Jackets at Oilers, G66/07-08

Have you ever played air guitar? I think these two might be riffing off the final few seconds of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who (post primal scream and right after Daltrey sings “same as the old boss”) but stand to be corrected.

I like the Blue Jackets. They are approximately my third favorite WC team (Oilers, Seals-Sharks) and keep doing solid little things to make themselves better. The Jackets and the Hawks are both doing things in a fashion similar to the way Bill Torrey did them on Long Island 100 years ago. Slow and steady and keep the talent procurement options open on all fronts.

Not much really to say about the Edmonton Oilers. They are playing much better than I thought they would and as a fan I sincerely wish they would recall Pouliot to see if they can project him onto the team for next season.

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72 Responses to "Jackets at Oilers, G66/07-08"

  1. Black Dog says:

    Yes, LT, a nice February, quietly eight and four. Never would have seen that coming considering Horcoff going down. And seven of those wins in regulation.

    Hard to feel badly for a kid who had his chances but I too would like to see MP one more time. For all of the kids making their mark, I think that he and Jacques, the two who have been passed by, could still join that group. Time is running out for both though.

  2. Doogie says:

    You mean that last little eightish-note DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-danana…DUN bit? I was actually thinking it was that guitar roar right beforehand, but I guess either works.

    I haven’t had a chance to see many Oilers games lately, or the NHL in general (though I did catch part of the Habs game last night — those last few minutes were certainly worth the price of admission), but I think I’ll watch this one, since I don’t think I have much going on tonight. Of course, given my luck, they’ll choose tonight to pitch a stinker, as opposed to all those entertaining (if occasionally frustrating) games they’ve played lately. I swear, this has been my luck pretty much since the end of the ’06 run.

  3. Lowetide says:

    doogie: I explained it badly. After the DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN-danana there’s a DUN! DUN! DUNNNNNNNNNNNN! at the end.

    THAT’S what I was getting at.

  4. Doogie says:

    Oh, that very last flourish. Gotcha. I can see that.

  5. Ribs says:

    I’m hoping the Oil start today a “March of Destruction”. They play Colorado 3 times, Minnesota twice, and the Flames and Canucks once each this month.

    If the Oilers can fuck up any one of those teams playoffs chances it would be a great thing.

    As for Poo… All I can say is he better be on top of his game come pre-season next year. It’s going to be tough to make a MacT team after his dismal start this season.

    It seems stupid, but one bad line change at the end of one game may have ruined his chances as an Oiler.

  6. PDO says:

    First… what the hell is going on in that picture?

    Secondly, the Oilers are about 3 wins away from actually having a respectable record and equally respectable spot (read: not in the lottery) in the standings. Tonight is all about Hemsky vs Nash, and whoever wins that battle will likely win the game.

    I expect the $500k line to have a big game against a finesse CBJ D, along with GlenX playing his first game against his old squad.

  7. Mr DeBakey says:

    About 20 years ago
    there was this preppy, west-end pop band that used My Generation as a big finale piece.
    I’d hear these kids singing
    Muh-muh,Myyyy-Generation,
    and I’d just shake my head.
    Oh well.
    These days its probably used for a Depends TV commercial.

  8. Dennis says:

    I doubt we’ll see Pouliot and it’s unfortunate. It’s just stupid little things like letting Reasoner and Sanderson play instead of calling up Pouliot; these things just rot me.

    I’d like to see Roli get a start soon. I think Garon’s start to break down just a little and could use some rest.

    It would be nice if Penner showed up and finished the season strong so maybe that’s something to look for.

  9. Bruce says:

    I hate to say it but the last few times I didn’t say anything and that didn’t work either. So … we struggled back to .500, can a two-game losing streak be far behind?

    That barrier would be more palatable if it was “real”, and not several points below a true middle-of-the-road record. We gotta break through, and it needs to happen TONIGHT!

    PS: Dennis, couldn’t agree more on Penner. A couple of positive signs the last couple games, but it’s time for Dustin to put the damn puck in the damn net.

  10. PDO says:

    What a disgustingly sloppy start to the game. Both Brodziak and Roy need to be smacked for trying to beat guys 1 on 1 at the blueline… Brodziak’s attempt led to Chimera’s chance and Roy’s attempt led to the Penner penalty. Both are unacceptable.

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    That was a pretty weak shot on the breakaway by Cogliano.

    Nice pass by Nilsson though.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Grebeshkov is putting some nice games together here, Cogliano is restoring my faith in him as the new Butch Goring and Sam Gagner is going to be a star.

  13. Bruce says:

    I guess I’m happy with 1-1, that period scored pretty high on the ferfuxsake meter (add 1 every time I say “ferfuxsake”, a fairly reliable measure of sloppy play). 4 giveaways, 0 takeaways for the Oil, 2 and 2 for the BJs. Oilers need to get hungrier.

