Canucks at Oilers, G39/08-09

I posted this photo of Thomas Gradin in December when there was a chance Mats Sundin would be a Canuck. Now that Sundin has signed (and may well play in tonight’s game), I wonder if Sundin can help Vancouver as much as Gradin did in 1982.

My guess is more, and Gradin was a terrific player.

The NW division is once again completely insane. After last night’s action the Flames are a distant bell, you can see Vancouver on a clear day and Minnesota, Edmonton and Colorado are among a group of 9 teams fighting for the final three spots in the western conference.

A win tonight would go a long way.

For those who don’t live in Edmonton, I can tell you the Reddox Vs. Schremp debate is raging in our town. It seems the latest hot button item has the coach not seeing the forest for the trees in regard to his love for Liam “Toby Petersen 2.0″ Reddox and his pure hatred for Schremp.

I don’t think that’s the issue here. The issue is that MacT appears to be ready to match lines and shorten the bench and his go-to group includes people like Andrew Cogliano. Cogs had a nice rookie season and has some sustain in year 2 of his NHL career.

The game against NYI the other night gave those who believe that MacT would rather play a veteran no-talent than a kid didn’t have the facts on their side:

  • Gagner 16.45
  • Cole 15.16
  • Nilsson 15.07
  • Cogliano 14.32
  • Penner 13.35
  • Horcoff 13.28
  • Pouliot 13.04
  • Moreau 13.00
  • Brodziak 9.43
  • Reddox 9.17
  • Stortini 8.48
  • Strudwick 8.48

So, for those who would like Schremp re-called, I have a question. The “Schremp minutes” in this group are taken by Gagner and Nilsson (Cogs is taking on a different role from what I can see, he’s not seeing as many Tomas Pock minutes–correct me if I’m wrong) so which one do you rest to play Schremp?

Meanwhile, Liam lined up with Horcoff and Penner early against Comrie, Comeau and Okposo. NYI defenders were Brendan Witt and Freddy Meyer. It looks like the Islanders had the Josh Bailey line on early but dumped out 7 seconds into the shift in favor of the forwards above. With Horcoff injured I’m not certain who thought they were making hay but still and all Reddox is on the ice with some decent hockey players.

I think he’s making progress and that’s worth diddly squat. What does have value is the opinion of the head coach, who remains onside at this point with Liam Reddox. I thought he’d be sent back down a few weeks ago for seasoning; with each additional game (especially when he’s out there against actual players) Reddox is gaining clearance on Schremp as an NHL player.

He’s up to about 60 at-bats now. If he gets to 100 and is still here, the Edmonton Oilers may have a player.

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344 Responses to "Canucks at Oilers, G39/08-09"

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  1. hunter1909 says:

    How about Nilsson?

    He’s borderline useless.

  2. Rod says:

    There’s several issues with the concept of Reddox lining up with 10-27…

    To many eyes, Schremp showed a quite a lot during his recent call-up. I wasn’t expecting much at all (haven’t exactly been a Schremp fan myself). The coach even saw it too. MacT said something to the effect that Schremp needs a top 6 spot, but at that time, there wasn’t room…the first injury though, and he’d be getting a call. Short memory I guess.

    I can’t fathom how Reddox is a good fit on a top line. While the kid has tons and tons of try, he just doesn’t have the skill level. Unfortunately that one goal in the first game alongside 10-27 has masked the issue. Somehow MacT ignored the multiple botched chances for the one that did bounce in.

    My only guess is the coach thought Hemsky would be out only a game or two. Now that it’s turned into something longer, Schremp clearly should get the call.

  3. HBomb says:

    You know what the best solution is to me?

    1) Put Nilsson back with 10-27….he’s got the most “similar” game to Hemsky, and he had some success with HorPen last season, IIRC.

    2) Put Cogliano with Gagner and Cole – he’s shown chemistry with both these guys on separate occasions.

    3) Brodziak at center with Moreau and Pouliot – as long as Hemsky’s out, abandon power vs. power and try to give these guys at least some of the tough assignments – see what 51-78 can really handle

    4) Reddox on the 4th line with Strudwick and Stortini. 85 sees some PK time.

    I know it messes with what sort-of has been working, but even though Reddox has shown he’s an NHLer, he’s still out of the Toby Petersen tree and should NOT be on your top two lines.

  4. HBomb says:

    As for tonight’s game….the Canucks are still a bunch of fairies and I want the Oilers to pound the piss out of them, especially considering they’re “sans Bobby Lou”.

    However, good news for Alex “Le Grande Douche” Burrows….he’s officially dropped to number three on the list of HBomb’s Hated NHL Players. Currently, Jordin “No Talent Sideshow” Tootoo has a slight lead over Corey “Phoney Overrated Whining Mouthpiece” Perry. Following these three are Matt “I Stuck My Knee Out By Accident” Cooke and Jarko “Mike Tyson” Ruutu.

  5. GSC says:

    Oh Curtis Glencross, where are thou?

    Could we ever use him right now…

  6. goldenchild says:

    I read some stuff over at HF yesterday and I have to say I cant remember a time where the level of discourse was lower. Good lord.
    Its the same dumb argument made by the same group over and over again that MacT “favors players that play like him” even though most of the people making the claim prob never even saw him play. Of course the Weights,Hemsky’s and Gagners play nothing like Mac, and never seemed to have any issues but those examples are apparently inadmissable.

    Horc is needed to play those PVP shifts, it doesnt take a genious to see the roster is thin on guys that can be trusted in that role and while Reddox isnt taking every shift with 10 and 27 he seems to be holding his head above water wich is a pretty good result at this stage of his career. But he wasnt a first rd pick, he doesnt have youtube videos of playing hackey sack so he must obviously be shit and top out as a 4th liner. I would like to see Poo get a shot there and if Row-bert has some jump maybe a couple of shifts with him there wouldnt be a bad idea but Reddox is delivering what is asked of him. You could use Cole but 89-26 are getting results vs easier comp why rock the boat there.

    as far as the game they better win or I gotta buy lunch tomorrow.

  7. dawgbone says:

    Rod, pay attention to the article.

    Reddox is not getting top 6 minutes.

  8. HBomb says:

    goldenchild: Yeah, certain guys are always going to get dumped on at HF and Oilfans. It’s just a fact.

    Given that I think crap like “Horcoff’s nothing but a glorified third liner” is among the most uninformed statements that a hockey fan could make, I’ve just stopped reading the fanboards altogether. Too much garbage to try and sort through just to find the good stuff, unfortunately.

    Here, it’s the opposite. The occasional “WTF?” comment is buried in between 20 thought-provoking ones.

  9. HBomb says:

    Also, one note – the reaosn I’m suggesting “shuffling the deck” is that I think Hemsky’s probably out of commission until the All Star Break at this point, and they need to get two scoring lines and a checking line going.

    This is where having “seven guys who can play in the top six” is supposed to help.

    If they can make it through to getting Hemsky and Pisani back (I’d assume that those two draw in for Reddox and Strudwick), this team won’t be in bad shape:

    27-10-83
    12-89-26
    13-78-34
    18-51-46

    Or something like that.

    GSC: The Oilers could use a stay-at-home d-man and a gritty LW right now (beyond the obvious need at center). I think the fact that two of the team’s biggest needs are commodities that Lowe let simply walk away as UFA’s (Glencross and Hejda) the past two summers is what makes it hard to watch whenever I see either of those guys on TV.

    And honestly, Hejda burns more than Glencross. Imagine a Hejda/Visnovsky pairing to complement Gilbert/Souray? That’s a pretty nice top four. Not that Grebeshkov hasn’t been good lately (last week might have been three of the best games I’ve seen out of the guy as an Oiler), but this team is flush with puck-movers and could use someone who’s more of a “stopper”.

  10. Rod says:

    HBomb, I definitely like those lines better than what we saw vs. the Islanders. No reason to think a Schremp call-up would be an improvement over that lineup.

    Meanwhile, Reddox in the top 6 is just asking for people to scream at the coach. Just when we think he’s done with the square peg, round hole madness from earlier this season, he trots out yet another experiment that doesn’t stand a chance of working out.

    Didn’t see the HF stuff, but as for head above water stuff…I’m pretty sure 10-27 production has dropped off a cliff (EV). GA side of the ledger hasn’t improved either, so I’m stuck wondering how Reddox is seemingly the only choice for MacT. Now, that’s just my take looking at end of game stats (e.g. they were slaughtered vs. the Flames, generated squat vs. a giveaway happy Islander squad). Whether that falls in line with the more complete / in-depth EV numbers I don’t know…

    dawgbone: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Reddox is getting the EV shifts with 10-27. On this team, that’s a top 6 line. His total minutes didn’t add up to top 6, but I’m guessing that’s because he doesn’t get a sniff on the PP (so he’s not Toby Peterson II…phew). What about EV time? He’s gotta be close there (though the 4th line played more than usual vs. the Islanders). Besides, the Islander game was the low water mark for 85′s ice-time since 83 went down. Not entirely accurate to use it as a yardstick for what’s been happening the last few games. My contention is that Reddox’ minutes with 10-27 could be better used by someone else. See HBomb’s lineup. There’s options other than 85 with 10-27. That’s the point.

