GDB 14:0 HEMSKY RETURNS

Jason Gregor
November 08 2011 10:56AM

He's only played 22:51 minutes so far this year, but after missing 11 straight games Ales Hemsky returns to the lineup, and for the 2nd straight season he'll comeback in Montreal. He missed three games before returning to the lineup on December 1, 2010 and quickly tallied a goals and two assists in over 18 minutes of icetime. The Nation was excited to have him back, but after that three-point night Hemsky sat out the next ten games.

There are two things we know about Hemsky.

1. He's a world class player. He is one of the most exciting players in the game and is a difference maker when he plays.

2. He's become injury prone. In his first four post-lockout seasons he missed 37 games, but in the past two season and start of this year he's missed 106 games.

Hemsky and the Oilers are hoping his string of bad luck is over.


Despite their great start, it is clear they miss Hemsky's offence. The Oilers are 25th in GPG (goals per game) at 2.23. They've only scored 18 goals at EV which is 29th in the league. Their powerplay is saving them right now with 10 PP goals which is 8th most.

They've been winning with solid team defence and exceptional goaltending from Nikolai Khabibulin. The 39-year-old continues to shock the NHL with a spakling 0.98 GAA and 0.963 SV%, but the Oilers can't expect him to maintain those numbers. They will need some offence if they plan on staying in a playoff spot.

PAAJARVI OUT

Tom Renney has decided that Magnus Paajarvi will be the first player, in what will likely be a regular rotation, to take a seat in the pressbox. The Oilers finally have 13 healthy forwards, which gives Renney some leverage when it comes to asking more from his players.

I'm sure many won't agree with Paajarvi sitting out tonight, but the obvious choices were either him or Gagner. The 4th line has played very well and done everything Renney has asked of them. I'm sure we will see one of them take a seat in the pressbox soon, but Renney needed to make a statement. Paajarvi's role is to produce offensively, not like a top-six forward just yet, but he needs to add more than one point in 13 games.

I don't think he'll be in the pressbox very long, maybe a game or two, but it didn't hurt his development last year when he spent a game up there, and I don't see this benching ruining him either. Right now Taylor Hall and Ryan Smyth have earned more icetime, so when he gets back in, Paajarvi is going to have to produce 5-on-5 and earn more icetime.

I'd be surprised if 91 wasn't back on the ice in Boston or Detroit.

REUNITED

I was hoping to see Paajarvi play with Gagner and Hemsky, but Renney is going to re-unite Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Hemksy instead. It makes sense to put them together, but I also felt that having 83 on a different line could potentially give them three lines with an offensive threat.

Ryan Jones will move down and play with Eric Belanger and Sam Gagner, while the young guns and the 4th line remain the same.

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky
Jones/Belanger/Gagner
Eager/Lander/Petrell

Jones and Gagner might switch wings.

They didn't skate any pairings this morning, but word out of Montreal is that Barker is ready and it looks like Colten Teubert will come out. I'm guessing Renney will use the following pairs because then he has a right and left shot on each pair.

Smid/Gilbert
Barker/Potter
Peckham/Petry

Khabibulin

QUICK HITS

  • The Habs are one of the least aggresive teams in the league. P.K Subban is physical, but after him they won't offer much in terms of crash and bang. I'd like to see Renney give his 4th line an early shift to see if Ben Eager can ignite some fire in the Oilers. They've been very passive with only seven first-period goals. Of course they've only given up three (best in the league), but I'd like to see them attack more early on.
     
  • I've been asked by numerous people on twitter what is the over/under on how many games Hemsky plays before he is out again. I hope it is 50, because he is one of the few players that lifts me out of my seat. I'll set the line at 16, but that's more the optimist in me.
     
  • I'll be broadcasting live from the Pint Off Whyte today. The Nation's newest writer, Jason Strudwick, will join me from 5 to 6 p.m. today, and if you come to watch the game tonight, you'll have a chance to win Club seats for the Habs return visit to Edmonton on Thursday March 8th. We'll have some other prizes as well.

