Blues at Oilers, G70/07-08

I’m fairly certain Kevin Lowe would like this game in the “W” column. A win tonight puts them in a scrum for 10-13th with Phoenix, Chicago and Columbus and at least one of those teams might feel a lottery pick is worth flushing the season.

The Oilers schedule through season’s end is a bear, featuring a few teams bound for glory. If the Oilers are going to get into (say) 11th for the season, they will need their best players to bleed a little.

Garry Unger (in photo) would be an example.

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137 Responses to "Blues at Oilers, G70/07-08"

  1. doritogrande says:

    If you’re looking for players to bleed for the Oilers, you’re a little late. Captain Cripple has been shut down for the season, and there’s another nice option on IR in Colorado.

    I’m worried about this game. With St. Lou coming off a 7-3 beat down last night, somebody’s going to be out shooting to kill.

  2. heed says:

    i’m worried as well about the beating they took last night. however it is nice to get them on the back to back games.

    i’m hoping that glencoss and storts have the fire in their eyes tonight. we’re going to need some serious physical play right off the hop (greene, smid and grebs may want to get involved as well).

    GOILERS!

  3. HBomb says:

    Teams bound for glory, eh LT?

    I’m going to guess that you’re referring to the three games against Colorado, two against Minnesota, and one against San Jose?

    Calgary and Vancouver (2 games each) are impostors as far as I’m concerned. I’d be happy with a split with Calgary, but I want to see the Oilers go full-hog to play spoiler against the Canucks, due to their phony-tough team and idiot fanbase. Win both those matchups and take out as many players as possible while doing it. Knock them out of the top-eight.

    The only “soft” games on the schedule here on in are the two games with Phoenix and tonight’s matchup with St. Loo.

    I’m thinking 6-6-1 down the stretch would be a nice enough finish. 8-5 to get to a “true” .500 record and 87 points would be outstanding, and probably leaves Burke drafting around 11th or 12th overall, yes?

  4. doritogrande says:

    Heed:

    I missed the last game. Is Smid back?

  5. heed says:

    smid is back. everyone’s favorite target, roy, is mercifully out of the lineup.

  6. LJ says:

    Everything about St Louis bores me.

  7. dstaples says:

    Gary Unger’s photo brought back some memories for me — I talked to Unger a few years back, in 2002. Here’s part of the story I wrote. (Apologies in advance for writing such a long post, but the great thing about the Net, of course, is that space is unlimited, and you can just skip to the next post:) )

    Most every Canadian boy used to know of Garry Unger’s legendary fortitude.

    Unger never missed a game for 11 straight years in the National Hockey League. He fought off numerous severe injuries to play in a then-record 914 games straight.

    Recently, as I recounted Unger’s story to my son, a few questions popped into my head: What does Garry Unger tell his own kids when they are a bit sick and want to skip school?

    And now that he’s not playing, does Unger still go into work no matter what?

    I tracked Unger down in Tulsa, Okla., where he coaches the Tulsa Oilers in the Central Hockey League, his latest stop in a career that has seen him coach in Kamloops, Scotland, England, Phoenix, New Haven and New Mexico.

    Unger is 54 now. He still never misses a day at work, he says. When he doesn’t feel well, he still goes. He finds that if he sticks to his normal schedule, he gets better more rapidly.

    “When I get sick, I just don’t admit it,” he says.

    In his playing days, Unger played through 11 broken noses and 200 stitches. One year, he broke a few bones in his back and spent training camp in a wheelchair, but was ready to play the first regular season game.

    Another time he played with a broken foot. He found that the foot hurt when he was off the ice, but once he got in the game, he focused on the puck and the action, and didn’t notice the pain.

    He’d never get something frozen in order to play, he says. He wasn’t willing to play if he was putting his future well-being at risk. He didn’t want to be hobbled for life.

    “You can’t sell your soul for the game,” he says.

    He was able to play so regularly, he says, partly because he had a high pain threshold, but mostly because he was inspired by his younger sister Carol Ann, who was crippled by polio. Her leg muscles never developed, so she either was in braces and crutches, or in a wheelchair, or she crawled around the house. Still, she was a happy kid.

    “It really gave me a lot of inner strength to see her strength.”

    Whenever Unger sees someone who is down or hurt, his message to them is to get going.

    “I think guys can pick themselves up and get themselves going. If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, go spend some times at the kids’ cancer ward. I take my team there three or four times a year.”

    Seeing Carol Ann’s struggles stopped Unger from ever feeling sorry for himself, or anybody else, something that has stuck with him to this day.

    “Sometimes, it’s a negative,” he says of his attitude.

    For instance, he and his wife of 28 years, Beverly, went to a marriage counselling class, where Unger took a test that measured his emotional makeup. When it came to sympathy, the test showed that Unger was below the scale.

    He’s had to think hard about how he deals with his wife and her feelings.

    “In a marriage there are times when you need to maybe sympathize with people,” he says. “Maybe they’re hurting a bit more than you think they are… . But I really have a tough time with it, only because of the way I treat myself.”

    As a coach, Unger has found only a very few players who will use a slight injury as an excuse not to practise or play. Far more often, players want to play even though they’re hurt. Unger would rather they sit out a game or two than risk a bigger injury that would force them to miss a big chunk of the season.

    Still, he can be tough. He hates it when guys get hurt during a game, then flop around on the ice.

    “I tell my players, ‘If you get knocked down and you’re on the ice and the trainer has to come, then they’d carry you off on a stretcher. You had better not jump back on the bench and want to go out on the next shift.’ “

    Unger says it’s a mental advantage to the other team if they knock you down, and you flop on the ice. In his own playing days, Unger told his own trainer. “Tommy, if I’m laying on the ice, and I’m not getting up, you better call a hearse, because I’m dead.”

    His own daughters are now all young adults. I ask him how he was with them when they were kids and said they were sick.

    “It would maybe be a little different if they were boys, but I was fairly soft on them,” he says.

    His inclination was to push them, always, but he learned to back off. Still, if he felt they were using the same ploy two or three times to stay home from school when they weren’t really sick, he’d try to crack down.

    “And that,” he says with a laugh, “is when my wife would step in and say to me, ‘Leave them alone.’ “

  8. Bruce says:

    smid is back. everyone’s favorite target, roy, is mercifully out of the lineup.

    Smid, our captain’s parting gift to the Games Missed column, came back Sunday and had a low event game, no points, no penalties, no shots, hits, blocks, giveaways or takeaways, yet wound up a tidy +2 in 12:23. Not sure what he had to do with the two goals — nothing whatever on Reasoner’s off a faceoff, while Cogliano’s first goal was also generated down deep — but being on the ice for 0 GA was no mean feat in that game, so suffice to say he didn’t hurt us.

