Toronto to win Stanley!

The NHL tipped its hand last night: the Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs! And if they get help like they did last night, they could win the Stanley! The Ryan Smyth “no goal” and the Joff Lupul “catch and release” won the day for the Toronto’s.

The Smyth goal was especially galling since it came early in the game and would have given the Oilers a one goal lead. Bad positioning by the ref was put to good use for the league when the goal was called off, and the Lupul catch just added to the fury.

Credibility took a holiday for hockey’s best league last night. I don’t believe you can frame the issue any other way. Toronto may have won this game without the help, but the race  for the playoffs is apparently too close for comfort. I encourage NHL fans to watch Toronto games closely for the rest of the season: the game is afoot!

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64 Responses to "Toronto to win Stanley!"

  1. Henry says:

    It certainly looked like Toronto got the Montreal/Detroit treatment by officialdom. Still think the most helpful beings for the Leafs chances was the Oilers’ ‘speed’ on defense.

    Can’t remember the last time I saw a game with no penalties. Curious.

  2. sliderule says:

    It seems that we are always in the let’s see what we got mode.I

    When players are on waivers we would rather stick with some of our bad bunch to see if they will get better rather than taking a chance on someone even if it’s a short term improvement.

    You could see last night we were evaluating.Some of the players we are dithering about were evaluated by other teams and quickly discarded for reasons you could have found on the Internet.

    I don’t like some of the bad player choices we have made but respect that they tried .When it is obvious it’s not working pull the trigger sit or waive them.For gods sake do something.

  3. DBO says:

    No penalties was weird, especially since we got hooked a lot. And the Smyth goal was shifty. With better goaltendiing and no Cam Barker we win that game. Please tell me Sutton is in for Barker.

  4. Ducey says:

    Well, when decapitatihg the Oilers head coach didn’t seem to be enough…

    It worked out well for both teams. If the Oilers keep winning they would wind up out of the lottery. What good would that do?

  5. hunter1909 says:

    Obviously the last scenario management wants is a 20 point improvement/miss playoffs by 5 points/draft 12th.

    My math might be skewed, but hey. I’m an oilers fan!

    I only caught the first half of the first period anyway. RNH re-injured, from not being properly evaluated by the medical dolts, one assumes. I suppose he’ll need more Rexall-supplied pharmacy products now(another win win for Katz).

  6. Ribs says:

    Toronto won’t win the cup, they just get to go to game seven of the finals against an American team (Detroit?). It’s the trendy thing to do these days.

  7. bookje says:

    I have trouble believing that a number of league bureacrats and a bunch if refs could successfully establish and maintain a secret conspiracy for a sustained period of time.

  8. Captain Obvious says:

    People, we need to focus on what is important and that is spreading the word that Cam Barker is the worst hockey player any of us have ever seen. There are no words to describe how bad Cam Barker is at hockey. I’m searching but they cannot be found.

    Before last night I thought Cam Barker was the worst hockey player in the league. Slow, lazy, useless in every way. Somehow, he managed to find a previously undiscovered nadir of play.

    If the Oilers resign Barker it won’t be a sign of incompetence it will be a sign of the apocalypse. It will be the death of a common world of meaning. Surely, it is impossible to live in a world in which there is not universal acknowledgement of the unfathomable decrepitude of Cam Barker’s talent at the game of hockey.

    Cam Barker isn’t good enough for the NHL. Cam Barker isn’t good enough for the AHL. Cam Barker isn’t good enough for the WHL. Cam Barker isn’t even good enough for the ASHL (ok this might be an exaggeration).

    That is all.

  9. Jordan says:

    Ribs:
    Toronto won’t win the cup, they just get to go to game seven of the finals against an American team (Detroit?). It’s the trendy thing to do these days.

    Well, it is a good formula to have at least some degree of interest on both sides of the 49th parallel.

    What I don’t understand is who would have come up with it. It would infer a fair amount of strategic thinking on the parts of hockey executives – something that is completely foreign here in Edmonton.

    WRT the referees… why hasn’t DK bought the refs with lifetime supplies of cheap Viagra and muscle relaxants? I mean, it’ was pretty clear that Mr. Campbell was perfectly willing to swing decisions for his son’s team – why wouldn’t you explore and find out how generous he would need to be to get the Oilers a F***ing call in a game?

