Islanders at Oilers, G38/08-09

This is Denis Potvin, really early on. It might have been his rookie photo. Potvin was a wonderful defenseman, I think a player like Phaneuf could learn a lot about playing the game effectively from watching the way Potvin went about his business. He was always a bit of a dink if you went just by the quotes and never really struck anyone as being a deep thinker, but he could play the game and was excellent in all areas. He also had an impressive mean streak and had zero hesitation to make a vicious play when the opportunity presented itself in a game.

I hated the guy.

When the Oilers won the SC in 1984 it was an added bonus that they were able to win it against Potvin. He had a few events in his career that involved the Oilers, including the record for most PP goals (D) in a playoff game (3) against Edmonton in 1981.

Potvin also suffered a major (thumb) injury against the Oilers (November 30, 1979) so he probably didn’t like the Oilers too much either.

Three Norris trophies, the 4 Stanleys, won the Calder, 5 1st and 2 2nd All-Star teams (the season ending ones, the tough ones to get). He also played in a lot of playoff games every spring. From 1975-1984 he played in 157 games (almost two extra seasons) and helped out on offense (50-96-146) and was a rock on the blueline. He had gifted teammates, played for a great coach and delivered on the hype (#1 overall) to become a franchise player along the lines of Joe Sakic or Steve Yzerman.

I wonder why the Islanders don’t glory in their past more than they have since the dynasty. I believe the Oilers do too much of it, to the point where the new Oilers must wonder if the organization and its fans will ever get over it. The Islanders on the other hand seem to have all the presence and history of a franchise 8 or 10 years old based on the things you see and hear from them.

The Oilers do too much looking back, the Islanders not enough. Surely there’s something in between that would be a better plan.

There are a lot of Oilers fans who aren’t terribly happy about Sam Gagner’s season. You’ll see and hear people talking about his struggles and the team’s inability to send him to the minors, or about the wasted seasons on the entry deal and the tremendous cost to the club when he starts actually earning the dollars.

It’s my opinion that it has very little to do with Sam Gagner and a lot to do with the Oilers organization. They turned back the cluster age to the point where not only the Roloson’s, Staios’ and Moreau’s were cut off but the Horcoff’s and the Pisani’s were in danger too. They were under pressure, coming off a poor season and looking down the barrel of another. Sam Gagner must have looked like manna from heaven.

And he was overmatched. Badly. Despite the numbers we knew from the secondary indicators that all kinds of bad things were undercover and having a negative impact. This season, fans seemed to catch up to those underlying numbers and pointed the Gagner’s lack of offense (compared to the season ending stats in 07-08). Incredibly, they did it just as the underlying numbers began to show hope for the future.

Let’s run last season’s numbers (boxcars and the obscure ones) through 34 games against Gagner’s current season (which is also at 34 games):

Box Cars

  • 07-08: 3-13-16 -7
  • 08-09: 3-11-14 E

Gagner’s performance is certainly in the range of expectation from where it was a year ago, and since he “got hot” at the plate last winter there’s no reason to think he can’t finish north of 40 points this year. In fact, in the “reasonable expectations” post I did on Gagner before the season my guess was that he’d finish with 53 points. Should Gagner perform at the identical level this season as he did one year ago, his final stats will read 79gp, 13-31-44 which is most certainly in the range of expectation.

But wait! There’s more! A year ago, Gagner was at -7 on his way to -21. -21 is a big number, even for a rookie. When most rookies get overwhelmed the coach will send them to the pressbox for a game or two, but that didn’t really happen much with Gagner (he played 79/82 a year ago, 96% of the schedule). So this season’s EVEN would have to be considered a bit of a step forward, especially considering he’s playing against slightly better pitching.

We’re not done! Remember we discussed the secondary numbers? Well, let’s have a look.

Obscure Numbers

  • 07-08: 1.96EVs; -5.6CORSI; GF/GAON: 38-52
  • 08-09: 1.44EVs; 3.2CORSI; GF/GAON: 20-16

These numbers tell us a very interesting story. Gagner is off the pace (but catching up) at EVs in terms of point production, but is contributing to a healthier, more balanced collective when on-ice. This is reflected in both the Corsi and GF/GA numbers.

Young players seldom progress in a straight line. Denis Potvin is one of the few who I can ever remember having a completely consistent and predictable progression.

Does this mean Sam Gagner is out of the woods and not prone to slumps? Certainly not, he’s on a nice streak currently which will be followed by a cool down period. However, I’ve said before and will say again the concern with Gagner is injury (Kane in Chicago is currently hurt) which can have a major effect on young players.

That aside, and with the understanding that prospects ebb and flow more than the seasoned veterans, I’m pleased with Sam Gagner’s progress this season. At the end of the year we’ll look back and see a slump with good underlying numbers that had an impact on his year.

We won’t see a series of comments, articles and quotes about Sam Gagner questioning his ability and having a crisis of confidence. That tells us a very good story about Sam Gagner.

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215 Responses to "Islanders at Oilers, G38/08-09"

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  1. B.C.B. says:

    Gagner is playing better to my eye this year. LT your research (such as GF/GAON and Corsi) help to demonstrate this. Other then Gags’ back passes, and slow offensive isn’t this what we want in a second year (19yearold) pro?

    Prediction for tonight: 4-2 Win for the Oil. I don’t know why I think this, but the Isle suck, so we should win.

  2. devon says:

    Being Kane’s running mate in london has set expectations for immediate results ala Kane. Once some of the casual fans realize that not every player progresses at the same level, i think some of the frustration for fans will subside. Gagner is exactly where i thought he’d be this year….rounding out his game and gaining confidence offensively. Joe thornton went 7, 41 and 60 in his first 3 seasons. I think Sammy’s numbers are just fine so far.

  3. Coach pb9617 says:

    To watch tonight:

    Does MacTavish continue to coach? The Stars game was the first game in a long time that I can remember him specifically matching defensive pairings to the opposition’s forwards. For most of the year, he’s been in a rotation, but he changed up last time out.

    Will he continue to use Brodziak as his own Pahlsson? Anything that keeps Cogliano and Gagner out of the circle is a good thing and he finally realizes that.

    Anyone know if Pouliot is back tonight and if so, will he move back to Cogs’ line? And also if so, is Brule back to the A?

  4. Ribs says:

    Poo won the accuracy competition in the skills competition..I think his head may be okay. That’s a relief.

  5. mc79hockey says:

    I think a player like Phaneuf could learn a lot about playing the game effectively from watching the way Potvin went about his business. He was always a bit of a dink if you went just by the quotes and never really struck anyone as being a deep thinker…

    Wow. It’s like they were separated at birth.

  6. danny says:

    Thanks for re-iterating this.

    Gagner has been much maligned by the Oiler faithful over at HF this season (and Coach).

    For most, being a fan is an emotion driven interest, which makes sense in that its hard to rationalize what we put ourselves through emotionally and financially to watch grown men play a game.

    So it should be no shock really that people romanced themselves with visions of Gagners hot streak through the summer.

    They see him good this season. He’s easily pushed off the puck now, unlike last season when he could dance therough the opposition untouched.

    A lot of people had false expectations for him this season, and the mob mentality largely cements emotional conclusions as reality within said mob.

    Its good to see some serious progression though. Thats quite a significant improvement for a kid his age in what he is surrendering.