    As for Target Boy, he has played 11 GP and while a complete nonentity offensively (1A), he has held his own with an even +/- rating in ~two hours of very sheltered minutes. (Desjardins has his QUALCOMP at -0.21, above only Pouliot (-0.24) among Oilers with 10+ GP). He’s a very low-event player, 1 GV, 1 TK. The former is pretty impressive, granted it’s a tiny sample size. Just for fun I decided to put Roy in context with his teammates on a per/60 basis (all ice time including special teams since giveaways and takeaways occur in all situations):

    GV/60|TK/60 = net – Dman
    ————————————
    0.51 | 0.51 = -0.00 – Roy
    1.88 | 0.91 = -0.97 – Smid
    2.94 | 1.71 = -1.23 – Souray
    1.69 | 0.42 = -1.27 – Rourke
    2.51 | 0.94 = -1.57 – Gilbert
    2.97 | 1.19 = -1.78 – Staios
    2.86 | 0.92 = -1.94 – Pitkanen
    2.95 | 0.98 = -1.97 – Grebeshkov
    2.58 | 0.54 = -2.04 – Greene
    ————————————

    Let me be the first to say “for what it’s worth” about the above, this may be one of those cases where context overwhelms content. I’m not sure how much value can be put in these stats which are judgement calls to begin with and are surely subject to playing style. Putting them in the per 60 format shows that guys like Roy and Rourke are truly low event, their GV/TK numbers are small even in context to their own small minutes. A breakdown of giveaways per touch would likely reveal a very different order to the universe. Roy and Rourke, to their credit, handle the puck as little as possible, and make as simple a play as possible. Whereas a Gilbert, Grebs or Pitkanen is going to be handling, carrying and moving the puck far more often so higher GV ratios are to be expected. Staios, who is actually worst on the team in total giveaways and GV/60, has less of an excuse. And for the style of game he plays, Matt Greene needs to protect the puck better, and to come away with it a little more often. His GV/TK ratio of 4.8 : 1 is over 50% worse than any other defender on the team.

    On the good side of the ledger, Smid has by far the lowest GV rates of any regular, pretty impressive when you consider he’s the youngest guy of the bunch. And Souray’s TK ratio jumps right off the chart where all the other guys are clustered around 1.0. This jives with what I remember in brief glimpses of Sheldon, he was pretty active at separating the other guys from the puck. Also he would gamble on pinches which likely shows up in this metric as a positive but it ain’t necessarily so.

    So like I say, take it for what it’s worth. There’s lots of ways to interpret information like this. Anybody else spot something interesting in there?

  9. jon k says:

    Winning tonight in regulation would go a long way to finishing out the season with 7 wins. If we stop giving out third points that might be good for getting us out of the top 7. I think that’s a pretty reasonable expectation.

  10. garnet says:

    Ugh. CP just posted a story on the magnificence of the 2003 draft: Eric Staal, Getzlaf, Phaneuf, Vanek, Weber, Michalek, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Parise, Marc-Andre Fleury, Nathan Horton, Jeff Carter, Nikolai Zherdev and the list goes on. The Oilers’ draft-day haul: MAP, JFJ, Colin McDonald, Huggy Bear, Roy and the high point, at No. 214 overall, was Brodziak. Not all our problems are Barry Fraser’s fault, then.

  11. Dennis says:

    MacT today on Pouliot: “Thought he played real well in Colu and was just OK in Chi. We’re still evaluating him and we’ll continue to evaluate him for the rest of the season.”

    Sounds like he hasn’t been blown away by him and sounds like the Oilers are gonna use that previously referenced loophole to keep him around for the rest of the season even if Sanderson regains his health.

  12. doritogrande says:

    Dan Cleary aka “the one that got away” signed long-term with the Wings. 5 years, 14 Mil.

    Don’t think he’s necessarily worth that much, but congrats to him.

  13. Bruce says:

    Congrats indeed to Daniel Cleary, who transformed himself from an offensive hotshot who couldn’t impress the Hockey Canada brass to a responsible two-way winger with one of the NHL’s top teams. Back-to-back 20-20 seasons with a burgeoning plus to go with it.

    It’s not every day that a native Newfoundlander signs an eight-figure deal. Well done, my son.

  14. PDO says:

    Bruce, you’re one of my favourite commentators on the blog, but I have to say that I don’t quite understand your infatuation with RTSS stats…. specifically the Giveaway/Takeaway stat, that is so clearly different in every rink.

    It also is a biased stat imo… of course a skill guy like Hemsky will have more turnovers than a physical guy like Glencross…. who will also have more takeaways.

    Hemsky is attempting to beat guys at the blueline (=causes turnovers), while Glencross is dumping the puck in (=avoids turnovers) and Glencross is forechecking (=causes turnovers).

    Unless you’re going to either A) punish Glencross for the initial dump in or B) reward Hemsky for maintaining control of the puck over the blueline, I don’t think it’s a very relevant stat.

  15. PDO says:

    Sorry, that should say “clearly counted differently” in the post above this one.

  16. Doogie says:

    I have to ask: What the hell happened in that photo? Did Unger get run from behind into the glass or something? Take a puck to just the wrong spot and start bleeding like a stuck pig? Jesus, that looks ugly.

  17. Slipper says:

    Cleary has replicated two seasons in a row of being top five on the Wings for quality of Opposition numbers aswell as good outscoring numbers. Add to that two consecutive years of good counting stats (he’s second on the Wings only to Zetterberg this season for goals scored per 60), and I conclude that the Wings made a good deal here.

    He’s like the Red Wing’s Pisani, minus the colitis, and adding the good team.

    In a 50-55 million cap world, I think that it’s a good deal to pay a player, who makes a positive difference towards winning, under 3 million per season.

  18. Bruce says:

    Zack’s first career goal from outside the blue paint. Nice shot. Who knew?

  19. PDO says:

    I like this dream.

  20. doritogrande says:

    Where’d that 3-0 lead come from? I kinda like it. Couple great plays by Samwise. Add another A+ error for Pitkanen.

  21. doritogrande says:

    Ales Hemsky is a beautiful hockey player. Too bad Legace finally made a save.

  22. PDO says:

    That would’ve been the prettiest goal an Oiler has scored since Doug Weight was skating backwards against Calgary.

  23. Lord Bob says:

    Checking in from work, and it looks like NHL.com has this weird bug where it shows the Oilers holding a 3-0 lead on goals by Stortini, Stoll, and Gagner, with MAP holding an assist. That can’t be right. Can somebody get me the real score?

  24. doritogrande says:

    bob, it should actually read 4-0. But some stupid hockey God refuses to acknowledge that Ales Hemsky is Neo.

  25. doritogrande says:

    Shit.

