G53 Oilers at Leafs

When it comes to rebuilds, the Toronto 68-74 edition happened right in front of Canadians my age. Toronto won the Stanley in 1967 with all kinds of old men and then began the process of adding kids each season in order to turn over the roster.

The “textbook” rebuild–or build, I should say–happened in New York and was performed by Bill Torrey. Torrey learned a lot about the business in Oakland, as the Seals sent their first rounders to Montreal for second tier talent. Torrey has some quotes in the new book BEHIND THE MOVES (thanks, WG) and much of the book deals with teams trying to build up their rosters.

Every GM has the mandate to win a Cup, but you can’t just say it. You have to back it up with the steps that convince your owner, your fans, the media that, “yeah they are headed in the right direction.” Bill Torrey

That’s such an interesting quote. Steve Tambellini is about to get a contract extension, meaning that owner Darryl Katz and franchise pilot Kevin Lowe must feel he has shown enough in the position to earn two more years (more or less) to build on the drafts.  Steve Tambellini has been on the job 42 months, and the major progress has been at the draft table.

That’s enough for Darryl Katz.

The fans are a mixed bag. One thing that always strikes me as interesting about Oiler nation is the amount of unrest seems to be related to how far you live from ground zero. Locals seem to have an endless supply of patience, distant fans seem ready to explode. One thing the two groups have in common: while some fall away from the day to day events of the team, very few (from what I’ve seen) flush following the team altogether.

The Oilers are a very famous team. Awesome 20+ years ago, it seems as though one of the results of the glory days is a fanbase that has had a lot of time to stare at the team. Owners, managers, coaches, players, scouts, hell if the zamboni guy did an interview we’d find something to complain about there too.

The Steve Tambellini extension should come this week or next, and with it another round of gasps and eye rolls. The truth is none of it matters. Mr. Katz has his building, the current cement pond is full or close to and the GM is making enough progress to retain his job.

The business is running smoothly based on the actions of the business. Signing the GM to an extension tells us that much. We’re going to hear a lot about defense in the next 5 months. A lot.

Tommy Gilbert might be back soon, that means it is all hands on deck for the blue. Toronto has a pretty good team these days, it’s likely a playoff group. Oilers should be able to win the game, but the warts of being a road team and a hot goalie in the big smoke could spell doom. I wonder how many interviews Gagner will have this afternoon.

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187 Responses to "G53 Oilers at Leafs"

  1. Woodguy says:

    The Steve Tambellini extension should come this week or next, and with it another round of gasps and eye rolls.

    I plan on marking the occasion with weeping and gnashing of teeth while wearing sackcloth and smearing my skin with ashes.

    Gabe’s site is up to date this morning.

    Oiler forward scoring rates 5v5/60:

    JORDANEBERLE 3.60 (1st in the NHL. Wow.)
    SAMGAGNER 2.28 (up from 1.48 from last Wednesday, Lordy)
    RYANSMYTH 2.18
    TAYLORHALL 2.14
    RYANNUGENT-HOPKINS 1.96
    ALESHEMSKY 1.51
    RYANJONES 1.46
    BENEAGER 1.32
    SHAWNHORCOFF 1.16
    LENNARTPETRELL 0.9
    ERICBELANGER 0.68
    DARCYHORDICHUK 0.63
    ANTONLANDER 0.56
    MAGNUSPAAJARVI-SVENSSON 0.48

    Wonder if Renney will run 4,89,14 again tonight?

    Hope Gilbert is back. A puck mover on each pair (Gilbert, Whitney, Barker) will make for a fast, fun game to watch.

    Go OIlers!

  2. DBO says:

    So who sits on D then? Peckham of course, but who else? Petry or Potter is my guess.

  3. pboy says:

    Don’t forget the hairshirt WG.

  4. Clay says:

    Locals seem to have an endless supply of patience, distant fans seem ready to explode

    My take on this is that if you live in Edmonton, you can walk downtown with an Oilers hat on, and not have half a dozen guys tell you how much your team sucks.

    Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad in Calgary, but I can tell you that living here, if people know you’re an Oiler fan, you hear it constantly. Guys at work, guys on your beer league team, everywhere.

    It gets old. Trust me, it’s way easier to be an Oiler fan living in Edmonton.

  5. Lois Lowe says:

    None of my family lives in Edmonton, (1 brother in Calgary, 1 in England, and 2 of us on the west coast) and I’d say that we’re all more than patient. In fact, I’d say it’s easier to be so in many respects because when the team starts to suck you just stop streaming the games.

    Brother in Calgary gets a hard time from Flames fans, but us out here in the rain don’t really hear much from Canucks fans as their team is CLEARLY better than ours. I think they pity us.

  6. stevezie says:

    As far as the fame of the team goes, I just moved to Sweden and the only reason why anyone has heard of Edmonton is the Oilers.

  7. art vandelay says:

    I’d say older fans in other cities crap on the Oilers b/c they can vividly recall their teams getting taken to the woodshed by the coke-snorting dynasty.
    Younger ‘uns are laughing at Oilers fan because you’re the Western Canadian version of Leafs’ fan: self-absorbed, deluded, and decades from having won anything -06 fluke not withstanding.
    I hate the Oilers for both reasons. Plus, the Drug Kingpin is using city hall to steal my money.

  8. Woodguy says:

    As per @NHL_Oilers Gilbert is in, Sutton is out.

    Gilbert to play with Barker to ‘ease Tom into the lineup”. As per Renney.

    6-44
    5-58
    13-77

    I’m sure 77 will help 13 with his shots-against issues as well, even in his 1st game back.

    DD starts.

  9. Doogie2K says:

    Clay:
    My take on this is that if you live in Edmonton, you can walk downtown with an Oilers hat on, and not have half a dozen guys tell you how much your team sucks.

    Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad in Calgary, but I can tell you that living here, if people know you’re an Oiler fan, you hear it constantly.Guys at work, guys on your beer league team, everywhere.

    It gets old.Trust me, it’s way easier to be an Oiler fan living in Edmonton.

    I actually find it quite funny when I get chirped, to be honest. It’s like, your team’s in 11th and a distant bell to make the playoffs, but you’re not even going to get rewarded for having a crap team because you’re way too far ahead of lottery pace: the worst position imaginable. I know what my team is; do you?

    So yeah. I really can’t be bothered by any of the partisan idiocy. I really don’t give two shits about Calgary in general these days. They’re an even less relevant franchise than we are, really: if they didn’t have Iginla, would anyone have said three words about the Flames this year?

  10. jake70 says:

    I am a few time zones east. I never get chirped ( I think many feel sorry for Edmonton for the last 6 years). A big Canuck fan at work compliments the Oilers the most I would say, which is interesting. A lot of Habs fans around these parts are having a rough time, feel sorry for them, well not really. If out and about and I have the Oiler cap on, I hear almost every time…..”hey you guys are gonna have a good team”….to which I respond cautiously (because the Islanders of the west is always a possibility), …”sure hope so”…..remember the swagger you had as a fan in the 80s? Man would be nice to get that back.

  11. Captain Obvious says:

    I’m new to Edmonton and have only become a fan by moving here. I’m also impatient as hell but that’s an intellectual position driven by the knowledge that time is the one thing it doesn’t taken to rebuild. Rebuilding doesn’t need patience it needs competence.

