GDB 7.0 BATTLE OF ALBERTA (AGAIN)

Jason Gregor
October 26 2010 01:56PM

 

It started with Pat Price, then Mike Forbes, Don Nachbaur, Todd Strueby, Tom Gorrence, Mike Krushelnyski, Ken Hammond, Craig Redmond, Peter Eriksson, Reijo Ruotsalainen, Max Middendorf, Shaun Van Allen, David Haas, David Shaw, Dan Currie, Shjon Podein, Todd Marchant, Mikko Luoma, Brad Winchester, Erik Cole and now Kurtis Foster have all doned the #26 jersey.

But it is a different 26 that is haunting the Oilers tonight.

WHAT #26?

Hall of Famer, Jim Matheson, tweeted yesterday that the Oilers haven't won a road game in regulation since Dec 11th, 2009 in St. Louis. Since then they have won two games in a shootout, lost 23 in regulation and one in a shootout. That is an ugly stretch, but shows that this group hasn't been competitive or energetic enough to win on the road.

The Oilers will have a few changes when they take on the surging Calgary Flames for the third time in their first seven games. You would think the Oilers will be fired up to play the Flaming C, considering it will be their third meeting in 18 days and they are on a four-game losing streak, but their lack of energy and determination since opening-night is alarming. So far the Oilers haven't shown the ability to compete away from Rexall Place. The Oilers aren't the biggest team, but they need to at least throw the odd body check.

We'll see if that changes tonight and how the new pairings on the blueline line up.

Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney will be re-united, Kurtis Foster will play with Theo Peckham and Ladislav Smid and Jason Strudwick will play together. Jim Vandermeer has struggled and will take a seat in the pressbox. I think the Oilers really missed Peckham's abrasive style v. the Sharks so he should add some grit to the lineup. His left hand is still a bit tender, but if called upon he said he'd have no problem dropping the flippers, but I don't see him doing it unless it is really necessary.

Colin Fraser will be a game time decision. If he can't play look for Ryan Jones to move up on the 3rd line and either Andrew Cogliano or Gilbert Brule will start as the 4th line centre. I would guess that if Renney shortens his bench that Cogliano and Brule would team up with Taylor Hall. Steve MacIntyre will play tonight, so if Fraser draws in look for Zack Stortini or Jones to take a seat alongside Vandermeer.

PAGING DUSTIN PENNER

Despite having three goals in six games, Dustin Penner has looked more like he did in his first two seasons as an Oiler than the 30-30 season he has last year. Maybe only playing two games a week has hurt the big guy from getting into a groove, but he has to be a leader on this team.

Last year he proved that he can be a dominating presence, but we've yet to see that game emerge this season. Penner has to start moving his feet more, fend off defenders with his body and drive to the net. The good news is with three goals so far he shouldn't be lacking in confidence, and if he can get back to the player he was last year the Oilers might end their 26-game-road-regulation-drought.

BOURQUE V. THE OILERS

Rene Bourque has six goals in his past four games, while the entire Oiler team has only potted eight during their four-game losing streak. Bourque is red-hot, and considering he's tallied the six goals after suffering a concussion the Oilers need to be award of him tonight.

Bourque had six goals, including a hat-trick on Dec 28th, in six games v. the Oilers last year. He has become the new Oiler killer in Calgary and I'll be curious to see which line or D pairing Renney tries to put on the ice against Bourque tonight.

Do you think Renney/Ralph Krueger would play Whitney/Gilbert v. Bourque's line and not Iginla's?

Alex Tanguay-Matt Stajan-Jarome Iginla
Niklas Hagman-Olli Jokinen-Rene Bourque
Curtis Glencross-Mikael Backlund-Brendan Morrison
Craig Conroy-Stefan Meyer-Tim Jackman

The way Bourque is playing you might see it. Smid and Peckham are more physical D-men, and sometimes if you get in Iginla's face he gets more concerned about playing physical than scoring. 

I'm curious what route the coaching staff will take.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#151 Shaun Doe
October 26 2010, 09:45PM
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Penner seemed like an Odd pick to me. I would have gone with Horcoff before Penner.

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#152 jeanshorts
October 26 2010, 09:46PM
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Why wouldn't you just take a chance and throw Hall out there? COME ON RENNEY!

That third period was fun as all hell.

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#153 jybute
October 26 2010, 09:46PM
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Penner......

That's what I thought. And you know you did too.

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#154 m3sh
October 26 2010, 09:46PM
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I've never understood Penner as a shootout option.

Meh. I'm glad we tied it up and at least decided not to slink away after getting destroyed for the first 40 minutes.

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#155 MattL
October 26 2010, 09:47PM
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Why do they keep running Penner out on the shootout?

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#156 The Real Scuba Steve
October 26 2010, 09:47PM
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Why not put Hall in a shoot out?

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#157 Colin
October 26 2010, 09:47PM
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Sigh.

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#158 pelhem grenville
October 26 2010, 09:47PM
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Whew!

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#159 Shaun Doe
October 26 2010, 09:48PM
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m3sh wrote:

I've never understood Penner as a shootout option.

Meh. I'm glad we tied it up and at least decided not to slink away after getting destroyed for the first 40 minutes.

I get that he was a 30 goal scorer, but those goals aren`t generally 1 on 1 chances. Like i said, if you were going to go with a veteran Horcoff seems the better option. His shootout record speaks for itself (Penners and Horc`s)

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#160 Reach Advantage
October 26 2010, 09:49PM
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Brule competes

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#161 OILERSORDEATH
October 26 2010, 09:49PM
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I called it, its always the washup-has beens pieces of $hit that get the Shoot out winners!! FU%$ that little bastard!!

