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

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  1. oilerdago says:

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

  2. 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!

  3. Jonathan says:

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

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

  4. Lowetide says:

    That is freaking IT! They better call up Schremp now.

  5. PDO says:

    43 has to get that puck deep. Period.

  6. Bruce says:

    Score one for the ice-maker. Fuck I’m getting tired of all the rotten bounces at Rexall.

  7. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oh lubo.

  8. PDO says:

    I could kill 43 right now.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Well that’s a poor sequence.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Well, 3-1, despite a pretty even game.

    There’s still time.

  11. Bruce says:

    Fuck.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Damn that grinning Swede.

  13. oilerdago says:

    The wheels are coming off.

  14. PDO says:

    A) How is this game 3-1?
    B) How is that a penalty in THIS game?
    C) Fuck.
    D) Beer.

  15. Loxy says:

    This sucks.

  16. Coach pb9617 says:

    Lubo totally Schremped that goal. He made the play and got caught watching. Ugly play.

  17. Jonathan says:

    It really shouldn’t be 3-1; it’s been a pretty even game.

    At this point though, the team’s in such a hole that they need every win, and that includes this one.

  18. PDO says:

    I only saw replays of Dy goal #1 and Dy goal #3.

    I’m glad I’m no where near a Canuck fan right now though. No way this game should be 3-1, and no way Willie Mitchell should still be in this game.

  19. Schitzo says:

    We got killed on goal #2 because the 4th line got sent out against the Sedins, ran out of gas, and then got taken advantage of on the line change

  20. danny says:

    Ive been a MacT and Lowe guy…

    But im really getting withdrawn and frustrated with the same thing over and over again lately.

  21. PDO says:

    Schitzo:

    We got killed on goal #2 because Strudwick had the puck on his stick past the red line and didn’t get it deep.

  22. Jonathan says:

    I really don’t mind this game; but if the team had won more games early on, it wouldn’t be a big deal to lose the odd one that they deserve better in.

    They better come out flying in the third.

  23. Bruce says:

    I could kill 43 right now.

    PDO: That’s a bit harsh.

    I only saw replays of Dy goal #1 and Dy goal #3.

    Ah, that explains it. Watch the replay before you kill anybody.
    43 blocked a dangerous shot, 46 dived to clear the zone, 43 went to dump it in and the puck hopped on him just as 46 committed to the line change. A tough break more than anything, and the Canucks executed perfectly on the tiny opening that ensued.

    The next goal was a complete cluster fuck though. Brutal zone coverage.

    Nice shift for Brule. 14 seconds, -2. Not sure why MacT switched him and Cole midway through that period, but it certainly didn’t pay off there.

  24. PDO says:

    Why does John Garret have a job?

  25. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    You gotta get that puck deep. It bounced… but for chrissakes, I could make that play. It bounced, but he’s just chipping it. No reason any player in Junior B can’t make that play.

  26. Jonathan says:

    PDO: Why does P.J. Stock… Keith Jones… Marc Crawford… Mark Lee… nevermind.

  27. Bruce says:

    Faceoff stats through two periods:

    Pouliot 100%
    Moreau 0%

    (Yeah I know, the ultimate in small number stats, but that one sequence is still sticking in my craw.)

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nice shift for Brule. 14 seconds, -2. Not sure why MacT switched him and Cole midway through that period, but it certainly didn’t pay off there.

    Can’t keep carrying an AHLer on that Horc line. Have to move Nilsson up there eventually.

    Move Brule down to Cogliano’s line since Moreau apparently hates his RW anyway.

  29. Lord Bob says:

    God, Strudwick needs to be nicknamed “Slumpbuster”. He’s lit fires under more opposing players than Anthony Iob.

  30. Bruce says:

    PDO: Cuz the puck bounced right over his stick. Hard to chip what you can’t touch.

    You’re right, he didn’t get it done. But it was a tough break.

  31. PDO says:

    Jon:

    Lol.

    I just wanna know… why can’t I get that job? I’m all good with being on camera, I can pretty myself up and I can say something other than “HE WANTS IT MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY!”

  32. mc79hockey says:

    Funny thing is that MacT was quoted in the papers today, talking about Strudwick’s brilliance at…getting the puck deep. Ouch.

  33. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    Not like it was moving all that fast. He can smack that out of the air… hell, the other D did.

  34. Bruce says:

    John Garrett is a fucking douchebag. A different type of fucking douchebag than Terry Jones, but a fucking douchebag all the same.

  35. Dennis says:

    I’m gonna blame that second goal on MacT fucking around with the 4th line vs Sedins matchup.

    The boys were gassed trying to keep things square and then the Kesler line rolls out to grab the turnover and the slot’s wide open.

    That was at least the third shift MacT had the 4ths out against Sedins and that shouldn’t be happening on home ice. Why bother with the advantage of the last change if you’re not going to use it? That one’s just fucking killing me.

    I had the chances in that period as 11-5 Van; 9-3 at EV and 2-2 at ST. Tonight reminds me of the Dal game where the Oilers are just backing off and letting guys fire away from the slot. Some of them are blocked and some of them miss the net and then others find the twine. That’s a high pct area they’re failing to protect and it’s biting them more tonight than it did vs the Stars.

