Oilers at Ducks, G75/08-09

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  1. HBomb says:

    Interesting photo. Perhaps the “high water mark” for this franchise was in the period when that goal was scored.

    Up 3-0 game one of the Cup finals, cruising along…

    There have been highlights and positives since then (games 5 and 6, drafting Gagner, the emergence of Gilbert, the Visnovsky trade, the Hemsky contract), but damn, it’s been quite the decline since then.

    Question is, whereabouts is this team – still on a downslope or finally on the upswing again?

  2. HBomb says:

    And when I say “high water mark”, I’m referring to the Oilers post-2000.

  3. Lowetide says:

    HBomb: Yeah, I’d agree with that (high water mark) and certainly for me it was giddy times when Pronger scored.

    The entire thing after that was pure crazy. Trading Pronger for kids is one thing, but trading Pronger and not replacing his minutes (plus the blue UFA’s, remember) meant going way back in terms of experience.

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2007/04/oilers-06-07-defense-clowntime-is-over.html

  4. Black Dog says:

    Death throes, huh?

    Bruce, I know you will drop by at some point. Was checking out the thread from last night and wanted to say that that Tikhnov rebuilding comment was one of the alltime greats. Figured I’d say so here because you might not go back to that thread.

    Trying to forget and all. ;)

  5. Oilman says:

    It’s a “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything” kinda post this morning. Very appropriate!

  6. oilerdago says:

    Well at least we have a chance to get a more skilled player in the draft this June.

    Even I can find something positive after that dreadful performance last nite.

  7. digger says:

    I know this is a quasi-GDT, but Matheson has an interesting article up this morning, with this tidbit regarding the Oilers contact situation:

    The Oilers have 20 contracts coming off the list of 50 signed organizational players, and Prendergast says they will probably re-sign 10 to 12 of them. “We don’t want to be as close to the 50 (maximum allowed). We have enough assets.”

    Any guesses as to who those 10-12 might be?

    Also, KP confirms that Omark does have an offer (termed a ‘big pitch) on the table from an anonymous KHL team, and that “we’re not getting into any bidding wars…”

  8. Lord Bob says:

    Said Prendergast, “we believe that good players should pay us to come to Edmonton.”

  9. rider guy says:

    june 19, 2006 comes full circle. as soon as the game ended last night, the first thing i thought was that the human rake has a chance to stick the knife in one more time. looks like lt was thinking the same thing.

    as for the game, we’ve always had good success against the ducks and continuing the trend of losing when we get some breathing room and winning when we appear dead, i’ll say we pull one out of our a$$es tonight.

    clap, clap.

  10. Coach pb9617 says:

    Will it blend?

  11. Bruce says:

    BDHS: Thanks. It’s actually an old joke, but a new room. Back in the day when Tikhonov was the Adolf Hitler of hockey and a toothbrush moustache away from looking the part, he coached not only the Soviet national team but the most fabled club team, Central Red Army. Let’s just say his squad had drafting privileges which would have made Sam Pollock blush. Every time you’d see the team afresh they would have drafted an entire new line from whatever team into “military service”, which would be two years or until buddy stopped scoring, whichever came first.

  12. Lord Bob says:

    So, guys, Columbus has the day off. But tomorrow they’re in St. Louis for what should be the coup de grace on their first playoff appearance. Let’s go Blue Jackets, let’s go! (thump thump)

    (The Oilers are playing tonight? Sorry, I don’t follow minor hockey.)

  13. hunter1909 says:

    The Ducks have lost their mentor in Burke, Pronger is bored with life, the team lacks direction, and is mired in the hockey no man’s land of Southern California.

    Oilers are technically a team in the rise, MacTavish and his cronies have maybe a handful of games to either prove themselves or else begone forever, and once the team makes the playoffs the fanbase will go as nuts as in 2006, putting the fear of God into the Wings come round 1.

    For these reasons, I predict an Oilers loss.

  14. Swabbubba says:

    The positives from last night. We played well not rewarded as usual.

    They do have bit history on being good on back to backs.

  15. doritogrande says:

    Not sure if I’m posting old news, but Edmonton’s CHL prospect review is up on hockeysfuture.

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/11045/oilers_chl_prospects200809_review/

    In short:

    - More was expected of Eberle
    - Kyntar definitely worth signing to a contract
    - Plante is still an enigma and may or may not be offered a contract
    - Cornet a player of interest if he continues to develop

    Not sure what to think of the new writer, as he doesn’t have Flaming’s pizazz or organizational contacts, but he also doesn’t Prendergest around when it comes to needlessly pimping prospect upside.

  16. George B says:

    Interesting call dorito, does not having the organizational influences in the article mean less pumping up of prospects? I am sure it does. One thing, and I really like Guy, he is also an Oiler fan. When the organizational debates were going on a few years back, I was sure that I saw some Oiler bias.

  17. Traktor says:

    Another guaranteed win tonight. It’s just too easy. I laugh in the face of any God that thinks Edmonton can be stopped.

  18. digger says:

    In terms of a nutritional equivalent, this CHL review was like eating a rice cake. Guy’s organizational reviews were like devouring a pizza pop…maybe not as good for you, but far more pleasurable.

    IMO there’s room for both in this world. :)

  19. Traktor says:

    Has 27-10-83 been tried out this year?

  20. Scott says:

    Plante will need to be offered a contract if the Oilers want to receive a compensatory pick but if the Oilers give him a minimum offer he’s performed well enough that he’d probably reject it.

    The Oilers have won more than they’ve lost against the Ducks in the last couple of years so that gives me some hope going into tonight. Perhaps last night’s loss in Phoenix will give them some resolve heading into tonight and they’ll be able to come out sharp.

    They’re still in control of their own playoff destiny so last night’s loss isn’t killer in and of itself.

  21. Bruce says:

    I really like what I’ve seen of Kytnar. He impressed in the Golden Bears-Oiler Wannabes game, where I described his play thusly:

    “#64 Milan Kytnar, C: Seemed a lot bigger than the listed 6’0”, 180. Strong in the circle and along the boards. Made good plays to win the puck and then did nothing with it. A project.”

    I saw him on TV with the Blades a few weeks ago and he’d made good progress. Looks like a dependable two-way guy, pays attention to detail, and improving along a very impressive upward slope. He wound up at ~ a point a game, winning team awards for best defensive forward and hardest working player. Sounds like a winner.

    As for Plante, I saw him live on Wednesday as his powerhouse squad brushed aside the game but overmatched Oil Kings. Alex didn’t stand out, which is actually a compliment cuz the whole Hitmen club looked tremendous. In keeping with that observation, the stats listed on the game sheet revealed Plante finished eighth on the squad with a +31 ranking, which you can read either way I guess. He’s got some nice defensive instincts, is good at the one on one and can separate his man from the puck pretty quickly. But he’s a project. In another 3-5 years, if all goes well, he’ll be Matt Greene. :)

    Definitely worth a roster spot IMO. They shouldn’t have to pay a premium; if he goes back in the draft I would guess he’ll likely fall out of the first round, so he should be relatively easy to bargain with. For sure, Oilers must make some sort of offer or they will not get the compensatory pick. The other consideration is that his type of defenceman is in very short supply in Springfield just now. Sign him, put him with Chorney or Wild or Petry for ahwile, see what happens.

  22. Dennis says:

    I think the high water mark was when Moreau made it 3-0. He just threw the puck towards the goal and it caromed off something and went in.

    That picture of Pronger made me think back to just how great that trade was.

