Blues at Oilers, G41/08-09

This is Garry Unger. The Blues stole him from a broken down Detroit Red Wings organization for the last 200 miles of Red Berenson. Unger represented the franchise for most of the 1970s, an ironman who routinely scored 30 goals each season.

The Blues first owners (insurance tycoon Sid Salomon Jr., his son, Sid Salomon III, and Robert L. Wolfson) fixed up a crappy arena and hired the best management people available (a lot of quality men were hired in the 1960s by St. Louis, among them Scotty Bowman, Cliff Fletcher, Jimmy Devallano and Al Arbour) and were easily the class of the expansion division. They were not smart business men and at some point in the 1970s the club (under the younger Salomon) was close to bankruptcy. Emile Francis has often talked about having three employees to run the team but they made the playoffs quite a few times during this era and you still can’t find a former player who’ll bitch about the way he was treated by the club while there.

The Purina era was awful, with the team losing millions and the final straw for the league came when St. Louis didn’t send a representative to the draft in 1983. That’s when Bill Hunter (and Saskatoon) got involved but Harry Ornest stepped in and ran them for a few years. The Blues at that time ran very close to the bone but the players loved playing for the Blues. Seriously. At one point they had a 19-owner group running the joint. St. Louis Blues players love playing for the St. Louis Blues. It’s a tradition that began with the Salomon’s and continues to this day.

Tonight marks the halfway point in the season for the Edmonton Oilers. This has not been a happy season so far, it has in fact been same old, same old and that my friends is causing some commotion in the fanbase. The Oilers are a team that moves slowly during the season and (apparently) it is very hard to trade in the cap era.

I think we should give this thing until the All-Star break. That’s 6 more games. They’ll play the Blues, Capitals, Wild, Avalanche, Coyotes and Blue Jackets in those games and knowing this team as we do there will be little change in the standings.

There will however be a change to the blog. If the Oilers aren’t in 8th (and a clear 8th, no ties allowed) I will devote all of January, February, March and April to:

  • the upcoming draft
  • the HHOF pieces I do from time to time
  • some math stuff
  • prospect updates
  • Columbus

I think I’ll have a good long look at the Blue Jackets after the All-Star break should the Oilers run in place. Columbus seems to have a sense of urgency, there are asses on the line. I know this isn’t news but the Edmonton Oilers aren’t terribly interesting this season. We’ve seen it before. Tickets are getting much easier to get and honestly I’ve passed on a few chances to see games this season. It’ll become the norm by fall unless this mess gets fixed.

Did you hear about Filatov?

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284 Responses to "Blues at Oilers, G41/08-09"

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  1. oilerdago says:

    Tampa is the poster child for re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. No one in that front office knows what they’re doing and with each trade things go from bad to worse.

    Trading Boyle to SJ was the worst thing they could have done and now they’re going to make it worse by trading Vinny.

  2. doritogrande says:

    GAGNER!

  3. Jonathan says:

    The Boyle trade was a good one form Tampa Bay’s standpoint, and I’m convinced we’ll see that in the future.

    It was also a pretty scummy thing to do.

  4. Scott says:

    Inching toward only needing to be 4-1 in order to win Lowetide’s fandom.

    Nice shot by Gagner and a really good cycle by the two of them.

  5. Black Dog says:

    If the Oilers had any sense they’d be all over these clubs in financial trouble.

    Not talking about the huge Vinny contract but the kids who are going to get paid next year or who are already getting paid.

    Tampa, Phoenix, Florida, Atlanta.

    Phoenix especially. They won’t be able to keep those kids together anyways.

  6. RiversQ says:

    Penner is a strange cat. Normally you would guess injury for most players, but Dustin has a history with this kind of thing so it’s hard to say.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Brule draws the penalty… and he’s still getting icetime.

    Interesting.

  8. Tyler says:

    Gagner’s having a nice game tonight. That was a solid shift. Couldn’t tell from the feed I have, but it kind of looked like he got under that one. He just sort of materialized in the slot though.