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 3-0 v. the East this year with wins over the Penguins, Rangers and Capitals and they will stay perfect after a 3-2 win tonight. The streak will end in Boston though.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky will pick up two points in his first game back, and Hall will end his four-game goalless streak.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Darcy Hordichuk will instruct Teubert and Paajarvi to pick up enough Chien Chauds for the team. Smyth will be the last guy getting on the bus and realizes there isn't one left for him. Smyth will calmly announce this dilemma and Teubert and Paajarvi will play a best of three rock -paper-scissors to see who has to run and grab one. Paajarvi tells Teubert he is going to go with rock, and Teubert doesn't believe him and gets his scissors crushed. In round two Paajarvi tells him he's going rock again, and this time Teubert gets his paper cut by Paajarvi's scissors. "Rookie," yells Paajarvi as he celebrates with a fist pump.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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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#1 nvan97
November 08 2011, 10:59AM
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Big game for the Oilers. 6-4

Hall with 2, Hemmer with 1, Gags with 1, Barker with 1, Smid with 1

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#2 neojanus
November 08 2011, 10:59AM
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Good to hear about Hemsky.

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#3 RexLibris
November 08 2011, 11:09AM
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Going to enjoy watching this one tonight. It isn't often that you see a speed-on-speed matchup between teams. Even if it ends 1-0 there could be a lot of back and forth rushes. Could be night and day contrast to the Boston matchup. Is this the first time Seguin and Hall are playing each other? I thought Seguin was a HS last season when we came through.

With regards to the NSOGPD: http://www.worldrps.com/

Who knew Paajarvi was a member of the RPS Society.

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#4 Spaghetti - Team Facalto
November 08 2011, 11:10AM
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Hemsky back is good, but when does Hordichuk get back because that would be AWESOME!

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#5 raretomediumrare
November 08 2011, 11:13AM
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I would rather see Teubert play...

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#6 carson
November 08 2011, 11:13AM
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Disappointed Paajarvi's sitting. I agree with Jason, Hemsky should be playing with Gagner and MPS to spread out the scoring. Ryan Smyth doesn't need Hemsky to collect points. He's an independent point producer, it doesn't matter who he plays with. Gagner and MPS on the other hand require a third party to stir the drink.

I also want to see Paajarvi pick up some more PK time. I think in the long-term Lander will return to OKC and Belanger will head up a defensively sound 4th line.

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#7 HORDY hears a who
November 08 2011, 11:17AM
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Nope. Drill Sargent Darcy hordichuk won't be playing tonight. He texted me saying he's going to be training/sparring at the tri star gym with GSP to help him with his kickboxing that he will need once he plays in Boston to whoop Milan Big nose Lucic's ass

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#8 Sean17
November 08 2011, 11:17AM
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nvan97 wrote:

Big game for the Oilers. 6-4

Hall with 2, Hemmer with 1, Gags with 1, Barker with 1, Smid with 1

Smid with 1 would be epic!

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#9 vetinari
November 08 2011, 11:19AM
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Hemsky... Hemsky... I remember seeing a player in an Oilers uniform with that name from about 2006 or so... are they related somehow?

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#10 Mark-LW
November 08 2011, 11:20AM
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I'm so glad Hemsky's back tonight because I'm going to the game, center ice row 17 baby!!

I predict a 4-2 Oilers with my drunk ass rubbing it in the faces of everyone around me.

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#11 OilFan
November 08 2011, 11:23AM
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I would have liked to see Gagner sat and Hemsky on the thrid line to help Belanger and MPS get rolling. I guess that wouldn't help the Oilers down the road ( Gagner's trade vaule). IMO it is more important to get Belanger some more offensive stats and MPS since they will be in the future plans. I'm not ready to trade Ganger yet but feel his value to this team isn't as high as before the season. By sitting Sam his value to the Oilers and trade partners go down.

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#12 Sorch
November 08 2011, 11:26AM
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I honestly think Hemsky will play with PRV and Gagner soon. However, being his first game back, putting him with Smyth and Horcoff is safe.

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#13 justDOit
November 08 2011, 11:26AM
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16 games as the over/under mark for Hemsky going down again? After a whopping 22 minutes of ice time so far, all that I can say is that someone has a lot of HOPE.

