LET YOUR SOUL AND SPIRIT FLY

It was late in the 2nd period, the Oilers had double the shots of Colorado but were down 4-1. The game–much like the season–was a steaming pile of frustration for Oiler fans. Chances once again suggested a different score, and this time the shot clock glowed too with Oiler work and expertise.

And still the good side was down by three. The Octane girls danced during the television breaks, the chances kept coming and the frustration continued to build.  At about 15:30 of the second period, the Oilers run and gun line entered enemy territory and would not leave it. The climax was a thing of beauty–Fistric getting the puck down to Taylor Hall, who sent a gorgeous pass to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who pierced the Avalanche net and sparked the comeback. Jordan Eberle’s expression after the Nuge ended his slump reminded me of the prayer meetings of my youth–Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, and amen.

One minute later, Ryan Smyth took a hit to make a play. Probably the 100,000th time he did it, and he found tape (Smyth is an outstanding passer), Hemsky and glory, as the ‘Czech who doesn’t care’ lollygagged his way to another classically beautiful goal.

It was now 4-3, and Don Cherry’s first intermission suggestion that Edmonton should airlift more Coke Machines was by then a distant bell. The fans were rocking the joint, keeping time to the breathtaking rhythm supplied by Hall, Hemsky and the rest.

In the second intermission, PJ Stock took the time to tell Ryan Smyth how to penalty-kill (Stock did in fact play in the NHL, hope you didn’t blink or you missed it). Stock also got his collar up about the Hemsky contract–on a night when Hemsky would enter the top 10 in league goal scoring–so I’m going to go ahead and give him an epic fail on the evening. The best thing about the HNIC panel these days is the commercial at the end, giving the nation a head’s up that they can return to watching the game.

The third period saw more outstanding play–another sublime pass, this time by brilliant Sam Gagner–set up Eberle for the tying score, and then Magnus Paajarvi scored the winner on more hard work by Ryan Smyth. Jordan Eberle got the EN goal on this night, a smart play by Taylor Hall (now 5th in shots on goal in the NHL) setting him free.

These kids broke the shots on goal record from the olden days, and they didn’t break on this night. The trials and tribulations of watching teenagers grow up in the NHL continues this week, but for today let’s allow ourselves a small moment, the hint of a smile.

These are the good times. If you’re fully invested in this team–and reading this blog suggests you’re there–then each step up the mountain has to bring joy. Last night the Oilers pushed the river and won the day. Tomorrow, they’ll do it against a better team, and more consistently, and add help where it is needed.

Let your soul and spirit fly.

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.
Related Posts

114 Responses to "LET YOUR SOUL AND SPIRIT FLY"

  1. Ben says:

    Just woke up and watched the game on PVR (no commercials! No PJ!). This day is all downhill from here.

    He doesn’t get mentioned much, but Belanger’s had some good stretches this year, by my eye.

  2. Jimmy says:

    Between the 4th Avs goal and the 2nd Oiler goal I was trying to imagine which of the kids we’d have to give up in trade…because SOMETHING had to change, RIGHT? I just hope that some kind of switch flipped last night, cuz that’s a lot more fun to watch when they win. If not for the 1st period defensive brain farts they win that game in dominant fashion.

  3. icecastles says:

    I hit the treadmill every oilers game this season. Gives me something to watch and a bit of excitement that helps me run a bit longer and a bit harder. I ran off the end of the treadmill twice last night and damn near punched a hole in the ceiling too. I don’t know if we’ll see a more exciting or gratifying game this season… Then again, I was saying the same after that LA game early on. Win or lose, there can’t be a more exciting team in the NHL to watch. No bias in that, of course.

  4. pboy says:

    Ben:
    Just woke up and watched the game on PVR (no commercials! No PJ!). This day is all downhill from here.

    He doesn’t get mentioned much, but Belanger’s had some good stretches this year, by my eye.

    Belanger is playing this season, like the guy we expected to show up GM 1 last year.

    I was happy for ol #94 lat night. He handled his HS like a true pro and them he came out and played his best game of the year.

    If it wasn’t apparent to everyone before, Hall is truly the engine that this teams runs on. If he keeps this up and his puck luck improves, we’ll be watching that young man in the Olympics next year.

  5. Bookjdjfhgye says:

    Hall really looked amazing on the RNH goal shift and the previous shift. He was trying to take over the game single handed and was a force. It was awesome.

  6. Bookjdjfhgye says:

    I think RK may have fixed Belanger, Eager, recently Smyth, and perhaps now PRV. Time will tell.

    It will be interesting to see how he handles Whitney at this point.

  7. Woodguy says:

    I’ve been watching 89 close in the Dzone and have been bitching about his exits and work low in the Dzone.

    His play on the PP where 14 tied was exceptional. You can’t teach instincts like that.

    What I hope they beat into him is his Dzone work. If he can bring that part of the game up to near where RNH is, 89′s line can out shoot the opposition as a matter of regular work too.

    4-93-14 are a wonder to behold.

    21-19-22 years old and they routinely out shoot some of the best lines in hockey.

    That pretty much makes them one of the elite line in hockey and they play for the team I cheer for.

    So happy I could cry about that.

    This is why so many of us bitch and whine about the slow pace that management is filling in the weak spots.

    4-93-14 are an elite line now.

    Today.

    Hemsky is an offensive Ninja now.

    Today.

    They need to stop waiting for help to spring from the system and do so honest to goodness GM work like Lowe did in 2006.

    The hardest parts to acquire are here. The tank did its thing.

    Its time to hold the management group accountable and stop talking about “next year”

    You never know when windows close.

    I’m not saying sell a kid/future for a short term solution, but for crying in the sink get on getting these kids help, especially in the Dcorps.

  8. Woodguy says:

    Belanger has done an excellent job in Horcoff role since 10 went down.

    Shit zone starts, taking 50% of the faceoffs, spade work.

    If he wasn’t here, this would be much, much darker.

    I’ll give v4.2 credit for that signing.

    I liked it when he was signed, last year was bizzaro year, and this year he looks like a vet NHLer again and is filling his role well.

  9. till_horcoff_is_coach says:

    That was an electrifying game. Thanks LT for capturing it with your wonderful prose.

    The cycle was deadly last night. Instead of making 4 or 5 passes to open a man up, it would be 1 or 2 and then one of the golden trio would make the defender look silly. Hall said more simple but it was just more direct and lethal. As they grow their ability against better defending teams it is going to be something to behold.

  10. JohnnyRocket says:

    My favorite song, by one of my favorite artists. I feel, quite literally, that I’ve been waiting for this post for years. While this isn’t the mountaintop, we have rounded the base and can see the summit. It’s a good day.

  11. Woodguy says:

    Bookjdjfhgye,

    It will be interesting to see how he handles Whitney at this point.

    The fact that 6 has been HS’d twice means writing on the wall.

    The Oilers have 34 games left in the season.

    If 6 plays in 10 of them (barring injury to another) I’d be surprised.

  12. hunter1909 says:

    So Boston Bruins in the 60′s had a young talented team going nowhere until Bobby Orr apparently decided that Gordie Howe’s adage “make space to play hockey” was the way to go…ditto the early 70′s Philadelphia Flyers – another team that was bullied regularly.

    Lowetide nailed it – We fans are being treated to the best fan experience imaginable – watching a giant forming. So long as Tambellini remains at the head, I’ll be sleeping soundly ha ha.

    PS: @Kris – I wasn’t on anything, finishing a stage of a project that doesn’t exactly smile on the use of alcohol.

