Oilers at Canucks, G7/08-09

This is Bobby Schmautz as a Seattle Totem. He would arrive in the NHL as a Chicago Blackhawk and became very famous as a Boston Bruin but he is well remembered for his days as a Vancouver Canuck too.

Schmautz was not fast or clever but he had a booming shot. Heavy, powerful and accurate. Vancouver’s GM Hal Laycoe once said “he’s a payoff man, that good shot goes in a lot and what doesn’t go in often results in big rebounds. Hell, he can score from center ice. That means he can change the complexion of the game any time he gets the puck.”

Vancouver purchased Schmautz’ contract from the Totems and he ripped it up, scoring 38 goals for the expansion Canucks in 72-73.

The Oilers got him later on but he wasn’t a good fit and they sent him along his way. Bobby Schmautz could shoot the puck and that’s for sure.

Lost in the last two losses and even before that in the 4 W’s is the fact that the Oilers still don’t have a real straight shooter. The new lines are fine and all but unless Bobby Nilsson decides to put a little Bobby Schmautz in his game then we’re still dealing in fellows who can’t take full advantage of the savant Hemsky.

I’m happy with Pouliot moving to the 3line although Brodziak has played well and would have to be considered a possibility to move up a line should things start slowly tonight. Pouliot has a real chance to impress with real NHL players and I’m hoping for him to pop a G tonight.

Sam Gagner. This is why you never assume kids improve in straight lines. No doubt he’s still got that all world talent but he could end up scoring fewer points this season and be a better man come springtime. I like Penner on that line, could be a very interesting evening.

As for tonight, I’m picking Vancouver to win because Jesus walks on water.

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108 Responses to "Oilers at Canucks, G7/08-09"

  1. Jonathan says:

    Potulny.

    Maybe not for the Hemsky line, but he could fit in somewhere.

  2. Mike says:

    I love the lines. I think we get it rolling tonight despite the fact that the team hasn’t really practised in this configuration.

    Gagner 2 assists. And Hemsky scores on the PP.

    One prediction that will definitely come true: I’ll be drinking.

  3. Lowetide says:

    Mike: I always wonder how many of us have a few wobbly pops while watching the game on Saturday night. For me it goes back to childhood when my family would have a few brew, watch the game and then play cards. I remember my Grandpa drinking warm beer (aaaaaaaaaaaaaa) when I was maybe 5 years old and always when growing up Saturday the hockey game was on the television and someone was opening a beer.

  4. Julian says:

    Games for me happen at 9:00am. I’ll be getting up plenty early (again, for me) to watch them, so all i’ll be drinking is water and maybe eatin’ some cereal.

  5. Mike says:

    Impromptu poll! All posters please indicate in your comments tonight whether you are or have been boozing.

    My guess – 60 to 65%. Those of you who indicate otherwise; I’ll drink your share…it’s just good karma.

  6. doritogrande says:

    I’d be all down for the drinking games, but I did that yesterday instead. Part because I work til 930 mountain time tonight, part because I had never curled drunk before. I put curling in the category of bowling and golf as sports where beer can actually improve your abilities.

    They’re all yours mike.

  7. Schitzo says:

    So, the eternal Saturday night debate when you’re on a wife-imposed diet:

    Eat dinner, or drink 4 beer?

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m drinking tonight.

    Hell, I have at least one every night

  9. spOILer says:

    Glad you brought this up, LT.

    The lack of a sniper thing has been bugging me for a couple of games… Mostly while watching Cole who is more of a driver of the puck, and not that disimilar to Smytty.

    The two best shots on the team are both defensemen. The best wrister might be Hemmer’s.

    We seem to have an imbalance at the forward position. I think I’d rather see a trade for a bona fide triggerman than a 3C.

    The other thing bugging me is our propensity for telegraphing passes and shots. Seems nobody gets stick-checked into submission by good puck pressure better than the Oilers. And blocked shots… my god we’re a team of Hemskys.

  10. mjsh says:

    Last time I checked Jesus booby loo was not doing much walking on water or stopping many pucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    Bah – the sniper thing is a red herring. How many clubs DO have a true sniper?

