Oilers 2009/10 Quarter 4 Review

By , April 16, 2010 2:30 pm

Well, the season is all done, and we’ve finally got off our asses and assembled a Q4 review for you folks. Read… enjoy… write your own… comment.

This time around, the review will only be by Steve-O and I, because Trogdor is currently looking after his newborn daughter. If I were to guess his review it would go something like this: “lots of crying, plenty of shitting the bed, but you can’t help but love ‘em.” You can guess whether that was a review of his daughter or the Oilers.

Legend:
A – Awesome
B – Above Average
C – Average
D – Booooooooo
F – Useless/Trade/Fire

FORWARD RANKINGS

Name GP G A P PIM +/-
Andrew Cogliano 21 5 10 15 14 3
Racki About bloody time they put him on a good line. Enough calling players out when you’ve got them in the bottom six. That is what annoyed me about MacTavish calling out Penner on the 3rd line. Jesus Christ couldn’t score a goal playing with Moreau and Pisani. Put players in positions in which they can succeed, and you will get results. B+
Steve-O Kid played alright. C
Dustin Penner 21 8 8 16 10 4
Racki Where would we be without Penner this year? Yikes… scary thought. Congrats to him on being a 30/30 player as well. This is the first time we’ve had someone with 30G and 30A in one season since Smyth did it in 05/06. He seemed to slow down this quarter (despite what the production says) and pushed a bit harder as he approached his milestones. C+
Steve-O Started playing better later in the year, but its obvious that he benefited greatly from playing with Hemsky.  May be in trouble if Hall is drafted and gets the cherry minutes. C
Ethan Moreau 16 3 2 5 8 -4
Racki Definitely a better quarter for him, and that has a lot to do with the coaching staff finally figuring out that if you combine all our overpaid vets, at least one of them will show up on a shift. It wasn’t Moreau that stood out the most, but he definitely played a lot better than he has in other quarters. B-
Steve-O Played well once he removed the visor.  Started playing like he could.  Also being paired with Horcoff and Pisani seemed to do wonders for all of them. C
Fernando Pisani 18 2 4 6 0 -5
Racki God bless Fernaannnddoooooo Pisani. But I can’t see him sticking around next year. He works hard every night, but I think he’s now replaceable. C-
Steve-O Being paired with Moreau and Horcoff seemed to work wonders for all three of them.  Everyone played well defensively and chipped in a little offense. C
Gilbert Brule 16 5 6 11 6 -4
Racki Shows up every night and does what is expected of him. A-
Steve-O Getting injured sucked for him as he was on a tear, however he was one of the best offensive players the Oil had in the last quarter B+
Marc Pouliot 21 5 5 10 17 -2
Racki Holy, how the heck did he get 10 pts. He hasn’t been our worst player, and he does look good some nights. Needs to be a bit more consistent in which Pouliot we’ll see each night. B-
Steve-O Poo looked awesome.  AWESOME!  Played well in his own zone coupled with some g’s and a’s.  Even scored some PP time to go with his PK time. B
Mike Comrie 18 7 3 10 7 0
Racki I would give him an F- for inability to close his curtains so the papparazi can’t snap b.j. picks of him. However, outside of that, he has been a good performer. Doesn’t get enough credit from the fans, imho. I’d like to see him back next year. B-
Steve-O Dude got a hummer.  From Duff. (Looked kinda slow out there) A+++(C+)
Patrick O’Sullivan 13 1 3 4 2 -7
Racki P.O.S. .. And that doesn’t stand for Patrick O’Sullivan. Seriously, Tambellini preached yesterday about players not wanting to be here, and I couldn’t help but think this was largely directed at him. Hopefully he’s moved next year… I’d really like Cole back. D-
Steve-O Playing out the string, as he probably thinks he’s gone.  I like his play, and I think he can be valuable to a team that uses him correctly (i.e. not Quinn). C
Robert Nilsson 17 5 2 7 0 4
Racki Magic man was back for this quarter, in my opinion. I’m still not sold that he is worth keeping around. I would be OK with him staying, but his consistency just isn’t there. C
Steve-O I think he’s worth keeping, much in the same way that O’Sullivan is.  So long as they are played correctly.  If Quinn insists on not line matching, then you say goodbye, otherwise you can utilize him well.  Also seems to have gotten better in his own zone. C
Ryan Jones 8 1 0 1 8 -3
Racki Hard working energy player… does what is expected of him. No more, no less. B-
Steve-O Looked fine.  Didn’t notice him really. C
Ryan Potulny 20 1 9 10 12 -8
Racki I’m a fan of Potulny’s. He is a good contributor and plays a pretty simple game, but this was not his best quarter. C
Steve-O He can fill out a bottom 6 part of the roster. C
Sam Gagner 12 1 5 6 2 -1
Racki Didn’t play all that much before getting hurt, so can’t really give him too big of an evaluation, but his production wasn’t very good this quarter. C
Steve-O Played well…?  Didn’t really notice him (although yes, he was injured for half the quarter).  From the stat line, looks like he played OK. C
Shawn Horcoff 21 4 9 13 10 0
Racki Horcules is back. I think he was the big reason why the Moreau, Horcoff, Pisani line was so successful. I’m not sure what his FO% was this quarter (he is under 50% on the year though), but he produced well from that “checking” line. B+
Steve-O Played much like the Horcoff of old.  Not the ppg Horcoff (however I wouldn’t be surprised to see him reach that again if he gets back with Hemsky).  Just the steady dependable forward, who can chip in a bunch of offense.  Honestly, I’m not terribly upset with him earning 5.5 per. B
Zack Stortini 20 1 2 3 50 1
Racki Definitely not his best quarter either, and I’m not sure why. One thing I liked about MacT is that he sat Stortini every now and then to get him to be a bit more of a desperate player. Can someone tell Quinn this?? C
Steve-O Plays hard.  Fights.  I should like him more than I do, but I just see too many plays die on his stick. C

DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Name GP G A P PIM +/-
Aaron Johnson 19 3 4 7 16 -6
Racki Decent, stay at home d-man (or so I thought), but somehow he managed to scoop up 7 points here, including 3 goals. Not bad production, at all! That probably will disappear when we start next year with more guys in the lineup. He’s a hard hitter, and somewhat effective in his own zone but could be better there. At any rate, he replaced the grit we lost in Steve Staios and i hope he’s back as a 6th or 7th d-man next year. C
Steve-O I like him.  He would be perfect for a 4/5/6 d-man.  If they sign him for around a mil I’d be really happy.  Just don’t want to see him on the PP. B
Dean Arsene 13 0 0 0 41 -3
Racki He plays pretty hard and had some good hits. Can’t fight to save his life, but at least he’s willing. If he is re-signed, it would be good to have him in Oklahoma next year. C-
Steve-O Played well.  Didn’t look out of place.  Hits huge and always willing to fight anyone.  I like him. B
Jason Strudwick 21 0 2 2 15 -3
Racki This was easily his best quarter, and that has a lot to do with being ridden by Quinn. He was Quinn’s Toby Petersen for Q4. Still though, I don’t think he should be back next year as he’s just not that capable of a d-man in his own zone. The C- might be a bit generous. C-
Steve-O Don’t like him.  The Strudwick/Chorney pairing was atrocious. F
Ryan Whitney 19 3 8 11 22 7
Racki “We traded Visnovsky for Whitney? NOOO! Not Visnovsky…. Wait… he brings all the things that Visnovsky did, plus he’s physical. What a trade!”. Simply put, he’s been awesome and our 2nd best player this quarter, perhaps. A+
Steve-O I like him.  He’s played well and should continue to get better as he’s still young.  Hopefully he doesn’t start to think the city/management/team/teammates/fans etc suck. A
Taylor Chorney 21 0 2 2 8 -12
Racki Might be our worst defenseman of the bunch, but playing with Strudwick can’t be all that flattering for your stats either. D
Steve-O I’m sure Strudwick was bringing him down, but still.  Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  At least he’s young and getting good experience.  If they take it slow with him from this point on (i.e. next year in the A) he looks as though he can do some things.  Just needs to mature. D
Tom Gilbert 21 3 17 20 6 3
Racki I became reunited with the Gilbert I knew and loved two years ago. He was the best player on the Oilers this quarter. Amazing how he was a PPG since playing with Whitney, but also was only 1 point shy of being a PPG player this quarter. I’m still unsure about his defensive zone abilities, but him and Whitney just mesh. It’s like someone broke the perfect defenseman in half and out of the halves were born Whitney and Gilbert. 77 + 6 singlehandedly (doublehandedly?) made this quarter watchable. Whitney is the Visnovsky to his Grebeshkov. A+
Steve-O Hey Racki?  What was that?  Can’t hear you from around all that crow.  Ha.  Told you all he was a good player, but no one believed me. A
Theo Peckham 11 0 1 1 39 -3
Racki Hugely disappointed when he got injured. When are we going to get to see this hulking blueline monster smash people on a full time basis? Needs work in the defensive zone, but he’s exciting to watch. C+
Steve-O Hopefully the injuries this season don’t railroad his career.  Will probably see some time in OKC but will probably get the call up sooner than later. C

