Oilers 2010/11 Quarter 3 Review

By , March 4, 2011 1:30 pm
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A little late on this one, mainly because Trogdor and Steve-O think they can slack off their unpaid jobs just like they do with their paid jobs.

Here is our quarterly report card for the Edmonton Oilers for Quarter 3:

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

FORWARD RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM
Ales Hemsky R 16 4 13 17 0 6
Racki Has any player been more consistent this year? Arguments are there for Hall and Eberle… but Hemsky has been amazing all throughout the year, and it’s a huge surprise how unrecognized around the league (especially out east) he really is. I think our powerplay is a little too stagnant with him running things, but that has a lot to do with his linemates being on edge, waiting for that unreal pass to land on their sticks.  And like Red Green always said… keep your stick on the ice, people! A+
Steve-O He is awesome.  He is the best. A+
Trogdor Point per game says it all.  He’s played great hockey on both ends and has been consistent on a team where it would be hard to get out of bed and make your way to the rink. A+
Andrew Cogliano C 20 5 7 12 6 18
Racki He’s had a tough act to follow, sliding into the Hall/Eberle line in place of Horcoff. It’s hard not to look at his team-leading +6 rating (for the quarter only). He also has put up numbers comparable to Horcoff with the two kids. Definitely one of the harder working players in this quarter. A
Steve-O Playing better than I figured he would.  Plus, with the removal of Penner does he now have an available spot on this team? B
Trogdor Continues to plug away and do what’s asked of him.  Like Hemsky, he’s been pretty consistent and has brought the effort throughout the season. B+
Colin Fraser C 15 0 1 1 2 9
Racki Who? Really doesn’t do anything special. With any luck, he’ll be gone before deadline. Otherwise, he’s a candidate for waivers. D
Steve-O Yeah, not the best player.  I started out thinking his play/production was a product of dragging around plugs all day but you figure he’d still have a better showing. C-
Trogdor Not really performing his role.  Doesn’t hit much, doesn’t scrap much, not great on the PK and not contributing any secondary offence. D
Dustin Penner R 19 9 2 11 -5 16
Racki I honestly thought his stats were a bit misleading. He’s had some decent games in there, but has been invisible on too many nights. Seems to be letting Hall’s line take most of the limelight. I’d like to see him pour it on a bit harder and show some “give a damn” a bit more. He has stuck up for teammates a bit more though, I thought. Overall not a bad quarter, just not a great quarter. Perhaps trade rumors are weighing on him again. B-
Steve-O Even though Racki told me to rate him prior to the knowledge of what happened on the trade deadline, I’m still not happy that Penner got traded for a couple hopes/prayers.  Good teams keep their good players, not keep switching them into draft picks.  As someone said on deadline day, at some point you need to stop getting younger if you want to be a good team.  Oh, and the past 5 games it’s looked like Penner just hasn’t had his mojo going. B+
Trogdor Like always, good games and average games.  Not many bad, but when he remembers he’s a big man and wants to go to the net, he’s tough to stop and can draw some penalties. B
Jean-Francois Jacques L 15 1 1 2 1 32
Racki I think he had a slow start to this quarter, for sure. But towards the end of it, he’s been a lot more physical and looking like the J.F. Jacques that I like. Still not exactly a guy you’ll miss on your lineup most nights. C
Steve-O Terrible player. D
Trogdor Like Fraser, but knows his role a little better.  Throws some hits and plays scrappy at times.  Needs to bring that every night though. C
Jordan Eberle R 11 5 5 10 3 6
Racki Well.. The stats definitely say it all. The guy gets injured for a little while and comes right back into the game as though he didn’t even miss a beat. Along with Hemsky and Hall, he’s the best guy on the team. A+
Steve-O If he didn’t get injured I’d say he’d have more points than Hall.  I’d still call him the best rookie on the team (more poised), and as mentioned by some of my teammates last night, he very well could be the best Oiler coming out of this rookie crop…even over Hall. A
Trogdor Eberle has been a great addition to the team.  Without being injured I think he’d be a Calder candidate for sure.  He brings another threat to the powerplay which we sorely need. A
Liam Reddox L 20 0 5 5 1 0
Racki Same Reddox we always love… he’s a spark plug. I just wish his AHL offense would show up at the NHL level. But the guy can PK quite well. I’d actually say that if he could put up better numbers, he’d be more like Marchant 2.0 than Cogliano. B-
