A more rational line up

Jonathan Willis
November 23 2008 08:18PM

Joanne Ireland has some good news in today’s column – Craig MacTavish is going to go back to a more traditional set of lines.

Based on Saturday’s practice, the top three forward lines will look like this:

Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky

Nilsson – Cogliano – Gagner

Moreau – Pouliot – Cole

I’d look at this as a chance to get the struggling members of the Kid Line back on their feet, and I think it’s a strong bet to work well. Once the Oilers get into Decemeber, they’ll play 8 of 13 at home, which will give MacTavish the advantage in line-matching by virtue of having last change. With the first and third lines facing the opposition’s top players, Nilsson, Gagner and Cogliano have a chance to play against lesser lights and in offensive situations, something that should revive their offensive stats and add some scoring punch to a team that needs it badly at even strength. The decision to use Pouliot as the third line pivot is a good one; Pouliot has failed to show the offensive touch he had in the QMJHL as a professional, but plays a very smart positional game and should be able to handle a defensive role given that he’s flanked by a pair of quality veterans.

The fourth line is a bit of a question mark, given these lines:

[Ladislav Smid] will play up front again against the Kings.

The Oilers will also recruit another farmhand, Gilbert Brule would be a good bet given the intent is to add more jam, but a call won't be made to Springfield until after the Falcons close out their weekend set.

The only (relatively) sure things at this juncture is that Smid will play on the fourth line, and that there will be a call-up. That likely leaves two of Kyle Brodziak, Zack Stortini and Liam Reddox on the outside looking in, and it may be the two veterans who are scratched. Stortini has not played to the same level as he did last season and has only appeared in 11 games, while Kyle Brodziak has been a healthy scratch already and seems to be in the doghouse.

Now, if MacTavish would just scratch Strudwick and move Smid back to his natural position, I’d be a very happy guy.

Pressure on the Front Office?

Also in today’s Edmonton Journal, Dan Barnes gets some excellent quotes from Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish on the possibility that MacTavish is experiencing new pressures from higher up. First, Kevin Lowe:

"I think that any pressure Mac would feel is out of common sense, out of having been around the game forever, and is totally self-imposed," said Lowe. "And that's a good thing. For the naysayers who think we sit around and feel comfortable in our positions, I'd like to take them and throttle them. They have no idea how much we put into this, how much we grieve and sweat and the other emotions we exude after losses."

For the record, I do not agree with the common sentiment that Lowe and MacTavish were rather carelessly meandering through their assignments. Lowe has always shown a ton of emotion as the G.M.; recall, for example, his “Is it me?” moment with Terry Jones shortly before the Dustin Penner offer sheet, and there should not be any doubt that he feels the struggles of this team as personally as anyone. His decisions are certainly subject to criticism; he has made some brilliant moves and some jaw-droppingly dumb ones, and deserves to be criticized where appropriate, but his heart has always been in it.

Next, Barnes asks MacTavish if he was feeling the heat from higher up:

"No," MacTavish said Saturday, when hit with the time-worn theory. "We're on the same wavelength in terms of where we want to get to. Sometimes I'm the most impatient. As a coach, you need to be. Coaches are more in the here and now, dealing with the day-to-day emotional roller-coaster of wins and losses, where managers thankfully are more longer-term. Tamby and Kevin, they're seeing lots of potential in the team. As a coach, I want immediate results."

There’s a lot of truth in that statement, I think. Coaches (and most hard-core fans, for that matter) live in day-to-day mode, following the team’s every struggle and every success. It is very difficult to take the long view when the team is coming off a disappointing loss, much like it’s hard to see the faults after winning a couple of games. Craig MacTavish entered this season sounding as optimistic as I’ve ever heard him, and after a brutal 20-game schedule, loaded with back-to-back sets and a 30/70 home/road split, the Oilers are two games below five hundred. It’s natural that he be disappointed, and he wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t putting pressure on himself, and then on to the players as well.

Interestingly, though, MacTavish also had this to say about treating players the way he treated Penner:

"I don't believe in it."