    With that said… Please, please, please… get rid of Cam Barker. His poor positioning and decision making are not worth his first pass.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Obvious,

    You’ve forgotten Cory Cross – the worst hockey player any of us have ever seen.

  11. Traktor says:

    Captain Obvious:
    People, we need to focus on what is important and that is spreading the word that Cam Barker is the worst hockey player any of us have ever seen. There are no words to describe how bad Cam Barker is at hockey. I’m searching but they cannot be found.

    Barker + 0.79 gfga differential
    Horcoff -1.30 gfga differential

    Barker is pretty much irrelevant considering he is on an expiring contract. Shawn Horcoff on the other hand has 3 more years left on his contact.

    Nobody wants to talk about how terrible thecaptainshawnhorcoff is though.

  12. Dan the Man says:

    The Leafs recently went through a 3 game stretch where they didn’t take a single penalty. I believe it was just prior to the double header with the Pens.

  13. ed says:

    Dan the Man,

    well they have nearly the worst pk in the league so the best way to get them in would be to “let them play” so to speak.

  14. DSF says:

    Hopkins out 7 to 10 days with sprained shoulder. Oilers tweet

  15. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor:Barker is pretty much irrelevant considering he is on an expiring contract.

    Barker could be pretty much irrelevant, if management is smart enough not to qualify him. We wait.

    Nobody wants to talk about how terrible thecaptainshawnhorcoff is though.

    Quite a few of you nobodies around these parts, I find.

  16. "Steve Smith" says:

    Cory Cross with the Oilers was better than Cam Barker with the Oilers, and it isn’t close. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cory Cross in 2012 was better than Cam Barker in 2012.

  17. DSF says:

    NHL_Oilers Edmonton Oilers
    The #Oilers have recalled forward Magnus Paajarvi from the Oklahoma City Barons.

  18. Dipstick says:

    They should leave PRV in OKC until he learns to go into the tough areas. He plays too soft to be effective. Smaller forwards like Gagner, Hemsky and RNH go into traffic better than he has.

  19. stevezie says:

    Traktor,

    I wouldn’t say no one wants to talk about it; there are large groups of oiler fans who want to talk about nothing else.
    I will admit that among people… like me, I guess, Horcoff does get cut slack, There’s no denying it, I look for the best in him because he always plays his balls off, spent a lot of years as the only good centre, was played into the ground on bad teams, which lead to him playing hurt without complaint, is willing to do the little things, and everyone who has ever worked with him seems on a mission to say as many good things to say about the guy they can. I don’t know why so many people hold his bad contract (it is bad, it was bad when it was signed and it’s bad today) against him; it’s not your money and he’s still one of our best players. At least he was.

    This is the first year when I think the anti-Horcoff crowd has been able an argument against him that wasn’t directly linked to his salary. I can’t argue with you that he’s had a rough year, he clearly has. That said, I think he’ll get better. He’s older and injuries have taken their toll, but while much is taken, much remains, and he’s spent too many years as a good player who works his balls off for me to write him off now.

    I’m cheering for him! You could make a cold, methodical determination that his best days are behind him and he should be taken out and shot, but where’s the fun in that? We’re not watching the stock-market here, we’re watching hockey. This is supposed to be fun, and that means emotionally investing myself in my favourite players and hoping they succeed. I don’t want to cheer for the laundry.

    I’ve got mixed feelings about the usefulness of faith, but surely if it has a place, this overblown game is it. Unlike Barker, or Nilsson, or any number of players I’ve been happy to wave goodbye to, Horcoff has earned enough emotional capital with me that I believe he’ll do better because I want him to.

    Of course, this argument only makes any sense if you think this season was a dip in an otherwise strong career (even then….) If you think he’s always sucked, well, dude, I don’t know what the fuck to tell you.

  20. Traktor says:

    “Steve Smith”:

    Quite a few of you nobodies around these parts, I find.

    If you are a grown man arguing about who knows more about hockey players then you are a nobody, yourself included. Now that we are on the same level can we discuss problems that pertain to the Oilers, like under-performing hockey players signed long-term?

  21. "Steve Smith" says:

    Traktor,

    If I was a grown man arguing about who knows more about hockey players, I would be.

  22. hunter1909 says:

    Of course Hemsky’s a goner.

