Oilers at Blues, G22/08-09

This is Glenn Hall. I’ve always thought he should be in the conversation when people talk about the greatest goalies all-time. If they gave me a vote (and they don’t) my list of greatest goalies would include Hall, Sawchuk, Plante, Roy and Hasek.

I think Hasek is probably the greatest goalie who ever lived but among the old guard it seems Sawchuk’s fame and legend increases every year at the expense of Hall (and Plante to a certain extent).

The numbers suggest Glenn Hall was a magnificent goalie, and (unlike Sawchuk and Plante from his era) played much of his career for an organization that was not deemed a powerhouse before his arrival. I wonder how Hall’s numbers would stack up if the Wings had decided to keep him instead of dumping him off and re-acquiring Sawchuk.

For old guys like me, the St. Louis Blues have always had a personality. They were good out of the box, unlike Oakland or Pittsburgh. They’ve been a playoff team for many, many seasons of their existence (the Blues missed the playoffs three times between 1967 and 2004 and all three of the misses where in the 1970′s).

I like what they’re building in St. Louis. Former Ottawa draft guru Jarmo Kekalainen has been putting in solid work over the last few years and the kids are alright and arriving by the bucketload. David Perron, Patrick Berglund and TJ Oshie are having an impact (it looks to me like they dealt Stempniak this week to make room for the kids) and that big defender Erik Johnson is going to be something else again (he’s out for the season with an injury).

The Blues have had their share of heartbreak, none more painful than the Bob Gassoff tragedy. They’ve had good (never great) teams but I think they’re building in the right direction.

We’ve gnawed away on the MacTavish angle like a dog with a bone the last few days, so let’s talk nuts and bolts. According to the online newspapers, the kid line is on notice and the word is that Schremp may be the next callup if the offensive woes continue. Brodziak draws in and will center Moreau and Cole on the 3line and Zack Truck will be back on the 4line with I’d guess Liam Reddox and Pouliot. Ladislav Smid is (I’d think) likely to play the blue today.

Huge weekend for this team. The management and ownership have come to the coach’s rescue, but if the losses keep coming in waves something’s gotta give.

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432 Responses to "Oilers at Blues, G22/08-09"

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  1. Black Dog says:

    LT – do you think Smid draws in in place of Strudwick? Or is Grebs out?

    Brule was also mentioned along with Schremp.

    I think concerted efforts are required in both games this weekend or we will know where this is headed. Personally I think they will come out blazing today and then sag again tomorrow.

  2. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Yeah, I read the Schremp quote and knew there was a second name but couldn’t find it. Thanks for mentioning Brule.

    I think Smid draws in to replace Grebeshkov. Strudwick is a veteran, I imagine MacT wants as many of them as possible. If Grebs is healthy then the candidates to sit if Smid plays LW would be Pouliot and Reddox (based on the newspaper).

    I agree they’ll come out with all kinds of effort today. They should win this game, but we’ve been saying that for awhile. Staying out of the GD box would be a nice helper.

  3. HBomb says:

    Christ almighty, they gave that 18-78-26 line a grand total of ONE game before switching the center?

    Can they not stick with things for five games at least and see how it pans out? No wonder Cole’s struggling, it’s a different linemate every game lately.

  4. Matt says:

    I think it would be hilarious if a Schremp callup/scoring binge saved MacT’s job. The heads of about 30-40% of Oiler fans would implode in on themselves.

  5. HBomb says:

    I think it would be hilarious if a Schremp callup/scoring binge saved MacT’s job. The heads of about 30-40% of Oiler fans would implode in on themselves.

    I think it would be closer to eighty percent. Two groups of 40% for entirely different reasons.

  6. Coach pb9617 says:

    Can they not stick with things for five games at least and see how it pans out?

    When you’ve got management in danger of losing their jobs, there is no horizon.

    If it doesn’t work today, the lines will change again tomorrow.

  7. oilerdago says:

    LT – love the Glen Hall photo, but would add one more goalie to your mix – Ken Dryden. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the Habs dynasty ended with his retirement (and Lemaire).

    Would be nice if they come out with a lot of energy today and made someone pay. If Smid draws in and Grebs out, what are the D pairings?

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think Smid draws in to replace Grebeshkov. Strudwick is a veteran, I imagine MacT wants as many of them as possible.

    Smid should replace Staios based on performance.

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    If Smid draws in and Grebs out, what are the D pairings?

    Souray and Gilbert
    Lubo and Smid
    Strudwick and Suck

  10. Lowetide says:

    Re: Dryden. I never include him because of Bernie Parent. As God is my witness the period of time Parent arrived in Philly the second time until the eye injury was the best I’d ever seen a goalie play.

    Hasek changed that, but Parent was better than Dryden at his peak (imo) and had a longer career. That Flyer blueline was tough and smart but they weren’t gifted like the Habs blue.

    Parent and Dryden qualify in terms of peak value but the other were tremendous and had sustain.

    Bernie Parent’s best comp in sports is Sandy Koufax. The ’63-’66 Koufax is a spot on match for Parent ’73-76.

  11. HBomb says:

    Kevin Lowe seems to have had good timing in the past when maximizing assets with regards to aging defensemen. Janne Niinimaa and Jason Smith are two prime examples.

    I think he may have missed out on doing the same with Steve Staios this past summer, but given the utter lack of depth on the Oiler blueline, he probably had his reasons.

    2.7 million cap hit for a 5/6 d-man is steep. And that’s what Staios is now.

    If only we had kept Jan Hejda….

  12. Clarkenstein says:

    LT… not that I’ve ever been a big admirer of him but if I needed one goaler in a game 7 I would pick Martin Brodeur. I think he truly discourages the other team by the time the 3rd period rolls around. Go back and look at the big games he’s played in and see how many times he’s given up one goal or less. Of course, as time goes on the legends of the game seem more iconic don’t they?

  13. HBomb says:

    I’m fully with Clarkenstein on this one: Brodeur HAS to be in the greatest goalie discussion.

