Report Card 2

Jason Gregor
January 12 2009 03:09PM

Fresh off the presses! Here is the second quarter report card for the Oilers. Every kid hates report card day and why should the Oilers be any different? A reminder before you start dissecting my rankings - this is only a quarterly report based on how players performed in the past 20 games and not a midway ranking for the entire season. For you can see their respective grade from the first 20 games here.

A Ales Hemsky. Just like the first 20 games, Hemsky was clearly the best forward on the Oilers. His absence in the last seven games has shown just how good he is and how boring the Oilers are without him. Hemsky is still over a point a game and was on pace to score 25 goals for the first time in his career. The only knock I have on Hemsky is that he is always the first player off the ice after practice. He needs to spend some time with the young offensive players. Being a leader is something he needs to do more of in seasons to come. (A+ first 20)

A Sheldon Souray. He has been fairly consistent all season. He shows up every night, and is one of the few players who is hard to play against. He is making more good decisions than bad in his own end, and is 6th in defencemen scoring and second in goals. He scored 3 GWG during the second quarter stretch and if the Oilers are going to make a run to the playoffs he has to stay healthy. His one punch on Mattias Ohlund put an exclamation point on the second quarter of the season for Souray. (A first 20)

A- Andrew Cogliano. The speedster has been the Oilers second best forward in the past 20 games. He's scored seven goals in this stretch and he is averaging two more minutes per game because of it. 64 shots on goal is not enough for Cogliano, with his speed he should be averaging two shots a game at least. If he shoots more he might turn into a 30 goal scorer down the road. (B- first 20)

A- Dwayne Roloson. The wily old veteran has become the starter once again for the Oilers and outside the brutal game against the Sharks he has been solid. His save % has improved from .913 in the first 20 games to .916. Roloson has played in 16 of these 21 games and for a guy who was supposed to be the backup he has been one of the few pleasant surprises on the team this season. His play has garnered a bit of interest around the league, but right now the Oilers can't afford to move him unless they plan on missing the playoffs. (B first 20)

B+ Erik Cole. Cole has been dominant in the last 15 games. His stats still don't show this to be the case, but he is a factor on most shifts now. He had 55 shots during this stretch and with five goals and ten points his stats don't really reflect how hard he has worked during the second quarter. He has found chemistry playing with Gagner and you wonder that if he starts getting some breaks he still might be able to score 25 goals this year. Cole is the wildcard on this team. If he continues to improve as the season goes on the Oilers can make the playoffs. He needs to be a factor every game, either on the scoreboard or in the corners. (F first 20)

B Lubomir Visnovsky. This stretch was pretty much a carbon copy of his first 20 games. He was a +3 in both stretches, he scored 13 points in this quarter, yet only two goals compared to four in his first 20 games. You would expect him to have more giveaways than most guys on the team because he handles the puck so much, but after 16 in the firs quarter he had 31 during this stretch. That is the only area of concern in his game, otherwise he has been good. (B- first 20)

B Denis Grebeshkov. Wanye's old goat buddy was a team best +7 during this stretch and his defensive play has improved. He still doesn't shoot enough though in my opinion with only 26 shots all year, but his play is on the rise right now. His play and RFA status makes him one of the few marketable commodities on the team right now. I'm not sure the Oilers can afford him next year so I wouldnt be surprised if he gets moved. He told me last week that he wants to stay in the NHL, rather than play in the KHL so that should help when teams start calling Steve Tambellini. (C+ first 20)

B- Jason Strudwick. The veteran native of Edmonton dressed in 18 of the 21 games and scored his only goal of the season. He has had some spirited scraps and played most of this stretch as a forward. He's been consistent all season, but he only managed four shots on goal during this quarter. With most of those games being played as a forward he needs to find a way to generate a bit more offence. (A- first 20)

B- Sam Gagner. Some Citizens of the Nation might not want to hear it, but Gagner was much better during this stretch - especially in the last 10 games. After a measly one goal and five points in the first 20, Gagner rebounded with 3 goals and 11 points this quarter. It is clear he is more comfortable in the middle, but like Cogliano he has to get better in the dot. He was 49% in the first quarter, but he was only 41% in this stretch. He has to improve in that area to make the leap to a consistent threat. Ironically for Gagner, he played about 30 seconds less per game during this quarter, but was more productive. (D+ first 20)

B- Kyle Brodziak. He started the quarter with his first of two short stints in the press box, but rather than pout Brodziak has responded with a much more consistent game. Five goals during this stretch has him on pace to match the 14 he scored last year. Getting 14 goals from your fourth line centre is huge, so Brodziak will need to continue scoring. He still needs to be more physical and use his size more. Too often he doesn't want to engage and that is my biggest concern with his game. He was exactly the same 51.3% in the dot during this stretch as in the first quarter and if he can get close to 53% that could make a big difference, especially on the PK. (D+ first 20)

