In it together

Robin Brownlee
January 21 2009 12:07PM

They're in it together now. If for no other reason than that, I like the Edmonton Oilers’ chances of making the playoffs a lot more today than I did when this season began.

It's not so much because the Oilers hit the NHL all-star break with three straight wins and are sitting in a playoff position after Tuesday's 4-3 victory over Columbus -- two of the three wins came on the back of Ales Hemsky, who has been magnificent since his head stopped spinning two games ago.

What I see when I look at the Oilers and what I hear when I talk with players is a team that's, well, a team after spending the better part of half the season as a bunch of individuals wearing the same jerseys.

The Oilers are 5–1 since they held a players-only meeting after a 4–1 loss to San Jose Jan. 9. I'm not offering this as a news bulletin because it's been written about here and in the local dailies and discussed on the radio, but it was a heart-to-heart that had to happen, and one that's been the catalyst for a fresh dynamic in the dressing room and a better team out on the ice, where the proof is always in the pudding.

They have a chance now.

Bridging the gap

"It's up to the guys who've been down this road before to show a little leadership and a little experience," said Sheldon Souray, a key cog in a veteran core that was being questioned 20 games into the season. "If you do that, every one else will follow."

Anybody who's been paying attention heard the talk of a "rift" in the room as the Oilers struggled in the first 40 games. To be fair, characterizing the situation as a rift was an overstatement.

It was more of a disconnect, a failure to communicate, between the 30-something veterans -- Souray, captain Ethan Moreau, Shawn Horcoff and Steve Staios, to name just four players -- and youngsters like Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Marc Pouliot and Ladislav Smid.

By any name, the lack of cohesiveness was apparent to anybody who spent much time in the room. Having looked and listened for awhile -- and having people I trust tell me about circumstances I hadn't actually seen first-hand -- I referred to it as "the mix" during the pre-season.

Whatever was said during that players only meeting -- I haven't been told specifics -- talking the talk has translated into walking the walk. Not to get all cornpone about it, playing for the guy next to you and not just for yourself means something now. This is a team everybody, regardless of age, is taking ownership in. The difference is noticeable.

Down the road

Now, before anybody accuses me of hopping on the bandwagon with 36 games to play, I'm still not sold that this is a playoff team. Climbing into a post-season position at the 46-game mark is one thing. Holding onto it is quite another.

This is a team with flaws and question marks:

  • The penalty killing remains a weakness.
  • How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson?
  • Can GM Steve Tambellini find a shutdown defenceman (we just saw one wearing Columbus silks in former Oiler Jan Hejda)?
  • Where does Gilbert Brule, assigned to Springfield today with Liam Reddox, fit in the mix?
  • Will Erik Cole and Dustin Penner be better in the final 36 games than they were in the first 46? I'd say yes on Cole and I-don't-know on Penner.
  • Will Souray and Hemsky stay healthy and be as prolific the rest of the way as they have been?

For all the questions, though, know this: if the Oilers come up short, they'll do it together. If they go down, it'll be swinging. They're in it together.

That wasn't always the case.

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.
Avatar
#1 swany
January 21 2009, 12:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If Hemmer and Souray stay healthy I give them a great shot at the playoffs. As for everyone (myself included) wanting a superstar on the team well he MIGHT have shown up on Jan 20/09. As for the PK I think it will be much better in the second half, I don't have the #'s but since they had that meeting our PK has been fairly good and Pies will be back after the ASB and that will help.

Avatar
#2 Mike
January 21 2009, 12:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson?

I don't know if there's such a thing as a "young" 38 year old, but Roloson doesn't have nearly the mileage on him as most professionals his age.

Hopefully the odd JDD appearance will be all that's needed.

Avatar
#3 swany
January 21 2009, 12:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I read somewhere that Hemmer is first in the NHL for points VS games played for LW, if this is indeed true that's a great acomplishment good for him.

Avatar
#4 swany
January 21 2009, 12:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Mike wrote:

How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson? I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a “young” 38 year old, but Roloson doesn’t have nearly the mileage on him as most professionals his age. Hopefully the odd JDD appearance will be all that’s needed.

