Coyotes at Oilers, G32/08-09

Each fall, hockey fans are introduced to a new group of phenoms. Many years ago when a terrific young junior defender would get drafted, you’d see articles with titles like “Potvin: the next Orr?” or “Can Lafleur replace Beliveau?” and each team would have one or two ridiculous talents each season.

The Phoenix Coyotes have 12 every year. Seriously. Their list of rookies is so exceptional this winter:

  • Mikkel Boedker 33gp, 7-9-16 +4
  • Kyle Turris 31gp, 5-6-11 -5
  • Kevin Porter 26gp, 5-5-10 +1
  • Viktor Tikhonov 33gp, 2-3-6 E

Don’t like that list? Oh, okay. Let’s run last season’s rookies:

  • Peter Mueller 81gp, 22-32-54 -13
  • Martin Hanzal 72gp, 8-27-35 -7
  • Daniel Winnik 79gp, 11-15-26 -3
  • Dan Carcillo 57gp, 11-13-24 +1
  • Keith Yandle 43gp, 5-7-12 -12
  • Enver Lisin 13gp, 4-1-5 -5

Admit it: you think I’m making some of these names up. IS there a Daniel Winnik? Yes there is. The Phoenix Coyotes have some tremendous young talent and seem to have traction this season. A team falling out of playoff contention could make a long list of attractive young players as possible return for a Dwayne Roloson, a Steve Staios, an Ethan Moreau, an Erik Cole.

Type.

The Edmonton Oilers will win tonight. There’s no doubt in my mind. Their recent troubles have come at the hands of clearly superior teams and Phoenix is in the same area code as Edmonton (in terms of difficulty). I expect Ales Hemsky will have a big game and the Oilers win by three or more. It’ll also be fun to see which young players a fan might like to see flying north when the swallows come back to Capistrano.

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225 Responses to "Coyotes at Oilers, G32/08-09"

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  1. Swabbubba says:

    I would say the Oilers should win. To do this they have to remember that this is their barn. The fans want something for Xmas. If they don’t get it then MacT shall be gone. I want Jules Winnfield for next coach.

    Okay Ted Nolan

  2. oilerdago says:

    Where’s Stan Weir when we need him?

  3. doritogrande says:

    Our list of rookies looked pretty good last year too LT, though this year’s crop doesn’t really fit the same mold as Phoenix’s.

    Next year however, if this trend continues, should be another bumper crop.

    Theo Peckham?
    Jordan Eberle?
    Braydon Schenn???

    Oweing to the fact that they used to be my team, I still have a soft spot for the Coyotes. Lots of youth with a captain who’s been through all this before (and one of the only remaining Jets skaters) and you’ve got a good team for the next decade if they don’t pooch this. In fact, they’ve got so much talent coming through now that they’ve been able to pull the difficult “quantity for quality trade” for one of the premier forwards in the game. Picked up a starter at bargain basement prices last year and now they’re humming. To my eye the only thing they lack is a riverboat-gambler puckmover. Jovocop can’t do all this on his own anymore.

    The Oilers are reeling and coach is throwing more people under the bus. I don’t like our chances tonight, but I’d love to be proven wrong. No game for me, tis the season to get yelled at by angry shoppers.

    One final comment: Anyone else believe we’re developing Dubnyk in completely the wrong way? Poor guy played all three Falcons games this weekend, and came away with zero points, though through no apparent fault of his. Can we give the kid a game off once in a while? I’m guessing it’d be nice to get away from bailing out Taylor Chorney’s sorry ass once in a while.

  4. HBomb says:

    They better win tonight. After this, they go TO Vancouver on Boxing Day, play a Predators squad that they haven’t beaten since Josef Beranek’s second tour of duty as an Oiler (or so it seems), a struggling Senators squad on the 30th, IN Calgary on New Years Eve, and then against a Dallas team that will always give them fits (no matter what the records of the respective teams) on January 3rd in the back-half of the HNIC.

    Important stretch of six games. Drop this one and you’re suddenly looking at having to steal a game in Calgary or Vancouver just to keep the record at .500 for the stretch.

    Following that, there’s four more games at home leading up to the halfway point (game 41 is on January 11th vs. the Blues). If the Oilers are still floundering at .500 or worse come that point (less than three weeks away), change is going to be required, and I’m not talking about a trade or two (that’s likely happening sooner, regardless of what happens tonight).

    Anyways, since it’s the holidays, tonight we’re going to pay tribute to former Oiler Darcy Martini with this little gem:

    “Liquid Heroin”:

    2 shots premium vodka (nothing worse than Smirnoff, preferably Grey Goose)
    1 shot Chambord Royale blackberry liqueur
    splash of cranberry juice
    splash of pineapple juice

    Shake ingredients over ice. Pour into martini glass (preferably short stemmed if you plan on having more than one). Enjoy over-and-over again….

  5. Jonathan says:

    DG: Zybnek Michalek.

    I did a roster breakdown of the Coyotes over at ON yesterday, and I was amazed to find that Michalek was drawing the top-flight opponents (along with Sauer, obviously). He’s doing a good job of it too.

    Also – Martin Hanzal’s facing the vaunt as a sophomore, and doing a good job. That kid’s something else.

  6. oilerdago says:

    DG – it’s obvious that the Falcons coaches are either clueless or don’t feel Glen Fisher is worth a bag of pucks the way they’ve overplayed Dubnyk.

  7. Jonathan says:

    It’s obvious that the Falcons coaches are either clueless or don’t feel Glen Fisher is worth a bag of pucks the way they’ve overplayed Dubnyk.