  26. PDO says:

    DG, that one is on you for cursing at the hockey gods during a 3-0 lead.

  27. doritogrande says:

    pdo:

    I stand by my statement.

  28. Bruce says:

    Bruce, you’re one of my favourite commentators on the blog

    Thanks!

    , but I have to say that I don’t quite understand your infatuation with RTSS stats….

    This just in: I’m a stats whore. I’ll take whatever information is out there and see if it’s any good. Ain’t no stat that’s perfect, and this one is less perfect than most. Surely you read my very strongly worded caveats above, including my interpretation about why some guys had a higher GV ratio than others. I would expect as much. Nonetheless, there’s info in there about Smid, Souray, Staios and Greene which has the ring of truth (to me). Let me say again, take it for what it’s worth.

    specifically the Giveaway/Takeaway stat, that is so [clearly counted differently] in every rink.

    For that reason I wouldn’t presume to compare players from different teams, or at the very least would limit the comparison to road games which would iron out (some of) the statistical imbalance. But within a team, they’re all playing in front of the same scorekeeper(s) every night.

    It also is a biased stat imo… of course a skill guy like Hemsky will have more turnovers than a physical guy like Glencross…. who will also have more takeaways.

    Not so sure about that last part, PDO, they don’t seem to give takeaways for forechecking unless it’s an out-and-out steal of the puck, but yes you are right, it is a biased stat. I am working from the assumption that the data is flawed. At the same time, GlenX won’t get a scoring point for dumping it in, but his avoided turnover might prevent a goal against. Hemsky’s positive plays are rewarded in the “points” column; maybe it would be interesting to compare Pts. to GV among forwards … hmmmm … did I mention I’m a stats whore?

  29. Bruce says:

    This game (still) scares me.

  30. Bruce says:

    Like I said.

  31. doritogrande says:

    Error: Pitkanen.

  32. Bruce says:

    Nice pass by Pouliot to Pitkanen. First Oiler-to-Oiler pass in about 8 minutes.

  33. PDO says:

    How about:

    Error: Jarret Stoll.

    I started cursing at the screen the second he tried to pull that off, and sure enough it ends up in the back of the net. What an idiotic play by someone who has to know better than to try that.

  34. doritogrande says:

    There’s Oiler hockey as we know it.

  35. Bruce says:

    Oilers motto: Here, have the puck. At least 4 GV on that sequence: Pouliot, Brodziak, Hemsky, GlenX.

    Wake the fuck up.

  36. PDO says:

    Sigh.

    Time to crack another beer. I wasn’t planning on drinking tonight.

    Fucking ridiculous.

    I hate loose hockey.

  37. Andy Grabia says:

    Another “Too Many Men” penalty!?

  38. doritogrande says:

    pdo:

    What chu got? I find Fort Garry Dark really takes the edge off around this point in a game.

  39. PDO says:

    Took the bottles in for a couple cases of Mr. Keith.

    Nothing special, but a college student can’t do much better ;)

  40. Shawn says:

    Nothing special!? That’s the brew of the gods my friend.

  41. doritogrande says:

    Denis Grebeshkov just channelled Tomas Kaberle. The Russian’s developed so quickly this year that I’m actually comfortable with him out there now.

  42. doritogrande says:

    As a fellow collegian, I say to you:

    You had empties?

  43. PDO says:

    I still live at home, and make sure to allow them to grow to a number that allows me to bring back no less than 24 beers :D

  44. PDO says:

    Shawn:

    Ideally I’d be taking home a bottle of Gibons Finest, which rings for about the same price as two cases.

    Alas, quantity matters.

    Certainly my ale of choice though…

  45. dubya says:

    Reasoner and Stoll contribute NOTHING at evens. Stoll lost his brain and is an offensive black hole, and Reasoner is so so passive. Pouliot hasn’t done much to deserve it, but I’d love to see him between 83 and 27. Keep the kid line, play Brodziak between GlenX and Pisani, then give Stoll, Reasoner, and Stortini the garbage minutes, maybe subbing Storts in after PKs when Pisani is tired.

  46. Lord Bob says:

    Oh, good, I see NHL.com is working again. I just hope the fact that I was covertly checking scores wasn’t given away by the fact that I started cursing like a sailor.

  47. doritogrande says:

    RedWings beat the ChiHawks.

    Can we please do ourselves a favour and win this game?

  48. Slipper says:

    Bruce: You obviously have a good eye for the play. I’d be interested to see your collective GV, TK and Hits compiled for the remaining television games. We can compare them to the actualt registered numbers and have a whole lot of fun.

    I began noting scoring chances during the first period tonight, but it got pretty busy and I had to take a piss or two.

    Maybe next game.

  49. Lord Bob says:

    To appease the hockey gods, how about we just sacrifice Marty Reasoner? Cash in on him before free agency.

  50. Dennis says:

    If Smid would’ve scored off that rush out of the penalty box, I would’ve lobbied to call off the season.

  51. Shawn says:

    Well I won’t argue with that PDO, as long as you aren’t denegrating the pride of Nova Scotia ;)

  52. Tyler says:

    Is anyone else listening to the CHED tonight? If so, can you please tell me who this ‘Glencurtis’ fellow is?

  53. doritogrande says:

    So….anyone want to bet against Cogliano for the OT winner?

  54. Lowetide says:

    lol. Boy this is a young team. Jailbreak hither, jailbreak yawn. I’m wondering if I can get this posted before someone scores in OT.

    Fairly nice game by Pouliot tonight.

  55. doritogrande says:

    Neo has no fear. Legace down.

  56. Lowetide says:

    Robert Nilsson has arrived. He’s playing very well everywhere.

  57. Andy Grabia says:

    No. Fucking. Way.

  58. PDO says:

    That has to be an NHL record…

  59. gary b says:

    Cog-GOAL-iano?

  60. uni says:

    Cogliano is going to make me cry.

  61. PDO says:

    BACK TO BACK TO BACK OT WINNERS?!

    WHAT?!

  62. Lowetide says:

    Cogliano might just stay up all year.

  63. doritogrande says:

    Funny you should mention pdo. It actually was a “record” after last game:

    From TSN.ca:

    Cogliano has 15 goals and 22 assists this year and became the first rookie in NHL history to score the game-winning goal in back-to-back games that have gone into overtime.

  64. garnet says:

    Cogliano’s going to win Rookie of the Year, and yes, he’ll win it in overtime.

  65. Shawn says:

    ooops NHL.com had me confused I thought it was a shoot out…

    Cogs scored AGAIN!? Incredible.

  66. Lowetide says:

    Oilers Procurement Department will go back to getting slammed in the face tomorrow for mistakes real and imagined but lordy that Gagner/Cogliano combination looks like it’ll be fun rolling out.