    First off, he listens to his agent, who tells him he’d better be receiving “market value and terms(sic)” despite the fact he’s been an IR regular for the past several years and thus ripping off the oilers for his dough.

    Second, he’s no longer the only talented player going forward. In fact, he’s not even the third or fourth best forward on the team anymore. oilers can be called so many things and it’s all true, but wtf, they only have so much money to spend on the roster, and if no other reason than Gagner exploding they’re going to have to ante up a lot more just to keep the RFA sheets at bay this summer. Is Hemsky currently a better forward than Gagner? Probably. But can Hemsky be counted on for the duration of any long term contract(like his agent demands)? Probably not.

    Last night proves oilers desperately need a couple of good NHL defencemen. Can they draft players that will make an immediate impact? Probably not. Can it be possible they can trade Hemsky for at least one of these defencemen? Highly likely.

    Finally, there’s Horcoff. A relatively lousy player sucking up 5.5 million a season, and generally playing the part of the stinking elephant in the room; that sacred cow that must never be discussed because…just because. i guess crappy teams overpay bad players, and this is the oiler’s prime example of a terrible, terrible contract. If oilers didn’t have to pay Horcoff 5.5 million a season, could they then afford to pay Hemsky? Probably not, unfortunately. However, with Horcoff on the roster all but stealing his 5.5 million, does this mean that there is certainly no money to spare on Hemsky? Almost certainly.

    This isn’t an attempt to deride Horcoff. I personally think Horcoff derides himself by his poor play relative to his salary, and therefore needs no help from anyone.

    One wonders just how Hemsky would be getting treated by Big Lou over in the New Jersey swamplands. I expect Lou would be resigned to losing Hemsky, and would be working the phones trying to get a decent return for him before UFA day, but, when all is said and done Lou would also be prepared to shake Ales’s hand, and wish him luck whotever his next team turned out to be. oilers of course, as most of us know are nothing if not spiteful little bitches to any player who leaves their precious Chuck.

    Unfortunately, like the Horcoff disaster contract, this oilers’s MO can never be mentioned too often. After all, being an oiler fan is a hear, see, and speak no evil proposition. oiler fans meanwhile, pretend to accept the rough with the smooth, then bitch away regardless.

  23. Traktor says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Traktor,

    If I was a grown man arguing about who knows more about hockey players, I would be.

    After Romulus Apotheosis commented that Cross was the worst player we have ever seen you disagreed and said Cross was better than Barker “and it isn’t close”.

  24. delooper says:

    On the Oilers website it lists Theo Peckham as being injured, and the injury is his “head”. In case you’re curious, Taylor Hall’s former head injury was listed as “laceration” and Ben Eager’s a “concussion”. So Peckham has a head injury that isn’t a cut or a concussion… what is that??

  25. Ribs says:

    I think they said on the broadcast that Peckham was having congestion or sinus issues.

  26. bookje says:

    hunter1909,

    Hunter, despite many of us arguing in favour of Horcoff in past years, I think that we can all agree that Horcoff has lost a step and is now down to playing a defensive/two way centre role with moderate offensive output. I think we can also agree that he is paid too much for that role.

    I also don’t see a lot of people strongly defending the ‘player relations’ side of the Oilers management. I defend things like the Penner trade, but that doesn’t mean that I think they are good at ‘talking to’ players.

  27. Ducey says:

    Last night proves oilers desperately need a couple of good NHL defencemen. Can they draft players that will make an immediate impact? Probably not. Can it be possible they can trade Hemsky for at least one of these defencemen? Highly likely.

    Last night “proves” nothing. It might be some evidence of something. There is no player/ team in the league that doesn’t have a bad game every once and a while.

    Heck, people keep telling me Hemsky is an indispensable player despite the fact he is -15, at .55 pt/ game, is 9th on the team in shots (just barely ahead of some Dmen), and was -4 last night.

    I am coming around to the argument the Oilers should keep him. His value is dropping so fast I don’t see any scouts recommending anything for him at the deadline.

    My fear now is that Tambo will wait for all the offers to pour in at the deadline, only to find that he is offered somthing substandard like Mike Komisarek and a 2nd round pick. He won’t make the trade, will fumble re signing Hemsky after the deadline and Hemsky will walk for nothing.