    Oilers could do to be a little more aggressive on the man as well as the puck. That was a skating period; Stortini is the only player in the game with 2 hits despite ranking 35th among skaters in TOI.

    Better stay out of the box though; that first BJ PP was big trouble.

  14. Bruce says:

    Not getting any prettier. 5 giveaways that period to just 1 takeaway and only 2 hits. Columbus just seems to be that half-step quicker tonight, Oilers are skating in sand when they’re not standing still.

    Add that save by Garon on Chimera’s shorthanded breakaway to the list of save-of-the-year candidates. I’d already put it on the mental scoreboard when Matthieu got the paddle down on the goal line. Would’ve been just a killer goal too.

    Game’s still there for the taking, but Oil need to step it up a notch. Maybe two.

  15. Black Dog says:

    Sounds like they had nothing and then boom!

    Listening to this one on the Interweb and they might be stealing one tonight.

  16. Black Dog says:

    Or maybe not.

  17. PDO says:

    Way to jinx it BDHS ;).

    Hemsky is looking determined to win this one…

    Oilers could really do well here to not give an extra point away to Columbus.

  18. Black Dog says:

    I love hockey on the radio. I haven’t the foggiest idea of what is going on. Rod made that last play by Pisani sound like the most exciting play ever.

  19. PDO says:

    Garon has given up 3+ goals in 6 of his last 7 starts.

    Definitely time for Roloson to get one…

  20. Bruce says:

    Worst thing about that icing is we can’t get Pitkanen the FUCK off the ice.

  21. Black Dog says:

    pdo – any softies tonight? nearly forty shots …

    I’d think Roli should get a start soon but I think there is a method to the madness. They wat to see how Garon handles a load of work. if they are going to extend him they have to see what he can handle.

  22. honkey says:

    It makes absolutely no sense to me to go with Reasoner on a 4 on 3 with 50 sek left in OT.
    There must be some better option after a 30 sek timeout.

  23. Black Dog says:

    honkey, I think Charlie Huddy maybe?

    Maybe they’re showcasing him. I mean, he is a great guy …

    Yeah, I’ve got nothing.

  24. PDO says:

    Matthieu Garon is a freak of nature in the shootout.

  25. PDO says:

    It makes absolutely no sense to me to go with Reasoner on a 4 on 3 with 50 sek left in OT.
    There must be some better option after a 30 sek timeout.

    Who was supposed to take the faceoff?

  26. honkey says:

    No change for Garon on any of the goals tonight.
    And as always fantastic in shootouts.
    I can’t see any reason playing Roloson this homestand, maybe on the coming road games.

  27. danny says:

    honkey said…
    It makes absolutely no sense to me to go with Reasoner on a 4 on 3 with 50 sek left in OT.
    There must be some better option after a 30 sek timeout.

    Well with 50 seconds left, on a pplay for the duration… you want to win the faceoff. Reasoner is their faceoff guy for that side of the ice, Win it on his backhand to the point. Makes a lot of sense.

  28. PDO says:

    pdo – any softies tonight? nearly forty shots …

    He can’t allow the Nash goal… it was a great shot, but from that far out it absolutely has to be stopped.

    The Tarnstrom goal wasn’t soft, but it certainly was one he could’ve stopped.

  29. honkey says:

    PDO: Stoll is on the ice, even though it’s not his favourite circle.

  30. Black Dog says:

    Stoll to take the draw back to Hemsky and then cycle around??

    Finally over .500 – of course only four teams in the league are under .500 so its not really as exciting as one would think.

  31. PDO says:

    Honkey:

    Ever taken a draw? It’s a helluva lot easier on your strong side. Reasoner won the draw, the Oilers never had to skate back to their own zone and spend the rest of the PP trying to gain possession. It was the smart bet, and it paid off.

    If he would’ve lost the draw, and the Oilers had to skate back and regroup, then I could see some anger if Reasoner was yanked off the ice at that point… but they had full possession of the puck for 45 seconds, and that was because of Reasoner.

  32. CM says:

    wow pdo I can’t believe that you think he should have had the nash goal…it was an absolute beauty shot…and from the top of the circle off the post its not a softy…

  33. honkey says:

    Nash fired the perfect laser shot, Garon wasn’t out of position or anything. He covered allt the angles he could and Nash still manage to find the open spot.
    At least that’s my opinion :)

  34. danny says:

    bdhs: its a backhand/forehand thing. Stoll is the guy on the other side.

    PDO: Nashs goal wasn’t a softie IMO. Unless he cheated on coming out while their centreman had the puck, that was about as good as you can expect for taking the angle. It was a beauty shot by Nash.