The fact of the matter is, once November is in the rear-view mirror, the Oilers will have played 16 on the road and 7 at home. Over the next two months, they’ll play 17 of 25 at home, and it’s up to the team to capitalize on this easier schedule and climb the Western Conference standings. If they can do that, everyone will be breathing easier. If they can’t, I’d be very surprised not to see changes behind the bench.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Wanye Gretz
November 23 2008, 08:21PM
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"For the naysayers who think we sit around and feel comfortable in our positions, I’d like to take them and throttle them. They have no idea how much we put into this, how much we grieve and sweat and the other emotions we exude after losses.”

Oooh yeah Lowe. Spit that fire!

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#2 Dennis
November 23 2008, 09:52PM
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There are two guys Lowe needs to find and throttle : the guy who dealt Pronger for Smid and Lupul

: the guy who gambled on Lowe.

Those two guys need a severe thrashing!

!!

!!!!

This will be a good chance to see if 78 can hang playing secondary tough min and if his early sparks of chemistry with 26 can extrapolate into something that's sustainable over the short to longterm.

It also keeps 89 and that gang out of harm's way and I think that's really what's needed.

If this doesn't work than I'll guess the Oilers look for a vet centre to help Horc out with the heavy lifting and God help the eventual throttled who think otherwise.

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#3 Dennis
November 23 2008, 09:53PM
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that should read the guy who gambled on penner:)

though the guy who gambled on Lowe with that new contract could Also use a throttling:)

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#4 Chris
November 24 2008, 09:10AM
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I've been mad at Lowe since the Smyth debauchle. Please don't explain to me again why I'm wrong or how O'Marra is a good prospect or how Smyth wasn't worth the cap hit. My take on the situation is this: What player out of the Lowe era will ever have his Jersey retired? Smyth did everything and more that the Oiler organization asked of him. He was described by Lowe as "the perfect Oiler." If Smyth didn't deserve an inflated contract why did Dustin Penner? Everyman Oiler in that dressing room knows that as long as Lowe is at the helm it is unlikely that they can go the distance, be a franchise player, and have their number retired one day. So why show any real loyalty in return?

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#5 MIKE S
November 24 2008, 09:17AM
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Jonathon,

Let me start by saying I like this site. A good mix of insight(You, Browlee, Gregor) comedy (Wanye, Amber and BJeans) and real pros (Gregor and Brownlee), but I sense you are starting to suffer the sophomore jinx or believe you are just that much smarter than all of us.

Good to see you read the other stories on here. Gregor has a whole story that Sestito got recalled and you hint it might be Brule.

Great journalism, but I guess you were spending too much time trying to defend Pouliot and how he will be the best 3rd line centre by Xmas.

Or maybe, that the Ducks should trade Getzlaf for Horcoff, because clearly Horcoff is a better player.

Or you were probably searching the web looking for another story that you could copy and paste and comment on.

How about come up with your own ideas more than once a month? It is lame how I have to read your regurgitated thoughts on other's original ideas. Thankfully Wanye, Brownlee, Gregor, Jeans and Boots can have original ideas on here. Your stuff is getting stale. You used to be good, but seem more interested now in telling us how smart you are. You are not qualified or experienced enough to be a columnist. Stick to what you are good at, number crunching. And getting your crotch sniffers, Dennis and Travis, to back you up in every way. So predictable that it has become comical.

I'm sure you (or your sniffers) will have some long drawn out response, because you seem to be able to criticize everyone, but the minute someone comments on you; you have to freak out. Just take it as constructive criticism and don't bore US with your reasons as to why you didn't read Gregor, or that Horcoff is better than Getzlaf. We all know there is no defense for either. Just chalk it up as a mistake.

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#6 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 09:22AM
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Mike S:

Good to see you read the other stories on here. Gregor has a whole story that Sestito got recalled and you hint it might be Brule.

This story was written hours before Gregor posted his article - format problems kept it from being posted. So shut up :)

Or maybe, that the Ducks should trade Getzlaf for Horcoff, because clearly Horcoff is a better player.