B- Zack Stortini. Stortini has been much better this quarter. His fights were more spirited and they had more punches and less of the patented grappling which has made Stortini famous. His grusome injury came just when he was playing his best hockey of the year. Stortini doesn't have much natural ability, but he gives you everything he has every night and during his six minutes a night he makes his presence known. He brings energy to the game and on a team that has so many players who don't - he will be missed. (C first 20)

B- Ladislav Smid. Smid has been pretty steady since becoming a regular again. He has cut down on the stupid penalties and he competes hard every night. He needs to work on his shot though. Right now he brings pretty much no offensive threat to his game at all. He's getting better on the PK and I think his play is the key if the Oilers move one of their top four D men. If Smid can continue to improve then Tambellini would be more willing to move one of his top four guys for a scorer. (C first 20)

C+ Marc Pouliot. It's really too bad Pouliot got his bell rung by Foligno because up until that game he was showing signs of being a former first rounder. Five goals in an eleven game stretch had him playing the best hockey of his life, then he got rocked and since returning he hasnt been nearly as effective. Pouliot is a reliable player, but he doesnt hit anyone or play with energy. When Pisani returns I just can't see how there is room for both of them unless Pouliot starts scoring like he did during that 11 game stretch. (D- first 20)

C Ethan Moreau. After a solid first 20 games, Moreau only had two goals and five assists in this quarter. The most damning stat for the Captain is his 41 hits the first 20 games and exactly half that the next 20. He needs to be more physically involved, especially on a team that doesn't have many forwards who are willing to hit. (A first 20)

C Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. The rookie only appeared in one game so it's hard to rank him. He went 1-4 on his conditioning stint in Springfield and all reports were that he was ok, but not great. A .906 save % is okay, but Deslauriers needed to be better down there and now it will probably be a while until he plays again. It might not be fair, but he needs to play like he did against the Rangers and Devils in his next start if he wants another one. (B first 20)

C Shawn Horcoff. His game still isn't at the level the Oilers are going to need it to be but he is getting closer. But all you Horcoff haters out there take note: after only 11 points in his first 20 games he was almost at a point a game pace with 18 during this stretch. His faceoff % in this stretch was 53.3% and he will need to keep it there or get closer to 55%. He is still struggling handling the puck, and isn't a key factor in games often enough. Without Hemsky and with an inconsistent Dustin Penner on his left side, Horcoff's output is coming with much more effort. Before Hemsky got injured his game was coming close to what he did last year. He needs to keep producing with or without Hemsky, if the Oilers have any hope of making the playoffs. (C first 20)

C- Dustin Penner. Penner was horrendous during the first quarter of the season and his efforts landed him squarely in the pressbox. He then responded with a solid ten game stretch where he averaged a point a game, but unfortunately for him the last ten he has been more of a passenger than performer. Penner might be the most frustrating player on the team. When he decides to play, he is a beast down low and uses his 245 pound frame effectively. You wish that others like Landon Wilson would piss him off early in games, because when he gets mad he is a handful. Until Penner can find a way to be ready to play even 80% of the time, he will be a heartache for fans and a headache for the coaching staff. (D first 20)

C- Tom Gilbert. Quietly Gilbert is in the midst of a horrible goal scoring drought. He went the entire 2nd quarter without a single goal and is even shooting less than before. He only has 21 shots in the last 21 games. For a guy who plays as many minutes as he does, especially with some PP time he needs to start shooting more. He needs to be more involved in the play too. All too often he doesn't hit, he isn't shooting, and most nights you are left wanting to have seen him compete harder. Like many others, Gilbert needs to make an impact in more games in the second half. (B- first 20)

C- Mathieu Garon. He was better this quarter - but not by much. Based on the high expectations placed on the netminder going into this season, Garon has easily been the biggest disappointment on this Oilers team. He hasn't been able to wrestle the starters job back from Dwayne Roloson and it doesnt look he will anytime soon. He has to be kicking himself for turning down a contract extension from the Oilers this summer. He will be hard pressed to get anything better this summer, unless Roloson gets hurt and he carries the load. (F first 20)

D Robert Nilsson. Pretty much the same as his first 20 games, where Nilsson was a non-factor more often than not. His stats don't show it, 7 points in first 20 games, and 6 points during the second 20 but most nights this quarter you have probably noticed him more. He might be the second most skilled forward on the team, but too often you don't know if he will show up. Skipping the optional practice wasn't a great decision, but since hes been paired with Gagner and Cole you sense he is starting to play like he did late last season. He is still way too inconsistent. (C first 20)

