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.

    • You know this about Teubert for sure because . .?

      I’m not sure you can have such a firm read on a guy we haven’t seen much yet. Are you a Regina fan? OKC? “Dud” is a damning statement for a player who is only 21.

        • Talbot17

          Yes, I agree dud was the wrong term. I am basing this opinion on when I have seen in Teubert play Red Deer and what my friend, a Pats season ticket holder, has told me. The only point I was making was he’s a big guy whose size benefited him in junior but, doesn’t mean NHL success. Being in Red Deer, I’ve seen my share of junior players hyped and drafted high and turn out to be not much. Draft position in brackets: Doug Lynch (43), Jeff Woywitka (27), Lance Ward (10/63 re-entered), Ross Lupsachuk (34), Jesse Wallin (26), Kyle Kos (33). These are all 1st and 2nd round guys that never made it. Even reading those names today, I can’t believe none of them didn’t really have much success. The only two that had success are Jim Vandemeer (undrafted) and Phaneuf (9th). Point is I’ve seen this movie, read this book, and just am not too excited about a 5/6 D-Man. Although there is nothing wrong with a solid 5/6 guy, I just think some comments on here have too high expectations.

          • geoilersgist

            Woywitka is currently playing for the Rangers, so thats another player that has made the show. 3/8 players you named made it thats almost 40% of dmen drafted from Red Deer making it. I think that is probably a high percentage of Dmen making the NHL from one team.

  • OilLeak

    I haven’t been watching Penner this year, and his play could very well be bad or he could be suffering from some very bad percentages. All that aside, I know that Penner will always be criticized by those who don’t understand what a good hockey player looks like.

    (Cue the response from the mouth breathers)

  • OilLeak

    I don’t think Murray knows how to use Penner properly, no big deal. If he doesn’t succeed in LA he’ll still get a decent contract in free agency. Hell, the Oilers could use him on the tough minutes line with Smyth and Horcoff, that line would MASH!

    • I think there’s something to this. Penner’s game is something that doesnt appear to be a natural fit with NHL coaches. That’s not to say his game is bad, just that he isnt a plug and play kind of performer.

      MacT couldnt figure it out, Carlyle hated it, and now Murray is flabbergasted by it. We’ve all seen it though. There were long stretches here where he was the best Oiler on the ice.

      Perhaps his true love of Hot Dog eating really has taken over from his passion for hockey.

      I hope he figures it all out, just not against the Oilers.

      • justDOit

        edit: didnt’ mean to reply to Arch! F@tf!nger$

        I thought that Teubert was considered to be a year or so away, and he’s getting one of the first callups?

        Well, I’m not the one looking at scouting reports and watching practices/games, so I hope he has a quiet time, which for an NHL defenseman can be a good thing.

        I think the Oilers will be lucky to get out of this game without losing someone to injury – many good hitters on the Kings.

        • Jerk Store

          Always seems to be the “guys with all the tools and no toolbox”. My “Penner” was Chad Kilger. Killed me several year in hockey pools when I’d take a flier on him. Guy was 6’4″ and 220 lbs, crazy good skater, could shoot the puck 100 mph and just looked like a hockey player. But had the hockey sense of a Tibetan Monk. Penner’s issues may be different and his stats are better than Kilgers, but there are always those guys who leave you wanting more …… much more.

          • John Chambers

            Who’s Pat Quinn coaching now? Maybe Penner should go play for him.

            “Get on BOOOOOAAAAARD the D-Train!!!” – K Quinn. God those days were depressing.

  • Wax Man Riley

    So it’s the coaches fault that Penner is a dog? Whoever says that we should resign him when his contract is up is out to lunch. Goodbye and good riddance, just another Klowe mistake that Tambi fixed.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Also, all of the sudden, the unforgivable Khabbi signing is looking pretty darn genius.

    Hall 2010.

    RNH 2011.

    Best goaltender stats in the league. SUITBOHC.

