Oilers at Penguins, G13/08-09

This is Greg Polis. 35 years ago hockey fans like me wondered how many goals he might score on a real hockey team, as he always lit the lamp at the All-Star game.

Pittsburgh’s history has for the most part been an offensive one. They had a big line in the early 1970s (Syl Apps, Jr-Lowell MacDonald-Jean Pronovost) and they had guys like Polis who once ripped off a 30-goal year.

Unlike teams like the Flyers and Islanders, Pittsburgh could never get enough actual players to make a run. That trend continued right through until they drafted Mario, in fact you can trace the Pens getting top pick to a series of stunning trades for spent forces.

This current group of Penguins looks dangerous any way you slice it. The offense is led by Malkin (12gp, 4-14-18), Crosby (12gp, 3-12-15) and Satan (12gp, 6-4-10) and their goalies have save percentages (.925 for Fleury) that imply major league status.

Their record (6-4-2) is very similar to the Oilers (6-5-1) despite the fact that the Penguins have enjoyed home cooking more often (tonight is their 7th home game, Oilers play their 10th road game this evening) this season.

Oilers are led by the lollygagger Hemsky (12gp, 3-9-12), Ethan Moreau (12gp, 4-4-8) who apparently has become Bobby Hull and Sheldon Souray (11gp, 3-6-9) who had a glorious chance to put the team ahead last night late but missed the net.

Last night’s GDT at this blog is one of the best items we’ve had here, all kinds of input from very smart men and women. If you have time, a zip through those comments is well worth it. One of the points that came up last evening was a suggestion that MacT is using this as a development season as opposed to a season when winning is the only important factor.

I think MacTavish has always used the early portion of a season to see what he has in each player, give them a chance to fill the role, and in doing so trusting these players will be better in multiple roles come the thaw. A good coach looks at his roster and picks out the players who he needs to bring along in various roles so they can be counted on in springtime when the playoff run comes. This entire season, from the wonky away sked to the use of kids in elevated roles, is designed for a strong run in the final 25 games.

There are things about MacT’s coaching that I can agree are baffling: his “semaphore signals” powerplay or his stubborn use of Pisani at center. I imagine he’s using the players on special teams that he’d like to see fill that role as the season wears on.

Let’s look at PK time for forwards:

  1. Brodziak 3:06
  2. Horcoff 2:52
  3. Moreau 2:52
  4. Pisani 2:40
  5. Penner 2:00

Now, let’s look at who was doing the work one year ago:

  1. Reasoner 3:10
  2. Stoll 2:53
  3. Moreau 2:48
  4. Horcoff 2:47
  5. Brodziak 2:31
  6. Pisani 2:28

Two of the six men in rotation from one year ago are gone (there are 6 listed from last season because of injuries, etc and it is likely that there will be at least 6 averaging over two minutes a game this season. Candidates include Gagner, Pouliot and Cogliano). From these numbers we can see that Brodziak is getting a bump and Dustin Penner has a new job. A “team need” is a veteran right handed center and we can see from this list that it has an impact when the team is a man short.

So, I think there’s method to the madness for MacTavish. We can suggest that Pouliot might be a better option than Penner and the season may develop in this way but the coach wants to use the big man short-handed and has decided to do it and cut his PP time (Penner is at 56 seconds a game on the PP this season, down from 3:43 a game one year ago).

Craig MacTavish wants Dustin Penner to be a solid option on the PK come spring, and he feels that the club has enough weapons offensively to borrow the Big P from the PP. The early results are not good, but he hasn’t reached the point where gassing the plan and running Cogliano or Pouliot out there is a reasonable choice.

He may get to that point, but he’s giving his original roster makeup idea every chance to succeed in the hope that it works. You know, he’s pretty good at this stuff overall. Especially PK and EVs.

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402 Responses to "Oilers at Penguins, G13/08-09"

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  1. toqueboy says:

    wow

  2. CrazyCoach says:

    wow

  3. HBomb says:

    Holy crap. Just like that, 5-3.

    I think Hemsky’s slump is over people.

  4. Oilmaniac says:

    (YEAH HEMSKY)

  5. MJT says:

    Jonathan if you don’t show up on time next game i’m going to hunt you down ;)

  6. spOILer says:

    Ha!

  7. toqueboy says:

    @jonathan

    i totally agree with you…i love these commentators

  8. Kish says:

    tangent: i think its interest how different the games look depending on where the tv cameras are (i.e how far away from the ice it is). Todays game looks slow and predictable from the standard cam, but yesterday’s look quicker and more exciting, i think at least in part to the camera being lower and/or closer to the ice. no? yes? shut up?
    /tangent
    goil! gilbert and hemmer, 5-3

  9. Quain says:

    The 5-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey.

  10. Kish says:

    matt cooke must die
    good job, theo

  11. Oilmaniac says:

    Gota say… its good to see cooke get fed with shots… POS… nice one Theo!!..

  12. MJT says:

    Kish: Good observation, I think anything that makes the game look faster is better for the league.

    Peckham: Well played.

  13. Black Dog says:

    Speaking about getting out of a slump, Gilbert has six points in the last three games.

  14. HBomb says:

    Theo Peckham, NICE RESPONSE.

    Matt Cooke, watch your head you shit-eating bastard. He’s going to get more of it for taking runs at Gilbert and Gagner.

  15. PDO says:

    Uh… we got a 5 minute PK out of that? ….how?

  16. CrazyCoach says:

    Cooke is such a PUKE. I remember how NUcks fans here creamed their jeans over that gutless puke.

  17. Kish says:

    its not surprising to see cooke beaking in the box… but still so annoying…

  18. HBomb says:

    How the fuck do the Penguins get a five minute PP out of that shit?

    Fucking Matt Cooke.

  19. HBomb says:

    Matt Cooke is on my register of “NHL players who I root for career ending injuries to”.

    Pronger
    Perry
    Cooke

    And….well, that’s about it.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Jonathan if you don’t show up on time next game i’m going to hunt you down ;)

    Better start now; I gotta take off in about ten minutes.

    It’s OK – Jeff Deslaurier’s actually the good luck charm.

  21. HBomb says:

    A little bit of emotion here. I bet that we somehow come out of this with the only penalty, or at least one more than the Penguins get.

  22. Jonathan says:

    RE: Cooke.

    My dad’s a Canucks fan, and when Matt Cooke got traded, Luongo said it was hard to see such a “classy guy” leave town. This has convinced my dad that Luongo’s a head case.

  23. CrazyCoach says:

    Luongo probably said that tongue in cheek

  24. PDO says:

    WTF is with the refs?

  25. Black Dog says:

    Did MacT fall on his knees and beg between periods?

  26. Jonathan says:

    Luongo probably said that tongue in cheek

    Possibly, but I don’t think so. Apparently him and Cooke were/are really good friends.

  27. spOILer says:

    DOUBLE HA!

  28. Oilmaniac says:

    YYYEEEAAAAHHHHH SOURAY!!!!!!!

  29. MJT says:

    WHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTT????

  30. PDO says:

    WHAT!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Jonathan says:

    5-4! MY GOD!

  32. PunjabiOil says:

    Holy shit

  33. CrazyCoach says:

    Holy shit.

    THis is the MIracle on Mellon

  34. Schitzo says:

    Tonight: Great game, or greatest game?

  35. Kish says:

    HAAA!!! GOIL!
    Also, I love watching dmen on breakaways, that puck was almost square by the time he hacked it in.

  36. gary b says:

    Gobsmacked.

  37. uni says:

    This game is just ridiculous. I never expected to see Souray on a near breakaway goal tonight.

  38. Jonathan says:

    How did I go from “MacT has lost this team” to “MacT makes Obama look boring” in 15 minutes of game time?

  39. Jonathan says:

    Letang out against Hemsky. Interesting.

  40. Jonathan says:

    Also: 27-89-83

    Just saying.

  41. Jonathan says:

    Well, I gotta run. GOILERS, and all hail Jeff Deslauriers!

  42. Schitzo says:

    God, I had the sorest throat before tonight. Now it hurts so much more

  43. spOILer says:

    Yeah, they look like they’ve given up on the coach. Give me a break.

  44. Coach pb9617 says:

    You know, and again this is only through 5 minutes and some intermission, but I think I could handle Bob Errey as a regular colour guy.

    He’s pretty damned good when he’s focused, but when hit PBP guy starts prattling, Errey turns into a clown.

  45. Oiler Mag says:

    That was some backhand by 44 – harder than some forwards wristers

  46. Coach pb9617 says:

    They’re coming back because I’m too drunk to criticize them.

  47. Oilmaniac says:

    I dunno bout you guys.. but i really like seeing gagner out centring his line… winning some draws too..

  48. dave says:

    OMG MacT is a genius! The way he timed Souray coming out of the box, just when puck dumped. (Souray’s $ though all kidding aside)

  49. CrazyCoach says:

    Maybe he hasn’t lost the room, but its one game.

  50. gary b says:

    since i’m late to the party:

    Matt Cooke is a c**t.

    Pittsburgh colour guy is a moron. Cole’s jersey is pulled up over his head, his arms are being held by a linesman, and Mr. Colourman thinks he “should get what’s coming to him” from Kennedy?

    moron.

    time for an Oiler PP, refs.

  51. Black Dog says:

    spoiler – I don’t know, pal. How do you explain the first forty minutes?

    Of course your response is how do I explain the last ten?

    I’m a MacT guy.

    I think he has a problem.

  52. spOILer says:

    Lack of composure by a young inexperienced team in a strange building with no bounces against a very good team.

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m a MacT guy.

    I think he has a problem.

    He should drink more

  54. Schitzo says:

    He should drink more

    and then go driving?

  55. Lowetide says:

    Black Dog: Agreed. I’m a MacT guy and like this team, but his postgame’s are from “the Lost Weekend.”

  56. CrazyCoach says:

    He should drink more

    and then go driving?

    Only if he’s the premier of BC.

    Ba-zing!

  57. MJT says:

    its not your fault if they aren’t in a crosswalk. however it is your fault if they’re on the sidewalk.