  11. Bryanbryoil says:

    Yes, Reddox is gaining clearance on Schremp because the longer that he plays up here and the longer Schremp doesn’t the more people will forget what Schremp is capable of.

    Honest question, what more should Schremp have done to deserve another callup? MacT at camp said that if he played well enough they’d make room for him somewhere. He didn’t at camp, but did when it counted in the regular season.

    Where would Pouliot be right now without his previous NHL experience? Why does every other near NHL level prospect get a shot but Schremp doesn’t? Other than Potulny (who is waiver eligible) no significant Oilers forward prospect on the farm has been given a lesser opportunity than #88.

    You talk about at bats regularly LT, well Schremp looked like Kevin Mass for 2 games, and unlike the Yankess, the Oilers haven’t given him a chance to see if he can come close to sustaining it. Unlike Maas, IMO he can, he just needs a chance.

  12. Bryanbryoil says:

    Rock-”HBomb, I definitely like those lines better than what we saw vs. the Islanders. No reason to think a Schremp call-up would be an improvement over that lineup.

    Meanwhile, Reddox in the top 6 is just asking for people to scream at the coach. Just when we think he’s done with the square peg, round hole madness from earlier this season, he trots out yet another experiment that doesn’t stand a chance of working out.”

    Nilsson-Horcoff-Penner
    Schremp-Gagner-Cole
    Moreau-Cogliano-Pouliot
    Strudwick-Brodziak-Stortini

    What’s wrong with that lineup?

  13. Bruce says:

    Rod: I’m pretty sure LT’s list in is just even strength TOI.

  14. goldenchild says:

    Hbomb I read HF maybe once a month mostly just to see if its getting better or worse and each time it seems worse.

    Poor Dawgbone is John Rambo over there a 1 man Army of common sense but the Shremp Army has little time for his numbers or ‘facts’ I don’t know how you do it you must have the patience of a Buddhist Monk, I would just end up calling them a bunch of jerk-offs.

    Hbomb I love the idea of 34-13-78 when Fernando comes back i think thats a line you can use in a lot of diff situations, and gives 18 less minutes to get dumb slashing penalties.

  15. doritogrande says:

    “I can’t fathom how Reddox is a good fit on a top line. While the kid has tons and tons of try, he just doesn’t have the skill level.”

    The Peterborough Petes might believe otherwise Rod. Let’s not forget this kid was a junior sniper. He had to redefine his game last year but scoring touch should still be present if he can find it workign with good linemates. That said, do I think he’s top-line material at this point? No. H-bomb’s top-2 lines make perfect sense to me, but I’d rather see both Brodziak and Pouliot in their natural positions if it were up to me.

    Moreau-Brodziak-Reddox
    Strudwick-Pouliot-Stortini

    Flip the C’s if you wish, but that makes more sense to me.

    Doesn’t the NHL have some sort of baseball-comparable DL, whereby we can retroactive Hemsky’s injury and call up another player? I seem to remember the bosses saying that if a top-6er went down, Schremp would be the guy. Well…Hemsky’s down, and SURPRISE!

  16. Bryanbryoil says:

    Dorito, he was not a sniper. He scored most of his goals ala Ryan Smyth. That is the type of offense that he’d bring at this level as well. My idea of a sniper is a one shot goal scorer.

    He was also dropped down the depth chart the next season and started playing on the point. That doesn’t make much sense since he doesn’t have a big shot and his offense is mostly generated around the net.

  17. mc79hockey says:

    Honest question, what more should Schremp have done to deserve another callup?

    Take a look at the gamethread here from his last two games as an Oiler. There was a strong consensus that he wasn’t moving his feet and was consistently behind the play. It wasn’t just guys like me who notoriously don’t think that he’s much of a prospect either; lots of other fellows were making the same observation. I distinctly remember a beer league play where he was basically standing in the neutral zone, hoping that someone would poke the puck to him. The points were nice, but they weren’t going to keep coming at the rate that they were coming and there were, IMO, some continuing obvious defensive issues.

    Where would Pouliot be right now without his previous NHL experience? Why does every other near NHL level prospect get a shot but Schremp doesn’t? Other than Potulny (who is waiver eligible) no significant Oilers forward prospect on the farm has been given a lesser opportunity than #88.

    Well, Schremp might well be on the roster if the Oilers weren’t carrying three goalies at the moment. It’s important to remember that there’s a little bit more too it than just who deserves a spot – MacT said as much earlier this year when he referenced the entry level contract issue.

    I’ll confess that I have a hard time seeing your complaint here BBO, in terms of exposure to the NHL. Pou got 8 games as a 20 year old. He got 46 when he was 21, sure, but the team also blew up that year. Horcoff didn’t make the Oilers until he was 23. There simply aren’t a lot of guys who’ve gotten a push with the Oil before age 22 or 23 during the MacT era.

    As far as Reddox v. Schremp goes, there’s a bit more to it than just a top 6 spot. Top 6 with 27-10 is different than Top 6 with some combination of Gagner/Nilsson/Cogliano. You’re actually going to have to play against people. I appreciate that the coach said “Top 6, we’ll bring him up” or words to that effect, but with some of the other lines starting to gel and the Oil presumably hoping that Hemsky is back shortly, I can see the logic of just trying to run in place with 10-27 and the question being who’s a better fit to play with them rather than juggling the lines to give Schremp a chance to slot in with the soft minute boys. I know I’ve said this before but this team is not run for the benefit of Rob Schremp and it’s certainly not like he’s run out of things to work on in the AHL.

    Circumstances are a funny thing. He’s benefitted from them before, in London, when he was getting ice time poured on him and building his rep. He hasn’t had particularly favourable circumstances in Edmonton but I have a hard time seeing where a lot of those are on the coach – I’m pretty sure MacT doesn’t want to be carrying three goalies and blowing a roster spot this year.

  18. Scott says:

    Bryan:

    Just because I’m a nit-picker, Potulny is not waiver eligible if we’re talking recall waivers (due to his salary). He’s only waiver eligible on the way back down.

    Also, you watch the games, has Schremp been as bad as his stat line says since he went back down?

  19. DBO says:

    just a note. Souray named to all star team, but no hemsky. As per TSN

  20. quain says:

    If I were interested in Schremp being called up, I’d be a lot more upset that he didn’t get a ring when Nilsson was in the doghouse than I am now. As MC explained, it’s pretty reasonable (or, at least, understandable) how the roster is being handled now, with how MacT wants to run out the lines.

    And, if Schremp is that bloody interested in beating out a guy like Reddox, why doesn’t he get it done? For all the bitching about MacT’s love of hardworking skill-less hacks I’m going to guess he’d play a guy with tons of try and tons of skill over Liam Reddox all day, every day.

    If Schremp wants to get the call up when Ales Hemsky goes down he should try to be a bit more like Ales Hemsky and less like Joffrey Lupul.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    I’m intrigued at his approach to Brodziak…the guy’s gotten the crummy end a lot this year. He could be producing some offensively if given a chance but he essentially never is. He’s not a untalented 4th line hack.

    For some crazy reason we’re developing Reddox more than Brodziak.

    Brodziak’s better now and should be better going forward.

  22. Schitzo says:

    Has anyone mentioned yet that part of the reason Reddox is getting at-bats right now is that he’s an RFA after this season?

    I think it’s safe to say that with Schremp they have a reasonably good idea of what they have. Reddox, maybe not so much.

    And considering how badly this team misses Saint Fernando, I would have thought “this kid might be another Pisani” to be a good enough reason to justify keeping him up here. We need another 34 more than we need another 12.

  23. devin says:

    It’s not so complicated:

    1- We needed a RW to play at EV
    2- Reddox dramatically outscored Schremp at EV in the AHL.
    3- There are no extra spots on the PP that require an AHL callup to fill.

    Result: Reddox gets the EV minutes, not Schremp. Seems logical.

    Bryan, I don’t know why you think Schremp is such a good hockey player. Guys get so caught up in slick moves and shit – the only thing that matters is scoring more than you give up. Doesn’t matter how you do it. Schremp has barely been able to do that in the A, while Reddox showed last year that he had that licked.

  24. devin says:

    quain – exactly, Schremp’s shot is to replace Nilsson. There isn’t much evidence to suggest he’s a better player than Nilsson, but that’s really his only hope to bump someone for a roster spot as it stands.

    Also – disagree LMHF re: not developing Brodziak. Brodz is getting the Stoll treatment this year sink or swim style. He’ll be signed for peanuts in the offseason despite taking on a critical role. If he proves he can swim there then that’s the very definition of development. Whether he scores 10 goals or 18 matters a lot less than whether he’s managing the heavy lifting or not.

  25. devin says:

    Also: Sundin
    ;)

  26. Kris says:

    You know, Reddox isn’t really on the first line, he’s on the hard minutes -dare I say it- checking line. Put another way, Reddox is replacing Pisani, while Cole is replacing Hemsky.

    As long is Horc is out against Iginla et. al. you don’t play anyone with Horc who can’t handle the heat. That’s as obvious as the fact that you don’t jump on a bicycle with no seat.

