Opening Night Lineup Set (Maybe)

Robert Nilsson is still in Edmonton, Rob Schremp is within driving distance of his hometown and Liam Reddox is in limbo. Having said that, there are still questions to be answered before opening night. These questions include Ales Hemsky’s health (groin), Fernando Pisani’s long term health (back) and Marc Pouliot’s unspeakable injury (don’t ask, don’t tell).

Anyway, the 23-man looks like this:

  • Goal: Khabibulin, Deslauriers
  • Defense: Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Smid, Staios, Strudwick
  • Center: Horcoff, Gagner, Comrie, Cogliano, Brule
  • Left Wing: Penner, O’Sullivan, Moreau, Jacques
  • Right Wing: Hemsky, Nilsson, Stone, Stortini, MacIntrye
  • Disabled List: Pisani, Pouliot

The projected lines and pairings from coach Quinn are getting lots of attention. Here they are (C-L-R):

  • Horcoff-Jacques-Hemsky: If Jacques can help the 1line and add a physical element it helps the team immensely. Coach Quinn is getting plenty of credit for the move and this is certainly well deserved, but we should remember Crazy Train is completely healthy for the first time in years. His emergence could be one of the top stories for the club this season. Hemsky seemed to sleep-walk through pre-season but if this team is going to win games he’ll be a major player. Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans.
  • Comrie-O’Sullivan-Stone: Comrie ate Gagner’s lunch, kicked Nilsson to the curb and stomped Schremps guts out. Not bad for two weeks work, and he’s shown a lot of chemistry with O’Sullivan this fall. Patio Lantern needs to have a good scoring season and is the smartest overall player on this line. Ryan Stone has feet of clay but can play the game when he’s near it and would be a tremendous help if he has sustain this year.
  • Brule-Penner-Cogliano: Penner looks fabulous this fall and has some chem with Cogs offensively. He has not been worth the big contract but a season having an impact in all three zones would be a Godsend at this point. Brule gets the job early but owns an uneven resume and is the question mark on the line.
  • Gagner-Moreau-Stortini: The only line with three NHL players is the 4line and I have to confess there’s things to like here. Moreau gets to impact the kid’s progress first hand and lead Gagner in a way that he perhaps did not one year ago. I think Sam Gagner will answer the challenge from his coach and move up the depth chart early in the season.
  • Nilsson-MacIntyre: HS’s are an interesting bunch, I would have kept Reddox over MacIntyre but am content with Nilsson staying (for as long as it lasts).
  • Forward Progress: Quinn appears to have married “qualified pairs” with hopefuls and also-rans as a way of improving the depth. My Mom used to add a potato and some noodles to stew in order to get an extra day out of it when I was a kid and it’s probably a good comparison for this combination. They’ll get out of the driveway and through town okay, but when they take it to the limit the engine will likely run out of time.
  • Souray-Staios: I think Quinn may be protecting Lubo’s injury here, either that or he wants the two guys who can’t pass worth a tinker’s dam on the top pairing. I don’t think Staios is done, and I do like Souray in the defensive zone and when he unleashes the Bishop on offense but lordy this pairing is an errant pass waiting to happen.
  • Grebeshkov-Gilbert: Nice pairing, skilled with intelligence and imagination. They draw outside the lines sometimes but the overall picture is art and effective overall. I suspect they’ll be the only current pairing to have sustain.
  • Visnovsky-Smid: Lubo slumming it with “the learning curve” and that’s going to be interesting. Smid improved a lot last season and perhaps this pairing will unleash his inner offense but there are going to be some gap and coverage errors here.
  • Indefensible: Quinn’s wrinkle for the blue is interesting but doomed as doomed can be. Expect them to deal a puck mover for a hatchet man in the season’s first 12 weeks.
  • Nikolai Khabibulin-Jeff Deslauriers: I like the starter a lot, and should he remain healthy the Oilers should have a real chance at the second season (once they make a trade for an adult up front). Deslauriers has spent a career being “unproven” and this season there are no alternatives. He’ll play a lot, and those games will likely be the difference in terms of making the playoffs.
  • Holes in Goal: Deslauriers could play as many as 30 games this season and is unlikely to finish above .500 in them. Even with the massive holes up front this could be the actual Achilles for the Oilers.