    Glenn Fisher’s SV% by year, as well as the sv% of his co-goalie:

    2008-09 – AHL – .900
    – Dubnyk – .904
    2007-08 – ECHL – .903
    – Boron – .909
    2006-07 – NCAA – .919
    – Mannino – .919
    2005-06 – NCAA – .898
    – Mannino – .904
    2004-05 – NCAA – .889
    – Mannino – .922
    2003-04 – NCAA – .872
    – Berkhoel – .918

    Fisher’s never been the best goaltender in his own tandem – in only one year has he ever matched his rival’s SV%, and that was his 2006-07 off-the-charts year. BTW, the guys who he was playing with:

    Adam Berkhoel – middling-to-poor AHL goalie up until this season; he’s got a .923 SV% for the Baby Pens through 17 games.

    Peter Mannino – undrafted Islanders farm hand; has a .900 sv% through 18 AHL games

    Tim Boron – starring for the Wichita Thunder (Central Hockey League) after Stockton waived him.

    For whatever reason, I think the Oilers have decided that all three of their prospects (Dubnyk, Pitton, Perugini) should get to play, and to that end Glenn Fisher gets to be the AHL equivalent of Curtis Sanford (except that, if Luongo goes down, they call up someone else to play).

    My personal opinion: a Jeff Deslauriers AHL conditioning stint is long overdue

  8. Oilman says:

    Jonathon – right you are about JDD. The kid has been misused by the Oilers since his draft day and the tradition continues. Who are they so concerned about when it comes to losing JDD to the waiver wire?

  9. Jonathan says:

    Oilman: Well, I think it’s a legitimate concern now, but the beauty of an AHL conditioning stint is that it doesn’t expose the player to waivers.

  10. Oilman says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how legit it is – Maybe with Toskola out of the lineup the Burke’s would take a shot at him for spite.

  11. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ LT.

    Seriously. Roloson?

    You’re obviously forgetting Al Montoya.:)

  12. Oilman says:

    Jonathon – re: conditioning assignment. I don’t believe a team is allowed to designate a player on conditioning assignment just to get around exposing him to waivers. Conditioning assignments are for players coming off long term inactive periods other than HS’s. I don’t think that would get by the league or PA.

  13. Lord Bob says:

    My flight home for Christmas yesterday was cancelled, which is good news for the Oilers.

    Why? Because I’m going to try and fly out tonight, god willing. And the Oilers’ record while I’m on an airplane is something like one billion wins to zero losses.

  14. PB says:

    It’s nice that someone outside the Valley can recognize that the young talent here in Phoenix is top notch. Mikkel Boedker is playing like someone that has been here for ages, and Enver Lisin has woken up from some deep sleep (I don’t want to use a cheesy reference to Phoenix, so I avoided it).

    Winnik is having a tough time cracking the lineup due to the stellar play of our younger forwards and Kyle Turris has started to play well too. This team will get better as the season goes on…they have a chance.

    Martin Hanzal has played spectacularly against the other team’s top forwards. He shut down Joe Thornton a while back and he is starting to use his size to his advantage.

    It should be a good game tonight – it’s nice though to read positive stuff about the Coyotes than to read the jeers (probably well deserved) two or three seasons ago.

  15. Matt says:

    Jonathan: Mr. Zbynek has been thrown out at the badasses for a long time now. Talk about your under-the-radar terrific player.

  16. Santa Merda says:

    With all due respect, LT, I wouldn’t say the Oil’s losses have come to teams that are clearly superior. In terms of raw talent, you’d have a tough time convincing me we aren’t a match for Vancouver, and they walloped us.

  17. Phil says:

    Don’t salmon flock to Capistrano? ;)

    Everyone keeps saying before each game ‘oh, this is it for MacT. If they lose he’s out’. I think that if Chicago rips them by 7 goals in Edmonton and MacT is still here, then he’s here to stay until summer. Get used to it.

    @HBomb: Great recipe!

  18. HBomb says:

    @HBomb: Great recipe!

    Just you wait – I’ve got a couple other martini recipes comin’ this week…..one even named “The Mullet”.

  19. Jonathan says:

    Matt: Thanks for that.

    I’ve been going through the IOF archives since I wasn’t a frequenter of those parts back in the day, and there’s a ton of good stuff there. I’m going to get to Tyler’s site next.

  20. LMHF#1 says:

    I’ll take Dan Carcillo and Zybnek M. please.

  21. doritogrande says:

    Holy shit. There are Coyotes fans young enough to operate a computer?

    @H-bomb: Seriously man, do you own a liquor store? Or do you just frequently rob them? I’ve never heard of a blackberry liqueur, let alone know there were different kinds.

    @Oilman: Regarding the conditioning stint, I’m pretty sure it works differently with goalies given that backups can go though periods of little to no activity. I have no proof on this however. But given how we skirted the waiver rules last year with that whole Sanderson/Pouliot situation, I think most of the waiver rules can be bent, if not broken.

  22. doritogrande says:

    LMHF:

    We have a Michalek already in Visnovsky. This team needs an angry hit first ask questions later defender. I’d opt for the Jovocop if it were me.

  23. mc79hockey says:

    Don’t salmon flock to Capistrano? ;)

    We’ve had trouble with that here before.

  24. Jonathan says:

    This team needs an angry hit first ask questions later defender. I’d opt for the Jovocop if it were me.

    Nonsense. We have a much better version of Jovocop in Sheldon Souray. I’ll take Kurt Sauer – and at that contract he signed too. There’s liltle or no excuse that I can think of for a bunch of GM’s not to have pursued this guy harder – and Kevin Lowe’s name is near the top of that list.

  25. Oilman says:

    Tyler – i was wondering if you’d remember that – you sense of humorless bastard:o)

  26. HBomb says:


    @H-bomb: Seriously man, do you own a liquor store? Or do you just frequently rob them? I’ve never heard of a blackberry liqueur, let alone know there were different kinds.

    Well, I am a motherfuckin’ connoisseur of the booze (I’m guessing I’ve got around 40-50 bottles of various liquor around here right now). I buy what I need to when I find out a recipe and make it.

