The Man From Town

All great NHL teams adopt a style of play and that becomes their strength. The Bruins of my youth were big, bad and had Bobby Orr to set the offense. The current Detroit Red Wings are all about puck possession, the Oilers of the glory era were all about skating and offense and scoring goals and goals and goals. The current Oilers–especially on the road–have adopted the “wearing our ass for a hat” style and it’s beyond impossible to watch.

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PAST

I have two teenagers in my house and for some reason both of them wish they’d grown up in the 70s. They are, of course, insane. I grew up in the 70s, a time when high school kids like me (the remedial reading kids) weren’t allowed into the “computer room” to see the 1600 pound, 100 by 100 by 100 “computer.” For those who didn’t grow up in the era, it looked like your parents house.

It was easy to know the computer geeks, they were the kids who would run out of the computer room and race down the hallway in tears every 10 minutes. Why? Computer crashed! It happened so often that no one really noticed, except to giggle at the sensible shoes kids running down the hall making weird noises in their Hush Puppies.

The computer breakdown was followed by a visit from a man who drove a van all the way from Lloydminster. This would have been during the gas shortage so we’re talking real money before he got out of the vehicle. The fixit man would go into the “computer” room, spend an hour or two and emerge with a list of parts that needed to be ordered (I imagined they came from Russia, it sure as hell took a long time for them to arrive). This was followed by long weeks of sadness for the sensible shoes brigade, but nothing much changed for me.

MORE TRUTH ABOUT THE PAST

No teenager in my town had a car this cool when I was a kid. Also, there’s no way the kid in the driver’s seat owns the car–his sister is letting him sit in it and you know I’m right. Chances are Grandma went to town and co-signed for the girl after she got her job at the bank. That’s what happened back in the 70s.

The current Oilers are being run by the Hush Puppies and they really need to call the man from town. I think they have the plan but have convinced themselves that building the perfect beast (100 by 100 by 100) takes time (they ordered it from Russia). I think the plan is run and gun. If they want to be run and gun then they’ll need to add more good forwards with speed and hands while turning over some of the blue so they can headman the puck or move it forward. That’s 5 trips from Lloyd, a lot of gas and many many tears.

Run and gun is a distant bell. Right now it’s more like run slowly and shoot yourself in the foot.

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61 Responses to "The Man From Town"

  1. Rondo says:

    If the Oilers were a stock in the market , I would say sell. This team has been young fast with potential for too many years. You can weave a story to convince yourself this is the year the stock goes up, but every year has been the same. I’m a seller.

  2. Woodguy says:

    Renney can’t get him match up on the road and there are too many weak spots to cover.

    Hemsky was drawing top pairing D up until Gagner’s 8 point night. (DET still put Lidstrom on Hemsky the following Saturday, but TOR put Frankeneuf and DET put Lidstrom out against 4,89,14 on the road trip)

    When 93 was between 4 and 14 they were being shut down enough with 2nd pairing D, and that leaves 2 full lines to feast on.

    Add to that 10,83 were getting outscored against the toughs and the Oilers lose the road battle with all 4 lines.

    No Gilbert and Whitney made the passes out of the zone non-existent while Petry played toughs with Smid and swam as hard as he could just to keep from drowning.

    All that adds up to the Oilers beening ridiculously easy to play against on the road.

    I don’t know what v3.2 has planned for this summer, but as it stands I don’t see it getting much better next year.

    Maybe 23 comes up and kicks out the jams and the light goes on for 91, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    If the Oilers had NHL caliber players for each line, that would help too.

    Jones just lost his job as 3RW to 0.85pts/60 Petrell, so you have to think that is to shore up that line defensively.

    94-20-37 looks ok on paper to play against at least 2nd line offense, but 20 and 37 are the desert in terms of scoring, so you are not outscoring there.

    10-83 are getting their heads kicked in by the toughs, but last two games its been 2nd toughs with shit to show for it. Not good.

    Then the 4th line is just abysmal. Eager actually had a good shift yesterday resulting in turnover that turned into a goal. His reward was pine.. Only 2 more shifts after that.

    Shut down 4-89-14 and its not tough to win the rest of the battles.

    Of course yesterday DET couldn’t score a 5v5 goal unless Barker was on the ice, so what the hell do I know, it might be all D driven.

  3. OilClog says:

    These next few weeks will tell me all I need to know about what to expect for the next few years, keeping Hemsky, properly addressing the D, landing a goalie, and hiring a coach that can figure out how to use the tools he’s giving rather then a excuse book. All these issues need to be completed by the start of next season, or we’re looking at another rebuild. Hall will be the first asking for a trade out of town if things don’t change, I’m already cringing that day.

  4. knighttown says:

    Re the Hemsky discussion, I thought Tom Benjamin had a nice angle over on Tyler’s site. A year ago, around this time, Ottawa dumped a reasonably signed, 31 year old Mike Fisher for a draft pick that turned into Stefan Noesen. Noesen is a 19 year old forward with 59 points for Plymouth in the OHL. Yet just this week, Bryan Murray talked about the need to acquire a Top 6 forward.

    He had some injury issues to start the season but my handy-dandy Yahoo fantasy app tells me Fisher has the second most goals in the NHL over the past 30 days. We know he can handle toughs so any chance Ottawa could pick up a guy like that? Maybe they’d move a B-level prospect like Stefan Noesen?

