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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#1 Reggie
October 27 2009, 01:49PM
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I hope this cap juggling doesn't come back to bite them in March like it did the Flames last year. Let them dump the salary or player now so they have flexibility later.

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#2 jt in Oilertown
October 27 2009, 01:58PM
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When Pisani comes back, what about taking Nilsson out, and move Stortini up. Your bottom two lines are then:

Jacques-Brule-Stortini Moreau-Cogliano-Pisani

More like 3A and 3B...one line that can be your energy line, an one that's (theoretically) defensively responsible.

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#3 Ender
October 27 2009, 02:05PM
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@jt in Oilertown

I think Cousin Fernando replaces Nilsson straight across and your line-up stays the same.

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#4 Ogden Brother
October 27 2009, 02:11PM
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Hey Gregor, are you getting any sense as to how Cogliano is interpreting his 4th line role? (and apparantly being passed on the depth chart by Brule)

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#5 Nick Dynasty
October 27 2009, 02:13PM
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Let Horcs center what would be a great shutdown line with Moreau and Pisani and move Cogs up with Comrie and Patty O'. Fill it out with Brule in between Storts and Jacques. Nilsson is the odd man out.

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#6 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 02:15PM
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Well I guess we are getting close to the time to move someone. Nilsson for a pick? Macintyre to waivers does nothing really. Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

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#7 Hemmercules
October 27 2009, 02:16PM
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I have a feeling things will get worse before they get better. Who knows how many guys are sick at this point??? At least we will probably have alot of shots this game which should give us a decent chance. That said, Detroit piled 50 shots in the last game vs the Avs and only potted one. Anderson is looking pretty sweet.

Souray on the IR made me puke in my mouth a little. I knew he wouldn't be back right away but its looking like it could be a long while.

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#8 Homie
October 27 2009, 02:20PM
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Other than the '06 playoffs, Pisani hasn't really done much to earn his keep. I know he's been injured or sick for a lot of that time, which is unfortunate, but even when healthy he hasn't shown a lot. His greatest value is probably on the penalty kill. Good gig for $2.5 million.

If they move Souray to LTIR in order to free up space, that sounds like he's going to be out for a while. And that does not bode well for the Oilers defensively. Strudwick is excellent in the sixth d-man position, but is getting in to trouble playing against tougher competition. Nice to see Chorney progressing along nicely into a full-time NHLer.

In the longer term, MAP will be coming off the IR and I would hate to see anyone get moved out of the lineup for him.

And how long before they finally move Nilsson to the farm or buy him out so he can flourish in Europe where he'll be safe from body contact?

Speaking of gifted players who can't seem to put it all together, Rob Schremp is sitting on the island. Looks like MacT may have been right about him.

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#9 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 27 2009, 02:33PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Well I guess we are getting close to the time to move someone. Nilsson for a pick? Macintyre to waivers does nothing really. Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

pretty sure players can be put on LTIR retro-actively.

is there a rush to put either MAP or souray on LTIR right now?

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#10 Oiler84
October 27 2009, 02:38PM
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I see management freeing up space by moving a D-amn some how. With the emergence on Chorney this move makes the most sense. I love Grebs but Chorney will be better in his own end. Move Grebs for something.

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#11 jorge.r
October 27 2009, 02:52PM
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Did peckham get sent back down or is he sitting out tonight

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#12 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 03:00PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

pretty sure players can be put on LTIR retro-actively.

is there a rush to put either MAP or souray on LTIR right now?

There is because we are running out of cap room for callups for sick players. Soon as Pisani is back we need Souray on the LTIR.

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#13 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 03:02PM
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Oiler84 wrote:

I see management freeing up space by moving a D-amn some how. With the emergence on Chorney this move makes the most sense. I love Grebs but Chorney will be better in his own end. Move Grebs for something.

Put Grebs or Gilbert in the #6 position and they will look way better then Chorney. Put Chorney in the tough minutes where Grebs and Gilbert are right now and people will be asking why Chorney is called up.

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#14 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 27 2009, 03:07PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

There is because we are running out of cap room for callups for sick players. Soon as Pisani is back we need Souray on the LTIR.

if that is what you meant, you should have wrote that to begin with

Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

until pisani is actually ready to play, there is no need to put anyone else on LTIR.

