Oilers at Hurricanes, G10/08-09

This is Mark Howe and he should be in the HHOF. There are all kinds of amazing stats that support this (in 85-86 the Flyers were +66 at EVs and Mark Howe was +85. That’s a tough thing to do) and frankly it baffles me that Gordie Howe’s kid can’t get into a hall of fame that wreaks of nepotism and incestuous behaviour (see Maple Leafs Cup team).

We’re currently having a debate on this page about the Oilers 08-09 edition. It’s my belief that when a player has an established level of ability (and is in his mid-20s and appears to be healthy) he should perform at a level similar to previous seasons.

I want to quote something from Vic Ferrari in a post below in regard to the coach:

Dude is sweating it, he seems every inch the ‘high stress guy’. Over the past couple of seasons he could seem downright philosophical even after the Oilers had been badly outplayed.Right now though, he is absolutely jonesing for a ‘W’. You can sense the frustration and the panic.

Vic was commenting about a previous post here. Specifially this portion:

All that said, why did the coach make these comments? Why did he throw his team under the bus? Why is he so pissed at a team that has played a tough schedule and is 4-3-1? He’s under pressure from ownership. That’s the new element in the equation, the one thing that wasn’t here last year and before. Ownership has expectations and there is urgency.

Sometimes when players sense pressure on the coach they try to do too much and that makes things worse. I think that is possibly a factor in this current run but it’s just a guess. Either way, the Oilers are due for a breakout game. As a fan, all I can do is hope it’s today.

If the Oilers lose both of this weekend’s games, something has to give. The coach sounds like he’s in no mood for a struggling status quo. As it is, the top 2lines have changed for the game:

  • Horcoff-Penner-Hemsky
  • Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson

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174 Responses to "Oilers at Hurricanes, G10/08-09"

  1. RLH says:

    I guess I’ll go on record as the first to state the disappointment in this Saturday evening. I will be forced to watch HNIC, without an Oilers game. For me (PT) the Oil play at noon, which is brutal!

  2. Schitzo says:

    The only thing sweeter than 1PM hockey is 11AM hockey :D

    Underwear – check
    Bite-sized candy – check

    Yup, I’m good to go

  3. Bruce says:

    Mark Howe is the greatest forward-turned-defenceman that I have ever seen. The only other truly great player to make a similar switch in my lifetime was Red Kelly, who moved the other way from defence to forward. Mark Howe was an outstanding LW who became a world-class defenceman. A complete hockey player who definitely belongs in the HHoF.
    ***

    Time for the Oilers to make their own transition into a competent offensive hockey club. No way can that scoring depth stay submerged for much longer. 27-10-83 is a good idea, what’s old is new again. For sure we need all three of those guys to have a better November than they did October.

    Goilers.

  4. Vic Ferrari says:

    I was actually referring to MacTavish’s podcast comments after the Nashville game, Lowetide, but it’s much the same.

    The ability to see the forest for the trees is both rare in the general population and common amongst NHL coaches. MacTavish included. It’s the one common trait imo.

    But now he is panicky and reliving the “TSN turning point” moments in the game. Jebus. That’s something we haven’t seen from him in the past, maybe in a couple of moments of frustration during the 05/06 season, but not otherwise.

    He makes a comment in there as well that the percentage of shots making it on net are too low. If not the exact words of MacTavish, those are close.

    That’s a point he can do something about, getting more of the shots through and on net, and Principe said it was the focus of practice in Carolina yesterday.

    Still, MacTavish knows full well that every team in this league will end up at about 56% or so at getting-shots-through at evens. There are some differences in style and philosophy, but not huge, it’s just hockey after all. So maybe a 53% to 59% range league wide.

    MacTavish’s remark moved me to check. And the Oilers were 54% at getting shots on goal before NSH. So let’s not panic here, Christ.

    They were only 47% in the Nashville game, so he was right on that count, no argument there. And in fairness to MacTavish it’s the one thing that he can address rationally I suppose. Still, it’s just one game for crying out loud. Sometimes shooters don’t make their shots, stuff happens.

  5. Vic Ferrari says:

    Lowetide:

    Just to carry on with the same theme.

    I would be certain that if you went through the schedule for each team last season (timeonice.com/byteam.php?team=EDM and so on for each squad)

    If you did that and picked out the losing streaks, well a lot of them would be because the team was playing poorly (use /playershotsa0708.php?team=EDM$first=2XXXX&last=2XXXX, inserting game numbers for the first and last games of the skid)

    Probably injuries to key guys and a tough stretch of schedule a lot of the time.

    And much of the time it's just the percentages. If they were outshooting the bad guys during the losing skid, then you can google for coach's quotes and almost always they won't be anywhere nearly as concerned as their fans and media.

    'Almost' because I'm starting to think that if the coach's ass was on the line, then he starts looking to the magic. Much like the way that so many find religion on their death bed.

  6. Vic Ferrari says:

    I don’t remember him well at all, but that +85 by Mark Howe on a +65 team is nuts. That’s Orr/Gretzky country in that regard.

    Did he manage to be driving the EV+/- year in and year out, LT, or was that a bit of a one-off?

  7. Dennis says:

    When I think of the Oilers playing in Car in the traditional sense, it brings me back to happier times: the winning streak down the stretch in ’01 when Cleary scored the game-winner.

    As for today, using 27 with 10-83 seems to be a good idea and the best way to use Penner.

