Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blues/Oilers: Post Game Thoughts Here

Down in the Lupul thread I saw Vic say he suspects that Horc's line plus 21/29 will be matched up against Tkachuk's crew but I'm thinking that the biggest assignment will be Dvorak-Weight-Guerin. I can't remember who Keith was playing with on Sun but I'd guess it was Cajanek and someone else and I'd take them to be the second biggest threat.

But in any case if there's ever a time when the 16 line will start to roll it should be tonight. And though I know it's irrational I'm really starting to fear Curtis Sanford;)

The Oilers need to go 5-1-1 in this 7Game homestand and they can't afford to lose tonight if they want to take a serious run at the division.


Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I'm pretty sure Horcoff had already changed on that goal. That kind of year for him - he makes the smart play and goes to the bench after they're bottled up in their own end and the rest of the guys go down the ice and score.

Good to see that Ferraro makes no sense - I liked his discussion of how when you come back from an injury, you just think about playing the game. Given that it's been all of about two minutes of game time since Smyth was on the ice, that's beyond stupid.

11/16/2006 7:22 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

For those who aren't following the stats closely, MAB has been a fucking shitshow on the PP all season. I don't know he can be so good at ES offensively and so fucking terrible on the PP.

11/16/2006 7:30 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said... couldn't really ask much more out of the Oil. 3-0 and they've pretty much earned it. Stl started off with a couple of good shifts but Roli made the inital saves and the boys cleared the crease.

Nice to see the 4th line snipe again and 15 getting in on it. BTW..this looks like the best 4th line since Horc/Murray/BG in '01 and before that Devo/Dowd/BG down the stretch in '00. Always nice to see 19 score.

24 is starting to pinch more and more and I don't know what MacT's trying to prove on the PP. He really doesn't have a plan per see.

I'd like to see the boys up by at least three after 40 and then MacT can ride the stuff out of the 16 and 19 lines and see if we can get the former going and just how much the latter can give us.

11/16/2006 8:03 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Dvorak looks pretty nice eh? His line is the only one doing anything for the Blues and he stripped Smyth to put together that first chance.

11/16/2006 8:13 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I'm still soft on Legace but jesus, I don't know how many of these I blame him on. That fucking goal was brutal. When's the last time you saw a guy that wide open?

11/16/2006 8:16 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Wow. I don't even know who Matt Greene was trying to pass that too. Usually you'll at least see a guy in position for a pass - not so much there.

11/16/2006 8:22 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

So MAB has two goals, has been on for all five Oiler goals as well as the Blues' goal.

I'll say this for the guy - when he's on the ice shit happens.

Good and bad.

High event. Is that the term?

11/16/2006 8:47 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Look at you Oilers...scoring on the down low play;)

Lupul with a goal and an assist...maybe I should've put the boots to him earlier. The Oilers should be putting the boots to the also-ran's at home and this is one of these games where Hemsky can do no wrong.

26 doesn't seem to have much jam tonight but I'd still go with the 16-19 lines on a regular shift and then rotate 10-83 as the third line.

11/16/2006 9:04 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

Wow, a little variety on the powerplay and all of the sudden lanes start opening up everywhere. Albeit, it's only the Blues. According to Brophy the Oilers have solved their PP quarterback problem in Bergeron. Were these television "experts" always so bi-polar, or have they really picked it up in that department this season?

11/16/2006 10:19 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

A nice start to the homestand but we gotta keep it going.

11/16/2006 10:31 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Well, that's four in a row that they have clearly outchanced the other team. I'm expecting them to carry on the same way through the homestand. A couple might be close in that regard, but on home ice it's fair to expect that I think. The rest is in the hands of the gods.

Hemsky looked terrific on the left halfboards on the PP. Kind of leaves Stoll out in the cold though, being a RH shot. I mean Horcoff is surprisingly good on the right side halfboards on the other unit, but he ain't Hemsky.

Nice to have an easy one, though. The team needed that I think. Legace being poor certainly helped, but really they were peppering the net with quality chances. A good night for some of the young guys to see some ice against quality NHLers too. I'll put the sidebar thing up in a minute. I'm sure it will have an 'opposites day' feel about it.

11/16/2006 11:10 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

Well, the success on the PP means we'll likely see the same units for some time, at least until they poop it up for a stretch.

The F-unit of Smyth-Horc-Pisani has really done quite well for a few games, and Stoll-Staios I guess ain't so bad for a couple of shifts. Bergy was on the right for an extra minute of PP time last night, so (i was listening on the radio) I assume he stayed out with this unit.

