Observations from Dennis

In the thread below, Dennis made some outstanding observations about last night’s game and the team in general. He also did tremendous work on scoring chances (posted on MC’s site) and between the post here (which I’m using without permission but am posting without editing the swearing, so he will probably agree to it) and those scoring chances there’s a very interesting insight from Dennis.

If you’re trying to get a handle on the 2009-10 Oilers, this is a fine place to start. Thanks to Dennis (in advance) for using his post in this way.

  • We can guess that what’s going on with the D right now is the org isn’t totally comfortable with 71′s (Visnovsky’s) in-game fitness and thus they are trying to let him find his game before they send him to tough-min duty.
  • OF course, the other thing is, other than 5 (Smid), every one of the current top six D have taken a crack at tough min so perhaps this group’s just fucking around and trying to find who they can or can’t trust.
  • Anyway, Neal was on 24′s (Staios’) ass all last night and monkeyed him constantly as the game went on and it could be a case of 24 having a bad night, Neal starting to show his oates, 24 showing that he’s on a pronounced downswing or some combination of the four.
  • The forwards are another kettle of fish because I really don’t have a handle on another line other than 27-10-83 (Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky) and most likely keeping 91-19 (Comrie, O’Sullivan) together. The return of 34 (Pisani) would help but he just seems to be in that stage where you should never count on him.
  • One last note on Khabby and please understand this is more of an observation than a guess at things to come. He’s already made five or six outstanding saves from in close – in particular in the third period vs Cgy and in the last 30 min vs dal – but yet he’s got the shit luck with own goals and deflections off his own guys. The good news, at least from my end, is the guy is fucking super-calm and I can see how that leads to streaks either way.

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62 Responses to "Observations from Dennis"

  1. Bar Qu says:

    I missed the game totally last night, but that seemed like a better summary than what was in the paper. Thanks for the insight Dennis.

  2. kanadienkyle says:

    I saw the game on Centre Ice and agree with the observations about Khabibulin. The own-goals should (?) stop, and if he can keep making those fantastic saves at close range, we should be ok. That kind of thing breeds a lot of confidence in the players.

  3. Bruce says:

    Good catch LT, that was an excellent comment from Dennis. I expect to see Penner up with Horc and Hemmer sooner rather than later, 10 & 83 have had two pretty horrendous games by my eye and Jacques has been no help at all. JFJ was a fish out of water last night, somebody noticed how he kept coming deep into his own zone including on the first Dallas goal which went off his skate. You get a winger trying to do the centre's job — especially the best defensive centre on the team for crying out loud — and trouble ensues.

    I was pretty impressed with the Visnovsky-Smid combo last night, they didn't get into much trouble and looked pretty sharp on the breakout. Not sure if it's the long-term answer — Vis is not exactly a third pairing kind of guy — but I think Smid will thrive with a partner who can both get him the puck in space or who can carry it out himself. (Read: Anybody but Staios.) It's tricky cuz 5-24 are the natural third pairing on this depth chart.

    As for Khabibulin, other than another last-minute adventure that caused my heart rate to surge, he does appear fairly composed in there, which is impressive when you consider all the shit that has happened in a short time. I didn't like the five-hole he left for Morrow's 4-3 goal, otherwise he was solid on those close-in shots on a night when there were a lot of battles being fought and lost right on his doorstep.

    Not a great game all told, but the win is the main thing. They're not always going to be pretty.

  4. DBO says:

    What is Dennis' blog again?

  5. Oilman says:

    Bruce, Khabibulin has been reminding me a lot of Fuhr in his first two games – specifically with the five hole goals he's been allowing. He's a little slow to close that spot. Maybe it's the mask that has me subconsciously comparing the two:o)

    Looking through some of his old game logs, he's incredibly streaky – going long stretches with .930+ SPs, followed by stretches of .850 play. But these first two games so far have been a lot of bad bounces against and he hasn't had me too worried so far. He's as composed as they come – impressive considering he gave up the 2 pack-a-day and a dozen coffee's routine a few years back. Most people who've kicked habits like that are bouncing off the walls with nervous twitches or have ballooned to 300lbs.

