The Call

This is Tony Esposito. Habs had him in their system at a time when the franchise was flush will G’s like Rogatien Vachon, Gump Worsley, Phil Myre and had Ken Dryden and Glenn Resch “bubbling under.”

Little wonder they allowed the Hawks to grab the Butterfly goalie (that was a bad thing when Tony Esposito was trying to make it) almost 40 summers ago.

There’s a legendary Habs story surrounding Sam Pollock and a Montreal goalie. The Canadiens were struggling one season 40 some years ago and Pollock “took a little trip” to the farm and found Rogie Vachon (in the Houston Appollos uniform) despite saying he was looking for scoring when he got on the jet.

I think many Oiler fans are going to be disappointed with the callup today or tomorrow. Unless the Oilers pull a “Sam Pollock” it looks like the club is going to bring up a physical player who can crash and bang.

Among the possibles in that area are Gilbert Brule, who is having a very nice start to the AHL season but may have to stay all season if recalled (he’s close to the waiver requirement in terms of games and could be eligible for waivers on the way back down), Theo Peckham who could take Jason Strudwick’s slot on the blue and allow him to move up to the wing (ala Ladislav Smid), Guillaume Lefebvre who is tied for 17th in AHL pims and apparently effective in the physical forward role.

Most fans (I suspect) would like to see Rob Schremp or Ryan Potulny get the call to the show but that doesn’t look like it’ll happen.

There’s also (imo) a possibility the Oilers recall two and send out a roster player who isn’t delivering the required goods. Candidates might be Zack Stortini, Jason Strudwick and Kyle Brodziak. As a Marc Pouliot fan, I’m always keenly aware he isn’t a MacT “chosen one” and could also see the waiver wire.

If they do make a change and callup two, Rob Schremp might be the other guy. He’s played very well offensively of late and the Oilers have already (called up or pluck off waivers) brought in 3 (Steve MacIntyre, Liam Reddox and Jason Boulerice) ahead of Hockey Jesus since opening night.

Any guesses? I’ll go with Gilbert Brule. Buddy has played well and loves to hit people. I also think it’s a mistake to devote another roster spot to a one dimensional crash and bang type. The Oilers need as many actual players as they can get and right bloody now. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they callup Theo Peckham based on quality of recent play.

written by

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

73 Responses to "The Call"

  1. Dennis says:

    Reading today’s Journal I see yesterday’s top three lines at practice were as follows:

    27-10-83
    18-78-26
    12-89-13

    Some people have been calling for that for awhile now and it gives me a little jump to think that macT’s finally going to stop fucking around and is going to:

    - keep 10-83 together and play that combo PVP
    - make would could be a last ditch effort to get something out of 27
    - try one of the 51-78 kids in the secondary PVP ROle
    - let 78 play with actual linemates.

    Now, I’ve been calling for these lines for awhile and LT’s been saying that MacT will only dick around so long before he gets serious and I don’t know how long he’ll run with this top nine but it looks to be the first sensible step in the right direction in a long time and it could be something to build upon.

    On the guy who gets the promotion: I’m not sure if anyone else heard or read what macT said about 46 but I think Stortini’s NHL job with the Oilers is hanging in the balance. We know how the skipper works — heading into this season we had enough evidence that we could lay good money on betting see how his mind works — and anytime the coach compares you to Laraque it’s never a good thing. So when i saw Zach being talked about as a guy who’s game’s still developing to the point that you have to build a line around him it doesn’t make me want to invest in the future of 46. That’s not to say I think we’ll see two guys getting the call and Schremp being one of them, 27 is playing with the offensive guys and I don’t think we’re yet to the shaking-up point that would necessitate Schremp being called up to play on a 4th line, but when you’re a 4th line banger and the coach dresses a dman in your place in an effort to get some pop in the game then you know you’re on the verge of being sent out.

    Tambellini doesn’t Have to stick to his square-peg-and-round-holes-guns but even if he decided do he could still sell a Brule call-up for 4th line duty because the kid can also play physical as well.

    I’d take out 43 and insert 5 on the blueline and bring up Brule to fill the speed-and-grit component with 51-46 that was once occupied by Glencross but I think there may also be something to the idea that we need a PKer; though I don’t know the last time a team’s PK as buoyed by a kid call-up. I’d have to go back and check but the last time it May have happened with the Oil is If 34 went to the unit once he get the call in the ’03 season and I don’t think that happened.

    But all enthusiasm will be tempered if the MRI on 71 isn’t favourable.

  2. St George says:

    As excitied as I would be to see some of these guys, I hope they leave the younger ones like Peckham there. I still recall an interview with the Red Wings GM this summer where he gave quite a passionate speech about player development. A big part of the Wings’ philosopy is to leave people in the minor leagues as long as possible – that it does them no good developmentally to be brought up to the NHL until they have firmly established themselves as top-level minor league players over the course of a few seasons.

