Mr. Gregor's Report Card

Jason Gregor
November 21 2008 02:43PM

What's the most dreaded day on the calendar? Report card day.

The quarter pole is here for the Edmonton Oilers, and they sit with a decent 9-9-2 record. They’ve played 14 games on the road. The next quarter of the season will see them play 13 home games, so at the halfway point of the season they will have played 21 road games and 19 at home.

With 20 games in the books, here is my quarterly report card.

A+ Ales Hemsky. On many nights he has been a freedom fighter offensively. 17 of his 21 points have come on the road. He is currently 14th in league scoring, and 8 of the players ahead of him have a teammate in the top 13. He has more assists than any other Oiler has points. So far he has been their runaway MVP.

A Sheldon Souray. Souray has blended the defensive game he played early in his career with the offensive game he learned in Montreal , to become a solid contributor in both zones. He is currently 5th in scoring amongst defensemen and only Shea Weber has more goals than Souray’s seven. Souray is healthy and it shows with two fights so far this season.

A Ethan Moreau. The captain is on pace for 20 goals and a career best 40 points. As usual he gives a solid effort every night. He has been rewarded with good play by playing along side Hemsky for the past five games, but if the Oilers plan on having a better second quarter he needs to be on the 3rd line. Moreau’s effort and contributions don’t seem to change regardless of his linemates, something that many of his teammates need to install in their game.

A- Jason Strudwick. The journeyman rearguard has been a pleasant surprise. He has suited up in 17 games so far, which is probably 8-10 more than the organization expected. He is playing a steady 15 minutes a night, is only -1 and has been physical enough. You rarely notice him on the ice, which means for a 6th D-man he is doing his job.

B Dwayne Roloson. The 39 year-old wasn’t supposed to have appeared in nine games already, but he has and has been good. He has a respectable .913 save % and hasn’t had a noticeably bad game. I don’t expect him to play in nine of the next 20 games, but he has proven that if the team needs him he will show up and at least give his team a chance to win. All three of his loses have come in games where the Oilers got shutout, so when they score he either wins or they go to OT.

B Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. The rookie has been solid in all five of his appearances. He has shown that if called upon he can keep his team in the game. His back-to-back wins v. the Devils and Rangers were huge performances. His play should allow GM, Steve Tambellini to try and package either Roloson or Garon.

B- Andrew Cogliano. He has been the most consistent and productive of the three Kids. He is the only one of them on pace to surpass his goal total (18) from last season. Cogliano has a quiet five goals, which puts him tied for 2nd on the team, and he is producing with the fewest minutes of any of the top nine forwards, averaging 14:16 of icetime a game. The one area you would like to see him improve is by using his speed to be a bit more physical. His speed alone should allow him to rub a few more guys out, but Cogliano is the only Kid who hasn’t suffered anything resembling the sophomore Jinx.

B- Steve Staios. Staios is playing just under 19 minutes a night and since being paired with Strudwick they have been a solid #3 pairing. Staios is +1, continues to block shots, and brings a consistent effort most nights. He only struggles when he tries to do too much, and as long as he keeps it simple he is effective. You never question his willingness to compete, and he has played solid while dealing with a tough family issue.

B- Steve Macintyre. The tough guy endured eight years in the ECHL and AHL, to finally make it to the Show, and in the 10 games he played he made an impact in most of them. He understands his role, and I think surprised more people with his ability to make a big hit. He will have to realize that he doesn’t have to just stand in and take punches in every one of his fights, but it is hard to criticize him for that. Expect when he returns that he will learn to let a few punches role of off him, rather than just stick his head in on every shot. He has been the only warm and fuzzy story for the Oilers this season.

B- Lubomir Visnovsky. One of the hardest guys to grade, because his game leaves you wanting more, yet when you look at his production he has been decent. His 12 points puts him 17th amongst defencemen, and he plays 24:29 a game. He doesn’t get involved physically, but rarely do you see him manhandled by an opposing forward. He quietly puts up points, and he is on the ice for more goals scored than he is against. The big knock so far is when he looks like Boris Mironov and Roman Hamrlik by constantly missing the net.

