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Talkin' Hockey

"Holy Mackeral! We've got a lot of guys here!" -K-Lowe

Updated: 2018-03-06T13:07:37.737-07:00


Holy Crap


Holy crap.

Holy crap.

Holy crap.

So now we're three points out of the playoffs, and we just laid an old-style beat down on the Minnesota Wild.

Holy crap.

Gagner is starting to look like the real deal. 'Bout time.

Holy crap.

Matt Greene is starting to look a bit like the future captain I proclaimed him to be.

Holy crap.

We don't suck. That bad.

David Staples' Error


I read theCult Of Hockey ever day, and it's definitely one of the best in the Oilblogosphere, especially considering that he's with the MSM. Unlike most of the Main Stream Media, he tells it like it is and rarely refuses to tell the truth, although I would have to say he is guilty of sugar coating the EIG and Kevin Lowe, but I would imagine that is largely a matter of optimism.

David Staples' latest post had some good points, but there was one thing I had to take issue with. Normally I would simply comment on his post, but the Edmonton Journal website is far too confusing for me to finish signing up.

He's been using a statistic of his own invention, the "error", which is based on which players were most responsible for a goal by the other team. Up to three errors are awarded per goal, and they can be awarded to a goalie for being out of his crease, a defenceman being of his man, etc.

In this latest post, he stated which forwards are the best defensively through 45 games, based on errors assigned. His list is as follows:

1. Dustin Penner. GP, 45; ESM, 614, E, 3; One error every 205 minutes.

2. Shawn Horcoff GP, 45; ESM, 678; E, 4; One error for every 170 minutes.
3. Patrick Thoresen, GP 16; ESM, 162; E, 1: One error for every 162 minutes.
4. Geoff Sanderson, GP, 32, ESM, 302; E, 2; One error for every 153 minutes.
5. Ales Hemsky, GP, 38, ESM, 553, E, 4, One error for every 138 minutes.
6. Andrew Cogliano, GP 45, ESM, 462, E, 4, One error for every 116 minutes.
7. Raffi Torres, GP, 32, ESM, 453, E, 4, One error for every 113 minutes.
8. Jarret Stoll, GP, 44, ESM, 528, E, 5, One error for every 106 minutes.
9 . Ethan Moreau, GP, 7, ESM 92, E, 1, One error for every 92 minutes.
10. Kyle Brodziak. GP 44, ESM 424, E, 5, One error for every 85 minutes.
11. Sam Gagner, GP, 42, ESM 488, E, 6, One error for every 81 minutes.
12. Fernando Pisani GP, 19, ESM, 232, E, 3, One error for every 77 minutes.
13. Robert Nilsson, GP 35, ESM, 383, E, 6, One error for every 64 minutes.
14. Zack Stortini, GP 30, ESM 222, E, 4, One error for every 56 minutes.

15. J.F. Jacques, GP, 9, ESM 55, E 1, One error for every 55 minutes.
16. Marc Pouliot, GP 9, ESM 87, E 2, One error for every 44 minutes.
17. Marty Reasoner, GP 45, ESM, 485, E 11, One error for every 44 minutes.

Judging by this, players like Ethan Moreau and Fernando Pisani are less responsible in their own end than players like Cogliano, Gagner, Hemsky, and their ilk. Anyone who has watched these guys play can tell you that this simply is not true.

While I'll admit that the +/- statistic is neither perfect nor close to it, but the error is not going to replace it any time soon. It doesn't factor in the fact that Saint Fernando is playing against players far more offensively potent than Samwise, or that both Fernie and Chopper are gritty players all over the ice, and can be forgiven for the rare mistake in their own end.

No one stat can tell the story, you need to look at goals, assists, quality of opposition, PIM, maybe even the error.

Calgary at Edmonton


When I played bantam football, I was used to winning. Our team finished the regular season with 9 wins, 1 loss, tied for first place in our division. Most of our victories were a complete slaughter, with us having two or more touchdowns over the opponent. I wasn't a starter that year, but our bench usually played all or most of the second half after running away with the game.

