Avalanche at Oilers, G68/08-09

In the long history of a sports franchise, there are usually only a few sharp turns and building is a slow, slow process. I think you have to be a real fan to endure years and years of hardship or stupidity before someone arrives with clarity, direction and a big pot of blind, dumb luck.

Early in their existence the Quebec Nordiques were a good team, a championship calibre team. I used to collect WHA cards and watch the TV games and the Nords quickly became a recognizable brand. The Vancouver Blazers and the Ottawa Nationals might come and go, but the Nordiques had people everyone recognized on their team and they won hockey games too.

The second stanza would be the early NHL years, and for Quebec it was a time of smart drafts, the Stastny’s and trying to beat the Habs to the top of the division. The third (and final Quebec) stanza involved being bad enough to draft high and being lucky in that the Lindros trade went Philly’s way.

The most successful movement in the piece came in Denver, the Sakic era. Led by Burnaby Joe and one of the most unique players in the game’s history (Forsberg), the Avalanche won two Stanley’s (1996 and 2001) and were also noteworthy in that if they got to the dance they won it.

The fifth change is the one we’re in now. Sakic can’t do the chores and Forsberg’s achilles has been found, the Avalanche have good players but they’re hurt or struggling and the club is wasting some very good seasons by veterans (including a very nice season by Ryan Smyth).

If I’m an Avalanche fan, my bet is that the Denver side is pushing for a division title before the Oildrop. Clarity and direction are powerful things.

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289 Responses to "Avalanche at Oilers, G68/08-09"

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  1. Jonathan Willis says:

    If I’m an Avalanche fan, my bet is that the Denver side is pushing for a division title before the Oildrop. Clarity and direction are powerful things.

    And if I’m an Avalanche fan, I’m really, really hoping that the G.M has finally learned that Budaj/Raycroft wasn’t what Ken Holland had in mind for a goaltending tandem.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: I like the model, though. If you don’t have Luongo why bother spending 4M on a mid-level starter?

    They need to do it better and imo we’re going to see an “Ed Giacomin” one of these days where an AHL veteran goalie gets a job with an otherwise excellent team and they shoot the moon.

  3. E says:

    this is egregiously off-topic, but i have a question to which i have not yet found a satisfactory answer lo these many years. so i come to you now, o most respected font of hockey knowledge, possessed of a prodigious memory famed in song and story, for answers.

    what is the earliest definitive example of an ‘enforcer’ as such being a regular roster player on an nhl team? i know that the doctrine of violent retribution for wrongs against a teammate is ancient, and i know the general story arc about when they became historically common, but i’d like to know, if possible, exactly when some gm first went out and found a guy of massive bulk and limited skill whose express purpose was to inflict punishment on anyone who harassed the team’s star.

    excuse me if this question is either a) obvious or b) a waste of your time. i was told that you would be the person to ask.

    shukran jazeelan!

  4. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: We might have seen something similar to that if Evgeni Nabokov had gone down long-term in San Jose this year.

    I completely agree with the theory; I just think that if you’re going to engage in it you need to pick two guys with decent track records; for instance, next year I’d love it if the Oilers brought back Roloson, shipped out the young fella, and brought in Jason Labarbera.

  5. Lowetide says:

    E: In my lifetime the answer would be John Ferguson and Ted Harris. Those beauty Montreal teams grew tired of being outmuscled by other clubs and so they sought out and employed those two.

    Who could actually play btw.

    Previous to that, the old Boston teams of the 1950′s had some tough men and Lou Fontinato played even earlier than that. But I’m not certain just how good he was as an actual player.

  6. Black Dog says:

    LT-Scott Clemmenson? If he gets another shot, I mean.

    I always have liked the Avs way of doing things. Plenty of homegrown talent, trade some of it for proven players and sign them all. Much like the Wings, unlike the Leafs/Rangers who could not develop worth a nut.

    Big challenge now though. I think they might be in for a downturn of sorts. Love Stastny but a lot of the other kids seem iffy. I don’t know their farm well though. Maybe they have some nice stuff down there.

  7. Lowetide says:

    Jonathan: Yeah, agreed. It’s out there. But let me ask you something: let’s say there are three key things in the new NHL that GMs can get to and the management team that finds it wins the Stanley. They are:

    1. Value goaltending
    2. having fewer exposed kids on the roster than the guy you’re playing tonight
    3. having two lines who can outscore

    Do you think Edmonton’s roster is built that way? How could they get there?

    Now. What about Colorado?

  8. Black Dog says:

    Poor Fontinato. I think he was decent until Howe broke his face.

  9. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: Edmonton’s not all that far off because they played every kid they had in the system two years ago ;)

    IF they don’t mess up the goaltending, they could be that team in either of the next two years. I’m fairly convinced that Brodziak’s not that far from being a legit checking line centre, and Pisani’s one winger on that line. If Moreau stays healthy, he might be the third; if not, Pouliot’s shown some ability in that area.

    I’m convinced it’s possible with the current roster, however unconvinced I am that the current management team is going to put it together.

    On the other hand, those Avs have a beauty top line, but Smyth’s health has to be a question mark from here on out, and based on comments from Hejduk, he isn’t long for the NHL.

  10. Woodguy says:

    If I’m an Avalanche fan, my bet is that the Denver side is pushing for a division title before the Oildrop. Clarity and direction are powerful things.

    LT, can you expand on this?

    As a casual observer of the Av’s I would think that their boat is a leaky as the Oilers, except their list a top end injuries is more extensive this year.

    It seems to me that the Oilers have more quality guys under 25 than the Avs do (boding well for the future), but I do not follow them and do not know who the unpolished gems are.

    What leads you to believe in the Av’s coming back to to forefront quicker?

    As far as their current roster goes, I really only like Stasny, Liles, Wolski as young players going forward. (Svatos I like 62.3% of the time)

    Hejduk is and Svatos are only signed for one more season, do you see both staying there? Would the team want both back? With Hejduk being 32 I suspect his best days are behind him (which is good if he only has a year left)

    The Symth contract can be a bit of an albatross. 6.25 cap until the end of 11/12. He is having a good year, but he’s only getting older and injury prone.

    I guess I don’t see what you are so excited about. I have no idea what they have coming in the AHL.

    What about their “clarity and direction”, can you please expand on that as well.

    Thanks,
    Woodguy

  11. hunter1909 says:

    The first thing I thought was “What’s Sakic doing in that jersey?”

    The way things stand the Avs have a chance for the lottery and unlike the idiot Oilers (perpetual mid range 1st round picks), just imagine if they win it.

    Wow, Tavares 3x a year in Rexall Place.

  12. Schitzo says:

    and based on comments from Hejduk, he isn’t long for the NHL.

    Que?

  13. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: The Oilers have good players under 25 but the coach doesn’t like some of them and if they do have careers it might be for another team.

    As well, they have a player like Stastny established, signed and ready to roll out over the next 5 years. They have good youth (Wolski, Stastny and Hensick) combined with solid veterans and the older role players are all short term.

    They’re behind Edmonton right now, but the Oilers are going to pursue a home run again this summer which is what the Cleveland Indians used to do (one winter they needed power and speed throughout their lineup so they traded for Bobby Bonds. Next summer, they had Bobby Bonds-who was a ridiculous power/speed player–and lacked power and speed throughout the lineup. It was crazy).

    I bet you a 2-4 the Avs leave the station in the fall more balanced than our guys. I bet you 4-24′s.

  14. Jonathan Willis says:

    Schitzo: One link can be found here, and it was a pretty big story with legit coverage when it came out this summer.

    Basically, his knee is breaking down and isn’t going to stand much more NHL hockey.

  15. HBomb says:

    God forbid the Avs win the draft lottery. GOD FORBID. I don’t want to watch Stastny/Tavares reprising the Sakic/Forsberg show for the next fifteen years. (God willing, Ottawa gets Tavares and he brings that city a Stanley).

    Sakic in a Nordique jersey? Nice. The guy is still my all-time favorite. I actually own a replica of that jersey. One of the best uniforms in NHL history, and one of two Sakic jerseys in my collection (which is growing to 23 in a couple weeks with the addition of a Jeff Carter Flyers retro 3rd.)

  16. Unleaded says:

    I didn’t know you had that many bags of pucks LT. You and Pat been working on your shootout moves?

  17. Traktor says:

    I think LT hit the sauce a little too early. The Avs are positioned to be a cellar dweller for quite some time.