  6. Smytty777 says:

    Does JFJ get another game on line 1? He had a brutal effort last night, small sample size but he hasn't shown much yet in that role.

    Doesn't this make more sense? You still have size on every line.


  7. knighttown says:

    Great stuff from Dennis.

    Rarely do we get an opportunity to see someone lose it right in front of us but what Neal did to Staois was hard to watch. Sure he's got guts but his blocked shot total has long been a product of laying down in any and all chaotic circumstances. There were a half dozen pucks that squirted out from a Staois block and just missed the guy he left open. Bruce makes an excellent point about the combos…Staois should be 3rd pairing but that's a quick way to get Smid killed. Not figuratively, but literally. He will die of trauma if he has to handle those hand grenades.

  8. knighttown says:

    So is it consensus that Penner gets the promo now? I mean, the main reason to keep Penner off L1 is to get the balance and they're putting up 29 shots and 4 goals per game. Certainly Jacques didn't help but I will not blame JF for 10-83 going -13 on the shot clock through two periods.

    We're averaging 1 goal per game from EACH of lines 2, 3 and 4. I'd keep that rolling and tell H&H to get their heads out of their asses or Jacques gets replaced by MacIntyre.

  9. DBO says:

    Should we move Penner? He's always played better away from hemsky and Horcoff. And although he seems to get them to play better, wouldn't it make more sense to allow him to bring more skill and balance to another line? Quinn seems to like to roll 4 lines, and then play 3 in the 3rd. When pisani comes back, along with the captain, i wonder if this is what they'll go with.

    Stone-Pouliot (bye bye Nilsson and Macintyre)

    If we move a dman they'll try and fit someone else on the top LW.

  10. jdrevenge says:


    I'm liking Brules game right now.

    I think Comrie is better on the wing. I can't figure out if he's too small or not fast enough.

    Undecided on where Jacques and Pisani would fit on 3 and 4.

    Jacques seems like more of a north south guy than an east west. Not too much dimension to his game.

  11. kris says:


    Your Gagner line doesn't have muscle. The theory seems to be: every line needs muscle. (Not to say that should be, but that's what we're told is what they're after.)

    Maybe we'll get:


    Stone fills in for injured muscle, Nilsson for injured skill.

    Not sure how Poo fits yet. He certainly makes one of Stone Nilsson, or Brule expendable.

    They seem intent on keeping Brule, so either Stone goes down, or Nilsson goes out.

  12. jdrevenge says:

    I guess something to consider would be that Nilsson could potentially replace Comrie. Granted Comries been producing points but he is still invisible for most of the game. Which I suppose is better than giving the puck up all game like Nilsson. Tough call…

  13. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Yes, the calmness in net is a welcome sight, especially for a young team.

    It doesn't instill confidence in young D-men when your goalie is diving around at any hint of a player in his crease, tossing his helmet off, and running after the ref every time. The refs got tired of it and stopped calling the interference.

    Oh and I'm sure Quinn would have a heart attack on the spot if he saw his goalie hitting the puck out of the air like he's Roger Federer.

    Rollie was a chaos goalie. Good numbers, but chaos.

  14. pboy says:

    I really liked what I saw from the Cogliano-Gagner-Stortini line last night. Zog knows exactly what his job is and he takes care of business every night. You can't have enough guys like that on a team.

    If everyone was healthy I would run out:


    I'm definitely concerned about Staios's game right now. He really seems to be unable to complete a pass of any sort. Playing him on the 1st pairing can't continue much longer. Also, I thought Souray played much better with Gilbert last season, so I wouldn't mind seeing them being reunited. The only problem is, Smid looks like he might be taking his game to the next level and I don't know if pairing Staios with him won't stunt his apparent progress.

    I have nothing but respect for Steady Steve. He plays with heart, he will stick up for his teammates and from what I've heard he's a stand up guy but I thought he hurt the team more than he helped them last season and it looks like his game has slipped even further so far this season (I am aware it's early).

  15. PDO says:

    He's calm, absolutely.