When we entered the playoffs, our first game was another thrilling victory, which led us to the league semifinals. We played a team from a Mormon town in southern Alberta called Raymond, who were also used to winning easily. Both teams were on a roll, and when we came head to head, somebody had to lose. In the end it was us, but I like to think a lot of that had to do with the refs.

Calgary and Edmonton are both on a roll coming into tonight's game, but neither team is used to winning easily. Still, someone's going to have to lose, and I hope it's not the Oil. This is a four point game for us (we get two, plus take back a game in hand if we win), and we need a good stretch right now if we want to make it into the playoffs. Sitting out for the Flames today are Aucoin, Nystrom, Moss and Primeau, with Tarnstrom and Greene both still out for Edmonton.

The teams plays host to LA after this before going on a road trip in the southeast, which should be easy enough to win. Coming into the homestand, I said that if we could sweep it and do well in the southeast, we'd be looking at a far less uphill battle in making the playoffs.

Let's hope we can do it.




Curtis Joseph is reportedly looking at deals from both the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks. I'd say that the Sharks are the best fit for him, as Evgeni Nabokov is the only NHL goalie who's played all his games this year, and he's definitely not a 82 game guy, in my opinion.

Then again, Kipprusoff has not been playing like an 82 game guy either, and while he's sat out a couple of games, his back up is anything but stellar and Leland Irving's development seems to have hit a snag, considering that he was dropped from camp by the WJC team. They need to do something, but I don't know if Joseph would want to come outy of retirement to play second banana to someone like Kipper.

MacTavish: Master or Moron?


Lately there have been a lot of calls for MacT's head, and if you go on to Oilfans you'd think that he's just the Devil in a nice suit. However, in past I've heard nothing but good things about him, and I've always found him to be a good coach with both experience and grit.

Admittedly he is not a coach who can turn any team into a playoff contender, he is not a "great" coach. However, he is hardly a bad one. I've looked at his stats (which, for some reason, I had to find on Wikipedia because neither nor Behind The Net had coach's stats), and he seems to be relatively solid.

In his first season (2000-01), the Oilers had 93 points for second in the NW, and sixth in the conference, which gave them a playoff spot, which ended in a defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars. This season, while nothing spectacular, can hardly be called a failure. The team itself that year could hardly be called a great one either, and I'd say he did a good job.

The next year his team had 92 points, third in the NW and ninth in the conference. Again, his team was mediocre and it could be argued that he needed to do more to influence better management, but as a coach I think he had an average season.

In 02-03, the Oilers finished fourth in the NW and eighth in the conference to sneak a playoff spot, and lost to Dallas again in the first round. I would say that this was his worst performance so far as Head Coach, because even though his team did slightly better than the year before by making the playoffs, they had the same number of points while having what I would consider to be a better team. Still, I would call this season a draw, although after going three seasons without any real improvement (and slight worsening), it's getting harder to defend him.

The next year, 03-04, found Edmonton out of the playoffs again after finishing with 89 points, fourth in the division and ninth in the conference. The team was probably one that should have been in the playoffs, but a lot of the better players who are now team leaders (Horc, Hemsky) were young and still finding a place in the system. I'll give him a pass this season, but he really should have done better.

04-05 was a depressing year, lost to the lockout.

In 2005-06, MacT had what can be considered his greatest achievement as a coach, taking the team to the SCF, Game 7. Still, he had good players to work with the whole year long who should have finished FAR higher than 8th in the conference. They underperformed for most of the season, and for that I have trouble calling this a good season.

Last year, it goes without saying that he did a bad job as coach of the Oilers. Leading the team to last in the division and only barely avoiding a lottery draft (which meant us losing a chance at Kane), it's clear he should have done SOMETHING. The team gave up after losing Smyth, and as coach he should have done something inspiring to get them back in gear, but he did not.