    The other interesting thing about being a new Oiler fan is how it shines a light onto my adoptive city. I find it interesting and frightening to live in a place where a player as good as Hemsky can be turned on so quickly by a parasitical media and an sheepdog fanbase. From Spector’s mouth to the fanbase lips go the use of prejudicial words devoid of rational content.

  12. striatic says:

    i’m in seattle, where hockey is an oddity celebrated by odd canadian ex-pats such as myself.

    i have plenty of patience for the rebuild, but i do worry about the rebuild not working.

    like, i’d be fine with the team not making the playoffs next year, but i worry about today’s moves leading to a unbalanced team 3 or 4 years from now.

    as for toronto, they’re exactly the kind of team edmonton has been losing to on the road all year. i’m less hopeful about this game than i was about the last four, and the last four were against some pretty good teams.

    as for toronto and the playoffs, i think NJD is a lock, finishing strong, and it’ll be a 3 way race for 7th and 8th – Toronto, Ottawa and Washington. i think it will be Ottawa looking from the outside in, but never underestimate the ability of the Leafs to get overconfident and complacent.

  13. stevezie says:

    Captain Obvious,

    Keep in mind, sir, that most of these people actually put some effort into following hockey. The read what professional commentators write, they watch a few games, they discuss hockey with their peers, and they still come to the conlcusion not just that we should trade Hemsky, but that we’d be well off to just give him away. Or that we could trade Horcoff for Carter. Or that, even if he had a good contract, Horcoff has always sucked. Keep that in mind and consider the odds that they put even half of the attention they give hockey into following current events, the state of our world and the direction of our nation, yet they’re all allowed to vote. Encouraged, even.

  14. Bar_Qu says:

    Clay:
    Locals seem to have an endless supply of patience, distant fans seem ready to explode

    My take on this is that if you live in Edmonton, you can walk downtown with an Oilers hat on, and not have half a dozen guys tell you how much your team sucks.

    Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad in Calgary, but I can tell you that living here, if people know you’re an Oiler fan, you hear it constantly.Guys at work, guys on your beer league team, everywhere.

    It gets old.Trust me, it’s way easier to be an Oiler fan living in Edmonton.

    These days I find that all I need to do is say “8″ and then ask them how many Flames in the past decade and a half have gotten that many points in a game. It usually shuts up the less savvy ones.

  15. Woodguy says:

    Sam Gagner has not scored a point since Scott Oake touched him on the shoulder during the 1st period interview on Saturday.

    I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

  16. stevezie says:

    Although, in democracy’s defence- the state of the hockey team affects all the fans, but they are run by a small group of elites who are sometimes Harold Ballard. So really, you’re picking your poison.

  17. Captain Obvious says:

    stevezie,

    I think a big part of the problem is these guys spend so much time talking to each other. It creates a feedback loop of stupidity. The media in this town is a pack of nattering hens without the capacity for independent thought nor the integrity to break from the pack. Their behaviour this winter has been sickening. Endless innuendo repeated as fact all in the service of character assassination.

    I’d like to say the fans deserve better. However, from what I’ve seen they don’t.

  18. stevezie says:

    Captain Obvious,

    There’s a technical term for that, but “feedback loop of stupidity” is more descriptive.

  19. Ribs says:

    VanDiest tweets…

    head coach Tom Renney needed stitches after taking a puck to the head in the morning skate.

    Some kind of voodoo curse on this team. I’m thinking Joey should gear up while he’s at the rink, just in case.

  20. Ribs says:

    Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff left practice early today in First Niagara Center after taking a scary fall in the wake of a collision with defenseman Jordan Leopold.

    Maybe it’s Hurt Your Coach Day?

  21. striatic says:

    Captain Obvious,

    i disagree. it has more to do with the need to find something to write about on a consistent basis that will grab the interest of the mainstream fan.

    Lowetide has it easy by comparison. much lower word count. readership that is interested in things like Magnus Pääjarvi’s Corsi Rel Qualcomp and lots of activity in the comments. that he’s able to put a kind of poetic spin on things is testament to his skill as a writer and hockey observer, but it isn’t like he has to manufacture controversy in order to get ratings when the news is slow or bad.

    it’s all about raising a big hullabaloo more than it is about stupidity on the part of hockey analysts.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Ribs: head coach Tom Renney needed stitches after taking a puck to the head in the morning skate.
    Some kind of voodoo curse on this team.

    Don’t be silly. This is freaking hilarious. I just want to know who shot the puck, lol.

    As for the local yokel media, i only bother to read Terry Jones – yeah yeah yeah everyone rags on his fat arse etc, but the dude’s been around and seen it all. He’s also uncontrollable by the medicine show level powers that run Smallsville.

    Like, why even bother reading what the Edmonton media write about the oilers these days? I’d far sooner read Lowetide, or any number of other blogs. When I read I prefer to learn something new. Now, if I was thirteen years old or younger, the Edmonton media would be perfect. Nice, cookie cutter disinformation designed to keep me happy.

    i must confess, oilers are worrying me lately. If they keep this level of play up, they’re going to end up in Flames-like position by April – out of the playoffs, and out of top ten pick position. Yuck. On the other hand, when they lose and lose and lose I start getting cranky.

    I can’t win.

    That said, I’ll no doubt be cheering for the boys tonight. Just to shut up the Toronto fans, with a demonstration of elite young skill, as opposed to their Brian Burke blowhard driven bubble team shiteshow.

  23. delooper says:

    There’s no trouble being an Oiler fan in Victoria, no trouble at all. People barely know about hockey here. There are more Canucks fans than Oilers (or Flames) fans, but they’re not particularly loud or obnoxious. They can tell you the Canucks are better, and you can respond by asking them how well they’ve done in the playoffs. They’ve never responded to that. This town appears to be too mellow to get worked-up about hockey.

  24. Ribs says:

    hunter1909: Don’t be silly. This is freaking hilarious. I just want to know who shot the puck, lol.

    Smid says he touched it last before it hit Renney.

  25. Captain Obvious says:

    striatic,

    You don’t think they mean what they are saying? It isn’t just the print media, it’s the radio and tv guys as well. Rishaug doesn’t have to write anything except he wants to run Hemsky out of town solely as a result of his “body language.” He’s incapable of saying Hemsky’s name without following it up with some kind of comment about “body language.” He seems to believe that the Oilers would be better without Hemsky. Or Spector. He definitely believes the Oilers will be better without Hemsky. He can’t talk about Hemsky without mentioning being “first off at the end of practice.”

    These are words without meaning. That doesn’t mean the speakers don’t mean them.

    My biggest fear is that the Oilers are going to trade for Luke Schenn. It’s one thing to trade someone good like Hemsky but if they get someone useless in return we’re perpetually doomed.

  26. Ribs says:

    This’ll be Hordichuks’ 4th straight game sitting out. Do they try to rid themselves of him at the deadline? Would anyone want him?

  27. hunter1909 says:

    Ribs: Smid says he touched it last before it hit Renney.

    That’s just it with me. Lose, and I want the front office guillotined at centre ice. Right after the ritual strangling of M.A. Bergeron.

    Win, and I get all fuzzy inside, even re these collective creeps.

    PS: Quinn’s left the oilers, am I right? I never heard about that. I just assumed he had a job for life. Too bloody bad, I like that OTC.

  28. Lois Lowe says:

    There has been a hatchet job on Hemmer ever since he told Tencer and Matheson to “f*ck off” in December.

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Lois Lowe: There has been a hatchet job on Hemmer ever since he told Tencer and Matheson to “f*ck off” in December.