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#15 common sense
October 27 2009, 03:13PM
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Don't think Pisani is gonna make that much of a difference. This team will need size down the middle and a tough and tumble d-man who can dig and get the puck out with authority. I suggest Gilbert call his Remax person....

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#16 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 03:13PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

if that is what you meant, you should have wrote that to begin with

Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

until pisani is actually ready to play, there is no need to put anyone else on LTIR.

What is the harm in having Pouilot on there? I can see Souray as maybe he doesn't miss 24 days or 10 games, but Pouilot is already there.

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#17 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 27 2009, 03:18PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

What is the harm in having Pouilot on there? I can see Souray as maybe he doesn't miss 24 days or 10 games, but Pouilot is already there.

pouliot only has a cap hit of 825k. the LTIR relief available for him would be minimal.

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#18 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 03:21PM
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As mnetioned by jorge, is Peckham maybe the money management you are talking of for now? If he isn't playing might as well send him down and save the money.

I noticed Boston has been using this technic with former Falcon Guillaume Lefebvre. He has been recalled 3 times since Oct.17th. It might only equate to $3100 a day by sending Peckham down, but it sure would suck if we had to dress 15 players at the end of the year due to not managing funds throughout the year.

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#19 Oiler84
October 27 2009, 03:28PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

He won't be taking the tough minutes when Staios and Souray are back! We need to shed salary and Grebs and Gilbert are the most easily replaced. Well maybe not Gilbert. Just about every other team in the league has young D-men playing roles with success, plus young players are more easily coached. New system to teach new players sounds to good to be true!

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#20 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 27 2009, 03:32PM
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Oiler84 wrote:

He won't be taking the tough minutes when Staios and Souray are back! We need to shed salary and Grebs and Gilbert are the most easily replaced. Well maybe not Gilbert. Just about every other team in the league has young D-men playing roles with success, plus young players are more easily coached. New system to teach new players sounds to good to be true!

So what are you moving Grebs and Gilbert for? Aren't we better off moving Nilsson who is rarely used or maybe Pisani if things don't pan out?

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#21 Oiler84
October 27 2009, 03:49PM
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@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

1. package Grebs/Gilbert and a late round pick to the Canadians for Latendress and Moen. This solves some more size in the line up issues and a faceoff/penalty killer needs.

2. ship Nilsson and Cogs(love the guy but we need to free up our center position) to Preds for Chet Pickard and a mid to high round pick. Solves real goaltender depth issues.

3. if and when Pisani does poorly try to trade him for anything and if not waive him.

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#22 Lofty
October 27 2009, 03:54PM
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Homie wrote:

Other than the '06 playoffs, Pisani hasn't really done much to earn his keep. I know he's been injured or sick for a lot of that time, which is unfortunate, but even when healthy he hasn't shown a lot. His greatest value is probably on the penalty kill. Good gig for $2.5 million.

If they move Souray to LTIR in order to free up space, that sounds like he's going to be out for a while. And that does not bode well for the Oilers defensively. Strudwick is excellent in the sixth d-man position, but is getting in to trouble playing against tougher competition. Nice to see Chorney progressing along nicely into a full-time NHLer.

In the longer term, MAP will be coming off the IR and I would hate to see anyone get moved out of the lineup for him.

And how long before they finally move Nilsson to the farm or buy him out so he can flourish in Europe where he'll be safe from body contact?

Speaking of gifted players who can't seem to put it all together, Rob Schremp is sitting on the island. Looks like MacT may have been right about him.

Strudwick is not an excellent D man in any way. His foot speed is a huge liability that has already cost the Oilers too much. He gets to the puck late in his own end and his only play is to ring it up the boards to the opposition. Plante can do better than what Strudwick has done. The only thing he does well is fill a D or forward position and block punches with his face.

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#23 Smytty777
October 27 2009, 03:59PM
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Oiler84 wrote:

1. package Grebs/Gilbert and a late round pick to the Canadians for Latendress and Moen. This solves some more size in the line up issues and a faceoff/penalty killer needs.

2. ship Nilsson and Cogs(love the guy but we need to free up our center position) to Preds for Chet Pickard and a mid to high round pick. Solves real goaltender depth issues.