  9. doritogrande says:

    “The Boyle trade was a good one form Tampa Bay’s standpoint, and I’m convinced we’ll see that in the future.”

    Can it really be considered a good trade if they’ve already traded their major asset from the trade? The first rounder will be somewhere in the 25-30 range, and Ty Wishart will have to be an absolute stud for this trade to work in the Lightning’s favour.

  10. Scott says:

    I think Tampa especially. Phoenix and Florida would do well to push for the playoffs this year. I’d imagine it would mean significant extra revenue, especially if it qualifies them for revenue sharing (if they’re even eligible, the cities might be too big).

  11. Lowetide says:

    Man it would be nice to get a goal here.

  12. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: according to your scale what is Vinny worth? Just the types of players, not names.

    Well, this morning, before the kids were up, I spent time sorting and realized that I’m going to need to eliminate anything made before the 1980s. From the 80′s on, things have been pretty much the same. In the 70′s, stars were traded for ticket stubs and a half of a beer.

    Cocaine must’ve been a helluva a drug.

    Anyway, eliminating the coke binge trades of the 70s, the value moved up slightly for the MVP – HOF players. I’m still working on it and adding more and more trades, but Vinny would fetch a 29 return straight up. A young quality player, an AHL prospect and a first round pick if it were straight. However, few of these deals are ever straight as the team moving MVP/HOF throws in some pieces and gets more pieces back.

    Look at Bure, Francis, and just last year – Hossa.

  13. Black Dog says:

    Brule has gotten a look with Horcoff and Penner too here.

    Good for him.

    Yeah Riv, him and Nilsson are cut from the same cloth I’m afraid. Call it lazy or unmotivated or whatever you want.

    Good game bad game good game bad game.

  14. oilerdago says:

    Jonathan, TB’s biggest problem last season was when Boyle missed the first half of the season due to a freak accident. No one could replace his ability to move the puck or replace the minutes.

    While his +/- was terrible when he got back, I don’t think it was a fair representation of his ability.

    Not unlike Souray the year he was -28 in Montreal.

  15. Black Dog says:

    Scott – Phoenix qualified for revenue sharing last year to the tune of 15 million although apparently their ticket sales are the shits.

    And they still lost thirty million.

  16. Jonathan says:

    Total trade –

    Tampa Bay trades Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich and get:

    Steve Downie
    Steve Eminger
    Ty Wishart
    Late first round pick
    High fourth round pick

    Mostly, I’m thinking they were lucky ot get out from under that 6.7M per season contract for the next five or six years. They were going nowhere anyway, so there’s no sense putting out that kind of money.

  17. oilerdago says:

    Not to turn this into a TB thread, but they made a bad situation worse. Bad contract begets bad trade.

    But again, I think that trade is another example of TB’s management under-estimating the value that Boyle brought to the table.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Brule has played 10:50EV tonight, that’s a nice look and he’s clearly impressed the coach.

    Other EV totals so far include Horcoff 7:45 and Potulny 9:10. Horcoff has played a load of special teams.

  19. Scott says:

    You know, we were praising Murray earlier, but if this was the Oilers third period people would be all over MacT. The Blues are terrible in the third tonight.

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    Couldn’t tell from the feed I have, but it kind of looked like he got under that one.

    He did. The only reason it went in is because it looked like Rip Sewell shot it.

  21. doritogrande says:

    Jonathan:

    You and your damn five assets ;)

  22. Black Dog says:

    Horcoff has had a terrific game ever since that gaffe on the PK.

    And have I said how much I like Smid?

  23. Scott says:

    If Phoenix can qualify and ticket sales are down this year from last, I could imagine qualifying for the playoffs being a pretty important thing (like, worth 15 million dollars), so they might be hesitant to send bodies out.

  24. Black Dog says:

    Oh my god.

    What a play by Gilbert. Did you see that?