  8. toqueboy says:

    @ vic

    using your numbers and acknowledging that in the first 5 or 6 games we were outsot by ~7 shots a game, that means that we have to take another 13 or 14 attempts a game towards the net…that’s a huge jump from where they’re at…even if their percentage climbs, i still think it’s the total number that’s important…

    the flip side i’m worried about is that their percentage climbs to 60, but they’re shot total drops to 15 or 20…

    i’d be focusing at total number of pucks at net and increasing that nummber, and as you suggest, hope the percentage does come around

    @ schitzo : lol

  9. Bruce says:

    It was the pairing of Mark Howe and Brad McCrimmon that drove the bus. Both were acquired in the summer of ’82 in separate, great trades by the Flyers: Howe from the Whalers for Ken Linseman and extras, McCrimmon from the Bruins for Pete Peeters. In the five years they played together in Philly, as a long-standing defence pair (although I’m not exactly sure of when Howe was moved permanently to defence, sometime early in his stay in Philly):

    1982-83: Philly +87*
    Howe +47, McCrimmon +24

    1983-84: Philly +80*
    Howe +30, McCrimmon +19

    1984-85: Philly +106*
    Howe +51, McCrimmon +52

    1985-86: Philly +74*
    Howe +85, McCrimmon +83

    1986-87: Philly +68*
    Howe +57, McCrimmon +45

    5 year totals: Philly +415
    Howe +270, McCrimmon +223

    * = (GF – PPGF) – (GA – PPGA)

    In the duo’s watershed year of ’85-86, Philly’s other defencemen were Doug Crossman (-5), Brad Marsh (even), Thomas Eriksson (-12), Ed Hospodar (even), Dave Richter (-2), Mike Stothers (+1), Kevin McCarthy (even) and Steve (The Other Steve Smith) Smith (-1). Truly an extraordinary contribution by Howe and McCrimmon, though the lack of depth burned Philly in the playoffs. In 1985 and 1987 of course, they made it all the way to the SCF before running into the Oilers. An injury cost McCrimmon those ’87 Finals, a fortunate break for the Oilers which didn’t get much play at the time. That summer Philly traded McCrimmon to Calgary for not very much, with the net result that Philly got worse and Calgary got better, a common thread to all of McCrimmon’s trades.

    Howe ended his career with a cumulative +400, 11th on the “all-time” list. McCrimmon, who was underrated to the point of being unrated, is tenth on that list with an impressive +444.

  10. toqueboy says:

    @bruce
    thanks a lot for that.

    could you imagne a current oilers team that had a string of even 1 or 2 years with a +30, let alone a +105

    wow.

  11. Bruce says:

    Toqueboy: No problem, I used to be all over that +/- stuff in the ’80s when it was the cutting edge of The New Statistics. Today it has been largely discredited, tho’ I put more stock in it than most. Like everything else, context is critical.

    And yes I can imagine an Oiler team posting good positive numbers, you just need to be an old fart with a good memory to do that. The Oilers of 1981-87 led the league in goal scoring by a wide margin every year, and even with mediocre GA posted some pretty eye-popping differentials:

    1981-82: +103*
    1982-83: +112*
    1983-84: +128*
    1984-85: +105*
    1985-86: +115*
    1986-87: +92*
    —————
    1981-87: +655

    These individuals played in Edmonton in (at least parts of) all six of those seasons:

    Wayne Gretzky +456
    Jari Kurri +279
    Paul Coffey +267
    Charlie Huddy +236
    Glenn Anderson +217
    Kevin Lowe +196
    Lee Fogolin +158
    Randy Gregg +148
    Mark Messier +145
    Dave Hunter +107
    Dave Semenko +39

    Surprisingly, those high-powered Oilers didn’t have a dominant powerplay; the last 5 of those years they actually allowed 4 more powerplay goals than they scored. What set them apart on special teams was their unprecedented prowess at scoring shorthanded (36 shorties in 1983-84 alone, one of the safest of all NHL records). That of course did show up in the individual +/- figures of the PK unit.

  12. Dennis says:

    I remember reading an old THN where they were talking about Charlie Huddy winning the first Emery Edge award for plus/minus:)

  13. goldenchild says:

    Not sure how many of you gamble on sports but as I was checking some college football lines and i noticed that Car is only -130 on my book against the Oil.
    I don’t bet hockey but that seems like an aweful cheap price for a 5-2-2 home team playing against a team on a 5 game losing streak that can’t score at evens. If there is one thing I have learned the hard way is Vegas rarely gives anything for cheap. Good sign for an Oilers break out.

  14. Schitzo says:

    Sportsnet claims this is in HD, but Bell sure as shit doesn’t have it. Anyone else know what’s going on?

  15. spOILer says:

    We can talk all we want about D pairings and PvP matchups, but at 18 goals for, this team needs to score.

    The shooting %age seems unsustainably low, and this just may be one of those times, as Vic says, where puck luck etc are just against us.

    We also seem to still be in experiment mode.

    I haven’t seen the PVP games (thankfully), but our shot production seems to be better than it was when we were winning, without the puck finding its way in the net.

    Still not time to panic, a 3 game winning streak would vault us up the rankings, but to me the lesson to be learned this year, now that we have the alleged horses, is better consistency. Minimize the losing streaks and maximize the winning streaks.

    Here’s hoping they turn it around against a solid but hurting CAR team today. GOilers!

  16. Bruce says:

    Whaddya know, i finally get to watch a fucking game. I always used to hate afternoon games … now, not so much. Of late I’ve seen bits and pieces on TV and on-line, half-watched the Vancouver game half a week later, and have been relying much too much on stats pages and highlight reels than I would like in forming my opinions. :O So if I’ve been more full of shit than usual lately on the topic of the current Oilers, that’s why. Pay no mind. Hopefully November will be a better month for both me and the Oilers.

    Starting right fucking now, boys, please.
    ***

    Pregrame radio, Peter Laviolette on Joni Pitkanen: “He’s been GREAT, he’s a good person, he fits into the locker room really well …”

    I wonder what’s changed, are the Hurricanes just better people, did Joni learn something last year, or is Laviolette just full of shit? I’m betting on the latter …

  17. Bruce says:

    Great pass by Whitney. I still regret the Oil letting him get away, almost sight unseen. Smart, smart offensive instincts.

  18. Lowetide says:

    lol. Moreau with the shot and the rebound and no goal. What are you going to do?

  19. Lowetide says:

    Penner with a decent little chance there too.

  20. Lord Bob says:

    What the hell is this no-Oilers-on-HNIC crap? Those of us at work want to watch the effing hockey game.