Read what I wrote. I said Horcoff is a more complete player than Getzlaf - they play different roles entirely. Getzlaf excels in his (beating up on NHL weaklings) and helps his team win. Horcoff is good at his (playing toughs to a standstill while still contributing offensively). I never said Hocoff was a better player, but it amazes me how many people think that Getzlaf could instantly adapt to Horcoff's role. The roles are different.

By the way Mike, thanks for the criticism, I'll be sure to take it to heart, blah blah blah.

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#7 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 09:26AM
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You used to be good, but seem more interested now in telling us how smart you are.

Well, if I could rely on other people to tell you how smart I am, I would, but unfortunately, that's a burden I need to carry alone.

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#8 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 09:32AM
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"You used to be good, but seem more interested now in telling us how smart you are."

Ah Jon, if they weren't hating they wouldn't be reading. I wish someome would tell me I used to be good.

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#9 The Towel Boy
November 24 2008, 09:33AM
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Woah, Mike S...what's with the hostility? Did JW kick your grandma in the shins or something? Jeeze.

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#10 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 09:41AM
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Oh and while I'm addressing you Mike S, who are you and why should anyone care what you think again?

Right. That's what I thought.

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#11 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 09:42AM
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Ah Jon, if they weren’t hating they wouldn’t be reading. I wish someome would tell me I used to be good.

I'm just glad that they can read. So many people with clear and identifiable problems also struggle with illiteracy, so it's nice to see Mike S. doesn't have that to deal with as well.

And Wanye, of the two of us, who correctly CALLED that Grebeshkov would be a goat? That seems plenty "good" to me.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 09:43AM
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Please note: The "good" used above wasn't meant in a sarcastic way. I realized after I typed that it might come across that way, but, for the record, Wanye's pretty awesome.

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#13 Chris
November 24 2008, 09:45AM
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It's okay Willis. 100% of statistics are usefull and relevant 30% of the time. I enjoy reading your take on things even if I understand/ agree with you 27% of the time. *please note that I violently disagree with 79% of what I don'T understand.

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#14 Rick
November 24 2008, 09:59AM
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Wanye Gretz Says: November 24th, 2008 at 9:41 am Oh and while I’m addressing you Mike S, who are you and why should anyone care what you think again?

Right. That’s what I thought.

...

This is not in defence of of what Mike S wrote. But...

What's the point of a comment section then?

Was I wrong to hold out hope that this site wasn't going to follow suite with most of the other blogging sites out there where it seems like the whole point of a comment section is to create some kind of like minded clique where only self congratulations and back slapping is allowed?

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#15 Clayton
November 24 2008, 10:08AM
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You wrote December wrong you goof.....

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#16 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 10:10AM
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Rick:

I don't mind the criticism so much, because everyone's entitled to an opinion, and my skin isn't that thin.

I do have a real problem with Mike S referring to other commenters as "crotch-sniffers". In that respect, I think he was leaning towards exactly what you suggested - a comment section where we need to be a "like-minded clique".

Wanye and DJ have been pretty tolerant in what kind of commentary they allow, taking the high road and letting different (and often asinine) commentary from all kinds of people (me, as an example). That said, I am convinced that if guys want to use this forum solely for the purpose of launching unwarranted personal attacks at other commenters, they're going to find themselves unwelcome very soon.

Mike - if you don't like what I write, that's fine. If you want to attack my viewpoint with whatever kind of bizarre argument you come up with, that's fine to. Don't pull that kind of stunt on other commenters again, though. It isn't welcome.

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#17 Chris
November 24 2008, 10:11AM
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Re the ongoing Horc-Getzlaf debate.

Willis. We agree that Getzlaf fills a different role than Horcoff. But you are arguing that Horcoff is a more complete player. Therefore, you are saying that the role of a two way penalty killing forward is more important/valuable than that of a high end offensive guy. Most fans disagree. There are more Horcoff type players around than the Getzlaf's. Do you like Brindamour more than Lecavlier?

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#18 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 10:11AM
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Clayton:

Decemeber's a perfectly valid month. Much like eleventy is a perfectly valid numerical prefix.

