Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wild/Oilers: Cue Enlongated Sigh

It was bad enough watching the Oilers play the Wild when Edmonton absolutely owned them. But now that the worm has offically turned and pretty much given the Oilers the finger, Minny went 6-2 vs Oil in '06 and outscored them 27-18 and ran the table at Rexall, it borders on the potentially excruiating.

It got so bad last year that the Wild even won two straight games at Rexall, Dec 26-28, and threw the Oilers into a sprial after Edm had won it's last five games and gone 7-0-3 in it's previous 10. The best of times quickly became the worst of times and the Wild did it in typical workmanlike fashion.

Of course both teams have undergone changes since then and from one December to the next the Wild have upgraded their skill quotient. Granted Gaborik has played just 7 games all season and for all the braying we've done, and I'll admit I'll continue to do so as long as the situation is applicable;) about missing both 83 and 94 at the same time you can understand that the Wild certainly could use Marian. Off-season addition and noted Oiler killer Pavel Demitra does have 18 points in 22 games but is a whopping -11.

Which brings us to the fact that the Wild live and die with their special teams and said units aren't all that effective away from Minny. In fact not only does the Wild PP have trouble scoring on the road, they've only generated the third fewest opps to boot. It's hard to score on the PP when you're always playing at ES;)

Minny's 4-9-1 on the road and the Oilers are 11-4-1 at home. It looks like a mismatch on paper and speaking of paper, err maybe, here's a look at the lineup from the last Wild game:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=261212003

Wes Walz is expected to draw in and most likely for Matt Foy I'd imagine.

At the other end there are no suspected lineup changes for the Oilers tonight. Edm's been by and large a great home team and tonight MacT will be able to choose his matchups and hopefully shelter what has been an increasingly awful kids 4th line unit.

Edm's most effective Wild killer is 94 and he's obviously not gonna make this one and on the other side the Wild have a bunch of guys that love to see Edm coming. Rolston is an old school Oil dropper 13-22-22 which meant Brian Rolston was Brian Rolston against the Oilers long before he was Brian Rolston against the league. You still with me?:) New to the scene is the prematurely bald Pierre-Marc Bouchard who might not get two mintues for looking so good but he did have 12 points in last year's eight game series.

So, post you in-game complaints here, be it about the Oilers PP, the Oilers in general or just how boring the Wild still are;)

45 Comments:

Blogger LittleFury said...

Big ups on the Debbie Downer.

12/14/2006 1:10 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

It was my idea but Riv once again came up with the picture. The guy's money:)

On to the game...hemsky had his first full practice today so if he doesn't draw in tomorrow he looks like a lock for Tues. Wouldn't it be something if MacT let 10 centre the old 71/83 duo and Lupul was busted down to the third line;)

In other news: JFJ should be wondering what there is to do during Christmas in Pennslyvania

Ha..Brownose would've already emptied his chamber:)

Oh and Miknov's drawing in tonight too. MacT said he's coming in to bring offense but I doubt it. I'd imagine he's on the 4th line and just what kind of chances are they gonna create? and should he even get a push higher than that in the first place?

In other news: JFJ should be wondering when he should buy his popcorn for the press box.

12/14/2006 1:55 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Well at least Mikhnov gets some icetime - I'm sure after a week in the PB he'll light 'er up!

Full practice for Hemsky, huh? They figured a week away for him - 21st or 23rd - but lets hope he is ready and soon.

12/14/2006 2:00 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Ok, so Mikhnov draws in for Winchester, and Barrett Jackman was apparently HS'd by the Blues last night.

Mountain out of a molehill, or do we have something stirring behind the scenes?

12/14/2006 2:07 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

As for Hemsky, I'd rather they keep him shut-down until after X-mas. Make SURE he's 100%.

12/14/2006 2:07 pm  
Blogger Mr DeBakey said...

The Oilers website says Winchester sits for Mikhnov.

I would've gone with Jacques Minus Seven myself.

What was Toby Whippingboysen's +/- before inheriting JFJ?

12/14/2006 2:07 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

Mikhnov was riding shotgun with Reasoner and Thoreson in the pre-season. Perhaps this is the intended reunification.

