Stars at Oilers, G24/08-09

This is Ted Harris marking (and scarring) his man, maybe 1971. The St. Louis player appears to be wearing #11, meaning that the actual victim in the photo is Gary Sabourin. Harris played in Minnesota 1970-73 and Sabourin wore #11 for the Blues the entire time.

One of the books I write after my first two best sellers (entitled “Oakland Seals at the Expansion Draft” and “Bill White Drifts A-Shore”) will be about the 1971 Minnesota North Stars. It’s basically the story of an expansion team that kept acquiring veterans from the Habs in exchange for draft picks until one day the two teams meet in the playoffs.

And the North Stars almost win the damn thing. Seriously. You could look it up. Jude Drouin, Danny Grant, Ted Harris, Gump Worsley and Bobby Rousseau all played well enough to push the eventual Cup champions to the brink of elimination.

In G6, late in the game and down by one goal, North Star center Ted Hampson breaks in on the defense, zips behind them and rips the puck past Ken Dryden as the game ends. Goal judge hits the light but it won’t go on. Hampson tied game 6 a split second after the end of regulation. Only the Habs get those breaks.

I’ve resisted the urge to begin talking about the 2009 Entry Draft because with the Oilers in lottery position it just makes me cranky to think about it. However, as we move along in the 2008-09 season the possibility exists that the Edmonton Oilers will:

  • miss the playoffs
  • retain the coaching staff
  • retain the management group (with Tambellini inert)
  • get another lottery pick

All the while spending near the cap. Amazing. Rob Schremp draws into the lineup tonight. It reminds me of the time the Bay City Rollers appeared live on the Howard Cosell show. It isn’t the Beatles and it isn’t Ed Sullivan but it is a spectacle.

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339 Responses to "Stars at Oilers, G24/08-09"

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  1. Coach pb9617 says:

    Dallas’ power play would take off if Toby was on the point.

  2. slipper says:

    Toby just owned the Oil on the shift after the powerplay.

    I wonder if we could trade for him?

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    Tambo is obviously a “Rag Doll” fan.

    Wait a second. “Sloppy Seconds” is a suspension, but the Oilers are playing freaking “Rag Doll” in the arena? Are you kidding me?

  4. RiversQ says:

    Reaugh is kind of having a rough night. The Dallas broadcast team is definitely circling the wagons around Turco. It’s a little embarrassing.

  5. doritogrande says:

    MacT juggles with the powerplay again. Gagner subs in for Penner why?

  6. Coach pb9617 says:

    Richards or Mike Smith? Hmmmmmm.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Really, RiversQ? I’m enjoying it a whole bunch – because I’ve been there and it’s nice to see Dallas suffer a bit.

  8. PDO says:

    Honest question.

    If Turco became available, would the Oilers be wise to pick him up?

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    MacT juggles with the powerplay again. Gagner subs in for Penner why?

    Penner is fat.

  10. PDO says:

    Dorito:

    Robbie got sent out there too.

    I think MacT is trying to get some guys going.

  11. doritogrande says:

    Erik Cole checked by Toby Petersen.

    Aw man…

  12. Jonathan says:

    PDO: In exchange for what? Because depending on the deal, I’d still say yes.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    If Turco became available, would the Oilers be wise to pick him up?

    Yeah, Mac would roll strong with four goalies :)

  14. doritogrande says:

    PDO: It was Gagner out there at the start of the PP. The Hockey Jesus subbed in for him after Gagner lost control of the zone.

  15. RiversQ says:

    Jonathan: No , I mean I’m getting embarrassed because I was pimping Reaugh here the other day and he’s all out homer tonight.

  16. doritogrande says:

    “Yeah, Mac would roll strong with four goalies :)”

    To hell with that, Turco would be our puck-moving defenseman.

  17. Jonathan says:

    RiversQ: Ah. In your defense, I can see how he’d be a good commentator ;)

  18. bookie says:

    I have a request for all of the People calling Penner fat, lazy, useless, etc.

    Could you post a picture of yourselves so that we can see what a real man looks like.

    I can just imagine how fleet of foot all of you are with all this typing and sitting….

    Sorry, I don’t mind when people say his conditioning is lacking and the such…but fat?

  19. Jonathan says:

    Bookie: Pretty sure it’s a running gag.

    Much like my constant criticism of Garon’s mental laziness.