  3. B.C.B. says:

    I don’t think Brule will get called up.
    If Dennis lines are right (and I am sure they are, as he does his research unlike most MSM reporters) then it would be either Reddox, Brule, HuggyBear, or Brodziak sitting out.
    I’d like Brule to get the call up so we could sit Brodziak, think about the variations on the fourth line:
    Reddox-Brule-HuggyBear
    Brule-Brodziak-HuggyBear
    and when SMac returns and if Brule hasn’t moved up the depth chart (and I think he will)
    SMac-Brule-Brodziak
    The other good thing about have Brule on the roster is it puts more pressure on Gags, Cogs, Nilisson, and Penner to play better. During the game, MacT could sit them and play Brule in their spot. As I type this I think Tim Sestito will be coming up instead.

  4. HBomb says:

    27-10-83
    12-13-89
    18-78-26
    Brule-51-46

    Right now, it makes far too much sense, really. Hell, even removing 46 for 85 on that fourth line might not be the most terrible thing….

  5. Jonathan says:

    Dennis beat me to the line combinations, and I agree with pretty much everything he says there.

    Two notes:

    1) I think Pouliot’s safe for now, given those line combinations

    2) Smid is playing forward against L.A. (from the same Ireland article Dennis cites).

    If a forward is recalled on top of that, it leaves two of Stortini, Brodziak and Reddox out of the lineup. I’d suspect Brule or Sestito (don’t laugh) is the call-up, because then MacTavish could run:

    Smid – Call-up – Stortini as his fourth line and just run them as crash-and-bangers.

    Finally, I don’t think it’s just Stortini’s job in jeopardy – I think Brodziak should be worried too.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Good stuff, I didn’t see the line combos. The Visnovsky thing is awful, man that would hurt.

    I find myself sighing in relief reading those lines, but this team is being run differently and claiming Wade Belak isn’t out of the question.

  7. DBO says:

    Curious why anyone would want to send out Strudwick? he’s everything you want in a 5-6 dman. I’d like to see Brule come up and round out the 4th line with Brodziak and Stortini/Reddox. you can switch out Stortini/reddox depending on the team.

    And LT I know you love Pouliot, but my question is why? Is he better then brodziak? Does he do anything well? I’d sooner see Brule in the lineup since at least he brings a physical dimension and has at least (if not more) offensive talent.

  8. HBomb says:

    The only silver lining to Visnovsky being out for a game or two (hopefully no more)?

    It would likely put an end to this Smid at forward nonsense. Fucking MacTavish, trying to look smart by doing something incredibly stupid. Play the guy on the third pairing on the BLUELINE. He’s a goddamned DEFENSEMAN. Stop this playing players out of position shit.

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Funny to see Esposito. He looks so…normal looking.

    Yesterday the Rangers goalie pulled himself from the game and with all the padding looked like a 500 pound gorilla wearing a trash can with holes to see through.

  10. Coach pb9617 says:

    If Mac is intent on ruining Smid, I’d rather see him traded.

  11. Traktor says:

    Is Guillaume Lefebvre somehow going to stop Gagner, Horcoff, Penner, Pouliot, Nilsson, Brodziak from playing like pussies?

    The answers are in the dressing room and if we’re bringing up some plug to play 5 minutes like Smack, or Stortini or whoever that clown was that we picked up on waivers a few days ago then we’re going about our business the wrong way.

    Why should Pouliot “be given actual NHL players”? Some of you guys sound like Rob Schremp fans that bitched who Robbie had to play with.

    Pouliot hasn’t proven jack shit offensively and he doesn’t bring any grit to the bottom 6.

    The only thing Pouliot should be given is an ultimatum that he either bangs bodies or he’s done with the organization.

    Horcoff doesn’t hit
    Hemsky doesnt hit
    Gagner doesn’t hit
    Penner doesn’t hit
    Nilsson doesn’t hit
    Cogliano doesn’t hit

    That’s 7 non-physical players right there. Who is going to make up the difference?

    Pouliot?

    He’s just another easy player to play against.

    MacT needs to give some of these guys ultimatums that they either bring it physically or you’re done with the organization.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: Do you think Detroit “brings it physically?” I’m asking because imo most fans talk about this as if there’s some kind of “softening up” of the opposition required (like a team who has punished the defensive front in a football game) before a team can be effective.

    I think when most fans talk about being physical they miss the point, the idea being that a player wants to gain position on a play through (legal) physical force.

    It isn’t about running people, it’s about changing the equation. The Oilers haven’t been very good at it, but you need actual hockey players out there who can impact a play once they change the equation.

  13. toqueboy says:

    i think macT’s last presser would seem to suggest that traktor is on the right line. mact said something along the lines of “before we used to dump and chase and run people over…we’re not a possession team and when we do dump and chase, we have no physicality or puck retrieval.” smid was placed on F for his puck retrieval and ” hitting to hit, not just to touch a guy”

    i’m not sure i agree with putting in a d man to accomplish those two things, but i agree with both of mact’s points…

    we are playing soft both in traktor and LT’s definitions of physicality…

  14. RiversQ says:

    Ah, the old physical play ruse.

    It’s the last refuge of people out of ideas hunting for a reason to complain.

  15. Kish says:

    I think Brule is the most “complete” player we can bring up.

    One of the two major headscratchers (pp set up is the other) is the 3 goalie thing. Mainly, its not just affecting the goalies. Was this their best “plan”? The highly paid executives of a multi-million dollar organization decided to go with this scenario?

