Oilers at BLUES, G32/07-08

This is Jacques Plante in the uniform of the 1974-75 Edmonton Oilers (WHA). As we roll farther along in goalie analysis (btw, Tyler Dellow from MC79 has written the best goalie information I’ve ever read. Very concise, elevates SP to its rightful place, and takes an extremely fair-minded view that avoids bias. Very worthwhile information) I suspect Plante will be one of maybe three goalies identified as being the best of all-time (Hasek, Hall). We’ll see.

Anyway, when the Blues came into the NHL, Scotty Bowman and Lynn Patrick liked old goalies. For their first team they talked Glenn Hall out of painting his barn all winter and grabbed Canadian Olympian Seth Martin for a quality tandem.

Then they went older, getting Plante who was 40. And Plante ripped up the league! By 70-71, his SP for Toronto (.942) towered over Cheevers, Esposito, Parent.

St. Louis has always been one of my favorite teams, and it’s good they are on the comeback trail now. I’m hopeful the Oilers can win tonight, as it seems they deserved better from the game against the Blues at home last week.

Mathieu Roy may or may not get picked up on waivers this morning. It would be a good story if he found another NHL home and had a quality career. That’s something we’re going to see more often now, as the Oilers procurement department has done such a fine job that tough desicions await management come summertime.

Last night, we watched former Oiler pick Brad Winchester skate for the Dallas Stars. By this time next season, don’t be surprised if JF Jacques or Marc Pouliot is doing the same for another NHL team.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mathieu Roy was claimed today. There’s always a shortage of defensmen who can play.

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106 Responses to "Oilers at BLUES, G32/07-08"

  1. ClaytonMagnet says:

    I heard a rumour last night. Stoll straight across to Columbus for Gilber Brule. Anyone else hear this?

  2. ClaytonMagnet says:

    And, of course, by Gilber, I mean Gilbert

  3. Oilman says:

    I believe that’s a garrioch rumor, who also said the Oilers would send Stoll or Torres to Ottawa for Corvo…..take it for what it’s worth.

  4. Black Dog says:

    Yeah that Corvo rumour makes no sense.

    I had that Plante hockey card LT. Beautiful.

    Interesting to see if Roy gets picked up. I’d say yes.

  5. heed says:

    does anyone think that lowe makes a deal by christmas? i doubt it. it would be nice to see either stoll or torres on the bus out of town. i really don’t see how letting pisani baby sit them will make a difference.

  6. Oilman says:

    Roy cleared waivers as per TSN’s Ice Chips.

  7. Doogie says:

    Ever since Philly switched to black, the NHL has been missing its orange sweater quota. Maybe the Oilers can address this with their third jersey next year. ;)

  8. looooob says:

    regarding Plante (I agree beauty picture, I had that hockey card too)

    in the early 70s (post NHL retirement, pre WHA) when we were living in Montreal, my dad’s curling club always played a pickup game against the rival tennis club (or some such thing). my dad’s team always won, but one year they ran into a red hot opponent, they couldnt’ beat the guy. after the game he took off his mask, it was Plante. I guess the tennis club brought in him (and another guy who was an ex-Hab, can’t remember who…a marginal guy) as ringers to win the game. at least my dad could say he played against Jacques Plante

  9. Andy Grabia says:

    Last night, we watched former Oiler pick Brad Winchester skate for the Dallas Stars.

    We did? I don’t remember hearing his name even once.

  10. jon says:

    I’ve heard that Lowe isn’t planning on any moves before the Christmas break, citing that he wants to see the full team play.

    Brule is an interesting kid though. Don’t know if he’ll ever become the offensive dynamo that RLR and other services thought he would, but he seems like a dead ringer for the second coming of Mike Peca. He’s even got the gritty, questionable hits too. I’d trade him for Stoll if this was a true rebuild. Or is it? I can’t keep track anymore.

  11. Dennis says:

    I’ve heard that Lowe can’t pull quanity for quality moves unless the team on the other side is really stuck with a salary they can’t afford.

    The Oilers are 4-1-2 in their last seven road games. This makes absolutely no sense when you know it’s easy to match up against them given all the kids they have up front and on the backend. So, their biggest problem is at home. Blues are a great home team and just came off a smoking so this one’s gonna be tough sledding. It’s the kind of game where we could be down 2-0 in the first 10 min and I wouldn’t be the least surprised.

  12. heed says:

    sounds like souray will take the ice ofr his 7th game as an oiler tonight. does this mean hot doorknob gets the pressbox? who do they pair souray with?

    i say let him play with grebs in the 5/6 and give him some power play time. is there anyway he can play with a pillow on his shoulder?

  13. Daniel says:

    I’m curious to see how his shot has suffered from the injury and time off. If he’s a one-trick pony, he’d better still be able to do his trick.

