Oilers at Thrashers, G20, 09-10

No matter how long the Thrashers spend in Atlanta, the Flames were more interesting in their time in the south.

If you wanted a template for building a franchise from expansion to Stanley, the Flames and Cliff Fletcher’s story with that franchise are textbook. Just like the Kansas City Royals in baseball, the Flames approached the expansion draft by pursuing young players who could both play competitively in the NHL and improve from what they were at that point in time. Exhibit “A” for the Flames was Daniel Bouchard, left exposed by bat-crazy Milt Schmidt the same summer his #1 goalie (Gerry Cheevers) flew the coop for the WHA. It cost poor Milt his job eventually (it wasn’t the worst goalie crime in an expansion draft for the Bruins, they’d lost Bernie Parent to the Flyers 5 years previous) and was one example of why Cliff Fletcher has been employed steadily in important NHL jobs for the last 40+ seasons.

I think we need to change focus for this edition of the Oilers. We’re at the 20 game mark, the coach doesn’t know what we have, the GM is prattling on about waiting to see his team healthy (can fans mutiny? is that an option?) and we don’t really know who is healthy (or playing for that matter).

So today I’m looking for the Frank Mahovlich in Dustin Penner, the Doug Gilmour in Sam Gagner, the thrill of Dean Arsene in his first NHL game (should he play). I’m not saying this club is hopeless, but do believe they are outmanned pretty much every night these days and that the men who could do something about it have decided to pass on the opportunity.

Expecting victory would be frustrating, let’s agree that “small steps” like Gagner maturing are going to have to be good enough until that sweet day when there are no injuries, when everyone grows up, when Kevin Lowe’s vision comes into view.

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301 Responses to "Oilers at Thrashers, G20, 09-10"

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  1. Showerhead says:

    Feel like i've seen this one before. Le sigh.

  2. Traktor says:

    Peverley is also 59.8 on the dot this year on 184 attempts.

  3. CrazyCoach says:

    Oh Reasonor hit the post, here comes the avalanche of Reasonor comments

  4. PDO says:

    CC:

    I'm more concerned about 18's turnover there that gave him the chance.

  5. HBomb says:

    Traktor: on top of that, he's a RH draw.

    We'll never know if the Oilers tried to claim him last year or not (as Atlanta would have had first dibs on him, having a worse record), but damn….even if this is just an extended hot streak, that's the type of player that could have helped the Oilers tremendously even if he wasn't scoring at a point per game pace.

    Decent size too. 6-2, 200.

  6. Lowetide says:

    I miss Marty. Not like Loxy misses him, but I miss him.

  7. Bruce says:

    LT: I'll never say POS can't play, but he sure can break your heart.

  8. CrazyCoach says:

    Can we trade Strudwick for a case of Tamiflu?

  9. Traktor says:

    hbomb:

    He's also locked up for 1.3 million per through 2011/2012.

  10. CrazyCoach says:

    I mean Tom Martin got traded for a bus once in junior.

  11. HBomb says:

    Wow – sounded like quite the flurry in the final minute there.

  12. Smarmy Boss says:

    I wonder how many games the Oilers will be forced to have on PPV next year? 30?

    Being the Florida Panthers of the west conference doesn't make for much demand.

  13. Showerhead says:

    Yep, that's the show I know. Off to distract myself with women and food.

  14. Phil says:

    Weird game. Special teams have been pretty good this year, but cost them this game.

    They'll be flaming up Horcoff on the HF Boards after this one!

  15. PunjabiOil says:

    8-10-2. We're sinking, and fast.

    Strudwick should never have been re-signed, and it's hard to imagine there aren't better 7th defencemen out there. He's cost the Oilers at least 2-3 points in the season.

  16. CrazyCoach says:

    Poor Horcoff. Huge case of the Yips. GUY couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with bucket of rice from two feet away like my pee wee coach used to say.

  17. HBomb says:

    Traktor: Did he ink that deal when he was still with Nashville?

    Sounds like pretty much an ideal fit to make the Oilers better, and he was available for free.

    I'll say this – if the Oilers didn't at least put in a claim when the guy was available, Lowe AND Tambellini should both be fired. Offense aside, a 60% faceoff guy who is a righty was pretty much what the doctor ordered last year (and this year).

    Did he PK today at all?

    Christ, when Don Waddell is making moves that look smart in relative comparison….

  18. Lowetide says:

    I feel better watching the game and looking for little things. I enjoyed that Thrasher girl being interviewed and also the movie talk. Penner is a horse, I liked several of the kids and generally they looked like they were in it for most of the game.

    Falcons are up 4-0 after 2 periods here:

    http://atdhe.net/10171/watch-ahl-albany-river-rats-vs-springfield-falcons

  19. Bruce says:

    Had to get a point out of that game. Real bad tying goal, then our PvP line got burned for the winner off an offensive zone faceoff. Won the battle of even strength 2-1, but got killed (Again) on special teams.