    Lupul and the Czeck Pinata, Ladislav Smid.

  23. Schitzo says:

    Also, KP confirms that Omark does have an offer (termed a ‘big pitch) on the table from an anonymous KHL team, and that “we’re not getting into any bidding wars…”

    Well, in all fairness to KP there’s only so much they can do in an entry level SPC to compete with some ridiculous KHL contract.

  24. Quinn says:

    Brilliant posting LT

  25. Kyle says:

    At last there is nothing left to say.

  26. Dennis says:

    I see the new buzzword is “loose” as in how loose teams play when they’re out of the playoffs. Souray broke it out today in the paper but I think he should be more worried about throwing blind backhand passes in the slot but maybe that’s just me.

    Any word if The Executioner -85- comes out for 78?

  27. Phil says:

    As LT said a while back, this year is just one long, slow bleed out under a hot sun. A loss today and the buzzards start pecking.

  28. danny says:

    I remember pimping a deal to swap Pronger for a penguins prospect. They had Sid and 44 would have been a perfect pickup for them.

    Malkin which im convinced we easily coulda had, wasn’t playing in the NHL at that time, so was an unknown commodity somewhat, but I remember saying the guy looked like Joe Thornton with a bit of attitude and a better goal scorer.

    that would have been nice eh?

  29. Bruce says:

    Dennis: Given how 78 did little with his last chance other than to take an Ethanesque slashing penalty and eventually find the pine, I’d say it’s got to be 46′s turn by now.

    I’ll be surprised if Reddox is back in there after the clusterfuck that was last night’s second period for him and his line. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reddox back in there, he’s the closest thing we got to Toby F. Peterson.

  30. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers need to start a punk band:

    Ethan and the Pylons.

  31. Master Lok says:

    anyone know the lineup for tonight? There’s got to be changes right?

  32. hunter1909 says:

    MacT is coaching.

    Bet on it.

  33. jon k says:

    At this point in the season it might be worthwhile to consider some things like scoring rates. Here are the even strength points per 60 minutes for forwards on Edmonton:

    Hemsky 2.07

    Stortini 1.79
    Penner 1.76
    Pouliot 1.71
    Cogliano 1.70
    Gagner 1.70
    O’Sullivan 1.68
    Pisani 1.63
    Moreau 1.60

    Horcoff 1.46
    Reddox 1.46
    Nilsson 1.46
    Kotalik 1.27

    Initial thoughts?

    1) The three players immediately following Hemsky have all either been healthy scratches by the coach or been called out for their “battle level”. Interesting that.

    2) Nilsson is likely done in Edmonton and I’m not particularly sad about it. He’s a player I supported very early on, to the point of coming to harsh words with some (LT). That ended some point this season. My criticism of him is probably different than that of most. His defensive abilities aren’t bad, nor is his effort level by my eye. His main deficiency appears to be a complete lack of strength. He just can’t compete along the boards or in deep with other NHL players.

    3) Horcoff is going to be making a lot of money next year for a player who does not produce like a first rate forward. I’ve long been a supporter of Horcoff, as he has a lot of skills that do not contribute to goals for, but his scoring rates are going to make his contract an albatross unless he rebounds in a big way. Especially when considering that defensively responsible forwards with scoring rates similar to his go for a lot less than $5.5 million.

    To demonstrate that point, let’s look at another team of interest, the Columbus Blue Jackets:

    Nash 2.64
    Voracek 2.59
    Chimera 2.13
    Huselius 2.08
    Williams 2.01
    Torres 1.92

    Umberger 1.78
    Peca 1.72
    Malhotra 1.70
    Modin 1.62
    Vermette 1.50

    Boll 0.92
    Dorsett 0.56

    Two comparisons arise out of this that should be explored.

    1) Horcoff v. Peca

    Horcoff
    EV/60 1.46
    Corsi 0.2
    GFON/60 2.68
    GAON/60 2.44
    Current Cap Hit 3.6
    09/10 Cap Hit 5.5

    Peca
    EV/60 1.72
    Corsi -2.8
    GFON/60 2.36
    GAON/60 2.54
    Current Cap Hit 1.315
    09/10 Cap Hit 1.0 to 2.0 (UFA)

    My point isn’t to be a Horcoff anti-fan, nor is it to advocate for Peca specifically. My point is more that we are currently playing Horcoff to be our top C, and next season we are going to be paying him like one.

    The management made an error in giving him that much money. However ff we had a hard line centre to lighten his load, maybe his numbers would improve. I think some posters here have espoused that view (Bruce?). It may be argued then that management has erred in not procuring that centre, which is probably the most realistic criticism given considerations like the replacing of Horcoff if he had left.

    Either way, Horcoff’s contract makes me very, very nervous for the future at this point.

    2) Gagner v. Voracek

    Gagner
    EV/60 1.70
    Corsi -0.7
    GFON 2.65
    GAON 2.24

    Voracek
    EV/60 2.59
    Corsi 5.0
    GFON 3.40
    GAON 2.27

    I will begin by stating that I was for drafting Gagner from the time we solidified our draft position at 6th overall to the time we announced his name.

    Early returns on a comparison seem to suggest that Voracek is the significantly superior player.

    At this point though I don’t know if I really care about any of this right now. If this team loses tonight I’m cheering for the Blue Jackets until Hitch leads them to death or glory.

  34. jon k says:

    Also as an addendum, last night was the first time this season I thought to myself: “If we lose the majority of our remaining games, I wonder what kind of player we can get at the draft?”

    Hopefully if we do fall out of it we can get within a spot or two of tenth overall.

  35. HBomb says:

    jon k: It’s clear that Horcoff’s having an off-season offensively.

    But I have to ask the question, and I don’t know if anyone can provide the answer, but how much as Horcoff’s scoring rate been driven down by playing extra minutes (i.e. defensive zone faceoffs) where he’s got next to no chance of actually producing points while on the ice?

    Someone did some work on the Horpensky scoring rates when those three play together – maybe that’s a good place to start the discussion if the 2008-09 numbers are available?

    Anyways, he’s not a superstar, but the definition of “first rate forward” is open to debate. Based on the body of work from the past four years including this one, I think he is. If I’m concerned about that contract being an “overpay”, it’s in an order of magnitude lesser than what’s thrown about elsewhere (I was hoping they could get him done for 4.5-5 million long term, so maybe he’s overpaid by 500K…not the “he’s making twice as much as an third line center like he is” overpay that seems to be “common knowledge” elsewhere).

    That’s a horse I’ll gladly bet on bouncing back next year, and in a big way.

  36. quain says:

    Horcoff plays significantly more difficult minutes than Peca, as well as substantially more. Comparing them is a lot like comparing Jarret Stoll in 07-08 to Jarret Stoll in 08-09.

  37. Woodguy says:

    I was pleasantly surprised that Captain Anchor didn’t say in the post-game that they lost because the PP sucks, and that he did his job all night.

    Loved watching Cappy skate in front of Grebs last night and knock the stick out of his hands on the way to the bench.

    Grebs was just skating the puck up the ice, you know, nothing nearly as important as Cappy getting to the bench in a straight line.

    I hope they work that same brilliant PP set up they have been using for a few games. Hemsky on the 1/2 wall, Gagner below the red line in the corner and Penner in front.

    Its important to ignore the entire right side of the ice and only have the point men as shooting options. Why spread the opposition out over the entire zone when you have a man advantage? Just bunch up on one side and allow them to play man to man against you.

