Deep thoughts XIII: Brass tacks

Robin Brownlee
September 26 2009 03:14PM

Samurai-quinn

Don't expect a sneak peek at Pat Quinn's season-opening roster when the Edmonton Oilers wrap up the pre-season against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday because he made it clear today that's not what we’re going to get.

Under Craig MacTavish, the last couple of games of pre-season usually provided a look at his 23-man roster, but having endured a stretch of five games in six nights and with injuries to Ethan Moreau and Marc Pouliot, Quinn won't be showing his cards against the Canucks.

"We've played some guys five times," Quinn said after practice at Rexall Place. "Rather than grind them, we'll look again at some others who are in the competition up front."

The way I see it

While I'm late to the guessing game when it comes to my take on what the roster will look like when it's submitted by the 3 p.m. deadline Wednesday, here's how I see things stacking up.

FORWARDS (14)

Shawn Horcoff, J.F. Jacques, Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Patrick O'Sullivan, Mike Comrie, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Zack Stortini, Ryan Stone, Gilbert Brule, Marc Pouliot, Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani.

CUTS

Kip Brennan, Liam Reddox, Jordan Eberle, Rob Schremp, Robert Nilsson, Steve MacIntyre.

DEFENCE (7)

Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky, Tom Gilbert, Denis Grebeshkov, Ladislav Smid, Steve Staios, Jason Strudwick.

CUTS

Taylor Chorney.

GOALTENDERS (2)

Nikolai Khabibulin, Jeff Deslauriers.

CUTS

Devan Dubnyk

Finding a fit

Pisani returned to the ice today after taking a few days off to rest the cranky back that's had him on the shelf. Moreau and Pouliot didn't take a twirl because they're still resting injuries.

Pisani indicated he'll be ready to play against the Canucks, if needed, but Quinn didn't commit to putting him in the line-up. Here's the most common lines and the defence pairings Quinn used today.

FORWARDS

Jacques-Horcoff-Hemsky

Penner-Comrie-O'Sullivan

Stone-Brule-Stortini

Cogliano-Gagner-MacIntyre

Brennan-Schremp-Nilsson

Reddox-Brule-Stortini

DEFENCE

Souray-Staios

Smid-Visnovsky

Grebeshkov-Gilbert

Strudwick-Chorney

"Up front, we still have continuing evaluation," Quinn said. "The hard decisions are going to come either after the game when management sits down or Monday morning."

-- I'm convinced Stone and Brule have made the roster because they bring a physical element and are suited to play in the bottom six. I think them sticking makes Nilsson expendable because he's not suited to play in the bottom six and one good performance isn't going to vault him into the top six at this point.

-- Nilsson could get a reprieve on cut down day if either Moreau or Pouliot are put on the injured reserve list, but we don't have an indication at this point that's going to happen.

-- With the physical presence provided by Jacques, Stortini, Stone and, to a lesser degree, Penner, I don't see a roster spot for MacIntyre. Based on what Quinn has said, I don't think he sees one, either.

-- As for Quinn keeping Pouliot ahead of Nilsson, that's just a gut-feeling on my part. It's one that's based on the same premise as Stone and Brule -- Pouliot is a better fit in the bottom six.

-- The defence is a no-brainer. Chorney is a year away from challenging for a job. Theo Peckham, who has missed all of camp with a sprained ankle, hasn't been a factor.

In the room

-- I've asked stupid questions before, but I've seldom intentionally thrown a player a grenade meant to put him on the spot. I've certainly never done it with somebody I respect like Pisani.

But I did exactly that today when I asked Pisani: "Do you feel behind the pack? Do you feel like you've got to make this team?"

While so-so performances and the bad back have hampered Pisani, he's not in danger of being cut. But that's how it sounded the way I clumsily framed the question.

What I wanted to know is if Pisani was disappointed he hadn't shown the new coaching staff more to this point. To his credit, he shook off the implication, resisted the urge to poke me in the eye with his Easton and answered anyway.

"Everybody, when they step on the ice, wants to prove themselves," Pisani said. "That's the situation I'm in. I want to get out there and play. I want to show that I can play."

-- Quinn gathered the team around him late in the practice and was very animated in letting his players know he wanted intensity and execution during drills.

