Oilers at Canucks, PS G4/09-10

This is Marc Pouliot in a game last winter against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jason Gregor has suggested a few times this training camp that Pouliot’s job may be in jeopardy. On September 11 Gregor said “I still think Pouliot is going to be the odd guy out” and most recently suggested yesterday that Gilbert Brule “has a job if he wants it. He is much more physical than Pouliot, is just as good on the draws and plays way more aggressively.”

I’m not certain there’s a lot of evidence about Brule being as good on the draws and it may not matter because Pouliot isn’t playing at center all of the time. Based on what we know it would seem to be a long shot that the Oilers dump Pouliot this fall, but Jason Gregor is connected, has access to the powers that be and is suggesting the Oilers will run with Gilbert Brule as 4line center.

Has he been good enough? Last night, against AHL rubby-dubs, did he show enough? We’ll see. The Oilers have posted their lineup (but not lines) at their website and it goes like this:

  • G- Jeff Deslauriers, Devan Dubnyk
  • D- Sheldon Souray, Denis Grebeshkov, Ladislav Smid, Johan Motin, Bryan Young, Jake Taylor
  • C- Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Marc Pouliot, Liam Reddox
  • L- Dustin Penner, Robert Nilsson, Ethan Moreau, Slava Trukhno
  • R- Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Steve MacIntyre, Colin McDonald

Interesting items:

  • Eberle is getting a real shot here. I’m still not convinced Ryan Stone is going to be a top 14F to start the season but we should discuss the idea of Eberle staying for the first 9 games of the season.
  • They’re playing Cogliano at center, and with the performance of O’Sullivan with Horcoff it would seem the 1line LW job may be moving from pencil to pen.
  • The Gagner-Penner combination is possible tonight (remember these aren’t lines) with both Hemsky and Eberle available for the line.
  • I’ve listed Pouliot here at center, but will he play there? Is he being showcased for trade? This would make sense if Jason Gregor’s thoughts (quoted above) hold water.
  • Johan Motin is flying up the depth chart, and kudos to both Young and Taylor for hanging in this long. Along with Chorney (who had a fine game last night), Plante and Arsene we may be seeing Springfield’s top 6 blue.
  • If Deslauriers plays the entire game, I’d suggest Dubnyk’s TC may end on Monday. No sense keeping him around to sit when the Falcons training camp opens today.

NOTE: Par (below) posted the lines from the Oilers site:

  • Gagner-Brule-Hemsky: Brule gets a massive opportunity (as per Gregor’s suggestion) on the top line with the two most skilled men on the roster. The club is clearly taking a long look at this player.
  • Cogliano-Penner-Eberle: A solid second line, with the svelt Penner helping out two undersized men on a skill trio. Once again Eberle gets a prominent role. As Par mentioned, this is further evidence Cogliano is a center for this team and that Brule/Pouliot is a fight for the 4line job and that O’Sullivan has grabbed the Heatley spot on the 1line.
  • Pouliot-Moreau-Nilsson: A good spot for Pouliot, he has two NHLers on his line which is a step up from last game. It’ll be interesting to see if he can get on the scoreboard this pre-season (he’s 1gp, 0-0-0 -1 compared to Brule’s 1gp, 0-0-0 E).
  • Reddox-McDonald-MacIntyre: Nice to see Reddox get another game (he’s 1gp, 0-0-0) and this is Colin McDonald’s first game of the pre-season. All three are interesting players to watch because one has to show something in his one night of TC to do it and the others (from what we know) are in the mix for the kind of role they’ll play tonight.

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154 Responses to "Oilers at Canucks, PS G4/09-10"

  1. Par says:

    Forward lines per the Oilers site:

    Brule/Gagner/Hemsky
    Penner/Cogliano/Eberle
    Moreau/Pouliot/Nilsson
    McDonald/Reddox/MacIntyre

    So, more evidence for Cogliano taking a center role, and Brule getting his shot?

  2. eggie says:

    You gotta think that Tamby and Lowe are desperately trying to trade Nilsson for something, anything.

  3. revingev says:

    hey, u said chemistry between O'sullivan and Horcoff, you must have meant Comrie…lol…which means what then? Comrie plays 1st line centre? Gonna be some tough decisions tho…and if Cogliano is gonna be playing with Eberle and Penner maybe there thinking that would be one incredible third line to have on the team? just some thoughts

  4. bookie says:

    Its hard to know what 'taking a look at someone' means. Does it mean 'take a look to see if we are ready to dumpt this guy' (Shremp?) or 'take a look to see if we should keep this guy and maybe promote him' (Brule?).

    While I would suggest that being in the lineup is a good thing for most players, the real bubble players may be being looked at with the expectation thatit will only take one more look to pop their bubble.

    If you are not playing at all, it probably means you are done or are a lock…

  5. Mr DeBakey says:

    I'll take
    D] Gregor's head is up his butt

    Pouliot 60% on the dot against the Isles.
    Meanwhile, Brule has shown nothing since Junior.

    The trouble with these guys is that its as likely to be personal as it is insider knowledge.
    Gregor admits every day that he doesn't like Pouliot.
    Brownlee didn't like the Gilbert contract, he spent all Spring trading him.

    Meanwhile,
    what's up with Pisani?
    Limited minutes the other night
    Sitting tonight

  6. Doogie2K says:

    Gilbert Brule

    2005-06: 7 GP, 26/60 (43.3%)
    2006-07: 78 GP, 123/268 (45.9%)
    2007-08: 61 GP, 40/78 (51.3%)
    2008-09: 11 GP, 4/5 (80.0%)
    Total: 157 GP, 193/411 (47.0%)

    Marc Pouliot

    2005-06: 8 GP, 31/56 (55.4%)
    2006-07: 46 GP, 172/353 (48.7%)
    2007-08: 24 GP, 21/44 (47.7%)
    2008-09: 63 GP, 102/211 (48.3%)
    Total: 141 GP, 326/664 (49.1%)

    In terms of career numbers, Pouliot has the slight edge. Brule didn't take many faceoffs in '07-'08 with Columbus, and barely played at all with the Oilers last year, so we may want to take the steady improvement shown there with a grain of salt (and ignore last year altogether). Meanwhile, Pouliot's numbers have been fairly stable around the 48% mark so far, and he's taken a half again as many faceoffs, despite playing fewer games.

