Riesen to Believe 2 (Forwards)

The Oilers have enough fire power up front to be considered dangerous.

Both ways.

The two best offensive Oiler clubs in the last dozen years were the 1996-97 club that lost in round two that spring and the team that went to G7 SCF in 2006.

Both of those teams finished north of 250 goals. I think the 2008-09 edition of the Oilers will come extremely close to that number.

The trick is finding enough forwards who can hold back the flood heading in the other direction when one of those gifted players turn the puck over in a very bad spot. There are some wonderful forwards on this team, smart and skilled men who may be on the verge of huge seasons. All players are listed by TC position and this is the complete TC list with percentage estimate.

  1. C Shawn Horcoff, 30 in September: The most important center in the Northwest division. On a team filled with skilled men who are often headed the wrong way upon turnover, Horcoff is a guy who can play at pace with them while doing the actual nuts and bolts heavy lifting required to get the playing field pointed in the proper direction. 53gp, 21-29-50, 30pims +1. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  2. RW Ales Hemsky, 25: Please trust me when I say this: ALL of the arrows are pointed in the right direction for Hemsky this season. If he’s healthy all year I believe he’ll go over 90 points and once again be the #1 powerplay man in the Northwest division (as he was a year ago). We are just now approaching the time in his career when Ales Hemsky combines skill, maturity and opportunity in ample amounts. We’ve seen his early, developmental years and now comes the Rocket. 74gp, 20-51-71, 34pims -9. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  3. LW Dustin Penner, 26 in September: Despite the dollars and size, Dustin Penner’s offense will rely heavily on where they slot him in the lineup. If he plays the entire season on the top line with Horcoff and Hemsky he could have a career season. If he loses that job and doesn’t catch the Gagner wave this could be a rather difficult year. The Oilers are not in a position to push him into offensive situations if he can’t perform and with a new GM (not with the team when the deal was made) in place there should be no hesitation by anyone to move him down the depth chart (or out) if it makes the team better. He does have skill and performed well this past season but there are footsteps and MacT wants to win. The number of powerplay options not named Penner is another concern for him. 82gp, 23-24-47, 45pims -12. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  4. LW Erik Cole, 29: Last season at 5×5 he faced giants every night with only average men at his side, and performed pretty well(73gp, 12-22-34, +5). Dustin Penner’s 5×5 numbers (82gp, 10-15-25, -12 in 50 more EV minutes than Cole) are not in the same ballpark, especially considering Penner had better linemates pretty much every night (based on Desjardins). This is the Ryan Smyth of the 08-09 Oilers and I’ll be extremely interested in seeing how the coach uses him. 73gp, 22-29-51, 76pims +5. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  5. C Sam Gagner, 19: The back half of his 07-08 season (39gp, 10-23-33, .846ppg) is cause for giddyness. There has been a lot of talk about Gagner being vulnerable to a sophomore slump. I guess he’s as vulnerable as anyone, but the major factor in keeping him up all last season was injury and it would be my guess that is huge this season too. Until Gagner can compete physically against men 10-15 years older the danger of injury is greater than the danger of not being able to hit a curveball. I’ll be very interested to see how much time he spent working on strength and conditioning this summer. Smart, smart player who is also gifted. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen someone like him. 79gp, 13-36-49, 23pims -21. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  6. LW Robert Nilsson, 23: Nilsson was 8th in the NW division in a very important category: 5×5 points-per-60 (with a solid 2.37). He did not perform well on the powerplay but his skills suggest he should be able to have an impact in that area given the opportunity. Despite being the “obvious” choice to punt from the top 6 and having a very tradeable contract, my suspicion is that Nilsson stays and plays even when the days arrives (and it will) and Sam Gagner moves to another line. 71gp, 10-31-41, 22pims +8. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  7. C Kyle Brodziak, 24: Back in the spring Bob Stauffer wrote “(look for) Kyle Brodziak to see significant minutes on the third line, including first unit penalty-killing.” This is the same guy who identified Robert Nilsson as a clear option for top 6 minutes in mid-summer 2007. Connected? You make the call. I think the Oilers will begin TC with the idea that Brodziak is Stoll2.0 and put him in the position of taking end zone faceoffs and playing tough competition (behind Horcoff’s line). Huge season for him and a lot is being asked based on his own past. 80gp, 14-17-31, 33pims -6. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  8. C Andrew Cogliano, 21: His Corsi number (-11.7) ranked as the third worst in the division (Trevor Linden of the Canucks was -14.6 and Aaron Voros in Minnesota was -15.6) among forwards who played 50 or more games. He did however improve tremendously in the second half (41gp, 11-15-26, +7) and speed can work on offense and defense. I think this season will see Cogliano begin the process of becoming the next Butch Goring and he’ll emerge as the responsible member of the Kid Line. 82gp, 18-27-45, 20pims +1. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  9. RW Fernando Pisani, 31: Pisani is a very smart player on a team that collects them, and there’s no doubt in my mind a player like Brodziak would be farther along had he enjoyed the opportunity to play for a long stretch with a healthy and effective Fernando Pisani. A return to the 05-06 offense (1.84/60 at 5×5) should be expected and plenty of heavy lifting for a quality role player. 56gp, 13-9-22, 28pims -5. Chances of Making the Oilers: 100%.
  10. RW Zack Stortini, 23 this week: Stortini’s role on the club is as the agitator, the physical presence on the 4/energy line. In 2007-08 he was so effective in the role many of us doubt it it can be repeated. Nevertheless, his name is written in ink on the final roster before they swing open the doors. 66gp, 3-9-12, 201pims +3. Chances of making the Oilers: 100%.
  11. C Marc Pouliot, 23: Pouliot can fill all kinds of roles on this team. He could fill in at 3line C, any 4th line slot, he can sit in the pressbox. He can PK, is building a pretty nice resume as a guy who can help slow the bleeding at EVs and does seem to be getting the general idea of what is required to play in the big leagues. “Make or break” is a cliche, but in this case very true. 24gp, 1-6-7, 12pims -1. Chances of making the Oilers: 95% (he could be traded).
  12. LW Ethan Moreau, 33 in September: The Oilers could use 80 games from Moreau to help the penalty killing, help the kids find their way and push some of the youngsters down the depth chart. Can they count on him? We’re about to find out, because Curtis Glencross left town. 25gp, 5-4-9, 39pims -4. Chances of making the Oilers: 86% (TC injury possible).
  13. C Ryan Potulny, 24: On a team looking for shooters Potulny stands out among the minor leaguers. He has other things (waiver eligible, some NHL experience) that put him ahead of Brule, Schremp and others but it’ll come down to training camp. Plus we need to remember the long list of forwards who’ve made the Oilers out of camp but spent the majority of the season elsewhere (Mikhnov, Jacques most recently). 7gp, 0-1-1, 4pims E. Chances of making the Oilers: 50%.
  14. LW JF Jacques, 23: He’s had some back trouble but the latest reports have him improving and looking forward to camp. JFJ’s physical style and exceptional size would be very valuable on this roster. 9gp, 0-0-0, 2pims -3. Chances of making the Oilers: 45%.
  15. C Rob Schremp, 22: He has been cursed by a parade of talent in Ourtown not seen in many years at his position and skill set. He is haunted by the famous MacT quote (“the things he needs to do to stay here long-term are not quick fixes. He needs the strength base and quickness. He’s got to be strong enough to battle at a standstill because he’s not going to outskate many guys”) and he continues to be portrayed by some as a problem child. So if he can overcome those things and make the major league club in any capacity I think it only reasonable we give him credit for it. The new Ron Chipperfield is ready. 2gp, 0-0-0, 0pims -1. Chances of making the Oilers: 40%.
  16. C Gilbert Brule, 21: I think the Oilers will send him out, but he had quite a bit of NHL experience and offers some skills that will be valuable to the big club. He has some jam and would certainly fill a 4line “energy” role similer to the one Glencross did this spring. Chances of Making the Oilers: 10%.
  17. LW Liam Reddox, 22: He zoomed up the charts so quickly last season one wonders if he can sustain it. However, he didn’t look out of place in his quick look-see in the show and Buchberger gushed over him. Chances of Making the Oilers: 6%.
  18. LW Bryan Lerg, 22: Pure scorer in college, Lerg is so unique among the Oilers grinders and playmakers he’ll no doubt be on the first powerplay in Springfield’s opening scrimmages. We have no idea about how he’ll handle the rough going but if he can take punishment without getting hurt (and make plays, obviously) the Oilers may have something here. Chances of making the Oilers: 5%.
  19. LW Tim Sestito, 24: The things he brings are in short supply on the Oilers depth chart, so he has a chance. Chances of Making the Oilers: 1%.
  20. RW Carl Corazzini, 29: Prendergast: “He’s not very big, but he can fly and he can score. He gives us more depth and should make us a better team in Springfield. And if we run into injury problems, he certainly wouldn’t be a guy that we would be afraid to call up.” Chances of Making the Oilers: 1%.
  21. LW Slava Trukhno, 21: Disappointing season in the AHL a year ago and I think they’ll send him down there in hopes he can dominate minor league pitching. Chances of Making the Oilers: 1%.