    They have one of the worse prospects stables in the NHL,

    They have no capable goalie in sight,

    Sakic, Foote and Smyth are all on the downswing,

    Liles who is getting destroyed playing softies is dead money at 4.2,

    Going forward there isn’t many teams in worse shape than the Colorado Avalanche.

    Talk about missing the mark..

  18. B.C.B. says:

    Hunter: I don’t know if collecting a bunch of top five overall draft choices is the best way to rebuild. Yes it worked for Pits, Washington and LA: but none of those teams have demonstrated the ability to win their division on a consistent basis, yet (and there is still time to prove me wrong). But how well has it worked for Atlanta, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, or the Islanders. Here is a list of top five (overall trades choices since 2000, including the choices traded away:
    Islanders: 3
    Atlanta: 3
    St. Louis: 2
    Tampa Bay: 2
    Caroline: 3
    Phoenix: 2
    Pits: 4
    Washington: 4
    LA: 2
    Florida: 2
    Chicago: 3
    Washington and Pits have the most, and are the prototype teams quoted for the whole tanking multiple seasons to rebuild. But Caroline, Islanders, and Atlanta have as many top 5 choices as Chicago and the former teams suck or on the playoff bubble and the latter is a another example of rebuild from the bottom. LA doesn’t have that many top five picks. same as Florida/Phoenix/TB/St.Louis: but those latter teams are not examples of the ways to rebuild.
    All I think, and I hope this provides some evidence for, that tanking does not equal rebuilding. And I do not enjoy watching the Oilers tank, and it does not provide instance success.

  19. Jonathan Willis says:

    Traktor: On the other hand, a Stastny/Tavares combination like HBomb alluded to would cover a lot of sins.

  20. Jonathan Willis says:

    B.C.B: How about this alternate theory – top-five draft picks and competent management are a good way to rebuild.

    Even all that young talent doesn’t guarantee success if Don waddell is your G.M.

  21. Traktor says:

    Jonathan:

    Every team has a player as good as Stastny though. Some have two.

    Tavaras would help but he’s destined for Hartford.

  22. Traktor says:

    BTW, nice run over at ON. I don’t comment as much as I should but I’m loving your stuff.

  23. B.C.B. says:

    JW: I would privilege competent management over top five picks. The argument against the building a winning team if you continue to draft in the middle of the pack is crap: Dallas, Detriot, Calgary and Montreal (the only year they had a top 5, was the year after the lockout) build good teams through management rather then lottery picks. the Sharks often trade down so they are a weird bunch. I lived, barely, through the 90′s so I don’t think four or five years of tanking is what I want to see for the Oilers

  24. Jonathan Willis says:

    Thanks, Traktor.

    B.C.B.: Competent management is the greatest need of any NHL franchise, with the exception of financial stability. The Oilers have the second, if they get the first they’ll be set.

  25. Lowetide says:

    I think this is a really good litmus test. Both teams have money, EDM has the better players and COL management has a better track record (even with the changeover, I’d argue).

    So, who wins the NW first? It’ll be interesting to track.

    Also, how many Hejda’s do the Oilers lose this summer vs. the Avs?

  26. Mr DeBakey says:

    They are:

    1. Value goaltending
    2. having fewer exposed kids on the roster than the guy you’re playing tonight
    3. having two lines who can outscore

    Do you think Edmonton’s roster is built that way? How could they get there?

    I too think the Oilers are not too far away.
    They are improving.
    They’re in a playoff spot after the trade deadline – this is good.

    Value goaltending – Roloson for one year under $2.5, plus someone better than Deslauriers for a million or so. Decent goaltending for $3.3 Check

    Fewer exposed kids – each day this crop of kids is less exposed than the day before. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to upgrade at least one to a veteran.

    Two lines who can outscore – This Penner thing is going to screw them up. If they have to give him away, and add Jagr, they still have a hole to fill.

    I guess signing Alex Tanguay is the answer.

  27. Bank Shot says:

    How about this alternate theory – top-five draft picks and competent management are a good way to rebuild

    Clearly. The Blues for example made a choice to tank and after 3 years in the desert are now sitting two points out of a playoff spot. This, despite having some of their best players on the shelf(Kariya, Brewer, Johnson, MacDonald) for most of the year.

    They’ve got some talented youth, with size even, and they’ve still got a couple of blue chippers on the way.

  28. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: That’s no fair, Colorado lost hteir Hejda last season. His name was Kurt Sauer.

  29. Woodguy says:

    Traktor:

    Liles who is getting destroyed playing softies is dead money at 4.2

    I was surprised by that statement, so I had a look at BTN.

    JOHN-MICHAELLILES at 5v5:
    QualComp = -0.03
    QualTeam = -0.02
    Corsi = -2.4
    GOF/A diff/60 = -.75

    He’s not doing good, but I disagree that’s he “getting killed playing the soft”

    Its certainly worse than I expected though….

  30. RiversQ says:

    Tanguay would be excellent. He had a Horcoffian stretch there as a Flames winger. Any guesses on his price? 4yrs $4.5MM per in a weird year for UFAs? Or would he sign for just 1-2 yrs?

  31. HBomb says:

    RQ: Tanguay at 20 over 5 is what I’d try. Keep that cap hit down.

    My plan’s a bit different….

    1) Sign Bouwmeester long term (i.e. 10 years)

    2) Deal Visnovsky, Penner and Nilsson for Kovalchuk.

    3) Extend both Grebeshkov and Smid, ditch the Staios and Moreau salaries.

    4) In summer 2010, when his NTC goes away, Souray gets dealt and his money goes to extensions for Kovalchuk, Gagner and Cogliano. Pisani also signs a 5-year, 7.5 million dollar deal at this point (i.e. discounted rate).

    Come October 2010:

    Kovalchuk Horcoff Hemsky
    O’Sullivan Gagner Cogliano

    Pouliot-Pisani as the backbone of the 3rd line.

    Bouwmeester-Gilbert-Grebeshkov-Smid as the top four on the blueline.

    Wish it really was that easy….

  32. Jonathan Willis says:

    Woodguy: Liles has been like that for years; he brings it on the powerplay, but 5-on-5 he’s downright scary and nowhere near worth the money.

    DeBakey/Rivers: I’ll third the Tanguay suggestion. Particularly if it keeps this team from signing Jagr or Hossa to a contract in excess of 6M. On the other hand, Tanguay isn’t going to help in the grit department, but I suppose if you send out Nilsson at the draft they aren’t getting any worse either.

  33. Cory Klein says:

    HBomb: Lots of beauty’s in your collection

  34. Steve says:

    Geez, HBomb, I had no idea you were Tyler Hupka. We’ve got twelve mutual friends (mostly where geers and student politics intersect), and I’m pretty sure we’ve met. Crazy place, this internet.

    Also, something about the Oilers.

  35. B.C.B. says:

    Can someone explain to me, how are the Oilers are going to rid themselves of Moreau’s and Staios’ contracts? Every team has s few over paying contracts on their rosters, each of them an under-performing and over-paid veteran. With the cap going down in a year or two, who is going to take on these contracts, unless we sweeten the pot (with a high draft choice or a good young player).

  36. HBomb says:

    Steve: do you share a name with an infamous ex Oiler defenseman by chance?

    If so, yes, we’ve crossed paths. St. Albert circles and all that good stuff. You were a PKHS guy, but some of my BCHS peeps knew you from the Akins days, IIRC.

    Plus, through SU, you probably rolled with some of my engineering brethren at some point.

  37. kris says:

    BCB:

    There is a plan, but its not pretty. It involves inviting Lou Lamoriello over for drinks and taking embarrassing pictures after he’s passed out.

  38. Traktor says:

    It’s unfortunate. I remember last year there was an article with an unnamed GM who said Steve Staios would be an attractive option at the deadline and under the right circumstances Edmonton might receive an offer from him.

    I think Rivet went around the same time for a 1st rounder.

    Now we’re stuck with him.

    Shame that management didn’t have a morsel of foresight on that one.

  39. HBomb says:

    Traktor: I still think they could ditch Staios. He’s got a lighter salary than cap hit in the last year of his deal, making him an attractive option for a cap-floor team looking to add cap hit but without adding actual salary.

  40. Woodguy says:

    Can someone explain to me, how are the Oilers are going to rid themselves of Moreau’s and Staios’ contracts?

    I get the feeling that a lot of the league still holds Staios in higher esteem than is warranted.

    His reputation is good, and often that is good enough.

    Also, If I were a scout watching Staios’ last 5 games, I’d have a much different opinion of him than if I watched the first 50.

