GDB minus-2: It's crunch time

Jason Gregor
September 24 2009 02:20PM

capn-quinn

Tonight is the last chance for players to impress the coaches, and when you look at tonight’s roster it is pretty clear which players are on the bubble.

Nilsson — Brule — Stone MacIntyre — Reddox — Stortini Moreau — Gagner — Cogliano Penner — Schremp — Eberle

Grebeshkov — Staios Chorney — Gilbert Smid — Visnovsky

Deslauriers and Dubnyk

Stone, Brule, Nilsson, Reddox, MacIntyre, Schremp and Eberle are all on the bubble. And so is Pouliot, but he is out with a slight muscle pull.

Quinn hinted today that if Pouliot and Pisani don’t get into Sunday’s game, they might get veteran status and be on the 23 man roster. Pisani is shooting to play on Sunday so we’ll wait and see.

It sounds like Quinn is leaning towards moving Cogliano to the wing and will keep Gagner and either Comrie or O'Sullivan and Horcoff as the other top three centres.

It is also interesting to look at the D-pairings for tonight. I don’t think it is a guarantee that the top four will consist of 44, 71, 77 and 37. Renney wants his defense to be more aggressive, especially at the blueline. But they can only stand up the opposing forwards if the Oiler forwards are backchecking.

The story so far...

Through six pre-season games the forwards and D-men haven’t been that cohesive yet. Quinn said it was almost like they were playing as two separate units, and there was too much space between them, especially in the neutral zone.

I’m curious how long it will take for those who ripped MacTavish for sucking the offence out of young Oilers to say the same about Quinn.

Quinn is adamant that this team will be better defensively before they work on their offence. Doesn’t that sound a lot like MacTavish? The difference is that this coaching staff has a different approach in how they are selling that message.

According to the players, the coaches have consistently relayed the same messages every day. Last year, after many games MacTavish and the media and the fans complained the team wasn’t physical enough.

But a player, who agreed they weren’t, said it was never a message the coaching staff hammered home every day. As strange as it sounds, if a coaching staff isn’t constantly focusing and reminding players how they should play, then the players won’t play that way.

The messages to the players have been clearer and right now they are being hammered home on a daily basis, and I’d expect that to continue all season. The players who buy in will play, and those who don’t won’t play and ultimately won’t be here very long.

This power struggle will be won by the coaching staff, and for some veterans and young players, they'd better realize that quickly.

The best fight I saw today

Who would have thought the best fight of the pre-season would have occurred at practice, and at Eskimo practice?

After leaving Rexall I went to watch the Eskimos practice and I witnessed the most one-sided football tilt I’ve seen in a long time.

During scrimmage, O-lineman Aaron Fiacconi and D-lineman Xzavie Jackson got into it. They threw some punches and then Fiacconi showed his hockey background: he ripped off Jackson’s helmet, pulled his head down and fed him two huge uppercuts, the second one dropped Jackson.

Jackson picked himself up off the turf and stormed off to the sidelines. Meanwhile Fiacconi went back to the huddle and got ready for the next play. Not one player said anything to Jackson. He was on the far sidelines, and then he proceeded to throw off his gloves, take off his practice jersey and walked towards the north end zone of Clark field. He walked across the endzone and towards the gate. Only receiver Maurice Mann came over to try and get him to not leave practice. Jackson barked something to him, and then proceeded to continue walking towards the dumpsters.

Thirty seconds later he returned with a shovel that he had found. He was slowly walking back towards the field when trainer TD Forss and Danny Maciocia stopped to talk to him. Jackson was visibly upset, and after some talking he left towards the locker room with Forss.

His left eye was swollen shut and had a cut on it. The strangest part for me wasn’t that he found a shovel and contemplated going WWE on someone, but that not one of his defensive teammates did anything on the field, or said anything to him on the sidelines.

Their silence told me he isn’t that respected in the locker room and I can’t see him sticking around very long. Rarely is a football fight more entertaining than a hockey fight.

***UPDATE***

I got some confirmation that the Oilers and Predators are kicking each other tires. Nilsson would seem like an obvious choice, but I've heard whispers about Pouliot and Pisani as well. Nashville has lots of cap space if they want to acquire either Pisani or Nilsson.

I know the Oilers have lots of D-men, but would Hamhuis be of interest to them? We'll see.

It sounds like there might be some interesting names across the NHL that might land on waivers as early this weekend.

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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 Unnamed source
September 24 2009, 07:16PM
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I think we are lucky to only be behind 2-0. That was just sad to watch and i have nothing else to do as im sitting at work and still dont want to see this.

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#102 Bob Cob
September 24 2009, 07:22PM
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They cant win a face off to save there life, they dont go to the dirty places to score goals but oh yeah signing Mike Comrie was a great signing. This team needs a major shake up so some of the vets get there heads out there asses and play some damn hockey.

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#103 David S
September 24 2009, 07:23PM
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Unnamed source wrote:

That was just sad to watch and i have nothing else to do as im sitting at work and still dont want to see this.

Might I suggest redtube.com? Trust me. It'll make you forget all about this Oilers debacle.

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#104 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:23PM
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Well whats good about this game, easy to make some roster decisions, lot's of people playing their way off the team.

Bye bye Shremp

Bye Bye MacIntyre

Bye Bye Stone

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#105 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:24PM
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Why can everyone but Oiler management see that having this many small players is not a good idea?

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#106 Unnamed source
September 24 2009, 07:25PM
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Bob Cob wrote:

They cant win a face off to save there life, they dont go to the dirty places to score goals but oh yeah signing Mike Comrie was a great signing. This team needs a major shake up so some of the vets get there heads out there asses and play some damn hockey.

