Oilers at Blue Jackets, G12/08-09

Sam Gagner is a better hockey player this year than he was a year ago.

The points aren’t coming, but the results are very strong and in areas where we shouldn’t expect a 19-year old to deliver results.

It’s important to remember that adding up goals and assists only tells part of the story; in the words of the coach, it’s a lot about goals but it’s also a lot about what you leave.

Sam Gagner’s line is leaving very little for the next guy so far and that’s a solid indicator.

First, let’s look at the boxcar numbers year over year:

  • 07-08 (1st 10): 1-6-7, -2
  • 08-09 (1st 10: 0-2-2, E

Now for context: In his rookie season Gagner was playing against butter opposition. This season, according to Desjardins, the kids are facing much tougher competition.

It’s also important to remember that Gagner’s season one year ago had the ups and downs we associate with all players.

  • 07-08 (2nd 10): 1-1-2, -6

And my notes say it was against the same butter coming back the other way. This season, I’d bet he’ll do better than 2 points in his second 10 game segment and it’ll be against tougher competition.

Context. Sam Gagner. 19 years old, playing against actual NHL players and it’s a draw. Plus his interviews are music! Every time he’s asked about the offense, he makes eye contact and speaks in a confident tone.

Touched by God, with composure and a very big brain. At 19.

Pinch me.

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332 Responses to "Oilers at Blue Jackets, G12/08-09"

« Older Comments
  1. HBomb says:

    4-on-3 powerplay?

    Souray time.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Well the Oilers are on the road so at least a point here would be a good thing.

    If they want that point, they better score on this PP.

  3. HBomb says:

    Why plus/minus sucks.

    Souray, save one bad pinch, has had a very good night.

    He’s -2.

  4. doritogrande says:

    Pierre really hates the Edmonton Oilers, doesn’t he?

  5. Lowetide says:

    No, he just loves Rick Nash.

  6. Showerhead says:

    Gotta win in regulation, gotta win in regulation, Showerhead’s gotta run to work in half an hour…

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    I hate this powerplay. Hate it hate it hate it.

    These fucking shots from the point and passes to the point….argh.

  8. Slipper says:

    Well Nash made a comment worthy play right there.

    I thought we might go all night without hearing anything about him.

  9. CrazyCoach says:

    Great I go to have a dump and all hell breaks loose. Next time its Depends.

    That’s the sacrifice I’m willing to make for this hockey team.

  10. Slipper says:

    He’s alive.

    ALIVE!!!!

  11. Showerhead says:

    Sound cutting in and out for anyone else? Or is that just a regular ol’ heart attack…?

  12. Coach pb9617 says:

    What in the holy hell are you doing there Sam?

    Guaranteed one giant brain fart per game with that kid.

  13. B.C.B. says:

    Smid only played 5 minutes and seven shifts. If he is hurt, Grebs a little woozy and Strudwick hurt sholder- who gets called up? Peckham or Roy?

  14. doritogrande says:

    I gotta come clean.

    I just yelled SHOOOOOOOT.

  15. doritogrande says:

    Does that count as a faceoff loss for Horcoff?

  16. Slipper says:

    Smid’s been out since the first.

    Whiplash?

  17. William says:

    Anyone else sick of Staios’s a) hammering it around the board hoping it goes out the other side, or b) curling back in his D zone to let the forecheck take it off our D? Everytime he goes back to get the puck now I get worried.

  18. Lowetide says:

    I’d think it would be Peckham.

  19. doritogrande says:

    That’s right, Smid was the victim of the Torres Blindspot.

  20. Showerhead says:

    Cole might have just hit two guys at once there. Last time I saw that, it happened at the WJHC’s and Pierre had a Phaneuf-gasm.

  21. Slipper says:

    Does anyone know how to disable the auto-refresh on NHL.com
    s play-by-play and TOI pages?

    Fuck are they annoying.

  22. doritogrande says:

    If not for Nash being constantly fellated by Pierre tonight, I would agree he’s having a breakout game. However, I just see a 6’4″ slut.

  23. Lowetide says:

    How many times since the Stanley run has this team been in the third period of a road trip two wins old with a chance to add a third?

    There are positives on this club.

  24. Coach pb9617 says:

    The power play needs an amputation. one of 44 or 71 must be removed immediately.

  25. doritogrande says:

    Spirited rush by Gagner draws a penalty. Gilbert with Souray please!

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    Please for the love of Weir put Gilbert out with Souray.

  27. Lowetide says:

    coach: That’s just youth.

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    coach: That’s just youth.

    Hemsky, Souray, Staios and Moreau do it too.

  29. doritogrande says:

    Beer me. NOW!

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh fuck you Gagne.

    How many fucking times are you doing to drop pass to the other team before you realize it’s a bad fucking idea?

  31. CrazyCoach says:

    fuck me shoot me now and re-load the chamber for Gagner.

    What a stupid play

  32. Lowetide says:

    Goat horns for Gagner for sure. I like this team a ton, though.

  33. honkey says:

    Torres sends Smid to an eraly exit and then scores the game winner.
    Up by two in 3rd and now losing, this sux big time.

  34. doritogrande says:

    Say what you want about Gagner’s development, get him a plane ticket to Massachussetts til he fucking stops doing that shit.

    Paging Ryan Potulny.

  35. CrazyCoach says:

    Has anyone in heard the famous Bobby Knight tirade about losing to F^&%(*&%g Purdue?

    That's what MacT needs to do and replace Purdue with Columbus.

  36. Lowetide says:

    Sending Sam Gagner to Springfield is crazy.

  37. Coach pb9617 says:

    Say what you want about Gagner’s development, get him a plane ticket to Massachussetts til he fucking stops doing that shit.

    Every fucking game.

  38. Showerhead says:

    Games like this are why it can be painfully ironic to be going to a bar to WORK right away.