    I would wager that you can get a decent pick or a prospect for him from a team that needs to add a “grity veteran” on the blueline.

    You can say the same types of things about Moreau, but given that he’s a non-center forward he would be much tougher to move as you can get his type of player for less.

    I doubt the Oilers want to move Moreau. He is overpaid, but not too much if you just look as his boxcars, and he’s a veteran physical presence which is not in overabundance on this team.

  41. Jonathan Willis says:

    I doubt the Oilers want to move Moreau. He is overpaid, but not too much if you just look as his boxcars, and he’s a veteran physical presence which is not in overabundance on this team.

    Yeah, I have the same impression. The Oilers probably don’t want to dump him, but they could if the wanted to because of his reputation and the nice way the counting stats have lined up this year.

  42. B.C.B. says:

    I would rather move Staois then Moreau. Since his cap hit is 0.7 million lower and both are till 2010/11. Staois is the better player, but we have to much money on the back end and Moreau’s physical play is needed. I don’t think we could get rid of them, or if we did the return would suck.
    09/10 defense
    Visnovsky-Souray
    Gilbert-Grebs
    Smid- ??? (1 million dollar vet)
    Peckham
    Kinda scares me. The top 4 are a beauty, but I don’t think the bottom three are that good. Not enough experience, and low-cap-hit vet Ds scare me (look as strudsie this year).

  43. Mr DeBakey says:

    how are the Oilers are going to rid themselves of Moreau’s and Staios’ contracts?

    Moving Staios might be tough,
    but they should, for whatever,
    Give his money to Grebs,
    give Grebs’ money to Smid,
    and Smid’s money to a competent bottom pairing guy.

    Moreau won’t be as easy to move now that he’s one eye short of a load,
    keep him at $2mm for one year
    Buy him out – 2 x $666,7000
    and re-sign for 2 x $500,000.
    Cap hit $1.17 for two years

  44. Traktor says:

    HBomb:

    Staios VS Ossi V

    SS = -.03 QC
    OV = -.02

    SS = 1.95 GFON/60
    OV = 2.72

    SS = 2.37 GAON/60
    OV = 2.08

    SS = -.42 differential
    OV = +.64

    If a UFA Ossi is waiver material then I don’t think there’s a hope in hell that a team takes on Staios.

    I would love to be wrong though.

  45. Scott says:

    Avalanche players under contract for 2010-11:

    Stastny (6.6M)
    Smyth (6.25M)
    Hannan (4.5M)
    Liles (4.2M)

    Not a value contract to be found and Stastny had better darn well work out or they’re in trouble. To be honest, I don’t think either the Avs or Oil look good in the NW going forward. Both Minnesota and Vancouver look better positioned to me.

    As for Staios and Moreau, I think they’re both moveable. Either you’re going to need to take on some salary coming the other way or you’ll need to move them with a more positive asset. This is how the Coyotes ditched Nick Boynton at 2.95M when he could clear waivers no problem. Perhaps something like Staios and Grebs to Boston for Mark Stuart.

  46. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sakic in a Nordique jersey? Nice. The guy is still my all-time favorite. I actually own a replica of that jersey. One of the best uniforms in NHL history,

    The Nordique, The Indian head, and the KC Scouts. Nothing else close.

  47. E says:

    lt- thanks! i’d heard ferguson mentioned before, but always with that same qualifier: he could actually play. but there’s an implied contradiction there: it can become problematic if your goon is also a player you rely on to serve literal hockey purposes. at some point, people decided it was worthwhile to split the roles entirely, and you get the phenomenon of guys who aren’t nhl caliber on their hockey skills, but make the show on their fighting skills. if you don’t mind a follow-up, who is the earliest example you can remember of that (i.e. the progenitor of boogaard and laraque)?

  48. Lowetide says:

    E: Pierre Bouchard had a very limited role with the Habs as a player and he was a brute (but didn’t have pims that would reflect. The guy really didn’t play much).

    Reggie Fleming might be your guy, certainly later in his career but he was more agitator than enforcer and he was small too.

    I know the Minnesota North Stars under Jack Gordon started playing 6D with regularity and the 4line option was used here and there in the mid-70s.

    I think we’re probably overlooking someone obvious like Dave Schultz of Philadelphia, but somewhere between spring 1971 and fall 1975 is your answer.

  49. hunter1909 says:

    Don’t look now, but the Avs are 4th from bottom and well inside lottery position.

    Fate would tell me if they remain there, they stand a great shot at getting the next ‘next one’.

  50. B.C.B. says:

    If we are throwing in a sweetener to move Staois. How about, at the draft:
    To Ottawa:
    Staios and 1st round pick (2009)
    To Edmonton
    Volchenkov, Anton and a fourth round pick (2010)
    Ottawa gets a veteran blueliner and a 1st round pick to work with their rebuilding, and the Oilers get an expiring contract (for just less cap-wise) and a real shut down defender.

  51. Lowetide says:

    In regard to Staios and his trade value, I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Every season it’s obvious that some GM’s don’t pay attention to anything but the boxcars and the surface plus minus because of the relative value placed in trades and free agency.

    So, even though Staios performs at well below league average for the money you have to look closely to see it.

    An NHL GM is far more likely to say “they’re overworking Staios in EDM with all those damn kids, we could bring him in and play him on the 3rd pairing and PK, control his minutes and exposure and he could be key to a Stanley run.”

    And he might be right. If EDM had a veteran option for Matt Greene during the Stanley run we might me in better moods. :-)

    Anyway, it’s an absolute truth that strongly held beliefs rarely change and that new information is generally frowned upon by the old guard despite clear evidence.

    A recent example would be Glen Sather’s use of his wealth.

  52. Coach pb9617 says:

    Traktor: On the other hand, a Stastny/Tavares combination like HBomb alluded to would cover a lot of sins.

    Even then, JW, they’re going to get a goalie (I’m presuming Fernandez for about 3.5) and with Stastny’s new deal kicking in – they’re back at the cap with what they have + goalie. As Traktor mentioned, there is virtually nothing coming and Hejduk is close to gone. It’s a team with some core issues right now.

    B.C.B: How about this alternate theory – top-five draft picks and competent management are a good way to rebuild.

    The Penguins suffered under incompetant management for awhile. Let’s say that picks + luck + management = success. And luck is a big piece of it.

    BTW, nice run over at ON. I don’t comment as much as I should but I’m loving your stuff.

    Can you ban Gregor from commenting on your entries? He’s a typical mouth-breather that exists in all cities. In Pittsburgh, for example, try telling someone that Scuderi is good. Very good. You’ll get a cacophony of yelps about how he can’t skate and won’t hit people. If he only hit people, he’d be okay. Just hit someone, anyone. Yet, look at his GA numbers…

  53. PDO says:

    Detroit just scored 3 goals in :46.

    St. Louis is running out of time. Oilers win tonight and we’re going to be sitting very pretty.

  54. B.C.B. says:

    Sorry LT, for getting carried away: but I still think the Volchenkov trade is good (but I always mention his name, cause I love him).
    But it stemmed from the fact every always says their offseason plan is to get rid of Moreau’s and Staios’s contracts, and i don’t see how that would help the team on the return we would get (the cap relief would of course be helpful).

  55. Icecastles says:

    Holy hell, HBomb! I was impressed by your jersey collection… then I noticed there were two more pages!! And I’m proud of my two (numberless) Oilers jerseys.

    In other news, I’m willing to bet a gazillion dollars that the Wild/Stars game goes to OT tonight.

  56. Scott says:

    Vancouver is on a really strong run here. They’re definitely within striking distance of either third or fourth which is pretty amazing given their terrible January. If they don’t make third, the Hawks/Canucks series is going to be great. I thoroughly enjoy playoff hockey and this year promises to be great in the West.

  57. Lowetide says:

    I’m interested in knowing where we got the info about Colorado’s dormant system. HF?

    I count Stewart (a nice PF prospect), Stoa (a good college kid with some nice things) and Shattenkirk (who is progressing well).

    Do we have a Shattenkirk? Who is our best PF? And we’re going to be paying our kids good money soon too. When do Gagner and Cogs come due?

    And we can question Ryan Smyth’s contract all we want, the Oilers spent his money on Dustin Penner and that didn’t work out.

  58. rickibear says:

    And we can question Ryan Smyth’s contract all we want, the Oilers spent his money on Dustin Penner and that didn’t work out.

    History revision?