  22. RW Jordan Eberle, 18: Bob McKenzie: somewhat under-sized, Eberle is considered one of the smartest offensive players in the draft. He is a better goal-scorer than a playmaker and is an elusive talent when he has the puck. There are some questions about his speed, but he does have quickness, especially in tight situations and one-on-ones. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  23. C Tyler Spurgeon, 22: The math has always liked him and according to Guy Flaming he’s coming to camp ready. He has some skilled and he has some jam. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  24. RW Sean McMorrow, 26: 87 fights in 48 games last year. THAT’s a stat. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  25. LW Stephane Goulet, 22: Can score goals and that always has value. I’d be interested in seeing what he could do on one of the top 2lines and with big PP minutes in the AHL. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  26. RW Ryan O’Marra, 21: Oilers usually do well with this player type and he certainly has the draft pedgiree. A complete wildcard, he could be a feature center in Springfield or they could bury him again. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  27. RW Colin McDonald, 24: Oilers keep saying he’s going to score but he hasn’t done much of it in college or pro. He does have good size and could turn himself into a useful role player. His AHL season one year ago was clearly a struggle. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  28. C Milan Kytnar, 19: Apparently has the #1 center sewn up with the Saskatoon Blades after camp ends. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  29. C Toby Lafrance, 21: An interesting under the radar player. Scored 40 as a 19-year old in the Q a couple of seasons ago and finished in the top 10 in that league’s scoring race as an overage junior. Overage juniors make the show about as often as people spell Orest Kindrachuk correctly, but he can score goals and that has value. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  30. LW Geoff Paukovich, 22: Now that Troy Bodie is gone he’ll be the top option for AHL Coke Machine. He was -21 in Stockton on a team that looked to be about 25 goals in the red at EVs so he wasn’t alone but he wasn’t helping. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  31. RW Jamie Bates, 23. Falcons GM Bruce Landon is quoted as saying “from all scouting reports, Jamie is a big and strong forward who works extremely hard.” Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  32. RW Marc Andre Bernier, 23: Interesting player. Big, strong and with good hands, he apparently lacks killer instinct despite being the biggest guy in most conversations (6-3, 218). Played in the ECHL last season. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  33. RW David Rohlfs, 24: One of the players who could benefit from the exit of Troy Bodie from the organziation. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  34. RW Justin Chwedoruk, 24: Former St. Albert Saint is an undersized winger who has played most of his pro career at the lower levels. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  35. W Kelly Czuy, 25: A college man with good size and a couple of years pro experience. Not much info about him but he doesn’t have a lot of PIMs or a lot of goals so we’ll call him a “two-way” forward. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  36. LW Adam Huxley, 24: Huxley hung in there against Flinn at TC last fall and may well have gotten a pro contract because Flinn was injured in that fight. Played for Stockton in 07-08, posting 200 pims. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  37. C Ryan Huddy, 25: A complete wildcard. Yes he’s the son of one of the coaches but that doesn’t hasn’t counted for much since Brent Imlach. He’s small and he scored pretty well in Germany. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  38. RW Hans Benson, 25: 6-0, 215 and a PIM magnet from the Dave Schultz family. Played 44 AHL games last season and managed 265PIMS. He’s from California and is the brother of NHL player Cedric Benson. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  39. LW Garet Hunt, 21: 5-8 fighter on skates. Chances of Making the Oilers: Zero.
  40. LW Philippe Cornet, 18: Prendergast: “Highly skilled. He has good hands, he’s a pretty good skater. He has to get a little tougher in some areas of the ice. He fell a little lower than we thought he would fall, but we’re happy to have him.” Chances on making the Oilers: Zero.
  41. RW Guillaume Lefebvre, 27: Enforcer from the Quebec penal league. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  42. RW Ryan MacMurchy, 25: A former Blues draft pick they’ve sent down the line. Played a little in the AHL and more in the ECHL after his college career. Described as playing with an edge. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  43. LW Kyle Paige, 20: Has good size and is an Oilers fan. After that, I’m out. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.
  44. LW Les Reaney, 24: A pubished report this spring implied Reaney simply couldn’t keep his weight down while at Niagara, and coach Dave Burkholder first dropped him to the fourth line, then sat him two different times in an attempt to light a fire. He had a pretty good college career going for awhile there. Chances of making the Oilers: Zero.