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76 Responses to "Opening Night Lineup Set (Maybe)"

  1. spOILer says:

    The article from Brownlee seems a bit deceptive.

    And I'm sure it's to be followed up by similar articles in both the morning fishwraps.

    But isn't it really a bigger deal that Moreau is on the 4th, than a kid with two years under his belt, who may have to work out some rough edges?

    I mean I know that's no surprise to those of us who eat Al Gore for breakfast every day but for everyone else? Is this play on Gagner a bit of a misdirection? Why was no one interviewing thecaptain, the team leader and consummate professional, about his demotion?

  2. flamingpavelbure says:

    Well, what the hell.

    Stone on the 3rd line… good lord.

    Really looking for grit under every rocks.

    -_-

  3. spOILer says:

    FPB> He's on the 2nd!!! That's okay, maybe they pick up the same chemistry and don't bleed goals against. If not, he'll be slding down the bat pole.

    LT>The Lubo thing is a bit strange, unless it's due to injury as you say. Or maybe he's going to get a large whack of PP time to make up for less shifts at EVs? Sheldon will not be pleased if that's the case.

    But a couple of things…

    Quinn seems more willing to put Vishnovsky out there on the PK than MacT, if the pre-season is any kind of tell. Last game he killed at least one with Smid.

    Also, I think I saw Smid behind the OTHER team's goal line more times this pre-season than the 2 prior regular seasons put together. It does seem that he's been told to start thinking about the big O.

    So maybe there IS some tutoring going on.

    Brule gets a big confidence boost and some real help to a decent re-start to his career by starting the season with Penner and Cogs. And, IIRC, he's actually won a few face-offs, unlike the rest of the Smurfs.

  4. flamingpavelbure says:

    ''Edmonton Oilers’ winger Fernando Pisani will likely start the National Hockey League season on long-term injured status after an MRI revealed more damage to his sore back than just a muscle strain.''

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/index.html

  5. LMHF#1 says:

    "Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans. "

    Bit much LT.

    I don't think these lines last long at all.

    What's the over under per game on blown chances from Horcoff and Jacques? 10?

  6. flamingpavelbure says:

    ''With Hemsky missing, Robert Nilsson slid into his spot on the top line with Shawn Horcoff and J.F. Jacques, but if Hemsky is ready for the Flames, Nilsson will likely be an extra forward Saturday.''

    Sorry for Double Post.

    If Hemsky's in pain, Nilsson could get lucky and finally play all the games (If he shows well)

  7. James L. says:

    LT may have been giving a backhand to the Horcoff doubters, but it was a well-deserved one IMO.

    What a weird looking team, though. I'm not expecting much at all, but a few things will be fun to watch, especially Jacques on the first line (will it stick?) and Comrie's return (still can't quite believe not only that he's an Oiler again but that I'm actually interested to see how he does).

  8. Brett Gee 英 明 says:

    Sorry to throw this on here but I figured that someone might know the answer to this question…

    My awesome bro bought me a ticket to the game on Sat and Im just wondering if there are any perks for people with Gold Club tickets like free food or something.

    Either way, I'm pretty stoked!

  9. Steve says:

    "Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans. "

    Bit much LT.

    Who else is even in contention for the title?

  10. PDO says:

    44-77
    71-5
    37-24

    … please and thank you.

  11. spOILer says:

    Oh my. Lind just popped his 3rd homer of the game. 6, I think, for the Jays now.

  12. LMHF#1 says:

    Steve -

    Hemsky and Visnovsky.

    I was speaking more about the second part though.

  13. pboy says:

    I love watching Hemsky play but he can't check his hat in his own end.

    Hands down, Horcoff is the most complete player on the Oil.

  14. LMHF#1 says:

    pboy -

    I'd disagree, in fact, Hemsky is often charged with the centre role in his own end instead of Horcoff. Watch closely.

  15. PDO says:

    LMHF:

    Only during the breakout, and that's because he wants to carry the puck through the neutral zone.

  16. kris says:

    LMF:

    Vis can't kill penalties worth crap, and he's a little more prone to error.

    Thus, he's less complete, even if he has some higher end offensive flair than Horc.

  17. kris says:

    Regarding the opening lineup:

    I'm okay with Gagner on the 4th line. He's 20 and he's inconsistent. Make him play his way up, that's fine. Doesn't matter.

