Oilers at Blues, G51/08-09

That’s Red Berenson wearing the “C” for St. Louis. Long before he became a legend as a college coach, Berenson was the only really good hockey player in the Western Division. The 6 expansion teams had a few good goalies, some tough dmen with crooked noses, and more than their share of 6′s and 7′s up front who checked like hell and manned their wings.

But Berenson could do things with the puck and because of it he stood out. When the NHL expanded in 1967, the 6 new clubs didn’t have access to the best young amateurs who had already been gobbled up by the original 6. Bobby Orr would have been eligible for the 1968 draft under the rules of the time, but of course he was already an NHL star. Brad Park was already in New York, and Guy Lapointe had been protected by Montreal under the old “sponsorship” program. Adding to the problem was that teams like St. Louis and Minnesota traded all of their high draft picks 1969+ so that when sponsorship ended the original 6 (Montreal especially) could grab the cream of the crop long before the expansion teams hit the podium.

So Red Berenson was it. And he was very, very good.

The current Blues aren’t very interesting. They seem to be moving in the right direction, but it’s hard to tell and it is certainly not a straight line build ala the New York Islanders of the early 1970s. St. Louis takes one step forward and another one back and this season has been very frustrating because some of their very best kids are injured.

Having said that, there’s a lot of young talent. This Oshie fellow looks like he’s got it going on and Berglund and Backes are solid. It’ll be interesting to see how the former Leafs are doing in the town that gave us Chuck Berry. Brad Boyes is also fun to watch.

The opponents for St. Louis tonight are the Edmonton Oilers, a team in the NHL.

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303 Responses to "Oilers at Blues, G51/08-09"

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  1. Temujin says:

    Worked late and can’t sleep. I wonder if HBomb can recommend a drink to help a guy pass out at 3:25 am pst…

    The Blues: Imagine if Kariya, MacDonald and (shock!) Brewer weren’t injured.

    At least the Oilers no longer have to worry about being Stempniaked.

  2. Jonathan Willis says:

    I’ve always liked the Blues from a distance, but they must be maddening to watch up close.

    Larry Pleau’s done a good job tearing down a pretty talented late-90′s team.

  3. uni says:

    Stempniak being gone is one thing, but odds are the term Steened will be born tonight.

  4. jdrevenge says:

    A team in the NHL is right. Time for some more unnecassary punishment and self loathing . I hope that this time I dont feel like breaking my TV and all memory of Hockey and the team i cheer for.

    Theres a report in the Journal stating the Oilers are following Boston and dangling Cole. I havent seen too many of their games but I’m wondering who they would offer for a vet with half a year left on his deal…they say a small forward with a bee in his bonnett…just what we need more size!!!

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Will+Bruins+make+deal+Cole/1256007/story.html

  5. Black Dog says:

    TSN says Oilers will be buyers unless the bottom falls out in which case they will move Cole, amongst others

    also they are looking for someone to play with Hemsky but will likely end up with a veteran centre who can PK and take draws

    I would/could say something snarky about that need being available since last summer but what’s the point

    the interesting thing here is the reference to the playmate for Hemsky – I presume they will be throwing mad money around this summer in search of that elusive player

  6. jdrevenge says:

    Kevin Lowes wet dream over the past few years has been that trigger man for Hemsky.

    If they find a guy whos locked up for a few, what happens in the summer when they have to go after a goalie. The have a tonne of salary carrying into next year…

  7. Oiler Mag says:

    Anyone know how long MacDonald is out for?? He’s a UFA in the summer and would be a nice pick up come deadline day – if we haven’t shit the bed by then.

  8. oilerdago says:

    Any sense for who’s starting in goal tonite? With back to back games, it would seem that JDD would get a crack at it, but who knows what MacT will do.

  9. quain says:

    My guess is Roloson tonight, and then JDD gets the Wild on Sunday.

  10. Phil says:

    Hoping that Tambellini will land a wingmate for Hemsky via trade this year is pie in the sky. Their need for an experienced third line centre has been there all year, the stable is full of assets (especially at D, can’t have all these kids make the big team…), and NOTHING all year. If they aren’t willing to give up what other GM’s are asking for a Radek Bonk type player – why do we have any reason to believe they’d give up what’s being asked for a 1st line guy. Craziness.

    No, I’ve been an Oiler fan long enough to know that what ever deal happens, it will be at the 11th hour, it will not be what we expect, it most likely won’t make a whole lot of sense to most of us, and the mediocrity will continue.

  11. Lord Bob says:

    Gotta be JDD tonight, simply because this isn’t a divisional game and the Blues aren’t as good as the Wild.

    So I fully expect to see Roloson in the pipes.

  12. HBomb says:

    Deal Cole? I’d rather extend him. He and Gagner are 2/3rds of what could be an exceptional 2nd line for the forseeable future.

    (Cue Hunter and his idiotic ramblings without backing or actual evidence about how Cole doesn’t want to be here, blah blah blah).

    If they’re looking to move veterans and be sellers at the deadline, a better place to start would be trying to get out from underneath the last two years of the terrible Moreau and Staios contracts, or seeing if Detroit would part with anything of substance for Roloson. Cole’s a guy I’d rather see them keep, because we don’t have nearly enough of what he brings to the table.

  13. doritogrande says:

    If they find a guy whos locked up for a few, what happens in the summer when they have to go after a goalie. The have a tonne of salary carrying into next year…

    Drop Erik Cole, bring in Simon Gagne. Or, failing that, Frolov.

  14. Dennis says:

    1. I suggested in LT`s D thread the way MacT should or would roll with 71 out of the picture and it doesn`t make me Denstradaumus or anything but it looks like he just might go my speculated route:

    “Denis and Gibby (Tom Gilbert) have played together before and I could put Steve on the right side with Sheldon. Jason could play the right with Laddie (Smid),” said MacTavish.

    2. It makes no sense to move 26 at this point but I`m glad the club has someone following the B`s. I`m not sure how much room they have for this year and going forward but on a club laden with kids, maybe they could use some vet experience like 18 and 24;)

    3. How about these comments today from 10 back MacT`s lack of faceoff options;
    Twice I’ve played 26 (minutes) and I’ve never done that. I love playing, but those are hard, tiring minutes and I don’t get as much recovery on the five-on-five shifts as I normally would,” he said. “But that’s the hand (head coach Craig MacTavish) has been dealt.

    “He needs the reliability in the faceoff circle and I love taking draws, I love the one-on-one battle, but sometimes when you get two or three in a row, it’s hard. It’s different from years in the past where we had Stollie (Jarret Stoll) to take the face-offs on the right side.

    “On the PK, I would get the rest time. I would go out if the faceoffs were on the left side. Now, I go out no matter what.”

    Wow, that pretty much lays it out there.

    4: Has anyone seen that Brownlee wants to fight me;) Check out this link

    http://www.oilersnation.com/2009/02/examples-in-bad-sportswriting/#comments

    5. 51`s been hitting the ball hard for a couple of games now so he`s due for a goal. OTOH, 13 seems a bit lost and it`s been awhil since we`ve been able to say that.

    6: To finish on Cole, I`ll say this season`s a one-off and he`ll bounce back and I know it was a long time before we gave him a real pivot to play with. That being said, he needs to do a better job of exploiting that fact that he`s not playing on the tough min line.

  15. oilerdago says:

    I’m not surprised 26 showed up in trade rumors only because you can feel the season slipping away and the Oilers have some major cap issues going into next season and beyond. Might as well try and get something for him.

    But I’d say no trade happens there until after 34′s back – whenever that is. Sad that what was expected to be an 8 week injury is now over 10 weeks and counting.

  16. Scott says:

    Sad that what was expected to be an 8 week injury is now over 10 weeks and counting.

    I had forgotten that they were originally reporting that it was 8 weeks in the newspapers, but then at the all-star break Pisani mentioned it was a twelve week recovery process and he was right on schedule. Strange.

  17. oilerdago says:

    Scott,

    Just one more example of bad expectations from the Oilers this season.

    Maybe that should be the Oilers motto, the team with the foot shaped mouth.

  18. Bruce says:

    The current Blues aren’t very interesting.

    Hmmm. Considering they have lost three of their top five veterans (~$ 14 MM in payroll) to long term injury, they resemble the 2007-08 Oilers in some ways. Moreover they lost one of the league’s top blueline prospects for the entire season. They nosedived in December, losing 10 of 12, but have since recovered to go 7-3-2 over their next 12 to at least get into the bottom of the mix.

