Wrong Way Pouliot

Recently, someone in the media asked Coach MacTavish about possible callups from the AHL. His response was basically that he didn’t think there was anyone who could offer immediate help. Tonight’s first period performance makes that statement even more incredible.

The Oilers end of the roster forwards as we speak would appear to be Zach Stortini (salary $534k), Patrick Thoresen ($570k) and Sam Gagner ($1,625,000). Is Marc Pouliot a lesser player than all three of those players currently? Is he the next obvious option for callup from Springfield?

Probably not. When Pouliot was sent down he started his AHL season like a house on fire. In his first 4 AHL games this season, he was 2-4-6, +4 (I took out one EN goal against at EVs) and was clearly driving results. Since then, he’s fallen off a lot (22gp, 6-9-15, -10) and this despite apparently getting major minutes in Springfield. His most recent 5 games (2-3-5, minus 4) have been high event and not as impressive as Rob Schremp (5gp, 1-5-6, minus 2).

The guy to callup is Schremp. In his last 21gp, he is 6-22-28, -1.

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39 Responses to "Wrong Way Pouliot"

  1. Ozzieoiler says:

    Some of these guys in the A need to at least get a look.

  2. Scarlett says:

    And MacT actually needs to give whoever he calls up some real minutes. None of this 3-4 minute crap.

  3. Dennis says:

    Well, I’m impressed that Lain isn’t talking about the trade that never happens.

    That’s progress:)

  4. Mr DeBakey says:

    Bring back Hot Doorknob!

    MacT says Thoreson doesn’t have a regular NHL job because he’s
    - too small
    - not an offensive threat

    Schremp, he’s halfway there.

  5. doritogrande says:

    A shakeup had better be coming soon, or someone deserves to lose their job. The product on the ice tonight was….indescribable. When Zack Stortini is your best player out there, well fuck.

    Deserving to get demoted: Stoll, Nilsson, Torres(lucky break he’s injured), Brodziak for a shakeup, Smid, Grebeshkov.

    I want to see what, if anything, Schremp, O’Marra, Trukhno, MacDonald and Peckham could do with some NHL ice-time. If we’re on a downward spiral as tonight was a definite example of, let’s see what we got. Ice an AHL lineup for the night, make it a promotional event I don’t care just do something!

  6. Aaron says:

    Stoll, Torres and Grebeshkov can’t be demoted without going through waivers – 1-way contracts I believe.

    The best we can hope for is some good player-dumping near the end of the season. Roloson might come for a 2nd round pick. Stoll / Torres might garner a 1st round pick and maybe a prospect.

    … other than that, Schremp will probably get a more serious look once we dump someone. I believe it will be another long and slow descent into the abyss … sigh.

  7. doritogrande says:

    aaron, that’s why I said “Deserving to get demoted”.

    I know full well that they won’t go down, but they’re playing like such shit that a shakeup is necessary. Honestly, would it really be such a big deal if we lost Grebeshkov? He was traded for a player dump to begin with. He’ll probably be back in Siberia next year anyway.

  8. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Stortini scored tonight. This should strike fear into the heart of every Oiler fan, because, combined with MacT’s man-love for him, the next step for him is to make an appearance on the point on the powerplay. And if he does, it would mean this year’s team has devolved into – you guessed it –

    the Zedmontack Stoilers.

    Long loosing streaks and even more injuries to follow.

  9. Bendelson says:

    Wow. Sounds like panic time.

    In our division, with the injuries sustained, are we a playoff team? The team really isn’t THAT bad… considering.

    Yes, trade time is coming. It’s got to be tough to start trading parts of a team that hasn’t played together healthy all season. No doubt Rollie will go – TB? Maybe packaged with Sanderson for a playoff bound team?
    How about Sanderson to NYI for Tambellini Lowetide? Reasonable? Maybe a later rd draft pick would have to be given away as well yes, but I like the idea of another speed forward with a head for the game. He seems like a solid choice…

    Stoll and Torres are a great tandem package (SJ!), though it would require significant return I would think… however appealing the idea is, it seems unlikely.

    Lets hope Delauriers also gets his chance alongside Schremp in the second half…

    I still like/believe in KLowe and MacT. This year has many interesting positives so far and with the right trade or trades, the team could be just fine… down the line.

    (I was in Edm for the game on the 27th (Ahm). Wow, did that game suck).