Plus he is getting a 6 day brake that should help also

Avatar
#5 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 12:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

I read somewhere that Hemmer is first in the NHL for points VS games played for LW, if this is indeed true that’s a great acomplishment good for him.

Not true. But he is first in ppg for a right winger...

Avatar
#6 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 12:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I meant points per game.

Avatar
#7 swany
January 21 2009, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Travis Dakin wrote:

swany wrote: I read somewhere that Hemmer is first in the NHL for points VS games played for LW, if this is indeed true that’s a great acomplishment good for him. Not true. But he is first in ppg for a right winger…

thanks my mistake

Avatar
#8 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 12:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

thanks my mistake

Ha sorry I was just being a dink. That is definatley a huge accomplishment. He has definately taken his game to the next level and damn it feels good to have that again on the Oilers. Good times indeed.

Avatar
#9 rindog
January 21 2009, 12:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Robin,

A quick question for you.

Who do you keep? Pouliot or Brule?

I am looking for YOUR answer and not what you think the organization will do.

Avatar
#10 RLH
January 21 2009, 01:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Prior to the hat trick a few nights ago, everyone was pretty down on Moreau as well. Lots of people asking if he should be wearing that C.

I would love to get a transcript of that players-only meeting, but I'll say this: A team comes together because of it's leadership. Leadership can actually be someone in power, or simply an outstanding role model. Is Moreau either of those? I would argue yes. He fights for his team, including taking the odd slashing penalty. He seems (from a hundred feet away) to have an understanding of the individuals within the group.

It's unfortunate that it took over forty games to have this "heart-to-heart". Finally someone in the team broke, had enough, spoke their mind. For the sake of the C on his sweater, I hope it was Moreau. Having an affective leader that is recognized by the team and by the higher-ups (coaches) will be what this team needs to break out of the inconsistency loop.

Avatar
#11 sitting_at_my_desk
January 21 2009, 01:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The oilers need a centerman who can win faceoffs and kill penalties, a 3rd liner... whatever happened to reasoner? in order tp get to te playoffs our PK has to be way better top 15 at least....

Avatar
#12 Daveee
January 21 2009, 01:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I like the fact that they are all sporting the 'stache. Knowing some guys that have played some professional sports, things like this were always fun and brought the team together they said.

Avatar
#13 Rick
January 21 2009, 01:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

sitting_at_my_desk wrote:

in order tp get to te playoffs our PK has to be way better top 15 at least….

The PK sucked so bad for the first half that it's unlikely they can pull up into the top 15 league wide so I think that would be a poor way to gauge them at this point.

If from here on out they provided a PK % that equalled the top team in the league they are still at or just below 80% on the year.

That said, since the January 9th turning point their PK has been in the neighbourhood of 92% which could suggest that they have turned the corner there as well.

Avatar
#14 swany
January 21 2009, 01:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

rindog wrote:

Robin, A quick question for you. Who do you keep? Pouliot or Brule? I am looking for YOUR answer and not what you think the organization will do.

My pick with Pies comming back is Brule, he is faster, can hit, and I think he has more finish in his game and for MAP's size he hits nothing. I would use MAP and a pick to go after MR. Peca

Avatar
#15 swany
January 21 2009, 01:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Travis Dakin wrote:

swany wrote: thanks my mistake Ha sorry I was just being a dink. That is definatley a huge accomplishment. He has definately taken his game to the next level and damn it feels good to have that again on the Oilers. Good times indeed.

That's impressive for him to be ahead of Iggy, Hossa and so on. I hope this is the beginning of what Hemmer can do it would be nice to have that guy you can though over the boards and know something could happen a real game braker. And you weren't beening a dick I had a brain cramp

Avatar
#16 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 21 2009, 01:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is this private eyes deal a result of that closed door meeting they had, or have they been doing this all year?

Avatar
#17 dawgbone
January 21 2009, 01:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The PK has been running at about 87% since getting lit up by Calgary. This is now a 10 game sample, so I wouldn't consider it much of a weakness providing they can maintain that.

Avatar
#18 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 21 2009, 01:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

"It’s unfortunate that it took over forty games to have this “heart-to-heart”. Finally someone in the team broke, had enough, spoke their mind."

