Hawks at Oilers, G56/07-08

This is Phil Esposito in the spring of 1970. A couple of months later the Bruins would win the Stanley.

#3 with the helmet is JC Tremblay who was an outstanding skater, so skilled he played center from time to time and used to rag the puck on the PK and play keepaway for extended periods.

The only player who was better at it in my lifetime is also in the photo, #4 for the Bruins (Orr) and trailing this play. Ted Harris is the other Hab and Wayne Cashman is in the distance. If the play went according to Hoyle, Esposito would have gotten a nice backhand away and Orr would have gained clearance on Harris and scored the goal.

Chicago Blackhawk fans can relate to Oilers fans in many ways. They can relate to heartbreak in Game 7 of SCF’s (1971 the most famous), they know about trades that put you back (Esposito, Hodge and Stanfield for Marotte, Martin and Norris) a few years.

The Hawks are an interesting team again and there is hope in the Windy City. Their roster has a ton of kids on it and leads the league in good young defensemen.

After the game against Calgary I don’t know what to think. Maybe this team will be like the Expos the year Tim Raines couldn’t join them until May 1 and find a way to win. If it in fact does happen that way, Curtis Glencross will almost certainly play the role of Mitch Webster. I wouldn’t bet a penny on it, though.

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61 Responses to "Hawks at Oilers, G56/07-08"

  1. Chris! says:

    Yeah, I’m inclined to think the Oilers were riding a big ol’ wave of “prove them wrong” against the Flames. We’ll settle back in to the three-losses-for-every-win routine soon enough.

  2. Pleasure Motors says:

    The reason we won the Flames game is the same reason we’re going to lose the majority of the rest of our games: we need scoring from all four lines.

    Pisani, Gagner and Staios have four, five and six goals on the year, respectively: no team that needs them to score with any kind of regularity is going to do very well.

  3. Showerhead says:

    Does anybody buy into the notion that regardless of how well Edmonton does through the rest of this season, it will be important to keep morale in the room high? Not something you can measure but something that definitely seems worth it.

    If Edmonton comes out gangbusters for the rest of the season, GlenX (who should I thank for that one) and co. throw 3 hits every shift, and the Oilers still flirt with the lottery, I would personally be less upset than if they roll over and die. My question is does this matter at all heading into next season?

    I should add some context, as I am not the soapbox type and therefore my position on this season is probably not taken for granted. I have thought Burke would be picking #3-#8 all year long, wrote off the playoffs early (though would certainly encourage a few miracles), and am looking for positives in the play of Gilbert, Cogliano, Gagner, etc. as signs of success this season. However, I’m not deluded enough to think Gagner/Cogs will be outscoring anyone good at evens during, say, Dustin Penner’s current contract.

    I think a 50pt season for Penner is a success (I expected a full step back before any steps forward), though I abhor the idea that we gave picks up for the guy.

    These quick paragraphs are my attempt to indicate despite my idea that morale might be worth considering, I’m not deluded enough to think the pieces for a run are here or that this team is built to win anytime soon.

  4. Dennis says:

    LT etc. all: GlenX out and Nilsson in via the official site. I didn’t see that play LT talked about the other night and while I didn’t think the new guy played poorly, I just saw him throw a hit and have a fight. Yes I know that’s probably enough but I’m just saying he didn’t blow the doors off me. That being said, why take him out already? Is he hurting? I’m all for giving Nilsson pretty much the rest of the season but I’d rather do it at the expense of say Sanderson, or perhaps even Brodz for a game or two. Oilers are continously flip-flopping over vets vs kids.

    SH: I’m not sure how much it matters. I guess we could say that given the dearth of reg wins since the dealing of 94, it might just matter a lot. The Oilers have been a little over .500 for awhile now; since that dreaded start, not really sure what it was. Still, though, you gotta think there’s times the vets look around and now that everything has to break right in order for them to win.

    Guys like Horc and Hemsky are no dummies, they know that line’s gotta carry them and that going forward, the Oilers are in a race hoping that a guy like Horc’s still productive and here by the time the 13-89 combo are legit outscorers. Is that realistic? Probably not IMO.

    I think that if Horc stays, we might win a playoff round in 2010 but there’s lots of other reasons to think he’s traded by then. If he shows any pride in contract talks with Lowe, he’s most likely out the door. My only hope is that he’s dealt this summer instead of two deadline’s time. At least in this case we might get some actual players for him.

