Panthers at Oilers, Pre-Season G4: It Gets Interesting

These are the Rhythm Pals. They were on the Tommy Hunter Show when I was a kid, their tight Sons of the Pioneers harmonies beloved by Canadians from sea to sea. Why a vocal group called themselves the Rhythm Pals I’ll never know.

Although they are not as famous a trio as Mike, Mark and Jack were twenty-five years ago, a trio of Oilers appear to be connected as camp nears its crescendo.

Rob Schremp is the skilled player who is absolutely ready to play at the NHL level in a narrow (offensive) view. Marc Pouliot is a more complete overall player whose main strength appears to be that he is waiver eligible among this group, and Gilbert Brule is the physical member of the trio with a resume that makes him a nice fit for a team that needs some grit.

We’ve been talking the last few days about the battle between Schremp and Brule for the last roster spot, and in fact there have been several newspaper articles on the subject. I’m reminded though about the comments last week of Ryan Rishaug on Jason Gregor’s show and the possibility of breaking camp without Marc Pouliot.

Could THIS be the opening night roster?

  • Horcoff-Cole-Hemsky
  • Cogliano-Gagner-Nilsson
  • Brodziak-Penner-Pisani
  • Brule-Moreau-Stortini
  • Schremp
  • Souray-Staios
  • Grebeshkov-Gilbert
  • Visnovsky-Smid
  • Strudwick
  • Garon-Roloson-Deslauriers

It might behoove young Pouliot to do something special this evening. Here’s tonight’s lineup courtesy digger via Gregor:

  • Cogliano-Nilsson-Gagner
  • Pouliot-Trukhno-Penner
  • Brule-Brodziak-Stortini
  • Spurgeon-Goulet-Sestito
  • Smid-Staios
  • Grebeshkov-Gilbert
  • Strudwick-Chorney
  • Garon and Roloson, Garon will start.
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    88 Responses to "Panthers at Oilers, Pre-Season G4: It Gets Interesting"

    1. DBO says:

      So based on mact saying today he is kind of rethinking the third line of old guys, your lineup makes sense. I guess it al depends on whether they figure Pouliot gets picked u. Brule definitely brings mor eoffensively and grit wise (in my opinion, and Schremp has shown he’s improved in some areas and still would be a fit on the 2nd PP unit. I expect that Schremp goes down and is called up after 10 games for teh rest of the year once they deal a goalie.

    2. goldenchild says:

      How about the linemates Trukhno has been with so far in the preseason? Certainly appears to be a guy someone in the organisation likes.

      I am a fan of 78 but he should be able to create some distance between him and the other 2 with the last 15 games he played last year and the 1 way deal he got in the summer, if he doesn’t there is nobody to blame but himself.

    3. Lord Bob says:

      A probable preview of the fourth line starring Gilbert Brule, and Pouliot and Trukhno both getting what one presumes will be cherry minutes with an established NHLer carrying the mail.

      If Pouliot doesn’t deliver here, I just don’t know.

    4. Dennis says:

      I think the idea of brule staying is picking up more and more steam and in today’s pregame podcast 78 was saying how he played OK in the first game but he knows he can and needs to play better.

      Put all this together with the MacT quote that seems to signal the end of 34 as a pivot and I think we’re going to see 26-51-34 on the third line and 27 going back with 10-83.

      This leaves the kids alone and means you have Brule-Pouliot-Schremp battling for two spots on the roster and one spot in the batting order pivoting the Mortini duo.

      I can see 51 getting pimped for third line duty but I can’t see MacT letting Schremp play 4th line pivot over Pouliot.

      Brule’s the wildcard and the previous point made that he’d fit in with 18-46 on the kamikazee tip makes a lot of sense.

      But would MacT trust him with even 4th line pivot defensive duties?

    5. goldenchild says:

      Dennis where is the Mact quote about the 3rd line?

    6. DBO says:

      They played it on team 1260 (MacT quote). Brownlee asked him about the third line and he said he was rethinking it. He also said he’d give them a chance to pull it together.