D Steve Staios. Staios has struggled making the outlet pass out of his own zone as of late, and seems more interested in just putting off the glass and out rather than make a play. After only seven turnovers in the first quarter, Staios had 24 during this stretch. You can't afford a turnover a game from a 3rd pair D-man. You never question Staios effort but he needs to play smarter to regain his solid first quarter ranking. (B- first 20)

N/A Steve Macintyre. He only played in the last two games of the quarter and didn't make much of an impact in either one. The next few games his dance card should be filled with Donald Brashear and the Bogeyman when the Wild comes a calling. He has been working hard in practice and has been working a bit with Rocky Thompson on fighting so we will see if it pays off in the next little while. With Stortini out for at least three weeks he should be a regular in the lineup. (B- first 20)

N/A  Fernando Pisani. You didn't play a game during this time so no grade for you Pisani.

Note: Schremp, Brule and Potulny didnt play enough to garner a ranking either.

C- Coaching Staff. Among things, the coaching staff get a down grade because they still don't make enough in-game adjustments to effectively read what is going on during the game. Having the last change in 13 of the past 21 games means they should have had better matchups but that didn't happen often enough. MacTavish has been more consistent with trying to keep the same lines and barring injury and that has helped. Reddox on the 1st line still is mind-boggling, but putting Gagner with Cole and Cogliano with Pouliot and Moreau seems to be working. I would like to see some different looks on the PP, especially a down-low threat. I was a believer in calling out Penner and Nilsson, but calling out Rob Schremp was a big mistake. While I agree with MacTavish's assessment, I don't see the point in it. He didn't have much, if any, trade value before, and I would suspect it is even less now. (C first 20)

Grade as a team: C The Oilers were 9-9-1-1 in their first 20 games with 14 of those games on the road and sat in 9th place. They went 11-9-0-1 during this stretch, but played 14 games at home. Too often they are comatose to start the game - especially at Rexall Place - and rarely do they take the game to the opposition. The veterans have said on many occasions that they have to play harder, or be more prepared. Here is a crazy idea for you Oilers Veterans: how about actually doing something about it?  Talk is cheap and the veterans have to either lead this team or get out of the way and let the young guys take hold of the reins. (B- first 20)

There you have it Nation. Feel free to listen in or drop me a line on Just a Game today between 3 to 6pm on the TEAM 1260.  We will be looking for your thoughts on the report card and how the Oilers have performed during the second quarter of the season.

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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
January 12 2009, 03:14PM
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Good read.

It's nice to see Cole finally playing some kickass hockey.

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#2 jayoilfan
January 12 2009, 03:34PM
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Yeah it is nice to see Cole and Gagner pick it up but Penner and others have dropped or are just lagging. So frustrating. I'll still cheer but maybe not with the gutso I once had at the start of the season. Looks like some might start thinking about next year country. If only they all decided to play for an extended time, like say the next 41 games!!!

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#3 Zamboni Driver
January 12 2009, 03:37PM
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Thanks Jason, now I have ANOTHER whipping boy...

I knew Gilbert was useless, but had no idea it was that bad. At $4 mil after one pretty good year....god help us.

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#4 raged
January 12 2009, 03:38PM
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"The only knock I have on Hemsky is that he is always the first player off the ice after practice. He needs to spend some time with the young offensive players."

That bugs me too now that I know about it, it seems like guys like gagner and nilsson could really be helped by him. Horcoff as well

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#5 hammmer44
January 12 2009, 03:42PM
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Good Report card excepet for the coaching staff all f, as in fired

hammer44

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#6 Jack Bauer
January 12 2009, 03:43PM
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End result, this team really sucks, the decisions it make really suck, the people making those decisions......suck. Rinse, wash, repeat next year.

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#7 fjislander
January 12 2009, 03:44PM
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c for the coaching, I would think a D would suit them better.

PK is not there No life to this team,they seem to not get them motivated all. No sense of urgency

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#8 topshelf
January 12 2009, 04:01PM
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I agree with most of your comments Gregor but I think you have given the coaching staff a favorable grade. Mac T himself said that the PK can be coached and if that's the case then our miserable attempts at penalty killing falls right on the lap of the coaching staff. That alone, to me, gives them at least a D. Keep up the great work.

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#9 baggedmilk
January 12 2009, 04:13PM
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Thank the good Lord on Gregor's green earth that I'm not the only one that thinks Staios is terrible. Good read, Gregor.