GOALTENDER RANKINGS

Name GP Min W L T GAA SV% SO
Jeff Deslauriers 12 708 4 7 1 3.47 0.901 1
Racki I’m not sure the cause.. Fatigue (whether mental or physical) or otherwise, but JDD was a beaten man this quarter. He let in some pretty lousy goals. He did have a great game or two this quarter too though. But that said, I worry about his ability to be a full time starter. It’s too soon to worry TOO much though. D+
Steve-O Inconsistant.  But young (although Quick in LA is younger).  Based on Tambellini’s comments the other day, one of these guys are leaving town and I would guess that its him. C-
Devan Dubnyk 10 571 4 4 1 3.05 0.912 0
Racki I’d say he was the better of our two goalies this quarter. He put in some good games and should have had more wins if not for our team sucking balls and ruining potential wins for him. C+
Steve-O Once he got a win in there, he started playing way better.  A good goalie I would guess, just needs some seasoning. C

OTHER RANKINGS

Team As A Whole
(GP 21, W 3, L 16, OTL 2, GF 40, GA 79)
Review Rating
Racki Tambellini called it. Some guys just don’t want to be here, and it shows. This was a better quarter than the last one, but that isn’t saying much, mind you. They were pretty defensively poor this quarter, but at least better than the stinker of Q3. C-
Steve-O You could tell who needed to play for a contract and who didn’t.  Half the team (the young/ungood part) played their asses off, where the vets started coasting…except Horcoff.  I’m looking forward to the summer to see who gets cut. C-
Coaching Review Rating
Racki You could put a sportcoat, a shirt with a weird collar, and a vest on a pylon behind the bench and still get the same results. Really though, they had nothing to work with, as this was the quarter where we saw a very new D-group. C-
Steve-O Not a fan.  In today’s league, you line match.  It’s a damn requirement.  A coach line matching against one that doesn’t will always get the upper hand.  I think a big turn around this quarter was the “creation” of a checking line.  And the actual use of it against other top lines. D
Management Review Rating
Racki He gets bonus points for turning an aging d-man on the decline into a playable 6th or 7th d-man plus a 3rd round pick. Add to that, while the initial reaction was not good, he won me over a bit with the Whitney/Visnovsky deal. That said, he still needed to clean up the dead weight on this team and didn’t manage to. C-
Steve-O Don’t know.  The speeches sound good, but they were exactly the same as last year’s.  Maybe this rebuild will be taken seriously (looking at a long 3 years people), but that beats the rebuild/playoffs next year shit that goes around (eh Burke) and never works out. D-

18 Responses to “Oilers 2009/10 Quarter 4 Review”

  1. MetalOil says:

    Yeah The coaching is defiantly an area of concern that is flying under the radar a little. Maybe Quinn is a bit too old school of a coach and should be shifted to a consultant/advisory role and see what Renney can give us next season.