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#19 pdan
November 24 2008, 10:16AM
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I'm just glad to see Penner back on the big line.

I'm glad I don't have a boss at work that could mess my career over like MacT has been doing to Pens.

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#20 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 10:20AM
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Chris:

It really depends on the team. In Anaheim, where Getzlaf has a defined role, and there are other guys to handle the toughs, he's a major asset. He kills the (weak) opposition, and it helps the Ducks win games.

If the Oilers were to trade Getzlaf for Horcoff without any other moves, it would be bad for the team. Gagner/Cogliano aren't ready for Horcoff's role, and Pouliot/Brodziak have yet to show they can anchor the third line, so Getzlaf would be thrown into a role he's never handled before. The reverse is true as well - Anaheim would be stupid to replace Getzlaff with Horc, because Horcoff isn't as good at kllling weak opponents.

I've made no secret that I really like Horcoff, because I think there are fewer of his style of player around, and I think coaches ought to mold their players like that. Rick Nash post-Hitchcock is a far better player than pre-Hitchcock. Marc Savard in Boston is a much more valuable player than Marc savard in Atlanta, because he's still successful, but in a much more difficult role. Jarome Iginla is always more valuable than Ilya Kovalchuk, Henrik Zetterberg is always more valuable than Vincent Lecavalier, etc.

I'll put it this way - on that 2003-04 Lightning team, I liked Brad Richards much more than Vincent Lecavalier.

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#21 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 10:22AM
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Also, everybody:

I made an ass of myself the other day, picking on one of Jason Gregor's typos in a comment he made.

As my last comment clearly demonstrates, it's pretty easy to say "kllling" or "Getzlaff" when you're banging out comments.

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#22 Rick
November 24 2008, 10:26AM
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Jonathan Willis Says: November 24th, 2008 at 10:10 am Rick:

I don’t mind the criticism so much, because everyone’s entitled to an opinion, and my skin isn’t that thin.

...

As I said, it wasn't the content of what Mike S wrote that I was commenting on.

I am just a little surprised that Wanye Gretz's response was basically that Mike S doesn't have any credentials to voice an opinion with and that no body cares what he has to say. How is that any different than anyone else that posts a comment?

It seems completely contrary to the point of having a comments section.

There is a difference between moderating and essentially telling someone they don't meet the criteria to participate.

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#23 Chris
November 24 2008, 10:38AM
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Carlyle may be sheltering Getzlaf a bit...Simply because he can thanks to team depth. Doesn't mean Getzlaf cannot play a high level game against touger opposition. It's too bad that Oiler team depth (despite offseason hype) is so low MacT can't find shelter for a struggling Horcoff. (Please everyone...don't talk about the schedule again...or accuse me of being a bandwagon jumper...I love this Team...but there are some real problems that will take more than a few wins to address.)

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#24 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 10:47AM
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Chris:

No, it doesn't mean that he can't, just that he hasn't show that he can, to date. It's also likely that his stats would take a bit of a dive if he were playing more talented opponents.

It happens quite a bit - Alex Tanguay, for example, looks much better outside of Calgary than he ever did in it. I don't think it's because Tanguay's play deteriorated, but in both Colorado and Montreal, he had the luxury of playing easier situations, whereas in Calgary he was expected not only to provide offense but to do it against tough opposition.

I think players in those roles will always be undervalued because their statistics aren't as good.

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#25 Chris
November 24 2008, 11:03AM
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Fair enough. Horc may be undervalued. But I would still trade him for Getzlaf in a heartbeat. Other roster moves may be required as a result...but I would still make that trade. I bet Tambo would too.

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#26 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 11:06AM
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Rick -

I was in no way suggesting that a lack of credentials means you can't comment on here. You have never seen anyone say anything like that on here. I think you know us all a little better than that dude.

I was suggesting that anyone that dares to criticize Willis and say "It is lame how I have to read your regurgitated thoughts on other’s original ideas" deserves some variety of negative response.

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#27 Tony Romo
November 24 2008, 11:23AM
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I would have to agree with Wanye on this rick. He is hardly the guy to discourage commenting. He is making fun of this Mike S for dissing willis, not cause he is unknown here.

why so serious??

