Avalance at Oilers, G12, 09-10

The Edmonton Oilers may have some warts, some injuries and the entire cast of ‘One Flu over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ on their roster but they also have some very nice things.

Dustin Penner is having a breakout season, the goaltending appears to be as good or better than a year ago (and more settled), Ales Hemsky is posting up points and there are at least 6 forwards who look like they’ll have average or better seasons.

PLUS, there’s Lubo. He’s more than a puck mover, outlet passer, offensive defender. Lubomir Visnovsky is almost a puppeteer with the puck and his linemates, with each sweeping move or pass obvious only upon completion. Being a Lubo fan is like a wonderful ride at the carnival, scary and breathless but also secure and confident.

He’s just about the most wonderful hockey player I’ve ever seen.

The Oilers are having a nice start to the season, but Colorado is all world. Their offseason included acquiring a goalie and their bet has delivered in spades so far this season. The kids are playing at ridiculous levels and the club doesn’t have a lot to worry about at this time. Craig Anderson has them playing at an 8-1-2 clip and while that isn’t sustainable, it’s also uncertain the Oilers are the club to send them into a funk.

As of this writing, I’m not certain who is flu ridden and who is healthy. We know Nikolai Khabibulin is slated to start and that the Oilers were poor on the weekend. And Colorado has been as good as anyone so far this year.

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283 Responses to "Avalance at Oilers, G12, 09-10"

« Older Comments
  1. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Well I'm sure not wasting 3 hours of my life on Thursday.

  2. SK Oiler Fan says:

    The Quinn presser will have more entertainment than this game.

  3. uni says:

    Well from the Colorado commentators, Chorney was clearly to blame there. He obviously turned around and drove his head into the boards.

    Not that it would have made a difference tonight. I'm just incredibly disappointed. Also Anderson with a shutout tonight. Nice.

  4. PunjabiOil says:

    Well I'm sure not wasting 3 hours of my life on Thursday.

    That's what we all say

  5. uni says:

    Well I'm sure not wasting 3 hours of my life on Thursday.

    That's what we all say

    No, that's what she said.

  6. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Ahhhh Martine. All is well.

  7. PDO says:

    So… Lubo update? For the love of god, Lubo update?

  8. uni says:

    Maybe the Oilers realized that this game was going nowhere and decided to give Lubo a rest? After all these are only October points, and they'll need him rested for the important March points.

  9. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Props to Quinn.

    I'm sorry but it's partially your fault as a coach if you get shut down, while playing your goon on the PP when it OBVIOUSLY doesn't work.

  10. CrazyCoach says:

    I just caught the last 10 minutes, but it sounds like the officiating was horrible. I will miss the next game, but only because of school.

  11. Lowetide says:

    Martine is swell.

    Meanwhile, no one is talking about Lubo. Sportsnet is awful, just awful.

    Look, either he's injured which means I need rum or he was benched which means Quinn's onion belt needs changing.

    Or the flu.

  12. kinger says:

    I wonder what happened to all that team 'cohesion' Quinn was supposedly injecting into the locker room.

    Maybe it is about winning after all.

  13. Kristopher Milligan says:

    I could not believe the lack of ability in the oilers tonight… Total inability to gain possesion in offensive zone, nevermind actually making a play or *gasp* taking a high percentage shot

  14. shepso says:

    lubo? Lubo? LUBO????? The game was bad enough to drive me to be too lazy to drink, team apathy=fan apathy, but a loss of Lubo has driven me to smoke in my house… Not a good sign. I take back all I said yesterday; trade please, for someone who can put puck in or at least on net…

  15. CrazyCoach says:

    Winning just doesn't happen without team cohesion. That much I know. There are exceptions like the 77 Yankees or even the 86 Mets, but it doesn't happen.

    They go hand in hand, and enough time behind the bench has shown me that.

  16. Traktor says:

    Would it have killed Quinn to give the kid line a couple shifts tonight?

  17. PDO says:

    Traktor:

    That would involve giving Cogliano a chance to succeed…

  18. Dennis says:

    Maybe I'm giving this crew too much credit – and I can't believe no one else mentioned gene's earlier pun about comrie's mother, and more on that later – but I think they would've mentioned if they heard 71 was hurt.

