Oilers at Devils, G14/08-09

This is Don Lever. He was a good hockey player for a long time, originally with Vancouver before they traded him (the Canucks used to trade all of their good players) and he spent a few seasons with the New Jersey Devils in the early 1980s.

I liked Lever, but am not a fan of the Devils. I’m at an age where disliking hockey teams seems a bit of a waste and to be honest with you at this point in my life it’s hard to build up a good, honest rage about most teams. Among the clubs who still rank up there on my list of assclowns are the New Jersey Devils.

Why? They push the rules in an ugly manner. Always have, always will. If you want proof, the easiest way to find it is google “New Jersey” and “transactions since NHL lockout” and you’ll find all manner of moves that went beyond the boundaries. You might also read the bio of Alexander Mogilny and have a look-see about what kind of respect is given even great players. New Jersey is run in an antiseptic manner and run by a guy who personifies arrogance.

Then there’s the whole New Jersey “aura of winning” and Martin Brodeur’s counting numbers. Personally I think the hockey Gods will punish Lou and his swamp things for what they did to Alexander Mogilny (and others) for a long damn time.
—-

Despite the recent losses I’m feeling pretty good about this hockey club. As reported by Nancy (via Tencer) in the thread below the Oilers lined up like this at yesterday’s practice:

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

This represents a thaw in MacT’s “Pisani at center” experiment plus it gives the coach two lines who can carry boulders. It also means that the Gagner line is either going to get a tough match (which would mean the other two lines will get some better matchups) or they’re going to be playing against lesser men. Either way, I think we can look at this as a genuine effort by the coach to shuffle the deck and it means players like Pouliot, Brodziak and Penner may have a chance to have their roles re-defined to match their skills.

I’d like to take a moment to talk about all of these goalie trade rumors. I’ve read about New Jersey acquiring Garon, about the Oilers having interest in Kari Lehtonen in Atlanta and of course many rumors about Dwayne Roloson being dealt soon.

Let’s look at a few facts:

  • the Oilers best goalie this season has been Dwayne Roloson.
  • the Oilers have only one real option for #1 goalie on their roster this season-Garon.
  • the coach isn’t going to give the rookie 20 starts this season.

So the only rational option is to send the kid down. Risk waivers, if they lose him well then wish him well and look to sign another veteran next summer as part of a tandem led by Garon (if he earns a contract).

About the only silly thing to do right now is trade Roloson or Garon, and the more these rumors persist the more I worry about Tambellini’s first move being a disaster.

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324 Responses to "Oilers at Devils, G14/08-09"

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  1. Bruce says:

    I don’t know ifm it’s possible to look less like Doug Gilmour than Gagner did on that last giveaway.

  2. Bruce says:

    Great play by Pouliot along the boards to chip it out, set up the 3-on-2, join the rush as the trailer, fake the shot … and then pass it five feet behind Penner.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Way off topic, but did anyone else notice that John Tavares has dropped to #3 on the CSS list?

    His scoring this year is behind last year’s pace, which is behind the pace from a year before.

  4. doritogrande says:

    Jonathan:

    I knew he was passed by Viktor Hedman, but who else? Was it Braydon Schenn or Jared Cowan?

  5. Jonathan says:

    Cowan.

  6. Slipper says:

    Scott: Very nice limerick.

    Thank-you.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Anyone else think that MacTavish moved Moreau to Gagner’s line because he wasn’t happy with Elias and Co. going H2H with 27-89-83?

  8. Showerhead says:

    Two quick comments:

    1) I don’t think there’s a line in the league that 10-26-34 couldn’t play respectably well against. Seriously, I might be getting carried away early, but three solid vets who are hard on the puck and can make a play in all three zones of the rink? It’s about time!

    2) “A mennonite Manitoban hitting someone? That’s not the Penner we know.” Surely, you jest! With 345,321 Penners currently residing in the province of Manitoba, there had to be one.

  9. doritogrande says:

    Well I had kinda thought he was going to pull an Esposito anyway.

    Fuck. Erik Cole down and out. Huge loss.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Cole injured.

  11. danny says:

    Here we go again. Knee injury.

  12. Coach pb9617 says:

    I rewound Parise’s goal a number of times – how can both 37 and 77 stay silent through that entire play? No one tells the keep that there is someone behind him?

    HUA

  13. Jonathan says:

    See what happens when MacIntyre isn’t in the lineup?

    See? See?

  14. HBomb says:

    I fucking hate Zach Parise even more now.

  15. doritogrande says:

    There was Gagner’s chance. Great defensive play by Parise.

  16. Bruce says:

    Sam had room there, but decided to make the extra move into traffic. Quick shot upstairs was the ticket there.

  17. Mike says:

    OK I’ve seen it twice…Moreau is up with Gags and Hemmer.

  18. Jonathan says:

    Cole is back. Great news.

    Also, his name is Parise, not Zach. That is very, very irritating.

  19. doritogrande says:

    Jesus, how is Cole back already?

    I hyperextended my knee this past summer and came close to throwing up on the field. Didn’t play on it for about a damn month without a knee brace 30 feet away.