  36. Coach pb9617 says:

    (Yeah I know, the ultimate in small number stats, but that one sequence is still sticking in my craw.)

    Me too Bruce. That’s the main thing I’m taking from this game. Two first period turnovers by the captain and then the captain ejects a natural center from the circle to take a draw and lose it badly.

  37. Jonathan says:

    I’ll 2nd Dennis’ comments RE:4th line vs. Sedins. Although it isn’t like MacTavish has a ton of options.

    As for Strudwick; he’s been better lately. I’ll cut him a little slack there. Not much, but a little.

  38. Jonathan says:

    I honestly think Moreau’s been the worst Oiler on the ice tonight.

    If I had to pick between him and Jason Strudwick for my pond hockey team, I’d probably go with Strudwick.

    Because Strudwick wouldn’t toss me out of the faceoff circle.

  39. Bruce says:

    PDO/MC: Shit happens. Little shit, all the time. Interesting to see how you crucify the guy when it does. But after the game when Staples gives Strudwick the primary error there, you’ll be all over his case about how errors aren’t representative because they’re only measured when the puck goes in the net.

  40. Dennis says:

    BTW, because Vic’s awesome site allows me to update in the intermissions here are some SC numbers I have through 40:

    Dys up 12-7 at EV after 40.

    All of 18-13-78 are 0/4

    37 and 71 are 2/7 and 1/6 respectively.

  41. doritogrande says:

    Just got back from work, and apparently we’re getting shellacked by the Manitoba Moose alumni club feat: Steve Bernier?

    Part of me’s actually happy for this.

  42. PDO says:

    You have to be shitting me with that call. Seriously.

  43. mc79hockey says:

    PDO/MC: Shit happens. Little shit, all the time. Interesting to see how you crucify the guy when it does.

    Crucify the guy? What are you, Strudwick’s mother? I just found the timing of the play funny, given the quote from MacT. That may well be the second time I’ve discussed him this year, after the fight last week where Barch didn’t know who he was supposed to throw ‘em with.

    But after the game when Staples gives Strudwick the primary error there, you’ll be all over his case about how errors aren’t representative because they’re only measured when the puck goes in the net.

    Shit happens. Little shit, all the time.

  44. Jonathan says:

    Number of times Stortini’s been called for boarding: 2
    Number of times Mitchell’s been called for boarding: 0

    Something’s wrong there.

  45. Lord Bob says:

    1) Can’t believe my Tony Iob joke got no love. Is he too obscure these days?

    2) I’m back from work. The Oilers are utterly depressing. I think I’m going to need a bigger glass.

  46. Bruce says:

    I love it when the refs establish what is and isn’t a penalty early in the game, and then change their minds. Those two Stortini hits combined weren’t half as cheap was what Mitchell did to Gilbert. I don’t disagree both were technically boarding, but for chissake, be consistent about it.

  47. Temujin says:

    Sundin? Fuck ‘im, we got STEVE BERNIER and ALEX BURROWS

    I’ll bet HBomb is hammered by now.

    John Garrett. Squeeeeeee! the best colorman in the business :-)

  48. Jonathan says:

    Somebody run Burrows. This is uspposed to be entertaining; I’m owed at least that much.

  49. Bruce says:

    MC: You’re right, the timing was impeccable. And you’re right, you weren’t the one who wanted to kill Strudwick.

    Just feeling a little testy right at this moment. I fucking hate losing to the Canucks.

  50. Coach pb9617 says:

    27-10-26
    89-13-12
    18-51-78

    That’s what is rolling right now. Hm.

  51. Dennis says:

    MacT’s lost a lot of leverage with me after tonight. There’s no way he should’ve had the 4th line in harm’s way as much as he did.

    I still don’t think he’s got a great hand to play with but he’s making enough odd little decisions that I’m getting fed up with it.

  52. Jonathan says:

    Coach: But he waited until after the goal against the 4th line to switch to that combo. Great stuff.

  53. doritogrande says:

    Did they just call the Kesler line the “Top Line”?

    Fuck me.

  54. doritogrande says:

    Staios? Really?

    Guess that’s why he’s worth a 7th round pick.

  55. Temujin says:

    Dammit, stupid Staios.

    Perhaps my gloating was premature…

  56. oilerdago says:

    They haven’t quit on this game. Good sign.

  57. Jonathan says:

    I thought the Kesler line was on fire… yet they couldn’t hold off the firepower of Steve Staios.

    I’m going to get my gloating in now, just because I may not get a chance to later ;)

  58. Temujin says:

    Kicked in. Refs are blind.

  59. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: But he waited until after the goal against the 4th line to switch to that combo. Great stuff.

    All it means is that the 4th line won’t be back out.

    I can’t bitch about this game – they’re just outmatched. They need Pisani and they need Hemsky.

    And someone in upper management needs to put a foot in Moreau’s ass.

  60. Bruce says:

    Nice pass from, ahem, Moreau to Pouliot there.

  61. Lord Bob says:

    Refs are blind.

    And Willie Mitchell is glad.

  62. doritogrande says:

    “Kicked in. Refs are blind.”

    Been drinking H-Bomb’s kool-aid tonight maybe?

  63. Coach pb9617 says:

    What can Souray be saying there to Burrows? “Tootoo mauled you and I just one-punched Ohlund. You ever see Drago hit Appollo Creed?”