    We should be really excited that Reddox is playing the tough minutes and not getting killed. It means he’s likely going to be a player for years.

    —–

    BTW, Schremp has 3 goals in almost 30 AHL games. How many would he have in the ECHL? Maybe 6? I’m just saying.

  27. Coach pb9617 says:

    On my second watch of the Islanders game, I noticed Mac do something that he did in the Dallas game. It’s small but, maybe it’s the coach trying to get a very late chance.

    At the end of the second period against Dallas, he replaced Reddox with Cole and ran Penner – Horcoff – Cole for Horcoff’s last shift.

    In the Islanders game, with about four minutes to go in the second, he replaces Reddox with Cogliano and runs Penner – Horcoff – Cogliano on Horcoff’s second to last shift. My gut tells me he was about to do the same thing with Cogs for Horcoff’s last shift when they ended up in their own zone for a faceoff. Instead of Cogs, he replaces Reddox with Brodizak for backup on the faceoff, something he started against Dallas as well.

    He’s matching that first line to take on the tough spots, but at the end of periods, he might be looking for momentum, for a few late chances. Something to keep an eye on.

    It’s little, and it may be nothing, but combine it with the Pahlssoning of Brodizak, and the defensive pairing matchups in the Dallas game and it looks like Mac is coaching again.

  28. goldenchild says:

    KRIS Said
    “You know, Reddox isn’t really on the first line, he’s on the hard minutes -dare I say it- checking line. Put another way, Reddox is replacing Pisani, while Cole is replacing Hemsky.

    As long is Horc is out against Iginla et. al. you don’t play anyone with Horc who can’t handle the heat. That’s as obvious as the fact that you don’t jump on a bicycle with no seat.

    We should be really excited that Reddox is playing the tough minutes and not getting killed. It means he’s likely going to be a player for years.

    —–

    BTW, Schremp has 3 goals in almost 30 AHL games. How many would he have in the ECHL? Maybe 6? I’m just saying.”

    Kris your on point with everything you said here. Terrific post.

  29. Schitzo says:

    Here’s the other question regarding Schremp:

    If you assume that Nilsson and Schremp are interchangable parts, who do you keep?

    Nilsson likely has more trade value and is more expensive, but he’s proven he can keep his head above water when he feels like it.

    Schremp is a cheaper option and likely has close-to-zero value on the trade market. Of course, he hasn’t proven much of anything yet.

    Oh what is a GM to do?

  30. HBomb says:

    Schitzo: if Eberle makes a push for this squad next year (possible, but far from a guarantee), I’d say both of them are toast by trade deadline 2010, at least as Oilers.

    Right now, I’d say Schremp’s more likely to be dealt, unless Tambelloweini goes “big game hunting” and finds the mythical beast known as the “quantity for quality trade” (you know the one I’m talking about, they share the same habitat as Unicorns and Centaurs)….then I could see Nilsson going as part of a package (still waiting for Don Waddell to think that Grebeshkov plus Penner plus Nilsson is sufficient return for one Ilya Kovalchuk).

  31. godot10 says:

    MacT strategy is simple.

    Horc’s line’s mission (with Reddox) is to play one of the other teams’t top lines even, leaving the task of winning the game to the other three lines prevailing over the other three lines of the opposition.

    Reddox is taking on Hemsky’s defensive role, leaving Nilsson in an offensive role with Gagner and Cole.

    Why make Nilsson play against tougher opposition, when Reddox can?

    Schremp gets the call if Nilsson or Gagner are injured. He has no future as an Oiler unless Nilsson gets traded since Nilsson has his roster spot.

  32. heed says:

    brule draws in for reddox tonight.

    roloson in goal.

    schremp nation sheds a tear.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Schremp got 3 points in 4 games but “I love my pets no matter what” MacTool won’t play him, just “because”.

    It’s not like the Oilers are even winning much. They’re as crap as they’ve usually been, except when they’ve even been worse. And it’s not as if Schremp has even been given a chance to fall on his face either. No, he’s produced what he’s supposed to produce: points.

    The hilariously pathetic thing is, just how many Oilers fans agree with this clearly idiotic mismanagement of star assets.

    Kind of like the German “I was only following orders” excuse after WW2 was lost; or the similar “My country – right or wrong” mentality displayed by certain Americans during the Vietnam War.

    It’s called ‘not being capable of thinking for oneself’, lol.

    Fucktards.

  34. mc79hockey says:

    You’d be a fun guy to gamble with Hunter, particularly if I was betting against you. The Oilers shoot 20% with him on the ice, which nobody does, he picks up three points, he’s obviously floating and, rather than take the chips from a bet that looks like a loser in the long run, you want to push more chips into the table, comparing the people who disagree with you to Nazis all the while.

    Quality stuff.

  35. Jfry says:

    wow, quickly became a RS thread.

    1) RS has done nothing since he’s been back in the AHL. like big time nothing

    2) three-headed goalie, as it did earlier in the season with dmen, is affecting our ability to ice the most competitive team and utilize our much ballyhooed depth

    3) reddox gets it deep and avoids huge errors…in this sense, i think macT is much like a golf coach i used to have where his philosophy was “you’re only as good as your worst shot” as to imply your best shots weren’t really the scale that you should be concerned about for consistent play. on this matrix, reddox is much more of a macT player.

    go oil.

  36. Dana @ AgileStyle says:

    Hi Lowetide, I couldn’t find an email address for you so I’m just going to drop a comment. Could you update the OilersNation link in your blogroll to not include index2.php? That nasty splash page is gone now :) Thanks!

  37. quain says:

    It seems Hunter has gone round the bend.

    LOL.

    Frankly, if we’re going to call every mediocre guy in the AHL a ‘star’ asset because he was drafted in the first round, well, I guess Nilsson should be on the first line, lol. lol.

    But MacDumb and KLoser don’t understand how to manage anything lol. They’re like the Vichy regime lol.

    LOL.

  38. HBomb says:

    just a note. Souray named to all star team, but no hemsky. As per TSN

    I’m going to steal Quain’s bit here….

    “Ales Hemsky would have made it if Shawn Horcoff was a true first line center.”

    Seriously though….Souray is very deserving, but the All-Star team is a joke, thanks to a combination of fan balloting and the whole “thou shalt represent every team”.

    Tkachuk, Hejduk, Modano, Niedermayer….none of these guys deserve to be there. And because of it, guys like Marian Hossa and Brian Rafalski don’t get much-deserved trips to the game.

    Oh well, Phrankeneuf didn’t get a spot. Makes me chuckle.

  39. stubby says:

    Hunter and MC79….great back to back posts, I’m ready to go back to work this afternoon with a smile on my face.

  40. Oilmaniac says:

    devin said…
    It’s not so complicated:

    1- We needed a RW to play at EV
    2- Reddox dramatically outscored Schremp at EV in the AHL.
    3- There are no extra spots on the PP that require an AHL callup to fill.

    ————————–
    except that #83 does fill a rather large spot on the PP, just saying..

    I kinda thought that Poo would get pushed up to the first line, btw, with reddox staying on the third… mind you, that would mean the third line would suck…

    Now, Comparing Hbombs lines with BBO, I much prefered BBO’s where the only juggling is penner switching wings (and why now break up the line that is actually working, the 4th)

    “Nilsson-Horcoff-Penner
    Schremp-Gagner-Cole
    Moreau-Cogliano-Pouliot
    Strudwick-Brodziak-Stortini”

    Where Nilsson takes over for hemsky (so the first line has ‘some’ chance of producing) and schremp is called in to cover for nilsson.. which is the spot people have tagged for him…

    REDDOX has no business being anything more than a spot-gap, which is the spot (these same) people have tagged for him…

    ———————————–
    As for Kris, and Golden Child

    KRIS Said
    Reddox is replacing Pisani,

    Isnt Pisani already injured, so wha??..

    while Cole is replacing Hemsky.

    Except not.. when were hemmer and gagner playing together on the 2nd line.. your memory is stuck back about 15-20 games, no?!..


    As long is Horc is out against Iginla et. al. you don’t play anyone with Horc who can’t handle the heat. That’s as obvious as the fact that you don’t jump on a bicycle with no seat.

    Except that Igina scored 5 points (albeit 3 on the power play, 1 EN) but the line of pens,horc,red had a team worst -2,-3,-2 +/-, respectively… so if thats the way you like to jump onto a bicycle, then…


    We should be really excited that Reddox is playing the tough minutes and not getting killed. It means he’s likely going to be a player for years.”

    When has that line done much, nevermind ‘excite’ me on his ability to plug,.. thanks for the long term prognostication, much appreciated..

    And then,

    “Kris your on point with everything you said here. Terrific post.”

    I obivously totally disagree…
    horrible post GC

  41. Coach pb9617 says:

    1) Put Nilsson back with 10-27….he’s got the most “similar” game to Hemsky, and he had some success with HorPen last season, IIRC.

    Bang on HBomb. Nilsson replaced Hemsky for two games year and Penner produced with Nilsson – there was no falloff at all.

    Throw Pouliot on the LW with Gagner and let him take draws in his own zone.