    Thanks for the time Lowetide.

  10. godot10 says:

    //Roloson might come for a 2nd round pick.//

    Bryzgalov went for nothing.

    Denis has cleared waivers.

    Joseph is still unemployed.

    People have to reset their expectations for trade returns in the salary cap era.

  11. pboy says:

    That’s a great point and it is based in reality. Roloson has ZERO trade value. Why would a team give up an asset for him when they could simply sign Cujo and all it costs them is a min. pro-rated contract? Sanderson doesn’t have any value either. He plays on the
    4th line for a last place team which has no depth. The only guys we could trade who might bring something of value back would be players like Stoll and Torres but they are having terrible seasons, so obviously the return on them will be less than the Oilers will want. I think the only chance we have of making changes to this roster will be through Springfield and according to your Head Coach, don’t hold your breath.

  12. rickibear says:

    I could not use my tickets for the Jan 13 Calgary/Edmonton game. Traded to a guy at work who could not make the game he bought for his young son as a Christmas gift.
    Went from gold to upper colonade.

    I can not use his tickets. They are for the Islanders Vs. Oilers
    Monday Jan. 7/08 7:00 p.m.
    Sec 207 Row 32 Seats 15 & 16

    Anyone from Edmonton in the blog group who could use them (for free) Please contact me (in the next hour)at rickithebear@gmail.com to arrange a location and I will courier them DHL by 11:30 a.m. Alberta time today. Hopefully they make it to edmonton by monday.

    9:50 AM, January 04, 2008

  13. canablach says:

    clayton magnet said:

    the Zedmontack Stoilers

    Well, I’m hopelessly crying but now I grow a grin on my face.

  14. David says:

    This year has many interesting positives so far and with the right trade or trades, the team could be just fine… down the line.

    What sort of positives do you see, apart from perhaps the emergence of Gilbert as what looks to be quite a good young D?

    Lowe has effectively gutted the team of any sort of experienced core players (mind you, a lot of that took place last season, but it continued with trading away Gator this summer) and replaced them with guys that are getting paid way too much for what they bring to the table (Souray). He also has pursued an unclear/inconsistent strategy somewhere between rebuilding with youth and trying to aquire experience and in doing so, threw away a chance to pick up a top 5 pick this year.

    I see this year as a complete throw-away. We are no closer to being in the playoffs (actually, much further than last year at this time when we still had Smyth and Gator), we have very few picks in a good draft year to continue rebuilding, and we don’t have the cap space to easily re-sign some of the guys we desparately need to re-sign (Gilbert). I said at the end of last year we were 3-4 years away from making the playoffs, and I think at the end of this year we will still be 3-4 years away.

    We need a new GM that has the patience to build a team over a few years with a well-thought out and consistent plan, mostly based on good draft picks. I am afraid Lowe has proven that he is not that guy.

  15. namflashback says:

    More AHL callups are not going to help. Thoreson was nearly a PPG in the AHL. So was Stortini.

    It is a BIG leap between the AHL and the NHL. Everyone commenting here needs to see that.

    It is one thing to go out and score against other prospects your age or career AHL journeymen, and an entirely different to go up against top lines and D-pairs in the NHL.

    Other teams have “stopped school-time” and are rigorously game planning and executing that plan.

    The Oilers are losing now, not because of lack of effort in many cases, but bad positioning and coverage. That reeks of inexperience.

    We play in a division where 2 teams are straight trapping/transition teams (VAN, MIN) who play their systems tight so will eat you alive if you make mistakes. Calgary is now starting to be as good as they had the potential of being this year — no easy games against them. Colorado is offensively stronger (when healthy) so you can’t play run and gun with them.

    Adding more inexperience isn’t going to make any game against any of the opponents easier.

  16. Lord Bob says:

    The tickets have been claimed!

    Reggie Jr. is going to the Battle of Alberta!

  17. rickibear says:

    Lord Bob: Reggie Jr’s son an Oiler fan. That would be funny.

  18. Dennis says:

    First off, that was a really nice gesture, Rickibear. Good to see.

    On to the sadsacks:

    - I know not everyone’s doing it but how does Torres get sucked into this? I believe he’s -5 and he played reall y tough comp so, yeah, he’s not scoring but he’s also not playing right now so that’s defintely throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    All the problems with this group are easy to see:

    - Smid isn’t what anyone thought he was, at least up to this point, and he needs to be in the bottom pairing and paired with a vet.

