I Hear the Guns, Fernando….

We’re hearing now that Fernando Pisani could play sometime this week and there are whispers about his playing on Saturday afternoon in Boston. The one thing we don’t need to worry about is the coaching staff finding someone to take out of the lineup. There are a few men who are ill, and a few more who are ineffective.

I think it is very important to talk about what we can expect from Fernando. As Oiler fans know, Pisani is pretty much an icon (photo) and we’ll cheer him when he’s in the beer leagues.

However, it’s not certain how much Pisani will be able to contribute. He had an ineffective training camp and last season’s numbers (although he was playing in difficult circumstances) were off by a little. Fernando is a free agent after this season, and should he return to health and effective play–and the club takes a dive–there’s a chance he’ll be dealt at the deadline.

His value to the Oilers (and to another team) is uncertain because of lost injury time over the last couple of seasons. Can the Oilers count on Fernando Pisani to mentor another generation of Stoll’s and Torres’? Can he be part of a ‘Horcoff shutdown line’?

We don’t know that. We’ll be cheering though, Fernando has long since earned that from all of us.

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44 Responses to "I Hear the Guns, Fernando…."

  1. Black Dog says:

    'There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando'

    Plus a goal in G7 and nearly another to tie it.

    Plus the two goals in G6 against the Wings.

    There was John Druce and Chris Kontos and there have been plenty of others but I can never remember a guy like this going on a run comparable to Pisani's. Except for the middle of the final when he was hurt a little the guy just plain scored for two months. Can you LT?

  2. LMHF#1 says:

    People forget who should have been the playoff MVP if he'd managed to pull us through game 7. Getting that many playoff winners overshadows even the efforts of that huge all-world defenceman we had at the time. It's a shame his efforts weren't rewarded with a ring.

  3. Doogie2K says:

    Someday when I have a little more money I'm getting the jersey I bought in '05 crested with PISANI 34. That's the jersey I wore all Cup run, it has to be that way.

  4. godot10 says:

    Pisani had a bad back in training camp, so there was a reason for his poor play there.

    I don't think Pisani (and Stone) are enough to solve the Oilers problems up front.

    Moreau is done. Comrie and Jacques have a lot of limitations.

    I think the loss of Souray might make the Oilers a lottery team.

    That might not be a bad thing. I could live with a rebuild.

    I think Khabibulin would be tradeable to a contender at the deadline. Chicago and Detroit and Philly and San Jose all may need a goaltender.

  5. quain says:

    I, for one, welcome our decade-long rebuild that includes constantly signing/trading for old guys.

    I need a drink and a bullet.

  6. Sean says:

    I'm worried about Fernando's effectiveness when he returns. 18 has been a nightmare this year, I'm not sure I've seen the play not die on him all year. Both players had about 2 years off due to injury and Moreau is just a year older. Pisani is a smarter player whereas Moreau relied on speed/compete so maybe its a different comparison. But we may not see 2006 Fernando again. Lets hope I'm wrong.

  7. Conan says:

    That picture brings a tear to my eye. So close…it still hurts.

  8. jdrevenge says:

    Didn't he take that shot on a broken wrist. Talk about a laser. Man that guy was something else during the run. He made me hurt my hands from clapping too hard. *tear*

  9. Kish says:

    The thing with Moreau is, I'm not even that mad at him anymore for his poor play. Its just kind of awkward. I'm embarrased for him… and I think he is, too.

    And, Cog's body language looks amazingly frustrated. Even in beer league it would kill me to never get a pass from a linemate, and when I pass to him, it seems to always ends in a turnover or a spin around wrister from a bad angle that the goalie easily catches or misses the net and clears the zone.

  10. Racki says:

    Quinn wants 4 lines that can score, so I don't see him going with a "shutdown" line. Fernando does have ability to score.. or once did, anyways, so who knows. He could be effective. And I had once thought a Moreau Horcoff Pisani line would be a good veteran line, but it doesn't go with Quinn/Renney's new systems. Plus 2 of the 3 have been horrible offensively (and Moreau has not been Moreau at all this year) and one was injured for a while, so that doesn't make sense now anyways.

    I think for now, they should evaluate who has ability to contribute now and for the long term. So far I have question marks about a few of the players, and I'm sure Quinn does too. But you would have to think that Pisani deserves his chance to perform in the same environment as everyone else: grinder + playmaker + sniper (and I use the term sniper pretty loosely with out team).

  11. Steve says:

    Quinn wants 4 lines that can score,

    I have to think that right now he'd settle for one.

