that statement may or may not be. Hard to say when a guy has played all of 15 games this side of the Ukranine.

  102. mc79hockey says:

    I agree with slipper – this should be like Godwin’s Law but to the extreme.

  103. HBomb says:

    But those things shouldn’t cost Raffi and Chorney, and in fact Mike Johnson was on waivers just the other day.

    Yeah, I noticed that….you know, for Souray’s 5.4 million, you could have:

    - Signed Markov for 3 million a year for 2 years
    - Retained Hejda for 1.5 million per year for 3 years
    - Picked M. Johnson up off waivers

    And you would have had enough left over to buy a pretty nice Mercedes Benz for $150K.

    Truth be told, I actually didn’t mind Souray’s game through the night he got injured. What I don’t like is that his signing does not align one bit with a rebuild.

    Penner? Well, it sort of does, but it sort of doesn’t. On one hand, he’s young enough to fit in with the core of the team that will be ready to actually compete in 3 years, but on the other hand, it’s a damn good first rounder that Anaheim’s going to be getting.

    If you could have guaranteed to me that the Oilers 1st pick would be no worse than 10th overall, then yeah, I’d say “let ‘er buck”, but that’s not the case with the team we’re fielding right now.

    Then again, if this was your defense corps, we probably would be nowhere near “lottery status”:

    Markov-Pitkanen
    Staios-Hejda
    Gilbert-Greene
    EXT: Smid

    The Oilers went for sizzle with Souray when they could have gone for steak by signing guys like Hejda and Markov. And it’s going to have that fat fuck Burke laughing all the way to the podium next June.

    If Drew Doughty turns into Scott Niedermayer II for the Ducks and Penner never eclipses 30 goals, I’m going to vomit.

  104. MetroGnome says:

    Why possibly would only the off ice wins count? Did they learn nothing on the ice about what it takes to win?

    Well, because the skills aren’t at all analogous, that’s why. It’s like the kid serving coffee at Tim Horton’s thinking he can run the whole coffee shop. Mucking for pucks in the corner doesn’t necessarily translate into an ability to make executive decisions.

  105. Steve says:

    Maybe in 10 years we’ll know better how flamboyant that statement may or may not be. Hard to say when a guy has played all of 15 games this side of the Ukranine.

    Try tripling that number.

  106. Steve says:

    Well, because the skills aren’t at all analogous, that’s why. It’s like the kid serving coffee at Tim Horton’s thinking he can run the whole coffee shop. Mucking for pucks in the corner doesn’t necessarily translate into an ability to make executive decisions.

    Winning isn’t about skills, silly, it’s about the Heart of a Champion and the Will to Win (TM). That’s why we should immediately hire Mark Messier as GM.

  107. Doogie says:

    Name a front office with more rings than KLo and MacT and I’ll accept your slight. Or do wins only counts when they are off the ice?

    So they have ten total Cup rings as players. That and $3.99 each will buy them a Bacon Cheddar and curly fries at Arby’s.

    Why possibly would only the off ice wins count? Did they learn nothing on the ice about what it takes to win?

    Sure, they learned “how to win,” whatever that means. That means precisely dick when negotiating a trade or contract, or assessing raw talent. That’s like saying because I watched Damon Allen play football that I can be head coach of the Eskimos.

  108. MetroGnome says:

    That’s why we should immediately hire Mark Messier as GM.

    How about Cory Stillman? He won back-to-back Stanley Cups. Back-to-back. Now there’s a guy who knows how to run a hockey team. Probably.

  109. Jonathan says:

    “How about Cory Stillman? He won back-to-back Stanley Cups. Back-to-back. Now there’s a guy who knows how to run a hockey team. Probably.”

    Screw that. Mike Commodore appeared in back-to-back SCF’s and won once. Throw in his physical presence and awesome hair and he’s clearly a better choice for management than Stillman.

  110. Jonathan says:

    Oh, and on Tom Edur, even back in the day guys didn’t want to play in Edmonton. Shortly after his retirement at age 24:
    “Selected by Edmonton from Pittsburgh in 1979 Expansion Draft, June 13, 1979.”

