Oilers at Senators, G64/08-09

This is Murray Wilson. Doug Wilson’s brother. He was a fine junior and a first round draft pick in 1971. He played for the Ottawa 67′s in the late 60s/early 70s and the list of his teammates is just silly good: Denis Potvin, Wayne Merrick, Michel Larocque, Bill Clement, Terry Murray, Blake Dunlop. That is an impressive list and it’s interesting to note that several of these guys have found a way to stay in the game, either as a broadcaster or in Terry Murray’s case as a coach.

Wilson scored 79 goals in his 4 junior seasons but found himself up against people like Steve Shutt (144 goals in 3 junior seasons), Yvon Lambert (50 goals in 1 major junior season) and Chuck Lefley (44 goals in 2 junior seasons) for the major league LW spots in Montreal (the team that drafted him). Wilson found a way to stay in the lineup (he was fast and could check, and he was certainly big and tough enough) but most people who remember him will talk about the fact that he never did put it all together as cover the 1st round bet.

Hindsight suggests that Wilson’s junior offense was never really on par with the other blue chip prospects in his draft season. He wasn’t in the same league as Guy Lafleur or Marcel Dionne or even Rick Martin.

Wilson scored 26 goals in 44 games during his draft season (70-71) but Rick Kehoe (who was drafted 11 spots after Wilson) scored 39 goals in 58 games.

His NHL career was cut short early in the 77-78 season. He suffered an injury that required spinal surgery to repair and spent the remainder of the season recovering from the operation. The Habs traded him the following year (fricking Pollock, the guy played every damn angle) but he had some family issues (daughter’s health) and called it a career a year after being dealt to the left coast. Last I heard he was doing Montreal TV broadcasts.

He was always a favourite of mine, played the game with abandon.

Ottawa has a rich hockey history but this season’s Senators aren’t going to add to the legacy. I don’t think next year’s team will look much better but we’ll have to wait and see. The Sens have Alfredsson, Heatley, Spezza and some kids but this team has a lot of kids trying to establish themselves. By the time they’re any good Daniel Alfredsson will probably be back in Europe.

As for the Oilers, well they have some fresh troops and they need to win a couple on this road trip. The obvious choice for easy win is tonight.

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290 Responses to "Oilers at Senators, G64/08-09"

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  1. Dennis says:

    I’ll be back shortly with the full deats but the Oil were outchanced 21-24; 18-23 EV; 3-1 ST.

    You think Kyle McLaren was worth a 6th round pick?

  2. quain says:

    You think Kyle McLaren was worth a 6th round pick?

    Where does he slot in? Strudwick’s spot? The Smid-Struds pairing was probably the best of the lot, by my eye, and that’s not saying much.

    Grebs and Gilbert look terrible and I really doubt McLaren is about to provide top four puck-movement.

  3. danny says:

    Bruce, we disagree completely on that one, just watched it a few times again and Heatley reaches in behind the scrum, grabbed Cogs by his jersey neck, pulled him out and threw him to the ice… while penner was ‘holding him’

    Heatley is 6’3″ 220lbs

    Cogliano is 5’10 185lbs

    Score is 4-2 with 30secs left.

    Do something.

  4. pboy says:

    I said the same thought yesterday Dennis but then I was wondering if San Jose wouldn’t deal him somewhere where they might have to play against him in the playoffs (longshot).

  5. Bruce says:

    Danny: I’ll watch it again, and watch for that. Whatever happened, happened in slow motion … kind of like the whole game.

  6. Coach pb9617 says:

    Im a Penner fan but seriousy wtf. You dont let cogs get tossed around like that when the games outta hand already. Thats bullshit.

    What in the hell are you talking about? Penner came in and grabbed two players at about the same time Souray got there. Campoli gives the kid a whack, Cogliano defends himself, they start and Staios rolls in. Souray and Penner arrive and Penner grabs two Sens, Souray is facewashing another.

    What in the hell are you talking about?

  7. danny says:

    I respect that you disagree coach, but I did watch the thing 4 times and thats my opinion… thats ‘what in the hell im talking about’

    How ’bout that Gagner kid coach?

  8. Coach pb9617 says:

    I like that Cole basically outlined the problems on this team (minus the third line center bit) in his exit interview.

    Young kids are cool, old dudes suck and the coach is a donkey.

  9. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Dany, Daniel, Jason…can I have my lunch money back?

    Respectfully

    Shawn.

  10. Alice says:

    I like that Toronto were sellers yesterday, tonight they dispatch washington. Hopefully by Saturday they remember they’re supposed to be tanking

  11. Dennis says:

    The cold hard truth?:)

    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3090

  12. knighttown says:

    @Dennis

    not too worried about us winning tonight because as KT’s shown, we Do take care of the lesser’s while being feasted upon by the more’s.

    If these last 20 games are a game of golf and a win against a “more” is birdie and a loss against a “less” is a bogey, we just three-jacked #1 for bogey (Nashville) and snap-hooked one O.B. on #2 for quad tonight.

    Not saying we can’t get a couple of birdies before the turn to keep it under 40, but she’s feeling pretty dicey with the driver at the moment.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    I respect that you disagree coach, but I did watch the thing 4 times and thats my opinion… thats ‘what in the hell im talking about’

    You are seeing things that aren’t there. It was a scrum, players are holding on. I’m watching and watching here and not seeing the problem. Nor did Bruce.

    Not saying we can’t get a couple of birdies before the turn to keep it under 40, but she’s feeling pretty dicey with the driver at the moment.

    I can’t find a golf analogy for running your #1C and #1G into the ground at the same time.

  14. hunter1909 says:

    Say what you will, but MacT did another helluva job motivating the troops tonight.

  15. Lowetide says:

    I saw the first but thankfully zipped to the Arden where my daughter was in Aladdin.

    Looks like it happened on a good night. Maybe she can find another role for Saturday.

  16. Oilman says:

    I can’t find a golf analogy for running your #1C and #1G into the ground at the same time.

    I can, but it involves Payne Stewart and a plane and would be totally and utterly classless.

  17. knighttown says:

    You know, there are nights where it becomes clear we rely on the math too much and have become guilty of “group think” from time to time. Outside of these blogs, are there any people on the planet who would prefer Shawn Horcoff over Jason Spezza for #1C? Horc does many things well and a few things better than Spez, but the breakaway goal and the Gretzky-esque pass to Comrie on the 6-on-5 were not plays 10 would make.

    Are there any players on this team that are consistent? I don’t mean this in a frustrated way, but it is quite fascinating to watch the individual ups-and-downs of a season. If its conceded that Gagners would win “Oiler forward of the week” this week, I’d say the list of 2008-09 winners would include:
    -Hemsky (many)
    -Nilsson a few weeks back
    -Cole when he had the 8 goals in 11 games
    -Moreau early
    -Horcoff during a stretch in early Dec with 9pts in 6GP (+6)
    -Cogliano had pts in 4 straight in January vs. Dallas, SJ, NYI and Van

    Is this normal? Would Detroit have this issue?