    This Oshie fellow looks like he’s got it going on and Berglund and Backes are solid.

    I’ll say Berglund is “solid”. On a team with a 5v5 GF/GA record of +79/-94, the rookie has posted an eye-popping +28/-12. He’s also been a key contributor on the PP, where he has posted 15 of his 32 points.

    As for Backes, his combination of 17 G and 127 PiM is not to be taken lightly. Backes is likely out for tonight with what appears to be a charleyhorse, after being clipped by one Jan Hejda on Tuesday. This after Andreas Lilja tried to put him right through the boards on Monday. Backes leads the Blues by a mile in hits (127) and is aggravating enough to suck the pacifist Shawn Horcoff into a fight last time Oilers visited. A handful and a half, the kind of player I only wish Oilers could get.

  19. goldenchild says:

    Dennis that shit has me howlin haha how did you get old boy that pissed?

    I’m with HBomb I would rather extend 26 then deal him and you could prob get him at a much better price today then you would have in Sept, the season does seem to be a bit of an abberation in terms of his numbers but you can see the impact he can have with his speed. You cant keep bringing guys in for 1 year trials and then pushing them out when they arent money from day one.

    Losing Lubo blows, that guys was a joy to watch this year.

  20. Traktor says:

    Why would anyone want to extend Cole? The guys been getting gravy minutes and doing fuck all.

    He’s not going to take a discount either – he’s going to get 5 million or more if he hits the UFA market.

  21. Traktor says:

    Ryder got 4 million a year after his shit season in Montreal and he doesn’t have any of the grit/intangibles that Cole has.

  22. HBomb says:

    Why would anyone want to extend Cole? The guys been getting gravy minutes and doing fuck all.

    If the coach would turn off the MacBlender and just leave the guy with Gagner for an extended period, problem solved.

    He’s been as much a victim of the constant shuffling as have a lot of other guys.

    Beyond that, what Cole brings to the table, we flat out don’t have enough of (shoot-first mentality, size, experience, and he can play the toughs if need be).

  23. Traktor says:

    The other thing is why would Cole want to stay in Edmonton?

    The season has been a fucking disaster. How many players have been thrown under the bus? That can’t be a fun enviroment to play in. Cole’s also on pace for his worst season since his 2nd year in the league.

    The notion that Cole is going to take less than his current 4 million to stay in Edmonton is pretty unlikely IMO.

  24. relic says:

    agree with traktor here, if you can get something back for cole you have to do it. He’s a nice player but can you afford him in two or three years at 5 per, and at that price what are the chances he outperforms his contract. Take advantage of a desperate team at the deadline. The key will be to get a good prospect instead of a package of second tier stuff and low draft picks, ala zhitnik for coburn.

  25. quain says:

    Ryan Malone got $4.5M after a season that hyped his value to hell, in a climate that had every GM seemingly thinking that the salary cap was going to rise forever.

    Going into what’s projected to be a bad year for the economy, and a year in which Erik Cole looks pretty mediocre, I don’t see how he’s getting $5M, even if Michael Ryder got a gift from Boston.

    Regardless, they should be talking about a deal right now, because if we drop a few more games he needs to be moved at the deadline or resigned.

  26. Rod says:

    Black Dog said:
    TSN says Oilers will be buyers unless the bottom falls out in which case they will move Cole, amongst others
    —–
    OK, I keep beating this drum…but with the current lineup, it seems obvious the bottom will fall out given the remaining schedule this month. About the only chance to avoid that is to deal now.

    There’s not a lot of sense in the areas they’re reportedly looking to address. The Oilers already have a very good #1 line (it’s called Horpensky). Gagner with Cole look to be interesting…so of course Cole is the guy mentioned if we’re sellers. Unreal. If we’re sellers, 18, 24, and Roli should be the ones dangled. Period. 18 and 24 would have next to no appeal during the summer (another year on each), but at the deadline, they’re pretty much exactly what other teams are looking for.

    Top priority continues to be a veteran C to anchor a checking line, play the PK, and take draws. In other words, the best way to improve Horpensky is to:
    a) put them back together
    b) stop working Horcoff into the ground.

    Pickup a “3rd” line C, and it improves the 1st and “3rd” lines. Do it now, and there’s a chance of getting through Feb. within reach of a playoff spot. Continue to dither, and they’re toast.

    27-10-83
    12/13-89-26
    13/78-**-34

    All of that said, if Frolov is available, that’ll work too. Don’t see how that’s possible…but dreaming is about the only fun we have left with this team:

    Frolov-10-83
    27-89-26
    or
    27-10-83 (already proven vs. hard minutes)
    Fro-89-26(should kill vs. soft)

    Plus:
    13-51-34
    43-78-46

    To sum up:
    - get a 3C now
    - trade 18 and 24 to get out of their contracts
    - extend 26 once those contracts are gone
    - if things have improved by the deadline, look @ Frolov (but only if the pieces didn’t disappear in the 3C deal; 12 would be in this package…plus more obviously)
    - if the bottom fell out anyway, deal Roli and shoot for bottom six

  27. Unleaded says:

    Man… I sure hope you’re wrong about the D pairings Dennis… There are few things I would rather avoid right now than 24 seeing the toughs…
    44-24;37-77;5-43… Ew…

    I really hope that 24-43 play together tonight, and then we see Wreck’em for a month until lowe makes some deals at the deadline.

    It really is a tough question… figuring out who plays where when someone is out for the Oil.. 44, 37, 5 and 43 all do LD. With one of our RD out… which pairing do you want to see 2 lefties on?

    You know, the more I think about it, the more I can see the reason to playing 24 with 44. Their styles should work, and as long as they don’t see top-flight competition, it could be okay…
    Of course, this likely means that 37-77 are reunited, which could be good for the offense, but… they are a soft pairing (unless Gilbert keeps playing hard like last game, which would be swell!). That does of course leave 5-43… which I don’t want to think about.

    My real question becomes what do the pairings look like on the PP? Will 24 take 71′s minutes, or will we see 5 get some time there? I’m sure you can guess what I want to see.

  28. Black Dog says:

    The thing with these guys is that every time it looks like they are done they come back with a vengeance. A few things to worry about though.

    - Horcoff is slumping terribly, likely just wearing down
    - Penner is in the doghouse again, Pouliot and Brodziak too
    - Gilbert seems to have the yips and remember how october worked out for him?
    - Cogliano looks lost
    - Lubo, after Hemsky, has been the best player on the team I would say and now Staios is going to take his minutes?
    - Roli has been average lately

    I’m a glass half full type of guy and a win or two will cure all ills until next week :) but a few more losses and it could turn ugly

    And based on Castlowe’s record the last few years does anyone believe that he will do anything while Havana burns for want of some help?

    I thought not.

  29. Unleaded says:

    LINEUP UPDATES: Dustin Penner moves back up to the top line with Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff… Liam Reddox returns to the line-up and is expected to play on the third line with Ethan Moreau and Andrew Cogliano… Zack Stortini, Kyle Brodziak, and Ryan Potulny make up the fourth line… Dwayne Roloson gets the start.

    Deliverance?

  30. Bruce says:

    BDHS: Nice synopsis, at least of the problem areas. You didn’t even mention Nilsson or Moreau, and you didn’t need to in this forum.

    There is some good stuff mixed in of course, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to outweigh the bad. This team was in trouble before Visnovsky went down.

    I do think criticism of management for not making in-season moves is almost obsolete in the cap era. Recent history suggests ~90% of in-season trades in the entire league will occur within a week of the deadline. Of course management knows this going in, so should avoid having fatal imbalances coming out of camp. Like, say, only one veteran C or too many small forwards.

  31. oilerdago says:

    Rod,

    I may be in the minority here but who is going to be stupid enough to take 18 & 24 and give you something of value back? Seriously, someone is smoking the drapes here.

    Scouts watch enough tape to see they've both lost a lot of steps this season (I'm mean, if we have, people who REALLY know hockey have too).

    And my sense with Katz is he's unwilling to buy out mistakes and is going to tell his GM that you wanted this job, now you solve the problem.

    That there is interest in 26 right now does not surprise me because while his boxcars are bad, he makes teams take penalties and hits, things that not enough guys on the roster do now. Whether it's right to trade him is another story but I'd be stunned if he stays.

    I'm not for tanking the season, but this team could very easily go over the cliff in the two weeks and someone better have a vision of what they want this team to be next season and beyond.

  32. gary b says:

    Finally, some GOOD news from the Oilers ‘fashion’ file, by way of Icethetics:

    “Third Jersey ’09 News!

