GROUNDHOG DAY: HEMSKY HURT

 At least in Groundhog Day Bill Murray eventually escaped from his daily routine, but Ales Hemsky seems unable to escape the inevitable trip to the injured list. Hemksy re-aggravated/re-injured his shoulder last night in Minnesota. He is getting an MRI today and Tom Renney said he wouldn’t know the results until later today.

Renney did mention that Hemsky felt better today and the coach is hoping the MRI shows no further damage. It seems likely that Hemsky won’t play tomorrow, but Renney didn’t rule that out.

He did juggle his lines today and it looks like we will see the H2E line tomorrow. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle were a trio today, while Shawn Horcoff skated between Ryan Jones and Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger centred Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark and the 4th line stayed the same.

Ben Eager was back in a baby blue jersey today, so he isn’t any closer to playing.

It looks like Jeff Petry will be the odd man out tomorrow on the backend. Corey Potter was paired with Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham moved back to the left side and was paired with Cam Barker, while Ladislav Smid and Tom Gilbert look to be the first pairing.

Once again Renney didn’t say who would start in goal tomorrow, but you can bank on it being Devan Dubnyk. Goaltending has been the only consistent thing through two games.

Dubnyk and Khabibulin have been almost identical. Both have a 0.92 GAA and 0.971 SV% in 65 regulation minutes. Both stopped two of their first three shootout attempts, with the only difference being Khabibulin faced one extra shooter and allowed the extra shootout goal.

QUICK HITS

  • No offence but if you were a fan blaming Horcoff and questioning Renney for using him in the shootout you haven’t been paying attention. Horcoff was 9 for 17 before his attempt, best % on the team, and now he is still 50%. You can hate on his game all you like, but putting him in the shootout was not a bad move. Keep in mind that Hall and Lander both missed before him.
     
  • Another groundhog theme seems to be the Oilers inability to play consistent for close to 60 minutes. They were great in the first period in Minnesota and awful after that. Against Pittsburgh they were average in the first two frames and came on strong at the end. This team needs to learn how to play consistent for the majority of a game before they have any hopes of competiting for a playoff spot.
     
  • If you are a diehard sports fan, I’m giving away a "Double header day" package at the Pint Off Whyte today. You’ll get tickets to the Esks/Bombers game at five, and then head over to Rexall for gold seats for the Canucks and Oilers. Be there between 4 and 5:30 for your chance to win. 
  • I think the book is out on the Oilers, fore-check the hell outta them, wait for them turn over the puck at the blue, and capitilize on your chances.

    The Oilers zone coverage has been excellent so far this year as has been their penalty kill, but the lack of ability to headman the puck so far this season is as bad right now as it has been in the last few years. Watching Peckham, Sutton, Barker lug the puck up boards was painful. Even Petry who’s suppose to be able to move the puck was aweful at times. Whitney can’ return too soon. I am hoping a guy like Potter can get a chance and show us something, it can’t get worse.

    You can also see the Oilers could use another creative force at center. Can’t wait for Sam I Am to return.

  • Can Tambellini keep putting Hemsky in the line-up? The asset is depreciating rapidly.

    I understand that he’s the Oilers best player. And his value can’t go up without playing, but if he’s injured there’s zero value, no?

    Also, where is the urgency developing Magnus Paajarvi into a top 6 forward?

    Eberle has to show Hallsy a shootout move or 2, that was ugly. Seriously, no backlash despite having the game on the line???

    • book¡e

      Was Hall’s move really that low of a percentage move – I have seen it work quite often? Just because it wasn’t a move that you would see in 1980 doesn’t mean that it is not a good move to try.

      In addition to having a reasonably good chance of scoring, it helps to create uncertainty for future shootouts. Goalies will have to guard against the ‘drag’ so they may cheat and become more vulnerable to a deke.

      • Crackenbury

        Bookie- for someone who doesn’t seem to hesitate to be hard on other commentors, that was speculative and weak.

        In the various skill sets in the game, some are good, some aren’t. Few master all.

    • Yourmomthinksimhot

      Completely agree with the Paajarvi comment. Im not going to sit here and bash Horcoff, but let’s be honest with eachother, Horcoff in no way is helping Paajarvi’s offensive development.

      A good arguement could be, if he was that good offensively then it shouldn’t matter. As far as I’m concerned his development is getting hindered, why when Hemsky went down could he not get some gravy time with the top line on his off wing? Or why not some gravy time with Eberle?

      Stick Horcoff with the veterans like Smitty and Hemmer or with guys like Smitty and Jones? Its hard for Paajarvi to develop when he’s the only scoring threat on the line.

      Id like to think he could develop into a Marian Hossa type, the defensive side is developing great, but he needs to play with more offensively skilled guys. Last year he thrived when put in that position. Its early but this definately concerns me….. more than Renney picking Horcoff in the shootout or Hemsky having a bum shoulder……

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The only thing Petry has going for him is his feet, he has NHL quickness but i don’t see any other elements in his game that should keep him here longterm. Thought he looked tentative the whole evening. Potter will be an upgrade.

    How bout that .971 sv pct for Khabibulin after the first weeks shedule.

  • ok i’m gonna lay off Horcoff. maybe he isn’t the issue. i re-iterate he may be in the top 5 for bottom six players in the league, not a horrible player as i have stated in previous posts.

    there in lies the issue. Renney. based on stats Horcoff should have shot 2nd for certain and maybe even 1st, but not 4th.

    Horcoff gets put in alot of positions that he seems incapable of handling right now. his offensive instinct is on par with smid right now and is forced to skate with much faster players. maybe it’s the game passing by him but maybe it’s old injuries. who can say with certainty.

    Renney needs to coach in the now, IMO. he has a tendency to coach guys like Horcoff like it was his 70 point season and sit guys who clearly have more offensive upside and treat them like toddlers. kids make mistakes.

    it’s not just Horcoff, it’s peckham and gilbert etc…. they are playing not very well right now and keep getting the ice. granted with our depleted D what do you do other than call-ups.

    i dunno i don’t have the answer and am often a reactionary armchair gm which doesn’t make for solid choices.

    I think Renney needs to step up HIS game.

  • neojanus

    Hey, it could be worse.

    Hemsky could be DiPietro… holy epididymus of a grinding mountain gorilla — worst contract in NHL history.

    That freaking guy is hurt again.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    I am kind of glad that Potter but I’ve actually like Petry’s game so far. Then again, who else would you sit to get Potter in there?

    That Smyth and Jones line would be sweet. Hair flowing everywhere, bodies flying, goaltenders flopping. It gets me excited just thinking about it. GO OILERS GO!!.