    The defense have similar trends. There are times I wish we could lock up 44,71,37,77,5 for 10 years and take our chances but nights like tonight I’d trade the other 4 and take a kick in the balls just to have Vis back for the stretch run.

    And just cause I’m cranky tonight, Coach, your boy Dusty suuuuuucked tonight. Bet your life The Ox will be back in in TO and maybe Nilsson too and who’d be surprised if Eatty McBackfat was in street clothes (which I’d assume is a mu-mu) and sitting in a home health care style electronic lift chair in the press box.

  18. Dennis says:

    KT: Yes, while watching the game I thought about referencing your point and then I realized that now we’ve got to man up and win against a real team in order to make up for tonight’s fuckery. You know what, though? Maybe it’s all swinging around because we went an awfully fucking long time without losing to these guys. I can remember beating them with Roussel in net and with Conklin down the stretch in ’04 when they were fucking good and we were scrambling to stay in the race.

    Quain: Yeah, I understand McLaren’s not the shit anymore and he missed about ~15 games a year from seasons ’04-8; not to mention he got hurt this year and just came back so the guy’s fragile.

    So, you know, the guy might be done. But we’ve got money left and no defensive depth and the guy was out there. And, yeah, I’d be way more content with him in 43′s slot and I might not mind him over 24 either. The guy’s no longer in the league because of his salary but if he’s healthy, I’d wager the fucker can still play.

    And right now we have a struggling top four and Peckham and Roy as 7-8. So, putting McLaren into the top six and bumping 43 down into depth would make a difference, IMO.

    As a few of us know, lost in the hoopla of acquiring two more forwards is the fact our D’s thinner than Kate Moss on Atkins.

    Anyway, tonight was ultra-disappointing because I didn’t feel we were close to deserving of a win and we lost to a poor team.

    And you don’t even want to know how many games we’ve been outchanced since 71 went down.

  19. knighttown says:

    I can, but it involves Payne Stewart and a plane and would be totally and utterly classless.

    OFFSIDE!!

    That guy was class. A true southern gentleman who swung a golf club like Louis Armstrong played a trumpet. Tiger, who I also love, is all power and impossible mechanics whereas Payne’s swing was as smooth as that DiSaronna looks on the ad.

  20. Woodguy says:

    Bleh.

    No good outlet passes from anyone to get going through the neutral zone.

    I liked Smid skating it out when he did, he should do it more often.

    Hemsky looks like he’s regressed. Can’t get anything going and isn’t hitting the O zone with speed at all. His moves work well at high speed, not while coasting. Is he hurt?

    44 and 24 played hot potato with the puck all night long yet again….

    Elliott is not a NHL goalie. He gave up juicy rebounds on weak shots, but the Oilers don’t go to the front of the net pretty much ever (except for Cogs). The Oilers only managed 26 shot on this sieve and gave him his first win in over a month. Pathetic.

    Hope 12 gets a chance to redeem himself next game. You could pull out anyone not named Cogs,Gagner or Pisani and not miss a beat based on tonight.

    Roli hasn’t looked good since Minnesota, he needs a break.

    If there was ever a game to give that break its Saturday night vs. Leafs, but MacTavish is too stubborn.

    Maybe the team will play better in from of JDD if they are afraid of giving up as many good looks as they give up in front of Roli?

    Nashville wins again. Good for them and their 44 Million payroll. There is a well coached team. We could use a coach with no neck.

    Like coach said, Cole nailed it in his exit interview. The kids are great, the vets are terrible and the coach is a basket case.

    Clap Clap

  21. Traktor says:

    I thought Smid was one of the best players on the ice tonight. He’s picking up confidence and now the improvements in his game are coming in much shorter intervals.

    Not much else to say besides fire the cancer.

  22. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    “knighttown said…
    You know, there are nights where it becomes clear we rely on the math too much and have become guilty of “group think” from time to time. Outside of these blogs, are there any people on the planet who would prefer Shawn Horcoff over Jason Spezza for #1C? Horc does many things well and a few things better than Spez, but the breakaway goal and the Gretzky-esque pass to Comrie on the 6-on-5 were not plays 10 would make.”

    That’s heresy Knighttown, next thing you know there will be angry Quakers pounding on your door.

  23. Scott says:

    Where did everybody get ‘the vets suck’ from in the Cole exit interview?

    The guy’s said a bunch of times how much he likes some of our vets (24 in particular) in the past.

  24. HBomb says:

    FCM: You must be one of those jackasses calling into 1260 right now. Shit performance from the whole team, yet all anyone can say is “trade Horcoff” (and no, he wasn’t good tonight, but guess what? If people are going to say Hemsky’s the whole reason the first line is good when it’s going, he’s got to take the other end of the stick too – his play lately, due to injury or otherwise, is the big thing dragging the first line down). Narrow-minded, simplistic, and incorrect assessment is what it is.

    knighttown: I don’t think you’ll find anyone who would argue Horcoff as being better than Spezza, even taking salary into account. My issue is that if it’s going to cost Gilbert in addition to Horcoff to make that trade….that’s where I have a problem. And that was the common suggestion I heard all winter (not as galling as hearing that it would be a good idea to dump Gilbert and Horcoff on New York and take Gomez in return, but still).

    Game thoughts, in brief:

    - Hemsky’s got to play better. He’s been more or less shit since Visnovsky went down.

    - Souray hasn’t been great either. I’d chalk some of it up to fatigue, but not all of it.

    - The last two points illustrate something I’m slowly buying into: Visnovsky very well may be the fucking MVP of this year’s Oilers. Seriously.

    - New guys were mostly invisible. I’ll give them a couple games to adjust, but on Cole – if it so sounded like he was disappointed to stay here, why not fucking extend the guy and keep some skills in the room that are in short supply? I like the value we got in return, but Jesus, we need that type of player, and he was just starting to mesh with Gagner.

    - Liking Sam’s game lately, minus the “Moreau moment”.

    - Roloson’s been run into the ground, and it’s showing.

    - Grebeshkov took a double dose of LSD as part of tonight’s pre-game meal, or so it appears.

    - I rarely have a night where I can complain about how Fernando Pisani played.

    - Dustin Penner is right there with Horcoff and Gilbert when it comes for “undeserved whippings” around this town. Nilsson’s in the next tier down. If those two get traded, I hope they go and have great years elsewhere next year as a gigantic middle finger to everyone dumping on them, especially the coach.

    - Zero out of six points so far this season against the Ontario teams. Completely unacceptable. This team deserves to miss the playoffs, and MacTavish deserves to be flipping burgers at McDonalds when it does happen.

  25. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    FCM: You must be one of those jackasses calling into 1260 right now. Shit performance from the whole team, yet all anyone can say is “trade Horcoff” (and no, he wasn’t good tonight, but guess what? If people are going to say Hemsky’s the whole reason the first line is good when it’s going, he’s got to take the other end of the stick too – his play lately, due to injury or otherwise, is the big thing dragging the first line down). Narrow-minded, simplistic, and incorrect assessment is what it is.