  12. Mike says:

    Spoiler – While not a classic sniper by any means, Pisani can absolutely fire the wrister and snapper. Doesn’t seem to use it enough. Props to the sainted one!

    DG – thanks, I’ll think of you fondly as I open #4 or so.

  13. jdrevenge says:

    I remember thinking last year that Pens had zero chemistry playing with Cogs and Gags. Given he looks like a different player this year maybe this changes but I have a suspicion that He’ll back with Hemmer and Horc by the end of the game.

  14. goldenchild says:

    I’m fine with Rowbert getting a shot with 83 he’s been among the top F’s in each game but I still think Penner will find his way back there. 78 in the middle with 2 guys that he should fit excited to see what comes of it.

    Yes to beer. I will be at the game and have the pleasure of paying $8.50 for each one.

  15. RLH says:

    It’s one of those university logic questions: If “in-laws” = 0 and KidsOutOfBed = 0 then BeerFridge == “MustRefill”

  16. spOILer says:

    Bah – the sniper thing is a red herring. How many clubs DO have a true sniper?

    Coach, I ain’t talking Brett Hull here, just a shoot-first guy who can find the open ice and get it on the net with decent quality.

    I prefer to see how Cole does on the right side first though.

    And besides these aren’t the kind of guys normally available anyway and those that are tend to be more one dimensional.

    Mike, Pisser has quite good short range skills. His shot seems to deteriorate over range though.

    Here are the top 7 shooters on the team in terms of quantity on net, all of whom are forwards:

    1 Horcoff 20
    2 Gagner 15
    3 E Cole 15
    4 Moreau 12
    5 Nilsson 12
    6 Hemsky 11
    7 Pouliot 10

    And of course 3 of those men have no goals to show for their effort, but I think at least one will prick that balloon tonight.

    The top players after 6 games all have/had at least 5 more shots than Horc, some 10 more.

    Our top goal scorer from last year is 15th on the team, with 5 shots, although he has those 2 goals to show for it.

    So Coach… do you really think there is no issue here and shots on the net is a red herring for this team?

  17. HBomb says:

    I will be drinking tonight. Heavily. With friends. In fact, I am considering mixing a rum and coke already, and it’s only 4pm. Ah, the life of a bachelor.

    So far the attendance count for my gathering tonight is at me, one other male friend, and six girls. For a guy who is used to a 4-to-1 bro-to-ho ratio from his days as an engineering student, I will not complain about said numbers.

  18. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach, I ain’t talking Brett Hull here, just a shoot-first guy who can find the open ice and get it on the net with decent quality.

    Alright, with that definition, how many teams have those guys?

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m hoping tonight that the change in lines means that Cogliano is going to have some opportunities. If Penner is going to continue his play, Gagner and Cogs should get space in the zone – let’s hope Cogs can bury a few.

  20. spOILer says:

    Not us, not NAS, not TOR, maybe not FLA, PHO, VCR, MIN —depending on how you rate Miettenin, Sedin, Doan etc. I believe everyone else does have at least one.

    Can you think of any other team?

  21. PDO says:

    So far the attendance count for my gathering tonight is at me, one other male friend, and six girls. For a guy who is used to a 4-to-1 bro-to-ho ratio from his days as an engineering student, I will not complain about said numbers.

    How the hell did you pull that off?

    I’ll be drinking… more heavily once my drinking team takes care of it’s hockey problem around 10:15 (yes.. I’m missing most of the third period. Damnit.)

  22. Black Dog says:

    Sorry, did someone say something about drinking?

  23. jon k says:

    During the Lupul season I passed the time during games and helped to dull the pain by playing the Oilers drinking game.

    Oilers make a turnover, drink.
    Penalty against, drink.
    Goal against, two drinks.

    The turnovers really got you in the end.

  24. HBomb says:

    pdo: Damned if I’d know. Buddy is bringing his girlfriend and a female friend of ours is bringing two of her female friends. Then, another female former co-worker is coming and hauling her cousin along.

    So we’re at Girls 6 – Guys 2 at this point. I’ll drink to that.

  25. Lowetide says:

    I re-stocked the beer fridge just now, cools to the front, new arrivals at the back. Of course the new soldiers are from the cold beer store but they all feel cold on the outside.