  20. Jonathan says:

    I think it says bad things about me that for a brief moment I hoped Strudwick was out of the game.

    In my defense, it was only for a moment.

  21. bookie says:

    Jonathan – Pretty sure it’s a running gag.

    Much like my constant criticism of Garon’s mental laziness.

    Yeah, well lets see a posting of your IQ scores buddy…

    Still, I bet that Coach packs a pretty good ponch!

    :)

  22. Lord Bob says:

    Mathieu Garon was never sick, Dustin Penner just ate his goalie equipment.

    Penner can’t screen the net on powerplays because his bulk sucks slapshots into orbit around him and that’s a delay-of-game penalty.

    In the minors, somebody tried to fight Dustin Penner. Using the Jaws of Life, they eventually managed to extract his left skate.

    If a downtown arena is built, the plan to demolish Rexall Place is to have Dustin Penner jump on it.

  23. Jonathan says:

    Bookie:

    I like it when people call me a genius, all sarcastic like, because I’ve taken an IQ test and it was 100, so technically I am a genius.

  24. RiversQ says:

    Hard to believe DAL has $20M on the slab right now. It’s mostly value too which helps explain how bad they are. Goaltending probably explains the rest.

  25. Jonathan says:

    Toby Petersen: On pace for 13 points.

    Bless the man.

  26. doritogrande says:

    Jonathan:

    Now I’m not mensa material or anything, but an IQ score of 100 is average dude.

  27. Jonathan says:

    DG: I figured I’d go for fat and stupid.

    Hence, Kevin of The Office.

  28. Lord Bob says:

    John Tortorella says that getting a lead is important to winning hockey games.

    How can we not fire MacTavish and bring him in?

  29. Jonathan says:

    Lord Bob: Absolutely. If you don’t build a lead, you can’t have momentum.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    RiversQ: Ah. In your defense, I can see how he’d be a good commentator ;)

    He’s like Remenda from the Sharks. When he’s on, he’s very good. When the team is losing, he goes a bit homer, but he’s still okay, better than most. When the game is out of hand either way, he starts talking about really weird shit.

    I have a request for all of the People calling Penner fat, lazy, useless, etc.

    Could you post a picture of yourselves so that we can see what a real man looks like.

    I can just imagine how fleet of foot all of you are with all this typing and sitting….

    Sorry, I don’t mind when people say his conditioning is lacking and the such…but fat?

    Sarchasm

    .

  31. Dennis says:

    The Stars would be losing by at least four goals if Avery were playing.

    Nice non-descript period from the Oil. This should be the point where you know how to clog the N zone and just get pucks in and play the clock for the first 10 min of the final frame and then Dal will either quit or get frustrated enough that they’ll start taking chances and give us a few along the way.

    Rob Shrimp has been working hard and he has great vision and makes nice quick little passes.

    I”d like to see the Oilers go up 4-0 and then Strudwick fuck up large on two occasions and we win 4-1 or 4-2 and then Smid draws back in at LA.

  32. Coach pb9617 says:

    Still, I bet that Coach packs a pretty good ponch!

    6’0″ 178 lbs.

    I’m Riley Nash. Not really, I’m probably angrier and less-skilled. I’m more responsible in my own zone though.

  33. Lord Bob says:

    Goddamn, but that’s how you kill a penalty.

  34. doritogrande says:

    Damn. There goes Garon’s shutout, possibly his confidance, and his position as a starter.

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    Rob Shrimp has been working hard and he has great vision and makes nice quick little passes.

    Skates like he’s in quicksand. Makes Staious seem spry.

    Modano must wipe his ass with oil drop toilet paper.

  36. Jonathan says:

    A goalie with more mental strength would have killed Modano years ago.

    Garon lacks the courage to do all that is neccessary.

  37. Jonathan says:

    Schremp just tried to block a shot.

    Bless him, he’s trying.

  38. Coach pb9617 says:

    Studley Wonderbomb is hilarious.

  39. doritogrande says:

    See, Gagner back on the 1st unit again.

    Where’s the fucking net presence?

  40. Coach pb9617 says:

    *sigh*

    This powerplay won’t work. Gagner in front. Are you effing kidding me?

    Penner must be out of breath from those big macs at intermission.

  41. Jonathan says:

    On the bright side, 44-77 and 71-37 are the powerplay defensive combinations.

