Wild at Oilers, G62/08-09

The story of this season could still be “Oilers finally turn a corner” but at this point I think most fans firmly believe there is something wrong.

At some point it doesn’t matter if Kevin Lowe didn’t gather up the horses, or if Craig MacTavish got stubborn on too many kids.

At some point this organization has to convince the fanbase that there is a plan, our brain trust is better than the other brain trusts.

The Edmonton Oilers always appear to be smoothly run, a tight ship moving forward and a proud brand. The Edmonton Oilers fan is having a crisis of confidence, apparently made even more troubling because no one in charge appears to notice.

Win. Or fix it. Do something.

R. F. N.

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451 Responses to "Wild at Oilers, G62/08-09"

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  1. Smytty777 says:

    Oil need to score first or we are in for another painful night of hockey.

  2. MDOilFan says:

    they need to score the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd goals, they NEED to dominate the Wild tonight

  3. Brett Gee 英 明 says:

    Is this the end of the madness? The Wild are on the decline and one of the many teams that the Oilers need to put behind them.

    I mean, for once can we have a great home game for the fans that pay out the ears for tickets? Professional hockey, please. Playoffs aside, just put in some effort. Please.

  4. Unleaded says:

    If the Oilers get a point out of this game, it’s a victory. They are not playing well as a team, and because of that, there needs to be changes. If they get a point, the decision to stand pat becomes more palatable. If they lose here, I think we see an avalanche.

  5. oilerdago says:

    This game is a conundrum. Management is saying we’re in the thick of the race and there’s no reason to panic. Nothing a tweak and patience with young kids would not cure.

    The fanbase is upset because the bar was set high going into the season and the game Thursday represented the epitome of the season.

    The coach has become the focal point of our frustration (right or wrong). I don’t think a change behind the bench comes with a loss tonite, but you’d have a hard time selling us if we lose our 5th in 6 games.

    Huge implications for this game. Absolutely huge.

  6. bookie says:

    LT, you nailed it, there is a sense out here (in fanland) that management is on vacation or something. We miss the regualar interviews with the GM that used to convince us that someone upstairs was busy doing something, or at least thinking about it.

    So, let me state the obvious, one of the clear problems with the Oilers this year is Tambalini. Seriously, other than the day he was hired, has he even appeared relevant? I am beginning to understand why Vancouver left him in the backgound – the guy is like Wallpaper.

    Lets face it, the Oilers have been worse than this many times in the past 15 years, BUT I have never felt so hopeless. Why? Cause rightly or wrongly Sather or Lowe would do a radio interview or TV interview that made me think that we were just about to right the ship.

    Then again, perhaps Tambalini is so busy working on something to fix this team that he doesn’t have time to act as a Fan Therapist.

    Lets all hope so….

  7. Lord Bob says:

    I have to object. As an Oiler fan, I’m not having a crisis of confidence at all. That implies having some confidence left: I’m just depressed that after all this crap we’re probably not bad enough to snag Hedman or Tavares.

    That said, there is one good omen for the Oilers in tonight’s game. I’m working a 13-hour day and will miss it. The Oilers’ record when I’m at work is something like 70-3-1.

  8. Scott says:

    Well, Minnesota is on the back half of the back-to-back on the road so the Oilers are playing with loaded dice tonight.

    LT’s urgency will finally be rewarded! That’s the thing about calling for action R.F.N. just a couple days in front of the trade deadline, you’ll almost certainly be given your wish.

  9. Lowetide says:

    In the seasons since MacT and Lowe took over as a tandem, here are the 1st place finishers in the NW division with Edmonton's place and point total:

    2000-01
    1. COL 118
    2. EDM 93

    2001-02
    1. COL 99
    3. EDM 92

    2002-03
    1. COL 105
    4. EDM 92

    2003-04
    1. VAN 101
    4. EDM 89

    2005-06
    1. CAL 103
    2. EDM 95

    2006-07
    1. VAN 105
    5. EDM 71

    2007-08
    1. MINN 98
    5. EDM 88

    2008-09 (projected)
    1. CAL 108
    4. EDM 87

    The Oilers were headed to the top of the charts before the Pronger trade and I've always maintained that MacT and Lowe did a good job before the cap.

    This team has never been able to recover from the Pronger deal that turned back time. Adding Smid, Lupul and the picks is often mentioned (notably by Dennis) as the big mistake; I'd say it was a two-pronged error in which the trade was made, a bunch of money was dropped on Lupul and Kevin Lowe never added enough actual NHL players to the group.

    The following summer Sam Gagner arrives and he's good plus they need a good story. Another kid added to the group.

    This past fall they added Cole and Lubo, but left themselves exposed at center (and I believe) on the blue.

    Since Tambellini arrived, they've run in place and traded one of the two goalies MacT is willing to risk in an actual game.

    Anything look out of place? Oh yes, one thing. EVERY TEAM HAS WON THE DIVISION SAVE FOR EDMONTON SINCE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY!

    Does Edmonton have the market cornered on good young players? Is Gagner>Stastny?

    You can only spin hope and dreams so long, and then one day you wake up and you're still in the trailer park and you're still dealing with idiot neighbours.

    The Oilers are the trailer park boys, with the rest of the division having upsold during the Pronger depression.

    Fix the damn thing.

  10. Stat2 says:

    Three words – Columbus Blue Jackets – Scott Howson and Ken Hitchcock are moving in the right direction, while it seems the Oilers are not moving in any direction. The media in Edmonton loves the oilers because the stories can be rehashed from previous years, just the player’s names change. Fight for a playoff spot, must win game etc. etc.

  11. DBO says:

    Went boozing last night, and through the alcohol i had a moment of clarity. I honestly believe that KLowe wanted to replace Mact this year, but the dollars involved and his relationship with Katz dictated that he be given another chance. Therefore KLowe put a team together (unbalanced, lacking depth, etc.) and then stood at the podium and talked about being a division leader. What could Mact say, “KLowe is crazy, this team has no 3rd line center, no veteran depth, lacks grit and is filled with smurfs i hate”. Of course he couldn’t, so he stood up there with kevin and echoed the division leader thing. I believe the plan is to repalce macT (short of a cup run), so KLowe gave him just enough to battle for 8th, and allow him to move out of the way at year’s end.

    On that note, if I’m the Oil management I try to poach someone from Philly. and make some moves to set us up with balance going forward.

    1. Cole and Nilsson for Ruutu and a mid round pick: Ruutu is a younger version of Cole, who plays physical, can score and is cheaper (we could sign him for around $3 mill).

    2. Pouliot and Schremp/5th rd pick to tampa for Jeff halpern (good checking line center, signed for another year at $2 mill).

    3. Go after Philly. They need to move one of their $4 mill plus players in order to fit Briere under the cap. they talk about wanting a tough dman (from TSN broadcast yesterday) and they need to shed salary. If that’s the case i offer them:

    - Cogliano, Staios and a 1st round pick
    for
    Gagne and Carle.

    Carle has the same cap hit as Staios. he is an offensive player{Philly has a bunch of them right now and they won’t move Coburn, adn they need grit on the back end) and gives us options this summer to move an offensive dman. Gagne is a top flight LW that we lack, is signed for reasonable dollars ($5.25 for this year and next), and from Philly’s point of view Briere can slide into his spot on the top line. I know it’s far fetched to think we can get him, but Philly is in trouble cap wise, they can’t move Briere and Cogliano and Staios fill 2 needs and keep their cap in order (it saves them $4 million this year and next).

    From our perspective we get a top LW for Hemsky, get a bit younger, balance our lineup, and give us chips to deal with this summer while giving us the best shot at the playoffs this year.

    Gagne – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner- Gagner – Ruutu
    Moreau – Halpern – Pisani
    Reddox – Brodziak – Stortini

    Souray – Gilbert
    Greb – Vishnovsky
    Smid – Carle

    I like that lineup. So of course there is no way it happens. Time for a drink.

  12. jdrevenge says:

    Stat 2

    You make an interesting point. Maybe it was Howson pulling all the triggers on the Lowe front. Seems to me that since he’s left we’ve been working backwards. The Visnovsky deal was a good one but as LT mentions we left ourselves super thin at center. Maybe that doesn’t happen or maybe I’m grasping at straws. Whatever the case may be we are in serious trouble as of today…

  13. Schitzo says:

    LT, you’re off in your 2005-2006 ranking. The Avs were seeded higher than us, I think based on win-loss or the season series.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Schitzo: Seems reasonable, I just grabbed it from hockeydb’s standings. Either way, that was the best season in the group and the club was headed in the right direction.

    There were two things dealt away: Pronger and the Pronger money.

    Both were blown.

  15. Matt says:

    And….

    Best of luck to the Edmonton Oilers this hockey season.

    Yes, I’ve been saving that one up.

  16. Coach pb9617 says:

    I mean, for once can we have a great home game for the fans that pay out the ears for tickets?

    Won’t matter – it’s the quietest arena in the west.

