Canucks at Oilers, G8, 09-10

Jean-Francois Jacques made his NHL debut on February 2nd, 2006. 6 shifts, 4:31 time-on-ice. It was a veteran lineup, even the 4th liners (Todd Harvey, Marty Reasoner) he skated with had a lot of experience. This was the team that went all the way to G7, SCF later that spring.

Other notable forwards that night were Ryan Smyth, Michael Peca, Radek Dvorak, Georges Laraque, Raffi Torres, Jarret Stoll. The only current Oilers who played up front that night were Horcoff, Hemsky, Pisani and Jacques.

On October 10, 2009 JF Jacques scored his first NHL goal. Ales Hemsky did a mini-Denis Savard curl and bounced it off the boards to Ladislav Smid. Smid sent a seeing eye single through the ether that looked like Shawn Horcoff tipped and Jacques definitely got wood on for the score.

It was his 64th game in the show and he didn’t have a goal, which was close to a record. I think we need to factor in JFJ’s injury history to the “hands of stone” storyline that keeps popping up in regard to his offense.

First liner? Hell no. However, there are skill elements in his game and the big man has added three assists since the goal (4gp, 1-3-4 E since 10 October). I don’t think he’ll spend a lot of the season on the 1line but that’s not the most important element he’s bringing to his 09-10 game. The secret ingredient? JF Jacques is healthy.

The Canucks are on a bit of a roll right now and despite one of the piss-cutter twins being injured I’m not comfortable this will be a win. Kesler looks like a nightmare again, Jesus in pads can’t possibly play this badly against the “gang that couldn’t shoot straight” Oilers and it looks like Hemsky’s illness may take him out of the lineup again.

The Oilers are led offensively this season (so far) by Dustin Penner, Gilbert Brule and Mike Comrie among the forwards and on the blue by Denis Grebeshkov and Lubomir Visnovsky.

The important elements on defense are Horcoff (faceoffs and PK), an all hands on deck blue and by the “so calm he looks like he’s in a coma” Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes.

Will they win? Hell if I know. It’ll be fun though. Go Oilers, and it wouldn’t kill you to knock off a loonie on the beer. Sheesh.

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328 Responses to "Canucks at Oilers, G8, 09-10"

« Older Comments
  1. Jonathan Willis says:

    Bar Qu:

    And Staios isn't the kind of guy who the team needs to play injured to begin with.

  2. kris says:

    When will Gagner not look 12?

  3. Woodguy says:

    Been watching 12 closely every time he's on the ice. Especially away from the puck.

    Plays like he just doesn't give a shit about anything.

    Sag to see with all thaty talent.

  4. Bar Qu says:

    I know why Hemsky's looking weird this year! Penner has been channelling his chi.

  5. Bar Qu says:

    Smiiiidddd

  6. CrazyCoach says:

    I remember Rusty Tyler using this line on Goldberg the Goalie in Mighty Ducks 2 and it fits with Kyle Wellfed: "If that puck was a burger you wouldn't have missed it!"

  7. Black Gold says:

    Oil hitting again.
    I like it
    Even chorney threw one.

  8. kris says:

    Chorney looking strong with the hit.

  9. spOILer says:

    Oilers are really attacking the posts on Luongo.

  10. kris says:

    Smid.s SV%: 1.00

  11. CrazyCoach says:

    Man I love seeing Khabby's inner Fonzie out there.

  12. spOILer says:

    Mel!!!

  13. spOILer says:

    Oilers are probably missing Brule and Stone a bit in the Hit Column.

  14. kris says:

    Every game the Oilers don't get their shot totals up is a bad sign.

  15. kris says:

    Jacques hasn't looked good to me all game.

  16. Alice says:

    Vis you can watch just for the looking.

  17. Black Gold says:

    GAGS!!

  18. Lowetide says:

    Sudden Sam!

  19. Ty says:

    GAGNER!!!

  20. CrazyCoach says:

    Alright Sammy G!!!!!!!!!!!

    LT, see what I mean about stroking the ego.

  21. kris says:

    Jacques looked good and I take back what I said.

  22. jon k says:

    Seeing Jacques go to the net there definitely made me chuckle. He's full value for an assist on that goal.

  23. FlamingPavelBure says:

    I don't think JFJ ever touched that puck…

  24. spOILer says:

    JFJ has been a wrecking ball tonight.

  25. Alice says:

    I for one am glad not to see daniel Sedin for the next 9min. It will be bad enough ~

  26. Black Gold says:

    I don't think he's paid to touch the puck. haha.
    ;)

  27. Ty says:

    Some insurance would be nice here, boys…

  28. Black Gold says:

    Protecting a one goal lead, I don't know if I'm happier D.Sedin is hurt, or Staios.