    Anyone familiar with the nectar of the Gods (and don’t tell me it’s wine) could tell in a heartbeat, though.

    Ahhh, Saturday night.

  26. Black Dog says:

    LT – we have one of those old style beer fridges from the 50s. If the house wasn’t built eighty years ago I’d say they built it around the monster. Its a beaut.

    Inlaws are in town from PEI where the choices for beer are minimal. Took a run to the flagship LCBO and came home with a box of pint beers from Ontario microbreweries and across the pond.

    He is one happy man. As am I because you couldn’t fit a can of Red Bull in that fridge right now.

    Beautiful thing.

  27. Phil says:

    Put me down as one of the 60%-65%.

    If you want to play the problem-alcoholic, puking-by-the-end-of-the-1st-period version of the Oiler drinking game, follow jon k’s rules, and add one more; every time Hemsky dangles across the blue line and the play dies – drink. :D

  28. Lord Bob says:

    I tend to stick with hard liquor for Oilers games.

    That’s not an “Oilers suck” crack, by the way. I’ve got a good half-bottle of Canadian Club left that’s done very well by me and I’m going to see how big a dent I put in it by game’s end.

  29. Lowetide says:

    I have no idea how old any of you are, so want to throw in words like “caution” and phrases like “don’t try this at home without supervision.”

    At my age you really have to watch it though. The combination of beer x (00), the heart attack Oilers and the fact I am barbequing in 90mph wind at some point this evening may actually be the death of me.

  30. Doogie2K says:

    I don’t drink, so…yeah, put me in the 35-40% category.

  31. dubya says:

    Two beers deep here.

  32. Phil says:

    D2K – a student who doesn’t drink?????? Gonna start calling you Yeti. :D

  33. Phil says:

    LT – forgive my ignorance, but “beer x (00)”… are those boobies?

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, you don’t even need the grill in that equation.

  35. Lowetide says:

    No, not boobies. Beers X (00)means number of beers. The answer so far is 2 but Don Cherry’s drape suit has me running for more.

  36. Steve says:

    As for tonight, I’m picking Vancouver to win because Jesus walks on water.

    Lowetide, this is hockey – the water’s frozen. Everybody walks on it.

    I’ll be taking in the game accompanied by Rod Phillips, Bob Stauffer, and nobody else. No drinking, because when I drink alone I prefer to be by myself.

  37. PunjabiOil says:

    4 goals allowed in 14 shots today by Dubnyk so far.

    I have held hopes for him for a while, but he’s not had a good season at all. He’s a 3rd year pro, so the ”he’s young” excuses no longer wash.

    Eerily inching closer towards a bust.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

  38. Kara says:

    Anyone from Edmonton care to send a transplanted Edmontonian-at-heart in Ontario a case or three of Pilsner?

    :)

    I do miss my Pil.

  39. Mike says:

    Cripes. 11pm (Halifax) start times never used to bother me. I am getting old.

    Delicious martinis though. I fuckin love you guys.

  40. Steve says:

    I’m only getting the audio, so I’m not sure exactly what the hell is going on with Cliff Ronning etc., but whatever it is it sounds pretty dumb.

  41. Ender says:

    Is it just me, or Vancouver just retire their fans?

  42. Phil says:

    YOU CAN’T GET PIL IN ONTARIO???

    One more case for Western Separation.

  43. Schitzo says:

    Dumbass shot to take if you’re 37. You can’t let that get blocked

  44. PunjabiOil says:

    Pretty poor start for the season for Grebeshkov.

    On an unrelated note – Stoll with 2 goals today. He’s at 6 points in 7 games this year, and a +6 rating.

    Visnovsky has been jekyl and hide, and it would be nice if Eric Cole came out of his shell any day now.

  45. RLH says:

    Cole almost just broke out…Go big Steve!

  46. Schitzo says:

    Why is Ethan Moreau +4? He either scores a goal or takes a rest in the box for a couple minute.

  47. PunjabiOil says:

    That’s 2 (dumbass) penalties by Ethan Moreau in this game; both being taken in the offensive end of the ice.

  48. RiversQ says:

    Penner has no clue in the off zone tonight. Just dumb shit everytime. When you’re as slow as he is you better get the puck deep there.