Steve-O I’m surprised he’s actually had 20 games this quarter…I didn’t think we had called him up that long ago.  Has played decent. B
Trogdor Brings the energy nightly and he’s not afraid to play big with his small frame. B+
Linus Omark L 19 2 8 10 -8 10
Racki He had some good magic with Gagner and Paajarvi for a couple of games. He’s very strong on the puck in the offensive zone, but still not the strongest in his own end. Hard to ignore his team worst (for the quarter, tied with Gagner) plus/minus. C+
Steve-O I can’t figure out why Renney HS’ed him.  Playing with Gagner and Paajarvi he has looked real good.  Like an actual NHL player, which on some nights seems like its in short supply on this team. B+
Trogdor Linus makes some great moves and stunning passes, but a lot of the time he doesn’t know when to just dump it in the corner.  He’s improving though and hopefully next season he’ll be a more complete player.  A team player. C
Magnus Paajarvi L 20 6 4 10 -2 0
Racki He’s got a good shot in tight on the goaltender and has done a great job at burying his opportunities. He’s also the first guy back for the forwards for that line more often than not. B+
Steve-O Still picking it up from his slow start.  Has been getting progressively better all season.  Looks fast. B
Trogdor I love watching Magnus, he plays both ends and is like a kid in the candy store when he scores.  Pure excitement on his face shines through.  He loves the game and is adapting to the NHL game and starting to use his size more. B
Ryan Jones L 19 3 2 5 3 4
Racki Another good quarter for him. This one doesn’t look as good, numbers-wise, but he’s proven to be a valuable member to the team who can play 4th line minutes, but jump into a 2nd or 3rd line role for a bit and not look lost. This will be this year’s Glencross / Brodziak stupidity if they cut him loose (which I suspect they will). B+
Steve-O Good 4th line player, fills the role. C
Trogdor Glad to hear a contract extension is in the works.  Plays with fire in his belly and has some versatility to fill line up holes when needed. B
Sam Gagner C 20 3 8 11 -8 16
Racki He’s looked brilliant some nights, unspectacular others. I think, like Omark, his game in the offensive zone is pretty strong… but he still struggles without the puck and in the defensive zone. Like Linus, the team-leading (for the quarter) worst plus/minus is a black mark. C+
Steve-O I think he has played well.  Solid 2nd/3rd line center, who looks like he’ll turn into one of those stellar role players. B-
Trogdor Decent quarter for him.  Needs to improve on the +/- though. B-
Shawn Horcoff C 14 1 8 9 -3 28
Racki Horcoff is still his usual self… fairly solid in all 3 zones while being the ultimate team player. B
Steve-O Horcoff is as always underrated.  Still our best center. B
Trogdor Has played consistent.  Could use some more goal production which may increase with Penner gone making Horcoff the trigger on some Hemsky dishes. B+
Steve MacIntyre L 7 0 0 0 0 9
Racki He looked good in his last game of the quarter, but aside from that he’s almost non-existent. That has just more to do with Renney’s lack of a plan for using MacIntyre to his full potential than anything else. D
Steve-O Not being used properly. C
Trogdor Without scrapping, he isn’t very useful in the lineup.  Not fleet of foot enough to make any solid hits. D
Taylor Hall L 20 9 8 17 2 6
Racki As I mentioned before, Hall is one of three players on this team who are consistently doing their best to win games. Hall is a game changer. He can take things into his own hands and single handedly change the face of a game. As with other quarters, he’s still making mistakes that lead to turn overs… but I think he’s been more successful at beating guys, which has helped reduce the percentage of turnovers. A+
Steve-O Playing better than I expected.  Still hits little slumps here and there, but to be expected in a rookie.  Still tries to beat 3 defenders by himself, but he’ll learn. A-
Trogdor Hall keeps getting better as the season goes.  Still trying to take the team on his shoulders at times and sometimes it works.  Competetive with a strong desire to win, hopefully it rubs off. A+
Zack Stortini R 5 0 1 1 1 24
Racki Well, he got demoted this quarter.. Which should tell you how the quarter went. Got embarrassed by Krys Barch. I think it might have been the end of his shift though, so he just went in defensive mode. I still love the big lug. Word is he’s been pretty physical for the Barons. D
Steve-O This is what should happen to non-NHL players on this team…like JFJ. D
Trogdor Need to make room in the line up and he played himself out of a job with the big club. F