  64. Dennis says:

    Dago: I think they pretty much did quit – I had them getting outchanced – but then they get a break off a goal off a skate and now it might be back on.

    Coach: they aren’t really outmatched tonight considering Sundin really isn’t Sundn just yet.

  65. Schitzo says:

    Debrusk has no idea what a natural hat trick is

  66. oilerdago says:

    Coach, Souray’s saying “go ahead, make my day”.

  67. Temujin says:

    The difference with Mitchell’s hit was that it was from the side :-)

    Geeziz, that’s more like the Bernier I am used to. So close, but no cigar

  68. Bruce says:

    Puck jumped on Nilsson too, just like Strudwick. Goddam ice.

  69. Jonathan says:

    Moreau missed on purpose. I saw it in his eyes.

  70. Temujin says:

    Sweet lord vishnu on pogo stick. I need some Hbomb koolaid right now.

  71. Jonathan says:

    Careful Bruce – you will get the Marc Crawford treatment if it becomes neccessary.

  72. Temujin says:

    My 18 is better than your 18

  73. oilerdago says:

    All these chances. Come on guys, one time, just one time get the equalizer. I hate losing to this team.

  74. doritogrande says:

    “Coach, Souray’s saying “go ahead, make my day”.”

    “Hey steve, say cheese.”

  75. Lord Bob says:

    Temujin, your team is winning. Save the good stuff for us Oiler fans. :P

  76. doritogrande says:

    “My 18 is better than your 18″

    Our captain is healthier than your captain.

  77. Temujin says:

    Mats Sundin in a shutdown role?

    Be still my beating heart.

  78. Lowetide says:

    So. Grebeshkov. Sign the man. Right?

  79. Schitzo says:

    No doubt Grebs deserves to get paid, but man we’re in cap hell if he gets any sort of raise.

  80. Jonathan says:

    LT: Him or Gilbert. Who do you keep?

  81. Coach pb9617 says:

    So. Grebeshkov. Sign the man. Right?

    Only if you’re trading Staios, killer.

  82. Lord Bob says:

    LT: Him or Gilbert. Who do you keep?

    If you take Staios to the glue factory, what’s keeping you from having both?

  83. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: I keep them both, give Grebs the Staios money and buy out Steve if he can’t be traded.

  84. oilerdago says:

    Lord Bob – it’s like I tell my wife, “no problem money can’t solve”.

  85. Jonathan says:

    LB: Fair enough, and I assume Peckham steps in as the #6 man with Smid. I could handle those pairings.

  86. Coach pb9617 says:

    Crowd’s quiet.

  87. Bruce says:

    MacT’s lost a lot of leverage with me after tonight. There’s no way he should’ve had the 4th line in harm’s way as much as he did.

    Hey Dennis, since the 43-51-46 line got put together 12 games ago, do you know how many GA, as a line, they have been on for?

    One.

  88. doritogrande says:

    “LT: Him or Gilbert. Who do you keep?”

    After that play? Tommy-Gun.

  89. Temujin says:

    I can’t believe LA would trade Labarbera for a 7th round pick. Right now that’s looking like the steal of the season.

    Dean Lombardi, you magnificent bastard.

  90. Jonathan says:

    Temujin: We’ll swap him for JDD. JDD has potential. I hear it’s valuable.

  91. Schitzo says:

    Hey Dennis, since the 43-51-46 line got put together 12 games ago, do you know how many GA, as a line, they have been on for?

    One.

    That doesn’t mean throwing them to the wolves is a good idea

  92. doritogrande says:

    “Dean Lombardi, you magnificent bastard.”

    You have one word too many.

  93. Schitzo says:

    Whoops, 77 looked like MAB on that play

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    You’ve all heard me say it before, I’ll say it again – Souray is so bad with an empty net behind him.

    lolol

  95. Temujin says:

    Demitra, big slapper!

    Best empty netter I have ever seen.
    The most exciting play, indeed.

  96. Schitzo says:

    44 that is, not 77

  97. Temujin says:

    Thanks for putting up with my shi’ite.

    Souray gets the third star of the night. Hmmmm…

  98. Lord Bob says:

    Most players are crappy with empty nets behind them, because they’re simultaneously cheating for offense and absolutely utterly unable to make a giveaway.

    Only Patrik Stefan is crappy with an empty net in front of him.

  99. Bruce says:

    That doesn’t mean throwing them to the wolves is a good idea

    Throwing Gilbert Brule to the wolves isn’t a good idea either. Options are limited at the moment, and Vancouver is three deep in good lines.

  100. danny says:

    FFS.

    I hate that team.

    Im beginning to resent this team.

    Losing to Calgary and Vancouver over and over and over and over year after year after year after year and over and over and over and over year after year after year after year…

    bleh.

    is this what PMS feels like? because im moody as hell right now and ready to tear a strip off of the next unsuspecting person that happens upon me.

  101. Lord Bob says:

    My defining moment of Oiler fandom was Todd Marchant in Dallas in 1997 and I’ve resented the team for every second ever since. So welcome to the club.

  102. oilerdago says:

    “Only Patrik Stefan is crappy with an empty net in front of him.”

    Good one their Lord Bob!

  103. Dennis says:

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3031

    That’s the chances for/against tonight.

