The sounds of silence

Robin Brownlee
February 02 2009 03:08PM

silentpenner

If Dustin Penner has decided he'd rather walk the walk instead of talk the talk, then his silence after the Edmonton Oilers skated at Millennium Place today is a good thing.

Then again, if Penner's decision not to talk to assembled reporters waiting on his every word for the better part of 30 minutes -- only to discover they'd get not one grunt or syllable from him after camping out -- was orchestrated by the team, then not so much.

Either way, Penner didn't speak to reporters after practice today in the wake of being pulled off the first line for the second game in a row in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Nashville. The reasoning is that Penner will let his actions against the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday speak for him.

Penner, along with Marc Pouliot and Kyle Brodziak, instead put in some extra work after most of the rest of the team had left the ice as coaches extracted the sweat from the trio they didn't get against Nashville.

In Penner's place, coach Craig MacTavish faced the notepads and gave his take on the slump the big winger is mired in and his reasons for clipping his minutes alongside Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky.

MacT says...

"The message to the players is the time for dialogue is over and they can let their game do the talking tomorrow and they can answer the questions after the game," MacTavish said of Penner, Pouliot and Brodziak. "It's time to see it on the ice -- a more committed, consistent level."

With just two goals in his last 19 games, it doesn't take a vast intellect to see that Penner is struggling mightily after playing a decent stretch of hockey -- after MacTavish called him out and put him in the press box.

MacTavish wasn't nearly as pointed in his criticism of Penner today as he was the first time around. Reasoned and even was the coach, at least for public consumption, after spending more than a few minutes having a heart-to-heart chat with No. 27 out on the ice.

"We haven't had an answer on that left side for awhile," MacTavish said. "We've tried a lot of players there on the left side. Over the course of the year, virtually everybody has had an opportunity there.

"The bottom line for Dustin is that he's the best fit there when he's playing. It might not be an ideal fit for him or those other two guys long-term, but, when he's playing, he really adds an element to that line and we've seen it before."

Not the answer

Penner got yanked away from Horcoff and Hemsky in Friday's 3-1 win over Minnesota and ended up playing just 10:25. He finished with 13:26 in ice time against Nashville.

"Given his skill-set, it might be a stretch long-term," reiterated MacTavish, talking about playing Penner with Horcoff and Hemsky. "But we need him to play better.

"At times, it's an issue for him that he lacks the focus. He needs to be more focused on a consistent level. I know that'll have a benefit to his overall game. I don't have unrealistic expectations for them to go out there and be offensive contributors every night, but you have to find a way to help the overall product, find a way to be a contributor.

"You can always display intensity and physical play. There are a lot of things you can't control. Your confidence level comes and goes. That's tough to control. But, it's the intensity..."

With just 11-12-23, it's blatantly obvious Penner's numbers aren't nearly good enough for a player being paid $4.25 million and getting first-line minutes. And he hasn't done enough to find those other ways to contribute, at least in MacTavish's estimation.

Find a way

"It's also the recognition and the personal responsibility to do everything to do everything away from the game itself to get yourself into a position where you're more productive and playing up to your level of capability," MacTavish said.

"A lot of players, they have trouble critiquing their own play. It's a sense where you have to know you're not playing at the top of your level. It's got to be reflected in the way you conduct yourself between games -- what you're working on, how hard you're working, how early you’re at the rink.

"I've been around the game long enough to know, that games fluctuate. Your confidence level fluctuates. If you're recognizing that, whether you're not as productive, and it's exhibited and reflected in the way you conduct yourself, you have an ally in the coaching staff... I'll work with a player as longer as he'll work to help himself. That's just the way it's always been. If that's not the case at the level we need him to be at, then it's going to be uncomfortable."

Penner gets his say tomorrow.

And...

Sam Gagner skated with the Oilers today and his ankle has improved to the point where you can expect to see him in the line-up against Chicago Tuesday.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 CurtisS
February 02 2009, 03:13PM
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I wrote this in your other blog.

