Wild at Oilers, G7, 09-10

The “Little Team that Could” got a wakeup call the other night in Chicago. Coach Quinn mentioned the forwards he liked and didn’t like, by numbers (4 and 8, respectively). On the other hand, the road trip had some nice surprises from the young side of the roster (JDD, Chorney) and the Oilers seem to be muddling through as best they can with injuries to two veteran blueliners (Souray and Staios).

I don’t know that Mike Comrie has ever driven results, but Dustin Penner is going to be this team’s MVP if he keeps playing like this all season. Although it’s early, let’s have a look at 5×5/60 over the season’s first 6 games:

  1. Penner 5.04
  2. Brule 4.19
  3. Hemsky 3.00
  4. Cogliano 2.75
  5. O’Sullivan 2.37
  6. Moreau 2.15
  7. Comrie 1.80
  8. Gagner 1.77
  9. Jacques 1.63
  10. Horcoff 1.47
  11. Stortini 1.04
  12. Stone 0.89

I know it’s too early to examine these numbers too closely but it’s still interesting to see the gap between Penner and Comrie despite their similar boxcars.

The Minnesota Wild received a brain transplant over the summer and I have no idea what to expect. Jacques Lemaire’s players usually play in a trance-like state and once freed these men often resemble the runner’s in Monty Python’s “100 yards for people with no sense of direction.”

Let’s hope it is so this evening.

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302 Responses to "Wild at Oilers, G7, 09-10"

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  1. kris says:

    Did he say Staios sucks?

  2. Doogie2K says:

    Random question: I just tuned in for the last two minutes of the second (and saw the goal), but I'm wondering, did the blue and orange become the new home jersey and no one told me? Four out of five games so far this year, it's been the third. Or is it just because we've had a home opener, two PPVs, and an O6 team that this has happened?

  3. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Agreed Black Dog. Injuries are becoming the most significant factor in the standings.

    Watching a bit of Cal vs Van. You take out a Sedin and a Salo, loose an Ohlund and it's like wow, who predicted these guys to win the division? Monday could be allright.

    Your depth is youth. If they aren't ready it's hang on for dear life.

  4. Black Dog says:

    He came across as pretty relaxed, confident, thoughtful, a lot different then when he is in front of the general media.

    Talked about his different experiences in the game, being a player under Arbour and Bill Torrey, working with Team Canada, Bob Johnson, in Vancouver.

    Talked about how he has had all of these different experiences and how they helped him form his philosophies and how important it was to have a plan, a philosophy in terms of your scouting, your organization.

    He came across very well.

  5. Black Dog says:

    Great hit by Gilbert Gilbert.

  6. kris says:

    Yeah,

    Tambellini comes across as extremely sane and level headed.

    Lowe, less so.

  7. Lowetide says:

    You've got to hand it to the Oilers, they're giving the Wild every chance to get back into this game. Terrible.

  8. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Classic Brunette. A poor man's Ryan Smyth

  9. kris says:

    Strudwick can't hang. Play dies with his crap shot.

  10. Bogdan says:

    Whatever we are paying O'Sullivan right now, it's worth it.

  11. kris says:

    Nilsson is invisible?

  12. danny says:

    damn.

  13. Black Dog says:

    Bogdan – yeah O'Sullivan is quality

  14. Chris says:

    The Oilers are doing there best here to squander a commanding lead – who do they think they are the Calgary Flames?

  15. striatic says:

    "We are outshot 20-11, though it hardly seems as if we're being outplayed.

    Any theories, you hockey pundits, you?"

    khabibulin makes it look easy?

    the minnesota play by play guys keep saying the oilers are forcing the perimeter shot and relying on the goaltender to make saves. sounds about right to me.

  16. danny says:

    Is it possible Chorney keeps his spot and Struds takes the pressbox when the D gets healthier?

  17. Bogdan says:

    Whatever we are paying O'Sullivan, it's not worth it _right now_.