B- Tom Gilbert. After last season and the big contract, expectations were high this season. He had a horribly slow start, but found his game in the middle of their seven game road trip. He has been much better the past eight games and is on pace for 44 points. Like Grebeshkov you would like to see him shoot a bit more. 29 shots in 20 games for a guy who plays over 21 minutes a night is not enough. He isn’t flashy, but when on his game he has a great stick in the defensive zone. At 6’3” you would like to see him lean on some forwards a bit more, but that is a disease that seems to have infected too many of his teammates as well. You wonder if playing with Souray will toughen him up a bit. I would like to see him become more noticeable in games, but his offence is decent considering there are two D-men with more points than him.

C+ Denis Grebeshkov. I know Wanye will think this is a Baaaaaad rating, but he is close to getting a low B in the next quarter. I gave him a C because he only has 12 SOG in 17 games. He has been on the 2nd PP unit all season, but he can’t even average a shot a game, that is unfathomable. He has eight points in 17 games, so his offence is good, but he has to start and become at least a threat to shoot the puck in the offensive zone. Once he does, his teammates should benefit, because the opposition will have to respect his shot, and that should open up some ice for the other four Oilers playing with him.

C Shawn Horcoff.  Simply not good enough for a guy who made the All-Star team last season. While his effort is rarely the issue, his finish, execution and overall ice awareness has been lacking. Two even strength goals is unacceptable from your #1 centre, and he needs to get better in the draws. He is 50%, but it seems that he loses the important ones more often than he wins them. Missing the final 30 games last year seems to have hurt him a bit, but he needs to handle the puck much better in the 2nd quarter.

C Zack Stortini. At least Stortini knows his role on the team. Yes, he hasn’t improved as a fighter; in fact, it looks like he is losing confidence in his ability to chuck them. But when he plays you notice him. He yaps at the other team, and most importantly he tries to get the most out of his limited ability. It is hard to criticize a fighter, because many of us would never have the balls to do what they do. I don’t care if you won a fight outside of On The Rocks or the Barry T’s back in the day, the fact is most guys wouldn’t do it. He chooses that role, so he has to improve at it, if he wants to stay in the league. I suspect he will continue to work with Rocky Thompson on improving his fighting game. The bonus about Stortini is he has a knack of pissing off the opposition, something that few of his teammates have learned to master or even attempt.

C Ladislav Smid. Smid has only dressed for nine games, but you get pretty much the same 12 minutes from him every game. At least you notice him trying to get involved physically, which is rare on this team. He was close to a C+ just for his effort as a forward v. Detroit . He had two shots, missed the net on two chances and didn’t make any major mistakes. I’m not sure how long they will keep him there, but he showed some versatility, and more importantly, the willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win. He went out of his comfort zone to ensure he was contributing, something that many of the forwards need to do.

C- Robert Nilsson. Nilsson has showed flashes of brilliance, but unfortunately they have been rare sightings. Consistency is still his biggest challenge, and outside of the three games where he was demoted to the 4th line, he has been in the top nine forwards. Nilsson is another forward who has to compete harder. Last year when he played his best hockey he was forechecking and laying the odd hit, and this year you can tell when he is in the game because he engages physically. When he doesn’t, he doesn’t seem to be in the game. His struggles are closely connected with his buddy Gagner, and if both can rediscover their game, the Oilers could climb the standings.

C- Fernando Pisani. I know he played centre most of the time, but outside of the faceoffs, he was adamant it wasn’t that big of a deal. Rarely did you see him make a mistake in his own zone, but rarely did you see him make a play in the offensive zone. Most game he plays his minutes, and outside of the PK, you rarely notice him. He skates well, has a good shot and a very quick release, but we don’t ever see him take advantage of those assets. He will be out until after Xmas, but when he returns he will be back on the wing and he has to prove that the 2006 playoffs weren’t the only time in his career that he can be counted on to be an impact player.