    Never called in to 1260 in my life though I have to admit I took a few thousand calls when I worked there.

    You must be one of the jackasses who can’t watch a game a see how badly Horcoff got mangled by players with superior skill and motivation.

    No one said trade Horcoff but how about putting some accountability on his ass when his team needs effort and he can’t or won’t bring it.

    Saying Hemsky sucks only goes so far, unless you think Alice needs to carry Shawn around in a basket.

    The man is a $5.5 million fraud.

  26. HBomb says:


    You must be one of the jackasses who can’t watch a game a see how badly Horcoff got mangled by players with superior skill and motivation.

    No one said trade Horcoff but how about putting some accountability on his ass when his team needs effort and he can’t or won’t bring it.

    Saying Hemsky sucks only goes so far, unless you think Alice needs to carry Shawn around in a basket.

    The man is a $5.5 million fraud.

    A fraud? Clearly you don’t watch the games.

    The first line has sucked the last half-dozen games, including tonight (if you could read, you’d be able to see that I recognized this). But the guy is in the black playing monster minutes against the absolute best. If you cannot see that he’s a damn good hockey player, you need to pay better attention.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: if the majority of the credit goes to Hemsky when the first line is going good, logically he’s got to take most of the heat when it’s not going, right? He’s the guy who carries the puck most, and lately, he’s been shit. Or are you a doublethink practicioner?

    Horcoff certainly can play better, but it’s oh-so-convenient to pick only his name out as getting dominated by the Alfredsson line when his RW is just as, if not even more, guilty of a lousy perfomance tonight.

  27. Traktor says:

    “Cole – if it so sounded like he was disappointed to stay here, why not fucking extend the guy and keep some skills in the room that are in short supply?”

    Because he agent isn’t stupid.

    All the talk that he’d sign for less than 4 is pretty silly.

    Would a team take Cole for free if he had another 4 million on his contract next year?

    Of course.

    So why wouldn’t we think he’d get more than 4 on the open market?

    If I’m his his agent you start with Tim Connolly money. He’ll get it too.

    Not that he’s worth it – he’s a rich mans Ethan Moreau; F in hockey sense, play constantly dies on his stick.

  28. HBomb says:

    Traktor: I’d gladly ditch Moreau and find a cheaper alternative to give Cole a 500K raise and sign him for another two years.

    I think he’ll rebound next year, and I think he would have rebounded here next year too – I expect a lot of players will under a different coach, be it whomever replaces MacT or whomever is coaching the team they are traded to.

  29. Lowetide says:

    FCM: Do we know each other?

  30. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ HBomb

    “A fraud? Clearly you don’t watch the games.

    The first line has sucked the last half-dozen games, including tonight (if you could read, you’d be able to see that I recognized this). But the guy is in the black playing monster minutes against the absolute best. If you cannot see that he’s a damn good hockey player, you need to pay better attention.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: if the majority of the credit goes to Hemsky when the first line is going good, logically he’s got to take most of the heat when it’s not going, right? He’s the guy who carries the puck most, and lately, he’s been shit. Or are you a doublethink practicioner?

    Horcoff certainly can play better, but it’s oh-so-convenient to pick only his name out as getting dominated by the Alfredsson line when his RW is just as, if not even more, guilty of a lousy perfomance tonight.”

    Clearly I do watch the games and have since 1979.

    Clearly you can’t see a player that is in over his head in the role he’s been given.

    You want to blame Hemsky, who has been disinterested and erratic, but absolving Horcoff for his lack of effort and skill is just ridiculous.

    No one’s “picking on him” he just has been dreadful.

    And that’s not Hemsky’s fault.

    I know you want to see him as a God playing monster minutes but tell me how many ES goals has he scored in the last 6 weeks?

    How many was he on the ice for tonight?

    There’s your answer right there.

  31. Scott says:

    Traktor: I’d gladly ditch Moreau and find a cheaper alternative to give Cole a 500K raise and sign him for another two years.

    The Oilers really couldn’t afford this without moving more pieces, probably at least Staios plus one of the top four defenders if the cap goes to 50M. If it goes much lower it probably means one of Cogs/Gags is gone.

    Horcoff certainly can play better, but it’s oh-so-convenient to pick only his name out as getting dominated by the Alfredsson line when his RW is just as, if not even more, guilty of a lousy perfomance tonight.

    I think the issue is that Horcoff seems immune from criticism in some circles every bit as much as he’s the lightning rod for it in others. To be honest though, I haven’t heard much in the way of trumped up anti-Horcoff sentiment anywhere recently. Games like tonight some criticism seems fair. I think if you read over the thread people haven’t really singled him out either. If anything Ales is the one being singled out the most.

  32. Traktor says:

    “I’d gladly ditch Moreau and find a cheaper alternative to give Cole a 500K raise and sign him for another two years.”

    As the Oilers GM I don’t think you really have that option though. Betting on a guy that’s on pace for career lows since he entered the league is pretty gutsy.

    It was just one of those situations where you had to cut your losses and in this case we made a nice return.

  33. HBomb says:

    Clearly you can’t see a player that is in over his head in the role he’s been given.

    Wrong. The guy has been outscoring other team’s top lines for the majority of this season. In over his head? No way.

    You want to blame Hemsky, who has been disinterested and erratic, but absolving Horcoff for his lack of effort and skill is just ridiculous.

    No one’s “picking on him” he just has been dreadful.

    And that’s not Hemsky’s fault.

    You picked out ONE name as to who got “owned” tonight, despite the fact he’s got two wingers playing with him who were equally as guilty? Seems like you want to pin it all on 10, despite the fact 83′s been earning the description “dreadful” the last 10 games. And this is coming from one of the most pro-Hemsky guys in town.

    As for the comments about lack of skill and effort….well, I’m not going to dignify such tripe with a comment. Oh wait, guess I just did.

    I know you want to see him as a God playing monster minutes but tell me how many ES goals has he scored in the last 6 weeks?

    How many was he on the ice for tonight?

    There’s your answer right there.

    He’s in a bad stretch, just like his linemates. He and Hemsky both need to get it together. Best move right now might be to put those two back with Penner, considering that line is 21GF/5GA at 5-on-5 when playing together this year. Seems like a winning combination of a first line to me.

  34. Woodguy says:

    Where did everybody get ‘the vets suck’ from in the Cole exit interview?

    The guy’s said a bunch of times how much he likes some of our vets (24 in particular) in the past.

    I read into his comments because I dislike most of the vets as hockey players on the team, so its serves my interest.

    When Cole was talking about “the guys”, he singles out “the young guys”, but makes no mention of supposed leaders on the team.

    Admission by omission.

    Its a bit of a stretch, but for someone of my disposition on 24, 18 and others, its not much of a stretch.

  35. HBomb says:

    Scott: I was taking reference to what I was hearing on the radio. However, THIS bit of bullshit from FCM deserved a slap in the face due to the blatant cherry-picking nature of the following attempt at “humor”:

    Dany, Daniel, Jason…can I have my lunch money back?