    I still think that Rob Daum should be the coach of this team in 2-3 more years as I think that he works well with young players and in that time frame of 2-3 years we should have a young team that is contending for a decent playoff spot. He had a good year in Springfield if you consider how we raped and pillaged that team and in most cases when a player got called up they did fairly well. Maybe bring him back up as an assistant after a full season in Oklahoma and get rid of Bucky.

  2. Racki says:

    I give the coaching staff a small break because the team they had in front of this year was pretty horrible.

  3. MetalOil says:

    At this point we should take a look at what is more important in the long run and by that I mean the development of specific players or the development of the organization as a whole.

    I mean almost every freaking Oiler fan is stuck in mode of saying Eberle, Omark MPS and he ain’t even been drafted yet but he should be on our first line with Hemsky and Penner next season. That way of thinking is ok if your already a stable team that made the playoffs in the last year or two or three but 4 facing 5 years of post season exile to me means we need to take a step back and examine the whole package.

    Since the Lockout our Sister Affiliate AHL team has been a slut moving from person to person, location to location & sometimes without even a partner. That is not stability and it’s why I think this organization is in the mess that it is in.

    If I had one wish for next season it would be this:

    Do not focus on playoffs, cups,division titles or anything else for the big club. Lets send a premium package down there to the “A” and contend for a Calder Cup or at least plant the seeds for our top affiliate to be successful and I think that this team defiantly has the assets to do this.

    Steve Tambellini by his own admissions said that this organization is a mess so I would like to see him follow through on his words of yesterday and starts taking the necessary baby steps that will put this team into serious contention 3,4, 7 heck even 10 years from now. Even if that means some prospects who are NHL ready have to wait an extra year or two too show us they are because this team ain’t ready to let them do it.

  4. zackman35 says:

    I’m kind of a homer but I truly believe that with a healthy team this past season we probably would have been scratching 8th place, again. This turning point of this season, in my opinion was when there was one second left in regulation and Calgary scored with a shot through a shit load of traffic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iS6bFsYDsiU

    Everyone keeps talking about the rebuild, which is undoubtedly taking place probably as we speak (from the AHL team and up) but I think we’ll probably be scratching playoffs again come next year given that the team can stay healthy, more importantly our starting goalie. I’m not saying we’ll be making playoffs for sure but I don’t think we’ll be at the bottom of the barrel either.

  5. Mr.Majestyk says:

    With all our prospects hopefully coming into training camp next season, I’m hoping its extremely competitive and it drives our players to be better. I wouldn’t just give anyone a roster spot, they have to earn it. Now with that being said, the team we have presently isn’t that great so in reality we could still be giving a roster spot to a guy that just isn’t good enough to play consistent in the NHL. What I mean by that is we can have a really competitive training camp, and if Jordan Eberle outperforms Marc Pouliot for a spot on the roster, does that speak to Eberle’s awesomeness or Pouliot’s level of suckage? Top teams that make the playoffs consistently are that much tougher to crack the lineup.

    Jordan Eberle might be a bad example because I think he’s going to garner serious consideration and I’d actually be surprised if he’s not with the Oilers next year, but if we use that same example on players like Peckham, Chorney, MPS, Hall/Seguin moving forward we might have to be cautious as to how our young guns will perform at the NHL level.