    Horpenson ’08, 2 games:
    Penner: 2G 2Pts +2
    Horcoff: 0G 3A 3Pts +2
    Nilsson 0G 2A 2Pts +1

  42. Coach pb9617 says:

    And honestly, Hejda burns more than Glencross. Imagine a Hejda/Visnovsky pairing to complement Gilbert/Souray? That’s a pretty nice top four. Not that Grebeshkov hasn’t been good lately (last week might have been three of the best games I’ve seen out of the guy as an Oiler), but this team is flush with puck-movers and could use someone who’s more of a “stopper”.

    Grebs – Smid on 6 is one of the strongest bottom pairing in the league.

  43. Sean says:

    Sorry to be off the RS topic but LT would you mind elaborating on this abit?

    The issue is that MacT appears to be ready to match lines and shorten the bench and his go-to group includes people like Andrew Cogliano. Cogs had a nice rookie season and has some sustain in year 2 of his NHL career.

  44. Coach pb9617 says:

    13-78-34

    HB – I just audibly said “yes!” in the office. People are looking at me now.

  45. Coach pb9617 says:

    I’m intrigued at his approach to Brodziak…the guy’s gotten the crummy end a lot this year. He could be producing some offensively if given a chance but he essentially never is. He’s not a untalented 4th line hack.

    He’s not being used as such the last two games.

  46. HBomb says:

    Coach: Judging by you responding with three comments on my one uber-post, I’ll assume you’re “pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down….”

    After seeing that horsecrap with Moreau passing up Pouliot in the high slot to dish it back to the point in the last game, I’m buying into the Dennis theory about 18 not being a fan of 78, which is a pretty poor example of “leadership” if you ask me…

  47. Coach pb9617 says:

    I know Jones was trying to be tongue-in-cheek with his resolutions column, but I read the following and wanted to smack him in the back of the head:

    FERNANDO PISANI: I resolve to stop taking so much time off work.

  48. mc79hockey says:

    The crack about Ales not talking to the media was worse. God forbid Jones doesn’t get his share of “Well, you know, we just need to take it one day at a time”‘s for the paper.

  49. Swabbubba says:

    Jeebus Schremp ain’t the thing we need right now.. We need to play both ends of the ice. I like how the team is going right now. The 1st goal thing is a little troubling. But if the team plays a good solid game they have been putting up W’s. Are they exactly pretty err no but hey I will take the 2 points. The Oilers in the current state are not going walk over anyone they need to play the game. Can they compete with anyone well yes they can.
    Hope Sundin comes out get a skate caught in a rut and goes on the IR for the rest of the year. That would be the hockey gods serving up some justice.
    Burke traded for May that is going to put some points on the board.

  50. Oilmaniac says:

    Now to temper my previous comments,

    I understand that Schremp is not ‘the answer’ to all woes past n present.. and I agree with the coach wanting to play people that are going to hustle… Thus agreeing w Quain,
    And, if Schremp is that bloody interested in beating out a guy like Reddox, why doesn’t he get it done? For all the bitching about MacT’s love of hardworking skill-less hacks I’m going to guess he’d play a guy with tons of try and tons of skill over Liam Reddox all day, every day.

    As deep as we like to believe this team is.. there is no line that can handle the toughs, except a power vs. power match up w hemsky.. Ottawas coach used the big 3 together because there was no checking line to worry about… so what is the third lines MO,.. it seems like a 2nd fourth line of dogmeat outside of cog’s…

    Point being, its the lack of a dependable third line that has forced the coach to play (this will pain me, but,.. to agree w Kris in stating that) horcs line as a thirdline-checking line, not a pvp line obviously w reddox on it.. With the ‘first line’ checking the toughs, all the scoring responsibilities drop to the ‘second line’ and the PP..

    So thats why Id like to see some ability to challange offensively w the first line (reddox out, nils in) so that its not solely up to cogliano and the second line to score at ev,.. or else its nearly three lines of dog meat treading water.. yipee.. please heal well hemsky.. this team needs you…

  51. Jfry says:

    January 7, 2009 – The Springfield Falcons announced today that center Ryan Potulny has been named to the PlanetUSA roster and will represent the Falcons at the 2009 AHL All-Star Game in Worcester, MA.

    i believe that RS has been playing 2nd line lately too. other than the mentioned waiver issue when we send him down, what are Potulny’s glaring weaknesses that we haven’t contemplated him as he provides what the oilers need theoretically — shots and goals.

  52. Jfry says:

    LINEUP UPDATE (11:36 AM): Gilbert Brule will draw in on the top line tonight while Liam Reddox will be a healthy scratch… Dwayne Roloson starts in goal.

  53. HBomb says:

    Funny that we have all this Schremp/Reddox debate on a night where Gilbert Brule will take Reddox’s spot in the lineup…ironic.

    Oilers New Years Resolutions articles? Anyone have a link?

  54. Doogie2K says:

    Souray named to all star team, but no hemsky.

    Hemsky would’ve made the AST if MacTavish hadn’t lost the room.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Judging by you responding with three comments on my one uber-post, I’ll assume you’re “pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down….”

    Sorry about the multiple posts, I went off to find my Horpensky research half-way through and responded to you. Then I started reading your post again.

    HBomb – prepare to be angered

    LINEUP UPDATE (11:36 AM): Gilbert Brule will draw in on the top line tonight while Liam Reddox will be a healthy scratch…

    LINEUP UPDATE (11:36 AM): Gilbert Brule will draw in on the top line tonight while Liam Reddox will be a healthy scratch…

    They’re really going to cut it close with his waivers eligibility. They’re painting themselves into a corner with a one-way contract now.

  56. St George says:

    Oh Curtis Glencross, where are thou?

    Above Penner in scoring, that’s where.

  57. quain says:

    This team wouldn’t have so many problems if Horcoff hadn’t lost the room and Craig MacTavish were a first line center.

  58. HBomb says:

    So Jones dumped on everyone yet kissed Ethan Moreau’s ass? How about a resolution to stop taking stupid penalties?

    Terrible article indeed. Fat piece of crap couldn’t write a good one if he found it in between a stack of syrup soaked pancakes.

  59. Jonathan says:

    The hilariously pathetic thing is, just how many Oilers fans agree with this clearly idiotic mismanagement of star assets.

    Kind of like the German “I was only following orders” excuse after WW2 was lost; or the similar “My country – right or wrong” mentality displayed by certain Americans during the Vietnam War.

    It’s called ‘not being capable of thinking for oneself’, lol.

    This from the guy that was defending Peter Pocklington just the other day.

  60. Dennis says:

    Last night I took a look at the Dys ’09 EV numbers plus Sundin’s ’08 EV numbers and the guy’s old and he’s coming off a lay-off but if Luongo comes back at full health here is your odds-on fav to win the NW.

    Not sure what the ’08 Leaves were at EV as a team but BTN had him playing top line tough min and the guy was still +18.

    That’s outstanding stuff.

    67 in for 85 tonight and by the eye I thought Brule did a few nice things last Sat vs Dal – he had two SC’s himself – and I thought the HS on Mon must have been a tough pill for him to swallow. But when I looked at his SCF/A I noticed he was 3/6 so it wasn’t all roses.

    We know the real match as of late has been 44/77 vs the toughs though I presume Mac’s also trying to five-man unit that approach 27-10 plus. We know that 67′s gonna Start as the first line RW but he won’t stay there for long if he’s not getting the job done and Mac’s intent on going PVP.

    And I imagine he is because 89-26 has been doing a good job with the soft and I doubt 18-78-13 will see much of the Sedins.

    Finally, my problem with keeping 85 around is I could see it a little more if the guy could help on the PK but that hasn’t been the case; then again, I’m thinking that rookies hardly ever make a difference on the PK. It seems to be the domain of the savvy.

  61. HBomb says:

    Ok, item for debate: best team in the west past the Sharks and Wings (the consensus top two) is:

    a) Chicago
    b) Vancouver with Sundin & Luongo in the lineup
    c) Anaheim
    d) Calgary

    I think it's a toss-up between A&B. Calgary, to my eye, is going to fall off a bit (but has built up a nice chip stack so far and could afford a bit of a lull), and frankly I wouldn't be surprised to see Anaheim surprise a bunch of people and miss the playoffs altogether.

  62. Jonathan says:

    Dennis: At this point, though, who would make a difference to the PK? I don’t think Reddox is the problem; he’s just getting lumped in with the rest.

  63. Dennis says:

    HB: I can’t say for sure that 18 doesn’t like 78; but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t trust him on the ice.

    You see the chem between 13-78 and last game it lead to 13 rolling in on the right wing and 78 sets in the high slot and starts tapping the stick for the high slot shot and 13 deals it over and then goes to the crease to the collect the rebound. But then you see some of the stuff 18 pulls and it’s clear that he – along with 10 for that matter – doesn’t trust 78 on the ice.

    Hey, maybe it’s nothing more than an age issue but it’s pretty obvious from the way I see it.

    13-78-34 : this makes sense because we have some blossoming chem with 13-78 and we have some more established chem with 34-78 so basically all of this should come together.

