Sledgehammer

Legend has it that Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda was worried about Orel Hersheiser’s egghead appearance and lack of aggression off the mound early in the pitcher’s career. Lasorda’s solution was a burly nickname: Bulldog.

I think perhaps the Oilers next coach might want to try the same thing with Marc Pouliot. The former first round pick hasn’t delivered on early promise but does have some nice things on his resume. Craig MacTavish’s exit could be confirmation of his “marginal NHLer” status or it might be perfect timing for a guy whose progress up to this point has been measured by sundial.

In 07-08, Pouliot’s numbers looked pretty good albeit in a small sample size:

  • Boxcars: 24gp, 1-6-7 -1
  • Corsi: 3.4
  • GF/GA ON: 10/11
  • 5×5/60: 1.55
  • Quality of Competition: dregs
  • Quality of Teammates: dregs

He played in only 24 NHL games in 07-08 and he wasn’t a high event offensive player against the bottom feeders but he held his own. The Oilers have had worse prospects.

In 08-09 he played more:

  • Boxcars: 63gp, 8-12-20 +1
  • Corsi: -4.4
  • GF/GA ON: 25-26
  • 5×5/60: 1.67
  • Quality of Competition: dregs
  • Quality of Teammates: 3rd level

He played with against about the same quality as Andrew Cogliano and had the identical Corsi and they were extremely close in 5×5/60. At MacT’s last press conference he did say that Pouliot had made some progress and we know that the player and coach had some differences in philosophy with regard to Pouliot’s ideal slot in the batting order.

We have to assume Pouliot will get the hint and show up in NHL-level shape this fall. A new coach might mean a fresh start for this player and that could mean an increase in responsibility and the arrival of Pouliot after a long incubation period. And a strong nickname couldn’t hurt.

I suggest Sledgehammer.

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68 Responses to "Sledgehammer"

  1. Traktor says:

    I think we should call him “Yeah for sure, for sure”

  2. Schitzo says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many of these kids are given fresh starts. Not just Pouliot, Penner, and Nilsson but Smid, Brodziak, and even Stortini.

  3. Asiaoil says:

    How about actually playing MAP at his natural position to get the most out of him? We’ve seen how little MacT’s foolish attempts to plug round pegs into square holes has accomplished with others (Smyth and Pisani at center, Cole on LW etc etc). MAP is a natural center – and why MacT refused to play Poo at his natural position but kept running Cogs out there shift after shift when the kid’s role in the NHL is clearly on the wing is one of life’s mysteries.

  4. Ribs says:

    This will be the year of the Poo. Mark my words.

    This needs to be a breakout year for a couple of the young fellas and Pouliot will be one of them that does it.

    …And I have to vote against Sledgehammer. It makes me immediately think of that Peter Gabriel song and now it will be in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks.

  5. Phil says:

    Man LT, I hope you had this in mind.

  6. spOILer says:

    I have no problem with Pouliot doing his time at wing. That’s a pretty common developmental technique for centres. Certainly MacT wasn’t the first coach to do it, isn’t the only coach right now, and won’t be the last.

    Does the beginning of Pouliot’s NHL career not remind anyone else of the beginning of Horcoff’s?

    Didn’t Horc first look good as a call-up late in the season and into the playoffs, only to be relegated to 4th line left winger in the seasons thereafter, when he didn’t produce offensively? I’m going off memory here, so I could be wrong.

    Aren’t there some similarities to their styles of play? Especially at the same stages in their careers?

    Horc put in a lot of work on his skating and upper body strength to develop into the player he is today. I’d like to see soft Pou turn into hard Pou. And if Orel was Bulldog, does that make Marc Bullshit or French Poodle? ;o)

  7. Shawn says:

    …he’ll be any thing you need.

  8. Dennis says:

    I can’t see things working out for 78. Sure, his contract and past means he’s an affordable top niner and he has even killed penalties in the past which means he’s a multi-purpose piece.

    Still, if 18 returns, the 18-34 combo will wing the third line and I doubt 78′s gonna get the gig to be the complimentry pivot to spell 10 of all the heavy lifting. I guess he could go on the 4th line with 51-46 but somehow I don’t see that being a possibility.

