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. bookie says:

    Glad to see you are back from the pits of dispair LT! Despite the problems, there are some nice elements on this team and if a few things break their way…

    I thought that Jacques had a pretty good game against the Flames.

    I think tonights game is the point where we can start evaluating for real. With three real NHL games behind them, most of the rust should be shaken off.

  2. DBO says:

    Quinn did say this week that he wanted bulin to p;ay all the home games this week and Jeff would get a start on the road.

    As for the injuries, i guess we get a chance to look at what woudl happen if we dealt one of our dmen. it does hurt tha Pckham can't be the call up, but Strudwick played well last game so that helps. Chorney i would assume gets his shot beside Strudwick.

  3. Black Dog says:

    What's Souray right now LT, day to day?

    I think Grebs has proven that signing him to a longterm deal would be in the best interests of the club. He and Gilbert are at the leading edge of the kids and if Smid can continue a nice start then there are three pretty young guys to build the blue around. And there are some kids with a little more size and nastiness in the pipeline as well to move in when the vets begin to move on.

    The blueline is the one spot the Oilers are in good shape in, barring catastrophic injuries, for a while by the looks of it.

    And they should start talking to him now, btw. With Gagner and Cogliano both up for raises they could end up in a Kessel situation if they are not careful.

  4. Woodguy says:

    And they should start talking to him now, btw. With Gagner and Cogliano both up for raises they could end up in a Kessel situation if they are not careful.

    Agreed.

    You gotta get Staios and perhaps Moreau off the books to get those guys signed.

    On another note, was at the Dallas game, and watched them beat Calgary last night.

    James Neal is already what Lucic aspires to be.

    All the tools. Size, willingness to use it often, speed, hands (3 goals in 4 games)

    I'd trade Lubo straight up for this guy, he is that good.

  5. Woodguy says:

    I'd trade Lubo straight up for this guy, he is that good.

    I love Vis, but to have Neal on the team for the next 5 years would be game changing.

    He's an RFA at the end of this year.

  6. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Please understand nothing has changed. I'm framing the issue in a different way but this team has real and identifiable problems. It's boring to dwell on it, but if we expect this team to go on a run similar to the one Calgary just enjoyed we're dreaming.

    I remain convinced they'll finish outside the playoffs.

  7. Clarkenstein says:

    In the recent past this type of game at the end of a homestand is where they would shit the bed against the worst of teams and then say something to the effect that they had to get out on the road and relax a little… wonder if the new staff will let them get away with that garbage… but it's the same "leaders" in the room!

  8. Rick says:

    I just hope Khabibulin plays in Chicago on Wednesday. Too often I've gotten the rare chance to see the Oilers play in person, and they trot out the backup guy.

    Plus, he'd probably get a lift playing against his old team.

  9. jdrevenge says:

    I dunno. I'm thinking that if Brule can show a little sustain he could be our number 3 guy. He's not terrible on the dot and he seems to be doing exactly what Quinn tells him to. If he can pick up his assignments on the regular and pot a few we've eliminated one troublesome area on the team and should save some +/- to boot.

    I'm liking the kids right now and I think the sun has set on the old balls.

  10. Doogie2K says:

    I have no idea what to think tonight. I think I'm going to watch the entire game in the foetal position.

  11. bookie says:

    but if we expect this team to go on a run similar to the one Calgary just enjoyed we're dreaming

    What, 4 wins in a row, with two of them coming by last minute fluky plays, followed by getting dominated by a team like Dallas? I think that remains in the realm of possibility for the Oilers. I don't get the love for the Flames. Don't they have to prove themselves first?

    Really, out of the two ALberta games so far, I would suggest that Calgary must be concerned. Despite the fact that the team has so many more 'real NHL' players they failed to dominate the sadsack Oilers. Does that say something about the Oilers, or about the Flames?

  12. Gord says:

    Denis Grebeshkov is the latest example and may end up being one of the best we've seen here in a long time.

    Lowetide,

    Was that comment my "early Christmas present"???

    ;-)

    I have been saying all summer that the Oilers Top Four defensemen are the best offensive group in the NHL… So far, so good…

    And I enjoy watching the games this year – most players have bought into "for the good of the team"…

    It is the core (supposed) leadership that makes us a potential non-playoff team.

    Until Moreau gets it beaten into his skull by Quinn that "the Captain" is supposed to lead by example & not continually cost us goals & stupid penalties, the Oilers are in trouble.

    The clock is ticking on Moreau's time as an Oiler…. I love it….

    And Hemsky is going to have to learn very quickly how to utilize his team mates so they become five players working in tandem… I appreciate Quinn's hints on that also.

    Once those two things are fixed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  13. Traktor says:

    I haven't been impressed with O'Sullivan at all so far. I actually don't even think he's better than Nilsson. I'll go on the record as saying he will never match the 22 goals he scored in LA.

    I love that he can shoot the puck 10x a game but its like he has the yips or something. He looks good on the driving range but when the game is on the line he can't make a 5 footer to save his life.

    Hopefully he scores a couple tonight and proves me wrong.

    Comrie looked like a beer league player last game and Quinn rewarded him with 3+ in PP minutes? Cogliano was flying all night and received only 0:37.

  14. Coach pb9617 says:

    I thought that Jacques had a pretty good game against the Flames

    He didn't.

    -2 SC
    -3 Corsi

    General discombobulation throughout.

  15. Lowetide says:

    bookie: Nah, we're not the Flames. Calgary had a Dman go down this week and addressed it before anyone even know about the problem, while the Oilers continue to audition wingers for other teams. In the last few years, we've seen Raffi and Curtis and Jason and Daniel head elsewhere all the while brining in more kids when one leaves (Pisani V Cleary being the exception).

    The Oilers at this point are a development team and the Flames are a team that keeps adding veterans. That's fine to a degree, the Oilers began a build the moment Kevin Lowe traded Chris Pronger for youth and didn't replace his minutes with quality free agents.