    7. dawgbone says:

      I thought Pouliot struggled a bit offensively, but his play without the puck was excellent. He was solid on the dot, played some smart PK minutes and had a couple of good cycles where he kept getting the puck out of traffic.

    8. Dennis says:

      DB: that’s pretty much a given with 78; it has been for a long time now.

      The thing is, though, will that be enough?

      For me, I say that it is.

      But I don’t know what the Oil will say.

    9. Traktor says:

      Gilbert Brule is a Mike Fisher clone. Mike Fisher is exactly what this team needs. Really like the idea the Penner/Cole – Gilbert – Pisani line.

    10. Traktor says:

      “I thought Pouliot struggled a bit offensively, but his play without the puck was excellent. He was solid on the dot, played some smart PK minutes and had a couple of good cycles where he kept getting the puck out of traffic.”

      Sounds like Marty Reasoner.

    11. Lowetide says:

      The thing to remember about Pouliot is that if he has no offense to speak of then he isn’t terrible unique. As much as we say he “might be Reasoner” that’s not terribly unique (sorry loxy) and he’s not going to be Peca for a long time (if ever, that guy is a freak).

      So he either brings it or he doesn’t but he’s (imo) near the dangerous waters.


    12. mike w says:

      Good ol’ Ray Ferraro!

    13. doritogrande says:

      Yus. Got here in time for puck drop.

      Lookin for Brule to shine tonight. It’s going to be interesting to see Chorney play back to back nights. Something he’s used to at the NCAA level to be sure, but this is a bit different.

    14. Bruce says:

      LT: Brule will be Peca long before Pouliot will be Peca.

    15. BenJammin says:

      Nice pass Pouliot!

    16. Bruce says:

      Good ol’ Ray Ferraro!

      Ferraro and Cuthbert should make the best on-air team in many a year. They’ll be doing the late game on most doubleheaders, probably do a significant percentage of western games period. I hope.

    17. doritogrande says:

      Beautiful play by Spurgeon there. That’s all grit.

    18. Coach pb9617 says:

      Nice pass Pouliot!

      Another thing that’s never been in question

    19. Bruce says:

      I like it … good forecheck by Sestito forced the turnover, and Goulet was doing the mucking in front. That was a beauty backhand, right inside the post.

      There’s one for the hometown kid’s audio file, the familiar PA voice of Gordon Ross announcing: “The Oilers’ goal, scored unassisted, by Spurgeon!”

    20. mike w says:

      The all-seeing of eye of Bruce is kind of unnerving.

      And, er, Gagner is clearly not a defenceman.

    21. Backhand says:

      58 has started the game well. Creating things offensively, not letting the play die with him, intercepted a clearing pass to keep the puck in, and not horrible defensively. Its 10 min into the 1st but some nice things.


    22. doritogrande says:

      “And, er, Gagner is clearly not a defenceman.”

      No forward is. Well, unless you’re Toby Petersen.

    23. mike w says:

      Trukhno has some pep tonight…

    24. mike w says:

      Well, unless you’re Toby Petersen.

      Thou shall not speaketh his name.

    25. Coach pb9617 says:

      Trukhno has some pep tonight…

      Sounds familiar. He’s in front of Schremp based on play.

    26. doritogrande says:

      “Thou shall not speaketh his name.”

      Hey man, if he was playing better than half the team, he deserves some credit.

      I do however, find his use on defense hilarious.

    27. doritogrande says:

      The kids need a big body in front on the powerplay. Unfortunately for that line, it would seem to be Gagner.


    28. doritogrande says:

      “And, er, Gagner is clearly not a defenceman.”

      Trukhno looked like a pretty good on there, eh?

    29. Bruce says:

      Wow, Ladi! Nice offensive instincts that whole sequence.

    30. Lowetide says:

      How experienced is the Florida lineup? The reason I ask is all the kids are looking good.

      Trukhno is having an outstanding game.

    31. Coach pb9617 says:

      The kids need a big body in front on the powerplay. Unfortunately for that line, it would seem to be Gagner.

      Which is why Penner is on the first line. His large ass makes the power play go

    32. doritogrande says:

      I’ve been impressed by…well all the kids this first period.

