Saturday Splatterday

The January story for the Edmonton Oilers is twofold: injuries have once again taken their toll, and the remaining veterans can’t hold back the water.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has played less than 4 minutes for the Edmonton Oilers during 2012. He was 3:44 into his game against Chicago when in his 5th shift of the game he tripped and hurt himself. Since then, the forwards on the Oilers have performed thusly:

  1. Taylor Hall 7, 5-2-7 -5
  2. Ales Hemsky 9, 1-5-6 -4
  3. Sam Gagner 9, 1-4-5 +2
  4. Jordan Eberle 5, 1-3-4 +2
  5. Ben Eager 9, 3-0-3 -1
  6. Anton Lander 9, 1-1-2 -1
  7. Ryan Smyth 9, 1-1-2 -2
  8. Josh Green 7, 1-1-2 -6
  9. Ryan Jones 9, 0-2-2 -4
  10. Shawn Horcoff 9, 0-2-2 -9
  11. Magnus Paajarvi 5, 0-1-1 -3
  12. Milan Kytnar 1, 0-0-0 E
  13. Teemu Hartikainen 3, 0-0-0 -4
  14. Ryan O’Marra 4, 0-0-0 E
  15. Darcy Hordichuk 5, 0-0-0 -1
  16. Eric Belanger 6, 0-0-0 -6

Horcoff is climbing Everest again this season, Smyth is also facing tough competition and even in January showing a lot of heart in every battle even though things aren’t going his way. The kids are showing better than most of the vets, in fact Gagner is gaining some confidence. We aren’t looking at toughness of opponent, but Horcoff, Smyth and Jones have the toughest Qual comps. 

Hemsky is posting some crooked numbers that will improve his trade value (if Poni is worth something, Hemmer sure as hell is worth something) and Nashville is apparently very interested. Eager appears to be finding the range a little, and the kid Lander is doing some things too.

Eric Belanger needs to be better.

GET HAPPY!

I think it’s time we remind ourselves of the good things about this year’s team:

  • Taylor Hall is still on pace for 30 goals.
  • Jordan Eberle is still on pace for 79 points.
  • RNH is still a strong Calder candidate.
  • The injured guys should be back in February.
  • If you’re a draft nut it’ll be another fun summer.
  • The Russian goalie and 83 should make for an interesting trade deadline.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The Oilers are going to struggle and lose for the immediate future. The blue is missing Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney plus Cam Barker; the powerplay is missing RNH and Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle is not yet up to highway speed. These are the dog days of winter. Again.

 

Nation Radio hits the airwaves today at Noon. The best questions are always yours, so please feel free to email nationradio@theteam1260 or leave your thoughts in the comments section here. You can also tweet @ItsNationRadio and @lowetide_ as well.

GUESTS

  • Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus. Smart guy with a unique perspective, and we’ll discuss the 2012 draft, Oilers fans impatience with Tyler Pitlick, Curtis Hamilton and others from the 2009 & 2010 draft and focus on development differences between NHL organizations.
  • Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report. Kirk gives us a unique view of prospects and their progress, we’ll talk about Boston’s development template, some of the 2010 kids who have outperformed their draft position and injuries impacting the top end 2012 eligibles.
  • Ryan Lambert from Flames Nation and Two Line Pass. We’ll set up the Baffle of Alberta and I’ll ask Ryan if Jay Feaster’s response to a badly needed re-stocking of prospects is to go for it one more time.
  • Corey Graham, play-by-play voice of the Edmonton Oil Kings on Team 1260. Corey will give us updates on the Oilers prospects on the Oil Kings and I’ll ask his opinion on the Marincin trade, the WJ’s performances of some draft eligibles and the growing sense that Griffin Reinhart might just be the real deal.
  • Kent Wilson from Flames Nation. Kent is a brilliant stats guy and we’ll touch base on some of the deals already made in the last couple of weeks and some of the deals that could happen as we head to the deadline.

 

  • Stocc
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  • Stocc

    Merci. In honour of the opponents this evening and the unfortunate GDB post to come.

    Also, does the goalie get 2 minutes for skating into the green paint like that?

