Oilers at Flyers, G11/08-09

This is Serge Bernier. He is proof positive that the Philadelphia Flyers knew what they were doing right from the start of things.

Consider this sequence:

On May 8, 1967 the Flyers purchased the independent Quebec Aces (AHL), giving them tremendous depth in all areas heading into the draft. Among the players purchased that day were Andre Lacroix, Simon Nolet and Jean-Guy Gendron (who at times became an entire line for the Flyers during their expansion years).

On June 6, 1967 the Flyers had the best draft of all the 6 expansion teams, highlighted by selections of Bernie Parent, Ed Van Impe, Joe Watson and Gary Dornhoefer.

On June 7, 1967 the Flyers held the 5th overall pick in the Entry (then called Amateur) draft. Now this was during the transition period when most of the good young junior players were already protected by the 6 established teams under something called the “sponsorship” program. A kid who signed any kind of form (there were many) belonged to his NHL team from the time he was in his early teens until they decided he was no longer needed or was used for trade.

There were 12 picks in the 1967 first round, and because of the sponsorship program only one of them played in an NHL game. Serge Bernier. He became a quality NHL player and then a star in the WHA, scoring 78 NHL goals and adding 230 goals in the WHA.

Philadelphia Flyers, from the beginning, have been a well run hockey team.

Big win for the Oilers yesterday afternoon and they’re certainly in the middle of the NW mix at this point in the season. Although Minnesota and Calgary lead the division with 15 points (4 clear of the Oilers) it’s also true that the Wild haven’t yet played a division rival (source: tsn) and the Flames have played double the number of home games enjoyed by Edmonton.

If the Oilers can stay close during this ridiculous early season schedule it bodes well for later on when they’ll be at home more often than the other NW teams. Also positive is Dwayne Roloson’s play, in fact if this trend continues he could pass Mathieu Garon as the team’s #1 goalie.

Denis Grebeshkov is a question mark for today’s game, with Jason Strudwick able to step in if needed and Theo Peckham a phonecall away (Springfield can’t be far from Philadelphia).

This will be a tough game for the Oilers. The Flyers have won 4 in a row, their best players are kicking the daylights out of the other side (Mike Richards has 13 points, Jeff Carter 8 goals and Simon Gagne 7 goals) and the Oilers never play well on Sunday afternoon.

I liked their effort yesterday though, so won’t predict an L. If they can keep it close and stay out of the penalty box (Flyers have some silly good players) maybe they’ll steal one in a town still drunk from winning the WS.

The odds of both Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner leaving this game scoreless are not high, they’ll cash in soon.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.

176 Responses to "Oilers at Flyers, G11/08-09"

  1. doritogrande says:

    Sunday afternoon Oilers games should be abolished. Doesn’t NHL management know that weekends are the only free time university students have to go to work to earn beer money???

    Bastards.

  2. Coach pb9617 says:

    Even on the quick turnaround, I’m interested in seeing how the defense minus Grebs performs today.

    Taking the high event guy, to use your words, out of the lineup should be good for everyone, I would think.

  3. Quain says:

    Serge Bernier looks like Brodziak and Smid’s love child.

  4. B.C.B. says:

    Coach: I also wonder about the Defence, and how are they going to line up. If I was MacT I’d play them like this:
    Souray – Vish
    Gilbert – Strudwick
    Staios – Smid

    Any thoughts?

    Also, I wonder how Garon will respond?

  5. Phil says:

    Garon will need to be outstanding for the Oilers to leave Philly with at least a point. Tall order to keep up the intensity of yesterday on no rest.

    re: Souray’s defensive play – let’s not forget he played his first three seasons with guys named Niedermayer, Stevens, and Rafalski… shouldn’t be too much of a stretch that he has some defensive know-how tucked away in the archives somewhere.

  6. Dennis says:

    Some thoughts on a few things:

    - actually, it IS a Huge Surprise that Souray has a clue and is playing this well at evens. I know a lot of fellows don’t watch much hockey outside of the Oil — and I don’t watch as much as I used to — but this guy used to get railed in Mtl while playing on the Third Fucking Pairing! Seeing Souray taking on current laundry list of responsibilities and doing so well in this role is like calling up a 29 year old infielder from the minors with a career .390 Slg Pct and all of a sudden he’s hitting clean-up and hitting bombs. I’m enjoying this while it lasts but no one can expect it to last Or tell you they knew this all along.

    - The Oilers have an interesting history in Philly; it seems to me they’ve done really well there in the recent past. I can remember a game where Sean Brown had a goal and a fight in a win( I think this was a Sportsnet game of the week and it was before I had my dish), Moreau had a SH goal in a win there in the Year Of Pronger and going back further Salo had a SO there on a Sat night where I taped the game because I was over at a friend’s house watching the Titans play in NE in the 2nd round.

    I still can’t believe Drew Bennett dropped that pass;)

    So, it’s the second half of a BTB and Philly’s scoring goals like it’s no problem but their D’s suspect and so is their netminding, we’ve got a lot of young legs AND we’ve got a couple of guys who are due so I’m not counting us out just yet.

    Just as another note, 12 had his worst game of the season yesterday. That guy’s been really consistent in creating SC’s and that’s as ineffective as I’ve seen him all season.

    Lastly, is there anywhere that’s streaming this game online AND that will archive it? I’d like to watch the Titans game live and then the Oilers afterwards.

  7. HBomb says:

    Dennis: the Pronger year, I think Moreau actually potted not one, but TWO shorties in that game.

    And the Saturday night Salo shut-out you spoke of? I believe that was 2003-04, in Mike Comrie’s first ever game against his ex-teammates.

    Frig, looking back at the hopes we had for that kid, and he’s now playing for no less than his fifth NHL team.

  8. Loxy says:

    Anyone know where I can catch this online?

  9. Doogie2K says:

    I’m enjoying this while it lasts but no one can expect it to last Or tell you they knew this all along.

    Like I said before, I didn’t think his ’07 season was even worth considering, because it was so far out of sync with everything else, but I also didn’t expect him to be quite this steady so far.

    Moreau had a SH goal in a win there in the Year Of Pronger

    It was two, actually. I think he had a third SH rush and almost had the hat trick, too.

  10. raventalon40 says:

    Strudwick is injured.

  11. Bruce says:

    Dennis: Good memories, I remember both those games where Salo and Moreau were the heroes. I also remember Willy Lindstrom scoring the winner in Game 2 in the ’85 SCF in the Spectrum and Grant Fuhr making it stand up for a 3-1 win which was a lot closer than the empty netter at the end made it look. That tied the series 1-1 and the Oil came home to sweep three games and ultimately win the Cup in a laugher, but that nail-biter was the turning point. 0-2 would not have been fun.

    it IS a Huge Surprise that Souray has a clue and is playing this well at evens.

    He he he. Having read all the expertise on the ‘sphere about him in the last 16 months, I’m surprised he’s not the worst defenceman in the history of the world.

    I know a lot of fellows don’t watch much hockey outside of the Oil — and I don’t watch as much as I used to — but this guy used to get railed in Mtl while playing on the Third Fucking Pairing!

    Some of us do watch a little hockey involving other teams, tho’ Sportsnet East games are blacked out here and I have to admit there was a while there when Montreal went offf CBXFT and before RDS became avvailable that a guy was Stuck watching the Leafs on a Saturday night full stop. Anyway I did watch Souray a bit, I was interested in him cuz he came to my wife’s school way back when he was a Devil and just cuz he’s an interesting player to watch. There’s no doubt he got highlight-reeled a few times, he can be caught flat-footed and does an excellent pylon imitation. He can be exposed on a wide open one-on-one with a burner or a stickhandling whiz like Spezza, which does seem like an odd match-up for a third-pairing D, but whatever. He is, however, pretty good in traffic. In that strange last season in Mtl it seemed like everything went fantastic for him on the PP and to shit at evens, all his numbers including that -28 were off the charts. As a team the Habs wound up -11 on the season despite having 17 more powerplay goals than the other guys; it was an unbalanced team and Sheldon was certainly a big part of that. But the conclusions drawn that he out and out sucked didn’t ever seen to align with either what I’d seen, or his stats for the rest of his career. Injury prone, I’ll grant you, and we were pretty much all concerned about that aspect.

