Oilers vs. Canucks Postgame: Shooter Tutors

Vancouver Canucks: 7

Edmonton Oilers: 3

Remember shooter tutors?  Well, for good portions of the night the inexperienced tandem of Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk eerily resembled shooter tutors; not so much along the ice but certainly over the shoulders.  It’s been Deslauriers’ weak spot for the last while and it was hard to watch the Canucks tonight and not think they’d been told to aim for the corners.

Random Thoughts

Jeff Deslauriers said after the game that the loss was on him, that he cost the team the game.  While he certainly wasn’t sharp, I’m going to agree with Pat Quinn, who appreciated the gesture but acknowledged that it was a team loss.

Not many things can make me grin ear-to-ear when the Oilers are down 5-1, but Colin McDonald’s first career goal was one of them.  It was a beautiful shot on a quality goaltender, and after years of hearing Kevin Prendergast talk about McDonald’s shot being one of his greatest assets it was nice to see it at the NHL level.  I also liked seeing Ryan O’Marra’s reaction (aside: the assist was O’Marra’s first NHL point) to McDonald’s goal; he seemed almost as thrilled as his teammate.  They were linemates in Springfield, and it was great to see that bond.  While I’m at it, I should acknowledge the fourth line was tremendous; it’s easy to see why Rob Daum’s been raving about both McDonald and O’Marra, and Stortini’s found a comfort level with them.

I get the feeling it’s going to be important to find things like that to focus on as this season continues.

The penalty kill was probably the worst part of the Oilers’ game tonight, and that’s on the veterans.  Speaking of veterans, Souray, Staios and the one-armed ghost of Shawn Horcoff all struggled for (at least) the second straight game.  Tom Renney switched to a Gilbert/Souray pairing in the third which should help, although that leaves Staios and Strudwick paired together and their track record isn’t encouraging.  As for Horcoff, he had a couple of good shifts but for the most part didn’t  handle the puck well at all, and it seems like he’s in the right spots but can’t fight the physical battles.

Brule and Penner both had a nice game offensively, and looked very smooth on the power play.  The only bad news about Brule (from an Oilers’ perspective) stepping up to help carry the offence is that he’s a free agent after this season; he could very well use this opportunity to earn a payday that wouldn’t be coming otherwise.  That caveat aside, it’s nice to see a player who struggled for so many years start to turn a corner.

I’ve been picking on Andrew Cogliano a fair bit this year, but he certainly seems to have come around (Moreau too, for that matter).  Ryan Potulny probably matches up a little better to those linemates than Zack Stortini did, and I’m sure that’s part of it (as is having Cogliano play wing) but both players deserve a ton of credit.  It’s also a treat to watch Cogliano’s combative nature; he has been very involved in that department the last few games. 


    • Milli

      He is Charlie but if he has a very good season he will get paid. As will Gagner, Cogliano and Grebeshkov, all RFAs.

      We might see an offer sheet from somewhere. On top of being really crappy this club is also right up against the cap for next year unless they start moving contracts.

      Its bad.

    • He is.

      JW in his article states that he is a free agent, which neither implies restricted or unrestricted free agent.

      But whether he's RFA or UFA, Brule's agent still has some bargaining power.

      Grebeshkov got a big pay raise for this year's contract, and he'll still be RFA when it ends.

      If he hadn't have looked so good this year, I'd say Brule would maybe get a raise to 1M if he were lucky. At this point now, I would guess he'd be trying to settle on at least Nilsson money, probably more. Our team has to stop paying for 1 year performances though, so they better not fall into that trap again.

      • Slapshot

        Brule is an RFA – according to nhlnumbers.com
        next year – sorry no conspiracy here, just an
        emerging player with great contract value, unlike Hemsky, as he nears $4 and $5 million for a point a game…. when he is not complaining to the media and then crapping the bed, as per MACT last year – deep oil has a very long memory – Hemmer is all passenger – not leader, trade him when you can for picks during this JIM MATHESON blow it up lotery rally time period. I wish a hall of fame reporter like Matty would of had an opinion in this column, rather than this trial baloon crap, of relating the temperature of OILER NAION – in short – WEAK.

  • Travis Dakin

    I really wish that Horcoff would just pack it in and get the surgery done too. He needs it and the team really needs the dive for five. BAD.

    In case anyone isn't aware, the Oilers now sit in 26th. Only 9 points up an Carolina. Go team!

    • PattQuinn'sChesthair

      I was thinking the same thing watching Horc's performance last night. I really don't see it as a loss having him out of the line up for the rest of the year considering the Oilers place in the standings – with or without him they have been pretty lackluster. The money saved on the cap (if he were gone for the year) would allow them to trade (insert your own goat here) for a stop gap player for this year to take faceoffs and a some picks for next year. A top three pick in the draft is starting to look like a realistic goal at this point. And please don't tell me its early with lots of hockey left to play, to reach 90 points the Oil would have to have a 600 record or better for the rest of the year. That's just to get 90, which probably won't be enough to get in the post-season.