    - All the shooting pct bills have come due on Souray, along with the past injury troubles.

    - Stoll is a shell of himself and can’t even score on the PP anymore. He’s like a Canadian Samsonov.

    - As much as I like Cogs and Gagner, neither guy’s gonna do much to help you win in ’08. This is LT’s point but given that we had already throw in our 1st rounder AND that Cogs and Gagner aren’t Toews and Kane, it would’ve made more sense to throw Sam back to the O and Cogs to the A and in their place signed any two of the three of Devereaux, Nichol and, yes, Mike Johnson. Now, I’m pretty sure that Devo signed with TO before July 1st and that Nichol resigned with Nsh after that date and we know we read that Johnson’s agent called Edm but was rebuffed.

    - Roli’s on the downswing and it’s gonna be hard to deal him. Maybe we can do it for next season when the cap goes up and some team or other finds themself with a bit more room but it would be hard to do now. Plus, is there much to believe in when it comes to Roli at this point? What does he have left? He’s not Andrew Raycroft, mind you;) but what can he do for you now?

  19. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Listening to some player and coach quotes over the past while, I’ve come to the conclusion that, somewhere in that huge locker room, there is a $20k whiteboard. On that whiteboard is written -

    “We’ve been playing well; we just need to tighten up a few small things, and we’ll be right there”.

    I think I’ve heard every player and coach say this in some form, going back to game 3 of the season. The problem I have with this is two-fold. A) The huge, face-melting mistakes that end up behind Roloson/Garon are not small. B) They’ve been making the same gaffs for what seems like forever now… so fix it already! Don’t just tell me you’re going to fix it. It seems that the majority feels MacT and Huddy are brilliant coaches. So if they’ve so great, why do most of their pupils keep making the same mistakes over and over and over. Either the teacher isn’t teaching, or the student isn’t listening. In which case, one or the other needs to go.

    I think my biggest pet peeve with the on ice fundamentals (or lack thereof) is how terrible the passing is throughout the roster. It seems like at least every other pass is behind the receiver, or in a spot that handcuffs them. I don’t care what sport you play, if it involves passing, you learn early on to lead the player you’re passing to. The pass 24 gave to 25 was absolutely dreadful – slow and behind him. Ya, Pitkanen should have his head up, but Staios shares the blame on that one. These types of passes happen constantly on the PP as well. A good pass leads a guy into a shot, but most the Oiler passes are into the feet or behind the receiver. Just painful to watch.

  20. Dennis says:

    Well, CM, the awnser is that some of the students aren’t as smart as they appeared to be and/or they just aren’t smart enough to be skipping grades.

    Gagner, Cogs and Grebs fall into the latter catergory and Smid to the former. Plus, when you get to the vets, Sanderson really shouldn’t be playing anymore and maybe we can soon start throwing Tarnstrom into that conversation as well.

    LT is wrong about a lot of things, Happy New Year’s Babster:) but when he keeps saying how one team has NHL players and the other doesn’t, the guy’s bang on.

    You take this roster and push it ahead a calender year and it’s certainly going to be better. The question is where will they top out and did Lowe really need to fuck us like he did on Smyth and Souray and why in the hell did he believe in the Pronger package?

    It’s not like anyone Told Lowe he had to trade Smyth and Pronger for magic beans and overpay Souray but for some reason he did and now we’re all hoping and wishing and wondering when’s the next year we Don’t suck.

  21. jon says:

    There really is only one unifying problem with the team this season: It’s too young from top to bottom, on D and on F.

    Maybe that should be considered in reference to MacT’s comments? Bringing up another young forward who will make mistakes and struggle to find consistency on a forward corps where that is now the modus operandi probably isn’t going to help any.

    Same goes for the defense. Smid and Grebeshkov would have to be disappeared in order to salvage the season and replaced with someone along the lines of Darryl Sydor. Grebeshkov is always going to be a chaos-defender and a particularly high-event one at that. Too bad he’s struggled to get any going in the other direction. Yet again he was either out of position or caught pinching last night, leading to two goals by my eye.

    I think if the defense was tightened up in such a manner it would give the forwards a bit more time and space to work out the kinks, though there would still be droughts obviously. A team that consistently ranks 29th or 30th in the league on the PP despite player changes should start to raise some alarms.