      LT, care to take a shot at predicting the Falcons opening day lineup? I’m going to work on it over the intermission myself. See what we get. But judging on the efforts I’ve seen in the last 4 games, they’re going to be better than last year methinks.

    33. Dennis says:

      Great period by the Spurgeron line; I think they had three great shifts.

      Good period by the 51 line. That trio showed chemistry and looked like an NHL line and 78 made a sweet pass and almost scored on a wraparound and had a blocked shot as well.

      What a nice move by Smid on the wraparound. I’ve seen him carry the puck down low in two of the Ex games and that’s something he only started late last season. At least one light is starting to turn on.

      Not a good period by Brule.

      If he doesn’t get primo linemates, Penner will be hard to find.

    34. toqueboy says:

      is it just me or does staois look really fast north/south in the first?

    35. Lowetide says:

      dorito: I’ve read where the top pairing is going to be Chorney-Pechkam and that Trukhno will get plenty of PP time.

      Other than that, haven’t a clue.

    36. TEAM PERU says:

      is the game on centre ice tonight?? link??

    37. Lowetide says:

      TEAM PERU: It’s on tsn.

    38. doritogrande says:

      Falcons roster prediction:




      Some notes:
      - I have Brule and Pouliot making the big club, so Schremp’s down to continue his development.
      - Trukhno’s listed by the Oilers as a C, but can swap with Schremp if need be.
      - I know Lerg’s unproven, but he’s an offensive player, and I think needs to play in that atmosphere
      - Potulny’s waiver eligible, but I don’t see him getting claimed
      - The third line is essentially based on tonight’s game, because they’ve got obvious chemistry and would figure to be defensively aware in the AHL with Spurgeon and Sestito.
      - Ryan O’Marra is in a heap-full of epic fail.
      - Lefebvre’s had a great camp IMO with the Oilers and the team needs toughness.
      - Peckham and Chorney had a solid game yesterday together, and Chorney’s done nothing but improve in each game played in my eyes.
      - Bisallion’s got two years pro hockey under his belt, Wild, while having draft pedigree does not.
      - Roy passes through waivers IMO
      - Taylor had a good camp and deserves a shot.
      - Pitton beats out Perugini based on draft status.

    39. doritogrande says:

      …and I’ve forgotten Reddox. Damn.

      Replaces Lerg on the 2-line, Lerg to PB. Huxley gone.

    40. Bruce says:

      How experienced is the Florida lineup? The reason I ask is all the kids are looking good.

      Our kids look better than their kids.

      I like the looks of that “2003 Line”. Brodz has done OK on his wrong wing, opening the centre of the ice for Pouliot to play his best position. Which he has played well, so far. As for Stortini he kept catching my eye with clumsy but effective short passes that moved the puck in the right direction and effective use of his big body.

      Very fine period by Ladi Smid. I really liked one play where he at the puck on the defnsive near-side boards under pressure, then made a ten foot pass up the boards tape to tape and oilers walked out of the zone. And he made at least two strong offensive plays that drew comments above.

      Whole team seems to have some jump.

    41. doritogrande says:

      Ladi with Row-bert’s stick. What’d you reckon the size difference is between those two sticks?

      Garon with a bit of a clusterfuck on that series.

      Why is Gagner killing penalties and Cogliano not?

    42. BenJammin says:

      Why is Gagner blocking shots in the pre-season? In any season that is not the post-season?

    43. doritogrande says:

      Garon’s getting the whole game again?

      I’d rather have seen more half and half splits this pre-season. Especially including Dubnyk and Perugini.

    44. Lowetide says:

      Bruce: I agree, but a night like the one Trukhno is having is a lot more impressive if he’s playing NHLers.

    45. Bruce says:

      DG: Ladi made a nice play with Row-bert’s stick, diving to safely clear the zone with the Oil a man-and-a-half short. In fact, Ladi’s been impressing the shit out of me all game.

      Great pass from Trukhno to Gilbert on that last break-out.

    46. doritogrande says:

      Yep. Penner looks much better on that PP instead of Cogliano.