    And if it’s the “I need to win one game and I have to pick a goalie” debate, Grant Fuhr’s on that short-list, without question.

  14. Coach pb9617 says:


    2.7 million cap hit for a 5/6 d-man is steep. And that’s what Staios is now.

    If only we had kept Jan Hejda….

    Gilbert – Souray
    Hedja – Lubo
    Strudwick/Smid – Grebs/Smid

    That ain’t half bad.

  15. bookie says:

    Glad to see Brodziak drawing in, I felt like he has been the whipping boy here for little reason. I am not saying that he has been flying out there, but I don’t think he has had an adequate opportunity to get going (not enough TOI).

    Any, I await the game with great trepidation as I am equally convinced that they are going to come out and dominate OR they are going to be lethargic and pathetic.

    I have no clue as to which it will be.

  16. HBomb says:

    Christ, I think that for Staios’ money, they could have tacked on 500K (so eliminate a replacement salary) and had Hejda AND Glencross on the roster.

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Nilsson Gagner Cogliano
    Glencross Pouliot Cole (!)
    Moreau Brodziak Stortini*

    Souray Gilbert
    Visnovsky Hejda
    Strudwick Smid

    *replaced by Pisani when healthy.

    Yeah, the veteran center thing would still be an issue, and the 3rd goalie would still be out there, but this team would probably be better off.

    For a guy who used to be all about finding value signings, especially on defense, Kevin Lowe has missed on two pretty good fastballs down Broadway the past two summers.

    It’s like when Sather went to New York and got an unlimited budget – everyone thought he’d build a Cup contender, easy, but it didn’t happen. But when the salary cap appeared and he had to start being responsible, look what happened.

    Even though he’s part of the management “team” now, Lowe needs to drive for this team to get back to finding “value buys”. Rather than chasing the super hot gold-digger at the bar (Hossa), find the nice girl with a super personality who prefers cooking dinner at home rather than you taking her to Ruth’s Chris and dropping $400 on dinner.

  17. Coach pb9617 says:

    Glad to see Brodziak drawing in, I felt like he has been the whipping boy here for little reason. I am not saying that he has been flying out there, but I don’t think he has had an adequate opportunity to get going (not enough TOI).

    He should be in the ballgame for no other reason that his ability to get left-handed hitters out.

    I mean, his PK ability.

  18. bookie says:

    I am sure that many of you saw this previously but if you didn’t, its a great story about how Stony Plain renamed its home arena the Glen Hall arena.

    Glen Hall Arena

    I was not there, but I hear that it was just an amazing event.

  19. pboy says:

    The boys should come out with big efforts for both games this weekend. I think that’s all will take to save MacT’s job for a few weeks is the guys playing smart and going all out, I don’t think they need to win both to sway this management team. If for any reason, they look like they did against L.A., MacT is done. It will be apparent to everyone they have quit on him.

    I think you have to have Brodeur on any list of the top goalies of all time, no?

  20. spOILer says:

    Re: LH batting

    Coach, I think that’s why Staios stays in. They only have one other RH stick on D, no?

    Finally read the moster thread late last night…

    After the ON shenanigans in the comments, does anyone really want them to put up a blogroll?

    Great posts by Slipper and Louise.

  21. slipper says:

    Is this the first year that networks other than CBC have been allowed to broadcast hockey on Saturdays?

  22. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach, I think that’s why Staios stays in. They only have one other RH stick on D, no?

    Yeah, I supposed, but it’s like having Rob Deer in 1991 as your RH stick.

    Besides the Penguins made the cup finals last year with one RH D and he was a rookie. Play your best players. Maximize your chances to win.

    Unless you consider it a development year, of course.

  23. Jonathan says:

    RE: Staios

    For all of the fans upset that Lowe chose to hang on to Staios, it’s good to remember that last season he was the guy facing the toughest matchups and all the defensive zone draws, and he wasn’t doing too bad. I imagine the thinking was that if he could step back a little he’d be a dominant bottom-4 defenseman.

    Instead, he’s taken a big step back in responsibility and his numbers have fallen off a cliff. I don’t know if he’s hurt or if this ties into that personal issue he had mid-season, but it’s just a little bizarre.

  24. HBomb says:

    For all of the fans upset that Lowe chose to hang on to Staios, it’s good to remember that last season he was the guy facing the toughest matchups and all the defensive zone draws, and he wasn’t doing too bad. I imagine the thinking was that if he could step back a little he’d be a dominant bottom-4 defenseman.

    Instead, he’s taken a big step back in responsibility and his numbers have fallen off a cliff. I don’t know if he’s hurt or if this ties into that personal issue he had mid-season, but it’s just a little bizarre.

    Yes, that’s all very true. With Smith and Niinimaa, you could see hints of decline, but Staios might have had his best year as an Oiler last season.

    This year, however, he’s stepped into the elevator shaft. If there’s someone willing to take him at the deadline, Lowe will have to take the opportunity to send him along, because he’s signed up for two more years after this one, and that cap space could be used elsewhere.

  25. Clarkenstein says:

    Staios has been exposed more this year because we simply don’t spend enough time in the other teams end. How many times have we outshot the opposition this year? Most nights it’s a shooting gallery in our end. Remember, they only count the shots that hit the net. I’ll bet there are nights when there at least 50-60 attempts in our end. When you’ve lost a step like Staios has the results are glaring. Lowe has hung onto him too long. Nice guy and great in the room but there is just too much speed in todays’s game for a guy that was probably a 5-6 D man for the past couple years.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    and he wasn’t doing too bad. I imagine the thinking was that if he could step back a little he’d be a dominant bottom-4 defenseman.

    Yeah, I admit that I thought the same.

    I’m a bit worried though because once you have the falloff because of age, you rarely come back to prior performance.

  27. Traktor says:

    What’s the Bob Gassoff tragedy?

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don’t know if it was the Bob Gassoff tragedy. I think it was more of the Bob Gassoff’s wife and child tragedy.

