Ducks at Oilers G77/08-09

There is no photo available to describe tonight’s game. A win is the only option, and even then the Oilers may need some help in the next week.

All is not lost. Should the Oilers win tonight and play a consistent game during this homestand the odds favor them grabbing a piece of the second season.

I know where my money is.

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533 Responses to "Ducks at Oilers G77/08-09"

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  1. Bruce says:

    I feel sorry for Craig MacTavish watching that interview. What a shitty way to write his own epitaph.

  2. Dennis says:

    I’m gonna get to the decision just a tad later on but I’ll give MacT credit for hanging in there tonight for about 5-6 min and fielding a lot of questions in the presser.

    I’ve watched just about all of them and he’s only a little more effusive in victory than he is in defeat and it usually lasts four min top. But tonight he stood in there and seemed downright heartsick about his stroke of stupidity. Of course there were the usual lies and/or misleading nuggets of disinformation – my favourite being that the club played well in the first even though I had them down for ONE EV chance – but he also got into there being a tactical error on the first PK goal.

    Now, onto his decision to call for a stick measurement: that’s only a good call when it works. I know that doesn’t give a guy a lot of room for leeway when you’re asking for 100% success ratio but in this case the Ducks had taken a defending posture and the Oilers were cycling and keeping pucks in at the blue and all things were working in their favour. Yes, the Oilers PP has been quietly running at ~ 20% over the last eight games but the Oilers had things going at evens and it wasn’t as if they didn’t already have a spark.

    There’s just too much of a chance of things going wrong when you make that call. Things like perhaps a guy uses two different sticks and he has a legal stick when his club’s up and isn’t craving for a goal.

    Way too risky of a move by MacT and an awful fucking buzzkill for the club. BTW, did you see 27′s face when he came out of the box? I don’t know whether it was him being disappointed that he gave the wrong info or disgust that MacT cut them off at the knees in such a manner but it was truly a look I can’t describe.

    Ty: I guess you’re listening to the Ched postgame. I’m tuning in myself now

  3. Icecastles says:

    My sentiments too, Bruce. Time to go? Yes. Stupid call? Yes. But you hate to see anyone go ‘out like a punk’ as Sam Jackson says. And he obviously had word from his players (my guess is Horc since he apparently has a legal-limit stick) that he acted on.

    There is a tragic irony that his likely epitaph is written in listening to the players he has been so guilty of mishandling this season.

    You can tell he is just sick over that call.

  4. Lord Bob says:

    I’ve said a lot of things about Craig MacTavish, but he is not a stupid man. Merely a desperate one who is coaching a team that is completely unsuitable for him and is groping for everything he can think of to turn things around.

  5. Bruce says:

    HEY JACKASS, YOUR PENALTY KILL WAS 1 FOR 4 TONIGHT. THAT’S RIGHT, YOU KILLED A WHOPPING 25% AND YOU THROW THE POWERPLAY UNDER THE BUS.

    Good call, Woodguy. The PP even scored one tonight, and the team scored 3. If the defensive specialists such as Thecaptainethanmoreau had come through, we might have at least survived into OT. But when it comes to the blame game, Thecaptainethanmoreau has never met a mirror he liked.

    I think that bugs me about him even more than his play.

  6. Lord Bob says:

    Now, Ethan Moreau.

    He is stupid.

    Craig MacTavish sticks up for his friends, which is noble in most aspects of life other than being a hockey coach. Ethan Moreau has the IQ of Dustin Penner’s dietician.

  7. Bruce says:

    Btw, with this Loss the Oilers have already wrapped up a Losing record on home ice for the season. Screw the Bettman point, the fans have gone home happy 16 times out of 37 games.

    Pretty friggin’ dismal.

  8. chartleys says:

    Backtracking a bit in all this:

    The problem with the smyth deal was not trading smyth. It was keeping UFA’s like sykora, not dealing the staois like contracts and the like at that deadline as well. We knew we were turfing that season and the selling price was pretty high.

    I was pissed because it looked like they just scrambled very late in the day to make the smyth deal and overlooked the obvious what else can we sell bin.

    A handful of decent picks more in the system would look pretty good right now. They also maybe could have been moved for a vermette this deadline (what we really needed).

  9. hunter1909 says:

    Sorry to have missed the game.

    LOL

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    Ethan Moreau has the IQ of Dustin Penner’s dietician.

    This line cannot pass without recognition.

    Well done.

    I remember last summer; “We’re building something special” and the talks about contending for the division.

    My Habs friend pointed out this thread in amusment – 4 games into this season.

    http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=563554

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    So Bob Stauffer mentioned today on the post game show that Ryan Smyth told all of his teammattes after being traded that he screwed up.

    This is further supported by his quote when being traded that “I didn’t think they would trade me”

  12. Icecastles says:

    PJO – That thread has me completely depressed now. To think that it was posted less than five months ago…

    I have finally seen a campaign of shock and awe. Wow, did I misinterpret how I would be shocked and what I would be in awe of.

  13. Scarlett says:

    What a shit of a game. That had to be the dumbest call ever MacT…the team was buzzing in the Ducks’ end. I thought there was a good chance to get it tied up.

    I am happy to report there was a very healthy chant of Fire MacT as we left Rexall. Good times.

  14. Traktor says:

    Self-inflicted wound.

  15. Rod says:

    Bruce said:
    That is a bonehead coaching call for the ages. Score two in 76 seconds at evens and then piss away the end of the game with a gamble that was unnecessary even if right, and fucking killer if it was wrong.
    —–
    My sentiments exactly. There was no point in making the gamble. Just drop the puck already and get he puck back in their end. Instead, MacT hands them a time-out for free so Hiller can calm down. Even if the call worked, what’s the point of allowing the Ducks to ice the puck without a whistle? Couldn’t believe the call was made before the verdict, and still can’t. Risk vs. reward, and the reward just wasn’t there. Meanwhile the risk was blatantly obvious: take the game out of the players hands and obliterate any chance of a comeback. Essentially throw the season away. Boneheaded call to top all boneheaded calls.

    Bruce said…
    I feel sorry for Craig MacTavish watching that interview. What a shitty way to write his own epitaph.
    —–
    Agreed on that too. A shame it had to come down to something like this.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Why feel sorry for a shit coach who, as a shit coach is wont to do, make yet another shit decision?

    Okay, so his doe like eyes melt our hearts, but…

  17. Black Gold says:

    Intentional Offside:
    Fuck Sheldon Brookbank with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

    Play of the Night:
    Careful: if Brookbank scores again we’ll be sending him an offer sheet.

  18. HBomb says:

    Ok, to quote Dennis Miller, I don’t want to go on a rant here, BUT….

    First off, Lowetide, your employer – please tell Bryn to stop suggesting that they’re going to turn over more players before making a coaching change, and that they should look at trading Hemsky. Stupid, stupid, stupid on both counts. How many times do we have to turn this roster over before they look and say “hey, maybe the players aren’t the whole problem.”

    So, last night’s game.

    1) Roloson: not his best night. Count me as opposed to signing him for next year at ANY price – a long term solution in goal is a necessity. Now watch them give a 40-year old goalie a cap-crippling 2 year deal.

    2) Gilbert: Bruce is upset about what he did to Bobby Ryan. Well, the Ducks are a dirty team, and I seem to remember an uncalled atrocity by Perry against Pisani last night, so Bobby Ryan can go fuck himself. Zero sympathy from this corner.

    3) Peckham: one of the few bright spots. The guy looks a lot more competent out there at an early stage than Matt Greene did. Hopefully, for the sake of this team, he develop faster. Those first 200 games for NHL d-men can be a real pain in the ass to put up with though. It doesn’t pay to develop d-men unless it’s someone like a Drew Doughty.

    4) The fourth line: nice work gents. Another of the few bright spots. Particularly JFJ – he appears to have arrived. Now if Pouliot gets an honest shot as the 3C, that passing on Parise, Getzlaf and Richards for him might not look quite as awful.

    5) Cogliano: make this kid a RW, stat. He CANNOT take faceoffs.

    6) Gagner: quietly had a decent effort last night. Made a couple very competent defensive plays that you would not have seen from him even 20 games ago. Getting better, and still a teenager. Good signs.

    7) Hemsky: more than ever, I’m convinced he’s not only playing frustrated, but physically hurt. Wrist injury (someone mentioned seeing him shaking his hand at the bench last night) is still where my money is.

    8) Getzlaf: Fuck you Kevin Lowe for not insisting this guy was the return for Pronger. When Burke said “no” to said request, that should have ended any and all conversations with the Ducks. (Lupul? Seriously?) This guy is an absolute beast, and he makes the overrated Corey Perry look much better than he actual is (which, for the record, is a mouthy floating piece of shit).

    9) Moreau: fuck you you fucking piece of dogshit for throwing the power-play under the bus whent he PK was the big dog-turd on the night. “The Captain” MUST go this summer. He’s in Shayne Corson territory folks. Seriously.