    Some people still really don’t get the two sides of a coin concept. Almost as if a teams points are secondary to individual points. No rationality there. Fans.

  7. hunter1909 says:

    Something I never understood was how the Islanders stopped contending for the cup after 1984.

    It wasn’t like their core was very old.

    I hear that the dynasty took it’s toll on the players, playing all those extra series in the playoffs, but for the life of me I just don’t get how guys like Potvin, Trottier etc who were still relatively young, just sank without so much as a trace.

    Please oh Lowetide bloggers, enlighten me.

  8. Dominik says:

    Wow, interesting to see the perspective from a few time zones away. Because for most Islanders fans, the club has done too much (or, at minimum, quite enough) glorying in their own past and the dynasty years.

    Meanwhile, on the converse, I’d thought the Oilers until recent years didn’t do enough! (At least I hated that they went away from their classic uniform scheme.)

    To answer hunter1909: Something often cited for decline/fatigue was not only the 20 playoff rounds in five years but also the two Canada Cups in that time frame that drew their stars. Add to that the usual luck that both prevents and helps creates dynasties.

    They were competitive through the mid-80s, but you had the younger Flyers emerging as one Patrick Division threat.

    Also: while Potvin and Trottier were relatively young, Bossy’s back was in irreversible decline, Potvin was wearing out, Smith was done, and a lot of their “character” guys were aging. Only Trottier, Tonelli and Brent Sutter reached 1990 with anything left in the tank.

    Oh, and Al Arbour retired (the first time), feeling spent, and he was not, uh, not “replaced adequately.”

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT, my apologies for stealing the comments section pregame again.

    Hey fellas, just to make sure I'm seeing straight, use Kris' scale:

    40*-HOF
    29-MVP,Strong MVP candidate
    21-Quality NHL regular
    16-Quality NHL regular player less than 70 games, Lottery Pick
    13-Above average NHLer
    11-Above average NHLer w/less 70 games, 1st Round pick
    10-NHL regular, 2nd round pick
    9-NHL regular <70 games
    —-starts here
    8-Replacement level NHLer
    7-Quality prospect
    6-Fringe NHL players, 3rd round pick
    5-AHL regular
    4-Callup
    3-Mid level prospect
    2-Marginal pro prospect
    1-Unknown quality

    to rank the following players and their value on the date that they were traded. I've made this sample as varied as possible with deadline, mid-season and offseason deals and I've thrown in all four positions.

    11/24/1987 Paul Coffey
    3/12/1988 Tom Barrasso
    3/4/1991 Ron Francis
    7/4/1994 Al MacInnis
    7/8/1995 Alexander Mogilny
    8/17/1996 Jeremy Roenick
    7/17/1999 Pavel Bure
    3/6/2000 Ray Bourque
    3/13/2001 Keith Tkachuk
    7/11/2001 Jaromir Jagr
    3/3/2004 Brian Leetch
    8/3/2005 Chris Pronger
    11/30/2005 Joe Thornton
    7/6/2006 Chris Pronger
    2/25/2007 Keith Tkachuk
    2/26/2007 Ryan Smyth
    2/26/2008 Brad Richards
    2/26/2008 Brian Campbell
    2/26/2008 Marian Hossa

  10. Unleaded says:

    You know, as I look back on the season so far, I can’t help but notice that a lot of the young players are developing. Hell, even Fatty played a different game than usual against the Stars! I’m not going to say that I agree with everything that has happened with this team and its direction so far this year, but… Most of the younger guys have arrows pointing in the right direction.

    I just want to dwell on that for a second:
    Smid looks like a solid defenseman. Or rather, Smid makes Staois look like a competant defenseman.
    Grebeshkov looks like he could be Vishnovsky in 5 years.
    Gilbert is playing well as the #2 Dman.
    Gagner played through his drought early on, and now that he has someone to make some room for him, is putting up points without being a black whole.
    Cogliano has been solid like a rock – Consistently one of the better Oilers when he is on the ice.
    Stortini, for all his faults, is hitting things, and playing against better opposition. Brodziak is starting to become our replacement for Stoll.
    Pouliot looks like an NHL regular.
    I think I need to say that one again. Pouliot looks like an NHL regular.
    Nilsson has not had great results with his peers this year, but he has show flashes. I would be shocked if he didn’t go on a run with Cole and Gagner soon.
    Redox. A kid with heart. He’s putting it all out there every game. I’m not going to make any comparisons right now, but he could become something special.

    I have to say that as I review that list, I am really happy. Then, when I look from that list to the standings sheet, I see something. The Oilers are treading water while giving their young players a number of more challenging assignments. They are not blowing their opponents out of the water, but they are winning games cleanly, and are ‘in’ most games they play.

    This was not always the case last year, and it sure as shit wasn’t where they were 2 years ago.

    Last year they were hanging on to OT and then stealing points in the shootout. The year before they were just dying on the ice. None of those things are happening this year. And they are doing it (inconsistently) with kids in key roles.

    If the Oilers keep playing the same kind of game they are playing now, with the kids learning and growing and developing and the team never gets beyond the 7-12 range of teams this year, I’ll be fine with that. I realize that as much as I want to win now, I don’t need to. And I like watching the players we have now grow. And as long as they can keep doing that, I’m quite happy to keep most what is enabling that growth in tact.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    Gagner has been much maligned by the Oiler faithful over at HF this season (and Coach).

    My frustration was with him early on for playing dumb. There’s a difference between struggling and just playing like a dink. He was doing dumb things and he wasn’t moving his feet.

    Very shortly thereafter my frustration was with the leadership on the team and the coach, and they way they were handling the dink.

    Poo won the accuracy competition in the skills competition..I think his head may be okay. That’s a relief.

    SNIPER!

  12. St George says:

    you went just by the quotes and never really struck anyone as being a deep thinker

    I don’t know how many of you have XMRadio, but on the 24-hour hockey channel Potvin used to have a 15-minute spot every morning where he analyzed the previous night’s games. (He may still, but it isn’t when it used to be, so I don’t get to catch it on my drive to work.) I found him to be actually very articulate and offer a lot more interesting insight into the game than lots of hockey media, be it print, radio, or TV. In fact, it probably wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I found him to be more interesting than most hockey experts … sports analysts and reporters aren’t ever going to be mistaken for Bertrand Russell, but Potvin did generally have a lot of interesting insight into player motivation and what really won or lost a given game.

  13. Schitzo says:

    I’m worried tonight – it doesn’t matter where Weight plays, we seem to lose when he’s in town.

  14. Kris says:

    Coach:

    I think the scale is Sean’s from the previous comments section, no?

  15. Alice says:

    The Isles always bring up – yes, that – the singular memory of losing to them in game 6 OT, 1981. They win a squeaker, then Trottier took the opportunity to skate a little victory gloat at center ice for us fans.
    Hard times for the Isles don’t bother me one bit.

  16. Doogie2K says:

    The Oilers do too much looking back, the Islanders not enough. Surely there’s something in between that would be a better plan.

    I’d suggest the Canadiens’ model, but then, they arguably do even more looking back than the Oilers. Difference is, they have the history to warrant it, even if their recent history is just as mediocre as the other two teams’.