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#14 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
November 08 2011, 11:32AM
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T-Ren is a damn genius I tell ya! Let 91 ride the press box pine till he figures it out! 91 has all the tools an NHL player would want; skating, size, hands, shot, etc. He just needs to get over the mental funk he's in, quit being such a vag., and go bang some bods, and crash the net every shift!

And most importantly - man, am I glad to see Hemmer back. PLEEAAAAAASE let it be for a while!!!!!!!!! This a "completely" different team with Hemmer (and Hallsy) in the line-up.

GOIL

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#15 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 08 2011, 11:35AM
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Hemsqueeeeee!!!!

I'm stoked Hemsky is back. I haven't forgotten the near decade of highlight-reel cheers he has induced!! I'm cautiously optimistic he is back for good. over/under is a clear over! I say 45 games.

I hear the itching over creating a third line with Gags, MP and Hemsky... But I can think of two reasons why this is a sub-optimal choice right now.

1) Hemsky is just coming back and the comfort of the old line, like an old glove, might ease the transition.

2) Hemsky's return creates an opportunity to send a message to Renney's forward group by benching someone. Only a handful of players even register on a list of "who needs a kick in the pants" (MP, Gags, Eager, Belanger (less so), Jones (much less so)). I think MP wins on the cost/benefit of sending a message with a short benching. He seems to me more likely given his youth and disposition to be more responsive.

Neither of these points rules out creating a G/MP/H line in the (near) future. But for now, I think Renney made the right choice.

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#16 freeze
November 08 2011, 11:38AM
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STAY HEALTHY HEMSKY!!! GOILERS!!

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#17 A-Mc
November 08 2011, 11:40AM
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I'm not digging the line choices by Renney.

I stand by a previous statement where i said that Hemsky is too fast for that Smyth/Horcoff line.

I'll have the PVR set to record tonights game so i can review it several times to see what worked and what didn't.

Regardless of how the lines Jive with each other, I'm hoping for a win!

ps: Thankfully if Hemsky doesnt look to be fitting in with Horc/Smyth, He can switch it up with Jones.

Prediction: Hemsky will see a few shifts with Gagner and Belanger. Hemsky and Belanger will somehow Click and Gagner will sit out next game to have Paajarvi replace him. The new PRV/Bel/Hem line will produce. Jones moves back with Horc/Smyth and Gagner becomes Trade bait: Skilled enough to get something back, Not Injured often enough to hurt his chances of being moved (unlike Hemsky).

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#18 book¡e
November 08 2011, 11:46AM
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Paajarvi's thoughts - If the coach would just give me some decent players to play with or put me with the other Swedes, I would get some points

Renney's thoughts - If Paajarvi would just use his size and skill to drive to the net or to play in front of the net sometimes, he would score some points regardless of who else is on his line

Renney is being a good coach by forcing Paajarvi to be a better player.

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#19 Matt Henderson
November 08 2011, 11:46AM
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I also was hoping that Hemsky with Paajarvi and Gagner would have been a line combo that would have created some added pressure on the Habs and took top flight defenders away from the kids.

I dont know if I believe in Belanger's offense and I think it isnt using Gagner to the best of his abilities playing him there.

That said, what the hell do I know? Maybe that old balls line will wreak havok out there like it's 2006.

Go Oil!

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#20 mayorpoop
November 08 2011, 11:47AM
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Sorch wrote:

I honestly think Hemsky will play with PRV and Gagner soon. However, being his first game back, putting him with Smyth and Horcoff is safe.

not only is it safe but it is predictable and easy.

so he'd rather take a put the center (Gagner) on the wing, who clearly has been struggling. let's keep juggling him around. good coaching. two of these lines make no sense to me.

do we not want MPS, and Gagner to succeed?

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#21 book¡e
November 08 2011, 11:51AM
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GAME DAY PREDICTION: 3-1 Oilers over the Habs

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall, Hemsky, and Horcoff have solid games, each picking up a couple of points. Hemsky re-injures his shoulder due to air turbulence experienced as he skates too close to someone at a fast speed.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When Hemsky injures his shoulder, it actually falls off and a bunch of dried up rubber bands with knots in them are seen protruding from his shoulder socket.