How can you skate 3 players and not the whole team. Then you leave out players like Reddox from the bag skate?? What did he do more than Brodz or Poo?? Nothing.

This is a good way not to build a team.

Win as a team, lose as a team.

Just more Mact favorism here. How much longer until that clown is fired?

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#2 Travis Dakin
February 02 2009, 03:20PM
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CurtisS wrote:

Then you leave out players like Reddox from the bag skate?? What did he do more than Brodz or Poo?? Nothing.

It's simple. He tries. There is effort there. He may not have the size or skillset of the other guys but he is all heart and effort. Those other guys are a giant lead anchor on this team that need a serious kick in the a*s.

But I wonder, at 26 I can't really see a player having the light switch go on and the work ethic and drive start to show every night. Can someone show me an example of this in the past? I want to hope that Penner isn't a bust.

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#3 Tommy
February 02 2009, 03:21PM
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@ CurtisS:

Just take a look at this article from Dan Barnes. It'll make you want to poke your eyes out with the shards of Reddox's broken stick after he has hit you over the head with it.

http://www.canada.com/Oilers+Reddox+coach+MacTavish+type+player/1241301/story.html

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#4 Rick
February 02 2009, 03:21PM
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So between MacT's comments yesterday and today it sounds like he has gone public in calling for Tambellini to go shopping for a LWer.

Would this mean that Nilsson is probably on the block right now and would someone actually take a chance on a guy like him?

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#5 Mike
February 02 2009, 03:22PM
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I don't understand how you can let the whole team off the hook against Buffalo, and then single out guys a few days later. You suffer as a team, if necessary.

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#6 BUCK75
February 02 2009, 03:25PM
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What is this the second or third time Penner has been called out? We don't have anyone else to play LW, he is one the biggest guy on the team & he has only 1 dimension. Nobody would be on his case if he played more like a pissed off hockey player. Keep dreaming of trading him, we will be stuck with him for the next 2 years.

I really think that the way every team is built in the salary cap world you can't change a team, you have to change who is leading the team. Coaches are far easier to replace than 5 passengers. If you replace 1 or 2 passengers & a coach you would have the same result as trading 4 guys I think.

Tambo says MccT is safe, the guys in the room have to figure this lack of intensity out. No trades & no new coach. Be prepared for another run of 500 hockey.

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#7 CurtisS
February 02 2009, 03:26PM
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@ Travis Dakin:

So he tried but accomplished less?? Thats what matters?

No wonder we cant win hockey games.

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#8 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 03:27PM
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Mike wrote:

I don’t understand how you can let the whole team off the hook against Buffalo, and then single out guys a few days later. You suffer as a team, if necessary.

Oilers were nieve to think Sabre management didn't remember the Vanek signing when they were vulnerable. Oiler management possibly did not prepare the players on what was on the line that night.... PRIDE - I am suprised that Ruff did not pull the goalie for 11 to show how ticked off they were.... I bet there was money on the board from Ruff and Galisano to motivate this team against the lazy oil....

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#9 CurtisS
February 02 2009, 03:27PM
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Is it possible Penner has tuned his coach out and is looking for a way out?

Just throwing it out there.

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#10 Travis Dakin
February 02 2009, 03:28PM
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CurtisS wrote:

@ Travis Dakin: So he tried but accomplished less?? Thats what matters? No wonder we cant win hockey games.

No what matters is that because of the crap that has been the play of these guys, MacT has been forced to use Reddox instead of them.

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#11 Elaine
February 02 2009, 03:30PM
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The team is lousy. Not enough production from most of the roster, not just Penner. Horcoff's totals are not that of a 1st line centre. The team is just not good enough and also too small. Also, the team needs two guys who can win faceoffs more than they lose. This is terrible that they let Stoll and Reasoner go without replacing them with a decent faceoff man. It not only hurts their powerplay but also their penalty killing. Both Lowe and Tambellini need to get some talent. I don't see any on the farm at least for a couple or more years. Even then, I doubt it.

