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 Quicksilver ballet
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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#2 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:30AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'm not melding anything.

I'm changeling claims made. People can't make a bunch of claims and then turtle when asked to confront reality.

If you want to leave it at some amorphous quality like the players "feel tougher" on the bench when SMac is around, fine.

When you claim having a player like SMac around leads to tangible results you have to confront the reality that this simply isn't the case.

When did I advocate for SMac?

The guy can't play hockey. At all.

Another dumb move by MacT in my opinion.

Setting that up as your straw man is not all that helpful.

Other more enlightened GM's have, instead placed an emphasis on team toughness and have been acquiring big, tough players who can play.

Despite what happened last night, the Leafs acquisition of David Clarkson is an excellent example of that.

MacT also apparently recognized Clarkson's value when trying to sign him in the offseason, but he failed and didn't produce an alternative while many existed in a the marketplace.

For example, Brendan Morrow signed with the Blues today for $1.5M.

Who do you think would add more value to the Oilers lineup this season...Morrow or Grebs, Larsen, Belov or Potter?

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#3 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:34AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Let's not get carried away here.

I've said all along that C depth is brutal.

But having a blindspot doesn't make someone dumb. It makes someone who, despite their smarts, acted dumb.

Thing is... time exists. MacT has a chance to address this issue, correct past mistakes and adapt... like all of us.

And, your point about D is ridiculous. Total nonsense. The two aren't related even. There is no zero sum game here. Adding competition to the D depth chart doesn't keep you from doing anything with the C position. That is total BS.

The D depth is MacT's shining achievement this offseason. Pretend it isn't all you want.

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.

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#4 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:05PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Is this a one-off or a conversation. Honest question?

If the latter, you should be able to discern that we are (and have been unless you suffer from some form of isolated amnesia) talking about the argument put forward by many, specifically here Struds, that having some kind of intimidation factor leads to real world results.

Those people need to back up their claims.

I never said you personally advocated for SMac. I said those people claiming x happens in the real world when y is present need to acknowledge that claim.

SMac is a huge blunder by MacT. On that we agree.

Clarkson was a huge blunder by MacT. On that we apparently disagree... though I'd wager in another context you'd acknowledge offering him a massive contract at his age and rate of production is a big mistake. The Leafs have a fine player, who is also eating too much cap hit and for too much term.

Morrow is too slow to do anything for this team. I'd happily take Larsen, Potter and Belov over him. Grebs... meh. toss-up.

Not sure why we are comparing D to Fs again though.

Why does an NHL player with 674 games to his credit have to "back up his claims" to you?

Thinking that physical intimidation has zero impact on results is not only counter intuitive but will be quickly refuted by anyone who has played competitive hockey, football or basketball.

That you can't measure it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

"Not all that can be measured, counts.

Not all that counts, can be measured."

- Albert Einstein

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#5 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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#6 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:24PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

"Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents."

On that we can agree.

But the failure to respond to physical play has consequences that you cannot and will not ever be able to measure.

And yet you are still trying to use your high school logic classes to refute the knowledge of those with far more insight into the issue at hand.

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#7 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:19AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

Maybe he was never as smart as you thought he was.

Not addressing the lack of centre depth over the summer and halfway through the pre-season while stockpiling 37 bottom pairing defensemen would seem to indicate that is true.

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#8 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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#9 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:53AM
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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."

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#10 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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#11 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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#12 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:42PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

In that very game Brown fought Weise.

Didn't help Hall, who could have been seriously effed +/- a couple of inches.

And... after that Kassian still acted look a twerb.

Add five more twerbs to the Oil. Kassian doesn't change his routine.

You agree with that. You are fighting with yourself.

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".

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#13 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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#14 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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#15 JJ
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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Dumb move, but I guess this means Brown is redundant now?

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#16 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:26AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

People claim it has real world results. It stops people from being run, hit, injured, etc.

Except it doesn't.

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.

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#17 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:35AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Surely SURELY TO GOD "1m" does not mean they're paying

STEVE MACINTYRE

A million dollars????????

No.

The 1m was how long the tweet had been posted.

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#18 Oil_Dude
September 23 2013, 08:54AM
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Hey Struds as a player does having an enforcer in the lineup change your mindset? If so where do you stand on the "fighting doesn't belong in the game anymore"argument?