  • A-Mc

    I don’t view our defense as thin as this article suggests. Ryan Whitney hasn’t made a mark this season with his injury and re-injury. Up until Renney told the D to start taking some shots, I didn’t have much to say about Barker other than he looked disconnected most of the time. And Andy Sutton? well I’m legitimately sorry we’ll be with out him for another 4 games.

    In all honesty the D-Heros have been Smid, Gilbert and Potter IMO and Those core guys are still here, Healthy!

    I think we’re still in Good shape to have Teubert come in for his first NHL game. He probably shouldn’t be feeling too much pressure and I Hope he makes a good appearance for his careers sake!

    Simple rules for Teubert (in no particular order):
    1. Block shots
    2. Finish checks
    3. No turn overs

    I wish you GOOD LUCK Teubert!

    • ColeRoll

      I have to agree, I don’t think people are giving the Dmen enough credit. Petry has a decent amount of experience since last season and Teubert has been seasoning for a while in the AHL. There is now reason to say that they want perform decently. I’m sure they wouldn’t have recalled Teubert if he wasn’t playing at a high level in the AHL. Peckham should regain some form from last year as well. Really not a bad situation. Now if they have another long term injury them we might have an issue as there really isn’t much of an option after Teubert. I would like to see a deal with TOR for Franson. Omark/Gagner, Plante and a draft pick maybe for Frason and a draft pick.

  • Kodiak

    So who’s chirping now about how crazy it was to dump a “proven” player in Penner for a couple draft picks and Teubert now? The only thing Penner has proven is that he has no heart, determination or drive.

    Here’s to hoping Teubert holds his own and outplays Penner tomorrow. It shouldn’t be that hard, should it?

    • O.C.

      Ever notice he and Eager are never seen together? It’s a big ruse, one guy with two contracts, one is always “hurt”.

      Penner only has one point? It may not mean much. Lander and Pjaarvii have played great without lighting up the stats.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I guess it doesn’t matter how much off season work a team makes a guy like Penner do if his Give A Damn Is Busted, or in his case permanently set to off and so you get these type of results. If only someone had seen signs of this earlier.

    Nice to see Teubert get a chance, to bad it’s under these circumstances, hopefully he can shine anyways and make Lombardi look like the
    Dumb A$$ we know he is.

    Also, we need more of Hordichuk, he may only play 5 seconds before he gets hurt and is out but at least he gives it his all. JK.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Im so pumped for Colten “Time Bomb” Teubert to show us the goods and start smashing people. i think he should play just fine with peckham with his grit and peckmans commitment to the HUSTLE.

      i say teubert and packman gets too pumped and decides to just fight each other then penner walks in gets punched in the face then brakes a toenail.

      PS. @BoBo Mar$

      if hordichuk was here and read your last comment he would F5 you then do a 5star frog splash for good measure then take you to timmys after since you’re just kidding

  • Kodiak

    Robin did you miss Math 30? Penner’s Relcorsi and zonestart cleary demonstrate that he is a overperformer.

    Where do you get off using stat’s like goals, assists, and shots to access the performance of a top 6 forward. Cleary this is a case of the coach not giving the player an opportunity to succeed.

    What a terrible move by Tambi trading our star forward for a 1st and a propest.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    really liked Teubert when i saw him play at the World Junior level. i think you get what you see. a tough hard nosed SOB thats likes to play that way.

    i agree totally with RB about his “old school” assessment. i am excited to see him play. my comparison would be KLowe….i hope he’s that guy.

    • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

      If Teubert turns out to be as good as Kevin Lowe? That’s not a bad comparison in terms of style — plays nasty, not a lot of offence etc. A long way to go before then.

    • Jerk Store

      If he is close to as nasty as Lowe was he will be fine. Say what you want about Lowe as GM, but he made guys pay in front of the net, usually with the old 2x4s these guys used to sport. What Teubert does have is way more size – jury out on his skating. I am hoping he is Matt Greene 2.0 – that is a guy we really never did replace. A serviceable 5/6 with some teeth.