  28. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Cory Cross with the Oilers was better than Cam Barker with the Oilers, and it isn’t close.I wouldn’t be surprised if Cory Cross in 2012 was better than Cam Barker in 2012.

    You will never convince me of that.

  29. "Steve Smith" says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I know more about hockey players than you do.

    (Also, I am a twenty-nine year old man.)

  30. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    bookje,

    I think Renney has leaned on Horcoff a lot this year too. He seemed much more effective at the beginning of the season. I imagine he is worn down a touch. As Renney gets more comfortable with the kids and with Gagner back at centre… Horcoff’s role will hopefully become more clear.

  31. Ribs says:

    Bookgee,

    i can’t believe that you didn’t ask me how to use the book¡e thing yet! Go into your Settings and change your Display Name to book$iexcl;e

    - Replace the $ with a &

    Type it into the Nickname box and then you can select it as a Display name.

  32. cabbiesmacker says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    Captain Obvious,

    You’ve forgotten Cory Cross – the worst hockey player any of us have ever seen.

    Hey..I was around for the Gord Mark days.

  33. cabbiesmacker says:

    DSF:
    NHL_Oilers Edmonton Oilers
    The #Oilers have recalled forward Magnus Paajarvi from the Oklahoma City Barons.

    Theres a tonic for success huh? Rather see Lander down and ROM up if we’re looking to get better incrementally.

  34. Captain Obvious says:

    Ducey,

    Last night didn’t prove that Barker can’t play in the NHL. That has been proven many times over. Last night was simply a hilarious demonstration of how bad at hockey a person can be.

    I also find it interesting that you quote Hemsky’s -4 as evidence of his play. By memory those goals were:

    Barker slow as molasses, stuck in the traintracks bystander while Grabovski blows by him, followed by crashing into his own player while Gardiner (not Hemsky’s man) scores.

    Barker skating slowly back to get puck before leaving it for Toronto forward to score.

    Nugent-Hopkins losing his man in the defensive zone, while Barker skates around aimlessly.

    Empty net goal.

    This team has two massive problems. The worst fourth line in hockey and the worst defense in hockey. Getting rid of Hemsky won’t solve those problems but it will create a new problem.

    The cost issue is a red herring unless the Oilers go out and spend that money on a player or players that are better than Hemsky. Now better players than Hemsky exist even on the FA market (Grabovsky for instance) but once July 1st comes around the price for everyone goes up. The best use of FA money is almost always on your own players before they reach free agency.

    This team isn’t going to make the playoffs as it is constructed. There is very little room for the young players to improve and there aren’t really any good young players in the pipeline. That means that the Oilers need to be adding good players instead of subtracting them. Otherwise it will be the same shit with different names.

  35. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    I know more about hockey players than you do.

    (Also, I am a twenty-nine year old man.)

    Ok. what?

    Cory Cross is my all time Goat. I don’t feel the need to rationalize that or argue about it. I brought him up not as a statement of fact, but as a joke. I guess you don’t find it funny.

    I have no idea if you know more about hockey players than I do. And, if you do… great! Let’s share some knowledge. I’m here because I like hockey a lot and like talking about it and because a lot people here have things to teach me. I’m not afraid of that.

    How old you are and your sex is beyond irrelevant to me, but thanks for sharing.

    (I’m the first King of Rome who experienced apotheosis over 2000 years ago on the black rock and was reborn the God Quirinus. So I’m not so shabby myself!)

  36. stevezie says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Pics or it didn’ts happen

  37. DSF says:

    cabbiesmacker: Theres a tonic for success huh?Rather see Lander down and ROM up if we’re looking to get better incrementally.

    It’s a decision that defies reason.

    Kid can’t score in the NHL…send him down.

    Kid can’t score in the AHL…bring him back up.

    Rinse and repeat.

    I think almost any fool can see what his problems are…not wanting to drive the net or take a hit to make a play.

    You would think Todd Nelson should get an extended opportunity to drive that message home to Magnus.

    Calling him up again sends the wrong message.

  38. cabbiesmacker says:

    Captain Obvious:
    Ducey,

    This team has two massive problems.The worst fourth line in hockey and the worst defense in hockey.

    Do you honestly believe a subpar 4th line is a major factor in the W – L column? Especially when they were averaging 5 mins a night earlier in the season? I’d suggest scoping that top 9 and how some of those players have been utilized as a far bigger tell on things.

