Deep Thoughts – random Oilers thoughts…

By , November 9, 2009 10:36 am
Deep Thoughts - by Racki

Deep Thoughts - by Racki

A few random thoughts for you guys to chew on:

The powerplay - is our powerplay better off without Hemsky out there? Obviously he’s out most skilled talent, but do the Oil need to simplify things a lot more? Does he hang on to the puck too much in favor of the perfect play? It’s just one game, so I won’t read much into it. But I don’t think this is the first time where I’ve seen Hemsky out and though our powerplay looked better. If you’re Quinn though, do you give it more time without Hemsky on the top unit, even when he’s back? What about Potulny? Beginners luck?

The enigma that is Steve Staios – is he still Steady Steve? He’s looked better to me this year than he did last year. I think a lot of that has to do with less time paired with Smid. I don’t like him paired with Strudwick either, but perhaps Strudwick’s mistakes are glaring enough to distract away from anything Staios may do. I still think him and Souray make a solid pairing though, so I’m looking forward to Souray being back.

Khabibulin is a great goaltender and I’m happy this team has him. But he really needs to have his butt bungee-corded to the net. His defense bails him out of trouble quite frequently, or at least they try to. But when he’s on his game, he’s on his game – like Roli.

Steve MacIntyre - how long will he stick around? I always liked the guy, but in my mind he’s the first guy to go when there is room needed. You can tell that Quinn doesn’t like him. Benched for an entire game because of one bad penalty. Something that Moreau has been making a career of for the past 3 years, minimum, and getting away with it. Edit: didn’t take long, apparently Big Mac has been placed on waivers today.

Robert Nilsson – has anyone seen anything of him this season to feel that he will survive the next round of cuts either (i.e. when Souray and his big salary come back into play)? I haven’t yet. I’d still like to see them move him for a pick, but they might just have to lose him on waivers. He’ll be good on another team such as somewhere in the East, but here he just seems to be too much of a non-factor. Maybe he’s a guy that Potulny can replace, if he can keep it up. Even just as a powerplay specialist.

Andrew Cogliano – he saw a little bit of powerplay time yesterday, but how is it that he keeps getting passed by, by everyone else for powerplay time? Even Stortini gets ice time on the powerplay. What a kick in the junk that has to be to Cogliano.

Ethan Moreau – how long until he loses his job to someone like a Liam Reddox? I know he’s the captain and all, but I’d really like to see him start playing like he did in 2002, when I really started to love the guy.

25 Responses to “Deep Thoughts – random Oilers thoughts…”

  1. Racki says:

    I’m waiting for Steve-O to eSlap me for the Hemskyless powerplay suggestion ;)

  2. Trogdor says:

    Nilsson has filled the void that Schremp left behind. Attempting passes that would be awesome if they worked, but constantly getting intercepted. I haven’t seen a whole lot of good from him and he’s been up for a while now as the regulars are still missing. Maybe we should send some youtube vids to the Islanders of him.

    As for MacIntyre, he’s a scary guy, but not when he’s just sitting on the bench. Once JFJ and Stone are back in the line up they can cover his role and contribute quite a bit more. For the amount of ice time he’s had, it isn’t worth keeping him on the bench. Freeing up a spot by putting him on waivers is a good decision.

  3. Steve-O says:

    i’m going to smack you

  4. Hockey Noob says:

    Hey Racki,

    I think the problem this year with Hemmer on the powerplay is that he’s too predictable. I think that most teams have the book on him by now. With Souray out, Hemmer always tries the cross-ice pass from the left half wall to Visnovsky in the high slot. One commentator even observed this in his last game and the goalie was square with Visnovsky before the puck hit his (Visnovsky’s) stick.

  5. Horpensky says:

    Guys like Mac aren’t needed in today’s game, when you got guys like Stortini, JFJ, Stone, Souray, Strudwick who can play hockey and are willing to chuck knuckles. Just too bad, it would be so much easier if he wasn’t so likeable.

    about cogs on the PP… where if he was there he wouldn’t be able to utilize his greatest asset, his speed. He isn’t known to have the best hands either, so I don’t know where he’ll fit.

  6. Racki says:

    Yah his wheels might not be the best at a time when you are stationary in the offensive zone. But as for his hands, I don’t think they’re that bad. He’s scored 18 goals a couple of times now (once from the 3rd line), and they haven’t all been breakaways ;) Are Stortini’s hands that much better? :P I know he brings the size though, so I’m partly kidding on that. But I don’t think Cogs has bad hands at all.

  7. chucker says:

    Room for a guy like Potulny it looks like to me. Another option at centre and a guy who can play both ways very well.

    I’m hoping Nilsson is gone soon too. Reddox would be nice to have around instead of him.

  8. Racki says:

    Yah honestly, Nilsson gave us false hope when we heard how great of shape he was in this season. But he hasn’t really shown any promise. So hopefully they move him for a pick of some sort. If not, I wouldn’t be upset to see him waived.

  9. Steve-O says:

    Disagree about Nilsson. He has shown that he can produce, he just needs to be given the right situations.

  10. NorwegianOiler says:

    I actually think Nilsson is coming along too, however in the way that Quinn wants it. Doing the “little things” (whatever those may be) and playing more risk-rationally. Last night he fought players off the puck, stick-checked with determination and did well defensively. For players like Nilsson, Hemsky and Gagner it’s about finding the balance between doing easy things and using your skill-advantage when it is possible (not forcing the play).

    Now that Nilsson is working more on his defensive game he’ll be less visible offensively (for a while at least) and people will be wondering why he’s out there at all.

  11. Racki says:

    Yah, count me amongst the population that wonders what he’s doing out there. :P With the team healthy, I don’t think he draws in the line up. So at this point he doesn’t seem to have much purpose with his game. I mean, that’s great that he’s bringing more defense to his game, and that should make him a better player in the long run, but raise your hand if you see him in the long term plans right now. I’m sure a couple of you do… but I see him a bit easily replaced though and not a part of Quinn’s game plan. I do like him though, so that’s no slag against him personally, just I don’t think he brings much to the table other than depth, and he’s a bit pricey for a depth player.

  12. NorwegianOiler says:

    Whether he’s in the long term plans or not certainly depend on what Tambellini intends to do with our size problem. If he’s out to just get some bigger bodies in, Nilsson is likely gone. If he’s interested in skilled big bodies we might see Sully, Cogs, Brule gone – which means Nilsson has ‘new’ room on the roster. I agree he hasn’t seized the chance well enough, but few of our offensive players have dazzled anyone.

    Right now I’d stay put. If we could get a decent pick for Nilsson, I’d certainly consider it, but would we be able to?

  13. Racki says:

    Good points, N.O. . No, very unlikely that the return on Nilsson would be good at this point. And yes, we can name a few names of guys who haven’t lived up to expectations offensively (ex. O’Sullivan). I think those guys maybe do the little things a bit better than Nilsson does though (again, ex. O’Sullivan), but yes, it probably is a bit premature to jump on Nilsson just yet. Mark me down as a guy who wouldn’t be upset to see him go though. I don’t think he’s hurting the team, per se. Just he’s not really adding much right now.

  14. Hockey Noob says:

    Hey Racki,

    The Oilers website indicates that Nilsson’s likely out with a possible concussion (?from Foote). Also, Chorney sprained his ankle in last night’s game.

  15. Horpensky says:

    I blame O’Sullivan’s struggles on the Pronger curse

    Pronger -> Lupul -> Pitkanen -> Cole -> O’Sullivan -> ???

  16. Racki says:

    Thanks for the update, Noob. Didn’t hear that. I wonder when Chorney hurt his ankle. And I also wonder if the concussion from Foote was when Foote took that misconduct…?

    edit: from Quinn’s comments, it sounds like when an Avalanche player tackled him onto Khabibulin.

  17. chucker says:

    I think Nilsson could be moved easily. It’s the return that is the question, but if we have other guys that are ahead on the curve, sometimes guys lose jobs because of that. That should not be confused with his potential though. Similar, but not the same things to me.

    We have two guys in Pots and Reddox who show compete and also have decent ceilings and are good value. Nilsson and Pouliot are likely gone once everyone is healthy. I have to think Pouliot was the guy they tried to move the Minnie but they wanted Brodziak instead. Too bad really.

    From a contract point of view, it will allow us to pick up some needed depth guys that will be UFAs come year’s end or do a deadline deal. Clearly we were not able to do this the last few years. I think that will change. Chorney has also given use lots of comfort on the back end if we move Gilbert or Grebs. I have to think one will be moved at some time this year.

  18. NorwegianOiler says:

    Adam Mair on waivers. He’s ‘only’ 30, on a reasonable salary, typical lower line physical player. A bit risky coming off an injury, but this is one waivered player I would be pleased to see join the Oilers. TSN reports that the Sabres did try to trade him, but there were no takers. How about a claim, then?

