G46 Oilers at Blues

The St. Louis Blues appear to have their cannons pointing in the right direction. Ken Hitchcock is pushing all the right buttons and the clubs seems to have 2 solid goalies, 5 effective defensemen and up front they employ 4 forwards tracking to score more than 20 goals. They are 19-3-3 at home.

John Davidson had a couple of solid seasons for the Blues after being a high draft pick in 1973. Blues offloaded him when they drafted another WHL goalie (Ed Staniowski) and thought they’d snagged another top drawer goaltender. Identifying goaltenders is like finding starting pitching: you’re rarely covered even when you think it’s all fine.

Chuck Berry is one of the more famous people from St. Louis. This is one of my favorite songs from him:

 The Oilers might be getting Eberle back tonight, but Hall’s a no-go (at least from what I’ve read) and I’d suggest this could be a blowout for the Blues. Edmonton has 4, 93 and 77 on the shelf and that’s a lot of ammo.

14th in the conference, 29th in the entire NHL this morning. If they do re-sign Tambellini and Renney, this might not be a good time to announce it.

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101 Responses to "G46 Oilers at Blues"

  1. Ducey says:

    This one has all the makings of a Hitchcock special. The Blues have the second fewest goals against and the Oilers have been neutered by injuries. 3-0 Blues.

    Its a stinko for Grigorenko.

  2. slopitch says:

    Pulp Fiction… what a great movie.

    I’m stunned at the turnaround Hitch has been able to do in STL. Confidence and momentum as a team goes a long ways. That team is deep with lots of players who are tough to play against. Hitch is a great fit.

    Slightly off topic but..

    Gotta give Bryan Murray some credit for the turnaround in the Senators after destroying his cup contending team. He saw weakness in his top 6 and took a low risk gamble on Filatov and dealt from a position of strength to acquire to acquire Turris. Oh and Michalek has more points then Heatley. Whats most interesting (to me anyways) is how last season he acquired a player Anderson near the deadline. Anderson played all world and 2 things happened … Ottawa’s pick got significantly worse and the late season success translated to the next year. Another team that was looking to be a lottery lock, the Devils, made an epic push for the playoffs and got lucky drafting Larsson. Again their success last year translated to this year. Both the 2nd and 3rd picks (Fla and Col) are currently in the playoffs but were also quite active at the deadline. Most of their improvements came in the summer however.

    With RNH, Eberle, Gilbert and Hall likely back in 2 weeks we should see some major improvements. But it would sure be nice to see our GM make some hockey trades that make us a better team.

  3. Woodguy says:

    slopitch,

    . Confidence and momentum as a team goes a long ways. That team is deep with lots of players who are tough to play against. Hitch is a great fit.

    I would say it is mostly Hitch putting in a system that the players like and understand.

    He made their forecheck way more aggressive and has them all understanding what their roles are in their own zone and where to go for breakouts.

    Having great goaltending also makes every coach smart.

    Hitch put in a system that fits their players well. Up tempo forecheck by big wingers who can skate and a physical system to break opposition possession in their own zone.

    Excellent hire.

    4-1 Blues in a game that’s over at 9:24 of the 2nd when the Blues go up 3-0.

    Hemsky gets a point on a Gagner goal in garbage time.

    Go Oilers!

  4. regwald says:

    slopitch,

    Just because our #1 and #2 dmen aren’t playing due to injuries, what makes you think a trade is needed to shore up the team ? ~sarcasm~

    Everyone can see it, but Tambo isn’t doing anything about it. Pathetic.

    Sure, it may be expensive to get a top 2 or 3 dman, but how about getting someone so we aren’t playing the equivalent of 3 rookies ?? (Petry, Peckham, Teubert) on d. Oh ya, not to mention Potter is a NHL rookie when you consider games.

    Brutal decision making. And then Renney has the balls to call out his team for their effort ? Maybe call out the GM and President for letting this continue. Idiots.

  5. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Woodguy: . Having great goaltending also makes every coach smart.

    Tom Renney was a genius as recently as October.

  6. Jordan says:

    MacT was seen as a pretty good coach 6 years ago too.

    Funny how that changes when the team gets gutted.

  7. spoiler says:

    WG

    Hitchcock is on record as saying he pretty much kept all the existing systems in place.

  8. hunter1909 says:

    While checking the NHL overall standings, and in light of the Kid Line being on IR;

    THE TANK IS ON!

    if I were running the 29th overall Oilers this morning I’d be 100% in tank mode, seeing that the NHL’s end of season 2nd place team is GUARANTEED to have a shot at Yakupov/Grigorenko.

    Then, in case they LOSE and another team bumps them down a space defense sensation Ryan Murphy is there for Lowe to see in 2012-13 – passing to the Horror Line(Frankenstein/Dracula and Eberle as the Phantom of the Opera).

    Oilers have a favorable schedule for January. They should get 3-4 points maximum, barring a miracle, lol.

  9. Woodguy says:

    spoiler:
    WG

    Hitchcock is on record as saying he pretty much kept all the existing systems in place.

    From what I’ve seen and heard he’s much more aggressive.