    Chambord Royale is pretty popular in vodka martinis, it seems – I’ve seen variations of this particular drink at several lounges and bars around town. It’s tasty stuff.

    The next couple recipes will be relatively basic – Southern Comfort, Peach Schnapps, Absolut Citron vodka, Triple Sec….

  27. Oilman says:

    BTW – I was in San Juan Capistrano in September – beautiful spot – but apparently the swallows (or salmon, depending on your taste in movies)flock to the Walmart instead of the mission now.

  28. godot10 says:

    //Who are they so concerned about when it comes to losing JDD to the waiver wire?//

    Colorado

  29. mc79hockey says:

    Tyler – i was wondering if you’d remember that – you sense of humorless bastard:o)

    I knew it happened, just wasn’t sure who was on the other end of it.

  30. Dennis says:

    I finally got around last night to watching the 3-2 SO loss to Ana and that was a really entertaining game.

    Some notes on that one heading into this one:

    - I had the chances at 27-21 and the vast majority of both teams chances came on ST. I can’t remember another game this year that featured that many SH chances and the Ducks had two on the same disadv and the second one resulted in the SHG. There were also a tonne of PP chances and whereas the Oilers usually average a high PPG total per chance, this game saw them have a tonne of PP chances and only one goal.

    - A strange time to bench 12 considering he had two scoring chances in the first period – one off a tip and another to the left of Hiller – plus he set up 83 on a beautiful give-and-go early in the first. I know he pulled up early on that SHG but he did so because he anticipated a pass but of course he should’ve let the D handle that and just ride out Rob N to the net. Though, if we can bench 27 and 51 than 12 certainly isn’t exempt.

    - interesting exchange around the 7:55 mark of the first period when 78 drilled Parros and then the latter seeked out the former and drilled him back. 78′s getting more of an opp now and putting up some points and he’s not shying away physically either. Though I’m still convinced that he was playing better away from the puck down the stretch last year.

    - It’s getting harder and harder for me to keep from vomiting when I have to listen to 18 talking about what the team needs to do in order to win. It’s just dummy-penalty-after-dummy-penalty with this fellow and that’s no way to lead.

    - The PK unit was way more aggressive in down-ice pursuit and there was even just a hint of shot-blocking coming back into the plan. The times when they got in trouble was when they lost own-zone draws and that happened a lot. The holes are obvious and they have been for awhile.

    - Roli made two excellent PK stops with less than a min left in the second that gave us a chance to point.

  31. Doogie2K says:

    I did a roster breakdown of the Coyotes over at ON yesterday, and I was amazed to find that Michalek was drawing the top-flight opponents (along with Sauer, obviously). He’s doing a good job of it too.

    You and me both; I found the same thing while looking up Kurt Sauer in response to a Puck Daddy post a few weeks ago and couldn’t believe it.

    I don’t believe a team is allowed to designate a player on conditioning assignment just to get around exposing him to waivers. Conditioning assignments are for players coming off long term inactive periods other than HS’s. I don’t think that would get by the league or PA.

    Maybe or maybe not, but it doesn’t save the Oilers a roster spot in either case, so I’m not entirely sure that it’d be a problem; you can’t game the system to your own detriment.

  32. J says:

    Lt hope you’re right about tonight. Oil need a huge win and to score at least 5. imo carcillo would be right behind turris on my coyotes want list.

  33. Lord Bob says:

    Zbynek Michalek has been a player since forever, and I think it’s a shame that nobody talks about him more. I seem to remember in the Stanley Cup season a few people were floating things like “Bergeron for Michalek!” and I just had to roll my eyes.

  34. RiversQ says:

    I’m going to the game tonight. I hope LT’s prediction is correct.

    I’ve got a drink recipe for you:

    “Rexall Beer”

    One domestic beer of your choice. (I prefer Canadian for the full experience.)
    2 $5 bills
    1 ashtray
    1 handful of change

    - Put the $5 bills in the ashtray and light them on fire.

    - Walk to the front door, open it and throw the handful of change. (You can scream if you like. It’s cathartic.)

    - Crack open the beer and get back to the game.

  35. HBomb says:

    Gentlemen, it’s 1:40pm Edmonton time….and I am drinking a rum and coke while doing various housework.

    I love the holiday season.

    Favorite Oilers holiday season game was a December 1989 game, just before Christmas (I believe on the 23rd) where they beat the Flames at Northlands 4-2 with MacT scored a 3rd period penalty shot.

  36. HBomb says:

    Riv: whereabouts are you sitting?

    I will also be in attendance. If you see a guy in a new Oilers “retro 3rd” jersey with “Horcoff” on the back, it’s probably me.

  37. HBomb says:

    Oh and that “Rexall” beer recipe, you forgot the part where you pour out half the beer, replace it with water, and drink the watered down version.

  38. slipper says:

    Signing Saurer for 4 years at 1.75 million was a killer deal for the Coyotes. Basically they acquired Jokinen for no loss, because they shed Boyton’s 3 million dollar contract and find a replacement level player for Ballard (who went on to be extended by the Panthers for over twice of what Saurer signed for) through free agency.

    Phoenix has a bright future but they are currently way too young at forward. I think they carry 9 or 10 forwards under the age of 24. There are a number of guys on that team who’s GF/GA makes them look like they’re heads are above water, but the underlying numbers don’t bode well.

  39. HBomb says:

    Hopefully, by the time that Phoenix team is ready to really compete/win, they’re in a market where people actually care.

    It would be sweet if Balsillie came in and they relocated they team to somewhere in southern Ontario. I bet Gretzky wouldn’t mind being a part of such a venture…..

  40. relic says:

    and then the thrashers will move to winnipeg… but not before trading kovalchuck for a bunch of picks and prospects who won’t pan out.

