Oilers at Predators, G9/08-09

This is Wally Sprange, who starred for the Nashville Dixie Flyers in the 1960s. Notice the uniform, which replaced a yellow one I’ve posted before (Florent Pilote) and I think this one looks rather nice.

The Dixie Flyers interest me on several levels: there is little poetry in hockey (unlike baseball which is rife with it), but the name “Dixie Flyers” is as charming as “Wheeling Nailers” or “Lowell Lock Monsters” which are names for minor league teams that came along later.

The Eastern League was no pansy league, and men like Sprange truly had to love the game. Several accounts of the Dixie Flyers have them going from game to game (long distances mind you) in SCHOOL buses that were in questionable repair before the trip. If you’ve seen Slap Shot then other legendary anecdotes of minor league hockey from that era are known to you.

The Nashville Dixie Flyers and teams from the old Eastern and International Leagues have all kinds of wonderful stories surrounding them. You can sometimes find a website devoted to these men and their long forgotten fans.

I like to think of the Nashville Predators as the payback for these men and the people in the stands. Hockey came to them in the 1960s and it was bona fide with the arrival of the Predators in Nashville.

I hope the NHL stays in Nashville.

—-

I think the Oilers win tonight. Not a breakout victory, not a 6-1 score, but a hard fought 4-2 battle that features a team hungry to play a full 60 minutes. There are some good signs on this roster:

  • The blue looks stronger. Staios leaving the team on the road trip seems to have been forgotten but one shift from him tells a story and the calm feet are back at least for a shift every three when Staios is in the lineup. I should also mention that Souray had a quality game the other night, he looked like a calm veteran and turned away several rushes with great ease while also battling hard. Ladislav Smid looked as good as he has this season too, and although Jason Strudwick is injured it looks like the 6D that are healthy got some real traction in the last game.
  • The goaltending is deep enough for MacT to send Garon to the bench again tonight should he choose to do so. A veteran like Roloson would probably consider a second straight start tonight to be a genuine opportunity to get his job back and that can only mean good things for the Oilers.
  • The Oilers have a lot of veterans. Roloson, Garon, Souray, Visnovsky, Staios, Horcoff, Hemsky, Moreau, Pisani and Cole (that’s 10) as well as a talented young group in Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Pouliot, Brodziak and Smid (that’s 8) who have played at least one full season. The game is slowing down enough for these young men to have real impact in games.
  • Inserting Bobby Nilsson onto the top line looked good in spurts and Erik Cole appears to have gotten his way and will play RW moving forward. The forward group has too much talent to be overwhelmed at EVs night after night and there’s so much offensive talent on this roster it’s my opinion the PP will catch a fire very soon.

As soon as tonight.

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115 Responses to "Oilers at Predators, G9/08-09"

  1. Black Dog says:

    One big positive mentioned by Tyler on his site – despite a slow start this team is basically even at ES in terms of GF/GA and shots as well.

    Considering this team has not played very well yet and they have played two more games on the road I think this is a meaningful result and a sign that better times may be coming soon.

  2. B.C.B. says:

    I would think MacT plays Roli tonight; Garon looked horrible against Van, while Roli almost stole the game for the Oilers on Monday.
    A really competition in goal would be great in the short term (Garon’s game improving if Roli pushes him) but it could be bad in the long run (JDD sitting on the shelf waiting for his spot while the vets get us a shot at the playoffs). But I would like to make the playoffs, so I am fine with sitting JDD.

  3. goldenchild says:

    I still don’t understand the level of reluctance to send JDD down. He’s not your short term answer with garon and Roli ahead of him. He is not so young or with a track record that he is the no doubt long term answer especially since they took a goaile in the 1st rd after picking him. What am I missing?

    We have a number of guys who you would think are due to break out anytime here, they’re getting chances just need a couple of bounces but I wouldn’t think 89, 83 and 10 are going to get it going very soon.

    As an aside even though he wasn’t here for long and didn’t leave on the best of terms I have always liked Arnott, he’s had a terrific career look forward to seeing him tonight.

  4. raventalon40 says:

    JDD is waiver eligible and the Oilers are worried he’s good enough to be lost via waivers. JDD is a cheaper option than some other goalies out there such as Khabibulin and Gerber. He may not necessarily be better than them but he would probably make them easier to deal. As that is a parallel situation, he is probably a good bargaining chip for the Oilers too, assuming there are more takers for Roloson than Khabibulin who is more expensive.

  5. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    I have also read speculation that JDD is getting to the do or don’t phase and by sending him down it would interfere with Dubnyk’s progression. Which sounds like a reasonable argument as well, as I’ve thought Dubnyk has looked like the better goalie every training camp.

  6. digger says:

    The only concern I have with the goaltending is if Roloson somehow continues to outperform Garon (whether by Roloson playing great or by default due to Garon playing like crap), it adds complications to the 09/10 picture.

    With both these guys heading for UFA after this year, the way things were supposed to go was that Garon would cement his status as #1 guy and get a contract extension, and Rollie would be traded for whatever we could get sometime between now and the trade deadline.

    Should the Oilers actually toy with the idea of a 40 year old Dwayne Roloson manning the nets next season? Heck, we could see BOTH guys gone by next season if Garon fumbles the ball, and who knows who is our starting netminder next October…

    It makes for a very interesting scenario if Roloson continues to buck the script.

  7. Lowetide says:

    I think it could be very positive. If Garon struggles a little, his price for next season goes down.

    If GM Tambellini is paying attention, he doesn’t jump too quickly into a long term deal for Garon, and possibly gets another reasonable two year deal.

    If he gets it and Garon struggles to say #1, it’s a limited hit. Oilers can’t afford another Salo contract.

  8. Bruce says:

    LT: I’m with you. A two-year deal for a goalie is plenty. Keep him motivated and avoid those millstone contracts. If the long-term big $$$ goalie’s game goes south on him — think Theodore, Khabibulin, and Calgary fans have been shitting bricks about Kiprusoff — that’s not just a critical weak link on the ice, but it’s a huge hole in the payroll. The team saddled with such a contract has little choice but to eat it. In a best-case scenario they do what the Oilers did last year: find a cheaper alternative who can actually play the games and leave the millstone on the bench. But the guy in the baseball hat doesn’t seem to have any trade value at all.

    Echoing a point made by MC79, the Contrarian Goaltender and Five Hole Fanatics: cheaper alternatives that can provide at least adequate goaltending are always readily available, as Garon himself was last time. There is no reason to overpay — especially in length of term — anybody but the rock-solid-proven elite.