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#28 Braden
November 24 2008, 11:32AM
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Jonathan is the same guy who thought Malik is a top pairing D because his stats on behindthenet say so.

If he think "Getzlaf is a useful player" but its "because of guys like Horcoff that teams win championships" that's his opinion.

I wonder if the Olympic committee is as smart as Jonathan and leaves Getzlaf off the team for Horcoff. All those little things that Horcoff does surely is more valuable than some PP point fraud that can't play against real competition.

Meanwhile Horcoff has 1 more point than Glenx on the season. But Corsi and all the underlying numbers says that Horcoff is having a world class season so it must be true.

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#29 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 11:39AM
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Chris:

Yeah, I'd make that trade to. I think the gap isn't as wide as most believe right now, but it's only going to increase, especially as Carlyle/whoever get Getzlaf's feet wet against tougher competition.

Braden:

I love it when you state my position for me. It makes it so much easier to see why you disagree with me, when you toss out statements I never made.

OF course Getzlaf is a better fit on Team Canada than Horcoff; with the wealth of centres Canada has, is there any chance Getzlaf won't be used in the role he is now, beating the crap out of the opposition's lower-tier players?

Also, RE:Malik, if he can't be a top-pairing defenseman, why did Crawford play him as one with Jovanovski (during which time, I might add, Malik put up the best +/- in the entire NHL, and Jovanovski was putting together his best seasons in the NHL)?

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#30 Rick
November 24 2008, 11:46AM
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Tony Romo Says:

why so serious??

...

I am not taking it THAT seriously but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I'm not even sure how to explain it clearly. So in throwing out a couple random thoughts...

It was surprising to see Wanye as the owner (or one of) of this site suggest that no one cares about what a visitor had to say. No matter how assinine the post was it could simply have been removed or edited if it was deemed out of line.

It seems that most blogs tend to move towards only like minded people in terms of comments and participating. Personally I think it's terribly boring unless you disagree and are looking for a chuckle. My hope is that this blog doesn't go in that direction and that means guys like Mike S do contribute (although the specific post in question really isn't a good example of a differing opinion). This came to mind not because Mike S said something clever but because I read Wanye's comment as an attempt to quash an opinion that he didn't agree with. Again as an owner of the site, it seems very contradictory.

Finally although Wanye disputes it, I seem recall a few other times where it was tossed out that no body cares about so and so's opinion.

See, now you made me write something waaayyyy to long and waaayyy more serious than I wanted to.

I threw it out there, Wanye responded and I was ready to leave it and move on, but since you asked why I was so serious I figured I would try to clarify.

If Wanye gets where I was coming from and sees some merit in it then great, if he doesn't on either count then oh well.

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#31 Braden
November 24 2008, 11:53AM
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Willis: I know you're a lot of things but I never knew you were a hypocrite:

This is from from one of your comments yesterday

Jonathan Willis Says: November 22nd, 2008 at 8:27 pm

To recap:

Braden: I’m too stupid to understand that the SCF Run example was an illustration of a point. Numbers don’t provide answers. Stanley Cup winning coach Mike Babcock is worse than MacTavish. Duck’s fans are smart - turn to them for player evaluations.

Mie: Jonathon, have you ever watched a hockey game? Geez, you’re dumb. I bet you’ve never even talked to a hockey person. Numbers scare me.

It's funny, I don't recall saying "ck’s fans are smart - turn to them for player evaluations.", in fact I actually said the opposite.

"Go ask someone who doesn’t cheer for the Oilers, a NW team or the Ducks and you will find a more accurate diagnosis than any emotionally invested Oiler fan or number on a computer screen ever could."

But I guess when you have nothing going for you putting words in my mouth might work.

As for me saying thats that you didn't actually say

In yesterdays post you said "He’s a useful player, but he isn’t remotely a complete one." when discussing Getzlaf and also said "There is a huge difference between a player being successful against top opposition, and being successful against the waiver wire fodder of the world. The latter player can be useful; the former wins you games." when comparing Getzlaf and Horcoff - clearly insinuating that guys like Horcoff are more important than Getzlaf in terms of helping the teams win games.