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#10 shakey
January 12 2009, 04:47PM
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baggedmilk; Thank the good Lord on Gregor’s green earth that I’m not the only one that thinks Staios is terrible. Good read, Gregor.

You're not alone on Staios baggy...can I call you baggy? I don't want to offend ON alumni.

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#11 Chris
January 12 2009, 05:23PM
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Team rating of C-? Gregor, are you seriously giving a team that has squandered home ice, and fallen out of the playoff picture a passing grade?

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#12 Wanye Gretz
January 12 2009, 05:27PM
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shakey wrote:

You’re not alone on Staios baggy…can I call you baggy? I don’t want to offend ON alumni.

Personally I love insulting nation staff. Baggedmilk! you bum!

Oh yeah, that's the stuff...

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#13 rindog
January 12 2009, 06:17PM
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Pretty solid analysis (with the exception of the coaching grade and explanation). All of the home games squandered and the player relationships and evaluations should at least warrant a bigger reduction (in grading) than you gave (C to a C-).

I also have to disagree with Garon's grade. If anything he should have been given an N/A.

Garon only started 5 games (and came in relief once). In those five games; he beat Dallas and LA and lost to Florida, Chicago & Ottawa.

As history would state - we are not in the position to critique wins. So, I don't think the team could have played worse in the game against Chicago. Of the 5 goals he let in (only the 5th was a bad one). He only let in one powerplay goal against Florida and lost that game. The team was horrible against Ottawa and Garon couldn't be blamed for any of the goals against.

So it seems very unfair to say that:

"Garon has easily been the biggest disappointment on this Oilers team. He hasn’t been able to wrestle the starters job back from Dwayne Roloson"

Garon simply hasn't been given the opportunity to "wrestle" the job (that he got screwed out of in the first place).

Why did MacT go back with Roli against St.Louis? Roli cost us the game against SJ and he got the start the very next game (just as he did when he blew it against Detroit earlier).

I am not saying that Roli hasn't been playing well this year, I am just saying that Garon has been given the shaft...BIG TIME!!!!

Right now I bet that Garon is thanking his lucky stars that he didn't resign with this club. I'll bet there are very few (if any) free agents that will want to sign here (unless we throw an obscene amount of money at them - which has been the case the last few years with MacT and company at the helm).

I have no doubt that Garon will be one of the first FA signings this off season. It might not be for the money he could have got last year - but at least the chances of him signing with a decent coaching staff will improve by 28 or 29 teams....

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#14 Jack Bauer
January 12 2009, 06:25PM
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"Why did MacT go back with Roli against St.Louis? Roli cost us the game against SJ and he got the start the very next game (just as he did when he blew it against Detroit earlier)."

Because doing that instill this image that you mess up, even in the slightest, your done. Roli has earned the chance to be #1 and who would have thunk it, Roli played fine last night.

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#15 David S
January 12 2009, 06:45PM
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I've noticed that Calgary goes with Kipper for most games. He messes one up once in a while, and he's back in the next game. That's the way it goes.

I feel bad for Garon because he hasn't had enough games to get worked in. Unfortunately and whether we like it or not, the time to work in a goalie has passed. Now we're in the situation where the wins come first. I think Roli will start until his wheels fall off. In terms of consistency, it seems like the logical choice.

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#16 baggedmilk
January 12 2009, 07:43PM
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@ shakey:

You can call me whatever you like sir shakes a lot. Thankfully these messages are typed and not handwritten, I may not have understood. Anyway, I'm glad you dislike Staios just as I do. He would have a hard time making the Kazakhs national team.

@ Wanye Gretz:

You quiet down or I will file a grievance with the labour board.

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#17 Fiveandagame
January 12 2009, 08:07PM
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"the veterans have to either lead this team or get out of the way and let the young guys take hold of the reins."

I think this statement says more about this team than anything else. The inconsistent play points to leadership and coaching.

We all know that MacT will have his ass firmly on the bench until the Oilers at least try to make a trade. With the injuries right now I don't think it is incredibly likely that we'll be dealing (you wouldn't want to be forced to call up Schremp or something silly...MacT you are a retard)

I personally feel that the Oilers order of business when they do make a deal, is trade the the leadership. Moreau would be a good hard nosed guy for a team looking to add some depth and grit for the playoffs, and Staios could be moved to a team for depth or a team with injuries on the back end.

This team needs to be the kids team, they are the face and future of the organization and their time to be leaders is now. Cogliano needs a "A".

When the veterans on the team went out with injuries the kids took over the room and the hockey was fun. Fun to watch, fun to play. This team needs to have fun again.

