Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Deslauriers. Hejda. Syvret. Roy. Thoresen. Pouliot. Jacques. Mikhnov. Stortini. Petersen. Smid. Greene. Lupul.
Well, maybe not the last three. ;)
Now Tommy Gilbert.
Funny thing is the Oilers have six of a possible eight points in their last four games. You'd really think the season was down the drain the way people are talking.
Its one of those stretches my beer league team goes through though. Unbeaten in six, with two wins and four ties. A loss away from being winless in four.
There's no denying that the Oilers have been mediocre since their quick start and pretty poor up until the last week. And even the last week has left a lot to be desired. They have the majority of the WC ahead of them and the remainder right on their heels.
But they're still in the mix, even with that dog's breakfast on the blueline. And a bunch of forwards who couldn't put the puck in the ocean, check their hat or both.
But I'm a positive type of guy so I'll take the "what, me worry?" approach. And watching the Leafs' 18M dollar top four make Matt Greene and Mathieu Roy look like Savard and Robinson warms my heart. But then you see a rookie like Ian White - undersized and underrated - playing for God's team. Hurt tonight but 18 points and a plus two and eight points in the last ten games or some such thing. Sure he gets the soft minutes but he does alright. He's not getting eaten alive out there.
Roloson looks like he may be getting his groove back and the impression from MacT is that playtime is over. Greene takes a seat and it looks like the 28 year old who has played professional hockey for nine years may have finally gotten a permanent spot on the roster. Hejda has only shown well at every opportunity he has gotten, right from the first preseason game. Having Greene and Smid play ahead of him makes sense if you're trying to give those youngsters their at bats. But that time is over. Five points out of first in the division. A point out of a playoff spot with Colorado between them and eighth.
Time to start winning before the gap grows and they get passed by more teams.
To that point Pouliot and Jacques get sent down and the best rookie from this season's lot - Thoresen - comes back up. MacT references that Jacques and Pouliot aren't going to get the amount of icetime to further their development at this point so they get shipped out and the most complete player amongst the rooks (another guy with some pro experience under his belt) comes up. Thoresen's offence dried up long ago but on a team where not a lot of forwards can figure out their own end at times, he can and that makes him a valuable asset, even if he's only playing eight or nine minutes a night. Better him at a plus one then Jacques at a minus nine. How does that happen?
As for Tom Gilbert, well, hard to say if he takes Roy's place in the lineup against SJ or if he is up like Stortini, Syvret and JDD were previously - just to get a practice or two in and then back down. I'd like to see him get some action. By all accounts he has some offensive upside and he's a big body. Be interesting to see if he gets his shot tomorrow night.
The Nedved experiment continues and the result so far is as expected - whatever. The guy is motivated - its his career on the line here - but so far not a lot happening.
Vic Ferrari is a guy who has talked a lot in the past about posts and puck luck. How many posts has Horcoff hit this year? Anyone?
Dennis from IOF made the completely obvious counterpoint to my point that there was no way Torres was going anywhere with Smyth possibly becoming a UFA and likely even if they signed Smyth with their depth (lack of it) on the LW. Ready?
Pisani could make the move from RW to LW.
Makes too much sense. ;)
Of course then even if Smyth or Sykora leaves (my guess is one sticks around) you've got 94-10-83 and 34-16-15 and then 18-19-28 and throw MAP, Brodziak, JFJ, Schremp and Almtorp into the mix and Torres has been moved for that Dman.
We'll see. I still think its Lupul - Torres just brings that edge that this team seems to lack.
Anyhow another two points tomorrow night and its eight out of ten and then Lowe can make his deal and we're looking at Hejda and Staios, Shaggy and Greene or Gilbert or whoever and then Smith and Brewer (Blues are a dozen points out now) and there you go.
Doesn't that make you feel better?
Posted by Black Dog at 8:33 PM