The Road Gets a Little Bumpier

Jason Strudwick
September 23 2013 09:33AM

Saturday night, in a preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks there was a stupid stick swinging incident involving the Canucks Zack Kassian. The result has really put a dent in the Oilers ability to have a strong start to this season.

Sam Gagner was hit by Kassian's stick in the mouth and by all reports he will miss a yet to be determined number of regular season games thanks to a broken jaw. The timing of this is very frustrating for any player.

All players work very hard in the summer to be fine tuned to get off to a good start. Hours in the gym and on the ice make sure they are ready to go. There is never a good time to be injured but I always felt that getting hurt in preseason was brutal.

The rest of the NHL continues right along and a player injured in exhibition is left behind. It is inevitable that Gagner will lose the fine edge he was worked on all summer. His level of conditioning will be challenged in two ways:

One, I would not expect a lot of training for him while the injury is acute. Two, his calorie and diet intake will be altered. After losing teeth and breaking your jaw would you feel like consuming the necessary calories to maintain your weight and energy levels?

I once took a puck to the mouth the morning after our team's rookie party (great times by the way). The dentist described the state of my mouth like this... "it looks like a grenade went off on your lips." Not what I wanted to hear, especially after a late night. A bunch of teeth were loose and I had to wear a brace across my top row of teeth. I lived on soup and protein shakes for a few weeks. Until I could eat whole foods again I was losing weight faster then Gregor was losing his hair at the age of eighteen.

This isn't good news for Gagner. In time he will get to the level he wants to be but it will not be right away. I know how competitive he is and the high expectations he puts on himself. The longer his down time, the longer it will take for him to get back to playing at his self imposed high level.

For the Oilers, the Gagner injury will leave them without their top two centers to start the season. Due to the Olympic break the Oilers have a full month of games in October. Wins will be harder to come by without both Gagner and Nuge. Take the top two centers off any team and that team will struggle.

As for Zach Kassian this was a very stupid play. I honestly don't understand how his stick could end up hitting Gagner in the face. I feel that a player is always responsible for his stick. Always. I do not think it was by accident that it flew up and hit Gagner in the face. It was on or near the ice and then flies up? Makes no sense to me.

The Consequences

Kassian will probably be suspended. If I am the Oilers why do I care about that? It doesn't bring back Gagner any sooner. One, two, 5, 10 games...doesn't make a difference. Even for the Canucks, at this stage in Kassian's development their team will move on without him.

I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with.

I know Edmonton got a lot of power plays against the Canucks Saturday. The plan is to score on those PP attempts frequently enough that the opponent will have to tone down the physical play. I get that, but at some point doesn't the team need to have the ability to stand up for itself?

When is enough enough? And when they get to that point who will be the guy to do it? I really like Brown as a player, he played very well saturday, but it is unfair to ask one undersized guy to fight the whole team's battles. I am not saying go out and bring in a Steve MacIntyre type player, just bring in someone who can play and step up when needed.

Last summer the Canadians signed Brandon Prust to a nice contract. He plays hard and fought most of the team's battles when needed. He did a good job but it is a lonely job if you are the only one doing it and you are undersized. Marc Bergevin saw the need to get him some help. This off season he brought in George Parros to take the pressure off Prust. I guarantee all the Habs are walking taller this season.

I don't care if Kassian gets suspended for one or ten games. I do care how the Oilers respond when they play him again. It is important for the team to not brush this over like nothing happened or it was an accident. The Oiler team can make a statement to not only the Canucks but all the teams in the league with some kind of a response.

Will someone stand up and say enough is enough?

5cf6b487166aced0cd781e41bfef915e
Jason hosts the Jason Strudwick show from 9pm to 12am, weeknights on the team 1260. He is an instructor at Mount Carmel Hockey Academy and loves working with the kids. Having played over 650 games in the NHL, Jason has some great stories and unique takes on life in the NHL. He loves Slurpees and Blizzards. Dislikes baggy clothes and close talkers.
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#1 Colonel Obvious
September 23 2013, 09:27AM
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You know this doesn't work right?

It is a demonstrable fact that tough guys do not protect your players and that they do not prevent injuries. Look at the evidence. It is undeniable.

