GDB XVIII: Injury woes on the Senate floor

Jason Gregor
November 10 2009 11:43AM

The injuries just keep coming for the Edmonton Oilers, as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators tonight.

Robert Nilsson is out with a concussion, and with Florida claiming Steve MacIntyre on waivers this morning, the Oilers have recalled Ryan O’Marra for tonight's game. Taylor Chorney has a bad ankle and is out, so Ladislav Smid will draw back in.

Does someone have a voodoo doll and every few days decide to take down another Oiler? Maybe the producers of the lamest movie I’ve seen in years, Paranormal Activity, are making a sports-like spin off that has alleged demons stalking the Oilers. I can’t believe that Theo Peckham told me he had to sleep with the lights on after watching that movie. I’ll be juicing him hard when he gets back to Edmonton. There was nothing remotely scary about that movie. Plus the acting was worse than the Carolina Hurricanes.

I really don’t think losing Nilsson is a big loss, and Smid is better than Chorney at this point, but you wonder how many more injuries this team can handle before it takes a toll on their salary cap.

With Nilsson out, my best guess would see Andrew Cogliano move to the wing and play with Gilbert Brule and Mike Comrie. Lately Pat Quinn has tried to go with two offensive oriented lines, and moving Cogliano there makes the most sense.

That would leave Sam Gagner with Dustin Penner and Patrick O’Sullivan, while Ryan Potulny would centre Fernando Pisani and Liam Reddox, and O’Marra can play between Zack Stortini and Ethan Moreau.

Know thy enemy

The Sens sit in 2nd place in the Northeast division, but like the Oilers they're currently out of the playoff picture. The Sens are 7-5-2 and are averaging three goals for and three goals against in 14 games.

Jonathon Cheechoo has been a bust since coming over from San Jose, with no goals and two assists in 14 games. Cory Clouston said he has realistic expectations of what Cheechoo can produce.

"That was a real special year for him (56 goals), he’s worked extremely hard, is an intelligent guy and a real good teammate. I don’t think telling anyone that he will score 50 goals again is realistic."

He added that Cheechoo is a 25-goal man, and maybe can reach 30 again and that is what they will look for from him. If Cheechoo gets 25 goals this year I’ll be stunned. His foot speed is not good enough for him to get to the open spaces anymore. He is willing to go in the tough areas, but he can’t get there fast enough anymore.

The Sens PP is 23rd in the league and they have only drawn 51 penalties thus far, only Calgary has drawn fewer penalties, 49, but the Flames have scored 12 goals to put them 5th overall on the PP.

The Oilers have had 68 man advantages, 13th most in the league, and after their four goal performance in Colorado they sit 6th on the PP at 23.5%.

Jeff Deslauriers’ favourite team growing up was the Buffalo Sabres, so I’d guess that Khabibulin will start tonight and JDD will get the start tomorrow. With back-to-games tonight and tomorrow and then on the weekend in Atlanta and Columbus it looks like Deslauriers will double his games played in a five day span.

Report on O'Marra 

O’Marra got off to a good start in Springfield, and finally seems to understand that if he's going to play in the NHL it will be as shut-down centreman. Rob Daum told me last week on my show, that his play had tailed off a bit of late. He did respond with some better play this past weekend.

O’Marra needs to show up and be good in the faceoffs, strong on the puck and be physical. He is one of the few centremen they have in the organization who has any sort of size. If O’Marra understands he needs to be physical, not fancy, there is an opening for him on this team. They desperately lack size down the middle and if he shows he can provide that, he might not be the first guy sent down when Horcoff, Hemsky and Jacques return.

Trade... for the Rush

I know you guys love the Oilers, but the Rush will announce a major trade this afternoon. They have acquired Gavin Prout along with Dean Hill from Colorado for a 1st rounder in 2010 and a 2nd rounder in 2011. Prout and Colorado couldn’t agree on a new deal, and so the Rush made a call.

Prout is a top-ten scorer in the game. He has 230 goals and 671 points in only 127 games. He will quarterback their PP and along with Brodie Merrill the Rush finally have some elite talent. Hill might chip in if he stays healthy and in shape. In his only full season he scored 32 goals in 14 games in 2007. He was banged up last year.

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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 jeanshorts
November 10 2009, 08:12PM
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GOD DAMMIT!

Ugh.

Well, at least the boys played pretty well for almost a full 60 minutes. They're making progress and the ship is slowly starting to right itself.