    Three words – Columbus Blue Jackets – Scott Howson and Ken Hitchcock are moving in the right direction, while it seems the Oilers are not moving in any direction. The media in Edmonton loves the oilers because the stories can be rehashed from previous years, just the player’s names change. Fight for a playoff spot, must win game etc. etc.

    CBJ has one of the best players in the league in Nash and they’ve lucked into a great goalie. If CBJ were still playing Denis, Leclaire or whoever, they’d be in 12th place. They are pointed in the right direction with Russell, Brassard, Filatov and Voracek.

    Howson might be the one GM that pays attention to the micros, because he has put together a nice BTN defense for peanuts. No dominant guys, but a bunch of dudes that are unpleasant to play against.

    The coach has become the focal point of our frustration (right or wrong). I don’t think a change behind the bench comes with a loss tonite, but you’d have a hard time selling us if we lose our 5th in 6 games.

    It’s unfortunate that a coaching change wouldn’t mean a captain change.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Matt: You’re a bugger. :-) Well played.

  18. Scott says:

    Gagne – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Penner- Gagner – Ruutu
    Moreau – Halpern – Pisani
    Reddox – Brodziak – Stortini

    Souray – Gilbert
    Greb – Vishnovsky
    Smid – Carle

    I like that lineup. So of course there is no way it happens. Time for a drink.

    I know we’re talking about hypotheticals here, but that team costs about 48.5M withouth having signed Grebs, Smid, Brodziak, Reddox, extra F, extra D, or goalies. So… yeah. Not sure where that money is coming from.

  19. DBO says:

    Scott: agreed about the salary, but that is why the off season we would move a dman. If you move grebs, you have the money to fill the roster with under a million players and $2 mill for Rollie. if you make a bigger move and move Vishnovski (as much as I like him), you free up more money or possible get some better players to fill those spots.

  20. Icecastles says:

    oilerdago said…
    This game is a conundrum. Management is saying we’re in the thick of the race and there’s no reason to panic.

    I think the problem with that thinking on mgmt’s part (and I’m not saying they actually believe it: you can hand out the kool-aid without having to drink it yourself) is that the only reason we are still “in the thick” is that a few other teams are experiencing timely losses. But we have been loosing games that we should have been favoured to win while teams like Minnesota and Columbus have been loosing games that they’re expected to loose.

    Once we start playing teams like Detroit, San Jose and Calgary on nights where the teams we’re fighting are playing St Louis, Colorado or lower-ranked Eastern teams, the discrepancy is going to show up in a hurry and I can see us falling to a distant 13th spot in a space of mere days. And by then we won’t have many ‘soft’ games left where we can make up lost ground.

  21. Black Dog says:

    dbo – can’t move Lubo, sorry to say; check out Dennis’ numbers

    since he went down this team has been outchanced every game but one or two; before he went down they were in the black more often than not

    now granted Grebs has been hurt too but unless his return tilts the ice for the good guys in a big way I would say that Lubo might be, along with Hemsky, Horcoff and Gilbert, the most valuable Oiler, if not the most

  22. speeds says:

    I would be very surprised if PHI were willing to subtract Gagne at the deadline. I suppose it is possible in the summer, but I have my doubts on that as well.

    Besides which, if the Oilers are looking for a LW, why not just go after UFA Tanguay in the summer (assuming he’s available, maybe not a terrible assumption given MON’s huge number of UFA’s)?

    There are the standard problems, as with any higher profile UFA (Does he want to play in EDM? Does he want to sign with a team that isn’t already a top team? etc), but it seems like a somewhat similar fit, he’s coming off two subpar seasons (for him) and there’s some chance he’ll be cheaper than expected, he’s a LW.

  23. DBO says:

    Black Dog: right, makes sense about Lubo. I agree he’s been huge for us. I think our d has actually made up for a lot of deficiences this year from our forwards . that’s why i’d really like to see some aggressive moves to add veteran scorers up front (easier said then done). KLowe shocked us with acquiring pronger from a team that had money issues. i’d like to see them do the same thing with Philly.

  24. Hemsky is a gangsta says:

    You look at these last few games against Columbus, Dallas, Calgary and think “those are must win games”. But in reality they’re not, as long as we keep trucking along at .500 or slightly better we’re still in the mix because all these other teams are just as inconsistent as us. But going 2-1 against the Wild the rest of the way might and probably will be the difference.

  25. Jfry says:

    tanguay is not the answer

    .

  26. speeds says:

    I’m not certain any one player will be “the answer”, but what is it about Tanguay that is a bad idea to you, Jfry?

  27. shepso says:

    Here’s a random question…MacT is playing the Poo tonight with 89-26. I understand that there are some poo supporters on this forum, and that is all well and good, but for the MSM to claim that mini-magic has been ineffective lately are kidding themselves. I love how MacT plays favorites, and players he hates, he truly loathes. I can’t think of a forward who skated harder against the BJs the other night. He was flying, and set up a glorious chance that both Sammy and Cole whiffed on in the 2nd. Sure, Row-bert hasn’t scored in a while, but his heart and hustle have been there. Why should he have to sit? I just don’t get this decision making process at all

  28. knighttown says:

    @Dennis

    Assuming the Oilers predictable level of play holds, they should go 12-and-9 the rest of the way. Assuming they earn 1 OT loss for every 5 normal losses which is their current accrual rate, that means 2 bonus points.

    65 pts + 24 pts + 2 bonus pts.= 91 points

    The schedule shows 11 games (52%) coming against teams behind them which, considering only 37% of teams are actually behind them in the standings, is pretty good. The toughest stretch is at the end but Calgary looks to be locked in at #3 so those last two should be against a team with zero motivation. Except that they hate us. If you move those two games to the other side of the ledger, they should be able to hit 93-95 points just by doing what they do.

    Winning % vs. superior teams- 27.3%
    Winning % vs. inferior teams- 84.6%

  29. geowal says:

    In case it’s news to anyone, Grebeshkov slated to play tonight per oilers website. Hopefully he’s ready. I think having a 2nd powerplay unit without Souray may help provide some diversity in our look, so coach’s actually have to plan an ‘alternative’ style pk against us…

    Making the drive up from stupid cowland today to see the team in the flesh for a change, here’s hoping they don’t disappoint.

  30. Jonathan Willis says:

    Chalk me up as one guy who would like to see Tanguay as an Edmonton Oilers.

  31. Matt N says:

    Won’t matter – it’s the quietest arena in the west.

    um, no……..ever been to a game at the “garage”? GM place is much quieter than Rexall

  32. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Likely the most interesting thing about this game, and there won’t be many, is whether or not Lemaire has picked up on Hitchcock’s strategy to neutralize Hemsky.

    Hitch put 2 guys on him every time he was in the O zone and completely shut down that line.

  33. godot10 says:

    I think we can forget about a coaching change till the offseason. They aren’t going to change the coach while MacT still has them in a playoff race. It just ain’t going to happen.

    Penner is an adequate winger for Horcoff and Hemsky. That is not the problem with this team.

    Mike Keenan made Olli Jokinen a player by keeping on throwing him over the boards. Jokinen was going to be a player or Keenan was going to break him as a human being. A binary outcome.

    If you really want to make Penner a better hockey player, you have to play him more, and force him to face his deficiencies as Keenan did with Jokinen.

    Arguably, that is what Bowman also did with Frank Mahovlich.

    MacT let the two pieces missing from this team slim away. Hejda and Glencross.

    And Pouliot is another candidate for the Jokinen treatment. Play him till you make or break him.
    Ditto Schremp. At some point in a players development you have to just throw the player out on the ice and let them humiliate themselves or make it.

    MacT is probably right in his assessment of Penner, Pouliot, and Schremp, but he makes no progress because the player doesn’t believe him. At that point in a player’s development on has to expose him to potential humiliation on the ice.

  34. Coach pb9617 says:

    Chalk me up as one guy who would like to see Tanguay as an Edmonton Oilers.

    Agreed. And easy to do if THE CAPTAIN and his life partner weren’t on this team sucking up $4.7 million

  35. bookie says:

    This team has never been able to recover from the Pronger deal that turned back time.

    I think the good/bad of the trade was not the issue. It was an amplification of the non-attractiveness of this city, and the recongition that under the salary cap players will get to play in the cities that they want to.

    I am sorry to say it, but this City is not a highly attractive place for people without ties to it. I love a lot about Edmonton, but its kind of like an ugly kid, you know they are ugly even if you like them. So, in addition to a questionable success level in the past 18 or so years (lets face it, guys dont say I want to go to Edmonton so that i have a chance to win the cup) we also have to recognize that in terms of lifestyle our city ranks in the bottom third. Included in this is that a 4th line player cant get a cup of coffee in peace after the team loses a game.

    Anyway, thats just one more factor.

    Yet, I think the Katz factor will balance this as it comes into play (I presume that better training facilties, better farm team in the future, better support all around…) will help.

    I also think that the unannounced Jagr deal for next year is a plus in the long run, but a bit of a hamper on what is possible in terms of trades, etc. this year.

  36. bookie says:

    gotdot10 – I think you are totally correct!