  29. Alice says:

    Penalty? FFS,

  30. CrazyCoach says:

    Ouch don't like to see that. NHL players need to learn how to do up their lids properly.

  31. Alice says:

    When Hemsky got dumped in the neutral zone. How blatant does it need to be to get a call against Van in the 3rd period?

  32. kinger says:

    Luongo would be a lot easier to cheer for if he took the theatrics out of his game.

  33. Black Gold says:

    Penner just had a hell of a shift.

  34. spOILer says:

    Shadow of Hemsky playing tonight.

  35. CrazyCoach says:

    ok Paddy Quinn. Get Strudwick off the ice. NOW!

  36. CrazyCoach says:

    Yeeha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. spOILer says:

    Unbelievable.

  38. Ty says:

    All I can say is What the Hell?!

  39. Bar Qu says:

    The hockey gods smiled.

  40. boopronger says:

    hemsky had a terrible game.

  41. Oilmaniac says:

    So who wants to talk about trends.. im not liking the one that is on all our minds right now…

  42. CrazyCoach says:

    If if if John Shorthouse. If your auntie had nuts she'd be your uncle!

  43. gary b says:

    jeesus.

    well, i guess it's a good sign if we can win a game when half of our players appear to have their skates on backwards.

    Vish, Chorney, Smid, Khabby and Penner were all-world. kinda falls off after that.

  44. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky shouldn't have played, but he did play despite being (from what we're told) sick as a dog.

    If he was a Canadian kid, it would be all about heart. But since he's from Padubice, it'll be about how selfishly he played.

    Double standard there, folks.

  45. William says:

    Thank goodness it came after the bell rung, but how the hell does Fatty Tofu Wellwood skate uncontested into the zone and go for a deke on our goalie when we're protecting a one goal lead?

    And I know he's sick, but really, Hemsky HAS to start burying those empty netters.

  46. hunter1909 says:

    Oilers win in timely 1960's Leafs fashion, beating Canucks in their own silly 2-1 and hope to win style of being a div franchise since 30 + years and counting.

    More important is their new 5-2-1 record it's over 100 point hockey, so they need to keep playing in the timewarp of Pat Quinn.

  47. jon k says:

    Hemsky looked gassed most of the game but have to give him credit, he got jobbed twice on no calls by refs.

    Visnovsky seems to be having some problems finding his accuracy after the shoulder surgery. Hopefully it comes back. Horcoff might be an example where it doesn't…

  48. hunter1909 says:

    Vancouver Phantoms should become their new name lol.

  49. Alice says:

    Did hemsky not get tripped on the EN breakaway? That was 3 pretty blatant easy calls, the facewash, Hemsky neutral zone and Hemsky dumped going in. It'd be easier to take if they weren't calling them the other way.

    but we'll take it, no?

  50. Jenga says:

    Was it just me or did Vancouver totally own the Oilers in their own end. Oil had some great rushes but could never get setup as well as the Canucks did. Thanks Khabi.

  51. pboy says:

    Hemmer was playing with the flu so you have to give him so credit but he had a chance to change with about 45 seconds left and he chose not to. Both Horcoff and Penner got off but he stayed on and I think it cost the Oil an insurance goal. Selfish play but he got bailed out by the clock.

    Penner was a monster IMO and I was really impressed with Chorney. He really doesn't look out of place. I liked what I saw from Peckham last year, so the future of the Oiler D looks bright. Khabby was really, really solid.

  52. spOILer says:

    And I know he's sick, but really, Hemsky HAS to start burying those empty netters.

    Oh my god, I think we can let him off the hook for tonight's miss. He looked like he was skating through quicksand all night, and the Van Dman made a great desperate diving stick sweep to fortunately knock the puck away.

    Not to mention, other guys had the puck over the centre line too.

  53. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Embarassing, Hemsky! This guy is lost right now. You take the shot at the empty net as soon as your over the f'in red line. He has to know there's defender breathing down his neck!

    Then he lays on the ice like a Euro would and watches Vancouver go the other way.

    I hope Quinn rips him a new one. I don't care if he's sick that was brutal.

  54. hunter1909 says:

    Jenga: Quinn's already got them practising for the playoffs.

  55. hunter1909 says:

    Quinn's seeing Hemsky traded in that Kovalchuck package.

  56. pboy says:

    LT

    If Hemmer was from Canadaville, Alberta and his Dad was a wheat farmer who made his own maple syrup whose wife baked cookies shaped like Mounties and beavers , he still should have got his ass off the ice when he had a chance to change.