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#22 Next Year Country
November 08 2011, 11:59AM
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Re: Hemsky being "injury prone". Boy, am I ever tired of hearing that. In reality Hemsky is "prone to being crosschecked and smashed into the boards" because other teams have been able to do this without any significant pushback from the Oilers. He is an elite player who has the guts to go to the tough areas and constantly pays the price because, for to long, the team hasn't been able to protect its skilled players. We've already seen teams targeting RNH. Hopefully, with Hordichuk, Eager, Sutton and Peckham here this year the situation will improve. On the same note, Smytty got a vicious crosscheck from Giordano with a few seconds left in the Calgary game. No-one responded. I hope someone discusses the matter with Giordano the next times these teams meet, or the Oilers send a message that they will return the favour if Calgary continues this way.

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#23 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 08 2011, 12:00PM
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book¡e wrote:

GAME DAY PREDICTION: 3-1 Oilers over the Habs

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall, Hemsky, and Horcoff have solid games, each picking up a couple of points. Hemsky re-injures his shoulder due to air turbulence experienced as he skates too close to someone at a fast speed.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When Hemsky injures his shoulder, it actually falls off and a bunch of dried up rubber bands with knots in them are seen protruding from his shoulder socket.

That NSOGDP made me laugh.

However, I'm guessing given the ole' Oiler luck, if Hemsky gets injured again it will be along the lines of Whitney's injury, i.e., not a re-injury but a brand new one, caused inexplicably and not in the course of a successful play, maybe not even on the ice... I call sprained ankle ghost riding the whip after the game in the Bell Centre parking lot. He's out 5-6 games.

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#24 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 08 2011, 12:07PM
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Next Year Country wrote:

Re: Hemsky being "injury prone". Boy, am I ever tired of hearing that. In reality Hemsky is "prone to being crosschecked and smashed into the boards" because other teams have been able to do this without any significant pushback from the Oilers. He is an elite player who has the guts to go to the tough areas and constantly pays the price because, for to long, the team hasn't been able to protect its skilled players. We've already seen teams targeting RNH. Hopefully, with Hordichuk, Eager, Sutton and Peckham here this year the situation will improve. On the same note, Smytty got a vicious crosscheck from Giordano with a few seconds left in the Calgary game. No-one responded. I hope someone discusses the matter with Giordano the next times these teams meet, or the Oilers send a message that they will return the favour if Calgary continues this way.

You saw the last game, right? Schlemko (amazing name by the way; best name on the Coyotes next to Yandle) worked Hall over several times without so much as getting a Woody Allen "ah... ahem... excuse me... sir.. but you... ahem... seem to be.. um... entangled... ahem... with my wife..."

Of course, Sutton and Hordichuk didn't play... but Eager, Peckham and the others were a no-show on that front.

If Gregor is right though, toughness won't be an issue tonight. Although, I still expect Subban to take a run at someone... anyone want to place bets? I call Gagner.

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#25 Talbot17
November 08 2011, 12:16PM
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do not like Jones moving to the 3rd, to me he is that player that when you put him in a spot to rise to the occasion, he delivers. That lione with horc smyth and him was all heart and forechecking, and hemsky is too soft to be on that line. Clearly without hemmer smyth is fine point wise

MPS Gagner Hemmer - thats a line i want to see

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#26 Shredder
November 08 2011, 12:28PM
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Rock, rock, rock...trusty ol' rock!

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#27 OilFan
November 08 2011, 12:28PM
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The top two lines should have stayed the same. Put Hemmer on the third line with Belanger and PRV!!! Gagner is a worse winger then center, either play him as a fourth line center or trade him ( thou Lander is a better fit). His value is decreasing while he plays wing. I understand Gagner isn't the typical fourth line center but really he doesn't outplay the other three.

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#28 Rob...
November 08 2011, 12:36PM
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NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: ...Smyth will calmly announce this dilemma and Teubert and Paajarvi will play a best of three rock -paper-scissors-lizard-spock to see who has to run and grab one. After having the rules explained to them,Paajarvi and Teubert decide to forfeit, and each hands Smyth their Chien Chauds.