    But when I look at it in terms of how Mac will likely run lines, here’s what I see:

    27-10-83 – tough min
    34-89-26 – secondary tough min Plus some scoring with 89-26.
    12-78-13 – soft min
    18-51-46 – this would be a perfect landing place for Moreau.

  64. pboy says:

    Eklund has Horcoff going to Ottawa at E3!!!!!! Oh jesus, what are we going to do??? We need Horcoff and can’t afford to lose his produc….wait a minute. What’s that? Eklund just makes shit up and I should be ashamed for even reading the headlines on his site. My bad…..Safe to say Horc isn’t going to be anywhere near Ottawa now that it’s been covered on Hockeybuzz.

  65. Oilmaniac says:

    Rah Rah! Brule in a position to succeed, although the hole to fill on that line was for a playmaker but I’ll take it.. I havent ‘seen the kid good’ yet so tonight would be a good opportunity for that to change…

    Dennis: wow +18 on a non-playoff team.. it’ll be interesting to see how that team takes off (or doesnt?!?)

  66. Jonathan says:

    HBomb: I’d agree with you on Anaheim, but none of Phoenix, Minnesota, Edmonton, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, L.A. or Nashville would scare me much if I were a Duck.

    If I had to guess, right now I’d peg the west’s playoff picture as follows:

    1) San Jose
    2) Detroit
    3) Vancouver
    4) Chicago
    5) Calgary
    6) Anaheim
    7) Edmonton
    8) Dallas

    with Phoenix and Columbus just outside the playoffs. Columbus maybe making a move up if they pick up a first line centre.

    Minnesota doesn’t have Gaborik, Phoenix doesn’t have depth, Colorado doesn’t have goaltending or coaching and L.A doesn’t have near enough horses just yet.

    Honestly, I think the only way the Ducks get into trouble is if Dallas, the Oilers and Columbus all go on a surge in the second half; I’d say the smart money is on one or two of those teams doing it but not all three.

  67. Dennis says:

    HB: Van scares the fuck out of me with a healthy Luongo plus Sedin. Cgy’s GD doesn’t support their record so I’ll take Van as NW champion if the health holds.

    JW: I’m not saying 85 IS the problem; I just don’t know why he’d stay here if we had a full roster unless he could make a difference on the PK.

    I think it’s clear we need new blood on the PK.

  68. St George says:

    just how many Oilers fans agree with this clearly idiotic mismanagement of star assets.

    Ignoring your over-the-top tone, you have a point, but not the one that I think you meant to make.

    In recent years, for a number of reasons, the Oilers have been rushing younger players into full-time positions, and I think that hurts the players’ development and the team overall.

    Teams like Detroit that can pluck people from the farm team and slot them in as solid contributors immediately make a point of not bringing up their prospects until they are top performers in thier current league, which usually means they are in their 20s before they even get a look see. I believe we used to do more of that (Horcoff, Pisani), but I don’t have the data to prove it right now.

    I suspect that we will look back at guys like Gagner and wish we had left him be for a year or two – there is an optimum level of “challenge” that helps athletes develop, and when you bring up guys early to flail, you just waste thier time.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if the ironic result of all this is when Shremp gets his shot (here or elsewhere) he is good and ready and makes a go of it, while guys like Brule and Gagner, both of whom were rushed IMO, potentially never develop into what the could have been.

  69. Jonathan says:

    Dennis: Gregor was saying the other day that Cogliano really isn’t comfortable on the wing; I’d guess that’s why we haven’t seen him there yet given his troubles in the circle. Maybe 78-13-34 with Pouliot filling in on the draw in the defensive zone would work, though. Think they could handle 2nd-tier tough minutes?

  70. Dennis says:

    JW: Yes, I’ve seen Gregor mentioning this from time to time;)

    If 13 can’t play on the wing, guess what else he can’t do?

    Win faceoffs;)

    So, let 78 take the draws and then they could switch back.

    I’m not really sure if 34-78-13 could roll against secondary tough opp so that’s why I’d roll with 34-89-26 in that role and then go 12-78-13 against the soft.

    How many teams really have two lines that you have to worry about in the first place? 10”s gang will be out there to eat the rich so 89 should be able to hang against the second offensive line.

  71. Coach pb9617 says:

    I thought the HS on Mon must have been a tough pill for him to swallow.

    This is what happens when the team is trying to keep you waiver eligible.

    We know the real match as of late has been 44/77 vs the toughs though I pre

    Against Dallas, yes. Not so much against the Islanders.

    13-78-34 : this makes sense because we have some blossoming chem with 13-78 and we have some more established chem with 34-78 so basically all of this should come together.

    13 and 34 have been pretty good on the ice together. 34 understands how to use 13′s burners and play off of them.

    It looks like Pisani and Hemsky will both return to the lineup after the all-star break.

  72. Jonathan says:

    I’m not really sure if 34-78-13 could roll against secondary tough opp so that’s why I’d roll with 34-89-26 in that role and then go 12-78-13 against the soft.

    How many teams really have two lines that you have to worry about in the first place? 10”s gang will be out there to eat the rich so 89 should be able to hang against the second offensive line.

    But why risk it at this point in the season? MacTavish could run out:

    27-10-83
    34-78-26
    12-13-89
    18-51-46

    The only reason I see for switching Gagner and Pouliot is Gagner’s development; Pouliot’s bigger and probably better at this point playing tough opp. Is it worth switching them out to give Gagner minutes at centre against tougher opponents?

    And if it is worth it, will MacTavish realize it?

  73. Vic Ferrari says:

    I wonder if Sundin will be the same guy when he comes back though? Will he come back like Forsberg (dominant point getter and corsi machine all while drawing the best opponents the other team has to offer), or will he come back like Bjorn Borg (it would have been better for everyone it he had just stuck to shagging hot runway models).

    The Toronto media seemed oblivous to the fact that Sundin played some of the toughest minutes in the league for several years running, and with something well short of high end linemates. Then again, they were also oblivious to the fact that the Leafs were playing a hard trap all of 05/06 under Quinn (there is a terrific clip of Paul Maurice answering a “did the Leafs have a system last year?” from that TSN Off-The-Record guy, Maurice had just the right amount of condescending smirk on his face. Pure gold.)

    I remember posting something on HF back in the day, once me and oilswell had the shiftchart reader working, and Sundin had logged something like 55 out of Joe Thornton’s 65 EV minutes vs the Leafs. Zamuner had appareantly been ‘shutting him down’, BTW, in spite of playing fewer than five minutes against Mats at evens that year.

    The lesson being; video games demean us all.

    If this Mats is like the old Mats … it’s not good.

    And if Iginla rounds into form and Kipper stops more pucks, CGY is even better. All beatable in 7 games with the favour of the hockey gods, though.

    The Oilers just need to make the playoffs, no small task, and hopefully not finish 8th in the process.

  74. Jonathan says:

    The Toronto media seemed oblivous to the fact that Sundin played some of the toughest minutes in the league for several years running, and with something well short of high end linemates.

    Add that to the list of things the Toronto media is oblivious to.

    I’ll never understand the lack of respect a player of Sundin’s calibre gets; the last few seasons he’s been one of the top half-dozen centres in the NHL, and he gets no recognition.

    If he plays this year like he did last year, the effect on the Canucks will compare to what Thornton did for the Sharks; the “ripple effect” as Ron Wilson called it. At the time I think you said that was a better way of putting it than “Patrick Marleau gets to play Turgeon instead of Sakic. Whoopee!”

  75. Dennis says:

    JW: Yeah, you could run like that and I’d be all for it but do you risk losing 26 in the process?

    Coach: You wanna use the Vic machine to see how 34/78 have fared Plus how 13/34 have done? It’s probably all the info we need.

    BTW, are you guessing that’s when both 34-83 will be back? I can see 34 taking that long but if the Oilers start putting a post all-star break timeframe on 83′s return then that’s a hint that he won’t be back at that point either.

    Such a decree would be an indication of Big trouble.

    Vic: I don’t know why it’s getting lost in the shuffle but Oiler fans aren’t giving Sundin the respect he deserves and in the process they aren’t dreading the Canucks like they should.

    The fucker is bonafide.

    Once again it looks like he’s gonna start out with lessers in Wellwood-Raymond but that’s the way he’s always rolled anyway. And with the Sedins being money at EV now you have to pick your poison when it comes to checking them.

  76. HBomb says:

    The Oilers just need to make the playoffs, no small task, and hopefully not finish 8th in the process.

    I used to think 6th or better was necessary to avoid certain death, but the way Detroit’s goaltending is going, if they don’t upgrade there, they could be had. That blueline scares the shit out of me though – Lidstrom’s going to be an all-world player until the day he retires.

    Dennis: Both CGY and VCR have some good stuff going for them, but I don’t see either of them as being in the class of San Jose, Detroit, or even Chicago for that matter (I really like the Hawks as THE “darkhorse” in the West, using that term loosely). But like Vic says, in a seven game series, you get a bit of luck, and some awfully screwy shit can result (see the 2006 playoffs).

  77. Dennis says:

    JW: Turgeon, eh? What do him and Sundin have in common?

    Oiler killing.