  67. Lord Bob says:

    Dear Andrew Cogliano,

    Don’t spend all your fantastic overtime goals in one place.

    Sincerely,
    Lord Bob

    (P.S.: I want to bear your children.)

  68. doritogrande says:

    4 way tie for 10th place with only Phoenix (playing tonight against the Ducks) with a game in hand.

  69. Andy Grabia says:

    I don’t like this Cogliano kid angling in on San Fernando’s turf. It may be go time.

  70. Lowetide says:

    When was the last time EDM had a rookie crop like this? The Oilers are an organization of ridiculous clusters but this group here (Cogliano, Gagner, Gilbert, etc) has to be right up there.

    As Howie Meeker would say, Sweet Christmas.

  71. uni says:

    That was just an unreal sequence, I don’t know how Nilsson intercepted that pass to send it back up ice; then Gagner coming in on a bad shot angle and range, firing off, getting his own rebound, the near miss by Cogliano, Gagner retrieving and Cogs getting clearance to pump in that rolling backhand swipe into the net.

    Just wow, I guess that’s why we keep watching these games, small victories =).

    Also I only saw the OT, what’s this I hear about Nilsson playing defensively sound hockey now?

  72. uni says:

    Also Lord Bob you are such a fickle hussie, what happened to that special place in your heart (and…erm…other places) that was reserved only for Pisani?

    At least Andy is loyal and true.

  73. jon k says:

    Shawn: Jump the gun?

    Bruce: The giveaway/takeaway ratio might be a bit skewed for Roy. The individuals who count giveaways get carried away in Rexall regularly it seems, and if I’m not mistaken Roy was recalled for insurance on a long road trip and has played most of his games away this year.

    Aside from a few final shifts in the third, Pouliot was not looking like an NHLer out there. First game where I legitimately considered that he might not make it as an NHLer at all. Scary when you think of the talent that was still left in 2003 at his draft position (to kick the horse a few more times).

    Grebs, Greene, and Gilbert with good games on D. Hemsky, Gagner, Penner, and surprisingly Stoll with good games on F.

    Poor games from Nilsson and Pitkanen.

    If I were to try and break down Nilsson’s problems from a defensive systems view I’d say the following:

    -He still pretty consistently makes poor decisions when entering the zone. On the rush needs to learn when to dump the puck deep instead of making a pass to a double-covered forward in the middle. Has been happening almost once a game with regularity. Always leads to turnover.

    -Has problems with figuring out who his man is when defending against the cycle. I noticed a few times this game where he would hesitate to engage the man on the boards but also let his previous mark drift toward the slot. I’m pretty sure MacT kept the kids line benched for a while after that sequence.

  74. Black Dog says:

    On another note Pouliot now has 6 ES points less then Stoll. Yikes!

    Gagner hits forty points, Cogliano at thirty eight with sixteen goals.

    A dozen games left – can Gagner hit fifty points? Over a PPG since Horcoff went down. Can Cogliano pot twenty? Who is the last Oiler rookie to score twenty LT?

  75. Bruce says:

    Man, is this club on a shit streak right now. Ten good minutes at the beginning, ten good minutes at the end, not a hell of a lot in between.

    I guess they had to give Cogs the first star tonight, that’s as prolonged an ovation as I’ve heard at Rexall in quite some time, but how could they possibly overlook Denis Grebeshkov tonight? Wow, what a game he played. MacT sure noticed: Grebs 27:01, Pitkanen 19:01. He was skating miles and distributing the puck like crazy, not getting beat one on one but winning the battles and walking out with the puck time and again. Oh, and a great, probably game-saving, stop off Kariya. I’m really starting to get excited about this guy.

    Of course, Slipper, the three stars are an even more meaningless “stat” than RTSS. So it’s not important, other than credit where it’s due isn’t a bad idea.

  76. Slipper says:

    LT:

    Nilsson is one hungry animal pointed in one direction. No question of a fucking doubt.

    Grebeshkov is at the very least a young MAB, amiright? Wha?

    Seriously though, he’d looked alot better too. Seems to know when to pressure and can still back off and pretend to be the second defender. Maybe, sooner rather than later, we can take the “pretend” out of that sentence.

  77. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oilers Procurement Department will go back to getting slammed in the face tomorrow for mistakes real and imagined

    Little Kent has become the most well-rounded of the three. Diving on the ice to intercept the breakout pass was…

    surreal.

    Stoll on a rush up ice with nine to go in the third came barreling up the middle and looked scared when he saw the defense. He immediately looked right, dumped and peeled off. He is still thinking about getting hit.

    Grebs is great. I want him on the ice in crunch time, I want to see him defending the odd mans, I want to see him in close quarters on defense. He is so smooth and slick should be paired with Staios until Staios can’t play defense anymore.

    I’m most excited when the kid line is out.

    I’m happiest when the Glencross line is out.

    I’m calmest when Grebs is on the ice.

  78. danny says:

    Sam Gagners confidence is beginning to match his talent and he is making guys around him better. Coglianos first 3 steps are the quickest I have seen in probably ever, and he is breaking coverage with them at key times. Nilsson is arriving as an NHL regular, I think playing with young guys has really boosted his mental game. Its a perfect storm as far as development goes.

    All that and the best prospect tonight was clearly Grebeshkov. Grebs looked like Tom Gilberts first 30 games, and 77 was a team MVP back then.

    I’ve been enjoying this season for a while now, watching the race for 20th overall… but the last stretch really brings out one thing that all the corsi numbers, tough minute watches etc nevr seem to be able to quantify… player development.

    I mean seriously, whoda picked Montreal to compete for the East title after losing 2/3rds of their tough minutes guys in Johnson/Bonk?

    Who would have thought that by seasons end, Lowe could make Pitkanen expendable because of 77 and 37 ?

    I love hockey.

  79. Slipper says:

    Bruce you dink;)

    I was going to add that it seemed like Grebs played the last 6 minutes of regulation. Just odd shit.

    Look at his third period:

    http://www.timeonice.com/default.html?GameNumber=21055&submit=Go

  80. PunjabiOil says:

    Gagner has 4 goals and 14 assists in his last 16 games.

    Looking even closer…

    Only ONE second assist

  81. Slipper says:

    Oh, and Bruce. I was serious about the hits, GVs and TK’s exercise.

    Why not give it a go over the next few evenings?

  82. Slipper says:

    I thought the Oilers owned the first period as far as scoring chances go. Reasoner and GlenX gave on against, took the puck to other end of the ice, got a good chance for, and then drew the first penalty (from Kariya I think).

    I was less attentive over the seocnd, but I thought the Blues carried the play.

    The last half of third seemed to belong to the Oilers though.

