GDB 9.0: SHOOT OUT STREAK BLOWS INTO CHICAGO

Jason Gregor
October 29 2010 01:15PM

 

The Oilers blew into Chicago riding a six-game losing streak, but they get a bit of a break as Marian Hossa is out due to injury. The defending champs are 6-4-1 so far, but right now they don't look anywhere near the team that hoisted the Stanley Cup in June.

Even without Hossa, the Hawks are still very dangerous up front. Patrick Sharp is red-hot leading the league with nine goals in eight games. Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews have eight and seven points respectively, but the biggest difference tonight will be on the backend.

The Hawks haven't had Brian Campbell all season, and tonight they will dress Jordan Hendry, Jassen Cullimore and Nick Boynton. They still have Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, but Hjalmarsson is really struggling with no points and a -6 rating so far.

The Oilers have played decent in the first two games of this trip, earning a point in Calgary and Columbus, but they haven't fared very well in Chicago recently. They are 3-7 in their last ten trips  to Chicago, with all three of their wins coming in OT or the SO, but the Oilers haven't won a game in their first trip into Chicago since 2003/2004.

For what ever reason their first visit of the season to Chicago hasn't been kind with loses of 3-1, 4-1, 3-2, 3-0 and 4-3. All their wins have come during their second visits of the season.

OILER KILLER?

If the Oilers hope to reverse that trend tonight, they need to keep Fernando Pisani off the scoresheet. The Oilers have been lit up by ex-Oilers early this season, especially former third and fourth line grinders. Pisani has yet to score with the Hawks and you know he' love to get one tonight.

Marty Reasoner and Kyle Brodziak have had two-goal games so far, while Curtis Glencross had a goal on Tuesday v. the Oilers.

KEEP FOCUS

After going a perfect 8-8 on the PK in Columbus last night, the Oilers will need to be even better tonight as the Hawks have the 5th best PP clicking at 24.3%. They can't afford to get running around in their own zone, or the Hawks quick-passing will surely lead to some goals.

While the Hawks PP has been great, they have surrendered a lot of shots. Last year the Hawks gave up the fewest shots per game at 25.1, but so far they sit 24th in shots against at 34.1/game. The Oilers are in 25th at 34.2/game so we could see plenty of opportunities both ways.

Nikolai Khabibulin will face his former team, and he's 12-7-1 in his career against the Hawks. Kurtis Foster skated today and will be a game time decision, while Renney has said if Stortini will replace Steve MacIntyre, but Bob Stauffer told me that Stortini wasn't the last guy off the ice, which he is when he isn't playing, so it looks like Stortini will draw back in.

And look for Taylor Hall to stay with Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky, while Dustin Penner will skate with Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule.

SERIOUSLY, NO HORCOFF?

 

I asked our resident artist Wanye to make draw me a quick picture (Wow, he has mad drawing skills) illustrating how excited Oilers fans would be if Horcoff actually got into a shoot out. Those black circles with red check marks, or letter U, are supposed to be fans. Wanye didn't get Shawn Horcoff's career shootout % correct, it should be 56%, but the point is clear...Let him shoot Tom Renney, LET HIM SHOOT.

I will forgive Wayne because he was in the midst of packing and made this drawing in 30 seconds. He and some buddies left today for an ultimate sports weekend. They will be in Dallas to take in a few Stars games, then they'll watch the Cowboys and those lucky sons-of-beatches got tickets to game four of the World Series. The worst part about that is Wanye had no clue that the Rangers played in Texas, he thought they were in New York. Seriously. Anyways that should be one hell of a trip and I expect some great stories when he returns.

Horcoff wasn't even slated to be the 3rd shooter last night, Jordan Eberle was, which perplexes me even more. I know  Eberle and Sam Gagner made really good moves in their attempts this week, but they didn't score. Gilbert Brule had a great shot, but hit the post. Being close doesn't help you win a shootout. Does Renney not know that career-wise Horcoff is his best shooter?

Horcoff will be here for the next five years, so I can't see part of the process being letting the young guys get good in the shootouts and never use Horcoff. Unless Renney doesn't care about the end result, which I find impossible to believe, I dont' see any defence as to why Horcoff hasn't even been in the top six shooters so far. Renney is a much smarter hockey guy than I, and he has better hair, but I can't defend, nor understand, his decision not to use his captain.

 If I'm coaching I send my best guy first.

No point holding him until last, because if the guys in front of him don't score then he might not even get a chance to shoot.  The irony is that fans are actually clamouring for Horcoff to go. I can't recall the last time that the majority of fans were pro-Horcoff in any situation.

