Goose eggs dog the Mighty Oil

Jason Gregor
October 28 2009 01:14PM

The Oilers' offence is hurting more than the players in bed sick right now, after consecutive goose eggs against Vancouver and Colorado.

Pat Quinn continues to tinker with his lineup as he switched JF Jacques and Mike Comrie hoping for some more offence. Lubomir Visnovksy didn’t practice today, after leaving last night’s game early because of the flu. Theo Peckham skated in his place, and if Visnovsky can’t go, he will draw in tomorrow. With only Visnovsky not practicing, that could be a sign that the flu is slowly vacating the lockerroom, but we’ll see.

The coaches have seen enough giveaways from Tom Gilbert and Denis Grebeshkov and they too were split up this morning. Gilbert was paired with Jason Strudwick, while Taylor Chorney and Grebeshkov skated together. Fernando Pisani and Steve MacIntyre were the extras, and while Pisani could play tomorrow if needed, he’d be better served to get a few more practices under his belt. A return Saturday morning in Boston seems the most likely.

Watching practice, it's clear the Oilers need to work on their passing. That's what killed them v. Colorado. The Oilers couldn’t string together consecutives in the neutral zone all night. Passes went off legs, sticks, missed the target or in many cases they just turned it over.

Tom Renney and Wayne Fleming were very vocal this morning on the ice. They were frequently stopping practice and pointing out positional mistakes, bad decisions and reinforced what they wanted guys to do on the forecheck and the backcheck.

When you haven’t scored in over 140 minutes, it's obvious every aspect of their offence is struggling, but their PP has also been brutal the past three games. They’ve missed the net too much, or had shots blocked and they haven’t had any urgency on the man advantage. If Visnovsky can’t go tomorrow night, then expect their PP struggles to continue.

Money doesn't matter

Evaluating a player based on their salary is a fruitless effort in my mind. Ice time and opportunity is a big key to many players' success. It's obvious Shawn Horcoff is struggling right now, and if it continues Quinn will have no choice but to switch him with Cogliano or Brule.

Quinn admits he is satisfied with Horcoff’s effort, but he needs his $5.5 million dollar center to produce more with the minutes he is getting. Horcoff clearly has no offensive confidence right now and it will be interesting to see how Quinn deals with him.

Does he take him off the PP? If they send the second unit out in the offensive zone, Horcoff gives them the best chance to win the draw, but if they change on the fly would Quinn be better served to let Brule or Cogliano take a twirl?

Injury update

Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray continue to struggle with post-concussion syndrome. They have a good day, and then a bad day. They have yet to make enough progress to even consider skating, and the longer they are out the more the Oilers will struggle in their own zone.

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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 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 28 2009, 01:21PM
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Any chance they split up line 1 to get a better overall balance again?

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#2 The Towel Boy
October 28 2009, 01:21PM
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Man. This Souray / Staios business is getting scary. Not even skating yet?

I figured Souray would be out for a while, but I would've pegged Staios to be back on skates.

I guess that's the "who knows" nature of concussions.

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#3 Jonathan Willis
October 28 2009, 01:26PM
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#4 BingBong
October 28 2009, 01:27PM
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Anybody else terrified at seeing the Gilbert/Strudwick pairing??! Obviously the coaches haven't "seen enough givaways" if they actually think this pairing will be efficient.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
October 28 2009, 01:29PM
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BingBong wrote:

Anybody else terrified at seeing the Gilbert/Strudwick pairing??! Obviously the coaches haven't "seen enough givaways" if they actually think this pairing will be efficient.

I'm not sure which is more terrifying:

Strudwick/Gilbert or Grebeshkov/Chorney

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#6 Hemmercules
October 28 2009, 01:40PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I'm not sure which is more terrifying:

Strudwick/Gilbert or Grebeshkov/Chorney

Haha, I thought the exact same thing.

If Souray will be out much longer, I say pick up that Jones guy.

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#7 BarryS
October 28 2009, 01:43PM
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@Jonathan Willis

BingBong wrote: Anybody else terrified at seeing the Gilbert/Strudwick pairing??! Obviously the coaches haven't "seen enough givaways" if they actually think this pairing will be efficient.

Jonathan Willis wrote: I'm not sure which is more terrifying: Strudwick/Gilbert or Grebeshkov/Chorney

Actually Smid/Peckham ranks up there as well. One good thing is having slower defencemen with the other two means at least someone will still be in the Oiler end when the puck is coughed up at the blueline. It also means someone will be the corner trying to get the puck. If Visnoksy was healthy then we could have replaced Smid for Chorney, giving one decent defencemen to each pair. Yes I know Strudwick is a seventh defenceman but at the moment of the available defenceman (assuming Visnoksy is out) is the third most decent defenceman.