DEFENSEMEN RANKINGS

Player Pos GP G A P +/- PIM
Jason Strudwick D 3 0 0 0 0 0
Racki Three games played this quarter should tell you how key to the team he is. D
Steve-O Terrible player.  Good fight though (although that may have been the 4th quarter) D+
Trogdor Next guy in line to be Stortinied. D-
Jeff Petry D 15 1 1 2 -3 6
Racki He started off the quarter well, then earned a demotion when he started to play the puck like it was a grenade. I know he’ll be back though and will look strong here. He definitely proved to everyone that he can play with poise (most of the time) and has high potential. C
Steve-O Looked calm to start his call up.  Will be a player. B-
Trogdor Showing some promise which is good given our current defensive woes. B
Jim Vandermeer D 15 0 4 4 4 30
Racki Someone seems to have awaken this beast. We’re finally starting to see the Vandermeer that we thought we were getting when we signed him. I suspect though that it might have a lot to do with that February 28th date coming up though, unfortunately… B+
Steve-O Fuck yeah Vandermeer.  That fight (again, 4th quarter but I don’t care) against Lucic was awesome.  Also tuned Barch in pretty good before Barch sought out Stortini to make him feel better about himself.  Decent defensively.  I’d like to see him back next year in the 5/6 role…offer 800k. B+
Trogdor Starting to play like the guy we thought we were getting.  Throwing hits and playing scrappy and +4. B+
Kurtis Foster D 18 2 3 5 4 8
Racki Not as awful as he has been in previous quarters, but still wasting a roster spot. C-
Steve-O I like him more than Racki does.  The offense is starting to come. C
Trogdor Still has a cannon, still needs to hit the net more, players less.  Keep it low for some rebounds/deflections and I’ll be happy with him. C
Ladislav Smid D 20 0 4 4 0 31
Racki He takes his lumps from the fans, I believe… most don’t think he’s developed as quickly as they expected. For me, I think he’s right on pace of being a strong 3rd pairing / decent 2nd pairing. C
Steve-O I think he’s a pretty good damn D-man.  Plays with an edge too.  He’ll get better and isn’t expensive. C+
Trogdor Not noticeable, but that’s good for a stay at home dman.  Smid has played well enough to garner trade talk. C+
Taylor Chorney D 9 1 3 4 -3 4
Racki The Chorndog. Wow… he seems to be making a case for giving guys time in the minors now, isn’t he? A short quarter for him at 9 games played, but he’s been quite visible in most in a good way. Unfortunately he may have suffered a bad injury in his last game played for the quarter. B+
Steve-O Playing well…well, was until he smashed up his knee. C+
Trogdor Hopefully there’s a speedy recovery as along with Petry he’s shown some hope for our D-Corps. C+
Theo Peckham D 20 1 4 5 -2 59
Racki Where would this team be without Teddy Pickman if we’re this horrible WITH Teddy Pickman. We would have locked up that 1st overall pick in January. The guy is a huge physical presence. He still gets beat by the speedy guys, but most of the time he can be found in the right areas in the D zone, which is why I like him. A-
Steve-O Good player.  Need another one or two of him on the team (or Vandermeer). A-
Trogdor Has kept up the physical play and I don’t see it ever going anywhere. B
Tom Gilbert D 20 0 8 8 -1 0
Racki I thought this was a better quarter for him again. He still seems to be having some issues though, and really is replaceable. He is a remarkable shot blocker though, which I imagine he learned from “Steady Steve”. C
Steve-O One of our better defensemen. Just look at the TOI that the coaches give him.  I think he’ll start seeing 30 min a night soon! B-
Trogdor A good quarter and getting the minutes to show for it. B

