GDB minus-3: Thinning out the ranks

pat-quinn-motivate

The next three games will sort out pretenders from the contenders when it comes to who makes the final roster.

The Oilers are icing a squad that includes players who have all played in the NHL, and the Flames roster is fairly close as well. These rosters will give the coaches a more clear evaluation of which guys can produce and compete in the regular season.

The biggest surprise for tonight is that J.F Jacques gets to ride shotgun with Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. Even Jacques himself is surprised he’s been given a chance to skate beside Horcoff throughout the pre-season.

“I didn’t expect to be given this chance, and it has been great. I just have to continue to show the coaches I can contribute. Even now, though, I wouldn’t expect to start the year in the top six.”

Jacques isn’t alone in that thought process, but if he continues to hit and chip in with some points, Quinn might shock everyone and leave him there.

Quinn hasn’t been happy with the play of some of his veterans to this point in the pre-season. He feels some are only playing hard when they have the puck, but aren’t working hard enough without it. He did admit that it might be because it was the early pre-season games, but starting tonight that excuse goes out the window.

Here’s the lineup for tonight’s tilt.

Jacques — Horcoff — Hemsky
Comrie — O’Sullivan — Stone
Moreau — Cogliano — Brennan
Penner — Brule — Nilsson

Souray — Gilbert
Visnovsky — Grebeshkov
Smid — Strudwick

Khabibulin and Deslauriers

Quinn has a one mucker/grinder type of player on every line, and yesterday he admitted he is more about finding pairs than a complete trio. Dominant and even consistent lines are rare in today’s game. The Ducks have one in Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan. The Sharks have Setoguchi, Thornton and Heatley, but they are rare in today’s game.

And tonight’s lineup also has three offensive oriented lines, and Moreau’s grinder-like line. I get the sense that Quinn might lean more to that type of roster, rather than two top lines, a checking line and 4th line of crashers and bangers. He seems like he’s leaning toward having someone with grit on each line.

Most of the returning forwards have talked about how this system forces them to work harder and skate much more. Quinn wants them to be a much better puck-retrieving team, and that could be why he wants one gritty/physical player on each line. Someone needs to be able to go get the puck. Of course he will want Hemsky, Gagner, Comrie and O’Sullivan to compete hard and go get the puck as well.

Quick Hitters

Steve Staios was skating Monday with Theo Peckham and Toni Rajala when the rest of the team had the day off. He has some sort of upper body injury it looks like, but it didn’t look too serious based on how he practiced yesterday with the entire team.

Brennan is itching to drop the mitts and show the coaching staff he can excel in that department. Look for him to find a partner tonight. He was joking yesterday that he has been too much of a choir boy so far.

This is two straight games that we’ve seen Nilsson play the right side. He said openly before camp that he is just as comfortable on either wing, and if O’Sullivan stays in the middle of on the left side, there is a void after Hemsky on the RW. Nilsson needs to be more of an impact if he wants to win that job. So far in camp he has been just okay.

****UPDATE****

The Flames will ice a veteran-heavy lineup as well tonight.

Sjostrom Jokinen Iginla
Bourque Langkow Dawes
Glencross Lundmark Fleury
Stuart Jaffrey Prust

Phaneuf Giordano
Kronwall Stralman
Regehr Bouwmeester
Pardy

Kiprusoff looks like he will start in goal.

Interesing to note that Sjostrom gets a shot on the top line similar to Jacques for the Oilers. They Flames brought an extra D-man, so one will sit, and it looked like Pardy, Stralman or Kronwall would be that guy.

  • Chris

    I like Quinn.: "skill at the end of the day doesn't win you many games, it's a lot of the intangible things…"

    I need Quinn to post here and back me up from time to time…

  • smiliegirl15

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Well at least the macblender was good for something then.
    I still stand by my Penner for star and Horc for goat this season. Poor Horc. PSH?

  • David S

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Quinn praises Penner’s camp, especially his ability to play with different linemates and against different players.

    And so he should. Dustin looks like he's making the most of his "second chance". He looks faster to my eye, but I haven't been to any games yet. Good on him.

  • quicksilver ballet

    This is going to be a much tougher task for Tambellini and Quinn to come in and clean up all of Kevin Lowe's SHIP!

    Even NHL players (NHLPA) and Management(contracts)need to protect their asses from their own incompetence.

    Unlike Maximus Desmis Meridius, i was not fugging entertained with this lake of effort.

  • rindog

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Wasn’t impressed with Brule at all

    Are you basing this on what you saw on TV/Internet or were you actually at the game?

    In person, Brule had a very good game. He was quick, made some nice one-on-one moves and some nice plays with the puck, was good on the draws and finished a few nice hits.

    What didn't you like about his game tonight?

  • Jonathan Willis wrote:

    I think Penner’s played with everyone; he saw time on the Horcoff, Comrie and Brule lines.
    Quinn’s been keeping duos together but certain players have moved around a fair bit.

