Horcoff Injury Has Major Impact

A few days ago, the Edmonton Oilers remained relatively untouched by injury; today, they are facing some very difficult choices in terms of roster makup for the next two months or more. Faceoffs, penalty-kill, the powerplay, evens. This has an impact on everything.  

Hemsky’s gone for 4 weeks, Horcoff is out for a long time (8 weeks or more). He’ll have an MRI today, and surgery hasn’t been ruled out. Horcoff plays a lot every game in every situation:

  • 14:03 at evs (5th on the team among F’s)
  • 2:07 on the PK (1st among forwards)
  • 2:33 on the PP (4th among forwards)

Horcoff was doing an excellent job in the mentor role with Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. All reports suggested he was an excellent captain and took his role seriously. This is a bitter pill, made doubly so because well known "borderline" player Corey Perry was involved.

Accidental my ass.

The Oilers will be calling someone up today, possibly two players:

  • Linus Omark: Highly skilled but there is concern about what he’ll leave behind and how often he’ll be on the wrong side of the puck upon turnover. Could help on the PP.
  • Liam Reddox: Ginger has been effective on the farm (again) and could help out on the PK.
  • Ryan O’Marra: Could help in the dot and on the PK.

I think it might be wise to recall all three. It might require placing Jason Strudwick on IR, but at this point the Oilers need all capable hands on deck up front. They may move Dustin Penner or Gilbert Brule over to center, giving the depth chart the folllowing look: Penner, Gagner, Cogliano, Fraser.

I’ve always felt this season was best spent in the basement. Get Sean Couturier and then add those quality veterans over next summer with an eye to being competitive for 2012 spring. The hockey Gods appear to agree. That’s the only explanation I can think of at this point in time.

  • Lowetide

    wouldn’t Moran be a more logical callup right now?? natural center, don’t have to move guys out of their comfortable positions. little more offensive upside. haven’t seen him play much since he was a Hitman but has good numbers. Not disagreeing with the ginger call-up either…maybe both would be good additions to the lineup.

  • Milli

    I used to think JFJ had a role on this team, but he only does if he is smashing and crashin and banging….wgich to my eye, he seems to be doing less and less. His first couple games back, I thought he was creating havoc, but if he plays in the bigs, this MUST be every shift, not here and there. Gagner, this guy is playing possesed! I’m saying by far the best hockey of his career.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      couldn’t agree more! jacques played just over eight minutes last night and some of that time was probably due to having horc out early (shared time amongst all). what does he bring that stortini can’t? parros was in and big mac was out, why? so we could play jacques and stortini on the same line and get the same result.

      don’t understand what jacques brings?

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    It will be interesting to see what kind of an impact this injury has on Hall and Ebs. Horcs did a lot of coaching on the bench and on the ice – they will not get that from any of our other centers.

    Hopefully Penner will continue his inspired play of late and step up as the leader until Hemmer returns. If it is a tear that requires surgery, Horcs is likely done until next season.

      • Reggie

        Penner is not fat. Take a look at him a little closer. He may weigh the same as last year, but is slimmer and trimmer. You can see it in his face. That is what we heard from training camp physicals as well.

        You can complain that he needs to compete harder and be more consistent, etc. But he is not fat.

        • hamzinoilcntry

          And Penner looked pretty good last night. It was suprisingly nice to see a little emotion from the big man when he netted the tying goal. Good on him I hope he can keep it up.

          It must be a completely different feel in the room as we get into December 5 points out of the play offs than a year ago when we were mathematically elimanted!!!

          Penner is going to have to move into the mentor role for the kids now and is going to have to lead by example with Whitney. Slap and “A” on him and lets ride this train as far as it can go. get some call ups done and hope the gingie can kill a few penalties and O’Mark and O’Marra are ready to go! I hope that the race is still close if and when Horc is ready to return in March!

        • Steve Smith

          Penner is, by every reasonable measure, an excellent player. But we’ve got people complaining that he *looks* lazy, and apparently looking like you’re working hard is important to winning hockey games. So whenever people say anything positive about Penner, I point out that that can’t possibly be true, because he’s either (depending on where whim takes me) fat or lazy. I understand that it’s house logic around here.

          • Reggie

            @Steve Smith

            Oh ok, sorry I missed the sarcasm there. Didn’t realize the assumed part of the banter

            I am a Penner fan and I see his short comings, but the guy is a player. I supported Penner back when he was still in MacT’s dog house and favorite whipping boy.

            The guy brings way more than some fans realize or understand. Glad to hear I am not the only one who sees that.