    What I'm not okay with is Brule facing tough, NHL opposition. He hasn't proven he can beat tough AHL opposition. Now Penner will help, but Cogs is not exactly good enough against tough opposition to be able to carry an AHL'er for a linemate. That line is going to fail hard.

    Maybe the idea is to hid the Brule line from tough opposition. But that means Comrie and POS have to face tough opposition while carrying an AHL'er who can't skate. This line is going to fail hard too.

    Finally, given these line combos, do you think Quinn is going to, as I think Vic or JW speculated, just role the lines 1,2,3,4, no matter the opposition. No line matching? Is that what's happening here?

  18. Steve says:

    I was speaking more about the second part though.

    Well, if he's – even arguably, which I don't concede – the most complete player on the team, how does it not follow that his value is obvious? You're free to think he's not worth his contract, or that he shouldn't be a first line centre, but I don't think I've ever heard anybody the least bit informed deny that he's of considerable value to the team.

  19. DangerMan says:

    I personally think the forwards will be fine now they have used a lot of the preseason to work out the wrinkles. The defense looks to bleed a lot of goals early until they get the pairings sorted out. The "beat me wide" pairing of Souray and Staios is a little alarming.

  20. Jonathan Willis says:

    Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans.

    Hilarious line, and the discussion here is awesome given that the last part was obviously written tongue-in-cheek.

    LT's a Horcoff booster, but he's not under any illusions as to how he's viewed by the Oilers' fanbase – or whether that's something worth worrying about.

  21. LMHF#1 says:

    JW -

    Which is exactly why I was jabbing LT about it.

  22. Doogie2K says:

    Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans.

    It's funny, just the other day, I had to explain to my grad-studies coordinator why Horcoff was The Shit rather than just plain shit — and she gets tickets from him via a mutual friend!

  23. DangerMan says:

    44-77
    71-5
    37-24

    … please and thank you.

    I agree with that, at least until Peckham is ready to play, then that will throw another wrench into everything.

  24. misfit says:

    I really don't see the lines staying like this. Jacques has looked good, but I just don't think he's ready for that gig full time.

    I don't mind the Visnovsky-Smid pairing, personally. I'm not a fan of Visnovsky on the 3rd pair, but I do like the idea that Smid will have someone on his pairing who can do things offensively. Smid has to be the least creative person I've ever seen play hockey. He has no vision in the offensive zone at all.

  25. Rube Foster says:

    In a post yesterday LT said,
    I find it somewhat frustrating to see the same response to any post that involves discussions about sending out Robert Nilsson.

    I didn't sign Mike Comrie and I didn't trade for Patrick O'Sullivan either. The Edmonton Oilers have too many players of the same player type and they need to offload one of them.

    LT appeared a bit chafed by my support to give Nilsson one more kick at the can and I can understand why he feels that way. I was resigned to let Nilsson’s ship sail until I watched the Tampa Bay preseason game and saw again how effective the Kid Line could be and how much of a positive influence Nilsson seemed to have on Sam Gagner’s game. I believe it is Nilsson that is the straw that stirs Gagner’s drink and that the two of them have a genuine and unique chemistry which increase Gagner’s productivity and flattens his learning curve. I site this rationale as the primary reason for Nilsson’s last chance. I saw them good as LT says and for all we know it may be the last time. That this opinion puts me in the same camp as FlamingPavel is an unfortunate consequence that I’m resigned to live with:)

    Among the litany of the items above that LT did not do, I believe we can add:
    LT did not sign two thirds of a traditional third line to overpay contracts and then not give them a traditional third line center to play with.
    LT did not ship out Stoll and Reasoner and try to replace them at the third line center spot with the failed “Pisani Experiment”.
    LT did not ship out our best option for that third line center role, Kyle Brodziak, for a third round draft pick.