  13. Lowetide says:

    WG: I don’t see Gagner in a tough minutes role now. Horcoff handled those minutes early in his career and the Nuge will do it soon and for the rest of Gagner’s career as an Oiler.

    As for the quality additions, that’s what MacT is here to do. Look for college men and available free agents, and on July 1 say “are you sure you want to do that?”

    The Whitney contract and other items come off the books this summer, allowing them to acquire a stud 25+ minute defender. The only negative is that player will not come via free agency, meaning a trade.

  14. blackdog says:

    Came off the ice from beer league and checked the twitter, 4-1 Avs, had no idea what had been happening but saw that Cam remarked that the game wasn’t over yet. 20 minutes later we were at the pub and it was 4-3.

    Watching it on PVR now. Terrific fun.

    Happy for Smyth. Happy for Paajavri. Seems like a nice kid and good to see him rewarded.

    I’m with woodguy, not sure if they can pull it off but I’d like to see them add pieces if they can this summer. RNH, Yak, Schultz, Petry all on cheap contracts still. Roll the dice.

  15. Bookjdjfhgye says:

    Woodguy:
    I’ve been watching 89 close in the Dzone and have been bitching about his exits and work low in the Dzone.

    His play on the PP where 14 tied was exceptional.You can’t teach instincts like that.

    What I hope they beat into him is his Dzone work.If he can bring that part of the game up to near where RNH is, 89′s line can out shoot the opposition as a matter of regular work too.

    4-93-14 are a wonder to behold.

    21-19-22 years old and they routinely out shoot some of the best lines in hockey.

    That pretty much makes them one of the elite line in hockey and they play for the team I cheer for.

    So happy I could cry about that.

    This is why so many of us bitch and whine about the slow pace that management is filling in the weak spots.

    4-93-14 are an elite line now.

    Today.

    Hemsky is an offensive Ninja now.

    Today.

    They need to stop waiting for help to spring from the system and do so honest to goodness GM work like Lowe did in 2006.

    The hardest parts to acquire are here.The tank did its thing.

    Its time to hold the management group accountable and stop talking about “next year”

    You never know when windows close.

    I’m not saying sell a kid/future for a short term solution, but for crying in the sink get on getting these kids help, especially in the Dcorps.

    I fully agree. I think they were caught off guard about how quickly that line became dominant this year. I don’t think they can do much to fill the holes until the trade deadline.

  16. Woodguy says:

    These kids broke the shots on goal record from the olden days, and they didn’t break on this night.

    The fact that they didn’t break, didn’t give up, and saw….finally saw…. their out shooting result in out scoring might be a big moment.

    You can always say the right things (i.e. “If we keep playing this way we will win hockey games”), but to actually live through it and do it is something else.

    If give them an excellent point of reference for a long time.

    RK was talking about how calm everyone was when they were down 4-1 and kept going to work.

    They’ll be able to use that in many games when the breaks aren’t going their way because they lived it and *know* that it works.

    Knowing that you can do it is far more powerful than just believing you can do it, because *knowing* doesn’t include any doubt.

    This might be the game that ended the rebuild.

  17. DBO says:

    So knowing how close we may be (debatable I know), does that make our 1st rd pick as option trade wise? MPS is emerging as a solid two way 3rd liner. Harsky can play anywhere in the lineup and worst case he doesn’t hurt you. So up front, while we could use more size, we are going to fine as long as we are healthy (yep, Horc is still a two way tough minutes eater and is missed). So it falls on the D. Jones coming back and maybe signing a value (below $1.5 mill/yr) deal makes us a deeper team.

    Not much UFA options next year, but plenty of bigger contracts that could be dealt for wihtout giving up much. Next year is not a cap problem, so adding a bigger deal won’t break us. Horc can be bought out the following year if needed (kinda the point of a rich owner). Whitney and Bulin come off cap and should be dealt for anything (both will have deadline value).

  18. Bos8 says:

    Love exciting offense but I really, really hate exciting D.

    How come no one mentions the innovations on Zone entries. The chip dumps, the off wing etc. They’re awesome.

  19. bookje says:

    Woodguy:
    Bookjdjfhgye,

    It will be interesting to see how he handles Whitney at this point.

    The fact that 6 has been HS’d twice means writing on the wall.

    The Oilers have 34 games left in the season.

    If 6 plays in 10 of them (barring injury to another) I’d be surprised.

    I don’t think he gives up on him. A lot of Whitney’s problems are in his head and I think RK lives for that kind of challenge.

  20. DBO says:

    Next year

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle
    Yak-Gagner-Hemsky
    Harksy-Horc-MPS
    Smyth-Belanger-Jones
    Lander-Eager

    Shultz-Shultz
    Smid-Petry
    ?-?

    So we need a 5 and 6 dman, or an upgrade on Shultz the elder to play with the younger. That should be our whole goal going forward. Upgrade the D. And no, Klefbom, Marincin, Musil are not ready for primetime, and best case one of them plays 5/6 minutes in 2 years. Shultz the elder will be gone in 2014, so we still need to ad a top 4 and a depth vet for the #6 dman role. Yandle keeps getting mentioned, and Coyotes have young guys to step in. So maybe you offer up our 1st and one of our D prospects for him. No idea if that would work, but he makes us a much better bet for the playoffs this year, and solidifies our top 4 for the next 3 years.

  21. Woodguy says:

    bookje: I don’t think he gives up on him. A lot ofWhitney’s problems are in his head and I think RK lives for that kind of challenge.

    Unless its his head that is keeping him from making any kind of strong stride/stop/push with his left skate I disagree.

    I am convinced his is unable to physically do it.

  22. Lowetide says:

    Oilers have FOUR defensemen heading to free agency (Smid, Fistric, Whitney, Sutton) plus the Souray money comes off the books.

    I’d sign Smid, consider Fistric and then make a deal. Why?

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2013&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

    Anything there of interest?

  23. Woodguy says:

    bookje: I don’t think he gives up on him. A lot ofWhitney’s problems are in his head and I think RK lives for that kind of challenge.

    ROMULUS APOTHEOSIS posted this yesterday:

    February 17, 2013 at 12:18 am
    Watch the sequence from about 3:10-3:45 and tell me 6 can still play responsible hockey:
    http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20122013,2,211&cmpid=embed-share-video

    When you are watching that, watch 6′s foot work.

    His inability/refusal to work off his left skate makes him basically immobile unless he is skating in straight line.

  24. khildahl says:

    I wonder how many NHL goalies (and coaches) woke up today thinking “Oh God. Now they’re shooting.”

    I’ve been lucky enough to be at Rexall for some incredible (good and bad) moments in the last several years (Smyth breaking Gretzky’s “fastest three goals” team record against the Sharks, the McGeough hand pass incident, Gagner’s 8-point night, last years’s shootout win against Detroit). This may have been the loudest I’ve ever heard that building get. What a game.

  25. DBO says:

    Lowetide,

    Just looked at same thing. Maybe White (although he is a douche), maybe O’Byrne from COL (although he is slow, but maybe if we don’t re-sign Fistric), or perhaps it is a Streit on a 1 or 2 yr deal to play 5/6 minutes and play PP, pair him with Shultz the elder and you have a solid vet 5/6 pairing. Still need to add a top dman via trade.

  26. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers have FOUR defensemen heading to free agency (Smid, Fistric, Whitney, Sutton) plus the Souray money comes off the books.

    I’d sign Smid, consider Fistric and then make a deal. Why?

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2013&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

    Anything there of interest?

    Streit tops my list.

    Hainsey is ok as he can make a pass, but he’s been getting his head kicked in via shot differential for a while, but he’s also in the shut down pair and might be better if his work assignment is lessened.

    I like Grebs too.

    I think the key is having MOST Dmen being able to make that first pass.

    Right now its like one passer and one banger per pair, and its not working.

    This team needs more Tom Gilbert types.

    They will win with faster and more efficient zone exits than beefing up the Dcorps.

    Even Stauffer was saying it the other day:

    “The OIlers have 2 dmen who can make a pass, J.Shultz and Petry” Funny that he didn’t mention Whitney.

    Bob then went on to say that Dallas has 6 Dmen who could make a pass and how that was a superior set up to the Oilers.

    Bob is usually a good bellwether on what the org is thinking, so its a good sign.

    Add: Klef, Striet, Grebs

    Streit, J.Shultz
    Grebs, Petry
    Smid, Klef
    N.Shultz

    Note: Streit is already in talks to re-sign with NYI and has stated he wants to stay so its pipe dream. http://www.newsday.com/sports/columnists/arthur-staple/source-islanders-mark-streit-have-preliminary-extension-talks-1.4661881

    Mind you, Snow is ruthless at dealing expiring UFA’s at the deadline so if they aren’t in it, he might deal Streit and it might sour him.

  27. FPB94 says:

    Don Cherry, it’s like having your drunk uncle 7-8 minutes a night on national television (and he’s getting 300 grands for it).

    Stupid.

  28. HBomb says:

    Looking at the defense, I think they’re going to need a big-time minute muncher left defenseman to play with Schultz Jr. to take this team to the next level (pushing a guy like Schultz Sr., Petry or Smid to the third pairing would NOT be a bad thing…depth wins).

    Now, accounting for the mention of Grebeshkov (who I’m not a fan of, but likely would help the 3rd pairing as a puckmover), re-signing Fistric as a 6/7D option on the cheap, I see it lining up like this for the next few years:

    _____ – J. Schultz
    Smid-Petry
    Grebeshkov/Fistric-N. Schultz

    Filling in the blank is the tricky part. There isn’t very much appealing in the UFA market this summer, as Lowetide has already mentioned, but the 2014 UFA list gives us a better idea of who might be out there via trade-and-sign:

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2014&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

    The obvious name is Bouwmeester, who in spite of all the grief that Flames fans give the guy, is a top-level blueliner. The other name that sticks out for me as a possible fit is almost taboo to even type….

    ….is it crazy to suggest that Dion Phaneuf might be a good fit to round out this defense corps? Can anyone tell me that he’s grown out of being a secondary-matchup muncher from his days with the Flames into a legit first-pairing guy?

  29. mustang says:

    Woodguy: Unless its his head that is keeping him from making any kind of strong stride/stop/push with his left skate I disagree.

    I am convinced his is unable to physically do it.

    You could most definitely be right it could be he’s physically unable to do what he needs to do.If this was true, then there is no reason to HS him and hope he sees the light and picks up his game. You try to trade him and if there is no trading partner then put him in the minors because he’s flat out done. I believe the Oilers think he has it in him to be an effective player yet, he just needs to figure it out. They talk about his gaps being bad, I think he played better positionally last night than he has at certain points this year. The Ryan Whitney that first came to the Oilers is gone, to bad because he was a gooder. I’m hoping like crazy he figures it all out and is effective enough to continue his career in the NHL as an Oiler or not.

  30. bookje says:

    Woodguy,

    A lot of Whitney’s problems are caused by his foot being screwed. A lot of his problems are in his head. He got a lot of problems right now.

    There is no doubt his foot is screwed and he will never be a top defenseman, but I think his foot injury has also had psychological impacts that are keeping him from being at his NEW 100%. It’s clear that sometimes his head is not in the game and that this is costing the team points. He is having trouble adapting/accepting where he is at and that is affecting his play beyond what his foot is. So, I think there is room to fix some of the head issues and make him a better D.

  31. namflashback says:

    Sign Smid. He’s been bought and paid for, so pay that man his money. Leopold – haven’t looked at his numbers, but I remember him as a multi-tool top 4. Kind of Nick Schultzian, but it would be nice to have that on the 3rd pair.

    I’d be curious to see a lateral trade deadline deal – Whitney for a pick, deal a pick for one of these UFA D.

    Smid-Petry
    SchultzX2
    Leopold-Fistric/Peckham/Potter

    They’d need to decide on Fistric vs Peckham.

    Potter is acceptable as a 7 or 8 and it would help keep Klefbom in the A for a year.

  32. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    WG: I don’t see Gagner in a tough minutes role now. Horcoff handled those minutes early in his career and the Nuge will do it soon and for the rest of Gagner’s career as an Oiler.

    That’s my concern LT.

    The minutes aren’t tough and they are drowning 5v5 via shot metrics.

    I’d rather that Gagner fix the issue as I like him, but he’s not helping 5v5 and its under utilizing 83.

    Many of us expected 89-83 to feast on the softer minutes. The fact that they are not is disturbing.

  33. gangplank says:

    The problem is that Whitney doesnt play like a guy who has mobility issues. I think he can play if he understands his limitations

  34. Woodguy says:

    bookje:
    Woodguy,

    A lot of Whitney’s problems are caused by his foot being screwed.A lot of his problems are in his head.He got a lot of problems right now.

    There is no doubt his foot is screwed and he will never be a top defenseman, but I think his foot injury has also had psychological impacts that are keeping him from being at his NEW 100%.It’s clear that sometimes his head is not in the game and that this is costing the team points.He is having trouble adapting/accepting where he is at and that is affecting his play beyond what his foot is.So, I think there is room to fix some of the head issues and make him a better D.

    Did you watch that sequence I posted?

    About 4 times he has to change foot position to push off his right instead of left.

    That’s not mental.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    WG: I don’t see Gagner in a tough minutes role now. Horcoff handled those minutes early in his career and the Nuge will do it soon and for the rest of Gagner’s career as an Oiler.

    That’s my concern LT.

    The minutes aren’t tough and they are drowning 5v5 via shot metrics.

    I’d rather that Gagner fix the issue as I like him, but he’s not helping 5v5 and its under utilizing 83.

    Many of us expected 89-83 to feast on the softer minutes.The fact that they are not is disturbing.

    Well lets not forget there’s a rookie (Yakupov) on the other side too, and the Oilers blueline depth is not at the point where we can be certain who’s causing the chaos (imo).

    I’d try Smyth on that line to be honest. OR I’d suffer through the growing pains that come with adding a rookie.

    Gagner-Hemsky do need to have the better of the scoring chance opportunities, though. I thought they had a good matchup last night (Stastny line?) but haven’t seen the scoring chance numbers (they did appear to be leaking again to my eye).

  36. jonrmcleod says:

    Woodguy,

    There was one play last night where Belanger looked so good that I thought he was Hemsky for a moment.

  37. JohnnyRocket says:

    HBomb,

    Letang, Bouwmeester, Gilbert, in that order. I don’t know if getting Letang is possible without giving up a big piece in return and I imagine he might be too expensive cap-wise. Shero always seems to win his trades. Trading back for Gilbert would mean egg on the face of management. I can’t see it happening. That leaves Bouwmeester. Perhaps Calgary blows up the team this year. If he would sign for a 5.25 cap hit that would be music. I doubt they give a player like him to the team up the QE2, but you’d have to do everything in your power to try and get him. Wouldn’t you?

  38. jonrmcleod says:

    This is what happens when Petrell is out of the lineup.

  39. Lowetide says:

    Blair Jones clears waivers. Not a huge deal, but there was some chatter here and there about the Oilers putting in a claim.

  40. leadfarmer says:

    I hope the trend of Ryan Smyth on the PP continues. Instead of putting harski or PRV on the PP to try to be like Smyth, why not put Smyth to play like Smyth. Him and Holmstrom made a career of playing in that role and they both excelled at it. Not only that but he can actually win a faceoff to help out RNH and 89 so you dont have to put Belanger out there.

  41. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide: Well lets not forget there’s a rookie (Yakupov) on the other side too, and the Oilers blueline depth is not at the point where we can be certain who’s causing the chaos (imo).

    I’d try Smyth on that line to be honest. OR I’d suffer through the growing pains that come with adding a rookie.

    Gagner-Hemsky do need to have the better of the scoring chance opportunities, though. I thought they had a good matchup last night (Stastny line?) but haven’t seen the scoring chance numbers (they did appear to be leaking again to my eye).

    Matchs up last night for Gagner:

    DAVID JONES PAUL STASTNY AARON PALUSHAJ 42.5%
    PATRICK BORDELEAU MARK OLVER CHUCK KOBASEW 10%
    JAMIE MCGINN MATT DUCHENE PA PARENTEAU 7.5%
    CODY MCLEOD JOHN MITCHELL MILAN HEJDUK 7.5%

    Shot differential 5v5 last night:

    89 +17 -13 = +4
    83 +14 – 11 = +3

    Smyth is probably a good idea, he’s good at breaking the D zone cycle and get it going the other way, although Yak isn’t helping, I don’t think he’s hurting that much.

    I’ve been watching close and I think the zone exits are the key.

    89 and 83 simply don’t do what 93 and 4 do in terms of breaking the cycle, regaining possession and making a good first pass to retain possession when they get it.

    I don’t think the D are the problem either.

    Here are 93′s 4 most common D with 5v5 TOI this year:
    19 – 84:17
    15 – 69:26
    5 – 59:23
    2 – 58:25

    Here are 89′s most common D with 5v5 TOI this year:
    2 – 61:30
    5 – 55:42
    19 – 53:50
    15 52:09

    The difference isn’t that great.

    Certainly no where near enough to account for the massive fall off from line to line in shots.

  42. Woodguy says:

    JohnnyRocket:
    HBomb,

    Letang, Bouwmeester, Gilbert, in that order. I don’t know if getting Letang is possible without giving up a big piece in return and I imagine he might be too expensive cap-wise. Shero always seems to win his trades. Trading back for Gilbert would mean egg on the face of management.I can’t see it happening. That leaves Bouwmeester. Perhaps Calgary blows up the team this year. If he would sign for a 5.25 cap hit that would be music. I doubt they give a player like him to the team up the QE2, but you’d have to do everything in your power to try and get him. Wouldn’t you?

    Bouwmeester and J.Shultz as the top pair is simply dreamy.

  43. Lowetide says:

    WG: If that’s true, and your point sounds reasonable, then Smyth is the perfect match for that line, no? Or is it Ryan Jones?

    :-)

  44. Woodguy says:

    4-93-14′s match ups and shot differential from last night:

    JAMIE MCGINN MATT DUCHENE PA PARENTEAU 51.72%
    DAVID JONES PAUL STASTNY AARON PALUSHAJ 20.69%
    CODY MCLEOD JOHN MITCHELL MILAN HEJDUK 6.9%
    JAMIE MCGINN MATT DUCHENE MILAN HEJDUK 5.75%

    4 +24 -12 = +12
    93 +24 – 9 = +15
    14 +26 – 11 = +15

    Lord be praised!

  45. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: If that’s true, and your point sounds reasonable, then Smyth is the perfect match for that line, no? Or is itRyan Jones?

    You kiss your wife with that mouth?

  46. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide,

    I think RK will go back to 56 more than 94.

    Short term 94 may be best.

  47. fuzzy muppet says:

    Someone on Twitter last night was speculating that Reasoner may be waived later this week.

    The OIlers claim him don’t they??

  48. Lowetide says:

    C&B were talking about Doug Armstrong (Blues GM) being at last night’s Oiler game and MacT watching the Barons this weekend. Interesting.

    The obvious move for Edmonton is the Peckham recall (he’s already on the roster). Maybe they’re going to offload a D in last night’s game (Whitney? Fistric?) to help the Blues.

    Who might be coming back? Hell if I know, although Ian Cole isn’t playing every night and that’s a guy I’d like to see play for the Oilers.

  49. Bar_Qu says:

    The best thing about the HNIC panel these days is the commercial at the end, giving the nation a head’s up that they can return to watching the game.

    One thing I would point out is that with Friedman chairing that panel, there is always at least one good thing being said. I really liked his point in the Hemsky contract discussion where he pointed out it is better to go with who you know than one you don’t. It makes sense, especially if the replacement is undetermined.

    Of course Stock disagreed, but then he feels his collar needs to be up like a greaser out of a 50′s movie, so there’s that.

    Last night was a great game, and moreso because it didn’t feel so much lucky as inevitable.

  50. jp says:

    Lowetide,

    Woodguy:
    Lowetide,

    I think RK will go back to 56 more than 94.

    Short term 94 may be best.

    Smyth may well be the best fit for 2LW, but keep in mind they want to maintain a decent 3rd line and give Yak a chance to have success too. Both lines are likely better with Smyth on them right now than Harski. Gotta make a choice.

    fuzzy muppet:
    Someone on Twitter last night was speculating that Reasoner may be waived later this week.

    The OIlers claim him don’t they??

    You’d have to think so, but he’s had a tough go this year and last. 6 pts and -25 last season. He can still win a draw, and has a great history in Edm, so I’d still think there’s a good chance. I’d go with him over VDVD in a heartbeat.

  51. Woodguy says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: If that’s true, and your point sounds reasonable, then Smyth is the perfect match for that line, no? Or is itRyan Jones?

    I think another part of the answer is for RK to do video work with 89.

    Show him video of 93 and how he works in the Dzone.

    Its a player who is smaller and younger than 89 so it might open his eyes a bit.

    Might light some competitive fire too.

  52. BlacqueJacque says:

    Fun stat time – Hall and Gagner are tied for 15th (with several others) for scoring in the NHL. They reeled in Thornton and Marleau.

    Hemsky is tied for 10th in the league in goal scoring. Chew on that.

  53. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Did you watch that sequence I posted?

    About 4 times he has to change foot position to push off his right instead of left.

    That’s not mental.

    Me agree with you

    Witney also make many bad play with stick and puck. Also lazy at times (frustrated?).

    Much problem in foot! Some problem in head!

    RK try to fix head problem.

    Foot problem not go away.

    Maybe Whitney better if RK succeed, but never good enough to be top four.

  54. DBO says:

    Interesting line combo talk. If RK is going to run Gagner against the toughs then yeah Smyth is a solid bet. i wonder if he does a swap road vs home, with Smyth 2LW on road, and Yak 2LW at home where he can control who plays whom. Mid March will be very interesting, because with Jones and Horc back, maybe a more balanced 4 lines is better, with Yak getting sheltered with two vets.

    Hall-Nuge-Eberle (PVP)
    Smyth-Gagner-Hemsky (2nd toughs)
    Yak-Horc-Jones (can play anywhere)
    Harski/Eager-Belanger-Petrell/MPS (solid as a shut down line)

    Gives Ralph some options and balances out our lineup by sheltering Yak a bit and making that Gagner line our tough zone start line along with Horc or Belanger (heck, you could do the old switcheroo and put Belanger out for faceoff and switch Yak on the attack)

  55. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: I’ve been watching 89 close in the Dzone and have been bitching about his exits and work low in the Dzone.His play on the PP where 14 tied was exceptional. You can’t teach instincts like that.What I hope they beat into him is his Dzone work. If he can bring that part of the game up to near where RNH is, 89′s line can out shoot the opposition as a matter of regular work too… Its time to hold the management group accountable and stop talking about “next year”You never know when windows close.I’m not saying sell a kid/future for a short term solution, but for crying in the sink get on getting these kids help, especially in the Dcorps.

    I said the same about Gagner late late last night. He doesn’t come low enough in his D Zone coverage, and he release his checks into dangerous areas. He doesn’t help out his dmen enough, especially breaking the cycle. RNH, Hall and Ebs were all down at their own goal line being puckhounds at least once last game and I don’t remember Gagner doing that for a stretch of games.

    But he’s a frickin power play genius. Just so smart at distributing the puck, mixing up the plays, creating lanes. I think we’ll see more of him at the point/high wall from here on in.

    \So what do you do? Can’t hide him on the road, and let’s not forget how important the matchups were last night… Duchene would have made salsa out of Gags if he had been facing him all night like he would be in Denver.

    But you would have to be insane to give up on that offensive talent, unless you can replace it somehow, and that kind of talent doesn’t grow on trees.

    Allegedly defense can be taught, and Gagner is a smart kid, hopefully the light flicks on. But it should have by now and the fact it hasn’t is worrisome.

    Yak looked more a part of his lines last night. Krueger said they focused on offense during the mini-break and I wonder if the extra pratice time together has him on the same page as his linemates now.

    I’d like to see Tambo improve this team right now. This is and should be a good home team, and that’s the first step forward from being a loser everywhere. The problem is that the CBAs have destroyed the trade environment. There’s such a premium ongood prospects and young players now. And the owners tried to entrench that further with the new CBA.

    but I don’t see how Tambo can do much to help the team right now. If it’s a quality NHL defenseman we’re looking for, there’s plenty of teams in the same queue. Tough to get what you need at a reasonable price.

    However, if we’re looking to deal a defenseman,there’s a good market out there for your goods. One would have to think that Peckham is on dangerous ground unless one of the other blue liners goes down to injury.

    LAK, OTT definitely need help on the back end. DET probably too, WAS, the Florida teams.

    With MItchell and Greene out, bechat Lombardi wishes he was still talking to Steve Tambellini.

    Peckham and Jones for Penner.

  56. BlacqueJacque says:

    I really wonder if Gagner isn’t cheating on defence to get big numbers and a big contract. Trade problems with Colorado? ROR might be satisfied with a second line role.

  57. rickithebear says:

    Bouwmeester-J. Schultz!

    What we need to trade for is a another smid a guy who can be top 50:
    QComp >.068
    GA < 1.60
    Zone starts +5%
    PK <5.00GA

    Salo
    QComp .094
    GA 1.51
    Zone starts 40.9%
    +ve zone start +11.1%
    PK 4.15GA

    Hedman
    QComp .090
    GA 1.10
    Zone starts 40.2%
    +ve zone start +11.8%
    PK 4.32GA

    Fistric
    QComp .108
    GA 0.81
    Zone starts 38.6%
    +ve zone start +12.2%
    PK 2.29 GA

    Nevermind!

  58. BlacqueJacque says:

    I think Fistric must be remarkably lucky.

    He’s so slow, I keep waiting for a disaster but none comes :x

  59. spoiler says:

    BlacqueJacque: I really wonder if Gagner isn’t cheating on defence to get big numbers and a big contract. Trade problems with Colorado? ROR might be satisfied with a second line role.

    Horcoff plays the role they want O’Reilly to play. I would think they would ask for him over Gagner, especially since he’s getting cheaper in real dollars, which is an actual concern in the Colorado Alps. But they want a strong defensive centre.

    They might also be shopping Stastny too, considering his contract.

    But I don’t think there’s any chance whatsoever of Colorado trading players of this quality within their own division… and probably not own conference.

  60. striatic says:

    Lowetide: I’d sign Smid, consider Fistric and then make a deal. Why?
    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2013&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2
    Anything there of interest?

    i think the plan is to wait an additional year and try to grab local boys Phaneuf and/or Bouwmeester as UFAs.

    seriously, i’m pretty sure that’s the entire plan right now.. and one of the reasons why Lowe kept talking about a five or six year rebuild.

  61. eidy says:

    With regards to Gagner, I think he makes a better winger than centre. He is a genius in the offensive end and lacking in the defensive end and faceoffs. Nothing wrong with being a very good winger. Problem is we have a lot of those.

    As for rearguards, I like Sekera out of Buffalo. He is on a nice contract and has good experience. would make a nice 2nd pairing defenseman. I suspect that a top 4 of Shultz, Smid, Petry and Sekera would be enough to make us to the playoffs. I actually quite like schultz the older as well and if he is playing 3rd pairing minutes with Fistric, I think that is a solid core

  62. Woodguy says:

    bookje: Me agree with you

    Witney also make many bad play with stick and puck.Also lazy at times (frustrated?).

    Much problem in foot! Some problem in head!

    RK try to fix head problem.

    Foot problem not go away.

    Maybe Whitney better if RK succeed, but never good enough to be top four.

    Me still no understand you.

    Type slower.

    Also,

    His new 100% is below NHL replacement so his head doesn’t matter.

  63. bookje says:

    Woodguy: Me still no understand you.

    His new 100% is below NHL replacement so his head doesn’t matter.

    That’s the key factor. If that’s the case, than find a way to flush him nicely.

  64. Woodguy says:

    spoiler,

    I think the solution to 89 is to coach the shit out of him.

    Get more than one voice for him as well.

    He and MacT were pretty close from what I remember, get him involved too.

  65. DBO says:

    Willis interesting blog about Isles and Streit vs Visnovsky
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/02/17/will-the-new-york-islanders-trade-mark-streit-or-lubomir-visnovsky/

    Lubo would look nice here, but would he want to be here? whitney and a prospect?

  66. leadfarmer says:

    Fun Fact: Eberle and Schultz still AHL league leaders in points.

  67. BlacqueJacque says:

    leadfarmer:
    Fun Fact:Eberle and Schultz still AHL league leaders in points.

    Can Schultz still win rookie of the year in the A?

  68. DBO says:

    And just a thought about our D. What about Yannick Weber from Montreal. he is not a Therian fav (1 game this year). Maybe deal Peckham for him (therian likes tougher guys). he is swiss born (krueger should know him) and is a RH offensive dman who could fit with Fistrc on 3rd pairing. he wanted out early this season and will be an rfa, but is 24 so not a rookie (approx 100 nhl games, 150 ahl).

  69. leadfarmer says:

    Also we are 1 pt higher than the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions Minnesota Wild.

    Does anyone who follow Anaheim know how Souray is being used. Just noticed that he is second in +/- in the whole NHL. Glad he is getting payed by the Oil to play for another team.

  70. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: spoiler, I think the solution to 89 is to coach the shit out of him.Get more than one voice for him as well.He and MacT were pretty close from what I remember, get him involved too.

    I agree. They definitely have to exhaust all their options with him;. just too much talent there. I have no problem putting him through Defense U. He seems miles away from the light switch at times though. And, at his age/experience he should be Phi Beta Kappa by now.

  71. spoiler says:

    Buffalo is trying valiantly to eke a point out of the Sidney Malkins. Miller has been stellar,

  72. spoiler says:

    And Pitt double-shifts the vaunt and a screened blast from the point finds it way past Miller, possibly tipped.

  73. Derek says:

    I still dream of 4 playing in the middle and spreading the offensive talent out a bit more. It seems silly to want to see Hall switch positions when he’s playing the best hockey of his young career but there it is. With his speed and his ability to strip opponents of the puck it seems like a natural fit, that and his ability to play with a bit of grit every now and again.

    I love the look of the top line now as it is, but would the team be more successful with the offensive spread out a bit? Roll the kids in pairs, 93 with 14 and 4 with 64. I’m not implying Yakupov is ready for this role now, but in the future a line of 4 centering 64 and 91 could be amazing. You spend half the game with either Hall or RNH on the ice making the oppositions life tough. If Hall is successful in the center role you can now sell high on Gagner to find the defensive help you need.

    If this seasons offensive production for Gagner continues how do you pay him, plus the rest of the kids and afford the rest of the team? Is it worth giving Gagner his money if he’s never going to learn to be more effective in his own end? How do you acquire a top 4 D man otherwise?

    If Taylor Hall learns how to play and thrive at pivot a lot of this teams problems could go away. Blue skying perhaps, but dare to dream.

  74. Kris11 says:

    bookje,

    I see no reason to believe that Whitney has a problem in his head or that if he uses his head he can improve his play from where it is at now. IMO, he is already using his head as well as can be to compensate for a massive handicap.

    He can’t skate properly, which means he has to cheat to certain areas of the ice and has no gap control.

    It would be different if he just became a slower skater like Fistric. Smart play and smart positional play could compensate for slow skating to a degree, especially on the PK or in own aone play (a little less in transition).

    But forwards now realize that there are some turns and pivots Whitney literally can’t make. At all.

    It is almost as if he is playing without a stick. You can’t compensate for nothaving a stick with smart play. Forwards will see you don’t have a stick and that there are some things you can’t do (like cut off passing lanes) and use that to burn you again and again.

    It is very easy for forwards to shake off Whitney, to create a gap that even a slow defenseman woudn’t leave. There’s no smart play that Whitney can make, no change in his positioning, that can stop them from doing that at will.

    He’s pretty much done in this league as a good defenseman.He can play shitty minutes and give up lots of chances even against bottom 6′ers and bring some great passing. Basically Taylor Chorney +.

  75. dwillms says:

    eidy:
    As for rearguards, I like Sekera out of Buffalo.He is on a nice contract and has good experience.would make a nice 2nd pairing defenseman.I suspect that a top 4 of Shultz, Smid, Petry and Sekera would be enough to make us to the playoffs.I actually quite like schultz the older as well and if he is playing 3rd pairing minutes with Fistric, I think that is a solid core

    You read my mind as I was watching the BUF-PIT game. If Buffalo continues to struggle, I wonder what it would take to pry Sekera away.

    Only 26, signed for 2 more years after this season. My only concern is he’s on a bargain contract that I can’t see them wanting to move him, plus Regehr / Leopold / Sulzer are all UFA this summer.

    I see it taking at least one of Paajarvi or Hartikainen, and I’d hate to lose either one at this point.

  76. speeds says:

    Woodguy:
    I’ve been watching 89 close in the Dzone and have been bitching about his exits and work low in the Dzone.

    His play on the PP where 14 tied was exceptional.You can’t teach instincts like that.

    Was set up by that really hard, quick pass from Yakupov, that was an awesome play all around.

  77. Kris11 says:

    spoiler,

    “I’d like to see Tambo improve this team right now.”

    It is really funny that this is even controversial. I mean you shouldn’t have to say that the next goal is to improve the team now, to make a playoff run, by adding good d-men by giving up youth.

    The team has three number one overall picks in the lineup all on low paying contracts that will ezpire, two first rounders in Gagner and Eberle who are putting up points at an excellent rate, a 22 year old dynamic defenseman who could lead the league in dmen points one day, a decent young goalie in Dubnyk, a solid young dman in Petry, a fairly deep prospect and AHL pool (Harti, MPS, Klefbom, Marincin, Simpson, and lots of longer shots), And they have two second round picks in the upcoming draft along with their other picks.

    But the GM seems to want to wait because he believes they are still rebuilding and restocking.

    Unbelievable.

    Trade the first and one of the seconds, some of the prospects, and maybe even a young roster player like Hartikainen, MPS to bring in some solid vets who can help tilt the ice a little bit.

    Try to win now.

    The easy part of losing to get pity picks is over, and should’ve been over before if the Gm had the smarts and bravery to try to assemble a winning team.

  78. Woodguy says:

    eidy,

    With regards to Gagner, I think he makes a better winger than centre. He is a genius in the offensive end and lacking in the defensive end and faceoffs. Nothing wrong with being a very good winger. Problem is we have a lot of those.

    He’s also still the best option in the org for 2C.

    Until they have someone better, they need to work with him to be better.

    Hopefully he progresses to the point where he’s not leaking chances anymore.

  79. Ribs says:

    From Portzline on Howson firing…..

    Howson said he has heard from several NHL GMs and executives — not yet with job offers, but with condolences. His future is unclear, though he could continue to work in some capacity with the Blue Jackets through this season. The Edmonton Oilers, his former employer, could very well be a destination. Howson has remained very close with Oilers president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe. Link

  80. bookje says:

    Kris11:
    spoiler,

    Trade the first and one of the seconds, some of the prospects, and maybe even a young roster player like Hartikainen, MPS to bring in some solid vets who can help tilt the ice a little bit.

    Try to win now.

    Seems like sacrificing the future for an early shot. Not a good plan.

    I would rather use free agency to pick up useful vets on the lower half of the roster.

  81. Lowetide says:

    The issue with Gagner imo is contract. When they signed the one year deal with him, it ran a bit of a risk in that he’d be a tougher sign coming off a big 12-13 season. If he scores a point per game, and the Oilers want to buy several free agent seasons (which they will) then we’re dealing with a big number.

    And I know he wants to be part of the future, etc but the discount is still going to be on a pretty big number.

  82. godot10 says:

    Derek:
    I still dream of 4 playing in the middle and spreading the offensive talent out a bit more.It seems silly to want to see Hall switch positions when he’s playing the best hockey of his young career but there it is.With his speed and his ability to strip opponents of the puck it seems like a natural fit, that and his ability to play with a bit of grit every now and again.

    I love the look of the top line now as it is, but would the team be more successful with the offensive spread out a bit?Roll the kids in pairs, 93 with 14 and 4 with 64. I’m not implying Yakupov is ready for this role now, but in the future a line of 4 centering 64 and 91 could be amazing.You spend half the game with either Hall or RNH on the ice making the oppositions life tough.If Hall is successful in the center role you can now sell high on Gagner to find the defensive help you need.

    If this seasons offensive production for Gagner continues how do you pay him, plus the rest of the kids and afford the rest of the team?Is it worth giving Gagner his money if he’s never going to learn to be more effective in his own end?How do you acquire a top 4 D man otherwise?

    If Taylor Hall learns how to play and thrive at pivot a lot of this teams problems could go away.Blue skying perhaps, but dare to dream.

    It would be nuts to turn Taylor Hall into a centre. He cannot do at centre remotely what he can do at wing because of the defensive responsibilities of the centre position.

    At left wing, Taylor Hall is able to take the ice surface, and tilt it in favor of the OIlers. He utterly terrorizes the opposition.

    Why take the best left wing in the NHL, and turn him into a mediocre centre.

    Centres CANNOT play with reckless abandon in the NHL. Wingers can. Taylor Hall is a winger.

  83. BlacqueJacque says:

    The contract is also why I’m wondering if he’s not cheating more to get points.

  84. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    C&B were talking about Doug Armstrong (Blues GM) being at last night’s Oiler game and MacT watching the Barons this weekend. Interesting.

    The obvious move for Edmonton is the Peckham recall (he’s already on the roster). Maybe they’re going to offload a D in last night’s game (Whitney? Fistric?) to help the Blues.

    Who might be coming back? Hell if I know, although Ian Cole isn’t playing every night and that’s a guy I’d like to see play for the Oilers.

    It’s possible that it’s something, also possible that with STL playing in CAL on Friday and VAN on Sunday, it was just a convenient time to come to EDM to watch two WC teams play

  85. speeds says:

    LT, if you were Gagner, would you sign for less than 4.5 per for 5 years?

  86. FPB94 says:

    Marty Reasoner was done 5 years ago.

  87. leadfarmer says:

    speeds,

    I certainly wouldn’t sign him for more. Actually that wouldn’t surprise me if thats his contract extension. Sounds like he wants to play for the Oil, but he doesnt command a 5 mil a year salary.

  88. speeds says:

    Lowetide:
    Oilers have FOUR defensemen heading to free agency (Smid, Fistric, Whitney, Sutton) plus the Souray money comes off the books.

    I’d sign Smid, consider Fistric and then make a deal. Why?

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2013&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=2

    Anything there of interest?

    Sure, Streit and Visnovsky make some sense, might also be considered good bridge players if they can get them to sign shorter term deals.

    Poti has been injured a bunch, and has whatever history here, but how has he looked so far this year – I haven’t seen him at all since he’s come back from injury? There’s also Grebeshkov.

    And, if EDM’s feeling like having a bit of fun and adding a D roughly the same age as the rest of the cluster, check out the RFA list:

    http://www.capgeek.com/free-agents/?year_id=2013&team_id=-1&position_id=D&fa_type_id=1

  89. Lowetide says:

    speeds:
    LT, if you were Gagner, would you sign for less than 4.5 per for 5 years?

    I think that’s exactly the issue, speeds. Oilers might want him to sign for 5 times 4M and maybe he does, but the open market isn’t far away for him now.

  90. B S says:

    speeds: Was set up by that really hard, quick pass from Yakupov, that was an awesome play all around.

    Thank you speeds, I was just about to post the same thing until I read your comment. That pass froze the Avs PK as they were still moving to cover Yak when the puck was already back on Gagner’s stick. It gave Gagner the room and time for that beautiful setup to Eberle. Also an excellent example of why 2nd assists are just as important as primary assists (a common criticism of Gagner in Edmonton and RNH outside of Edmonton).

    I know LT doesn’t believe we have any must win games yet this season, but I believe that the Oilers was the Matinee game against the Avs a couple of weeks ago. It should have been a clear blowout against a weaker opponent, instead it sucked the confidence out of the team and they played like crap for over a week. I still believe that game could prove fatal to the season, but last night could prove to be just as pivotal. As was mentioned above, last night’s game was an affirmation of everything Kreuger has been coaching to this team. The kids have been on board all season, but hopefully this game will get the veteran players to buy-in to Kreuger. If they do it could turn this season around because that third period could have beaten any team in the league.

  91. ASkoreyko says:

    Did anyone else notice the little alley-oop play that Eberle and Hall tried in the 3rd period? They were both parallel coming up to the Col blue line and Eberle just sent a saucer pass in ahead of Hall and his check. Hall almost reached it and would of had a glorious chance.

    It looked like a set play to me, would be nice to see it tried again and work. Hall has that level of speed acceleration that he can almost lull a dman into thinking thats his max speed. It’s pretty amazing to watch that kid play hockey, god bless him.

    Also Belanger looked a lot better again, we are starting to see the player we signed last summer. I even noticed him initiating contact and the play was not dying on his stick. He seems to of realized his role now and accepts it and is providing value on the dollar.

  92. godot10 says:

    I don’t know if a team should be handing out 5 year contracts to 2nd line players like candy with the new CBA. That is the Gagner problem as much as money.

    Does Gagner opt for arbitration or accept his qualifying offer and then decide to go to UFA status explicitly?

    Maybe offer a lot of money, but only for two years. $5-$5.5 million per season for 2 years. With the Oilers core, Gagner really would not be risking that much upside, because he would still be used in a heavily offensive role with quality offensive players.

    A two year deal would not cause cap problems in the out years, and it gives the Oilers two years for the centre they draft in the first round this summer to develop.

  93. Kris11 says:

    bookje,

    Bookje,

    You can fly to close to the sun by trading picks to win now a la Burke and the Leafs and fall into the sea of endless mediocrity,

    But you can also fly to close to the sea by not adding tough-minute veterans to your young core a la the Lightning (certainly in the past) the Thrashers, the Islanders, and be perpetually a place with a few young stars who play on losing teams and sometimes demand trades or leave via free agency,

    Tambellini has been flying so close to the see that his nose is wet. It’s time to gain some altitude.

  94. Marc says:

    Kris11:

    But the GM seems to want to wait because he believes they are still rebuilding and restocking.

    Unbelievable.

    Trade the first and one of the seconds, some of the prospects, and maybe even a young roster player like Hartikainen, MPS to bring in some solid vets who can help tilt the ice a little bit.

    Try to win now.

    The easy part of losing to get pity picks is over, and should’ve been over before if the Gm had the smarts and bravery to try to assemble a winning team.

    Do you have any evidence that the reason the Oilers haven’t made a move is because Tambellini believes they are still rebuilding and restocking? Has he been quoted in the media recently saying as much?

    Or maybe it’s because all of the other teams have been making big trades to shore up their rosters and Tambo’s been sitting on his hands? Except there’s only been a dozen trades since the end of the lockout, and without exception they’ve involved bottom of the roster or AHL players. And Tambellini actually made one of the dozen trades, giving up a pick for an NHL player, which would directly contradict his supposed view that ‘they are still rebuilding and restocking’.

    I know that people like to bitch and moan about Tambellini on here, but I just don’t think this kind of comment adds anythign to the conversation. If it’s based on any evidence at all you haven’t shared it. It’s contradicted by Tambo’s actions so far this season. And it ignores the fact that there probably isn’t anyone to trade with at this point in the season because even the bottom teams in each division is only a couple of wins out of a playoff spot, and most of those teams have a game or two in hand.

    When we get to the end of March, there should be some teams that are looking to deal and get ready for next year. If Edmonton isn’t one of them (and I sure hope they aren’t), and Tambo doesn’t make a deal to shore up the D, them maybe this kind of criticism will be warranted. But until then I just don’t see the point of making up a ‘Tambo’s and idiot he doesn’t want to improve the team’ narrative based on shakey logic and no evidence.

  95. FPB94 says:

    Tom Poti is alive?!

  96. FastOil says:

    Woodguy: Streit tops my list.