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#12 mjsh
February 02 2009, 03:32PM
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@ Rick: Rick wrote:

So between MacT’s comments yesterday and today it sounds like he has gone public in calling for Tambellini to go shopping for a LWer. Would this mean that Nilsson is probably on the block right now and would someone actually take a chance on a guy like him?

I think a lot of teams would take a chance on Nilsson. He is still fairly young and has a huge upside. It would be interesting to compare his results right now to Hemsky's at a similar time in Hemmer's career. If I recall correctly, Hemsky had only 13 goals two years ago.

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#13 Rick
February 02 2009, 03:33PM
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@ CurtisS:

Not every player gives you the same thing as the next guy so you have to judge them based on their individual skill sets.

It's like fans expect every player to score like a first liner, hit like a truck, fight like the boogy man, check like a Devil and skate like the wind. It's rediculous.

There is not much to suggest that Reddox is capable of giving any more than he is so he is in effect doing his job.

Can you say the same thing about the other guys?

I don't think anyone would be as annoyed with Penner as they are if he hadn't already proven in stretches that he is in fact capable of playing they way that people expect him to. But he isn't, and he has been called out once again, as he should be.

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#14 sittingatmydesk
February 02 2009, 03:38PM
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The Oilers should look at Frolov from LA. he's a leftwinger and WAY more porductive than Penner, has a cap hit of 2.9 mill, if there is way tambo can get him out of LA, h eshould go for it...( maybe penner and poulioy)

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#15 CurtisS
February 02 2009, 03:39PM
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@ Rick:

Rick how do you bag skate 3 players in a 1 goal loss than no players in a 10 -2 loss?

Answer me that. I really need a answer

Actually Robin why cant the Media ask Mact something like that? I would so love to hear the answer to that question.

Its all about Favortism with mact.

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#16 FlamesFanInETown
February 02 2009, 03:48PM
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sittingatmydesk wrote:

The Oilers should look at Frolov from LA. he’s a leftwinger and WAY more porductive than Penner, has a cap hit of 2.9 mill, if there is way tambo can get him out of LA, h eshould go for it…( maybe penner and poulioy)

Nobody else is foolish enough to take Penner at his ridiculous salary. OF COURSE Tambo should take that trade. He should trade Penner for an empty beer bottle if he could. He'd dump a huge mostly useless salary, and be able to sign a more reasonable player for the money. If he can do anything besides buying out the contract they'll come out ahead.

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#17 Chaz
February 02 2009, 03:53PM
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I hope Mac T is showing up early for practice and working on the things he has to in order to get better. For Example: having his team ready to play at the start of games. Holding his players accountable. Working on the PP and PK. Playing players at their actual position....

He's fairly quick to call players out, but I would argue his performance, more than any single player, has hurt this team the most this year. Maybe if he took some of the responsibility once in a while, the players would respond and play harder for him. (In his defense, he did take some of the heat after the "Debacle of Monumental Proportions" aka the Buffalo game.)

I'm not saying fire Mac T because I do like him as a coach. I just wish the coaching staff and management would take some of the heat for losing some of the time around here, because it's pretty plain to see it's not just the players' fault. I guess they aren't used to criticism within the hallowed walls of the Old Boys Club. How do I get a membership to that club anyways?

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#18 Colin
February 02 2009, 03:55PM
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A BS bag skate. Not that they didn't deserve one, but that everyone not named Hemsky, Roloson, Moreau and Nilsson deserved one.

And if you're going to do a bag skate, after a 10-2 loss might have been the time.

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#19 Sing A Song For SingSing
February 02 2009, 03:55PM
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This Penner situation has evolved into a flat out disaster, debacle, whatever you wanna call it.

Such an embarrassment... Hemsky's got to be pissed off and frustrated as f*ck out there, I wouldn't blame him.

It's turning into a circus here.