    It’s been two years since the Oilers had a bonafide traditional third line center and to LT’s and most of our dismay Oiler Management appears to have very little interest in filling this role. Instead they seem to be intent on rolling what can effectively be described as three second lines and a fourth line.
    We’ve heard a lot of talk this preseason about the Oilers rolling tandems of players in their top three units which appear to be. Horc – Hemmer / Comrie – POS / Gags – Cogs. I can get behind the notion of JFJ playing a Taylor Pyatt role with Horc and Hemmer. Comrie and POS seem destined for one of the big boys be it Penner or Stone, my preference being Penner. That leaves Gags and Cogs on the soft parade and I’m on the record saying the man for that gig should be Nilsson. I don’t see anyone else on the team making Gagner and Cogliano more effective as a unit than Nilsson. Viva La Kid Line part trois!

    With that said I believe both Moreau and Pisiani have value as the wingers on a traditional shutdown third line. The problem is, on this roster we don’t have that shut down line and can’t have that shutdown line until a traditional third line center (preferably right handed) magically appears. There is suddenly lots of talk about shipping out Moreau and or Pisani, and I believe it is due to the fact that their skill set, which has value in the right context, has no defined place on this untraditional roster. Where do you play your third line wingers if you don’t have a third line?

    LT, I’m with you, I don’t really get it either, but I do not believe that Oiler management sees that it is it necessary to go out and get a shutdown, face-off wizard of a center to roll out there with Pisani and Moreau. They’ve had ample opportunity to land one and instead they went in the direction that is Comrie.

    Much like the aforementioned Tampa Bay exhibition game, I believe we’re destined to loose some games this year because we can’t win a face off when we’ll have to. But, I also think/hope the unbalanced line-up might create some favorable match-ups along the way. With that said, does anyone recall a play-off team without a shutdown third line?

    Maybe we’re Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals? Jack Clark and a bunch of slap hitters. I’m not sold that it’s going to work, but that appears to be where we’re going.

  26. Lowetide says:

    Rube: I agree, it does look like Herzog's Cardinals. Except that they could all field like crazy, and defense is this group's weakness.

  27. DangerMan says:

    I remember that Cardinal team well. A bunch of slap hitter aka, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith. I think that team had Tom Brunansky as well to help out with the power. The biggest stat anomaly I had ever seen was Tommie Herr getting over 100 RBIs while only hitting 8HRs.

    As for the Oilers, we're still trying to figure out what the strength of this team is. As soon as they find out they will run with it. Something tells me a strong transition game will be in the cards. Puck-moving D-men and speed at forward.

  28. flamingpavelbure says:

    1989 Flames

    Mullen-Gilmour-Loob
    Otto-Niewendyk-Roberts
    Fleury-Hrdina-Patterson

    Only Patterson was below 40 points.

    2006 Canes

    Williams-Staal-Whitney
    Stillman-Brindamour-Cole
    Cullen-Weight-Larose

    No shutdown lines really.

    (Well you can consider Roddie's 60% as shutdown lol)

  29. devin says:

    What's the over under per game on blown chances from Horcoff and Jacques? 10?

    Horcoff has historically had a very respectable shooting %. I think you see what you want to see. If you watch complete games from around the league (not just the highlight packages) it becomes apparent how difficult it is to score a goal in the NHL. Especially if you start every shift in your own end.

    Nilsson will have the Huselius career path, book it.

  30. quain says:

    No shutdown lines really.

    No, they don't have the prototypical shutdown line. Instead they had a lot of guys who could play in the bad end of the ice and a lot of guys who could make sure the puck stayed in the good end of the ice. The Oilers don't have either of those types of players in abundance. What they do have is a lot of players who are going to charge into the offensive zone, lose the puck, and never get it back.

    But hey, let's pretend three scoring lines really just means nine Rob Schremps.

  31. flamingpavelbure says:

    Quain: The 06 Canes were a bit more about run and gunning, playing an open 3-2 style, because they couldn't afford anything else. Theyr open relied a lot on the goaltender. We saw what happened when the goalie failed in the 2 first game of that Montreal series.

    Fact is, that style permits to normally outshoot your opponent, but even if you let few shots, theyr' usually pretty dangerous ones.

    I think we should risk the thing, Khabi is solide enough to handle the thing.

    And do you think playing Jacques and Stone will fix the Mess and get us into the playoffs?

    -_-!

  32. quain says:

    No, I think we should get players who can play hockey at a level above 'fringe NHLer' instead of pretending that this crappy team is going to somehow adopt an open, offensive style and win hockey games.