  35. Bruce says:

    Well with 50 seconds left, on a pplay for the duration… you want to win the faceoff. Reasoner is their faceoff guy for that side of the ice, Win it on his backhand to the point. Makes a lot of sense.

    Well on the previous powerplay MacT had Penner take the faceoff, which he won, to Stoll to Hemsky and into the net she goes, through a heavy screen provided by Penner. Took 7 seconds.

    That would be Dustin Penner of the team-leading 10 powerplay goals (4 more than anybody else on the team, 10 more than Reasoner), including the Oilers only OT goal of the season — which also happened to be on the PP.

    Makes no fucking sense to me having Marty out there.

  36. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    Penner scrambles most of his draws, does he not?

    He’s certainly done well, but it’s a lot harder to win a scrambled draw on a 4 on 3 than a 5 on 4.

  37. honkey says:

    PDO: My take on the face off is that 4 on 3 it’s not that big of a deal to win it clean up to the point. Tie up the man and get in and collect the puck.

    And we still needed to execute a better play then we did in the end.
    But who relly cares in the end, Oilers won and im happy.

  38. PunjabiOil says:

    Lowetide, I found a gem from Bob McKenzie (who posts on HF) on Andrew Cogliano:

    Dated April 15, 2005

    As always, entitled to your opinion because that’s what makes the world go round, but I watched him play about 60 plus games this year and let me assure you it is my opinion that there isn’t a scared bone in his body (very, very competitive when it matters most) and he regularly pays the price to score goals or to set them up. As with all offensive players, his defensive game needs some work, but I would not say it’s a really weak part of his game at all. IMO, the only knock he’s going to get is his size, but a lot of scouts I’ve talked to about him aren’t all that concerned for two reasons. One, world class speed. Two, very, very strong, both in terms of strength on his skates and strength (core stability) in fending off hits and playing in traffic. Lots to learn, but he’s a great kid from a great family and the upside on this kid is tremendous. If there’s a draft, I’ll be shocked if he’s not a solid first rounder in spite of his height. Dynamic speed, good goal-scoring ability, great playmaking ability, fearless, competitive and a character player, IMHO.

    Link on my blog.

  39. CM says:

    ever think that maybe reasoner was out on the pp in OT to make sure we didn’t get scored on SH…I mean Garon is money in the SO and there is not difference in points between OT and SO

  40. Bruce says:

    PDO: The team on the PP wins most scrambled draws, in fact 4-on-3 it should be easier cuz there’s no second forward on the PK team.

    As I recall, on the Hemsky goal Penner won it clean as a whistle right back to Stoll.

    MacT made a similar strange call in Vancouver, calling a timeout two minutes into the game for a 4-on-3 powerplay and then using Reasoner. That powerplay went nowhere. At least tonight they came close … it’s still a mighty strange call to use a guy with 0 powerplay goals over a guy with 10.

    Honkey: right on, we won, that’s the main thing. Garon awesome again, 30 of 32 now including many of the top snipers in the NHL — Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Nash and Zherdev just in this homestand. Wow.

    Was that Dick Tarnstrom’s first ever goal at Rexall? #^#$%^*!!

  41. IronTrev says:

    You mean Marty Reasoner, defensive specialist at -13 on the season.

    I have no idea…none…why he is on the ice.

  42. Dennis says:

    If we beat Nsh on Tues it’s the first time we’ll be two games over since we beat Philly in our second game of the year, right?

    The Kid Line has a tonne of offensive confidence but they are going to have to learn how to defend and that’s as important as taking your vitamins and doing your training.

    There was a line LT threw out there regarding Lupul and it basically went, “there are guys that score goals and there are guys that help teams win and sometimes they aren’t the same thing.” So you wonder how long it is before these kids become guys who can post counting stats without putting up a big minus as well.

    For all Gagner’s done on the PP, and he’s probably 2/10 in the SO and if you’re talking about the king of SO kids now it’s Letang, he’s still not a guy you can even think about trusting at EV. Cogs seems like the best bet to be the first one to elicit such hopes.

    One last note on Cogs; goals like his snapper on Thurs and his beauty tip tonight give us reason to believe that he might be a 25 goal scorer. And it’s also worth nothing that his speed drew the PP that lead to the 2-2 goal. He just took the puck and whirled and his speed was the only reason why someone had to even think about hooking him.

  43. Mr DeBakey says:

    Man, the shit that Marty Reasoner gets around here is almost Lupulesque in its intensity.

    Personally, I hope they re-sign him
    Two years
    $800,000 per
    The guy does a little bit of everything.

  44. Andy Grabia says:

    Better stay out of the box though; that first BJ PP was big trouble.