    He was having an off night and he's probably down with the flu or something; I know we heard 27 was blipping from it heading into Van and he was pretty useless tonight so it's probably catching up to him as well.

    BTW, TY's site seems to be down so I won't be able to post the results until a later date but I had the chances as 17-19.

  19. logical thinking says:

    now you all know how important Stone is to this team…ha ha

  20. CrazyCoach says:

    Dennis, how many chances did 27 have tonight? I missed most of the game

  21. shepso says:

    cogs had no spark. I really doubt the kid line could have done much the way the avs were trapping and clogging the line. Personally, I could have gone for a little Ron Low style dump/chase/crash hockey tonight. They were trying to be too cute and establish the breakout far too often. No penetration into the zone leads to no cycle game, and the cycle game wins games…
    Awful. Flat. No heart. I want to be patient with this year's model and wait for the vets to get healthy, but they haven't scored a freaking goal in almost 8 periods now, and nothing at evens for 3 bloody games. That is not a good sign.

  22. PunjabiOil says:

    now you all know how important Stone is to this team…ha ha.

    HAHAHAHA! That was SO FUNNY! I'm rolling on the floor, LAUGHING MY ASS OFF!

    *Rolls his eyes, major sarcasm*

  23. Dennis says:

    CC: I had him down for four; two at EV and two on the PP .

  24. PunjabiOil says:

    From HF: Wow Visnovsky is sick too now…apparently thats the reason he missed the last 10 minutes.

  25. CrazyCoach says:

    Thanks Dennis.

  26. Swabbubba says:

    alright here it is

    Horcoff and Gilbert cannot be on the ice at same time from now on. WTF can those just catch the flu it will improve the team. if you pass the puck to Horcoff u should turn around because it is coming back in a hurry to your net.
    Could it be that the team won a few at home so that will keep the masses happy. Well what I am seeing now is the same crap I saw at the end of last year. No effort no heart.. I guess Quinn effect is good for 10 games.

  27. Lowetide says:

    Well that's a relief. Losing Lubo at this point would be a killer.

    I don't think this team is one player away or anything but cannot believe the Oilers will stand pat while watching another team miss the post-season.

    2007. 2008. 2009 . 2010?

    Seriously? Are they so bloody sure of the fanbase?

    I don't think they should be.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Is Quinn taking a quick nap here? Come on, boil over old man!

  29. PunjabiOil says:

    Is Quinn taking a quick nap here? Come on, boil over old man!

    You're a funny guy, LT.

    Don't go all Joe Pesci on me now though.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Was it a sellout tonight?

  31. danny says:

    Dennis, im just checking in and yeah I could only shake my head in disbelief when Principe made a stick pun in regards to Comrie remembering his mother since she died of cancer. Awful.

    The guy seems nice enough, more and more you start to realize though that hes not exactly top shelf in the IQ department.

  32. shepso says:

    one player away is a gross understatement LT. The fanbase spoke throughout the summer of discontent and although the great start lulled many of us into a false sense of security (or false consciousness for any Marxists in the room), but we the people will become alienated from the team sooner or later. The last three games have said a lot more about this team and its personnel than the 6-4 win did. The oilercoaster ride continues.

  33. Dennis says:

    Years ago, Frank Robinson came back to manage the Expos and Tony Armas Jr frustrated him to the point that one night, after an Armas start where Frank pulled him and the kid sulked, Frank went into his office in the bowels of the Big Owe and ripped off his jersey, cried and quit.

    He was eventually talked out of it but the anecdote remains true nonetheless.

    I mention this because Quinn still hasn't shown up to the presser;)

  34. Smarmy Boss says:

    At least the Oil still have their picks. Poor Leaf fans.

  35. logical thinking says:

    The oilers are losing and we needs answers! I am sure the answer will be written in Stone…ha ha

  36. Traktor says:

    I just think when you're losing the way we were it makes sense to try some experiments.

    The kid line was unreal during the stretch run in 07/08 and then MacT for some reason gave them a very short audition in 08/09 before tossing Cogs to the third line and Nilsson to the PB.

    Quinn could be sitting on a gold mine or maybe its a dud but at least try and find some nuggets of information and not let the game be a total lost cause.