    I’d give Ottawa a pass here because they probably thought they were starting their rebuild and Fisher wouldn’t be the same player when they were back in the hunt for a playoff spot in 3 years.

    That’s why this Hemsky thing feels so different. Everyone knows the Oilers worst days are behind them. As bad as they are now, things will likely get better and that’s why the typical “unload all your assets at the deadline” strategy isn’t the right one this year. The Oilers should NOT mortgage the future but they should be planning on making the playoffs next year. When you’re on that side of the rebuild you do not trade away useful pieces (Hemsky, Sutton)…you sign them.

  5. knighttown says:

    Woodguy,

    I’m not sure what evidence Renney is waiting for but the traditional lineup of SC1, SC2, shutdown, energy is failing on the road. As you say WG, all of these lines succeed in a role:

    - play the kids to slaughter the softies- checkmark
    -play 10/20/94/5/77 to “survive” the toughs- checkmark
    -play 83/93/91 to saw-off the other teams 2nd lines- checkmark
    -have the 4th line not embarrass themselves- needs work

    However, subtle differences on the road make all the difference:

    - play the kids against Datsyuk and Lidstrom- produce nothing and get smoked in the defensive zone
    - play 10/20/94/5/77 against the softies- congrats, you successfully shutdown David Steckel. And when you shutdown Steckel, you shutdown the Leafs.
    - play 83/93/91 against the 2nds and saw off
    - mean, sneaky opposing coaches ignore gentlemen’s rules and put good players out against our 4th line.

    This team is built for home ice. Going forward, we need some guys that simply outscore but for now, you need to move to a Opening Night OTC lineup, with balance on all 4 lines.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Linus the Pinus returns tonight. I’ll never forgive the Oilers for robbing us of that nickname. Linus my ass!

  7. Lowetide says:

    There’s a guy playing air guitar behind Ferraro during the early part of Hell’s Bells. Groovy.

  8. Traktor says:

    Jones -0.38 gfga60
    Horcoff -1.28 gfga60

    Jones 1.5 P/60
    Horcoff 1.12 P/60

    Jones 0.79 blocks/game
    Horcoff 0.68 blocks/game

    Jones 1.2 hits/game
    Horcoff 0.64 hits/game

    Jones +5 GA/TA
    Horcoff +4 GA/TA

    Jones 1.5M
    Horcoff 5.5M

    Jones played 1 game on the 4th line though so he is a bum.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: When you’re right, you’re right.

  10. Woodguy says:

    KT,

    Agreed.

    I think having 94.10 on your 3rd line next year trying to survive the toughs and 20-28 on the 4th trying to make some hay is a start.

    Mind you, Renney can do that now if 93 is healthy, but so far he did it for exactly one game (I forget which)

    They need a couple NHL caliber players and I think its 91 and 23 who will be the two players to get NHL ice time next year who didn’t this year.

    Unless they upgrade the D dramatically, that means another year out of the playoffs for sure.

    That will make 7 years out of the playoffs.

    Wonder if Katz will get the 7 year itch? (although it will *only* be his 4th year out of the playoffs as owner)

    Also,

    You’re the big D depth proponent.

    Speeds has been banging the drum that the Oilers need to draft a F in June and not a D.

    His reasoning is that Klefbom, Musil, Marincin, Gernat, Tuebert and Simpson are a reasonable pipeline of D, but Harski, Pitlik, Hamilton is very thin up front.

    I tend to agree.

    Your thoughts?

    I think Speeds convinced Gregor via twitter as well, as Gregor is now banging that drum too.

    The D the Oiler need now are NHL Caliber, so drafting won’t help in the next few years for sure.

    Klefbom may be closest to helping and he’s probably 3-4 years away from being NHL Calibre.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Traktor:
    Jones -0.38 gfga60
    Horcoff -1.28 gfga60

    Jones 1.5 P/60
    Horcoff 1.12 P/60

    Jones 0.79 blocks/game
    Horcoff 0.68 blocks/game

    Jones 1.2 hits/game
    Horcoff 0.64 hits/game

    Jones +5 GA/TA
    Horcoff +4 GA/TA

    Jones 1.5M
    Horcoff 5.5M

    Jones played 1 game on the 4th line though so he is a bum.

    Strawman,

    Please to be showing me where I said Horcoff has been any good?

    Your boy lost his job to Petrell and has 3 assists in his last 18 games.

    You can’t make him better by saying Horcoff is worse.

    Just like +/- can’t make your boy Barker skate any faster or actually check a guy.

    There are lots of players playing poorly on the Oilers.

    Barker, Jones and Horcoff are among them.

    I stated the other day I think Belanger should have gotten the start between 83 and 91 against DET to see how he’d do, because 10 has not been good.

    Your strawman has no clothes.

    10 has been poor this year, and most around here have been agreeing.

    Just because you and DSF think its 3 years ago and people are making the same arguments for 10 as they did then doesn’t make it true.

  12. Woodguy says:

    Traktor,

    Here’s a line you might have missed from my post:

    10-83 are getting their heads kicked in by the toughs, but last two games its been 2nd toughs with shit to show for it. Not good.

    Who are you arguing against?

  13. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Just because you and DSF think its 3 years ago and people are making the same arguments for 10 as they did then doesn’t make it true.