    Those GF-GA numbers are startling year-over-year. I dunno what those look like as /60s, but, he’s decreased the goal events while he’s on the ice by 60% (90-36), and while that’s come in part from almost halving the goals created on the ice, it’s also come from reducing the GA by 70%, and this is apparently in spite of a lot of drop passes to no one. Is it normal for a kid to suddenly go from high-event to low-event (at least in terms of goals) overnight like that? Do we have enough data to say?

    The Stars game was the first game in a long time that I can remember him specifically matching defensive pairings to the opposition’s forwards. For most of the year, he’s been in a rotation, but he changed up last time out.

    Ask Charlie Huddy; that’s his job.

    To complete Dennis’s thoughts on the fall of the Islanders, not only were Trottier, Tonelli, and Sutter the only character guys left by 1990, only Sutter was still with the team at that point: Trottier was in Pittsburgh (and shortly picked up two more rings), Tonelli was in LA after a brief stop in Calgary. Heck, even Sutter was gone by the time the Isles next made the conference finals in ’93, having gone to Chicago two years earlier.

  17. B.C.B. says:

    Coach: here is my opinion . . . but remember I am younger then you and not really a stats man. PS: you should also include some no-name trades in your final analysis to make sure it works with other non-famous players.

    11/24/1987 Paul Coffey = 40
    3/12/1988 Tom Barrasso = 21
    3/4/1991 Ron Francis = 21
    7/4/1994 Al MacInnis = 40
    7/8/1995 Alexander Mogilny
    8/17/1996 Jeremy Roenick = 21
    7/17/1999 Pavel Bure = 29
    3/6/2000 Ray Bourque = 29
    3/13/2001 Keith Tkachuk = 29
    7/11/2001 Jaromir Jagr = 21
    3/3/2004 Brian Leetch = 29
    8/3/2005 Chris Pronger = 29
    11/30/2005 Joe Thornton = 29
    7/6/2006 Chris Pronger = 40
    2/25/2007 Keith Tkachuk = 13
    2/26/2007 Ryan Smyth = 21
    2/26/2008 Brad Richards = 13
    2/26/2008 Brian Campbell = 29
    2/26/2008 Marian Hossa = 21

  18. DeBakey says:

    but he changed up last time out.

    Ask Charlie Huddy; that’s his job.

    I recall MacT saying:
    The strategy is mapped out before the game
    Huddy then implements it

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: here is my opinion . . . but remember I am younger then you and not really a stats man. PS: you should also include some no-name trades in your final analysis to make sure it works with other non-famous players.

    Thanks BCB! I will be including “no-namers” as well, but it’s much, much easier to tag Ken Klee and Marc-Andre Bergeron than it is to delineate the nuances of good, all-star, mvp and HOF

    Ask Charlie Huddy; that’s his job.

    I don’t believe it is. The way that I understand it is that Mac sets up the matchups and Huddy does the shoulder tapping.

  20. Traktor says:

    Individually Gagner is wonderful. Collectively with all the other runts it doesn’t make sense. The play is to send Gagner to Florida for Horton but I’m sure Lowe will end up moving Cole to Buffalo for Tyler Ennis.

  21. Jfry says:

    @LT: a search function on your site would be awesome. i’m trying to have a discussion with a friend about calgary’s prospect, backlund, since it’s rumoured he’s going to play in the dub following the WJC. i wanted to show him some of your thougts on “line in the sand” with regards to prospects and games played in the AHL…

    also, great work on the gagne analysis.

  22. doritogrande says:

    “Lowe will end up moving Cole to Buffalo for Tyler Ennis.”

    Change the name “Ennis” for “Myers”…and I’ll throw in Grebeshkov to sweeten that pot.

    This game will go one of two ways for me. Either I’ll be sullen and horribly depressed after the Canada game, or nothing will be able to change my good mood. Hoping for another solid game from Eberle.

  23. oilerdago says:

    I’m more concerned with the Oilers playing to the level of their competition tonite. Dallas comes in on a roll and the effort is there. Ottawa comes in and we lay an egg. Happens with a young team.

    Nice to see Doogie mention Al Arbour’s role with those Islander teams.

    No one underestimated his value (and Bill Torrey’s procurement) in all those years, molding a champion the first time and then coming back to take a badly outmanned team to the conference finals in 93.

    Arbour had his ups and downs with a young and talented team in the 70′s and saw it through with the help of a couple of key trades (the one I think that put them over the top was getting Butch Goring).

    And it’s no coincidence that since they’ve left that team has become a mess.

    Have to give MacT some credit for his patience with Gagner. He’s developing a complete game. Might not be easy to take now, but it will pay off because he’s got a good head on his shoulders.

  24. digger says:

    Apparently both Pouliot and Horcoff (back spasms) are now game time decisions, so this game might be a tad more challenging than originally thought.

    Poor Brodziak could be taking every single faceoff that’s even halfway important, best of luck.

  25. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    Jfry: use google… type the search term and at the end at “site:[sitename]“

    For instance:
    “line in the sand” site:lowetide.blogspot.com

  26. hunter1909 says:

    Interesting how the last 3 dynasties…Canadiens(Bowman), Islanders(Arbour), and Oilers(Sather) all had seriously cool coaching.

    Obviously these were all great talented teams, but look at teams like today’s Senators, or even Sharks and you see that the better teams sometimes don’t get anywhere in the playoffs.

    I don’t know much about Arbour, Bowman sounds like a lunatic, and Slats was merely revolutionary in his thinking(encouraging his young players to go out to art galleries while on the road, to show them there is more to life than playing hockey).

  27. doritogrande says:

    digger:

    What’s the story with Hemsky? I’ve been away for the last week without internet, and don’t know the severity of his injury? I did however see Pouliot get rocked by the ice. I thought he’d be out for weeks.

  28. Dennis says:

    - I am Shocked to hear that anyone had any interest in anything Potvin had to say after listening to him for a few games doing the colour on the Panthers TV bcasts.

    - I was down on 89 early on but my SCF/A said good things happened when he was on the ice and Corsi supported that. So, it might just have been something as simple as bad luck that was hindering him. Now he’s found some chem with 26 so if the results becomes easier to come by then I won’t be surprised.

    According to Gregor, 78′s back tonight for sure but 10′s iffy.

  29. HBomb says:

    Horcoff’s iffy for tonight? Shit….

  30. Alice says:

    I feel a recipe is coming

  31. quain says:

    If Shawn Horcoff were a real first line center he’d never have back spasms.

  32. Traktor says:

    Not that we need more pint sized players but has anyone know anything about Mats Zuccarello-Aasen?

    I was just cruising through eliteprosects.com and found out that the unheralded Norwegian is leading the SEL in points per game. He’s only 21 years old and has never been drafted.

    In 2006/2007 he put up 59 points in 43 games in Norway’s top league.

    He then put up 7 points in 5 games in the World Juniors.

    The following season he amassed 64 points in just 33 games.

    His efforts won him player of the year in both 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

    Now he is playing in the SEL and is leading the league in points per game.

    He lacks size (only 5’7) but looks like a good bet to overcome it. I would like to see Lowe bring this guy over and see what he could do in the AHL.

  33. Jonathan says:

    Doug Weight’s out for the Islanders tonight.

  34. Traktor says:

    Future star?

  35. Coach pb9617 says:

    Pshaw. Back spams. Like those affect your ability to take faceoffs.