    God. Forget privatizing the CBC, let’s evacuate Mansbridge and then bomb the buildings.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  22. Bruce says:

    ^^^

    Like I said. Fuck.

  23. toqueboy says:

    why is it that edmonton never ended up with that guy?

    i can’t think of an oiler that’s been as successful as whitney since we sent him out.

  24. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky with a shot off the post.

  25. Bruce says:

    Goddammit, Ales can’t buy one.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Same shit, different pile. The Hockey Gods wantm Craig MacTavish in another town.

  27. spOILer says:

    They look okay so far, awful line change notwithstanding. Have had most of the possession and really it should be 2-1. Gotta “start finishing”.

  28. Bruce says:

    TB: Whitney played briefly here early in ’97-98, signing him as a FA after the Sharks let him go, looked great in camp and then started the season on the 12th forward shuttle (see now: Zack Stortini). He got, like 9 games of variable icetime with mostly poor QualTeam, the Oil put him on waivers, Florida grabbed him, gave him a fucking chance to play, and he ran with it. Scored over 60 points that season, and for a whole bunch more since.

    Whitney’s story is very similar to Steve Sullivan’s.

    It was a horrible blunder, especially given it involved Floyd’s kid.

  29. Lowetide says:

    Gagner in too close but a nice sequence.

  30. Lord Bob says:

    Also, where’s Rod Phillips? There hasn’t been one HELLACIOUS SPELLBINDING BUTT-CLENCHING save since I tuned into the web cast!

  31. Lowetide says:

    That was I believe Ron Low, the man who insisted Miro Satan play on the 3line.

  32. Bruce says:

    Iif that is PvP I don’t like it. Our big five couldn’t touch the puck.

  33. T. says:

    How debilitating does it become when you get all these golden chances and still no goals?

    Hemsky and Gagner (plus many others) seem to be getting right there and still can’t hit it.

    I’d like to think “it’ll come” because that’s a) what you want and b) usually what happens but it doesn’t alleviate the current frustration.

  34. Bruce says:

    Heads up at the blueline, Ales. Those Ruutus are mean fucks.

    And as I say that Ruutu boards Grebs, the captain engages and guess who gets the PP?

    How the fuck was that not boarding?

  35. Lowetide says:

    This is the period of time when bad organizations make dumb moves. “Hemsky’s not doing anything for us” and “maybe we need to change the coach” type mistakes.

    Moreau with 19PIM!

  36. goldenchild says:

    hard to find too much fault with that period. Ales scores today.

  37. Lord Bob says:

    Seriously. Listening to the Oilers on the radio without Rod Phillips is a series of tears.

  38. spOILer says:

    I haven't seen the PPVs, but that seemed to be way more dump and chase than we were playing earlier in the season, getting it nice nad deep too.

    Cogs looked like he was hurt when he was cross-checked on the Gagner chance (took Sam's boot I think), and then Hemmer took his next shift. That said, I think Cole had a spin with the kids earlier in the period.

    Bruce: by my eye two missed penalties on the Canes, the Penner interference in the right corner that he complained to the ref about and the Cogs cross check in the crease. Not sure if I would've called the Ruutu hit boarding.

    Nilsson, Souray look good. G & G haven't been too bad so far.

  39. Traktor says:

    That goal against was directly because of a bad change and we’ve already given Carolina 2 PP’s from undisciplined penalties. That’s not desperation.

  40. Schitzo says:

    Someone on here mentioned that the reason Gilbert hasn’t been jumping into the play is because Grebs has been such a spaz lately.

    Watching specifically for it in the first period and I have to agree with that statement – when 37 skates to the blueline, gets his own legs tangled and falls down, what the heck is 77 going to do besides try and mind the store?

  41. Dennis says:

    There’s no way that 44 looked as steady with the Habs or else he would be really worth the money he’s being paid;)

    I had the Oilers winning the chances battle at 7-3 and for a roadgame, what the fuck else can you do? Well, of course you had that one big bench blunder that allowed Whitney’s breakaway walk but we see this kind of shit — too many men penalties and bad line changes — at least once a game with the Oilers.

    Let’s not talk Ron Low; I was railing on him long before there was a sphere and other smart people;) to agree with me.

    A positive by-product of the 17 min vactaion for 18 is we should see 78 jump up to play with 34-26.

    Oilers PK looking better; outside of allowing that weakside guy to slip in on the first kill they were pretty steady.

  42. Bruce says:

    Three 40-second PK shifts is as close to perfect as an ex-coach could hope for. They really needed that too, 2-0 would not only be totally unfair based on the play, but totally demoralizing. Even down 1-0 that’s a good road period. One fatal mistake, as Oilers let Whitney get away again. :(

    Cam Ward continues to get away with oversized equipment. He’s got the biggest posts in the league, the luck suck.

    One thing that really impresses me about Sheldon Souray is his active stick in the defensive zone. he’s got a reputation as a cycle-buster, and that stick is a big part of the reason. He’s also a strong mofo that can really bounce people when he leans on them, but even when he’s msucling guys that stick is on the ice and ever-alert to any puck within range.

    Colour guy (whoever he is): “The Hurricanes are really aware of where MacIntyre is on the ice.”
    Me: “Yeah, they’re looking at the wide open spaces all around him.” Talk about a double-edged sword. SMac did have a nice hit, though.

    6 hits each for Cole and Ruutu in the first. Sounds like a hit-happy counter to me. I also note in passing 0 GV and 9 TK between the two teams. Is that an anomaly of this game or this arena? Some of these RTSS stats can be real suspect.

    Spoiler: to me Ruutu wasn’t just finishing the check, he accelerated into it. That’s where it crosses the line into boarding (or charging) in my view. He did hit Grebs in the chest, but he definitely was hitting to hurt.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Finally a penalty drawn. Lordy what an uphill climb this game has been.

  44. Bruce says:

    I was expecting Hemsky to get promoted to the PK unit this year, but I never would have guessed Gagner. Good kill, esp. the great play by Staios to end that stickless sequence. I noticed how Carolina took advantage of Gagner’s long change to set Corvo up as the trailer on the 4 on 3. Roli looked real solid there.