12/14/2006 2:14 pm  
Blogger Doogie said...

"Two minutes for looking so good." Classic. I wonder if anyone's found a copy of that commercial and YouTubed it?

12/14/2006 2:40 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

I'll guess 78 gets the jump, and subsquently more min, and moves up with 28-19. Meanwhile AM plays with 22-20 on a line no one really wants to watch:) MacT still gets his 20 fix by giving him 94's PK time.

I'm not expecting much out of AM and maybe you guys are on to something with Jackman being a HS. It could be that either 26 or AM's going back the other way and the Blues A: don't want 26 to get hurt or B: want to take a look at the Ruskie.

I keep hoping that Lowe jumps early because he did it last year and to great success and not just in winning 15 games in the spring but also in the vein that Spacek played some great min for us last year so I'd think Lowe remembers the benefit of an early jump.

What's Jackman's contract status again? How much and for how long?

The Oilers have a surplus of young forwards and a dearth of dependable D so it's a no brainer to swap one for another. If we get a Jackman or a Brew for AM or 26 plus...then I'll be down with that.

12/14/2006 3:20 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/stories.nsf/blues/story/12D36F255DCC3D7186257244001AAEA4?OpenDocument

That's the link from an Stl daily regarding Jackman's benching.

12/14/2006 3:23 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

I might be wrong but iirc he's an rfa after this season and is making @ 1.5 or so.

Anyone?

12/14/2006 3:37 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

BDHS: You're in the right ballpark.

Ultimately, if they brought in Jackman, he might be the replacement for Smith after 07-08, especially if Gator looks for Willie Mitchell money.

Snag Jackman for Winchester and a 2nd now, and then go after Visnovsky and Conroy for Schremp, MAB and a 1st later:

Smyth Horcoff Hemsky
Sykora Conroy Lupul
Torres Stoll Pisani
Moreau Reasoner Thoresen
EXT: Jacques, Pouliot

Smith Visnovsky
Jackman Staios
Greene Tjarnqvist/Smid

Roloson
Markannen

That, my friends, is the lineup of a team built to go deep into the second season.

12/14/2006 3:42 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

Speaking of rentals...Some Leaf fans were looking to get Schremp and a first for rentals Sundin AND Tucker. That's a trade I'd do in a second.

If you believe forwards drive results then the Oilers would be near unstoppable with that kind of stackage up front.

Sykora-Sundin-Hemsky
Smyth-Horcoff-Tucker
Torres-Stoll-Lupul
Moreau-Reasoner-Pisani

12/14/2006 4:16 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Bankshot, Tucker and Sundin are tied at the hip.. so throw Smyth with the two of them.

Smyth - Sundin - Tucker
Sykora - Horcoff - Hemsky
Torres - Stoll - Pisani
Moreau - Reasoner - Lupul

drool.

That's a dream though.

Right now all I'm asking for is Vishnovksy.

Is that too much to ask?

- PDO

12/14/2006 4:19 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

Yes :P

I just don't see why LA has an incentive to move Visnovsky. He has a great contract, he puts up tonnes of points, and Blake will retire sooner then later so that'll leave a gaping hole in the offensive defenseman slot. I don't know why they'd move Lubomir unless it was a great big overpay.

LA is loaded with young studs up front like Kopitar, Cammalleri, Brown, Frolov, and possibly O'Sullivan so they don't really need anything Edmonton has to offer.

12/14/2006 4:58 pm  
Blogger Chris said...

Agreed on LA's lack of motivation to move Visnovsky, he's not that old and his contract is fairly responable and he's a great player. Unless LA were to get substantial overpay for him I don't see why they would be shopping him. I think its simply wishful thinking on some fans part.

12/14/2006 6:09 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

On the off chance that Brownlee reads this site, I'm going to loosely track the instances of Lupul playing like a pussy tonight.

We just had our first one, where he put the puck past a guy and didn't really skate for it but just skated beside the D.

12/14/2006 7:13 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

There's Lupul's second fuckup and it leads to a goal. It's one thing to lose battles on the boards like he did; it's another to not even show up for the battle.