    Interesting that he said that, it sure doesn’t look like it.

  10. hunter1909 says:

    @Jordan:

    In 2006 MacT was hanging on to his Oilers job by the skin of his teeth, until Canucks did him a big favour and choked 8th place.

    MEMO TO KATZ: leave MacT wherever he is forever, and I promise never to diss the President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe again.

  11. Traktor says:

    Eric Belanger and Shawn Horcoff will lead us to victory. Be afraid St Louis, be very afraid.

  12. jake70 says:

    Sorry if I posted this tidbit before (can’t recall) but neat little story for arena rock fans out there.

    “Davidson was accidentally the inspiration for the title song of the 1978 hit album Double Vision by the rock group Foreigner. Members of the band were watching a Stanley Cup Playoff game between Davidson’s New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres. Members of the band were fans of the Rangers. Davidson was shaken up when an unknown member of the Sabres took a hard shot that hit Davidson’s goalie mask. As he was recovering, announcers Jim Gordon and Bill Chadwick said Davidson was suffering from “Double Vision.””

    from Wicki

  13. SpotTheLoon says:

    Apparently, Eberle is in tonight.

  14. Bruce McCurdy says:

    John Davidson was the best junior goalie I’ve ever seen. My first year in Edmonton I went to a bunch of Oil Kings games, and including playoffs I saw five games between them and Calgary Centennials. The Oil Kings had a formidable team, including future NHLers Doug Soetaert, Phil Russell, Tom Bladon, Don Kozak and Darcy Rota. The Centennials had Davidson.

    Good old Wikipedia confirms Calgary finished first overall that year with 101 (real) points in 68 games. They allowed 56 fewer goals than the next best team, and a huge part of that was Davidson.

    The Oil Kings won all five games that I saw between the two fierce rivals, which was a home-ice dominated rivalry back in the day. Five wins for the Oil Kings, but get this, Davidson was named first star of all five games. He was just on fire, every single night. One game I won’t forget is when the Oil Kings stormed the Bastille right off the get-go, pounding the Calgary net until they finally scored at (I still remember it precisely) 14:04 of the first. By that point the shot clock showed Edmonton 22 Calgary 0. Have seen a lot of hockey since and haven’t seen anything to quite match that (between wel-matched teams at least). It seemed like a 5-on-0 powerplay with a fucking brick wall completely filling the space between the pipes.

    As a wannabe goalie myself way back in the day, I loved Davidson even as I loathed him. (Did I mention he played for Calgary?) For sure, any goal scored against him was well-earned and deserved to be celebrated with gusto.

  15. Mr DeBakey says:

    I’d suggest checking the Blue’s Save Percentage while Payne was coach and compare it to the numbers since Hitchcock took over.

    I think that will tell plenty about the genius that is Hitchcock this year.

    But it is a two-way street. At one point during the season Hitchcock was fired by Columbus, he had 5 guys on a Top-15 list – the list was for Worst On-Ice Save Percentage.

    Goaltending Gives, It takes away.

  16. rich says:

    @ Traktor:

    You have summed up the Oil’s chances tonight.

    Just add a Russian goalie for the perfect blend (or a backup who can’t find consistency).

    Presto!

  17. slopitch says:

    regwald,

    I agree with this. The point Im really getting at is that in instead of pissing away the season failing for a pick. This team needs progress. And it needs to start now. Not this summer. There is a lot of right going on in the rebuild but you cant just flip the switch.

  18. Mr DeBakey says:

    By that point the shot clock showed Edmonton 22 Calgary 0. Have seen a lot of hockey since and haven’t seen anything to quite match that

    You can see similar numbers some nights at Varsity Arena when the Golden Bears get rolling against a weak sister.

  19. Ducey says:

    slopitch: regwald, I agree with this. The point Im really getting at is that in instead of pissing away the season failing for a pick. This team needs progress. And it needs to start now. Not this summer. There is a lot of right going on in the rebuild but you cant just flip the switch.

    I get the frustration of watching the Oilers flounder, but this makes no sense. Why would any team trade the Oilers a top 4 defender right now? Unless its an obvious overpay, the smart move would be to wait 5 weeks, get the benefit of that player, and wait for 10 teams to bid on that player leading up to the deadline.

    There could be some teams desperate to stay in the playoff race now (for example the Leaves). But how would you fashion a trade that improves both the Oilers and Leaves in the short term? Burke would not really be interested in anyone on the Oilers except Eager, and Eager isn’t going to bring in a decent defenceman. Wouldn’t the smart move be to see what all the teams might give you at the deadline for Eager? Wouldn’t keeping Eager for 5 weeks help the Oilers more than unloading him now?

  20. LP says:

    regwald,

    But the goal is to finish last, right? right?

  21. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Mr DeBakey,

    Point being a “well-matched opponent”. The team the Oil Kings were taking to the woodshed was in first place.

  22. Jordan says:

    I don’t know how many of you have seen this yet, but… if chicks dig scars, Hall just because one of the most attractive men in Canada.

    Taylor Hall is seriously badass.