    I can’t believe this one went without comment all night. Especially from BDHS. I’m disappointed, fellas. :)

    Did anyone else go to the skills competition yesterday? Because if they did, they can back up my “saw Marty Reasoner good” story. Dude was on fire yesterday. Hit 4 targets on 5 shots in the accuracy competition, and scored a beautiful hat-trick in the PP drill. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a good reminder that all of these guys are elite level hockey players, and that most of the forwards have had tremendous offensive success at some time in their career.

    Plus, Marty’s a total cad.

  45. Lowetide says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Oilers signed Reasoner for another season. He’s an inexpensive veteran option who will do anything asked (including spending time in the PB).

    Andy: d’oh. A sign of age. :-)

  46. Ducey says:

    Yeah, Marty seems to be the straw man de jour with Oilers fans these days. The next Cory Cross/ Lupal.

    I get a kick out of guys saying Penner should take the faceoff over Marty because he won the last one. Stay away from Vegas boys. That kind of thinking has got many a baseball manager fired.

    Another vote here for Grebs. Pitkanen looks like he needs to be playing soccer somewhere else. Great ability to get up the ice but the whole covering guys in front of the net thing is beyond (or maybe below) him. I think Grebs and Gilbert will be as good as him soon (if they are not already). Hopefully someone drops a big offer sheet on him this summer.

    After another massive Ryan Smyth injury tonight, man, he is going to have a hard time justifying his money four years from now.

  47. Bank Shot says:

    I blame Matt Roy on the Nash goal. If you give a guy like that all day to make a shot, he’ll do it. Roy didn’t take away his space, and didn’t really look like an NHL defenceman all night.

    I don’t know why the Oilers gave a one-way contract to a guy that looks to top out as a 6-7th guy.

    The kid line has their scary moments, but they haven’t been bleeding goals against like Penner-Hemsky have been lately.

    Matt Greene was looking pretty solid tonight, and those nights are happening fairly often now. Good stuff.

  48. Andy Grabia says:

    After another massive Ryan Smyth injury tonight, man, he is going to have a hard time justifying his money four years from now.

    The injury from last night? Please tell me he didn’t play tonight.

  49. Asiaoil says:

    The sked is pretty soft to the end of the year – and even with all the injuries – this team could make an unsuccessful run like COL did last season. Still think that 9th or 10th place is not out of the question if they play well.

    The current string of shootout wins also makes me giggle thinking about the angst this causes our statistically inclined friends (rolling dice in the corner and muttering how it must end…..it just must end! :). It would seem the Oilers (well specifically Garon) are actually pretty good at this – kind of how DAL was money in the shootout for ages. Anyway – the team is young and reasonably entertaining most nights so what the hell – might as well enjoy the wins while they last as this crew can put up losses just as fast. A new GM would do wonders going forward though.

  50. Bruce says:

    Man, the shit that Marty Reasoner gets around here is almost Lupulesque in its intensity.

    Not from this corner it isn’t, Mr. D. I got lots of respect and a little love for Marty, and not much of either for Soft Joff. My question in the current instance is for the coach; why put a utitlity player on the ice in a 4v3 with the game on the line?

    The guy does a little bit of everything.

    Except score on the powerplay. He ranks 18th on the club in GF ON/60. 0-1-1 in almost 50 minutes PP TOI. What are the chances he’s going to score in 50 seconds?

    Yeah, Marty seems to be the straw man de jour with Oilers fans these days. The next Cory Cross/ Lupal.

    You forgot Toby Petersen, which is actually the closest parallel for using Marty in that particular situation.

    I get a kick out of guys saying Penner should take the faceoff over Marty because he won the last one.

    Nope, your turning my logic upside down. Penner should be out there because he has scored 10 powerplay goals and Reasoner 0. Somebody else said Marty was out there for the faceoff, and the obvious counterargument was that Penner had performed that very function perfectly in the previous PP, leading directly to a goal.

    Whatever, we got the two points, so the team and the coach got the job done. Too bad Columbus got a Bettman point, but the overtime powerplay wouldn’t have changed that. It’s just a curious choice of personnel, is all.

  51. GorillazXL says:

    LT, nice to see you’ve finally warmed up to having Nilsson on this roster. I don’t anyone should mistake this kid for his father but he has skills that a lot of players don’t have at the NHL level. Other then the fact he doesn’t like to be hit (see Huselius) he has the hockey smarts and the skills (take that MacGuire). Great candidate for the pump his value then trade him, just don’t let him go for nothing like Florida did with Husleius.

    Marc Pouliot, what a mystery this kid is. I remember last season I thought he understood what he needed to do. Towards the end of the season he was doing everything other then lighting up the lamp. And to make things worst, he finds the open spots so easily yet he whiffs the shots… very fustrating.

