FRESH MEAT: TEUBERT DEBUT IN TINSELTOWN

While the obvious storyline is that Colten Teubert will have some extra motivation in his NHL debut at the Staples Center Thursday against the team that drafted him but traded him away before giving him a shot, I’m guessing he’ll be far too busy trying to survive to follow that script.

Recalled from Oklahoma City by the Edmonton Oilers, Teubert will take his first shifts in The Show against the Los Angeles Kings, who selected the big blueliner 13th overall from the Regina Pats in 2008, but shipped him to Edmonton with a draft pick for Dustin Penner last February.

Unfortunately for Teubert, 21, his first opportunity to show Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi he made a mistake — Lombardi might have figured that out already with as bad as Penner has been in the City of Angels — comes under trying circumstances.

The Oilers kick-off a six-game road swing on a five-game winning streak but with a defensive corps that’s thinner than a cocaine-fuelled runway model. Suspended Andy Sutton is out of the mix, as are injured Ryan Whitney (knee sprain) and Cam Barker (shoulder).

It seems likely Teubert will take his first NHL shifts alongside Theo Peckham in Tom Renney’s third defensive pairing behind the tandems of Tom Gilbert and Laddy Smid and Corey Potter and Jeff Petry.

Mercy.

TOUGH CURTAIN CALL

I’m intrigued by Teubert because he came over in the Penner trade billed as big, tough and nasty, but raw and with a long way to go to become a bona fide NHL defenseman. He strikes me as old-school. Might be the bent nose and missing teeth. First impression? I like him.

Unfortunately for Teubert and those hoping to see how and if he’d fit into the mix at training camp and pre-season, he didn’t get much of a chance to show anything after getting starched in a scrap at that tournament in Penticton.

So now he’ll get tossed into the deep end alongside Peckham, who is just finding his way back into the line-up, against the Kings. This is not going to be about proving Lombardi wrong.

If I’m Los Angeles coach Terry Murray, I’m using the last shift Thursday to throw Simon Gagne, Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams out against Peckham and Teubert every chance I get. Failing that, it’s Scott Parse, Mike Richards and Dustin Brown.

Renney is going to have to play the wheels off Gilbert and Smid, and likely will, to avoid that match-up. It’s not like the duo of Petry and Potter are ready to take much of the load against Murray’s top six.

You’re in, kid. Go get ’em.

DOG BITES MAN

Hands up everybody — that means you, David Staples, and all the math guys in the front row of the class — who is surprised that Penner is off to a brutal start with the Kings. Shocker.

Through nine games with Los Angeles, Penner has managed one assist and been a non-factor. For Lombardi, that would mean more of the same of the next-to-nothing he got from Penner after acquiring him from the Oilers last season — 2-4-6 in 19 games.

While I’m sure there are some underlying numbers that show Penner has actually been very good and isn’t playing like an unmotivated, under-performing dog instead of busting his ass to earn a fat new deal, I’ll go with what meets the eye.

— With Gagne out, Penner got a shot on the top line alongside Kopitar for two games, but did squat. He was the only Kings forward who didn’t get a shot on goal in a loss to Colorado. Penner will likely see duty on the third line with former Oiler Jarret Stoll and Brad Richardson.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Little Buttcheeks

    It’s not an ideal way to start the road trip. If we can find survive this road trip, the goaltenders will need to continue their unbelievable play. Good luck Teubs!

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        I wonder if that is how Smyth is actually thought of in King land. I honestly don’t know. He was only there two years and played decent. I’m not sure he ever figured in over there as a key part of their future. The deal was acrimonious but not really because of Smyth.

        My sense is that players of former teams and their respective former teams enjoy a friendly sense of heightened competition… but to get to real animosity I think you need to get into Lebron James territory. I could be wrong, but I would guess Smyth won’t get treated the way, say, Oil fans rightly treat Heatley.

        Also, that article rightly reminds us that two sides didn’t budge in that negotiation… but simply misunderstands the relationship a team, fanbase, town can have with a player… Look at Trevor Linden… the guy was absolutely adored in Van. bringing him back late in his career was as smart as signing someone late in their career to a team they have no relationship with can be stupid.

        • A-Mc

          I often read the fan sites of the team we’re playing that night, and so i’ve cruised on some of the kings boards. That article is definitely not the first i’ve heard of people being pissed at Smyth for ‘lying’ to them about the trade reasoning.

          There are always internet nerd ragers though, so the people who speak out the loudest against Smyth may not even be the type of people to attend a game. Perhaps we wont hear booing, but boy would it be nice to have Smytty score 2 goals against a booing LA kings crowd!

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Ok. thanks for the info. I guess watching it unfold as an Oiler fan, I was frustrated but never really pissed at anyone. I guess I figured the same reaction from King’s fans (also, I assumed they would view Lombardi as the goat of the situation, not Smyth).

            Either way… I can’t imagine the Kings caring about Smyth next year… this year probably a few boos, but I don’t think he scarred the organization enough to become a permanent thorn in their side…

            now… if he scores a hat trick every time he’s in the building… then, expect to see some angryworks from King fans and expect it to feel awesome!!