  14. DBO says:

    Would we be ok with our lines like this next year, or for the rest of this year:
    Horcoff – Hemsky – Cogliano
    Gagner – Nilsson – Penner
    Reasoner – Moreau – Pisani
    Thoreson – Brodziak – Sanderson/Stortini
    Gilbert – Pitkanen
    Smid – Staios
    Souray – Rourke/Grebeshkov
    Garon
    Deslauriers
    That allows us to deal Tarnstom, Stoll, Torres, Schremp (MacT hates him)Sanderson if we want since he’s a UFA, and Roloson.

  15. Steve says:

    That allows us to deal Tarnstom, Stoll, Torres, Schremp (MacT hates him)Sanderson if we want since he’s a UFA, and Roloson.

    If we’re dealing all those guys, I’d want at least one roster player in return, which would affect the lineup you posted above. And good thing, too, since that lineup would win even fewer games than this one.

    Also, I’m still not sure who’s going to give us anything for Roli.

  16. Josh says:

    Excited to see Souray back. Its always interesting to watch a team play with a lot of injuries and then compare to when all the good guys get healthy.

    I’m looking to see Souray bring that big body on the back end we so so lack. Our back end toughness is questionable, and hopefully he throws a couple hits in along the boards to get him and this team into it.

  17. Dennis says:

    The sad thing about Souray coming back is that we’re better off having Smid playing top four min then we are Souray.

    Yet we’re paying him so fucking much.

    At least the papers took Lowe to task for that move.

  18. kinger says:

    Dennis,

    You always struck me as a guy that gives credit where credit is due, so why are you still beating the Penner horse?

    one of the many storylines for this year is making sure that 27 gets to play with the best so that’s not an option for Sanderson.

    Seems to me that as of the last 10-15 games Penner has been earning his ice time. Sure, he’s not the most consistent player day in day out, but even on his off days he’s not hurting the team 5v5.

  19. Slipper says:

    I like Penner more and more everyday. It turns out that Georges Laraque with hands, and the ability to take the play from the boards without having to keep his eyes on the puck, is a pretty useful player.

    If they can keep a top 5-7 pick out of Burke’s hands, I don’t see much reason to complain. How many more U.S. college hockey defencemen do the Oiler’s really need, anyways?

  20. jon says:

    Penner is actually our second most effective ES player after Horcoff so far this season. He wins more board battles than not, and he cycles the puck very well with Horc. As his conditioning improves, I think more and more people will come around to liking our current top line.

  21. Bruce says:

    From my couch Penner keeps looking better and better. He’s going to the net, taking the puck with him, and getting some garbage goals for his efforts. Why just last night he even managed to score one off of somebody else’s face instead of his own.

    He had a lot of garbage goals last year too. I’m waiting for the day when that heavy shot of his starts to find the range from the high slot; if he ever starts to hit the net consistently from further out, that presents the defence with all sorts of complications, esp. if 10 and 83 are setting him up.

    He doesn’t yet have the sort of chemistry with those guys that Ryan Smyth had, but give him/them a little more time. It’s coming.

  22. dwillms says:

    Would we be ok with our lines like this next year, or for the rest of this year:
    10-83-13
    89-12-27
    19-18-34
    28-51-8/46

    I was thinking this over last night. I’m still not sure if we should trade both Stoll/Torres, so here are 2 scenarios I came up with:

    A-10-83
    27-16-34
    18-89-12
    13-51-28

    B-10-83
    27-13-14
    34-89-12
    18-51-28

    A: A top-flight scorer acquired in a deal for Torres
    B: A top-flight scorer acquired in a deal for Stoll

    Both 8 & 19 can go, 46 is the healthy scratch.

  23. Bruce says:

    From a team perspective, Oilers have scored 34 goals in their last 11 games, not counting three ersatz “goals” of the shootout type. Last team to hold them to under two goals was Calgary way back on Nov. 17.

    3 goals should be enough to win most nights, or at least get to OT. Unfortunately, in recent games they’ve been bleeding GA, which is where the improvement needs to come.

  24. Dennis says:

    Listen, boys, I was one of the guys who Supported the Penner signing because while I didn’t like the Souray move, I thought that once they did that, his PP ability would push the team to the point where they’re first round pick wouldn’t be fuckall useful anyway.

    Not sure if you remember this but I thought the team would finish 10th in the Conf, this all before the Pisani and Moreau smacks, so if you’re finishing 10th, that pick’s probably iffy enough that Penner’s more valuable.

    That’s at least how I saw it.

    So, I’ve been saying that Penner’s keeping his head above water at EV and if he keeps dropping weight while keeping his strenght, he’ll always have leverage because of his wingspan, then we’ll have a player here.

    All That Being Said, one of the subplots Has been that he has to get the best linemates so that the optics of the sheet don’t look terrible.

