Three-headed monsters

Wanye
December 12 2008 10:19AM

We had to leave the JL meeting at the end of the first period to drive out to the airport and pick up a buddy who is home for the holidays. After we had loaded all his crap into the truck and were heading back on the QEII he surveyed the snowy scene outside.

“Thanks for coming to get me Wanye. I haven’t seen roads like this in a while. I must be home.”

“No problem, you dink,” we replied. “In the future, could you arrange it so you don’t come in during an Oilers game?”

He then told us he really felt at home and we began discussing the team. He has been out of the country for an extended period but it was amazing how quickly you can bring someone up to speed on the last quarter of the season.

Him: “How are the Oil doing anyway?”

Me: “Fairly crappily actually. They are hovering around .500”

Him: “I thought I read on the net that they were supposed to be good this season. Wasn’t everyone pumped up about all the rookies and the free agents going into this year?”

Me: “Yeah, they aren’t lighting the world on fire by any means but they aren’t terrible either. Visnovsky is working out well, Souray is on fire. That’s about it so far though.”

Our buddy is a die-hard Oilers fan and played the game for years -- so when we bring up his next point it isn’t coming from some drooling bonehead who just got back from dancing at raves in Europe for a year -- though that’s exactly what he did.

“Know what the Oilers need to do to turn the corner?” he asked aloud.

Firstly, we were impressed that he could land, get in the car, be brought up to speed on the team by Leduc and have suggestions ready by the Whitemud. That’s an Oilers fan coming home for you. Without any prompting on our part he went on.

“The Oilers need to get a premiere goalie. All throughout the ‘90s no matter how crappy the Oilers were they had a good goalie. Ranford, CuJo even Salo was a big deal for a few seasons. They brought in Roloson to solve the revolving door scenario with Markkanen and Conklin and clearly he brought the heat.

“But now it seems they’re right back where they started with three mediocre goalies. Rather than looking for more skaters in trades, they should go after someone unreal in net. Hit a goalie up with a $6 million contract or something.”

By no means did Garon play badly last night. But the fact of the matter is that the Oil simply aren’t getting the goaltending they need on a night-in night-out basis. Let’s take a gander at the three headed monster shall we?

 

Is anyone lighting the world on fire here? No. Is it their fault, necessarily? No. Is goaltending one of the main reasons the Oilers sit where they do in the standings on a snowy Friday morning? No. Is it helpful to have a goalie that is in your top three players on the team? Yes. Very helpful, in fact. Might an addition of top-tier goalie -- something rarely discussed -- help vault the Oil up in the standings and cement the team in the upper tier of the West for the next few seasons? Sure.

Goalies are a strange bunch, and can often emerge out of nowhere. Take this Anderson from last night. He was something else wasn’t he? As Terry Jones explains:

The $575,000-a-year goalie, whose paycheque is 10% of Tomas Vokoun's, went into the game with the best save percentage in the league at .941 and a 2.09 goals against average and improved on both numbers to go 5-1-2 in his last eight games and 16-4-3 since Jan. 3 last year.

Anderson left the building with one of the most fascinating stats you'll ever find for a goaltender as he stretched his career record to 10-1-4 in games in which he faced 40 or more shots.

Maybe if the Oil are considering bringing in a premiere player in a four for one deal, a ‘tender should be airlifted in to this squad. We rarely hear it brought up but sometimes it takes a citizen of the Nation who hasn’t been listening to the Schremp analysis for the past seven months to bring in some perspective.

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 Milli
December 12 2008, 10:28AM
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Yep. Foe sure. Take the Canucks since lou got hurt....they aren't that good. With him in the line up, all of a sudden, they look like a good team. I'd love to have a goalie that didn't make me cringe everytime there was a shot on net. I'd also be happy to have a couple of forwards who would maybe crash the net, ya know, once in a while. You know, like maybe every couple of games.....How many tough saves did Anderson have to make last night?