He obviously wasn't happy with what he was seeing. He slapped his stick on the ice more than once to get his point across. Today isn't the first time Quinn has done that during this camp.

-- I don't often disagree with Jim Matheson, a friend, a HHOF writer and the guy who broke me in on the Oilers beat when I arrived in 1989, but I think Matty and I have a side-bet going this season. He's picking the Columbus Blue Jackets to miss the playoffs. I'm saying they're a lock to make it.

Just asking

-- Whatever happened to addressing the need for a centre to win face-offs and take the heat of Horcoff, who led the entire NHL in appearances on the dot last season?

I'm guessing Quinn will lean heavily on Brule and Gagner to remedy the situation, but failing to address the need by way of a personnel change makes we wonder what GM Steve Tambellini is doing.

-- For all the so-so performances by veterans (hello, Mr. Hemsky) to this point in pre-season, are you wondering about Khabibulin after his sieve-like performance against Calgary in a 5-3 loss last Wednesday?

Khabibulin allowed four goals, and looked bad on at least two of them, on 24 shots against the Flames before he gave way to dehydration and Deslauriers. After Khabibulin made 18 saves in a 4-0 win over Florida, I'll reserve judgment despite his hummer against the Flames. Still, I'm uneasy.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. 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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#51 Cool Beans
September 26 2009, 08:17PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

To the surprise of nobody, I agree with Brownlee on Pouliot over Nilsson. It’s a simple question of team needs now and in the future – a decent-size, RH faceoff guy who can kill penalties and play a bottom-six role vs. a smallish, talented, offense-only forward. Still, I’m a little surprised by the idea of Stone over Nilsson, especially when the latter seems like such a good fit for Nashville.

We are all aware of your man crush, no need to explain.

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#52 Ogden Brother
September 26 2009, 08:19PM
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Joe wrote:

Robin, like I said we like you! You started covering Oilers in 89. I started waching Oilers in 82 and I remember when they used to say to oposing team “you score as much as you can and we will score as many as we want”. Well, they won 4 Cups before you started and 1 more after and they only had 1 or 2 tough guys because they used to win on skill. Now they have 5 players that can fight. How many Cups did they win lately?

You seen alot different teams from the mid/late 80's then I did.

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#53 Robin Brownlee
September 26 2009, 08:23PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

You've got to stop paying attention so much . . . you've got it exactly right.

I'm not picking the Oilers roster based on what I think, I'm picking it based on what I hear from Quinn and his coaches. You can "wish" for this player or that all you want, but when it comes to handicapping picks, it's not a bad idea to try and catch the vibe that's being thrown out by the people making the decisions.

I don't have a crystal ball. I just listen.

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#54 quicksilver ballet
September 26 2009, 08:27PM
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JF Jacques...any possibility this is this a break out year for him or do you feel he's a 3 dressed up as an 8?

How long till everyone really is on the same page with Quinns different system?

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#55 Robin Brownlee
September 26 2009, 08:27PM
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@ Fiveandagame: Check every NHL roster by height and weight and tell me Pouliot doesn't have decent size. Good God, man, try bringing a fact or two into the equation.

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#56 Joe
September 26 2009, 08:28PM
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@ Ogden Brother: Yes I have and Oilers trademark always was ATTACK. Now with the new coach its DEFENCE. I am sorry to tell you guys but this will not be the Oilers we all know and love. In about 3 month we will scream for coaches head and will be right.

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#57 Jonathan Willis
September 26 2009, 08:30PM
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@ Joe:

The Oilers trademark hasn't been remarkable offence since at least 1990.

In the time since, it's been being lousy, than hard-working teams without enough skill, than a very good team without goaltending until the deadline, than being lousy again.

This isn't the 80's, and Sam Gagner isn't Wayne Gretzky.

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#58 Joe
September 26 2009, 08:33PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Yes but Oilers are Oilers and they should play like OILERS and not New Jercy.

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#59 Jonathan Willis
September 26 2009, 08:34PM
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Also, Pat Quinn has missed the playoffs twice in 17 years. He's done it playing a variety of styles, generally because (from everything I've heard and read) he tailors his game plan to his team.

