PAYBACK? WIN THE DAMN GAME

The Edmonton Oilers compounded the loss of Taylor Hall to a shoulder injury in Denver Saturday by coughing up a lead and two points in a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

It was a lousy way to end what could have been a wonderful road trip on two counts, something that obviously frustrated not only some fans of the Oilers, but 630 CHED radio analyst Bob Stauffer, who made his feelings known on the post-game wrap-up.

Stauffer figured somebody, anybody, had to do something, anything, in terms of a physical response after Hall was knocked out of the game – he was rocked on a hit by Ryan Wilson, left the game and then returned, only to be put out for good by a cross-check from Kyle Quincey.

It’s not often I disagree with Stauffer, a colleague and a friend, but I do on this one. First, the initial hit by Wilson was punishing, but legal. Second, the cross-check was by Quincey was pretty much a garden variety minor, aside from the fact it put out Hall, who obviously shouldn’t have come back from the hit by Wilson.

Finally, if the Oilers were looking to stick it to Wilson, Quincey and the Avs, they could have started by holding on to that 2-1 lead they had and flying out of Denver with two points.

That’s the only "retribution" that matters.

WHY WAS HALL BACK?

What stands out for me when it comes to the loss of Hall isn’t why somebody didn’t doff the leather and get after Wilson and Quincey looking for revenge of the bare-knuckle variety. That would solve what, exactly?

The question for me is why Hall, who struggled off the ice with his left arm hanging at his side, was back in the game at all. Unless I see another replay that shows me otherwise, I didn’t see anything in the follow-up cross-check by Quincey of much consequence — if Hall wasn’t already injured.

"It was just a takeout, a fair, clean hit," coach Tom Renney said of the initial hit by Wilson.

Hall was accompanied to the dressing room by head trainer T.D. Forss, then returned to the game. The benefit of hindsight tells us that was a mistake.

"In fairness to T.D., you ask the right questions, do the proper things," said Renney. "He’s the medical guy but the player is going to answer yes or no. We all know how competitive Taylor is. T.D. is a pretty prudent guy."

The Oilers never did get their pound of flesh from Wilson or Quincey and they didn’t get the win, either, after allowing four goals in the third period to take the shine of a trip that could have yielded six of a possible eight points. The former is secondary, no matter what some old-school types will tell you.

It’s the latter — failing to buckle down, dig in, play a robust, smart game and put the boots to the Avalanche on the scoreboard as payback after Hall went down — that I consider the equivalent of turning the other cheek. It shows me this team still isn’t as formidable as it could be.

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

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    The whole bs on the training staff being incompetent because Hall came out after is ridiculous. The trainer and Hall probably go back to the dressing room, and they probably checked his range of motion, and everything probably appeared fine. When your playing sports and you’ve been injured you are so full of adrenalin you don’t notice the all the pain right away. When Hall came back on the ice, and got that love tap by the net, he realized ok maybe I’m not alright. I’ve seen on this forum all the negative comments about the training staff being incompetent. I personally would not judge them for something I know so little about.

    The response on the hit by Peckham was just aweful. Not only Wilson injure Hall, Peckham had another brain cramp skated outta position to go after Wilson and that gave up a goal. If I was Wilson I would not of fought either if I saw mistake like Teddy made. I love Teddy for his tenacity, but they guy loses his mind and makes too many mistakes. Every game its another gaffe, like a extra cross check to downed player that costs a penalty, or a hit that puts him outta position, or last night.

  • Big Cap

    @ Robin Brownlee

    Wake Up Man…Win the game?

    You sound like the Vancouver Canucks, we wont even the score with a fight or big hit, lets beat them on the score board. Forget it, they injured our future captain, and franchise player. Your saying this is okay, and maybe if we are up 4-1 in the 3rd we`ll throw out some payback?

    That was a GUTLESS preformance by Hordy. Listen to his interviews in July when he signed here. He talked a very big game. He played all night, didnt start anything or take any runs at there best players. The coachiing staff or team leaders need to say something that this will not be accepted.

    Are we back to the days of Louie the Lover playing all night and never getting involved, making Bucky do all the heavy lifting?

    We have a young, small team. We brought guys like 16 and 55 in for a reason.

    Name one team or one heavyweight that would allow that to happen on his watch?

    Clean hit or not, we must protect¸our best players!

    GO OILERS GO!

    • “You sound like the Vancouver Canucks, we wont even the score with a fight or big hit . . .”

      Please, pay attention.

      ” . . . “pound the Avs physically at every opportunity, just as they did to Hall. Win the game and don’t let anybody off the hook until the final buzzer. “We’re going to win the game and we’re going to take it to you physically the whole night” is the best message.”

      • Big Cap

        @ Robin Brownlee

        Below is your quote from the same article. What is your stance…Pound them, or leave Denver with a 2-1 win and turn a blind eye to the punishment they handed to Hall.