  25. Jonathan says:

    DG: Touche.

  26. oilerdago says:

    Up until the last shift, most of this period has been played in St.L’s end of the ice. Good to see them continue to skate tonite and not just sit on a lead.

  27. RiversQ says:

    LT: I love Horc, but that seems like a problem to me. IMO, the Oilers are best served by getting Horc as much EV time as possible. I guess the problem is they don’t have much choice with 83 off the PP and only 51 for PK faceoffs.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Not to be a downer but an insurance goal would be nice. Hopefully Horcoff scoring.

  29. Bruce says:

    The thing about Boyle is that Tampa never paid him a dime of that “bad” contract. They signed him after they unloaded Brad Richards last year, took the “saving” and signed Boyle right away or he was walking as an UFA. So in a sense anything they got for him was a bonus.

    The way they lied to him was bogus, but given they signed him to a $40 MM contract and traded him to a strong contender, Dan doesn’t have a whole lot to complain about. Although I’ll bet he has stories to tell.

  30. Coach pb9617 says:

    That little play by Gilbert was almost like Lubo. Break a two man cycle, spin in, spin out, look up, hit the tape on the break out.

  31. Black Dog says:

    Scott – I think sales are down and they might not qualify for revenue sharing.

    I don’t see them moving guys until the summer.

    Its likely moot anyhow, it appears the league is now paying the bills. There will be no firesale.

    Maybe a draft if they contract the team.

  32. Lowetide says:

    Holy shit.

  33. Tyler says:

    Was going to chime in on Gilbert and the ice being slanted; glad to see that the bases are being covered.

    This hasn’t been a bad looking game. It’s funny, like I said, I agree with LT’s malaise comment but I really felt like last year’s time was quite fluky to be where they were. This year, it’s like every so often you can really see where they want to go and I get hopeful. I still want VT gone, but hopeful.

    Two other random thoughts: As disappointing (not surprising, just disappointing), as Gagner’s season has been, Cogliano’s has been good. Also, I’m pretty sure thta I’d do Horc/Gilbert for Spezza.

  34. doritogrande says:

    I really, REALLY like this version of Erik Cole.

  35. Bruce says:

    BDHS: Right you are about Horcoff, Smid, and Gilbert. That was (at least) the secopnd time that Tom has made a subtle but Elite play to get out of trouble and the puck moving out of the zone with speed.

  36. Scott says:

    WOW! Except that he didn’t score… But he started a chant!

  37. oilerdago says:

    Roli saves the game right there.

  38. Bruce says:

    Master Samwise looked like an apprentice there. Egads.

  39. gerald78 says:

    horrific turnover

  40. Scott says:

    Yikes… as soon as they talk about Potulny being out on the ice, I’m immediately frightened the poor guy will be on for the tying goal. Thanks Roli. You saved that man’s night (and mine).

  41. Jonathan says:

    Tyler, small sample sizes, but here’s Spezza with and without Heatley and Alfredsson, from my ON piece today:

    With Both: 18GF/14GA, 305SF/249SA

    With One of the Two: 5GF/9GA, 207SF/256SA

    With Neither: 3GF/6GA, 41SF/53SA

    Obviously, way more homework is required, but I really don’t think Spezza’s driving the results in Ottawa. And I went into that piece thinking I’d make that trade too.

  42. oilerdago says:

    What would be interesting is to look at teams that might have to unload contract between now and the trade deadline – not because of playoffs but because team finances dictate it (Phoenix, Florida, NYI, Atl). They’ve got assets.

  43. Black Dog says:

    Yeah Ty, Cogliano has really had a nice year.

    At the start of the game Ferraro said that Cogliano and Nilsson have been ok, Gagner not so much.

    I’d say Cogs has been quite good, the other two not so much.

    It would be nice to see Horc win this draw now. He’s lost a few.

  44. Lord Bob says:

    Goals by Brule, Gagner, and Yan Stastny? I’m sorry, I didn’t realise I was watching an AHL game!