    Conclusion: I'd say we don't have enough evidence to say whether Brule is similarly capable as Pouliot on the draw. It seems like he could be, but without at least AHL numbers to go off of, we don't have enough from the last two years in the NHL to draw a comparison. The only year they both took more than 200 draws, Pouliot had a 3% advantage, but that was also three years ago.

  7. Lowetide says:

    As someone who has paid close attention to this stuff for years, if you're trying to make the club and not playing you're dead in the water.

    As an example, McDonald not getting into a game until tonight is a tell.

    But Brule on the top line? I think we can pretty much take Gregor's comments to the bank on that one. The Oilers like him, he has a job to lose here.

  8. Lowetide says:

    D pairings per Tencer:

    Grebeshkov-Motin
    Souray-Smid
    Young-Taylor

    Fricking Motin. Ice in his veins.

  9. Bruce says:

    Johan Motin is flying up the depth chart, and kudos to both Young and Taylor for hanging in this long.

    Not sure how one is flying and the other two are hanging when all three have gotten the same number of games. Fact is Oilers iced two completely different sets of 18 skaters on Tue and Wed and were set to do the exact same thing on Fri-Sat, meaning they need at least a dozen blue. As you say that should include most of SF's top 6.

    Brule/Gagner/Hemsky
    Penner/Cogliano/Eberle
    Moreau/Pouliot/Nilsson
    McDonald/Reddox/MacIntyre

    Now this is interesting. The Oilers website shows, by name, the line-up LT listed up top and then updated these forward lines posted by Par (identified by number only). The former had 12 different forwards from last night, whereas the latter has Brule and only Brule playing in both games, at the expense of Trukhno. Putting a C/RW on LW with two other RH shots seems an odd exception to the "rule". More likely in my view, it's a typo.

  10. doritogrande says:

    Johan Motin is flying up the depth chart, and kudos to both Young and Taylor for hanging in this long. Along with Chorney (who had a fine game last night), Plante and Arsene we may be seeing Springfield's top 6 blue.

    Ahem, Theo Peckham?

  11. Mr DeBakey says:

    Brule missed the early games because of the flu
    They're catching him up tonight

  12. PunjabiOil says:

    Motin played 22 minutes last game.

    He will mitigate the loss of Jan Hedja.

  13. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: HUGE difference between Motin and the AHL guys like Arsene, Taylor and Young.

    Remember that training camp hopeful thing I wrote on Motin? EVERYTHING has broken for him, all of it. All arrows in the right direction and he just turned 20.

    Comparing him to Taylor and Young is silly.

    http://lowetide.blogspot.com/2009/08/training-camp-hopeful-1-johan-motin.html

  14. Woodguy says:

    He will mitigate the loss of Jan Hedja.

    Very strong praise.

    I've been waiting for someone to say that with how good the Oiler depth on the blueline is showing this TC, that Staois is immediately expendable and should be moved at the first opportunity.

  15. Lowetide says:

    I'm fine with keeping Staios for the season. He can mentor Peckham on the third pairing and when Smid doesn't protect himself against a hit and goes down Steady Steve will be important to that third pairing.

    Who was the last Oiler D to leave himself exposed as much as Smid? I'm not talking Roy, I'm talking actual NHL defensemen.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Who was the last Oiler D to leave himself exposed as much as Smid? I'm not talking Roy, I'm talking actual NHL defensemen.

    Ulanov, but he seemed to like playing with broken bones.

  17. Woodguy says:

    I'm fine with keeping Staios for the season.

    Trade to a team trying to hit cap floor next summer?

  18. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy: I think the Oilers trade Souray before next summer.

  19. Smarmy Boss says:

    Pats will be praying the Oilers cut Eberle. They got stomped by the Blades last night and there isn't a lot of offense on that club.

  20. trader says:

    Mr. DeBakey said:
    The trouble with these guys is that its as likely to be personal as it is insider knowledge.
    Gregor admits every day that he doesn't like Pouliot.
    Brownlee didn't like the Gilbert contract, he spent all Spring trading him.

    Guys, any idea what Lowetide thinks of Pouliot?

    Sorry LT I just couldn't resist.lol

  21. Lowetide says:

    trader: lol. I'm a little worried about him as an Oiler but suspect he'd catch on with another team. Oilers have suffered through the growing pains, hopefully he gains employment with the new coach.

  22. bookie says:

    Woodguy: I think the Oilers trade Souray before next summer.

    For a third line defensive centre with a great faceoff percentage?

  23. Psyche says:

    I don't see much benefit to Eberle rejoining the Pats – outside of ice time. But, I am not sure that is as important as being challenged so that his motivation stays high. I am curious if the Pats would trade him to a contender if the Oilers sent him back to the WHL. What do the Oil Kings look like for this season?

  24. Dennis says:

    While Mr. D is right about Gregor's lack of love for 78 – he once told me he'd rather have rick rypien:) – and Brownlee's urgency to deal off 77, the fact that the Oilers are giving Brule such a push indicates that they think highly of him.

  25. grant says:

    If Pouliot loses, I'd put money on him having a Dan Cleary-esque resurrection with another team.

  26. trader says:

    Guys, just thinking out loud but how about this.

    Comrie & O'Sullivan have had success so leave them with a Stone/JFJ type.

    Cogs & Penner seem to click so put Fernado with them.

    That would mean that Horcoff becomes a LW with Gagner & Hemsky.

    Leaves "The Captain", Zach, Poo, for the fourth line. With Bule & Smac as the extras.

    Not saying it would work, just throwing it out there.

  27. spOILer says:

    Lowetide said…
    Woodguy: I think the Oilers trade Souray before next summer.

    Hopefully they'll use some sense and trade Vishnovsky instead, but I don't hold out much hope for that, considering the past 3 summers.