  18. FlamingPavelBure says:

    Nilsson with one point again tonight and that shiny +1.

    =D

  19. Lowetide says:

    Mahovlich is flying out there tonight. Lordy.

  20. striatic says:

    "Is it possible Chorney keeps his spot and Struds takes the pressbox when the D gets healthier?"

    i think the way he's playing right now compared to strudwick, you have to keep him.

    the argument i could see against it is that the minutes chorney is taking are souray's. particularly on the PP, and that he and strudwick fill different roles. so when souray comes back, if chorney replaces strudwick it replaces the overall complexion of the D.

  21. Phil says:

    The Big P!!!

  22. Chris says:

    You can't stop Penner, you can only hope to contain him.

  23. kris says:

    Penner,

    An underpay?

    Lowe… was… right?

  24. danny says:

    Beauty

  25. kinger says:

    The ol' rope a dope.

  26. Bookie says:

    If only Craig MacTavish were around to benefit from this awakening of Dustin Penner. He could have really used this guy last year.

  27. Hockey Noob says:

    Jeebus, freaking Dustin Penner. Holy *Expletive!!!

    What a play end to end…. Penner just looked like a stud on that play.

  28. Bookie says:

    Oh wait, maybe coaching was actually an impact upon Penner's play. I had not thought of that.

  29. Bogdan says:

    Strudwick makes this team exciting.

  30. Lowetide says:

    Jacques. That was a wonderful play.

  31. kris says:

    A forecheck! We can do it too!

    And we score on the forecheck!

  32. Black Dog says:

    Penner.

    Brule.

    Smid.

    They're like different players.

    With that Brule goal I think Oilers are tied for first in the league in GF per game.

  33. PunjabiOil says:

    Brule is now close to, or at a point per game.

    Merely a fluke, or is he developing in what he was expected to be back in 2005?

  34. sean says:

    Damn, someone was eating their jam on crust this morning.

  35. Chris says:

    Craig MacTavish was clearly holding Brule back even when he played for Columbus.

  36. PunjabiOil says:

    Did it not appear as of Penner was offside on his 2nd goal?

  37. Bookie says:

    Hey, where are the guys ranting about how terrible the Penner signing was and how terrible it was the we traded Torres for Brule.

    We have seen multiple games now that suggest that with a different system in place and some different coaching that these guys have some value as players.

    Coaching makes a difference.

    With that said, we still have some serious defensive problems and some scary vulnerability to injury.

  38. kinger says:

    Ryan Stone picks his worst 'intangibles' game to pick up his counting numbers.

    Hilarious.

  39. PunjabiOil says:

    Craig MacTavish was clearly holding Brule back even when he played for Columbus.

    LOL. These jokes never get old.

  40. PunjabiOil says:

    Short term we should be fine if Staios comes in, and Strudwick out.

    Long term, Souray is vital.

  41. danny says:

    Burke lambasted Lowe.

    Oilers gave up a 1st 2nd and 3rd for Penner (4.25M)

    Burke gave up two 1sts and a 2nd for Kessel (5.25M)

    Oilers 1st was 12th overall.

    Leafs pick will be a lottery pick. Possibly 1st. Who knows about next years as well.

  42. kris says:

    That was a terrible rebound for Khabi; he got lucky.

    Otherwise a nice game. Made tough stops look easy.

  43. Lowetide says:

    I'm pretty happy for Jacques. That kid was looking at losing his career to injury not long ago, and that play tonight tells us he can play.

  44. Bookie says:

    Craig MacTavish was clearly holding Brule back even when he played for Columbus.

    glad you agree :)

    MacT had no impact on Brule, never coached him. Penner on the other had was mismanaged. MacT also didn't have any real impact on Schremp – cause the guy never earned the right to play in the NHL.

    I am betting that Lowe feels a little better about Penner of late though. That may be the result of the change in coaching style.