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#8 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 01:44PM
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Money doesn't matter

Evaluating a player based on their salary is a fruitless effort in my mind. Ice time and opportunity is a big key to many players

Thank goodness someone else said it, its so tyring having every hockey convo turn into a contract debate. Sure, it's important to get (roughly) what you pay for. But the name of the object of the game is to ice the best team that you can, not the best deals that you can.

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#9 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 01:45PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

*cough*randyjonesre-entrywaivers*cough*

Just thinking the same thing. He's a better, younger version of Staios.... wonder if the team would have the balls to cut ties with steady Steve and pick up Jones?

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#10 BarryS
October 28 2009, 01:47PM
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Re: Defencemen. - Of course we could see Smid/Smac as a pair - :-\

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#11 BarryS
October 28 2009, 01:48PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Just thinking the same thing. He's a better, younger version of Staios.... wonder if the team would have the balls to cut ties with steady Steve and pick up Jones?

Can't cut him while he's injured.

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#12 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 28 2009, 01:49PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Just thinking the same thing. He's a better, younger version of Staios.... wonder if the team would have the balls to cut ties with steady Steve and pick up Jones?

I heard that comparison before but Jones doesn't hit and he has only 1 career fight. Is he actually a Staios replacement?

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#13 Tyler
October 28 2009, 01:52PM
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@ Jason Gregor

Go figure the media continue to just say Horcoff is "struggling" he has been struggling for a season and a half now. He should be our 3rd or 4th line defensive specialist playing 9-10 min night TOTAL all on the PK and taknig faceoffs then quickly changing.

The probem is anyone who you play with Horcoff begin to slump ( comrie,o'sullivan, and before that hemsky) IT is time to see Quinn grow a set and put Horcoff on the 3rd or 4 th line.

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#14 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 01:54PM
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BarryS wrote:

Can't cut him while he's injured.

No, but they can certainly cut him when he's back.

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#15 mowgli
October 28 2009, 01:54PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Any chance they split up line 1 to get a better overall balance again?

Now thats a good idea!

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#16 Milli
October 28 2009, 01:56PM
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The concussions are so scary, and having no idea when a player will be close to being back...I thought that Staios was close, and, I still cannot believe I am saying it, I cannot wait until he is back in the line up. Missing the double SS, we are freaky SOFT on D. If Vish cannot go on thursday, OUCH. It's crazy how a team can go from Crusty with tons of scoring to soft and no scoring. I'm still thinking that the Flu bug kicked the crap outta most of them, and we will start to see some energy return.

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#17 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 01:56PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I heard that comparison before but Jones doesn't hit and he has only 1 career fight. Is he actually a Staios replacement?

Good question. I do think he's a quality guy though and is certainly better then Struds/Chorney/Peckham (at this point) and if he comes, Staios would be the natural choice to go.

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#18 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 01:58PM
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Tyler wrote:

@ Jason Gregor

Go figure the media continue to just say Horcoff is "struggling" he has been struggling for a season and a half now. He should be our 3rd or 4th line defensive specialist playing 9-10 min night TOTAL all on the PK and taknig faceoffs then quickly changing.

The probem is anyone who you play with Horcoff begin to slump ( comrie,o'sullivan, and before that hemsky) IT is time to see Quinn grow a set and put Horcoff on the 3rd or 4 th line.

Man tha's a stretch, even last year he was a very capable 2nd line center.

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#19 jake
October 28 2009, 01:58PM
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Each time I hear an update on Souray (they never seem to be positive), I start thinking of someone crushing Iginla (yeah the play not intentional but Calgary rolls and rolls along). And the 2 hits from behind last night where both times Oilers had to go to the bench/room don't help.

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#20 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 28 2009, 02:00PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Good question. I do think he's a quality guy though and is certainly better then Struds/Chorney/Peckham (at this point) and if he comes, Staios would be the natural choice to go.

Why? Wouldn't you prefer to move Strudwick? Jones only cost 1.3 and we should have enought LTIR relief to add him.

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#21 mowgli
October 28 2009, 02:07PM
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I can bet on khabibulin lettin in a early goal or a late goal or four goals a game anyway you look at it we are behide the 8 ball with him.

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#22 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 02:19PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Why? Wouldn't you prefer to move Strudwick? Jones only cost 1.3 and we should have enought LTIR relief to add him.

I like Struds as a 7th dman/14th forward, he gives us good versitility.

