Canadiens at Oilers, G4, 09-10

Denis Grebeshkov had a fine draft pedigree. speeds mentioned him as a possible Oilers selection in the middle of the 2002 draft (Oilers went with Jesse “hi can I take your order” Niinimaki) and he was selected 18th overall by the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings left him in Russia for a year and then developed him in the AHL (three seasons and a bigger cup of coffee in the show as he developed) but then sent him off to the Island along with Jeff Tambellini for 2 actual NHL players (Brent Sopel and Mark Parrish).

The Islanders botched signing him and Grebs headed back to Russia which may have been a very good thing for his development. On February 18, 2007 the Oilers acquired him for MA Bergeron and a third round pick in 2008′s draft.

Grebeshkov has been a quality pickup for the Oilers and in tandem with Tom Gilbert represents the present and the future on the Oiler blue. He’s off to a fast offensive start and with Sheldon Souray questionable for tonight may see an increase in powerplay time.

The Edmonton Oilers are very good at acquiring defensemen and developing them. Denis Grebeshkov is the latest example and may end up being one of the best we’ve seen here in a long time.

The Oilers have a plethora of veterans on the shelf. Aside from Fernando and Pouliot up front, there’s also Sheldon Souray (concussion) and Steve Staios who are considered well below 100%. I notice a lot of Oilers and Habs fans are confident their team will win tonight so this should have hilarious impact on one or the other fanbase.

I like the current team. They’ve had some silly mistakes and bad luck plus the goalie is taking his time rounding into regular season form but there are some very nice arrows. Lots of men are helping on the score sheet, big Penner has had two solid games, Hemsky is getting more chances and the minute men are too. The blue is banged up but Grebeshkov and Gilbert are capable of taking on more of the load and an injury to Staios may cut back his playing time and that’s a good thing.

I’m surprised Jacques is still on the top line and quite surprised Comrie and O’Sullivan don’t have more goals. But it’s early, and by the time the 10 game mark passes I suspect we’ll know who the cleanup hitters are for the 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers.

One more thing: the Bermuda triangle that is the backup goalie situation has to become a story this week or the Oilers will run the risk of overplaying Khabibulin. Interesting choice: Russian roulette or the kid the previous coach didn’t trust.

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287 Responses to "Canadiens at Oilers, G4, 09-10"

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  1. doritogrande says:

    Yep. Knew that was coming. Those are the only pucks that seem to be beating Nikolai.

  2. Icecastles says:

    Wait, off the stick of who and in? Ethan someone?

  3. PDO says:

    …. lol?

  4. doritogrande says:

    Uh. Okay? I'll take it.

  5. Icecastles says:

    False alarm. I'll blame Moreau for the potential horror anyway. Just 'cause.

  6. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    Nearly squeaky bum time there. Bout time the wall had some luck.

  7. doritogrande says:

    Well fuck me. That one's for sure in.

  8. PDO says:

    Oh for fucks sake.

  9. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Cue the handface

  10. Lowetide says:

    Horcoff with a nice tip.

  11. Kristopher Milligan says:

    or facehand sorry

  12. doritogrande says:

    SCORECOFF!

    Wait..

  13. striatic says:

    oh god. it never ends.

  14. Icecastles says:

    And just as I was thinking, "maybe it just wasn't close enough to the end of the game yet." But I suppose since they need 2 to tie it, the first one had to come with a bit of time left. Sigh.

  15. Rick says:

    Unreal.

    This has to be the most flukey goals I've seen against a team ever.

  16. Woodguy says:

    Another own goal???

    For fucks sakes Horcoff.

    I'm gonna have a heart attack here.

  17. danny says:

    we need a timeout and a guru meditation session

  18. Woodguy says:

    Whew!

  19. doritogrande says:

    Did anyone else just victorygasm?

  20. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Wow, they even tried to score on the EN

  21. Rick says:

    Whew…

    Unreal. This last minute scramble hockey this season is gonna put my blood pressure into the stratosphere.