  12. Phil says:

    (OT a bit)

    That might not be a bad thing. I could live with a rebuild.

    I was thinking last night of an LT post during the past season. It may have been a GDT (a Colorado GDT?), I don't remember exactly.

    Anyway, in the comments of that post, LT you said something to the effect of "Watch, Colorado will suck for all of one year, draft Tavares, and be back at the top".

    Well, dammit if you weren't almost exactly bang on. They're far from a cup contender, but probably have more blue-chip building blocks than Edmonton at this point, and they sure looked good last night.

  13. CrazyCoach says:

    Nice post on Pisani LT. That's a wonderful picture. My buddy phoned me shortly after with Abba blasting in the background and said that goal was getting us to G7.

    Pisani may have lost a step due to injury, but his real strength lies in the fact that he has incredible read and react skills (some call it hockey sense), which do not deteriorate with age. Players like Pisani have a great ability to adapt and adjust to any situation.

    Guys like Moreau get up in the morning, look in the mirror, see the tightness in the waist of their shirt and go to work acting like nothing is wrong even though everyone around them can see the obvious. Guys like Pisani, see the same thing and buy a new shirt.

  14. grease trap says:

    I just don't get all the hand wringing.

    I said it a couple days ago and I'll say it again:

    It's the flu.

    Seriously, the bi-polar lemmingfreud just amazes me sometimes. Good to see LT isn't jumping on the bandwagon of Sky Fallers.

  15. doritogrande says:

    They're far from a cup contender, but probably have more blue-chip building blocks than Edmonton at this point, and they sure looked good last night.

    Thing is, though, that they're all playing in the NHL already. Right now the only thing separating them from the 2007-08 Oilers is Craig Anderson.

    Quinn wants 4 lines that can score, so I don't see him going with a "shutdown" line. Fernando does have ability to score.. or once did

    Tandem Pisani with Horcoff and O'Sullivan and (on paper) you should have a bit of both. Horcoff's still a good passer even though he's lacking finish this year, and both Pisani and Lanterns have plus shots.

    Of course, this leaves Comrie to play with the dregs, but you let him become the powerplay guy that we seriously need.

    After watching the Vancouver game and the third of last night's Colorado game I'm starting to question our "vaunted" coaching staff and their pre-game work. They were shooting into the Avs lanes all night long. That's why you pre-scout. To learn tendencies in defensive coverage, among other things. Our players can't do much if they're being out-coached.

  16. grease trap says:

    Any team that plays against the Oilers in the past 5 days is going to look All World. They're thinking slow, moving slow and feeling like sh!t, what else would you expect? And to hear that Smid has been muscling it out with the frieaking Swine Flu?

    To be in the game at all without being completely blown out of the water is a huge victory as far as I'm concerned.

    Just watch the next couple games: more jump, better passes, etc. It may not translate into wins but they will at least be real games.

    I don't know about you guys, but when I have the flu, that's it. Lights out, I'm useless. I can't imagine showing up to work and giving it my ALL three times in four days.

    Kudos to these guys. At %50 or less they're playing as good as they did last year at this time.

    I mean….wow.

  17. Scott Reynolds says:

    Thanks LT. Very reasonable take on Pisani that keeps expectations manageable. I know I'll be cheering for him to succeed this year. More than anything I just hope he gets into enough games to earn his pension. If I could have one more wish it would be that he retires an Oiler and, if not, that he's dealt to the Kings since that's the team I'm going to be cheering for in May. Wouldn't it be fantastic to see he, Stoll, Smytty and Greene all lift the Cup together. If he does go to L.A. they would have as many guys that played for the Oilers in the Spring of '06 as the current Oilers would.

  18. godot10 says:

    Souray isn't the flu. The Oilers aren't going anywhere this year without a healthy Souray.

  19. Sean says:

    And the team hit hardest by the flu is the one owned by a pharmacy company …

  20. doritogrande says:

    Seems the Capitals might have a bit of an H1N1 epidemic on their hands also. Per TSN.ca, Quintin Laing's got the flu too.

    http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=296367

  21. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Pisani – I know he's a favorite in these parts, but at this point he's just another forward who won't be at 100%. Even if he was 100% his game has been on the downslide since 06 because of health issues.

    Of course he's an upgrade on half of the forward group, but I don't see him being a difference maker. He's being thrown onto a bad forward group following a subpar season and preseason. What would make you think there will significant improvement in his game?

    How did Mac T put it? Rarely is the cavalry coming.

    Sigh.

  22. Bruce says:

    both Pisani and Lanterns have plus shots.