    Seeing Souray taking on current laundry list of responsibilities and doing so well in this role is like calling up a 29 year old infielder from the minors with a career .390 Slg Pct and all of a sudden he’s hitting clean-up and hitting bombs.

    The Eastern Conference is now the minors? He he again. A league record for goal scoring is a .390 SLG?

    I’m enjoying this while it lasts but no one can expect it to last Or tell you they knew this all along.

    Some of us didn’t “know” anything all along, but there were many of us who thought Sheldon would help the team given some good health. We’re probably a little less surprised than you that he’s actually doing so.

  12. raventalon40 says:

    dennis & bruce:

    If I remember correctly, the winning goal went in off of Cechmanek’s armpit

  13. Dennis says:

    “Help the team” is a pretty broad generalization, Bruce. A guy could “help the team” on ST but be a fucking millstone at evens.

    Man, you’re having a bad week!

  14. Dennis says:

    BTW, not sure if anyone else saw this but there was some interesting doings and transpirings in Bos last night and Mondano wasn’t impressed with his own side.

    Check out the Dallas Morning News for the deats.

  15. toqueboy says:

    seriously, the ability of oiler fans to over value their players while at the same time undervaluing others blows my mind.

    from all the conversations about souray, you’d think that we signed Finger at 5.5

    sometimes it’s like we can only concentrate on the negative around here…we see minus -28 or whatever and that completely seperates us from all the positives like goals, size, leadership and pk play.

    @bruce: the comparison between souray and a minor league baseball player is absurd! i normally agree with everything you say, but that sentiment, to me, is the exact attitude that makes it tough for players to play in edmonton, beause people use such hyperbole when they describe players.

    a better example for souray, would be that we signed a closer who had a ridiculous amount of wins the year before and then when we got him, we realized that he’s better suited to being in the rotation.

    maybe this is because i lived in mtl for three years, but he showed way better in his time there than people are willing to admit and he’s looked nothing but great as an oiler (injuries aside)

    can we stop being surprised that a 5.5 million dollar player can play?! it’s like we keep expecting him to be smid or a healthy scratch.

    so, for discussion…who has a better chance of “outperforming their 5.5″ over the next 3 years…souray or horcoff?

  16. spOILer says:

    Roli with the B2B start.

  17. Jonathan says:

    RE: Souray

    I don’t think it’s a surprise that his last season in Montreal didn’t carry over – it was an aberration in every way, both in terms of offense and defense.

    I expected a second pairing defender with a slapshot and injury problems, and last year, it looked like that was what the team was going to get. His performance this year has been surprising, but I think there may be sustain, ala Staios before/after signing with Edmonton.

    This coaching staff knows what to do with big, slowish defenseman who are teachable, and Souray fits that mold to a tee. I’m getting cautiosly optimisitc on this front (barring injury, of course).

  18. mc79hockey says:

    Modano’s got a bit of a mouth on him, eh? Tough to blame a guy with getting irritated about guys like Avery and Ott but maybe that’s not something one should share with the media hordes.

  19. toqueboy says:

    sorry…that was at dennis, not bruce

  20. mc79hockey says:

    seriously, the ability of oiler fans to over value their players while at the same time undervaluing others blows my mind.

    Agreed. As soon as Souray, or whoever, becomes an Oiler, the large majority of Oilers fans think that he’s amongst the best at what he does because he’s an Oiler and Kevin Lowe can do no wrong.

  21. Jonathan says:

    Those Philly commentators have an irrational fear of Souray’s slapshot.

    One big gun does not an effective powerplay make.

  22. toqueboy says:

    wow…could you imagine if we had a real shooter out on the PP to take those slappers that horcoff is getting?

    if i recall correctly, wasn’t that sugar tits calling in junior (i know it was a longtime ago), but it’s a nice segue to, “if we continue to be a low scoring team, how long until we bring up a minor guy, and then who takes the bench?”

  23. toqueboy says:

    cole on the right wing is just such a completely different player than on the left…it’s awesome.

  24. Bruce says:

    As soon as Souray, or whoever, becomes an Oiler, the large majority of Oilers fans think that he’s amongst the best at what he does because he’s an Oiler and Kevin Lowe can do no wrong.

    Tyler: That’s absurd. People who don’t automatically agree with you on everything aren’t just idiots who swallow every thing the team and local media sells us. Can’t we have legitimate differences of opinion without that shit?

    Also, Kevin Lowe isn’t an idiot either. The assumption that he can do no right is equally wrong-headed. Like most humans, he falls somewhere in the middle.

  25. Jonathan says:

    The one thing that has been a big surprise to me is how strong Moreau has looked early – he hasn’t played in two years but he looks like he hasn’t lost anything at all.

    Which is nothing but good.

  26. spOILer says:

    Looks like an early morning game in a weekend beer tournament. Got the lead though.

  27. spOILer says:

    but not for long.

  28. Jonathan says:

    Well, the lead was nice while it lasted.

  29. Bruce says:

    Great shot by Cole. Good follow-up shift by the kids, until Gilbert bobbled the puck for no reason. The break out pass is supposed to be his specialty, right now he can’t even do that right. I hope Tom gets it going soon; Oilers need him.

  30. toqueboy says:

    is there a more underrated player than knuble? he just keeps doing it year after year, just like smyth and holmstrom, but you never hear about knuble.

  31. toqueboy says:

    WOW!!!

  32. Bruce says:

    Welcome back, Ales. Wow, what a play. Nice breakout pass from Smid to catch him on the dead fly, and Ales did the rest. 0-for-October is Over.

  33. Jonathan says:

    Sbisa’s out against the Horcoff line – that’s a brave move by Stevens.

    Is “brave” the right word?

  34. goldenchild says:

    good lord. GB Ten go to commercial and I tune in just on time to see 83 go man vs boys

  35. Bruce says:

    Palindrome in the box … make him pay.

  36. Jonathan says:

    There’s the Lupul we all know and love.

  37. Schitzo says:

    I’m assuming Briere is still hurt? Probably lucky for us, his speed would be deadly with how wide open this is.

  38. Jonathan says:

    “You get the sense now that we’re seeing the Edmonton Oilers we saw in the first four games of the season…”

    Clearly, Rob wasn’t watching the first four games of the season.

    Just because the column says “W” doesn’t mean the team was playing well

  39. toqueboy says:

    sometimes, when LT isn’t around the comments…it feels like we’ve all snuck into his living room to watch the game, while he’s out at brunch with the fam.

  40. Doogie2K says:

    I predicted Cole, Hemsky, and Gags to all break their oh-fers before the game. Two out of three so far.

    And while I’m surprised that Souray has been this good, I’m not surprised he wasn’t a complete waste of a roster space. The stats guys, of all people, should be the first to recognize an aberration when they see one, yet they seem to keep pointing to that 2006-07 season.

  41. Bruce says:

    “Tonight, it was idiotic and stupid,” Stars center Mike Modano said. “It was one of the most embarrassing things I’ve seen. If that’s what we’re going for, then they need to find me an off-ice job.”

    All I can add to that is “good on you, Mike”. I know all about throwing your teammates under the bus, but as far as I’m concerned that’s what Ott and Avery did with their antics. Ask Matt Niskanen how happy he is to have Sean Avery on his team … Avery took the vicious cheap shot from behind, and Niskanen took the beating. If anything, Ott was worse with his turtling… watching the replays last night I was thinking both were an embarrassment not just to their team but to the game. If the elder statesman on the team is prepared to call them out, good on him.

    Or as the Boston announcer described one of the fights, “he’s trying to tear Avery limb from limb, and who wouldn’t want to see that?” These guys inspire emotions that are better left in prison yards.

  42. Doogie2K says:

    Or as the Boston announcer described one of the fights, “he’s trying to tear Avery limb from limb, and who wouldn’t want to see that?” These guys inspire emotions that are better left in prison yards.

    I was both baffled and amused by the Boston commentator’s comment about Niskanen no longer looking like a pretty little boy after tonight’s game. What the fuck does that even mean?

  43. Doogie2K says:

    Oh, and here is the story in question, re: the Stars and Bruins.

  44. Bruce says:

    The one thing that has been a big surprise to me is how strong Moreau has looked early – he hasn’t played in two years but he looks like he hasn’t lost anything at all.