Ferraro is going on about Horcoff; Lupul needs to make that play with the puck.

12/14/2006 7:16 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Am I insane in thinking that Lupul deserves a little of the blame for this? Ferraro is still going on about Horc.

12/14/2006 7:18 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

I thought they were both at fault. Lupul needs to make a better play, but Horcoff can't take off out of the zone like that then coast back after the turnover.

12/14/2006 7:56 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

No...you're not alone but there seems to be a concerted effort to do everything but piss on Lupul. I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the edict has already travelled from upon high that all media are to treat 15 with kid gloves. I'm not even kidding about that. The only time you get any real truth out of the org is when MacT's either super happy or super pissed.

Great start in this one by the Oil and then Mario Marc Bouchard starts taking over;) and that first goal really didn't flatter Roli now did it? Seems like he's going through a stretch where he's gonna find a way to give up three goals a game.

28's having a good game and we've seen some flashes from 16's line but in other news it's like someone told 71 he's no longer allowed to shot. They're not even setting up plays for him anymore on the PP.

If the Wild go up 2-0 then this one's done obviously.

12/14/2006 7:56 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Lupul deserves some of the blame, yes, but if Horcoff hasn't bolted the zone there's at least one more ounce of prevention as far as a scoring chance against is concerned. While I'm with you in that Lupul deserves some credit, Horcoff still owns the biggest-fuckup-of-the-goal award IMO.

12/14/2006 7:57 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Super frustrating that the Oilers aren't ahead in this game. They had lots of opps in that frame and the SH save by Fernandez on 10 was just stomach turning.

Now we'll all get to read the dailies tomorrow about how the Wild lulled the Oilers to sleep and we'll hear MacT being grumpy and talking about failure to break the trap. Plus some smugness from Lemaire.

12/14/2006 8:47 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

They pretty much need 2 goals in the third to win this thing. The Oilers haven't looked too good in 4 on 4 and the Wild are pretty fantastic in the shootout.

I'd be happy to see them at least salvage a point out of this.

12/14/2006 8:53 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

What the hell was that?

Horcoff take notes!

12/14/2006 8:59 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Honest to God..

We were playing the Minnesota Wild, Matt Greene scored a beauty and a hockey game broke out.

True story.

I swear.

- PDO

12/14/2006 9:09 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

The Oilers were looking for all the world like the Calgary Flames until Matt Greene went Bobby Orr and that's all she wrote.

You know, there's something about this hockey club.....

12/14/2006 9:32 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Wow is all I can say! Greene's goal was as magnificent as it was surprising and Horcoff's tally was a thing of beauty as well. I hope that the combination of hustle and dangle that led to #10's marker is enough to get him back to where he needs to be as far as his mindset goes.

Something should also be said for some of the luck that led to the win. Posts, bouncing pucks, even Staios' little save on that gimme. Wow.

12/14/2006 9:40 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

LT,

I agree. It felt like the playoffs for about 5 minutes before the Greene goal. I was just sitting there, sipping a beer and thinking, "You know, they're going to get one. And then they'll get another."

You just never feel like they're out of it.

And that's without 83 and 94.

- PDO

12/14/2006 9:41 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

HUGE win for the Oilers...and for a number of reasons

- 22 finally had a shot on goal and looked half decent doing it and almost had it slip five hole
- 5 got destroyed by Koivu The Mikko on a toe drag which hopefully takes us one step closer to getting another D. Oh yeah and he took a penalty too that had MacT swearing
- 2 seems like a really good guy so it was nice to see him scoring. Anyone else noticed how he'd been getting closer and closer to scoring the last few games? It would be nice to see a pic of him in Coffey's old coat
- That's the first comeback the Oilers have pulled off all year when trailing after 40. They were outchancing the Wild through 40 but just couldn't get a break and when Manny made that SH save on 10 I didn't think there was a way to get through him. But I'll be damned if the Oilers didn't stick with it and pull it out. Great on them.
-Nice job on those two saves by Roli when someone used 21 as a screen. I thought Roli was gonna fold but he didn't.

