Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Player Ratings

Halfway point lads and lasses and we have a baby who isn't sleeping and a postholiday madhouse at work so no tales today, just a runthrough of where the Oilers have been this year thus far. I always do these considering expectations so a guy like Reddox will get a better ranking then a guy who may be a better player but who has not met the bar that I have set for him.

A+ Ales Hemsky - even with a slow start to the season Hemsky earns top marks as he has become a star; he will play the tough minutes, he will produce on the road and without him the Oilers go nowhere; no longer the girl with the curl, he has arrived

A Sheldon Souray - I was down on this signing and we need a couple more years like this one to make it a success but the big guy has been terrific; producing big numbers and solid defensively; his attitude that he wants to prove the doubters wrong and the fact that he has improved as a player on the wrong side of thirty are impressive

A Lubomir Visnovsky - Drives the team the right way, check out Dennis' numbers; he can be a gambler but his recovery skills are excellent, premier puck mover and underrrated defensively, fun to watch.

A Dwayne Roloson - Not done yet, the oldster has provided the club with good to great goaltending almost every night, rebounds well from the few poor performances he has had, playing himself into a contract next year, maybe here, maybe elsewhere, would be prime trade bait except trading him would be surrendering and this club will hang around as it always does

B+ Andrew Cogliano - the one kid who has improved in nearly every way since last season, on pace for ~ 25 goals, goes to the tough areas to score and plays with aggression and energy more often then not, still getting the soft parade but tougher opp then last season and his underlying numbers are better I believe

B Tom Gilbert - pressure from new contract weighed on him early I believe but after a slow start has played very well, on pace for 36 points, excellent first pass, plays a Lidstrom style, all angling and boxing his man out, not a banger though , plays like the one he made against the Blues last game (stole puck, spun away, reversed course and hit the man breaking out of the zone, all in a moment) show that the Oilers have a guy who is a keeper and still getting better

B - Shawn Horcoff - tough start for Horc as he came off of surgery but even when the puck wasn't going in for him the play was ending up in the right end of the rink for him; he was only outchanced twice after a couple of dozen games iirc and that was playing tough opp and on the road; has had a tough time on the PK and is struggling without Hemsky; work ethic and smarts can't be matched, more offence needed though

B - Liam Reddox - kid comes from nowhere to gain job and traction towards a career, does a lot of things a lot of the kids do not, defensively responsible, smart, questions are size and whether the offence will come, will he be Fernando or Toby? the type of guy who helps win games though

B - Denis Grebeshkov - rebounded after tough start, playing with Lubo certainly helps, may be Oilers' best trade chip, solid puck mover, has cut down on mistakes

B - Ladislav Smid - bizarre benching and move to the wing confounded but Smid is a good natured sort, no sulking, has been very good on the third pair and maybe ready to move up the chart, playing a nice physical game

C + Dustin Penner - Penner is Penner - a weird start as he was taken off the PP and the first line and struggled to produce; has gotten better although he too has struggled without Hemsky, maddening player as when he plays physically and with passion he's terrific and when he goes through the motions he is a cipher, excellent in the offensive zone, underrated passer

C + Erik Cole - terrible start for Cole who started out of position and then played with Moreau and Brodziak in a maddening combination, also a lot of posts and bad luck in the mix, since paired with Gagner he has been probably the Oilers' best player night in and night out; expect a strong second half

C + Sam Gagner - counting numbers have not improved over last year but underlying numbers do show improvement, he is playing tougher minutes and his plus/minus is far better as are his Corsi number, since paired with Cole he has been averaging a PPG, look for a good second half

C + Kyle Brodziak - rocky start to season but he has come back to become a go to faceoff guy, facing tougher opposition and still chips in goals here and there, a lot to like about the kid

C + Marc Pouliot - looks like he has a career finally, playing top nine minutes and doing well, offence starting to come, nice chemistry with Cogliano, would be nice to see in a tough minutes centre role with Pisani on one wing but doesn't seem to be on the radar for that

C + Zach Stortini - another guy who lost his job for a while, Stortini has returned to do what he does, playing hard, abrasively, adding a touch of offence and holding his own defensively; also apparently limbs made of rubber

C Fernando Pisani - tough go for Fernando as he was asked to play tough minutes as a centre, he struggled and struggled some more when finally moved back to the wing; here's hoping his return to the club gives them a lift, especially on the PK; hard to mark him harshly when he was put in an untenable position

C - Jason Strudwick - locker room funny man was disaster on D yet somehow still got the icetime, much more effective as a winger, adds toughness, try, not much else

C - Robert Nilsson - still needs a kick in the ass now and then, disappointing, possesses great skill and can play hard when the spirit moves, would be nice if it moved him a little more often, suspect he's trade bait