  41. YKOil says:

    Heh, I will also be at the game tonite… mourning the fcat I left my Pouliot jersey in Yellowknife

    freakin’ sucks

    Phoenix has a, what should be, awesome upncoming team. They did the rebuild right – several years of crash but keeping the right veterans as they went along. The Jovo signing was silly but he will be gone by the time that stable of forward prospects is burning up the track.

    The real issue for that team is depth on defense – team is super thin and there is little on the farm. They need a few more Sauer signings to cover the bet imo. Jovo is done (imo) and if Morris starts beaking for $5 mill plus the team would be stupid not to move him for some other teams young D.

  42. HBomb says:

    and then the thrashers will move to winnipeg… but not before trading kovalchuck for a bunch of picks and prospects who won’t pan out.

    I wouldn’t cry if one of those prospects was named “Robbie Schremp”.

    YKOil: Pouliot, eh? I respect that, but you’d be VERY easy to spot. You’d probably find just as many Brian Swanson jerseys around Rexall…..

  43. Tyler says:

    Favorite Oilers holiday season game was a December 1989 game, just before Christmas (I believe on the 23rd) where they beat the Flames at Northlands 4-2 with MacT scored a 3rd period penalty shot.

    I’m pretty sure that I was at this game, although I think it took place in 1988 and I’m pretty sure that it was a 4-1 final (I’ll admit that I cheated: I looked up the score of the Dec. 23, 1988 game today because it was the first game I ever went to and I want to send my old man an email about it). The game I was at, I remember a penalty shot goal. I also remember my dad advising me not to wipe the popcorn butter on my hands on the fur coat of the woman sitting in front of me.

    Smart guy.

  44. Bruce says:

    The Edmonton Oilers will win tonight. There’s no doubt in my mind.

    LT: The fact the Oilers have won 2 of their last 10 home games suggests that they Must win tonight. Whether or not they Will win is an entirely different question.

    2 home wins in 2 months: no time like the present to start turning that around. A good place to start would be special teams, where in 12 home games the Oil have scored 8 PPG and allowed 16; and scored 0 SHG while allowing 2. I would suggest shootout performance could also be lumped under “special teams” in a sense, and there too the Oil are 0-2 at home.

    At evens we’ve actually outscored the bad guys 18-15, which isn’t great but should in theory translate in to winning more than a third of our home games.

  45. HBomb says:

    I’m pretty sure that I was at this game, although I think it took place in 1988 and I’m pretty sure that it was a 4-1 final (I’ll admit that I cheated: I looked up the score of the Dec. 23, 1988 game today because it was the first game I ever went to and I want to send my old man an email about it). The game I was at, I remember a penalty shot goal. I also remember my dad advising me not to wipe the popcorn butter on my hands on the fur coat of the woman sitting in front of me.

    Yeah, that has to be the game I was thinking of. I was close….off by one year and one goal.

    Up until that point, I didn’t know that such a thing as a penalty shot existed in hockey, as I had never seen one in person (I was about six weeks short of my 7th birthday at the time). So I was thrilled when I saw them put the puck at center and MacT went one on one with the Flames goalie (I assume it was Vernon that night).

  46. YKOil says:

    HBomb: signed by Pouliot no less. Bought it at the Rookie camp they held up my way a while ago.

    Almost went and asked Lowe to sign it as I figured he was set to trade Pouliot any day – I am not one to make a statement but that one was tempting.

    Couldn’t do it though.

    As much as I detest his GM work, Lowe is my favorite Oiler player of all time and not seperating the the man from his job would have put the shiite on me.

  47. Dennis says:

    I’d say that by the time, if at all, all the Yotes kids are good enough to win anything, they will collectively be too expensive for them to be kept together.

    I’m not sure how close they are to the cap but that’s a club that should be running on it’s own budget and they’re bleeding money so there’s no way they’re all kept together.

    BTW, Z Michalek has been an OSphere fav for awhile now and Sauer was given some decent assignments by the Avs last year if I’m not correct. I’m just going by memory but he’s a guy that jumped straight to the bigs and then after a couple of seasons began to bounce a around a little in terms of being in and out of the lineup. Not sure if that was because of injury or not but last year I watched the Avs closely down the stretch and he looked dependable.

    BTW, not sure if anyone’s following my take on scoring chances but Vic wrote some software for me and it’s allowed things to really look a lot cleaner.

    Check out my posts on the loss vs Chi and the OTL vs Ana and take a look for yourself.

  48. Doogie2K says:

    @Dennis: You are right about Sauer. I seem to remember it being a ‘sphere joke that everyone got him confused with Jeff Finger, so Fletcher signed the healthy scratch from the playoffs to the money deal and Maloney signed the tough-minutes guy to the cheap-ass deal.

  49. Tyler says:

    The one decent writer at hockeybuzz, Danny Tolensky, actually took it a step further and showed how all Fletcher’s quotes matched for Sauer but made no sense for Finger.

  50. HBomb says:

    Tonight’s lineup according to Gregor on 1260:

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Reddox Gagner Cole
    Moreau Pouliot Cogliano
    Strudwick Brodziak Stortini

    The first line is back together, which makes sense, but seriousy – Liam Reddox on the fucking second line?

    NEVER was there a more obvious opportunity to get 13-89-26 put together and try to get a second line scoring some goals and tearing up the soft minutes.

    Want to know why this team is shit right now? On any given night, a good NHL team would have a maximum of ONE of Stortini/Strudwick/Reddox in the lineup.

    What it SHOULD be right now:

    Horpensky
    13-89-26
    18-51-78
    43-85-46

    As soon as Nilsson gets out of the doghouse and Pouliot gets healthy, roll out an 18-78-34 third line and maybe have Brodziak as a security blanket between Nilsson and a recalled Schremp. Strudwick and Stortini in the pressbox more often than not, and Reddox back in the AHL.

    It’s like MacT WANTS to get fired….fuck me.

