Patience my ass...

Robin Brownlee
January 02 2009 10:49PM

"Patience my ass. I'm going to kill something."

Anybody boomer-age or even those over 35 might remember that line from a popular T-shirt and poster from the 1970s that featured two hungry looking buzzards sitting in a tree. And, while patience is often a virtue, I'm with the buzzards when it comes to the pitiful excuse for penalty killing that we've seen from the Edmonton Oilers this season -- a PK that sits ranked 28th.

Wanye note: It's true. I found this badge on the internet confirming this story:

But, while we wait for Kevin Lowe or GM Steve Tambellini to address what is obviously a glaring weakness by acquiring a centre who can win face-offs shorthanded -- call me crazy, I think that might help -- I thought I'd get the takes of captain Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff.

Did they agree it's time to make a personnel move? Did they acknowledge the inability to win face-offs is a significant problem? Well, no and sort of. So what's the answer? To hear them tell it, patience. Yes, 36 games into the season, patience would be a good place to start.

Patience? Pardon?

GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME

"There's a lot of new guys, a lot of new personnel," Moreau said. "It's going to take some time to know each other's tendencies, so we have to change our system a little bit to be more predictable." And here's what Horcoff, who kills more penalties than any other Edmonton forward, has to say. "It's a matter of trying to get everyone on the same page and adapted to the same system," Horcoff said with a straight face.

"Even on the back end, too. We've got some different personnel on the back end, too. That takes time. I actually believe familiarity is more important on the PK than it is on the power play."

Now, I've got a lot of respect for Moreau and Horcoff and I've known them since they were rookies, but I have difficulty buying the argument the penalty killing is atrocious -- 42 goals allowed in 159 attempts -- because the Oilers have new players and it's going to take time for them to become a cohesive unit. It just isn’t so.

Among defenceman, Steve Staios gets more shorthanded ice time than any Oiler at 3:50 per game. Sheldon Souray is next at 3:49, followed by Tom Gilbert at 2:33 and Jason Strudwick at 1:47. Among forwards, Horcoff leads with 3:15 per game. Kyle Brodziak is next at 2:51, followed by Moreau at 2:35 and the injured Fernando Pisani at 2:24.

Now, did I fall down the stairs and hit my head, or is this pretty much the same core group of players that did the bulk of the penalty killing last season, when the Oilers finished ranked fifth on the PK?

I GOT MY GUY

Moreau points out that the fans aren't alone in the frustration they feel at watching the Oilers trot out the same inept act every night. It's worse for the players -- even if they get paid to participate in the failure as opposed to paying to witness it.

"After games, everybody is frustrated," he said. "I'm out there getting scored on, so as frustrated as a coach or fan could be, we're five times that. The guys who are out there blocking shots and trying to kill the penalties are the most frustrated. We're putting in the effort every night."

When asked about the possibility of Tambellini making a deal to bolster a group that hasn't done the job, Moreau shrugged it off.

"There's not much we can do about that," he said. "Personnel, that's not up to us. If you're on the penalty killing unit, you try to do what the coaches tell you to do, stay within your system and work hard. That's all you can do."

NOT ROCKET SURGERY

Anybody with half-a-brain can see the Oilers need a centre who can win a face-off and kill penalties to make up for the losses of Jarret Stoll and Marty Reasoner. When Horcoff is the Oilers best overall centre on the dot at 51.8 per cent but is just 61-89 shorthanded, it's tough to argue.

"Maybe now this year, with them (face-offs) being in the zone so much," Horcoff said when asked if poor performance on the dot is the single biggest factor that has the penalty killing struggling so mightily.

"Face-offs aren't just one guy's stat. I think people who know the game and watch the game realize the help is and how important those 50-50 battles are . . . especially on the PK."

"That's one part of the issue," Moreau said. "There's face-offs. There's predictability. There's goaltending. Those are the things that kill penalties. There's so many things that go into it. I don't think you can simply say we need a face-off guy."

Patience my ass . . .

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 hockeysmack
January 02 2009, 11:01PM
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I always find it funny when players say they're way more frustrated than fans etc. The big difference is those dudes are getting paid stupendous amounts to play a freaking game, where fans spend time and money (significant money for those who can consistently afford tickets) to watch. Trust me, if you've paid $100 for a ticket only to watch the Oil lose 3-2 to a 3rd string goalie (as was my experience at a St. Louis game a few years back) then you'll know frustration. Especially at $8.50 a beer.

