OILERS GET SMOKED ON TOBACCO ROAD

Robin Brownlee
November 09 2010 10:31PM

Well, that 7-1 backside buffing from the Carolina Hurricanes tonight was about as many laughs as having Joni Pitkanen sneer, fart in your general direction and then stub out a cigar in your eye, now wasn't it?

By the time Andrew Cogliano finished getting his busted lip, courtesy of a high-stick by Pitkanen stitched, the Edmonton Oilers were down 4-0 in another decidedly forgettable return to Raleigh, where they watched the Hurricanes hoist the Stanley Cup in June 2006.

You knew it was going to be a tough night when both referees missed Pitkanen combing Cogliano in the yap. Instead of a four-minute power play, the Oilers get fingered for a minor in the same sequence and the Hurricanes scored with the man advantage.

Of course, it didn't help that Nikolai Khabibulin couldn't stop a beach ball as he gave up four goals on eight shots in less than eight minutes before Tom Renney gave him the hook in favour of Devan Dubnyk.

Things can only get better Thursday in Detroit, no?

WHAT I SAW

  • Lament Cogliano's lack of finish, but give him credit for getting sewn up and playing his bag off the rest of the night. The sequence where Cogliano broke in, fed Ryan Whitney in the slot for a chance that didn't result in a shot and then had a couple of cracks at Cam Ward was pretty much the epitome of the way it's going for him. I'll take Cogliano's kind of try any time, and people who mock efforts like this one because the results aren't coming for the kid right now couldn't find a clue with a map and a flashlight.
  • Ryan Jones suckered the referees into calling a high-sticking penalty on Jay Harrison in the second period and it's the kind of fake-job that'll come back to bite him when the zebras see the replay. Harrison didn't even make contact with Jones, but he flinched and milked it like he'd taken shaft in the mush. That's showing up the refs and they don't forget that kind of thing -- and, no, it's not OK because of the missed call on Pitkanen.
  • Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle are favourites for the Calder Trophy? Weren't they stapled to the pine for most of the third period as Carolina's Jeff Skinner, the youngest player in the NHL, wheeled and dealed on the way to a three-point night? 
  • Does pushing the puck the last six inches across the goal line for the Oilers only goal make you believe Dustin Penner had a good night?

BY THE NUMBERS

  • With his goal and two assists, Skinner, drafted seventh overall by Carolina, has scored 6-9-15 this season.
  • Eric Staal had eight shots on Khabibulin and Dubnyk, but no goals to go with four assists.
  • Carolina had 42 shots. They came in averaging 31.9 a game.
  • Sam Gagner was minus-4. Tom Gilbert was minus-3.
  • Hall played just 8:47. Eberle played 11:04.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show 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 jeanshorts
November 09 2010, 11:44PM
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That phantom high stick stuff seems to be happening a lot lately. Hopefully that was Jones' only one for the year. I like that kid. He doesn't need to be pulling "Burrows-esque" moves out there, unless by Burrows-esque I mean scoring 35 goals simply be being on the same line as the Sedin Sisters, and if that was the case then it would be even worse because he'd be playing for Vancouver.

In conclusion I think the rent is too damn high.

Sincerly,

Bored At My New Job.

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#2 Zamboni Driver
November 10 2010, 08:55AM
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Woodguy wrote:

Does pushing the puck the last six inches across the goal line for the Oilers only goal make you believe Dustin Penner had a good night?

So goals only count when they hit the back of the net?

By your standard Ryan Smyth has scored 8 goals in his NHL career.

His 5 goals lead the Oilers in scoring.

I guess they don't count because he looks lazy.

I guess they don't count because he is lazy.

Corrected.

You're welcome.

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#4 PaperDesigner
November 10 2010, 02:42PM
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To quote Bruce McCurdy via Cult of Hockey:

"At even strength was on the ice for 21 attempted shots by the Oilers, just 8 for the 'Canes; and was on the bench for 18 attempted shots for the Oilers, 37 for the 'Canes. Read that again, and then tell me Penner had a bad game against the Hurricanes."