Of course there is no guarantee he will score, but considering up until now he has been hands-down their best guy, I'd roll the dice and hope my two 5's (that equals 10...I know 6 and 4 does too, but two 5's always looks better) would equal a goal! 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 jeanshorts
October 29 2010, 08:04PM
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I'm becoming a bigger Ryan Jones fan by the day. Love that kid already.

Also, WE WANT 10!

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#102 bigrroberto
October 29 2010, 08:05PM
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Goals from all the lines!

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#103 bigrroberto
October 29 2010, 08:06PM
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@jeanshorts

Good finish by jones, even better pass from foster.

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#104 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 29 2010, 08:07PM
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Chris. wrote:

Having Hall muffing all these scoring chances will certainly cost Horcoff the Hart Trophy. The sooner Renny embraces Horcoff as first shoot-out shooter the better.

Another doper, great.

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#105 Chris.
October 29 2010, 08:08PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Oh Strudwick. They should just play Yakkity Sax the entire time he's on the ice.

Don't people usually speed up when Yakkity Sax is playing?

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#106 Senator Theo
October 29 2010, 08:09PM
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I'm liking Hall's game more and more everytime I watch him play. That dive he made to keep the play going in the Hawk's end was golden.

**squee!**

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#107 Chris.
October 29 2010, 08:09PM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

You missed the humor... but my logic is just as sound as yours.

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#108 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:09PM
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bigrroberto wrote:

Good finish by jones, even better pass from foster.

fraser?

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#109 Senator Theo
October 29 2010, 08:10PM
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Jonesy!!**

**on slight PVR delay

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#110 Shaun Doe
October 29 2010, 08:12PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

Jonesy!!**

**on slight PVR delay

We put a man on the moon!? Wow!

(Sorry, had to)

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#111 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:12PM
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Great game so far, we just need to find a way to lose, we don't need the 2 points.

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#112 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:18PM
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DimebagDave wrote:

fraser?

Sorry, my bad, didnt realize foster was back tonight.

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#113 Crash
October 29 2010, 08:22PM
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DimebagDave wrote:

Great game so far, we just need to find a way to lose, we don't need the 2 points.

Huh?????????

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#114 Bryzarro World
October 29 2010, 08:27PM
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DimebagDave wrote:

Great game so far, we just need to find a way to lose, we don't need the 2 points.

I felt myself get dumber after I read this.....

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#115 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:27PM
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Crash wrote:

Huh?????????

Tell me why we need the 2 points. This is supposed to be ELPH, we got the excitement we needed tonight, why waste it with a win?

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#116 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:29PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

I felt myself get dumber after I read this.....

You must be one of the ones that want us to do well this year and not get another top pick.

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#117 Bryzarro World
October 29 2010, 08:30PM
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LOL... moron... what are we supposed to go on an 70 game losing streak??

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#118 Senator Theo
October 29 2010, 08:31PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

We put a man on the moon!? Wow!

(Sorry, had to)

I don't get it, but I'm not sharp on lunar jokes.

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#119 Bryzarro World
October 29 2010, 08:31PM
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You think if you win one out of every five or six games and not going to get a lotto pick?

If you can think about it for a few minutes

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#120 Senator Theo
October 29 2010, 08:32PM
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I like how this game is starting to get a bit chippy - nice to see the Oil playing with a bit of an edge.

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#121 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:33PM
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Bryzarro World wrote:

LOL... moron... what are we supposed to go on an 70 game losing streak??

Ain't you a gruff little guy.

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#122 Bryzarro World
October 29 2010, 08:38PM
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You the tool throwing out "oh... you one of those guys" and now tryin to do the "little guy" behind the comp... Just ignorant and a waste of my time

BLOCKED!!!! BLOCKED!!!!

Fyi... Im a gruff big guy

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#123 jeanshorts
October 29 2010, 08:40PM
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Is it too late in the game to teach Khabby about rebound control?

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#124 jeanshorts
October 29 2010, 08:42PM
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Eberle only has a 5 game point streak going. If it wasn't for Horcoff that would easily be at least 6.

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#125 DimebagDave
October 29 2010, 08:49PM
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@Bryzarro World

Didn't actually say it quite like that, there was no "oh", and i meant nothing bad by saying "one of those guys". There's many guys on here on both sides of the fence, and was just assuming you were one of the ones on the opposite side of the fence as me. I'm a fan and obivously i don't want a 70 game losing streak, i just really don't wanna lose out on the lotto pick. Yes 1 win every 5 games would most likely guarentee a lottery pick.

fyi...i just assume guys who instantly pull out the moron are little guys.