If he decides this team needs to play more defence, it's probably because they do.

Quite possibly because this team doesn't have the talent (yet) to outscore anyone. Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano might very well be players, but the Oilers have exactly three forwards (Horcoff, Hemsky, O'Sullivan) who have managed top top the fifty point mark at any point in the past three seasons.

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#60 Joe
September 26 2009, 08:43PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: I understand what you are talking about but I taught that Oilers have 19 forvards fighting for 14 spots so we have good players otherwise why don't they trade 3good players for 1 exelent one. What did Tambo do this Summer? Hired Quinn? I predict 11th place in the West.

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#61 quicksilver ballet
September 26 2009, 08:53PM
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Jason Smiths series of unfortunate events.

Was he in anyway compensated for conveniently surrendering under the Senators terms?

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#62 Ogden Brother
September 26 2009, 08:55PM
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Joe wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: Yes I have and Oilers trademark always was ATTACK. Now with the new coach its DEFENCE. I am sorry to tell you guys but this will not be the Oilers we all know and love. In about 3 month we will scream for coaches head and will be right.

Well I agree with you comment that people will be looking for the coaches head... that's about it though.

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#63 quicksilver ballet
September 26 2009, 08:58PM
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Sorry Robin, have nothing else to do this evening (wife's scrapbooking kids are on sleepovers)Football sucks man.

How about a face off specialist to help out the kids who are here instead of making a sideways deal.

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#64 Joe
September 26 2009, 09:00PM
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@ Ogden Brother: O.K. we have difference of opinion and will see who is right in 3 mo. especially if RB is telling us that it was not his guess about 14 players that will make it but its something he heard from the coaches.

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#65 Robin Brownlee
September 26 2009, 09:08PM
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@ quicksilver ballet:

Like I wrote in the item: "Whatever happened to addressing the need for a centre to win face-offs and take the heat of Horcoff, who led the entire NHL in appearances on the dot last season?

I’m guessing Quinn will lean heavily on Brule and Gagner to remedy the situation, but failing to address the need by way of a personnel change makes we wonder what GM Steve Tambellini is doing."

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#66 Archaeologuy
September 26 2009, 09:11PM
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Joe wrote:

Yes but Oilers are Oilers and they should play like OILERS and not New Jercy.

New Jersey won their Cups by playing a game that generated a steady flow of odd man chances, opportunities for massive game-changing hits, and highlighted the team's skill (as evidenced by the late 90's/early 2000's teams that were leading the league in scoring each year).

There's this perception that the Devils play boring hockey. I for one would love to watch the Oilers create turnovers, score, and win on a regular basis. But that's just me.

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#67 Robin Brownlee
September 26 2009, 09:12PM
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Joe wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: O.K. we have difference of opinion and will see who is right in 3 mo. especially if RB is telling us that it was not his guess about 14 players that will make it but its something he heard from the coaches.

Let's not forget, Quinn could buy some time if Pouliot goes on the injured list. The Oilers could also start the season with Pouliot on IR and Nilsson in the line-up, then trade him.

And, no, the Quinn hasn't shown me his list of 14 forwards . . . not exactly.

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#68 Ogden Brother
September 26 2009, 09:19PM
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Joe wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: O.K. we have difference of opinion and will see who is right in 3 mo. especially if RB is telling us that it was not his guess about 14 players that will make it but its something he heard from the coaches.

See who's right? I'm disagreeing with:

- Oilers trademark always was ATTACK

- But this will not be the Oilers we all know and love

- And will be right (in refrence to the fan base being "right" wanting Quinn/Renney fired in three months)

