GDB XV: Passing and faceoffs and goals, oh my!

Jason Gregor
November 02 2009 11:21AM

Courage wolf says score goals or else

All of a sudden the Oilers can’t score, but even though they were blanked three times in the last week, they have scored the 7th most goals in the league. Through 14 games their offence has been fine, but like previous years, they are giving up too many goals.

The Oilers have surrendered the 7th most goals, 43, so far this year. Injuries and illness to Sheldon Souray, Steve Staios and Lubomir Visnovsky have played a role in that, but I still see too many turnovers and errant passes if this team wants to be more than a .500 team.

Visnovsky is feeling better and his return should help the PP and cut down on turnovers. Staios is skating with the team, but highly doubtful for tonight. The bad news, like I wrote last week, is that Souray isn’t getting any better. Concussions are unpredictable and it looks like Souray might be out until December.

I don’t just blame the D-men though.

Passing the buck... and the puck

The forwards have been just as guilty, if not more, of horrendous passes. How often do the Oilers miss a teammate with a simple eight-to-ten-foot pass? Bad passing has been a problem for a few years, and I believe it starts in practice. The players need to demand better execution from one another.

Their leaders need to be more vocal about this.

I don’t like to compare players or teams, but the Detroit Red Wing players demand crisp and accurate passes in practice. I’ve watched a Wings practice and the players — not the coaches — expect good, crisp and accurate passes.

It helps when Nick Lidstrom along with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavol Datsyuk are their leaders, but at this level every player should be able to make tape-to-tape passes in practice.

I will chart tonight’s game and list how many times the Oilers either miss a pass, or just dump the puck away when they have complete control. Lately, many players will have possession of the puck without being pressured, and they will just dump it into the neutral zone, or deep in the offensive zone. The problem with that thinking is this team still isn’t good at retrieving pucks.

Father-son combo

When Steve Tambellini was hired in 2008, some jokingly wondered if he’d try and acquire his son, Jeff. Most would have ripped him for making such a move, but right now the young Tambellini is red hot with five goals in four games. He tallied a hat trick v. Buffalo on Saturday and had two goals in Montreal last Monday. Prior to last week, he had never had a two-goal game.

Tambellini has six goals in eight games and is tied for the team lead in goals with unheralded Jeff Moulson. Moulson, was a 9th draft pick for the Penguins in 2003. He never played for them, and had six goals and ten points in 29 games with the Kings over two seasons, before signing with the Islanders this summer.

Moulson along with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo lead the Islanders with 10 points.

Know thy enemy

The Islanders are 15th on the PP and 8th on the PK, while the Oilers come in 16th on the PP and 14th when down a man. The big advantage will be in the dot. As a team the Islanders are 4th in the league winning 53.4% of their draws, while the Oilers are a 27th winning only 47.1%.

The four centres tonight will be Shawn Horcoff (50.5%), Sam Gagner (43.8), Gilbert Brule (50.5) and Andrew Cogliano (36.5) and none of them are above average.

With Mike Comrie (54.6%) and Dustin Penner (64.5%), I wonder if Quinn will start to use them more in faceoff situations. Penner has only taken 31 draws, and I doubt he could maintain that much success, but tonight is the 15th game of the season and we haven’t seen any improvement in the dot. In fact, the Oilers have gotten worse in recent weeks.

The Islanders don’t rely on just one guy like the Oilers. Tavares has taken 195 draws winning 49.2%, while Richard Park has also taken 195 winning 57.4%. Josh Bailey has taken 152 and is 51.3% while their best guy is Frans Nielson who has won 53 of the 85 draws he’s taken.

The lack of success in the dot hasn’t hurt the Oilers offensively, but it is a big reason why they have given up an average of 33.7 shots a game. Only Colorado is giving up more.

Look for a combination of Fernando Pisani, Brule and Patrick O’Sullivan tonight. Horcoff will play with Ales Hemsky and Penner. Gagner will centre JF Jacques and Robert Nilsson while Cogliano is back in the middle with Zack Stortini and Ethan Moreau.

Looks like Visnovsky is back in and Theo Peckham comes out.

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 rubbertrout
November 02 2009, 02:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Anyone know how to end italics using compu-speak? I feel my response to Hatecoff loses some of its effect when it is all italicized.

Avatar
#52 Hatecoff
November 02 2009, 02:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

ninja please

Avatar
#53 SirFozz
November 02 2009, 02:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Prediction: 4-2 Oilers. Penner, Hemsky, Stortini, Pisani(empty net)

Obvious Prediction: Wang's building will be half full.

