GDB 73: Hemsky's 'outburst' nothing to worry about

Jason Gregor
March 24 2009 02:20PM

hemskylockerroom

With ten games to go and sitting somewhat comfortably in 7th place, you would think life is grand yet everything is not rosy in Oilerville.

The Oilers best player is unhappy.

Ales Hemsky told Dan Barnes, “I’m just trying to do exactly what they want. I’m becoming a checker. We’re just doing what we have to do to win games. I’m not complaining. I just don’t feel as important as I did before when they were riding me.”

I spoke with Hemsky today and he reiterated that he is more frustrated than complaining.

“I was a little down. I want to play better and help the team make the playoffs. This is not a time to feel sorry for yourself. I have to focus on the last ten games and be better.

“I don’t feel that everything is right. Every player wants to be used more, that is why you play hockey. I don’t regret saying it. That is how I felt and I said it, but the bottom line is now is not the time for me to feel bad about my game.”

It might not be the best time to feel bad about your game, but I think it was the best time to voice his displeasure in how he is being used. For a long time you got the sense that Hemsky was happy being a good player, but that greatness wasn’t his main focus.

I wrote earlier this year that after a dominating performance v. Columbus that Hemsky was becoming great.

I spoke to him after that game and for the first time I felt he wanted to be great, and realized how much effort and hard work it would take. Hemsky’s skill set is top ten in the world, but his consistency and overall drive wasn’t.

His comments today and yesterday show me he wants to be that go-to-guy now, and rather than worry that he wants out, the organization should embrace his new attitude and channel it onto the ice.

His coach wasn’t that concerned.

“I find that players that are a little more difficult to manage, I’d rather have the difficulty managing players that will go play the game the hard way and go to the tough areas, than a guy who is super easy to manage and sometimes don’t go to those tough areas.

“I respect the way he plays. Character to me is how you react in certain situations on the ice. I’m totally supportive of the way he plays the game, and with the toughness that he plays the game.

“I’m not managing his ice time any differently lately. The last guy I really worry about confidence wise is him, because he is so skilled. He has been playing fine in my estimation. The way he has started the last few games, he has been outstanding. He hasn’t got anything offensively to show for it, but he has been playing fine.

“You look back after you hear the comments about the way he has been used, and I did sit him down in the Colorado game when we were up 7-1, and probably in hindsight maybe that should have been the time to play him, but I didn’t see him lacking confidence because he is still making plays.

“I support the player. I’ve had him for seven years. I understand where the player is coming from. These comments could be malicious at times, but I really don’t view it that way with him. You may think I’m just saying that because he is a good player and I’ve got to have a good relationship with my best player, but I’m not. I like the player and I always have. I owe him a lot, and he will have my support in this situation.”

So where do they go from here?

Hemsky and MacTavish had a conversation early in the year when Hemsky was struggling and he told the young Czech to just relax, and not worry about his stats because they would come. That convo happened before the Philly game, and then Hemsky went out and scored two highlight reel goals.

They spoke yesterday according to MacTavish and he stated it was good chat, and that he expects Hemsky to probably score tonight.

It is obvious that Hemsky is frustrated, and it is obvious the coach respects his game, but is it an easy situation to resolve? Yes. Play him more. Double shift him five-on-five, let him play the full two minutes on the PP if he wants.

I’m not sure how many of you have noticed, but Hemsky has gone down to block shots three times in the past two weeks. I asked him about it, and he said he admitted that for the first time he would be interested in a few PK shifts here and there.

Hemsky finally wants to be the guy. Now it is up to the coach to give him more responsibility.

Fourth line

Marc Pouliot draws in tonight for MacIntyre, and the Colossal Fossil starts again. Former Oiler Ty Conklin gets the nod for the Wings. Conklin came to Detroit to be the back up, but with Osgood’s season-long struggles continuing, Conklin might be their guy come playoff time.

Conklin is 24-9-2 with a 2.44 GAA and .911 SV%, compared to Osgood who is 24-6-7 with an ugly 3.18 GAA and woeful .884 SV%.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#101 Chris
March 24 2009, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

David S wrote:

You forgot one sentence. “In my opinion”.

This is a blog. That sentence is implied... or can be applied to every single comment. Do you take issue with my assertion that MacT has made some down right nutty linup decisions?

Avatar
#102 David S
March 24 2009, 08:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

David S wrote: You forgot one sentence. “In my opinion”. This is a blog. That sentence is implied… or can be applied to every single comment. Do you take issue with my assertion that MacT has made some down right nutty linup decisions?

Yeah. However I'll admit I wonder sometimes too. But I know jack about NHL coaching and I'm not in the locker room, nor do I have a microphone on the bench so anything I said would probably be wrong anyways.

Avatar
#103 Archaeologuy
March 24 2009, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

~Just like MacT drew it up~

Avatar
#104 Mr P
March 24 2009, 08:14PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Grebeshkov for Norris!

Avatar
#105 swany
March 24 2009, 08:18PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hemsky Hemsky Hemsky nice pass

Avatar
#106 Phil
March 24 2009, 08:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hemsky's gonna have a quiet night. Can see it already. Frustrating 5 on 3 but I'm super glad they got on 5 on 4. Pheeeeew

Avatar
#107 Chris
March 24 2009, 08:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Good period. Last time the Oilers played these guys they never touched the puck... I hope they can keep it up. Whole team has looked pretty good overall the last five games.

Avatar
#108 Phil
March 24 2009, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

#77 misses a GOLDEN opportunity. How do you should that wide for Christ's sake?

Avatar
#109 David S
March 24 2009, 08:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Sweet, sweet Ferraro. Man I miss that guy.

Avatar
#110 Phil
March 24 2009, 08:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Haha should. Ment shoot.

Avatar
#111 Ogden Brother
March 24 2009, 08:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: The point is underperforming BECAUSE of MacT. You’ve presented no proof. no youre right, the coach has no bearing on the actions of his players.

This is approaching mind numbing. Is he also responsible for Gilbert and Grebs for "over achieving"? Their is no logical way you can link players performance one way or another back to a coach without at a minimum seeing how they performed under different coaches.

Avatar
#112 Ogden Brother
March 24 2009, 08:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: The problem with MacT: Tambellini gives MacT Kotalik (a second or third line right winger who hasn’t been played in a scoring role in years) and O’Sullivan (A natural left winger with a shoot-first mentality 2nd in the LA depth chart behind Frolov)… Who would you put on the first line? The slow, right winger whose recent offensive numbers were derrived almost soley from playing the point on Buffalo’s powerplay? The guy who, if asked, would tell you that the left wing lock employed by many teams has rendered him ineffective on the left side for several years…. Or the young up-and-comer who lead his team in shots? Naturally, when carefully looking at all the facts, MacT plays the less offensivly oriented, third liner, out of position through several consecutive losses… It’s INSANE! I don’t know all there is to know about NHL tactics; I’m not in that room ever day; but MacT has mismanaged his assets all season long. There are too many other examples to even begin to bother rehashing them all… These decisions are costing the team points. Period.

Interesting example, but they also came off one of their more fruitful (point wise) periods of the season.

Avatar
#113 Archaeologuy
March 24 2009, 09:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Ogden Brother: I never said anything about Gilbert or Grebs, and the only thing mind numbing here is your logic. You are so stuck on the idea that no one can be labelled as under-achieving without first playing under someone else that you're missing the whole point.

I mean, basicly what youre saying is that as long as MacT is the coach no one can ever underachieve, they can only achieve. I hope your minor in philosophy has served you better than it is here, because it is extremely flawed. I mean, try extrapolating from your premise. No coach would ever be fired, because no one knows how people would react to a different coach.

You actually just wrote that player performance and coaching are not linked in any way. I cant even begin to cover that one.