GOALTENDER RANKINGS

Player GP MIN W L OT SA GA GAA Sv% SO
Devan Dubnyk 10 582 5 4 1 293 27 2.78 0.908 1
Racki The starts this quarter were a lot more even, but he’s still being robbed of games. Keeps the team in it, most games. He’s not a high end goaltender though, but he gets the job done. B-
Steve-O Best goalie we have on the NHL squad.  Should be starting the majority of the rest. B
Trogdor Has been doing what he can to give those in front a chance to win.  Consistency is starting to come and he’s getting a fair shake at the starter role. B
Nikolai Khabibulin 11 609.5 2 8 0 274 30 2.95 0.891 0
Racki He had two phenomenal games this quarter, but I will choose not to forget that more than half of the remainder were spent by Oilers fans cursing his name. The only reason why he even gets starts anymore has to be because the Oilers are perfectly happy with drafting 1st overall again this year. D
Steve-O Booooooooooooo D-
Trogdor Continues to prove his contract was a bad idea…  Being outplayed by a career backup and can’t handle an ice chip in the eye. D

OTHER RANKINGS

Team As A Whole
(GP 20, W7-L12-O1, GF53 , GA62 )
Review Rating
Racki Much like Q2, it was a rollercoaster ride. They had some big wins at the end of the quarter, but hard to forget the start/middle of the quarter. This team does look to be having fun out there and putting an honest effort in. I think it’s more of a case of not having the right personnel to do better. C
Steve-O Not a good team.  And yet people still make excuses for them.  The bottom 6 forwards, bottom 2 D and #1(?) goalie need to be replaced or re-jigged.  Pretty sure we don’t need to worry about locking up last place again. C-
Trogdor 3 game win streak!!!  That made the quarter more bearable and less blow outs.  The team has looked better and the games have been more enjoyable.  Trade deadline has come and gone and we’re rolling with the pieces we have, so hopefully one or two more players blossom. C
Coaching Review Rating
Racki He is good with the kids, but still clueless on how to use his enforcers, it would appear. I will give him a lot of credit for giving a lot of room for mistakes to guys like Hall and Omark, which seems to be helping their development. B
Steve-O I don’t understand some of the decisions.  Like not playing MacIntyre appropriately.  Or HS’ing Omark.  Or Brule continuing to be in the doghouse when not injured. B-
Trogdor Some bad decisions on icing MacIntyre when there is no need, but giving Dubnyk more starts and continuing not shortening the leash on the rookies has been good. B
Management Review Rating
Racki While this Q3 report will be released sometime after the trade deadline, it will not include any deadline moves in our reviews. So that said, Tambellini hasn’t really done anything at this point to improve the team… nor has he done anything to degrade it either. I’ll give him a slightly improved grade over last quarter for having the balls to move Stortini down to the minors, risking waivers.. I think it was the right thing to do, but not an easy decision. He also made another attempt to permanently break up with Sheldon Souray. C-
Steve-O I think that Tambellini is dumb as fuck.  And will continue to do so until he shows me that he can actually manage a team. (And while I’m supposed to ignore the deadline…it’s not helping my assessment) D-
Trogdor I’m not sure what the plan is, but hopefully it’s brought to fruition in the off season/next season.  If we’re hoping to build a future around the young guys and effort has to be made next season to fill some holes and make the team competitive, otherwise we’ll be farming out the young talent instead of re-signing them. D-

16 Responses to “Oilers 2010/11 Quarter 3 Review”

  1. oilinblood says:

    good review boys.

    Magnum is the quiet rookie but out of them all i trust Magnum the most in the defensive zone and to make the safe plays. Now he is putting his size into the game, as witnessed last night when he won a board battle in the defensive zone against a fresh Rick Nash then made the right reads to get it out and start a rush.

  2. Haboiler says:

    Safe to say the team is getting very limited goals from the D-men… I’m all for having some decent defensive defensemen (which is a work in progress in itself) but they also need a guy who can score from the point. Too bad Foster couldn’t fill that role better.

    Great write up boys!

  3. Racki says:

    Yah, losing Whitney doesn’t help, although he was more of an assist machine and also struggling to score back there, before getting injured.