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#20 humantorch
February 02 2009, 03:55PM
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Once again, MacT calls out/punishes the young guys yet lets the vets who have also played like ass off the hook.

Remember a few weeks back when the Oilers held that players-only meeting and were all positively glowy about the "new team spirit" they developed coming out of that?

Wonder how well that's going now?

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#21 Rick
February 02 2009, 03:57PM
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@ CurtisS:

Why would I have the answer?

If I had my druthers I would have bag skated not only the whole team but the coaches and trainers as well after the Buffalo game.

But they weren't so it is what it is and in the end most of the team responded positively on Friday so maybe it was the right call not to bag skate them.

As for the three that were skated after practice today, I have no problem with it. Penner has looked like crap, Pouliot has been so invisible I forgot he was on the team and Brodziak, apart from faceoffs, looks like a guy that is entirely too comfortable for his spot.

The way I see it, and would hope that the players see it, is that by singling out the worst offenders you are not giving them a chance to hide behind the whole team.

I am not sure, atleast in Penner's case that he is capable of looking at his own play with a critical enough of an eye with out getting poked directly in that eye first. Hopefully this type of thing does it.

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#22 humantorch
February 02 2009, 03:57PM
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Sing A Song For SingSing wrote:

It’s turning into a circus here.

"Turning?"

I'm pretty sure it passed by "circus" a long time ago. We've gone beyond New York Islanders territory and have moved squarely into Tampa Bay here.

I love my Oilers, but this franchise is a god-forsaken disgrace right now.

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#23 Zamboni Driver
February 02 2009, 04:01PM
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Just wondering....

In what parallel universe was Dustin-Freakin'-Penner EVER an Assistant Captain on anything above a hotdog eating contest??!!

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#24 Rick
February 02 2009, 04:02PM
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@ Traktor:

Is it safe to say that because your upset with what was removed the point of your post was not to defend Penner but just to insult Brownlee?

Real classy.

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#25 jeanshorts
February 02 2009, 04:11PM
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@ CurtisS:

I've been navigating the Fire MacT Bandwagon® for some time now, but your point is missing the mark. Why bag skate them after a 10-2 loss? You don't think the point was driven home already? The fans were cheering for the other team to run up the score, and everyone on the bench looked like they just watched their families get fed into a wood chipper. They were disgusted with themselves. They knew exactly what had happened and how they needed to be better, and they came out the next game with a fire we haven't seen all season.

Also you're obsession with bag skates is pretty puzzling. Skating the team until they hate life isn't going to turn this team around. It will probably make them come out hard for a game or two but it's not going to change the inconsistent play that we've seen night in and night out. Should MacT just bag skate them after every loss? Sometimes you just have to take a loss and move on. Work on the holes in your game and try and be better next time.

I'll agree that MacT plays favorites harder than Rick Tocchet plays the ponies, but I don't see anything wrong with trying to drive the point home to three young guys who have been playing at an ECHL level for the past month.

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#26 swany
February 02 2009, 04:11PM
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Colin wrote:

A BS bag skate. Not that they didn’t deserve one, but that everyone not named Hemsky, Roloson, Moreau and Nilsson deserved one. And if you’re going to do a bag skate, after a 10-2 loss might have been the time.

Maybe not the traditional bag skate but they did have to flood the ice and they did practice for 2 hours.

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#27 RobinB
February 02 2009, 04:32PM
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Traktor wrote:

It’s too bad Brownie doesn’t have the balls to focus on the real problem; Craig MacTavish

First off, knucklehead, don't call me Brownie. Only people I like can call me Brownie. You aren't one of them. Second. start paying attention. Before you make a jackass of yourself by accusing me of never taking MacTavish to task, at least pull your fat head out of your not-so-smart arse and do your homework.

I've had numerous issues with how MacTavish has handled players -- both in terms of calling them out and how he's employed them in the line-up. Here's three quick samples, although there are many more (no need to overload that walnut you call a brain with information).