    … But wait, there’s more! Edmonton fans rejoice! Allegedly, your club is getting brand new home and road jerseys. Sadly, that’s all the information I have at the moment. We’ll probably just see minor changes like, you know, connecting the sleeve stripes. The third jersey isn’t going anywhere.”

  33. shepso says:

    Deliverance? Maybe, but who is sitting, Poo or Bobby Nil? Neither has been consistently effective, but at least Nilsson has something resembling chemistry with 89-26. The MacBlender is really starting to spin out of control…

    I may just turn back my personal clock to 1992-93 (when I was 12) and become a closet Bruins fan again. They won’t let me down…

  34. HBomb says:

    Sitting Pouliot in favor of Liam Fucking Reddox does not sit well with me. At all.

  35. danny says:

    re: Horcs comments

    Wow. “The hand the coach was dealt”…

    10 is painting himself/MacT as victims of poor management right there… and hes absolutely correct.

    Its just weird seeing a quote like that in public.

    Lowe went into the season a couple years ago with a dire need for a vet Dman. He instead chose to accrue cap space like he did in ’06 s cup run and pick up a couple big price rentals. We all know that failed.

    It seems that may be his reasons this year again? Has to be… I mean Reasoner was a no-brainer, especially if he suspected he would trade Stoll.

    Well… i guess Tambellini will look like a genius this year. When they add 2 rentals, for prospects/picks at the deadline.

    Question is, is this team good enough to do any damage against the West after adding 06′s Spacek and Samsonov equivalents?

    Just throwing this out there, but Weight+Guerin would be a combined cap cost of 1.7M around the deadline and expires this offseason.

    Wild + SugarTits?

  36. quain says:

    Eh, sitting one forward who has been playing poorly for another forward who has been playing poorly is a bit dull.

    I have a prediction! The third line? Sucks tonight. Big time.

  37. Rod says:

    @ oilerdago:

    Fair point regarding 18 & 24. Bear in mind though I wasn't suggesting we'd get much back. The focus is getting away from their contracts via trade…and some teams in hunt just might want some veteran savvy.

  38. oilerdago says:

    Danny,

    This team is going no where if (and that's a big IF) it makes the playoffs. They'd be lucky to steal 1 game in a first round series. But again, I don't see it making the playoffs so the point is moot.

    But either way, isn't now the time to decide what the team needs to look like a year or two from now and pull off something that's more than just a rental issue but one that solves a greater need?

    And stop trying to plug holes with free agents when all it does is open up bigger holes. Trying to sign Hossa last summer opened up a big hole on the 4th line. Not resigning Reasoner after trading Stoll & Greene (a good trade) has hurt the PK and is dragging Horc down.

    All that said, MacT should not get a pass for his questionable moves.

  39. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Yes, you don’t see a whole lot of deals beforehand but I’d really like to know why that happens in some cases. The Oilers have known for awhile what they need so does it just come down to them not wanting to give up on something or someone until they are totally pushed to the wall? The frustrating thing is that I can see them holding out hope that the Kids would eventually blossom and provide supplementry offense but the lack of a secondary tough min pivot who can also win draws and kill penalties doesn’t seem like a huge hole until you keep falling in it every game. Simply put, these guys shouldn’t cost a lot.

    Pat: Not sure how we’ll fare on the trip and I’d like to fall back on us being a good road team but that was with 71 and he’s the team’s best dman so obviously that’s gonna hurt. The only potential saving graces could be the 10 line going on a tear because both 10 and 27 are due considering recent results.

    UL: Maybe they were just lucky but 37/77 were our tough min duo down the ’08 stretch so hopefully that counts for something. I”m really not jazzed about either of 5 or 24 being able to step in alongside 44 because neither has torn up soft min duties and that would be what we’d need to see in order to instill some confidence in them stepping up both their role and TOI. And Peckham is a good prospect but how much better will he be than even say a 43 type? Personally, I’d be moving 12 right now for a another D with a year or two left on his pact.

    GC: Brownlee’s pretty ornery over at ON and his game is to come in and smack down anyone that disagrees with him. He sorta reminds me of the younger me; except he throw in a lot more allusions to anal sex:D

    In any case, I told the guy that no one’s got the guts to call out Lowe and of course I included him in that club.

    Tonight’s line-up: 78′s finally gotten smacked with a HS and it won’t hurt him. I’ve found him being a little out of it for a few games now. There was a recent game where he had a couple of scoring opps but mostly he’s just floating through.

  40. HBomb says:

    This team is going no where if (and that’s a big IF) it makes the playoffs. They’d be lucky to steal 1 game in a first round series.

    I remember hearing this a ton arond mid-April 1997.

    Not saying they’ll repeat the feats of that spring, but hey, upsets CAN happen.

    I think they’d be in big trouble if they drew San Jose, but Detroit, if they don’t address goaltending, COULD be vulnerable.

  41. Unleaded says:

    Danny Said:

    Just throwing this out there, but Weight+Guerin would be a combined cap cost of 1.7M around the deadline and expires this offseason.

    Wild + SugarTits?

    Dude, this is NYI. If we have to give them more than the Hockey Jesus, were getting ripped… :P

    Seriously though, I’d rather not trade Wild. Several reasons:
    1 – If it turns out he’s a player, think of the marketing possibilities when “Wild beats the Wild”
    2 – He’s been one of the strongest D-men in Black and BLue this year.
    3 – I’ve “seen him good”, and I like his game.

    But other than him, Peckam, Potulny, and our college assets, I’d be perfectly willing to trade for some Old-time Oilers. Hell I’d even go Nilsson + Schremp. It’s an overpay, but they need skill, and we have too many small forwards.

  42. Dennis says:

    Dago: I love the guy like nobody’s business but you look at the money that was given to Jason Smith and I’ll bet you there’s a team or three that wouldn’t bat an eyelash at taking on at least 24′s contract.

    Danny: Weight and Guerin coming in to form a vet secondary scoring line with 26 would be interesting. We’d just pair 34 with the 13-89 and see which of those two lines could handle being a secondary tough min line. At the very least we’d be exciting;)

    And I’m glad they’re puttign 27 back with the boys because, fuck it, those guys are close to +10 apiece vs the toughs so at least we’re winning that battle.

    It’s up to the rest of the guys to take out the softs.

  43. Dennis says:

    UL: we’ve got three young O-minded D so right off the bat we knew that one of them plus Schremp would be the first candidates for a rental.

  44. Traktor says:

    “The hand the coach was dealt”

    Right…

    Sorry, but Criag MacTavish said himself this is the best team he’s ever had – a team that could compete for the division.

    Now when this team isn’t living up to expectations it’s Lowe’s fault?

    You all know that I was talking about Craig MacTavish’s self-inflicted wounds before the season even started and sure enough he didn’t disappoint.

  45. Unleaded says:

    After looking at their stats at BTN, I think I'd avoid trading for Guerin or Weight. It's a nice thought, but both are bleeding goals at evens, and Weight's is especially bad. Considering we need help at evens and the PK… they might not be the silver bullet we need. I had been thinking that Weight might be able to play those 3rd line minutes, but I guess that's not likely.

    Lol… if you want to see stats gone wild, look at Guerins numbers 4v5… His rating may be the worst in the league!

    Dennis:
    I'd actually been hoping that they might try 44-77, 37-5, 43-24. I think 5 would be a better complement to 37 than 77 has been. I know G&G has been good in the past, but I just have this feeling… but it might just be gas.

    HB:
    If this team wins more than 1 games playing either SJS or DET, I'll be both shocked an impressed. Hell, even winning a game against Chicago would be an accomplishment. And much as I don't like to admit it…even Calgary would be tough. Fun, but I'd have to be wearing my rose-colloured glasses to bet against the flames right now.

  46. namflashback says:

    Unleaded,

    Based on the D-men, it would seem to favour keeping your top pair together. However, switching a left shot guy to play on the right side is a little tougher for younger guys I would think.

    Enter Staios as a RD. Less pain (hah) with Strudwick on his offhand side.

    Although it really is moot, as Staios (and Smid) always seem to turn away from the incoming forechecker even though they could face forward and start moving the puck forward. They usually take that advantage and play hot potato until the forecheckers are upon them.

  47. oilerdago says:

    Hbomb: you are right, anything can happen in the playoffs, but this team is missing the character that those teams had.

    Dennis: I’m not as convinced as you are about 24. I don’t disagree that he’s given a lot to the team. But expecting more than a bag of pucks back in return (or a 5th rounder) may be the best we can hope especially given the contract.