  42. Black Dog says:

    Souray winds up and the crowd gets all horny.

  43. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh Sugartits. H.U.A.

  44. doritogrande says:

    Ouch. Another Dallas injury.

    Anyone here familiar with the scenario?

  45. Black Dog says:

    I hate Ribiero.

    The Stars have really cornered the market on douchebags.

    Avery, Ott, Ribiero.

  46. Jonathan says:

    BDHS: Barch.

  47. Black Dog says:

    Cole on the PK.

    That makse some sense.

    I’m sure Strudwick is a great guy and all but my God he is terrible.

  48. doritogrande says:

    You can’t corner the market on douchebags without one Matt Cooke.

  49. Jonathan says:

    Schremp with a nice post-PP shift.

  50. Black Dog says:

    Jonathan – I can’t comment on Barch – I never heard of him until tonight

    I do trust you and your massive brain though so I will say that he too is a douchebag.

  51. Jonathan says:

    BDHS: In fairness, I probably shouldn’t comment either, but he has the reputation.

  52. Black Dog says:

    And Turco, of course.

  53. doritogrande says:

    Oh fuck that zebra. Asshole’s out of the net. That’s fair game!

  54. PDO says:

    I fucking hate how Turco does that shit….

  55. Jonathan says:

    So, how excited is BBO right now?

  56. Lowetide says:

    Schremp has had a terrific game imo. A real quality game, easily the best he’s ever looked with the big club. He looks faster, more confident and more aware.

    Terrific game, good for him.

  57. doritogrande says:

    “So, how excited is BBO right now?”

    Can’t tell. His blog’s all white.

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think Grebs drops acid before games.

  59. PunjabiOil says:

    Stortini was absolutely useless. Yeah, I mean he tries, but more often then not, when he is on the ice the puck is hemmed on the wrong side of the red line.

    The Edmonton Oilers are paying Stortini (650,000) and Roy (500,000) ~ the same amount as what Glencross earns

    Stortini (650,000) and Jacques (550,000) in 2009.

    Fits right in with Kevin Lowe’s personally subscribed ”assets” theory.

    Unfortunately, Lowe failed to distinguish assets and liabilities in practice.

    It’s quite sad, actually.

    GOILERS!

  60. amw says:

    why the end-zone camera. why? WHY???

  61. Black Dog says:

    I do like Cole on the PK.

    I do.

    Ferraro makes it sound like Garon has never played the game before.

    Jesus.

  62. Black Dog says:

    Dallas PP is rotten but the PK has looked good tonight.

  63. PunjabiOil says:

    Can’t tell. His blog’s all white.

    LOL. Stuff like this is why I keep coming back to the ‘sphere.

  64. Lord Bob says:

    We’re up 3-1, the Stars have hardly had a sniff, and am I the only one terrified about this lead?

  65. doritogrande says:

    Who’s wearing #88. I heard in passing that Schremp took that number, but this dude’s playing like he knows two-way hockey.

  66. Lord Bob says:

    Sam. Gagner. Is. Killing. Me.

  67. bookie says:

    The Oilers better get one more goal or I am not sold that his is a good game…

  68. Black Dog says:

    L.B. – nope, me too.

    PJO – I keep coming back for the crabcakes. Try them. They’re fantastic.

  69. Black Dog says:

    Well, three straight good efforts since the L.A. game.

    Weak opposition but that did not matter before.

    Turning the corner?

  70. Coach pb9617 says:


    Unfortunately, Lowe failed to distinguish assets and liabilities in practice.

    It’s awesome how you bust into the comments once a game to yell about Kevin Lowe. OCD much?

    This whole thing was explained to you last time and you chose not to read.

  71. PunjabiOil says:

    Who’s wearing #88. I heard in passing that Schremp took that number, but this dude’s playing like he knows two-way hockey.

    He’s played well, but Liam Reddox looked fantastic in his first game, and has been non-existent in the offensive zone since then.

    That said, Schremp has improved his 5 on 5 play considerably since last year. He’s playing with confidence right now; confidence that was suggestively lacking in previous cup of coffee’s.

  72. mc79hockey says:

    I have a request for all of the People calling Penner fat, lazy, useless, etc.

    Ain’t nobody paying me $4.25MM to do nothing but play hockey and work out.

