GDB XII: Stopping a snowball

Jason Gregor
October 27 2009 01:47PM

The Oilers will try to stop a two game losing streak versus North West opponents tonight, when the surprising Colorado Avalanche come to town.

The Avs are 8-1-2 this year, and 4-1-2 on the road and overall they are averaging 3.4 goals per game, and giving up only 2.2 The Avs are similar to the Oilers in that they have consistently been out shot.

Shots by Period:

 

1st period

2nd period

3rd period

Avs
79
119
81
Avs' opposition
125
114
133
Oilers
91
87
90
Oil's opposition
113
132
120

The Oilers have been a bit better in shot differential the past few games, but they lost both of those.

Mike Comrie returns to the lineup tonight and here is how they practiced this morning.

Penner — Gagner — Hemsky
Comrie — Horcoff — O’Sullivan
Jacques — Brule — Nilsson
Moreau —Cogliano — Stortini

Gilbert — Grebeshkov
Smid — Visnovsky
Strudwick — Chorney

Fernando Pisani skated with the team for the first time in almost a month, but he needs a few more practices before he is ready. He could make his debut in Boston on Saturday or Long Island on Monday.

When they do activate him, they will probably put Souray on retroactive LTIR in order to have enough cap space to activate Pisani.

The suggestion that the Avs are coming back to earth is off-base at this point. They haven’t lost a game in regulation since Oct 8th, and since then they have won six and lost in OT in Minnesota.

The Avs have beaten the Wings twice in the last week, and they also have wins over the Bruins and Sharks this season. Their special teams have been great so far.

They are 7th on the PP with 12 goals in 45 chances for 26.7%, and their PK is 6th at 84.3%, and they were a perfect 8-8 on the PK v. Detroit this past Saturday.

Craig Anderson has played in all eleven games for the Avs and his .936 SV % and 2.14 GGA are both in the top ten. The Oilers will have to get him moving side-to-side if they want to get some past him. He is a big guy who plays the angles very well, and they won’t beat him from the outside.

Money management

Pat Quinn was 30 minutes late for his usual press conference this morning, and the reason was he and the coaching staff was meeting with management discussing what they will do with Pisani. Pisani might be ready Thursday, but it’s more realistic we will see him Saturday, and I’m guessing the organization was discussing who comes out, but also how they can fit him in money-wise.

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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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#151 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 09:36PM
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LOL!

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#152 Wanye
October 27 2009, 09:36PM
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Son of a bitch. Nice giveaway Grebs

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#153 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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Taylor Chorney: Not an NHL defenceman.

Exhibit #23.

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#154 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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@Jonathan Willis

I dont know why I thought he was in the KHL, was he a late signing? It doesnt matter

His skillset has been well defined here for the last year, I am well aware of what it is. I still dont think the Oilers need to pay 5.5 million for it. I said it above, the Oilers need to decide if they want to be Shawn Horcoff's team for the next 5 years.

And yes, Horc was very important to the Oilers last year, very important to them missing the playoffs.

Grebs and Chorney out against Wolski's line? Barf.

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#155 SirFozz
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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Brutal...sigh

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#156 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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Crud.

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#157 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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Wanye wrote:

Son of a bitch. Nice giveaway Grebs

Yeah, and a great backcheck too. Guh...

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#158 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:37PM
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Wanye wrote:

Son of a bitch. Nice giveaway Grebs

Yeah, but Chorney was behind him and should have had the guy. Still, the whole 'bank the puck off the boards' trick is a tough one to catch on to.

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#159 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 09:38PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Taylor Chorney: Not an NHL defenceman.

Exhibit #23.

Is it any coincidence that I made a point to mention the fact that I don't mind how Chorney's played so far over at JSBM? Maybe I should just pack it in.

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#160 Shaun Doe
October 27 2009, 09:38PM
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Could we please not get shutout back to back

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#161 SirFozz
October 27 2009, 09:39PM
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Remember last Thursday? Good times.

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#162 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:39PM
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Arch:

Just like Craig Anderson and Tomas Vokoun were very important to the Panthers missing the playoffs last year.

And Niedermayer was a fairly late signing, yes.

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#163 AlbertaRanger
October 27 2009, 09:39PM
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Wanye wrote:

Son of a bitch. Nice giveaway Grebs

I say Quinn should change Grebs's number to 55 and he should change the name on his back to Ulanov.