  104. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    It’s great that Horcoff can take control of a game and will his team to victory.

  105. Dennis says:

    Bruce: and how many GA Would be on their rap sheet if MacT was letting them roll out four or five shifts against tough opp?

    I’m not blaming the boys, I’m blaming the coach.

    Inexcusable.

  106. Coach pb9617 says:

    Throwing Gilbert Brule to the wolves isn’t a good idea either. Options are limited at the moment, and Vancouver is three deep in good lines.

    Hence, they’re overmatched.

  107. Bruce says:

    Bruce: and how many GA Would be on their rap sheet if MacT was letting them roll out four or five shifts against tough opp?

    Dennis: They’ve gotten more than a few tough shifts. Several against the Sedins in the 3-2 win on Boxing Day for example, a couple in the third against Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson (who had already put the wood to our “power” line), some after powerplays and after goals against and after TV timeouts and in the last minute of periods. It still only adds up to 8 minutes a night, but they’ve been pretty safe minutes for the most part.

    Last game they got the bounces and were the heroes, tonight the bounce went against them. That’s hockey.

  108. knighttown says:

    The frustrating thing about this team (one of them) is that we play no discernible style. The style of play is almost always whatever the other team dictates, even at home.
    Vancouver-play the trap, close to the vest and try not to turn the puck over.
    Dallas- crash and bang
    Chicago- free wheeling and exciting.
    Detroit-puck possession
    NYI- um…like crap?

    It’s like, Chicago says,

    “We’re so fast. You guys will probably just trap us all game like a bunch of wimps.”

    (Edmonton says)
    “We’ll show you. We can play that way too!”

    9-2

    and then Dallas says

    “We’ve got Ott and Neal and Barch and we love to play the body. You guys are too scared to do that so I bet you just use your little, fast guys and we’ll have no one to hit.

    (Edmonton)
    That’s bull. We’re sitting Brule and Schremp and you’re gettin’ it with Stortini and Strudwick!”

    And then Vancouver says:

    “We’re so smart and disciplined in our system. You guys just freewheel like morons. You’re too dumb to play like us I bet.”

    (Edmonton)
    “We ain’t not dumb. Boys, 5 men in the neutral zone. If those left-coasters can do it so can we…we’ll learn it at practice tomorrow.”

    And finally, Detroit says
    “We’re so slick, we can play 75% of the game with the puck on our sticks and only give up the puck when we have a chance to retrieve it somewhere more dangerous. With you’re stone hands, you’ll probably dump and chase all night.”

    (Edmonton)
    “We’ll show you! We’ll sit Stortini and Strudwick because dumping-and-chasing is taboo tonight. All right boys, channel the 1984 Oilers and show these Sweedes how its done”.

    If you’re as “versatile” as the Oilers seem to think they are, wouldn’t it make more sense to play a system that makes the other team uncomfortable? Or even better, figure out what you’re strengths are and play to them?

  109. Dennis says:

    Bruce: It’s no longer a mystery why they got burned tonight, then. They’d been in harm’s way for awhile according to your memory.

    John Stevens was on NHL Live today talking about one of the major differences between the A and the NHL was how bad match-ups don’t hurt you nearly as often in the minors as they do in the bigs.

    I thought about that tonight.

  110. bookie says:

    I was at the game and on the way home, I kept hearing how the Oilers played a good game – WTF? Were they watching a different game. They had nothing, no speed, no flow, nothing for the first two periods. Never mind all of the weak points on the team, they have won every game that they have put a good 60 minutes effort into.

    I think that Lowe put together this unbalanced team with some clear weaknesses thinking that they would make it 2/3 of the way through the season with a solid record and then he could plug the weak spots with a trade. Crazy coaching and a whole pile of underachievers has led to some unexpected results.

  111. PunjabiOil says:

    I’m gonna blame that second goal on MacT fucking around with the 4th line vs Sedins matchup.

    The boys were gassed trying to keep things square and then the Kesler line rolls out to grab the turnover and the slot’s wide open.

    That was at least the third shift MacT had the 4ths out against Sedins and that shouldn’t be happening on home ice. Why bother with the advantage of the last change if you’re not going to use it? That one’s just fucking killing me.

    As usual, you know your hockey.

    Great observation. I noticed it too. Really getting sick of MacT.

    I don’t know why the guy doesn’t shorten the bench. On those grounds, it was nice that MacIntyre played his 3 minutes and the Oilers had superior options double shift.

    The team dearly missed Hemsky tonight. They had 3 or 4 PP opportunities in the first period, and couldn’t gain the zone.

    I was at tonight’s game – us edjumcated folks are given free tickets every so often. That said, I don’t know what it is, but I no longer have the passion for attending games in person. Maybe it’s the elitist type of patrons prevalent in the arena? The mix of crowd is not the same as witnessed in the 90′s and early 2000′s – that’s for sure.

    The home couch is a superior option nowdays, in my opinon.

    A loss on friday really hurts. Need to salvage a W against somewhat of a struggling SJ team.

    Any update on Hemsky?

  112. Bruce says:

    It’s no longer a mystery why they got burned tonight, then. They’d been in harm’s way for awhile according to your memory.

    Yeah, Dennis, it’s no mystery. You play enough hockey in this league, the bad guys are going to score occasionally. After all, it is the NHfuckingL.