    Would it kill anyone to lay on the lumber in our zone in those situations?!?

  22. Icecastles says:

    That ending should not have been so close. But I'll take it. Wishing I saw the part of the game where Edmonton was in control.

  23. oilerdago says:

    Well, we can't give up a goal in the dying seconds every nite this season.

  24. doritogrande says:

    Anyone else notice Moreau nowhere near the ice in the final minute?

    Pat Quinn learned his lesson right good.

  25. danny says:

    how much of an escape is this for bluecollar workers ?

    None. Its pretty much a recap of the daily life of people that scrape by day by day no?

    Suckers.

  26. Kristopher Milligan says:

    "Anyone else notice Moreau nowhere near the ice in the final minute?

    Pat Quinn learned his lesson right good."

    Thank god hes a quick learner

  27. PDO says:

    Bulin stole this one tonight.

  28. spOILer says:

    Khabibulin definitely full value for the victory tonight.

    APB the pubs for Dustin Penner.

    Smiddy had a helluva game for him.

  29. Black Dog says:

    Smid, Gagner and Jacques on in the last minute. Huh?

    By my eye Ladi Smid has turned the corner. Just an all round nice solid game. Used his size, good stick, reversed the play a few times. I think he's getting it.

    And when it was 3-0 I was thinking ah, one of those biannual blowouts we get to enjoy. Guess not.

    Khabibulin really a fine fine game.

  30. spOILer says:

    Moreau took the 2nd last shift and the 4th last.

    Neither Cogs nor Comrie saw the ice in the last 5 minutes.

  31. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    Well TFFT. Thought Strudwick had an effective game. Horcoff needs some puck luck big time. Stone and Jacques were better than Penner tonight.

  32. PDO says:

    LT, you're old enough for this:

    Have you honestly ever seen a team score on itself 4 games in a row?

    And be 2-1-1 to boot?

  33. Black Dog says:

    PDO – do you think he stole it? It was a weird game, I didn't get the sense that the ice was tilted like the shotclock showed.

    I thought he played very well. He makes it look easy that's for sure.

  34. Black Dog says:

    By that I mean he's sound positionally, pucks just seem to hit him. Which is good.

  35. doritogrande says:

    Khabibulin: "more veteran presence in Edmonton than Chicago."

    What?

  36. uni says:

    Watching that interview with Khabibulin, even after a win in which he was pretty damn good, he's just as monotone as ever.

  37. pboy says:

    Scott Oake is the worst interviewer there is.

    That's all.

  38. PDO says:

    BDHS:

    Yup, I'd go that far.

    He doesn't seem to make many sportscentre saves, but he's constantly making good saves in tight.

    How many times has he actually been cleanly beat this year? The rebounds are worrisome, but he's been great. If he can stay healthy (lets say 65 games) and play in this ballpark year one of his contract is a bloody steal…

    Comes off great in interviews too.

  39. uni says:

    As for stealing a game but it doesn't seem so except by the shotclock, I recall Ed Belfour doing that quite a bit in his career. Belfour wasn't as entertaining as a guy like Joseph in Toronto, but he was so technically good that he was even better.

  40. jon k says:

    The good: This team has been in a winning position in the third period for all four games.

    The bad: The back end is shaky with Souray in. It's terrifying with him out.

    The ugly: Many players on this team still somehow think that making a stick deflection in front of your own net is a good idea.

  41. PDO says:

    DG:

    There is.

    Edmonton has:

    Horcoff, Souray, Visnovsky, Moreau, Staios, Penner, Hemsky, Pisani, Comrie, Strudwick…

    Chicago:

    Havlat, Campbell, Sharp, Sopel..

    Am I missing anyone?

  42. Dennis says:

    I know it doesn't matter but I like guys who are good interviews and, fuck, Khabby is ultra composed and has a nice sense of humour, too.

    Hard to say that the Oilers deserved this one but it wasn't a terrible effort, either. Khabby made some great saves look easy – this seems to be his trademark when he's going great – but the Oil hit two posts as well.