But if you are evidence adverse just look at what happened Saturday night. Brown made Weise "pay the price" for his attempted hit on Hall before Kassian hit Gagner in the face.

The only thing that will ever stop this kind of thing is the NHL getting serious about suspensions.

In the meantime, the answer isn't to get someone to intimidate Kassian into behaving. Nothing is ever going to do that. Instead, send Brown after Edler, not to intimidate him but to put him in the hospital. Then the next time you play the Canucks call up some AHL thugs whose job isn't to fight but to put one of the Sedins in the hospital. Fighting Kassian or Weise is a giant waste of time.

I'm not really in favour of that move but at least it has a chance it would work.

The toughness mafia of the NHL has gotten out of control. They want violence but not real violence. Me, I could do without the violence however if the NHL and the Gregors of the world insist it is part of the game then I say bring up some real thugs and do real damage to the players the other team can't afford to lose.

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#2 Ryan2
September 23 2013, 09:27AM
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Instead of going after Kassian or Alberts, they need to run the Sedins, Kessler or one of the other top players on the Nucks. The last time I can remember the Oilers doing this was a Detroit game two years ago where the Wings disturbers were running around and Kronwall gave Hemsky one of his borderline hits. The next shift Smid took a penalty (short handed due to an extra minor for someone going after Kronwall) for cross checking Zetterberg down along the boards then hammering away at him a few more times. He yelled at their bench that their start players would pay if they went after the Oilers' skill guys. If I recall correctly, someone also took a good run at Datsyuk but just missed. The message had been sent, and Detroit's disturbers were quiet after that. Too bad the Oilers only play like that once every season or two.......

As for Kronwall, later in the game Commodore had to take some punches for him in a fight that he had no business being in.

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#3 Ca$h-Money!
September 23 2013, 09:26AM
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Marc Savard...

On his team when he got permanently injured:

Chara Lucic Thornton

2 of the biggest, most "functionally" tough guys on the planet, and a pure enforcer. I'm also pretty sure one of (or both) Lucic and Chara were on the ice when it happened. Can't confirm that but I recall someone mentioning it.

When SMac was on the team (toughest guy in the league) we lost almost all of our skill guys for 10 games or more due to injury.

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#4 Mike Krushelnyski
September 23 2013, 10:38AM
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Oh good, McIntyre will make a fine second line center.

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#5 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 09:40AM
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FINALLY!!!

The voice of reason from someone who played the game!!

I think that what the Oilers Nation conversation about team toughness lacks is pragmatism. People argue that their point of view is right forever and for always. Their arguments don't take into consideration the CIRCUMSTANCES of any given team.

Is the need for goonary in this league dissipating over time due to things like rule changes, the speed of the game etc,?? Of course it is!

Some people argue that teams like Chicago or Pittsburgh win championships without the goon factor. YES yes they do....but they have team toughness, several guys who although not goons can still fight, and they are mature teams!,...their star players are MEN.....physically mature...been around the block several times...MEN....

Can the Oilers ice a team without an enforcer, or at least a Mike Brown and a "Mike Browns Bigger Brother".....maybe someday....maybe even someday soon!.......But not today......today we have a team of young, physically immature (relatively speaking) highly skilled players. In the short term, and temporarily, you HAVE to strike a balance...based on the circumstances of YOUR TEAM....not based on some philosophical argument about the merits of fighting or eliminating fighting. And not based on statistics or perceived bearing that fighting has as a deterrent.

Just based on its specific history, the Oilers find themselves at a time and place where, until they reach the desired balance of physical toughness, which maybe a year or two or even three....where the Fantastic Five are in their mid twenties, and we've got at least two or three other veterans who can scrap and play hockey, something has to give.......

Glad to hear Jason Strudwick standing up as the voice of reason here.....and to think....that voice....coming from a FIGURE SKATER!!!......go FIGURE! (skater)

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#6 wazy08
September 23 2013, 09:19AM
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Where is Jody Shelley? Literally dress him for 30 games this season with the understanding that if someone gets looked at funny he knows his role. If someone pulls a Kassian on Gagner, that not only is Kassian responsible but perhaps the Sedins or Kesler are also held accountable for Kassian/Weises actions. The Oilers need to rock a Brown/Shelley type of players in their lineup. Tired of a soft team thats gonna keep having players injured because they dont stand up for themselves. I agree 100% with you Strudwick. PP's are nice, but what are you gonna do when your star PP players are all on LTR.