    Players I hope the Oilers land in a trade this post season… Jeff Carter or Alexander Frolov. carter has been playing second fiddle with Richards and Briere manning the 1-2 lines, he’s the type of player that has been looking for forever (big center man with some skills). As for Frolov… Penner is a good example of what having a big body can do for a skilled guy like Hmesky, now we have about four skilled players (Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson and Schremp) taht could really use a big body with ahnds. Torres, Stoll, Roloson and a pick for Frolov. We would also be clearing the books and LA get immediate help to complement their developing players… Roloson would be a good goalie for young Jonathan Bernier.

    GXL

  52. nameht says:

    Torres, Stoll, Roloson and a pick for Frolov. We would also be clearing the books and LA get immediate help to complement their developing players… Roloson would be a good goalie for young Jonathan Bernier.

    Im guessing for them to even consider this we would need to take Cloutier and his 3.1 million salary in return

  53. Doogie says:

    Im guessing for them to even consider this we would need to take Cloutier and his 3.1 million salary in return

    If Katz will pay to hide him in the ECHL, I’m down with that.

  54. Dennis says:

    The first thing I’d like Lowe to do before he makes any moves or considers making them is to get Horc re-upped. And if it comes to either Lowe or Horc being difficult, he’s got to trade him at the draft or thereabouts.

    You’ve got to know how much he’s going to cost going forward if he’s in the longterm plans and if he isn’t then it’s best to deal him this summer with a rich draft class afoot. After Lowe figures out this part, then you get to Gilbert and Pitkanen and then you have some kind of idea just how much money we’ll have left for ’09 and 10 before we have to start paying both Cogs and Gagner.

    The rest depends on if the Oilers are married to the idea of playing the kids together again next year. There was a podcast not long ago where MacT talked about how he wasn’t sheltering the kids these days and it came on the heels of Cam and I texting during the Kings games and Cam talking about how the Kings were getting Kopitar out against some of our younger guys. A lot of what MacT has been doing makes more sense perhaps when you put it in the context of that statement. It doesn’t make sense in terms of winning in ’08 but perhaps it gives him more information to make such decisions with a bigger cache of evidence come ’09.

    If the Oilers are interested in winning in ’09 and they’re intent on letting 12-13-89 keep playing together, they’ll have to be given the soft min and this most likely means that 27-10-83 play power vs power.

    What does that mean for the bottom six, though?

    Brodz and GlenX are locks to be back and then you’ve got MacT fave Stortini plus incumbants Torres, Stoll, Moreau and Pisani. Finally, you have Pouliot and JFJ heading to their first camps without being waiver exempt and Reddox-Schremp entering their third pro seasons. If Buchy’s the head coach by then, it will give the kids more of a chance because we know that guys who come from the minors will give the kids they had at that outpost a longer shot.

    So, here’s what I’d do:

    - If at all possible and cap-feasible, I sign Horc

    - I’d Nilsson. You’re looking for a draft pick or you’re looking for a two for one with Robert plus a young D in exchange for an older D. Oilers have lots of young D who are NHLers but they are guys who should be playing 12-15 min a night and some of them are playing much more. Gilbert had some clearance by playing a huge role in huge time earlier in the year and he’s fallen back now but he’s still the best bet to be the first kid to take on top four min and come out on top.

    By the time all these kids ready to be good enough to win a playoff series or two, we might only have two years remaining of Hemsky and it’s time to get older on the blueline. We can wail all we want about looking for a goal scorer but it’s way easier to prevent scoring then it is to increase it so to that end I’d get an older D in here to shore things up and we could improve that way. Oilers give up way too many goals at evens and I think we know who or what’s at fault.

    Plus, Nilsson’s a guy who could score 50 points but you wouldn’t really miss him when you also have Gagner and Cogliano in the pipe. Oilers have talked for years about having depth but now it just might be true.

    - I look to move Moreau because you can’t count on him any longer and he’s making two much and has too little of an impact when he IS healthy. What is it that Moreau does that we couldn’t find anywhere else? The physicality is his biggest draw card and that would be hard to replace. But the other two things are

    - killing penalties
    - playing tough min

    The Oilers have missed Moreau for most of the season yet they remain one of the best teams in the league at killing penalties. The Oilers can even remain one of the best teams at killing penalties without both Moreau-Pisani and now they’re doing it without both Moreau-Horcoff. Basically, the Oilers know how to kill penalties:)

    Is MacT ever gonna use Moreau again in a tough min role? I doubt it. I also doubt you can move his contract but I’d try.