  25. Dennis says:

    At some point, if 27 keeps this up, we’re going to have to think about moving 83 to try and prop up 14-16.

    Or, perhaps even better, considering that 14-34 have played together in the past, maybe you put 10 with them in PVP and go 27-16-83. This would leave 18-19-51 as the secondary PVP line and give 27-16-83 the super soft min while 12-89-13 play against the nobodies at home.

    Of course, line chemistry is a hard thing to nail. 12-89 look good together all of a sudden now that a vet like 34′s with them.

  26. heed says:

    At some point, if 27 keeps this up, we’re going to have to think about moving 83 to try and prop up 14-16.

    it will take more than hemsky to light the fire.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Dennis was definitely on the Penner train compared to the rest of the blogosphere, although clearly he agreed the price tag was dear. And Dennis pegged them in the 10 slot (ish), I remember because that’s where I had them.

    Now I’m saying 12th.

    A few items:

    1. I wonder how long Lowe waits to make a deal that keeps his team out of the lottery? Surely he must understand that Burke walking up to the podium at #1, #2 or #3 means he’s done as a GM?

    2. Schremp had an assist tonight and that puts him top 10 in AHL scoring. Suspect a callup will come soon.

    3. You know who is playing pretty well on D in the AHL and just turned 20? Theo Peckham. The guy wasn’t supposed to be much of an offensive D when he was drafted (15 pts in 67gp) but then at age 18 he went 53gp, 10-23-35 and now this season (which I count as his 19 year since his birthday was in NOV) he’s at 9gp 2-2-4 including 1-1-2 in his last 3 games.

    4. Deslauriers started off strong but has slowed. OCT (.922), NOV (.934) and then .844 in 4 games in December. He’s done this before.

  28. Black Dog says:

    Ahh, I wondered what became of Peckham – he started in the ECHL, no? Of course with Smid and Rourke coming up there were two spots opened right there.

    By my count Penner has had four strong games in the last six – the two Anaheim games, the LA game and last night. Against Pittsburgh he was lousy. I didn’t hear much about the Blues’ game. Three goals and as many assists, am I right?

    Maybe he’s getting there? He’s definitely no Lupul. He’s had more good games in the last six then that piece of shit did all of last year.

    I think it may work out. I’ve been carefully optimistic about 27 since day one for the most part. But I agree LT – Lowe makes a move to avoid that lottery. He has surplus guys like Jacques and Roy – my guess is if they are ven within hailing distance of the eighth seed he deals these guys and passes it off as trying to make a run. People would buy it.

    They tried Hemsky with 14/16 already – didn’t make a difference. When Moreau gets back I’d bet he gets the kids and Fernando gets to carry these guys around for a while.

  29. uni says:

    The only thing I dislike about having Moreau chaperone the kids, is that Pisani brings more on the offensive side of the game no?

  30. uni says:

    Oh dear goodness my me. Lupul is working on a 2g 3a 5 point night so far. And the 3rd period hasn’t even been played yet.

  31. digger says:

    So, at a minimum we’re looking at Lupul having 22 points in his first 28 games as a Flyer, and a plus player.

    If he goes on to have a great year with the Flyers, does that still mean that Lowe was a fool for wanting him as part of the Pronger trade?

    For the record, I’d rather have Pitkanen anyway.

    Oh yeah, and Schremp now has 2 goals and an assist tonight, with a +2.

  32. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Hat trick for Lupul.

  33. uni says:

    I guess they’re not playing Crosby enough tonight.

  34. Julian says:

    I’m sitting here in the boarding terminal of the hong kong airport watching the oilers game, ain’t technology grand?

    two posts in the last eight minutes or so, but it looks like the chances have been even enough.

  35. PDO says:

    Looks like Kipper’s got his mojo back….

  36. danny says:

    julian, NHLCI online? Sopcast? Slingbox ?

  37. uni says:

    Kipper normally doesn’t do so well in the shootout, so he’s definitely having a good night if he turned aside all 3 shots.

    Also that Boyes. No way he keeps it up all year…Rocket Richard season so far.

  38. jon says:

    Looks like Hemsky is putting to good use the energy he saved last night. Hah.

    Once Tarnstrom and Moreau are back I could see myself watching this team without throwing bottles at the TV on a regular basis.

    Good stuff.

  39. PDO says:

    Can we trade Smid before the rest of the league realizes how bad he is?

    Ugh…

  40. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Ok, is it just Garon’s turn to suck, or are we giving him no help?

  41. jon says:

    Re: Smid

    How about we let a 21 year old defencemen learn the game before running him out of town? Albeit he could probably be learning in the A.

    Jeeze, I couldn’t possibly imagine why hometown guys like Lupul or Bouwmeester don’t want to play here.

