Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday Odds and Sods

- Good move by the Flames, I think. They gave up a lot. I'm a fan of Ference especially. But their window is this year and next and you have to give Sutter credit for picking up Conroy and now Stuart and Primeau. It guarantees them nothing but it sends a message to the players and the fans that this team is serious about winning. Kevin Lowe, are you listening?
- Having said that I was never a fan of the Oilers going after Stuart. Giving up a young roster player for 25 games of Stuart makes no sense if you're the Oilers. For the Flames, a Cup contender, I think, it does. When the Oilers make their move for a Dman (2010?) it should be someone under contract, especially if it costs Torres or Lupul.
- And the Flames' fans might correct me on this but I think with Lombardi, Moss and Boyd up front and Giordano on the back end, they could afford to move Kobasew and Ference. I seem to remember Ference being a healthy scratch lately, no?
- Caught the Leafs/Pens last night and while Crosby, Malkin et al tore it up the guy who has come out of nowhere, so to speak, Jordan Staal, scored three, including the game winner. At 19, the kid has 24 goals, 4 less then he scored last year in junior. He is something else and the Pens, while likely a year or two away (but who am I to say?) look to be a team that may make some noise this year. So much for 14th place, which is what I picked them for this season.
- As for the Oilers, well they're not catching the Canucks. With Luongo between the pipes that team has a chance to win every night and they have themselves a nice top four on D as well as a bit of decent depth behind those guys. If they can add someone up front they might be another team to watch in the spring. With both they and the Wild on Jack Lemaire winning last night the Oilers are again eight points out. Its not looking good.
- Nice to see Pouliot getting almost fifteen minutes Friday night and getting those minutes between Torres and Pisani. Pouliot's future has been a big topic in the Oilogosphere this season. His failure to make the team out of camp, his struggles playing fourth line minutes in his previous callup and the achievements of guys like Getzlaf and Parise have made a lot question his future. Breaking in three rookies on D and with the supposed strength of this team being the top nine forwards the only spot for a guy like Pouliot or Schremp was on the fourth line and its not a good fit. Frequent commenter Bankshot made the point in a thread the other night that he thought that Pouliot had to earn his spot in the top nine and that he had not. He was right but having said that a guy like Pouliot, Schremp or Mikhnov is not a fit for the fourth line role unless that line is the Ducks' of last year - ie/ Getzlaf, Perry and a vet to ride shotgun. They need to be playing with skill guys against soft opposition plus getting a little time on the PP if they are on the fourth line. Playing five minutes a game with Jacques and Peterson is plugging a square peg in a round hole. Will Pouliot make it and will he be an effective top nine forward? I think so but I may be wrong. But by putting him with two guys who can play (and shelter him a little) and giving him some decent minutes, I think his development will be furthered a lot better. Now is the time, even if the Oilers don't crash and burn on this roadtrip. With Stoll out and Nedved a bust there are a lot of minutes up the middle there for the asking. Let's hope Pouliot takes this chance and runs with it.


Kyle said...

I agree with you 110% on the Brad Stuart thing. He made no sense for the Oilers and even the Flames arguably gave up a lot, but clearly its a cup run gamble. Well said.

Black Dog said...

Kyle, as you know from your Simpsons episodes - it is mathematically impossible to do anything at 110% although my wife argues this point with me all of the time ...

anyhow if I am a Flames fan I'm happy with the deal - is it a gamble? sure, if Kobasew pops thirty on a regular basis it sure is. And Ference is a nice player for sure.

But I remember the Flames moving Brett Hull and on the other side of the coin moving Nieuwendyk for Iginla.

Hull had a pretty good career and so is Iggy but no complaints from the Flames or Stars on how those deals worked out for them, right?

Kyle said...

I'm not worried about Chuck Kobasew. He's a marginal player who I don't think will ever meet the moderate expectations fans had for him. The only reason I see the deal as steep is because Ference was a very good depth defenceman who took a 'hometown discount' to stay with the team, and in return, we get Stuart who is a rental, and who in my opinion, is greatly overrated. The only real upside for the Flames (as you have stated) in my opinion is that Darryl Sutter has correctly identified this as one of two possible cup run years and he's clearly going for it.

He is definately not a guy I would give up a Torres or Lupul for, thats for sure.

Black Dog said...

I was reading somewhere today (Allan Muir @SI maybe) a description of Stuart as a stud Dman, etc etc.

I agree with you and disagree with that.

I think he's a good defenceman and I think he was a good pickup. he has size, can move the puck and so on.

But I think he's in the Derek Morris/Eric Brewer/Bryan McCabe school (and maybe not even Brewer and I guess not McCabe offensively at least) - that is good but not great and if anything overrated

Still, having said all that he is a good defenceman and probably the best (along with Brewer if he comes available) of those rumoured to be out there.

As Buffalo proved last year and the Flames in 2004, you can never have enough guys on the backend.

Kyle said...

I compared him to Brewer to someone the other night as well. He's like Brew in that he never really developed into what people thought he would...but without all the winning (Olympic Gold, WC win, WC 2 golds).

I would agree he's a lot like Morris as well (whom I really disliked.

You're very correct in saying you can't have too many d, especially with Warrener's precarious health.