  39. DeBakey says:

    Great game Boys!

    This Thread should be nominated for an award.

    It was better than the game.

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sending Sam Gagner to Springfield is crazy.

    Not changing anything and letting the kid give up a goal a night is crazier.

    Want me to go back two GDTs?

  41. doritogrande says:

    LT: the team needs a shake-up after a game like that. Find me another player who is waiver exempt. Potulny has 8 goals. That doesn’t belong in the AHL.

  42. Lowetide says:

    So, let me get this straight, you are seriously suggesting that sending Sam Gagner to the minors is a good idea?

  43. CrazyCoach says:

    For those of you who want to hear it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw7KijRfU-c

  44. doritogrande says:

    LT: are we in win now mode, or are you okay with another year of no playoffs?

  45. Lowetide says:

    Coach: Seriously. I understand the Oilers just lost a game and Gagner made a terrible, terrible play that led to the winning goal. I get that.

    But let’s take a moment and think about this. Elite level player, having a hard time but showing some real jam and he’s doing more heavy lifting this season.

    And you’re going to bury him in the minors. At 19.

    Wow. I cannot imagine that the Oilers would consider that as an option.

  46. Coach pb9617 says:

    So, let me get this straight, you are seriously suggesting that sending Sam Gagner to the minors is a good idea?

    Not me. I’m suggesting now, as I did previously that he spend time in the PB until he stops committing two HUAs a night.

  47. Lord Bob says:

    All I have to say is, it’s a good thing we have a veteran goalie like Roloson eating up a massive amount of our cap room, because if we were playing a rookie goaltender tonight he might have seriously collapsed.

  48. Ribs says:

    Gagner to the minors? Hemsky pulls the same gags every night too. Should we send the pair of them?

  49. Slipper says:

    Ales Hemsky is happy to hear you all have elected a new scapegoat.

  50. Lowetide says:

    dorito: I’ll tell you what I am NOT in favor of, and that is fucking with this kid at any time.

    The Oilers have already set up their roster with all kinds of youth, and in fact these kids are not rookies they’re a year in.

    So, if they miss the playoffs because Sam Gagner makes mistakes then yeah I’m okay with it.

    But I don’t think they will.

  51. CrazyCoach says:

    I wouldn’t send Gagner down. Bench him maybe, but he almost carried this team into the playoffs last year.

    He’s 19 and going to make plays like that once a game. Hell Paul Coffey would make plays like that twice in a shift.

    I still say MacT needs to go Bobby Knight though.

  52. Cam says:

    We got outworked and lost.

    Was I the only one that was not impressed by the lack of effort?

  53. Lord Bob says:

    Just for the sake of variety, I’m going to say we should trade Shawn Horcoff. Not because he had a bad night, but because between him, Hemsky, and Gagner, that gives us scapegoat tic-tac-toe.

  54. Lowetide says:

    I think there was effort but also a lot of hooking and lazy plays too. The veterans to my eye had a strong game, specifically Horcoff, Souray and Roloson.

    Hemsky made a couple of lazy plays and they were standing up at the blueline and you know if he dumped it in two times for every time he deked the world 83 would be more effective.

    But I’m seriously astounded at people wanting to send Sam Gagner to the minors. Without being a jerk about it, that’s insane.

  55. doritogrande says:

    This is where we really get screwed with having a third goalie on the roster. There’s no way to bench Gagner for a game without having to run with both 46 and 33 on the 4th line. If we still had a Potulny or Brule in the pressbox, then we’d have the ideal situation and Gagner can learn his mistakes whilst munching on popcorn.

    Something’s going to give tomorrow night. Maybe it’s a 4th line demotion while Cole gets to play with the kids, maybe it’s something more severe than that. All I can say is what he was showing tonight cannot be classified as positive development for an offensive player.

  56. RiversQ says:

    Ah well, the Oilers had no business being in this game after 40 min anyway. Just fucking smoked by the chances and the balance of play. The Oilers had some good plays in this one and executed their chances well but this was a just result I’m afraid.

    It’d be nice if they could finish a game with three dmen though. That would help.

    Gagner’s fine. Coach is just off his mess again.

  57. PunjabiOil says:

    This one is clearly on MacT.

    1)Puts Moreau, Pisani, Penner on the powerplay.

    2) Fails to fix something that doesn’t work – i.e. Pisani at center

    3) Puts Moreau, Pisani, Penner on the powerplay with 3 minutes left.

    4) Continues to play Roloson who has been very, very average.

    Sam Gagner the other goat. 2nd time this year he’s lead directly to the GWG by making a blind pass.

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    Something’s going to give tomorrow night. Maybe it’s a 4th line demotion while Cole gets to play with the kids, maybe it’s something more severe than that. All I can say is what he was showing tonight cannot be classified as positive development for an offensive player.

    It’s not just tonight. Worse to my eye is that he steps up his HUAs in the third period.

  59. Dennis says:

    CBJ kicked the Oilers fucking ass in terms of scoring chances tonight; it wasn't even close.

    The BJ's had so many in close chances in the first period alone but couldn't get the puck on net and the Oilers rebounded.

    OTOH, the Oilers "rebounded" to "only" being outchanced a combined 17-11 in the last 40 min but they didn't even deserve a point out of this one and in the end they didn't get one.

    So, just a few other things:

    - LT puts us in the hole by failing to acknowledge Raffi

    - Raffi most likely knocked Smid out of the game. As a sidenote, watch out when he gets a hold of Lupul!!

    - the 2-1 goal was all about Gilbert being sick of everything not working on the PP and him just dumping and chasing and doing his own work. 13 joined him to overload and eventually the puck goes in

    - I absolutely couldn't be sicker of Souray than I am after tonight. I myself have sung his praises this season thus far but we saw the best and worst of him tonight. The kickers for me was him going out of his way Marchment style to take himself out of the play on what became the 4-3 goal and then the way every goddamn play runs through him on the PP. Decoyomir Vishnovsky must be begging for another parter. Also, did you see the reverence MacT had for 44 when they were talking about what to do off the last draw? Sickening.