  37. oilerdago says:

    //But we have been loosing games that we should have been favoured to win while teams like Minnesota and Columbus have been loosing games that they’re expected to loose.//

    You are absolutely right Icecastles. A team that’s going to make a move in the post-season is going to find a way to win the games we’ve lost.

    Instead, we get to those games and show zippo and that’s what chaps me. I know we’re not going to win every game and over the course of a season you’ll have some nites that you lay an egg.

    But this team has missed the bus in too many games. You can lay blame at the way the team is constructed (key missing pieces) but you also have to question the way the coach uses/misuses key players.

    I do think MacT is a good coach, but I’m not seeing anything here that leads me to believe the team is anywhere near turning this around and I’m also concerned that next season is not shaping up better without some significant changes.

    I think people could accept some of this if they felt the ball was being moved forward but look at LT’s recap of the team for the last 10 years and you can see it’s not.

  38. Doogie2K says:

    2007-08
    1. MINN 98
    5. EDM 88

    The NHL says 4th (we beat VAN on tiebreakers). And Schitzo’s right about ’06; NHL says 3rd.

    Besides which, if the Oilers are looking for a LW, why not just go after UFA Tanguay in the summer (assuming he’s available, maybe not a terrible assumption given MON’s huge number of UFA’s)?

    A good point, especially since he’s coming off an injury season that’s bound to artificially deflate his numbers. I could get behind that.

    =====

    The other benefit of playing Minny on the second half of back to backs is that they’re coming off playing the Flames, so they should be a bit softened up. Wonder if Boogieman’s going to play after that elbow he threw late last night?

  39. hunter1909 says:

    “At that point in a player’s development on has to expose him to potential humiliation on the ice.”

    Unless you’re prepared to let a player sink or swim, how in the world will you ever know? Sports, arts, it’s all the same. Like an actor auditioning for a part, or a musician auditioning for a band.

    MacT manages his players like a silly old woman. Plays favorites to the detriment of his non faves. Unaware of why the team loses games, when half the fanbase is often screaming blue murder at a boneheaded series of moves.

    But clinging to the untalented remnants of the 2006 team, blatantly and pathologically favouring them is what really shows him up for the out of touch coach he now has become to anyone but his assistants, or “captain popgun” Moreau.

  40. Muller says:

    As an Oiler fan i’m tired of the Oil fighting for eighth every year. Hopefully Tamb/Lowe make the right trade soon. Vote for Terrace is hockeyville.

  41. Jonathan Willis says:

    Appropos of nothing – did you know that Steve Staios led Oilers defensemen in three categories in the last game against Columubs?

    Here they are:

    Time On Ice – 25:07
    Shifts – 29
    Shot Differential – (+5/-15) -10

    Oh, wait, in that last category he was actually dead last. Tom Gilbert (+10/-6) actually led Oilers defensemen in the last category.

  42. dave says:

    I know we have been slamming him hard. When was the last time we didn’t like the captain? We started to question gators aging abilities but he was still our undisputed leader. It was a management coaching decision, one that seemed obvious to me at the time, but I don’t like Moreau as C. I don’t think he is taking more stupid penalties this year, but as A it didn’t bother me as much. Oh right he’s been injured for 2 years! He also seems like a bit of cancer to me.

  43. kris says:

    A poem that doesn’t have rhyme or rhythm:

    Lowe as a GM
    is, was,
    and will be imperfect.

    True, he Smyth’d and Hejda’d
    But he also
    Visnovsky’d.

    And he brought Pronger,
    before he lost him
    for Lupul.

    But MacT as a coach
    is no longer working.

    He ran at the Cup.

    But hasn’t
    done anything
    since.

  44. Jfry says:

    @speeds

    i saw him play almost everygame in calgary while he was here and he’s just not the answer. his forte is the PP and staying to the outside… he lacks grit and plays 20 lbs smaller than he really is. he’s got way less jam than #12…there’s a reason/s Sutter let him leave. i like his talent level, but he’s not the stick, so to speak to hemmer’s drink.

    also, been looking over some stats recently what with hemsky playing like the junk lately…are we all being distracted by hemmer’s speed and 4 point games? he has less points than a guy like zajac for instance and i don’t believe anyone would call zajac elite, but we’re all saying hemmer will be. i’m starting to lose my confidence in that fact as younger players drafted later are starting to catch up and pass him. he’s good, don’t get me wrong, but the shift to elite seems further away now than it did 6 months ago.

  45. godot10 says:

    If Pouliot is drawing in, that means he is being showcased for a trade.

  46. Coach pb9617 says:

    It’s been so long since there was an internal change, I think maybe Darryl Rich should remember the first cut is the deepest.

  47. Traktor says:

    “If Pouliot is drawing in, that means he is being showcased for a trade.”

    I think his value is pretty much set in stone at this point, which isn’t much.

    To me 2 points is worth more than bumping Pouliot’s value from a 6th to a 5th.

  48. boopronger says:

    Was just watching the score and they had an interesting proposition. Getting Kozlov from Atlanta. 36 years old, has scored over 30 goals a couple times and over 20 goals 10 times. Would be a good fit i think and the oilers wouldnt have to give up much.

  49. DBO says:

    Oil tried for Kozlov a few years ago when he was a UFA. Wouldn’t hurt as his deal ends after next year, and his cap hit is $3.667. Not a horrible number. However he is older (36), has some injury history and plays soft. Should fit right in.

  50. DBO says:

    And to underscore how over used Horcoff is, and how it’s taking a toll on him. He leads the NHL in faceoff’s taken with 1318. looks like that’ll be the only stat an oiler leads the league in fo years to come.

  51. godot10 says:

    The Oilers need to add physical players, not smallish offensive players like Kozlov.

    The Oilers have smallish offensive players (Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Omark, Eberle). They need physical players to create space for the players they have.

    The Oilers need physicality and size in the forwards they acquire.

    Gagner needs a John-Tonelli-type or a Clark-Gillies-type for his left wing, to go with Eberle on his right wing.

    It I were MacT, I would match Penner against the agitator on the other team every chance I could.

    When you playing Dallas, play him at RW against Ott.

  52. Ender says:

    From the oiler’s site: ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton—Lubomir Visnovsky (torn labrum) is out. Ethan Moreau is questionable. Minnesota—Owen Nolan (fractured toe) is doubtful; Marian Gaborik (hip) is out.

  53. rider guy says:

    DBO – That’s only because there’s no official stat for “Stupid Offensive Zone Penalties”. Not only would “The Captain” lead the league, he might break some sort of record that would equal Glen Hall’s 502 straight starts in it’s untouchability.

  54. Coach pb9617 says:

    i like his talent level, but he’s not the stick, so to speak to hemmer’s drink.

    Don’t need said stick. Need a coach. Need a coach without a personal vendetta.

    Wouldn’t hurt as his deal ends after next year, and his cap hit is $3.667. Not a horrible number.

    The ideal solution for them is a one year deal for a veteran winger for 4 million, or an offer sheet to a young winger for $3,923,434 long term.

    looks like that’ll be the only stat an oiler leads the league in fo years to come.

    THE CAPTAIN is ready to lead the league in minor penalties, and already leads the league in minors taken in the offensive zone.

    Gagner needs a John-Tonelli-type or a Clark-Gillies-type for his left wing, to go with Eberle on his right wing.

    Troy Brouwer, CHI. Offer sheet.

  55. Woodguy says:

    Ethan Moreau is questionable

    Pleasegodpleasegodpleasegodpleasegod
    pleasegodpleasegodpleasegodpleasegod

    Please?

  56. Icecastles says:

    Fake Craig McTavish said… Likely the most interesting thing about this game, and there won’t be many, is whether or not Lemaire has picked up on Hitchcock’s strategy to neutralize Hemsky.

    Better than the strategy they showed at the end of the Minni/Calgary game last night – a dirty hit even by Boogard standards. Did anyone hear if there is an update on that? General opinion is that he should be getting a five-game suspension.

    bookie said… …It was an amplification of the non-attractiveness of this city..

    In fairness, it is one mighty shithole of a city.

    Jfry said… are we all being distracted by hemmer’s speed and 4 point games?

    He needs a legitimate first line centre. >:) Seriously though, I think if you were to see Hemsky substituted into a genuinely strong line that worked with his playing style (for example, a strong triggerman on the other wing or at centre) and a coaching strategy that promoted skilled plays rather than the bump-and-grind hockey that almost none of the players seem willing to get behind anyway, you would see his numbers go way up.

  57. dubya says:

    Everyone who thought Nilsson was the problem, and Pouliot the answer last game please raise your hand? I see MacT, anyone else that drunk?

    I actually thought Nilsson was hustling, and certainly as effective as Cole.

    Also, Moreau will play tonight. This just gives MacT a new excuse to avoid the realization that he’s a terrible hockey player.

  58. Icecastles says:

    Ethan Moreau is questionable

    Ooooh, for tonight’s game. I thought they were just talking about his value as a player. Agreed, Woodguy! We can only hope.

    Of course if Edmonton looses, we can all guess on the coach’s post-game comments:

    “It’s always tough with Ethan out of the lineup. Thakfully Stevie Staois was out there with a physical game, but we just need guys to answer the bell. Oh, and Penner’s an asshole.”