    Short story, young hockey player with no motorcycle experience gets drunk and stupidly rides a motorcycle. He hits a car head on and dies, leaving a pregnant wife behind.

    Young men are so very, very stupid.

  29. Traktor says:

    That’s horrible. I wish I didn’t ask.

  30. doritogrande says:

    Perusing my usual sites this morning, and I see that Jordan Eberle got lit the fuck up by Kamloops last night. How does one manage to go -4 in a game?

    Afternoon games suck. I get to watch the first period, then go to work. And given how the Oilers are the suck in first periods, my co-workers are going to suffer some consequences today.

  31. Traktor says:

    Brodziak finally gets his first opportunity of the season today as he’s playing with Moreau and Cole. That line should be a bitch to play against.

  32. Doogie2K says:

    Is this the first year that networks other than CBC have been allowed to broadcast hockey on Saturdays?

    It seems that way. I was baffled when the Carolina game was also on RSN this year. Perhaps this is the NHL’s way of addressing the complaints that sometimes Canadian teams would be unavailable for Hockey Night because they were playing at 6 PM? Still doesn’t explain why CBC isn’t showing it, but at least it’s a reason why we’re already on Matinee #3 before the first of December.

    Perusing my usual sites this morning, and I see that Jordan Eberle got lit the fuck up by Kamloops last night. How does one manage to go -4 in a game?

    Meanwhile, it was a Goddamned shooting gallery here in Calgary. 9-7 Hitmen, in a game I had to miss because of work (we sent one of Mom’s coworkers instead). Plante was 0-0, +2, 6 PIM on two coincidental roughing minors and a slash. Undrafted guys I now champion signing: Bortis (3+1, -1, 0 PIM) and Kozun (0+3, -2, 4 PIM).

    And because the WHL’s online scorekeepers are “special,” Brandon Kozun is the first and third star. My question is, why not the second, too? Rocket Richard did it.

  33. Lord Bob says:

    Perusing my usual sites this morning, and I see that Jordan Eberle got lit the fuck up by Kamloops last night. How does one manage to go -4 in a game?

    Craig MacTavish called him the night before the game and gave him some tips.

  34. Lowetide says:

    From Hockey Draft Central:

    Gassoff was killed in a motorcycle accident on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 1977. He and his pregnant wife, Diane, had been invited to a postseason barbecue at teammate Garry Unger’s 200-acre farm near Gray Summit, Mo. At roughly 6 p.m., Gassoff joined several others in riding motorcycles around Unger’s property. Unger would later say he remembered wondering if it was a good idea for Gassoff to ride the motorcycle because he had been drinking and didn’t have any riding experience. Gassoff drove out of Unger’s property on a gravel road that merged into to a winding road leading up a hill to Villa Ridge, Mo. Gassoff wasn’t wearing a helmet and had no license plate on his motorcycle, so he decided to take a short run up the hill and come right back. On his way back down the hill, he collided head-on with a car driven by a man named Douglas Klekamp. The crash killed Gassoff, although Klekamp walked away uninjured. In October 1977, Gassoff’s widow filed a $3 million lawsuit against Unger, his wife, and Klekamp, whom the suit alleged was one of Unger’s employees running an errand for the Ungers. Unger describes Gassoff’s death as one of the most devastating moments of his life, and it played a major role in Unger’s decision to embrace Christian fundamentalism.

  35. Jonathan says:

    Brodziak finally gets his first opportunity of the season today as he’s playing with Moreau and Cole.

    And it’s about time. The HS was crap given how Brodziak has been used.

  36. rickibear says:

    “Perusing my usual sites this morning, and I see that Jordan Eberle got lit the fuck up by Kamloops last night. How does one manage to go -4 in a game?”

    Third game in three nights.(two in ADT)and then a late night flight to Kamloops.

  37. Coach pb9617 says:

    And it’s about time. The HS was crap given how Brodziak has been used.

    I would hope that Mac uses Moreau and Brodziak together on the PK if they’re going to be on the same line.

    Watch him use Brodziak with Penner or some dumb shit.

  38. Lowetide says:

    Erberle’s scoring rates are a little above one year ago but he should be better imo. He needs to get on a run here if he’s going to be on the WJC team.

  39. Traktor says:

    Lowetide: That’s heartbreaking. I refuse to read newspapers and watch the news because stuff like this finds a way to attach itself to me and bring me down.

    Jonathan: I agree. I can’t see how you play inspired and motivated hockey when your glued to Smack in a contract year.

  40. hwy16 says:

    BTW there is a biography of Glenn Hall called Mr Goalie – a good read supporting that he was one of the greatest. The book says that getting a lower GAA is more of a team thing than a goalie. Montreal played in front of Plante to get a low GAA. Chicago did not play that way and yet Hall had a great GAA.

  41. Jonathan says:

    Traktor:

    Yeah, that’s a huge part of it. That whole 4th line (Brodziak, Stortini, Pouliot) has been used in a way I’ve never seen MacT use a 4th line. I mean, it’s all well to complain that they aren’t creating offense, but Brodziak’s getting 1 offensive zone draw for every 3 defensive zone draws. Stortini’s a little better, at 2:5, and Pouliot’s 3:5, but all of them are getting put in a place where NHL careers go to die.

  42. HBomb says:

    Hitmen give up seven goals yet Plante still manages to go +2.

    Is it wrong to think that’s a pretty strong positive?

  43. slipper says:

    Willis: I believe it has as more to do with avoiding the bad match-up than anything else.

    Oilers have played 2/3 of their games on the road where the opposing coach has last change. So if MacT throws out any of those “4th liners” the other team’s coach is going to be licking his lips.

  44. doritogrande says:

    I like that 3rd jersey of the Blues.

  45. Doogie2K says:

    @HBomb: And the best part is, the PPGs turned out 4-1 Calgary, with Swift getting a shortie. So it’s really quite impressive that he and his partner (Seabrook the Younger, my whipping boy from last year) landed on the positive side of the ledger.