  5. Black Dog says:

    Well, that Espo trade did set the Hawks back for a bit but then look at all of the Cups they won.

    On the bright side we have a shiny new owner and Sheldon Souray (our best Dman according to some schmuck in the Sun the other day)signed for another four years.

  6. HBomb says:

    BDHS: Fuck everything that is printed in the Edmonton Sun that’s not written by Stauffer. Seriously, that rag is a joke.

    Dennis: It would make sense to have GlenX in over Sanderson right now, but my feeling is they’re trying the old pump ‘n dump move here, maybe thinking they can get a fourth rounder out of some team needing legit bottom-six depth to make any noise come April/May.

  7. Dennis says:

    Thor gone down to SF on a conditioning assigment which leaves us with just one extra forward. Also helps out the Falcons with Thor being a money AHL player and SF just holding onto the last playoff spot.

    HB: Yeah, true enough on the showcase. Personally, I hope Burke trades our pick ASAP to Atl for Hossa and then maybe Lowe doesn’t really care about going foresale ala Reasoner-Sanderson.

    I still support the Penner move but personally it would hurt less if the pick was in the hands of the Thrash. Yes I know it’s still a loss for us but it would just make me feel better.

    And maybe that would work for Lowe too and then we can usher out anything that cna get us a pick but isn’t important for ’09 and beyond.

  8. PunjabiOil says:

    Nothing about Katz?

  9. Dennis says:

    PJO: I guess someone will get into it eventually. Only thing I really paid attention to today was he said he was gonna be hands-on.

    I hope by hands-on, it means buying out Souray.

  10. Pleasure Motors says:

    while I didn’t think the new guy played poorly, I just saw him throw a hit and have a fight.

    On that note, why not play him instead of Huggy Bear?

  11. HBomb says:

    Dennis: the dream scenario is this:

    - Burke trades Oiler 1st rounder to Toronto for Sundin

    - Anaheim flames out in first or second round

    - Toronto proceeds to fuck up Oiler 1st rounder, guy selected with it turns into biggest bust of draft

    That’s how I hope it plays out.

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    Dennis: Ken Lowe was mentioned in the papers today saying after rehab, he doesn’t expect Souray to have any problems with his shoulder.

    We’ll see.

    In other news, ”Ask Matty” segment – Matheson thinks Pouliot and Jacques could be on the trade block. Possibly Schremp too.

  13. Slipper says:

    I’m guessing that Matheson went MAP and JFJ because they’re the brightest Oilers prospects who aren’t in the bigs, and both are impending free agents. God knows they’re not getting anything for guys like Bodie or Fisher.

    The Oilers need to thin down their contract situation. They don’t need to worry about UFAs and contracts they can walk away from. Ecspecially if the return most likely ends being a long shot NHL’er who’ll toil away in the minor, filling up a contract slot.

    Stoll gets a raise this summer, right? Torres will be making 2.4, with a 2.25 hit. He’s damaged so, he won’t be going anywhere immediately. You can’t have 5+ million tied up in a pair of forwards who can’t regularly generate offence, behind the big unit. Ecspecially if you’re just using them as fodder for the wolves on the other team. You can sign guys of Gelinas’ or Bonk’s ilk at half the price to do the same job.

    I think if the Oil are planning to try to win next season they have decide between two of Torres, Stoll, Pisani and Moreau. Since Moreau is the Captain and on a depreciating contract, and Pisani is sainted in this city, I think there’s only one obvious direction.

    Christ, they need some offence behind 10/83. Steve Staios is 5th in even strength goal FFS!

  14. jon k says:

    So much for that Souray not having any big problems with the shoulder. Reports are that he’s having surgery this week in New Jersey, effectively ending his season as well.

    The downside is that a successful surgery will keep him off the LTIR.

  15. mike w says:

    Anyone watching the game?

  16. uni says:

    Trying to watch the game if I can get Sopcast co-operating.

  17. mike w says:

    Do doo do Doo

  18. jon k says:

    I’m sure MacT has a reason for keeping the PK defense pairing of Staios and Smid together, I’m just not sure what it is.

    They really do seem awful, neither can successfully clear from behind the red line.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Hawks are a fun team, you can see they’re going to mash people for years if they can keep this roster together.

    I didn’t see Cam Barker. The Oilers could use him because they don’t have many young defenders.

  20. honkey says:

    I see it’s all back to normal, not much of emotion or jump from the players. Hawks controlling the game and Oilers gives up a goal just before intermission because they can’t clear the puck on the pk.