  20. HBomb says:

    Erik Cole is a monster. He’s back.

    Beer me. I’m drinking to 26 and his linemates. I’m digging this new “second” line, with two first line quality players and one of the best third liners in the league.

    Power vs. power baby. Roll it up.

  21. Scott says:

    Finally the injury we’ve all been praying for! Now maybe MacT can finally ice acceptable lines!

    Wait a minute…

  22. Scott says:

    Coach,

    I’ll let Staples know you’ve renamed his stat. It needs an image makeover anyway.

  23. Slipper says:

    “…and one of the best third liners in the league”.

    With this you’re obviously refering to Horcoff, right?

  24. Bruce says:

    Also, his name is Parise, not Zach.

    Everybody knows there’s only one Zack.

  25. Jonathan says:

    It’s Zajac, NOT Travis! Good golly.

  26. doritogrande says:

    30+ saves, an assist and now a drawn penalty?

    It’s a good thing this game isn’t on TSN or Pierre would have blown his load.

  27. PunjabiOil says:

    You almost had me? You never had me – you never had your car… Granny shiftin’ not double clutchin’ like you should. You’re lucky that hundred shot of NOS didn’t blow the welds on the intake! You almost had me

  28. Jonathan says:

    Penner on the first powerplay unit, with Gagner, Hemsky, Souray and Visnovsky.

    Now, if MacT would swap 71 and 77, my powerplay would finally be iced.

  29. HBomb says:

    With this you’re obviously refering to Horcoff, right?

    CLEARLY this is what I was getting at. (sarcasm)

  30. Jonathan says:

    DG: Pierre wouldn’t be able to help it. Deslauriers is a MONSTER!

  31. doritogrande says:

    PJoil:

    What do you expect, he was a cop.

  32. Coach pb9617 says:

    Gilbert and Grebs together are like Styrofoam and Gasoline.

  33. Bruce says:

    For a pair of puck-moving defencemen, 37 and 77 are sure having a helluva lot of trouble making the SIMPLE FUCKING PLAY getting out of our zone.

  34. Bruce says:

    coach: simultaneous post, but we’re definitely on the same page

  35. Jonathan says:

    When all the D are healthy:

    71-44
    5-77
    37-24

    In order of difficulty.

  36. Jonathan says:

    Lamoriello clearly gave the refs too little money.

  37. Lord Bob says:

    Zach is -furious-!

  38. HBomb says:

    Horcoff draws a penalty off a faceoff.

    Off to the box Langenbrunner, you ugly asshole.

  39. Scott says:

    Yikes. If I were a Devils fan, I’d be miffed. More evidence against the Lou Conspiracy!

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    ATTENTION ALL CAMPERS:

    The opponent knows you are going to force the puck to 44 and 71 on the power play. STOP EFFING DOING THAT.

  41. Jonathan says:

    Inexcusable giveaway there – 71 I think.

    I really think that it is 44 and not 71 who makes that pairing work.

  42. doritogrande says:

    Fuck you Lou!

    You done lost to a rookie goalie.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Sometimes I think the Oilers are trying to kill me.

  44. Lord Bob says:

    So, waive Garon and Roloson! Three good games is enough for me!

  45. Coach pb9617 says:

    When I die, can one of you send the coroner here a note and tell him that cause of death was “Blind drop passes by Edmonton Oilers”?

  46. Jonathan says:

    Lets roll with JDD/Dubnyk. Yeah, I think I am happy with that.

  47. doritogrande says:

    Now, Drouin-Deslauriers is very used to playing back-to-back games from his AHL time. Do we play him tomorrow? And if not, which veteran gets the start?

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    Here is my old-timey scouting report on the Oilers tonight:

    Saw him bad:
    Gilbert
    Grebeshkov
    Half of Vishnovsky

    Saw him good:
    Pouliot
    Hemsky
    Piscolcoff
    Half of Vishnovsky

  49. Jonathan says:

    Well, with his track record so far this season, MacTavish will clearly start Deslauriers.

    At a guess – Roli?

  50. Showerhead says:

    All I know is Matt Greene’s interviews were funnier than Lubomir Visnovsky’s giveaways…

  51. Bruce says:

    You’d think with the man advantage in the last 78 seconds we could have something less than three giveaways. The veteran defender Visnovsky gets the prize for the Bonehead Play of the game with that soft pass to the Devil closest to our net. What was he thinking? Was he thinking?

    Still, it’s a Huge two points, our two leading goal scorers each found twine and JDD got the job done.

  52. Phil says:

    Good for JDD… he cost himself the shutout with that giveaway, but looked pretty good. He definitely reduced the odds he’d make it through waivers.

    Also – I get down on Hemsky as much as anyone, but good to see he’s scoring and showing some poise.

  53. PunjabiOil says:

    Great game by the kid; however, it’s too early. Toivenen, Sanford, etc. all had great starts to their careers. Consistency will be the key; that said, I like what I’ve seen in the early going.

    Very good game from the Oilers standpoint. Minimized quality 5 on 5 chances for the first 40. Did a good job possession wise. Visnovsky made his usual turnovers, but did a great job moving the puck north quickly.