  83. Slipper says:

    Grebs GF/60 on te powerplay has improved steadily over the season. He’s second only to Hemmer for GF/60 while on the ice at 5 on 4, and second only to Pisser for overall +/-/60 on the PP.

    His points per 60 is low (3rd amongst defender with signifigant icetime [gilbert, Souray]) , but the team gets it done when he’s out there.

    ???

  84. Dennis says:

    LT: Whereas I thought Pouliot played good in Chi, you didn’t agree with me. Now, you thought he played a fairly nice game tonight but I liked his start and his finish but I didn’t like his middle. What I did like was the two huge hits he threw on first Brewer and then young Johnson. And he did pick up an assist and another plus so that should count for something. Plus, MacT gave him a couple of shifts with 12-13 when he had 89 played with 27-83 down the stretch so he was still believing in him at that point.

    12 has been making some nice defensive plays for awhile now but tonight’s topped the cake. That showed that the kid flat out cares and for a guy with that much skill, that’s really the only thing that was perhaps missing.

    Outstanding game from 37. He saved a goal, he was aggressive and he made some nice first passes.

    I’m looking forward to your post at the end of the year regarding 89 versus other 18 year olds. Kid’s been just about a PPG, maybe more?, player over ~ the last 25 games or so. His plus/minus still sucks but Horc and Hemsky will take care of some of that for him next season. I noticed tonight that Murray broke his cadence to get out the Kariya/Boyes line against the kids but I hope MacT doesn’t allow that shit next year. And if he doesn’t, they honestly have a chance to murder soft opp and I can’t believe I’m saying that.

    When the Oilers play up and down like this, 27 gets lost.

    Totally lost.

    I didn’t like the second goal but credit to Garon for playing really well in the 3rd and OT to keep us in it. I think it’s insane they haven’t broken out Roli yet but I suspect that’s coming Sat at Phx.

    I think the key to next year is picking up a vet D and fashioning a tough min line. Maybe at that point we can squeeze into 8th and win the first round before getting killed in the second round in say 5 games.

    Sorta like the ’97 Oilers when they had all that young talent like Weight, Smyth and Arnott. By ’98 the Oilers were better and lost in 5 games in the second round to Dal but Belfour played out of his mind in the G3 OT game and they got scored on Hatcher’s goal in G5.

    Of course what’s missing is the CuJo netminding so I guess we’ll see about that.

  85. Bruce says:

    Bruce: You obviously have a good eye for the play. I’d be interested to see your collective GV, TK and Hits compiled for the remaining television games. We can compare them to the actualt registered numbers and have a whole lot of fun.

    Yeah, it’s subjective as hell, isn’t it? I take it with a huge rock of salt but if they’re going to all that trouble to keep track, you might as well look, right? Over an extended period of time surely those numbers, erratically compiled as they are, will give some idea who is safe with the puck, and who is aggressive on the opponent. Won’t they?

    On the sequence in question, Pouliot made a real bad play when he got the puck under no pressure on the side boards, panicked and dribbled it towards the blueline where it was intercepted. GV: MP. Then after an extended Chinese fire drill, the Oil finally cleared the zone only for Brodziak to shoot the puck back over his own line, legalizing about three St.Louis guys who had been trapped offside. That may have been the worst play I saw all year. Anyways I think it went to the boards where St. Louis won a battle for the puck rather than being a direct giveaway, but if there was a new RTSS called Stupid Plays Brodziak’s whopper would’ve qualified for sure. The 5 Oilers on the ice got stuck out there for between 1:45 and 2:09 each as a result. Ultimately Smid was charged with a giveaway about the 2 minute mark of his shift that I missed in all the excitement. A little later Hemsky got checked in the neutral zone but it was iffy whether it could be charged a giveaway, but he didn’t get it in deep and again the play tilted back to the Oiler zone. Then Glencross got trapped behind the net, made a bad decision and lost the puck to Kariya, who in the scorer’s wisdom was given a TK rather than GlenX a GV. Probably the right call, but lots of these are 50/50 and many are just not called anything at all. My main point in the heat of the action was that Oilers did a frickin’ horrible job of keeping control of the puck, and I’ll stand by that.

    I began noting scoring chances during the first period tonight, but it got pretty busy and I had to take a piss or two.

    Yeah, I wish they would keep track of scoring chances, I just don’t get why not. It would still be subjective, sure, but done competently it would give a better idea of flow of play than simple shots on goal. When somebody starts to compile a Corsi-type number based on scoring opportunities I for one wil lreallysit up and take notice. You want to try doing it, Slipper? I know Dennis has done so a couple times when revieiwng games on video, and it’s damned interesting.

    Jon K: To my surprise, and no doubt to yours, Roy has played 8 home games and just 3 on the road. Of course one of those home games was just 25 seconds long for Mathieu. But he’s played just 32:00 total on the road this season, over 85 minutes at home. But you’re right in the greater point that home/road splits can be greatly skewed in stats as subjective as RTSS.

  86. Coach pb9617 says:

    When the Oilers play up and down like this, 27 gets lost.

    Totally lost.

    Blame Stoll. When Gagner had to move to that line for Stoll’s “equipment problem” Penner perked up a bit, or at least more than he did for the rest of the game at ES. Stoll is an anchor that has been dragging on the first and second line all year. MacTavish really should look at Pouliot on that line for an extended period.

  87. PunjabiOil says:

    Dennis:

    Sam Gagner went 13 games without a point from Dec 15 – Jan 17.

    He then posted 23 points in the following 21 games.

    Unbelievable.

    Unfuckingbelievable.

  88. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: The only negatives I saw tonight were weak clearing play(s) and perhaps some indecision here and there when the whole town seemed to be collapsing. That’ll happen imo, Pouliot isn’t about to carry the mail here.

    However, he did seem to be a litle more confident tonight and as you say picked up an assist. The penalty was weak, don’t see the need to hand out blame and he got in the way in timely fashion once or twice.

    I’m encouraged, so they’ll no doubt send him down tonight. :-)

  89. Black Dog says:

    Slipper – since Horcoff went down Grebs is averaging just under .5 PPG – the offence seems to be coming along

    In the same time period Gagner is now over a PPG.

    Crazy.

    At the beginning of the season I said if both he and Cogs hit forty points I would be ecstatic. So colour me that.

    Dennis – I’m thinking the whole idea of picking up a top six forward might be out the door now; imo they should be looking for a pivot to play between Pisani and Torres on a line that can shut down the other team plus chip in some offence.

    I’ve pretty well given up on Stoll.

  90. Lowetide says:

    With regard to Stoll, he’s become Doug Flynn. Always gets eaten up on ground balls, gets the bad hop which on the replay becomes obvious (he was backing up) and then throws to first with the accurac of Steve Sax when he had that throwing thingy.