  28. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide said…
    Woodguy: I think the Oilers trade Souray before next summer.

    Hopefully they'll use some sense and trade Vishnovsky instead, but I don't hold out much hope for that, considering the past 3 summers.

    10:57 AM, September 19, 2009

    If the Oilers trade Souray when LT suggests then I have high hopes for this team long term.

    It will mean they understand selling high before a decline, and hopefully will get a great return.

    So if they move Souray, do they still move Staios to clear up some salary? By then I think Peckham is ready to take a good chunk of his minutes.

    Also, you trade Souray, not Vis for a few reasons:

    -Aside from Souray's shot, his skill set is easier to get (strong, physical) than Vis' is (always correct with the puck, unreal skater, takes control of the ice when out there). Even though the Oilers have more Vis types than Souray types, the Souray types are more abundant, and cheaper.

    -Souray puts up another season close to last year and he gets you more of a return than Vis, even though I think Vis is actually more valuable to the team

    -Vis' type of play makes him more durable long term. Once a physical defenseman starts healing slower due to age/wear and tear, they decline on a steeper curve than a Vis type.

  29. Black Dog says:

    OK, I'm going to nip the Souray debate in the bud right here, please. Its as stale as the Horcoff question.

    So the question is who makes this club? My feeling was that it was pretty well set but it looks like some guys are making an impression.

    Lets say the following are in ink:

    Horcoff, Hemsky, O'Sullivan, Penner, Gagner, Pisani, Comrie, Moreau, Cogliano, Stortini

    I have to think Jacques is going ot make it, his work on the PK notwithstanding.

    So we have Pouliot, Brule and Nilsson.

    Which of these guys goes and who takes their place(s)? LT, what do you think?

  30. knighttown says:

    The (possible) emergence of Motin does not in anyway mean the Oilers can trade a real Top 6 defenseman. I did an analysis in the offseason and although I don't have that post in front of me, the effect of injuries on NHL defensive depth charts is astounding. From what I recall (NHL averages):

    -there will be around 70 games our top 6 does NOT play as a unit
    -our 8th d-man will get into about half the games
    -our 9th d-man will get into 10-20 games
    -our 10th d-man is likely to play

    By February, its quite likely this..

    Souray-Vis
    Grebs-Gibby
    Staois-Smid

    …turns into this…

    Grebs-Staois
    Peckham-Strudwick
    Motin-Chorney

    If you've got solid #6 d-men in the AHL who are not open to waivers (Peckham, Motin, Chorney), you leave them there. They'll play sooner rather than later.

    In addition, d-men aren't like forwards who can be hidden on the bench. If you are in the lineup, you're playing >10 minutes.

  31. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers haven't been shy of trading defenceman whom they have felt have peaked. We saw it with Manson, we saw it with Niinimaa, and we saw it with Smith.

    It wouldn't shock me if they traded Staios or Souray.

    Personally, I've come around Souray over the past year. Not only due to his offense generation, but he's the type of figurehead that demonstrates leadership and authority. He probably has at least another 2 solid years in him, and will provide value over the contract.

    If Visnovsky gets hurt again this year, it may be prudent to consider obtaining active quotes in the market and move on.

    But Staios? Staios was a regular 25-28 point player when he was signed. The problem was his contract extension would kick in at 34. A 4 year contract was absurd and further insult was that the contract terms were structured based on past performance rather than the future projections.

    I'm fine with keeping him on for another year. No more though. There's no one available at the moment, and trades do not usually get done once the season begins. Peckham, Chorney, and Motin should develop another year in the AHL honing their skills and leaping into the NHL when they are ready to contribute [See Gilbert, Tom].

  32. shepso says:

    I am not convinced jfj makes this team over stone, but to be fair, both have been dominant over AHL players for the past few years and that really has been their competition level thus far. Obviously it is safe to assume 12 and 78 are in a bit of trouble here as well as one of 22 and 32, but I really think we should all just wait and see how well these bubble guys perform against actual NHL players before feeling too confident about what is and what could (not) be. It is now totally in the hands of the players and in the way they individually handle qual/comp they face throughout the preseason.

  33. trader says:

    Blackdog, I think that Nilsson is in the most trouble if they want to keep some toughness..Mac or Stone or versatility..Reddox

    How do you see the lines shaking out on opening night?

  34. Bar Qu says:

    I agree Souray and Staios need to stay this season (something about D progressing like glaciers and the importance not to rush young players).

    But, the other side of things is that this team is totally stacked for the next two years at least for good to great D. Using the occasional utility D pick up might be necessary, but the top 6 should be no cause for concern in the short-term at least.

    Forward, well, that's another story, but hopefully some of the promising signs from pre-season continue when they play actual NHL'ers in a few weeks.

    BTW, Motin needs a nickname. Virus ('cause he grows on you fast) would be my initial suggestion to kick it off.

  35. Black Dog says:

    shepso – I think that's key, its one thing to look good against scrubs (although better to look good than bad and the fact that O'Sullivan, Horcoff and Comrie are putting up points at the very least will make them comfortable and confident) but how will Stone look when its the Sedins opposite

    knighttown – absolutely agreed, they could move Staios if they had a similar vet making half of what he makes but last year they were down Vis and Grebs, the year before Souray missed most of the year and Greene was out for a couple of months and the year before that they almost ended calling me up they had so many injuries

    Send Motin and Peckham to the minors, let them play a lot down there and then when guys get hurt if they look ready then bring them up

  36. Black Dog says:

    I'm with PJO, I hated the Souray signing but if he stays healthy and plays like he did last year I think he covers the bet. They just have to pray the cap doesn't go down or they will end up like the Bruins, moving someone that they probably don't want to move.

    Trader – well its already gone sideways for me, I figured Cogliano on the wing so Pouliot and Brule slotted at centre.

    Its a damn goofy roster.

    I'm thinking POS/Horcoff/Hemsky, Penner/Cogliano/Nilsson, Comrie/Gagner/Pisani, Moreau/Pouliot/Stortini with Brule and Jacques as the extras.