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#2 The Towel Boy
December 12 2008, 10:41AM
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Goalies are such a weird bunch to sort out. The ones that are good don't become available too often...unless you find a GM that's lost his marbles (read: Luongo). One's that were once good are often a crap shoot. (see Theodore). It's just a weird thing...it's like winning the lottery with goalies.

I think the only way the Oilers get their hands on a good goalie is to develop one from a fetus, engineered to their exact specifications. One that will undergo intensive training exercises that develop acute reflexes, hand eye coordination, flexibility, agility and all around superhuman strength...not to mention the rock solid, unflappable mind of a shaolin monk.

But honestly...I don't think the problem is necessarily goaltending. I think most of our losses this season can be attributed to lack of intensity/give'a'shit/effort by the guys playing in front of (insert goalie name here).

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#3 Cam
December 12 2008, 10:47AM
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I agree that premiere goaltending is a necessity to be successful, but the few teams that have that kind of a goaltender aren't likely to give it up.

I am trying to think of Goaltenders that are better than Garon/Roli (and a 92% save percentage is pretty good) and not that many come to mind.

Luongo Brodeur Giguere Kiprusoff (though some Cgy fans might argue that now) Nabokov Turco (though he isn't so hot this year) Anderson Thomas Miller

I may be missing one or two, but my point is that there aren't many Goaltenders that are guaranteed better than Garon and Roli, and those keepers are not up for grabs.

If Garon plays like last year or Deslauriers keeps playing like he has been or roli keeps playing like he did in 2006 then I believe that Goaltending is not the problem. Lots of if's there, but none are really improbable.

Our problem appears to be the PK, faceoffs, and scoring goals regularly. I think we address those and our goaltending will be fine.

Oh and GET RID of the three headed monster. I don't care which head we lop off but get it done.

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#4 baggedmilk
December 12 2008, 11:05AM
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If Florida is going to run with Anderson the Oil should take a run at Vokoun. He's only 32 and still has some game in him. He could be a nice pick up since I'm thinking he wants to play #1 minutes.

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#5 Greg MC
December 12 2008, 11:31AM
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Gotta call you out Wayne, 106 and Jasper is mine, Homes... Anyone say Bobby Lou?

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#6 Chris
December 12 2008, 11:41AM
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A hot goaltender is essential during the playoffs. Please let us make the playoffs...

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#7 Adam
December 12 2008, 11:42AM
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Hey Cam, Roli and JDD have the .920 save%. Garon has a craptastic .890 which is brutal in the NHL and especially if you are looking to be #1.

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#8 Cam
December 12 2008, 12:05PM
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@Adam

Sorry for confusion there. I know Garon hasn't been sharp this year, I was referring to Roli and JDD when I mentioned the 92%.

Last year Garon was .913 which is pretty good.

In Garon's defense he has looked much bettr the last few game she has been in.

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#9 Joey Moss
December 12 2008, 12:08PM
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This team has gone through fits and starts of goal tending for the last 15 years, which I suppose is typical of any team that doesn't have a legit top 5 locked up long term. They go from having a solid goalie, maybe even top 10, to having a bunch of nobodies, to a solid goalie and back again. The Oilers have not had a lights-out tender since Cujo, and even then, if memory serves he only had one season where he had more wins than losses with the Oil. As previously noted, it is pretty much like winning the lotto when it comes to finding a stud goalie that can lead your team for 10 years. With that in mind, we should just assume that if anything were to come up, the Oil would jump at it, but in the mean time just treat it like the weather - it is out of your control. This isn't to say they should have 3 goalies, but I imagine even if the Oilers were to offer their whole first line they would have a tough time landing a guy like Lundqivst, Nabakov or Brodeur.

I say bring back bring back Ryan Smyth and get another gritty forward to mix things up. The best the Oilers have been in the last 15 years is when Smyth was in his prime running goalies and working the corners, we need this element on the team to succeed (particularly if the coach is never going to be fired). I don't care how you acquire these parts, particularly considering the high levels of redundancy at every position on this team, it just needs to be done. More size, more attitude, more heart.