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#29 Smokey
November 08 2011, 01:03PM
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Talbot17,

When has Hemsky been soft. He may not be the most hardcore forechecker, mostly because he has the puck. Ive seen a guy get plastered by first pairing defenders for ten years. A guy who cuts through the middle of ice against the Phaneufs and Rhegers, a guy who carries the puck a little to long to make a play and has two injured shoulders to show for his efforts. If Hemsky`s soft, then Hall has no compete level, and Dubnyk is short.

The Horc, Smyth don`t need another forchecker, they need a playmaker, and granted in ain`t circa 2006, that line was a top flight line in the NHL that season. They carried the Oil into the playoffs. (barely)

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#30 A-Mc
November 08 2011, 01:09PM
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Another point that i forgot to make: The Horcoff/Smyth/Jones line saw all the hard minutes. They were pushed around, and given little chance of success and yet somehow they find it.

WHY ON EARTH would Renney stick a fresh-off-Injured-Reserve player on a line that A) Functions perfectly as it should. B) Has no need for a points kickstart and C) poses arguably the greatest risk for re-injury.

I would argue that our second line is as 'bruiser' as they get on the Oilers Right Now. Why would Renney stick a Glass Cannon on that line?

Opening a can of worms: Let us pretend Hemsky gets re-injured tonight. What does that mean to him? And what does that mean to the Team?

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#31 gord962
November 08 2011, 01:14PM
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I am the first person to get on Gagner as not providing the team enough (for a small, non-physical player he isn't fast enough, he gets knocked off the puck too easily, he has been a turn over machine the last few games and he doesn't win enough draw.) I am also a big supporter of Omark. But come on!! Can't the coaches see that these guys need someone to play with? Putting Gagner with Jones and Belanger I think Gagner would be better off sitting in the pressbox.

Neither Belanger or Jones are finesse players so I think Gagner is completely out of his element playing with these two. Gagner needs an elite player to play with - he does not create points on his own. Pajaarvi has played a couple good games and it finally looks like he is engaged and now they sit him? I agree that the 3rd line has not been pulling it's weight but inserting Hemsky and sliding Gagner to the middle (and Belanger to the 4th) would have been the perfect solution, IMO. Obviously I am not the only person who thought this based on the discussions over the past few days since the discussion started as to who would sit when Hemsky returns. Of course Renney is the coach and I am sure he is much smarter than I, but Rudy (Reddox) was #1 PP on the Oilers once upon a time as well, so coaches don't have perfect decision making records.

Smyth/Horc/Hemmer are not going to be as effective as when Jones was on the line because they were mucking and grinding. Hemsky is a finesse player - putting him on shut down duty could send him straight back to the IR. Hopefully I am wrong and Renney's choice looks like pure genius.

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#32 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
November 08 2011, 01:18PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

You saw the last game, right? Schlemko (amazing name by the way; best name on the Coyotes next to Yandle) worked Hall over several times without so much as getting a Woody Allen "ah... ahem... excuse me... sir.. but you... ahem... seem to be.. um... entangled... ahem... with my wife..."

Of course, Sutton and Hordichuk didn't play... but Eager, Peckham and the others were a no-show on that front.

If Gregor is right though, toughness won't be an issue tonight. Although, I still expect Subban to take a run at someone... anyone want to place bets? I call Gagner.

Love this comment. Agree 100% with everything.

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#33 PutzStew
November 08 2011, 01:26PM
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Smokey wrote:

Talbot17,

When has Hemsky been soft. He may not be the most hardcore forechecker, mostly because he has the puck. Ive seen a guy get plastered by first pairing defenders for ten years. A guy who cuts through the middle of ice against the Phaneufs and Rhegers, a guy who carries the puck a little to long to make a play and has two injured shoulders to show for his efforts. If Hemsky`s soft, then Hall has no compete level, and Dubnyk is short.

