Wednesday, December 19, 2007


What's a Christmas Gram? I want one!

I'm going to pull a LT here, and yank something from an old thread out into a new post. In the comments from my post-game thoughts from last night, Dennis said:

To close on a positive, that's three games in a row where Stoll's had honest-to-goodness scoring chances. The guy's hitting the ball hard so some of those line drives should soon start going over the fence.

I agree with Dennis. Stoll is playing well, and trying hard. But the tangible results (counting numbers) just aren't there for him. He doesn't have much offensive skill around him to help him out, either, so hard work and chances don't even lead to assists. So what to do? Do you just wait? Or do you try and spark the embers? Assuming you try the latter, there's no way you can break up the top two lines, in my opinion. Giving Stoll time with Hemsky is the easy choice, but I don't think it's the best one. He (Stoll) got some time on the point on the PP last night, but Pitkanen, Souray and Gilbert aren't going to cede much there. So then what? How do you help a guy get over that hump 5-on-5, with this roster? Myself, I'd be bringing up Schremp for a quick test before Christmas. He's playing well in Springfield (six in AHL scoring and averaging over a point a game). Put him on a line with Stoll and Thoresen. That way, Stoll gets a more skilled guy around him (sorry, Marty), and Schremp gets some defensive cover from Stoll and Thoresen. It's not the best choice in the grand scheme (we don't even have John Crosbie, let alone Sidney Crosby), but I think it's the best choice the Oilers can make right now. They need more skill on the 3rd and 4th lines. It's just a Goals For wasteland right now. Nine of the team's next ten games are also against non-Northwest Division opponents, which I think makes now as good a time as any to give the other, other 44 some ice.

So, say you follow my suggestion, you could have a lineup for Friday that looked like this:




With Sanderson and Tarnstrom watching from upstairs. Speaking of, why hasn't Tarnstrom drawn in? He was activated last Saturday. Moreau could also draw in as early as Friday, which for me would bump Brodziak out and Cogliano over to right wing. Anyhow, there's my spitballing for today. And it's all based on players within the organization. I have zero belief that a trade is happening any time soon, unless it's to ship Tarnstrom out. Thoughts? it really so hard for the Oilers to change their webpage so that it shows the positions the players are actually playing night in and night out, rather than the ones they played in junior (or in their dreams)? According to the team page, the Oilers have seven centremen.


Am I on HF Boards?

Hereabouts we talk about bringing up MAP
[now that Thor has returned from exile]

Wouldn't you sit Cogs if Schremp came up? Cogs has the ugly Corsi numbers, doesn't he?

Am I on HF Boards?

Low blow.

I don't think Schremp is the answer, Andy. MacTavish is shit scared to send him out for an own zone draw, and to play him against good opp. If he goes onto Stoll's line right now he'll get a boatload of both of those situations. And I'm sure that will go really badly.

I really liked the addition of Reasoner to that line. Mostly because he's a good player, but also because he's a LH faceoff guy, and MacTavish is nuts for the two centres for D zone draws thing, so this just naturally cuts down on all that line changing and general fuckery.

Personally, I'm impressed with the way that Thoresen has played so far as well, I'm still not convinced that the guy can bring enough offense at the NHL level, but it looks like he'll get enough games to prove me right or wrong.

AG: There's an audio link of the official site from a Tencer int via CHED where 18 says he's still targeting Sunday's game in Chi as a possible debut.

So, let's assume that 18 plays on Sun and it's fine and that he's ready for a bigger role come the 27th vs Ana.

So, 18 in and 8 out and here we go:

27-10-83 - No need to change this. It's a bonafide first line and I'm not sure 27 would be all that useful anywhere else.

28-16-34 - I saw a little bit of chem between 16-28 and we've seen 16-34 work together in the past.

18-89-12 - We give them a vet to look after them but with 34 moving up, here's a chance to get some offense going.

19-13-51 - MacT says 13 plays better at pivot so let's keep that going, except for on faceoffs:) Of course, I'd also be willing to switch around 13 and 28 and maybe 13-16-34 could be a jumping off point for Cogs.

