Oilers vs. Blackhawks Postgame

Jonathan Willis
January 26 2010 10:33PM

Chicago Blackhawks: 4

Edmonton Oilers: 2

Hey, look, a loss.

I got home tonight, looked at the ticker, looked at the remote for my PVR, and decided that I didn't have the fortitude to sit through the game.  So I won't.

I will take this opportunity to mention some of the tools that I use when I want to look at a game indepth and verify what I just saw.  For instance, this tool, provided by Vic Ferrari, allows the user to scroll through and see how the coaches ran their bench.  Most nights for the Oilers, it's an endless succession of 1-2-3-4, but a few games ago the coaching staff decided, 'aw shucks, we're sick of losing, let's try matching the lines.'

The astute observer, either of the game or of the shift chart, will note that Quinn & Co. rather diligently sent out Horcoff, Moreau and Pisani against Toews, Kane and Brouwer.  It was a mismatch; in terms of shots Horcoff finished the night +6/-17, and in Corsi he finished +13/-34, but somehow he finished even on the night, and added an assist on Pisani's goal.  I'm guessing the line had a brutal evening against some superior players.  On the defensive end, the staff also matched Gilbert/Souray against the Bane of Cabbies and his confederates, and they posted similar numbers to the 'shutdown' trio.

Those shot totals are here, by the way; another handy tool from Vic.  By the look of things, the notion of sending out those five as human sacrifices (much like MacT used to do with Stoll and Reasoner, before they were run out of town to the sound of crowds cheering 'minus-23, minus-17, minus-23!') was somewhat effective at shielding the rest of the team, but nowhere near enough.

This is the 11th loss in a row for Edmonton, and if they can somehow squeak through St. Louis and Calgary, they'll be 0-for-January.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Dyckster
January 27 2010, 10:20AM
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Chris. wrote:

Maybe I confused things with the pick 15 Oilers... It's like I think Hemsky is a better player than Gagner who is a better player than Cogliano who is obviously better than Jacques... Can you rank all the current Oiler forwards in relation to each other?

Ah, now I get it...my bad.

That's definately a tougher exercise then picking your favorite 15.

Forwards (ranked 1 - 9):

1. Hemsky 2. Penner 3. Brule 4. Gagner 5. Potulny 6. Cogs 7. Horcoff 8. Stone 9. POS

D:

1. Vish 2. Smid 3. Souray 4. Gilbert 5. Staios 6. Peckham

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#52 dragon
January 27 2010, 10:20AM
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freeze wrote:

You assume our GM actually has the balls to make a decent trade.

yeah, silly me...

it's all fun and games right now.

Re Chris: we'll be able to give higher marks to Hemmer if he gets back a different man from this 'reset' surgery...

Gags/Vish/Penner/Brule/Hemer/Cogs/Souray/Potulny/Smid/Storts/Stone/TheRest

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#53 BUCK75
January 27 2010, 10:23AM
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@GSC

I agree - if he is hurt & not going to hurt it more by playing I still don't see thepoint of him playing. Fix it & start fresh, like our fossil goaltender.

At the start of the season it was said by many 'in the know' sources that a shut down line of Moreau, Pisani & Horcoff might be the direction of the team. If he can't even do that properly it might be time for him to get the wing fixed.

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#54 Kevin
January 27 2010, 10:26AM
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dragon wrote:

...and then we all gave up...

someone should write a case study about this fast-into-the-ground hockey team. such a hard learnt lesson needs to be captured somehow for future generations.

Tambo's interview during the intermission: more pathetic than the capt'n tonight: 'we don't talk picks, we need to focus on this team now'.

Good to know he fields all calls though...

Yes Tambo's comments were pretty lame. The fact he has'nt made any moves to this point is a complete joke. The needs now are no different than what they were a year ago. What game is he watching. He should spend some of his millions and subscribe to center ice where he can watch some real hockey and other games around the league. I think his steady diet of watching the Oil is really stunting his decision making. Watching the Oiler games is like watching guys running/skating in sand. Zero intensity, its very obviuos when you compare to other games. This team has no untradables in my book. Also, a word to the season ticket holders, Please take your time in ASSESSING your ticket renawals. Be as patient as the donkeys your paying to run this team. Lets not forget who really owns this team. Who is really flipping the bill here. IT's you and me in control here ! STOP paying for incompitance. Start demanding accountability. Starting asking for guys to fall for mistakes made and bad contracts signed.