The Horc, Smyth don`t need another forchecker, they need a playmaker, and granted in ain`t circa 2006, that line was a top flight line in the NHL that season. They carried the Oil into the playoffs. (barely)

Face reality. 2006 was a fluke. The oilers were carried by a hot goaltender, a steady Pronger (hurts to have to admit that), and super play of Pasani. They weren't a top flight line in 2006.

Take of the rose colored glasses. Since then Hemsky has helped lead his team to how many play offs?

Aw and Hemsky's compete level. I admit he competes but he ain't to smart. Other wise he would have figured out that he can't skate through all the d-man standing on the blue line and he might not get abused as much.

Adding Hemsky to this team right now is going to increase the number of turn overs and kill the power play. Hopefully it will show case him enough though so that the Oilers can rid themselves of him before he hurts himself ...again.

The Oilers are a better team with out him. Don't believe me. What's there record with out him in the line up the past 2 years.

GDP - Hemsky scores, Gives up the puck at the opositions blue line 4 times Oilers Lose

OGDP - Powerplay dries up as Hemsky sits on the halfboards for a full 2 minutes with the puck while the rest of the team are yelling at him to shot..

NSOGP - Hemsky asks Bucky after the game "What is all this talk about team play? I've never heard about this before."

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#34 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 08 2011, 01:29PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Another point that i forgot to make: The Horcoff/Smyth/Jones line saw all the hard minutes. They were pushed around, and given little chance of success and yet somehow they find it.

WHY ON EARTH would Renney stick a fresh-off-Injured-Reserve player on a line that A) Functions perfectly as it should. B) Has no need for a points kickstart and C) poses arguably the greatest risk for re-injury.

I would argue that our second line is as 'bruiser' as they get on the Oilers Right Now. Why would Renney stick a Glass Cannon on that line?

Opening a can of worms: Let us pretend Hemsky gets re-injured tonight. What does that mean to him? And what does that mean to the Team?

This is the best argument I've seen so far against icing H/S/H. But there are two points I'd make to counter...

1) As Gregor mentioned Montreal is not a real rough club. While Hemsky will get some hard minutes he won't be up against headhunters and crushers. Also, there is no reason Hemsky has to play the way Jones did on that line. He can add some finesse to the steady play of Horc and the crash play of Smyth. Also, though it leads to injury... Hemsky isn't exactly a wall flower... the man plays with jam!

2) There is no indication any of this is set in stone. How many of you are being impatient here? MP is benched... we know he will be back soon (maybe the next game)... the lines will inevitably be shifted again when he comes back. If H/S/H doesn't work out (if they can't score, forecheck/backcheck, get out muscled), then, I'll be calling for changes. At the moment this looks to me like the right choice (for now).

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#35 MathMan
November 08 2011, 01:32PM
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The Habs are one of the least aggresive teams in the league. P.K Subban is physical, but after him they won't offer much in terms of crash and bang.

They do have a few more physical players than that, notably Erik Cole and Travis Moen, and to a lesser degree Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller. Andrei Kostitsyn is likely to miss the game, but that will mean Alexei Yemelin will take his place, and he's a frequent banger.

Technically Blunden also hits people, but he is strictly a fourth-liner, and since he is a pretty ineffective hockey player I'm trying to forget about him. ;)

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#36 mattypants
November 08 2011, 01:35PM
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Here's a fun question... Who do you think will play more games this year. Whitney or Hemsky?

I'd put the over-under on both of them at 40. Anybody want to take that bet?

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#37 mayorpoop
November 08 2011, 01:37PM
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@A-Mc

if i could prop you i would.

please oilersnation help me reset my account ALREADY!

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#38 A-Mc
November 08 2011, 01:39PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Playing these lines for a game or two is worth a shot. If it succeeds, i'll be the first to eat my words but i just cant help but feel like the Potential for improvement exists to a greater extent with Hemsky on a different line. I'm more nervous about breaking up the Horc/Smyth/Jones line than i am anything related to the 3rd and 4th line changes.

Going into tonight we had 2 lines we could count on and changing either of them makes me nervous.

I guess we'll have to wait and see (4 hours remaining!)

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#39 A-Mc
November 08 2011, 01:44PM
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@mattypants

Are Jack and Bob reliable enough to count on Paajarvi not playing tonight?

In his interview, Renney didn't say who was sitting out but that he had someone in mind. Jack/Bob are the guys who said Paajarvi is out; is there a chance they are mistaken?

ps: it wasnt supposed to be a reply @mattypants. Not sure what the heck happened there haha

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#41 Alan
November 08 2011, 01:52PM
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@A-Mc

Why not trust Gregor. He is pretty reliable and seems to have some good inside sources. He said Paajarvi was on ice late, and has told us numerous times that means the guy won't play.

I'll trust Gregor.

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#42 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 08 2011, 01:53PM
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A-Mc wrote:

Playing these lines for a game or two is worth a shot. If it succeeds, i'll be the first to eat my words but i just cant help but feel like the Potential for improvement exists to a greater extent with Hemsky on a different line. I'm more nervous about breaking up the Horc/Smyth/Jones line than i am anything related to the 3rd and 4th line changes.

Going into tonight we had 2 lines we could count on and changing either of them makes me nervous.

I guess we'll have to wait and see (4 hours remaining!)

Ok... maybe that's just it. I'm not as convinced that our success is as dependent on any particular line combination (not that I discount the importance of cohesive, productive lines up and down the team, or the need for line assignments, match-ups and so forth).

What I'll be watching for is how many minutes Hemsky plays (I say over under: 12), who he plays with on the PP (Horc's been playing with the kids and CPPP) and whether he sneaks Hemsky out with any other players for a shift or two as a test run.

besides... what's a game day without nerves? I've had my Game Day Giddy (GDG) at a hard boil at least since lunch.

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#43 Smokey
November 08 2011, 02:03PM
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PutzStew, Your memory a bit weak. I was talking during the regular season, read my post again. The S/H/H line was excellent in the regular season at times. The line was split up against Detroit, probably because of the addition of Samsonov, and that the team kinda flopped into the playoffs.

Just for the record I wanted a MPS/Gagner/Hemsky line, and eventually I hoping Hemsky would get second line time when hes back up to speed. My point with Hemsky being back on the old farts line, was that its a line that can match up against pretty much any line in the league. The guys point I was arguing against was that he felt jones was a better forchecker and Hemsky soft. I argued to the contrary on the soft, and concured on him not being a great fore-checker.

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#44 Chris.
November 08 2011, 02:11PM
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Game Day Prediction: Even the 30th place Oilers had their way in Eastern Canada... 3-1 win tonight!

Obvious Game day Prediction: Many a patron at the Bell Center will be booing and exclaiming: "Merde Alors!" when our young guys get their cycle going in the offensive zone. Who is this 'opkins guy anyway?

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: At least one Oiler fan in attendance will point out to his drunken neighbor that the Canadiens actually have 22 Stanley Cup Championships during NHL competition and to claim 24 championships is a little misleading... (not to mention nearly half of those were won in a six team league). A sure fist fight is narrowly avoided when Hall Gill scores his only goal this season on a cheezy deflection to make the game 1-1. 'Opkins responds 30 seconds later.

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#45 rindog
November 08 2011, 02:14PM
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PutzStew wrote:

Face reality. 2006 was a fluke. The oilers were carried by a hot goaltender, a steady Pronger (hurts to have to admit that), and super play of Pasani. They weren't a top flight line in 2006.

Take of the rose colored glasses. Since then Hemsky has helped lead his team to how many play offs?

Aw and Hemsky's compete level. I admit he competes but he ain't to smart. Other wise he would have figured out that he can't skate through all the d-man standing on the blue line and he might not get abused as much.

Adding Hemsky to this team right now is going to increase the number of turn overs and kill the power play. Hopefully it will show case him enough though so that the Oilers can rid themselves of him before he hurts himself ...again.

The Oilers are a better team with out him. Don't believe me. What's there record with out him in the line up the past 2 years.

GDP - Hemsky scores, Gives up the puck at the opositions blue line 4 times Oilers Lose

OGDP - Powerplay dries up as Hemsky sits on the halfboards for a full 2 minutes with the puck while the rest of the team are yelling at him to shot..