    But the Oilers can't make a decision on any of the dwarfs so they're all here, and all of the big wingers who were here have found new homes.

    Would Curtis Glencross have a role on this team? Brad Winchester?

    The Oilers themselves tell us we're not in the same game as Calgary at this time by their actions. Do you think GM Sutter would be as patient with the problems here? No. He had a G issue when he arrived and addressed it right away and has done so all down the line.

    Oilers? Wait and see.

  16. Ribs says:

    So what is this game then? Midgets vs. Hobbits? Dwarfs vs. Smurfs? I think it's going to look like a Jr.A game out there with all the small bodies. Nilsson in?

    It seems the crash and bang style Quinn has implemented is taking it's toll 3 games in. Can they keep it up?

  17. bookie says:

    Oilers? Wait and see

    Flames, wait and see. They play the games for a reason. The wonderful thing about sports is that it doesn't play out 'by the books'

  18. Gret99zky says:

    I like the lines as they are.

    Quinn is giving these guys a chance to develop some chemistry.

    Much better than the MacBlender we are used of seeing night after night.

  19. Coach pb9617 says:

    I don't know what goes on at Finnish Hockey games, but, apparently everyone wore their Leather pants and boots to today's game.

  20. Coach pb9617 says:

    KalPa vs. Assat game, that is

  21. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Grrreat. Not so steady Steve is back in. Just when I was starting to have a more positive outlook on this team. It's pretty sad when Struds is about to overtake you on the depth chart.

    On the Moreau decline: 5 years ago he and Staois were 2 of my favorite players. Just thought of this, but did bizaro Ethan appear just after he was awarded the C or was it before then?

    Maybe he just can't handle the expectations / pressure of being a C? Maybe he's trying too hard to be an example for the young guys? Even his fights look awkward lately.

    I just wonder if Quinn gave Souray or Horc the C and Moreau an A if his game would become less eventful in a good way.

  22. spOILer says:

    Gret99zky said…

    Much better than the MacBlender we are used of seeing night after night.

    Quinn has already messed with the lines during the games.

    We'll see how long JFJ stays up there. How long did MacT keep Pisani at C, or Cole at LW? I don't know if Quinn will be that patient.

  23. kris says:

    Traktor:

    Interesting thoughts about the PP.

    I was just thinking about Cogs and the PP. He never looks very good on the PP to me, and he doesn't bring the kind of things that great PP players do, e.g. size to stand in front of the net, a big shot, Hemsky-like passing, etc.

    But if you look at his numbers for 08-09 on behindthenet.ca, (just 5-4, no 4-3 or 5-3) you notice something interesting. Of course, the sample size is small, so take everything with a grain of salt.

    1.) Out of all the regulars, F and D, Cogliano got the least amount of PP time per TOI time. That is, he was used sparingly, not much more than Pouliot.

    2.) Cogliano's Goals/60 was in the same range as the best forwards on the club. (Hemsky's is the lowest, though his pts/60 is the highest, which is explained by his role as setup man.) That is, he was as good an option as anyone on the team, Kotalik, Gagner, Penner, etc.

    3.) His qual. team numbers suggest he was on the 2nd unit, without the benefit of Hemsky and Souray. This would've deflated his numbers, which are still quite good.

    4.) As a result of limited PP time, he only got 4 of his 18 goals on the PP. If he'd been used more extensively, he'd have been a 20 goal player, at the least, and may have hit 25 with a run of luck.

    5.) I think this is some confirmation of Traktor's optimistic position on Cogliano. He's capable of more offense, but since we have too many PP guys, e.g. Gagner, etc., we aren't using Cogs as much as he should be used in an offensive role.

  24. kinger says:

    I've spent the last three weeks trying to convince everyone I know that Montreal is going to be awful this year. After gleefully watching them get dismantled by the Canucks, I would be pretty disappointed if we didn't come out with the W tonight.

    We'll see if the self-satisfaction that has plagued this team after a well played game translates into a slow start tonight. I'm pretty sure the Habs will come out hard after getting embarrassed in Vancouver.

  25. Greg MC says:

    Like how the boys are competing so far, my glass of Oil is more than half full.

    Playoff potential, if things break right around the conference.

  26. kris says:

    I think the Cogliano situation also shows how the imbalance at F hurts this team in more way than one. It's hard to find PP minutes for all the smurfs, and each smurf's true value and true potential is more on the PP than at ES or on the PK.

  27. PunjabiOil says:

    Obviously it's early, but the new identity/system is encouraging.

    LT, it's time to update your MPS update. He added an assist today.

    8-3-3-6

  28. spOILer says:

    With the trainer's table deep in crustiness, glad I am that we are playing the Montreal Flyweights tonight.

    Will they try to skate with them, or will the Oil keep up the hitting?

    Now that Penner has put in 2 good games, is he going to take the next 10 off like he did last year? It will be interesting to see if he keeps it up after a tepid effort last game.

    Can Grebs handle the big minutes without dropping a tab? I've seen Gilbert handle it. Grebs not so much.

    Will PaddyO ever light the lantern? Tonight's the night I'm hoping.

  29. Temujin says:

    LT, it never ceases to amaze me how you remain confident and positive about the Oilers in spite of their fortunes so far.

    To counter, when Vancouver went 0-3 in week one, there were calls on nearly every blog to fire the whole damn team, close down GM Place, and re-locate the franchise to South Bratislava, Slovakia.

    Okay, so that last part may be an exaggeration, but you get the point.

  30. spOILer says:

    SK Oiler Fan said…

    Maybe he just can't handle the expectations / pressure of being a C? Maybe he's trying too hard to be an example for the young guys? Even his fights look awkward lately.

    To give Moreau some credit, he has been skating and fighting with bursitis in his ankle.

    As for the Staios comment, would anyone really prefer Chorney to Staios right now?