        • Jerk Store

          I suppose. I like what I have seen from him to date. Huge dude who is a decent skater Has played within himself and does have a mean streak. Downside he is 36 years old and this is his 8th NHL team – what haven’t we seen yet?

          While I see where you are going, Sutton is a very short term fix. Hopefully Teubert can have a little better career than Sutton has, but kudos for what Sutton has done this year. I know this is not a politically correct statement (and getting suspended during Shanny-palooza is not that difficult), but when was the last time an Oiler was suspended for any length of time? Never hurts to have one or two guys who play on the edge. Neanderthal thinking perhaps, but the Lady Byng approach the last few years has done nothing but get guys hurt and the Oil high draft choices.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    The good news is I think Teubert puts a solid effort in against his old team.

    The bad news is Penner will get a hat trick.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Really good to see Colten finally getting an opportunity. I think he could be the kind of kid that settles in at the level of competition around him.

    Hope he’s here long enough to get comfortable and see what this kid has. The over coached atmosphere here will overwhelm him his first few weeks, be great to see Tuebert without those coaching handcuffs on. Just trust the kid and let him play.

  • Mitch

    I like Teubert’s overall game he does many things well, what strikes me most is he’s a very emotional guy on the ice and a leader. The concern I have for him at this momment is his ability to read the play down low and getting beat wide. This is the correct call up we need the toughness in the lineup that raw emotion Tuebert will bring this element.

    I also think it would be the correct move to make a claim on Matt Kassian.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    So does Teubert go out and get in a scrap his frist game to make an impression? Or does he shy away based on what happened in Penticton?

    My guess is, if he’s allowed to, he’ll scrap one of the other teams tougher guys. If not I’ll bet he’s been told to keep the gloves on… for now at least.

      • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

        I was more or less wondering aloud if they’ve told him not to drop the gloves. I just assume that he would want to assert himself while making an impression.

        Hmmm… after checking out his stats it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of PIM’s there. I must be under the wrong impression of him.

        I thought he was very Peckham-like when it came to toughness but it would appear, by the stats, that he’s not a scrapper. Could have something to do with hearing about his toughness all the time coupled with the fact the only game I ever watched with him in he got into a scrap (Penticton).

        Meh, my bad.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    Conventional-by-the-book coaches hate Penner. He doesn’t fit the mold. He is an outlier. He needs a coach with an open mind, like Quinn.

    They hated Frank Mahovlich too.

    Even though Carlyle hated him, he coaxed 30 goals out of Penner. Carlyle used him in a lot of ways. One a checking line occasionally. On a soft minutes line with Getzlaf and Perry mostly. And moving him up with Selanne when Kunitz was hurt.

    Murray has never been a very good coach. Safe and predictable. Can’t think outside-the-box.

    For a guy who made Ethan Moreau his captain instead of Ryan Smyth, I don’t think MacT has much credibility on the Penner issue.

    • ColeRoll

      Ryan Smyth was traded while Jason Smith was the captain. So nobody ever made Ethan Moreau captain instead of Smyth, unless you expected MacT to name a player on another team within the division his captain.

      • John Chambers

        When you sign Ethan Moreau and Steve Staios new generous long contracts, and don’t sign Jason Smyth and Ryan Smyth new contracts, MacT and Lowe were making it crystal clear who they wanted to lead their team.

  • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

    I’ve always been a fan of Plante (reminds me a lot of Jason Smith)…but it’s good to see another d-dman who can play a rugged style. I was really hoping to see the guy in training camp, but that was a big shot he took. Looking forward to seeing chemistry between him and Eberle (did you guys forget that they played together for Regina?)…I know it’s not easy to see chemistry between a dman and a fwd…but I see Eberle helping the guy along…I mean he and Hall led the team last year and are playing like vets, and that’s what vets do right?