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LMHF Game Report #14

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Old
12-28-2008, 10:58 PM
  #1
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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LMHF Game Report #14

EDMONTON OILERS 5

VS.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 2
------------------------------------

Well, it was certainly nice to see the team play that kind of game where we know weíre going to win and donít need to worry about it too much. Iím a big fan of stress free games. I know most people like 7 game series and 5-4 OT wins; but I love 4 game sweeps and blowouts. This wasnít a blowout, but Nashville was never really in the game after their tying goal.

We didnít really seem to score any fluke goals tonight which was a nice change. We were skating briskly and taking good lines to the puck. Having 3 lines playing pretty well offensively and positionally makes all the difference in the world. Nashville never had a chance to get back into the game because they were always under offensive pressure from our lines.

On the powerplay tonight, we had a couple 2 minutes sequences where we looked like a really solid offensive team. This is both a welcome change and a relief. We may not have scored; but we probably should have, and if you can continue to do that in a game youíre comfortably winning and in control of that says something important.

Should this trend with our lines continue, the team may be able to go on a nice run. Iím certainly not convinced weíre perfect; far from it. It is nice however to see the team put a small something together that has a decent chance of developing into something. We still have a bunch of games at home to work with and make a move northward in the standings. It would be something to see that happen in January given this teamís history. Anyway, on to the PLAYER REPORTS
-------------------------------

Hemsky

- Iím covering the first line first again tonight even though they werenít our most spectacular. Ales didnít wind up with any points tonight but certainly put together a solid game. It was definitely a relief to see him come back from that hit he took and get right back into the physical play. He made a very nice play in the second to take a pass at the opposition blue line and get in alone then just missed and had Penner just miss following up his rebound. It happened to be that kinda night but he set enough guys up and took enough quality shots to be effective. His line was never in danger tonight, nor were they cold, just misfired a couple times in a game where they didnít have to lift the heavy offensive weight; thatís okay.

Penner

- Iím a little torn on Dustin tonight. He made some really nice plays; taking the puck to the net and showing a lot more neutral zone presence than Iím used to. That he couldnít finish in the second on Alesí rebound was too bad, or on the two really nice plays he made in the crease including an awkward as hell shot from down low that shoulda gone in (Pekka is GOOD) was too bad, but he was still in really solid offensive position tonight. He wasnít overly physical but did use his size to get into the right places.

Horcoff

- I liked Horcoffís gametonight. He carried a lot of speed everywhere he went and got into some really nice shooting lanes. Iíd like to see he and Ales work some more on the longer one-timers though as he always seems to just miss catching it perfect. He gets set up for a lot of these and some do indeed go in but he could have a much higher percentage going on if he was connecting. The goalie has JUST enough time with his longer shots a little too often. His goal was a create example of what speed can do to a defenceman and how a quick shot at that speed can be confusing; it was a smart and a bit lucky play that really helped us tonight. Ellis seemed off and we took advantage as good teams do. As always he was solid in his own zone. Made a couple strange passes in the offensive zone in the third but I think he had the right idea both times.

Cole

- What a relief that this game finally came. He coulda probably had a trick tonight but it is so important that the one puck did indeed find the back of the net. He was already driving the offensive zone hard and only got faster after he scored his goal. You could see a little bit of his swagger and confident attitude come back after his line found their groove; waving his hand after an unlucky break on a good move in the third. Very different than the lowered head-slow skate off weíre used to. I really hope he can keep this up. His hard chase of the NSH defender created the turnover that resulted in him getting that nice chance at the side of the net. Its great to see hard work pay off and he put it in tonight. His assist on Gagnerís goal was the result of some solid positioning and good traffic play. 3 points is an awesome start and I hope he can keep that level up.

Gagner

- Tonight could have had an even more positive impact for Sam Gagner. First of all, it really looks like heís the guy who can and should play with Cole and they seem to be reading off of each other quite well. Thatís a huge bonus for him. Samís part in Sourayís goal might get missed but he made a nice hard working play to the get the puck off the boards before Cole got it and the rest is history. I didnít see if it hit the NSH defender on the flip he made to himself to set up ColeÖthat was a great read regardless to pick the puck and all-world if he actually made that flip to himself on his own. Sweet pass as well. Sam was well positioned and worked hard in the corner before his goal as well. The change in his game once he had some confidence was immediate. He carried speed in the neutral zone and made guys miss the rest of the night. THAT is what Sam is good at and what makes him a special player. That he got back to that style of game; winning in the corners and owning the neutral zone, could make a HUGE difference for this team going forward.