  59. Black Dog says:

    Anyone read Brownlee’s latest over at ON? Bitterness, wow! And he even takes on Moreau a little.

    jfry – Hemsky PPG is still top 20 or thereabouts if I’m not mistaken. I think he’s the least of this team’s worries, although I would bet he’s playing hurt right now.

    Just to play devil’s advocate a bit this team has taken a step from last year I would say. A lot more of those wins are in regulation and that does matter. And remember last year that they were pretty well out of it until they got on that roll. They’re in the mix.

    Having said that I am with the general consensus. Its frustrating because just like two seasons ago the problems are very apparent and easily fixable I think. And on top of it the coaching has been poor.

    If you have a centre to win draws and play tough minutes and a veteran winger to help in that regard and you have better coaching then this team is home and cooled. All it would take is another six or eight points.

    I think that is what is killing me. The needs were easily identified yet the GM did nothing AND the coach has been off his game.

    I had no expectations for a Cup run this season but I didn’t expect all of the self inflicted wounds. I expect it from Lowe after the last two years but not from MacT

  60. bookie says:

    In fairness, it is one mighty shithole of a city.

    I think that this needs to be clarified. Edmonton is a pretty decent city of 1,000,000 in a relatively cold climate. I would not use the term shithole at all. I had a friend from London, Ontario call it Deadmonton…I laughed, we have NHL hockey and all kinds of top notch entertainment (from theater symphony to rock concerts). We have a pretty high caliber University, hospital, river valley, shopping etc… So compared to London Ontario, Edmonton is Awesome.

    However, compared to Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto we are pretty drab. When climate is taken into consideration shitholes like Pheonix and Atlanta are a much nicer place to spend 5-10 years as a wealthy pro hockey player (even though most would not want to live long term in those cities).

    So, I dont want to use hyperbole when I say relative to other NHL cities this city is not the most attractive to players (millionaires who spend a few years in a city). Its a pretty good town to earn a living as a middle class resident, its a pretty efficient non-bureaucratic place, with some high nice things (particularly if you like the outdoors and could care less about nightclubs and the such).

    But if someone came to me when I was 24 years old and said “Would you rather spend 3 years in New York, Montreal, Los Angeles, or Edmonton” I think the first three would look pretty good.

    Maybe Jagr is thinking that Edmonton looks pretty good after his year in Siberia!

  61. Coach pb9617 says:

    Anyone read Brownlee’s latest over at ON? Bitterness, wow!

    No. When I need expertise on sausages and fried foods, I’ll read what that fatass writes. If I want hockey opinion, I’ll avoid his writings.

  62. Traktor says:

    Is Marty Reasoner really that much better than Brodziak?

    Marty’s a pretty smart player that beats people with his brain but Kyle is much more physical with untapped offensive potential.

    If Brodziak was used at 3C and he failed then I could get behind this perceived hole at the position but that fact is he was never auditioned. With a different coach at the helm we very well could have filled the void in house with Brodziak but MacTavish’s stubbornness veto’s common sense.

  63. bookie says:

    I just read Brownlee’s comments over at ON and decided not to waste my breath commenting over there cause my points fit more with LTs blogpost.

    OK, Screw it, forget about my uncertainty about coaching and team makeup over the last few weeks (note, I never really commit, I use a lot of I don’t know, but maybe MacT should be thrown under a Zamboni..but I don’t know).

    I think I am on-board with LT’s post here and have decided to give up on all of the hate.

    For the rest of the season I am going to be like the 22% of Americans that still support George W., I am going to stand behind this coach, president, and the guy who calls himself the GM. I am going to defend whatever moves MacT makes. Hmm, what a creative move, I never thought about putting Hemmer in net . I will defend any trade made by Tambaloweny – Grebs for a 5th rounder, great jo. I will even defend Moreau everytime he takes 2 minutes for looking so good.

    WHY?

    Because I am just sick and tired of being a miserable confused disheartened fan. I just want to drink the Orange and Blue koolaid and yell at the refs instead of my teams players.

    So, F#$% it! “Here we go Oilers, Here we go, Here we go Oilers, here we go….”

    “Clap Clap!”

  64. Traktor says:

    If we sign Jagr I’ll puke. Or start cheering for Burkies Leafs.

    Seriously.

    We didn’t sign him this year because he wanted a 2 year deal and now a year later we’re going to sign him? Could you be any more shortsighted?

    That would be the ultimate desperation move.

  65. rickibear says:

    now granted Grebs has been hurt too but unless his return tilts the ice for the good guys in a big way I would say that Lubo might be, along with Hemsky, Horcoff and Gilbert, the most valuable Oiler, if not the most

    Player—(+-/60)—(Corsi)
    Dmen:
    Vish—(.66)—(6.4)
    Grebs—(.80)—(5.4)
    Gilbert—(.20)—(-2.3)

    This group of 4 forwards are in select groups of 50 Dmen. Above the league average in the categories while facing above average Comp.

    Forwards:
    Horcoff—(.63)—(2.5)
    Hemsky—(.46)—(9.4)
    Penner—(.44)—(9.3)
    Gagner—(.35)—(1.8)

    This group of 4 forwards are in select groups of 30 for each position LW, C, RW. Above the league average in the categories while facing above average Comp.

    There is one young man who is close. Shifted his brutal numbers at the start of the year and has been that type agian he did that
    08-09:
    Nilsson—(-.20)—(-1.8)
    It is important to note that there were only 3 forwards with Positive plus minus/60 and 2 with positive Corsi. Plus one player hovering.

    07-08:
    Forwards
    Nilsson—(.69)—(-2.0)
    Glencross—(.66)—(+5.4)
    Horcoff—(.47)—(-2.5)
    Penner—(-.22)—(+1.4)
    Hemsky—(-.24)—(-0.8)

    last year only two dmen with positive +-/60 or corsi
    Dmen:
    Grebeshkov—(.26)—(-1.3)
    Roy—(0.00)—(-0.9)

    I am sorry but all this talk of who should be moved the answer is right in front of us and none of the list should be going anywhere.
    That includes Matt Roy who be given the chance to be a nice #6 right side for the cheap. Bye Steve.

    Do the litte exercise I suggested to mark in LT’s last post. It is a nice list. I wil be using it from now on. Wil for ever be refering it to the 30FWd-50Dman list.Ie. he is on the 30-50 list.

    As for grebs: in an elite group of outscoring positive direction dmen for 2 years. Plus,this year one of 9 dmen first pairing numbers in: EV point production, PP production, and GA.
    The 9:
    Boyle
    Blake
    Lidstrom
    Rafalski
    Keith
    Campbell
    Markov
    Green
    Grebs

    Do the litte exercise I suggested to mark in LT’s last post. It is a nice list.

    You notice Glencross was a driver of the play.

    I also looked at Defensive Dmen who play Physical, Defensive prescence.
    I look for Dmen in the league who had: Hit/Block count of 3.6/Game, Goals against in the top 60, And ranked top 50 on the penalty kill.

    The answer 6 Dmen:
    M. Greene LA
    A. Volchenkov
    R Reghr
    K. Ballard
    K. Seabrook
    J. Hedja

    Greene I can live with. Smid look to be making that Step 2.8 Hits-blk/game, Ga in the top 60 in the league, and averaged 6.10 GA/60 on the Pk the last two years. Which is in the top 50 for PK. He is alnmost attheat point for defensive.

    What do I draw from all this.

    We do not move:
    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    #2LW-Horcoff-#2RW
    #3LW-Cogliano-Nilsson
    Reddox-Brodz-Pisani

    Grebs-Vish
    (1B)LD-Gilbert
    Smid-#6RD
    Roy

    Glencross would have looked great at #3LW and Hedja would have looked great at 1B LD. We all have been talking Hedja since midway thru his season with Edmonton. Well at least Bruce and I.

    With these two mgmt just did not get it. Thats 2 players off the 30-50 list.

    I can finally say that the potential is still there to be a rising team. Just don’t screw up the O’mark and Grebs signings and get a center to play between Cogs and Nilsson.

    Rant done.

  66. Bank Shot says:

    Just to play devil’s advocate a bit this team has taken a step from last year I would say. A lot more of those wins are in regulation and that does matter. And remember last year that they were pretty well out of it until they got on that roll. They’re in the mix.

    I’m not so sure it has taken much of a step at all. Last season the Oilers had greater injury trouble then this season, but the numbers are remarkably similiar in goals for, goals against, and shots for/against.

    I think they’ve had more consistent goaltending this year, as Roloson squandered some points last season before being replaced by Garon. I think that makes up for the majority of the difference in points earned in regulation.

    There’s hope for next season if Gagner, Cogliano, and Nilsson take the steps forward we thought one or two of them would take this year.

    The org will also need to find a goalie because I’ve heard that Rolie’s family isn’t in Edmonton anymore, and after the trade request last season I’d be surprised if he doesn’t test the market.