    They should do whatever they need to do to part ways with Foster (trade/waive/buyout) and then look for another offensive-minded d-man. That is, if management actually wanted to start righting this ship… which I don’t think they do yet.

  4. Racki says:

    It’s not likely that we get him for a price that is reasonable to this team’s direction, but Wisniewski would be a nice addition to the team. Plays with the roughness we could use, and also has the mobility we need. $3.25M is his current cap hit though, and that’s a lot. I think if we could somehow dump both Foster and Gilbert, we’d be a lot better off if our GMs could actually spend that money more wisely.

  5. MetalOil says:

    Racki:
    They should do whatever they need to do to part ways with Foster (trade/waive/buyout) and then look for another offensive-minded d-man. That is, if management actually wanted to start righting this ship… which I don’t think they do yet.

    I remember hearing a comment from a media guy last week with someone (might have been Staples) saying something along the lines of “The Oilers are not interested in becoming competitive until the team has settled into it’s new building.

    I would say that is a bit of a stretch but I would not completely discount it ether. I think the Oil might not be that interested investing in the team until our “MVP” has been decommissioned(whether that means a burring in the minors or if he just plays out the contract). In that regard, if we are gonna keep Sir Drinks-a-lot around how much more could it hurt us keep Foster in the fold next year too?

  6. Racki says:

    You sure it wasn’t Lowetide? He made a post about that and feels pretty strongly that this is the case. I can’t say I disagree with him either. I do however think it’s a lot longer than necessary.

  7. MetalOil says:

    Yeah you are right. It was a Staples blog where I read it but he was quoting Allan Mitchell of Lowetide.

  8. NorwegianOiler says:

    MetalOil: I remember hearing a comment from a media guy last week with someone (might have been Staples) saying something along the lines of “The Oilers are not interested in becoming competitive until the team has settled into it’s new building.

    I would say that is a bit of a stretch but I would not completely discount it ether. I think the Oil might not be that interested investing in the team until our “MVP” has been decommissioned(whether that means a burring in the minors or if he just plays out the contract). In that regard, if we are gonna keep Sir Drinks-a-lot around how much more could it hurt us keep Foster in the fold next year too?

    I don’t think being “uninterested in competing until a new arena is in place” can possibly shed enough light on the Oilers brass’ plans. Firstly, it assumes they think “competing” is an on/off switch we can turn at will. That we can ‘wait’ to surge until the opportune moment is an insane concept. Basically, I don’t buy that this is the actual plan. If it is, I’m hibernating.

    I don’t think buying out (or even waiving) Foster is a particularly good idea. Not that he isn’t bad enough to warrant being dumped, but we simply haven’t got replacements. Or, rather, we do have players that are better served taking on less tough opposition in the AHL. Should we acquire a pair of good defensemen, Foster’s minutes could be more concentrated toward PP duty and he might even succeed here. In any case, it’s just another year of that 1.8M. At the very least, a buyout just prolongs the problem.

    It appears Tambellini (and the others) are in love with the rebuild. I am with most of the members here in liking the Penner move less and less. We’re gambling away a sure fire 25 goal scorer for the potential of a Matt Greene type (which I like), a late first rounder and a 3rd (as odds are, I understand). We might draft another Eberle. Which is dreaming. Or we might draft another Schremp. Which is a nightmare. Ultimately, we should not have to hope for one or dread the other. Rebuilding is keeping your best and adding the better.

    I am also growing extremely tired of the term “shut-down”. It is a vague term which implies defensive ability somehow separate from what is expected of other defensemen. We don’t need “shut-down” defenders more than we need defenders, period. Maybe we ought to shed the idea that some defensemen can be exempt from being “shut-down” in the first place. Like Foster. Like Bergeron. Like Semenov. Basically, wanting a shut-down defender is wanting a defender that can defend. Hardly worth a term of its own.

  9. Mr.Majestyk says:

    well said N.O…when i think of ‘shut-down’ guys to me that basically means a cheap veteran defenseman that is sound defensively but offers little to the offense…this isn’t the type of player i think we should be drafting and developing…in most cases i think teams draft because of a wealth of talent with the hope that we’ve got the next Pronger or Lidstrom…and when it doesn’t work out you end up settling for the ‘shut-down’ guy.