  49. Lowetide says:

    Oilers need a day of practice I’d say. Staios had calm feet most of the period and Garon made some nice saves (although the goal looked soft, was it soft?) and Horcoff had a nice dequence too but there was a lot of things that won’t look good in the video room.

  50. Steve says:

    So can I gather from the comments above re: Moreau that the reffing hasn’t been as bad as the CHED guys are making it sound?

  51. Schitzo says:

    Steve: Typical Moreau dumbass penalties. I don’t think he’s been particularly singled out by the refs.

  52. PunjabiOil says:

    The penalties were fair.

    I don’t understand why Penner isn’t getting ice time on the 1st unit PP. Cole will nver be very effective there.

    I would also switch up Souray and Visnovsky at the points.

  53. pboy says:

    We just finished our basement and I bought the greatest beer fridge I’ve ever seen for it. It’s an industrial Frigidaire with a glass door on the front and the capacity for 300 wobblies. The wife made me put some coolers and wine in it but it’s mostly beer. I’ve been waiting for the mountains to turn blue so I can start on the Coors Light……

    It’s nice that CBC was able to schedule two out and out Canuck homers to announce the game. Huson and Crawford aren’t even pretending to be unbiased at this point. Ohlund hits Bobby Nilsson from behind into the boards and Crawford says it was questionable but definitely not a penaty and Moreau hits the Canuck d-man into Bobby Loo and Huson calls it a dangerous play…….I hate these guys

  54. Lowetide says:

    Hughson is an excellent announcer until the Canucks are one of the teams but Crawford’s brain is made of oozo and velveeta.

  55. pboy says:

    Hughson is an excellent announcer until the Canucks are one of the teams but Crawford’s brain is made of oozo and velveeta

    Hughson is a good announcer but when it comes to doing a Canucks game it’s intolerable if you aren’t a Canucks fan.

  56. PunjabiOil says:

    Seems like Cole received my memo

  57. boopronger says:

    Never take Cole off the right wing mact!

  58. Kara says:

    OK, how many of us just took a big swig after that Hemsky turnover?

    Aye.

  59. pboy says:

    Cole’s looked better in a period and a half than he has at any other point in an Oiler’s jersey. He is noticeably more comfortable on the RW.

  60. PunjabiOil says:

    Grebeshkov’s is seriously allergic to shooting. Never shoots on the powerplay either.

  61. Lowetide says:

    Well there’s life here in the second but lordy how many 2-on-1′s? There have been so many I keep expecting it to be Coco back there.

  62. grease trap says:

    That Souray penalty really was pure BS.

  63. doritogrande says:

    I come home from work to two quick goals.

    The kids are flying on separate lines. Life is good.

  64. doritogrande says:

    Gagner penalty shot!

  65. PunjabiOil says:

    Pouliot has broke out this year

  66. Lowetide says:

    Well lost in the PS was the Pouliot shot. Sweet bloody pass. I like this team but they need defense.

  67. RiversQ says:

    Really strong partial game from Cole. He was good in the BoA games too.

    Grebs has had a rough one. Shoddy passing.

  68. PunjabiOil says:

    Thoughts After 40
    -Pouliot is showing more and more confidence with the puck every game.
    -Gilbert is fighting the puck every time. It’s only 6 games into the 6 year contract, but he’s got to start earning his paycheques.
    -Souray, for the most part, has been solid.
    -Horcoff still not 100%
    -I hate the fact that we have both Stortini and MacIntrye on the ice. A waste of roster spots.
    -Hopefully Pisani’s back isn’t that bad.
    -Will be an interesting 3rd.

  69. doritogrande says:

    Plante with another goal tonight. Kyntar pointless with 7PIM. Cornet with 5 shots on net.

    CHL prospects are still looking good.

    3rd Period. *cracks beer*

  70. Jonathan says:

    I hate the fact that we have both Stortini and MacIntrye on the ice. A waste of roster spots.

    I swear, Stortini’s only half the player he is with MacIntyre on his line then he is without.

    When MacIntyre – Brodziak – Stortini is out there, I really only see one legitimate NHL’er.

  71. doritogrande says:

    “Wellwood showing his value”?
    “Utilizing his great shot”?