    Also, this game is a great piece of evidence for the big fight about why the team that wins the ES shooting game has a lower shooting percentage.

  73. Jonathan says:

    Nice pass Brodziak!

  74. doritogrande says:

    Why? Why is it always him?

  75. amw says:

    uh oh.

  76. Lord Bob says:

    Oh jesus.

    Oh jesus.

    Somebody steal Toby Petersen’s helmet or something before he sends this thing to overtime.

    Oh jesus.

  77. Black Dog says:

    Peterson.

  78. Lowetide says:

    Modano has to be one of the top 10 Americans all-time.

  79. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sam. Gagner. Is. Killing. Me.

    I was honestly hoping that head shot would either shake something loose and get his dander up, or would make him sit for a week.

    Edmonton is going to have to retire Modano’s number when he’s done.

  80. bookie says:

    OMG, I HATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM IHATEHIM

  81. PunjabiOil says:

    Well, suck my sideways

  82. bookie says:

    Ok, Breath

  83. doritogrande says:

    Okay, premature scare orgasm from the collective Oilogosphere.

    Bless you Ales Hemsky.

  84. Jonathan says:

    And Hemsky with insurance.

  85. Oil4lyfe says:

    hemsky from niskanen

  86. Lord Bob says:

    We hate him,
    we hate him,
    we hate him,
    and where he goes we’ll boo him,
    we’ll boo him,
    we’ll boo him,
    because he’s Mike Modano,
    Modano,
    Modano,
    and he’s a freakin’ douchebag,
    a douchebag,
    a douchebag.

    whoa-oaoaaaaoaaaaoaaaa…

  87. Black Dog says:

    Good thing that wasn’t Horc. ;)

    Top 15 in scoring in the league for young Ales.

    He has arrived.

  88. doritogrande says:

    Schremp is a great decoy too.

    Gagner gets in on the action finally. Cogliano snipes.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Black Dog: This team isn’t consistent enough to predict the next period.

  90. HBomb says:

    Could someone please make my dreams come true and smash Modano in the face?

    PLEASE?

    Phew. Thank you Niskanen, thank you Ales. 2 point night for 83.

    That SHOULD seal it.

    Ok, now Cogliano from Gagner. That for SURE seals it. 5-2.

  91. bookie says:

    Pass To Schemp, Pass to Schemp…crap

    oh well, still good.

  92. PunjabiOil says:

    Anyone else notice improvement in Schremp’s skating?

  93. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh man, Cogliano’s shooting percentage is out of this world now.

    He told you Mc, he told you.

  94. Black Dog says:

    Where’s Traktor to update us on his shooting %?

    Having said that frigging 13 gets into those scoring areas.

  95. HBomb says:

    Well, it’s only one game….but Rob Schremp looked like an NHLer tonight.

    Mistakes? A few. But some good stuff we did not see from him in the past.

    Progress!

  96. doritogrande says:

    For everyone who questioned Schremp’s skating…he out-hustled Gagner there.

    Um, what?

  97. Coach pb9617 says:

    Modano has to be one of the top 10 Americans all-time.

    Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Modano…

  98. HBomb says:

    Shooting percentage debates aside, Cogliano does have more finish than Todd Marchant. I think we can conclude that much.

  99. Lowetide says:

    PJ: Agree on Schremp’s speed. A fine game for the rookie.

  100. Jonathan says:

    HBomb: Todd Marchant with hands ;)

  101. Black Dog says:

    LT – yes but three straight games? Better, no?

    Fire MacT?

    ;)

    All round good game. And Schremp looks like a different player.

    Nearly 15 minutes in icetime too.

  102. Oil4lyfe says:

    Does Garon get start friday? other than his pass to toby he was solid.

  103. Black Dog says:

    Hbomb – I was worried about you after Modano scored that second goal – afraid we’d be reading baout you in the newspapers ;)

  104. Coach pb9617 says:

    Outskating Gagner is not an accomplishment at this point in time.

  105. PunjabiOil says:

    Whenever Cogliano gets a goal on home ice, the Rexall (literally, crush) patrons shoud yell in unison,

    “Stu MacGregor, you magnificent bastard!”

  106. Graham says:

    clearly, the Oilers’ missing ingredient was Sugartits. The team lacked dudes who can pull off the stars and stripes banana hammock. (Insert Penner is fat joke here).