  57. Lowetide says:

    Since we're all still buzzing a little after that finish, a question:

    IS Taylor Chorney this good?

    Because I don't know if they can send him back. Seriously.

  58. kinger says:

    Hemsky shows real courage for just being on the ice tonight. He deserves your thanks, not your criticism.

  59. boopronger says:

    smid played unreal imo. Smart plays with the puck no chaos and that fine block to save a goal.

    I dont really understand the Grebs love over at HF. Hes got great offensive instincts, but defensively he still looks like MAB. Bad bad giveaways in his own zone.

  60. spOILer says:

    Chorney saw protected minutes but handled them well.

    Cogs had 2:49 on the PK and created a great scoring opp.

    Oilers are still struggling against the full court press type teams. Tremendous number of giveaways tonight.

  61. CrazyCoach says:

    LT you are so right about your Hemsky statement. Don Cherry is a prime example of that last year when he defended Kyle Wellfed for being Porky PIg, yet never once mentioned how Alfredsson came back from knee surgery is just 10 days.

  62. Lowetide says:

    spOILer: Yeah, they didn't keep their heads on the breakout very well and it cost them early and late.

    And agreed on Smid. He's going to have a devil of a time staying healthy unless he starts getting his stick up and defending himself but that aside he belongs in the big leagues.

  63. Alice says:

    Hard to believe the coins dropped so quickly w Chorney, but what are you gonna call it, beginners luck? He looked great. Struds can PB when they find Souray's nose.

  64. spOILer says:

    IMO too, Smid was the story on defense. There were times he bailed Vis out by handling two guys behind the net. Was tough in the crease. Couldn't be driven wide on. Made smart plays with the puck, whether outletting by pass or by safety bounce. Took hits to make plays. Lugged it well.

  65. striatic says:

    Chorney has to stay. I don't know who moves to make room for him.

    Souray comes back, Strudwick goes out.

    That leaves Staios hanging.

    If Chorney is the real deal, and he looks to be, i think the Oilers have to start thinking about trading a defenseman. Possibly Staios.

  66. quain says:

    Chorney has the worst Corsi rate on the team and hasn't had a positive scoring chance night yet.

    If we keep him up I'm going to assume we traded Chris Pronger for him.

  67. Dennis says:

    A few things on a few things:

    - I had the chances at 18-22 so while the Oilers came out on the wrong end – Again – it's not like this was a performance like last Wed at Van.

    - Khabby's rebound control can be maddening but the guy's really composed in the goal and it elicits likewise confidence from this fan.

    - 10-83 were outchanced again but, like the man said, 83 really took one for the team tonight by suiting up. It was either him or SMac and he stepped up and that's a plus in my books.

    - 12 had the least amount of EV time and he's just here until 34's ready to come back, I believe.

    - I wonder how things are gonna end for 91 this time around? He took a couple of lazy penalties tonight and I get the feeling Quinn's only tolerating him in the interm. The guy still thinks the game well and gets in the right position but I just can't see him sticking around for the full season in the top 12

    - 27 made a couple of plays tonight that were very very impressive. He did sort of have an in-between game where he wasn't great but he wasn't awful but that's an improvement from last year.

    - I am looking forward to OTC's post-game presser because I can't imagine he's happy with the Oil throwing up a no-hitter and once again running around in their own end when trying to hold a lead.

    Finally, I didn't like it when Buck Martinez spoke through his nose at me back when I was a teenager and I don't like it now either. I also hate that laugh that sounds like he used to smoke 2 packs a day. Of course I can still stand him for Mr. Super Old Timey Rick Sutcliffe and it's only a matter of time before Fox breaks out Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

    And if you were an Expos fan, you were obligated to hate anyone that sprung from the lions of Skip Carey and Chip will never give you a reason to reconsider that dictum.

  68. kinger says:

    It may be a bit early but Chorney's curve looks awfully similar to Gilbert's. Back in 06-07, Gilbert had a nice little run before getting caught with his head down by Jody Shelley. Admittedly, during that run Tom looked a little bit overwhelmed, similar to what we saw out of Chorney last season. Clearly Tom had more success in his first full AHL season, but he was also on a significantly better team.

    I think it's obvious that Chorney has improved over last year in the strength department; he no longer looks over matched by opposing forecheckers. Perhaps he has turned the same corner Gilbert turned in 07-08.

  69. Showerhead says:

    Dennis: I agree across the board. I like your "watch the whole period, comment after" style. Maybe you're too busy making your tickmarks but I know when I avoid the distractions I pick up more within the game too.