Not so Obvious Prediction: Wang will spend the entire night pantsless and during ther second period you'll faintly hear through the TV, "look, there's Wang's wang". Wang will laugh and sign that person to a 20yr contract as assistant GM.

Avatar
#54 RossCreekNation
November 02 2009, 02:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
rubbertrout wrote:

Anyone know how to end italics using compu-speak? I feel my response to Hatecoff loses some of its effect when it is all italicized.

BEFORE SENTENCE < i >

AFTER SENTENCE < / I >

WITHOUT THE SPACES

Avatar
#55 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 02 2009, 02:24PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@rubbertrout

Prediction: 3-1 Oil in regulation, three stars go to Penner, Gagner, and Khabibulin.  

Avatar
#56 Kieso
November 02 2009, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

~I guess I needed these little things~ But I thought the humour was quite clear.

Avatar
#57 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 02:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Oilers win tonight 3-2. Pisani sweeps away loose pucks in Peckham's absence (I think he's the one that did that in Boston anyway), and Hormeoff (I still don't get that one) is in on all 3 Oilers goals.

Roli and Khabbie wrestle at centre ice in a pool of sweat.

Avatar
#58 Jamie B.
November 02 2009, 02:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Is Deslauriers in net?

Avatar
#59 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 02 2009, 02:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Senator Theo wrote:

Oilers win tonight 3-2. Pisani sweeps away loose pucks in Peckham's absence (I think he's the one that did that in Boston anyway), and Hormeoff (I still don't get that one) is in on all 3 Oilers goals.

Roli and Khabbie wrestle at centre ice in a pool of sweat.

Did you know that Khabibulin needs to drill holes in the bottom of his skates to allow the sweat to drain?

Avatar
#60 Antony Ta
November 02 2009, 02:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Kieso

Hey guys, it's Rob Schremp!

Avatar
#61 Wanye
November 02 2009, 03:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
jeanshorts wrote:

Hey has anyone brought up the fact that Horcoff is overpaid and isn't scoring 100 goals a game?

Oh they have?

Okay, carry on.

THEY HAVE?

HE DOESN'T?

I SHOULD?

*runs as fast as he can to begin 'carrying on,' but runs directly into wall instead. Hits ground, swallows tongue, blames Kevin Lowe for that too*

Avatar
#62 Librarian Mike
November 02 2009, 03:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Did you know that Khabibulin needs to drill holes in the bottom of his skates to allow the sweat to drain?

Did you know that Tom Gilbert does crossword puzzles, but he can't finish them...like his checks.

@The Menace

The image of Roli and Big Sweaty wrestling makes me think of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvJhRsrqm40

Avatar
#63 PartyPooper
November 02 2009, 03:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hmmm market is mixed. TSX down, Dow Jones up, and S&P500 and NASDAQ about even.

Too close to call, but based on that I predict an Oiler victory.

Avatar
#64 Offthebandwagon
November 02 2009, 03:21PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I hate to be a pessimist, being this is my first post, but I really think Rolli will have something to prove tonight; I imagine he feels snubbed and this may be his only opportunity to get back at the Oil brass who failed to extend his contract. The Oilers will come out their offensive funk tonight and should register 25+ shots. If they can limit turnovers it will be a close game. 3-2 Oilers in OT. (Rolli will be 2nd star)

Avatar
#65 Dan the Man
November 02 2009, 03:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Prediction: Rollie will play like he usually does against the Sharks and get a shut out.

He will also shake his mask off at 15:12 of the first period.

I can't believe that Cogliano is actually worse in the dot than last year. If Quinn insists on having him play centre maybe he should just start falling on the puck when it's dropped.

Avatar
#66 Hatecoff
November 02 2009, 03:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Dan the Man

on that note

do you think his mask will come off at all from a shot or a save ?

Avatar
#67 Dan the Man
November 02 2009, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Hatecoff

I'm gonna go with "random head shake during goal mouth scrum"

Avatar
#68 Dan the Man
November 02 2009, 03:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

From NHL.com

Khabibulin added to list of Russian Olympic hopefuls

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=504524

Avatar
#69 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 02 2009, 03:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Dan the Man wrote:

From NHL.com

Khabibulin added to list of Russian Olympic hopefuls

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=504524

Did you know that he also has to drill holes in the bottoms of his skates to allow the sweat to drain?