    Does Quinn really think Horcoff and Stortini are his best options on the PP? Horcoff should be batting 9th in the order and Stortini should be serving beer and lemonade.

  37. Dennis says:

    Danny: the Oilers have some real dummies and/or assholes that cover them.

  38. Ribs says:

    Didn't notice he was gone? Holy Jeebus. *straps onion belt to forehad*

  39. Kristopher Milligan says:

    COnfirmed H1N1 among oilers… as per Quinn

  40. kinger says:

    Quinn Post Game: An Oiler has H1N1.

    Lubo?

    That would explain why he was pulled out of the game.

  41. Ribs says:

    Hooray, it's swine flu!

  42. Woodguy says:


    Seriously? Are they so bloody sure of the fanbase?

    I don't think they should be.

    Still thousands on the waiting list for season tickets.

    They keep playing like this, they can have my set back.

    Maybe its Pat LaForge's master plan.

    "THE TEAM WILL NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS UNLESS ALL LEVEL OF GOVERNMENTS PONY UP THE DOUGH AND KISS MY RING!! MUHAHAHA!"

    Avs make quick hard accurate passes coming out of the neutral zone. Oilers should watch the tape and learn.

    They are just so freaking disorganized coming out of their zone.

    1/2 the team practices breakouts, the other half practice powerplay for 8 hours tomorrow please.

    OTC- "Lubo ran out of steam. Flu like symptoms. Wanted to play but Renney wouldn't let him."

    "It took me a while to notice he was gone because Tom runs the defence" – ha!

    OTC trashes O'Sully's play on the PP. I think its over for him there.

    OTC – "Were getting worse, not better"

    OTC -"Were better when we're physical"

    OTC is now smacking around the "skill guys" for thinking they are good enough to go it alone…

    One Oiler has H1N1, confirmed, not saying who.

    Yikes.

  43. Kristopher Milligan says:

    It was Comrie

  44. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Say what you will, Stone brought moxie to this team. It could use him, or a player like him. JFJ seems to have dissapeared.

  45. Ribs says:

    It's going to funny watching them play in big plastic bubbles soon.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Apparently the player was on the ice tonight. I'd guess Brule or Comrie.

    Quinn was subdued tonight. I like him, hope he doesn't go bald or develop a twitch with this bunch in 09-10.

    Since Dennis told a baseball story, I'll tell one too.

    When Al Michaels was a young broadcaster he did SF Giants games and their manager was Herman Franks. Franks had an unusual habit and that was wearing a wrist watch (something baseball people apparently don't do much).

    The Giants weren't very good during these years, so there wasn't a lot to talk about on the field. One day, Michaels asked Franks why he wore his watch, and Franks said "Al, with this team I never want to miss last call."

    :-)

  47. CrazyCoach says:

    I mentioned on here the other day about how quickly the flu can ravage a team. The real hard part for the training staff now is how to contain it and how to lessen the effects of the flu on the team.

    I know from personal experience that the idea of a personal water bottle has not really caught on with the hockey community, which is too bad. I think it is an easy and very effective method of prevention.

  48. R O says:

    Smid with H1N1 as per Sportsnet.

  49. CrazyCoach says:

    If Smid has H1N1, then Quinn should send him to the visitors dressing room and lick all the faucets and water fountains.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Ponikarovsky is a UFA after this year.

    Has great Corsi numbers since Mr. Desjardin started tracking it.

    His relative Corsi so far this year is +22 so far this year.

    Very good big Ukrainian LW. Being Ukrainian, he should be very comfortable in Edmonton.

    Wonder what Burke will want for him?

    Who knows, might like it and want to stay.

    27-89-83 concentrates a lot of what makes this team go on one line.

    27 seems to benefit everybody he plays with.

    The big Uke with 89-83 and 27 on the 2nd line?

    God this team needs a real LW to play 1LW or 2LW.

  51. Ribs says:

    Smid? Really? Maybe he should give be coughing on his teammates.

  52. Ribs says:

    Engresh hawrd.

  53. R O says:

    Smid? Really? Maybe he should give be coughing on his teammates.

    Yeah I'm a little dumbounded too. Just watching the game in an hour (the Oilers interest me even though I don't cheer for them) and Smid just engaged in a one-on-one rush up the left wing and looked energetic doing it.