      • The best part I pulled out of the article was this: “P.S. – I’m REALLY looking forward to Thursday night and seeing the future live – this Edmonton team is exciting and I find myself turning Center Ice on to watch these guys.”

        It is nice to see other markets excited to have the Oilers come to town (other than to end their home team’s losing streak as was the case the last 2 seasons.) Tuning into Centre Ice just to see… Edmonton? It’s not just ON drinking the koolaid!

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Hey, the Kings should be grateful they got such a perfect Goat! That’s is particular kind of gift that often goes under-appreciated. Fans need someone to isolate their frustrations, disappointments and anger on… Penner is a perfect vehicle.

      Just look at the gift Omark has given Arch… where would Arch be without Omark?

  • Beavis

    Just want to point out, without using any math* at all, the logical fallacy of Penner’s playing poorly in LA somehow proving that he sucked in Edmonton. His play in LA proves absolutely nothing about his time here, where for all the math and seen him bad debates, he lead the Oilers in scoring in 09-10 and was leading them in goals when he was traded away.

    *I suppose counting is math…

    • John Chambers

      Nothing wrong with “math.”

      But always looking for a silver lining with a player like Penner in the form of underlying numbers while ignoring the obvious fact he isn’t the least bit interested in competing every night to earn his pay cheque — “but he’s still pretty good” — gets tired, too.

      Penner is a very good hockey player when he wants to be, but he has the tools and size to be a lot more than he’s been in his career. Penner just, to borrow a famous line from around here, “isn’t into it” as much or as often as he should be. That’s a shame.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        I agree that Penner certainly leaves you wanting more.

        But at the same time, I’d rather have a guy that gives you decent results without 100% effort.

        Over a guy that gives you sub par results with 100% effort.

        I think we focused too much on what he didn’t do, rather then on what he did.

  • Talbot17

    @Oilcruzer

    First of all BEEF! Second, he’s busy writing a book right now and is also going around the world doing some social work and trying to help and save kids in third world countries. Third, when he gets back he’s going to punch eager in the face then eager will suffer a concussion then he gets his spot back, capiche?

  • Milli

    I will never, ever be able to look at Penner, or even hear his name, and not picture him cramming hot dogs down his throat! That picture is GOLD!!! On another note, I am so glad we traded him, those shifts that he dominated, and even a few games, we’re so frustrating because then he would take a week or 2 off.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The Friendly giant will awake this evening. Dustin will chip in with 2 goals and an assist in a 6-4 Oiler victory.

    Hope its Dunbnyk in goal tonight, hate to see Khabbys save% and GAA tarnished by those 4 goals.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    The Oilers will thrash the Kings tonight.

    Getting rid of Penner was the best move Tambo has made, short of the impressive tank-job last season to win the lottery by about 25 points in the standings. There is no way we could be this successful with DP eating up valuable ice time.

    It’s fascinating to imagine who comes out for Hemsky’s arrival. I’m guessing Jonesy. We seem to need the sandpaper guys like Petrell and Eager most, while Belanger and Lander are very strong defensively. That being said, Jonesy will strike for a trick tonight to make Renney’s job even harder!

    Anyone catch Renney’s speech on the Oil Change premiere? I like this guy’s style!

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I though about Jones’ role too over at the “Interesting Questions” thread… But Gregor put me in my place, saying,

      “I don’t see why Jones is in that category at this point. His game has been consistent all season long. He is solid on the PK and EV. No way he goes from playing 16 min a night to the pressbox.”

      But the problem is real. For me, not because he has played worse than the other forwards, but because if he gets removed from the 2nd line in favor of Hemsky… where does he go? the fourth line makes the most sense in that case, but that’s a completely different role to suddenly ask of him (he’d no longer get prime minutes, his scoring chances would drop considerably and thus maybe from there he doesn’t look as good)

      perhaps it won’t matter anyway, many around here suspect Renney will keep him on his current line and put Hemsky with some other combo.

  • Talbot17

    Renne got a 7 year deal

    so they are supposedly committing to two of the three available…so who doesnt stay in NSH? Sutter? Weber? If there was ever a better time to get a legitimate D, its this year. I’d be calling NSH sometime soon about it

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Have to think the Wings will land either Weber or Suter when the opportunity arises. If the Preds weren’t on life support (counting heavily on revenue sharing) the could’ve easily kept all three.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Any player can suck with a big contract, but when you see the Luongo’s, Bulin’s, Bryzgalov suck you gotta wonder why GM’s dish out big dough. You see the value contracts of Neimi, Crawford, Price and I would figure that’s the way to go. The supposedly have Rinne 2.0 in the wings to boot. I doubt Weber stays and they know it, and that is why they have overpayed for Rinne.

  • A-Mc

    I have enjoyed following this site for the past while. It has sSome great contributors and generally is a good source of current information. This is my first post and I have a question I hope someone can answer. Whatever happened with Lombardi’s complaint against the Oilers about Fraser’s health? Has the NHL ruled on it yet?