Oilers at Avs, G6/08-09

This is Lanny McDonald as a Colorado Rockie. He played there 30 years ago (between Toronto and Calgary) and was quality. Colorado hockey fans have always had really good players to cheer for and if we’re honest they are a quality hockey market and a well run team.

It is curious then to look at how they are handling their goaltending this season. Looking back through history there are many, many examples of pretty good teams without goaltending (the Rockies were such a team btw). However, in the age of free agency most teams have two guys who can play and if one goes south the other guy can pick up the slack until a trade can be made or someone tries to sneak a talent through the waiver wire.

The Avs are averaging 3.67 goals-against per game currently, in a virtual tie with Calgary and Vancouver among NW teams and tied for 25th in the entire league. This compares with the Oilers who are 9th overall (2.40).

Even more disconcerting for Colorado fans is that Andrew Raycroft is lapping the field, as Peter Budaj is having an awful start:

  • Raycroft 2gp, 2wins, 3.00GAA .875SP
  • Budaj 4gp, 1win, 4.03GAA .845SP

Edmonton’s Mathieu Garon has a SP of .941 and if he can play well through Christmas a helluva payday lies ahead for him. The Oilers traditionally reward their goalies (Salo, Roloson) with exceptional contracts and Garon is most certainly playing well enough for an overpayment.

I think the Oilers can win tonight despite the poor effort one night ago and the quick turnaround. There are, however, some warning signs:

  1. Where’s Steve?
  2. Gagner was playing well enough (high event both ways but getting chances) but still has 0 points and appeared to me last night to be pressing. A big night for the kid line is definitely needed and specifically some crooked numbers for 89 is vital.
  3. The top line doesn’t work. Blame Hemsky all you want, there is zero chemistry here and it reminds me of last season when Nilsson got sent out and Torres + Stoll were putting themselves well and deep into the shithouse. This line appears doomed, despite the fact that all three players are above average by any measure.
  4. The top pairing isn’t working. Souray and Visnovsky didn’t even sound like a good idea (unlike the Horcoff line with Cole on the wing). That needs to be fixed.

I’m hopeful that Craig MacTavish has fallen in love with the word churn once again and suggest this roster:

  • Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
  • Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson
  • Brodziak-Moreau-Cole
  • Pouliot-Pisani-Stortini
  • Visnovsky-Staios
  • Grebeshkov-Gilbert
  • Smid-Souray

Not a demotion for Pisani, because they’re going to roll 4 lines and Fernando will get some special teams time anyway. No sir, break up that top line MacT, it’s the right thing to do.

And one final note: Ladislav Smid did some good things one night ago and definitely deserves to stay in the lineup.

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133 Responses to "Oilers at Avs, G6/08-09"

  1. HBomb says:

    Flip Cole and Stortini, and I’d be able to live with said lineup.

    Three lines that can pot some goals and a fourth line to provide “energy”, with Moreau and Brodziak getting plenty of PK time. That makes more sense. Playing Cole with Moreau and Brodziak is, in short, a total waste.

  2. Alice says:

    Got home late last night, saw 230+ comments. Had a sinking feeling – glad I didn’t have to enjoy it in real time. Ron Sexsmith was pretty good too, so my trade-off came out well both ways. I guess Strudwick slots in for SS if he’s still out this evening.

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    * Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
    * Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson
    * Brodziak-Moreau-Cole
    * Pouliot-Pisani-Stortini
    * Visnovsky-Staios
    * Grebeshkov-Gilbert
    * Smid-Souray

    How about:

    * Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
    * Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson
    * Pouliot-Pisani-Cole
    * Brodziak-Moreau-Stortini

    * Visnovsky-Staios
    * Grebeshkov-Gilbert
    * Smid-Souray

    I feel bad because Moreau seems like he’s playing at a nice pace, but he’s not better than PPC.

    Also, that Smid – Souray pairing is an angry, angry pairing that will deliver multitudes of facewashes.

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    The top line doesn’t work. Blame Hemsky all you want, there is zero chemistry here and it reminds me of last season when Nilsson got sent out and Torres + Stoll were putting themselves well and deep into the shithouse. This line appears doomed, despite the fact that all three players are above average by any measure.

    It was never going to work. 1 guy playing on an off-wing with a RW that takes months to get used to…

  5. namflashback says:

    Depending on the W/L result tonight, I’d give the kids and the Hemsky line one more game to get untracked. If not, may I present this alternative:

    Horc-Penner-Hemsky
    Cogs-Nilsson-Cole
    Pouliot-Moreau-Pisani
    Gagner-Brodziak-Stortini

  6. Kyle says:

    Pisani and Cole are on the third line with Moreau for me.

  7. honkey says:

    Since Oilers sucked last night I bring some happy news about Omark. In tonights game after 2 periods of play he has 2 goal and 1 assist and Luleå is up 4-3 heading into 3rd. This is the 14th game of the season and Omark has now 7+5 for 12 points. He seems to have find his form from last year and should be on a PPG pace soon.

  8. HBomb says:

    Peckham recalled from Springfield this morning, apparently due to Staios having to go back to Edmonton for “personal reasons”.

    Does this mean someone has to come off the roster?