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#18 Fiveandagame
January 12 2009, 08:10PM
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@ baggedmilk:

Staios is undersized, under skilled and slow. If he isn't playing with his heart on his sleeve everynight he is not a very good player

2.7 million Mr Lowe....2.7 million....

Is there a fire Steve Staios Bandwagon you have in your toolshed? Maybe the trade Staios riding lawn mower?

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#19 Jason Gregor
January 12 2009, 08:12PM
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Chris wrote:

Team rating of C-? Gregor, are you seriously giving a team that has squandered home ice, and fallen out of the playoff picture a passing grade?

To me C is average, so C- is below average. In the first quarter they were 9th, and now they are 11th. I agree that they squandered home ice advantage thus a C-.

A "D" is a failure and and "F" is downright awful, like Cole was in the first 20. Either way the team needs to be better.

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#20 Jason Gregor
January 12 2009, 08:20PM
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rindog wrote:

I have no doubt that Garon will be one of the first FA signings this off season. It might not be for the money he could have got last year - but at least the chances of him signing with a decent coaching staff will improve by 28 or 29 teams….

Based on what? REmember the Oilers got him for a million bucks two years ago, and there wasn't a long lineup for his services then, and there won't be teams lining up now.

And there are about 8-9 million reasons why he is regretting not resigning. He won't be getting anywhere near that this time around.

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#21 baggedmilk
January 12 2009, 08:31PM
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@ Fiveandagame:

Oh that's a good idea. I like that. First I must deal with the Fire MacT Bandwagon. I think that is my first priority.

I will cut the top off my 81' Cutlass Supreme and turn that into the Ban Staios From the League Wagon...

We've got big plans here at the Nation.

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#22 Pokie Reddik
January 12 2009, 09:05PM
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@ Jason Gregor

I think you were very very stauffer with the coaching staff. did they improve thier PK? PP? GF? no. Did we see any system play game to game? did we see Oilers Hockey? did we see any descent hockey? Please Jason gon't go Tencer on us. And Garon.... He got the same chance as Roli Poli to play out of his slump that this coaching staff put him in. They got one hell of a golie coach. The more I think about it the less I want to cheer for this PEPSI team. I heard Kats wanted to play "Thriller" by MJ for their theme song, bring back the memories of him and the "boys" going to Visions and picking up. redo your grades J-man

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#23 Gord
January 12 2009, 09:09PM
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Excellent job, as always Mr. Gregor!

Here's my wild thought of the day: If Reddox is playing with Horc because that line is seeing the toughest minutes, wouldn't it seem logocal to put Moreau on the LW and use that line as a shut down line? I think Penner would be much more effective with Cogs and Pouliot.

Also, I am one of the biggest Horcoff haters (along with the rest of MacT's 'pet players' that sem to be able to do no wrong.) Do you think it is fair to compare Horc to Brendan Morrison or Craig Conroy? That is, a good two way player and happened to have good chemistry with the team star (Naslund/Bertuzzi and Iginla, respectively) but basically uneffective on him own or anyone else? Sure the guy works hard but the natural talent just isn't there to be a #1 center, in my opinion.

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#24 Gord
January 12 2009, 09:13PM
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Isn't that 'edit' button ready yet? My God, you would think I could proof read before I hit 'Post'

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#25 Smokin' Ray
January 12 2009, 09:36PM
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shakey wrote:

baggedmilk; Thank the good Lord on Gregor’s green earth that I’m not the only one that thinks Staios is terrible. Good read, Gregor. You’re not alone on Staios baggy…can I call you baggy? I don’t want to offend ON alumni.

Baggy... lol. That's rich.

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#26 rindog
January 12 2009, 10:00PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

If you remember correctly, Garon's signing was announced on July 3rd (meaning they probably had a deal the day before).

He was signed by the Oilers on the 2nd day of free agency two years ago and will most likely be signed that quickly again.

Why you ask?

Because almost every team in the league has been stoned by him at one time or another. He is a goalie that will give you a chance to win every night. He kept our team in more games last year than Roli has his entire tenure with the team.

Other teams will probably even realize how hard it is for good hockey players to get icetime in favor of MacT's favorites and realize how well Garon must have been to take over from the teacher's pet last year.

I already conceded that he will get less money somewhere else - but hey, quality of life has to be worth something???

Would you really want to play for a guy that has blown you off as easily as MacT has done to Garon? Maybe Garon doesn't have the battle or grit that Roli has. Garon has something else....it's called skill.

It's another prime example of Mact looking out for the blue collar, no skill, hard working guy.

It really is becoming pathetic.