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40 Responses to "Riesen to Believe 2 (Forwards)"

  1. Scott says:

    Hey Lowetide,

    I understand that Ethan has missed almost the entirety of the last two seasons due to injury, but do you really think that he has a 14% chance of getting injured at camp as compared to 0% for everybody else? Or is it just a joke.

    Also, do you know if the number of fighters the Oilers have in camp is normal? I would think that if they’re bringing in this many guys that they’re hoping one of them will actually not be so terrible at hockey that they can use him in actual games. I just seems weird otherwise.

    Thanks for the update on camp!

  2. Bank Shot says:

    Gotta wonder how playing in the Southeast has affected Cole’s numbers.

    He scored something like 25 points in 29 games against his own division and 26 in 44 against the rest in 07-08.

    I’d suggest his regular linemates of Staal and Whitney certainly weren’t chopped liver, and probably are better then what he’ll be playing with on the Oilers unless he spends the entire season on the top line. Even then Staal, and Whitney match up with Hemsky and Horcoff pretty well offensively.

    Erik’s numbers have been in pretty steady decline for two seasons now. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles a possible demotion to the third line if he can’t regain his scoring touch. Hopefully he is as strong in character as reported.

  3. Ribs says:

    I can’t help but to laugh at the lower level guys and their “Zero” chances of making the team. I mean, it’s completely true, but what if these guys read the blog? Ouch!

    1% Chance, maybe?

  4. Lowetide says:

    ribs: It’s not like I’m an expert. Check Gagner (#13), here:

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2007/08/riesen-to-believe.html

  5. Ribs says:

    Nice, LT. Still no love for Mr. Eberle after that one?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Well, I try to be reasonable. Gagner making the team was a helluva deal it really was, even with that Russian tournament.

    Eberle making it would be historic based on where he was taken, the fact EDM already has a bunch of RW’s for the skill lines and his own weaknesses (which includes strength).

    I think that Bendfeld fellow probably has a better chance than Eberle.

  7. trader says:

    LT come on..seriously Pouliot has a better chance of making the team then Moreau?

    I know that you & Dennis both have a hard-on for MP but that borders on irrational Schremp type luv.