  45. Bookie says:

    I'm pretty happy for Jacques. That kid was looking at losing his career to injury not long ago, and that play tonight tells us he can play.

    Agreed, JFJ is another kid who looks to be having a good year, most likely because of being healthy, but perhaps because of more responsibility.

    LT – I wonder if the Hemsky thing has been long term as you suspected.

  46. Chris says:

    Well Penner is clearly playing better for Quinn/Renney than he played under MacT. Right now Penner is playing like an All Star as opposed to a whipping boy.

  47. Lowetide says:

    So, Bookie. I know this doesn't fit with your "Craig MacTavish causes all bad things" scenario, but isn't it at least possible(say 0.0000005%) that Penner decided to shove it straight up MacT's ass and work like a dog this summer?

    I don't think MacT handled Penner's situation well, but I think it's completely reasonable to suggest that this Dustin Penner wasn't on the roster last fall and winter.

  48. danny says:

    Note to PPV guys.

    Should Comrie score, lets get a slow-mo camera on Hilary.

  49. striatic says:

    looks like Boogaard was trying to get back at O'Sullivan for outcrusting him for that assist.

  50. danny says:

    Hottie Girlfriend Slo-Mo Celebration Cam tm

  51. Black Dog says:

    Yeah I think Penner has definitely flourished but it might have been nice if he had come into camp in shape his first two years, bookie, don't you think?

    As for Torres for Brule, the major issue, as always, was that they didn't replace Torres with a guy who could play in the NHL last season.

    First or thereabouts in the league in GF but near the bottom in GA.

    Still, two laughers in a week. Damn, did we have two all of last season?

  52. Lowetide says:

    I think they should just have a camera on Ms. Comrie instead of those wonky between period thingys. What redblooded Canadian male is going to prefer Stauffer, Tencer and Gene to Hillary?

    I mean, it's just good television.

  53. striatic says:

    Penner showed up in completely different condition at the beginning of this season. I'm not sure how much of that you can attribute to coaching.

    LT is probably spot on, and I wonder if Penner would have made the effort over the summer if he knew he was going to be under MacT again, seeing the same diminished ice time as before.

  54. uni says:

    Hahaha. Watching the Minesota feed, and the phone text voting for player of the game options:

    A) Benoit Pouliot
    B) Andrew Brunette
    C) Shawn Horcoff

    Pouliot winning with 85%, Brunette gets 15%, and Horcoff 0%.

    Wonder how Horcoff made it on the ballot as the token Oiler and they kept off Dustin Penner and Patrick O'Sullivan (over Brunette and Pouliot).

  55. quain says:

    Penner was on for three shots for, twelve shots against, but I guess that doesn't really matter as long as your's go in and their's don't.

    Visnovsky with a +11 Corsi and +4. He's just a killer.

  56. kinger says:

    Quinn told Penner he'd do this to him if he didn't show up to camp in shape.

  57. Chris says:

    I think the style of play this year is also working to Penner's benefit.

  58. Phil says:

    5-3 now for the Flames-Dys. Under a minute to go, but still funny.

  59. Black Dog says:

    Balanced scoring again.

    Gilbert had a terrific game I thought. Smid as well.

    And Visnovsky is just wonderful to watch.

    Minnesota doesn't have much but full credit to the Oilers for finishing them off.

  60. kinger says:

    You know what I think is also working to Penner's benefit?

    Luck.

    He's currently scoring on 36% of his shots.

  61. striatic says:

    Penner might be getting a little lucky but he's also been using his frame to get into high percentage shooting situations.

  62. Heavy Fuel says:

    Agree with LT on a couple of things:

    On Penner; while I have been pulling for Penner to be an Oiler since the '06 playoffs, there is more to his start than just a new coach. Penner is a much "hungrier" version of himself this year. It all starts with Dustin deciding to earn his money. Glad he is finally proving me right for backing him.