I don't think you can have Staios (at 2.7) as your 7th dman.

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#23 Jeff
October 28 2009, 02:43PM
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So... let me get this straight. The Coaches have seen enough giveaways so they're putting Gilbert with Strudwick and Grebs with Chorney? Ummm LoL?

Also am I the only one that thinks that this team looks exactly like the garbage team we saw last year. Same crappy faceoff percentages, same turn overs, same inability to penetrate the opposition blue line, same abysmal special teams, same slow starts and same excuses after the games.

I understand that the team can't win all their games but there is a good way to lose and a bad way to lose. When the Oilers lose they look like they don't even belong in the same league as their opposition.

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#24 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 28 2009, 02:54PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I like Struds as a 7th dman/14th forward, he gives us good versitility.

I don't think you can have Staios (at 2.7) as your 7th dman.

You're assuming that we don't have anymore injuries. I'd grab Jones just so we don't have some guys playing more minutes then they should be.

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#25 Robin Brownlee
October 28 2009, 03:18PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

*cough*randyjonesre-entrywaivers*cough*

I hope you mean Randy Jones, the gay cowboy from the Village People, and not the ham-and-egger from Philly.

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#26 Boris
October 28 2009, 03:22PM
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mowgli wrote:

I can bet on khabibulin lettin in a early goal or a late goal or four goals a game anyway you look at it we are behide the 8 ball with him.

Are you serious? Khabibulin is the only reason our loses were not all blow outs. Check out his save percentage. As an example, his save percentage last night was .939. I hate to dissagree but goaltending is not our problem.

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#27 Dan the Man
October 28 2009, 03:34PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I hope you mean Randy Jones, the gay cowboy from the Village People, and not the ham-and-egger from Philly.

Glad that someone finally agrees that every team would be better with a gay cowboy.

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#28 Boris
October 28 2009, 03:39PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

Glad that someone finally agrees that every team would be better with a gay cowboy.

Especially one who wears a costume and dances...

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#29 TigerUnderGlass
October 28 2009, 03:46PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Money doesn't matter

Evaluating a player based on their salary is a fruitless effort in my mind. Ice time and opportunity is a big key to many players

Thank goodness someone else said it, its so tyring having every hockey convo turn into a contract debate. Sure, it's important to get (roughly) what you pay for. But the name of the object of the game is to ice the best team that you can, not the best deals that you can.

That is "the name of the object of the game?"

Not an especially catchy name, is it?

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#30 TigerUnderGlass
October 28 2009, 03:49PM
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Oh, I should mention for anyone who cares about these things - This is the formerly named kingsblade.

I figured if I was actually registering on the site I use my usual name instead of the one I had been using on here.

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#31 BigE57
October 28 2009, 04:11PM
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The current Oilers slide didn't start until the flu started to run through the team. Sure there were defensive problems beginning to arise with Souray and Staios out but the team was playing well........now all of a sudden they're the worst team in the league? I don't think so.

No need to blow up the team 12 games in. People need to learn a little patience.

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#33 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 28 2009, 04:27PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gents,

The Flyers won't lose Jones for nothing and pay half of his salary. While it sucks for Jones, I don't expect the Flyers to recall him anytime soon. They are close to the cap, and don't want to just waste $1.35 million in cap space by paying Jones to play elsewhere.

And if the Flyers shock me and recall him, other teams would pick him up before the Oilers, since there is 18 teams below them in the standings today.

AND...if they pick up Jones, then they'd have too many D-men when everyone is healthy, and I doubt they would just send Staios to the minors or any other big ticket D-men, and risk losing them for nothing.

You need a solution that is actually possible...

there goes silly gregor using common sense again...

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#34 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 04:36PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Gents,

The Flyers won't lose Jones for nothing and pay half of his salary. While it sucks for Jones, I don't expect the Flyers to recall him anytime soon. They are close to the cap, and don't want to just waste $1.35 million in cap space by paying Jones to play elsewhere.

And if the Flyers shock me and recall him, other teams would pick him up before the Oilers, since there is 18 teams below them in the standings today.

AND...if they pick up Jones, then they'd have too many D-men when everyone is healthy, and I doubt they would just send Staios to the minors or any other big ticket D-men, and risk losing them for nothing.

You need a solution that is actually possible...

I thought he is on re-entry as per Bob Mckenzie's twitter?

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#35 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 28 2009, 04:41PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I thought he is on re-entry as per Bob Mckenzie's twitter?

yuppers

xxx.csnphilly.com/pages/landing_09?Gagne-on-LTI-Jones-to-Re-entry-Waivers=1&blockID=84454&feedID=704

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#36 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 04:48PM
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Take him, and move Staios for a 7th roundor waive, we only have to pay 1/2 the salary, he is healthy and we have more cap room. Makes sense.