  67. Dennis says:

    The Oilers playoff sky might be falling – again – but I can’t help but being in a good mood when I’m listening to Thin Lizzy. “Dedication” does it for me every time and “She Knows” is vastly underrated, IMO.

    It’s like the Marty Reasoner of TL songs.

    Which brings me to my point.

    I’m perusing the dailies today and I read that 78′s going in for 12 because there are a bunch of players who are offensive guys and you have to try and get something out of them. Now, we’ve read that MacT doesn’t see 78 as a pivot and now he’s an offensive player.

    This after parts of two seasons spent playing with guys like 19 and 34 and in a role that certainly resembled something approaching defensive. not to mention the kid did a good job in said role.

    So we start this season and he should’ve been put between 18-34 and feed to the wolves and if that doesn’t work, then you go to Waddell and try and lift 19 out of Atl early.

    But MacT wants 34 as the pivot, 27 playing off-wing tough min and it takes him forever to put 26 with 89.

    Lots of fucking around and not enough results.

    Regarding 12, here’s a look back at his last five games in terms of SC’s when he’s on the ice and how many SC’s he’s had himself compared to the team’s result for that night. First I’ll list how the Oil did at EV, then I’ll list his line and then I’ll list how many chances he threw towards the net.

    feb 17 at SJ: 12-12 EV; 6-4; two chances created.

    feb 19 at Dal: 13-19 EV; 4/10; three chances created

    feb 21 vs Cgy: 9-24 EV; 2/10;

    feb 24th vs TB: 21-20: 6/3; two chances created

    feb 26th vs CBJ: 13-21: 4/4; two chances created.

    Two good games, two awful games and another good one considering how everyone else was playing around him.

    The kid’s working hard and hitting the ball hard but they aren’t falling for him. I’d argue his biggest crime has been not hitting the net but that’s another story for another time.

    I’d glad 78′s getting another game but he should be in there over 85 or 18 but we know the latter will never happen.

    12′s working hard and finishing his checks and now it’s just piling on.

    You know, we can talk about underlying numbers all we want but we’ve wasted a tonne of fucking time on 89 this year. perhaps he rewards us next year and snaps back to a 60 point season but for every game he plays and 12 doesn’t, he’s like a young 18 in terms of lack of accountability and once again we’re wasted another season on rebuilding.

    LT, I don’t remember what I said about the Pronger trade? I know it didn’t seem to affect me at the time though.

    Was I angry?

    Was I right?

    :D

  68. Scott says:

    No. When I need expertise on sausages and fried foods, I’ll read what that fatass writes. If I want hockey opinion, I’ll avoid his writings.

    Did Robin Brownlee kill your pet? Why so angry?

    We didn’t sign [Jagr] this year because he wanted a 2 year deal and now a year later we’re going to sign him? Could you be any more shortsighted?

    Now obviously it depends on the contract, but if they could have had Jagr at 6-7M for two years this summer and balked I think that’s the mistake. Taking him for the same price for one year this summer seems just fine.

  69. namflashback says:

    Bookie,

    Gotta disagree on hearing the old-GM’s regular pressers talking about what they were trying to do — and they really didn’t do the right things.

    I think the new regime has gotten PR training from the Katz group. Which is to STFU. Only hope they learn the Katz protocol of being pretty damn successful in a quiet fashion.

    This team is beating the “giving shit” out of me. I’ll be happy to cheer if they can put together “5 game winning streak” (about as realistic as the mythical “one-shot scorer,” unicorns and the like).

    GOIL! If only because the Wild are hateful.

  70. Scarlett says:

    HA, Boogieman got suspended for the dirty hit last night. A nice break for tonight!!

  71. Icecastles says:

    Bookie said I just want to drink the Orange and Blue koolaid and yell at the refs instead of my teams players.

    I was that kind of fan for several years, finding the upside of every wierd decision and even taking the old theist mantra of “He moves in mysterious ways” to heart when I couldn’t understand why MacT was doing seemilngly nonsensical things. This year, it was too much to take. And I felt like a Creationist cherry-picking facts and ignoring others to defend an utterly untenable position.

    But you know what? I’m with you, Bookie. It’s a goddamned game and they still win more than half the time and there are still a lot of great players here and they still want to win and try to win. So I say Hell Yeah! I'm with you.

    I'm going to listen to Hall & Oates from now until faceoff. Clap clap!

  72. Lowetide says:

    where is this Brownlee vent article? I see two excellent posts from Jonathan and nothing else.

    Dennis: You were calm and level-headed about it all. Complete gentleman. :-)

  73. Dennis says:

    RB: That’s some nice work! And, yes, please do keep referring to that list.

    BTW, I loved it when you called Nilsson “a young man.” It was like you were a teacher praising a guy.

    So, from that list, we could get two grinding wingers to play with 10, we could just put the Kid line back together or we could leave 10′s line together and try and assemble a checking line on the cheap.

    We move out all of 18-24-44 and try and plug those holes. I’d also include 49 on that list and have him and 5 as the 5th-6th dman.

    So, we need a top four D, a goalie and the forwards i cited above.

  74. Traktor says:

    “Taking him for the same price for one year this summer seems just fine.”

    Seems kinda like dumping your GF because you don’t don’t think she has long-term potential and then a year later when it doesn’t look like much fish are in the sea you call up your x and ask her to move in with you.

    If she wasn’t good enough then then how can she be good enough now? Sounds like someone who has no confidence in reeling in a big catch and that’s what my initial reaction is when I heard we’re chasing Jagr – management has no confidence in themselves and are now ready to settle for 2nd best. Or anything that is willing.

  75. Traktor says:

    “And I felt like a Creationist cherry-picking facts and ignoring others to defend an utterly untenable position.”

    Explain the lack of fossil records.

  76. Icecastles says:

    Explain the lack of fossil records.
    That’s Steve Staios.

  77. Dennis says:

    LT: that sounds like me.

    you didn’t answer if I was right though:)

  78. Chris says:

    We really could use a scrappy two way player who was responsible defensively and competed every night. Ironic that despite what a douchebag he is Sean Avery is potentially the answer.

  79. Dennis says:

    I’m against Avery.

    He says bad things and he’s effective on the ice.

  80. Lowetide says:

    You were certainly right about Lupul and sadly Smid appears to be less than expected. Plus of course all the picks are for next decade.

    The real problem with the deal is the dollars spent. Had the Oilers traded him at the draft and then spent the money on a UFA/trade to replace Pronger, Spacek, Tarnstrom, Samsanov etc then the trip down the elevator shaft might have been 7 stories instead of 90. But they traded hi July 3 and then gave a bunch of money to Lupul who was coming off his rookie season (ducks). :-)

    Staples wasn’t doing errors back then, but there was more than one that summer.

  81. Chris says:

    I think the Oilers really need to change their marketing strategy for player recruitment. Were it up to me, our pitch would be “sure its fucking cold, but you’ll be rich and there are a horde of young women who will not only recognize you but treat you like a living god even if your only a 4th line checking centre. You’ll get laid like this was 1965 and you’re in the Rolling Stones.”

  82. Ribs says:

    LT had this to say on Game One of the season…

    This edition of the Edmonton Oilers has racing shoes and lovely stripes down the uniform, but alas they have feet of clay. They will not win the Stanley Cup, they will endure disappointment and despite my feeling they’ll make the playoffs there are too many holes to dream of a run ala 2006.

    Which is exactly how I felt fall 2005.

    Just saying.

    This is how I’ve been feeling all season. The flaws are glaringly bad and nothing seems to be done to fix them, but I still have some weird misplaced hope after the run. The team isn’t very likeable and doesn’t play “Oilers hockey” too often but there is still a slight glimmer to them.

    I’m still not convinced that the Oilers would be easily swept out of a playoff round and believe that the magic could return with the dominoes falling the right way. They can play with the best of them… when they want to.

    I figured I’d go back and sort out the negative/positive game day posts at our friendly neighbourhood blog here and see what direction we should urge our kind host to go in for the last leg of the season.

    So far, there has been 25 Negative postings, and 36 Postive postings.

    Negative postings that came out with a win – 13 Games

    Positive postings that came out with a win – 14 Games

    Well now that doesn’t really clear up anything, but what the hay. At least we know it’s not hugely slanted in one direction like we might have thought.

    Keep on chuggin’, LT.

  83. Coach pb9617 says:

    Did Robin Brownlee kill your pet?

    If he did, we’d never know. He’d eat the evidence.

    Why so angry?

    He’s a hack that tries to take on the world of bloggers and fails miserably, so he resorts to personal attacks. Porky gets no clicks or reads from me.

    Taking him for the same price for one year this summer seems just fine.

    No. Taking him for $4 million is fine. If not, there are plenty of RFAs out there to throw and offer sheet towards, and a ton of dual offer sheet scenarios. Jagr for 6 million is a mess.

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    and sadly Smid appears to be less than expected.

    You do this to piss off three specific readers, don’t you?

    He just turned 22. In Chris Pronger’s 21 year old season, he was a -18.

  85. PunjabiOil says:

    and sadly Smid appears to be less than expected

    Not really. He’s developing very nicely into a 2nd pairing shut-down defenceman. He’s progressed significantly over the prior years.

