GDB 50: Can Robert Nilsson be the guy?

Jason Gregor
February 03 2009 03:53PM

bobbynilsson

Yesterday Craig MacTavish stated, “We haven’t an answer on that left side for awhile. We’ve tried a lot of players there, virtually everybody has had an opportunity there, and we need to find someone. Dustin is the best fit there when he is playing, and playing well.”

Tonight it will be Nilsson, and he is excited.

“Hemsky’s a great player, especially this year, and I know I will get more chances playing with him... I just have to bury them.”

Considering Horcoff has one goal in his last 15 games, if Nilsson can bury one chance that will be an improvement. As dominant as Hemsky has been since returning from a concussion, if one of his linemates starts to heat up he could be a two-point-a-game guy for a stretch.

Speaking of Horcoff, I asked him if he feels he needs to bear down more offensively.

“I probably need to relax a bit more and I think that’s been my problem lately. I’m squeezing the stick a little tight... I’ve had chances, with the crossbar last game, and if I relax that shot probably goes in.”

Pressing too hard never results in more goals, but with the coach calling out Penner, Pouliot and Brodziak to play with more jam, Horcoff needs to bear down and bury a few more chances. I know scoring is that hardest thing to do, and Horcoff never gets questioned for his work ethic, but his job is to produce and he needs to start producing more.

This team has no other options right now as far as #1 centre, so unless a trade happens Horcoff needs to find the scoring touch he had last year until his season was cut short.

Here are tonight’s lines:

  • 12 – 10 – 83
  • 21 – 89 – 26
  • 18 – 13 – 78
  • 27 – 51 – 46

Penner and Brodziak should play inspired considering what happened after practice yesterday. Brodziak explained what MacTavish said to him and his fellow doghouse dwellers yesterday.

“I have to play with more jam and more intensity in my game. Making sure I play physical every chance I get and never pass up an opportunity. I think it is a simple thing to get back in my game. Over my career it hasn’t been a real focal point of my game, but I know at this level it needs to be and it’s an element of my game I need to add. It’s something I definitely feel I can do and I don’t think I will have a problem with it.”

He also shouldn’t have a problem being ready to play tonight. With Penner on his left side, both players will have something to prove tonight, so you would HOPE they would play an inspired game. Reading between the lines with some of the conversations I had today in the locker room, it sounds like MacTavish didn’t want to just single out Penner again, so he went with two guys who haven’t been awful, but clearly can bring more intensity to their game.

Brodziak also added, “Coach said he was happy with my decisions and positional play, but just wants me to play more intensely. And maybe I’m guilty of not seeing that. It’s a little bit frustrating being called out, but realistically I know it was deserved, so I’m more frustrated in myself than anything else.”

Tidbits

Dwayne Roloson didn’t skate this morning, but he will play tonight. He faced lots of shots in practice yesterday so he got the morning off.

When asked about hearing cat calls walking off the ice after the Buffalo game, MacTavish laughed about the unique situation at Rexall.

“No one likes to walk through that when you lose a game, but like I’ve said before our fans have great perspective in terms of that. But not every team walks through the BAR on the way in and out... but we do, so those situations might occur.”

The uniqueness of Rexall Place: no other building in the league that I’ve been to has that set up, and I've been to 22 out of the other 29. It is great for young kids, and chicks trying to wheel, and outside of the odd profanity-laced tirade from some I’m-tough-when-I’m-drunk idiot it allows fans a close up look at the players. You take the good with the bad, and 90 per cent of the time the fans are supportive, but when you lose 10-2 you’d expect an odd “YOU SUCK”, or worse.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 R-DAWG
February 03 2009, 08:18PM
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Once again the wrong line-up is iced...I can almost guarantee that if Macintyre was in the line up the Hawks wouldn't be running around and the play would be turned the other way with the Oil taking it to the Hawks. No Strudwick...No Macintyre...Only Storshitty!!

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#102 Travis Dakin
February 03 2009, 08:22PM
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It's alive.

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#103 Wanye Gretz
February 03 2009, 08:23PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

It’s alive.

BLAAAAAARGH! Go Liam Reddox

*collapses on the floor. Poorly sewn on arms fall off and twitch of their own accord*

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#104 R-DAWG
February 03 2009, 08:24PM
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Wow Huet only has made 9 freakin saves...

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#105 R-DAWG
February 03 2009, 08:26PM
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Christ Cole was raped in front and no call!!

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#106 baggedmilk
February 03 2009, 08:27PM
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God this game embarrasses me worse than all the parents that accepted Eric Tillman's offer to chaperon the high school dance.

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#107 Wanye Gretz
February 03 2009, 08:28PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

God this game embarrasses me worse than all the parents that accepted Eric Tillman’s offer to chaperon the high school dance.

Topical. I will allow it. It is Tillman's shame not ours.

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#108 Wanye Gretz
February 03 2009, 08:29PM
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Where does Reddox weigh 180? In his wallet? Is he being paid in weighted loonies??

*not buying it one bit*

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#109 baggedmilk
February 03 2009, 08:31PM
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I knew that one was coming. This game has been all Chicago.

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#110 Deep Oil
February 03 2009, 08:34PM
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baggedmilk wrote:

I knew that one was coming. This game has been all Chicago.

when is the next one coming spilled milk ? how can the oilers expect to win if they dont shoot is this some sort of MACT strategy

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#111 jeanshorts
February 03 2009, 08:35PM
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I like the fact that we decided to get all our shots out of the way in the first period. It's a good strategy.

AND Vancouver is up 2-0. GAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#112 Dwayne Roloson
February 03 2009, 08:35PM
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UH guys...little help!!

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#113 baggedmilk
February 03 2009, 08:36PM
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@ Deep Oil:

Who knows man. If Roloson wasn't feeling the force tonight we'd be looking at another blow out. Pretty brutal.

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#114 Rob Brown's Hair Plugs
February 03 2009, 08:36PM
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Man this guy who lives below me is stupid

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#115 R-DAWG
February 03 2009, 08:38PM
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Hate to say it but the 4th line is looking good!

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#116 Dropping Deuces
February 03 2009, 08:45PM
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R-DAWG wrote:

Hate to say it but the 4th line is looking good!

Maybe Penners not the problem with the old first line, its Horcoff

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#117 Al Hamilton
February 03 2009, 08:47PM
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Is Chicago this good? Lucky bounce and hope for a point...

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#118 Dropping Deuces
February 03 2009, 08:47PM
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He plays alot better when he looks through his blue eye. He must be using his brown eye.

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#119 David S
February 03 2009, 08:47PM
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So I guess our strategy is to let the Hawks tire themselves out shooting so much. The "Rocky Gambit".

4th line is rockin' it. The Chicago feed is saying the Hawks have blanked the last 9 games against Canadian teams.

Great.

BTW - Nice screen on Roli, Steve. Firing Mact is up for debate but as far as Staios goes, it's a lock.

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#120 brainswell
February 03 2009, 08:53PM
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DEEPOIL - Thx for the link. Awesome. Alan Watt can sniff my hockey bag.

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#121 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 08:53PM
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Um why are we getting out shot 31- 13?

I thought the players were going to let their actions speak for themselves? wow.

And by my count Moreau my have got the goal but he was in the box with a bad penalty for one goal and got embarrassed at the blue line for the other....I say he gets skated after practice...no wait...he should have to write on the white board a 1000 times "I will not play like a boner and take a stupid penalty every game"

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#122 jeanshorts
February 03 2009, 08:54PM
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Hey, uh, in case anyone is interested there's a pretty solid discussion about men having sex with horses over at JSBM. Feel free to join us.

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#123 jeanshorts
February 03 2009, 08:54PM
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Oh yeah and Ethan Moreau is pretty much garbage.

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#124 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 08:56PM
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Whoa...Gibby was mad...

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#125 Travis Dakin
February 03 2009, 08:57PM
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@ jeanshorts:

Thanks for the invite. I think I will join you.

Also, is Hemsky still playing? yes? ok good. He's going to do something cool. I can feel it.

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#126 terry
February 03 2009, 08:58PM
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You may have a point, Moreau is a horse's ass.

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#127 OilersNinja
February 03 2009, 08:59PM
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Come on guys

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#128 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:00PM
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Whoa Gibby another hit...wow.

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#129 Travis Dakin
February 03 2009, 09:01PM
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DAMMIT!!!!!!

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#130 OilersNinja
February 03 2009, 09:01PM
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This doesnt look good

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#131 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:02PM
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dislocated shoulder I;m sure of it....damn it.

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#132 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:04PM
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fourth line draws the Penalty...nice...

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#133 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:05PM
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Quenville looks like a cop.

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#134 OilersNinja
February 03 2009, 09:06PM
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Horcoff, come on man

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#135 OilersNinja
February 03 2009, 09:07PM
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@ Fiveandagame:

Serpico or Cochese?

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#136 R-DAWG
February 03 2009, 09:07PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Oh yeah and Ethan Moreau is pretty much garbage.

While your backing up the garbage truck you could just as well pick up Horcoff too...DAMMIT!

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#137 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:09PM
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I love the way Chicago plays.....thats the way a skill team is supposed to play. Fast, on the forecheck, lots of pressure.....

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#138 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:10PM
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god damn it.....

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#139 OilersNinja
February 03 2009, 09:10PM
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Holy crap, its happening again

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#140 Wanye Gretz
February 03 2009, 09:11PM
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"Excellent" - All the stupid fans cheering for the Oil to self destruct right now

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#141 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:12PM
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Does edmonton fold the tent? Open the flood gates for Chicago?

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#142 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:13PM
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that was a great shift, we always need to play like that....

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#143 baggedmilk
February 03 2009, 09:14PM
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Great shift there I agree. Man this team is ugly to watch tonight.

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#144 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:15PM
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WG? are you here? You're laying under the sheets like a silent but deadly.

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#145 APE
February 03 2009, 09:16PM
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What an awful goal by Havlat. Roli is having a good game but that is terrible timing to let in a goal like that. Just another uninspired effort by the squad tonite.

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#146 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:17PM
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APE wrote:

What an awful goal by Havlat. Roli is having a good game but that is terrible timing to let in a goal like that. Just another uninspired effort by the squad tonite.

Shots 41-16......

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#147 we suck
February 03 2009, 09:18PM
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sorry CrapT, your methods didn't wake up these sad-sack players

**clap clap**

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#148 jeanshorts
February 03 2009, 09:18PM
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So much for that extra skate after practice.

Maybe you guys were right with all your "bag" and "skate" talk. Or maybe we were all right in that MacT is a brutal coach.

Either way.

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#149 Fiveandagame
February 03 2009, 09:20PM
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@ jeanshorts: It's clear what ever he's drawing up the kids aren't listening too, or worse, maybe they are....

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#150 Wanye Gretz
February 03 2009, 09:20PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

WG? are you here? You’re laying under the sheets like a silent but deadly.

Yeah you know I'm here. You know I came home and bought 1 period on the PPV and didn't realize that "these Oilers" showed up to play tonight.

*stares angrily at TV with balled fists*

*balled fists: thats what she said"*

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