    He really needs to start controlling the rebounds better though. Specifically eliminating them, but at least kicking them to less dangerous places.

    Morrow bounced it in off JFJ and got a lucky break, but there was no reason for Khabibulan to put that right on to his stick… and while he had no chance on the third goal, he had multiple chances to get a whistle prior to that goal…

  16. Kenny Powers says:

    jdrevenge: Where's Animal? He has to be in IMO.

    smytty: I see that you have the "4th" line listed as the 3rd. I thought that you of all people would know that any line with 46 on it is the 4th.

    knighttown: I agree completely with your second comment. We're seeing good things from the other lines. All three guys on the first played awful, but that won't last. Crazy Train still has some things to learn, no doubt, but I think trying to let him play out of it rather than a quick demotion is the best course.

  17. jdrevenge says:

    Kenny *

    I was watching the Stars telecast last night and they mentioned that huggy bear looks like Animal. I was laughing pretty hard about it. I love watching the ppvs on the american networks instead… IMO they have better color guys than we do up in Canada. With the exception of Ferraro and some of the other guys on TSN.

  18. Griffy aka J says:

    package cogliana and gilby for a DEFENSEman and perchance another face off man?

  19. Black Dog says:

    DBO – he used to write at IOF but has not in a while, now he posts his scoring chance stuff at Ty Dellow's (mc79hockey) and when we're lucky he'll write a little as well.

    Terrific writer.

  20. Kenny Powers says:

    yeah, that's a perfect nickname and i hope it sticks. I actually meant, where is he on your line combos?

  21. DBO says:

    we've talked about a few times, but man would Dan hamhuis look great here and fill out out top 4 perfectly. Unfortunately Nashville has cap space to re sign him. Anyone like Hamhuis out there that could be available? Chicago has cap problems next year, could you pry Duncan Keith or Brent Seabrook out of there?

  22. godot10 says:

    //Unfortunately Nashville has cap space to re sign him. Anyone like Hamhuis out there that could be available?//

    Because Nashville has cap space doesn't mean they have the money.

    The Oilers need a pair of trades. A forward or two to Nashville for Hamhuis, and a defenseman to somewhere for a solid defensive centre.

  23. CrazyCoach says:

    Sorry to see that the post about shift length has been removed. I found it quite interesting.

    I know that training and conditioning methods have changed considerably in the last 10 years. ONe fellow in one coaching session I went to remarked that hockey players are now being trained like football players, with an emphasis on short explosive movements and shorter shift lengths. Primarily the anaerobic lactic system. Quinn knows what he's talking about there.

  24. bookie says:

    We have the power!!!

    If LT bloggers wholehartedly adopt Animal to refer to Sortini, it will happen.

    Next we can take on world hunger, but first Animal!

  25. Rick says:

    I wonder if Stone would be a better option on the first line then Jacques?

    He does all the dirty work really well. I guess Jacques has more offensive upside eventually, but Stone could help that line now and keep Penner scoring away from H&H.

  26. Dennis says:

    Pat: Thanks for the compliments. I don't feel like they're deserved but I will accept them all the same;)

    LT: Thanks for this, I feel a little honoured considering that even the paid grumps bow at the feet of your blog!

    I really didn't think it was post-worthy when I tossed it out there, though; I was just waiting for the time to pick up my mother to take her to a doctor's appointment and wasted some time by spewing a few things that came to mind last night.

    24 has a little bit of a special place for me because I believe he was the first D the Oilers nabbed to start the list of defensemen that the club either robbed from orgs or polished once they showed up. And for awhile he was a bargain and he's always been all-heart so it was a bit jarring to see him being handled by a young buck like Neal.

    The Khabby thing comes from being impressed by how many saves he's made from 10 feet-in-and-further and by his demeanour when Principe interviewed him last night. CuJo was a competitor/acrobat and he was kinetic; Salo was a guy who could be made to cry and had low self-esteem and Roli always came across as a guy who played with a fuck-you sign on his back.