    Yeha, riight. Either the players toe the line in the-hockey-market-deemed-too-stupid-by-everyone-but-Edmonton, or else risk, nay guarantee ostracisation(I was sure that was a real word, your honour).

    Gee. I wonder why no one wants to sign in Edmonton as a UFA?

  30. nathan says:

    Gagner, Hall, Renney… Helmets and gloves in all practices and team meals.

  31. Lois Lowe says:

    hunter1909: Yeha, riight. Either the players toe the line in the-hockey-market-deemed-too-stupid-by-everyone-but-Edmonton, or else risk, nay guarantee ostracisation(I was sure that was a real word, your honour).

    Gee. I wonder why no one wants to sign in Edmonton as a UFA?

    Apparently Hemsky has never really been great with the media and they (Tencer and Matheson) were asking him questions about his shoulders when he was coming back. Matheson asked Hemsky “if he could life his arms above his head” and Hemmer told them both where to go and how to get there.

    Suddenly body language and him being first off the ice is all anyone hears about, and NO ONE is saying anything positive about the guy. I have seen him bad just like everyone else, but lots of decent players have off years and come back strong.

  32. Ribs says:

    Wow, there’s an entire comic strip dedicated to the life of Steve Tambellini! Link

  33. VOR says:

    A number of factors lead to the odd mix of fans the Oilers have, and to Oilers management’s frequent disconnect from those fans.

    Hockey is a game where luck takes a big hand. About 50% of the difference between teams in a season occurs by chance. Then there is the fact that just because the Oilers beat Detroit on Saturday, and Detroit beat Vancouver on Thursday doesn’t mean Edmonton could beat Vancouver tonight (if they were the opponent instead of Toronto). Then home ice advantage is very real in hockey but much of it is explained by reffing discrepancies. Refs favor home teams dramatically in the NHL.

    So talent isn’t as certain a predictor of outcomes as it is in many other sports. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t matter. It does, a lot. The most talented team doesn’t always win is all. Fans of course are oblivious to the math. What we do is when the team loses we assume it isn’t talented enough or doesn’t care enough rather than acknowledge chance as a prime mover.

    In fact, because of the large element of luck emotionally, psychologically, we react to hockey much like we would to playing roulette. We get over invested and start looking for patterns and explanations that don’t exist. It doesn’t help that there are no definitive sabre-metrics but lots of attempts to creat such tools for hockey. So anybody can find a stat for almost any argument they want to make and their is no way to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    Then there are the issues that a unique to Edmonton. The OIlers are one of the NHL teams that plays in front of a fan base who grew up playing hockey. That leads to even more emotional involvement. On top of which the Oilers have fans who still pine for the days of the boys on the bus. Many hang on to the delusion that with a few simple tweaks the Oilers could be great again. Because of a long period of poor to almost mediocre performance there are younger fans who have no belief that any Oiler team could be any good, ever. This leads to internal dissent in the fan base.

    Then we have, arguably, the least transparent management in the NHL. When they do speak they contradict themselves. Because they speak so rarely the fanbase falls on any thing they do say and reads enormous gobs of nonsense into their pronouncements. During the long periods of silence a MSM with pages to fill give us an endless stream of innuendo, speculation, and personal opinion. Those that have access aren’t allowed to write anything informative less they lose access. Those without access often come off as bitter hacks.

    Finally, we have a very active online community where fans gather from all over the world. Those at a distance or making huge commitments just to follow the Oilers and often have the highest emotional attachment. On top of which they probably feel they have to scream to make their voices heard from a distance.That is just human nature.

    At its best all the ranges of fan emotion surrounding the Oilers is interesting, funny and informative. At its worst individual players become pariahs either through management intention, mathematical illiteracy, media manipulation or the desire of many fans to return to the days of the Roman Coliseum. That is when you get nonsense like “first guy off the ice” Hemsky or “too-soft” Gilbert.

  34. mattwatt says:

    As a fan living in Lloydminster, many view the rebuild as something that will take time. Concern is there though for how it has been handle. Hard to look at managment and says “these guys know what they are doing” when roster imbalances continually exist. When it starts becoming a pattern like it has, feel that this is something to be concerned about.

    One other item of note, there has been some discussion in the past few threads about Cam Barker and what he does/doesn’t do or role on the team. I can see why some feel that their is talent in this player. Noticed from attending Saturday’s game, from the offensive blue line in, Barker often does do some right things. He knows to hesitate when the opening for the shot is not there, then makes a good pass with the defender out of position. Knows to wire it when the coast is clear, and was effective at getting the pucks to forwards in the offensive zone.

    Issue with his game is the other 74% of the ice surface. Repeatedly in the defensive zone, he is one to three strides behind is defender, chasing the puck carrier around with little chance of getting it back. Rarely in a good spot in the defensive to be able to make the right play. Lastly, can’t beat guys to the corner when the puck is their and more often than not loses the positional battle when the offensive team is cycling the puck. Advance stats seemingly back up what I saw. In summary feel that Barker, like other NHL players, is just not that hockey smart.

    I guess I would not be opposed to keeping Barker, but only as a seventh-defenseman. He does have his moments, but what he takes from the table is far more than what he brings.

    Then again, this management felt he could play top 4 minutes in the NHL, so what do I know ;).

    (Again, when it comes to this management, there is seemingly no pattern emerging when it comes to roster decisions at all).

  35. Marc says:

    I don’t know if these guys actually know anyone connected, but Jean Shorts and Bagged Milk say that Hemsky is looking for $5.75M per

    http://www.jeanshortsandbaggedmilk.com/2012/02/say-goodbye-to-hemsky-oil-fans.html#.Ty__9PBYldk.twitter

  36. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909: Don’t be silly. This is freaking hilarious. I just want to know who shot the puck, lol.

    As for the local yokel media, i only bother to read Terry Jones – yeah yeah yeah everyone rags on his fat arse etc, but the dude’s been around and seen it all. He’s also uncontrollable by the medicine show level powers that run Smallsville.

    Like, why even bother reading what the Edmonton media write about the oilers these days? I’d far sooner read Lowetide, or any number of other blogs. When I read I prefer to learn something new. Now, if I was thirteen years old or younger, the Edmonton media would be perfect. Nice, cookie cutter disinformation designed to keep me happy.

    i must confess, oilers are worrying me lately. If they keep this level of play up, they’re going to end up in Flames-likeposition by April – out of the playoffs, and out of top ten pick position. Yuck. On the other hand, when they lose and lose and lose I start getting cranky.

    I can’t win.

    That said, I’ll no doubt be cheering for the boys tonight. Just to shut up the Toronto fans, with a demonstration of elite young skill, as opposed to their Brian Burke blowhard driven bubble team shiteshow.

    I generally like what Jones has to say, but after questioning the timeline of the rebuild, he spent a week in OKC, watched the AHL veterans play the most meaningful minutes, then declared the re-build an unqualified success and on schedule.

  37. Gerta Rauss says:

    Marc,

    I too question how plugged in those guys are but I don’t think $5.75M is unreasonable…he makes $5M right now. The issue with me has always been term-for me it’s 2 years maximum…maybe 3 if he brings down the asking price a little.

  38. nathan says:

    The Hemsky contract situation is pure spin pro and anti. Two things apparently not in dispute are that the team knows what Hemsky’s looking for and that the team has not made an offer. Everything else is fill in the blank.

    If there is a firm ask for 5 x 5.75, Hemsky knows why there is no offer ahead of crunch time and the reach out to media is pure spin.

