Back to square one: just not in the standings

Robin Brownlee
January 11 2010 03:24PM

The Edmonton Oilers obviously don't get a do-over on the first 44 games they played this season, but they will approach their final 38 games as a second season and a new start after last weekend's mini-camp.

At least that was the spin, and probably the most sensible approach, at Rexall Place today as coach Pat Quinn and the Oilers looked ahead instead of back. With a record of 16-23-5 for 37 points, it only makes sense.

"We are on the journey and the journey hasn't gone the way we planned," understated Quinn. "You can't forget that part of it because there's a bit of a mountain in front of us as far as gathering points and trying to achieve the goals we started out with.

"We'll be re-establishing our goals. We're going to play by the old maxim, one shift, one period and we'll see if we get where we're doing little things well and maybe big things will happen that are good big things."

While many fans are getting behind the push for the Dive For Five, Quinn's focus, as you would expect, is elsewhere.

"You have to scrape yourself up and be in the fray," Quinn said. "That's what we have to do. It's challenging ourselves. Now, we may still not get to the results we want, but we have to continue to be better."

With a two-day golf junket cancelled in favour of the mini-camp, players put the best possible shine on things.

"They were good," Dustin Penner said of workouts Friday and Saturday. "It kind of re-set the computers.

"We spent two, six-hour days at the rink, with an hour of video each day, chalk talk on the board. I think it was beneficial. You would be hard-pressed to find anybody who would say it wasn't."

Work smarter not harder

If hard work on its own was the answer, Shawn Horcoff would be an 80-point player and the darling of Oilers fans no matter how much money he's taking home every two weeks.

Obviously, it's not that simple. Quinn talked about "hard work" in the context of the weekend and what he hopes the benefits wills be.

"Emotion is a big part of this game," he said. You can have the negative ones that crop up where you're frustrated because nothing good's going for you. "So maybe the answer is, 'I'll try harder.'

"Well, thinking that you're trying harder, sometimes it increases your frustration because it's not effort that you needed. You might have needed smarts or you might have needed courage or you might have needed some of the other things that are necessary for hockey players to be successful.

"There is that increasing level of frustration that gets people to give up a little bit on themselves. That's the biggest fight you have as far as both the coaches and the players in that room.

"The challenge is to stay on the task here because it is about them. It is individual. They're the ones who want to be good hockey players. They have to challenge themselves daily. To push that."

This and that

-- Having missed all the fun with Sheldon Souray Friday, one television reporter who shall remain unnamed went looking for more of the same NTC talk from Lubomir Visnovsky. He lobbed all sorts of grenades Visnovsky's way with a barrage of loaded questions, but got no sniff.

On the positive side, Visnovsky took another twirl on his twisted ankle today and should be a go against Nashville. That'll leave the Oilers with seven blueliners to choose from for the first time in awhile.

-- Aside from doing a lot of 4-on-4 work early in practice, the Oilers worked a lot on their 17th-ranked power play, with two full units working the drills.

One unit had Gilbert Brule with Sam Gagner and Patrick O'Sullivan up front with Denis Grebeshkov and Visnovsky on the points. The other fivesome was Robert Nilsson, Horcoff, Penner, Tom Gilbert and Souray. Neither one did a lot to impress the coach.

-- Marc Pouliot's on-again, off-again comeback from pubitis was on again today as he skated the full practice without any apparent ill effects. I'm guessing he's a week or 10 days and at least a couple of games in the AHL for conditioning from returning.

-- Mike Comrie took the ice with skating coach Steve Serdachny after practice today. No firm word on a return, but you'd have to think that Comrie will be in line for an AHL conditioning stint when he gets healthy.

-- Quinn has liked Andrew Cogliano's effort and compete level, if not his results offensively, lately and suggested he might look at getting him more ice time in the next little while.

-- 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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#1 David S
January 11 2010, 03:33PM
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"You have to scrape yourself up and be in the fray," Quinn said.

That's all anybody could reasonably ask for. Just play your best, bust your gut and let the chips fall where they may.

These guys do that for the rest of the season and I'll be happy. This team may end up in the bottom five, but I'd like to see them kicking and screaming every inch of the way.