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#2 Gary
January 02 2009, 11:23PM
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hockeysmack wrote:

Trust me, if you’ve paid $100 for a ticket only to watch the Oil lose 3-2 to a 3rd string goalie (as was my experience at a St. Louis game a few years back) then you’ll know frustration. Especially at $8.50 a beer.

Sorry only newer beefs are allowed on here. If I had a nickel for every game in the last three years I'd be making Horcoff money

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#3 rindog
January 02 2009, 11:30PM
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I do not buy Moreau’s comments about taking time to gel???

Our team was good enough to go 14-5-1 down the stretch last year.

Sather always used to say that you need 10 - 15% turnover every year (even from a cup winner). We turned over roughly 20% of our roster from the end of last season.

The following players from that run were not on our roster to start this season:

Greene, Stoll, Reasoner, Glencross, Pitkanen

All we added to start this year were: Souray, Moreau, Cole, Horcoff, Visnovsky

Let me ask you – can you name one GM in the league that wouldn’t swap those 5 players?

We can’t blame Lowe for making our team better.

We might need to ad different personnel to help shore things like the PK and face-offs??? But rather than try and change a bunch more players – wouldn’t it be a wise idea to see if maybe we can hire someone that can actually get something out of the roster we currently have? After all they were good enough last year…weren’t hey?

I don’t have the exact stats –but I would assume that the PK was pretty good down the stretch last year. Is exchanging Reasoner, Stoll and Greene for Moreau, Horcoff and Souray really a downgrade?

Do we really even need to compare Pitkanen and Visnovsky???

So this whole thing leaves me with a few conclusions:

#1 – Either Glencross is a far better player than Eric Cole and we owe all of our success to Mr. GlenX!!

OR

#2 – Last year’s late season success was a total fluke and should be forever erased from our memory banks.

Either way, if Pete Peeters needs to see at least 2 consistent seasons out of a goalie before he can make up his mind (and MacT must agree) – what are we to think of a coach that had (or did he) the ability to guide a roster to a successful season last year – and can’t do it again? It has been no real issue to shove our MVP aside and go another route – maybe we should try this with the coaching staff???

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#4 Patience my ass… - OilersNation | bestpenalty.com
January 03 2009, 04:10AM
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[...] Patience my ass… - OilersNation [...]

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#5 Sing A Song For SingSing
January 03 2009, 05:49AM
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I'm too old for this shit.

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#6 Darcy
January 03 2009, 07:09AM
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Robin,

With Moreau and Staios being:

1)two veteran leaders 2)major PK players 3)praised and never questioned by the coach 4)two of the worst performing Oilers this year

Is this disconnect between their roles/play/accountability with the coach causing disruptions in the dressing room with the newer and younger players?

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#7 RobinB
January 03 2009, 08:53AM
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@ Darcy: Is that a rhetorical question?

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#8 jdrevenge
January 03 2009, 09:08AM
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The biggest reason why its just not working, that i can see this year over last, is shots blocked. Nobody blocks shots. Maybe it's cuz we're not quite to the halfway mark and nobodies cared enough thus far to take a knee and get in front of a few point shots. Maybe its coaching... It looks to me that this is the major difference and some if not most of the change has come after we lost two very good shot blockers. Stoll and Reasoner. These guys would spend about 50% of their kills hobblin around on one leg after taking one to the ankle. Also to a lesser degree their d-zone draws.

Don't they make extra protection these days ????

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#9 Milli
January 03 2009, 09:22AM
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Robin, the mood seems to be really turning, is there any chance we are gonna see a deal or coaching change? Or, are we gonna go to the trade deadline getting spoon fed this crap?

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#10 Clarkenstein
January 03 2009, 09:41AM
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Staois is the leader in PK minutes and could have an even wider lead in that stat but the puck always ends up in the back of our net when he's out there.