    On JFJ; I am glad he is finally proving me wrong for calling him "Lazy Train". He is exactly what the Oilers have needed, it's good to see the Crazy Train arrive at the station, even if he is a little late..

    Is it too much to ask for a big, talented, center, though?

    Random PS: Will there be any other Pouliot goals in Edmonton this year?

  63. quain says:

    He's currently scoring on 36% of his shots.

    It's especially fantastic because he has no PPGs. I don't know how the world brings that kind of luck back into balance, but I think it involves a boulder… or for Penner, a taco convention right after a tonsilectomy.

  64. kinger says:

    I actually thought JFJ had a pretty bad game, same with Ryan Stone.

    Stormy cloud here, rollin' in on your sunny day.

  65. Chris says:

    We could say that Penner's having some puck luck, or just go ahead and boldly predict this is the year he wins the Rocket Richard trophy and scores 60.

  66. Heavy Fuel says:

    JFJ may not have had as good a game tonight, but he did move down the pecking order a bit. He will have more of an impact in physical contests against teams like the Flames & Canucks than the Wild.

  67. Heavy Fuel says:

    No RR for the Hamburgler, but I think an honest 30-35 goals for him isn't a crazy idea.

  68. Bookie says:

    So, Bookie. I know this doesn't fit with your "Craig MacTavish causes all bad things" scenario

    My arguments have been that a coaching change can have an impact. I believe that Craig MacTavish coached this team less well than the majority of NHL coaches would have. I also think that the Oilers would have done better if they had started last year with different coaches.

    Let me be clear, I really like MacT and think he is an awesome guy. I just don't see a record that demonstrates that he is a great coach, and I think his weaknesses became more problematic when he gained confidence from the 2006 run.

    If I were to put a percentage value on where the blame lies for the post 2006 struggles, it would be this. MacT's coaching=55-60% of the blame, Lowe/Tambellini's makeup of the team structure=40-45% of the blame.

    LT – On the other hand, you have blamed management for every problem on this team (95%?) and given MacT a free pass (5%?). You have also been pretty clear that nothing has changed on this team and that the coaching change is irrelevant because we didn't make a trade this summer to address the structural problem.

    and yes, MacT may have been terrible enough that all of his players, including Penner spent the summer working hard to get back at him.

    :)

  69. Icecastles says:

    Dustin Penner: Currently 12th in the league for points this season.

  70. Dennis says:

    I caught the first 20 min at a friend's house and now I'm about to watch the last 40.

    What did OTC have to say in the PG presser?

  71. Icecastles says:

    More meaningless but ticklingly fun stats:

    #2 save % in the league: Mathieu Garon.
    #3 save % in the league: Jeff Deslauriers

    Khabibulin is #33.
    Roloson is #45.
    Luongo is #50.

  72. Lowetide says:

    bookie: I have stated in the past that Tambellini's made some fine moves (an example would be Cole for O'Sullivan) but he's also gone for the HR when in fact there are holes that can be filled/could have been filled.

    And it's all fine and nice to wax poetic in the warm glow of victory, but I would remind you of the Chicago game and how this team looked on that night.

    If we shouldn't look to Tambellini for answers, who should we look to?

  73. Chris says:

    Penner's sixth in goal scoring.

  74. Hugh says:

    One thing I've noticed aobut this years edition versus last years edition (so far. This can change, that is for sure) is last year (I'd even say this was an issue going back to the cup run year) when they had a game they had to show up for, they would start the game slow, get behind a few goals then scratch and claw their way back into the game. I don't know how many times i'd be excited for the big game and they would lay an egg. This year they seem to be coming out with a big bang and playing the way you expect a team to show up.

    I'm prety sure that has a lot to do with coaching and I'm glad to see such a big change…..

  75. Icecastles says:

    Penner's sixth in goal scoring.

    Well I didn't want to jinx it. ;)

  76. Chris says:

    By way of contrast there is this Iginla fellow who is currently 105th in the point race.