    As for the game, meh. It’s against a Hitchcock team. History tells me to make other plans.

    hunter1909: @Jordan: In 2006 MacT was hanging on to his Oilers job by the skin of his teeth, until Canucks did him a big favour and choked 8th place.

    Hunter, I’m not saying that he was a great coach, or a terrible coach. I’m saying that success, whether earned or not, tends to skew how effectively we can access value.

  23. regwald says:

    Ducey,

    I do not buy into the fact it makes sense to ice 2 NHL quality dmen and 6 rookie types. We don’t need to sell the farm to get a top guy, but hell it makes sense to try grab spare part defenceman (or up and coming prospect with at least some NHL experience) to help prevent running Potter, Petry, Teubert and Peckham every night.

    That’s bad management in my view.

    Also bad management is pretending there is no risk for Whitney’s return from surgery and not stockpile more NHL dman depth.

    Both of those two items should have been addressed. Whitney in the summer by adding more depth and the Gilbert injury should have forced Tambo to add an NHL caliber dman.

    But now, it is obvious by not even attempting to address Gilbert’s injury after losing Whitney, management is happy with another lotto team.

    Congratulations Mr. Katz. This team is dying a slow death again. Well done.

    I look forward to receiving my season ticket renewal form to see what percentage increase for a 29th place finish will cost for next season. And then the debate will begin, should I renew ? Should I drop my tickets ? Should I plan to keep my tickets but sell a lot more to friends ? Ugh

  24. delooper says:

    Wow, that’s a long cut. I’m amazed he wasn’t bleeding more profusely. Amazing his skull didn’t pop out of his head-skin (presumably there’s appropriate medical terminology for that). Those look like very well-done stitches, probably it won’t be a bad scar… a year from now. With a cut that long he’ll probably have to wait a little longer to ensure he doesn’t do anything to aggravate the cut, it’d be awful if those stitches popped.

  25. hunter1909 says:

    Jordan:

    Success!? What is your criteria for success, is it struggling to make 8th place year after year, punctuated by CHRIS PRONGER leading the team into the finals?

    During the entire 8 years or so of MacT, “success” as I measure it would include the following teams: Detroit, Dallas, New jersey, Anaheim and Colorado. Sorry but some Oiler fans measure success by cups won, not grinding cinderella 8 season ultimate no-talent flops.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    Everyone with a brain understands that this season has assumed epic proportions of comedy.

    Tank, then watch Kevin Lowe love seeing Ryan Murphy skate out on the powerplay next season.

  27. FrankenOil says:

    Anyone have any idea how much longer Omark is out for? Seems to me he is missing out on a golden opportunity.

  28. Ducey says:

    regwald: Ducey, I do not buy into the fact it makes sense to ice 2 NHL quality dmen and 6 rookie types. We don’t need to sell the farm to get a top guy, but hell it makes sense to try grab spare part defenceman (or up and coming prospect with at least some NHL experience) to help prevent running Potter, Petry, Teubert and Peckham every night.That’s bad management in my view.

    Are not Potter, Petry, Teubert and Peckham the very definition of spare part/ up and coming defencemen? Or are you just talking change for the sake of change?

    And if we got someone else’s spare part/ up and coming defenceman, what would it do for the Oilers? Vault them into 27th?

    It would seem the best move is to hold tight for another 4 games until Gilbert is back.

  29. Downright Fierce says:

    For the non-tweeters…

    Taylor Hall: The Boy Who Lived
    http://flic.kr/p/bfsncx

    Copyright infringement brought to you by my loathing of SOPA/PIPA.

    Goilers.

  30. Woodguy says:

    Omark is due back to skating next week, no idea if he is on schedule or when he’ll start playing again.

    The was a plastic surgeon on hand at Nationwide Arena, so Hall’s stitches are probably as close to perfect as he could have hoped.

    MacT wrung good results from less than good teams, but he never had a Dcorps as bad as the Oilers had the last 2 years. The problem on those teams was lack of scoring forwards.

    Speaking of Dmen, as others mentioned, if v3.2 is “trying like hell” to get a top 4 Dman now, he should be fired.

    Now is the time that Dmen are at a significant premium to any other time of year.

    Let the rest of the year play out. Sign 1 FA Dman, trade for another at the draft or after July 1. Both should be top 4.

    Trying to get more than a rental Dman close to the deadline isn’t a good ide unless your trade partner is also out of the playoff hunt. Thanks to the Bettman loser point, there are not that many.

  31. TheOtherJohn says:

    Agree with WG and Ducey now is NOT the time to try for a top 4 D man. All the teams conpeting in Lord Stanley’s tourney that starts April 5th are looking to add solid D men. They are at a huge premium at this time of year

    Time to add good D men was last summer. Frustrating part of that is it was not addressed and management seems surprised it is an issue. Good thing we are not spending to the cap…..wait we are!