  45. spOILer says:

    And they score on the ugliest looking PP. Souray and Lubo have got to be split up.

  46. Bruce says:

    It’s in! Fuck you, Cam Ward, you and your fucking posts.

    Great pass by Hemsky.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Finally a goal. Now you’d like to see the floodgates open but the Hurricanes are a good hockey club.

  48. Bruce says:

    Yeah, Spoiler, the first part of that PP was an abortion. Once they finally gained the zone though, they made a couple of real superior plays to maintain possession, Cole and Hemsky in the LW corner, then Souray at the right point. Finally gained themselves enough room and time to make a play, and Finally got a bounce.

  49. Lowetide says:

    They have that goal Horcoff unassisted. Did I miss something?

  50. goldenchild says:

    Gagne really deserves a good bounce

  51. Bruce says:

    Bogus penalty there. Shoulder to shoulder contact, the only issue was both shoot left so Horcoff’s stick was in front of Wallin and Wallin’s was off to the side. If that’s hooking then Gary Bettman can shove the New NHL up his ass.

  52. Showerhead says:

    Brodziak, that was simply amazing.

  53. Showerhead says:

    #51 deserved that goal and the hearts of many beautiful women.

  54. spOILer says:

    Horrible call, but gotta like it when the PP clears the puck 3 times for your PK.

  55. Bruce says:

    Stunning play by Brodziak.

  56. Bruce says:

    Stripes should give himself two for interference.

  57. Showerhead says:

    71 gives the puck away and then takes a penalty trying to stop the scoring chance. Not fun.

  58. Bruce says:

    Visnovsky with a rookie mistake. Isn’t he like the oldest skater on our team? Stupid play.

  59. Lowetide says:

    Souray is having a decent game.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Why no assist to Hemsky on the Horcoff goal?

  61. Showerhead says:

    Yeah LT, if you can get an assist on a rebound, you should be able to get one when your buddy’s shot bounces off the post and goalie a few times before it goes in. Odd decision.

  62. Bruce says:

    Great sequence by Smid on the PK, he stopped two different guys one-on-one and then made a strong play to clear the puck. I wish I could say Visnovsky looked as solid in our end.

  63. Showerhead says:

    Aha! Bruce and I AREN’T the same person! I was impressed by Smid but didn’t say anything about it – the string of echoes comes to an end.

  64. Bruce says:

    Geez when Strudwick scored in his own net on his second (!) shot, the Edmonton scorekeeper gave two assists to Calgary. That one was one bounce and in, that has to be fixed. 83 deserves an assist there for sure.

  65. Lowetide says:

    The Oilers were a little loose that period but the PK is to the point again where I can hit the can without worry.

  66. spOILer says:

    Unassisted. What a joke.

    Thought SOuray had played about half the game. 18:34 TOI so far.

    Be nice to see the penalty calling even up here in the 3rd.

  67. Showerhead says:

    LT: really, bathroom break mid-PK? that’s either brave or beer induced.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Showerhead: Actually, it's one of the main benefits of a MacT team. PK & PP you can pretty much do anything you want without worry.

    :-)

  69. Bank Shot says:

    Why the fuck is MacT wasting so many offensive zone draws on the Pisani line?

    Smid’s been playing real well.

    Gagner is still getting his chances. The dam is going to burst soon I think.

  70. Bruce says:

    Calling Mr. Peckham, white courtesy telephone please. It seems like every time I watch a game the Oilers are down to 5 defencemen. Shit.

  71. RLH says:

    I missed it. Grebs hurt, or just being saved for the 24-hour turn-around?

  72. Lowetide says:

    A very nice sequence that involved Smid throughout there. Very nice.

  73. Bruce says:

    The cycle seems to be 71-44, 24-5, 77-71, 44-24, 5-77. …oh and now Ben Dover has found another reason to put the Oilers in the box. This game has been a royal screw job.

  74. Bruce says:

    Now why isn’ty that interfeence? The guy just took Lubo right out on the shoot-in.

  75. Bruce says:

    Samsonov screws himself into the ice. Surprised there wasn’t a penalty.

  76. Bruce says:

    … and a rookie mistake by Roloson, the oldest guy on the team. Brutal.

  77. Scott says:

    Roloson has played really well so far. I know he’s probably not going to get two straight starts with the next five all being a part of back-to-back sequences, but it sure is heartening to see that the goaltending is solid when Roli is in. Good for him (and us).

  78. Showerhead says:

    Hurray for Cole. 5-on-3 better look better than that 5-on-4 did.

  79. mc79hockey says:

    We have a good record with 5 on 3′s against Carolina, right? Right?

  80. Scott says:

    People that aren’t well-liked by Marc Joanette:

    1. The Edmonton Oilers
    2. Dennis Seidenberg

  81. Scott says:

    … and Anton Babcuk.

  82. Showerhead says:

    What the fuck was that timeout for then? Does it really take the full thirty seconds to say “stay EXACTLY where you are, DON’T get your feet going, and pass it to Sheldon?”

  83. PunjabiOil says:

    Great setup on the 5 on 3 Powerplay MactT. Yeah, Souray has a dangerous shot but that doesn’t mean you put all your chips on the low percentage shots and ignort the stuff down low.

    Outrageous.

  84. T. says:

    I actually like Stauffer but he uses the term “Buttonhook” so many times during a game that I start wondering if it’s a player’s name.

  85. Bruce says:

    Scott: 6 games into the 11-game road trip, that’s three starts each for Garon and Roli. With back-to-backs there’s no good reason not to alternate them the rest of the way, give ‘em both a chance to play and maybe establish a pecking order, which is right up in the air as of now. It will be interesting to see who starts the home stand.

  86. Lord Bob says:

    Can somebody invent a time machine so whoever replaces Craig MacTavish after Katz gets twitchy can go back in time and retroactively stop Fernando Pisani from playing centre?

    Seriously. This is an abortion.