    I’m an optimist, so I think once the seal is broken (e.g. mact canned, goalie traded, etc.), i expect to see a cascade of changes. I say this because there are only two acceptable situations for teams to be in: contending or rebuilding. The oilers current set up is far from ideal for either scenario. As many here have said, I’m a fan to end regardless, but just choose one and make a commitment to it. Do not say we’re aiming to contend and do something else. I’d rather see the oil make a serious attempt to do either and live with the outcomes.
    /morning rant

  16. DBO says:

    you don’t need physical play if you have a puck possesion team (like Detroit). Which unfortunatle we do not. You don’t have to kill people with hits, but you do have to make the defenseman think about going back for the puck. that creats turnovers, which leads to scoring chances. Has anyone else noticed that we rarely create turnovers, and teams get out of their zone with relative ease on a regular basis. And if you have two players, who are pretty much equal in all thins, except one of them brings and added dimension of physical p;lay then you go with the physical addition. That is my argument of brule vs Pouliot/brodziak. At least he brings the occasional hit while being as good as the other two in pretty much everything they do. I’m not saying sit skill for hitters, but if you can add hitting without taking away from skill then you do it.

  17. B.C.B. says:

    I am with Jonathan, My gut says Tim Sestito is coming up, not Brule. I would be so happy to be wrong.

    I just want some more skill on the roster(in the PB/4th line) so a player, like Penner or Nilisson, can get their unworthy ass stapled to the pine every now and then.

  18. Coach pb9617 says:

    Why should Pouliot “be given actual NHL players”?

    Because he’s had some of the worst linemates on the team and he’s still playing even at even strength. It’s meaningful.

    Some of you guys sound like Rob Schremp fans that bitched who Robbie had to play with.

    ALRIGHT! Here comes a Sugartits thread!

  19. Jonathan says:

    Hey, Traktor:

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpUfWhrYydg

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mel8770WQAQ

    Anyways, that’s not the point, because those are the exception to the rule.

    Hitting is a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but when the game is primarily won by scoring more goals than you surrender, it’s hardly the all-important thing some folks seem to think it is.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Also, for the “Penner doesn’t hit crowd”, he’s currently third on the team in hits with 18. He’s not a big hitter, and it seems to be a bigger issue with him because fans expect a 6’4″ player to throw highlight-reel hits, but he doesn’t shy from contact.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t seen much back-down in Hemsky or Horcoff, and Nilsson and Cogliano are both turning into courageous players to some degree.

  21. mc79hockey says:

    Hitting is a good thing, don’t get me wrong, but when the game is primarily won by scoring more goals than you surrender, it’s hardly the all-important thing some folks seem to think it is.

    It astounds me that, in the grand Venn diagram of hockey fans, there’s so much overlap between the “outshooting doesn’t matter” and “Hitting is EVERYTHING” crowd. Particularly when said crowd is bitter after a couple of ugly looking losses to Detroit, a team that outshoots like tomorrow and doesn’t really hit.

    It depresses me, from the perspective of someone who would love a rational world, that so many people look at Detroit, look at the Oilers and conclude that the Oilers’ problem is a lack of hitting.

  22. pboy says:

    I’m a Brodziak fan so I realize my opinion is biased but I don’t get why he is in danger of losing his roster spot but Poo is getting a promotion to 3rd line pivot. I haven’t seen anything at all this year to suggest that Poo is outplaying Brodziak and seeing that Brodziak was far superior last season, I would think that he would get the opportunity to run with Captain Injury and Cole. Brodziak has been playing with MacIntyre, Stortini and Pouliot all season, so is it any wonder that he hasn’t been playing up to the potential he showed last season? Last year the 4th line worked but I think that was more about Glencross being a perfect fit and having an outrageous shooting % than anything else. Stortini is at best a fringe player and Steve Mac is not even that. How effective would a standouts like Horc or Pisani be dragging around the likes of Steve Mac, Stortini or Marc Pouliot?

  23. Lowetide says:

    MC: What’s more depressing is that the Oilers have invested at-bats on people who can only do that one thing.

  24. HBomb says:

    It astounds me that, in the grand Venn diagram of hockey fans, there’s so much overlap between the “outshooting doesn’t matter” and “Hitting is EVERYTHING” crowd. Particularly when said crowd is bitter after a couple of ugly looking losses to Detroit, a team that outshoots like tomorrow and doesn’t really hit.

    Can we call the second group “Disciples of Maguire”? Please?

    It’s unbelievable that people think Pouliot is useless because he doesn’t run around like Tootoo. The guy is an NHL player and, from what I can tell, by far the Oilers best option for the 3C role right now.

  25. RiversQ says:

    mc79hockey said…
    It depresses me, from the perspective of someone who would love a rational world, that so many people look at Detroit, look at the Oilers and conclude that the Oilers’ problem is a lack of hitting.

    Yeah it’s a problem.

    It always astonishes me how many puck battles the Detroit players win though. It’s a lot easier to be a Puck Possession Team (TM) when guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Hossa work so hard to get the puck back. Detroit is actually a very physical team to my eye. It just doesn’t show up in the NHL’s RTSS.