    Even though MacT’s out the door, I still don’t believe 78′s got a guarenteed spot.

  9. R O says:

    I’d like to see soft Pou turn into hard Pou.
    Toilet humor applied cleverly. Brilliant!

  10. Icecastles says:

    I’m not looking forward to the era of his dominance now though.

    “Poo was all over the ice tonight!”

  11. Jonathan Willis says:

    How about “Mark”? Depending on coach (and of course, the Colbert factor with his last name) it could make all the difference ;)

  12. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    How about the Hockey Mormon?

  13. Lowetide says:

    FCM: lol. What?

  14. oilerdago says:

    spOILer: I would be very happy if your comparison of Pouliot to Horcoff came true. Horc’s first 4 seasons saw him put up 16, 22, 33 and 44 points. Clearly there was a progression there but iirc, the light really went on for him the year of the lockout.

    He went over to Sweden and developed his offensive game (19/27 – 46) and as you pointed out, worked on his strength too. When he came back he was ready.

    While some center’s get time to develop on the wing, a coach need’s to know the each player’s strengths/weaknesses before just throwing him out. I have to believe that for Pou, it all went down hill because he could not accept MacT’s assessment (the next Carbeneau).

    A new and a new chance at his natural position are just the cure. Whether that’s here or in another city remains to be seen, but for $850k, I’m more inclined to see him given the 3C chance w/Cogs on the wing then the other way around at this point.

  15. HBomb says:

    Christ almighty the officiating in this Vancouver/Chicago game is awful; the Canucks are getting away with shit all over the ice.

  16. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    So obscure I’m almost lost. Help.

    Orel was a Mormon.

  17. Lowetide says:

    Was he really? He didn’t walk many people.

  18. R O says:

    Christ almighty the officiating in this Vancouver/Chicago game is awful; the Canucks are getting away with shit all over the ice.
    The secret to the Canucks’ success.

  19. R O says:

    Another Vancouver goal on a rush created due to a Chigaco player being held up, with no call.

    And yet they can see the high sticks with ease.

    This is bush league. Pure horse shit.

  20. DBO says:

    Wow LT, you work for Pouliot or what? i agree he has the capacity to be a mid level player on the 3rd to 4th line, but I really don’t see how he isn’t replaced by any number of veteran UFA’s that will be looking for a home this summer.

  21. Ribs says:

    “I was excited when I heard that Edmonton pushed pretty hard to get me and I really appreciate it. And if I ever go there [the NHL], they would be my No. 1 pick because they showed me the interest first,” Jagr said after Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 at the world hockey championship on Thursday in Switzerland.

    Man, I’m going to be bummed when he doesn’t come.

  22. Lowetide says:

    DBO: You’d almost think it, wouldn’t you? :-)

    Ribs: That article suggested that Jagr might come back after 09-10 season, right? That’s what I got from the article.

  23. Dennis says:

    Colin Campbell is a cocksucking joke. There’s now way Perry shouldn’t have been suspended for that hit on Cheechoo.

    It’s very easy to nail Brashear but Cammalari and Perry walk.

  24. uni says:

    I thought of Sledge Hammer instantly as well Phil. Have both seasons on DVD somewhere =).

    I was thinking something along the lines of Psycho myself.

  25. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Lowetide said…
    Was he really? He didn’t walk many people.

    Not sure if that is a prerequisite for Mormonhood.

    Roy Halliday doesn’t walk many either and is also Mormon.

  26. Black Dog says:

    Hawks all the way back now.

    Damn kids don’t know they’re just kids. And this big Bumdabum kid is Laraque if Laraque was any good.

    FCM – fyi Halliday isn’t a Mormon, he’s a Virgo

  27. Lowetide says:

    4 on 1? Wow.

  28. Black Dog says:

    A 4 on 1 with a minute left in a tie game.

    Now I’ve seen everything.

  29. Black Dog says:

    And Wellwood and Salo with big games.

    Who says fat kids can’t play?!

  30. R O says:

    Yet another undeserved Canuck win gift-wrapped by putrid officiating.

  31. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Black Dog said…
    Hawks all the way back now.