  9. Sean says:

    The investment in Cole on the #1 line is a waste. Until he signs, I dont see the need to force the chemistry. Its not a knock on Cole either, he was great in the BoA.

    Even though Horc is fighting the puck I still want to see 12-10-83. I also want to see 27-X-26.

  10. goldenchild says:

    Well yesterday I was convinced this game was a loss and the Chi game would be a win. After yesterday i have no idea what they will do today. 2nd of a B2B, div opponent who should of one the opener, I mean it doesn’t look good today. On the other side maybe a shitkicking like yesterday lights a fire today that at least gets them off to a good start. One would hope.

  11. namflashback says:

    Well somebody (meaning a couple of the Oiler lines and D-pairs) are going to get a big helping of Smyth-Stastny-Hejduk.

    The vaunt better bring it.

  12. Traktor says:

    Nilsson Cogliano Hemsky
    Penner Gagner Cole
    Moreau Horcoff Pisani

    That’s what I would do.

  13. Becca Jane says:

    This has to be one of the few times that I completely agree with all four of the points you made.

    I wonder if should try switching one of the kids with Cole, I think it would be worth a game or two to see how that works out. Gives the kids some size to work with, and it’s size that can keep up with their speed. But I don’t know which one I would put on the first line…

    Either way, we need some chemistry going on the first line, and if that means bringing in Penner to get the job done so be it, besides I’m really impressed with his work ethic this year, even though he’s still no Speedy Gonzales…

  14. Traktor says:

    I’m not sure if anyone knows but is there any player in the NHL who is making as much money as Horcoff that has a career PPG as low as Horcoff?

    The guy is no better than Mike Fisher and should be put where he belongs, on a 3rd line with Pisani and Moreau.

  15. Traktor says:

    And am I the only one that has noticed that Shawn Horcoff has been cheating on his defensive assignments this year? I know he has to score to justify that contract but he shouldn’t forget what got him in this league.

  16. CM says:

    would this be totally nuts?

    * Gagner-Penner-Hemsky
    * Cogliano-Nilsson-Cole
    * Horcoff-Moreau-Pisani
    * Brodziak-Pouliot-Stortini

    * Visnovsky-Strudwick
    * Grebeshkov-Gilbert
    * Smid-Souray

    Assuming Staois is out and Souray is good to go…

  17. Traktor says:

    I like it CM, although I think Cogliano or Nilsson warrant a spot on the top line before Gagner.

  18. T. says:

    Any word/thoughts on how long these “personal reasons” keep Staios off the road? Someone said yesterday that unless he has a pregnant wife, there are not very many positive possibilities… hope everyone’s ok.

    I had beef with Hemmer a couple games ago and got scolded – I guess everyone else caught up eh?

    Seriously I do wonder about the differences for him this year – Marty was his roommate; Greene, Stoll and Torres his social peers. For a guy of 25 I’d think that’d be a substantial change. Maybe go back to the Horc/Penner/Hemsky line just to give him a bit of familiar ground?

    Injuries? Girl troubles? Considering the Russian leagues?

    What’s in his head? Or did someone just weigh down his skates.

  19. Bruce says:

    What’s in his head?

    Judging on last night’s performance: mothballs?

  20. doritogrande says:

    Holy shit, a non-sqweee-ing female! No one scare her away.

    Regarding Peckham’s callup, you’d have to think that someone would have to come off the roster for that swap to work. Any chance they transferred Staios (or MacIntyre) to the 10-game IR to do this? If they were absolutely desperate, I guess they could have retro-active’d Gagner or Souray, but that’s playing a dangerous game.

    Something’s up with Hemsky. There has to be. Like I mentioned last night, and t. reiterated, maybe it’s that he’s lost all his buddies. Problem is, he’s gonna be here for a while, so let’s get him playing Guitar Hero and shopping for feminine(Swedish?) sweaters as fast as we can.

  21. Lowetide says:

    dorito: I keep expecting one of the regulars to post “that was me, forgot to sign my GF out” but so far it seems like the real deal. What a great country!!!

    As for Staios, the reason has to be:

    1. Important enough to make what he does for a living secondary and
    2. Private enough for the Oilers to be vague.

    I don’t want to know. Honestly. Let him handle it (whatever it is) and in his own time.

    Some things are more important than hockey.

    Well, one thing. :-)

  22. budorduke says:

    so funny doritogrande, i literally lol’d

  23. HBomb says:

    I’m not sure if anyone knows but is there any player in the NHL who is making as much money as Horcoff that has a career PPG as low as Horcoff?

    The guy is no better than Mike Fisher and should be put where he belongs, on a 3rd line with Pisani and Moreau.

    Ah, my least favorite hockey-related statement (“Shawn Horcoff belongs as a 3rd line center”) rears its ugly, incorrect head again.

    Looking at post lockout numbers only, since career numbers are next to irrelevant in my mind (guys take time to establish themselves, with the exception of the uber-elite like Crosby), Horcoff has been a 0.82 PPG player. Translated out over a full 82 games, that’s 67 points.

    To put this in perspective, 67 points would have been good for 25th in NHL scoring among centres last year. Yet this guy belongs on a 3rd line?