  26. pboy says:

    One thing I've noticed lately is people talking about us "missing" Stoll this season? Are you $%@&)# kidding me? Are people forgetting how terrible he played for most of last season? Let's all try to remember the dumb penalties, the 2 or 3 exploded sticks, the shots that missed the net by 4 or 5 feet and the lackadaisical play he was bringing before we get so sentimental about Stoll. Could we use the guy from 2 seasons ago? Absolutely!!! The guy from last season was a useless at tits on a bull……

  27. HBomb says:

    MC: What’s more depressing is that the Oilers have invested at-bats on people who can only do that one thing.

    My opinion is that it’s OK to have one “thug” on your roster for occasional use, deployed how they did MacIntyre prior to his injury (extra minutes to better players).

    As soon as he’s healthy, Stortini is redundant and in BIG trouble, if he isn’t already. I’m glad they ditched Boulercie so quickly and am praying they don’t pick up Wade Belak for the sole purpose of “keeping Smid at forward”.

    The Visnovsky injury worries me because that might mean we might see MacT put one of his favorites (Staios) into the tough-minutes pairing with Souray, which to me is a recipe for disaster. How MacT could state he was impressed with the 24/43 pairing boggles me. The man is losing it.

  28. Lowetide says:

    RQ: I agree. If you add up the possessions in a Det game into three categories (DET, OPP, loose puck) the number of times the Red Wings end up on the winning side is incredible.

    Last night Calgary played a helluva game imo but the Wings outlasted them and the game turned in a several minute period where they were just so damn good around the puck.

    Way too much evidence to call it puck luck.

  29. HBomb says:

    Is it too early for me to call at San Jose/Detroit western final?

    I was flicking back and forth between the Calgary/Detroit and San Jose/Washington games late last night, and well, the Sharks and Wings are just flat out better than everyone else from what I’ve seen so far this year (probably ~10 games featuring each team, thank you NHL Centre Ice).

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    in the grand Venn diagram of hockey fans

    You complete me.

  31. Coach pb9617 says:

    I haven’t seen anything at all this year to suggest that Poo is outplaying Brodziak

    The numbers suggest it.

  32. pboy says:

    Yes, they do but quality of linemates would be have to factor in there as well. At the end of the day, I have no problem at all with Pouliot being given an opportunity on the 3rd line but our head coach should have had one of either Brodz or Poo there right from the start, at least we would know what we have with them at this point in the season. Instead, we kept running Pisani out there and we all know how that worked out….

  33. Jonathan says:

    It’s a lot easier to be a Puck Possession Team (TM) when guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Hossa work so hard to get the puck back. Detroit is actually a very physical team to my eye. It just doesn’t show up in the NHL’s RTSS.

    This is something that Hemsky really deserves more credit for, IMO. Hemsky goes to the corners with courage, takes hits to make plays, and is hard on the puck. But, when physicality is measured solely by “ability to injure an opposing player”, Hemsky doesn’t rate.

    Funny, ironic coincidence for everyone: look at who whines about the Oilers being unable to hit over at HFBoards. Then go back and look at who was ecstatic to see Torres shipped out of town. Borrowing Tyler’s Venn diagram, it’s amazing how many fit into both circles.

  34. Jonathan says:

    Also, RE: MacIntyre vs. Stortini, I was pretty strongly in the Stortini camp to start the year, because Stortini’s a better hockey player in so many ways that it isn’t fair to compare them.

    However, MacIntyre is better at putting on the show for the masses (aka: serving as a nuclear deterrent), and when the ice time is being handed out at 33% MacIntyre, 66% top six forward on a double shift, as opposed to 100% Stortini, it’s not even close.

    Steve MacIntyre and Craig MacTavish have sold me on the designated goon.

  35. HBomb says:

    Funny, ironic coincidence for everyone: look at who whines about the Oilers being unable to hit over at HFBoards. Then go back and look at who was ecstatic to see Torres shipped out of town. Borrowing Tyler’s Venn diagram, it’s amazing how many fit into both circles.

    Hypocrisy and contradiction on a Fan-board? Jonathan, how dare you suggest such a thing!

    You’re dead-on with regards to Hemsky. I consider him an elite forward in many areas including the one you mentioned…..and Detroit has THREE guys better than him in that particular skill-set. It’s disgusting how good they are.

    Just watch – Holland’s going to figure out a way to keep both of Hossa and Zetterberg, then he’s going to spend Lidstrom’s money on a UFA Luongo in summer 2010 when #5 retires after Norris #8 and Stanley #5 or 6 (they’ll win at least one of the next two). All while staying under the Cap.

    I despise Lamoriello for how he circumvents the rules. I admire Holland how he plays within the rules and continuously assembles a team that kicks ass with guys like Brad Stuart probably earing 1.5 million a year less than they would have gotten on the open market and others like Jonathan Ericsson playing in the AHL despite the fact they might fit in as top-four defensemen on some NHL teams.

  36. RiversQ says:

    Jonathan: Same goes for Horcoff and Pisani although they’re a little more proactive than Hemsky. Both players do well in getting the puck back. Of course Horcoff is astounding at this but sometimes it has a lot to do with getting to the puck first and Horcoff has a built-in advantage in that regard when compaerd to most NHLers.