  51. Jonathan says:

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Reddox Gagner Cole
    Moreau Pouliot Cogliano
    Strudwick Brodziak Stortini

    He posted it with the 2nd and 3rd lines reversed over at ON – and it makes a lot more sense if you look at it that way:

    27-10-83
    18-78-13
    Reddox-89-26
    43-51-46

  52. Doogie2K says:

    Reddox Gagner Cole

    I have no words for this.

  53. oilerdago says:

    The word for Reddox Gagner and Cole is asinine.

  54. oilerdago says:

    One other thing on the latest line combo’s. What do you think the over/under is before the Mac Blender is out tonight? No way it stays like this the entire game.

  55. Doogie2K says:

    Someone finally asked MacT about the shot-blocking! Four minutes into the pre-game podcast for Game #32!

    (He kind of talks around the issue of shot-blocking specifically, but it’s a start.)

  56. Jonathan says:

    Reddox – Gagner – Cole makes a lot of sense if :

    a) MacTavish, despite the evidence, thinks that Gagner can handle a checking role
    b) They're used in a checking role

    I bet those three are thrown at Jokinen/Doan or both – and I bet they come out OK. Assuming that Horpensky can do as well against Hanzal & Co. as 85-89-26 do against Dokinen, then this game turns on 18-78-13 and their ability to destroy softies.

    60/40 Oilers.

  57. HBomb says:

    Reddox anywhere above the fourth line makes no sense to me on any level, period. I’d rather throw 18-51-78 to the wolves and run Cogliano-Gagner-Cole at the soft.

  58. PDO says:

    Lineup makes sense. A lot.

    Keep in mind, 12 won’t be out forever and 34 is due back relatively soon as well.

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

    … makes a helluva lot of sense.

  59. PDO says:

    Dennis,

    Your posts look fantastic. Keep it up!

  60. Scarlett says:

    And you wonder why the fans are questioning MacT? Reddox on the second line is a joke. I’ll be at the game tonight, again, and I want a damn victory! Come on Santa, help out the boys!

  61. rananda says:

    why is wayne playing air bass here?

  62. Doogie2K says:

    why is wayne playing air bass here?

    Gretzky predicted the existence and popularity of Guitar Hero 25 years before it happened. Again, his genius becomes clear.

  63. DeBakey says:

    I listened to Justa Game on the way home tonight
    Don’t usually
    Wow, I now know why
    Its Stupid City on there

    The big target is MacT,
    But Number 2 on the Hit Parade seems to be our man Pouliot.
    According to the great unwashed,
    Pouliot is stealing ice-time from the More Deserving – St Robbie, Row-bear, Gags etc.

    The only place Pouliot gets any love is hearabouts – the media all hate him – HHOF Jim can barely bring himself to type the word Pouliot – and the masses all wish he were Parise.

    Hopefully the young lad keeps showing them wrong

  64. bookie says:

    It’s like MacT WANTS to get fired….fuck me.

    Its as though MacT is trying to find the code to crack some high school locker combination lock. Or maybe hes an alchemist looking for the magic formula…

  65. Kris says:

    Who’s the nerd in the game day picture?

    Is it just me, or is MacT sending more and more semi-encrypted messages regarding the makeup of this team and the need for a trade?

    I mean, he keeps saying these players don’t compete, these players don’t go to the tough areas, and these players don’t have jam.

    Will he ever just come out and say “I’m the man suckaz, but Kevilini has me icing the starting lineup from Cats and Rumpleteazer’s got no compete in him.”

  66. Bruce says:

    I’m pretty sure that I was at this game, although I think it took place in 1988 and I’m pretty sure that it was a 4-1 final (I’ll admit that I cheated: I looked up the score of the Dec. 23, 1988 game today because it was the first game I ever went to and I want to send my old man an email about it).

    Yup, 20 years ago tomorrow, and yes indeed it was a 4-1 final. MacT put a real nice move on Mike Vernon and popped ‘er home. I remember it well as it was the first Oiler penalty shot at Northlands in over 5 years. In fact only 2 penalty shots were seen in all that time, and they happened in back-to-back games in the 1985 Stanley Cupo Finals for goodness sake. Grant Fuhr stoned Ron Sutter in Game 4 and Dave poulin in Game 5.

    Hard to believe with all the speed and skill on that team, that all the times Wayne Gretzky and Glenn Anderson got hauled down on breakaways not once did the ref have the balls to call the “most exciting play in hockey”. (A couple times on the road, but never at home.) Used to be a huge pet peeve of mine. Not so much anymore, since the shootout has removed much of the magic, and they are a little more liberal about calling them in a game situation as well.

    That was a beauty game btw, Oilers were defending champs and the Flames were future champs but that night it was all Oil all the time. A real butt-kicking.

  67. Doogie2K says:

    While I realize he was probably just cleaning the blade, Brodziak running the skate perpendicular to his forearm during the intro dressing-room shot looked like a bit of a cry for help.

  68. Bruce says:

    ZACK!!!!!

  69. PDO says:

    Best shift in 46′s life.

  70. Freeze says:

    Storts!!!! Great shift!!

  71. gary b says:

    SCORTINI!

    thas a nice lunbunket kinda shift.

  72. Freeze says:

    Poo!!! Great give and go!

  73. Tyler says:

    I’m at a non-hockey house. Any word on a stream for this?

  74. gary b says:

    that Pouliot, he’s no good.

    POO!

  75. PDO says:

    POU!!!!!!

  76. Bruce says:

    Very nice pass from Cogs there too. Nice chemistry between the two young guns. Love the give and go.

  77. J says:

    this is why this is the most frustrating team in the world

  78. Bruce says:

    Why can’t our centres win a draw 5v3? Just tie the guy up, dammit.

  79. PDO says:

    Because they’re up 2-0, flying, and have a post?