    Shawn Horcoff is, at worst, a high-end 2nd line center. He can play at both ends against just about anyone AND produce offensively.

    It’s five games in. Horcoff and Hemsky are struggling, yes. But this does not mean that 10 should be demoted to 3rd line duty, nor does it mean that Hemsky is trade-bait all of a sudden. These two are far-and-away the Oilers best two forwards. They’ll get it together.

    The sooner the better.

  24. Schitzo says:

    If you’re “unavailable to play” you don’t count against the 23-man roster. Same reason the oilers didn’t have to waive Schremp right at the roster deadline at the start of the month

  25. Traktor says:

    hbomb: So if Ottawa played Vermette with Heater and Spezza and he puts up 65 points does that make him a first line player?

    Is Kunitz a first line player or did he put up first line points playing with Selanne?

    Can you honestly say that if every player in the NHL had the same opportunity as Horcoff that he still would be 25th in the league for centers? I would say he would be closer to 75th.

    The only thing that separates Mike Fisher and Shawn Horcoff is opportunity. Horc got that opportunity by default because we had nobody else to fill the spot.

    This is a better team with Horcoff and Pisani facing top lines. People are kidding themselves thinking that Hemsky is a power vs power player.

  26. digger says:

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=4f56eb21-14ac-4879-915d-0ec8af230070

    Sounds like MacT’s running out of happy thoughts and lollipops for the 1st line:

    “There’s a big gap between being good on paper and the ice,” said MacTavish. “They’re running out of legs and rope, we have to get some productivity from them 5-on-5,” said MacTavish. “We’ll give it another shot tonight. If it doesn’t work, we’ll start experimenting.”

  27. Traktor says:

    A good game in Colorado would buy that line another 2 weeks so I’ll be cheering for the Avalanche tonight.

  28. CM says:

    It might be the paint chips that I ate as a young child but I seem to remember Gagner-Hemsky-Penner having some chemistry towards the end of last season…

    Horc is a solid option at center…if not a number 1 he a very solid/best you can get number 2. I don’t however think playing him with pisani and moreau is a terrible thing…He’s going to make up time on special teams and he still has the potential to put up 50-60 points playing with two veteran wingers…

  29. Quain says:

    Let’s solve the chemistry issue by getting rid of the centre that Hemsky has stated he wants to play with.

    I have no idea why they haven’t fired MacT and just replaced him with this comment thread.

  30. CM says:

    I think the only argument that needs to be made when it comes to shawn horcoff is this…

    could the oilers replace what Horcoff brings to the team in the UFA pool for less than 5.5mil per year…

    I think the answer to that question is no…

    any other way you slice it the oilers would have been set back years if we didn’t have him in our line up long term…

  31. Lowetide says:

    Saying that Shawn Horcoff is overrated and a 3rd liner at best says more about you than it does Shawn Horcoff.

  32. Traktor says:

    Show me where I said “3rd liner at best”, I said he is no better than Mike Fisher. He’s not.

  33. Traktor says:

    And if you want to talk about one quote defining someone then your “Kids don’t win games. Just don’t” is a classic. It’s no wonder you give MacTavish infinite immunity.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I think you’re hairsplitting on this, but okay.

    You said: “The guy is no better than Mike Fisher and should be put where he belongs, on a 3rd line with Pisani and Moreau” in a post in this thread.

    My understanding and your meaning may not march in lock step, but I got your drift and challenged you.

  35. Mike says:

    “Saying that Shawn Horcoff is overrated and a 3rd liner at best says more about you than it does Shawn Horcoff.”

    LT, you been watching Stephane Dion campain highlights? I swear he used that “more anbout you than it says about me” line 30 times…

  36. Bruce says:

    I keep expecting one of the regulars to post “that was me, forgot to sign my GF out” but so far it seems like the real deal. What a great country!!!

    I’m just ticked that she has a nicer Eye-con than I do.

    Rethinking … actually, no, I don’t mind that at all. Welcome, Becca Jane!

  37. Lowetide says:

    Mike: No, I’ve used that line a few times but it’s more ‘in your face’ that my usual stuff.

    For the life of me I don’t understand how anyone can’t get Horcoff and his value. I can think of tons of plays he’s made that were just tremendous and his numbers (when healthy) are also impressive.

    I honestly don’t get it. Look, he’s not Phil Esposito and the anecdotes are things like “remember that playoff game in Detroit with time running and he blocked a shot with his face” but if you believe in the math and know where his average line of scrimmage is located (in his end) then Horcoff is a valuable player.

    JUST IS!

  38. Bruce says:

    This is a better team with Horcoff and Pisani facing top lines. People are kidding themselves thinking that Hemsky is a power vs power player.

    That’s an interesting premise, Traktor. The first statement is the hockey gods’ truth and the second is, uh, provocative.

    Seeing their three names together in one paragraph has got me thinking as to whether that might be a (temporary) solution to the observed (also temporary) struggles of 10-83. Bring up Fernando the Cleaner to the top line, and then we really can go power-v.-power with that unit. I wouldn’t be at all uncomfortable with a “third” line of 27-78-26. I think they could also handle some tough minutes, or if not, then we learn important things about whether Pouliot needs The Cleaner around to be effective.