12/14/2006 9:44 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Not yet there's not LT. You're old enough not to get sucked in that easy aren't you?;)

I gave him lots of slack when he looked like an ST specalist but since 94's gone down this has been 16's team and there's no arguing that point. He picked up the physical play in Van and he hasn't stopped and for the life of me I don't remember the last time he was a force at ES for six games in a row. There was lots of talk about guys needing to step up in the absence of both 83 and 94 and 16 has stepped to the front of the line.

And we know 10's finger is fucked and he's blowing chance after chance but he looked uber-confident on that backhand deke.

12/14/2006 9:50 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Ya Dennis, it seems strange to say in a game where Roloson only gave up one goal, but he really did look off his game. Rebounds everywhere and he was a mile off the angle on White's goal. Really wasn't tested much at all until the third when the Oilers finally decided to stop trapping and open it up a bit.

And just a beautiful goal by Greene, good for him.

What the fuck was MacTavish doing running that Smid-Greene pairing out there? They played three shifts I think, for no reason at all, and were just brutal. Comically bad. I'll check the shift chart in a minute, but one of those was against Rolston's line as well. Good Christ. I believe that everyone does everything for a reason, but I'm struggling to see MacTavish's thinking there. It's not the first game he's done this either, and it ALWAYS ends badly.

Man are Torres-Stoll-Pisani ever cooking right now. Ever notice how whatever line Pisani joins starts looking good in short order? Been that way since he broke into the NHL. And any line Lupul joins starts going to shit within the week. Then again, Torres and Stoll were looking pretty awful just a little while ago, hopefully 15 can turn the same corner.

A rough night for 21 and 29 as well. Peterson had a terrific game I thought, and the play is still dying on the sticks of these rookie forwards, but with only a handful of NHL games between them I guesss that's to be expected.

12/14/2006 9:57 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/14/2006 9:59 pm  
Blogger ToTheBank said...

Matt Greene - "I blacked out for a good 5 seconds". Gold.

12/14/2006 10:02 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Dennis:

Nope, tonight they hooked me. For the first time all season I'm convinced this isn't just a hang around until the deadline and then decide.

I agree they need to add two defensemen and I agree they need to sift through these rookies.

But the Edmonton Oilers are down their best player and their best skill player and they can win a game where they look like all hat and no cattle for two periods.

I watched this team for a decade when they were dead on arrival in a game just like this one every bloody time.

No sir. The magic didn't head to the left coast with 44.

Or at least it didn't all drift that way.

12/14/2006 10:11 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I thought the Oilers pretty much owned this game start to finish. Stoll is on a pretty dominant tear right now. It makes me wonder if Raffi and him got a little soft over the off season (you know, going off the rails with their over the hill model friends in the afterglow of all that PO success)and they're just finally getting their heads out of their asses in the last stretch. BTW, is Torres an adreniline junky, or what? If he delivers one of his bone rattlers early in a game it's a good bet he'll be engaged for the full 60.

You know Bergeron has looked pretty damn solid as of late and doesn't get a damn sniff of credit for it in certain circles. Yet regardless of the competition Jason Smith's faced, he's has a healthy wad on bonehead moves in his back pocket but I don't think he's going to get his own YouToob special accompanied by that uni-cycling clown music.

Lupul makes me think of Brad Isbister sometimes. I don't know why that is, but it takes alot of effort from me to just remain ambivalent toward him. I think if things don't swing around for him the levies may break in Edmonton and the ensuing flood of wrath from Edmonton fans may usher Lupul onto the Cross express out of town. The guy's already getting apology peices written about him in the local rags!

I think the 14-16-34 line has to be kept away from the blender under all circumstances. If they can keep up their level of play it opens up a whole new world for the Hemsky-Sykora combo, because perhaps opposing coaches won't be content to play their "Flippula" lines agaisnt 14-16-34, and that'll open up some soft spots for the two scoring lines.

Overall, it's still a very fortunate spot in the schedule for the Oil to lose their top two forwards. I can't ever recall a similar stretch over the past few seasons.

12/14/2006 11:10 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

I don't think he's going to get his own YouToob special accompanied by that uni-cycling clown music.

Ah, Yakety Sax. Is there anything it can't make funny?

