Oilers at Flames, G10, 09-10

This is Frank Mahovlich. The Big M. Mahovlich was a unique combination of size, power and speed and easily one of the finest players of his era. Howie Meeker loved him, saying Mahovlich played the game as it should be played (as a young man, the Big M would race down the ice, belt the puck carrier, grab the puck, skate for a while, get belted, get back up and do the same thing over again) and until the Leafs traded him Frank Mahovlich was pretty much adored by English Canada.

They used to say “don’t wake up Mahovlich” because the best you could hope for is that the big man would become uninvolved , and that drove his coach (the redoubtable Punch Imlach) crazy. Imlach was an ass, cruel, nasty, vicious and small-minded. He would mispronounce Frank’s name on purpose to the media (“I didn’t like Mala-hov-ich’s game tonight”) and several accounts have the coach scheduling two-a-day’s so that the big M had to stay in the city between practices.

When they traded Frank Mahovlich, all the air left the Toronto Maple Leafs. They’d won the Stanley in spring 1967, but Frank had some ulcer/stomach problems and ended up in the hospital so Punch traded his ass to Detroit. English Canada was stunned, and many have never forgiven the Leafs for trading him.

When people compare a player–any player–to Frank Mahovlich, it should be considered an extreme compliment. His name is on the Stanley 6 times, and his most impressive playoff probably came with the Habs in 1971 (huge offensive spring, 14 goals in 20 games with 11 of the markers coming at even strength). His 533 goals rank him 30th all-time, although 21 of those 30 came in the following (and more offensive) era’s. Frank Mahovlich would have to rank as one of the all-time best left wingers, behind Bobby Hull, Ted Lindsay and just a very few from the years since he passed from the game (he tried a comeback with Detroit in 1979 but retired October 7th of that year).

Dustin Penner is one of the league’s leading scorers. He’s tied for 4th in goals and points, and hockey-reference says he’s 3rd in the entire league in goals created (behind Ovechkin and Kopitar). As an Oiler fan, it’s taking me some time to adjust to his impact on the ice this season–this is not Craig MacTavish’s Dustin Penner–but it is as deligthful as it is surprising to see Dustin Penner have this kind of success.

You could write a book.

The Oilers are winning but so is everyone else in the Western Conference. As day breaks the Flames and Oilers are tied for 2nd in the division behind the bizarro Avalanche and in terms of actual conference points both Calgary and Edmonton also rank in a 2nd place tie in terms of total points.

How long before I apologize to Kevin Lowe for all the venom over the Penner signing? Let’s start with Dustin Penner first and see how long that takes. If he can play at this level in even half the games this season the Oilers will have one of the very best LW’s in the game.

Time to work on a nickname, methinks. Sour Patch Kid doesn’t make it. How about Dustincredible? No. I think we need to call him Dustin Nath.

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419 Responses to "Oilers at Flames, G10, 09-10"

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  1. PDO says:

    And Souray's is reminding me of Doug Weight's mega deal in St. Louis.

    Great when he's here, shame he's never actually playing.

  2. Kelly Milligan says:

    Wow OTC sounds pissed on the post game presser… Very unhappy with Dman puck managment.

  3. Traktor says:

    We could use Doug Weight, we haven't had a #1 center since he left.

  4. Woodguy says:

    If 10 has a broken foot how does OTC put him over the boards with 2 minutes to go in that game?

    Even OTC isn't that stubborn.

  5. Icecastles says:

    Great when he's here, shame he's never actually playing.

    Which is the one thing that really worries me about Souray as the shoe-in as next captain. Do we really want to go through that again? After all, it took us two years to find out Moreau was an awful choice for captain, simply because he barely played!

    Despite his current slump, at least Horcoff is a guy you can count on to always be around and even when he's slumping, to never give up on the battle. I think Traktor first suggested Horc as captain, provided he gets a raise commensurate with his added responsibility.

  6. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Oh man, Weekes talking about body washes now. CBC HNIC continues to go downhill. They're approaching Sportsnet as far as overall braodcast quality.

    How long until TSN has Saturday night hockey?

  7. kinger says:

    I can certainly see both Traktor and Hunter leading the charge for Horc as the new captain.