I'm pretty confident I won't be "proved wrong" on those in three months

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#69 Superkk
September 26 2009, 09:24PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Superkk wrote: As much as it pains me to say if they keep both Pisani and Pouliot the Oil don’t have a hope in hell of making the playoff!s!! Absolutely. Generally, I find that the third-line RW and a 4th-line/press box guy are the key reasons a team wins or loses. Ya i well agree with you on this one Johnathan. Neither of these guys bring any thing to the table and are a waste of a roster space!!! Their combined 503 NHL games implies that coaches (and the rest of us) are seeing something you aren’t. So what is it then, seriously what do they bring to the table, i have yet to see anything from from Pouliot that justifies him being a first round draft pick!!! And for Pisani what? He had one good post season??? What else he coasts around the ice and avoid body contact at all costs and he's often injured!!! I’d much rather keep MacIntyre over either of these these guys. Except of course that MacIntyre’s only skill is hurting people. Pouliot and Pisani play hockey. REALLY, REALLY give me a break Johnathan!!! At least Pouliot’s cheap, Pisani’s the most over paid player in the NHL!!!! As Steve Staios shows, Pisani isn’t even the most overpaid player on the Oilers’ roster. Also, given that Pisani takes up just over 4% of the team’s cap space (1/25th, in other words) he’s only being paid to be an average NHL player. While I think he should be cheaper (since as a rule, offence gets paid and defence does not) he’s not outrageously priced. At least Staios is good with the younger guys aka Smid. There's a reason Smid plays a lot better when he with Staios. I really hope Pisani's coasting isn't wearing off on the younger guys!
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#70 Joe
September 26 2009, 09:47PM
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@ Ogden Brother: I am not going to argue with another fellow reader but tell me haw are they doing so far? Like I said just give them 3 month.

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#71 Smokin' Ray
September 26 2009, 10:02PM
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I think everyone missed the most important part of what Brownlee wrote. Who gives a crap about two guys (Pouliot and Nilsson) that suck and may or may not make the team. Neither one of these guys are going to make or break the Oilers on winning a cup. Nor MacIntyre (my personal favorite Oiler) or Stone or Pisani. Pfft. Arguing about some nobody who may or may not be claimed if and when they are sent down.

Brownlee wrote, quote "Quinn gathered the team around him late in the practice and was very animated in letting his players know he wanted intensity and execution during drills.

He obviously wasn’t happy with what he was seeing. He slapped his stick on the ice more than once to get his point across. Today isn’t the first time Quinn has done that during this camp." End quote

Now that my friends, is the Oilers key to success. That's the kind of tidbit I look for. Not those fringe players your fighting about. Quinn ensuring the team that he is a hard ass is the beginning of the future for the hockey club. Isn't this what we all wanted when you begged and pleaded to have MacT fired last year? Quinn has impressed me the most this pre-season. He kind of scares me to be honest. I'm glad to have him. IQWT (In Quinn We Trust) *sends JSBM a quarter*

Thanks Brownlee for the "little" stuff that no one ever reports. You may not think we listen, but we do.

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#72 Susie
September 26 2009, 10:10PM
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David S wrote:

harder to come by than just plain effort. Nilsson had a crap year last season and knows this is is last chance. He’s motivated and has the tools when he chooses to

I totally agree! Nilsson wants to be here. He has said over & over that he wants to play with Sammy & Cogs & I believe if he means what he says, he will work his a$$ off. If he doesn't, good riddance...maybe he will wake up on another team when reality sets in even IF he becomes an Oiler killer. I'd like the kid to succeed.

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#73 Jonathan Willis
September 26 2009, 10:11PM
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@ Superkk:

Pisani plays smart positional hockey. He has an underrated shot, and he covers a lot of mistakes - when he's healthy anyway.

I understand that positional hockey counts for little around these parts, where guys would rather see their players throw themselves out of position looking for the big hit, but it's the same thing that guys like Jay Pandolfo do.

Every team needs guys that can handle themselves in any situation. Pisani's one of the few who can do it for the Oilers.

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#74 ScubaSteve
September 26 2009, 10:43PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

You make good points JW, I think all the Pisani hate stems solely from his contract, if he's making 1.5mil, we're not talking about his shortcomings. Is he overpaid? Yeah, but does that mean he's worthless? Far from.

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#75 Racki
September 26 2009, 10:54PM
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Your predicted roster, according to Capgeek, puts us at $55.96M, minus $1M for bonuses, giving us $1.84M in cap space. Obviously we'd all love to have more room, but I'll take it. That's not too bad.

I think you're right, although I've not been so confident about Brule to this point. He plays physical, but he's shown that he's a pretty small guy. He gets pushed around just as much, if not more, as he pushes around. He's shown some good two-way play though, so he could stick. But I would still prefer to see him work on his game in Springfield, if we can somehow sneak him through waivers.