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#162 bigrroberto
October 26 2010, 09:49PM
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Shoulda put hall out. Take the chance he scores and gets a confidence booster.

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#163 Gerald R. Ford
October 26 2010, 09:49PM
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I'll take the point and the moral victory. Only good can come from this. Yowza, what a third period!

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#165 pelhem grenville
October 26 2010, 09:52PM
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OILERSORDEATH wrote:

I called it, its always the washup-has beens pieces of $hit that get the Shoot out winners!! FU%$ that little bastard!!

...and some call them wily veterans

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#166 m3sh
October 26 2010, 09:54PM
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@Shaun Doe

Exactly. Horc's would have skated right at him and wristed a five hole like he does every time, and he's nearly 50% (I think) on the SO. Edit: as per JGs post, he's 56%. Renney... umm, wtf?

Guess we'll never know what could have been.

On another note, am I on crack, or was Gilbert actually a NHL d-man there in the third?

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#167 Shaun Doe
October 26 2010, 10:00PM
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m3sh wrote:

Exactly. Horc's would have skated right at him and wristed a five hole like he does every time, and he's nearly 50% (I think) on the SO. Edit: as per JGs post, he's 56%. Renney... umm, wtf?

Guess we'll never know what could have been.

On another note, am I on crack, or was Gilbert actually a NHL d-man there in the third?

I saw a block, and I may be dizzy from the excitement here, but a completed out let pass may have occured too. That is dangerously close to NHL grade I must say.

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#168 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
October 26 2010, 10:01PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Has everybody noticed how Steve MacIntyre has totally kept things in check tonight? I mean, its very important for the Oil to dress their nuclear deterrent just in case they need to deploy him. Really, the Oil would get their show run if they dressed an actual hockey player instead, so its understandable.

Ha-ha. I always laugh at this infatuation with fighting that we "Oiler fans" have.

Did Mac even see the ice tonight?

Some guys "stood up for each other" and ended up with on instigator and should have had a second.

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#169 pelhem grenville
October 26 2010, 10:29PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Shoulda put hall out. Take the chance he scores and gets a confidence booster.

"Shoulda put hall out. Take the chance he scores and gets a confidence booster." bigrroberto said:

interesting point you make...i'd like to know the back story on THAT call...does Hall want to score his first goal in a shootout>? does Renney ask and he turns it down? if Renney calls Penner he's still Horcoff before using Hall...Hall might consent to a second round shot...doubtful...i think it's renney's call all the way and he keeps him out til he gets a real game goal...like he wants his trophy mounted first NHL goal puck with a flaming C on it...i for one didn't wanna to see him score THAT goal in THAT town in a shootout...

I don't believe Smac was 'deployed' early enough RCN and damned if the game gets tied. Smac will live to be 'deployed' again.

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#170 Shaun Doe
October 26 2010, 10:39PM
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@ Gregor, or someone else in the know:

Interested to see if you've ever sat down and really discussed the decision process that goes into who gets the tap on the shoulder and who doesn't come shoot-out time. I imagine each coach has a different out look on how they select but it would be interesting to see why Renny may have picked Penner before Horcoff or Hall or anyone else really. He must have his reasons despite what we were all thinking at the time. Any insight?

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#172 positivebrontefan
October 27 2010, 08:28AM
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Is there a stat of anyone scoring their first goal in the NHL in a shootout?

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#173 EskOilFan
October 27 2010, 10:17AM
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What about Gagne and Brule they are better shootout guys than Penner. I don't like Hall in this situation, but i would have tried MPS.

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#174 madjam
October 27 2010, 12:01PM
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIPPER from Renney and boys . They might have used HALL if it was for the winner , and not just the extention process . Kipper using the poke check to good advantage . He never was very good at shootouts until they taught him to use the poke check to be honest .

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#175 pelhem grenville
October 27 2010, 01:39PM
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"...I don't see why you would pick Hall until at least the 6th or 7th forward...If the kid misses he has even more pressure on him. No need to use him..." Jason Gregor wrote.

Thankyou and i too will forward to hearing if Renney imparts any of the back story on how that all transpired between the end of OT and the shootout

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#176 Cowbell_Feva
October 27 2010, 05:51PM
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Dan the Man wrote:

You do realize that Horcoff leads the team in goals right now right?

Of all the guys to criticize on the Oilers you choose 2 of the leading scorers?

In case you forgot how to read I mentioned 4 players, not 2. To be honest, I like Penner and what he brings to the table. He just seems lackluster a lot of the time. Horcoff I do criticize, for which I feel good reason. Leading the team in goals,right, kicked one in that shouldn't have counted, had one carem off his shin pad, and then whiffed on a backhander that fooled a goalie who is used to big league shots (not that feeble attempt).

Sorry for calling a spade a spade to all the Horcoff lovers out there, but I'm not sure where all this credit is coming from when your paid $5.5 / cap hit per season and finish a year @ -29 and can't hit a wide open net.

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#177 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 28 2010, 11:31AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I don't see why you would pick Hall until at least the 6th or 7th forward...If the kid misses he has even more pressure on him. No need to use him.

I will ask Renney when he returns from the road trip. I'm very curious why he didn't use Horcoff. Makes no sense to me.

So he can actually get a shot off without hitting the opposing player that is 1 foot in front of him.

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#178 Microsoft Office 2007
November 05 2010, 09:34PM
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