"With five seconds left, destiny panics."

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#2 Heavyd
January 11 2010, 03:35PM
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Robin, Any chance Comrie gets another contract next year?

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#3 TigerUnderGlass
January 11 2010, 03:41PM
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Having missed all the fun with Sheldon Souray Friday, one television reporter who shall remain unnamed went looking for more of the same NTC talk from Lubomir Visnovsky. He lobbed all sorts of grenades Visnovsky's way with a barrage of loaded questions, but got no sniff

Were you watching? That must have been entertaining.

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#5 I'm a Scientist!
January 11 2010, 03:49PM
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Thank goodness the Olympics are coming up. After this computer re-setting mini-camp, the Oilers are bound to come out swinging for a few games. Hopefully not enough to get the points they need to get out of the bottom 5 positions. The Olympic break should work wonders on crushing any momentum they may garner over the next little while.

*whew*

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#6 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 03:49PM
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Not suprised to here that someone actually went after another guy with a NTC, Horcoff next?

The thing that gets me is guys like this want to seem proud about themselves, like they got dirt that no one else did. Then they wonder why fans take it the wrong way and why things get blown out of proportion.

As for Cogliano. Really this is something that should've happened before. The guy doesn't get the time he should. Now is the time to give it to him and see what he has.

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#7 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 03:51PM
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@Robin Brownlee

At least Comrie plays bigger then he is. Sure he is no fire cracker like Brule but he isn't afraid of going into the corners and getting dirty.

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#9 Heavyd
January 11 2010, 03:57PM
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Thanks Robin. I wouldn't mind seeing Comrie return. Would he be worth 1.5 as a third liner, scoring around maybe 30 to 40 points, looks good to me.

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#10 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 04:00PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I tend to agree with you on Cogliano. He's been lost in the shuffle at times. He takes some blame for that for not grabbing a role and excelling in it, but he's also suffered by not having that role clearly defined for him.

Andrew is a conscientious young man. He wants to do well. He wants to play here. I'd go as far as to say he's a sensitive guy who gets rattled fairly easily. Raffi Torres was the same way, despite his robust exterior. If Cogliano gets feeling good about himself and builds a little confidence, he's shown he's capable of having an impact.

Considering the role he is playing I think he is producing quite well. I always wanted to see him get more ice time with Hemsky, but I'm not sure that will ever happen. Cogliano has the ability to bury passes, but when you play with Moreau who doesn't pass what can you expect?

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#11 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
January 11 2010, 04:01PM
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One last comment before I leave for home. With Eberle not being traded and his team most likely not making the playoffs do the Oil play him in the NHL or AHL at season end?

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#12 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 04:13PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

One last comment before I leave for home. With Eberle not being traded and his team most likely not making the playoffs do the Oil play him in the NHL or AHL at season end?

AHL. He'll be here soon enough, let him play against pros with less chance of killing his confidence.

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#13 Lofty
January 11 2010, 04:20PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

Not suprised to here that someone actually went after another guy with a NTC, Horcoff next?

The thing that gets me is guys like this want to seem proud about themselves, like they got dirt that no one else did. Then they wonder why fans take it the wrong way and why things get blown out of proportion.

As for Cogliano. Really this is something that should've happened before. The guy doesn't get the time he should. Now is the time to give it to him and see what he has.

How can you blame the guy for asking? Any good journalist would do the same. Regurgitating status quo news doesn't bring readers in.

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#14 Jenga
January 11 2010, 04:41PM
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RB.

Should we be reading anything into MacKinnon's article in the Journal yesterday? Was this a proxy announcement to tell us that the dive for five is not alive in Oilers HQ?

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#15 Tracie
January 11 2010, 04:50PM
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Personally, I'm worried that this camp will improve us just good enough to miss the playoffs and come out with a lousy draft pick! I mean, what's the point of having a camp now? Even if we play .750 hockey, there is very little chance we will make the playoffs, so the camp was just to improve us enough to miss the playoffs but not get a good draft pick? What's the point of that, except that it keeps the Oilers status quo as far as development! finish 9-13 like every year and go itno next season with tons of promise and little substance! at least if we are last, sure the season is going to be long and right now I can't pay people to take tickets off of me, but at least we have the promise of getting a good young player to compliment the likes of MPS, Eberle, Omark, etc! Tambo has wanted a scorer, and now he can get one in Taylor Hall (or Seguin) and now he wants to wreck that as well?