  10. Racki says:

    The term shutdown was originally used as a term to mean a defender that excels at defence… that can actually stifle offense on the other team… that could *shut down* the other team’s offense. However, it seems to be over used now and is starting to take on the same meaning as “stay-at-home”, which more or less means “can’t do shit all in the offensive zone”.

    At any rate, whenever I hear it or use it, I’m thinking that it means a d-man that excels in his own zone… not just any regular defenseman. Like how an “elite” forward is just that much better at offense, a shutdown d-man is that much better at defense.

  11. NorwegianOiler says:

    Both those descriptions of what a “shut-down” defenseman is clearly fits with how it is used. Nevertheless, I find myself falling back to the position that it denotes nothing separate from ‘good defensively’, which is really the default idea of defensemen. Since we already have the rather dubious term “offensive defenseman” (which implies the player isn’t taking much care of his own end), why the need for another term? If you are not an offensive defenseman, you ought to be some kind of shut down defender, although you might be a bad one. If shut-down simply means ‘good’, I can’t see the use for the term.

    To me, it just sounds terribly artificial. It’s trendy to need a shut-down defenseman. But who are actually shut-down without being outright ‘elite’ or complete defensemen? Weber or Pronger or Keith or Lidström are clearly shutting down the opposition, but are they ‘shut down guys’? Not as the term is normally used. Outside of stretches of outstanding defensive play, where are the consistent shut down defenders? Is Hal Gill one because he has had a good playoff run? Is Greg Zanon one because he blocked shots and was a plus player 2 out of 3 seasons in Nashville? What must be fulfilled to be a shut down defender, opposed to a stay-at-home defender or simply a good allround defender? Mystical ;)

    And yes, I am being purposely difficult. Diverts attention from our depleted lineup…and it somehow figures in with our hopes for a blueline that can defend…

  12. NorwegianOiler says:

    And lastly, should I define it, “shut down” is never one single player, defenseman or forward. It must, it its essence, be a team job.

  13. Racki says:

    Is there a need for “skill” forward or “checking” center or faceoff man? I guess we just like to categorize our players. Helps understand a players strengths and weaknesses in a quick way

  14. MetalOil says:

    NorwegianOiler:
    And lastly, should I define it, “shut down” is never one single player, defenseman or forward. It must, it its essence, be a team job.

    When I think of shutdown defender Chris Pronger is Still (Puke) the first thing that comes to mind. Sure it is a something the the who team should be doing but having one guy that does it really really well makes everyone around him do better as well. An elite shutdown guy usually acts as a calming influence for the rest of the team. The forwards are less concerned about making mistakes because they know they have a guy that back them up and the other defenders may be inclined to pinching in more and pushing the play. Having just one of these shut down Chris Pronger types(puke again) has a ripple effect down the whole lineup and if this guy can play 30 or so minutes a game then everything is gravy,

  15. chucker says:

    I don not necessarily think a “shutdown D-man” in always a defence always kind of guy. Look at Lidstrom for example. A skill puck mover who counters the other team’s top line well with his partner and another line, again suggesting that NO is in fact correct. ;)

    We absolutely need big help on D, but I would suggest a skilled puck possesion D man is just as effective in a “shut down role” as a guy who is just a stay at home guy. Whitney or Niedermeyer are good examples. At the end of the day, you want guys, who by whatever skills they posses, to either keep the puck away from the oposition or are skilled in stripping the puck and getting it to his own team with solid skills in his own zone.

  16. hemmerlady says:

    Really liked the write-up. You guys are funny and also on point.

    Also appreciate, as always, N.O.’s argument about the nebulous “shut down” term – I’ve been wondering about that. I think my closest idea resembles Racki’s definition, influencing the play such that the other team’s offense is stifled, rather than scrambling/blocking shots/playing from behind. If that makes any sense. I can see your point N.O. about the term being redundant, but I think Racki’s on to something as well. I like the debate.

    (sorry for the late comment on the 1/4 report, I’m behind reading posts)

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