    I had to spend a year reading and defending Ryan Smyths dollars going to Souray.

    Penners money came from a cap increase. When EIG said go for it.

    I will still take Souray thank you.

  59. HBomb says:

    Can you ban Gregor from commenting on your entries?

    Gregor’s a good interview on the guy, but some of his takes are warped.

    Case in point, he said that Horcoff needs to hit 80 points and win 56% of his faceoffs in order to be worth his cap hit next year.

    So, in other words, unless he turns into Pavel Datsyuk or perhaps Joe Thornton, he’s going to be overpaid.

    I think it’s a good idea to lay out expectations for guys under contract, but at least make them realistic and do your homework.

  60. Coach pb9617 says:

    Bruce mentioned something about Rick Meagher at JWs joint (yes, I’m reading ON, but only JW).

    I knew and remembered he was a helluva D forward and took the shitty matchups all of the time. I mean, the guy was hard matched constantly. So I looked at his numbers.

    If they had qualcomp back then, he would have had a harder than Horcoffian qualcomp. And his numbers in back to back seasons, before the Bettman, deadpuck era::

    88-89, 35 years old, 78 GP, hard matched, 36 ES GA.
    Bruce claims that he shawdowed Gretzky, Lemieux, Savard and Yzerman in one week and gave up one goal.

    89-90, 36 years old, his Selke year, 76 GP, hard-matched, 32 ES GA.

    I watched the guy, knew he was a Selke winner, knew he was dominant defensively and I still don’t comprehend these numbers. These are nuts. The guy was playing brutal minutes, only put up 29 and 25 points and was +9 and +4. I wish that I knew then what I know now so that I could have watched more closely.

    And – JW – he certainly wasn’t a physical player in the sense that the ogres making comments on your entry are talking about.

  61. Bruce says:

    And we can question Ryan Smyth’s contract all we want, the Oilers spent his money on Dustin Penner and that didn’t work out.

    LT: I thought we spent Ryan’s money on Souray? Or did that change? (That off-season, the exact same $27 MM over 5 that Cryin’ Ryan supposedly turned down.)

    Secondly, why are we talking about Penner in the past tense? That’s silly.

    Finally, Penner makes $2,000,000 a year less than Smyth. That’s enough to pay for a Moreau or a Nilsson. (Yeah, I know, I know.) Alternately, it’s enough to pay Brodziak, Pouliot AND Stortini. Penner did NOT get Smyth’s money.

  62. Icecastles says:

    Can I have Smyth’s money?

  63. Scott says:

    I had to spend a year reading and defending Ryan Smyths dollars going to Souray.

    I don’t know that Smyth’s money went anywhere really, but Souray is the best bet if you want to pigeon-hole it. The situations on Trade Deadline Day and the Summer of Spending were so different that I think it’s hard to make this argument either way.

    I’m interested in knowing where we got the info about Colorado’s dormant system. HF?

    I don’t know much about the Colorado system LT but they’re running into some similar problems that we are going forward. They’ve got more money tied into underperformers (Liles, Hannan) and their best players are getting paid value (Stastny, Smyth) so they need to find some outperformers pretty darn quick if they hope to contend. Wolski and Svatos are already getting paid and Hensick comes up at the same time as Gagner and Cogs. Compared to Minny and Vancouver these teams are both in trouble, but I like Edmonton’s situation better than Colorado’s for the next three years. Further along than that is anybody’s guess.

  64. Coach pb9617 says:

    Case in point, he said that Horcoff needs to hit 80 points and win 56% of his faceoffs in order to be worth his cap hit next year.

    What in the hell is he basing that on? Linear regression from some eight million center?

  65. Jonathan Willis says:

    Coach: Actually, Bruce added some information after I dropped Meagher’s name above. I appreciated it because I knew he was a legitimate Selke winner but hadn’t seen him play personally.

    But yeah, you look at a guy like that and you realize that guys can add plenty in the bottom six without being physically dominant.

    Sorry, LT – I’m making a conscious effort not to drag my little ON arguments over here, I really am.

  66. Coach pb9617 says:

    And we can question Ryan Smyth’s contract all we want, the Oilers spent his money on Dustin Penner and that didn’t work out.

    Whoa whoa whoa. For 18 months, the narrative was that Smyth’s money went to Souray. Who authorized the change of the narrative?

    And even if, and it didn’t, his money went to Penner, the original contract number is 1.5 million more than Penner is making, so he’s also paying for Grebeshkov, Pouliot or Brodziak. But that’s only if we change the target from Souray.

  67. Scott says:

    When was the last time a team led the conference in goals against and missed the playoffs? The Wild are a seriously weird team this year.

  68. Coach pb9617 says:

    Coach: Actually, Bruce added some information after I dropped Meagher’s name above. I appreciated it because I knew he was a legitimate Selke winner but hadn’t seen him play personally.

    But yeah, you look at a guy like that and you realize that guys can add plenty in the bottom six without being physically dominant.

    Sorry, LT – I’m making a conscious effort not to drag my little ON arguments over here, I really am.

    Any discussion like this is welcome by LT, I’m sure. I am still having trouble figuring out how these numbes are possible.

  69. Bruce says:

    Bruce mentioned something about Rick Meagher at JWs joint (yes, I’m reading ON, but only JW).

    Coach, yeah that was my first post there in quite awhile. Followed the link from Copper&Blue, which I am delighted to see return to active status of late. Anytime I see reference to these old time guys that many will not have seen, if I think I have something relevant to add, I will.

    That's twice of late that Meagher's name has come up. He was a hard match guy for sure, matured very late (at least into his proper role) but was an absolutely terrific defensive forward towards the very end of his career.

    Bruce claims that he shawdowed Gretzky, Lemieux, Savard and Yzerman in one week and gave up one goal.

    Yeah, the four superstars combined for one point. Gretzky and Lemieux were shut out completely, each a rare event, and one of the other two got a powerplay assist. Not sure which of those two years it was, but in ’88-89 Mario, Wayne and Stevie Y finished 1-2-3 with 199, 168, and 155 points respectively, and both years all four of them finished in the top 8 in points per game. At the time those in the know were raving about Meagher and suggesting that his performance deserved Player of the Week status, which he didn’t actually get being a lowly defensive forward, but I sure in the hell would have voted for him based on that information. He was a beauty.

    But yeah, you look at a guy like that and you realize that guys can add plenty in the bottom six without being physically dominant.

    The modern Rick Meagher is probably John Madden.

  70. Coach pb9617 says:

    The modern Rick Meagher is probably John Madden.

    Based on his numbers, the modern Rick Meagher doesn’t exist.

  71. Bruce says:

    E: Good question re “enforcers”. There have of course been tough guys since forever; the early annals of the game are littered with stories about the likes of Sprague Cleghorn, Eddie Shore, Ching Johnson and Red Horner. Generally those guys could play the game too, the physical game was their calling card but not the sole reason they were there.

    LT mentioned a couple names I would have brought up from the mid-50s to early-60s, namely Lou Fontinato and Reg Fleming. One of my earliest hockey memories was watching (on HNiC) the game Lou Fontinato broke his neck, taking a run at Vic Hadfield, missing, and crashing headfirst into the boards. First time I ever saw a guy carried off on a stretcher, and it turned out to be a career ender. Fontinato did much of his damage with the Rangers, and was famously one-punched by Gordie Howe who finally got a bellyful of his antics.

    Fleming was a smaller guy, tough as nails though, posting 9 seasons of 120+ minutes mostly with the Hawks. He could play a little, posting four consecutive seasons of 14-18 goals at the end of the Original Six when you had to earn your goals.

    Another gooneybird of similar vintage was Howie Young. Howie, a drinking man who was known to go berserk on occasion, obliterated the then-NHL record with 273 PiM in 1962-63, a season in which he scored 9 points. But whether you could call him an enforcer or just a particularly tough player is a matter of interpretation.

    Let’s just say from the earliest games I watched, every team seemed to have a Young or a Fleming or a Ferguson or a Shack, and if any two of them were on the ice together a scrap was a very probable outcome. I think it was ever thus.

  72. godot10 says:

    As long as one doesn’t want much in return, a team like Tampa could certainly use Staios.

    If the Leafs trade Kubina and Kaberle during the summer, they would also be a candidate for Staios.

    Depending on whether Montreal trades for Lecavalier, and whether they are able to re-sign the plethora of UFA’s they have (i.e. Komisarek, in particular), they might be a candidate.