    1. Change the System
    2. ??????
    3. Plan the Parade!

  33. SK Oiler Fan says:

    The lines are worth a try. If JFJ and Stone keep it simple, run defencemen, and go to the net they'll have done their jobs. I just hope Quinn gives the lines more time than MacT would. Switching a couple guys here or there is ok, but when everybody ends up playing with everybody else by Christmas that's too much.

    I'm more interested in the special teams lineups:

    1st PP unit: Horc, Hemmer, JFJ with Souray and Visnovsky?
    2nd PP unit: Comrie, Penner, POS with Grebs and Gilbert?

    Seems odd not to slot Gags on the PP.

    1st PK unit: Horc, Moreau; Souray, Staios?
    2nd PK unit: POS, Cogs; Visnovsky, Smid?

  34. doritogrande says:

    The Lubo thing is a bit strange, unless it's due to injury as you say. Or maybe he's going to get a large whack of PP time to make up for less shifts at EVs? Sheldon will not be pleased if that's the case.

    I would argue quite the opposite actually. I realize the way the pairings are listed the 5-71 duo is 3rd on the depth chart, but is there any proof that 44-24 will be the feature pairing?

    I could definitely see 77-37 getting the most EV minutes, followed by 5-71 and 24-44. They save Souray for 2-minute powerplays and Staios for feature PK defenseman.

    Anyone else thinking along my line of logic?

  35. Icecastles says:

    LMHF#1: Complete player means they have a solid offensive and defensive game, and can be counted on in the neutral zone and both ends of the ice. A complete player performs well without the puck as well as with it. A complete player communicates with his team mates. A complete player can play different styles with different linemates and not be slaughtered.

    Plenty of fans feel Horcoff's not worth his contract and that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but I really don't think that anyone who follows the team (earmuffs, Traktor) could or would point to anyone else on the team who is a more COMPLETE player than Horc.

    Hemsky is great but seriously: would you want him on the PK? Would you put him on a checking line and expect success? Or pair him with another puck-holding playmaker and expect the puck to ever remember it belongs in the net?

    Admittedly this is as much of an indictment of the rest of the team as a boost to Horcoff, but on THIS team, I don't think there is a soul who is within a mile of Horcoff for the range of situations you can count on him for.

  36. bookie says:

    An interesting collection of quotes in this article further clarify the teams problems last year.

    Once again – a comment that the team had no system, but rather changed systems in response to each team (this is about the 3rd time for this).

  37. bookie says:

    This was the article

    http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/myoilers/2009/09/29/11187116.html

    I tried to link it in my earlier comment, but something went wrong

  38. blackadder says:

    I really like what Quinn is trying to do – he's developing the team based on the players he's (likely) stuck with rather than trying to make the team into something it's not. The opening night lineup somehow looks a lot better to me than I was expecting. It'd look a lot better with Pisani in Stone's spot (I'm not convinced Stone is an actual player) but it doesn't look like Pisani's going to be available for awhile.

    More importantly, Quinn's really challenging the team culture/identity and if this translates into a bit more try on this ice that'll make a huge difference on this team.

    I'm actually feeling much more optimistic this year than last. The happy pills are finally kicking in.

  39. St George says:

    Expect them to deal a puck mover for a hatchet man in the season's first 12 weeks.

    Lowetide, do you really think so? Haven't you been writing that for about 2 seasons now? Between the world of the cap, which seems to limit most movement to the trade deadline and July 1st, and Tambo's history, I'd be willing to give you odds against a trade before the deadline, regardless of how clearly we can all see the issues with the team.

    If it hadn't been for the Heatly move this summer, I would have concluded that the Oilers had decided to build a team the old-fashioned way … by loosing a lot of games and getting a few years of top-10 draft picks.

  40. Don in real life says:

    Hey LT, what sort of numbers do you think JFJ will put up this year, will he stick with the big team the majority of the year, think he'll get off to a hot start?

  41. NBOilerFan says:

    I agree with blackadder, I like that Quinn is doing, I'm very interested to see how the new system plays out and I'm good with teh lines as they are because I have am more comortable with giving Quinn some rope to try things out, then I had been for teh past 2 years with MacT, especially when all it seemed for a long time was a continual rotations of various players in and out looking for "instint" chemistry.