    What is a mystery is why MacT would fuck with another working combo, namely 12-89-26, who since being put together when Nilsson came back on Boxing Day, posted a nifty +6/-0 over 6 games. Then tonight in the second MacT split them up, Brule came out for a couple shifts with the kids and whammo! The puck was in our net. That was the one that turned out to be the winner, and the one MacT himself was much more concerned about in the post-game.

  113. Lord Bob says:

    The Blender might have five buttons, but even on the lowest setting it’s still blending.

    When Craig MacTavish stops messing with his lines for no good reason, we’re going to have to go search Edmonton-area basements for the real MacTavish gagged and tied to a radiator.

  114. HBomb says:

    I remember the time Doug Weight hit Richard Matvichuk exactly the way Ohlund just blindsided Cole, and it was five and a game.

    Game four, vs. Dallas, 2001 playoffs. Carter scored in the 2nd period, Dallas tied it on some cheap shit in the 3rd period (typical), and Comrie scored on the PP in OT (he was moved up with Smyth and Carter when Weight got tossed).

    Anyways, first off Temujin, no I was not drinking tonight – it’s a weeknight and I was at the game. Expensive beer plus work tomorrow equals non-starter.

    I’m severely pissed at MacT after tonight’s game. First, I hate the powerplay line combos right now. The Penner-Horcoff-Cole unit had no one to distribute the puck from the half-boards, and the kid line unit had no size (even though they did score a goal in the second). They’ve got to mix that up if they hope to have success “sans Hemsky”. Second, the team was pretty flat emotionally until Souray’s fist met Ohlund’s face (sweet knockdown by 44). Two games in a row that we’ve seen that first period lull, and at least some of that has to go back to the coaches. Third, the whole Stortini on the ice against the Sedins thing that lead to the second Canuck goal – that CANNOT happen on home ice.

    On Stortini, I feel sorry for the guy – he gets flagged twice for boarding, yet Mitchell and Ohlund get away with it. Terrible officiating by McCreary tonight. Seems like the Canucks MO is to nail a guy if they see numbers and namebar facing them – it’s dirty, dirty hockey. Seeing that punk Burrows go 1G-2A made it harder to take.

    Finally, and this does NOT apply to Temujin, because he’s OK…Canuck fans in general are the lowest form of human life. Buch of arrogant jackasses with a sense of entitlement that would only be becoming of a team that’s won more than zero championships. They can all kiss my hairy white butt.

  115. Ribs says:

    I’m just taking another look at the second goal and I’m finding it hard to blame the coach for this one. Brodziak helps dig out the puck from the corner, Zorg taps it ahead, Strudwick gets past the red line and bobbles it trying to dump it. Stortini skates off for a change and Brodziak is left on only because he sees open Nucks going the other way behind him.

    Just a bad bobble. Blame it on the ice if you wish.

  116. Bruce says:

    I was at tonight’s game – us edjumcated folks are given free tickets every so often. That said, I don’t know what it is, but I no longer have the passion for attending games in person. Maybe it’s the elitist type of patrons prevalent in the arena? The mix of crowd is not the same as witnessed in the 90′s and early 2000′s – that’s for sure.

    PJO: Maybe there’s too many edjumcated folks with free tickets?

    (And isn’t the correct spelling “edjumacated”?)

  117. HBomb says:

    One more thing – even though I think Penner-Horcoff-Cole could handle some pretty damn tough sledding at ES, I think it’s better if they split up those two “sizeable” wingers and try to have two lines that can actually cycle the puck.

    Get well soon Ales and Fernando – this team needs you. Badly.

    And it’s so bloody obvious that Horcoff is playing hurt right now. On any other team where they’ve got at least one other center on the roster who shaves more than once every couple weeks, they’d be able to consider sitting him down for a game or two to get himself right. Gagner-Cogliano-Pouliot-Brodziak down the middle, right now, is not a recipe for wining hockey games (three years from now it could be a different story, but come on…..this team needs John Madden like nobody’s business).

  118. Ribs says:

    The Oilers second goal was nice to watch. The two big guys working the boards behind the net and an opportunity comes from it. If only that could become a regular play with those two.

  119. rickibear says:

    “The mix of crowd is not the same as witnessed in the 90′s and early 2000′s – that’s for sure.”

    I miss the Superstore deal from the 90′s 2 upper terrace seats, 2 popcorn, 2 hotdogs for 54$. fans got to go to these games.

  120. St George says:

    If you want to get a little more wound up, go listen to the Moreau after-game comments on the Oilers website. To paraphrase: We played pretty well tonight, but they were luckier than we were.

  121. Lord Bob says:

    We would have won if Moreau took more faceoffs.

  122. Coach pb9617 says:

    What is a mystery is why MacT would fuck with another working combo, namely 12-89-26, who since being put together when Nilsson came back on Boxing Day, posted a nifty +6/-0 over 6 games. Then tonight in the second MacT split them up, Brule came out for a couple shifts with the kids and whammo! The puck was in our net. That was the one that turned out to be the winner, and the one MacT himself was much more concerned about in the post-game.

    He should break that line up to move 12 up 1.

    move 78 up to 12′s spot.