Although I do want them to compete more and make the games more interesting to watch, I'll be pissed if all this does for us is make us finish 9-13!

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#16 Rob
January 11 2010, 04:53PM
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Cogliano is one of a far too long list of players who came to the Oil as a silk purse and magically got turned into a sow's ear. I predict he will be gone and will shine elsewhere. This is not a difficult prediction when you look at the performance of the Oiler organization.

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#17 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 04:54PM
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Jenga wrote:

RB.

Should we be reading anything into MacKinnon's article in the Journal yesterday? Was this a proxy announcement to tell us that the dive for five is not alive in Oilers HQ?

That would only highlight the Epic Fail that is Oiler management right now.

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#18 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 04:55PM
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@Rob

why would they trade him now? who can they get that is younger and has more upside than him that can actually play in the NHL?

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#19 Rob
January 11 2010, 05:13PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

why would they trade him now? who can they get that is younger and has more upside than him that can actually play in the NHL?

I think the Oil coaches and management are not sold on Cogliano and that is why they were prepared to trade him last summer. Quinn has dropped him to the 4th line and cut his minutes back proportionately. If that happened to you what would you have by way of confidence??

Considering some of the MacT holdovers and doorstops who still are part of the line-up while Cogliano sits on the bench, I just don't get that rationale at all.

I don't want them to trade Cogs but I think the hand-writing is on the wall. What do you bet that Tambo trades Cogs for some broken down plow horse he knew from the Canuck organization?

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#20 RossCreekNation
January 11 2010, 05:18PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

why would they trade him now? who can they get that is younger and has more upside than him that can actually play in the NHL?

Bob MacKenzie has already stated that he thinks Cogliano could be moved.

Perhaps they trade him for someone older (not a lot, but maybe a year or two). Maybe they package him up with someone or a draft pick for a more suitable fit.

Anything is possible. I know you love you some Cogliano, but you sound as though you don't even think it should be a realistic thought.

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#21 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 11 2010, 05:28PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

why would they trade him now? who can they get that is younger and has more upside than him that can actually play in the NHL?

~anyone seen schremps numbers lately?~

(yes i am only kidding, and yes, i realize he is slightly older, but the productive is higher than cogliano right now)

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#22 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 05:29PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Bob MacKenzie has already stated that he thinks Cogliano could be moved.

Perhaps they trade him for someone older (not a lot, but maybe a year or two). Maybe they package him up with someone or a draft pick for a more suitable fit.

Anything is possible. I know you love you some Cogliano, but you sound as though you don't even think it should be a realistic thought.

I just dont see the point of trading him when the Oilers are going into a rebuilding program. It doesnt compute in my head. If a trade unfolds where the guy is moved and the Oilers receive a bunch of picks or prospects I could understand, but I cant really comprehend the point of going into a full blown rebuild and trading away talented youth.

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#23 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 05:38PM
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@cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

I hope he has a reasonably productive career just to prove his naysayers wrong. Not every player in the NHL has to be as fast as Cogliano to be an effective NHLer.

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#24 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 11 2010, 05:41PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I hope he has a reasonably productive career just to prove his naysayers wrong. Not every player in the NHL has to be as fast as Cogliano to be an effective NHLer.

i agree 110%.

cogliano is really starting to remind me of martin gelinas. skates like the wind, goes for miles, works really hard, and doesnt really produce anything more than a 3rd liner.

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#25 Chris.
January 11 2010, 05:45PM
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@Archaeologuy

You move Cogliano because Gagner and Brule have passed him by... and Eberle is on the way. There is only room for so many small forwards on your roster... Of course, it would have made more sense to move Cogliano last year when his value was higher... It's not that Cogliano is a bad player, it's just that Tambellini needs to assemble a roster with better balance.... The coach needs the freedom to roll lines composed of players who have compliamentary skill-sets... It takes quality to trade for quality...