    Meanwhile, the Blues class up the joint with the thirds. I liked them a bit better in still pics, but it’s still a nice modern-retro look.

  46. doritogrande says:

    Roli again.

  47. HBomb says:

    Yeah, the Blues 3rd is a good one. I’ve actually been quite impressed with the quality of the third jerseys right across the board this year.

    St. Louis is usually a death-trap for the Oilers. I remember the 3rd last game of the 2004 season and a 1-0 shutout for Chris Osgood putting a major dent into the Oilers playoff hopes. And I’m pretty sure CFP scored the only goal.

    The next night was a RARE regular season win in Dallas with MAB scoring the winnner in the 3rd. W

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    Roloson again, huh?

    Interesting.

  49. HBomb says:

    Once again, no Smid. The punching bag pairing of 24/43 goes again, and Grebeshkov plays.

  50. HBomb says:

    Barclay Plager has his #8 retired by the Blues.

    Question for the greybeards – who the fuck was Barclay Plager?

  51. Dennis says:

    anyone got an online link for this one? the rain’s fucking with my dish.

  52. doritogrande says:

    Um, can they really be considered “former oilers” if Woywitka and Stastny never played an NHL game for us?

  53. Black Dog says:

    graybeards – jesus

    one of three brothers, the others were Bob and another B.

    Two or all three were dmen, Barclay was the best.

    He was associated with the club right from 67, captain iirc, pretty good player

    I think he passed of cancer recently

  54. Doogie2K says:

    Well, I dunno about Woywitka, but Stastny definitely had a couple of games; three, to be exact.

  55. doritogrande says:

    Thanks BJ. Oilers Powerplay.

  56. Coach pb9617 says:

    Poor Smid. Kid’s done nothing but be damn good on defense this year and he’s somehow a whipping boy.

  57. Doogie2K says:

    From what I remember reading, the Plagers were also rough-and-tumble types, and had some pretty vicious scraps with each other, to boot.

    Also, what the fuck is Backes doing?

  58. Black Dog says:

    First trade, then maybe coach.

    Then I play again?

  59. Coach pb9617 says:

    Wow. You go Horc.

  60. Doogie2K says:

    Shouldn’t that really be an instigator? It seemed obvious to me that Horc wanted nothing to do with that scrap and only dropped his gloves several seconds (and a couple of punches) after Backes.

    This is why I hate the instigator. Not only does it reward the wrong behaviour at times, it gets applied really inconsistently.

  61. Black Dog says:

    Now will anyone go after Boyes?

    Nope.

  62. Coach pb9617 says:

    GAGNER STOP FUCKING DOING THAT GODDAMNIT

  63. HBomb says:

    graybeards – jesus

    BDHS, you know I’m just fuckin’ with you guys.

    I do not think Horcoff wanted to fight Backes. Somehow I think he’s having a meet and greet with Moreau or Souray later.

    Shitty power-play. And St. Louis scores shortly thereafter. And away we go….

  64. Doogie2K says:

    Christ.

    Horrible puckhandling by Staios on that.

  65. Bob Arctor says:

    Game is here:

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    nice work Staios. Why is Smid in the box again?

  67. PunjabiOil says:

    Have the Oilers even registered a shot on goal?

  68. Schitzo says:

    Fucking staios, how did he let that hit him in the skates like that?

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    First trade, then maybe coach.

    Then I play again?

    Hm. Third year guy is a vet?

  70. Lord Bob says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, the Craig MacTavish “Throw Crap at the Wall and See What Sticks” Experience!

  71. Doogie2K says:

    /headdesk

    Pouliot in fucking no-man’s-land and no one takes Backlund.

  72. doritogrande says:

    I feel terribly sorry for those I have to work with today.

    Fucking Oilers. Oh look, it’s off Staios too.

  73. Schitzo says:

    Real men go -2 in the first 8 minutes

  74. HBomb says:

    2-0 St. Louis. Staios and Strudwick, again.

    Craig MacTavish, dead man walking.

  75. Jonathan says:

    Nice goal, Roli.

  76. slipper says:

    Christ.

    Nice coverage by Cole on that first goal, eh. Dirty rat.

  77. Black Dog says:

    didn’t catch that hbomb, I just crapped myself

    age you know

    plus the Oilers suck

    ok so once again what does this say about being prepared and our favourite topic these days

  78. doritogrande says:

    Thank you Zach Stortini.

  79. HBomb says:

    After Horcoff got his butt kicked by Backes, shouldn’t Moreau grab one of St. Louis’ Euro-rookies and beat the shit out of him?

    Nice rush by Pouliot.

  80. Doogie2K says:

    Pouliot with the chance then Stortini goes after Tkachuk.

    Maybe there is hope…

  81. Lowetide says:

    Barclay Plager was in exactly the same spot as Bill White who we’ve talked about when expansion came in 1967. I’d have to look it up but believe the Rangers traded him (maybe in the Gary Sabourin deal to get Rod Seiling back) to St. Louis.

    He was a shot blocker, heart and soul fighter and along with brother Bob they were pretty much smash mouth hockey for several seasons in St. Louis.

    And the team went to the Stanley 3 years running so he became pretty famous.

    Brother Billy was more of an offensive player who got caught in various systems (Montreal for one) and his skill set didn’t match the reputation. I’ve got old Hockey NOW! types of magazines that talk about “younger brother Billy is another tough Plager” and I’m sure he was tough enough but he was a little better actual player but didn’t have the career.

    Anyway, you can always tell how good these U.S. markets are for hockey because some stay afterwards and some get the hell out of there.

    St. Louis has always been a welcoming place for hockey players. Bernie Federko is still there doing color.

  82. Chris says:

    I’m seeing LT’s next musical interlude for the blog being “New Orleans is sinking and I don’t want to swim”

  83. Coach pb9617 says:

    Staios and Strudwick are an abomination.