    Whoever is out GM in June should have identified 3-5 top pairing D men and a starting goaler as priorities for 12/13 unless we intend to be last overall 4 times in a row. That may, however, be part of “the Plan”

  32. pboy says:

    TheOtherJohn: Agree with WG and Ducey now is NOT the time to try for a top 4 D man. All the teams conpeting in Lord Stanley’s tourney that starts April 5th are looking to add solid D men. They are at a huge premium at this time of yearTime to add good D men was last summer. Frustrating part of that is it was not addressed and management seems surprised it is an issue. Good thing we are not spending to the cap…..wait we are! Whoever is out GM in June should have identified 3-5 top pairing D men and a starting goaler as priorities for 12/13 unless we intend to be last overall 4 times in a row. That may, however, be part of “the Plan”

    But who could have known that the Oilers D-corps were going to play so poorly?
    You can’t anticipate having this many injuries to key players?

    That’s pretty much the standard, party line. I’m sure that I am missing some other excuses but those are the ones I hear the most. Either our talent evaluator’s are clueless and they believed this crew could do the job on the blueline or they have intentionally tanked another season to worship at the altar of 1st overall. Regardless, it’s been another terrible year to watch hockey in Edmonton.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    Woodguy: MacT didn’t have a dearth of scoring forwards. He had Guerin and Weight and an awful lot of blue chip prospects, like Jani Rita who was sensational at the world juniors, and Mikhnov who scored that 1 goal lol, and others…like Rob Schremp who might have worked out with another coach.

    MacT was a third stringer on a dynasty who simply never understood offensive hockey. Then coached according to his strengths.

    The reality is, other than Hemsky who arguably broke out during the lockout while playing with Jagr…MacT didn’t have a freaking clue.

  34. DeadmanWaking says:

    Never had a Dcorps as bad as the Oilers had the last 2 years …

    The Oil were bleeding 0.5 goals per game between the pipes until shortly before, as Hunter recalls it, Vancouver tanked. Then in an act of pure coaching genius he upped the bar on Hang On By the Skin of Your Teeth (so he learned something from Hitch after all) passing the gas mask to Detroit.

    If you reduce the GA total for the 2006 Oilers by 30 full goals to account for the goaltending fiasco for the first 60 odd games, they would surely have entered the playoffs with home ice advantage.

    For what purpose change for the sake of change? MacT was not a great coach in certain respects, but I think it was a coin flip whether a new coach would amount to an improvement.

    The window on COACH WANTED under the yard sign GREAT COACHING OPPORTUNITY amounted to the brief overlap between Pronger and Roloson. Before or after that conjunction the yard sign would have read FINALLY YOUR CHANCE TO GET NOTICED subtitled “no applicant refused an interview”.

    MacT said the other night that in his day out of a 45 second shift you spent 30 seconds lurking. His problem as a coach was that he didn’t understand what 45 seconds of hustle on every shift does to a guy over an 80 game season. It understood it damn well over a 20 game season. He had no viable coaching strategy under “conserve energy”. The most relaxing option he gave a player was sliding in front of the puck.

    Hitch knows how to get a team to play calm and efficient and how to ratchet the team up to controlled desperation right around the time the other team is feeling the burn from skating their bags off.

    Few coaches feared MacT in the regular season, but many feared him in the second season. We certainly could have found a coach better at limping into the playoffs with no real hope to contend. Vancouver cruises into the second season on turbo-chargers without MacT’s magic post-season pixie dust, and look where that gets them.

    Ask Hitch whether MacT was a good coach in the second season and I bet he’ll point out many weaknesses in the MacT system. Then ask Hitch how much he enjoyed going six rounds on Hamburger Hill and he’ll start quoting Frasier/Ali. Did any other first round series consistently look like Rommel vs Patton?

    The Battle of Britain has a similar Hunteresque aftermath. The proponents of the Big Wing would have won more battles, yet lost the war—or at least confronted the Sealion.

    Certainly Park’s tactics (which had included the occasional use of two and three-squadron wings) were correct for the conditions he had to fight under.

    Let’s suppose aliens abduct Park at the worst possible moment, but you have a time machine to send someone back to take his place. MacT would show well in the interview.

    Interview: Ever had so few combat-ready pilots you could barely fill your bench?
    MacT: You want a short answer or have you got all day?

    One of the reasons the Germans faltered in their estimation of the British response was the secret use by the British of 100 octane aviation fuel, available only from a certain not-yet-declared combatant, so it was very hush. It was hell on the engines, but the main combat parameter for the British was how fast you could gain altitude after a last-second scramble, and the planes they weren’t for keeping.

    You can’t burn 100 octane fuel for the whole of the regular season. He was a crappy 88 octane coach, but first tier when burning the good stuff.

  35. Professor Q says:

    @ Downright Fierce

    Hall DOES look like Harry Potter with that scar! Now he just needs glasses and black hair…

    Any thoughts on the arena concept gentlemen? I thought it looked quite flashy – some neat ideas as well.

    Any word on who is in net tonight?

  36. russ99 says:

    Last I heard Omark should be back in early February.

    At that point, i’m sure Renney will put him on a line with Belanger and Green, then sit him in the pressbox for attempting to score a goal and ruin the tank job. (sarcasm)

  37. Bruce McCurdy says:

    : Traktor: Eric Belanger and Shawn Horcoff will lead us to victory. Be afraid St Louis, be very afraid.