  21. dubya says:

    Staios is a great PKer, except for the fact that he cannot clear the puck to save his life.

    That’s one thing I’ll miss about Souray this year, at least on the PK…when he gets the puck behind the net, he generally rifles it neck high at about 105mph. For some reason there weren’t a lot of guys trying to keep those in.

  22. Dennis says:

    Tow bad teams going nowhere and showing little emotion while doing so.

    Oilers had a tonne of lazy passes picked off and Matt Greene took another soft penalty, read: not roughing, fighting or high-sticking.

  23. mike w says:

    Stortini looks like a lady running in high heels when he skates…

  24. Andy Grabia says:

    This team confuses the hell out of me. 3-1, just like that.

  25. mike w says:

    That Penner tip-in was beautiful.

  26. honkey says:

    Wow 2 powerplay goals and a nice tip in by Moreau and out of the blue the Oilers have a 2 goal lead.
    Guess I’ll keep on watching a little longer now.

  27. mike w says:

    Does Coach Savard yell at everything and everyone?

  28. Lowetide says:

    mike w: THAT was funny (Zach comment).

    Some nice skill that period, but mostly it was just pleasant to see another team with kids on the blueline.

    If the NHL wants to increase scoring, they should mandate one Dman under 22 on the ice at all times.

  29. mc79hockey says:

    Are you guys watching Dreger? Jesus fucking Christ. Lowe might end up being a buyer at the deadline, according to him.

    Fucking christ.

  30. Andy Grabia says:

    Did everyone else just see Dreger talking about Lowe? Dreger said Lowe regrets not asking for a roster player back in the Smyth trade. That’s certainly not what he’s been saying for the past year. How many times can this guy change his story?

  31. Lowetide says:

    If they deal for Radek Dvorak (signed at 1.6M for 08-09) and give up one of those AHL prospects I’m all over it.

  32. Andy Grabia says:

    Dvorak is hurt, and likely out 4-6 weeks. So I hope you’re wrong, LT. :)

  33. Dennis says:

    That was quick, Ty:) I honestly don’t believe Lowe’s gonna be a buyer, I think he’s just planting this info as the latest sucker for the fans.

    I love it when the refs call everything!!!

    Hemsky misses the triggerman. Not saying it’s gonna work but Gagner should take a page from Horc and just look to get in a position to shoot when he sees Hemsky playing keep-away

  34. Dennis says:

    Remember the year we picked up German Titov as our big acquisition?

    You know I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere else so I’ll throw it out there.

    I’m thankful that the EIG saved this club but I don’t think we’re getting full coverage of how much they profited either.

    To wit, coming off 12 playoff home games heading into the ’07 season plus a high spike in merchandise sales and yet the team comes in three or four mill under the cap right?

    NO one has fucking mentioned this yet. All that season we heard we had room to move and pick up salary and we didn’t.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Andy: I still think it’s worth it. Add another NHL player at the deadline who is also useful in 08-09. This team needs NHL players.

  36. mike w says:

    Why is re-signing Pitkanen such an impossibility again?

  37. PDO says:

    mike w:

    We’re paying Slapshot! $5,400,000 to be on the injured reserve, fumbling the puck around somewhere.

    Ideally, we deal Stoll at the draft for a big, scoring RW.

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Torres – Gagner – RW (Bernier?)
    Moreau – Cogliano – Pisani

    … that’s actually a real top 9 ;)

  38. Andy Grabia says:

    I’m guessing the return we’d have to give up less in the summer, LT.

  39. mike w says:

    Still, Lowe is best to pawn Roloson off to the first team with an injured 1A starter and spend the money on re-signing Pitkanen. Pitkanen has to be the priority with Tom Gilbert, even if Stoll is dealt (although I don’t want him to be shipped off based on one bad season).

    Buyouts are 2/3 of the contract against the cap, right?

    God, that Souray contract is bonkers.

  40. PunjabiOil says:

    You get the vibe Pitkanen is going to be moved

    When the TSN crew talks, you listen.

    Beginning with Joni signing a 1 year deal, then Stauffer dropping hints, to Kevin Lowe stating the negotiations not doing well, to the TSN crew discussing ”if he gets moved, the team that gets him will get a good player in Joni” along with the Oilers getting in return for Joni a guy they can use in their rebuild.

    Perhaps these guys know something the general public doesn’t.

    If he’s moved, I’d hope it’s a quality for quality deal.

  41. Dennis says:

    Madonna’s old headboard has more finish than Cogs.