3. if and when Pisani does poorly try to trade him for anything and if not waive him.

Nilsson and Cogs for Chet Pickard? The guy has played one career AHL game I'm not sure how his value can be accurately determined right now. I actually disagree with your post in its entirety, as I personally don't think any of those suggestions make the Oilers better.

I think Grebs or Gilbert gets a legit second-liner without throwing in a pick and Pisani is a valuable PKer, our best last year.

That's just my view though and I don't have killer J. Willis stats to back up that opinion.

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#25 The Fish
October 27 2009, 04:05PM
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@Lofty

I can't remember Strudwick losing a fight last year Lofty. You are a foooool.

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#26 Tayranchula
October 27 2009, 04:05PM
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Thats good Pisani is coming back and skating. But what happens when stone is back. I think stone bring alot more energy to the lineup and plays very well with Brule. I think Stone > Pisani. What to do when both are ready?

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#27 AlbertaRanger
October 27 2009, 04:06PM
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I too, am a little nervous about this game tonight. I listened to Mike Comrie's scrum on the Oilers website today and it sounded awful.

You can hear the coughing and the hacking in that dressing room (Although, it could have been someone making fun of Comrie). The forward also sounded a little rough in front of the microphone. Heck, Pat Quinn sounded a little out of it today during his scrum.

I don't know about you guys, but I can't remember a time in any Oilers season where the flu has been this bad in that dressing room.

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#28 The Fish
October 27 2009, 04:09PM
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@AlbertaRanger

2006 Playoffs vs. Anaheim

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#29 PIgeon
October 27 2009, 04:16PM
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Horcoff need s to switch with cogliano

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#30 freeze
October 27 2009, 04:16PM
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Oiler84 wrote:

1. package Grebs/Gilbert and a late round pick to the Canadians for Latendress and Moen. This solves some more size in the line up issues and a faceoff/penalty killer needs.

2. ship Nilsson and Cogs(love the guy but we need to free up our center position) to Preds for Chet Pickard and a mid to high round pick. Solves real goaltender depth issues.

3. if and when Pisani does poorly try to trade him for anything and if not waive him.

yikes, i'm glad you aren't gm.

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#31 Oilman007
October 27 2009, 04:21PM
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When will Cogliano get a decent linemate? His production falls off the map when he plays with Moreau and Stortini. Maybe the Pisani return gives Cogs someone who can actually contribute offensively?

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#32 freeze
October 27 2009, 04:22PM
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@AlbertaRanger

If that flu is anything like the one I had three weeks ago, I am floored that they can even get out of bed, let alone play at an NHL level. They are miles ahead of me in fitness, of course, but wow. We can't judge this team too harshly until this sickness has passed. I'm sure Tambo/Quinn would feel the same.

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#33 Senator Theo
October 27 2009, 04:32PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

pretty sure players can be put on LTIR retro-actively.

is there a rush to put either MAP or souray on LTIR right now?

Is there any downside to placing both those players on LTIR? I know there is a minimum # of games they have to miss (10?), but aren't we pretty sure both of them will miss those games anyway?

If we need the cap space, is there a reason why we wouldn't put MAP on LTIR for example.

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#35 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 27 2009, 04:46PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Is there any downside to placing both those players on LTIR? I know there is a minimum # of games they have to miss (10?), but aren't we pretty sure both of them will miss those games anyway?

If we need the cap space, is there a reason why we wouldn't put MAP on LTIR for example.

with MAP, you wont gain much putting him on LTIR.

you dont automatically get capspace putting the guy on LTIR. if replacing the injured players money puts the team over the cap, then the team is able to apply for relief, and that relief is only in the amount the team is over the cap.

so, with MAP only being a 825k cap hit, putting him on LTIR doesnt really help the oilers much at all. the relief would be marginal at this time

Souray, on the other hand, has a big enough ticket that the relief would be enough to help.

the real problem then becomes when all the injured guys are ready to come back, because the team must become cap complient again at that time.

clear as mud?

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#36 Lofty
October 27 2009, 04:47PM
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@ Gregor

Common, he is terrible and I'm completely realistic. I know he is a good person and good for the community but he's a pylon on the ice. Yes he plays two positions but doesn't do either one very well. What specifically is outlandish?