    10) “The Call”: I hated it. Why kill the momentum by essentially giving the timeout? Why take the risk of having it backfire? Why do you think you’re better off if it works, giving the Ducks carte blanche to ice the puck and their free will and desire? I don’t mind such a play in the first period of a game to get an early 5-on-3, for example….but it was a stupid decision.

    The game was not lost on that call – another “sloppy second” sealed the Oilers fate. But I have the feeling that mistake is going to be to MacT what the fake punt call against the Riders in the 2004 west semi-final was to Higgins – the final bell.

    Let’s just hope the Oilers don’t “Maciocia” it and hire Bucky as his replacement. God forbid that EVER is even considered.

  19. HBomb says:

    Oh yeah, one other thing: it was sighted that Horcoff’s got 2 goals in his last 16 games, Hemsky’s got 2 in his last 15, and Penner has 3 in his last 21 on the CHED postgame show last game tonight.

    When was the last time we saw Horpensky consistently used as an ES line? About 20 games ago?

    Part of the solution has been obvious the whole time, but MacT, out of pure stubbornness, seems to refuse to see it.

  20. CM says:

    I turned down free tickets last night…first time in my life…I can’t find a way to get excited about this team…I think its better I just go into mourning…

  21. HBomb says:

    Oh joy, I’ve got tickets to the next two games. To see them lose twice more.

    At least I don’t have to go to the game against Calgary on the 9th and put up with Flamer-fan trash talk aplenty.

  22. Garnet says:

    I’d say the Covered in Oil guys abandoned ship at about the right time, looking back on it.

  23. reijo29 says:

    So which guys get invited to play in the World Championships?
    Canada – Horcoff, one of Gagner or Cogliano, Souray, Staios, Roloson.
    US – Gilbert
    Russia – Grebs, (Mikhonov?)
    Sweden – Nilsson (Omark?)
    Czech – Hemmer & Kotalik

  24. hunter1909 says:

    “So which guys get invited to play in the World Championships?”

    What? No Moreau!!?

  25. pboy says:

    But let it be said there were others to blame this night than the man behind the bench for whom the game will be remembered for years and year and years when all other details are forgotten.

    Like Tom Gilbert.

    The Oilers, for all purposes, were dead when Gilbert took that double minor.

    That was written by that fat fuck Terry Jones in the Edmonton Sun today. Moreau’s penalties have been killing this team all season, not to mention how incredibly shitty the PK has been since Game 1 but I can’t remember Jones writing too much about that stuff but he can’t throw Tom Gilbert under the bus quick enough.

  26. Coach pb9617 says:

    please tell Bryn to stop suggesting that they’re going to turn over more players before making a coaching change, and that they should look at trading Hemsky. Stupid, stupid, stupid on both counts.

    Of course it’s stupid, but the media is so married to the organization that they can’t question the organization. My lord the media in that town sucks.

    6) Gagner: quietly had a decent effort last night. Made a couple very competent defensive plays that you would not have seen from him even 20 games ago. Getting better, and still a teenager. Good signs.

    His offense went after he praised Nilsson. Which earned Nilsson a trip to the PB. Good work, coach.

  27. doritogrande says:

    So which guys get invited to play in the World Championships?

    O’Sullivan’s played Internationally for America (FUCK YEAH!) before. He hasn’t had the greatest transition to Edmonton, but he certainly would garner some interest especially if the likes of Kessel and Guerin go deep into the playoffs.

  28. Coach pb9617 says:

    Part of the solution has been obvious the whole time, but MacT, out of pure stubbornness, seems to refuse to see it.

    From above:

    Bookie said:

    I have been trying to figure out what the turning point was this season. it occurs to me that there wasn’t one, because we were never really contenders this year since about… game four.

    I said: Penner’s benching and subsequent demotion and public flogging during the Chicago blowout game.

    Horpensky was united for the first time against…at Columbus I believe. They were a game under .500 at the time. For the next 10 games, Hemsky went absolutely nuts, Penner had 5 goals, Horcoff had a ton of assists. The Oilers went 6-4 in ten games with six road games. They were actually starting to click as a team.

    Then Chicago came to Rexall, blew the doors off of the Oilers, MacTavish blamed Penner publicly, demoted him and Horpensky was never a regular line again for the rest of the season.

    They had a power line that was beating up people pretty good. With the state of the PK and the PP, they couldn’t afford not to have tough minute outscoring. And MacTavish couldn’t set his ego aside to allow it to happen, and apparently doesn’t have the ability to fix the other problems, so he torpedoed the season right there.

  29. HBomb says:

    pboy: Jesus fucking Christ, Jones is actually stupid enough to write that?

    Not surprised, considering he seems to kiss Moreau’s ass at every turn. How you can call out Gilbert, a guy who’s more or less a disciplined player, for one mis-step when Moreau’s been doing that shit all year, it’s mind-boggling.

    Fuck Jones, and double-fuck Moreau.

    And apologies to LT for gratuitous use of the f-bomb lately on my part.

  30. bookie says:

    Coach, that should be

    Icecastles said

    ” I have been trying to figure out what the turning point was this season. it occurs to me that there wasn’t one, because we were never really contenders this year since about… game four.”

    I didnt think I had said that, but I had to back and check.

  31. Scott says:

    His offense went after he praised Nilsson. Which earned Nilsson a trip to the PB. Good work, coach.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t Nilsson injured?

    Also, if we can somehow manage to win our next five games, I think we probably make it in. Goilers!

  32. doritogrande says:

    Also, if we can somehow manage to win our next five games, I think we probably make it in. Goilers!

    Get that “think positive” trash out of this thread. Today, it’s all about F-bombs, Fire MacT and publically humiliating Ethan Moreau.

    I’m only slightly joking.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    The season began to go downhill when MacIntyre got his face broken.

    Ridiculous, but probably about as true as anything else, during this most pathetic of seasons.

  34. DBO says:

    My post never showed up and I spent far to omuch time spewing my sorrows. Cathartic. kind of like writing a letter to someone who hurt you but never mailing it.

    Anyways, I’d like a bunch of moves in the offseason.
    - bye bye coaching staff. MacT upstairs.
    - No to rollie (too old), no to Kotalik (passenger)
    - Bye bye Moreau. time for new leaders and at this point he is a negative impact on this team. Souray for C
    - Trade for Harding form Minnesota or Ellis from Nashville. Goalie done.
    -trade Cogliano and grebshkov/Gilbert to Philly for gagne, Top LW, 2 years at $5.25 more value then $7.5 for Hossa.
    - Sign a 3rd line center (like Reasoner) and a third line grinder who can skate and check (like Moen from SJ)
    - Deal nilsson and Pou for picks, stay at home dman.

    Gagne – Gagner – Hemky
    Penner – Horcoff – O’Sullivan
    Moen – Reasoner – Pisani
    Jacques – Brodziak – Stortini

    Souray – Gilbert
    Vish – Smid/better stay at home dman
    Staios – Peckham

    Harding
    JDD

  35. hunter1909 says:

    “Today, it’s all about F-bombs, Fire MacT and publically humiliating Ethan Moreau.”

    The poster possibly assumes that Moreau knows how to read, as well as use a computer.

    Moreau was that stupid kid in grade 2 that needed help to sign his own name.

  36. doritogrande says:

    -trade Cogliano and grebshkov/Gilbert to Philly for gagne, Top LW, 2 years at $5.25

    I don’t think we’d have to give up that much for Gagne to be honest. Philly is in a lot, a LOT of cap trouble with the singings of Richards, Carter, Briere and Timonen. They get Hatcher off the books this year, but don’t have a goalie under contract and have to shell out for Lupul this year, Coburn next year and Giroux and Carter (again) the following year. They also have to re-up Knuble.

    I hate to part with Cogliano. He made the NHL straight out of the NCAA for a reason, this kid’s something special. Not as a C mind you, but he could do some damage as a Winger (I have NHL09 proof ;)). He’s also fast developing a defensive game and his hands are eventually catching up to his feet.

    I think Gagne could be had for Grebeshkov and a 2nd.

    Or we could just go after Knuble this summer as a UFA. Provides a minute-eating RW who knows how to score goals. Slot him on a PVP line with Horcoff-Penner and unleash Hemsky with Gagner-O’Sullivan.

  37. doritogrande says:

    My mistake. Apparnetly I’ve been reading too many Excel spreadsheets this past week that my eyes are playing tricks on me. Lupul already re-upped for 4 years. But that money’s gotta come from somewhere too.

  38. Coach pb9617 says:

    Sorry bout that, book.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t Nilsson injured?

    Is he? There was no report of that when he was HS’ed

    - Deal nilsson and Pou for picks, stay at home dman.

    Pouliot has a great contract, why trade him?

    Gagne – Gagner – Hemky

    No. You people never think of the Principe effect!

  39. HBomb says:

    How about Gagne-Horcoff-Hemsky? That would be a line that MacT could run out against, well, pretty much anyone.

    Actually, you could substitute the names “Frolov”, “Michalek”, or “Kovalchuk” on the left side, and probably conclude the same.

    Another name works in that statement too: “Penner”.