    I’m sorry about this post, it probably belongs more at HF. There’s just so much to bitch and moan about.

    Go Oilers?

    Naw, not now. Missing the playoffs will cause some accountability in the organization, and I thinks that is more important for the long term health of this team than getting the guys 4-5 games of playoff experience.

    Clap…..cl…..*sigh*

  38. jon k says:

    Yes I understand both of the those points. The issue is however, is that he’s still being paid a significant amount of money to score (that’s what gets forwards the big pay cheques) and he hasn’t been doing a lot of scoring.

    Whether that occurs by virtue of his workload being too great or by him simply being the wrong player to bet on, it’s apparent that management has made a substantial error.

  39. Traktor says:

    Horcoff is who I thought he was.

  40. jon k says:

    I really need to get all of these in the post the first time.

    Throwing Peca into the mix has two points:

    1) Players of his ilk are cheap. Why didn’t management get one to lessen Horcoff’s load? Especially when you’re going to invest in Horcoff’s success to the tune of 10% of your cap space.

    2) Horcoff’s had such an abysmal offensive year that hands of stone, brain of wood Peca is outscoring him at even strength.

  41. danny says:

    The substantial error, was not getting another reliable center to platoon toughs with Horcoff.

    MacT is running 10 into the ground and unless Horc was a legit Iginla type, theres no way whatsoever he could sustain the same scoring rates from last year when he had Stoll AND Reasoner getting MacT assignments.

    We all know Horc != Iginla.

    However his contribution to this team has been large, and if he had help, I honestly say that he would consistently be a point producer.

    Look at his career, every season that hes been a top 6er, and have had help down the middle, hes been a near PPG player. (starting with the lockout season in the SEL)

  42. HBomb says:

    Woodguy (RE: power-play alignment): It’s the same alignment they had a lot of success with in the stretch run in 2006, with Spacek sneaking in from the right point when needed.

    In other words, I think it would work a lot better if they had Visnovsky healthy.

    In hindsight, I wonder if Spacek instead of Kotalik could have been extracted from Buffalo as a rental for that 2nd rounder? Would have made a lot more sense.

  43. Phil says:

    We all know Horc != Iginla.

    What does this mean?

  44. HBomb says:

    I think Horcoff is actually who danny thinks he is. The paragraph about not having another tough-minute center is a point that cannot be stated enough.

    No, this doesn’t mean keeping Stoll and not making the Visnovsky deal, but dammit, don’t go into a season with such an obvious and glaring weakness and then struggle to explain yourselves when things go to shit due to a lack of experienced depth.

  45. Coach pb9617 says:

    Someone did some work on the Horpensky scoring rates

    *cough*

  46. Schitzo says:

    Horcoff is basically Chris Drury. The good news is that he got 5.5 million, not 7 million.

    I’m not mad about what Horcoff makes, because at the time of signing his agent was probably opening up with Drury-type deals. You can make the argument that they should have just walked away from Horcoff after this year, but I haven’t seen a viable plan to replace him.

  47. Woodguy says:

    Why didn’t management get one to lessen Horcoff’s load?

    That's the really mystifying question this year. Its an oversight that is tough to explain away.

    Especially with the Coach going public to re-sign Reasoner.

    Did Tambo/Lowe want to see all 3 sophmores (Gagne,Cogs,Brodz) sink or swim on their own first?

    Not grabbing a center man tells me that they saw this year as a development year, not a year to try to go deep in the spring. The giant hole in the lineup is too obvious to count as an oversight by the management.

    My guess is that they wanted to watch those three for the year, decide which two can handle the role they want them for, and move the 3rd (preferably with 77 for a good LW)

    89 is a keeper. No question. Even while he really struggled the underlying numbers are positive, and he's only freaking 19!

    13 is waaay better suited as a winger (terrible faceoff and DZ coverage/backcheck)

    51 is sericeable as a 4C who can play the PK. Not good enough defensively yet as a 3C.

    I think management didn't want to make the decision between 13 & 89 based on 1 year (if that decision even exists, I think it does), so they don't fill the giant Reasoner/Stoll hole and suffer through the year.

    All of the above doesn't jibe with MacTavish's plan this year though (based on his lines in the first few games)

    26-10-83
    12-89-13
    27-?-34
    18-51-variety pack

    Things go to shit early with 26 not meshing with 83 because they both need the puck.

    Line 2 forgets how to skate and support the puck ….blend…. blend…. blend and 13 is playing center for the rest of the year, his faceoff stats be damned!

    So 10 plays until he can't walk because he has to do everything the Reasoner/Stoll hole should be doing, but the management has better information going forward to make some big decisions.

    Now if 13 doesn't get moved in the offseason, I have no idea why they didn't fill the oilsand mining pit sized hole in the center position on this team.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Schitzo: I have.

    It’s called Colorado Avalanche drafting Tavares as soon as they win the NHL draft lottery.

  49. digger says:

    Just to play a little Devil’s Advocate here, if we’re going to make the point that all Horcoff needs to hit that near-PPG pace is some centers to divert some of the tough minutes, then what was the difference in quality of supporting centers that 06/07 Horcoff had (80-16-35-51) vs. 07/08 Horcoff (53-21-29-50)? Both iterations had Stoll and Reasoner to help out, didn’t they?

    I mean, the only big difference I see at first glance is the arrival Cogs/Gags, and neither guy was pulling down tough assignments in their rookie campaigns as far as I can recall.

    I’m not denying that logically speaking, another center to help out with the tough sledding could do nothing but help Horcoff…I’m only putting forth that Shawn is a 30 year old NHL veteran, and should shoulder his share of responsibility for his lack of offensive production this season.

    This guy freely admitted that he felt the pressure of expectation a few years back after signing his 3.5M/yr deal to the point that it affected his play, hopefully he’ll be able to handle the increased expectations once he’s pulling down double that paycheck.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy (RE: power-play alignment): It’s the same alignment they had a lot of success with in the stretch run in 2006, with Spacek sneaking in from the right point when needed.

    I thought 12 (Samsonov) was playing the right slot with 94 in front? 12 would circle around behind to support on the left side when needed, but I though he patrolled the right side?

    There is a very good chance I’m misremembering.

  51. hunter1909 says:

    Paying Shawn Horcoff 7 million a year to play hockey is the equivalent of taking an average Edmonton Sunshine Girl to the Miss World pageant, with your mom’s house as collateral in case she doeans’t acctually win the thing.

  52. HBomb says:

    digger: One point on what you’ve suggested, and you do bring up an important point. Stoll in 2006-07 wasn’t rode as hard as Stoll in 2007-08 in terms of tough minutes. Up until the last 10 games or so before his concussion when he went with Pisani and Torres against some tougher assignments, he was basically a soft minutes guy, IIRC.

    MacT rode him WAY harder last year. Granted he got drilled while doing it in terms of plus/minus, but that’s still easier minutes for Horcoff to play.

    Regardless of what you think of the individual players being debated, I think if this season has shown anything, it’s that you can’t win with one veteran center, especially when the coach doesn’t trust guys like Brodziak and Pouliot to be able to make the next step.

    Woodguy: The Oilers went with the “overload” in late 2006. Hemsky high on the left half-wall, Samsonov in the corner, Smyth in front, and Pronger and Spacek on the left and right points, respectively.

  53. HBomb says:

    hunter: Don't be a Bryn & Jake and try to skew the argument the way you're doing.

    Horcoff's cap hit is 5.5 million, that is the relevant number.