  54. RiversQ says:

    On one hand, the flu must be taking its toll on the club.

    On the other hand, have the Oilers outshot or outchanced anyone this year even before the flu?

    What else is there to say?

  55. PDO says:

    The thing about H1N1 is it's usually less of a flu bug than the flu itself…

  56. PDO says:

    Riv:

    Vs. Minny, and first two games against Calgary?

  57. kris says:

    Didn't watch the game, but I bet we couldn't get the puck out of our zone and we got killed as a result.

    Staios should be appointed coach in charge of putting the puck around the glass and out.

    It's a crappy way to relieve offensive pressure compared to a real breakout, but it's worse to let the pressure go on and on and on.

    Our whole season is screwed if we don't figure it out in the next 10-12 games.

    You can't come back to make the playoffs in this league anymore without a whole lot of luck.

    We don't have time to wait any longer for LT's trade for some "actual NHL'ers." Certainly not when we have injuries and a rash of flu.

  58. kris says:

    I didn't see this game but the flu isn't causing us to skate that slowly in transition or even win some puck battles, especially on offense.

    Our problems seem to be in decision making in the D-zone and breakouts. No?

    Lubo gets the puck out -and Smid as his partner- but no one else.

  59. PDO says:

    LT:

    Would you move the Oilers 1st rounder in order to get better now?

    Could it be justified due to how well Eberle/Chorney/MPS are doing?

  60. RiversQ says:

    PDO said…
    Riv:

    Vs. Minny, and first two games against Calgary?

    Actually I'm not sure about any of those either. Unfortunately mc79hockey is down right now, but if the Oilers did win the SC in those games, it was barely.

    They only outshot the opposition in one of the three you mentioned too.

  61. R O says:

    Actually I'm not sure about any of those either. Unfortunately mc79hockey is down right now, but if the Oilers did win the SC in those games, it was barely.

    They only outshot the opposition in one of the three you mentioned too.

    My memory might be a little sludgy on this but I think the Oil did win the SC battle on the back of 3rd period efforts.

  62. R O says:

    Against the Flames, that is.

  63. PDO says:

    Riv:

    They certainly haven't grossly out chanced anyone.

    Though, they haven't been grossly out-chanced outside of the Chicago game either.

    Lets talk about LT's trade for just a second. New coaches are here, and I think it's safe to say that it appears any of Cogliano/Nilsson/Gilbert could be considered trade bait on the roster.

    Fair?

    Cogliano and Gilbert would both carry good value around the league.

    Nilsson, not so much, but I bet a team having problems finding the back of the net like Toronto or Carolina would take a flyer on him.

    The D-Core is already banged up, so the guy you're moving is likely Cogliano, and maybe you pair him with a guy like Nilsson and a pick to cut down on some bodies. How good of a package is that? And where's it taking us?

    Who would be looking for a deal? Carolina, Nashville, Anaheim, Florida, St. Louis?

    Does Cogliano and a pick get you Horton?

  64. kris says:

    Flubomir

  65. kris says:

    Okay, I'm gonna armchair GM this thing. It's easy:

    Waive Nilsson when Pisani comes back. If you can get anything, take it.

    Hope Moreau goes away, since that's not happening, at least put him on the 4th line permanently till next year when you pressure him to retire.

    Trade one of Cogliano and O'Sullivan for a more defensively reliable, probably less talented, good young player. (Cogliano can score, but more and more, it looks like his all around game is not going to come or come very slowly. A valuable guy, maybe, but Gagner is blowing by him… I know most won't like this. But IMO it's very true.)

    Move one of Grebs or Gilbert, add a pick, or a lesser guy like Jacques or Stone, and get a good forward and a 3rd pairing, decent defensive defenseman.

    Eventually put Staios out to pasture. (You can string out his injury, give him some games in this season, as long as he's gone eventually. Could be ideal to rotate him and Chorney.)

    Drop SMac and use that spot to sign any -I mean any- cheap non-goon player off waivers or UFA, no matter who. (Maybe a Dman for now.)