Nilsson

- I didnít notice Robert much tonight on a line that seemed to be playing so well. I found that quite odd as he should have been able to get in on the play as well. Did I miss something or is he not quite the fit for this line? Iím not sure.

Strudwick-Brodziak-Stortini

- I really enjoyed the attacking nature Brodziak showed tonight. On any other line he gets a couple points. He gets to carry these guys so I guess it comes with the territory but the one shift he was out with other wingers he looked great. Even with the big lugs he took a couple really good shots. Strudwick and Stortini did what they do I suppose. Watching Zack against Belak was a little sad as Iím not sure he got within a foot of actually hitting him. Felt bad for Brodziak going in 2-on-1 with Strudwick and having no positive options.

Moreau

- Really liked him going right after Tootoo early in the game. That couldíve been pretty big. It didnít necessarily stop the guy from running around like the tool he is but it served notice I think at least. Aside from that there was nothing really exceptional from him tonight but I did enjoy the awkward look he got on his face when Coglianoís shot when in. I think his most important duty on just about any line heís on right now is generally stabilizing it and he certainly did that tonight.

Pouliot

- Certainly not a flashy game from Marc but he doesnít have to be every game. What I did enjoy though is that he played with plenty of confidence and made solid choices with the puck. His passes were crisp and he took advantage of his linemate Coglianoís speed and current streak of excellent play.

Cogliano

- What else is there to say other than that he keeps on rolling right along. The guy is playing flat-out excellent hockey right now when we need him too; and hard work combined with smart play generates breaks like the one he got tonight. Occasionally you need one of those and if you keep working youíll get it. I love the pressure heís applying on defencemen right now and the lines heís picking out there. He always knows where to go. The only thing I wish heíd do differently is sometimes he slows down and tries to maneuver high in the opposition zone when he should just stick to the jets and blow right by guys. Really liked his PP play again as well.

Iíd group the defencemen generally as noting that Smid and Grebeshkov struggled a tad while the rest were all quite good. Iíll follow up with the rest of the report in about 45 minutes but I have to run right now. Until then!

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12-28-2008, 11:03 PM
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I thought both Coglianos and Horc's goals were flukes, and that Coles was still pretty lucky. Although they were a result of hard work.

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12-28-2008, 11:29 PM
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The Cogs and Gagner goals were completely flukes, lol, not sure how you could watch that and say they weren't.

We were due to get some bounces vs. Nashville though and we did blow a lot of legit scoring chances (Hemsky breakaway and Penner in close come to mind).

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12-28-2008, 11:37 PM
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I thought Hemsky looked lost today and could get anything going.. hopefully its not due to that hit and was just an off night.

Cole despite his 3 points couldve done much more.. a few selfish plays took away great quality chances to score for us.. he tries to do it all by himself ..

other then these 2 points the asessment looks pretty good.

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12-28-2008, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
The Cogs and Gagner goals were completely flukes, lol, not sure how you could watch that and say they weren't.

We were due to get some bounces vs. Nashville though and we did blow a lot of legit scoring chances (Hemsky breakaway and Penner in close come to mind).
They have both been creating offense as of late - IMO that positive outweighs any luck they may have gotten. Besides, with all the bad luck they have had this year they are both due for some good luck.

I tend to focus on the positives and I saw a lot of them tonight. For one thing, they finally played a 60 min game. Also, we're starting to see some consistency in net (although I wish it were coming from Garon rather than Roli). Finally, the secondary scoring looks like it starting to come. For all the problems the Oilers have had with the PK and GA this year, they would likely be safely in 5th place right now if they had more secondary scoring.

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12-28-2008, 11:48 PM
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Staios was horrible in the first, but looked great once the team was in complete control of the game. Not exactly what you want from your leadership, but the guy doesn't have much left.

He has control behind the net, rings it around the boards to a Nashville player who holds the zone. Another 30 or so seconds of pressure sees Staios with the puck, who then ices it with very little pressure on him. The result is the puck in the back of or net.

The guy costs us 1 goal a game all by himself.

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12-29-2008, 12:33 AM
  #7
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Souray

- Cruising along as well. The guy makes such a difference for our offence on so many nights. Everyone looks at the shot but I really think it’s the nights where he patient in our zone and skates the puck out of danger using his size that he’s most effective. He can also be a big neutral zone presence and he did that a couple of times tonight. I’d say I’ve noticed these two things specifically in nearly every win we’ve had this year. He’s almost exactly what we need him to be; hopefully we can make up for his PK shortcomings.