  40. DBO says:

    you deal pou cause he’s never going to be a regular. He doesn’t bring a physical game, isn’t good enough in his own zone to be our shut down centre, and isn’t offensive enough to play on our top 2 lines. no place for him, move him.

    As for the top 2 lines. i think you give hemmer the most skilled guys available and let them work, and have horcoff with Penner and o’Sullivan in a solid 2 way line that can play against anybody.

  41. rider guy says:

    Completely off topic, but seeing as how hockey season is done…I pick up The Journal this morning to check out their hard hitting coverage of last nights events and I’m pretty sure that there’s a picture of our very own Bruce on the front page of the Journal in a story about the meteor that hit around Lloydminster in the fall. Bruce, is that you?

  42. Steve says:

    I think Gagne could be had for Grebeshkov and a 2nd.

    If Philly’s in cap trouble, why would they be interested in an RFA defenseman due for a big raise?

  43. Bruce says:

    RG: Not every day you see me and Zorg on the front page. Must be April Fool’s Day.

  44. hunter1909 says:

    Pouliot will never be any fucking good.
    Why?
    He has fundamental flaws in his game, like he can’t even keep his head down.
    An AHL star player, no doubt.

  45. bookie says:

    My experience is that the Oilers success is directly inverse to the faith of its fans. Meaning every time we get a glimmer of hope in our hearts, boom, they suck. When we have really high expectations – wow, they are stunningly bad. Yet, when everyone, every last person abandons all hope, they tear it up (last year for example).

    So, if all of you are carful to aviod the slightest hopeful thought. If your heart is full of pure disappointment, then it is possible that they just might go on a 5 game winning streak and get into the playoffs. Oh wait, does that count as hope….crap now we are screwed!

  46. Smytty777 says:

    What are peoples thoughts on running JDD for the last five games? It can’t hurt to get a look at him, although a limited one.

  47. hunter1909 says:

    Should this most foolhardy “organisation” hope to emulate the Red Wings…hire Laviolette already.

    Pat Quinn I support as a fellow Irishman and drunkard.

  48. Rod says:

    Throwing Gilbert (and Roli) under the bus was bad enough–BTW, you could tell from the MacT press conference that’s where Jones was going. What’s worse is that he completely fabricated the course of events in order leave the tire tracks Gilbert.

    First off, yeah, Roli had an off-game (particularly the 4th…that over the shoulder goal was reminiscent of the problems Roli had last season). No disputing he’s had a couple rough ones. That said, he’s not a machine. It’s not Roli’s fault the team has no reasonable option in the crease. That Roli looked tired is completely understandable given the total mismanagement of goalies this season by coaches and management. But of course Jones doesn’t go there. Nope, he’s busy finding players to join MacTavish on the blame mat.

    Anyway, onto the fabrication (quoting Jones where pboy left off):
    The Oilers, for all purposes, were dead when Gilbert took that double minor.

    “I wish I could take that back,” said Gilbert.

    Roloson, who last night became the oldest goalie ever to play 60 games in a season in the NHL, looked it.

    He gave up a soft between the legs goal on the too-many-men power play and another soft one high to the short side on the Gilbert four-minute penalty.

    “Their power play is lethal,” said MacTavish. “To take a four-minute penalty … there’s a big difference between a two-goal lead and a three-goal lead,” he said of the margin which went from 3-1 to 4-1.

    But the season didn’t go away until the bottom fell out of their Drop of Doom ride when MacTavish made the call on the stick measurement.
    —–
    I suppose Jones was trying to say MacTavish wasn’t solely to blame for the L…but what was Jones smoking when he wrote that about Gilbert?

    Assessments that match the facts:
    - the 4th goal was a softie
    - Roli looked tired (duuuuh, given the workload)

    Can’t recall myself, but seems unlikely:
    - Jones painted the too-many-men PP goal as a soft one. Apparently uncontested shots from the slot are easy to stop. MacTavish even mentioned a tactical breakdown on that one (I’m looking @ 18…).

    Flat out wrong (as in the facts don’t match Jones’ hot air):
    - Jones said the Ducks PP goal on Gilbert’s penalty was a soft one, up high, short side (um, no, the PP goal in question was hammered by Pronger). R.Niedermayer scored (short side, up high) much, much later.
    - Jones said the PP goal gave the Ducks a three goal lead (by my math, the 3-1 amounts to leading by 2…)
    - Jones misappropriated MacT’s quote to back his own version of events

    MacTavish was disagreeing with Jones about the significance of Gilbert’s accidental penalty. Jones floated the idea that Gilbert’s penalty was pivotal, and MacTavish shot it down, saying the soft goal at the end of the second was deadly. Hello Jones. That’s MacT telling you it was a different goal than the one from Gilbert’s penalty. Only a stubborn hack pushing his own agenda could have screwed up this badly.

    That was just from memory of the presser and the game. Let’s check the game sheet:
    Gilbert’s double-minor @ 3:40 of the 2nd
    Pronger’s PP goal @ 5:13 of the 2nd made it 3-1
    R.Niedermayer scored @ 18:35 of the 2nd to make it 4-1

    Yeah, I’m thinking Gilbert’s penalty was over by then Jones, you d-nozzle.

    Point is, there’s no excuse for inventing facts and misquoting MacTavish that badly in print media. It can happen in online environments much easier (e.g. the Gregor thing about Daum coaching before he actually coached is one example, and it’s actually understandable). This? I know first graders that could do a better job. Apparently if simple, elementary facts don’t match Jones story, edit the “facts”, not the story. The paper is just fiction, right? Nice “work” Jones.

    One last thing… I recognize it’s not fair to tarnish the entire local media based on one writer, but… if Jones’ writing is any indication, it’s no wonder Moreau gets away with his comments from last night. Penalty killing absolutely sucked (again). Thing is, if you don’t remember obvious things like who scored and when, what are the chances you remember the lousy PK? So when Moreau is asked about a rough night for special teams…and Moreau points directly at the PP unit for falling short…well, you’d buy it. Hook, line, and sinker. Moreau’s comments were completely out of line, especially for a captain. But no one calls him on it.

  49. Mr DeBakey says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t Nilsson injured?

    Is he? There was no report of that when he was HS’ed

    He’s shown as day-to-day on the website

  50. Coach pb9617 says:

    you deal pou cause he’s never going to be a regular. He doesn’t bring a physical game, isn’t good enough in his own zone to be our shut down centre, and isn’t offensive enough to play on our top 2 lines. no place for him, move him.

    Bollocks. He acquitted himself well through the year, especially given that he played on three different lines over two different positions and multiple roles.

    Pouliot’s underliers are as good as Cogliano’s.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    I like Terry Jones.

    Sure, he’s a fat drunken hack, but then again most journalists his age are, other than the fat part.

    What I respect about Terry Jones is, he was around to have seen the entire Oilers franchise. Like it or not, he’s our Red Fisher.

    As for him not calling out MacT and Moreau, I very much doubt if Jones gives a piece of shit about either of the pair. At this late stage in his career, Jones is more or less going through the motions. From time to time, he will write something interesting, but not too much.

    Where on the other hand, is that young dynamic firebrand, calling out all and sundry, for being a POS team, and franchise for the past 20 odd years?

    He’s all of us, residing in blogland, lol.

    We know some of the players, the younger ones read this. We also know that some of the stuff they read helps them to understand just what a fucktard franchise that they’re making a fortune in.

  52. Smytty777 says:

    As I am now fully in “next year” mode. What are the odds Linus Omark has any impact next year? Third in SEL scoring this year, retarded shootout goal the other night.

    One more high skilled, small forward anyone?

  53. Scott says:

    I think that the “Roli is tired” narrative is overdone. Over his last ten games I’d say that Roli has provided averageish goaltending with some very good performances (against Anaheim and St. Louis), a couple of lousy ones (The last two games) and a whole lot in between.

    I say the Oilers win four in a row and then against Calgary, if we win we make the playoffs, if they win they win the division. Come on, Battle of Alberta!

  54. LittleFury says:

    As for him not calling out MacT and Moreau, I very much doubt if Jones gives a piece of shit about either of the pair.

    Nonsense. Terry Jones has always been a rather pathetic fart catcher who wants desperately to be “one of the boys” (see his fawning over El Capitan and his fellating of the EIG). Lots of sports journos fit that bill.

  55. Coach pb9617 says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh man! He said that worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd!

  56. hunter1909 says:

    Lets see:

    Linus Omark
    Andrew Cogliano
    Sam Gagner
    Rob Schremp
    Jordan Eberle
    Nilsson

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  57. Schitzo says:

    Well, I was at the game last night and finally have a chance to comment.

    First of all, the fans can smell bullshit from a mile away. I can’t count the number of times the Oilers would be getting hemmed in and someone would shout “come on guys, this is OUR fault. Cheer harder!”

    I wish they would have gone out with a 4-1 whimper instead of all these other dramatics, because it’s overshadowed the same unbelievable problem as before – 54 minutes of slacking, 6 minutes of effort.

