Meanwhile, in practice-land

skate-or-die-quinn

I spent a bit of time at the Oilers’ skate session today. Ethan Moreau didn’t skate; he pulled something late in the game last night and will be evaluated this afternoon.

The lines looked like this today:

Jacques — Horcoff — Hemsky
Penner — Comrie — O’Sullivan
Cogliano — Gagner — Stortini
Nilsson — Brule — Stone

Reddox, Schremp, MacIntyre, Brennan and Eberle mixed in on different rushes. Moreau, Pouliot and Pisani didn’t skate.

Defence had:

Souray — Staios
Gilbert — Grebeshkov
Smid — Visnovsky
Strudwick — Chorney

Khabibulin, Deslauriers and Dubnyk

If Moreau’s injury isn’t serious, look for him to skate with Cogliano and Gagner, and then Stortini will move down with Brule and Nilsson.

You could see Nilsson and Moreau swap during the game depending on how the game is going. You saw Quinn move Nilsson back with Cogliano and Gagner in the second period when the game became more of a free-wheeling style. If the game is tight, he won’t play them together all the time but has no problem moving Moreau and Nilsson around.

These lines aren’t set in stone, because of the injuries, but they give a pretty good picture of what the opening day roster could look like.

On the blueline, the pairings aren’t set. Quinn said there are lots of discussions still happening amongst the coaches on who will play where.

Today was the most relaxed practice I’d see so far. Quinn had lots of drills focusing on offence and skill. In fact at the end of practice, Hemsky, Gilbert and Penner had to skate three laps as punishment for spraying the goalies with snow. It was not a hard skate, but more of a joke amongst the players.

Quinn also said, “I shouldn’t speculate but I think cuts will occur on Monday.” So we will see how it plays out.

To me Brennan, Reddox, Eberle, Schremp, Chorney and Dubnyk are obvious cuts. That would leave two more forwards to get cut, of course Peckham and Rajala will be re-assigned once they are healthy as well.

  • David S

    @ Copperhead Mike

    I took it that the dude was worried Schremp would get picked up. I HOPE he does. But realistically, who else wants our garbage?

    On the bright side, the KHL is always on the lookout for a few good men.

  • jdrevenge

    Quinn is leaving everyting up to Tambo at this point. He is saying everything and nothing on the day to day. He's truthing when he says its up to management, Tambo has the starting lineup not, so much Quin-ney.

  • Helicopter Guy

    heavyd wrote:

    oilerhockey.com

    They just link to the sites that have Oilers news – they aren't rehosting or stealing anything. Way to expose this epic interweb crime!

  • douggy

    schremp is junk. the guy doesnt have what it takes to make the NHL. sure he has decent hands, but everytime he touches the puck, he stops skating. why do fans want this plug to make it so bad? i'd take nilsson over shitty schremp anyday. put him on waivers and let him become someone else's problem.

  • Chris

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    Chris wrote:

    After this little rant Hemsky completely disappeared down the stretch… (And hasn’t been seen since)
    He had 14 points in the last 20 games, 9 points in the last 10 games. Not exactly a disappearing act down the stretch. Funny how the memory works isnt it?

    Let's check my memory with some facts:

    Monday March 23, 2009. Hemsky has his little rant. Is crtical of the coaching staff… Gives a Heatley-esque talk about wanting to be the "man".

    Mar 24 Detroit: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 26 Phoenix: 1 assits in a loss.
    Mar 27 Anaheim: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 29 Minnesota: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 31 Anaheim: 1 assist in a loss.
    Apr 2 San Jose: 0 points in a loss.
    Apr 4 Vancouver: 1 assist and an empty netter in a win!
    Apr 7 L.A.: 0 points in a loss
    Apr 10 Calgary: 1 assist in a win!
    Apr 11 Calgary: 0 points in a loss.

    8 points in nine games. Arch! Your right. Hemsky was awesome! 1 lousy empty net goal and a sprinkling of second assists and PP points in losses. Shift after shift of being invisible or turning the puck over. Hemsky himself said he was disappointed with his play down the stretch… It's okay for you to feel the same.