*All sentences read in a dull slow monotone.* (like an exhausted Father explaining to his child why it's important to call if you are going to be late for curfew)

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#26 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 05:49PM
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@Chris.

Hey, the kid wont cost all that much and he draws penalties as well as add *some* offense. The team is going to get rid of enough guys that the Oilers (and you) dont need to give up on a guy who isnt old enough to rent a car on his own.

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#27 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 11 2010, 05:57PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hey, the kid wont cost all that much and he draws penalties as well as add *some* offense. The team is going to get rid of enough guys that the Oilers (and you) dont need to give up on a guy who isnt old enough to rent a car on his own.

i dont know if it is some much giving up on cogliano, as it is trying to find the right fit.

does cogliano look like he is going to be a top 6 player? tough to say, i would lean towards no

does cogliano have the attributes that make him a fit on the 3rd line? not really, he doesnt win faceoffs, doesnt really kill penalties (yet), doesnt play physical etc..

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#28 roughneck
January 11 2010, 06:01PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hey, the kid wont cost all that much and he draws penalties as well as add *some* offense. The team is going to get rid of enough guys that the Oilers (and you) dont need to give up on a guy who isnt old enough to rent a car on his own.

Ah well... in days to come we can pine for him back and wonder wtf were the Oilers thinking dumping Cogliano and keeping Gagner that overpriced POS.

or not

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#29 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 06:04PM
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Hey, I'm not saying you cant trade him, just that seems out of sorts with a rebuild.

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#30 RossCreekNation
January 11 2010, 06:06PM
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@Archaeologuy

I cant really comprehend the point of going into a full blown rebuild and trading away talented youth.

Unless you're trading it in exchange for other talented youth... that fill's a void elsewhere in the roster.

Brandon Dubinsky's name has been thrown out by a few people, and regardless of whether or not there's any validity with that one, that type of trade would make sense, no?

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#31 Reggie
January 11 2010, 06:09PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Good question, but it's too early to tell. A lot is going to depend, obviously, on how he plays when he comes back. If he plays in the final, say, 30 games like he did before he got sick, and he's not looking for a big raise in pay, it'll be difficult not to consider him.

At the same time, do Quinn and Tambellini feel the need to weed out some of the smaller forwards? If so, who goes? Personally, I'd keep Comrie ahead of O'Sullivan if Mike gets it together once he's back. Nilsson has rid himself of an automatic ticket out of town because, while I still don't trust him, he's been much better than early in the season.

That's a long way of saying I don't know.

Robin,

What about the thought that the only reason Comrie came to Edmonton was that his options were limited this season.

If he comes back into the line up and has a decent finish would he be looking to come back here first ? Or would be he be hoping to sign a two year deal else where.

Given the change in make up of the team next fall, who knows who will be gone at the trade deadline and who will be gone over the summer.

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#32 Paq Twinn
January 11 2010, 06:25PM
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Tracie wrote:

Personally, I'm worried that this camp will improve us just good enough to miss the playoffs and come out with a lousy draft pick! I mean, what's the point of having a camp now? Even if we play .750 hockey, there is very little chance we will make the playoffs, so the camp was just to improve us enough to miss the playoffs but not get a good draft pick? What's the point of that, except that it keeps the Oilers status quo as far as development! finish 9-13 like every year and go itno next season with tons of promise and little substance! at least if we are last, sure the season is going to be long and right now I can't pay people to take tickets off of me, but at least we have the promise of getting a good young player to compliment the likes of MPS, Eberle, Omark, etc! Tambo has wanted a scorer, and now he can get one in Taylor Hall (or Seguin) and now he wants to wreck that as well?

Although I do want them to compete more and make the games more interesting to watch, I'll be pissed if all this does for us is make us finish 9-13!

I totally agree. I would be pissed if they even managed a monumental miracle and made the post season dance for a lousy 2 home dates AND another crappy pick. The last thing this franchise needs is false optimism/unfounded hope. We suck and its time to stop lieing to ourselves about it and that goes for management as well.