D+ Sam Gagner. I know the kid is only 19, but based strictly on icetime and production he is what he is so far. He’s had two glaring giveaways that resulted in late game losses, and it seems that he has learned from it. He still hasn’t found the confidence he had last year, but he is still getting ample opportunities to play himself out of this funk with 16:44 of icetime per game. He needs to play with the same edge he had in the final 30 games of last season. He rarely got knocked off the puck, was tenacious and you sensed he wanted the puck in key situations. The most disappointing part of his game so far is his inability to shoot the puck with any conviction. Not once has a goalie had to make a tough save of a Gagner shot, he needs to work on his shot, but you do wonder how much of that is due to his lack of offensive confidence. If Gagner ever gets going he will make his linemates better.

D+ Kyle Brodziak. The former 7th rounder has the size and strength to be more of a factor every night. In 19 games he only has nine hits. That is unacceptable for a 4th liner. He is supposed to be an energy guy, and the most frustrating part is that he has the tools to be that player. Confidence seems to be his biggest hurdle. His game changes the minute he scores a goal, but he can’t be that fragile. His role on this team is not to score goals, sure it helps, but he needs to find ways to be confident about his game regardless if he is scoring or not.

D Dustin Penner. The big man epitomizes what is wrong with this club. Too many nights he goes through the motions and you don’t even notice him. While some didn’t like how MacTavish ripped him publicly, it did spark Penner. The game in Columbus proved that if he wants to skate, go to the tough areas and be noticeable, he can. If anything, that game showed the fans that Penner has much more to offer than he has shown so far this season. I don’t expect him to have that type of game every night, but at least seven out of ten would seem realistic. He will never be mean, but at least he can show he is interested most nights.

D- Marc Pouliot. I still don’t see what the organization likes so much about this guy. He has no PIM, only eight hits and one goal. Please tell me what he brings every night. Please I beg you. He epitomizes the safe player, and there are way too many of them. How many times will the captain have to say, “Guys have to realize they aren’t going to be 30-goal scorers in this league, so they have to find other ways to contribute.” You know he is talking about Pouliot, Brodziak, Nilsson etc with those comments. This team has too many guys like Pouliot, so he should try to re-invent himself to make himself more valuable. But I doubt that will happen.

F Erik Cole. Don’t give me the excuse he started camp and the regular season on the wrong wing. He was playing with their best player, Hemsky, and he still didn’t produce. The last 15 games he has been on the right side, and seeing him use his size and speed has been about as rare as watching the Oilers play a complete game. So far Cole has been a bust. The only area of his game that is even noticeable on the score sheet is hits, and none of those 38 was a bone-rattler. He needs to regroup during this five day lay off and come back with some spice in his game. He is averaging the 5th most amount of PP time on the team, so he can’t really complain about opportunities. While others who struggles early, Cogliano, Nilsson, Horcoff, have gotten a bit better, Cole seems to be going in the opposite direction. You wonder if Eric Staal made him that much better or if Cole just isn’t comfortable yet in Edmonton . They need him to wake up soon and start making an impact.

F Mathieu Garon. He started well in his first three games, but since then he has been below average. Sitting out the game in Chicago should not have affected him that much. You can argue all you want that MacTavish should have played him, but it was one extra day or rest. Since missing that start, he just hasn’t looked comfortable. This is his chance to be a proven #1 goalie. Pete Peeters said you can’t declare a goalie a true #1 until he does it for two consecutive seasons, and that will be Garon’s challenge for the next 60 games. He will get the start against the Kings on Wednesday and if he plays well, expect the team to ride him. He can easily erase a disappointing start, with a string of solid efforts.

Note: Reddox, Boulerice and Peckham didn’t play enough to garner a ranking.

C is for COACHING. The coaching has been average. Playing players out of position hurt some guys, but MacTavish’s willingness to give the kids a long leash could pay dividends down the road. I applauded his calling out of Penner, but I doubt you will see that become the norm. He has double-shifted Hemsky at times to try to spark the offence, and he has sent subtle messages to guys like Brodziak, Nilsson and Stortini that they have to find their role on the team. We will see how he does in the next 20 games with so many of them at home, and if he can get better matchups for this team.