  78. Jonathan says:

    JW: Yeah, you could run like that and I’d be all for it but do you risk losing 26 in the process?

    That’s a good question – I wonder if his recent turnaround was triggered by Gagner or finally grasping the systems difference between Carolina and Edmonton.

    It’s probably not worth the risk of splitting them up.

  79. doritogrande says:

    “HBomb – prepare to be angered

    I might be out of touch here, but didn’t Mike Winters get censored for material similar to this?

    Is this a single moronic episode, or is Terry Jones always like this?

  80. HBomb says:

    1) On Hemsky: if he’s held out until after the ASG on strictly precautionary terms, I’m OK with it. By my count that’s another eight games (VCR, SJS, STL, @WSH, @MIN, @COL, PHX, CBJ). Even without Hemsky, I could see the Oil pulling 10 or 11 points out of this string – it’s not exactly murderers row.

    2) I’m interested to see how Vancouver uses Sundin. The Sedins are capable power-vs-power players with Pyatt and the Kesler line can play some toughies too. If they use Sundin to prop up a couple of guys like Wellwood and Demitra on a “soft” minutes line….damn. That’s a scary top nine. Throw in a decent blueline and perhaps the best goalie in the game, and yes, they’re very scary.

    I’m in denial though, because I don’t want to see their asshole fans get the satisfaction of a deep playoff run. I’d rather sit through another spring of Flames car flags around E-town when all the bandwagoners start to worship Jarome and Dion. And even that is a vomit-inducing thought.

  81. HBomb says:

    Another point for discussion: if this Cole/Gagner chemistry continues, who else thinks the Oilers need to make a strong push to re-sign 26 in the offseason?

    The simple fact is that the guy is a very good player and brings a lot to the table that other Oiler forwards just don’t possess (size, shoot-first mentality, proven tough-minute ability).

    A top three RW of Hemsky-Cole-Pisani is pretty damn solid when all three of those guys are healthy. You’d be challenged to find many teams that are in as good or better shape at that position.

  82. Jonathan says:

    HBomb: I don’t know. I don’t know if Cole would re-sign here, or what kind of money he’ll get offered (my guess – right around his current salary, and only because he hasn’t been great and the cap may drop).

    Cole does tremendous things for this team; 83-26-34 is a combination that would look just fine on a championship team.

  83. devin says:

    The hilariously pathetic thing is, just how many Oilers fans agree with this clearly idiotic mismanagement of star assets.

    Hunter, did you just call Schremp a “star asset”? Here’s a few guys of similar age who are outscoring the shit out of him in the A (scoring is all Schremp brings, I think we all agree):

    Mike Santorelli
    Martin Karsums
    Cal O’Reilly

    Which of these “stars” do you think we should be trading for?

  84. Vic Ferrari says:

    jonathon:

    As you’re reading, that AHL quality of opp stuff is off the hook. I wrote a wee script last night to strip the scoring lists off of the nhl.com game sheets, ran those against hockey-reference.com pts/game.

    And I just checked with DET for 07/08 (because Babcock matches by player more than position, which should favour BTN’s stuff). And the correlation to BTN is .92. My sense is that the truth lies closer to your numbers than his. By your numbers Rafalski jumps to #2 (wonderful player, DET is lucky he’s a Michigan boy), Lidstrom’s hold on #1 is even stronger, Z in the 3 hole with Dats just behind, Hudler and Franzen drop a few notches while Draper and Maltby move up the same (own zone draw effect I suspect).

    In any case, since I may not get around to posting about it, props to you. I hope you continue to post your heavier stuff at coppernblue. And trust your own instincts, hive minds are the wrong way to go with this stuff.

  85. HBomb says:

    Jonathan: Everything I’ve heard seems to suggest that Cole doesn’t mind Edmonton one bit.

    I think if you offered him 3 years at 12 million total, he’d at least think about it. This summer’s UFA derby is going to be interesting when one considers the likelihood of a cap drop in summer 2010.

  86. Jonathan says:

    Vic: That’s excellent, thank you! I’d been meaning to check it against Behind the Net, but my laziness has kept me from doing so. It’s really good to know that there’s quite a bit of validity to the method.

  87. Sean says:

    HBomb: I’ll reserve judgment for 10 games because Cole needs to undo a lot of bad games. But absolutely the forward lineup needs his size/skillset. Like Jonathan mentioned the price is the sticky point as he wont take a paycut and doesnt deserve a raise. At the same time, the price of replacement on the UFA market would be even higher.

  88. Vic Ferrari says:

    HBomb

    I know he wasn’t a fan fave, but if the Oilers had kept Torres in favour of Moreau, how good would a Torres/Gagner/Cole line look right now?

    As it turned out, Moreau has been fit and Torres has been hurt most of the year, and probably playing without full health the rest … but nobody can predict those things.

  89. Schitzo says:

    Torres has been hurt most of the year, and probably playing without full health the rest … but nobody can predict those things.

    Playing hurt, playing indifferent, either way you’re only getting 20 effective games a year from him.

  90. HBomb says:

    I know he wasn’t a fan fave, but if the Oilers had kept Torres in favour of Moreau, how good would a Torres/Gagner/Cole line look right now?

    As it turned out, Moreau has been fit and Torres has been hurt most of the year, and probably playing without full health the rest … but nobody can predict those things.

    Vic – if you look back to earlier in the year, I was one of the minority that thought ditching Moreau in favor of keeping Torres was the way to go, regardless of whether or not they landed Cole. I’m more than willing to admit I was one of the (few) members of the 14 fan club.

    Like the guy’s game, still do – he’s had a bad run of injuries, but so did Souray, Horcoff missed half last year….doesn’t make the guy a useless player. Quite the opposite, actually.

    I wanted the Oilers to keep Torres plus Glencross and ditch Moreau. They did the opposite. Their LW depth, once a strong point of this team for years, is now non-existent.

  91. Oilmaniac says:

    Hbomb:
    “Everything I’ve heard seems to suggest that Cole doesn’t mind Edmonton one bit.”

    Except his wife/family still live in NC.. how well does that work long term…

    Do the oil really need to offer him 4M?.. his stats are obviously in the toilet.. marking another year of depreciation (unless a minor miracle occurs in the 2nd half of the season).. but these are his ‘prime years’ supposedly, so i dunno.. gilbert/horc contracts have confused my idea of what a 4M player is…

    so if he wants to comeback, fam is cool w it, and if the dollars arnt silly,.. sure..

    the barn would be rather empty without this workhorse…

  92. digger says:

    Take it for what it’s worth, but this latest missive from Brownlee would seem to imply that Mr. Tambellini may be more than a mere puppet GM:

    http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/01/the-boss-wades-in/

  93. Sean says:

    Except his wife/family still live in NC.. how well does that work long term…

    Oilmaniac: Where did you get this info from? I know who teaches (taught) his kid in grade 2.

  94. quain says:

    Oilmaniac: Where did you get this info from? I know who teaches (taught) his kid in grade 2.

    And they had a PPV (or something) clip of him and his family buying a television for their new house. And him talking about his kid crying about having to move.

    Certainly seems like they have a pretty strong presence in town.

  95. Phil says:

    Dustin Brown 13G 13A -7
    Milan Hejduk 13G 16A -6
    Keith Tkachuk 14G 13A -11
    Mike Modano 13G 13A +1
    Patrick Marleau 19G 23A +15

    Only one of these forwards did not make the Western squad.

    Oh sure, Mr. Bettman. Nothing goofey about this league.

  96. Oilmaniac says:

    Ok, sorry if thats wrong but I was pretty sure when CBC had him on their After Hours bit that he said his wife n fam were still out in NC… did anyone else watch that, am I crazy?..

    Maybe they waited a while into the season to move, but that seems unlikely.. sorry if what i said was incorrect..

    (good) news to me…

  97. Bruce says:

    If he plays this year like he did last year, the effect on the Canucks will compare to what Thornton did for the Sharks; the “ripple effect” as Ron Wilson called it.

    No shit. In theory the Canucks run out these twosomes:

    Sedin-Sedin
    Sundin-Demitra
    Kesler-Burrows

    … all of whom are capable of playing tough minutes v. power with either of the top two pairs capable of chewing up the soft. Not too many teams have that kind of depth up front. I think they got enough tertiary talent like Pyatt, Bernier, Raymond and Wellwood to complement those twosomes and fill out three very strong lines. The club is four-and-a-half deep in solid defencemen (Mitchell, Ohlund, Edler, Bieksa, Salo-when-healthy), and will have the Big Octopus in net once he gets healthy, not to mention the Hall-of-Fame-bound Jason LaBarbera until then. I also think this club has underrated coaching, and management might fit the same bill based on early returns of the Gillis era.

    Easily the best club they’ve had in Van City since the Burke-Crawford Dynasty. And a lot more likeable in the absence of those guys, plus Bertuzzi, Ruutu and Cooke. Not saying I do like them, maybe it’s more accurate to say they’re not quite as hateable. But with Sundin in the mix they’re certainly a team to be feared.