    - I absolutely can't stand it when MacT "awards" the 34 line and thus punishes the fans. You wouldn't ask the Kid line to protect a lead so why ask the grinders to score? Fuck, everyone has their roles so why is that so hard to understand?

    - I don't know if we ever went over the MAcT comments after 89 gave the puck away that lead to the Bos PP and subsequent goal a couple of weeks ago but they were beauty. I wonder if we'll hear about it again after 89 throws a back pass in the last two min of a tie game. I love the kid but that's a fucking braindead play and on the whole that line didn't give us enough tonight considering the early match, ie the CBJ Kids.

    The Oilers got what they paid for tonight and I guess they thought they'd skate with a win without working for it like they got on Opening Night for the Avs but everything turned out tonight like it should've.

    The only question now is where we stack this in terms of how much credit to give to a desperate CBJ team who while perhaps not world beaters Had indeed been underachieving early on VS what's the feeling on if the Oilers are good enough that we can expect them to come in and not get outchanced by 16 to a lesser team>?

  60. RiversQ says:

    Ha, that would be “three dmen pairs” and coach’s off his “meds”. Whoops.

  61. Lowetide says:

    Who is Raffi Torres?

  62. CrazyCoach says:

    Yeah I’m ticked at Gagner, but I wouldn’t send him down. This is a long road trip after all, and a good learning experience.

    MacT needs to handle him with kid gloves now, and I still say he should go Bobby Knight in the dressing room.

  63. Sean says:

    Its time for Gilbert and Sourray. Our PP sucks!

    What a frustrating game. Up 4-2 in the 3rd. 4 minutes of PP in the last 6 minutes and a loss. I dont blame Roli, those Columbus goals were all horse-shit but we need a calming presence on D. We got lucky Philly didn’t catch us now the juggernaut offense Columbus completes the comeback. Good on Chimera for the block and if I hear one more word about Nash being a monster I’m watching the next game to Ched.

  64. Schitzo says:

    Two things that baffled me:

    How can Penner score a PP goal on the weekend and then get demoted off of the top PP unit in favour of Cole AGAIN?

    What the fucking fuck happened to the plan of splitting up Souray and Vish?

  65. Scott says:

    Gagner good player.
    Fucked up bad, cost us the game.
    Dumb to send him down.

  66. Sean says:

    BTW if MacT benched Gagner for a period, you’d all be calling for his head.

  67. doritogrande says:

    “if I hear one more word about Nash being a monster I’m watching the next game to Ched.”

    Rick Nash is fucking lucky he was wearing a cup. They don’t just protect against pulling a Thoresen, it puts the ultimate cock-block on Pierre.

  68. Sean says:

    Cole is allworld 5 on 5 (ok maybe not quite) but he has got to get off the PP.

  69. Dennis says:

    LT: he’s no Smid or Lupul but he could certainly give an honest effort at EV:)

    Also, before I forget, I texted this to Riv during the game but has anyone else noticed that 26 is more brawn than brains when it comes to being hemmed down in his own end? I rewatched the Philly game yesterday and there was a play late in the game where 10 was on the right boards and took the outlet pass and all in one motion protected the puck from the forechecker and found 27. It was absolutely beautiful if you really like smart hockey. Well, I think I’ve seen a trend with 26 that he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to being hemmed in. Just a little something to keep an eye out for.

  70. Sean says:

    Rick Nash is fucking lucky he was wearing a cup. They don’t just protect against pulling a Thoresen, it puts the ultimate cock-block on Pierre.

    LOL

  71. Scott says:

    What is power play?
    split up Souray, Visnovski.
    Maybe we find out.

  72. doritogrande says:

    Pierre Maguire sucks
    He would suck Rick Nash’s Dick
    Thank the lord for cups.

  73. Slipper says:

    Columbus’ underlying numbers put them amongst the top of the conference at this point. 4 SH goals against and some below average goaltending and shooting luck and I guess everyone thinks that they should just hand points over.

    As for the “this one’s on MacT” or “send Gagner to Springfield” contingents: man, it doesn’t take much to throw some people into a tizzy.

  74. Lowetide says:

    There was a Cole play somewhere in the last few games where Gilbert was in real trouble and had a split second to make a decision. He made an extremely short pass to Cole (with the idea that he get rid of the damn thing) but he fumbled it and the puck ended up in the net.

    I think Gilbert should have been held somewhat responsible but there are Oilers forwards who would have found a way.

  75. spOILer says:

    I can’t believe the grief Gagner is getting for making a bone-headed mistake. The interweb is freaking magnifying glass if we’re going to take this loss that close to heart.

    They’ve played what, 9 road games? A few down men early, including tonight. It took quite some time to get their legs. Both teams were as sloppy as hell, all players, all game. IIRC all the CLB goals were pretty scrambly/bouncy.

    To focus in on Gagner is ludicrous. Nobody is gold night in and night out, all night long, especially not a 19 yo (unless we’re talking a different playing surface).

    And it’s pretty obvious MacT noticed he wasn’t on tonight. Less than 14 minutes TOI and none on the PK.

  76. Dennis says:

    LT: that sounds about right. He can drive the bus in terms of keeping the puck in the right end of the rink and we know that’s what counts overall. But he’s not a guy you’d lean on if you wanted a stick in the lane or a smart clearing play.

    Slipper: I think that’s accurate framing on your behalf. I’m not ready to say that the Oilers at this stage and running the bench the way do they do should absolutely take two points out of CBJ but the kicker is deciding if I’m content that they should’ve been outchanced to the degree that they were.