    Him making 7 million next year means precisely jack diddly shit. It's the cap hit that is the key number for discussion.

  54. Lowetide says:

    Horcoff is a quality player, who has been heavy lifting for quite awhile AND who plays through injury.

    Carry on.

  55. jon k says:

    That’s a good point digger.

    To say that Horcoff might be better with another center to share the load is largely speculative and shirks the fact that Horcoff is not scoring at a rate that makes anyone comfortable.

    The Drury comparison is not a good one. Drury’s reputation was massively inflated at the time he was going up for unrestricted free agency. Buffalo’s run ended with him getting paid. He’s also a goal scorer more than playmaker, and like it or not, goals still earn more money than assists.

    The problem with Horcoff’s salary is in part that he got exactly what he would have got as an UFA. So did Roloson, Staios, and Moreau.

    For what it’s worth, part of this team’s cap situation can be blamed on the management never being able to procure a discount on returning UFAs.

  56. Woodguy says:

    Hbomb: I stand corrected.

    So why was it working then, but not now?

  57. jon k says:

    “Horcoff is a quality player, who has been heavy lifting for quite awhile AND who plays through injury.”

    The problem is that those descriptors apply to Sammy Pahlsson or Mike Peca as well as they do to Horcoff. Those two players combined make less than he will. Having one or both of them on this team would likely see them firmly in the 4-6 range in the west right now.

  58. hunter1909 says:

    “For what it’s worth, part of this team’s cap situation can be blamed on the management never being able to procure a discount on returning UFAs.”

    In a cap driven league, imagine a team that stood firm re UFA’s – refusing to overpay them no matter what.

    That would simply be called good, not great, business practise.

    Paying UFA open market rates to returning veteran players is tantamount to cap hit suicide, and anyone with a modicum of common sense or a business driven mind can see that it’s no more than a quickie route to the proverbial poorhouse.

    Then again, I’m not Kevin Lowe.

  59. Schitzo says:

    The problem with Horcoff’s salary is in part that he got exactly what he would have got as an UFA

    Given what we knew in summer of 2008 I don’t believe that at all.

    Drury and Gomez get 7 when the cap is only 50 million. Nylander got 5, at 35 years of age. The cap looked to be increasing by 10% every year. There’s no way Horcoff would have to settle for 5.5 in an open bidding war.

    The big problem isn’t that Horcoff was grossly overpaid, it’s that the entire model was based on the cap going up forever.

  60. jon k says:

    Schitzo:

    Do you really think that Horcoff had the selling power that Drury or Gomez did?

    Because I don’t.

    Further, there’s a reason that both of those players ended up in New York. There was consensus then and there’s consensus now that Sather threw way too much money at both those players.

    Though it’s speculative, I would wager that a lot of Horcoff’s abilities are probably under-valued by rival GMs. Plus there is likely the perception that a lot of his production is heavily tied to playing with Hemsky. His inconsistent offensive production from season to season is also a consideration mitigating his negotiating power.

    I genuinely believe that Horcoff got within .25 of what he would get as an UFA on the market.

  61. Schitzo says:

    Do you really think that Horcoff had the selling power that Drury or Gomez did?

    Because I don’t.

    No, but getting 7 million when the salary cap is 50 million is a lot different than getting 7 million when the salary cap is (predicted to be) 60 million.

    I guess we’ll never know for sure.

  62. Scott says:

    I think it’s important to note that performance varies considerably from year to year, especially for young players, but also with veterans.

    So for Horcoff, you have a player taking on more defensive responsibility than any other forward in the league (and it isn’t really close at the last checkpoint) which makes comparing his rates with anyone or with his other seasons somewhat challenging. More offense would seem to be a reasonable expectation, but given the cards he’s been dealt I’m not sure as to the degree.

    The Gagner/Voracek comparison is difficult because Gagner’s rates were better last year than this year and I think most would agree that Gagner is a superior player this year. Voracek is a good player no doubt but I’m not convinced that he’s significantly clear of Gagner even with his rates being significantly better.

  63. rickibear says:

    Horcoff has averaged .8pts/gm for the last four years. That gets you in the top 20 scoring centers of the league each year.

    This year he is .7Points/Gm the difference is a 3.5% drop in Goal scoring. 6 goals for the year.

    He is one of 26 outscoring Centers in the league. The ufa Centers average salary is 5.25M. Conroy’s 1M skews the numbers.

    Heck the post penner signing rfa’s average 4.5M

    Plus he is a top 20 Face off guy.

    Anyone bitches about this guy, doesn’t understand the skill or the cap numbers.

  64. hunter1909 says:

    As a bandwagon Ranger fan, you simply would not believe the feeling among the hard core Rags fans re the Gomez/Drury and especially Redden contracts.

    Sather, who just prior to the cap actually acted in a proper manner, dumping the dross which had been plaguing the team ever since wtf knows when, reverted to type and gave out contracts that make the Oilers look like Detroit’s by comparison.

    I’m still wiping sweat off of my ass in joy, at the thought that Oilers didn’t trade for Prucha/Dawes(as argued by quite a few HF Boards losers).

  65. rickibear says:

    Ps: there are alot of 7-8.7M salaries on that list. With some centers due for a new contract that will make the average even higher.
    He will be underpayed.

  66. Ben Carter says:

    Not going to lie gang, after “reading” this preview I may or may not have watched 2006 playoff clips on youtube for longer than I care to admit.

    Sigh.

  67. rickibear says:

    Jon K missed your post. Scoring is fine not giving up goals is just as important. Scoring more than you give up against tough comp well thats rare. You know what Gm’s pay for that. Crazy huh!

  68. Scott says:

    He is one of 26 outscoring Centers in the league. The ufa Centers average salary is 5.25M. Conroy’s 1M skews the numbers.

    Heck the post penner signing rfa’s average 4.5M

    I think Schitzo raised a good point regarding these kinds of comparisons, namely that the % of the current cap is probably more relevant than the actual dollar figure given out since most general managers assumed that the cap would continue to rise.

    If the cap stays stagnant this year – or falls slightly – the actions of general managers may be governed as much by fear as by greed. If this is the case, you’ll see more managers acting conservatively. Don Waddell made mention of the fact that many teams were trying to unload salary on him at the deadline. Basically, I have a hard time believing that Horcoff will end up underpaid compared to contracts that will be signed in the bear market of the next couple of seasons.

    The only real problem with his contract was bad timing. The Oilers signed him to a good deal, but they did so at the top of the market.

  69. George B says:

    Lowetide said…

    Horcoff is a quality player, who has been heavy lifting for quite awhile AND who plays through injury.

    Carry on.
    It isn’t his fault at all he is a 2nd line centre on a team without a 1st line centre.

  70. godot10 says:

    The problem with this team is that the coaching has been going downhill since 2006.

    MacT left Hejda on the bench, which soured Hejda on the Oilers.

    Misevaluations continue with Penner and Pouliot and line combinations blaring “i’m confused” and “I haven’t the foggiest clue how to deploy the resources that I’ve been given”.

    Also, recall, he really had no clue how to use Peca. Peca could figure Torres out. MacT couldn’t.

    MacT didn’t fight to keep Glencross.

    No power play ever. No sign that he has the remotest clue about running a power play.

    A complete absence of coaching offense.

    The deteriorating penalty kill.

    MacT and Moreau have to be gone from this team next year. When a trade for Staios becomes available, make it.