  73. Lowetide says:

    The funny thing about Meagher is that he was (iirc) a Hab prospect. I remember him, very good player and one of those guys who would get mentioned as being a well kept secret because we never saw his clubs play.

    The point I’m trying to make with regard to Colorado isn’t that they have a deep system, or that they are miles ahead of EDM.

    What I’m saying is that if today were the starting line, given that the Oilers are farther along the bell curve with this cluster and have the money, I STILL think Colorado beats us.

    Why? Many, many reasons:

    1. We always start unbalanced
    2. We have a coach who doesn’t like many of his players
    3. We have a management team who keeps chasing offense when they’ve got a button down coach.

    Why is Ryan Smyth a better player than Dustin Penner? All of the things that make him better are the things that dovetail to MacT’s coaching style.

    Thus, we must avoid those things like the plague. MacT’s demise is not completely his fault.

  74. Quinn says:

    Interesting comment LT. I have lately been trying to take a more balanced opinion on MacT and wonder if the problem with the Oil is b/c he doesn’t have the guys he needs vs. him poorly coaching the guys he has. It probably is a chicken and egg thing, but it also speaks to the problem that he has as a coach – a problem that Mike Keenan of all people has overcome. MacT, imo, has not adapted his coaching to the situation that he finds himself in. Thus, weird line combos, odd feuds with top producers/defenders and an over-reliance on guys he trusts.

    Hmmm, I guess I have made a decision on what the issue is with the Oil …

  75. Lowetide says:

    Quinn: I guarantee we’ll be talking for years about how good Sam Gagner is and giving credit to the current coach, when in reality it was a combination of smart young player and a patient teacher.

    Look, MacT drives me nuts too but when he leaves here people will talk about SCF 2006 and about how he never gave a bunch of kids chances when in reality that’s pretty much ALL he’s done since the summer of 2006.

    Pisses me off, that’s all.

  76. jon k says:

    I miss the Nords, I really do. What are the conditions like in QC these days for possibly having an NHL franchise? Might just be interesting for idle chatter once some of the teams south of the border go belly up.

    As a sidenote (draw attention away from LT’s blog or anything), Gregor has a post up at ON which I think nicely encapsulates a lot of the feelings about Penner in the blogosphere. At least it captures my feelings, especially in regards to some of the bizarre bench decisions MacT has made this season.

    Other than that, a win would be really nice tonight. All we need to win is limit Arnason to 3 points.

  77. Jonathan Willis says:

    LT: The perception and the reality are always going to be at odds with MacTavish. He’s underrated as a teacher, and the things he frequently gets called out for actually make sense.

    On the other hand, he’s made so many bizarre choices this season that I’ll be fine when he leaves. Still, in five years time I guess he’ll still be in the league somewhere and we’ll look back at that rookie crop and comment on how many of them are players who help their teams win games.

    You can’t help that people don’t appreciate the good in the things they have. Take the joy when Marty Reasoner wasn’t resigned as an example.

  78. Doogie2K says:

    @Hbomb: One of the best uniforms in NHL history, and one of two Sakic jerseys in my collection (which is growing to 23 in a couple weeks with the addition of a Jeff Carter Flyers retro 3rd.)

    Wow, how long have you been collecting? I only have nine to date, all bought post-lockout:
    –Team Canada ’74, White (WHA Summit Series)
    –Oilers ’95-’07, Blue
    –Oilers ’01-’07, Third
    –Canadiens ’12-’13 Replica (Captain Stripey and the Holy Shits)
    –Canadiens ’45-’46 Replica/’03-’07 Third (White with blue chest band)
    –Calgary Hitmen ’98-present, Black
    –Jets ’79-’90, Blue (Gabe/Hawerchuk will approve)
    –Jets ’90-’96, White
    –Jets ’90-’96, Blue

    My next target being the Canadiens ’15-’16 Replica. (I also got the only KC Scouts T-shirt I’ve ever seen in my life just last week — $30 but well worth it.) I don’t have any of them personalized like yours, but I do have a few ideas of who I’d get on each one, like Pisani on the Oilers home jersey. I had an opportunity to buy that Godawful Predators third a couple of years ago, but was afraid I’d blow my limit and pay through the nose in duties, so I held off. I guess I’ll have to eBay that now — it was ugly as sin but it was distinctive in this part of the world, and the fabric was surprisingly comfortable.

    Could never buy a Nordiques jersey, no matter how nice it is. That’d be like buying a Canucks or Flames jersey, to me; it just ain’t done.

    By the way, I’ll echo that Tanguay sentiment, but I’d bet good money that he’s not going anywhere for $20/5, injury-plagued season or no.

    I think we’re probably overlooking someone obvious like Dave Schultz of Philadelphia, but somewhere between spring 1971 and fall 1975 is your answer.

    What about guys like John Mariucci and “Black Jack” Stewart? I read about them in The Code and some of the legendary battles they had in the ’40s when the former was the Bentleys’ protector and the latter played for the Wings. Didn’t sound like they were around for much else.

  79. Art Vandelay says:

    Maybe it was because I was kid, but there was nothing better than watching the Nordiques when they came to town in the WHA days. Tardif, Bernier, Cloutier. Two-dollar tickets from the Bay Blueliners. Sneaking into the Reds at the beginning of the 2nd period.

  80. HBomb says:

    D2K: The Sakic all-start jersey in said collection was the first one I purchased, and that was in March 2004.

    So 23 jerseys in five years. Soon to be 24, once I see who’s playing for Team Canada at the 2009 World Hockey Championships. I’ve got the “retro” Team Canada “Canada Cup” style maroon third jersey, I just haven’t had it crested yet.

    Leading candidates for this one, depending on who plays in said tournament, are Ryan Getzlaf and Shea Weber (two guys I consider Olympic locks).

    Oh, and the Oilers are apparently getting new threads the season after next (home and away). At that point, if Visnovsky is still here, a 71 jersey is an automatic.

  81. Bruce says:

    What about guys like John Mariucci and “Black Jack” Stewart? I read about them in The Code and some of the legendary battles they had in the ’40s when the former was the Bentleys’ protector and the latter played for the Wings. Didn’t sound like they were around for much else.

    Great names, Doogie, and legendary tough guys, but I don’t suppose both are in the Hall cuz they couldn’t do much else. :)

    Art: The Nordiques game I remember was a Sunday afternoon affair late in the last WHA season. The Nords were in town for a weekend doubleheader, were shorthanded when they got here, lost the first game badly and lost a couple more guys in the process. Can’t recall if it was an injury bug or the flu bug, but they were hurting. Come the Sunday and Jacques Demers had to dress to get the team to the legal minimum of 13 players. He sat on the bench for a shift, then headed back to the dressing room to “suit up” in his usual attire. The 12 guys who were left proceeded to skate rings around the Oilers. Buddy Cloutier played about 35 minutes and had a fantastic game, 3-2-5 as I recall, and the more the Oilers pressed the more the Nords killed us on the counter attack.

    They always had an exciting team, and as LT states, established their “brand” very early in the game. Once in the NHL, I always pulled for them against the Habs. They had many memorable moments in the Montreal Forum, winning two different series on overtime goals in the deciding game (Dale Hunter, Peter Stastny) and participating in the legendary Battle of Quebec brawl(s).

  82. St George says:

    Oh, and the Oilers are apparently getting new threads the season after next (home and away).

    I thought I read it was next season (they had a 2-year commitment to RBK with the current one), but I can’t turn up a source.

  83. Dennis says:

    Where did you guys find the GA numbers on Meagher? And, yes, LT, I remembered him as Habs property as well. Seems like there was a lot of trading going on at the time between the Habs GM and The Professor, Ron Caron.

    Haven’t seen any lines yet for tonight but MacT slipped it out today that he’d gave 21 a couple of looks on the right wing so I’m guess he’s got one game left as “a one shot scorer” and then he’s got some games coming as “depth.”

    BTW, the funny thing about the current stretch and not being able to gain traction is that we’re getting all kinds of secondary scoring but the PP is Gone and the PK’s up to it’s old tricks.

    And, LT, you’re most likely right on what things will be said about MacT but I’ve washed my hands of him since last Tues. The guy put his 4th line out time and time again in the D zone with the other coach having last change. I can’t tolerate dumb stuff like that; smarts was one of the things that made me like the guy so much so when he’s making simple errors like the one just cited, I’m off the trolley.

  84. Bruce says:

    Where did you guys find the GA numbers on Meagher?

    Here.