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#11 Deep Oil
January 03 2009, 10:23AM
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@ Milli: a coaching change in Edmonton - nope - a deal - hardly - but who cares we are sold out and the romance of a new building will keep the oiler faithful under the trance for the next 10 years - this could impact the $50K personal seat license pyramid scheme Katz needs to pull off his $100 million input to control the development and suck $400 mm via the Northlands scam - since he borrowed $100 mm to buy the team ... we are the toronto maple leafs of the west - finish 9th, 10th and keep Rexall clear in April for concerts.

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#12 Cam
January 03 2009, 10:37AM
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Darcy wrote:

Robin, With Moreau and Staios being: 1)two veteran leaders 2)major PK players 3)praised and never questioned by the coach 4)two of the worst performing Oilers this year Is this disconnect between their roles/play/accountability with the coach causing disruptions in the dressing room with the newer and younger players?

Staios has sucked. I agree there. Moreau? He's played the same game his whole career. He still blocks shots and rubs out his man. He even pots some points at about the same pace he always has. He answers the bell when Tootoo runs our best forward. I don't think Moreau is the problem.

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#13 Deep Oil
January 03 2009, 10:40AM
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Here are some PERSONAL SEAT LICENSE FOR SALE:

Leafs: sec 106 - $95K http://www.seasonticketrights.com/TeamSeats.aspx?lid=25

Dallas Cowboys - $100K - $150 for two tickets http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/sports/football/27seats.html

Giants and Yankees - 2.5 million - hedge fund class http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=55844

Sad that the gorvernment will bend over backwards - with Mandel giving out cash like Santa Claus for the arts - the prov government spending coin on the museum and the common fan that attends Rexall will be shunned with debate - problem is that the team is privately run - so if you dont like the product dont buy tickets - if you think you could run the team better - put in an offer or apply for the vacant coach position in Feb.

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#14 rindog
January 03 2009, 11:00AM
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@ Cam:

He's not the problem.....nor the solution!!!

Any team with a 4th line role player as its captain is bound for mediocrity!!!!

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#15 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
January 03 2009, 11:08AM
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lets face it Oilers nation and oilers fans know changes need to be made but the good old boys club they do not. They have even converted Tambo to this belief that we are just fine!!! we do not need a Oil change we need a complete over haul!!! I thought that Mr Katz would expect a better result from his investment but maybe he does not care. The biggest problem I see is that this organization likes to live in the past.

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#16 Chris
January 03 2009, 11:14AM
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@ rindog: Which of these clowns would you make captain? Is there a single Oiler with both skill, and heart? Souray the injury prone UFA? Hemskey the mute? Horcoff? Penner? The adolescent line with their squeaky voices? Roli for captain? What kind of lineup lacks even a viable candadate for captain?

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#17 baggedmilk
January 03 2009, 11:32AM
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So when I was saying that we needed changed 20 games ago and everyone said to be patient and we're still floating around .500 do I still look like a bandwagon jumper?

Here's a thought, this team has gone through more players in the past few years than I can count. Maybe it's the guy the runs the team and implements the system that needs to go.

Who would have thought Cole would start producing if he was put with someone with skill rather than shot blocking pluggers?

Forget not the Fire MacT Bandwagon, friends. It's sitting in my driveway with last nights kill.

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#18 rindog
January 03 2009, 11:50AM
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@ Chris:

That is an easy question to answer...anyone but Moreau!!

Just curious as to what makes you call Souray injury prone?

The two years prior to signing with Edmonton he played 75 and 81 games (not bad for a physical defenseman). He only played 63 games the in 03/04.

He missed alot a games last year (which would happen to most if they fell to the ice with 200+lb guy on top and used their shoulder to break the fall????).

When we signed Souray he was one of the biggest UFAs of that offseason and had just come off of an allstar season. He would have been by far the best choice. It would have marked a new direction for the club and a new beginning so to speak.

Horcoff would have been a better choice, but had a bad year the year before we named Moreau as captain. Even still he would have been much better.

If we weren't going to make Souray the captain, the obvious choice would have been Jared Stoll. He had just come off a fantastic season and had even been touted as a future captain when we drafted him. He thenwent on tohave a dismal season and the rest is history...

Hemsky would have been an outside option (although we had better choice...see above). Just because he doesn't talk to the media doesn't mean he doeasn't (or can't) talk in the dressing room???

