GDB 52: Moving in Different Directions

Jonathan Willis
February 07 2009 10:44AM

NHL/

With Lubomir Visnovsky already injured, and Tom Gilbert likely out after getting hurt against St. Louis, the Oilers have recalled their best AHL prospect, defenseman Theo Peckham. Peckham has two NHL games to his credit, one against Columbus at the tail end of last season, and one against Pittsburgh earlier this year.

J-F Jacques is once again ready to play, so he takes up a roster spot while on his two-week conditioning stint with Springfield. His activation and the recall of Peckham necessitated sending down Ryan Potulny.

Also injured for the game against Detroit this afternoon is Shawn Horcoff, the only centre on the team with more than two seasons of NHL experience. With him out, the top line spot between Penner and Hemsky needed filling, something Kyle Brodziak did for the end of the St. Louis game. Craig MacTavish’s comments before the game indicated that he was likely to leave Brodziak in that spot, at least to begin with.

It’s an opportunity for Brodziak (the first words out of Brodziak’s mouth when asked were “It’s a big opportunity for me”). I’ve commented before on how he’s been used this season, but it’s worth repeating. For the vast majority of the year, he’s been saddled with inferior linemates (MacIntyre, Stortini, etc.) but that’s only part of the problem. Brodziak’s been starting in the defensive zone more than any other player on the team. Of his 314 non-neutral zone draws, 219 of them have been in the defensive end. That means that he’s had 124 more defensive zone draws than offensive zone draws; the next nearest Oiler is Shawn Horcoff with 86. No other player on the team has more than 40.

It’s a measure of the trust that MacTavish has in those two players that they are his go-to guys for defensive zone faceoffs.

Checking in on the other end of the blender, Marc Pouliot will centre Steve MacIntyre (asked about MacIntyre playing against Detroit, MacTavish said “we don’t have anyone else”) and Zach Stortini on the fourth line tonight, and MacTavish hinted that he didn’t trust them to play much at all against Detroit, saying that they’d likely sub in on other lines. After saying that he didn’t like Pouliot at centre, MacTavish expanded that he felt Pouliot, for all his improvements ‘needed something he can provide every night, whether it be a better defensive game, a more physical game, or more consistent offensive contribution’. He summed up by saying that while Pouliot was improving, but that his game on a whole was “vanilla”.

The bottom line though is that this Edmonton Oilers team isn’t at nearly the same level of the Red Wings when healthy, and they aren’t close to that tonight.

On the Red Wings front, significant players in Tomas Holmstron (groin) and Brad Stuart (ribs) won’t be playing this afternoon. Marian Hossa, who turned down a massive contract from the Oilers this off-season, is leading the Red Wings in goals (28) and comes to town amid rumours that he and fellow pending unrestricted free agent Johan Franzen are negotiating extensions with the Wings. The real news is that the Red Wings are hoping to sign the two “for a package price of around US$10-million per season.” The other thing worth noting is that Albertan Chris Osgood, suffering through a poor season, is not expected to start tonight, making room for ex-Oiler Ty Conklin, who has been very good over the past two seasons.

Because I’m incapable of predicting an Oilers loss, I’m going to call it a 3-2 win with Kyle Brodziak leading the way offensively and Dwayne Roloson making 436 saves (give or take 5). Chime in with your predictions below.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#251 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:20PM
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Cory Dakin wrote:

In case anyone was worried about MacTavish’s job… He’ll at least be able to talk about the positives of the third period, and how they’ll hopefully carry that over to tomorrow’s game

He's dodged another bullet unfortunately.

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#252 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:20PM
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Game In An Hour? Really? We have to relive these horrible games again? What a terrible idea.

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#253 treblecharger
February 07 2009, 03:21PM
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Finally, some effort!

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#254 Colin
February 07 2009, 03:22PM
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Just when I give up on the Fing team they pull this. (shakes head)

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#255 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:22PM
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@ jeanshorts:

It's for the masochists...