    They give Total Goals For/Against, and Powerplay Goals For/Against, with the difference of course being even-strength and shorthanded goals and therefore reconciling to +/-.

  85. slipper says:

    Take the joy when Marty Reasoner wasn’t resigned as an example

    Pfft. There’s literally hundreds of Reasoners out there to be had for next to nothing.

  86. Jonathan Willis says:

    Pfft. There’s literally hundreds of Reasoners out there to be had for next to nothing.

    …and if only the Oilers had one ;)

  87. Bruce says:

    Dennis and LT: Meagher did start in Montreal but passed through Hartford and Jersey before winding up in St. Loo. Besides, by then the Professor’s favourite trading partner was Cliff Fletcher (himself of Montreal pedigree, but by now in Calgary). Caron traded Joe Mullen, Doug Gilmour, Mark Hunter, Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley, all of whom won that one and only Stanley Cup in Calgary. Only the Ramage deal netted a decent return for St. Louis (Brett Hull).

  88. Bruce says:

    Brodeur going for Roy’s record right in Montreal, so do you suppose there’s a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,etc. chance that CBC won’t show the Leafs? Not bloody likely.

    Screw the Leafs, screw the Flames, RDS here I come.

  89. Lowetide says:

    Beverly Mahood is single handedly making sure the Leaf game won’t be done before 8. Jeepers Beverly!

  90. Dennis says:

    Bruce: But the Flames came back in Det!!! And all this while Cgy was shorthanded all through the first!! I mean, that’s never happened to another team in Det, has it??

    Listen closely and you’ll see CBC gearing up and putting all their eggs in the Flames basket for a long playoff run. TO and OTT are non-starters and the Oil are a decent bet for the playoffs but no one would bet a dollar on the Oil. You can be assured that CBC was all ready to make this the year of the Hab but you wouldn’t bet two dollars on them.

    So, it comes down to Cgy vs Van. I’ll call Van the better team but Iginla’s a Canadian and Mike Keenan and Potato Head Sutter are easier to talk about than Vignault and Mike Gillis.

    So, they’ll get behind the Flames.

  91. Dennis says:

    LT: if we we’re having a beer – and please God one of these days we will – and I knew you enough, I’d tell you something about Mahood.

    Or at least something me and my friends have always believed about Mahood-types;)

  92. Bruce says:

    Jeepers Beverly!

    What was unreal was how none of three syllables of “Canada” rhymed.
    “O Keh-nee-dah”. Just freakin’ awful.

    At least they got the game going in TO, though. It was 6 minutes in before they got around to dropping the puck in Montreal.

    Listen closely and you’ll see CBC gearing up and putting all their eggs in the Flames basket for a long playoff run.

    Dennis: Don’t undersell the Hughson Factor.

  93. PDO says:

    Toronto fucking themselves in the lottery?

    Check.

    Calgary continuing to suck since acquiring Jokinen?

    Check.

    Good start to HNIC.

  94. Black Dog says:

    late to the conversation a little but anyone who saw the HNIC gane two weeks back heard every single one of those CBC guys raving about Moreau and Staios.

    Methinks both of those guys have more value then we think.

  95. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Same day I’ll tell you my Judy Norton Taylor story (after I tell you who she is).

  96. Dennis says:

    LT: you are on;)

    Bruce: If they let Hughson call the Dys, I really don’t know how I’ll react. Let’s assume the Oil make it and if so, here’s how it will go:

    Flames: Hugson
    Habs: Cole; and this is delicious considering how much Habs fans hate this guy
    Dys: Mark Lee
    Oilers: Dean Brown

    I absolutely live for the first two rounds of the playoffs but I find myself cheering against teams rather than for teams. I have a checklist of teams I want to see out and I don’t rest until it happens

    Pat: Simpson was part of that crew, right?:) Still, I know what you’re saying. There are loads of GM’s who look at boxcar stats and the number of GP and let’s hope our guys can take advantage of them.

  97. Bruce says:

    So, Dennis, give us the list.

  98. Jonathan Willis says:

    Brodziak could probably get clobbered just as hard as Reasoner did playing the toughs last year if given half a chance.

    Likely. On the other hand, the penalty kill hasn’t looked all that good since Reasoner/Stoll left, and picking up someone from that family of players at the deadline would have been nice.

    Like, say a spare 2nd round pick for Dominic Moore.

  99. Bank Shot says:

    JW-Yea, and a defenceman to replace Pitkanen’s and Greene’s PK minutes would have been nice.

    Still. It doesn’t seem like Mact tried everything availible to him. Visnovsky’s PK audition was pretty limited, and he may have turned out better then Grebeshkov who has been rank. Some think Pouliot would have been a decent option. He probably wouldn’t have been worse then Penner and Gagner.

  100. slipper says:

    Brodziak in a tough minutes role is just a product of wishful thinking.

  101. Jonathan Willis says:

    Oh, I’m not trying to excuse MacTavish for what he’s done this year. As you allude to, Penner and Gagner over Pouliot on the PK is pretty hard to understand (except from a development angle).

    I don’t think much of Greene/Pitkanen – by the numbers, Greene was the worst Oilers PK regular last year, and Pitkanen never saw regular duty. I think the crippling blow (although not the only one) was the loss of Stoll/Reasoner; two excellent faceoff men and elite penalty-killers.

    And I don’t care how many folks figure scoring is the biggest problem the Oilers have – with the Oilers PK ranked 28th in the NHL, the biggest problem is obvious. The fact that it went unaddressed surprised me; Tambellini is manifestly not an idiot.

  102. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – actually Simpson wasn’t on it. It was Crawford and whoever he works with (Lee?) in the booth, Oake doing the sideline stuff, MacLean, Milbury and Hrudey between periods.

    Every single one of them raved about Moreau. This was the game where they brought up Ty’s post and discussed Moreau and Pisani being out trying to tie the previous game. Now Milbury didn’t like the idea but he still made it clear he thought Moreau was terrific. MacLean and Hrudey agreed and the entire game the crew talked about the two vets in glowing terms.

    We all know HNIC is pretty by the book, in other words I would say that their view on these two guys is pretty standard stuff. I would bet that you could move both pretty easily. Moreau has very good numbers though aided by a lot of luck I would say. And Staios, as LT said, has been playing with kids or Strudwick.

    I think they would actually have value on the market, believe it or not.

  103. dubya says:

    If Kipper wins the Vezina this year (or Nabakov for that matter) the powers that select such awards will have lost their last bit of credibility.

  104. Black Dog says:

    You watching the game dubya? 30th in save %, 29th in GAA but as Simpson says, in the end its about wins.

    Wow.

  105. dubya says:

    Yeah, I’m watching. I gagged a little when Simpson said that. What pisses me off is that I suspect all the “hockey minds” at CBC were nodding in agreement.

    Kipper was way back in the net on that last goal. He’s not the same player anymore, his team’s just much better (and his backup is even worse than he is).

  106. dubya says:

    As an aside, has Ben Ondrus ever won a fight? (I didn’t actually see that last one but he looked cut up, so I’m guessing it didn’t go well)

  107. Bank Shot says:

    I don’t think much of Greene/Pitkanen – by the numbers, Greene was the worst Oilers PK regular last year, and Pitkanen never saw regular duty.

    Greene saw regular 5-on-3 duty which kills a guy’s numbers and explains why guys like Horcoff and Stoll always have the worst numbers on the Oilers despite being the best killers.

    Pitkanen played two minutes a game and had very strong numbers, which would have kept guys like Grebeshkov off the ice who has been putrid both this season and last despite never seeing the ice in a 5-on-3 situation.

  108. Scott says:

    That’s a good observation regarding the PK there Jonathan. They’ve been outchanced at EV some since Visnovsky went down but they’ve been bleeding goals on Special Teams and the loss of Cole. I don’t think Moore was any great shakes on the PK though. I think his GA on the PK was 10.49/60 which isn’t any great shakes. He is having a splendid year for faceoffs though.

  109. Black Dog says:

    dubya – nope I don’t think he ever has

    kid has guts but he’s a speedbag

    Fenwick posted Kiprusoff’s numbers over the past few years a while back, its a slippery downward slope.

    Its too bad ;)

  110. Scott says:

    Pitkanen played two minutes a game and had very strong numbers, which would have kept guys like Grebeshkov off the ice who has been putrid both this season and last despite never seeing the ice in a 5-on-3 situation.

    Is your dislike of Grebs on the PK statistical, observational or both? I haven’t noticed him being particularly bad or particularly good on the PK, but his GA/60 is -6.37 which is pretty respectable.

