GDB XXII: Preventing another Avalanche

Jason Gregor
November 18 2009 11:49AM

It's quite amusing how after one blow-out loss to Vancouver, many thought the Avalanche bubble had burst, and they were destined for the bottom of the standings. I don’t think they will stay in the top two in the West division, but I don’t see them plummeting to the bottom either. They are 5-4-1 in their last ten, and if they play like that in ten game segments the rest of the year, they will be right in the mix.

Unlike the Oilers right now, the Avalanche understand and play the system their coach wants. They clog up the neutral zone if they get a lead, and while they give up a lot of shots, many come from the outside. And they don't turn the puck over very often in the neutral zone.

The biggest surprise in Colorado has been Ryan O’Reilly. The second-round pick this past summer is in double digits in points (15) and +/- (12). The best way to describe his game is mature. He is just as good away from the puck as he is when he has it.

Pat Quinn, and his predecessor, has tried urging the Oilers younger players to realize that if they make smart plays in their own zone and away from the puck that it will ultimately lead to more offence. So far though, Quinn hasn’t been able to get the kids and some of his veterans to understand this concept.

When you watch the game tonight, take a few shifts and watch what O’Reilly does. Don’t watch the play, focus on O’Reilly. Then pick an Oiler and do the same. You might be surprised in the results.

Up-tempo

The Oilers had an up-tempo morning skate. They had more jump than usual, and the pace was quicker. Speaking with them after practice it is clear they realize they need to be more aggressive and have more energy in their game.

The Oilers are 2-6-2 in the last ten and begin a five-game home stand tonight. After games against the Avs, Hawks, Coyotes, Kings and Sharks they head back on the road for six games. If they don’t get seven points out of ten at home, they could be in serious trouble heading on the road.

New lines

Pat Quinn shuffled his lines again this morning:

Penner — Horcoff — Hemsky
Reddox — O’Sullivan — Brule
Strudwick — Cogliano — Comrie
Moreau — Potulny — Stortini

Gilbert — Souray
Smid — Visnovsky
Staios — Arsene

Deslauriers

Quinn has got to get some secondary scoring going so it is no surprise he has juggled the lines again. At this point I don’t think there is any combination that would give him a better chance, so he is going with completely new combinations.

It looks like he is reverting back to having some sort of grit/physical presence on his bottom three lines. Sam Gagner wasn’t in any of the lines, but I spoke to him after practice and he said he is ready to go. When I asked Quinn he admitted that Gagner is likely to play, so that will change the lineup.

If Gagner goes you have to think that Strudwick will move back to the blue line, unless Quinn wants more size up front. Mike Comrie still isn’t feeling right. His energy level isn’t where he wants it to be, but he said he is feeling a bit better today. That would explain why he has looked a step behind that past few games.

We could see a battle of the back ups tonight. Craig Anderson has played 20 games already for the Avalanche and last week Joe Sacco said he would try to get him some rest. When you consider the Oilers have faced a back up in 8 of their 21 games so far it wouldn’t surprise me if Peter Budaj gets the start tonight.

Injury update

J.F Jacques skated this morning, but won’t return until Saturday at the earliest. Robert Nilsson wasn’t even on the ice this morning, and he is still suffering with concussion-like symptoms. Ryan Stone didn’t practice with the team and his still has soreness in his knee, so unfortunately he is at least another week away.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#51 Dyckster
November 18 2009, 02:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

And my orignal point about O'Reilly had nothing to do with his points. I said WATCH the game and what he does AWAY from the puck.

That aspect of his game, the way he thinks it and reacts, is his best asset.

That is the reason why the Oilers young players aren't scoring. They don't create enough chances, and they give up too many.

My assessment of O'Reilly wasn't just about points.

Fair enough Jason, do you see anyone (i.e. a Forward) on the Oilers close to O'Reilly's away from the puck awareness? Would you put him in the same catagory as say a John Madden?

Or are the things he does well without the puck more in the offensive (i.e finds the soft spots aka Brett Hull) zone than defensive? I haven't seen him play so I don't know.