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#7 steelymac
September 23 2013, 09:41AM
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Regardless of management finding muscle to take care of the Kassians in the league,I sure as hell hope Ben Eager can catch the sisters and Kesler in the trolly tracks next time we play them.I firmly believe if they want to run our guys they better excpect their stars will be getting a lickin back.Paybacks a bitch and I don't endorse anything against the rules but if Big Ben takes four strides instead of three and there is a charging call,Im cool with that.Tit for Tat.

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#8 Truth
September 23 2013, 09:36AM
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I love that blog commentators are telling an ex NHL player that enforcers do not work and do not have value. Players feel more comfortable having one on their bench and less comfortable knowing there is an enforcer on the other teams bench. Especially when they know their team doesn't have an answer.

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#9 Haajarverle
September 23 2013, 09:45AM
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I love all the people telling Struds how the game works. Give your head a shake. The impact of someone who will stand up for their teammate isn't something that is necessarily a 'demonstrable fact'. How do you measure the added confidence of your skill players? I think 'The Code:The unwritten rules of Fighting and retaliation in the NHl' should be required pre reading for this discussion.

And I too miss Peckham for this. The fastest you ever saw him skate was when he was flying in from the blue line with gloves off after someone took a run at the kids. And yes, I know he wasn't a perfect defenseman. I really wish we'd put more effort into his development instead of keeping below average guys like Potter.

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#10 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 09:07AM
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No to the nuclear heavyweights. Yes to a fuctional tough guy. There's always time for a tough guy that can play real minutes and a semi regular shift. As soon as I got to know Eakins more, I immediately wished we had kept Peckham for another half season.

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#11 Rotten Ron
September 23 2013, 09:21AM
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Alberts was laying out someone seemed like every shift. Labarbera gets snowed 5 guys skate to the bench without batting an eye. Hall gets hit to the head Smyth and Hemsky go stand around Weise just because they think thats whats expected. Brown steps up as usual at least they got one solid team mate. 6 soft players on the blue line doesnt cut it. What do Smith and Buchberger tell these guys when they get to the bench after something like snowing the goalie happens and nobody even give them a second look?

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#12 The Soup Fascist
September 23 2013, 12:09PM
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DSF wrote:

Dan Murphy ‏@sportsnetmurph 5m

Kassian on #oilers picking up MacIntyre as a deterrent, "Perfect. I don't think he can skate, that's the last thing on our mind."

Kassian SHOULD have other things on his mind like missing (hopefully) 7 games or so and a couple of paycheques.

If it was "accidental" I would feel bad that I seriously injured another person, through my actions. Fat chance. A reckless move from a classless player. He is the perfect Canuck.

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#13 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 12:17PM
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Hey DSF and Romulus' Apotheosis why don't you guys go rent a barn or something?

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#14 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 23 2013, 10:40AM
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For the odd time it'll happen, I think it would be justifiable to have Smack just jump the boards (go all Clarkson on them) when required for incidents such as this. When something happens, just do what needs to be done Steve. Jump over the boards. and the two weeks in Mexico during each suspension would just be a bonus.

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#15 sizzler
September 23 2013, 09:01AM
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Oilers have let this kind of incidents slide way to often in past few years. Fighting Zack Kassian in the next game is not the answer either. Need to become a tough team, need to be able to hit other teams skilled players.

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#16 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:47AM
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DSF wrote:

People who make those claims can't prove it...the same problem you face when you try and insist it had no value.

Ask the players...like Jason Strudwick... who outlined it's value in the above article.

Or perhaps you're insinuating he doesn't know what he's talking about.

You are consistently a very poor reader.

You say: "when you try and insist it had no value."

I said: "The psychological value I'm happy to acknowledge. People consistently claim it has value. I'm not going to quarrel with it."

Here's is the claim of real world empirical results, which can be observed and demonstrated to be true or false:

"Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

Except that when the Oiler had a very tough lineup, it didn't prevent a hits, cheapshots, injury, etc.

The people making this claim are making a very real claim. They need to acknowledge reality doesn't operate within the confines of their fantasy.