  42. Black Dog says:

    Yep if they trade Joni its all on that Souray contract.

    And that is stupid.

    Nice goal by Joni and a nice setup of Marchant on the two on one. :)

    It would be a dumb ass move for sure. I hope the first thing Katz says to Lowe is “sign him”.

  43. mc79hockey says:

    It would be a dumb ass move for sure. I hope the first thing Katz says to whoever he hires to replace Lowe is “sign him”.

    Dennis – I agree with what you’re saying about the EIG. I started to read Spector’s column today and then I just stopped when I hit this paragraph:

    In 1998, it took 37 people to buy the team – and that was to manage the imminent cash calls. The NHL was a serious money-loser in small-market Canada, so the more pieces the pie had, the more manageable the losses would be.

    I mean, fine – that’s going to be the story. Spector’s better than that though, or he should be. What imminent cash calls? How were the cash calls connected to the moves of 2001 that we’ve talked about at my site? I mean, if you pay the slightest bit of attention, the narrative is just bullshit. I think I’ve been fair to Cal Nichols, I’ve given him his due…those guys weren’t a collection of 37 St. Francis of Assisi’s. The real story is more nuanced and the media are all to fucking obsessed with comparing Katz to Batman to dig into it.

  44. Andy Grabia says:

    You guys see this post on The Sports Economist?

  45. doritogrande says:

    Did Gagner just do what I thought I saw?

    Holy shit.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Andy: I’ve heard that before. The Oilers haven’t left the starting gate with everything in balance for several years now. They’re always down a veteran defender or missing experience up front.

    No sir. They have a bunch of kids at F who are at about the same level and dealing one of them for a season worth of Radek Dvorak is a good move.

    Eventually, they HAVE to get back to the simple yet effective and time honored tradition of putting people in a position to succeed based on their abilities and levels of experience.

    Enough. Enough.

  47. Ribs says:

    Nice game. The Oil had some jump to them that must have carried over from the Flames game. It kind of petered out as the game went on but there was still some effort in there.

    Penner just looks better and better. How I hated the games where no Oiler could stand in front of the other teams net without being manhandled out of the way. Smyth was good but took a beating and was left with just the tip-ins mostly. Penner has some hands to find the puck once it reaches him.

    The Pitkanen talk just reminds me of a year ago when his name was brought up every day in a new rumour. Me thinks his agent plays a role in this. Sign him if you can but get rid of him if he is just playing for money. He’s showed little emotion in his time with Edmonton and it’s put some big doubts in my mind at least. He has such a wonderful toolbox of talent. It’s a shame if he doesn’t ever learn what the tools are for.

    Moreau is really stepping into the leader role and I have to say I am impressed. I just wish I didn’t cringe every time he goes on his crazy glory shifts. Stay healthy!

    Staios is looking more comfortable these days. If that’s because Smid is playing a bit better, I don’t know…but please do not trade!

    Stoll should shoot from one knee more often.

    Greene……..arg! Why do that crap? Why?

    Anyways, here’s hoping the Oil can keep the winning train on track for a few more games here. Shutting down Iginla again would be a good start.

    Pat Kane gives me a bit more hope for Schremp. Skating isn’t as crucial if you can get into the right spots of the ice.

  48. Dennis says:

    Well, LT, lots of things can happen and I just can’t see all of 14-16-18-34 being back next year; at least if they’re serious about getting this “scoring winger.”

    BTW, that’s gonna be the buzz this summer. Just as last year was about “getting someone to play with hemsky” this year it will be “getting someone to play with gagner for the second line to help out horc’s line.”

    If that happens, then only two of the aforementioned four will be back.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Well if we make a list of players we believe can cover their cap bet next season, it might look like this up front:
    1. Horcoff
    2. Penner
    3. Hemsky
    4. Cogliano
    5. Brodziak

    Add in the guys on your list plus the kid who is going to play no matter:
    6. Gagner
    7. Pisani
    8. Moreau
    9. Stoll
    10. Torres

    AND the RFA’s:
    11. Nilsson
    12. Stortini

    and the UFA’s who may be back
    13. Glencross
    14. Reasoner

    can they keep all four on your list AND add a less expensive Dvorak type role player?

    Probably not. Brodziak can probably replace Pisani at some point but that’s a healthy contract, and Ethan rifles is the captain and is physical.

    So we’re right back to where we always get: Stoll and Raffi. Add Pitkanen because where there’s smoke there is fire and ladies and gents there is your trade deadline.