    Jonathan: It is a pleasant surprise but hardly a shock; Ethan Moreau has been a good player for a long time, and if anything the last two years haven’t exacted the usual wear and tear on him. It seems like every year he has at least one stretch of a couple weeks where he doesn’t beat the puck square and he’s got his skating legs going and he looks like a Team Canada quality player. He was in a similar stretch the time he almost got the shorthanded hat trick in Philly … absolutely flying in a stretch of great games.

  45. HBomb says:

    Holy crap. MacIntyre vs. Cote…..that was a superheavyweight tilt. Both guys busted open.

  46. Doogie2K says:

    Good scrap there. You know it’s been a tough one when both guys are bleeding.

  47. HBomb says:

    Hemsky AGAIN. Holy fuck. Better than the first one. Braydon Coburn is having one rough day.

  48. Doogie2K says:

    Jesus Christ, he did it again.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Ales Hemsky.

  49. Jonathan says:

    Well, Hemsky certainly doesnt look disinterested tonight.

    Holy cow.

  50. toqueboy says:

    i’m not defending modano, but avery scored and got under the skin of the opposition. that’s what he’s paid to do.

    i also, saw this as the continued trend of people wanting to pick fights after mostly clean hits…which is becoming super lame, and the nhl is becoming so sanitized it’s disgusting. i wonder if modano remembers what it was like when he was breaking into the league…seems to me there was a ton more assfucks in the show back in the late 80s than there is now and there’s always been a bunch of them who didn’t want to fight everytime they had a hit.

    i’m not defending ott, but everyone on that team has high emotions because they’re letting in 5 goals a game, when they all thought they’d be undefeated all season.

    a good fuckin’ line brawl is exactly what dallas needs to get them out of their funk.

    i’m not saying i’m impressed with ott or avery, but they’re not the only problem in dallas…and it’s bullshit statements like this that got the C taken away from that spoiled brat modano.

    ___________

    wow…i wish hemmer got to play in the afternoon 80 times a year.

  51. PunjabiOil says:

    I want Hemsky’s babies

  52. Doogie2K says:

    Geez, Smid mauls Metropolit before the whistle. That’s new.

  53. Schitzo says:

    Not a bad penalty for Smid to take, as long as we can come out with a kill for him

  54. toqueboy says:

    sidenote to the dallas rant:

    the bruins are a really easy team to like right now

    and

    seriously, i hope dallas goes 0fer, misses the playoffs and is the suck the rest of my life…the more drama in dallas the better.

  55. goldenchild says:

    commercial GB Ten, 83 man vs boys again. I have watched a total of about 3 mins of this game.

  56. toqueboy says:

    that philly macT jersey was about the sweetest thing ever

  57. Doogie2K says:

    @GC: Well, you’ve picked the best three minutes. That Hemsky guy is looking pretty good right now.

  58. Schitzo says:

    Toqueboy: They were good enough to knock the Ducks out last year, so they’re OK in my book.

  59. toqueboy says:

    @schitzo:

    yeah, it’s like the fat greasy girl or the one with herpes.

  60. Scott says:

    Just got here and noticed Roli is in again. Good for him. If they win this game he may well get a third start in a row. He’s got to be feeling great.

  61. Doogie2K says:

    Souray!

  62. Jonathan says:

    I have this residual feeling of hatred towards Dallas.

    Too many playoff matchups as I was growing up, I suppose.

  63. Scott says:

    How has Gilbert looked without Grebeshkov so far?

  64. toqueboy says:

    who wants a souray jersey? beauty!

  65. Doogie2K says:

    Three assists for Gilbert today. He’s been alright.

  66. Scott says:

    Seems like this game has been awesome so far.

    Also, SOURAY!

  67. Doogie2K says:

    This is apparently point night for guys who haven’t had many lately.

  68. Scarlett says:

    Finally, a breakout game for the Oilers. I think someone called this would happen soon? :)

  69. toqueboy says:

    FIRST LINE!!!

    wow, if we actually have a first line and a third line that outperforms and the kids can get soft minutes…it could be coming around.

  70. Lord Bob says:

    Where the hell did this come from? Seriously?

  71. Jonathan says:

    Can MacTavish keep Penner on the top line now?

  72. gary b says:

    last two PPs looking way better than yesterday’s (esp. yesterday’s 5on3). end result is Souray point shot goal, but Gagner moving thru the middle of the box opens things up a bit.

    and now Penner. nice!

  73. Scott says:

    SOUuuuuu-RAYYYYYY sou-RAY sou-RAY sou-RAYYyyyyy sou-rayyyyyy sou-rayyyyyy

  74. PunjabiOil says:

    This is as close as it gets to domination 5 on 5.

  75. Jonathan says:

    Two things:

    Gilbert has been OK – not great IMO. Something like the other game where Grebeshkov had a ton of points but was just middling.

    I doubt that the kids ever get fed easy minutes again. MacT seems determined to get them trained sooner rather than later.

  76. toqueboy says:

    definitely liking smid’s game more than strud’s today.

  77. Scott says:

    Yeah, Roli’s feeling good.

  78. Doogie2K says:

    @Jonathan: I keep seeing 89 on the PK, and I’m wondering now if MacT’s thinking of 99 on the PK back in the day and decided, might as well get him started early.

  79. Jonathan says:

    If it wasnt obvious before – Roli sure is feeling confident right now. Batting the puck like that brings me back to the SCF Run.

  80. toqueboy says:

    @scott

    roli is super feeling it, but it also means he’s more emotional in net. i like it when his game is monotone, but that said, it’s nice to see we have a goalie with some confidence.

    a good start for garon and some confidence in our platoon would be nice…then all we need to do is figure out JD so we can get another healthy player up here.

  81. Jonathan says:

    @Doogie – IIRC, Crawford used to run the Sedins on the PK too; obviously, they dont see a lot of time there now, but I think the experience probably helps widen out a players game.

    If I had to bet, in a couple of years 89 will be spending so much time on the PP and at EV that he wont see the kill at all.

  82. toqueboy says:

    @Doogie – IIRC, Crawford used to run the Sedins on the PK too; obviously, they dont see a lot of time there now, but I think the experience probably helps widen out a players game.

    i think penner seeing harder defensive minutes is a similar commitment to his development so that we have well rounded top 6 players.

  83. Doogie2K says:

    Great, so we start scoring and we forget how to kill penalties?

  84. kinger says:

    PK is doing well.

  85. Scott says:

    The PK is really hurting tonight, and really this whole season. I wonder what’s going wrong. They’ve been so good for so long.

  86. Jonathan says:

    This Philadelphia powerplay is starting to bother me.

  87. Julian says:

    I hope Dennis is keeping track of SC this game, I haven’t seen more than three for the Flyers at ES the whole game.

  88. Doogie2K says:

    Also, did anyone else notice Gagner getting tackled behind the play, right before the Souray penalty?

  89. Scott says:

    It seems to me that we need to move some of the guys out of the rotation, especially Penner, Brodziak and Gagner. I seem to remember Dennis indicating that by SC those guys have been pretty bad. They’ve been on the ice for quite a few goals too.

  90. Jonathan says:

    @Doogie- yeah, I saw that too. Gagner was skating around after, so I assumed it looked way worse than it felt ;)

  91. Scarlett says:

    The PK has been horrible today. That last goal is on Gilbert, who had a shit clearing attempt and they scored 3 secs later. Just a simple ‘clearing the zone’ are hard to come by….

  92. Schitzo says:

    It makes no sense to me why Pouliot isn’t seeing PK time.

  93. spOILer says:

    They’ve all been long-rangers too. But nothing could’ve been done on Coburn’s, just a perfect screen.

  94. Bruce says:

    Man, this PK unit is the suck right now. Weak sauce clearance by Gilbert, who then screened Roli. Tom’s having a strange game, three assists to break out of a scoring drought but none of them were particularly special, twice he handled the puck in his own zone and Hemsky did the work, and once he got the second assist on a routine powerplay cycle, where Gagner’s pass and Souray’s shot were the key plays. On the downside he had a terrible giveaway that led to the penalty that led to the first goal, and a bad play on the 5-3 goal. (5-3 !!! Is this an Oilers game?) And then there was this play where he had the puck in his own end and circled behind his own net like three different times while the Flyers made a change and applied almost zero pressure, and finally the third time he made a horrible pass right in between two teammates that gave the puck right back to the Flyers in the neutral zone. He just looks tentative to my eye, hopefully some success on the scoreboard will help.