    Maybe Cogliano can get there thanks to that – of course Horc is at least average NHL size, and Cogs doesn’t have that going for him.

    Speaking of physical advantages, Cole comes off as a bit of a dunce on the ice, but you can’t ignore how physical his game is either. Cole has a package of size, strength and speed that is not common.

  37. HBomb says:

    Speaking of physical advantages, Cole comes off as a bit of a dunce on the ice, but you can’t ignore how physical his game is either. Cole has a package of size, strength and speed that is not common.

    He might still be getting his feet wet with a new team and new linemates (every game for the latter, it seems).

    I’ve seen enough in 20 games that if I was given the choice of “Penner or Cole” past this year, I’m signing Cole for 3 years and peddling Dustin to the highest bidder at the draft. The only issue is that it leaves us horrifically shallow on LW.

    Best case scenario is that they find the money to keep both….which, given that Cole is already a 4 million dollar cap hit (IIRC), might not be that far fetched.

  38. Jonathan says:

    Open question to everyone – which of these two options is better in terms of winning hockey games?

    1) Massive, highlight-reel check, in the offensive zone, that takes both the hitter and puck-carrier out of the play. Defending team clears the zone.

    2) Small hit, separating puck carrier from puck. Both players are still in the play, but the offensive team now has puck possession.

    It isn’t as pretty, or as fear-inspiring, but in my opinion option #2 is going to be the right play in almost every scenario.

  39. Lowetide says:

    #2 applies unless Gargoyle McFlame is on the other end.

  40. HBomb says:

    Open question to everyone – which of these two options is better in terms of winning hockey games?

    1) Massive, highlight-reel check, in the offensive zone, that takes both the hitter and puck-carrier out of the play. Defending team clears the zone.

    2) Small hit, separating puck carrier from puck. Both players are still in the play, but the offensive team now has puck possession.

    It isn’t as pretty, or as fear-inspiring, but in my opinion option #2 is going to be the right play in almost every scenario.

    So bloody fundamental and simple. That’s a joy to read. It astounds me so few people get this.

    The first is “Phaneuf”, the second is “Lidstrom”. One is hype and the hilight reel, the other is substance and Stanleys.

  41. Jonathan says:

    #2 applies unless Gargoyle McFlame is on the other end.

    That was the “almost” in almost every scenario ;)

  42. Coach pb9617 says:

    He might still be getting his feet wet with a new team and new linemates (every game for the latter, it seems).

    Remember how long it took Penner to find his game with Horcoff and Hemsky last year. 25 games, as I recall.

  43. Coach pb9617 says:

    Jonathan, there is a third option that HF and “fans” hate. It’s a lesser defensive player choosing to ride a superior offensive player out of the play without the big hit, turn and get back to the play.

  44. HBomb says:

    According to the Oilers press release e-mail, Sestito it is.

    In three words, I hate it. Brule please and thank you. Good lord….

  45. Baroque says:

    … I admire Holland how he plays within the rules and continuously assembles a team that kicks ass with guys like Brad Stuart probably earing 1.5 million a year less than they would have gotten on the open market and others like Jonathan Ericsson playing in the AHL despite the fact they might fit in as top-four defensemen on some NHL teams.

    He lucked out a bit on Brad Stuart. When he was traded there was a bit of an expectation that he would just return to the west coast afterwards, but he clicked extremely well with Niklas Kronwall as a defensive partner, and after signing he mentioned that was a factor in remaining in Detroit. He had moved around enough that he knew how hard it was to find such good chemistry, and he didn’t want to lose that.

    Jonathan Eriksson probably could play very well with the Wings instead of the Griffins, but there isn’t room for him right now and I think he might still be picking up the nuances of playing defense since he started as a forward. I think he was asked to fill in as a defenseman in one of the games Hakan Andersson watched, and the scout suggested he might want to make the switch permanent.

    Detroit doesn’t hit a lot, with a couple of exceptions (Kronwall is one), but just about everyone will take a hit to make a play (even the little squirt Hudler) and they work so hard to get the puck back if they lose it. I think Datsyuk actually led the team in hits during the playoffs last year, which strikes me as hilarious because he is such a sneaky hitter. He won’t barrel right into an opponent, but kind of sidles up quietly and sideswipes them, taking the puck along with him and leaving the poor guy bereft. It’s a more subtle kind of physicality than running a guy through the boards.

  46. HBomb says:

    Bruce: I’d say that Zetterberg and Hossa have that subtle physicality down pretty well as well.

    If not for an economic depression, Hossa would be on his way to an absolute garganutan contract next summer.

    And Zetterberg? I’ll say it again – if you excluded Crosby and Ovechkin and asked me to pick one forward to build a team around, it would be him. No wonder the Wings are (apparently) talking 10-year extension with him right now. When Lidstrom goes, he’s the next captain there.

  47. Kris says:

    If Sestito were to be just as good in the NHL -almost impossible, I know- as he was in the AHL in 07/08, he’d score 7 goals and go -25.

    He’s never performed at a high level his whole career and he looks like an 8 year old. This is the kind of player who plays on teams that are headed for a lottery pick.

    Awesome!