  58. Schitzo says:

    Oh lubo

  59. Black Dog says:

    Spoiler – fair enough, if there is a problem it will play out I guess.

    coachpb – you’re cut off

    LT – lol

    I think the stakes have been raised for this club based on the stretch run last year and new ownership and the money being spent here.

    As it should. Enough is enough.

    I think MacT is feeling the pressure.

  60. Coach pb9617 says:

    and then go driving?

    No thanks. I have a whole case.

  61. Lowetide says:

    As a fan, if I could “will” this team only one goal this season it would be right here to make it 5 apiece.

    No matter what happens after that (in OT) THAT would have to be a helluva team builder.

  62. Schitzo says:

    Sigh

  63. CrazyCoach says:

    Spoiler if he had the room, this team would play a full 60 minutes every game.

  64. kinger says:

    Nothing’s changed.

  65. MJT says:

    right, well time to chain smoke and go play some mens league.

  66. PDO says:

    Gagner almost pulled a Lemieux there off the draw.

    I have no idea what to think of this team at this point….

  67. Oilmaniac says:

    its a dissapointing result.. but hey, we actually got to cheer more than it seemed like we were going to…

  68. CrazyCoach says:

    When will the owner/president/GM vote of confidence come?

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    You know…

    …if a certain rugged number four were still in charge, he’d pull a trade tomorrow to shake the team.

  70. Lowetide says:

    PDO: It’s still a good team, but they do have some issues. Youth and inexperience in some vital areas, they need a RH center for the 3line and to move Fernando over (actually they need to stack their RW’s as Hemsky, Cole, Pisani on the top 3 lines and then go from there) and they need to stop the semaphore signals PP.

    But I think it’s reasonable to expect them to bubble around .500 and stay in the race through the road trip (and beyond) then go on one of those patented runs after the new year.

    They just have to keep it together through this stretch. 10 games on the road now and more to come before they get home.

  71. spOILer says:

    Coach, it didn’t look like the effort wasn’t there the first half, it looked more like their heads weren’t. Whether they were still dealing with last night’s demons, or intimidated by facing Pitt, or just struggling with a strange building, I don’t know, but they were as tentative as hell as opposed to no legs or work ethic.

    And that being said, they could easily have won this game, they had the chances. Pitt cheats so much to the offensive side, they give up p;lenty going the other way.

    Not to mention Peckham victimized on two, and Nilsson missing since the first period.

  72. spOILer says:

    I think MacT showed his true colours on the PK tonight with Cogs getting 2.5 mins.

  73. Black Dog says:

    By the end of November this team will have played forty % of its road schedule.

    Crazy.

    LT’s point about the RW is on the money.

    Start with that and build your lines.

    More Cogliano on the PK is a good sign.

    The PP though. Jesus.

  74. spOILer says:

    The good:

    -the light is obviously on for Sir Ales
    -Cogs on the PK. Played real well at EVs too
    -strong showing from our new starting netminder
    -Gilbert looks like a different man without Gottfried by his side, Pecks notwithstanding
    -battling through their own adversity even though they lost. I predict a reasonably good spin by MacT in the post-game
    -13 goals in 3 games
    -offensive chemistry at EVs looking a lot better

    The bad:
    -FOs
    -PP
    -another poor start
    -13 goals in 3 games and losing 2

    Anyone know what happened to Nilsson?

  75. Coach pb9617 says:

    The PP though. Jesus.

    Jesus wouldn’t be happy with this power play either. He was a wanderer, a nomad. He was constantly on the move, traveling from this place to that.

    His mobile nature would not mesh well with the stationary power play – he would be out of place and crucified for messing with the chemistry of the existing power play Caesars. No, Jesus wouldn’t work on this power play at all.

    Colossus of Rhodes, on the other hand…

  76. Lowetide says:

    Also, Lot’s wife. Lot’s wife would fit right into this PP.

  77. Traktor says:

    It’s nice to see people are finally realizing what I’ve been saying for years – MacTavish is the problem. Just is.

    Mikko Koivu with 14 points in 11 games for those counting.

  78. Black Dog says:

    If Nilsson’s out we may finally see some sanity in the line combinations.

    27/10/83
    89/13/26
    18/78/34

    Brodziak, Stortini and a callup on the 4th line. I don’t see a need for MacIntyre in Jersey or NY.

  79. HBomb says:

    Mikko Koivu with 14 points in 11 games for those counting.

    And this is relevant why?

  80. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lot’s wife is stapled to the right faceoff circle and believes she’s Brett Hull.

  81. spOILer says:

    I’m all for getting the bloody PP up to snuff, and winning some 6-5 games, but we gotta get the GA down too.

    Is that a 3C issue, or a D issue, or a goalie issue? Cause I’m not sure.

    34′s line was on for two EV GAs. I blame Horcoff.

  82. Black Dog says:

    At least she had her head on a swivel – wasn’t that her downfall?

  83. Traktor says:

    “And this is relevant why?”

    Just a minnow.

    Back to the sea you go.

  84. HBomb says:

    Five goals against for Garon, but did he really have that much of a chance on any of them?

    Tonight was a textbook example of a mercy pull.

  85. Black Dog says:

    spoiler – all of the above?

    Checking line is getting owned.

    Team D is sloppy.

    PK is iffy.

    Goaltending has been poor at times.

  86. Lowetide says:

    I always thought it was kind of sexist. Lot’s wife? Doesn’t she have a name? Olga? Astrid? Dion?

  87. HBomb says:

    Just a minnow.

    Back to the sea you go.

    You calling me a minnow, troll?

  88. spOILer says:

    LT,

    Irit was her name I believe.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Oh. Sheesh. Well,in fairness to me I haven’t read a Bible in many years.

  90. Traktor says:

    The only time this team EVER had success was when Hemsky was not playing with Horcoff. When MacTavish went back to them against Carolina we lost.

    How many defensive centers do we have?

    How many offensive centers do we have?

    It’s not that hard to figure out.

    Send Horcoff to the wolves. He’s the only center we have for the job!

  91. spOILer says:

    PK has been better last two games. MacT on CHED now

  92. HBomb says:

    Send Horcoff to the wolves. He’s the only center we have for the job!

    Exactly, play him power vs. power with other offensive players. That might be Hemsky, that might not.

    Attributing the Cup loss to Horcoff and Hemsky together is narrow-minded and unintelligent. In other words, right up your alley.

    And when those two were playing apart, guess who the guy producing offense was in a power vs power role? Horcoff. Not Hemsky. The guy is not a product of 83 when it comes to his abilities in the offensive zone.

  93. Oilmaniac says:

    Two things,

    LT what do you mean by “semaphore signals PP”..?

    2nd, listening to tencer… I totally think MacT is on the hook for the PP performance over the his whole term, not just this years performance (which statistically isnt horrible.. its just watching it on nights like tonight… gawd awful…)

  94. spOILer says:

    “…Too much standing and watching in front of the net. Two back side goals that shouldn’t have happened. Great resilience, but the Cooke incident took away the momentum, Peckham did what he had to do, not happy with refs, thought Matty could’ve had a couple, JDD on top of everything, positioning an issue…”

    Tencer surprised MacT calling out his goaltender so sharply.

  95. HBomb says:

    I do not get how MacT can call out Garon for “a couple” of goals.

    Makes zero sense to me.

    I did notice the Oilers played significantly better in front of JDD after the switch. It was a wake up call for them, no doubt.

  96. Traktor says:

    Who pulled Garon when he was 3-0 with a .941 sv% in the first place?

    The next thing you know he is using “going with the hot hand” to justify Roli’s increased playing time.

    Another self-inflicted wound.

  97. spOILer says:

    Post game podcasts are up for those with iTunes etc.

  98. spOILer says:

    Listen to the podacast HBomb, it wasn’t quite as bad as Tencer made out.

  99. HBomb says:

    Listen to the podacast HBomb, it wasn’t quite as bad as Tencer made out.

    Still, just saying that I don’t think Garon’s exactly the one to blame tonight.

  100. LittleFury says:

    Who pulled Garon when he was 3-0 with a .941 sv% in the first place?

    The next thing you know he is using “going with the hot hand” to justify Roli’s increased playing time.

    Another self-inflicted wound.

    Yep. Garon is a delicate fuckin’ flower whose confidence was irrevocably shattered by being forced into the role of backup for the first time in his long and storied career. Christ.

  101. Lowetide says:

    Oilmaniac: By “semaphore signals” I mean telegraphed. Semaphore signal is here:

    http://www.anbg.gov.au/flags/semaphore.html

  102. spOILer says:

    Was he blaming him, or simply saying he’s not at the top of his game right now?

    And would you disagree with that?

  103. HBomb says:

    spoiler: tough to tell if a guy is at the top of his game on a night like tonight when he had zero chance on pretty much all five goals.

    I’m not worried about Garon. He’ll pull it together.

  104. Traktor says:

    Horcoff is tied for 308th among forwards in EV points and MacTavish goes after the goaltender that was sitting for a week before he faced the Pens. Classic.

  105. spOILer says:

    Smart like Traktor:

    How long had JDD sat?

  106. spOILer says:

    And by the way, MacT went after the whole team for poor positioning, giving up the backdoor, and standing around too much in front of the net.

  107. Oilmaniac says:

    Thanks LT,

    heres a side question, is there really any point trying to get through to tencer just to complain about the PP… i just dont like how he gives MacT a free ride, especially with how bad the PP is… it being an example of brutal Semaphore signaling… (hat tip)

  108. spOILer says:

    NAS with a 3 goal partial comeback on the Phlegms.

  109. PDO says:

    I can’t wait until Horcoff gets hot and we all get to rub it in Traktor’s face.

    Of course, I’m guessing there’s a reason he wasn’t here for the entire third period.

  110. Traktor says:

    “I can’t wait until Horcoff gets hot and we all get to rub it in Traktor’s face.”

    What’s hot? 60 points?

    It’s not going to happen. He’s going to get exposed like MacTavish.