  95. Dennis says:

    I usually make a couple of initial notes and then bust through the games afterwards so I imagine it will be Tues or Wed before I get this game up; I also have the Nsh and Car games to log as well.

    I would imagine though that Philly is logging absolutely next to nothing at EV in terms of EV, though.

    And the PP is a fucking mess and I wonder why 13 and 78 aren’t being used more and why he’s leaning on certain new guys.

    Souray has a goal and assist but his shitty clearing attempt lead to the first Phi PP goal and he’s taken two penalties as well;)

  96. Doogie2K says:

    Penner just stole Selanne’s ketchup metaphor.

  97. Bruce says:

    Yeah you’re right, Dennis, that was a weak clearance by Souray on the first, not dissimilar from what Gilbert did on the last one. As for penalties and as usual, I have some issues with what constitutes a penalty and what doesn’t, and why there is a difference depending on which team is committing the infraction, but that’s probably just me being a biased homer. That last call was pretty lame, esp. after what had just happened to Gagner. Reffing by the scoreboard.

  98. Doogie2K says:

    And shit.

  99. Bruce says:

    Roli’s got to cover that.

  100. Scott says:

    Oh Hell.

  101. Doogie2K says:

    Fourth line draws a penalty. Time to get that ugly one back.

  102. Bruce says:

    Another weak sauce giveaway by Gilbert five feet inside our blueline followed by a long pressure. Tom has got to get the puck over line at minimum there.

  103. Doogie2K says:

    Oh, right, I forgot. This is an Oilers power play.

  104. Doogie2K says:

    I almost forgot that the Flyers had their own Gagne(r). Does this make Simon Gagne East?

  105. toqueboy says:

    where’s cole?

  106. Bruce says:

    Another Visnovsky shot into the netting. The one before hit the glass.

  107. Bruce says:

    Memo to Louie: puck possession on the PP doesn’t qualify as “great” when it doesn’t generate a single shot on net.

  108. Slipper says:

    At the time I recall wondering aloud why Modano was stripped of the “C” in Dallas in favour of Morrow.

    But man, you just don’t shit on your team like that. Ecspecially when they’re going through a stretch of bad goalrending that perhaps only Brad Richards can recognize.

    Avery is doing what Avery does. Being a pest, drawing powerplays, and… oh yeah, being one of the top performing forwards on his team.

  109. toqueboy says:

    what type of stick did vis use when he put up those big numbers? right now his shot reminds me of a slightly slower MAB version…

  110. mc79hockey says:

    Bruce – not revisit the Hemsky issue early but he’s up to .8/.8/1.6 at evens and 0.0/9.6/9.6 on the PP. High for him on the PP, low on the ES numbers but we’re talking about needing an extra ES assist or so for everything to be normal.

  111. Scott says:

    Pouliot looks to be getting MacIntyred in the third so far.

  112. Scott says:

    On good another power play for the Flyers. When is the last time we allowed four PP goals?

    Oh yeah. Last week. Sigh.

  113. Bruce says:

    Smid was a split second late reacting to his partner’s latest turnover there, but Gilbert just tossed the puck right on Mike Richards stick. What impressed me about this guy last year was how smart he was with the puck, but that’s a distant memory at the moment.

  114. Doogie2K says:

    PENALTY KILL!

  115. Scott says:

    50% on the night! Celebrations reminiscent of French class!

  116. Doogie2K says:

    ADEQUACY!

    ;)

  117. Scott says:

    Pisani on the draw! WHYYYY!

  118. Schitzo says:

    God bless you Cole

  119. Scott says:

    To clarify, yes icing and all that.

    I mean WHYYYY is he playing center!

  120. Doogie2K says:

    Whew.

  121. PunjabiOil says:

    That last minute of playing ”keep-away” was amusing

  122. Lowetide says:

    A nice win, the Oilers seem to be gaining a little confidence and 83 performed well.

    I remain a little muddy on how MacT plans to use Pouliot this season (and Brodziak) and it looked to my eye that not playing Grebeshkov didn’t change the number of high event plays.

    Oilers are in this thing despite the schedule and the crazy lines.

  123. Black Dog says:

    A good weekend all told and a few guys seem to be getting it going now. Appears Smid may be taking a step forward as well.

    Bruce – I think Gilbert needs a boost of confidence – hopefully a three point game will give him that, no matter how garnered. By my eye he’s been a little tentative, maybe that contract is weighing on him a bit. Just has to relax and play his game.

  124. PunjabiOil says:

    Smid had a wonderful game today. AsiaOIl should be coming on here and thumping his chest.

    Penner had his game going…when he’s on, he’s really on. Great job along the boards. This first line has got it going.

    Gilbert with a terrible game. Looked like the young Tom Poti out there.

    Gagner was terrific today, making the proper reads, and showing confidence with the puck.

    Roloson was pretty average or even sub-par. He is what he is – a backup goaltender. I really see no reason why Garon shouldn’t be getting the lion’s share of the starts.

    Great start to this road-trip. Geting a split on the back to back against Columbus (Voracek has 8 points thus far) and Pittsburgh would be vital.

    Great NFL weekend too. WOOOOO!

  125. Jonathan says:

    Yeah, Ladislav Smid looks (and yes, it is early) like he has hit his breakout season – and not a moment too soon, given the nature of the defense corps. Souray has been really good on the whole as well.

    For all of their shakiness, Gilbert and Grebeshkov have logged a ton of minutes, and against quality opponents, so it may just be my unbridled optimism, but I think this is just about as bad as it gets for them as a pairing.

    On the flip side of things, MacTavish seems to have lowered the responsibility on 24, and 24 has looked much better as a result. I think its finally time that he takes a needed step back on the depth chart.

  126. Slipper says:

    There are only positives when you win both of back-to-back, matinee, East coast road games.

  127. Bruce says:

    Fun game, my palms are sweating. LT, you’re right about high-event plays, there were a few too many 3-on-2s for my liking, esp. with the lead. 6 penalties all to defencemen auggests we were chasing a little too much.

    Great game for Smid, the Oilers were credited with 8 hits and Ladi had 5 of them, plus a couple of blocked shots, a takeaway, and of course 2 assists and a +2. He was jumping into the offensive game a little bit and looking confident throughout.

    Three assists for 77 masked an uneven effort. Of course he’s second star cuz of the points, but watch the replays and you won’t see him on any of them, they were just routine plays long before the actual goals went in. Nonetheless, 0-3-3, +2 is a major step in the right direction.

    27 back with 10 and 83 and all three guys have responded with two strong games. Penner got the winner by doing what he does, causing havoc in front and looking for the rebound, and when the initial play is Hemsky teeing up Souray that’s a winning combination. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, and not just on the PP.

    Horcoff 11 for 20 in the circle, the rest of the team 9 for 39. Pisani 2 for 15, that has to be a cause for concern. this isn’t quite the disaster that the Ryan Smyth experiment was, but it’s close. I got all day for Fernando on the 3line of course, just not at centre, PLEASE!!! MacT’s dilemma is that Cole and Moreau are both playing excellent and nobody really deserves to be demoted, but it seems like 51 and 78 are getting the short end of the stick just now.

    Funny thing, the more confident Dwayne Roloson gets with the puck the less confident I become. He’s a scary bugger. He is a battler, though, and he battled to victory today despite some tough breaks. Good to see him get the goal support, which is the most important thing this whole team needed.

  128. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah, Smid is playing well now. He's still good for one egregious mental mistake per game it seems. But he's still just a kid. Got caught poaching on that Philly breakaway in the third.

    IMO Visnovsky has been this team's MVP so far, hands down. I don't think the Oilers have ever had a Dman that moved the puck north-south so effectively, without giving much back either.

    Though I can see why he wants to play the right side on the PP (the ONLY side that Souray should be allowed to play, btw, esp on a team with Hemsky and Gagner on it). He fires that puck at close to 100 MPH and head height way too much. If Pronger (LH point with Hemmer on the LH sideboards) did that he would have killed Smyth before Xmas in '05.

    Horcoff and Hemsky seem to have found the balance of niftiness and grittiness that they need to play with. They were erring way too much towards the former over the first few methinks. They've improved a lot since, nice to see them starting to get rewarded.