    I guess that overall I have to make peace with the fact that MacT’s running this as yet another developmental year and anytime you do that you’re volunteering to take the road with the most bumps.

  77. Traktor says:

    Cogliano had a bunch of chances in close and not surprisingly he scored on one of them. Shooting percentage back at 14.3%.

    Gagner has been a turnover machine this year and tonight he didn’t disappoint. I’m definitely not seeing these other things that’s magically making him a better player. The guy needs to stop trying to do so much and keep it simple. Whether you’re 19 or 39 you gotta be held accountable and Gagner deserves a night or 2 off.

    It’s been 12 games and Horcoff has 1 EV point. You’re only as good as your veterans so it’s not surprising to see the kids take a step back.

    Why was the Moreau/Penner/Pisani line out on the PP when we needed a goal?

    This team is built to win like the Habs so we better if we cannot fix the PP then we’re screwed.

  78. mjsh says:

    This loss was a team effort or should we say lack of same. let’s take Columbus lightly and go play the Penguins tomorrow night was the theme tonight. A couple lucky breaks and the Oilers actually almost won another game that they deserved to lose. In that department, I have the Oilers still winning three games that they deserved to lose and winning two games that they deserved to win. It is a long season and first in the division is still available with this team and this coach. If Garon gets it going, then they trade Rolly for Madden and win the cup!! not.

  79. mjsh says:

    Whoops I guess I was focused on Pittsburg too. That last post said that they have won three games that they deserved to lose and lost two games that they deserved to win. Where is that edit but?

  80. Slipper says:

    San Jose
    Shot Diff: +100
    Fenwick: +121
    Corsi: +136

    Detroit
    S:84
    F:96
    C:138

    Calgary
    S:24
    F:42
    C:123

    Anaheim
    S:-24
    F:-32
    C:-9

    Phoenix
    S:-15
    F:-45
    C:-55

    St.Louis
    S:-54
    F:-52
    C:-65

    EDMONTON
    Shot differential:0
    Fenwick:-2
    Corsi:2

    COLUMBUS
    Shot differential: +50
    Fenwick: +64
    Corsi: +69

  81. Dennis says:

    I am willing to say the PP won’t be fixed; and by that I mean we’ll finish somewhere in the 12-15 group.

    Right now everyone’s in love with 44 and it’s all about him but when they get it to him he’s standing still and the goalie isn’t moving and it’s asking a lot for him to make that work.

    As for the love of 89, just watch how he holds onto the puck for that extra second in the O zone while waiting for the dust to clear and all the nice little plays he can make in his own end and that’s why I love him. He makes a backpass at a terrible time tonight but you wonder if 83 wouldn’t do the same thing and he’s in fucking 6th season:)

    10 has one EV point, Cole has one EV Goal and 89′s still an ’09 red light virgin and we’re still 6-5-1 with nine of our first 12 games being of the road variety.

    The big picture looks good but we’re only going as far as the kids development curve will take us.

    Or at least that’s how MacT’s running things.

    BTW, 13 had ONE SH Shift tonight and he comes out and clangs the post while doing so.

    And then he doesn’t get another.

    My kingdom for a smart/ballsy Edm reporter.

  82. Ribs says:

    I didn’t really expect the Oilers to win tonight, but damn them if they didn’t make it fun to watch.
    I guess I’m just too used to the early season games vs. Columbus where MacT sends JFJ and Stortini and B.F. Nobody over the boards every second shift. He has no choice but to send quality guys out there nowadays (smile).

    Roloson looked shaky on his rebounds this night. You can blame it on the hack-attack CBJ forwards but usually that just makes him quicker to gobble up those loose pucks. Not tonight. Old Roli probably would have held on to 2 of the three last pucks that went in tonight. Oh well.

    Visnovsky looked pretty horrid tonight. He was hearing footsteps (maybe for good reason) and was throwing the puck away every time he touched it. These are the kind of games that make me wonder what a guy (especially Euros) will do come playoff time. I’ll look for more of a trend before judging him too harshly. Everyone has bad games.

    Gilbert on the other hand, looked great. It looked like the greenlight on the offense was suddenly switched on. It’s a mistake not to let him play his “O” game. More PP time please.

    Souray looked good this game. I’d probably be more happy with his game if I didn’t expect the good things he’s doing, unlike many people, it seems. Anyone who figured he couldn’t make a decent first pass is probably wishing they could take back a few words right about now.

    Gagner’s night looked as expected I would think. Needs to work on speeding up his breakouts and finding ways to dump pucks into corners when nothing is going his way (its hard for young offensive forwards to learn this.)

    Cogliano looked pretty good. Gagner’s troubles are his troubles but he still has a heartbeat. Both players look like they could be a bit more focused but realistically they were likely over-focused last year and it can’t be expected for them to repeat that all season every year. Middle ground needs to be set and to be exceeded for these guys to really shine this year.

    Cole and Horcoff looked tired. Not much going for either of these guys.

    Hemsky had his spurts but didn’t come up with much. He looked kind of frenetic on the powerplay. Perhaps a result of some new PP schemes. Don’t give up! – is all I can say. The sooner you go back to the ol’ unreliable PP, the sooner you see the lack of results.

    Moreau was impressive. I don’t like the player so much but he gets things done in a timely manner and I respect that. He’s earning his “C”.

    Fernie was great, as always. Super-Plug Extreme. NEVER trade this guy.

    Poo is learning some consistency. I love it. Respect points going up.

    Brodziak isn’t getting the kind of love he had last year from the coach, but he still looks good. It has to be only a matter of time before he gets his shot at 3C.

    I had a feeling that Nash could wake up at some point. Too bad it happened but I’m grateful it wasn’t sooner.

  83. Slipper says:

    The only real point I’m trying to drive home is that it appears that losing to Columbus on the road is contextually different than it has been in past seasons.