  111. Dennis says:

    It’s hard to cover something that already hasn’t been but I’ll try.

    - Cooke’s a piece of garbage and he really took a high shot and finished with 77 but I didn’t see it mentioned anywhere else that this came only AFTER 44 went high on Malkin. That guy doesn’t need an excuse to be an arsehole but he had one tonight. The other thing is I didn’t think we could come all the way back so I was sorta hoping the Pens would make it 6-3 and put it out of reach and then we’d see how dirty the game would get.

    And doesn’t a game like tonight make you wish all teams played home-and-home series?

    - I don’t know if 12 got hurt or he just didn’t make the cut but his game has fallen off lately anyway. If he has gotten the smackdown from the boss it will be interesting to see how he reacts.

    - MacT took a halting pause before his netminding postgame comments and the silence was dripping with equal parts desperation and exasperation. I think it’s safe to say after tonight that he’s not really a huge Garon fan because anytime you have a case where a guy like Malkin walks though a kid like gagner that you put out there yourself and does so on the draw then it’s a pile of shit to turn it on anyone else.

    - the most interesting postgame I heard was from moreau. he said they are still trying to figure out who should play with who and who should get the most icetime but that it’s time that guys started earning their icetime.

    Tonight looked an awful lot like a lot of trying-to-develop-kids-while-winning bills came due and they all came due at the exact same time.

    I think it’s pretty clear that MacT’s willing to go down with the Gagner ship so how and where it all ends is what we’re all waiting for. It’s all fine and dandy to cite a road-heavy early docket along with some tough comp but with all these GA something’s wrong and now it’s when you attempt to fix it.

  112. spOILer says:

    Dennis, that first Sykora goal was Nilsson’s last shift.

  113. HBomb says:

    It’s not going to happen. He’s going to get exposed like MacTavish.

    Exposed? He’s already established himself as a first line center with a 70+ point season and 50 points in 53 games last season prior to injury.

    Exposed as what? That’s he’s not Joe Thornton?

    And quoting scoring standings after 13 games. Ever heard of this concept called “sample size”?

    In short, you’re an idiot.

  114. namflashback says:

    Spoiler, it was a giveaway by Nilsson on a a PP hat led to the SHGA by Talbot.

    I don’t think he saw the ice after that.

  115. Coach pb9617 says:

    WTF!?

    Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben, and there’s Parliament.

  116. Coach pb9617 says:

    34′s line was on for two EV GAs. I blame Horcoff.

    Sooooo Horcoff is….. Isaac.

  117. spOILer says:

    NFB:

    Scoresheet and play by play say differently.

    I’m thinking of the same play Dennis mentions, I believe, where Malkin goes thru Gagner on the FO and Sykora scores.

    Wish I had a PVR.

  118. namflashback says:

    Spoiler,

    Right you are.

  119. spOILer says:

    Horcoff is on pace for a 28 goal season, has a Corsi # of 12, GFON 3.00, GAON 1.88 while going P V P.

    He is hardly the problem. For anyone not smart like Traktor, that is.

  120. spOILer says:

    NFB,

    that giveaway you mention had to be a contributing factor though.

    Tencer just confirmed Nilsson was benched.

  121. Ribs says:

    There’s a strange thing that happens when your team comes back from oblivion with some clutch goals and there’s a race to the finish. You get excited. You get into the game. You get mad. Even when you lose there is an amped feeling around the room and you just wish there was one more period. One more shift. One more chance. This is what the Oilers need to take from this game. The fire.

    The game itself was a scramblefest. The penalties really messed everything to shit for most of the game. The ref’s were bad tonight. I lost count of the sticks that hit faces with no calls. Why were the Pens monsters allowed to bear hug Cole for 15 feet every time he tried to skate with the puck? Penner tooks some stickwork that was in excess as well. Nothing you can do, I guess.

    Seeing Cogs on the PK was a pleasant sight. Did MacT smarten up or was he just there because of the Nilsson situation?

    Gilbert’s looking smooth again.

    Souray is just awesome.

    JDD did a good job coming in cold. Good to know that he’s capable.

    I missed most of the first. MacIntyre got his ass kicked or what?

    Peckham is going to be a nice D-man.

    Gagner taking a lot of faceoffs tonight. Nice for development.

    Brodz and Poo looked like the tired ones tonight. Poo got pushed around alot.

    Visnovsky is really starting to anger me. How long is his contract again? Oy…

    Ex-Oilers… killing us! None on NJ so things are looking good for Sunday!

  122. Coach pb9617 says:

    Tencer just confirmed Nilsson was benched.

    Soooo Nilsson is the sacrificial lamb.

  123. none says:

    sorry spoiler, I don’t need fancy stats to see that Horcoff is fighting the puck badly…constant turnovers, handling the puck like a grenade…

    btw hbomb, just because Horcoff and one 70 point season, doesn’t mean he is a number 1 center, just #1 on the Oilers…Brendan Morrison had a 70 point season, doesn’t make him a #1 center

  124. Oilmaniac says:

    Ribs said…
    Brodz and Poo looked like the tired ones tonight. Poo got pushed around alot.

    I would ‘slightly’ disagree with this point, only cus I thought during the third those two turnned it up and had some life(with the rest i guess). But poo was getting pushed off the puck more than usual, which shows we’ve become used to seeing him win some battles..

    My problem is with this..

    spOILer said…
    Horcoff is on pace for a 28 goal season, has a Corsi # of 12, GFON 3.00, GAON 1.88 while going P V P.

    He is hardly the problem. For anyone not smart like Traktor, that is.

    I’ve had a fair amount of Horcoff hate bubbling through the beginning of this season, which is odd because he is no worse this year than the others… Lots of work, little finish, but some of the knucklers go in at the right times and we all cheer… Its not really fair that he is the only dependible/defensive (till brodz/poo graduate) centre so when he doesnt win all the important draws its easy put him down for ‘not even doing that’…

    Horcoffs goals projection are purely a hemsky inflated stat.. i know thats been an over used phrase in years past but i really think it applies so far this season… just look at how they have ‘all’ been scored, on the pp, from hemmer…Hence why he just stands there waiting to be feed instead of moving… horcoff is not producing anything on his own, which was also obvious in the dark days of the SCF follow up year when hemmer went down… I still think he is a vital component of this oilers team, but an offensive wizard he is not… I was about to say that penner,horc,hemmer were looking good but im real tempted to see gags there instead…

    moreau/nils-horc-cole
    moreau/nils-cogs-pisani

    i dunno, lines were all messed up after nils got benched… we’ll see…

    either way.. I think traktor DOES have some reason to bitch… especially because, i just cant shake this feeling, this team may end up out growing horcoff in the next three years (gags on the first, cogs second?) that you have this defensive centre at 5.5 for 2 more years… thats worse than staios or roloson… but just to flip flop… he may be a really great second/first line centre to play toughs in the mold of brindamor… we can only hope, wait and see… and he will score more goals, big ones too, which will be nice…

  125. doritogrande says:

    Seems like most of you took the prozac at about post #200 here. I’m kinda sad I missed it.

    After a brief glance at the highlights on the Oilers site, Smac’s hit was massive. Peckham is a necessity on this team for shitheads like Cooke, and closer to home the two fuckers in Dallas. Hemsky made Fleury look stupid.

    This team is going to live and die with their offense. Defense and goaltending seem to be an aberration right now. Ladies and Gentlemen, firewagon hockey.

  126. Dennis says:

    I guess people missed that play where 78 came back and clamped down on Crosby’s stick just as he was about to unleash a shot from the slot? Or the play where he ragdolled Fetendko, bad spelling I know;), in the N zone?

    Seriously, boys, the whom the least is given the least is expected and while 78 played a tonne at EV Tonight, he actually earned it and has been playing fine all season. The kid’s actually gotten a lot harder on the puck so I’d have a hard time saying he looked tired tonight.

    I don’t mind 12 getting the boots because MacT’s been a big fan of his for awhile now so it’s not like it’s all one way with him and Robert.

  127. Dennis says:

    People don’t want to acknowledge that Souray drew first blood by headhunting Malkin?

  128. PDO says:

    Dennis:

    I think the problem is:

    A) Somehow two massive elbows by Cooke and a fight where he dropped the gloves lead to a 5 minute PP for the Pens.

    B) The Pens go on to get a 5 on 3 PP for two whole minutes…

    C) There is NO even up call, which in the NHL is pretty much a given, and there were all kinds of opportunies for one with the game 5-4… despite our nasty PP, it’s never a bad thing to have more guys on the ice than the other team.

    D) It’s Matt Cooke.

  129. Slipper says:

    I didn’t see it Dennis.

    Are you talking about when Souray shut down Malkin’s end to end rush in front of the Oilers’ goal?

  130. RiversQ says:

    Not a whole lot to add. I am surprised I saw no praise for Hemsky tonight. He was dangerous the whole game and he has strung together 5 games in a row now where he has a legit argument to be mentioned as the best player on the ice. Seriously strong play from him lately, which is one of the few good signs this week.

  131. Ribs says:

    Dennis – Pouliot had a couple of nice shifts but to my eye just didn’t have the jump that he had in the last few games. He didn’t have a bad game by any means, I just tend to hope for more when it comes to him.

  132. RiversQ says:

    Oh and I agree on Pouliot too. Nice game from him and a tonne of minutes.

  133. PDO says:

    Riv:

    Agreed on Hemsky… I think it just got kind of lost because of the nature of this game…. the goal he scored to make it 5-3 was ridiculous, and he was fantastic all game long.

    I don’t know if many people have ripped Souray as much as I have… but I am very happy with his play to be honest. He’s using his stick in the defensive zone like he’s Willie Mitchell… I hate our obsession with him on the PP, and that may or may not be his fault, but IF he stays healthy and IF he continues this play, I’m alright with that contract….

  134. Bruce says:

    Wow, sounds like I missed a doubleheader. Good thing I missed it probably, that fucking prick Matt Cooke raises my blood pressure to about 300/200. Any play involving Matt Cooke where the other guy gets the instigator should be a firing offence for the referee. Don’t these guys watch the games?