Regardless, it is no secret that your captain should one of your best players (look around the league). You need someone that is going to be able to lead your team ON the ice as well as off. What good is a captain if he is sitting on the bench for 48-50 minutes a game (oh that's right, MacT made the profound statement that your captain can't be playing on the 4th line - so he gave Moreau 17-18 minutes a night????)?

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#19 Milli
January 03 2009, 11:53AM
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@ baggedmilk:

I recall the common line from Robin? I'm not sure who, but it was we have to give it 40 games...Well, we're damn close to 40 games. Tambo or Klo....pull the trigger and shake this mess up so we can promote MacT at seasons end, and maybe, just maybe get a coach.

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#20 Darcy
January 03 2009, 11:55AM
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@Robin:

You always hear about how tight the room is, but there are rumblings that all is not well between two groups of players. Actually a lot of the rumblings come from your direction, and I just wanted to ask the question point blank.

@Cam: Moreau has the worst penalty kill stats by Oiler forwards, and its not close. His Goals Against/60min of penalty kill is 13.04. The next closest is Reddox at 11.61, Horc at 10.83 Penner at 9.36. Cogliano is 2.21 and Cole is 1.75.

With those numbers in mind, he seems to be blaming others for the PK's lack of success.

Couple that with his selfish penalties away from the puck. (his 62pim is only behind Sortini on the team), and the picture of his performance just gets worse.

When you boil down the numbers and get a brain cramp from digesting all the info like Corsi #'s etc, you soon get indigestion because some of the Oiler's statistically worst players (Moreau to some extent, Staois, Strudwick, Reddox, Gagner earlier in the season) are never the players singled out by the coach for poor play.

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#21 BUCK75
January 03 2009, 12:07PM
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That Visnovsky trade is starting to look bad, not that he isn't holding up his end of the deal, but getting rid of one of the best guys on the dot & plug defenceman. Who would have thought that - hopefully Tambo can parlay the exess of puck moving dmen into some player that we need.

Once MacI comes off of the IR this team is going to have to change in a big way - too many players. I think that in the next couple of weeks some changes coming.

Just got my OilersNation schwag - looks sharp!

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#22 CurtisS
January 03 2009, 12:21PM
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Robin I remember you last Deep Thoughts post. It was a while ago, not sure how many games. You had mentioned after 20 games. You also said that if we didnt go on one hell of a tear questions and answers would follow.

Well if we lose tonight there is a good chance we are 14 th in the west. That is not good enough.

Is Mact feeling the heat yet?

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#23 Gary
January 03 2009, 12:39PM
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Deep Oil wrote:

@ Milli: a coaching change in Edmonton - nope - a deal - hardly - but who cares we are sold out and the romance of a new building will keep the oiler faithful under the trance for the next 10 years - this could impact the $50K personal seat license pyramid scheme Katz needs to pull off his $100 million input to control the development and suck $400 mm via the Northlands scam - since he borrowed $100 mm to buy the team … we are the toronto maple leafs of the west - finish 9th, 10th and keep Rexall clear in April for concerts.

I seriously wish I didn't have to read this guys ramblings everyday. Why do you bother coming here or watching if everything is so bad?

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#24 Chris
January 03 2009, 12:43PM
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@ Gary: It's therapudic.

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#25 Deep Oil
January 03 2009, 12:44PM
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@ Gary: because its like watching the keystone cops - how bad can it get and everyone still keeps their job.....

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#26 Deep Oil
January 03 2009, 12:51PM
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Milli wrote:

Robin, the mood seems to be really turning, is there any chance we are gonna see a deal or coaching change? Or, are we gonna go to the trade deadline getting spoon fed this crap?

joanne ireland - game day - http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Game/1137670/story.html

I'll say it again, the cavalry isn't coming," MacTavish said. "This is a non-trade league right now, so we have to keep that in mind, and I know for sure that the structure can still improve with the group that we have. ________________________________________________________

DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTION - KLOWE HAS NO DANCE PARTNER - lose tonight and the Blues are within reach...

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#27 Dennis
January 03 2009, 01:10PM
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RB: Obviously you're missing the fact that Stoll and Reasoner killed penalties last year as well;)

The Oilers really don't try to block shots all that much anymore, they don't pressure down-ice, they're content to let the opposing team set up and they don't put their sticks in the passing lines.