  31. gogliano says:

    I think Cogliano does have an elite pplay skill that is undervalued by the Oilers: he keeps his feet moving and knows how to get to open ice quickly. When Cogs has the puck the powerplay is much less static, and I think that is more important to a powerplay than a hard shot.

  32. Traktor says:

    Cogliano brings chaos and unpredictability to the PP. Its hard to defend that.

    Horcoff on the other hand stands in the right circle with his stick raised waiting for a Hemsky feed. If I know what Edmonton is trying to do on the PP then I'm pretty sure most teams do as well.

    Special teams will once again be the downfall of the Oilers.

  33. Dennis says:

    We'll give 19 a few more games yet but considering his lack of finish from his first ~20 games as an Oiler, the early returns aren't promising.

  34. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Spoiler: Only our first line is flyweight, and it's pretty abrasive for it's size, it has not been ragdolled at all vs that Huge flames team.

    Vancouver was just a bad game, we have to put it aside.

    And i'm pretty sure

    Moen, Laracque, Latendresse, Gill, Mara, Lapierre and Stewart make up for the smallness of the first line.

    Moen checks like no one i have seen before. It's pleasing to see him on a 3rd-4th line.

  35. SK Oiler Fan says:

    I honestly don't think the drop off from Staios to Chorney would be that great right now. Especially if Staios is playing hurt.

    There's still going to be mistakes, likley more, but at least there's some value to giving a young D some minutes.

    You loose some physicality, but Staios often puts himself out of position anyway by trying to be physical. Is any opponent really fearing Staios physically anyway?

    You gain mobility and another competent option on the PP. I don't know if Chorney is a PK option at the NHL level? I'm not sure about his actual PK rating, but Staios gives me nightmares on the PK.

    If Peckham were healthy I would love to see him over Staios. Same deal: still some mistakes, but Peckham brings more of a true, feared physical element. I can forsee Peckham being developed as a PK option down the line anyway so might as well start now.

    Ohhh what to do with not so steady Steve and his cap killing contract.

  36. Woodguy says:

    Horcoff's ice time last 3 games:

    23:20
    22:17
    19:16

    In the pre-season Quinn stated that he didn't want to play any forward that much this year.

    Guess he's finding out he has no choice. Obviously has no confidence in 19-91 and 67-? in their own zone given that Gagner's and Horcoff's lines just switched off for the last 5 minutes of the Flames game.

    Until the GM gets the centerman this team has needed for 2 years they should take Horcoff off the PP to keep them from killing him.

    Put Cogs in his place, let Penner take the draws. (Penner was 47.4% over 114 draws last year, that good enough)

  37. FlamingPavelBure says:

    As anyone been as much impressed by Gilbert Brulé as much as i have been?

    I think he looks really much more like an NHL player than the 2 other new guys who showed similar AHL stats. That and Reddox, Schremp and other bordelines guys.

    Can we hope for a breakout season where he will live to his pedigree?

    Ah dreaming is fun.

  38. spOILer says:

    FPB>

    I thought you were a Habs fan?

  39. Gord says:

    Can Grebs handle the big minutes without dropping a tab? I've seen Gilbert handle it. Grebs not so much.

    spOILer,

    Grebs averaged:

    16:52 in 2007/08
    21:10 in 2008/09
    23:24 this season… Leading all Oiler defensemen.

    His ice time kept increasing in previous years as the season progressed. And his point totals increased as the season progressed.

    It appears Grebeshkov can & does handle the big minutes.

    Don't get me wrong, Grebs does make some high risk plays. But as Quinn stated, there is nothing wrong with that so long as the player can recover to minimize the damage.

  40. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Spoiler : I'm a fan of both.

    Canadiens since i was born.
    Oilers since 2-3 years ago.

    I now possess a viceral hate for the Flames, truly do.

    But yeah i love both, tonight i will only cheer for players, not teams.

    Shootouts would be the best :P. Last as long as possible.

  41. bookie says:

    Oilers since 2-3 years ago.

    fpb – what made you become an Oilers fan?

  42. spOILer says:

    SK Oiler:

    Last night the Falcons got on the bus and drove up to Glen Falls in upstate NY, to take on ex-Oiler Krys Kolanos' Adirondack Phantoms.

    They lost 4-3, and were outshot 43-29, continuing their trend from the first two games of giving up too many PPs. They also allowed a penalty shot, but I can't find who was whistled for tripping Nodl on his breakaway.

    The Falcon lines were:

    Slava Trukhno – Ryan Potulny – Liam Reddox
    Charles Linglet – Adam Henrich – Chris Minard
    Kip Brennan – Colin McDonald – Ryan O’Marra
    Ryan MacMurchy – Geoff Paukovich – Colton Fretter

    Dean Arsene – Jake Taylor
    Theo Peckham – Alex Plante
    Taylor Chorney – Chris Armstrong

    Devan Dubnyk
    Aaron Sorochan

    Chorney scored a PP goal and an EV assist, and came out -1, because he somehow wasn't on the ice when the goal he assisted on was scored.

    Right now he's a PP specialist, seeing sheltered minutes in the A, and treading water. He's got good wheels, but he's not a big man.

    This is not the guy I want replacing Staios on the PK.

  43. spOILer says:

    Gord, that's a 3 game sample size, out of which we are 1-1-1, and Grebs is even on plus minus.

    And don't forget two other defensemen's averages have been cut by leaving games early due to injury. That's the problem with a 3 game sample.

    And by big minutes, I'm talking in the 26-30 minute range, like what we've seen Gilbert do on occasion, and Souray and Vis pull off quite a bit more often.

    The jury is still out, but the arrows are pointing the right way.

  44. spOILer says:

    Sorry, that's Glens Falls, btw.

  45. Psyche says:

    It appears that our old friend Rob Schremp has appeared in one Islanders game to date, last night vs. Ottawa. He accumulated 4 PIM's, 14 minutes played, 17 shifts, and zero shots. I am not sure who his linemates were.

