Sunday, October 05, 2008
OK, I'll shut up now. After the Oilers picked up Steve MacIntyre on waivers I dismissed him out of hand.
Turns out I was oh so wrong. Both papers today say he has made the Oilers, as has JDD, based on their performances Friday night. Barring an injury or a Roloson getting shipped out it looks like Brule and Schremp are getting sent out.
The Oilers have espoused team toughness since LeGG left town and games like last year's brawl with the Canucks show that this team will stick up for each other however there is little doubt that teams have taken liberties with a lot of the Oilers' players, especially Hemsky, in the last two years.
The MacIntyre move does not bother me in terms of the roster spot he takes up. I'd rather he sit in the pressbox on nights when he is not needed then Schremp or Brule. The guy is almost thirty and his next NHL game will be his first, I believe. Munching on popcorn isn't going to stunt his growth as a player.
As for his usefulness, Matt Fenwick argued in the thread after Friday's game that he felt that the addition of MacIntyre would be pointless for the Oilers. Respectfully I would disagree. Vandermeer's assault on Pouliot after he scored showed that the Flames had no fear of retaliation. Vandermeer is a pretty tough guy and he went after a guy who certainly is not a physical threat.
Does MacIntyre stop this from happening? Well, I would say that the way he pounded Vandermeer afterwards is going to make a good number of Flames think twice next time they decide to run an Oiler. Will it stop Regehr from pounding on Hemsky? Probably not - that's his job and he is a tough guy who can handle himself - but then again, maybe it will. Guys like Vandermeer and Phaneuf though - I would say they may show a little more respect out there. There are always guys like Boogaard too - he will not be deterred, I think, but now the Oilers look like they have a response, a guy who will go after Gaborik next time Boogaard takes a run at someone.
I don't believe in the idea of a goon, per se, but the Oilers are deep enough up front that when MacIntyre is stapled to the bench MacT can still run four lines, double shifting a number of guys, which is also a nice carrot to have. And based on the what has happened the last two years makes me think that for better or for worse, they need the threat of MacIntyre being on their side.
It certainly seems that MacTavish and the players feel this way.
Posted by Black Dog at 12:07 PM