    That was my original fourteen and I guess I'll stick with them. I really can't see them keeping Eberle, Jesus Murphy they have enough small skill guys already. Its great that he has shown well, it really is but send him back to junior.

    MacIntryre is a goner. I think Reddox is useful but he is the odd man out, him and Stone.

    So if Nilsson or Pouliot get cut/traded/whatever and if nothing comes the other way then those are the two next guys in line.

    I don't see much in Brule.

    Does Stone have to clear waivers? Has Potulny played a game yet?

  37. shepso says:

    Agreed. Where is Potulny? He led the isotopes (falcons for you non-simpsons watchers) in scoring last year yet no preseason play? Something's odd about that imo…

  38. Ribs says:

    Has anyone ever found out where the sudden love for Brule came from this summer?

    If I had to choose one guy to sit out between Nilsson, Pouliot, and Brule, it would be a very easy decision.

    Brule hasn't been overly impressive since he was traded here and I'm unsure why management would pick him over guys that are already somewhat established NHL players. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

  39. trader says:

    DB, I agree with how you have ranked the players and couldn't agree more in the fact that it is a goofy roster.

    A couple points;

    Quinn often talks about 22 players not 23 does this mean the Strudwick will be both the 7th D and 14th forward? Or do they keep a cheap guy who hardly ever plays as the 14th F – MacIntrye? (I know he can't play) but he could be used 20 times a year in a physical role when needed and not use a lot of cap space.

    If Stone contines the same way when the comp is mostly NHL types it will be interesting. I'm betting his play falls off. Does he need waivers…don't know.

    Potulny played a game yet?..your questions answers the issue as to his chances….

  40. ian says:

    Do we have as much depth as it looks like we do?
    Most of the teams we have played have been rubbydubs and we have iced some decent squads with a good cross section of guys trying for the bigs.
    At this point there seems to be a number of guys seriously knocking on the door.
    Does this mean that Springfield are going to be good this year?
    Who has a realistic chance to crack the line up?
    No D men right?
    So which forwards are giving the coaches the most headaches?
    Is Schremp done after last night?

  41. Black Dog says:

    Well I guess he's the odd man out, Potulny that is.

    With Brule there are three factors – he's aggressive, which this club needs, he's a top pick, so he's going to get his chances, and there's politics.

    Management has made so many bad decisions over the years. I always say you can argue each in turn (who knew Glencross would get even better, who knew Hejda would become what he did, the Smyth trade, the Pronger trade and so on and so on) but the last three years there have been no playoff appearances (one more miss and we've equalled mid 90s territory) and a pretty lousy team.

    So when you trade an NHL winger (and once again you can argue that moving Raffi was smart but remember he was a solid player for a playoff club last year by all accounts) for a guy and the guy doesn't do squat his first year with the club, well you're going to push him, because if its another failure, well its something else people can point to.

    That's what I think. He doesn't do a damn thing for me but I could be wrong. I hope I am obviously.

  42. Bar Qu says:

    Brule does nothing for me. Don't like the size, don't like the history.

    Pouliot is at least an NHL'er, though honestly I don't know if he is the answer that is needed for the bottom 6 .

    And frankly, Gregor grates on my nerves, so I would love to see him proved wrong (again).

    It would just be hard to see another trade (of Pouliot) that is a re-dux version of Brodziak to Minnie. Even if Nilsson is somehow packaged in it.

    The one that will be a huge relief to see go down is the Oil version of George Burns. "Take my Schremp. Please!"

  43. Black Dog says:

    Interesting, Gregor notes the following:

    Reddox is in the mix for the fourth line centre spot and definitely has a shot at one of the last two spots on the club.

    Eberle is getting a look but Quinn is not a fan of rushing juniors.

    Brule blah blah blah Brule.

    Maybe they'll break camp with one goalie and four D?

  44. hunter1909 says:

    Brule was pathetic against the Panthers last night. At least 3-4 times he lost his balance against the boards, and looked like a fly getting swatted in the process. I hope he gets one more game, then sent down to the AHL work on his strength.

    Schremp looked pretty good on the powerplay in the first, but unfortunately as the game wore on then started to remind me of a Notre Dame college quarterback platooned into an NFL playoff game. However, his composure in the offensive zone gives him another chance, since it's still early in the pre season.

    And because intelligent teams simply don't throw away first round draft prospects.

    Am I the only one here who sees the 180 degree turnaround in the team's attitude since Quinn's arrival? Oilers in 3 games have already turned from a miserable static looking bunch of looking over their shoulders at the coach stick clutchers, into a spirited looking hockey team.

  45. bookie says:

    Opinion Poll

    #1-Relativly Established Player that you hope gets bumped (waived, sent down, etc.)?

    #2-Relativly Unlikly Player that you hope makes the team?

  46. Bar Qu says:

    #1 – Nilsson, without a doubt. But I hope he doesn't make the team b/c of a trade.

    #2 – a tie between Peckham and Motin. But for their sakes I hope I am disappointed. Runner up; Reddox

  47. Bar Qu says:

    And if I can do a runner up for #1, it is Brule getting picked on waivers by Toronto, making it even easier to despise Burke's boys.

  48. hunter1909 says:

    1 – Pisani. Kind of hate saying this, but Injury prone, feel good story ala Rem Murray more than anything near an effectively consistent/dependable player anymore.

    2 – Schremp LOL. I want to see how he manages to deal with the top 4 defence tossing him an endless series of break out passes for at least 1 season. I'd predict 20+ goals for him.

  49. Ribs says:

    Maybe they'll break camp with one goalie and four D?

    Maybe Quinn plans on picking names from a hat?

  50. Lord Bob says:

    Colin McDonald! Liam Reddox! Steve Macintyre! I'm calling it the new Triple Crown Line, on the grounds that soon they'll all be playing in Sweden.