    So, I’m left with:

    10-83 as one top six combo and 13-89 as the other. That leaves 27-10 as the LW’s you use to flesh out your two scoring lines. I’d like to get some size with Gagliano and I’d love to see what Raffi could do with 10-83 playing tough min so that’s how I’d go.

    For the bottom six, I’d keep 51-20 together and perhaps give Zach another shot in that role. Then I’d have Pouliot-Stoll-Pisani as our third line and I’d bring back Reasoner as the 13th forward and basically Sanderson him, ie he’s there when Pouliot’s having some bad stretches or when a kid needs a kick in the ass.

    I wouldn’t move Stoll because I don’t think you can get a lot for him. Plus, if some player with a bad contract manages to shake loose from a team next year like Richards did this year, Stoll’s a good chip to use in that package.

    This leaves Storts with a job on the 4th line and if you’re afraid of losing Jacques to waivers, you keep him around as the 14th man.

    On D, I bring back Pitkanen if he’s being reasonable and you have 24-44-77 back as I suspect the Oilers will get something done with Gilbert. Smid comes back because he was playing much better before he got hurt and that leaves Greene-Grebs for 6-7 and perhaps one of them plus NIlsson can get us a steadier D then Denis or Matt.

    As to which D I’d move, I’d consider anyone other than Gilbert.

    - Smid doesn’t have a shot and doesn’t have any vision in the offensive end but he can skate away from trouble, has a decent first pass and has shown a taste for the rough play.

    - Greene could be a valuable third pairing guy who can also kill penalties

    - Grebs is a puckmover who’s beginning to play more physical and has shown improvement throughout the season. He might be the next guy to make a Gilbert jump and I’d take him over Greene at this point.

    So, which one of the three would I move along with Nilsson? I’d only let Smid go if we were getting back someone really really good and if that wasn’t the case then I’d give a team their pick of Grebs or Greene.

  55. doritogrande says:

    Couple nice ideas Dennis, but I don’t think you’re giving Gilbert enough credit. He’s come back to the pack in many respects, but he’s still a better option than 24 in my opinion. Staios’ experience is an asset, but that’s about all he’s got going for him right now. I thought Souray played really well with Greene before he broke his leg, and I’d like to see them put back together next year. 77-25 as the top pair, 2 tandeming with 5 with 44 as the other top-4 pairing, and 37 as the 6th sounds like a pretty good option to me. That would allow for us to deal Staios, who does have a very marketable contract for a top-6 forward to a team in cap trouble (hello, Philadelphia). I’m liking Carter a lot these days and he’d be a great option with our young core.

    If we can get rid of Torres and that disgusting salary for any sort of asset I say we do it. He’s an overpaid 3rd liner at this point and we already have two of those wingers on our roster who can kill penalties. If a GM comes to us draft day and offers us a second-rounder I wouldn’t hesitate.

    Agreed on the Stoll idea. He’s still valuable to this team and if he can put up some points next year he’d be an ideal candidate for a pump-and-dump.

    I like what Nilsson’s bringing to Gagner’s game these days. Plays a lot like I imagine Patty Kane does and look where that got Gagner last year. You can never have enough skill guys who can skate on the Oilers.

  56. Dennis says:

    Pouliot just recalled.

    I’d love to have Carter as the size for the 13-89 combo but I’m against dealing Staios. That contract isn’t that bad and he looks better as the kids get older.

    BTW, I thought I gave Gilbert a lot of credit. Like I said, I’d deal any of the kids but him.

    And maybe I’m giving Torres too much credit but I want to give him one more shot. Similar to giving Stoll one more look and Moreau’s makign close to the same money as Raffi but he’s most likely done in terms of being durable.

    And it’s nice to have two million dollar men in 14-16 to offer as a package should a team look to unload a contract, ie Richards last week.

  57. doritogrande says:

    “Pouliot just recalled”

    F—.

    There goes Springfield’s playoff chances. Who got injured this time?

  58. goldenchild says:

    Apparently it is Sanderson’s back prob day to day. If the Oilers were smart that injury will linger untill they can at least get a decent look at MAP. Hope he gets a decent shot I still think he’s got a career in front of him.

  59. Pat H says:

    Dennis: The first thing I’d like Lowe to do before he makes any moves or considers making them is to get Horc re-upped. And if it comes to either Lowe or Horc being difficult, he’s got to trade him at the draft or thereabouts.

    Can’t overstate how much I agree with this. I wonder where Horc stands on all of this? Maybe he’s ready to take a look at the market next summer? I keep thinking of MacT’s comments early early on in pre-season where he suggested that Horc wasn’t a number 1. I’m paraphrasing, and to be honest, I actually thought MacT was correct at the time, but I doubt that Horc got all warm and tingly when that was said. Add to that the fact that Nylander was THIS close to making Horc either a 2nd-liner or expendable, and I wonder whether the guy is ready to move to greener pastures.