    That would be a good Plan Z, except Belanger is injured too. This is the Oilers we’re talking about here, remember?

  38. russ99 says:

    The arena renderings look really cool.

    That sky terrace looks a bit sketchy, though. What’s supporting that?

  39. Lowetide says:

    I think Omark is going to get about 100 at-bats here when he’s healthy and he better hit .400 with a bunch of ribbies.

  40. Dalton says:

    hunter1909:
    @Jordan:

    In 2006 MacT was hanging on to his Oilers job by the skin of his teeth, until Canucks did him a big favour and choked 8th place.

    MEMO TO KATZ: leave MacT wherever he is forever, and I promise never to diss the President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe again.

    MacTavish is our only winning record coach in the last two decades or so…

  41. knighttown says:

    To the poster who picked up on Ottawa and New Jersey building on solid finishes last year, I think that’s a good find. Improvement doesn’t have to come season-over-season. We’re fucked for the next 30 days until some semblance of health returns but after that I’d love to see some signs of improvement even if it costs us a spot or two in the draft. We’re securely in the lottery regardless.

    Ignoring Bettman points cause they’re stupid, would you rather finish:
    -8 wins/15 losses and 29th overall OR
    -15 wins/8 losses and 26th overall

    I’d take the latter. Gotta start winning some fucking games sometime.

  42. NOTB says:

    Any on-line links to the game?

  43. ASkoreyko says:

    Is Quinn a special guest coach tonight?

    What is up with Eager, Gagner, Hemsky 1st line?

  44. DeadmanWaking says:

    What an enjoyable news cycle: Spin City is heading into double OT.

    But trailing clouds of bitter women do we come
    Proclaiming God, who is our breastplate, and moral TARP.

    First thought: If you appeal to an eternal redemption hotline after fumbling your zipper, it’s hardly surprising the same applies when your buddy with the generous snuff box fumbles society’s wallet. As for on-topic, I’ve just clubbed a baby seal into low earth orbit, so laugh and move on. Perhaps my first post, as thoughtful as it was, was about as welcome as a diatribe on a blue dress. But we’re back, aren’t we, to Van de Graaff dynamics concerning the tin man behind the bench? One of these double OTs will be more fun than the other.

  45. voxwah says:

    NOTB,

    http://www.firstrow.tv/watch/102964/1/watch-st.louis-blues-vs-edmonton-oilers.html

    Its a good feed. If you full screen it you don’t have to deal with the ads.

  46. itsaleaf says:

    This is a real ugly period so far. They’re getting their asses handed to em.

  47. voxwah says:

    11-0 shots in favor of St. Louis early going on the pp.

    Lordy, as LT would say.

  48. NOTB says:

    VOXWAH – much thanks!

  49. voxwah says:

    NOTB,

    Lol, don’t thank me yet. It’s a train wreck so far!

  50. itsaleaf says:

    Shots now 17-0. I must be into self torture to sit through this,

  51. NOTB says:

    voxwah,

    Wow – thanks for nothing! Stuck in a hotel room… maybe I’ll iron the bed sheets instead.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Holy hell. If this was a fight they’d stop it. Our sticks are made of noodle.

  53. Lowetide says:

    Hartikainen has a goal and an assist tonight, PLEASE CALL HIM UP!

  54. voxwah says:

    Lowetide,

    Can we get him in for the second period?

  55. Henry says:

    Old time hockey boys, that’s what we need. Old time hockey!

  56. hunter1909 says:

    @ Deadmanwaking:

    What happened man? When you were going on and on at Lowetide’s old site it all seemed like a lot of bullshit. On this blog you’re a fricking sage, buddy.

    Keep it up. You’re a valuable member of this motley crew.

    PS: The “Germans could have invaded anytime” brigade never take into consideration the Royal Navy arriving to blow every nazi Rhine Riverboat into the water, along with anything else at sea. Take 1944, for example. When grandfather hit the beaches at 6:00 in the morning or whatever, he had total air superiority, plus absolute sea superiority that the Brits never did lose, ever in WW2.

  57. hunter1909 says:

    “Steve Smith” is another major league blogger around these parts, IMO.

    Steve is so sharp, his girlfriend has to carry a first aid kit.

    ADVICE: Stay on Steve’s good side. It’s not worth it.

  58. hunter1909 says:

    hunter1909:

    ADVICE: Stay on Steve’s good side. It’s not worth it.

    Arguing with Steve is like sticking your finger in a circular saw in shop class.

  59. itsaleaf says:

    91 won’t be on the PP for long if he makes plays like that.

  60. GordM says:

    This game reminds me of crushing a loss the 05/06 Oilers took later in the season when they were barely hanging onto the playoffs. IIRC, we dominated the game but lost to a brutal STL team (led by some goalie named Jason Chewbacca or something like that).

    Similar to NOTB, stuck in a hotel room (in Calgary no less), and have to watch this tripe.

    After watching that intermission interview….Any chance we could get Pietreangelo? eh Commrades???!!!??