  51. Black Dog says:

    #1 – who I hope gets bumped? nobody really, they need all the established players they have already and that includes Staios, I guess I'll cop out and say Strudwick

    #2 – as much as a kid like Motin or Eberle making it would be exciting it would also say a lot about how terrible this club is, these guys need more seasoning

    I'm going with Reddox, he's like that cat that keeps coming back. Everyone figured him for MacT's boy, what will they say if Quinn decides to keep him too?

  52. trader says:

    #1 – I am with BlackDog here and hope no one but I think Nilsson may be in trouble..

    #2- I know it is early but chemistry is hugh in hockey and if the comrie/o'sullivan/stone line keeps going then it is Stone.

  53. bookie says:

    #1 – Steve MacIntyre – takes up a roster spot with very little impact. The team this year should plan to skate around the louts like Boogaard. Though, I admit that the team paid a price when they lost their deterent so…

    #2 – Yeah, I like Reddox as well, he looked very Marchant-like at times last year.

  54. Bruce says:

    Bruce: HUGE difference between Motin and the AHL guys like Arsene, Taylor and Young.
    Comparing him to Taylor and Young is silly.

    Agreed, and I wasn't comparing. I was, however, responding to your comment which mentioned all three in one sentence, and mildly pointing out that all three have gotten the same opportunity to this point, and it's hard to read a depth chart from that.

    I for one hold out very high hopes for Motin as an eventual NHLer, although I'd be surprised if it was this year. The other guys are AHL depth and Allan Rourke-type 10th defencemen on the organizational depth chart.

    Hope that clarifies. I don't think we really disagree, but I seem to have marbles in my virtual mouth these days.

  55. bookie says:

    Though, now that I think about it, Mac doesn't belong in category number 1. Hard to pick someone.

    new #1 – Somebody who doesn't really deserve to go, but goes anyway because someone else has pushed them out (competition is good) – perhaps Nilsson or Pouliot

  56. uni says:

    Sometimes I remember Glencross and Hedja and think what this team could be like with those two guys still in the lineup.

    I especially miss Glen-X wreaking havoc out there. To think we could have had him at 1.1 for 3 years, besides he was the 4th to the 3 musketeers for Gagner, Cogliano, and Gilbert.

  57. Ducey says:

    Took my eight year old to the River Cree for hockey and the Florida Panthers were practicing on the rink next door. Pretty Cool.

  58. Dennis says:

    Everyone knows how I feel abut 44's contract and I just don't think odds are in the favour of him staying healthy again for this season.

    You would have to move him – or even 71 and most certainly 24 – if you could pick up a Dubinsky in the process. Of course that isn't gonna happen but we need that secondary tough min pivot and that's all there is to it.

    Then again, the more days pass without the accompanying movement points to a scnario were the Oilers just wait for the year when either of 13-89 can take on the secondary tough.

    In the process you burn another year of 83's affordable contract but none of the brass seem overly worried about missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

    On a final note, there is depth on the Oilers backend but there's also the fact that any trade to deplete that would have a tickledown where both 5 and 43 would be counted on for every game and where 24's odometer would start to run at a faster pace.

    That being said, we are top-sided and I would be prepared to try and diversify a little more towards the forwards.

  59. Bar Qu says:

    Two things Dennis,

    Dubinsky looks like he's a Ranger again (as per TSN) at a rate that makes it look like an offer sheet would have cost us very little.

    Second, a trade of top-end D talent (Souray for example) does not have to deplete the team's talent, since there are utility D to help Steady Steve eat up the extra minutes available as free agents (ie. Francis Bouillon off the top of my head). Not that I am advocating doing ANYTHING like that this year, but by trade deadline or the end of next season, absolutely.

  60. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Sorry, took off shopping long ago and just returned with an audio video selector switch for the boy (I have no idea what he's up to) plus a Metallica poster for his room.

    When he moves out I'll be rich!

    Anyway, I think Pouliot makes the team, they keep Nilsson until someone comes calling and Schremp goes via the waiver wire. Here's my top 14F before the trades:

    1. Horcoff
    2. Penner
    3. Hemsky
    4. Comrie
    5. O'Sullivan
    6. Pisani
    7. Moreau
    8. Gagner
    9. Cogliano
    10. Pouliot
    11. Jacques
    12. Stortini
    13. Brule
    14. Nilsson

    If they can find a buyer early then Reddox makes the big club and Stone plus Eberle could screw it all up.

  61. flamingpavelbure says:

    Yipeee, throw Nilsson to the lions.

    Fortunatly for me, i think Quinn likes Nilsson, which is a hand out. Idk why you would absolutely need to ditch him in order to get Reddox or Stone… it's just… uneccesary. (IMO). Pisani is getting old, so is Moreau, now we have an overload of forward, but heh, with so many injury prone guys like Pisani,Brulé and JFJ, + Souray and Visnovsky on defense, we might find Nilsson and Pouliot quite useful down the road.

    But that's just my opinion.

    Well i hope they keep the 3 scoring lines mentality.

    I would call

    Hesmky-Gagner-O'sullivan
    Penner-Cogliano-Comrie
    Pisani-Horcoff-Nilsson
    Moreau-Brulé-Zorg

    I would say it's down to Motin to steal Strudwick's job, Peckham not versatile enough

  62. Black Dog says:

    Audio video whazzit? Sounds like he's building a rocket ship. My boy will be excited.

    Metallica I know.

    Well, we have the same list. Agree on Schremp. I'm thinking they have to send Eberle back (watch him score three tonight and muddy the waters further) to junior. They just have to.

    Reserving judgement on Stone until he gets some heavier sledding. Apparently the Canucks are dressing a lot of regulars tonight. The competition is about to get tougher, we'll see how he handles it. The fact that he's big doesn't hurt his cause.

    And Reddox is the wildcard. Once again don't know how connected Gregor is but he made it sound like the kid is a shooin for an end of the roster spot at least.

  63. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: Yeah, I think we all have the same list (or at least everyone but Pavel lol).

    I mentioned this to Tyler the other day and it still holds: that WON'T be the starting top 14 when the seasons starts and I'll bet money on it.

    Why? Someone will get hurt, they are as likely to pick up some off waivers as lose someone (or both) and there's still a trade there imo.