    Damn kids don’t know they’re just kids. And this big Bumdabum kid is Laraque if Laraque was any good.

    FCM – fyi Halliday isn’t a Mormon, he’s a Virgo

    Don’t get me started on the BDHS vein of misty memories.

    There was this young Mormon lass named Linda Love, (no shit!) on a hayride in the ’60′s. Indelible.

    Another little know fact is that Orel H is now a pro poker player which may trigger a stern rebuke from the Elders.

  32. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Black Dog said…
    And Wellwood and Salo with big games.

    Who says fat kids can’t play?!

    I’ve been “seeing Wellwood good.

    The kid can play.

  33. pboy says:

    Hemmer got the Czech’s lone goal today on a beautiful flip pass for Jagr.

    I don’t know if any of you guy’s watch the NBA or not but the Celtics – Bulls are playing Saturday night, Game 7 for the series. Without a doubt the best basketball I’ve seen in a couple of years and the amount of clutch, big time shots hit has been ridiculous.

    I love that Lasorda story btw.

  34. Gerta Rauss says:

    “It’ll be interesting to see how many of these kids are given fresh starts. Not just Pouliot, Penner, and Nilsson but Smid, Brodziak, and even Stortini.”

    Agreed.
    Tambellini may choose a more conservative direction this summer wrt the roster,knowing he’s got a new head coach on the way.

    There will be change- we’re kidding ourselves if we think this roster doesn’t need a few changes – but rather than blow it up and start over, he may give another look to a lot of these guys.

    I’m not sure Pouliot is the answer at 3C,but I’d be willing to give him 20 games to prove me wrong…if after 20 games he’s a bust,we bring in that veteran 3C that we should have brought in this year after 20 games.

  35. Ribs says:

    Ribs: That article suggested that Jagr might come back after 09-10 season, right? That’s what I got from the article.

    Yea, it says “He has one year left on his contract with Omsk and then will decide his future.”.

    It’d be nice to see him come sooner but I’d still love to see him play out the last strings in an Oiler uniform. He’ll be 38 come next February but can still dominate NHL calibre players and that says something about the level he plays at. If Mark Recchi can score 61 points at 41, Jagr still has a ways to go before he’s a write off.

    Watching him and Hemmer chat it up on the bench today brought a big smile to my face. I’d like to see more of that.

  36. uni says:

    Wellwood gets the rap of someone who’s lazy and disinterested. He had a very good season in a Comrie type role (without the speed). That was the same season Tucker pumped in all those PPGs, basically waiting for tap ins from sweet Wellwood and Sundin passes. I think he’s another example of a player the “Leafs Nation” decided to crucify. With the right coach he’s okay.

    Great the see the guy doing well…although he looked 30 by the time he was 23 with that premature balding.

  37. uni says:

    RE: Jagr. I think you have a 1 maybe 2 season window with him at best. He’s come out and clearly said he plans to return to his home and help his father develop hockey there like he promised within 2 years.

  38. quain says:

    Yet another undeserved Canuck win gift-wrapped by putrid officiating.It’s hard to call it putrid officiating… it’s just bad luck (or stupidity) that Chicago took two four minute high sticks. Calls were even otherwise.

    And I refuse to believe Chicago was robbed when they gave up a 4 on 1 with a minute to go. The referees weren’t tackling players on that play.

  39. Dennis says:

    GR: I’m as big a 78 fan you can find outside of his mother and LT.

    Sidenote: do we know that LT DIDN’T travel through Quebec in the 80′s?;)

    Anyway, don’t you think there’s a danger in Not picking up a complimentry tough min vet and letting 78 take a 20 game audition? The latter idea is something that should’ve been tried last year with both 51 and 78 and curse MacT for instead wasting time on 13 in that role. To me, Cogs future looks to be as a darty Zach Parise-type winger and I don’t think he’s a pivot.

    I still believe in 78 as a top niner but I’d rather have him fleshing out the wing combo with 34 while a Pahlsson or Dominic Moore take the third line pivot role. I”m not sure who decided to waste a year on 13 as a pivot but it was a bad decision.