    Respectfully

    Shawn.

    Yeah, no mention of this wingers getting owned too.

    The commentary here is pretty balanced (I’m seeing everyone get called out tonight, which is damn sure justified), FCM’s biased garbage being the exception rather than the rule.

  36. Bank Shot says:

    You can blame Moreau, or you can blame Horcoff for all of the team’s problems. They’re both just different sides of the same coin as far as I’m concerned.

    As a team these guys just aren’t very good. They don’t have any true superstar forwards, and they also aren’t deep up front. They lack grit, and seldom go to the net, but they also can’t make the pretty tic-tac-toe passing plays that skill teams thrive on and they don’t score on odd man rushes.

    They don’t have any defensmen that are really well rounded, and the players in their top four all have the same strengths and weaknesses.
    The team systematically ignores the slot in their own zone, they don’t appear to have any defined offensive strategy.

    Hopefully next year’s edition gives us something to cheer for, but I imagine Lowe just makes some more big shake up trades that chase famous names and reclamation projects rather then addressing team needs.

  37. Bruce says:

    I don’t see Horcoff as lacking in effort, but definitely the performance has been coming up light for awhile. He and Hemsky both Sucked tonight. Gives me no pleasure to say it, but that’s how I saw it.

    Lots of talk about how Hemsky “must” be playing hurt, but he’s not the only one who’s nicked. Horc missed a couple games a while back, likely came back before he was ready, and definitely seemed to be favouring something when they did a close-up of him going off at the end of one shift tonight.

    Some of these guys — Roli, Souray, Gilbert, Horcoff — are running on fumes.

  38. HBomb says:

    Traktor: I’ll agree, nice return for sure (Kotalik and Cole is basically a straight up pending-UFA swap, which means O’Sullivan for a 5th rounder, which to me is a steal, tonight’s pedestrian debut notwithstanding).

    I just think what Cole brings is in short supply here, and I’d take a bet on him returning to form on a short UFA deal (2 years or less) if I was an NHL GM). As it stands now, the Oilers are going to need to deal from the small-skilled surplus in order to add some size with “finish” to the top half of the forward lineup.

    Better to have to work through that puzzle than to lose Cole for nothing, however…..

  39. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    2HBomb

    “He’s in a bad stretch, just like his linemates. He and Hemsky both need to get it together. Best move right now might be to put those two back with Penner, considering that line is 21GF/5GA at 5-on-5 when playing together this year. Seems like a winning combination of a first line to me.

    Given that Horcoff and Hemsky have been together in your “bad stretch” are you suggesting Penner drives success on that line?

    Best move right now might be the one you saw in the third period where Horcoff was moved to the third line because he isn’t producing.

    That doesn’t absolve Hemsky for his indifferent play but it’s time Horcoff faced the music.

    He’s been several shades of dreadful for quite some time.

  40. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @ Bruce

    I don’t see Horcoff as lacking in effort, but definitely the performance has been coming up light for awhile. He and Hemsky both Sucked tonight. Gives me no pleasure to say it, but that’s how I saw it.

    Lots of talk about how Hemsky “must” be playing hurt, but he’s not the only one who’s nicked. Horc missed a couple games a while back, likely came back before he was ready, and definitely seemed to be favouring something when they did a close-up of him going off at the end of one shift tonight.

    Some of these guys — Roli, Souray, Gilbert, Horcoff — are running on fumes.

    I wonder how many NHL players you COULDN’T say that about this time of year?

  41. HBomb says:

    Bank Shot: Pretty accurate description. Can’t really blame one guy, and that’s an important point.

    Bruce: Roloson, Souray, Gilbert, Visnovsky, Hemsky, Horcoff, Penner….up until early February, I was pretty happy with how the “money players” were earning their salaries this year. Then:

    - Visnovsky goes down for the season.

    - As a result of the Visnovsky injury, Gilbert and Souray are forced into more minutes, compounded when Grebeshkov goes down. Both are now clearly fatigued.

    - Roloson’s playing every game, and it’s starting to show.

    - Penner’s in the doghouse, for whatever reason.

    - Taking every G-D faceoff and tough matchup is starting to wear Horcoff down to nothing.

    - Hemsky’s playing hurt, or suffering the effects of having no Visnovsky, or starting to be affected somehow by the constant line shuffling, or….could be many things. It’s a mystery, but he’s not the player than beat a solid Columbus team single-handedly on Jan. 20th.

    Frankly, the last 30 days haven’t been all losses, but Atlantis is slowly sliding into the ocean.

  42. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    HBomb said…
    Scott: I was taking reference to what I was hearing on the radio. However, THIS bit of bullshit from FCM deserved a slap in the face due to the blatant cherry-picking nature of the following attempt at “humor”:

    Dany, Daniel, Jason…can I have my lunch money back?

    Respectfully

    Shawn.

    Yeah, no mention of this wingers getting owned too.

    The commentary here is pretty balanced (I’m seeing everyone get called out tonight, which is damn sure justified), FCM’s biased garbage being the exception rather than the rule.

    See the problem with your bit of bullshit HBomb is you will always absolve Horcoff of responsibility.

    If you can say slowly and repeat it three times “Horcoff has sucked for the last ten games” then we’ll get on with blaming Hemsky and and Kotalik for Shawn’s performance.

    But conventional wisdom is a very powerful thing isn’t it?

  43. Jon says:

    In years previous, this team has always relied on the dump and cork, heavy forecheck philosophy. This year however, everyone thinks they are Hemsky and can dangle into the offensive end untouched. The turnovers on the O blue line are killing this team and everyone except the 4th line is guilty.

  44. HBomb says:

    Given that Horcoff and Hemsky have been together in your “bad stretch” are you suggesting Penner drives success on that line?

    Best move right now might be the one you saw in the third period where Horcoff was moved to the third line because he isn’t producing.

    That doesn’t absolve Hemsky for his indifferent play but it’s time Horcoff faced the music.

    He’s been several shades of dreadful for quite some time.

    I’m suggesting that line works together as a unit. Novel concept, eh? Hemsky’s the guy driving the bus offensively, but as others have pointed out, Penner and Horcoff are both pretty good players without the puck, so that trio “works” together (and pretty damn well).

    So why wasn’t Hemsky stapled to the bench of Horcoff got moved to the third line then? He was every bit as bad tonight. Once again, nice double standard you’ve got goin’ there.

  45. Icecastles says:

    Oh God, TW’s on the air. Some of the stuff he says isn’t completely retarded, some of it is actually kind of smart. But I just can’t get over the Casey Kasem voice and the constant referring to himself in the third person. I wonder what it would be like trying to get a word in edgewise in a conversation with the guy. :)

  46. HBomb says:

    See the problem with your bit of bullshit HBomb is you will always absolve Horcoff of responsibility.

    If you can say slowly and repeat it three times “Horcoff has sucked for the last ten games” then we’ll get on with blaming Hemsky and and Kotalik for Shawn’s performance.

    But conventional wisdom is a very powerful thing isn’t it?