    I facetiously predict he’ll do half as well in the NHL; he’ll score 3 goals and go -50.

    Surely Brule or anyone from the waiver wire would be better.

  48. Kris says:

    I also predict that the Schremp army is contemplating a referendum on seceding from Canada.

    The Bloq Rob-Shrempois?

  49. Kris says:

    Schrempois– excuse me.

  50. oilerdago says:

    Sestito up/Stortini down??? Please?

  51. mc79hockey says:

    Is it possible that he’s exceedingly unlikely to play and they just intend to reward him with some $$ for working hard? Seems weird, what with Pisani out but Brule’s got a funny waivers situation so maybe it makes sense.

  52. Traktor says:

    I have to eat some serious crow on this one.

  53. Traktor says:

    Never thought in a million years that Sestito would make the NHL but clearly Bucky has a bigger pull then I thought.

  54. oilerdago says:

    …and then, depression set in.

  55. HBomb says:

    Never thought in a million years that Sestito would make the NHL but clearly Bucky has a bigger pull then I thought.

    And this concerns be. What qualifications does Buchberger have exactly?

    Him having “pull” may explain the, umm, treatment of Robert Nilsson this year, considering Bucky is the guy who HS’d him in Springfield in October 2007.

    Replacing Daum with Buchberger was not a good thing, IMO, and if this move is a result of Bucky having MacT’s ear, it further reinforces that belief in my mind.

  56. Doogie2K says:

    Who the fuck is Tim Sestito? I hear this name, but it doesn’t sound like anyone who has a snowball’s chance in hell of helping this team at any point in the near future.

    @Coach PB: I actually love that one simply because, not only does it stop the chance pretty effectively, but if the puck goes up the other way, that forward is stuck, and if it’s a D-man on the rush, look out below.

  57. Coach pb9617 says:

    @Coach PB: I actually love that one simply because, not only does it stop the chance pretty effectively, but if the puck goes up the other way, that forward is stuck, and if it’s a D-man on the rush, look out below.

    Yeah, but man, listen to the fans the next time that happens. All kinds of nasty words about the guy that “didn’t finish the hit!”

  58. spOILer says:

    Re: Penner and hits

    JW, Penner was 2nd on the team overall last year, he’s presently 5th and if it wasn’t for his 5 hits in the past 2 games he’d be about 10th.

    I’m not convinced on the value of hits as a a measure of success, but in case of Penner it does seem to indicate his level of involvement in a game.

    Not to mention the coach obviously puts some value in it — “if you’re not scoring, you need to have a positive number on the game sheet somewhere” is a rough paraphrase of MacT and others. Not to mention his line this week: “We could probably use one other guy who’s going to go out there and consistently bang.”

    DET total hits so far — 306.
    EDM — 307. Not much to see there, except combined with a lack of puck possession and scoring…

    I think LT’s comments earlier about team identity have some relevance. Moreau has yet to put his stamp on this team, nor do they know if they’re a developing/contending team, a talented or a checking team, who the #1 goalie is, new guys, lines keep changing… identity issues all over the place.

    MacT alluded to the fact that chemistry has been an issue earlier this week. And he sounds like he’d like a trade, but according to the Barnes article this morning, sounds like Lowe and Tambellini aren’t concerned, and they feel these guys are a playoff team come April. (Of course, if they are negotiating for a trade, this is exactly what they have to say).

    And it sounds like MacT’s job is safe till then (barring the wheels really coming off the old firewagon).

    As far as Sestito goes, Tamby made it clear earlier this year that if a scorer goes down, a scorer is coming up, if a checker goes down, likewise.

    My only surprise is that it isn’t Spurgeon.

    Brule will be in Springfield till they’re sure he’s over his injury, and he’s had a real stretch of time to dominate at the A level. He’s not going anywhere till then. They’re not going to reverse the game plan on him now.

    We have 20 points in 20 games, dead on .500, after 14 of 20 on the road and tough match-ups. Yeah, how they got there is strange, but it always is, isn’t it?

    Is this the appropriate time for even more change (other than losing a goalie)?

  59. Bruce says:

    Dennis: make would could be a last ditch effort to get something out of 27

    HBomb: I’ve seen enough in 20 games that if I was given the choice of “Penner or Cole” past this year, I’m signing Cole for 3 years and peddling Dustin to the highest bidder at the draft.

    From Behind the Net, players with 10+ GP:

    5v5 GF ON/60
    ——————-
    1. Penner 3.52
    2. Moreau 2.75
    3. Pisani 2.65
    4. Hemsky 2.57
    5. Gilbert 2.47

    16. Cole 1.29

    5v5 GA ON/60
    ———————
    1. Penner 1.47
    2. Brodziak 1.48
    3. Visnovsky 1.59
    4. Horcoff 1.66
    5. MacIntyre 1.76
    6. Cole 1.81

    5v4 +/- ON/60 (min 1:00/GP)
    ———————-
    1. Penner +10.88/-0 = +10.88
    2. Souray +8.95/-0.75 = +8.21
    3. Hemsky +7.88/-0.79 = +7.10
    4. Horcoff +7.43/-0.83 = +6.61
    5. Visnovsky +6.77 – 1.35 = +5.42
    6. Grebeshkov +5.32/-0 = +5.32
    7. Cole +6.31/-1.05 = +5.26

    Judging from the fairly important metric of goals scored, for and against, when the guy is on the ice, Penner leads the club both offensively and defensively, at both even strength and on the PP.