  87. Lowetide says:

    Here’s a good idea: when you have a 5 on 3 for 38 seconds, allow Hemsky to touch the puck at least one time.

  88. doritogrande says:

    Can someone explain to me why Sheldon Souray is our only option on the powerplay? The 5-on-3 was an exercise in futility.

    I’ve been watching this game in between stoppages of the last Bombers game of the season. I’ve been impressed with Cole and Souray’s defensive ability but not much else. Can someone explain to me the Grebeshkov hit, and why we should be concerned about it.

  89. doritogrande says:

    lord bob…I think the word you’re looking for is “abomination”

    Nobody’s given up their baby yet…unless CFP intervened.

  90. doritogrande says:

    ETHAN MOREAU!

    All is forgiven for the misconduct!

  91. Lowetide says:

    Thank you Baby Jesus.

  92. Showerhead says:

    Luck!! I missed you and welcome back.

  93. Scarlett says:

    Moreau does something good? No way!

  94. Lord Bob says:

    OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN!

  95. doritogrande says:

    showerhead:

    While I’ve got you here, did I miss much thursday in ENVR? I had to miss due to a funeral.

  96. Scott says:

    The Fourth-Liner!

  97. Lord Bob says:

    lord bob…I think the word you’re looking for is “abomination”

    I’m sticking with “abortion”. This never should have happened, we should have been able to prevent it, but now it’s happened and we need to grab the coathanger.

  98. Scarlett says:

    Am I still breathing?? Holy hell, how did that not go in? Oil finally get some luck…

  99. Lowetide says:

    How did that not go in?

  100. Scott says:

    Stauffer! For those listening to radio, that Staal call was hilarious.

  101. Lord Bob says:

    It was worse listening to it on the radio. Stauffer yelled “HE SCO” like he was biting off a really ferociously profanity, and then refused to say whether or not it had gone in.

  102. doritogrande says:

    That.was.the greatest play in hockey.

  103. gary b says:

    CHOP CHOP!

  104. Scarlett says:

    Moreau with another….our captain wins it for us. They are losers no longer!

  105. Scott says:

    The Third-Liner!

  106. gary b says:

    nice game by Roli.

    nice new mask, too. way better than his last one.

  107. goldenchild says:

    Vegas knows

  108. Lord Bob says:

    Bob Stauffer calls goals like somebody is shoving a cold steel pole into one of his orifices as soon as the red light goes on.

  109. Black Dog says:

    Hopefully the start of something good.

  110. Showerhead says:

    dorito: I can’t say, as I take it MWF. If you’re on the same schedule as us, probably more of the Baydack (sp?) lecture series which is available on Angel in ppt format. Sorry to hear re: your funeral.

  111. PunjabiOil says:

    I thought Gilbert was effectively out there today. Hopufully this was the turn around game.

    Smid is nicely developing.

    Roloson with a good game; nothing too fancy.

    Sam Gagner West is in a bit of a funk. Not creating much out there, fighting the puck.

  112. Bruce says:

    Nothing personal, Cam Ward, but I still hate you.

    Pretty bad goal to give up, esp. in regulation. Reminded me of the one Ward seived in to Kovalchuk that sent the gold medal game to OT … he simply lost his net to a guy driving wide.

    Excellent defensive performances by Roloson, Souray, and Smid. Very strong game by Hemsky, he really got hosed on that scoring play but he made a number of strong plays on the puck and was a consistent threat without giving up anything. Strong two-way game by Gagner, I really liked his poise with the puck in our end.

    Grebs and Gilbert wind up -1, poor buggers, although I could have sworn that was a 24 I saw with 37 on the botched change. The Carolina minor officials seemed to be flat-out incompetent. The major officials weren’t any better, come to that.

    After giving up the first goal, losing a man for the game and another for a period, and killing penalties all goddam afternoon, the team responded well and deserved the two points IMO. A real character win.

    Now it’s the mandatory minimum 22-hour turnaround for a back-to-back in the same time zone tomorrow (whazzup with that?), a tall order for what was a short bench today. Young legs and Garon will be key.

  113. Nelson88 says:

    LT.

    You must have Hemsky in a hockey pool as well?

    I can only hope a couple assists are added as they are clearly deserved!

    I thought the team played pretty well. They are getting there chances and hopefully this is the start of the luck running with them rather than against them

  114. Coach pb9617 says:

    There’s no way that 44 looked as steady with the Habs or else he would be really worth the money he’s being paid;)

    If he keeps this up all year, he just might be worth it.

  115. spOILer says:

    Whew! What a win. Beat the zebras, the monkey, the bounces, the injury, and the Canes to earn a well-deserved hard-fought vctory.

    By the way, how can we assume that MacT was at fault for the 5 on 3 when none of us know what he said on the bench? “Yeah guys, I called this time out to let you knwo you had better stand around. Just give the puck to Sheldon and wait for him to get a shot.”

    Gagner with a much better game tonight. It’ll come around for him. Cogs looked like he was fighting the play tonight. The Kids stopped chipping it into the zone in the 2nd half, seemed like. Cole took at least two spins at Kid RW, and by my eye Gagner played centre on at least 4 shifts.

    Amazes me people think of Moreau as a 4th liner simply because of his injury history. Before his injury grief, some were saying he might score 20 in a year. I don’t want to jinx him, but this might be the year.

    PP notwithstanding, Souray had a hoss of a game tonight. Back in the day that would’ve been Staios with those extra minutes.

    Lubo played a lot too, but I can’t believe he was out there for the final minute.

    Hardly saw Pouliot today. Basically played 3 lines and 5 Dmen. Gives our skill players more TOI, but I’d still prefer to see a solid 4th line.

    Can’t believe Laviolette still has a job, that PP stinks. And Staal, I mean really, this guy is a 1C? We saw more of Chevy Chase in The Invisible Man. ;o)

    And now for the tough turnaround into Philly. Do you fool your body, go to bed early and get up for brekkie at 3am? Dunno, but I hope we see the same set of legs tomorrow.