    • Rob...

      Any line combos and starting Goalie?

      We have to win one against these fLames!

      Not so Obvious GDP – as the Oilers already had their string of freakie things (3 exactly) the Flames get some of their own bad Karma during their warm up an errant shot hits a partition in the glass taking out Bou-Bou, Iggie and head coach Sutter all at same time.

        • a lg dubl dubl

          Hope I’m not stepping on your toes LT but I found the lineups on tsn in icechips section.

          EDIT: Khabby starts, Hall is back belanger too that’s all I can remember

          • Wanyes bastard child

            Line-ups are also up over at FN as well.

            Lambert seems to be taking his sweet time to write up our GDB so get ready everyone i’m guessing its going to be a scathing one 😛

            If we win this tonight i’m voting Brownlee to write the next GDB for the flames 😉

  • knee deep in it

    Lowetide, can you ask Cory about Galchenyuk. He was considered a top 5 pick for this draft but has not played a game this year. He may end up being the absolute steal of the draft if he drops out of the top 15.

    Since we may have an extra first round pick from trading Hemsky, Khabbi, and possibly Whitney, he is a guy who could fall into our laps.

  • The flames must be licking there chops for tonights game.I am not looking forward to the flames GDB nor Mark Lee telling he rest of Canada how poorly the Oilers are playing.I just hope the flames don’t injure Hemsky or Eberle

  • Lowetide

    A while back there was some discussion about how the Oilers would do without RNH in the lineup. I thought we would do poorly. I believed then and I still believe now that RNH is the spoon that stirs the pot. He is the kind of player that will make other players better around him.
    Secondly. Without a transition game our forwards have been forced into a position where they have no choice but to dump and chase.Its evident that the wear and tear of this kind of play is having its affect on Edmontons more seasoned veterans. Its like using a frontal assault to beat your enemy. The opposition have time to get back into thier defensive zone. Thus we are attacking 3-6. Its not a surprise to me to see the losses mounting. Until the Oilers fix this issue the team is going to facing an uphill climb night in and night out . 6 goals in 7 games? Its going to get uglier before it gets any prettier.

  • Lowetide

    Hemsky and Smyth we should resign and move forward with them if the cost is reasonable . Moving Horcoff for a cheaper, younger and more physical defensive forward would not hurt us either . Khabby is playing well enough to move at this time . Can Belanger be moved as he has done little for us ? Eager might be worth keeping , but i’d move Hortichuk .

    Consider moving Gilbert in a Suter trade ?Hemsky has had to fend for himself here in Edmonton far too often . Can you imagine how much more effective he might be with a club like Calgary, that is physical enough to protect him from the abuse he constantly gets playing for us with very few linemates that can play physical ? Is Whitney over valued ? Should we try to move him , and when ?

    • Good god man. Stop this. Please.

      Between Horcoff’s level of play and boat anchor salary, he’s basically untradeable.

      Outside of faceoffs, Belanger is borderline useless – untradeable.

      Give away Gilbert for Suter and we still have the problem of only 1 top D-man. That’s some next level thinking there.

      Is Whitney overvalued? Does Hemsky lose the puck too much inside the offensive blueline?

      Trade Khabby so we can rely on Devan “guaranteed one soul-crushing softie a game” Dubnyk?

      Eager might be worth keeping? Name me one other team in the league concerned with winning that would take him on. And we want to extend a player that bad?

      Man, I could do this all day.

  • Mark-LW

    Is there any possibility of prying weber out of Nashville with any combination of hemsky, sutton, omark, teubert, picks?

    Or do you think Weber is an absolute non starter with Nashville?

    • Weber’s likely a non-starter at this point, but that “package” is without a doubt, a non-starter. At the very least, it would require a swap of 1st rounders this year (among other things).

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      You have to think the Preda would get 4 x 1st rounders simply by letting Weber walk as an RFA…. So i can’t see them trading him for anything less.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Taylor Hall is the guy who stirs the Oilers drink. Not Nugent-Hopkins.

    The Oilers are a different team with him in the lineup, than with him not int he lineup.