    BTW, a pet peeve of mine is when I hear people suggest that Pisani is overpaid. At $2.5 MM he earns almost exactly 1/23 of the payroll, and there is not a 23-man roster in the NHL that would not be improved by Fernando Pisani. He makes whatever line he is on, better.

  39. Dennis says:

    As much as it’s easy to shit on 83 — and it is pretty easy — 10 hasn’t been on his game this year either. He’s making bad decisions and he’s even been getting outworked on occasion and that’s something we hardly have Ever seen from that guy.

    Last year Horc reinvented himself as a shooter and Hemsky was fine with setting him up and it worked well. And there were times when Penner worked with them as well.

    This year thus far they’ve had some early stretches with nothing happened yet in viewing last weekend’s BOA that line did show some promise.

    When it comes to line construction, I think 26 should go on the right side with 89 as the pivot and 12 or 13 on LW. I don’t think we’ve ever seen Cogs do much Without 89-12 but we’ve seen 12 look good ‘on his own’ so let’s move him somewhere else.

    So:

    27-10-83
    13-89-26
    18-78-34
    12-51-33; 33 plays fuckall and we give that spot to some other guys.

    As for the D, the 71/44 is a bad idea and we’ve got too many skaters and not enough defenders and I don’t know how we can cobble three pairs out of that.

    Looking forward to tonight’s game to see they bounce back and I’d say 24 either has a sickness with his wife, kid or parents OR he’s going through some martial problems.

  40. Traktor says:

    Hairsplitting? I think a better term is condescending. If someone disagrees with your view on Horcoff then clearly they don’t have much hockey knowledge. What a joke man. This will be the last time I post here and I’m well aware that will please the majority of your readers but whatever. I might not be the most polished writer but there isn’t 1 person here with better player foresight than me.

    Look at my posts in the W/B thread.

    I said Tom Gilbert is a lock to be a top 4 rear guard with 1-2 potential before he ever played an NHL game.

    I said Kyle Brodziak is a better prospect than Rob Schremp when nobody even knew who Brodziak was, calling him a Pisani clone at the time.

    I said Theo Peckham would be NHL ready in 2 years before he even signed a pro contract. Next thing you know people say he came out of nowhere.

    I called Nilsson “Hemsky-lite” when the idots couldn’t see that it was Stoll and Torres who were dragging that line down.

    Go find my “Traktor Report” from the saddledome. I said after Hejda’s first preseaon game “if I was watching the Oilers for the first time I would think Hejda’s our best defensemen”. Sure enough he is playing top pair in Columbus but that idiot MacTavish didn’t play him until 30 or so games into the season.

    I was challenging anyone who compared Cogliano to Marchant since the WJ’s.

    I was saying Trukhno was better than Schremp well before you as well. And even last year when you said we might have to subdue our expectations towards Trukhno on HF I said that his numbers should be expected and he would be a PPG this year.

    My misses? I called Matt Roy the next Bieksa. I also said Staios who has less hockey sense than Gator will be on waivers by the time his contract is up. Oh.. and I don’t think Horcoff is any better than Mike Fisher. What a sin.

    But yeah, because I think Horcoff is better suited on a 3rd line with Pisani I clearly don’t have the hockey knowledge that is required to occupy this blog.

    Peace out.

  41. Chris says:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=901522

    Apparantly Mike Fisher is also now a first line centre. So mindless Horcoff haters how does your comparison work now?

  42. Steve says:

    Traktor: yeah, but how long’s your penis?

  43. Bruce says:

    Peace out indeed, Traktor. Just because somebody disagrees with you doesn’t imply you don’t have hockey knowledge. They just disagree with you, is all. No need to take your laptop and go home.

    BTW, I do agree with you that Mike Fisher is a helluva player.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Jesus Murphy, man. I challenged you, I didn’t tell you to get bent.

    Look, we all have strongly held opinions and since we post on these damn forums it must be important on some level that we get the point across.

    I’m not going to run down my list of predictions but can tell you it’s way below .500 and it doesn’t matter. Seriously. Jimmy Crack Corn.

    Hope you still post, Traktor. It was not my intention to send you away.

  45. DeBakey says:

    I gonna miss ol'
    "Say No to Mike Johnson"

    But,
    with a little veteran help for the first two months of last season…

    As for Mike Fisher
    There are few teams he wouldn't improve

    Horpensky
    Kids
    Cole with MAP & the Sainted one
    The Capt with Brodziak & Stortini

  46. Bruce says:

    Without wishing to further sensitize the matter, you’ve got a thin skin if ever-the-gentleman Lowetide can get under it. I too hope you reconsider.

    Meanwhile I’m running off myself, but only for a little while (working tonight, watching the tape-delayed broadcast on TSN2 later). Enjoy the game, folks.

  47. PDO says:

    Regardless of how talented you consider Shawn Horcoff, it’s gotta take all kinds of talent to get pissed off by LT.

  48. Stan the Caddy says:

    Great, the Laffs break a pane of glass one minute into the second… at least we know the shoot-out won’t go too long and we won’t miss the whole first period.