  20. Showerhead says:

    WTF re: Horcoff though? Hedberg moved well from post-to-post, #10 made him earn that save a few times this game. If you're looking for a man who can't hit the net it's POS you want.

  21. Traktor says:

    hbomb:

    He signed the deal a few weeks ago. His agent failed him.

  22. kinger says:

    I'm turning into a broken record here but I thought we played well. The PP stunk but we were the better team at ES. Unfortunately ATL was a lot better at capitalizing on their chances.

  23. Bruce says:

    Peverley
    19:50 TOI
    13:38 EV
    2:45 PP
    3:27 PK

    2 shots, 2 takeaways, +2
    8/14, 57%

    Nice pick-up.

  24. Bling says:

    Why is Struds the goat on the third Thrashers goal?

    Kozlov was Horcoff's man and 10 let him go at an inopportune time.

  25. HBomb says:

    Traktor: maybe, maybe not. If he turns out to be a Martin St. Louis type pick-up, then yeah, massive failure.

    That's a no-lose situation for Atlanta though. Even if he regresses to half his current production (0.5 ppg), that's the type of contract that will get outperformed right through.

    It's the exact opposite of how the Oilers handled Fernando Pisani, actually. Could have had him long term for 1.1 million a year in January 2006, but decided to wait.

    Lesson? It pays to be proactive. Tom Gilbert is another example of this. I don't mind that contract one bit, but if Lowe had moved earlier, he could have done an extension MUCH cheaper.

  26. CrazyCoach says:

    showerhead, it's an observation to say the least, and yes, POS misses the net as well. I just miss the Horcoff that would have buried that 9/10, not 1/10

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    Like Ottawa the other night,another winnable game slips through our fingers.

    Game 102 of the Tambellini regime.

    Just sayin'.

  28. bookie says:

    I missed the game – I kind of assumed that it would be on in the evening.

    Looks like I missed nothing of importance though…

  29. Rick says:

    O'Sullivan's really gotta start putting the puck in the net and not off the post. He'd be having a good season if 3-4 of those posts would have been in the net.

    Glad to see Sheldon back, hope he's back for good and doesn't have a setback like Staios did after his concussion.

    We're getting close to having a healthy team, with Chorney soon to be replacing Grebs for a month.

  30. Ed says:

    don't know about that bling, there was already a forward low with strudwick. 10 had the point, if you're looking to spread the blame gilbert got there late. nice job by kozlov to find the soft spot though.

  31. Lowetide says:

    Well, one thing's for certain: it isn't so bad they'll make a trade. Thank goodness it hasn't gotten that bad.

  32. bookie says:

    Having read the comments, i think that the PP suffers with Souray out there because the Oilers forget to be creative and forget to make quick passes. As a result nothing exciting happens AND Souray is nutralized.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Gerta you have to stop being mean to Tambellini.

    By addressing his own stated need for getting bigger meaner players by picking up Comrie, didn't he?

  34. PDO says:

    LT:

    I mean, we have to know what we're potentially trading away. What if Nilsson becomes the next Wellwood?!

  35. Bling says:

    Ed:

    Penner was the forward down low. Hemsky and Horcoff both collapsed down low, with Horcoff marking Kozlov.

    Kozlov should not have gotten that shot off.

  36. bookie says:

    Is this an Esks Blog now, if so Barnes should have had that!

  37. Lowetide says:

    PDO: lol. Wellwood? He's not even Peckerwood!

  38. Traktor says:

    I said it a few weeks ago but O'Sullivan is a guy that looks good on the driving range but when he plays the actual game he shanks it in the woods and missing 3 footers.

    Classic case of the yips. Too much is going on in his head.

  39. Gerta Rauss says:

    He picked up Comrie because it wasn't a long distance call.

  40. CrazyCoach says:

    Nilsson has about 70 pounds before he becomes the next Wellfed

  41. Woodguy says:

    43 lost the battle behind the net for goal 3. Had the man, then let him go.
    Kozlov (1st goal of the year for him??) Did something the Oiler forwards don't do. Go to the soft ice and get the shot off quick that actually needs to be saved by the goalie.

    Penner took most of the draws against Peverley, 10's shoulder held together by bailing wire, twine and gum?

  42. bookie says:

    POS may be just like Torres and so many others in the league who are sometimes great, but mostly just filler.

  43. Bruce says:

    Oilers 18/52, 35% on the dot today. Penner is the poster boy, 6/17, 35%, including the lost offensive zone draw that led directly to the GWG. Seemed like every powerplay started with Oilers chasing the puck down in their own zone and going nowhere from there.