FROM NOV 21: JUST ASKING -- Given pre-season expectations and that Daryl Katz is now endorsing the cheques, what's the over/under on MacTavish's tenure if the Oilers don't start to climb above the .500 mark and stay there? And, no, 2007 doesn't count as a prediction. Bizarre as it sounds, is it too much to ask that defencemen, well, play defence? That right wingers play right wing instead of left wing or center? I know Laddy Smid longs for the Art Ross Trophy, but, like my mom used to say, "There's a place for everything and everything in its place."

FROM JAN. 7: JUST WONDERING Now, I'm just speculating here, but I wonder if anything that was said by Tambellini Monday played into the fact that Gilbert Brule is finally getting a shot on the top line as a fill-in for Ales Hemsky? Could it be Tambellini, like a lot of fans, was mystified by MacTavish's decision to put Liam Reddox on right wing on the top line with Shawn Horcoff and Dustin Penner while Hemsky recovers from a concussion? I never did get it that MacTavish seemed to suggest that Brule didn't have the experience to take that role, despite having more than 150 games on his NHL resume, while Reddox, who now has 18 games, did. Tonight, after, ahem, reconsidering that stance, MacTavish will give Brule his chance to shine when Mats Sundin and the Vancouver Canucks come calling. Hmm. I wonder -- and again, this is just speculation on my part -- if Tambellini has asked himself some of the same questions many fans and some of us on press row have about personnel choices by the head coach?

FROM JAN 12 THE TRUTH HURTS As everybody has heard by now, so said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish about Rob Schremp Sunday when Chris Cuthbert of TSN asked why Ryan Potulny and not Schremp had been promoted from Springfield of the AHL. Now, contrary to what some fervent backers of Captain America believe, I can't say with a straight face that much of what MacTavish said isn't true. It is true of course, but that, like telling your better half she has a bum as big as bus, probably isn't very smart. It's abundantly clear, if it wasn't before, that no matter what Schremp does, he's not going to make it with the Oilers while MacTavish is the coach. Not his kind of player. Not his kind of personality. We get it. But instead of pointing out Schremp's flaws publicly and diminishing what little value he has as an asset, MacTavish should have played it smart and fibbed a little bit. "Robbie's made a lot of progress and we liked what we saw when he was up here in December, but we're a little bit small up front right now, so we'd like to add a bit more size. Besides, Potulny has done everything we've asked of him and he's earned a look-see." How difficult would that have been? MacTavish is a sharp guy and he usually plays it smart. For whatever reason -- maybe he's feeling the heat of what's been a disappointing first half -- he played this one like a, well, big ass.

Again, this is just a small sampling so as to not challenge your obviously limited attention span. There's plenty more, but they might just confuse you. Anything else, smart guy?

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#28 BUCK75
February 02 2009, 04:36PM
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@ RobinB:

Wow I knew that was coming!

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#29 Deans
February 02 2009, 04:38PM
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Anybody see the presser w/ Brian Murray today? I hope the guy doesn't play poker b/c all of his tells are right there on video. So Mr. Murray you sure you didnt look at anyone else for the job? You're ear touching makes me believe otherwise you liar. This guy is more ****ed than a stray dog in Chinatown. Get those resumes ready.

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#30 Malc
February 02 2009, 04:38PM
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@ mjsh:

13 goals... and 40 assists. Nilsson's on pace for maybe 20 assists. That's a big difference and not a good comparison.

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#31 jeanshorts
February 02 2009, 04:38PM
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@ BUCK75:

YOU SAW THIS COMING!

*locks himself in the basement for fear of getting caught up in Brownlee's hurricane like wrath*

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#32 Greg MC
February 02 2009, 04:39PM
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Mr Brownlee deserves major respect for what he writes.

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#33 Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer
February 02 2009, 04:40PM
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Robin,

I think the problem lies in that people expect the reporters to vent the frustrations of the fans for them. Since you get access to Mactavish, people expect you to go in, pens blazing and calling him out because thats what the people think.