  9. goldenchild says:

    raventalon40 said” JDD is waiver eligible and the Oilers are worried he’s good enough to be lost via waivers.”

    For the record I understand that he would have to go through waivers I just don’t understand why they would give a shit if he got claimed.
    To me the roster flexibilty of another skater is more valuable then what he would bring this season and I think you could probably find options as good as JDD quite cheaply next year if needed.
    Its also not a forgone conclusion that he would get claimed. he didn’t exactly rip it up in his AHL career.

  10. Oilmaniac says:

    I think Garon will start in nashville, Roli in Carolina, Garon in Philly… Isnt that the game plan for the year? or was Garon’s game so bad as to garner a goalie dispute?… i hope the oil arnt at that point of the season already!.. at least this question has an answer, which will present itself shortly… Go Oil..

  11. digger says:

    According to the Oilers website, Garon will get the start tonight.

  12. digger says:

    It’s true that adequate goaltending isn’t too hard to find in the offseason, but IMO this team’s going to need something a fair sight better than adequate if it ever wants to aspire beyond 1st round exits or labels like “best team not to make the playoffs”. I don’t see anyone resembling Dats/Z/Lidstrom among them to offset Osgood-level goaltending.

    Anyway, it’ll be fun to see how the whole melodrama breaks down over the coming months.

  13. Bruce says:

    I think the Oilers win tonight.

    Nashville: where optimism goes to die.

  14. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hope that for the first time this season, we finally see three lines that care.

    I also hope that Smac stays on the bench.

  15. Bruce says:

    Digger: I don’t disagree. Whether or not Mathieu Garon is the guy to provide that above-average netminding, I say “show me”. And even if/when he does, I’m not sure one of those eight-figure deals is in the club’s best interests.

    Btw, I am just now watching Saturday’s loss in Vancouver to clear space on the PVR for tonight’s contest (which once again I have to miss, my luck really sucks of late). Let me just say it is medically possible for one’s blood pressure to rise even when one knows the inevitable outcome. The Oilers really took it up the ass from the officials in that one: Cole being tossed for sweater coming up and over and not even off and leaving him at a DISadvantage when the other guy started the fight, was bizarre. That the other guy — the instigator — had tape on his fingers and didn’t receive his own heave-ho, was even more so. And the interference penalty to Horcoff that led to the winning goal was an absolute disgrace; Horcoff was simply standing in his position while Hansen suddenly changed direction and skated over him. Incidental contact all the way, but to call it a deliberate pick play required McGeough-esque imagination. Oilers got hosed.

  16. HBomb says:

    Eight figures worries you Bruce?

    I don’t know about you, but if they could do a 10 million over 3 years deal for Garon right now, I wouldn’t be too concerned. But that’s the longest term deal I’d do with him, 3 years.

    Ideal scenario is do 6 over 2 and then go sign LaBarbera for a million a year as “backup”. 4 million bucks for that kind of tandem is money well worth spending.

  17. Addicted-to-oil says:

    5v5 and 5v4 this team SHOULD be good. However 4v5 this team should be awesome. a 70.6% kill rate is just absolutely terrible. What’s happened? Even if you take out that Vancouver game, we’re still below 80%. That’s just not good enough. Morea, Souray and Staios’s numbers on the PK are brutal. They’ve averaged 5 goals against on the PK each, in less than 23 average minutes on the PK. Thats an average of 1 PPGA for every 4:40 on the ice. Last season those three averaged 1 PPGA every 12.5 minutes. On the flip side, Gilbert and Grebeshkov are averaging 1 PPGA for every 10:12 this season. Last season they averaged 1 PPGA for every 9:51.

  18. CrazyCoach says:

    Will the Oil leave music City tonight singing Hank’s: “I Saw The Light” (as in goal light) or “Cold Cold Heart”?

    Only time will tell.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh, one more wish for tonight:

    Will Mr. Grebeshkov please remove his his head from his ass?

    If not, when Strudwick comes back, bench 37, NOT 5.

  20. Bruce says:


    Eight figures worries you Bruce?

    HBomb: I don’t like eight-figure contracts generally, especially where the first digit is a crooked number. It’s just a huge risk with a double indeminity: if performance suffers, so does cap space. The club is already carrying six of those $20 MM plus contracts, and I don’t see one of them who is top ten in the NHL in his position. So I’d rather save whatever big money is left for an Elite player at whatever position. And lest we forget, Canadian $$$ aren’t quite so Big anymore (although I hear Daryl Katz has a lot of them).

    Ideal scenario is do 6 over 2 and then go sign LaBarbera for a million a year as “backup”. 4 million bucks for that kind of tandem is money well worth spending.

    Yeah, I like 6/2 better than 10/3. The latter is about what what Roli signed for, and it seems like the majority opinion in the ‘sphere is Oilers would have been better off moving his contract as early as half-way through it. That third, seemingly untradeable year now stands in the way of JDD’s emergence, which is hardly in the long-term interest of the club. There’s more than one way long-term contracts can get in the way.

    For now, though, it’s all about short-term interests. To Roli’s credit he has turned Zero goals of offensive support into one standings point, and certainly there’s no reason to write him off entirely. Like an overpaid forward or defenceman, he better earn at least some of that contract. He’s a battler, and I’m pulling for him.

  21. R-Gib says:

    Shanahan to the Oilers?

    Just saw on TSN that Shanahan has abandoned the idea of playing for the Rangers and is shopping his services.

    What do you guys think? A vet 1st line left winger… not the righty 3C some of us would like…

  22. Doogie2K says:

    Is Shanny a first-liner at his age? I seem to remember reading that he took a dip last year; guess it’s time to hit BTN and see…

  23. HBomb says:

    Bruce:

    1) I would argue Hemsky’s a top ten RW at his position when he’s on his game. But beyond that, you’re right, the guys we have signed to big money deals are in the 11-30 range at their position (Visnovsky, Horcoff), got paid for potential (Gilbert, Penner), or were paid for past results from a career year (Souray).

    2) I agree that “shorter is better”, but I see a 3rd year with Garon as a more acceptable risk than with Roloson. Garon’s only 30, isn’t he? If the Oilers are offering 6 over 2 and the Garon camp comes back with 10 over 3, I wouldn’t call an extra 333k per year cap hit a deal breaker, nor would I think that a 3rd year would be.

    It gets dicey if they ask for 14-16 million over four years….that’s when you’ve got to “know when to fold ‘em”…..