    Move 51 up to 78′s spot and let him take 13′s faceoffs. Run three lines until you get up by 2 and then put 43-85-46 on the ice.

  123. danny says:

    Theres been a non-chalant demeanor around this team about losing all season long. Horcoff has yet to be upset after a game. Moreau neither.

    I don’t know how much emotion really contributes to the W/L ratio, but it would sure make losing easier to swallow. This Cold Fish act is beginning to numb me.

    Vancouver and Calgary are pretty emotional teams. It hasn’t hurt them.

  124. docweb says:

    HBomb: In our section nuckleheads were beyond annoying (of course it is more annoying when your team is losing). Loud,cursing,etc.

    It makes you want to give a kick in the nads to the season ticket holders who sold their tickets to them.

    Should be rule…no sales to Calgary or Vancouver fans…ever!

    As far as the game itself..I thought Gagner looked better than I’d seen him live for awhile. Penner invisible again though.

  125. HBomb says:

    docweb: For all the grief I give them, Flames fans aren’t bad at all.

    Canuck fans though? 99% of them are disrespectful, arrogant morons.

  126. Lord Bob says:

    Oh, god, everything people say about Canucks fans is absolutely true. I work with a few of them here in Victoria, obviously, and they’re interesting, intelligent, and attractive people until the Canucks come up. Then it’s WOOOOOOOO BOBBY LOU SUNDIN STANLEY CUP.

  127. docweb says:

    Hbomb: I agree. It’s not that the Flames fans are that bad but it is just too painful to have all the happy “C’s” around with a loss.

    I’m from south of Calgary so I have to put up with their crap all the time. To have to take it at Rexall is just too much.

  128. digger says:

    If you want to get a little more wound up, go listen to the Moreau after-game comments on the Oilers website. To paraphrase: We played pretty well tonight, but they were luckier than we were.

    Ladies and gentlemen, the captain of your Edmonton Oilers is living in a fucking fantasy land, filled with fairies and delightful whimsy.

    It wouldn’t bother me in the slightest to see this bitter asshole and his ability to throw blame at everyone except the guy he sees in the mirror stripped of the captaincy (not that it means a lot anyway) and sent packing.

    This team seemed a LOT more unified under Jason Smith.

  129. Kris says:

    Reddox! Why hast thou forasken us?

    Is it because we pardoned, err… played Brulebas?

  130. Cloned says:

    Digger:

    Oh yeah, Moreau’s been getting on my nerves for the last 3 months. Fancy plays which he doesn’t have the hands for, weak little chip attempts out of the zone along the boards that don’t work, turning BACK in the defensive zone multiple times on the same play like he’s Bobby Orr, trying to play a skilled puck possession game when he’s not capable of it, not trusting or using his linemates, no physical intensity, doesn’t give a damn.

    The list goes on.

    He decides to play a simple, drive the net type of the game in the 3rd and he actually looks like a decent player. Then he goes and misses the net while being WIDE OPEN in front.

    Take some fucking responsibility, captain. Play like you want to win, play smart, and play aggressive. None of this cutesy dipsy-doodle stuff we’ve been seeing lately.

    Or go down with the ship.

  131. Cloned says:

    One other thing… he strikes me as the arrogant type who doesn’t care that he makes giveaways, but is the first to admonish others when they do. Nothing to back that up, just a hunch.

    He actually kicked Poo out of the faceoff circle tonight so he could take a draw himself, and then promptly lost it.

    Unbelievable.

  132. Bank Shot says:

    Looks like Moreau being himself. He’s always been a do it himself hockey player. I don’t think there is much wrong with that as long as he cuts down on the turnovers in his own end, that he’s been commiting lately.

    Cole’s constant attempts at beating defensemen one on one are just as frustrating. He’s probably one for one hundred at this point in the season. Kills the play pretty much every time.

    It’s like groundhog day with this team. I’d like to see one or two of the numerous problem trends corrected at some point. They just continue to roll out.

    Also, what is the deal with the Oilers trap? Its hideous. MacT throws the team under the bus for lacking intensity early in the game, but it looked to me like they were dutifully carrying out the game plan.

    One man standing in front of the net watching the opposing defenseman with the puck, then turning to follow the opposition forward sweeping behind the net. The other four Oilers stand behind the red line.

    I’m not sure what’s the point. They usually didn’t prevent entry to the zone, and allowed the Vancouver forecheckers to gain all kinds of steam. When they did manage to turnover the puck, they were so close to their own blueline, that there was none of that instant offence that the trap is supposed to create.

    The Canucks have their defensemen up around the redline when they trap. Their forwards up by the blueline. Prevents the other team from gaining the redline, which I kind of figured was the purpose of the formation.

  133. Cloned says:

    Bank Shot:

    I’ve been harping on the 1-2-2 (or 1-1-3, whatever it is) for a while now.

    If executed properly, it’s a decent system for causing opposition turnovers and creating counterattack opportunities.

    If not, which is the present case, it’s boring as hell and counterproductive. To be honest, our players are fast, and that’s about it. They’re not particularly patient, not particularly strong, not particularly good at puck possession, and not particularly good at counterattacking off the few turnovers we do create.

