SHOW ME STATE: A BIG MAC KIND OF PLACE

Robin Brownlee
February 04 2011 03:04PM

With Steve MacIntyre back in the Edmonton Oilers line-up against the St. Louis Blues tonight, I'd be willing to wager that somebody is going to get punched in the mouth. Repeatedly, perhaps.

The only question is if it's going to be B.J. Crombeen, Cam Janssen or big Brad Winchester, a collection of formidable ruffians who'll make up the fourth line for the Blues tonight. It doesn't matter who, really.

With the humongous MacIntyre back in business for the first time since Jan. 16 and likely blowing snot bubbles in anticipation of riding shotgun for Tom Renney's runts against a very tough St. Louis outfit, we might see some, ahem, old-fashioned hockey.

With apologies to the sensitivities of those offended by my anticipation of some start-the-lawnmower action -- if you use the term "knuckle-dragger," you probably fall into that group -- tonight might be the perfect game to pull on my old Rudy Poeschek jersey, sit back and watch the saliva fly.

What, the final score matters?

BLACK AND BLUES

As somebody who seldom -- never, even -- was known for skill or offensive prowess in a decidedly mediocre run as a lacrosse and hockey player during my youth, I've long had an appreciation and respect for the guys who do the dirty work. The hammers. The tough guys.

Likewise, I've always had a soft spot for the Blues even when they've been lousy, which has been often, because they always made it policy to keep a beat cop around who could take care of business -- the likes of Tony Twist, Kelly Chase, Basil McRae and Poeschek, who is the toughest man I've ever known -- so the real players could do their thing. A little Poeschek action here: www.youtube.com/watch

As happy as I am Jordan Eberle will make his return to the line-up tonight -- there's nothing wrong with being small and skilled and playing the game with your gloves on or with fans enjoying the talents of players who do -- it's good to see that MacIntyre will draw in.

With Dustin Penner out of action with the flu, J.F. Jacques apparently a healthy scratch and Zack Stortini banished to Oklahoma City, the Oilers will be icing a small and young line-up against the robust Blues. Enter Macintyre. Mr. MacIntyre you, B.J.

DOWN TO BUSINESS

Given that Winchester, Crombeen and Janssen have a combined 27 fighting majors this season, which is more than Edmonton's entire line-up -- the Oilers have 23 majors if you take Stortini's eight bouts out of the equation -- it's no surprise Renney is giving MacIntyre the tap.

I'm not saying inserting MacIntyre is necessarily going to change what happens on the scoreboard or that nobody will dare lay a glove on Taylor Hall or Eberle or Sam Gagner within the rules out on the ice. It's hockey, not volleyball.

But I'm guessing that MacIntyre will make an impact in the 180 seconds or so that he plays tonight after being stuck in the press box with the fat guys and know-it-alls for all but 14 games this season.

Maybe MacIntyre will do it by putting out the word that nobody gets stupid with the kids or there'll be hell to pay -- those who don't believe that happens probably have never participated in a blood sport above the bantam house league level -- and it's a quiet night.

Maybe Crombeen or Janssen or Winchester says, "Screw you, Mac," or puts a glove in somebody's face and this game isn't so quiet. That will not bother me a bit, either. To be honest, I'm in the mood for the latter.

Knuckle-dragger that I am.

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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#51 LoDog
February 04 2011, 07:07PM
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Ender wrote:

If the Oilers were interested in losing Souray on re-entry, they could have gone that road long before this. The fact that they haven't speaks volumes.

Also, they were perfectly willing to eat Souray's $4.5M this year. Why do you think next season would be any different, especially considering that's the only option that doesn't affect their salary cap?

They could of taken that road but if no one picked him up that's the last thing they want.

If someone is actually willing to trade for him now it is win/win.

Trade goes through and they get something or some team claims him and he is gone and Katz saved a million or so.

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#52 Ender
February 04 2011, 07:16PM
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@LoDog

In the first place, the reason it's undesirable to risk re-entry waivers is because of what happens if he is picked up, not if he isn't. If he's picked up, you're on the hook for a lot of money and cap space for a player you no longer own. If he isn't claimed and you don't want him, you just put him back on regular waivers and send him down again. Why would the Oilers be scared that no one picks him up? It's happened twice already.