    I also believe teh Lubo on the fourth line is partly due to his sholder and I think partly due to him not appearing to me to be as close to game shape as most of teh other d-men. Plus, he and Smid make sense because Smid ALWAYS passes it off to his partner to advance out of the zone, which means Lubo will always be advancing the puck which is a very good thing.

  42. uni says:

    NBOilerFan: Just to nitpick, your consistent use of "teh" instead of "the" is somehow disturbing.

  43. bookie says:

    Lowetide, do you really think so? Haven't you been writing that for about 2 seasons now?

    Things are different now. Most importanly, I think the battle of wills aobut playing style between the coach and GM is over.

    I think LT finally gets his wishlist filled this Fall, perhaps a little slower than he would like, but I think it will happen.

  44. Lowetide says:

    St. George: Other teams are able to address weakness before their playoff chances bleed out, I was kind of hoping Tambellini would be able to act like a real GM and do it too. I guess we'll see.

    Don in real life: Gabriel Desjardins' NHL equivalencies for AHL-to-NHL tend to be very accurate if the player is given lots of TOI and plays a complete season. Jacques' NHLE's for a couple of seasons:

    06-07 82gp, 13-23-36
    07-08 82gp, 11-14-25

    So, if he can stay on the top line then maybe the 06-07 season? That would be my guess.

  45. quain says:

    Bookie, is it just the internet or do you bring every single conversation back to Craig MacTavish in real life too?

    "Sorry boss, I didn't get that project finished because MacT needed another checker."

    Hell, you'd fit right in on the Oilers.

  46. gonadsgo says:

    I don't understand how Gagner / Moreau / Stortini is so obviously our 4th line… Does Zach Stortini make any line he's on the 4th line?

    If anything that line is more suited for tough competition than Brule / Penner / Cogliano. This team's 4th line is Jacques / Brule and Stortini… i.e. this team doesn't really have a 4th line (or a 3rd line for that matter) by any traditional definition. We have a 1.5 and 3 2.5s.

    Besides, does anyone doubt that Gagner spends 4-5 minutes a game on the powerplay anyways? Or that Moreau picks up a ton of time killing penalties?

    There is so much focus on the 5×5 lines, but the special teams are all that really matter with this group, and any way you slice it we are lacking penalty killers and have too many guys on the powerplay. THAT is where the tough decisions are going to be made.

  47. quain says:

    Besides, does anyone doubt that Gagner spends 4-5 minutes a game on the powerplay anyways?

    I'm starting to doubt he gets any time… if JFJ looks at all good on the Horc/Hemmer PP, then it's entirely likely unit #2 is Penner / Comrie / Sully. Even if JFJ falls off, I can see a lot of scenarios where Gagner doesn't get minutes.

    The fact that Gagner is going to be replaced by Comrie without much of a drop off in production speaks to the monumental screw up that was burning through his ELC.

    On the plus side, if he spends the season hopping between the third and fourth lines maybe his second contract isn't as scary as it could be.

  48. Steve says:

    06-07 82gp, 13-23-36
    07-08 82gp, 11-14-25

    So, if he can stay on the top line then maybe the 06-07 season? That would be my guess.

    If he's on pace for 13-23-36, what are the odds he can stay on the top line?

  49. Scott says:

    What were Penner's AHL numbers/NHLE?

    He played a full season there in the lockout, I seem to recall.

  50. hunter1909 says:

    "Shawn Horcoff is the most complete player on the team and his value is obvious to all hockey fans."

    This statement might carry some value were the Oilers a good hockey club.

    Or even a halfway decent hockey club.

    However, as the Oilers are an abysmal hockey club, from top to bottom, this remark carries virtually zero credibility. No matter how many times it's trundled out for all to ponder.

  51. Schitzo says:

    Cam Ward is apparently a 6.5 million dollar goalie.

    Sundin hangs them up. THAT was a guy who could have helped us.

  52. quain says:

    Scott:

    Roughly, Penner's NHLE after his last AHL season was 82GP 25-29-54. In range with the actual results.

  53. quain says:

    You know what's tremendous? We're talking about Pisani and Moreau as defensive forwards lately, and how we all miss Glencross, and maybe Pouliot can fit a third line role… Hell, we've got JFJ playing on the top line right now… all it makes me think is:

    Patrick Thoresen sure would be nice right about now. He's better than, what? Eight of the forwards on the roster right now?