Over the course of his coaching career (as of the end of last year), his team played 475 games, had 221 wins, 176 regulation losses, 47 ties and 32 overtime losses. The teams he had to coach tended to be average to good, and his records tended to be average to poor. While over one or two seasons, that may not be too bad, the Oilers have been treading water ever since he joined. I think it's time we gave someone else a shot.

He is hardly evil incarnate, as many would seem to believe, but he has done nothing to earn our continued trust. While Lowe has actively hurt the Edmonton Oilers, MacT has simply been dead weight for far too long.

Oilers at Anaheim


This is neither a post game blog nor a pre game blog. It is not even a live blog of the game. It's just something I'm dashing off while waiting for updates from

Curses, CBC, why can't you carry every single Oilers game, regardless of location? WHY?????

Crap. I see the Ducks (whose jersey is modeled to the right by the ever flirtatious George Parros) have scored their second goal with minutes left in the third. Bad news. Bad news indeed.

The Falcons have called up more players, by the way. I was browsing their site for the first time ever (Note to self: Buy the Oilers to gain control of the Falcons to remake their website. It sucks. Took me five minutes to figure out how to find the site itself, after I found the right address.

As reported by Lowetide
here, The Falcons have called up two oddly named fellows, as well as O'Marra, which means they aren't expecting to get Thor back any time soon. This pleases me.

Crap again. The game came to an end, the Oilers failing to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This means we failed to break our losing streak, and we failed to sweep the Ducks this year.

'Tis a shame. A crying shame.

Everybody Has A Favourite


David Staples, of
Cult of Hockey Fame has recently said that his favourite Oiler is Laddy Smid. Soemthing tells me I've heard this before, but I may be confusing him with other bloggers, who have shown affinity for him as well.

Disregarding the fact that he is a fringe Oiler at best, Smid is not my favourite Oiler. Part of this is probably because he just isn't Pronger, like I hoped he would be. I thought that maybe, in time, he would be Pronger. But now I'm seeing the value of the old addage, a Ford will never be a Ferrari.

He doesn't seem to be living up to his potential, either. He has a decent body, and what seems to be mildly potent offensive ability. Yet he really has yet to use either.

My favourite Oiler of the current line up would probably have to be Gilbert Gilbert. He's got all the hockey smarts of a veteran, and the youthfulness of a youthful rookie. If anyone will ever replace Pronger, it's him.

There are definitely some players on our current roster that I would like to get rid of, simply because I have no real love of them as players. For instance, regardless of his abilities, Souray has to go. I was pretty high on him when I heard about the deal (even if I hated the deal itelf), but to me he seems like a player not only over the hill, but who just doesn't really care about the game like he should. It's just an impression I have of him, but it seems like he's all about the paycheque.

In reality, most players are probably like that, but still.

On the other hand, no matter how much we paid for him, no matter how overwieght he was coming in, I love Dustin Penner. I hated the deal, but as a player there's just something about him that I can't explain. But my eyes light up when I see him on the scoresheet. I want him to prove us wrong by outperforming his contract, wheras I would be perfectly happy to see Souray out on his butt at the end of the season.

Everybody has a favourite.

Hemsky Hit, Our Hero Hurt.


This topic has already been covered by Lowetide, and I'm not going to try to go into what this means for fans of the Oil. However, I think that the main point is that the fan hero of our team is out. Quite possibly for a month, or more. And that is not something I want to think about.

Lapointe, go get his by a bus. Please/thank you.

Stoll For Brule? Give me a break.



Near the bottom there, you'll find this: "Are the Oilers going to send C Jarrett Stoll to the Blue Jackets for C Gilbert Brule? That's the rumour ..."

If I'm Lowe, this deal is a bad one because Brule is just one more small center on a team that has two of them already. If I'm Howson, this deal is a bad one because Brule has more upside than Stoll, even if he gets back to his pre-concussion playing level.

A better deal in my mind would be sending Stoll (and probably a 2nd rounder) for Zherdev. We currently have five, maybe six or even seven decent centers (Horc, Stoll, Gagner, Cogs, Brodziak, and maybe Reasoner and Pouliot), whereas we're relatively weak on offense overall.