  43. PDO says:

    Dennis:

    Agreed on Khabi, fantastic interview. And he does just make it look easy… he had a lot of saves tonight that were VERY tough saves… and will be no where to be seen on TSN at the top of the hour because they weren't flashy.

    I'm okay with that too – he's even keeled.

    Oil hit two posts and Price was lucky to not get burned wandering on two separate occasions.

  44. pboy says:

    You can't tell me that it isn't easier to play in front of a guy like Habby than it is a guy like Roli. I liked Roli alot but he played with his heart on his sleeve and he was a roller coaster in the crease. Habby looks so calm and composed, that has to translate elsewhere on the ice.

  45. Woodguy says:

    By my eye Ladi Smid has turned the corner. Just an all round nice solid game. Used his size, good stick, reversed the play a few times. I think he's getting it.

    Renney thinks so too.

    Smid lead all Oilers with 23:12 TOI
    Also lead with EVTOI with 19:29

    Strudwick had a good game too. Played smart, was never a liability.

    4 Lowest EV TOI for Oiler forwards tonight:

    Zorg 8:55
    Cogs 9:09
    Comrie 9:51
    Moreau 10:49

  46. Black Dog says:

    PDO – yeah he's solid, lets just hope he stays healthy

    I think if Gionta doesn't score at the end of the second the Oilers run away with it but they never make it easy on themselves.

    I thought Gilbert was solid except for one giveaway behind the net.

    I like Grebs a lot but I find there are times he's a little, um, ahead of the play, lets say

    As I said, very happy with Smid.

    I'd rather Strudwick not see the ice to be honest.

  47. pboy says:

    Would you rather Staios on the ice, BD?

  48. bookie says:

    Khabi's calmness was one of the assets that he brings to a team.

  49. spOILer says:

    Obvously Quinn would since Staios got the 2nd most ice time tonight. Even with Souray out, Vis gets third pairing minutes.

  50. spOILer says:

    Sorry, Renney.

  51. Black Dog says:

    pboy – well I didn't mind Staios' game tonight honestly but I think that the solid games from him are few and far between. Lots of try but I think he's almost done. Still I do think he is a step up on Strudwick. Strudwick is a useful extra part but he's slow and he's not Hal Gill, slow and useful, he's pretty bad out there.

    Just my opinion, I saw that Woodguy felt he had a good game. I read the Hockey Arguments book by McCown, not a great book really, but his most interesting point was in the preface. You can get 1000 people watching a game and ask them what they saw and they will come out with 1000 different answers.

    Which is very true.

  52. danny says:

    Gomez pulls a Penner

  53. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Scott Oake just beaked himself for asking stupid questions. Too funny.

  54. spOILer says:

    What's the over-under on Oake sticking his foot in his mouth on this one?

  55. danny says:

    In fairness, Oake asking Gomez about his line being called the smurfs might not have been popular for Gomez, but considering its a popular topic amongst the media and HNIC being the most watched hockey show in hockeynation… its a fair an logical question for a reporter.

    I understand its not something you would ask as a friend, but Oake has a job to do. when hes on 20/20 I will hold him to a higher standard.

  56. PDO says:

    He's already awkwardly touched Comrie….

  57. Aram says:

    how awful is the comrie interview so far?

  58. Icecastles says:

    Quinn strikes me as a much smarter hockey guy than Craig MacTavish was. And that is absolutely not an indictment of MacT. Just a compliment to Quinn. I am definitely a fan of him. And I am finally getting an appreciation of what it means to be a crusty old man. No wonder he likes the word.

  59. SK Oiler Fan says:

    This is not good TV. 3 guys talking about man purses and lotions

  60. danny says:

    Comrie looks 'pudgy'

  61. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Shremp got a nice assist tonight… Seemed to play well from the highlights i saw. Roli made some fantastik saves before the isles totally shit the bed in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd

  62. danny says:

    Schremps assist was a pass to the far winger, a deflection, a bounce a whack and a goal. Not exactly beautiful.