  64. bookie says:

    LT-As per changes – you have to admit that you were thinking the same thing with Training camp as your cut off.

  65. James L. says:

    Is it wrong to prefer to follow a game (particularly a preseason game) by refreshing the LT comments section rather than streaming the official Oilers video?

  66. Black Dog says:

    LT – I thought for a second you were going to bet money on a trade happening and I was going to take that bet, except you still owe me for the same bet for summer 06, fall 06, fall 07, fall 08, summer 09 ;)

    For sure I think that someone will get hurt and they could always pick up someone on waivers like they did MacIntyre.

    I have to think that they're going to move Nilsson though. Comrie has taken his spot.

  67. Racki says:

    I'm liking Motin so far this pre-season. Anyone else? If there's one rookie I want to see hang around a bit longer (if we actually could afford the roster spot), it would be him.

  68. Lowetide says:

    Oh hey, I'll be 10 days dead and calling for a trade. The Oilers since Lowe arrived in town seem to have this wonky idea that early season games don't count which is a mystery.

    ALL this stuff is important. The Oilers will lose games because JDD isn't more experienced, because they have too many leadoff hitters, because Pisani is in the injury prone phase of his career.

    All things we can identify. I'm counting on Quinn not giving a rat's ass about developing 10 players at a time.

  69. Perry K says:

    I know that most of you will disagree. But, I would like to see the season start like this.

    Please NO flaming!!!!!

    O'Sullivan-Comrie-Hemsky
    Penner-Gagner-Shremp
    Cogliano-Horcoff-Pisani
    Moreau-Brule-Stortini

  70. Ribs says:

    Some interesting words from Horcoff on the Kelly firing…

    That decision should have waited…it needed to wait. We should have brought our findings back to our teammates and allowed for further discussion with the players."

    That didn't happen and Horcoff admits his Oilers teammates were upset at being kept in the dark before a decision of this magnitude was made.

    "Hopefully, more players will now want to get involved. We don't have a lot of experience or clout in there. It doesn't have to be star players, or collged grads, but experience helps and will make a difference."

    "If players are pissed off, maybe they'll start getting involved," Horcoff concluded.

    Hopefully this doesn't have too much of an impact in the locker room.

  71. Racki says:

    @Perry K: I don't know if I'd like to see them start the season that way, myself, but I definitely not mind seeing those lines together for a pre-season game or two to see what they can do. Not a bad suggestion!

  72. bookie says:

    Ribs – I think the Oilers got rid of most of the radical union boys with Roli being the last one shipped out of town. Now they can all complain about the league and the union together.

  73. grant says:

    I think the lines will end up something like this.

    Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
    O'Sullivan – Comrie – Nilsson
    Cogliano – Gagner – Stortini
    Moreau – Brule/Pouliot – Pisani

    JFJ, Brule/Pouliot

  74. PunjabiOil says:

    The Oilers since Lowe arrived in town seem to have this wonky idea that early season games don't count which is a mystery.

    Yup. They seem to believe every year they can do wonders at the trade deadline.

    Winning the division would take the team further in the playoffs more than any rental would in my opinion.

  75. hunter1909 says:

    "The Oilers since Lowe arrived in town seem to have this wonky idea that early season games don't count which is a mystery."

    Technically speaking, the Oilers never have given much of a rat's ass about whether they won games, other than when the playoffs start.

    When running their dynasty, considering the supreme talent the team was running the Oilers as often as not had a relatively crappy regular season record. Other teams finished up with more points than the Oilers, while Oilers geared themselves for the second season.

    It's a theory I grew up living with, and one that I far prefer to the regular season wonders(see bruins), who sail through regular seasons only to choke in the spring.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Which is all well and good when you MAKE THE PLAYOFFS.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers under Quinn make 6th in the West, easy.

  78. Coach pb9617 says:

    Anyone have a working feed?

  79. B.C.B. says:

    yup, coach, at NHL.com

  80. Black Dog says:

    I'm going to sound like a broken record here, sorry folks, but those terrible bottom of the barrel clubs back in the mid 90s? They missed the playoffs four years in a row. These guys are one short of matching it.

    That says a lot and that is why my usually sunny self isn't so sunny when it comes to club management.

  81. hunter1909 says:

    Black Dog only knows post Messier Oilers teams, so we can forgive his pessimism.

  82. hunter1909 says:

    They're playing like a 100 point team to my eyes.

    PS: Nice that my fave prospect Schremp isn't playing tonight, otherwise I'd have to worry about him skating poorly, offensive breakout into the zone deficiencies etc, lol.

  83. Lowetide says:

    Ethan wants them to work on the PK.

  84. Ribs says:

    The many ways to lose an NHL faceoff – By Andrew Cogliano

  85. Lowetide says:

    I think tonight will be a much better test for the Oilers than a game like last night when Florida arrived by dogsled and played their rubbydubs.

    Oilers looked swift early and Penner had a nice early shift but after the Nilsson penalty the Oilers are skating uphill.

  86. Lucinius says:

    Other than Penner's line and Hemsky, most Oiler forwards look like they don't really want the puck..

  87. Lowetide says:

    Motin must be pretty strong for 20, Hordichuk folded like a cheap suit.

  88. Phil says:

    The Hemsky line has looked dangerous virtually every time out.

  89. Phil says:

    Beauty – just as the homer color guy vomits the glory of Luongo not allowing a goal yet this preseason…

  90. Bank Shot says:

    Haha. Atta boy Souray.

    Oilers have been getting alot of cheap goals this preseason.

  91. Ribs says:

    Funny that these guys don't have to wear helmets doing this. Only in Alberta, I guess.

  92. Bank Shot says:

    Funny that these guys don't have to wear helmets doing this. Only in Alberta, I guess

    Canucks fans don't have to worry about brain damage.

  93. Lowetide says:

    Souray (Moreau, Nilsson)

  94. B.C.B. says:

    I thought Motin was good in the 1st. A couple times I cringed seeing him pass, and all of a sudden the camera panned to an open Oiler winger. I also thought his penalty was suspect: it was from behind, by the Dys player was not protecting himself, and staring at his feet.