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#19 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 10:15AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

Yeah we get it.....you're smarter than Mac T....

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#20 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:20AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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

BUT... the actual empirical claims made have never yielded results.

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

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#21 DSF
September 23 2013, 10:59AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

You appear to be intentionally melding 2 very different claims in order to prove a point that you cannot prove.

Having a tougher lineup does not necessarily prevent cheap shots or injury but having players who will respond to that kind of behaviour does have an impact on the future.

When Taylor Hall went knee of knee against Clutterbuck and was suspended for two games, are you suggesting there was ZERO impact?

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#22 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:05AM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

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.

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.

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#23 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:32AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

WHAT?? MACT COULD HAVE CLAIMED LUCIC BUT PICKED UP SMAC INSTEAD?? WHAT AN IDIOT!

This makes less sense than your last comment.

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#24 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:35AM
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** wrote:

Dude, he actually said the opposite of that: http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/09/23/edmonton-oilers-claim-steve-macintyre-on-waivers/

Who is the "he" here?

Bruce or MacT?

I'm pretty sure Bruce isn't contradicting himself here... not sure what your beef is in contrasting his tweets with his articles.

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#25 DSF
September 23 2013, 11:38AM
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JJ wrote:

Your first DSF fallacy is assuming Morrow would sign with the Oil. Pretty sure he wanted to play for a 'cup contender' (Hence the Blues).

Yes.

If we assume no one wants to sign with the Oilers...MacT is a genius.

Jeebus....there is more than 1 player in the league who is tough to play against.

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#26 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 23 2013, 11:54AM
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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 WILL BE THINKING TWICE BEFORE TRYING THAT SHIZ AGAIN

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DSF wrote:

Ryan Rishaug ‏@TSNRyanRishaug 1m Oil claim Mcintyre

Beautiful! Way to make a statement, MacT. Mr. Dithers would have pondered this for a while.

A knuckle dragger with a screw loose... now that's intimidation!

Too bad there aren't two of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hImezA0nbDU

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#28 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:20AM
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Truth wrote:

I think this would be a knock on MacT if Hall and Jussi J were on waivers today. They weren't, MacIntyre was. I have no doubts that MacT is searching for a stop gap C.

He should have been looking for a C from day one.

SMac is a bad pick up regardless of the situation.

There are options remaining for Cs... every second counts.

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#29 Reinman
September 23 2013, 11:29AM
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Justice would be for Vancouver to give us Kesler until Gagner returns. :-)

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#30 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
September 23 2013, 12:21PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

Arguments from authority have limited value at best and are mostly fallacious.

No one should be concerned to have to back up their empirical claims. It is not an onerous request.

I don't recall saying anything resembling: "physical intimidation has zero impact on results."

I've said that "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."

Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents.

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

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#31 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:35PM
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DSF wrote:

"Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents."

On that we can agree.

But the failure to respond to physical play has consequences that you cannot and will not ever be able to measure.

And yet you are still trying to use your high school logic classes to refute the knowledge of those with far more insight into the issue at hand.

In that very game Brown fought Weise.

Didn't help Hall, who could have been seriously effed +/- a couple of inches.

And... after that Kassian still acted look a twerb.

Add five more twerbs to the Oil. Kassian doesn't change his routine.

You agree with that. You are fighting with yourself.

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#32 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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#33 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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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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#35 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:21AM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

Yeah we get it.....you're smarter than Mac T....

We all have gaps in knowledge and blindsides... MacT has done a lot of things that make a lot of sense.

He's very smart and has done a really solid job in a limited time.

BUT... leaving the C depth this weak was a poor decision and looks to be the product of over-valuing the hangers on down the chart (seems he really over valued Miller, Acro and Acton)

AND... when your already weak C depth gets shattered to the bone, you think your biggest concern is finding a guy who will accomplish nothing and play maybe 30% of the games for 2-3 minutes a night... is just plain ridiculous.

It doesn't invalidate him, his work or his smarts.

It's a classic case of I said you're "acting like a x" rather than you "are an x"

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#36 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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#37 JJ
September 23 2013, 11:14AM
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@OilFan J

Probably Mike Brown unless you want a line with 2 players who can't compete at this level..

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#38 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 11:18AM
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DSF wrote:

You appear to be intentionally melding 2 very different claims in order to prove a point that you cannot prove.