    Sure he doesn’t have any offense at the NHL level, but that never was his strength.

    I like what I see from him. He knows his role, and he’s doing it.

  86. Dennis says:

    LT: Yeah, they didn’t spend the money they saved and they lied about it.

    People keep on making the mistake on Lupul – he’ll soon cost 4.25 mill – but I still don’t think it makes me Denstradaumus that I could see through him.

    It’s probably that I’m always looking for bargains, guys that hang with the tough or guys that can murder the soft. And if you don’t fit that then I don’t have time for you. Plus, it had been so long since we had a bonafide difference-maker that I knew losing pronger was gonna kill us. He was so good night in and night out during that run that I’m still surprised on the mistake he made on the recchi goal in G4.

    And the thing that struck me wrong about lupul was how that four goal playoff game clouded hearts and minds. fuck, I once slept with two women in the same day but that never made me a ladies man and didn’t mean I ever did it again!:)

    Note: waking up with a one night stand and doing a morning call AND then hooking up with another chick doesn’t count;)

    And when it came to Smid, I wasn’t convinced that he could bring the offense from the A. I saw Kommisarek down here in the A and he was a two way player down here but when he’s handling the puck in the bigs you’d long for Cory Cross.

    Then I saw him play and he has No show, I mean NONE. He has no vision and therefore no offense.

    It was easy to spot this one as a loser and hard to get over how Burke could add Pronger without giving up Getzlaf.

  87. danny says:

    Much is being made about getting the W tonight. It is a huge game no doubt. However I think our playoff fortunes will best be judged by whether or not the team has a pulse.

    Seriously though, losing tonight won’t kill us. What will speak volumes is if the team goes through the motions, win or lose. If that happens tonight, then this team has a bigger flaw than being unbalanced.

    Whether that falls on the heads of the troops or the coach will be debated until a new coach is hired this summer… because if the team is flat tonight, they’re not going to make the playoffs. Its not happening.

  88. Lowetide says:

    I admit to getting suckered by 28 goals in a season at age 22. Boxcars are boxcars only.

    Danny: The Wild have a more difficult schedule and the Oilers need to beat them tonight because they also have ANA, NAS, STL and LAK rumbling, bumbling and stumbling.

    Clearance, Clarence.

  89. Scott says:

    If she [referring to Jagr] wasn’t good enough then then how can she be good enough now?

    No. Taking him for $4 million is fine. If not, there are plenty of RFAs out there to throw and offer sheet towards, and a ton of dual offer sheet scenarios. Jagr for 6 million is a mess.

    I disagree with the premise. Jagr was good enough then and it was utter foolishness not to give him a second year this past summer. If our second line was +Jagr I imagine we’re way further ahead and Gagner’s counting stats look a lot better. I can see not wanting to pony up for 2010/11 but the decision in the summer was the wrong one. Bringing him in for a year in 2009/10 looks good to me. As far as the money being a mess, I don’t see it. If things are played right (Moreau and Staios out at the deadline or in the summer) you should have the money available but it may only be for one year if the cap heads south. I’m nervous about offer sheets because you’re probably giving out term and that’s something we probablly won’t be able to afford going forward, though it makes great sense for someone in a better position relative to the cap.

  90. Jonathan Willis says:

    Rikcibear: I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed that post. Thank you.

  91. Lowetide says:

    Ditto on that rickibear.

  92. Icecastles says:

    danny said: Seriously though, losing tonight won’t kill us…
    … if the team is flat tonight, they’re not going to make the playoffs.

    Sorry, am I missing something? Or do you mean “won’t kill us” in a way other than not making the playoffs?

  93. Woodguy says:

    According to Sportsnet Moreau called a players only meeting on the ice after practice today.

    In a short clip with Moreau he said “given the market that we play it, things can tend to get a little negative, and I justed wanted the guys to know that we are still in it”

    The creampuff media in this town is getting to you and the team?

    I wouldn’t have thought it.

    I wonder how the on ice meeting went?

    Maybe he was telling them to take more aggressive penalties in the offensive zone?

    Or maybe he and Stevie were putting on a clinic on how to get outshot 6:1 when on the ice?

    He was probably giving the powerplay shit since that can’t be hung around his neck.

    I gotta stop being so bitter, its not good.

    GO OILERS GO

    CLAP, CLAP

  94. Lowetide says:

    He probably told Pouliot that if he got out of hand Ethan would move up to the 2line to take faceoffs and not pass him the puck.

  95. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Word that Derek Morris is sitting out until traded and has given Maloney list of teams he would accept a trade to.

    Nilsson sitting out and Pouliot being showcase?

    Just today’s crackpot theory.

  96. hunter1909 says:

    He probably handed out a composite picture of all past Oiler captains, autographed it, then taped it on the bulletin board.

  97. Lowetide says:

    There’s every chance Tambellini will trade Nilsson or Pouliot for a veteran and throw in the 2009 first to boot.

    Probably Reinprecht.

  98. danny says:

    LT, two points are huge of course don’t get me wrong. Especially against Minny (x2 points).

    Which is precisely why I say, should they play a game where things like getting outshot 17-4 in the 2nd period happen, they plain and simply have a flaw thats not going to be overcome. They have no pulse.

    Roloson almost stole the points out of Columbus. He could steal two tonight.

    The paramount news story we need to hear tomorrow morning isn’t the two points in my books. Its that this team wanted the two points enough to fight for them.

    Unless that happens, its a useless bit of clearance. Tablowe needs to click his heels, call dorothy and get these tinmen a heart.

  99. hunter1909 says:

    “There’s every chance Tambellini will trade Nilsson or Pouliot for a veteran and throw in the 2009 first to boot.”

    Making it how many 1st round picks since the lockout traded or offer sheeted away, 3?

    When the NHL originally expanded, didn’t teams like the habs used to send their aging yet still serviceable players to expansion teams, then clean up come draft day?

    And didn’t this ensure these selfsame expansion teams were left with poorer quality young players than the older teams?

    Oilers seriously aren’t a very talented team right now. Few players want to play for MacTavish, so UFA’s are out.

    Oh well. Edmonton hasn’t seen a regular season powerhouse Oilers for almost a generation. No one will miss what they can’t remember.

  100. Coach pb9617 says:

    Do the litte exercise I suggested to mark in LT’s last post. It is a nice list. I wil be using it from now on.

    Me too. Any list that reinforces my premise that Armstrong is awesome is a good one.

  101. Coach pb9617 says:

    According to Sportsnet Moreau called a players only meeting on the ice after practice today.

    In a short clip with Moreau he said “given the market that we play it, things can tend to get a little negative, and I justed wanted the guys to know that we are still in it”

    Cue the ABBA music…

    “Waterloo – I was defeated, you won the war”

    By the way – if Moreau thinks that the Edmonton media is tough, he’s a bigger idiot than I previously thought. The Edmonton media is so far us his butt, he gets a daily prostate massage.

    On the heels of a Moreau-led meeting, I almost hope that things go poorly.

  102. Lowetide says:

    That’s sound in theory but does it repeat from year to year? One of the most underrated players in MLB history was Darrell Evans and he was underrated because he’d hit .225 every few seasons.

  103. godot10 says:

    //Oilers seriously aren’t a very talented team right now. Few players want to play for MacTavish, so UFA’s are out.//

    I disagree with this.

    The Oilers have plenty enough talent, and more coming with Eberle and Omark. They don’t have enough grit to make space for their talent.

  104. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Guerin a healthy scratch tonight after taking the pre-game skate.

    The hounds are loose Watson.

  105. Fake Craig McTavish says:


    I disagree with this.

    The Oilers have plenty enough talent, and more coming with Eberle and Omark. They don’t have enough grit to make space for their talent.”

    Really, other than hemsky, which Oiler forwards would you rank in the top 15 in the league at their position?

  106. PunjabiOil says:


    According to Sportsnet Moreau called a players only meeting on the ice after practice today.

    In a short clip with Moreau he said “given the market that we play it, things can tend to get a little negative, and I justed wanted the guys to know that we are still in it”

    He’s trying to replicate Doug Weight back in 2001. He snapped his stick in frustration in practice, called a team meeting, and the Oilers went on to win something like 9 in a row.

    Alas, Ethan Moreau isn’t Doug Weight in both skill and leadership. Good leaders do not consistently take selfish penalties.

  107. Coach pb9617 says:

    Islanders broadcast crew just said that Guerin needs to approve the trade and is likely speaking with his family, they’ll know tomorrow.

  108. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    LT.

    I’m thinking it could be both.

  109. Lowetide says:

    I did hear a week or so ago from two sources with “outlying” ties to the Oilers that Guerin was heading here.

    Doesn’t mean jack, I was once told that Stu Barnes was headed here for sure.

  110. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nilsson for Guerin = me suscribing Tambellini’s email address to as many nazi, scat, necrophilia websites as humanly possible.

  111. Lowetide says:

    There aren’t many Nazi stories anymore. When I was a kid they’d find Albert Speer treating old ladies in Cuba but those stories are gone. My Dad (who fought is WW2) told me for years afterward there were stories of Japanese soldiers hiding out waiting for more information.