    I think my issue of choice this year is going to be Edmonton's ability to clear their zone. If they ever get that one right I'll upgrade that issue to Edmonton's ability to run a successful breakout. Too much running around, too much half-assed/one-step-behind stick swatting, and not enough bollocks so far from where I sit.

  70. Lowetide says:

    Broxton is filthy. Rollins should hit the first pitch, its the best he'll get.

  71. spOILer says:

    Phantasmic Phillies.

  72. Lowetide says:

    Phillies. Nice win. Dodgers shouldn't break up that team this winter, though. That's a lot of talent in in the cluster.

    Martine Gaillard. Yes. In a heartbeat.

  73. Showerhead says:

    I hope this Chorney love, premature in my mind but seemingly infectious tonight, is as accurate as the Gilbert love I also found premature in his first stint with the big club. I don't mind being late to the party as long as the beer is flowing and the women are plentiful (and not infectious!) when I get there ;)

  74. William says:

    Chorney looked good and in his defense, he's been paired with Strudwick who will drag down anybody on the Corsi/SC charts. He can still do with some more seasoning down in the A, but good to know he can at play at this level.

    And re: Hemsky – yes he was sick & manned up to play, yes he got mugged a few times, and no I don't want to trade him. That said, he shouldn't have been on the ice for an extra-long shift at the end of the game especially given his condition (whether Quinn put him out or he chose to stay on after his linemates skated off). And it was a sick poke check by Edler, but Hemmer had a chance to shoot instead of trying to dangle to the net.

  75. Dennis says:

    I forgot to make the notation but there was a play in the 3rd period when 22 was still flanking 10-83 and that line was on the ice and hemmed in their own zone. First, 10 had a chance to clear the puck but he lost the battle and then the same thing happens to 22.

    So, the Van player walks down the left wing and sends it cross-crease but 43 had done a great job of locking up his check and the guy doesn't get his stick on the puck. Anyway, I just wanted to throw that out there to give him a little bit of love.

    Not sure what the Oil are gonna do or should do with 43 and 41. When both 24-44 return, then whomever you keep out of 41-43 is gonna be the 7th Dman and does it make sense to keep Chorney in that role? I don't believe, so; nor do I feel he's playing well enough that you couldn't send him back for more seasoning.

    The good news is that today he looks like a 3rd pairing guy who won't kill you but I'm not prepared to lay money on much more than that.

  76. Lowetide says:

    Khabibulin's SP went from .898 to .912 in one night. That's some saves.

  77. striatic says:

    Re: Chorney, he's not the second coming, but right now he's outplaying Strudwick and i think he's been outplaying Staios.

    if he ends up being "only" as good as Gilbert i'd be happy, and he gives the Oilers some options if they're looking to make a trade.

  78. PunjabiOil says:

    I'll keep my comments short:

    1. Another player in LT's game day picture, another good performance.

    2. POS has 7 points in 8 games, and a +5 rating. He's quietly putting a good season.

    3. I love Horcoff, but at some point in time he needs to start connecting the one-timers and putting offensive numbers. Still early though – he'll rebound.

    4. Dustin Penner has shed away from this nickname, "Dustbin Penner"

    5. I'd like to see Pat Quinn tighten the bench in the 3rd. They had Moreau/Stortini/Cogliano out with about 5 minutes left and Vancouver got a good chance out there.

    In addition, why was Cogliano taking a defensive zone face-off with 10 or so seconds left late in the first?

    6. What Gilbert needs to do in the final rush is just hold Wellwood and take the damn penalty. That was too close and could have simply been avoided with a penalty with a couple of seconds left.

    7. Outshot again, but I thought the Oilers for the most part, limited good scoring chances for the Canucks. Getting the puck out of the zone still is a bit of a problem however.

    8. I eagerly wait Patrick LaForge's responses to my queries at connect2edmonton.com

  79. Dennis says:

    And maybe the really good news is that our D would be passable-to-good next year with both Peckham-Chorney and that means you could really start to clear out some of the expensive wood.

  80. quain says:

    Chorney looked good and in his defense, he's been paired with Strudwick who will drag down anybody on the Corsi/SC charts.

    Strudwick was +2 tonight in Corsi, and 4/3 in SC… Chorney was -6 for Corsi and 1/5 in SC.

    Off the top of my head, Strudwick rates about 70% for Corsi, Chorney about 50%. Strudwick is a clear 7th defenseman, but Chorney isn't outplaying him.

  81. Lowetide says:

    Quinn: Talked about confidence and controlling the puck, breakouts. Felt they got stronger as the game went on in this area.