  24. HBomb says:

    What do you guys think? A vet 1st line left winger… not the righty 3C some of us would like…

    Shanahan Horcoff Cole (toughs)
    Penner Gagner Hemsky (second toughs)
    Nilsson Cogliano Pisani (sheltered)
    Moreau Brodziak Pouliot (heavy PK time, energy)

    MacIntyre for occasional use against goon squads, Stortini on waivers.

    Me likey. A bit young at center, but sick depth on the wings.

    Then deal off Grebeshkov for a prospect or pick (wonder what Grebs plus Schremp could land…mid-1st rounder?) and grab McLaren off re-entry waivers for the rest of the year, leading into a UFA run at Komisarek next summer…..that’s how I’d roll.

  25. Doogie2K says:

    For forwards with at least 40 GP and 10 min/night:

    2006-07: 5th in on/off +/- per 60 (-0.21), weakest competition (-0.019), 6th best teammates (-0.25?!)
    2007-08: Worst on/off +/- per 60 (-0.39), 4th strongest competition (0.03), 3rd best teammates (0.11)

    Did Gabe change his methodology last year? The scales of the 2007 and 2008 tables were completely different for QUALCOMP/TEAM. Also, I hope the ’07 rankings are correct: I eyeballed it based on the criteria I entered for ’08.

    Also, this link shows the Rangers’ EV shot data from last year (Shanny is, of course, #14). Dunno if that says anything interesting or not, but I don’t have time to find out because I have to go pick people up from work now.

  26. spOILer says:

    I'm hopeful that what we've seen is a team too cute on the blue line, too predictable in the zone on PP, and lacking aggression on the PK.

    Everything else seems to have been fine. I'm mildly impressed by the blue line and Pouliot at 3C.

    The newbs are showing they have to re-learn some of the stuff they learned last year (and I include the 37-77 duo here), which isn't totally unexpected.

    They haven't played their best by any stretch of the imagination, and could really go on a roll if they could find their 'A' game.

    The underlying EV numbers don't seem that bad.

    MacT seems to be handling this well. Gave them space and patience and respect, and then calling them out when the results generated a southward trend.

    Unfortunately this has been a team with a history of fragile confidence in early parts of past seasons.

    They have seemed calmer this year. Sure there have been a couple of spots, like after the Cole misconduct, where the team has lost it, but for the most part they seem to be exhibiting better grace under pressure.

    The spare forward spot is affected by more than carrying a third goalie. Carrying a dedicated fighter further limits legit forwards. The Oilers seem to have a knack for double binds/imbalance. Last year would've been better for auditioning a pugilist… with the injuries, the vulnerable kids, the future goalie issue the next year. But hindsight is 20-20 too, and a new meddling owner may be playing a role.

    MacT took his biggest risk/rewards for lines and pairings early on. I'm okay with that and change now.

    So its not all doom and gloom, there's till some roster moves to be made, and this ain't the year they go to the SCFs. But they gotta bear down for now. Keep it smart at the blue line at EVs, improve ST play, stay poised.

    Unfortunately, NASH is the curse for this team & Garon. Let's see Roli or JDD. Let's end the Gagner experiment on the PK till we get some wins. Penner at 1LW and 1PP. And cross our fingers. Damn PPV.

  27. spOILer says:

    sorry, ‘at’ the blue line, not ‘on’. sheesh.

  28. Schitzo says:

    Any chance of finding this one streaming tonight?

  29. CrazyCoach says:

    I don’t think Shanny is the answer for this hockey club. He was a great player and would bring a lot to the dressing room, but unless he was willing to work for league minimum, he is not worth it.

  30. Bruce says:

    I would argue Hemsky’s a top ten RW at his position when he’s on his game.

    Well as of right now he ranks 37th among RW in points, tied for DFL in goals, and stands 116th in +/- (with Todd Bertuzzi being 128th and last at -5, tee hee).

    So forgive me if I have trouble seeing him as a top 10 type. Show me, Ales.

    Stortini on waivers.

    Sorry, HBomb, but that’s just nuts.

  31. mc79hockey says:

    Geez Bruce, for a guy with a blog that has all sorts of great stories from thirty years ago, you seem to have really blacked out the past few years.

  32. Bruce says:

    Thanks, Tyler, I think. I assume you’re referring to the Hemsky comment? Sure I’m ticked at his bad start, and citing his current stats probably wasn’t either proper or polite. Obviously he’s better than 37th best RW, especially when he’s “on his game” as HBomb put it. Top 10? Not so sure … but have no time to come up with a list just now, as others did with Horcoff the other day. Maybe tomorrow.

    Sorry, I’m just not as sold on Ales as many people are. It’s probably just high, and unfair, expectations and/or impatience on my part.

  33. Bruce says:

    PS: Off to work I go. Enjoy the game, everybody!

  34. Dennis says:

    Nsh has been an absolute graveyard for the Oilers for the past few years and I don’t know if that’s going to change tonight.

    First off, I don’t know what the Preds PP is running at but the Oilers PK is absolutely terrible; I can’t stress that enough.

    Also, the D pairs have to be moved around. 77 is probably afraid to go past centre given that Grebs is always one game away from a clown shoe and it’s time to move 24 back up the rotation and 71 down.

    I’d suggest 44-77, 24-71 and 5-37.

  35. PDO says:

    I’m in the “watching and cautiously drinking while expecting the worst” group tonight.

    We should win.. but we’ve sucked forever in Nashville.

    So…

    Sipping away and hoping I don’t start chugging.

  36. Steve says:

    WHERE THE FUCK IS ROD PHILLIPS?

  37. Steve says:

    Oh. Inner ear infection. Okay then. Hope he gets well soon.

  38. PDO says:

    Cole gets a breakaway not even a minute in and doesn’t score.

    This can’t be a good sign.

  39. Kara says:

    Its on NHL game center for free tonight. Better stream.

  40. PDO says:

    Oilers are dominating and down 1-0…. the curse of Nashville continues?

  41. Glen says:

    I’m blacked out on the free NHL game center. Another reason it sucks to live in CGY I guess.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Down 1-0 but they’re in the game and playing pretty well. This team could use an ugly goal about now.

  43. PDO says:

    LT, last time I saw you say that Stollie scored one of the ugliest goals I have ever seen against Calgary.

    I don’t care how they get it, but one before the period ends is huge…

  44. Lowetide says:

    PDO: If the Oilers play 3 periods like this one and lose then the Hockey Gods are punishing us.

    It happens but it's pretty rare. Oilers deserve better and if they play like this for periods 2 & 3 they'll get it.

  45. kinger says:

    Watching 44 and 71 toss it back in forth in their own zone for 20s on the PP literally makes me gag.

    So many wasted opportunities, for once the opposing team is lucky to have the lead.