  46. Lowetide says:

    Schremp made a nice clearing play (without icing the puck) when the Islanders were under heavy attack and forechecked well a couple of times.

    Nothing earth shattering and he's certainly not driving the bus or anything but he survived. Expecting more would be crazy, and in fact the chances of him finishing + is nearly impossible imo.

  47. Schitzo says:

    He accumulated 4 PIM's, 14 minutes played, 17 shifts, and zero shots. I am not sure who his linemates were.

    Looking at the game log, he takes a penalty for tripping, and then 17 seconds after he comes out of the box he takes another for elbowing. Nolan must have loved that.

  48. jonathanjoyce says:

    How have the fans been on Comrie at the games? He hasn't done anything to keep me from booing him thus far.

    I'm really liking the 1st and 4th lines thus far. 4th line cycles and has a finisher in Gagner. I think JF could be really good on the first line if he remembers that he is supposed to be creating offense. He seems to be running around looking for guys to hit, ala 4th liner.

    As much as I'd like to see Penner up on the line, I think it's good to have the scoring spread out a bit.

  49. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Spoiler, Has Chorney seen any PK time in Springfield this year or last? What about Peckham?

    I didn't suggest Chorney was a PK option in the bigs, I just cringe when Staois is.

    Just considering replacements for less than 2.7M. Even though it's next to impossible to move that contract, besides a demotion to the A.

  50. NBOilerFan says:

    @Knightown – Center-Ice update.

    Not sure if you say the game thread from Thursday, but I have CI with Bell Aliant TV and I too did not have the game televised. Thrillho posted that he also has CI through Eastlink and the CSR told him that there was a glitch or something. Dennis, who is in NFLD and has CI through BEV, had the game televised no problems.

    I too have had CI in the past with both BEV and Rogers and had no blackouts for SNET-W games on CI.

    I had the Dallas game on CI no problems, but that was not a SNET-W game, it was a PPV.

    I am assuming that Center Ice just had some internal issues due to early in the season and a busy schedule (12 games that night) and there was some glitch in their schedule so I eagerly await the Preds game on Monday because it will be the next test.

    The Ottawa game that night was blacked out, but it stated so on a black screen. The Oilers game was a blue screen for me that said "signal temporarily unavailable" which is not typical.

    Anyway, I saw you post something in the last thread and thought you'd be interested.

  51. Oilmaniac says:

    Khabibulin plays till the oil are over .500

    i hope they get the chance to prove me right…

  52. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Bookie: A bit silly to say, but i just love that goal horn.

    But, yeah, i played a lot with them in the NHL games, fantasy hockey leagues etc. Began to watch the games and love them.

    The Nilsson love comes from an inside joke in a Fantasy league.

    Some guy constantly posted and treated Robert Nilsson and Alexander Perezhogin as gods.

    Then for the laughs, i always aquired Robert Nilsson in all the other fantasy leagues + Playing him on 2nd line and PP on online NHL.

    Even if with some simulation system he sucked, he always seemed to overperform his rating, nothing 40 points or more with a pretty bad rating.

    Again in my most recent league, with the Oilers, Nilsson's been playing 2 years on the 3rd line getting +45 points both times, and scoring timely goals in My first season's cup run.

    All that to explain my love for the Oilers.

  53. oil dude says:

    I know it's still early a Sammy has been in the doghouse but he shooting the puck A LOT. 11 shots in 3 games works out to 300 over 82, with his 10% career S% he could pot 30G if the shots keep coming.

    LT: Love the MPS update, but hockeyligan says MPS is at +2 :)

  54. NBOilerFan says:

    Anyway, a few comments more on topic;

    - Without a doubt, Grebs and Gilbert are the future of this teams defense, add in Smid and Peckham and likely Chorney and we are looking very good for the next while.

    - I think Quinn's fine was just as much if not more about his slight toward the NHL not doing anything about this stuff or letting the players self-police then it was suggesting a stick across the head. The NHl doesn't like anyone bad-talking them and their decisions.

    - Without a doubt, if Tambellini doesn't make some changes to this team by December, he is not the GM we need, IMO. Even if we are doing well in the standings, it is his job to evaluate the club (along with teh coaches) and he'd damng well better start making some decisions andmoving bodies to fix the holes.

    - As many have pointed out, there are many good things about this team, and the better news is that there is still plenty of room for improvement from many, most notably, Hemsky, Horcoff and O'Sullivan, which I believe will come sooner than later.

    - These early rash of injuries concern me.

  55. Gord says:

    Although Grebeshkov averaged 21:10 in 2008 / 2009, he averaged 23:36 in the final 21 games of the season after he came back from the slew foot injury.

    In those 21 games, he got 3 goals & 11 assists (0.666 ppg). And was a +5…

    As I highlighted to Lowtide in the "Reasonable Expectations" thread, Grebeshkov does not track normal / steady throughout a season – he continues where he left off the previous season, then goes into overdrive down the stretch.

    Then follows the same pattern the next year.

    The arrows are not only pointing in the right direction, they have all left the bow and are heading directly toward the bulls eye…

    Which leads me to believe this is (barring injury) the season he hits elite status.

  56. Rod says:

    Schitzo said…
    Looking at the game log, he takes a penalty for tripping, and then 17 seconds after he comes out of the box he takes another for elbowing. Nolan must have loved that.
    —-
    Maybe those quick penalties show that Schremp learned a few things from the Oilers captain. In any case, Islanders coach Scott Gordon probably liked it even less than Nolan.

  57. Rod says:

    Gord said:
    As I highlighted to Lowtide in the "Reasonable Expectations" thread, Grebeshkov does not track normal / steady throughout a season – he continues where he left off the previous season, then goes into overdrive down the stretch.
    —-
    Certainly agreed that he's not normal/steady throughout a season. Not sure about the rest though. Seems to me Grebs starts the season off kilter, then settles down after a month or two, and then really picks it up in the back half of the season. Here's hoping he loses the tin-foil a little sooner this season.