  58. hunter1909 says:

    Odd. You type “Oilers” on Youtube and you get the 2006 anthem being sung, with the most famous bunch of fans in hockey.

    Yet the 2008-09 Oilers blame the fans, for the fact they blow chunks.

    Extraordinary.

  59. Bruce says:

    Jim Matheson is our Red Fisher. Terry Jones is our Kitty Kelly, with a dash of Eklund minus the credibility. The Worst sports journalist in the city … and that is saying a mouthful.

  60. Traktor says:

    Hey look kids! Shawn Horcoff is exactly what I thought he is! And there’s Parliament!

  61. spOILer says:

    I imagine Traktor’s been saving that one up.

    Well contrary to all the April Fools text messages I received this morning, apparently MacT still has a job.

    My sister reports he ran this morning’s practice.

    Of course, that was after I forwarded the April Fools “MacT Fired!” on to her cell phone.

    Any reason not to play JDD rest of the way after they fail again tomorrow night?

  62. pboy says:

    This new propaganda from the Oiler’s organization might the most ridiculous thing they’ve tried so far this season. Why don’t these guys give the people something to cheer for? How about playing with effort for 60 whole minutes? No one was booing JFJ or Stortini last night because those guys were visibly working their asses off. Maybe put a product on the ice that captures the imagination of the fanbase and you won’t have to beg for people to stop booing and start cheering again. This whole organization is looking dumber and dumber as the season goes on. Where exactly is Katz in all of this?

  63. Traktor says:

    “Any reason not to play JDD rest of the way after they fail again tomorrow night?”

    If he plays well the coach will look like (even more of) an idiot.

  64. HBomb says:

    Hey look kids! Shawn Horcoff is exactly what I thought he is! And there’s Parliament!

    So what’s that exactly?

    A very capable top-two line tough minutes outscoring center, who’s having an “down” season offensively, but has met or exceeded expectations in every other facet of the game?

    A guy asked to do way too much in terms of difficult matchups and defensive zone draws, due to the fact he is the only “veteran” center on the team who the coach trusts?

    A player who is suffering statistically (at least in terms of boxcars) because his coach is a stubborn idiot who refuses to play his best possible line combination together as a unit out of pure spite for one Dustin Penner, thus removing one of the Oilers best available tools for helping to win hockey games?

    Yes, he is all of those things. If you use Vic’s handy-dandy tool for looking at individual Corsi numbers and the like, you will see that Horcoff is still solidly in the black in spite of having issues in terms of personal offensive production and having to face the other team’s best night after night.

    Part of the solution. Not part of the problem. Thanks for helping clarify that for us Traktor.

  65. Traktor says:

    “Horcoff is part of the solution.”

    Keep telling yourself that.

    You and others will eventually see the light – just like you have with MacTavish.

  66. oilerdago says:

    Of all the problems this team has (and they have been well chronicled on this site), the issues w/Horcoff should be way down the list.

    Yes, in terms of boxcars he’s having an off-season but look at how he’s been used/mis-used this season and it’s understandable.

    Blame the GM (previous) for not giving him any other vetran help at the pivot and wearing him out. Blame the coach for being vindictive in not skating his best line together (Horpensky) and hurting the team to make his point – fine. In the end, all that’s doing is costing him his job.

    But get off it w/Horcoff.

  67. HBomb says:

    Traktor: Explain how Horcoff is the problem with this team. Go ahead, enlighten us all!

    If you can’t see that this guy is a damn good two way player that any team would love to have (and not some dime a dozen hack, as you seem to think) despite the fact he didn’t have anywhere close to his best offensive season, you really need to pay better attention.

  68. Coach pb9617 says:

    Yes, he is all of those things. If you use Vic’s handy-dandy tool for looking at individual Corsi numbers and the like, you will see that Horcoff is still solidly in the black in spite of having issues in terms of personal offensive production and having to face the other team’s best night after night.

    He also leads the league in defensive zone starts, both in number and percentage for centers.

  69. chartleys says:

    DBO:

    You talk of dealing poo, because he’s not physical enough…

    And you talk about picking up reasoner???

    If someone believed it was their job to define roles for players on a team, Pouliot is a younger and cheaper Reasoner.

    I’m sure if someone would have slotted him in as the #3 center and let him understand that he won’t be PB’d if he has a bad game.

    If only teams had someone like that around……

  70. Lord Bob says:

    Shawn Horcoff buys Dustin Penner pork chops and tells Ethan Moreau “this team would be awesome if we were all like you.”

    Shawn Horcoff keeps talking about how Cogliano is the next Doug Jarvis whenever MacTavish is walking by.

    Shawn Horcoff told Kevin Lowe that Joffrey Lupul makes a young Jari Kurri look like today’s largely round Jari Kurri.

    Shawn Horcoff convinced Major League Baseball that Jeffrey Loria would do great things for the Expos.

    Shawn Horcoff singlehandedly moored all the battleships at Pearl Harbour.

  71. Traktor says:

    “He also leads the league in defensive zone starts, both in number and percentage for centers.”

    He also ranks 15th among centers in total PP time.

    More PP time than Datsyuk. More than Thornton. More than Savard. More than Ricahrds. More than Carter.

    Sure Horcoff takes a ton of draws but the last time I checked he was only averaging 1 more defensive draw per game than offensive (that was 5 or 6 weeks ago.)

  72. Peeeete. says:

    The Horcoff-bashing is totally ridiculous, stupid and wrong, BUT…

    The use of weaselly terms like “issues in terms of personal offensive production” and “(offensive/boxcar)off-year” makes pro-Horcoff posts sound like apologia, and weakens an otherwise totally valid argument.

    Why not just admit he’s producing like crap (2G/18GM, right?), in so many words, then continue to point out the many valid reasons why?

    He’s an excellent player, but he’s been mis/over-used, thus looks like a plugger.

  73. Dennis says:

    Three things:

    1. it’s the smallest of matters but I thought 22 looked like a real player last night. He was making nice dumps to 46′s wing and making little passes down low and the game had finally slowed down for him.

    2. the contract for 10 is gonna be a big pile of shit if he keeps getting hurt. I watched that guy grow up and I’ve been rooting for him since him and Comrie were side-by-side but the guy was banged up in ’07, he missed 30 odd games in ’08 and now there’s no fucking question he’s beat up again in ’09. The latter still hasn’t been confirmed but if my hunch is right, that’s three years in a row where he’s been beat up.

    That’s not the kind of guy you want locked up longterm.

    3: did last night finally kill off LT?

  74. Traktor says:

    “That’s not the kind of guy you want locked up longterm.”

    Horc has basically zero chance of outperforming his contract so how people think he’s part of the solution I just don’t know.

    Let me know when Horcoff has as many goals as Joel Ward.

  75. Traktor says:

    Media guy: Horcoff is shit. Penner is shit. MacT is shit. You going to do something?

    Kevin Lowe: I’ve been in position many times and I’ve never been more confident that the team will make the playoffs.

  76. Traktor says:

    “We won’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to improving this hockey club.” – Kevin Lowe

    “I’m not in this business to make friends.” – Kevin Lowe

  77. DBO says:

    Chartley’s: On Pouliot. Yeah he should have been given the opportunity, but he wasn’t and at this point who do you sit down for him? I know Reasoner is not physical, but he can win faceoffs, play in his own zone and play the PK. i agree pouliot hasn’t been given a fair chance, but one our our issues was lack of a veteran 3rd line centre, and substituting one kid for another is not the answer. i’m all for playing him there, just don’t bitch next year when we have too many kids playing tough minutes. We need solid veterans to eat up some tough minutes (not painful veterans who cause problems).

    Coach: As for Pouliot as an offensive player. Who on our top 6 do you repalce him with? And would you really choose Pouliot over Cogliano? Cogliano was given no linemates to generate offense and still is one of our top goal scorers. pouliot at best is 8th on our team in terms of talent, and isn’t responsible enough to be the 3rd line center. so you play him out of position, or you deal him to help fill a need.

  78. Scott says:

    Horc has basically zero chance of outperforming his contract so how people think he’s part of the solution I just don’t know.

    For all of the wonderful things that Horcoff does this is probably true. I think that there is a reasonably good chance that he can be an effective outscoring option against top opposition but, since the lockout, it hasn’t been by much (if he is indeed in the black).

    The bigger problems are the overpaid bottom-of-the-roster veterans for sure but Horcoff’s contract will be difficult for him to outperform

  79. Coach pb9617 says:


    Coach: As for Pouliot as an offensive player. Who on our top 6 do you repalce him with? And would you really choose Pouliot over Cogliano? Cogliano was given no linemates to generate offense and still is one of our top goal scorers. pouliot at best is 8th on our team in terms of talent, and isn’t responsible enough to be the 3rd line center. so you play him out of position, or you deal him to help fill a need.

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    O’Sullivan – Gagner – Cogliano
    Vielleux-Brodziak-Pisani
    Jacques – Pouliot – Stortini
    MacIntyre

    Bouwmeester-Gilbert
    Vishnovsky-Grebeshkov
    Klesla-Smid
    Peckham

  80. Scott says:

    Dennis:

    If it’s a recurring back issue (I think that’s what had him out earlier this season for a couple) it could spell big trouble long term.