    But Khabby did the interview last night and this was after his first 85 min of Oilerdom that's featured three or four goals that went off his own men, a PK that's living up to it's infamy and, plus, he choked in the last min vs Cgy and then he allowed a softie to Morrow on Tues night as well. And you know what? It all didn't seem like a big deal to him. This is a guy who seems like he's supremely grounded and confident and comfortable in his own skin so that's why I think he's streaky.

    When he's going bad he always believes it will turn around and maybe it takes awhile for that to happen because he's stubborn and when it's going good, he doesn't get overly excited and that's why it keeps going good for such a long time.

  27. Bruce says:

    Sorry to see that the post about shift length has been removed. I found it quite interesting.

    CrazyCoach: I changed my mind and decided to post it here instead. Need to feed some of this stuff to my own blog occasionally. :) Sorry for the misdirection.

  28. bookie says:

    LT: Thanks for this, I feel a little honoured considering that even the paid grumps bow at the feet of your blog!

    All well deserved Dennis, but I fear that with all of the talk about advertising and 'opportunities' that LT may be mobilizing his instincts as a capitalist here – exploiting the labour of others. Pretty soon the whole blog will be outsourced to Indian Ghost writing mills and we will be reading about Stave Steois and Nicole Kharbhiboolain…

    It’s the commercialisation of Lowetide and the end of something beautiful….

  29. Bruce says:

    So here's another item from the Edmonton Journal instead:

    Regina Pats w/o Jordan Eberle

    1-4-0, 10 GF, 20 GA

    Regina Pats w. Jordan Eberle

    3-0-0, 22 GF, 7 GA

    Feel free to use copious exclamation marks in your comments.

  30. Alice says:

    Ok Bruce, that's all fine and good but where does he bring the Crust? Or are we /Just/ trying to win hockey games now? Bunch of pansies…., er, !!!!

  31. Bruce says:

    Without crust or jam, we're toast.

  32. Alice says:

    Now, some things seem to be agreed on lately wrt Quinn's lineup strategy. Big fellow on each line. Spread out some of the wealth (because there ain't a ton of it) hence Penner away from H/H

    What we've seen: JFJ experiment hasn't produced.

    So… Can we spread the wealth by putting Penner back on with Hemsky and moving Horcoff as a nearly-big man to another line?

    Penner Comrie Hemsky
    Cogs Horcoff POS
    JFJ Gagner Nilsson/Poo
    Stone/Moreau Brule Storts

    Is there something useful here?

  33. Smytty777 says:

    Kenny: Storts gets a rough ride, but he's got some useful skills, I too hope 'Animal' sticks.

    Now it is true that any line with me on it is definitely a 4th line, even if I'm on a rec. team running two lines.

  34. hunter1909 says:

    The Stars sure looked like an average team last night.

    The upside of the Oilers playing real hockey is, well, they're playing hockey the way my brain comprehends it. The downside is, it's also easy to see the team hasn't got an awful lot of talent.

    Two games by the Oilers stick in my brain as being perfect examples of Oiler hockey, the first being game 6 in the 2006 finals, when the Canes got their asses handed to them in Edmonton, and game 6(?) against the Hawks in 1990, when Oilers slaughtered them 12-5 or something, right before going on to whip the Bruins.

  35. Bar Qu says:

    I think that if the other lines are producing points right now, then it is foolish to monkey around with them to get Horc and Hemmer going. They should be good enough players to begin to get the points again, even with JFJ. I mean, we all know the talent is pretty thin, but if there is a formula that is having (limited) success, doesn't it make sense to keep with it?

  36. oilerdiehard says:

    On a side note.

    Gregor is saying Poo Poo re-aggravated his injury. He will likely be out another week at least.

    Moreau may be back in tomorrow night.

  37. grease trap says:

    Agreed Bar Qu.

    I have trouble believing JFJ is soooo bad that he alone can easily drag down Horc and Hemsky. After Hemsky's interview last night alarm bells started to go off in my head.