Grade as a team: B-. Playing 14 of 20 on the road, and 20 games in 39 days and coming away .500 seems pretty decent. The major problem is that their home games have been some of their worst. They need to find a home identity soon, especially with 13 of their next 20 at Rexall. This team is still too soft. Outside of Moreau, Stortini, MacIntyre and Hemsky none of their other forwards are hard to play against right now. They have too many players who seem comfortable playing just hard enough so it looks like they are trying, but not hard enough to piss off the opposition. They have to become a harder team to play against.

Some other first quarter rankings

A for the girl who flashed at Rexall. Her assets were bigger than A’s, but most importantly, they were worthy of a pick-me-up to the crowd.

D for Rexall management. A six month ban? Come on, that is a bit harsh for a two second flash that most people didn’t see. I could understand two months, but six was over the top.

F for Pensblog. The lamest attempt at cheap shots I’ve ever read. My 12-year-old nephew has carved me better than a Mr. Clean reference. The fact they got their nose out of joint because one of their blogging brethren had been slapped on the wrist was comedy.

E for effort, but D- for trying, Bagged milk and Jean Shorts. While myself and Brownlee appreciated you having our backs, it made us look like the guy who would yap at a guy across the bar, and then when confronted would hide behind their big buddy. Trust me, getting chirped by some closet Crosby lover, who has to have one picture for every ten words written to spice up his article, didn’t bother me. In fact it was comical. All-for-one-and-one-for-all is a great concept and it is nice to know that you have our back, but next time let us at least get in the first shot.

A+ to the NATION readers and contributors. While I rarely engage in the game day threads, the comments make me howl, well, except Wanye’s, because I’ve met him and frankly there isn’t much substance. He does work hard, and is kind of like the Sean Avery of the Internet world. Some hate him, most of his verbal attacks are way offside, yet you respect his ability. The only thing is he went to Phoenix and LA and didn’t even get a phone number from some aspiring actress who was his waitress. At least Avery gets with the ladies!

 —Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6pm on TEAM 1260 or online at www.justagame.ca.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 The Towel Boy
November 21 2008, 02:46PM
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That picture is a graphic worthy of Sportcentre or something. Damn, that's a kickass graphic.

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#2 Wanye Gretz
November 21 2008, 02:56PM
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Wanye "is kind of like the Sean Avery of the Internet world"

- except when I take down Alisha Cuthbert she will tell her friends about it with great enthusiasm.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2008, 03:05PM
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A couple of little points:

Kyle Brodziak has had a bad start to the season, but there is at least one argument in his favor. He's taken 71 defensive zone draws as opposed to just 24 offensive zone draws (3:1 ratio), so he's being used almost exclusively in defensive situations, situations that are bound to put his offensive numbers in the hole. Personally, I'd give him a C.

The other point is that little comment on Pouliot, "He epitomizes the safe player, and there are way too many of them." Watching the Oilers play, I think the team could use some more safe players, not the other way around.

Not a bad report card - I have a few disagreements - Hemsky's recovered from an uninspired start, but not A+, I like Visnovsky more and Staios less, but that's to be expected. It's also nice to see somebody call out Cole - he hasn't delivered to date.

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#4 milli
November 21 2008, 03:14PM
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A for the girl who flashed at Rexall. Her assets were bigger than A’s, but most importantly, they were worthy of a pick-me-up to the crowd.

D for Rexall management. A six month ban? Come on, that is a bit harsh for a two second flash that most people didn’t see. I could understand two months, but six was over the top.

Just another reason for me to be pissed at the mighty oil. If the team I ran was play like SH1T, I'd be paying gurls to show there stuff, and not just cuz i like boobies, but also to distract from the ON ICE PRODUCT.

a+ for hemmer???? You sir, must be drinking the koolaid.

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#5 Wanye (David) Gretz
November 21 2008, 03:15PM
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The only thing I would ever call Cole out for is to bring him up on stage to accept a "Man of the Millenium award"

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#6 Tim S.
November 21 2008, 03:16PM
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Good grades but I don't see the point of ripping Pouliot. He plays on the 4th line most night and while the points have not come he is one of the few players that gives the effort every night.

And Stortini seems like a shell of himself last year. His fitting is regressing, despite 1 good hit this year he is a known factor almost every game. It no longer seems able to piss off the oposition. Only ones getting mad are probably his linemates.