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#17 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 23 2013, 09:15AM
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Who are we to tell Six rings Lowe how to build a "winner" when it comes to building a successfull hockey club?

Just shut up and make sure your ticket payments go through when due. Shut the puck up you bunch of whiners. We're already getting much more than we deserve for our money. Know your role, ya bunch of sheep.

All the suspensions that'll be handed out in the coming days. Are these reg season games, or irrelevant pre season games/both?

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#18 OilFanInBC
September 23 2013, 09:33AM
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This just in from Bob Macenzie via Twitter,

“Is this good time to note EDM, which was looking for super heavyweight BEFORE last night, is now ramping up that search.”

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#19 Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!
September 23 2013, 09:33AM
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Amen, brotha!

This team has been getting its lunch money stolen for a good long time now.

Hallsy, Ebs, Gagner... all the kids got run on Saturday. And not much happened.

I'm puzzled by the people that are saying this isn't the 90's, and that an enforcer is useless.

Bring in two knuckle dragging gorillas and let them loose. Screw the whole "I challenger you, sir, to a duel!" and "Yeah, but can he play hockey?" BS. Let them jump Alberts from behind and pound him in. Let them sucker Kassian in a scrum.

And if the Oilers lose a couple because of it, so be it. At least they're not rolling over.

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#20 Rob...
September 23 2013, 09:57AM
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So Kassian gets between 5 and 10 games from Shanaban. The best thing to come out of this is that the amoral goon now has to consider the length of his NEXT suspension every time he thinks about doing something stupid. That will be more of a deterrent than the Oilers bringing in a legit enforcer.

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#21 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 09:32AM
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"I think the issue is with the lack of overall toughness in the Oilers lineup. Players like Kassian have no fear in playing the Oilers extra tough. Who outside of Mike Brown can stand up to a guy like Kassian or Andrew Alberts? Both these guys were running around Saturday night in Edmonton like there was no reason to be afraid! They're big guys, but nothing to lose sleep over unless a team like the Oilers doesn't have guys to match up to them with."

I honestly understand the sentiment here. It's a conventional wisdom that's worn more than a few tires down past all-weather conditions.

But, it is complete nonsense. All one need do is watch hockey to understand that the crippling injuries suffered by freak accident or horrible goonery have nothing to do with whether the offending team/player concerns themselves/himself with the tough guys opposite.

Smac prevented nothing when he was here.

As someone at LT's mentioned: Chara, Lucic and Thornton... not one of them prevented Savard's injury.

This never works.

By all means acquire an actual hockey player who can play with an edge. By all means.

But don't delude yourself into thinking this will prevent injury or goonery. This is simply wishful thinking.

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#22 The Soup Fascist
September 23 2013, 10:45AM
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I have flip flopped on this issue a couple of times. Historically, I have thought the nuclear deterant was the way to go, but have since changed my mind. As has been pointed out, injuries were prevalent when Laroque and MacIntyre were parolling the ice, or more accurately the bench.

I do not want to discount Struds opinion as clearly he has been there and I haven't. But either way I think the whole lot of the Oilers need to play a greasier / pack mentality game. When LaBarbara got snowed there was nothing more than a friendly gathering. I think this is a mindset the Oilers as a team have to overcome. Perron is no tough guy but a couple of times he was at least trying to get involved in a scrum while other bigger Oilers meandered their way back to the bench. I need not mention he just left a team that has some of that nastiness EXPECTED when something untoward occurs to a teammate.

The Hamiltons, Actons, Ryan Jones et al are veteran players who are best bottom sixers who should at least try to respond to the crap that was going on. I saw nothing.

The "stars" Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Yak, Schultz Jr. etc should not be immune from face washing the odd guy or getting the odd stick up. I think Hall kneeing Clutterbuck was a good thing - sorry, I really do. Eberle in three years of pro has not figured out what it took Darnell Nurse three games to figure out. The Canucks were running and hitting Nurse late until he shoved the butt end if his stick in the mouth of the would be checker. You do that a couple of times - the message gets out.

Hockey is a great game - but it is not a nice game. Whether SMac is here or not, the sooner the Oilers figure that out the better.

I like SMac and his story, but the Oilers are now going to have to send down (or lose) a useful hockey player in the attempt to "protect" guys with a very large man sitting on the bench or in the press box for the bulk of the time he is here. With all respect, I can't see it working.