Truth is people dont understand how the media game is worked. Sure being a little critical is nothing unheard of. But you cant go blasting the coaches in the paper, in your blogs, in person, in front of them, in front of their players in front of the coaches in the media etc etc etc. Your going to find that a lot of people who you depend on to do your job, wont talk to you, and then suddenly your going to be out of a doubt.

Am I wrong?

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#34 R-DAWG
February 02 2009, 04:42PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

@ BUCK75: YOU SAW THIS COMING! *locks himself in the basement for fear of getting caught up in Brownlee’s hurricane like wrath*

WAIT FOR ME!!!

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#35 Malc
February 02 2009, 04:43PM
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Penner is the most frustrating player in the league. When he was called out the first time he came back and completely dominated that Columbus game. It was ridiculous. Thank-you Penner for showing us exactly what you can do - and then never doing it again. What a joke. If he would be that guy even 3/4 of the time this would be a different team (well... that might be a bit of a stretch - you get the idea).

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#36 R-DAWG
February 02 2009, 04:44PM
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Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer wrote:

I think the problem lies in that people expect the reporters to vent the frustrations of the fans for them. Since you get access to Mactavish, people expect you to go in, pens blazing and calling him out because thats what the people think

If Robin did that he would have been fired long ago!!

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#37 Deans
February 02 2009, 04:48PM
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Hey Mr. Brownlee

Any other names I should aviod calling you b/c that was f*****g brutal. In my opinion you are one of the handful of EDM media guys who has consistently criticized MacT.

I think Penner and Pouliot respond in a big way on Tues. Penner actually looked really good against BUF but that effort was in a blowout. At this point I think Broziak is in serious trouble. The Oilers will probably keep him as a depth guy but I really see them picking up a Vet. Center who can win a draw.

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#38 Rob
February 02 2009, 04:52PM
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How the heck does Penner look anybody in the face either in the dressingroom or on the streets of Edmonton? If I were being paid his contract and I knew I wasn't going to live up to expectations I would at least bang and crash, slap some of the oppositions tough guys up-side the head and I would work up one hell of a sweat so I could at least look MYSELF in the face. This guy doesn't even seem to feel enough pride in himself to do that much.

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#39 BUCK75
February 02 2009, 04:55PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Not quite the same as the dressing down of the Warrior - but still a classic dimantling.

Be happy that you have the forum to talk to the guy. Don't tell him how to do his job...

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#40 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 04:56PM
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BUCK75 wrote:

@ RobinB: Wow I knew that was coming!

is traktor "The Warrior's" cousin

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#41 Rob
February 02 2009, 04:57PM
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Regarding Brodziak, I think his new bride has got him distracted and he has forgotten where he makes his living If he doesn't smarten up he will be assembling farm machinery in his hometown. He has become ballast this season. Wait til Fernando gets back and takes a spot and plays his Barbie doll pitty-pat hockey. Will he ever get back to '06?

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#42 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 04:58PM
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Deans wrote:

Hey Mr. Brownlee Any other names I should aviod calling you b/c that was f*****g brutal. In my opinion you are one of the handful of EDM media guys who has consistently criticized MacT. I think Penner and Pouliot respond in a big way on Tues. Penner actually looked really good against BUF but that effort was in a blowout. At this point I think Broziak is in serious trouble. The Oilers will probably keep him as a depth guy but I really see them picking up a Vet. Center who can win a draw.

Deans - listen up you moron - anytime you debate, argue, yell at someone and use FBOMBS - your argument is lost.... idiot. If you have an argument - state your case otherwise move onto flamesnation.ca

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#43 Fortboy
February 02 2009, 04:58PM
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Rob wrote:

How the heck does Penner look anybody in the face either in the dressingroom or on the streets of Edmonton?

He looks them square in the eye and tells them to shut the f*** up. That's how.

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#44 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 04:59PM
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sorry most of my rant was at TRAKTOR - damn edit button

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#45 Clarkenstein
February 02 2009, 05:00PM
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I've said it here before and I'll say it again... apprently Mr. Burke was 100% right in his assessment of Kevin Lowe signing this donkey!!!