It took Calgary getting absolutly annihiliated by San Jose for them to turn it around. But theyre turnaround has been more due to the coaching than anything from what ive heard. But still, sometimes it takes those moments when it all implodes for it to come around.

Avatar
#19 BUCK75
January 21 2009, 01:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

I would use MAP and a pick to go after MR. Peca

Peca could have stayed - he didn't want to. Want makes you think he would come back here? RobBro mentioned Malhotra a few weeks back, but he looks pretty important to the Blue Jackets, I can't see him coming here. The other guy Robin mentioned the article was Reasoner. I could see Reasoner back here way sooner than Peca or Malhotra. Reasoner probably wouldn't cost us much either, although right now his stats are similiar to Brodziak & Horcoff.

What about Radek Bonk from Nashville? He is around 60%. Or Dominic Moore from Toronto...hahaha

Avatar
#20 Gord
January 21 2009, 01:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

rindog wrote: Robin, A quick question for you. Who do you keep? Pouliot or Brule? I am looking for YOUR answer and not what you think the organization will do. My pick with Pies comming back is Brule, he is faster, can hit, and I think he has more finish in his game and for MAP’s size he hits nothing. I would use MAP and a pick to go after MR. Peca

Although he has always been a favourite player of mine and I was extremely thrilled when the trade to bring him to Edmonton was announced, we won't see Peca in an Oiler jersey again. The daughter of one of my former co-workers was the teacher of Peca's son. Peca's wife was always complaining to the teacher about how much she didn't like the community and didn't feel welcome. If found this to be a bit strange to hear those things as I thought back then the players wives were quite a strong group in embracing each other and helping newly arriving wives.

Avatar
#21 humantorch
January 21 2009, 01:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm curious to see how long this new solidarity between the vets and youngsters lasts after the next time MacT throws another young, struggling player under the bus yet gives a vet who's playing like ass a free ride and increased PP time.

Avatar
#22 King Mob
January 21 2009, 01:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Gord wrote: we won’t see Peca in an Oiler jersey again. The daughter of one of my former co-workers was the teacher of Peca’s son.

yeah, well the cousin of one of my doctor's garderner's friends used to carpool with a guy who worked in the building next to the office of Peca's agent's stepdad, and he said that Peca's wife loved it here, misses the winters and wants to come back. Purple monkey dishwasher.

True story.

Avatar
#23 Travis Dakin
January 21 2009, 02:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

That’s impressive for him to be ahead of Iggy, Hossa and so on. I hope this is the beginning of what Hemmer can do it would be nice to have that guy you can though over the boards and know something could happen a real game braker. And you weren’t beening a dick I had a brain cramp

On top of all that, he is 5 points out of the top ten in league scoring and that is with missing 10 games. Pro rate that to 46 games and he is at 8th or 9th place in league scoring.

Avatar
#24 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 21 2009, 02:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Peca actually works an office job and im working next to him right now. He says his wife enjoys it here, and also says Gregor is sexy.

Avatar
#25 RobinB
January 21 2009, 02:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Gord wrote:

The daughter of one of my former co-workers was the teacher of Peca’s son. Peca’s wife was always complaining to the teacher about how much she didn’t like the community and didn’t feel welcome.

What you say jibes with what I heard from several people close to the team during Peca's stay here.

dawgbone wrote:

The PK has been running at about 87% since getting lit up by Calgary. This is now a 10 game sample, so I wouldn’t consider it much of a weakness providing they can maintain that.

Really? So you think the Oilers can "maintain" a PK efficiency that equals the top three teams in the league for 36 more games just because they've tightened up for 10? Not a chance.

rindog wrote:

Robin, A quick question for you. Who do you keep? Pouliot or Brule? I am looking for YOUR answer and not what you think the organization will do.

If I have to choose, I keep Pouliot and move Brule rather than risk losing him to waivers after he hits the 160-game mark.

Avatar
#26 RobinB
January 21 2009, 02:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

humantorch wrote:

I’m curious to see how long this new solidarity between the vets and youngsters lasts after the next time MacT throws another young, struggling player under the bus yet gives a vet who’s playing like ass a free ride and increased PP time.

