Blue Jackets at Oilers, G9, 09-10

The Edmonton Oilers have been developing kids at the NHL level since the fall of 2006. Just because they’re in the NHL doesn’t mean they’ve arrived as actual players–men who can contribute to winning, either in a narrow view at an impact level or as a player with a wide range of skills.

We’ve seen good ones stay (Gilbert, Grebeshkov) and good ones go (Hejda, Glencross) but when you are airlifting them in 6 at a time it’s hard to read the meter. Recently, we’ve agreed that Ladislav Smid has arrived as an actual NHL player–he has a variety of skills and is a somewhat unique talent on the roster.

Yesterday, Pat Quinn shook up the lines at practice and although I’m definitely jumping ahead here the fact that Sam Gagner is on the 1line is a big deal.

  • Gagner-Penner-Hemsky
  • Horcoff-Comrie-O’Sullivan
  • Cogliano-Moreau-Stortini
  • Brule-Jacques-Nilsson*

*Brule had the flu so Buchberger filled in yesterday at practice. Ryan Stone is apparently out for 2-4 weeks, so there’s not much depth and Laddy Smid has the flu too. No word on callups and apparently Pisani could be ready soon, but Souray and Staios aren’t back yet. I imagine things will change some before the road trip, and we need to begin asking how many people need to be hurt before Steve MacIntyre finds the ice.

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437 Responses to "Blue Jackets at Oilers, G9, 09-10"

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  1. Dennis says:

    I think the most fun for me tonight was that I actually geeked out a little and got caught up in a game for the first time this season. I'd sorta been beaten down by the losing and the Lowe worship and Laforge as a figurehead and tonight i forgot about all of that for awhile. I'm still not all the way in but it won't take me long to get back there if I see this kind of effort being exerted.

    BTW, did 27 really reference "Old School" in an interview? If he did, I like him even more:)

    It's a funny thing with that guy and that contract. I dare say I was the only numbers guy who really supported it, though certainly not with any degree of vehemence, and last year once I started counting chances, I supported him a little bit more and said that the only problem with him was he was being overpaid by somewhere from 1.5-to-2 mill because besides the payroll, the guy was really one to believe in.

    Anyway, I loved HB's cursory Naslund/Bertuzzi comparison for 27/83 because that's a pretty good comp asthetically, if not sample size, for how it looks like when a skill guy meshes with a guy who's really too big to handle.

    Some other things:

    - we know that 71 skates miles and when couple that with the fact he's registered at one of the camps with the highest bench press total, i dare say we're looking at one of the best athletes the club's ever had.

    - I am starting to have bigtime confidence in 5.

    - It's disappointing that 22 is getting more icetime than 46 in a game like this. I'm a 22 guy but 46 is a better player at this point. From miles away you can see 91 being at the long end of the bench come the small hours.

    - we'll see the new 83 line together for a few games now so the next thing is who joins 10-19 on the other main unit? He's not someone you can count on longterm but I'd like either 34 to get a look there or perhaps we even give 13 a shot up there. 67 can pivot the third line and 46 or 91 can take the 4th line draws.

    Finally, is anyone else here watching Sons of Anarchy? I know it's available in Canada on Super Channel but I think it's the best show that no one knows about. The show plays live on FX on Tuesday nights and me and the LL – longtime ladyfriend – can't wait until Wed when we can download it.

  2. spOILer says:

    What I'm getting giddy about is that he's not the team leader in +/-. That's Ladi Smid right now.

    Smid is 2nd in the league in +/- and picked up another point on Nilsson's ENer for his 4th assist of the campaign.

    And has so much calmer feet.

    Faced the Nash line, but still didn't get the kind of minutes Gibby and Grebs got.

    Much better game in his own end by Lubo today. And that slapper that hit the post looked like the cannon fire seen in his Kings highlights.

  3. kinger says:

    PDO:

    I'm going to have to say Stone is a real player. Solid corsi, does the little things right, and a lot of pro games under his belt (4 seasons in the AHL).

    He's not in the same category as Jacques at this point in their respective careers.

  4. spOILer says:

    Dennis, it's pretty obvious JFJ has some offensive tools and could develop into a Penner Jr., a lesser version. He does some good things out there and it seems worth it to see if he can be turned into something.

    And Zorg has some promise too, would've been nice to see him get more than a few minues, but obviously Quinn doesn't quite trust him at centre especially with the winger he was dragging round the ice.

  5. spOILer says:

    Here comes the one hour speed replay.

  6. Oilmaniac says:

    "Holy fucking awesomeness!!!!!!"

    indeed

  7. SK Oiler Fan says:

    And Smytty with the Assist on the OT winner in LA

  8. spOILer says:

    With 5 minutes less TOI per game, Penner might be leading the league in scoring rate.

    Damn if he doesn't look like a 50 goal guy now too.

  9. Bookie says:

    I wonder if the "Thank F@$# we didn't trade him for Heatley" thought has hit Tambi yet?

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    2:44 and 4:03 TOI for MacIntyre and Stortini.

    Nice to see.

  11. PunjabiOil says:

    Lost in the Penner appreciation is that Ales Hemsky had a 5 point night as well (1G, 4A).