  58. spOILer says:

    Gord, do you mean the last 21 games in 2008, while Vis was injured and Grebs got a big chunk of his PP time?

    Did you not expect his TOI and points to be higher with the opportunity? He didn't exactly blow the world away with that chance, but he did very nicely.

    As for you seeing the "arrows leaving the bow straight to the bulls eye, which leads you to believe this year Grebs will hit elite status", well thank you for letting us all know who's been supplying Grebs with his stash of blotter paper.

  59. NBOilerFan says:

    Will be interesting to see how Grebs season goes.

    I remember two season ago, Gilbert shocked many with his great (and surprising) play and the great oilernation all praised him, heralded Lowe for signing him to a very reasonable $4m/yr contract, then last season he made some bad plays and bone headed moves and he is on the outs with many of the nation as they moved on to hearlding Grebs the next great Oiler hero.

    I agree… he better not wear that tin-foil hat to too many games this year.

  60. spOILer says:

    Rod>

    That very inconsistency indicates not elite yet. I hope he gets there, but I haven't seen anything to show that he can handle top minutes and rack up the points while not bleeding against right now. Hopefully he progresses nicely into it–his development thus far has been in the right direction.

    Even if he scores 60 this year, he'll still just be Phaneuf from 2 years ago, without the size, and at a later age.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. And it certainly isn't a "reasonable expectation".

  61. spOILer says:

    SK Oil, sorry, I'm too damn lazy to hunt through thegame charts to find the PK scoop on Chorney. All I can tell you, from the one PP goal aginst last night, is that Taylor and Arsene were the tandem out there, and I'd have to bet Peckham/Plante would be choices on the Falcon PK before Chorney.

  62. Bank Shot says:

    I like Grebs.

    Hopefully someone learns him to PK. The Oilers can't afford to have two top four D-men that can only play half the special teams.

  63. Coach pb9617 says:

    Nothing earth shattering and he's certainly not driving the bus or anything but he survived. Expecting more would be crazy, and in fact the chances of him finishing + is nearly impossible imo.

    He trailed the play quite often.

  64. FlamingPavelBure says:

    I think to keep Grebeshkov, Gagner and Cogliano, that withtout our head banging against the rooftop again, we have to get one of each group out by the end of the season.

    Group 1

    Sheldon Souray
    Lubomir Visnovskky

    Group 2
    Ethan Moreau
    Steve Staios
    Robert Nilsson

    I think the Kings will be looking for some backup at the blue, with Alec Martinez being a regular. The kings are clearly going for a playoff run, and should do anything that's possible to get it done.

    If the team can have a guy like, Teubert, Hickey or Voinov. And an extra guy like Loktionov or Möller, than it's a pretty good deal.

  65. Coach pb9617 says:

    well thank you for letting us all know who's been supplying Grebs with his stash of blotter paper.

    Lord Bob and I think it's leftovers from Conklin's locker.

  66. Gord says:

    Hopefully someone learns him to PK.

    Grebeshkov is averaging 1:48 per game killing penalties – he was not on the ice for any of the four power play goals scored against Edmonton.

    And he was not on the ice for the shorthanded goal scored against Edmonton.

    On a side note, while Grebs got two even strength assists last game, only one counted as a + since he had just successfully killed the penalty to Moreau so stepped off the ice just as Moreau scored.

    So the + went to a different defenseman… Seriously…

    With Souray out tonight, we're going to see if Grebeshkov continues to step up under a heavier workload… ;-)

  67. spOILer says:

    Gord, it appears the same statistical anomaly happened to Chorney last night.

  68. bookie says:

    The arrows are not only pointing in the right direction, they have all left the bow and are heading directly toward the bulls eye…

    Which leads me to believe this is (barring injury) the season he hits elite status.

    Grebeshkov is the next Pronger!

    in that I heard that his new girlfriend hates Edmonton and wants him to demand a trade to LA.

    The information provided in this blog post is provided for entertainment purposes and may be total BS…

  69. Coach pb9617 says:

    I think we should wait and see what his girlfriend thinks about Edmonton before we says rash things.

  70. SK Oiler Fan says:

    spoiler,
    I would think that would be the PK tandems as well.

    Peckham is a better replacement for Staios. I see he's played one game so he must be back healthy.

    Chorney, Plante, and O'marra leading the Falcons at -3 after 3 games. I know: small sample size.

  71. Bank Shot says:

    Grebeshkov is averaging 1:48 per game killing penalties – he was not on the ice for any of the four power play goals scored against Edmonton.

    That's not true. He was on for the 4 on 3 goal scored by Morrow against Dallas.

    http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20092010,2,31&event=EDM428&fr=false

    I saw alot of fans blame Bulin's 5 hole for that one, but I thought Grebeshkov played it horribly, overcommiting out to the point and left way too much space open downlow.

  72. Alice says:

    Coming late thru yesterday's comments, and I found it odd that anyone could imagine Iginla getting an immediate comeuppance. He was lying on the fricking ice – one of the other 4 guys should do what, exactly, that wouldn't look utterly ridiculous? In the circumstance they had no choice but to take it after the fact.

    Now I'm going to try reading this thread…

  73. bookie says:

    Coming late thru yesterday's comments, and I found it odd that anyone could imagine Iginla getting an immediate comeuppance. He was lying on the fricking ice – one of the other 4 guys should do what, exactly, that wouldn't look utterly ridiculous?

    Quinn noted that in his day, it was commonplace just to kick a guy right in the face with your skate when they were down, then he said, "just to make sure they got the message, we would pull our onion off and crush it into the wound on their face"

  74. Derek says:

    Quinn noted that in his day, it was commonplace just to kick a guy right in the face with your skate when they were down, then he said, "just to make sure they got the message, we would pull our onion off and crush it into the wound on their face"

    Afterwards they would ride down to the local saloon and laugh it off over shots of whiskey while watching the harlots dance, because thats what a man does.