That's a fair question, but let's not forget that MacT has issued the same free pass to at least one youngster this season. Gagner's play begged for him to be put in the press box, but that didn't happen.

Avatar
#27 swany
January 21 2009, 02:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Robin why can't they keep that pace on the PK with Pies comming back and there draws have been alot better I say theu stay in the top 10 for the rest of the year.

Avatar
#28 RobinB
January 21 2009, 02:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Mike wrote:

How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson? I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a “young” 38 year old, but Roloson doesn’t have nearly the mileage on him as most professionals his age. Hopefully the odd JDD appearance will be all that’s needed.

Roloson's actually 39 and he's played in 29 games already. If he plays, say, in 25 of the remaining 36 games (it could be as many as 30), that puts him at 54 games. Roloson has made 50-or-more appearances just twice as an NHLer, the last time being 2006-07, when he played 64 games. I'm not saying he can't do it, but it's a lot to expect that he'll perform at the level he has for the last month the rest of the way.

Avatar
#29 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 21 2009, 02:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

And also Robin if we get into the playoffs, can Roloson maintain that level playing 60 games and then going on a run. A big knock against Martin Brodeur is that he plays too much in the regular season, then tires out.

Avatar
#30 RobinB
January 21 2009, 02:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

swany wrote:

Robin why can’t they keep that pace on the PK with Pies comming back and there draws have been alot better I say theu stay in the top 10 for the rest of the year.

So, you've backed off 87 per cent already? Killing penalties at a top-10 pace means being in the neighborhood of 82-83 per cent. I'll buy you a ham sandwich if they manage that in the final 36 games. Given where they started, 78-80 per cent the rest of the way would be a victory.

Avatar
#31 Rick
January 21 2009, 02:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

Really? So you think the Oilers can “maintain” a PK efficiency that equals the top three teams in the league for 36 more games just because they’ve tightened up for 10? Not a chance.

Obviously it would be stretch to say they maintain top 3 numbers but why couldn't they be well North of 80%?

A good PK is usually attributed to coaching and hard work.

MacT has a track record of icing a solid PK that goes back the last couple seasons and not just the last 10 games. If anything it's the first half of the season that looks out of the ordinary.

Avatar
#32 Rob
January 21 2009, 02:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I see NO point in re-visiting or re-aquiring tweener players like Reasoner who are quite soft and are used in questionable situations by the coach. Like when Reasoner was last here being out on the ice in the final seconds of a critical game when offensive players are sitting on the bench. Recent criticism by commentators on a Thrasher broadcast were pretty much questioning his current effectiveness as an NHL player. Unless Pisani comes back with some sort of re-newed energy I don't see how valuable he will be either. He was slumping in a major way prior to the injury. I'd like to see him return and ramp up his game and try to get back to his '06 effectiveness. His recent health problems may shorten his effective shelf life. What use is a 3rd line winger if he isn't physical on the fore-check or PK. Pisani seemed to be turning away from alot of checks prior to his injury. I think there are some real questions about how much help he will be in the near future.

Avatar
#33 RobinB
January 21 2009, 02:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

BUCK75 wrote:

I can’t see him coming here. The other guy Robin mentioned the article was Reasoner. I could see Reasoner back here way sooner than Peca or Malhotra.

I might have mentioned Reasoner, but unless I fell down the stairs and hit my head that day, not in the context of him being a candidate to come back . . . and Malhotra did look pretty good last night, didn't he? I talked to Scott Howson yesterday and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for him to let Malhotra get away with the injury troubles the Blue Jackets have right now.

Avatar
#34 Monday Guy
January 21 2009, 03:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

any work on Pisani's return schedule?

Wasn't it supposed to be mid / late January at one point ?

Avatar
#35 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
January 21 2009, 03:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey Robin, whats the word in the media about Sean Avery lately? Jeff Marek from Hockey Night in Canada radio is suggesting that Toronto may be a destination, but then again that is a Toronto media and im sure they hear a lot of rumors.