    At the very least, somebody please tell me Peckham pounded the shit right out of that sheepfucker.

    As for high hits, Dennis, I can’t comment about Souray on Malkin, but I can comment about the first high hit of the game when Crosby crosschecked Peckham in the face in the first period. Pittsburgh scored on the play. Turned out to be a Big goal.

  135. spOILer says:

    RQ, my post earlier:

    The good:
    -The light is obviously on for Hemsky.

    Bruce:
    Peckham destroyed Cooke.

    Don’t know why anyone would bitch about Pouliot’s game tonight, he was pretty solid other than a couple of meaningless giveaways that came to nothing.

    As for the goaltending, JDD stopped 2 or 3 backdoor attempts, whereas Garon stopped none. Not blaming Garon, but I think MacT’s commments about 1 or 2 of those being normally being stopped by him were dead-on. Your goalies have to occasionally bail out your team, Garon couldn’t tonight.

  136. kinger says:

    Stat of interest: Pouliot was the #2 Oiler forward in terms of ES TOI.

    Perhaps it’s time for 18-78-26; Pouliot certainly looks like he’s in MacT’s good books.

  137. kinger says:

    @Traktor

    In case you haven’t noticed people don’t appreciate your antics here.

    My advice would be to take your act back to HFboards; there you will find a number of other clowns eager to propagate your ignorance. Don’t get me wrong, I think the odd post on HF is still worth the read, but it’s people like you that drive informed opinions away.

    TLDR: Shut the fuck up, nobody cares what you have to say.

  138. HBomb says:

    btw hbomb, just because Horcoff and one 70 point season, doesn’t mean he is a number 1 center, just #1 on the Oilers…Brendan Morrison had a 70 point season, doesn’t make him a #1 center

    Name me 30 centers who are clearly better than Shawn Horcoff. I continue to issue this challenge, and no one has met it.

    The discussion was had in the past couple weeks. There’s 15 guys that are clearly better, and then another grouping of 20 that Horcoff is certainly in.

    Is he Crosby, Thornton or Malkin? No. But he’s a top line center by any measure. Even in a mediocre year, he should be good for 60 points (assuming no significant term injuries). To put it in context, a 60 point center would have been 27th in scoring among NHL centers last year. Last year, if Horcoff had played the full season, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that he would have been at the 70+ point level, putting him into the top 20 in points.

    And this is before considering the guy knows how to play in his own zone. He’s going through a tough spot offensively, but he’s not exactly playing against nobodies at ES either, as has been shown.

    He’ll get it together. The guy is a quality NHL player. Most people here get that.

  139. rananda says:

    Name me 30 centers who are clearly better than Shawn Horcoff.

    1. datsyuk
    2. zetterberg
    3. malkin
    4. crosby
    5. thornton
    6. lecavalier
    7. spezza
    8. savard
    9. gomez
    10. drury
    11. s. koivu
    12. m. koivu
    13. parise
    14. stastny
    15. m. richards
    16. b. richards
    17. ribiero
    18. modano
    19. toews
    20. getzlaf
    21. kopitar
    22. sedin
    23. fedorov
    24. backstrom
    25. briere
    26. jokinen
    27. e. staal
    28. arnott
    29. bergeron
    30. sakic

    there’s 30 that i think are tough to argue with and i’d personally throw in kesler, nylander, brindamour, and maybe even roy. i do love horcoff though.

  140. Oilmaniac says:

    HAHAHAHA….

    Awww SNAP!!!

    How does that taste Hbomb… it wasnt me laying out the nasty, so i shouldnt be too antagonizing, but you just got one up’d on the challange… there are only a couple if’ies on the list, imo, but still a solid rebuttal…

    Sharp, ~Sundin, Marleau, McDonald (statistically, but i wouldnt vote him over horc)

  141. LittleFury says:

    there’s 30 that i think are tough to argue with

    Just curious: what’s the criteria here? I mean: Fedorov? Riberio? Come on.

  142. HBomb says:

    1. datsyuk – YES
    2. zetterberg – YES
    3. malkin – YES
    4. crosby – YES
    5. thornton – YES
    6. lecavalier – YES
    7. spezza – YES
    8. savard – Two years ago I’d say hell no. Savard’s improved his all around game, so yes, but not by a whole lot.
    9. gomez – No. I take Horcoff over Gomez, but I’d put him in the same “tier” (I’ll call these guys “ties”).
    10. drury – Tie.
    11. s. koivu – Horcoff is better
    12. m. koivu – Anotther “tie” (anytime I say tie, it’s a close comparable)
    13. parise – Plays wing mostly, IIRC.
    14. stastny – Yes
    15. m. richards – Yes
    16. b. richards – Yes (we’re not considering salaries here)
    17. ribiero – No fucking way I take him over Horcoff. 25% shooting percentage last year for Ribeiro. That says it all.
    18. modano – Right now? No. Three years ago, absolutely.
    19. toews – Right now, he’s not a better player, but is on his way there and has high potential. We’ll call him a yes.
    20. getzlaf – Absolutely.
    21. kopitar – See Getzlaf
    22. sedin – Another “tie”
    23. fedorov – No way. Past his time
    24. backstrom – Not now, within two years, probably.
    25. briere – like Parise, was playing wing with Richards and Gagne prior to injury.
    26. jokinen – No. Overrated player IMO.
    27. e. staal – Yes.
    28. arnott – Some would say yes, I’d call him a “tie”
    29. bergeron – Tie
    30. sakic – Yes.

    there’s 30 that i think are tough to argue with and i’d personally throw in kesler, nylander, brindamour, and maybe even roy. i do love horcoff though.

    Roy’s another “tie”. Kesler, Nylander and Brind’Amour, I’d call no at this point (and likel

    So, by my count, I’ve got 16 guys as being clearly better than Horcoff and a whole bunch of “close comparables”.

    On a good day, Horcoff could be as high as 15th in the league, but on a bad day, he’s 30-35th. To me, he’s in the top 30. Which makes him a 1st line center.

    To some, since he’s not Sidney Crosby, he should be playing as a checking center on the 3rd line. In a word, that’s stupid.

    What the Oilers are hoping for is that Gagner develops into a guy who’s in that 10-20 tier on the list, giving them two top-30 centers. Most good teams either have an elite guy or two guys that would fit into the top-30 discussion. Then you have the blessed teams with either great drafting and development (Detroit) or the “fortune” to have sucked long enough to have multiple high draft picks (Pittsburgh).

  143. HBomb says:

    How does that taste Hbomb… it wasnt me laying out the nasty, so i shouldnt be too antagonizing, but you just got one up’d on the challange… there are only a couple if’ies on the list, imo, but still a solid rebuttal…

    Sharp, ~Sundin, Marleau, McDonald (statistically, but i wouldnt vote him over horc)

    I’d say about half that list is up for debate. The names you throw out, Sundin would be a clear YES over Horcoff IF he was playing, Sharp’s another guy I’d throw into the “tie” group, Marleau’s playing LW (so like Briere and Parise, I exclude him from this debate, just like I would have excluded Zetterberg if this was last year and he was playing LW with Datsyuk….if Malkin takes up permanent residence on Crosby’s wing, he’d go into this pile as well), and McDonald’s good, but I wouldn’t take him over Horcoff.

    Gomez, Drury, M. Koivu, Bergeron, D. Roy, Sharp (assuming he’s playing C like he is right now), Arnott. Horcoff belongs in with this “2nd tier” of centers that rank anywhere from 17-30th in the league.

    There’s not 30 guys definitively better than him. I do think there’s an elite 16-17 guys that are the “classical” first line center that media guys talk about. There’s 30 teams, so not everyone can have one, especially with each of Detroit, Pittsburgh and Coloroado (at least until Sakic retires) all having two of the “elite” guys.

    Scarcity. Just like #1 defensemen or starting goaltenders, if the media believes. To me, first line center means top-30 in the league. If you’ve got a guy towards the bottom half of the top 30, depth becomes more and more important.

    I’m hoping that over the next five years, adding Cogliano and Gagner as they develop to Horcoff helps this team “overcome” the fact we don’t have a Crosby or Lecavalier at the top of the rotation.

  144. Dennis says:

    On the power of 10 – when I look at all these potential lists I try and look at which of these guys actually plays against real players. I haven’t checked that but that seems to be the disconnect, no? I used to go to HF the odd time for some news but never for opinions but I seem to remember that there’s a majority over there that doesn’t believe in matchups or tough min and there you go.

    Brian – Yeah, I’ve hated Matt Cooke since you were in Grade 8;) so no worries there:) I was just saying that I didn’t read anywhere that Souray had just tried to brain Malkin the shift beforehand and it’s not like Cooke’s actions are usually retalitory but I thought it rang true in this case.

    Riv – It’s not like I don’t like 83 or appreciate his value but he Should be having these games at this point in his career. EV scoring has always been the last hurdle for him to jump and the fact he’s scoring goals at evens gives me hope but I don’t think it’s too much to expect and that’s why I’m not overly joyed. Though, to get to my next point..

    New lines – if 27-89-83 are going to be kept together then we could see Hemsky feast at EV considering A: there’s no way they should be playing PVP and B: he’ll likely be the triggerman or that line or at the very least him and 89 will share the slot duties.

    Of course I noticed the big TOI bump for 78 last night and how the 3rd period line rotation went 27-10-83, 34-10-26 and then 18-78 plus 51 or 13.

    Now, we know the fellows who’ve played tough opp in the past and who’s done a decent job but unless the Oilers commit to getting 34 out of the middle and commit to putting 78 or 51 in the middle the speculation of who’ll play with who and against whom is even more baseless than the the Normal speculation;)

  145. Traktor says:

    People bitch about Souray like it’s their job and the guy has been our best d this year by a mile. Point out Horcoff’s struggles and you get shit on.

    Shawn Horcoff is a 1st line center the same way Gus Frerotte is a starting QB.