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#7 Jason Gregor
November 21 2008, 03:27PM
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Jonathon,

More safe players are you kidding me? Why? They have way to many players who don't engage physically, which is what i mean by being safe. Pisani, Brodziak, Horcoof, Pouliot, Nilsson, Cogliano, Penner and now Reddox do any of them go out of their way to even annoy the opposition with body contact.

I don't see them them being a gambling team at all.

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#8 Jason Gregor
November 21 2008, 03:30PM
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Tim,

Just answer me this. What does Pouliot do every night?

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#9 j_rank2
November 21 2008, 03:43PM
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This town does not deserve a pro team with the amount of whining and complaining that goes on this team. Win a game everyone is out of there minds happy, lose on and we start complaining about how much money guys are making which is totally irrelevant. At the moment this is a .500 team. Be thankful this is not Tampa Bay, Florida or Ottawa. The sports fan in this town are such babies grow up and support your team.

Here is an idea lets replace everyone with guys who want to fight only maybe that will make everyone happy.

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#10 Wanye Gretz
November 21 2008, 03:48PM
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Jason -

"Just answer me this. What does Pouliot do every night?"

If this wasn't such a big part of your show today I would take this ball and run to the end zone with it.

Hint: My joke would involve Season Three of the Golden Girls on DVD, a life sized R2D2 and a box of Krispy Creme Donuts

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#11 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2008, 04:05PM
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Jason: By safe, I thought you meant making the simple defensive play, rather than the risky offensive play.

I haven't seen much of Reddox, but his reputation is as an agitator to some extent.

This is a team with players who aren't overly physical, which annoys a lot of people more than it does me because while I see the value in crash and bang, I see lots of value in just winning games (i.e. Detroit over Anaheim as a team building model).

With MacIntyre in the lineup, this is a fairly imposing team (albeit at the expense of skill). Personally, I'll take the player who can play over the one who can hit every time, but this team could use a couple more guys who can do both (from the Glencross tree). I don't think it's a matter of asking players to be something they aren't (the Coglianos and Pouliots of the world simply aren't those players) as much as it is finding someone who fits the role. This team is begging for a physical, effective shut-down centre.

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#12 David S
November 21 2008, 04:23PM
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Jonathan - I really think letting Glencross go was the biggest WTF move of the summer.

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#13 Tim S.
November 21 2008, 04:26PM
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Pouliot gives a 100% everynight, he is not a liability defensively and despite his hitting stats he does take the man. Compared to Brodziak #78 is a goon.

On a team where it appears everyone could just try a little harder(with the exception of Moreau, Souray, and Hemsky)Pouliot is a breathe of fresh air.

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#14 baggedmilk
November 21 2008, 04:39PM
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Gregor, I am outraged at the D-

Not only did we come to defense but we also stomped thePensBlog with our verbal assault. We got some traffic into the nation and landed ourselves a weekly writing gig with elegant "Righteous Sack Beating." I suggest a revision and give us a grade of at least a D.

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#15 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2008, 04:42PM
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David S: Well, I have trouble holding feet to the fire on Glencross because I wasn't sold. Everybody gets hot from time to time, although he still looks like a player in Calgary, even if it isn't quite the same player he was here.

The money that he got (1.2M/yr for 3 years) is at the top end of what I'd be willing to pay him for what he did.

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#16 B.C.B.
November 21 2008, 04:49PM
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Tim: Poo does nothing. Haft the time is is skating around the hash marks waiting for someone else to do the work. He has 4 points in 20 games: and gets power play time. He has 0 PIM, never aggression and rarely hits. Oh he has passing ability: but so does Hemmer, Gags, Cogs, Horcoff (and they are all better at it then him). He has not heart, and I don't want him on my team. Any french Canadian kid who thinks a comparison to Guy Carbonneau is not the most fantastic compliment ever should have been traded that day. TRADE POO, for anything.

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#17 BUCK75 - Not David Staples
November 21 2008, 04:50PM
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The Pouliot experience will be over shortly IMO. He will be out of town by the end of the year either for a bag of pucks on the waiver wire or some insignifigant future draft pick.