    What makes MP twice as likely as Potulny, and 10 more likely then Brule to make the team. I think it will be a real battle between those 3, while you seem to have given the spot to MP.

  8. uni says:

    Trader, I think 1 way contract MAP got this offseason and the comments from the organization pretty much backs up LT’s prediction.

    Also the comments from the Oilers RE: Brule and Potulny are as AHL bound, could be useful and surprise.

    Also from reading LT’s post, I think he made it very clear that the handicap on Moreau being on the team when camp breaks is the possibility of an injury. His predictions don’t smack of fanboyism at all IMO.

    I will say that MAP hasn’t done anything yet that particularly impresses me though, and if he got traded or sent out after another lacklustre camp or stretch I wouldn’t be too heartbroken about it.

  9. trader says:

    UNI the post says “chance of making the Oilers” if I mis-read my apologies.

    I am comforted though as Sourey was 100% so I guess no chance of him being hurt.

  10. Lowetide says:

    uni covered it off pretty well. The Oilers asked Pouliot for a discount in exchange for a one-way deal and he agreed. After that, it’s a matter of him showing up and playing well enough.

    Not a certainty by any means, but when you’re making bets (which is what this thread is about) that’s a consideration.

    Moreau’s number is strictly injury.

  11. Lowetide says:

    trader: You seem a little steamed. Is there a reason?

  12. trader says:

    Just crumpy because training camp is only 1 day long…can’t kick the dog…so figured I would bitch about your predictions…lol

  13. Lowetide says:

    lol. No worries. You’re not serious about 1 day, right? They’re open Thursday, Friday and then Joey Moss Sunday?

    Right?

  14. trader says:

    Physicals on Friday
    Saturday on Ice
    Sunday Joey Moss Cup
    Monday game against Vancouver

    You and both remember when guys used training camp to get in shape. That seem like a long time ago.

  15. DMFB says:

    There has been a lot of talk about Gagner being vulnerable to a sophomore slump.

    Ever since I really started thinking about hard/soft minutes and the like (thanks for that, by the way), I’ve begun wondering how much of this “sophomore slump” stuff is just a guy being forced to take a harder role and then having a fairly predictable drop in counting numbers. It seems like the (blindingly) obvious answer to me (besides stuff like the opposition keying on a player they ignored before, and the like), but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any kind of research into the fact. You wouldn’t happen to know of any, would you LT?

    Anyway, if that is the case, I can’t see a sophmore slump happening just because I can’t really see MacT using Gagner in a very different role from last year, unless we get really, really desperate for a third-line center.

  16. Lowetide says:

    WHAT? No way. That is not good! I’m going to miss everyting but Joey Moss.

  17. Lowetide says:

    DMFB: I think MacT will probably increase the level of toughness for Gagner this season. Certainly more than the other two, just based on the fact that he’s going higher (or at least he sure as hell looks like it).

    I think we should be happy if Gagner repeats last years numbers. With Stoll and Reasoner gone there’s almost no chance that kid line center is going to get the same soft minutes again this season.

  18. trader says:

    I enjoy nothing more then sitting at training camp watching all the action.
    Meeting a stranger who suddenly is your best buddy because you both live and die with the team on the ice.
    Seeing people making notes and discussing all the roster possibilities.
    I had planned on taking a couple days off work to enjoy, I guess now I don’t have to.

  19. Jb says:

    Solid predictions, but a few seem unrealistic to me.

    Pouliot at 95%? I think 70% would be a reasonable prediction, even then, possibly too high. I don’t see much more than a cheap contract here, although his skillset does fill a current need.

    Potulny at 50%? We dealt a guy who’d have a fat 0% chance for Ryan. I don’t ever expect to see this guy on the roster. AHL depth here.

    Brule at 10%? 60% IMO, Brule is a safer bet for a roster spot post trade deadline than Pouliot is. That I would bet on.

  20. rickibear says:

    Yeh!
    Oil Kings vs. Hat Fri.
    Sat. Scrimmages 8:30- 1:00
    Oil Kings vs. Calgary Sat. night
    Sun. Joey Moss cup.