  107. bookie says:

    I actually don’t think Garon was ‘solid’ tonight, in fact I thought he looked pretty shakey, but that is exactly why he should get another start. Goalies need icetime and wins to get confidence. THey play better when they have it. So let him play.

  108. Jonathan says:

    A little off-topic (except that it’s fun to bug Dennis ;]), but did anybody see Duthie’s column on TSN?

    And you thought Joni Pitkanen was a dressing room cancer.

  109. HBomb says:

    BDHS: If Modano had scored a hatty to tie it, I was heading up the nearest bell-tower.

    Seriously.

  110. Dennis says:

    I like this Bobby Shrimp way more than that Rob Schremp fellow.

    Seriously, the kid played well; almost had a goal in the third period to boot.

    Anyone else waiting for the live feed of MacT’s postgame presser?

  111. Black Dog says:

    hbomb – no doubt in my mind. After each goal I was wondering where you were. I could sense the rage. ;)

    off to bed, its been fun fellows

  112. Lowetide says:

    MacT has to be happy with the effort from the forwards for the most part. Gagner certainly stood out among the F’s as a guy who was turning the puck over but hopefully that late play gets his confidence back a little.

    Horcoff line looks ready to go on a run, Brodziak line has some chem and Pouliot did okay too. Plus Schremp.

    On the D, Grebeskhov looks addled but didn’t he start to turn it around about this time last season? Here’s hoping. A simpler game from the final pairing and Visnvosky’s range factor rivals Ozzie Smith (about 1982).

  113. Jonathan says:

    “Schremp I thought was excellent tonight… and he just played well in all areas.”

  114. Ribs says:

    Modano has to be one of the top 10 Americans all-time.

    Damn Modano…..#1 (excluding goalies)

    I can’t say that the game was entirely fun to watch but I sure like the results.

    Hemsky’s line played an okay game and ended up on top. Penner was impressive when he was using his body tonight. Keep it going, guy! (and get off the ice quicker, ass!)
    Horcoff had some difficulties on the draws tonight. Dallas has two guys taking draws right now and you have to think they work on that pretty hard in practice.

    Speaking of which, Brodziak owned the circles tonight. MacT showing us why he’s the man?

    Kid Line Redux (not Reddox) looked dangerous out there even without Nilsson. I’m surprised that the speed game was still there with the Schrempster winging it. I probably shouldn’t be because Gagner and Cogliano have always had a speed game together.
    Schremp was fantastic, considering. Blew away all previous NHL appearances. It will be interesting to see if he has some sustain. – He also sounded a lot more mature in his interview. Good stuff.

    The Motions line was predictable. Cole had his feet moving and the evidence is growing against him that he has no shot to speak of. Moreau was pretty invisible. Brodz excellent on the dots.

    Visnovsky had some room to breathe tonight and that’s always good. Nice game from him.

    Gilbert looked great defensively. This guy is a true find and tonight’s game illustrated it why perfectly.

    Souray was low-event as well tonight, and that was a good thing. MacT at work again, methinks.

    Garon was good and made some nice saves. Maybe they should play him more often?

    The next two games should be interesting going into the weekend. You’d think they should roll over LA after their last attempt, and San Jose is looking very strong right now. I’d be happy with 1 out of 2 I suppose.

  115. RiversQ says:

    Souray was low-event as well tonight, and that was a good thing. MacT at work again, methinks.

    Huh? He was on the ice for five of seven goals and both ES GA.

    I didn’t think he played poorly, but that is NOT a low event night IMO.

  116. Ribs says:

    Rivers, the only goal he was a part of was the Modano goal and Garon should have had that one. He made a small play on Poo’s goal.

  117. slipper says:

    Brodziak face-off percentage is 52.7% for the season.

    Entering tonight he had taken 51 more defensive zone draws than attack zone draws.

    Winning percentage at home: 68.4%

    Winning Pct on the road: 46.9%

    Short-handed: 41.5%

  118. slipper says:

    I can only remember two events from Schremp’s last game as an Oiler: he drew an offside on the powerplay and later he fell right on his ass on the red-line. Then he was never seen from again.

    Tonight he blew the lid off all and any expectations I had for him. Atleast for one night.

  119. Bruce says:

    Tandom catching up post-game:

    RiversQ put up a defense of Staios (in the context of Staios and Strudwick vs. Staios or Strudwick) at IOF, which is well worth the read.