  45. uni says:

    I know goalies are supposed to be a wierd breed; but Roloson always seemed a bit odder than the other ducks.

  46. Bruce says:

    MacT called it: we eked out a win over St. Louis.

  47. Black Dog says:

    And he did.

    oilerdago – I think there are two opportunities. One, at the deadline. Secondly this summer. Clubs still in the mix have to gamble they will make the playoffs for the money they might make.

    But then they’ll be moving guys.

  48. Coach pb9617 says:

    That shift by Reddox is the reason he’s up.

    Also, can someone trade a damn goalie so they carry the depth that they should be carrying?

  49. Tyler says:

    That shift by Reddox is the reason he’s up.

    Rob Schremp would have done it better if MacT didn’t hate him.

  50. Dennis says:

    I had the EV chances at 13-10 Stl.

    Here are some individual plus/minus and I’ll post the link so you can check it all out for yourself:

    21: 7/3
    26: 6/2
    89: 7/3

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3032

  51. Lowetide says:

    What’s Schremp making on the farm? 80K? One suspects his contract negotiations this summer are going to be interesting, or more to the point–he’ll be in another organization this time next winter.

  52. delooper says:

    Keep up the pessimistic game day posts, Lowetide. They’re working magic.

  53. Tyler says:

    What’s Schremp making on the farm? 80K? One suspects his contract negotiations this summer are going to be interesting, or more to the point–he’ll be in another organization this time next winter.

    Well the Oilers seem to love the two year, first year two way, second year one way deal with guys in this position. Whether he’ll take it remains to be seen.

    Maybe they’ll shitcan him as a favour to MacT, just so he doesn’t have to answer any more questions about him.

  54. Dennis says:

    Nice to get the win but tonight’s lineup will get smoked on Tues night in wsh and we’ve honestly never been any good there in a long time anyway.

    So, having 83 IN the lineup probably wouldn’t have gotten us a point anyway but with Tonight’s 12 it’s gonna get ugly. I’ll say we then lose in Minny because of the PK and it surely isn’t the shitshow that was trying to win at McNichols Arena – I remember the Monday night game in ’98 when the Oilers Finally won a fucking game there and Scott Fraser scored the winner and Guerin dropped back to play defense – but weird things happen to the Oilers in Col so they’ll lose there as well.

    Then back home to beat the Yotes and BJ”s and we head into the break in 10th place, probably three points out of the playoffs.

    Rinse and repeat and I’ll meet you back here next Sept to talk about Eberle, Sox/Yanks down the stretch and trying to sneak into the 2010 NHL playoffs…..

  55. Traktor says:

    All the problems in Ottawa are due to the lack of puck moving defense.

    I actually made a post before the season started on the Ottawa board that it looked like Murray was building a D core like the 2005/2006 Oilers and to expect Spezza, Heater, and the rest of the forwards to take a huge hit offensively. Sure enough that’s the case.

    Jonathan: If you take a look at Spezza without Heater last year I’m almost postive his numbers were the same if not better.

  56. Dennis says:

    Also, I know VL is high-event but it would be the length of the contract that would scare me away.

    Turtleneck Tomas Plekanc is on the backslide, Higgins is damaged good and young Subban is a young dman who looks like it will take him awhile to learn how to defend.

    I don’t think the Habs would be giving up a whole lot if that was the package.

  57. Coach pb9617 says:

    What’s Schremp making on the farm? 80K? One suspects his contract negotiations this summer are going to be interesting, or more to the point–he’ll be in another organization this time next winter.

    When he’s shipped to Atlanta, I’ll have an extra drink and tip it to the frenzy.

  58. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nice to get the win but tonight’s lineup will get smoked on Tues night in wsh and we’ve honestly never been any good there in a long time anyway…I’ll say we then lose in Minny because of the PK …

    Spahn and Sain and pray for rain?