  21. uni says:

    Trader, training camp duration doesn't seem nearly long enough, and I can see your point RE: 'phrasology' & certainly with Souray 100% =). All I can say is that Souray tends to get injured after training camp?

    If it makes you feel better I'm stranded in the epicenter of Leaf Nation, and on my one trip to Edmonton this year I can afford (to see my sister) it had to be in June; i.e. when there is no hockey, and before all the fun festival stuff in July I hear. Nothing to do but hop around on the LRT and get liquored up. I have to say there are a LOT of liquor stores in Edmonton, I counted 3 in one block on Jasper I think.

  22. Jonathan says:

    Brule at 10%? 60% IMO, Brule is a safer bet for a roster spot post trade deadline than Pouliot is. That I would bet on.

    But that’s not the prediction – it’s the odds that he makes the team out of camp. For example, Jacques/Pouliot made the team a year ago, while guys like Thoreson and Smid got sent down.

  23. Addicted-to-oil says:

    Again, nice work LT.
    I totally agree with Horcs and Hemmer. I too think Hemmer will score over 90 this season – if he can stay healthy.
    I too am worried about Penner and how he fits into everything – especially on the PP. I took a look at PP numbers in my most recent posts on my blog and his numbers were pretty damned good – with and without Horcoff. He was on the ice for 40 of the Edmonton’s PP goals – the same as Hemsky. He must be doing something right.

    I am in total agreement about Nilsson too. His PP and PK numbers weren’t good at all. 5 on 5 he was excellent. If you look at the point production in relation to ice time given last year even strenght, Nilsson was right behind Cogliano and Horcoff for 3rd on the team.

    I also have been raving about Brodziak since I took a look at his stats. 14 goals in under 13 minutes a game? 2:31 on the PK with very effective numbers killing penalties. I think he’s going to be great.

    I have very little faith in MAP after looking at his stats. I believe he will spend more time in the pressbox this year than on the ice.

    Again, great work. I think you and I have fairly similar views on the Oilers forwards and their roles.

  24. namflashback says:

    DMFB said “besides stuff like the opposition keying on a player they ignored before, and the like”

    So true. There were several moments in games last spring where opposing coaches were bush-sitting on the kid line. Keenan in particular, changed-up and got Iginla-Langkow on the ice vs the kids late in a shift and retrieving in the d-zone. I remember Langkow wallopped Sam pretty hard.

    We’re going to see quite a bit of that. I think that the kids will need the smartest/fastest of D-pairs behind them — like Greb-Gilbert because the d-zone will be problematic.

    That said — if we assume the center order of opposition is 10-51-89-78 then opposing coaches can’t play that game too often without having 10-83 continually ram it down mouths of Glencross-Bertuzzi.

    You’d have to fear Detroit or Dallas though, where you can’t hide Sam from all of Modano-Richards-Avery. Even under a normal line rotation that’s a big handful of competition.

  25. Sean says:

    I’m pro-Brodziak as well. If we are shooting for the 09-10 as our year (it would take an 05-06 type year by the GM to be legitimate contenders this season) I see no reason to not give Brodziak the chance to be our 3rd line shutdown guy. If he fails (which I dont think he will) Tambo has a full year to find the guy.

    Unless the Oilers land an enforcer, I think they will run with Pouliot and JFJ just like last year. Hopefully the end result is different though.

  26. Sean says:

    nfb: argh Avery vs Gagner. I wonder how much time Stortini is going to get with 83 or 89. If Cole or Penner cant stick up for them then Stortini is going to get alot of minutes.

  27. Doogie2K says:

    Ever since I really started thinking about hard/soft minutes and the like (thanks for that, by the way), I’ve begun wondering how much of this “sophomore slump” stuff is just a guy being forced to take a harder role and then having a fairly predictable drop in counting numbers. It seems like the (blindingly) obvious answer to me (besides stuff like the opposition keying on a player they ignored before, and the like), but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any kind of research into the fact.