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    Eh, it’s mostly Staios.

  85. RiversQ says:

    Looks like they’re getting killed on matchups early. I think I’ve seen the Perron line out against the bottom six on every shift. Maybe I should say middle six. With the kid line this team has a bottom nine forwards.

  86. HBomb says:

    BDHS….if you’re under 55, you’re young.

    Anyone my dad’s age or greater is what I consider “old”. I’m 26 and two of my closest golfing buddies are 36 and 52 respectively.

    Stortini, say away from Tkachuk. If you thought Owen Nolan had “old man power”, you haven’t seen anything yet.

  87. Lowetide says:

    No passengers today. A few didn’t make the trip, though.

  88. Lord Bob says:

    I’m at work and trying to start up a “na-na-na-na, na nana, hey hey hey, goodbye” chant for Mactavish.

    Not working.

  89. doritogrande says:

    At least Staios knows his place on this team now.

  90. Coach pb9617 says:

    Good work Staios. Can’t hold the point on a simple play and then take the stupid penalty.

    Steve Staios has had a banner start to this one.

  91. bookie says:

    Both goals had some very poor defensive play, but I think that an NHL goalie should be able to get a leg on that first one, and should not be laying 5 feet east of the net for the second one. We can’t win when we keep riding a goalie who’s decent save percentage is based upon giving up 1-3 rebounds on every shot.

  92. RiversQ says:

    Lord Bob is so clever. I love his work.

  93. Lowetide says:

    The first shift featured the top line not touching the puck and the other side with plenty of jump.

    And to my eye MacT isn’t line matching anymore.

  94. HBomb says:

    Ok, so Staios cross checked someone from behind on Wednesday and then elbows Perron in the head.

    He can’t do anything else, so he’s trying to appeal to the Oilers management flavor of the year: playing dirty.

    St. Louis powerplay…..they’ll score here. Guaranteed.

  95. doritogrande says:

    Anyone else notice Staios didn’t have his tie-down done up?

  96. Coach pb9617 says:

    Penner on the PK.

    Mac doesn’t care about his job at this point.

  97. Chris says:

    The Kid line has been so uninspired this year. Perhaps its time to give Shremp and Brule both a shot as two thirds of a revamped kid line. If nothing else it would be some new bodies for the MacT blender as what we’re doing now sure isn’t working.

  98. Lord Bob says:

    Lord Bob is so clever. I love his work.

    The game’s bad, but it’s not so bad as to make me look good by comparison.

    For some reason, I hear some voice whispering into my ear to slag Horcoff too. Must fight it…

  99. HBomb says:

    Anyone else notice Staios didn’t have his tie-down done up?

    Getting Staios tossed would be a blessing at this point.

  100. bookie says:

    LT-Yep, he is no longer line matching. The best I can muster is that MacT is totally lost with what is happing. Old tricks no longer work and he can’t learn new ones.

  101. Coach pb9617 says:

    If nothing else it would be some new bodies for the MacT blender as what we’re doing now sure isn’t working.

    At this rate, the Blender will be sent to the yard sale Monday morning.

  102. Jonathan says:

    The Kid line has been so uninspired this year. Perhaps its time to give Shremp and Brule both a shot as two thirds of a revamped kid line.

    Schremp – Cogliano – Potulny.

    HS for both Gagner and Nilsson – both deserve it, although Gagner more at this point.

  103. RiversQ says:

    Nice ok – was there a shot?

  104. Doogie2K says:

    I’ve seen it a couple of times now, but when did the NHL enact the rule about changing sweaters for blood? Besides the classic Rocket Richard and Jacques Plante pictures, I recall seeing Wendel Clark in the celebraton reel last weekend with a bloodied-up jersey at one point.

  105. Deans says:

    Ok Ok if they fight they are definatly not the rat… or maybe if they fight they are compensating for the unconsious guilt that has resulted from throwing MacT under the bus.

    Come to think of it, I have no clue who the rat is.

  106. Lowetide says:

    For those who don’t remember Gary Smith, that’s how he played goal.

  107. Jonathan says:

    And as soon as I say that, Cogliano gets hurt. Figures.

  108. bookie says:

    My God, look at Roli sliding all over the place…grrr.

    Whomever replaces MacT better be likable and quickly get the respect of the team because I fear that there could be a split between the MacT guys on the team and the non-MacT guys.

  109. doritogrande says:

    Cogliano didn’t look too good there.

    How close is Missoura to Springfielf?

  110. slipper says:

    As if Cole didn’t deliberatley deflext that shot wide. Rat.

  111. Jonathan says:

    Speaking of which, what does Cogliano need to do to get on the PK? He’s blazing fast and now he blocks shots to boot.

    Stupid Gagner/Penner.

  112. Lowetide says:

    I think you just jump on the Monorail.

  113. doritogrande says:

    Stortini’s going to sleep well tonight. He’s been the most visible Oiler so far.

  114. godot10 says:

    //I’ve seen it a couple of times now, but when did the NHL enact the rule about changing sweaters for blood? Besides the classic Rocket Richard and Jacques Plante pictures, I recall seeing Wendel Clark in the celebraton reel last weekend with a bloodied-up jersey at one point.//

    Since HIV entered the public lexicon.

  115. Tyler says:

    How close is Missoura to Springfielf?

    I’m pretty sure that there is A Springfield in Missouri.

  116. bookie says:

    Looks like a decent 4th line – hitting, chances, and energy. Maybe Reddox can be a Glencross?

  117. Tyler says:

    I love when you can tell that the play by play guy is dropping references to the game notes. “Gilbert, back to pick it up. He has 36 blocked shots this season.”

  118. Jonathan says:

    Way to play the 2-on-1, Gilbert.

  119. Chris says:

    I agree with you there Jonathan, I think Cogliano has been the one of the three kids whose been plaing the most consistent hockey and he deserves to stay in the line up.

    Potulny probably deserves a shot too if this non-sense continues.

    Wow..Roloson with the Grant Fuhresque save.