    - Fucker couldn’t find playing time with the Manitoba Moose. We all know he’s in the lineup because Van has nothing else. Well, everyone that is except Marc Crawford apparently.

  72. Jonathan says:

    Thanks, DG.

    Rye and coke.

  73. doritogrande says:

    Oh look, Garbagekov’s back.

  74. Schitzo says:

    Fucking grebs. They’re all playing too many minutes right now.

  75. Jonathan says:

    The Crown Royal’s on my shelf, waiting patiently for the shootout.

    I respect your self-control. I cant say as I wish I had it though ;)

  76. Jonathan says:

    Watching Marc-Andre Grebeshkov play is enough to turn anyone to drinking.

  77. doritogrande says:

    The Crown’s looking awfully tempting right now.

    Crap.

  78. RiversQ says:

    Horrible goal. Let me get this straight – the Oilers have outplayed the opp in maybe 2 games so far. Weird stuff tonight though and the injuries are mounting.

  79. grease trap says:

    I’ve never been a MacT hater, but I’m starting to think this comes down to coaching.

  80. Jonathan says:

    Is it just me, or does Sheldon Souray look really decent tonight?

    Go easy on me, I am looking for positives.

  81. doritogrande says:

    When did Nilsson begin to go by “robbie”?

    Or is that just Hughson trying to be cute?

  82. grease trap says:

    We are in the midst…

  83. doritogrande says:

    Wasn’t PK supposed to be our strength this year?

    4 PP goals in a game? When did we become the Leaves?

  84. Jonathan says:

    As Hughson pointed out, its the third game in four nights, and Strudwick & Cole are both out. On top of that, MacIntyre and Stortini are both dressed, so there are basically three lines of forwards available for use.

    Not making excuses, but at this point I think it might be worth recalling a real player – either of Potulny or Schremp would be fine by me.

  85. Jonathan says:

    Nice set-up, Hemsky.

  86. Jonathan says:

    So when Crawford quotes Don Cherry, does that count as the blind leading the blind?

  87. Lowetide says:

    Boston on Monday and you’d think we’ll see a little shuffle.

  88. doritogrande says:

    “So when Crawford quotes Don Cherry, does that count as the blind leading the blind?”

    Actually, I think it means we’re supposed to drink.

  89. doritogrande says:

    I didn’t hear Smid’s name at all. Was he playing tonight?

    Anyone think the outcome would be different if Cole knew how to tie a knot?

    Can we throw Pisani on IR and recall Potulny?

  90. Coach pb9617 says:

    When MacIntyre – Brodziak – Stortini is out there, I really only see one legitimate NHL’er.

    Maltby and McCarty are REALLLLLY missing Draper.

  91. Jonathan says:

    //I didn’t hear Smid’s name at all. Was he playing tonight?//

    No. Strudwick, Staios, Souray, Gilbert, Grebeshkov and Visnovsky.

  92. Lowetide says:

    They’re going to have to make some kind of a move if Strudwick is hurt. Smid would draw in, Peckham recalled I suspect.

    Pisani’s problem is a back, right? That can be a problem for all kinds of reasons including you never know when he’ll be ready.

  93. doritogrande says:

    Gotcha. So Strudwick went down to injury in the game then. Leaving us with 9 forwards and 5 defensemen. Makes sense now.

  94. P says:

    Swear to goodness I heard Crawford say “we” when talking about the canucks near the end there.

  95. Coach pb9617 says:

    Pisani’s problem is a back, right? That can be a problem for all kinds of reasons including you never know when he’ll be ready.

    As a dude with a herniated disc, I can say without question – don’t rely on the next pope for the rest of the year.

    Swear to goodness I heard Crawford say “we” when talking about the canucks near the end there.

    He did.

  96. Showerhead says:

    Caught the game all wrapped up in my flu-ridden blanket last night.

    Some notes:

    1) I wouldn’t freak out about the PK quite yet. I don’t think that the goals against were a result of the system being exposed. There’s only so many times you’ll give up long odd man rushes on the pk in a season (thank you Grebs, thank you Ales) and just b/c a few of them happened in the same game I don’t think anyone needs to panic.

