Rangers at Oilers, G16, 09-10

I’m not sure if Jean Ratelle has a hockey stick or a divining rod, but this photo from 1967 is a beauty. Also in photo for the Rangers is Rod Gilbert and behind him appears to be Arnie Brown (but it might be Al MacNeil or Wayne Hillman). The Hab is the pocket rocket, Henri Richard. Goalie at the other end is for certain Ed Giacomin.

The Rangers of my childhood always had about 10 guys who were famous but spent the heart of their career in Toronto, Detroit or Montreal. Boom Boom Geoffrion was the obvious example from 1967, but in later years men like Phil Esposito, Marcel Dionne and others represented the group of players who came to New York to collect their final paycheques before heading back to work in the real world.

The modern day Oilers are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Instead of driving rusted out beaters that enjoyed their glory moons ago, the Oilers employ a bunch of youngsters who will eventually turn into quality NHL players. The difficulty for fans comes in watching as the organization figures out which ones are keepers, and enduring all those mistakes while the cream rises to the top.

Pat Quinn’s media conferences are getting more and more aggressive and one suspects he’ll be stopping just short of ribald by season’s end. I can’t see him doing this for three seasons, and would bet money that he eventually begins thinking about that GM position and the security it offers. Who can blame him?

The Oilers should have Staios and Comrie in the lineup tonight, but will be without Shawn Horcoff. Hemsky is apparently unwell but no one wants to think about what happens if he misses the game too. The lines might be:

  • Gagner-Penner-Hemsky
  • O’Sullivan-Jacques-Nilsson
  • Cogliano-Moreau-Pisani
  • Brule-Comrie-Stortini

The D pairings? Don’t know. At practice yesterday, Chorney was with Lubo, Staios played with Strudwick and the Glimmer twins were back together. No word on Laddy, he might be searching for strep throat since he’s had everything else.

EDIT TO ADD: Listening to yesterday’s media clips is very interesting. Shawn Horcoff sounds like he is injured more than ’7-10 days’ if you read between the lines and Pat Quinn is talking about “21 year old kids who haven’t figured this thing out yet.”

It sounds like the Edmonton Oilers will play this hand even if they miss the playoffs. Lordy.

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