Zherdev has never really gotten along with Hitchcock, and he definitely has a lot of offensive upside when he's playing his best. To be honest, Stoll is seeming like Lupul all over again. He's playing bad enough this year, that even if we deal him and he goes on to score thirty five goals next year, a trade will still have been justified.

.500 Frenzy


The Oil just beat Van City in the shootout to get up to .500 hockey, as well as 8th seat in the West.

Who in their wildest dreams would have predicted this at the beginning of the season? Not me.

Worst Comment Ever.


"perect name score-coff I love it...K-Lowe the genius has signed this guy for a few more years at a bargain price(just like Penner will be if not better by end of this and next year)...horc has proven he is one of the best and the oil r loaded with guys like this that sooner or later will bust out and dominate the league..."

This comment was found on an article about Horcoff's recent play. I am not going to pick apart this quote myself, but I hope you can find several things wrong with it (K-Lowe the genius and bargain price Penner are good places to start).

Zip a dee do dah, zip a dee day


My oh my what a wonderful day!

Souray, Sanderson, and Tarnstrom are day to day. Moreau is only a week or two away (if all goes well) from hitting the ice, and you can just not look at Greene.

Analyzing the Bottom Feeders


This is a relatively low-tech analysis of the league's worst teams, the teams that are fighting to be either the best of the worst and maybe, MAYBE, snag a playoff spot, or are fighting to be the worst of the worst and maybe snag a lottery spot in the draft.

For the intents of this list, bottom feeders are teams that are not playing .500 hockey as of now. In order of points, best to worst, they are: Calgary, Florida, Edmonton, Buffalo, Phoenix, LA and Washington.

With the curious exception of Buffalo, they have all scored less goals than have been scored against them. That's a given, of course, and helps little. Also curious is that the top team in points (CGY) has only 12 wins, less than all but two teams in the league. Only in the NHL do you get points for losing.

And for all the hubbub about Oilers getting points for losing, we only have 1 overtime loss.

Of these teams, only two have a player who I think is capable of winning year end awards at this time. Maybe Hemsky, Roy or Horton will someday, but for now, only Ovie and Iggy have a shot. And only Iggy has any amount of secondary scoring to back him up. I think Calgary's problems can mostly be chalked up to bad goaltending. Who'd have thought?

Teams like Edmonton and Buffalo have a lot of secondary scoring. They have nobody who is a real all star, however.

And that is what seperates a bottom feeder from a league leader, in my own, humble opinion. having both a strong first line and some secondary scoring.

Samwise Stays


Samwise Gagner will not be rejoining the Canadian Under-20 team for the world championships, it was announced on the 7th.

What does this mean for the Oilers? It means a worst case scenario of more scoring chances for the other team while he's on the ice, stunted development of our most promising prospect, and one more inexperienced forward on a team that's already the youngest in the league.

It also means a best case scenario of good NHL experience for our most promising prosect, more scoring chances for the other team while he's on the ice, and one more inexperienced forward on a team that's already the youngest in the league.

Not a lot of difference in those, is there?



I have returned. I originally left the blog to join the team at PunjabiOil, but it seems that PDO and myself have been kicked out from the team, without any explanation.

So I am returning to the oilogosphere with Talkin' Hockey.



I've been gone for a while, haven't I?

Well, the Oilers just laid a beating on Calgary Flames, which is good.

They also called up Rourke, which is bad.

I was worried when we signed him. Things got worse as injuries kept coming, and he got closer and closer to the big club. But there was no reason why he should be playing NHL hockey, ever.




So we play Nashville tonight. They used to be good.

Now, not so much.

Oilers need to start playing at their top if they are going to even have a shot at the playoffs. We need to win by at least two goals here.

Also, Pisani is skating again, and we may have the world's most miraculous recovery, ever.




Matt Greene is improving.

Sam Gagner is an established NHLer, and is playing like one of our best players.