      I didn't want to be writing this kind of post this year, especially given how Penner's play has improved so much and that the Wall played pretty well, but I just don't see enough other players doing or having what it takes to win. Cmon Tambo, kick some ass already and blow this sh1t up.

  • Jeff

    For the first contract to be moved, I vote that Katz moves Tambellini's. Tambellini inherited cap purgatory and hasn't taken steps to fix it and due to his fatal fixation on Heatley the club didn't pick up some needy and inexpensive FAs. Ironic that some the players from the present team the Oilers need to build on are mostly RFAs and the club may not be able to afford them due to lack of cap space. And yes, I too hope that Horcoff gets whatever surgery he requires now that the season is a lost cause. Although I am not a fan of Mike Millbury, he is right on the mark about the Oilers cleaning out the "rats". Rats and deadwood in preparation for 2010-2011.

    • Dan the Man

      Intereseting that Lowe is ommitted in this rant, where Gm's have as much power, as Katz' Rexall has over H1N1 (see later post where the flames are healthy) I am smirking now that all these bandwagon jumpers are saying to tank the season, with Jim Matheson indirectly promoting this with his rally cry article, putting this out there, quoting the Oiler faithful and not providing an actual opinion from himself (getting blackballed from the lockeroom is not good for business)…. with Lowe's long term contract debacles, Quinn quoting Chicago culture – all these jumpers need to remember it will be 4 – 5 years of lottery picks to equal the BLACKHAWKS current culture.

      If you listen to the audio archive on Ched post game after 11pm – Tencer and Brown are puppets feeding corporate BS, trying the find the good in this debacle after the injuries and the flu that could of been prevented (see flames). I am sure that Alan Watt was standing over them, making sure that the correct words were being presented.

      And by the way BOB, the oilers do not have to be better, (bob lite rexall speak for they really suck now that he earns a paycheque from the dark side)….. they have to be worse and one year of lottery is a band aid approach,
      3 years of finishing last is the chemo to this cancer patient, while waiting for the 5 year horcoff debacle financially to evaporate….

      So, all the jumpers out there, when the seasons tickets come up for renewal…. who is reaching into their pocket and supporting this $200 million toy…… holy debacle batman. Unfortunately, I will still renew my corporate tickets on a 50% share, as clients still like an entertaining evening out……

      This team has been bad for a more than season (LOL)…. and now the jumpers are trying to rationalize the losses with the HOPES of a lottery pick….. something tells me that the OIL aren't smart enough to even get that right,
      so they will pull out the MORON playbook and finish 9th.

      Oilers rule this town, as the media wait with baited breath, trying to get the skinny on the
      only game in town, even if it is at best a .370 club… MORONS stick together you know, with Lowes buddy Burke facing the same pressure across the conference, maybe Lowe can't hear the outcry from the fans with all the ringing in his ear from the cups and the vertigo.


      Katz – did not procure H1N1 vaccine for his team, resulted in massive casualties, available via jumping the provincial que – see flames position in standings, or possibly via his financial backers McKesson through the manufacturer – GlaxoSmithKline – call it an industrial courtesy favor – but then again the leafs got the shots and they are in the position as the Oil.

      LaForge – arena tease – more talk than action, scared that page 6 graham hicks will scoop him
      on his own info, profiles himself after the Iraqui Minister of Information.

      Lowe – contract debacle – contract almanac says no playoffs for the next 3 years.

      Tambellini – big bad wolf – all hot air, let's face it no trades until March – then it's a Titanic buffet.

      Quinn – Renney – pass – how can you fault their professionalism.

      Players – either flu, injured, not into it, or just plain overpaid and underskilled – no value here – this is a money pit gone bad.

      Seems this is not a good time to discuss a new building, where Katz has alleged putting up $100mm when he already has a mortgage of $100mm on the team, and one on his house for $24mm – hmmm…. seems like a lot of borrowing for an alleged billionaire Mr. Boots DelBagio, I mean Batman.

      Oh well, at least Edmonton has curling in December – ROCK ON.

      • Travis Dakin

        It's not bandwagon jumping if you are still cheering for the team… even if you are cheering for them to lose. It wouldn't take five years of picks because the team already has a lot of good prospects and a decent core to properly build around. Obviously We would prefer that the team be good now but they aren't. Hoping for a first round playoff asskicking is dumb. The team that wasn't put together very well in the first place has been handed a number of crushing blows this year. It's time to stop striving for mediocrity and properly fix this thing. A top 5 draft pick is will really help that along.