        Thanks for clarifying…

        “Finally, if the Oilers were looking to stick it to Wilson, Quincey and the Avs, they could have started by holding on to that 2-1 lead they had and flying out of Denver with two points. That’s the only “retribution” that matters”

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Played all night? He had 3:23 of ice time.

      How many shifts did he have against their “best players” after Hall got hurt?

      Maybe one?

      Don’t let emotion cloud your thinking.

  • james_dean

    You don’t exact retribution on Wilson or Quincey, that doesn’t solve anything.

    You exact retribution of Matt Duschene and Gabriel Landeskog.

    If the other team targets your skill guys, you don’t target their tough guys, you target their skill guys.

    M.A.D.

    That is why what Peckham did, chasing after Wilson leading to the first Avalanche goal was moronic.

    Fighting Wilson accomplishes nothing. Pound Duschene.

    • james_dean

      I concur completely godot10, but it seems the Oilers do not have that in any of their game plans or changing game strategies! This is where I miss the presence of Sutton because that guy gets it, Hordichuk gets it & I think Peckham gets it, what’s irritating is that I don’t think Renney totally gets it! The Oilers may have to ‘sacrifice’ some games but if they don’t start responding physically we can expect Ebs, RNH & probably Hemmer (again) to be put out of action! Say what you want about Georges but this kind of sh*t didn’t happen on his watch!

      • You don’t recall Robyn Regehr running the snot out of Hemsky on an ongoing basis while Georges was here? Marchment sticking out a knee on Weight? Etc.

        As much as I’ve said in the past I favour having the toughest guy in the league on the roster — if you want to go the toughness route and if you are willing to take a spot to dress him — it’s no guarantee guys won’t take cheap shots. Sh*t did happen while Georges was here.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Great article Brownlee…

    Stauffer doesn’t make any sense on this… as others have mentioned. Peckham stopped playing his position responsibly and gave the avs the gift of a two on one resulting in a goal. That’s what comes from an emotional “I gotta send a message” thinking

    Peckham needs to learn to play “responsible crazy.” hit, fight, punish… but not at the cost of winning. that’s the bottom line.

    At any rate, what is really foolish is the idea that their are only two options – retaliate at anything that moves and live with the consequences; or walk away from everything and hope your skill can bury the puck. I say split the difference and most importantly

    1) capitalize on PP – punish bigger teams in the only way that really matters

    2) pick your spots – if you are going to hit, engage, fight, etc… make sure your position is covered, team is not vulnerable, etc.

    at any rate… Hall going down and the failure to retaliate are both immaterial to the loss. We still had the lead going into the third… this conversation is in part a distraction from the fact that we pooched a win on the road against a struggling team and goalie that looked far from steady. IMO that’s the story.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Not to mention on a night when our two goals come from Smid and Jones… it’s fair to say our top two lines (Hall gets a pass obviously) failed to put up numbers… the gift of a Smid goal was wasted… like corporate donations the top two lines should have matched Smid’s effort

    Also, effing SMID!! Can we get an article or at least spend some time forgetting about the loss and revelling in the awesomeness of a SMID goal! Smythmas comes around fairly regularly…. but Smidster is like a leap year or a harvest moon…. gather the villagers, prepare the feast… Happy Smidster!!!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    It sucks when you can’t count on your back up goaltender to carry the ball when the starter gets a day off. Have to think it would’ve been a different outcome had 35 got the go in back to back games.

    Devan is 3-5 during this stretch when the games still have meaning. Dubnyk is dropping the ball when it matters most…..just saying.

    Thought the shoulder injury to Taylor is of the more serious nature. If he is back before the end of the year he may need surgery at seasons end to help keep that ball in the socket.

  • Notwithstanding Hall’s injury, this loss should be credited to Rennie. He went off script by using the RNH line for own-zone face-offs. Then he remains on script by using Belanger on the power play. On the last PP, Belanger’s blocked shot ended up with Whitney taking a penalty and the game continued down hill from there.

  • Smid’s goal is certainly a sign that The Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 will occur. The heavens must be just in the right alignment. Or it was that Thanksgiving day Turkey Gilbert’s Mom cooked up that imbuded Smid with some kind of supershot.Either theory seems a little irrational, buy hey Smid getting a goal seems so far out there that any explanations seems to make sense.

  • paul wodehouse

    M said: Thought the shoulder injury to Taylor is of the more serious nature. If he is back before the end of the year he may need surgery at seasons end to help keep that ball in the socket.

    Fingers crossed on his condition too…how did the little brat get back out on the ice is what i wanna know … he took the hit np problem… nothing…the boards blew out his wing …it’s just far too early in his career to be having surgical anything…

    over/under a dozen games out…
    which is it? Q the Oracle

    • Quicksilver ballet

      If it is a dislocation, and i do hope i’m wrong.

      15-20 games to put some strentgh back in that joint. With his reckless abandon type of game, it’s only a matter of time till he puts himself in the same vulnerable position. Poor kid will see his fair share of trying to get a decent nights sleep in a recliner for sure. The strengthless left arm hanging straight down his side says it all.