  48. Unleaded says:

    Wow, my head’s just full of stuff to say today… I’m starting to think that the Lubo trade was not such a good call.

    I love how he plays, he’s got the same magic that Hemsky does, and watching them play together brings me great joy. But how much better would this team be without him, and having Matt Greene and Mr Stoll around? I’ll be the first to suggest that our PP and breakout aren’t as good, but I’ll also bet our PK is better, our D gets deeper, if less skilled, and maybe we don’t have such a s***-show with our 3rd line to start the year.

    MMmmm… hindsight…

    So, if we’re going by the numbers, the player I want right now to make a run with is Pekka Rinne. His numbers are incredible, especially on the PK. To be honest, his numbers right now are so good that I think they’re distorting some of his teammates numbers. This guy’s only let in 2 PP goals all year. If anyone knows how to check SV% over there, let me know, because even if it is completely unsustainable, the run that he’s on right now could resolve all of our PK problems…

    …Assuming that we could offer enough to get him…

  49. DeBakey says:

    I told the guy that no one’s got the guts to call out Lowe and of course I included him in that club.

    MacKinnon called the Oilers anal in his Cracker Cats story today.
    I expect he’ll have a truck load
    of lube dumped on his front lawn today.

  50. Bruce says:

    Sitting Pouliot in favor of Liam Fucking Reddox does not sit well with me. At all.

    I dunno. Whether Reddox can make any less of an impact than Pouliot is a fair question at this point. Poo “responded” to his place in Chateau Bow-wow by playing a very humdrum game against the Hawks. I was at the game, watched him fairly closely, and he didn’t do much that held my attention, let’s put it that way. As I wrote in doing player gradings for that game:

    “Marc Pouliot – 4: Has those moments where the talent shines through, like the second period manoeuvre where he turned sharply and against the flow into open ice to shake some heavy forechecking pressure, then air-mailed a perfect breakout pass onto Cogliano’s tape. Effortless, first-round talent. But didn’t show it often enough on this, as many nights. In just 12:45 co-led the team with 3 GV, with none of his three attempted shots actually getting through to the goalies. Oilers were outchanced 5-2 and outshot 9-2 with Poo on the ice.”

    The whole line of him with Moreau and Cogliano was brutal. No chemistry at all, especially when Ethan takes matters into his own hands and tries to do it all by himself every other shift or so.

  51. digger says:

    I’ll bet at this very moment, MacKinnon’s being unceremoniously tossed into the back of a black van and getting an eyeless hood thrown over his head. I hope his underwear’s clean, because he’ll probably be walking home wearing little else.

    You don’t **** with the Oilstapo.

  52. Unleaded says:

    You don’t **** with the Oilstapo.

    Expereince, or common sense?

  53. Coach pb9617 says:

    Drive by points:

    1. Brownlee is such a hack that it’s painful. It wouldn’t be so bad if he were a decent writer, but he’s not good at that, so we’re left with a hard-to-read Oilers PR flack that writes his once a quarter critical column to keep his street cred. He should be writing for the entertainment section of some third-rate newspaper. The fact that he’s now making physical threats just reinforces the point that he’s a small-town hack drowning in the big boy world of the internet. There are dozens of hockey people writing circles around him on a daily basis, what fun it would be for one of them to bloody his nose in the process. What a ballbag.

    2. Penner is back to the first line where he’s going to continue to perform well, and pricks like Jones and Brownlee will slurp the coach and his motivational tactics. What a joke. Who was the last player that was handled this poorly? That says something, especially on a team with a fifteen year history of handling players poorly.

    3. The second line is back to Nilsson-Gagner-Cole which means that you’ve got one player that won’t give the puck to his teammates and another that will pass on an empty net to give the puck away.

    4. Moreau – Cogliano – Reddox. The guy that can’t win faceoffs has to lug around two guys that can’t shut anyone down or score on their own. Awesome line.

  54. Coach pb9617 says:

    By the way, I love that every MSM hack immediately resorts to his access as proof of his credentials and not one of them realizes that it’s the shit they say and do to keep that access that makes them a hack.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    UL: we’ve got three young O-minded D so right off the bat we knew that one of them plus Schremp would be the first candidates for a rental.

    Looking at the numbers, it seems like Wild is more Smid than Vishnovsky…

    Dennis: I’m not as convinced as you are about 24. I don’t disagree that he’s given a lot to the team. But expecting more than a bag of pucks back in return (or a 5th rounder) may be the best we can hope especially given the contract.

    A bag of pucks, a 5th rounder and $2.7 million in cap space is a fine and dandy deal.

    The whole line of him with Moreau and Cogliano was brutal. No chemistry at all, especially when Ethan takes matters into his own hands and tries to do it all by himself every other shift or so.

    Pouliot – Cogliano – Pisani would be a very nice option.

  56. kris says:

    Yeah Coach, that Cogliano line is a mess. In fact, I can hardly think of a worse combination of three Oiler forwards.

    Nonetheless, here’s my best shot:

    Strudwick-Gagner-Pouliot

    or

    Nilson-Cogliano-Stortini

    Can anybody else do worse? Remember, the goal is to mismatch players’ talents, not just put the worst players out together. (And no Macintyre!)

    —-

    BTW, I can’t stand Browlnee either. The guy pulls rank constantly and shamelessly. There’s nothing more annoying than someone who’s too proud of something not worth being that proud about. He and the rabble at ON deserve each other. (Our beloved Willis belongs here, damn it.)

    On the other hand, I think that from a stylistic point of view, pace Coach, RB’s an okay writer.

    And, it’s nice to get some head’s ups about line ups and injuries from people a little closer to the org.

    Finally, I think a lot of RB’s aggression is just schtick. Deep down, sports journalists -an oxymoron?- know they’re entertainers and not journalists. In fact, I’d bet ON wants them to be more “in your face” with the readers; it brings exposure. (They act like trolls in the discussion section, constantly turning the discussion into a war, when they should be doing the opposite.)

    Anyway, sorry to threadjack.

  57. quain says:

    Speaking of RB: OilersNation irritated me a bit before because it was clearly some bullshit moneymaking device disguised as a fan site.

    That bother jumped a bit when they put out FlamesNation, which is the same exact crap, using the exact same webpage template and logo. It’s pretty cheap.

    I don’t begrudge JW and Kent W making a buck at all, but it’d be so much nicer if I never had a reason to give either site a moment of my bandwidth, you know?

  58. Unleaded says:

    @ Kris

    Moreau – Cogliano – Reddox

    That would totally be worse…

  59. shepso says:

    Just to throw out a little bit of sports journalism history into the mix, one of the greatest sports writers (and political journalists)of all time was the good Doctor, Hunter S Thompson, who was perhaps also one of the most offensive and depraved writers of his generation. It was always a joy to read his ESPN columns before he died, and despite his insider status, he still managed to push the envelope until his passing while writing very informative and well crafted pieces of sports journalism.

    Enter RB, an insider hack of a writer whose stylized offensiveness attempt to evoke the spirit of HST but fail so miserably and completely. He is a shit writer now, but wasn’t always a writer in this vein. Maybe he’s just trying to cash in on the wave of writers who use foul language and fear to bait readers into giving a shit about what they say. Sure it’s nice to get a bit of inside information, but the quasi-homophobic crap he spews at both ON and the Sun (which is a shit-rag paper to begin with) ranks only marginally above the fear mongering garbage spewed by Lorne Gunter in the editorial section of the Edmonton Journal. But that’s just my opinion, as an academic, a scholar, and self proclaimed disciple of the good Doctor, not a journalist. If RB decides he’s going to argue with anyone who offers a dissenting opinion, it’s his call to make as a member of the press. It wouldn’t be so bad if his writing wasn’t so awful…

  60. Traktor says:

    I’ve been harping on Brownlee the past couple days as well. His responses have been predictable.

    It’s not what you say, it’s when you say it – and not one reporter could be counted on when we needed them the most.

    Any fucking idiot can see that Penner is not the player that MacTavish depicted him to be.

    - Penner is 2nd on the team in points per 60
    - Penner is 1st on the team in GFON/60
    - Penner has faced the 2nd hardest competition out of any Oiler regular
    - Penner has the 2nd best Corsi rating out of any Oiler

    MacTavish tells the media that they and the fans need to reevaluate their expectations of Penner because he isn’t going to be playing with Moreau and Pisani on a checking line.

    At the time of Penner’s benching he led this team in the +/- category.

    At the time of Penner’s benching Edmonton had a negative +/- differential.