In the second place, if the Rangers want him and what you suggest is true, they don't have to trade for him; all they'd have to do is whisper to the Oilers to put him on re-entry and then the Rangers would pluck him for half-price (assuming someone else lower in the standings didn't beat them to it, but that would be the risk no matter what). The Rangers might go for that, but there's not much in it for Edmonton. Again, they could have done that already if they'd wanted to. If you think the Rangers are willing to pick up Souray's full contract and give the Oilers something of value for it, well . . . enjoy that thought while it lasts.

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#54 LoDog
February 04 2011, 08:05PM
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@Ender

My point is that the Oil want nothing to do with him, so having him clear is not something they want.

And the nudge nudge wink wink from the rangers might result in some kind of future consideration.

I now return to my mothers basement. :)

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#55 Crash
February 04 2011, 08:36PM
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Ender wrote:

If the Oilers were interested in losing Souray on re-entry, they could have gone that road long before this. The fact that they haven't speaks volumes.

Also, they were perfectly willing to eat Souray's $4.5M this year. Why do you think next season would be any different, especially considering that's the only option that doesn't affect their salary cap?

LoDog is bang on, the Oilers don't want to bother with the exercise of putting Souray on recall waivers and then back on waivers then back on recall waivers then back on waivers...

They've got the word out to all the teams...if someone wants Souray and will claim him just let the Oilers know and then at that time they will place him on recall waivers...

You are right, but for a different reason...it does speak volumes that the Oilers haven't placed him on recall waivers...what it says is teams don't even want Souray at half price..

Why do I think next year will be different? It's the last year of the deal that's why. The Oilers can buy him out and he'll be done with in two years...had they bought him out before this year they would have had him on their books for the next 4 yrs....big difference.

Souray will not be in the Oilers organization next year, period....one way or another he will be purged.

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#56 TonyT
February 04 2011, 08:39PM
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Did Big Mac even play? I saw him on the bench but not on the ice. For all the physical stuff that went on, having no Mac is pretty annoying. I'm tempted to rant on Renney but I'll hold my comments for when I cool down...

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#57 Dennis
February 04 2011, 08:40PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Especially on this team.

And if there aren't enough useful players on this team in the first place, then what gem of a prospect or useful veteran is having to take a seat to get MacIntyre in the line-up? Whose development is being delayed to play No. 33?

This is precisely the time and the team for a limited player like MacIntyre. There will be no room for him a year or two from now, and that's fine. But now? Think it through.

RB: In a way I can see what you're saying but I just don't believe in the toughs unless they are good enough that they can hang and thus go out there and wound or hurt the other team's real players.

The PK's looking to have a chance to be Historically bad so I'd rather have guys on the 4th line that can actually kill a penalty.

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#58 Dennis
February 04 2011, 08:41PM
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TonyT wrote:

Did Big Mac even play? I saw him on the bench but not on the ice. For all the physical stuff that went on, having no Mac is pretty annoying. I'm tempted to rant on Renney but I'll hold my comments for when I cool down...

If you want to rant on Renney, this this one on for size.

He tried to kill a four min PP using just four forwards.

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#59 Dino
February 04 2011, 08:42PM
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What's the use of having Mac if they don't put him on the ice. The Oilers can't let Hall get pushed around like that at any point in the game.

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#60 Truth
February 04 2011, 08:42PM
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What is the point of Renney dressing Mac? The perfect opportunity to use him and tune in Jackman...and nothing. Less than 1 min of ice time I'm guessing, so frustrating to watch

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#61 Ender
February 04 2011, 08:43PM
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@Crash

I remain unconvinced. I think he'll be out of the Oilers picture next year as well, only the same way he is now. Technically receiving money from the Oilers, but out of the way, not causing ripples, and not eating cap-space.

If saving a couple million bucks for Katz was the only consideration here, it would already be done. I really don't believe that no one would have taken Souray 4 months ago at half-price. They would have. The Oilers didn't want that. I'm pretty sure they still don't.