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#37 Jonathan Willis
October 28 2009, 05:00PM
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@Jason Gregor

Jones is on re-entry waivers right now, as per Bob McKenzie and Philly sites.

They have the cap space if they put Simon Gagne on LTIR.

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#39 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 05:13PM
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The only way we pick him up is if we could move Staios because it would be a replacement at 1/2 price for him who is currently healthy. Flip side of that is who would take Staios with Jones avail for nothing and cheaper? Unless it was a higher up team (11) I couldnt see it.

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#41 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 05:21PM
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I dont even think he is better short term. But I dont like Staios being at 2.7 for 2 more years. Jones is only signed till the end of this year so even if doesnt live up to par hes gone and we have Staios 2.7 mil to help shovel on to the Cogliano/Gagner pile. Hell, if Comrie has a decent season this would allow us to pay him. Also, the extra 1.35 mil would help a up against the cap team like the Oil have the flexibility to make a trade, even more so later in the season. Smid looks ready to take over Staios minutes and frankly the last few seasons Staios vs Strudwick does not justify 2 million more cap space. This would give us a 6/7 D man in Jones who can fight for the spot and wiggle room. Jones is worse than Staios but not majorly.

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#43 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 05:42PM
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Agreed. Thats why I dont see us getting Jones, because Katz has to be willing to eat 2.7 million in the minors to free up 1.35 on the big squad... for a player who is likely worse. You would be gambling 1.35 million dollars of your money on the fact that Staios would be claimed. I wouldn't call him up if he got sent down until the off-season so we'd have him for next year. It would be downgrading our D for the season, but that all depends on how badly we want cap room for a deal and how long Staios/Souray will be out. With Souray on LTIR we can pack in Pisani and 1.35 from Jones and try and find a deal that moves Staios or a FW that we could part with and then just dump Strudwick in the minors.

We wont do it though on the off chance Staios does have to get sent to the minors and not dealt for a pick. Too much $ in the farm and Oiler GMs dont have the stomach for that stuff.

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#44 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 28 2009, 05:51PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

I dont even think he is better short term. But I dont like Staios being at 2.7 for 2 more years. Jones is only signed till the end of this year so even if doesnt live up to par hes gone and we have Staios 2.7 mil to help shovel on to the Cogliano/Gagner pile. Hell, if Comrie has a decent season this would allow us to pay him. Also, the extra 1.35 mil would help a up against the cap team like the Oil have the flexibility to make a trade, even more so later in the season. Smid looks ready to take over Staios minutes and frankly the last few seasons Staios vs Strudwick does not justify 2 million more cap space. This would give us a 6/7 D man in Jones who can fight for the spot and wiggle room. Jones is worse than Staios but not majorly.

if all you want to do is save money, why not just dump staios and go with peckham?

getting s*it on sale doesnt change the fact you are still getting s*it

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#45 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 05:59PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

Peckham : 18 GP -3 0pts

Randy Jones: 217 GP -3 69pts

He failed to crack one of the best D's in the league in Philly to start the season so that doesnt mean he is sh*t. The difference in Jones and Peckham is large, especially if you're counting on him to pick up a chunk of Staios minutes and not sheltered Peckham ones. Hell Chorney has outplayed Peckham.

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#46 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
October 28 2009, 06:06PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Peckham : 18 GP -3 0pts

Randy Jones: 217 GP -3 69pts

He failed to crack one of the best D's in the league in Philly to start the season so that doesnt mean he is sh*t. The difference in Jones and Peckham is large, especially if you're counting on him to pick up a chunk of Staios minutes and not sheltered Peckham ones. Hell Chorney has outplayed Peckham.

0/30 teams wanted him at his salary, and didnt have to give up anything to get him.

what would you call it?

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#47 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 06:12PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

A good chance to grab him at half his salary? =)

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#48 Hemmertime
October 28 2009, 06:14PM
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Problem is 0 will want Staios at his

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#49 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 07:14PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

The bigger question is why do you think Jones is better than Staios long term??

That is the question.

Jones is 8 years younger, a little bit bigger and has better offensive #'s over the last couple of years.

I don't know, maybe Staiosis worse then Jones? For the little bit I've seen of him though, he seems to me to be better... but even if he's just his equal, getting the younger, bigger, cheaper guy would be benificial.

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#50 Ogden Brother
October 28 2009, 07:15PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

What happend to MTMT?

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