    Nugent-Hopkins might be at that level in a season or two, but not right now.

  • Rob...

    Why is it that Horcoff ‘s name never comes up in trade rumors? Is he that bad and overpaid that no NHL hockey teams find him appealing.

    Now we all know that Horcoff has no offensive skills…….he is at best a ECHL player when it comes to offense, but he is good at the defensive part of the game.

    Surely some defensive minded teams would take a run at him once his contract expires? We need to get rid of Horcoff if this team is going to move ahead IMHO.

    I would love to hear the guests talk about Horcoff and what the best plan for him should be.

    Personally I believe that Horcoff belongs on the fourth line and Belenger needs to be waived.

    • I think you just answered your own question. Horcoff would be the most expensive fourth liner in history.

      He could be a defensive Mozart, but his salary demands he has to bring scoring to the table. As we’ve seen, he’s clearly lost the offensive side of his game. Thus he’s basically untradaeble.

  • PerryK

    LT said……the blue is missing Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney plus Cam Barker…..

    Great post as usual. Why did you have to go and spoil it by including Barker in that mix?

    I believe one of the very few graces to happen to the Oilers this year was that Barker got hurt and we the Oiler fans didn’t have to watch him!

  • PerryK

    Madjam, you said:

    Hemsky and Smyth we should resign and move forward with them if the cost is reasonable .

    I think Smyth will be here on a value contract next season, and i love Hemsky for what he once was, but why sign Ales.

    As a fan the last few years, we are either fustrated he is injured, which is not his fault, or he is playing like he is. I`d rather see him go to a veteran team and be successful then continue to wallow in this rebuild.

    My point is this, if you don`t have Hemsky`s contract you can use that money elsewhere where it is needed like overpaying a number one defencemen, or a second line center. The Oilers don`t need more wingers.

  • Milhouse Van Ched

    Rama Lama:

    Honestly, who would want Horcoff, particularly given his current contract?

    It might just be me, but other than seeing him on the ice for what seems like every minute, I don’t see any value from him. He looks like he is just floating. Has to rank right up there as one of the worst contracts offered by an NHL team. Horcoff is not to blame for that, he’s laughing his way to the bank every morning. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe. As a result of this contract, we are stuck with Horc until this contract is up. Nobody is going to pick up that contract when considering the complete lack of production he shows every night.

    I’d rather see more of Eager – at least he is giving it his all every time he’s out on the ice.

    • Well to be fair, Horcoff is being overused and we all know it. I suspect his scoring game has gone away as a result, much like Smyth.

      I dunno. More and more it seems to me that any talented NHL athlete who wanted anything more than a big bag of money would avoid Edmonton at all costs. This team is where promising careers go to die.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Klefbom and our 2nd for Dougie Hamilton who is a studddddddd. Thoughts? and I dont like Gilbert playing 26 minutes a game, even if we are depleted, sets him up for injury from wear and tear, and his most productive season was at 22ish minutes per, keep him there.

    • justDOit

      Can’t see Boston doing that. They have room for Hamilton in their organization, and they don’t need to trade for anything, really. If I’m Boston, I’m barely even listening unless it’s the lottery pick being offered.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Heard up in Sec 215, somewhere around row 36 or so…

    He’s not Shawn Horcoff, He’s Shawn Horcawful.*

    *I then spit beer all over the three guys in front of me before LMAO. Bought those guys a round as an apology.

    #tryingtobeagoodfan

  • Lofty

    Isnt it time for the GDB ??

    CRUSH THE FLAMES-PLAY LIKE DEMONS.

    Cammel larry or whatever your name is. Remember to keep ur head up.

    Always up for BOA no matter what.

  • Dipstick

    Horcoff’s contract is a non-issue this year. The team is not buying at the deadline, so only Katz’ chequebook is suffering. He is a third line C who can fill in at 2nd line in a pinch. He is decent in the face off circle on a team who’s top two Cs are below average. Most important is his contribution in teaching the kids how to be a professional. Don’t underestimate his contribution there. His cap hit is not going to hurt the team. His contract will be over or tradeable by the time this team is ready to buy the last and expensive pieces to the puzzle.