Oh well, at the end of the day I can confidently say that Garon did not (and should not have) lost his starting job....he had it ripped away for no real reason.

If a coach is going to quit on a guy after one or two bad outings - what kind of message does that send to the rest of the team?

Roli has stunk it out on at least 5 times I can remember this year (Philly, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, SJ). Every time he has played poorly he has got the chance to redeem himself (nice consistency).

The times that Garon (the appointed #1) played poorly he had to sit for extended stretches before he got back in. Even the times that Garon came in and took over from Roli (Detroit & SJ) and played well, the coach still went back to his favorite.

Pretty tough to give a guy a grade when the teacher wouldn't even let him into the class....

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#27 rindog
January 12 2009, 11:34PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I also wanted say that I think your grade for Cogliano is bang on.

I was never totally sold on his offensive ability, but he has seemed to be fairly consistent this season.

I wanted to ask you a couple of things regarding Cogliano.

Do you think he will end up being a 30 goal scorer in this league?

Why do you think he hasn't been given more responsibility/ice time with the team?

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#28 David Staples
January 13 2009, 12:12AM
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Jason — how can this team have a ‘C’ grade, but have almost all of the players graded higher than that?

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#29 Sing A Song For SingSing
January 13 2009, 12:30AM
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I give this team a big fat F. **** what you heard.

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#30 Q
January 13 2009, 08:36AM
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I disagree with the Penner grade. If you look at the numbers he has put up, he is one of the better 2-way players on the team. Responsible defensively, but capable of putting the puck away. I agree with Staples' assessment on his site, Penner gets knocked because he is perceived to be slow, perceived to be lazy and does not hit. But if he were 30 pounds lighter, that would not be an issue and we would all rave at how great he was at even strength. I personally would like to see less focus on MacT's issues with him (which the fans have bizarrely taken at face value) and focus on the great stuff he does on-ice.

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#31 Dropping Deuces
January 13 2009, 09:11AM
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@ Rindog

I totally agree with your assesment of Garon. He has not been given a fair shake at his job this year. The only reason he got so much playing time last year was ene MacT could see he gave them the only chance to win. Coach is having a wet dream this year because Roli is playing good enough to start. Not that I have anything against Roli.

@ Five and Dime

I would be a mistake to trade Moreau, he is won of the only guys who hit or sticks up for teamates on this team, if we trade him the next thing we will be crying for a third line winger who is physical.

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#32 King Mob
January 13 2009, 09:16AM
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@ David Staples: because the oilers are one of those fantastic examples of the whole being much less than the sum of it's parts.

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#33 The Towel Boy
January 13 2009, 09:36AM
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David Staples wrote:

Jason — how can this team have a ‘C’ grade, but have almost all of the players graded higher than that?

It's obviously a weighted average, whereby the ratings of Staios and Nilsson carry more meaning to the overall team play. When Staios isn't on his game, the whole team suffers. Same can be said for Nilsson. Therefore, their ratings impact the overall rating the most. It's science.

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#34 Sing A Song For SingSing
January 13 2009, 09:50AM
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Means that the team is just average.

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#35 Fiveandagame
January 13 2009, 10:02AM
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Dropping Deuces wrote:

@ Five and Dime I would be a mistake to trade Moreau, he is won of the only guys who hit or sticks up for teamates on this team, if we trade him the next thing we will be crying for a third line winger who is physical.

Don't get me wrong, Moreau isn't a bad player, but I also think he has value for a team headed toward the playoffs. If we could trade him for a younger guy who hits and is full out every game (Like Brule plus 40lbs) then the Oilers should do it. The reasoning is, we aren't going to win the stanley cup this year with this squad so we should make this team into a team of youth. Youth leadership, youth energy.

Ever wonder why we won so many games at the end of last year? MacT had to take the reigns off of the players. They were once again decimated by injuries and MacT had young guys that didn"t have the experience or in game knowledge to play his defense first system (or what ever the hell his system is) so the kids went out and played hockey, used their natural instincts a to play a game. We saw the results of kids playing with passion. New coach new leaders and the core of this team is fine, better than fine I'd say.

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#36 Jason Gregor
January 13 2009, 10:06AM
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Pokie Reddik wrote:

@ Jason Gregor I think you were very very stauffer with the coaching staff. did they improve thier PK? PP? GF? no. Did we see any system play game to game? did we see Oilers Hockey? did we see any descent hockey? Please Jason gon’t go Tencer on us. And Garon…. He got the same chance as Roli Poli to play out of his slump that this coaching staff put him in. They got one hell of a golie coach. The more I think about it the less I want to cheer for this PEPSI team. I heard Kats wanted to play “Thriller” by MJ for their theme song, bring back the memories of him and the “boys” going to Visions and picking up. redo your grades J-man

Reddik,

You hate the coach great, that is your choice. So if Pete Peeters is such a horrible goalie coach how come Roloson is playing great and not Garon? I love you guys who want to blame the coach for everything. You grade them however you want, and until you actually post your real name your opinion means jack to me. Your tie in with MJ and Pepsi shows the lameness of your intellect, so try again.