    47. doritogrande says:

      Gagner’s a beauty player.

    48. Lowetide says:

      Jesus. Gagner.

    49. Bruce says:

      Bruce: I agree, but a night like the one Trukhno is having is a lot more impressive if he’s playing NHLers.

      Yes of course, LT. Thing is, he isn’t, for the most part. No Bouwmeester, no McCabe, no Horton, no Weiss, no Booth, and a bunch o’ guys named Drew Larman and Stefan Meyer. Whatever, I’d rather we looked good against those guys, than not. :)

    50. Coach pb9617 says:

      Why is Gagner blocking shots in the pre-season? In any season that is not the post-season?

      He’s showing Sugartits one of the reasons why he’s going to be a Falcon again.

    51. Coach pb9617 says:

      Jesus Gagner.

      He prefers Sam.

    52. mike w says:

      Man, Penner was gassed on that PK.

    53. doritogrande says:

      Tambo interview:

      - good solid core of kids
      - good mix of kids and vets
      - Deslauriers looks “very close”, has work extremely hard. the 3 headed goalie is a pressure situation. Not an ideal situation, but the situation we have right now. Letting the players sort it out themselves.
      - Should be more scoring due to the additions made in the offseason. Cole’s very strong, Lubo’s got a cannon. Should be no shortage of offense from this group.

    54. Dennis says:

      Some thoughts after 40:

      - 41′s gonna be an interesting guy to follow. Great instincts.

      - I can’t get used to the fact that Lowe isn’t the GM

      - that guy who ‘plays’ the guitar in the Just For Men commerical is rediculous.

    55. mike w says:

      that guy who ‘plays’ the guitar in the Just For Men commerical is rediculous.

      Ha ha ha.

      I always laugh at that as well.

    56. doritogrande says:

      I’m really starting to understand all the ways Rob Schremp got passed on the depth chart.

      - Gagner’s vision
      - Cogliano’s speed
      - Nilsson’s defensive ability
      - Trukhno’s grit
      - Brule’s hitting
      - Brodziak’s heart
      - Pouliot’s PK ability.

      Just how many more guys are going to get NHL jobs before Rob?

    57. doritogrande says:

      Well that was the shift from hell.

    58. mike w says:


      I was hoping he’d score.

    59. PDO says:

      Shouldn’t that goal have been waived off on interference?

      Not necessarily a penalty per say, but Olesz went flying into Garon without any help.

    60. Coach pb9617 says:

      I’m a sonofabitch in the corners, you think if I got a tryout, I could pass him?

    61. doritogrande says:

      The injuries. They start.

    62. doritogrande says:

      “I’m a sonofabitch in the corners, you think if I got a tryout, I could pass him?”

      Hell, I think my waterboy skills could pass him.

    63. doritogrande says:

      Feels just like last year. Hang on to your seats men. It’s gonna be a wild 5 minutes.

    64. doritogrande says:


    65. Bruce says:

      That third period qualifies as an official ClusterFuck.

    66. Ribs says:

      hey, Marchant’s back! Oh wait…

    67. Bruce says:

      Beauty pass by Samwise there. That was Elite.

    68. doritogrande says:

      Oh look. Another shootout. Fancy that.

      Spurgeon anyone?

    69. BenJammin says:

      Shoot out. Shades of yester-year.

    70. doritogrande says:

      Gagner, Brule, Pouliot.

      Way to keep your hand close to the vest MacT.

    71. doritogrande says:

      Gagner’s amazing.

    72. PDO says:

      Jesus. Gagner.

    73. PDO says:

      Pou’s trying to win a job.


    74. doritogrande says:

      Finally get a win.

      Nice move. Poo looked like an NHLer tonight finally.

    75. Quain says:

      Good lord, it was exactly like last year all over again. We piss away a win in the last two minutes but steal it with a shootout.

    76. BenJammin says:

      “And the Oiler’s win in a shoot-out, after squandering a 2 goal third period lead.” -ah, yes, let the season begin

    77. Ribs says:

      Nice move. Poo looked like an NHLer tonight finally.