Do you really think no one has underachieved this season? If that's truly what you think then this team has killed your hope and sense of optimism. Horc was on a point per game streak last season, now he's half that. If that isnt underachievement then I guess i misunderstand the word.

Avatar
#114 David S
March 24 2009, 09:12PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Wasn't MacT Horc's coach last season? You know, when he was on a point per game streak?

Avatar
#115 Archaeologuy
March 24 2009, 09:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ David S: Yeah, he sure was, also led the team out of the playoffs.

Maybe the NHL will let Horcoff submit his points from last year for this year, why dont you ask Bettman?

The question wasnt did Horc do well under MacT in 2007/2008 it was is Horc underachieving THIS season. MacT hating aside, I'm contending with Ogden Brother's belief that no one is underachieving this season.

Avatar
#116 Chris
March 24 2009, 09:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Ogden Brother wrote:

nteresting example, but they also came off one of their more fruitful (point wise) periods of the season.

Exactly... The Oilers won three straight AFTER MacT put Kotalik back on the right side and O'Sullivan with Hemsky. (Somthing he should have done the day these guys arrived) Why did the Oilers have to lose 4 of 5 games before MacT corrected his horrendous linup decision? Why make such a stupid decision in the first place? (A decision that probably cost this team a couple of wins) What happens if the Oilers miss the postseason by a point or two? Isn't it time MacT acknowledged his misuse of the two newest Oilers? Reminds me of the start of the season... Me screaming at the TV...watching Cole tring to drive the net, unable to use his body to protect the puck... or watching Pisani struggle at center...AAAAAAGGGHHHH!

Avatar
#117 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think Roloson has been replaced by a super bionic cyborg. Seriously- he cost 6 million dollars!!!

Avatar
#118 Word
March 24 2009, 09:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Archaeologuy: @ David S:

Ladies, ladies - You're both pretty. Now watch the game and shh...

Avatar
#119 Chris
March 24 2009, 09:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Another great decision... the fourth line out against Datsyuk and Hossa in a one goal game... Brilliant MacT. Brilliant.

Avatar
#120 bingofuel
March 24 2009, 09:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Amber McCormick: I wouldn't pay that much. Not in this new economic reality. :O

Avatar
#121 David S
March 24 2009, 09:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Word wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: @ David S: Ladies, ladies - You’re both pretty. Now watch the game and shh…

Werd Word.

Avatar
#122 David S
March 24 2009, 09:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Wow Souray!

Avatar
#123 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

David S wrote:

Wow Souray!

That's what she said

Avatar
#124 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ bingofuel: I'm not talking real dollars. I'm talking about superhero currency. He's blocking shots like a caucasian Ganesh.

Avatar
#125 David S
March 24 2009, 09:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How are we still tied? It looks like the Harlem Globetrotters playing the Franklin Falcons - and we're the Falcons.

Avatar
#126 Deans
March 24 2009, 09:44PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

Deans wrote: In my opinion, kind of an apples and oranges comparison A) There will never EVER be a perfect example. B) Every single coach in the history of the NHL is compared to his predecessor…the slate is never “wiped clean”.

Your probably right on that

Avatar
#127 bingofuel
March 24 2009, 09:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Amber McCormick: Bahahahaha, wicked. But aren't you thinking of Vishnu, with the many arms?

Avatar
#128 David S
March 24 2009, 09:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I wonder if Hemsky has stick check nightmares.

Avatar
#129 Chris
March 24 2009, 09:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Geeze Nilsson...Do you WANT a hooking minor?

Avatar
#130 Archaeologuy
March 24 2009, 09:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Word wrote:

@ Archaeologuy: @ David S: Ladies, ladies - You’re both pretty. Now watch the game and shh…

I am rather dashing

Avatar
#131 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ bingofuel: Both Ganesh and Vishnu had 4 arms. I prefer Ganesh because Ganesh is often dancing. Much like Roli. He's a dance dance dance dance dancing machine watch him get down!

I've had way too much coffee today.

Avatar
#132 Word
March 24 2009, 09:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nooooooooooooo

Avatar
#133 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

DAMMIT!!!!!!!!

Avatar
#134 David S
March 24 2009, 09:54PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hossa. It had to be Hossa.

Avatar
#135 Rev
March 24 2009, 09:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Any1 who did not see that coming from the 10 minute mark of the 1st period was sleeping.

Avatar
#136 David S
March 24 2009, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

That one by the way was on the guy who thinks the team should be leaning on him.

Avatar
#137 Chris
March 24 2009, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Rev:

Yep.

Avatar
#138 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

What just happened?!?!?!?! Oh noooooooo

Avatar
#139 David S
March 24 2009, 09:56PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Aww crap.

Avatar
#140 David S
March 24 2009, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Geez Nilsson makes the sweet feeds.

Avatar
#141 Amber McCormick
March 24 2009, 09:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Kotalik my balls Detroit!

Avatar
#142 Archaeologuy
March 24 2009, 10:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Dammit!

Avatar
#143 David S
March 24 2009, 10:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

You know, it's almost like Babcock rubs the right side of his nose, the boys get the signal and it's over. At least we sorta made a game of it. Well Roli did anyways.

Avatar
#144 Chris
March 24 2009, 10:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Thank God the Oil are back on the road!

Avatar
#145 Chris
March 24 2009, 10:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@ Amber McCormick:

MY balls?

Avatar
#146 David S
March 24 2009, 10:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

And the 83 line comes up dry again.

Avatar
#147 Dan from Wainwright
March 24 2009, 10:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

A waterboy quote is fitting - "OH NO!!! we SUCK AGAIN!"

Avatar
#148 Dan from Wainwright
March 24 2009, 10:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

And isn't Danny "I tie my own shoes" Tencer the biggest MacT apologist? The Oil better start paying him for his MacT defending and damage control (if they don't already).

Avatar
#149 Ogden Brother
March 24 2009, 10:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: I never said anything about Gilbert or Grebs, and the only thing mind numbing here is your logic. You are so stuck on the idea that no one can be labelled as under-achieving without first playing under someone else that you’re missing the whole point. I mean, basicly what youre saying is that as long as MacT is the coach no one can ever underachieve, they can only achieve. I hope your minor in philosophy has served you better than it is here, because it is extremely flawed. I mean, try extrapolating from your premise. No coach would ever be fired, because no one knows how people would react to a different coach. You actually just wrote that player performance and coaching are not linked in any way. I cant even begin to cover that one. Do you really think no one has underachieved this season? If that’s truly what you think then this team has killed your hope and sense of optimism. Horc was on a point per game streak last season, now he’s half that. If that isnt underachievement then I guess i misunderstand the word.

ugh, Horc production flips year to year. .7 PPG - .9 PPG guess what? He's right in that range.

You have to have a bar set to under achieve, you posted a list of random players trying to prove your point, the list was non-sense... that was my point

Avatar
#150 Ogden Brother
March 24 2009, 10:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Chris wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: nteresting example, but they also came off one of their more fruitful (point wise) periods of the season. Exactly… The Oilers won three straight AFTER MacT put Kotalik back on the right side and O’Sullivan with Hemsky. (Somthing he should have done the day these guys arrived) Why did the Oilers have to lose 4 of 5 games before MacT corrected his horrendous linup decision? Why make such a stupid decision in the first place? (A decision that probably cost this team a couple of wins) What happens if the Oilers miss the postseason by a point or two? Isn’t it time MacT acknowledged his misuse of the two newest Oilers? Reminds me of the start of the season… Me screaming at the TV…watching Cole tring to drive the net, unable to use his body to protect the puck… or watching Pisani struggle at center…AAAAAAGGGHHHH!

My underlying point is: It's fun to banter on message boards and call in shows about what a coach should and shouldn't be doing, but to actually believe any of us arm chair MVP's is "right" when it comes to coaching or managing a proffesional team more often then the odd fluke added by hindsight is beyond laughable.

Comments are closed for this article.