    If he’s open to something significantly shorter or cheaper and still has no offer, then the management group may be spinning in place and not serious about assets.

    Another scenario is the agent played I’d be embarrassing all parties if I presented THAT. Call me again when you’re ready to offer. Which means at least the team and the agent know and the player probably knows.

    My own guess. Hemsky’s group are confident they can find a team that’s willing to go longer term than the Oilers. Which is a fair reason for both sides to part. But if the gap is somewhere between “no offer is an insult” and “the offer is an insult”, then I’d guess the next home stand is where risks are as settled as they are going to be and any serious negotiation starts.

  39. prairieschooner says:

    OK not wishing to hijack anything, but that Weekes guy on Saturday, talked about Detroit being a pro development club as opposed to other anti development clubs.
    Who does he think the anti development clubs are?

  40. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Interesting Discussion. Nice change of pace LT.

    Liked the comment by Captain Obvious – A rebuild takes competance not patience. That’s where the frustration starts with most regardless of proximation to ground zero.

    Generally the fanbase outside of a 200 km radius of Rexall does not esperience the pride in your hometown team emotion. That could be where the differences start.

  41. russ99 says:

    Sure seems that most sports fans are bipolar in regards to the management of the teams they follow. More interested than what they did lately than in a long-term slow process.

    Oilers fans seem to be patient towards the rebuild, but less patient as to the manner of the rebuild (which at this point is focused primarily on the draft) and the lack of progress.

    I feel a lot better about the Oilers after the last three wins than I did during that awful road swing.

  42. TRAV77 says:

    Lois Lowe,

    The major issue concerning Hemsky was his shoulders. If he’s had corrective surgery and everything is good then maybe a little patience is in order.i can’t believe how people are on this guy. He’s still a perennial .85-1.00 PPG player. Give him some time to settle in. It’s probably a mental thing and that kronwall hit probably helped a lot. He knows he can take a big hit. His production will go up and I think it would be a big mistake trading him now. Sign him to a 2 yr 9.5 deal with a team option for a third year at 5 million. It will be a bargain deal. I’m sure of it

  43. Doogie2K says:

    TRAV77,

    I don’t believe there’s such a thing as option years anymore, due to the way cap hits are calculated.

  44. nathan says:

    TRAV77,

    If I had to guess, he and his agent believe that other teams will do longer deals than 2 or 3.

  45. Ribs says:

    Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff suffered three broken ribs after being upended by defenceman Jordan Leopold in practice on Monday. – TSN

  46. Jordan says:

    SK Oiler Fan:

    Liked the comment by Captain Obvious – A rebuild takes competance not patience. That’s where the frustration starts with most regardless of proximation to ground zero.

    I disagree.

    A rebuild takes a combination of patience, skill, timing and luck.

    I think that’s a big part of why people like WG have such a solid grasp of what is required to succeed as an NHL GM. A big part of it is being able to develop those assets. It’s easy when you can afford to lose enough to get a Steven Stamkos or a Crosby. But otherwise, it’s about making smart bets. Example: Shawn Horcoff needs two elite wingers to make him look like a #1 C. When SMyth left, he looked exposed. When Hemsky went down, he looked like a 3rd liner. Doesn’t mean he’s a bad player – in fact I’d argue the contrary. That being said, betting on him being a #1C without Smyth was a DUMB bet, and it was exposed as a bluff at best when hemsky didn’t show up on the turn.

    I really appreciate the people on here who want Hemsky back. I really do. But he’s a bad bet at more than 5M per. He’s an okay bet at 4M, and the magic number for me for multi-year is 3.5. I might go 1 year @ 5+ just to see what happens, but the history is too bad to risk more than that. More than that, and you’re pot committed on another bad bet.

    Be clear here – I’m not saying he’s not a good player, or not worth the coin – I’m saying there’s too much risk associated with signing him in particular, because of the injury history. It’s like betting on a pair of 6s with two possible over-pairs, and two other players committing before you – it doesn’t matter that you have the pairs – odds are you lose the hand at the showdown, so save your money for a better bet.

    If you know he won’t sign for what you offer him, you trade him for something, and if you strike out in FA then you try to use what you have to get what you need.

    But so far, other than the return for Penner (regardless of how it pans out) and Staois (contract dump with a return?!) there haven’t been a lot of smart moves made. Potter and Sutton count for, Barker, Khabbibulin, Brule, Cogs (not enough back) and O’Sullivan count against.

    When v.4.0 shows up with value contracts for Wideman, Suter, Doan and Smyth, all while finding a soft landing for Horcoff so the C can be passed to Ebs, I think it will put our minds at ease about intelligence of the management team.

    Until then though, the proof is in the pudding.

  47. cabbiesmacker says:

    hunter1909: Don’t be silly. This is freaking hilarious. I just want to know who shot the puck, lol.

    Belanger on a shootout attempt? Renney on the bench at the time

  48. Gerta Rauss says:

    nathan,

    That’s it exactly-the Oilers have left this to the last minute so Tambellini is now bidding against the other 29 teams. If Hemsky doesn’t like what he hears he’ll take his chances on July 1. And I really doubt he accepts any less than his current salary–$5M–but that’s just my opinion.

    If he really wants to stay in Edmonton he may budge on the term and do a shorter deal, or he may budge on the average salary per year, but I would be surprised if he does both.

  49. Ribs says:

    Gregor says…

    Just when the Oilers finally get healthy, another injury…Tom Renney will not be on the bench tonight. Took a puck in head this morning.

  50. Denniss says:

    I’d be surprised if 77 wasn’t in the top four TOI at night’s end. He was a good part of a great PK start and they have missed him in that regard. Plus, in terms of bringing along an injured player, Renney didn’t do that with 6, right? And 77′s better than 6 this year so I’d be surprised if he did it with Gilbert.

    I will say 13 finishes with lowest TOI and that 77 has more time than 44.

    Nice for the Oilers to get back a full compliment in time for two games vs TO in the next nine days and anything we can do to keep them out of the playoffs would be most excellent.

    Just posted last game’s SCs and was moved to say the second period was probably the best I have seen the Oil play all year. I hope 83′s signed and we go into the summer with all pieces signed and then sit at position of power come draft night and the rest of the trade and signing drunk days that follow.

    I know, right?;)

    One last thing: 14 had a shift in OT that was fucking sublime. He made Kronwall look like Theo Peckham twice in the same shift. Kid’s the best homegrown Oiler since Messier. 4′s a bull who doesn’t have the edges sanded off like 14 does – for instance watch where they shoot the puck from – and young 93 might be the best of the lot once he gets the GP in and gets physically stronger.

    But right now 14 is it.

  51. Woodguy says:

    mattwatt:
    As a fan living in Lloydminster, many view the rebuild as something that will take time. Concern is there though for how it has been handle. Hard to look at managment and says “these guys know what they are doing” when roster imbalances continually exist. When it starts becoming a pattern like it has, feel that this is something to be concerned about.

    One other item of note, there has been some discussion in the past few threads about Cam Barker and what he does/doesn’t do or role on the team. I can see why some feel that their is talent in this player. Noticed from attending Saturday’s game, from the offensive blue line in, Barker often does do some right things. He knows to hesitate when the opening for the shot is not there, then makes a good pass with the defender out of position. Knows to wire it when the coast is clear, and was effective at getting the pucks to forwards in the offensive zone.