    Gilbert is just fine, Grebs has struggled a bunch, they need to get the latter softer icetime when he returns.

    Souray doesn't look any hell to me, he's looked great for stretches, and slow and vulnerable for moments. I think if Gilbert had been playing with Vis we'd be starting allstar buzz about Tom. Having said that, Huddy is playing 44 in critical situations quite a lot, and he's the guy watching all of the game tape.

    And 44s numbers away from Vis are still decent.
    http://timeonice.com/playershots.php?team=EDM&first=20001&last=21230&henrik=44&daniel=71
    And 71 is getting the extra shifts in offensive situations more that Souray has been, at least by a bit, and in a lot of the games. Maybe he is improving, it's not like he's older than Chelios … stranger stuff has happened.

  129. Bruce says:

    Bruce – not revisit the Hemsky issue early

    … but let’s revisit it early. :) Nice to see Ales bring his A game the last couple days, and especially to see him light the lamp today for the first time since mid-March. Two world-class goals, no question about that.

    we’re talking about needing an extra ES assist or so for everything to be normal.

    “Normal” to me isn’t an entire month with 0 goals, just 2 primary assists, and 1 ESP; but it is indeed possible to turn that around with a hot streak. Hopefully this is just the start.

    Ales played just 8:29 at EV today, (barely) ahead of 51, 78 and 33 and behind every other forward on the team. Strange, considering how well he was skating.

  130. Vic Ferrari says:

    The PK needs to be sorted. I think that MacTavish must have a mandate to develop the kids, to give them some tough minutes. And he’s afraid to do it at evens … so we’ve got a youth brigade PK right now.

    And I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the Oilers current defacto 4th liners (Pouliot and Brodziak) will be sent over the boards for own zone draws more times in the next game than Detroit’s 4th line will for the rest of the year.

    And unless I’m missing some other team with wackiness going on … I bet this Oilers 4th line duo has already had more of those than all the other 4th line players in the Western conference. Seriously. there is some odd, odd stuff going on with the Oilers bottom six right now. MacTavish should probably check to make sure that none of his prescriptions are conflicting, because even the most imaginative “MacT guys” (myself included) have run out of explanations.

    At this point I honestly believe that the Oilers would be better off if one of their quality, top-3-line icetime wingers was out of the lineup for a while, just so the Pisani at centre experiment could end. Seriously.

    And Nilsson has impressed me too. He’s getting in shooting lanes, making little pick plays that look accidental and will never get called. Quick decisions and shorter passes this year for the most part. All good.

    Pouliot and Brodziak look like bonafide NHLers for all the world, as well.

    There are more losing streaks and winning streaks to come I’m sure. But if Horcoff, Visnovski, Hemsky and Cole all stay reasonably healthy, and barring significant interference from angry Hockey Gods … this is very likely a playoff team IMO.

  131. Vic Ferrari says:

    that should read …

    … than all the other 4th line players in the Western conference COMBINED.

  132. Bruce says:

    sidenote to the dallas rant:
    the bruins are a really easy team to like right now

    You got that right, ToqueBoy, they’re emerging as one of my faves in the other conference. Gotta love the Tim Thomas story, and when you see Marc Savard jumping in to Milan Lucic’s defence, that’s a team that’s got each other’s backs.

  133. mc79hockey says:

    “Normal” to me isn’t an entire month with 0 goals, just 2 primary assists, and 1 ESP; but it is indeed possible to turn that around with a hot streak. Hopefully this is just the start.

    Christ, he’s almost got it turned around with one good game. That, I think, was mine and LT’s point all along – the fact that a month like that is, in fact, close enough to normal that it can be wiped out with a good game, strongly supports the position that it was too early to get worried.

    Ales played just 8:29 at EV today, (barely) ahead of 51, 78 and 33 and behind every other forward on the team.

    I figured he was getting pinched by all of the special teams time. With his linemates being PKers, he’s going to get pinched when they kill a shift unless MacT turns the blender to puree. I bet if you went and parsed the timeonice chart, you could “find” his missing shifts.

  134. Dennis says:

    I know how poorly 77 has been playing but that breakaway penalty on 5 had a lot to do with 5′s positioning as well. Smid is a great skater and he’s getting stronger but he has that braindead element that right now we can attribute to youth.

    Of course, 18′s in his early 30′s and he still has a lot of dummy left in him as well so sometimes you never grow out of it.

    I have no fucking idea why 13 and or 26 or 78 isn’t being used instead of some of 51-27-89.

    Starting with 10-18-34 writes itself but there has to be a better way of rounding out the rest.

    Overall, an awesome EV performance given QualComp, frequency of games and location therein and there’s certainly a lot of talent here. But the netminding’s unstable and there are enough visible moves that we can see MacT’s still running this bench like it’s a development and/or experimental year.

    And as long as that’s the case, we’ll be more vulnerable than we really should be.

  135. Jonathan says:

    IMO Visnovsky has been this team’s MVP so far, hands down. I don’t think the Oilers have ever had a Dman that moved the puck north-south so effectively, without giving much back either.

    I like Visnovsky just fine, and I think he’s rounding into form, but he’s still way too much of a riverboat gambler for my taste. Not Grebeshkov-level gambling, but especially early he did some silly things.

    The other thing with 71 is his powerplay performance – although I’m somewhat inclined to blame MacTavish for this. He’s got too many redundant skills with Souray and both really ought to be on the same point; presumably MacT figures it would be a waste of either of them to demote one to the second unit, but they don’t complement each other well with the man advantage.

    Lastly, 71 hasn’t looked good against size; I really think that at 5-on-5 it’s a case of 44 and 71 contributing things the other lacks, rather than 71 propping up 44.

  136. Bruce says:

    Christ, he’s almost got it turned around with one good game. That, I think, was mine and LT’s point all along – the fact that a month like that is, in fact, close enough to normal that it can be wiped out with a good game, strongly supports the position that it was too early to get worried.

    MC: … and my point was that he needed to get it turned around. Your definition of “close to normal” and mine are very different. I did acknowledge throughout the discussion that it was early in the season … and it still is. Let’s resume this discussion at the end of November, as LT suggested. As I also said all along, I hope I’ll be eating my words.

    As for ES TOI, I was surprised not to see Ales get a couple more shifts with 78 and 51, that’s been MacT’s MO with SMac in the line-up. not so much today. Hemsky did get a pile of time on the PP, though, not that he did a lot with it. I guess his PP output was due for a correction too. :)

    I know how poorly 77 has been playing but that breakaway penalty on 5 had a lot to do with 5′s positioning as well.

    Dennis: I commented at the time that Smid got caught on that play, he was “poaching” a little bit, which at least means he’s thinking offence which isn’t all bad. He probably wasn’t counting on Gilbert making such a direct giveaway. That Mike Richards is an opportunistic son-of-a-gun, great transition game and he’s murder on the PK. I’m nothing but all shades of impressed with that guy. That time he burned 77 and 5 but that’s what he does to whomever he lines up against, seems to me. At the end of the day it wasn’t a bad penalty, Smid disrupted Hartnell enough while avoiding the PS, and the Flyers never got as good a chance on the subsequent PP.

    There wasn’t a defenceman on the team who played a mistake-free game today, rarely happens, but Smid and Staios came closest. Strudwick’s lack of footspeed was really evident today; it’s hard to see him staying ahead of Smid on the depth chart at this point. But he’s a nice option as the 7th guy, I’m sure not trying to knock the guy. He just “is what he is”.

  137. Coach pb9617 says:

    BTW, not sure if anyone else saw this but there was some interesting doings and transpirings in Bos last night and Mondano wasn’t impressed with his own side.

    Check out the Dallas Morning News for the deats.

    Really?

    You know that the internet has these things called hyperlinks now, right? I saw the game last night, but I’d be interested in details if you could provide a link to those details. A hyperlink.

  138. Asiaoil says:

    Smid is doing well – and obviously I’m not stunned. But it’s a long season and he’s still young so there will be more bumps in the road – but he’s through the worst of the development curve. This is when a guy with his toolkit should start to “get it”. If he continues to play well I lock him up ASAP for as long as possible – the contract will look cheap in another 18 months. None of this is rocket science though – just the usual dman development track that test your patience. The main point is that he does have a ton of talent, he’s big, and he’s coachable. Just leave him be and enjoy the finished product in a couple more years.