    Pouliot had one of his best games of the year. Penner (+6) was effective and playing with a mean streak.

    Souray has been making many of us look like dummies.

    Gilbert is settling in nicely.

    Lots to like about this team.

  54. Lowetide says:

    You know, Visnovsky is high event and I get that he isn’t a big time phyiscal defender, but really guys the fellow handles the puck more than any defenseman I can ever recall playing for the Oilers.

    He’s ALWAYS involved in the play. I think we need to give him credit for that and mentally decrease the sensitivity to turnovers. You touch the puck 100 times a game there are going to be frames where you look like a fuckup.

  55. PunjabiOil says:

    You touch the puck 100 times a game there are going to be frames where you look like a fuckup.

    Better hope your kids aren’t reading this ;)

  56. doritogrande says:

    LT: Problem with Visnovsky for me is he gets the heart-rate up a third higher than it should be. For a fellow not in his 20′s, married with kids I can see the reasons you would want your blood pressure to spike watching hockey; you don’t have the options us young guys have to get heart rates up.

    :)

  57. Slipper says:

    Vish reminds me of the expensive man’s MAB.

    Oh, and I’m ok with that.

  58. Lowetide says:

    Kipper’s SP tonight? .778

  59. doritogrande says:

    Couple Kipper’s sv%, the Oilers win, and David Booth with a natural hat-trick against the Ducks, and we have an early candidate for best night of the NHL season.

  60. Bruce says:

    See what happens when MacIntyre isn’t in the lineup?
    See? See?

    The four-line game is the way to go for this team, I’m convinced of it. Stortini played 8:30 tonight, officially low event with zeroes across the board other than 1 official hit although he was crashing the boards to good effect most shifts. Nilsson was next lowest on the team with over 11:00, while no forward played as much as 20:00. I thought all three of 12-51-46 played well.

    On the blueline, it’s nice to start and finish a game with 6 defenders, and their TOI was also balanced with Visnovski leading the way at just 21:37, ranging down to Strudwick at 17:01. Not only did that keep the players pretty fresh tonight, there are dividends to be paid tomorrow night. Heavy legs shouldn’t be the problem they often are.

  61. doritogrande says:

    Anyone still watching the broadcast?

    A development league in Scandanavia, interesting idea.

  62. Bruce says:

    You touch the puck 100 times a game there are going to be frames where you look like a fuckup.

    Ideally, 20 seconds left with a one-goal lead isn’t one of those times.

  63. doritogrande says:

    Bruce:

    I’m convinced that the ice-times for Visnovsky and Souray would be significantly higher if not for that fighting major at the end of the second.

  64. Oilmaniac says:

    tencer is saying JDD will start again (if he had a good night tonight, Rolo if not)

    Does it benefit a goalie to have two games back to back (two nights in a row)… when does playing goal two nights in a row, a detrimental situation…

  65. Bruce says:

    DG: certainly for Souray, but at most if would be another 3 minutes, still under 25 ofr the night. the way it worked out, nobody had a real heavy night of it, outside of JDD I guess.

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m convinced that the ice-times for Visnovsky and Souray would be significantly higher if not for that fighting major at the end of the second.

    Seemed like the ice tilted Jersey’s way when Souray was in the box for those five minutes.

  67. HBomb says:

    Anyone with an update on Cole? He took a shift or two after the injury, but I didn’t see him that much…..

  68. Slipper says:

    When Souray can actually skate with the puck without looking at it maybe he can handle the puck more and, in turn, turn it over more, and then everyone can shit down his throat and make absurd claims about how his defense partner (who rarely handle the GD puck!) is the better player.

  69. Slipper says:

    Ideally, 20 seconds left with a one-goal lead isn’t one of those times.

    Yeah, optically it sucks for Vish.

    It was a good read and excellent hustle by Travis… sorry, Zajac.

  70. Showerhead says:

    double edged skate blade:
    granter of game winning goals
    – not simply for speed.

  71. Slipper says:

    And to whoever suggested, some 200 posts ago, that the Oilers will probably get Marty Reasoner back at some point:

    I can’t see how a GM could defend giving something up for Reasoner (and he’s doing well so far this year) when he could have (should have?) been had for nothing a few months ago.

  72. Coach pb9617 says:

    Schremp for Reasoner

  73. doritogrande says:

    “I can’t see how a GM could defend giving something up for Reasoner (and he’s doing well so far this year) when he could have (should have?) been had for nothing a few months ago.”

    Maybe by justifying it thusly:

    We got Samsonov for him for the cup-run, then re-signed him the summer following so it’s almost as if we got Samsonov for nothing by giving up Reasoner. In essence, couldn’t it sort of be like whoever we give up for Reasoner would really be the guy we gave up for Samsonov?

    Is the beer talking like an idiot?

  74. Black Dog says:

    What did I miss?

    Well if you had told me this club was at least .500 going home from NY before the season I would have been happy.

    Considering a lot of the goofiness with lines and the lack of production from a ton of guys and no clearcut #1 goalie yet, colour me very happy right now.

    This is a decent club.

  75. Slipper says:

    “Is the beer talking like an idiot?”