    Pretty good hockey game, goalies played well.

    "We are a team that has that low threshold still, we need to get by it." Beauty quote.

    "We wanna be better in our own zone and we will, eventually." Another one.

    Talked about tortoise something, then mentioned Penner had a helluva game. They weren't related.

    Talked about Brule's illness, then mentioned Gagner out of the blue (think he meant Brule. Damn French names, why draft these people?).

  82. Lowetide says:

    More Quinn:

    Stone: MRI tomorrow.

    And now my feed dies.

  83. Phil says:

    An inspired Dustin Penner = Rick Nash.

    Khabbi has made several cross-crease saves this year that really stand out because he doesn't flail across and make the flashy glove save. His anticipation for that play is outstanding. His rebound control, on the other hand…

  84. William says:

    Dennis – agreed. It's been 5's emergence that has made any of this possible. If this were last year and we lost 44/24 at once, we would've been gonzers.

  85. boopronger says:

    on another note, (and i know its early), Ryan Smyth is three points away from a tie in LEADING THE NHL IN SCORING.

  86. William says:

    Quain: I'm not suggesting 41 > 43 at all. I just imagine if 41 was paired with 71 instead his numbers might look better. Although I am surprised at the discrepancy in their SC/Corsi numbers. Was Strudwick run out with someone else at EV at times tonight?

  87. Chris says:

    Chorney has looked okay thus far. Still green and all that but he hasn't looked entirely out of place which is always about all you can reasonably expect for a rookie.

    Smid however, seems to have arrived. Still a small sample size but he seems to be making a lot of smart plays to my eye. Maybe MacT was holding him back – although it could always be that not playing with staois reduces that amount of terrible situations he finds himself in.

  88. hunter1909 says:

    boopronger: I'll take that bet.

  89. PunjabiOil says:

    Some other thoughts

    - Smid has taken the next step in development. I'm confident when he is one the ice this year. He's assertive and carrying the puck in confidence. Really nice to see the fruits of your labour. He will make Staios a redundant asset.

    - Stone being gone isn't too big of a loss. Brule will replace him for the time being, and Pisani's minimum 10 game (or 21 days) is about to end on Wednesday.

    - Chorney has looked, at least to the eye, good recently. I'm content with keeping him up, though sending him down and gain another year of experience would not exactly be discouraging either.

  90. spOILer says:

    Chorney just looks so damn small out there. I can't imagine him ever being more than a #5 guy and PP specialist. He's years away from being a Visnovsky and that's assuming he ever gets there.

    Gilbert has always had his size and reach on his side.

    That said, Chorney is looking like he can cover the bottom of the roster hole and more cheaply than Steve Staios. There's no point in him sitting in the PB though, so more than Struds would have to sit eventually.

    Question is, when and how do you pull the trigger on a trade? Who's going to go?

    Grebs or Gilbert, and move Vis into the hole?

    Vis, but then that's a massive contract to unload and we'd need some value coming back but can't take on more salary than we're giving either..

    Staios? Move Vis beside Souray? Not an easy contract to deal either considering the player at that price.

  91. PunjabiOil says:

    Maybe MacT was holding him back – although it could always be that not playing with staois reduces that amount of terrible situations he finds himself in.

    Or alternatively, he's just progressively becoming a better player, and took a step forward this year?

  92. Dennis says:

    LT: Yeah, I'm listening to the presser and he's talking about 83 being an unexpected dress and then all of a sudden he's talking about gagner being a surprise scratch and I'm thinking "what is going on here."

    Later on he was talking about the breakdown that lead to Wellwood's near goal and he admitted – in mid sentance no less – that he forgot it already.

    I think this will happen more than once this year:)

    I found he was super positive given his other pressers, though. Maybe he was told to tone it done a little or maybe he just realized how long the process might be.

  93. Lowetide says:

    Chorney isn't Gilbert, agreed on that. Gilbert is a terrific player, a complete player. I don't know that Chorney will be a 4 or a 5 (I don't really understand these numbers) but Gilbert brings more to the table than Chorney has in his kit.

  94. Lowetide says:

    It's too bad October points aren't worth the same as March points. Oh well.

  95. PunjabiOil says:

    Those HF clowns are all over Hemsky on the empty net goal.

    I haven't watched the replay, but initial thought was he was just tripped?

  96. Lowetide says:

    PJ Oil: He had a chance to score if he shot right away, but the odds of the D making that good of a play (I think the Canuck blue got puck before the trip and that's the standard) aren't high.