  42. honkey says:

    The Staios-Smid combo should be benched for rest of the game.
    Blues are playing pretty bad tonight, Oilers should be up by a pair of goal if they would have played some defense.
    Blues first goal was kind of weak but the rest is pretty much unstopable.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky with 3 assists tonight. This is his 24-year old season, the year Middleton (my comp for Hemsky) stepped up:

    Middleton
    Age 20 .851 (47gp)
    Age 21 .649 (77gp)
    Age 22 .583 (72gp)
    Age 23 .759 (79gp)
    Age 24 1.211 (71gp)

    Hemsky
    Age 19 .508 (59gp)
    Age 20 .480 (71gp)
    Age 22 .951 (81gp)
    Age 23 .828 (64gp)
    Age 24 .867 (30gp so far)

    Hemsky had a slow start but he’s 4-9-13 in his last 10 games. Of course Horcoff is off the charts and Penner is starting to do things nightly, so MacT should have one line he can count on for the back half of the year.

  44. RiversQ says:

    WTF is MacT doing with these kids finishing the PP? These guys are going to get throttled everytime. That’s bush league shit there.

    The worst part is that MacT knows this. We know he does because he always used to overplay his hand in that regard – ie. Horc always used to get shortchanged PP time so that he was out for the last 20-30 seconds of PP time and most of the shift after.

    Yes, Smid is doing the same thing he always does. If there’s a coverage decision to be made, he won’t make it until the puck’s past him and the cage is yawning.

    Penner is definitely playing well. It’s a lot easier to look good with Horcoff and Hemsky being on another level, but he’s making a real contribution to that line now. He looked far too slow with those guys the first time around but he’s better able to keep pace now that he’s in better shape.

  45. dubya says:

    Ya know, Smid takes a beating on here (and rightfully so the last few games)…but Staios has been as bad, I think. The 4th goal was on him. He’s what, a 10 year vet? Look behind you.

    Of course, Smid flubbed the clearance, so most will blame him…but isn’t Staios’ job to be the stabilizing force on that pairing? Expectations should be higher for him.

    Those two should be 3rd pairing EV for the forseeable future, IMO.

  46. RiversQ says:

    jon said…
    Re: Smid

    How about we let a 21 year old defencemen learn the game before running him out of town? Albeit he could probably be learning in the A.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say he never learns this one. Some guys never figure that out. Defense isn’t for everyone.

    Jeeze, I couldn’t possibly imagine why hometown guys like Lupul or Bouwmeester don’t want to play here.

    Me neither. There’s always some wuss willing to constantly apologize for you.

    I mean besides Matheson.

    Assuming that Lowe and MacT making years of NHL service disappear isn’t good enough.

  47. Dennis says:

    Lain: when will you learn regarding Lowe?

    Mustafa: No help whatsoever for Garon. The first goal he allowed was trash but the last three have been fucking gimmes. Smid is a defenseman that doesn’t have a clue about down low coverage. It’s remarkable, really.

    Fuck Lupul and fuck Lowe for trusting in him. Nothing indicated he could play in this market or that he could play anything but sof t min and yet Lowe trusted in him.

    Tonight: The good news is that this team can score and it’s scoring because of skill and not because they’re pinching and giving him things in return. They’re giving up goals because some guys don’t have a clue and the tending cna be shaky and hopefully that’s something that will improve with age.

    Oilers aren’t playing Souray too much at EV and that’s a good thing. MacT’s getting owned lately in letting the other coaches take a crack at his kids. Just inexcuseable stuff and I’d like someone to question him on it.

    Lain, not sure where Schremp would fit in. I guess you could sit Thor or Cogs and put Schremp on with 14-16. RS is at 8-29-26- -1 so I don’t know how much longer they can keep him down there. But, I doubt they’ll sit Cogs for him and Thor’s out there banging around so would they fault him?

    BTW, Smid has to take a healthy scratch or two. It’s hard to imagine anyone’s worse at defending down low. Such a simple part of his responsbilites and he doesn’t have a clue and shows it over and over and over and over again.

    Did I mention over?:)

  48. Lowetide says:

    dubya: Young defenders make mistakes, they just do. A veteran like Staios isn’t going to like to see the puck in the net twice a night so he tries to do too much and then you end up with chaos and an injury.

    Jason Smith was getting hammered on HF a year ago but he turned it around. Staios isn’t on Smith’s level imo, but he’ll have a better run than he’s had recently.

    As for Smid, patience. D takes time. Having said that, a trip to the farm to gain some confidence might not be a bad thing.

  49. dubya says:

    WTF is MacT doing with these kids finishing the PP? These guys are going to get throttled everytime. That’s bush league shit there.

    Seriously, as soon as I saw that I had two thoughts:

    1. The guys on the blogospere are gonna shit their pants.

    2. We’re gonna get scored on.

    I’m totally psychic.