  95. Dennis says:

    I checked out the first period and here's what I saw:

    - despite the Oilers giving up a PPGA, 44 made three or four nice little plays while SH.

    - 12 takes an O zone penalty that gives the Dys their first PP; they go on to score when 13 loses not one but Two draws Clean – one on each side – and eventually the puck finds twine.

    - it's a shame 14 can't go straight to the A because some gym time and some seasoning and this kid's a player. He's already offensively of guys like 67 and 78. Yes, I know that's a mean feat and there's more to the game than scoring but I'd like to see what he'd be like if he could play 50 games in the A this coming season.

    - 29 looks like he uses a really long stick and it looks like the rough stuff doesn't bother him in the least.

    - 27 most certainly looks faster.

  96. uni says:

    The commentators haven't been blatantly homerish so far this game. Pleasant surprise.

    Also I had no idea Parrish was still in the league much less wearing Canucks silks.

  97. grease trap says:

    What's up with the fans? I've seen more spirit in a hospital waiting room…

  98. ian says:

    Motin is in for some fisticuffs tonight and I am picking Hordichuk as his likely partner

  99. bookie says:

    Oilers have been getting alot of cheap goals this preseason.

    Those are called goals of indirect precision and require far more skill than normal tic tac toe goals because it is much more difficult to direct goals of indirect percision due to the influence of chaos.

  100. Bank Shot says:

    Former Oiler injury reserve placeholder Mathieu Roy played about 20 minutes for the Bluejackets tonight, recording an assist and ending +2.

    Good for him. It'd be nice to see him get a few games in the bigs this year. He's a gamer.

  101. Bank Shot says:

    Those are called goals of indirect precision and require far more skill than normal tic tac toe goals because it is much more difficult to direct goals of indirect percision due to the influence of chaos.

    Hah. Only Oilers goals though. Other teams' are pure fluke.

  102. Woodguy says:

    Oilers have been getting alot of cheap goals this preseason.

    Good thing happen when you direct the puck at the net.

  103. fever4flames says:

    "goals of indirect percision" lol.

  104. Hemmer'oids says:

    Well these announcers sure don't like the Oilers…

  105. uni says:

    Is it just me, or is Milsson just trying to do too much out there? Seems to be trying to do it all himself.

  106. Woodguy says:

    Powerplay needs work.

    Smid isn't good enough with the puck under pressure to work the PP.

    Cogliano looks a little lost on it too.

    Nice block in front by Poo there, good positioning covering for a defenceman who went wandering following the puck.

  107. Lowetide says:

    He did that quite a bit in the scrimmages too, but that's his game. Nilsson can dipsy-doodle as Howie Meeker would say, and he drew a penalty in this period (which the Oilers pissed away).

  108. Lucinius says:

    Dump and chase on a powerplay.. joy.

  109. Alice says:

    When does the power play start?

  110. Phil says:

    Even by preseason standards, those were three straight dreadful powerplays.

  111. bookie says:

    nice save mr backup goalie!

  112. Woodguy says:

    Very nice blocker by JDD. He looks good.

    Brule looks like his strategy is to just keep chasing the puck.

  113. Black Gold says:

    Yikes, Denis.
    Dont get beat by scatchard. :)

  114. Lowetide says:

    Did I see a Gagner-Nilsson-Hemsky line for awhile? Brutal period, that was awful. Worst period of hockey I've seen since the SEL during the lockout.

  115. Woodguy says:

    If today was cut down day I would keep Stone over Brule.

    Reddox had a solid period. Strong on the puck, good decisions, good positioning.

  116. Alice says:

    cogs won the opening draw clean.
    I'm not sure he or the oilers won another.

  117. Lucinius says:

    I think I need to start taking a drink everytime an Oiler passes the puck to another Oiler about 2-5 feet in front of him who's standing still, or when Gagner and Hemsky try to enter the right side of teh zone — at the exact same time.

    Very painful to watch most of that period, though Hemsky and a few others seem to be trying (I don't like Reddox, but he's actually putting effort into the game unlike a lot of others).

  118. shepso says:

    Is it just me, or is this version of the Oilers-in-training looking a whole lot worse than the version they iced last night, despite the presence of Hemmer, Gags, Cogs, Penner, thecaptainethanmoreau, and Souray? They look like last year's team in late november, listless, flat and confused with the puck. The canucks are icing a few more legit NHL players and some bubble players with serious skill (Hodgson, Hansen, Bolduc), and they look much better despite the score. All the same, last night's Oilers looked like they had more energy, intensity and heart. Tonight is just kind of blah and that is cause for concern considering who is on the ice right now…

  119. Lowetide says:

    Canucks have some veterans out there and a good goalie too, which makes a difference. Scatchard has made most of the team look foolish and I wonder if Grebeshkov has the flu or something.

    You've gotta love Reddox, just keeps his finger on the firing-pin every game.

  120. bookie says:

    Some of it is probably burnout and some of it is probably the fact that guys who Know they are making the team don't play that hard until the end of preseason.

  121. Alice says:

    If Gagner was a bubble guy instead of the heir-apparent, would he be staying up?
    There's a lot of worse things that could happen to his game than a couple months with Daum. And he doesn't have to clear waivers, does he?
    We all love him to death, but he's screwing the pooch. Pains me to say it, but there it is

  122. oil dude says:

    Hemsky always sucks in the preseason, I was pumped last year to see Hemmer-Horc-Cole in preseason but the they seemed indifferent. Hemmer will find another level when the games really begin.

  123. bookie says:

    We all love him to death, but he's screwing the pooch. Pains me to say it, but there it is

    Uhm, its preseason and he is a lock player, don't expect him to try at this point…

  124. Woodguy says:

    Please let this be the last game of Gagner and Hemsky together.

    Please?

  125. Promethian says:

    Just had a random but weirdly disturbing thought:

    What if Hemsky is a better player with MacT as his coach?

    Yikes.

  126. Lowetide says:

    Lazy, lazy penalty by Nilsson.