    It’s not a death knell.

  84. dubya says:

    Horrible drop pass by Gagner. He looked tentative tonight. Why did Staios slide to the middle on that rush? Basically, he ended up standing by his partner rather than defending anyone. Totally took himself out of position.

    And seriously, can we please get Penner back on the PP? Cole is a UFA we likely can’t afford…I can’t understand why MacT keeps throwing him out there despite the lack of results.

  85. Kyle says:

    Ill timed post about Gagner.

  86. spOILer says:

    MacT with a pretty dead-on post-game podcast.

    “Sloppy”, “Inexperience”, “poor gamesmanship”, “a lesson we shouldn’t have to learn again.”

    Sounds like he was right pissed with the effort, but happy the team wasn’t rewarded for it.

    Supposedly he’s coming up on CHED shortly too.

    Tencer, btw, must read this blog before he goes on the air, b/c his opening monologue for the post game show was directed straight at the Gagner comments above.

  87. Dennis says:

    I remain unconvinced when it comes to 44′s EV offensive ability. He has some some really nice work defending but I stand by my first pass comment.

  88. Ribs says:

    That Souray blast to Chimera’s nutsack was worth the loss, by the way.

  89. Dennis says:

    Slipper: I was just about to post some of those MacT talking points as well. For me the gamesmanship thing is all about 89 not realizing how late it was in the game and not adhering to the old MacTavishian staple of “living to fight another day.”

    I am listening to Ched right now and what did Tencer say exactly about the 89 comments?

  90. spOILer says:

    He said something like “I know there’s people out there who will be calling for Gagner’s head, that maybe he should be sent down or made to sit in the press box but I don’t think that’s the solution right now.”

  91. spOILer says:

    Actually “will be” should be “are calling for Gagner’s head”. Struck me at the time.

  92. Dennis says:

    I think I may place a call to the good Mr. Tencer…

  93. spOILer says:

    I quite liked Brodziak’s post game too. Lost because we were too selfish, didn’t play smart the whole game but especially with the lead, should know better, etc.

  94. mc79hockey says:

    Dennis, if you’re serious, say so.

  95. pboy says:

    If this is a developmental year, I can live with that. But how do the following make any sense:

    1. Teaming up Souray & Vishnovsky at 5 on 5 and on the PP? It's clearly not working but they keep getting thrown out there. Clearly Gilbert Gilbert works better with Souray on the first unit.

    2. Why is the "Pisani experiment" still happening? Wouldn't it be better for either Brodziak's or Pouliot's career going forward to give them a chance at the pivot spot between two vets like Moreau and Pisani? Brodziak has earned this spot with his play last season and he's done nothing this season to give the head coach any reason not to try this out for an extended time.

    3. Penner was one of our more effective guys on the PP last season. When given the opportunity this year, he has been very good. Why the fuck does he not get any PP time most games?????

    4. Eric Cole is a very, very effective right winger. His game is speed and power and he has the ability to be very dangerous at any time. When he plays on the left wing, he looks lost out there. He has played more left wing, than he has right wing this season.

    How do any of these issues help our young players "develop" any quicker. I find it so frustrating watching what MacT is doing with this team.

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

    Souray-Gilbert
    Vishnovsky-Staios
    Smid-Strudwick

  96. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    Gagne needs to watch tomorrow. He watched some last year and it won’t hurt for him to do it again. Pitts is still strong, but not deep, get stortini and smac in there and double shift cole and hemmer as needed…

  97. Doogie2K says:

    @Jonathan: I saw the article, and agree wholeheartedly with it.

    These FSN Ohio guys are jackasses. That apparently was a “cross-check” from 34 just before 18′s goal.

    I think it actually was, but I’m not complaining. ;)

    Anyone notice Smid missing?

    I hadn’t until you mentioned it, but then I did stop halfway through the game to eat supper and watch CSI. Is that a good or bad thing? Either way, explains Souray playing almost half the game yet again.

    The power play needs an amputation. one of 44 or 71 must be removed immediately.

    MacTavish said he was going to. And he hasn’t. What the hell? (@Scott: Well-played, sir.)

    Goat horns for Gagner for sure.

    Sure, his drop pass started it, but what the fuck was 24 doing there? He was practically in 77′s pocket almost to the hashmarks and left half the ice open.

    I know there’s people out there who will be calling for Gagner’s head, that maybe he should be sent down or made to sit in the press box but I don’t think that’s the solution right now.

    He knows his audience.

    So…yeah. Wrong score, right basic idea. (Or put another way, “I said we would lose / Six more goals than expected / What-the-fuck-ever.”)

  98. Dennis says:

    Ty: I AM serious but I haven’t heard Tencer give out the long distance number.

    I am on hold:)

    I think I’ll give Young Dan a little break tonight; I will throw in a little jab at Laforge, though;)

  99. spOILer says:

    Apparently, Tencer pointed out in his blog yesterday that at 6-4-1, the Oil were on pace for 97 points, which would’ve been 5th in the conference.

    Not bad for a team who had only played 3 home games.

    They’re still only 1 win away from leap-froggin Van and Cal for 2nd in the Div, with a game in hand.

    And we’re still a team that hasn’t played 60 minutes that often. That has a few scorers in slumps. That has issues at EVs and STs.

    They’ve shown much better composure with the lead this year. First blown lead…

  100. Bruce says:

    Watched the first period live before an evening commitment, and am now watching the three-hour delay channel (TSN2) where CBJ just scored to make it 2-0. Not sure if I can stomach watching the team get a two-goal lead in the third and not even get a stinking Bettman point.

    No comments on the actual game action but a few background facts:

    – This is the third straight game in Columbus where Oilers have allowed a very critical late goal. New Year’s Eve Nash got the winner with under four minutes left, then there was that abortion where CBJ broke Garon’s shutout with 1 second left and sent the game to OT (which we won), and now tonight.