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#256 Gene's pubes
February 07 2009, 03:22PM
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Is Conklin even in net? nhl.com and yahoo.com say Osgood is in net since the start of the 3rd.

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#257 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:23PM
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Nilsson Cogs Hemmer

That's the line I want to see tomorrow.

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#258 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:23PM
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I like that it only took the boys 45 minutes to finally show up and play.

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#259 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:23PM
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Well there goes that idea.

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#260 Jonathan Willis
February 07 2009, 03:24PM
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Just before springing Samuelsson on the breakaway, Sam had ended his last shift with a no look dump behind the Red Wings net that ended up getting cleared.

Players are frustrating at 19 years of age.

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#261 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:24PM
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You can go back to what you were doing Jonathan.

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#262 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:25PM
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ROFL!!!!

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#263 Cory Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:25PM
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Detroit was asleep, and the Oilers had to go and poke them with a stick

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#264 Jonathan Willis
February 07 2009, 03:26PM
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I honestly don't believe it's so much flagging effort here as players not knowing where they are supposed to be.

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#265 Jonathan Willis
February 07 2009, 03:26PM
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Wej wrote:

You can go back to what you were doing Jonathan.

3 minutes left. I may as well be miserable.

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#266 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:27PM
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AH that's more like it. Hello sleeping Grizzly bear. How abot I just walk up and kick you in the nuts? What you going to do about it?

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#267 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:27PM
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I want 10. It's still possible.

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#268 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:27PM
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Why do we even put a goalie in some nights? We might as well salvage their numbers.

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#269 Gene's pubes
February 07 2009, 03:28PM
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The red wings stroked it for a period and half, and are now showing they can manhandle a team, at their leisure.

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#270 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:29PM
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NUTTY BUDDY!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! DeBrusk you mad man!!

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#271 David S
February 07 2009, 03:29PM
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"Dan Cleary's nutty buddy."

Bah ha!

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#272 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:29PM
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Not only does the management have to be called into question, the leadership on this team does as well.

There's days where I think Moreau gets what it means to be a Captain. Then there's other days where I can't believe he even has a letter on his jersey.

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#273 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:31PM
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come on 9!!!!

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#274 David S
February 07 2009, 03:31PM
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Gene's pubes wrote:

The red wings stroked it for a period and half, and are now showing they can manhandle a team, at their leisure.

Yup.

If they wanted 10, it wouldn't have been a problem. Classy team.

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#275 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:32PM
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Even my ass hurts after that pounding.

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#276 jeanshorts
February 07 2009, 03:32PM
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Well time to go take all my frustration out on my penis. Good day gentlemen.

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#277 David S
February 07 2009, 03:32PM
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Wej wrote:

There’s days where I think Moreau gets what it means to be a Captain. Then there’s other days where I can’t believe he even has a NUMBER on his jersey.

Fixed.

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#278 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:33PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Well time to go take all my frustration out on my penis. Good day gentlemen.

Yes it is.

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#279 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:33PM
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@ David S:

Touché.

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#280 David S
February 07 2009, 03:34PM
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Good on Zack. 3rd star - first of his career.

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#281 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:35PM
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David S wrote:

Good on Zack. 3rd star - first of his career.

Molson Cup though. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that he wasn't a star at the game.

He played a good third though.

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#282 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:36PM
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Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings?

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#283 David S
February 07 2009, 03:37PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings?

Nope. The Wings used lube.

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#284 Wej
February 07 2009, 03:38PM
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Bob Stauffer

"There were a couple of positives, so we'll focus on the positives"

What happened to you Bob? You're just another shill now. That's too bad. I can't wait to see how the media handles this.

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#285 David S
February 07 2009, 03:39PM
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David S wrote:

Travis Dakin wrote: Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings? Nope. The Wings used lube.

And gave the Oilers a reach-around.

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#286 Gene's pubes
February 07 2009, 03:39PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings?

I dont think it will. Nothing positive came out of those games, todays game had a few bright spots. JDD played okay, Penner was aggressive for a bit of the game. etc.

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#287 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:41PM
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David S wrote:

Travis Dakin wrote: Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings? Nope. The Wings used lube.

Because really, it was quite obvious that the Wings were taking it easy for the second and third. As soon as the Oilers got a couple they just said, "watch this" and potted two quick ones at will. It EASILY could have been 12 or 13 to nothing. Hell, they were using their fourth line on their last two PP's.

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#288 PaperBagFan
February 07 2009, 03:41PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Question: Does this game get grouped in to the 9-2 and 10-2 ass poundings?

It should be. Wings took the foot of the pedal in second and half the third till Oil scored 3.

How the bench boss keeps a job after one of those bad beats has me puzzled... but after three in what 2 months... there should be no more chances. He just can't get this team ready for a game.

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#289 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:42PM
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Gene's pubes wrote:

I dont think it will. Nothing positive came out of those games, todays game had a few bright spots. JDD played okay, Penner was aggressive for a bit of the game. etc.

Nope, I don't buy it. Nothing Positive about scoring on a team that let's you.

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#290 Greg MC
February 07 2009, 03:44PM
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The other team could have made it worse. This is an asspounding. It was dogg style, but without a deposit.

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#291 Zamboni Driver
February 07 2009, 03:44PM
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@ Wej: Good job you were listening to Bob, because the TV shills just about made me puke. I think that guy who would never fight, whatever his name is, said "Deslauriers was outstanding".

Yeah....3 goals against, 2 periods when the Wings were on cruise control.

Meant, btw as a criticism of Debrusk, not Deslauriers.

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#292 Gene's pubes
February 07 2009, 03:44PM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Gene’s pubes wrote: I dont think it will. Nothing positive came out of those games, todays game had a few bright spots. JDD played okay, Penner was aggressive for a bit of the game. etc. Nope, I don’t buy it. Nothing Positive about scoring on a team that let’s you.

Personally I would group it in those disasters, but I dont think the team will spin it that way.

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#293 Travis Dakin
February 07 2009, 03:47PM
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Gene's pubes wrote:

Personally I would group it in those disasters, but I dont think the team will spin it that way.

MacT will definately be spinning it after the game. No "debacle of monumental proportions" today. This team sucks hard and fast.

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#294 David S
February 07 2009, 03:52PM
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Oh yes. It was a debacle.

Just not of monumental proportions.

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#295 ryanbatty
February 07 2009, 03:59PM
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Who knew that you had to be awake for the 1st period when you play the Wings?

Based on the 3rd MacT will probably have Stortini on the top line tomorrow. I'm so excited I won't even be able to sleep tonight.

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#296 David S
February 07 2009, 03:59PM
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MacT seems surprisingly upbeat. Happy with the effort for the most part.

Either he's finally snapped or the game plan is to write off today's game and go hard for the win tomorrow. With this team, I could buy that.

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#297 Fortboy
February 07 2009, 04:01PM
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Wej wrote:

Bob Stauffer “There were a couple of positives, so we’ll focus on the positives” What happened to you Bob? You’re just another shill now. That’s too bad. I can’t wait to see how the media handles this.

Bob knows who butters his loaf of toast every morning.

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#298 Lofty
February 07 2009, 04:03PM
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Take the C away from Moreau and give it to Joey Moss

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#299 Jonathan Willis
February 07 2009, 04:05PM
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David S wrote:

MacT seems surprisingly upbeat. Happy with the effort for the most part. Either he’s finally snapped or the game plan is to write off today’s game and go hard for the win tomorrow. With this team, I could buy that.

I'd have bought it if they'd started Deslauriers to begin with.

As for whether this game should be lumped in with Buffalo and Chicago, yes absolutely.

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#300 David S
February 07 2009, 04:11PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I’d have bought it if they’d started Deslauriers to begin with.

Yeah. Strange.

However, this might have been strategy 1-A all along (start Roli, drop a few and switch to JDD). Roli seems to play well if he's kept warm - that way this game is like a practice for him. I wouldn't be surprised to see Roli start tomorrow.

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