    This stretch of games is why we need both Roloson and Garon. Neither guy is anything more than an average starter – but having both of them means that we will have at least average goaltending every night and this team needs that. I still think that if we can pull Lehtonen out of ATL using young forwards like Cogliano and Sugartits as bait – then that’s a deal that could take the team to the next level. Eberle is in the system, Rowbear is turning into a fine two way player and Gagner will be special – we can lose Cogs and Schremp without issue if the return is important enough.

    As for Mr Souray – sure he has defensive issues but Huddy and MacT can make darn near any dman look at least competent – so why should anyone be surprised that Souray is playing well?

    Moreau is another explainable case – the NHL season is a very long, very hard grind that takes a huge toll on the body – especially as you get older. Moreau simply has fewer miles on him and is very well rested – he running around like a young guy because he’s been on the shelf for two years. As long as he avoids major injury – look for a good year. Then back to normal next season at which point the complaining will start all over again.

  139. Bruce says:

    Coach: Doogie posted this link a little more than halfway up the scroll bar.

  140. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh, and here is the story in question, re: the Stars and Bruins.

    Thanks Doogie.

  141. Coach pb9617 says:

    roli is super feeling it, but it also means he’s more emotional in net. i like it when his game is monotone, but that said, it’s nice to see we have a goalie with some confidence.

    a good start for garon and some confidence in our platoon would be nice…then all we need to do is figure out JD so we can get another healthy player up here.

    Or trade Garon to the caps!

  142. Coach pb9617 says:


    And I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the Oilers current defacto 4th liners (Pouliot and Brodziak) will be sent over the boards for own zone draws more times in the next game than Detroit’s 4th line will for the rest of the year.

    Which is a very bright thing to do in this case. Win the draw, get it out and switch on the way down.

    It will happen too, if only because everything that the commenters here have come to an agreement on has happened thus far.

  143. mc79hockey says:

    MC: … and my point was that he needed to get it turned around. Your definition of “close to normal” and mine are very different.

    Well, although you refer to him as being ofer an entire month, which I hope was a rhetorical flourish, as that month involved only 8 games, the question is what’s normal for Hemsky in a period of 128 minutes or so, which is how much ES time he played in October.

    As it so happens, “normal” based on the last three years, would be about 4.4 ES points and he had one. The question – and this is what I’ve been driving at all along – is whether 1 point is so far off what’s normal that it’s worth getting excited about. Your position is apparently “yes”. My position is that that looks to me to be within the normal bounds of what we can expect from someone who’s a true talent 2.2 ESP/60 guy.

  144. Vic Ferrari says:

    coachpb9617:

    If it’s such a good idea why doesn’t anyone else do it? And it’s not just winning the draw, it’s what you do afterward. They’ve stayed on the ice enough that when Moreau is playing with either Pouliot or Brodziak (admittedly it usually starts in the Oiler end of the rink) by shots he:

    * is +5 in shots +/-
    * has started in his own end 7 more times than the other.

    When Pisani is his centre (I love Pisani btw) he is:

    * is a team worst -23 shots +/-
    * has started in the good end 10 more times than his own end.

    If that’s a coincidence, it’s a freaking belter. My eyes aren’t lying to me here.

    And this is a team that has a terrific duo of Horcoff (shots +/- 25 after a slow start, and the guy does so many little things well that this pattern isn’t isn’t going to change if he stays healthy) and Hemsky. These two have made some damn good hockey players (Legwand, Erat, Brind’Amour, Whitney, Richards) play most of the game in their own end over the past few days.

    And beyond that you’ve got the kids, who should be getting props for not ending in their own end nearly as much this year. For a bunch of runts, they can keep the puck alive in the good end pretty well some nights. So far so good anyways, and thank Christmas for that, because the third line, who should be charged with playing some decent opp, mostly top two lines, and starting in their own end and getting the puck going the other way … well it’s been a gong show.

    For Christmas sakes, Stortini and MacIntyre have been more likely to start in their own end than The Pisani Project (TM).

    Want to see the difference that having a good third line can make? Watch the Flsames play, any two of Bourque/Glencross/Boyd/Moss out there and they just own the puck. Time will tell if any of those cats really have a lot of finish, but it sends a ripple down the whole lineup, they eat up minutes, against decent players from the sounds of it from Kent W., and the shift-after scoring chance plus/minus must be through the roof for those guys.

    MacTavish is loathe to put any one of his veterans or Penner on the 4th line. And he’s been paying for it, and it’s not going to stop.

    I mean I was one of the few around here who thought it was a good experiment to try. I remember Moreau saying “we’re all three good players. Eventually we’ll be a good line”. Made sense to me.

    But Jevus, at some point MacT crossed the line from patience to stubbornness here.

  145. Dennis says:

    Coach: I honestly don’t know how to link; most times I’ll copy and paste but I didn’t do it that time because — you wouldn’t believe this — but there are Also Search engines available on the internet!!!!

    ;)

    Vic: I’m a big fan of 12′s but I didn’t think he was all that great today, either. I’ll base my opinions on what the SC’s say but it seemed today that 89 was driving the Kid bus.

    As for the folks talking about the PP redundancy, I think it would be a great move to move 71 down to play Shooter with the kids. And then we can put a puckhandler and decoy alongside Souray.

    Back to Vic, and yes, some very off moves being made by MacT. I’m not saying we’re world beaters but with some tweaks I think we’re better than what we’ve been showing. 89′s a smart young fucker and he might be a good PKer someday but I’ll guess 13′s speed and quickness makes him a superior PKer on November 1st, 2008. And the same thing goes for 78 over 27 and perhaps 51 as well.

    Also, 27 can only play with 10-83 etc etc.

  146. Vic Ferrari says:

    bruce:

    Dmaen should never poach at evens. Never, ever.

    Back in the 80s Bob Johnson used to publish a manual of expectations for all Flames players. As thick as a plank. Diagrams showing where you were expected to be on the ice at all times, dress code, behavior during interviews with the media, etc. (Sean Avery wouldn’t have lasted long on a Johnson team, BTW).

    Anyhow, apparently on the first page he listed his three main points. I only remember two of them.

    1. Calgary Flames players win battles.

    2. Calgary Flames defencemen don’t poach.

  147. Coach pb9617 says:

    Smid’s play has been such that there’s no way he can be sent back to the PB when everyone is healthy.

  148. Vic Ferrari says:

    To add, when Gretzky is in your division, that’s all the more important.

    And as you’ve shown with your plus/minus numbers over the past weeks, the Oilers, even without Gretzky, would quite possibly still have been one of the best 7 or 8 teams in the league during the 80s.

  149. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    12 hasn’t been great over the last two, but I think at least some of that is just a matter of possession not turning into scoring chances, just the bounces and being off a little.

    He made a great pick in the CAR game though, when he lost the puck he kept going and bumped through the CAR dman accidentally. A Horcoffian move, and a good sign I think.

    Plus those frightening high seam passes are fewer and further between. Then today off the draw, in the late second or early third, he got around his man and didn’t lose the shooting lane, blocked the shot at least partially, and I don’t remember exactly what happened after that but the Oilers ended up with meaningful possession anyways.

    All good signs I think.

    And I think that Gagner has been driving the bus on the kid line since day one, and still is. They just haven’t been going in. He’s unflappable as well, Principe was essentially apologizing for his lack of panic a few days ago, after the NSH game, on Gregor’s show. The gist of it (NOT exact words by any stretch) was “I think he’s panicking on the inside just like you, Oiler fans. He’s just hiding it.”

    Good to see.

  150. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    I missed some of the early games, all or parts. A couple I listened to on the radio, and a couple I recorded, but watching when you know the result just doesn’t work for me, so it was a bit of a fast forward speed-watch.

    Maybe Gilbert struggled more then, I dunno. I mean I don’t think he’s going to bring enough offense to be a good bet to cover his contract, but hopefully he does. In any case i don’t think he’s been bad.

    His PDO luck number last year was great, but the worm turns on that stuff without regard for past results.

    And he’s got an .883 EVsave% behind him and a 3.8% in-ice EVshooting in front of him, at least before today’s game. I know that you’re vulnerable to reason with numbers Dennis, and there is very little sustain in this. That’s a PDO# of .921 … that’s Torres/Stoll country from last year.