    Marlies vs Penguins what an entertaining affair this looks to be. Toronto with a lot of hard nosed defensemen who can't move the puck. I wonder why they get hemmed in the zone? Why do I have this odd feeling of Deja Vu? How does Taylor Hall feel about black and gold?

  75. Doogie2K says:

    I've spent the last three weeks trying to convince everyone I know that Montreal is going to be awful this year. After gleefully watching them get dismantled by the Canucks, I would be pretty disappointed if we didn't come out with the W tonight.

    Boy, good thing they lost their #1 defenceman to a fluke injury in the first game, eh?

    Anyway, I'm just glad to have FPB around now so I'm not the only one who gets shit on for being a Habs fan around here. ;)

  76. Icecastles says:

    Anyway, I'm just glad to have FPB around now so I'm not the only one who gets shit on for being a Habs fan around here. ;)

    Great thing about the internet: there is always extra shit to go around. ;)

  77. spOILer says:

    Isles-Bruins go to shootout. Time for Rob Schremp Hockey.

  78. bookie says:

    Schremp scored, no other Isles did, Roli didn't stop much…Bruins win.

  79. doritogrande says:

    Haven't read the previous posts, so sorry if it has already been mentioned.

    Theo Peckham is back playing. He's been in both games this weekend for Springfield. Two typical losses.

    Devan Dubnyk still taking stupid numbers of shots.

    Doesn't appear that Alex Plante played either games

    Ryan Potulny with 4 points (2g2a) in the two games.

  80. spOILer says:

    Plante definitely played. -3 against Providence, and +1 against Adirondack.

    The high shot totals are at least partly due to too many trips to the penalty box.

  81. PDO says:

    I hate playing teams that were just embarrassed.

    Oilers have to come out quickly and continue to build on that…

  82. spOILer says:

    Oh and Potulny was 1-1-2 in those two games.

  83. doritogrande says:

    Memo to Paul:

    Who gives a shit if Montreal's visiting. Who speaks French in Edmonton?

  84. PDO says:

    Memo to DG:

    Don't beat me to my points, you jerk.

  85. markmac says:

    Oilers vs. Habs.

    Twenty-eight years ago, I became an Oilers fan, thanks to a dexterous young man named Andy Moog.

    Anyone know of a live feed for those of us outside of Don Cherry's shouting range?

  86. PDO says:

    Why are we stuck with Mark Lee?

    Sigh…

  87. doritogrande says:

    Oh and Potulny was 1-1-2 in those two games.

    Against Adirondack: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1006075

    Against Providence: http://theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1006090

    That's 2-2-4 by my count. On Plante, he's only listed as playing one fo those games. Motin too for the record.

  88. doritogrande says:

    Poor Cogliano. 4th line again. Gagner's played well enough to deserve the promotion, but why at the expense of Cogliano?

  89. PDO says:

    DG: I think we'll see a rotation of smurfs being sent there to get an ass kicking and hopefully light a fire under them…

    Healthy competition seems to be the goal.

    Any Oiler fan who gives their season tickets to Montreal/Vancouver/Toronto fans when they come to town should have their tickets revoked.

  90. doritogrande says:

    Any Oiler fan who gives their season tickets to Montreal/Vancouver/Toronto fans when they come to town should have their tickets revoked.

    Unless it's another of those "support the troops" nights. That's just a great idea.

  91. doritogrande says:

    Someone get Grebs his hat.

    Right.Now.

  92. danny says:

    Lubo reclaims his beloved right point on the PP. should be good.

  93. PDO says:

    Khabibulin lookin' good.

    Our PP can't seem to settle the puck down at all. Very scrambly play on the PP.

  94. doritogrande says:

    Holding, Montreal #36. that penalty is declined, repeat second….

    Hey….hang on a second…

  95. danny says:

    Sleemans Cream Ale

    An essay by Danny

    Sleemans Cream Ale is possibly the best beer on the planet. Cans not bottles.

    The end.

  96. spOILer says:

    Dorito, that's not the Providence game that's the Hartford game from earlier tonight, which I hadn't seen yet so thanks.

  97. doritogrande says:

    You know you're facing a team of smurfs when Visnovsky knocks you off the puck.

  98. doritogrande says:

    A penalty with Moreau in the offensive zone…

    AND HE'S NOT GETTING IT?!

  99. PDO says:

    One request for this PP:

    It starts with Visnovsky, Penner and Hemsky all on the ice.

    Please?

  100. PDO says:

    Gagner getting a shot on the #1 PP: Good.

    No net presence on the #1 PP: Bad.

  101. Lowetide says:

    Grebeshkov looked awful and then brilliant on the same sequence. Lordy.

  102. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Khabby is doing his best sponge impression

  103. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Man Vis looks a beauty when he dekes out forcheckers and speeds into the O zone..

  104. spOILer says:

    danny.

    To watch this game I'm pretty sure you have to be drinking in half pints.

  105. doritogrande says:

    Khabby is doing his best sponge impression

    Excuse me?

    He's been rubber on seemingly every shot before he's been glue for the second one.

    Also, Andrew Cogliano is one CUT motherfucker.

  106. doritogrande says:

    So apparently these new Canadiens aren't just shrimps, they're pansies too.

    Whatsamatter? Too tired to do your job in practice? Get up.

  107. doritogrande says:

    Comrie Snipes.

    Great heads up pass from Gagner.

  108. PDO says:

    What an outlet pass by Gagner… and what a rocket by Comrie.

    The smurfs strike!

  109. Lowetide says:

    Comrie (Gagner, Strudwick)

  110. pboy says:

    Mark Lee has yet to annoint Moreau as theCaptainethanmoreau yet. Maybe he needs to take a hooking penalty behind Montreal's net before he is so honoured…

  111. danny says:

    hes said captain ethan moreau a buncha times…

  112. spOILer says:

    I woudn't exactly call that a Comrie shot a rocket. Sweet placement though.