MacI should be graded higher though - he has exceeded everyone's expectations. Once he gets healthy again I hope he doesn't regress. If I was him my goal for the season would be to get to the minimum games mark to start collecting his NHLPA pension. But to do that he will have to play like he was before Godard caught him with that bomb.

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#18 BUCK75 - Not David Staples
November 21 2008, 04:55PM
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Penalty Killing: F Power Play: F Face-Offs: F

With all the hype of our power play at the start of the year it hasn't even come close to expectations.

I thought MacT was a penalty killing wizard - but he doesn't have "Burnaby" Marty or Stolly anymore (explains face-offs too I guess).

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#19 Fiveandagame
November 21 2008, 04:56PM
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Glen X is overpaid for what he is. He started off fine in Calgary but is no where near the form he was here to end the year.

Had the Oilers signed him at that price maybe he would be living up to the pay check. But to fork over 3 mil over 2 years for a guy that had put together one 40gm stretch of good hockey in his entire career? That would have been a waste of Oiler cash. At 25 and with no track record of consistency, Glen X took the best deal he could get for his agent, not for himself. He publicly stated he lets his agent handle all of those things and he sticks to horses and hockey. That to me is cowardice and when he plays out his contract in Calgary and someone offers him 800k on a one year deal, he'll be lucky to get it.

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#20 Fiveandagame
November 21 2008, 04:58PM
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oh yeah, great grades, can't really argue with much other than a c+ or minus here and there.

Gregor = Wicked

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#21 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2008, 05:00PM
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Buck75 - you realize the Oilers have a top-ten NHL powerplay, right?

That's at least a B-, and going by historical aptitude, it's an A++++++++.

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#22 BUCK75 - Not David Staples
November 21 2008, 05:01PM
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It's not like GlenX is lighting it up in Calgary either. 8 Points in 20 games is pretty good I guess. 12 PIMS, he is playing like he just got a fat contract, but he earned all of that money based on his shootiing percentage, he is underachieving only burying 6.3% of his shots...

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#23 BUCK75 - Not David Staples
November 21 2008, 05:10PM
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Just checked - 11th ranked ;)

My mistake - I will agree with you now Willis

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#24 Wanye (David) Gretz
November 21 2008, 05:11PM
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Buck75 -

What's it like writing that blog for the journal?

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#25 Jefferson
November 21 2008, 05:39PM
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Pouliot is garbage!!! Thanks for making the seemingly obvious public. To all the clueless jokes out there like Tim, wake the hell up man! Poiliot serves NO purpose on the team. If I see him out there on the powerplay coughing the puck up or costing the Oilers possession I am going to puke.

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#26 Sing A Song For Sing Sing
November 21 2008, 05:40PM
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Horcoff... with a C grade is being overly generous. Guy has been an absolute dude to start the first quarter of the season and is a major reason for our team not having success.

You can place the blame on 2ndary scoring in the forms of Gagner, Nilsson and the likes, but the kid (Gags) is 19 years old and had a magical end to last year. Couldn't honestly have expected him to step him this season without a hiccup, could yaz? I cut hit some major slack cuz everyone knows he's pretty a non factor, non existant, all around horrible... but he's young and he's learning so I'll deal with it. I hope his case doesn't turn into one case of G.Brule ala Columbus debacle.

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#27 Sing A Song For Sing Sing
November 21 2008, 05:40PM
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*absolute DUD

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#28 mattress mattress
November 21 2008, 05:46PM
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Jefferson, you are on the money, Poiliot is an F!!! Why is he taking a roster spot? Sometimes you just have to part ways with a high draft pick and realize he wasn't all he was panned out to be. Waive the bastard and bring up Brule

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#29 RobinB
November 21 2008, 05:46PM
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Sing: C'mon, you meant dude.

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#30 Jason Gregor
November 21 2008, 06:03PM
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Jonathon,

The thing about Detroit is their skilled players, are big. Franzen and Samuellson won't run anyone over, but they compete hard for the puck. Jiri Hudler is no bigger than any of the Oiler kids but watch him battle for the puck. That is hard to play against.