I only caught part of the game, but that would suggest to me that Penner was having a good game, and very few other players were doing well.

Not that best of a bad bunch means much. But at this point, can't we just accept that Penner can be an effective hockey player without looking like it? He's subtle. That he occasionally shows flashes of aggression doesn't change the fact that he's essentially a gigantic, better hands version of Fernando Pisani.

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#5 Wanyes bastard child
November 09 2010, 10:50PM
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Hopefully this is the only time that Hall and Eberle get benched in the game.

I can understand the reasoning why Renny did it and I also think that if Horcoff was there with them it may not have happened but it is still just a game, we lost, we move on.

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#6 Eddie666
November 09 2010, 10:57PM
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Are linesmen not part of the equation when it comes to calling high sticking anymore? thats a lot of eyeballs not focused on the job I hope thet get reprimanded Renny I believe sent the message in the third that he expects alot more from his rookies

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#7 Wanyes bastard child
November 09 2010, 11:01PM
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Robin,

I hope you are around to read and delete this right away. I don't know how to get ahold of you directly so im throwing this out there.

I know you stated in a previous article that you will not tolerate FISTS to one of your written pieces, I wasn't sure if you were like Jason and appreciate a thought out fist after reading the article and stating a comment rather than blindly just throwing out the "fist" just to be number one. Now that I know I will never do it again and instead just stick to the article at hand with a comment not including a "fist".

Also for you 107th birthday, if Wanye stands you up let me know and i'll make sure you have a good time ;)

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#8 VK63
November 09 2010, 11:30PM
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Oh well..all the cameo shots of them gorgeous caniacs celebrating yet another goal had some redeeming aspects.

I'm not a huge fan of down one with the echoes of home of the brave still reverberating in the rafters. Just a guess but I don't think transcripts of a renney pre game speech will be gracing the motivational shelves any time soon.

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#9 OILERSORDEATH
November 09 2010, 11:33PM
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Wow, I bet all 4,000 fans enjoyed that one. Goddamn that crap team, a disgrace to have Pukalina Hurrijokes on the Cup. Horrible game for the Oil, didnt take long to know this was gonna be a bad one.

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#10 Tim S
November 09 2010, 11:42PM
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Robin,

Are you saying that Penner was not a positive difference maker??

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#11 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 10 2010, 02:49AM
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"Lament Cogliano's lack of finish, but give him credit for getting sewn up and playing his bag off the rest of the night. The sequence where Cogliano broke in, fed Ryan Whitney in the slot for a chance that didn't result in a shot and then had a couple of cracks at Cam Ward was pretty much the epitome of the way it's going for him. I'll take Cogliano's kind of try any time, and people who mock efforts like this one because the results aren't coming for the kid right now couldn't find a clue with a map and a flashlight. "

Cogliano's try has only been existant in the last 4 or 5 games. The 90 games previous to that he didn't appear to be motivated at all. You just make it sound like Cogs' has been snakebitten when really, IMO, he hasn't scored because he hasn't been a very good NHL player lately. There are many reasons Cogs' has struggled, and effort is one of them I think.

That being said I'm excited to see he's apparently turning it around. He needs to keep playing like he is to be successful.

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#12 velo
November 10 2010, 03:39AM
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I live in Asia and rely on free grainy feeds of the game (and a few smoke screens to avoid some internet censoring). Sadly, the only reliable feed I could find this AM was the sportsnet one. The sportsnet product is brutal compared to most other broadcasts I watch. I'm not an authority on the issue, but I have had nearly 2 complete seasons of watching other feeds and, for me, it's enough to decide that sportsnet and CBC are my least favorite packages out there.

Maybe they were having an off-night this morning!?

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#13 magisterrex
November 10 2010, 05:55AM
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Just checked, and it turns out that I CAN find a clue without a flashlight and map as aids. Cogliano played just as he always does: lots of flash and speed, but no finish. After watching last night's epic meltdown, I still would rather have the guy who can bury the puck in the net but arrives into the offensive zone at a normal speed.