  50. RiversQ says:

    dubya said…

    Of course, Smid flubbed the clearance, so most will blame him…but isn’t Staios’ job to be the stabilizing force on that pairing? Expectations should be higher for him.

    He’s not Jesus.

    Take a look at that 3rd goal by Boyes.

    Staios can’t trust Smid in defensive coverage down low, especially when the Oilers are outmanned. Smid won’t take away the back door play and he won’t challenge the puck carrier. I haven’t seen him make that decision when it needs to be made yet.

    When you’re saddled with that kind of partner, you’re going to look stupid.

    Having said that, Staios has not looked good this year, but in the last few games it’s hard to really tell what is going on.

  51. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: I believe Lowe is in the final months as GM, but as for “learning” about him I think you mean “when will you march in lock step with Dennis?” Suspect you know the answer. :-)

  52. Lowetide says:

    Lupul 3+3=6 is a pretty nice night, but Umbarger went 3+2=5 as well.

    Can you believe the Canucks at the draft? It’s a 40-year clusterfuck.

  53. jon says:

    Rivers: Next time you go up and criticize any Oiler to his face, you let me know.

    I’m a wuss for suggesting young players who havn’t reached their peak yet don’t want to play in a fishbowl with impatient, belligerent fans? Good one. I guess if you can’t win arguments with knowledge you resort to what you know though, right?

  54. uni says:

    What ever happened to constructive friendly criticism.

    Also Pisani sure isn’t hurting his reputation around Oil fans, and I how does Nilsson have such a long points streak going =).

  55. Mustafa Hirji says:

    Maybe this is why MacT lets the kids play? Because they have talent and might be able to get us a goal on the PP sometimes.

  56. uni says:

    It’s not letting the kids play that’s the problem, it’s sending them over the boards on the tail end of the PP. The whole shift right after the PP being dangerous situation one would wager.

  57. DBO says:

    What jus happened. Listening on the radio. Dumb play by Torres or Stoll? Killing me not being able to watch the game.

  58. honkey says:

    At last they get a PP goal again and Nilsson point streak continue.
    Nice finish by Pisani.
    Now just get his game to SO.

  59. Bohologo says:

    Is Jarret Stoll going to cost this team two games in a row?

  60. Ribs says:

    Wow, wish I had been watching/listening to this game all night. Sounds like a good one…c’mon shootout….

  61. Lowetide says:

    How in bloody hell did Stoll AND Torres get penalties with two minutes left in reg?

    Lordy.

  62. Ribs says:

    Souray with 3 straight penalties in the third? What was that about?
    Were the Torres and Stoll penalties legit? Man I hate PPV…

  63. DBO says:

    Have Stoll and Torres played well? Are they trying to get dealt?

  64. honkey says:

    Wow what a kill, Stoll and Torres can buy those guys som dinner tonight after the’ve bailed them out there.

  65. mc79hockey says:

    Man, the ever so rare night when I’m in Western Canada and the Oil are on PPV? What a rip. Thank god for Rod.

  66. Ribs says:

    I sure hope MacT knows that insane rule.

  67. Lowetide says:

    Ribs: The Oilers ALWAYS know the rules. They knew them on Robin Kovar, that Russian kid they wanted to sign, they’ve got it covered.

    :-)

  68. Lowetide says:

    Rod saying “Perron” and “Garon” about 10 times in 8 seconds reminded me of Letterman’s “Oprah” “Uma”.

  69. Lowetide says:

    What a kooky team.

  70. RiversQ says:

    My shootout team has a hockey problem.

  71. Ribs says:

    Absolute craziness.

  72. Doogie says:

    1 G, 1 A, 1 SOW.

    The Shawn Horcoff Hat Trick?

    Certainly, it’s an ’08 Oilers trademark at this point.

  73. danny says:

    guys Ive been watching the last few games on Sopcast. Free software. Not the greatest quality but its better than missing the game.

  74. Doogie says:

    And for that insane rule, I can see why they’re doing it (I can imagine the spirit of Roger Nielsen guiding them to that little loophole), but it’s still frightening.

  75. RiversQ says:

    jon said…
    Rivers: Next time you go up and criticize any Oiler to his face, you let me know.

    Are you living in fear that some Oiler will catch you on the street and pummel you for comments on the Oilogosphere?

    You can’t be that simple, but it does explain your take on the team.

  76. uni says:

    Toivanen made some damn fine saves on Gagner and Hemsky there.

    Garon just looks impossible on the shootout, what’s he allowed, 1 SO goal so far?

  77. heed says:

    this team lives and dies with the success of horcoff. “horcoff or die” has turned into the team motto.