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#55 dragon
January 27 2010, 10:29AM
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BUCK75 wrote:

I agree - if he is hurt & not going to hurt it more by playing I still don't see thepoint of him playing. Fix it & start fresh, like our fossil goaltender.

At the start of the season it was said by many 'in the know' sources that a shut down line of Moreau, Pisani & Horcoff might be the direction of the team. If he can't even do that properly it might be time for him to get the wing fixed.

I'd rather see a Stone/Horc/Pisani shut-down line.

Are you allowed to send your Capt't to the press box?

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#56 Reggie
January 27 2010, 10:34AM
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@Bucknuck

I will agree it was gift wrapped, but if you think Stortini or JFJ could field it, then you haven't watched the past couple of games while those two have handled the puck like a hand gernade.

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#57 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 10:41AM
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@Kevin

Yes Tambo's comments were pretty lame. The fact he has'nt made any moves to this point is a complete joke.

What more do you want from him? He basically said they're "open for business".

The fact he hasn't made any moves yet, suggest he knows exactly what he's doing - DFF. Would you like him to make a deal to turn this club around (if thats even possible) and finish with the 9th pick overall? Trade for a competent goalie and actually win a few games - finish 8th last, win the lottery and still only pick 4th?

Relax. Take a deep breath. Stauffer said weeks ago - "this could get a lot worse before it gets better.

If the deadline comes & goes, then by all means march down to the Oilers office with pitchforks and gas cans... BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, lets see how this thing plays out before carving anyone. The season is a write-off. We knew this a month ago.

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#58 Chris.
January 27 2010, 10:45AM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

What Fun

Hemsky > Penner > Horcoff > Gagner > Pisani > Comrie > Brule > Cogliano > Pouliot > Potulny > Nilsson > O'Sullivan > Stortini > Stone > Moreau > JF Jaques.

Visnovsky > Gilbert > Souray > Smid> Grebeshkov > Staios.

Nice list. I've often said that Horcoff is still our best center... but am having trouble ranking him ahead of Gagner based on recent play. I guess it also depends on which Gagner we are ranking: the pre Christmas Gagner, or the post Christmas Gagner... It's been the same pattern with him every year.

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#59 VK63
January 27 2010, 10:47AM
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@Kevin

LOL..... so i guess that "waiting list" doesn't scare you much either.

good to know!

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#60 GSC
January 27 2010, 10:48AM
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Curious wrote:

I think Stauffer said on Oiler lunch the other day, Horcoff only has a 1st degree seperation. That type of separtion doesnt require surgery - and players can usually play through it.

Yep.

Granted, I never played pro, but I have played through a degree 2separation during my senior year of college club. It was competitive and physical, and I took the abuse and missed only one game (the night after the injury). Now, If I could get through that with a 2nd degree separation, Horcoff can do so with a 1st degree. It can be painful and usually requires some physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the area to compensate, but it's not going to ruin someone's season. Not a chance.

BTW, my shoulder is still separated today and I have no problem with shooting or passing the puck. None whatsoever.

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#61 Chris.
January 27 2010, 10:50AM
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@RossCreekNation

Most of us who watched the moves/lack thereof of Tambellini's last offseason knew (with our brains) that the season was a writeoff back on opening night. Many of us (myself included); ignored our hockey brains and evaluated the team with our hearts... I just wish management would stop doing the same.

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#62 Bucknuck
January 27 2010, 10:57AM
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Chris. wrote:

Maybe I confused things with the pick 15 Oilers... It's like I think Hemsky is a better player than Gagner who is a better player than Cogliano who is obviously better than Jacques... Can you rank all the current Oiler forwards in relation to each other?

OK... this should be fun. I will split D and Forwards since they are different skill sets.