Someone needs to give Cogliano a set of magic gloves for Christmas.

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#14 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 10 2010, 06:03AM
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velo wrote:

I live in Asia and rely on free grainy feeds of the game (and a few smoke screens to avoid some internet censoring). Sadly, the only reliable feed I could find this AM was the sportsnet one. The sportsnet product is brutal compared to most other broadcasts I watch. I'm not an authority on the issue, but I have had nearly 2 complete seasons of watching other feeds and, for me, it's enough to decide that sportsnet and CBC are my least favorite packages out there.

Maybe they were having an off-night this morning!?

Nope, that's pretty much par for the course. I did like Mean Gene's interview in the first intermission, though...

He was talking to the Canes about their European vacation instead of the four goals they scored in the first. My buddy and I had a good laugh at that.

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#15 BUCK75
November 10 2010, 06:12AM
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That missed call on Cogs pissed Stauffer off. I don't know that a power play would have changed the game for us, but it could have helped stop the momentum they got with that early goal.

I stopped listening after the 2nd, but these guys have got to start playing when they drop the puck. Another slow start...

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#17 Woodguy
November 10 2010, 07:39AM
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Does pushing the puck the last six inches across the goal line for the Oilers only goal make you believe Dustin Penner had a good night?

So goals only count when they hit the back of the net?

By your standard Ryan Smyth has scored 8 goals in his NHL career.

His 5 goals lead the Oilers in scoring.

I guess they don't count because he looks lazy.

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#19 Oil Dude
November 10 2010, 08:01AM
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Ryan Jones pulling a stunt like that is pretty bush league. I don't respect that one bit , and it is pretty embarassing.

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#20 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 10 2010, 08:06AM
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Lazy or not, he's effective.

I'll take a lazy 30 goal scorer (that doesn't get lit up defensively) over an energetic 15 goal scorer.

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#21 Woodguy
November 10 2010, 08:15AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Here comes the president of the Shying Fridge Brigade. Penner has been indifferent way too often this season. He wasn't very good, and had lots of company, Tuesday.

By my standard? Nice try. What a stretch. Five goals, the most on a 30th-place team. Yes, let's stand and cheer. And thanks for keeping it under 20 paragraphs.

re: your standard

You said in your post:

Does pushing the puck the last six inches across the goal line for the Oilers only goal make you believe Dustin Penner had a good night?

By pointing out that the puck only went six inches over the goal line you inferred that is was less of a goal than one that hits the twine. That is why I said "by your standard" and brought up Smyth.

. Penner has been indifferent way too often this season.

I agree with this statement.

Five goals, the most on a 30th-place team

Actually by points and winning percentage they are currently 27th in the league.

Cogliano was +1 in a 6 goal loss and was decent.

Penner was even in a 6 goal loss and was decent as well.

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#23 JB
November 10 2010, 08:21AM
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Robin, have you noticed that despite repeatedly changing coaches, and now a good chunk of personnel, the same problems persist. Horrible special teams, lack of compete, lack of on-ice leadership. I'm probably over-reacting after a brutal game but I've had enough of Hemsky, Penner, Gilbert et al for a lifetime. I worry that the kids will learn to accept losing from the veterans, because it's pretty apparent in their play they don't care as much as they should. The lack of leadership on this team is stil glaring, but it's okay I guess; we're rebuilding. The team has missed the playoffs four years running but now we're rebuilding. Suffice to say I don't trust the group that ran this thing into the ground to dig the team out of it.

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#25 Dodd
November 10 2010, 08:29AM
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Aaah numbers. You only make sense when you back up opinion.

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#26 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 10 2010, 08:34AM
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JB wrote:

Robin, have you noticed that despite repeatedly changing coaches, and now a good chunk of personnel, the same problems persist. Horrible special teams, lack of compete, lack of on-ice leadership. I'm probably over-reacting after a brutal game but I've had enough of Hemsky, Penner, Gilbert et al for a lifetime. I worry that the kids will learn to accept losing from the veterans, because it's pretty apparent in their play they don't care as much as they should. The lack of leadership on this team is stil glaring, but it's okay I guess; we're rebuilding. The team has missed the playoffs four years running but now we're rebuilding. Suffice to say I don't trust the group that ran this thing into the ground to dig the team out of it.

