Thursday, November 09, 2006

And now for some good news..


This isn't usually the place for prospect talk, LT's blog does that best, but I can think I bring this around to something that fits here. I certainly hope I can anyway because fans of the Oilers need good news right now no matter how little it means to the on ice fortunes here on November 9th, 2006.

Wilkes-Barre Stats

Someone might have to shorten that link but it sends you to the stats of the WBS Penguins which is the AHL affiliate of, you guessed it, the NHL's Penguins. That's just one of 145 A teams which are housing Oilers prospects in the '07 season.

Young Mr. Pouliot didn't have the best of NHL camp's this past Sept and found himself in the A for his second season in a row. Then he stumbled out of the minor league gate and was even healthy scratched for a game. This wasn't the end of the world but if a guy of his pedigree doesn't start making some noise in his second year in the A then there's not much of a chance he'll have any kind of an impact in the NHL. Sure there are cases to the contrary but by and large the numbers won't support it.

In any case the kid has turned things around and he's also turned the heads of the Oilers brass. Here's a blurb from today's Sun:

"Our scouts have liked him," said assistant GM Scott Howson, who had a scout looking in on Pouliot last weekend. "He's really taken another step since he first got there. He's been very determined."

That was the quote pasted after the article said that MAP would be the first guy summoned from the farm if the Oilers decide help is needed. It's good to see that the kid took the kick in the rear and responded in a positive manner. I don't think he'd make much of a difference in the here and now but down the road he's now in view.

A couple of other things about that look at the Baby Pens stats. Mihknov got his first point in his second game so I guess he's just started the journey that will see him replacing Samsanov's production;) Schremp's putting up nearly a PPG but the Oilers mgmt doesn't seem overly impressed.

Which leads me to my point.

Word from the AHL observes says that MAP's playing the tough min while RS is picking the bones of the PP and the soft matchups. That's not to say that RS can't be successful in that role in the NHL but it's nice to see that the guy who's taking on the toughest assignement is the one who's currently drawing the most praise.

11 Comments:

Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Last year I heard Jeff Ward (former RRs coach, current player development coach) taking about Pouliot on the radio. He said that when Pouliot arrived in the AHL he struggled with the quality of opposition, that he'd take chances and lose the puck, and that in the AHL there are enough good players that can string a few passes together that he wouldn't get the puck back again for the rest of his shift. And apparently he was just clueless in his own end. One of those guys that was always a high end talent coming up, and had never had coaches that made him play within a system, must've just let him roll with his instincts like Gretzky or something. He wasn't strong enough on the puck either and had trouble winning battles, wasn't used to battling and wasn't physically strong enough.

So all that stuff I'd read on HF about him being a reliable two way player, a Horcoff type, was completely off the mark according to Ward. But apparently he worked on his game and conditioning, and from Christmas on he really stepped up his game and was a real positive contributor to the team from there on out. You could tell that Ward really liked the guy.

So I'm not so sure if floating around with Sidney Crosby kicking ass in the Q was really doing much for his development. Personally I'd like to see him have a month or two in the AHL at well over a PPG clip, and with a plus-minus so good you assume it's a typo at first read :) i.e. let him become a dominant player down there.

BTW Dennis, the html text you're looking for: clickable word, you can do this in the comments too, though most o us are too lazy to type it out. In blogger just click the icon with the globe and the chain link on it.

11/09/2006 8:20 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ah crap, my html example turned into a link, d'oh.
See below but don't put in any underscore characters.
<_a_ href=_"www.example.com">clickable text<_/a_>

11/09/2006 8:22 pm  
Anonymous Jim Roepcke said...

Schremp's PP/ES points are as even as they can get for having an odd number of points. If MAP has as many points as he does playing the tough minutes, then good for him too, but both seem to be contributing.

11/09/2006 9:15 pm  
Blogger Asiaoil said...

Well at this point if someone can give me a sensible reason why MAP is in the AHL and JFJ is in EDM - I'm all ears. Young JF may be a decent bottom six guy - but not this year - and I actually like the idea of a JFJ-Schremp-Mikhnov line in WBS

When MacT eventually tires of the Sykora at center silliness - he will have a choice. Does he give up on Stoll's attempts to take the next step in playing tougher minutes and put him back in the soft seat on the 2nd line - or does he put a kid like MAP in between some combination of Sykora, Smyth, Lupul or Pisani.

Smyth Horcoff Hemsky
Sykora MAP Lupul
Torres Stoll Pisani
Petersen/Thor Reasoner Winchester

I think MAP might be abor to use some of those high-end passing skills between 2 shooters like Sykora and Lupul.

11/10/2006 1:16 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Bodes well for the Oil - MAP's situation is like so many of these kids - stars all the way up from atom on - his response to the bumps in the road has been admirable. Great post Dennis and Vic, thanks for the points on last season as well.

Nice to get an idea of where a kid is other then his stats and to see progression.

I'd like to see him get called up soon but I think its better for him to be seeing the minutes he is now then to be riding the pine and playing 4th line minutes in Edmonton.

I'd love to see him in that role asia but I can't see MacT doing it unless someone gets hurt and he steps in and does a job. And I don't even know how likely that is still.

Again, great post!

11/10/2006 7:20 am  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

JFJ looks like a younger version of Winny right now. He's got the brawn and the motor but he's less than polished in all areas so he's a guy that looks like he needs another year in the A or at least some more time down there. And that's not really a big deal.

MAP's playing better and he might get the call but it's not the MAP's or JFJ's or even the Winchester's who are going to make this team roll. Right now you just have to look at the quartet of suction, ie 10-14-15-34, to see where the improvement comes from.

But if MAP does get the call...then from the 12 forwards the other night who comes out? JFJ of course but Reasoner will go back in for him. So I guess it's Petersen or Thoresen coming out. The former is steady but the latter has more upside and finally showed a bit of life in Det after having disappeared for a little while.

11/10/2006 12:50 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

And I think Peterson and Thoresen are good enough at this point for those roles - what do you think Dennis? Is MAP better served in the A right now playing the minutes he is playing or coming up and taking a 4th line role?

Or better to call him up in a month or so?

If Sykora as centre goes by the boards then he could play as one of four centres, sharing time with Reasoner as the 3/4 guy, depending on the situation

11/10/2006 1:46 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I dunno..it's doubtful that MAP will get hotter than he is right now so if he's playing that well then bring him in for Petersen. Hard to take 20 out right now though...of course MAP's a guy who might be better in '08 because he started playing everyday in nov of '06 and that's always something to consider.

11/10/2006 3:29 pm  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Well, I guess the thing is if they get hit with some injuries (always likely) or fall right out of this thing (unlikely unless those injuries are to two Canadian D whose names begin with S and a goalie named Roli) then we'll see a lot of him - otherwise, well, I guess we'll see.

If its a true rebuild year then we'll see a lot of him I think.

11/10/2006 5:48 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

MAP and Co played tonight and tomorrow afternoon, BTW. It will be interesting to see if he can keep the hot streak going and just how long he remains in WBs.

11/11/2006 2:27 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

This thread's probably dead by now but I see that the B-Pens played a morning game today for some reason and they wound up winning 3-2 in the SO.

RS was +1, had three SOG, scored the SO winner was was named the game's first star. JDD stopped 24/26 in reg and then 4/5 in the SO and was named third star.

Our boy MAP had a PPG, logged six SOG and finished even.

http://stats.theahl.com/stats/game-summary.php?game_id=1002413

11/15/2006 3:48 pm  

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