  61. Kert says:

    I like that down ice camera facing the short handed teams goalie for the power play. At least until they gain the zone. You can really see what’s going on.

  62. Lowetide says:

    Jason Bicashua or something like that, remember it well. That was during the “Oilers make new goalie look like Sawchuk!” era.

  63. DeadmanWaking says:

    Oh, oh. I’m starting to draw connections. People have probably figured out by now that my hot button is the social mechanics of blame. Sports forums are always populated with a few ED-209s. Life is good.

    The recent podcast, Taleb on Antifragility, concerns the upcoming 3rd act of the Black Swan ballet. It’s a bit of a poor effort. Taleb mumbles and he’s always got a bit of brick in his listening circuit. Yet he also offers some insight that many insiders would prefer not to share. This is, of course, all about blame, or at least, the pretext for blame (in the form of risk externalities).

    Back when we had MacT, the club was fairly strong up the middle—at least on the dot. Our weakness was winning battles along the wall. Penner drove him to madness by tipping the ice in the right direction while completely ignoring the fatal breach that he was best equipped to confront. Penner seemed to think “what did I do to be selected first over the wire?” What MacT demanded wasn’t part of Penner’s teamwork vocabulary. Penner might have been thinking that it was Lowe’s job not to dig such a stupid trench in the first place. I grant him a point there, if he was thinking this thought.

    We tend to think hockey more up/down than inside/outside. What surprised me about Taleb is how strongly he now advocates “The Captain Goes Down with His Ship” as the only thing we’ve learned about risk management in 3000 years—dating all the way back to Hammurabi. The go-to phrase in the podcast was “skin in the game”. But the key here is to recognize that Taleb is playing the middle against the ends. His model of kingpin accountability is designed to make extreme outcomes rare.

    There’s always a lot of yammering on sports forums during a squall of misfortune for a ceremonial lynching of those responsible, where responsibility accrues not from circumstance or inspired/insipid tactics, but merely having your hand on the tiller on the fated day.

    People seem to think that risk functions like an elevator: if you move from the ugly tail into the mediocre middle, you’re that much closer to your destination. Inside the elevator is a whup-ass vending machine. It hums momentarily, then the opposite doors slide open to embrace the ramparts of domination. This is a wrong metaphor. Taleb’s elevator of mediocrity has only one set of doors. You move from the tails to the middle, and then you live there in perpetuity on three floors labeled B, G, and 1.

    If you’re in it to achieve ultimate victory—the cup itself—are you vested in mitigating volatility or something else? Captain Goes Down with His Ship is a great strategy to maintain secure standing in the mediocre middle. It doesn’t even need to be the captain’s fault. Ritual sacrifice is guaranteed to truncate incompetence (thus its virtue), even if lacking patience for genius. Taleb believes society would be better off with fewer geniuses throwing the dice. Life in his view is not sport.

    It’s kind of hard to think of mediocrity as the absorbing boundary. Mentally we’re wired to assign this role to extremes, to outcomes on the wings. It’s as obvious to me as anyone else that we could do tons of simple things to immediately become less mediocre. I just lack the faith of many here that less mediocre is a good long term investment.

    I also think due to lingering reputation issues, that it’s harder to stockpile useful insurance for this organization than others. We pay a premium to attract those players. Perhaps not so much in the near future. It’s only money, from our side. Katz sees it differently: it’s only my money, there’s no financial upside to the investment because the seats are already filled, and all I’m getting for my insurance dollar, if it pays back at all, is a crappier draft pick. What’s not to like? Katz might also reason, “the fans are boiling a pot of oil to lynch the coach/GM”. So what? Above average management talent is a dime a dozen. Shake any tree. If the fans believe this, why shouldn’t I?

    In Taleb’s model, one doesn’t cry if Rommel drowns. Life is more predictable with an institutional CYA muddle punctuated by ritual sacrifice. With the Germans in WWII the loss of numbers was not the leading indicator of doom: it was the loss of so many highly trained and experienced personnel. They kept up numbers for a long while, while their overwhelming pre-war command advantage withered away. There’s another meme to be extremely conservative with tried and true war-horse assets. In the view of the reckless thrust for victory, the fresh general is a poor general. Only the old bastard knows how to open the secret doors on the other side of the elevator to the ramparts of domination.

  64. Rebilled says:

    If 35 steals this game, it’s furthur away from a draft pick.

    The Refs are on dope.

  65. DeadmanWaking says:

    Technically, when I said “invest in becoming less mediocre”, it should have been “invest in becoming more mediocre”, since we’re we’re presently looking upward at the belly of the beast (touching thumb to nose). I repeat: it’s hard to think of the middle as the absorbing boundary. Even trusty metaphors balk.

  66. GordM says:

    LT…thx to stuck-in-CGY-Hotel…here is the game recap:

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2005021161

    A 2-1 regulation loss to STL in 05/06…4th last game of the season (which given that we took until game 81 to qualify for the dance…now I remember how gut-wrenching that loss was)

    The capper…it ended a 13 game losing streak for the Blues. We out-shot them 37-18…this game does have a similar feel in reverse.