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#23 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:30AM
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So, what is the fantasy here...

SMac is put on the ice against the Sedins.

If.. and this is a big if, he manages to catch up to one of them without the Oil getting scored on, he smashes one.

A Sedin is out for x amount of time.

SMac is suspended for x amount of time.

The Oilers don't improve having the Nucks lose a player. Probably lose the game. And now they are without their hulking beast.

You gain nothing other than violence and are back to square one.

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#24 2004Z06
September 23 2013, 12:15PM
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Hey at least it may be a stop gap until a Colton Orr type of player comes available.

As for Kassian's comment. He is right, Macyntire's skating ability should be the furthest thing from his mind. Keeping that last tooth in his head however will be.

The only way this works is if Mac goes over the boards, grabs Kassian and pounds the crap out of him regardless of whether Kassian wants to go or not.

Take the instigator penalty, take the suspension. The rest of the league then knows that while it may not happen again, it CAN happen again. You only have to push the button once before people realize that you will if need be.

There is your nuclear deterrent.

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#25 dougtheslug
September 23 2013, 01:02PM
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DSF wrote:

Keep trying.

Thing is, Weiss laid a beating on Brown and no one stepped up to challenge Kassian because they would have received a beating too.

Adding a player or two who doesn't hide under a table the during the fight in the bar would make a significant difference whether or not you believe it.

Had someone made Kassian pay for his sins I would wager he would have "changed his routine".

Just in the interest of accuracy, more than two thirds of responders on hockeyfights.com rated the bout a draw, or felt Brown had won the fight. It sure looked like Weiss was checking his forehead for leakage as he left the ice. And he was a non-factor the rest of the way. No "beating" was laid on anyone.

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#26 Dawn
September 23 2013, 09:08AM
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It seems to me that taking it in the chops time after time has got be at least as hard on the team psyche as all that losing has been. I hope Dallas has the answer for that too. Can he coach the guys into everyone standing up for themselves and each other?

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#27 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 10:31AM
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Perhaps if they tell big Mac to destroy anyone who even looks at the kids sideways the way Semenko protected Gretzky this might work.

Take the instigator penalty take the suspensions just don't take any cheap shots on the kids. They bleed you bleed, more.

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#28 oilfaninvic
September 23 2013, 10:45AM
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I think a better resoonse is an accidental high stickor cross check to the beak of one of the twins or Kesler. Lex talionis. Screw Kassian! Oil have better chance to win when he is on the ice.

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#29 Spydyr
September 23 2013, 11:07AM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Only way to prevent the cheap shots is to get rid of the instigator rule. A guy like Smac is useless unless he can hop over the boards and go pound on someone in retaliation. Essentially neutered.

What if don't give a $hit about the instigator rule. Just pound away and serve the penalty?

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#30 Dan 1919
September 23 2013, 11:24AM
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When we see Macintyre, Eager, Brown, and Smid line up against the Sedin Sisters, we know it will be the ladies' last shifts played for a while.

After that the Canucks will surely see the light and remember how to keep their hockey sticks on the ice.

Yes, Yes, we all wanted Lucic instead of Macintyre in the perfect world of EA Sports hockey trading. It's time for you people criticizing this move to wake up and smell the roses of reality.

Great job Mac-T, that man is consistently putting his money where is mouth is, doing anything instead of nothing (aka the Tambi era)

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#31 Czar
September 23 2013, 11:28AM
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Spydyr wrote:

He takes the fourth line centers roster spot. Then you double shift Hall as the fourth line center between Brown and Eager who hit everything in sight.

Smac comes out to play when needed. When someone has to bleed.

Easy huh?

And bleed they will!

The folks who don't see the need for an enforcer are the same bitches who are left holding coats and purses when sh+t goes down.

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#32 Bill
September 23 2013, 11:34AM
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Reinman wrote:

Justice would be for Vancouver to give us Kesler until Gagner returns. :-)

Justice would be sidelining Kesler or one of the Sedins for a month or two.

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#33 Lochenzo
September 23 2013, 11:44AM
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I betcha that Oilers' lockerroom feels better after the pickup of MacIntyre. That alone makes this a good move.