    The only way out of Washington with two is Theodore’s bi-monthly collapse. He’s due for one, so we’re going to need an extra negative game day post from LT.

  59. Traktor says:

    If I’m Tampa then I ask for:

    Max Pacioretty
    Ryan McDonagh
    Guillaume Latendresse
    Jaroslav Halak
    1st round pick

  60. Lowetide says:

    No, I don’t think he gets that contract Tyler. Schremp’s career path looks like Jani Rita’s right down to the smashmouth MacT quotes:

    “Apparently his presence here is proof the organization feels he’s deserving of a shot”.

    “Time’s running out for him, and the organization as well, in terms of us having to give him a shot, having to give him a look. We have to make a decision on him.”

    “He’s seemingly been at the same state here the last couple or three years. You keep expecting him to progress to the point where he’s established himself as an NHL player.”

    I say he goes at the deadline.

  61. Bruce says:

    Good stuff from the defence tonight, over and above Tom Gilbert’s heady plays with the puck which drew comments earlier.

    – Ladi Smid led the team in shots on goal (!!!) with 4 (tied with Souray) and pinched up the offensive zone boards with confidence. Some nights he really does have a clue in the O-zone.

    – Denis Grebeshkov played a stellar game, skated miles, safe and solid with the puck all night. This young man continues to grow on me.

    – Another guy who doesn’t get much love around here lately, Steve Staios, had perhaps his best game of the season, 3 hits, 3 blocks, +2, and 4:52 on a PK unit that didn’t kill us for a change and even created a couple chances going the other way. He was involved and inspired all night.

  62. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: Good points all round. I don’t know what Murray was thinking – I would have let Redden walk too, but there’s no reason for that team not to have picked up one of the three million available defensemen. Hell, even Schneider might have been a fit if they could have sent salary the other way.

    I’ll try and look into that – Spezza’s a guy I’ve always liked becausethat kind of offense doesn’t grow on trees, but I’ve always thought Alfredsson was the player on that line.

    Halak’s a guy the Oilers should be looking at – this team needs a new goaltender, and I’m not at all sold on JDD as the answer, even though I’m one of the few who figured at the start of the year that he’d have an NHL career.

  63. bookie says:

    If Schemp is done here as many of you seem to suggest, I suspect he will be traded because his is one of those commodities that GMs love to take in a trade, not for hockey reasons, but for public opinion reasons.

    I can just see some Ottawa fan salivating over some Schremp U-tube video out there… It gives the GM the ability to make a trade look better than it is.

    Even the hockey heads in those cities can get excited and say things like “He never really got a fair oppertunity in Edmonton due to….”

  64. Traktor says:

    I was pretty shocked that a team didn’t try to pouch Halak.

    He ended up signing a 2 year deal for around 775k per. Would Montreal match 2.5 million, paying him more than price on a 3 year deal?

    Some team could have snagged a potential franchise tender for a 2nd round pick in compensation.

  65. Lord Bob says:

    So, who’s 2008-09′s Dick Tarnstrom? I’m not sure there is one out there, but if there is, I’m sure somebody will point him out!

  66. Schitzo says:

    Just got back from the game. I told my wife to watch for a hooking penalty by 33 when I saw them out for an own-zone draw. Shows how much I know, it ends up in the back of our net instead.

    Maybe, MAYBE the argument can be made if you’re playing the Stortini-Strudwick wrecking-crew fourth line then an own-zone faceoff is ok.

    But there is no reason a coach with last change should ever have MacIntyre on the ice for that draw. I wish MacT would quit pouting and actually coach the goddamn team again.

  67. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: Yeah, he would seem to be a prime RFA target, but maybe it’s the whole “goalies have no value” thing.

    What do you think of Pavelec? He’s not quite in the same territory, but he’s the other young tender who should be available and might be worth looking at.

  68. Traktor says:

    Jonathan: I haven’t seen enough of Pavelec to really say.

    I’ve heard Atlanta management are pretty high on him though. I get the sense that Lehtonen will eventually be moved to make way.