    In my own line of work, I'm not half bad, got my share of kudos and began to develop a sense of entitlement that immediately began to affect my output. Not that I noticed. I was pretty oblivious to my own shortcomings while readily observing the shortcomings of others who I *relied upon to get my job done!*

    Idiotic right? But I was younger back then.

    When Hemsky shook his head at JFJ's pass last night, I began to wonder if Hemsky isn't just dogging it a bit because he feels he's been saddled with crap. Don't the elite in any profession simply take a look at what they've got and make it work? How often do you get a Perfect Storm in life? Excluding that GlenX line a couple years back, well, basically never.

    If life hands you a pile of Jacques, then you make Jacques Soup.

    What you don't do is play in a snit because you don't have someone to playmake for.

    Then again, it could just be me, but when every other line is doing *something* you gotta stop and look at the situation. To quote a legend:

    "Is it me?"

  38. rickibear says:

    Regina Pats w/o Jordan Eberle

    1-4-0, 10 GF, 20 GA

    Regina Pats w. Jordan Eberle

    3-0-0, 22 GF, 7 GA

    As much as i found that stat intersest last night on WHL site.

    This one was just as nice.

    Top 5 in points Qmjhl.
    1. G. Levesque 10GM 17Pt
    2. P. Cornet 8GM 15Pt
    3. J. Audy-March.. 10GM 14PT
    4. A. Quesnel 10GM 14PT
    5. J. Hazen 11GM 14PT

    Cornet is third in goals with 7.

    Cody Hodgson is going to enjoy centering these two.

  39. Oilerpinoy says:

    If anyone wants anymore reasons to hate Gary Bettman, listen to this link. Bettman was on the Fan 590 today with Landry and Stellick.


    Bettman's a douche!

    Oilfan in Kitchener

  40. grease trap says:

    The gist of the interview for those of us mobile right now?

  41. Bruce says:

    I have trouble believing JFJ is soooo bad that he alone can easily drag down Horc and Hemsky.

    To my eye both 10 and 83 have Sucked of their own accord in the two games. Having Jacques running around out of position can't help, but it's more than that.

    After Hemsky's interview last night alarm bells started to go off in my head.

    Grease Trap: I missed the interview. (PPV?) What did he say?

    I share your concern about Hemsky's occasional attitude of entitlement, he doesn't hide it particularly well when things aren't going well. There are times I wonder what his teammates think of the guy. Shit like he pulled last night is no different than a goalie throwing up his hands after a goal against and showing up his defencemen; maybe there's something to it, but it's not very professional.

    And when his linemates keep going offside over and over and fucking over, at what point will Ales figure out that they're just (trying to) drive the net while he's making that extra dipsy or that extra doodle one foot outside the blueline. Has happened at least 3 or 4 times this season already.

    @BDHS: Sorry if I seem overly critical (again). But I hold our better players and team leaders to a higher standard, and in theory Ales Hemsky is our best player. A little less attitude and a little more action would be very welcome.

  42. Woodguy says:

    Penner Comrie Hemsky
    Cogs Horcoff POS
    JFJ Gagner Nilsson/Poo
    Stone/Moreau Brule Storts


    I agree with the 10 for 91 swap.
    Driving back from the game I was thinking 91 might be a better fit for 83. He certainly goes to the soft scoring areas more efficiently than 10 and is always ready for a pass.

    I was a big proponent that 12 get a good hard look before being cut loose, but I think the Oilers could lose him and not skip a beat. He lost almost every puck battle he was in last night.

    12 & 89 are smaller than 12 and they did well in that area against the same guys, so its not a matter of size, but a matter of effort.

    For a guy playing for his job, he just didn't seem that interested.

    When (if) 34 gets healthy, I think 19, 10, 34 is a very usefull line that doesn't need a big man.

    So you'd have:

    13-89-46 (46 looked good there)

    32 and 22 should get enough ice time with injuries etc. 33 can be waived.

    All 4 players on the 4th can move up and down the lines as need for injuries as well.

  43. jesse r says:

    Without crust or jam, we're toast.

    This is the best sentence I've read in a while.

  44. bookie says:

    I too am wondering about Ales…Is the boy upset about not having an elite winger?