  36. Unleaded says:

    So, if both Horcoff and Hemsky are out, what does that do to our top line? IMO it makes the most sense to run 12-89-26 as our top line and then have 27 play as a 2nd scoring line with 67 and 85.

    12-89-26 Score 1
    18-13-78 Check 1
    27-67-85 Score 2
    43-51-46 Bangers

    Yeesh… I know they have the ability to win this game, but god if that isn’t an ugly forward lineup…

    Good thing we’re just playing against the Isles… It means we should still have a fair chance to get the W. If this lineup where to face Vancouver on Wednesday, I’d be REALLY worried.

  37. Jonathan says:

    Traktor: Not a half-bad player by the looks (and numbers) of it, but I’d guess that with Omark coming over the Oilers have their fill of pint-sized Scandinavians.

  38. B.C.B. says:

    Sign from God: my little brother just sent me a new retro 3rd (4, Lowe) jersey in the mail: it came with Mexican smokes. I am assuming this is a good omen, and if I where it tonight the Oil will win.

  39. Kris says:

    “anyone know anything about Mats Zuccarello-Aasen?”

    His name sucks.

  40. DeBakey says:

    The Oiler’s line-up tonight is worth
    $44.6 Million.

    And not a penny more

  41. HBomb says:

    I feel a recipe is coming

    If you’re feeling “blue” about the team’s hopes:

    3 shots Smirnoff Blueberry vodka
    1 part Blueberry juice
    1 part 7-Up

    Tastes like Koolaid, acts like Prozac.

  42. Traktor says:

    Jonathan: If it were up to me I would fill the minor league with these boom/bust types. If 1 out of 5 make it you’ve stuck gold.

    If Colin McDonald makes it you’ve got a free coffee.

    No sense wasting resources and years of time developing 3rd/4th line types when their potential realized can ALWAYS be found for 3rd round picks.

  43. Ribs says:

    His name sucks.
    Those youtube vids suck too. Can the guy raise the puck higher than a foot? Do the goalies play for free beers in that league? Yikes.

  44. boopronger says:

    did I read that right? Almost a point per game player in the playoffs for a d-man? Crazy.

    Dont look now but gagner has 8 points in the last 8 games.

  45. Lord Bob says:

    As long as we’re doing drink recipes, I’ve been working on this one for a while. It’s called the Oilers Penalty Kill.

    Ingredients:
    Canadian Club

    Instructions:
    pour Canadian Club into old-fashioned glass, neat. Drink. Repeat until out of Canadian Club. During intermissions, go to liquor store.

  46. Schitzo says:

    So who is rooting for Poo to get slotted at 1C tonight? :D

  47. Lord Bob says:

    So who is rooting for Poo to get slotted at 1C tonight? :D

    Count me in for a Penner – Pouliot – Reddox line! Two bottom-six kids + fat guy = INSTANT SCORING.

  48. B.C.B. says:

    If Horcoff is out, why not put cogs on the top line

    Penner-Cogs-Poo
    Nilisson-Gags-Cole
    Moreau-Brod-Brule
    Zorg-Reddox-Strudwick

    If Poo is out to, I can’t even image the lines.

  49. oilerdago says:

    Zorg’s due 2/3rd’s a Gordie Howe hat trick tonite.

  50. quain says:

    With Horcoff, Pouliot, and Hemsky out Stortini might finally get his shot on the top line. We can line up Brodziak, Reddox, and Stortini, call it the top line, and confuse the hell out of the league.

  51. DeBakey says:

    If Pouliot is out, they don’t have 20 guys.

    Ian McDonald signs a try-out contract?

  52. Schitzo says:

    Strudwick’s the ultimate swing-man. He can play LW and RW at the same time.

  53. Jonathan says:

    Penner – Gagner – Cole
    Nilsson – Cogliano – Pouliot
    Moreau – Brodziak – Reddox
    Strudwick – Brule – Stortini

    Brodziak takes every single defensive zone faceoff. Penner fills in for Gagner in the faceoff circle and these guys take on the second toughest opposition. Cogliano’s line takes on the softies and Brule’s line hits people.

    That’s an ugly lineup, but I’m not sure that there’s a better combination if Horcoff and Hemsky are both out.

  54. Lord Bob says:

    My prediction: to try and avoid giving Rob Schremp a chance, the Oilers sign Mark Lamb.

  55. Unleaded says:

    [i]Zorg’s due 2/3rd’s a Gordie Howe hat trick tonite.[/i]

    2 questions:
    – what period is his goal in?
    – who’s goal does he assist on?

    [i]That’s an ugly lineup, but I’m not sure that there’s a better combination if Horcoff and Hemsky are both out.[/i]

    27-89-26 won’t work out well due to Penners speed issues. Their bread and butter is transition, a little grinding. I don’t see Penner fitting in there well.

    Having Pou or even Brule playing centre between him and Ox makes more sense, and it keeps the productive line that’s still healthy together.

    Not to suggest that chemistry has been a problem with this team… Never these Oilers…

  56. Kris says:

    With no Horc and no Poo:

    Nilson-Gagner-Cole
    Moreau-Cogliano-Reddox
    Penner-Brodziak-Stortini
    Double Shift-Brule-Strudwick

    D-Zone draws are gonna hurt, but there’s no way around it. None.

    Lines one and two are real fast and can score. Line 3 can hit and needs to just play simple and finish their checks.

    You could also roll three lines, forget Strudwick, and sub Brule in to any of the three lines to give players a breather.

  57. goldenchild says:

    Lord Bob are you Don Draper?

    If Horc is out and Poo is in I would like to see him get a chance in the middle, he really cant be worse than 89 and 13 on the dot and besides 51 there isnt antother guy who has a shot at 50%.

    Mark Lamb was a better player than Sugar Tits, this team could use a guy like Lamb.

  58. HBomb says:

    Ingredients:
    Canadian Club

    Reminds me of a joke….so a baby seal walks into a bar, and the bartender says to him “Looks like you’ve had a rough day, can I get you a drink?”

    The seal’s response: “Sure, anything BUT Canadian Club”.

    Zing.

    Lord Bob: I’d figure you’d go for a better rye than CC….if I’m going for cheap whisky, guaranteed it’s going to be Segram’s 83. And if I decide to class it up, Tangle Ridge all the way….

    Royal Reserve and I have a love-hate relationship. I used to drink CC when I was in high school while smoking pot, so that’s a no go. And Crown Royal…meh, it’s not as smooth as it once was…

  59. relic says:

    sounds like poo is in tonight, i see him going back with moreau and cogs while brodziak steps up between penner and reddox for a reliable line.

    HB
    tangle ridge or anything that’s been aging for ten years is the way to go, no doubt, for the first 2-3 anyway. after that you’re not tasting it anymore so you may as well go rot gut. ah whiskey…

  60. hunter1909 says:

    goldenchild is MacT, right?

    How about putting Smid at center on the first line? Oilers always need defensive awareness.

  61. relic says:

    MacTs pregame also seemed to suggest 18 will be taking some of 13s draws tonight… and possibly 26 for 89 as well.

  62. Lord Bob says:

    HBomb: I have to drink on a budget, and the Oilers make that hard. So I have to buy the cheapest stuff that tastes decent. Canadian Club fits the bill nicely.

  63. Traktor says:

    “MacTs pregame also seemed to suggest 18 will be taking some of 13s draws tonight… and possibly 26 for 89 as well.”