    For an NHL veteran to be this bad and not 18 and not 39 either means there’s something very wrong. He was never any hell but he was at least Hal Morris out there.

    Now he isn’t even Hal Linden.

  91. Lord Bob says:

    Also Lord Bob you are such a fickle hussie, what happened to that special place in your heart (and…erm…other places) that was reserved only for Pisani?

    Listen, Fernando Pisani is never, ever going to leave first place in my heart. The man is a heroic, gritty, unstoppable former St. Albert Saint, which can’t possibly be beat.

    But Andrew Cogliano is like that new girl who shows up at work with long legs, a short skirt, and a million-dollar smile. You still love your wife, but you can’t help but look.

  92. Lowetide says:

    lord bob: Speaking of women, has anyone seen Sam Gagner’s Mom? Holy shit.

  93. Black Dog says:

    Heh.

    Well, I guess at this point the question is this – do they go with the kids full out next season as their second line or whatever you want to call it? I can’t see how they cannot. It hasn’t been five good games or ten.

    If that’s the case then I’d say run Torres and Pisani out on your third line and find someone to centre them.

    I don’t think Stoll can play that role and he’s making too much money. Trade him.

    8 points at ES all year. Give MP another couple of weeks and he will catch him.

  94. Dennis says:

    Jon K: When the Oilers dealt McGillis for Niinmaa back in ’98, Slats pimped the former for being one of the league leaders — and even perhaps the leader — in hits and then chuckled to a reporter afterwards how the guy who charts the hit parade in Edm is very generous. Since reading that I’ve been wary about some things and I count hits myself some games for maybe a period or so and it doesn’t make a lot of sense when I compare my stats to the real ones.

    Slipper and Bruce: Shall we take a crack at counting scoring chances during the next game at Col? This works best when you’ve got a team with two lines to worry about the Avs have that so perhaps we’ll take a period apiece. Only thing is I’m not gonna post the results of my period until the game’s over because I like to go over it and make sure I’ve got it right. I tell you what, though, I’ve learned a lot from doing that occasionally. I really picked up on how MacT ran things and in some cases turned things around during the run and the last one I did was a home game vs Dal and Stoll’s line went head to head against the red hot Morrow/Ribero combo and actually outchanced them. It gave me some hope that Stoll’s still doing somewhat of a job and might be counted on again next year.

    G3 of the Pouliot reprisal was interesting because he got a plus right off the bat and his line really only got in trouble during that shift you guys just discussed. That’s the main thing but while I liked him carrying the puck and liked him laying out some huge hits, he seems unsure about that chip in his own end to start the breakout play. He’s used to playing pivot so I think he’s the kind of guy who’s used to and is more comfortable to take that chip and then carrying in out of the zone.

    Anyway, I think he did enough to get another game so that’s a little bit of progress. As long as he’s not getting scored upon and he’s putting up some pluses, he should be fine for the last 12 games in terms of drawing in. If I was him right now I’d be shooting for a chance for the Oilers to bring me back to another camp and let me battle it out before they make a decision on waiving me.

  95. Coach pb9617 says:

    imo they should be looking for a pivot to play between Pisani and Torres on a line that can shut down the other team plus chip in some offence.

    I think your man is Brodziak, but that would mean wrecking that fourth line.

  96. Oilman says:

    LT….nice ex-Met reference;)…keep ‘em coming!

  97. Black Dog says:

    coach pb – I like Brodziak a lot but I’d take MP in that role over him, seriously

    Best of all I would take a vet who can skate and who can play that role – someone like Conroy.

    Cut Stoll loose, never mind blowing a wad of cash on Ryder or whoever the flavour of the month is and get a solid veteran pivot who can chip in 15 goals, kill penalties, win draws, shut down the other team’s best

  98. Dennis says:

    Only that fucking Oilman would think of Flynn as a Met when he was an Expos before OM jumped ship;)

    LT: I think 78′s fine because MacT decided to give him a couple of shifts with Nilsiano at the end of the game. If he’d shelved him like he did with 20-46, then I’d be worried. But he didn’t so I think he’s gonna carry him the rest of the year and at the top of this thread I said how MacT said today they’d evaluate him for the rest of the season. Was that an inadvertent admission that he’s staying up? Probably

    On Sam’s mom, do you feel conflicted because her son looks so much like her;)

  99. Oilman says:

    dennis….Flynn shares my last name, probably the first ballplayer I can remember liking…just for that reason….just happened to be a Met at the time;)

  100. Dennis says:

    Pat: I hope Lowe DOES stay pat;) and keep that kid line together as the secondary offense next to HorPensky. No need to go out looking to spend money when there’s really no one worth talking about outside of Hossa. Plus, I was reading some Pens stuff the other day and apparently they have some room in the budget and are mulling offering him some longterm cash if him and Crosby can hook.

    But I’m gonna be stubborn here and not quit on 16. I’ve liked the 14-16-34 line in the past and let’s say they could play ’09 and finish at individual – won’t happen I know but follow the logic:) — -5 apiece in terms of Desjardins numbers. Wouldn’t that be enough?

    I certainly think so and if the boys are doing that against the toughs, Horc’s crew and the kids should be able to more than make up that difference. Plus, 16 is still a wicked RH draw man and can kill penalties.

    Of course, if we could move Stoll and Ana’s first in order to move up the draft, I’d be willing to look at that also.

  101. Oilman says:

    dennis….I guess I’m the second OM to leave the ‘Spos for the Mets ;)

  102. Bruce says:

    Looking at the Event Summary, Zack Stortini had a real nice game tonight:
    7:53 TOI, 2 shots, 3 hits, 2 blocks, 1-0-1, +1. Nothing whatever on the negative side of the ledger. Nobody in the game had more hits, and only Jackman and Staios had more blocks. That’s a lot of positive events for 9 shifts.

    By way of comparison (FWIW!!) the entire line of Reasoner, Pisani and GlenX played a combined 42:30, registering 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 block, 0 points and -1 across the board. 19 and 34 did some nice work on the PK and Marty held his own in the faceoff circle, but it seemed those guys were playing chase a lot tonight.

    Joni Pitkanen played 19:01, got a perimeter assist on the Gagner’s PP goal, took a couple of shots but had 0 hits (as usual), 0 blocks and 0 TK. Had 1 GV and wound up the night -1. You won’t find this on any stat sheet, but Joni was also the nearest Oiler to the goal scorer on all three St.Louis goals, and never outbattled any of them. I think MacT was wise to limit his minutes tonight, Pitkanen had his moments skating with the puck but he’s not really making it happen out there.