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#33 Cleetis
January 11 2010, 06:40PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Hey, the kid wont cost all that much and he draws penalties as well as add *some* offense. The team is going to get rid of enough guys that the Oilers (and you) dont need to give up on a guy who isnt old enough to rent a car on his own.

One of my pet peeves is when people think a team is giving up on a player by trading him.

Dude, by trading Cogliano,or offering him up in a trade doesn't mean the organization has "given up on him". It means the organization has realized they have holes in their line-up and would be willing move certain players to make their team better.

Like Chris says, Cogliano is a redundant player here, we have lots or 5' 10" 180ish pound forwards with skill. If he is what other teams want in return for a young guy with more size or talent, you trade him. You have to give up something good to get something good, so he might offer some value on the market.

If the Oilers traded him for a 5th round pick then you can say they gave up on him; but if them move to fill one of the glaring holes in the roster, it's just a move that needed to be made to improve the team.

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#35 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 07:10PM
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@Cleetis

We shall see if Tambellini is capable of trading players to make the team better. So far he's managed to downgrade Cole for POS and offer our only young physical defenseman, one of the young forwards, and our best forward (this season) for a guy who had no desire to play in Edmonton and has a history of demanding trades from places he doesnt want to play.

What does that track record suggest will happen when he trades Cogliano?

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#36 Jason Gregor
January 11 2010, 07:11PM
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Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

One last comment before I leave for home. With Eberle not being traded and his team most likely not making the playoffs do the Oil play him in the NHL or AHL at season end?

If the Pats miss the playoffs and that looks likely today, then Eberle's last game is March 13th v. Brandon. That means he could play 14 games with the Oilers. If he plays ten he would lose one year of eligibility, so I'd suspect you will see him play nine.

He had nine points in nine games with Springfield last year, so I don't see the point of playing him in the AHL again at the end of the season.

Let him see what the NHL game is about, and then he can work on whatever element he feels he needs to improve on in the summer.

@ARCHAEOLOGUY

AHL. He'll be here soon enough, let him play against pros with less chance of killing his confidence.

You won't kill his confidence because if he struggles he will have all summer to feel good about himself. Let him test himself against the best.

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#37 David S
January 11 2010, 07:12PM
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Paq Twinn wrote:

I totally agree. I would be pissed if they even managed a monumental miracle and made the post season dance for a lousy 2 home dates AND another crappy pick. The last thing this franchise needs is false optimism/unfounded hope. We suck and its time to stop lieing to ourselves about it and that goes for management as well.

At the risk of being the latest Captain Obvious around here, wouldn't them making the playoffs from where we are right now mean that this team is far from the definition of "suck". I know its pretty unlikely, but it would make for one of the best sports stories of the year. And you know what? If they made the playoffs, I'd be cheering my ass off for them because the accomplishment would be worth it, not to mention that they might very well make a round or two.

Taylor Hall or Eberle are going to be difference makers for us MAYBE in three years. You might as well get used to the suck and cheer for a bunch of guys who (hopefully) will be busting tail from here to the end of the season. Then hope that Oilers management gets the job done this summer and starts this damn rebuild for real.*

*Oh man. Sometimes I crack myself up.

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#38 Archaeologuy
January 11 2010, 07:20PM
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@Jason Gregor

Fair enough. I guess there's no real harm in keeping him for nine games in the NHL. I just had this terrifying image in my head about the state of the Oilers dressingroom by the end of the season with some key guys traded away for picks and a years worth of frustration culminating in a last place finish.

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#39 Racki
January 11 2010, 07:35PM
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Heavyd wrote:

Robin, Any chance Comrie gets another contract next year?

I honestly hope so. Consider me a new fan (former Comrie-hater). In the early goings, he was one of few players that looked like an NHLer and was helping make O'Sullivan look like a better player. Disappointing that he got the kissing disease.

Also disappointing is the comment by RB about the powerplay units being unimpressive.

Anyone here think this mini-camp is going to make a difference? Honest question... not rhetorical.