    Show me where I absolved Horcoff of responsibility tonight. I’m calling you out for putting ALL the blame on him.

    If you can read, I’ve been quite clear in saying the top end guys have been crap the last ten games. Conventional wisdom would be that you’re the one trying to pin it all on him and absolve Hemsky somehow, yet you’re calling me out?

    Hypocrisy, FCM be thy name. Do us all a favor and grow a brain.

  47. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @hbomb

    So why wasn’t Hemsky stapled to the bench of Horcoff got moved to the third line then? He was every bit as bad tonight. Once again, nice double standard you’ve got goin’ there.

    If I was the coach I’d be kicking both their asses all over the place but I”m not.

    Hemsky at least has a chance to score even when he’s off his game.

    When Horcoff is off his game, he’s got nothing…nothing.

  48. HBomb says:

    If I was the coach I’d be kicking both their asses all over the place but I”m not.

    Hemsky at least has a chance to score even when he’s off his game.

    When Horcoff is off his game, he’s got nothing…nothing.

    When Horcoff’s off his offensive game, he’s still by far this team’s best all around center option.

    When Hemsky’s off his game, he’s still this team’s most dangerous offensive player.

    Best way to slump-bust? Put those two back with Penner. Go with what’s proven to work. Simple as that. Give Gagner O’Sullivan and Kotalik and feed those guys the soft minutes. Build some sort of third line around Cogliano-Pouliot-Pisani. Go from there.

  49. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    @hbomb

    You did watch tonight’s game, right?

    If Horcoff was the best option at centre then the mess is much bigger than an old pessimist like me could imagine.

    On an ongoing basis, you’re right but that is damning with very faint praise.

    Penner is being punished by the coach and both Horcoff and Hemsky should be and somehow this will have a happy ending?

  50. HBomb says:


    You did watch tonight’s game, right?

    If Horcoff was the best option at centre then the mess is much bigger than an old pessimist like me could imagine.

    On an ongoing basis, you’re right but that is damning with very faint praise.

    Penner is being punished by the coach and both Horcoff and Hemsky should be and somehow this will have a happy ending?

    Yep, watched the game tonight. It wasn’t pretty – I think someone up top said it best. Outside of Gagner, Cogliano and Pisani, a lot of guys get failing grades.

    When I say Horcoff’s the best option at center, I mean it in a matchup sense – you want ugly, then put Gagner or Cogliano head to head with the Alfredsson lines of the world night after night. Over a full season it’s worked more than it hasn’t, having Horpensky take the toughs. I don’t want to pin it on Kotalik, and Hemsky and Horcoff are both in slumps, but damn….what’s proven to give this team the best chance to win that matchup isn’t being deployed (and against Ottawa, if you win that matchup, you win 90% of the games against them, because they really are a one-trick pony at forward right now).

    Currently, we’re getting killed at the top of the lineup (which was not a problem at all pre-February 3rd), and Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky are not consistently playing as a trio. Coincidence or circumstance? Putting those three back together is the first step to getting this thing back on the rails, methinks.

    The other thing that could really help would be a miraculous Visnovsky recovery – the more Oilers hockey I watch “sans 71″, the more I buy into the Vic Ferrari theory of this guy as team MVP. And I was a big enough fan of the Vis to start with. I’ve grown to respect what Souray brings to the rink (and believe me, I was NOT a fan of this signing when it happened), but the diminutive Slovak is the guy stirring the drink on the Oiler blueline.

  51. Icecastles says:

    Well, this thread has turned into the HBomb/FakeMacT Hate-a-thon. Can’t we just all agree to place the blame where it belongs? Damn you, Peter Pocklington!!

    Seriously though, Hemsky is underproducing, Horcoff is underproducing. They might be hurt, they might be tired, but they both deserve a share of the non-exclusive blame and hopefully will pull out of it. What more is there to say? Everyone’s a bit bitter right now because the boys have lost too many games recently that they should have been able to win.

    But we’re all fans and we all want the same result – for the top guys to get better and the team to start putting in some consistent efforts. So let’s be friends again!

  52. Traktor says:

    What was our record after 20 games with a healthy 71? What about after 40?

    He’s a good player but this team has been shit with or without him.

  53. Lowetide says:

    I think part of the blame goes to the coach. You’ve got a player who flew in on the red-eye and has never played on a line with Horcoff or Hemsky in the NHL.

    Wouldn’t Penner be the better option, at least for tonight? Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza is a pretty tough unit and then of course we get into the issue of who was playing D (I didn’t see the last two periods).

    The first goal was on 37 imo.

  54. Bruce says:

    EV shots differential tonight:

    Staios! +15/-8 = +7
    Souray +13/-9 = +4
    Gagner +11/-8 = +3
    O’Sullivan +10/-9 = +1
    Pouliot +8/-7 = +1
    Jacques +4/-4 = 0
    Stortini +4/-4 = 0
    Smid +7/-8 = -1
    Penner +5/-6 = -1
    Strudwick +6/-8 = -2
    Brodziak +5/-7 = -2
    Pisani +5/-8 = -3
    Hemsky +5/-8 = -3
    Cogliano +5/-9 = -4
    Kotalik +5/-9 = -4
    Roloson +23/-30 = -7
    Horcoff +2/-10 = -8
    Grebeshkov +3/-13 = -10
    Gilbert +2/-14 = -12

    Mind you, Ottawa is pretty much the unfairest team to use this metric, cuz they have the most unbalanced line match-ups in the league. Clearly, though, Grebs and Gilbert were in WAY over their heads tonight as the “shutdown” pairing.

  55. Dennis says:

    You need to see a Before to really take the measure of the After but here’s how the Oilers have fared scoring chances for/against in the 14 games the Oilers have played with 71:

    205/265

    That rounds off to 15/19 on a nightly basis. So, you get outchanced by four every night and you also lose a valuable PP guy.

    I think we should all remember that when the inevitable trade a D for a forward happens and we wonder if the right guy went.

    Currently, there’s always a trickledown when you lose one of your best and what happened to the Oil was 24 had to move into the top four and 5 did the same while 37 was out. Since 37′s return, he’s a combined 14/30 in those three games so he’s either still super-banged up, he accumulates rust quicker than a – insert car of choice here;) – or the guy’s having another prolonged spell. Either or, or all, it winds up that he’s killing us and it’s just like we’re playing without him him and Vishnovsky.

    The other thing is that no one wins with their top line playing this poorly and the ice has been tilted on 10′s line for a super long time now. I’ve given up saying that it Will turn, now I’m just fucking waiting for it. The other night in Nsh, if you know going in that both 22 and 78 would score, you would bet serious money that we’d win, right? And if you knew that 89 would have two goals tonight, you’d bet the same. But currently the strongest hands are the weakest on the rope and everyone’s ending up muddy.

    Plus, the PP’s suffering and the PK’s fallen back into the never.

    So, it won’t shock you that in those 14 games AV – after Vishnovsky – we have:

    4 reg. wins and 2 SO wins
    5 reg losses, 2 SO losses and one OT loss.