  49. Bill Needle says:

    TSN2

  50. Stan the Caddy says:

    TSN2

    Rogers…

    And Duthie has to rub it in my face.

  51. Vic Ferrari says:

    LT (and others similarly inclined)

    Last season there was much ado about Hemsky’s lack of counting numbers, but most of us around here weren’t too worried. He was playing well, hell playing better than he had before. He was taking what was given and chipping the puck in when it made sense (and that gave him more space for when he did try to take guys on one and one). And he was going into the tough parts of the ice.

    This year though, it’s different. Though as Dennis said, Horcoff hasn’t looked any great shakes either.

    Injury may be a factor. I mean I can remember Weight saying that one of the hardest things about playing in Edmonton was that everyone noticed when you weren’t playing well and there was a lot of scrutiny. He said a lot of those times he was playing hurt but just couldn’t say so.

    Maybe that’s what is going on here, I dunno.

    In any case, considering the underlying numbers and the context should just confirm your suspicions. Hell, maybe even makes it worse.

    check out:
    the shots numbers

    where they’ve been starting shifts at evens

    where their shifts have ended (not counting goals here)

    The kids have carried right on where they left off at the tail end of last season. Hell, with more responsibility, so it’s better. At least by the numbers. And the percentages will bounce back soon enough.

    And the vets have mostly fallen into the abyss. I mean they’ll bounce back, there are a lot of good, established hockey players there who just aren’t outplaying any opposition right now.

    Still, it’s frustrating as hell right now.

  52. HBomb says:


    This is a better team with Horcoff and Pisani facing top lines. People are kidding themselves thinking that Hemsky is a power vs power player.

    I disagree partially, mostly because I think Hemsky CAN handle it and HAS handled it, but I’ve wondered that, if the Oilers were to put Hemsky with Penner and Gagner and run out a 2nd line of Cole-Horcoff-Pisani for the power vs. power matchups, would they be better off?

    The trick to that would be finding someone to play with Cogliano and Nilsson. If your team’s fourth line is Moreau-Brodziak-Pouliot with MacIntyre spiced in on occasion, you’re a damn good hockey team.

    As for Kunitz and Vermette, I think the first is underrated and the second has been under-used. Kunitz got a hell of an opportunity with Selanne, and I’m interested to see what Vermette would do with a full season on Spezza’s flank.

    Bottom line for me though – Horcoff’s a first liner by any measure in my books. Name me 30 better centers.

  53. HBomb says:

    Vic: interesting numbers.

    But it’s like I said to a buddy today – if someone has a shit stretch from games 46-50, does anyone notice?

    When it’s games 0-5, it looks worse.

    Traktor: dude, calm down. You’re clearly a bright guy. But I think you’re off on this Horcoff thing.

    To me, a 3rd liner can only play defense and isn’t an offensive threat. Pisani’s got some underrated skill and, for that reason, I’d call him a high-end 3rd liner. But there’s no way that’s all Shawn Horcoff is.

    Third liners don’t go the first 53 games of the season and average only a point. Nor do they score 73 points in a season in today’s NHL.

  54. PDO says:

    HBomb, hope you’re ready to have names like Mueller and Kane thrown at you.

  55. Ozzieoiler says:

    Brodziak with a bag load of Def Zone draws.

  56. HBomb says:

    HBomb, hope you’re ready to have names like Mueller and Kane thrown at you.

    Well, Kane’s not even a center, and I don’t watch much Coyotes hockey, but I’m pretty sure that Mueller’s either killing the soft minutes or putting up a big minus number at this point.

  57. Schitzo says:

    What’s the deal with Pisani tonight? Hope it’s not a UC flareup :-(

  58. Bank Shot says:

    Where is Pisani?

  59. Loxy says:

    Holy shit, a non-sqweee-ing female! No one scare her away.

    Point taken, but ouch!

  60. HBomb says:

    No Pisani tonight? Sheesh….talk about someone WAY up on the list of “guys you cannot afford to lose for an extended stretch”…..

  61. HBomb says:

    What’s the deal with Pisani tonight? Hope it’s not a UC flareup :-(

    Well that would be the shits.

    (silence)

    What, too soon?

  62. Schitzo says:

    Man, Horcoff has missed two wide open nets when he couldn’t settle the puck. What the hell?

  63. HBomb says:

    Hmmm, fourth line gets caught out against Sakic line, penalty against the Oilers. Didn’t see that coming.

    Oh, and it appears that the good Ales Hemsky decided to show up tonight (at least so far). Definitely more bounce in his step.

  64. Schitzo says:

    Cole draws another penalty. Nice.

  65. HBomb says:

    Man, Horcoff has missed two wide open nets when he couldn’t settle the puck. What the hell?

    Puck is bouncing around the ice tonight like crazy for just about everyone. It appears the Pepsi Center is one of approximately 30 NHL arenas stricken with the phenomenon known as “bad ice”.

    Rough night for Grebeshkov so far. 2nd hooking penalty just drawn to give the Avs their 3rd powerplay.

    Definitely looking better as a whole than the game in Chicago last night, but then again, how could they look worse, really?

  66. T. says:

    Holy shit, a non-sqweee-ing female! No one scare her away.