    This is the type of foresight that I’ve learned to expect from MacT. I mean the last thing in the world you want in a developmental year is a young center learning his craft, right?

  64. Traktor says:

    Classic Moreau though. I’m sure he went up to Craig and told him he could do a better job even though he’s failing at his own job. Moreau is such an arrogant bastard. Wears his ego on his sleeve. I would love to get in a dust up with him one day.

  65. hunter1909 says:

    Who the fuck picks these captains anyway?

    Shouldn’t the fucking players decide???

    Like in a private ballot?

    Why can’t this franchise even do things on a simplistically intelligent level?

  66. hunter1909 says:

    “Moreau is such an arrogant bastard.”

    Exactly on what basis is this third line winger arrogant? Because he plays for a mediocre franchise that used to be great? Or because he makes 100x more playing a kids game than he’d make working at Canadian Tire(assuming he could pass the famous CT entrance examination).

  67. quain says:

    And you just know that arrogant prick Pisani told MacT that he could play center better than Brodziak and Pouliot. God, I wish he would suffer a relapse of his ulcerative colitis.

  68. doritogrande says:

    “Who the fuck picks these captains anyway?

    Shouldn’t the fucking players decide???

    Like in a private ballot?

    Why can’t this franchise even do things on a simplistically intelligent level?”

    Pretty sure they picked him because Shawn Horcoff isn’t a first-line center.

    *rimshot.

    GO CANADA!

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    The power play should look fun tonight.

    Penner Cole Gagner?

    Or do you go Penner Pouliot Cole and the kids on 2?

    Horcoff would have stronger back muscles if he was a real number one center and Mac hadn’t lost the room.

  70. PunjabiOil says:

    You hope the Oilers honour Doug Weight today, even though he’s not playing, for hitting the 1,000 point plateau.

  71. Scott says:

    I’m not as convinced as some that Gagner’s performance is alright. Perhaps I just don’t “get” that the big improvement in Corsi is much more important than the increase in goals, but most elite young players do better year over year with regard to points from year one into year two. He’s still a very good player, but all the guys I’ve thought of as possible comparables(Damphousse, Marleau, Connolly) all improved into their second year in terms of points. Barring a very good second half he looks like he’ll probably regress in this area. To me, that’s significant. I/we may need to start looking for different comps.

  72. Coach pb9617 says:

    Above, some of you were discussing the Islanders fall. Didn’t they make a conference final two years later?

  73. PunjabiOil says:

    Hemsky’s situation is really worrying.

    Ales Hemsky was to get on the bike today but it doesn’t sound as if the club’s top scorer is any closer to getting back into the lineup. He was left with concussion symptoms after he was driven into the boards by the Nashville Predators’ Jordin Tootoo.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Back+spasms+sideline+Oilers+Horcoff/1143950/story.html

    Horcoff might not go today.

    Just when we have a good schedule and opportunity to go on a run.

  74. doritogrande says:

    Lovin that the Calgary draft pick already caused a PP goal.

    PK Subban down low with a big (and apparently unnoticed) assist from Eberle.

  75. doritogrande says:

    dirty fucking Swede goalie.

  76. Dennis says:

    I can’t believe that on this of all blogs LT failed to mention that Potvin was rumored to be an even better baseball player than hockey player.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    “Above, some of you were discussing the Islanders fall. Didn’t they make a conference final two years later?”

    Making the conference final doesn’t really mean a lot, when you compare it to winning the cup.

    Kind of like when someone tries to say the Oilers making the conference finals in 1991 meant anything.

    On Doug Weight: Yes, let’s retire his number right after Ryan Smyth and, let’s say…Jiri Dopita.

  78. Lord Bob says:

    Yeah, a ‘congratulations to Doug Weight’ over the loudspeaker would be a classy gesture, even if they didn’t go any further. He put in a lot of miles with the copper and blue.

  79. Coach pb9617 says:

    Did the Winnipeg Jets trade or trade for a all-star?

    I did a cursory glance and couldn’t find any.

  80. Coach pb9617 says:

    And by the way, for anyone that cares, this blog is pretty good for trades by year :)

    http://nhltradeshistory.blogspot.com/

  81. doritogrande says:

    “Did the Winnipeg Jets trade or trade for a all-star?

    I did a cursory glance and couldn’t find any.”

    Phil Housley.

  82. doritogrande says:

    Ok seriously, you go out to get the puck if you’re a goalie, you’re fucking legal to get slammed.

    Fuck you, Jakob Markstrom.

  83. mc79hockey says:

    “That’s pure embellishment by Markstrom. Esposito’s leg DOES go into the back of Markstrom’s.”

    Ah Pierre McGuire.

  84. doritogrande says:

    No penalty on this? Fuck you IIHF. That Swedish behemoth was throwing punches!

    Swedish Chris Pronger indeed. Really seems to fit the bill.

  85. mattm says:

    Coach

    Teemu Selanne

  86. mc79hockey says:

    Ah, international referees. The no penalty option makes no sense whatsoever, so of course that’s what they do. It’s like Hedman busted out the “She was asking for it” defence and they bought it.

  87. doritogrande says:

    And Angelo Esposito rubs it into Markstrom’s face.

    Eat it you shit.

  88. Coach pb9617 says:

    Phil Housley.

    Them’s were just jokes at the Jets’ expense, DG :)

    Hawerchuk and Selanne going out more than qualifies.

  89. mc79hockey says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but if I was Dana Tyrell, I wouldn’t want to be there. Also, McGuire just creeps me out when he talks. “So respected by his teammates…”

    Espo! Love the shot of Hedman right after.

    Terrible goal.

  90. Lord Bob says:

    Don’t forget the strong, powerful legs.

  91. doritogrande says:

    “Them’s were just jokes at the Jets’ expense, DG :)

    Hawerchuk and Selanne going out more than qualifies.”

    If we’re making jokes about that, you forgot to mention Bobby Essensa.

  92. mc79hockey says:

    This Della Rovere guy is an absolute moron.

    Also, I have no idea how Markstrom got one there. I thought it was a dive at first but that was a full on hit.

  93. doritogrande says:

    Markstrom acts like a less classy version of Dwayne Roloson. An ornery fuck who knows how to rile up both players and fans alike.

  94. Coach pb9617 says:

    That should have been a 5 on 3. Lucky, lucky.

  95. Lowetide says:

    Is there time for the zebra’s to go over the rule book between periods? This is a gong show. Maybe just give a goal to Sweden and then get back to playing.

  96. Lord Bob says:

    Tokarski picked a good time to have his first half-decent game of the tournament.

  97. doritogrande says:

    Fuck the Oilers. I’m not leaving this game til they finish singing O’Canada.

  98. Black Dog says:

    They should staple Della Rovere to the bench.

    And Subban is dangerous every time he is out there, wrong team though.

    Vintage Pat Quinn squad.

    Fun to watch but man, they cause a lot of their own problems.

  99. doritogrande says:

    Pat:

    Agreed on DellaRovere, but Subban’s been great this whole tournament. Dude leads the tournament in +/-. I’ve been more concerned when captain Hickey’s been out on the ice than when the Montreal pick has been patrolling the ice.

    They need to get that 4th line more ice time. The WHL line has been dangerous the whole night.