We've been hearing that same old song and dance for 4 years now. (not to long ago these vetrans were the "kids")

For the most part the fans keep getting what they want (anyone with 3+ years experience shipped out of town.) and results continue to get worse.

If we actually want a competitive team (and I'm thinking the managment really doesn't) we need more vetrans (the well rounded ones still in the meat of their career...not the ones on their last legs), not less.

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#27 Lofty
November 10 2010, 08:45AM
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Renney and the Oil cant expect to basically shuffle the entire line-up and move players out of position and win in the NHL. Although the lines have changed and haven’t been together too long switching Brule and Jones looked awful.

Bring up the right players from the A rather than adding more 4th line players to the line-up.

I also think Renney was sitting the kids not so much because of how bad they played (everyone was pretty much equally bad, except Khabi) but more to watch from the safety of the bench a game that is out of hand.

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#28 Zamboni Driver
November 10 2010, 08:58AM
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@dawgbone

It's stunning to me people have absolutely nothing better to do than take baseball stats in a

7 - 1 game.

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#29 rindog
November 10 2010, 09:14AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You get 30 more seconds of my time, and this is it:

Your "by my standard" presumes you know what I meant. You don't.

A player can score a goal in a game -- top shelf, highlight reel deke, deflection, whatever -- it doesn't mean he had a good game. Penner didn't have a good game.

One can only hope that with the mood you're in right now, we will be seeing one hell of an article or an absolute verbal assault on some unsuspecting poster?

Which one? Which one?

Wait a minute???

Did I just open myself to be the unsuspecting poster?

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#30 Tim S
November 10 2010, 09:23AM
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@Robin Brownlee

A positive difference maker is what Willis called Penner in his article about the game. I am with you, I would rather judge with my eyes then with my calculator.

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#31 Soft Hands McSteeley - FIST Movement
November 10 2010, 09:31AM
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Robin you say,

"Lament Cogliano's lack of finish, but give him credit for getting sewn up and playing his bag off the rest of the night. The sequence where Cogliano broke in, fed Ryan Whitney in the slot for a chance that didn't result in a shot and then had a couple of cracks at Cam Ward was pretty much the epitome of the way it's going for him. I'll take Cogliano's kind of try any time, and people who mock efforts like this one because the results aren't coming for the kid right now couldn't find a clue with a map and a flashlight."

I'll agree that Ryan Whitney should have gotten some kind of shot off from that feed. And maybe a high five for playing with a little blood on his jersey. But if your going to take Cogliano's "try" maybe you should be writing about the local Atom leagues. Try matters.... but not as much as results. Cog's has had all kinda of try going on to year 4 now, but he just seems like one of those guys who can't get in on the point production. He takes a shot, its right into a shin/goalies chest/wide etc.

I'm sure you we're in on this debate on Gregors show a few weeks back but the question still stands: What does this guy do other than skate really well?

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#33 JB
November 10 2010, 10:21AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

We've been hearing that same old song and dance for 4 years now. (not to long ago these vetrans were the "kids")

For the most part the fans keep getting what they want (anyone with 3+ years experience shipped out of town.) and results continue to get worse.

If we actually want a competitive team (and I'm thinking the managment really doesn't) we need more vetrans (the well rounded ones still in the meat of their career...not the ones on their last legs), not less.

I agree that the team needs veterans; I just don't think the group of veterans that currently sit on the roster are the answer long or short term. If anything, they'll teach the new kids how to coast and underachieve. I'm assuming you think Hemsky's last-in, first-out approach to practice is hardly the model to aspire to.