    Point taken, but ouch!

    I hear ya. I only squee a little…

  67. Coach pb9617 says:

    Traktor said…

    Hairsplitting? I think a better term is condescending. If someone disagrees with your view on Horcoff then clearly they don’t have much hockey knowledge. What a joke man. This will be the last time I post here

    Oh thank christ.

  68. T. says:

    Incidentally they said it was a back thing for Pisani on CHED.

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    Alright, three things:

    1. PLEASE put Penner on the first power play.

    27 – 10 – 83

    2. PLEASE put Cole on teh second power play.

    12 – 89 – 26

    3. PLEASE blend the lines. The Pens blended two games ago and blended halfway through tonight. They end up with Rusty and Staal together and hey! Magic!

    PLEASE

  70. Schitzo says:

    God bless you, T – that’s much better news than a relapse

  71. Dennis says:

    A pretty good first frame considering it’s the back half of a BTB and we’re playing a team that’s good from the goalie out.

    We’ve seen a couple of reasons to believe in the first line and there’s been a couple of occasions where you wondered how the puck stayed out of the Avs net; on the opposite side, the only time that happened was when Garon robbed Hejduk.

    For as good as the 10 line has been, the only fly in tonight’s ointment appears to be that 26 seems more inclined to pass the puck back to the point rather than throw it back down low to 10 or 83.

    And it’s usually 44 he’s throwing it to and Souray’s lateral movement can only be described as glacial.

    Only downside to this period was a weak finish. 37′s been a bit of a donkey thus far and 77 put another page into his underwhelming start and I saw two very “young” passes from both 12 and 89.

  72. Graham says:

    SCORCOFF AND DIE!!!!

  73. Coach pb9617 says:

    How does Guite not get a penalty there? He grabbed Lubos shoulder on the race to the puck.

  74. Schitzo says:

    Fucking Nashville.

  75. Alice says:

    I guess his ears were burning,

  76. Lowetide says:

    Ian Laperriere. Always liked him.

  77. Coach pb9617 says:

    Just bad luck there.

  78. HBomb says:

    Fucking linesman. Bullshit goal for Colorado.

  79. PDO says:

    Smid looked like utter crap on the goal and the penalty… shitty officiating or not.

  80. Lowetide says:

    Oh dammit. This David Price kid is on the mound again. Every time I try to get out they keep pulling me back.

  81. Coach pb9617 says:

    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.
    Young men are dumb.

  82. Scott says:

    Well… that’s not good.

  83. Quain says:

    Smid looked like utter crap on the goal and the penalty… shitty officiating or not.

    Seemed like Lubo was out of position on the goal, not Smid.

    The penalty was pretty crappy though.

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    That Vanek kid is good.

    Also, Lubo was out of position on that goal kid, not Laddy.

  85. Coach pb9617 says:

    Amazing. For two years, we cry “please let them have a chance to gel and stop changing the lines”.

    Now, we beg for lineup changes and they stay.

    It’s like dealing with my wife.

  86. Lowetide says:

    Well we’re back to hoping they can keep their heads above water early in the season with the long road trips.

    Pisani’s back spasms are a big deal imo, he’s a big part of this team.

    Now that the PP seems to be average +, my new pet peeve about MacT is that he apparently said the 4-0 start gave the team some wiggle room for the top line to get it together.

    2 points is 2 points, October or March.

  87. PDO says:

    Smid’s standing in front of the net doing fuck all while Lappy scored…

  88. Dennis says:

    Oil about to fall to 4-2.

    Are we looking at a flood or just a bit of hard raid?

    Looks like guys will have to get used to playing without their buddies because there’s likely to be new lines come Sat in Van.

    All that being said, it still won’t cure the problems we have and Will have on D.

  89. Quain says:

    Ladi was standing in front of the net doing his defenseman duty… Lubo was laying on the ground, completely out of position as the goal was scored, because he forgot what side of the defense he was playing.

  90. Bob Arctor says:

    Floodgates have opened, why bother trying to defend.

  91. Coach pb9617 says:

    That goal is 100% on Hemsky. What in the holy hell is he doing out there?

    Get him off of that line.

    27-10-26

  92. Scott says:

    Not. Good.

  93. Scott says:

    It seemed like the goal was a pretty nice set of passes. I don’t think you can blame it all on Hemsky when the other guys make a great play.

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    BS, Hemsky had his man and then did what he’s been doing for 6 games – he floated and left his man.

    Because I used to love him, but it’s all over now.

  95. Lowetide says:

    Scott: He needed to take two more strides and ride his mark out of the play. Dozens of plays like that every game never go in the net because the first man back (F) marks his man and locks him down.

    I’m still an Ales fan, though.

  96. Bob Arctor says:

    Hemsky hasn’t only floated. He enjoys turning the puck over too.

  97. Coach pb9617 says:

    The lack of anything nearing chemistry on the first line makes it look like Hemsky isn’t even trying.

    Or maybe Hemsky isn’t even trying.

  98. Scott says:

    He needed to take two more strides and ride his mark out of the play. Dozens of plays like that every game never go in the net because the first man back (F) marks his man and locks him down.