  80. Lowetide says:

    I know it’s just a reflection of being a long suffering Oilers fan (and even that isn’t true, I thoroughly enjoed the glory years) but could they please cash in on one of these PP’s?

    You KNOW 99′s team will get their share of PP’s later on and it’s time to bury them.

  81. danny says:

    hockeystreams.com are streaming the game for free tonight… available in HD

  82. Bruce says:

    The obvious solution is to put Stortini on the powerplay.

  83. Lowetide says:

    He looked good on his goal and that’s for sure. Both have been nice goals from the kids.

  84. Bruce says:

    14 minutes in, and the Oilers still have exactly 1 hit. Guess who? ‘Yotes have 6.

  85. J says:

    no frustrating in the sense where they can look like the western conf. all stars or the dallas stars any given game. this team has more flavors than baskin and rubbins

  86. J says:

    dear santa:
    I want 2 goalies and 46 traded immediately. when is his value ever going to be higher?

  87. J says:

    chop with hop tonight LT

  88. Bruce says:

    I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the linesman wave off icing after the defending player touched up over the goal line. The right call because Hemsky really lollygagged it, but it took Stripes forever to give the sign.

  89. PDO says:

    A) BRUTAL giveaway by Penner.
    B) Cole decided to be invisible again I see.

  90. PDO says:

    No HBOMB… no PBCoach… it’s dead here.

  91. pboy says:

    Pouliot showed some resolve there, shaking off the hit from Moreau and ripping that puck home. Nice to see our Captain taking the body again…

  92. Dennis says:

    I had chances at 8-2 Oil.

    And that was a “real” goal from 78 so maybe just maybe..

    Couple of notes from around the league:

    - Justin Pogge begins his HOF career with a win in Atlanta

    - Brassard lost for the season for the BJ’s.

  93. Lowetide says:

    You know that Bobby Ryan kid (the one Kevin Lowe buried) has his 5th goal (in 16 games) tonight.

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sorry, I was on kid duty, baths and bedtime. After that I needed to chug two beers. I watched the entire period from afar and have it on DVR.

    First comment – Pou is going to get Cogs lots of goals if they stay together.

  95. Bruce says:

    Good job by the kids to lead the way that period. Heaven knows after falling behind 3-0, 3-0, and 2-0 in last week’s three-game losing streak Oilers needed a hot start. The vets have been pretty sluggish but the third and fourth lines delivered the goods. Smid had a solid period as well.

    One other thing: for all his warts, Denis Grebeshkov is a wonderful skater. Gets/keeps the puck moving in the right direction an awful lot.

  96. Bruce says:

    Dennis: That Cogs play on the PK — do you consider it a scoring chance?

  97. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: I’m sorry. This runs counter with Kevin Lowe’s comments. Please re-think what you saw.

    :-)

  98. Lowetide says:

    Dammit POO!

  99. Tyler says:

    You know that Bobby Ryan kid (the one Kevin Lowe buried) has his 5th goal (in 16 games) tonight.

    IIRC, he’s had pretty damned impressive numbers in the AHL. Burke seems to get the whole thing about it making more sense to burn a player’s cheap years when they’re actually ready to contribute; add that to his cap problems and I think that’s why you hadn’t seen him much in ANA. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Burke had been in TO with Schenn at the start of the year.

  100. Bruce says:

    LT: Nic soft hands for a big guy, and showed some real creativity free-lancing couple of times. K-Lowe was just spouting off.

  101. Freeze says:

    Baaaaaahd giveaway Grebs!

  102. Bruce says:

    That’ll teach me to say something nice about Grebs.

  103. Bruce says:

    “Jason Strudwick racing after it”

    Say what?

  104. PDO says:

    Pou could have a trick with any puck luck…

  105. Freeze says:

    man, that 3rd line looks dangerous!

  106. DeBakey says:

    If Schremp were playing
    He’d have had two this period
    Damn Pouliot!

  107. gary b says:

    yeah Strudwick looked like Cogs there for a minute… :P

  108. Bruce says:

    26 +10 + 83 = ugly, at least on that shift.

  109. Jonathan says:

    This genius calls the Hanzal line the “4th line”, and then says that Gretzky wants to match them up against the Horcoff line.

    Think about those two bits of contradictory information before you talk, buddy.

  110. Lowetide says:

    You think maybe Carcillo thought Struwick was a righty?

  111. Freeze says:

    nice tilt.

  112. gary b says:

    i think maybe Carcillo thought Strudwick was Cogliano for a minute, too

  113. PDO says:

    A) Great work by Struds to step in there.

    B) What an ass kicking.

  114. Oilmaniac says:

    Oh Yeah.. Strudwick… props on the beauty fight.. at first i thought he might get away with that… glad to see that isnt the case,.. nice fight!!

  115. Bruce says:

    Way to go Struds. I don’t like guys who fight after clean hits, but that was a fucking cheap shot by Carcillo on Brodziak. Should have been 2 or even 5. Oh well, the players did a good job “policing themselves” that time.

  116. Freeze says:

    boo to the first line.

    why can’t we clear the front of the net?!!

  117. Schitzo says:

    Damn, that was a gong show

  118. Jonathan says:

    I knew that Hanzal was going to be trouble… also, that fickle wench “Momentum” changes sides again… no doubt Matt at BofA died a little inside.

  119. Bruce says:

    Brutal play by Gilbert, followed by an all-out clusterfuck in our end involving five of our highest paid players. Our big guns are really having a tough night tonight.

  120. Freeze says:

    @Jonathan, do you know what’s wrong with OilersNation?

  121. Jonathan says:

    Freeze – no idea, I’m afraid.

  122. Bruce says:

    @Freeze: There’s an open-ended question if ever I’ve seen one.

  123. Derek says:

    Shots 15-2 now in favor of the Yotes on the period. Whats up with all these damn odd man rushes?