Hemsky > Penner > Gagner > Horcoff > Comrie > Brule > Cogliano > Pisani > Nilsson > O'Sullivan > Stone > Potulny >

Visnovsky > Souray > Smid > Gilbert > Grebeshkov > Staios > Strudwick

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#63 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 10:58AM
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@Chris.

I'm not saying you can't carve him based on that. He left hole's you and I could see because he thought they had guys they could plug in. He was wrong. But this team isn't in this position with a healthy Khabibulin and a healthy Hemsky. So, make the most of it. You're about to get a world class prospect. There's nothing Tambo can do now... not until the vultures are ready to take on contracts.

Lets wipe the slate clean (at least temporarily) and see what happens over the next month or so. If he's able to move some high-priced veterans for picks & prospects, he gets a pass... until the summer when we can see what the rest of his master-plan looks like.

All I'm saying is why sit here getting mad that "stupid Tambellini should make a move already". At this point, what's the diff if he makes a move today or two weeks from now.

Inactivity at the deadline - inexcusable.

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#64 Bucknuck
January 27 2010, 11:04AM
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Reggie wrote:

I will agree it was gift wrapped, but if you think Stortini or JFJ could field it, then you haven't watched the past couple of games while those two have handled the puck like a hand gernade.

lol. OK, you have a point.

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#65 Ball Buster
January 27 2010, 11:08AM
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I'm sure everyone has seen this now. Dreger's list of 10 assets that will likely be moved.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=307761

I honestly hope that the Oilers are in more of a secure position by March 3rd.

Right now, the only thing they know with some statistical certainty is that they will pick in the top 3. However, the players in those top 3 couldn't be any more different.

How can you properly assess what you need back in a trade in March (particularly when you're thinking of key assets in Visnovsky or Souray) if you don't know what kind of a building block you will be able to acquire in June?

If it's still murky by March 3rd, I'm beginning to think that if the Oilers find suitors, they offload their middling veteran talent (Moreau, Staios) and duplicate middling forwards but hold on to Souray and Visnovsky to make a more rational "impact" swap after draft day.

Assuming again that either of those two d-men have impactful trade value when the season is over.

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#66 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 27 2010, 11:10AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'm not saying you can't carve him based on that. He left hole's you and I could see because he thought they had guys they could plug in. He was wrong. But this team isn't in this position with a healthy Khabibulin and a healthy Hemsky. So, make the most of it. You're about to get a world class prospect. There's nothing Tambo can do now... not until the vultures are ready to take on contracts.

Lets wipe the slate clean (at least temporarily) and see what happens over the next month or so. If he's able to move some high-priced veterans for picks & prospects, he gets a pass... until the summer when we can see what the rest of his master-plan looks like.

All I'm saying is why sit here getting mad that "stupid Tambellini should make a move already". At this point, what's the diff if he makes a move today or two weeks from now.

Inactivity at the deadline - inexcusable.

X2

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#67 Chris.
January 27 2010, 11:11AM
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@ RossCreek

IMO... Katz needs to evaluate Tambellini's trade deadline performance using an independant think tank of solid hockey people. The offers that are refused will probably speak larger volumes of Tambellini's deal making accumen than the deals that are actually completed. Katz will have better info than any of us... he needs to seek an independent analysis of that info and then decide if this management team is the best group to head up a rebuild. If this management team still has Predergast Disease (the cronic overvaluing of their own assets) and this inhibits them from making smart deals moving forward: Katz needs to make management changes before the draft. This could be the most important summer in post dynasty Oiler history.

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#68 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 27 2010, 11:19AM
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Chris. wrote:

@ RossCreek

IMO... Katz needs to evaluate Tambellini's trade deadline performance using an independant think tank of solid hockey people. The offers that are refused will probably speak larger volumes of Tambellini's deal making accumen than the deals that are actually completed. Katz will have better info than any of us... he needs to seek an independent analysis of that info and then decide if this management team is the best group to head up a rebuild. If this management team still has Predergast Disease (the cronic overvaluing of their own assets) and this inhibits them from making smart deals moving forward: Katz needs to make management changes before the draft. This could be the most important summer in post dynasty Oiler history.