I do agree that Quinn likely isn't a big fan of MacIntyre, but I would not mind seeing him stay here in favor of Brule, albeit an unlikely scenario.

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#76 Gunner
September 26 2009, 11:07PM
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Racki wrote:

we can somehow sneak him through waivers

I don't see that happening.

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#77 Gunner
September 26 2009, 11:16PM
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ScubaSteve wrote:

Yeah, but does that mean he’s worthless? Far from.

The debate isn't that he is worthless, it's that we could or maybe should find a player who brings what he does, for a fraction of the cost. If that is even possible.

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#78 Jim
September 26 2009, 11:27PM
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Really Brownlee? Just cuz pouliot is 6'1 doesn't make him decent size... I'd take Comrie anyday in a fight.The guy is a muffin. If it wasn't for crosby, pouliot would be in div. 1 alberta mens league.

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#79 Robin Brownlee
September 27 2009, 12:04AM
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Jim wrote:

Really Brownlee? Just cuz pouliot is 6′1 doesn’t make him decent size… I’d take Comrie anyday in a fight.The guy is a muffin. If it wasn’t for crosby, pouliot would be in div. 1 alberta mens league.

Jim. Please pay attention. If you'd been doing that, you'd know I'm well aware the physical size of a player doesn't necessarily equate to a certain style of play. Some small men play big. Some big men play small. I've written about that 1,000 times. I was simply addressing the argument by a poster that six-foot-one, 195 pounds doesn't qualify as what Willis termed "decent size." It most certainly does.

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#80 Sandra
September 27 2009, 12:09AM
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This is how I see the lines;

Jacques-Horcoff-Hemsky

Penner-Comrie-O’Sullivan

Cogliano-Gagner-Stortini

Stone-Brule-Moreau ex;Nilsson

Macintyre

DEFENCE

Smid-Staios

Grebeshkov-Visnovsky

Souray-Gilbert

ex;Strudwick

Khabby Desjarlais

Now interesting quote from Quinn saying there is going to be one change on D, That probably opens up for Chorney, a Quinn favorite, So maybe there is a deal involving Grebishkov and Pouliot going out for a ceterman that can win draws ( Capitols ), leaving us with 15 forwards and 6 D to start the season. Khabby will not play no more that 40 full regular season games, I have to agree with Tencer that there is a problem there.

@ Brownlee

I like the way you called out Tambelini for not making the move that is needed. Something is cooking before Monday.

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#81 Robin Brownlee
September 27 2009, 12:25AM
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@ Sandra: I appreciate your contributing to the discussion, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop calling Jeff Deslauriers "Desjarlais." His parents would appreciate it and so would we. You do it in every single reference, so it's not an oversight. Any reason why?

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#82 Jaime
September 27 2009, 12:34AM
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Can anybody answer a question for me? I thought Pat Quinn had made a reference to New Jersey's style of play in one of his quotes, does anybody know when this was or remember the quote?

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#83 Sandra
September 27 2009, 12:38AM
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@ Brownlee

Deslauriers is a Metis name that is prounounced Desjalais, it's a habit thing.

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#84 Racki
September 27 2009, 01:47AM
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Jaime: I don't know if he did or not, but today Souray made that reference (check the quotes from Saturday's practice). He made a comment on how Quinn's style he's preaching mimics New Jersey's style. That is, play a strong defensive game, and let the offense come when it will. In other words, playing strong defense will lead to offensive chances.

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#85 Dallas
September 27 2009, 02:45AM
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Racki wrote:

Jaime: I don’t know if he did or not, but today Souray made that reference (check the quotes from Saturday’s practice). He made a comment on how Quinn’s style he’s preaching mimics New Jersey’s style. That is, play a strong defensive game, and let the offense come when it will. In other words, playing strong defense will lead to offensive chances.

Oh oh sounds like the same plan clg is goin with except for clg has the dogs to play that style I don't think it's gonna work well for us. I'd like to see us play the sabres style and win 10 or so games 7-3or4 or 9-5or6 that would be a heck of alot more fun to watch and suits the players more. I think we have some players poised for breakout years.