    Anyone notice how Gretzky’s production has totally sucked for the last few years?

  14. Traktor says:

    woodguy:

    I don’t think Petrell and Jones swapping spots means much. I mean, are you arguing that Smyth lost his job to MPS? That seems like pretty dumb logic as players move around all the time.

    As for your supposed fresh ideas, your post above has Horcoff playing the toughs again next year. Talk about a dinosaur.

    Try and find a post where I said I said I’m a fan of Barker. I think he is irrelevant which is why people making him the heart of discussion seems odd. I’ve brought up Barker’s +/- because he hasn’t been the reason why Edmonton is where they are in the standings. You can argue that he is lucky but he is even right now.

  15. Ducey says:

    His reasoning is that Klefbom, Musil, Marincin, Gernat, Tuebert and Simpson are a reasonable pipeline of D, but Harski, Pitlik, Hamilton is very thin up front.

    100% agreed.

    Of course you take the best player available, but they need more offense. Of course they could just trade excess D for offense, but none of us trust Tambo to make a trade of a prospect for prospect.

    Grigorenko would be awesome.

    LA loses again. League low in goals. Might be looking at Hemsky- although he isn’t scoring either.

  16. hunter1909 says:

    Just got in from the bar, so I’ll keep this really really simple:

    Shawn Horcoff leads all oilers forwards in ice time.

    Shawn Horcoff leads all oilers forwards in ice time.

    Shawn bloody Horcoff leads all oiler forwards in ice time.

    Re the 70′s: Fuck that gas shortage inflation bullshit era – give me the 1920′s…you’ve already gone to Europe and fought in WWI, return home not giving a flying fuck about anything, then the government makes booze illegal and so you and your (Irish) friends get together and the flappers are hotter than anything. Machine guns, gold standard(whatever that means), and the best looking suits ever.

    PS: and no income tax.

  17. baraka says:

    Off topic…. If / when RNH is still able to play hockey for any meaningful amount of time this year, only one man stands between him and the Calder….. the suddenly-interested Sammy Gagner.

  18. Lowetide says:

    If you don’t know about gold standard by now, I have two words for you: Ron Paul

  19. hunter1909 says:

    Ron Paul: Isn’t that a gay disco 70′s pop star?

  20. Woodguy says:

    Traktor,

    I don’t think Petrell and Jones swapping spots means much. I mean, are you arguing that Smyth lost his job to MPS? That seems like pretty dumb logic as players move around all the time.

    I’m arguing that Jones was given a lesser role with less ice time.

    He’s been bad and his ice time was taken by bloody Petrell, who isn’t NHL caliber.

    He’ll probably be back up there, but lordy.

    Smyth was given a different role. He’s either holding the kids hands, or he trying to hold back the tide. Today he’s holding back the tide, his ice time and importance doesn’t change much.


    As for your supposed fresh ideas, your post above has Horcoff playing the toughs again next year. Talk about a dinosaur.

    Where did I say fresh?

    I’m just trying to figure out the optimal use of the roster next year. Unless there’s an amnesty buyout in the next CBA, Horcoff is here. Belanger is here too. (note: I fully support buying out Horcoff if there is an amnesty clause in the new CBA and it won’t count against the cap.)

    Having Horcoff play toughs isn’t new, but who else on this roster can do it? Belanger maybe, but Renney has yet to try him there. I hope he does.

    89, 93 can’t do it yet. Maybe neither will be able to.

    Try and find a post where I said I said I’m a fan of Barker. I think he is irrelevant which is why people making him the heart of discussion seems odd. I’ve brought up Barker’s +/- because he hasn’t been the reason why Edmonton is where they are in the standings. You can argue that he is lucky but he is even right now.

    He isn’t irrelevant.

    He’s Tambellni’s prized off season UFA signing.

    He is symptom of why the Oiler execs are inept.

    I’m fine with taking a flyer on a guy too, but the Oilers needed a real D this off-season and they point to Barker as being it.

    Now there is smoke coming from Stauffer that they want to re-sign him. That would be terrible.

    If they let him walk then fine, its a failed experiment, but they needed to do more than just experiment.

    That is why all the vitrol is being directed at Barker. Its vitrol for Tambellini and his belief in a player who simply doesn’t cut it in the NHL and wasting another year of kids’ RFA years.

    The Oilers needed a top 4 Dman and they deliver Barker and another year is wasted.

  21. Woodguy says:

    hunter1909:
    Just got in from the bar, so I’ll keep this really really simple:

    Shawn Horcoff leads all oilers forwards in ice time.

    Shawn Horcoff leads all oilers forwards in ice time.

    Shawn bloody Horcoff leads all oiler forwards in ice time.

    Re the 70′s: Fuck that gas shortage inflation bullshit era – give me the 1920′s…you’ve already goneto Europe and fought in WWI, return home not giving a flying fuck about anything, then the government makes booze illegal and so you and your (Irish) friends get together and the flappers are hotter than anything. Machine guns, gold standard(whatever that means), and the best looking suits ever.

    PS: and no income tax.

    Some of that’s on management for not giving the coach better options.

    Some of that’s on the coach for not trying Belanger in his spot.

    Some of that is on Horcoff for still being the best tough minute option on the team.

    He may not be winning the battle, but you can argue that anyone else on the roster would be worse in that spot.