    His PK stats are dreadful (worst on the team of any player with 1:00 TOI/GP), which you can put on Penner if you like although to me that’s mostly about coaching. Roly-poly peg, square hole. Ditch the Dustin as PK experiment, and use him when there are 4 other Oiler skaters on the ice. His G-A=P stats aren’t wonderful, but per unit ice time the team has played pretty darn well when Penner is on the ice.

  60. mc79hockey says:

    Judging from the fairly important metric of goals scored, for and against, when the guy is on the ice, Penner leads the club both offensively and defensively, at both even strength and on the PP.

    ES S% when Penner’s on the ice: 11.9%
    ES SV% when Penner’s on the ice: .950.

    I have a little study in the works dealing with first quarter performance and the rest of the season. My sample is of guys who were on the ice for at least 100 total ES shots in the first quarter and 100 total ES shots in the second quarter. The correlation between the SF/SA ratio from Q1 to Q2-4 is about .62. On ice ES shooting percentage correlates at about .19 and on ice ES save percentage correlates at about .06. In short, if someone’s fine numbers are from riding the percentage horse – and Penner’s most clearly are – then pointing to his fine numbers as a defence of him moving forward doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense.

    His combined ESS% and ESSV% is currently 106.9%. Of the 51 players who were over 105.0% in this number, they averaged 106.9% through Q1 and 100.2% in Q2-4. EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF THEM did worse in Q2-4.

    Oh, and Penner’s shooting 22.2% at ES at the moment. That has roughly a 0% chance of continuing as well.

    I don’t want you to think I’m picking on you Bruce, but you’re clearly not a stupid guy. I walked away from a debate at OilersNation the other day as soon as a guy made his second spreadsheet jibe – I don’t need to waste time debating points with stupid people. You’re smart enough to open a spreadsheet, smart enough to look at the numbers and see what they say. I’m all for being a contrarian where it makes sense. I just cannot for the life of me understand why you choose guys like Stortini and Penner as your hills to die on.

    Oh, BTW, Stortini currently has an on-ice sv% of .882 and an on-ice s% of 4.8%. He himself is shooting 0% on three shots. The Oilers are getting outshot 34-21 with him on the ice. In the reasonable expectations post LT did for Stortini, you were hyping his progression. While there did seem to be some improvement there (or some time spent with decent linemates against shitty comp), the percentages also went fucking nuts in his favour.

    Through January, 2008: 92 ESSF, 142 ESSA, 5 ESGF, 10 ESGA, 5.4% S%, .930 ESSV%

    February – end of season: 126 ESSF, 125 ESSA, 16 ESGF, 7 ESGA, 12.7S%, .944 ESSV%

    We’re right back in the toilet now. I would have been cautiously optimistic about his last three months of last year, again with the note that he was clearly the worst of the Crostiniaks, but you were selling him hard with those numbers. What happened?

  61. mc79hockey says:

    The study I’m referring to deals with 2007-08 numbers.

  62. Doogie2K says:

    Yeah, but man, listen to the fans the next time that happens. All kinds of nasty words about the guy that “didn’t finish the hit!”

    Oh, I know, but those fans are idiots. Any check that takes an opponent out of the play while creating an advantage for your team is “finished,” as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t always have to be audible from the can on the other side of the concourse; in fact, those ones tend to be the least helpful (though the most viscerally entertaining), though you already know that.

  63. spOILer says:

    As for the goalie situation…

    I’m thinking there’s no deal out there for Roli, or he’d be moved already. The Isles are the only team with the space to burn that I can see wanting him.

    I think the plan was to go with 3 till he can be dealt, and so far that hasn’t been possible. This three-headed monster might last all the way to the trade deadline before it’s resolved.

  64. Bruce says:

    MC: Penner’s Corsi (+14) looks pretty alright to me also. He’s right there in a logjam at the top with Hemsky (+19) and Horcoff (+18) — with whom he has played sparingly (and I’ll bet the SD of all three went up when they played togther). Cogliano (+14) is in the mix too; every other forward on the team is negative. Don’t forget that Penner spent quite a bit of time with Pisani (-60) and Moreau (-40), yet still found his way onto the positive side of the ledger.

    Of the 51 players who were over 105.0% in this number, they averaged 106.9% through Q1 and 100.2% in Q2-4. EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF THEM did worse in Q2-4.

    No big surprise there, 105+ % is unsustainable unless you’re talking about the 1983-87 Oilers who consistently accomplished that mark as a team.

    I’m not saying Penner is on track for a +28 season. Nor do I think we’ve seen him at his best as he shuttles around from wing to wing and from one line to another while spending more time on the PK than the PP. But as MacT experiments to make him a more well-rounded player — and let’s face it, they don’t come much more “well-rounded” than Dustin Penner :) — in the first quarter, his team stats (+12 GF/-5 GA; +201 ASF/-187 ASA) have been pretty acceptable all things considered.