  146. HBomb says:

    People bitch about Souray like it’s their job and the guy has been our best d this year by a mile. Point out Horcoff’s struggles and you get shit on.

    Shawn Horcoff is a 1st line center the same way Gus Frerotte is a starting QB.

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

    You deserve to get shit on because it’s ALL you talk about.

    Shawn Horcoff is a top 30 center in the league. Therefore, he is a first liner. Are you too fucking thick to understand that, troll?

  147. Scott says:

    Two things:

    1. Ildeth/Ildet/Edith is the name of Lot’s wife in later Jewish tradition, but in the Hebrew Bible she, like many other female characters, is unnamed.

    2. I love the “Is Horcoff a First Line Center?” debate.

    the agreed upon sixteen from the last time I engaged in this conversation: Eric Staal, Vincent Lecavalier, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Drury, Mike Richards, Jason Spezza, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Joe Thornton, Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar, Brad Richards, Paul Stastny, Joe Sakic, Marc Savard.

    To which we are now apparently willing to add Jonathan Toews, making seventeen.

    And now, the next best thirteen, excluding Horcoff with small justification in post-lockout goodness:

    Derek Roy: Point totals give him a slight edge in a few more games but about two less minutes per game. +/- Roy cleans Horc’s clock. I don’t know if Roy is playing the toughs or not, but I suspect in 18-20 minutes he’s seeing them some and 51-0 over two and a bit seasons is a pretty brutal beating.

    Jason Arnott: A guy that’s similar to Horcoff in points, seems to take on the toughs in Nashville and has a lot more success than Horcoff in doing it.

    Olli Jokinen: My understanding is that he usually takes on the toughs. His lowest point total since the lockout is 71 and he has a high of 91. Horcoff ranges from 50 to 73. +/- discarding their worst years? 14-0 Jokinen.

    Saku Koivu: To my mind this one is a matter of preference, but I certainly don’t think there’s an argument that Horcoff is clearly superior.

    Peter Forsberg: Is it because he isn’t playing that people don’t want to include him? When healthy he’s clearly superior to Horcoff, but he’s not healthy as often as one would like. If just depends on how much you value that.

    Patrick Sharp: Really only has one good season so far, but this year sure looks like a repeat performance. Definitely not confident that Horc will out-do him this year or going forward.

    Mike Modano: I understand that the guy is old, but… he’s outpointed Horcoff taking some tough minutes in Dallas since the lockout and he’s well on his way to doing it again. Plus-minus comparison throwing out the “bad year” for each one: 35-0 Modano.

    Scott Gomez: He certainly seems comparable to Horcoff. Not the strongest argument to be made I suppose, but he has been a good player since the lockout and should be good going forward.

    Henrik Sedin: saying he makes it with his brother but not without is a total cop-out. Really? How much have you seen him play without his brother? Does he make it if he gets to play with Hemsky instead of his brother? Does he make it if he’s playing with Heatley? First-line centers play with good players! They shouldn’t be disqualified because they happen to be related.

    Mikko Koivu: He’s on the upslope of his career, his play against the other team’s best would suggest he’s handling similar minutes to Horcoff and has, generally, handled them better.

    Rod Brind’Amour: If we’re talking upside, he’s done. Completely out, but in terms of a one-year snapshot, Brind’Amour should be right up there.

    Daniel Briere: Isn’t taking on the toughs, but he’s generally keeping his head above water at even strength (17-0 in +/- discarding poorest seasons) and is consistently outpointing Horc.

    Patrice Bergeron: They each clock between 0.8 and 0.9 PPG (Bergeron with a slight edge), and they each have one terrible +/- season (overall since the lockout Bergeron again has a slight edge).

    None of this is to say that Horcoff is a bad player. He’s not. He’s a good player. But he’s not a lock as a top thirty center in this league. He’s certainly not a lock to provide value on his new contract which puts him top twenty highest paid centers starting next year.

  148. Bruce says:

    You deserve to get shit on because it’s ALL you talk about.
    Shawn Horcoff is a top 30 center in the league. Therefore, he is a first liner. Are you too fucking thick to understand that, troll?

    Lately, HBomb, that’s been pretty much all you’ve been talking about too. I happen to agree with you that Horc is a top 30 centre, but I also don’t totally disagree with Traktor that he might help the Oilers more on another line. Say what you will about Horc being a borderline case as a first-liner, but he would make a dynamite second liner on at least 90% of the teams in the league. Including ours. Maybe the Oilers are a better club with a Hemsky Line and a Horcoff Line.

  149. HBomb says:

    Scott: I've always excluded Forsberg because I've assumed he's retired for good now. Not only is a healthy Forsberg a lock for top 30, he might still arguably be in the very elite class in the top ten. Funny how he and Lindros got traded for each other, because both guys ended up having their careers cut "short" to some extent by injuries. I'd argue both should be in the Hall of Fame regardless.

    Past the "elite eighteen" or thereabouts (this practice of guys like Briere swinging over to wing clouds the debate…ditto Zetterberg going back and forth), there's about 14-16 guys that I feel you can throw a blanket over. You say Horcoff's not a lock as a top 30 guy – I see it another way, in that you can make a VERY good case he is in that group.

    Like you said though, often it comes down to a matter of preference (I know I'd take him over Saku Koivu or Mike Modano at this point, that's for sure). He's in the debate on his own merits, and that cannot be denied.

    Bruce: I'm well aware I'm taking a hardline stance on this issue, mostly because I'm trying to drive out the bullshit – frankly, I got fed up with it and decided to fire back (I know I'm not the only one who feels this way). It's my stubborn Ukrainian nature.

    Anyways, I totally agree that tactically the Oilers might be served well by not playing H&H together right now. The idea of running out Hemsky with Gagner to chew up the soft and then building some sort of tough minute 2nd line out of Horcoff and Cole is intriguing. You'd end up with a 1A&1B alignment in essence. I think we'll see it this season, becuase the idea of 83/89 playing with one another might be too tough for MacT to resist.

    I just don't buy it for one second that Horcoff is offensively useless away from Hemsky, nor do I think the Oilers are doomed to failure with those two together. Smyth-Horcoff-Hemsky was a VERY competent first line, even when they played together in the "annus horribulus" season of 06-07 (mid-January through the deadline and Smyth's departure). And Penner with those two was an effecitve combo last year for an extended stretch as well.

    MacT's got options, that much is certain. First things first is he needs to get actual centermen on all four lines and then build outward from there. He seems a bit displeased with the "kid line", so maybe the hard rule of those three together is going to disappear and we'll see some new permutations and combinations.

  150. rananda says:

    23. fedorov – No way. Past his time

    i wont argue with any of your comments except this one. fedorov’s been the caps’ 2nd best player this season behind semin and ahead of ovechkin and green. it’s a treat to watch this guy play every night. he’s unbelievably reliable in his own end and without the puck. i always knew he was great defensively but never realized how great. he is a classic shut down center who happens to have some world class puck skills (which i will admit have declined). if his effectiveness has significantly decreased from his det days, then he was a sickeningly good player back then. i dont think he was ever much of a finisher in the mold of mogilny or bure, but he does everything else you can do inside a hockey rink exceptionally well. i know horcoff’s a great player, but i would be shocked if he was as good as feds is right now.

  151. Traktor says:

    hbomb: You’ve already proved your worth when you said one of the reasons you don’t want Horcoff taken off the 1st line was that he wouldn’t get as many point and give critics a reason to bitch.

    That’s all I need to know from you. You are more worried about whats good for Horcoff than what’s best for the team. I have no appetite to appease a homer fan boy so I’m finished with you.

    Bruce: It’s nice that someone can look at the big picture here.

    Why is MacTavish playing Pisani at center?

    He obviously doesn’t trust a kid at that vital position.

    How many times do I have to say: “it’s easier to be young and produce offense than be young and stop the opposition” before people fucking clue in.

    How many offensive centers do we have? How many defensive centers do we have? It’s not that hard to figure out.

    Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani gives us the best chance to win.

    Horcoff will only put up 40 or so points but he will be just as valuable in terms of what he brings to the team.

  152. Schitzo says:

    Traktor: If you put all your eggs in one basket like that, you will get absolutely fucked by the Crosby/Malkin or Sakic/Statsny combos out there. At least in the current arrangement the coach has two lines who he can play against the other team’s big guns.

  153. Billy says:

    Just wanted to bring something to your attention after reading the drinkin and drivin comments.

    1984, Craig Mactavish was convicted and spent a year in jail for KILLING a woman as he drove drunk

    ZING

    Bad taste I think, and hopefully enough to stop those types of terrible jokes.

  154. HBomb says:

    hbomb: You’ve already proved your worth when you said one of the reasons you don’t want Horcoff taken off the 1st line was that he wouldn’t get as many point and give critics a reason to bitch.

    That’s all I need to know from you. You are more worried about whats good for Horcoff than what’s best for the team. I have no appetite to appease a homer fan boy so I’m finished with you.

    Homer fan boy? Fuck you. If you’re too brain-dead to realize that putting Horcoff into a role where his goal would be “no event hockey” would be a bad idea, you’re stupider than I thought before. Which says something.

    He’s best used as a first-line or second line outscorer (depending on how the coach wants to “line ‘em up”), and that’s why they paid him. Trying to use the old-school 3rd line “checking” option generally doesn’t work. Hence, Horcoff would be wasted there.

    My comment about not giving the critics a reason to bitch was intended as a backhanded shot at morons like yourself who talk about Horcoff being a third liner (utter bullshit, in my mind) and would immediately be screaming at Lowe to trade him if/when he wasn’t putting up points. I know hypocrisy when I see it coming down the road.

    No homer fan boy here – ust a hockey fan who actually gets how things work in today’s NHL. Power vs. power is the tactic 90% of coaches go with, and Horcoff’s quite capable of doing it and doing it well (just like he is this season – check BTN for yourself – outscoring while facing the toughs, as far as I can tell) .

    Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani gives us the best chance to win.

    Horcoff will only put up 40 or so points but he will be just as valuable in terms of what he brings to the team.