    – Big difference between the Gagner giveaways is that the Boston one cost us one point and tonight’s cost two. Defensive blunders late in regualtion ties are Death. You have to have “gamesmanship” as MacT reportedly said, understand how the system works. That late in a tie game you gotta look after your bird in hand, the second one will still be in the bush in OT. Be safe with the damn puck.

    – I’m pretty sure the Oilers can’t send Gagner to the AHL, not that I think that would be a good idea. It would be an even worse idea to send him back to London, which they would have to with a junior aged player, no?

    – That’s now four times this season the Oilers have lost a defenceman early: Souray in Calgary, Strudwick in Vancouver, Grebeshkov in Raleigh, and now Smid in Columbus. Three of the four were head shots (Bertuzzi, T.Ruutu, Torres), out of which Oilers got one powerplay and one shorthanded situation. Which pisses me right fucking off. I hope the Oil send the Torres tape to the league, that was a flat-out gratuitous head shot.

    – BTW, where the fuck is Mr. MacIntyre during all this? He was in the line-up for all four of those games. Doesn’t seem to be helping.

  101. spOILer says:

    Maybe Smid’s injury had an effect on PP D assignments tonight? Souray had only 1.5 mins more EV time than Grebs too. Saw a ton of STs.

  102. Doogie2K says:

    BTW, where the fuck is Mr. MacIntyre during all this? He was in the line-up for all four of those games. Doesn’t seem to be helping.

    Busy giving us momentum we already had during the Hockey Night game vs. Calgary?

  103. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Torres said he would not have took that high shot if Stortini was in the line-up because it would’ve resulted in repeated huggings.

    He also said that LT failed to provide him the respect of a game shot from the ’06 run;)

  104. C.Knight says:

    - I absolutely can’t stand it when MacT “awards” the 34 line and thus punishes the fans. You wouldn’t ask the Kid line to protect a lead so why ask the grinders to score? Fuck, everyone has their roles so why is that so hard to understand?

    It isn’t difficult to understand at all, but it sure as shit is painful watching MacT try to figure it out.

  105. PunjabiOil says:

    pboy: Because MacT is a very mediocre coach. It’s probably best to acknowledge this. He’s no dummy, but he consistently makes very quesionable moves, and simply put does not extract maximum value from his players.

    1) Failed Cole experiment
    2) Failed Pisani experiment despite the fact Pouliot has held his fort on the 3rd line when given a shot
    3) Failure to put the leading powerplay goal scorer on the 1st unit
    4) Silly behavior to ”reward” role players. What the hell were Moreau, Pisani, and Penner doing on the PP with 3 minutes left in the game?
    5) Retaining the clueless title when it comes to handling goaltenders.

    I haven’t been on the ”Fire MacT” bandwagon – but it’s time to move on. I also believe Katz has him on a short leash.

    Which is good; accountability is never a bad thing.

  106. Dennis says:

    Slipper: I’m a bit of a 51 fan myself as well. Lots of folks ignored his GAON60 while pimping him for the 3rd line pivot job but I was one if the first I believe to point out how last season the guy had a knack for getting in the right position to score. He wasn’t lighting a lot of lamps but he was going to the right spots enough to think it wasn’t a coincidence.

    I also like that him and 78 have some chem where one guy will dump for the other to chase and then the dumper will go hang out in the slot. It hasn’t worked a lot but they’ve had some close calls like the game in Ana. I think that combo would be going well if they had a real linemate to flesh them out but as it is they’re getting lost because MacT’s made a full commitment to the Kids plus that awful 18-34-26 line.

    I saw awful because they got their asses kicked again tonight. 18 sniped a PK goal off a nice 34 feed but those guys are taking it in the can.

  107. Ribs says:

    Pboy – I’m onboard with pretty much everything you’re saying minus the lineups.

  108. Bruce says:

    Bruce: Torres said he would not have took that high shot if Stortini was in the line-up because it would’ve resulted in repeated huggings.

    The whole point of SMac was to provide a deterrent that Stortini supposedly wasn’t providing. Except when Boogaard, Regehr and Lapointe gooned Hemsky, Zack fought each of them twice. Whereas MacIntyre hasn’t so much as issued a stern warning to the cheap shot artists that have knocked three teammates out of games. Admittedly it’s hard to do that from the end of the bench where he is firmly lodged after the first period of every game. So what good is he doing?

  109. Ribs says:

    So what good is he doing?

    ..About the same as Georges was. Common denominator, MacT.

  110. Scott says:

    So what good is he doing?

    I think that his value is all psychological. Regardless of whether or not the players are actually safer, guys like Hemsky, Horcoff, Gagner feel safer. I obviously don’t know whether or not that’s true, but I can’t think of any reason for the change in philosophy from last year to this year.

  111. RiversQ says:

    I hope the Oil send the Torres tape to the league, that was a flat-out gratuitous head shot.

    This is just nuts.

    I’m not sure you should be watching the games Bruce, if you’re getting that worked. You’re an old guy, think of your heart… you know, the one that MacT and Stortini broke this year?

  112. Bruce says:

    Do Grebs and Smid feel safer too?

  113. Bruce says:

    RQ: 1) I’m a fan, I’m allowed to vote with my heart. 2) I am sick and fucking tired of seeing our guys get concussions without any consequences, not even a minor penalty to the bad guys. So call me a senile old goat all you want if it makes you feel better … I feel better when I rant and rave a little in my dotage.

  114. RiversQ says:

    PunjabiOil said…

    Which is good; accountability is never a bad thing.

    Oh man, that’s rich.

    Oilers hockey is synonymous with zero front office accountability. They’ve got a good 15 yrs of tradition in that regard.