    2) Apparently he had some excellent games and I missed them all due to work but Mr. Garon still doesn’t look like he has his shit together to me. I’ll keep an eye out as much as possible for the rest of the season because he’s still got a solid sv. % and everything and goalie scout I am not but there are a lot of little things that just don’t look right about his game right now.

    3) 37/77: this ain’t preseason anymore. Grebs’ mistakes all seemed to end up in the back of Edmonton’s net and Gilbert’s were just as bad but they didn’t. Crazy to think that losing a guy like Strudwick would have that much of an effect but other than he and Staios the Oilers don’t have a KISS defender among them. Not to knock 37 entirely b/c he did make some good plays to separate opponents from the puck but there are only so many giveaways you can make and expect to win a hockey game.

    4) And speaking of giveaways, I can not begin to wonder what’s going through Hemsky’s mind. This is the first public criticism of the guy I will ever have made but he had an awful game last night no matter what Crawford was on about.
    a) Watch for the amount of time it takes between Ales getting the puck on his stick in the offensive zone and him making a decision with it. Several times during last night’s game he would corral the puck high in the offensive zone and coast for a good 2+ seconds (a lot of time on the ice, you’d think) before he’d actually stop gliding and either try to skate a bit or do something with the puck.

    b) The guy was tossing up prayers all game long last night. The fact that it took until the very end of the game for one of them to end up in the back of Edmonton’s net is hard to believe but so it was.

    I don’t like learning about this team by seeing two out of every seven games… as is, most hockey fans are too quick to read into a single event or play without my having to add to it… but that is my take on last night’s game.

    Oh, and that Cole kid was pretty good. He made fans in my household last night, that’s for sure.

  97. Doogie2K says:

    In making a list of the worst penalties in the book, I always forget the sweater tie-down. I mean, I see what they’re getting at (though I disagree), but even so, that shit should be, at most, an extra two, like instigating with a visor.

  98. Phil says:

    So, seven games into the season, and to my eye there hasn’t been one game where the whole team came to play. You can throw in pretty much the entire preseason as well. There’s been nice stretches, but… That being said, it’s a GOOD thing they’re getting their asses kicked right now. 3 of the 4 wins came way too easily. You can’t expect to go through an entire season getting outshot by 10+ a game and expect to squeak them out. This team is good on paper, and probably pretty good in practice, but they need to learn how to win; how to put in 3 consistant periods and out work other clubs.

    If you look at each player, and factor in their skillset, Hemsky is the worst player on the ice so far. That beauty blind pass from the boards into the slot to 3 Canucks that led to the 6th goal is a snapshot of his season (and to some degree, his career). Now, I know I’m heading for ridicule here, but I just don’t see this guy becoming what everyone hopes he will. LT, you have him pegged for 1.27ppg this year. Three right wingers have done that since the lockout – JJ, Alfredsson and Uginla. Hemsky, imo, will never be in a class with these players. He has the on-ice skill to compare, but he has zero charisma, shows zero leadership, and simply fails to compete way too often. As long as he is the Oilers’ “best” player, they will be lukewarm vanilla flavoured porridge.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Phil,

    Hemsky’s not far off the pace, certainly not so far where we have to start worrying imo.

    I have him pegged at 1.27PPG which would be his “Rick Middleton breaks out season”.

    Currently he’s .857, which is just a hair away from his final number a year ago (.959).

    If he can manage .857 when he’s playing as bad as bad can be, I fail to see how it’s a stretch to imagine he’ll catch fire here any time.

    Hemsky’s PP/60 a season ago was5.93 and this season it’s 10.98 in 7 games (courtesy Desjardins, this is 5×4).

    Hemsky’s 5×5 a year ago was2.36 and this season it’s 0.65 in 7 games (same source).

    What are the odds that these numbers stay that wide against the backdrop of a year ago?

    None. Zero. Zippo.

    Ales Hemsky is having an awful start and he’s still putting up points. If he’s healthy, Horcoff’s healthy and they can get someone to ride shotgun, my number is still completely within the realm of reasonable.

  100. Tyler says:

    Hmm. On review of this thread, I would say that going to the baseball game was the right decision. An absolute beauty in Philly last night.

    (Thanks for not emailing me the Oilers score like I asked Dennis; would have wrecked my night.)