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#46 RobinB
February 02 2009, 05:01PM
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@ Jack "slacking off at work" Bauer: Pretty accurate take on your part. I don't have the same emotional investment in the Oilers as a fan does. I'm not angry or depressed when they lose and I'm not elated when they win. As somebody who travelled with the team for 10 years, that's not an approach you can take.

I get the frustration many fans feel, just like I understand the highs they experience when the team is doing well. Some of that rubs off -- some of the best times I've had in 25 years as a sportswriter came during the Cup run of 2006, but I had nine stories to write after Game 7 and two hours to do them, so it's not like I spent much time lamenting the outcome. Such is the life of a beat guy.

While some readers, like Traktor, default to the common accusation that reporters, in this case me, kiss a lot of butt, don't tackle tough issues and don't write nearly as critically as they should -- especially when it comes to taking on MacT or Kevin Lowe -- I've got everything I've ever written in files in front of me and I know different.

Fans with that emotional investment can vent all they want when times are tough and cheer all they please when the team is winning. Just don't expect me to take that emotional roller-coaster ride with you. That's not my job.

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#47 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 05:05PM
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Rob wrote:

Regarding Brodziak, I think his new bride has got him distracted and he has forgotten where he makes his living If he doesn’t smarten up he will be assembling farm machinery in his hometown. He has become ballast this season. Wait til Fernando gets back and takes a spot and plays his Barbie doll pitty-pat hockey. Will he ever get back to ‘06?

Brods is making min wage $450K - I think his wife would be on him like flys on crap to play better and extend the gravy train..... the whole line needs to fight, score, hit and disturb given the limited minutes.

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#48 Deep Oil
February 02 2009, 05:06PM
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Clarkenstein wrote:

I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again… apprently Mr. Burke was 100% right in his assessment of Kevin Lowe signing this donkey!!!

and why is lowe not taking heat for this

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#49 David S
February 02 2009, 05:10PM
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Traktor and The Warrior at ON.

Here we go.

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#50 swany
February 02 2009, 05:11PM
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RobinB wrote:

@ Jack “slacking off at work” Bauer: Pretty accurate take on your part. I don’t have the same emotional investment in the Oilers as a fan does. I’m not angry or depressed when they lose and I’m not elated when they win. As somebody who travelled with the team for 10 years, that’s not an approach you can take. I get the frustration many fans feel, just like I understand the highs they experience when the team is doing well. Some of that rubs off — some of the best times I’ve had in 25 years as a sportswriter came during the Cup run of 2006, but I had nine stories to write after Game 7 and two hours to do them, so it’s not like I spent much time lamenting the outcome. Such is the life of a beat guy. While some readers, like Traktor, default to the common accusation that reporters, in this case me, kiss a lot of butt, don’t tackle tough issues and don’t write nearly as critically as they should — especially when it comes to taking on MacT or Kevin Lowe — I’ve got everything I’ve ever written in files in front of me and I know different. Fans with that emotional investment can vent all they want when times are tough and cheer all they please when the team is winning. Just don’t expect me to take that emotional roller-coaster ride with you. That’s not my job.

All the Mact bashers may have a point, but it was Klowe that signed Penner when Smyth left, and when they saw he wasn't the fit they were looking for they traded for Cole. I will not blame Mact for using Cole on the LW as Klowe stated that's what he was traded for, they still haven't replaced Smitty on the top line, don't get me wrong they had to trade him but right now I think everyone would take a Smyth for Penner staight up. Smitty left it all on the ice and played well with Hemmer and Horc. If I recall Smitty was always good for 25-35 goals when he wasn't hurt and played with Hemmer. Klowe needed to go after a true LW not a RW moving to the LW it was a stupid trade, and Mact took the heat for it. Heatly is the guy they should target, the Sens might be willing to listen to offers for this guy now.

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