Having a tougher lineup does not necessarily prevent cheap shots or injury but having players who will respond to that kind of behaviour does have an impact on the future.

When Taylor Hall went knee of knee against Clutterbuck and was suspended for two games, are you suggesting there was ZERO impact?

I'm not melding anything.

I'm changeling claims made. People can't make a bunch of claims and then turtle when asked to confront reality.

If you want to leave it at some amorphous quality like the players "feel tougher" on the bench when SMac is around, fine.

When you claim having a player like SMac around leads to tangible results you have to confront the reality that this simply isn't the case.

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#39 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 11:53AM
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I hope we get to revisit all these happy comments 3 months from now. I suspect a lot of you will remember MacIntyre sucks by then. He won't fight Kassian once this year.

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#40 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:15PM
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DSF wrote:

Why does an NHL player with 674 games to his credit have to "back up his claims" to you?

Thinking that physical intimidation has zero impact on results is not only counter intuitive but will be quickly refuted by anyone who has played competitive hockey, football or basketball.

That you can't measure it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

"Not all that can be measured, counts.

Not all that counts, can be measured."

- Albert Einstein

Arguments from authority have limited value at best and are mostly fallacious.

No one should be concerned to have to back up their empirical claims. It is not an onerous request.

I don't recall saying anything resembling: "physical intimidation has zero impact on results."

I've said that "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."

Freak accidents and horrible goonery are remarkably ignorant of deterrents.

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#41 DSF
September 23 2013, 12:29PM
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DieHard wrote:

You should have added. Good Grief.

Good grief.

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#42 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 12:52PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

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.

So, the argument you agree with is "becoming" but hearing an alternative is "unbecoming"?

I guess those of us who don't agree should leave you to it? Is that more interesting?

Seems like a pretty bland way to run a comments section.

If you are just tired of the circles, I agree with you it is tedious. But the alternative is to stop reading. After all, we are all still on topic.

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#43 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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#44 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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#45 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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#46 The Oilers Shot Clock
September 23 2013, 10:16AM
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@DSF

Brutal

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#47 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:22AM
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DSF wrote:

Attempting to measure intimidation empirically is tilting at wind mills.

People claim it has real world results. It stops people from being run, hit, injured, etc.

Except it doesn't.

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#48 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:24AM
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DSF wrote:

Maybe he was never as smart as you thought he was.

Not addressing the lack of centre depth over the summer and halfway through the pre-season while stockpiling 37 bottom pairing defensemen would seem to indicate that is true.

Let's not get carried away here.

I've said all along that C depth is brutal.

But having a blindspot doesn't make someone dumb. It makes someone who, despite their smarts, acted dumb.

Thing is... time exists. MacT has a chance to address this issue, correct past mistakes and adapt... like all of us.

And, your point about D is ridiculous. Total nonsense. The two aren't related even. There is no zero sum game here. Adding competition to the D depth chart doesn't keep you from doing anything with the C position. That is total BS.

The D depth is MacT's shining achievement this offseason. Pretend it isn't all you want.

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#49 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 23 2013, 10:35AM
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The Oilers are easy to play against.

That's the problem.

Goons, fighters, enforcers, whatever you call them, has been proven to be a waste of a roster spot....

However, there is no team that has any reservations about "checking" their game when they play us.

How that changes, IMO, is the whole team gets tougher.

Goalie gets snowed, 5 guys start face-washing.

Guy runs Eberle, he gets slashed in the calf the way back up the ice.

Every chance we get, our skills guys need to be chirping, hacking, and getting greasy.

No body wins in hockey being "nice". Chicago had guys like Bolland, Shaw and Carcillo for a reason.

We know this team has a good PP.

Time to work on the PK so we can afford a couple of penalties....

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#50 Romulus' Apotheosis
September 23 2013, 10:39AM
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Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat. wrote:

The hypocrisy in this comment (and a few others) is ludicrous!

MacTavish said it a number of times - "functional tough guys" are hard to acquire. Perhaps that's why he threw $5M/year at Clarkson.

When your options are limited, you do what you can, not contend "conventional wisdom" with "conventional wisdom."

what are you talking about?

what's the hypocrisy?

Or, do you not recognize a difference between, say Lucic and SMac?

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