    Well it’s always possible that Darryl Katz became a billionaire by a series of fortunate coincidences and that asset management means nothing to him… but if I were Lowe, umm err ahh I mean Tambellini, and I were about to file transaction papers to NHL head office in order to acquire Reasoner, I’d probably send doritogrande into Katz’s office with TWO cases of beer to offer the explanation.

  76. Jonathan says:

    Well, Visnovsky adds a ton in terms of getting the puck moving the right direction in a hurry- he really does. That said, when the puck is in the wrong end of the rink, Souray does a much better job containing opposition forwards.

    44 looks better than at any point last season, and some of that’s bound to be because his partner is a good complement; they have skills that offset nicely 5-on-5.

    Still, weak, no look passes in your own end with 20 seconds left in the game are silly, and 71 deserves to be called on it.

    I don’t think anyone’s saying he’s a bad player, but if I need to pick one guy out in the defensive zone with a minute left and a 1-goal lead, I’ll take 44 over 71.

    In the neutral zone, or the offensive zone, or with a 1-goal deficit, it isn’t nearly as clear.

    But all of those guys (people like me) who bring up Souray’s poor track record in past years need to remember that 71 got murdered against second-tier opposition in Los Angeles, so there’s no need to give him all of the credit when the pairing has been doing a heck of a job despite everyone’s predictions.

    Which, incidentally, brings another point to mind – as dumb as some of MacTavish’s experiments look, some of them work. 44-71 is definitely not something I would have tried, but it looks good to date. Off of the powerplay, anyhow ;)

  77. doritogrande says:

    Fly me out on the corporate jet, and i’d even pay for the beer myself.

  78. Bruce says:

    Seemed like the ice tilted Jersey’s way when Souray was in the box for those five minutes.

    Coach: I noticed that too. Jersey scored their goal and outshot Oilers 7-2 while Souray was in the box.

    When Souray can actually skate with the puck without looking at it maybe he can handle the puck more and, in turn, turn it over more, and then everyone can shit down his throat and make absurd claims about how his defense partner (who rarely handle the GD puck!) is the better player.

    Slipper: I’m not looking to shit down anybody’s throat, but own zone giveaways with 20 seconds left in a one-goal game are likely to draw a reaction from me. Visnovsky isn’t a bad player, he just made a bad play.

    Souray, meanwhile, has handled the puck often enough to score 11 points in 13 games. For all his ice time he has just 4 GV on the season.

    I agree Visnovsky handles the puck much more (and he has 13 GV to prove it); generally speaking moving the puck is the strength of his game and I would hope whoever his partner is would get the puck to him, something Souray has done fairly well for the most part. They’re very different players, and judging which one is “better” depends in large part on what attributes you value.

  79. Dennis says:

    Pat: it is a decent club for sure but if the current roster remains intact then we’re only going to be so good as the kids development allows us to be. And if they come along slowly then we’ll be left wanting again.

    On JDD: some early rebound troubles early, especially with the glove hand as mentioned by Bruce, but then he settled down and he’s very nimble and athletic and really didn’t get hauled around the crease like you’d see with a lot of other young guys.

    Chances for/against: I have it right now as 20-17 for NJ but I made a couple of notations and I have to check the play-by-play to see if a couple of shots did indeed make it on the net. In any case, I think that’s a pretty fair assessment because more was asked of JDD on this night than Clemmensen and I was disappointed that the Oilers couldn’t outchance the Devs a little more considering NJ Was playing the second half of a BTB and were missing a multitude of NHLers. of course four or 5 of the devils chances were on the PP and the Oilers only had 2 PP chances by my count so it looks better when you frame it in the EV context. But when you think about it, how many point blank saves did Not Brodeur have to make? JDD stopped Parise in the slot and he stopped tipped shots and Clemmensen had it much easier.

    Distribution of TOI: I was shocked to see so much love for 78 but then again he’s been doing a lot of the little things right for a long time now so maybe it’s not such a jump that he’s being trusted. BTW, when 51 hit the post did anyone notice who his linemates were? 78 and, wait for it, 34. Seriously, what is it about those two playing together?

    I would be satisfied with a point from tomorrow night’s game with the understanding that less and less rope will be provided to this team once this early road heavy part of the sked has been completed.

    Then again I’m not expecting anything great from this team unless the kids really learn and you see less and less of plays like the one where 89 lollygagged and allowed that big chance. Yes the matchups will get easier once we get back home and macT rides the hell out of 34-10-26 but some kids are still gonna have to play Somebody.

    Some other things: It was nice to see 12 do comparitively a lot with a little TOI. He didn’t sulk and he came out and worked hard….I think the last time 18 played with 83 is when the kid broke in and they had him with 18-19….JDD’s best cluster work came on the devils PP and the Oilers PP Unit is just a goal waiting to happen.

  80. Coach pb9617 says:

    You know, Visnovsky is high event and I get that he isn’t a big time phyiscal defender, but really guys the fellow handles the puck more than any defenseman I can ever recall playing for the Oilers.

    Grebs is high event without touching the puck 137 times a game.