    What coach is stupid enough to take out his best +/- player on a team losing at 5×5? I think Penner was +8 at the time of his first benching. What exactly was MacT expecting of Penner on the 3rd line.

    It’s funny how only a month or so later MacTavish turned into what he has just previously warned about. That’s the type of foresight I expect from Mr. Self-inflicted, though.

    Penner was the 12th most proficient PP goal scorer last year – yet MacTavish takes him off the PP. Who does that? Of course you’ll never hear about that from anyone in the media.

  61. danny says:

    I find it a little ironic though, that JW tore into Dan Barnes like that. Which in turn started a scrum between Brownlee and Dennis over MSM not critiquing Lowe.

    Barnes IMO has been the only guy that ive read that fires the occasional scathing article.

    Back in ’07 he wrote a piece (EIG based I think) which prompted me to email him and thank him for saying something negative for once. He replied that hes not an oilers fan, and hes frustrated by the teflon treatment that most media outlets affords the organization.

    So disagree as you may with Barnes dislike of Peterson 2.0, but the spirit of openly questioning ANYTHING the Oilers do, puts him ahead of most suck-holes we are fed via the MSM.

  62. Temujin says:

    Yeah Traktor, but those are just the facts. Anybody could find those with a little effort. What readers really want is reporters who dig-deep and discuss “consistency” and “energy” and “conditioning” :-0

  63. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nilson-Cogliano-Stortini

    M-C-R is worse.

    On the other hand, I think that from a stylistic point of view, pace Coach, RB’s an okay writer.

    He’s okay for a MSM hockey writer, which is to say, crap.

    Finally, I think a lot of RB’s aggression is just schtick. Deep down, sports journalists -an oxymoron?- know they’re entertainers and not journalists.

    I disagree. Many journalists are failed jocks that now talk to the real jocks and write from the perspective that they are one of the boys – their dream. You see it in most sports, though baseball has less of it because of the stats guys and the movement of the last 25 years.

    The Edmonton media is full of Al Bundys.

  64. shepso says:

    @ coach: RB as Al Bundy?…too true, sadly…

  65. Unleaded says:

    So, what you’re saying is that he has a hot slutty daughter…?

  66. Phil says:

    Forgive me if this has been posted already, but an article in the Boston Globe about the Cole to the Bruins rumour here.

    To quote the article:

    “…The Oilers likely would target the likes of winger Vladimir Sobotka (now in Providence) and/or defenseman Matt Hunwick (sidelined with flu-like symptoms) in a swap for Cole.

    Sobotka is an undersized, below average centre, Hunwick is an undersized, below average defenseman. So that sounds about right for what the team needs.

  67. shep says:

    blues lineup.

    backes and oshie in

  68. Unleaded says:

    On a related note, if there are many Al Bundys in the Sports Media circle in Edmonton, then there must be many hot slutty daughters in and around Edmonton.

    Now, if that’s true, then does it become the Edmonton Sports Media’s fault that CFP needed to leave Edmonton so suddenly…?

  69. Bruce says:

    Maybe if we could get special dispensation from the league to ice a line of all four of Ethan Rifles, Cogs, Poo and Red Ox we could at least get in the other guy’s way while we’re getting in our own.

    This reminds me of the “Leftover Line” circa 1999-2000, when the Oil had a solid first line (Smyth-Weight-Guerin) and outstanding third and fourth lines (Moreau-Marchant-Grier and Devereaux-Dowd-Laraque). Three well-defined and balanced units. Unfortunately the theoretical “second” line was the guys who didn’t fit, which is to say any three of Rem Murray, Pat Falloon, German Titov, Alex Selivanov, Paul (Not Mike) Comrie, Dan LaCouture, Daniel Cleary, Chad Kilger, Bert Robertsson and Joe Beranek. And come the Dallas series, we’d have no choice but to toss three of them out there and … you know the rest.

  70. rickibear says:

    Kris: Cole-Storitini-Moreau

    3-north south players with zero passing abilty with each other all playing out of position and no faceoff wins.

    A close second this year:

    Moreau-Pisani-Penner

  71. Coach pb9617 says:

    What readers really want is reporters who dig-deep and discuss “consistency” and “energy” and “conditioning” :-0

    Are we talking about the brave and valiant captain of the team again?

    What a POS.

  72. mc79hockey says:

    Re: Brownlee. He won’t chime in here but if he happens to come across this thread and is reading the responses, maybe because someone emails him or something, I hope he realizes the truth of my statement that, at heart, we’re all like Ed Koch.

    ANYWAY, also re: Brownlee. I actually disagree with Dennis. I put him right below Barnes as far as hockey writers in Edmonton and I don’t think that he’s got a lack of willingness to take on the team. He’s not a guy who’s well situated to take jabs at Lowe, given that he’s a more of a beat journalist than a columnist; he deals in the day to day stuff around the rink and by and large it’s factual reporting. I tend to think that he’s pretty good about that. He’s also got his credentials for reporting stuff that the Oilers didn’t want out, as he’s the guy who broke the story about the RoadRunners folding.

    With that said, that thread Dennis linked is absurd. This from Brownlee is just inspired lunacy:

    Angry and confrontational? Funny how that happens when somebody like you — a coward hiding in another city — makes a point of questioning my integrity and qualifications every chance he gets.

    I write what I write and say what I say and then I go and look the people I write about in the eye. If they don’t like it, they get a chance to have their say.
    You spit your smug spew and try to sound smart, and I have no doubt you’ll continue to do so without ever having the backbone to do the same and look me in the eye. That, smart guy, would go very badly for you. I don’t need Big Brother to handle you.

    I’ve said in a lot of different places that I like Brownlee as a writer but that’s just insane.

  73. Coach pb9617 says:

    Moreau-Pisani-Penner

    Back a few threads, a guy with a good head on his shoulders, RQ, was defending that line. I think.

    *shudder*

  74. Woodguy says:

    I’m starting to think that the Lubo trade was not such a good call.

    You make that trade all day every day for the rest of your life.

    What you don’t do is ignore the holes that it opened up on your team. You fill them.

  75. Coach pb9617 says:

    Taken from his home office just yesterday.

    What you don’t do is ignore the holes that it opened up on your team. You fill them.

    The coach sure did — with five out of position forwards.

  76. Unleaded says:

    Man, listening to MacT’s pregame comments:

    “Strudwick is a great example. He’s a pillar of consistency because he’s the same way emotionally every day – he’s upbeat when he comes to the rink every day. He puts the work in every day. He’s always working on his game he’s always putting the maintenance on his game to keep himself sharp and the consistency is a directo offshoot of that… He can play forward, he can play defense, we played him there against Minnesota with Staois and he played great. I like the guys like that get absolutely everything out of their ability; he’s a luxury and we’re glad to have it.

    So… if this isn’t telling about what Mr. MacTavish is looking for, I don’t know what is.

    Is MacT’s big problem with Penner that he just doesn’t use his body like like Strudwick does, and isn’t all sunshines and rainbows?

  77. griffy says:

    paging the invisible man tamborine. the coil are prancing around the locker room thinking their jobs are safe. shake shake shake it up.

  78. Dennis says:

    I am a MacT guy but I can understand his the frustration of his critics when he trots out quotes of that nature.

    The thing with Brownlee is he honestly believes that he’s so far above the fan that his work is just to be fawned over and certainly not picked over.

    As I told him, the days of the beatie knowing more than the fan are over. Guys can watch every game now and they can read what they want and the days of those guys shaping opinions have come and gone.

    You know, honestly, what can he tell me about the on-ice stuff that I don’t already know? The same goes for LT, Bruce and all of Ty, cam or Vic if those fellows are still watching every game.

  79. Wil says:

    “I like the guys like that get absolutely everything out of their ability; he’s a luxury and we’re glad to have it.”

    Love it or hate it, that’s MacT’s MO… which explains why he has such a hate on for Penner. Not for all the 1st and 2nds he is on the team but rather for all unrealized potential.

  80. St George says:

    I love how he plays, he’s got the same magic that Hemsky does, and watching them play together brings me great joy. But how much better would this team be without him, and having Matt Greene and Mr Stoll around?

    We would play like we did the previous two years – with the puck in our end for minutes at a time, unable to clear or make a decent breakout. Even with the Stoll “hole” in our lineup, I prefer the current situation … at least we clear the puck quickly and get it down the ice before we turn it over. Or better yet, go get yourself an experienced centre too …

  81. Traktor says:

    MacTavish’s favorites are the guys he identifies himself with. It’s a horrible trait for a coach to have.