    Penner-Gagner-Hemsky
    CoglianoTradeGuy-Horcoff-Pisani
    Comrie-GrebsTradeGuy-O'Sullivan
    Moreau-Brule-Stortini
    Stone, Jacques/WaiversGuy
    IR:Pouliot

    Souray-Gilbert
    Vis-Smid
    Staios/Chorney-DefensemanfromGrebsTrade
    Strudwick

    Depending on who you trade for, that's not a bad team. For each deal, you need to realize you might lose out. Maybe Nilsson or Cogs develops. It's possible.

    But holding on to all these "maybe's" (on top of developing players like Gagner, POS, Chorney, Brule, Jacques, Stone, and to a lesser degree Gilbert) makes failure highly probable.

    The Oilers are clutching on to a lot of piss poor players and a lot of young guys who will likely turn into repleacable 2nd line offensive players. (Maybe Cogliano's got more potential, but that also means he has more trade value.)

  66. kris says:

    A final note: the Oilers have done a reasonably good job -eventually- of restocking the cupboard after the great CFP,Peca,Spacek exodus and after we realized Stoll,Raffi,and Lupul weren't quite the budding star players we thought they were. Kudos.

    But the resultant lineup has too many young "assets."

    At this point, even a bad trade, i.e. even a trade where we didn't get fair value for an asset like Cogs or POS, is a good trade. We just can't afford to lose yet again: bad reputation for UFA's, bad atmosphere for the developing guys, bad for the fans, etc.

    And we have enough decent young talent off the roster -MPS,Nash,etc.- that we can afford to focus a little more on "win now" than stock the cupboard for later.

  67. Rod says:

    PDO said…
    The thing about H1N1 is it's usually less of a flu bug than the flu itself…
    —–
    Yeah, it's *usually* mild…

    Add in the fact it's HIGHLY contagious, toss in an underlying health issue, or being in the wrong age-group…and some very serious cases are obviously going to turn up.

    Last week in a piece for SN, Principe was joking around by interviewing Smid with a mic taped to a hockey stick (Smid indicated he was over the flu and was fine…). Gene has two young kids. Not so sure Gene's laughing now… Clearly the Avs were more responsible in their handling of the flu.

    There's also this snippet from the Journal before the Columbus game:
    Defenceman Ladislav Smid climbed out of his sick bed and was back on the ice, giving the Oilers six blueliners. “Stand back,” Smid jokingly said as the media crowded in to interview him. “Coughing isn’t so funny right now. My throat is still a little bit sore.”
    —–
    Yeah, Smid wasn't contagious… [face palm]

    Anyone surprised the Oilers had a lousy H1N1 plan? Ironically Rexall should know better about this topic, but we're talking about the Oilers organization here. A stumbling, bumbling group that seems far more reactive than proactive. Betcha hand sanitizer is more prevalent in the locker room tomorrow… They might actually test the sick guys…

    Why am I so touchy? Our baby daughter is just a bit too young to get the vaccine at this point. Soon enough she'll get the shots…but it takes 10-14 days after vaccination to be immune. Wife and I got the shot already. so in about 10 days we won't be spreading it to our daughter even if we're exposed. Still, it would be nice if people could get the vaccine before it starts spreading around. If people around Edmonton follow the Oilers example–going to work sick–we might not be so lucky.

    To be clear, I'm not panicked about H1N1. I recognize it's usually mild. I'm just disappointed that many people–Oilers included–seem completely unable to grasp how to handle the flu. Any year, going to work with flu symptoms is generally a dumb thing to do. Doing it with H1N1 around? Beyond stupid. You're putting anyone you interact with at risk. Particularly now, before the vaccine really gets distributed.

    On a related note…from Canadian Press (article at TSN.ca):
    Oilers defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky left the game early in the third with flu-like symptoms and did not return.
    —–

    Visnovsky has kids right?…Are they in Edmonton? Nice H1N1 plan there Oilers. Bring the sick guys to work, and on planes… [face palm]

  68. Rod says:

    And for contrast…here's how the Avs handled the flu with Budaj:
    He's been out of the lineup since last Friday where he was scheduled to make his first start of the year.

    "With Peter, once he came down with flu-like symptoms we did the right thing by keeping him away," Sacco said.

    "As a coach you just want to make sure you keep him away from the team and keep him separate from everyone until he's cleared."
    —–
    Again, the Avs were clearly more responsible in their handling of the flu and possible H1N1 than the Oilers. No question the Avs valued the health of their players, families, employees, and media better than the Oilers.