    Cogs 0/7, 0%

  44. PDO says:

    LT:

    I'm just saying, we have to know what we have. I mean, we all love Pouliot, and he might become Marty Reasoner, or Jacques might be the next Ethan Moreau.

    It's just important to remember we have to make sure that these guys suck as they appear to, because if we deal Nilsson for a late round pick and he becomes a somebody, it'll haunt us for years.

    Petrified to make a mistake.

    It's unbelievable.

    Good play by Freddy to save the pick and a nice punt.

  45. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quinn knew what we had before training camp ended.He's been saying as much since then.

  46. Bruce says:

    Classic case of the yips. Too much is going on in his head.

    Traktor: Had the exact same thought. I was going to call him Scott Hoch when he missed the net on that 7-foot slapshot with the game on the line.

    Buddy needs to calm down around the net. He does get the chances, that's for sure.

  47. Bling says:

    Aha.

    Well, so long as Horcoff has been completely exonerated I suppose I'll be able to sleep well.

    It really is funny that the 700k depth player gets roasted while the 5.5 million man gets off scotch free.

    Both guys had a job to do there, and by my eye both of them failed.

  48. Rick says:

    Re: Nilsson – we're the second team to wait in vain on his potential.

    I don't think he's ever going to be another Wellwood, unless it's when he goes back to Sweden.

  49. Bruce says:

    This is already looking like both the other games at McMahon Stadium.

  50. Woodguy says:

    Bruce:

    Horcoff was 3-7
    Penner 6-17

    10 can't bear down on his shoulder yet is seems.

    89 was 5-9 for the only Oiler in black figures on the dot.

    89 also with 2nd least EV TOI today with 8:48 only ahead of 91 who had 7:51.

  51. Lowetide says:

    PDO: Yeah, I hear you. The Oilers seem to be locked in Groundhog Day and unable to make a choice. Nilsson MAY be something, but the Oilers have so many similar guys finding room is impossible.

  52. Bruce says:

    Calgary has jumped the line about 5 times on this drive.

  53. Lowetide says:

    YES!!! Nice stand there by the Eskimos. Anyone else remember Hufnagel as a QB? He was pretty good.

  54. PDO says:

    Esks NEED to stick with the run today.

  55. Bruce says:

    89 also with 2nd least EV TOI today with 8:48 only ahead of 91 who had 7:51.

    Woodguy: Funny thing, 89 and 91 led the Oil in outshooting at evens, each +12/-2. Meanwhile the first line just didn't get it done at evens:

    Horcoff 14:31 , +1/-5
    Penner 14:25 , +2/-6
    Hemsky 14:15 , +2/-5

    … and obviously they didn't get it done on the PP either. If those guys aren't going we're not apt to win.

  56. kinger says:

    Bling said…
    Aha.

    Well, so long as Horcoff has been completely exonerated I suppose I'll be able to sleep well.

    It really is funny that the 700k depth player gets roasted while the 5.5 million man gets off scotch free.

    Both guys had a job to do there, and by my eye both of them failed.

    If that is what your eye is telling you then perhaps you don't know how defensive coverage in the NHL works. You have been informed by two different posters what actually happened on that play, yet you still choose to insist Horcoff is at fault. Perhaps you should review whether or not your agenda has something to do with what your "eyes" are seeing.

  57. Woodguy says:

    Kinger,

    But if Horcoff made 3.5M and was 3C he intercepts that pass.

  58. Woodguy says:

    Woodguy: Funny thing, 89 and 91 led the Oil in outshooting at evens, each +12/-2. Meanwhile the first line just didn't get it done at evens:

    Would have never in a millions years guessed that 89,91 did that today.

    Shows how unreliable eye witness accounts really are.

  59. Bruce says:

    Goddamn, Whitlock is slippery.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Get the damn thing into the endzone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. bookie says:

    This is already looking like both the other games at McMahon Stadium.

    Some of you seem to just look to give up hope as fast as you possibly can when watching Edmonton Teams play…

  62. Traktor says:

    "But if Horcoff made 3.5M…."

    He'd still be making 3.13 million more than Rich Peverley.

  63. Traktor says:

    At least were not spending to the cap.

  64. Bruce says:

    LT: Eskimos don't have a red zone offence, they have a pink zone offence.

    Ricky Ray had almost 5000 yards passing this year and just 22 TD throws. Something over 220 yards per TD. That would be two complete lengths of the field.

  65. PDO says:

    Catch the ball please.

  66. bookie says:

    Ricky Ray had almost 5000 yards passing this year and just 22 TD throws. Something over 220 yards per TD. That would be two complete lengths of the field.

    Burris has almost identical numbers.

  67. kris says:

    Tambellini speaking GMese: "I want to see what we have here once we're healthy before I make a trade."

    Translation of GM-ese to English: "We don't care about the playoffs this year. This is another development season."