  69. Dennis says:

    Cam and I were talking about Halak last year while acknowledging that we had to find our next starting goalie and we both thought he was worth a look. But you’re talking about giving that guy 2.5 a year in the hopes that the Habs would walk away because they wouldn’t want to tie up a lot of money in a tandem?

    His career looks promising but he still hasn’t played more than 44 games in a season. I guess you’re idea is that we’re gonna go with a tandem next year anyway and we’ll have a vet type to help him and if he does bomb then he’s not too expensive to buy out. Is that what you’re thinking?

    As for TB, the story was that the deal for the two owners only made sense if they could develop a parcel of land that was also included in the deal but the previous owner had never been able to get it off the ground. Koules and Barrie thought they could and there they went. Now you’ve got the recession and lending is down so that’s probably not gonna work out for them either.

    So I agree with the idea of bringing guys in who are still on entry level pacts and I’d get that payroll down and stop the bleeding. The fans might revolt and stop coming out and you’ll lose gate but you’ll have shed payroll as well and they’ll coime back once you start winning.

  70. relic says:

    If it’s the case that they need to break up lightning I’d go for St.Louis. I realize it doesn’t exactly fill one of the often mentioned holes on the team but he’s a beauty player on a contract that he might even be worth.

  71. HBomb says:

    Traktor: I didn’t get a chance to comment in the thread from yesterday, but you had a very insightful post that got me thinking about the Oilers and Ottawa hooking up, and NOT with Spezza involved (mostly, I think he’d just be a bad fit with Hemsky, and I’m not a fan of having to pay the incremental cost of a player like Gilbert to turn Horcoff into Spezza, upgrade at 1C which that would be).

    - Vermette is a useful player who can play LW and C on the 2nd or 3rd line.

    - To round out the Oilers top-four on the backend, either of Phillips or Volchenkov is the type of player we need.

    - Ottawa needs puckmoving D (i.e. Grebeshkov) and we’ve got a surplus of that.

    - Nilsson’s young and cheap and a Swede – maybe he feeds off some time with countryman Alfredsson.

    Grebeshkov plus Nilsson plus what lands the Oilers Vermette and one of Volchenkov or Phillips?

    To think the Oilers could have had Volchenkov or Frolov instead of Mikhnov in the 2000 first round. Senor Fraser’s final F-U to the organization, I suppose.

  72. Traktor says:

    Dennis: Surely there’s some risk but the reward greatly outweighs it.

    Worse case your overpaying a quality backup by 1.5-1.7 million for a couple years.

    I really feel Halak is legit though.

    I would have went with a tandem to start and slowly increased Halak’s ice until he was ready for the majority of starts. Probably a 50+ game starter by next season.

  73. Bruce says:

    I told my wife to watch for a hooking penalty by 33 when I saw them out for an own-zone draw. Shows how much I know, it ends up in the back of our net instead.

    Schitzo: Yeah, the tripping penalty came earlier. Rough night for SMac: 5 shifts, 1:35 TOI, 2 PiM (penalty type: lazy), 0 hits, -1. Ugh-ly.

    Maybe, MAYBE the argument can be made if you’re playing the Stortini-Strudwick wrecking-crew fourth line then an own-zone faceoff is ok.

    Hard to judge from Strudwick who of course has played a lot of defence, but Stortini has lined up in the defensive zone 51 times this year vs. just 37 in the O-zone. Believe it or not, at 1.38 : 1 Zorg has the second highest ratio of D : O faceoffs on the entire team, behind only his usual linemate Brodziak, who at 150 : 70 is an astonishing 2.14 : 1. But obviously MacT trusts the slugs to start in their own zone.

    Suffice to say that SMac is no Zack.

  74. HBomb says:

    Was at the game tonight. Comments:

    1) Nice night from a lot of guys, especially Gagner and Gilbert. 77 makes some ridiculous plays in his own zone, and I mean that in a good way.