    Outshot 13-6, but I can't see the Corsi guys claiming 67-33 territorial advantage by the Habs.

    Hits really seemed to fall off there for a long stretch, as the Oil looked content to stick check like Les Canadiens.

  113. djhender says:

    hrudey givin' it to thecaptainethanmoreau

  114. Woodguy says:

    Oilers have been outplayed in every 1st period this year except the first game.

    Yet the come out with the lead again.

    Oilers doing a better job getting in the shooting lanes, but still getting outshot and outplayed.

  115. spOILer says:

    The captain is way more Kevin Quinn's line, although Lee will sy it too. Loubardias is just as bad with thecaptainjaromeginla on the Flamer broadcasts.

  116. doritogrande says:

    Hold the phone here. Comrie has 4 points in 4 games now?

    When did this happen? He's been invisible the first three games to my eyes.

  117. striatic says:

    Hrudey looked winded after operating that "smart screen".

  118. danny says:

    lol that 'smart screen' needs a few refinements. maybe a hand pad that he can switch/clear without walking to each 'button' on the bottom. it looks pretty awkward.

  119. pboy says:

    hes said captain ethan moreau a buncha times.

    But not with his usual reverence, Danny. When Lee or Quinn say theCaptainethanmoreau the right way, it's like they are trying to make love to the words…..

    Gawd, I hate Lee & Quinn. Is there no way Cuthbert can't come back to the CBC and do the late game?

  120. Dennis says:

    Rapid fire!!

    – What's everyone using these days for an online feed? I had a pretty nice one going from JustinTV but that's gonna be an easy feed to grab considering it's a HNIC feed. Where's everyone going these days that provides a consistent feed?

    - Habs had a strong start and that was an easy prediction give they got rolled at Van in their last game.

    - I had the chances at 5-6; Oilers had the last three chances.

    - 37's good, no doubt, but he plays the game like it's jazz and he's always putting in extra notes and riffs and he refuses to confirm.

    - I'm not convinced 91's goal didn't go off the D's stick. I know Comrie's tricky but something seemed off about that snipe.

  121. doritogrande says:

    Another frigging tip. I think even Khabibulin's starting to get scared of these. He wasn't even sure he had that between his legs.

  122. Black Dog says:

    A la Roi Dennis

    In Dennis King style for all of you Philistines and johny come latelies

    When the puck comes up Ryan Stone's wing he gets it out. He will have a job for a while if he keeps it up.

    Price played that Comrie shot like Legace played Talbot last year. Out of position.

    I think Montreal just isn't that good.

    Brule losing two consecutive draws that led to Habs' shots early in the period. Not so good.

    I like O'Sullivan. He's a good player. Strong on the puck. Good playmaker

    That is all. ;)

  123. spOILer says:

    Poor mudcrutch.

  124. doritogrande says:

    Something something something, turnabout is fair play, something something.

    Win a faceoff, get a tip, Jaques gets a stat.

  125. danny says:

    Tyler is cringing, somewhere.

  126. Kyle says:

    JACQUES!

  127. bookie says:

    Your reservation for the first line remains in place sir…

  128. PDO says:

    Did anyone else think Horcoff got a piece of that?

  129. spOILer says:

    BDHS, Brule was getting schooled on the dot in the first by a guy who know how to cheat well.

  130. doritogrande says:

    Fuck. Mark Lee just took two heartbeats off my life.

    I wonder if Horcoff didn't tip that too?

  131. Lowetide says:

    I bet money that Tyler calls McLean in a few minutes and suggests Horcoff had the tip.

  132. speeds says:

    PDO: that's what I thought as well, but I can't say I'm sure on that one.

  133. bookie says:

    Ok, now I get why they call him the Kabibulin Wall

  134. Woodguy says:

    Grebs sharing the acid with Gilbert.

    Khabby bailed him out there.

  135. danny says:

    Khabibulin is the most calming presence in net since Cujo. Even with his shaky start.

    The difference between making the playoffs for the 6th-8th teams is who has the best winning streak.

    Dennis called it, and I think Khabi leads this team to the promised land.

  136. doritogrande says:

    Holy shit. PATTYOLANTERNS!

  137. spOILer says:

    And PaddyO does light the lantern, finally.

  138. Woodguy says:

    Awesome forecheck by Stone results in Patio getting his first.

  139. bookie says:

    nice play by stone, hmmm, Quinn is a genius?

  140. Kyle says:

    Nice little pass by Stone there.

  141. doritogrande says:

    Lovin the little shit-disturber role we've got with Brule this year.

    Oh. What a step-up. I love, LOVE replays.

  142. PDO says:

    That hit was a thing of beauty.

    Should get us a PP too.

    Nice.

  143. spOILer says:

    In the return to form column… It's halfway through the game and Penner has no hits and no shots, on net or attempted.

  144. doritogrande says:

    Fair to say Hemsky's found his stride tonight?

  145. spOILer says:

    Lee is nowhere near as excited when the Oil shoot as when the Habs get a chance.

  146. spOILer says:

    And then proves me wrong.

  147. PDO says:

    Two posts on shots that cleanly beat Price… fer fux sake, just bury 'em.

  148. bookie says:

    I just did a Frame by frame review on the Jacques goal and horcoff did not touch it with his stick, but it may have hit his knee or something (angle does not show that).

  149. spOILer says:

    PP was still way too static till Hemmer decided to try the curls into the slot.

  150. speeds says:

    Weekes is mistaken. When the camera panned over section 216, I saw Stone selling 50/50 tickets.

  151. doritogrande says:

    I've only been an Oilers fan for the last 5 years or so. Is this what Oilers hockey was like before MacT took the drive out of it?

    Because I could get to like this.

  152. spOILer says:

    Jacques' 6th hit of the night was just a doozy, completely breaking up the Habs possesion in the Oiler zone.