  77. raventalon40 says:

    MacT isn't the reason the Oilers performed poorly last year.

    It would make sense if you said something like "he had a negative impact on Penner's game" or something like "he botched the development of certain prospects," but to blame last year's poor performance entirely on him would be a mistake.

    Depending on who you ask, the Oilers could be forcing perimeter shots or they could just be giving up a lot of shots.

    Either way, there are still players who look rather uninspired, such as Hemsky, Nilsson, who are the usual suspects from last year with the exception of Penner who is playing well right now.

    I still maintain that Tambellini never gave MacT the tools to succeed, but make no mistake, I'm not suggesting that MacT + company are better than the current coaching arrangement.

    That too, would be a mistake.

  78. Vince says:

    Is it just me or are wins over Dallas,Nashville and Mini really encouraging no matter how bad they've started the season?….teams that always had our # knocked off one by one in our first meetings with them this year…The curses are broken????

  79. Chris says:

    Now that Penner is not the whipping boy we should have a flattering nick name for him instead of the various derivations for Fat that clung to him over the last couple years. I'm thinking PTrain or as a homage the Big P.

  80. Icecastles says:

    to blame last year's poor performance entirely on him would be a mistake.

    That's true. Placing most statements into polar extremes (ie: blaming poor performance not largely, not primarily but entirely) tends to be a mistake. It sets up a straw man: make the argument sound extreme enough, and its easy to knock down.

  81. Bar Qu says:

    Somebody's been taking philosophy or at least logic

  82. Icecastles says:

    It was my first degree, many years ago. Well, it was until I dropped out to climb mountains instead.

  83. Bar Qu says:

    From one kind of mountain to another. Hmmm

  84. Asiaoil says:

    Well I see Laddie Smid is leading the team with a +8 in the season where he starts with just over 200 games of NHL experience. Basically he's right on schedule for developing into the elite shutdown guy many of us projected and I'm glad we didn't trade him. He'll never have any offense to speak of but who cares if your game mirrors Regher. The 200 game mark is key for guys like him – you just can't speed up the experience factor no matter how much talent you have. It's just more frustrating to watch with defensive dmen as these guys can't deliver offense to make up for the early gaffes. Nice to see a rule of thumb hold up and hopefully he can stay the course.

  85. Icecastles says:

    If you're listening to Overtime Open Line, I think I'm sold… #27 shall henceforth be called The Penner.

    Bar Qu – nicely done. Metaphorical mountains are the most difficult to climb… shitty to ski though.

  86. striatic says:

    LT is calling him Mahovlich, so Big P fits fine, but Mahovlich alone is more than sufficient nicknamewise.

  87. FlamingPavelBure says:

    I would call him PoutinePenner to go along with CremeBrulée

  88. Icecastles says:

    FPB, That's worse than The Penner. :)

  89. Bookie says:

    If we shouldn't look to Tambellini for answers, who should we look to?

    We should look to tambellini for answer (and Tambi and Lowe for blame as well). I have never argued otherwise. BUT we can also look to the coach. Both influence the team and either can sink the team.

  90. oil dude says:

    I usually don't speak blasphemy….

    But is Dustin Penner the new Stan Weir?

  91. HBomb says:

    Question: so say Penner maintains a point-per-game pace until, oh, mid-December.

    Does he get ANY consideration for Team Canada whatsoever if this crazy-cool dominance sustains itself? Does the idea of re-uniting Penner with Getzlaf and Perry *spits* intrigue Yzerman and Babcock enoguh to even consider such a wild-assed approach?

    Discuss.

  92. FlamingPavelBure says:

    HC Bomb: Possible, didn't those jeeyaboos include Cleary and Maltby in last Olympic's debacle and humiliation of a super star team getting owned by Mark Streit, Martin Pluss and Martin Gerber?