  22. Oilman says:

    Dennis…do you have a hotkey on your computer that inserts “Pronger for magic beans” into all your posts….it could save you a lot of time:o)

  23. Slipper says:

    Grebeshkov has been on for 5 of the last 6 5vs5 goals against. He should have been waived by the time I typed this out.

    Remember that time that guy compared him to both Chris Pronger and Paul Coffey? That was awesome.

    Meanwhile, Staios has been on a better run over that past six or so games (on for 4 of the past 6 even strength goals for). When he was paired with Souray and was given a long due break by being out there with Pisani and Moreau up front, there was alot good shit happening on the ice.

    That fact that 5 and 37 are played together at times is mind blowing. It’s like an instant goal against.

  24. Dennis says:

    Oilman: You know, I don’t, but I wish I did. It would save just a little time:) Fact is, though, that I’m dead right about that point. Remember where we were without Pronger, where we were with him and where we are without Pronger and Smyth and what we received in return.

    Slipper: I was talking to Ty about Staios with Smid or with Souray and he said he was gonna run the numbers and get back to me. It seems like there’s a bunch of Pro Lowe and Pro Kids guys who want to tear an absolute piece out of Staios and I figure it’s because it would hurt too much to realize just how bad Smid has been this year. I’d wager that Staios would come out at even if he got to play with 25 or 77 but instead he usually has to pull around Smid and put up with his shit.

    And, yes, 5/37 together defies logic. What I think I’d do is I’d start them off along with 16 and two other dummies and get the GA out of the bat right away. I mean, it’s a guarenteed GA playing 5/37 together anyway so let’s get it out of the way:D

  25. Oilman says:

    I’ve never seen a team get burned more by the same backdoor play where the puck carrier takes the puck deep and finds the open man in the slot than this years Oilers…and everytime it happens, Smid is right there still looking lost at the goal line facing the end boards on the wrong side of the play.

  26. Bendelson says:

    No positives?

    I see the emergence of Cogliano and Gagner as huge positives this season. Nilsson and Brodziak as well in fact. To think we can develop all these young talents at the NHL level without (significant)growing pains would be foolish.

    Yes, Gilbert is also a big positive. Signing Pitkanen and Gilbert is clearly important moving forward.

    Everyone done complaining about Penner I see… a little patience yes? He is a large positive moving forward. Garon is also a positive in my mind – better than Rollie that’s for sure.

    I could go on, Pisani’s comeback… etc.
    It’s not all bad.

    and I still believe Rollie and Sanderson will have value as we approach the trade deadline.
    To much playoff experience to ignore.
    Rollie as an ‘insurance’ playoff back-up is not a bad move for SJ. What Pitt and TB are doing in net is a real mystery. Things will happen.

  27. LJ says:

    I don’t have any insider knowledge but I do know a few people who work around the organization and they all say there is nothing on the horizon in terms of trades. Like, nothing.

  28. Ribs says:

    We need a new GM that has the patience to build a team over a few years with a well-thought out and consistent plan, mostly based on good draft picks. I am afraid Lowe has proven that he is not that guy.

    Are we talking about the same guy who was forced to trade a huge veteran and received two 1st round picks, a 2nd round pick, a young 28G scorer, and a blue chip defenseman prospect?

    Or the same guy who traded another veteran at the trade deadline for two former 1st round prospects, and another 1st round selection?

    The same guy who kept all three of his 1st round picks to draft players that will help the roster in the future?

    The Penner offer sheet is the only deal that sees the Oilers lose opportunity at rebuilding through the draft. It sends out 3 potential picks for a young guy that has proven he can score in this league. Is a sure thing safer than 3 picks? Hard to tell.

    Either way, it’s pretty tough to believe that Lowe has no plans of building through drafts and prospects.

  29. Bruce says:

    “We’ve been playing well; we just need to tighten up a few small things, and we’ll be right there”.

    You’re probably right about the $20K whiteboard, CM, and I agree entirely with your two subsequent points (see below). That said, there is nonetheless some logic from the organization’s perspective to keep accentuating the positives, such as they are. I’m sure the Oilers feel it’s a better approach than to come right out and say “We just suck and we’re lucky any time we get a loser point”, or to hang a new sign on the dressing room wall that says “On you from flailing hands we drop The torch; be yours to flee the fire”.