  120. doritogrande says:

    Jesus what a save.

    That was Tkachuk’s 1000th point right there in a wide open net.

  121. Doogie2K says:

    @Godot: That actually makes a lot of sense. It’s not the only blood-borne pathogen by a longshot, but it’s the one everyone knows now. The cynic in me thought it was just a TV/image thing.

    And Roli with the save on the 2-on-1. That would’ve been game over right there.

  122. Tyler says:

    If the Oilers win this game and save MacT’s job, that Roli save will be the Cheechoo 2006 G3 save.

  123. Coach pb9617 says:

    The game calms significantly with Staios in the box. Amazing that.

    And there is Horpensky with a really nice shift.

  124. bookie says:

    Roli stopped it, but threw the puck right back to the Blues…lucky he didnt pop it by!

  125. Lord Bob says:

    I actually like seeing a bit of ice time for the kids in this situation. If anybody’s got the skill and the motivation to show something, it’s those three, and they should be flying over the boards.

    I at least see the argument in abandoning much line matching at this stage of the game: you’ve got to get something going and get them fired up, and the same ol’ clearly isn’t doing it.

  126. Deans says:

    Not going to lie, a part of me wanted that to go in.

  127. Baroque says:

    I’m guessing the “changing a bloody jersey” thing goes along with a greater awareness of blood borne pathogens. Pretty standard workplace practices everywhere, not just in labs or hospitals.

  128. Tyler says:

    Their shift right after the last Blues PP was a good one too coach. I really think that the coach should just put them together and leave them together. Fine, scream at Penner to drop twenty pounds but he is what he is at this point.

    What with Cole and Lupul, this team seems to have a real problem with acquiring big ticket players for whom they have no real spot in the lineup, in the sense that there just aren’t appropriate linemates for them to play wiht.

  129. HBomb says:

    Way to play the 2-on-1, Gilbert.

    And here’s me, about to post a comment about how Gilbert might be the best Oilers d-man the last couple weeks.

    Great save by Roloson.

    Now if MacT TRULY did not pick favorites, we would have seen a Staios HS’d for Smid by now. The guy has been a new level of shit lately.

  130. Doogie2K says:

    @Baroque: And you’d think I’d have thought of that myself, since I work in two different labs that deal with biohazardous material (one has blood and saliva; the other has animal muscle tissue)

  131. bookie says:

    I think its pretty bad when a goalie makes a decent NHL level save and everybody acts like it was some kind of miracle. I guess these are the new standards for the Oil.

    Sorry for ranting, I will hold off on commenting for while until the bitter in me settles a bit.

  132. HBomb says:

    What with Cole and Lupul, this team seems to have a real problem with acquiring big ticket players for whom they have no real spot in the lineup, in the sense that there just aren’t appropriate linemates for them to play wiht.

    Bingo. Wouldn’t be a problem if Ales Hemsky was a LW, but….

  133. Jonathan says:

    HBomb: Yeah, Gilbert’s been pretty good this season.

    Besides, if Strudwick hadn’t let that pass go right through him, Gilbert’s pinch wouldn’t have looked so bad.

  134. Tyler says:

    Sorry for ranting, I will hold off on commenting for while until the bitter in me settles a bit.

    You should also reconsider your definition of “decent NHL level save”.

  135. Baroque says:

    @Doogie2K:

    Hah! More safety meetings for you are obviously called for! :)

  136. HBomb says:

    Ok, we’re now 22 games into the regular season, and I think you can count the number of “good” first periods the Oilers have had on one hand, and you’d probably have a thumb and a couple fingers left over.

    Seriously, this is getting beyond embarrassment.

  137. Black Dog says:

    bookie – it was a nice save but Boyes hesitated, if he just shoots it, its in

    well, 2-0 in another game where you would expect a bit more

    I don’t think they fire MacT myself, I would bet on him resigning

  138. doritogrande says:

    After a period like that, I’m actually looking forward to going to work instead of watching the rest.

    Hope no one has a heart-attack. Keep the pacemaker batteries handy greybeards.

  139. Doogie2K says:

    @Baroque: What can I say, I try to forget work as soon as I get home. ;)

  140. RiversQ says:

    Jonathan said…
    Speaking of which, what does Cogliano need to do to get on the PK? He’s blazing fast and now he blocks shots to boot.

    Let’s start with doubling his faceoff ability and then buying a clue in his own end.

    Starting the PK with an own-zone faceoff makes PK players like Cogliano much less useful than before. I agree he’s useful when the play is down ice but as soon as they’re setup in your zone, he’s a liability.

  141. Deans says:

    Coach: nice picture, Roli is looking as creepy as ever.

  142. HBomb says:

    HBomb: Yeah, Gilbert’s been pretty good this season.

    A lot of people were dumping on him earlier, but I don’t think many people realize how hard it is to drag a 200 pound lead weight with “37″ painted on the side around the ice with you.

    I’ll say it again – deal off Grebeshkov prior to the deadline and try to have some money in the kitty for a UFA offer to one Mike Komisarek next summer. You’d have a shutdown pairing for the next decade.

  143. Doogie2K says:

    And I’m also out for some errands this afternoon. Hopefully, I have a decent hockey game on the PVR when I get home.

  144. Chris says:

    Is anyone else getting the impression that there is a high likelihood that Staois is going to be the first contract the Oilers bury in the AHL?

  145. Asiaoil says:

    LT – like I’ve been saying – MacT looks bored, angry, confused and resigned to his fate – seems to me like he just doesn’t give a rat’s ass anymore.

    Guess Garon has the “Peeters flu” again and Smid must have tortured MacT cat over the summer. Just how many ways can you put together an ineffective lineup in one season?

  146. Schitzo says:

    It looked phenomenal, but I think Boyes pretty much shot it into his glove.