  116. Coach pb9617 says:

    Excellent defensive performances by Roloson, Souray, and Smid.

    Indeed, the latter are looking confident and angry out there.

    Very strong game by Hemsky, he really got hosed on that scoring play but he made a number of strong plays on the puck and was a consistent threat without giving up anything.

    I think Penner on his line really helped him. He’s been coming on, but all of a sudden he had space.

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    Is Struwick ready yet? If Grebs can’t go, does Peckham come flying in tonight?

  118. Lowetide says:

    I don’t have Hemsky in a pool, in fact I’ve never been in a hockey pool. Having said that, there have been a few thousand phantom A’s over the years so not giving Hemsky one on a play he helped create is a sin against hockey.

    I notice they’ve added it btw.

    Roloson’s season SP: .950. I think he’ll get a few starts on this roadtrip.

  119. spOILer says:

    Pisani had a strong day on the dot.

  120. Coach pb9617 says:

    And just a few days ago, starting Roloson was a capital crime.

  121. Bruce says:

    Roli’s 1-1-1 with 2 goals of support outside the ENG. While there’s no predicting MacT, I’m still favouring a rotation throughout the back to backs. Garon needs to respond to the challenge with a strong game tomorrow; if he does, I’m feeling a lot better about this team.

  122. Schitzo says:

    Coach: Philly is close enough Peckham can probably just jump on a train and have a nice relaxing meal.

  123. PDO says:

    That’s a very solid win. Very, very, solid. They played through all kinds of shit, and I can’t think of a player I would say had a bad game. Everyone brought their work boots. Good on ‘em.

    Philly has been leaking GA’s all year… maybe tomorrow is the breakout game, tired legs or not.

  124. HBomb says:

    Game thoughts:

    Thank you Ethan Moreau.

    Thank you Dwayne Roloson.

    Fuck you Cam Ward.

    Fuck you Marc Joanette.

    Extend Erik Cole.

  125. Coach pb9617 says:

    Thanks Schitzo, I keep thinking that they are playing in Florida tomorrow.

  126. raventalon40 says:

    So… Roloson’s playing better.

    What does that mean about our 3-headed-hydra-of-a-goalie-tandem controversy?

  127. spOILer says:

    HBomb: Agreed, Cole’s 8 hits and his determination all over the ice were huge tonight.

  128. Sean says:

    HBomb: Re extending Cole. I agree. Get it done before he sees winter. I wouldnt give him a raise but there is no way he takes a pay cut either. Not with the lucrative UFA coming up. 2 years 4 million per.

    Is it just me or do the Oilers give up waaay too many turnovers right inside the attacking blue line?

    Gagner is due to breakout. He’s getting a goal and an assist tomorrow.

  129. Coach pb9617 says:

    So… Roloson’s playing better.

    What does that mean about our 3-headed-hydra-of-a-goalie-tandem controversy?

    It means MacT tirades are down 33%.

  130. PDO says:

    What kinda numbers does it take to keep Cole here? I’m guessing it’s gotta be an 8 digit figure…

    13/3?

  131. Schitzo says:

    I can’t believe how many penalties Cole draws. Considering how useless we’ve been at ES it’s been our only lifeline lately.

  132. Tyler says:

    HBomb: Re extending Cole. I agree. Get it done before he sees winter. I wouldnt give him a raise but there is no way he takes a pay cut either. Not with the lucrative UFA coming up. 2 years 4 million per.

    Good luck with that.

  133. Bank Shot says:

    Nice to see the guys get a win finally. Smid was great. If he keeps that play up everyone will love him by the end of the season.

    Gilbert was shaky his first couple of games, but I think he’s been pretty solid in his last 6-7. The numbers aren’t there, but we all knew he wouldn’t score on every shot like last year and the forwards had been doing nothing so it’s hard to rack up assists.

    Gagner is going to breakout. Nilsson needs to attack the net a bit more. There was one play were he had the puck in the middle and it was a three on two for the kids. He skated it to the outside and ended up with a poor angle shot.

    Right now we’ve got an $8.5 million dollar third line that is not earning it’s keep in the slightest. Pisani took ZERO own zone draws that game, Moreau took one on account of icing. By the fact that Pisani took 8 or 9 of his sixteen draws against Matt Cullen they weren’t seeing the toughest opposition in the world either.

    The Oilers can’t afford to feed offensive situations and anything but the toughest of minutes to guys making that kind of scratch and expect to have a good hockey team, because these guys will not beat up on the softer minutes.

  134. doritogrande says:

    Don Cherry heaping praise on our Cap in between fellating the leaves, and former leaves (wellwood).

  135. kinger says:

    MacT post game:

    - Grebs got his bell rung, is having something to eat and they’ll see how he does over the night.

    - 43 is healthy and will draw in vs Philly.

  136. PDO says:

    Hey Dennis… I didn’t do the the third, but what did you have for SC’s in the first two frames?

    I had 6-1 Oilers and 5-4 Oilers in the first and second respectively… gut felt like 3-3 in the third, but I wasn’t really “counting” per say.

  137. Bruce says:

    I sure hope Smid doesn’t draw the short straw when Strudwick returns. Ladi’s been the ultimate low event player, just 1 goal scored in the 86 minutes he’s been on the ice (Laperriere’s bogus goal that the linesman set up).

    If Struds is ready, I’d be tempted to let Grebs clear the cobwebs for a day. Go with the 6 healthiest D as a rule of thumb. Grebs is the ultimate high event player, and while that has been good at times in the offensive zone it comes at a cost (-4 at this point). Gilbert (who played pretty darn well today) might benefit from a game with a KISS partner like Strudwick.

  138. godot10 says:

    Re: Extending Cole

    Unlikely, without trading a major ticket, since the cap is likely going down if the loonie stays where it is, and the US economy goes into recession.

    In any case, it means that Cole won’t be extended early. After the season at the earliest.

  139. Coach pb9617 says:

    Right now we’ve got an $8.5 million dollar third line that is not earning it’s keep in the slightest. Pisani took ZERO own zone draws that game, Moreau took one on account of icing.