  111. Dennis says:

    Lain, I thought the Garon move was great and today, the Gagner pick looks damn good as well.

    And as much as I liked Pitkanen and knew it was necessary for the future, there was only a need to worsen our present D by trading Jason Smith because Lowe fucked the Pronger trade by betting on Smid in the first place.

    Had we gotten a real defenseman back for Pronger, which I don’t think was too much to ask for, then we wouldn’t have had to move Smith for Pitkanen.

    Until this team makes the playoffs and wins a round, I’ll be haunted by why the Pronger trade happened the way it did. Did Lowe love Pronger so much that he basically sent him to a place likely to cop a Cup, and did it to the detriment of the return? I know that sounds stupid to say but you’re dealing Pronger, who holds a salary that looks better and better as the cap rises, and in return you take Smid? I mean wholly fuck, that’s just god awful.

    And then you take the Souray signing and like H said, you could’ve gotten both markov and hejda for that money. You take those guys plus Staios and greene as your defenders, then you have Pitkanen, Gilbert and Smid as your puckmovers.

    Honest to fuck, if anyone believes in Lowe at this point, they’re either uninformed or they’re stupid.

  112. Ribs says:

    Truth be told, I actually didn’t mind Souray’s game through the night he got injured. What I don’t like is that his signing does not align one bit with a rebuild.

    Pittsburgh must be in crazy land too, signing Gonchar to a big 5 year deal as well…

  113. Slipper says:

    As fat as he is, I’m beginning to come around on Penner. He seems to have some decent skills when carrying the puck. It looks like defenders have a hard time stripping the puck from him when he’s cradlinging it. Just imagine if he wasn’t carrying 15 extra pounds.

    Smid’s looked alright aswell. He’s around +7/-6 at evens, playing against middle of the pack opposition. Not bad considering when you factor in his age he should only get better.

    The trick is to just remind yourself that Penner and Smid had no part in arranging the deals that brought them here. It probabley takes a few concussions before you’re capable of giving up a Chris Pronger or 3 draft picks and 4 million dollars for either one of those players so early in their careers.

  114. Dennis says:

    I can see what you’re trying to say, Slipper, but it still doesn’t make me feel better, because, as I said to LT, the Pronger/Smid trade necessitated the Smith/Pitkanen trade as well.

    Bad news for the Dys today with Bieksa. We’re gonna play those guys a couple of times in the next couple of weeks and they’ll be missing two of their top four Dmen. If we can’t work them downlow and outchance them, let’s just say I won’t be happy about it.

    Also, this isn’t my point but I think it might be time to call the glue factory regarding Reasoner. He’s still game on the PK but his plus/minus is falling fast, and especially in light of how he played the first couple of games. I know he’s a good third faceoff opition but if 18/34 can get back around xmas and bump up our vet quiotent, it might be time to look to unload Reasoner for a pick and bring up another kid, or keep one up, for that matter.

    In terms of responsbility given, Sanderon’s on thin ice and so should be Reasoner when it comes to overall performance.

  115. namflashback says:

    Dennis,

    I’ve got a name for Lowe’s plan.

    The Oilers “Rebload” (pronounced ReBlowed).

    Somwhere half assed verions of a reload and a rebuild mashed together into something illogical and mostly ineffective.

  116. Bruce says:

    As soon as someone compares Denis Grebeshkov to both Chris Pronger and Paul Coffey in the same paragraph, shouldn’t the internet automatically self destruct?

    Not saying Grebeshkov is completely without promise, but he is now 24 years old, has played parts of four NHL seasons with three different clubs, and in 44 GP has amassed the stunning totals of 0 (zero) goals and 7 points with an eye-popping +/- rating of -24.

    By the end of Paul Coffey’s 24-year-old season, in 473 GP he had amassed the stunning totals of 192 goals and 602 points, with an eye-popping +/- rating of +259.

    Other than that, they’re pretty similar.

    The good news is that Chris Pronger was an old man of 25 when he won the Hart and Norris Trophies, so there’s every reason to expect young Grebeshkov to grow into that kind of player in the next year or so.