    For what it’s worth, Jonathan wrote a post saying pretty much that, while I supplemented that by saying that there’s also some important psychological factors that can cause, contribute to, and feed the slump, if not properly managed. Ignore that the two posts have opposing titles; as with all things, I did it purely for attention.

  28. Schitzo says:

    Sean: I would have no problems mixing it up and playing Moreau-Cogs-Gagner if necessary. Screw a goon, as long as there’s one guy on that line willing to apply lumber to teeth, they should be ok.

    Going back to Cole’s role on the PP: If he’s not great, doesn’t that really simplify things for MacT? Keep Cole off the PP and play Penner the whole two minutes, then run Cole the next shift when the Thortons or Iginlas come over the board.

    This assumes Penner will not die if he plays 2 minutes in the slot, I guess it depends on how hard he’s battling in the first minute.

  29. Sean says:

    schitzo: I guess Morreau is also a good option. The kid line is going to see a lot of Kesler and that ilk of player. I think they’ll hold their own but could use a shift here or two with Stortini.

    Its a good thing Calgary didn’t get Avery. Actually come to think of it, its a shame. Avery would have ruined Phaneuf.

  30. Say No to Mike Johnson says:

    “The Oilers asked Pouliot for a discount in exchange for a 1 way deal and he agreed. After that, it’s a matter of him showing up and playing well enough.”

    If a one way makes Pouliot 95% what does that make Roy? 10%. Right.

    Pouliot has a 1 way deal but his heart is not bigger than Mikhnov’s. I’ll give it 95% chance that one of the other prospects makes Pouliot expendable after TC.

    If Edmonton is interested in winning today why in a million years would you have Pouliot (78 games pro experience) as a center on checking line? It’s not like Edmonton doesn’t have the assets to land a veteran checking forward.

    Pouliot only makes sense if we’re not trying to win today. Pitkanen for Cole means Edmonton is trying to win today right?

  31. DMFB says:

    I think MacT will probably increase the level of toughness for Gagner this season.

    I’m not entirely sure on that, though. As much as Gagner might be the best bet to handle tougher opponents among the young centres, he’s also by far the biggest exploiter of soft minutes. I’ll grant that by doing that you’re basically hoping that Gagner scores more than the others let in, but that seems a better bet to me than, say, hoping Pouliot (or whoever) score more than Gagner lets in.

    Also, doogie: thanks for the links. For what it’s worth, I’m not so sure about the psychological stuff: I’m certain it plays some kind of part, but I’ve always doubted that something that takes the instinct and reflex of a sport is as dependent on the mental state of the players as analysts and such seem to suggest.

  32. Dennis says:

    I don’t really see any reason why the Oil would give 89 top six icetime in terms of matching unless they want to really hurt his counting stats and are looking for some kind of contract discount in the process.

    I think we should run ??/10-83 PVP and then have Pisani’s linemates take on the next crew of toughs.

  33. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    lowetide: WHAT? No way. That is not good! I’m going to miss everyting but Joey Moss.

    Ahem… within one of the 47 comments in “Invisibister”…

    OT: Training Camp

    The Oilers have messed me up this year. There are but two days of TC that are open to the public: day one is Saturday, September 20th, and day two is Sunday, the Joey Moss Cup – tickets are $12 and available September 8th. So much for my evolving rosters and notes.

    http://oilers.nhl.com/team/app/?service=
    page&page=NewsPage&articleid=381172

    I guess it's going to have to be day one for TC and lunch. I'll be there before 8am, Bruce, PDO & Lain, if you still wish to join me.

    PDO is making his arrangements, and I’m looking forward to meeting him on Saturday, September 20th.

    You snooze… you lose.
    ;-D

    btw – I’m about to head out to pick up my JMC tickets.

    L8r
    Louise

  34. Bruce says:

    Louise, LT & PDO: Alas, I will be in Saskatoon for a wedding that weekend. What the heck are the Oilers doing between the Golden Bear game and the Joey Moss Cup??