    All I'm trying to say is that Hemmer was clearly upset when he made those comments and it showed in his play. I truly hope he snaps back to his old self soon, because I haven't seen it yet this Preseason.

  • Jonathan Willis wrote:

    @ The Menace:
    Do you seriously believe that Stone and Nilsson are better for the team than Moreau and Pisani?

    No, I like Stortini in the Stone spot, and Moreau on that line too. I think I still like Nilsson beter than Pouliot though.

  • Chris.

    The Menace wrote:

    I think I still like Nilsson beter than Pouliot though

    Nilsson, IMO, is a better player than Pouliot. Unfortunately, Nilsson is not a large right handed draw-taking center. This team needs another big center and not another flashy smallish winger.

  • Helicopter Guy wrote:

    They just link to the sites that have Oilers news – they aren’t rehosting or stealing anything. Way to expose this epic interweb crime!

    Of course, they are making money on stolen content, but whatever, it's not like THAT'S illegal, right?

  • Archaeologuy

    @ Chris:

    Ok, so Hemsky disappeared in Spirit but not in performance. Whatever you claim about me being too hard on guys like Moreau who are past their prime and cant help the club, you are claiming a guy disappeared after he griped about a coach we all knew had lost the room when clearly he didnt.

    Whatever. Keep ragging on Hemsky for contributing when there were 15 other guys who really did disappear down the stretch.

  • cableguy

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    @ Chris:
    Ok, so Hemsky disappeared in Spirit but not in performance. Whatever you claim about me being too hard on guys like Moreau who are past their prime and cant help the club, you are claiming a guy disappeared after he griped about a coach we all knew had lost the room when clearly he didnt.
    Whatever. Keep ragging on Hemsky for contributing when there were 15 other guys who really did disappear down the stretch.

    i agree.

    while hemsky wasnt anywhere near his best down the stretch, the team as a whole was dreadful.

    pointing the finger at one or two guys when the entire team was s**t isnt, IMO, the way to go.

    im not at all saying the guy gets a free pass either.

    but, how many players across the league can put up points almost strictly on their own? is hemsky anywhere near that category? i dont think so

  • @ cableguy:
    who do you want him to be like? Iginla? Thornton? Vinny? He doesn't get paid like those guys. Look at other playmakers that are a 4-4.5 mil cap hit, and he looks very good on those comparisons.

  • George

    moreau is a terrible choice to play with skilled players. He has probably the worst hockey sense and vision in the nhl and he only decides to hit in 1 out of 5 games, the other games he does absolutely nothing! If hes playing with gags and cogs he will ruin soo many of their breakout plays and cycles. Having said that, he would be a perfect 4th liner to help muck it up with stortini. I like jaques with hemsky and horcoff cuz he at least knows how to pass and make plays to some extent, unlike moreau.

  • Chris.

    @ cableguy:

    I can make comments about the play of one player without commenting simulataneously about the play of twenty-two others.

    Arch thinks I have a hate on for Hemsky… It's not true. Hemsky played poorly down the stretch… so naturally, the poor finish has been fodder for discussion for an entire offseason. It's probably not fair. Sorry. When you have a poor performance or two, the cure is to come back strong and answer your critics and Hemsky didn't have the chance to do so for several long months. Based on this, I'm a little surprised at Hemsky's effort level this preseason… But am cautiously optimistic that Hemmer will adapt to a new system and return to form in due time.

    What I won't buy into is the theory that a player can play brutal for eight shifts, and then set up one highlight reel goal and be credited for having a great game; It's not the best way to help your team win.

  • Gunner

    @ Chris.:
    Ragging on one player, our best player, when the entire team sh*t the bed is ridiculous. Hemsky carried our anemic offense for the most part last season. While he may not have been our best player he surely wasn't our worst. Let it go.

  • Chris

    Archaeologuy wrote:

    Whatever. Keep ragging on Hemsky for contributing when there were 15 other guys who really did disappear down the stretch

    We will always have these little tiffs until you realize that there are other ways to contribute than just having your name appear on the scoresheet.

  • Chris

    Gunner wrote:

    Ragging on one player, our best player, when the entire team sh*t the bed is ridiculous.