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#10 baggedmilk
December 12 2008, 12:16PM
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@ Joey Moss:

The last thing this team needs is Ryan Smyth and his ridiculous contract. Told old and for too much. His production will surely decline over the remainder and he's got a cap hit that is too big to take on simply for nostalgic purposes.

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#11 Chris
December 12 2008, 12:20PM
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Joey Moss wrote:

I say bring back bring back Ryan Smyth and get another gritty forward to mix things up.

Why bring back Smyth for more than thirty million when you could have had him for twenty-six? The mistakes have already been made and the money has been spent on bandaid solutions.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
December 12 2008, 12:33PM
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Why does Ryan Smyth need to enter every conversation?

Anyways, RE:goaltending. The way I see it, there are two options for a contending team:

1) Have a premiere goaltender. 2) Have 2 1A-type goaltenders, either of whom could catch fire.

Option 2 is the Detroit method, and it's a good way to get good goaltending without spending truckloads of money. Of course, sometimes both goalies collapse (Emery/Gerber, for example), but that's less common because there are two legit options.

Option 1 is the Anaheim/San Jose/New Jersey method, and it works great. There are really only two issues with option 1:

1) Goalie gets injured (Brodeur). 2) Goalie goes supernova/falls into a steep decline (Turco/Kiprusoff/Khabibulin)

When number two happens, the team is left with an untradeable mess who serves as an anchor on their budget and slowly (or quickly) removes any ability to contend.

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#13 J&J
December 12 2008, 12:47PM
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Wayne i am sorry but i kind of disagree a little bit. Here is why. In the history of the NHL i dont recall anyone winning a game with 0 goals!!! i think goaltending (other than taking up a roster spot) is the least of our worries!For me last nights game made it abundantly clear we need goal scoring not goal tending!With two minutes left in the game down by a goal and we are counting on Gange?24 games 6 points Gange? We need a goal scorer plain and simple! 41 shots & half of Anderson could have had a blind fold on to stop them!We dont need an abundance of shots we need someone who can get quality shots.

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#14 Adam
December 12 2008, 01:04PM
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@ Cam: I agree, last night Garon looked at little slow and sluggish. but i guess 14 shots will do that to a guy.

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#15 Monday Guy
December 12 2008, 01:22PM
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@ J&J: Finally...

(although i must point out your spelling error on Gagner)

Opening up one roster spot, does not a superscoring team, make worry less about the extra goalie worry more about putting puck in net

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#16 shakey
December 12 2008, 01:23PM
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@ Joey; you mention Ryan Symth in his prime. He's past his prime and he still got over-paid. He's done little for Colorado and I'd rather have a young and getting better Robert Nillson then an old and getting less effective Ryan Smyth...regardless of his contract. Lowe got it right when he got youth for Smyth after HE refused to take the Oilers contract offer.

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#17 Ender the Dragon
December 12 2008, 01:30PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

. . . honestly…I don’t think the problem is necessarily goaltending. I think most of our losses this season can be attributed to lack of intensity/give’a’shit/effort by the guys playing in front of (insert goalie name here).

Cam wrote:

. . . there aren’t many Goaltenders that are guaranteed better than Garon and Roli . . .I believe that Goaltending is not the problem . . . GET RID of the three headed monster. I don’t care which head we lop off but get it done.

J&J wrote:

I think goaltending (other than taking up a roster spot) is the least of our worries!

These guys are on to something. Our goalies are capable. The problem isn't that they aren't good, it's that none of them are allowed to get in a rhythm and actually play a string of games. Simply dumping one of our existing goalies would fix a lot of what is ailing. The two goalies we keep play more confidently and the third roster spot and the extra salary is used to bring in someone who can put the puck in the other net.