  67. Traktor says:

    Smyth – Horcoff – Green on the first unit PP?

    Green has 1 goal in 3 years or so, Horcoff hasn’t scored in 23 or 24 games and Smyth has been fighting the puck for quite some time.

  68. ASkoreyko says:

    Traktor,

    At least he puts out Eberle with those boat anchors, nothing like waisting his ability.

    Might be the one time where Hemsky is actually happy to be on the 2nd PP unit.

  69. knighttown says:

    A few bullets Dennis style:
    -the Blues could win the Stanley Cup this year. If you’re looking for a team following the Bruins model you could find worse examples than these guys. Huge and deep…perfect for the playoffs (or porn).
    -Paajarvi couldn’t have failed his audition on line one more dramatically. I expect Hall to take that spot vs the Fkames and top 6 minutes will be in the rearview…and that’s the right call.

  70. Rebilled says:

    hung him out to dry all game.

  71. itsaleaf says:

    This Blues team looks pretty good. they’re young too. Not sure if Elliot will keep up this level of play though.

    To think, they still have tarasenko coming

  72. GordM says:

    At least we didn’t take a too many men penalty when pulling the goalie.

    Baby Steps…as Bill Murray would say.

  73. LMHF#1 says:

    This Josh Green crap isn’t funny.

    We’re intentionally losing again. Disgusting.

  74. itsaleaf says:

    Thoroughly outclassed. This team has a looooooooooooong way to go.

  75. Traktor says:

    Brule has 2 more goals than MPS this year and only 2 behind Hemsky.

  76. hags9k says:

    Khabs was good again but just nobody feeling it offensively. Halak may as well have strung a hammock between the posts and popped a few Coronas.

    Effort was solid, but just couldn’t muster up anything against coach Hitchcock. I can’t believe he was unemployed that long. Wish we would have pounced.

  77. DSF says:

    itsaleaf:
    This Blues team looks pretty good.they’re young too.Not sure if Elliot will keep up this level of play though.

    To think, they still have tarasenko coming

    And Jaden Swartz and Ty Rattie.

  78. Lowetide says:

    I think they need to exchange Green for Hartikainen. If we’re going to lose, let’s see if these young men who should be close to ready can help some.

  79. OilClog says:

    I wish I could stop watching this re-run, it’s this or seinfield..

    Lander is good for the AHL.. “Hey BEN!.. Ben!.. BEN!.. I’m open in front of the net, pass it between three players and I’ll shoot!”..

    Potter was on a hot streak 10weeks ago, yet the coach still thinks it’s happening..

    I don’t know what’s up with Hemsky, but it’s clear the oilers mental therapist is from Vancouver.

    You never know what players will be sent out when.. I’m surprized Smid isn’t taking faceoffs too.. is it fair to say that Smid has gone from overrated to underrated? maybe? But if this is how long good D takes to develop for the love of god please sign 6 or 7 in the offseason.

    Why couldn’t the Oilers just sign Hemsky to a four year deal? give him close to his terms, then trade him if we really have to down the road? There are clearly GM’s in the league that would still take his contract. Look at what some of these old bastards do when they can’t hit cap floor.

  80. knighttown says:

    DSF: And Jaden Swartz and Ty Rattie.

    Jesus. That defense is very well designed too. Two “Robyn Regehr in his primes” in Polak and Jackman. Two of the Top 5 all around defensemen under 25 in Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk. Two terrific (if one-dimensional) puck movers in Russell and Colaiocovo. Ian Cole, Kent Huskins and Cade Fairchild provide depth.

  81. Lowetide says:

    I thought Petry had his moments tonight, good and bad but to my eye he was more aggressive and involved, calmer.

  82. OilLeak says:

    If the right heads don’t roll by the end of the season it’s going to be the same old crap for a long time. This team should be striving to make significant improvements, but instead is content drafting high year after year and hope that a Stanley cup winner just drops in their lap.

  83. OilClog says:

    Petry is a keeper, he’d excel with a similiarly fashioned mentor as a partner.

  84. DSF says:

    knighttown: Jesus. That defense is very well designed too. Two “Robyn Regehr in his primes” in Polak and Jackman. Two of the Top 5 all around defensemen under 25 in Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk. Two terrific (if one-dimensional) puck movers in Russell and Colaiocovo. Ian Cole, Kent Huskins and Cade Fairchild provide depth.

    Rattie with 40 goals in 43 games in the WHL.

    Jeebus.

    And now first overall in the NHL.

    I would hate to have to meet that team in the playoffs.

  85. Traktor says:

    Sean Monahan or Nathan MacKinnon?

  86. Traktor says:

    St Louis had more shots on goal in the first 5 minutes than Edmonton had the entire game.

    ThecaptainShawnHorcoff -18 and 1 goal over his last 24

    Those are Struddy/Chorney numbers.

    For the love of God call up Hartikainen and play him until he pukes. Then send him back over the boards.

