GDB VII: Sans Hemsky

Happy frickin’ Friday to you. My day started out just peachy when I was dinged by the fuzz for speeding. They sure picked the perfect spot: Edmonton’s scenic 66th St and 36th Ave, just as you sped up the hill.

I have all the respect for the Police, and no doubt I was speeding, but this officer riled me up. I’ve been pulled over many times, and once I’m stopped I reach into the glove box and grab my insurance and registration. I believe in getting it over with as quick as possible.

So Mr. Patrolman knocks on the window, I power my window down and I’m greeted with this:

“Jason do you know you were going 81 in a 60 zone?”

I look up and have no clue who this guy is, but he knows my name. I do have the Kia logoed up with a TEAM 1260 logo, so it’s not hard to put two and two together.

Once he said my name he gave me a glimmer of hope that I might get off, or at least get a reduction. Nope, he just threw that out there to add insult to injury. I have no problem taking my lumps and paying the ticket, but next time, coppers, don’t tease with the possibility or a reduction.

As a side thought, I wonder how many guys have been let go with a warning after being pulled over for speeding, because almost every hot girl I know has had one freebie?

Hemsky out

Even though he hasn’t played well to date, a team never wants their most skilled guy out of the lineup, but that’s the case tonight. Ales Hemsky is out with an undisclosed injury and Robert Nilsson will draw in.

Pat Quinn will put Mike Comrie on the left side, with Nilsson on the right of Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff left the morning skate and returned at the end, to try a different padding in his skates. Horcoff’s right foot is swollen after blocking a shot in Chicago, and the swelling is right where he ties up his skates. He was noticeably uncomfortable this morning, and admitted that it really bothers him to push off hard on his right foot.

Ken Lowe will be working to come up with something to relieve the pressure by game time.

Ethan Moreau, Andrew Cogliano and Zack Stortini will be another line, but after that it’s up in the air.

You could see JF Jacques with Sam Gagner and Patrick O’Sullivan, and Dustin Penner with Gilbert Brule and Ryan Stone. Or maybe Quinn puts Stone and Jacques with Gagner with the hope they have the same success as Moreau, Cogliano and Stortini.

No Havlat?

Many wondered who would get hurt first, Marian Gaborik or Martin Havlat, and if you picked Havlat you are the winner. Gaborik did miss some preseason games, but he has been on fire in the regular season. Havlat has five points in five games for the Wild, but he wasn’t on the ice this morning, and word is he won’t play.

Petr Sykora also didn’t skate and is out.

The Wild only have 12 goals in five games so far and right now only Marek Zidlicky and Shane Hnidy are + players. Seven of their 12 goals have come on the powerplay, and once again the Wild’s special teams are both in the top ten.

Their PP is 6th at 28% and their PK is 9th at 83.3%, but they can’t score five-on-five.

Eric Belanger leads them with two goals and seven points, while Andrew Brunette has four goals and six points. The Wild only have four players with three or more points, while the Oilers have ten with 3+ points.

The Wild are 0-4 on the road so far, and the Oilers were talking about the importance of a good start tonight.

The Wild will dress both 6’7” Derek Boogaard, and 6’8” Johnny Scott, so Zack Stortini could have his hands full tonight.

NATION DRAFT NO 1

For those of you in the OilersNation looking to take your involvement to the next level, I suggest entering the Team 1260 online hockey pool by clicking here. There are some great prizes to be won and as of writing this Robin Brownlee is in first place. Are you going to let him get away with that?

  • After tonight's game and the way this season and last season went I don't think they necessarily need Hemsky. With Penner, Horcoff, Comrie, O'Sullivan, Gagner, Cogliano, Nilsson, Jacques, Stone, and Brule being able to take up the top 9 forward spots I think the Oilers should move Hemsky for a goal scorer or at least a guy who drives the net well. The Oilers have a decent playmaking team. Comrie, O'Sullivan, Gagner, and Cogliano are all able to create offense.
    Also at a 4M cap hit he's affordable.