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#86 David S
September 27 2009, 03:03AM
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Sandra wrote:

Deslauriers is a Metis name that is prounounced Desjalais, it’s a habit thing.

Jonathan has aptly coined the name "The Delorean". That's a great compromise.

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#87 JP
September 27 2009, 06:56AM
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I just don't know what Stortini has done in camp to merit making this team under the 23 man roster. I'll be more confused if he's a started. Despite his size he hasn't fought. Despite his size he hasn't imposed it. Both Jacques and MacIntyre have as has Brennan. Stortini wouldn't be in my opening day roster because he hasn't done his job. He looks like a fool when he does get in scrums. He skates like he's in oatmeal. As fighter we learned last year he still leaves a lot to be desired.

My summation is that MacIntyre is the super heavyweight that Quinn used to send a message to Fedoruk, not Stortini. Jacques so far has countered as the #2 option, he has stepped up and answered the call. Stone can be a good 3 option. The last 2 can play the game and skate. I leave Stortini to the waiver wire or trade him if someone wants him. If not he's in the AHL where he belongs.

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#88 Oilchange45
September 27 2009, 08:15AM
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New coach, essentially the same team, preseason is not over yet, and a few are already calling for his head. Wow.

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#89 MattL
September 27 2009, 09:24AM
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David S wrote:

Sandra wrote: Deslauriers is a Metis name that is prounounced Desjalais, it’s a habit thing. Jonathan has aptly coined the name “The Delorean”. That’s a great compromise.

Maybe he should adopt the standard "-er" to make it a nickname. Hemmer, Greener, Deslaurierser.

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#90 Robin Brownlee
September 27 2009, 09:25AM
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@ JP: Your summation doesn't jibe with Quinn's philosophy when it comes to personnel, and he's the guy who calls the shots. Quinn is not big on having an enforcer who contributes nothing else to the team but the ability to fight. There is no question MacIntyre is the biggest and toughest player the Oilers have. I'd like to see him stick, but what I'd like matters about as much as your "summation" -- diddly.

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#91 Dino
September 27 2009, 09:57AM
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Robin, I've been reading that Quinn is preaching a philosophy of perfect execution during practices (see Tych's article today; http://www.edmontonsun.com/sports/hockey/2009/09/27/11143076-sun.html). This seems to be the theme for this year's training camp. Souray made some comments about the coach not wanting them to fall into the bad habits they've had the last couple of years in practices.

My question to you is this; MacT has/had a reputation for being a stickler to detail, yet it seems to me that Quinn is more demanding of it during practice (and games perhaps?); wasn't MacT as demanding during practices as Quinn seems to be? Will this attention to detail translate into better on ice results during games?

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#92 esa tikkanen
September 27 2009, 10:09AM
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i was just going through the rosters of teams that might be interested in trading with the Oil with cap space. Atlanta, Tampa, Floriday.

Is anybody here familiar with Jim Slater in Atlanta? 26 years old, 6 feet 200, 1 pim per game in three seasons, looks good on the dot. would be a good third or fourth line center. maybe they would take two contracts for him (Nilsson, McIntyre) - would solve lots of problems for both teams. give atlanta some scoring depth and toughness, gives the oilers a penalty killer who wins faceoffs with grit. works for me

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#93 Robin Brownlee
September 27 2009, 10:29AM
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@ Dino: If Mact didn't like what he saw in practice, he'd stop the drill and tell the players to re-load and do it over again and they'd be right back at it.

When Quinns sees somthing similar, he seems to take more time to explain what he wants and what he's seeing that he doesn't like. He seems more intent, and it's hardly surprising with a new coaching staff, on not letting bad habits creep into things.

@ esa tikkanen: Tambellini should be looking at every player who fits the bill as a defensive centre who can wins draws and work the PK. It's almost like this obvious and stated need has been ignored since the end of last season. It's a hole in the line-up that's going to haunt the Oilers if they don't address it. For God sake, package up some of this undersized extra talent we keep hearing about and go get a hard-nosed centre who can do the job. Failure to do so has been Tambellini's biggest shortcoming this off-season.