    And it should still be obvious that having a vet C will get Horcoff going. When we’ve had Peca or Stoll in the 3C slot, Horcoff has excelled.

    He’ll be part of the solution again next year if we get a veteran C (as LT always points out, RH is preferable).

  81. Scott says:

    Does anybody else wonder if Hemsky doesn’t like playing with Penner?
    Or maybe more accurately, really wants to play with his old buddy of the same name?

    Because you’d think at this point (desperation) we’d see Horpensky. I refuse to believe that MacT is still trying to make a point. I mean, Penner is in the top 6 and on the top PP.

  82. Dennis says:

    Scott: there’s no doubt such an addition would help but I”m coming at it from a purely “guy’s hurt every year” angle.

    The decline may have begun.

  83. Bruce says:

    I”m coming at it from a purely “guy’s hurt every year” angle.

    Ales Hemsky:

    2006-07 concussion
    2007-08 bad wrist
    2008-09 concussion + bad wrist

    Uh oh.

  84. Coach pb9617 says:

    You know who’s been healthy for three years in a row?

  85. knighttown says:

    Over the season, I’ve had various systemic complaints. At one point, I felt the Oilers should be called the Edmonton Doppelgangers because they played no perceptible style of hockey. They’d trade chances with Chicago and Buffalo, play a trap versus Minnesota and play hard nosed hockey against Dallas and Anaheim.

    I could get behind any of those styles but I thought the team should pick one and try and force their style onto the other team and not the other way around. You get the system in place and then you can build the roster to match it. This year we had visions of playing the puck possession style of the Red Wings but didn’t have the forwards or maybe more importantly, the coaching, to stick with it.

    If MacTavish stays the roster needs to be overhauled into a hard nosed, dump and chase team. These teams need talent on the first line but the other three lines have to bring the pain.

    My roster overhaul:

    Trade Grebeshkov for James Neal or Steve Ott

    Penner + O’Sullivan + Petry for Kovalchuck and Armstrong

    Sign or trade a prospect (JDD?) for Brendan Witt or Jay McKee

    Eberle for Josh Harding

    Sign Roloson for 1 year

    Kovalchuck-Gagner-Hemsky
    Armstrong-Horcoff-Cogliano
    Neal-Poo-Pisani
    Jacques-Brodziak-Stortini

    Souray-Gilbert
    Vis-Smid
    Staois-Witt
    Peckham-Strudwick

    Roloson
    Harding

  86. Smytty777 says:

    Scott: My vote is Manny Malhotra as the vet 3C. He skates well, kills penalties and is a UFA this year. Career 30 point guy, you would think he would be available for $1.5M range. I can’t see CBJ letting him walk though, although they brought in Vermette so maybe he is expendable.

  87. Dennis says:

    Bruce: that’s fair enough. I’ll give him a little more leeway because he’s young and that means he’ll get over things easier but the concussion problems could be troublesome.

    S77: I imagine it will depend on what the Jackets have coming off the books, Malholtra’s willingness to take a hometown discount and/or if another team blows him out of the water.

    I still think the checking centre’s underrated and don’t get the big paydays but maybe I”m wrong about that.

  88. Coach pb9617 says:

    If MacTavish stays the roster needs to be overhauled into a hard nosed, dump and chase team.

    WTF WHY? To turn a team with a skilled back end and small forwards into a dump and chase team you’d need a full teardown and a couple of years!

    Bruce and I and doogie have at times discussed the stretch and the lob and how the Oilers need to use it and use it now. Overhaul very little in the way of personnel, but overhaul the tactics something fierce.

    The team has small speedy fowards and a skilled defense. Use the bomb, use the lob. It should be the first option every time.

    And for gawd’s sake if it doesn’t work, not to get coachy, but can this team find a way to get the F3 some shots once they are in the zone? i know that everyone wants to get it to the point for THA CANNON! but I’ve never seen a team so completely unable to generate shots from the high slot. The F3 on this team is completely useless.

    Gah. There are no tactics on this team. Try harder. Try more. That’s all there is.

  89. digger says:

    The big difference I see with 22 now vs. how he used to look on NHL ice is that he’s figured out the same thing that Stortini figured out last season…that successfully anticipating where the puck carrier is going to be on the ice and making sure you meet him along the way is a much better use of your icetime than vainly chasing the puck carrier around the ice like a lost puppy.

  90. Traktor says:

    You can take Horcoff off the checking line but you can’t take the checker out of Shawn Horcoff.

    Obviously Horcoff would benefit from someone else taking on the tough minutes.

    The question I have is Horcoff really a great option to exploit softies?

    At his very best under the perfect conditions he’s still realistically only a 70 point player.

    Fighting for 8th as always…

  91. Smytty777 says:

    Dennis: agreed that there are obstacles to signing Malhotra, but I think you can generally get a very useful player for a limited amount of money when talking about a vet 3C.

  92. Dennis says:

    Trak: the guy’s putting up 70 points, that means he’s healthy and he’s likely to be +10-15 and that will be fine.

    My problem is if he’s gonna be hurt every year.

  93. pboy says:

    If MacTavish stays the roster needs to be overhauled into a hard nosed, dump and chase team.

    WTF WHY? To turn a team with a skilled back end and small forwards into a dump and chase team you’d need a full teardown and a couple of years!

    There is clearly a conflict between what type of player's this coach feels comfortable coaching and what type of players the President/GM likes to draft and/or trade for. The disapointment of this season speaks pretty clearly to that and either we need to get a new coach who can work with the style of play these players will succeed with or we get new players who fit the mold that MacT needs. Obviously, it's much easier to get a new coach and that's what most people have been saying for awhile now. I can't see the Oiler's management being so blind that they try to have a dump and chase, grinding coach try and fit the square players into his round hole strategy again.

    DBO: You are right about Pouliot needing to be traded. If MacT comes back, it's pointless to bring back Poo because the kid isn't going to be used in a way which he has a chance to be successful. Same goes for Penner and Nilsson. If MacT is dumped (& I think he's as good as gone) then the new regime might be able to get more out of players like Pouliot and trading him for pennies on the dollar can be avoided.

  94. HBomb says:

    Traktor: Horcoff proved that he can put up 70+ points while taking on the bulk of the tough minutes assignments (see 2005-06, 2007-08 as well). The guy can play power vs. power, come out ahead AND produce offense. Hasn’t happened this year as planned, but that’s how it goes. I’m more concerned about why that happened and what can be done to correct that.

    The problem comes from having to take on not the bulk, but ALL the tough minute assignments. Reasoner was no all-star, and I make the Stoll for Visnovsky swap over and over again, but not having those guys hurt this team as a whole.

  95. knighttown says:

    If MacTavish stays the roster needs to be overhauled into a hard nosed, dump and chase team.

    WTF WHY? To turn a team with a skilled back end and small forwards into a dump and chase team you’d need a full teardown and a couple of years!

    Assuming we keep MacTavish, we need a couple of years as it is. Letting the kids ripen on the vine will NOT let this team compete with the elite before Hemsky’s contract ends.

    Note that this says “If MacTavish stays”. If someone comes in that will take the reins off than we’ve got the makings of a decent team.

    Successes this year:

    -Horpensky can/could play P vs. P and not drown
    -51/33/46 can damn near dominate other teams 4th lines and Montreal game notwithstanding, survive bad match-ups better than most.
    -Fantastic and underrated year from the defensemen. As productive as any unit in the NHL and in the middle of the pack for GA/G (-special teams)
    -Above average goaltending

    Failures:

    -Nauseating performances from the 2nd and 3rd lines. No 20 goal scorers, no physical play and heavily outchanced. Forwards 4-9 cost this team a chance to compete.
    -Special teams. Near NHL worst PP and PK.
    -No backup goalie.

    My proposal is to leave the top line as an outscoring one but gut the middle 6 forwards and replace Nilsson types with Armstrong types who can play a style that our coach can coach. Replace Penner types (who I like) with Neal types. Grebeshkov types with Witt types.

    Or, fire the coach and bring in someone who can coach offense and special team.

  96. Dennis says:

    You could take this roster for 2010 and bring MacT back and things might be a lot better at EV as kids like 13-89 mature and a guy like 19 actually shows up.

    But there will still be problems with the PK unless we bring in new guys or new guys to coach the current guys.

    But, yes, if you bring back MacT, it’s just as well to move 12, 27, 78.

    12 frustrates the hell out of him so he’s gone; 78 had found a place where he was producing and then he was turfed so he’s gone; MacT has it in for 27 so he’s gone.

  97. spOILer says:

    Coach said “You know who’s been healthy for three years in a row?

    Dustin “The Baconator” Penner?

  98. Traktor says:

    HBomb: I want a team that can start the playoffs at home.

    Can you honestly say that is possible with Shawn Horcoff as the #1 pivot?

    I can’t.