    I can kind of understand it as the guy made a commitment here, probably with management saying something like "we will get someone who can one-time the puck for you" and has failed to do so ever since.

    Such a promise might be one of the reasons the team has tried so hard to get a sniper. that and the belief that Hemsky would be 100+ player if he was out there with Heatley…

  45. DBO says:

    from practise today:

    Quinn had Horcoff, Hemsky and Moreau together, O'Sullivan, Gagner and Jacques together to form the top two lines. Nilsson, Brule and Stone on the next line and Strudwick Comrie and Cogliano making the last line.

    Done because of some missing guys, but if you just put Penner in for Strudwick, and Animal in for Nilsson. i wonder if those are the lines tomorrow night.


    And staios didn't skate with his bell rung, so you may see Strudwick in on d.

  46. Master Lok says:

    If the other three lines are succeeding, then I'd say to leave the lines as they are. At least give them another couple of games, we are only two games in.

    If Comrie – O'Sullivan can deliver some of that preseason promise, and Gagner continues to be the best 4th line centre in the NHL and Brule – Penner continues to score, then that would take a lot of heat off the Horcoff-Hemsky duo…

  47. Bruce says:

    Bookie: Ales can't possibly be questioning that the team tried to get him a sniper. They didn't just go the extra mile, they flew to fucking Kelowna.

    If anybody has reason to be pissed, it's Penner, Cogs and Smid. Judging from last night — when those guys were 3 of our ~5 best players, while Ales rather definitively was not — those guys have dealt or are dealing with the issue in a positive and professional manner.

    Still 83 wound up being the hero somehow, even when he fanned on his shot. Sometimes things just work out, esp. when you got his kind of talent oozing from every pore. It's still only half of the big equation though (Talent + Application = Success).

  48. Bruce says:

    If Comrie – O'Sullivan can deliver some of that preseason promise, and Gagner continues to be the best 4th line centre in the NHL and Brule – Penner continues to score, then that would take a lot of heat off the Horcoff-Hemsky duo…

    A good linemate would also take some of the heat off of them. Based off of last night I'd rather see Nilsson than JFJ up there. Yeah I know all about the size and room thing, except it wasn't happening. Row-bert at least can play with the big boys on the talent front.

    I'm not saying I would make that change next game, but JFJ has to be put on notice that being great in camp and brutal in the regular season is definitely NOT the formula of success. He's already at Strike Two by my measure.

  49. Rick says:

    Oh geez. Please don't put Strudwick at forward again? I thought that experiment my MacT was proven a failure.

    He should be starting opposite Smid. Either Staios needs to take a game or two off or Viz needs to get his wheels back.

  50. shepso says:

    Dammit, I totally thought I was being creative…I just put up a post on my home site (http://bringingbacktheglory.blogspot.com/2009/10/so-this-is-new-year.html) talking about Zorg as Animal before coming by here to read the day's comments. Shit. Oh well, I put up a good picture to demonstrate it.

    (And no, this isn't a shameless plug to increase my readership; I just think anyone that cares will like the pics)

    Interesting practice lines… tomorrow could be fun!

  51. Black Dog says:

    Dennis – ah its true though; I'm always happy to pimp a member from the old gang but in your case its oh so true

    Bruce – are you Reggie Jr. or Fever4Falmes? Sometimes I wonder ;)

    Hemsky has not done much yet but I do believe that he will be fine as will Horc, sounds like they are both battling minor aches as well, not to make excuses but well, maybe I am. ;)

  52. Bruce says:

    Who the hell is Reggie Jr.? I ain't fever4flames, in fact the last (only?) time I intereacted with that turkey was when I corrected his math over at MC's place the other day.

    I hope and expect both Horc and Hemmer to come around; what I would like to see in the meantime is a little less pique and a little more leadership. If that expectation makes me an infidel, so be it.

  53. HBomb says:

    Christ, Moreau with Horcoff and Hemsky?

    I hope that's simply out of necessity because of injuries – he's an even worse option than JFJ for 1st line LW.