    I agree with you LT, but there are also dozens of plays that don’t end up in the back of the net because the other guys don’t execute when they have the opportunity. Either they don’t find the open guy, can’t hit the pass, can’t make the shot… Putting the goal all in him is a mistake.

    He hasn’t looked great this year, but I’d say he’s looked much better this game.

  99. Coach pb9617 says:

    He needed to take two more strides and ride his mark out of the play. Dozens of plays like that every game never go in the net because the first man back (F) marks his man and locks him down.

    Exactly, that is basic backchecking.

    I can’t remember the last time I was this pissed at an Oiler.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Scott: I think Hemsky (as suggested by Vic) might be hurting a little. He showed some jam tonight but honestly the third goal seemed (imo) to let the air our of the tires tonight.

  101. doritogrande says:

    Well this is not what I had intended to come home to after a late night at work.

    Jeez.

    Can I get the cole’s notes version of the game?

  102. Coach pb9617 says:

    Scott: I think Hemsky (as suggested by Vic) might be hurting a little.

    Then sit his ass down, because he is killing this team right now. Either that, or Steve Staios is the entire heart, soul and guts behind this team.

    12-10-26
    27-89-13
    18-78-34

  103. doritogrande says:

    Goddamn these injurioesa=asdnmlkSNn jk

    Thanks Mike.

  104. doritogrande says:

    Ian Lapierriere doing BY FAR the best Huggybear imitation I have/will ever see.

    That made me laugh out loud.

  105. Lowetide says:

    Well Hemsky can still help on the PP and this was going to be a tough game and we knew it.

    I think it’s always been an open question as to whether or not Hemsky could handle the Power V Power assignment with Horcoff and someone on LW.

    Coach, I think we can have that discussion again but would disagree that Hemsky deserves to sit.

  106. Bob Arctor says:

    That huggy bear impression was classic.

  107. Coach pb9617 says:

    Well Hemsky can still help on the PP and this was going to be a tough game and we knew it.

    He’s not helping at all.

    I think it’s always been an open question as to whether or not Hemsky could handle the Power V Power assignment with Horcoff and someone on LW.

    Perhaps if he tried to handle it, he could. As of now, he has no interest. The first four games were won in spite of him and the last two have been lost and have magnified his shortcomings this year.

    Coach, I think we can have that discussion again but would disagree that Hemsky deserves to sit.

    If he’s hurt, with the way he’s playing, sit him and blend. See what happens. Hemsky half-assing it on the back-check and turning the puck over five times a game on offense destroys the first line. If it’s an injury, sit him. If it’s heart, skate him until he vomits. Then make him skate until he vomits the gatorade you gave him to replace the vomit fluids.

  108. Scott says:

    I know that Hemsky got scored on (again) tonight, but I think it may be a little early on still to suggest that he really can’t handle the tough minutes. With tongiht’s goal, isn’t he just -2 at EV?

    Further, I don’t know how Hemsky is “killing this team.” For the most part, other guys have been able to play well in spite of Hemsky’s apparently debilitating work.

  109. Scott says:

    “Perhaps if he tried to handle it, he could. As of now, he has no interest.”

    Really? Do you think the problem is that Hemsky isn’t putting in effort? I think it’s a lot more probable that he recognizes he’s playing poorly, is discouraged and it’s snowballing a little bit. But I don’t really see him not trying.

  110. RiversQ says:

    Hemsky will be fine. What’s in the water in Edmonton?

    Anyway, they’ve got all kinds of other problems. Like Pisani, Staios, Horc’s injury, the D in general and any lineup with MacIntyre and Stortini will suck.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    Further, I don’t know how Hemsky is “killing this team.” For the most part, other guys have been able to play well in spite of Hemsky’s apparently debilitating work.

    The first line has 1 ES GF in six games.

  112. Scott says:

    Yes they do, and three against.

    And how many power-play points to those guys have anyways? Enough to make up for the third of a goal per game they’re killing the team with at even strength?

  113. Coach pb9617 says:

    Really? Do you think the problem is that Hemsky isn’t putting in effort? I think it’s a lot more probable that he recognizes he’s playing poorly, is discouraged and it’s snowballing a little bit. But I don’t really see him not trying.

    I thought he was pressing at first. I thought the massive amount of turnovers was evidence of that. But the last two games, he’s just been…

    floating.

    And that backcheck tonight — that’s a simple case of want to. ANY hockey coach worth his salt, this one included, will bench the person that leaves his man in that situation. If you want to do the dirty work, you ride the man out to the corner and then turn. You DO NOT leave him in the slot unattended.

    That, to me, shows that he’s not giving effort. As a coach, I’d be steaming, no matter how talented he was.

  114. Quain says:

    I think we can all breath a sigh of relief: with Horcoff’s apparent knee/leg/lower body injury he can no longer drag the team down with his third line centre-esque play.

  115. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think we can all breath a sigh of relief: with Horcoff’s apparent knee/leg/lower body injury he can no longer drag the team down with his third line centre-esque play.

    OH yeah baby! Now that they got rid of Horcoff, they are ready to roll! Whoooooooooo!