I'm done defending common sense so I'll let you have the last word (or statistical number).

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#32 Chris
November 24 2008, 12:00PM
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I like to vent/post thoughts based on emotion. I'm a true GEEK Fan in that regard. I don't pretend to have a background in hockey or statistics. I always lose in my hockey pool. This is a fun sight and when guys like Gregor, Brownlee etc respond to my musings I get a kick out of it. I admit also I tend to write more when the team is performing poorly. It's cheap therapy for the depressed. GO OILERS!

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#33 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 12:13PM
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Braden:

When the Ducks won the cup, which line was more important - Getzlaf or McDonald?

When the Canes won the cup, which line was more important - Brind'Amour or Staal?

When the Lightning won the cup, which line was more important - Richards or Lecavalier?

It's a team game, so both lines are important. Generally though, the job done by the McDonald/Brind'Amour/Richards line is what makes the difference in the playoffs, in my opinion.

As for hypocrisy, fair enough. Apparently neither of us is a stranger to hyperbole.

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#34 Jonathan Willis
November 24 2008, 12:15PM
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Aslo, in the above instance, I'd say the majority of NHL GM's would trade McDonald to get Getzlaf, or Brind'Amour to get Staal, or Richards to get Lecavalier.

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#35 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 12:18PM
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Rick -

I agree with your point that some blogs tend to develop a clique of commenters that exclude others as time goes on. This is the exact opposite of what we are trying to do here in knitting together different viewpoints.

Truth be completely I wrote that because I know who 'Mike S' is and the 'who are you' is more between he and I.

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#36 Chris
November 24 2008, 12:18PM
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Willis. Did you just say that Tambo was trading for Getzlaf, Stall, AND Lecavlier? SWEET!

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#37 Chris
November 24 2008, 12:23PM
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If you assemble all the best higest scoring super star players you win championships. Everyone knows that!

Sincerly, The 2004 New York Rangers.

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#38 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 12:30PM
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"If you assemble all the best higest scoring super star players you win championships. Everyone knows that!

Sincerly, The 2004 New York Rangers."

This is classic

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#39 slipper
November 24 2008, 12:38PM
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Tampa Bay signed a defenseman who was +20 or better in 4 of his last 5 seasons for 1.25 million. After a half year off the guy is already playing the third most defensive minutes on the Bolts. TBL got in good and cheap here.

+1 Jon Willis.

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#40 Cam
November 24 2008, 01:03PM
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Chris, Your comments on the Smyth trade brought a tear to my eye. Finally there is someone who feels exactly the same as I do. That trade was the single biggest mistake that Lowe has ever made.

Though it must be said that I believe Lowe has admitted his error and has learned from it. I think the Horcoff deal (who has similar numbers to Smyth) is evidence of this.

The latter statement where you speak of the team not having loyalty to Lowe is probably not out of line, but I think by putting the Tambo buffer in there Katz has moderated that somewhat.

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#41 David S
November 24 2008, 01:04PM
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I think we all know what an internet troll looks like and I'm more than happy when a mod calls 'em as he sees 'em.

I really like the diversity of opinions here. But when a guys posts up and uses this platform to be a dick just because he can, then he needs to get beat down. Nobody should have a problem with that.

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#42 Braden
November 24 2008, 01:04PM
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"If you assemble all the best higest scoring super star players you win championships. Everyone knows that!

Sincerly, The 2004 New York Rangers."

Yup, talent doesn't win hockey games - well, except when defending MacTavish's mediocre coaching record. Then it becomes the seed that fertilized the egg; vital, essential, required, ect

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#43 Braden
November 24 2008, 01:07PM
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"That trade was the single biggest mistake that Lowe has ever made."

Yes, because paying 5.4 million in exchange for a feel good story and 60 points would have been such an astute move.

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#44 kris
November 24 2008, 01:11PM
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Mike says, "Whatchu talkin bout Willis!"

Mike: First off, you might want to look up the word 'analysis' in the dictionary, where you'll find Jonathon's picture.