    What are the chances the Oilers can move Hemsky for RJ Umberger in Columbus. Hemsky dishing the puck to Nash would look good for them and Umberger would give the Oilers size and grit with some decent hands as Umberger is a legitimate 25 goal scorer who offers intangibles that Hemsky just doesn't. Hemsky is too one dimensional for a guy who only puts in 60-70pts a year. The only way that you can afford to be one dimensional is if you're amazing at that one dimension like Heatley or Kovalchuk. But when Hemsky isn't scoring he is useless because he doesn't hit, can't play defensive hockey, can't play PK. Umberger would at least give us more net presence.

    • Umberger is not a legit 25 goal scorer, he has done it 1 time in his career, not exactly legit. Trading Heamky forUmberger is a major downgrade in talent. Up to this point Hemsky has 5 points in 6 games, and while not dominant he has been producing well enough despite Horcoff weighing down the top line. Lets not give up on the best contract and most consistent producer on the team because the Oilers won a single game against a bad team without him.

    • BarryS

      What are the chances the Oilers can move Hemsky for RJ Umberger in Columbus. Hemsky dishing the puck to Nash would look good for them and Umberger would give the Oilers size and grit with some decent hands as Umberger is a legitimate 25 goal scorer who offers intangibles that Hemsky just doesn't

      Unless you can quote contract lengths, cap hits, cap room per team, not a chance. Points mean nothing in the new NHL only accounting.

  • Slapshot

    — Andrew

    It is only 10pm hardcore beverage consumption should not occur until 1 am if you pace yourself correctly.

    Sorry to sound harsh but really now. Lets get rid of the most talented forward who can get 60-70 pts per year consistently with a good cap hit. I don`t think so…

  • Oilchange64

    Just got home from watching the game in the bar. Couldn't hear the commentary but looks to me that the karma is starting to even out. Getting outshot that bad last couple of wins makes up for a couple of losses earlier that should have been wins. Not going to bitch about a 5-2 win but there is still a ways to go. Entertaining game, bar was fun.

  • Librarian Mike

    So at what point do all the guys from last year/the summer that wanted Penner in the minors come clean?

    Also, when does Lowe start getting props for the signing?

  • So I'm just gonna throw this out there, but Ryan Stone has more points than Horcoff. He's not my goat, but i had to add him in there as dishonourable mention.

    So far he's on pace to make $304,347 for each one of his 23 points this season. That, by the way, means he's already earned Ryan Stone's yearly salary with those 2 points he scored.

    This poses the question: Shawn Horcoff, Great Oiler Center or Greatest Oiler Center?

    • I think we know it's a matter of time before he is supplanted on the #1 line by Gagner, however with the way Quinn runs things one could argue there is a different #1 every game as it seems he rides the hot hand/hardest working players in a particular game.

      Right now the Oilers need Horcoff for his faceoffs and pk unfortunately that doesn't usually translate into a top 6 spot. It scares me becuase the guy has scored some points and should still be putting up numbers but he seems to be turning into a high priced model of Pisani.

      My vote: Shawn Horcoff Greatest Oilers center of the Kevin Lowe era.

  • Librarian Mike

    From everything I've read/heard, Penner has always been loved in the 'room', so I guess it's not THAT surprising to see him take a leadership role.

    I can certainly imagine him not wanting it previously because wearing it means more face time with the coach.

  • Ok not Umberger but the fact is the Oilers need a guy with size and hands. Penner has been very good and seems capable of a 30/30 year but Jacques and Stone are third line guys and we need to find someone who can take top line duties as Penner seems much more comfortable playing with Gagner, Comrie, and O'Sullivan.

    I just don't see Hemsky as a leader or a guy who will ever surpass 70 points. He seems to lack that high hockey IQ when making plays. Yes he's got soft hands but labeling him as a franchise or cornerstone player is wrong. Franchise players are able to do many things for their teams and I'm a fan of Hemsky but when he isn't going and his legs aren't moving he's a complete no show in the game.

    Dallas wants a puck mover and if they threw Hemsky into the mix then maybe Dallas budges on Loui Eriksson