    As for Stortini, I wrote the essay BDHS requested in the report card thread immediately below, so won’t repeat myself here, other than to say if Penner’s S% + Sv% ON of 106.9% is unsustainable, so too is Stortini’s of 93.0%. Funny how you seem to use those opposite extremes as a case against both players.

  65. Tyler says:

    Penner’s Corsi (+14) looks pretty alright to me also. He’s right there in a logjam at the top with Hemsky (+19) and Horcoff (+18) — with whom he has played sparingly (and I’ll bet the SD of all three went up when they played togther).

    Sure, although Penner starts in the fun end an awful lot more than do Horcoff or Hemsky.

    No big surprise there, 105+ % is unsustainable unless you’re talking about the 1983-87 Oilers who consistently accomplished that mark as a team.

    I’m talking ES. There’s no information available that far back.

    But as MacT experiments to make him a more well-rounded player — and let’s face it, they don’t come much more “well-rounded” than Dustin Penner :) — in the first quarter, his team stats (+12 GF/-5 GA; +201 ASF/-187 ASA) have been pretty acceptable all things considered.

    Keep in mind what prompted my response – you responded to SweatyO’s post saying he prefers Cole and didn’t quote the SF/SA numbers but instead pointed out the amazing GF/GA numbers. I agree with you, Dustin Penner hasn’t been that much different than the Dustin Penner we know and love/have come to tolerate/are in the process of drawing up plans to burn his car. What set me off was the reference to the GF/GA numbers without reference to the other stuff.

    …if Penner’s S% + Sv% ON of 106.9% is unsustainable, so too is Stortini’s of 93.0%. Funny how you seem to use those opposite extremes as a case against both players.

    I’m not using anything against anyone. You won’t catch me arguing for or against any player based on a single quarter’s GF/GA or percentages. You were the one advancing the argument based on Penner’s GF/GA numbers and Stortini’s progression as demonstrated by goals, assists and +/-, not me. I’ve said elsewhere that he had a respectable looking second half last year.

    I checked out the essay and, as near as I can tell, it’s the coach’s fault because he’s not giving him enough ice time. You also said he’s best when he’s the worst player on his line. I agree with that but, on the off chance that they aren’t running the club for the purpose of making Stortini look as good as possible, maybe that’s not such a good thing.

  66. Oilmaniac says:

    I’ve only read through 1/3 on the thread, but need to comment on this…

    Jonathan said…
    Also, for the “Penner doesn’t hit crowd”, he’s currently third on the team in hits with 18.

    That is a shity stat, showing how poorly this team competes in the physical aspect of the game…

    Third highest hitter averages one a game… yippie…

  67. Bruce says:

    Sure, although Penner starts in the fun end an awful lot more than do Horcoff or Hemsky.

    Offensive zone faceoffs:

    Hemsky 81
    Horcoff 76
    Penner 68

    If you were to turn your statement around and say that Penner starts in the defensive zone a lot less than the other two, I wouldn’t disagree.

    I like the faceoff zone stats a lot, but I have a couple of issues with them, or at least with the practice of simply taking the differentials at face value. Perhaps we’ll explore this in more depth some time.

    For now I will simply say that both Penner and Hemsky are relatively neutral in where they start vs. what they leave; whereas among Oiler forwards Horcoff is definitely the king in this dept.

  68. Bruce says:

    You also said he’s best when he’s the worst player on his line.

    I said “least talented”, not “worst”, an important distinction.

  69. slipper says:

    I was wondering if MC purposely try to sneak that one under the radar.

    I have learned over time to never question Bruce’s reading comprehension, infatigable thoroughness, or his tenacity at splitting hairs.

  70. Bruce says:

    Thanks Slipper. I think. :)

    I don’t think it’s hair splitting at all. To pull his weight the least talented guy on any line also needs to be its hardest worker, which is a talent of a different sort I suppose. Always got room on my team for a couple of guys who do nothing but work their ass off and are willing to do whatever it takes. It doesn’t always have to be pretty.

  71. spOILer says:

    Dennis said:
    Reading today’s Journal I see yesterday’s top three lines at practice were as follows:

    27-10-83
    18-78-26
    12-89-13

    Seems to me Cole as a good North-South guy is a waste with Cogliano who can’t win a face-off in his own end. This is Pou’s chance — how many at-bats do we give him? 15gms?

    These lines are a move back to familiarity, and an easier set up for a long home stretch. Gagner goes from tough minutes to sugar, let’s see how the Kids do with what they’ve learned in their time apart.

  72. hunter1909 says:

    “… I admire Holland how he plays within the rules and continuously assembles a team that kicks ass with guys like Brad Stuart probably earing 1.5 million a year less than they would have gotten on the open market and others like Jonathan Ericsson playing in the AHL despite the fact they might fit in as top-four defensemen on some NHL teams.”

    Unlike a certain team who we’d all recognise in a flash that promotes defensive pluggers to the first line with the accompanying massive if unsubstantiated payday, overpays third line players by a million a year then worries where the money is coming from to pay it’s up and coming youngsters. The solution? Fuck up the kid’s development, then they won’t cost nearly as much when the time comes to up their ante, lol.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca