A fine mess

Robin Brownlee
February 20 2009 12:08PM

Was Ethan Moreau doing what a captain had to do against the Dallas Stars Thursday, or did the E-Train look like he'd come off the rails by taking selfish, boneheaded penalties that led to a costly 4-2 loss at the American Airlines Center?

In a melee sparked by Steve Ott's blindside of Tom Gilbert -- a hit that prompted Moreau to, first, pile on Ott after Dwayne Roloson and Laddy Smid had already responded, and, second, to flail away at Dallas defenceman Nicklas Grossman -- my vote is for the latter.

Five minutes to Moreau for losing it, none to Grossman for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As far as Moreau's double-minor, one for tripping and another for roughing, that led to the eventual winning goal by Fabian Brunnstrom early in the second period, same thing.

Tripping? OK. A headlock and the stinky glove? Not so much. Not at all, in fact. Stupid penalties. Selfish penalties. Nothing to do with playing tough. Nothing to do with leadership. And nothing to do with the tough, honest hockey Moreau has made a career on.

Leadership?

Of course, not everybody sees it the way I do. Long-time Oiler fan and journalist David Staples, at the Cult of Hockey at The Journal, saw Moreau's ill-timed fits of temper as some sort of Messier Moment:

"Whatever the Oilers did wrong in the past, they responded properly this time, first with goalie feisty Dwayne Roloson coming in to give Ott a bash, then with snarly Ladislav Smid jumping on the guy, and finally with the fierce captain, Ethan Moreau, piling on and punching Ott in the head. It did my heart well, I tell you. For once, the Oilers looked like a team, as opposed to a collection of paycheque men."

As you'd expect, Craig MacTavish didn't take issue with Moreau's response, either. Said MacTavish: "There's nobody that does it better than Steve Ott. He picks his spots. He's an effective player. We did have the right response on the hit on Gibby, but it was a Steve Ott-type game."

Sorry, coach, no sale. The right response? Throwing punches at Grossman, who kept his gloves on (yet managed to end up on top of Moreau) and taking the extra five?

It's not the first time Moreau has taken ill-timed, costly penalties this season, so he doesn't get a pass for a one-off. While I'm not in the camp of people yelling for Moreau to be stripped of the captaincy, let's get real here. Moreau lost his temper. He took stupid penalties on two different occasions that led to the Oilers losing a game they had to win.

Correct me if I’m wrong

  • Shouldn't fans who think it would be a great move for the Oilers to acquire Alexei Kovalev from Montreal at least find out why the Habs chose to sit their best player at a critical point in the season before they jump to conclusions? Arguments about whether Kovalev would help in the stretch drive aside -- he certainly would, if he felt like it -- it would seem prudent to find out what the issues are before clamouring for Steve Tambellini to pull the trigger on anything, no?
  • While Dwayne Roloson has performed better than I thought he could or would since Mathieu Garon was traded, MacTavish is now in the position of having to ride the 39-year-old all the way to the finish line. It's 14 straight starts and counting. The wheels have to fall off Roli, don't they?
  • Saturday's game against Calgary will get the obligatory hype we've come to expect, but the Oilers aren't catching the Flames for the Northwest Division title. Not a chance. I agree with what MacTavish suggested several weeks ago: I see the Oilers playoff hopes hinging on the three games they have remaining against the Minnesota Wild. If I'm the Oilers, I'm more worried about the Wild, who have two games in hand, than Anaheim.
  • While there's been the suggestion Tambellini will wait until closer to the trade deadline to make any moves, I believe the return of Fernando Pisani next week could set things in motion. Just a gut feeling on that front.

-- 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 swany
February 20 2009, 12:19PM
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Bob on 630 ched hinted that there was a deal in place for a D man but with the set back of Pies it will be another week before the deal will be made, doesn't that say they would be moving a forward?

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#2 Rice
February 20 2009, 12:20PM
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Are you suggesting that there should be a new face behind the C?