    From a reults perspective, there is even some truth in the whiteboard message. Last night in Game 42 was the Oilers first 3-goal loss since Game 15. In the intervening 26 games the Oilers had:

    – 2 4-goal wins
    – 2 2-goal wins, 1 with an ENG
    – 0 1-goal wins in regulation
    – 12 regulation ties, with a record of 8-4 in the mini game/skills contest that passes for “resolution” in Gary Bettman’s NHL.
    – 4 1-goal losses in regulation
    – 6 2-goal losses, 2 with an ENG

    Counting shootout “goals” the Oilers scored the exact same number as they allowed in that stretch (73 each way), so it can be argued with some validity that they’re … if not close, a hell of a lot closer than they were in October. But the regulation record of 4-10-12 and their history in 1-goal games just screams of their inability to win games the old-fashioned way (in 60 minutes), and to make the backbreaking play instead of so often allowing it. And that screams of inexperience.

    That said, as Charlie Brown says, “if it’s true you learn from your mistakes, that must make me the smartest person in the world.” Unfortunately, in the case of Smid, Grebeshkov and others, it’s the first part of that sentence that doesn’t seem to apply. And unless they’re Paul Coffey in drag, it doesn’t matter how many things they do right if they keep doing the same ones wrong.

  30. mc79hockey says:


    The problem that I see with this:

    Counting shootout “goals” the Oilers scored the exact same number as they allowed in that stretch (73 each way), so it can be argued with some validity that they’re … if not close, a hell of a lot closer than they were in October.

    is that the goaltenders the shooters went on a real percentage run there. I looked during the heart of the hot streak and it was all percentages. The goals count just the same but I can’t help but think that this team was riding the bounces.

    Nothing wrong with that, but I think that it maybe blurs the issue a bit.

  31. Bruce says:

    Yeah, mc, I’m just counting the shootout “goals” the way they are counted in the standings, where the winning team gets one and the loser none. Actually those goals don’t count “just the same”, they count more, in that they equate exactly into standings points so they are important, no matter how bogus you or I think they are. (In that 26-game stretch Oilers got 7 standings points for those 7 shootout “goals”, and 21 standings points for the 66 real goals.) And to speak to your last point, there is no question that shootouts and Bettman Points and fucked-up rules blur the issue rather a lot.

    But in the above context I just mentioned the shootout “goals” because they so nicely balanced the scales from the perspective of GF/GA. This third-of-a-season-long stretch of being officially a break-even club underscores the more positive point from my admittedly mixed message that the Oil are at least competitive these days, which they weren’t in October when Wrong Way Pouliot was their poster boy. Even if you discount the shootout goals the Oil were 66 GF/71 GA in that 26-game span, still pretty “close” which was ultimately my point.

    For sure I did discount the shootout goals when calculating that unsatisfactory 4-10-12 record in regulation (during the Oilers’ “best” string of the season), which is a hell of a lot closer to the truth IMO than their “official” mark of 12-10-4 during those same 26 games. There is a huge gap between being close and actually being able to consistently win those close regulation games, and I frankly don’t expect the Oil to make that leap (to “consistent”) any time during the current season. At the same time, you can’t deny that they have gotten closer; they get blown out once a month now instead of once a week. So whether you see the glass as 60% empty or 40% full is up to you … for myself I try to analyze the whole glass and see the good with the bad. Which is this: there’s progress being made, but a hell of a lot more progress needs to be made to really become a playoff contender.

  32. dawgbone says:

    Pouliot had a nice game tonight with 1g, 1a and 5 shots. Unfortunately (and it seems to be happening a lot), they gave up 2 late 3rd period PP goals to blow a 3-2 lead and lose.

  33. Andrew says:

    There are way too many players in Springfield…look at the roster, I count 24..there has got to be something brewing on the trade front, why would Falcons call up 5 guys from Stockton and send 1 down? Something’s going on.
    Also, I find it rather interesting that Eric Desjardin’s comments on Pitkanen (they were both in Philly last year),to a French newspaper and then carried on Canadian Press wire, were not mentioned even once in either daily paper or any Oiler blog I’ve read….google it and see.