    I don’t understand why they don’t try Belanger there. He’s faster and better on the dot.

  22. ASkoreyko says:

    Omark with 1A so far in his first game back.

    If he lights it up in the AHL and goes > 1 PPG till the trade deadline does that seal Hemsky’s fate?

    Or does the org just hate both of them?

  23. Traktor says:

    I’m a huge fan of Ron Paul. Sadly most Americas are too dumb to pay attention to politics.

    Meanwhile the bill that Obombya passed on New Years eve (National Defense Authorization Act) was the greatest act of terror ever on Americans.

    Fun fact: You are 4x more likely to die from a police officer than a terrorist.

  24. DSF says:

    Woodguy: Strawman,

    Please to be showing me where I said Horcoff has been any good?

    Your boy lost his job to Petrell and has 3 assists in his last 18 games.

    You can’t make him better by saying Horcoff is worse.

    Just like +/- can’t make your boy Barker skate any faster or actually check a guy.

    There are lots of players playing poorly on the Oilers.

    Barker, Jones and Horcoff are among them.

    I stated the other day I think Belanger should have gotten the start between 83 and 91 against DET to see how he’d do, because 10 has not been good.

    Your strawman has no clothes.

    10 has been poor this year, and most around here have been agreeing.

    Just because you and DSF think its 3 years ago and people are making the same arguments for 10 as they did then doesn’t make it true.

    Thing is Woodguy….the argument was wrong then and it still is…in spades.

    It colours a lot of discussion.

  25. Lowetide says:

    Traktor: I too like Paul. Which means he’s doomed.

  26. hunter1909 says:

    I must be the only human being alive who thinks Tim Thomas is 100% right in refusing to meet that jackass Obama.

    So cute, the way people parrot the concept of free speech – until it contradicts their own views.

  27. Rebilled says:

    baraka,

    As in Gagner wins the Calder? Does he have a Delorean?

  28. hunter1909 says:

    Two tiny points and then I promise to piss off…

    1 – What about oilers trying to get Barry Trotz as head coach? The dude seems ideal.

    2 – oilers trade Hemsky + for Suter/Weber.

    I admitted to drinking so …

  29. hunter1909 says:

    Since it’s politics tonight on Lowetide…how about the fact that in 2012 Richard Nixon would be perceived as a major liberal?

  30. Rondo says:

    Ron Paul is a anti-semite

    You can find more here

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/021620.html

  31. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor:
    I’m a huge fan of Ron Paul.

    I’m stunned.

  32. hunter1909 says:

    I declare: the older I get, the more Jack D. Ripper’s pov makes sense to me.

    i don’t know whether to laugh, or cry at this.

  33. hunter1909 says:

    @ Steve Smith: Since you’re 29, and only recently graduated law school, what else have you been doing in your life to date?

    (as an oilers fan, anything else but talking hockey seems to do the trick for the past 20 years).

  34. DSF says:

    That pesky Finn in Calgary has another goal.

  35. ohhell says:

    So does that pesky Swede (in Calgary). 1G, 1A so far in first game back in several weeks. Can’t wait to see him back up with the big club.

  36. speeds says:

    Woodguy:
    KT,


    Also, You’re the big D depth proponent.

    Speeds has been banging the drum that the Oilers need to draft a F in June and not a D.

    His reasoning is that Klefbom, Musil, Marincin, Gernat, Tuebert and Simpson are a reasonable pipeline of D, but Harski, Pitlik, Hamilton is very thin up front.

    I tend to agree.

    Your thoughts?

    I think Speeds convinced Gregor via twitter as well, as Gregor is now banging that drum too.

    The D the Oiler need now are NHL Caliber, so drafting won’t help in the next few years for sure.

    Klefbom may be closest to helping and he’s probably 3-4 years away from being NHL Calibre.

    Just to add a bit, WG summed that well, but to flesh my thoughts out

    I think they should draft the BPA, but my definition of “BPA” leans more towards F than most. But even if I thought the team should draft for need, I don’t really think the area of “need” is D, in terms of prospects.

    I started writing about this when it sounded like one or both of Hemsky/Gagner might be on the move, but to me you need to look at the “reasonable” projections of the team 2 years from now in terms of assessing need. That’s a bit difficult for the Oilers, because all of Smid, Whitney, and Gilbert are UFA’s 2 years from now, and 3 years from now so are Petry (I think, I guess I should check his birthday) and Potter.

    But you look up front and you have the 3 kids (maybe add Gagner now?), and if you move Hemsky at the deadline, coupled with continued regression of Smyth/Horcoff, you don’t really have a ton of F depth since any of your prospect F’s coming don’t really look like more than 3rd line guys who can maybe play as complementary players on the 2nd line. Maybe one of Paajarvi, Omark, Pitlick, Hamilton can be more, who knows?

    On D, not you expect all of Marincin/Klefbom/Musil/Gernat/etc to turn out, but I think there’s a bit more hope that one or two of them will be top 4 guys in time. So, if you can retain 3 (or more) of the 5/6*/77/58, along with signing a UFA or two, I think one could argue the D, two years from now, may not be in terrible shape

    * depending on health

  37. speeds says:

    Woodguy:

    I’m just trying to figure out the optimal use of the roster next year.Unless there’s an amnesty buyout in the next CBA, Horcoff is here.Belanger is here too. (note: I fully support buying out Horcoff if there is an amnesty clause in the new CBA and it won’t count against the cap.)