    The successes, Grebeshkov, Gagner, and Cogliano are not enough to balance out all the negatives, and the increasing number of negatives.

    Even if it is Marc Crawford, bring it on.

  71. NormanMendoza says:

    on Horcoff and Horcoff’s extension:

    Some context:
    - a total of 3 “proven” big points(tm) first line centers have come available via trade over the past 3 seasons (Thornton, Jokinen,
    Richards)
    - each year come UFA season, I think you would be luck if 2 top shelf guys are available
    - teams that lack a “big points” first line center CBJ, ATL, TOR, EDM, FLA,)
    - most teams who have this “big points” first line center drafted them (ANA, LAK, COL, PHI, OTT, TB, DET, CHI. ) and while many of their players are definitely great value for the cap hit, these guys so rarely come available for trade
    - EDM does not have any guy currently in their system as a prospect who fits this profile, and even if they had such a guy, he wouldn’t be ready during the Hemsky window

    Given all the listed factors, I think they decided to do the extension early since really H. Sedin and Horcoff would be available.

    6 or 7 teams who could have that need for 2 guys available.

    So, if you are in the camp that think that Horcoff is not in that class of players, then its Henrik Sedin. Tougher to sign because you get the twin deal.

    Who else would be available?

    You ready to watch Sam Gagner take 20 draws a game?

  72. dave says:

    “hands of stone, brain of wood – Peca” no words

  73. dave says:

    It’s not Horcoffs fault he’s a first line center on a team without a 3rd line center.

  74. Matt says:

    Jon: I really wanted Voracek over Gagner at the draft, but I’m surprised at how much he’s producing in his rookie year.

    He was hailed as a 2-way force when he was in Halifax, so it’s not surprising he’s thriving under Hitchcock.

    What boggles my mind is how many points he’s put up since Brassard went out. Their PP is abysmal, so they’re all quality points.

    Do you know who his linemates have been post-Brassard?

  75. Bluedog says:

    In the Oilers room, all the MacT influence or lack aside, I’m just not feeling a lot of veteran leadership – the kind that carries young players. Stuff like Iginla brings, like CFP (ptooie) and Gator and Smytty, Nash, even Doan last night. Team chemistry mostly seems brewed in adolesence. Maybe it’s an intangible, in-quantifiable, but real all the same.

  76. jon k says:

    Since the trade deadline he’s been playing with Vermette and Umberger. At home it seems that Hitchcock has actually used the line in a power versus power role at times.

  77. Rod says:

    Schitzo said…
    There’s no way Horcoff would have to settle for 5.5 in an open bidding war.
    —–
    Agreed. The Oilers did very well to resign Horcoff @ 5.5. Period.

  78. Bruce says:

    Gagner-Voracek came up a couple of months ago. IIRC Voracek was getting significantly softer minutes than Gagner for that first chunk of the season. As of today there’s not much to choose based on BtN ratings

    Gagner : QC -.02, QT +.09
    Voracek: QC -.03, QT +.11

    Voracek has eaten up those minutes judging by the solid 3:2 outscoring ratio (+42/-28). Tied at EV +14h he and fellow rookie Brassard — who was extremely impressive before wrecking his shoulder in an Ethanesque display of stupidit… er, team toughness — have the best 5v5 spread of anybody on the team. Nash at +13 with QC +.06 QT -.05 is obviously their best, but with those youngsters Columbus is going to be a force in the near future. Not to mention Dan Hejda who leads the entire club at +16 5v5.

    Just thought I’d throw that last bit in there to piss Dennis off. It’s easy to do, and it’s fun. :)

  79. Phil says:

    Even if it is Marc Crawford, bring it on.

    Ya, but what if it’s Bucky? Or Huddy? This is just as likely, and imo way worse than the devil we know.

    Given this organization’s nepotistical tendancies, the thought of how much worse things could get makes my butt squeak.

  80. Phil says:

    Bluedog said: I’m just not feeling a lot of veteran leadership – the kind that carries young players. Stuff like Iginla brings,

    Funny, there’s a lot of people in CGY right now calling for Iginla’s head, because in their opinion, he isn’t showing leadership at the moment. I was speaking with a bunch of said fans at work today – you’d think that Iginla was wearing #27 and spotted at Fatburger.

  81. godot10 says:

    “Even if it is Marc Crawford, bring it on.”

    //Ya, but what if it’s Bucky? Or Huddy? This is just as likely, and imo way worse than the devil we know.//

    I am confident that Katz and Tambellini would never choose Bucky. Missing the playoffs costs Katz a lot of money. Nobody would believe that Tambellini is the GM if he selected Bucky.

    The Oilers need a professional coach, somebody who has paid their dues. And somebody who has a record as a head coach for more than a year at the AHL or NHL level. The Oilers assistants don’t qualify.

  82. Bluedog says:

    I’d take him.

    Perhaps a lack of capable veteran leadership is as much of an issue as the coaching here. I don’t hear vets saying, “I/he/we need to play better.” “We were terrible.” It’s like negativity in the room, like a kick in the ass here and there, isn’t cool. The on-ice players meeting a couple of weeks ago was all about “how good we are.” Oh, really? There’s too much peace, baby, peace. Jumping up and down like girls if you win one? What is that?

    A good coach holds his leaders accountable and we’re weak in both coach and leaders, because strong leaders don’t need to be reminded. It’s a weak team.

    Either way, what we’re seeing is not Oilers hockey, or my kind of hockey. Sure, the ‘Yotes were good last night, but c’mon, we were terrible!

    G’Oilers!

  83. Bluedog says:

    Iggy, that is.

  84. Bank Shot says:

    The big problem isn’t that Horcoff was grossly overpaid, it’s that the entire model was based on the cap going up forever.

    Langkow and Dumont singed contract the very same summer for $4.5 and $4 million repectively. Both produced more in the last two seasons, and Langkow in particular has had much better career numbers.

    Horcoff got overpaid by at least a million compared to his peers. Not grossly overpaid, but overpaid nonetheless and those extra half and whole millions all over the roster add up fast.

  85. Phil says:

    @godot10:

    I’m with you, and hope you’re right. But logic has not been the strongest suit of this management team (save for Tamb; too small a sample size yet).

  86. Dennis says:

    Bruce: It doesn’t bother me because I didn’t never liked Hejda in the first place!;)

    I haven’t seen this mentioned here but 12-85 are out and 22-46 are in.

    Here are the new lines:

    19-10-83
    27-89-21
    18-13-34
    22-51-46

    So, MacT keeps going with 19 with the 10-83 combo and 89 gets another winger to play with in 27.

    Not really sure why 78 isn’t cycled back into 89′s winger orbit but I really can’t disagree with breaking up 12-89-21 because they weren’t any hell creating chances; if I’ve learned anything this year from logging chances, it’s that outside of 18, you’ll have a hard time cheating the chance meter.

    Regarding this year and the future, 13 Has to be moved back onto 89′s right wing and then it’s up to 19-27 to flesh out that combo plus the 10-27 duo. You might keep clamouring for a big scorer but even though we’ve been railed at EV 3-11 in the last four games, the Oil have been fine at evens this year.

    So, use those top six forwards and get a real secondary centre to helm the third line with 34.

    This team won’t be any hell until both 89 and 13 grow up to the point of being able to hang with the secondary toughs OR eat the soft min.

    At least that’s how it’s shaped now.

  87. Doogie2K says:

    But he’s a project. In another 3-5 years, if all goes well, [Plante]‘ll be Matt Greene. :)

    Are you damning him with faint praise? It’s hard to tell when talking about Greene. I agree, though, I like the kid but he needs work.