  101. Bruce says:

    I saw a chunk of the first before heading out to a party which included a bunch of hockey fans but no actual TV. Good thing, it would have spoiled the party. Total alcohol consumption: one beer (a Pil), as I was a designated driver.

    On the first goal Grebs made a terrible mistake to try and shoot the puck through traffic, but on the 2-on-1 which ensued Gilbert was absolutely no help in closing down Raymond even though Grebs had hustled back to take away the passing lane, allowing the young Canucks sniper to pull the puck into the inside before shooting from a high-percentage location; and Garon got pulled a little too far off his short-side post. It was a hell of a shot by Raymond, but if I was assigning Errors (which don’t actually get assigned on PPG) all three of the named guys would have gotten one.

    SMac laid down a beauty hit on Ohlund which some suicidal teammate (Davison) decided needed challenging — whazzup with that? No instigating penalty was called; the last time I saw such a sequence the hitter’s team wound up with a 9-minute powerplay. Such is officiating in the NHL. Ohlund’s subsequent hit on Nilsson was dirty, and I was a little disappointed no Oiler challenged him, but as usual we had too many small, unphysical guys on the ice when it happened (Horcoff, Hemsky, Gilbert, Grebs in this case). Perhaps that was what prompted Cole to get into it with Ohlund later?

    I notice the Oilers outhit the Canucks 21-8, with Moreau (5) and Stortini (4 in limited ice time ) combining for more hits than the entire Vancouver team. From what I saw and heard, the Oilers weren’t lacking for hustle or effort, but they didn’t get too many breaks or enough out of their special teams or goaltending to pull this one off.

    As for Hemsky, our unquestioned offensive leader has now gone fifteen (15) games since his last goal dating back to March 16 in San Jose, and it’s about fucking time he pulled his head out of his ass.

  102. Bruce says:

    One other thing: Bobby Schmautz was a compleat prick.

  103. Phil says:

    LT – By quoting your prediction for Hemsky, I wasn’t calling you out as much as using it as an example of how many see Hemsky as a franchise talent. That said, I can’t get into a numbers arguement with you, ’cause you’ll tie me in a knot. BUT, I think the numbers you quote favour my side of the arguement more than yours.

    For those level of players that are below the ‘freaks’ (Gretz, Mario, etc), you can look at their careers and see that it takes about 5-6 full seasons for them to hit their stride (your “Rick Middleton break out year”). I just don’t see it in Hemsky. The rare times he’s interviewed, I see the eyes of a follower, not a leader. He has way too much give-up in his game. No question he has the gifts to be an all-NHL player, but he doesn’t have the head/heart to go with it.

    The cliche everyone trots out to describe an elite player is that they make those around them better. Hemsky isn’t that type of player. Like you said, they need to find someone to “ride shotgun” with him – and to this point it’s been proven that it can’t just be a good to really good player. It needs to be an elite player – someone who can make Hemsky better.

  104. Phil says:

    Put another way…

    My second sport growing up was basketball, not baseball.

    As Michael Jordan’s wingman, Scottie Pippen made the NBA’s “50 Greatest Players of All Time” list. Without Jordan, Pippen would’ve been a pretty decent player, nothing else.

    Hemsky = Scottie Pippen. Oilers need a Jordan.

  105. Muller says:

    Was at the game last night, sat behind the Oil bench. One thing is clear Cole should be on right wing, he was the best player on the ice. Garon has got to step up and be the number one guy.Hemsky is too predictable he either cuts across the blue line or goes to the outside and looks to pass. Edmonton’s third and fourth lines have got to start chiping in with some offence.

  106. Dennis says:

    I have this one on tape and haven’t watched it yet but over on Ty’s site I said on Sat morning that i thought the PK’s gonna give us trouble this year.

  107. Bruce says:

    Dennis: While I was driving to my party I heard the second Vancouver powerplay, one of the two they didn’t score on, and it sounded like they had about 36 scoring chances on that powerplay alone. At that point I was already advising my radio, “Boys, better not take too many more penalties tonight.”

    Alas, they didn’t listen. They never do.

  108. Master Lok says:

    Since this year’s version of the Oilers are missing a defensive checking centre and a top defensive defensemen… is it any suprise that the PK is not that good?

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