  103. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – well I’m the guy who would never deal off a pick I made if I were a GM – I’m that conservative when it comes to watching guys go out and then come back and biting me in the ass but I’m thinking this way – they are paying Souray and Penner and neither of those guys are going anywhere and we know that nobody is taking on Moreau or Torres when they are both coming off injuries and they have to pay Horc and a goaltender and then the kids will be lining up for raises

    spending money on any UFA this summer would be foolish when you have three kids who can put up say 50 plus points each, I think – is that reasonable to think??

    I can’t see Pitkanen having much pull so maybe they get him on a one year deal or maybe they can get him on a reasonable two or three year deal. He’s the guy I don’t want to give up on.

    I like Stoll and I know its a concussion thing and then its probably a confidence thing but put a shutdown guy between Torres and Pisani and you have three pretty good lines and its money well spent.

    8 points at ES. Seventeenth on the team in ES goals, iirc.

    Seventeenth!

  104. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I was waiting for your Zach attack. Seriously, I looked at the event summary and the guy packed a lot of good stuff into his small night’s work.

    I was jazzed about the 20-19-34 line after the chances they created on Sun at Chi but it just wasn’t happening for them tonight. I think first 20 and then 19 found themselves in good spots but couldn’t get any shots off.

    OM: Yeah, but you didn’t deal Sizemore, Phillips and Lee for Colon. And people think I was pissed off about the Pronger and Smyth trades;)!

  105. Dennis says:

    Pat: True enough. There are some guys we can’t get rid of and in all my dreams, Moreau’s out the door.

  106. Oilman says:

    dennis…that’s funny.

    BD….I don’t know if anyone answered your earlier question about the last Oilers rookie to score 20….Raffi had 20 in his first year here but I don’t think he was technically a rookie…..a quick scan of stats shows that the only honest to goodness NHL rookie by the standards of the day that didn’t play in the WHA before the NHL might be Lumley……waaay back…..of course, I might be wrong.

  107. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – I think Moreau has his value but its been two straight seasons out with injuries so what the hell can you do?

    You play Torres on the third line and Moreau on the fourth line but Glencross can do what Moreau does, except maybe on the PK and for half the price. Actually less.

    It sucks because for years guys have been sent out the door when they got too expensive and here’s a guy who has given it his all and could end his career as an Oiler but he just can’t stay healthy and he can’t outperform that contract. Even considering how gregarious he is.

    You move Torres and give Moreau that third line role and then he gets hurt and where the hell are you?

  108. Lord Bob says:

    Raffi had 20 in his first year here but I don’t think he was technically a rookie…..a quick scan of stats shows that the only honest to goodness NHL rookie by the standards of the day that didn’t play in the WHA before the NHL might be Lumley……waaay back…..of course, I might be wrong.

    Bit more recently than that, thank God. Arnott banged home 33 in 1993-1994.

    You’re right about Torres, though.

  109. Black Dog says:

    oilman – to that I can only say ‘wow’

    And good night to all. 7 am is coming sooner then I would like.

  110. Oilman says:

    of course….I was wrong……I’ve wiped the 93 season from my memory

  111. DBO says:

    totally off topic, just looking at the game sheets formother games, and Anaheim’s shooters in tonight in the shootoout were:
    bertuzzi
    marchant
    pronger
    What is with coaches playng hunches. Todd marchant in the shootout? Against Dallas maybe, but dman is that a brutal lineup. Why do coaches not put their best players in the shootout, maybe take a page from Edmonton and let your skill guys shoot. Same with Vancouver.

  112. Oilman says:

    maybe they’d rather see Pheonix with the extra point?

  113. Bruce says:

    Stoll’s a mystery, isn’t he? He was certainly involved in the game tonight, 3 shots, a hit, 2 takeaways, a block, 10-8 in the circle, and of course a powerplay goal when one of his let’s-just-blast-it plays from the point actually found twine. But he has no offensive confidence, vision, or creativity whatsoever. He made a horrible offensive-zone pass behind everybody on the first shift of the second period which led to Stempniak’s goal, at a critical time of the game where the Oilers needed to stabilize things, not make unforced errors. And I certainly noticed that rush he made in the third where it was clear he had absolutely no idea what the fuck he was doing.

    Jarret’s good in the circle and he plays the body fairly consistently. He strong on the PK, useful on the PP, but at even strength he’s just a sinkhole. I mean -20, c’mon. 8 even strength points, c’mon. Yet he leads Oiler forwards in TOI (!!) and in QUALCOMP. A lot of the pieces are there, but his offensive game is in the fucking toilet. Even an extended run with Hemsky and Penner has produced nothing. I’m pretty sure his last point at evens was in Florida, back in January.

    I hate to give up on the guy cuz I think there’s a hockey player in there somewhere. I don’t think he’s playing scared, it doesn’t seem to have affected his endurance, but Jarret is having trouble thinking the game this year and that surely has to do with post-concussion. Whether another summer of bed rest will cure that, who knows?

  114. Bruce says:

    maybe they’d rather see Pheonix with the extra point?

    I had the exact same thought. Normally I cheer for anybody playing Anaheim but tonight I thought, hmmm, maybe the Dumbfucks can help us. And I thought immediately, hmmm, maybe they don’t want to help us. Watch for yet another three-point game. Sure enough …

  115. Bruce says:

    When was the last time EDM had a rookie crop like this?

    1980-81: Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, Andy Moog, and for his first cup of coffee, Charlie Huddy. Possibly the best crop of rookies on one team ever.

  116. Bruce says:

    One more and I’m off. According to TSN Cogs’ “natural hat trick” in OT is indeed an NHL first. But one of that class of ’80-81 had a pretty remarkable overtime hat trick of his own. Glenn Anderson cemented his reputation as a great clutch scorer when he broke up three consecutive Oilers playoff overtimes — NOT three consecutive games as Cogliano has done, but successive overtimes, which the Oilers didn’t need too often in those days. And he didn’t waste any time doing it, scoring the winners at 0:46 (at LA, 1985), 1:04 (vs Calgary, 1986) and 0:36 (vs Winnipeg, 1987) of the first overtimes. Total elapsed time: 2:26. Call Andy the Mosienko of overtime.

    Put that man in the Hall of Fame.

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hate to give up on the guy cuz I think there’s a hockey player in there somewhere. I don’t think he’s playing scared,

    I disagree. As I noted above, his rush with nine to go in the third shows just how scared he is.

  118. pboy says:

    From reading some of the posts on here, it looks like this is a line-up that might satisfy the masses next season:

    Horpensky 1st line
    Kids 2nd line
    Pisani – Free Agent Center – Torres
    GlenX – Brodziak – Stortini

    That leaves Stoll and Moreau out in the cold and Marty as a UFA. That doesn’t give me a lot of hope for those 4 lines getting a chance. I can see Torres being dealt but I would be a little surprised if Moreau was sent packing and shocked if MacT let his illegitimate son Marty walk out that door.