  117. uni says:

    Pittsburgh must be in crazy land too, signing Gonchar to a big 5 year deal as well…

    Not sure you can compare the Oil to the Pens in any stretch of the imagination.

    With Sidney, Malkin, Staal, Whitney already gamers, backed by the improving Malone, Christenson, et al. Then vets like Roberts and Recchi, Sykora, I don’t think you’re in full rebuild mode. You’re in built and competing now, taking a few bows out of the playoffs then dominating for few seasons. Fleury might be the guy holding them back a bit, and their D core depth is suspect if anything.

    Also who would you rather have signed for 4 years, Souray or Gonchar? From all accounts Gonchar has developed into an all round defender that still makes hay on offense.

  118. uni says:

    Also I’m still a big Nilsson supporter, and of course I miss his best game of the year.

    There was a disconnect from day one when people described him as soft and heartless. From his draft reports he plays with some jam if not out and out grit.

    Would it be too much to ask for him to turn in that effort every night and grab that 2nd line wing and run with it? It would be a real kick to have 4 rooks playing at an NHL level.

  119. Ribs says:

    With Sidney, Malkin, Staal, Whitney already gamers, backed by the improving Malone, Christenson, et al. Then vets like Roberts and Recchi, Sykora, I don’t think you’re in full rebuild mode.

    They had Crosby and Malkin, we have Gagner and Cogliano. They had Whitney, we have Pitkanen. We have a bunch of bubbling prospects just like Pittsburgh had when they signed Gonchar to the deal in the summer of 2005. The Pens aren’t comparable if you look at them right now, but if you look back a couple of seasons they have much more resemblance.

    They might not be the same teams in the results department and the Pens have had better prospects for sure but they are definitely comparable in a rebuilding view. Pittsburgh is just a bit ahead of the curve is all.

    05-06 was two seasons ago now, where will the Oilers be in two seasons?
    Hopefully their prospects are flourishing players and they’ll have some veteran presence filling out the rest of the roster and they will be a playoff team once again.
    Just like Pittsburgh.

    Also who would you rather have signed for 4 years, Souray or Gonchar? From all accounts Gonchar has developed into an all round defender that still makes hay on offense.

    Well, the safe bet is on Gonchar because he’s been scoring consistently throughout his entire career. If he didn’t have that edge it would be a much harder choice as Gonchar’s defensive game is almost as suspect as Sourays.
    I’ve never seen him pound anyones face in either.

    The thing with Souray is, if he can replicate his success from last season when this young Oilers team starts getting good, he will be a crucial tool to the power play and help win a lot of games for the Oil.
    It’s easy to say it’s an ugly signing right now, because he doesn’t really fill the biggest holes on the depth chart, but a couple years from now we’ll see how he really looks on a playoff team.
    Guys like him don’t become available very often these days and I’m glad Lowe signed him long-term, even if he isn’t worth his price tag for a season or two.

  120. Dennis says:

    Uni, in all fairness, Nilsson WAS playing without grit and heart right up until last night. I had him pegged as a guy who could only work off the rush but last night he was making plays from in tight which is something I never saw from him before.

    And, looking at how Grebs still has that much promise given his early numbers, just imagine how fucking good Smid is gonna be!!!

    Man oh man, I’m glad we traded some of our big pieces for nothing. Who wants to be good for three or four years in a row anyway!!!

  121. jon says:

    Nilsson is never going to be a grit guy, but he’s a skilled and smart guy. I watched him closely in the pre-season and he was making smart plays on the backcheck even then, and didn’t look like the team’s worst on the PK. He can play defence and offence, the issue with him is consistent effort. Which I think might be the most frustrating thing. He could be a very good second liner capable of 60-70 points in his prime, but until that effort is there every night he’s a tweener who will dazzle on shifts after coach has told him he’s on the hotseat.

  122. Lowetide says:

    One thing about Nilsson that doesn’t get mentioned too often is that he’s pretty small. According to the Oilers site (and all other info I have) he’s about 1 inch shorter and 7 pounds lighter than Hemsky.

    But it doesn’t look like that when you see them. I’d guess Nilsson is maybe 5-9, 170.

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