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#94 Victoria
September 27 2009, 10:34AM
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David S wrote:

Jonathan has aptly coined the name “The Delorean”. That’s a great compromise.

Nice

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#95 Chris.
September 27 2009, 10:57AM
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Gunner wrote:

Like David S said, for the most part skill trumps hard work.

~So that's why the Oilers won the division last year!~

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#96 Gunner
September 27 2009, 11:16AM
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@ Chris.: Touche.

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#97 Chris.
September 27 2009, 11:20AM
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Joe wrote:

Robin, like I said we like you! You started covering Oilers in 89. I started waching Oilers in 82 and I remember when they used to say to oposing team “you score as much as you can and we will score as many as we want”. Well, they won 4 Cups before you started and 1 more after and they only had 1 or 2 tough guys because they used to win on skill. Now they have 5 players that can fight. How many Cups did they win lately?

I think you should jog your meemory and take a good long look at the Oiler Dynasty rosters...

There were a some highly skilled guys to be sure... but the Oilers had one of the biggest meanest rosters in Pro hockey. For example on the 1987/88 team Gretz and Kurri were the only two guys I would classify as soft skill forwards. Messier was a prototypical power forward, as was Simpson. Anderson though small wasn't soft at all and drove the net without fear. The team awarded roster spots to agitators and role players with grit and size like Tikkanen and MacTavish; and just plain mean players like McSorely, Kruselnyski, and McClelland. The D featured aggressive giants like Muni, Beukaboom, and Smith along with gritty competators like Lowe, Huddy, and Gregg... In fact, if you really break it down, the 1988 Oilers were probably a bigger team than the 2009 edition... quite remarkable when you consider how much bigger atheletes generally are today.

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#98 Fiveandagame
September 27 2009, 11:21AM
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@ Robin Brownlee: @ Jonathan Willis:

Fair enough Mr. Brownlee you want proof? Here it is.

I guess this argument comes down to the definition of "DECENT", my interpretation of this word is average or slightly better than average.

Lets just say for arguments sake that to say "Pouliot has decent NHL size" is to suggest he is at least average.

OK.

Now we should only compare him with other forwards as d-men tend to be larger and it would be unfair to include that group with Pouliot.

All of my numbers are taken from NHL.com and the 08-09 rosters.

Pouliot is ranked 353 out of 582 forwards in the NHL. OR in the 40th percentile of NHL forwards. Below average. 10% below average.

But lets look at this team by team. One random team out of each division.

Phoenix average weight for forwards. 202.48 LBS. 7 1/2 lbs heavier than Pouliot.

Washington average weight of forwards 205.04 lbs 10lbs heavier than Pouliot

St. Louis average weight of forwards 201.3 lbs. 6.3 lbs heavier than Pouliot

Ottawa's average weight of forwards 204.15 lbs 9 lbs heavier than Pouliot

New Jersey's average weight of forwards is 200.21 pounds. 5.2lbs heavier than Pouliot.

And finally the Oilers.

The Oilers average weight of Forwards is 205.18 lbs. 10 pounds over Pouliot's weight. with 13 forwards listed above him out of 22 on NHL.com

Even on the "small" Oilers Pouliot is well below average. In fact often Schremp is considered one of the small edmonton forwards but he is 5 lbs heavier than Pouliot on a slightly smaller frame, suggesting a stockier build. (or the consumption of more beer ) but I digress.

Based on the numbers average or 'Decent' NHL size is is roughly around 203 lbs for forwards. 8 lbs heavier than Pouliot. So take from this what you will. But I think it is a stretch to say that Decent and Below average ( even on a small Oiler team ) mean the same thing.

Pouliot is on the smaller side of the NHL average and adds little to our up front size. Using his size as an argument to keep him is a very thin argument.

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#99 RossCreek
September 27 2009, 11:35AM
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I hate Pouliot... yet I'd keep him over Nilsson if I were the Oil.

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#100 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
September 27 2009, 11:40AM
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If the Oilers get off to a bad start Tambalini will have no choice but to make player moves to address this teams weaknesses.If he sits back and does nothing like last year he will be the one looking for a job.There are not to many easy oppenents in the first 20 games either a record of below 500 will not be acceptable.

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