Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hemsky ... wow!

Ales Hemsky had one of the best single game performances that I can remember by an Oiler last night. 4 world class plays to carry the Oilers to victory.









Sign below if you have a man crush on Hemsky. Don't worry about it, after a game like that its OK.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Clap clap

If your a diehard Oilers fan you cant have it in you to be pissed off today. Its over +10 in January and the Oilers played one of there most complete games of the season against a very good Phoenix Coyotes team.

For the first time that I can remember the Oilers won a PPV game. Combined with the retro jerseys and Glenn Anderson's retirement all jinxes were broke. The hockey gods were watching the Oilers last night. The 6-3 score really flattered the Coyotes. Most encouraging was the spread out offense lead by the return of Ales Hemsky. Its pretty clear he is the player who makes the top line tick and Penner/Horcoff are both much more effective with Hemmer. Another positive was the play of the 3rd line and the hattrick from Ethan Moreau. I've been hard on him this season. Moreau's game has struggled as has the PK and Moreau hasnt helped the cause by taking far too many bad penalties. But watching that game and the way the team pushed for him to get the hattrick and celebrated when he got it it seems he still has the room. I may be looking too much into it but nonetheless less I will back off from my previous stance.



If you didn't catch the post game interview with Ethan Moreau and Gene Principe its a classic. The Oilers were blasting Private Eyes by Hall and Oates and Ethan took a moment to clap to the song. It was priceless - the boys were really enjoying themselves. The timing of the allstar break is almost a bit unfortunate as the team looks poised like they could make a push up the standings. Of course the Oilers have lacked traction all year so I should be taking the win in stride. Go Oilers!

Oilers trade Garon

This blog has been quite inactive as I have been pursuing other ventures that I will post about here shortly. I've had posts written and not published about how the Oilers need to land a star then how a player such as Blair Betts would be a good fix for the PK and then how contrary to some opinions (more so in the comments section) landing Vincent Lecavalier would be a good thing. A very good thing. But those are all on the scrap pile. Moving on ...

There aren't many trades in today's NHL so I will have to comment briefly on the Garon trade. Although, most of what I'll say echos what JW predicted and covered excellently at ON. Notice the title is "Oilers trade Garon" not "Oilers acquire X" because Garon is likely the best player involved in the deal. But there is much more to this than dealing Garon. IMO the Oilers have 2 goalies who arent in the long term plans - Roloson because of his age and Garon who has now officially failed in his 4th attempt to become a #1 goaltender. The other guy, JDD, I'd say at best has a chance to become a #1 goaltender. The choice to trade Garon was a good one for one reason - Roli is outplaying Garon this season and by a large margin. The other factor is that the Oilers were starting to get healthy and with the play of Reddox (who I doubt will see another AHL shift) and Brule (who is now waiver eligible) the Oilers needed to clear a roster spot. Its also worth noting that the Oilers want to keep MacIntrye on the roster as the 14th forward. Considering Curtis Sanford cleared waivers, Labarbara was only worth a 7th rounder and Gerber is about to go on waivers, they did quite well on the return. Even if JDD fails as a NHL goaltender the trade is still a win because they had to give him a chance. In addition I think the Oilers are also saving about 500k in salary.

Looking forward, MacT is going to have some interesting decisions to make and I think another trade could be coming. When Pisani and Nilsson return the lineups could be:

27-10-83
12-89-26
18-13-78
85-51-34

67, 46, 43, 25 (as extras?)

Thats not a bad lineup. Lines 2-4 are interchangable but theres too many guys. Nilsson has struggled so far this season and could be trade bait**. Pisani has missed alot of hockey but fills a ton of holes (most notably the PK) and is one of MacT's favorites. But he is an expensive bottom 6 player and he is by no means untouchable. The play of 13 and 78 together has also been encouraging as has 51's play in a defensive role. Theres a log jam here and somethings gonna give. A 3 for 1 trade would be my first choice and the Oilers would have a very good lineup if they could do so. However, looking forward to the offseason with teams like Phoenix losing 30 million dollars this year there are going to be some very good players on the market for teams with money. Without a legitamite shot at the cup the Oilers would do well to unload some salary. All this without mentioning the need to address their goaltending void they need to fill. Again it should be an interesting summer.

** My Christmas list post asked for the real Erik Cole and Sam Gagner and since that day both have been much better. Maybe it was a lucky charm. Could the real Robert Nilsson show up? haha