    To finish on the Hawks, I am really feeling a lot of remorse when it comes to picking four Dys for my draft hockey pool. We do a draft instead of picking the top scorers so that makes it harder and a lot more spread out. I have D. Sedin, Demitra, Kesler and Burrows so I find it hard to have money on these guys and not cheer for them. Still, though, the Hawks are stacked up front and when you see Dave Bolland calling super arsehole Bieska a “pussbag”, I want to cheer for those guys:)

    If they could get rid of Campbell or had the balls to AHL him, a hard rock dman would go a long way to making that team positively miserable to play against.

  40. Ribs says:

    I'd like to see Sludgehammer given a real shot on the 2 line with Gagner for an extended amount of time. I think it would accelerate his development a tonne to get some real ice time killing the softies with a talented player like Gagner. It seems like a more obvious move if the Oilers weren't a team with so many bodies clogging up the works.

    Anything and everything is up for grabs this fall with a new coach and if Tambo & friends don't make a bunch of moves. Pouliot really needs to have a strong camp.

  41. knighttown says:

    I’m seeing a lot of hatred on here for Cory Perry, but you have to respect how much this guy changed his game from junior to the NHL. With the Knights he was the King of the CHL as a butter-soft Jason Spezza clone.

    But by the time he outduelled Sidney Crosby and drove him absolutely bat shit in the process to win the Memorial Cup, he had evolved into the Dickhead version of Ryan Smyth that he is today. He’s exactly the type of guy the Oilers need more of.

    We complain that the Oilers are easy to play against but we show this holier than thou attitude towards organizations that employ the Perrys, Tootoos, Backes’, Otts and Burrows’ of the NHL. Have we not seen enough of these guys single handedly win games against us to know that they are a necessary evil?

    To think that Vish Throttler’s ego cost us Perry because he tried to get Comrie to pay a few bucks on his way out of town makes me sick.

    My number one target this year is one of the three shift disturbers in Dallas; Ott, Neal and Morrow. They each have a different price tag but that team has some holes, especially on defense so some sort of Souray for Ott + Grossman deal might be great for both teams.

  42. uni says:

    Knighttown there’s nothing odd about it. These players are who they are…you love them on your team but absolutely hate them on another team.

    I’d love a Gary Roberts on the Oilers, would hate him as anything else.

    That said I don’t think I’d like Cooke, Perry, or Avery on a team I was cheering for. I might like Neil, Burrows, Kesler, Ott et al though.

  43. Smarmy Boss says:

    Pouliot is a rather boring player. You fixate on him too much.

  44. Gerta Rauss says:

    @ Dennis

    Yeah,it’s dangerous…I think if this org had brought in that veteran 3C at any time last year,we might still be playing hockey right now.(well,maybe not
    round 2,but I think we would have made the playoffs)

    I’m not as impressed with 78 as you or LT, but if Tambo takes the conservative route and gives a number of players that 2nd look under the new coach,
    Poo is as deserving as the next guy.

    I agree with the Cogliano sentiments as well…I just don’t see a future for him within this org as a center,and if we’re trying to get bigger in the top 6,I’m not sure where he fits at all.
    I like him a lot as a player,but we’ve got a ton of bodies up front,little room to put them all,and the bodies we do have don’t necessarily fit the mold that Tambo has stated we need(bigger,grittier,more agressive)

    It’s going to be an interesting summer for Oilers fans.

  45. Bruce says:

    We complain that the Oilers are easy to play against but we show this holier than thou attitude towards organizations that employ the Perrys, Tootoos, Backes’, Otts and Burrows’ of the NHL. Have we not seen enough of these guys single handedly win games against us to know that they are a necessary evil?

    Hear, hear, KT. Do we ever need a guy like that. Stortini is making progress but is nowhere near the scorer as the guys on your list (save Tootoo).

    That said I don’t think I’d like Cooke, Perry, or Avery on a team I was cheering for. I might like Neil, Burrows, Kesler, Ott et al though.

    Agreed, Uni. Of all the guys on KT’s list Perry is the one who makes me wanna puke. Not sure why, I have a modicum of respect for the others for being very good at what they do, and I guess you could say the same about CFP2, but … yuck.

