GDB VII: Sans Hemsky

Jason Gregor
October 16 2009 12:07PM

Happy frickin' Friday to you. My day started out just peachy when I was dinged by the fuzz for speeding. They sure picked the perfect spot: Edmonton's scenic 66th St and 36th Ave, just as you sped up the hill.

I have all the respect for the Police, and no doubt I was speeding, but this officer riled me up. I’ve been pulled over many times, and once I’m stopped I reach into the glove box and grab my insurance and registration. I believe in getting it over with as quick as possible.

So Mr. Patrolman knocks on the window, I power my window down and I’m greeted with this:

“Jason do you know you were going 81 in a 60 zone?”

I look up and have no clue who this guy is, but he knows my name. I do have the Kia logoed up with a TEAM 1260 logo, so it’s not hard to put two and two together.

Once he said my name he gave me a glimmer of hope that I might get off, or at least get a reduction. Nope, he just threw that out there to add insult to injury. I have no problem taking my lumps and paying the ticket, but next time, coppers, don't tease with the possibility or a reduction.

As a side thought, I wonder how many guys have been let go with a warning after being pulled over for speeding, because almost every hot girl I know has had one freebie?

Hemsky out

Even though he hasn’t played well to date, a team never wants their most skilled guy out of the lineup, but that’s the case tonight. Ales Hemsky is out with an undisclosed injury and Robert Nilsson will draw in.

Pat Quinn will put Mike Comrie on the left side, with Nilsson on the right of Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff left the morning skate and returned at the end, to try a different padding in his skates. Horcoff’s right foot is swollen after blocking a shot in Chicago, and the swelling is right where he ties up his skates. He was noticeably uncomfortable this morning, and admitted that it really bothers him to push off hard on his right foot.

Ken Lowe will be working to come up with something to relieve the pressure by game time.

Ethan Moreau, Andrew Cogliano and Zack Stortini will be another line, but after that it’s up in the air.

You could see JF Jacques with Sam Gagner and Patrick O’Sullivan, and Dustin Penner with Gilbert Brule and Ryan Stone. Or maybe Quinn puts Stone and Jacques with Gagner with the hope they have the same success as Moreau, Cogliano and Stortini.

No Havlat?

Many wondered who would get hurt first, Marian Gaborik or Martin Havlat, and if you picked Havlat you are the winner. Gaborik did miss some preseason games, but he has been on fire in the regular season. Havlat has five points in five games for the Wild, but he wasn’t on the ice this morning, and word is he won’t play.

Petr Sykora also didn’t skate and is out.

The Wild only have 12 goals in five games so far and right now only Marek Zidlicky and Shane Hnidy are + players. Seven of their 12 goals have come on the powerplay, and once again the Wild’s special teams are both in the top ten.

Their PP is 6th at 28% and their PK is 9th at 83.3%, but they can’t score five-on-five.

Eric Belanger leads them with two goals and seven points, while Andrew Brunette has four goals and six points. The Wild only have four players with three or more points, while the Oilers have ten with 3+ points.

The Wild are 0-4 on the road so far, and the Oilers were talking about the importance of a good start tonight.

The Wild will dress both 6’7” Derek Boogaard, and 6’8” Johnny Scott, so Zack Stortini could have his hands full tonight.

NATION DRAFT NO 1

For those of you in the OilersNation looking to take your involvement to the next level, I suggest entering the Team 1260 online hockey pool by clicking here. There are some great prizes to be won and as of writing this Robin Brownlee is in first place. Are you going to let him get away with that?

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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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#251 Ogden Brother
October 17 2009, 12:29AM
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How about Brule, if he can even continue to produce at 50% of what he's done so far, he'll go a long way in solidifying the top 9.

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#252 Matt
October 17 2009, 12:45AM
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come on Jason, they're always at that spot on 66th

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#253 HOZ
October 17 2009, 07:13AM
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I see the Oilers get outshot by a wide margin again. 19 shots on net. Not going to make the playoffs with that night in night out.

