Quick Hits

By , November 20, 2010 11:18 am
The reason for Cogliano's bad luck so far this season

The reason for Cogliano's bad luck so far this season

First things first, pun not intended with the post title, given that the first topic is Cogliano’s hit from behind last night. Secondly, credit to Chucker for finding a different church sign pic, which I then used to generate the pic above.

ANDREW COGLIANO


Tom Renney apparently asked Andrew Cogliano to step up his hitting game, as of late. The first hit of the game he throws is on Kyle Turris, from behind. Cogliano wasn’t even credited with the hit on the official scoresheet, but more importantly, he was ejected from the game for the hit.

“That’s how things have been going for me this season….first time in my life that’s happened, junior, college, anywhere,” Cogliano said, frustrated.

Thankfully, Cogliano did have Tom Renney battling in his corner. “It was a tough call,” said Oilers’ coach Tom Renney. “I’m not going to complain about it but it was two bodies colliding. Their guy turned into it (the Cogliano check). We’ve been on Cogs to finish his checks. I didn’t have a problem with what he did.”

It was a disappointing start to Cogliano’s game, but I don’t think he should be hanging his head these days. He’s been one of the team’s better PKers as of late, and has the second highest hits total for forwards, behind Gilbert Brule. That thought alone might be a bit scary however… you have to wonder where guys like Stortini and Jones have been when Cogliano is ahead of them. Stortini has a small excuse though, having played only 13 games, but there is a reason for that.

Read more about the hit and reaction to it in the Edmonton Journal.

SHAWN BELLE


2GP, 2 hits, 14:43 ES TOI/G (even strength time on ice per game), 2:01 SH TOI/G, and on the ice for only 1 GA so far (scored at even-strength). It definitely is way too early, but from what I’ve seen, this kid is doing all he needs to do to stick around. The only hesitation I would have to keeping him up here is that Oklahoma City could use him just as much. He’s a huge factor down there, and more modest factor here. The thing is, when everyone is healthy, it keeps Vandermeer and Strudwick out of the lineup… both of which have been quite poor (although to his credit, Strudwick had been one of the teams PKers, unexpectedly).

MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO


Last night, the Oklahoma City Barons went to overtime and then shootout before the Oiler did, and the outcome (although not the score) was the same… a shootout loss.

GOALTENDING SITUATION


One has to ask.. why do the Oilers continue to play Nikolai Khabibulin until he gets hurt? I’m not saying there is necessarily a connection there. I don’t think Khabibulin was overworked. But why wasn’t Dubnyk getting that many games, for his sake? I can only figure that the Oilers don’t have a lot of faith in him. It’s time to stop sheltering him though and see what he can do. So far he’s shown to be almost on par with Khabibulin most nights. We could put anyone in the net and it wouldn’t seem to matter.

Now that Khabibulin has been injured, it sounds like Dubnyk will get most of the starts, even though Martin Gerber has more experience and was called up. Personally I think Gerber might be the best of the 3, so the goaltending decisions here actually baffle me a bit. On a good note though, Tencer reports that before Khabibulin got injured, the plan was to give Dubnyk 1 start for every 3 Khabibulin starts. But that basically translates to only playing around 20 games in the season. Not a lot.

WHAT DIRECTION IS THIS TEAM GOING?


The Oilers showed improvement in yesterday’s game, but I still think they’re on a collision course for the bottom of the standings again. No moves means Tambellini is OK with that. I’m OK with that too, given that this year there are a few guys that are seen as competing for #1 overall pick. So even if we were to get #3 overall, we’d still be happy. But who can tolerate watching that kind of season again? Edmonton isn’t a very patient city, so it’s going to be a tough sell if they want to lose yet again.

I believe it was MetalOil Chucker that quoted the Bruins as saying that on average, 7 of 8 teams that are in playoff spots by December make the playoffs. So if we’re sitting in last by mid-December, you can almost bet our season will not be extended with a trip to the playoffs. And well, if we don’t see any moves by that time to address needs, you can bet that the plan this year is to draft high again… sorry.

PAT BURNS PASSES


I’m almost hesitant to report this, after the mistake many made 2 months ago, but Burns passed on from Cancer yesterday. He was 58. Many are talking about how they had hoped that Burns should have made the Hockey Hall of Fame before his death so that he could be there to see it. Can’t say I disagree, but I guess it just goes to show you how strict those guys are (with exception to Wayne Gretzky) with letting guys in. Burns one the Jack Adams 3 times. He led the Canadiens to the cup final in 1989, in which they lost it to the Calgary Flames. In 2003, he coached the Devils to a cup win. He definitely deserves to be in the HHOF, so it would have been nice for them to make the exception, but I do wonder what Burns would have had to say about the exception being made for him too.

Read more about Burns’ passing on TSN.

6 Responses to “Quick Hits”

  1. Ktown says:

    Good post, Racki. I didn’t see the Cogliano hit, but one thing I’ve noticed this season is guys peeling off instead of finishing hits. I don’t know if it was a dirty hit on Turris or not, but if a smurf like Cogs can finish hits, then I’m all for the message its sending to the rest of the team. These guys have to be more physical. period.

    The other thing I’ve noticed in a lot of games is the lack of hustle for loose pucks. It seems the “you get it” mentality is alive and spreading among the team, and it drives me nuts (arrr, says the pirate). I see guys coasting to the puck while the opposition is striding at it, and the inevitable happens – turnover, and scoring chance against.