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#62 stevezie
February 04 2011, 08:46PM
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No matter what your stance on knuckle-draggers, I think we can all question the point of dressing someone to play 25 seconds. Either he's useful or he's not, but make a decision. Having him play twenty five seconds is the worst of both worlds.

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#63 jakethesnake
February 04 2011, 08:47PM
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The guy that needs a smack is coach Renny. At what point are we going to start protecting our star players. This is becoming a joke

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#65 Crash
February 04 2011, 08:53PM
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Ender wrote:

I remain unconvinced. I think he'll be out of the Oilers picture next year as well, only the same way he is now. Technically receiving money from the Oilers, but out of the way, not causing ripples, and not eating cap-space.

If saving a couple million bucks for Katz was the only consideration here, it would already be done. I really don't believe that no one would have taken Souray 4 months ago at half-price. They would have. The Oilers didn't want that. I'm pretty sure they still don't.

Can't remember where I heard it so I don't know about the source but I did hear that the Oilers would gladly put Souray on recall waivers if some team told them they would take him....I think it may have been one of Spectors articles.

I really do believe that no one wanted Souray 4 months ago. I think he may have even got hurt early in the season breaking his hand in a fight, then when he came back he hurt his knee. I think he's only played 20 games this year. Who would want to take a chance at having to pay a full 2.25 mil this year and next for a guy who may not only be done but is also seriously injury prone?

You are right again, if saving a couple of million bucks was the only consideration here it would have already been done...but the fact is he has a contract and no one wants him, so how could it be done if no one wants him? If the Oilers don't have the word out that they will put Souray on recall waivers if someone wants him, why then would the Rangers bother sending scouts to watch him play down in Hershey recently?

With only one year left after this year, there's no way the Oilers are going to pay Souray a full 4.5 mil next year, no way, not a chance...he will be gone before next year....bet on it.

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#66 kawi460
February 04 2011, 08:55PM
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he didn't want mac to get an instigator at the end,

I think if someone takes an instigator the coach gets fined and the player gets suspended with under a minute left in the game.

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#67 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 04 2011, 08:55PM
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It must reflect poorly on the Oilers with playoff bound teams sniffing around checking on Souray. Even with his perceived bad attitude, teams are only interested in his on ice capabilities. Wonder if mismanaging assets like this has anything to do with us being dead last in the NHL.

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#68 kawi460
February 04 2011, 08:59PM
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if i was katz i would fire tambo if he recalls Souray and he gets claimed. He called out the organization and then i have to pay him to play for another team............. come on get real.

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#69 Crash
February 04 2011, 09:01PM
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kawi460 wrote:

if i was katz i would fire tambo if he recalls Souray and he gets claimed. He called out the organization and then i have to pay him to play for another team............. come on get real.

He's already paying him to play for another team...I think he'd prefer to only pay half rather than all of his salary.

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#70 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 04 2011, 09:01PM
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I like that accidently on purpose look Taylor has when he mows a goalie or player down, didn't like the two pumps Jackman gave him near the end. Considering who was on the ice at the time (Hall and Eberle) i would've sent the guys over the boards for some male bonding, fines and suspensions would follow but shows the players are willing to stand up for each other.

How do we rate Doobies game tonight?.... maybe we should wait till after the Jackets game for that rating.

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#72 Dino
February 04 2011, 09:05PM
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@kawi460

46.22 Fines and Suspensions – Instigator in Final Five Minutes of Regulation Time (or Anytime in Overtime) - A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five (5) minutes of regulation time or at anytime in overtime (see 46.12) hall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.

I'd pay the fine to make a point.

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#73 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
February 04 2011, 09:10PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I don't think it's appropriate to criticize someone who's 20 places ahead of us in the standings Robin...do you? By the looks of it Slats isn't doing so bad.

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#75 Zamboni Driver
February 04 2011, 09:25PM
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@Robin Brownlee

So I didn't see the whole game, but don't think Mac hardly touched the ice.