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#34 2004Z06
September 23 2013, 11:47AM
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DSF wrote:

No one is disputing that having D depth is a good thing but given the organizational depth at the position adding Ference, Belov, Grebs, Larsen and Hunt while totalling ignoring C is not defensible.

Only an apogolist would call that a "blind spot".

It's dumb.

I often try to back up your point of view here as I think you generally provide a reasonable alternative perspective.

In this case you and several others continue to speak to Mac T's lack of addressing center depth as being "dumb".

Do you honestly believe that Mac T does not recognize the lack of depth especially after seeing what happened last year with injuries?

I don't care what Jim Nill did. It takes 2 to tango. I assume there were no trade partners and/or players did not want to come here. I.E Clarkson even after offered the big money.

I really do not think that a GM with Mac T's background would just "overlook" this item.

I suspect that plan B was to see what we had in the system after no other options were available with the intent of seeing what was available after teams finalized their rosters, or closer to the deadline.

You cannot turn over half of your roster in one summer anyways. No GM could.

Top flight physical, gritty centers and 1-2 D men do not grow on trees.

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#35 MessyEH!
September 23 2013, 01:52PM
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You want a deterent. Gagner should get up and two hand crank Kassian in the throat. Yeah Gagner gets suspended. He'd be off injured anyway. But now he gets space. Now he gets left alone.

Or Eakins tells one of the tryouts to run the goalie in the next shift. "Chicken wing elbow as you cross the crease. "

Having a goon on the bench isn't a deterrent, having a couple players who will end your career is.

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#36 michael
September 23 2013, 06:57PM
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For those of you have not been paying attention these past 3 seasons should wake up and take a look at where we have finished in the standing due a passive do not hit me I won't hit you approach. Where has that got us?

Gregor uses the the doing the same thing over and over again is insanity. Well we have been like the dog that presents its belly anytime anything approaches bigger than a chihuaua. We have shown no grit. None. We have had our nose continuously shoved into the ice. And we have come back and asked them do it some more. We have had no spine.

3 previous coach's,note the word previous, 1 GM and a plethora of NHL wannabe's have come and gone. And still we had our show ran for us. Enough is enough. When do we stand up for ourselves. I am sorry to all the pacifists out there like Romulus. But I have been paying attention and for the past 3 years we have been getting the snot kicked out out of us regularly. I am sick of it. The addition of Smack by MacT signals a change in that he understands the situation. He bided his time. Waited to see who would step up. Saw that Mike Brown was in over his head. He made a choice to give Eakins a tool that imo nullifys a lot of the bs that teams have been handing us for the past 3 years.

You add Eager,Brown and Smack.And now you have a 4 th line that can deliver the goods and the brawn on a regular basis. You do not need use Smack every game but sure as cow turd you use him to nullify pukes like ORR and Kassian.

Its time this team pushes back. Not just on the scoreboard. You beat a team mentaly before you beat them physicaly. Smack puts doubt and fear into the minds of the opponent. A little fear goes along way to winning.

book it

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#37 Will
September 23 2013, 09:17AM
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Struds I'm pretty sure MacT tried to bring in David Clarkson, Clutterbuck, and other functional tough guys last year. But unless they can play with our skill, what;s the point.

I really think you're glossing over the fact that all their running around lead to a bunch of powerplays. It was also pre season so win or lose it doesn't matter. The best enforcer will always be a deadly power play.

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#38 blue31
September 23 2013, 09:20AM
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I am onside with a nuclear deterrent.

For all those who say "let the Oilers get pushed around, we will just beat the opposition with powerplay goals," I ask: Is a goal, or even two points in the standings worth losing a Gagner for 2 months?

Dave Brown, where are you?

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#39 Rotten Ron
September 23 2013, 09:36AM
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Ca$h-Money! wrote:

Marc Savard...

On his team when he got permanently injured:

Chara Lucic Thornton

2 of the biggest, most "functionally" tough guys on the planet, and a pure enforcer. I'm also pretty sure one of (or both) Lucic and Chara were on the ice when it happened. Can't confirm that but I recall someone mentioning it.

When SMac was on the team (toughest guy in the league) we lost almost all of our skill guys for 10 games or more due to injury.

That was one hit. Watch any other team in the league and let me know when you see anyone else get pushed around for 60 minutes in their own building like we seen saturday. You think playing a bunch of push overs doesnt give other teams a huge boost of confidence and affect their play positively?