The first unit was much improved, and the down-low play helped:
a) within this game to score and to re-open the point shot
b) ensure that other team's vid scouts see that there are multiple threats.

If they continue to move well, there should also be opportunities for cross passes to Sykora (in the Modano spot) or Lupul on the other side. I'd still like to see some behind the net creativity -- and I think that is better done by Smyth on the second unit.

MAB's shots were better because they were closer to the bottom of the ice cream scoop (top rim of the cone).

11/17/2006 1:18 pm  
Blogger dawgbone said...

Looked to me like the Winchester line was out against Tkachuk alot...

Well, not a lot... but more than you'd expect him to be.

11/17/2006 2:02 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Agreed on Smyth-Horcoff-Pisani, Horcoff maybe isn't quite there yet, but close. And Pisani's getting back to the point where when he comes cruising into the boards on the forecheck you just know he's going to come out with the puck.

And when that trio is going well it makes a big difference, because on any given night it's a good bet that they'll play more against the other team's top line than the other three Oiler lines combined. And much of the rest of their icetime against the other team's second best forward line. Win that battle and on most nights you win the game so long as special teams don't sink you.

And as much as Smyth deserves to be on the first unit PP, I like the idea of that trio playing together on the second PP unit so they are out there when the PP ends and the Crosby/Kovalchuk/Sundin types inevitably come onto the ice for the bad guys.


I am of a like mind on the rest of your PP comments as well. And since you didn't see the game ... Hemsky had one of those nights, he was on.

11/17/2006 6:58 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


Ya, that's what I noticed too. Granted it wasn't one of those games where you're sitting on the edge of your seat and holding your breath every time you see a bad matchup. Thank Christmas. :D

it looked to me that they were out there a tonne against Tkachuk, who is still one of the best forwards in the league to my mind. The sidebar thing for the game is off, something went wrong there and it caused the site to fail to load. But the fourth line played a tonne of 5on5 minutes, about 13. And over half were against Tkachuk and about another quarter of them against the Weight line.

So for Thoresen and Winchester that's as much tough opposition in one night as they have seen all season previous to that. Granted the game was never in doubt, so the context is a little different. Still, I thought they held their own.

Looked like quite a bit of stuff happened in both directions with Greene/Bergeron out against the top Blue lines ... but there really wasn't all that much icetime against them.

I'll assume that MacTavish was just giving the young guys some experience and some of the vets a bit of a breather. Though maybe the reasoning is different, I dunno.

11/17/2006 7:07 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

As long as the Stoll line does nothing with the cherry min and we can't find a winger for 71/83 the MacT will have the itch to trot out the 19 on a more consistent basis. It will make for some bad feelings in the room though with established guys getting their ES TOI cut.

And it will make for more grist for Stauffer's mill;)

11/18/2006 11:55 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Send them out then, right Dennis?

I can give you an example of a team that had established guys who never got their icetime cut despite a lack of production as well as poor play everywhere on the rink - Pat Quinn's Leafs, especially last year.

I'm not a Leafs' fan but this team has gone from being one of the most penalized teams to one of the least, plays with purpose and smarts and is a fun team to watch. The main reason - guys are held accountable for their actions and get icetime accordingly. Kids have played bigger roles, in some cases from necessity, but nothing gets guys like Jeff O'Neill's attention then getting their icetime cut.

And suddenly Jeff O'Neill looks like a decent player again.

Its one thing to slump. Its another to get nothing done out there.

11/18/2006 1:02 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Well, MAB's Thursday night PP performance brings him up to terrible status on the PP. Good to see that Brophy's such a soft touch. Of course the Blue Jackets had him convinced too, right? ;)

IMO, MAB's got the shot for the PP and passes well enough but he lacks the decision making ability and tends to receive a pass pretty poorly. The latter two issues have caused his PP numbers to be pretty underwhelming in over 600 NHL PP min.

I'm sure stranger things have happened, like Selanne's renaissance for example, but I kind of doubt that Bergeron ever really becomes a PP producer.

11/18/2006 2:04 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I think it takes awhile for MAB to make up his mind and make up the next play and that's why he's not a good PP guy.

Selanne credits his renewal to finally getting his knee done and getting some rest and I can see that.

I think O'Neil's a player again because he's no longer a super fatso AND he had some history with Maurice.

11/18/2006 2:26 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Agreed Dennis re: O'Neill but he was really close to heading to the minors a la Nedved coming out of camp.

He was benched a couple of times last season but on Pat Quinn's teams the vets were always pretty well mollycoddled. A guy like Wellwood would get called out by Quinn at his postgame presser while Domi got a free ride.

Different organization this year.

11/19/2006 8:48 am  

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