    This wasn’t all a quest to prove HB’s point but i thought it was worth throwing out there.

    Trak: Cole – I will no longer use his number:) – looks like a 20 goal and 50 point guy who puts the puck in the right direction and can kill penalties. But the rumored 2010 cap’s gonna be 54-57 so do you think a lot of teams would give him 4 mill? Teams with space and a one year deal? Yeah, could be.

    And this comes from a guy that learned to like him and would’ve given him say 3/9 or even up to 10 because of what he would add to us. But I’m not sure that this year’s performance won’t hurt his wallet in the summer.

  56. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Icecastles said…
    Well, this thread has turned into the HBomb/FakeMacT Hate-a-thon. Can’t we just all agree to place the blame where it belongs? Damn you, Peter Pocklington!!

    Seriously though, Hemsky is underproducing, Horcoff is underproducing. They might be hurt, they might be tired, but they both deserve a share of the non-exclusive blame and hopefully will pull out of it. What more is there to say? Everyone’s a bit bitter right now because the boys have lost too many games recently that they should have been able to win.

    But we’re all fans and we all want the same result – for the top guys to get better and the team to start putting in some consistent efforts. So let’s be friends again!

    No need for hate or excuses.

    But the blame clearly lies with Chris Pronger.

  57. HBomb says:

    What was our record after 20 games with a healthy 71? What about after 40?

    He’s a good player but this team has been shit with or without him.

    I ran some numbers on just him and Hemsky together using Vic’s tool earlier this week – and there’s a drop off in terms of the GF/GA and corsi. I think Dennis mentioned something about us being outchanced in all but a couple of games

    Raw record since he went down?

    6W-5L-3OTL

    In my world, that’s under .500

  58. Bruce says:

    Wouldn’t Penner be the better option, at least for tonight?

    LT: Yes.

    Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza is a pretty tough unit

    Yes.

    and then of course we get into the issue of who was playing D (I didn’t see the last two periods).

    See shots data above. It was 37-77.

    The first goal was on 37 imo.

    It was on both of them IMO, but 37 likely gets the Primary Error. Bit of a bad hop, and to the wrong guy. 12 seconds in, and behind to stay.

    Funny thing, it was an Ottawa franchise record for the fastest goal from the start of a game, but from the Oilers’ p.o.v. it wasn’t even a seasonal mark for the fastest GA. That would be 10 seconds, against Buffalo. We never got back into that game either.

  59. HBomb says:


    Seriously though, Hemsky is underproducing, Horcoff is underproducing. They might be hurt, they might be tired, but they both deserve a share of the non-exclusive blame and hopefully will pull out of it. What more is there to say? Everyone’s a bit bitter right now because the boys have lost too many games recently that they should have been able to win.

    But we’re all fans and we all want the same result – for the top guys to get better and the team to start putting in some consistent efforts. So let’s be friends again!

    No need for hate or excuses.

    But the blame clearly lies with Chris Pronger.

    Quoted for truth. Especially the last statement.

    They’re better than this, what we saw tonight. I’d be pretty humiliated if they lost Saturday and went 0-fer-4 against the Ontario teams this season, however.

    Oh yeah, something I didn’t say before. If Stortini had dropped his gloves and beaten the tar our of a “defenseless” Jarko Ruutu, the subsequent suspension would have been worth it.

  60. Satisfied_to_Ignore says:

    hi all. i haven't read through the thread, just got back from hockey and have to sleep but…

    i would hesitate to be too negative on this one. I think there were some bad bounces, some fantastic saves by BE and some poor plays by Roli. Cogs puts in the chance when it is 3 1 and we are one goal back with a period to play. different game.

    Two problems right now:

    1) First line. Carried us a lot early, hopefully the new blood will give it some energy.

    2) Roli has played too much. Why did he play in SJ? Why did he not get pulled after 3 tonight? This is really ridiculous to me. PLAY JDD for F*&!% sakes! You can't on Saturday for HNIC, but Tuesday you'd better give Roli the night off.

  61. Dennis says:

    HB: just counting at EV, we’ve only out-chanced in three of the 14 games since 71 went down; 19-15 at Minny, 13-12 at SJ and 21-20 vs TB.

    The guy Owns the bus.

  62. Rod says:

    @lowetide:
    Wouldn’t Penner be the better option, at least for tonight? Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza is a pretty tough unit and then of course we get into the issue of who was playing D (I didn’t see the last two periods).

    To no one’s surprise, I agree that Horpensky would have been the best option tonight. Also no surprise the coach didn’t see fit to use that proven line against an elite line.

    @FCM: If you can copy/paste, you can learn to use italics so that we can tell where your posts actually start. Just saying. Thanks.

  63. Scott says:

    Raw record since [Visnovsky] went down?

    6W-5L-3OTL

    I think Traktor’s point is that this isn’t terribly different from their record most of the rest of the season from the perspective of points percentage.

    I don’t want to discount the fact that Visnovsky is a great player and clearly makes this team much better, but I think this does show just how much winning hockey games is about luck.

    I mean we lose one of our three best players and everyone acknowledges that they’re playing worse and our points percentage stays stagnant (from 1.06 before injury to 1.07 after injury).

    I think that this also shows that a guy like McLaren over Strudwick or Peckham taking a spot as 6th D would make a stupendously marginal difference to our actual results.

  64. Rod says:

    @Dennis:
    Those are some stark numbers, and to me, they counter the idea that we’re no different without 71. Hopefully the new guys can help reverse the trend.

    BTW, the Kings helped out Patio tonight. Two late ones, and then another in OT to take a point away from Dallas. Shots in the third: 21-3 LA. Wow.

    Unfortunately the Sharks decided that was too much help for the Oil, as they blew a 3-0 lead (and a 3-2 third period lead) to lose to the Wild in OT. D’oh.

    Still, the Kings comeback has the Oil in the top 8…barely.

  65. slipper says:

    It might seem like I’m fumbling for an excuse, but since FCM brought it up, I’d wager good money that Horcoff’s shoulder is fucked up.

  66. hunter1909 says:

    It’s all MacT’s fault.

    The players know if they don’t toe the line MacT publicly crucifies them. That has an effect on performance that devastates creativity and, in time can eventually erode even the basic skillsets of most players.

    Players don’t really know what the fuck is on the coach’s mind. How can they? MacT’s boneheaded parade of stupid decisions all season long have paid homage to that.

    MacT goes on record as refusing to motivate the players. That kills me. Like, wtf is the coach’s job? Don Shula took a Miami Dolphins team that was on par or lesss with the Oilers and using motivation made them a champion virtually overnight. The annals of pro sports are full of these kind of stories. No need to go on.

    How many players has MacT attacked this year that are his “pets” ? That is, his 2006, dregs(I say dregs because nearly all of the decent ones are long gone). Like, zero?

    Everyone and his dog knows MacT won’t ever get fired. But, even Katz isn’t stupid enough to think the fans are putting up with another season from MacT.

    MacT is an anti-coach.