    It’s an interesting question, and I’m not sure how the Oilers approach it, because they seem to be interested in the whole 2 scoring line, checking line, crash line.

    I mean, if you get your whiteboard out and ask yourself, where can our current players fit on the depth chart of a legit playoff club, what does it look like? Can you fill the holes, well enough, to make the playoffs next year?

  38. "Steve Smith" says:

    hunter1909:
    @ Steve Smith: Since you’re 29, and only recently graduated law school…

    At least one of those things is false.

  39. DeadmanWaking says:

    Until Lowetide, I never followed the sausage-machine of team construction.

    I was in Toronto back when the Jays were loading for bear, surrounded at my place of employment by rabid baseball fans who seemed to dissect daily ever twitch of the waiver wire, or the baseball equivalent. It shocked me that grown men could care so much. (Do you not see that smoking co-op in the corner nook? How could you possibly think of anything else? I was jousting with my keyboard tray the whole term. There were actually many canted keyboards since most programmers at the time were young men. Poor girl was chatted up 24 by 7. Office batting average: 0.000. She had a friendly yet efficient manner of shredding presumption. No perceptible curiosity–as flits across the face of many attractive women–about the bounds of good taste that a man won’t cross to get a reaction. Always the same granite conviction under her soft exterior: “Not in this universe, or many others.” In that setting, completely inscrutable. But I digress.)

    Back to the blind sages, on the few occasions I tagged along to a game, the Shammanite Lords would positively glow over Alomar making a twelve inch adjustment as the pitch began. Most of these guys were Jewish. They were all computer gurus, and some were also accomplished musicians. The only time I felt more lost in a conversation was after watching the movie Zelig with the same group. My companions had absorbed every in joke (including the jokes within the jokes) and committed them all to memory upon exiting the theatre in the same way that another type of person absorbs The Life of Brian. Wow. Hey guys, would you explain the plot again? I’m a little foggy on some bits. That was New York, right?

    Actually, this software shop had a secret sales weapon. All the software demos were given by the guy who flirted with a career as concert pianist. While he was demonstrating the software (about half an hour for the usual demo) he would hardly ever make a keyboard error, which was amazing since he was coding a custom application from scratch using the proprietary templates, and there were full paragraphs of improvised computer text. In one demo, he made not a single keyboard error at all. (The cabal kept score of these things. They were like that.) This had a subtle yet powerful effect on the prospective customer, who never noticed the reason. It’s like a speaker who talks authoritatively for half an hour without ever muttering “uh” or seeming not to receive his next word from God.

    On the computer front, I was eight years old in 1972, the year my father taught me binary with some black marbles and an empty egg carton. Got my hands on some books, but not an actual computer until 1978. It was a disgusting TRS-80 with 4KB of RAM. I loved that thing. It was actually quite a reliable piece of hardware, except that every third keypress produced two or more copies of the letter struck, and the power adapter could be plugged into the cassette interface, which immediately let the smoke out. The morale killer was actually the cassette tape. With Alomar-like fine tuning of the volume control, it would correctly read your saved program one attempt out of two. Once the backspace key started to bounce, it was time to go outside and throw some ball. You would press the “a” key and two AA characters would show up on the screen. So you would press backspace, and both A characters would disappear as well as the letter in front. One step forward, one step sideways, three steps backward.

    Actually, I liked the TRS-80 because it could be used for programming. The Apple ][ always had a lineup six deep to play some paratrooping game everyone else seemed to really like.

    I don't have the experienced eye of many here for how a rebuild normally progresses. From what I can see, everything but the paratrooping is working out more or less as expected. This season the veteran core has taken a bigger step backward and the youth a bigger step forward than I anticipated (ten percent of a Whitney, less than half a Hemsky, at most 2/3rds of a Horcoff have been evident so far). The team has become erratic. It's a good thing. There are fewer ways to beat this team, but the ones that remain are doozies. (Chicago took a pass on the doozies, thinking they were too cool for school.)

    Catastrophists tend to cite Omark and MPS. I woke up wondering if maybe the problem with MPS is that he ends up following the puck in his mad dash up ice. It could be just a small defect in his stick handling. I look at this player and find it hard to worry. Fundamentals: good. Defensive poise: good. Turning the corner at speed: seems to have some kind of freak bug. He's just too level-headed to be derailed by a freak bug. The Omark story is 90% sniper fire from the hockey gods. Never bought into the notion that scoring was the problem here. The problem here is the chaos transition game (beginning with getting the puck back) and the ability of a top pair to blanket our top line, no matter how we mix it. Omark wouldn't have fixed either of those problems, even if there's sense of chagrin over his lost season.

    The paratrooping situation here is a bit of a chicken and egg problem. They won't show (without a market premium Katz seems not to want to pay) until the team looks exciting to play for. This season the team took a huge step in that direction. If not now, new management.

    The computer industry is practically made from stories of your worst nightmare vanishing in the rear view mirror so abruptly you wonder if it had all been a bad dream. IBM vanquished the TRS-80 keyboard with the Model M in 1984. It was like the rout of Agincourt.