  78. honkey says:

    Hemsky shot clipped the crossbar I doubt that Toivonen even touched it. On the Gagner move he was quite lucky with his skate otherwise it was a wide open net.
    When our deke phantoms get stopped it’s nice to have Shawn The Sniper to finish the Blues off :)

  79. danny says:

    atleast the puck never bounced over Horcoffs stick in the SO.

    I swear he could be in the running for the Richard if the puck didnt mysteriously bounce over the guys stick two or three times a game.

  80. RiversQ says:

    I can buy that this team is above average on the SO, but they’re playing with fire here.

    This is a -13 GD club that is 6-16-10 using the old W-L-T standings. That can’t be a sustainable way to run a hockey team.

    We’ve seen Pisani make a major difference coming back. Penner’s now in shape and capable of helping out Hemsky and Horcoff. Can Souray and eventually Moreau make this a team that can win some games in regulation? Tarnstrom would be welcome too.

  81. Lowetide says:

    RQ: If the Oilers are completely healthy, my own feeling is they still lack a top 4D at EVs you can go to war with.

    Pitkanen-Gilbert
    ????-Staios

    Who is that masked man?

  82. RiversQ says:

    Tarnstrom?

  83. jon says:

    Riv: So basically what you’re saying is, your arguments can be irrelevant and illogical, but it’s okay because you’re safe on the internet? I like how you’re the guy calling people wusses then using the anonymity of the internet as your justification. Again, good one champ.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Has to be. Grebeshkov-Rourke as the third pairing and Smid to the PB.

    And of course Souray for the PP and PK.

  85. pboy says:

    Hemsky’s SO shot went off the goalie’s glove, it was a real nice reaction save. Lucky win by the Oil tonight, it’s not too often you can let the other team get 4 – 1 goal leads on you and end up taking 2 points on the road. The first St. Louis goal wasn’t great but after that Garon played pretty well and didn’t have much of a chance on the other 3. You can say what you want about Staios having to lug around Smid but when you have been in the league for 10+ years and you start leaving your own zone with the puck still in it and opposing player that you are checking is wide open in front of the net, they are NO excuses. Staios played a lot of this game with his head completely up his ass. He did redeem himself with a good effort on the 5-3 PK at the end of the 3rd though.

  86. dubya says:

    A veteran like Staios isn’t going to like to see the puck in the net twice a night so he tries to do too much and then you end up with chaos and an injury.

    He’s not Jesus

    Fair enough. I’ve defended Smid before but he was atrocious tonight. Staios had a better 3rd once Smid was stapled to the bench and might get a chance with someone else for a bit now. I imagine Smid will be PBing it for a while. Maybe even back to the A.

  87. The Rage says:

    Sorry if I missed something, what insane rule are people talking about?

  88. Lowetide says:

    I beleive they are talking about the rule that says if you pull your goalie in the OT period and lose the game, you don’t get the extra point for a tie.

    I suspect it was put in place because hockey is worried there’s another Roger Neilson out there.

    Which is funny, because I’m worried there’s not.

  89. Dennis says:

    Lain, by learning, I mean look at what Lowe’s done and really let it sink in:)

    We’ve still got waiver rights on Smid and we’ve got a bunch of guys who at least try to be dmen. Plus, Smid’s making the same mistakes over and over again. I thought the Blues first goal was a bad one but then Rob Brown mentioned he thought Garon was staying deep in his crease because he was afraid of the backdoor play. It’s scary when Brown makes sense but that actually might hold some water.

    I’d put 24-25 back together and reunite 23-77. Maybe it was a conincidence but we first saw Gilbert making some real strides when he was playing with Tarnstrom.

    Send Smid to SF and tell him to smarten the fuck up. Seriously, how can he keep losing his man so easily in these situations?? What the fuck else is he thinking about?

  90. RiversQ says:

    jon said…
    Riv: So basically what you’re saying is, your arguments can be irrelevant and illogical, but it’s okay because you’re safe on the internet?

    Where have I made an irrelevant or illogical argument here? Do tell.

    Do you think Smid makes appropriate decisions as a defender? Furthermore, do you think he makes them quickly enough? That’s where this all started, so we might as well revisit it.

    Defending a player just because he’s young is ridiculous. Some players don’t learn this stuff and Smid is looking an awful lot like a guy that won’t get it.

    The “You can teach defense” thing is a old wives’ tale in hockey IMO. I don’t care what anyone says – Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman never got it and sure as hell didn’t will themselves into being all-round players. The only way the former saw the ice against star players was at the All-star game and the latter played second fiddle (or worse) to #91.

    Defensemen inevitably get better with experience, but Smid is starting from a ways back when it comes to his play without the puck.

  91. RiversQ says:

    Lowetide said…

    I suspect it was put in place because hockey is worried there’s another Roger Neilson out there.

    Either that or it’s there to protect the precious shootout.