He is slow, doesn’t move the puck, cant get it out of his own end and causes turnovers... kind of things you need to play D in the NHL.

He does play gritty but not while the play is on. After the whistle he mixes it up but doesnt bring the pain to the opposition during the play.

I will give you the fact that he can skate backwards.

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#38 Lofty
October 27 2009, 05:17PM
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He is young and I would rather give him the games over Strudwick… he is also much better at blocking punches:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu999qNXInc

Just like me, you and everyone else, coaches aren't always right. I have watched all the games this year (much like you I assume) and believe he is not getting it done. You may disagree but I would rather give someone else a chance than let it continue.

Any ballpark idea how much longer Souray will be out? I know Staios is close but the talk of managing the money around Pisani's return makes me think that the staff thinks Souray will be 3-4 weeks more? If he wasn’t around a month it would seem to be an easy decision to place him on LIR and be free of a chunk of change?

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#39 Boondock
October 27 2009, 05:31PM
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@Lofty

Ummmm, that link you posted is of Plante fighting a 190 pound 19 year old kid, and at best it's a draw.

Strudwick fights men in the NHL and usually does at least that well, if not better. I don't really think Strudwick is a very good fighter, but that video does nothing to prove Plante is any better. To be even as good as Strudwick, Plante should absolutely wipe the floor with Breitkruz.

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#41 Lofty
October 27 2009, 05:35PM
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I was talking about blocking punches with his face... Dont get me wrong Plante lost that fight, not even close to a draw.

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#42 Lofty
October 27 2009, 05:48PM
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I agree with you 100% about Peckham. He played the last couple games and did well. Unfortunantly even with the call up Strudwick still had to play D. I dont mind a grinder playing forward and crashing the net but I think the Oilers have better options to play the back end. Thats my point.

I lived in Calgary for a while and watched Plante play for the Hitmen. I think he will be a good stay at home player for the Oil in the future.

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#43 Smokin' Ray
October 27 2009, 06:06PM
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GAME DAY!!! Isn't anyone else fired up about it? I can't wait till 7:38. GOILERS!

ps. Why is there always one guy that brings up the most stupid stuff you ever read?

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#44 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 27 2009, 06:17PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

GAME DAY!!! Isn't anyone else fired up about it? I can't wait till 7:38. GOILERS!

ps. Why is there always one guy that brings up the most stupid stuff you ever read?

i believe the answer you are looking for is 12

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#45 Cameron
October 27 2009, 06:31PM
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As a long time Oiler fan who hasn't watched seriously until this year. I am reluctant to ask, but what do they mean when they say "down low" and what and where are the "half boards" Thanks, rather sheepishly.

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#46 RossCreekNation
October 27 2009, 06:31PM
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When healthy, this is how I'd do it...

Penner — Gagner — Hemsky

Comrie — Horcoff — O’Sullivan

Jacques — Brule — Cogliano

Moreau — ? — Stortini

Stone

MacIntyre

Gone - Pisani, Nilsson, Pouliot

In - ? = Jerrid Smithson? Boyd Gordon? Jay McClement? Adam Mair? Kyle Brodz... oh, nevermind. I dunno...

Jerrid Smithson & Dan Hamhuis would be intereresting out of Nashville. I've mentioned I don't mind Josh Gorges in Montreal if they indeed are talking with them.

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#47 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 06:42PM
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Cameron wrote:

As a long time Oiler fan who hasn't watched seriously until this year. I am reluctant to ask, but what do they mean when they say "down low" and what and where are the "half boards" Thanks, rather sheepishly.

'Down low' means around and behind the net. 'Half boards' are the spot between the circle and the boards. These are important spots during a powerplay.

Don't feel bad. I can't even skate. *goes to corner and weeps in shame*

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#48 Hemmertime
October 27 2009, 06:53PM
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@Cameron

Halfboards are halfway between the back end and the blue line. Basically where Hemsky stands on PP

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#49 jeanshorts
October 27 2009, 07:40PM
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ALRIGHT TIME TO HIT THE PANIC BUTTON!

Seriously though, why are they wearing the last year copper and blues and not the orange and blues?

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#50 Librarian Mike
October 27 2009, 07:40PM
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~Awesome. Avs score 28 seconds in.~

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