    Indeed it was worth the read, in fact if i had read it earlier I wouldn’t have needed to write what I did. Good stuff, RQ.

    was it Cole or just a poor start for them? Hemsky took off when, game seven or eight?

    Hemsky took off Nov. 1 in Carolina, which was the very game that Penner was moved onto his line. Coincidence, or not?

    To my eye Penner is by far the best option for 10-83 and 10-83 are by far the best option for Penner. Dustin is at his most effective in the most offensive zone, and is a force without the puck. He proved it again tonight, especially in a strong first period.

    Penner is also presently 3rd in EV Pts/60, 1st in GA/60, 1st in GF/60, 3rd in Corsi, and 1st in PP GF/60 (albeit in limited time seeing as hisn role on PP has been epxanded only in the last 6-7 games).

    Right on. Penner’s numbers have been excellent at EV and PP all year. Why he has played more time on the PK — where he has been pretty much terrible — than on the PP is a question best asked Craig MacTavish.

  120. Schitzo says:

    So how good is this team potentially if we swap Reddox and Stortini for Nilsson and Pisani?

    Not a lot of thuggery, but if this team makes it to the playoffs that’s the sort of depth that goes places

  121. HBomb says:

    So how good is this team potentially if we swap Reddox and Stortini for Nilsson and Pisani?

    Hmmmm….noting chemistry betwen 13, 26, and 78, as well as (apparent) chemistry between Pouliot and Schremp AND alleged chemistry between Schremp and Nilsson back in the AHL once upon a time…..in order of difficulty of matchups:

    Penner Horcoff Hemsky
    Moreau Brodziak Pisani
    Cogliano Pouliot Cole
    Nilsson Schremp Gagner

    Intriguing. MacIntyre in the bullpen for the night’s he’s needed and maybe some Gilbert Brule there too.

    Back to the AHL with Reddox and bye-bye HuggyBear. I like it.

  122. Bruce says:

    HBomb: re: “HuggyBear”. Did you happen to notice the marathon scrap he had with Kris Barch the other night? A real ding-dong affair, easily over two minutes long (I had to hit my 15-second rewind button 9 times!), and all the while deBrusk was saying how Barch loves long fights and gets stronger as they go on and all the while Zack just hung in there and both guys kept throwing bombs. I don’t know what the fuck you want.

    No rematch last night, but in the third Stortini absoulutely ran over Barch with a ten-bell hit. While he played a fine game, I didn’t see Robbie Schremp doing any of that sort of heavy lifting.

  123. HBomb says:

    Bruce: to me, it comes back to the same argument every time.

    1) You can’t have both in the lineup at the same time.

    2) I’d rather have 3 minutes of MacIntyre and an extra 7 minutes for Hemsky, Cole, etc. than 10 minutes of Stortini.

    And beyond this, MacIntyre is simply a better fighter. When he gets back, I cannot see a reasonable need for Stortini, unless he starts channelling Chris Neil.

    If we want a secondary fighting option, go get a guy like Steve Ott, who can chuck ‘em with the middleweights AND play a little hockey.

  124. slipper says:

    Zach has been painfully exposed this season, B. You made a compelling argument for the kid once upon a time, but all those flaws in his game have caught up to him

    He’s skated 6 minutes a night against the worst possible opposition and basically is on the ice for a goal against every ten minutes. He’s ultra-sheltered, which must be a pain in the coach’s ass given that he has to shelter about 6 other forward. In the case of those players though, there is am pay-off in that they contribute something, whether it be some… no, make that, any offense, or face-off ability.

    Stortini doesn’t kill penaltiies, he hasn’t drawn penalties, he doesn’t take face-offs, he doesn’t score goals or create offence, and he doesn’t prevent goals.

  125. Schitzo says:

    For me, I just prefer to look optimistically at the playoffs, where guys like LeGG get sat and having 4 lines of real hockey players is an asset in triple overtime.

  126. Doogie2K says:

    MacT juggles with the powerplay again. Gagner subs in for Penner why?

    I was wondering that, too, but it only seemed to happen for half the shift; like he wanted to get Gagner a few extra seconds on the PP and see if he could kick-start the results engine.

    why the end-zone camera. why? WHY???