Acquiring veterans that consistently play hard , fill glaring roster needs and display professionalism might be too much to ask, but that's kind of where the team is at. Horcoff and Whitney shouldn't be the only veterans who compete every night. It's pretty clear most of the veteran personnel on this team isn't up to the challenge of providing leadership and effort on a consistent basis.

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#34 Rogue
November 10 2010, 10:22AM
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Robin

~ I think one of the writers here should study who in the NHL scores most of their goals in the 1st. period. Then we can trade for some of those players and Presto!! our Doldrums out of the gate are solved!~

Yaa, I know, dont quit my day job%^#&

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#35 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 10 2010, 10:39AM
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JB wrote:

I agree that the team needs veterans; I just don't think the group of veterans that currently sit on the roster are the answer long or short term. If anything, they'll teach the new kids how to coast and underachieve. I'm assuming you think Hemsky's last-in, first-out approach to practice is hardly the model to aspire to.

Acquiring veterans that consistently play hard , fill glaring roster needs and display professionalism might be too much to ask, but that's kind of where the team is at. Horcoff and Whitney shouldn't be the only veterans who compete every night. It's pretty clear most of the veteran personnel on this team isn't up to the challenge of providing leadership and effort on a consistent basis.

And we've been saying that for years.... It's always the vetrans...

I doubt theirs more then a handfull of guys that "always play hard".

IMO the problem isn't "lazy vets" it's a lack of experience and a poorly balanced roster.

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#36 rindog
November 10 2010, 10:45AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

I'm in a great mood.

Aside from getting my fake names mixed up -- see my heartfelt apology to Woodguy in comment 21 -- I'm just fine. You haven't opened yourself up to anything.

It's easy to get to the skinny regarding the "30-second" response you cited. It's really easy over the course of a year or two or three to look back over comments and see where people are coming from.

The vast majority of posters here take what's written on an item-by-item basis. They'll agree on some takes and take issue with others based on the merits of what's written. That's what it's all about.

Others, not so much. They'll look at who wrote an item and argue the opposite just because. I like Penner. They hate him. I hate Penner. They like him. That routine. With me, that's often the numbers guys. They don't like it that I don't worship at the same alter as they do, so I can say it's noon Tuesday in Edmonton at noon Tuesday in Edmonton and they'll argue otherwise. Waste of time. Those are the 30-second guys.

This is probably not the place to get all philosophical, but I couldn't agree more.

Arguing for the sake of arguing is pointless.

For me, there is nothing better than good hockey debate. When a guy is able to speak his mind, support his opinions and have them intelligently refuted by another credible hockey mind/fan - it doesn't get much better.

People that try to take pot shots to make themselves look smart don't have any credibility in my books and shouldn't warrant a response from you (or others).

That being said, it makes for great reading when you allow yourself to respond to these guys from time to time. I know you have better things to do with your time, but it is still entertaining.

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#37 Quicksilver ballet
November 10 2010, 10:48AM
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The early season optimism appears to be wearing off now, the Oiler staff types look to be settling in for another long miserable winter in fear of the media again.

How hard can it be to add a little violence to your game, show your fans you're frustrated and hate losing. Let other teams know they may win the game but there's a price to be paid to earn them 2 points. Let them hate us instead of us hating ourselves.

Stortini and company should've ran Staal right off the getgo rather than waiting till there's 4 minutes left. Right now we look like a bunch of Nancyboys.

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#38 Horcsky
November 10 2010, 11:40AM
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I thought Penner was decent last night, even wihtout his goal. Decent, not great. He threw a hit or two and was showing his hands with some good stickhandling amidst Hurricane defenders. I think we could at least agree it was better than his last few games, maybe?

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#39 JB
November 10 2010, 11:46AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

And we've been saying that for years.... It's always the vetrans...

I doubt theirs more then a handfull of guys that "always play hard".

IMO the problem isn't "lazy vets" it's a lack of experience and a poorly balanced roster.

I guess you missed the part where I mentioned "glaring roster needs." I'm not disagreeing with your assessment regarding a lack of experience and a poorly balanced roster; I just don't think the young veterans on this roster have the necessary competitive spirit or leadership skills. I'm in favour of having more veterans on the team, but I think it's preferable to have veterans that haven't been consistent losers for the last four years.