    2) Grebeshkov’s been really good since about the Nashville game.

    3) Brule’s a player, glad to see the kid get his first as an Oiler.

    4) Potulny looked good, the Oilers may have a player here.

  75. Lord Bob says:

    Not only is Macintyre no Zoltron Stortini, I’m not convinced he’s a Lou Debrusk.

  76. RiversQ says:

    Hard to judge from Strudwick who of course has played a lot of defence, but Stortini has lined up in the defensive zone 51 times this year vs. just 37 in the O-zone. Believe it or not, at 1.38 : 1 Zorg has the second highest ratio of D : O faceoffs on the entire team,

    Another way to put this is “Believe it or not, but Stortini has had fewer def. zone faceoffs than every reasonably regular Oiler forward except Reddox.”

    The ratio thing is also not true, because SMac has him by a few percentage points as well. ;)

    But obviously MacT trusts the slugs to start in their own zone.

    Brodziak for sure. The other dudes have had a fair number of own zone faceoffs due to icings too, which has nothing to do with MacT’s choice. Like their GA in the SJ game where Stortini iced it and SJ scored immediately after.

    Stortini also isn’t really seeing the puck move the right direction based on where the faceoffs are when his shifts end. (1.36 Def/Off to start and 1.64 to end, if you like the ratios.)

    That Corsi number per hour TOI is something to behold as well.

  77. Bruce says:

    Another way to put this is “Believe it or not, but Stortini has had fewer def. zone faceoffs than every reasonably regular Oiler forward except Reddox.”

    When you have unbalanced TOI between players, ratios are one way to compare. Could probably do per-60 too, but it would be a bunch of work to probably arrive at the same end result. The point, made in response to Schitzo’s comment about who starts where, was that for his limited ice time MacT is quite confident to use Zorg in his own zone. Way more so than, say, Cogliano, Gagner, or Nilsson, whose Kid glove treatment forces the coach to rely on guys further down the roster to do heavier lifting in the D-zone.

    But since you want to expand on that simple point and look at a bunch of other stuff, let’s do that for a minute.

    The ratio thing is also not true, because SMac has him by a few percentage points as well. ;)

    By golly, you’re right. Didn’t think to check those single digit numbers (12 – 7 = +5 in SMac’s case). So I guess I better rephrase my comment to say that Zorg has the second highest ratio of any reasonably regular Oiler. That’ll learn me. :D

    The other dudes have had a fair number of own zone faceoffs due to icings too, which has nothing to do with MacT’s choice.

    14 icings for, 13 against. It’s damn near criminal how one-sided the play is when our fourth line is out there. The difference is that when the slugs force the other guys to ice it, they hit the bench so that the Kids can come out for the O-zone draw.

    That Corsi number per hour TOI is something to behold as well.

    Welcome to the club of minus-double-digit Corsi:

    Smid -11.9
    Brodziak -12.2
    Reddox -12.4
    Moreau -12.7
    Staios -13.2
    Stortini -14.3
    Strudwick -16.2
    Pisani -17.9
    Schremp -19.7
    Sestito -27.4
    MacIntyre -29.2
    Brule -34.0
    Boulerice -40.4
    Peckham -65.7

    I show the last few just because they’re really something to behold. Minor leaguers aside, there are 8 reasonably regular Oilers between -10 and -18, so why single one of them out as if he’s something exceptional in that respect? The whole third and fourth lines and third defence pair is in the same boat. Returning to the original point, most of the others start their shifts in the offensive zone a greater to much greater percentage of the time, and they’re still getting sacked.

  78. Schitzo says:

    Back to my original point, guys – what “coach” in his right mind thinks SMac is a good idea for an own-zone draw?

    They spend all night rolling 11 forwards, but for some reason THAT was the right time to get 33 an extra 30 seconds of ice time?

  79. Bruce says:

    Schitzo: After last night, I suspect there’s none left. A very strange decision, I agree.