    Issue with his game is the other 74% of the ice surface. Repeatedly in the defensive zone, he is one to three strides behind is defender, chasing the puck carrier around with little chance of getting it back. Rarely in a good spot in the defensive to be able to make the right play. Lastly, can’t beat guys to the corner when the puck is their and more often than not loses the positional battle when the offensive team is cycling the puck. Advance stats seemingly back up what I saw. In summary feel that Barker, like other NHL players, is just not that hockey smart.

    I guess I would not be opposed to keeping Barker, but only as a seventh-defenseman. He does have his moments, but what he takes from the table is far more than what he brings.

    Then again, this management felt he could play top 4 minutes in the NHL, so what do I know .

    (Again, when it comes to this management, there is seemingly no pattern emerging when it comes to roster decisions at all).

    That’s a really good scouting report on Barker. I see the same things.

    The man can pass the puck very well, and has good decision making with the puck.

    Without the puck he is not NHL caliber.

  52. nathan says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    Gerta, Early, middle, or late to the dance all parties are comparing the dice the Oilers are willing to throw vs. what the other 29 teams might throw in. Without knowing the ask and the initial exchange of viewpoints all we can do is reinforce our own views. Everyone has a different guess. My guess is a strong position on contract length killed the discussion in its tracks. If Hemsky doesn’t want the risk of a short term and the Oilers don’t want the risk of a long term both parties probably figure that there is someone else out there willing to go where Hemsky wants to go. If so the rest is spin. The only positive would be that Jan/Feb results and the general trade market could help close the gap.

  53. cabbiesmacker says:

    Colorado looks to be moving a Dman by the deadline with Quincey and O’Brien rumoured to be the ones.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=615539

    Quincey’s an RFA at the end of this year currently earning $3.1 per but I like him. Plays pretty decent minutes and doesn’t have a bad +- considering who he plays for.

  54. Ducey says:

    I have always been astonished to read how smart internet hockey fans think they are.

    Most people I talk to around town will readily give you their opinion but will also acknowledge that it’s little more than that and that they are no expert. Some people in these parts seem to genuinely believe they are better than most of the GM’s, coaches and scouts in hockey.

    The blind confidence of the young man, I suppose.

  55. DeadmanWaking says:

    Fabulous post. I have little to add. The fan perception quote is superb. Even if they are throwing the right logs on the fire (and as you say, we’ll find out right smart over these next five months) the Oiler management has earned a double F minus communicating the method of their madness.

    This has been one of the clumsier merges of all time onto the highway of respectability: slamming to a dead stop just inches before the merge lane expires, then flipping into reverse in a mad grind to play out some string before the next car comes down the ramp behind you, then another stomp on the gas pedal to enter into a gap that’s not quite what it seemed to be, while you settle down a double fishtail that burps unpredictably out of the torque converter.

    Another driver might have judged it properly the first time, but then, another driver might be in the ditch already with or without a dance partner and glass confetti. From my perspective, the car is still in one piece, and it’s showing some giddy-up under the hood. We’re still good to go. After Tambi finally merges, however, enough with the fish tales:

    $4M car crash in Japan takes out eight Ferraris, one Lamborghini… and a Toyota Prius

  56. Woodguy says:

    Stauffer just mentioned that 94 and 10 switched spots.

    4-89-14
    94-93-83
    10-20-28
    55-57-37

    Good move.

    Smyth was dynamite last game and the mad Russian looks hurt/old.

  57. Ribs says:

    Well…That’s a nice start.

  58. Ribs says:

    Gagner with the assist.

  59. fuzzy muppet says:

    How long does Gags ride this streak?!?!?!

  60. Ribs says:

    Toronto announcer keeps calling him Dave, though.

  61. Woodguy says:

    Eberle is amazing.

    Eberle from Hall and Gagner.

    I think they might take away Gagner’s assist, I don’t think he touched the puck.

    Looks like the game might be a track meet.

    Awesome.

  62. LMHF#1 says:

    Wg – he touched the puck. More accurately the puck hit him, but it counts.

  63. crude says:

    It’s probably too early in the game to make such statements but having Gilbert on the third pairing (aka everyone healthy) is doing wonders for sustained pressure.

  64. Lucinius says:

    RNH has been making more turn overs in his return than he was at the start of the season. Hopefully he gets that out of his system soon.

  65. Woodguy says:

    Jesus, 13 should never be on the ice with 55,57,37

  66. Ribs says:

    That was ugly all around.

  67. Woodguy says:

    In the last 3 games (including tonight), both Eberle and Gagner have 4 goals.

  68. crude says:

    that 4th line has to be blown up.

  69. spoiler says:

    I would like to share a little story, keeping in mind this story is perhaps a bit unbecoming for a 46 yo man…

    I have always wanted an Oiler jersey, almost all my life. But I wanted a jersey of a player who shared my number, which has always been #14, and of a player whose namebar I would be proud. To wear…. Laurie Boschman just didn’t do it for me.

    That of course changed when Jordan Eberle started to play for this team.

    On January 14, my birthday, my present to myself was an Eberle home jersey, (and a letter to the Pope asking for “January” to be renamed to “Jordan”).

    The first day I wore the jersey was Gagner’s amazing Go Figure Eight Night. Added some meaning for me and the jersey, and needless to say, we have bonded nicely. So you all have me to thank for the top line’s astounding outpouring of points. And you’re all very welcome.

    But with great power comes great responsibility. Obviously, because of the level of Mojo involved, I had to pull the jersey back on for Saturday’s tilt. And Gagner responds by racking up another 3 and just barely misses getting the assist for the 12th straight Oiler goal with points.

    Now these Eastern games dance to a different beat, one that starts about 2 hours earlier. So today, to make puck drop, I have to pull a lightning quick disappearing act and bolt home to get the jersey on, Luckily I manage to make it over the wall without the guard towers seeing and with a nice bribe for the gatekeeper, and slide into home with about 2 minutes to spare… Just in time for Gagner, Hall and Ebs to connect on the first shift of the game.

    My only question is… What do I do when this thing begins to smell? Because these lovely little motherfuckers show no sign of letting up.

  70. DeadmanWaking says:

    That image of the gassy torque converter made me think, hey, Sam “octane” Gagner. We can hand out at the end of the season little golden fracking towers.

    Sam has octane locked up. I think Nuge gets the heptane award for his five assist performance. Hall gets sexane for looking so good (triacontane is a little obscure; don’t ever select “alkanes for 500 points”). There are still far too many nominees for the methane award as LT expressed in a recent post. (Fortunately, the Ethane award was flared off.) MPS receives the mock propane award in the form of a golden potato cannon instead of a golden fracking tower. Eberle and Smid are toe to toe for the butane award for game day consistency. Maybe we can give Khabi the septane award for his best seven game stretch alongside the mock septane award for his worst seven game stench. No butane for you.

    Trivia: triacontane is what waxes your apple right off the tree. Modern food processing supplants this with a resinous secretion of the female lac beetle. Bug shine! Yum! Also used to keep Junior Mints fresh and dry.

  71. striatic says:

    D having a lot of trouble dealing with Toronto’s speed. Jeez. Seems like every rush embarrases an Oilers defenseman.

  72. crude says:

    HOLY

  73. "Steve Smith" says:

    Cogliano would have assisted on that.

  74. unca miltie says:

    anybody have a link?

  75. striatic says:

    how the heck did Petry end up there for the assist?

    good thing he did but you don’t often see a defenseman getting an assist from there.