  19. Racki says:

    I discussed this a bit on OilersNation yesterday, so I’ve already got my argument prepared. lol

    To be honest, N.O., I’d say no. Yes, his salary is reasonable, he brings some size and physical play, but that’s about it. He brings next to no offense, isn’t a great faceoff guy (he’s decent, but not good).

    Basically the way I see it, if they passed on guys like Betts and Malhotra, they’ll pass on Mair. He’s not a lot of money, but I think they’d sooner hang on to that money for the trade deadline.

    We’ve got some guys due back soon, and I don’t see how Mair would fit into our top 12 anywhere. Even right now, would I take Mair over Reddox or Potulny even? No. I’ll pass on Mair.

    As some were saying over on ON, guys generally hit waivers for a reason. There are some gems to be had, on occasion, but I don’t think this is one of those gems.

  20. NorwegianOiler says:

    Players DO hit waivers for a reason, but still…

    I’m not advocating picking him up at any price, he’s been rather mediocre at the Sabres the past season. He does bring elements we sorely lack when one or more of Jacques, Stone, Stortini is out though. Would I take him over Reddox, Potulny? Possibly, if only for the increased size. I don’t believe Reddox, Stone (for example) would produce much more offensively. Then again, most people would find a straight up swap with Mair and Moreau to be pleasant, if only for the salary deduction. Pisani too, possibly, even though I think he had a good game against the Avs.

    Taking Mair on without additional roster change, however, isn’t possible nor clever…

  21. Racki says:

    Yah, I honestly would be ecstatic if the Oilers dumped some dead weight in the form of one of the aforementioned contracts. However would they do it? I really doubt it. But if you’re playing that angle, I’m definitely on board with that. I actually don’t mind Pisani though. Moreau to me has gone very downhill though, perhaps due to all the injuries. But he just doesn’t seem to be in many games anymore.

    Steve-O has a man crush on him, so I’m pretty sure he’ll cry if Moreau is dumped/traded. You can still keep his poster on your bedroom ceiling, Steve-O! :P

    Seriously though, that’s the only way this makes sense for me, and I don’t foresee Tambellini having the cojones to do it.

  22. NorwegianOiler says:

    I am (was?) a fan of Moreau too, but I think his form has, unfortunately, carried over from last season. He’s doing a bit too much, and at the same time too little. He hits too little, chops too much. He shoots from just inside the blueline on the rush, when better options are available. He doesn’t take the puck to the net often enough, although when he does it seems like he’s run out of luck, because he rarely catches a break.

    Still, I hold Chopper in high regard as a player, even though he’s not showing it right now. I hope he’s working on balancing out his game a bit more.

  23. Racki says:

    In other news, Oilers fan favorite Nathan Horton is reportedly on the trading block, according to The Fourth Period (more specifically, the Ottawa Sun). $4M is a lot, if he can’t produce though. And I don’t think the Panthers are looking to take much cash back. But since we’re on the discussion of waiving a Moreau/Pisani for Mair, what about doing the same for Horton? (by that, I mean free up some cash by moving one of them in some way, if Florida won’t take them, which I don’t see them doing)

    The guy has become maybe a bit of an urban legend around here as to how goos he is (or has he?). Perhaps $4M is a bit high, although he has scored 30 before (nearly 3 times). There’s issues surrounding his interest in hockey though, although some speculate that is just because of where he plays (and the same concerns were brought up there with Bouwmeester if I recall).

    Anyways, this one has been played out to death, but I’ll throw it out there anyways. I’d take him on our team if they can somehow manage it under the cap without destroying the team too much.

    I haven’t been too much on the Horton bandwagon, but the more I think about it, the more he would be a guy we could use in our top six.

  24. NorwegianOiler says:

    It would depend on the balance of the trade, but generally I am against picking up Horton, due to his consistency and motivation issues. He’s been highly touted, but hasn’t shown much determination at all. Then again, hopes would surge that Quinn could pull at Penner on him and make him believe in himself, the team and the philosophy?

  25. Racki says:

    Yah that’s kind of what I was thinking. Another Dustin Penner reborn under Quinn. He also got a bit of production out of JFJ and Stone too, so you never know with Horton. I’m lukewarm to the idea, maybe a bit more interested than that. I think the motivational question marks could have to do with playing in a non-hockey town, but not sure on that. At any rate, I think he would be pretty beneficial to our top six, under Quinn.

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