  124. Freeze says:

    ahahahaha ah.
    funny.

  125. Coach pb9617 says:

    You should all visit my new site, http://www.fromthepoint.ca. The only stat I track is rushes given away by blocked point shots.

    Right now, Edmonton leads the league.

  126. Lowetide says:

    Could you track Ethan’s dumb plays too? Good grief.

  127. Freeze says:

    frak.

    weak in front again.

  128. PDO says:

    Could we get anything decent for 18 on the trade market?

  129. Derek says:

    Feel free to grab your ginch off the ice Steve.

  130. Coach pb9617 says:

    Could you track Ethan’s dumb plays too? Good grief.

    I have the Google server farm working round the clock on that.

    Also, this team would be in first place if Buchberger were still in the A.

    True or False?

  131. Oilmaniac says:

    ew.. moreau… moreau… moreau…

    er, sorry, i shouldnt heckle…

  132. Freeze says:

    so…

    decent first.

    awful second.

    what team do we get in the third?

  133. Bruce says:

    Hey Sam, 18,000 people yelling “SHOOOOOOOOT!” can’t all be wrong. Letting the clock run out shows a surprising lack of awareness for a guy renowned for his smarts.

    Not saying Sam’s the only one with his head up his ass, just the most recent one.

  134. Coach pb9617 says:

    the new color scheme is awesome. It’s pretty much what I see when I’m drunk.

  135. Bruce says:

    Freeze: the decent first was only from about half the players. The big guns — Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner, Cole, Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert — have brought absolutely nothing to the table in this one.

  136. Freeze says:

    that Pizza 73 guy looks like Stortini’s brother…

  137. Coach pb9617 says:

    @Bruce Re: Sam

    For 35 games now, for 35 games.

    I’m going to start calling Gagner “scope” short for Colonoscopy.

  138. godot10 says:

    Another game that is going to be lost by the penalty killing. This could be the 5th such game, or 10 points.

  139. docweb says:

    Got back from a Xmas function half way through the second period. I have not seen a single positive thing except for Strudwick’s fight. Moreau with the same useless play and penalty followed by more of the same by Steady Steve. Wow.
    Not quite sure what to make of the lines. Is Horpensky back together again? Surely Reddox can’t be Cole’s left winger.

  140. Freeze says:

    @Bruce: truth; but any time we have 2-0 after one, I’ll call it decent.

    The money players are bru-tal tonight.

  141. Coach pb9617 says:

    PJO will run in with his “I hate Lowe speech on Phoenix’s third goal”

    What time will that be?

  142. pboy says:

    How many games this season have Moreau and Staios done this in? Moreau takes dumb penalty after dumb penalty, Staios gets walked around at least 2x a period……you would think the coach or the GM would at least mention that the vets on the team; specifically these two guys are struggling and they need to pick their games up.

    I’m a big Red Sox fan and both Ortiz and Beckett struggles mightily this season but Francona didn’t stick his head in the sand and pretend it wasn’t happening. He talked all season about how those guys were two of the highest paid players on the team plus they were team leaders and they weren’t meeting expectations. When is someone going to do the same for our “vets”?

  143. Coach pb9617 says:

    Is Horpensky back together again?

    Yup and they seem to be skating in slush.

    Surely Reddox can’t be Cole’s left winger.

    Seems that way. He’s been okay.

  144. Freeze says:

    @godot10: or the PP for that matter. 0-4 with one or two shots? terrible.

    Like MacT or not, his PP stinks up the joint consistently.

  145. Traktor says:

    How can someone take 5 penalties a game and still be immune from elimination? The double standard is disgusting to watch as a fan.

  146. PDO says:

    Traktor…

    Talking about 18? Before I say anything :-).

  147. docweb says:

    It just seems as if Moreau is stuck in the “hack and wack” era and can’t escape. Good on him for the effort but you have to use your brain a teensy bit.
    Staios is just lost…plain and simple.

  148. Dennis says:

    - Bruce, yes, I had that as a SH scoring chance because the shot attempt was weak but he got himself in great position.

    - years ago the Oilers started most games down 1-0 because Salo was going to give up a goal that the other tender would not. This is where we are with the PK unit. They have changed a little with some down-ice pressure but they show little-to-no-interest in blocking shots.

    - one of these days one of the kids is going to put fort an uncredited comment about how if 18 wants to lead he should just stop showing up in the papers with his quotes and stop showing up in the penalty box as a result of penalties that aren’t anything but chippy.

    Oilers were leading the chances parade 11-3 at the 16:02 mark but the Yotes have registered nine of the last 11. BTW, I am entering them in the intermission thus the results will be up very shortly after the completion of the game.

    As For the game, I don’t feel good about the Oilers being able to right the ship. They just might have another PKGA in them and the 10 line’s been lagging a little lately and we’ve Already gotten secondary scoring from two of the other lines.

    It doesn’t look promising.

  149. slipper says:

    Moreau had all sorts of options when he had the puck behind his own net, before he chose to do nothing with it, and before he gave the puck up, and before he took another stupid minor. The guy is fucking dead to me.

    I think there was a playoff game against Dallas, way back when the Oilers still had Tommy Salo, where Moreau took 4 minors in one game, or atleast two and a double. I swear, he’s taken a minor penalty in every game he’s played in since then, or atleast it seems that way.

  150. docweb says:

    @Coach: Okay is just okay. Not good I take it.

  151. Freeze says:

    we HAVE to get one here.

  152. Bruce says:

    Here’s the combined contribution of our 7 “money” guys through 2:

    0-0-0, -3
    4 shots, 11 missed or blocked
    0 hits
    7 giveaways
    0 takeaways
    0 blocked shots
    24:08 PP TOI = nuttin’
    8:26 SH TOI = (-2)

    That’s fuckin’ terrible.

  153. Bruce says:

    Whaddya know — it worked.