  81. Vic Ferrari says:

    jonathon:

    I think that if you separated Souray from Visnovsky one would fall into mediocrity and the other would continue to be the Oilers’ best player.

    I guess we all things differently. Frankly, it blows me away that there is even a discussion about it.

  82. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I guess you can use them on as a comparison tool knowing one guy’s not gonna get favoured over the other but I wouldn’t put much stock in something that says 44 has only committed four giveaways. That’s just wrong.

    And, yes, I mentioned the other door the absurdity it is to see 44/71 paired together and against tough opp and doing so a good job in the role.

  83. Bruce says:

    Dennis: Good synopsis, but with that last did you mean the Oilers PK unit?

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: I noticed that too. Jersey scored their goal and outshot Oilers 7-2 while Souray was in the box.

    I knew it was one-sided, didn’t realize it was that bad.

  85. spOILer says:

    Sorry missed the GDT as I usually watch with the little lady when she's in town, and she far prefers it when I don't ignore her for the computer.

    Pretty much saw the same game as most of you above: refs with whistles in thier pockets, Dman not letting JDD know where he was behind him, lots of miscommunications & mix-ups all over the ice, Vish out in last minute again with another turnover, that's at least 5 for him at ends of games this year by my count (and I've missed the PPVs).

    Pouliot was skating strong and in position all night but couldn't handle the puck to save his life. He's going to be low event everything for his career I'm beginning to think.

    Pisani was money on the left as I said he would be.

    The switch to Moreau at 1LW was effective. Play seemed to tilt a bit then. This is a team that would give us troubles if they were fully healthy, glad we took advantage and didn't blow the opportunity.

    JDD's glove hand seemed to sag a bit as the game goes on. He defends the back door as well as any Oil goalie I've seen though. Good against long screens too. With his size he doesn't need to push out as much as Roli and Garon need to.

    Are we sure we don't want Khabby & JDD? Sign Khabby to 2 X $4M extension?

    Anyway, a nearly complete game effort with only a few minor losses of composure. Good to see.

    As for the Havlat-Phaneuf incident, Phaneuf was coming in hard, elbow high and bared, and Havlat Glen Anderson'ed him perfectly.

    Till tomorrow everyone: nanoo, nanoo.

  86. Coach pb9617 says:

    78 and, wait for it, 34. Seriously, what is it about those two playing together?

    Pouliot has a nice career ahead of him as mini-me to Fernando.

  87. Bruce says:

    I mentioned the other door the absurdity it is to see 44/71 paired together and against tough opp and doing so a good job in the role.

    Dennis: the other door? How many pops have you had tonight? :)

    Let’s just say I would hope our $11 MM defence pair can put up some points and handle the toughs. I’d like to think we haven’t yet seen the best out of either of them just yet … they’re still getting used to each other.

  88. Vic Ferrari says:

    Bruce:

    Souray throws a lot of hand grenades to Visnovski. Whether he looks calm and collected doing it or not. I don’t mind Souray, never have really, but I’m just not seeing where all this love is coming from.

    I guess the theory is that he was rubbed down with Charlie Huddy defenseman balm, and now he’s great.

    Then again, you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting an Oiler fan that thought Smid was the Oilers best defenceman two years ago. And now he’s a lot better, and hanging on to the bottom of the roster.

    Go figure.

  89. Dennis says:

    Bruce: yeah, I meant the PK. Any unit that “defends” like that will only “succeed” if the opposing team fucks up or your goalie is out of this world.

    On the last giveaway: I almost shit my pants as well when i saw that play made but is anyone ready to give it to 18 for being that far away from 71? Shouldn’t he have supported him a little more by cutting down the distance it would take for a safety pass or does that principle only truck when we’re talking about forwards being close to their D? As long as the results are there in EV and I can see they’re there in SC’s and there’s no chance of it being luck then I don’t have a problem with the way 71 goes about his business. he does have the ability to catch up and correct mistakes and there was a play tonight where he shook off a bigger guy and just skated away from him and in that instance I was struck by how strong he must be and how it all works out for him in the end somehow.

    Slipper: what was it the Oilers told 5 about getting his stick up and every now and then into the face of the opposing forechecker? Isn’t that akin to what Havlat did to Phaneuf? Dion tries to run people through the boards so isn’t it worth taking a major just to protect yourself? That’s the first thing i thought when I saw the play.

  90. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – agreed – I still think we are at least a year away – when does Lidstrom retire anyway? ;)

    And this year I think MacT can have his cake and eat it too, meaning develop and win now, the Wild have come back to the pack and the Flames have been alright although apparently Reghyr may have a bad knee they are worried about.

    They could finish fifth or they could finish first. I’m thinking they are a playoff team as long as they stay relatively healthy and if that is the case we may see a vet or two brought in in the spring.

    The number of guys on this team who can handle tough opps is starting to rise – after the 2006/2007 exodus these guys were few and far between.

    Good sign.

  91. spOILer says:

    Perfect play by Havlat, and Dion had it coming to him, cause there was intent to injure in his eyes. Havlat stood his ground and covered Dion’s aggression with a mean play of his own. Live by the sword…

  92. spOILer says:

    Post game podcats are up.

  93. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    Not that the Oilers D has been terrible or anything, but for the life of me I don’t know why they didn’t bring in someone like Gill, Salei, Eaton, Smith etc. Is Hedican playing anywhere yet, btw?

    The Oilers have a lot of good defenders, or at least promising ones. But the guys they are sending out for critical own zone situations (Souray and Visnovsky), well I can’t imagine that’s an NHL coach’s ideal roster.

  94. Dennis says:

    bruce: i had quite a few pops this afternoon;) but I quit at halftime of the 530 NST NFL games and then I came home and had a couple of coffees to sober up so that i could watch the Oil with at least a little bit of clarity:)

    I won’t get into whether how much money people makes really makes them a good player but looking at past history it’s remarkable that that these two guys are doing what they’re currently doing as our top pair. of course it doesn’t hurt that they’re getting a lot of five man unit time with 10-83-26 etc but I still have to give them a lot of credit.

    In thinking about 18 shoring up the 89-83 line when it comes to a hard match, I thought of something else. A few of us never thought 78 would crack the top nine and thus wouldn’t get a shot at top two tough min line duties but tonight macT at least gave him a TOI total that would resemble such a responsibility so why wouldn’t MacT go 27-10-83 as PVP, 18-78-34 as the secondary PVP and then have 13/12-89-26 fed the soft min? I know opposing coaches would smack their lips waiting to get a crack at them on the road but macT could just haul them back over the boards when any baddies approached.

    I guess the answer to my question is that macT’s gonna try and develop at least one of the kids while also trying to win but I wish he’d get away from that.

  95. Slipper says:

    “Still, weak, no look passes in your own end with 20 seconds left in the game are silly, and 71 deserves to be called on it.”

    I agree that he didn’t get the mustard on the pass that he intended. Still, it hardly “inexcusable”. Players make that play all the time when pressured in their corner and sometimes shit happens. It was a good play by Zajac, that’s for sure.

  96. Dennis says:

    Vic: Hedican signed with the Ducks. Him-Montador and Huskins are rounding out the Ana D these days.

    And, yeah, I also noticed 89 taking a couple of big own zone draws as well. There’s a part of me that thinks he thinks 89 can handle it and he wants to blast him through the development zone at warp speed and then there’s another part of me that thinks it’s a decree from up on high to see just what kind of a player he’s going to be before they decide to pay him; ala the Comrie test.

    I remember in Oct-Nov of the ’02 or season when macT left Comrie out for an own zone draw against Modano with less than 15 seconds remaining in the period and Modano schooled him and went right to the net and scored and I fucking lost it. It was a home game and macT had last change and later on I knew why he was doing it. Lowe went toe to toe with Ryan Smyth so Gagner need not think he’s exempt.

  97. Traktor says:

    JDD is now tied with our top line center in EV points :)

    Zing!!!

  98. Bruce says:

    As for the Havlat-Phaneuf incident, Phaneuf was coming in hard, elbow high and bared, and Havlat Glen Anderson’ed him perfectly.

    Spoiler: Yeah, that was Anderson alright. They used to run him something fierce and it took him a couple years to learn to use the lumber, but he got damned effective at it. He was a similar player to Havlat in other ways, elite skill level even at top speed, except Andy was indestructible whereas Havlat’s groin is made of rice paper and his shoulder of fine china. I’m actually happy to see him protecting himself a little bit (I’ve got him in my keeper league pool). And I don’t feel too sorry for Dion; a scar or two might make him prettier.

    Till tomorrow everyone: nanoo, nanoo.

    Big day for Mork fans. Too bad the dumb-fucks in the league office scheduled an Oilers-at-Rangers (of all teams) game simultaneous to the induction ceremonies. That’s almost maliciously stupid … not only does that limit participation by Andy’s former teammates, it severely divides the loyalties of the fans who might want to watch both. Yet another marketing disaster from these morons.

  99. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis

    Was that the game that Dopita and Laraque played in OT?

    I do remember quite a few strange things re Comrie during the early part of that year. In that game Marchant was rested for that draw as well, no? I remember that there was no reason for it.

    I hit the wall when they rolled into COL in early December I think, and all of Blake, Sakic and Forsberg were injured, and MacTavish rolled Comrie against Tanguay/Hejduk intentionally. Good Lord.

    Some off the wall stuff.

    I imagine that all teams are sacrificing some ‘now’ for some ‘tomorrow’, I just don’t notice because I don’t know the teams and players well enough.

  100. Slipper says:

    Traktor:

    Until you figured out how to pry Crosby or Zetterberg away from their respective teams, or how to accelerate Gagner’s development to three or four years from now, don’t you think you’re sort of being a DB by constantly beating on this drum of yours?

  101. Dennis says:

    I think MacT has always been about putting people up on pedestals and then yanking them off with a fork; I know you always cite him playing MAB with Pronger that season as the main example:)

    Im just watching the way macT’s running this bench and I’m really trying to figure out what’s going on.

  102. Scott says:

    Traktor,

    I know you take a lot because of presentation, but uh, JDD’s point came on the PP, so if you’re going to make a “zinger” you should fact-check it.

  103. Scott says:

    Matt’s baseball standings
    Colorado, Dallas last
    Everyone should smile

  104. Slipper says:

    Fun Edmonton Oilers Facts:

    Entering tonight’s game Horcoff, Hemsky and Vish have not been on the ice together for an even strength goal against.

    This is absolutely not presented as furthering any anti-Souray argument, I just found it remarkable, so Bruce you can spare yourself the 25 paragraph response. The discussions simply implored me to look closer at both Horcoff’s and Visnovsky’s numbers.

    http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/200809players/player0611.php

    80+ even strength minutes without a goal against is pretty dang good.

  105. Bruce says:

    why wouldn’t MacT go 27-10-83 as PVP, 18-78-34 as the secondary PVP and then have 13/12-89-26 fed the soft min? I know opposing coaches would smack their lips waiting to get a crack at them on the road but macT could just haul them back over the boards when any baddies approached.

    Not a bad set of options. I can’t imagine the opp. coaches smacking their lips any harder for a line with Cole and two kids than they used to for the erstwhile Kid Line. I’ve liked the prospect of 26 on the starboard side with the youngsters for awhile. But he looked damn fine with Horc and Fernando tonight so I don’t mind if MacT runs with that unit for awhile. We know the lines aren’t going to stay set for 82 games, so a little experimenting to see who works with whom is standard procedure, and it’s always good to see who clicks so that they can reconnect later on, as indeed you have noted with 34 and 78.

    I wouldn’t put much stock in something that says 44 has only committed four giveaways. That’s just wrong.

    I don’t put a lot of stock in it, those counts are notoriously suspect, but a small number like 4 suggests Souray hasn’t been making a lot of egregious blunders with the puck which conforms to what I’ve observed. Visnovsky has made far more of those types of mistakes, but as LT and Slipper have said 71 also handles the puck far more, and as you mentioned he is good at making amends when he does cough it up. I just wish he was harder on the puck in certain situations.

    what was it the Oilers told 5 about getting his stick up and every now and then into the face of the opposing forechecker?

    Yeah, it’s just too bad he didn’t feed Raffi a mouthful of composite the other night.
    ***

    Traktor: Nice try, but JDD’s point tonight was on the PP, so Horc’s still comfortably in front at even strength. :)

  106. Slipper says:

    Dennis/Vic:

    MacT used to be a habitual “rewarder” back in those days, giving the game’s hard workers some second powerplay unit time or overtime shifts. A motivational tool I guess that I think translates very well to winning. I think he’s grown out of it a bit, but the Edmontoby Petersoilers wasn’t that long ago.

  107. Slipper says:

    “…that I think translates very well to winning.”

    I missed a don’t in there somwhere.

  108. Bruce says:

    80+ even strength minutes without a goal against is pretty dang good.

    Yes it is. They’re arguably our three best players and when they’re on the ice together it stands to reason that they’re pushing the play. This new information supports the notion that they have done so without exposing themselves at the back, which is terrific.

    I just found it remarkable, so Bruce you can spare yourself the 25 paragraph response.

    I’ll save myself 24 paragraphs and mildly point out that when I mentioned Smid has been on the ice for 100 minutes with only 1 GA (irrespective of linemates), all the stats guys started railing at me about the Sv% behind him and all the reasons it was unsustainable. But when such stats happen to support guys that you like, well then they’re the cat’s meow.

  109. HBomb says:

    JDD is now tied with our top line center in EV points :)

    Zing!!!

    Hey look kids! There’s Big Ben! And there’s Parliament!

  110. Slipper says:

    “But when such stats happen to support guys that you like, well then they’re the cat’s meow.”

    I’m pretty sure I mentioned something about not furthering any agenda, because I knew some people would be too dense not to roll up inot a prickly ball after reading “Fun Fact”. Christ, I even mentioned you specifically by name and you still come back at me like a petulant child.

    And I almost began to feel sorry for you after your last “I’m quitting the mean internet for the time being” episode.

  111. Slipper says:

    I forgot to include one of these ;) at the end.

    I used the winky thing- we’re all good now, we’re all good!

  112. Slipper says:

    “all the stats guys started railing at me about the Sv% behind him and all the reasons it was unsustainable”

    Would you describe “railed against me” as a mild or gross mischaracterization of the tone of the Smid conversation? Is Joan Baez still alive and well, because by the sounds of it these stat guys are real oppressors, man.

    ;) ;)

  113. Traktor says:

    “Hey look kids! There’s Big Ben! And there’s Parliament!”

    It’s funny how you bite on every word I say. It’s almost like I control you.

  114. Bruce says:

    Souray throws a lot of hand grenades to Visnovski. Whether he looks calm and collected doing it or not.

    Agreed on the grenades, which he lobs fairly indiscriminately at both teams. Souray is far from a natural player, it’s one of the things that makes him fascinating to watch.

    I don’t mind Souray, never have really, but I’m just not seeing where all this love is coming from.

    For one thing, just the fact that he isn’t The Suck is a relief to people who followed the Oilogosphere during the past year. But if you want simple reasons for “the love”, try these:

    T-1 on Oilers in goals
    2nd on Oilers in points

    2nd among NHL defencemen in goals
    T-7 among NHL defencemen in points

    … and tossing out the partial game in Calgary, he’s top 10 in the league in TOI/G.

    All of which is, if not downright lovable, at the very least a pleasant surprise.

  115. spOILer says:

    Just off to bed but wanted to ask:

    Was there anything in Stauffer’s interview with Tambellini before the game that leads anyone to believe this is his team?

  116. Dennis says:

    Spoiler: He would have to say a lot of things before I shook off the feeling of why is Lowe still commenting on possible player moves if Tambo’s really in charge?

    The main thing i took from his convo with Stauffer was that when the Oilers bring someone up from SF, it will be to fill the hole left by the guy they’re replacing; they won’t bring up a scorer to put in a plugger’s role.

    of course the most salient point about any call-up is the situation with brule where if he’s in the lineup for ~10 games – I’m sure someone will fill in that blank — he loses his waiver exemption. So if he comes up you’d have to imagine he’s staying.

    The injury to Mac means 46 might have an extended stay of execution and if Brule shows up he’s probably staying so that means Mac could have a short shelf life.

  117. HBomb says:

    It’s funny how you bite on every word I say. It’s almost like I control you.

    Everything you say deserves to be ridiculed. You’re comic relief.

  118. godot10 says:

    //Was there anything in Stauffer’s interview with Tambellini before the game that leads anyone to believe this is his team?//

    Team Canada has a collective leadership model.

    The Detroit Red Wings have a collective leadership model. Jim Nill wouldn’t stay unless he had real influence within the management group.

    The Edmonton Oilers are moving towards a collective leadership model. With Tambellini being new, I would expect that there will be a whole lot of emphasis on reaching a concensus for the first couple of years.

    One has to get over this idea that there is a single “decider”.

  119. Traktor says:

    “Everything you say deserves to be ridiculed.”

    How dare someone question the undisputed king of the Oilogosphere.

    Souray or Smid on the other hand, that’s fair game.

  120. Doogie2K says:

    I mean really, who the fuck thinks Huddy tore down Ulanov and Staios’ respective games and then built them back up again? That’s nuts.

    No one, I would hope, because tearing down and building back up is a poor coaching strategy, unless you’re a DI. But I can see Huddy being able to convince a few veteran guys to keep a closer eye on the “little things” (like not making blind drop/back passes to no one) and getting some good results.

    Way off topic, but did anyone else notice that John Tavares has dropped to #3 on the CSS list?

    Was it here that I was reading about the CHL banning 15-year-olds at the behest of the NHL specifically because of the injury risk? This would seem to be their Exhibit “A”.

    It’s Zajac, NOT Travis! Good golly.

    Presumably, he didn’t want to get Travis confused with Uncle Pat.

    Regarding JDD, I think he seemed to be getting a bit more aggressive as the game went on, to the point where he was overcommitting on some plays late in the game. Part of it is youth, no doubt, and part of it is that his D wasn’t any fucking help at times, leaving six bodies in the low slot/crease area without any movement. Still, I liked what I saw for the most part, though I remain fearful that this, plus the solid work in Pittsburgh, is the birth of the new three-headed monster. I think it was JW who said that he was playing the Mayor Quimby role right now, and I agree.

    JDD is now tied with our top line center in EV points :)

    Zing!!!

    It was a power-play goal, you twat.

    (It’s been said before, but I felt compelled, because I’m tired of the harping and gloating over the team’s misfortune as much as anyone.)

  121. HBomb says:

    How dare someone question the undisputed king of the Oilogosphere.

    Whatever happen to your threats to disappear and not post here ever again?

    You should do everyone a favor and follow through on them. The record shows I’m not the only one who thinks you’re an insufferable jackass.

  122. rananda says:

    lowetide mentions alexander mogilny’s biography a few times in this post. does anyone have any other info re this biography and where i could find it. simple google search yields little. thanks.

  123. Bruce says:

    Rananda: Legends of Hockey has a pretty decent biography of Mogilny, who really got the shaft from Lamoriello at the end of his distinguisehed career, just 10 games shy of 1000 GP.

    Trivia note: At the other end of his career, Mogilny got off to a spectacular start when he scored just 20 seconds into his first NHL game in October 1989. Only Gus Bodnar (15 seconds, 1943) and Danny Gare (18 seconds, 1974) did so any faster.

  124. rananda says:

    right, im aware of all that stuff. just wondering if there was some biography out there where mogilny discusses specific incidents/conversations. i’ve always loved mogilny and i agree with everything lowetide said about lamariello, but i’m not so sure that sending him to the ahl in 05 was all that awful. mogilny’s hip was shredded at that point and he was making a lot of money, all of which he got to keep for only having to play a hanfdul of ahl games. yes, it would have been nice for him to get to 1,000 games to get the pension (or other benefits?) but the guy made a ton of money in his career (though he probably should have made more) and if it wasnt for lou’s somewhat ridiculous contract (considering mogilny’s well-known hip problems) comging out of the lockout, mogilny would have made much less. great, great player. as good as they’ve ever come, really.

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