On the note of Cogliano, I will say "it's about bloody time". I know a lot of people are dumping on Cogliano, but I don't think he's been given a lot of opportunity. I believe it was Quinn who said it, you have to put players in situations where they can succeed. Playing him with the pluggington brothers isn't going to help. I like Stortini, but lets face it, he isn't going to bring any offense out of Cogliano. However, he did help bring something else out of Cogs which is great to see. But now it's time to give this kid some top six minutes and cut back on one of the others (#19 would be my choice).

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#41 Reggie
January 11 2010, 08:25PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

With the PP, it was Quinn who said he wasn't impressed.

As for the mini-camp, I don't know what difference it'll actually make in terms of Xs and Os and execution, but it's one of those things teams grab onto when things are tough. "Hey, it's a new start."

It's a bit of mental massaging that can sometimes have a positive outcome. It's like when a team sucks at home, they say, "It'll be good to get on the road" or vice-versa.

And really, when things aren't going well, going back to basics and practising and focusing on the fundamentals of the system certainly can't hurt.

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#42 rindog
January 11 2010, 08:55PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

With the PP, it was Quinn who said he wasn't impressed.

As for the mini-camp, I don't know what difference it'll actually make in terms of Xs and Os and execution, but it's one of those things teams grab onto when things are tough. "Hey, it's a new start."

It's a bit of mental massaging that can sometimes have a positive outcome. It's like when a team sucks at home, they say, "It'll be good to get on the road" or vice-versa.

Injuries and illnesses aside, my biggest disappointment this year has been the specialty teams. While the PP stats aren't horrible at 17th - the PP still looks terrible.

I don't know how much the coaching staff works on it - but I am a firm believer that the success of a PP is based on the coaching even more than the players on the ice.

Our PP is so predictable and stagnent. I always got on MacT's back for having such a brutal looking PP - but nothing has seems to have changed.

I respect Quinn and think he is a great coach; but I can not figure out why we don't have a good PP?

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#43 Jswift
January 11 2010, 09:03PM
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rindog wrote:

Injuries and illnesses aside, my biggest disappointment this year has been the specialty teams. While the PP stats aren't horrible at 17th - the PP still looks terrible.

I don't know how much the coaching staff works on it - but I am a firm believer that the success of a PP is based on the coaching even more than the players on the ice.

Our PP is so predictable and stagnent. I always got on MacT's back for having such a brutal looking PP - but nothing has seems to have changed.

I respect Quinn and think he is a great coach; but I can not figure out why we don't have a good PP?

Ales Hemsky and a pre-concussion souray would help.

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#44 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 09:24PM
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Cleetis wrote:

One of my pet peeves is when people think a team is giving up on a player by trading him.

Dude, by trading Cogliano,or offering him up in a trade doesn't mean the organization has "given up on him". It means the organization has realized they have holes in their line-up and would be willing move certain players to make their team better.

Like Chris says, Cogliano is a redundant player here, we have lots or 5' 10" 180ish pound forwards with skill. If he is what other teams want in return for a young guy with more size or talent, you trade him. You have to give up something good to get something good, so he might offer some value on the market.

If the Oilers traded him for a 5th round pick then you can say they gave up on him; but if them move to fill one of the glaring holes in the roster, it's just a move that needed to be made to improve the team.

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#45 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 09:26PM
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David S wrote:

At the risk of being the latest Captain Obvious around here, wouldn't them making the playoffs from where we are right now mean that this team is far from the definition of "suck". I know its pretty unlikely, but it would make for one of the best sports stories of the year. And you know what? If they made the playoffs, I'd be cheering my ass off for them because the accomplishment would be worth it, not to mention that they might very well make a round or two.

Taylor Hall or Eberle are going to be difference makers for us MAYBE in three years. You might as well get used to the suck and cheer for a bunch of guys who (hopefully) will be busting tail from here to the end of the season. Then hope that Oilers management gets the job done this summer and starts this damn rebuild for real.*

*Oh man. Sometimes I crack myself up.

Ya, no doubt. If the team was somehow able to make the PO now, they would be one of the hottest teams of the second half.

Though their is a decent chance Hall/Seguin will be difference makers next year... or two years like Stamkos.

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#46 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 11 2010, 09:30PM
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rindog wrote:

Injuries and illnesses aside, my biggest disappointment this year has been the specialty teams. While the PP stats aren't horrible at 17th - the PP still looks terrible.

