Sunday, December 10, 2006

Oilers/Hawks: Jarrett Comes Alive!!

Martin Havlat may be back, and if last night's any indication he doesn't plan on missing too many of his early season beats, and the Hawks under Denis Savard might be improved, points in all six games under his watch with three of those being victories, but the Oilers still have to feel good about their chances as they ready themselves for a Sunday night in Chicago.

I've been reading the Chi dailies the last couple of weeks, mostly skulking around in the hopes of finding a Seabrook or Keith to Edm rumor, and the general consensus seems to be things are much more positive under Savard than under Yawney. Guys like Salmo and Hamilton have seen their icetime and roles increased and they've responded in kind. Things are souring a little in the standings though as the Hawks have lost their last three games, albeit two of them in shootout's and last night's loss was in OT. This means the Oilers were resting last night waiting for Chicago while the Hawks were playing the first of two consecutive games. This also has to be considered an advantage for Edm.

I remember a few days ago Vic out of the blue asked me who I remembered as doing well against the Hawks and I said Stoll and Pisani. Turns out I was right about that as Stoll has five goals and six points in nine career games against Chi while Pisani's tallied five goals and nine points in 10 likewise games. And there's more folks. Lupul has seven goals and nine points in nine games and Skyora's an old school Hawks killer, totalling eight goals and 18 points in 20 career games against the Hawks. So lots of guys lick their chops when they see Chicago coming.

Boucher got the start last night as Khabby had flu symptoms but I'd guess those cleared up rather quick given the odour on the Wild's GWG tally from Mark Parrish..

Back to Stoll and I don't mind slamming the guy so I feel it's only fair to give him some praise too and it's probably quite topical to do so on the eve of him facing a team he usually succeeds against. Previous to the injuries to 83 and 94 Stoll had quietly become an ST specialist and really wasn't doing a lot with the soft min. Things changed when those guys went down and he's doing a fine job stepping up and he's picked up ES points in four of his last five games and he's done it against some good competition as well. He faced the Nasdin line in Van and then the Staal line vs the Canes and both teams he managed to contribute to the Oilers offensive attack.

I'm not sure what Savard will do tonight in terms of matching lines and who he'll send out to face the 10 and 16 lines. Vignault went hard at Stoll's line in Van and I don't know if that makes a lot of sense. Sure you're avoiding 71-10-15 but all three of those guys are capable of putting up points and two of them are not known for their tough min acumen. On the other hand Pisani's been playing tough min forever and Torres did it for a long stretch in last year's playoffs. I think I'd go after 10's line because there's a better chance you'll outscore them plus if you give them a softer matchup then those guys might really go off.

There's a look at last night's Hawks/Wild box and Savard had four of his 12 forwards play 9 min or less at ES. Of course there were a combined 15 PP's so that obviously skews the numbers but it looks like Havlat, Ruutuu and Sharp are the guys he's targeted to carry the mail. I'm not going out on a limb when I guess Martin never played many tough min on those old powerhouse Sens teams but this is clearly his team forwards wise.


Blogger Black Dog said...

So here's a question for you Dennis.

If Stoll continues to take on tough minutes in the next two months, say, and does well with them, then do you move him? He would bring a nice return. Of course, he might even bring a decent return now.

Or do you figure he's turned the corner and having a 24 year old centre who can play tough minutes and produce ES results outweighs that possible return?

Obviously hypothetical although he has had a decent week.

But a good 'what if?' I think. I'm for moving the guy at this point but if he can turn the corner then can you?

12/10/2006 1:14 pm  
Blogger Asiaoil said...

If he turns the corner and can eat the tough minutes - you keep him - no doubt.

If the last few games were an aberation - then you deal him - decision time in the next 25 games on this player

12/10/2006 3:33 pm  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

"Doo-oo-oo... you...feeel like I do?"

Sorry. Love the Frampton. Carry on.

12/10/2006 4:02 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

The pic kills me. Is that Riversq tacking that on again Dennis? Is he your photo consultant or something? :D

I like the Oilers chances this afternoon as well. Not too often that you're more rested than the home team, this is one of those games though.