    Not really. All the penalties in the first and second caused that, but for the most part Jacques played on the top line, and Penner played a lot with Brule and Nilsson.

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Wasn’t impressed with Brule at all.

    Not sure what the computer showed you but he was very solid. Was good in the draw, 58%, won battles for lose pucks and was constantly moving his feet.

    I think the fact you want Pouliot instead might have affected your judgement. Everyone has a certain bias towards certain players, but if Brule didn't impress you tonight then I'm not sure what you were looking for.

  • The Menace wrote:

    so what’s everyone’s thoughts about JFFJ? did he impress enough to stick on the top line?

    He might get another shot, but if Penner plays like he did I think he'll be back up there.

    Jacques would be ahead of Moreau at this point, and push him to 4th line.

  • rindog

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    I think the fact you want Pouliot instead might have affected your judgement. Everyone has a certain bias towards certain players, but if Brule didn’t impress you tonight then I’m not sure what you were looking for

    Brule deserves a spot on this roster based on his camp thus far. The same can not be said for Pouliot, Reddox, Pisani (what do they do about him?).

  • rindog

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    He might get another shot, but if Penner plays like he did I think he’ll be back up there.

    What do you think of JFJ with O'Sullivan and Comrie for the 2nd line?

    We then might be able to see a 3rd line with Brule, Cogliano and Gagner?

  • RossCreek

    RossCreek wrote:

    #193 RossCreek September 20 2009, 1:30 am. Cogliano-Horcoff-Hemsky
    O’Sullivan-Comrie-Jacques
    Penner-Gagner-Pisani
    Moreau-Brule-Stortini
    Stone-Reddox-MacIntyre

    Looks like I got the right forwards… maybe not the right lines.

  • Jonathan Willis

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    Not really. All the penalties in the first and second caused that, but for the most part Jacques played on the top line, and Penner played a lot with Brule and Nilsson.

    True enough; there really wasn't much flow to the game and that messed up the combinations. I wasn't thinking of that when I thought back to who I'd seen Penner with.

  • Jonathan Willis

    On Brule:

    I can't fault the effort. His feet were moving all night, and he was looking for hits.

    What I didn't like was that:

    a) his hits weren't that effective; I noted on the PK how he took himself out of position to hit the equally diminutive Dawes, but couldn't separate him from the puck and that was just one example

    b) I wonder about his positional play, which seemed a little off to me.

    Certainly he had more try to his game than some of the veterans out there.

  • rindog

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    his hits weren’t that effective; I noted on the PK how he took himself out of position to hit the equally diminutive Dawes, but couldn’t separate him from the puck and that was just one example

    That's interesting because I noted a few times where he did a very effective job of hitting a player and then using his stick to retrieve the puck. He actually looked like he understood Quinn's philosophy of being tenacious in his approach to retreiving the puck.

    Throw in the offensive effort (speed, moves, etc) and I think Brule did wonders to help his chances of making this team.

  • quicksilver ballet

    Quicksilver ballet wrote:

    Quinn see's something in Jacques that McT and others may have overlooked, this is another opportunity for JF to take the next step and become a full time NHL’er.
    Good hands as well as quickness along with the grit we all know he has, he may be our breakout player this year thanks to Quinn recognizing JF's other abilities.I may be guilty of being overly optimistic but 28 goals 50 pts would be a good first year if he can hold his own on that line. The Oilers have been guilty of mis- judging talent on many occasions .

  • rindog

    I will say that I DO NOT think Stone helped his chances at all tonight?

    I know he has some size, but I barely noticed him in the final 40 minutes fo the game??

    Brennan did nothing for me either. I would much rather have MacIntyre than Brennan.

  • Charlie

    rindog wrote:

    Jason Gregor wrote:
    He might get another shot, but if Penner plays like he did I think he’ll be back up there.

    What do you think of JFJ with O’Sullivan and Comrie for the 2nd line?
    We then might be able to see a 3rd line with Brule, Cogliano and Gagner?

    Looks good to me.

  • Jonathan Willis

    @ rindog:

    It's possible I missed it; the game is small on the computer screen and I missed a good chunk of the first, but I just didn't see it.

    Next game maybe I'll key in on Brule; unless you're watching a specific player it's easy to miss things.

  • I agree, I watched Brennan pretty closely because of Quinn's comments about giving him plenty of chances tonight… he didn't really stand out to me.

    When is Hemsky gonna wake up??!?!!???!???1111shift+1

  • Ogden Brother

    rindog wrote:

    Jonathan Willis wrote:
    Wasn’t impressed with Brule at all
    Are you basing this on what you saw on TV/Internet or were you actually at the game?
    In person, Brule had a very good game. He was quick, made some nice one-on-one moves and some nice plays with the puck, was good on the draws and finished a few nice hits.
    What didn’t you like about his game tonight?

    I would agree, the only Oiler that stood out to me were:

    Penner
    JfJ
    Souray
    Brule

    in that order