  87. DSF says:

    Tracy
    TreenasOil Tracy

    Hemsky resigning depends on Renney player/coach rift. A P G
    14 minutes ago

  88. DSF says:

    Tracy
    TreenasOil Tracy

    Tambelini rejects a one year extension from the Oilers APG
    23 minutes ago

  89. Dominoiler says:

    (sorry for being a whiner, but…)

    Wow,.. The oilers (as they are presently) suck..
    Besides the phenoms, the rest of the team is lousy.. (although khabi has been decent)

  90. GordM says:

    OOT…PHX got 3 too many men penalties tonight against the Wings.

    Raffi Torres served all three…

    Wierd….

  91. godot10 says:

    Tambellini isn’t being too smart if he is rejecting a one year extension.

    If you’ve been 30th, 30th, and on the way to 29th, a one year extension is a pretty good offer. There are only 30 jobs.

    And this is from one of the few guys who haven’t thrown the towel in on Tambellini yet. (I have given up on Renney.)

  92. bookje says:

    When MacT left, I seem to remember him saying something like “Nobody could coach that team as it is now”

    We had our culture change, the old dressing room staff are gone, the ping pong table is back in the room … what’s up?

    My guess is that the team was ‘built’ to finish in about 20th place at best – and then it lost 5 of its top 6 players and it is now a 35th place team (or so). The team gets depressed about losing so much that some of them lose motivation. The coach gets pissed off at the poor attitude of the guys who are depressed so he ends up sending Toby Peterson Josh Green out on the Power play. This compounds issues with the team’s poor attitude and the coach becomes tuned out. Pretty soon their is a split in the dressing room between the guys who ‘work hard every night’ and those who need to feel as though there is a chance of actually winning before they can be motivated to work hard.

    Tambelllini probably needs to make a trade NOW to make this team better, because if he doesn’t, the culture is going to turn awfully sour in that room and the chance of getting free agents to sign here will fade – regardless of the few talented forwards.

  93. DSF says:

    Kyle Turris has 13 points and +13 in 16 games with Ottawa.

  94. peeps says:

    Whoah… So Tambellini turned around and rejected a offer? So when it’s his livelihood, it doesn’t take years of evaluating before he makes a decision. Interesting…

  95. pboy says:

    There’s no way V.03 refused an extension. He’s presiding over the worst team in the NHL the last 3 seasons. What leverage could he possibly think he would have? The next guy would be in a no lose situation. The kids will continue to get better, at some point the injury plague will right itself and the new GM can take credit for all of that. Tambo can’t be that stupid.

  96. DSF says:

    pboy:
    There’s no way V.03 refused an extension. He’s presiding over the worst team in the NHL the last 3 seasons. What leverage could he possibly think he would have? The next guy would be in a no lose situation. The kids will continue to get better, at some point the injury plague will right itself and the new GM can take credit for all of that. Tambo can’t be that stupid.

    Sure he could.

    Check out Khabibulin’s contract.

  97. bookje says:

    This just in from Garfield – Lasagne is delicious.

  98. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Funny thing, same day as I made that comment about Oil Kings outshooting Calgary 22-0 in the first 14:04, St.. Louis outshot Edmonton 17-0 in the first 7:12. Can’t recall too many like that either.

    Mind you the caveat about two well-matched teams does not apply here. What a fricken mismatch.

  99. Jordan says:

    Hmm.

    I’d be willing to bet that Tambellini did reject a 1 year deal. I think he’s well aware that if EVERYTHING goes right for this team with trades and moves in the short term, it’s an 8th seed playoff contender next year. I don’t think that’s what the goal is for the Oilers, and I think he’s decided that he wants to be here when what he’s built actually competes for a cup, in 2 or 3 years.

    It’s not a matter of a 1 year deal being a good deal – it’s a matter of wanting to win, and seeing that this team is not 1 year away from a deep run.

    The tell is going to be what happens at the trade deadline. While this team needs some bodies back and some wins some games so that morale does not to completely evaporate, it’s still unclear how Steve wants to run out the year. If he buys, we know he’s doing the dumb thing, and will likely should likely lose his job, regardless of how the team does. If he sells, it’s pretty clear he’s making the smart play and still getting a lottery pick. It’s clear the goal was to win games this year, but wins are still a luxury for this team – getting elite talent through the draft has been and will be the goal until there is so much talent here that they can’t keep it all – that seem to be how they will pursue building Dynasty v2.0

  100. jb says:

    DSF: Sure he could.

    Check out Khabibulin’s contract.

    Oh yea a 3.75M caphit has absolutely crippled this team.

    Luongo.. Now that’s a shitty contract! Such a long term at 5+mil for an emotionally fragile dude who’s proven time and time again he chokes when it matters.

    I mean he plays behind one of the deepest D corps in the league and he’s posting a lower GAA and SV% than Khabibulin, who plays infront of like 3 NHL Dmen.

    Thanks god it’s Vancouver who’s stuck with that shitty contract. What the hell was the Canucks GM thinking DSF? wow. I don’t know if I could take it as a Canuck fan, knowing that winning a cup isn’t even a possibilty. I’d probably turn into a self entitled emotional wreck of a fan with urges to BURN THIS MOTHER ####ER TO THE GROUND!

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