And Nation, I think K-Lowe and Tambo know this too. They're just looking to get the best return when they sell. If they trade Garon away and get Rob Hennigar from the Islanders in return (Who? Exactly.) they know they'll have some 'splainin' to do.

Get out there and score more than two goals. The rest will take care of itself. Sheesh.

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#18 J&J
December 12 2008, 01:34PM
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@ Monday Guy:HAHA And i did it twice!

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#19 J&J
December 12 2008, 01:42PM
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I would really like to see what JDD has to offer before we "MOVE" a goalie. Since Edmonton Drafted him he has been screwed around Bad! First in his AHL career we try and develop him in another teams system were they are trying to develop thier own goaltending prospects and he gets minimal time between the pipes and then we sign him to a one way deal and let him sit in the press box and watch!We could have an "Anderson" on our hands and we would never even know it! Still not the big Problem with this team though!NEED SCORING!ASAP!

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#20 Bruthah
December 12 2008, 01:46PM
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Ender the Dragon wrote:

Get out there and score more than two goals. The rest will take care of itself. Sheesh.

Whoa whoa whoa........ let's start with one goal and work our way up from there. BABY STEPS

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#21 Chris
December 12 2008, 02:04PM
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On one hand it seems like goaltending is not a problem...on the other hand penalty killing is a BIG problem. Isn't your tender supposed to be your best PKer?

When MacIntyre gets back I would like him to get the green light to run some guys, to initiate fights against unwilling victims etc. This could help to spark a wussy front end...BUT we have to be better on the PK or this can't work. Is there any Legwand/Lehtinen type center available for some smaller younger talent? Is there any intrest at all out there for a Schremp, or Brule, or Pouliot? I know this thread is about goaltenders so let's throw one of them into the pot also...

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#22 Jonathan Willis
December 12 2008, 04:54PM
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Chris wrote:

Is there any intrest at all out there for a Schremp, or Brule, or Pouliot?

Given that Brule just joined the organization and has a different skill set than the other kids, why would the team trade him?

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#23 Chris
December 12 2008, 05:20PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Brule is a physical player and I appreciate that but it takes quality to get quality. I would consider trading anyone on this team aside from Hemskey if it brought more balance to the lineup.

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#24 Milli
December 12 2008, 05:31PM
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shakey wrote:

@ Joey; you mention Ryan Symth in his prime. He’s past his prime and he still got over-paid. He’s done little for Colorado and I’d rather have a young and getting better Robert Nillson then an old and getting less effective Ryan Smyth…regardless of his contract. Lowe got it right when he got youth for Smyth after HE refused to take the Oilers contract offer.

Although I do mostly agree, last night it was painfully obvious we need a guy willing to stand in front of the net, get wacked and hacked and score off his ass, create a scramble....something, anything. Again last night, way too easy to play against. We got skill guys, but we don't have sic skill guys (like Ovie). I'd definitley like to see a 2 or 3 for 1 trade to get a big man with finish.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
December 12 2008, 05:35PM
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@ Chris:

Sure, but there are about a bunch of players on the team (Cogliano, Nilsson, Gagner, Schremp) or who are not far off (Potulny, Lerg, Omark, Trukhno, Eberle) that don't have much of a physical/defensive element to them. If the Oilers are looking for short- and long-term balance, why move a player type that the organization is much shorter in?

Besides, I doubt the Oilers would have acquired him if they felt he wasn't worth hanging on to.

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#26 Chris
December 12 2008, 05:46PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Well I doubt Tambo will move Gagner (the future) or Cogliano (the only producing minipop). I like Brule. Schremp, Pouliot, Reddox, or Nilsson can go...But who wants them? What could you get back? Probably not a lot. I feel stupid because I bought into the hype going into this season... I believed this was a go for it year not another development year. We don't have much help down in Sprinfield either.

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#27 jdrevenge
December 13 2008, 03:52PM
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Maybe Vokoun for Roli and Schremp?

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