Avatar
#36 Chaz
January 21 2009, 03:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Reasoner?!? I thought he hurt his hand in a snow-blower mishap. Oh wait,...that was Sakic. Mac T and I are always getting those two confused...

Avatar
#37 Ender the Dragon
January 21 2009, 03:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

BUCK75 wrote:

I could see Reasoner back here way sooner than Peca or Malhotra. Reasoner probably wouldn’t cost us much either, although right now his stats are similiar to Brodziak & Horcoff.

I felt pretty sad when I found out the Oilers let Marty go. He was a class guy who worked hard every game. I think he was a MacT guy, too, and when you factor in that Reasoner knows how to win a face-off (58% on the dot last season), I think he'd be a good fit to pull an Oil sweater on again. I don't know if there were any hard feelings when he left, but I know he was well-liked when he was here. I wonder what we'd have to give up to get him back . . .

Avatar
#38 BUCK75
January 21 2009, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ RobinB:

You're right - I just read your old article & you didn't mention getting Reasoner back. Maybe I mentioned it :$.

What do you think of a guy like Bonk has a 61% f/o, but is probably not tough enough for a checking role. Who else is out there? Richard Park? Antoine Vermette? Jay McClement?

Horcoff & Brodziak appear to be pretty even % wise & both kill penalties so do you think we even need someone? Looking at the stats it doesn't look like there are any role players in the top 30 for f/o %.

Avatar
#39 Digger12
January 21 2009, 03:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If I had to choose between Pouliot and Brule, I pick Pouliot and it's honestly not a hard choice for me.

I like a lot of what Brule has the POTENTIAL to bring, but so far to me he's the classic example of a kid with all the tools, but the toolbox isn't yet there. He can skate, shoot, hit and show good hands, but too many of his games end up with a lot of empty results...he looks like he's doing lots, but he actually isn't. Pouliot, on the other hand, isn't as flashy but he seems to be finding a niche with Moreau and Cogliano. Not to mention he's got the one way deal, and Brule does not.

For this year, it's Pouliot. Next year my answer may very well be different, it'll depend if the Oilers can reverse the damage inflicted on Brule's young career by an incompetent Jackets organization when it was run by Doug MacLean...and it would help a great deal if Brule can develop hockey sense that could match his individual skills.

Avatar
#40 raged
January 21 2009, 03:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

If I have to choose, I keep Pouliot and move Brule rather than risk losing him to waivers after he hits the 160-game mark.

Rick wrote:

RobinB wrote: Really? So you think the Oilers can “maintain” a PK efficiency that equals the top three teams in the league for 36 more games just because they’ve tightened up for 10? Not a chance. Obviously it would be stretch to say they maintain top 3 numbers but why couldn’t they be well North of 80%? A good PK is usually attributed to coaching and hard work. MacT has a track record of icing a solid PK that goes back the last couple seasons and not just the last 10 games. If anything it’s the first half of the season that looks out of the ordinary.

Wouldnt it make more sense to consider the poor pk performance at the start the aberration, and not the strong performance of late, considering its been a historical strength under mac t. It just took a while for the new personnel to get good at it. Which probably accounts for why they started slow to begin with in their overall game. According to this article the oilers inter squad friendliness is positively correlated with their strong performance? Sure it wasnt key players playing bad and injuries to important players?

Avatar
#41 shakey
January 21 2009, 03:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chaz wrote:

Reasoner?!? I thought he hurt his hand in a snow-blower mishap. Oh wait,…that was Sakic. Mac T and I are always getting those two confused…

Nice.

Avatar
#42 misfit
January 21 2009, 04:30PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I know we're missing a few important PKers from the last couple of seasons (Stoll, Reasoner, etc.), but this team has had a top PK for years. We may not maintain a top 3 penalty PK from here on out, but to think they've turned a corner in that regard doesn't seem outrageous to me.

Avatar
#43 rindog
January 21 2009, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

If I have to choose, I keep Pouliot and move Brule rather than risk losing him to waivers after he hits the 160-game mark

I mean in general. If Pouliot stays with the big club all year, He will need to clear waivers next season as well.

I guess my real question was/is - which one of them do you see as a a better fit for the 3rd line in the longer term?