    No it would not, and no he would not.

  155. Traktor says:

    schitzo: My thinking is we’re going to be on the losing side of PVP whether we play:

    27 10 83 or 18 10 34

    Penner isn’t legit and Horcoff is borderline. Hemsky’s good but he doesn’t make up the difference.

    My thinking is Penner and Hemsky will have an easier time making up the difference than Moreau Pisani.

    Look for Horcoff’s line to go -1 or EV.

    Penner Cogliano Cole should be able to break even or better against secondary oppoistion.

    Nilsson Gagner Hemsky should destroy softies.

    I basically believe Hemsky’s line will outproduce soft opposition by a larger margin than Horcoff’s line will lose to top opposition.

    If we roll with 27 10 83 then we’re going to lose that battle and Moreau and Pisani will not be able to make up the difference.

  156. digger says:

    So whatever happened to this being a blog that Lowetide wouldn’t mind his kids reading?

  157. Traktor says:

    hbomb: You must he missed it the first time – I’m done with you. If I wanted what you have to offer I would tell BBO that Schremp sucks.

  158. Traktor says:

    Is Horcoff even that much better than Pisani?

    Pisani’s shot is just as good, probably actually has a quicker release.

    Pisani works just as hard.

    Pisani is more physical and harder on the puck.

    Horcoff is faster but Pisani has pretty good speed.

    Horcoff is a better passer.

    The only differnce is Hemsky isn’t a center. If he was and Pisani played on his wing he would be good for 60 points and a 2way game just like Horcoff.

  159. HBomb says:

    So whatever happened to this being a blog that Lowetide wouldn’t mind his kids reading?

    I’ve got to issue an apology in a sense. I’m getting pretty worked up over the musings of a 13-year old trolling Traktor.

    Why I’d get so worked up over the unintelligent position of a troll, I cannot explain. Fact is, he’s so off-base and annoying, I couldn’t resist pounding away on him. And really, he makes it too easy.

  160. HBomb says:

    hbomb: You must he missed it the first time – I’m done with you. If I wanted what you have to offer I would tell BBO that Schremp sucks.

    I have more to offer than you could ever dream about. Go to edmontonoilers.com to find more like-minded “Horcoff SUX” drones.

  161. Oilmaniac says:

    Hbomb…

    you cant just make rules up like..

    (so like Briere and Parise, I exclude him[marlaeu] from this debate, just like I would have excluded Zetterberg if this was last year and he was playing LW with Datsyuk….if Malkin takes up permanent residence on Crosby’s wing, he’d go into this pile as well),

    You can just wish them away,.. but if the oil were to bring any of those players here then they could easily be in the middle, on the first line.. just because they are multi-talented doesnt make them a worse centre than horcoff…

    And its good to see youve back down from horc being a top 20 to top 30… Gawd, i kinda hate this convo only because i keep bashing mr horcoff…

    Im going to ‘toot’ my own horn and pull some lines from up above, but first i wanna say that..

    I Really dont linke Traktors lines either, agreeing w Hbomb on this one…

    penner-gags-hemmer
    moreau/nils-horc-cole
    moreau/nils-cogs-pisani

    And if gags is getting stiffled by opposition coaching line matching than he and horc can switch between lines… these combos obviously the end of the kid line, but i think are still a good use of their skills… and the kids could unite on the 2nd PP, which id be ok with…

    I think these lines are better than what traktor was proposing because nils, gags, hemmer are all fairly soft – the toughie being hemmer… the horc-grinder line is too much grind with none of that seasoning sprinkled over the other lines, leaving them susceptible to counter attack…

    penner looked good in the third (on gilberts goal), chemistry w hemmer – im looking forward to seeing more.. nils i like as a playmaker on the 2nd, or w cogs because of their chemistry – so the shift between him and moreau i think would come down to coaching feel and pre-game expectation.. and hey, moreau is playing great nowa days… and this *shudder* gives quain his horc third line dressed up as a second… either way all three top lines are going to play lots…

    anyways.. horc isnt an offensive leader, imo, just cus he will get paid to be one… off the #1 PP sez me…

  162. HBomb says:

    You can just wish them away,.. but if the oil were to bring any of those players here then they could easily be in the middle, on the first line.. just because they are multi-talented doesnt make them a worse centre than horcoff…

    Not saying they would be. Just not discussing them because they’re not centers right now. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

    For the record, I’d take Briere over Horcoff because of his offense, but you’d need Horcoff or a Horcoff type playing behind him on a strong second line to have success. Parise, same story, but I think his long-term NHL future is as a winger. Could be wrong though.

    Marleau’s a guy that I like more than some, but I don’t like him more than Horcoff. He’d probably end up in the same “pile” of guys between 18-36 with Horcoff, which at that point it comes down to personal preference.

    As for Horcoff being top-20 or top-30, like I said…good day, he could be as high as 15, bad day, as low as 35th. Top-30 more often than not though. Horcoff 2007-08 was solidly in the top 20 until his injury ended his season. And I don’t think he’s been nearly as bad this season as his boxcar numbers suggest. Positive Corsi, still outscoring, below career average shooting percentage. The goals and assists will come. I’m not worried about him one bit.

  163. HBomb says:

    One other thing oilmaniac….see the very first post in this topic: I’m totally on board with Horcoff on the 2nd PP unit and Gagner up with Hemsky. There’s some sound tactical reasons to do it that way, especially related to what happens after the man advantage expires.

  164. Oilmaniac says:

    Hbomb…

    Ok,.. you’ve accepted and answered a barrage of criticisms, so i commend you for that… and will drop it…

    I agree that horc has a significant role on this team, vital i’ve said before, but am worried about his percieved worth offensively.. keep him in a situation where he can be dangerous, surrounded by some skill to strike back, but the O goes through hemsky (of course)..

    So no 1st line and 1st pp, just cus
    His role is to take on the toughs while chiping in a few, giving gags time to grow/mature.. a buffer.. I dunno, he has a few years left before hitting his moreau plateau so ill stop ragging and just cheer..

    (the player.. not the contract..)

  165. HBomb says:

    Ok,.. you’ve accepted and answered a barrage of criticisms, so i commend you for that… and will drop it…

    Meh, I’m all for good intelligent debate. And the Horcoff one and where he “rates” is a good debate topic for sure.

    I just don’t accept the extreme and (in my mind) incorrect viewpoint that he belongs on a third/checking/shut-down line. It’s a waste of a good chunk of his ability.

    I don’t even mind the contract really. Like you said somewhat, he’s going to be a good “compiment” for Gagner in the coming years. In 2-3 seasons, with some good progress from 89, I see that as being a VERY good 1-2 center punch that will be the envy of two-dozen other teams.

    And the real great part? When Horcoff’s deal expires, Gagner will be a few weeks shy of turning 26 years old. Hitting his prime and (hopefully) a point a game or better guy who can play in his own end as well. The timing works on that end, and Horcoff will be 36 when his deal expires – given his reported level of fitness, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t be a very effective center into his late 30′s.

    Center depth is one thing I’m not concerned about with this organization: Horcoff, Gagner, Cogliano, Pouliot, Brodziak, with Brule, Schremp and Nash in the pipeline. Not bad at all.

  166. Traktor says:

    Calling me names and insulting me says more about you then it does about me, especially when you insinuate that I’m 13 years old.

    The same people that were calling me an idiot for 3 years for questioning MacTavish are now the same people being critical of him. In a lot of cases it takes a few years for fans to catch up to reality.

    We all obviously love this team or else we wouldn’t spend hours talking about it but sometimes it’s hard to look at it through a critical eye. It’s kinda like how every mom thinks her son is the best son in the world.

    My beef if with Horcoff and MacTavish not you. I bring an unpopular opinion to the table so I almost expect negative feedback most of the time. I realistically do not give a damn what you think of me. You on the other hand seem like the type that wants to be well thought of, in which case I would recommend that you stop insulting me because it makes you look immature.

  167. Traktor says:

    I see you’ve deleted your comments.

  168. HBomb says:

    I see you’ve deleted your comments.

    Yep, just like you did last night.

    Frankly, I don’t care what you think of me either.

  169. Traktor says:

    My deleted comment last night was because of a spelling mistake, not because I was acting like a 3 year old who was told Santa doesn’t exist.

  170. Jonathan says:

    The same people that were calling me an idiot for 3 years for questioning MacTavish are now the same people being critical of him. In a lot of cases it takes a few years for fans to catch up to reality.

    I’m a big fan of MacTavish, but I’ve always been critical of things that he’s done. Last year, it was his use of guys like Tarnstrom early, and a bunch of other things. This year, it’s the third line in particular.

    The thing is, I still don’t think he’s a bad coach; he just experiments in ways I don’t like over the first quarter of the season.

    What I don’t have time for is the hand-wringing and “only MacT!” style comments from people like you. If you want to pick apart a specific item, go for it, but don’t just generally spew mindless anger at the target. As I recall, Traktor, you were raising holy hell about MacT starting Roloson against Boston – and you were wrong, but at least you had a specific and somewhat reasonable criticism.

    As critical as I am of some of MacTavish’s decisions, your mindless opposition to nearly everything he does means that you’re going to end up on the wrong side of thinking fans more often than not.

    I see you’ve deleted your comments.

    Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.

  171. Traktor says:

    Last night instead of typing “MacTavish is proving critics right” I said “credits”. I’m not sure how that relates to hbomb spewing a bunch of insults.

  172. Jonathan says:

    Last night instead of typing “MacTavish is proving critics right” I said “credits”. I’m not sure how that relates to hbomb spewing a bunch of insults.

    A deleted comment is a deleted comment. I didn’t read what Hbomb posted, because it was deleted. I only had an inkling as to what you posted, because LT made a reference to it.

    Regardless, and from either side, it seems a childish thing to fight ovr.

  173. Traktor says:

    “I still don’t think he’s a bad coach; he just experiments in ways I don’t like over the first quarter of the season.”

    Failing to understand that points in October are worth the same in March is more than enough proof that MacTavish is a bad coach. That’s speeding through a school zone during your drivers test. It’s over.