  76. crude says:

    Horse shit

  77. Lucinius says:

    God damn Refs.

    Someone needs to start keeping track of bad calls, missed calls and general Ref muckery. Seems to be happening more and more often — to almost every team.

  78. Woodguy says:

    No fucking reason to blow that play dead.

    If the fucking ref was actually in position he would have seen the puck was still alive.

    Also,

    If Kruger puts 13 out against Kessel’s line after a whistle again then Smid should fire a puck as his head too.

    Fun game!

  79. Lowetide says:

    Edmonton had some nice things going, but until they replace that 4th line the Oilers aren’t serious about winning. And Barker can’t play.

  80. DSF says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Cogliano would have assisted on that.

    Cogliano would have had BOTH assists.

  81. LMHF#1 says:

    Watching the replay of the Gardiner goal, there is a blatant pick on Barker that screws things up in front. If that call is made and the ref isn’t an idiot about the Smyth goal, it is 3-1.

  82. spoiler says:

    Seems like every game lately I’m asking myself, “Is Auger reffing tonight?”

  83. DSF says:

    spoiler:
    I would like to share a little story, keeping in mind this story is perhaps a bit unbecoming for a 46 yo man…

    I have always wanted an Oiler jersey, almost all my life.But I wanted a jersey of a player who shared my number, which has always been #14, and of a player whose namebar I would be proud. To wear….Laurie Boschman just didn’t do it for me.

    That of course changed when Jordan Eberle started to play for this team.

    On January 14, my birthday, my present to myself was an Eberle home jersey, (and a letter to the Pope asking for “January” to be renamed to “Jordan”).

    The first day I wore the jersey was Gagner’s amazing Go Figure Eight Night. Added some meaning for me and the jersey, and needless to say, we have bonded nicely.So you all have me to thank for the top line’s astounding outpouring of points.And you’re all very welcome.

    But with great power comes great responsibility.Obviously, because of the level of Mojo involved, I had to pull the jersey back on for Saturday’s tilt.And Gagner responds by racking up another 3 and just barely misses getting the assist for the 12th straight Oiler goal with points.

    Now these Eastern games dance to a different beat, one that starts about 2 hours earlier. So today, to make puck drop, I have to pull a lightning quick disappearing act and bolt home to get the jersey on, Luckily I manage to make it over the wall without the guard towers seeing and with a nice bribe for the gatekeeper, and slide into home with about 2 minutes to spare… Just in time for Gagner, Hall and Ebs to connect on the first shift of the game.

    My only question is… What do I do when this thing begins to smell? Because these lovely little motherfuckers show no sign of letting up.

    I’ve written to the Pope (without response) several times about the low flying aircraft over my house.

    Popes have been known to change calendars from time to time, so let me know how you make out.

  84. DeadmanWaking says:

    More silliness: Hemsky (historically) with the Hemmer-lock on the dekane award for those times he handed Regehr his jockstrap; and also the undekane award for the times Regehr handed him back his marbles.

  85. hockeyguy10 says:

    28 scouts at the game from 22 different teams. As per Sportsnet radio
    in Cowtown

  86. fuzzy muppet says:

    Barker looks awful. Just awful.

    It’s no coincidence they are hemmed in their zone everytime he’s on the ice.

  87. fuzzy muppet says:

    Barker…AGAIN.

    Terrible

  88. Lucinius says:

    Screw pulling the goalie.

    Pull Barker.

  89. fuzzy muppet says:

    They should pull DD too.

  90. spoiler says:

    DSF,

    Do you live next door to the Vatican perchance? I mean, with calendars at least I can semi-fool myself into believing I gotta chance,lol. Really you should be writing those letters to your Life Insurance company or your HR Department (if you’re unlucky enough to have one) to give yourself the kind of sweet odds I’ve got goin for me.

  91. bookje says:

    WG- did you say Barker was good with the puck?

  92. rich says:

    Hey, that’s one of our top defensemen! You mean, he’s not as good as we’re being led to believe?

  93. pboy says:

    Poetry has made 3 or 4 really nice plays with the puck where he’s should some very nice patience.

  94. Lucinius says:

    Are the refs doing anything besides face offs this game?

    Also, clone Eberle. Now.

  95. Woodguy says:

    Where’s Traktor to tell me I’m wrong about Barker again?

    If he doesn’t sit next game then insanity reins with the Oilers.

    Also,

    94-93-83 doesn’t work defensively and 83/93 are too new to each other to have any idea where the other is going.

  96. "Steve Smith" says:

    “Steve Smith” gonna hate.

  97. OilClog says:

    this game shouldn’t be 4-2!!! horrible ref! horrible! I hope you get a stomach flu! Straight up for stealing a goal away.

  98. spoiler says:

    Lucinus, they’ve already tried cloning him, back when Jordan was born in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem under a sky lit by a distant supernova… but they’ve been unable to reproduce the “God” gene.

  99. HBomb says:

    Woodguy:
    In the last 3 games (including tonight), both Eberle and Gagner have 4 goals.

    WG: by my math (and maybe I’m missing some sarcasm or something, I’ve been at work since 5:30am and drank a LOT this weekend), Gagner’s got six goals and Eberle five in the span specified (the Chicago and Detroit games plus the first part of tonight’s game.

    So, in other words, it is even more amazing than you make it out to be.

  100. Lucinius says:

    This was a game I was dearly hoping to see us win. Can’t stand the Leafs (primarily due to the media). Gonna need 94 to step it up and 93/83 to find a touch more chemistry and for Barker to get his act together and the entire Oilers team to stop being an either/or for defensive coverage (they either sit back and just watch, or over commit.. and they rarely have players picking the same option at any one time).

  101. Rebilled says:

    Wow, the zebras screw us out of a goal and they don’t give the leaves any penalties to start the second.

  102. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Barker just has no interest in the game in his own end and then he flips a switch in the O-zone.
    Maybe Barker can play wing and Horcoff D?

  103. spoiler says:

    Petry is having a very good game.

  104. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Didn’t Horc tip that?

  105. stevezie says:

    I missed the first period, but from the sounds of things I’m outraged that Petry didn’t just tie it.
    EDIT: Or maybe I mean Horcoff. Petry is having a great game though.

  106. striatic says:

    so is the consensus for this game “Barker bad, Petry good”?

  107. striatic says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    looked like he tipped it.

  108. bookje says:

    Horcoff waved at it but the shot went straight in.

    Edit – they are giving
    It to horcoff now but in slow mo it looks straight in.

  109. shawwwood says:

    ~Really enjoyed the Maple Leafs intermission panel.~ Thanks Sportsnet West

  110. Lucinius says:

    Small sample size, but one thing I’ve noticed regarding 93/83 is they seem to like the same areas of the ice. Was very noticeable in the Detroit game. They crowd each other out.

  111. unca miltie says:

    Any ideas on a feed? sounds like a game I should be watching

  112. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Nice play by Lupul, but wouldn’t that be closing your hand on the puck?

  113. spoiler says:

    There are gonna be nights like this, even for guys named Hall.

  114. fuzzy muppet says:

    Taylor has to deep with that. Tries to go cross ice through Phanuef and result is GA

  115. Rebilled says:

    closed hand. these refs are a joke.

  116. "Steve Smith" says:

    So regardless of whether Horcoff tipped it or not, how is it currently unassisted?

  117. striatic says:

    Rebilled,

    not really.