    The 1-2-2 we’re playing has the follow characteristics:

    1) Passive
    2) Reactive – lets opposition dictate tempo, scoring chances, type of game, momentum
    3) Poorly executed – poor spacing between players, poor positioning, overpursuit on puck carrier – leading to easy opposition breakouts, defeating the entire purpose of the 1-2-2 in the first place
    4) Poorly fit to our roster – we don’t have many finishers as it is, and the 1-2-2 we do play doesn’t create a heckuva lot of scoring chances for us. We need a lot of chances to get one goal.
    5) Creates discrepancy between attack and neutral zone play – when we do have the puck in the offensive zone, we’re actually fairly aggressive. When we don’t, we’re passive as hell. Our players are a mess right now, overcommitting on attack, then out of position on the transition back to defense, and then overcompensating.

    What the coaches need to do is design a forechecking system that utilizes our speedy forwards better without significantly increasing the amount of scoring chances against (we give up enough as is under the existing system). It’s a tough job, but they’re paid to do it.

  134. Sean says:

    Jonathan:

    1) To spur your JDD/Garon debate, I’ve been told that JDD was told he’s going down to get seasoned then one of the goalies will be moved. Take that for what its worth – not that we need to get excited over a 7th round pick or nothing ;)

    2) Grebs or Gilbert? I trade Grebs to Philly for a bigger forward not named Lupul. Gilbert is a smarter player IMO and is under contract, Grebs still has the KHL factor.

  135. Bruce says:

    Looks like Moreau being himself. He’s always been a do it himself hockey player. I don’t think there is much wrong with that as long as he cuts down on the turnovers in his own end, that he’s been commiting lately.

    Yeah, 5 in one game is a little hard to take. That’s just careless. Also shot wide from point blank range on the best chance to tie it up. A little remorse/anger about his own contribution to the Loss to a divisional rival would have been appropriate.

    Cole’s constant attempts at beating defensemen one on one are just as frustrating. He’s probably one for one hundred at this point in the season. Kills the play pretty much every time.

    Yeah, Cole is a do-it-yourselfer too, isn’t he? As you say, not always a bad thing, but not always the most effective either. One thing’s for sure, those guys are always all over the scoresheet.

    One crude way of measuring who is involved in the game is looking at all the RTSS, good and bad: shots, shots blocked or missed, HT, GV, TK, BS (I exclude faceoffs which are position dependent). Moreau and Cole are frequently the top two forwards on the club by this metric, and were again last night with 15 and 10 events respectively. On the season Cole is first on the club and Moreau second in such events. Whatever else, you can’t accuse them of not trying to make stuff happen.

  136. Ribs says:

    Cole can draw penalties all night trying to beat the defensemen, that’s A-okay in my books.

    It appears the Oilers really need those power plays to be clicking in order to win hockey games these days.

    Don’t tell San Jose!

  137. Bruce says:

    Agreed on the powerplay, which has been spinning its wheels, esp. the “first” unit.

    With Hemsky now on the shelf Indefinitely, maybe now is the time to be calling up Schremp? We need offence generally, esp. on the PP which is something of a specialty for Robbie. Not sure I want him on a PvP line, but judging from all the minuses being generated there lately, it hasn’t exactly been working for Reddox or Brule either.

    All the while Horcoff and Penner have been going in reverse. (-5 and -6 respectively the last 5 games.) I mean there’s no replacing Hemsky, but maybe they could use a linemate who can pass the damn puck. Whether that be Schremp himself, Nilsson or maybe Pouliot, there are better options than what we’ve seen on 1RW in recent games.

  138. Doogie2K says:

    @Coach: Regarding your question from the first page:

    Chelios and a 2nd for Savard.

    Which is the measured asset?

    Cheli, definitely. Savard was on the downslope of his career by 1990, whereas Chelios was in his prime, being just a year removed from winning his first Norris. Terrible trade, really, trying to make up for the fact that (a) the Habs took Wickenheiser over Savard in 1980, and (b) that Chelios was a bit of a dick, neither of these being sufficient hockey-related reasons to make that trade. Best part is, Denis! was a healthy scratch several times during the ’93 playoffs, including the night the Habs won the Cup; if you watch the YouTube of the Cup being handed around, he’s wearing a Goddamned suit.

    Thank you Ronald Corey, you fucking douchebag.

  139. pboy says:

    I can’t speak for anyone else but I am absolutely giddy about Marc Crawford trying to say Sedin – Sundin for the rest of the year. There’s no way his head doesn’t explode at some point.

  140. CrazyCoach says:

    Cloned and Bankshot,

    Yeah the 1-2-2 forecheck is not working right now.

    I think maybe MacT & Co. should maybe go to a 2-3 on the forecheck and a 2-1-2 in the neutral zone. The 2-3 is sometimes called the LW Lock or the 2-3 with a slider. Detroit uses it to perfection and have used it since Dave Lewis was an assistant under Bowman. It calls for the third forward (F3) and the two d-men to cut the ice into three lanes and stay at the blueline. It allows for a pinch on almost every play because there is support built in by the player occupying the middle lane. It also prevents the play or hollywood pass coming up the midlane which a lot of teams started doing lately. The two forwards forechecking need to pressure the puck carrier and try to steer them up the boards.

    I wish I could just post my instruction sheet on this. Much easier.

  141. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I don’t know why my point is such a sticking point with you.