    It's a silly reason to rip Hemsky, but whatever floats the boat.

  97. spOILer says:

    For surviving this heart-stopping victory, I think I going to reward my heart with a wee sip of Sortilege. Wonderful stuff.

    Tastes like Christmas in your mouth.

    Which has been a very useful phrase, btw.

    I heard it from a girl who heard it from Pat McLean.

  98. Hoos says:

    LT: Quinn's reference to the tortoise was with respect to the team's tentative play when playing good teams. He thought the Oilers got away from their game early tonight just like in the game against Chicago. He had another gem (that I'm paraphrasing):

    Sometimes when you play hard you're going to make mistakes. But that's okay; even good teams make mistakes.

    *Sigh* He's like a grown up Don Draper.

  99. PunjabiOil says:

    It's too bad October points aren't worth the same as March points. Oh well.

    You always make me laugh with your hilarious one-liners.

  100. PunjabiOil says:

    Stauffer thinks Staios is 2 weeks away, while Souray a month. Yikes.

  101. Chris says:

    They're going to miss Souray.

  102. PunjabiOil says:

    Then again, Stauffer isn't a doctor and concussions are difficult to predict. Hemsky missed 11 games I believe last year – we could be looking at something similar (6-7 more games).

    Or not.

  103. spOILer says:

    Don't know if you caught it LT, but Quinn ended with:

    4 or 5 guys showing flu symptoms. No practice tomorrow to give players a chance to be away from each other, get over symptoms. Tomorrow was supposed to be a work day but not no more.

  104. Forain says:

    So I was at the game tonight, my first in person actually, and I overheard a couple of guys chattng behind me. So after a play by Hemsky, guy 1 says to guy 2 he says, "Hemsky? Haven't we traded him yet?" Guy 2: "Trade him? Why would we do that. He's still our best player." Says Guy 1, "Well… that's true." Classic!

  105. spOILer says:

    PunjabiOil said:

    5. I'd like to see Pat Quinn tighten the bench in the 3rd. They had Moreau/Stortini/Cogliano out with about 5 minutes left and Vancouver got a good chance out there.

    In addition, why was Cogliano taking a defensive zone face-off with 10 or so seconds left late in the first?

    Quinn has tightened the bench in the 3rd every game this year.

    And tightening the bench further isn't that easy when you're missing Stone and not playing Nilsson.

    It involves not playing Comrie, which he rarely has in the last 5 minutes of any of the games.

    As for the Cogliano FO, I'm not sure which one you're talking about. Horc took the last two FOs in the 1st, the last FO in the 3rd with 1:48 left, and the second last FO in the 2nd (Gagner took one with a second left on the clock after the penalty call.)

  106. PunjabiOil says:

    Party sure dies down quickly at LT's after a game. We must be getting old.

    Flu's can be a terrible experience. Had one that started and lasted 1 week before a 6 hour exam on July 3, 2009.

    Literally no energy to study and the NHL draft, combined with the Heatley saga for 2 nights in a row. Needless to say, I almost failed my first exam in academics since grade 8.

    The win is nice, however you can't help but let Stauffer's update on the Souray/Staios injuries adversely impact your mood – at least a little bit.

  107. PunjabiOil says:

    So I was at the game tonight, my first in person actually, and I overheard a couple of guys chattng behind me. So after a play by Hemsky, guy 1 says to guy 2 he says, "Hemsky? Haven't we traded him yet?" Guy 2: "Trade him? Why would we do that. He's still our best player." Says Guy 1, "Well… that's true." Classic!

    Sometimes the funniest conversations/jokes are simple.

  108. spOILer says:

    Replay of game starting for those who missed out.

  109. spOILer says:

    Rypien is just too much to handle for anyone near his weight class.

  110. spOILer says:

    Gilbert and Grebs with an absolutely awful shift on the Nuck goal.

  111. PunjabiOil says:

    Quinn has tightened the bench in the 3rd every game this year.

    Was it not Strudwick on the ice with 20 seconds left?

    As for Cogliano, I remember clearly he was taking a face-off near the end of the first. Perhaps I mis-read the jersey number.

  112. spOILer says:

    You were talking forwards. But yes it was. The other 4 reliable guys had just taken the previous shifts and we had possession of the puck outside of the zone with 20 secs left. His prior shift before ended with 1:48 left. And other than 30 secs at the five minute to go mark, that's all he saw of the ice in the last 8 minutes of the 3rd.

  113. Woodguy says:

    Just got back from the game.

    Drunk idiot female Canucks fan spilled beer and me, yelled the word "fuck" about 3 times a minute, then dumped her pizza on my coat.