    Obviously he’s put up decent numbers in the past and with a couple tweaks he could probably get there again but there’s only so many ways you can tweak out a SunFire.

  99. jon k says:

    Monster thread. Sorry to join the fray late.

    To be honest I’m not that disappointed with yesterday’s loss. The team’s playoff chances were shot a few games ago so this really doesn’t come as a shock to the system. And really, did anyone expect the team to go 5-2 for the stretch? The team can’t even muster 0.500 at home.

    I think though that the turning point of the season was when Visnovsky was injured. At the time of his injury the team had tackled a substantially difficult part of their season, and secondary scoring still had not materialized. Despite that, they were treading water. Since his injury the team has been a disaster save for one small stretch of wins.

    As for the stick measurement gamble, I don’t think we can really get too angry about that. It was just that a gamble, sometimes you win them and sometimes you lose them. What if the Oilers got the PP and won the game? People would probably be smirking and thinking that Mac has his moments, even though the Oilers likely still wouldn’t make the playoffs.

    Even then, it’s one gaffe among the many of this season. It feels a little short-sighted to be angry about one bad penalty.

    The most disappointing part of last night was that some of the teams were are chasing weren’t able to pull out the wins. I sincerely hope that we see Chorney, Peckham, and JDD down the stretch to get them some ice time. But I know better than that.

    If this team finishes 9th or 10th in the west it might just be enough to shake my faith in the team as a fan.

  100. bookie says:

    Ok, there is no way MacT survives unless they have some magic playoff run.

    Lowe built this team, he bought Penner, he brought up the kids, he dumped Reasoner, and and and… I also think he made some moves he didnt like because MacT wanted them.

    Lowe must feel like he let his brother use his Cabin for the week and the brother wrecked it and pisse off all the neighbours while doing so.

    He could be totally wrong and perhaps this team sucks and is uncoachable, BUT given that most people see themselves in a pretty positive light, he has to think that MacT has blown it. I say that the logic of the situation has one of them being the fall guy and given that the power is in Lowe’s hands…then I suspect its his time.

  101. bookie says:

    Does anybody else wonder if Hemsky doesn’t like playing with Penner?

    I do think that he has played a role in that decision, but I dont know.

  102. Rod says:

    Couple points…

    - why trade Penner now? MacT has essentially scapegoated him for everything this year, so the market value can’t be very good. Plus, the Oilers have just paid for two “developmental” years in the contract. The two years he was least likely to cover the contract. Not saying he’ll cover it in the middle year of the deal next year either…but what’s the sense in bailing after the first two? Why give another team the better “value” years of the contract after paying for that development?

    - The concern over Horcoff covering his contract next year is a little misplaced. Yeah, the cap hit jumps, but it’s not really a severe jump: 3.6 to 5.5 (33 million over 6 years). Big raise, but nothing that can’t be covered. If, and only if, they get some veteran C help. All the PP time Traktor mentions only helps a player put up numbers if the guy isn’t worn down to a nub. Get Horcoff some help for dzone draws, and Horc can cover the deserved increase.

    BTW Traktor, you do realize the cap hits for all the guys you mentioned are far north of Horcoff this season, right? Even with the raise next year, Horcoff is still a smaller cap hit than most of them:
    Thornton — 7.2 cap hit
    Datsyuk — 6.7 cap hit (on what is universally described as a sweetheart deal for Detroit)
    Savard — 5.0 cap hit (only one of the bunch that’s a bargain, but his deal is up after next season…so chances are pretty good he’ll leapfrog Horcoff after only one season)
    Richards — 7.8 cap hit (great example of an overpay BTW)
    Carter — 5.0 cap hit (another bargain, though not many 23 year olds are getting 5.0)

    Your point is that those guys have good PP production despite fewer PP minutes than Horcoff. Well, there’s a couple other differences:
    - none of them had to play on a MacT PP
    - none of them had the overall responsibilities that Horcoff does (especially dzone draws). Meaning all of them have far more left in the tank when their PP time comes around.
    - none of them had a coach with a blindspot the size of 27 (PP produces at a better clip with 27, but he was kept off the unit for big chunks of the season). You can’t complain and complain about MacT without acknowledging the impact on 10 for playing under less than ideal conditions. The spat with Penner clearly affected Horcoff’s numbers.

    You seem to think that getting a C to take some of the load is just tweaking things for Horcoff. Not at all. It’s a huge difference. For an example of the impact, take a look at 07/08Stoll and 08/09Stoll. Stoll’s numbers last year were partly because of role, and partly because of system. Now, consider that 08/09Horcoff was asked to be *both* 07/08Horcoff and 07/08Stoll. The only result of such a task is lower EV/60, PPP/60, and a tired, tired hockey player.

    Whether changing the coach would pump Horcoff’s numbers the same way it did for Stoll remains to be seen. Getting someone to be 07/08Stoll would be a huge help though.

    Obviously Horcoff will have a tougher time covering the bigger contract–it is bigger after all–but the number isn’t that huge. Frankly, given KLowe’s penchant for overpaying after a good run, I’d be more worried about an overpay for Roloson next year. The guy’s been great, but the bottom has to fall out some time. There’s a lot of good goalies around for cheaper. No need to pay big money to a 40 year old. Especially if it entails a two year deal.

    Top flight centres that outscore the opposition, no matter how difficult? Good luck finding better value.

  103. HBomb says:

    Traktor: if you want to find an upgrade, that’s great, but find me one of the “elite 18″ that’s available via trade for a cost that doesn’t gut this team.

    This team’s best hope is to count on Gagner’s development such that he’s the 1A and Horcoff’s the 1B playing more of a matchup game on the second line. If there’s an upgrade out there to be made, I think it’s a lot more realistic they go out and find a 1LW upgrade over Penner.

    That’s the biggest issue – these “true” number 1 centers that are spoken of like some mythical beast, going and trading for one of those guys is damn near impossible. And normally you only draft them in the top ten of the first round.

    Shoulda picked Getzlaf….

  104. Rod says:

    jon k said:
    As for the stick measurement gamble, I don’t think we can really get too angry about that. It was just that a gamble, sometimes you win them and sometimes you lose them. What if the Oilers got the PP and won the game? People would probably be smirking and thinking that Mac has his moments, even though the Oilers likely still wouldn’t make the playoffs.
    —–
    Well, we clearly disagree on that. To me, it wasn’t a gamble worth taking. Reward just wasn’t worth the risk. Period. A chance at a PP vs. blowing the whistle on an L after only 58 minutes. Why make such a bad bet?

    When the measurement was going on, I was ticked off and thought that even if it worked, it was a horrible call. Just drop the puck, forecheck, and take your chances. Hiller looked like he was a little on edge, but we essentially called a time out to calm him down. Dumb. For a few seconds it looked like MacT was right (they appeared to be keeping the stick in the penalty box), and I was still ticked at his dumb call. Couldn’t see how it was worth the risk.

    Even if Selanne has an illegal stick, the chances have to be minuscule that he’s still using it when the Ducks enter the 3rd period with a 3 goal lead? The Ducks clearly weren’t interested in pushing the offense in the 3rd, so that stick–even if he has one–is not on the ice for the entire 3rd period, never mind with 2 minutes left. In other words, a bad bet.

    There’s simply no justification for the call MacTavish made. Even if it resulted in a PP it was a bad tactical decision. Reward wasn’t worth the risk (and the guaranteed timeout).

  105. kris says:

    Nice post Rod. How do you have the patience?

  106. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    still no one talks of moving hemmer…

    he is a great contract, and a really good player. but he isn’t any more than that. he is a player you might pick in your fantasy draft, that is not enought to build on. and his whine about needing to feel important, and then to follow that up with multiple “give up” moments in this very important stretch…he is not getting better, he does not want to have any players on the team that are better than him, and his value is high. Move him. get Horton or someone of that level. Similar contract, big, young and likes to score. Then get a vet power forward (cole, will you please come back) and the vet center to let horcoff play like he can play.

    i don’t think this is out of reach. our defense is fantastic, and goalies are available for cheap. if we pay 6 mil for 2 vet goalies, or 2.5 and run with the vet and jdd, we are doing well in the back end.

    mact please go. my biggest fear is that lowe will end up back behind the bench trying to prove his player moves were good. please god no…

  107. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    “Traktor: if you want to find an upgrade, that’s great, but find me one of the “elite 18″ that’s available via trade for a cost that doesn’t gut this team.

    That’s the biggest issue – these “true” number 1 centers that are spoken of like some mythical beast, going and trading for one of those guys is damn near impossible. And normally you only draft them in the top ten of the first round.”

    You seem to believe it’s impossible to get a scoring centre to complement Horcoff when two other teams in our division have accomplished that very thing this season in Jokinen and Sundin and neither team had to “gut their roster” to accomplish it.

    Others than have changed addresses in the past few years include Thornton, Savard, Ribiero and Richards.

  108. Schitzo says:

    At his very best under the perfect conditions he’s still realistically only a 70 point player.

    As of right now, there are 18 centres at 65 points or above, and a half-dozen games left to play.