    I do intend on being at that Bears game, maybe we can arrange to meet up there?

  35. Lowetide says:

    Well my wife is off to Medicine Hat Saturday morning which means I’m the driver (swimming, some kind of party that I will ruin by driving my daughter to instead of dropping her off at the corner) so it’s JMC for me (I’ll have to buy them hot dogs but it isn’t like I’m going to make a healthy meal with my wife out of town).

    Oh well, Louise I’ll look for you. Didn’t your hubby take a puck last JMC? Or is my memory going?

  36. Doogie2K says:

    I’ve always doubted that something that takes the instinct and reflex of a sport is as dependent on the mental state of the players as analysts and such seem to suggest.

    Truthfully, that’s exactly why it matters. Just think of it this way: if you’ve just had a fight with your better half, how’s your driving going to be — worse or better? Are you really going to be as focused on the road as you should be? I’m a kinesiology student, I’ve seen the research, and the results don’t lie. Australia’s at least 20 years ahead of us in sports psychology, and it’s right there in the medal standings. (My sports psych prof, Dave Paskevich, was actually over there working with the athletes; I’d be very interested in his take on the van Koeverden fiasco and subsequent recovery.)

    I’ll probably be the only one around here who believes in what’ll always be a somewhat unquantifiable science — it’s the nature of the beast in these parts — but I might as well speak up for it when I can. It’s not my major (that would be biomechanics), but I know enough to say it matters.

  37. Doogie2K says:

    I should also point out that “instinct and reflex” is layman’s shorthand for a player’s innate understanding of the game — patterns, strategies, that sort of thing — and how that affects his reactions to in-game stimuli. If his head’s not in the game, both perception and response are going to be impaired, and performance suffers.

  38. IceDragoon says:

    Bruce: I do intend on being at that Bears game, maybe we can arrange to meet up there?

    I hope you have your tickets. That game always sells out early… and… I won’t be there. Some other time, for sure.
    :-)

    Lowetide: Oh well, Louise I’ll look for you. Didn’t your hubby take a puck last JMC? Or is my memory going?

    You just might find me.
    ;-D
    Hubby took the puck at a pre-season game, and he’ll be watching his NFL while I’m at my pre-pre-season game.

    You’ll have to stop in to go over my notes sometime the following week. Give me a call.

    Looks like it’s just you and me, PDO. I’m sure that Lain won’t mind me buying you his lunch. He drinks good beer, too.
    ;-p
    Let me know if you’d like me to pick you up, since I’ll be out driving… and all that jazz.
    :-)

    doogie2k: I’ll probably be the only one around here who believes in what’ll always be a somewhat unquantifiable science

    Not by a long shot, d2k. Tho, my studies are casual, iow, for my own pleasure. The human brain is fascinating, and science is getting closer. PET scans and MRIs have opened a new chapter in understanding brain function, tho some professors are loathe to let go of some of their ridiculous, outdated, theories.
    iow – same old
    ;-)

    One of the many reasons that I cherish high IQ, is that super smart guys are the ones who push the cerebral limits. It’s simple, really. The more cerebral cortex you build and exercise, the more you use.

    Perhaps, when I have more time, we can discuss the state of mind colloquially called, “THE ZONE”. Oft maligned and discredited because there’s no way to quantify, yet, but it’s simply a superior mind efficiently using a neurotransmitter flood.

    Some day we’ll look back and go…
    duh!
    :-)

    L8r

  39. Doogie2K says:

    Thanks for the support, Louise. Like I said before, I don’t know much — I’ve taken but a single class — but it’s enough to convince me there’s some merit to this stuff, even if sportscasters tend to beat stuff like BIG GOALS and MOMENTUM SWINGS into the ground.

  40. Bruce says:

    Louise: Yeah, I got my tix on Friday. The place will be packed as usual.

    Very much looking forward to reading your insights on THE ZONE.

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