      • Could be a subluxation of the shoulder without being a full dislocation.

        Often, the most significant factor in determining time out with this kind of injury is the amount of damage to surrounding soft tissue. Full dislocation can tear stuff up, while a subluxation causes trauma to a lesser degree.

        #beentheredonethat

  • paul wodehouse

    Its not often I disagree with Brownlee, but I do this time. Had somebody smushed Wilson severely into the boards, that would have picked up the entire team, and turned the momentum into a possible win. Even if we didnt win, we would have won a moral victory.
    0-2 on the night.

    • You’re not comprehending what I said.

      “Build on the lead and then pound the Avs physically at every opportunity, just as they did to Hall. Win the game and don’t let anybody off the hook until the final buzzer. “We’re going to win the game and we’re going to take it to you physically the whole night” is the best message.”

      The response I suggested leaves plenty of room for “smushing” Wilson into the boards, as you put it. I’m not saying “Lay down and take it.”

  • Mitch

    @Brownlee
    Your correct the best payback would have been a win. This is the new NHL Hordichuck was turned down and Peckham cost the Oilers a goal, if your gonna do what Theo did, start the fight take the instagator.
    There is small improvements where you see them turning the corner. There is also last night where things just looked off, as a fan you expect the loss just because the way they play the game.

    I still feel for Taylor Hall would be best at centre his hard charging style on the wing is killing him. Until Tambi goes out and gets the correct character guys to play 3-4th line role expect more of this. As I see it you don’t need 3 scoring lines to win in the NHL. It’s also not a game of shinny out there and thats the line up Tom like to dress upfront and it don’t help that Eager don’t understand his role.

    • Eager understands his role, but he hasn’t come close to playing it this season.

      The more I watch Eager, the more I’m convinced something is wrong with him. I don’t know if it’s an injury, a personal issue or what, but he is not engaged in what he is doing now. I have NO information that leads me to this conclusion, it’s based solely on what I’ve seen.

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        I’m no doctor but the change in his game – lack of tempo, energy, hitting, etc. – seem like they could plausibly be explained as post-concussion symptoms, no? maybe he just hasn’t recovered properly…

        BTW has anyone bothered to ask him or Renney about it? I don’t recall hearing/reading an answer from either about it.

        the only other explanation (not excuse) would be the Peca analogy… I distinctly remember Peca taking basically the whole year to start playing as expected in Edmonton, then he was solid in the playoffs; Cole too… never seemed to find his legs here… maybe its just a case of bad adjustment to a new situation?

      • Mitch

        I wonder if there is a unwillingness to engage because of concusion issues. I watched Eager at the Joey Moss cup game, the look of crazyness in his eyes I thought wow, it just not there right now, I hope that comes back.

  • Rob...

    I’m one of the guys who wanted a measured response, but it has less to do with ‘getting even’ and much more to do with sending a warning: Mess with ours and we mess with yours.

    You don’t do it by going after the other team’s toughs, you play noticeably harder against the other team’s talent. You do this in the hopes that the opponent gets the message… think twice before going for the hit instead of the puck.

    I admit its a simplistic approach and it might not work, but I can not stand that we haven’t even tried it as an approach with three years worth of talent getting injured.

  • Tambellini on Eager: “He’s an emotional person, at times unpredictable and we need some of that.”

    All 3 of the off season additions designed to add toughness have been injured.

    Lowe: “We probably have the weakest group of forwards.” (in terms of hardest to play against)

    They know what’s going on, but it isn’t that easy to fix.

  • stevezie

    I’m with Brownlee- I don’t know how nuts you’re supposed to go after a clean hit. It wasn’t even a clean but nasty hit, it was just a takeout in the corner. These things happen. You think if Hordy beat up Wilson the next guy will just let Hall go by in the corner? As Edmonton’s own The City Streets said, These Things Happen. Ramp up your own physicality in response, but this wasn’t someone taking liberties; this was standard hockey.

    *I didn’t see the game; just going off the highlights.

  • Shaun Doe

    I suffered an injury closer to what Robin is talking about (Joint flexed out of position but never fully dislocated). Because it was never a full dislocation I never went to a dr. or engaged in any Physio. Injured it making a diving catch in slo-pitch and at the time I couldn’t thow the ball immediately afterwards. It took me about 2-4 weeks before I was able to play regularly again and even still I will occasionally “pop” it when throwing. So… take that info for what its worth if this is anything similar to what happened to Hall.

    From what I saw of the hit it looked like Hall hit the boards with his arm lifted so that when he impacted it stretched akwardly upwards which would probably jam the joint pretty hard. Hopefully its nothing too severe.

  • I’ve seperated my shoulder playing hockey and I went off the same way Hall did. I was back out in a week but I should have taken a month as I couldn’t take draws without pain and I was extra cautious in traffic areas. Hopefully it comes back that Hall is only gone for a month – best case scenario, IMO.