  100. Lowetide says:

    Della Riva is going to cost some NHL team a lot of games if he doesn’t wise up. Otoh, I watched junior games in 1974 that had a lot of what he’s bringing out there.

  101. doritogrande says:

    When did the Swedes become diving dirty Russians?

  102. Lord Bob says:

    1971-ish?

  103. Matt says:

    Seriously, fans in Ottawa: enough freaking booing. Christ. The 500 to 1000 fans who’ll be going home with their lungs hoarse from booing (“I couldn’t even sing the anthem at the end!”) are bloody embarrassing.

  104. doritogrande says:

    LT:

    that “some team” is currently the Washington Capitals.

  105. slipper says:

    Also, McGuire just creeps me out when he talks. “So respected by his teammates…”

    Tobias: I barely even know you! Who’s Frank?
    Frank: Well, I’ve been wanting to talk to you about that, but it’s a little awkward.
    Tobias: Oh, well, I’ve been wanting to have my own awkward talk as well.
    Frank: I think we could be more than just gym buddies.
    Tobias: You’re blowing my mind, Frank.

  106. doritogrande says:

    EBERLE SEALS IT FOR CANADA!!!

  107. Coach pb9617 says:

    Brutal giveaway Horc.

  108. doritogrande says:

    Jordan Eberle has now scored at >2 points per game in the tournament with the 5-1 assist on Hodgson's goal.

    Stu Macgregor, you magnificent bastard!

  109. Coach pb9617 says:

    Horc is skating like he’s hurting.

  110. oilerdago says:

    Brutal game period for the Oil. Being totally outhustled.

  111. Coach pb9617 says:

    Gagner does so well from that post because no one can see him hiding behind it.

  112. doritogrande says:

    Jordan Eberle named one of Canada’s Top 3 players of the tournament. Other two were PK Subban and John Tavares.

  113. Coach pb9617 says:

    Best Penalty Kill EVERRRRRRRRRRRRR

  114. B.C.B. says:

    Do the Oilers do this on purpose? What did they do with the team that played Dallas.
    No hustle, no battle on the boards, no heart.

  115. Temujin says:

    Nice to see Esposito with the GWG for Canada.

    Also nice to see Comeau bag one late :-)

  116. PunjabiOil says:

    Dumb play by Visnovsky. He’s offensive minded, but what a terrible pinch on the 2-0 goal.

    Just a terrible play by Lubomir Visnovsky.

  117. gary b says:

    somebody fire a ‘Rexall Reminder’ down to the home dressing room – the game’s started.

  118. HBomb says:

    Losing 2-0 after one period to a team that’s lost 12 straight road games?

    Unacceptable. Florida, the Kings, the Senators, the Leafs…..it’s blown games like these that are the biggest reason I want to see a coaching change. Because THIS shit has been going on for years.

  119. Dennis says:

    I know I mentioned this awhile back and someone looked it up but I think the Oilers have always done well enough on the road to make the playoffs.

    BTW, unless something major happens I’ll have the chances for/against up as soon as the games over. I’ve still got to post the loss at CGY – and I’ve yet to review the W vs Dal – but everything will be up by the end of tomorrow for those that want to catch up.

    After 20 tonight: I have the chances at 6-6; 5-4 NYI EV and 2-1 Oil at ST.

  120. Ribs says:

    So when can we call up Eberle to kill some penalties. Seriously.

  121. doritogrande says:

    Ribs:

    As soon as Regina’s season is done. And I vote we do it.

  122. Coach pb9617 says:

    Need one here to wake these guys up…

  123. oilerdago says:

    Brutal freaking power play. Might as well use the 4th line for all the good this has been.

  124. doritogrande says:

    nice powerplay.

    Can we hire Pat Quinn now, please?

  125. Coach pb9617 says:

    Horc shouldn’t be playing. He’s skating like Lemieux in his 3rd comeback.

  126. oilerdago says:

    Interesting comment from Rod Phillips on the last face off…in essence that Grebeshkov was not ready to play.

    I’d say the entire team was not ready to play tonite.

  127. doritogrande says:

    Goal? What just happened there?

  128. B.C.B. says:

    OD: Zorg has half of the 2/3 of the Gordie Howe. But I don’t see anyone to dance with on the Isle’s lineup.

  129. oilerdago says:

    Zorg owes me a fight now that he’s got an assist.

  130. Scott says:

    Well there’s Stortini’s assist. Now all he needs is a fight or goal.

    I vote goal.

  131. Coach pb9617 says:

    Bruce is going to like that Zorg shift. I know this music.

    Let’s change the beat.

  132. oilerdago says:

    Coach, a goal works for me too.

  133. Scott says:

    Robbed! nhl.com changed it to Brodziak’s goal unassisted.

  134. Lord Bob says:

    KNEEL BEFORE ZOD [Stortini].

  135. DeBakey says:

    No hustle, no battle on the boards, no heart.

    That’s not what its not
    Its something else,
    or not something else

    No Flow, or Too much think or sumthin’

  136. Coach pb9617 says:

    Horcoff skating gingerly like this looks exactly like…

    …Marty Reasoner!

  137. doritogrande says:

    Haha. There’s the correction for Strudwick’s phantom goal.

  138. Coach pb9617 says:

    What a pass by Gilbert.

    And Bruce has to be touching himself by now.

  139. Temujin says:

    No assist given :-(

    I wish the assists were a little more consistent. Sometimes that would be an assist, wouldn’t it?

  140. Unleaded says:

    STRUDDI!!

  141. Scott says:

    Strudwick scores two goals in the same night only to score zero. Poor guy.

  142. oilerdago says:

    From Zorg!

  143. doritogrande says:

    Jason Strudwick now 1 for 2 on goals scored?

  144. Temujin says:

    If that wasn’t a kicking motion, then what is a kicking motion?

  145. Scott says:

    Well count me surprised. I thought that was disallowed for sure. And really, how many guys get announced as having their first as an Edmonton Oiler twice.

  146. Coach pb9617 says:

    The way the Islanders don’t seem to care about the middle of the ice, you’d have to think that Hemsky would be buzzing the tower twice a shift.

  147. Unleaded says:

    Oh, and sorry I’m late – needed a quick break after the Gold medal performance.

    Did anyone else think that Hedman had a long way to go before becoming a significant force in the NHL? He was big, and made some moves, but I didn’t get the feeling that he was a major force in the game. Thoughts?

    Also, if Zorg is going to get 2/3 of the Gordie Howe hat trick, wouldn’t that give the 4th line 3 goals tonight? One per player? You’d have to think that if that happens, there might be a little more good will on the interweb for the muckers… at least for a game or two.

  148. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    Hey, I got a question for Dennis: Do you count goal posts in your scoring chances or is it just shots that make it to the net?

  149. Baroque says:

    Did anyone else think that Hedman had a long way to go before becoming a significant force in the NHL? He was big, and made some moves, but I didn’t get the feeling that he was a major force in the game. Thoughts?

    I read somewhere that he had a shoulder injury in November. That could be part of it.

    Plus he’s young and big kids take a while to grow into their bodies and get coordinated. Boys are like puppies that way. :)

  150. Dennis says:

    Gangsta: it all depends how the shot came to hit that post. If it was from what I’d consider a high pct area, then yeah it’s a chance.