    Personally, I'm okay with this being a development year, but we better get a very clear promise that next year is not only a playoff year, but a competitive playoff year.

    That's all I'm asking. A little honesty. The one thing the Oilers haven't been since the terrible-90's is honest enough. (No team is really honest, but the Oil are more dishonest, IMO.)

  68. PDO says:

    That's a TD if the Stamp doesn't grab Freddy 15 yards into his route.

    Where's the flag?

  69. bookie says:

    Interesting to see what this call is.

  70. PDO says:

    I'm not sure there's enough to OVERRULE the call on the field….

  71. Bruce says:

    Fucking zebras. Do they all live in Calgary? I coula swore he hit it with a high stick over the crossbar.

    BTW, why is it a 15-yard penalty on a bouncing punt? There's a very specific rule about that.

    I'm getting fucking sick of fucking Calgary getting the fucking call on every fucking replay.

  72. PDO says:

    I don't think it hit the Stamp, but there wasn't enough evidence to overrule it.

  73. Gerta Rauss says:

    Quinn postgame

    "we are a team that finds ways to not do the right things"

    "hope the goalie jumps out of the way and we pass it into the net"

  74. PDO says:

    If everyone is saying "it could go either way."

    Then you can't OVERTURN the call on the fucking field.

    What a joke.

  75. hunter1909 says:

    kris: The Oilers go far beyond simple dishonesty. Try arrogance mixed with ignorance, and you begin to scatch the surface.

    It takes a seriously flawed front office to be able to repel most of the good UFA's in the NHL.

    Oh I know, it's really the city of Edmonton's fault that no one wants to come here to play hockey for millions of dollars a season. Silly me.

  76. Bruce says:

    you can't OVERTURN the call on the fucking field.

    No kidding. Throw in the unconstitutional 15-yard penalty against Edmonton, and it stinks.

    Won't much matter though if our receivers keep dropping the ball.

  77. PDO says:

    Parker is a beauty.

    And this Green kid can play.

    Put seven on the board here and we're sitting alright…

  78. kris says:

    Oh, not the best time but I couldn't agree more with what LT said in the original post.

  79. PDO says:

    Lloyd can NOT miss that tackle.

    Period.

    Fuck.

  80. Bruce says:

    Lloyd shoulda tackled him with his mouth.

  81. PDO says:

    Esks should challenge.

    It was close, and that's good enough, right?

  82. Bruce says:

    Any point in challenging? We're playing Calgary.

  83. PDO says:

    That's our ball.

  84. Bruce says:

    Any money these bastards say "inconclusive"

  85. Bruce says:

    the fix is in. That was a lot easier call than the one they overturned. Ferfuxskaes, is it written in a constitution somewhere that Calgary gets all the calls?

  86. godot10 says:

    The problem with Nilsson is that with his contract, the Oilers can't find anyone willing to take him off their hands. He has negative value.

    The Oilers will buy him out next summer, since they can recover cap room because of his back-loaded contract.

  87. Gerta Rauss says:

    The Oilers need to hire Jason Smith as a consultant.He can discuss the merits of retirement with Nilsson,Staios and Moreau.

  88. Lowetide says:

    2nd and 20 I'd hope they would run something that got them back into field goal range.

  89. PDO says:

    There was more interference on Freddy than there was there.

  90. Lowetide says:

    If the Eskimos win this game do the zebra's have to give the money back?

  91. PDO says:

    LT:

    I think so.

  92. Lowetide says:

    ficus.

  93. PDO says:

    Whoyda thunk that having the refs on your nuts all game will lead to you eventually making a play?

    What an embarrassment.

    Too brutal calls on challenges, and then the interference call on 81?

    Just terrible.

  94. Bruce says:

    Well it took 12 quarters but Eskimos finally scored an offensive touchdown in McMahon.

  95. PDO says:

    Parker pick 6.

    Book it.

  96. Derek says:

    Sweet jesus, I'm not an Eskimos fan by any stretch of the imagination but I have to annhydrous tommorrow and the only station the AM radio on my tractor gets is the fan 960 and If I have to listen to Robb Kerr and whats his name fellate the Stamps for 3 hours I'm gonna be some pissed.

  97. Lowetide says:

    Quick: what's a play for first and 30?

  98. Woodguy says:

    Not sure but quick slant is in the book on 2nd and 40.

  99. PDO says:

    The spot for Reynolds before the Burris sneak was atrocious. Gave him an extra yard.

  100. Derek says:

    Goddamnit

  101. Lowetide says:

    That was an awful job by the zebra's today. Just terrible.

    I remain convinced the Eskimos procurement department is death valley. We go into the off-season with some nice things, but if I hear next summer Whitlock is selling insurance in his hometown because Neil Lumsden's kid didn't get hurt in rehab I'm gonna go ape.

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