Re Pendergast/over-valuing assets. I get where this sentiment comes from... all of Pendergasts interviews where he pumps up prospects. But I don't really see the proof of this from the Lowe era... ie They were never afraid to make a move 3/4/5 years ago.

This seems to be a new... with the arrival of Tambo.

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#69 McCreeper
January 27 2010, 11:21AM
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Reagan wrote:

Oh yeah the Oilers atempted to play last night. Actually I watched American Idol over the game because I can't stand to listen to McGuire. Yes, the bad American Idol singers are better than him.

Haha American Idol

"Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, oilers lookin like fools wit there pants on the ground"

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#70 Abel
January 27 2010, 11:25AM
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What the heck happened to Robin Brownlee? I am anxiously awaiting his next article!!

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#71 Chris.
January 27 2010, 11:29AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

RossCreek wrote: "I'm not saying you can't carve him based on that. He left hole's you and I could see because he thought they had guys they could plug in. He was wrong."

He was wrong because he over-valued existing assets. Tambellini had an entire year to analyze the organization and assess the talent... and he decided (for example) that there was enough organizational depth at center. I say this, because he delt one of our existing centers away without replacing him, (Brodziak) and then spent his summer hunting for a high profile winger.

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#72 bingofuel
January 27 2010, 11:31AM
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Abel wrote:

What the heck happened to Robin Brownlee? I am anxiously awaiting his next article!!

Robin's on vacation down in the states! He'll be back next month

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#73 Chris.
January 27 2010, 11:40AM
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*phone rings*

-Tambellini here.

-Yes. Hi Darcy... Didn't expect to hear from you.

-You want to move Drew Stafford? Really? For Taylor Chorney? No. No. No.

-No this isn't a tactic Darcy... it's just that Chorney has really proven himself. Right now, I expect him to be a big part of our plans moving forward... He's really a guy that I would deem untouchable right now... Why Predergast tells me he could be the next Tom Gilbert for cryin out loud...

-Thanks for calling...

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#74 Laughing Pug
January 27 2010, 11:41AM
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Says Maguire "One positive at a time for Edmonton...Good speed by Penner, Penner showed great speed there, good speed Dustin Penner."

That one positive came halfway through the 3rd period. I don't remember a second.

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#75 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 11:44AM
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From Gregor...

New lines again!
27-89-12//91-16-67//18-10-34//22-46-13 Pouliot mixes in that line.
O'Sullivan rotates with Comrie, Brule and 16

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#76 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
January 27 2010, 11:50AM
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Chris. wrote:

RossCreek wrote: "I'm not saying you can't carve him based on that. He left hole's you and I could see because he thought they had guys they could plug in. He was wrong."

He was wrong because he over-valued existing assets. Tambellini had an entire year to analyze the organization and assess the talent... and he decided (for example) that there was enough organizational depth at center. I say this, because he delt one of our existing centers away without replacing him, (Brodziak) and then spent his summer hunting for a high profile winger.

No, I agree with that. What I was getting at was

"Predergast Disease (the cronic overvaluing of their own assets)"

Predergast pumps prospects in interviews, but those are fluff pieces. If it was Predergast overvaluing assets we should have seen a lack of movement for years.

I think it's just Tambellini.

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#77 Jamie B.
January 27 2010, 11:52AM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

From Gregor...

New lines again!
27-89-12//91-16-67//18-10-34//22-46-13 Pouliot mixes in that line.
O'Sullivan rotates with Comrie, Brule and 16

I hope that means O'Sullivan sits when Brule and Comrie come back.

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#78 Mr DeBakey
January 27 2010, 11:56AM
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"New lines again! 27-89-12//91-16-67//18-10-34//22-46-13 Pouliot mixes in that line. O'Sullivan rotates with Comrie, Brule and 16"

I thought Pouliot had a decent game last night, especially in the first.

The guy who's been overmatched has been Moreau; put 91 in his spot.

Let Moreau & Jacques take turns with 78-46

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#79 David S
January 27 2010, 12:00PM
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Mr DeBakey wrote:

"New lines again! 27-89-12//91-16-67//18-10-34//22-46-13 Pouliot mixes in that line. O'Sullivan rotates with Comrie, Brule and 16"

I thought Pouliot had a decent game last night, especially in the first.

The guy who's been overmatched has been Moreau; put 91 in his spot.

Let Moreau & Jacques take turns with 78-46

Agreed. The one guy who cripples pretty much every line he's put on seems to be Moreau.

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#80 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:02PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

I hope that means O'Sullivan sits when Brule and Comrie come back.

Why? He's been one of their better players during this skid (do we still call this a skid?).

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#81 Chris.
January 27 2010, 12:04PM
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Potulny the second line center? How does Cogliano feel about that?

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#82 Dan the Man
January 27 2010, 12:08PM
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David S wrote:

Agreed. The one guy who cripples pretty much every line he's put on seems to be Moreau.

The thing is if there is any hope at all of dealing Moreau they have no choice but to play him and he probably has the best chance of succeeding on a line with Horcoff and Pisani....theoretically anyways.

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#83 postal
January 27 2010, 12:14PM
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Spot on Chris. Cogs should get that 2nd line time. Let the Oil see what he can do. The only thing the rest of the season is good for is an audition for who wants to show what they have for next season sans Moreau and a few others.

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#84 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:15PM
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From Tencer...

Brule and Comrie both proclaimed themselves fit to play tomorrow.

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#85 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:15PM
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Looks like Souray to the Devils is picking up some steam...

New Jersey: Maybe the best chance for relocation. Lemaire was Souray's first NHL coach. He likes him, a lot, and the feeling is mutual. The Devils are certainly a Cup threat, battling for top spot in the East even without defenceman Paul Martin, who's been out with a busted forearm for months. The Devils need somebody to run their power play. They have cap room and New Jersey always drafts well so they have assets. Reportedly, they would move Swedish forward Niklas Bergfors (27 points, 13 goals) and former world junior forward Matt Halischuk, although the Oilers should maybe hold out for big Canadian junior forward Adam Henrique from Windsor. The Devils would move defenceman Andy Greene (24 points), too.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/wants+Souray+most/2484990/story.html

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#86 postal
January 27 2010, 12:17PM
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So who is going to win the goalie audition. Dubynk or JDD? That's one plus for this crapfest. Solid playing time for these up and comers.

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#87 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:20PM
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@postal

I'll take Dubnyk.

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#88 Dan the Man
January 27 2010, 12:20PM
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postal wrote:

Spot on Chris. Cogs should get that 2nd line time. Let the Oil see what he can do. The only thing the rest of the season is good for is an audition for who wants to show what they have for next season sans Moreau and a few others.

It's truly mind boggling how Cogliano has been used as an Oiler. He should play in the top 6, especially at this point in the season.

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#89 postal
January 27 2010, 12:23PM
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Cogs probably wondering if he even fits in to this team. Oil not showing the love. But if he goes elsewhere then his spot could be filled by someone bigger.

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#90 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:23PM
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@Dan the Man

He should play in the top 6, especially at this point in the season.

I don't think the first part of that sentence is true under normal circumstances, but truer words haven't been spoken when quantifying with the second part of the sentence, IMO.

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#91 Bucknuck
January 27 2010, 12:25PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'll take Dubnyk.

ditto for me.

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#92 Dan the Man
January 27 2010, 12:29PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:
He should play in the top 6, especially at this point in the season.

I don't think the first part of that sentence is true under normal circumstances, but truer words haven't been spoken when quantifying with the second part of the sentence, IMO.

On an actual bonafide NHL team the first part may not be true but we are discussing the Oilers.

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#93 Chris.
January 27 2010, 12:30PM
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It's pretty clear that Cogliano is not ever going to be in the top six under Quinn. The team is dead last; with injuries galore; if not now... when?

So lets assume management wants to trade Cogs... why not showcase him a little? Are they afraid Cogliano's play at this point will prove to other GM's that he can't play in the top six anywhere?