    *raises eyebrow*

  140. Schitzo says:

    Coach: Me too. I still curse Peca for being such a stubborn asshole and deciding to go back east. Like that worked out for him, eh?

  141. HBomb says:

    RE: Extending Cole.

    If it’s me calling the shots, I’d start the offer at 4.5 million per over four years. If he wants more, he takes a shorter term, simple as that.

    Then, I’d try to build a package of 3-4 assets around Mr. Penner to add a big-time forward.

    The target? Kovalchuk be thy name…..

  142. doritogrande says:

    Potulny continues to rip it up. Another two goals tonight to go along with Schremp’s two assists.

    Who gets the first call-up? Potulny’s 8 goals, or Schremp’s 8 assists?

    On another note, Philippe Cornet may be a steal. 16 points in 11 games.

  143. Mike says:

    May I propose that Lubo talk to his stick manufacturer and get like 2 degrees of loft shaved? Seriously…glass, glass, glass, glass, glass, crossbar, glass, seats, crossbar, glass.

    Choke down on that thing son!

  144. Mike says:

    And while I’m at it…

    LT, you have never been in a hockey pool? There’s gotta be a story here. Maybe you were being sarcastic?

  145. Lowetide says:

    mike: My time in a baseball league AFFECTED my MARRIAGE so I thought it best to avoid hockey.

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2007/08/texas.html

  146. Doogie2K says:

    There’s no way that 44 looked as steady with the Habs or else he would be really worth the money he’s being paid;)

    Got me baffled, too. I mean, no way that -28 year was indicative of much, any more than the 26G was, but still, there was a rush in the third that he surely would’ve been danced around on a couple of years ago, and instead he gets a stick on it and they slide harmlessly into the corner.

    and a rookie mistake by Roloson, the oldest guy on the team. Brutal.

    I had a big-time flashback to Conklin, Gator, and Joe Camel in Game 1 on that one. Ugh.

    Can someone explain to me why Sheldon Souray is our only option on the powerplay? The 5-on-3 was an exercise in futility.

    That made me want to scream, too.

    And then Chopper goes and makes it all better.

    Sam Gagner West is in a bit of a funk. Not creating much out there, fighting the puck.

    When that puck came to him, I just knew he’d hesitate long enough for Ward to get over, whereas six months ago, he’d have just tapped it in for the easy goal. It’s a slump, but he’ll get over it.

    Nice game by Roli today, for the most part, though the gaffe behind the net had me reaching for the Pepto and the Whitney goal in the first, he might like back. I sympathize with him, really: like me in my rec soccer league, he hadn’t gotten a sniff of goal support until today, and once he finally did, he got the W.

    Oh, and fuck you, Marc Joanette. You lulled me into a false sense of security for a while there when I didn’t see you around much, but now you’re back, and you’re still a flaming douche.

    @LT: Would a free Yahoo! league not work for you? They’re free and (if you set it up right/are lazy) low maintenance.

  147. Lowetide says:

    doogie: It’s not the league, it’s me. I’m not very good at being calm and “it’s only a game” doesn’t work either.

  148. Schitzo says:

    Dorito: Considering that our problem right now is too many cute passes, I’d pretty much burn my house down in protest if Schremp came up over Potulny. Only problem is that Potulny is playing so well he might get snagged on re-entry, a problem Schremp doesn’t have.

    Doogie: I had a big-time flashback to Conklin, Gator, and Joe Camel in Game 1 on that one. Ugh.

    Glad to see I wasn’t the only one. Doh. Now I made myself sad.

  149. Schitzo says:

    And on the subject of hockey pools, you know what’s gay? A pool with newbies who have it set up so a PIM is weighted the same as a goal.

    And they don’t realize why it’s a bad idea.

    Nothing like seeing the first round go Crosby-Ovie-Thorton-Carcillo.

  150. Schitzo says:

    Oh, and just because there’s nothing sweeter than a triple-post trifecta:

    Despite Fernie’s success in the faceoff circle today, he’s in my personal doghouse. Game tied 1-1, his line ices the puck, and he fucking dogs it back down the ice and gets waved out of the circle. We’re lucky that didn’t end up a clean win against Moreau and in the back of our net.

    I don’t care how long of a shift you just had, get the hell back and win that draw.

  151. Schitzo says:

    Since everyone is apparently doing something else, I’m just going to keep posting.

    Fate has no preference in the Kings/Flames game – Flames go up 2-0 on a bad bounce of Greene’s skate, LA turns around and puts one in off of Phaneuf.

  152. Schitzo says:

    You know how you can tell you’re officially an adult? When you’re staying at home saturday night with your kids. Meanwhile, your parents have nothing tying them down and are out at concerts or the casino every weekend. Damn.

  153. HBomb says:

    Fuck me is Alex Frolov ever underutilized by LA. Anyone else think this guy would be an 80 point LW on a lot of other teams?

    They use him the same way the Flames used Tanguay last year.

  154. mc79hockey says:

    I thought that pass was hopping around on Gagner. Might just have been me.

    If it’s me calling the shots, I’d start the offer at 4.5 million per over four years. If he wants more, he takes a shorter term, simple as that.

    If I’m his agent, I’d laugh at you. I’d expect him to come close to Smyth money as a UFA.

  155. mc79hockey says:

    Wow, Hrudey does a decent Don Cherry impersonation.

  156. Coach pb9617 says:


    I don’t care how long of a shift you just had, get the hell back and win that draw.

    The way that line is playing, I’ll excuse that.

  157. Schitzo says:

    If I’m his agent, I’d laugh at you. I’d expect him to come close to Smyth money as a UFA.

    In a normal year, I’d agree with you. This offseason, with all the “sweet christ, you mean the cap might go down” fears, I think we might see some pretty talented UFAs choosing between either 1 year deals at high rates, or long-term security at surprisingly affordable prices.