Avatar
#52 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 18 2009, 02:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

And my orignal point about O'Reilly had nothing to do with his points. I said WATCH the game and what he does AWAY from the puck.

That aspect of his game, the way he thinks it and reacts, is his best asset.

That is the reason why the Oilers young players aren't scoring. They don't create enough chances, and they give up too many.

My assessment of O'Reilly wasn't just about points.

So I take it that he gets himself in the right position when he doesn't have the puck, he knows where to be when his teammates have the puck and he knows where to be when the opponents have the puck?

That would be something that 85% of our team needs to learn.

Also sounds very similiar to the Taylor/Tyler talk on the morning show today.

Avatar
#53 quicksilver ballet
November 18 2009, 02:47PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jason, any desire to be the next voice of the Eskimos...have you thrown your hat into that ring?

Avatar
#54 The Real Scuba Steve
November 18 2009, 03:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

With the Avs playing last night, give the edge to the Oilers.

Avatar
#56 Dyckster
November 18 2009, 03:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

Thanks Jason,

Hey, aren't you suppose to be on the radio?

Avatar
#57 Brandon
November 18 2009, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Anyone know what the league record is for most man games lost due to injury? Just curious to see what it is

Avatar
#58 rubbertrout
November 18 2009, 03:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Dyckster wrote:

Thanks Jason,

Hey, aren't you suppose to be on the radio?

He gots some mad multitasking skillz.

Avatar
#59 Ogden Brother
November 18 2009, 03:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Brandon wrote:

Anyone know what the league record is for most man games lost due to injury? Just curious to see what it is

I believe it was roughly 400.

Avatar
#60 Brandon
November 18 2009, 03:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Ogden Brother

I eventually found it, the record is held by the Kings with 629 in 2003-04

Avatar
#61 rubbertrout
November 18 2009, 03:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Game Day Prediction: Oilers win 4-3 in overtime. Souray gets 1 G 1 A and 4 PIM. Manitoba Fats pots 2 and Sully gets one

Obvious Prediction: Hejduk will score at least one goal on the Oilers (I'll happily steal this one from Librarian Mike because he has all of the high fallutin book learnin').

Not so Obvious Prediction: Gregor and JW continue the war of words on Ryan O'Reilly over $8 heroin beer which then leads to longing glances and piqued curiosity about sexual experimentation. This is then fanned into flames of passion once the 4 way action of Librarian Mike, I'm a Scientist, Lindsay Lohan and Hillary Duff is seen from afar. Wayne drinks Bud Light Lime and watches the action unfold through night vision goggles from a respectable distance

Avatar
#62 I'm a Scientist!
November 18 2009, 03:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rubbertrout

So what you are saying is there will be more entertainment OFF the ice than on the ice tonight? Interesting...

mmmm Librairan Mi...Lohan....

*scoots off to exercise his fingers with a google image search*

Avatar
#63 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
November 18 2009, 03:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rubbertrout

Tommy Salo's wife is Lindsay Lohan?

Avatar
#64 Librarian Mike
November 18 2009, 03:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rubbertrout

Pat Quinn said it best: "Hey, back in my day when 2 guys got together in the shower, it wasn't gay. It was just 2 men celebrating each others' strength."

*Proud of self for not saying that out loud*

Avatar
#65 The Towel Boy
November 18 2009, 03:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@rubbertrout

"Manitoba Fats"....hahaha...Wow.

Avatar
#66 rubbertrout
November 18 2009, 03:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Tommy Salo's wife is Lindsay Lohan?

It kind of morphed from comment 18-24. We can add Salo's wife and then the party becomes all the more intriguing. We might need a sixth. Brownlee?

Avatar
#67 Bob Cob
November 18 2009, 03:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Predictions are becoming the big thing at the nation is seems, so while I am here.

Game day prediction: 5-4 Oilers in a shootout, Penner has 1 goal, 2 assists and Hejduk has a 2. I passout from exhaustion after yelling at the tv as Moreau takes another stupid penalty for hooking or holding because he isnt moving his feet, or from yelling "shoot the puck" on the pp, well see which comes first.