12/14/2006 11:14 pm  
Blogger Bank Shot said...

Slipper- Come to think of it Smith got his jockstrap handed to him by Boogaard tonight.

The major brainfarts don't just belong to the rookie defensemen. Tjarnqvist is quite gifted at them as well.

12/14/2006 11:53 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Did anyone see that elbow Torres threw right at the game? I said to my friend about 15 seconds before that (I was at the game), "Look, Raffi is out to hurt someone".

He got a perfect 10 on the asshole scale for that one. Just gorgeous. The guy played like mean, miserable, "Hey, I'm Raffi fuckin' Torres" from last May and June.

And that guy is my favorite Oiler, bar none.

Nice goal by Greene, and Horcoff's effort on the insurance goal is the kind of thing that can turn a guy's luck around. Watch 10 go on a little bit of a tear here. Now if only Lupul would pull his head out of his ass, we'd be in business.

Oh, and the parade planning can stop in Calgary for the time being. Any night where the Oilers win and the Flames lose fits the description of a good night in my books.

12/15/2006 12:03 am  
Blogger Asiaoil said...

We need a few things to be serious competition obviously a top pair dman would make a world of difference - but another tough RW who can play defense would be awfully nice so we could leave Pisani up on the 2nd scoring line or with Smyth and Horcoff on the top line. Torres - well I like the kid personality quirks and all - damn if he had another 2 inches in height and 20 more lbs he would own the rink any time he stepped on the ice - guys would be flat out scared of him. Stoll has FINALLY brought it - nice to see and he goes nowhere with this type of effort and results. As for Lupul - well you don't become Jari Kurri overnight and this is why the whispers about him and Jaybo "not really wanting to play here at this stage" are right - the kid needs time and space but he does have the talent.

12/15/2006 12:24 am  
Blogger Showerhead said...

What the fuck was MacTavish doing running that Smid-Greene pairing out there? They played three shifts I think, for no reason at all, and were just brutal. Comically bad. I'll check the shift chart in a minute, but one of those was against Rolston's line as well.

Smid took a penalty in the second period IIRC that concluded a 30-45 second spell that found Edmonton trapped in its own end against Rolston's line. The five guys on the ice? Smid/Greene/Pouliot/Jacques/x (I can't remember). This is entirely by my eye but how the fuck does that happen? ever? but especially on home ice?

12/15/2006 3:06 am  
Blogger namflashback said...

Mikhnov looked decent out there, and was well protected by Thoreson and Reasoner. A win is a win, so I think the coaches will probably stick with him.

With Hemmer potentially available tonight, do you put him in or give him another three days? Who do you take out?

12/15/2006 9:19 am  
Blogger namflashback said...

on the positive side of things, when the Oilers were in it in the third, Lupul did have a great "first forward back" backcheck on a Wild player.

that was nice to see.

12/15/2006 9:24 am  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

83's skating in full gear so he's close but he's also ahead of sked on the return so he's either a very quick healer or he's pushing it. We're in no immeadiate danger right now and a BTB with the Avholes isn't a BTB with Ana. I might be cautious to a fault with guys returning from injury but I probably wouldn't play him until next sat in dal. We know guys first game back is always better than the second one, ie it's the adrenaline factor, and we could use that boost of 83 champing at the bit come next sat vs the stars.

LT...I can't get fully on board with the '07 Oilers until I see them improve the D and break off a 10-12 game run where they're totally outplayed the other team. We're learning a few things somewhat early on in the '07 season, things like 16 DOES have an extra gear at ES, 71's lost without 83 and 15's just plain lost. And it could be that by the time April comes kids like 2 and 5 will have made huge leaps and bounds. I thought 2 had an excellent game vs Car, was shaky again in Dal and then he comes back to play nearly 20 min at ES last night while 5's busted down to less than 13. That's probably the most 2 has ever played and it wasn't under extenuiating circumstances either.

12/15/2006 11:02 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

So Dennis - I didn't see the game - how did Greene do with all those minutes (other then the imitation of 4) - did he see much of Rolston? Was he playing with MAB for the most part etc etc???

Thoughts?

12/15/2006 11:49 am  

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