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#252 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 10 2009, 08:13PM
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Take the point but we deserved the win fawkers

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#253 Hemmertime
November 10 2009, 08:13PM
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@jeanshorts

And we outshot someone for the first time since game 1. So thats a plus, sure they suck but Ill take it

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#254 Shaun Doe
November 10 2009, 08:13PM
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Wow Deslauries went to the dressing room pretty quick there. I wonder if he is pissed or might have tweaked something on that last save.

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#255 Librarian Mike
November 10 2009, 08:13PM
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...but we got a point, right? Gotta focus on the positives.

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#256 Rigger
November 10 2009, 08:13PM
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Comrie? Really? Didn't he barely get any shifts in the late period?

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#257 Shaun Doe
November 10 2009, 08:16PM
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Yeah I probably would have gone with Gagner instead of Comrie on that last attempt. True he is 0-3 this season but he still seems more dangerous than a flu ridden Comrie who is comming off the bench cold.

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#258 Rigger
November 10 2009, 08:17PM
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Comrie just didn't make sense there. That was a bum choice. I would have gone with Gagner too, I think he's got more moves and despite this year, he's been pretty good in the SO.

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#259 Shaun Doe
November 10 2009, 08:19PM
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Or rather than Gagner, go with Brule. He got a goal in the game and was an goal scorer in juniors. Why not give the kid the vote of confidence. Anyways, the game is over and speculation is all we have at this point. I am sure the coaching staff had a reason to put Comrie in that position. So lets deal and look forward to tomorrow!

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#260 jeanshorts
November 10 2009, 08:19PM
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Even the Ottawa guy was commenting on how disinterested JDD looked for most of the game. That can't be a great sign. Maybe he's just not used to playing more than 2 games in a season. Have we used the flu excuse enough yet? Lets just blame it on that.

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#261 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 08:20PM
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Did I hear Rod Phillips say "Krushelnyski with the shot"? Seriously... did I? WTF

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#262 freeze
November 10 2009, 08:24PM
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There was a lot to like about the team's play tonight! Great effort!

Was Lubo drinking out of Grebs' LCD filled water bottle tonight?

They deserved the extra point but there will be lots of positives for them if they can keep it up. Hopefully they get some more passing drills in over the next week or so.

Penner is a force!

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#263 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 08:25PM
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Quinn played a hunch with Comrie. He may not have played much in the 3rd, but it was his former team and Quinn gambled. If it worked, he'd look genius. Coaches play hunches all the time. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

Krushelnyski? I thought he was a citizen here @ ON now? WTF Rod

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#264 Rigger
November 10 2009, 08:26PM
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I wish I could have seen/heard more of the game. It sounds like the boys put in a pretty solid effort. It'll be interesting to hear what Quinn has to say.

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#265 Librarian Mike
November 10 2009, 08:31PM
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@RossCreekNation

Maybe you're having flashbacks of the 'Krushelnyski lob' over Vernon's head in 1990. haha.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7kfjdEMA8g

(Sorry, didn't mean to twist the knife but I think that's the only thing I think he's ever done of note as a player).

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#266 David S
November 10 2009, 08:36PM
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Well boys. That wasn't too bad at all. Still, JDD has me worried. I don't think he looked that strong and the Dude is so NOT money in the SO.

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#267 RossCreekNation
November 10 2009, 08:46PM
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@Librarian Mike

Haha. Seriously though, Rod called somebody "Krushelnyski". Somebody please verify this.

*Crazy? I'm not crazy. Crazy? I'm not...*

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#268 Maggie the Monkey
November 10 2009, 08:59PM
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David S wrote:

Well boys. That wasn't too bad at all. Still, JDD has me worried. I don't think he looked that strong and the Dude is so NOT money in the SO.

I don't know, it was just one s/o and he only really got burned on one of them - Kovalev's. Spezza's was a nice move, but he was damned lucky it worked.

Besides, there aren't many teams that can put up three shooters better than Kovalev, Alfie and Spezza. Deslauriers deserves another shot at it.

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#269 Halfwise
November 10 2009, 09:01PM
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He said Krushelnisky but was referring to Grebeshkov. I was thinking Craig Topolnisky was a closer match in terms of position and style than Krush. http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/t/topolcr01.html

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#270 Heatly
November 10 2009, 09:08PM
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@RossCreekNation

haha, ya I heard that too! LOL

We need win tomorrow big time!

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