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#3 swany
February 20 2009, 12:23PM
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swany wrote:

Bob on 630 ched hinted that there was a deal in place for a D man but with the set back of Pies it will be another week before the deal will be made, doesn’t that say they would be moving a forward?

And as for Moreau thank god my kids weren't home as the F bombs were going off, total lack of leadership, you should know when to do that and when not to as a captain, I new he would get a double minor on that play as he wouldn't let the guy out of the headlock, as for the fighting major MAKE sure the other guy goes off as well stupid penalties.

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#4 Robin B
February 20 2009, 12:23PM
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Rice wrote:

Are you suggesting that there should be a new face behind the C?

"While I’m not in the camp of people yelling for Moreau to be stripped of the captaincy, let’s get real here. Moreau lost his temper. He took stupid penalties on two different occasions that led to the Oilers losing a game they had to win."

Does it sound like that's what I'm suggesting?

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#5 swany
February 20 2009, 12:25PM
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Rice wrote:

Are you suggesting that there should be a new face behind the C?

C= Souray or should, Moreau wasn't the only stupid penalty taker. Hemmer and Horc both took dumb ass penalties too.

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#6 Jonathan Willis
February 20 2009, 12:28PM
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This is deeply disturbing, Robin - I strongly agree with every single point you make here.

Given the sheer volume of waiver eligible forwards next season, I assume you expect to see a forward moved - would Marc Pouliot or Robert Nilsson (aside from the rather obvious Erik Cole) be likely candidates?

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#7 swany
February 20 2009, 12:36PM
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Robin B wrote:

Rice wrote: Are you suggesting that there should be a new face behind the C? “While I’m not in the camp of people yelling for Moreau to be stripped of the captaincy, let’s get real here. Moreau lost his temper. He took stupid penalties on two different occasions that led to the Oilers losing a game they had to win.” Does it sound like that’s what I’m suggesting?

And right after Horc scored to tie it all the mo going the Oilers way and he takes a double minor, I couldn't believe it.

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#8 Hoodlum
February 20 2009, 12:37PM
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If the Oilers had of killed off the double minor and eventually squeeked out a win, you would be saying that Moreau's penalty was a momentum changer and you would be praising him. You bash the guy for trying to spark an emotionless team. If he didn't do what he does, you would still question is leadership and weather or not he should be captain. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. As for Kovelev, he seems to have a problem with the younger guys on Montreals team, although I don't know what the habits are of the younger guys on our team, I believe that we are a younger team than Montreal and if he had a problem with the young guys there, he's not going to run away from those problems in Edmonton

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#9 Rick
February 20 2009, 12:38PM
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I blame Brownlee and Gregor for the Ott incident last night.

If you guys had only forwarded a copy of your interview from last week with him to the Oilers players they would have been prepared for his antics. He pretty much scripted exactly what ultimately went down.

Not an excuse for Moreau's game last night because he deserves all the egg's that get thrown at him for what he did, but the extra 2 for roughing in the second period was a bush league call. I just can't sort out the selective vision that the refs seem to be getting afflicted with more and more these days.

Ironically though they killed that penalty and it was the stupid hooking call that burned them...as it should be.

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#10 shakey
February 20 2009, 12:40PM
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If this was a one-off bad timed spurt of selfishness for Moreau then I say let it go, he usually helps this team. But this wasn't. This is a pattern that is getting more and more obvious as the season goes on. It looks like he is trying to win the game on every shift. It's been said on here before that players will gladly try to kill a penalty that comes from hard work and hustle. Moreau's brain-cramps have hurt this team when they really need solid leadership. I'm all for standing up for your team and playing hard but the extra penalty after the trip and the useless sucker punches to Grossman did nothing but hurt the team.

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#11 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 20 2009, 12:41PM
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That double minor was absolutely bogus though. Sure they scored on the first half of that penalty which was the tripping, but the reffing last night, was like how it always is in the NHL, atrocious. These are the worst officals in sport. They do an awful job.