Nice to see Salmelainen on a bit of a tear. I think he's EV+7 EV-2 with 6 points at since he came to Edmonton a couple of weeks ago. Even overall on the season, including the poor start, he's repeating his AHL and FEL trend of scoring as many points as he's on the ice for goals-against. Soft icetime I'm sure, still, good for him.

12/10/2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

I think it's time we sacrificed a virgin to the hockey gods.

Ever seen a quick whistle and two goal posts in the span of one minute before?


12/10/2006 6:55 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Three goalposts, a quick whistle, unbalanced reffing (come on, Edmonton might have deserved all those calls, but Chicago got away with a bunch of stuff prior to them getting their first penalty), a piss-poor first period, Khabibulin with horseshoes up his backside, and two brutal giveaways by Horcoff and Petersen. End result? Hawks win.

Seriously, I have NO problem with MacT benching Horcoff for his next shift after the gaffe that lead to the 3rd goal, but seriously, Petersen as his replacement? Especially considering his fuck-up on the 2nd Hawks goal? Toby better damn well not be playing ahead of both Jacques and Pouliot once Smyth and Hemsky are both healthy. He's a spare part, plain and simple.

Oh, and if anyone sees Joffrey Lupul win a puck-battle along the boards, please get it on tape and put it on YouTube, because I'd like to see it too...

12/10/2006 7:47 pm  
Blogger Doogie said...

My mom once met Frampton when he stayed at a hotel she worked at in the early 80s. Apparently, he's a Grade A raging dick.

12/10/2006 9:39 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

"Do you feel like we do...Springfield"!!!:)

Riv is my photo guy. Sometimes like today and the Dean Martin pic I can tell Riv exactly what I'm looking for and then sometimes he'll just find something. It usually turns out well though:) Today I got to thinking about Vic asking me which Oilers did well vs Chi and Stoll's OT goal in Chi a few years back always comes to mind. So then I'm thinking about how 16's coming along at ES and the rest fell into place. I specfically asked Ric for the album photo cover and there it was. Had Stoll picked up a hatrick today then me and RQ would've went down in internet history!!!:)

OK...on to tonight's game and sometimes you just don't have the luck. The posts were against the Oilers, the refs were against the Oilers, that early whistle was redicolous and then you had a couple of brutal passes. 20 made that pass flatfooted and against the grain and that was terrible. But of course Savard snuck out Havlat's line against the Petersen line and look what happened. Also...I don't know what Smid was doing on that play. And while Horc isn't Sakic...he's "our" Sakic right now in terms of what we need from him so to see him make that pass was flat out disheartening. I swear I watched that play and say 22 to his right and with a chance to continue the cycle and I'm wondering if Horc had the confidence to pass it to him and I don't know if it was factor or not but he went for the bomb.

Meanwhile...Roli gives up a terrible rebound on the 2-0 goal and at the other end Khabby's making shovel saves off 15, 10 and 20. It was just not our night and while I don't like the fact we've lost games against all of Phx, Colu, Stl and least only of them has come at Rexall;)

One thing I would like to see though is someone tear a strip off the officials. Maybe a guy like Horc's who making serious paper and can afford a heavy fine. I'm pissed that MacT didn't take a penalty late in the game because I know the Oilers deserved some of those penalties but they didn't deserve all of them and I'm old school when it comes to someone sticking up for the cause. Someone should say something about the way the whistle was blowing.,

12/10/2006 10:51 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

The Oilers pretty much beat themselves tonight. They took dumb penalties and didn't put enough pressure on the Chicago defenders as the refs were clearly out to be heroes. If the Oilers could have put the Blackhawks in a few more dangerous situations the penalties would have flowed in both directions.

The only offence that Chicago created was gift wrapped for them by the Oilers poor passing which was horrible all over the ice. Mostly by the forwards. The D-core seemed to have a pretty good night making passes except for the Tjarnqvist abortion in the third. The forwards must have blown 30 easy passes on the night. Pouliot seemed like the most frequent offender. At least 4-5 passes thrown onto red shirt sticks.

The Oilers could have won tonight with some luck, but they got what they deserved at the end of three periods instead. The Oilers have only cameback to win after trailing going into the third once this season and that puts them in the company of some pretty bad teams. Tonight was the type of game where the Oilers should have been able to get it done.

12/10/2006 11:41 pm  

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