Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hanging In There

A four game trip through the division results in five points and with the cavalry possibly coming soon, the Oilers have shown a nice resilience this fall so far. Heading onto the road down four defencemen and still without an appearance from Moreau or Pisani, things were looking pretty lousy, sort of like lottery pick lousy.

But contributions from the usual suspects, Horcoff and Hemsky, and the unexpected, Nilsson and Garon, helped make the trip a success. Garon, more then anyone, deserves applause as a guy who matched Luongo last night and outplayed Kiprusoff on HNIC. Great goaltending can help cover up a rookie laden defence corps and zero goals from your teammates apparently.

Of course with the Wild in town tonight the Oilers will likely look awful, as they always do against Jack Lemaire, but for now we'll bask in the sunshine of the Oilers little run. Enjoy it while we can although if they can hang on for a few more weeks and maybe win a few of these home games the big picture might begin to look a little brighter.


Vic Ferrari said...

Demitra, Gaborik and Walz are all out, no? Even if 38 or 10 do come back for this one, they will be playing hurt.

I think that this is a game that the Oilers can win if they get very good goaltending.

Black Dog said...

Agree Vic - there's just something about the Wild - and has been for years - that makes the Oilers look bad. The last five games Edmonton has looked good except for the one v. the Wild. And iirc the same three players were out for that one, no?

Having said that if they stay out of the box and get good goaltending they should be good - lets hope so. This team is flawed, obviously, but they haven't been short in the effort department at least.

Doing a good job on the road trip - lets hope they can make some hay at home now.

Santa Merda said...

I'm almost tempted to think that maybe, just maybe, Lowe actually has a plan. That plan centered around picking up a great goalie, and then filling in the pieces.

But I simply can't say it with a straight face. I am sorry.

Black Dog said...

s.m. - Garon has a decent pedigree and I think everyone agrees he was a good pickup but if he actually turns out to be a longterm solution then Lowe is either a genius or a guy who gambled (albeit not a big gamble). I would think the latter.

dwillms said...

Demitra, Gaborik and Walz are all out, no? Even if 38 or 10 do come back for this one, they will be playing hurt.

Gaborik looks like he'll be back tonight, but not Demitra. And I don't think Walz is back anytime soon.

However, now they are saying Souray is "out indefinitely", when he was supposed to be back this week.

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...


I've been meaning to say this to you earlier. Sorry I'm putting it here, but I can't find a private email for you. Seems that there's a few 'pat's' leaving comments around the oil blog's, and I see now you've gone to 'pat mc'. I'll change mine in the future (starting after this post), as I know you've been active in this world far longer than I have. I didn't mean to usurp your authority, and I hope my idiotic remarks haven't been attributed to you at any point! apologies.

therealdeal said...

I'm of the belief that the loss of Souray actually helped the team.

Black Dog said...

Jeez pat - no worries - the only place it might get confusing is on mc79's site and I'm already pat mc there.

You're too kind but everyone knows me as bdhs and regardless of how long anyone has been around it certainly gives me no more authority then you to comment.

therealdeal - I think Souray's injury has meant Gilbert has gotten big minutes and I think that short and longterm this is a good thing. I think Gilbert is proving that he can handle matchups that Souray has not been able to; also by giving Tarnstrom a shot at running the PP it has given, hopefully, MacT the idea that a good PP is about moving the puck and players moving their feet, rather then setting up for one play while everyone stands around.

Santa Merda said...

If Garon DOES turn into a long term solution, what would happen to Roloson? He's rather expensive for a 38 year old back up.

Black Dog said...

s.m. - I think Garon was brought in to play thirty games plus and, best case, take over from Roloson as the starter, maybe even this year, if it looks like he can handle it. He played 60 plus games for L.A. until Crawford came in with Cloutier and he won over half of them.

So he could carry the ball. He might not be terrific but he could still give the Oilers an alternative.

As for Roloson - he is fit and a late bloomer. He's not going to bring in Jack Johnson but for a team that needs goaltending, maybe even just goaltending insurance, I think he would be a credible possibility. He plays best with a chip on his shoulder and is only 18 months away from the '06 run. I think he might bring in a surprising return.

Pat H said...


I agree completely about everything you've said about Garon. I wonder, in particular, whether Lowe really even realized what he was getting when he picked him up (that's perhaps being too unfair to Lowe, though).

I honestly think this guy is the real deal, and at 29, he's (arguably) entering his prime years as a goalie.

For the life of me, I don't understand how L.A. would let him go so easily, especially given their G situation.