    I had the Isles holding a 9-6 edge for that frame; 8-5 at EV and then 1-1 on ST.

    By my metric the Oilers have been outchanced 13-9 at EV over the first 40 min.

    There’s really no way to spin that and if there’s been one constant – at least by my eye – to all of the home losses to lessers like TO, Fla, LA and Ott, it’s that we don’t generate a lot of chances. I seem to remember Anderson coming up sorta big for the Cats but in all those other games the Oilers didn’t get what they didn’t try to bother to pay for.

    So, the result played out the way it should have.

    As for tonight, 10 is in bad shape and 78 looks about two steps off.

  151. Sean says:

    I have to watch the 3rd online… anyone know any feeds?

  152. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hypothetically speaking, what would you, Lowetide reader, need in return for this year’s 5th pick?

  153. Temujin says:

    justin.tv or atdhe.net should be streaming the game

  154. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers should consider trading Jordon Eberle

    - His value is possibly at its peak
    - His point totals at the WJC were somewhat inflated via:

    a) Empty net points
    b) Beneficiary of a strong Canadian powerplay
    c) Recipient of exceptional linemates

    - He is undersized
    - His skating is very marginal
    - He throughout the tournament, including tonight, displayed evidence of being a floater – that is, cheating for offense.

    - HIS VALUE is POSSIBLY AT ITS PEAK!

    The Oilers could use a legitimate threat to play with Hemsky. We’re considerably wasting the beauty of his contract.

    Eberle + Nilsson + Schremp + 2009 2nd round pick

    Names to Consider (if available):
    - Ilya Kovelchuk
    - Derek Roy
    - Nathan Horton
    - Dustin Brown
    - Miika Koivu
    - Jason Spezza
    - Jeff Carter
    - Brad Boyes
    - Martin St. Louis
    - Alexander Semin

  155. Unleaded says:

    Need to update my lines for tonight to reflect the level of play:

    43-51-46 Score 1
    12-89-26 Score 2
    27-10-85 Score 3
    18-13-78 Check 4

    Go Strudtiniacks!

  156. Sean says:

    justin.tv or atdhe.net should be streaming the game

    thx!

  157. Temujin says:

    go with atdhe.net, because it seems the justin.tv feeds are ass tonight :(

  158. doritogrande says:

    “- HIS VALUE is POSSIBLY AT ITS PEAK!”

    I think this was Dallas’ logic when they traded Jarome Iginla.

    Look how that turned out for them.

  159. doritogrande says:

    Lubo either was hearing his Maxim cry there, or he was in a celebratory mood earlier and got into LSDenis’ stash.

  160. Alice says:

    I think this has been the Maple Leafs strategy since, roughly forever. Look how that’s turned out – umm, we’re still ahead of them in the standings, right??

  161. doritogrande says:

    I cannot wait to get that #13 home white jersey.

    Stu Macgregor, you magnificent bastard!

  162. Scott says:

    Co-Shooting Percentage-iano!

  163. oilerdago says:

    Cogs is da man!

  164. PunjabiOil says:

    I think this was Dallas’ logic when they traded Jarome Iginla.

    Look how that turned out for them.

    Well, it’s not as if the Oilers wouldn’t receive a high end player in return.

    As for Dallas, they ended up winning a Cup. I would be happy with that, no?

  165. B.C.B. says:

    I vote trade Eberle.
    We need a LW shooter to go with Hemsky, and I don’t want to give up Gagner or Cogliano.

    I am think Nash or Kovalchuk.

  166. Dennis says:

    The Stars would eventually have Nieuendyk help them win a Cup so if that’s what Eberle could be parlayed into, well then I’m on board;)

    BTW, 18 won’t pass the puck to 78 – you can watch this for yourself; I’m not making it up – but 13 will and there we go.

  167. Temujin says:

    Geezuz the Isles are tragically terrible.

    But good on Cogliano for pouncing on the rebound

  168. Coach pb9617 says:

    Hehe, Cogliano reacts and scores.

    Moreau is still slowly turning his head and looking down to find the puck.

    If Steinbeck wrote a hockey book, Moreau and Cogs would star.

  169. B.C.B. says:

    That was awesome. A ref screaming the f-bomb on TV. I wonder how much he is going to get fined?

  170. Coach pb9617 says:

    The key number for Cogliano is 25.

    His shooting percentage and his faceoff percentage.

  171. Jonathan says:

    Coach: That’s awesome.

  172. PunjabiOil says:

    BTW, 18 won’t pass the puck to 78 – you can watch this for yourself

    I’ve seen him make the pass to 78 twice this game?

  173. Coach pb9617 says:

    Who, exactly, is in Gene Principe’s core demographic?

    Is it just player’s families?

  174. doritogrande says:

    “Well, it’s not as if the Oilers wouldn’t receive a high end player in return.

    As for Dallas, they ended up winning a Cup. I would be happy with that, no?”

    I respect that they’d likely get a player of merit back. But by no means are we the Dallas Stars the year they acquired Joe. If the going logic is that we need a triggerman for Hemsky RFN, I can’t get on board with that. His affordable contract is in effect for many years still. IMO we should be looking to aquire inexpensive pieces for the next couple years, then go all out the year of Hemsky’s impending free agent status.

    We’ve now seen what Eberle can do with real players around him, and fact is the dude can score in bunches. And he’s got a skill over the likes of Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Schremp…practically anyone else in our system. Eberle scores goals. Glancing at your list, I would only trade Eberle for two of those players, both of which I’d consider absolutely untouchable on their current teams.
    - Dustin Brown
    - Jeff Carter
    Both guys snipers and big bodies. Both guys on long-term contracts. Brown won’t go because he’s one of my two untouchable forwards on that LA team. Carter won’t go because he’s going to win the Maurice Richard trophy this year.

  175. Jonathan says:

    Well, they got away with it. Mark Streit letting up for the icing call was crap, but they didn’t score, so whatever.

  176. oilerdago says:

    Zak let me down, no fight.

    He’ll have to make up for it Weds against Vancouver.

  177. HBomb says:

    Ok, Moreau just had Pouliot in the high slot and went back to the point.

    Elitist piece of shit. If you gave me three wishes, they would be the trading of Moreau, the trading of Staios, and health for Hemsky.

  178. Temujin says:

    I guess kicking the puck in and boarding late in the game is now acceptable in the NHL.

    :-)

  179. eidy says:

    temujin…. admit you really like the oilers. :) you watch as many oiler games as anyone….

  180. Lord Bob says:

    Moreau would have set Pouliot up for a Brett Hull one-timer if Penner wasn’t so fat and MacTavish hadn’t lost the room.

  181. Dennis says:

    Just for fun, right now I’d say that if Eberle’s fitting in anywhere next year it would be on the soft min line with 89-26 IF they brought 26 back and we know that’s yet to be even scratched.

    I had the Oilers at 21-20 in the chances battle; 16-17 at EV and then 5-3 on ST.

    The Oil Should have outchanced a cellar dwellar to a greater margin but let’s forget this happened and just move on;)

  182. Lowetide says:

    Oilers are going to have some real problems against San Jose imo unless Horcoff is Horcoff and 83 returns.

    The Vancouver game is a big one even this early in the season. The Oilers have some games in hand and if they keep winning they might just make a run at second in the division after all.

    But they played down to the level of competition tonight. Which is typical.