    See Pronger, Chris back when the cap was 39 million and people weren’t sure what players were worth anymore

  158. Coach pb9617 says:

    If I’m his agent, I’d laugh at you. I’d expect him to come close to Smyth money as a UFA.

    Then he’s going to have to choose a crappy team with tons of cap room, Chicago or Minnesota.

    The cap going down would screw with most teams.

  159. Schitzo says:

    Coach: My issue is that it’s one of those little things that don’t seem like a big deal until they end up in the back of your net. If they score, it’s pretty much the game. When you’re on a losing skid, every guy out there needs to be doing the little things right, all the time.

    Oh, and can we nominate an ES goal, empty netter, and 19 minutes in PIMs as the Ethan Moreau hat trick?

  160. HBomb says:

    mc79: see Schitzo’s argument.

    If this was last year and there was talk of a 3-4 million cap increase, I’d agree with you. This year is uncertain.

    But if he wanted five million and the Oilers could move Penner to clear the room, I know who I’d rather have…..bottom line, I hope they keep him. He’s kind of a cross between Smyth and Guerin and brings some stuff to the table that are lacking on this hockey team.

  161. HBomb says:

    Ok, I don’t know if there’s any US College Football fans here, but if you didn’t see Texas Tech vs. Texas tonight, don’t worry. It will be on ESPN Classic soon enough.

    A last second TD wins it for the Red Raiders. Literally, last second. Ensuing premature storming of the field by the fans, TT kicking off from the 7.5 yard line due to delay of game penalties, a squib kick and a quickly-stopped attempt at a lateral-miracle……now Penn State and Alabama are in the driver’s seat for trips to Miami for the National Championship game.

  162. Schitzo says:

    So, what do you think the odds are that Ritch Winter is progressing to next year’s UFA season and cursing Hossa for leaving $90 million on the table?

    Re: Cole: If I were Tambellini, I would go to Katz, get permission to bury Penner in the minors if necessary, and then sign Cole to something between 4-5. If we can make it work with everyone currently signed, awesome. If not, well, isn’t this why we have a billionare owner?

    If Katz DOES sign off on that, I’d do 10 years, 30 million in a heartbeat. Since he signs before age 35, you can trade/bury his contract whenever he’s out of gas.

    In closing, I love any guy who can play Eric Staal to a draw, while drawing two penalties of his own. If this dude played in Canada his whole career, he’d be rated more highly than Smytty

  163. Coach pb9617 says:

    Marc Crawford is an idiot.

    That is all.

  164. Coach pb9617 says:

    Re: Cole: If I were Tambellini, I would go to Katz, get permission to bury Penner in the minors if necessary, and then sign Cole to something between 4-5. If we can make it work with everyone currently signed, awesome. If not, well, isn’t this why we have a billionare owner?

    Uh, you realize that Penner has been one of the best forwards on the team thus far, right?

  165. Schitzo says:

    Coach: I know he’s played well, but in my mind the two most expendable “big dollar” contracts on the roster are going to be either Penner, Cole, or Souray.

    Up until about 3 weeks ago I would have said we should let Souray’s NMC expire and then bury the bugger, but he’s been downright impressive.

    I don’t know, are one of Vish or Gilbert expendable?

  166. Sean says:

    RE Cole: I don’t see him on the first line, we need to afford the kids and the cap is likely going down. He plays like an Oiler, I love his game but 5 million per is too much. He hasnt exactly lit it up on the scoresheet, it might be a good time to try to get a bargain.

  167. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: I know he’s played well, but in my mind the two most expendable “big dollar” contracts on the roster are going to be either Penner, Cole, or Souray.

    Roloson and Garon expire, how about JDD and Labarbera as a goal combo :)

  168. HBomb says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but if Hemsky-Cole-Pisani is our RW punch going forward, I’d be pretty damn pleased with that.

    Hell, I bet you can fit Cole in at five million for next year without much trouble. He’s making four million this year. You just admit you’re not going UFA shopping at all this summer.

    As for Hossa, looking at where he’s sitting in NHL scoring right now, methinks he still gets paid. But for some reason, I could see him and Zetterberg each taking 7 million on long term deals from Detroit and those buggers setting themselves up for a dynasty over the next half-decade. Don’t know why….

  169. Schitzo says:

    HBomb: Detroit’s biggest problem is that Lidstrom still has a year left. Tons of cap space in fall of 2010, but not a lot of options next year.

    Of course, having Lidstrom signed is a nice problem to have…

  170. Schitzo says:

    Oh, and as I sit here eating tiny chocolate, I’d like to point out that the secret to tremendous candy haul is taking an adorable 18-month old kid. Empty his bucket frequently, and some houses will damn near fill it halfway :D

  171. Lowetide says:

    Schitzo: I remember those years. My son would run so fast to houses that he’d fall down a lot and despite my efforts to pick up what fell there would be candy on sidewalks all over the neighborhood the next morning.

    Good times.

  172. Schitzo says:

    Lowetide: Sounds about right. Every time he fell down he’d want me to pick him up and carry him… until the next house, when all would be forgotten and off he went.

    Man, quiet year though, half the houses had their lights off.

  173. Dennis says:

    LT: I dunno, I’ve seen you throw out “it’s just a game” a lot of times; at least when you’re defending Lowe moves;):D

    Nice win today and I had the Oilers leading 13-7 in chances after 40 min. I didn’t keep track of the third because I was waiting for my friends to pick me up and I figured I’d just finish the work when I checked out the game on tape.

    Oilers worked hard enough to earn breaks and Roli made a couple of great saves in the third period and late. Oilers are 5-4-1 without a goal of help from either 83 or 89 so in that regard they’re in alright shape. The PK might’ve turned around a little today and that’s always a great help as well.

    Here’s hoping tomorrow’s game will be available somewhere online and will be archived because GB/Ten’s going at the same time and I don’t think I’d be able to find an archived file of the football game.

  174. Doogie2K says:

    Last observation before we move on to the new GDP:

    You know, I see the obvious resemblance to Gordie Howe, but does anyone else also think that Mark looks a little like young Don Cherry in that shot?

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