Last year when Nilsson the Kids were at their best, even they knocked guys off the puck. It comes down to the willingness to do it. Size is not always the factor, nor does the guy have to run guys over to be hard to play against.

Detroit and Anaheim were both big. Anaheim tried to bully teams, while Detriot used their size to win most battles.

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#31 baggedmilk
November 21 2008, 06:13PM
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If I say Detroit also has much better coaching than the Oilers are will I be thrown under the bus? Although my hands remain wrapped firmly around the steering wheel of the "Fire MacT Bandwagon."

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#32 Judas
November 21 2008, 06:14PM
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Thundercat, I am not surprised! I've also seen some of the young Oilers, Gagner included, out on the night before a game. I know its great to be the man, I live that too, but you're making millions to PHYSICALLY perform well, grow the hell up and be a pro!!

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#33 baggedmilk
November 21 2008, 06:20PM
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Did you write her a song on your little piano to try and get her back?

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#34 Chris
November 21 2008, 06:22PM
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Last year I ripped on this entire team from K-Lowe to the concession staff. I ripped on K-Lowe for dishing Smitty and then saying "Oh, I hand't anticipated the cap going above 50mil." I ripped on Gagner and Cogliano for being too small and Moreau for being made of glass...Then it happened. The HOT streak! (Too late of course)

So c'mon everyone. Rip The whole team. If they start to win and you look like an ass will you really be that upset? Don't wait untill it is too late!

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#35 Fiveandagame
November 21 2008, 06:23PM
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You know all of this bitching and complaining has me reminiscing about the good ol' days of '06- '07 when we really had stuff to bitch about.

Like MacT's Love affair with Toby "I like hockey and really really want to play" Peterson. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??? Toby Peterson playing our powerplay, Toby Peterson on the second line, Toby Peterson playing 20mins...Who the hell did MacT think he was? Marty Sakic?

Of all the experiments this year, I have to say, none have pissed me off at this point as much as all the ice time wasted on the AHL journeyman TP. THATS when we had LOTS to complain about:)

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#36 Charlie Brown
November 21 2008, 06:23PM
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actually, the kid who played the little piano in Peanuts' name was Schroeder, come on, get your facts straight. And, my g/f did come back to me, but I burned my Gagner jersey.

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#37 Chris
November 21 2008, 06:27PM
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Hemsky. Doesn't work well with others. Horcoff. Doesn't work well. Penner. Doesn't Work. Cole. Doesn't. Gagner. Doesn't shave. Nillson. Doesn't replace Smyth.

Nice Top SIX Lowe.

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#38 David S
November 21 2008, 07:07PM
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If you guys think Gagner and the rest are doing things any differently than any other young player ever has, you're sadly mistaken. Gretzky, Messier, Anderson, et al ripped 'er up in epic fashion on a regular basis between games. Difference is, those guys still brought it every night, which is something our current team has yet to learn for the most part.

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#39 Wanye Gretz
November 21 2008, 07:07PM
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As much as I want to sit here and read who contracted what from who, I have deleted some of these comments in the interests of protecting the eyes of the children.

For the record I contracted Syphillis from a 19th century pirate wench. It sucked.

Stingingly yours, Wanye

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#40 Halfempty
November 21 2008, 07:07PM
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Cogliano is better than Gagner. Will he always be better? Who knows. You can only afford to have one of them in your top six as this team moves forward. Pick one now, and move the other with a goaltender for some help up front. Smid on the forecheck? Really? There has to be someone out there who can generate some energy for the cost of a goalie and a prospect. (Yes Gagner and Cogliano are still prospects)

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#41 1011011
November 21 2008, 07:12PM
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For the record I really don't get all this Gagner hating. What the hell people? He is eleven years old and had 50 points last year. Chill out for heavens sakes.

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#42 Wanye Gretz
November 21 2008, 07:13PM
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A player who scored 13 goals and had 49 points as a rookie, last season, as an 18 year old, is hardly a prospect.

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#43 Tim S
November 21 2008, 07:22PM
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I really don't want to continue with my Pouliot love affair, but whoever said he is out there coughing the puck up on the pp all the time, he averages 23 seconds of power play time per game. Has 1 less point then Gagner, 1 less point then Penner. And if he would fan on a few shots he would be Horcoff out there.