    I see the new buzzword is “loose” as in how loose teams play when they’re out of the playoffs. Souray broke it out today in the paper but I think he should be more worried about throwing blind backhand passes in the slot but maybe that’s just me.

    Loose players don’t make stupid plays like that. Come on, now, Dennis. ;)

  88. Dennis says:

    Eberle goes offside on his first pro shift;)

    Falcons PP looks pretty bad as well.

  89. Dennis says:

    - 1 for the local Worcester announcers referencing Eberle’s junior team as “Re-gena” as in a girl’s name.

    +1 for using Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” when going to commerical.

  90. Lowetide says:

    Rob Schremp’s skating is even more wide-body. It’s like he has a tree up his ass.

  91. oilerdago says:

    Eberle with his first AHL point. Not a bad start at all.

  92. Neojanus says:

    I've been reading the blog for a long time without piping in my two cents (I love the blog by the way and it is nice to read you all).

    However, I realized that it has been twenty years since this team has caused me to blow a temper tantrum. The last time was a game against the Jets on ITV where it went into overtime, the service became interrupted, and the jets scored while I got nothing but snow. I was just a young lad then… but after the game yesterday, I had one. My 1987 style home jersey hit the floor and the remote hit the wall. I knew then that I had to start typing.

    I'm a pretty objective fan; I have opinions about players and systems and the such — somethings I like, some things I don't. This is the first time that I remember where I just about hate everything about the Oilers' game. I feel sorry for Roloson because he'll be dead before the season ends. His play and the development of Grebeshkov & Cogliano are the only things that still fill me with bright lights (although that might be the thorazine kicking in). I also liked the O'Sullivan pick up.

    I'm not going to go into automatic blame MacT mode or anti-Klowe sentiments, but I would really like the media to force them into answering some tough questions for once. We can all hear the despondency in the voices of the Oiler Faithful, but at what point do we get some answers as fans? Phoenix is fighting to stay in a city that doesn't give sour frog's ass about the team and still manage to get give accountability from management… I expect I care more about the team staying in Phoenix than the majority of Arizona citizens.

    There are now rumblings of hilarious movements to have Fire MacT demonstrations erupt in front of Rexall… a little over zealous perhaps, but not totally unreasonable given that I think what most people are looking for is a mature, well-constructed account of what is going wrong. I've seen the Oilers suck before but I've never felt so much coldness towards (and from) the decision makers of the team.

    I'd really like to see someone from the media try to piss off MacT post-game (if they can… the guy looks like he goes home/ to the hotel and cowers in a corner after every loss while drinking ether-laced absinthe, looking for some spark of inspiration from an archaic Mesopotamian God). I'd like to see some harder questions asked that force some acknowledgment that there is still a heartbeat the team.

    Hopefully tonight they just crash the net a lot and look for really ugly goals… christ, at least make the Ducks pay for something before failing to score more than 1.8 goals a game.

    Cheers everyone.

  93. Dennis says:

    Neo: welcome aboard!

    LT: Yes, he went into the right corner early in the first period and I thought of “wide track” and even that doesn’t do it justice.

    That was a nice little assist from Eberle, though. Poultny went to the crease with the stick down and young Eberle found him post haste.

  94. Lowetide says:

    Roy Sommer was born in Oakland, btw.

  95. Scott says:

    looking for some spark of inspiration from an archaic Mesopotamian God

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. MacT is worshipping Baal!? Finally we know what the real problem is! Stop doing that MacT!

  96. Lowetide says:

    Dubnyk slashes more than Billy SMith. Worst traffic temper this side of my wife!

  97. Lowetide says:

    What you talkin’ about Willis!

  98. oilerdago says:

    //Whoa, whoa, whoa. MacT is worshipping Baal!? Finally we know what the real problem is! Stop doing that MacT!//

    Well done Scott. MacT’s probably not cried out loud enough for Baal – who’s probably been on vacation this season.

  99. Mr DeBakey says:

    Ryan O’Marra hasn’t got a clue.

    Whatever he had once
    is gone

  100. Lowetide says:

    Eberle makes the play to Schremp and then the veteran AHLer makes the low percentage shot. Hmmm.

  101. Mr DeBakey says:

    Nice cycle shift from
    Spurgeon, McDonald & Lefebvre
    pinned them Sharks good

  102. Jonathan Willis says:

    Well done Scott. MacT’s probably not cried out loud enough for Baal – who’s probably been on vacation this season.

    Or to paraphrase Elijah, he had to excrement and is likely in the privy.

  103. shepso says:

    I’m sure it’s already been said, and my dislike of JFJ has been made known on this blog and my own, but why is he in the lineup in place of 12, who has been having his most effective stretch of the year since returning from his latest banishment? I know the Mighty Sucks are a much bigger team, but it just doesn’t make sense to take skill out of the lineup in favor of 1 NHL point. Am I wrong? Sorry to rant like this after being absent from the forum for several days, but it just makes no sense!

  104. Bruce says:

    Are you damning him with faint praise? It’s hard to tell when talking about Greene.

    Doogie: Not faint praise at all, I almost always say nice things about Matt, or at least nicer things than many in the sphere do. He wasa but of a whipping boy when here, that’s for sure. But I saw Plante as one of those big, clumsy defensive defencemen with a long gestation period. Greene was like that, he’s just fine now and still improving. Smid is like that and is still a project that is inexorably climbing the development slope. Slow and steady, like a glacier.

    The type has been around forever, and the ones that turn out to be worth waiting for are Gold. Jeff Beukeboom was like that back in the day, and Dave Langevin back in That day. Zdeno Chara too for that matter. Not to mention a whole buttload of guys who I can’t remember cuz they never did amount to much. :)

  105. Scott says:

    Why is 22 in the lineup in place of 12, who has been having his most effective stretch of the year since returning from his latest banishment? I know the Mighty Sucks are a much bigger team, but it just doesn’t make sense to take skill out of the lineup in favor of 1 NHL point.

    Well, the last four games 12′s line hasn’t been going too well and Kotalik has popped a goal in each of his last two in addition to being a recent pickup so he’s probably safe on that line for now. Since they’re moving Penner up to that line and letting the fourth line play a simpler crash and bang style I’d say that the MacT changes here make sense. Especially when you consider that they were very flat last night. They might be better off flipping 19 and 27, but other than that, this lineup looks like it was put together with some forethought which is about all you can ask for.

  106. Bruce says:

    PS Doogie: The Hitmen are quite the team. They just dominated the Oil Kings from beginning to end, outshooting them 181-86 and outscoring the Kings 15-3 in the four-game sweep. The doubling of shots was no counting accident: in Game 4 by period the shots were 14-6, 18-9, 11-5. The 4-1 final seemed about right, and that is giving due respect to a hell of an effort from the Oil Kings.

    The guy who caught my eye right away was this Brandon Kozun you’ve mentioned a couple of times. Reminded me of Marty St.Louis except with a lower centre of gravity. Skill, smarts, determination, a fun player to watch. He’ll be in deep in the pros but at the very least should have a nice career in Europe.

    Oh yeah, and Paul Postma, who grabbed my eye when I saw the Hitmen last season. He just commanded the ice any time he was out there. +67, wow.