  12. spOILer says:

    I wonder if the "Thank F@$# we leaked the trade of him for Heatley" thought has hit Tambi yet?

  13. spOILer says:

    Yeah, but we always knew Hemmer had it in him.

  14. Woodguy says:

    Just back from the game.

    After Penner scored the tying goal there was a spontaneous standing O, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

    Sam Gagner went 3-3 on dot against Pahlsson in the Ozone. If he's for real, like LT wrote, there may be lightning in the bottle here.

    I'm going to reserve judgement on Horcoff until he's healthy and his linemates are healthy, but the play died with him too often tonight. He also seems to not be where the defence expect him to be in the D zone.

    OTC played Gagpensky against Nash all night. If they keep playing well against the toughs this team has a lot of promise.

    Hemsky looked happy and had jump from the start.

    JFJ was not good. Lots of trouble clearing the zone, icing the puck 3 feet from the red line. Not using his size to gain the advanatge, just tough to watch. Would have liked to see Zorg out there with 12 & 13.

    Watching JFJ makes me really miss MAP.

    Speaking of 12, solid game. Actually tried to win battles and actually won some. Last game he looked like he didn't care, tonight he did.

    Playing Vis whenever 83 was on the ice produced results. Wow, who da thunk it??? I hope they don't go back to 44/24 playing with 83 when they get healthy again. 5/71 is the pairing for Gagpensky for sure.

    Vis is the smartest hockey player in the league. Watching him is pure pleasure.

    Ok, so now you have teams knocking on your door trying to get Grebs or Gilbert.

    What do you want in return?

    The Oilers already have the 2nd highest scoring LW in the league to play with Hemsky. :-)

    Seriously, do you stand pat, or do you add the veteran center?

    Do you take a cheaper veteran center and a 1st given that lots of guys need contracts next year, or do you try to get back higher and more expensive quality?

    Do you package Cogs, Gilbert/Grebs and get another first liner, or a LW like Brown for Horcoff?

    LT was right.

    If 89 can keep up this act, it changes the entire dynamic of this team dramatically.

    Good times.

  15. R O says:

    With 5 minutes less TOI per game, Penner might be leading the league in scoring rate.

    Damn if he doesn't look like a 50 goal guy now too.

    He's currently shooting at a 26% clip.

    Mario Lemieux in his best year shot at a 27% clip.

    I've watched several Oilers games this year and Penner looks very dangerous, but his current rate of scoring is unsustainable.

  16. Oilers For Life says:

    Looks like we found a first line.Only took the management of the team 5 years to realize Horcoff is NOT a first line centre.

  17. Bookie says:

    I've watched several Oilers games this year and Penner looks very dangerous, but his current rate of scoring is unsustainable.

    I don't think anyone is expecting 65 goals out of him, but 40 would be great.

  18. hunter1909 says:

    "Only took the management of the team 5 years to realize Horcoff is NOT a first line centre."

    Make that 8 NHL games under a REAL head coach.

  19. CrazyCoach says:

    I really don't understand the noise being made in regards to finding other players right now. This team is 9 game into the season, with a winning record, a dressing room that seems to be an entirely different place than last season, and there's still call for change?

    The top D-man has a head full of cloudy grey matter, another D-man is sick, two forwards are fighting through the flu, and people still want change for a team that has 6 wins?

    Maybe its the euphoria from the win, but what needs to really change?

  20. Icecastles says:

    Dustin Penner has as many points as the entire Maple Leafs team has goals this season.

    Therefore, Dustin Penner could single-handedly play Brian Burke's Leafs to a draw.

  21. GSC says:

    Dennis,

    Down here state-side, Sons of Anarchy is developing a cult following…really good show, and the acronym "SAMCRO" has a really odd sort of significance to me (it's my name, just now spelled exactly that way). Hope you enjoy the show!

    Conversely, I'm hoping to see Trailer Park Boys make its appearance down here. I know the show is no longer running, but it's some of the funniest shit I've ever come across (love the over the top, yet dry sense of humour).

    Anyway, what a win for these guys tonight. If I were you, Dennis, I'd allow myself to get caught up in it all. You can be objective after the game…for me, that's how I grew up an Oiler fan, through the dark days and have maintained that diehard allegiance ever since.

    It's your team, you're supposed to get giddy! There's nothing better than friends coming up to you and saying "hey, how 'bout your Oilers"!

  22. spOILer says:

    Woodguy, it would have to be Grebs that goes. No one trades a RH Dman like Gilbert away. They're just too bloody rare.

    And adding forwards to the multitude we have already, well I just don't know who I would want that I could get and who I'd replace. Seems more thanone would have to go.

    And then there's the matter of exchanging salaries for cap reasons.

    And would you keep Brule over Cogliano?

  23. spOILer says:

    Crazy Coach,

    it is pretty evident there is still a lot of chaos to this team's play, winning record or not.

    That said, we have yet to see this team with Pisani and they've been missing Souray and Staios for awhile now.