Other than that they're ****ing golden!:)

Someone somewhere had a post about how a PK unit featuring such notables as Petersen, Thoresen and Pouliot kept the club in the top 10 even when the ship was rotten down the stretch in '07. I see a lot of guys with the knives out for Buchberger but it looks an awful lot like the coaching staff tried to change an approach that had always worked.

Then again, maybe for all his speed a guy like 13 isn't smart enough to kill penalties; the same could go for 26 for that matter. I know Cole had a nice rep as a good plus player heading into his Oilers career but early on I opined that the guy was clueless when he was pinned in his own end. And at this point 18 just runs around like a chicken with his head cut off.

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#28 Jason Gregor
January 03 2009, 01:11PM
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FYI. Watch the PK tonight and you should see a difference in their style. They will be more aggressive on the PK. FINALLY. They have been to passive for too long and it looks like they will finally change. They might actually get to some lose pucks and get it down the ice.

Also, Rindog are you seriously whining about who is captain, like that would make a difference. Moreau plays 15:30 a game, and he plays a grand total of :11 of PP time a game, yet he is 6th on the team in goals, and only Hemsky has more goals five-on-five. How can you complain about his ice time. He actually produces. Name nine forwards that should be ahead of him?

I'm not saying Moreau is the best captain in the league, but at the time there was no better choice. Horcoff being captain wouldn't change how much ice time Moreau gets. Moreau gives you the same effort every night, which is something way too many of the soft players on this team don't.

But ripping on one of the few players who actually plays with heart is ridiculous. MacTavish makes a lot of questionable calls, but playing Moreau 15 minutes a night is not one of them. The only problem is that if this team wants to make a real shake up they have two options.

A) Make a blockbuster deal. Which will be very hard with the cap.

B) Trade Moreau because that will get the room's attention.

The problem is that trading Moreau will make them even softer. I doubt you trade him for a player who brings the same energy. But if this team really wants to shake up the room, he is the one that would get everyone's attention.

As for Hemsky being Captain because he is the best player, it will never happen. He hates talking to the media, and that is one of the most timing consuming parts of the job. He would hate doing it, and that's why he isn't the captain. And not sure you noticed but the best player in the league, Ovechkin, isn't the Captain of his team.

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#29 Deep Oil
January 03 2009, 01:12PM
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@ Chris: I agree with Gary

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#30 Cam
January 03 2009, 01:32PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

It seems to me like the problems for the Oil are changing, which to me is a good sign.

For a while they just couldn't score, but lately the goals have started to come from all corners of the team (Even Zack scored one).

Penner and Horcoff weren't performing, but lately they have been producing about a point per game (since Penner was called out and brought back to line #1).

Now the problem is a soft PK and faceoffs, which ahs been the problem all year. If they manage to address those needs I can see the team turning a corner.

They look like a better team on the ice. They don't seem outclassed as much anymore. Early on even when they won they didn't look all that great, but lately they seem to have their game back... even if the results have been streaky.

I guess I just want to go on record and say that things seem to be getting better and I think the team could get on a tear here... especially if Hemmer gets back in the lineup. No team doesn't feel the pain when their best player is out of the lineup.

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#31 RobinB
January 03 2009, 01:41PM
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Dennis wrote:

RB: Obviously you’re missing the fact that Stoll and Reasoner killed penalties last year as well;)

Yes, I missed that. It never dawned on me.

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#32 Hoss81
January 03 2009, 01:41PM
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@ Jason Gregor: Jason Gregor wrote:

Moreau plays 15:30 a game, and he plays a grand total of :11 of PP time a game, yet he is 6th on the team in goals, and only Hemsky has more goals five-on-five. How can you complain about his ice time. He actually produces. Name nine forwards that should be ahead of him?

Jason, is Moreau here to produce, or hes being paid to do his job? (Being a leader, bring energy, and a solid penalty killer.) Moreau does bring energy, as he should as a 3rd-4th line guy. Heres a question, has he proven that hes the right leader for this team? Where has he taken this team? You can only ask so much from your energy player, that is why he isnt the perfect choice.

As Robin mentioned, Moreau plays a significant role on the PK, and it is not working. Im not just blaming Moreau for everything, but at some point you need to look at your leaders (Moreau and Staios), who are failing at the only thing they're being paid to do?