    I ragged on most of the players down the stretch… It's just that Hemsky apologists in particular always come out of the woodwork to defend him blindly even if he's performing poorly. Just because he's "our best player" shouldn'ty give him a free pass. When someone with his gifts, pure talent, and his icetime fails to make much of an impact for ten games in a row… it's not "ridiculous" to be critical.

  • Gunner

    @ Chris:
    Chris wrote:

    Mar 24 Detroit: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 26 Phoenix: 1 assits in a loss.
    Mar 27 Anaheim: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 29 Minnesota: 1 assist in a loss.
    Mar 31 Anaheim: 1 assist in a loss.
    Apr 2 San Jose: 0 points in a loss.
    Apr 4 Vancouver: 1 assist and an empty netter in a win!
    Apr 7 L.A.: 0 points in a loss
    Apr 10 Calgary: 1 assist in a win!
    Apr 11 Calgary: 0 points in a loss.

    8 points in 10 games? Should he have scored the goals instead of setting them up? Would you then be satisfied?

  • Gunner

    Chris wrote:

    We will always have these little tiffs until you realize that there are other ways to contribute than just having your name appear on the scoresheet.

    THAT is exactly Hemsky's job though.

  • Gunner

    @ Chris:
    And I'm not a "Hemsky apologist" as you put it, but I think when the team loses you don't just pin it on one player. Especially a player who is in fact putting up points.

  • cableguy

    The Menace wrote:

    @ cableguy:
    who do you want him to be like? Iginla? Thornton? Vinny? He doesn’t get paid like those guys. Look at other playmakers that are a 4-4.5 mil cap hit, and he looks very good on those comparisons.

    that is sort of the point i was trying to make

  • Pinto wrote:

    Sorry I am out of the loop a bit but when is Peckham back from his injury and what is injured anyways?

    Peckham sprained his ankle a month ago and it still hasn't responded. He is skating, but he doesn't have enough strength or stability to engage in contact drills yet. No set time on when he will return, but he'll go straight to Springfield when he is cleared to engage in a real practice.

  • cableguy

    Chris wrote:

    I ragged on most of the players down the stretch… It’s just that Hemsky apologists in particular always come out of the woodwork to defend him blindly even if he’s performing poorly. Just because he’s “our best player” shouldn’ty give him a free pass. When someone with his gifts, pure talent, and his icetime fails to make much of an impact for ten games in a row… it’s not “ridiculous” to be critical.

    we could spin this around for days…

    find offensive players not on their entry level deal that make the same as hemsky and are more productive.

    oiler fan holds hemsky up to this "elite" status, he isnt there. elite players are the best, night in and night out, and are paid and recognized accordingly.

    because he is the best the oilers have isnt really a reflection on him, more so a reflective on the organization

  • Chris

    @ Gunner:

    It's a matter of execution vs opportunity. Hemsky probably saw six minutes a night on the powerplay… He's the centerpiece of PP #1 and gets credit for an assist many of those times Souray rifles one in from the point… Many players could have generated a similar point total given that many quality minutes. On the surface, looking at nearly a PPG production, it appears Hemsky was doing a great job… But a quick glance at the scoresheet does not always tell the true story.

    Look. I'm not out of line in suggesting Hemmer crumbled down the stretch (along with about 15 other players)… Hemsky himself acknowloged it: if he can why can't you?

    And as for goals vs assists: when you consider that for almost every goal scored two assists are awarded: it's clear that goals are worth more than assists by a factor of nearly two. As a fun exercise, when cross comparing the offensive numbers of star players try crediting a guy with two points for every goal to see how that affects the rankings. (after all it's the number of goals on the board that win games) This is why Ovechkin is the king, and I'm sad that we didn't land Heatley.

  • Chris

    Gunner wrote:

    And I’m not a “Hemsky apologist” as you put it, but I think when the team loses you don’t just pin it on one player.

    Whoa! I never tried to pin those losses on Hemsky… Hemsky didn't cost us wins, or ruin our chances… he just didn't play up to his usual high standard. (Not even close)He even said so.