    I always mention this, but what the heck, one more time just for the fun of it. I’m hoping the Oilers invite some washed up NHL’ers or just guys without contracts to camp for tryouts. Thinking of a guy like Cheechoo for example. I look at it from the standpoint that we can’t really lose. He comes to camp and earns a short term low dollars contract its a good deal for us. He stinks it up, we just say thanks for coming out. Most fans on the other board are really quick to throw a guy like Cheechoo under the bus because his best days are behind him, but, what does that say for our team if some has been or never was outperforms guys like Nilsson, Pouliot, Potulny…take your pick on pretty much all our forwards. Many fans were against signing Mike Comrie last season too. To be fair, I think a large part of that had to do with his departure the first time. He didn’t have a great season but missed a ton of time because of illness. Had he been healthy he would have put up decent numbers this year. The has been walked into Edmonton and ended up being one of our better forwards this season.

  6. Oilersman says:

    Mr. Majestyk, we need to re-sign Comrie, he could put up 40 points and perhaps become a 20+ goal man again if he was healthy all season… If he only had more games left to hit that 20 mark… he was on pace for sure!

    Great post Racki-Steve-o! Could of used some more D- In my honest opinion :P None the less look forward to seeing if Tambs can pull through!

  7. Horpensky says:

    Great post guys!! Nice summary considering I didn’t watch half the games the last quarter. It seems like everytime I do end up watching a game, Mike Comrie is there to score a goal. I’d really love him back at the right price, he’s exactly what this team needs right now. Cheap, serviceable vets that want to be here.

    Also, is there no player worse than O’Sullivan? I think out of every player that we’ve traded down the Pronger line, he’s been the worst. He just plays totally disinterested out there, and doesn’t even show his skill.

  8. Oilersman says:

    Horpesnsky, I agree with O Sully, but I think it’s due to the fact he doesn’t want to be here at all, therefore just doesn’t care to have any heart or show of skill at all… but at the same time that hurts his trade value…

  9. John says:

    Well done, lots of typing there; would have taken me a week with my two finger stabathon! Agree with most of that. A few points I re-enforce; I believe Nilsson could be an essential part in rebuilding & moving forward. Aaron Johnson was more than I expected. It was worth getting Whitney just for the improvement it made in Gilbert, never mind he’s a solid Dman in his own right. I don’t believe Strudsy will be back so there should be good competition between Pekham, Smid, Chorney, & maybe Johnson for ice time. Only good can come fom that :)

  10. chucker says:

    On POS, I really think that the term entitlement fits him perfectly. I know he had a horrible childhood and all, but he just is horrible. I’m hoping they can package him at the draft for something.

    @ Majestyk, I totally agree. I’ve been saying for a while that we need good servicable vets here who are cheap and actually do what they are supposed to. Camp invites is a great way to get the fear in guys, especially in a cap world. There are a lot of players who would be under contract in the NHL if not for the salary cap, and camp is a great place to have them before you either sign them or they go off to Europe or the KHL.

    If a guy like Cheechoo comes in and dominates, it’s a pretty clear bearing of where your team depth is at.

    Excellent summations guys as always. I too am starting to wonder a bit about the coaching, but I always got the impression that Quinn was the “vision” guy and motivator and Renney would handle the assignments and X’s and O’s. Maybe we saw a little more of that towards the end of the year. I’m really hoping this is Renney’s team next year and Quinn is moved upstairs in a Cliff Fletcher type of role.

  11. Racki says:

    Agreed with the Comrie-love. I want him back next year. Getting mono was disappointing as hell, as he was one of few players on the team that looked like they belonged on an NHL team.

    And Chucker, I agree with your coaching/management suggestions.

    And Mr. M, interesting suggestion about Cheechoo. It’s too bad we couldn’t have picked him up on recall waivers when the Senators brought him back up (or could we have?? not sure how that works in playoffs). Getting him at half price would have pretty much eliminated the risk.

  12. Racki says:

    Btw, I think we’re going to see some buyouts this off-season if no trades are available. I know some of you guys love Nilsson, but he’s one, as is O’Sullivan and Moreau.