By no means im suggesting that Moreau should be dealt, but he should only be a complimentary player at best, not someone we should rely on. If thats the case, then your hockey team is obviously not a good one.

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#33 Hoss81
January 03 2009, 01:46PM
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@ BUCK75: Can you imagine what this team will look like with less puck moving? This is an already offensively challenged team, and without the ability of Visnovsky, it could be worse.

That was one of the best trades that Lowe has made in my opinion. We acquired an all-star puck mover whos signed for 5 years, for a 3rd line center who didnt have a contract, and a bottom pairing defenseman. Trust me, it is much easier to find a faceoff guy than finding a skilled defenseman like Visnovsky.

The problem is, as Robin mentioned, the management is not TRYING to find that guy.

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#34 RobinB
January 03 2009, 01:54PM
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Like Jason said, the Oilers spent a lot of time again this morning working on the PK, with an emphasis on quicker movement in tracking and pressuring the puck. The two units in drills were Horcoff and Moreau up front with Grebeshkov and Staios and Cole with Brodziak, Souray and Gilbert.

Moreau and Penner spent some time practising face-offs. The missing component, at least for me, is the ongoing absence of Cogliano and the speed he'd bring in puck pursuit. The problem, as we all know by now, is that hideous face-off percentage of his.

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#35 Hoss81
January 03 2009, 01:58PM
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@ RobinB: Robin, i have always been wondering why Grebeshkov is considered a better penalty killer than Visnovsky. Do you know the rationale behind this? To me, Grebeshkov is the worst 1 on 1 defesenman on this team. It is very often to see him get beat.

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#36 Jason Gregor
January 03 2009, 02:02PM
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Hoss81 wrote:

Jason, is Moreau here to produce, or hes being paid to do his job? (Being a leader, bring energy, and a solid penalty killer.) Moreau does bring energy, as he should as a 3rd-4th line guy. Heres a question, has he proven that hes the right leader for this team? Where has he taken this team? You can only ask so much from your energy player, that is why he isnt the perfect choice. Im not just blaming Moreau for everything, but at some point you need to look at your leaders (Moreau and Staios), who are failing at the only thing they’re being paid to do? By no means im suggesting that Moreau should be dealt, but he should only be a complimentary player at best, not someone we should rely on. If thats the case, then your hockey team is obviously not a good one.

I don't think the Oilers rely on him to be the difference maker. He makes an impact, but not a great one.

As a leader on the ice I think Moreau does the job. Inside the room is an area that seems to be lacking, but that is really hard to judge since we only see a small percentage of what goes on in there. There are some rumblings that the room isn't the same, but I have a theory why.

They are no MIDDLE men in that room now. There are two distinct groups. Veterans and then young guys. Last year Stoll, Torres and Greene bridged that gap. They weren't long standing veterans, but they weren't young guys in terms of experience anymore. I think they were a good connector between the two sides. I don't think there is any animosity amongst the vets or kids now, but there doesn't seem to be a really close connect either. I don't think one guy could connect that. And if you think Horcoff or Souray would be a better captain, then they should be able to connect the two sides regardless of whether they have a C on their jersey or not.

I do think the veterans as a group have to allow the kids some room to lead themselves. But I also don't get a sense that there is a young guy who has great leadership ability. Stoll had that, none of the younger guys have shown that yet.

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#37 RobinB
January 03 2009, 02:03PM
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@ Hoss81: Fair question, and one I should've asked by now. The problems I see with Visnovsky on the PK are that he's small and doesn't bring a physical element and, given his stature, he lacks reach and the ability to tip pucks in the passing lanes and otherwise disrupt the opposition.

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#38 Jason Gregor
January 03 2009, 02:05PM
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@ RobinB: I just wanted to say that I saw a pic of Mr. Brownlee from the 70s, that I will have to get on this site. He was a svelte 220 with four inch platform shoes, and tight jean shirt. CLASSIC I say...Mark my words I will get that pic into the hands of Wanye...It needs to be shown to the Nation.

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#39 Hoss81
January 03 2009, 02:08PM
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@ RobinB: That I can see, but i dont think hes been given nearly enough opportunity to prove himself as a non-penalty killer. Grebeshkov is also not very big, not very strong, and i dont think he has the patience and the speed that Lubomir Visnovsky has. At this point, i dont think it can hurt us more to try something new.