  46. Dennis says:

    Oil have a lot of guys that are doing the right thing and going to the net and the passes just aren’t connecting.

    But, that bodes well.

    On the other hand, the Oilers can’t take more than 4 penalties and win this game. The Preds had one PP that period and bang-bang-bang, they had three chances.

  47. PDO says:

    On with the curse!

    This is unreal.

  48. kinger says:

    Anyone else think the normal Predator’s cameraman was taking a dump during the first minute of the period?

  49. PDO says:

    5 on 3.

    Absolutely have to score here…

  50. kinger says:

    Pathetic work by 44 and 71.

  51. Julian says:

    This is looking like a 4-1 loss that should have been a 4-1 win.

  52. Lowetide says:

    It would be nice if they scored here.

  53. kinger says:

    Took him 3 chances, but 44 finally hit the net.

  54. PDO says:

    It sure is one hell of a trick…

  55. Lowetide says:

    Souray (Horcoff, Hemsky).

  56. Mike says:

    1. It’s 2-1 but we look OK. But as I type this WHOOPS Chopper! WTF?
    2. This Nashville broadcast team is awful.
    3. Thanks for the free stream, NHL.com. But the ads intruding on the feed are repetitive and endless. Leave me be. I said “COLLAPSE”.

  57. Mike says:

    And this colour man is afraid to say “come hell or high water” on the air? Bible belt much?

  58. Scott says:

    Yeah but it’s Terry Crisp. He coached the Flames for a while and he’s generally just a pretty funny guy.

  59. Jonathan says:

    That Smid-Staios shift there looked a lot like being afraid to take a hit to make a play.

    I doubt that’s the case, given the players involved, but it sure looked that way.

  60. Jonathan says:

    Also, the Nashville guys just called Stortini the “big Mac truck”.

  61. Mike says:

    Terry Crisp eh? Never would have figured that out.

    Penalty to NSH with 2:16 remaining.

    Horcoff will score.

  62. Glen says:

    so they score with Penner finally on the PP. Now they get another PP try and no Penner???

  63. Mike says:

    Or not.

  64. Oilmaniac says:

    Exactly… Instead they got gagner in front of the net on the PP… ridiculous… if its going to be horc, hemm, and gags.. horcoff should man up and go to the front,.. but yeah, where was penner..

    other note.. it would be nice to get cole more playing time, just gota take someone out of the top six.. curious what the TOI totals will be for cole..

  65. NBOilerFan says:

    Can we somehow clone Cole? Hell we could use two or three more of him on this team. Beauty player…. and he is still finding himself on this team.

  66. Lowetide says:

    Nashville is a fun team. They have a bunch of guys like Bonk who I always think are out of the league and then a bunch of F’s like Fiddler and Erat who buzz around doing all kinds of things. Plus they can draft defensemen very, very well.

    I don’t know what to say, based on the flow of play and the overall chances the Oil deserve to be level at the very least.

    Sometimes when a team is going bad these things end up in an L, but to my eye this team is playing pretty well.

  67. Mike says:

    Oh God, Terry Crisp. Aurally, you are truly poor. Visually (in that chick’n-pick’n redneck garb) you are just ghastly.

  68. Oilman says:

    I wish Crisp would’ve worn that outfit while coaching the Flames.
    Yee Haw

  69. Dennis says:

    The Oilers are carrying the play possession wise but it’s not like they’re throwing a River of good shots at Renne either;)

    I guess I’m sorta in the MacT camp where I expected and expected more and if I hadn’t committed to counting scoring chances for the season then I would’ve tuned out a couple of times by now and that’s something I never would’ve considered beforehand.

    I would say that the major thing that’s pissing me off is I don’t think MacT’s doing everything he can in order to improve this team. The D pairings should’ve been split by now, 27 should be setting up shop on the PP, 18 should be on the 4th line and 34 as pivot should be throw in the pile.

  70. Oilman says:

    terrible call on Vishnovski

  71. Oilman says:

    that Jim Ross calls a better hockey game than wrestling match….that was him with Terry Crisp right?

  72. Mike says:

    fuck

  73. PDO says:

    How many times has Visnovsky ripped a puck into the glass?

  74. kinger says:


    I would say that the major thing that’s pissing me off is I don’t think MacT’s doing everything he can in order to improve this team. The D pairings should’ve been split by now, 27 should be setting up shop on the PP, 18 should be on the 4th line and 34 as pivot should be throw in the pile.

    I absolutely agree. A positive that we can take out of tonights game is that if we do lose MacT will be forced to re-examine the garbage plan he’s been riding this season.

  75. PDO says:

    Oilers must been out chancing Nashville 2-1 right now…

  76. Scott says:

    Well, they’ve been throwing Penner out with Horcoff and Hemsky for a couple of shifts and slipped the kid line back together, so we’ll see if these changes remain for the next game

  77. PDO says:

    I fucking hate Nashville…

  78. PDO says:

    1:15 to go, Penner has a wide open net, and the Nashville player clamps down on his stick.

    What a horrendous no-call… officials in general stunk, but this is just a crappy loss.

  79. Schitzo says:

    For the first time in forever, I genuinely wonder how long MacT’s leash is right now

  80. kinger says:

    I’m a MacT guy but I definitely question a number of his choices so far this year.

  81. NBOilerFan says:

    Yet again… this team makes a rookie goalie look like a friggin’ vet #1. We had many chances that just have to start going in.

    I don’t know… I still thought we were being a little “too cute” in that game as well, though we did make strides in improvement overall.

    Gonna be a lonnggggg road trip me thinks.

  82. Scott says:

    And because I just like stirring things up and to make Bruce happy(ish) when he gets back, here’s a list of 10 RW’s one might put ahead of Hemsky. I actually don’t think I would, but it would be interesting to see which guy gets taken off the list for Hemmer:

    Marian Hossa
    Milan Hejduk
    Daniel Alfredsson
    Corey Perry
    Jarome Iginla
    Teemu Selanne
    Dustin Brown
    Joffrey Lupul
    Patrick Kane
    Jaromir Jagr
    Martin St. Louis

    Is Hemsky better than two of these eleven men (I give you one guess as to which player is this list’s Marty Reasoner)? I’d probably get rid of the Joke and Perry, but I think that might be Perry’s personality influencing me.

    Also, five losses in a row is not much fun.

  83. Bank Shot says:

    I would say that the major thing that’s pissing me off is I don’t think MacT’s doing everything he can in order to improve this team.

    I suppose in addition to those things you listed I suppose the Oilers should also stop giving the other team a free PP for too many men every three games as well.