    Yes the D is an issue. So is inconsistent goaltending.

    In fact there’s lots more wrong with this team than can be summed up in a sentence or two . Thankfully most of it it is fairly easy to remedy as the key future proponents of our success mature. A good GM could probably make this team a playoff contender in one offseason.

    Right Steve? Steve?

  39. cabbiesmacker says:

    DSF,

    MPS should have a mandatory due date attached to him the next time he’s sent down. That due date should be two years from now. Not before.

    I really don’t understand why he, Lander, and Laynuss haven’t been swapping war stories in the sauna since October.

  40. Ribs says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: How old you are and your sex is beyond irrelevant to me, but thanks for sharing.

    When in doubt, assume Steve is being sarcastic.

  41. "Steve Smith" says:

    Ribs,

    Yeah, that’s a great idea.

  42. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    stevezie:
    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Pics or it didn’ts happen

    Here’s an artist’s rendering:

    http://www.allposters.com/-sp/The-Death-of-Romulus-Posters_i1866649_.htm

    You can see the thunderstorm into which I am about to disappear. Or, if you prefer the other story, you can see the senators poised to slice me into bits and cart me off piece by piece in their togas.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ribs,

    In that case… good job letting that goal in “Steve Smith.”

  44. Captain Obvious says:

    cabbiesmacker,

    I absolutely think the fourth line makes a big difference. First, even though they don’t play a lot they get crushed when they do. Second, because they don’t play a lot that forces the other lines to play more which reduces their effectiveness.

    This team would be much better if Belanger, Eager and Jones were the fourth line. Then you could mix and match according to situation and take advantage of the lack of depth of other teams.

    If you want to win in the NHL you need three scoring lines and a fourth line that can play. The Oilers had the forwards to do this at the start of the year. Instead they kept Lander and Petrell, sent Omark away, and played Belanger on the third line. From these decisions stems a big proportion of their problems.

  45. russ99 says:

    I’d put Paajarvi on the Hall/Eberle line.

    Worked for Gagner, could it work for MPS?

  46. Ducey says:

    Captain Obvious: Ducey, Last night didn’t prove that Barker can’t play in the NHL. That has been proven many times over. Last night was simply a hilarious demonstration of how bad at hockey a person can be. I also find it interesting that you quote Hemsky’s -4 as evidence of his play. By memory those goals were:Barker slow as molasses, stuck in the traintracks bystander while Grabovski blows by him, followed by crashing into his own player while Gardiner (not Hemsky’s man) scores.Barker skating slowly back to get puck before leaving it for Toronto forward to score.Nugent-Hopkins losing his man in the defensive zone, while Barker skates around aimlessly.Empty net goal. This team has two massive problems. The worst fourth line in hockey and the worst defense in hockey. Getting rid of Hemsky won’t solve those problems but it will create a new problem. The cost issue is a red herring unless the Oilers go out and spend that money on a player or players that are better than Hemsky. Now better players than Hemsky exist even on the FA market (Grabovsky for instance) but once July 1st comes around the price for everyone goes up. The best use of FA money is almost always on your own players before they reach free agency. This team isn’t going to make the playoffs as it is constructed. There is very little room for the young players to improve and there aren’t really any good young players in the pipeline. That means that the Oilers need to be adding good players instead of subtracting them. Otherwise it will be the same shit with different names.

    A few points:

    You don’t seem to get the fact that Barker is a flyer. If he improves then he will be an asset. In order to see if he can hit a major league curve ball you have to give him at bats. As LT pointed out last week, Jason Smith was a failed pick before he came to Edmonton. Dan Cleary was a failure before he left.

    I know that from your perch on the couch you have already declared its a hopeless cause, but give it a rest. There was enough there to justify him going 3rd overall. Maybe he has been a drunk. Maybe he has had an injury or anxiety issues or was abducted by aliens. There could be all kinds of stuff going on with the guy that you have no fucking clue about. Presumably there might be few people in the organization that have a bit more information than you. Isn’t it worth 30 games in the fail for Nail to find out if he can improve?

    I find it “hilarious” that many of the same people that throw Barker, the 4th line, and the whole defense under the bus during a loss will find all kinds of ways to explain away Hemsky’s problems. The bottom line is that he has reverted into some kind of checker right now that you put out against the teams best line and hope he chips in a little offense. He sucks. I too hope he improves, but its “obvious” there is a problem there.