    Cooke, Avery, Perry — yu’ve pretty much nailed thelowest of the low there. Except I would add that cheapshot artist Gary Roberts to the list. I’m certainly glad that he never played for the Oilers.

  46. Jonathan Willis says:

    But by the time he outduelled Sidney Crosby and drove him absolutely bat shit in the process to win the Memorial Cup, he had evolved into the Dickhead version of Ryan Smyth that he is today. He’s exactly the type of guy the Oilers need more of.

    Corey Perry has no track record against the kind of competition Smyth routinely plays. They’re very different players, IMO.

  47. Dennis says:

    There are lots of little things that could’ve happened and almost never happened and I wonder what would’ve happened if Cole wasn’t dealt and that blossoming 78-89-26 was kept together. 26 had a great last game as an Oiler and that line was clicking and then he was dealt and 78 was in no man’s land. We’re three years in a row without a second season so I doubt 78′s gonna get one little sniff on a scoring line.

    KT: a lot of my buddies won’t believe that Perry wasn’t always like this. I admit I’d like the guy if he was an Oiler but overall I’ve read too many concussion horror stories to have any time at all for instances of headhunting.

  48. misfit says:

    I’ll definately cast my vote in favor of the “sledgehammer” nickname. Anything is better than Poo, and nicknames that you can attach a song to are a bonus even if it’s not a song you particularly care for (I hate Abba, but I’ll happily sing “Fernando” when Pies scores).

    Pouliot has always been a favorite of mine, so I hope he not only stays on the team, but is successful. However, it doesn’t seem likely given the changes that are bound to happen on the roster. I doubt Tambellini would even flinch if someone asked for Pouliot as part of a deal for the “physical and emotional player” he seems to want to add lots of.

  49. knighttown says:

    Corey Perry has no track record against the kind of competition Smyth routinely plays. They’re very different players, IMO..

    I see this one a lot JW, the fact that the Getzlaf line needs to be sheltered. From what I can see Perry ranks around #25 among F’s for outscoring at evens at +19. Good linemates and an average QC of +0.02. Same or better than Hossa, Savard, Semin, Elias and others and not far off Datsyuk at +0.04. In fact everyone on that Top 30 list except Andrew Ladd of all people, at 0.11, has a QC right around Perrys. Some guys who ARE sheltered with negative QC’s are Ovechkin, Berglund and Backstrom.

    The Ducks have always played a traditional checking line of Nieds Jr.-Pahl-Moen versus the Joe Thorntons but it looks like that has changed. Carlyle seems more than happy to throw that big line out against anyone.

    @Bruce/Dennis:

    No doubt Perry has done a few nasty things (Giroux, Cheechoo) but I don’t see him being the “pox upon the game” group with Downie, Avery or any of the countless goons that can leave the game and never come back. I see him as a pissy SOB who plays on the edge like Tkachuck in his prime. I imagine he takes an absolute shit kicking to score from where he scores and I respect the fact that he keeps going back.

    At 23, and 6’3″ 210lbs, with 150 point hands (in Junior) and good linemates, you’d have trouble finding 10 guys who’ll score more goals over the next decade.

    Guess which 100+PIM player lead the NHL in goals last year?

  50. uni says:

    I would add Roberts to the dislike list, save for the fact of that one beauty series he had with the Leafs when Sundin was out.

    Something about watching him run roughshod over an annoying Sens team and silencing all those smug Senator’s fans made him very easy to cheer for.

  51. Traktor says:

    It’s funny how Jeremy Roenick described the Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry as “A line that can win games all by them self” but since the Ducks employ a coach that does everything he can to put players in the position to succeed they get labeled as a line that needs sheltering.

  52. Traktor says:

    BTW Tencer has an interview with Tom Renney about the Oilers gig up on edmontonoilers.com

  53. Vic Ferrari says:

    KT:

    Yeah, I always think of Carlyle as one of the few remaining head coaches who prefers a checking line to power vs power, Murray obviously another, probably a couple in the East. But that clearly wasn’t the case in the playoffs. And they dominated Thornton/Marleau, to the point that MacLellan (sp?) was actively avoiding them and splitting Joe away.