    They are the 4th line – meaning they play the 4th most time at EV. Is that a line you should throw out against outscorers? And when you have last change, it shouldn’t happen more than once.

    As for Moreau, he’s a tremendous dick. I’m glad someone else noticed him going backwards in his zone to start the same old plays because the guy has no idea about his limitations.

    And all the stupid plays and stupid penalties means nothing but eye-rolling reactions from the kids.

  142. Lord Bob says:

    Congratulations to Ethan Moreau, the latest inductee to the Marc-Andre Bergeron Memorial Hall-of-Fame for the Oiler who’s being made a scapegoat for the team’s mediocrity in disproportion to his contribution!

    Previous Inductees:

    1997 – Jason Arnott
    2000 – Mike Comrie
    2002 – Tom Poti
    2007 – Marc-Andre Bergeron

  143. Bruce says:

    Dennis: I get your point. In the main you are correct. However, when your fourth line is posting better results, especially defensively, than your first line the coach’s confidence level (in both) is likely to change. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, all I’m saying is that if MacT would rather have the slugs out against the Sedins than, say, Brule or Cogliano or Gagner, I don’t automatically think he’s wrong. As Coach says, it’s a depth issue. Defensively-conscious grinders who can challenge Danrik and Heniel physically likely stand a better chance against them; indeed the Sedins didn’t hurt us much last night other than this one play where the checkers did clear the zone but fucked up the shoot-in that would have safely ended another successful shift. It was a tiny error that the Canucks exploited to the max: aggressive backcheck, steal, pass, pass, one-timer-under-the-bar, with Brodziak a split second late to Bernier.

    By all means, let’s get Hemsky and Pisani back in there — the sooner the better please! — and let the fourth line get back to the primary task of whacking the other team’s fourth line into submission. Knowing that if they do get caught out there against the toughs occasionally they are relatively safe works better as Plan B than A.

  144. Dennis says:

    LB: things have been building for a long time with 18.

    I didn’t turn on Comrie, I just thought that considering he couldn’t play against top lines, you couldn’t pay him close to top dollar. In that respect i agreed with Vish Throttler but the difference would’ve been I would’ve taken the best deal instead of trying to get a good return Plus making sure Comrie didn’t get to play where he wanted to.

    As for MAB, he had a nice contract for what he did and he was fine by me. Poti played at a time when we had Smith-Niinimaa-Brewer as well and we had all kinds of pitching but no hitting. Someone had to be sacrificed to pick up some offense and I was cool with that but I didn’t have a big hate-on for Poti.

    Moreau’s an easy guy to hate because he talks the talk while deluding himself that he walks the walk. Plus, he Used to be able to play tough opp and he Used to be able to kill penalties but now he doesn’t appear to be able to do either and he’s getting paid big money to boot.

  145. Cloned says:

    CrazyCoach:

    It might be worth a shot at the least. It’s quite clear that the current system isn’t working.

    Dennis:

    Yeah, the turnbacks in the defensive zone by Moreau are really pissing me off.

    The thing that’s irking me the most about our captain is that he sees losing more as a matter of luck. I hate to break it to him, but we didn’t play well last night. We didn’t lose because the Canucks got luckier than us.

    Dear lord, if he can’t even acknowledge the problem, how can he start taking responsibility for it?

  146. Dennis says:

    Cloned: I also liked how he didn’t mind fingering the PK.

    It strikes me as odd and wrong that a member of a shitty PK unit would say anything at all about a decent PP unit.

    I’m not really sure how he’d take it if a PP guy like 71 took a shot at the PK.

  147. Cloned says:

    Dennis:

    What annoys me is the fact that he can be a fairly effective player if he just plays the way he did in the 3rd period last night. Simple, no frills hockey. Drive to the net, use your teammates, no fancy stuff in your own zone. He won’t snipe anything anymore (as evidenced by his miss from 5 feet in front of the net), so he needs to create as many chances as possible, and aggressively taking ice and driving to the net is the best way for him to do that. Why he tries to play like Nilsson for 80% of the game is beyond me.

  148. CrazyCoach says:

    Cloned,

    The tough part is trying to change direction mid-stream. Having done it a few times, I can only say that the challenges are that some guys who are reluctant to change could sabotage the new system, while other guys may be very successful under the current system.

    This is where the GM and coach need to know what each other needs. Eric Cole is probably the worst fit for a 1-2-2 along with Penner. Both are big guys who don’t bang a lot, but would do well in a 2-3 system as F3 occupying a lane and covering a lot of real estate. Think Tomas Holmstrom.

    I know when guys understand a system, sometimes you could teach each line a different system, but injuries and the line blender almost make that impossible at the NHL level.

    I don’t envy MacT. It seems at times, he has to please too many people, including fickle bastards like me.

  149. Cloned says:

    CrazyCoach:

    It’s a tough job to be sure, but they’re paid (well) to do it. If coaching hockey was as simple as telling players to go out on the ice and execute a 1-2-2, everyone could do it. Obviously, there are specifics, exceptions and other oddities that must be crafted, taught, and implemented which a regular Joe Blow couldn’t do.

    I think it’s time for management and coaches to step back, reassess their philosophies and get on the same page. What we’re doing right now is leading us to another mediocre season.

    On a related note, do you think it’s MacT or Billy Moores who does most of the systems work on the Oilers?

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