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#254 Archaeologuy
October 17 2009, 08:19AM
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So I'm just gonna throw this out there, but Ryan Stone has more points than Horcoff. He's not my goat, but i had to add him in there as dishonourable mention.

So far he's on pace to make $304,347 for each one of his 23 points this season. That, by the way, means he's already earned Ryan Stone's yearly salary with those 2 points he scored.

This poses the question: Shawn Horcoff, Great Oiler Center or Greatest Oiler Center?

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#255 MattL
October 17 2009, 10:03AM
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6 ring circus wrote:

Penner has been on the pk,pp and played with different linemates and played awesome,If Mac T was the coach Penner would have been hard pressed to make the team.It is becoming pretty apparent as to what was holding Penner back and the coachs also put the A on his jersey tonight for good measure.

Are you crazy? If Penner was in anywhere near the kind of shape he's in now, and played like he is, MacT would have been his biggest supporter. Even when he was out of shape and lazy, MacT still rode him on the first line WAY longer than I would have.

You must really think MacT is a complete moron.

Personally, I'm guessing Penner didn't enjoy the pressure of going from a 900k player on a stacked team to being a 4mil player on a team where he was expected to be the man. He seems like a different guy, mentally.

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#256 BigE57
October 17 2009, 10:06AM
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@Archaeologuy

I think we know it's a matter of time before he is supplanted on the #1 line by Gagner, however with the way Quinn runs things one could argue there is a different #1 every game as it seems he rides the hot hand/hardest working players in a particular game.

Right now the Oilers need Horcoff for his faceoffs and pk unfortunately that doesn't usually translate into a top 6 spot. It scares me becuase the guy has scored some points and should still be putting up numbers but he seems to be turning into a high priced model of Pisani.

My vote: Shawn Horcoff Greatest Oilers center of the Kevin Lowe era.

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#257 Ogden Brother
October 17 2009, 10:08AM
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MattL wrote:

Are you crazy? If Penner was in anywhere near the kind of shape he's in now, and played like he is, MacT would have been his biggest supporter. Even when he was out of shape and lazy, MacT still rode him on the first line WAY longer than I would have.

You must really think MacT is a complete moron.

Personally, I'm guessing Penner didn't enjoy the pressure of going from a 900k player on a stacked team to being a 4mil player on a team where he was expected to be the man. He seems like a different guy, mentally.

I know it's only 7 games in, but it looks like Penners now embraced "being the man" :)

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#258 Librarian Mike
October 17 2009, 10:11AM
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From everything I've read/heard, Penner has always been loved in the 'room', so I guess it's not THAT surprising to see him take a leadership role.

I can certainly imagine him not wanting it previously because wearing it means more face time with the coach.

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#259 MattL
October 17 2009, 10:19AM
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@Ogden Brother

Man, I hope so. The guy is just so great to watch when he's skating and trying. If you watch highlights of his cup run with the ducks, he was flying around like he was last night.

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#260 Andrew
October 17 2009, 11:14AM
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Ok not Umberger but the fact is the Oilers need a guy with size and hands. Penner has been very good and seems capable of a 30/30 year but Jacques and Stone are third line guys and we need to find someone who can take top line duties as Penner seems much more comfortable playing with Gagner, Comrie, and O'Sullivan.

I just don't see Hemsky as a leader or a guy who will ever surpass 70 points. He seems to lack that high hockey IQ when making plays. Yes he's got soft hands but labeling him as a franchise or cornerstone player is wrong. Franchise players are able to do many things for their teams and I'm a fan of Hemsky but when he isn't going and his legs aren't moving he's a complete no show in the game.

Dallas wants a puck mover and if they threw Hemsky into the mix then maybe Dallas budges on Loui Eriksson

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#261 DEDUBYA
October 17 2009, 11:23AM
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Jason you have nobody to blame but your self ( quit speeding)

Horcoff is totally not worth what we are paying him. GOod god cut your losses and get someone else

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#262 obglim
October 18 2009, 02:29PM
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@Andrew

@ Andrew

Hemsky has already hit 70 points twice in his career. Also you want to "throw" Hemsky in on a deal for Loui Eriksson. Are you on glue?

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