  67. hunter1909 says:

    Non-MacT Favourite player thinks to himself: “Fuck it. I’ll keep my head down, try to appear defensively aware so the coach doesn’t single me out, take a few shots but it doesn’t matter if they go in or not, and collect my fat paycheck. Who knows? My agent promised me I’ll be out of here in a year or two”.

  68. bookie says:

    I would love to have a chance to get a real honest opinion of MacT from the players. We often speculate, but we really don’t know if he is a respected or disrespected coach in the room…

  69. HBomb says:

    Scott: On the surface, the record looks consistent with pre-Visnovsky injury performance, but Dennis’ scoring chance numbers suggest they’ve perhaps been lucky to even be that “good”.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but if the Oilers miss the playoffs and this trend continues, I think we’ll have solid proof of who the Oilers best all-around d-man is (two hints: it’s not Sheldon Souray, and it’s Lubomir Visnovsky).

  70. Schitzo says:

    I thought Pouliot quietly had an excellent game tonight.

  71. Scott says:

    Scott: On the surface, the record looks consistent with pre-Visnovsky injury performance, but Dennis’ scoring chance numbers suggest they’ve perhaps been lucky to even be that “good”.

    We’ll see how it plays out, but if the Oilers miss the playoffs and this trend continues, I think we’ll have solid proof of who the Oilers best all-around d-man is (two hints: it’s not Sheldon Souray, and it’s Lubomir Visnovsky).

    The thing is, I agree that Visnovsky is our best D man and I agree that we’ve been lucky to be this good (although I think we were lucky before Vishnovsky got injured too, especially on the road). My point with that was to say mostly (1) luck plays an enormous factor in winning games and (2) marginal changes like who’s playing 6D, unless your regular #6 is way below replacement level or the new one is way above, aren’t going to make a significant difference when it comes to winning games.

  72. Bruce says:

    Dennis: For perspective, what was the Oilers record of outchancing with Visnovsky in the lineup? They were below the break-even mark all along is my recollection, but surely better than 3 per 14.

  73. danny says:

    Horcoff may be injured, I’m guessing not though. The guy has never put up counting numbers when hes been a heavy lifter. All of his offense has been with guys like Stoll/Reasoner/Peca taking a sizeable chunk of the heavies.

    His responsibilities this season have been ridiculous as management are bent on breaking in kids at centre.

    Before the season started I predicted Horcoff to be the teams MVP, but the fanbases whipping boy.

    Theres no way 10 could produce like he did last season with the matchups and sheer number of defensive zone faceoffs and defensive zone TOI.

    Its a developmental year, and 10s carrying the burden on his (bummed?) shoulder.

  74. NBOilerFan says:

    Icecastles said…
    On some levels, I’m not surprised that Edmonton is having a rough go this game – they just lost Cole which, by the sound of it, might have been taken a bit harder than many of us expected, the new guys are running on about 2 hours of sleep, and everyone has to get used to new linemates without much of any time to practice.

    Yea… just look how that effected Jokinen and Leopold for the Flames
    Olli with just two goals and Leopold just one. I bet they wished they had gotten more sleep and time to adjust to the linemates.

    pboy said…
    I don’t need the coach to be behind the bench screaming his head off and tossing sticks and water bottles at the ref but it would be nice to see a little more emotion than that slack jawed, deer-in-the-headlights, I’m the dumbest fuck in the room look.

    How true…. maybe Lowe needs to hire a fake mascot to hover behind the bench each game to keep MacT fired up and show some emotion. That deer-in-the-headlights look he usually has is too funny.

    Seriously, we can’t judge these two guys by the one game that they were thrust into. Even at least one practice would do wonders for their comfort level on ice.

    There is alot of suggestions that Cole looked disheartened to be dealt, but come on. Sure he probably is not happy on how his year went and he honestly wanted to do better here… but there is no way that he is not more happy to be heading back to the Carolina.

    As Tamb’s said, he is a professional… and he was acting liek a profesional. He wasn’t gonna jump up and down and scream “Thanks god… I’m outta here”. And I don’t doubt that he actually might have even liked it here somewhat.

    But the only way we had a chamce of resigning him long term in teh off-season, was if teh Canes had no interest or intention on trying to re-acquire him. Period.

    Any inkling that they were going to be in on Cole in the offseason and you have to try to move him.

  75. mc79hockey says:

    It might seem like I’m fumbling for an excuse, but since FCM brought it up, I’d wager good money that Horcoff’s shoulder is fucked up.

    I’m pretty sure that you’re right. I don’t know if it made the broadcast but I was at the game and there was a moment last night where Horcoff went to the bench very slowly and looked to be in considerable pain related to his shoulder.

  76. Bruce says:

    Tyler: There was one close-up of Horc heading gingerly to the bench after being caught on the receiving end of a huge collision between Stortini and Volchenkov. Wrong place, wrong time, kind of summed up his night.

    Anything else catch your eye from inside the arena?

  77. Bruce says:

    Btw, my review and player gradings of the Ottawa game are here.

  78. Dennis says:

    15 games sound better as a segment sample but it’s just something different to talk about so I took the 14 games After 71 was hurt vs Chi and here’s what I found:

    205/265; 15/19 per game; 4 reg wins and 2 SO wins; 5 reg losses and 2 SO losses and 1 OT loss.

    Here’s the results in the 14 games prior to 71′s injury:

    217/233; 16/17 per game; 8 reg wins and 6 reg losses.

    As for the rest, yeah, another good night for 78. It’s too bad we didn’t see 26 stick around so we could see how that line would round up and last night 19 was the one not pulling the rope and that’s perfectly understandable. So, now we see that 78 just might be useful on a secondary scoring line and how long do we keep him there? And no matter where he plays, can the org see that a contract like that is one you absolutely can’t let go?

    That’s the main point.

    It would make sense that 10′s banged up because that line’s getting ran and he’s getting nothing on his shots so it certainly could all go together. But the guy played banged-up in ’07 and then he missed 30 games in ’08 and if he’s hurting again this year, that’s a bad fucking sign for the rest of his contract.

  79. slipper says:

    Danny: I agree with your take. After Reasoner was allowed to walk and Stoll was traded a coup[le of guys around here made passing remarks that those two players minutes (a tonne of d-zone draws, against tough opponets, the centreman who trades of with the lessers when the puck is heading south) weren’t being traded with them. Horcoff has assumed almost all of those difficult minutes with the (unfortunate?) help of Brodziak. If we had another true NHL ready center on the team they would have been slaying on the shift after 10 came off the ice. So far that hasn’t been the case, but recently that little 89 kid has looked like he’s close to reaching the summit.

  80. slipper says:

    And just for the record:

    370+ defensive zone draws. 128 more d-zone draws than attack zone. !00 more than any other forward on the team and 70 more than any defenseman.

    Horcoff is +10 in shot diff on a -240 team, aswell as a plus player in zone shift, so the results of his own efforts aren’t the reason he’s taken such a sick ammount of precarious draws in the Oilers’ own end (over 130 more than that slick 6-on-5 phenom, Jason Spezza). He’s cleaning up the messes of his young teammates.