    The Model M is regarded as a timeless and durable piece of hardware. Many units manufactured since the mid 1980s are still in use today, while the computers and monitors of the day are obsolete. Unicomp, which now owns the rights to the design, continues to sell Model M keyboards. [Writers still treasure them.] Unicomp has had difficulty making them profitable because they rarely break …

    I also remember people complaining circa 1998 that the Microsoft operating system immediately expanded to fill any disk drive, no matter what capacity. My disk drive upgrades went 1.6GB, 6.4GB, 30GB, 200GB, 500GB. Microsoft employees could not have won that race if they had annexed a Cheetos factory. But there were many rent shirts and voices of eternal doom during the short interval when the world stood still.

    Because of this, I’m extremely accustomed to the phenomena of frustration overhanging the root problem. Don’t know whether this colours my sports perceptions, or not. Guess I’ll find out next season.

  40. ohhell says:

    speeds: It’s an interesting question, and I’m not sure how the Oilers approach it, because they seem to be interested in the whole 2 scoring line, checking line, crash line.
    I mean, if you get your whiteboard out and ask yourself, where can our current players fit on the depth chart of a legit playoff club, what does it look like? Can you fill the holes, well enough, to make the playoffs next year?

    This club has virtually no chance of making the playoffs next year. I believe management is fully committed to the six year re-build with this being year 2. They intend to continue to add quality draft picks for a few more years. Tambo blows smoke about making the playoffs because he has to, but the eye-witness accounts of the moves and the gametime decisions suggest something else.

    I would expect modest moves at the deadline followed by modest UFA movement for next season. I would also expect a season that produces 15 to 20 more points than this one and a pick in the 7-12 range. To me, this is can officially be labelled a “reasonable expectation”.

    In hindsight, I believe they were hoping to pick in the 5-10 range this year, but once the injuries began to pile up they made the decision to sell their souls to the draft-day devil. Our future lies in Stu’s hands.

    On a brighter note, Omark had a nice game and may get the call soon. Perhaps he can play with FODDER. :)

  41. geowal says:

    Was at the OKC game tonight, a few thoughts:

    -Tanner House skates like he’s pulling one
    -Omark sure picked a nice corner with his goal. Also cherry picks to a whole new level, for better or worse
    -Hamilton has a nice shot
    -Plante got schooled in 2 fights, looked concussed after the 2nd. Maybe shouldn’t fight.
    -Arcobello (sp?) is pretty decent
    -Yeo looked good in general
    -There’s a huge leap from the AHL to the NHL
    -For being a first star, Danis didn’t really have to do anything overly impressive. Would still maybe be an adequate Khabibulin replacement.
    -I can see why Helmer never made the bigs.

  42. Clay says:

    So got to go to the Heat v Barons game tonight. Was sitting a little to low down to get a real good look at all the action, but the line of Harsky-O’Marra-Hamilton looked really good. That line would be an improvement on the Oilers current 4th line imho. Hamilton played quite a bit at EV and was on the first PK unit. Had a nice assist.

    Omark was good in stretches, but basically spent his entire night flying his own zone as soon as there was a hint of a turnover. If I were a teammate of his, I’d get sick of that shit awful quick.

    Plante took on the double-hyphenated guy (Mark-Luc Latrine-Lablond or some such?) and looked to come away with a concussion. After Lablond knocked him to the ice, he landed another hard punch which in turn rang Plante’s head off the ice. He got up and needed help off the ice, didn’t return.

    Of all the Barons, Harsky seemed the most impressive. Loves to hit, hard to handle down low. I can’t see him not making the team next year. Omark – meh.

  43. DeadmanWaking says:

    The sultry QT (cue-tease) was somewhere in between the third Belle and the second Meester. She didn’t quite have the eyes to run with the first Belle, but then I never saw her in Ferrari couture. And of course, she didn’t have the open, approachable glow of the second Meester–or not that anyone witnessed in the software shop. Her eyes were more like Jody Foster A man can bounce off eyes like those. Lordy, she was a looker.

  44. bookje says:

    People who want to go back to the gold standard are about as bright as people who think we would be better off without vaccines and penicillin because it would make us tougher! A gold standard, why don’t we go to a peanut butter standard, at least following the ensuing collapse of society we would have something to eat.

  45. bookje says:

    hunter1909:
    Since it’s politics tonight on Lowetide…how about the fact that in 2012 Richard Nixon would be perceived as a major liberal?

    Reagan would be painted as a pinko socialist west coast liberal by the GOP today…

  46. Woodguy says:

    Politics, Hockey, and Girls, Oh My!

  47. art vandelay says:

    “People who want to go back to the gold standard are about as bright as people who think we would be better off without vaccines and penicillin because it would make us tougher! A gold standard, why don’t we go to a peanut butter standard, at least following the ensuing collapse of society we would have something to eat.”

    Weak sauce. Doesn’t work as economics, politics or even metaphor.
    Stick to lobbying government for a Department of Bu.m Wi[ping and hope it steals enough of my money to keep you in your parent’s basement, j.erking to your Hope and Change poster.

  48. stephen sheps says:

    bookje,

    Yes to Nixon the Liberal, No to the perception of Reagan as Socialist… Although Nixon helped usher in the neocon era, it was Reagan who began to parcel off the public sector to the lowest bidder and reshape the tax structure to benefit the richest, not to mention what he did to the American labour movement. If someone could tell me which president helped push forward the motion to make corporations into legal persons under the law, I’d be grateful.