  93. kris says:

    We're spinning into some new arguments and some old ones here, drawing battle lines.

    Can we agree on the following:

    A.) The Oilers can't keep winning if they keep getting outshot this badly. Over the course of the season, there's a correlation between goal differential and shot differential. (I think Quain sort of overstates this point. The Oilers -and Penner in particular- are riding high SH%'s that aren't sustainable, but this team -and Penner in particular- is better than last year. Indeed, just as the SH%'s are likely to come down, our shot differentials are likely to come up. Small sample size is throwing all the numbers off and makes ALL the numbers, as of yet, unrepresentative. At 20 games we'll know more.)

    B.) The Oilers are playing better than their shot totals suggest. Nonetheless, the one major problem the Oilers are having, which shows up in the shot totals, is clearing their zone and breaking the opponents cycle. This should be fixable, and getting Souray and even Staios back should help. (The Oilers weren't great in their own zone last year, but they weren't having the same problems. It seems to me like Quinn/Renney are trying to teach a new way of defending and breaking opponents forecheck that all of the Oilers are having trouble learning and executing.)

    C.) The Oilers have more balance than last year, due to the presence of Stone, Brule, and Jacques. But they still don't have near enough balance between size and skill and between age and youth. A trade is needed if we want to be good.

    D.) The AHL call ups are beating expectations. Stone, Jacques, and Brule aren't yet solid NHL'ers, but they've had some nice moments. Odds are at least one of them has a decent career as a serious roster player and that's great news for this team.

    Okay, now a question:

    Is Horcoff way off, sort of off, or totally okay?

  94. Kristopher Milligan says:

    I Just wanted to share..

    Brule is sitting at 48% in the faceoff dot
    Cogliano is at 53%

    And just fyi

    Glencross was first start tonight in calgary…

  95. Chris says:

    I'm not concerned about the Oilers being out-shot per say. I'm more concerned about them being outchanced in a number of games. I don't have any difficulties with the Oilers allowing alot of outside shots in so far as they prevent good scoring opportunities. Although the difficulty clearing the zone at times is definitely a concern.

  96. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quinn post game(paraphrased)
    "Khabi was good,Penner was good,Brule was good,but we still have a lot of things to work on-a lot of our skill guys want to pass the puck into the net"

    And I definitely agree with C kris.

  97. PunjabiOil says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvdYf4nLyOU

    Raffi Torres was incredible in 2005-2006

  98. Hemmer'oids says:

    To continue with a positive nickname for Penner, maybe a nicer type of food would be good. Sirloin? Or maybe a leaner meat like Turkey Breast?

  99. NBOilerFan says:

    Penner was a beast… he is looking so good so far.

    Maybe it was just me but it didn't feel like we were outshot 31-19. I thought it was more even, mind you add in the two goal posts and its 31-21 right there. Will be interesting to see Dennis's shot totals.

    The players and Quinn all said it right. There are lots of positives in their play right now, mostly the fact that we are scoring on many of the chances, but there is still lots of game to improve on, which will come for sure.

    A good stepping stone and a game that is nice to have in the W column.

  100. Woodguy says:

    I usually don't speak blasphemy….

    But is Dustin Penner the new Stan Weir?

    No.

    Stan Weir's mustache approves of Penner's new fitness and work ethic though.

  101. Dennis says:

    I had the chances at 15-14 which sounds right to me. I know it's not a recipe for overall success to keep getting outshot but last night didn't really bother me because we carried the day with chances and included in those were a couple of crossbars.

    In any case, it's a weird start to the season. We have all kinds of balance when it comes to scoring even though we're getting fuckall from 10-83; that's not a scnario that anyone would've predicted. Plus, we've got two vets missing from the top six and we're doing OK thus far despite that.

    I keep waiting for the roof to cave in even though I know it's possible that 27 puts up 60 points and that 5 may have finally turned the corner.

  102. boopronger says:

    Turkey Beast?

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