  111. Jonathan Willis says:

    Bank Shot: No, Greene had the worst numbers 5-on-4 of any Oilers regular defenseman (Behind the NEt excludes 5-on-3′s for the reason you list).

    Scott: I hadn’t looked at Moore’s numbers before that comment, I was just being flippant. It just kills me that Tambellini went to all the effort to steal that pick from Carolina and then blew it on a guy who can’t put up more points than Liam Reddox at evens.

  112. dubya says:

    Honest question: What would Roloson’s GAA, Sv%, and record be in Calgary?

  113. Bank Shot says:

    Scott: I read that Grebeshkov’s goals against per 60 on the PK is over 9.

    No, Greene had the worst numbers 5-on-4 of any Oilers regular defenseman (Behind the NEt excludes 5-on-3′s for the reason you list).

    Really? I wonder why team’s best PKers generally have the worst numbers then.

  114. Bruce says:

    Brodziak in a tough minutes role is just a product of wishful thinking.

    The faceoff data suggests he has one of the hardest defensive roles in the NHL. About 2.25:1 DZone to OZone last I checked.

    Not saying that’s the only factor, but that is certainly one point in Kyle’s favour in terms of taking the tough minutes responsibility.

  115. Jonathan Willis says:

    Bank Shot: I’m not really sure that those PK numbers are terribly valid; it was probably pretty stupid of me to bring them up against Greene in point of fact.

    Desjardins is using PK QualComp this year, which is an interesting idea; hopefully he keeps developing stuff.

    I’m still not sure I buy Greene as one of the Oilers best PK options last season – he was in the mix with Smid and Gilbert behind the top two guys.

  116. Scott says:

    Really? I wonder why team’s best PKers generally have the worst numbers then.

    Thanks BD. I didn’t see that column at first so I did the math myself and I muffed it. The 6.37 is, every 6.37 minutes he’s on the ice, a goal is scored which is considerably worse than 6.37 GA/60. I didn’t do the same thing with Moore though. His numbers really are bad.

  117. goldenchild says:

    Anybody know the lines? I read somewhere 19 moves up with 10-83, ALess with 89 and 12 and Pou all the way down to the 4th?

    Dennis not sure if you have seen any of the Big East tourney and as a Gtown fan you prob hate it but the Cuse is on one of the most impressive runs I can remember. Beat Seaton Hall on Wed, the 6OT’s to beat UCONN on Fri then another OT last night to beat W.Virginia. Now tip off against Pitino and Louisville

  118. slipper says:

    If you are Brian Burke do you fire Ron Wilson?

    His ability to get so much from very little seems to run contrary to BB’s team building philosophy.

  119. Black Dog says:

    Bank shot – I would guess because they play more minutes and would be facing the other teams’ top units.

    Nothing to back that up – just makes sense to me.

    Seven for Toronto now and Kipper is done. Dubya, I would think Roli would have pretty nice numbers if he played for the Falmes – it would be easier playing behind all of those vets then behind the kiddie corps I would think

  120. Bruce says:

    BtN currently lists the following for GA ON/60 for Oilers D 4v5:

    6.24 Smid
    6.60 Strudwick
    6.78 Souray
    7.90 Gilbert
    8.50 Staios
    9.42 Grebeshkov
    12.06 Visnovsky

  121. Dennis says:

    Bruce: I hate all the Can teams outside of Ott; always have except for Que and Winnipeg. In ’04 I cheered for Cgy over Van and look where that almost got us;) Then me and my cousin cheered like fools when TB won in G6 at Cgy and the rest of the house weren’t pleased.

    Also, I’ve always liked SJ and always hated Det. Chi’s a team I could get behind and the same goes for CBJ. I can root for Pit but I don’t like Philly – the next door neighhour’s a Flyers fan and he told me Desjardins was better than Pronger;) I could root for Wsh and I always seem to like NYR; Buf’s easy to like because it’s a market that supported it’s team.

  122. Bruce says:

    Interestingly, the QualComp almost mirrors those results in the opposite order I would have expected (i.e. toughest competition has the fewest GA):

    3.67 Smid
    2.89 Strudwick
    1.93 Staios
    1.84 Souray
    1.78 Grebeshkov
    1.41 Gilbert
    0.02 Visnovsky

  123. slipper says:

    I think his face-off ability necessitates that, Bruce. MacTavish will put his two best face-off takers on the ice for d-zone draws, ecspecially against the toughs, and then draws 51 off when possession is gained.

    The majority of Brodziak’s ice time is matched against other bottom sixers and he hasn’t had great success.

  124. Bruce says:

    In ’04 I cheered for Cgy over Van and look where that almost got us;)

    Me too, sort of. It would be more accurate to say in ’04 I hated Vancouver even more than I hated Calgary. Far more, actually. I really hated the Canucks of that era, and to say I was cheering “for” Calgary is more of a stretch. I’m like you in that I love seeing teams get knocked off. I woulda cheered for the Russians against Vancouver in ’04.

    But I did enjoy seeing that former Oiler Marty Gelinas stick the knife in to the Cafucks. And I did like the Happy Line (Gelinas-Conroy-Iginla). That said I was rooting for Tampa all the way in the final, and to see that other Marty, the ex-Flame St.Louis score that double OT goal in the Saddledome was a sweet moment.

  125. Bruce says:

    Slipper: Agreed on both points. I was trying to say the same thing. It’s a good example of the danger of placing too much stock in an isolated stat like faceoff zones, which certainly tells a story, just not the whole story. There’s more to defensive responsibility than where you line up.

    That said, all those DZone draws this year will have contributed significantly to Brodziak’s development, and he may yet turn out to be a shutdown guy in a year or three.

  126. Black Dog says:

    Keenan pulls the goalie with 3 minutes left and Jokinen has a hattrick.

    Three multigoal games since he arrived.

  127. Black Dog says:

    But the Flames lose again.

  128. Lowetide says:

    I’m giddy like an idiot. Toronto buggers themselves and smile all the while. Does my heart good.

  129. Bruce says:

    3-1 Devils. Very classy response from the Montreal fans, who were able to separate booing their own team in the dying seconds and turned into a prolonged standing ovation for the native son tying the wins record of the Habs legend. The cameras zeroed in on Marty’s dad a few times, who was trying to celebrate and do his job as a photographer and hold back the tears all at once. Quite a moment.

    Did they manage to catch the tail end of it on the English broadcast? I was watching on RDS from the get-go.

    BTW, the Devils are a very strong contender for la Couple Stanley. They’ve got a helluva club.

  130. Bruce says:

    Ah, shit. Oake and Crawford AGAIN! AAAArrrrgggghhhh!!!!

  131. Lowetide says:

    Scott Oake could make porridge nervous.

  132. Black Dog says:

    Bruce – yeah they had it on HNIC after the Leafs’ game

    Crawford almost gets run down by the Zamboni. Just a warning for L’il Squeaker.

    Watch what you say!

  133. kris says:

    Thanks LT, I think I have a hard copy of that pic at home, but not as zoomed in.

    I deleted the post because it sounded stupid.

  134. kris says:

    Link anyone?

  135. Bruce says:

    Got an eyeful of that Zach Parise tonight. Guy is a helluva player.

  136. Black Dog says:

    kris – I’ll second what LT Said

  137. Bruce says:

    BTW, HBomb, nice jersey collection. Just went in to have a look. Why am I not surprised to see a two-fisted drinker in your profile pic?

  138. Bruce says:

    Who was it called Dallas and Minny to go to OT? 2-2 with 10 minutes left.

  139. Black Dog says:

    Smid out, Peckham in.

    Big game big game.

  140. Black Dog says:

    Going to the net.

  141. Bruce says:

    Thanks, Budaj. Mind if I call you “Bud”?

  142. Bruce says:

    Oops. On further review, Budaj doesn’t even get the primary error for that million dollar rebound. What was Clark thinking?

  143. Bruce says:

    Horpensky on that scramble. Was that during a shift change?

  144. Councilman Les Winan says:

    Budaj looks shaky tonight…

    I, for one, am shocked.

  145. Councilman Les Winan says:

    That looked like a regular shift to me, Bruce. Penner had a chance to come off when the Avs cleared the puck the first time, and he stayed out.

  146. Black Dog says:

    Wow what a play.

    Hemsky has his A game tonight.

  147. Councilman Les Winan says:

    Wow. Budaj did NOT look shaky there. Great stop.