You know whats funny about Moreau losing his temper? He looks like hes barely awake when he does it.

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#12 Adam Dyck
February 20 2009, 12:45PM
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http://i.gizmodo.com/5157354/boy-killed-anally-when-office-chair-explodes

That pretty much sums up how it feels to be an Oilers fan these days.

Also explains why I'll be seating on a barstool from now on.

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#13 Jonathan Willis
February 20 2009, 12:47PM
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For everyone whining about poor Moreau getting ripped off by the referees, are they naturally biased against him or is he just unlucky?

Moreau's one of the league leaders in non-coincidental penalties taken; he's personally put the Oilers in a shorthanded situation 21 times this season. That's every second game, folks.

He's having a nice year against some tough players scoring-wise, but Ethan Moreau is not, and has never been a disciplined player. It's a flaw in his game, and the team would be better off if he corrected it.

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#14 Milli
February 20 2009, 12:49PM
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I have always thought Moreau was a great choice for the C. At the time, he was the guy, there was no doubt. From what I see today, Souray is the leader. But, does that mean he should get the C, I say no. Moreau was a team leader long before he had the C. If Moreau is dealt, then yes, it seems like the natural choice. More of a concern is the lack of scoring on this team, and with the dmen who are injured, a real problem.

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#15 Jack "FMNF" Bauer
February 20 2009, 12:50PM
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I do fear that Moreau has developed that Matt Greene syndrome. Are the refs taking an extra look at Ethan? I dont think there is any question about that. Thats natural in sport where refs go into a game and keep a 3rd eye on certain players. How is it Ethan can get 2 for roughing when he face washes a player after a scrum, yet Souray can one punch a guy with his left hand and not get anything? One guy has the respect of the refs, the other does not.

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#16 Jonathan Willis
February 20 2009, 12:54PM
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@ Jack "FMNF" Bauer:

I'm thinking it's because Michalek dropped to the ice like he'd been shot when Souray gave him that little punch. The refs were standing right there,and I'm sure they caught on to Michalek's embellishment and just decided to call nothing rather than offsetting penalties for roughing/diving.

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#17 Kid
February 20 2009, 01:00PM
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Ethan cost us the game last night plain and simple and Hempsky just doesnt seam interested but that just how I feel.

Ott did his job last night and Hempsky was a non factor. He needs to find away to not let those types of players get to him and just play cause if he doesn't, with the types of teams we need to beat to get into the playoffs, we dont stand a chance.

Hempsky needs someone other than Penner and Horcoff to play with and I dont think Kovalev is the anwser. Keith Ktachuck would be a much better fit and not be so expensive. We dont have the greatest depth as it is and Kovalev would take too much of our current depth.

If the price is right dont get me wrong get Kovalev but I think the price will be to high and in the long run not worth it.

If we cant sign Cole by the deadline then we need to trade him cause I dont think he is worth what he is going to be able to get on the free market next year nor do I think he would even want to stay here. He seams more disinterested then hempsky did last night and it has been every game with him other that a small stretch. Van Reimsdyk and Jones look good from the flyers and they could use Cole if not just to keep him from Boston. I know it would take more then just Cole but Jones is the type of dman we need more of and Van reimsdyk would be a great prospect to have.

Ktachuck and Jones for this year and Van Reimsdyk for the furture would be want I would want to see the Oilers get before the deadline.

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#18 Rick
February 20 2009, 01:02PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

For everyone whining about poor Moreau getting ripped off by the referees, are they naturally biased against him or is he just unlucky?

Does it really matter?

The penalty I questioned was a crap call and looking at it in isolation it shouldn't have been made.

I would expect any player to do that 10 times out of 10 if faced with the same situation. He didn't hit him, he didn't cheap shot him, he didn't even try to escalate the situation once he was involved. He just tied the Start player up that was pushing and shoving with Staios.

Let's change the players, if it was Hemsky pushing and shoving with the Star player and Penner was playing the role of Moreau but simply turned away like he does so often most people would be railing against Penner for not doing anything.

I don't think anyone is absolving Moreau of the stupid calls he deserves, which have been many.

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#19 Mike Krushelnyski
February 20 2009, 01:09PM
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Kid wrote:

I know it would take more then just Cole but Jones is the type of dman we need more of and Van reimsdyk would be a great prospect to have.

Dude, Van Riemsdyk was the #2 pick in '07. It'll take a LOT more than Cole to get him.

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#20 Jonathan Willis
February 20 2009, 01:13PM
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@ Rick:

Which was more or less my point. We can talk about how Moreau got ripped off on the second penalty, but even if that's the case, taking stupid penalties is the rule rather than the exception with this player.

There was a game against Columbus not that long ago, and Moreau got a penalty that most of the fans around here felt was undeserved. On the other hand, he'd gotten away with an obvious cross-check the shift previous. Thus, my contention would be that for the penalties Moreau takes that he doesn't deserve, he also doesn't get called on penalties he does deserve; it all evens out.

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#21 Bob Cob
February 20 2009, 01:20PM
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Completely agree with you Robin, in a game you have to win you cant have your captain, or anyone else taking selfish penalties. I didn't get a good look at the hit on Smid, was it cheap or clean? I ask because it seems that any hard hit, clean or cheap, warrants a fight in retaliation immediately and that is one thing that really drives me crazy. If it's a good, hard hit dont retaliate and put your team down a man, get the number of the guy, hit him when the chance comes and get retribution that way but dont retaliate stupidly because you didn't have your head up. Speaking playing with your head up, does Laddy Smid ever play with his head up? He seems to get hit in vulneralble positiions, and hit hard, on a regular basis.

Keep your head up Smid!

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#22 shakey
February 20 2009, 01:31PM
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Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

Dude, Van Riemsdyk was the #2 pick in ‘07. It’ll take a LOT more than Cole to get him.

Maybe Pouliot and Cole? Pouliot played with Crosby in junior you know?

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#23 Robin B
February 20 2009, 01:36PM
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Hoodlum wrote:

If the Oilers had of killed off the double minor and eventually squeeked out a win, you would be saying that Moreau’s penalty was a momentum changer and you would be praising him. You bash the guy for trying to spark an emotionless team. If he didn’t do what he does, you would still question is leadership and weather or not he should be captain. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Read what's written before getting carried away. I don't question whether Ethan should be captain. I've known him a long time and he has a lot of qualities that make him a good leader, not the least of which are that's he's competitive in the extreme and he'll do whatever it takes to win. The problem is, it's those very qualities that cause him to step over the line at inopportune times -- like Thursday. Criticism over a specific indiscretion, like not being in control against Dallas, does not translate to me wanting the C pulled off his jersey.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

This is deeply disturbing, Robin - I strongly agree with every single point you make here. Given the sheer volume of waiver eligible forwards next season, I assume you expect to see a forward moved - would Marc Pouliot or Robert Nilsson (aside from the rather obvious Erik Cole) be likely candidates?

Perhaps there is hope, then, that we're actually watching the same game from time to time.

And, yes, aside from Cole, Pouliot (even if he has little or no value) and Nilsson make the most sense on a lot of levels. As I suggested, we could see some movement by the Oilers after Pisani gets back, which means Tambellini could make a move as early as next weekend with several days to spare before the deadline.

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#24 Chris
February 20 2009, 01:37PM
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Kid wrote:

Ott did his job last night and Hempsky was a non factor.

Hemsky set the stage for the Horcoff goal with a massive hit on his own blue line... Hemsky should be the LAST player on this team to draw criticism.

Jonathan Willis wrote:

Which was more or less my point. We can talk about how Moreau got ripped off on the second penalty, but even if that’s the case, taking stupid penalties is the rule rather than the exception with this player.

As Captain, Moreau has a unigue opportunity to interact with the officials... Do they simply not like him? Wierd calls like the roughing penalty in the second seem to follow him.

@ Robin B: Is Deslaurier stinking it up at practice? Why would the brass sacrifice Garon if Deslaurier is never going to start? Roli looks tired.

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#25 Robin B
February 20 2009, 01:42PM
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@ Chris: No, Jeff has been upbeat and positive. The problem is, the Oilers can't afford to give him a period or two, let alone a game or two, to shake of the rust of inactivity. They need every single point they can get. When the decision to let Garon go was made, there's no way MacTavish or anybody else saw Roloson going on a stretch of 14 straight starts. Roloson has been very good for the most part, but it's now to the point where there's a chance they'll run him out of gas. Then what?

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#26 BUCK75 - FMNF
February 20 2009, 01:47PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Moreau’s one of the league leaders in non-coincidental penalties taken; he’s personally put the Oilers in a shorthanded situation 21 times this season. That’s every second game, folks.blockquote> HAHA you have a stat for EVERYTHING!!! No wonder it seems like he takes a bonehead penalty every game. Thanks for the stat! He takes the same penalties ALL the time. How many tripping, hooking & slashing penatlies has he taken? That is the part that pisses me off. They have been playing hockey with these rules for the past 3 seasons. It's inexcusable to be taking those penalties. That incident with Grossman was ridiculous. I'm sure that is what the "fighting haters" like to see. The most selfish play all season.
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#27 J-Bird
February 20 2009, 01:47PM
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Moreau has been doing bone headed plays all year, including the stupid ill timed penalties. He ices the puck sometimes by not getting to the line a lot too. Mental mistakes from a 10+ year veteran are unacceptable. Let alone your captain. One of the kids did that, Mac would toss them under the bus, guaranteed!

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#28 swany
February 20 2009, 01:49PM
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Robin B wrote:

@ Chris: No, Jeff has been upbeat and positive. The problem is, the Oilers can’t afford to give him a period or two, let alone a game or two, to shake of the rust of inactivity. They need every single point they can get. When the decision to let Garon go was made, there’s no way MacTavish or anybody else saw Roloson going on a stretch of 14 straight starts. Roloson has been very good for the most part, but it’s now to the point where there’s a chance they’ll run him out of gas. Then what?

Mact will come out of retirement and strap on the pads he was a great shot blocker you know.

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#29 Rick
February 20 2009, 01:51PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

I didn’t get a good look at the hit on Smid, was it cheap or clean? I ask because it seems that any hard hit, clean or cheap, warrants a fight in retaliation immediately and that is one thing that really drives me crazy.

Assuming that you are talking about the Ott incident (if not, stop reading), the hit was on Gilbert not Smid. Smid actually jumped Ott before Moreau piled on.

As for the hit it was kinda greasy. Gilbert didn't have the puck and his back was towards Ott.

Not the worst hit but not really surprising that it drew the Oilers attention either.

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#30 Tyler
February 20 2009, 01:54PM
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When the decision to let Garon go was made, there’s no way MacTavish or anybody else saw Roloson going on a stretch of 14 straight starts. Roloson has been very good for the most part, but it’s now to the point where there’s a chance they’ll run him out of gas. Then what?

Maybe the front office didn't foresee it but this isn't exactly a new MO for MacT when he's got a goalie who he trusts (as he obviously does Roli) and a backup who he doesn't. Same thing happened the year Roussel was the backup - Salo basically played out the rest of the season. Big difference between 29 and 39, to be sure, but I don't know that this is that surprising now that we've seen MacT for 10 years. He ran Roli out for every game until the Oilers clinched in 2005-06 too.

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#31 swany
February 20 2009, 01:56PM
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@ Robin the trade that might happen next week, do you think it will be for a forward to help Hemmer, he looks a bit frustrated.