    Guys I'd rather see on LW with 10/83 than Captain Stupid:

    Penner, Jacques, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, O'Sullivan, Comrie, Pouliot, Brule

    Ok, basically anyone not named Stone, Stortini, or MacIntyre. That says it all.

  54. HBomb says:

    Oh yeah, add Pisani to that list of "I'd rather have so-and-so on 1LW than Moreau". Obviously.

  55. Lowetide says:

    Bruce is right. Stortini for MVP!

  56. docweb says:

    OK wait a sec while get on my soapbox…

    Steady Steve out with his bell rung? And played the whole game? The same guy that was made to look like a fool by Neal, playing with half a brain?

    How many concussions does it take until these guys get the drift or alternatively seriously jeopardize someone's career?

    The only concussion handled well that I remember was Poo. He was obviously concussed, taken out,rested, but was back and playing well again soon (stop laughing).

    This is not the SCF. Again…if in doubt keep him OUT!!

    OK, I'll climb back down again. Sorry

  57. Dennis says:

    18 on the top line?

    Well, I'm glad I don't care as much as I used to;)

  58. Bar Qu says:

    You're right docweb, anyone can see that concussions need to be taken seriously (witness Stoll's career pre and post concussion). I hadn't heard Staios' bell was rung, and if that was the case, then there is NO reason that he should have kept playing the game – including because he said he was fine. Players should not get to make that call at all.

    And Bruce, the Hemsky thing just doesn't fly with me. I don't question your right to question his determination or ethic, I just don't think that is the case. Not having seen the game I can't argue definitively, but I can say that he has been experimented on more than Dr. Frankenstein's monster and I am sure that he is sick of it. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at least until game 10 anyways. I am sure that he will be back to his point a game ways soon enough (regardless of the piano he hauls around the ice with him as a linemate). ;)

  59. Yeti says:

    Before anyone gets too carried away with those line combos from practice, here's what Quinn said about them:

    "Today was a result of a few guys missing. When we came to practice there were a couple more that I didn't anticipate so we sort of mix-bagged it to give people a chance to work with someone else."
    Quinn commented after practice.

    "Pouliot seems to have reinjured himself, Penner needed some work, Staios had his bell rung so I don't know where that's going to be yet, a couple other guys had some pulls and that sort of thing. That was more the reason for the line changes today." he said.

  60. Black Dog says:

    Oh Bruce, Bruce … ;)

    Just yanking your crank pal.

    I'm pretty sure that I read, on Copper and Blue, I believe, that Quinn said Penner is going to play with Horcoff and Hemsky.

    So start there and then try and figure it out I guess.

  61. Bruce says:

    Dustin (the Fixer) Penner is probably the answer. My observation is that he makes whatever line he's on better. Unfortunately he will have to leave another line weaker. It's like playing whack-a-mole … too many "almost-real NHLers", not enough Pisanis and Penners to fill all the holes.

    If that's true — and certainly it was in the third last night — Quinn got to Strike Three on JFJ even faster than me.

  62. Bruce says:

    And Bruce, the Hemsky thing just doesn't fly with me. I don't question your right to question his determination or ethic, I just don't think that is the case. Not having seen the game I can't argue definitively,

    Well I barely saw it myself, on a shitty Internet feed. The trouble with playing in a city like Edmonton is that your every move gets watched, some of them by hockey nuts like me with aging eyes and shitty Internet feeds who try to read something into everything.

    What I saw appeared to be Hemsky showing up a young teammate, and I wasn't impressed. Just one little thing, and probably JFJ deserved a little flak for making a poor play, but I don't think that kind of thing is really good for a team. Moreau got (rightly IMO) shat upon many times last year for hanging his younger teammates out to dry, and I don't see this as being a whole lot different.

    but I can say that he has been experimented on more than Dr. Frankenstein's monster and I am sure that he is sick of it.

    He winds up with the best centre and the best LW and the best defence pair most of the time, it seems to me. He's not the most adaptable of players, unfortunately.

    I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at least until game 10 anyways.

    Fair enough. I'll try to STFU for awhile. But I'll be watching.

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