    I understand what you’re saying, it would be nice to have a 100 point centre. But unless Datsyuk goes on a tear, there are only going to be two this year.

  109. Rod says:

    kris said…
    Nice post Rod. How do you have the patience?

    Thanks. I presume that’s in reference to my post about Horcoff’s raise to a 5.5 million cap hit next season. I don’t know that I’ve got a lot of patience for the anti-Horcoff crowd… No question though, I can get going on a topic. Especially in front of a keyboard. :-)

  110. jon k says:

    Rod: Selanne has been hit with the same call late in a game before by Wilson of the Sharks, so there was previous reason to believe that the gamble would pay off.

    Also, the greater point is that I think it’s shortsighted to blame MacT for one bad penalty in the context of this season. Really, who cares? How many bad penalties have hurt this team this season? How many bad penalties hurt the team earlier in that same game?

  111. Scarlett says:

    Jon, I would go the other way on that. Selanne has been caught before so I would bet he’s more careful about using an illegal stick in the third period or he’d switch sticks late in a game.

  112. Black Dog says:

    Poor LT – in three years I can’t remember a day without a post

    They’ve broken his spirit the bastards!

  113. oilerdago says:

    LT come back!

  114. Rod says:

    jon k. said:
    Rod: Selanne has been hit with the same call late in a game before by Wilson of the Sharks, so there was previous reason to believe that the gamble would pay off.
    —–
    Right…ok, let’s go with that kind of logic. There’s the case of the Oilers roaring back from a 3-0 deficit with 3 minutes remaining to beat Dallas in a playoff game. Without calling for stick measurement, the Oilers managed to come back in a game they were further out of than last night vs. the Ducks. So there’s a previous reason to believe the gamble was not necessary. That it was more appropriate to let the players decide it on the ice, rather than taking the chance away from them. What’s that? That Dallas game doesn’t prove anything? I know. Neither does the previous call on Selanne by Wilson. Why? Well…
    Scarlet said:
    Selanne has been caught before so I would bet he’s more careful about using an illegal stick in the third period or he’d switch sticks late in a game.
    —-
    Exactly. Which means it was a stupid bet to make.

  115. HBomb says:

    You seem to believe it’s impossible to get a scoring centre to complement Horcoff when two other teams in our division have accomplished that very thing this season in Jokinen and Sundin and neither team had to “gut their roster” to accomplish it.

    Others than have changed addresses in the past few years include Thornton, Savard, Ribiero and Richards.

    What you’re suggesting, FCM, makes more sense. A guy like Jokinen, IMO, is not someone you swap straight out for Horcoff – I’m not convinced the guy is a power-vs-power two-way forward.

    What he is, however, is uber-talented. You could put him with Hemsky and obliterate the soft, using Horcoff as your 2nd line center to match against other team’s heavies.

    If the Oilers were closer to contending, giving up say Cogliano and a 1st for Jokinen might have made sense. But given where the Oilers are in the cycle, that doesn’t make sense. The other thing to consider is that the cap space right now probably doesn’t allow for this unless you dump Penner or both of Staios/Moreau.

    Some interesting names you bring up:

    Sundin: on a one year deal, like Jagr, not a bad idea if you’ve got the cap space. The Oilers don’t.

    Ribeiro: massively overrated, and a weasel on top of it. Rode the shooting percentage train last season. There’s no way I take this guy on my team, period. He’s got a Corey Perry-type smell to him.

    Savard: two years ago, he’d have rated slightly above Ribeiro. He’s the ultimate late bloomer and has turned himself into a complete player and elite playmaker (his emergence makes up for the stupid Thornton trade). His contract right now is a bargain and he is going to get paid on July 1/2010.

    Thornton: part of the super-elite. Some whispers during summer 2005 had him possibly available, and I was hoping the Oilers would pitch Smyth for him at the time (and I am a Smyth fan, still am). What Boston did, giving up one of the five best centers in hockey for what they did, well, no wonder that Mike O’Connell is hanging out with Doug MacLean these days.

    Richards: a bloated contract I’d have been glad to take on, to be honest. Always have been a fan of this guy, and having him and Horcoff as a 1/2 punch down the middle was something I was hoping the Oilers were pursuing last season. And, from what I was told, they did try.

    Bottom line though, unless they move salary (and convert one or both of Gagner/Cogliano to wing), the idea of bringing in a complementary centre is not feasible. Given their spot in the cycle, I’d rather they roll with Horcoff/Gagner and try to upgrade the LW spot on the first line than massively overpay to land Vincent Lecavalier.

  116. Rod says:

    Black Dog said…
    Poor LT – in three years I can’t remember a day without a post

    They’ve broken his spirit the bastards!
    —-
    Are the Blue Jackets playing tonight? That could explain it… Nope. Hmm. LT, are ya there?

  117. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ hbomb.

    You’re leaping to extremes again with Vinny when someone like Jokinen would work just fine..

    “What he is, however, is uber-talented. You could put him with Hemsky and obliterate the soft, using Horcoff as your 2nd line center to match against other team’s heavies.”

    There you go.

    I’d be all over trying to pry Staal out of Pittsburgh since he’s stuck behind Sid and Malkin.

    Pittsburgh needs wingers and another puck moving defenseman and might bite on Nilsson and Gilbert.

    I’d do that in a heartbeat.

  118. Coach pb9617 says:

    They need wingers, but Gonchar, Letang and Goligoski are fine on the back end for puck movers.

  119. HBomb says:

    FCM: Staal’s an interesting option. I wouldn’t do Gilbert plus Nilsson, but I would offer Cogliano straight across.

    Hell, even Gagner straight across I’d consider.

    Jokinen would do just fine, and if he had three years left beyond this one instead of one, I’d have been very much hoping the Oilers were in on the bidding for him. But if they had to give up a good young player plus a 1st for 1.25 years of a soft minute-muncher, well, the Oilers window to win probably doesn’t start before the end of next season.

    Given where the teams are, it made much more sense for Calgary to do what they did (especially considering they’ve got Langkow and Conroy to provide “shelter” for the big Finn) than for the Oilers to do a similar deal.

    Right now, the Oilers best play next year, in my mind, is this:

    - they’ve given Cogliano a tough-minutes introduction as a center, but he’s having issues with faceoff duties. He’s the 2nd line RW in my mind. Play him and Horcoff together.

    - Hemsky and Gagner should be given secondary toughs and the opportunity to chew those up. O’Sullivan as a finisher on LW there makes sense.

    - Either Penner plays LW with Horcoff and Cogliano, or you try to upgrade to a Frolov, Michalek, or Simon Gagne.

    - IF you can get Kovalchuk, the cadillac solution for what this club needs at forward….well, all bets are off, right? You’d have to play him and Hemsky together if he was available.

  120. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    FCM: Staal’s an interesting option. I wouldn’t do Gilbert plus Nilsson, but I would offer Cogliano straight across.

    I doubt Cogliano alone would get that done but, since Nilsson seems destined for a new address anyway…?

  121. Dennis says:

    Did Stan Weir kidnap Lain?:)

    In all seriousness, I hope all his family’s OK because with so much going on, it’s not like the guy not to chime in.

  122. HBomb says:

    I doubt Cogliano alone would get that done but, since Nilsson seems destined for a new address anyway…?

    Penner Horcoff Gagner
    O’Sullivan Staal Hemsky

    Or some variation on that.

    The concern is Cogliano scoring 40 goals or Nilsson becoming an 80 point center in Pittsburgh playing with Crosby or Malkin, but if Staal and Horcoff become one of the better 1/2 punches at center in the league, does anyone care?

    Pittsburgh needs wingers that are relatively cheap, the Oilers could use size at center, and someone who can win faceoffs. FCM, you might be onto something here.

  123. Traktor says:

    “Ribeiro: massively overrated, and a weasel on top of it. Rode the shooting percentage train last season.”

    Ribeiro has more assists than Horcoff has points.

  124. Matt says:

    You seem to believe it’s impossible to get a scoring centre to complement Horcoff when two other teams in our division have accomplished that very thing this season in Jokinen and Sundin and neither team had to “gut their roster” to accomplish it.

    Yeah, I’m a Flames fan, and though I’ve seen a lot less of Olli than I have of Horcoff, there’s not much doubt that the Oilers’ Langkow is the better overall player — kinda like the Flames’ Langkow, aka the actual Langkow, is the better player.

    The “mythical beast” take is a good phrase re: a *true* #1 centre. They don’t grow on trees — they probably number in the mid- single digits in the league — and someone like Horcoff really is the next best thing.

    The Oilers’ biggest (as opposed to only) problem this season is that they aren’t good enough to be a certain playoff team. Not enough good players who will be successful almost regardless of situation; too many who need this elusive perfect coaching.

    Face it folks: if someone isn’t performing well because he’s not on his preferred wing, he’s not *that* good. If your team misses Marty Reasoner that much, it means you’re not that talented. Or at least, that talent doesn’t mean what you think it means, in the context of playing winning hockey. If you’re paying 3 D-men over $4M/yr and still suffer from the lack of the proverbial steadying influence back there, your D-men are probably overpaid as a whole.