    All of which leads me to think it might be best to dish him off. I mean, what is the alternative? Give HIM a four or five year deal worth around 5 million? A NTC? And we’re rebuilding? And how many young centers do we have?

    I like Horc a lot, and think he deserves to cash in. And I wasn’t a guy who was a big fan of him from the get-go. Effort and two-way play has always been there, but in terms of offense, he’s proved a lot of us wrong (definitely me). I just wonder if it’s in our best interests to have him cash in HERE and NOW.

  60. Pat H says:

    All that said, I suppose there’s the question of whether Horc is a #1 on other teams in the league. I’m with those who would say that there are a few teams where he could certainly take that role. I wonder though whether he’d be happy to get a 4-4.5 deal for 4 or 5 years as a 2nd line centeron a team that is a contender, or about to be a contender.

  61. mc79hockey says:

    The current string of shootout wins also makes me giggle thinking about the angst this causes our statistically inclined friends (rolling dice in the corner and muttering how it must end…..it just must end! :).

    It basically did end, a long time ago. Back before Christmas, when you were first pointing at this, I pointed out that they’d played 11 shootouts in 34 games. They played in another one the following night. Here’s the relevant concluding chunk to my post:

    So really, in conclusion, if AO thinks that the Oilers near historic rate of games that have made it to the shootout and Oiler results in the shootout proves the guys who said that this team was nowhere near good enough in the summer wrong, well, it’s a free country. Even if it continues, they’re probably not a playoff team and the numbers would suggest that they’re unlikely to continue playing this many shootouts. I guess I’ve got nothing to really say if people want to draw solace from the fact that the Oilers have done so well in the shootout but I’d argue that those results don’t tell us all that much about the Oilers as a hockey team and that all of the numbers that do tell us something suggest that this team is a hell of a long way from a playoff appearance, let alone contention for the Stanley Cup. The application of simplistic analysis to complex, fluid dynamic situations that I engage in from time to time here may be utterly without worth but the 2007-08 Oilers aren’t the case on which to hang that conclusion. But for an astounding number of shootouts, something that looks pretty random to me, they look for all the world like a flat out bad hockey team.

    Just like I said in August.

    Emphasis added.

    Since then, they’ve played 5 shootouts in 31 games, with a record of 4-1 in that time. That’s still very good and they may well be a very good SO team, but as I said at the time, the volume was the really unusual thing.

    They’ve now slid four places in the standings (they were in a three way tie for ninth as of that writing and the Blues have a game in hand while sitting a point back.

    I’m not quite sure how this supports your point. You may well be right that the stats guys are wrong but the Oilers aren’t the team that makes your point.

  62. Bruce says:

    A golden opportunity for Pouliot. He could hardly ask for better than 19 and 34 as running mates on what needs to be a shutdown line, supposedly one of his strengths. Given all three guys have played two different positions it could line up one of two ways left to right:

    34-19-78
    19-78-34

    In a perfect world we’d have a centre who could slide in between 27 and 83 who brought a little more than Stoll’s embarrassing 0.67 ESP/60, but I think baby steps are in order when it comes to MP. If he can’t hold his own on a checking unit with Pisani and Reasoner then maybe that’s all we need to know. If he can, well that’s worth knowing too.

  63. Dennis says:

    Yeah, Bruce, you lay it out there pretty well.

    Is MacT even using a dedicated shutdown line these days? Nash is the guy to worry about with the BJ’s and all kinds of people were out against him last night. Plus, a few days ago MacT talked about how he wasn’t afraid of having the kids out against certain lines so I guess he’s just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks but it isn’t always the same things.

    Pouliot’s not going to be a in scoring role with the Oilers but considering that I don’t believe we’re hard-matching, I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least think of putting him with 27-83.

    Last night I meant to mention how Stoll’s playing so poorly that he can’t even create chances at EV when paired with Hemsky. If you considered that, it would be hard for Pouliot to be less effective in that role than Stoll.

    Anyway, I’m just glad he’s back and they get another look at him before he loses his waiver exemption. That’s always been the biggest sticking with me; that along with the fact that last year he was hard to score on and we could use some of that at evens.

  64. Bruce says:

    Is MacT even using a dedicated shutdown line these days? Nash is the guy to worry about with the BJ’s and all kinds of people were out against him last night.

    Last night MacT was using 20-46-51 against Nash and Zherdev in the third period. Then he gonged 46 near the end and gave Reasoner a shift with 20-51 and then Sanderson; it was 8-20-51 who were out there when Tarnstrom tied it up (although the Nash line wasn’t on at that time). Whatever, it was a bit of an omelette, the D-zone coverage was pretty scrambled.