    War sucks.

  112. Bank Shot says:

    Guerin for Schremp would be okay. Don’t see why Guerin would waive the no-trade clause to come to Edmonton though.

  113. HBomb says:

    Eleven minutes into the Detroit/Nashville game, it’s 5-0.

    For the Predators.

  114. Schitzo says:

    So here’s the random thought for the night – the 2010 olympic team.

    Given the difficulty in establishing chemistry in such a short timeframe, would it be totally batshit to bring all three of Thorton, Marleau, Setoguchi and play them as a line?

  115. Traktor says:

    Is Guerin going to lift his NTC to go to a bubble team in the west? I don’t see it.

  116. Schitzo says:

    Eleven minutes into the Detroit/Nashville game, it’s 5-0.

    For the Predators.

    What are the odds Roloson is a healthy scratch tonight…?

  117. Coach pb9617 says:

    My Dad (who fought is WW2) told me for years afterward there were stories of Japanese soldiers hiding out waiting for more information.

    Shoichi Yokoi

    War sucks.

    So does Nilsson for Guerin.

  118. danny says:

    I would think that Guerin would need to get a few calls from MacT / Lowe / Horc (arent they PA buds?) to even consider it.

    and umm… i’d go out on a limb and say NYI arent interested in Nilsson

  119. HBomb says:

    Active Management 101:

    Ok, so we know Detroit might need a goalie, and we also know Boston appears to want in on this Pronger thing.

    So, what Tambellini does:

    Offer Roloson to Detroit for their first rounder. Meanwhile, offer to help relieve Boston’s cap situation by saying we’d give them a 3rd or 4th for Fernandez.

    Active management. You move up essentially 45 picks (if you give up a mid-3rd round pick for the “Other Manny” from Beantown), and is there really that huge a drop-off in between the pipes?

    The way Roloson’s played and considering how it ended in 2006 for him, guy deserves a shot at Stanley.

  120. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: WAY too logical. I think the Oilers are buyers.

  121. danny says:

    Maybe Tamblowe agreed to take Weights salary off their books.

    I’d say Sugartits + two 2nds would get it done.

  122. Coach pb9617 says:

    Maybe Tamblowe agreed to take Weights salary off their books.

    He’s on IR.

    HB – that goalie swap is good stuff. See, you’re the kind of guy I’d have on my AGM list. When you’re dried out, that is.

  123. Ender says:

    By the way – if Moreau thinks that the Edmonton media is tough, he’s a bigger idiot than I previously thought. The Edmonton media is so far us his butt, he gets a daily prostate massage.

    Just a thought, but with all of the complaining going on around the ‘sphere, and media attention to the sphere by CiO and whatnot, how do you know that it’s not sites like LTs et al that are bringing down at least certain players of the team?

    I mean, it’s not inconceivable.

  124. Lowetide says:

    Ender: Are you serious? I bet you a 2-4 no Oiler has ever read this site. Seriously.

  125. Ender says:

    Ron Wilson showed Tyler’s site on-air. Even if the players don’t read the site, would it be that surprising if their family members or friends do?

  126. danny says:

    Yeah 39 is on the IR, so NYI would likely be interested in shedding his salary as a throw-in.

    Weight might interest someone as he should be ready for the playoffs, is salarycap nullified…

    but he costs real dollars while he sits out. Thats useless to the NYI.

  127. Lowetide says:

    Ron Wilson? I’m going to go ahead and call you on that. Ron MacLean showed it but he’s a media guy (and a former boss of mine) who would seek out info on a site like Tyler’s.

  128. Ender says:

    Sorry, my bad. You’re right. I watch maybe one game a year on CBC so I messed up the name. Sad, isn’t it? ;)

    Either way, if the media knows of it, I don’t find it inconceivable that the players do. You can’t prove it either way, but that’s why I was throwing it out there. It *could* be the case.

    Of course, I guess that’s saying that it’s entirely possible that all of the criticism from the sphere could be a self-perpetuating prophecy, but hey, it’s possible.

    (And don’t say it’s not likely. None of us has any idea how likely it is.)

  129. Coach pb9617 says:

    Okay, you’re right.

    Dustin, I’m only joking when I say you’re fat, I’m acutally making fun of the coach. Your extra weight is awesome.

  130. kris says:

    Ender: Do you think Hunter is really Brian Burke trying to spoil the Oil’s playoff hopes by breaking Staios’ -a veteran, multimillionaire, athlete- fragile self-esteem?

    :)

    —–

    If we lose this game, the hope of winning that came to me post lockout will be gone entirely and I will return to being a hopeless fan who expects to lose in perpetuity.

  131. Traktor says:

    Nilsson traded to Toronto for Jason Allision.

    Details to follow.

  132. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    Ender: Are you serious? I bet you a 2-4 no Oiler has ever read this site. Seriously.

    LT I can guarantee you several Oilers have read this site.

  133. Lowetide says:

    Ender: I don’t think they pay attention. Seriously. They’d know Rishaug and Principe, plus Matheson and Tcyshowski or whoever else covers them for the Sun. Stauffer and Phillips from CHED, Gregor and Bryn from the Team (maybe Jake) and Guy would be known to the young guys.

    That is the media to the Edmonton Oiler players. I’m certain of it.

  134. Ender says:

    Dustin, I’m only joking when I say you’re fat, I’m acutally making fun of the coach. Your extra weight is awesome.

    That’s better ;)

    Part of me assumes Schremp keeps failing because he believes his own hype on the boards.

    Like I said, no idea how likely it is, but I thought it was worth thinking about.

  135. Coach pb9617 says:

    Ethan, if you’re reading, your snowblower is clogged.

  136. Lowetide says:

    And one for Pouliot: I’ve been defending you since 2003. A little help would be nice!! Score 1! Score 3!

  137. kris says:

    Dear Oilers Players and Personel

    My name is Koibe Hatame, and I have an offer of some interest to you. Perhaps you remember we met at the embassy of Prince Bulto.

    You should know, dear sir, that a sum of sum 30 million dollars has been funnelled into an account for the Prince, but he is unable to access it due to the recent war between his government and the insurgents.

    The Prince would be most appreciative if you would help him. He would transfer his money to your account and leave you with 10 percent.

    If you are interested please send your bank account number to this email.

    Thank you for your help and friendship,
    Signed,

    Kenyan Scam Guy

  138. kris says:

    I’m thinking Stortini is dumb enough to go for this.

  139. Lowetide says:

    kris: If I end up in prison because of you there’s going to be trouble. :-)

  140. Coach pb9617 says:

    Reach deep Ethan. Really get your hand in there. Use the whole arm.

  141. kris says:

    Yeah, but you’ll have that Stortini money to defend you.

    Please not Zach and all Oilers, that was a joke.

    Do not give anyone your bank number.

    And don’t take candy from strange journalists either.

  142. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    Ender: I don’t think they pay attention. Seriously. They’d know Rishaug and Principe, plus Matheson and Tcyshowski or whoever else covers them for the Sun. Stauffer and Phillips from CHED, Gregor and Bryn from the Team (maybe Jake) and Guy would be known to the young guys.

    That is the media to the Edmonton Oiler players. I’m certain of it.

    Anyone under 25 doesn’t spend a minute with the MSM.

    And they don’t spend all their time playing Rock Band, though SNW would make you believe they do.

  143. Phil says:

    I love this blog. It's almost the only reason to follow the Oilers anymore :)

    @Kris & Coach – gold.

  144. Ender says:

    Sidethought: Maybe certain players like this site so much that they didn’t want you to start talking about Columbus a while back. Maybe it was a rallying point for the team.

    In short, you need to demand more LT.

  145. bookie says:

    By the way – if Moreau thinks that the Edmonton media is tough, he’s a bigger idiot than I previously thought. The Edmonton media is so far us his butt, he gets a daily prostate massage.

    While that may be true, the media in Pheonix,LA, San Jose, etc… basically just prints the AP reports on the teams so relative to other markets, the media here is tough…

  146. markmac says:

    @Brett Gee – there’s an Oilers fan in Qinghai?

  147. markmac says:

    If Pouliot is going to be showcased, maybe they can showcase him at centre. And put Gagner back at LW.

  148. Dennis says:

    I remember that Weight players-only meeting. First game after was a hosting of the Kings back when SN had the cable game of the week and the Oilers shut them out- I believe it was a Tues night game with a 6-0 score and Poti had a nice goal – and rolled from there.

    I loved that ’01 team and back then the youth was more than just a promise and the monetary excuses were valid.

    I’m awful at guessing what goes for value in deadline deals because all the dynamics change.

    In the off-season it’s easy to see who has pitching and needs hitting and most deals are done with a lot more comptemplation. But on deadline day, you’ve got some clubs desperate to make the playoffs – say a team with a new owner and this team hardly ever makes the playoffs;) – and then desperation carries the day.

    Just by the eye and chance-logging, I thought 12 would bounce back next year but now RB’s numbers have totally convinced me of it. Still, it wouldn’t shock me if they moved him for Guerin.