    PATRICK O’SULLIVAN BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
    2010-2011: $935,417
    2011-2012: $397,917

    ROBERT NILSSON BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
    2010-2011: $-83,333
    2011-2012: $416,667

    ETHAN MOREAU BUYOUT FROM CAPGEEK.COM
    2010-2011: $666,667
    2011-2012: $666,667

    To me it’s a no brainer.

    2010-11 Cap hit between these 3 players if they stay: $2.925M + $2M + $2M = $6.925M
    2011-12 Cap hit is of course 0 (unless re-signed).

    2010-11 Cap hit between these 3 players if bought out: $0.935M + $-0.083M + $0.667M = $1.519M
    2011-12 Cap hit between these 3 players if bought out: $0.398M + $0.417M + $0.667M = $1.482M

    So first off, the cap hit between the two seasons combined (after a buyout) adds up to almost the one year of Patrick O’Sullivan, so right there you can see it’s worth it (if you really don’t want these players around, which I really don’t).

    But anyways, in the first year, we’d shave off $5.4M off the cap. In the second year, we’d only gain $1.482M to the cap. Really, to me it’s definitely worth it and they really should buy out any of these three guys if they can’t trade them.

    We don’t need guys who show up once every 5 or 6 games, or go through a string of 3 great games then go cold. We need guys who will put the effort in every night. Nilsson… tough call on him, he looked a lot better halfway through the season, but I still think of him as Mini Magic Man.

  13. chucker says:

    Ethan Moreau has the cap hit from hell on that buyout. Go figure that his numbers would come up all 6’s…..

  14. MetalOil says:

    Some real interesting tim bits in this article:

    http://communities.canada.com/EDMONTONJOURNAL/blogs/hockey/archive/2010/04/18/i-can-see-clearly-now-the-rain-has-gone.aspx

    Seems like buyouts/sending players to the minors will be the theme for this summer. I hope Struds is not resigned and that they find a way to keep Comrie.

  15. Bostonoiler says:

    Racki…I almost died laughing at the Comrie grade….

  16. Racki says:

    hah, glad you liked it, B.O. :P

  17. neufab says:

    MetalOil: “Do not focus on playoffs, cups,division titles or anything else for the big club. Lets send a premium package down there to the “A” and contend for a Calder Cup or at least plant the seeds for our top affiliate to be successful and I think that this team defiantly has the assets to do this.”

    Mr. Majestyk: “I’m hoping the Oilers invite some washed up NHL’ers or just guys without contracts to camp for tryouts. Thinking of a guy like Cheechoo for example.”

    Excellent points!

  18. neufab says:

    With a healthy Oiler line-up, and the right complementary players this team should be more fun to watch next year. It seems clear now that management is willing to move anyone, but it is so easy to throw the good out with the bad after such a pathetic year.

    I like the idea of bringing in a reclamation project or 2 and letting guys like Eberle, MPS, and #1 pick dominate the AHL. I think Brule would agree that even though he was happy to be in the NHL as early as he was with the Jackets, a year in the AHL did him a world of good. A good supporting cast needs to be in place before these guys come to the NHL.

    Start with: Gilbert – Whitney – Smid – Gagner – Brule – Potulny – Penner – Hemsky – Comrie – Cogliano – everyone else is fair game. (TOP LINE = Penner – Comrie – Hemsky)

    – We should get a decent return for Souray…
    – Stortini, I like the guy, but dude needs to WIN fights…
    – Horcoff for a 3rd line face-off winning hitter…
    – Pouliot, wouldn’t mind if he was here next year, he’s cheap, okay in a bottom 6 role, and surprises you once in a while.
    – Stone, Jones, JFJ, Stortini are essentially the same player, just like Sully, Nilsson, and Horcoff (maybe keep 2 of the 7).

    No rookies next year, we’re young enough! Fill the roster via trade & free agent vets and establish an environment for guys like Gagner, Brule, Cogliano, and Potulny to succeed by adding to each pair, a physical element with hands able to do more than fight (Cheechoo could be that guy).

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