    With the physicality and hustle AWOL, we’re basically missing two of the most important aspects of this game, and certainly two things that made the opening night rout/domination of Calgary happen. Out hustled them, out fought them, out hit them, out scored them. Pretty easy combinations, but since then, the boys seem pretty content to let the opposition bring the play to them…

    As for Pat Burns, I agree – it would have been nice to see him in the Hall before he passed, but with the way he tackled his cancer, my guess is he would have been pissed if that was the reason for his early entrance. IMO, it’s a no-brainer that he’ll get in, but I would have hated him to have to – in his entrance speech – thank his cancer for getting him to the front of the line.

  2. chucker says:

    Thanks for the credit first off, and that Bruins stat was also sent by me in a link about them talking to Seguin. :P

    Completely agree on Burns. Why not put him in like they did with Nielson? I don’t get it. It would have been very well deserved, and also would have given them a real good reputation for being thoughtfull of what’s going on in the real world. Something they have not had a great reputation in doing in my view.

    On Cogs; They should put him in a dark room with one of those brain washing machines that keep your eyelids open and force you to watch the brain wash movie. All they should show are the complete career highlight of Todd Marchant. I figure two days of this and we have him transformed. ;) But seriously, Todd was a small guy who played like he was 6’2″. That’s what he needs to do to be successfull in this league. It’s no secret. I also think that the Pouliot case might be subtley brought up now and again to remind him of a skill guy who didn’t get it (skill in junior, not NHL). If Pouliot had done everything MacT told him to and took pride in it, he’d be our mini-Manny. He’d be the bottom line centre we’ve wanted and lost after Stoll and Reasoner left/got traded.

    As for the fans; They are definititely impatient. We are a hockey town, but it’s becoming very common to hear people bitch about the cost of watching a POS team and that they have other options. This in the middle of an economic downturn. Tambellini needs to field a very competative team next year or the Oilers are going to get screwed at the box office. Waiting line or not, lots of those people won’t pony up ten grand for a year to watch this shit show. I think the goal is to get on last top five pick and then really come out with some big signings for next year. They really need to focus on a Belanger/Malholtra type for next season, ditch some more prospects going nowhere and sign some of those cheap players that are on the market every single year who are journeymen NHLers that you know what you get from. They sign for cheap too. The NHL UFA myths don’t apply anymore when there are lots of NHL quality players not getting contracts because of the cap. You can get your guy if you want him. Simple as that.

    As far as team hustle, I don’t really get it. I think we’ve drafted a lot of small skill guys who were gods in junior, are riding that and got good contracts for now. They never had to hustle or check hard like the NHL requires. It’s too bad that the one way/waiver right contracts exist now. That needs to change. If you could send down Cogs for 10 games without fear of waivers pickups, he’d be a very different player when he came back. People forget how effective this was in keeping players honest and how integral it was in building teams that compete. Once you got sent to the A, it was a black mark that you never wanted to experience again. You wanted to work your ass off and get back to the show and stay there. Shawn Van Allen is a great example of a small skill guy who changed his game dramatically to become an effective NHLer who didn’t get sent down anymore. Too bad he really didn’t get it until we sent him to Ottawa though.

    Anyway, guys like Jones and Storts are the types that used to get sent down and up. Same with your Fraser types. I think this is whay JFJ plays so hard when he’s here. He’s spend a lot of time in the A. He doesn’t want to play there.

    /end rant.

  3. Racki says:

    Chucker: first off, sorry for missing some credit. lol But I fixed the post above.

    On Cogs, I have a tough time accepting him as Marchant 2.0, as I still see a skill guy there, but you know what.. many a better player have been turned into a defensive (or two-way) forward. So that might be the right thing to do here since he is unlikely to break the league as a skill forward now. Michael Peca might be a good example too. Small size, but plays like he’s about 6’4. Also he definitely has the hands to be a goal scorer, but made his name as more of a two-way or even defensive guy than he did as a pure scorer. Having the ability to hit like Peca did doesn’t just come out of nowhere though, so I don’t see Cogliano doing that, but still, just saying he’s an example of an offensive guy who later adapted his game.

    Agreed on UFAs here too.. I’ve been banging the drum of signing glue players for quite some time, as you know (draft and develop the talent, sign the glue players).

    And yah, I wish we could send guys between here and the AHL a little more freely (i.e. no worry of waivers). It sure does hinder development. There are a few guys that could use trips down, and a few guys down there that maybe could be up here too.

  4. chucker says:

    Yeah, I think the story on Cogs may be a good player in the wrong organization. He’s definitley a good player and perhaps my expectations are not realistic. The same could be said of the Oiler brass in wanting him to be the kind of player that Todd is/was.

    I still think no matter what happens in his development, he’s a guy destined to be traded. We just don’t have enough team size and he seems somewhat redundant at this point with what’s coming up and what’s not able to come up because of roster size. I’d rather have Reddox in his role or VV but really would like O’Marra to come up.

    I don’t understand why O’Marra gets no respect from this organization. They want a role playing centreman who can win faceoffs…Guess what? We’ve got one in the minors and his name is Ryan O’Marra. Yeah he’s not huge either, but he plays that role well and he’s cheap too.

    He’s a guy who would be very similar to the style of Brodziak in my estimation. Ideally I would like to see Cogs shipped out with Vandermeer for a real D man and O’Marra brought up. I doubt Vande has any value though. Maybe put him on waivers and bring up Plante. At least with Plante you know you’ve got a great physical guy and he’s not waiver eligible yet. I thought Plante had a great camp as well.

  5. gr8one says:

    Yeah, I agree on O’Marra…he should get a nice long look in the NHL this year on his faceoff merit alone!

    He actually has decent size at 6’2/193…I suppose he could bulk up a little, but that’s still pretty big, and he can definitely bring some physicality with the way he plays.

  6. Racki says:

    Yah I can get on board with all you’re saying, Chucker.

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