  174. Traktor says:

    “As I recall, Traktor, you were raising holy hell about MacT starting Roloson against Boston – and you were wrong, but at least you had a specific and somewhat reasonable criticism.”

    My reasoning for not starting Roli was because I thought it was a short-sighted. Sure enough it looks like Garon has lost his mojo – exactly what I feared. Unfortunately I was proven right in this regard.

  175. Oilmaniac says:

    haha… three guys left at the party,.. definitely no chicks around…

    So Hbomb…

    I’ve said it before about the contract, couldnt track it down tho, that i think horcoff could be out grown in the next three years.. at least for a top two role..

    Perhaps im too easily influenced by teams like chicago, washington, pits (which all have extremely talented youngsters so perhaps a bad comp) that are rolling top lines (cap space permitted to retain them) with young guns in prominent ‘leading the way’ positions…

    Who is to say gagner and cogs wont be ready to play 1-2 in 3 years… doesnt that leave horcoff as an incredibly overpaid 3rd liner for 2 more… his new contract still hasnt even started and his statistical performance is already being questioned… for 3.6 sure, for 5.5…

    I see this scenario hinged on coglino continuing to (surprise) develop as an offensive (top 6) forward… this will jam up the system so either horc is out, or cogs gets pushed out (to the wing, or traded)… because a 5.5M 3rd liner for two years is far more distressing than the Pisani/Roloson/Staios contracts that have been such a big deal… and the cap isnt going up long-term. Maybe this year because it seems to lag a season, but with the economic concerns in NA I think there is no chance, absolutely no chance, that it doesnt stagnate or drop off…

    plus, the third line spot will be taken.. as long as brodz keeps it up, his dedication will save him from the fourth… where is the room?

  176. HBomb says:

    My deleted comment last night was because of a spelling mistake, not because I was acting like a 3 year old who was told Santa doesn’t exist.

    No, you’re acting like a three year old whining about the same thing in every damn post.

    “Hey look kids, there’s Big Ben, and there’s parliament”.

  177. Jonathan says:

    Sure enough it looks like Garon has lost his mojo – exactly what I feared.

    If Garon’s that mentally fragile, he doesn’t belong in the league, and certainly not as a starter.

  178. Jonathan says:

    his new contract still hasnt even started and his statistical performance is already being questioned… for 3.6 sure, for 5.5…

    As was his 3.6-million dollar contract after the cup run. It’s early.

    this will jam up the system so either horc is out, or cogs gets pushed out (to the wing, or traded)

    Hopefully the wing- guy can’t win a faceoff.

  179. HBomb says:

    oilmaniac: I can’t say I’d be comfortable with Gagner and Cogliano as centers 1-2 long term. Not enough size there. Maybe Cogliano makes the transition to the wing at some point, a la Patrick Sharp with Kane/Toews.

    Also, Horcoff’s cap hit is constant but the salary is back-loaded. Besides, he’s only 30. I see him having at least four more years of 60-80 point hockey in him (60 points in a bad year, an 80 point career year in there somewhere) after this one, if not more.

    By the time he’s hit years 5-6, his annual salary has dropped to 4 million and 3 million, making him a highly attractive trade asset for a young team struggling to reach the cap floor. But I don’t think it comes to that. I look at him and see Rod Brind’Amour, that will continue contribute in a solid but perhaps unspectacular fashion for quite awhile.

    Roloson, Moreau and Staios’ deals were all ones that concerned me at the time of signing. Contrary to what some think, I don’t mind Pisani’s deal – I think he’s one of the absolute best 3rd liners out there and could probably fill in on the 2nd line in a pinch. It’s nice to have RW depth in the form of Hemsky-Cole-Pisani.

  180. Oilmaniac says:

    Just to be a douche, horcoffs contract is ‘front’ loaded… haha… on this point “I WIN”…

    I understand you concern about size, especially with all the prospects in the system that are midgets(with all due respect). And i agree with the notion of having good RW depth, in sharp contrast to bad/worse times over the last couple years… i wonder if cole will stay or if this is another sykora in the making…

    Hopefully Horc finds his mojo.. he is coming off a season ending injury after all…

  181. HBomb says:

    Just to be a douche, horcoffs contract is ‘front’ loaded… haha… on this point “I WIN”…

    I understand you concern about size, especially with all the prospects in the system that are midgets(with all due respect). And i agree with the notion of having good RW depth, in sharp contrast to bad/worse times over the last couple years… i wonder if cole will stay or if this is another sykora in the making…

    Hopefully Horc finds his mojo.. he is coming off a season ending injury after all…

    Ugh, front loaded, back loaded…I need a beer, pizza and some breasts rubbed in my face. It’s been one of those weeks.

    Problem with getting “skilled size at center” is the same as it’s always been. You either have to phone Mike O’Connell when he’s on a drinking bender or you have to be “THE SUCK” in the right season to draft a Thornton, Lecavalier, Spezza, Staal, or Malkin. And people wonder why I am so bitter about the Oilers missing out on Getzlaf in 2003 (and July 2006, but we won’t go there) – usually a guy doesn’t drop that low and end up that good.

    So having a multitude of skilled smaller guys isn’t perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than a bunch of useless “Coke machines”.

    Two things on Cole and Horcoff:

    - I think Cole stays, and if need be, Penner might get sacrificed to make it happen (salary dump?).
    - I have no doubts Horcoff will start putting up points. As has been mentioned by others, the underlying numbers are good. It’s a matter of time methinks. Same thing goes for Gagner. Those two start rolling sevens around the same time, the Oilers are going to go on a nice little run, especially with a pile of home games coming up after this month is over.

  182. relic says:

    “Ugh, front loaded, back loaded…I need a beer, pizza and some breasts rubbed in my face. It’s been one of those weeks.”

    uh waiter, I’ll have what that guys having.

  183. Traktor says:

    Cole will get between 6 and 7 million dollars on the UFA market. He’s not worth it but some team will give it to him. There’s no chance he remains an Oiler.

    Should have dealt Joni for Vermette but I guess we needed some size with Torres being shipped.

  184. HBomb says:

    I think we have a new topic to debate. Erik Cole.

    1) Do you start working on an extension for him?
    2) How much is he worth per year?
    3) How long a term do you go for?
    4) Who do you move out to clear salary for him?

    My answers:

    - Yes
    - I think they can get him done for around 5 million per season
    - Offer him four years and be willing to throw in a fifth as a sweetener
    - Penner would be the obvious choice to move, but if they could move Staios and replace him with a cheaper 3rd pairing option on the back-end, that would also work.

  185. Jonathan says:

    1) Do you start working on an extension for him?
    2) How much is he worth per year?
    3) How long a term do you go for?
    4) Who do you move out to clear salary for him?

    1) Yes.
    2) 5-million, but he won’t sign for it. Try anyway.
    3) 4 years, although I still believe he won’t sign.
    4) Staios. It’s a moderate raise (1M) if he’ll take it (which his agent probably won’t let him) so that should be all that needs to be done. The real dollar question is what to do about the goaltending in the offseason – there’s 4-5M worth of space there, so who gets it?

  186. namflashback says:

    Well, just to add fuel to the PvP fire.

    xx-10-83 have not been on the PvP setup for large amount of time over the past 3 seasons, and when they have, only for some small stretches.

    05-06 — spend most of the year as PvP
    94-10-83 Straight PvP at home, hard matched the 44 d-pair (MAB, then 21 for the stretch and playoffs)
    05-06 Run — 94-10-x get the PvP. 83 is with Samsonov and Stoll.

    06-07
    was to run 18-16-34 as the checking line, 94-10-15 got softer appointments. Hemsky was with Sykora and Torres. After Moreau was injured, November losing streak until 94-10 was re-united and played PvP for about 8 GP. Solid play, until Smyth has the giveaway to Getzlaf, ANA wins in OT. Smyth is injured the game afterwards IIRC. Hemsky also.
    14-16-34 go on fire, and play the checking line role when 94-83 come back, they are reunited with 10 but see a 1/2 share of QUALCOMP. Good scrappy play until 16 gets concussed. 94 trade and then Annus Horriblus.

    07-08
    14-16 get the checking assignment, but are without Colitis 34. They start badly, so 27-10-83 are elevated to PvP. They do not do well offensively for the first 25 GP or so.
    27-10-83 has their best stretch of games as we feed 14-16-x to the wolves. This occurs for about a 20 GP section 14 goes out with the knee. 10 goes out with the shoulder. 83 faces QUALCOMP every night and is in tough alongside either 16 or 19 (Sakic!).

    Anyway, 10 has always seen a fair amount of QUALCOMP, and 83 will always attract a nasty pair of defenders — but they don’t have a ton of experience playing the highest level of comp as a pair.

    The only major stretch where they were effective was when 94 was the LW in 05-06. It think that had more to do with 94 and 10 than 83.

    I believe a PvP setup is the eventual goal — but I’m not convinced the personnel are ready for it. He’s probably going to try to get some control back by running checking 18-10-34/26 and try to get some free ice for 27-89-83.

    BTW — Horcoff supporter. Without the normal labels — he is the Oiler’s best option for 1st ranked ESTOI at C.

  187. Oilmaniac says:

    WHAT?

    Traktor said…
    Cole will get between 6 and 7 million dollars on the UFA market. He’s not worth it but some team will give it to him. There’s no chance he remains an Oiler.

    i just finished defending you.. but this is just stu… sorry… Dumb!

  188. Traktor says:

    “i just finished defending you.. but this is just stu… sorry… Dumb!”

    Ryan Smyth since lockout:

    .42 goals per game

    .83 points points per game

    Erik Cole since the lockout:

    .38 goals per game

    .81 points per game

    Ryan Smyth has a 6.25 million dollar cap hit. Cole is 2 years younger.

    You guys are kidding yourselves if you think Cole signs for 5 mill.

