Friday, January 13, 2012

Groundhog Day

Love Bill Murray as regular visitors here know. Love his work but love the stories of him showing up at random gatherings even more. Cool cool guy. Waiting for him to show up at my door one night, preferably with some cigarettes and steaks, and we'll hang out on the back deck drinking good beer and scotch, shooting the shit. And Bill, if you're reading this, bring me a puppy. No way Jenn will send away a puppy if you bring it. I'll even name it Bill Murray.

Groundhog Day - underrated movie. Would have been a hundred times better without Andie MacDowell in it. Sure she's pretty but I swear a squirrel is going to pop out of her hair at some point, she's so damn wooden. Ruins every movie she's in. Put Julianne Moore or Bridget Fonda in there goddamnit!!

Speaking of Groundhog Day well here were the quarter pole grades of the Oilers.

Ahh for those heady days just SEVEN WEEKS AGO!!! WHAT THE FUCK!?!??! Oh my God that's depressing. Tambo you idiot what have you wrought but another season of awful disappointment. I am guessing that come the summer heads will roll or at least certain coaching or management types may not get extended.

With Gilbert, Ted and Eberle out for another half dozen games or so the Oilers will be firmly ensconced in 30th or thereabouts soon enough and the annual firesale which will see Hemsky and others moved out will only guarantee another lottery pick.

Its awful and so much of the promise of this year's beginning has disappeared into the mist.

Here we go. Quarter pole mark in brackets, present mark is cumulative grade for year:


Tom Gilbert (A+)- club MVP, a minus two despite playing the other team's best, generally starting in his own zone and, well, playing for the Edmonton Oilers. I have always liked Gilbert. He has been fantastic and his absence is the one the Oilers can least afford.

Jordan Eberle (A) - just absolutely tearing it up before he got hurt, over a PPG and top ten in scoring. What a wonderful player.


Ryan Nugent Hopkins (A+) - hard to nick a teenaged rookie who is averaging almost a PPG but his production on the road and at ES is not great, expected of course. Ironically the injury may help him get around the wall I sensed he was hitting a bit.

Ladi Smid (A) - he has arrived and how. Of course his arrival is also a reminder that Dmen take forever to develop. Really has been great though and has even chipped in some offence.

Taylor Hall (B+) - came back from his injury and put the team on his back on the last road trip. Looks to maybe be from the Iginla mold with his slow starts back to back now.

Ryan Jones (A) - I was never a Jones hater but I was pretty well indifferent to him I guess. Fair play to him though, he has worked hard to become a more complete player and of course he scores goals like crazy. A pleasant surprise.


Ryan Smyth (A+) - Smytty has slowed down somewhat, no surprise. Ferraro said the other night that Renney has worn he and Horcoff out, playing them tons, and we're not talking the easy minutes either.


Nikolai Khabibulin (A) - old goalie has come back to earth a bit, he had to, but he's been pretty good still

Sam Gagner (C-) - Gagner with a bullet, averaging almost a point a game since he a)got fit and b) started getting the quality linemates and icetime. Not sure if Gagner is part of the future (I say don't move him yet, if at all) but at least he has some value now if they do move him


Shawn Horcoff (A) - Horc has been playing the toughs and killing penalties and playing over twenty minutes a game and his numbers are taking a beating after a great start. The try is there but sometimes the results are not.

Corey Potter (B+) - looking a bit more like what we expected but overall hard to complain. And a nice contract extension to boot.


Jeff Petry (B-) - almost bumped him up, he is getting better by my eye but he's still a rookie and so the mistakes happen. I think he can be a top four guy, just have to be patient


Andy Sutton (B-) - the team is better with him in the lineup and I think he has enough crazy to keep other teams worried but unfortunately the suspensions are killing his club

C -

Devan Dubnyk (B-) - he has not been good enough

Ales Hemsky (B-) - I would sign him in a heartbeat still. He has not been himself but when he is himself he is a gamebreaker who averages almost a point a game. Having a tough time coming back from major surgery and I think the contract situation and his impending move is weighing on him. Sad that fans think he should go after he has had a couple dozen bad games after almost a decade of good ones.

