Sunday, November 11, 2007


A big win last night for the Oilers and now three out of a possible six points on this trip - not bag at all, especially considering the state of the blueline and how it started.
And the man in the middle of it all, with two goals, your man Horcoff.
The debate that underlies the future of this team is Horcoff v. Stoll. Horcoff is a UFA at the end of next season and Stoll was pegged to be in line for a big raise and a possible offer sheet at the end of this. That fear has subsided quite a bit as Stoll is definitely not right - his struggles have been Lupul like. Very little at either end of the rink and how much do you give a guy who is good on the draw, a decent man on the PK and likely a good guy in the room. What's Reasoner making?
I wish no ill to Stoll. He's a decent player who looked to be really getting on track last winter. Playing with Torres and Pisani he had a nice run where he was playing some tougher opposition, outscoring that opposition and looking like a guy who might be a contributor. Then the concussion.
I was concussed once when I was around 22 and it takes a lot out of you. Mine was minor, really, but I was goofy for a couple of weeks before I recovered. Some might say, however that a) I was goofy before and b) I haven't recovered. Anyhow he's definitely not back and if I was MacT I would get him out there between Torres and Fernando when Pisani returns - that will likely be the cure for what ails him.
Regardless of this possible return to form this one really is a nobrainer. You've got a guy who plays the tough minutes every night, who is dynamite doing the little things, can win you the big draw, can play the PK and the PP, can play 20 minutes plus because he is extraordinarily fit, will block a shot with his face, will score you big goal after big goal in the playoffs, will outplay the league MVP over a six game series. If Horcoff had better hands he would be among the league's elite but as Matheson pointed out today:
For all you Shawn Horcoff knockers, as of Nov. 2, he had 12 even-strength points, tied with Pavel
Datsyuk, Eric Staal and Rod Brind'Amour. Only Mats Sundin and Nik Antropov, as NHL centres, had more.
What more can be said? With Cogliano likely to take on tough minutes and Gagner the softer stuff for years to come and plenty of candidates for the fourth line role - O'Marra, Brodziak, Thoresen, Almtorp - you have one more spot to fill.
Its in the Oilers best interest that Stoll comes back strong and then, as long as Gagner is pegged to be a centre, to move him along.
Yes, Horcoff is that good.


Pat said...

Good post Pat.

At this time last year, I thought Horcoff was overpaid and would never repeat his 05-06 point totals. By the end of last season, I thought that his salary was more or less in line with where salaries had shifted, so the money itself wasn't that bad. I still didn't think he'd repeat his 05-06 point totals.

Right now, my original assessment looks pretty accurate in its entirety. But it's something I'm happy to be wrong about, given the litany of other negatives that surround this team.

Still, I hope Stoll gets better, I'd like to see him remain as a key cog in our future. I don't think we'll re-sign Reasoner this summer, there's just too much depth at C in our organization. I love Reasoner though, he's been an excellent soldier for us since reinventing himself as a checking line center/penalty killer.

Pat said...

EDIT: sorry, that should read "my original assessment looks pretty INACCURATE in its entirety". Even subconsciously, I don't like to admit I'm wrong. :)

Mr DeBakey said...

Horcoff is da man!

The amount of shit from fans and certain media types is amazing.

I hardly listen to Stauffer anymore,
I find the murderous rages subside if I listen less.

But last week he was at it again,
raggin on Horcoff,
someone phoned in with some facts
[similar to the one you posted],

So Stauffer say something like, "Horcoff gets all that icetime, in all situations, MacT's favourite, of course he's gonna get points, but he shouldn't be getting all the PP time..."

OK, bye Bob!
Its Sonic 102.5 time

uni said...

Good post BDHS.

And I find all the bad views on him odd. Even the guys at the office here in the GTA love Horcoff, even before his 2 goal performance on Saturday. The general consensus is, "Horcoff? I love that guy, I'd take him on any team of mines."

Anonymous said...

If you were a player you would totally love Horcoff to be on your line. I can picture guys right now that i love being on a line with because they get back defensively, (which allows me to goal suck a little more), and they go in the corners as well as the tough areas and most of the time come out with the puck, (which again allows me to wait in front for a pass).