    Comrie certainly looked smaller than I remember but man he can handle the puck. Made a nice defensive play after making a bonehead play but at least he recovered.

  183. boopronger says:

    Coach – 25 – the number of goals cogs is on pace for.

    PJO – I’m a huge huge Dustin Brown fan. He is what Penner should be. A big guy that hits lots and has nice hands. I would definitely do that trade for Brown.

  184. PunjabiOil says:

    Question for Speeds (or the next best alternative) – did tonight’s game “count” for Brule, given he was a HS?

    We should aim to win 2 out of the next 3.

    It would be nice if Hemsky returns. The Oilers aren’t making the playoffs without him – I fear the concussion could put him out for a while (season?)

  185. Temujin says:

    eidy, it’s hard not to like this team. They’ve got some good young players and a veteran goalie who is playing great. Tonight they found a way to win even though their supposed “big guns” were pretty silent (I’d say invisibly but I didn’t watch the whole game… maybe they were). Admittedly it’s the Islanders (and two of the goals were re-directs off skates) but the Canucks couldn’t find 2 points against ‘em a few weeks ago.

    Drop Moreau, waive Pisani, kick Penner in the ass, and you’ve got yourself a team I could almost cheer for.

    Almost :-)

  186. B.C.B. says:

    PO: Last time I read the CBA (for waive rules) it was the number of games a player plays, not the number it they sit in the press box.

    I assuming you were refering to the number of games till Brule waiver exception is over.

  187. Lord Bob says:

    Cogliano’s on 18% shooting again, I see. I was one of the millions who said that his 18% last season was utterly unsustainable.

    But I’m getting a bit excited now, I’ve got to admit. How much sustain do we need before we admit he can just do it?

  188. Matt says:

    Dallas traded Iginla (and Corey Millen) for Nieuwy about a week before the WJCs, not after Iginla dominated them.

  189. PunjabiOil says:

    Smid had a wonderful game, I thought.

    I’d lock him up 5 years at 2M/season.

  190. Coach pb9617 says:

    Oilers are going to have some real problems against San Jose imo unless Horcoff is Horcoff and 83 returns.

    I felt bad every time he took a shift.

    Coach – 25 – the number of goals cogs is on pace for.

    Excellent. Everything is coming up 25.

    Question for Speeds (or the next best alternative) – did tonight’s game “count” for Brule, given he was a HS?

    I don’t think it counts for him because they would have optioned him down if so. Even this front office isn’t that silly.

    On the rewatch, Lubo had his worst game of the season, I think. Looks like Gagner is killing on the dot tonight. Cogliano is not.

    The power play really misses someone that can be dangerous receiving and throwing a pass. Without that guy on the half-boards, the Islanders aren’t even thinking twice about charging after everyone neither Cole nor Penner are nifty enough. Put Gagner or Pouliot out there on the half walls. Get someone out there to back the forwards up.

  191. Dennis says:

    I’m another guy who thinks 71 had his worst game as an Oiler. Besides his play where he strips a guy who thinks he’s on a breakaway, he was just flat out awful.

    Cogs is scoring as a pivot but I’d just as well let 78 take the draws and then they can switch back around once the play starts to level out.

  192. Coach pb9617 says:

    Faceoffs report

    Horcoff was 10-19 with a gimpy back, which is amazing, but only 3-8 in the defensive zone. Ole’ 25 was 5-13 and Mac kept him out of the D zone.

    Cole was 0-4, all offensive and 0-2 against Comrie, who was 2-13 against the rest of the team.

    Gagner was 7-10 overall! That includes a 4-4 against Comrie. 0-2 in the d zone.

    And to the horse — Brodziak went 8-10 on the dot, 4-6 in the d zone. Over the last two nights, Brodziak is 19-25 76%!, including 11-16 69%! in the d zone.

    C’mon kid, keep it up, the boys need you to come up big.

  193. rickibear says:

    “I’m another guy who thinks 71 had his worst game as an Oiler. Besides his play where he strips a guy who thinks he’s on a breakaway, he was just flat out awful.”

    And the baby cries again. Lubo turns to his wife and says you or me.

  194. Coach pb9617 says:

    Cogs is scoring as a pivot but I’d just as well let 78 take the draws and then they can switch back around once the play starts to level out.

    Pouliot is 59-59 on the dot this year. Cogliano is hanging out at 37% through 300+. That ain’t the worst idea ever.

    LT, this Milan Kytnar kid. Does his WJC performance push him in front of Chorney? :)

  195. Doogie2K says:

    Perhaps I just don’t “get” that the big improvement in Corsi is much more important than the increase in goals

    Basically, he’s not spending 3/4 of his time hemmed into the defensive zone these days. That’s important for a young player, because now you don’t worry about send him out on the ice in important situations, and because he’ll get more opportunities to show his scoring prowess over the long haul.

    Above, some of you were discussing the Islanders fall. Didn’t they make a conference final two years later?

    Nope. You may be thinking of the Rangers in ’86.

    They should staple Della Rovere to the bench.

    And in the end, they did, I noticed. Smart move.

    He throughout the tournament, including tonight, displayed evidence of being a floater – that is, cheating for offense.

    Except for the four or five minutes he spent on the penalty-kill tonight. Hell, I seem to remember a SH chance in the US game starting from his shin pad and almost winding up in the back of the net. And if you want to pick on him from profiting from an overpowered Canadian PP, pick on Tavares, Hodgson, Subban, and Ellis, too, at the least. At what point does a player go from passenger to cog in the machine?

    Besides, isn’t trading prospects for Help Now for a non-contending team exactly what Toronto’s done for 42 years? (Brad Boyes for Owen Nolan, anyone? The pick that became Scott Niedermayer for Tom Kurvers?) We already look enough like the Leafs, we don’t need to completely abdicate the higher ground, here.

    @Temujin: waive Pisani

    Pour quois?

  196. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nope. You may be thinking of the Rangers in ’86.

    Actually, I was thinking that LaFontaine’s goal pushed them into the conference finals, not the division finals.

  197. Bruce says:

    Bruce has to be touching himself by now.

    I’m “touched”, alright. Take that as you will.

    Nice to see the Big Z and his grunt linemates posting a +2 tonight. I’m still in Yellowknife, and didn’t see the game(s) but have just watched the goals on NHL.com. They might have been more than a little ugly — Strudwick scores his first of the year twice in a row? say no more — but at least they stepped up and got it done at a time when the Oil really needed somebody to do something. Zorg made some strong plays along the end boards again, and sometimes those deep possessions will lead to a fortuitous bounce. In fact he looked pretty good on the tying goal, taking the long stretch pass from Gilbert, driving behind the net on his backhand, then wheeling and bouncing the centring pass off Strudwick’s skate. Not a work of art, but not horrible either … slowly but surely Zorg is developing a nose for the net. That’s +5/-2 in ~80:00 TOI since his last reinsertion into the everyday line-up, decent numbers at both ends of the rink by anybody’s standards.

    Some nights it isn’t pretty, and some nights you need four lines to win. It seems like tonight was one of those nights, and our slugs were up to the task.

  198. hunter1909 says:

    Bruce:

    You mean you’re only in Yellowknife and there’s no way for you to see the Oilers?

    Stupid Oilers, for not trying harder for making it possible everyone to see them(satellite feed anyone?).

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