    I like it, actually. You can see the shooting lanes open and close really well with it. Tells me when to yell SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

  127. Jonathan says:

    In fairness to Stortini, he’s been getting tossed into the same defensive zone/offensive zone nightmare as Brodziak and Pouliot. Pouliot’s had it easier, and Brodziak harder, but all three haven’t been put into offensive situations.

    One of these days, I’d like to see a study on the effect of zone position vs. the effect of opposition calibre. I’m coming around to the idea that the former is much more important than I’ve previously suspected.

  128. Schitzo says:

    I like it, actually. You can see the shooting lanes open and close really well with it. Tells me when to yell SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

    It leads to a new appreciation for Penner’s fat ass, too.

  129. slipper says:

    “effect of zone position vs. the effect of opposition calibre.

    I’s expect to see an inter-relationship between the two, atleast at the far ends of the ice.

  130. Kris says:

    Bruce:

    Do you think any of the 10 top ten teams in the league would give Stortini any minutes?

    I don’t mean to be facetious, snd I agree that Stortini can play; I’m just not sure we couldn’t fill his spot with someone who helps the team even more.

  131. Bruce says:

    You can’t have both in the lineup at the same time.

    HBomb: I was responding to your preferred lineup. That group would be exposed, physically. A handful of guys (Moreau, Cole, Penner, Pisani, maybe Brodziak) who can look after themselves, and a whole lot of smallish, softish guys like Horcoff, Hemsky, Cogliano, Nilsson, Gagner, Pouliot, Schremp. Among the 12 of them, nobody outside of the captain with a history of going to bat for a teammate.

    MacIntyre in the bullpen for the night’s he’s needed

    Which nights are those? and how do you know IN ADVANCE when he’s (not) going to be needed?

    And beyond this, MacIntyre is simply a better fighter. When he gets back …

    When he gets back from the broken face he received in his last fight. How the hell can you say he’s a better fighter when in his second test against a legitmate fighter he got his fucking head handed to him? Stortini went with Godard too and never got his face broken. Zack also went with a long list of other guys like Boogaard and Koci and Ivanans and their scary like, and not only has he survived, to my eye he is clearly improving as a fighter. He left Colton Orr with his lips bloodied a while back, and that Barch dust-up was one of the best in the entire league this season. In both the Orr and Barch scraps Zack landed easily the best punch of the fight. Whereas it’s safe to say that MacIntyre did not land the best punch of the Godard fight.

    So instead of judging by reputation, why not try watching the action?

  132. Dennis says:

    A good night last night for the PK and things will pick up if 51 improves on the PK draw and Garon’s the guy again and can come close to his Sv PCT from last year. Though I imagine the big problem is we’re no longer blocking as many shots as we used to and I don’t know if or how that will change.

    If the incumbants aren’t getting it done then it makes sense to get rid of two of the 4th line last night and find two vets who’ll kill penalties and block shots.

    Maybe Dowd and Devereaux types? The Oilers are getting like a HF wet dream with all the kids and that’s all well and good if they can kill penalties but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    I, too, am aware that 78′s played with 88 and that 12/88 played together in SF so if you took out 46/85 from last night and inserted 12/34 then you’d have a team that would at least look good on paper in terms of former 1st round picks.

    But someone’s gotta kill penalties and I don’t think this team will ever been good enough at EV plus PP to make up for just how bad they are on the PK. Right now we’re rolling 10-18-51 and 26 is new to the game. 85′s been abandoned, 27-89 aren’t being used much anymore and 78 wasn’t given much of a crack to make an impression.

    So where’s the penalty killing gonna come from?

    Terrible special teams murder me because it’s guarenteed stress time. You know when the Oilers take a penalty that it’s white knuckle time and not just because they’re 4-on-5 but because they always give up Grade A chances.

  133. Bruce says:

    Do you think any of the 10 top ten teams in the league would give Stortini any minutes?

    Kris: Let’s put it this way: I think at the rate he is developing, in about two more years he will be good enough to play for any team in the league. Right now he is good enough to play for a team that needs what he brings, and I would certainly include the Oilers on that list. And maybe some top 10 teams, I dunno, I’d have to look at the rosters.