    Nice to see them actually come to play tonight. This is the kind of effort that should have happened one or two games into the losing streak in order to avoid ending up where they are now; staring down the barrel of a 5 game wasteland.

  84. Lowetide says:

    Guys, I just don’t see it. The Oilers spent a few shifts running around in the third period and it cost them a goal, and they did give up a 2 spot early on lost faceoffs in their end.

    Other than that I felt they had the edge in play. We can talk about MacT’s stubborn streak on pairings and lines, about the 4line not having the energy it did a year ago and on and on and on.

    Bottom line for me is that this team played well enough to win on the road. The next question is do they have enough talent to make the playoffs?

    I think they do. Keep on truckin’ baby.

  85. PDO says:

    Terrible loss, but I’m with LT… they played well, and with ANY puck luck tonight they walk away with this one.

  86. Doogie2K says:

    In happier news, Jordan Eberle was named to the WHL All-Star Team that’ll play the Russkies next month.

  87. Quain says:

    Honestly, if we had put Horcoff on the third line we definitely would’ve won.

    Yep.

  88. Scott says:

    I think that the Oilers played really well tonight. Especially in the first two period it seemed like they were carrying the balance of the play at EVs, but they just couldn’t get the puck in the net. It happens and they should be able to build on tonight moving into the next game on the trip.

  89. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    This reminds me of the start to the 05-06 season…

  90. kinger says:

    LT, my comments go a lot farther back than just tonight. We have now played 9 games this year, and in my opinion we have clearly been the better team in only 3 (Flames x2 and tonight). Any way you shake it, that’s not an acceptable result.

    Accountability has to fall somewhere.

  91. Dennis says:

    In the third period 12 had two great chances and ditto for 10 and 27. So that’s four Grade A opps that’s not the kind of chances they had in the first 40 and that’s why I’m not just ready to say, “Meh, I”m sure we’ll get them again next time.”

    I Would say they certainly have enough talent to make the playoffs but something’s off in a big way now so I’m going to wait to see It before I believe in It.

    Sure, 10′s on an awful tough luck streak now where he’s finding himself in the right places but with the wrong approach and Cole’s blowing one huge scoring chance a game; not to mention that 89 should break out sooner or later.

    All that being said, something is off with this club. For instance, late in the Ex season MacT said he couldn’t keep letting 34′s lost own zone draws hurt the club. Well, we just finished G9 of the real season and it resulted in a goal tonight. So, are we trying to win or are we trying to develop/fucking around?

    When the Oilers make up their mind about that, I’ll start to make up mine about where I think they might wind up finishing.

    And I think that’s fair.

  92. Swabbubba says:

    Hey anybody have Katz’s email he owes me a refund. I have spent 13.95 to for SD PPV X 2 (28.95). I cannot bring myself to watch this in HD. I think someone said we had a centre… paging someone anyone to win D zone faceoff for the love of Joey.. Question how did the hit on Cole on the 3rd goal was not interference he did not have the puck? So I would like to return the product as I deem it not functional someone said I would see a hockey game.. not a figure skating display… this team is too soft… someone get Rob Brown a toupee.. the horror that has to be in HD…

  93. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis

    I don’t get your concern with the Vis/Souray pairing. Admittedly it looks like a bad idea on paper, and I assumed that they were just put together to make the transition to PPs easier. But they’ve been playing tough minutes, and by your own scoring chance count Vis was leading the team in scoring chance +/- after seven games. He also edges out Cole, Horcoff and Gagner and Hemsky for the ‘best underlying numbers’ prize so far.

    The third line, on the other hand, is a disaster when Pisani is at centre by eye, and surely they would be by your scoring chance tallies if we went through the lines at the time the scoring chances (for and against happened) happened.

    To drive that point home, because I know you believe in underlying numbers:

    When Moreau, the 3rd line LW every game, has had either Pouliot or Brodziak on the ice with him, his underlying numbers are the best on the team. This in spite of being on the ice for way more than his share of own zone draws at those times.

    When neither of those guys is on the ice with him (so presumably Fernando is in the middle) it’s an absolute gong show.

    In terms of shots+/- it’s -23 without 51/78, and +5 with one or the other as his pivot.

    This in spite of starting in his own end seven more times than the good end of the rink with one of the young centres, and starting more often in the offensive end without them (5 more times in the off zone than the D zone).

    In terms of Fenwick+/-: +4 with young pivots, -28 with Fernie.

    In terms of Corsi+/-: +22 with young pivots, -34 with Fernie.

    MacTavish seems loathe to move Moreau or Pisani onto the 4th line, and no doubt both are better than “4th line players”. But this nonsense has to stop.

    Sooner or later this stuff comes home to roost. It always dopes. MacTavish is picking one hell of a strange hill to die on here. And it’s screwing up the 4th line as well.

    BTW: Your scoring chance stuff as posted at MC79hockey, it’s just too tricky to parse that out in terms of line combos for individual scoring chances. But it will the same tale, you can bet real money on that.

  94. HBomb says:

    Scott: your list is an interesting one. I’ll go through it and say what I think:

    Marian Hossa – definitely better than Hemsky. Super-elite.
    Milan Hejduk – I’d take Hemsky right now, 3 years ago, not so much.
    Daniel Alfredsson – hard to believe the guy is 35. I’d take him over Ales.
    Corey Perry – overrated in Phaneufian proportions. He’s another Lupul who should credit most of his success to his outstanding centerman. Hemsky every day.
    Jarome Iginla – best RW in the game. Period.
    Teemu Selanne – Still chugging along. Better than Hemmer.
    Dustin Brown – Toss-up. Tough to say since it’s such an apples to oranges comparison. Brown reminds me a lot of Erik Cole to be honest…
    Joffrey Lupul – no fucking way I take this piece of shit over Hemsky.
    Patrick Kane – isn’t he a LW? Considering we’re talking Chicago, a fully healthy Martin Havlat blows away all but maybe Hossa, Iginla and Alfredsson on this list. Same goes for a fully healthy Gaborik, but how often is that the case?
    Jaromir Jagr – if he was still in the NHL, I’d take him over Hemsky.
    Martin St. Louis – yeah, he’s still better too.

    So there’s six guys I take over Hemsky right now with another two “if they’re healthy”. Shane Doan might be worth discussing here.

    First pass says 83 is firmily in the top 15 RW’s in the league. But I’m guessing there’s some names here that we’ve missed….

  95. Bill Needle says:

    “I’m a MacT guy but I definitely question a number of his choices so far this year.”
    I’m not a MacT guy, and I definitely question a number of choices so far this decade.