    I think your team could go deep. Unfortunately, they’re from Calgary, so sooner or later they’re bound to blow it. :)

  107. shepso says:

    @Scott: Certainly I agree that there was something resembling a plan in place when the lineup was changed, but I still think that it’s going to be iffy. Suddenly Gagner, who has been playing much better with 12 on his side than he has all year has to learn a new winger’s tendencies in 27, while being flanked on the other side by 21. Yes, 21 has been producing well as of late, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the knock on both 27 and 21 is that they play smaller then they are, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a hobbit sized center. Not only that, but now we are forced to endure the return of 18 with 13, something that hasn’t been wonderful all year, despite the past connection of 18 and 34. It just strikes me as really bizarre asset management for the biggest game of the year.
    I almost would rather have a zack and smac 4th line if it keeps JFJ out. I would even rather see the Poo in as opposed to 22. 51′s return is wonderful; I wish he’d never left the lineup, but the other changes just make my already over-used brain hurt even more than my thesis was…but what do I know, I’m just a grad student…

  108. Bruce says:

    51′s return is wonderful

    Shepso: 51 (Brodziak) never went anywhere. Are you talking about Stortini? I think he used to wear 46 back in the day.

    I had half a mind to write this afternoon that maybe MacT would dress both guys who have sat out the entire three-game losing streak. Makes sense to me, the line of 22-51-46 has a well-defined role before the puck even drops, which is more than you can say about some of these Blended combos. Three third lines and a First line that isn’t playing like one.

    Reddox was obviously first choice to sit, but Rowbert unfortunately was next in line. He has had some good games lately, but last night definitely wasn’t one of them. He had a complete clean sheet on the event summary, not an attempted shot or a hit or a giveaway or anything, nothing but 10+ minutes of ice time with SFA to show for it. Dennis had him (and Gagner) down for Zero scoring opportunities in the entire game. If he’s not going to bring offence, Robert is eminently replaceable by other guys who can do other things.

    Two rusty big men on one line, a bit of a gamble, but this team needs a jolt of energy and enthusiasm and I expect nothing less. Not to mention some fresh legs, playing their 6th game in 9 days in 6 different cities. I thought some of that showed last night.

  109. chartleys says:

    Lowetide, I don’t really agree with what looks to be digging in on one last hurrah of defense for MacT, but I respect your resolve.

    Bottom line:

    We’re a low seed playoff team at even strength with lottery pick special teams.

    PK, it’s not a complete suprise at our decline but it is suprising that our powerplay hasn’t made up some of that loss for us. One run through our coaching staff and it’s quite obvious we have not a body with any real idea what to do about it and it’s showing on the ice.

    I was running out of MacTcience last year. I just really cannot understand how there is anything left to defend at this point.

    Is MacT a smart guy and a decent coach? Probably, given a hardnosed, grinding outfit (probably wishing he would have been on the boat out of town with Howson). But what he’s done with his assests the last few years here, he’s definitely not the right body for this job. If not for injuries, how many games would Nilson have been on the bench down the stretch???

    I would love to hear any justification you have for not being willing to throw the towel in on this experiment, because for the life of me I just can’t see it.

    Can you ultimately look at the team and find a lot of fault lies in aquiring and developing players that do not really mesh with your coaches style of play…probably. But I was hoping if things weren’t squared away early on in the season that we would have went with a different style of coach prior to the point we are now at.

    We’re more than a free agent signing away from really doing some sustainable long term damage.

    AND Playoff or no, MacT gotta go

  110. Coach pb9617 says:

    My sweet lord Schremp stinks.

  111. Bruce says:

    Caoch: That blind pass to nobody that missed all 5 (!) teammates and cleared the offensive zone in the last 10 seconds kind of sums it up, what?

  112. shepso says:

    Bruce…yup, I totally meant 46…thesis related brain cramp. Thanks!

  113. Bruce says:

    Righto, Shepso. I too wish he’d never left the line-up.

  114. Smarmy Boss says:

    LT: That picture makes me sad. Takes me back to the last time it was good to be an Oiler fan.

    Lowe started to believe he might be a good GM. Then Pronger broke him and what was left of him was destroyed when Burke took him to the woodshed.

    Now we’ve just got this sad old man that sits on the porch looking into the distance remembering the good ol’days.

  115. quain says:

    God, I’m glad Shawn Horcoff finally has a first line winger. Hemsky has been killing him.

  116. oilerdago says:

    Give that man a donut!

  117. Icecastles says:

    Pennnneeerrrr!! nice start. And what a beauty for him of all people to score the opener.

  118. rider guy says:

    dustin, you magnificent fat bastard.

    he’s got a better ass than halle barry.

  119. oilerdago says:

    And now San Fernando!

  120. quain says:

    This is the greatest hockey game ever.

    Or the past two weeks, whichever.

  121. Icecastles says:

    Pisani!! God damnit why do I have a date tonight!? Do you think a girl would be understanding if I blew off our first date to watch hockey?

    Maybe this is my jinx kicking in. The Oilers are allowed to win if they know I won’t see it happen.

  122. rider guy says:

    san fernando, with a primary assist to penners fat ass!!

  123. PDO says:

    What a play by Horcoff!!! And then FERNANDO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. Lord Bob says:

    Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

  125. striatic says:

    oilers have had a few games lately where they’ve played well but not been rewarded.

    maybe this game is the other way around.

  126. PDO says:

    Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

    Do they wrap their legs around you and tell you to be their babies Daddy?

  127. Lord Bob says:

    Think of how much we’d be winning by if Penner went on a diet and Horcoff was a first-line centre.

  128. Icecastles says:

    Lord Bob said…
    Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!

    Quote of the season, man.

  129. PDO says:

    37 and 77 both looked bad on that tying goal.

  130. Bruce says:

    Well, it was a nice start, but they started playinhg at 2-0 like they could just hang on for 58 minutes and change. It’s gonna be a long 54 minutes.

    Gilbert got owned on that last goal, way too soft on the puck when he had it in the danger area.

  131. PDO says:

    Captain penalty strikes again…

  132. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers are a tease.

    Error on Gilbert on that goal.

    Why both Stortini and Jacques are in the lineup is beyond me.

    Benching Nilsson today is just dumb. One bad game and he’s gone; meanwhile, that dumb cunt Moreau continues taking penalties.

  133. Bruce says:

    Gagner gets cranked, Moreau throws snow against some Duck 2 seconds later, and then Moreau takes yet another penalty. 2 minutes? Or 4?

    If you’d hit the first guy fair and square when you had him dead to rights, Ethan, there’s no penalty for that.

  134. oilerdago says:

    Yes, another game, another brilliant penalty by the captain.

  135. Lucinius says:

    Sigh.. Moreau.

    Its nice to see the entire team continuing the trend of stinking in our own end, though. Why are they consistent in the bad things?

  136. docweb says:

    In fairness it’s been a few games since the Captain took a dumb one.

  137. Bruce says:

    Milestone: Moreau takes his 500th dumb penalty of his career.

  138. Lucinius says:

    I’m starting to think Moreau has a quota on bad penalties or something.

  139. Bruce says:

    Say, any feedback on that little stunt Gagner pulled right at the end of the game last night?

  140. Coach pb9617 says:

    Caoch: That blind pass to nobody that missed all 5 (!) teammates and cleared the offensive zone in the last 10 seconds kind of sums it up, what?

    Just waive him.

  141. oilerdago says:

    They are not playing like they want to keep his lead.

  142. Icecastles says:

    Come on boys, only 45 minutes left – time for that trademark shutdown hockey. Play to protect the one goal lead! Sigh.