Am I psychic? It would seem likely.

Also, we just beat the Minnesota Wild with two of our top 4 D-men out, as well as our captain and our playoff hero of a couple years ago.

Even if it was a bit of a fluke, I find that cause to celebrate.


Oilers Head to the Wild.....Midwest.


(image) Oilers are playing the Wild as we speak, but there has yet to be any goals scored.

My last prediction was pretty close I'd say. Today I'm going to say 3-2 Wild, with goals by Cogliano and Sanderson for the Oilers.

Chris Chelios in the Dressing Room


Tonight the Oil is going to Michigan to face off agains the old farts-I mean Red Wings- and I'm optimistic.

I expect this game to go to overtime, but I can't say who's going to win.

4-3 for somebody. Goals by Horcoff, Penner and Brodziak for the Oilers.


Top Ten NHL Teams


No, this isn't how I think they'll do. I guess it's how I wish they would do. These are my list of favourite teams, in order. I like them all for various reasons, or some of them I just toss into the middle because I can't be bothered to follow them (LA Kings, for instance). The one exception is that whoever happens to be playing Calgary or Montreal invariably shoots up the list a few slots or so.

1. Oilers (no, really!)
2. Philadelphia (I always liked them, and the acquisition of Gator helped that a lot)
3. Sharks (When I was but a wee lad, my favourites were Anaheim, San Jose, and Pheonix, based on nothing but their logos. Sadly, Anaheim has fallen out of favour due to Burke's epic suck, and the whole Pronger thing.)
4. Coyotes (See above.)
5. Penguins (I always loved Lemieux, and Crosby truly is fun to watch.)
6. Capitals (See above, substitute Kolzig for Lemieux and Ovie for Crosby).
7. Islanders (They're sort of a team like the Oilers, usually short on talent but tend to have a lot of heart)
8/9/10. New Jersey, Dallas, Detroit (These all impress me because they always manage to put together a solid team, year after year. And yes, I tied them to I wouldn't have to pick. Consistancy!)


The Game



We rolled Philadelphia (that's right. we ROLLED 'em, "g".). And THEY beat Calgary. Using classical sports logic, that means the Oilers are better than Calgary, right?


Sanderson scored two goals, count 'em, TWO. I'm so excited. Could we have a 30+ goal man here? Hemsky scored another 30, Penner scores 40, Horcoff 25, Cogliano and Brodziak 15, Souray and Pitkanen 20 or more each?

Is it possible?

Could we actually have points this year?

Oh boy!



Sigh. How I do long for the good ol' days.

Anyhow, beating the Sharks brought back some memories. I was at a wedding during the first game we won in the Oilers-Sharks series, and I had to excuse myself to "use the bathroom" several times during the service.

Now, can we beat Gator and Pylon on their new team? I hope so.

I expect a low scoring game, with Briere leading the Flyers again.

The Other Woman


Er, blog.

I'm officialy a blogger for as a Western Conference Expert.

I know. I don't think the title fits either.

Ah well. Hopefully it won't cut into my posting here, assuming someone reads this.

Opening Night


TC is over, and the line-up has started to solidify. Anson Carter's injury has sent him out into the UFA market for the meantime, and it looks like he won't be playing in the blue and bronze for a long time, if ever. Pisani is going to be out for what looks like the whole season, and as far as I know, Moreau won't be playing opening night.

But on the upside, Cogliano, Gagner and Pouliot have all proven their worth enough to earn slots with the big club.

So, what wil the line-up look like? This is what I'm expecting:

Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky
Torres, Stoll, Sanderson
Brodziak, Reasoner, Nillson
Gagner, Cogliano, Pouliot
Extra: Stortini

Pitkanen, Staios
Greene, Souray
Smid, Tarnstrom
Extra: Gilbert, Grebeshkov

Not all of these line ups are the ones I'd make were I MacT, but he's confirmed there'll be two extra D-men, that Gagner, Cogliano and Pouliot will play together, and all but confirmed that Pensky will play with Horcoff.