D Steve Staios - warrior has struggled in third pair although since Strudwick left he has been better, problem is that contract, 2.7 per for a solid second pairing guy is a good value, 2.7 per for a third pairing guy who isn't good on the PP or the PK is a waste of money

D Oilers' prospects - tough year for a lot of Oiler youngsters, other then Peckham, Plante, Wild and Eberle many are taking steps back, Chorney has been a disaster, Schremp got the call and was found wanting at the top level, Dubnyk has no traction, Ryan O'Marra is finished; hopes that guys like Nash, Trukhno and Petry can turn around their seasons and this grade
D Steve MacIntyre - as a hockey player the guy is an F, I mean seriously, can't skate, can't pass or receive a pass, as to his value, well, not sure if there is any, Backes certainly ran amuck when he was out and then was awfully quiet last game, is that coincidence?, I don't know if his presence would have stopped Tootoo running Hemsky over for example; as a story though its certainly terrific, career minor league gets at least most of one year in the bigs and of course his goal last night, fun stuff but one goal and that hit in Calgary doesn't seem worth a roster spot to me

D - Edmonton Oilers - around where they would be expected to be but inconsistent efforts and terrible PK have killed this club, another three wins and they would be in sixth; sum is less then the parts

D - Ethan Moreau - early offensive outburst and good try have been only separation for Moreau - getting killed playing tough opposition, one of lead PK men, bad penalties and strange episode where he threw Pouliot out of the faceoff circle plus the contract make him a guy who should be moved but likely will not

D - Mathieu Garon - last year's starter lost his job early and is no longer in the plans; some politics involved I would say but he has done little to win it back when he has had the chance

F - Oilers management and coaching - long list of problems, the usual unbalanced roster, the spots left open for development (third line centre) that were then not used for that purpose, playing Cole out of position and then with a couple of fourth liners, the immediate exile of Garon, the poor PK (some personnel, some coaching), the ridiculous situation with Smid, playing Pisani at centre, not playing Penner on the PP, the gutting of the LW, a former team strength, Lowe's belligerent attitude, the treatment of Dave Berry and the complete garbage situation where arena staff parked a Zamboni behind the CBC production truck after Crawford criticized the ice at Rexall. Like this organization it used to be amongst the best in the league, now its embarassingly bush.


Swabbubba said...

How does Oilers management take the blame for a Zamboni driver? But pretty accurate I think you mark high though.
This team and organization needs to get an identity and stick with it.

Black Dog said...

swabbubba - its a stink that permeates the org. from the top down; management is arrogant and it seeps right down to the bottom

maybe fix the ice rather then being dinks would be a start

yeah I think maybe I'm generous but what can I say - its my nature

Doogie2K said...

No time for stories, but enough time to find one of the better-looking (and relatively famous) ladies at my school? ;)

andy grabia said...

and the complete garbage situation where arena staff parked a Zamboni behind the CBC production truck after Crawford criticized the ice at Rexall.

You forgot to mention their treatment of our good friend, DMFB.

Paul said...

No rating for Steve MacIntyre? He scored his first goal! He's worth his weight!

hunter1909 said...

Maybe that black dog in it's twilight years needs a cute puppy to help it adjust to the reality of old doghood.

There's nothing funnier than watching a crotchety old dog with a happy fun loving puppy.


hunter1909 said...

Who didn't go away from last night's game awestruck at the knowledge spouted by that color guy for the caps?

Nothing like an irishman to provide information, whether useful or otherwise.

I wonder if he's related to the actor who played Billy-Jack?


http://www.extremejohn.com said...

No rating for Steve MacIntyre?

Black Dog said...

doogie2k - you bet! ;)

Andy - fixed that

MacIntyre fans - I thought I had - anyways there you go

Unleaded said...

Gotta say that I love Smac's story, and appreciate the Oilers wanting to have that kind of guy available. But you are absolutely right that it doesn't make sense to burn the roster spot when you've alaredy got 3 goalies. His spot mean you have too few options when someone isn't performing, and as much as I think strudwick is providing value for his contract, I think you'd get more out of having had the younger guys up here and getting games in when other players are shitting the bed.

slipper said...

WHAT!!! no rating for Steve Mac... oh, I see it. Sorry, never mind.

My word verification is WANGSTIC.


Mr DeBakey said...

Nice job, Buddy
Much better than Gregor’s, he gave Strudwick a higher mark than Horcoff.
Strudwick has more hits doncha know.

Good thing that you didn’t post this at Oilfans – “Are you Crazy giving a career AHLer a B!!??

Black Dog said...

Thanks Mr D.

slipper - mine was RONJEREMY


Lord Bob said...


Which is just remarkable.

HBomb said...

Gregor's report card was 'meh'. Staples' was an even bigger 'meh'.

Once again, BDHS sets the standard.

My word verification: FIREMACT. Unbelievable.