I don't know how much the coaching staff works on it - but I am a firm believer that the success of a PP is based on the coaching even more than the players on the ice.

Our PP is so predictable and stagnent. I always got on MacT's back for having such a brutal looking PP - but nothing has seems to have changed.

I respect Quinn and think he is a great coach; but I can not figure out why we don't have a good PP?

It does look like crap alot of nights. But honestly though, considering the skill level of the team, they've probably been overachieving on the PP.

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#47 Jason Gregor
January 11 2010, 11:08PM
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rindog wrote:

Injuries and illnesses aside, my biggest disappointment this year has been the specialty teams. While the PP stats aren't horrible at 17th - the PP still looks terrible.

I don't know how much the coaching staff works on it - but I am a firm believer that the success of a PP is based on the coaching even more than the players on the ice.

Our PP is so predictable and stagnent. I always got on MacT's back for having such a brutal looking PP - but nothing has seems to have changed.

I respect Quinn and think he is a great coach; but I can not figure out why we don't have a good PP?

I don't know how much the coaching staff works on it - but I am a firm believer that the success of a PP is based on the coaching even more than the players on the ice.

Why do you think it is coaching? If you don't have skilled players on the PP it won't matter. Horcoff is not a good PP player, never has been never will be. The problem is the Oilers don't have anyone else who can win a faceoff.

Yes coaching can help, but the coach can draw up the best PP, if the players don't execute it it won't matter. There has to be some ad-libbing on the PP and that is all on the players.

They don't make the right reads very often on this team, and if you look at how often they make long passes that get broken up you'd go bonkers.

Sure coaching is a factor, but more is on the players in my mind. Some guys are very good PP players, but not great five-on-five.

Marc Andre Bergeron for instance has 16 PP points, but only 23 overall. He is great on the PP with his shot. Same as Kotalik in New York, 16 of his 22 points have come on the PP.

On the other side. Henrik Freakin Sedin has 62 points, but only 15 have come on the PP. It is strange considering the Canucks are 4th in the league on the PP, but Sedin has only been in on 15 of their 40 PP goals.

Either way I don't know if it is more coaching. You are right they need to come up with something better, but this entire coaching staff has changed and the PP hasn't looked any different. Either the players don't execute the PP game plan, or they don't have the ability to ad-lib well enough.

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#48 Rob
January 11 2010, 11:14PM
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I could live with the team committing to a top down re-build for the next couple of years. I want to see a definitive commitment by the team chosing a course and sticking with it. The Katz-led Oilers seem to have some sort of Black Ops mentality. They are upsetting fans and I think it is because of their unwillingness or inability to communicate unequivically with the fans with some degree of openess. I realize they can't disclose everything but a certain amount of loyalty to the fans is not unreasonable.

After all they want us to invest thousands of dollars in season tickets and I for one am not interested in investing my funds until I know what their intentions are. Do they actually think hockey-savy Oiler fans are going to support this team blindly forking over thousands of season ticket dollars while they fumble this organization into mediocrity with a big greasy side-order of obscurity??

Whatever you may think of the free agents and their advisors for turning down Edmonton you would have to be nuts to sign with Edmonton right now. Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa Bay look like well-oiled machines compared to this disorganized blunder-fest.

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#49 Sandra
January 12 2010, 12:02AM
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Maybe the oilers can add some excitement. We need a tough guy.

both Flames and Avs are fighting for 1st place.Both have a tough guy. both get thier teams going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15_qVYyIyDE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3JFZ2xtv4U&feature=related

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#50 Shaun Doe
January 12 2010, 12:13AM
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@Jason Gregor

Hey Gregor, in response to your position on Eberle playing 9 games with the Oil at seasons end: Would it make more sense for Eberle to play around 5 games to get a feel for the NHL and pinpoint his weaknesses as you said. That way next season he could have another 4 game audition to see if he has improved? I just figured that way we could see what he has to offer in both seasons without chipping into his contract, instead of just gambling on the chance that he improved as expected through the summer. Or would you think that seeing how he comes into training camp and pre-season would be enough let them know.

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