    79.1 Hand Pass – A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the Referee, he has directed the puck to a teammate.
    A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for “closing his hand on the puck” under Rule 67 – Handling Puck.

  118. TheOtherJohn says:

    Woodguy: In the last 3 games (including tonight), both Eberle and Gagner have 4 goals.

    Yeah…..but who have they been playing against

  119. Lowetide says:

    Putrid period. Oilers apparently see something in Cam Barker. The 4th line is the French in World War 2.

  120. Woodguy says:

    HBomb: WG: by my math (and maybe I’m missing some sarcasm or something, I’ve been at work since 5:30am and drank a LOT this weekend), Gagner’s got six goals and Eberle five in the span specified (the Chicago and Detroit games plus the first part of tonight’s game.

    So, in other words, it is even more amazing than you make it out to be.

    I have no idea how I screwed that up.

    Almost sober too.

  121. Rebilled says:

    striatic,

    he skated a stride with it no?

  122. Henry says:

    The French at least had a resistance.

  123. TheOtherJohn says:

    Lowetide: Edmonton had some nice things going, but until they replace that 4th line the Oilers aren’t serious about winning. And Barker can’t play.

    In fairness LT Barker would be a pretty good 3-4 D man in a good mens beer league. Good offense but Shit in his own end. Course that must have been MSM meant when they said top 4 D man

  124. stevezie says:

    Lucinius,

    Agree. Normally thinking the game the same means chemistry, but they’re two yings without a yang. Can probably be corrected. I think that’s the case anyway, my feed is something less than hi-def and it’s not always easy to tell who’s who when all three guys on the line share a number with someone else on the line.

    I actually liked DD smashing the stick there, if there’s one thing that should resonate with Hall it’s an emotional outburst, and that goal was on him.

    I’ve got Lupul, Gagner and Eberle in the pool, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

  125. striatic says:

    as always, i’m going to judge the Oilers by goals for. three or more and i’m happy. less than three i am not, even in a win.

    the defense is a project. it’ll come along. so long as the offense is on track the team is on track.

  126. rickithebear says:

    Smyth cannot cover for both RNH and Hemsky. hemsky is not a toughs players he has reverted to 23 year old hemsky.

    Hall-Gagner-Eberle
    Smyth-horcoff-hemsky
    Eager-RNH-jones
    Pettrel-Belanger-Lander

    let this sit thru a period.

    Just get hemsky and barker off the ice.

  127. Woodguy says:

    I think I may know why Barker was bought out.

    Just a hunch though.

  128. Henry says:

    Potter looks very rough this game. Barker probably played himself off next year’s team. Maybe that is the ‘value’ in this game.

  129. Ducey says:

    Tuned in late to see Taylor Hall with two giveaways on the same shift resulting in TOR’s 5th.

    Smid is +3. Barker, Nuge and Vlad Hemsky -3.

    Two of those guys are just coming back from injury. Whats the Commies excuse again?

  130. PDO says:

    Leaves score a goal that shouldn’t count and Oiler’s have one disallowed that should.

    Oh, and nothing is a penalty any more.

    Awesome.

  131. "Steve Smith" says:

    striatic: the defense is a project. it’ll come along.

    …just as soon as the team gets good defencemen.

  132. Henry says:

    ducey : Hemsky should be -1. Took away an assist and lupul cheated.

  133. "Steve Smith" says:

    Stauffer just said that it speaks to Horcoff’s character that he did the right thing and gave the goal to Petry. Um, do players have any say in this sort of thing? If so, the Oilers should spend the rest of the year conspiring to get as many goals as possible credited to Eberle, in the hopes of winning him the Rocket Richard.

  134. Lowetide says:

    SS: Yeah, they have some say I think. Or they used to back in the day. Eager buries that we have a game.

  135. bookje says:

    Woodguy: I have no idea how I screwed that up.

    Almost sober too.

    Sometimes math are hard!

  136. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ducey:
    Two of those guys are just coming back from injury.Whats the Commies excuse again?

    I always thought “the Commie” was Horcov. Have I been getting my memes as wrong as your apostrophe use?

  137. LMHF#1 says:

    Eager gets a gift and shoots it toward Reimer. Idiot…

  138. fuzzy muppet says:

    Jesus Talyor, shoot the puck! you had four seconds!

  139. Lowetide says:

    Oilers are flying this period, need to bury one. I nominate RNH.

  140. striatic says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    not that simple.

    yes, the team needs to acquire good defensemen.

    but at least some the existing defensemen will get better over the course of this season and next.

    re. 13, he can pass the puck in a way it seems you can’t teach, but he needs to completely re-learn how to play defense. trying to do this while playing top 4 minutes is ridiculous. i like the acquisition but it is frustrating to watch how he’s being deployed.

  141. jake70 says:

    Irritates me to no end when the Oilers get pass happy.

  142. "Steve Smith" says:

    striatic:yes, the team needs to acquire good defensemen.

    And whence stems your faith that this will happen?

    but at least some the existing defensemen will get better over the course of this season and next.

    Petry seems like a good bet to do so. Smid might reasonably too. Peckham might, but he’s got so far to go that “improvement” really isn’t sufficient. Meanwhile, Gilbert and Potter are in their peak years, Whitney’s likely to decline due to injury, and Sutton will either leave or decline.

    re. 13, he can pass the puck in a way it seems you can’t teach, but he needs to completely re-learn how to play defense. trying to do this while playing top 4 minutes is ridiculous.

    Strike “top 4 minutes”. Replace with “in the NHL”.

    Also, what’s your evidence that “you can’t teach” the way he passes the puck, but that you can teach everything about playing competent defence?

  143. SK Oiler Fan says:

    striatic,

    I’d say he gained a huge territorial advantage over DD by catching a puck that was going to hit the glass, placing it at the top of the crease and then wackign it in.
    Lupul did a very good job doing it all in one motion. I know he’s playing with Kessel and the Oilers were an awful team at the time,, but man what a different player since the Edmonton experiment gone bad. He looks 2 in taller and 20 lbs heavier and is actually going to the dirty areas now.

  144. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    I think I may know why Barker was bought out.

    Just a hunch though.

    Are you thinking he slept with the coach’s wife? Because if you are, then I think you might be on to something!

  145. hunter1909 says:

    Any chance in getting Barry Trotz to come and coach the oilers?

    I read he’s a first class citizen, instead of a washed up brother in law of someone connected to the Rexall drug dealing universe, but still…

    Trotz would kick the current sad sack defence so hard they’d have to improve. Sadly, he’d probably not keep Horkoff on the top six, which pretty well negates any chance of Katz wanting him.

  146. pboy says:

    Did RNH get hurt?

  147. fuzzy muppet says:

    93 hasn’t been back since being hit early in the 3rd. Looks like his shoulder was sagging a bit

  148. fuzzy muppet says:

    Wilson is trying his hardest to get Kessel out against Barker. It’s working.

  149. Woodguy says:

    RNH had a hard collision in the Ozone in a puck battle and he let his left arm hang loose like everyone does when they get a shoulder injury.

    Same shoulder as before.

  150. Ducey says:

    I always thought “the Commie” was Horcov. Have I been getting my memes as wrong as your apostrophe use?

    I thought last game we agreed that Hemsky’s problem was that he was a communist. At least he is not a punctuation fascist :-)

  151. striatic says:

    “Steve Smith”,

    Also, what’s your evidence that “you can’t teach” the way he passes the puck, but that you can teach everything about playing competent defence?

    on the current Oilers, i think Ladislav Smid is a good example of a player making steady progress in improving defensively.

    i can think of quite a few defensemen maturing into better defenders, but fewer of defenders developing into consistent point producers.

    not that any player can learn to become a better defender, or that Barker is guaranteed to do so, just that it is apparently a more common path.