    I don't get where O'Sullivan's shot is a "plus". Sure he gets lots of shots, he currently leads the club with 36, but only 2 of them have found twine. As an Oiler (31 games now) he has scored all of 4 times on 95 official shots plus who knows how many that have missed the target. His career Sh% is just 7.4%; as an Oiler, just 4.2%. Last night's effort was pretty typical: 4 shots, 2 misses, 2 that were blocked, and Zero goals.

    As for Pisani he does have a bullet shot but has a pretty slow release. He has never averaged as many as 2 shots per game in an NHL season. When he does find room to let 'er fly he has a decent Sh% (career 13.3%).

    All that said, I don't mind the idea of 19-10-34 as a tough minutes line, I just wouldn't anticipate gobs of goals.

  23. CrazyCoach says:

    Grease Trap I agree with you wholeheartedly. Too many chicken little types in here.

    Maybe this outbreak is a blessing in disguise. This is the second wave of H1N1 and many health experts are saying the third wave will occur next March. The virus will work its course through the Oilers and once you catch that virus, you will never catch it again. Maybe just maybe by March a mini pandemic will work its way through other NW division teams.

  24. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    On POS, his PP time is driving me crazy. Wait for an opportunity kid. Giving an easy glove to a goalie sacrifices possession. With the time it takes our PP to get setup it pretty much kills the shift. He needs to get off the PP and instructed that no shots from outside the top of the circle. Then I could get behind him as I enjoy the rest of his game.

  25. kinger says:

    RE: Grease_trap and Crazycoach's chicken little comments.

    It's one thing to get pessimistic when your team starts losing, it's another to be pessimistic when your team is winning and losing. I'm pretty sure most of the people writing about the team's problems have had the same misgivings all season.

    Reality check friends, even when the team was winning they were doing it in an unsustainable manner. If anything, the 'locker room' based analysis of why this team was doing well was shortsighted and reactionary (the sky isn't falling and I know why).

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

    hopefully the flu leaves soon because it makes the oilers not score, pass really poorly, take bad angle shots, not get out of their zone,..

    the hockey gods are pricks. pisani is proof of that. hopefully gene hasn't been working on his colitis puns.

  27. CrazyCoach says:

    Reality check friends, even when the team was winning they were doing it in an unsustainable manner. If anything, the 'locker room' based analysis of why this team was doing well was shortsighted and reactionary (the sky isn't falling and I know why).

    True very true and I bet Katz is talking very diligently with Mike Illitch to do a complete team swap, ala Peter Pocklington right this very minute.

  28. Brett Gee 英 明 says:

    On another note, if you haven't seen it yet, Lebrun had a nice little chat with Penner over there on ESPN's NHL page.

  29. kris says:

    The sky isn't falling. It fell a few years ago.

    We're still hoping someone will put it back up in the sky.

    I'm pessimistic that it will happen now for the same reasons that I should've been pessimistic in the past.

  30. CrazyCoach says:

    The sky isn't falling. It fell a few years ago.

    We're still hoping someone will put it back up in the sky.

    You know a wise old coach once told me that life was like watching TV and that we in life have the remote. If we don't like what we see, turn the channel or turn it off. Simple as that.

  31. Smytty777 says:

    What do people think of Randy Jones on re-entry waivers? He would be about a $1.35M hit to the cap.

    Given the cap situation I don't think it is feasible, and I don't really know if he is a solid NHLer or not (200+ games, but I've never really seen him play). Is Jones good enough to be a 6th dman in the NHL?

  32. Lowetide says:

    BDHS: No, I don't recall a run like that one by a single player. Frank Mahovlich and Yvan Cournoyer had big playoffs when I was young but that was expected.

    Later, Butch Goring had a beauty spring for the Islanders. That might be a comp.

    From our own Stanley's, I'd nominate the entire Kid Line from 1990. :-)

  33. Black Dog says:

    I remember Goring but he was a known commodity as an offensive player, no? I mean relatively speaking.

    Fernie has always been the good soldier, here's hoping he has a good year.

  34. Bar Qu says:

    You know a wise old coach once told me that life was like watching TV and that we in life have the remote. If we don't like what we see, turn the channel or turn it off. Simple as that.

    Sorry, can't let this pass. How's that working for the 80% of the world that doesn't have enough food or clean water?

    It is a typical "Oprah" fluff statement that drives me nuts.

    If there is a problem, it needs to be fixed. But the thing that drives us nuts is that it is not in our power to do it. Which is why we turn to fan-bases like this to vent our spleen in a constructive fashion.