Visnovsky

- Great skating with the puck; magnificent passes including the one to spring Hemsky, and solid d including a reduction in turnovers from Lubomir tonight. I think its almost easy to take him for granted in games like this where he doesn’t too anything flashy, but watching he and Hemsky work the puck together is just pure gold. Balancing he and Gagner taking some pucks for Hemsky on the PP could make a huge difference for us going forward there. 5-on-5 he was strong on a night when his partner was a little off I felt.

Gilbert

- Tom was really solid. He’s cemented his consistent play these past weeks and just kept right on doing it. If you want to see what has changed it’s as simple as watching his play with the puck. He made steady cross ice passes in the offensive zone and solid reads in his defensive zone all night tonight. Just what we need from him.
Staios

- After the start Stevie played really well. I loved some of the tough shifts he had tonight; really playing with sandpaper. I don’t know what set him off on one particular shift where he went after both a winger and a center with his stick high and menace in his mind. Loved the attack he jumped into to create the pressure for Cogliano’s goal. He often jumps in like that when he’s playing a little better and he did it with increased tenacity this evening. Good to see.

Smid

- I thought he looked shaky, out of position and not physically sure of himself tonight. He made a couple suspect passes, wasn’t stickhandling in his usual smooth way, and got pushed around a bit. He’s struggled a little the past couple games but I hope he returns to form soon.

Grebeshkov

- I didn’t think when he got “beat” in the first creating a partial break was all that bad actually. He kept the man far enough away and distracted enough that there was no real scoring chance there. The trend continued though and he was either a step behind, shaky with the puck, or out of position all night. I remember a particular instance where he read to jump in from his point spot at exactly the wrong time and got completely lucky when the Predators blew a 2-on-1 that was misplayed terribly to boot. He got away with it tonight; but he’s better than this. Did LOVE the fake shot-pass play he made to Gagner on the PP in the third though. That was money. He had EVERYONE thinking shot and made a beauty pass to Sam instead that should’ve likely netted us a goal. Sick. The man is crafty at that opposition blue line.

Roloson

- I thought he looked shakier than usual in the first. Not of position shaky or going down way too early shaky but still unsure of himself and his lines. He over-pursued a couple different times tonight and that’s something we have to watch. It almost let NSH back into the game when we were up big. After the first he was pretty solid though he never had to be all that spectacular. One good save off of a screw-up in the slot in the second and one more in the third were enough tonight. NSH didn’t take quality shots. He needs to work on the puck movement choices though…that was UGLY tonight. Like pinball.
---------------------------------------------------

Why does MARTIN ERAT of all people have to own us? That’s so annoying.

Arnott didn’t get going very well against us which is good tonight though I’m usually a fan. We could really use a big center with a big shot right about now.

I had about the dumbest hockey fan ever sitting behind me tonight…he did things like bemoan the fact that defenders can glove the puck ahead in the defensive zone, said Hemsky needed to shoot sooner on a shot from the BLUE LINE and claimed Staios should be first star…what a CLOWN. I apologize to all those around us who were made dumber by the stuff spewing from the guy. He made the total drunk next to him sound like a genius!

I could get used to this whole winning thing…let’s keep it up. 3 solid lines with offensive pressure = plenty of wins for us. It is that simple.

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12-29-2008, 12:34 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiggyman View Post
Staios was horrible in the first, but looked great once the team was in complete control of the game. Not exactly what you want from your leadership, but the guy doesn't have much left.

He has control behind the net, rings it around the boards to a Nashville player who holds the zone. Another 30 or so seconds of pressure sees Staios with the puck, who then ices it with very little pressure on him. The result is the puck in the back of or net.

The guy costs us 1 goal a game all by himself.
To be fair, he also created at least one goal for us tonight.

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12-29-2008, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Asher View Post

I tend to focus on the positives and I saw a lot of them tonight. For one thing, they finally played a 60 min game. Also, we're starting to see some consistency in net (although I wish it were coming from Garon rather than Roli). Finally, the secondary scoring looks like it starting to come. For all the problems the Oilers have had with the PK and GA this year, they would likely be safely in 5th place right now if they had more secondary scoring.
There were a lot of positives for us tonight. If we can win games without the first line carrying weight, we will win a lot of games.

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12-29-2008, 12:36 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenzOil View Post
I thought Hemsky looked lost today and could get anything going.. hopefully its not due to that hit and was just an off night.
He could have had like 4 assists tonight as well; so its one or the other tonight. No breaks for his compadres on some really great chances.

