GDB XII: Stopping a snowball

The Oilers will try to stop a two game losing streak versus North West opponents tonight, when the surprising Colorado Avalanche come to town.

The Avs are 8-1-2 this year, and 4-1-2 on the road and overall they are averaging 3.4 goals per game, and giving up only 2.2 The Avs are similar to the Oilers in that they have consistently been out shot.

Shots by Period:


1st period

2nd period

3rd period

Avs’ opposition
Oil’s opposition

The Oilers have been a bit better in shot differential the past few games, but they lost both of those.

Mike Comrie returns to the lineup tonight and here is how they practiced this morning.

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

Gilbert — Grebeshkov
Smid — Visnovsky
Strudwick — Chorney

Fernando Pisani skated with the team for the first time in almost a month, but he needs a few more practices before he is ready. He could make his debut in Boston on Saturday or Long Island on Monday.

When they do activate him, they will probably put Souray on retroactive LTIR in order to have enough cap space to activate Pisani.

The suggestion that the Avs are coming back to earth is off-base at this point. They haven’t lost a game in regulation since Oct 8th, and since then they have won six and lost in OT in Minnesota.

The Avs have beaten the Wings twice in the last week, and they also have wins over the Bruins and Sharks this season. Their special teams have been great so far.

They are 7th on the PP with 12 goals in 45 chances for 26.7%, and their PK is 6th at 84.3%, and they were a perfect 8-8 on the PK v. Detroit this past Saturday.

Craig Anderson has played in all eleven games for the Avs and his .936 SV % and 2.14 GGA are both in the top ten. The Oilers will have to get him moving side-to-side if they want to get some past him. He is a big guy who plays the angles very well, and they won’t beat him from the outside.

Money management

Pat Quinn was 30 minutes late for his usual press conference this morning, and the reason was he and the coaching staff was meeting with management discussing what they will do with Pisani. Pisani might be ready Thursday, but it’s more realistic we will see him Saturday, and I’m guessing the organization was discussing who comes out, but also how they can fit him in money-wise.

  • The Fish

    Thats good Pisani is coming back and skating. But what happens when stone is back. I think stone bring alot more energy to the lineup and plays very well with Brule. I think Stone > Pisani.
    What to do when both are ready?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    As mnetioned by jorge, is Peckham maybe the money management you are talking of for now? If he isn't playing might as well send him down and save the money.

    I noticed Boston has been using this technic with former Falcon Guillaume Lefebvre. He has been recalled 3 times since Oct.17th. It might only equate to $3100 a day by sending Peckham down, but it sure would suck if we had to dress 15 players at the end of the year due to not managing funds throughout the year.

    • Jason Gregor

      The Oilers aren't in that dire of a position to do that with Peckham, plus the want him to practice. Sending Peckham down won't save them enough money anyways.

      Pisani is a $2.5 million cap hit people, they need to clear out more than 800,000 to get him on. It isn't a major issue just yet, because of Souray being available to on on LTIR retro-active to when he was hurt. Which was Oct 8th..

      And I never said they were meeting about trades. Don't jump the gun. Teams are now at least kicking tires, because we are past the ten game mark, and some teams are a bit worried about their lineups now, but let's no go crazy.


      Are you seriously a closet Preds fan? How does trading a proven 18 goal scorer for goaltending depth make sense. They have Dubynk in the minors, and JDD has looked fine, if not very good this year. Why do they need goaltending depth??? I would love to be in a fantasy league with you if you were a GM.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Don't think Pisani is gonna make that much of a difference. This team will need size down the middle and a tough and tumble d-man who can dig and get the puck out with authority. I suggest Gilbert call his Remax person….

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I see management freeing up space by moving a D-amn some how. With the emergence on Chorney this move makes the most sense. I love Grebs but Chorney will be better in his own end. Move Grebs for something.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      Put Grebs or Gilbert in the #6 position and they will look way better then Chorney. Put Chorney in the tough minutes where Grebs and Gilbert are right now and people will be asking why Chorney is called up.

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        He won't be taking the tough minutes when Staios and Souray are back! We need to shed salary and Grebs and Gilbert are the most easily replaced. Well maybe not Gilbert. Just about every other team in the league has young D-men playing roles with success, plus young players are more easily coached. New system to teach new players sounds to good to be true!

        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          So what are you moving Grebs and Gilbert for? Aren't we better off moving Nilsson who is rarely used or maybe Pisani if things don't pan out?