    I sure hope Price continues to CuJo behind his own net.

  153. pboy says:

    I might have the beginning of a man-crush starting with Ryan Stone. The kids working his bag off out there and he's making things happen every time he's on the ice.

  154. doritogrande says:

    Hey, that's not #18. Who's fucking with the script?

  155. danny says:

    was Fleurys training camp a segment of his Book Tour?

  156. danny says:

    This is kinda like Ron Low hockey yeah.

  157. Steve says:

    Last time I saw the Oilers on HNIC i. they won, and ii. I got dumped during the second intermission. That penalty kill has me watching my phone nervously.

  158. Lowetide says:

    Jesus Steve. Call us, that's a two day bender right there.

  159. spOILer says:

    Steve, why couldn't you have taken one for the team and got dumped last weekend?

  160. danny says:

    LT, the oilers won.

  161. danny says:

    Steve, it could be worse. You could be Bob Gainey.

  162. Lowetide says:

    Danny: That's why it's a two day bender.

  163. doritogrande says:

    Fuck. Was that Hemsky trying to get cute?

  164. PDO says:

    Terrible turnover… what a rocket by Gionta.

  165. danny says:

    lol… gotcha

  166. Steve says:

    Brian Gionta just saved my relationship.

  167. doritogrande says:

    Oops, my mistake. Brule went "dancing" again.

  168. Lowetide says:

    Brule with the Moreau on that play.

  169. striatic says:

    this team needs to learn how to finish a period.

  170. Kristopher Milligan says:

    AHHHH

  171. Icecastles says:

    Wow, rushed home to see Edmonton's blowout. Got the feed just in time to see it made 3-1. Whoops. Almost 3-2. Looks like I'm going to be watching the wrong period.

  172. doritogrande says:

    Looks like I'll have to break out the retro Jets paraphernalia.

    Thank God for the Russian.

  173. spOILer says:

    Ahh, that's the keystone cops I remember. Is it near the end of a period?

  174. bookie says:

    I am a big fan of the 19:00 minute period and 57:00 game.

  175. pboy says:

    Brule is just a kid and that's inexcusable. That's what makes Staios' play even worse.

  176. Icecastles says:

    I am a big fan of the 19:00 minute period and 57:00 game.

    Brilliant. I see an unofficial team slogan in there.

  177. Kristopher Milligan says:

    My lord Datsyuk is sick

  178. Black Dog says:

    Really quite a good period until that clusterfuck at the end.

    Stone did everything on that O'Sullivan goal and Jacques doing what he has to do to keep his job, never mind the goal, hitting people at every turn.

    With Jacques its all confidence I think. I wouldn't be surprised to see him pot a few in the next little bit now.

    As for the Brule play that led to the Gionta goal (and where was Grebs on that anyway? even with the turnover it shouldn't be a two on one) and then the following shift it goes back to the end of last game. There are times where these guys just don't play very smart and they get burned by it.

    Its going to kill Quinn.

  179. pboy says:

    Penner has been really quiet tonight. Hopefully he gets something done in the 3rd.

  180. PDO says:

    Hemsky has been much better tonight, Horcoff too.

    It'd be nice if the latter could pot one so my blood pressure doesn't rise tonight reading "$7,000,000 AND NO GOALS!!!!!!"

  181. Woodguy says:

    Thecaptainethenmoreau must be giving Horcoff lessons on how to hit the goalie's crest when you have an open look.

  182. Icecastles says:

    anyone else loose the justin.tv feed? It was the best feed I've had in ages until it went offline.

  183. spOILer says:

    Lee sets a new record for the use of "steaming".

  184. spOILer says:

    Habs have done a good job of maintaining their full court press throughout the game.

  185. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Wow Moreau actually made a smart play in his own zone

  186. doritogrande says:

    Wasn't Hemsky absolutely livid last year that he was being used like a checker?

    Now he's blocking shots?

    Rat.

  187. bookie says:

    Quinn has Hemsky blocking shots…

    Wow

  188. Kristopher Milligan says:

    Good penalty for Hemsky

  189. Lowetide says:

    Well this is a huge part of the game here. A Mike Peca for center would certainly come in handy.

  190. danny says:

    from the game angle, Hemmer looked guilty as hell, but from the overhead, dude was holding Hemmers arm there. Tough call.

  191. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    BS penalty call on Hemsky

  192. danny says:

    LT, unless Mike Gillis possesses the body of Tambellini, you would be best serving your own sanity by forgetting about making any logical transactions. It aint happening.

  193. Lowetide says:

    danny: Well, Colorado and Calgary and Minnesota and Vancouver make trades that address need, why can't we?

  194. Woodguy says:

    Good kill by Grebs.

    Staios alone with the puck with 20 seconds left in PK 20 feet from the blue line and he can't clear it.

    Christ.

  195. Lowetide says:

    Our man Dustin is singing "Wake me up in Dreamland" again tonight, so we're at 2 games where he was sublime and two where he's just another guy.

  196. spOILer says:

    Good work on Georges by Stone there in our own end.

  197. doritogrande says:

    danny: Well, Colorado and Calgary and Minnesota and Vancouver make trades that address need, why can't we?

    *Ahem*

    Edmonton trades Mathieu Garon to Pittsburgh for Ryan Stone, Dany Sabourin and 4th round draft pick?

  198. danny says:

    LT. The answer to your question is… exactly?

    Lowes best year as a GM, consisted of waiting until the trade deadline to acquire a goaltender.

    I see little reason to hope the Malhotra screwup was an anomaly.

  199. Oiler_Kiwi says:

    First hockey game in HD here in Scotland. So much better. Just wish I could get another audio feed and mute Lee and Weekes. What a pair of clowns!

    Also wanted to thank Lowetide for a great blog and say hi to Dennis. Always look for your comments here and the scoring chances you do every game.

  200. spOILer says:

    Smid leading all D in ice time riht now.

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