Long ago, it seems so far away
My moves made the fanboys squee squee squee,
They said to trade Horcoff and let me play with Hemsky
But now things have changed
And it really blows
Don't you remember how they said they loved me MacT
Play me on the first line and the first unit PP
MacT MacT MacT MacT , oh MacT, can't you see what they see in me?
Slickest moves that you ever did see
But couldn't check my hat at all, part of my downfall
Plus I cannot skate and have no compete
What do you think MacT?
Should I just pack my bags and leave?
First Lowe had to go and trade for Kent Nilsson's baby
Then he went and drafted Cogliano and Sam Gagner
Gagner, Gagner, Gagner, Gagner, oh Gagner, I hate you I really do.
Next thing I know Brodziak takes another roster spot, MacT
And now Trukhno looks like he is also about to pass me
And Brule Brule Brule, oh Brule, I guess this will mean Atlanta for me
Three games in three nights and a fourth tonight and things are starting to work themselves out. O'Marra never got out of the blocks and Lerg and McDonald have really had no followup to the nice starts that they had. Liam Reddox scored last night but he has done nothing to separate himself from the pack.
Potulny's career is at risk here as he has not been noticeable at all.
So that leaves four players fighting for two or three spots, depending on whether they go with thirteen or fourteen forwards. (I know LT has Moreau as a guy who may go down with an injury and based on recent history of course its a matter of when rather then if but presently he does have a spot sewn up).
The Pisani as centre experiment is key to all of this. If it is a failure then Brodziak gets a look on that line I would say and then the fourth line needs a pivot to play between Moreau and Stortini. If Pisani works out then its winger unless they move Brodziak to the left side of the fourth line.
Despite what Karen Carpenter sang about Schremp, LT is probably right - he still has a pretty good shot at making this club. Politics may play a role as they want to reward him for putting in the work although that reward will likely be a cup of coffee and then a trip back to Springfield. As much as he has improved other aspects of his game the fourth line worked last season as a line that brought energy and verve, going through the opposition in a hard straight line to the net. They had some mojo and the guy who looks best able to recreate that appears to me to be Gilbert Brule.
If Trukhno shows some sustain then he makes the choice difficult but that is the challenge for him. So far he has certainly played the Thoresen/Brodziak role but with a deep roster up front it may not be enough.
And then there is Pouliot who faded badly at camp last year. He did a decent job last spring and by all accounts he has shown up so far - its still his job to lose, imo.
I'm with everyone in that I find this shit fascinating despite the fact that its all bottom of the roster stuff and probably whoever does not make it will be up for a game or two by Halloween.
One last note. I know the whole idea of intangibles and clutch and all that jazz often doesn't go down with a lot of the Sphere crew but I believe that the turning point of last season was the Flames' game when Moreau went after Ugly after Phaneuf had taken a shot at Cogliano, I believe it was. The week previous (and my memory is pretty awful so correct me if I am wrong but I think they played then) Phaneuf, Regehr and pretty well half of the Flames' roster had spent a good part of the game taking shots at Hemsky and the kids and nothing happened as a result.
I remember Moreau came flying in and Phaneuf voided the old bowels as he tried to save himself. It was about then that the Oilers took off and I think some of that was a result of this action - maybe its BS but I think it bore itself out in other games, for example the Canucks game where there was fight after fight. The team began to stand up for each other. They looked like the Oilers again rather then the crew that had wandered the wilderness for about a year, soft, hopeless and without a clue.
That attitude has carried over to the fall. I think that the reactions of players in the exhibition season (and I know in a lot of cases these are kids trying to make an impression, natch) are a good sign. I agree with Vic that the veterans staying healthy is the most important part of camp but I also think that Sheldon Souray going mental on Keith Ballard and Peckham and other kids pounding on everyone who takes a shot at anybody wearing copper and blue is a damn good thing. I appreciate Regehr as a player and I wish he were an Oiler but the first time he takes a shot at Hemsky this season he needs someone to give him a beating and if I were a betting man I would put money on it happening.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Long ago, it seems so far away