  24. Icecastles says:

    Talking about unstustainable shooting percentages:

    Zorg Stortini – 40%
    Gilbert Brule – 33.3%
    Andrew Cogliano – 28.6%
    Dustin Penner – 25.9%
    Sam Gagner – 22.2%
    Mike Comrie – 21.4%
    Dennis Grebeshkov – 21.4%
    Robert Nilsson – 20%
    Lubomir Visnofsky – 18.2%

    It is somewhat worrying when you see how many guys have insanely high percentages. To answer CrazyCoach's question about why we are still talking about getting a veteran centre, I'd say that is a big argument why – the team is doing well, but pragmatism says that it's not going to last.

    Ooooh Tencer just read my email on Overtime Open Line! I feel validated.

  25. FlamingPavelBure says:

    I don't think it's unstainable in the case of Nilsson (Maybe Gagner). When a player passes that much, it really takes a good chance for him to take a shot (See Alex Tanguay's 08-09 stats) . Therefore it could be sustainable.

    Nilsson if keeping the pace would have 20 goals 40 assists.

    Nice.

  26. CrazyCoach says:

    spOIler, true enough, but what does it say to team cohesion when you tear one guy out for the sake and risk of getting better? I know that team cohesion is not the only thing as the 77 Yankees proved, but why change because of the "what if's"?

    Besides, what has the Mighty Quinn said so far? Quinn, Renney, and Fleming all have great international experience, where you have to build a team quickly for short term competition and in Renney's case, you take what is given to you and work with it. I'm sure that Quinn and Co. would love to have more, but they are willing and capable to work with what they have.

    Every worker would love to have DeWalt tools, but sometimes you just have to settle for Ryobi.

  27. Bookie says:

    I really don't understand the noise being made in regards to finding other players right now. This team is 9 game into the season, with a winning record, a dressing room that seems to be an entirely different place than last season, and there's still call for change

    I made a point over the summer that Tambi was holding off from making a trade, in part, because he would be trading from a point of weakness. From that weak point we almost gave up Cogs, Smid, and Penner.

    Now he is at a strong point with a team that still has some holes. Its probably time to let a couple of guys go to get one more player.

  28. Phil says:

    Horcoff getting spoonfed minutes but ends up a -1, and being absolutley non existant offensively. Good riddance off the first line, finally some accountability. With that being said I hope he picks it up. Club is going to need him to produce SOMETHING, ANYTHING down the stretch if they want to be a successful, respectable club.

    Also, you guys are way to fucking geeked out with this Corsi shit. How deep do you really have to dig to finally understand that this is just a decent team working hard, having fun and trying to turn things around. Y'all blind or something? Get it together ladies.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    I think what people are seriously missing is how Quinn's got them playing like a 1960's team, after that ridiculous gaylord trapping crappola "style" of MacT.

    I wouldn't be surprised if after this season, the NHL ends up rehiring all of the old time coaches who actually remember how the game is played.

    Penner at first I thought was playing like Frank Mahovilich, but after last night me sees Phil Esposito.

  30. Bookie says:

    Also, you guys are way to fucking geeked out with this Corsi shit. How deep do you really have to dig to finally understand that this is just a decent team working hard, having fun and trying to turn things around. Y'all blind or something? Get it together ladies.

    Hmmm, I think that there are still some problems with this team, so I am happy to let the numbers guys play their game.

    I like what the coaching change has brought thus far, but I also remember how the Oilers were after 4 games last year. We do need to keep seeking ways to improve the team and addressing the ijuries that will occur.

  31. Cam says:

    Also, you guys are way to fucking geeked out with this Corsi shit. How deep do you really have to dig to finally understand that this is just a decent team working hard, having fun and trying to turn things around. Y'all blind or something? Get it together ladies.

    Post of the GDT.

  32. Steve says:

    Post of the GDT.

    I'm giving you enough credit to assume that you're being sarcastic.

    The Oilers are probably the worst thirteen point team in the NHL right now. But hey, when their results start matching their play, at least they've already got these points in the bank. That's what I'm excited about, more than about any belief that they can keep this up.

  33. kinger says:

    Steve said…
    I'm giving you enough credit to assume that you're being sarcastic.

    The spelling mistake combined with the "get it together ladies" (reminded me of my grade 4 baseball coach) put it right over the top.

  34. Lowetide says:

    Dear Phil,

    Where is your blog, buddy? Let's see your opinion. I get that it's cool to rip people and all but suspect you're man enough to back it up.

    Where's your blog, Phil?

  35. Steve says:

    Jesus, Lowetide, who died and made you belligerent?

    (I like it, it's just that it's a change.)

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

    Dear LT,

    pretty awesome.

    Sheetly over Heatley? straight up? damn, i love the immovable cheeseburger and glad Smid(very glad Data is still here) and Cogs remained.

    got to spend the night driving to fort nelson instead of watching due to slow work wads, motherless. and now i'm fogged in.

    i think MacT is gonna have a tough run on tsn this year. poor bastard. he's gonna have to come up with an arsenal of comebacks. even more so.

  37. Master Lok says:

    Hunter1909

    "Only took the management of the team 5 years to realize Horcoff is NOT a first line centre."

    Make that 8 NHL games under a REAL head coach.

    Are you suggesting that Gagner is now?

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