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#126 C-DOG
October 29 2010, 08:50PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Oh Strudwick. They should just play Yakkity Sax the entire time he's on the ice.

ha ha ha ha ha ha, thanks Now I won't be able to get that tune out of my mind.

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#127 LoDog
October 29 2010, 08:58PM
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Great win but...

My main impression from this game is that there has to be a dman called up tomorrow.

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#128 Senator Theo
October 29 2010, 09:00PM
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Gagner!!

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#129 Butters - Team Larsson
October 29 2010, 09:01PM
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That's 4 of 6 on the road. Exciting last place hockey?

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#130 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 29 2010, 09:11PM
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Chris. wrote:

Game Day Prediction: Oilers go to a shoot-out again... and lose. 5-4.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: Pisani scores. So does Hall.

Less-Than-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Hall, Eberle, and MPS are brought to, and leave the arena blindfolded in an attemp, by management, to maintain a "positive culture".

Wow Chris, whatever you do, don't quit your day job. Your hockey intuition is epic fail there buddy.

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#131 Crash
October 29 2010, 09:29PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Wow Chris, whatever you do, don't quit your day job. Your hockey intuition is epic fail there buddy.

Actually you can add Chris to that list of guys who predicts doom and gloom at every turn....turns out he used to be positive but as the season drew closer he decided to join the ranks of pessimistic on anything and everything that is Oiler.

He especially enjoys the shots at anything management does. While not alone in this area of expertise, he is one of the more consistent ones.

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#132 Ryan14
October 29 2010, 09:56PM
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Its a shame Gagner is so old. If only he had performed the way he is in his development years, he could have turned into something special.

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#133 Archaeologuy
October 29 2010, 11:30PM
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Just watched the game (PVR).

Jordan Eberle is hockey Jesus.

That is all.

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#134 Adam D
October 29 2010, 11:37PM
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Ryan14 wrote:

Its a shame Gagner is so old. If only he had performed the way he is in his development years, he could have turned into something special.

Sarcasm?

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#135 Shaun Doe
October 29 2010, 11:42PM
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Senator Theo wrote:

I don't get it, but I'm not sharp on lunar jokes.

Oh, Dumb and Dumber reference. Isn't that movie still hip, you know with the kids and all?

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#136 Oilcruzer
October 30 2010, 05:29AM
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Now why is that team so different than San Jose? A tale of two drastically different sets of performances.

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#137 Lofty
October 30 2010, 08:02AM
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A few thoughts after watching the game again this morning:

- I wonder what a road win like that does for the kids and the team as a whole? Putting up 7 on the Stanley cup champions has gotta help the confidence.

- Chicago is a much different team from last year and you can see how much they miss Byfuglien in front of the net on the PP.

- The Oilers record is 3-4-2 and they're still DFL in the western conference but how nice is it not having to watch Patrick O'Sullivan float around the ice!

- Other than Penner ever Oiler at least appears to be interested in competing and earning there paycheck (not to say he hasnt played a few good games just sometimes he seems a little disinterested.)

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#138 Chris.
October 30 2010, 11:35AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

And @ Crash:

C'mon... I wrote that before the game even started. How many people honestly believed the Oilers would score seven goals for the first time in more than a year and win that game by three goals...?

The whole reason they play the games is because anything can happen... but remember, it usually doesn't. The mighty Oil hadn't won a game in six straight outings. The mighty Oil hadn't won a regulation vistory in Chicago since 2004. The mighty Oil hadn't won a any road game at all since... I don't know when! Calling for a bonus point, on the second night of a back to back, against the defending Stanely Cup Champions, in their barn... reasonably optimistic...

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#139 Chris.
October 30 2010, 11:35AM
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Crash wrote:

Actually you can add Chris to that list of guys who predicts doom and gloom at every turn....turns out he used to be positive but as the season drew closer he decided to join the ranks of pessimistic on anything and everything that is Oiler.

He especially enjoys the shots at anything management does. While not alone in this area of expertise, he is one of the more consistent ones.

Try posting examples of this Jackass.

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#140 Jamie B.
October 30 2010, 11:44AM
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Oilcruzer wrote:

Now why is that team so different than San Jose? A tale of two drastically different sets of performances.

My guess is because San Jose hits and Chicago (at least at the moment) doesn't. The next test of my theory is the Red Wings.

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#141 Team Horcoff
November 01 2010, 09:12AM
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Yes, its kind of like holding back Gretzky for the "second round" and putting a defenseman out in the first round to take a shot...I won't mention any names though, Marc Crawford. Stupidest hockey decision in history.

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#142 Microsoft Office 2007
November 05 2010, 09:32PM
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