Finally, even with Fernie on the second line, I'd still prefer MacT to run 10's line power vs power and maybe that allows the second line to feast a little on lesser opp. I think Horc's trio can put up points against anyone and it's silly not to use them this way.

As for Schremp, I don't know how I'd slot him in unless it was with 16-34 providing that the 10 line went PVP. Then I'd keep 18-89-12 together and have Cogs bump Thor to the pressbox.

Overall, I think the one thing we learned is that even at home with the last change, we should not put three rookies together. If we just adhere to that rule, things shouldn't get really ugly.

I don't think Schremp is the answer, Andy.

I don't either. I know I'm grasping at straws.

This is slightly off-topic: please don't used mixed sport metaphors. (ie baseball metaphor for hockey) It ususally just results in silly comparisons. For example, no baseball player, no matter how good, will every hit a line drive over the fence.

Telling Oiler sites not to use baseball metaphors — it's about the only way they communicate rationally!

For example, no baseball player, no matter how good, will every hit a line drive over the fence.

Actually, I'm pretty sure they do all the time. And you meant "ever" right? :)

Also, strictly speaking, I don't think a mixed metaphor was used in this post. Now if Dennis had said, "the guy's shooting the puck hard so some of those line drives should soon start going over the fence," you'd have a case.

Yeah, it's supposed to be "ever" and it's not really a mixed metaphor. It still irks me.

I was watching football a little while ago and the colour commentator was describing successful passes as "home runs" and the like. I haven't been able to stand it since.

Good post Andy. I'd say macT won't bring Schremp up this year unless we hit an injury thing again since i don't think he likes him and macT plas his favorites. with that in mind, I think Thoreson or brodziak is the one who sits when Moreau comes back since macT loves the veteran boys. I'd like to see these lines:
10 - 27 - 83
16 - 12 - 89 (a vet for the kids, and Stoll gets his offensive chance again)
19 - 18 - 34 (RPM is back again, and a true shut down line)
13 - 51 - 8
And i'd like to see tarnstom draw in for grebeshkov. That gives MacT our most veteran lineup all year, and gives Stoll a achance to make some plays.


this is off subject because I found your site looking up the 1987 World Junior brawl between Canada and USSR.

I also found an even more amazing bench-clearer from an English game: Nottingham Panthers v. Sheffield Steelers. perhaps you are familiar with it. It's the biggest brawl I've ever seen.

Let me know if there are others bigger than these.

AG: that guy obviously never saw Vladdy hit;)

Didn't Mark McGuire hit about 50 off balance front foot out of the strike zone line drives out of the park one year?

Am I the only one that thinks that a healthy Reasoner, Stoll, Moreau line could score a lot of goals?

Ender - Hard to say. Its been so long since they were actually healthy. The stats to support that statement are probably not relevant any more.

Am I the only one that thinks that a healthy Reasoner, Stoll, Moreau line could score a lot of goals?

It won't be me saying that.

I was at the Dallas game, and I'm suddenly less bullish on our D than I was before. I didn't realize it from listening to games and reading the Oilogosphere, but holy shit has Staios's play deteriorated - Smid was *easily* the better member of that pairing. And, sacrilege though this may be, I didn't think Gilbert looked to good either. On the upside, Pitkanen is basically Paul Coffey. Seriously.* I'm not convinced that Grebeshkov has learned a thing all season, and Souray's shortcomings have been well-documented.

The relevance of this comment to this post? I'm not sure - maybe it's "forget Schremp, let's get Rourke and Roy back in here."

(I realize that some would argue that your main problem after a 2-1 shootout loss isn't your defense, but to those people I say the following: "Bah.")

*Not seriously.

I think it's fair to say that Gilbert's been blipping a little lately. Not a whole lot, mind you, and there are still a lot of things to love about his game but he went through an 8-10 game stretch where he could do no wrong. I started to notice him falling off around the loss to Pit and he's been up and down since then.

That being said, bad Gilbert is still as good as good Smid.

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