    The names of Steve Ott and Chris Neil were raised, and those guys aren’t bad comparables. Neither of them was the Ott/Neil we know and hate when they were first breaking in, and in both cases it was after 100+ games in the minors. Just like Stortini, even though one was a first-round pick and the other a sixth-rounder. Not too many Milan Lucic types out there who can just break right in to the bigs as a tough guy or an agitator without going through the school of hard knocks at the minor league level first. And then going through it all over again their first couple years in the show.

    Check them out and compare. Note where those guys were in their 22 and 23-year-old seasons, and look how they developed from there. A little bit of scoring, and a whole lot of other stuff, and they are useful players that could make almost any roster in the league.

    Trouble is, Stortini has to get in the line-up to keep improving. That’s how Ott and Neil improved, and that’s how Zack improved as much as any player in the NHL in 2007-08. It aggravates me to no end that MacT has given any of his ice to the likes of SMac and Bowl-o’-rice, in the same manner that I’m totally ticked that Smid’s ice is going to Strudwick. To me these are signs of a coach who has lost sight of the future, and are amongst the most disturbing developments of this early season.

    PS: Slipper, those are good points but the sample size is way too small. It’s tough enough to produce in 6-8 minutes, but when that becomes 2 minutes every other game it’s virtually impossible. As I suggested to our genial host at report card time, my grade at this point is “incomplete”. Unfortunately.

  134. Kris says:

    Bruce:

    You say, “…at the rate he is developing, in about two more years he will be good enough to play for any team in the league.”

    But this is only half of the truth; Stortini developed last year and has slid back this year.

    And yes, it’s possible that Stortini will turn into Ott or Neil. But it’s also possible he won’t. You must admit giving him playing time instead of bringing in a 4th liner who can help a bit with the PK this year is a gamble.

    And I’m not sure the payoff -the chance of developing an Ott style player- is worth the risk of missing the playoffs because of bad PK’ing.

  135. Oilman says:

    I remember the Oilers practicing the shot blocking with the rubber pucks all the time under MacTavish and the only reason I can see for the change revolves around MacT’s coaching/game strategy planning. Perhaps the injuries to Moreau and Staios in recent years has changed the coaches thinking a little – perhaps thinking leave the shot blocking for the playoffs? I can’t see the guys playing on the PK if they are refusing to bloc k shots. It’s not like they’re out there trying to block and not being successful, they just don’t do it at all. And the 3 examples of blocked shots in my recent memory are of Sestito, Reddox, and Shremp….I think “active stick” is the new MacT philosophy.

  136. quain says:

    Oh, God, I had this horrible dream where we relived the same arguments over and over again… you were in it! And you… and you… oh God, it wasn’t a dream was it?

  137. Ender says:

    Speaking of repeating arguments, I just realized that with all the “fire MacT” and Burke to the Leafs talk, we let our eyes drift from what’s truly important.

    What’s going on with Sundin?

    Seriously people. Priorities.

  138. Bruce says:

    Sorry, Quain, some of these discussions, not to mention players, take time to develop.

    Kris: Perhaps it is easier for a tough guy/agitator to make a top team like Ottawa or Dallas used to be back when our comps were breaking in, where it’s not life or death to make the fucking playoffs. But it’s still beside the point: unless you’re bringing in a tough guy who can also kill penalties, or a penalty-killer who can stand up for his teammates, you’re talking apples and oranges. Otherwise your new PK guy replaces one of your current (theoretical) PK guys, and you’re still going to need that physical element. So Jim Dowd takes Marc Pouliot’s spot, not Zack Stortini’s. (And for the record, I’d be against that as well, because Poo too is a developing young player.)

    This 2008-09 team should always have been about “next year” (Louise version), it’s a building club and short-term band-aids like “Dowd”, Boulerice or Strudwick aren’t going to be around by the time this team is any good. Of course it would be an important step in that development to make the goddam playoffs, and I’m not trying to sell that short, just keeping my eyes on the prize.

    If we really want a band-aid, maybe we should bring in Brendan Shanahan, and now we have a respected tough guy who can score, grind it out a bit, and who is experienced enough as a PK and a RH faceoff specialist that he could take some draws in our end and stay out there without hurting us until we can clear the zone. Of course, I’m really wanting the Brendan Shanahan of five years ago, and I don’t think that guy is available.

  139. Kris says:

    “This 2008-09 team should always have been about “next year” (Louise version)”

    If we’re worried about next year, we might want to try doing some winning this year.

    After all, nothing breeds success like success does.

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