  96. David says:

    The third line, on the other hand, is a disaster when Pisani is at centre by eye

    That’s the truth. To pile on, Pisani was 2 for 8 in the faceoff circle tonight. If you remove him, we actually won more than 50% (barely).

    I am not convinced they played well enough to win tonight save for some lucky bounces … there are just too many “little things” lacking in their play. Checks that should be finished are not being finished (once again, we were outhit tonight), poor positional play costs us a few chances ever period, and the backchecking is tepid, not urgent. They aren’t going to win games playing like they are, not close games.

  97. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    If every player on the team is 10-20th ranked at his position( and some are worse) what the hell do you expect?

    It’s a team with mediocre talent that should logically get mediocre results.

    The tragedy is that it’s also a team that is bumping up against the cap.

    Hello Kevin.

  98. Bruce says:

    Here’s a preliminary list of 18 players listed as RW by NHL.com. One or two are probably in error as to position, and likely an equal number missing (e.g. Brown, Doan, D.Sedin?).

    Daniel Alfredsson
    Brad Boyes
    Pavol Demitra
    J.P. Dumont
    Alexander Frolov
    Marian Gaborik
    Martin Havlat
    Milan Hejduk
    Marian Hossa
    Jarome Iginla
    Patrick Kane
    Alexei Kovalev
    Corey Perry
    Jason Pominville
    Martin St.Louis
    Teemu Selanne
    Patrick Sharp
    Nikolai Zherdev

    … and that doesn’t include the household names that are outscoring Hemsky so far this year like Antti Miettinen, Devin Setoguchi, and Kris Versteeg.

    In theory Hemsky ought to be above a few of these guys, but when it comes to playing the actual games, I’m not so sure. Ask me again in a month when Hemsky’s Oilers are scoring more than one stinking goal a game.

  99. Lowetide says:

    Ales Hemsky has been in the NHL long enough for you to know who he is, Bruce. Clearly you're not a fan of this player, I get that. Clearly some believe he's outside some "top 10" or "top 20" based on this season or all seasons.

    I'll respectfully submit that he's a quality offensive player who has established himself at the top end of this roster. I'll also suggest this team has plenty of offense and would further suggest that this team will dig itself out of the current slump and the Hemsky rips will fade away.

    Let me make you a list:

    .312
    .313
    .301
    .335
    .348
    .316
    .304
    .307
    .338
    .284<<<<<
    .317
    .323
    .311
    .302
    .331

    What is that? Pete Rose's BA during the heart of his career.

    Bruce, that's where you doing. Cherry picking. Ales Hemsky has established a level of ability and it is reasonable to expect he'll return, in fact with this roster and his age (nearing peak) he should have a career year.

    Slow start? You bet. But comparing Ales Hemsky to Setuguchi is taking hypberbole and rapping it around bullshit.

    I'm calling you on this one, Bruce.

  100. HBomb says:

    Sooner or later this stuff comes home to roost. It always dopes. MacTavish is picking one hell of a strange hill to die on here. And it’s screwing up the 4th line as well.

    Strange indeed. It’s all politics and not wanting to demote the captain to the fourth line from what I can tell. Which sure is a dumb reason in my books.

    Ice your best, most logical lineup and stop trying to cram square pegs into round holes.

  101. dawgbone says:

    Except Hbomb, that the captain is one of the better players for that 3rd line.

    The problem is we have Cole and Penner who have struggled and it’s one of them that ends up on the 4th line.

  102. HBomb says:

    dawgbone: In terms of play, maybe Moreau doesn’t deserve the demotion, but Cole or Penner on the 4th line would be a waste.

    Ethan’s got the closest “game” to what Glencross brought to line four last year, and that’s the biggest reason he’d be the most logical fit there. Cole and Penner should both be in the top nine, if not the top six (I’d love to see a Penner-Horcoff-Cole trio establish a cycle-game and then follow that with a Nilsson-Gagner-Hemsky skill trio).

  103. Vic Ferrari says:

    Did you listen to the postgame podcast, Lowetide?

    I think that you may be right about MacTavish’s nuts being in a vise right now. Dude is sweating it, he seems every inch the ‘high stress guy’. Over the past couple of seasons he could seem downright philosophical even after the Oilers had been badly outplayed.

    Right now though, he is absolutely jonesing for a ‘W’. You can sense the frustration and the panic.

    And the Oilers really aren’t playing that badly for the most part. I don’t think that any of us expected the Oilers to dominate territorially in the first few weeks of the season. This is still a young team and it is a really difficult schedule. And sensible people weren’t expecting the ridiculously high shooting%’s from last year’s late hot streak to carry over either.

    The Oilers PK has been terrible, and they just can’t finish at evens. A 2.6% EVshooting% over the last five, that’s the very stuff that losing streaks are made of. And a coach panicking and telling players to bear down on their chances, well that won’t make much difference to the vets, they’ve seen this movie enough times that they know the ending, but I can’t imagine it helps the young guys at all.

    MacTavish is losing me, here.

  104. Dennis says:

    Vic: You are right; I might not like the 71/44 pair but it’s working and I won’t go against my own numbers. I’m just about to post the SCF/A from Monday’s loss to Bos and that combo went a combined 12/4 on the good side so it’s obviously working. In fact, after the game last Sat in Van I’m actually starting to like Souray has an honest-to-goodness defender. I doubt he played this well in Mtl or else they would’ve tried to bring him back but he is breaking up plays down low with his stick and stopping plays with his physicality and apart from three terrible passes from his own faceoff circle to opposing players, he’s been damn good.

    As for Pisani, more damning evidence coming up for him as soon as I post the next game.

    Here’s the thing about the Oilers forwards: there are 11 forwards that can play and MacT won’t do certain things when it comes to constructing lines.

    12′s shown enough that he has earned his time, 89 is the golden child and 13′s still ahead of the curve in terms of real plus/minus.

    10/12 are bonafide and have played together since forever, 26 has the resume, 34 has been good for a long time and 18 is the captain. 27 Still has the big contract and the Oilers are hoping 51′s a good PKer and 78 is getting things done in terms of SCF/A pretty much no matter where he plays; and when you give him good linemates, he does a better job with it then Brodziak.

    Considering 78 has played better than 51, we’ll call 51 the 11th forward and he’s one of the 4th liners for sure.

    Now, what would you do with the rest?

  105. Scott says:

    I really thought that the Oilers outchanced tonight at EVs.