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#94 Jamie B.
January 27 2010, 12:34PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Why? He's been one of their better players during this skid (do we still call this a skid?).

I disagree strongly. He's Lupul 2.0 to me and if I have to spend next season watching him continue to slow up every time he goes into a corner to avoid anyone hitting him, I'll probably punch a kitten.

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#95 Milli
January 27 2010, 12:35PM
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Ya, i wasn't pumped about Tambo's interview, but what the hell is he really supposed to say>? I am not a fan of his at this point, but, I will see what he does or dosn't do at the deadline....maybe I'll be eating my words for about the millionth time this year!!!

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#96 Crash
January 27 2010, 12:35PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

I'm not saying you can't carve him based on that. He left hole's you and I could see because he thought they had guys they could plug in. He was wrong. But this team isn't in this position with a healthy Khabibulin and a healthy Hemsky. So, make the most of it. You're about to get a world class prospect. There's nothing Tambo can do now... not until the vultures are ready to take on contracts.

Lets wipe the slate clean (at least temporarily) and see what happens over the next month or so. If he's able to move some high-priced veterans for picks & prospects, he gets a pass... until the summer when we can see what the rest of his master-plan looks like.

All I'm saying is why sit here getting mad that "stupid Tambellini should make a move already". At this point, what's the diff if he makes a move today or two weeks from now.

Inactivity at the deadline - inexcusable.

X3

No sense working ourselves into a frenzy or a stressed induced heart attack. There's nothing that can be done about this season now. Sit back and wait to see what happens between now and September. You're exactly right about the world class prospect being delivered in June.

Oh and can we officially stop calling it the DFF...the DFF is a done deal, we need to change it to the DF1 or DFO (Dive for One)

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#97 Crash
January 27 2010, 12:37PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Looks like Souray to the Devils is picking up some steam...

New Jersey: Maybe the best chance for relocation. Lemaire was Souray's first NHL coach. He likes him, a lot, and the feeling is mutual. The Devils are certainly a Cup threat, battling for top spot in the East even without defenceman Paul Martin, who's been out with a busted forearm for months. The Devils need somebody to run their power play. They have cap room and New Jersey always drafts well so they have assets. Reportedly, they would move Swedish forward Niklas Bergfors (27 points, 13 goals) and former world junior forward Matt Halischuk, although the Oilers should maybe hold out for big Canadian junior forward Adam Henrique from Windsor. The Devils would move defenceman Andy Greene (24 points), too.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/wants+Souray+most/2484990/story.html

I'm liking the sounds of this except I'd take a pass on Bergfors and try for as you mentioned Henrique and Halischuk along with Greene.

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#98 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:52PM
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Jamie B. wrote:

I disagree strongly. He's Lupul 2.0 to me and if I have to spend next season watching him continue to slow up every time he goes into a corner to avoid anyone hitting him, I'll probably punch a kitten.

He was one of their better players against Pittsburgh (I use this game cuz I was there in row 3) notching 2 beauty assists, yet the guy behind me kept bashing him all night. Why? Because its en vogue, I'd guess.

All I'm saying is the number of people "on him" this season has steadily grown, even when his play improved... because people are parrots. They say what they've heard. He hasn't been great and has fallen below my pre-season expectations (I had him as my star), but he hasn't been nearly as bad as most people seem to think he's been IMO.

Would I keep him around? Depends what moves are out there and what he'd bring in return. At most, 1 of he, Cogliano & Nilsson could remain.

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#99 RossCreekNation
January 27 2010, 12:53PM
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Crash wrote:

I'm liking the sounds of this except I'd take a pass on Bergfors and try for as you mentioned Henrique and Halischuk along with Greene.

It was Jim Matheson, not I ;-)

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#100 dragon
January 27 2010, 01:04PM
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Crash wrote:

I'm liking the sounds of this except I'd take a pass on Bergfors and try for as you mentioned Henrique and Halischuk along with Greene.

that doesn't sound so bad:

Hemsky/Horcoff/Henrique/Halishuk/Hall/Habibulin/

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