Pat Quinn’s media scrums are interesting and informative. We know this because when he coached the Leafs there were so many on various media outlets that when we see him now it’s a surprise that names like “Sundin” and “Kaberle” have been replaced by “Hemsky” and “Souray.”
He’s been on fire this weekend with a ton of wonderful insight into the team, his plans, and a few things he’s mulling over at this time.
I believe Quinn (like MacT before him) treats his audience (media and fans) with respect and neither lies nor dumbs it down. He speaks with sincerity and addresses actual issues that impact the club.
There aren’t many NHL coaches old enough to be my Dad, but Pat Quinn is one of them and he definitely commands that kind of respect. He’s real. One quote that really caught my attention tonight is the following:
- “I do know as we go through we have a good level of skill, and some size on some people, when I came here I didn’t think we had any size but I see a couple of boys who do have size. We may be able to put together some lines that have real balance. We may be able to have 3, maybe even 4 lines that can play some good time. It doesn’t even mean–we may not play even Hemsky and Horcoff together.”
A quick note–that’s not exactly what he said, when transcribing I cleaned it up a little. I believe the overall thrust of Quinn’s comments are reflected here, but if they don’t allow me to apologize.
That said, you could go a long time and not riff something that interesting. When he talks about size, there’s a limited number of people who are signed to NHL contracts with what we might call good size up front:
- Steve MacIntyre: 6.05, 250
- Dustin Penner: 6.04, 235 (based on weight loss reports)
- Zack Stortini: 6.03, 230
- Ethan Moreau: 6.02, 220
- JF Jacques: 6.04, 217
- Shawn Horcoff: 6.01, 208
- Fernando Pisani: 6.01, 205
I’m throwing Horcoff and Pisani in because they’re certainly not “small” forwards and since we don’t have an exact description from the coach it is better to error on the outer marker.
When he talks about splitting people up and not having a specific 1line, or having 4 lines that can play significant minutes (and he did talk about pairings up front as opposed to lines), I think we need to be very careful in taking his words too literally. The Oilers don’t have enough good players to roll 4 lines without regard to the opposition players.
Having said that, if Quinn planned to match the bigger men with that large group of undersized ones, could he come up with 4 (or more) pairings:
I didn’t include Patrick O’Sullivan on that list, but he could match up with any of 1 through 3 without much trouble. I think there are a few things we can conclude from this idea:
- Steve MacIntyre’s NHL career is in some trouble. He could make the team as a 14F but if this is the plan the Oilers might just dress Strudwick for LW on nights when another tough guy is required.
- There will still be at least one line that is 2/3′s undersized.
- If Pat Quinn had the concern about size among forwards and can see an out, then guys like me should probably stop harping on the point.
- Among the group of players who don’t have NHL contracts, Ryan Stone, Colin McDonald and Geoff Paukovich have more arrows in the right direction than they did one day ago. It might be nothing, but they have size and the coach was looking for it.