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#37 Travis Dakin
January 13 2009, 10:25AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

until you actually post your real name your opinion means jack to me

Oh snap! ha I like using my real name. I like when guys give me grief about things I post. It lets me know they are closet members of the nation.

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#38 Jason Gregor
January 13 2009, 10:25AM
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David Staples wrote:

Jason — how can this team have a ‘C’ grade, but have almost all of the players graded higher than that?

Bit part players, like 4th liners got higher grades, but they don't have as much impact in the game. Horcoff and Penner, Moreau were were C's while Gilbert a C-. Staios, along with Moreau, Horcoff and Gilbert are four of the top six guys on the PK, and it has been horrendous.

Also those four are in the top 10 of icetime per game so they SHOULD have more of an impact on the game. This is a quarterly pole, so a guy like Cole and Gagner who were better this stretch get a better grade. The team was 2 games over .500 do you think they should be a B? A B- isn't that much better of a grade than a C in my opinion, so I don't think it is that out of whack. I go by each player individually, I don't mark on a curve and think that I can only give out so many of each grade. This isn't meant to be a math equation where evertyhing has to equal out perfectly. I'm sure if I crunched icetime numbers and situational play, and cross multiplied them with grades and impact it might be close. But sports is not science in my opinion, and many of the key components on the Oilers were a C or less.

Rindog,

I know you hate MacT and clearly love Garon, but MacT isn't the first coach to take away his starting job, so don't you think so of the blame goes to him. If you don't like his grade oh well. How he lost the job is moot for me. When he has played since he hasn't looked like a starter plain and simple.

As for Cogliano, I said in my last sentance that if he starts to shoot more I could see him becoming a 30-goal scorer. His speed will always get him in spaces to score, now he just has to start being more selfish and shoot.

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#39 baggedmilk
January 13 2009, 10:27AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Reddik comes in with the fire, and Gregor with the body shots.

So, Jason, are you implying that you pay no attention to myself? If you imply for one second that I don't use my real name I will bombard your radio show and fill all 6 lines with baggedmilk's wisdom.

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#40 Oilersordeath
January 13 2009, 10:32AM
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OFFENCE = D DEFENCE = D PP = F

PK = F- COACHING = FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF*@%!!!!!!!!!

HEART = NONE

PHYSICAL PLAY = NONE

Trust me, it pains me to grade this team so poorly but Ive watched 95% of the games and this is my grades for the team.

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#41 Jason Gregor
January 13 2009, 10:44AM
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baggedmilk wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: Reddik comes in with the fire, and Gregor with the body shots. So, Jason, are you implying that you pay no attention to myself? If you imply for one second that I don’t use my real name I will bombard your radio show and fill all 6 lines with baggedmilk’s wisdom.

I actually don't pay attention to you. And don't worry we both know your wisdom might fill up a half of a line.

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#42 Jason Gregor
January 13 2009, 10:53AM
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baggedmilk wrote:

@ Jason Gregor: Reddik comes in with the fire, and Gregor with the body shots.

So you think FIRE is a guy you whines about the coaching, then you are lamer than I thought. Do you honestly think this team is any better than where they are in the standings? I guess if MacTavish wasn't here the Oilers would be battling the Flames for the division. I laughed when the team themselves said this year they would battle for the division. THEY aren't that good. Plain and simple. Whining that it is all MacTavish and Peeters won't make them any better. And making some half-assed lame comparison to another station host is another prime example of the depth of his and your wit. Clearly not the deep. I would expect better from you, but I guess then I'd be like the Oilers organization over estimating their team.

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#43 baggedmilk
January 13 2009, 10:54AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

actually don’t pay attention to you. And don’t worry we both know your wisdom might fill up a half of a line.

Listen here you, I've got half a mind to use half my mind to throw some kind of tantrum. Or cry... either way. For the most part I happen to agree with your assesments of this team, so what does that say about your wisdom? Just kidding, I love you. Except I was really hoping you would have asked Claude Lemieux what the hell he's thinking. He was slow when he retired and as far as I know it's not 1995 anymore.

How's this for some wisdom, bare with me here... I'm starting to get a headache from it. Although some people may disagree with your ranking of Gagner, if you check out the numbers from this point last season his stats are comparable.