It really seems bizarre to me that on a team full of under acheivers that Pouliot is the player that people focus on.

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#44 Jefferrson
November 21 2008, 07:27PM
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Pouliot is garbage man, seriously. He averages 23 seconds of pp time, but that's just it AVERAGES. The Colorado game last Saturday, he was actually given a little more time and he absolutely blew it. He was out there at least on 2 different powerplays for a good amount of time and was the reason the play broke down both times. That is why he isn't getting too much more pp time. Tell me what he brings to the team, please!? One thing that is valuable, one thing that makes the team better, one damn intangible?

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#45 Oilerdago
November 21 2008, 07:51PM
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Overall I think the grades reflect the fact that Huddy has figured out what the d-men can/can't do and they're still not getting the forwards in the right places to succeed.

Would take a bit of an issue on Moreau's grade. I'd call it a B not an A. He's not the same player on the PK this year, not blocking as many shots, and is getting a pass because he's on pace to put up a lot of points. We need the captain doing more of the other stuff (and MacT needs to get him off the 1st line - that's not his strength).

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#46 Jonathan Willis
November 21 2008, 07:55PM
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Pouliot can win faceoffs. He has pro-level size. He has an above-average passing game. He's a solid positional player who plays a safe defensive game.

That's just me saying it. Let's quote some of those hockey annuals people love so much.

"a silky, subtly-skilled playmaker who reads and anticipates the game with ease... more skilled than he appears due to his lack of razzle-dazzle... poised and gifted stickhandler... graceful skater..."

He's not a hitter, and he's not a high-level scorer. Newsflash: there are a lot of guys who've hammered out a career on less talent, or a less visible physical game. I'm guessing most here didn't see the preseason game in Calgary where he not only scored but didn't back down when Jim Vandermeer came after him. He's got some grit, and he's got some talent. Pouliot will be a player.

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#47 Halfempty
November 21 2008, 08:17PM
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Gagner is still a prospect because he lacks an identity. Is he a play maker, a shooter, what? Kid caught a break and stuck with a dreadful lineup. Kid played like a deamon for 30 or so games. That's it. There is some Chinese food in the back of my fridge that has been there since before this kid turned pro. Contributing regularly on a roster makes you a roster player. Gagner is on this roster because he is too good for junior and too young for the AHL. Gagner may be the future of this organization- Who knows. Words like young, and future, etc are to be asscociated with the term PROSPECT.

Pouliot is now a Suspect not a Prospect.

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#48 Halfempty
November 21 2008, 08:19PM
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Awesome site by the way.

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#49 Tim S
November 21 2008, 08:27PM
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Pouliot's time on the PP came when the 2nd unit was struggling. If I am not mistaking he assisted on a PP goal in the game you speak of.

One thing that is valuable? He is a hard worker, something MacT has questioned about other members of the team, as mentioned above he is a solid player positionally. Was it 2 games ago when his came in and swept away a sure goal?

This is his first full season with the team, he was an offensive player in JR and the minors and now is trying to carve out a niche on the team.

You can say a million times that he does nothing to help the team, if the only thing he does is keep Stortini out of the lineup on a nightly basis then he is doing more then his part to help the team.

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#50 Halfempty
November 21 2008, 08:38PM
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Pouliot is a Macfavorite. Why waste a roster spot on a player who doesn't hit and doesn't score? All twelve forwards need to contribute every shift with offensive pressure or a physical presence. Stortini sucks but at least he lays the occasional hit. Cole is an eastern time zone loser who can't wait to be handed his ticket outta here. Somebody killed Horcoff and his lazy twin brother is filling in. Where is the man who used to block point shots with his face? Penner will always play to the minimum standard- so if the collective effort of the team increases his effort will rise to the new higher minimum standard. The Kids? Show me somrthing already! If you can't generate anything offensively at least spear someone! Two scoring lines that don't score, a checking line that doesn't hit, and an enrgy line with no energy. This is a shitty team right now. Why waste time worrying about Pouliot!

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