"He's dangerous at both ends of the ice."

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#164 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:40PM
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JS:

I've actually been impressed with Chorney; the tools are definitely there.

He's just hopelessly overmatched at this point.

I know that sounds contradictory, but I guess what I mean is that I see potential in a way I haven't before.

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#165 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 09:40PM
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SirFozz wrote:

Remember last Thursday? Good times.

We should have a ceremony to commemorate the October 22, 2009 Oilers.

"Yeah, Penner was a monster back then..."

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#166 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 09:41PM
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Getting out shot by a team who coming into this game was getting out shot by a wider margin than the Oilers. AWESOME!

GO FLU!

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#167 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 09:41PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Arch:

Just like Craig Anderson and Tomas Vokoun were very important to the Panthers missing the playoffs last year.

And Niedermayer was a fairly late signing, yes.

Hey, if everyone wants him o be the #1 center for the next half-decade he needs to shoulder the blame when he tanks a season.

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#168 SirFozz
October 27 2009, 09:41PM
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@ LM

We could hang a banner next to our 100 straight sellouts.

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#169 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:44PM
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Arch:

I think the plan all along was to have Horc move to the #2 role behind Gagner.

Or have Horc & Co. play PVP while Gagner scored a ton of points, ala Richards/Lecavalier.

Either way, I think it's doable, these ten games notwithstanding.

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#170 Oilchange64
October 27 2009, 09:44PM
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I know they are sick, and I am feeling that way watching this game too. Not willing to bail on the team, but this looks way too much like last year. Sigh....

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#171 Oilchange64
October 27 2009, 09:46PM
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And like some others, I am trying to not jump all over Horcoff, but at some point...ahh crap...good night all.

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#172 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:47PM
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Oilchange45:

This is basically the same team as last year. They've added some fringe types, Comrie and dropped Brodziak and Kotalik.

They should be better, and I think they will be, but it won't be by a ton. Maybe enough to get to the playoffs, maybe not.

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#173 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 09:47PM
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Based on the noise level, it seems like everyone is texting their friends to say how crap the Oilers are playing.

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#174 Shaun Doe
October 27 2009, 09:49PM
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Has anyone (with some inside knowledge) said much about the Oilers current health as of this game. I know that various members have had the flu and we have Comrie returning from sick leave but are they starting to turn the corner or are they still relatively sick as dogs

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#175 Shannon
October 27 2009, 09:49PM
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@Shaun Doe

Ugh - you read my mind.

Nice to have you back, Wanye!

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#176 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 09:50PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Which brings me back to my question of How much money can the Oilers afford to pay for a non-offensive forward if it means another guy has the chance to put up some real numbers?

Numbers get money (just ask Horcoff after his 1 good year)

So if he's #2 behind gagner and the Oilers need to resign the young guys where does the money come from? May I remind you that we havent done so well resigning guys to good contracts.

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#177 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:50PM
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Shaun:

It's a good bet they're still very sick. An excellent point to be reminded of.

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#178 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:51PM
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Arch:

Who are you worried about? Aside from Gagner, the Oilers have already shovelled money at everyone.

Cogliano? Maybe?

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#179 SirFozz
October 27 2009, 09:52PM
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If nothing else, I like the layer of crust that Gagner is playing with this year.

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#180 Andrew W
October 27 2009, 09:52PM
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I know that the flu is highly contagious but didn't know that it was so dangerous it could be caught through the internet. Just listening to this game is making me sick.

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#181 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 09:54PM
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To be fair to Chorney on that play, I'm pretty sure he has no idea where the hell he is right now.

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#182 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:55PM
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Ugh.

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#183 SirFozz
October 27 2009, 09:55PM
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Booooooooooooooooooooooo. Damn falling sky.

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#184 RossCreekNation
October 27 2009, 09:55PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hey, if everyone wants him o be the #1 center for the next half-decade he needs to shoulder the blame when he tanks a season.

Who's saying he has to be the #1C for the next half decade. At some point in time, the expectation is that Gagner can become the true #1. Whether thats happening right before our eyes, or it happens next season or even the season after, Horcoff will then become the 2nd line center for the better part of his contract.

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#185 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 09:56PM
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Well, screw this. I'm going to play some Left 4 Dead. See y'all next game.