You've cut me deep, Jason Gregor.

*sob*

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#44 Pokie Reddik
January 13 2009, 10:56AM
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@ Jason Gregor

Garon had 2 bad games. TWO, Roli had more but was able to play through it because of loyalty for going on that 06 run from 2 long years ago, where he choked in game 1 before he was hurt. When you get a goalie coach like Pete Peters who could not stop a beach ball trying to teach a butterfly goalie something different and then tearing up his confidence, is that a real coach? where was he when Roli was floundering last year for the first 40 games? Garon has a differnt style than Pete Beachball, and when he asked if he can also work with a real goalie coach , Pete got Peaved and said Garon is not ready. If he was let go I would put up any amount that Peters would not work in the NHL again. If he was such a great goalie coach how come JDD stunk up the minors? Now the Oilers are thinking of putting him on waivers( Hull). JDD is also a butterfly goalie. Do you have any names of Goalies that Pete has helped develop in this organization? NONE.Jason try not to show too much loyalty to the coaching staff, they already have Fred and Barney, you are way above them, Don't swoop to their level. You do great work up until now with this grading system. I resect your opinion J-Man but this is not you , unless there is something your not telling us, are you in line for a job???

Pokie

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#45 Travis Dakin
January 13 2009, 10:58AM
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Holy sh*t Greggor is bringing the sass today

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#46 Pokie Reddik
January 13 2009, 11:01AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Holy sh*t Greggor is bringing the sass today

His time of the month?? Singing OH CANADA

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#47 baggedmilk
January 13 2009, 11:02AM
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@ Jason Gregor:

Jason, my friend, I was agreeing with you. I guess I should have completed that sentence by comparing your rebuttal to Ali knocking down Fraser. I don't agree with Mr. Pokie at all actually.

This team should be better than they are IMO, yet theyt simply don't compete. I am an advocate that there is a need for a coaching change. Night after night, this team doesn't look like they have any system to speak of. Challenging for the division is a joke. I've said it before on this website that I would be very happy if I was watching a team that went out and battled every night. Some nights the Oilers look like a team that can beat the world. Other nights, like the game against the Islanders, they look like they wouldn't compete with some AHL teams.

My main problem with the coach is his blatant misuse of his assets. (Cole on the left wing, Penner on the right wing, Pisani at center, Reddox on the first line) It's hard to defend a guy that has blatant man crushes on players that played a similar style that he did. A few years ago it was Toby the Great, this year it's Liam Reddox.

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#48 Pokie Reddik
January 13 2009, 11:08AM
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As for Jeff truit His WHL team was the lowest scoring team until he left it this season to coach defence in the Oilers organization. Defence does not win too many games. Whenthe oilers go into shut down mode after a 1 gaol lead they always end up losing. we are like the wings a puck possesin team with the option of playing the right wing lock... yah right we need a coaching staff that can teach a system, any system. As for Huddy, With a defence core that we got there is no way we should be where we are, Huddy's son is't even a d man because Charlie can't team D.

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#49 Big Deal
January 13 2009, 11:15AM
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Gregor,

Not that you need my support, but I think you were right with the grading in almost of all the areas except for the coaching staff. The PK is awful and the PP is mediocre at best. These are the two areas the coaches have the most influence. Your opposition scouts what you do in these two areas and they adapt to your system. The Oiler coaching staff has not adapted to how other teams attack them on the short handed. When you are 2nd last in the league in any category, you need to make changes until your team performs better. There have been no changes and very little improvement. Games are won and lost by special teams, and it seems like the coaching staff believes that their system works and it’s just the players not performing well enough that’s causing the poor results. That’s just ‘head in the sand thinking’ and it has to stop before the season is completely lost….if it hasn’t be lost already. Grade D

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#50 rindog
January 13 2009, 12:01PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I am not in love with Garon (I do think he is a better goalie). I just think it is moronic to cast aside a guy that could be our starter for 5 or 6 years to come (or maybe he won't) for a 39 year old career back up that has no future with our club.

MacT may not be the first coach to go with another goalie, but he is the first coach to bench his team MVP after 5 starts the next year.....

And if you are saying that getting rid of Garon for Dan Cloutier (Marc Crawford) is a smart hockey decision as a basis for defending MacT's handling of Garon - that is weak!!

Don't get me wrong. If Garon had been given 20 starts and was bad in the majority of them I would be looking at another goalie as well.

Garon's save percentage is the same as Roli's in his last 7 games (since he got back in after the Pittsburgh game).

He deserved/deserves better!!!

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