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12-29-2008, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
The Cogs and Gagner goals were completely flukes, lol, not sure how you could watch that and say they weren't.
They were earned and set up by hard work however, which is the important thing.

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12-29-2008, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowe in Oil View Post
While this is a BIG if, should garon start playing like he did last season, what do you think about this:


To Ottawa:
Horcoff (5.5M until 2014/15)
Gilbert (4M until 2013/14)
Roloson (3.67M - UFA end of this season)

To Edmonton:
Jason Spezza (7M until 2014/15)
Gerber (3.7M - UFA end of this season, salary dump)

Ottawa get a puck moving defenseman that they desperately need.
They also get a legit #1 center to replace Spezza
and they get goaltending help because the 2 that they currently have are playing very poorly.

Edmonton gets a very solid #1 center
And they also get to decrease their salary by 2.5M per year for the next several years/

Then we sign Grebeshkov to an extension, maybe 3M/per for 4 years?
Strudwick can go back to his natural position and we can call up Schremp to replace Strudwick.


The question is, can Garon get it together?
A few issues:

I like Tom Gilbert a lot now, and even more for the complete bargain he'll be in two years.

I just cannot see Horcoff going anywhere. I love Spezza's play but just can't see us parting with Horcoff even for Spezza.

Strudwick is not an every night defenceman for me. We also force Smid and Grebeshkov up steps I'd rather keep them beneath.

------------

Not a bad idea, just not the path I'd follow for this team.

I still believe if we make moves this year they will be to add vets and solidify for a long playoff run rather than changing one of the big pieces.

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12-29-2008, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
Souray

Gilbert

- Tom was really solid. Heís cemented his consistent play these past weeks and just kept right on doing it. If you want to see what has changed itís as simple as watching his play with the puck. He made steady cross ice passes in the offensive zone and solid reads in his defensive zone all night tonight. Just what we need from him.
I was not happy with the weber goal, he got completely walked on that play.

I also wouldn't mind seeing cogliano on the wing with gagner and cole, but i guess if it aint broke...

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12-29-2008, 02:31 AM
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I also wouldn't mind seeing cogliano on the wing with gagner and cole, but i guess if it aint broke...
I'm not sure. Nilsson hasn't shown me enough as being a productive part to go with a duo that looks like its working well together. I'm open to changing that winger. I'm still wondering if we won't see some roster moves in the near future.

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12-29-2008, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
I just cannot see Horcoff going anywhere. I love Spezza's play but just can't see us parting with Horcoff even for Spezza.
Knowing your previous opinions on Horcoff, this is a huge endorsement for #10.

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12-29-2008, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
To be fair, he also created at least one goal for us tonight.
True, he played great once the team took over in the second, his rush really was impressive for him.

IMO you want your veterans to have the ability to take charge and swing the momentum at times. Staios just sits back and get shelled most of the time. He's simply a passenger, as was proven when his play picked up only after the team was in control of the game.

Just like last season, the guy was horrible for half a year. The kids picked it up, and there was Staios, appearing to play great again.

I know your no Staios fan either, and I'm probably too hard on a guy who's a 5-6 Dman. But I've just never liked the fact so many (including MacT) see our leadership as almost untouchable, unable to see how many mistakes the guy has truly made over the last two years.

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12-29-2008, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
I'm not sure. Nilsson hasn't shown me enough as being a productive part to go with a duo that looks like its working well together. I'm open to changing that winger. I'm still wondering if we won't see some roster moves in the near future.
That's a frustrating sentiment because Nilsson was an underrated part of our win last night, drawing three penalties, one of which we scored on. He seems to be public enemy number 1 right now with people, but he was quietly effective last night, especially in the second and third.

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12-29-2008, 03:08 PM
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That's a frustrating sentiment because Nilsson was an underrated part of our win last night, drawing three penalties, one of which we scored on. He seems to be public enemy number 1 right now with people, but he was quietly effective last night, especially in the second and third.
I like Nilsson and hope he gets it going; just don't know if he's got the chemistry with the other two is all.

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12-29-2008, 03:10 PM
  #19
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Quote:
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I know your no Staios fan either, and I'm probably too hard on a guy who's a 5-6 Dman. But I've just never liked the fact so many (including MacT) see our leadership as almost untouchable, unable to see how many mistakes the guy has truly made over the last two years.
I do share that sentiment of yours with regards to the leadership; just really hoping he doesn't revert on us. I think he's changed his style enough that he's at least more effective than he was at times earlier in the season and last year.

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