  98. Master Lok says:

    I prefer…

    27-10-83 pvp
    12-89-26 soft, pp
    78-13-34 checking, pk
    18-51-46 checking, pk

  99. Bruce says:

    PS: Terry Jones is a fucking douchebag.

  100. Lord Bob says:

    I’m going to be doing a rare night shift while this game is on. The Oilers have won something like nine of their last ten when I’ve been doing night shifts, so this is a good sign.

  101. Lord Bob says:

    P.P.S.: Yes, Terry Jones is a total douchebag, not to mention the guy who robbed Dustin Penner of the title at the Klondike Days Hot Dog Eating Contest last year.

  102. Dennis says:

    I’m not sure that 26 is tough min bonafide. It looked like he was previously and there’s certainly more than one way to skin a cat so he was probably outscoring because he was playing with scorers who were keeping the puck in the good end.

    That’s one way of outplaying so maybe he could do that again. Though I’d imagine he’d need a stronger linemate than 89 in order to do so.

  103. Scott says:

    If Vancouver picks up a top-shelf rental, are they in SJ/Det territory?

    It’s a reasonable question and it depresses me for that reason.

  104. Lord Bob says:

    Well, Detroit and San Jose have talented players up and down the lineup, whereas Vancouver has a goalie and an old Swede. So I’m not making them the favourites in the West, rental or no.

  105. godot10 says:

    Mike Gillis is going to have quite a summer this year.

    The UFA list includes:
    Sundin, Sedin, Sedin, Burrows, Pyatt, and Ohlund.

    And Kesler and Luongo are one season away.

  106. PDO says:

    Edmonton:

    Where upper management is untouchable, but players and coaches alike can be thrown under the bus on a minutes notice.

    Good job Jones.

    Idiot.

  107. HBomb says:

    PDO: The Edmonton media questioned the coaching staff? Say what?

    From what I’ve seen in recent history, the coaching staff gets treated with the same kid gloves as the management.

    godot10: It’s “win now” time for the Canucks. That much is clear. Just watch – if they don’t extend Luongo and Lidstrom retires in Detroit after next year when his contract ends, he’s going to the Wings. Book it.

  108. PDO says:

    HBomb:

    I mean the media/fan base in general. Joe Sixpack (and yes, I know there are some people out there who DO have a grasp of things that don’t like MacT) and the media won’t touch upper management, but players/coaches are all lazy/idiots/talentless/3rd line C’s playing 1 lien minutes mooching off Liam “Hemsky” Reddox.

  109. dstaples says:

    My vote is to go with HBomb’s line combos. Very good suggestions there, Nilsson/Horc/Pens — Cogs/Gagners/Cole — Moreau/Brodz/Pou —
    even though it would split up the fearsome Strudtiniaks.

  110. bookie says:

    I am off to the game this evening with great trepidation. I fear it could suck more than the 9-2 lose or it could be fantastic…I get the feeling that mediocre is not one of the possibilities.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: You wanna use the Vic machine to see how 34/78 have fared Plus how 13/34 have done? It’s probably all the info we need.

    Sample sizes are too small to be relevant.

    Another point for discussion: if this Cole/Gagner chemistry continues, who else thinks the Oilers need to make a strong push to re-sign 26 in the offseason?

    It’s not a bad thought, though I’d love to see Armstrong and Lehtonen in place of Cole and Roloson :)

    As you’re reading, that AHL quality of opp stuff is off the hook.

    And it made me a Cody Wild fanboy!

  112. boopronger says:

    I have a bad feeling about the game tonight. 5-2 for team Sundin.

  113. Dennis says:

    Scott: Yes, probably.

    HB: Lots of guys are getting ready to get paid so it might be the last real shot in awhile for the Dys.

  114. Dennis says:

    David Pratt has himself worked into a real lather about tonight’s game.

    I really don’t like that guy.

  115. Bruce says:

    Going back to the first couple comments on this thread:

    [Hunter] How about Nilsson?
    He’s borderline useless.

    [Rod] I can’t fathom how Reddox is a good fit on a top line.

    Check out the +/- for Oilers forwards in the four games since Hemsky went down:

    +5 Nilsson
    +4 Gagner
    +3 Cole
    +3 Moreau
    +2 Brodziak
    +2 Strudwick
    +1 Cogliano
    +1 Stortini
    +1 Pouliot (2 GP)
    EV Brule (2 GP)
    -2 Reddox
    -4 Horcoff
    -5 Penner

    Which seems to support Rod’s point a lot more than Hunter’s. The Hemsky-less Line has been pretty miserable, while the whole rest of the team has been pulling their weight at evens. (And yes I know about match-ups which explains some, not all, of it.)

    Hard to figure that 10-27 would do any worse with Schremp on the wing. Or Brule, come to think of it.

    A related question which I haven’t seen addressed: I notice on tonight’s pregame “Event Summary” both teams list 23 players. One of the Oilers is JDD, even though he’s on that conditioning assignment. Does this mean that he is still considered part of the active roster, and that the move gets him some ice time but doesn’t clear roster space for the team? Seems reasonable, I just didn’t realize that might be the rule ’til now.

  116. Coach pb9617 says:

    Does this mean that he is still considered part of the active roster, and that the move gets him some ice time but doesn’t clear roster space for the team? Seems reasonable, I just didn’t realize that might be the rule ’til now.

    That’s indeed the way it works, Bruce.

    And his stint is up on Tuesday, I believe.

  117. Bryanbryoil says:

    Thanks to those that responded to my posts. Reddox was a better ES scorer last year, this season, Schremp was out of this world at ES and a guy that has previously made hay as a PP specialist was producing VERY well at ES.

    Fact of the matter,l Schremp was producing more offense at ES, outscoring his opposition, and then he got the call-up.

    Since returning, he had 1 or 2 good games, and since then he has been sub par to his standards. I wrote about this on my blog today, he is far from the first player that has gone into the dumps after being sent down when they feel that they belong in the show.

    I wrote about 4 other players that have gone through the same things in the last 2 years in Springfield.

    As for the poster that asked me if he is playing as bad as his stats line indicates. :et me put it to you this way, for the first 20 games of the season he was in the top 2 stars for the Falcons probably 80+% of the time IMO. Of late? He’s lucky to get the 3rd star or a HM on a team that is playing like crap.

    He is not playing to his potential and is down in the dumps at the moment. Hardly the first guy that has done it, but this is the first that I’ve seen of Rob doing it in the last 2 seasons.

  118. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hm.

    Chelios and a 2nd for Savard.

    Which is the measured asset?

  119. Coach pb9617 says:

    Have I mentioned how ridiculous the Oilers entrance song is? Oh, I have?

    Carry on then.

  120. Jonathan says:

    Congratulations, Brule. You get to play against the Sedins all night.

    Enjoy the cherry minutes.

  121. PDO says:

    Uh..

    Wellwood tripped over the net.

  122. Coach pb9617 says:

    That was just a world class turnover by Moreau. Good job buddy.

  123. Jonathan says:

    Penalty kill seems aggressive. That’s a good sign; I’m not entirely sure an aggressive powerplay is always better than a passive one, but stylisticly it’s a vast improvement.

  124. PDO says:

    Hey we killed a penalty!

  125. Bruce says:

    Souray outraces Cogliano across the blueline.

    Just when I thought I’d seen everything.

  126. Bruce says:

    Nice pokecheck by Cole in front of the net there. Should get a TK but likely won’t. He just seems way more alert these days.

  127. PDO says:

    How the fuck is that not a boarding call.

  128. Jonathan says:

    If Gilbert has a concussion, and plays later this game, I may lose my mind.

  129. Bruce says:

    How the Fuck is that not a penalty? Fucking bullshit.

  130. Coach pb9617 says:

    How the fuck is that not a boarding call.

    My sentiments exactly. Eff you Mitchell.

  131. Jonathan says:

    The ref couldn’t decide if he wanted to call it boarding, a hit from behind, or an elbowing call.

    So he chose “none of the above”.

  132. Bruce says:

    Ref standing 10 feet away looking right at it. Terrible.

  133. Jonathan says:

    At least Gilbert looks alright.

  134. Bruce says:

    Storts in a scrum with Ohlund and McCreary. Say what?

  135. Coach pb9617 says:

    GAH!

    MOREAU TOSSES POULIOT FROM THE DOT?!

  136. Jonathan says:

    Mitchell can burn in hell.

  137. PDO says:

    Wow.

    Then he scores while he should be in the box.

    What a fucking joke.

    HOW THE FUCK IS THAT EVEN A GOAL????

  138. Bruce says:

    No goal. It was waved off immediately.

  139. Bruce says:

    MOREAU TOSSES POULIOT FROM THE DOT?!

    … and proceeds to lose the draw, badly. GAH! indeed

  140. Jonathan says:

    Louie takes his time, doesn’t he?

  141. Jonathan says:

    Nice win by Grebeshkov against Bernier there – and then Brule draws the penalty.

    Good stuff all ’round.

  142. oilerdago says:

    Louie’s there for the free tickets and food.

  143. Jonathan says:

    Oilerdago: Can’t blame him, really. The weather isn’t quite as nice as it was in Phoenix though.