    It’s kind of funny (by funny I mean frightening) the way that American politics, or at least the perception of it has shifted in the span of my own lifetime (Reagan-Present). Hell, the funniest part about it is how Clinton was in many ways the best “republican” president of all time (considering in the 19th Century, the GOP was more like the Democrats…), and yet he was a democrat-and many democrats would love to see Mr. Bill in office again now…Clinton era economics were more classically (read Nixon era) republican than Reagan and yet he’s looked at like a hero by most moderates.

    Then again, anyone that’s actually popped over to my blog or read the stuff I did at C&B last year knows I am firmly on the left and by default likely won’t trust anything I have to say on the matter. And that’s ok by me. It’s just nice to see politics come up somewhere else once in a while.

    @LT-Ron Paul? Really? I have to say other than due to your penchant for supporting the underdog, I am a bit surprised based on most of the things you’ve written. But then again, politics are a funny business… There are certain aspects of a libertarian philosophy I am firmly behind, particularly smaller states and smaller government, but the way he looks at both unions and the relationship between private property and profit is where he loses me.

    On to the hockey front; need better D, need more actual NHL players, need more of the actual NHL players currently on the team to play with more heart and passion. The obvious solution to that little problem is trying to balance out the TOI a bit more, or at least the EVTOI. While Ted is hurt, it’s clear 10 needs to be playing top 6, but not over 20 minutes a night. It’s killing him. The idea of sending 4-89-14 out against top competition can’t possibly be that hard to imagine, is it? or at the very least, sending them out against top competition every second shift? (Longer stay on the bench for 10′s line? Not much longer, just an extra 40 seconds or so). The vets can’t be dogging it out there; what’s the point of playing them to death? At the start of the year, the 94-10-28/83 line was doing well enough playing top defensive minutes and for a while were actually outscoring. This much we know. This has even been discussed pretty regularly around these parts.

    I don’t often make speculative line combos-not really my thing, but when the Nuge comes back, it’s not that hard to conceive of a lineup that has 4-89-14, 91-93-83 (soft killers), 94-10-28, 57-20-55. And when the inevitable 83 trade happens, 4-89-14, 94-93-91/23, 91/Harski-10-28, 57-20-55, farm 37, and since Sutton is likely gone too, sadly, there’s space to keep Hordi in the PB unless he’s deemed absolutely necessary. Might not necessarily be best for 57′s development to have him on the wing, but if all else fails, the possibility of a tre kronor 4th line presents itself for 3rd periods where the team is either winning and wanting to have some fun or getting killed so badly that Tom will have nothing to lose by sending the swedes out together.

    Balanced lines and balanced ice time should prevent 10 from breaking down more than he already has and allow 94 to regain some of his energy. He’s looking like he’s being worked to death out there, and those slow and lazy line changes we’ve seen from him lately are bound to stop if he’s only being used for 17-18 minutes a night, not 20+ and in all situations.

    I don’t know anymore, I feel like the team is on infinite repeat-different year, different players and combinations, same underwhelming kinds of results….Kind of like American politics…

  49. knighttown says:

    Woodguy,

    In response to the Speeds model of drafting I guess I’d say I wholeheartedly agree. In fact, I’d probably strengthen “best player available” to “consensus best player available” within the top 10. Drafting now is not like drafting 10-15 years ago. Kids are more physically and mentally mature and there is so much best-on-best you know what you have with a kid at 18 more than ever before.

    Th road is littered with players picked in the top 10 who scouts or GM’s thought they knew more than the consensus (Thomas Hickey). The last reach pick that truly worked out (that I can recall) was Carey Price. Anyway, if the consensus has Grigs solidly at #2 he’s my pick. If it’s a toss up I might choose Murray. Although I get the “entry level” window I’m less concerned with winning a cup than I am with establishing a base for competing over the next 15 years.

    Saying that, I do not support anymore rebuilding. Things like moving Hemsky for picks. Less so because of the timing of that pick coming to fruition and moreso because the pendulum has swung too far towards overvaluing first rounders, especially late ones. There’s a ton of value in trading late first rounders for established players right now (fisher to the preds) and I’d like to be on that side instead of the other.

    If Hemsky isn’t signing I do move him. Competing teams do not move contributing players at the deadline so I get the prized asset (first rounder) + older prospect but I’d have no plans to use the first rounder. On draft day those things are worth a fortune as teams feel the Cap squeeze so I’d move it for a “real NHL player”.

  50. hockeyguy10 says:

    Being a born and raised Albertan (and watching my fathers company go broke because of Trudeau and the NEP)I am firmly conservitive.The GOP have been hijacked by some individuals with policies that frighten me.
    Santorum.Paul,Gingrich and Romney are to politics as Cam Barker is to good defense.

  51. Lowetide says:

    On Ron Paul: I should qualify things. I’ve only ever seen him on the debates where he looks much better than the Brylcreem bunch. I certainly don’t know enough to endorse him and his party is about 10,000 miles from my comfort zone at this time.

    But he makes a lot of sense compared to tired men like Newt.

  52. stephen sheps says:

    Lowetide:
    On Ron Paul: I should qualify things. I’ve only ever seen him on the debates where he looks much better than the Brylcreem bunch. I certainly don’t know enough to endorse him and his party is about 10,000 miles from my comfort zone at this time.