    Sometimes “Once an Oiler, always an Oiler” gets taken far too literally.

    All that said, I think it’s way too bipolar to jump all over MacT. All the relatively minor complaints listed above won’t change the fact that CBJ wiped the floor with them tonight AND IT’S ONLY ONE GAME.

  115. St George says:

    4) Continues to play Roloson who has been very, very average.

    Vintage MacT. For some reason, he insists on playing him a game or two more than he should when he has “cooled off”. Now, I guess we don’t see what is going on in practice, but it has been the same thing the past 2 years. Roli has a few good games, then he needs to play poorly for a few before MacT responds.

    That said, that wasn’t the straw tonight …

  116. RiversQ says:

    Bruce, that was a pretty incidental head shot. I know the pros have their dirty little tricks, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t one of them. Torres tried a little swim move to get inside of Smid and caught him on the way over – just bad damn Oiler blueliner luck IMHO.

  117. spOILer says:

    Dennis, it’ll be interesting to see if MacT shakes it up a bit for tomorrow night. He sounds mad enough. Would he throw the lines into frappe with the short turnaround? Or just switch up netminders? He doesn’t really have the personnel to bench anyone. I think he’ll stand pat for one more game, see if the players react to tonight’s loss with a more disciplined effort.

    I understand his patience in wanting to give the 3rd line time to learn on the job, create chemistry etc, but it’s got to be getting close to time to give up. Still, they were on pace for 97 points while experimenting, so it’s not really costing them a whole lot. Yet.

    BTW, Pisani’s FO %ages have been up and down all 12 games so far. There’s some match-ups he can win, some he can’t. 7 for 13 tonight.

    Still surprises me when I see him circling behind the defensive net a la Horc or Peca. I keep wanting to shout at the TV, “you’re out of position ya stupid right winger!”

    As for Brodz, if you ask MJ I was comparing him to a young Horc virtually from the beginning of last season, even when he was playing on Cogs’ right side (2nd line was 89-12-34 at the time). First time I did it on the interweb was Feb 17.

  118. Bruce says:

    Torres tried a little swim move to get inside of Smid and caught him on the way over – just bad damn Oiler blueliner luck IMHO.

    We can sure agree on that last part. i;d have to see it again, I just remember being pissed off at the time, but on nights like tonight, it doesn’t take much to piss me off. :(

    Listening to the tape delay broadcast, I have a new idea for TSN. They could hire 40 colour commentators, one for each player on the two (2) teams. McGuire’s got Nash covered …

  119. spOILer says:

    Accountability for game play should be on the players. When one of us has a bad game, do we blame the coach? Or ourselves? We know who fucked up.

    PunjabiOil, tonight was bad game play.

  120. HBomb says:

    It’s been 12 games and Horcoff has 1 EV point. You’re only as good as your veterans so it’s not surprising to see the kids take a step back.

    Are you seriously blaming the kids struggles on Shawn Horcoff?

    Traktor, if you would enlighten us, with all due respect….just how fucking dense are you?

    The two things have NOTHING to do with each other. Gagner and Horcoff, as Vic has said many times, have the good underlying numbers to suggest they’re going to turn this around.

    The benefit of the doubt should be given, especially to Horcoff. The guy is a proven commodity.

    Other thoughts:

    - Dennis: nice call to Tencer.
    - This 44/71 PP shit has to end. It works at ES, somehow. On the PP? It sucks.
    - Moreau/Pisani/Penner on the PP in the 3rd? Fucking flashbacks to Marty Sakic on the PP in past years. This is why our PP is a fucking joke year after year – MacT uses it as a carrot for the grinders. Even on their shitty nights, guys like Gagner HAVE to be getting these minutes. End of story.
    - It was a chaotic 3rd, but Roloson’s rebound control has to be better. End of story.
    - Can we PLEASE get a natural center on the 3rd line?
    - Gilbert’s game is coming around.

  121. Dennis says:

    Slipper: I don’t really know at which point macT admits that some of his ideas aren’t working and when or if that happens, do we go in-house for the changes or does Tambellini begin the paperwork to see if Lowe will allow him to make a trade.

    Right now it’s a great time to be 78 or 51 because having three tenders means you’re only carrying 13 forwards and one of them is 33 and the other’s 46 so there’s no way both of you aren’t playing every night even if you’re only half-decent.

    The flipside is that because your coach is:

    - afraid putting 18 on the fourth line

    - cognizant of the optics of doing the same to the 4 million dollar a year offersheet man

    - wary to do that to one of the kids

    well it means you’re a 4th liner and that’s it.

    I noticed MacT tonight leaving out the kids vs Nash when he had a chance to get them off so he might be stubborn but he’s no dummy either. This is all part of the plan. No it’s whether it’s a good plan or not.

    The way I see things the 18-34-26 line is getting railed and it has to change. Sure, 18-34 connected for a SHG tonight but I had them at a combined 2/13 at EV SCF/A. Whether that’s a subjective stat or not it’s not like I’m out to screw these guys and bad things are happening when they’re on the ice; in Nsh they were a combined 6/21; vs Bos they were 7/21.

    SO, they’ve been together for five games and have gotten collectively killed in three of them.

    Where’s the cut-off date on that troika? Once we get that awnser then we’ll see how the rest goes.

    Personally, I’m putting 83 on his offwing considering he curls there all the time anyway and I’m going 83-10-26. I’ll keep the Kids together BUT I stop their development clock and I’ll use them like Caryle used to use Selanne where they are at the ready and fly over the bench just as soon as Iginla enters the Calgary rest area.

    Then I put together 18-78-34 and I give them the second toughest min. Finally, I have 27-51 to make up the 4th line and I’m not worried about 27 playing on the 4th line despite what his paystub says. But is that something macT gets pressured about?

    Who really knows.