Anton Lander (C) - should be in OKC playing a ton. Poor development decision, O'Marra should be playing these minutes

Colten Teubert (no grade) - has looked like a rookie Dman but not awful, all things considered


Eric Belanger (C-) - still no offence and not much else, there was talk of a back injury early one, I wonder if that's playing a factor, he has been a decent player for so long its hard to believe he is suddenly this bad

Lennart Petrell (C-) - a fun story but in the minors, doesn't really bring much

Magnus Paajarvi (D) - ended up in the minors, he has lost his confidence, a big disappointment this year

Linus Omark (D) - no change as he has been hurt this quarter

Ryan Whitney (Incomplete) - he looked absolutely awful in his return and they finally shut him down again. Sad is the best way to describe this situation.

Ben Eager (F) - slightly better but of course he was so brutal he had nowhere to go but up


Darcy Hordichuk (F) - still a waste of a roster spot

Theo Peckham (no grade) - lol I forgot to grade Peckham last quarter. I love the kid but he's been awful except for on the PK, problem is he is often in the box. Plus he's been terrible.

Cam Barker (F) - was an F and hasn't played since.


Tom Renney (A-) - I haven't liked his work this quarter as much, he's had some goofy situations where he has thrown out the 4th line at the wrong time at home, he has little to work with though so its hard to blame him for this mess.


Steve Tambellini (B) - I've nicked him, not so much because the team has struggled but because he hasn't done anything about it. When Whitney showed he was in trouble he should have tried to add a Dman imo. Might have stopped the freefall. Oh well, he may be a goner and I think that would be a good thing.


OKC Barons (A)- same mark as last term for the same reasons - top notch club that has provided quality reinforcements; even with callups and injuries they have done very well


Bruce said...

Good stuff, Pat. I had the same thought about the timing of RNH's injury being not all bad, it's rest even if it's not all relaxation. Wall-hitting is a very real phenomenon for rookies, and not just Euros either. RNH took "hitting the wall" rather too literally, eh. Silver linings and all that, 3 to 4 weeks beats the shit out of 3 to 4 months, even as it has made the recent run of games even tougher to watch.

Still it's ironic that the guy never missed a game to injury in his life, but put an Oilers crest on the fucker and he's a single vehicle accident looking for a place to happen. FFS.

Nanaimo Oil said...

Bruce, this is what happens when you play boys against men, they are prone to injury. Last year it was Hall, now RNH and Eberle. If we could let them develop properly and bring them in the league when they are full grown men the injury factor would decrease. Thank God the injuries have been minor so far...Brian

Bruce said...

@Nanaimo Oil: I'd buy that but for the nature of the injury. The boards are just as hard in junior as they are in the NHL. It's not like the kid got caught in the trolley tracks with a 240 pound lcomotive going the other way, it was just a flukey goddam thing, coulda happened anywhere.

mattwatt said...

Heard Spector say during intermission one game that 'Cam Barker was the Oilers 3rd best defenceman had and tough having him out' or something alon those lines. Shook my head in disgust.

We all know he is shit. Is Oilers brass and MSM the only one's who don't see this?

Elk Lake said...

Mr Skunk,

Little game of "this or that". We'll start slow:
1. Mac "or" PC?
2. front wheel "or" rear wheel drive
3. skiing "or" snowboarding
4. tea "or coffee
5. Sutton "or" Peckham
6. Hemsky "or" top 6 d-man
7. McTavish "or" Renney
8. Leafs "or" Canucks
9. Habby "or" Dubnyk
10. 9th place "or" Lottery

Black Dog said...

mattwatt - I don't even think Oilers' brass think that, honestly. They gambled on him with that deal but he was being used as a third pair guy basically.

Elk Lake:

1. No experience with Mac so can't say

2. I know nothing about cars

3. Skiing

4. coffee

5. Sutton right now, Peckham for the future (even though he's been bad)

6. I want both and Hemsky doesn't get you a top Dman anyway. Have to move kids or sign a FA

7. MacT

8. If I have to choose then the Leafs

9. Dubnyk

10. Well at some point they have to show some improvement. Lets say lottery this year, we'll take 9th next year. Have to start somewhere