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#32 Robin B
February 20 2009, 01:57PM
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Rick wrote:

Bob Cob wrote: I didn’t get a good look at the hit on Smid, was it cheap or clean? I ask because it seems that any hard hit, clean or cheap, warrants a fight in retaliation immediately and that is one thing that really drives me crazy. Assuming that you are talking about the Ott incident (if not, stop reading), the hit was on Gilbert not Smid. Smid actually jumped Ott before Moreau piled on. As for the hit it was kinda greasy. Gilbert didn’t have the puck and his back was towards Ott. Not the worst hit but not really surprising that it drew the Oilers attention either.

It was vintage Ott. He plays right on the edge all the time. I've seen him hit guys like that for five years now. Got a good look at him during the lockout season when I was covering the AHL. I've seen him get filled in for that more than once, but he's a stubborn, gutsy player who doesn't let a punch in the mouth back him off. On the other team, fans hate him. If he's an Oiler he's an "agitator."

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#33 Chris
February 20 2009, 01:57PM
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The D has been okay. Roli has exceeded expectations. The reason this team is not safely in 5th or 6th place: Nilsson and Gagner. These two kids, who were such a big part of last years stretch run have combined for only one goal more than Brodziak and Stortini... And this despite having premium minutes and powerplay time. Rookies and sophmores on other teams who draw quality second line minutes are expected to produce. Cogliano is cold, and Cole has been a bust; but Gagner and Nilsson need to find the back of the net! What team can really expect to qualify for the post season when 2/3rds of their SECOND line are on pace for less than 10 goals each on the season? I don't care that Gagner is too young to shave... he's old enough to cash that NHL cheque, isn't he?

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#34 Dennis
February 20 2009, 02:15PM
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18 has been taking dumb penalties For Years.

The problems with Moreau are as follows:

- overpaid for his role and/or the true difference he makes. He can't play tough min anymore - 10's line is the match at home and the big lines run against them on the road - and even with 'all' his goals this year, he's on the ice for more GA than GF; 28/30 to date.

- he's one of the most consistently dumbest Oilers in recent memory in terms of never being able to curb his penchant for taking stupid penalties. it happens year after year and folks who watch the games know that.

- it's a bad example and precedent for the kids that virtually everyone can be criticized or benched for transgressions other than Moreau. You aren't happy with the efforts of 27-51-78? You bench those guys. 18 takes dumb penalties for the 27th consecutive season? Not a ******* peep.

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#35 Dennis
February 20 2009, 02:18PM
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Ty: I'm not sure Ryan Stone would've let in that 2-0 goal last night.

Are you?

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#36 Robin B
February 20 2009, 02:23PM
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@ Tyler: Yes, I know. I was there. Obviously, you're quibbling with me saying there's no way MacTavish intended to use Roloson in 14 straight starts. Well, he didn't. It is a surprise. A 12-2 split, as an example, in that same stretch is still qalifies as going with your No. 1 guy, but you're at least building in breaks. Sooner or later giving Roloson morning skates off isn't going to keep him sharp and fresh.

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#37 Tyler
February 20 2009, 02:28PM
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Nah, it was a terrible goal. I don't like it any more than you do. With that said, he's posted a .913 save percentage in the 14 games he's played since the deal. He's had some stellar streaks and he's had some stumbles.

It's a roll of the dice either way. I don't have any faith in JDD and I'd rather bet on a tired Roli if I was the coach. There are other things to hammer MacT for...like Moreau's complete immunity when it comes to taking stupid penalties.

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#38 Jason Gregor
February 20 2009, 02:33PM
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Rick wrote:

I blame Brownlee and Gregor for the Ott incident last night. If you guys had only forwarded a copy of your interview from last week with him to the Oilers players they would have been prepared for his antics. He pretty much scripted exactly what ultimately went down.
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#39 Tyler
February 20 2009, 02:36PM
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Obviously, you’re quibbling with me saying there’s no way MacTavish intended to use Roloson in 14 straight starts. Well, he didn’t. It is a surprise. A 12-2 split, as an example, in that same stretch is still qalifies as going with your No. 1 guy, but you’re at least building in breaks. Sooner or later giving Roloson morning skates off isn’t going to keep him sharp and fresh.