    But he makes a lot of sense compared to tired men like Newt.

    Ron Paul’s party scares the crap out of me, but it’s true, the man is a good speaker. Then again, so were a lot of really evil men (and a couple evil women…)

    Newt is just the worst; he’s a tired old bastard who’s as worn out politically as any potential candidate I’ve ever seen. Like I said, infinite repeat. American politics could use a rebuild of its own.

  53. russ99 says:

    If the Oilers draft #1 or #2, they have to take Grigorenko. He’s not only an elite talent, but fills a huge need. and pushes the kids on the depth chart, and as a result we’ll see who will sink or swim.

    But if the Oilers are serious about the rebuild, they’ll deal for another first rounder, preferably in the mid range. There are so many good defensemen in the first round, that someone is going to fall down to that range.

    None of the defensemen prospects we have is a sure first-pairing guy, so let’s add another name to the list and hope at least one of them can turn into that.

  54. vishcosity says:

    Reagan was a great speaker, he could talk for hours without saying a thing. Ron Paul always seems to be trying to figure out what to say, and like Walter Mondale, he may say things that actually have value, he can’t seem to deliver the mail with any semblance of flash.

    Corporations have been persons since Admiralty law came on land via the advent of limited liability insurance. George Washington was clearly in on the game so it must have been before that. The only reason to fear a gold standard is that you have some vested interest in the bank’s ability to create funds from air. Newt and Mitt (and Bookie) are clearly into all that, Ron Paul is the only one who doesn’t scare me, kinda.

    While I’m tired of watching the best players leave Edmonton, I would like to see Hemsky dealt if only because there are no other remarkable players on the deadline block. GMs trying to save jobs may actually trade the farm for the best player available. With 93 and 89 down the middle, there is little chance Edm could ever win a 7 game series against the Bostons and Phillys of the world. I want to see a thunderous centre come out of this somehow.

  55. Suntory Hanzo says:

    @Deadman

    Were you talking about Choplifter or Rescue Raiders for the Apple 2?

  56. Lowetide says:

    Question for the draft group: Assuming the Oilers draft third and the two Russians are gone, is there a forward clearly better than Ryan Murray?

  57. knighttown says:

    Lowetide:
    Question for the draft group: Assuming the Oilers draft third and the two Russians are gone, is there a forward clearly better than Ryan Murray?

    Absolutely not. I’d guess it’s the most sure thing in the draft is that one defenseman goes by #3. I’d peg that at 95%…far more likely Grigs drops out of Top 2 than 3 forwards go in Top 3. Which defenseman is a tougher question.

    Only possibility is Forsberg but as I said, I see that as an extreme longshot if someone stacked on defense and desperate for a forward is drafting there. Stacked on D? That certainly isn’t Edmonton, Columbus, Anaheim, Carolina, Tampa, Islanders.

    I’d guess its possible if Buffalo, Montreal, Winnipeg or Colorado picks in that slot.

    The trend I see emerging is after Columbus/Yakupov, if Edmonton is slotted at #2, they have the perfect storm of opportunity to trade down:
    -”need” for an elite defenseman more than a top center with the emergence of RNH and Gagner.
    -zero elite forwards after Grigs
    -teams ranked form 5-15 all have big needs for a top center

    If Winnipeg slide to #5 and they offer Bogosian and the right to draft at #5 for #2 OV do you do it? I bet they might considering where they picked Shiefele.

    Murray and Bogosion on draft day? That’d be a nice haul.

  58. Bos8 says:

    I started bitching about Horcoff/Smythe overuse about thirty games ago. Okay, that’s immaterial now. The thing is that the Oilers have screwed away opportunities for strength/size at a reasonable cost over the years. Brodziak, Glencross come to mind. Then they sign Belanger, another little guy. You watch a team cycle on the Oilers and the D gets worn out. I’d almost reccomend bringing up Hamilton and Pitlick just to get some size and some penalty killing in. They’re not scoring? Well gee neither is Belanger, nor half the team. It’s all well and great that Omark is looking good and will replace Hemsky but the top six will get even smaller. Lander and Petrell shoul have been in the AHL for the first half and would now be ready . Be that as it may, why isn’t MPS killing penalties? Did they even try him there?

  59. skidplate says:

    I was at the OKC vs ABB game as well. Yes Omark got a beauty goal and an assist, but he is still making dumb ass plays. He picked one guys pocket just outside the offensive blue line and had several SMART options, he chose a blind behind the back drop pass right on to a ABB stick. Plays like that will keep him out of the NHL.

  60. spoiler says:

    bookje:
    People who want to go back to the gold standard are about as bright as people who think we would be better off without vaccines and penicillin because it would make us tougher!A gold standard, why don’t we go to a peanut butter standard, at least following the ensuing collapse of society we would have something to eat.

    Sure says a lot about someone’s knowledge and intellect when their only argument is to attack those who think differently than they do. Pathetic.

  61. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ahh.. Paulitics on the old Hockey-web! what could go wrong?

    Paul is an incredibly poor vessel for libertarian policy advancement in the US. HIs value lies solely in creating a space within mainstream right wing politics to challenge the conservative orthodoxy on drug and foreign policy.

    BUY GOLD!!

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