  63. Woodguy says:

    BD,

    When I don't see Strudwick looking like he's skating in quicksand and constantly reaching because his guy is blowing past him, I consider that a good game by him.

    He finished +1 and didn't make any glaring errors, and generally made good safe decisions with the puck and made a few good passes. Good game for your 7th guy.

    Staios though makes me cringe every time he touches the puck.

    Defence EVTOI was actually pretty even.

    Smid 19:29
    Grebs 16:34
    Staios 16:23
    Gilbert 16:07
    Vis 15:38
    Struds 15:49

    Vis got 2:57 on the PP 0 on PK
    Staios got 1:54 on PP 3:06 on PK

    That's where the total TOI comes from.

  64. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Quinn's a grumpy old man, or should I say crusty.

  65. Black Dog says:

    You want to talk about exOilers, Garon with 35 saves and a shutout and Smyth with his fourth goal already, that bum.

    Off to bed, up in five hours or so with bebe after a sleep in today, its my turn.

    One last thing, I know its probably been said but Kevin Weekes and Mark Lee must be the absolute worst play by play team in history.

    The CBC can't do any better? Yikes!

  66. Dennis says:

    God help me but I believe Scott Oake is an acquired taste and I keep going back to the bar.

    I know he's a knob but he isn't afraid to ask any questions and it leads to a interesting dialogue. For instance, he asks Comrie to comment on Khabby's divulging of Kevin Weekes man purse and then that gets to a discussion of the best dressed guys in the league.

    Speaking of Comrie, wouldn't you believe that all the younger guys are loving having him back on the team? IF I am any of those young guys, I am Mike Comrie's new best friend because you know that Hillary Duff has a tonne of young tail that she hangs out with and I'd want to be in on that train.

    Whoo whoooooooo!

    Oh, yeah, and, yes, 5 doesn't make the egregious errors that he used to and he's rounding into steady territory but we'll know for sure by game 20.

  67. Woodguy says:

    Sorry, "difference in total TOI come from"

    I think Renney is using the defense well.

    He's putting Vis in spots to be effective and not trying to force him to be a PK'er.

    Just wish he'd be on the ice with Hemsky more often.

    Staois should never see 83 on the ice unless they pass each other on a change.

  68. bookie says:

    Quinn strikes me as a much smarter hockey guy than Craig MacTavish was. And that is absolutely not an indictment of MacT. Just a compliment to Quinn. I am definitely a fan of him.

    I agree, Quinn seems thick with his knowledge of the overall thinking of the game. I actually think that MacT and Renney may well know the X's and O's better. The specific pick moves and the such, but Quinn seems to have his finger on the 'whole'.

    With that said, its only a few games in and we may still be in the dreamy-eyed honeymoon period.

  69. Black Dog says:

    Woodguy – fair enough, as I said. Strudwick had a decent game and he fills a role, that's fine.

    I had to laugh when Staios drew the hooking call. One of the worst penalties I have ever seen, a hook on Staios in the neutral zone. What did the kid think he was going to do, go end to end?

  70. bookie says:

    Schremps assist was a pass to the far winger, a deflection, a bounce a whack and a goal. Not exactly beautiful.

    Schremp's assist was not pretty, but he made some very nice plays on the previous Power Play. His ice time faded as the game went on though.

    Roli was great, until he let in a bunch of goals.

  71. bookie says:

    You want to talk about exOilers, Garon with 35 saves and a shutout and Smyth with his fourth goal already, that bum.

    Its an odd number year, Garon always rocks those.

    Smyth is fantastic. I am curious how his body holds out over the season. He is one of those guys who takes loads of abuse and he is starting to get into those years that often gets those guys.

  72. Lowetide says:

    PDO I don't recall any good teams doing that, for sure. The young 80s team used to do weird stuff (Hunter taking minor penalties near the end of the period and Paul Coffey reckless with the puck no matter the score) but this is too strange. Horcoff's thought process was pure spazz on the goal, I believe he's quality but good lord.