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#186 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 09:56PM
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@Jonathan Willis

Sure, Cogs will get a pay raise no doubt. Brule will likely be getting another increase. Will Mike Comrie be resigned? JFJ cant possibly take the same pay next year. Grebeshkov might still be an Oiler next year, if Wanye doesnt do something drastic.

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#187 Shaun Doe
October 27 2009, 09:57PM
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I know that the Flu has shown in the past that it can really destroy a team (Blue vs. Canucks in the playoffs a few years back) but just how much is it really effecting our game. I take the drastic drop in production to indicate that it really is limmiting the Oilers ability to ice a fully competitive team, yet still I am left with this uneasy feeling. 82 game season right

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#188 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 09:58PM
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I wouldn't be a true Oilers fan if I didn't start wondering when the wheels were going to fall off after that amazing game against Columbus. Not that they're falling off, but they're starting to get damn loose right about now.

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#189 Jonathan Willis
October 27 2009, 09:59PM
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Cogliano - How much do 40-point scoring forwards get?

Comrie - Who cares?

JFJ - Why wouldn't he get paid the same last year? Has he shown he's worth more than Stortini?

Grebeshkov is already earning north of 3MM. How much higher can he go?

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#190 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 10:00PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Cogliano - How much do 40-point scoring forwards get?

Comrie - Who cares?

JFJ - Why wouldn't he get paid the same last year? Has he shown he's worth more than Stortini?

Grebeshkov is already earning north of 3MM. How much higher can he go?

a 40 point forward is worth almost 6 million around here!

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#191 Zamboni Driver
October 27 2009, 10:02PM
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@Archaeologuy

Firstly, I 100% agree with you on Horcoff.

But the big problem is absolutely no one in the NHL will take that contract EVER.

God if somewhere were to be even remotely interested in this faceoff specialist - and no one is, btw....- this year, the owner would have to sign cheques totally SEVEN MILLION. (opening up for the "it's not $7 million apologists").

So in a way...it's kinda pointless bitching about Horcoff.

He is what he is, and he's, sadly, going nowhere and preventing anyone decent from coming.

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#192 Zamboni Driver
October 27 2009, 10:02PM
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@Archaeologuy

Firstly, I 100% agree with you on Horcoff.

But the big problem is absolutely no one in the NHL will take that contract EVER.

God if somewhere were to be even remotely interested in this faceoff specialist - and no one is, btw....- this year, the owner would have to sign cheques totally SEVEN MILLION. (opening up for the "it's not $7 million apologists").

So in a way...it's kinda pointless bitching about Horcoff.

He is what he is, and he's, sadly, going nowhere and preventing anyone decent from coming.

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#193 Zamboni Driver
October 27 2009, 10:02PM
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So nice I said it twice....somehow.

Sorry 'bout that kids.

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#194 RossCreekNation
October 27 2009, 10:05PM
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What kind of $$ are we talking for Gagner? 3?

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#195 Archaeologuy
October 27 2009, 10:08PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

What kind of $$ are we talking for Gagner? 3?

Even if it's 3 mill, and that's a basement figure, where are the Oilers getting that space? Ok, Oilers let Pisani walk away for nothing and add 500,000 to the cap. That's 1 guy. Now what about the rest of the guys that need signing?

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#196 RossCreekNation
October 27 2009, 10:08PM
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@Zamboni Driver

Rumours just days prior to the Habs trading for the "unmoveable" contract of Scott Gomez, right around draft time, the Habs were looking at Horcoff. He's a Bob Gainey type and was of rumoured interest. That, and the fact that Gomez' immoveable contract was moved days later lead me to believe he could be moved.

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#197 5Cups
October 27 2009, 10:08PM
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Here is the team I am used to....perfect, $hit!

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#198 AlbertaRanger
October 27 2009, 10:09PM
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How long can we ride the flu excuse? It is now becoming a tad tiresome...

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#199 Cameron
October 27 2009, 10:10PM
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"Poppa, do we have an issue?"

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#200 dragon
October 27 2009, 10:10PM
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the only thing that comes to mind: debacle of monumental proportions... no fight, no hits, f#@king dangling pucks in front of our own net (these guys cannot rip one of the boards if their life depends on it!!!) would it be crazy to wonder wtf the coaching staff is working on? 3 games with missed 5-on-3 and Mr. Wayne preaches...patience? Makes you wonder. sad times. what are we looking fwd to: Pisani returning? Staios? tough road ahead. :-(

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