    *sigh*

  116. Vic Ferrari says:

    I bit of a pet peeve of mine. Obviously Hemsky made a poor choice coming back, probably envisioning a high pass that would send him back the other way.

    Still, he was high in the offensive zone and the first forward back going the other way. Ferraro can criticize all he wants, but Hemsky will be the first forward back more times the rest of this season than Ray was in his entire career.

    Gallons of virtual ink have been spent dissecting Torres’ defensive play on 3-2s and 2-1s during his time here. But they wouldn’t have if he wasn’t back first so often. What happened to the other two forwards and the other D in those situations? Sweet baby Jebus, Ray should be tracking errors for Staples.

  117. PDO says:

    I missed the Horcoff hit….

    But I saw him go off.

    That’s a head injury, no? Looked like he had scrambled eggs…

    Vic: Excellent point…

  118. Vic Ferrari says:

    Ozzieoiler said…

    Brodziak with a bag load of Def Zone draws.

    Yeah, it’s a whack. The thing that surprises me even more is the fact he’s only started in the good end twice off the dot. Damn, to use LTs analogy, that’s an average scrimmage from the 25 yard line.

    I’ve been really impressed with Brodziak, personally. Pouliot as well, a lot of nuance in his game, clever little plays. They’ll both be in this league for a long time, I suspect.

  119. Vic Ferrari says:

    I really thought that there were a lot of positives from tonight. The Oilers played with them for the most part. And the Avs won’t lose many games this year when they get the better goaltending.

    Good flow to the game, I thought, for the most part. And it was in Denver, and the Oilers were playing the second of a B2B. It’s hard to fault the effort.

  120. doritogrande says:

    pdo:

    That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the replay also. He just joined the concussion club. Current grand poobah: Jarrett Stoll.

    Past presidents: Lafontaine, Pat; Lindros, Brett; Lindros, Eric.

  121. Scott says:

    I agree with Vic.

    Tonight’s game was a lot closer than the game against Chicago, and even their first win against Colorado. A pretty good road game overall, and especially the first period, which had been a bit of a troublesome spot for this group.

  122. PDO says:

    I thought it was a well played game… couldn’t buy a bounce early, then Colorado got one and got a call, and they were off to the races.

    However, if Horcoff is out for a significant period of time, we’re in all kinds of trouble…

  123. Coach pb9617 says:

    Obviously Hemsky made a poor choice coming back, probably envisioning a high pass that would send him back the other way.

    Still, he was high in the offensive zone and the first forward back going the other way. Ferraro can criticize all he wants, but Hemsky will be the first forward back more times the rest of this season than Ray was in his entire career.

    It doesn’t matter that he was back. They are down, he’s a veteran, he must finish that play. I hate to make comps, but that’s a play that Kurri makes 100 times out of 100.

    When you are struggling you must do the little things right. You must hit the basics first. Being there is not enough, you have to finish that play.

    That play speaks volumes to a coach.

  124. Coach pb9617 says:

    So as not to be a total downer, I thought Cole continued his strong play and that Smid was again solid. Gilber was up and down. Penner was again impressive in all facets and without seeing the numbers, I think Brodziak was well off tonight.

    Grebs was a mess and Hemsky is playing Daigle hockey, but, let’s hope they regroup soon.

  125. PDO says:

    Any update on Scorecoff?

  126. PDO says:

    Huddy just said he’s fine…

    That’s amazing….

  127. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    I agree with Vic and PDO. I didn’t expect a win tonight but the way the Oilers played was encouraging. Now that we have more veteran talent than a year ago I feel confident we’ll beat the Canucks in regulation on Saturday

  128. Vic Ferrari says:

    Jeez, “Horcoff is just fine”. You wonder about these guys and injured players. He shouldn’t fly tonight, but we all know that they’ll load him on the plane with Ken Lowe’s blessings.

    I’ve had several concussions myself, I know that Loxy has as well, probably several around here. It’s not something that you rush.

  129. PDO says:

    Had three myself..

  130. Slipper says:

    I think that Hemsky skates the puck a little too much at the start to every season.

    That top line has probably lost the war on most every night this year, but they’re directing alot of pucks to each other and not connecting. Lots of whiffs, flubs and “losing the handle”. I think that dissapears with time. They should probably be directing more puck just straight at the net, and the will, and they’ll some more puck luck.

    Bobby and Sam have been way more shot happy this year- and that’s not a bad thing! Nilsson has been driving the puck at the net from way greater distances than I recall ever seing from him, ecspecially in the first 4 games. He likely had quites a few misses in those games, too. It is the type of thing that will make you look better on paper though.

    One last thing: that Ryan Smyth… boy! From pronounced dead to MAN ALIVE! Makes you think that having healthy legs is important for a high level player; ecspecially one of his skill set.

  131. PDO says:

    It’s the concussions Vic. You black out, tell the coach you’re okay, and forget the next few hours of your life. ;)

  132. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’ve had several concussions myself, I know that Loxy has as well, probably several around here. It’s not something that you rush.

    I’ve had three and I don’t know how in the hell you can get on a plane without a TON of drugs.

  133. Bill Needle says:

    Why am I not surprised there are plenty of concussions here?

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