    Is it really just coincidence that the Avs are reloading/rebuilding faster than the Oil? Or is this yet another example of the difference between an excellent organization and a bad one?

  69. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I wouldn't trade the first round pick because it might be a high one.

  70. godot10 says:

    Don't blame the Oilers. There is a 5-day backlog for non-hospital flu test results in Edmonton. Smid was healthy by the time they got his test results back.

    And don't particularly blame the health system. The flu will overload the health system, even with only a few cases. If you aren't sick enough to be in the hospital, if you aren't in a high risk group, you probably shouldn't be tested. H1N1 isn't particularly deadly, except in a few cases, so priority should be given to those showing severe systems or in higher risk groups. Children are a much higher priority for testing any flu symptoms than hockey players. Smid never showed severe symptoms.

    Blame the NHL for not allowing extra roster flexiblity so players with minor symptoms can be sent home. The Oilers are required to ice a team for games. They can't send everyone with minor symptoms home and ice a team. That is the NHL's fault.

  71. Kristopher Milligan says:

    "Or is this yet another example of the difference between an excellent organization and a bad one?"

    DINGDINGDING

    We have a winner!

  72. godot10 says:

    The Oilers should not trade their #1. It could be a lottery pick with the head injury to Souray and to a lesser degree Staios.

    Two defensemen down is not a good position to be in. Chorney is promising but he is a rookie, and he is not particularly physical. And Peckham would be a rookie.

  73. quain says:

    Is it really just coincidence that the Avs are reloading/rebuilding faster than the Oil?

    You can't get a proper read on the Avs until Craig Anderson is either confirmed to be the greatest goaltender in history or he cools down to a reasonable level.

  74. godot10 says:

    It eight years as coach I never heard MacT correctly analyze the problem with the powerplay.

    Quinn, after ten games, correctly identified the problem in his post-game presser last night.

    Hemsky's perimeter play on the powerplay is finally going to be challenged by the coach.

    Pisani and Stone are probably not enough to solve the Oilers problems up front. Trade please.

    I prefer Penner and Hemsky apart at even strength. They should be on the powerplay together. All the eggs in one basket is not a good strategy for this team at this point in time. Penner doesn't need Hemsky. Hemsky shouldn't need Penner.

  75. Rod says:

    quain said…
    You can't get a proper read on the Avs until Craig Anderson is either confirmed to be the greatest goaltender in history or he cools down to a reasonable level.
    —–
    Yeah, Anderson has some ridiculous numbers (though he didn't need to be amazing last night). That aside, I wasn't necessarily talking about this year. How long has it been since the Oil challenged for the division title? Maybe it's just me, but I can't see the Avs taking the same trajectory. Even if the start this season is completely a mirage.

  76. Rod says:

    godot10 said…
    Don't blame the Oilers. There is a 5-day backlog for non-hospital flu test results in Edmonton. Smid was healthy by the time they got his test results back.

    And don't particularly blame the health system. The flu will overload the health system, even with only a few cases. If you aren't sick enough to be in the hospital, if you aren't in a high risk group, you probably shouldn't be tested. H1N1 isn't particularly deadly, except in a few cases, so priority should be given to those showing severe systems or in higher risk groups. Children are a much higher priority for testing any flu symptoms than hockey players. Smid never showed severe symptoms.

    Blame the NHL for not allowing extra roster flexiblity so players with minor symptoms can be sent home. The Oilers are required to ice a team for games. They can't send everyone with minor symptoms home and ice a team. That is the NHL's fault.
    —–
    Excellent points godot10. Agreed 100% on where priority should be, and that the NHL shares in the culpability.

    That said, I think it's a mistake to focus on Smid and say the Oilers had no option. Smid was hardly the first player on the team with the flu.

    The point is, a team with a proper H1N1 plan sends home the first player with *any* flu symptoms (as Colorado did with Budaj). The Avs didn't wait for an H1N1 positive test. Did the Oilers send home the first player/employee with flu symptoms? Appears much more likely someone "was a trooper" and came to work sick.

    From that simple standpoint the Oilers had a lousy H1N1 plan.