    I can see where you see that something is off with the team Dennis, but it looks like this is all coaching strategy, especially in keeping Pisani at C (just plain foolish at this point) and keeping guys in the PK rotation who just aren’t performing (why they took Cogs out of the rotation after doing OK last year only to replace him with Gagner and Penner, I have no idea). Admittedly, that’s going to have a negative impact on the results, but even with those problems it seems like they’ve been improving their game over the last three. I thought they outplayed both the Canucks last Saturday and Nashville tonight. The game against Boston they seemed to be outplayed, but managed a point. Go figure. Anyway, the point is, in spite of the questionable coaching, the team looks to be outplaying at least some of the time and that should turn into winning if they can keep it up.

  106. Bruce says:

    I’m calling you on this one, Bruce.

    LT: OK, let’s go. :) Because I’m a contrarian son of a bitch, let’s start at the bottom and work up.

    Slow start? You bet. But comparing Ales Hemsky to Setuguchi is taking hypberbole and rapping it around bullshit.

    No I am not comparing him to Devin Setoguchi, whose name did not appear on my list of 18 guys. I just tossed out names like him and Versteeg to emphasize how slow Hemsky’s start has been this year.

    Bruce, that’s where you doing. Cherry picking.

    Ouch. I would call the Miettinen/Setoguchi/Versteeg comment the “cherry on top” of a snarky comment, piling on if you will, but to me that’s different from cherry picking.

    Speaking of which, Pete Rose? At this point Ales has never put together two consecutive 60-point seasons, so he’s hardly the epitome of consistency that Rose was. Hemsky doesn’t even have one point-per-game season, which might be a comparable benchmark to .300. Because I know you to be a reasonable man I will give you the benefit of the doubt and conclude you are not comparing Hemsky to Rose, merely citing the hit machine’s stats as an example of a blip. But Hemsky has nothing like that sort of track record, it’s just a bad comparison.

    However, let me give you a different list:

    +5
    -5 *
    -7
    -5
    -3 *
    -7
    -9
    -4

    That would be Hemsky’s +/- figures for what is now his six NHL seasons with the two playoff* seasons thrown in for good measure. Looks like a pretty established trend to me: the guy is not an outscorer, at least not at evens. Sure he faces tough comp and that has value, but he also gets the best linemates, which uses value. And sure he is good on the powerplay, but so are lots of top snipers; some of the listed guys also contribute on the PK.

    That list of 18 is submitted in all seriousness. Who are the best RWs in the game today? If you think I’m being facetious throwing out a name like J.P. Dumont, consider performance since the beginning of 2006-07:

    Dumont 172 GP, 52-99-151, +22, 0.88 PPG
    Hemsky 147 GP, 33-98-131, -20, 0.89 PPG

    In that time Dumont has scored 40 even strength goals, Hemsky 20; Dumont has 111 even strength points, Hemsky 70. Ouch. And with all due respect to J.P. Dumont who is a damn fine player, I don’t consider him among the Top 10 right wingers in the NHL.

    Now if you were to ask me would I trade Hemsky for Dumont, that’s an entirely different matter. Ales is younger, in theory he’s still emerging, and his “Top 10″ years may still be in front of him. Also, he does have an excellent contract, the most defensible of any of the six $20+ MM contracts on the team that triggered this discussion. But right now today, who is the better player? As recently as last night, that would appear to be Dumont.

    Ales Hemsky has established a level of ability and it is reasonable to expect he’ll return, in fact with this roster and his age (nearing peak) he should have a career year.

    So I keep reading. But while I see guys like Pominville, Sharp and even Nik (the Next Hemsky) Zherdev progressing rapidly from season to season, Ales is now three years removed from his career high in points and does not appear poised to make that next step anytime soon. If and when he does, I’ll be all too happy to eat my words.

    Ales Hemsky has been in the NHL long enough for you to know who he is, Bruce. Clearly you’re not a fan of this player, I get that.

    I’m the ultimate fair-weather fan when it comes to this guy. Half the time I love him, the other half he drives me crazy. (Guess where I’m at this week? :) He’s got spectacular talent that will take my breath away occasionally, but he’s a soloist who’s damn tough to play with, and he’s no Alex Frolov when he doesn’t have the puck.

    Clearly some believe he’s outside some “top 10″ or “top 20″ based on this season or all seasons.

    Based on this season I don’t know how one could conclude otherwise, no matter how Rose-coloured the glasses. Hemsky has been extremely slow out of the gate again, and his team has struggled in the process. So far in 9 games Ales has contributed zero goals, one even strength point, and just two primary assists (usually his strength). He’s picked up a few second assists on the PP and that’s about it. It’s not enough for a guy constantly awarded #1 minutes, linemates, and PP time. Nowhere near enough.

    But the season is way too young to pass judgement, so let’s take a step back and look at that list from the perspective of all seasons. Is Ales better than half the guys on the list? If he is, which is very doubtful in my books, that puts him at the bottom of the top 10. My original point was that the Oilers have a bunch of big contracts but no players who are clearly top 10 in the league at their position. I will stand by that point.

    I’ll respectfully submit that he’s a quality offensive player who has established himself at the top end of this roster.

    No argument whatsoever. He’s the offensive leader of a roster that currently stands 30th in the NHL with 18 GF, and 30th at 2.00 golas per game. And even in October numbers like that are hard to stomach.

    I’ll also suggest this team has plenty of offense and would further suggest that this team will dig itself out of the current slump and the Hemsky rips will fade away.

    The team certainly should have plenty of offence. I made a comment somewhere just the other day about the potential number of double-digit scorers on the club, which was itself a double-digit number. Question: So where’s the offence?

    Am I cranky? You bet. Five game losing streaks will do that to a guy. Five game losing streaks without any goddam offence will get a guy looking at the offensive leaders and asking questions. The questions go way deeper than Ales Hemsky, but on the ice at least, that’s where they start. Such is the burden of high expectations.

  107. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    I think that the top two lines are going to be fine. By eye, I’d like to see them taking the puck to the dirty areas of the ice a bit more, at least to keep the defenders honest. And that’s been happening more lately. But the underlying numbers are there, and I’ve been kicking at that stuff a bit the last couple of days, and only a fool would bet against that translating into results in short order. Either at the player or the team level.

    The bottom two lines are terrible though. MacIntyre seems like a nice guy, and he can beat the hell out of really tough guys, but he shouldn’t be playing hockey in the NHL. Stortini is positionally solid for sure, but he isn’t quick enough to be really good in his own end, and he just doesn’t have NHL stick skills. When they are on the ice together it is hard to watch (as an Oiler fan that is, it’s probably a blast for fans of the bad guys).