In a perfect world, club management would do something about the roster. In this world, Tambo will continue to assess while the kids pick up bad habits from team leaders and continue to lose games and confidence. We've seen this movie before, or have you forget the last youth movement we had (how is Nilsson doing anyways)?

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#40 Mitch
November 10 2010, 11:48AM
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@Robin Brownlee

The biggest weakness the oilers have is on the backend, besides Theo Peckham and Ryan Whitney no one scares you back there if your a opposing team. Gain all little bit of speed on a turn over drive it wide go hard to the net, ends up in the back of the net like nothing when Strudwick, Gilbert and Foster are on the ice. The young kids just gotta let loose start directing everything towards the net, there is way to much passing into the slot thats all plugged up and the shots don't get trough. Let the puck do the work. But clearly we just need some defenceman who can defend and skate, at least half of the defenceman they have look incapable of that.

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#41 Team Hall
November 10 2010, 11:49AM
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It seems to me this is the MO of a young team. We look like Stanley Cup Champs one night, lose 7-1 the next. Looked like old Khabby was celebrating a bit too much, and everybody looked complacent early. Look for a good effort in the next game. Up, down, up, down, streaky streaky, slipped on a banana peel. Remember that year we had the best fourth line in the NHL? Brodziak, Glencross, Stortini. Won faceoffs, killed penalties, chipped goals. Why couldn't we keep them again? I know, I'm crying, but it hurts. I miss them. I miss their scent.

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#42 Boris
November 10 2010, 11:49AM
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@OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

I mostly agree with your post but please.....it is "than" not "then"

"I doubt theirs more then a handfull of guys that "always play hard"."

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#44 Horcsky
November 10 2010, 12:22PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Faint praise indeed, however we shouldn't expect players to simply go from bad to good and vice-versa on a nightly basis. Steady improvement is ok by me if Penner can keep it up.

Cogliano was much better. What worries me is that even when he is playing well he seems to only break even rather than make a positive difference. Also, you shouldn't need a high stick in the face to play with a burr under your saddle. No reason why Cogliano (and the rest of the team for that matter) can't play that way the majority of the season.

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#45 Lenny
November 10 2010, 01:28PM
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So you still don't think they need Omark? Jones is better on the 3rd line? You still don't see a fit?

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#47 Lenny
November 10 2010, 02:00PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Need Omark for what? No, I still (still, apparently meaning I'm supposed to change my stance on intelligent player development because of a 7-1 loss to Carolina) don't see a fit. Unless, of course, Omark could have played goal and allowed fewer than four goals on the first eight shots. Unless Omark can take over for Strudwick on the blueline. Unless . . .

Unless he can score 4 goals to offset 4 goals in 8 shots. That might be a thought!

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#48 lenny
November 10 2010, 02:03PM
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Unless when Horkov is injured and Hall moves to the center so Omark can play wing on the first line and not 3rd.

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#49 Quicksilver ballet
November 10 2010, 02:11PM
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If this Omark fellow can also drive his shoulder into an opposing players torso sending him through the glass, then i'm all for bringing him up. Jacques can't get up here soon enough.

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#50 D-Man
November 10 2010, 02:12PM
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Lenny wrote:

Unless he can score 4 goals to offset 4 goals in 8 shots. That might be a thought!

Have to agree with Brownlee... Unless Horcoff is out for more than another couple more games, Omark wouldn't be a decent fit. Omark is too skilled to play 3rd line minutes, even though he might be a good fit with Brule and MPS...

Chances are also pretty good Omark wouldn't score 4 goals in one game - but I'm guessing you're being sarcastic on that point...

Our bigger hole is on the back end... Struds and Vandermeer aren't getting the job done... Not sure if cutting ties with one now (to make room for Belle) is too much of a knee jerk reaction; but then again - that's a factor we'd have to put up with for Last Place Exciting Hockey.

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