  80. godot10 says:

    //Back to my original point, guys – what “coach” in his right mind thinks SMac is a good idea for an own-zone draw?//

    It is called “player development”. Brodziak is probably the best faceoff option for the Oilers at the moment. So as an aspirational goal, MacT wants his 4th liners to be good enough that he can rely on them to clear the defensive zone, because at some point in the future, one is likely going to be caught with your 4th liners on taking a faceoff in the defensive zone. MacT believes in learning by doing. No amount of practice is going to make SMac reliable in that task.

    MacT will be more careful with SMac now that he has a mark against him. Like I doubt one will ever see it intentionally done in the 3rd period for the forseeable future.

    But I expect that he will still give SMac opportunities early in games against the weaker lines of the opposition.

  81. Black Dog says:

    MacIntyre is beyond a plug.

    Seriously. He cannot do anything except fight, with the one exception that hit he got in against Calgary where I think he got lucky.

    Nice story to see a career minor leaguer get a year in the bigs but he cannot skate, take a pass, give a pass.

    I guess he was playing because of the Backes issues last game against the Blues but him over Strudwick? Come on.

    As for development there is nothing to develop.

  82. Bruce says:

    He cannot do anything except fight

    Eric Godard and I beg to differ.

  83. RiversQ says:

    14 icings for, 13 against. It’s damn near criminal how one-sided the play is when our fourth line is out there. The difference is that when the slugs force the other guys to ice it, they hit the bench so that the Kids can come out for the O-zone draw.

    Well then, when you bump the 14 draws due to icings off of 46′s totals what do we have?

    We get dead even on a team that is -2, which implies that MacT has no preference for putting Stortini out there on own zone draws. Sounds about right to me.

    (the 13 going the other way aren’t really relevant because that relates to where the shifts end)

    Welcome to the club of minus-double-digit Corsi:

    This really doesn’t support your argument either. I mean, “Stortini’s Corsi is terrible just like the other guys with terrible Corsi” isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. There’s a whole whack of Oiler forwards with much better numbers than 46 and this just puts him firmly in the 12-14th forward category where he belongs.

  84. Bruce says:

    Rivers, we are never going to agree on this guy or a whole big bunch of other guys for fundamental reasons. There’s a lot of different ways to interpret things, you twist your numbers one way and I twist mine another. I happen to place a big value on physical play and energy with discipline, all of which Oiler’s 12th forward brings in spades. And as a general rule — not saying you specifically cuz I have trouble remembering who says what — the Statzis like skill and finesse guys that put up what you consider good underlying numbers, primarily based in shots. Whereas to me underlying numbers like 1 giveaway on the season and 0 “lazy” penalties are more likely to grab my attention, especially for a role player.

    Well then, when you bump the 14 draws due to icings off of 46′s totals what do we have?
    We get dead even on a team that is -2, which implies that MacT has no preference for putting Stortini out there on own zone draws. Sounds about right to me.
    (the 13 going the other way aren’t really relevant because that relates to where the shifts end)

    Uh, yeah. That’s exactly what I mean about twisting numers. By this logic every player on the team should be forced to have more defensive zone faceoffs through their own icings, never get offensive zone faceoffs out of icings that they force, and never get offensive zone faceoffs out of icings the previous line forces. The Universe really is a free lunch.

    This really doesn’t support your argument either.

    What argument is that? I was just saying don’t single one guy out for a poor Corsi — as you did — when there’s 8 of them doing the same.

    this just puts him firmly in the 12-14th forward category where he belongs.

    I can certainly agree on 12th forward; that’s exactly where Zorg fits on this team. He brings the club necessary ingredients the skill guys don’t (at least not enough), and he brings skills that MacIntyre doesn’t possess. And — this just in — he’s young and still improving. In 2 years he might make it to 9th forward; for now he’s a pretty effective 12th man who has earned the trust of his coach.

    Plus he has strong bones. :) Pierre McGuire, are you paying attention?

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