  127. Lucinius says:

    On the positive side of things.. good night for testing Deslaurier, something that's been sorely missing for awhile.

  128. uni says:

    This penalty kill is the best stretch of play the Oilers have had since the 1st period.

  129. Alice says:

    I'm ok if he's not trying, I'm afraid if he's taken a step backwards, it's not effort, it's decision making.
    I'm not cheerleading this situation, but if he's a lock then he doesn't need to put up boxcars, he should be demonstrating that he's figured out some aspects of the game. I'm not seeing anything that would suggest he's moving forward, which would be hugely problematic for this enterprise.

  130. bookie says:

    Oh man, 2-1 we are totally screwed this season. I think the whole team should be sent to play in the Spengler Cup.

  131. James L. says:

    Or maybe join the QMJHL?

  132. uni says:

    Isn't this the point in the game where the Oilers are supposed to pressure hemming the Canucks in as they defend the lead?

  133. bookie says:

    I was busy working, is it over?

  134. bookie says:

    Nope, ok, it was just on some kind of long commercial break or something….

    Go team!

  135. Lowetide says:

    I haven't been impressed with Brule tonight. The LW role doesn't seem to be his forte.

  136. Phil says:

    Neither Pouliot nor Nilsson did anything to help their causes tonight.

  137. bookie says:

    DOOMED, fire the coach, trade the GM, burn the arena, close the city!

    Its done, the dream is over!

  138. Morgan says:

    Bout time they lost .Don't want them getting big head or anything

  139. uni says:

    Of Brule, Nilsson, and Pouliot tonight, Poo looked the best, and that's not saying much.

    I'm a big supporter of Nilsson, and I like Brule plenty, but both of them didn't show very well tonight.

  140. Alice says:

    Penner/Cogs/Eberle still showed well, but the rest of the team certainly didn't display much verve.

  141. Lowetide says:

    One thing I think tonight showed in spades is that too many small guys is death. Gagner, Brule, Hemsky, Nilsson, Cogliano, who am I missing?

    You can't do anything with that many of them. The big D run over them, close the gaps and force the issue. That's why Horcoff is such a good center for Hemsky and really why Gagner isn't a good fit for 83.

    The other thing of course is that they tend (like Nilsson) to do the same things in the offensive end so the other side has less to worry over.

    If I'm Ryan Stone I'm loving this.

  142. flamingpavelbure says:

    Robert Nilsson:

    2 GP 0 G 2 A 2 P +2

    And he's doing that bad?

    Considering he only played 13:00 which is less than even Liam Reddox.

  143. Oilers For Life says:

    So when do you think the next round of cuts will come down?

  144. flamingpavelbure says:

    Monday: Schremp is gone? For the record, as much as Reddox is pushing it, his stats sheet is full of Zero's exept for that 6 PIM

  145. Lowetide says:

    Tencer said there would be cuts "today" early this afternoon. Matheson has reported that Sorochan is on his way to Springfield.

  146. oil dude says:

    Robert Nilsson:

    2 GP 0 G 2 A 2 P +2

    And he's doing that bad?

    This is one of those instances were his numbers aren't telling the story. Nilsson was brutal tonight, when he wasn't taking bad penalties he was floating around the ice and turning the puck over. Does he know that the Oilers have too many forwards? Does he know that Lowe said Comrie will replace a similar player? Does he know that Comrie has 6 points in 2 games? Rob Daum is going to have a killer offense in Springfield.

  147. Temujin says:

    DOOMED, fire the coach, trade the GM, burn the arena, close the city!

    Its done, the dream is over!

    Well, at least you're being realistic about the Oilers chances :-)

    Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all season!

    Hope you all had good summers.

  148. flamingpavelbure says:

    Maybe if Nilsson did that, it didn't do much damage. I think him and Pouliot being on the only + line will help theyr case in this one. Eberle's -2 might be the thing that kills him.

    Cogliano now got 1 point and -1 overall. Same for Penner yet they don't seem threatened at all by anything. Same for Pisani.

    Maybe Nilsson had a bad game, but come on guys, you must admit you got a grudge against Mini-magic, your picking at anything and everything.

    It's first to strikeout in this one, and Nilsson begins the At-bat 0 and 2.

  149. oil dude says:

    Maybe Nilsson had a bad game, but come on guys, you must admit you got a grudge against Mini-magic, your picking at anything and everything.

    I don't have a grudge against Nilhouse, but if you want to evaluate players solely on preseason stats without watching the games then your going to be constantly baffled about roster decisions. More to the point this isn't just a bad game, this is the continuation of a trend that has lasted his entire NHL career, and I was hoping that he would start to "care" this season under a new coach. So far it looks like the same old story with him. Like I said earlier, the guy he is competing with is has 6 points in 2 games and is dropping the gloves. Nilsson is making this a very easy decision for the coaches.

  150. Perry K says:

    bookie said….

    "Those are called goals of indirect precision and require far more skill than normal tic tac toe goals because it is much more difficult to direct goals of indirect percision due to the influence of chaos."

    Very funny! LMAO!

  151. Julian says:

    Nilhouse is an awesome nickname. If Gagner is Bart, Nilsson is Milhouse.

  152. the 0 in 0rca is for 0 cups says:

    this game was as bad as combining green with blue on a hockey jersey.

  153. Jonathan Willis says:

    FPB:

    There's a funny thing about statistics, especially superficial ones like points and +/-.

    Over 1000 games, they're generally very good at showing a player's quality.
    Over 100 games, they're pretty good.
    Over 10 games, they're dicey.
    Over 1 or 2 games they aren't that helpful.

    The last preseason game I watched was against NYI, and the Gagner, Hemsky, Nilsson line was flat-out miserable. Scored a goal, and didn't get burned by their many, many mistakes, but they were flat out miserable.

  154. flamingpavelbure says:

    If Hemmers doesn't miss the damn wide open net. They score 2 goals in that game, and it's hard to call out a line with 2 goals without being burned in theyr zone. As awfully under theyr potential they could have played.

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