  50. Vic Ferrari says:

    I keep hearing these 5+ million dollar numbers for Pitkanen. The guys is a good player no doubt, and fun to watch as well. But damn, that’s a lot of scratch for someone who doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be a great PP producer.

    It wouldn’t break my heart to see him leave, though I think that June or July would be the better time to deal him.

  51. Vic Ferrari says:


    Even though I don’t want to see it, the hard truth is that it probably makes more sense for the Oilers to have another year of player development.

    Just keep marching prospects off the end of the pier and see which ones stay afloat. And if they start winning too many, trade Staios for a promising 20 year old defender, that should take care of that.

    Then make up an Oilers Tavares jersey and hope that lady luck favours them on lottery day.

  52. honkey says:

    Vic: Joni hasn’t quarterbacked the PP all season so it’s no surprise he number aren’t good this year.
    It’s been all about Stoll-Souray when they have been healthy.

    He did some superb plays today, like the one Oilers where hammered in their own end for about a minute he finds the lose puck and jump out on a 2 on 1 with Cogliano. To bad Cogs had his Marchant-like hands today and couldn’t finish. Then that wonderful goal moving along the blueline finding the spot and fire a well placed slapshot with no chance for Lalime. Then you have all those other plays where he uses his skating ability to break up what might have been scoring chances or penaltys against any other defenseman. I think he will be worth every penny up to 5.5M without a doubt. My heart would be crushed if they can’t come to terms with Joni.

  53. Slipper says:

    Pitkanen averages more PP time per sixty minutes than any other Oiler.


    Yet he sits tenth in results/60, and eleventh in Pts/60 of all palyers logging signifigant PP time (ie 2+ min/60).

    So, I guess I disagree with Honkey.

  54. Lowetide says:

    I think we need to discount PP results from Oilers players. I’d be much more interested in Pitkanen’s powerplay/60 number in Philadelphia where they seem to have a clue about the man advantage. The Oilers make the world look like Ozzie Smith when they are 5×4.

    Vic: Yeah, I agree that’s probably the plan but as someone who has probably already seen more seasons than I have ahead of me this “patience” crap in the world of the cap is tremendously galling.

    And as much as Tavares would be worth it, you have to get so lucky and let’s face it the Oilers used up all their luck on 99.

  55. Slipper says:

    Lowetide: Last season in Philly Pitkanen’s 5v4 rating was +3.57/60, and lead the Flyers in powerplay time. Even with the shorties removed, his success was less than 5 goals per hour of icetime.

    I thik you would say that he’s been given his at bats.

  56. mc79hockey says:


    I wrote about Pitkanen’s numbers on the PP way back when. The two years before last were good enough, although last year was terrible.

  57. Dennis says:

    As much as I like Vic, it’s hard to argue his point that you have to think long and hard about paying a dman over 5 mill when it’s doubtful he can drive a PP.

    That being said, I’d do it because eventually you have to pay SOMEBODY. Lowe made a wicked deal when he inked Hemsky longterm but ever since then it’s like he expects his own guys to take paycuts. Sure, fuck it, we’ll throw the bank at Vanek, Nylander, Penner and Souray; on the other hand we’ll fight with incumbants.

    I’m hoping that Katz goes Ali on Souray’s contract and opts for the buy-out. And if that happens, then we can give Joni his paper.

    To tell you the truth, though, I think the plan is to pay 24-44 as the vets and have 77-5 round out the top four.

    Then when Matt Greene makes the all-star team, we’ll be all set.

  58. Slipper says:

    I don’t see how freeing up 1/3 of Souray’s money serves as a solution. It’s less than 2 million, no?

    I think you either find a suitor (highly unlikely considering his shoulder), or suck it up and hope the cap rises.

  59. Dennis says:

    You can string out the actual cap hit of a buy-out over a few years, right?

    Just heard something funny and sad on Stauffer’s show.

    Bob and Rishaugh are debating whether you keep Pitanene around. Rishaugh says no because, get this,

    - Considering you’ve already tied up so much cash in Souray and that he’s “likely to miss games for the next couple of years or so” now you can’t afford to tie up another big chunk in Pitkanen.

    And he says all this without taking Lowe to task for signing Lowe in the first fucking place.

    Honestly, these guys must be just trying to get my goat.

  60. speeds says:

    Dennis, I threw up a post at IOF regarding the cap ramifications of buying out Souray.

  61. Black Dog says:

    Fucking Souray.

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