Also, you wrote:

How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson?

Do you really think he has been red-hot as of late? Or do you think he is looking a bit tired? He doesn't seem to be able to stay in his net what-so-ever. He is forever sliding through the crease and out of position (ie. CBJ 1st goal).

BTW, how did you vote in yesterday's poll?

Avatar
#44 RobinB
January 21 2009, 05:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

raged wrote:

Wouldnt it make more sense to consider the poor pk performance at the start the aberration, and not the strong performance of late, considering its been a historical strength under mac t. It just took a while for the new personnel to get good at it. Which probably accounts for why they started slow to begin with in their overall game. According to this article the oilers inter squad friendliness is positively correlated with their strong performance? Sure it wasnt key players playing bad and injuries to important players?

No it wouldn't. Awhile to get good at it? Like 35 games? So 35 games is the exception, not the 10 games or so it's been improved? The change since the players only meeting is more than "intersquad friendliness." If you don't understand the significance of the team dynamic I'm talking about then your going to miss the whole point of the post.

As for injuries, have the Oilers been better off on the injury front -- think Hemsky being out -- since the San Jose game than they were before? Did you even look at the roster and the dates of injuries before you suggested that? I think not.

rindog wrote:

Do you really think he has been red-hot as of late? Or do you think he is looking a bit tired? He doesn’t seem to be able to stay in his net what-so-ever. He is forever sliding through the crease and out of position (ie. CBJ 1st goal).

What? Is this a matter of opinion? Look at Roloson's GAA and saves percentage since mid-December and compare it to his career stats. You tell me if he's on top of his game.

Avatar
#45 rindog
January 21 2009, 05:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

Look at Roloson’s GAA and saves percentage since mid-December and compare it to his career stats. You tell me if he’s on top of his game.

Well his and Garon's numbers were the same for their last 8 starts (respectively). We had to dump Garon because Roli was out playing him.

I am guessing then that you don't think Roli is cooling off that's fair.

I just watch games like last night and against SJ (even Phoenix he looked shaky at times - numbers aside) and just wonder if he is tiring out?

Avatar
#46 RobinB
January 21 2009, 05:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ rindog: I wonder the same thing and that's why I asked how long MacTavish can ride him. To this point, Roloson's holding together better than I thought he could.

All-star break or not, can Roloson stay as sharp as he's been if he's asked to start, say, eight or nine or the next 10 games?

Avatar
#47 Ender the Dragon
January 21 2009, 05:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

MacT has never been afraid to play musical goalies, sometimes mid-game, or even just for a shoot-out. I don't think for a minute he's afraid of putting JDD in the net, and now that the question of #1 VS #2 is effectively established for awhile, I think Roli will get the reduced workload that Robin is hinting would be better for him.

Avatar
#48 Wanye Gretz
January 21 2009, 05:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

RobinB wrote:

What? Is this a matter of opinion? Look at Roloson’s GAA and saves percentage since mid-December and compare it to his career stats. You tell me if he’s on top of his game.

Our anti bandwagon jumping police chief has returned in the nick of time. Think - when he left on Vay-Cay this site was positively rocking with rage at MacT. Every Oiler was a bum and Hemsky was on his way out the door. Now look.

I love being an Oiler fan.

Also, can I get in on this ham sandwich bet you and Swany have going?

MMMMM Ham Sandwich

Avatar
#49 RobinB
January 21 2009, 06:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Wanye Gretz:

Swany already bailed on his 87 per cent theory and tried to slip in top-10 (82-83 per cent) in its place. That's still a bet I'll take over the final 36 games.

As for you, you're on. But let's go with the "bologna sandwich" you made so popular at the Remand Centre on Friday nights.

Avatar
#50 R-DAWG
January 21 2009, 07:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How long can coach Craig MacTavish ride red-hot but old-as-dirt Dwayne Roloson? I think if we can do a 3-1 game ratio between Roli and JD it will give Roli a rest. Remember if they keep winning Roli will continue to play like he did in 06. losing will zap the life out of him. Did anybody else think Hemmer looked like he was in the warm up with his GWG. He is awesome!! Totally effortless!

Comments are closed for this article.