    Etcetera. And there’s only so much a coach can do. The team isn’t good enough.

  125. Lord Bob says:

    Lowetide’s only so quiet because he’s about to be named Oilers coach.

  126. Traktor says:

    @rod

    “the concern over Horcoff covering his contract next year is a little misplaced.”

    It was actually whether or not Horcoff can outperform his contract and I still think the chances are zero.

    “Yeah, the cap hit jumps, but it’s not really a severe jump: 3.6 to 5.5″

    It’s not even that he’s overpaid because an argument can be made that some team would give him the money in the summer as a free agent. The problem is when Horcoff gets 5.5 it all but guarantees that he’s your 1st line center. When that happens it’s all but guaranteed that you’re a bubble team.

    Or is there some kind of evidence that suggests this team is something other than a fringe team with Horcoff as the top guy?

    Has a team ever won the cup as an 8th seeded team?

    “All the PP time Traktor mentions only helps a player put up numbers if the guy isn’t worn down to a nub”

    Shawn Horcoff isn’t good enough to handle the minutes he is playing. Gotcha.

    “Get Horcoff some help for dzone draws, and Horc can cover the deserved increase.”

    2006/2007 suggests otherwise.

    “Your point is that those guys have good PP production despite fewer PP minutes than Horcoff.”

    Actually that wasn’t my point. The reason I noted that Horcoff has played the 15th most PP time amongst centers (and more than Datsyuk, Thornton ect) is because some would lead you to believe that Horcoff never had a chance of success this year. I’m just showing that it hasn’t all been bad.

    Cogliano has played with amateurs like Pouliot and washed up clowns like Moreau all year and he receives minimal PP time and he still has more goals than Horc. That’s not good enough.

    “You seem to think that getting a C to take some of the load is just tweaking things for Horcoff.”

    And you seem to think because Horcoff takes 1000 draws that he can no longer make a play on the PP.

    “Take a look at 07/08Stoll and 08/09Stoll.”

    Take a look at Cole, Lupul, Pitkanen, and Penner on Edmonton and their previous or currant teams.

    I’m not surprised Stoll and Greene have found success under a new coach. That seems to be the trend.

    “Top flight centres that outscore the opposition, no matter how difficult? Good luck finding better value.”

    Horcoff has zero chance of outperforming his contract so to suggest that a better value would be hard to find is ridiculous.

  127. doritogrande says:

    I’m going off the off-topic discussions here, but the Saskatchewan Blades lost tonight to the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Someone better be on the phone getting Milan Kytnar an ATO-contract on the double. A single point shy of PPG for the Blades this season, and 3-1-4 in the seven game playoff season. Not bad for a defense-first Center. With his size, defensive acumen and ability to put puck in net, three guesses as to which Oiler center he reminds me of. Winner gets a shiny penny*.

    Eberle held pointless for the first time as a professional tonight. 1-2-3 +1 in 4 games so far.

    Also, was anyone else waiting for LT’s 4th Annual “April Fool’s Day” post?

    *Disclaimer: Penny is imaginary, monetary value 1/100th of a cent.

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  129. Garnet says:

    We’re all of four points ahead of the Leafs. Who have no goaltender and aren’t actually trying.

  130. HBomb says:

    Or is there some kind of evidence that suggests this team is something other than a fringe team with Horcoff as the top guy?

    Yeah. It’s called 2005-06. I seem to remember that team doing OK.

    Ribeiro has more assists than Horcoff has points.

    And I still take Horcoff every day of the week, being the better overall player.

  131. kris says:

    Trolltor:

    Would you have rather let Horcoff walk away and sign with another team for, let’s say, 4.75 million? Do you think he wouldn’t get that much on the open market? (If so, you’re not paying attention to the market.) True, we could try and replace him via free agency, but look how well free agency has worked for us in the past.

    I get tired of people having this discussion with you because you’re only able to argue that Horcoff isn’t an elite offensive player, but we all know that anyway. You proceed as if we all foolishly think Horcoff is Wayne Gretzky and you’re the only one who can see how dumb we all are.

    So I’ll say it one more time: Horcoff is an excellent center. In fact, he was the first line center on a team that would’ve won the cup if it’s goalie hadn’t been injured.

    Moreover, his deal is not an overpay if he can average 20 goals and 60 points while being a top notch defensive PVP player who kills penalties. Even though he’s had a bad year this year, he’s still likely to cover that bet. It’s not an underpay by any means, but it’s not a bad contract.

    You’re right that Horcoff’s production is shit this year, but all our forwards are struggling.

    So why single out Horc? Did he pee on your cornflakes? Why not play the same game with Hemsky? You could say “How can a team be in the top 10 in the league with a winger who can’t score 25 goals? We need a first line right winger. Hemsky is no Zetterberg. Blah Blah Blah.”

    This is all I’ll say.

  132. HBomb says:

    It was actually whether or not Horcoff can outperform his contract and I still think the chances are zero.

    Define “outperforming”. If he gets back to the 70 point level and continues to outscore playing the toughs, I’d say he might not be outperforming, but earning his dollars (i.e. covering the bet). Not a lot of guys “outperform” contracts north of 5 million per season, save a Datsyuk here and there. More money, higher bar, less room to wow everyone by providing crazy value a la Zetterberg or Hemsky.

    It’s not even that he’s overpaid because an argument can be made that some team would give him the money in the summer as a free agent. The problem is when Horcoff gets 5.5 it all but guarantees that he’s your 1st line center. When that happens it’s all but guaranteed that you’re a bubble team.

    Or is there some kind of evidence that suggests this team is something other than a fringe team with Horcoff as the top guy?

    Once again, to restate – 2005-06. The Oilers that year did pretty well with Horcoff as 1C, mostly becuase they had depth in a lot of places. Especially centre (Horcoff taking the toughs backed by Peca, with Stoll playing softer opp).

    Shawn Horcoff isn’t good enough to handle the minutes he is playing. Gotcha.

    He’s good enough to do it, as his EV+/- suggests. But SHOULD he be doing it? How much offense has been sacrificed in the name of him taking extra defensive assignments? The answer is probably “some”.

    2006/2007 suggests otherwise.

    They didn’t have Peca and they lost Stoll, who wasn’t really playing tough matchups until right before his injury. 2006-07 would be very similar to this year in many ways in terms of Horcoff’s workload. It was also on a much worse overall hockey team than this one.

    Actually that wasn’t my point. The reason I noted that Horcoff has played the 15th most PP time amongst centers (and more than Datsyuk, Thornton ect) is because some would lead you to believe that Horcoff never had a chance of success this year. I’m just showing that it hasn’t all been bad.

    So he’s played lots of PP minutes for a team that’s sucked on the man advantage for years (i.e. has had an obvious systemic problem that stems from coaching and strategy). I refuse to point fingers at any individual player for the lack of Oiler power-play production. You cannot make chicken salad out of…feathers.

    Cogliano has played with amateurs like Pouliot and washed up clowns like Moreau all year and he receives minimal PP time and he still has more goals than Horc. That’s not good enough.

    He’s also playing softer opposition than Horcoff, without question. But it’s goot to see him producing – you can only do what you can with the minutes you play. Now if the clown behind the bench could only see he’s probably better off as the 2RW on this team, it might help matters.

    Take a look at Cole, Lupul, Pitkanen, and Penner on Edmonton and their previous or currant teams.

    I’m not surprised Stoll and Greene have found success under a new coach. That seems to be the trend.

    No argument here. Even though there’s certain players on that list I wouldn’t take back in a thousand years (Lupul), the fact they all go elsewhere and do better is something worth paying attention to.

    Horcoff has zero chance of outperforming his contract so to suggest that a better value would be hard to find is ridiculous.

    To say he’s got “zero chance” of outperforming is a ridiculous statement. And he could very well not outperform but at least live up to it, by playing the toughs and getting back to the 70-75 point level. It’s not a stretch by any means to belive or expect that.

    Yes, you can find better value, but are teams willing to trade it to you? How much is it going to cost (in terms of player assets and salary) to find an equivalent or better option to replace Horcoff? You go the UFA route, you’re paying at least 6 million a season for an equivalent (even with the cap dropping, those top end guys are still going to get paid).

    Quoting for truth: Horcoff’s part of the solution, not the problem.

  133. jon k says:

    Rod: I think there’s greater logic in the assumption that a hockey player who has scored over 500+ goals, including success very early on, is more likely to stick with something as important as a stick measurement.

    And you’re still missing the point anyway. You’re picking up the straw that broke the camel’s back and cursing the gods. I’m saying there’s no point in getting mad over a single piece of straw and ignoring the rest of the pile.

    Further, your argument seems to assume that the Oilers’ come back at even strength was somehow a foregone conclusion. Obviously, the anecdotal evidence of a previous come back is useless. A team has a better chance of scoring on the PP than at EV, period. MacT decided to roll the dice and lost. Get over it.

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