    The Oilers have the 23rd best GA. That would seem to be something better than the “worst defence in hockey”.

    There are plenty of good players in the pipeline. Many may not be here next week, or even next year, but they are coming. With another good draft (which was kinda the plan) even more will be coming.

  47. Captain Obvious says:

    Ducey,

    First, Barker isn’t a flyer. He costs over 2 million dollars.

    Second, anyone who thinks Barker has talent is retarded. He isn’t misusing his talent. He has none. He is slow, stupid, and soft. Those are physical traits. He doesn’t need time he needs a cocoon.

    Third, there are no good players in the pipeline. Name one. Players in junior and in Europe are basically nothing and the AHL team is dry.

    Fourth, going back to your comment in the previous thread I am 100% sure I could be an above average NHL GM. This is an old boys network full of people who have been chosen on the basis of their connections. The ability of non-insiders to run sports franchises (with some training and interning to acquire some necessary practical experience) has already been demonstrated conclusively in baseball. This isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t take years to understand hockey.

  48. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey,

    You really think he might be drunk? Apparently Wade Boggs was drunk a lot and Jimmy Page used to drink a bottle of jack before every show (rumors? probably) and it didn’t seem to slow them down:)

    What do you mean by “flyer” – he’s got no connection to the Flyers and he’s one of the slowest players I’ve seen.

    You’ve got a good point about D development and unpredictability. But, I think it is fair to say that given his pro track record and applying hind-sight there was a pretty good chance the risk ST took on Barker wasn’t going to pay off.

    RE: Hemsky. Well Hemsky is a proved NHLer having a rough year. I don’t know anyone disputing that. His proven status protects him from the kind of criticism Barker is getting. And the defence Hemsky is getting seems to be an attempt to try and properly evaluate his performance without the insinuations that often attend Hemsky-talk. I don’t see anyone trying to hide the bodies.

  49. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Captain Obvious:
    Ducey,

    First, Barker isn’t a flyer.He costs over 2 million dollars.

    Second, anyone who thinks Barker has talent is retarded.He isn’t misusing his talent.He has none. He is slow, stupid, and soft.Those are physical traits.He doesn’t need time he needs a cocoon.

    Third, there are no good players in the pipeline.Name one.Players in junior and in Europe are basically nothing and the AHL team is dry.

    Fourth, going back to your comment in the previous thread I am 100% sure I could be an above average NHL GM.This is an old boys network full of people who have been chosen on the basis of their connections.The ability of non-insiders to run sports franchises (with some training and interning to acquire some necessary practical experience) has already been demonstrated conclusively in baseball.This isn’t rocket science.It doesn’t take years to understand hockey.

    C’mon man… cool out! You’re getting a little hot under the collar.

  50. Ducey says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Romulos,

    By a flyer I mean that Barker is someone that costs nothing to bring in and if he doesn’t improve can be cut lose easily. A low risk gamble.

    I don’t think Barker is drunk while he is playing. The bottle has plagued many a hockey player and it’s seems possible Barker might be one of them. If the Oilers have been working with him to get him dried out, perhaps there is an explanation for his on ice issues and some hope for improvement. This happens all the time and we are never told about it out of respect for the player. I am just speculating.

    Mr Obvious,

    Look in the archives on this site if you need to see who is in the pipeline. You have an all star from the world juniors, a couple of huge puck moving Slovak Dmen, Musil, Omark, Pitlick, Hamilton, a bunch of goalies, and many others. Hockeys Future ranks the Oilers system very highly.

    Finally, given your inability to refrain from hurling insults, I don’t think it’s likely you are above average at anything, never mind being better than half of the current GM’s running million dollar corporations.

  51. Pertti says:

    Depressing to have Tambo’s extension confirmed today by Elliotte Friedman.

    As for last night’s game, I have to agree with LT. I had the same feeling when the refs started tossing guys out of the circle willy-nilly. The TO feed was pretty surprised that Smyth’s goal was called-off as well. Those guys also seemed not to know that Lupul had once been on the Oilers.

  52. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Ducey,

    Interestingly enough, CBC did a piece on alcoholism for the last HNIC. I have no idea how many players that affects, but I could imagine it being more than a handful, but probably no more than the population at large.

    I’ve never heard that term “flyer” before. I agree with you that he is a flyer then! But with a couple of caveats: 1) his contract price is a bit steep; 2) if the Oil added another vet D they wouldn’t feel the burden of Barker’s absence/presence so much. Both these things weigh on his flyer status… but overall, yea on a year when we aren’t challenging for the cup, had some money and cap space to burn and didn’t tie ourselves in long term… it’s not a huge deal. He certainly isn’t the reason we are at the bottom of the league (though he isn’t helping!).

  53. rickithebear says:

    Even points/game Rank for Forwards and Q of competition faced.
    Eberle #5 upper 2nd line 66PT
    Hall #60 Upper 2nd line 44PT
    Smyth #60 mid 1st 44PT
    Gagner #66 upper 3rd 43PT
    RNH # 124 lower 2nd 35Pt
    Hemsky #165 mid 1st 29PT
    Jones #190 upper 3rd 25PT
    Horcoff #200 upper 1st 24PT
    Belanger 4th line 9PT
    Eager 4th line 18pt

    There are 11 centers in similiar competition and there average EV pt production is 31PT.(rank 151) Horcoff is on pace for 24 EV PT.(200

    I am ok with these two facing 2nd comp
    Hall-Gagner-XXX
    XXX-RNH-Eberle
    And the start of a 1st comp line.
    XXX-Horc-XXX
    Our fourth line:
    Eager-Belanger-jones

    When i look at the strong even free agents available;
    Whitney #13 upper 1st line 55PT
    Grabovski #21 lower 1st line 54PT
    Paranteau #26 Mid 2nd line 51PT
    Hudler #60 upper 2nd line 44PT
    Prospal #92 upper 1st 38PT
    Brodziak #126 lower 1st line 35pt

    If we can get Smyth on a modano type 35+ contract 2.875m. I would be happy.

    Looking at this if you were to choose between Hemsky or Grabovski. who would you advocate.

    Would love Paranteau on the right side of Hall and Gagner.

  54. russ99 says:

    Hemsky isn’t the first player nor will he be the last where contract issues are affecting his play.

    We’ve seen too much from Ales to assume that this is the norm or that he’s degraded to this level.

    Barker on the other hand has swayed two teams now with his promise/draft pedigree, and he’s well along the way of alienating his third franchise. I hope he can figure it out, since he does have skill on the offensive end.

    For comparison, Cam Barker has played in 286 NHL games. It took Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid 300+ NHL games to get where they are now defensively, and Gilbert still has an occasional lapse in his own zone.

    IMO, it’s worth it to give him a shot the rest of the way. If he looks as bad at the end of the season, the Oilers can cut their losses. If he improves, we could have another top-4 guy without giving up a young asset.

    I do understand the people upset at the GM for signing Barker when there were better options, but what if “the plan” was to be where we are now?

  55. JimRoepcke says:

    The reason there were no penalties was because Toronto was trying to tie a record for the most games in a row without allowing a shorthanded goal.

    Here’s the NHL bragging about it this morning:

    “Did You Know? #Leafs have not allowed a PPG in 15 games, tying the franchise’s longest streak since 1940-41.”

    This from the previously 30th placed PK in the league. Thanks to the NHL they’re now 29th.

  56. stevezie says:

    If management likes “something” about Barker, then by all means, play him every game the rest of the way. I think Sutton is a much better defender, but we know that. Settle the Barker debate! Play him on that second pairing whether he deserves it or not! One of he or Sutton should get traded soon (there won’t be room for both next year, possibly neither, so why dick around), so that should ease the ice time issue. I hate to give up on a season, but let’s be reasonable: We may as well begin the audition for next year. There’s more to gain by exposing him for what he is than there is, and thus not extending him, than there is to lose by having him blow games for us.

    We don’t have to take CO’s word for it. We can let the man prove something one way, or the other.

  57. Doogie2K says:

    cabbiesmacker: Do you honestly believe a subpar 4th line is a major factor in the W – L column? Especially when they were averaging 5 mins a night earlier in the season?

    Depends on when those five minutes are. When it’s in the third period of a one-goal game, as has been pointed out at C&B a few times…yes, it’s plausible.