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#40 Truth
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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SMACK IS BACK! Kassian would need to have stones made of diamond if he didn't feel nervous before their next matchup (provided he's not suspended)

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#41 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:29AM
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Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy Here we go, I turn on the radio & 1st thing I hear is "Oilers didn't have as many injuries with Steve MacIntyre in the line-up." Oh, please.

Bruce McCurdy ‏@BruceMcCurdy During SMac's full year in #EDM, Eberle missed 13 games,Gagner 14,Hall 17 (hurt fighting!),Hemsky & Horcoff 35 each. Only 3 F reached 70 GP.

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#42 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:53AM
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DSF wrote:

This is all patent nonsense.

The salary cap and the 50 man roster limit create a zero sum game.

The D depth is just swell but not as impressive when you consider the Oilers need TWO top pairing D not a battalion of tweeners.

That a NHL GM is willing to go into a new season with only 3 actual NHL centres while one of them is recovering from major surgery and then loses another one during pre-season is about as convincing an indictment as you'll ever get.

JIm Nill, in Dallas, recognized immediately that his team had poor centre depth and acquired 3 of them in ONE DAY.

That didn't prevent him from also acquiring an actual NHL top pairing defenseman in the same off season.

Call MacT's performance a blind spot if you like...I'll call it dumb.

This from a man who hailed the nucks signing Cam Barker last year for depth.

If we were up against the 50 man list, or the cap, you might have a point. The team can easily add a C without concern. Or trade/waive a scrub if it comes right down to it.

Top 2 D don't grow in trees. Acknowledge the conditions on the ground. In a short span of time, MacT reinvented the D corps and added competition for roster spots. In any serious analysis that is a good thing.

The C depth is a real blindspot, a huge mistake and gamble that has predictably blown up in MacT's face.

Only an incredibly petulant person would ignore the good for the bad, just as only an incredible sycophantic person would ignore the bad for the good.

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#43 Wanye
September 23 2013, 11:05AM
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"Until I could eat whole foods again I was losing weight faster then Gregor was losing his hair at the age of eighteen." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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#44 WONGER
September 23 2013, 11:29AM
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THANK YOU MAC T!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! PLEASE TELL DALLAS TO LET HIM DO HIS JOB EVEN IF IT MEANS A FEW EXTRA PENALTIES!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#45 Cold Hard Truth
September 23 2013, 11:35AM
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If the Oilers do not make the playoffs this year, pundits will point to MacTavish's failure to address the depth a center as the reason in their post-season autopsy.

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#46 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:38PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Seriously Rom....call it day on this one....you're rebuttals are getting weaker and it's getting difficult to stay respectful.

I'm not sure why anyone ought to be disrespectful.

If you disagree with me tell me why. If you are tired of the conversation, feel free to ignore it.

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#47 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 12:46PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'm not sure why anyone ought to be disrespectful.

If you disagree with me tell me why. If you are tired of the conversation, feel free to ignore it.

I've told you why.....but you won't shut up!

Twenty people have told you why....but you keep nattering on in circles....it's unbecoming.

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#48 Reach Advantage
September 23 2013, 06:20PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

So, what is the fantasy here...

SMac is put on the ice against the Sedins.

If.. and this is a big if, he manages to catch up to one of them without the Oil getting scored on, he smashes one.

A Sedin is out for x amount of time.

SMac is suspended for x amount of time.

The Oilers don't improve having the Nucks lose a player. Probably lose the game. And now they are without their hulking beast.

You gain nothing other than violence and are back to square one.

You gain this very valuable thing:

Kassian doesn't do what he did again.

Also, other teams see what happened and they don't do what Kassian did.

Very valuable.

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#49 Walter Sobchak
September 23 2013, 10:01AM
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I'm with Rom on this, a payer like SMac or Lucic would not have stopped a goon play Kassian.

Until the NHL rewrites the instigator rule, the players will continue to have little respect for the game and each other.

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#50 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:13AM
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MacT just got dumber in the last 48 hours.

SMac is the wrong way to go.

Memories of Tambo putting in a claim on Volpatti but watching Hall and Jussi J float down the river while our center depth was non-existent.

Same old, same old.

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