  154. Freeze says:

    THANK YOU SHELDON! :)

  155. Showerhead says:

    Has anyone else’s sportsnet taken a second 5 minute holiday about now? Mine has been less than a charming guest.

  156. Freeze says:

    I’ll give 89 some credit, he has really been at the net for a few games now. Too bad he isn’t stronger.

  157. Coach pb9617 says:

    It is impossible to stop a Souray slapshot when you cannot see around the largest most giantest ass in the hisotry of the NHL.

  158. Coach pb9617 says:

    @Coach: Okay is just okay. Not good I take it.

    It’s tough to do much when your RW won’t pass and when the C gets the puck he turns it over.

  159. Coach pb9617 says:

    Turris spends a ton of time on his knees.

    Beauty play by Pouliot there. Take the body, shield the puck, curl it in and then flip it clear.

  160. Bruce says:

    Pouliot has been the best Oiler by a wide margin tonight.

  161. Bruce says:

    Jesus Hockey Christ, I swear Souray was clean shaven in the first period, and now he has three days’ growth.

  162. Lowetide says:

    I think you could make the argument that this is Pouliot’s best NHL game.

  163. Oilmaniac says:

    that looked painful.. ouch

  164. Coach pb9617 says:

    Pouliot has been the best Oiler by a wide margin tonight.

    His own zone work has been tremendous.

  165. Coach pb9617 says:

    Cogliano may not be able to win a faceoff, but man does he change the penalty kill.

  166. Bruce says:

    Another penalty … this is big trouble.

    There was a play on that last PK where Staios had a full body length lead on Doan chasing down a puck in the corner, and somehow Doan came away with the puck. Savvy veterans have just got to win battles like that. (And I guess Doan did.)

  167. Derek says:

    LT: Yea it looks like Poo would be a real valuable player if he could keep playing like this AND stop stealing all the valuable playing time from the hockey hey-zues.

  168. PDO says:

    That is a really shitty call.

  169. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sigh.

    Call the interference on Jovanovski. Man, I hate that shit.

  170. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hey look, there’s Dustin Penner.

    Monster shift and it’s about time.

  171. Jonathan says:

    That was a pretty good shift by the first line there – especially Penner; Michalek’s got some wheels and isn’t dumb.

  172. Bruce says:

    If Brodziak ever wants a tough minutes role he has to cut out Rookie mistakes like that one.

  173. Bruce says:

    Horc’s been givin’ ‘er the last couple shifts as well. Better late than never: those guys were all AWOL for 40 minutes.

  174. Oilmaniac says:

    Question:
    Could it be possible that horcoff came off as soft for the first 20 games because he was still feeling out his shoulder.. He seems to be getting more comfortable with the physical aspect (probably called out, everyone called out)…

  175. Jonathan says:

    If I ever here the argument that Pouliot is a plugger again, I think I’m going to freak. Brilliant pass to 13; too bad Cogliano couldn’t pull the trigger.

  176. Jonathan says:

    What’s the consensus on Gretzky’s facial hair – it looks kind of coach-ish, I think.

  177. PDO says:

    The Oilers would be winning this game if they had a real #1 C like Olli Jokinen.

  178. Freeze says:

    MUST capitalize!

  179. Jonathan says:

    This powerplay’s been awful for the last decade.

  180. Coach pb9617 says:

    The Oiler’s emergency option on every play and situation is give it to Lubo and let him save them.

  181. Jonathan says:

    Nice pass, 83, and nice finish, 13.

  182. Freeze says:

    as a long time Pou hater, I’ll come around if he plays like this. I suppose giving him a role that fits his skills could have something to do with it. More MacT genius?

  183. Jonathan says:

    Morris had an active stick too – not much anyone can do about that.

  184. Oilmaniac says:

    stick on the ice, kids.. that cogliano (did they announce that as a horcoff goal???) hahaha

  185. Jonathan says:

    Freeze: Hardly. Schremp and Pouliot looked good with Cogliano, and then MacTavish promptly went back to 12-13-89.

    Still, maybe that brief stretch opened his eyes a bit.

  186. Derek says:

    He lacked the big body presence however, and paid the price.

  187. Coach pb9617 says:

    If I ever here the argument that Pouliot is a plugger again, I think I’m going to freak. Brilliant pass to 13; too bad Cogliano couldn’t pull the trigger.

    If this is the Pouliot that can be depended on for the rest of the year, things change significantly.

    C’mon kid.

  188. gary b says:

    man i love Cogs. all he needs to add to his game is a bit of a mean streak. gonna be a heck of a player.

  189. Coach pb9617 says:

    Blessing in disguise: Cogliano waved out of the circle.

    And a win by Cole.

  190. Freeze says:

    sorry Jonathan, I forgot the [/sarcasm] tags. :)

  191. Bruce says:

    Now I want to see Stortini on the powerplay.

  192. Jonathan says:

    Coach: It’s really too bad Cogliano can’t win a faceoff.
    I like him otherwise.

  193. Jonathan says:

    Gagner “paying the price”. Not to question his gumption or anything, but I’d suggest that having Erik Cole to jump in and extricate you from tough spots helps your bravery.

  194. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: It’s really too bad Cogliano can’t win a faceoff.

    We need some quant on Goring’s early faceoff ability.

  195. gary b says:

    i am so happy there is a house club dance mix version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

  196. Bruce says:

    That’s 5 penalties for Gagner in the last 2 games. Who knew?

  197. oilerdago says:

    Maybe Gagner getting wacked by the goalie will help get him going.

    Very nice game by Pouliot and Cogs.

  198. pboy says:

    That’s 5 penalties for Gagner in the last 2 games. Who knew?

    Bruce, are you saying that the kid is ready to wear the “C”?

  199. pboy says:

    Best game I’ve ever seen Pouliot play. It would be great if he could keep that going.

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