  34. Dennis says:

    Andrew: Nice work there, bud. I tried finding more of Eric’s comments but I just saw the intial blurb. It’s not a surprise to me that people in Philly didn’t think a lot of JP’s off ice demeanour. You look at what he did in the ’04 and ’06 seasons with Philly, ie he went 13-46-58 and +22 in that latter campaign, and there’s no bloody way Philly would deal him because of something they didn’t like ON the ice.

    Interesting that you bring this up now because all throughout the season I’ve been saying I find it odd that no one’s written the obligatory, “Pitkanen loves it here with the up tempo style and wants to stay blah blah blah” piece and if he doesn’t sign with the Oilers, it’s gonna be a huge letdown. Sure, there was a little thing where he said the weather was like it was in Finland and it was a hockey city here but I saw Gene interviewing him once trying to get something out of him and he basically said, “we’ll see how it goes.” And then I remember that Bob Stauffer posted in a thread at Ty’s site that the Oilers have already been rebuffed by Pitkanen’s camp after offering a deal that was near five mill per year.

    Then, the other day I read or heard MacT saying that Pitkanen’s really earning some praise by playing through injuries which made me think that book was really out on him before he got there. But a nice try by Lowe to see if they could hoist a top pairing D because someone else was sick of him. It made a lot of sense to try it because our D was in shambles in terms of having prospects who can move the puck. Now we’ve got two guys in 25 and 77 and if we can sign both, we can split them up for ’09 and hopefully have two pairings to depend on plus Smid on the third pairing and if he can’t play, then he can fight every now and then and both dailies can write about that instead of how he constantly loses his man in his own zone.

    DB: I was just about to post that news on Pouliot. He’s now running at 9-23-27 and -6 and though I think the org’s close to permanently souring on him, if he keeps rolling then maybe he can fetch us a little something on the market.

  35. mc79hockey says:

    Even if you discount the shootout goals the Oil were 66 GF/71 GA in that 26-game span, still pretty “close” which was ultimately my point.

    I think, if you leave the shootout goals out of it entirely (which is the way to go if you want to figure out if they’re getting better or not), you’ll still find that this was a percentage binge. It’s nice that they’re getting closer to breakeven – the problem is that I think it’s more illusory than real.

  36. dubya says:

    And then I remember that Bob Stauffer posted in a thread at Ty’s site that the Oilers have already been rebuffed by Pitkanen’s camp after offering a deal that was near five mill per year.

    Hey Dennis, which post was this in? I’m curious what was said, as it wouldn’t surprise me but would certainly be bad news. Kind of like Vanek’s group not wanting to talk with Buffalo last summer. Would be interesting to see whether someone offers him a 4 first round pick offer…probably the only way the Oil don’t match, though it would certainly mess with the budget.

  37. Bruce says:


    I think, if you leave the shootout goals out of it entirely (which is the way to go if you want to figure out if they’re getting better or not),


    you’ll still find that this was a percentage binge.


    It’s nice that they’re getting closer to breakeven – the problem is that I think it’s more illusory than real.

    and yes.

    Now that I reread your previous post (which I took to be about shootouts, not shooting percentages in general), I think we’re not so far apart on this one.

    Percentages are interesting and meaningful but neither they nor the law of averages are the be-all and end-all. At both ends they are in part due to quality of opportunity generated/allowed, and at one end they depend mightily on the quality of your goaltending. Roli was awful in October, has played a little better since while Garon has played a lot better and a lot more.

    For sure it’s scary to think that a team was “getting the bounces” during a stretch where they actually won four (or five if you prefer) of twenty-six games.

  38. Dennis says:

    Dubya, not sure which thread but it’s one of the ones that begins with talk of Lupul’s ‘success’ in Philly.

    DB, LT etc all: I just read today’s news from the Springfield Republican and there’s some very nice things in there about Pouliot’s effort last night. Seems like the goal he scored was a beauty and in describing that marker and a previous chance, the writer uses words like “hustling” and “outmuscled” and yeah, that might be really looking for something to be positive about, but when you see a beatie talking like that about a guy, it’s hard to doubt it.

  39. oilerdiehard says:

    I expect Mystery Meat will have a fine to great 2nd half. Just like he always does since turning pro.

    He plays poor the first half with the odd flashes of the player you expect. Then turns it way up in the second half. This act is going to tough to crack the NHL full time if he keeps it up.

    Until just recently (outside his first 4 or 5 games after being sent down) Buchberger has sounded less than impressed with his drive and effort.

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