    One thing common to all three Columbus goals: Pitkanen was out there each time. Joni’s really struggling these days; I actually thought he played a tiny bit better last night but not that you can tell from the stat sheet. Joni logged 28:30 last night with 0 shots, 1 blocked shot and the usual 0 hits, winding up the night -2 with only Staios’ fluke goal on the plus side of his ledger.

  65. Bruce says:

    Oops sorry Dennis, I got sidetracked. No I don’t think MacT is using a dedicated shutdown unit, but any line with 19-34 should be pretty low event at both ends of the ice. If MP comes in and they start to bleed GA that is not a good sign regardless of who they’re matched up against. That said, every plus generated by such a line will go a long way towards winning games. So it’s a great opportunity for MP to showcase his all-ice game.

  66. jon k says:

    Yeah Pitkanen has not been playing great the last few games, but I think it has to do in part with Smid being out and Roy being completely useless. At this point I’m not much of a Pits fan, but I think it’s more than coincidence when he’s been the goat on a few goals resulting from a lack of intensity that his overall TOI has bumped up to 25 mins or so for the past 6 or 7 games.

    I guess the point I really want to make though is that Smid is being missed on D despite his shortcomings. That, and Roy really is showing his usefulness to an NHL team, which would probably explain no one taking him on waivers early in the season.

    Concerning the possibility of moves that Dennis was talking about, there’s definitely some movement in there that the team and fans would probably like to have done, but it might be a tall order. Realistically, I think our lineup next season ends up like this:

    Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky
    Nilsson-Gagner-Cogliano
    Moreau-Stoll-Pisani
    Glencross-Brodziak-Stortini
    Reasoner

    Pitkanen-Staios
    Souray-Gilbert
    Grebeshkov-Greene
    Smid

    Garon
    Roloson/JDD/Bjurling

    Basically not a lot of movement, though I could see Torres, Roloson, and Greene/Smid going out at the draft for a high pick. Possibly a free agent signing for RW as well.

    I agree that trying to move Moreau’s contract is probably something the team should strive for, along with Roloson. Stoll is likely not moving, however neither is Nilsson. Despite what he doesn’t do, Lowe has stated in interviews that he thinks Nilsson still has a lot of untapped ability.

    The team above moderately healthy and one year older is probably good for 8th in the West, and then all will be restored to the way it once was in Oilerdom. ;)

  67. Dennis says:

    Honestly, I’d say JonK’s pretty much on the mark.

    Without looking at their salaries but while looking at the UFA market, the Oilers could come back with this lineup and I wouldn’t be shocked in the least:

    27-10-83
    14-16-34
    12-13-89
    18-51-20

    2-5-24-25-37-44-77. One of those D would most likely be moved as I don’t think they’d want either of those guys sitting and in their place would be Roy because he’s on a one way deal next year, right? Plus, I don’t think anyone will or should claim him.

  68. HBomb says:

    One thing common to all three Columbus goals: Pitkanen was out there each time. Joni’s really struggling these days; I actually thought he played a tiny bit better last night but not that you can tell from the stat sheet. Joni logged 28:30 last night with 0 shots, 1 blocked shot and the usual 0 hits, winding up the night -2 with only Staios’ fluke goal on the plus side of his ledger.

    Flip side to that though is that the BJ’s 3rd goal was the byproduct of two blatant turnovers, in succession, by Staios. Steve giveth and Steve taketh away. So that pretty much evens out and needs to be stated here.

    As for Pitkanen’s play….it’s dropped off, but it’s also looking like he’s playing hurt, at least from my vantage point.

  69. Jonathan says:

    Ask and you shall recieve… Pouliot recalled per Oilers official website.

  70. Bruce says:

    the Oilers could come back with this lineup and I wouldn’t be shocked in the least:

    27-10-83
    14-16-34
    12-13-89
    18-51-20

    Yet another projected line-up from Dennis that omits/forgets about Stortini. I keep telling you, Dennis, that group is not going to be tough enough. So we either need to bring in some muscle from outside or grow our own, which is where 46 fits in. As in last night where Zack had the least amount of ice time of any skater on either team, yet led the game in hits. In time I see this guy getting more ice time, not less; say Chris Neil minutes (12-15 per game), i.e. not much special teams but in the regular rotation.

    Funny thing, though, Dennis, today of all days you also omitted Pouliot, a guy you’ve been pencilling in for 2008-09 since forever. Now he’s back up here, and you dump him?? :)

  71. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Well, I don’t think Pouliot will get a real shot and he’s far from a sure shot at this point.

    I don’t mean to keep omitting Stortini for any other reason than I still don’t totally believe in him going forward.

  72. Bruce says:

    Dennis: You put the “diss” in “believer”.

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