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            1. package Grebs/Gilbert and a late round pick to the Canadians for Latendress and Moen. This solves some more size in the line up issues and a faceoff/penalty killer needs.

            2. ship Nilsson and Cogs(love the guy but we need to free up our center position) to Preds for Chet Pickard and a mid to high round pick. Solves real goaltender depth issues.

            3. if and when Pisani does poorly try to trade him for anything and if not waive him.

          • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

            Nilsson and Cogs for Chet Pickard? The guy has played one career AHL game I'm not sure how his value can be accurately determined right now. I actually disagree with your post in its entirety, as I personally don't think any of those suggestions make the Oilers better.

            I think Grebs or Gilbert gets a legit second-liner without throwing in a pick and Pisani is a valuable PKer, our best last year.

            That's just my view though and I don't have killer J. Willis stats to back up that opinion.

  • Homie

    Other than the '06 playoffs, Pisani hasn't really done much to earn his keep. I know he's been injured or sick for a lot of that time, which is unfortunate, but even when healthy he hasn't shown a lot. His greatest value is probably on the penalty kill. Good gig for $2.5 million.

    If they move Souray to LTIR in order to free up space, that sounds like he's going to be out for a while. And that does not bode well for the Oilers defensively. Strudwick is excellent in the sixth d-man position, but is getting in to trouble playing against tougher competition. Nice to see Chorney progressing along nicely into a full-time NHLer.

    In the longer term, MAP will be coming off the IR and I would hate to see anyone get moved out of the lineup for him.

    And how long before they finally move Nilsson to the farm or buy him out so he can flourish in Europe where he'll be safe from body contact?

    Speaking of gifted players who can't seem to put it all together, Rob Schremp is sitting on the island. Looks like MacT may have been right about him.

    • Lofty

      Strudwick is not an excellent D man in any way. His foot speed is a huge liability that has already cost the Oilers too much. He gets to the puck late in his own end and his only play is to ring it up the boards to the opposition. Plante can do better than what Strudwick has done. The only thing he does well is fill a D or forward position and block punches with his face.

      • Jason Gregor

        Yes Lofty Plante in his 8 AHL games is better than Strudwick. You might not like Strudwick's foot speed, but making outlandish remarks like that make no sense. And you must not have been watching last year, but I don't recall Strudwick getting speed-bagged.

  • Hemmercules

    I have a feeling things will get worse before they get better. Who knows how many guys are sick at this point??? At least we will probably have alot of shots this game which should give us a decent chance. That said, Detroit piled 50 shots in the last game vs the Avs and only potted one. Anderson is looking pretty sweet.

    Souray on the IR made me puke in my mouth a little. I knew he wouldn't be back right away but its looking like it could be a long while.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Well I guess we are getting close to the time to move someone. Nilsson for a pick? Macintyre to waivers does nothing really. Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

      • Is there any downside to placing both those players on LTIR? I know there is a minimum # of games they have to miss (10?), but aren't we pretty sure both of them will miss those games anyway?

        If we need the cap space, is there a reason why we wouldn't put MAP on LTIR for example.

        • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

          with MAP, you wont gain much putting him on LTIR.

          you dont automatically get capspace putting the guy on LTIR. if replacing the injured players money puts the team over the cap, then the team is able to apply for relief, and that relief is only in the amount the team is over the cap.

          so, with MAP only being a 825k cap hit, putting him on LTIR doesnt really help the oilers much at all. the relief would be marginal at this time

          Souray, on the other hand, has a big enough ticket that the relief would be enough to help.

          the real problem then becomes when all the injured guys are ready to come back, because the team must become cap complient again at that time.

          clear as mud?

      • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

        There is because we are running out of cap room for callups for sick players. Soon as Pisani is back we need Souray on the LTIR.

        • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

          if that is what you meant, you should have wrote that to begin with

          Why isn't Pouilot on LTIR yet? I thought he was out for 2 months?

          until pisani is actually ready to play, there is no need to put anyone else on LTIR.

  • Ender

    Let Horcs center what would be a great shutdown line with Moreau and Pisani and move Cogs up with Comrie and Patty O'. Fill it out with Brule in between Storts and Jacques. Nilsson is the odd man out.

  • jt in Oilertown

    When Pisani comes back, what about taking Nilsson out, and move Stortini up. Your bottom two lines are then:


    More like 3A and 3B…one line that can be your energy line, an one that's (theoretically) defensively responsible.

  • Reggie

    I hope this cap juggling doesn't come back to bite them in March like it did the Flames last year. Let them dump the salary or player now so they have flexibility later.