NSOGP - Hemsky asks Bucky after the game "What is all this talk about team play? I've never heard about this before."

Hemsky has had to "over" carry thepuck because nobody else onthe team has been able to.

Now that he has some offensive help, it is going to be up to the coach to find out what the right mix is.

I understand why Renney is putting Hemsky with Horcoff and Smyth for now, but I hope it is not a long term plan.

I believe it is only a matter of time before Renney will shake things up to try to get 2 productive offensive lines to go along with Smyth, Horcoff and Jones.

I sure hope so anyway. The thought of our best winger (when healthy) playing with one of our weakest offensive centerman long term bothers me.

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#46 Quicksilver ballet
November 08 2011, 02:31PM
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Once Magnus comes back slot him in alongside Hemsky and Lander. Give them a few games together and see what happens, can't get tany worse than it is now for Paajarvi.

Hall Hopkins Eberle, Paajarvi Lander Hemsky, Smyth Horcoff Gagner, Eager Belanger Jones.

3 decent lines if that 91 57 and 83 group hits it off well.

With the lines thrown in the blender tonight, the Oilers come up on the short end of a 5-1 effort.

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#47 Captain Obvious
November 08 2011, 02:36PM
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These lines are terrible. Where is the idea that the fourth line is playing well come from? It isn't true. What may be true is that the fourth line is playing well against the meager expectations of a fourth line. You know what is better than having a fourth line that is playing well? Having four good lines.

This is what comes from the asinine notion that teams have to have defined roles one of which is, apparently, mediocre line that doesn't do anything.

It's a shame really. This is a team that could have four decent lines but instead has two decent lines and two terrible lines. This team would be immeasurably better if they played Belanger with Petrell and Eager and Gagner with Paajarvi and Hemsky. And don't give me that nonsense of Belanger is too good for the fourth line or Hemsky is too good for the third line. How about we get rid of the numbers altogether and say we simply have lines. I have no doubt that this lineup would be better than the one Renney is fielding. The optimal lineup that includes Omark would be even better.

It is a crazy, crazy, world in which guys like Petrell, Lander, Eager, and Jones are on playing while guys like Pajaarvi and Omark are not. I like Renney very much as a person but his personel choices cannot be defended.

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#48 Johe
November 08 2011, 02:48PM
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Wrong. Renney's choices can be defended. His team sits atop the NW division.

I can't believe how people are jumping all over the coach for how the lines are shaping up for ONE game. ONE GAME PEOPLE!!!! Sheesh. Actually, come to think of it, i can believe the outrage. This is Oil Country after all.

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#49 Matt Henderson
November 08 2011, 02:51PM
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@Captain Obvious

"I like Renney very much as a person but his personel choices cannot be defended."

You mean outside of his W-L record it cant be defended, Right? Because I'm pretty sure there's plenty of ways to defend his positions. Granted, I'm no expert, but I'll play devils advocate.

CO: Tom Renney, your personnel choices cant be defended at all!

TR: My team is 1st in the NW, 3rd in the Conference. We've won 6 of the last 7 games we've played. STFU. But I'll play your game. The player I'm sitting is young and has a great future but I need him to take a step back so that he can see the big picture and move forward. I could have taken out some other guys but they have excelled at the things I've asked of them like killing penalties and blocking shots. We didnt want to take those guys out because they're doing what we ask of them. Ice Time is our only currency as coaches. I've asked Magnus to go to the dirty areas and I think after tonight he'll do just that.

CO: But...but...what about Omark?

TR: Are you effing serious? I cut him last year and this year. I have enough guys who arent producing and not playing on the PK. Why would I add another? I need him to better manage the puck. His style of game is low percentage in the NHL.

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#50 stevezie
November 08 2011, 02:56PM
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@Jason Gregor

Couldn't agree more about Hemsky. I want to win, but I also want to watch entertaining hockey and I honestly believe that, when healthy, he is one of the top five or ten most exciting players in the league.

Don't mind PRV sitting, really like Hemsky-Horcoff-Smyth, but I can't get past how unintimidating that third line looks. Maybe Gagner will heal to the point that he can chew up third pairing defenders.

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