    Granted, the ANA GM traded away Pahlsson and Moen at the deadline, he sort of forced Carlyle’s hand on the matter.

  54. Jonathan Willis says:

    KT: Three points here.

    1) You’re using the actual QC number, which I (and many others) place virtually no stock in because the metric doesn’t compare well across teams. For example, the Canucks have 5 players with a higher QC than the leading Oiler this season and 3 others tied. They have 10 guys ranked ahead of the second-ranked Oiler. I find it difficult (correction, impossible) to believe that the Canucks iced two different five man units who all faced tougher competition than the Oilers #2 guy.

    2) The players you cite (Hossa, Ovechkin, etc.) have for the most part played toughest level competition before – Ovechkin did it last year, for example. Perry has not.

    3) When you say that Carlyle used to run a checking line – well, he did that this year too until Pahlsson and Moen got sent away, and he’s still using Rob Niedermayer as his chief checker. Perry and Getzlaf spent almost the entire year facing second-level toughs, and that’s the toughest assignment they’ve faced to date.

  55. Jonathan Willis says:

    Traktor/KT: Obviously just because Getzlaf and Perry haven’t faced toughest minutes yet doesn’t mean that they can’t, but until they do it’s premature to say that Perry is basically Ryan Smyth when Smyth’s track record against those guys is incredibly long.

    I’m not saying he won’t get there (I don’t really have an opinion on that) just that he doesn’t have the track record yet.

  56. Vic Ferrari says:

    Dennis:

    Yeah, agreed on everything in that post. As you imply, I think the $64 dollar question on Cogliano is “who wanted him played at center, coaching or mgmt?”. Typically that’s the latter, but it’s hard to say.

    Generally I think that MacTavish made the right decisions, by the odds, through the season. The Oilogosphere seems to have adopted a contrary opinion, though the reasoning for these opinions seems faulty to me, too busy/lazy to bother arguing the point this winter though.

    But on continuing to play Cogliano at center (even ignoring the terrible faceoff results) … that’s a head scratcher. If I were to bet, I would say that was management’s call.

    So, assuming that, and unless the new coach sees it differently and has more sway with the GM … we may well see more of the same next year. And hell, maybe that’s the right call in the long run, I dunno. I tend to see players for what they are rather than what they might become, clearly some folks within the Oilers have a vision of Future-Cogliano that isn’t relected in his current game.

  57. uni says:

    Wow, don’t believe I didn’t recognize the RPG moniker potential of the Ryan-Perry-Getzlaf line.

    That might be a rare exception where I don’t fault the media for being lazy by using the 1st letter of names, unlike with the EGG line etc.

    Getzlaf for all the world looks like he’ll be able to handle the toughs one day as a truly elite centre though.

  58. kris says:

    If we call him, “Sledgehammer”, maybe they’ll start to play the Peter Gabriel song of the same name for him at games.

  59. Vic Ferrari says:

    Lowetide: Did you delete my last two comments, or did he internet just sweep them away?

  60. Showerhead says:

    If I had to guess, the Getzlaf line argument isn’t as black and white as is being suggested. There are 2 coaches at work in any given game with varying levels of effort put into matchups. If I had to guess, that kid line in ANA gets a lot of 2nd tier forwards but based on the rest of that roster no coach worth his salt would let anyone outside his top 4D see Getzlaf and no one outside the top 2 at home. Selanne keeps defying the odds of time but realistically you’re matching up against one line against Anaheim and if you’re at home and you lose your D matchup more than once or twice you probably aren’t an NHL level coach.

    I bet Vic or anyone who uses his info can tell you what part of the ice Getzlaf/Perry tend to start on and more details about their quality of competition but that slightly above average number is a reflection of both coaches IMO and just to repeat, Anaheim is effectively a one line team to match your D up against – it can’t have been that hard to give them some legitimate defenders to play against.