  143. Bruce says:

    These guys need to work on their breakouts.

  144. Lord Bob says:

    The phrase that comes to mind is “take ‘em wide, Zach!”

    Don’t ask me why.

  145. Bruce says:

    ZOOORRRGGGG!!!

  146. Icecastles says:

    Yeah Zorg! Drop that mustachioed freak!

  147. oilerdago says:

    Atta boy Zorg.

  148. Lucinius says:

    Obviously Stortini brings nothing to the game and deserved to be a healthy scratch the last while.

    Right? Right?

  149. Black Dog says:

    MacT never heard of that old saying ‘safe is death’, huh.

    Sit on that lead, son.

  150. Coach pb9617 says:

    Strudwick is not an NHL defenseman.

    Nice shift Storts. Now go bury Perry.

  151. Bruce says:

    Beauty hit on Wisniewski sp? in the corner, then back to pick off Parros who was moving into the crease with malice aforethought, and handled himself rather well in the dust-up that ensued. That’s the kind of spark this team has been missing.

  152. Coach pb9617 says:

    Beauty hit on Wisniewski sp? in the corner, then back to pick off Parros who was moving into the crease with malice aforethought, and handled himself rather well in the dust-up that ensued. That’s the kind of spark this team has been missing.

    Reddox would have done both and scored.

    I think Moreau is trying to throw this one.

  153. striatic says:

    just bench moreau already. please.

  154. Lucinius says:

    … Seriously? You’d think a team coached by such people would be better in their own end. Its embarrassing.

  155. Lord Bob says:

    I’ve said it before. MacTavish and Moreau are both shaving points and they don’t realise you can’t do that in hockey.

  156. Bruce says:

    That’s twice an Oiler has taken a breakout pass and with noboidy around him, fallen spectacularly on his ass. Another Chinese fire drill of course ensues, and this one cost us a penalty.

  157. Coach pb9617 says:

    The look on MacTavish’s face is awesome.

    The veterans are doing some really great work for this team this year. Glad to have ‘em. Hope they’re all back next year.

  158. Lord Bob says:

    Best of luck to Steve Staios in not having to cash EI cheques anytime soon.

  159. Bruce says:

    Two minutes for clearing the rebound.

    They should hust rename it the Oferfuxsakes Rule.

  160. Bruce says:

    Tall order with both Horc and Staios in the bin.

  161. Lord Bob says:

    If there was only some way we could have Moreau, Reddox, and Toby Petersen out to kill this penalty.

  162. oilerdago says:

    Smart play by Roli

  163. striatic says:

    Roloson you crafty bastard : ]

  164. PDO says:

    Bruce:

    Do you remember how often Minnesota and Vancouver were intentionally throwing the puck into the crowd?

    I personally like the rule, quite a bit. Sucks when it happens on accident, but it’s there to make sure it doesn’t happen intentionally.

    Great kill by the Oilers here, and I absolutely loved Roli pushing Getzlaf into the net.

  165. Bruce says:

    I would pay money to see Souray and Perry. Serious money.

  166. Lord Bob says:

    Listening to this on XM Radio, and it turns out that Anaheim play-by-plby guys are really, really, really, really, really massive freakin’ homers. Like, if Rod Phillips had never seen a hockey game before and had done a pound of fine Colombian blow before the broadcast massive homers.

  167. Bruce says:

    PDO: I understand the reason for it, but it’s never fun when it happens cuz it almost always IS an accident. I’ve seen a couple where the puck was bouncing and two guys were battling fair and square and if the guy who caught it on the bounch and whacked it over the glass happened to be in his own zone, well That’s two minutes. And in my living room at least, it nearly always is accompanied by an Oferfuxsakes.

  168. Coach pb9617 says:

    Tall order with both Horc and Staios in the bin.

    Oh yeah – Staios is a Pk demon. Amazing player. Hope he’s back at it next year.

  169. Bruce says:

    Coach: 3 on 5 you need battlers. Gilbert isn’t exactly the prototype.

  170. godot10 says:

    If Nilsson didn’t show up against a soft Phoenix team, why do some think he would show up for Anaheim.

  171. Bruce says:

    Bobby Ryan with 4 hits that period, and a couple nifty offensive plays. Who does he think he is, Dustin Brown?

  172. quain says:

    How many more Anaheim forwards are we going to acquire through uncouth means before we actually get one we want? I feel like we’re two years away from giving Selanne ten million to score fifteen goals and retire.

  173. Bruce says:

    Penner +2, Pronger -2.

    Just sayin’.

  174. Bruce says:

    Quain: Arte you counting Perry among those uncouth Anaheim forwards we “acquired”?

    I’m still shaking my head over that one.

  175. Lord Bob says:

    Dustin took Chris out to Wendy’s before the game and filled him up on Baconators. Penner’s body is used to handling that kind of load, but Pronger had no chance.

    That’s a True Oiler, right there.

  176. PDO says:

    Sigh… that sucks.

  177. oilerdago says:

    So do you think they play for a 2-2 tie now?

  178. Quinn says:

    Are the shots really 17-4?

  179. Bruce says:

    Coach: See what I mean about battlers? Gilbert is a powerderpuff in our end tonight.

  180. Lord Bob says:

    Is anyone… anyone… surprised by this? Seriously? Did anyone not see this coming?

    Today, Canada’s incompetant soccer coach Dale Mitchell was given his walking papers. Hopefully MacTavish can make it two for two.

  181. Bruce says:

    Seems like a while since we’ve had a review go our way.

  182. Quinn says:

    Mitchell is gone? Fabulouso! Perhaps Canada can win a football game against a team filled with starved, barefoot players now.

  183. danny says:

    He got about 0.5 cms of his stick on that puck.

    That’s just how it goes for this team.

  184. oilerdago says:

    Another donut for the big guy!

  185. PDO says:

    I love that fat ass.

  186. Coach pb9617 says:

    If the Oilers lose with a Penner hatty, does he take the healthy scratch for showing up MacTavish?

  187. PunjabiOil says:

    Lets see if the hold onto a 2 goal lead this time.

  188. oilerdago says:

    Brodziak!

  189. rider guy says:

    good thing zorg and 22 sat out the last 10 games.

  190. Quinn says:

    I hate to be the beggar here, but is there an online feed for this game?

    I love that we have 3 goals on 6 shots .. make that 4 on 7.

    Who are these guys?

  191. Icecastles says:

    There is no fucking way Zorg can sit out another game. I would say of everyone on the team, he has progressed the most this year.

  192. Lord Bob says:

    Dustin Penner is officially carrying this team.

    To Burger King. But when the road to Burger King goes through the opposing team’s goal, watch out.

  193. Scott says:

    Well I’d say 46 and 22 are definitely healthy scratches for the next game… Mike Brown punching at Jacques skating away was the coup de grace.

  194. speeds says:

    Big hit from Jacques. That must be what LT has been envisioning all these years :)

  195. PDO says:

    There are Del Taco advertisements behind both nets.

  196. oilerdago says:

    Is that a goalie record? Being pulled 2x in one game?

    And what a hit by JFJ!

  197. Bruce says:

    ZOOORRRGGGGG!!!!!

    JFJ cruches the guy behind the net, Stortini drives to the front of the net and creates havoc and I think tips ‘er home.

    I guess that answers PJO’s question about why 22 and 46 are in there. My question remains, where have they been?

  198. PDO says:

    I’m 99% sure 46 tipped that….

  199. PunjabiOil says:

    What terrible ice.

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