You see, just because two people are discussing similar ideas doesn't mean that one is unoriginal.

And to compare Baggedshorts and jeansguy or whatever to Jonathon suggests you don't know the difference between apples and oranges-- or your head and your arse for that matter.

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#45 Cam
November 24 2008, 01:30PM
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Braden, I would take Smytty over Cole, Penner or Nilsson any day of the week. He spent the money on those guys; why not a career Oiler.

What does MacT keep bitching about? It's a "lack of jump". Smytty never had that problem. He had no lack of grit either, if you care to remember when he had half his teeth knocked out of his face and he kept playing.

The other thing Smytty had was that of his 60 points, half were goals. the closest thing we have had to a 30 goal scorer since he left is Penner. That is sad.

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#46 Chris
November 24 2008, 01:40PM
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Braden. I know that hockey is a business. Gm's move players all the time trying to balance youth with experience, fill needs, manage the cap etc. Some players, however mean more to the the locker room in general than their numbers indicate. Core guys who buy in to an organizational philosophe deserve more respect from management than what was shown to Ryan Smyth. Lowe didn't dish 30 goals for 5.4 mil. With that trade, he broke faith with every Oiler who was willing to block a shot with his face. This breach was evident on the ice for the last twenty games or so of that season. Pure demorilization. He did it again when he dumped Gator. I know Jason is beginning to lose a step but he would still fit in nicely on this roster playing with Staios. To dump him for garbage like Pitkanen was also a mistake. Not number wise necessarily but still a mistake. Look at this team now...improved on paper but desperatly in need of a heart transplant. Why would the young guys on this team today risk their teeth to become the "perfect Oiler" just to be delt uncerimoniously at some trade deadline for limited short term gain? Loyalty breeds loyalty.

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#47 Wanye Gretz
November 24 2008, 02:44PM
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"Loyalty breeds loyalty."

Don't get me started on the Ryan Smyth trade. That debacle begat bring94home.com - that begat the OilersNation.

It was almost as bad as losing Pronger.

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#48 » OilersNation.com - A more rational line up »Free Games
November 24 2008, 04:34PM
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[...] games by unknown « Predators Care For Kids App Shopper: Know How - Think and play outside the box! [...]

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#49 MIKE S
November 24 2008, 07:55PM
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Jonathon,

If my comment of sniffers offended you so much, how come that wasn 't in your response. Rather it was "I will take your advice, blah, blah, blah.

Wanye,

Who am I? Why does that matter.

Who is Jonathon Willis and Wayne Gretz? Guys who write on a blog. That is it. Insightful and witty sometimes, but I guess not mature enough to take some criticism.

You wrote that you know who I am, but unless I'm missing something I don't think we have ever met.

Jonathon your argument that Getzlaf plays against the softies doesn't make sense. Who are the softies? 3rd line players? Isn't there job to shut down opposing top-end forwards?

And this comment: "OF course Getzlaf is a better fit on Team Canada than Horcoff; with the wealth of centres Canada has, is there any chance Getzlaf won’t be used in the role he is now, beating the crap out of the opposition’s lower-tier players?"

Are you saying there are lower-tier players in the Olympics? And if so, then wouldn't opposing teams want to put their scorers out against Getzlaf because he is so weak defensively? And if that happens, then doesn't he automatically play against tougher competition.

Would Moreau's line be considered the harderest to play against, or Gagner's? Well if the Kid line is scoring then you'd have a bigger threat of garnering a minus, since Moreau's line doesn't score a lot.

You also argued that Getzlaf gets all his points on the PP. Well he scored 20 of 24 on 5-on-5, but you didn't acknowledge that. I guess you only choose to use stats that work in your favour.

That is fine. And don't worry I won't bother commenting or reading anymore of Willis' stuff because according to Wanye I'm a nobody. And only SOMEBODYS get too post on here. Great customer relations. Or do you only want people who adore you guys.

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#50 milli
November 25 2008, 06:53PM
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hahaha, damn, I think somebodys pouting!!!!! Dude, go post on the Oilers board, it's for whiners and pussies.

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