That's what I mean about Macintyre specifically - in a way he's too good a fighter, too big for his own good (and for the Oilers good, I think).

Can't find a dance partner (and didn't again), and even if he did, that really impacts one person. I also think the K.O. of the Calgary palooka almost has done more harm for his career than good. Other than Boogie, no one is going to go straight up - so only guys like Boogie need to pay any attention.

Unless Mac falls on top of someone accidentally, to me, he's not an intimidating factor.

He's a good soldier, a great story, but a wasted roster spot (and uniform tonight).

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#76 forestscooter
February 04 2011, 09:38PM
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The one shift I saw with 33 on the ice he got caught on the wrong end of the puck, tried to chip the puck around the player and go around him in a 'hall move' that didn't work. Seems like Renney sat him after that. Very disappointing.

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#78 Ethan Kortbeek
February 04 2011, 10:42PM
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Missed the game but good to hear big mac draws back in...my house was filled with poop...awful awful stuff. RB stay golden.

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#79 WhyOilers
February 04 2011, 11:48PM
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RB, I start this message by agreeing that SMac keeps things civilized. Please help me understand why Renney doesn't cut to that chase after Hall gets decked!

How many years must we witness our star players getting burried? Especially when we can put SMac/TP and Vandermeer on the ice? Did Renney seriously thing we could win the game?

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#80 dawgbone
February 04 2011, 11:54PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

If you don't get the deterrent aspect I've talked about ad nauseam, I'm not going to try to explain it yet again except to say this:

The Blues, top of the league in penalty minutes per game and majors, didn't run at anybody, save for Winchester's stupid play on Vandermeer --hard-nosed player on hard-nosed player. There was no cheap stuff on the little guys, no after-the-whistle jostling of any Oiler, no attempt to run a small, young line-up out of the rink.

Hall got knocked down in the final minute after he stuck out his leg on Jackman. If you think the way this game was played is a coincidence compared to the crap we've seen when No. 33 isn't in the line-up, carry on.

That's assuming that the Blues typically get those sorts of penalties. Right now they have 789 PIM. 255 of which are fighting majors, and an additional 50 minutes due to various misconducts because of those fighting majors.

That's 305 minutes just from fighting, leaving 493 minutes for other infractions.

Conversely the Oilers have 160 PIM from fighting and an additional 90 minutes in various misconducts from fights.

That's 250 minutes from fighting, also leaving 493 minutes for other infractions.

All St. Louis does is fight a lot more than Edmonton. They still took their typical fighting major in the game. They still took their usual assortment of penalties. They didn't change their game up at all vs the Oilers.

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#81 Death Metal Nightmare
February 05 2011, 04:20AM
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25 seconds of deterrent is awesome strategy. glad it worked out for them tonight.

the deterrent theory is a total failure. do teams really need to even run this lame of a team? whats the point? they can just beat them playing "hockey".

"yeah yeah, lets go shove these kids around" why bother? we can just steal the puck from their boneheaded decisions and win that way. "yeah but MacIntyre is on the bench. i heard he punched a dude in the face once and EDM still has a boner about it." yeah we can skate around him too for the 25 seconds hes out there.

l - o - l

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#82 Robin Brownlee
February 05 2011, 07:45AM
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@dawgbone

You're disagreeing with me about the mertis of a tough guy and using a dubious twist of the numbers to do it? No way.

So what did you see? Any late hits, cheap stuff, scrums? Anybody lay a glove on Eberle? Hemsky? Gagner? Hall (aside from when he knocked Conklin on his ass and stuck out his leg on Jackman)? No. Nada. Is it you didn't watch the game or just the default disagree-with-Brownlee approach? Which one?

And the gentle soul who calls himself Death Metal Nightmare whistling Kumbaya for the 1,000th time at 4:20 in the morning? Priceless.

Like I said, carry on.