  147. Kish says:

    “I don’t think they fire MacT myself, I would bet on him resigning”

    Weird, my wife (very casual fan) walks by, watches a minute or two, and says the same thing. He looks unhappy, but not in a “we’re playing bad, but i’m gonna get us out of this” way, more in a distancing himself sort of way.

  148. Deans says:

    Bingo. Wouldn’t be a problem if Ales Hemsky was a LW, but….

    What a selfish bastard.

    I would add Sykora to that list. Eventhough he couldnt play a lick of D, his second half was a major bust.

  149. Chris says:

    Brian Burke just compared himself to the Pope…

  150. RiversQ says:

    Nice period from Stortini. Have to give him credit when he plays this hard.

    Still, all that try in the period and he still gets a GA where he failed to get out to the point quick enough.

    There are things to like about his game, but it just doesn’t look like he’s got the tools to make it happen.

  151. Black Dog says:

    Brian Burke is GM of the Leafs? Really?

    That came out of the blue.

    Leafs are an iconic brand around the world?

    Holy Smokes the hyperbole.

    What a bunch of losers. God I hate MLSE.

  152. Coach pb9617 says:

    Their shift right after the last Blues PP was a good one too coach. I really think that the coach should just put them together and leave them together. Fine, scream at Penner to drop twenty pounds but he is what he is at this point.

    In the threads from the last two days, that’s exactly what I said as well. If you want to win now, you give him the minutes and feud with him. Like Weaver and Palmer.

  153. Iztok says:

    This is the first time since the George Burnett era where there’s no emotion or personal outrage after each Oiler GA.

  154. Deans says:

    In my opinion Stortini has no buisness being in the NHL, however, he seems to be the only player who is visibly working his ass off. Hopefully that kind of effort can motiviate other players to get it going.

  155. RiversQ says:

    Asiaoil said…

    Guess Garon has the “Peeters flu” again and Smid must have tortured MacT cat over the summer. Just how many ways can you put together an ineffective lineup in one season?

    I don’t know, this is pretty much the lineup every one has been asking for with the one exception of Smid and contrary to popular belief his numbers haven’t been exceptional. (Well, except for the SV% behind him, but that’s not worth hanging your hat on.)

    As for Roloson, he has not been playing poorly during this stretch. The Oilers have not lost points due to goaltending all year by my estimation. They certainly have not lost a game they deserved to win based on the balance of play and the scoring chances.

  156. mcmatterson says:

    Thank you very much for the link, Bob Arctor.

  157. Chris says:

    I think right now the reaction to Oilers goals against is dissapointment but a complete lack of being surprised.

  158. mc79hockey says:

    I don’t think they fire MacT myself, I would bet on him resigning

    Maybe I just take no pride in what I do, but if I had a contract for another year (he’s signed through 09-10, right?) at $1MM or thereabouts and I’d get paid if you fired me but not if I quit…well, sir, I wouldn’t be resigning.

  159. RiversQ says:

    Iztok said…
    This is the first time since the George Burnett era where there’s no emotion or personal outrage after each Oiler GA.

    Oh the drama!!!

    You guys should put on mustaches and ruffled shirts and start a telenovella.

    That wasn’t a period lacking effort.

  160. bookie says:

    The coaching reminds me of the Ron Low era.

    Any thoughts on who might replace MacT?

  161. Schitzo says:

    hbomb: With Gagner and Cogliano raises, plus whatever the heck happens with the salary cap, I don’t see any big offers in our future for Komi

  162. Coach pb9617 says:


    Let’s start with doubling his faceoff ability and then buying a clue in his own end.

    So put him on the wing on the PK with Brodziak.

  163. honkey says:

    When did the Oilers last have an odd man rush?
    It must have been last year, cant rember it anyway.
    Well a positive thing today is that Omark picked up an assist and extended his point streak to 10 games. SEL record is currently 12 games.

  164. Showerhead says:

    Well, that period kind of sucked. For one, nobody put the Blues’ player’s face through the ice after he piled onto Roloson for the game opening penalty. Maybe the players on the ice foresaw Roli’s play for the rest of the period. Maybe I was just out for blood at the time.

    As for the “huge” glove save, I have to take issue with those who are proclaiming it to be miraculous or even excellent. I’m going to go ahead and say that for more than half of the goalies in the NHL, their lateral movement is good enough for that same shot to hit them in the crest. Between how slow he moved over to make the save (which, from a glove only perspective, was pretty freaking sweet) and how slowly he recovered during that defensive clusterfuck of a second goal, I’d say he’s pretty much done for a while. I didn’t think Garon was hot shit either and so this is the first time I’ll say it (yes, I’m late, deal with it): Garon needs to start some games.

    As for the skaters, it’s not all bad. Coverage down low on both goals was ridiculous. That mini-two-on-one that became the first goal only happened because one, maybe two, oilers had already peeled off to the side boards and the second goal happened because everyone wearing white was a step too slow, a step too passive.

    But… Hemsky has been excellent, Cole on the good side of the ice has been solid, there have been chances of some kind. Oh, and apparently the Blues suck five on five. Maybe there’s a comeback, but shit. I haven’t caught a lot of games lately but somehow I feel as frustrated as if I had seen the whole mess.

  165. mc79hockey says:

    Re: The telenovella – please involve Todd Harvey in some way. He has both the moustache and the shirt already.

    Also, that Staios/Principe interview was fantastic. Gene must hate his job.

  166. Traktor says:

    I’m surprised Cole seen another shift after that goal against. That’s the type of defensive effort you would see from a rookie.

    I thought Reddox looked pretty good out there. He uses his body positioning really well to protect the puck and keep the play going.

    Pouliot on the other hand has the puck die on his stick almost every shift.

  167. Baroque says:

    And GM of the Maple Leafs is one of the most important jobs on the hockey planet (is it puck-shaped?)

    Maybe it’s only the center of the universe because there is a super-massive black hole sucking everything the comes too close into the vortex. :)

  168. RiversQ says:

    Black Dog said…

    Leafs are an iconic brand around the world?