Avatar
#70 Dan the Man
November 02 2009, 03:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Did you know that he also has to drill holes in the bottoms of his skates to allow the sweat to drain?

Thanks for that tidbit, I had no idea. Did you know that he also has a cup ring? I didn't but I'm sure I heard Kevin Weekes mention it once or twice.

Avatar
#71 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 04:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I don't know if Rolie will have a great game. Nothing in his history shows that he plays very well against former clubs.

In fact, I remember his playing some of his worst games against Minnesota and Calgary. Minnesota in particular.

Anyone know his record against the Wild when he was with Edmonton? I bet it was ugly. I mean, Phaneuf-ugly. Phaneugly?

Avatar
#72 Jamie B.
November 02 2009, 04:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

What the hell? Is anyone else getting the Islanders feed on their PPV channel? I'm on Bell ExpressVu ...

Avatar
#73 Robyn
November 02 2009, 04:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I am getting the Islanders feed. I am with shaw. Better not be like this for the entire game.

Avatar
#74 Heavyd
November 02 2009, 04:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ya im not paying 15 bucks for the islanders feed bull crap.

Avatar
#75 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Kewl. 17 bucks to watch the home broadcast of the sh*ttiest team in the NHL that isn't the Leafs. This is dumb.

Avatar
#76 Heavyd
November 02 2009, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

I am complaining to shaw.

Avatar
#77 Shapeman
November 02 2009, 05:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

and i to bell

Avatar
#78 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Heavyd - let me know what they say...

Avatar
#79 Robyn
November 02 2009, 05:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Not only do I have to listen to different commentators, I have to watch ads???? I'm not impressed.

Avatar
#80 Cool Beans
November 02 2009, 05:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Senator Theo

Anyone know his record against the Wild when he was with Edmonton? I bet it was ugly. I mean, Phaneuf-ugly. Phaneugly?

Eric Francis wants you to apologize for this comment.

Avatar
#81 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Heavyd - let me know what they say...

Avatar
#82 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Heavyd - let me know what they say...

Avatar
#83 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:06PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Heavyd - let me know what they say...

Avatar
#84 Gunner
November 02 2009, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Wow, blackberry failed me bigtime.

Avatar
#85 Robyn
November 02 2009, 05:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Yah!! Normal feed is back!!!

Avatar
#86 Heavyd
November 02 2009, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

its back wierd

Avatar
#87 roughneck
November 02 2009, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

gregors gonna need a speed counter to keep the bad pass stat

Avatar
#88 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

does anyone have a link to the game online? I couldn't find it at the usual sites.

Avatar
#89 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 05:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Well looks like I'm kicking it old school with Rod The Bod tonight as I can't seem to find a link to the game. Damn you guys and your fancy TV boxmajigs and your "pays-per-viewed"

Avatar
#90 Wanye
November 02 2009, 05:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

So my ppv is showing Long Island footage and the *site we shan't mention* isn't working either. But at least there is sound!

Right? Right?

*hangs head knowing that even a glitch free telecast would count as a win these days*

Avatar
#91 Wanye
November 02 2009, 05:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
jeanshorts wrote:

Well looks like I'm kicking it old school with Rod The Bod tonight as I can't seem to find a link to the game. Damn you guys and your fancy TV boxmajigs and your "pays-per-viewed"

You and I can play internet marco polo on here all game long if you like.

Avatar
#92 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 05:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

@Wanye

MARCO!

Avatar
#93 Hemmertime
November 02 2009, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

bad feed, but the game: hxxp://www.justin.tv/hockeybash

Avatar
#94 Hemmertime
November 02 2009, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

POLO! Goal

Avatar
#95 Hemmertime
November 02 2009, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

1-0 oilers, Moreau goal

Avatar
#96 jeanshorts
November 02 2009, 05:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Moreau's prettiest goal of the year!

Avatar
#97 Cool Beans
November 02 2009, 05:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/edmonton-oilers-vs-new-york-islanders

Does this work for you guys.

Avatar
#98 Hemmertime
November 02 2009, 05:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Hemmers flying tonight

Avatar
#99 Senator Theo
November 02 2009, 05:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Sometimes I wish there was a link at the bottom of OilersNation that took you to the home page. It would make it a pleasure to switch to a different blog entry.

Avatar
#100 Rigger
November 02 2009, 05:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

Ugh, my feed is so bush league. Anyone got a clear feed?

Comments are closed for this article.