    I mean, I can't buy any fewer Oiler tickets now than I have in the past 5 years (zero) so I don't even have the boycott option left.

  35. kris says:

    You know a wise old coach once told me that life was like watching TV and that we in life have the remote. If we don't like what we see, turn the channel or turn it off. Simple as that.

    That's a nice sentiment CC.

    But even though I like the "you can turn the channel" part, I found the "you can always turn the tv off" part a little too Camus-ish for my tastes.

    On a related note, I wish Moreau would turn the TV of his career off and Nilsson would change his channel to ESPN, or at least off of Lifetime.

    :)

  36. CrazyCoach says:

    BarQu believe me, the hockey rink was my refuge back then, so it is more than fluff to me.

    Kris I hear ya there. Maybe we could get Moreau to watch a Peter Puck clip on penalties.

  37. Bar Qu says:

    CC that comment came across to me as a kind of 'if you don't like life re-make it the way you want it' which to me is drivel.

    But if you meant it some other way and I offended you, I sincerely apologise. I don't come on here to give offense to anyone.

  38. CrazyCoach says:

    No offense taken. I really need to put my writings in better perspective I guess.

    I just know that I am disappointed with this team right now like a lot of people. I just wish they could get their poop in a group and have some consistency and success.

    What do the Red Wings have that the Oilers don't?

  39. Dennis says:

    I can't access last year's BTN numbers but I was wondering how 34 did last year in terms of real plus/minus?

    I know Scott has my chances numbers logged but I remember 34 having a rough start but finishing strong.

    I don't think he'll ever be worth his contract but I do believe he was a plus player again last year and he's probably gonna score ~15 goals and hold serve while he's on the ice; and most likely against top six opp.

  40. chartleys says:

    It's hard to believe we are completely shocked about outcomes here. Before this all started mentally we're prepared for a cusp playoff team.

    Comfort should be taken in the fact out of the gate we aren't actually sunk and playing cusp playoff team hockey. We started losing when the body count started piling up but it was still just a matter of time really. Wait until we actually have some semblance of the roster back that was full steam ahead.

    I for one would rather muddle through another year and be hoping we are shipping out older contracts come deadline time….unfortunately that will not happen and the cogliano+ for frolov type deals are the more likely scenario. (Shrug)

    I almost hope it happens because cogliano for some reason seems to be a coaching enigma and by now be more than ready for a transfer to full time winger duty. To put a scorer just screaming for an outlet pass with thecaptain is still and will always be the most absurd thing you could ever do.

    Softer minute, weaker defender killer just spinning his wheels.

    Every time I tune in and watch our line up on the power play, I question the soundness of our coaching staff a little more….Stortini (love the guy) on the pp….attempted multiple times…??????

    To my actual point, regarding this post:
    I said it elsewhere but I'll say it here as well. I believe we should have a home and away lineup that is different.

    Home: 1. Pen – Gag – Hemsky (softer minutes)
    def Vish/Smid
    2. Osullivan – Horc – Pisani (top comp)
    def Gilb/Grebs or bottom pairing

    Away: 1. Osull – Horc – Hemsky (prolly matched against harder comp)
    2. Pen – Gag – Player X

    Defence depends…

    In both cases I keep Penner with gagner and would actually have Penner taking draws and swapping positions after.

    At home with last change the Horc line should saw off their best and be more focused on shut down. I use gilb and grebs as needed but also bottom pairing to try and allow Gilb/Greb some ice time with our 3rd line looking for cogs and co on the stretch passes. Even with the bottom pairing that line should be able to tread water defensively while the Gag line should be able to run over/out manouever the 2nd best. Between the pk and chasing zetterberg around that line sees very limited PP ice.

    Away, let the other team have to choose which way they want to play it. MOre than likely they run out the best versue Hemmer leaving Gags and Penner to softer comp.

    Defence will depend on which way the teams approach the lineup with the better pairing backing whatever line is facing the stiffer comp.

    Sorry for the long windedness LT…

  41. Scott Reynolds says:

    Dennis – Over his last 20 games (post-injury) Pisani was +74 -85 (46.5%) at EV chances. That's not a very good number but it is an improvement on what he had done earlier in the year (+44 -66 in 16 games).

  42. Dennis says:

    Thanks, Scott.

    One last thing, well, two actually;), what kind of comp was he facing in that stretch, roughly, and who were his teammates?

  43. Doogie2K says:

    Also, Scott, how did that rank amongst the Oilers' forwards? They were outchanced at EV last year all around, weren't they?

  44. logical thinking says:

    Pisani can not play a full season anymore. His hockey career is near over.

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