    I liked the Pisani at centre experiment, but it’s been a disaster. There is no evidence to suggest that this has worked at all, or ever will. I’m really starting to think that MacTavish is letting his loyalties to certain players (Moreau, Pisani and/or Penner) get in the way of icing the lineup that gives the Oilers the best chance to win.

    Both Brodziak and Pouliot have looked good in the middle this year, though like you, I’d favour the latter to play on the third line.

    If it was my call:

    1. Pouliot/Pisani become the fixed 3rd line tandem.
    Own zone draws and the shift after the PK. Charged with driving possession the other way. With Pisani at centre MacTavish seems to start every game with this plan but before the first intermission he is frightened to carry on with it.

    2. Moreau/Brodziak become the fixed tandem on the 4th unit. And the first PK pair. He can call them the 3A and 3B lines if he wants. Then in post game pressers he can talk about how he would love to get them more 5v5 ice, but they’re just so damn valuable on the PK that he hasn’t been able to do it yet.

    3. Only one or none of Stortini/ MacIntyre in the lineup at once. And just a few minutes a game, if that. Double shift in another winger with 18/51 if the result of the game is still in doubt.

    4. Send Deslauriers to the minors and recall Potulny or Schremp or whoever is playing well at 5v5 down on the farm. Give them a chance to make the 4th line work.

    5. Stop sending Grebeshkov and Gilbert out for so many defensive zone draws. Use Staios and Smid/Strudwick for gig more.

    I think that MacTavish has a bit of a bias against Smid btw. Then again, I probably would too if I’d been told to play him in the top four as a rookie, and then had to stare reasonable people in the face afterwards and laud his play while pinning every mistake he had made on some other poor bastard. Still, that’s not Smid’s fault.

    Then again, it doesn’t matter that much to the team right now, Strudwick has been a pleasant surprise, I thought he was a really slow footed guy, but he’s looked really quick for a big guy. Solid player imo.

  108. Vic Ferrari says:

    Bruce,

    I haven’t followed the rest of the discussion on the subject, but JP Dumont and Hemsky are completely different players.

    Trotz spent most of last game trying to match Dumont’s line against Cogliano/Gagner and avoid Horcoff/Hemsky. With a measure of success. MacTavish is on the road, all he can really do is make sure he starts the kids in the offensive zone or with the puck headed that way. So that’s what he did.

    You add Dumont to the Oilers, and if he’s going to be useful, he’ll need the ‘kid line’ gig. That type of role. So one of the kids has to go.

    Hemsky hasn’t played his best yet, the first few were a bit rough for sure, and he and his linemates haven’t finished their chances as well as they have and will. Still a terrific player, and he’ll get better yet. Plus, he IS the Oiler’s powerplay imo.

  109. Dennis says:

    Vic: that whole Smid bit had me sporting a huge grin:) And you didn’t draw the conclusion but Penner is really the new Smid: his playing time and role really seems to hinge on what Lowe did to acquire him.

    For my $$$, 27 plays with 10-83 or he plays on the 4th line. He’s not quick enough or smart enough for shutdown duty like is say a Pouliot and when the Oilers break up the kids I really don’t ever get a feeling that he can create offense with two of the remaining ducklings.

    So, I like him as a screen on the PP and I like him with 10-83 but if he can’t play there, he’s a fucking 4th liner. It doesn’t make me feel good that he’s a 4 mill fourth line but I also don’t concurrently feel good about cutting my nose off to spite my face, either.

    BTW, over in the other thread, I had 34-78 playing together and also that tandem and 18/51 killing penalties. I also had 10/26 as the third tandem and 26 is such a dog to work that I can’t imagine him being a bad PKer.

  110. mc79hockey says:

    At this point Ales has never put together two consecutive 60-point seasons, so he’s hardly the epitome of consistency that Rose was.

    Now THIS is cherry picking. Hemsky, in his last three years, has scored (on a G-A-P/60 basis).7/1.5/2.2 in 2005-06, .6/1.5/2.1 in 2006-07 and .7/1.6/2.3 in 2007-08 at evens. On the PP, he was 1.0/5.1/6.2 in 2005-06, 1.1/4.4/5.4 in 2005-06 and 1.7/4.6/6.3 in 2007-08.

    Basically, the only reason that you’re able to make that statement is that he both got hurt and played hurt a lot in 2006-07. His scoring rates, save for a slight dip on the PP are eerily similar year over year.

    Bruce, I don’t bear you any animus and I think I’ve said on a number of times that you’re a great addition to our little band of lunatics but I’m almost certain that you know better when you make arguments like this. You’re an astute enough observer of the game and an obviously bright enough guy that I almost have to think you’re being disingenuous when you make an argument like that. If you didn’t realize how consistent he’s been fair enough, that happens and I withdraw the comment but I’m assuming that you’re a close enough observer that you know better. Opinions are opinions but to cherrypick the facts, particularly when it’s someone bright doing it, like that just drives me nuts.

  111. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: the Rose BA’s were used to give an example of a player whose established level of ability is at a certain level spending an entire season missing a hit in every series.

    Hemsky has played 10% of the schedule and is way off at EVs. All I can suggest is we wait a month an examine it then.

    Say, November 30?

  112. Bruce says:

    That my rant has drawn reactions from the Murderers’ Row of the Oilogosphere gives me pause. I could argue with Dennis that Hemsky’s consistent per/60 output — which last year placed him 31st among NHL forwards with 40+ GP, and 11th among RW, in ESP/60 — is evidence he has plateaued. I could counter Vic by saying Dumont lined up against Hemsky at least once last night, when JP set up Nashville’s winning goal. I could whine to Lowetide that Hemsky has had neither the productivity nor durability to be compared with Rose. But perhaps the best thing is to accept the proffered olive branch of November 30: it really is early so let’s wait a month. I sincerely hope to be eating my words before then. :)

    On my good days I consider myself a dispassionate observer of the game, but as an unabashed Fan who rides the emotional roller coaster of each passing game and season, sometimes “dispassion” is two separate words.

    Go Ales. Goilers.

  113. Tyler says:

    I could argue with Dennis that Hemsky’s consistent per/60 output — which last year placed him 31st among NHL forwards with 40+ GP, and 11th among RW, in ESP/60 — is evidence he has plateaued.

    Where did he place amongst RW in PPP/60?

  114. Bruce says:

    A good question, Tyler, to which the facetious answer is “a helluva lot higher than SHP/60″. But I take your point, Hemsky’s best claim to elite status is performance with the man advantage. With this year’s cast of characters, esp. the new and refurbished point men, he should really excel in this dept.

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