    Even with Smid, the Oilers could have done better. Why was a player with flu symptoms made available to the media last week? (my earlier post showed that Smid complained of a sore throat while joking with the media). And now, unsurprisingly, Smid's partner on defense is the latest Oiler victim on the ice…to say nothing of exposing family members to the flu.

    Add it up, and I can't see how the Oilers are blameless. The steps taken by Colorado were clearly better. One team had a decent H1N1 plan, one team didn't.

    If there's anything positive to take away from this, perhaps other companies will place stronger emphasis on telling their employees to stay home if they're sick. If the flu can spread through so many pro athletes, what will it do to your office?

    The Oilers were an example of how not to handle the flu. That can be a learning tool for others. Though it doesn't change the fact the Oilers needlessly had a lousy plan to begin with.

  77. CrazyCoach says:

    Add it up, and I can't see how the Oilers are blameless. The steps taken by Colorado were clearly better. One team had a decent H1N1 plan, one team didn't.

    When you consider that the H1N1 virus is only in the second wave of an expected three wave cycle, we'll really see how good anyone's virus plan is in about March.

    To be quite honest, I don't think anyone has an airtight H1N1 plan, and to blame an organization because one of its employees has the virus, is really grasping for an issue or an excuse.

  78. Rod says:

    @CrazyCoach…

    Um, how did you reach that conclusion? Where did I say I blamed the Oilers for *one* player getting sick? Haven't I been saying the Avs took more proactive, better steps? Don't they also have a player with H1N1?

    Scroll up and re-read. There's more than one post there you know.

  79. CrazyCoach says:

    Rod, the very fact that you bring up the H1N1 flu "plan" and comparing the Oilers response to another teams, is somewhat surprising to me. I don't think the Oilers care any less about their employees simply because of response to flu.

    However, I really doubt whether the Av's fans are chalking up last nights win due to the fact that Av's management has a better response to the flu.

  80. Rod says:

    @CrazyCoach…

    Nowhere, and I mean nowhere did I pin the Oilers loss last night on how they handled the flu vs. how the Avs handled it. Seriously, re-read my posts (first one @ 3:41 AM). You've gone down a completely different path, and I can only assume you're reading things out of context (i.e. without the first two).

  81. CrazyCoach says:

    The point is, a team with a proper H1N1 plan sends home the first player with *any* flu symptoms (as Colorado did with Budaj). The Avs didn't wait for an H1N1 positive test. Did the Oilers send home the first player/employee with flu symptoms? Appears much more likely someone "was a trooper" and came to work sick.

    From that simple standpoint the Oilers had a lousy H1N1 plan.

    My point is, why is this an issue or brought up in the first place?

    It seems to be a petty issue with me.

  82. Rod says:

    Again, you didn't read my first or second posts on the matter to get the context (the quote you managed to include is from a much later post, not the original one that sets the context). Is it really that difficult to scroll up? I knew my post would be misconstrued (I'm not the greatest writer, obviously), but I had no idea things would veer off in such a ridiculous manner.

    Just a portion of the 3:41 post:
    Last week in a piece for SN, Principe was joking around by interviewing Smid with a mic taped to a hockey stick (Smid indicated he was over the flu and was fine…). Gene has two young kids. Not so sure Gene's laughing now… Clearly the Avs were more responsible in their handling of the flu.

    and

    I'm just disappointed that many people–Oilers included–seem completely unable to grasp how to handle the flu. Any year, going to work with flu symptoms is generally a dumb thing to do. Doing it with H1N1 around? Beyond stupid. You're putting anyone you interact with at risk. Particularly now, before the vaccine really gets distributed.

    Maybe I need to point out that interactions in the locker room are not limited to players. There's also media and team personnel in the locker room. Several times over the last couple weeks sick players were interviewed. Does that strike you as responsible? Particularly in light of what the Avs did (sent Budaj home as soon as he exhibited flu symptoms).

    Anyway, there's more in the earlier posts, if you're interested at in finding my actual intent. On the other hand, you're more than welcome to stubbornly cling to a an incorrect assumption that I was talking about last nights game result.

  83. CrazyCoach says:

    Point well taken Rod.

    And you don't have to question my ability to scroll up or read. I have never questioned your inability to make a coherent point in your writing, so please return the favour.

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