  • Oilers4ever

    Seriously… if mgmt is going to willing try to lose this year and not help the club.. I hope fans stop going… people don’t pay thousands of dollars for season tickets to watch a team tank on purpose.. like I said in the other thread..that is just so wrong in so many ways.. if that is what they decide to do then Katz better stop his snivelling and whining like a 3 year old and fork out all the dough himself for his building. Tax payers shouldn’t have to pay for a team that doesn’t want to try… if they don’t have to try, then why should the fans when it comes to the building.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      there is a difference between “trying” to lose and not being unhappy with losing. i don’t belive they are purposely attempting to tank, but if it happens no biggy! we all want to win, but most understand the process of re-building and the associated benefits of that with a higher draft pick, in a good draft year.

      play to win, but lose and learn and no one is worse off!

  • 9 Inches Uncut

    They seem loathe to call up anybody from Oklahoma and want that team to be successful.

    All three of the Barons you mentioned could help the Oilers but winning has a low priority this year on the big squad.

    • Even Horcoff, who chose his words carefully, used the term “Can Opener”.

      Perry knew exactly what he was doing, and easily could have avoided him. instead, he braced for collision and put his stick between C13’s legs to guarantee a twist on contact.

      That ANA team is coached to thug it up constantly. Something in my head is telling me “remember Marchment”, did he ever make me queasy too when he would destroy the opposition, and then his horrible head injury on that open penalty box door – I think someday Perry gets his, simply because he plays the game the WRONG way.

      Our team looked great in the 3rd period!

      Fraser is the only passenger right now, and he’d better step up or some Baron will steal his land.

      Are our main players injury-prone, or targeted by hit men?

      *wonders if Mush can still skate*

    • Souby

      I third that. Perry is one of those guys that plays like a prick, but doesn’t have to. He has the skill and grit to get the job done without this B.S. . My two cents….

  • Omark was so mad on his way out of town that I would like to see that turned into strong – willed success.

    Reddox is a no – brainer. He’s coming up. I hope both.

    What better time for a couple important vets to go down, when you think about it… if we’re rebuilding, let’s get it over with. Horcoff will still be available to the team and the kids for mentoring.

    I gotta go with the cup being half – full here. This sucks but what can we do?

  • Lowetide

    its not all bad news horcoff is down. if we stayed healthy, would we have seen reddox or omark or even o’mara for that matter this season? maybe maybe not…me i lean towards not all three thats for certain.

    we are young and now is the time to challenge all our young promising players whether they be from the farm or the big club.

    sorry horcoff is hurt but at the end of the day does it really matter? we want elph and this may just grant our x-mas wishes!

  • Jeremy S.

    It is going to be a long road now… ELPH here we come…

    Problem is the defence concence of the kids line is gone.

    I hope they don’t break up the Jones/Gagner/Paaj line, Paaj has finally got on a stable line and he is just starting to produce. All of at least 2 of Jones last 3 goals have ether been heads up or beauty passes from Paaj!

    • Oilers4ever

      Disagree on this… Ebs has probably been the best defensive forward on this line… and Hall’s been coming back more and more and getting better… it’s the leadership that’s going to be missed here.. .Horc has cement hands in my books and is not a good finisher… I think they should put Brule back to center here… He’s got better hands and what’s his faceoff percentage this year so far in his limited action there, over 60% I believe.. the true stats guys can provide that number… I don’t think the hit by Perry was dirty either… just looked like a collision.. the replays clearly show Perry did NOT stick his leg out… You guys thinking otherwise are acting like homers and looking through rose-tinted glasses… I have PVR to… didn’t see it like that at all. You can say that all you want when you slow it down.. but the game is played a high speed pace and I don’t think Perry went out with malicious intent to hurt Horcs..

      • Look at Staples’ blog. He charts this stuff. He did one recently on how Paajarvi has been better defensively than the other kids. Eberle hasn’t been bad but Horc has been very good. “Cement hands”? His shooting percentage suggests otherwise.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Couple things:

        Eberle is -3 and Hall is -4 while Horc is +4

        Considering they’ve played 80% of the season on the same line, I think it’s safe to say the rooks are getting lit up defensively when they aren’t playing with Horc.

        So far Horc has a very respectable 16.7% shooting percentage. That’s far from “stone hands so far this year”.

  • Dyckster

    I posted this on the previous article (Wanye’s).

    “Anyone,

    Didn’t see the game last night, was the knee on knee a dirty play? Or just inadvertant contact?”

    Based on Lowetides comment, sounds like it may have been intentional?

  • Milli

    Yes, losing Horc is a disaster. We will see the impact I’d imagine, LOUD AND CLEAR. There is noone that they can call up to replace those minutes. Well, it’s starting to look like a high pick again……but I still hope not!