  54. NBOilerFan says:

    uni said…
    NBOilerFan: Just to nitpick, your consistent use of "teh" instead of "the" is somehow disturbing.

    It's disturbing to me also, UNI…. I think someone switched teh "H" and "E" buttons on this here old typewriter, plus teh ribbon's all worn-out and wrinkled. Time for an upgrade I think. I hear they now even make some new fangled electric typewriters but I don't know. That seems a bit ahead of my time.

  55. LMHF#1 says:

    If things stay the way they are, the "number 1" line offensively will be O'Sullivan-Comrie-whoever.

    Interesting, but kinda sad. I was really hoping they'd head up our excellent second scoring unit where we'd suddenly have veterans leading the charge instead of relying on Gagner-Cogliano or Torres-Stoll for all our secondary scoring as we have previously.

    Icecastles –

    Yes I think Hemsky should PK, very much so. If O'Sullivan's on one PK unit and Hemsky's on the other, your opposition's PP must remain honest at all times. Hemsky's a good skater and doesn't over-pursue, which are two of the biggest keys for fwds on the PK.

  56. NBOilerFan says:

    Afinogenov signed for $800,000 in Atlanta, his previous cap hit was $3.33mil.

    Interesting times.

    And as far as this thread goes and all the second guessing, saying we need to get this season started is an understatement. It’s been far too long of a summer.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Hemsky's goals for/20min of ice time with the Oiler's defense last year.

    Gilbert 1.218 GF/20 over 377 minutes
    Grebs 1.186 GF/20 over 337 minutes
    Vis 0.976 GF/20 over 266 minutes
    Souray 0.875 GF/20 over 411 minutes
    Smid 0.637 GF/20 over 156 minutes
    Staios 0.55 GF/20 over 327 minutes

    If Renney is running Souray/Staios out there vs. top opposition, Ole Timey Coach better not be sending Hemsky/Horc out there too.

    I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach….

  58. Woodguy says:

    Above is 5v5

  59. Woodguy says:

    Dammit, I'm doing too much multi tasking.

    The numbers are Oilers GF/20 5v5 with Hemsky and defender X on the ice together. (not Hemsky's goals)

  60. Al says:

    Nicely surmised, LT.
    It'll be a tough row to hoe, but I like the combination of tools Quinn has chosen, save perhaps Souray-Staios (each of those guys needs a Grebs-Gilbert).
    I think our magic bullet is looked upon by the coaching staff as "team chemistry" as this season starts. If the tools sharpen after being shined in pre-season, and injuries don't kill us, we might be alright, but our division is the grim reaper.
    Interesting to see, chemistry-wise, what happens today or tomorrow with the captaincy. I'm thinking and hoping that 'he whose value is obvious' gets slapped with the C and the former man gets an A, along with the guy who likes to toss him aside to perform common assault.

  61. Al says:

    Interesting bit in the Herald today:

    "Even on the bench, Sutter has displayed a novel approach to getting his own way.

    Carping less at officials.

    “He doesn’t yell at the refs, he’s not upset at the refs,” says Conroy. “So we seem to get even more calls for us. For whatever reason, he’s got a relationship with the refs. A perfect example — in Edmonton (for Wednesday’s 5-3 win) . . . we didn’t say anything, but (the Oilers) were having a hard time with the reffing.

    “That’s going to be a big benefit for us. If none of the coaches are yelling at the refs . . . then the players don’t do it either.”"

  62. Coach pb9617 says:

    I remember that Cardinal team well. A bunch of slap hitter aka, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith. I think that team had Tom Brunansky as well to help out with the power..

    No. Jack Clark.

    Clark, Herr, Pendleton, Smith, Coleman, McGee, and Van Slyke.

  63. dubya says:

    “He doesn’t yell at the refs, he’s not upset at the refs,” says Conroy. “So we seem to get even more calls for us. For whatever reason, he’s got a relationship with the refs. A perfect example — in Edmonton (for Wednesday’s 5-3 win) . . . we didn’t say anything, but (the Oilers) were having a hard time with the reffing."

    lol. I wonder why they weren't mad at the refs? I mean, they only had about 5 PPs and 3 5-on-3's in the first period.