    When he has a stretch that none of his mistakes are ending up in his own net and all of his good plays are ending up in the other team’s net, well most the HFboarders and Lowetiders will be lauding him, and linking to Staples’ site for material confirmation of their opinions.

    And call me crazy, but I think that’s sweet. :D

  151. Jonathan says:

    And he’s got an .883 EVsave% behind him and a 3.8% in-ice EVshooting in front of him, at least before today’s game. I know that you’re vulnerable to reason with numbers Dennis, and there is very little sustain in this. That’s a PDO# of .921 … that’s Torres/Stoll country from last year.

    Vic, it’s as if you don’t know that EV SV% behind a player is a mark of his defensive prowess, and EV SH% in front of him is a sign of his offensive ability.

    Gilbert just sucks man. Let it go ;)

  152. Asiaoil says:

    Interesting stuff on the 3rd line Vic – but we should not be surprised that the Pisani experiment goes on – although it’s a damn waste of a great RW.

    I’ve come to the opinion that it’s MacT’s way of giving Lowe the finger when Lowe refuses to do the sensible thing almost every summer in terms of assets. This summer anyone with a brain could appreciate that faceoffs and the 3rd line pivot slot were going to be an issue – but once again a clear and obvious problem was left unaddressed by Lowe for no particular reason. That issue is separate from trading Stoll which I supported for cap reasons – but something could have and should have been done – even if it was simply bringing Reasoner back. MacT was certainly vocal about it.

    So here we are in November – Lowe did not address MacTs asset needs – and MacT is forced to display the foolishness of Lowe’s decision once again by playing Pisani at C watching his and Cogliano’s FO numbers drop into the realm of abysmal. I’m convinced that MacT and Lowe are on different pages more often than not in terms of asset needs – and it could be that one of those two will be doing something else sooner rather than later since Katz is now running the show.

    Pouliot and Schremp for Stajan anyone?

  153. Jonathan says:

    Pouliot and Schremp for Stajan anyone?

    Pass, thanks. It’s just my opinion, but I really think that both Pouliot/Brodziak have shown enough early to deserve a shot at that number three spot. They’ve certainly started a ton of times in their own end, and neither has been burnt alive just yet. I don’t know that much about Stajan, but IIRC, he isn’t exactly a bonafide guy in that spot either (is he? I doubt it but things certainly could be going the other way since last I looked).

    The easiest solution is to slide Gagner out of that right wing spot, since all of Hemsky, Cole and Pisani deserve top-nine ice-time. Perhaps:

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Nilsson – Gagner – Cole
    Moreau – Pouliot – Pisani
    Cogliano – Brodziak – MacIntyre

    with MacIntyre switching out and any of the other six wingers subbing in his place. Cogliano could get his extra time on special teams (why he isn’t being used on the penalty kill is beyond me) and of course Brodziak could fill in as the spare centre whenever necessary.

    I also wouldn’t be worried about moving Gagner to centre – Cole/Nilsson are great wingers, and worst case scenario, MacTavish could shelter that line more than he has to date.

  154. Coach pb9617 says:

    If it’s such a good idea why doesn’t anyone else do it?

    I have no idea what you’re ranting towards after this sentence.

  155. Vic Ferrari says:

    Asiaoil:

    You may well be right about the reasons. I remember Dave King’s comment after being canned by an RSL team early a couple of seasons ago.

    Very nearly, but by memory:
    We didn’t get off to a good start, they told me to play the young guys. I played the young guys.

    Ah shucks, couldn’t happen to a better man. But that’s the way it rolls sometimes.

    Still, I didn’t think that either of Brodz or Pouliot were ready for the gig, but both have looked good. Pouliot is surprisingly hard on the puck, with him and Pisani in deep … well I just can’t see how they won’t create chances.

    So why is MacTavish sticking with this? I mean I’m sure he knows these numbers better than us, and has the scoring chance stuff to hand. And who understands the context of the ice time better than the guy who created it?

    I dunno man, but there is something afoot here. Who the hell knows, maybe MacTavish really is on the way out, and they’re just waiting for an good skid (which we all damn well know are inevitable for everyone, even Detroit).

    Odd stuff this year. I couldn’t see a damn thing in the tea leaves a year ago when Lowetide predicted Kevin Lowe’s “promotion”. But I’m seeing the same patterns as LT right now.

    I hope we’re both wrong. I like MacTavish. I think that having an intelligent Oiler coach and an intelligent American President are both important things, for reasons I won’t even try to defend, I just think the world is a better place when that’s the case. (Though obviously ‘intelligent Oiler coach’ takes precedent in the grand scheme of things). :)

  156. oilerdago says:

    Asiaoil, excellent take re: MacT/Lowe and the waste of a RW over mis-management of assets. I really would not be surprise if MacT is not privately stewing over the fact that he feels he has a pair of 4th line centers and in his mind, neither is ready for that role.

    And I say that even though I really like 78.

    The sooner we get 34 back on the wing the better this team is.

    Ultimately though, I think this does get resolved with a trade at some point – even if on a short term rental.

  157. Vic Ferrari says:

    coachpb said:

    “I have no idea what you’re ranting towards after this sentence.”

    It may just be my stream-of-consciousness style at fault.

    What didn’t you follow? I’ve reread it and it seems clear enough. then again I wrote it, so I suppose that’s always the case.

  158. Vic Ferrari says:

    Guy with remarkably offensive internet nickname said:

    “Ultimately though, I think this does get resolved with a trade at some point – even if on a short term rental.”

    Ya, that’s probably the simplest answer:
    * MacTavish wants a vet C.
    * Tambellini/Lowe think that one or both of Brodziak/Pouliot is up to the task.
    * Battle of wills ensues.
    * Oiler fans roll eyes.

  159. mc79hockey says:

    Guy with remarkably offensive internet nickname

    I think it’s probably Pisani.

  160. PDO says:

    I haven’t watched the guy play forever…

    But can Doug Weight still play? He’s not a righty, but he’s got some nice underlying numbers, he’s a UFA at the end of the season, he’s a veteran, and he’s a natural C…

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Nilsson – Gagner – Cogliano
    Moreau – Weight – Cole
    Pouliot – Brodziak – Pisani

    … I don’t exactly like the idea of Pies there, but everyone there is in position….

  161. Asiaoil says:

    Vic et al…..

    Sure seems like a power struggle to me and I know who’s corner I’m in (that would be the smart guy with the bitchin eyewear). I don’t think Lowe is either a moron or a genius – pretty much middle of the road as far as GMs go – but I think MacT is a very very good coach and it would be crazy to let him fly. I’m tired of Lowe’s annual “let’s leave a gaping hole in the lineup and see if it miraculously fills” routine. Goaltending – then defense – then checking line center. Every year it’s something new and Lowe has NEVER been right.

    MAP and Brodz both have potential to fill the checking line role – but probably not this year. Longterm Brule could be spectacular in it – but again that’s 2-3 years away. So Lowe should have either filled it over the summer through trade/UFA or just kept Marty for one more year like MacT wanted. That would have left MAP and Brodz for the 4th line where they can develop at an appropriate pace.

    The checking line center is not a big deal – but it would have been easy enough to deal with which is the rub :( But as it sits we will probably have to wait for the trade deadline before Lowe wakes up again and helps this team.

    Going forward I still see the need to deal a couple of smaller talented forwards (my choices are Schremp and Cogs) in a package for a difference maker. Given the cap and the fact that I like our forwards and dmen – the obvious choice to me seems goalie. Garon is decent enough but will never be elite – Roloson is out the door soon – and neither JDD or DD has shown any signs of elite play. ATL needs young talent and have a guy who would fit very nicely in Lehtonen. Some of our young offensive talent would probably be pretty appealing to them or some other squad with a top end young goalie. That’s what I’d be targeting with our extra young assets at forward.

  162. Schitzo says:

    PDO: Man, Moreau and Cole with Weight would be like watching two greyhounds and a basset hound all chasing the same ball.

  163. Doogie2K says:

    I’m convinced that MacT and Lowe are on different pages more often than not in terms of asset needs – and it could be that one of those two will be doing something else sooner rather than later since Katz is now running the show.

    Technically, one already is, but point taken.