Comrie has been arguably are best player so far without him we might not have won a game yet.

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#107 Deans
September 24 2009, 07:25PM
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Not really sure what Mcguire is talking about regarding Hemsky. I think for what he produces he has a fantastic contract. Probably Lowe's best signing.

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#108 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:26PM
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@ Deans: Mcquire is an idiot. He just likes to hear his own voice. Too bad he didn't get the Wild job.

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#109 Unnamed source
September 24 2009, 07:27PM
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@ David S:

Your right that is much better then watching this crap:)

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#110 Deans
September 24 2009, 07:28PM
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@ ronaldo:

I'm actually a fan of Pierre. One of the few guys who has the balls to rip players. When is the last time you heard Debrusk rip a guy for a poor performance? With that being said, he does say some idiot sh*t from time to time.

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#111 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:31PM
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29 other GM's would love to have Ales Hemsky with his contract. Dummy Maquire... he was probably mistaking him for Horcoff.

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#112 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:31PM
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@ Deans: You're right on Debrusk, I miss the little ball of hate doing every game. Always thought he was good.

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#113 Bob Cob
September 24 2009, 07:32PM
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Damn you Moreau!

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#114 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:33PM
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BAAAAAA says the goat in the penalty box.

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#115 David S
September 24 2009, 07:33PM
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Moreau - high sticking.

*facepalm*

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#116 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:34PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

BAAAAAA says the goat in the penalty box.

Isn't that a sheep?

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#117 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:36PM
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ronaldo wrote:

Fiveandagame wrote: BAAAAAA says the goat in the penalty box. Isn’t that a sheep?

Never mind, just looked it up and they are supposed to sound similar.

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#118 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:38PM
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See that body language between Gagner Nilsson and Moreau. They didn't even look at Moreau... man.. thats not good.

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#119 Colin
September 24 2009, 07:39PM
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With only 5 regular roster forwards I expect the offense to suck, but the defense is not looking hot either.

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#120 BarryS
September 24 2009, 07:39PM
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goalpost. well it was a shot that got through

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#121 Reggie
September 24 2009, 07:40PM
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David S wrote:

Moreau – high sticking. *facepalm*

Picking up from where he left off last year ... bad penalty :(

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#122 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:41PM
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@ ronaldo:

It's very similar... I guess I could have typed

Maaaaahahahahah... but that is kinda weird.

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#123 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:41PM
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@ Fiveandagame: LOL

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#124 BarryS
September 24 2009, 07:42PM
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Reggie wrote:

David S wrote: Moreau – high sticking. *facepalm* Picking up from where he left off last year … bad penalty

it was but st laurent made a good play by ducking into the stick

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#125 David S
September 24 2009, 07:43PM
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Gagner and Cogliano. Wow!

Put O'Sullivan with them and things will happen.

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#126 Gunner
September 24 2009, 07:44PM
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Wanye, if Grebs keeps this up he can, no WILL, be the goat this year.

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#127 Reggie
September 24 2009, 07:45PM
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@ BarryS: maybe, but another example of Moreau having bad position and opting to use his stick instead of taking a stride to close the play - in the neutral zone on top of it.

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#128 Gunner
September 24 2009, 07:46PM
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@ Reggie: There was 0 reason for his stick to be around St. Louis face.

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#129 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:48PM
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I swear this sounds like Ethan himself hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06CvUjLgK5g

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#130 ronaldo
September 24 2009, 07:48PM
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I think Cogs can play wing. He looks decent out there tonight. Fighting hard for pucks in the corners.

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#131 Gunner
September 24 2009, 07:49PM
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Gagner and Cogliano look good together. For a small duo they have won some board battles and came out with the puck.

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#132 RossCreek
September 24 2009, 07:49PM
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Tampa may have no interest in moving him, but Jeff Halpern would be a good pick up for the oil. 3C, veteran presence. If Tampa would take a vet back...

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#133 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:51PM
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Smid should drop the gloves and eff somebody up. Kids huge now.

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#134 Bob Cob
September 24 2009, 07:52PM
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Well its been a better period, at least Schremp has shown some jump.

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#135 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:56PM
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Check out this interview with Ethan Moreau

hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAioFb3IOA

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#136 17
September 24 2009, 07:59PM
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Is Mike Smith the guy who almost had his head taken off by a Marc Andre Bergeron shot?

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#137 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 07:59PM
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Now we can't buy a goal.

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#138 David S
September 24 2009, 07:59PM
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Holy crap! Sam's one-timers have some heat on 'em now.

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#139 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 08:01PM
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I am soooo sick of this stuipid Civic commercial and it's only the second period.

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#140 Travis Dakin
September 24 2009, 08:03PM
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Fiveandagame wrote:

Check out this interview with Ethan Moreau hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAioFb3IOA

HHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

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#141 BarryS
September 24 2009, 08:03PM
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Such language. and not even a real fight.

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#142 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 08:04PM
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@ Travis Dakin: Completely serious now... that is one messed up goat.....

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#143 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 08:05PM
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Bob Nilsson.... nice....

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#144 17
September 24 2009, 08:05PM
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Nicely done Nilsson

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#145 David S
September 24 2009, 08:07PM
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Sam's having a great night. And Nilsson. Jeeezuz!

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#146 BarryS
September 24 2009, 08:08PM
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oh no. nillson scored. then again, maybe it will make him tradeable

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#147 17
September 24 2009, 08:10PM
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ATTA BOY COGS!

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#148 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 08:10PM
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COGILANO!!!!!!!!!

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#149 David S
September 24 2009, 08:10PM
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For the love of god. Put the kid line back together.

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#150 Fiveandagame
September 24 2009, 08:11PM
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wow Tie game.... wow

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