    Besides, if the Oilers idea of a PP is to cater to 44 then it’s just as well to bring in 27 to provide screens.

  122. Jonathan says:

    @Spoiler – you too, eh? Brodziak reminds me of Horcoff in a bunch of little ways, but I thought I was the only one.

    Open question: is Garon injured? That’s the only possible explanation I have for Roloson’s playing time.

  123. HBomb says:

    Oh yeah, memo to anyone suggesting a trip to Springfield for Samwise: the kid is still 19 and has a year of junior eligibility left.

    They can’t sent him to Springfield. He’d have to go to London. And since his 7-year clock to UFA is running, that makes no sense whatsoever.

    I seem to remember Ales Hemsky being in the pressbox a ton during the 2004 feverish stretch run that died in Vancouver on the last Saturday of the season. That was his sophmore year. It wouldn’t hurt to give the kid a night off here and there to “ground” him (lord knows we’ve got Pouliot who is totally capable of top-six minutes), but that means a 4th line of MacIntyre-Brodziak-Stortini. You can’t have 33 and 46 in on the same night unless there’s special circumstances and you’re expecting total chaos.

  124. PunjabiOil says:

    All that said, I think it’s way too bipolar to jump all over MacT. All the relatively minor complaints listed above won’t change the fact that CBJ wiped the floor with them tonight AND IT’S ONLY ONE GAME.

    That would be a fair point; however, I’ve held these reservations throughout this season.

    The powerplay is another joke by itself. Given the talent and options, it should not be as bad as it is.

  125. Dennis says:

    Of course what I forgot to mention was that while the majority of the game is played at EV, you can help yourself by excelling at ST.

    The Oil got kiled tonight at EV but that’s been the exception thus far so I’m not gonna pretend like it’s a rule.

    So, let’s say tonight’s a one-off and the 18-34-26 line will come around and then we can talk about how the Oilers only created TWO chances Overall on their PP’s tonight. And yes they killed off a two man adv but they also allowed their obligitory goal as well.

    So, how is it that 13 gets one SH shift and he hits the post but he doesn’t get another crack on that unit? What’s going on there?

    I think we’re in better shape going forward at EV then on ST but I’d say most folks would saying were getting a lot out of a little at EV and the opposite is true on ST; or especially the PP.

  126. HBomb says:

    Dennis: the weird thing is, before the season, the general consensus was that this team would struggle at ES and would have to ride an improved PP and usually-strong PK while they dealt with some potential “growing pains”, right?

    Well, here we are a dozen games in – the ES performance hasn’t been bad by any means, but the PP is horribly inconsistent and predictable and the usually strong PK has gone to total shit.

  127. Bruce says:

    Just saw the winner on TSN2 and I just want to throw up. Godawful play. What fucked Sam up was Torres coming out of the box, that was why the D had to back off and Torres wound up being the odd man in the 3-on-2. Roli did whack the ice to warn of the impending expiry of the penalty, but Sam wasn’t listening/paying attention/aware of the situation and made a horrible play.

    Worse though was the amateurish attempt that Roli made to stop the first shot, it should have been an easy catch but he flopped forward and fought the puck and somehow let the thing drop out of his glove and was completely out to lunch on the rebound. I had a goalie in Tier 5 bantam that tried to stop shots like that. He wasn’t too successful either.

    Then the kid at the other end showed him how it should be done by keeping his goddam cool and making a big save in the last minute. I’m a hard marker on goalies, that game was there for Roli to win at 4-2, and he didn’t get it done. Three garbage goals, not all his fault by any means, it was a massive fustercluck out there, but a Big save would have been nice.

  128. spOILer says:

    Bruce & HBomb: not Roli's best game by any stretch. Far too much flopping like a fish histrionics, he was too deep on a lot of shots, and the rebound control wasn't always there.

    Dennis: As you said before, MacT is obviously treating this part of the season like it's development time (which I don't necessarily disagree with, it's early days). I doubt this would be the same EV lines, match-ups, and ST personnel, if it was the stretch drive. And 4LW/1PP is probably where I would have Penner too. Ever since Hemmer decided to be a goal scorer about 4-5 games ago, whenever he has the space crossing the blue line, he seems to go to the off-wing. So I agree, let's line him up there and bring Cole up to 1RW, see what happens.

    I have liked the fact that MacT has given the kids tougher ice time this year, and sophomore slump or not, I've been pretty happy with their performance this year. Gagner just needs a goal or two.

    Pittsburgh is 6-4-2, not a whole lot better, with only 25 goals in their first 11 before exploding for 6 against St Loo. Naturally since we're on the 2nd half of a B2B, they're coming off a 4 day break.

    BTW, Slipper is some other guy.

  129. spOILer says:

    As for 18-34 on the PP. 10-83 had been out for a minute and a half already.

    Cogliano and Gagner were getting destroyed in the FO dot, and Peca was out to take the FO, which Pisani won. They had Penner with them, and probably would’ve been better served by a playmaker (12 or 89) and then have Moreau standing in Penner’s spot in the crease. Be easy to say 27-89-34, too but Moreau has been on fire, why not go with the hot hand. Every coach does so for frick’s sake.

    And before the PP ended, MacT came back with 10-83 again.

    Not all that bizarre really.

  130. Schitzo says:

    As you said before, MacT is obviously treating this part of the season like it’s development time (which I don’t necessarily disagree with, it’s early days). I doubt this would be the same EV lines, match-ups, and ST personnel, if it was the stretch drive

    Except a fucking NHL coach shouldn’t have to be told that 2 points in November counts just the same as 2 in March.

    I guess the coach is resigned to this being another development year.

  131. Dennis says:

    Where’s the magic cut-off date where you stop the developing though? At what point do you admit that 34 doesn’t work as a centre; or at least he doesn’t in the reality that any line he’s pivoting gets owned chances wise?

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