  64. Lowetide says:

    Coach: They did bring in Brunansky iirc at the end, it was a trade on a weekend for Tommy Herr but that could be wrong. Maybe 1988? Anyway, you're right Jack Clark was the bopper when they were right.

  65. pboy says:

    Robert Lang signed with the Coyotes yesterday, 1 year contract, financials not disclosed yet. If he's healthy, I think he's a player the Oil really missed out on.

  66. doritogrande says:

    Sergei Kostitsen demanding a trade from Montreal reports TSN.ca.

    Trade O'Sullivan for him right fucking now, line him up with Gagner and watch the magic happen.

  67. quain says:

    Damn the consequences! Acquire that 30 point forward, post-haste!

  68. Dennis says:

    I keep looking at the lines and D pairings and I keep coming back to two things.

    1. The Oilers will be in the penalty box this year and who's gonna be able to kill those penalties?

    2. The Oilers need someone else besides 10 to take draws and who in the fuck is it gonna be?

  69. NBOilerFan says:

    Ilya Zubov is also apparently none to happy about being sent to the AHL again by the Sens and has requested a trade.

    http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/hockeycapital/archive/2009/09/30/zubov-asks-senators-for-trade.aspx

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/ilya_zubov

  70. doritogrande says:

    Damn the consequences! Acquire that 30 point forward, post-haste!

    Two reasons:

    1) We need another disgruntled London Knight.

    2) Did you see the season he put together with Gagner?

  71. Hockey Noob says:

    LT, interesting that you chose a picture of Nilsson doing what looks like a face plant for the picture… So far, Nilhouse hasn't been traded, I guess either we couldn't get the speculated pick or maybe he was given a reprieve by Pisani's injury.

  72. Bruce says:

    Jack Clark was the bopper when they were right.

    LT: I'll never forget Tommy Lasorda's decision to pitch to Clark with first base open in the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1985 NLCS. Runners on second and third, two out, 5-4 Dodgers. The announcers and pretty much any baseball fan watching were in shock that Lasorda even considered pitching to Clark, let alone actually did it. Clark didn't need to think about it for long, he swung at Tom Niedenfuhr's first pitch and deposited it in the left field bleachers. 7-5 Cards, Dodger Stadium was in shock, and three meek Dodger outs later, it was game over, series over. As a lifelong Cards fan whose lingering hatred of the Dodgers has only begun to dissipate in the last decade or so, it was a sweet, sweet moment.

  73. quain says:

    2) Did you see the season he put together with Gagner?

    I've been saying for years that we need to trade for Sidney Crosby… he'd look fantastic with Marc Pouliot.

  74. Bruce says:

    I don't understand how Gagner / Moreau / Stortini is so obviously our 4th line… Does Zach Stortini make any line he's on the 4th line?

    Gonadsgo (I giggle every time I read that): That's the way it is. The Oiler lines are numbered thusly:

    1: XX – XX – Hemsky
    2: Soft minutes line
    3: Tough minutes line
    4: XX – XX – Stortini

    Hemsky is great but seriously: would you want him on the PK?

    IC: As a refugee of the 80s who absolutely loves SH offence, I would want Hemsky on the PK, have been calling for it for some time, but the results to date are not promising. Last year in very limited SH TOI he ranked DFL on the entire Oilers roster with a dreadful 16.11 GA/60. Maybe it's just me, but Ales appeared to be about as interested in the PK as he did in taking the odd faceoff (0/4, 0%). MacT tried him on the PK a little bit early in the season and just gave it up as a bad idea.

    Would you … pair him with another puck-holding playmaker and expect the puck to ever remember it belongs in the net?

    Yeah, I remember the Dangle Line of Hemmer, Samsonov, and Irrelevant. Used to drive me bonkers.

  75. Schitzo says:

    Yeah, I remember the Dangle Line of Hemmer, Samsonov, and Irrelevant. Used to drive me bonkers.

    That's no way to talk about the ex-Rachel Hunter.

    Besides, they gave us the Detroit game-6 winner. Isn't one highlight reel goal per season enough for you?

  76. Dennis says:

    Interesting to see Pit pick up young Bourque; I was reading through the Post Gazette today and Shero was actually planning on going with 21 players on the roster to start the season.

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