  73. SK Oiler Fan says:

    More details please Mike on this hookup with Hillary.

  74. Lowetide says:

    I think maybe people don't realize what a gift Scott Oake is. Folks, he's batshit crazy. I would guess he came from money and was the kid everyone pounded on right through maybe grade 9. Once people started driving cars and finding out about money maybe he grabbed some fringe friends but never really fit in.

    Family sends him to university and he stands out again for all the wrong reasons. Dating is difficult ("so, Karen, I did some research on your mother….") so he devotes himself to the broadcasting career.

    He cannot ask a socially acceptable question. He is incapable, and for that reason he's a gem. Scott Oake doesn't fit, long live Scott Oake.

  75. Terry says:

    I think Scott Oake is the undertaker

  76. pboy says:

    I think maybe people don't realize what a gift Scott Oake is. Folks, he's batshit crazy. I would guess he came from money and was the kid everyone pounded on right through maybe grade 9. Once people started driving cars and finding out about money maybe he grabbed some fringe friends but never really fit in.

    Family sends him to university and he stands out again for all the wrong reasons. Dating is difficult ("so, Karen, I did some research on your mother….") so he devotes himself to the broadcasting career.

    He cannot ask a socially acceptable question. He is incapable, and for that reason he's a gem. Scott Oake doesn't fit, long live Scott Oake.

    That's probably about right. He just doesn't seem to have a clue when he asks some of these questions. I can't stand the guy but I would probably miss him if they got someone in there asking professional & appropriate questions.

  77. hunter1909 says:

    Missed the game but my blog will have all thoughts and opinions, asap.

    2-1-1 My kind of record.

  78. Woodguy says:

    . I would guess he came from money and was the kid everyone pounded on right through maybe grade 9. Once people started driving cars and finding out about money maybe he grabbed some fringe friends but never really fit in.

    Family sends him to university and he stands out again for all the wrong reasons. Dating is difficult ("so, Karen, I did some research on your mother….") so he devotes himself to the broadcasting career.

    LT,

    If you wrote a book. Non-fiction, novel, short stories, hell a cook book, I would buy it.

  79. Woodguy says:

    Rob Schremp from tonight's game:

    EVTOI 8:07
    PPTOI 5:33
    0g 1a -1

    That's pretty much spot on I'd think.

  80. hunter1909 says:

    Give Schremp 20 games for the Islanders and he's going to score 20+ by the end of the season

  81. Bling says:

    Shawn Horcoff is being overplayed right now (ATOI = 21 minutes and change) and it's showing when he's in the offensive zone at even strength.

    Quinn needs to either elevate Brule or convince Tambo to get him some help, because this won't end well.

    How does 10 even wake up in the morning?

  82. bookie says:

    Give Schremp 20 games for the Islanders and he's going to score 20+ by the end of the season

    A goal a game player? What in his history would suggest that?

    I say after 5 games, his sense of entitlement returns and causes him problems…

  83. Dennis says:

    No one really wants to elevate 67, do they? I guess Bruce is in Cardinal-mourning but he's still not over a bad line change 78 made against the Wings so I shudder to think what he made of 67's "play" last night with a min to go and the Oilers holding a lead.

    And I have decided that I'm a big Scott Oake fan. The fact that he's oblivious is what makes him fun to watch.

  84. ian says:

    For those people dumping on Scott Oake I have two words for you
    Marc Crawford

  85. Doogie2K says:

    Smid lead all Oilers with 23:12 TOI
    Also lead with EVTOI with 19:29

    Strudwick had a good game too. Played smart, was never a liability.

    We truly live in Bizarro World now. Next thing, you'll tell me Jacques scored, too.

    On an unrelated note, thanks to the most bizarre PVR fuck-up I've ever seen, I fast-forwarded through a Viagra commercial at the end of the first and landed in the middle of the Gionta interview at the end of the second. What did I miss?

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