  164. Black Dog says:

    pdo – I think Weight is done pretty well, maybe maybe could play the role he did with the Canes, iirc, soft minutes, PP, not what this club needs.

    Unless they go and get someone they have to make a decision. Pisani has to be on the wing. Maybe they move Gagner to centre between Nilsson and Cole. Then Cogliano between Moreau and Pisani?? Or swap your RWs?

    To me Pouliot is the obvious guy to take that position for a spin but that means dropping Moreau to the fourth line. Lot of people on board with that recently, including myself, but based on the weekend the guy had and his results so far, does that make sense?? Probably not.

    Until there is an injury or unless this team hits rock bottom then I think MacT keeps rolling with the status quo.

    One more win on this trip and they finish the first fifteen at least at .500.

    Based on the struggles of a lot of these guys so far I think a .500 record would be acceptable to many considering a dozen of those are on the road.

    I’m not saying its right but I think many would agree with that.

  165. Doogie2K says:

    As a follow-up to the Dallas-Boston story, it seems Marty Turco is also fed up with his D. I’m not optimistic that this state of affairs will last, but for this ’90s-vintage Oilers fan, it’s always fun to see Dallas fall apart (even if I’d rather see it in April or May than November).

  166. Jonathan says:

    I’m not optimistic that this state of affairs will last, but for this ’90s-vintage Oilers fan, it’s always fun to see Dallas fall apart (even if I’d rather see it in April or May than November).

    Amen.

  167. Bruce says:

    As it so happens, “normal” based on the last three years, would be about 4.4 ES points and he had one. The question – and this is what I’ve been driving at all along – is whether 1 point is so far off what’s normal that it’s worth getting excited about. Your position is apparently “yes”.

    Tyler: you’re right October was a short month, I kinda forgot it started as late as the 12th for us, but it was 9 games, our offence sucked donkeys (DFL in GF), and our big guns weren’t getting it done. 1 point of an expected 4.4 is just 23% which is not good … but you’re right it’s also just a couple of big games, they were overdue, and one of them was repaid in full today.

    The main thrust of my earlier posts was whether Hemsky should be considered a top 10 RW in the league; for the most part I looked at past seasons’ statistics which made less than a convincing case that he was, and that rather definitively there was nothing new this year that suggested any sort of progress was being made. I stressed more than once that the season was young, and I stressed more than once that I hoped I was wrong. I would have thought the Lowe-bashers would have jumped all over my statement that Lowe’s Oilers don’t have anybody who’s clearcut top 10 in the NHL, I left that door wide open for you …

    Anyway, today Ales Hemsky may have been the best player in the world. To which I can only wish him many happy returns. Care to put that baseball bat away now?

    As for “poaching” that was a poor choice of word on my part, to my view it appeared that with Gilbert in clear possession of the puck Smid got a little wide, which was simply poor positioning (as Dennis correctly put it) rather than poaching. It was a mistake, not exactly a brain cramp, but Gilbert’s bad play exposed it. If Gilbert had been under any kind of pressure along the blueline Smid should have been angling back to the centre circle, but it seemed like a purely offensive situation and it took Smid a split second to long to see the danger. Hardly a horrible blunder, and all’s well that ends well. I for one am very happy with Smid’s play to this point.

  168. mc79hockey says:

    Looking at the highlights, Turco might have a bit of a beef. Grossman got himself caught in no man’s land a few times. With that said, Turco was deep in his net on at least one of them. Probably some bad luck that pucks aren’t hitting him at the moment but I’m inclined to agree – this is fun from an Edmonton perspective.

  169. mc79hockey says:

    The main thrust of my earlier posts was whether Hemsky should be considered a top 10 RW in the league; for the most part I looked at past seasons’ statistics which made less than a convincing case that he was, and that rather definitively there was nothing new this year that suggested any sort of progress was being made.

    I haven’t even got into the past stuff yet. Suffice it to say that I disagree with your interpretation, think that your entire argument against him being a top 10 RW rests on him getting injured and missing 18 games in 2006-07, missing parts of others and playing hurt in others, and would put him at somewhere between 5 and 10.

    I would have thought the Lowe-bashers would have jumped all over my statement that Lowe’s Oilers don’t have anybody who’s clearcut top 10 in the NHL, I left that door wide open for you …

    Speaking for myself (and I’m pretty sure you’re speaking tongue in cheek here but still), Lowe’s screwed up enough without me twisting cases like Hemsky to make a cheap point I don’t really believe anyway.

  170. Scott says:

    Regarding the “who’s in charge” of player acquisitions, this is from an interview with Lowe near the beginning of TC this year:

    On Tambellini’s role:
    “Our thoughts and views on the game and players were similar [when we worked together on building the Olympic team].”
    “[He'll] assume many of my duties if not all of them.”

    On his own role:
    “[My role will be] overseeing. I’ve ben too focused on the day-to-day stuff and in some respects I found that it suppressed my creativity, whatever that means, but I’m seeing the forest for the trees or through the trees I guess.”

    I think that makes it pretty clear that in terms of filling holes via trade and free agency, the decision will be mostly left to Tambellini. To me, Lowe sounds a bit confused about what exactly will be expected of him, but that he’s pretty clear his old duties now belong to Tambellini.

    As far as the actual team goes, there will eventually be a winger that gets injured. If and when that happens, this whole Pisani problem should be solved so long as whoever gets the 3C shot at that time runs with it.

    Count me in on enjoying the Stars crumble. The fact that it’s Modano and Turco really helps actually. It it was Richards and Mike Smith, the effect just wouldn’t be the same. If Zubov freaks out it will be complete.

    I thought that MacT needed five points to not get canned at the end of this trip. He’s looking very much like he’s going to make it there and it seems like more of the roster is falling into place now with Penner on the top line. It’s a nice thing when the biggest problems are on your bottom two lines and not your top two lines.

  171. Bruce says:

    I … would put him at somewhere between 5 and 10.

    I hope you’re right, Tyler. I guess I’m just not among “the large majority of Oilers fans [who]think that he’s amongst the best at what he does because he’s an Oiler”. :) For all that he had his second best year, the guy finished tied for 33rd in the league in scoring last year (T43 in ESP) and his +/- game went south the minute his centre went down; but to be fair he was playing hurt down the stretch and his new centre (Stoll) was an ES sink all season long. So my view is probably too harsh. I don’t hate him or anything, but I am starting to get impatient for the next step.

    And that said, I’m less impatient tonight than I was on Friday.

  172. Bank Shot says:

    Even involving the qualifier “Right” is kind of pointless to my eyes.

    You don’t ever see anyone asking whether so and so is a top ten Left Defenceman.

    If you’re looking at defining elite players then you have to question whether Hemsky is a top ten winger, period. He’s not, and I doubt he ever will be.

    That’s no slight against Hemsky, he’s clearly a really good hockey player, but I think he’s the type of guy who is the third best player on a Cup winner.

  173. rickibear says:

    “If you’re looking at defining elite players then you have to question whether Hemsky is a top ten winger, period. He’s not, and I doubt he ever will be.”

    Some guys are goal scorers, Some are set-up men, and some balance both.

    I look at First assists as a rough reflection of the elite set-up forwards in the league.

    So when you go to Behind The Net. the stats from last year say.

    Top5 1 Assist/60.

    EV
    #1 Crosby 1.49
    #2 Thorton 1.40
    #3 Spezza 1.39
    #4 Hemsky 1.35
    #5 Datsyuk 1.33

    PP
    #1 Getzlaf 3.24
    #2 Gomez 2.87
    #3 Kovalev 2.69
    #4 Hemsky 2.63
    #5 Peca 2.62

    There is only one player in the top 5 in both.

    Bankshot: He may not be the precious stone you want. But he is the best stone of his class.

  174. Bank Shot says:

    He’s probably also top of the list in % of highlight reel goals to total goals scored, but that doesn’t make him a top ten forward.

    Hemsky does some things as well as anyone, but he doesn’t do enough things well enough to be one of the best.

    Do you think the 0.75 of a first assist at even strength (over the course of an entire 82 game season that Hemsky has over Datsyuk if they played equal minutes) really makes up for all the things that are lacking in Hemsky’s game, but are a strength of Datsyuk’s?

  175. Doogie2K says:

    If Zubov freaks out it will be complete.

    He’s been hurt all year. He can’t freak out really, but, well, he is hurt.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca