Thursday, October 05, 2006

Opening Day

It's finally here. With the Oilers icing a team that is loaded with talent up front, and most reporters have pegged them to miss the playoffs. Everyone but Smyth seems to have survived training camp unscathed, and with him it's just a stiff neck and we're lead to believe that it's no biggie.

Some reasons for optimism:

* This was a pretty good hockey team before Peca and Pronger got here, outside of an anemic powerplay. And all the guys who played significant minutes in 03/04, they are still around for the most part, with just Dvorak, York and Brewer missing by my count. And since then the PP MacTactics have morphed into something rational, hell the pendulum appears to have swung back the other way with some pretty aggressive choices for personnel. Plus Hemsky has already emerged as a force with the man advantage, Stoll and Horcoff have turned into effective PP men as well, and Lupul and Sykora look like good additions to that unit. Pronger will be missed here, but maybe not as much as I thought.

* When Smyth and Horcoff are healthy, they form 2/3rds of a terrific line. A line that can go toe to toe with the other team's best and hold their own. Beats the hell out of the old MGM checking line days. The Oilers are in the high rent district in this regard now.

* Any line that Pisani is on seems to create more chances than it surrenders. And Moreau and Stoll are quality linemates. They should have control of the puck a lot.

* The Torres/Sykora/Hemsky troika promises to be one of the most exciting lines in hockey this October. And there are a lot of teams in the west with really dodgy depth forwards, the potential for these guys to win the Oilers a lot of games is just huge.

* The Oilers have a goaltender behind them that the players have faith in. And he has a solid track record of stopping pucks including a stunning playoff run. Those Inspector Clousseau style saves in the postseason count just as much as if they were Randford style.

* If Hejda can play (has anybody heard Huddy or MacTavish make a direct assessment of this player yet?) then the defense should be just fine. Just one rookie D in the lineup at a time, thanks. I mean everyone thought that San Jose's defence was a back of suck last season until Thornton arrived and their goalies started stopping some pucks ... then they became a "young and talented defense corps!" If the forwards play well, the defense will look good.

* The young guys will step up. In a two steps forward and one back kinda way. And some more than others. But with three key guys (Hemsky, Torres, Stoll) still on the part of the learning curve that has a lot of slope on it ... it is reasonable to expect this trio to be better overall hockey players this season. In fact it would be downright irrational to think otherwise. Young players get better with experience, they just do.

* This is going to be a fun team to watch. They'll probably err on the side of taking too many risks with the puck at times. But I suspect that few leads against the Oilers will seem safe this season.

-

And for a game prediction: How about Sykora from Hemsky on an overtime powerplay. With Dion Phaneuf in the penalty box at the time for retaliating against Torres.

50 Comments:

Anonymous swabbubba said...

It is the 1st day of season. A BoA to boot. I am predicting a close one. I actually fell into tickets to the Flames opener. I hope to see good game. I really think the Flames are really betting alot on Mr Tanguay. The Oilers really have not had this much offense since the Dynasty days. And the goal tending remind me of the Cujo period so all that said. Go Oilers

10/05/2006 1:34 pm  
Anonymous PDO said...

Oilers are winning tonight.

And making the Flames look bad too.

Oilers take it 5-2.

Bank it boys.

10/05/2006 2:06 pm  
Blogger Boondock said...

Hopefully the Oil can reduce the amount of penalties they've been taken in the pre-season. At the last pre-season game, they took some really dumb ones. Although, it was only the pre-season and maybe they just wanted to send a message with their physical play.

Great point on the Shark's D.

10/05/2006 2:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...the new Scott Stevens eh? I don't know how many fucking times I've seen that written this year. Playfair is starting him out with tough min so it's gonna be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I can't wait for tonight.

Dennis

10/05/2006 3:01 pm  
Anonymous PDO said...

Dennis:

How do you know Celine is getting tough minutes tonight? Has he seen them in the preseason? Comments?

Celine getting tough minutes means a hilight reeler for Hemsky.

10/05/2006 3:15 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

pdo, many of the news articles I've seen (including links off of tsn and sportsnet) are going all homoerotic over Phaneuf and Regehr being paired up.

We need the CinO guys or Pat from BDHS to write the gay erotica story about these two. It could include intriguing quotes like "hard ice-time" and "going for the big hit."

I can't see Playfair putting Zyuzin(sp)-Hamrlik or Ference-Giordano in tough so . . .

Time for Celine to sing! Is he ready for the step up? Maybe, but he is bound to get some learnings in the process.

Goil!!

10/05/2006 3:30 pm  
Anonymous PDO said...

Is it just me, or is Calgary's vaunted defense starting to get pretty shallow? I guess that's what happens when you give away Lydman and then have to deal Leopold because you choose to sign Amonte, McCarty and Hamrlik opposed to someone who can put the puck in the net ;).

They're a Regehr injury away from being in deep.

Phaneuf getting the tough minutes..

I bet the "Sophomore Slump" is attatched to him by December.

10/05/2006 3:40 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

namflashback:

Is Warrener hurt again? He's another guy that they can trust against anyone. Sutter seems to have faith in Ference as well, though I don't really see why. Hell, as much as I hate Hamrlik, he's not going to kill you if he's playing against quality either.

I mean something has to give with Leopold gone, the guy played pretty critical icetime for Sutter, especially as the year wore on, but somehow I can't see Playfair completely throwing Celine into the deep end.

-

dennis:

Ya, if Phaneuf wasn't playing for the Flames, and if their media wasn't a gaggle of asskissing pinheads, and if their fans weren't such schmucks with their "Dion is a generational player!" bullshit, and if Pierre McGuire didn't have a sexual crush on him ... then I'd probably really like Phaneuf. But that's way too many strikes against the guy, so rational or no, at this point I just hate the guy.

10/05/2006 4:13 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

boondock:

That's my thinking too, they'll need to stay out of the box as much as they can, no needless penalties anyways. At times CGY just looks like a team that may never score a 5on5 goal all year, but they've got some guys that can hurt you on the powerplay. I mean penalties are going to be called, but the Oilers really have to avoid stretches of just giving away PPs like they did at times last season. Especially the penalties that cause a 5on3, and all of Horcoff, Smyth and Stoll are PKers that look to be prone to that.

10/05/2006 4:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warrener is on the IR.

10/05/2006 4:27 pm  
Anonymous PDO said...

Vic:

He's also got a massive ego.

Or atleast had one when he was in Grade 9.

Warrener being out and Pisani being out.. that makes it about evens? Giordano playing with Ference is music to my ears..

10/05/2006 4:33 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

pdo:

What?! How did I miss this, why is Pisani out?

10/05/2006 5:32 pm  
Anonymous PDO said...

Vic:

He's a game time decision, knee injury. That's why he didn't play in the last exhibition game.

Some Norweigan site is reporting that Thorsen is going to be on the third line tonight with Mihknov drawing in on the fourth.

Not good news by any stretch of the imagination, and I'm torn because tonight's a huge game to win (as is Saturday... they're divisional games and they're all huge) but I can't justify risking a long-term injury with Fernando.

10/05/2006 5:57 pm  
Anonymous uni said...

I have nothing against Phaneuf. He seems like a good kid. The only thing that annoyed me was all those who screamed for him to be on the Olympic team when he's clearly not at that level at. He's got talent, he had an amazing year but in a few years we'll see if he turns out to be a Rob Blake type player. Also Buccigross has a serious man-crush on Dion, I'm not 100% on this but I believe Bucci said Dion was capable of winning the Norris as soon as this year, somehow I don't see that happening.

10/05/2006 8:47 pm  
Anonymous Julian said...

So after one period, this is basically what we expected, right? Dynamic offense, heart attack defense, and a 5 on 3 PP that finally scored, even if it passed the puck a little much.

And Roloson coming up big when it mattered....

10/05/2006 9:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some 1st period thoughts:

- Because I nabbed him in the 10th round of a 14 man draft..I think Sykora will be my new favorite player. Beating up on the Flames doesn't hurt matters of course. Neither does being good enough of a PP pointman to bring MacT into the 21st century either. Has uncanny chem with 83.

- I saw 83 blowing down the left wing and I'm thinking he must have gotten faster. But then I saw he beat Giordano and here we go...the 83-71 line scores when they're out there agianst the Ference-Giardono. Wow..who figured that? Yeah..everybody.

- It's gonna be hard to watch Schmeeeeed. He made a couple of plays in the first 20 that just blew me away. He looked 16 out there. Hopefully the Oilers won't feel the need to keep playing him just because he was the Pronger bounty. On the other hand Greene made a nice pinch and he didn't take a penalty!!!

- 16/19 and 18/34 seem to be the primary PK pairs and then they'll come back with 10/94 if they want to give those guys a skate.

- Playfair somehow managed to get the Iginla line out there twice against the Oilers 4th line.

- Lupul looks lost.

- Nice period by the Barry Bonds of hockey. First he misses a PS and then he takes a penalty that puts the Flames down two men and leads to the 2-0 goal.

- It's easy to criticize a non talented PP when they're trying to make the pretty play but I'll let this Oilers team do what they want:) On the other hand MacT pussed out on the 5 on 4 and is gonna let MAB see some time there.

Dennis

10/05/2006 9:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2nd period:

- Here come the penalties. You know I'd forgotten how many PP's there are in the new NHL. And I'd forgotten how undisciplined the Oilers can be. That might be their downfall along with the D.

- I'd also forgotten how calm Rolo makes me feel. It's not like he's Kipper but the guy's just fucking solid and has excellent rebound control.

- Torres is gonna go nuts tonight. He should have four goals. Hemsky's just in control and is creating scoring chances at will. He was passing to 71 early on but now he's dishing to 14,

Dennis

10/05/2006 9:57 pm  
Blogger Boondock said...

Dennis: Moving Hemsky to the 2nd line should pay big dividends, especially at home where he'll see more of other teams 3rd pairings. He didn't even make a move on Giordano on the first goal. He just blew by him.

It made me think of Vic's Ripple Effect post and made me a lot more comfortable about the Oilers season with the minutes that 83-71-14 should see.

Unfortunately, then I saw Iginla coming down one-on-one on Smid and thinking about the Ripple Effect post made me sick to my stomach.

I'm trying to resign myself to the fact that we're going to the team that is going to a nightmare defensively some nights. However, if we get solid goaltending and our PP gets hot, we can afford to be and still win quite a few games.

By the way Vic, you have officially turned watching an Oilers game from a fun experience, to an evening of counting how many times Stoll is the first forward back and watching to see who Phaneuf is matched up against.

10/05/2006 10:57 pm  
Anonymous The Rage said...

Big surprise, Smid concedes the goal to Iginla. I'm very disappointed that Hejda's not out there. That probably means that he's not good enough to be what we need him to be. Greene looked solid, though, maybe the hierarchy wasn't just talking trash when they started talking about him in glowing terms.

10/05/2006 10:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Staios was the one who made the mistake that led to the 2 on 1 and Iginla's goal. I'm not sure why Smid's getting the blame for it other than it's easier rationalize as a rookie error.

DD

10/05/2006 11:32 pm  
Anonymous the rage said...

Fair enough, but I still wish Hejda had shown MacT enough to be able to play. I guess I was expecting a lot from him after seeing how he was playing the tough minutes in preseason.

10/06/2006 12:41 am  
Blogger allan said...

As a counter point to Smid's play, I thought Thoresen looked really good tonight.

Good effort on the backcheck, especially when he knocked the puck off Iginla. (2 on 1? I can't remember. Maybe it's just the rose-coloured glasses) He was conservative around the puck, but still managed some decent scoring chances. And having the balls to jump McCarty was a nice touch, though a bit unnecessary. He seems to have a clear understanding of the fourth line job.

What was the deal with Winchester tonight? 0:32 ice time, all early in the first, which is ridiculous even for him. That isn't really even enough time to do something wrong.

10/06/2006 6:35 am  
Blogger Lowetide said...

I didn't think Smid played that bad a game and the Iginla goal had a series of events that contributed to it. Expecting the kid to anticipate the speed and verocity of the PF on that play is a bit much, especially for his first NHL game.

Smid was about what you can expect from a flat out R, with the added bonus of having some terrific skills (lovely passes, he really is a skill player).

10/06/2006 7:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect Hejda is still "unlearning" the European ice and going to the wrong spots. He probably won't play until game 4 in Col, missing CGY and SJ.

These are the forwards to make up for the heart attack D.

10/06/2006 9:31 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Dennis: One thing that was immediately apparent to me after the 1st period was that Torres has to be the luckiest man in hockey. He had a tonne of nice chances giftwrapped to him by Hemsky (that one in the second period where Hemsky threw it out front from the LW corner through a dman's legs right onto Torres' stick for a one-timer was freakish) and there are many more to come.

I have a feeling that line is going to command some respect and some tougher icetime by default. Given Sykora's track record and the fact that Torres and Hemsky are getting better, I think they could handle more than just cushy minutes. They might have to do that unless MacT is willing to let the other guy run his bench for most nights.

10/06/2006 9:33 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Yeah, for a rookie in his first game I thought Smid did really well. He leaned on Staios a lot, but that's the smart thing for him to do. A few mistakes, but nothing tragic, one of them happened to lead to a goal.

And that 5F powerplay ... damn, at times they looked Detroit good. A bit of keystone cops stuff in the neutral zone at times, I suspect that those five guys are loving the setup and are shit scared of MacTavish giving up on it if they allow a shortie, so it's a madass "everybody back!" fire drill when they don't have the zone.

Hemsky was just terrific, he's always been fun to watch, but on this night he was very dangerous. Got the puck across the bluelines really well too. Torres and Sukora are going to score a shitload of goals this year by the looks of it.

Agree with Dennis, Lupul looked lost, the played died with him way, way too much. In fairness to him he was getting back to his own zone well, and he got better as the game wore on.

Roloson inspired confidence, even though some of those PP shots just hit him, he was in good position all night. And the penalty shot save on Iginla was just so important.

10/06/2006 9:48 am  
Blogger Steven said...

Glad the Oilers won but I thought the game was pretty sloppily played. Lots of pucks bouncing around and turnovers all over. Hemsky/Sykora/Torres looked terrific tearing up the weak opposition that MacT had them out there against.

Looking over the Head-to-Head stuff vs Iggy (Thanks for the sidebar Vic, much easier than trying to eye the damn shift charts)
It pretty much looks like MacT just ran his Shaggy-Smith, Smid-Staios at Iggy while keeping Greene-Bergie away from him.

What's most surprising to me is that MacT opted to not go Power with Power as Horc-Smyth didn't see any signifantly more time against Iggy than Stoll-Moreau-Pisani. Hell even Reasoner saw more time against Iggy.
Before I looked at the charts I thought MacT was hard matching Stoll-Moreau-Pisani against Iggy but it doesn't look like to be the case.

Could this be an indication of how he's going to run the lines this year?
Keep Greene-Bergeron away from the opposition's top lines and have Hemsky-Sykora-Torres rip up the weak opposition while having either D pair and Fowards vs the tougher opposition.

Either way it looks like it worked out well for the Oil, looking foward to Saturday for Round 2.

10/06/2006 9:54 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya, good point riversq. The flip side of that is they could kill lesser opposition. A guy probably shouldn't get too carried away, because it's just one game, but MacTavish could run them the "shift after" minutes. The shift after Thornton, the shift after Modano, the shift after Sakic, etc. Like Crawford usually tried to do with NasBert.

Going for the hard non-match instead of the hard match. The other two lines are good enough (or should be) to play against anybody.

If they keep playing like this they are going to draw the other team's best D as well, which makes lief easier for the other two lines.

Ripples everywhere! :-)

I know, I know ... it's early. But damn! This team has some firepower up front. On nights that Hemsky and Sykora don't have their legs or aren't getting the bounces, one of the guys like Lupul or Stoll or Smyth or Pisani or Horcoff will probably have a "everything goes right" night.

This must be what it's like to be a Detroit fan last year (sans Lidstrom). :)

10/06/2006 9:58 am  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Good points by Dennis and Vic on Lupul. After the 1st period, I remember thinking to myself "Damn, it's going to be hard for me to like this kid." He's got some work to do that's for sure. Right now it's Smyth - Horcoff - Wha???

10/06/2006 10:36 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

steven:

Glad to see that somebody is using the sidebar thing. It takes me ten seconds to run them, I literally enter the nhl.com game number, click enter, and a few seconds later the info is in the clipboard. Cutting and pasting it into the template and republiching the blog ... that can be a pain in the ass, depending on the mood that Blogger is in.

Is anyone else using that thing? If so I'll throw those up right after the game when I can, and if Dennis, oilswell, speeds or RiversQ volunteer to do it ... I'll email them the Excel file that churns out template data.

.

I agree that there was a lot of sloppy play. But it's game one, and with all the penalties in this one it was hard for either team to get any flow going. On the positive side the Oilers created a lot of scoring chances against one of the best teams in the league, and probably the best defensive team. 5-3 would have been a fairer (real word?) score on this night I think.

10/06/2006 10:39 am  
Blogger Steven said...

Vic:

Yeah the sidebar thing is great to see the match-ups they use and to see if they support what I'm seeing with my eyes.

The Oilers defintely created a ton of scoring chances but Kipper played great for Cgy. I also think we arrived to the same conclusion about the line matching and the hard non-match.

I bet Dennis is happy to see Stoll actually getting some tougher mintues and not pissing away our easier ones. :)

I agree about Lupul. He was completely invisible. But in all fairness to him he is a young guy who should get better. He was actually more physicial than I thought, I think Dennis is having an effect on me as I expected Lupul to be more of a pussy.

10/06/2006 11:12 am  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Like the sidebar.

10/06/2006 11:22 am  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Like the sidebar.

10/06/2006 11:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use the sidebar thing too. Please update it as often as possible.

10/06/2006 11:22 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

The "I know it's just one game, but" caveat applies to everything I say until the nest game. :-)

Lupul struggled a bit for sure, but he'll come around. He looked bigger than I thought and was more involved. Good signs.

Reasoner played an important role tonight, a luxury to have a player of that quality as your 10th forward, especially in a penalty filled affair like this one. If you use the sidebar thing, and have Firefox as your browser, you'll see that he played the shifts after the Oilers PP expired. A couple of long ones there. Not much icetime but a whack of it against good opposition in tough situations.

MacTavish clearly loves this Thoresen kid as well. And the 18/19/28 line that played together for a while looked pretty damn good. A bad pass by him lead to the Iginla rush, but he did well to get back and break it up. Had two good scoring chances as well by my memory. Is he a "always in the right place" guy, like Horcoff? Or a, "looks good in the games where the puck happens to find him guy", like Isbister? Time will tell, but it's a good start.

Having said all of that, he probably doesn't get the opportunity for those minutes if Pisani is fully fit.

And my fave whipping boy, Matt Greene, had a really solid game I thought.

10/06/2006 11:23 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Lupul made a pretty wimpy play in the third when he failed to clear it out and was pretty invisible all in all. He doesn't seem like he's the most visible guy in the world though - seems like more of a peripheral guy who puts the puck in the net when he gets the chance. He is what he is I guess. I still think that that's going to be an interesting line.

I'm amazed at how many odd man rushes and defencemen nearly getting beat we saw. What happened to the old Flames?

This PP, when you consider what it was a few years ago...unreal. I actually didn't think that it was great last night but the number of different looks...wow. I remember against San Jose last year, they mixed things up and Hemsky played off the right half boards for a shift or two, it led to a Stoll goal, IIRC. They had 3 or 4 distinct looks last and seemed to switching it up at will. Fun, fun stuff.

10/06/2006 11:26 am  
Anonymous Rod said...

And somebody didn't believe me that MAB was sheltered... ;-) Lowest amount of even strength ice-time amond d-men to boot (despite Tjarnqvist and Smith expending 10:45 and 9:40 shorthanded respectively, they still had more ES time). Plan makes sense to me though, and MAB had a decent enough game, so I can't complain. Greene has clearly improved and looked solid out there, including some nice decisions with the puck. Quite impressed with Smid. 20 years old...unreal. On the whole, the D played a decent game. To me, any exceptions were sporadic, and tended to be the returning Oiler vets:
- Smith giveaway five seconds in...to Iginla...oops ;-)
- Iginla getting behind Bergeron to get the penalty shot call (and of course the Oil didn't complain--the alternative was a 5-3 face-off in their end, with about 5 seconds left in the first penalty)
- Staios failure to clear / giveaway to Langkow that lead to the one goal
- Towards the end of the game, Staios started to fight the puck a bit. If Greene continues to progress, he should be able to take some of those minutes as the season wears on.

Course that was against the Lamers "offense"...

As expected though, looks like the Oil will be a fun team to watch this year. Each night it could be a different line shining.

- Rod

10/06/2006 11:50 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Loved the five forward powerplay. Also liked that they tried the low play on the 5on3, the Horcoff to Smyth pass that very nearly worked (in several parallel universes Smyth had a hat trick last night). At the very least it keeps the PKers honest.

I remember watching game1 of the "new NHL" last year. The world was upside down, TOR was playing a 1-2-2 (hard trap) and OTT was playing a pressure game. To boot Quinn was using 4 forwards on the powerplay, and they were turning the box (shifting to an umbrella formation, whatever you want to call it). In any case they were trying to get the point shot from the centre of the ice, like the Oilers did a lot last year, and that's a bunch better than point shots from angles.

Pierre McGuire never mentioned that TOR was trapping religiously (perhaps wisely, Strachan would have freaked!), but in his neverending quest to make himself seem smarter and the game seem more complicated than it is, he uttered the phrase "Ottawa are playing a great strong side rotating box PK here!" at which point I turned down the volume and put on some music. The Pkers wre, of course, turning with the PP players. And I have recollection of ever seeing a "weak side" rotation of the PK box.

But I have digressed. This is actually going somewhere, bear with :) With five forwards the Oilers could keep turning the box the same direction, and the PKers turn with them as they do, and the PK D end up at the front of the box. Or, more likely, there is confusion as the PKers try and shift around afterwards, OR the PKers try and turn the box (diamond) back the other way (the rare weak side PK box rotation ;) and for a moment there are more seams in the PK than a quilt, and the Oilers have the right players out there to exploit that.

Muy point, if MacTavish just puts 5 talented forwards out there and let's them play by instinct. We could see some terrific stuff happening this season. My prediction, however, is that they will have a game where they lose because they give up two shorthanded goals, and the experiment will die quietly, much to the relief of talk radio callers on the day.

10/06/2006 11:57 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Rod -

He certainly was on this night. It's pretty clear right now that Smith/Staios/Shaggy are the three defensemen that Huddy trusts out there. And since Shaggy is the only one that plays the left side regularly ... the Oilers will need him to be good (I know that Staios shifted in there with Smith near the end of the game, but I'm talking 'by and large' here).

I'm not as sold on Smid. He looked to be a bit hot potato with the puck, and used Staios as a relief valve when a veteran wouldn't have. Left 24 in some tough situations at times. Context considered, I thought Staios had the best game of any Oilers defenseman. He took some chances moving the puck, but that's his game. And most of them worked on this night. When you look at the chipstack instead of one or two of the individual wagers ... a very good game for him I thought.

And when the Oilers forwards had possession they created a lot of chances, that's what will save this team IMO, if that continues.

10/06/2006 12:09 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Yeah the PP looked great. Although you did see MacT get scared a few times (near the end of the 3rd was on the of the times for sure) and put a D-man out there. (Usually Bergeron or Tjarnqvist)

I think Thoresen is the real deal. He's not a Brad Isbister float around hope puck finds me kind of player from what I've seen. He looks like he works hard and is an all around player. I've got some high hopes for him and hopefully he turns into some kind of Norwegian version of Horcoff (Or so I hope).

Damn we've all got a lot to say eh? Only after one game too. Thank God hockey is back!

10/06/2006 12:13 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Steven, I haven't checked, but I think that on the last powerplay he had two D out there for the last half (Bergeron and Tjarnqvist)? Staios shows up with some PP time according to Lowetide's blog. So presumably that was near the end of the game or near the end of PPs, I don't recall.

I don't have a problem with that though. No point sending 5 F out there when the game is nearing it's end and you have a two goal lead.

BTW: Is anyone on the Oilogosphere doing a rewatch, blow by blow thing of the game? Or even part of it? I just love that stuff, best thing about hockey on the internet IMO. Failing that, we could all chip in and get Dave King to do it, I hear he has some free time now. :)

10/06/2006 12:25 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Some bastard registered PDO already.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the posts here... helps the guy was content to drink beer and enjoy the game.

Couple thoughts I had...

#1) I *really* hate this "call the first guy into the scrum" bullshit. I don't care if it gets my team a penalty or not, just get rid of the GD penalty, it's a terrible call.

#2) Am I the only person left in the world who likes the puck over the glass rule?

#3) My flinch is gone. Anyone else? Even during the playoffs I still had it. I'm sure Dennis knows what I'm talking about... you see a shot from the blueline, no screen... and you flinch. Expecting it to go in.

It's gone. Thanks Roli!

#4) Did NOT like Lupul's game one bit. He cut corners all his life... he still is. I know a lot of people are upset with Staios on the lone Calgary goal, but Smid played it pretty poorly and Lupul had a terrible backcheck.

#5) Torres is in a contract year. What a lucky SOB. Though, I still love him.

#6) Hemsky needs to be careful. He took too many big times hits, and while he bounced up from each one.. all it takes is for the fall to be a little awkward and he's out for a few weeks.

#7) Matt Greene played his best game as an Oiler.

#8) Smyth needs a real stick. How many fucking times are we going to see the puck bounce off that piece of shit? Seriously. Can't Craig Simpson show him the hilights of his career and then shove a real stick into his hands?

#9) Was it just me, or did Horcoff spend a lot of time PK'ing? Not sure I like that when we have Moreau, Reasoner, and Thorosen as guys who'll never see a shred of PP time but can PK very well.

#10) Sykora can shoot.

#11) I loved watching this team have puck possesion. If I was going to make a wager, I'd say even with Calgary's excessive PP time, the Oilers still had the puck in Calgary's end more than they had it in ours. I've been saying all summer (along with manner others) that the Oilers D just have to get it to the forwards... last night was a pretty damn good example of that.

#12) Anyone else call Iginla choking on the PS?

#13) Tanguay was invisible. Love it :)

10/06/2006 1:17 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Just in:

Moreau signed a 4 year extension.

Here's hoping no big raise :)

10/06/2006 1:21 pm  
Anonymous Rod said...

Vic wrote:
>> I'm not as sold on Smid. He looked to be a bit hot potato with the puck, and used Staios as a relief valve when a veteran wouldn't have. Left 24 in some tough situations at times.<<

Sorry, wasn't entirely clear re: Smid (tried to keep it brief). I didn't notice him much during the game (had a couple iffy spots, but a few good ones too). All that in his first NHL game. And at 20 years old. That's impressive. Period. As for using him as a relief valve when a veteran wouldn't...well:
a) that's what a veteran is for
b) see MAB. And MAB's not 20.

All things considered, that was an impressive debut for a 20 year old defenseman. One game doesn't tell the story, but his future looks bright.

Now, that doesn't mean Smid is all world or even that he plays every game this season. Hejda may end up playing more than Smid, but I don't think Smid hurt himself in that game at all (again, the goal was on Staios).

Staios was fine most of the night. I just think he was overworked in the last half of the third (played at least 5 of the final 10). Then, after the goal he seemed to be fighting the puck a bit.

Anyway, it was a solid start for the pair, and something to build on.

- Rod

10/06/2006 1:33 pm  
Blogger Steven said...

Vic:

Yah you're probably right about the D-man thing. I think I'm just scared MacT is gonna have a goal go in when he has 5 Fowards on the PP and stop using it.

When you mean blow-by-blow you mean someone just rewatching the game and commenting on it? I really enjoyed those too.

PDO:

Great to hear about Moreau. Although now I gotta wonder about the future at LW. Assuming Smyth is signed to an extention (I can't see him leaving). How are they going to work any of those young wingers in the line-up if the top 3 at LW are Smyth-Torres-Moreau for the forseeable future? Could Torres be traded for that D-men? I suppose they could trade the youngsters for some D help instead. Either way it's interesting but I'm happy because Moreau is quality player.

10/06/2006 2:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think MC has already discredited this theory but I still believe that the more Staios plays the bigger chance there is for him to fuck up. We need Greene to step up and we need to bench Smid and and find someone who can really contribute. G1 at home with macT holding all the cards shows him sheltering MAB and that's fine and dandy. But what's the future of such a tactic? Is he gonna play the nuts off S3 plus Greene as a top 4 and then have 5-47 as the "hold your breath and your noses for 8 ES min a night" 3rd pairing?

I didn't like Lupul last spring and I don't like him now. LT likes to break out the Bossy comparisons;) and I'll admit he gets his shot off quickly. But I have the feeling that when he has a bad game you won't even know he's on the ice and I also wonder if he's A: ready to play in a hockey mad city and B: if he's ready to play in a hockey mad city that's his hometown. I certainly don't think he's ready.

I don't think Smid is either so considering that we have 83-34 on the RW plus the Oilers are in love with Mihknov and they have RS in the pipe who's likely to be a winger...I'd propose the Oilers shop Lupul for a young D with 2 or 3 years exp who's already cut their teeth OR looks ahead of the curve, say Seabrooke or Keith in Chi for the latter, and then this team looks damn good if Shaggy's for year and Greene can make a step up.

There's a disconnect here between the talent and abilites of the F and G and that of the D. I think we have enough scoring to be able to deal Lupul for a dman who's ready and will be affordable for the next 3-4 years.

You do that and we're gonna have a helluva time watching this team for the next 3 or 4 seasons.

10/06/2006 2:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon:

I don't think that they are going to deal Lupul. They have coveted him for a while. I remember them trying to get him for Comrie, but were offered Perry instead.

And about this Smid thing: Hejda, Hejda, Hejda. He has the qualifications to jump the curve and be a quality guy before Christmas. He will get in as his ability to defend on the small ice surpasses Smid. Why can't people wait for this guy to get 20 games in over here? He's a top-level European pro that is cheap in a year that d-men are really overvalued. Why give up anything before I know he's not going to get there?

10/06/2006 3:14 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Oh god, anon's are quoting anon's now.

- PDO

10/06/2006 3:21 pm  
Anonymous Rod said...

Only one game in the bank and Mr. Anon Mouse is ready to make a deal... What, did we lose the game? Are we panicking like the Lamers fans? Unreal...

- Rod

10/06/2006 3:40 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I think both anonymous guys make good points. The first anonymous might be Dennis and he just forgot to drop his name on the bottom, either that or it's somebody who is going to agree with him on a lot of things.

A general note to the anonymous guys, please just type in a name or nickname at the bottom of your post, so that it isn't so confusing. To be clear, IMO the 'anonymous' guys who post here with no identifier are almost always making a positive contribution, I'm not trying to drive anybody off.

10/06/2006 4:29 pm  

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