  61. Bruce says:

    In fact everyone on that Top 30 list except Andrew Ladd of all people, at 0.11, has a QC right around Perrys.Andrew Ladd is a wonderful hockey player. While I accept Jonathan’s caveat about the value of QualComp team over team, Ladd's 0.11 QualComp led the entire NHL for players with >40 GP; next at +0.09 were Nicklas Lidstrom and Ladd's also-underrated linemate Dave Bolland. Those two spent much of the season on a great two-way line with Martin Havlat driving the offence. BTN indicates Ladd finished the season +63/-40 5v5 lining up against the toughest of the toughs. According to TOI he posted a raw Corsi of +235 in the process; this was a dominant line.

    Ladd is a ferocious backchecker, who in the games I watched in Round 1 routinely broke up Calgary rushes before the Falmes even made it to the Chicago blueline. He's a real force in the offensive zone as well, very effective at crashing the net as Oiler fans know all too well. Same can be said of Calgary fans after Ladd's "screen" of Kiprusoff ended Game 1 overtime almost before it began.

    Ladd was among the team leaders in hits with 117, but took just 28 PiM while drawing 10 more powerplays than he caused. 47 of his 49 points came at even strength, 1 on on each special team, suggesting there's lots of room for growth in a player who in his first four NHL seasons thrugh age 23 has already developed from 11 to 21 to 30 to 49 points, and from even to +1 to +13 to +26.

  62. Vic Ferrari says:

    I think that Havlat is the guy drving the bus, Bruce.

    I think that is a big part of the CHI surge this year, the fact that he’s stayed healthy for once. Plus they drafted near the top for a while, so the youth is good.

  63. Bruce says:

    Don’t disagree, Vic, other than to say the other two aren’t exactly passengers. Nor were their most common defence mates, namely Keith and Seabrook. An outstanding unit.

    I’ve watched Havlat closely his whole career (have had him in my keeper league pool the whole time) and this was definitely his best year to date. Career highs in GP, A, Pts, +, and judging from the highlight reels seemed to be a difference-maker on a lot of different nights.

  64. Vic Ferrari says:

    Yeah, I didn’t like the Havlat contract at the time, but when healthy he influences territorial advantage about he same as Zetterberg/Crosby/Lidstrom,just based on a crude games-missed metric.

    Still, the guy doesn’t get enough credit for playing tough minutes IMO.

    Duncan Keith has been playing really tough minutes for a long while, I was pimping for the Oilers to try and acquire him long before he got famous. It’s too late now, of course. If Barnet was still running PHX, then Zbynek Michalek would be a guy to target, but Maloney is too sharp. Ah well.

  65. Lowetide says:

    Vic: I deleted them. I’m tired of people popping in with comments that are derogatory towards myself and this blog. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and have learned a tremendous amount from you here and on your blog.

    But I’ve had enough. For some reason Lowetide has become a place where people feel free to shit on me and other posters.

    I’ve had enough. For about the last 30 days or so I’ve started to delete things. I freely admit to missing some culprits and punishing the wrong people’s hard work at times, but then again the respect I’ve asked for is long gone and so is my patience.

  66. Vic Ferrari says:

    Fair enough, Lain. I apologize. And I like this side of you ;)

  67. Chris says:

    LT can we call the next Pouliot thread “I Still Believe in Poo” just for the comedic value? Its hilarious if you think of Michael Bolton belting it out.

    More seriously Pouliot seems to be suffering from being a rather mediocre jack of all trades. He doesn’t do anything terribly, but nor does he do anything particularly well at this point. This leaving him without much of a defined role.

    With players like Cogliano with obvious talents and deficiences its easier to see where they fit into the puzzle. Sortini obviously has a well defined role as well. I’m not saying Pouliot couldn’t have some sucess in the NHL but right now it seems increasingly unlikely it will be with the Oilers. Perhaps like Winchester, and Cleary he needs to go to another organization to figure his game out. At the moment though can we honestly say that Pouliot is a better option for the top 9 than Potulny? This is a team that could use some goal scoring punch, and to use your frequent baseball comparison LT Potulny had a hot bat in the minors.

  68. Dennis says:

    LT: I am glad you admitted that because I had thought some of my posts were disappearing so I didn’t know if I was going crazy or the browser was going nuts:)

    I knew I had made a post about how the way I thought lines were being matched and then I check and it’s gone and that’s happened before as well.

    Anyway, it’s your blog so carry on:)

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