  152. Lowetide says:

    RNH down is way worse than the result tonight. Bad, bad. Very bad.

  153. Woodguy says:

    fuzzy muppet:
    Wilson is trying his hardest to get Kessel out against Barker. It’s working.

    Agreed. Was thinking the same thing.

    I bitched about Kruger letting 13 out against Kessel, but forgot that it might not be his choice.

  154. PDO says:

    An Oiler coming back from an injury and re-aggravating it?

    Never seen that happen before.

  155. Woodguy says:

    I Blame the refs for disallowing the 94 and allowing Zoolander to grab the puck.

    And Baker of course.

    i

  156. PDO says:

    I support references to Joffrey Zoolander.

    Wonder if the Oiler’s wanted to make sure RNH was back in the lineup ASAP so they could try and get a winning streak going before officially extending Tambo?

  157. Rebilled says:

    4-4. I hope the ex-pats burn down Toronto.

  158. DSF says:

    In other news…Ales Hemsky was -4 on the night.

    Time for a new long term deal. :)

  159. Woodguy says:

    If 93 isn’t 100% they should shut him down for the season.

    That’s the franchise there, don’t fuck with it.

  160. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Gilbert might be thinking about reagrivating his injury after getting “eased” back into game action with Barker.

  161. Woodguy says:

    DSF:
    In other news…Ales Hemsky was -4 on the night.

    Time for a new long term deal.

    As I stated earlier in the thread, 94,93,83 had nothing going, especially in terms of possession.

    6 still can’t battle down low at all either.

    6,44 on ice for two of those

  162. Woodguy says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Gilbert might be thinking about reagrivating his injury after getting “eased” back into game action with Barker.

    Renney should ease 13 into the pressbox.

    They can call it an ankle again if they want.

  163. spoiler says:

    The Sportsnet Panel ended that Tradecente segment differently than the intermission one. Numbnuts corrected his Dave Gagner” error and then Kypreos said he would take Gagner to give up a qualty defenseman.

  164. godot10 says:

    SK Oiler Fan,

    That or looking in the press box for Strudwick!

  165. DSF says:

    Woodguy,

    Hemsky, at some point, has to be held accountable for his play.

    He’s played with Smyth for eons and I doubt Hoppy is a tough guy to play with.

    Smyth, honestly, looks done but a “go to guy” like Hemsky has to be much, much better.

  166. Lois Lowe says:

    Holy shmoly! Eberle is shooting at 20.5% on the season!

  167. Woodguy says:

    DSF:
    Woodguy,

    Hemsky, at some point, has to be held accountablefor his play.

    He’s played with Smyth for eons and I doubt Hoppy is a tough guy to play with.

    Smyth, honestly, looks done but a “go to guy” like Hemsky has to be much, much better.

    I didn’t say he wasn’t accountable.

  168. DSF says:

    Woodguy,

    Then he should be history.

    He’s part of the problem.

  169. mattwatt says:

    I hoped all the pro scouts in attendance today said amongst themselves ‘can you believe the Oilers took a chance on Barker? What in the h were they thinking? Guy is garbage.” Then proceed to laugh in unison.

    I know I would have.

  170. Schitzo says:

    Shutting Hall down didn’t seem to hurt his development any – if there’s any doubt whatsoever with 93 they’d better pull the plug.

  171. OilClog says:

    Sure Barker was horrible tonight, and yes Ales was -4.. all this one goes on the ref, game changed on that Smyth call.

    You can see how young this team is with the melt down tonight, still going 100mph with the feet, following by about a 30 with the brain. Brutal give aways, more can’t believe bounces, and one young star down for the season. Damn it too! was finally hoping to see some hardware being awared to the Oilers in some sort of capacity this season, but it’s not all bad I guess, Gagner couldn’t be traded now could he?

  172. wuthering says:

    Jeepers. 13 terrible this eve–and not doing himself any favors given his ice-time. His switches from zone to man-on-man were lackadaisical, and he’s cheated for offense and defense all year. Too bad; he’s wasting away a good chance in Edmonton.

  173. voxwah says:

    Eberle is tied with Datsyuk for 7th overall in league scoring. Damn that’s awesome.

  174. Woodguy says:

    DSF:
    Woodguy,

    Then he should be history.

    He’s part of the problem.

    That really depends on which problem you are referring to.

    If he is unable to play against tough comp and at least break even, then he’s not worth a multi-year $5M contract.

    If he is, then he is.

    I’ve seen this player do too well too long to throw him out right now.

  175. Woodguy says:

    I wonder how Belanger would do between 94 and 83.

    Would he do better than 10?

    He certainly skates better than 10.

    Has a better shot too.

    If 93 is gone, I don’t think that 10 should auto C between 94 and 83.

    I wonder how many points 20 would have if he had 10′s ice time and running mates?

    4-89-14
    94-20-83
    91-10-28
    55-57-37

    Lordy that 4th line needs some help.

    Maybe:

    91-10-23
    55-57-28

    I like Petrell, but he brings nothing. Ok PK’er, but they can live without him. Non-existent at 5v5.

  176. Schitzo says:

    Woodguy:
    I wonder how Belanger would do between 94 and 83.

    Would he do better than 10?

    He certainly skates better than 10.

    Has a better shot too.

    If 93 is gone, I don’t think that 10 should auto C between 94 and 83.

    Would it be crazy to suggest 57?

  177. Ribs says:

    Fussy continues her trend of spurting things after a game…

    Mark Messier was asked to speak to Ryan Smyth on waving his no trade to go to the #Rangers APG

    #Wings have interest in Gilbert and Khabibulin Oilers would have to take on salary APG

    #Wings also took a look at Hemskys medical record APG

  178. Schitzo says:

    Also, quiz for the day – HF says the Oilers acquired “several” solid NHLers in the 2007 draft.

    Now, my understanding is that several means more than two… but hell, lets pretend it means two. Discuss.

  179. Schitzo says:

    Finally, is there any way that Nabokov doesn’t end up in Chicago? I mean, that’s such an unbelievably clear case of excess supply and desperate demand.

  180. Ducey says:

    ANA wins! Oil back in 29th.

    *yes*

  181. Woodguy says:

    Schitzo: Would it be crazy to suggest 57?

    Yes.

    He’s a rookie getting outshot by everyone else in the NHL.

    His help hasn’t been good, but neither has he.

  182. Woodguy says:

    Schitzo:
    Finally, is there any way that Nabokov doesn’t end up in Chicago?I mean, that’s such an unbelievably clear case of excess supply and desperate demand.

    What about. DET?

    DET was bringing him in when NYI picked him off waivers.

  183. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ribs:

    #Wings have interest in Gilbert and Khabibulin Oilers would have to take on salary APG

    Why in Stu’s name would we be talking about moving our top defenceman, who’s signed to a reasonable cap hit (and even more reasonable dollars) for the next two years? Of the speculated moves I’ve heard, that’s the only one that might actually make less sense than qualifying Barker.

  184. Ribs says:

    Yea, that’s probably the first really wacky thing Fussy has put out there that I can recall. Give them Gilbert and take on salary as well? Wha?

    Maybe the Khabibulin and salary part is separate from the interested in Gilbert part?

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