EDIT: Oilers down a captain, Horcoff will play

 

The Oilers will be without their captain and possibly one of their assistants as they look for their first win of the season, against the 0-0-1 Dallas Stars.

The Stars dominated the Predators on Saturday, but couldn’t beat Dan Ellis, so it could be a good test for Nikolai Khabibulin to see if he can rebound.

Ethan Moreau wasn’t on the ice at the morning skate this morning and neither was Shawn Horcoff. Andrew Cogliano took his spot alongside Sam Gagner and Zack Stortini. Robert Nilsson skated with Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner. Horcoff skated yesterday, so it is strange not to see him on the ice.

Marc Pouliot skated with J.F Jacques and Ales Hemsky, and if he plays there tonight then this coaching staff really wants to give every guy a clean slate. If Pouliot, after sitting out for two weeks, actually plays all game with Hemsky, then Hemsky either needs to carry the line or he we shouldn’t expect much from him offensively.

The Oilers swept the Stars at home last year winning 5-2 and 4-1. The Stars won both games in Dallas by scores of 4-3 and 4-2.

The Oilers PK was actually good against Dallas allowing only three goals on 20 chances for 85%, while the Oilers scored three PP goals on 16 chances for 18.8 %.

Last year was the first time since 1992/1993 that the Oilers swept the Stars in Edmonton.

Both the Oilers and Stars lost their first game even though they out shot the opposition. The Stars outshot the Predators 40-26, with James Neal potting both goals for the Stars.

***Update***

Just spoke with Horcoff, and he will play. He says it isn’t a big deal, and that he has a small tweak but he is just resting it.

Robert Nilsson admitted that he has to cut down on his risky plays in the defensive and neutral zones if he wants to stay in the lineup. Look for Nilsson to simplify his game in those zones, but he feels that he should generate more offence by not giving the puck away as often as he has.

Quinn explained the reason why he inserted Nilsson on the RW, and moved Cogliano on the left side with Gagner.

“I like Nilsson’s game on the right side, he generates more from that wing, and I know that Cogliano and Gagner have played together before, and played well, so this should give them both a better chance to produce.”

  • Hemmercules

    Anyone else think Rob Brown sucks??? He was sugar coating Hemmers shootout goal and Bulin's last save so bad last night it's not even funny. I dont mind a little homerism in an analyst but that guy is just rediculous sometimes. Hemmer screwed up and got lucky, Bulin was saved by the post. I can put up with Gene and Kevin but Brown has to go.

    • Scuba Steve

      Rob Brown is terrible, but Bulin was not saved by the post. If you see a straight on angle, there was nothing to shoot at there, that shot either hits the post, or is a save.

      I agree though, Rob Brown is the worst color man in the biz, even worse than John Garrett, who's painful to listen to.

  • Scuba Steve

    Watching the first 2 games has brought up a question for me:

    Could Horcoff be any more ineffective?

    He has played over 20 mins each game, has 0 points, is -2, and has 1 shot. All this despite being on the PP for over 3 1/2 mins per game.

    He really needs to pick up his play. It's easy to shut down Hemsky when he's the only one on the line that can handle the puck.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Horcoff was just about going to sit the game out so I wonder if he is playing injuried. He may not be doing anything offesnively but if he is winning those draws he is doing something.

  • Ender

    Dan the Man wrote:

    So far Penner, Cogliano and Smid are outscoring Heatley 2-4-6 vs 1-4-5… WOOOOOO! Best trade we never made!

    Pretty funny way of looking at statistics. If you wanted to make the point the other way, you could also point out that through the same two games, our three guys took 94:55 minutes of ice-time to score those 6 points (0.06 points per minute) while Heater scored his 5 in 36:49 minutes (0.13 points per minute) clearly showing that Heater is outscoring our guys by better than 2 to 1. Stats can show anything.

    🙂

  • Chris.

    I thought it was a terrible win… much of my early optimism has been crushed. Let's face it, the squad looked just like it did when it played under MacT: uninspired, disorganized, and sloppy in all three zones. What was with all the crazy breakouts that went nowhere? Why did the Oilers look like they were two men down every PK? What was with Grebs? BA-AA-AA-AA-AAAA!

    I know many people feel it is inapropriate to crique a win; but let's face it… many of us (myself included) spent the last three days praising the solid effort against Calgary that ended in a loss. I guess I'm saying that the Hockey Gods have already evened up the score and the Oilers had better start playing both physical and as a team again, or its going to be a long season.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      I never thought they were that great on Saturday. There were some individual efforts that had to be praised, but the team never played like a team. I will however take the win and hope for more tomorrow.

    • Hemmercules

      We must have watched a different game last night. I don't think the comment "uninspired" fit that game at all.

      Chris said: "…better start playing both physical and as a team again,…"

      I think we have been more physical in these last two games than we were all last season.

      Disorganiztion will be part of the oilers game for the first while, new coaches and new players don't click instantly in most cases.

      • Chris.

        It was my feeling thast there was a definate drop off in intensity and physical play as compared to Saturday. I realize that it was no longer the season opener, and that it wasn't the battle of Alberta, but the Oilers were handily outshot, outchanced, and didn't win many battles along the boards. There was a ten minute stretch in the second period were not a single hit was made by anyone in Oilers silks. I guess we just disagree.

  • Scuba Steve

    Horc has been brutal so far, Penner and gagner have proven there here to play. Penner took JFJ spot on the 1st line half way thew the 3rd, how long before gagner gets a shot with Hemmer and Penner? I say if Horc keeps sucking and Gagner keeps it up 2 more games. Penner could lift that first line and maybe brake Hemmer and Horc out of this minny slump, but Horc has been bad in all areas not just offence.

  • Chris.

    @ Ogden JR:

    I thought they were pretty good on Saturday. They pressed Clagary in all three zones, generated more chances, and won the physical battles. There were mistakes to be sure… but at least there was some instensity… something that was in short supply last night. Many people were critical of MacT's inability to get this group to perform consistantly. While it's only been two games, we've already been treated to both Oiler teams so far this year under Quinn.