Obvious Prediction: Khabibulin gets the start and stops 30+ shots and Quinn goes through a party pack of gum in frustration of the teams inability to complete a tape to tape 10ft pass in the nuetral zone.

Not so Obvious Prediction: I contemplate ending it all after the Oilers let a game they should have won in regulation almost slip away and consider becoming a Flames fan only to look for comfort in a bottle.

Avatar
#68 Brandon
November 18 2009, 03:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Bob Cob wrote:

Predictions are becoming the big thing at the nation is seems, so while I am here.

Game day prediction: 5-4 Oilers in a shootout, Penner has 1 goal, 2 assists and Hejduk has a 2. I passout from exhaustion after yelling at the tv as Moreau takes another stupid penalty for hooking or holding because he isnt moving his feet, or from yelling "shoot the puck" on the pp, well see which comes first.

Obvious Prediction: Khabibulin gets the start and stops 30+ shots and Quinn goes through a party pack of gum in frustration of the teams inability to complete a tape to tape 10ft pass in the nuetral zone.

Not so Obvious Prediction: I contemplate ending it all after the Oilers let a game they should have won in regulation almost slip away and consider becoming a Flames fan only to look for comfort in a bottle.

JDD starts tonight

Avatar
#69 I'm a Scientist!
November 18 2009, 04:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Brandon wrote:

JDD starts tonight

He could probably just replace Khabibulin with JDD and have the same prediction...

Avatar
#70 rubbertrout
November 18 2009, 04:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
I'm a Scientist! wrote:

He could probably just replace Khabibulin with JDD and have the same prediction...

It really is the thing least suspected to name the backup in your "obvious" prediction. Very ninja like Bob Cob. I've got my eye on you and not in any kind of shower related way.

Avatar
#71 Ender
November 18 2009, 04:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
rubbertrout wrote:

It kind of morphed from comment 18-24. We can add Salo's wife and then the party becomes all the more intriguing. We might need a sixth. Brownlee?

My shoulder-reading mom is mortified today. This thread should have an advisory:

Not your mother's ON

Avatar
#73 rubbertrout
November 18 2009, 04:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

@Jason Gregor I'm not sure which is a worse prediction, thinking O'Sullivan will actually score or that I would drink a heroin beer. No chance on the latter, and I'd be willing to say I'd have a better chance scoring with Lohan tonight than 19 will on the ice.

I'll be at the game on Saturday. I'll bet you one of your vodka drinks against a heroin beer that he scores tonight.

Avatar
#74 Librarian Mike
November 18 2009, 04:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Bob Cob

I contemplate ending it all after the Oilers let a game they should have won in regulation almost slip away and consider becoming a Flames fan only to look for comfort in a bottle.

Nothing's worth becoming a Flames fan, dude.

Oh! I've got one more Not so obvious prediction:

Patrick O'Sullivan channels all his frustrated rage into a mighty point shot that goes straight through Craig Anderson's chest and into the top of the net.

Avatar
#75 Ender
November 18 2009, 04:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Game Day Prediction: Oilers hang on to win 2-1 in regulation, due in large part to heroism from JDD. Goals from Hemmer and Brule.

Obvious Prediction: Reddox will collide face-first with the goal-post after being cross-checked from behind while jumping over two Avalanche players to get to a loose puck. Lost for the season to concussion; no call on the play.

Not so Obvious Prediction: Robert Nilsson will show up to the rink completely three-sheets-to-the-wind. No one will notice until the 1rst period intermission when the TSN crew features him on a surprise interview and he slurs something about the ice tasting different behind the net than it does on the red-line, and what is so great about West Edmonton Mall anyway?

Avatar
#76 I'm a Scientist!
November 18 2009, 04:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

*wonders if the ice really DOES taste different behind the net*

Avatar
#77 Librarian Mike
November 18 2009, 04:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Mark Spector wrote an article about Pat Quinn. Check out the picture accompanying it. For a second there I thought it was MacT behind him...