  82. Wil says:

    Traktor: or maybe he sees a guy with more talent that he had, and gets angry that he’s not using it…

    Also, if what you said is true why is Hemsky a MacT favourite?

  83. Rod says:

    @Will:
    I don’t think anyone here is saying Penner is perfect. Of course there’s room for improvement. Point is, he’s the best fit for the #1 line. The Horpensky line has produced well, even against tough competition. Ripping Penner in the paper (which of course gets the fans to give 27 the Arnott treatment) doesn’t do anything for Penner’s development. As someone said the other day, treating Penner the way MacTavish has this season is childish, and is akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. What it accomplishes is beyond me.

  84. Traktor says:

    99% of athletes will point to confidence when reasoning to why their performance increased.

    There’s probably a million quotes on the web where an athlete references confidence.

    MacTavish doesn’t know how to nurture confidence, individually, or collectively.

    Would MacTavish’s comments about Schremp have a negative or positive influence on his confidence?

    How did Garon respond to the coach throwing him under the bus?

    Why MacTavish likes to bring someone down to earth I’ll never understand. The key is to think you’re better than you really are.. and then you just are.

  85. danny says:

    Traktor.

    I’ve remained quiet through a lot of your nonsense, but c’mon dude. Just because you think something makes sense doesn’t make it true.

    Personally speaking, in my profession I’m at my worst usually when i’m overconfident. It leads to complacency, slacking etc.

    So for your brilliant insight into the failures of MacT I call bullshit. You are making blanket statements and comments to condemn someone whom you have an unhealthy vendetta against.

    Since you so freely pass jusdgement, heres one for you. You seem like an intelligent guy, but more often than not beleive your own hype and talk straight outta your ass.

    I think its because you’re overconfident really.

  86. St George says:

    What danny said. Further, I think this “MacT favours guys that play like him” is invoked way too often. Were that actually true, Hemsky and Pronger would have been/would currently be stapled to the bench.

    I don’t know how many of you are managers, but those that are know that the attributes MacT was attributing to Strudwick are extremely important to a well-functioning team, very helpful, and in short supply. You don’t need a whole team of Strudwicks, but having those characteristics on your team is important; further, the inverse is true: a bunch of semi-motivated, partially grumbly guys can derail a team really quickly, even if they are really talented.

  87. Traktor says:

    “Personally speaking, in my profession I’m at my worst usually when i’m overconfident. It leads to complacency, slacking etc.”

    What do you do for a living? Do you sink 12 foot putts for a living? Do you shoot free throws for a living?

    I’m not sure why you think you’re a relevant comparison to a professional athlete?

    If you’re a police offer or fireman then obviously being overly confident isn’t a good thing.

    But when you’re Tiger Woods needing to sink a 13 foot slider on the 18th hole to force a playoffs it’s best to know that putt is already sunk before you even lined it up.

    “So for your brilliant insight into the failures of MacT I call bullshit.”

    If you don’t believe confidence is a major factor in professional sports – or if you don’t think Garon or Penner is effected negatively by disparaging comments, then by all means go on believing that. Makes no difference to me really.

    “Since you so freely pass jusdgement, heres one for you. You seem like an intelligent guy, but more often than not beleive your own hype and talk straight outta your ass.

    I think its because you’re overconfident really.”

    I have have 9 years of results to back up the walk.

  88. Bank Shot says:

    least we clear the puck quickly and get it down the ice before we turn it over

    I think the emergence of Gilbert and Grebeshkov have alot to do with that. It’s not like Visnovsky was alone out there.

    That guy Visnovsky replaced was pretty good at moving the puck forward as well. That was a pretty poor quality for rental trade.

  89. relic says:

    MacT just said on 630 and I quote “… we all know he (Penner) is the best fit there (1st line) we all agree…”

    just thought I’d throw that out there.

  90. danny says:

    Again, complete blanket statements, and isolated examples to prove yourself correct.

    If you can sit there with a straight face and tell me the proper way to motivate a slacker to prepare himself properly for competition, is to shower him with compliments and make him think hes god, then id have to say BJ Penn is going to kill GSP january 31st. I cant wait to see that fight.

    See how isolated shit works?

    Use your brain dude. I’ve lost all faith in your ability to see past your own nose to be honest.

  91. Wil says:

    Rod: agreed. I meant to suggest that MacT’s strategy is correct (help players reach potential). His tactics are a little more up for debate.

    I also think there’s a difference between trying 50 different ways of motivating Penner, then throwing him under the bus vs. doing nothing and then throwing him under the bus… We’ll probably never know everything MacT has tried to motivate this guy…

    Traktor: everyone’s different and is motivated by different things and in different ways. There’s no piano tied to Penners butt… a guy with his skills and size should be producing despite his coach.

    PS sorry gents, have to run. Go Oil!!

  92. Traktor says:

    I’ve lost all faith in your ability to see past your own nose to be honest.”

    My confidence… it’s shattered.

  93. HBomb says:

    Separated at birth: Willem Dafoe and Andy Murray.

  94. danny says:

    Traktor said…
    My confidence… it’s shattered.

    I sure hope so. Penner went on a tear after MacT shattered his.

    I hope i don’t need to call you a moron again 4 or 5 weeks from now pal.

    Don’t let your confidence creep back in and make you slack off again.

  95. Bruce says:

    Reddox with a muffin.

  96. Bruce says:

    Why don’t you guys take out your frustrations on your TVs, the Blues and the zebras for the next two and a half hours? Game on.

  97. Bruce says:

    Smid is hurt, Stortini goes to bat for him and RSN cuts to commercial. There’s no excuse for that.

  98. Jonathan Willis says:

    Well now, this is an interesting gameday thread. I’m a little surprised at the amount of vitriol being spewed at Brownlee; I’m not going to defend his comments to Dennis because I don’t agree with them, but at the same time he’s easily one of the best beat reporters in Edmonton.

    I think the temptation to say “well I actually talk to hockey guys” must be incredible; I mean, every blogger with a bunch of commenters knows the kind of nonsense that can be argued at them, and the cop-out answer of saying something like the above probably looks lots nicer after your third, fifth or three-hundredth argument with someone who you don’t know from Adam but who emphatically disagrees with you – even if and when you’re wrong.

    It’s part of the reason I’m picking my battles more carefully; after the rather merciless thrashing I’ve taken over a few of my opinions, I’ve decided it’s better to be incremental and cautious because I end up enjoying the exercise much more.

    Eventually, everybody ends up writing one of those “I’m doing this for me and don’t really care what you think” articles; LT did it not that long ago, the “We get letters” article on BofA is from the same genre. Everybody, regardless of the merit of their opinions, ends up finding something to shield themselves behind. For beat reporters, I think it’s generally reputation, access and influence.

    As for ON, I’ve supported and continue to support it because a) the guys running seem fantastic, and b) it’s good to expose some less accepted ideas to a wider crowd.

    Anyways, isn’t there a game tonight?

  99. Bruce says:

    See how Moreau didn’t push Reddox out of the circle? Is that how you spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

  100. Jonathan Willis says:

    Hey, Penner’s on the powerplay’s first unit again. What a strange notion.

  101. Jonathan Willis says:

    I swear, every player who I ever forget exists must play in St.Louis.

    Chris Mason’s quietly having a very good year; I can see Detroit picking him up at the deadline.

  102. Lowetide says:

    Brownlee knows his stuff and so does Dennis. I see Dennis giving that much and one suspects at some point Robin will give Dennis’ opinion weight.

    But the bottom line is that most MSM think bloggers and comments on blogs are done from basements where huge piles of Diet Coke bottles are piled behind a computer screen with a single lonely lightbulb overhead.

    And until the MSM gives more respect they’re in for a rough ride. Brownlee is probably the least deserving of all the msm imo but life isn’t really fair.

    I see the Oilers are playing about even with the 15th place team in the conference.

    Good stuff.

  103. Jonathan Willis says:

    And until the MSM gives more respect they’re in for a rough ride. Brownlee is probably the least deserving of all the msm imo but life isn’t really fair.

    There’s more truth in that statment than in anything Kevin Prendergast has ever been quoted as saying.

  104. gerald78 says:

    smid and struds is a GA waiting to happen

  105. Jonathan Willis says:

    Doesn’t Reddox “execute”?

  106. shepso says:

    reddox, breakaway, fail. ’nuff said.

  107. Lowetide says:

    Stortini is a very useful player in a narrow view. Reddox has had three chances, that last one a beauty. Needs to score there folks.