      Except for when he was falling down and bobbling his stick all over the place.

    78. Lowetide says:

      Well you’d rather have these guys win a job than back in and imo Brule, Pouliot and Trukhno all played well tonight.

      As Dennis mentioned, Chorney had some real nice moments including a shot early in the game that I think hit iron. It was a very nice shot.

      All in all, I like the looks of the team. The D seems to be settling in (nice efforts tonight from Grebs, Gibby, Staios, Strudwick and Smid was flying) Garon looks on and the puck pretends Roloson is a pillow.

      The offense should be terrific, but Vic made a great point somewhere about the forwards needing to support more than ever.

      Finally, did you ever get the feeling that the world is a black tux and Rob Schremp is a pair of brown shoes?

    79. Dennis says:

      How close will we be to the real roster by the time we play the next game on Tues?

      I guess by then we’ll be down to just parading 78-88-67-58? And probably still have Peckham and Chorney here as not to wear down the D?

      Does that sound sensible?

      Finally, does anyone think JDD Wouldn’t clear waivers? I gotta say, I really liked how Roli looked on Tues night in Van and I like him as a backup.

    80. Asiaoil says:

      There is simply no room for Schremp on this roster (now or in the foreseeable future) and no point in sending him down. If someone gives us a 2nd round pick then be done with it. Nice to see Smid playing well and it’s not unexpected – he’ll probably have a good year and he’s still rehabbing a knee.

    81. speeds says:

      So, LT, let’s get your thoughts on Trukhno?

      I am of course quite biased, but he just thinks the game so well I won’t be surprised if MacT keeps him. Reads the ice so well. It’s a shame he’s not a better skater, hopefully it can improve a bit over the next few years.

    82. Lord Bob says:

      Viatcheslav Trukhno. Jesus Christ. If this guy doesn’t play twenty games this year my fist is going through a wall.

      That is all.

    83. Coach pb9617 says:

      A really shiny pair of brown shoes with absolutely no support.

    84. Lowetide says:

      speeds: He looks great, doesn’t he? I can’t imagine a scenario where he stays up, though. He’d have to beat out both Schremp and Goulet or be so impressive they trade Pouliot.

      That’s a tall order. Having said that Trukhno plays with authority when he has the puck and if anything it proves those junior numbers were bona fide.

      Damn fine drafting that year.

    85. Coach pb9617 says:

      He’d have to beat out both Schremp and Goulet or be so impressive they trade Pouliot.

      You don’t think he’s in front of Schremp now?

    86. Lowetide says:

      coach: First, I meant “Schremp or Brule” in that statement. Lordy, it’s early.

      Second, no. I think Trukhno is playing very well but the organization would prefer to send him to Springfield and bring him back when he’s confident.

      remember, the Oilers often sit their end of roster forwards until they need to get sent out for conditioning. Recent examples would be Jacques and Trukhno, and Stortini was sent out last fall only to return with a bang.

    87. R-Gib says:

      Wow, lots of great comments on the game… good to see everyone so excited already.

      I just don’t see a spot on this roster for Schremp. He is such a skilled player with the puck, and so average without. With Hemsky, Gagner and Nilsson we already have the skill on the half-boards for the PP… and this is what Robbie was born for! I think it best that we keep him up and give him some playtime in the bigs until we can find a suitable trade for him. How about a 3C defensive faceoff guy (Scott Nichol anyone)?

      Brule has shown he can be a bit self-involved or selfish with the puck at times, but he brings a decent two way game with a lot of speed… something that would fit nicely in the bottom six. I would love to see him on a line with Brodz this year.

      Pouliot has flashes of gold intermixed with undescribable bad play. This guy is the epitome of frustration for Oilers fans. Keep him up? Trade him? Friggen hell if I know.

      As raved about by others above, Trukhno looks good. Maybe a good callup on an injury this year.

      Funny how Potulny has faded from discussion… solid player who seems to be invisible in the preseason.

    88. Dennis says:

      RG: you could say the same about Reddox as well.

      There seems to be enough legit talent in the pipe now that chances are fleeting.

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