Saturday, December 02, 2006

Colu vs Edm: Stool Pigeon Or Help Me Help You Help Me Outta Town

The Oil are taking on the BJ's tonight and the newly minted 71-16-78 line from Thurs will be my primary focus for more than a few reasons. Reasons like how 71 will cope without 83 and how 16 will mesh, if at all, with these two guys. Neither of these guys have played together and chemistry can be a funny thing. For example right now 14 and 19 have shown a nice understanding of each other's abilities in the offensive zone and for my money that's the first time they've ever played together. The same can be said for Stoll and his two latest wingers so let's see how it all turns out.

I'm still trying to get a feel for what we can expect out of Pouliot and Thursday night shouldn't be used as much of an indicator. I didn't think he played too poorly and he absolutely flattened Liles on his first shift and it was odd because it was almost like it didn't happen. Kevin Quinn totally missed it and the crowd hardly even acknowleded it and I decided to mention it because it seems like there's at least some element of physicality in 78's game and while I don't expect everyone to be Ethan Moreau I don't like it when guys are Alex Selivanov either. There's a lot of expectations on the kid because of the timbre of his draft class and especially with the early success of both Parise and Getzlaf. I don't think I'm the only one who'll forever link his progress with their's or at least until we see just what can kind niche he carves, if at all, at the NHL level. It's always hard to predict the success of rookies unless they're "won't miss" guys like Crosby and Ovie and we all know that won't be MAP's fate. He did look comfortable in the offensive zone though and there was a play where he failed to get his shot off coming off the left sideboards and he looked more pissed about it then anything so that shows he has confidence and that goes a long way.

Stoll's been the latest guy to get kicked around in the blogs because A: we've grown tired of giving it to Lupul and it's almost like he's wearing us down already with his indifference;) and B: 16's quickly becoming a guy that's only worth talking about in terms of special teams and faceoff ability and every soft min ES shift he wastes makes us wonder just why the Oilers are paying him so much in the first place. Not to mention that the Oilers defense is in dire straits and would be even if Staios and Bergeron were 100% healthy and someone off the current roster will have to be dealt when Lowe finally decides to address it. MacT went and added some more fuel to the '"why are we paying Jarrett this much much money'" fire when he mentioned that they need more from him at ES. The Oilers are deep at both centre and RW and those areas will most likely be subtracted from in order to add to the defense corps. Fans have begun kicking around the idea that if MAP can gell with Skyora or anyone for that matter and give us some more offense at the pivot position than it would only make sense to deal away Stoll. Combine that with 94 looking for a new pact and 16 making over 2 mill and it it makes a lot of sense to dangle Stoll for a D that will be here past this season and will also be affordable. Reasoner's a guy who MacT trusts with tough minutes so I can envision a scnario where Horc and Reasoner get the tough matchups and MAP tries to make his paper with first Skyora and then Hemsky when Ales comes off IR.

Thursday night began a scnario with both MAP and Stoll getting the cherry mintues and if the latter gets hot and the former has something to do with it then it could be the end of Stoll as an Oiler.

I think the way to know what the Oilers biggest problems are is they're always the ones you never read about. MacT's been talking about how good the tending is in '07 and how it was a huge problem last year. Of course we all knew that but you didn't read it in the papers until Roli was acquired and the Oilers began pontificating about what was expected from the new guy and what was lacking with the old guys. The Oilers are betting that forwards drive the results but there's not a lot of guys anywhere who can consistently take the puck from behind their own goal and carry in through all three zones. Lowe's trying to wait as long as he can before making a move and some folks over at HF are drinking Matty's Kool Aid and are getting Smid ready for a future Norris;) but when the GM jumps he's gotta make sure he's bringing in a guy who can be here for awhile.

Stoll could go a long way towards bringing that kind of guy here and a good early start by MAP could facilitate such a move.

3 Comments:

Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I imagine lots of guys aren't seeing this one because it's just available on CI via FSO. Not much to report from that first period. 94 played one shift before leaving with a laceration on his hand and accrd to the BJ guys he was back in the room being stitched. He didn't come back so it must have been serious.

Colu's goal was shitty and you have a feeling that Roli's gonna give up at least three if the BJ's start getting some shots on net. Chimera broke in on an awful angle on his backhand and drew iron so I'd imagine the Oilers will need at least four goals to scrape a point.

So much for the rumored 71-16-78 line...28 took MAP's place and 78 wound up down with 22-20. The new 4th line had one shift where they kept control with some good boardwork by 22 as he fended off first Foote and then Kesla. The Oil eventually wound up drawing a penalty from that shift.

Note: the 10-34 line saw just about everyone on their 4th line and 22 jumped on their and then they got scored on.

28 really had a good period and was by far the Oilers best forward. He seperated a couple of the BJ dmen from teh puck and set up both 71 and 16. That was the best line for sure. Oilers matching the 10 line and 21/19 dmen hard against vyborny-federov-nash.

Shots were as scare as hen's teeth and scoring chances were just about non-existent. CBJ in the second half of BTB and the Oilers won't wear them down any further playing like this.

12/02/2006 6:53 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Good stuff Dennis. Interesting that vyborny-federov-nash were on a line and playing the tough minutes, makes sense. From the little I saw of CBJ I think Gallant had Zherdev-Fedorov-Carter in that gig, which was a curious mix. I imagine that Hitchcock is already starting to grind down Nash and Zherdev, in that order. And if there is any coach that guys like that just might think is beigger than them ... it's Hitch on a new contract.

On Stoll, I think he's obvious bait as well. Though MacTavish would probably want a veteran right handed centre to be acquired promptly if Stoll is a guy that Lowe trades.

12/04/2006 5:58 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I was sorta thinking about the whole RH pivot thing and especially when I imagined the Oilers with 10-71-19 down the middle and the two top guys are LH. Last year the Oilers had those two guys from the left dot and Stoll and Peca from the right dot.

If the Oil did move 16 for a dman...it shouldn't be too hard to find a 4th line RH pivot at the deadline.

12/05/2006 1:34 pm  

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