    Fortunately her friend finally got her under control after every person within 4 seats kept complaining about her and the "security" (approx. 52 year old woman with severe weight problem who got winded coming up 8 stairs)warned her.

    My seats are almost right behind the Oilers net in the 1st and 3rd, 3rd row up in the blues.

    From that spot I get to watch the Oilers break out from a great vantage point.

    Except for the gong show that 37/77 put on for the Van goal, I think the breakout problems when they are hemmed in are mostly due to the forwards.

    The set up seems to be basic with the forwards high on the boards, but not close enough to the defence to be checked. The center lower in the slot cheating to the side of the puck for a good short pass to take from the zone.

    Many times the defenceman would get the puck in D zone and the Center and wing would be very close together and close enough to the D for the D to pinch or disrupt the play from behind.

    The winger and center being so close together seemed to confuse the Oiler defensemen because they would look up and not want to shove the puck into coverage, so they would hold it too long and get checked.

    Conversely, they would pass it at the winger anyhow, and the winger would get checked immediately by the Canuck defenceman because he was playing up too high.

    I don't think the wingers were low enough. They seemed to get lower as the game went on and the breakout improved.

    Horcoff was one of the most guilty as centermen because he often was right next to the winger, not allowing to winger to give him a quick pass to exit the zone, and the Canucks would bottle them up again.

    It seems like Horcoff is immediately coming to the winger for puck support, but he should be heading for open ice in the middle for the pass. Perhaps one of the "bad habits" that OTC wants his players to break?

    Other thoughts….

    Smid is now a man. He was physically handling everyone. Great positioning, good paitience, not easy to beat at all tonight.

    After the 1st period 77/37 made some very,very good crips outlet passes on the tape of breaking wingers. Very smooth and few times they looked like Red Wings coming out of the zone.

    The Oilers neutral zone back pressure scheme is getting executed better as well. The Canucks weren't entering the zone easily unless the Oilers were changing. This goes for the PK too, great neutral pressure.

    The winger on the PK was standing between his own blue and red when the Canucks were getting organized in their own zone with the center applying the forward pressure.

    Then as the Canucks hit their blue, the winger would press in from the side with speed forcing the play to one side of the ice. The center would already be back covering the middle and cheating to the pressure side, and the pressure side defenceman would stand up at the blue line,pinching the attacking players into one spot and creating turn overs.

    It worked very well all game and after I noticed it, it was fun to watch it develop on every Canucks break out.

    I think these guys are well coached and when healthy and more comfortable with the system, will win on a good enough clip to play in May.

    Even with a 2-1 game where the Oilers weren't great it was still a much more fun game to watch than any MacT coached last year.

    I like these Oilers. Anything can happen.

  114. PunjabiOil says:

    Horcoff takes a lot of abuse on Facebook/HF Boards/Esksfans these days. Here's a thread from facebook with a friend (great guy and all, but I clearly disagree with his sentiment):


    Person 1: Horcoff is by far the worst first line center in the NH

    Me: He's in a bit of a slump. He'll rebound.

    Person 1: rebound to what? mediocrity?

    Me: He does the little things well. Face-offs, drives possession, plays against tough competition (opposing team's 1st liners). He may be a little overpaid, but still a useful player on the Oilers. Gagner/Cogliano/Comrie would get murdered at even-strength playing his role.

    Person 2: 7 million this yr…. im with person 1 on that one….nasty by far just nasty….as for takin face-offs…i cant say much but he should shift change after he wins the draw….i can put a one timer home from hemsky on a wide open net to….

    Person 1: sorry [me] i dunno which horcoff you have been watching for the last two years, but since he had shoulder surgery he has been terrible!!! drives possession? are you joking? i have never seen a player on the oilers lose the puck more in the offensive zone and kill all momentum than him, its absurd that you would even defend him, i thought you knew hockey bro!
    and elias the funny thing is horcoff misses those one timers on the regular, i feel bad for hemsky playing with that guy!

    Me: Horcoff was +7 last year, best among Oilers forwards despite playing the toughest competition AND starting on the defensive side (own zone) of the ice nearly 200 more times then the offensive zone [Given the Oilers had little options for face-offs]

    http://www.behindthenet.ca/2008/new_5_on_5.php?sort=7&section=zonestart&mingp=&mintoi=&team=… Read Morehttp://www.behindthenet.ca/2008/new_5_on_5.php?sort=7&section=zonestart&mingp=&mintoi=&team=EDM&pos=F

    I agree he has never been the same offensively since his shoulder injury, and he is missing chances, but he's still a valuable part of the team even when he's not scoring goals. Offensively, he will turn things around (his shooting percentage based on career averages indicates it will go up).