I'm not quibbling with anything. I believe that he may have had intentions to do something otherwise. The issue that I take is that this is a surprise. It's not the way he's coached in the past when he's had one goalie he trusts and one who he doesn't.

Whatever MacT's intentions, when it comes to not riding his number one goalie as hard as possible down the stretch, he's demonstrated in the past that he has the willpower of a fat guy faced with a bag of cookies in this particular scenario. Plus, the local consensus seems to be that he should be fired if they don't make it (even some of the media types are on board with that) and it's understandable to me that if his job's on the line and he's got a choice between rolling the dice on a tired Roli or an untrustworthy JDD, his intentions of playing JDD more might lose out.

It's been a while since there's been an Oiler prospect who's had as much of a season invested in him as JDD. Eats a roster spot at the start of the year because they're convinced he'd get snatched up on waivers, forces the move of Garon and now MacT is pouring games onto Roli because he's got a young guy he doesn't want to waste points on. Hopefully the Oilers are better at picking goalies than I am because I don't see him as being worth the investment and if they miss by a point or two after a tired Roli loses a game here or there down the stretch...well, it sure would suck if he didn't pan out.

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#40 Jason Gregor
February 20 2009, 02:39PM
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Rick wrote:

I blame Brownlee and Gregor for the Ott incident last night. If you guys had only forwarded a copy of your interview from last week with him to the Oilers players they would have been prepared for his antics. He pretty much scripted exactly what ultimately went down.

Don't blame Brownlee he wasn't in on the interview with Ott. You are bang on though. Ott understands his role better than most. As he said, "If I hit the King and have to answer to a peasant, I'll do it every game."

Ott fights when he has to and has a decent enough scoring touch that he will be sought after when his contract is up after next season. His $1.4 million cap hit is very reasonable.

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#41 Robin B
February 20 2009, 02:42PM
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Tyler wrote:

even some of the media types are on board with that)

I guess even the dimmest dolts stagger across the obvious once in awhile and see the light like the smart guys, eh?

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#42 Tyler
February 20 2009, 02:54PM
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I guess even the dimmest dolts stagger across the obvious once in awhile and see the light like the smart guys, eh?

Every so often I wonder if the extent to which I write things tongue in cheek comes across over the internets. That comment was tongue in cheek, in case you took offence.

Re the media and firing MacT: The stout refusal to blame the coach for everything was one of the things I liked about most of you guys (Stauffer excluded, obviously). Even now, when you say he should be gone at the end of the year if they don't make the playoffs, I get the sense that it's as much to shake things up and get some new blood as anything else. The mob...well I think it consists of a staggeringly high proportion of people who actually think that he's not a very good hockey coach. It's like everyone's forgotten Ron Low.

Kevin Lowe? Another story.

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#43 Colin
February 20 2009, 02:58PM
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Any chance Moreau might get shipped out?

He's the kind of "gritty" player that contending teams like to add for playoff drives, would have some value.

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#44 yo
February 20 2009, 03:01PM
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One of the most disturbing things to me is that after a game where the captain's latest gaffs have arguably impacted the game result, MacT shows up at the post game interview with a rehearsed excuse for Moreau at the ready. He's done it for the last two games and if memory serves he's done it previously.

I said it months ago and I still believe it to be true.. Moreau wanted the 'C' way too much and maybe for the wrong reasons. He's trying to do things he's not equipped to do and what may be an oversized ego in play is hurting the team.

I vote for Souray based on what he has developed into here in Edmonton. I do think he has added dimensions to his game here that others may have done in Montreal, Koivu for example, things that occur off the ice but have an impact team-wide on the ice. Here he can carry more weight because of the lack of credible leaders and the presence of so many young players who still have a ways to go to be anything more than talented boys. If some of these Oiler players were in the Detroit Red Wings system 30-40% of them would be in the AHL/ECHL.