  119. doritogrande says:

    pboy, bump Brodziak to the 3rd line, and slot Pouliot in the 4th C. No free-agent required.

  120. Black Dog says:

    pboy – I like that lineup but I can’t see either Torres or Moreau getting dealt regardless due to their injuries.

    Maybe they start the year with Moreau/Brodziak/Stortini with Glencross and Reasoner as the extras, Glencross to step in around G2 when Ethan, Marty to be the utility man.

    More likely – they deal Torres as soon as he proves he is healthy and Moreau slides into that spot. He goes down in G2 and Reasoner takes his place.

    Most likely – Oilers start season with Penner, Nilsson, Torres, Moreau, Glencross, Smyth, Kunitz, Bobby Hull and Jacques on the roster – headline reads “Lowe – Holy Smokes Next Thing I Know We Had All These LWs”

  121. doritogrande says:

    BDHS,

    Look what happened when we gave Gagner, Cogliano and Nilsson more minutes.

  122. Black Dog says:

    dg – yep and Brodziak did alright as a winger earlier this season playing some tougher minutes

    I want a guy who can play with the big boys though – just like Horc and Peca did in ’06 – do you think Brodziak can handle that?

    Almost every kid has turned up roses for MacT and Lowe this season and I would include Brodziak in that estimation but I don’t know if I see that role for him.

    I also agree in that I don’t want to spend like LA did on Handzus – ideally they would get a big young centre (this side of thirty) by dealing for him.

  123. DBO says:

    based on the play the last few weeks, would anyone be upset about these lines next year?
    Hoc-Pen-Hem
    Gag-Cog-Nil
    Rea-Pis-Mor
    Bro-Sto-Gle

    I know it means Reasoner coming back, but Mact loves him. And it allows us to move Stoll and Torres for a high pick this year or next, and gives us the money to resign Pitkanen for $4 mill (not that he deserves it). I don’t think we’re a cup contender with this lineup, but KLowe and MacT will want vets around, and if it comes to Stoll vs Reasoner, Marty is half as expensive and more reliable defensively.

  124. pboy says:

    Marty over Stoll also saves the team around $500,000 in graphite sticks that Stoll would have exploded……….

  125. ClaytonMagnet says:

    …and not a single mention of Hockey Jesus by anyone in next years line up.

  126. Bruce says:

    I hate to give up on the guy cuz I think there’s a hockey player in there somewhere. I don’t think he’s playing scared,

    I disagree. As I noted above, his rush with nine to go in the third shows just how scared he is.

    Hey Coach PB9617 (?), I must admit I’m puzzled about this. Stoll is playing a physical enough game when the other guys have possession, as can be seen from the Hits count of the ever-reliable RTSS:

    Stoll 95
    Penner 90
    Stortini 85
    Glencross 79
    Smid 77
    Staios 69

    He also leads Oilers forwards in blocked shots (with 48) and shows little regard for his body when throwing himself down in front of point blasts. But maybe there’s a different mindset when Jarret actually has the puck? He sure doesn’t seem to hang on to it long, does he?

    And for all his hits, I can’t remember one where he really creamed somebody. So maybe on some subconscious level his first order of business is to protect himself.

    God damn that Sami Pahlsson anyway.

  127. doritogrande says:

    claytonmagnet:

    Cogliano took the spot I was saving for him. I was wanting to run Schremp on Gagner’s wing next season, with Cogliano centering the 3rd line. Cogliano has since made me eat crow with his play as a winger.

  128. Black Dog says:

    Maybe Schremp can take that shutdown centre role.

    :)

  129. doritogrande says:

    “Maybe Schremp can take that shutdown centre role.”

    If Marty Reasoner can equal Joe Sakic, than anything’s possible.

  130. PDO says:

    So, what if we brought in Sean Avery as a UFA, and packaged Stoll, Torres and Greene for say, Zybnek Michalek?

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Nilsson – Gagner – Cogliano
    Moreau – Avery – Pisani
    Glencross – Brodziak – Stortini

    Pitkanen – Gilbert
    Michalek – Staios
    Grebeshkov – Souray
    Smid

    Garon

    Eh? That actually kinda looks like a playoff caliber roster to me. I sure as hell know that a team with Moreau, Avery and Stortini on it wouldn’t be fun for anyone to play against, and Penner, Glencross, Staios and Souray are all physical as well..

  131. Steve says:

    Penner, Glencross, Staios and Souray are all physical as well..

    Are you sure you’re not confusing “physical” and “huge”?

    Also, I like Michalek, but if the objective is playoffs next year we’d do much better to get a veteran defensive defenseman who might be able to help us not cough up three goal leads.

  132. PDO says:

    Michalek’s 2.12 GA/60 is better than any defenseman on the Oilers.

    Penner doesn’t crush anyone very often, but he certainly leans on guys..

  133. Dennis says:

    I think Michalek has played enough now and has been productive enough in that time that he’s to be considered the guy that we need to bring on board to cut down GA. I, to follow, I support PDO’s moves but I don’t think Avery will come here. But I’d love it if he did and even better than 18/Avery/Pisani would be to take out 18 and put in Torres. But I fear Moreau’s untradeale.

    BTW, in their last 56 games the Oilers are 45/237 on the PP, ie 19.3 %. That’s a pretty big sample size and if they put that up over the whole season they would be 6th in the league. And we all know that 56 is greater than 14 so I think we can start to believe we have a good PP.

    Fuck, just how big of a waste of money was Souray? This team would be ready to pounce if they weren’t paying Souray and Penner.

  134. Master Lok says:

    “Maybe Schremp can take that shutdown centre role.”

    If Marty Reasoner can equal Joe Sakic, than anything’s possible.

    no, no, if Reasoner had speed, he would be Joe Sakic.

    Maybe if Schremp had speed, he would be Kris Draper. hahaha…

  135. godot10 says:

    Sean Avery is dating starlets and going to swanky Manhattan and LA parties. Anyone who thinks he would be happy in Edmonton is dreaming.

  136. asif says:

    i hate souray too, but on the flipside, maybe he makes our PP #1next year :)

  137. uni says:

    But Andrew Cogliano is like that new girl who shows up at work with long legs, a short skirt, and a million-dollar smile. You still love your wife, but you can’t help but look.

    First off that’s an awesome analogy, 2nd off I never thought that anyone would be able to pull off a comparison of Cogliano to the “new girl at the office” =).

    I like the Michalek pitch, but I remember seeing press that Gretzky loves Michalek. I know Barnett isn’t there anymore and mayhap 99 doesn’t have the pull with the GM he used to have, but I can’t see them trading Michalek.

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