        Still cheering…..

      • The arena talk will stay quiet until after the next mayoral election (next year?). No politician in the city would hang themselves on that issue during a campaign. Whoever wins will likely warm to the idea once in, or returning, to office. I have no doubt that Edmontonians will pay for a sizable share in a new ice palace.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    the oilers got a modified version of the shooter tutor, it has no corners, just a crest.

    ~how about sams celebration?~

    *hides head in shame*

    • Jamie B.

      That was bad, I agree, but I'll cut him some slack since I think it was more relief that it actually went in after all the posts and crossbars he's been hitting lately. It was pretty hilarious to watch him turn around after jumping into the glass to see Souray's deadpan face and immediately calm down. Gagner always gets fired up about goals (and not just his own), that's not necessarily a bad thing.

      Of course, it ended up not even being his goal.

  • Dan the Man

    Any thoughts on Dubnyk's first game JW?

    I'm not sure exactly what Horcoff's injury is but it's obvious that it's getting worse, he needs rest or surgery or something. There really isn't mush point keeping him in the line up at this point.

  • Agreed on Horcoff. If he is going to need surgery in the future, speculation, do it now. Maybe they'll get some sort of discount for buying in bulk. Playoffs were iffy at the start of the season, now, well, I'll keep cheering anyway. The question Tambo really should be asking himself now is…taylor or tyler. It's going to be a long year. I'm looking for small positives now too- SNL replayed the show with Shakira performing last night, that was good!

  • GSC

    I know Horcoff is injured, but he needs to be held accountable. It's his decision to dress, and when a player dresses you can only assume that he's healthy enough to play.

    Horcoff having a bum arm/shoulder does not excuse his play.

  • Dan the Man

    Dive for 5. Use the pick to grab a young ubertalent with great leadership qualities. Hopefully he grabs this team by the throat and becomes so popular his cache can be used to attract other talent to Edmonton. Dismiss the coaching staff and insert a puppet chosen by the players as coaching has become redundant in Edmonton.

  • Dan the Man

    If this is part of the master plan to get Edmontonians behind public support of a new hockey arena, it is in a word, ah, err, masterful.

    Spend to the cap. Leave yourself no maneuvering room. Remain stuck in mediocrity so that you neither make the playoffs or are able to get great drafts.

    Retain the hockey genius of Kevin Lowe who has proven himself a better talker than doer.

    Absolute genius. Sign me up to pay my taxes, civic and provincial to a new arena when hospital beds are closing and the mentally ill are being put on the streets.


    • Librarian Mike

      Maybe that should be the team's slogan for next season.

      This run of the last few years is almost more depressing than the early/mid 90s team. At least with that team, they were just terrible. With these guys, you can see the talent and potential not being realized.

  • Rogue

    Man, I hate to pack it in this early,but I am afraid…very afraid. From my point of view, from this point forward, I am just watching to see who has improved as players. You might as well run with the kids and hope for next year and a high draft pick. Horc may as well get healthy, because he is not even close to a 2nd. line center, let alone a 1st. Tambolowe may need to gut this team if things continue.Question is, will management continue with the smoke and mirror show or do what must be done.

  • Milli

    I'd like to see Quinn be the Gm and coach. I refuse to blamr tambo, as he is saddled with horibble contracts, BUT…..If you want to compare us to the Douche bag Maple leafs and Loud mouth Burke (who I think is a brutal GM) has at least positioned himself to have a ton of cap space at seasons end, enabling him to re-stock. Now I'm sure he'll Fork it up, but at least he ain't stuck at the cap. I like Quinn's honesty, and, it's pretty obvious, he's right, we are lacking intrue NHL talent. We can win some here and there, but, more often than not, we are outplayed. Tambo's wait and see, no reasonable trades, on and on….Well guess what, we have waited to see, new coach, same results, guess what????

  • Librarian Mike

    Culture Dakin, Culture – read my lips as per Quinn, I can't see a Hawks team until the passengers are gone and the debacle contracts have run their course, that is a minimum 4 years if the Oilers can follow PITT, HAWKS, and possibly the Islanders. There is no law against cheering for this loser team, but you have to wonder if Tambellini just wanted the title of GM, noting his hands were tied with all this long term boat anchors.

  • Librarian Mike

    @oilerseasonticketholder99 – re: playoff tickets

    No – don't give them away – they are quite valuable – McDonalds are taking them in on trade for all Oiler trading cards, at a 2 tickets, for one card exchange. No word if Cogliano or Gagner will appear at the Golden arches to sign them for $20 as of yet…. story developing, possible post intra sqaud game for all season ticket holders held at the Katz house rink with free hot chocolate.