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#45 Robin B
February 20 2009, 03:07PM
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@ yo: You're right, of course. Moreau has developed a lot of loyalty with MacTavish and he gets way more slack than many other players, especially younger players, do.

That's a trait many coaches exhibit with their veterans, but it's nonetheless frustrating for fans when it's obvious some actions have no defence.

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#46 Tommyboy
February 20 2009, 03:07PM
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There is definately something there. Far and beyond the debacle of epic proportions that was the Captains night last night.

I find myself asking what it is about this guy that makes him qualified to be the captain of this hockey club. His tendancy to take terrible and selfish penalties is well documented here and as bad as that is...what does this guy know about winning? The team has stunk the entire time he has been here, with the exception of the trip to the cup finals that he was very much a passenger for.

He is the black hole of passes...they go and in disapear never to return... He gets the puck...head down...skate forward...lookup...shoot. Doesn't matter where is in the zone. I would venture to say that he is a large reason that Cogliano has hit the skids the way he has.

Don't even get me started about his "toughness". The guy can through a bodycheck...I give him that. But as far as dropping the gloves...he shouldn't even bother. I can't believe that the "fight" Jordan Tootoo was obliged to for hitting Hemsky was done by this guy. That was the most pathetic attempt at sending a message I have seen. The message it sent was...Feel free to kill our star because this is the all you will have to deal with...Moreau going through the motions. Does that lift your team watching your beloved captain grab a guy who deserves a whupping and get tossed to the ice in 2 seconds flat....and it's not like he was fight Boogaard here.

I can't imagine the example this guy is setting for the young players...but I find it pretty coincidental that the play of the young kids really started to hit stride when he was gone from the lineup.

I think they are putting way too much responsibility in this guys hands. He should be a 4th liner where he can skate hard and bang bodies.

When you put your team short handed for as long as you were on the ice during the game...there is something wrong. Maybe if we are lucky Phanuef will go ankle hunting on the powerplay this weekend and kids can start playing like they did last year. Problem is that Moreau will likely be in the box so that likely won't happen.

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#47 socaldave
February 20 2009, 03:16PM
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in today's game, Mike Modano notwithstanding, can you keep a player you've stripped of the C? I dunno, man... if you're gonna relieve someone of the captaincy, you pretty much have to trade him too, don't you?

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#48 Dennis
February 20 2009, 03:18PM
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You shouldn't not deal a guy just because he's the captain. It shouldn't give him a free pass and it would be great to get rid of a guy making that much money or makes that less of an actual impact.

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#49 Robin B
February 20 2009, 03:24PM
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Dennis wrote:

I’ll be here for the next 10 min so stay busy, Mr. Moderator:) And Go Censorship and the one who’s either thin-skinned enough to demand it and/or the guy who’s only too keen to employ it:)

We get it, Dennis. You can't help yourself. If something critical isn't written about somebody like Moreau or MacTavish or Lowe, you'll point out what butt-kissers the MSM is. If something critical is written, it's not critical enough or it should have been written before (even if it has been), so you trot out the same schtick. You're the conscience. You're the only one who sees things as they are and tells it like it is.

But it's not about you being an asshole and coming here with an agenda, it's about censorship and free speech, right?

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#50 Jonathan Willis
February 20 2009, 03:27PM
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socaldave wrote:

in today’s game, Mike Modano notwithstanding, can you keep a player you’ve stripped of the C? I dunno, man… if you’re gonna relieve someone of the captaincy, you pretty much have to trade him too, don’t you?

Given Moreau's cap hit relative to his contribution, wouldn't that almost be a good thing?

The Oilers need someone with that consistent physical game, but it'd be nice if he was a) cheaper and b) took fewer stupid penalties.

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