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#83 Kevin
February 05 2011, 09:19AM
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After watching the last couple of games, it iseems apparent that the Oilers will let Hall sucombe to the same fate Hemmer has had -- your our best player and its okay to run you because no-one will be there. If i was the Oil GM, i would be looking at aquiring some one like Kyle Clifford out of LA (if any trades are in the works) or Tootoo from Nashville. Both can play more that 30 seconds a night and both take no s*** when someone takes liberties with their players. I LOVE Big Mac but he can't play every night. JF must have pictures of someone with a sheep because ho he is here is still a mystery to me.

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#84 Oilers21
February 05 2011, 10:27AM
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I've completely missed the point that the concept of a deterrent is more often about what doesn't happen as what happens. Outside of two scrums started by Hall -- running over Conklin and sticking out a leg on Jackman -- nothing happened. FIXED.

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#85 dawgbone
February 05 2011, 10:43AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

You're disagreeing with me about the mertis of a tough guy and using a dubious twist of the numbers to do it? No way.

So what did you see? Any late hits, cheap stuff, scrums? Anybody lay a glove on Eberle? Hemsky? Gagner? Hall (aside from when he knocked Conklin on his ass and stuck out his leg on Jackman)? No. Nada. Is it you didn't watch the game or just the default disagree-with-Brownlee approach? Which one?

And the gentle soul who calls himself Death Metal Nightmare whistling Kumbaya for the 1,000th time at 4:20 in the morning? Priceless.

Like I said, carry on.

Funny, when you used majors and pim/game to justify your stance on Smac (and essentially stated the Blues changed their game because of it), that's okay.

But when I took a closer look at your evidence to point out a problem with that line of thinking, you come back with "dubious twist of numbers" and "did you watch the game"?

You were the one who introduced majors and pim/game to the discussion here. Not my fault that there's a couple of ways to interpret those numbers.

You drew the conclusion that the Blues get a lot of PIMs, therefore that means they routinely pick on the skill players of the other team by doing things like taking runs, cheap shots, scrums, etc. Who is to say they don't take a lot of penalites by fighting grinders and getting into scrums with 3rd and 4th liners? Do you watch St. Louis enough to know that they changed their game last night? I sure as heck don't.

First and foremost, a lot of the Blues PIM comes from fights. As we saw last night, you don't need to rough up a star player to cause a fight.

Not only that, but we did see a pretty blatant cheap shot when Winchester slew footed JVM. Do we know enough about the Blues to suggest that on another night (without a goon in the lineup for the other team) that the target would have been a skill player instead? I don't know the answer, but I suspect that the answer is it was a spur of the moment play and Winchester wasn't concerned about who was on the bench.

And we did see scrums last night involving skill players on the Oilers, but again, maybe that's how St. Louis plays. Maybe the Blues only get into them when someone does what Hall did yesterday.

You can't just point to the amount of penalties the Blues get and say "They didn't run [insert skill player here] from behind and it's all because 33 was in the lineup".

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#86 Zamboni Driver
February 05 2011, 11:24AM
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@Robin Brownlee

Guess we have to agree to disagree, Robin.

Kind of tough to make a correlation between someone's presence and something not happening. Not for nothing but the exact same correlation could be made saying

"Now that Eberle's back, no one is pushing anyone around."

Someone more stats-y than I (which is everyone in the world) could probably go back and see if Mac was in the lineup with Hemsky got either half of his concussion...that might be a better cause/effect, I guess.

I'm not saying having a deterrent isn't a factor, I'm saying that having Macintyre isn't.

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#87 Chris.
February 05 2011, 02:59PM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Guess we have to agree to disagree, Robin.

Kind of tough to make a correlation between someone's presence and something not happening. Not for nothing but the exact same correlation could be made saying

"Now that Eberle's back, no one is pushing anyone around."

Someone more stats-y than I (which is everyone in the world) could probably go back and see if Mac was in the lineup with Hemsky got either half of his concussion...that might be a better cause/effect, I guess.

I'm not saying having a deterrent isn't a factor, I'm saying that having Macintyre isn't.

This is a tired argument. The players like it when Smac is in the lineup... and that is all I need to know.

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#89 Zamboni Driver
February 05 2011, 05:27PM
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Okay, those were thoughtful replies from you both.

I stand corrected.

Or whatever.

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