  189. Oilmaniac says:

    You think Colorado is re-thinking how good a deal that turned out to be… well, we speculate that they do… plus, this year will play a part in his end value…

  190. kinger says:

    page

  191. Bruce says:

    unreal

  192. Doogie2K says:

    You are more worried about whats good for Horcoff than what’s best for the team. I have no appetite to appease a homer fan boy so I’m finished with you.

    And you’re using faulty logic to support your case. That, and the fact that you make your point something like eight times per GDP, in the most obnoxious fashion possible, makes it very easy for people to get pissy at you. You have to admit, you’re going about it the wrong way. At least Bruce is trying to frame it in a way that appeals to others around here, instead of gloating over the team’s misfortune like an assclown.

    My thinking is we’re going to be on the losing side of PVP whether we play:

    27 10 83 or 18 10 34

    What about Bruce’s idea of 34-10-26? That seems like it’d work out fine.

    I need a beer, pizza and some breasts rubbed in my face.

    Ugh, don’t we all?

    @Hbomb:
    1) Can you really do that without a clue of what the cap’s going to be? Do we know if the PA will extend the CBA? Put another way, what, if anything, does Steve Tambellini know that we don’t? I think that’s vital to any discussion of whether to extend Cole at this point.
    2) Less than he’ll ask for, because I’m a cynic. He draws penalties, he plays tough opposition, and he has hands, but I haven’t seen enough yet to warrant a massive deal; maybe something in the same range, $4Mish.
    3) While the temptation’s there to go long-term, and ideally I’d go mid-term, say three or four years, you have to remember that the kids are all going to come due in 2010 (89, 13, 78, and old-guy 34), and at least some of them are going to cost some real dough. Roli’s the big number that comes off, whether he resigns on the cheap or goes elsewhere, but then Horc’s cap hit shoots up a couple million to compensate. I say one year, then figure it out again from there. Can’t hamstring yourself against the cap long-term without knowing where it’s going, or who you’re going to move.
    4) Like I said, Roli’s off the books, so that’s done, and Grebeshkov may go to Russia. I can’t see them moving most of their other big deals, but I like the idea of Staios; $2.7M is just too much for what he brings to the table.

  193. Oilmaniac says:

    What about Bruce’s idea of 34-10-26? That seems like it’d work out fine.

    Or you can put pisani in a position to succeed… like on RW where hes been for his career (to my knowledge that is) until this years debacle…

    I ‘do not’ like bruce’s idea…

    If you want a LW plugger put moreau there (or nilsson like ive suggested), then put fernando w poo or cogs, depending how the rest of the Fwd lines are structured…

  194. Doogie2K says:

    I was under the impression he’d played LW at some point and been alright. I could be mistaken. However, I do know that 26 didn’t produce much, didn’t play “his” game, while on the left side, so…

  195. Bruce says:

    What about Bruce’s idea of 34-10-26?

    This thread is so long I’ve forgotten all about that one. Did I suggest that? I have to admit I thought about it, but didn’t think I ever wrote it down anywhere.

    Or you can put pisani in a position to succeed… like on RW where hes been for his career (to my knowledge that is) until this years debacle…

    I’m sure Fernando played some LW early in his career, but he’s been a RW for awhile now.

    If Gagner were to move into the centre, that would fill a centre spot and open one up on RW, providing a natural solution to the Pisani situation. One permutation:

    27-89-83
    18-10-26
    12-13-34

    … which still leaves a schmozzle of two centres and three RH shots on the fourth line. But these days we seem to be a three-line team, with options. (Which is my biggest quarrel with how the bench is being run this year, btw.) If that’s how it has to be, the above alignment features at least two solid threats to score on each of the top three lines and reasonable match-up options.

    BTW, I watched the Oilers-Pens game on tape delay, and was fairly encouraged with some very positive signs. Not least of which was JDD, who played by far the best of the three goalies over the past 6-9 periods. I hope he gets the next start; if MacT is going on form and merit this is one spot he can justify choosisng the kid.

    Secondly, a guy who really caught my eye with his hustle, awareness, and subtle skills was Pouliot, who had a very strong back end to the game. He was working his ass off on the backcheck, forcing loose pucks and then doing good stuff to get them going in the right direction.

    I was also impressed with how the Oil handled adversity, and not just the 5-0 deficit. There was this wild sequence where Matt F. Cooke delievered two high hits, both from the blind-side, on Gilbert and Gagner, and young Mr. Peckham stepped forward to make Cooke’s acquaintance. The refs who had somehow missed Cooke’s attempted headshots, then didn’t notice he dropped his gloves and gave Peckham 17 minutes to 2. Outrageous. Then to make matters worse, a Pen chopped JDD on the glove and Souray engaged him, and again the Oilers got the only penalty. It was pretty unjust to say the least, yet after the five minute PP and the two-minute 5-on-3 the Oilers somehow emerged +1. It was too damn bad they couldn’t find an equalizer, but they showed a lot of character in that stretch.

    One more back-to-back and they’re through this hellacious 11-game stretch. Hopefully they can find a way to win at least one of those games.

  196. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Not to abjectly shout down your proposal but even though the Oilers have been doing fine at EV it would be even better if they had TWO pivots that could hang at evens.

    Thus far they don’t so even with that line-up you’re asking either the 27-89-83 line to take on the second toughest OR you’re asking it of Fernie’s Kids; 12-13-34.

    Not just because I like the kid but considering his career GAON60 plus his QualComp — albeit in a small segment sample — it behooves the Oil to make 78 one of the top two tough min centres and just go from there.

    Of course the problem is that most nights, last game being the exception, you can see the top nine EV TOI guys and then 51-78 are the designated 10th and 11th fellows. Now, if the Oilers ever decide to gve 78 a push that puts him directly into top 9 territory and that means one of the current top 9 incumbents drops to the 4th line with 51.

    Heretofore that’s something MacT hasn’t considered because it’s likely going to affect one of the kids or 27; MacT’s in super love with 89, he’s had some moments of high praise for 12, he’s never really spoken ill of 13 and considering the optics regarding 27′s contract he’s probably loathe slot him on the 4th line as well.

  197. Oilmaniac says:

    I just wanted to mention that according to this quote from tencer…

    http://forums.edmontonoilers.com/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=2&showentry=56

    “Gagner’s jump up to the top line paves the way for Shawn Horcoff to be reunited with Erik Cole, this time alongside Fernando Pisani on the second line. Pisani will slide over to play the left wing to leave Cole in his natural position on the right side. This move also gets Pisani out of the face off circle, where he’s struggled this season.

    Andrew Cogliano will be the man taking over for Pisani in the dot on the third line and he’ll be paired up with Ethan Moreau and Marc Pouliot. Moreau and Pouliot showed some good chemistry together in a game in Calgary earlier this season.”

    that im eatting crow…

  198. Bruce says:

    Thus far they don’t so even with that line-up you’re asking either the 27-89-83 line to take on the second toughest OR you’re asking it of Fernie’s Kids; 12-13-34

    Dennis: Yeah, I was thinking 27-89-83. there’s no way they’re not drawing tough opposition, but likely a defensive line. 18-10-26 to take on the other team’s top offensive guns, and with 34 riding shotgun 13 and 12 should be able to hold their own at home or on the road.

    it behooves the Oil to make 78 one of the top two tough min centres and just go from there.

    Funny thing, Dennis, yesterday I made a rare phone call to the Team, and made the case for Pouliot. Tencer was talking about sending him out and bringing up Brule, and I was saying he’s playing out of position on an odd sock line with a variety of linemates including the Anchor of the Queen Mary and all things considered he’s been doing alright, and in fact had had a great game in Pittsburgh. Tencer talked about him being too low event for an energy line, to which the obvious response was that’s what I’m saying he’s on the wrong line, so put him on the checking line where low event is what you want. And in the process you put the centre in the middle and put the winger back on the wing, for goodness sake.

    But Tencer was incredulous and said the Pisani-Moreau line has been our best line, and I said not to my eye they haven’t, you should watch the scoring chances ;) when they’re out there; and back and forth we went. I said they had their best game at home against Calgary when 78 stepped up and set up each of 18 and 34 for a goal. So he pressured me as to which vet I would “demote” and I said Moreau, and he ridiculed me for that, but I said if we can trust the fourth line with regular ice they would get a fair share of ES TOI, and then Ethan would still be on the #1 PK unit and get his minutes there. Whereas in the current arrangement rolling three lines and keeping all the vets happy, it’s not helping the development of three of our youngsters, namely 51, 78 and 46. This is my #1 beef with how the bench is being run this year btw.

    Andrew Cogliano will be the man taking over for Pisani in the dot on the third line and he’ll be paired up with Ethan Moreau and Marc Pouliot.

    Hey, read it and weep, Dan Tencer. Maybe Pouliot doesn’t suck so bad as you suppose. That said, I guess it figures that it’s 12 and not 18 getting the bump down. But I tell you I sure like 12-51-46 as a fourth line over anything that includes 33, so I hope that’s how it works out. These guys will bring a little offence and enough defence to deserve three or four shifts a period, which is what you want from your energy line. Especially at the tag end of an 11-game road trip.

  199. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Simply put, I can’t say that Dan Tencer doesn’t have A Fucking Clue, but he certainly doesn’t have Enough Fucking Clues for a guy who’s supposedly watches all the games.

    I used to be a big talk show called back in the day but not so much anymore because basically I watch the games a lot more closely than most of these fellows and a lot of the real stuff goes right over their fucking heads. I mentioned this because I called Tencer after the loss in CBJ and I asked him why 13 isn’t getting a PK push over 27 and i explained how Cogs was on for 4 SHGF in limited time last year and Tencer was like, “I think Penner will round into form on the PK.” Now, what’s that based on, I don’t know.

    Then I told him how 34-78 had good chem and he asked me when and i said well they played together along with 19 in seasons past and then just this year they scored two goals in the win vs Cgy.

    So, if this guy, dare I saw clown, is picking out 78 has a reason why we’re not winning then once again, not too many fucking clues.

    Of course the difference is that now I don’t get worked up over the idea that nothing but schills work in the media and for the team; it was harder to accept beforehand:)

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