  144. Bruce says:

    Grebs has been playing pretty well of late. One the season, 16 points, +8, Corsi +47. Not bad for a trading chip.

  145. Lord Bob says:

    On his way to the game tonight, Ethan Moreau ran over a kid’s dog just for fun! He ran away, too – he would have driven, but he fumbled the car keys and the kid took them.

  146. Jonathan says:

    LB: Classic.

  147. oilerdago says:

    That PP was brutal.

  148. Coach pb9617 says:

    Moreau – same corner, another giveaway.

  149. Bruce says:

    Thoughtful of Struds to pass to his fellow slug, but Brodz was the option there.

  150. Jonathan says:

    Nilsson’s on tonight.

  151. Jonathan says:

    I like watching Souray knock people over. Just do.

  152. Bruce says:

    Great work by the All-Star to keep that puck in, twice in a row, and force the penalty.

  153. oilerdago says:

    Great shift there. Kept the cycle going. But do we decline the penalty?

  154. Coach pb9617 says:

    … and proceeds to lose the draw, badly. GAH! indeed

    Which leads to the waived-off goal.

    On what planet is it a good idea that Ethan Moreau is taking draws over MAP?

  155. Coach pb9617 says:

    On his way to the game tonight, Ethan Moreau ran over a kid’s dog just for fun! He ran away, too – he would have driven, but he fumbled the car keys and the kid took them.

    I love this blog.

  156. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    Brodz was the option, but I don’t think Strudwick’s own mother thinks he can sauce that pass.

    Stortini has to get that on net or to Brodziak instantly.

  157. Jonathan says:

    That wasn’t a half bad period.

    Still, someone needs to run a Canuck. Mitchell’s my preference, but just about anyone will do.

  158. oilerdago says:

    Jonathan, you’re right about Nilsson tonite. That was another good shift.

  159. Bruce says:

    Says on my ticker that LaBarbera has a career 1.05 GAA against the Oil. Roberto Who?

  160. Jonathan says:

    I wonder how difficult it’s going to be to pick up Labarbera in the off-season. I’d be content with Labarbera-Roloson as the duo for next season.

  161. Lowetide says:

    A decent period for the Oilers. Canucks really bringing the Bertuzzi, I counted at least 5 truly stupid things that could have been penalties.

  162. Jonathan says:

    LT: It’s Bruce’s fault. He said they were less hateable; they wanted to prove him wrong.

  163. Dennis says:

    Chances: I have them as 6-4 Oil; 4-3 at EV and 2-1 at EV.

    Thoughts: why, yes, I DO think it’s a good idea that a guy with less than 50 draws career would kick out a guy who’s played pivot his whole life! Thanks for asking! And, no, I wasn’t the one who came up with the idea that Moreau has zero time for Pouliot;)

    Is anyone else surprised any time the Oilers kill off a penalty?

    10′s PP unit looks lost and 27 has given up screening and 26 doesn’t seem to know how to mesh with 27-10. The Kids are looking fine on the PP and they set up 13 twice with dandy passing but one play was foiled by impatience and the other by the bad Rexall ice.

    At the risk of having a Zamboni block my driveway tomorrow morning I think I should re-state how poor the ice is at Rexall.

    I wish the Oilers were in better shape points-wise because I’d love to give up this game just to goon it up after that Mitchell hit. The guy used his elbow to drive it home and it should have been a major. Later on, 78 should have taken a minor for the same thing with a Dys D and then a Dys D did it again to 10.

    Just before the 4th line muffed the three-on-one we saw the Sedins get a chance after having jumped on the ice first-shift-after-the-PK only to find their opponent being the 4th line.

    Not sure how or why MacT got himself into that situation.

  164. oilerdago says:

    Souray destroyed Ohlund!

  165. Bruce says:

    Say good night, DICK!!!

  166. Coach pb9617 says:

    Thoughts: why, yes, I DO think it’s a good idea that a guy with less than 50 draws career would kick out a guy who’s played pivot his whole life! Thanks for asking! And, no, I wasn’t the one who came up with the idea that Moreau has zero time for Pouliot;)

    I’m still boiling about that. I’m almost as pissed at Moreau as I am at Mitchell.

  167. Jonathan says:

    Had to be done. The Canucks can;’t be allowed to throw those sorts of hits without retaliation.

    I like Souray when he isn’t fighting Byron Ritchie.

  168. PDO says:

    Holy fuck. What a punch.

  169. Coach pb9617 says:

    Holy pete. Another one punch TKO. Penner and Souray are like George Foreman.

    Only white. And on skates. And bigger.

  170. PDO says:

    Now if only we could convince Penner to give up his George Foreman grill…

  171. Bruce says:

    I remember the time Doug Weight hit Richard Matvichuk exactly the way Ohlund just blindsided Cole, and it was five and a game. In the current instance, I guess it’s “let the players police themselves”. Which Souray did a fine job of, btw. Not the guy to piss off.

  172. uni says:

    I’ll give Ohlund credit for dropping the gloves there…le ouch.

    Now if only Cooke, Ruutu, and Tootoo did that more.

  173. Jonathan says:

    PDO: If only Dustin Penner would switch to the George Foreman grill.

  174. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    How about a couple months ago?

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

    3 game suspension.

  175. PDO says:

    How is that any worse than what Mitchell did?

    Explanation please. These refs can go fuck themselves. Why is it always like this against the Dys?

  176. Bruce says:

    I’m just loving Strudwick’s board play.

    Explain to me what Stortini did there different from Mitchell. Maybe it was that he didn’t run him all the way from outside the blue line?

  177. uni says:

    You knew they were going to call an ‘even up’ penalty.

    Here’s hoping Sundin’s right-hander is loaded with rust.

  178. Scott says:

    I don’t know that it’s fair to lump Tootoo in with the others in terms of his willingness to fight. He’s a cheap player for sure, but he doesn’t hesitate to throw down.

  179. Jonathan says:

    Ruutu also fights, for that matter.

  180. oilerdago says:

    Nice to see Louie woke up to see Zorg’s interference coming out of the penalty box.

  181. Bruce says:

    Dennis: Surprise!

  182. uni says:

    RE: Tootoo

    Didn’t know that, I can’t recall having seen him fight in any of the games I’ve seen him in. Then again I guess I don’t see a lot of his games.

  183. Coach pb9617 says:

    Another instance of Mac giving Horcoff a new RW for a single shift.

    Wonder what he’s doing. And why hasn’t he tried Nilsson?

  184. Bruce says:

    Even on a list of scum bags, Matt Cooke stands out for his sheer gutlessness.

  185. oilerdago says:

    Uni: Tootoo is pound for pound one of the best fighters. Living in Nashville I see most of their games and he’s a mean sucker. After Burrow’s knocked out JP Dumont in a game, it only took 22 seconds into the next game before they went at it. And Burrows did not last long.

  186. Bruce says:

    Uni: Tootoo is a regular scrapper, a real mean bastard who doesn’t mind going way above his weight class. Pound for pound one perhaps the toughest in the league.

  187. Jonathan says:

    Bruce: Luongo called Cooke a “class act” when he was traded to Washington.

    Even my dad, the Canucks fan, thought it was funny.

  188. uni says:

    Just Youtubed “Tootoo Fight”, and I stand corrected. I had no idea he was such an ornery bastard.

  189. Coach pb9617 says:

    Apparently, he hasn’t heard that 51 is the new Pahlsson.

    He had a big win to start killing Stortini’s boarding.

    3-5 tonight.

  190. Jonathan says:

    Coach: That’s 3 for 5, not 3 and 5, right?

  191. uni says:

    Also on the question of lopsided trades, how the heck did LA let Lababera go for only a 7th pick? Hasn’t he been killing in the AHL for a while now? Sure he’s inconsistent in the NHL but he’s shown flashes and has had some limited sustain before.

    And that also begs the questions, if Lababera is worth a 7th, what’s JDD worth?

  192. Coach pb9617 says:


    Tootoo Burrows

    Need a goal here boys.

  193. Jonathan says:

    Stupid Burrows.

    I think JDD may have value. Garon, on the other hand…

  194. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: That’s 3 for 5, not 3 and 5, right?

    Yeah, sorry. I need to start posting that more clearly. As a baseball guy as well, I see 3-5 and instantly think “three fer five”

  195. oilerdago says:

    Uni:
    We’ll let you choose for JDD – a bag of pucks or a roll of tape.

  196. danny says:

    It must be nice to have a GM that finds his team with a hole, (read Luongo hurt) and fills it ( 7th round pick for Labarbera).

    How long would Lowe have run Cory Schnieder into the ground, waiting for Luongos return?

    I mean MacT would probably be left trying Pisani taking facoffs, if Lowe was ever off-keel enough to send away Stoll and Reasoner. Can you imagine?

  197. oilerdago says:

    Nilsson scores. Jonathan – you saw it early tonite. He’s on.

  198. Coach pb9617 says:

    Bobby deserves that one.

    That was some nice work on Gagner’s part there. He actually took a quick glance to make sure the point was there before the blind drop pass!

  199. Jonathan says:

    A goal almost immediately after being scored against. It’s a good sign.

    They’ve played a nice game so far, IMO.

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