  58. Denniss says:

    Everyone knows everyone’s pet projects by now and I hardly ever talk about officiating. So, if I’m wound up over something than it must have been terrible.

    And last night was terrible.

  59. DeadmanWaking says:

    I made a post recently about small differences in tone between Bruce and Staples on the Game Grades.

    Willis has written up the last two games, so I read his style a little closer than usual. First of all–and really this is the only thing that matters–his grades comes across as credible. He writes with a fairly bright hockey-cliche creole. Uses a nice tropical hardwood and conceals the joints with reasonable craftsmanship. Opens a window when working with chemicals.

    What he’s lacking, to borrow from the creole, is “confidence” to show off some moves. Sure would have been nice had he spared ten words to provide a visual image of the shimmy young Nuge put on the “legendary Lidstrom”. (You know what, the legendary part was covered earlier this week. Nuge’s shimmy, not so much.)

    And last night, he makes it through the whole report without taking notice of the special-team holiday, where Bruce would lend you the eyeballs right out of his eye sockets to provide the ice-minutes context. A lesser man than Willis would have stepped hard into the breach of “blame Toronto”. (We are all lesser men, aren’t we? I step into that breach six times a day during the off season.)

    Willis has a little too much play-by-play and not quite enough colour man. You feel like you’re speed reading a CC crawl on a 20 foot wide television from a trusted compatriot. Bruce gets you behind the glass. Sometimes you even feel like you’ve just ordered a hot dog. The trick about setting, as Peter Jackson knows extremely well, is that you carry a single establishing shot a long time once the reader buys in. John Rhys-Davis is a burly 6’1″ and he’s not even using Hobbit inches. One shot of real butter in a barrel of fresh-popped popcorn is all it takes to sit the reader down behind the glass for the entire narrative.

    Back to the breach, just wait until the pampered, tender buds of spring experience their Carcillo moment (for or against) in the pivotal third game of the first round. There are some things you just can’t tuck into your back pocket (or fork into the nutritious stable-mulch during the post-game interview) whatever the league might wish. Come to think of it, Toronto seems to have a small monopoly on third-generation heirloom stable-mulch. They try to pawn if off in the gift shop as Galadriel’s gift to Samwise, but the golden-leaved Mallorn tree never sprouts. “I want a ring, dammit, and all I got was another giant Swede.”

    “Carl Gunnarsson, at your service. Dig me out, and let’s swallow some whistles.” Do you mean whiskey, Carl? Hard to know with Swedes these days.

  60. DeadmanWaking says:

    Here’s a get off my lawn moment. I just can’t stand the way the titular Media panders to people determined to become famous for becoming famous.
    Mamma MIA
    At Your Cervix
    What a flurry of flexible rubber hats is following me around on the sporting intertubes. Well, you do need a long finger for that method of birth control. Or maybe the gesture was misinterpreted. Back in ancient Rome, the digitus impudicus might have also functioned as a manly “come hither”. Offer, obscenity, or obstetric aid? In the context of the costume, I think Patch had it right.

    Back in the 1970s there were a lot of attention-getters out there (for the most part–quite apparently–not yet suffering from HFCS metabolic syndrome), until the networks got smart and decided to blank-out the cameras. And now please blank out the vacuous controversy the morning after, and maybe cover somebody committing an act of talent instead.

  61. geowal says:

    Kerrry Fraser’s take on the Lupul goal:

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=387168

    Seems pretty reasonable, never fun when it goes against you though. Regardless defensive zone coverage in that game was abysmal, we had no business winning it, but via luck could have stolen one with some different bounces and calls by refs.

  62. Brett Gee says:

    geowal,

    Yeah, I got what Fraser is saying, and he would know. That being said, if the rule allows Lupul to put the puck down across his body into the most beneficial position, then the rule needs to change.

    I could see the Sedins getting behind this and shooting it high to eachother in front of the net. Catch, drop across body to stick, shoot and goal. They could do it every game.

  63. hags9k says:

    Stevzie Zissou, I’m with you on Horcoff. If Eberle’s stick was touched by JC then Horc’s must have got mixed up at a coven. That’s no broomstick it’s #10′s synergy! He is awful and his contract is hurting us but damnit I can’t help but love the kid. Here’s hoping we can find a way to keep him and 94 for cheap on the 3rd or 4th lines once the kids are ready to contend.

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