    All that being said, it would take a strong managerial stomach to sit back and hold on to everyone in hopes that the kids all bounce back in 2010.

    Some of us would place bets on that very possibility but you’ve got guys who want to keep their jobs behind the bench and you’ve got a newly minted GM puppet who’d surely like to get his own job somewhere else. Not to mention an owner that hasn’t been from outside the curtain since the summer and came in with both feet when he joined the league.

    It’s a recipe for some kind of overpay.

  149. Coach pb9617 says:

    If Pouliot is going to be showcased, maybe they can showcase him at centre. And put Gagner back at LW.

    If you like Gagner, you don’t want that. MacTavish blames the left side for everything, unless you are Moreau.

    Oh great. Marc Crawford. This should be a nice calm relaxing game.

  150. Dennis says:

    I’ve been on the train for years but Bookie’s right: if you’re talking just hockey, Edm Is a tough market because you’ve got four or five stories a day so at the very least you’ll see a lot of navel-gazing in the press.

    but, open it up to the arena of the coverage of the four majors and, yes, it’s a soft market.

    BTW, Matty had a piece today on what all the teams were looking for and what they’d gave up. for some reason he didn’t mention who the Oil might be dangling but he did point towards hearing about them being interested in Reasoner. Later, he said Atl would be looking for centres and right wingers and that sounds like a 78-19 deal to me.

    BTW, Hot Stove was money tonight and you should check out the clip on cbc.ca later on.

    Anyway, here are the highlights:

    - Strachan says Campbell’s not getting along with Quinville and the hawks would move the dman

    - lebrun says the Blues are now sniffing around Pronger. this makes sense because his wife’s from there and JD wants to jack up the fans interest and it makes sense to me because the Blues have about 150 dmen and the Ducks are looking good on the wing with the kids but now they’re gonna need to re-load on the blue

    - MacLean said he heard a Stuart-Colbourne for pronger-moen.

  151. Brett Gee 英 明 says:

    You bet! One of them. Me. I even brought out some sticks to teach some of the locals the art of ‘street hockey’.

  152. Scott says:

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a persistent “video is loading…” message from CBC.ca?

  153. bookie says:

    MacT is my favorite coach, Moreau is my favorite captain, Penner is my favorite fatty, Staois is my favorite pylon, Grebs is my favorite NHL player whose name starts with ‘G’. I like what the Oilers have done with the Power PLay “WOO HOO -Hemmer to Souray – SHoots!” AWESOME.

    WHY? Why do I love these things.

    Because I am now on my 6th Orange and Blue Koolaid, and I am loading each of them up with small wee little bit of Rum! This is my new approach to this team. Lets go Oilers, Lets Go…

    GAME F#$%ing on!

  154. Dennis says:

    Scott: it’s been awhile since I watched their video feed but I doubt they have the new edition loaded up this quickly anyway.

    BTW, Moen gave it to Ott today at the end of the game and Riley Nash is having a fine second season.

    http://hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/csl.php?tid=551

    GPG and APG have both increase; and so has his PPG oddly enough:D

  155. bookie says:

    I wonder how much the Oilers will win by tonight, I think it will be 5 goals, but it might only be 4.

  156. Traktor says:

    Colborne’s having a fine year at Denver but that seems pretty underwhelming.

    Speaking of Denver, Ottawa prospect Patrick Wiercioch is a gem. Steal of the draft.

  157. Scott says:

    Scott: it’s been awhile since I watched their video feed but I doubt they have the new edition loaded up this quickly anyway.

    They stream it live, usually I don’t have any problem, so I’m not sure what it is, but reloading it isn’t working for me at the moment.

  158. Ribs says:

    It seems kind of nutty to trade Nilsson back to the Islanders.

    What would you do with another right winger anyways? Cole would for sure have to be out the door or close to it.

  159. Ender says:

    I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but if there are any of you with newer HDTVs out there that don’t want to pay for HD cable (especially in cities), you can pick up most of the canadian stations in HD on what amounts to rabbit ears.

    I don’t have cable, but I’m watching the game in HD right now.

  160. markmac says:

    anyone know of a live feed?

  161. Phil says:

    Man, that little guy tugs on the old heartstrings.

  162. Coach pb9617 says:

    - Strachan says Campbell’s not getting along with Quinville and the hawks would move the dman

    I’d rather have Barker, Keith, and Wisniewski, and if Campbell goes, those guys all stay long term.

    Ooooooooooh Grebs plays a pretty game when he’s not on the blotter.

  163. Phil says:

    All that good jump early goes down the crapper.

  164. Scott says:

    Well… a poor start on a pretty marginal penalty call. Hopefully we’re able to bounce back from this. I’ve seen too many games against the Wild that end up with a deficit and then a slow choke hold until the end.

  165. PDO says:

    That was a fucking terrible call.

  166. Lowetide says:

    Fricking Pouliot. He gets a beauty chance to play and right off the hop this happens.

  167. PDO says:

    WHERE THE HELL IS THE TRIP!?!?!?

  168. PDO says:

    Seriously, this drives me insane.

    Pisani knocks someone over, and it’s called a “trip” and then Brodziak gets a stick stuck between his legs while he’s on the rush and there’s no call? SERIOUSLY???

  169. bookie says:

    Refs are cheating bastards that are paid by Gary Bettman to make sure that teams in the USA win games so that somebody buys their tickets.

    Go Oilers!

  170. Henry says:

    Is that Watson calling the game in the Wild end? He beats up the Oilers all the time.

  171. markmac says:

    you’re a star, yeti.

    i love the russian commentary!

  172. PDO says:

    Dan Marouelli is just a garbage official.

  173. Coach pb9617 says:

    I actually chortled out loud at the explanation that MacTavish gave for playing Horcoff so much.

    Awesome penalty kill fellas. Awesome. I’m sure glad THE CAPTAIN had that meeting.

    Crawford talking up Moreau. That’s poetry right there.

  174. Scott says:

    As for the team-only meeting I think it probably has more to do with the home fans booing them every second home game than anything else. At times, it probably feels like the fans don’t want you to succeed…

  175. Lowetide says:

    These men are really boring.

  176. Scott says:

    Koivu line v. Brodziak line.

    Oops.

  177. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sam will learn one day that when you turn behind the net and try to set up shop, there is no time to take a picture of the ice and make a decision. Turn and pull a trigger. Don’t care which, just do it immediately.

  178. Lowetide says:

    Good time for a Hemmer!

  179. Coach pb9617 says:

    That was a beauty screen by my favorite over-sized ass.

  180. Ender says:

    Literally adding insult to injury there.

  181. Phil says:

    Sa weet. And, no Boogaard to run around looking for Grebs.

  182. Scott says:

    That’s a beauty goal but the ref probably should’ve blown down that play with Brunette hurt in the Oilers zone (with the puck there).

    Nonetheless… Hemsky!

  183. bookie says:

    Hemmer!!!

    The rout is on, this is the beginning of a 7 game winning streak, the Oilers are payoff bound, Plan the Parade!

    Lets Go Oilers….

  184. PDO says:

    What a hit by Grebs. He looks fantastic tonight.

    The franchise ties it up.

  185. PDO says:

    51 has to put that in. That was a wide open net.

    Hope 46 is okay.

  186. Lowetide says:

    Staios with the ass pass and that is followed by Ethan flicking at the puck which is followed by a MIN shot and then Smid golfing it out.

    Veterans. help.

    Mostly.

  187. oilerdago says:

    Zorg’s hurting after the shot but still gets to the puck and allows them to maintain control.

    You have to like that. Just hafta.

  188. kris says:

    Oh good, a penalty

  189. Dennis says:

    Three chances for 78 in this period already. two of them from going to the net.

    looks like the boot’s working early on.

    terrible play by 18 preceding 5 throwing it over the glass.

  190. danny says:

    I left the office tonight knowing its gonna hurt me tomorrow by not staying the extra few hours. but damn, this beer and HNIC (despite the commentary) makes me forget about tomorrow.

    Goilers.

  191. danny says:

    oilogosphere hearts nogoaloson

  192. Lowetide says:

    The veterans make all the difference.

  193. PDO says:

    WHAT THE FUCK???

    HE LIFTED HIS STICK!!!!

  194. oilerdago says:

    Brilliant Staios.

  195. PDO says:

    Stripes 2 – Oilers 1.

    This is pissing me off to no end. Two fucking terrible calls, and both go to the back of the net.

  196. Coach pb9617 says:

    terrible play by 18 preceding 5 throwing it over the glass.

    Liar. That stupid kid just didn’t understand what Ethan was doing.

    Trade Smid.

    Oh, nice play Staios. Vets are really coming through. I’m glad they have taken the responsibility of leading by example.

    This team finally gets good kids and the leaders are giant asshats.

    God I hate rooting for this team.

  197. Scott says:

    Pisani just tried to block a shot. He apparently didn’t get the strategy memo.

    Also. Dang.

  198. kris says:

    Blah

  199. PDO says:

    Uh..

    Erik Cole was just molested on that rush. What the fuck is going on.

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