    Why would you want to end a hockey game by playing something that resembles hockey?

    (I hated it before the Oilers became good at it, and I’m not about to change now.)

  92. jon says:

    Riv: You’re arguing that defencemen don’t continue to learn their trade when they get to the NHL? Take a step back and get some perspective on this. I suspect you know better than what you’re saying, but letting your bias get the most of you.

    Did you watch Pronger as a young defencemen? Jason Smith? Bouwmeester? I can’t think of a single defenceman in the entire league that played polished defence at 21 or younger.

    Throw Smid under the bus if you want, but he has the potential to be a good defender. He’s not going to be elite like two of the aforementioned, but if he’s not ready for the role he has on the team now, it’s not his fault he’s going over the boards. Most defencemen aren’t ready at 21, Smid probably is one of them.

  93. Bruce says:

    I refuse to subsidize PPV so I didn’t see the game tonight, and only heard snippets. The first thing that jumps off the scoresheet at me is a two-minute 3-on-5 with 2:18 left in regulation in a tie game. Were there body bags involved?

    But rather than let Stoll and Torres be the goats (again), their teammates bailed them out. 10-24-44 for the first 77 seconds, then 34-25-77 for the rest, and all the Blues got was two shots from outside 50 feet? Awesome.

    Speaking of 25, an odd factoid: as of Sunday Pitkanen had 5 hits all year; in the last two nights he had 7. Not to mention 7 shots on goal and +4 in 57:20 TOI. That’s 5 straight games over 26 minutes and Joni’s thriving on it.

    As for Shawn Horcoff, what can I say? 23:27 TOI, goal, assist, +2, 3-on-5 kill, shootout winner. The guy does it all.

  94. Bruce says:

    I beleive they are talking about the rule that says if you pull your goalie in the OT period and lose the game, you don’t get the extra point for a tie.

    That was put in during the early years of three-point games but before the shootout. There was a real concern that with a free point at stake only for an overtime winner, and with one point in the bank for making OT, that one or even both teams might pull their goalie at the end to go for that second point. It might make a mockery of the game, the powers that be said. (And they were right, as far as that went. Unfortunately their bullshit rules that made some games worth more than others had already done that job.)

    Now that there’s a shootout and the third point is guaranteed in every (ahem) tie game, there is no incentive and a powerful disincentive for teams to yank the keeper, so the rule is effectively obsolete.

    To the best of my knowledge the zero-point OT loss wrinkle was enforced only once, in 1999-2000, the first year of the loser point rule. It was in a very-late-season Canucks-Edmonton game where a tie would have officially eliminated the Canucks from the playoffs. The Canucks had to win, full stop. So they pulled the goalie in the last minute and Rem Murray, bless his soul, potted the empty netter to put the Canucks out of our misery for yet another year.

  95. Dennis says:

    Bruce, that’s not exactly on the mark because Garon made one save on a shovel with about 13 seconds left and another from the slot.

  96. Dennis says:

    Bruce, you’ve got a good memory for an old guy;)

    I remember watching that game because I’d just bought my dish and it was the first CI game that I could watch at home.

    A Friday night in Vancouver and Murray picked off a pass from Messier before putting it home.

  97. Bruce says:

    Bruce, that’s not exactly on the mark because Garon made one save on a shovel with about 13 seconds left and another from the slot.

    OK, I was looking at the play-by-play during just the two minutes 14 and 16 were in the box. They came out with 0:18 to play, but maybe they hadn’t quite gotten into position when the Blues got those two shots in the dying seconds?

    Must have been hold-your-breath time for Oiler fans during that entire sequence.

  98. Bruce says:

    Bruce, you’ve got a good memory for an old guy;)

    Yeah, so I’ve been told. So do you, for a young feller. You’re right that this was a Friday night game in Vancouver (Game 81 for both teams). I had forgotten about the Messier giveaway, though. His last significant act as a Canuck … assisting on yet another Oiler goal, and win.

    Marc Crawford was the coach who yanked the goalie and gave away the point, but it was the only sensible thing he could do under the circumstances. The loss looked good on him nonetheless.

  99. PunjabiOil says:

    I remember that game too. I believe because the Oilers won that game, and subsequently Vancouver ended up beating SJ (on a Sunday), it lead the an Oilers/Stars matchup, while the Sharks faced the overrated President’s Trophy Champions (St. Louis) whom they defeated in 7 games in round 1.

    RiversQ:

    Why would you want to end a hockey game by playing something that resembles hockey?

    One of the things a fan is looking for when purchasing the hockey product is uncertainty of outcome. Ties are the least desired outcome for the casual fan. It’s not an ideal way to end a game, but the NHL is a business, and the “most exciting play in hockey” certainly doesn’t hurt.