  108. HBomb says:

    Reddox Sux.

  109. mc79hockey says:

    And until the MSM gives more respect they’re in for a rough ride.

    Damn LT, read the comment – Brownlee clearly said that DENNIS would be in for the rough ride while he kicked his ass.

    One thing’s for sure, and I’ve thought this for a while – writing on the internets where the feedback is instantaneous and tends to be snarky and over the top is probably a large adjustment for guys like Brownlee. I’ve actually read most of the comments between the two of them at ON and Dennis’ comments certainly didn’t rise to his Smid-baiting around here.

    Maybe someone should email Brownlee and tell him that Dennis liked the Penner signing, just to give him some ammo.

  110. mc79hockey says:

    This STL crew is brutal by the way. Oilers took a shot on the PP and the TV camera didn’t even manage to get the net in the shot. That takes talent.

    Oh and LT – I was looking at the head to head records between East and West after your comment about post-expansion days. What a horror show – the East was winning about 2/3 of the head to head matchups. The West might have had the NHL label but they weren’t NHL teams.

  111. Phil says:

    Reddux flat out MISSED THE NET from 2 feet out. That takes talent.

  112. Lowetide says:

    Tyler, you kill me. I’ve known a few lawyers in my time and ALL of them have a little mischief in them.

    Must be something about all those rules. :-)

  113. Scott says:

    Reddox Sux.

    Weren’t you just arguing in the last GDT that we ought to be worrying about the guys not getting chances rather than the guys not capitalising?

  114. gerald78 says:

    nice work along the wall by nilsson there

  115. HBomb says:

    Weren’t you just arguing in the last GDT that we ought to be worrying about the guys not getting chances rather than the guys not capitalising?

    Yup, and I’m glad to see him getting chances, so at least he’s doing that much. Doesn’t change the fact that I don’t believe Reddox should be in our top twelve forwards.

    Translation: Gilbert Brule would have scored there.

  116. B.C.B. says:

    big scrum, and now smid is walking around with his gloves half off, that warms my heart. Oh and Roli throwing punches.

  117. shepso says:

    I love it when Roli gets angry…

  118. Scott says:

    But how much better would this team be without [Visnovsky], and having Matt Greene and Mr Stoll around? I’ll be the first to suggest that our PP and breakout aren’t as good, but I’ll also bet our PK is better, our D gets deeper, if less skilled, and maybe we don’t have such a s***-show with our 3rd line to start the year.

    I certainly don’t think subtracting Visnovsky and adding Greene makes the D any deeper. Really, all that we needed was to sign Reasoner or similar and the issues raised are pretty much resolved.

  119. Scott says:

    Translation: Gilbert Brule would have scored there.

    But Hemsky would miss the net and Horcoff would let the puck slide through his skates :)

  120. HBomb says:

    Scott: They’ve scored 2 goals in the last seven periods. So yes, those things would have happened. No one’s got any finish right now.

  121. Schitzo says:

    No HD tonight? :(

  122. Lowetide says:

    Watching that first period, I’d say the Oilers need a “Ken Phelps All-Star” at 3line center, at #4 D and probably in goal.

    Lordy.

  123. Dennis says:

    I had the first period chances as 7-5 edm; 6-3 EV and then Stl winning the ST battle 2-1. Oilers stole the show early but the Blues registered the last four chances.

    Chance totals for the respective Oilers: 85 with two and singles for 77-51-83-13-26.

    The Oilers really had a few nice opps in the first frame. 85 was in all alone on Mason and 83 had all day to pick his spot on the two-on-one. Plus, 10 continues his roll if either blowing chances or not being able to get his stick on the puck when he’s in a glory hole.

    Other stuff: 37 had about the most physical period I’ve ever seen from him. He was angling guys into the boards and then finishing him. Not sure what got into him but if he’s going to do that stuff then there’s not much left outside of goal scoring. Finally, 26 is always up for the physical battle, isn’t he? You don’t exactly need to drag him into the battle;)

  124. oilerdago says:

    That was a pretty weak PP.

  125. gerald78 says:

    anybody else having visions of oilers v sharks game 4 in 06 playoffs on that boyes breakaway? i though rolo was going to try to come out on that one

  126. PDO says:

    I missed the first… but I haven’t seen Hemsky have this many turnovers in a long time.

  127. Bruce says:

    Had to run an errand so heard a chunk on the radio. Sounded like Zorg took all of one shift to continue the conversation with Janssen re: the Smid hit. Questions: Did RSN ever get around to showing that hit? And, who won the fight? Rod and Bob (?) had Zorg throwing the most punches, but Janssen the best one(s).

    Penner and Cole with 3 hits each; nice to see the big boys bring the physical element to the (theoretical) scoring lines. I also didn’t mind hearing of a huge scrum on Roli’s doorstep. Nothing pulls a slumping team together faster than a good hard physical battle, the rougher the better (within reason).

  128. Traktor says:

    Horcoff looked like he hurt his shoulder.

  129. Ribs says:

    Geezus. Souray can make it look so easy sometimes.

  130. oilerdago says:

    Souuuuraaay!

  131. Scott says:

    Awesome goal. And then Stortini takes a Moreau.

  132. oilerdago says:

    Scott, you mean ol Zilch?

  133. Bruce says:

    What a play by Souray in the corner there. Nice shot a while back also.

  134. Scott says:

    Anyone know what’s up with Tom Gilbert (i.e. is he out of the game injured)?

  135. B.C.B. says:

    Scott: go easy on Stortini, it is first stick infraction this year . . . have been trying to count penalties, and I haven’t seen one . . .

  136. oilerdago says:

    Good eye Scott. They just said on the radio that Gilbert did not play at all in the 2nd period. We can’t afford to lose him too.

  137. Scott says:

    Yeah, I know Stortini doesn’t take many of those, but I was hoping to get Bruce chiming in. He can’t resist an opportunity to defend Zorg :)

  138. Bruce says:

    And then Stortini takes a Moreau.

    I would call it a McGeough. Louie DeBrusk called it right. I watched that replay a few times on PVR and Zack’s stick never came up above tyhe guy’s waist. Terrible call.

    BCB is exactly right that that was Zorg’s first stick foul of the entire season. No slashing, no cross-checking, no hooking or tripping either. No obstruction fouls of any type in fact, zero holding or interference penalties either. And, like last year, no instigator penalties. He’s been called for boarding, roughing, and fighting, that’s it. 25 of what BCB calls aggressive penalties, to 0 lazy penalties. For a guy of his job description, that’s a remarkable stat.

    Scott: Happy?

  139. Scott says:

    Thanks Bruce. This place feels like home again.

    So… Gilbert?

  140. Bruce says:

    Oh yeah … and charging. How could I forget charging?

  141. PDO says:

    …. Horcoff AND Gilbert?

    WHAT THE FUCK DID WE DO????

  142. Bruce says:

    F. U. C. K.

  143. Dennis says:

    I had the second period chances at 6-2 Stl; all at even. 13 and 44 had the chances for the Oilers and 13′s opp at 6:55 stopped a streak of nine consecutive Blues scoring chances.

    12 had a nice pass to 44 for that goal but he made an absolutely awful play that lead to the Boyes breakaway. I mean, seriously, if that stuff’s happening towards the end of this season then I’d just cut bait on him and forget he ever happened.

    As a team the Oilers have been making the same two turnovers.

    1: Too much distance between the D making the outlet and the forward who’s supposed to receive it. It winds up where pucks are being turned over just before the redline.

    2: Oilers manage to get over the STL blue but then they try a cute play and away goes the rodeo. 12 did that on the breakaway and I saw 83 do it two other times as well. The Oilers flat out refuse to dump the puck in.

    Scott: Nice catch on the 77 absence and I must admit I didn’t really notice it even though I did note a shift where 5/24 were playing together and i was wondering what was going on. And then I just tabbed in the 2nd period scoring chances and I saw he’s played less than 8 min at EV and then I thought something must be up for sure.

    More scoring chances: Not sure if you guys caught this but SN ran a little roll on the top of the screen that had the chances at that point tied at 10. Right then I had the Blues up 10-8.

    Finally, because this thread’s dead and everyone’s understandably dreading Sat in Det even IF we win tonight, I’ll throw out a little comment on Brownlee.

    He seems especially thin-skinned for a guy who’s worked in the biz for years and as long as he continues to hammer dissenting opinions with angry disdain, then I’ll pick at the Lowe scabs that are visible to all:)

    Robin has to realize there are satellite dishes and internet connections and hardcore fans who use their intelligence for critical thinking.