  8. Dakin says:

    I've been holding off asking because I wanted to try to figure it out on my own but …. OTC?

  9. Kristopher Milligan says:

    The Schremp Update.

    After averaging 13 minutes a night for the first 5 games he was dropped to 6 minutes on the 22nd, and was a healthy scratch tonight.
    Repeating a comment i heard last game: Looks like the Jason Bonseignur career track.

    Guess we dont really have to worry about losing Schremp to superstardom.

  10. Icecastles says:

    Dakin: Old Timey Coach. OTCs are coaches who wear onion belts and like crusty players.

  11. Icecastles says:

    A typical Old Timey Coach comment:

    "“We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell them stories that don’t go anywhere. Like that time I took the ferry over to Shelbyville; I needed a new heel for my shoe. So, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah, the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have any white onions, because of the war; the only thing you can get was those big yellow ones.” – Pat Quinn

  12. Woodguy says:

    Total ice time for all defecemen:

    Vis 23:26
    Grebs 18:35
    Smid 17:48
    Chorney 15:53
    Struds 14:14
    Gilbert 13:27
    Peckham 11:18

    So was Gilbert riding the pine or flu?

  13. Woodguy says:

    EV Ice time defencemen,

    Vis 16:18
    Smid 15:49
    Grebs 13:23
    Chorney 11:57
    Peckahm 11:18
    Struds 11:11
    Gilbert 9:07

    Hmmm. Gotta be the flu, no?

  14. Phil says:

    Tough night to be an Oiler fan at the Saddledome. I'm sure I don't have much to add that hasn't been covered here tonight, but there were a few things that stuck out.

    - I'm not sure what Bourque did to anger the Oilers, but during the TV timeout just prior to Smid trying to take his head off, Bourque and Penner had a very heated conversation nose to nose while waiting to face off. I thought they were going to go right at the puck drop.

    - I thought that they would be in tough with two rookie defensemen, but Gilbert and Grebs were the weakest link tonight. Both appeared to be skating in sand. I wouldn't be surprised if they had flu problems. (After checking 77's TOI, either he was benched or sick)

    - Chorney is a very, very good skater. He had some events both ways, but he may be something soon.

    - Felt bad for Peckham having his first game this year on the road where he could be exposed. He had the 'deer in the headlights' look most the night.

    - Vis is a cucumber.

    - Moreau plays with a ringette stick.

    - Penner is fulfilling his potential at this point. He's a young Shaquille O'Neal. A very large man among much smaller men.

    - I realize they're short-staffed, so I'm not too excited about the amount of PP time Stortini had, but I sure hope it doesn't continue.

    - MacIntyre deters no one.

    If a few bounces went the other way it still could've been a close game. The Flames have some real problems as well, namely the fact that almost everyone on their team making over $2M is invisible.

  15. Bruce says:

    Gilbert sure played as if he had the flu. He was beyond brutal tonight, just a horrid night. Of all his blunders the play that stood out was when Nilsson took a big hit to clear the zone, but Gilbert heard footsteps in the neutral zone and iced the puck from three feet outside centre while shying away from a routine check. You have to pay a bit of a price to play in this league, and Tom didn't come close to paying his dues tonight. I almost hope he does have the flu, like Comrie on Thursday it would help to explain his performance.

    That said, I wouldn't wish this flu on anybody. I'm starting to wonder if it's H1N1.

  16. Bruce says:

    Dustin "Skyrockets" Penner

  17. nitric_oxide_99 says:

    If it is the flu, the chances are >69.7% that it's H1N1.

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

  18. uni says:

    Actually, H1N1 isn't the worst type of flu you can get. And there is another flu going around that's pretty nasty.

    It hit our office as well and took out one guy for 4 days and he's still not 100%, and another person's been out for over a week now. Everyone's a bit nervous about containing/catching it at this point.

    While H1N1 is nasty and very contagious no doubt, I find it humorous how the media makes it out to be some superflu, when there are many strains of flu that are much worse. In fact I believe common Influenza has a higher percent mortality rate than H1N1.

    Also I wouldn't worry about the Oilers flu having swiney connotations, they mentioned on CBC that it was just a 'regular' flu.

  19. logical thinking says:

    The flu is something that a person should overcome if you have a healthy immune system.

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