    This one always kills me. Do Toronto fans really think the Leaf brand matches the Habs around the world?

  169. HBomb says:

    RiversQ: when Stortini is noticably one of the best players for the Oilers, you know the team is playing like shit.

    mc79: MacT is in Costanza mode. Believe it.

    BDHS: Now that they have Wilson AND Burke, the Leafs organization can undergo tragedy that ends in the making of a movie similar to “We are Marshall” for all I care. Between those two and the phony Masterton winner POS Jason Blake, that’s enough reasons right there for me to hate their guts.

  170. Iztok says:

    Riv: Oh, I know what it sounds like.

    Still, feels weird after having spent so much time wearing the fanboy suit.

  171. bookie says:

    RQ said
    Oh the drama!!!

    You guys should put on mustaches and ruffled shirts and start a telenovella.

    That wasn’t a period lacking effort.

    Well, there is some truth to that, but it still seemed to find a way to suck did it not? I remember watching years and years of good efforts that end up 2 goals down. I would love to see a lack of effort that involved a couple of goals that look stupidly easy.

    the drama is not about the game, its about the team!

  172. Coach pb9617 says:

    Staios has the same look on his face as Mac.

  173. Traktor says:

    “is anyone else getting the impression that there is a high likelihood that Staois is going to be the first contract the Oilers bury in the AHL?”

    I said last year that he would be on waivers before his contract was up and got vilified.

  174. Chris says:

    The Leafs are just like the Yankees, but without the winning.

  175. Coach pb9617 says:

    Maybe I just take no pride in what I do, but if I had a contract for another year (he’s signed through 09-10, right?) at $1MM or thereabouts and I’d get paid if you fired me but not if I quit…well, sir, I wouldn’t be resigning.

    No shit mc. Take the axe and collect checks to do intermission analysis for your wife.

  176. mc79hockey says:

    Traktor – do you have some sort of voice recognition software on your computer that enables you to post?

  177. RiversQ says:

    Coach pb9617 said…

    So put him on the wing on the PK with Brodziak.

    I think you need to do something like that as long as the puck is moving the right way or the faceoff is out of the zone. In fact he should be the first “winger” over the boards when the puck gets out of the zone.

    Other than that, it might be awhile before he can hack it out there for an own zone draw. JMO, I think Cogliano will be a good player but I completely understand why a coach wouldn’t trust him with heavier lifting.

  178. Lowetide says:

    That Burke hiring was the longest interview in history. Have to hand it to him, he’s way more famous than he is good and that’s mostly due to his love of media use.

    All in all, I think he’ll do well in Toronto. THey have some talent and the young talent is headed out of town this summer.

  179. HBomb says:

    mc79: Voice recognition software?

    Gold.

  180. RiversQ says:

    Traktor said…

    Pouliot on the other hand has the puck die on his stick almost every shift.

    You mean except for the best Oilers’ chance of the period where he stickhandled by the dman and got a good backhand off, right?

  181. HBomb says:

    Is it just me, or have the Oilers missed the net with shots a whole bunch so far today?

  182. bookie says:

    Again, best shift is 4th line

  183. Chris says:

    Vishnovsky showed up in St. Louis.

  184. Traktor says:

    “You mean except for the best Oilers’ chance of the period where he stickhandled by the dman and got a good backhand off, right?”

    No, I was taking about the other 10 plays where the puck died on his stick.

  185. Deans says:

    The Oilers may put Staois on waivers but they will never give him the “Mogiliny”. Too classy an organization.

  186. RiversQ says:

    Iztok said…
    Riv: Oh, I know what it sounds like.

    Still, feels weird after having spent so much time wearing the fanboy suit.

    Well, there’s this shit and then there’s fanboy.

    What’s really happening doesn’t involve either one.

  187. Coach pb9617 says:

    Dear Sam Gagner, please view the tape of the last rush between Horcoff and Hemsky. He could have blindly dropped it for Hemsky, but instead lifted his head, spun and saw the play. He didn’t turn it over.

    Bizarre, I know, but it works sometimes!

  188. Schitzo says:

    I said last year that he would be on waivers before his contract was up and got vilified.

    Yeah, but when you criticize just about everything, well, blind squirrel and all that.

    (Blind squirrel with voice recognition software?)

  189. RiversQ says:

    Traktor said…

    No, I was taking about the other 10 plays where the puck died on his stick.

    10 plays, eh? I’m sure we could roll the tape on the period later and go through every one of them then? It’s not like you’ve got any credibility at stake, right?

  190. Coach pb9617 says:

    Traktor – do you have some sort of voice recognition software on your computer that enables you to post?

    That made me giggle out loud. The wife is looking at me like I’m crazy now.

  191. mc79hockey says:

    26 has thrown the body on the forecheck a couple of times this period. This period’s been pretty good.

  192. Chris says:

    Class is great Dean, although sometimes I think we could use some of Lou’s ruthless desire to win. I supose at the moment I’m having sympathy for the Devil.

  193. mc79hockey says:

    Am I crazy or has Nilsson gotten himself benched?

  194. Lowetide says:

    If they could get one here (and if Hemsky isn’t hurt. CRAP!) you could see them getting some traction.

  195. Black Dog says:

    Up there with Larry Tanenbaum saying the Leafs were the flagship franchise of the NHL during the lockout.

    Great at making money and losing.

    Ty – yeah but then he’d get kicked upstairs.

    He’d still get his coin.

  196. Coach pb9617 says:

    It wasn’t Moreau on the knifing. He checked to see who it was before he cross-checked Backes.

    And Horpensky is playing like Horpensky from last year. Penner just threw that dude to the ice.

    Keep it up Jim, I expect to see you in underwear ads soon.

  197. mc79hockey says:

    Well, according to timeonice, I’m crazy.

  198. Coach pb9617 says:

    Again, best shift is 4th line

    Horpensky is the best line right now.

  199. HBomb says:

    Ethan Moreau, penalty 200 feet from his own net. That’s some good leadership right there….

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