    Person 1: i dunno man, how much does datsyuk get paid? and how many points does he get a year average? and how many times has he won the selke? if horcoff is so good defensively shutting down the other teams top line, then i think he should be a checker on the third line and let some of the more talented players on the oilers get the huge ice time that horcoff wastes!

    Person 2: horc is a solid checking center…they should be paid 3 million max

  115. spOILer says:

    Quinn made the comment that the Horoff line was struggling with Sedin and Bieksa till he put Penner on the wing in the 3rd, so I checked into when that happened.

    If you all recall, the 3rd opened with Samwise and Hemmer on the same line. Horc was between Comrie and PaddyO. Then after a couple of shifts the lines reverted back to "normal". The lines were gettin jumbled after Stone went down. Cogs played with a ton of different forwards.

    Penner didn't actually appear on Horc's side till the very first shift after O'Sullivan's goal. And then scarcely left it.

    I don't know if that was about protecting the lead, or the injury jumble, or a just a helping hand to a sick Hemsky and hobbled Horcoff facing the toughs with a green JFJ.

    Horc went 3-3 on FOs with Penner there. He was 4-14 otherwise.

    During that time, JFJ was skating with 89 & 19.

    Can we do it all the time like this now please?

  116. Rod says:

    PunjabiOil said…
    Pisani's minimum 10 game (or 21 days) is about to end on Wednesday.
    —–
    Except that it's 10 games AND 24 days, according to FAQ at NHLSCAP). If that's correct, the earliest Pisani can return is the 25th vs. the Canucks. Has there been any word that's ready / healthy enough to return by then?

  117. spOILer says:

    Nice post, Woodguy. In the first, the Oiler forwards looked like they were cheating too high on the breakout, making their turns at the blue line rather than the circles. Horc and Hemsky were guilty of it their very first shift, but got away with it.

  118. Bookie says:

    PJ – When you are discussing Horcoff and someone mentions his $7million salary, its clear that they are too clueless to understand the basic functioning of salary under the cap and as such should be ignored.

  119. PunjabiOil says:

    Has there been any word that's ready / healthy enough to return by then?

    No word, though I do question whether he was hurt enough to require being out of the line-up for a minimum 10 games. I believe he was put on the LTIR to delay roster decisions.

    On CTV late news today, they showed Staios skating this morning, indicating he could be back soon. However, CTV noted that Souray isn't well enough to begin exercising, so looks like Stauffer may be correct.

  120. spOILer says:

    The 2-4-1 Preds have 10 goals so far on the season. Even the Oh-fer Isles and Leafs have more. The 1-6 Wild have 5 more.

    How long can they wait before doing something, even with an internal cap?

    They missed out on Rob Schremp Hockey. How about a little Rob Nilsson Hockey?

    Or would they go all the way and take a Briere-like contract off someone's hands?

    Maybe pick up a one year Frolov for cheap.

    C'mon, aren't there any teams that want to play Bob's Your Nilsson?

  121. Bookie says:


    If he was a Canadian kid, it would be all about heart. But since he's from Padubice, it'll be about how selfishly he played.

    Some people have Doncherritious – it affects the ability to process thought.

  122. spOILer says:

    Upcoming sched:

    A red hot Columbus team here on Thursday, BoA Saturday night at the Saddle, Van again in their barn and then Colorado, Detroit, Boston next week.

    That's a stretch of six games where it's going to be difficult for this team to hit .500.

  123. spOILer says:

    And PaddyO Lanterns' shooting percentage leaps to 10.5. Keep'er there, laddie, keep'er there.

  124. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Punjabe said:
    "6. What Gilbert needs to do in the final rush is just hold Wellwood and take the damn penalty. That was too close and could have simply been avoided with a penalty with a couple of seconds left."

    Punjabi, This drives me crazy. I don't care if it looks "non-sporting". With that little time left you do whatever is required to get the W, illegal or not.

  125. Bruce says:

    Both Gilbert and Moreau played that last rush as if they thought there wasn't enough time. Fortunately, that proved to be the case. They sure as hell did nothing to stop or even slow down Wellwood. Gilbert looked like a friggin' pylon for goodness sake.

  126. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Yah Bruce,
    You'd think they would have learned to play to the final buzzer by now.

    How many time have they been scored on in the dying seconds of a period in the last few years? 5, 6 times for sure?

  127. Dennis says:

    If 44's out for another month, he'll be one more minor injury away from wasting the second of his first three years as an Oiler.

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