Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Ramblings of Someone Who Stays Up Too Late Because He's A Dummy (Make Stortini Captain Now!)

Had a great time in Buffalo and will write up my impressions very soon. Best place I have ever seen a game. A passionate and knowledgeable crowd. And afterwards beers at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, just up the road from the rink. We drank stouts and double IPAs and watched the Oilers hang on as long as they could before they were finally dispatched by the Flames.

Terrific night. Got a nice pleasant drunk in and was home by noon on Sunday.

One last thing, after seeing this game it was absolutely no surprise that Renney got canned. In a game against a team trying to leapfrog them in the standings the Rangers were absolutely lifeless and all of their big names - Drury, Gomez, Redden, Naslund - were invisible.

I don't know a girl in Kalamazoo but I'd like to. It would be fun to be able to say that.

A victory last night as we await the Oilers' GM, old whatshisname, to make his moves. Grebeshkov makes his return on Saturday, apparently, just in time to save poor Souray and Gilbert who were logging thirty minutes a game, but this club misses Lubo dreadfully.

The good news? As we suspected, Theo Peckham is a player. The kid has been ok out there. He certainly hasn't looked overmatched for the most part. Remember the Matt Greene Penalty Box Tour of 2006-2007? Peckham has spent some time in the box but its mostly because he likes to smash people in the face. Smash them good Theo. Smash them good. But he can play too. Somehow he and Strudwick ended up out there against Vinny last night and St. Louis centred it and the kid just poked it away as calm as can be.

I was on board with moving Matt Greene because of the return but if the Oilers move either Smid or Peckham I will be plenty unhappy. This club has some hard choices to make salary cap wise over the next year or so. Paying a defenceman nearly 3 million to play on the third pair? Not such a good idea. They need to keep those young cheap guys who can play.

You know what else I like besides blowjobs? I like Liam Reddox and I like Zach Stortini. These guys get a lot of grief and I think a lot of it is the perception that they are MacT creations, nothing more.

Fact is these guys are becoming useful NHL players. Once again, young and cheap is a good combination to have when it comes to the bottom part of the roster and it does not hurt that both of these guys have to bust their fucking humps and do all of the little things right to be successful. Reddox had been on the plus side of the ledger when it comes to scoring chances ever since the LA game and Stortini has been in the ballpark except for against the Flames. And both have been chipping in some offence.

Ten to fifteen goals a year, defensively responsible and bringing along some nice intangibles. Good to see.

Also good to see - the rise of a few more prospects. I'm thinking of Nash's strong play as of late, the emergence of Linus Omark and the play of the young Finn Teemu Hartikainen. You can never have too many Finns.

We'll get a good indication this week about management when we see who gets moved for help. If its any of the guys mentioned or Eberle or Brodziak or anyone with a real upside moved for a rental well then we know that we have a real problem here. With Grebeshkov coming back things are looking up but lets not fool ourselves. This club isn't going anywhere once they make the playoffs (yeah I'm pretty sure that's going to happen). I know I've been beating this drum for a while but desperation from management (see Waddell, Don) generally results in failure.

BJS and Wild on Jack Lemaire next. Fuck those guys.

Roloson is going to look like one of those poor bastards who survived the Japanese prison camps when this season is over if they don't give him a break. He's almost my age for Chrissakes! He's played, what, eight straight games? Only twenty two left to go.

I can't see that being a good idea.

I take back everything I said about Sheldon Souray by the way. He's ridiculous.

Did I just say ridicirous?

Also, whenever I think about the Winter Olympics I get a massive erection. I really do. I love Jennifer Heil. I love them all really.

Where's my peyote?

And Tom Gilbert is the man.

Despite what happened last night though I still think Cogliano should be playing with Potulny and someone else. I like Stortini but I'm afraid young Cogliano is being wasted between he and Moreau. I know some would disagree (Stortini's agent Bruce McCurdy ;) ) but the 13 is pretty well naught but offence right now. If Stortini and Moreau are going to do the heavy lifting until Pisani returns have Brodziak in between them and give the kid soft minutes with some skill guys.

I'd love to think that Rupert Murdoch is going to burn in hell for eternity but I'm afraid I don't really believe in that stuff.

Man you can talk about Gagner doing a lot better with the little things and the underlying numbers but he has to produce more. He really just does.

I don't think trading Cole makes any sense to me at all unless you're getting a blue chip back and the guy you are bringing in to replace him costs you fuck all. What's the point? Why not just bring in Bill Guerin, play him with Gagner and Cole, drop Nilsson to play with Cogliano and Pisani and then have that aforementioned line centred by Brodziak.

I don't understand.

I have come to a realization though. I'm a lucky lucky guy. Life is great. I think I follow the Oilers because I need some yang to go with the yin. To remind me that things don't always work out.

And also Zach Stortini should be captain.

Purple monkey dishwasher.


Darren said...

See, that is why I thought you supported Tottenham. What's the excuse there?

I have a man crush on Tom Gilbert myself. Said so to the wife last night, and she just walked out of the room.

MattM said...

Darren, you aren't the only one. I talk to him when watching the Oilers on TV like he's my little brother. "Good job Tommy! You gotta be harder on the puck there Tommy! Aww, too bad that puck wouldn't sit down for you Tommy!" My friends think I'm crazy.