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#40 RobinB
January 03 2009, 02:12PM
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@ Jason Gregor: Don't even think about it. Those pictures are not for public consumption. I use them only as proof I wasn't always a balding, cynical, old sportswriter because, I'm guessing, some people wouldn't believe it.

As for Wanye, if he OKs any such release on this site, I'm posting the photos from the night he fuelled up on tequila and red bull and stumbled into the Valley Zoo with his panty hose as a hat.

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#41 RobinB
January 03 2009, 02:14PM
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@ Hoss81: Agreed.

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#42 Hoss81
January 03 2009, 02:26PM
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@ Jason Gregor: Yeah i can see how that would be a problem. My argument is simply that the veterans are not doing a great job leading this team this season. They should be the ones who can help out the young guys when they're struggling, and I'm just not seeing a lot of that. I've been questioning the coach for a while, and still do, but at some point not only the coach, but also the veterans have to take some blames for the season so far.

You have more connection with the players, do you sense that Gagner might have some of that "Jonathan Toews mentality" in the future if he gets an opportunity?

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#43 rindog
January 03 2009, 02:32PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

MacT said himself earlier this year.

He said that you can't have your captain on the 4th line...

Well then don't make a 4th player your captain!!!!

I hate to bring this up again Gregs, but you are looking at results again.

Yes Moreau is 6th on the team in goals with 8. Have you really looked at the goals he scored? He got gifts from Turco and Ward (he could take those shots 100 more times and not score once). He has an empty netter. He scored a goal against Kipper early this year that even Kipper admitted he played poorly. He scored a tap in goal (after 3 whacks) from Hemsky against Toronto. He scored a few decent ones other than that??

I realize you (and others) are going question why I would critique the goals and just be happy that he got them. That is a fair point except you are using his production as justification for his minutes. It’s not like he is (or has been) going out there and creating offensive chances.

His role on our team is simple. It is to create energy and shut down the opposition. He is not relied upon to score goals (nor was Penner when he played on the 3rd line).

Only until recently has his ice time been more realistic. In the last 10 games he has only been over 15 minutes twice. In the 25 games prior to that – he only dropped below 15 minutes 5 times and was above 16 minutes 17 times.

I do not have a problem with Moreau as a player. I have a problem with the importance that has been placed on our supposed role players??

That being said – you yourself said you are happy with the 15 minutes per game that Moreau is averaging. With those minutes, Moreau has managed to take twice as many minor penalties as the next forward. The thing is, the penalties he is taking are not even hard-working, gritty penalties. The majority (75% - I can list them all if you want or you can take my word) are stick penalties (slashing, tripping, hooking, etc) which could be considered selfish penalties….

The core of our team for the past number of years (Reasoner, Staios, Moreau, Pisani) has been made up of “MacT” type players that are safe and hard working.

Take a look at this link. If you go down the list – the majority of captains in the NHL are the best players on their teams.

You mentioned that Ovechkin is not the captain of his team. What you failed to mention is that AO just finished his first season in the NHL and was only 19 when Clark was named team captain? I can assure you that when Clark is gone – Ovechkin will be named captain.

You say that there were no other options at the time?? Stoll and Horcoff played in all situations at the time Gator left??? They were both far better options. Sheldon Souray was heads and tails the best choice when he came here in the offseason. He was our highest paid player (at the time), an all star, a shutdown dman, a PP leader, and a veteran. The only thing he had going against him was that he was new to the team. That being said, was there anything wrong with giving him that responsibility and changing the direction of our team?

Finally, I agree with you that Moreau gives a great effort every night. He can still do that with or without a “C’ on his sweater. What he can’t do is actually lead his team to a victory. He can’t go out and get 5 points in a divisional game against our provincial rivals. He can’t score a game tying goal late in game while he is sitting on the bench (at least he should be unless his coach puts him out with the extra attacker - ie. Ottawa).

Our safe, risk free, ineffective coach gave the captaincy to another supporting player (like himself) as a reward for hard work and dedication. I appreciate the gesture but it doesn’t make our team better.

When you have an average player as your captain you’re destined to have an average team….