  81. Bruce says:

    Slipper: I’ve been tracking that exact thing for awhile. What is concerning is that as the defensive zone draws mount, Horc ends more and more of his shifts in the D-zone as well, in fact has recently passed into red numbers in this respect. Comparing your numbers in the above links to mine on Jan 27 the increasingly defensive nature of Horcoff’s workload is readily apparent:

    Start (DZone – OZone)
    - End (OZone – DZone)
    ———————-
    = ZoneShift

    Mar 6
    ( 374 – 246 = +128)
    -(222 – 229 = -7)
    ——————-
    ZoneShift = +121

    Thru Jan 26
    ( 246 – 184 = +62)
    -(177 – 156 = +21)
    ——————–
    ZoneShift = +83

    Since Jan 27
    ( 128 – 62 = +66)
    -( 45 – 73 = -28)
    ——————–
    Zoneshift = +38

    So he’s still pushing the puck in the right direction more often than not, but is starting so often in his own zone that there’s only one direction to go. (The own zone specialists pretty much all have a positive zone shift, so that +38 is less impressive than it appears whereas the Jan 26 standard of having a positive number on both sides of the shift-start/end equation is a much more difficult accomplishment.)

    Far more often than before Horcoff’s shifts are ending in the same place they started … our end. It’s pretty hard to lead the scoring parade from there.

  82. IceDragoon says:

    Phil: At the risk of jinxing it, I’m pretty sure that if Louise makes an apperance and gives us a ‘clap clap’, that’s the next best thing to a Mr. Weir sighting (bless His holy name).

    Hrmph… I don't think I'll be asking you to read my tea leaves anytime soon, Phil.
    ;-)

    And… I suggest that you don't try to read portents of fortune, good or bad, into an any day, albeit infrequent recently, occurrence.

    Lady Luck is one fickle mistress. No matter how much you may woo her, you'll never influence the bounces.

    Last night the bounces went against us, especially on GA 1 & 2. Neither shooter had control of their shot. They just directed the knucklers and the bouncing pucks did the rest. Nice start.

    There were too many players with HUA looking overwhelmed by puck unluck for the few playing hard and smart to carry. Ah well… **** happens.

    fwiw – The Oilers will be in 9th or 10th by the end of the night… Dallas (30-26-8 68) @ Anaheim (31-28-6 68).

    Man, was I off the mark yesterday.
    sheesh
    Waivers is still in effect and the ‘Clear Day Roster’ is to limit the number of NHLers in the AHL. The only thing I was right about was… ‘no more roster limit’.

    L8r
    Louise

  83. slipper says:

    @Bruce
    Can you find any other forward in the whole NHL who leads his team in d-zone draws?

    Then take into consideration that while with every other team the defenseman lead the chard over the forward by a wide margin; Horcoff leads his closet defenseman (Souray) by 70 faceoffs.

    Fucking insane.

    When the entire Oilogosphere is in the dumps over team peformance then the FCMs and Traktors of the sphere begin to sound a lot more rational, and “ass grabbing” ensues. But this team’s “numero uno finito benito #1!!1!” centerman has been 120th out of 120 in terms of position to succeed all season long where, considering the margin, 119th place might aswell be 75th. Shit, there’s barely a handful of denfenseman who have been on then ice for more d-zone draws.

    And if anyone thinks that doesn’t matter… pull your heads out of your asses.

    OK, enough venting, now I’ll go back to desperately seeking approval by trying to be funny.

  84. Dennis says:

    Slipper: the burden on 10′s because we’re giving pivot time to 89 and 13 which means we’re once again trying to win while developing.

    which is what we’ve done every fucking year outside 2006.

    when it’s malkin and crosby, that’s fucking great.

    otherwise?

  85. Bruce says:

    Can you find any other forward in the whole NHL who leads his team in d-zone draws?

    That’s an interesting question, Slipper. The answer is I can find *out* if there are any other such centres, but it requires a bunch of time which I don’t have at the moment, to load up a file for each of the 30 teams (2 if I want to calculate ZoneShift). It’s definitely something I would like to do, maybe at season’s end.

    It would be fantastic if Vic’s great data were programmed in such a way that one could simply point and click to organize data a la Behind the Net, but unless there’s some interface of which I’m not aware, such a summary would a lot of old-fashioned brute-force number-crunching. Which I’m actually quite good at (key words “old-fashioned”), it’s just a time issue for now.

    NHL.com provides data faceoffs won and lost by home/road splits and special teams splits, but to best of my knowledge doesn’t show faceoffs by zone except in the game sheets, or by who else is on the ice except in the play-by-play. So one needs the programming chops of a Vic to strip that stuff out of there.

    It is, however, easy to speculate that Horc’s faceoff data will be an outlier in a bunch of different ways. It would be interesting to compare to other teams to put into perspective how extreme it actually is.

  86. NBOilerFan says:

    Anyone watching the Flames/Canes game tonight… my god Cole amd his line (Ruutu/Staal) are dominating. Cole just got his first goal and he is pumped… absolutely no question he is back to the place he wants to be.

    Edmonton is nothing but a faint memory … (nightmare?).

    Good for him… he quickly became my favorite Oiler this year and I hated to see him go. I think we had to deal him, but I still hated to see him go.

    Just interviewed him… and there is no question… he is home!

  87. slipper says:

    @Bruce

    I got through the first ten teams alphabetically and there wasn’t a forward that was even close. The only players that I noticed being on the ice for more draws were Scott Neidermeyer (391) and Havelid (387). Kovalchuk was up there in with 302.

    Fun to look at those numbers and try to find diamonds in the rough, like Nathan Oystrick in Atlanta who is a -9 on a putrid team, but he’s been on for a hunormous 373 d-zone draws and his Corsi is nearly dead even when considering his uce time. 600k pending RFA.

  88. Bruce says:

    Slipper: I was more than a little puzzled by that … who in the hell is Nathan Oystrick? being the first puzzle :). So I checked out ATL’s faceoff stats. I’m wondering if somehow you confused Oystrick with Tobias Enstrom, who wears #39 and has huge faceoff numbers, especially in his own zone (378 after last night’s game, 296 in the offensive). Enstrom’s offensive numbers have taken a hit this year, just 15 points, but his +3 on that squad under those circumstances is impressive.

    Oystrick wears #7 and his numbers (178 DZone draws) seem fairly pedestrian by comparison. Unless I’ve missed something like a # change or something.

    I agree in principle this is a great way to look for diamonds in the rough, to see who’s being leaned on by the coach and how well their other numbers fare in context. Mind you, in Atlanta where the team has taken a staggering 228 more draws in their own end than the other guys’, the coach has to pretty much rely on everybody.

  89. slipper says:

    I guess I was scrolling through too many spreadsheets yesterday for my aging eyes. I was tabbing back and forth between TOI and BTN and as of yesterday guess how many games Oystrick had played?

  90. Bruce says:

    39.

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