    Add: Klef, Striet, Grebs

    Streit, J.Shultz
    Grebs, Petry
    Smid, Klef
    N.Shultz

    WG do you think they would play a rookie on the wrong side? I don’t see that as a good idea, rather they go find a stable RH D to replace Potter.

    I have a question for you as well WG, can’t figure it – for the Vollman charts you turned us onto, how is there such a disparity in QoC between teams? Some have few players above 0 and those not very far, other teams have many players above 0 QoC. Shouldn’t there be the same chart range of QoC for every team, with the one or two lines facing tougher comp? How can no one be playing the better comp?

  97. godot10 says:

    Tallon signed so many guys to help the rookies that he had/has no money for the two veterans that he really needed to keep (Garrison and Weiss).

    With the new CBA, you cannot hide bad contracts anymore like Huet’s or Redden’s.

    It is taking Chicago three years to rebuild the bottom of the roster after the cap hell they got themselves into, and even now, we don’t know if they actually have a goaltender. We find out in the playoffs this year.

    The price of defensemen out there in the UFA and/or trade market is really pretty high.

    If they are going back to scouring for the next Jason Smith and Steve Staios and Jan Hejda and Dennis Grebeshkov, which used to be an organization strength, that really might be a better strategy, than non value for money “proven” guys in the trade or UFA markets.

  98. FastOil says:

    Lowetide:
    WG: I don’t see Gagner in a tough minutes role now. Horcoff handled those minutes early in his career and the Nuge will do it soon and for the rest of Gagner’s career as an Oiler.

    Agreed. The team should move away from asking players to be something they aren’t, and move away from constantly putting guys in over their heads or in bad spots because of lack of depth.

    Some teams have a lot of centres with some playing wing, I think it’s pretty easy to see why after Smyth having to play centre for a few games.

    Gagner is a good player so should be kept, but like Holland and Babcock you need to work with what you got. As it stands the team has two offensive centres (scoring covered) one who can play both ways effectively.

    The good thing here is that the player they need to replace Horcoff/Belanger before the wheels fall off doesn’t have to focus on scoring (read costs less). A reasonable contribution to goals as a third line defensive centre will cover the bet. If Lander stabilizes defensively he’ll be enough for the fourth line.

  99. spoiler says:

    Kris11: spoiler “I’d like to see Tambo improve this team right now.”

    It is really funny that this is even controversial.

    I don’t think you read the rest of my paragraph. It wasn’t about Tambo recognizing the need. I don’t doubt that he does. But if need-fulfilling trades were that easy to make we would have seen a bundle of them already, from LAK, COL, OTT, etc.

    Christ, how long has Luongo been on the trade block with no movement. The CBA doesn’t lend itself to trades or player movement.

    And if there’s a trade in the near future by the Oilers, it’s likely to be an out-going one, like Whitney to OTT for a 3rd.

    Tambo also has to keep in mind how any bodies coming back will affect the ice time of players he’s still trying to develop (like Harski and Paajarvi) and waiver situations.

    Not to mention we have a lot of bodies on the blueline right now… Any trade outwards of a blueliner isn’t going to bring a better blueliner back, otherwise the counterparty would have no need to make the trade.

    And no, trading the 1st overall in the deepest draft in years is not a great idea. Murray in OTT is refusing to do that and his team has a lot greater need right now. Plenty of other examples around the league too. GMs also seem especially hesitant to trade big names within the division or even the conference, eliminating a lot of potential partners.

  100. Captain Happy says:

    Kris11:
    bookje,

    Bookje,

    You can fly to close to the sun by trading picks to win now a la Burke and the Leafs and fall into the sea of endless mediocrity,

    But you can also fly to close to the sea by not adding tough-minute veterans to your young core a la the Lightning (certainly in the past) the Thrashers, the Islanders, and be perpetually a place with a few young stars who play on losing teams and sometimes demand trades or leave via free agency,

    Tambellini has been flying so close to the see that his nose is wet. It’s time to gain some altitude.

    The Leafs are currently 6th in east and 1 point out of the division lead.

    Burke built that team and it’s likely only his loyalty to Wilson cost him his job.

    Hardly endless mediocrity.

  101. Woodguy says:

    FastOil: WG do you think they would play a rookie on the wrong side? I don’t see that as a good idea, rather they go find a stable RH D to replace Potter.

    I have a question for you as well WG, can’t figure it – for the Vollman charts you turned us onto, how is there such a disparity in QoC between teams? Some have few players above 0 and those not very far, other teams have many players above 0 QoC. Shouldn’t there be the same chart range of QoC for every team, with the one or two lines facing tougher comp? How can no one be playing the better comp?

    Smid is awful on the right and Klef supposedly plays both sides.

    Ideally he’s on the left.

    Don’t pay too much attention to the QC number, its best used as a gauge against other players on the team, not across teams.

    Its best used to figure who the coach is playing them against, or if the opposing coach is targeting them.

    The QC that BTN uses is a relative plus/minus and has its issues, but it usually shows how each coach is using his players.

  102. spoiler says:

    Woodguy: Smid is awful on the right and Klef supposedly plays both sides.Ideally he’s on the left.Don’t pay too much attention to the QC number, its best used as a gauge against other players on the team, not across teams.Its best used to figure who the coach is playing them against, or if the opposing coach is targeting them.The QC that BTN uses is a relative plus/minus and has its issues, but it usually shows how each coach is using his players.

    I would love QC to always be split into home and away stats. That would make me very happy.

  103. jp says:

    FPB94:
    Tom Poti is alive?!

    It’s been reported, but not yet confirmed.

  104. Captain Obvious says:

    This team can’t afford to add big ticket contracts. It’s going to be hard enough to keep the big tickets that are coming in the future. That means no Bouwmeester types.

    What they need now are underappreciated value players. Guys like Sekera, though his numbers aren’t very good so far this year. That’s easier said than done but it should be what every GM is tryin to do.

    And Paajarvi should be playing with Gagner and Hemsky. Better defensively than Yakupov and faster than Smyth. Smyth has his uses but he can’t keep up to Hemsky’s speed on the rush. Even the nice play on Hemsky’s second goal was preceded by him missing a pass because he’s too slow.

  105. leadfarmer says:

    Captain Happy,

    And only 3 points away from missing the playoffs. They are also tied with the Bruins who have played 3 less games which is 25% less of their season. Or are we moving the goalposts to Toronto now.

  106. spoiler says:

    Huge penalty kill by the Hawks for the Oilers there. Thank you, Chicago.

  107. Нинтендо⁶⁴ says:

    leadfarmer,

    The cap’n makes rounds of his goalposts the way a trapper walks his trapline

  108. Woodguy says:

    Captain Obvious,

    This team can’t afford to add big ticket contracts. It’s going to be hard enough to keep the big tickets that are coming in the future. That means no Bouwmeester types.

    Oilers have acres and acres of cap space next year.

    Jbo only has one year left after this one at $6.68MM

    Its not a problem

    After that he may sign for much, much less.

    He wife is from here, they have a new baby, close to family etc.

    Not to mention the team is good.

  109. khildahl says:

    Captain Happy:
    Burke built that team and it’s likely only his loyalty to Wilson cost him his job.

    There are other reasons for his firing, I’m told.

  110. FPB94 says:

    khildahl,

    Maybe they thought Luongo was one whale too many.

  111. DawnM says:

    Ben,

    Agreed. I noticed Belanger a few times last night making some solid plays at both ends. And playing with broken toes under his custom toe shield no less! Deserves a lot of love from oiler faithful.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

© Copyright - Lowetide.ca