  148. Bruce says:

    Funny how Nilsson goes weeks without being able to buy a goal, then finally once he breaks the ice he immediately gets a complete fluke like that one.

  149. Black Dog says:

    Wonder how many chances the #1 line has generated so far?

    I count three plus however many you would count in that mad scramble.

  150. Councilman Les Winan says:

    Remember when the CBC announcers went on strike, and they broadcast CFL games with no announcers, just crowd noise?

    Couldn’t we do that for the late HNIC game? Pretty please?

    Although, it’s hard to believe, but I think Mark Lee is worse announcing football.

  151. Lowetide says:

    Riley Nash with a goal in a 4-0 win for Cornell.

  152. Bruce says:

    That’s a big stop by Roli. That had goal written all over it.

  153. HBomb says:

    Ok, Moreau in the top nine yet Penner stays on the fourth line?

    Stupid.

    Is the Smid/Pechkam thing injury-related?

    Hemsky could have three goals already. The Oilers have had a ton of good chances. But are only up a goal. I never like being in that spot.

  154. HBomb says:

    Seriously, maybe it’s the liquor talking (we’re doing shooters already), but how frigging awful is it that they would screw up two line combinations that were working just to get THE CAPTAIN back in the top nine, yet Penner continues to suffer in fourth line purgatory?

    MacT has completely lost it.

    Nice fight by Peckham. And damn, am I ever liking this O’Sullivan guy. He can play.

  155. Councilman Les Winan says:

    HBomb, CBC made a comment pregame that Smid has a minor injury.

    I don’t like dominating a period and only being up one either. Always seems like a goal early in the 2nd results in a big change in momentum.

  156. Black Dog says:

    hbomb – yeah Smid is nursing a couple of injuries they said

    Agreed, I’d feel a whole lot better if they had cashed a few of those.

  157. mike w says:

    Hey guys.

    Are fans still booing Smyth? Morons.

    Oh great, and of course Darcy Tucker scores.

  158. Bruce says:

    What a waste of a good start.

  159. gogliano says:

    This PK is killing us.

  160. Bruce says:

    Two 2-on-1s for Oilers, 0 shots on goal. Do these guys practice those situations?

  161. Black Dog says:

    Things are so bad for the Avs that Tucker, with 6 goals, 1 in the last 28, is on their PP.

    Things are so bad for the Oilers PK …

  162. slipper says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Tucker is the kind of guy who Googles himself.

    So yeah, basically blame Pat.

  163. Bruce says:

    3-2 Dallas, in OT. Good call on the 3-point game, whoever it was who predicted it.

    $#!+

  164. Black Dog says:

    Hah, awesome.

    And yeah I remember last time, scores the equalizer with seconds left and the winner in the SO.

    Now excuse me while I go chop off my hands.

  165. Bruce says:

    Slipper: I needed that laugh.

  166. Alice says:

    Watched the end of the Leafs game, GlenX playing w Iginla and Jokinen. Didn’t Keenan read the label? He’s a Fourth Liner, you dummy!

    Yeah, it pisses me off. While we hope Kotalik deigns to sign for something reasonable like 3M.

  167. Bruce says:

    5 more 3-point games so far today. That’s 19 out of 39 games since Tuesday that have awarded the Bettman point.

  168. Lowetide says:

    Well if that was our good period then it’s an L but honestly the Oilers seemd to have their legs tonight.

    That Ryan Smyth sure doesn’t have anything left.

  169. mike w says:

    Arrgh. PJ Stock.

  170. Dennis says:

    Chances 9-6 Oilers; 8-6 EV and 0-1 ST.

    We’re back to the games of mid-season when the PK unit’s good for a GA a game. It’s hard to win when there’s one element of your team that’s due to kill you everytime.

    We did have a decent run on the PK for awhile but Cole seemed to be a big part of that. There are all kinds of guys here who can and have PKed and the club still refuses to use six forwards and down ice pressure. Watch the Rags kill penalties the next time you get a chance and it is how it used to be for the Oil.

    Oil had their last chance with 13:21 left to go in the period.

    BTW, Don Cherry is simple because he’s in his mid 70′s. What the fuck is Kelly Hrudey’s excuse? Anyone catch the early game today when he was talking about “key saves” and PJ Stock said to him, “aren’t all saves equally big?”

    Hrudey dismissed it and Stock wouldn’t let it go and Hrudey had those crazy guys and got Ron to side with him.

  171. Bruce says:

    Chances 9-6 Oilers; 8-6 EV and 0-1 ST.

    That doesn’t add up.

    Oil had their last chance with 13:21 left to go in the period.

    And that’s not good. 8 or 9 chances in a third of a period, then bugger all for the other two thirds? Egads.

  172. Black Dog says:

    I love Theo Peckham.

    He looks like he’s about 12. That isn’t going to last long.

  173. slipper says:

    As for what some said re: Paul Stastny way up top:

    Stastny had 78 points as a 21 year old. Last season he was the third most proficient even strength scorer in the league.

    Zetterberg’s first NHL season was at 22 years old and he scored 44 points. Thornton was in his 4th NHL season at 21 years old and he tallied 71 points. Zack Parise scored 32 points as a 21 year old. Ignla had 51. Marc savard had 45. Getlaf had 58.

    Sure, Stastny has been hampered by injuries this season, and that may be a serious concern for the Avs moving ahead, but with respect, to say every team has atleast one Paul Stastny on their roster or more is crazy, cherry picking, and stoopid.

  174. Bruce says:

    Pisani taken his Moreau pills? Holy crap.

  175. Black Dog says:

    What’s with Pisani and the penalties these days? Jesus.

  176. Alice says:

    He’s taking them so Moreau gets a chance to practice the PK

    See?

  177. Lowetide says:

    The longer this game goes without EDM taking control the more the coach needs to be concerned. This is a big damn game there Mr MacT.

  178. Lowetide says:

    Eberle’s season is done (I think this was the last game of the year for them).

    61gp, 35-39-74 1.21

    this compares to last season:

    70gp, 42-33-75 1.07

    It wasn’t a big step forward.

  179. Bruce says:

    Fine defensive play by Staios a few minutes back to deny Svatos what looked to be setting up as an open netter. His game continues to come around.

  180. Bruce says:

    Those are butt ugly breakouts by Strudwick and Peckham.

  181. Lowetide says:

    The headman pass has left the team.

  182. Bruce says:

    Would somebody kindly complete a pass? This is dreadful hockey.

  183. slipper says:

    Did Crawford come to that conclusion about hockey being all about goaltending after his career as an NHL coach has ended?

    Surely his past alleigance to the grat Dan CLoutier flys in the face of his current belief.

  184. Schitzo says:

    It wasn’t a big step forward.

    How do his numbers look as a % of total offence for the team?

  185. Bruce says:

    Thanks again Slipper. I needed that laugh even more than the previous one. This game is making me very cranky.

  186. Black Dog says:

    Agreed Bruce. Its putting me to sleep.

    Ah, but now the PP. Guaranteed awesome.

  187. slipper says:

    Did you know that The Flying Budaj is the 43rd position in the Kama Sutra?

  188. Alice says:

    Didn’t we have some guy who used to screen the goalie once in a while?

  189. Black Dog says:

    He’s playing for the Avs, Alice.

    Or he’s stapled to the bench.

    One or the other.

  190. slipper says:

    Roli doesn’t suffer trespassers? That’s one way of putting it.

    Have you ever seen Roloson play before Lee?

  191. Alice says:

    How’s Penner still not out on the PP, nevermind about the first line, but should be a no-brainer for PP work.

  192. slipper says:

    Right now I’d take Ryan Smyth over Penner and Nilsson in a hearbeat.

  193. Bruce says:

    Another excruciating period. I had more fun when I got my wisdom tooth pulled.

  194. Black Dog says:

    Well.

    Penner not being on the PP or the first line.

    Cole playing out of position.

    Cole playing with Brodziak and Moreau.

    Pisani playing centre.

    Pouliot not playing centre.

    Smid playing on the wing.

    Kotalik playing out of position.

    Strudwick playing, Smid in the PB.

    Now, its been said many times and I agree that this team is a flawed one.

    But I’m not even mentioning the PP/PK disasters.

  195. Black Dog says:

    Ah Slipper, he’s washed up. And greedy too. And he cried at the airport.

  196. Bruce says:

    Oilers with 12 shots on net and have had 14 blocked. Colorado with 17 shots on goal and have had 19 blocked. Not a whole lot of space out there.

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