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#44 rindog
January 03 2009, 02:51PM
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@ Jason Gregor:

I should have also added that Moreau has just recently dropped to 6th on the team in even strength icetime (after spending a long time at 3rd).

Horcoff: 14:14 Hemsky: 14:06 Cole: 13:08 Gagner: 12:58 Penner: 12:51 Moreau: 12:47 Pisani: 12:18 Nilsson: 12:15 Cogliano: 11:43

Take a look at the seperation from our #3 to our #9 (or lack thereof).

Should a guy like Moreau be getting :21 less icetime than the 3rd place guy on our team?

Take a look at the division leading Flames as an example. Iginla gets 2 minutes more ES ice time than the next guy and 4 minutes more than 4th and 5th. Guys like Glencross, Boyd & Moss (who all kill penalites as well) get 5 and 6 minutes less than ES icetime leader and our way more effective at producing than Moreau is.

It all leads us back to the inability of our coach to try and be proactive and dictate a game plan. Maybe the offensive guys are struggling because they don't get enough icetime to try and create??

I am not saying that I have the exact answer, but whatever the coach has been doing (especially in terms of the responsibility he places on role players) does not seem to be working???

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#45 R-DAWG
January 03 2009, 03:04PM
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Who is starting in net tonite??

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#46 rindog
January 03 2009, 03:16PM
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@ R-DAWG:

Considering Roli lost all 3 games he played against Dallas last year and Garon is the only Oiler goalie to beat Dallas since 2006.....

I predict Roli!!!!!

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#47 Cam
January 03 2009, 03:16PM
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rindog wrote:

When you have an average player as your captain you’re destined to have an average team….

So all of this mediocrity is because they put the C on the wrong guy?!? OMG (slaps head) how do they not see it.

They gave the C to the player with the best work ethic and the most heart; someone the players and coaching staff respected and would listen to; someone who has been around long enough to earn it; someone who publicly stated how great it was to be in Edmonton and be an Oiler at a time when it was needed.

They gave it to the best role model and spokesperson on the team at the time. There was no superstar to hang the "C" on, so they made the best choice at the time. In time maybe a new Weight or Messier will emerge on the team, but until then (and Souray is the only guy coming close) the "C" should stay where it is.

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#48 Milli
January 03 2009, 03:35PM
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Crazy, if we could kill penalties, all of a sudden we'd be in contention.....I would have never thought that a macT team could kill.

I don't think Moreau being captain is the problem. He brings it. Look what is happening in Pittsburg with Crosby wearing the C!!!!! Nuttin!!!! That guy is way overrated, if he wasn't Canadian.....

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#49 rindog
January 03 2009, 03:46PM
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@ Cam:

I guess you didn't read the post above regarding Horcoff or Stoll?

Maybe the players don't respect him as much as you think they do? Do you think any of the players would publicly say anything negative about their captain?

Maybe they don't even have anything negative to say - maybe they just can see that he can not actually lead them anywhere (except the penalty box...sorry that was a cheap shot)?

Honestly, what can Ethan Moreau teach Gagner or Hemsky about the actual game of hockey? He can model grit and hard work, but at the end of the day those guys have more skill and hockey sense in their pinky fingers than Moreau has altogether. It doesn't make Moreau bad hockey player - just a poor choice as captian.

I am not suggesting that the players are so fragile that they can not figure things out for themselves, but one of the main responsibilities of a captain is to right the ship when it is off course. You can have the best deckhands on board - but if the captain steers you into an iceberg.....

On the other hand - soemtimes a great captain can get a bunch of misfits to sail across an entire ocean.

I have a feeling we are somewhere in the middle - and I am guessing that we will end up treading water if things stay as they are....

As far as Moreau being a great spokesperson??? MacT is one of the most wellspoken guys in hockey - does that make him a good coach?

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#50 RobinB
January 03 2009, 03:47PM
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rindog wrote:

@ R-DAWG: Considering Roli lost all 3 games he played against Dallas last year and Garon is the only Oiler goalie to beat Dallas since 2006….. I predict Roli!!!!!

Bingo. Roloson gets the start.

Also, the lines and D-pairings 27-10-85 12-89-26 18-13-67 43-51-46 44-77 37-71 5-24

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