    As for Smid – I agree, he’s got a way to go – but lets consider some factors

    a) He put up solid numbers (28 points) as a 19 year old in the AHL
    b) He didn’t exactly get murdered at 20, playing middle pairing minutes.
    c) He moves well up the ice.
    d) He’s still a young defenceman – one of your main arguments over the years was that young defenceman take years to contribute – how is Smid any different? You think Gilbert wouldn’t have made mistakes 4 years ago, had he been playing in the NHL?

  100. godot10 says:

    Smid is 21. He’s better than he was last year. He’s got a nice skill set, and a good attitude. Is he going to have a bad game on occasion? How many 21-year old defensemen are playing in the NHL.

    He played 20 minutes a game of second pairing minutes when the Oilers defense was decimated, and the team survived.

    Yep…he might get shipped back to Springfield to continue to play big minutes now that the defense is getting healthy, but I don’t see why people want to throw him under the bus.

  101. Slipper says:

    Second fiddle to a great player is still a pretty useful hockey player. Yzerman was a plus player for most of his career and a decent powerplay contributer. Factored in with his 1700 points and IMO it’s pretty useless to argue that he wasn’t an impact player in this league.

    Anyways, it’s pretty odd to see Riv through out a couple player names in the same breath as an opinion becasue I know he hates that type of argument. Two people could throw out individual players in support of their opinions until the cows come home. Besides that, what do a couple of goal scoring forwards have to do with 21 year old defenders?

    BTW, there are alot of examples of defencemen that could make one lean toward the idea that 24-27 years old is the maturation mark for such players, unless your name is Lidstrom, Pronger, et al.

    Smid needs to go back to the A. No doubt about it. I still have faith that a player can learn under a system. They also can learn from experience and their defensive partners. Ecspecially players who have the obvious athletic ability.

  102. Dennis says:

    I’m not about throwing Smid under the bus. But I am about him going to the A and riding the buses until he learns simple things about playing D.

    Seriously, boys, Smid hasn’t been playing poorly lately because he’s cheating up ice or he’s throwing the puck away. He’s getting killed in situations where the only thing he has to do is cover his side of the ice in front of the tender. He’s been caught high on some goals and totally on the wrong side on others. This doesn’t worry you fellows?

    And in terms of how it affects the team, he’s killing Staios. As Lain mentioned, now 24 is starting to distrust him and is making mistakes because of it. And it’s sorta been all of a sudden with Smid too and really in the last five games or so. I went from talking about the emerging chem between 25/77 and saying how I wish they could D pass like 5-24 and now 5′s just lost his mind in terms of coverage.

    It was so bad last night that even macT lost patience. Smid was caught with his man behind him three fucking times in the first 40 min. Then, I’ll be damned if on his first shift in the third period, Boyes gets behind him again. At that point MacT had enough and he didn’t see the ice again, or at least not at EV.

  103. jon says:

    I agree that Smid should be down in the A. It is pretty funny that we’re seeing the same sort of dynamic that was present for Redden-Meszaros last season, and both instances HF is blaming it on the veteran.

    The team as a whole is playing OK. The Smid-Staios pairing is getting killed though. As soon as Tarnstrom is back Smid should go down.

  104. Steve says:

    He played 20 minutes a game of second pairing minutes when the Oilers defense was decimated, and the team survived.

    What would non-survival have looked like?

    Smid’s growing on me. But a team that consistently has him in the top six at this stage of his career probably isn’t a very good NHL team.

  105. Bruce says:

    Smid’s growing on me. But a team that consistently has him in the top six at this stage of his career probably isn’t a very good NHL team.

    With all the injuries anybody in the top ten who is healthy is consistently in the top six.

    This guy is erratic enough that it’s possible to “see him real good” as I did around the time of that three-game winning streak. He was a real force in a couple of those games, and was bringing a nice edge to the ice. But then he had a bad third against Pittsburgh, and since then his play has just submarined. -6 in the last four games after holding his own in that respect, there’s no denying that’s ugly and he’s earned much of it.

    A week ago I was thinking Smid might have played his last game in the minors, but now that Souray is back, bringing an edge of his own, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have Smid playing big minutes in the A and continuing to develop. He needs to work on his consistency and certainly on his defensive zone coverage.

    Ladi’s a project, but the upside is tantalizing. But in the present tense, the downside is expensive. When Tarnstrom is ready I’d rather see Rourke in the 6-7 hole and Smid playing a ton in Springfield.

  106. Ribs says:

    As long as Smid is killing people in front of the net I think he has to stay.
    Having a defenseman with dirty fingernails in the lineup does have it’s upsides. It keeps the other team honest and helps build “Team Toughness”. Something that prior Oiler teams have been said to be lacking in. Souray likes to throttle people in front of the net as well, but I guarantee you he gets more penalties than Smid does doing the same thing.

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