BDHS: I'm with you on pretty much everything here. Watching the Lightning game last night, I saw Reddox try and make a little deke around a guy at the line. He got stuffed, but that sort of thing gives me a little hope for his offensive upsie. He's doing a good job staying close to the positive side of the ledger, and based on his junior totals, we can be hopeful some more offense will come.

Scott said...

I've said it before, but don't you worry Black Dog. I have enough faith in this management group not to give up on any assets that they have plans for. It's going to be Pouliot, Schremp and picks out the door. I pray (even if you don't believe in that stuff) that they move out Moreau and Staios. If they manage to move those two and replace Staios with a D who only has a year left then I'm a happy man.

I feel pretty much the same way about Cole as well. I can see the logic behind moving him out but I do think that making the playoffs this year is important and he's been spectacular in a few areas we really need the help (PK, physicality, drawing penalties).

Who drew the picture?

doritogrande said...

Sweet. My crazy ramblings in the latest GDT have caught on. I might finally have contributed something to the Oilogosphere.

What I don't get is why Gagner is being given the Cherry minutes as opposed to 13 at this point. He's outproducing 89, better defensively and seems to be just as shitty on faceoffs. Cogliano could probably have 20 at this point.

No moves for rentals at the deadline please. We have a great asset in Cole to deal off, Roloson will probably fetch the same 1st rounder he did three years ago. We should be cutting salary while locking up Grebeshkov.

Black Dog said...

Darren - ha ha very good!

As for Tom Gilbert, the guy is a terrific player (btw MattM also very funny), second year in the league and he's on pace for 40 plus assists, makes a beautiful first pass, plus player while playing the tough minutes.

Some folks don't like him because he's not a banger but Jesus neither is Nick Lidstrom. He's just a real smooth player, smart and a ton of skill.

Love him. Love the contract.


MattM - as for Reddox you're right on - he has the hands; I thought he might be Patrick Thoresen but he has more offence - I think he's the second coming of Fernando Pisani. That's pretty damn good.

Alice said...

Agreed on Buffalo,
It's been a couple years since it was dead-easy to get tickets, but must go again. Good noisy building. Never done the post-game outting, but our pre-game has always been the same: beer and wings and beef-on-weck at 'The Washington Square', just leave car there and walk over. It's a low-rent affair, like where you'd drink in college. Bingo.

Black Dog said...

Scott - put purple monkey dishwasher in Google Images - I had my pick of pictures which I found very very strange

I am with you on the deadline, both on what you think will happen and what should happen

my only concern is that this year they have a new owner and MacT's job is on the line - these reasons make me think that they might do something goofy

ideally they would have a deadline like they did the year they moved Janne and Carter - I remember being really unhappy but the reality was those were terrific moves. Brought back two good players and Janne stepped right off the cliff, soon followed by Carter

If they could do the same with Moreau and Staios that would be a coup.

Can't see them moving Cole though - not unless the return can't be missed and they have a replacement for him.


dg - Yeah they're not going to sell though either. Waving the white flag at this point might lead to success down the road (I think the famous White Sox white flag trade helped them win a lot down the road) but its not popular with the fans or the players.

I don't think this team is going anywhere but if they made the team weaker for the stretch drive I would be pissed off.

HBomb said...

Unless the return is Tuomo Ruutu or better, no to moving Cole.

And I still can't believe we got Gilbert for Tommy Fucking Salo when said goalie couldn't stop a flat beachball with a snowshovel. Lowe may have screwed up on Hejda royally and giving away Pronger, but between this, Souray proving everyone wrong, and that beauty of a deal for Visnovsky (not to mention the coup of getting Pronger in the first place)....Lowe's definitely in the "black" when it comes to defensemen and dealings related to the position.

Black Dog said...

And Grebs, hbomb

And dumping Janne and Gator just in time.

And renting Spacek.

If he can move Staios before the bottom falls out and if Smid and Peckham progress as Greene has I think we can all agree that when it comes to the D at least Lowe is a savant.

Goaltending and overall team building, maybe not so much.

As for the Cole/Ruutu rumour, I don't see why Carolina would make that move unless they KNOW that Cole will make that big of a difference and figure thta they can definitely sign him in the summer.

If not why would you trade a roster player and a pretty good one at that?

R-Gib said...

I'm with Hbomb here too... Lowe knows D. Now the other 14 positions I'm not too sure about.

Purple monkey dishwasher? Man what are you on? I hope that's code for: Moreau, Staios, Schremp and O'Marra to Nashville for Hamhuis, Bonk, Zanon and a pick. Do it Tambo. Do it now.

Anyone watch SNL anymore? They should just FIX IT!!


Darren said...

BD- the fact that Gilbert isn't a banger is why I love him so much. Great body positioning, and great stick checking. I dream of him being our Lidstrom in the future...

Black Dog said...

r-gib - its from the GDT v. Tampa

Darren - I like the guys like Gator who punish the opposition but Gilbert is really terrific and of course most of the greats were guys who could handle themselves physically but got buy most of all on smarts - Doug Harvey, Salming, Orr, Bourque, Serge Savard, Niedermeyer, Robinson, Doug Wilson and of course Lidstrom. These guys would battle you but they weren't running around out there like Scott Stevens. Even Pronger in his year in Edmonton played more of a controlled style.

Enjoyable to watch.

His contract is a beauty.