  144. Ribs says:

    So… Gilbert?

    He’s just been traded for Vladimir Sobotkabolognacheese and a framed Jason Strudwick rookie card.

  145. Bruce says:

    Let me rephrase that:

    F. U. C. K.!!!!

  146. oilerdago says:

    Ribs,

    LOL!

  147. PDO says:

    In 48 hours we’ve quite possibly lost our #1 and #3 D, and our #1 C.

    Again, what the FUCK!?

  148. oilerdago says:

    Someone is going to have to win a faceoff now or we’re not going to get thru this period.

  149. Jonathan Willis says:

    The Hockey Gods knew the Oilers weren’t making the playoffs this year anyway, so they gave them the excuse of injuries.

  150. HBomb says:

    Sell mode if those guys are out any significant amount of time.

    Bye bye Moreau, Staios and Roloson. Find a new goalie solution for longer than just the next couple months. Extend Cole. Go from there.

  151. HBomb says:

    A short-handed goal against? Fantastic.

  152. PDO says:

    Good call Dago.

  153. Temujin says:

    McClementniaked?

  154. Jonathan Willis says:

    Do you guys think Grebeshkov picked #37 because of it’s similarity to #47?

  155. Jonathan Willis says:

    Incidentally, FSMidWest makes me think of Smid.

  156. quain says:

    As much as we all enjoy the “If Shawn Horcoff was a first line center…” and “If Craig MacTavish hadn’t lost the room…” memes, it’s time for a Chad Moreau revival!

    I’m so excited.

  157. oilerdago says:

    HBomb,

    I predict MacT resigns the day after the season is over. He’s going to do Lowe the favor.

  158. HBomb says:

    oilerdago: I hope you’re right. This team needs a change behind the bench.

    However, if “change” means a Buchberger promotion, I’m becoming a fan of women’s tennis.

  159. Jonathan Willis says:

    HBomb – two things:

    1. I agree a change is needed, but I’d almost prefer it happens in Springfield first, and

    2. Given the decline in Springfield this season over last, I’m no longer convinced that Buchberger has no talent as a coach. I’m not cheering for him to get the promotion, but he was doing something well last year.

  160. Scott says:

    However, if “change” means a Buchberger promotion, I’m becoming a fan of women’s tennis.

    You do know there’s more to this than what it seems from the life of Sergei Fedorov.

  161. oilerdago says:

    Did I miss something, is Struds out too? They’ve only been running 4 D.

  162. Lowetide says:

    Any info on Horcoff and Gilbert? Because, not to overstate or anything, but that could be the season right there.

  163. HBomb says:

    JW: I really think that when there is a change, we’re talking a new voice altogether.

    Bucky is another member of the Old Boys Club and is a MacT clone. I wouldn’t support that or any internal promotion one bit.

  164. Jonathan Willis says:

    And, while I probably shouldn’t complain about the free feeds (which are awesome) I’m going to second the comment above that the STL broadcast crew is pretty bad.

  165. oilerdago says:

    My bad, he’s out on this shift.

  166. HBomb says:

    Hemsky’s having his worst game since god-knows-when.

  167. Bruce says:

    Do you guys think Grebeshkov picked #37 because of it’s similarity to #47?

    Years ago, long before MAB’s time or yours, JW, Mark Messier’s cousin and notorious high-liver Don Murdoch used to wear 47. It was an odd number in more ways than one. Rumour had it he chose it because it was 4700 miles from Edmonton to the Colombian border.

  168. Jonathan Willis says:

    Any info on Horcoff and Gilbert? Because, not to overstate or anything, but that could be the season right there.

    Only because this team didn’t take advantage of their last couple of soft stretches to make some hay – with a bit of a buffer, it might not be lethal.

  169. Traktor says:

    Dustin Penner would have scored that goal if MacTavish hadn’t shattered his confidence.

  170. HBomb says:

    Lowetide: If Gilbert and Horcoff are out for any sort of extended period, the Oilers are, without question, screwed.

  171. shepso says:

    man alive, Gibby and Horc out? This is not good. Guess we’ll be seeing Brule and/or Sugartits pretty soon. Is there anyone in the organization that can win draws now?

  172. oilerdago says:

    HBomb – I’ve counted at least 4 times where he’s lost the puck on poke check in this game. No one is biting on his move tonite.

  173. relic says:

    it’ll give ‘em a chance to finally play some kids :P

  174. Scott says:

    Dustin Penner would have scored that goal if MacTavish hadn’t shattered his confidence.

    Are you making fun of yourself or MacT here?

  175. RiversQ says:

    Pretty nice effort in this one. They’re certainly battling and generally keeping it simple.

  176. Bruce says:

    Careful, Sheldon. This would be a real bad time to get into a scrap..

  177. Lowetide says:

    ..against the 15th best team in the conference. Yeah!

  178. Phil says:

    I’ll bring this nugget up – it wasn’t until after Horcoff went down last year that the kids really took off and the team went on it’s run. In no way am I saying they’re better without Horcoff… I’m just saying.

    BTW, after Penner missed that chance, he looked like he was flat out tackled. Anyone else think that was a penalty?

  179. oilerdago says:

    Careful LT, we're not that far from them…and w/games against Det & Min after tonite we could be in bigger trouble if there's no Horc or Gilbert.

  180. Lowetide says:

    I’d say two points tonight is massive considering the injuries and the games ahead.

  181. Scott says:

    Do you guys think Grebeshkov picked #37 because of it’s similarity to #47?

    I recognize that this wasn’t a serious comment, but I think Grebs may have chosen his number in honour of Alexei Kasatonov. It’s just conjecture, but the guy wore #7 in Russia and he can’t wear any of #7, #17 or #27 in Edmonton, so I guess #37 makes sense.

  182. Phil says:

    Gee zus. Bury that, somebody, please.

  183. oilerdago says:

    Agreed LT. I’d say it’s essential or this season will unwind fast.

  184. Scott says:

    Man, if that was Brule instead of Hemsky we would have had a goal there.

  185. Bank Shot says:

    How is Bropensky’s corsi looking?

    They’ve been getting some chances.

  186. Jonathan Willis says:

    I like this Oshie kid. Not as an Oilers’ fan, obviously, but just in general.

  187. RiversQ says:

    LT: They do have a depleted lineup right now.

    I’m just saying they aren’t playing like they’ve quit on the coach, which is the opposite of the drum you’ve been banging on all year.

  188. gerald78 says:

    3 oilers hauled down in that last sequence in the blues zone

  189. Lowetide says:

    RQ: Ah, gotcha. Agreed. A lot more try tonight.

  190. Jonathan Willis says:

    RiversQ: Isn’t it more of a “MacTavish is making bad decisions” than “MacTavish couldn’t inspire apathy” drum?

  191. mc79hockey says:

    I think it’s pretty much a “MacT is responsible for everything in my life that doesn’t live up to my wildest hopes and dreams” drum.

    I blame him for the fact that I’m still at work.

  192. RiversQ says:

    JW: I think I’ve seen it all on here this year. Now granted, the atmosphere goes from wake to rave in 5.4 seconds around here, but MacT has had everything criticized this year. Some good, but lots of nonsense.

    One twit complained a couple weeks ago about 18 on the PP. It was for a faceoff with 10 seconds left in the pen.

  193. Jonathan Willis says:

    Tyler: Come now, we aren’t all created equal. For instance, as much as I’ve been critical of MacTavish this season, I blame Trudeau for my problems ;)

  194. Lowetide says:

    If Hemsky 1-on-3 is pissing in the wind, what exactly do we call it when Staios tries it?

  195. Jonathan Willis says:

    RiversQ: Just to be sure, that wasn’t me was it? ‘Cause I say some dumb things from time to time.

    I think we all let go a little bit during the game threads. I know I’m far more balanced when I have a little bit of distance from actual gameplay.

  196. godot10 says:

    FYI:

    Horcoff was hit by a Hemsky shot in the back of the leg.

    Why would the Oilers extend Cole? Hemsky, Pisani, Pouliot, Brule, Stortini, Eberle. Way more important to sign Grebeshkov? I don’t dislike Cole, but his good things come with a lot of bad and mediocre.

  197. oilerdago says:

    Sam shoot the puck!!!

  198. Jonathan Willis says:

    Not crazy about how Samwise played that one.

  199. Jonathan Willis says:

    For anyone watching the Blues feed, this is hands down the worst advertisement I’ve ever seen.

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