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2009/11/18/spector_quinn/

Avatar
#79 Charlie N64
November 18 2009, 06:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Is anyone else watching this 30 / 30 on Gretzky? I'm serious, this is getting tough to watch!

It was 21 years ago, but man does this documentary capture it well.

Avatar
#80 Eric Johnson
November 18 2009, 06:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers 4-2. Cogliano, Souray, Horcoff and Potulny. Penner with 3 pts.

OBVIOUS PREDICTION: There will be a game today.

NOT SO OBVIOUS: At the 13:41 mark of the third, Ethan Moreau, while in the penalty box for slashing, will be caught munching on a tuna can there by confirming for one and all he is "the Goat" of 09/10 season.

Avatar
#81 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 18 2009, 06:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Patrick O'Sullivan channels all his frustrated rage into a mighty point shot that goes straight through Craig Anderson's chest and into the top of the net. Godamn that is funny thanks dude.

Avatar
#82 Bob Cob
November 18 2009, 06:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Librarian Mike

Believe me, if you knew me you would know how strongly I loath the Calgary Flames. Id have to kick my own ass if the thought even entered my mind, I live in Calgary but I bleed Oiler Blue.

Avatar
#83 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 18 2009, 06:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Librarian Mike wrote:
I contemplate ending it all after the Oilers let a game they should have won in regulation almost slip away and consider becoming a Flames fan only to look for comfort in a bottle.

Nothing's worth becoming a Flames fan, dude.

Oh! I've got one more Not so obvious prediction:

Patrick O'Sullivan channels all his frustrated rage into a mighty point shot that goes straight through Craig Anderson's chest and into the top of the net.

Godamn that was funny thanks dude

Avatar
#84 OilerLoverFlameoutHater
November 18 2009, 06:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Damn my computer skills suck anyway I was just trying to reply on the last comment

Avatar
#85 Eddie Shore
November 18 2009, 06:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Let's.... wait for it....

do this!

Avatar
#86 Eric Johnson
November 18 2009, 06:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Eddie Shore wrote:

Let's.... wait for it....

do this!

nice...

Avatar
#87 SirFozz
November 18 2009, 06:59PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

GOOILERS!!!!

Avatar
#88 Eddie Shore
November 18 2009, 07:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Eric Johnson

Suit Up!

6-1 Oilers. Budaj sucks. Book it.

Avatar
#89 Eddie Shore
November 18 2009, 07:11PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

*crickets*

Avatar
#90 Maggie the Monkey
November 18 2009, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Come on ATDHE, don't do this to me...

Does anybody know of another feed tonight?

Avatar
#91 Eddie Shore
November 18 2009, 07:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Umm TSN?

Avatar
#92 SirFozz
November 18 2009, 07:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nice moves by the D-train*.

*I don't endorse this nickname.

Avatar
#93 Maggie the Monkey
November 18 2009, 07:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Eddie Shore

I don't have a TV. You'll probably think this is overly dramatic, but I live in Ontario and gave it away this year when I found out that Sportnet wasn't going to televise games nationally again. The only thing I want to watch on tv are Oilers' games, and it's just not worth having cable bills for the 15 games per year that TSN covers. (All CBC broadcasts are all online now.)

Avatar
#94 Maggie the Monkey
November 18 2009, 07:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nice.

There's a choppy broadcast on Justin.tv, which is a hell of a lot better than nothing.

Avatar
#95 Eric Johnson
November 18 2009, 07:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's on GAME DAY BITCHES.

GOILERS!!!

Avatar
#96 SirFozz
November 18 2009, 07:23PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Will you marry me Penner? I'll cook.

Avatar
#97 Eric Johnson
November 18 2009, 07:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Penner is man possessed! ...

Wait did Cogliano put that in?

FRACK!!!

Avatar
#98 SirFozz
November 18 2009, 07:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Common Gilbert, you p#ssy!

Avatar
#99 Eddie Shore
November 18 2009, 07:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Gilbert---->Marshmellow

Avatar
#100 Eric Johnson
November 18 2009, 07:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Gilbert is softer than Dan Tencer at a coppertone model photoshoot...

Comments are closed for this article.