Monday, October 29, 2007

Oilers extend winning streak to one game!

Almost two years ago, trailing 3-2 with about a second left in a game against Phoenix, the Oilers won a lightning-fast draw and Chris Pronger scored from the point with about 0.1 seconds left on the clock. It was a great play, the kind of last-decisecond heroics that you always hope for and almost never see (the New York Times would later devote an entire page of their Play sports Magazine dissecting the sequence).

Sadly, having watched almost the entire pre-recorded game, I accidentally fast-forwarded past this historic moment in disgust not wanting to prolong a sure-loss and missed the entire play. Being a slow learner, I did the exact same thing last night when Andrew Cogliano tipped a Geoff Sanderson shot short-handed with less than two minutes left. I promptly added Cogliano to my fantasy team like a big huge homer.

Not a bad game, either. The defence sometimes looks like mincemeat against an aggressive forecheck, especially when Denis Grebeshkov is on the ice looking unnervingly indifferent in front of his own net. As Coach MacTavish put it, the entire team "was ahead of the play" for most of the second period, taking puck possession for granted in what should be high-alert areas of their own zone, culminating in a ridiculous Corey "Rat Fink" takeaway from Marty Reasoner that lead to Anaheim's first goal. But if you're in the market for hope, Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner and Kyle Brodziak all factored in the final score or at least had good chances in front of the net. Hell, I want to give the 18 year-old Sam Gagner an older brother-type noogie for all of those blocked shots, shootout goals and sensible plays along the boards (where by rights he should be man-handled by players that often 50 lbs heavier than him). The Oilers have had about two quality rookies in fifteen years (Jason Arnott and Ryan Smyth), so it's a weird and nice surprise to see almost a third of the team stocked with rookies playing well beyond their years.

Oil Spuzz: Jim Matheson notes that the Atlanta Thrasher's director of player personnel has been at the last three games, possibly sniffing around in anticipation of a deal. Matheson wonders if the Oilers are shopping for a puck-moving defenceman, although I was under the impression that Atlanta didn't have any. Tobias Enstrom is an intriguing rookie prospect with 4 points (+1) this season, but the Oil already have plenty of half-formed prospects on their roster. Alexei Zhitnik? Steve McCarthy? No thanks.

For a team near the bottom of the league in scoring, it seems just as likely that the Oilers would be shopping for some bonafide veteran scorer. The web boards are getting turgid sports boners for Marian Hossa, although it doesn't make a lot of sense for a rebuilding team like the Oilers to trade for an upcoming UFA that would require some creative asset management to squeeze his $7 million salary under the cap. Meanwhile, Dick Tarnstrom has sat out the last couple of games even though he's played fairly well. Not sure what to make of this. Sheldon Souray and Dustin Penner are all yours if you want them, Atlanta.

And finally, for those of you that like basketball, or "hoopies" as I call it: my coworker and man-pal Andrew has jumped into the blogging fray with a fledgling Toronto Raptors blog, Raptors' Lair. Does the simplistic layout look familiar? That's because I created it with my lackluster PhotoShop skills, although I hasten to add that it is unfinished as Andrew hates the Chris-Bosh-with-reptile-eyes image on the banner, which I'm too lazy to change. Anyway, please do read it. With all of those delightful Spaniards and a talented chap named "CB4," the Raptors might be the only team worth cheering for in the next ten months or so.


Black Dog said...

In other news the Lames have apparently signed Kiprusoff for six years or something like that.

Hossa would be the guy who would make sense but it would take Tarnstrom and Stoll and someone else to make it work finances wise. Plus they'd have to have him signed to a contract beforehand.

Not likely.

mike w said...

I'll hand it to the Flames for at least taking care of their RFAs, unlike (cough) this team.

Plus, $5.8 million is a bargain for one of the best goaltenders in the league.

HBomb said...

The Oilers need a puckmoving defenseman? What the fuck?

Matheson's completely lost it. That's the last thing we need.

Stoll, Schremp, Tarnstrom, and Roloson for Hossa and an underachieving Lehtonen. I like it!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Matheson meant that Atlanta needs a puck-moving defenceman.


Andy Grabia said...

I'm pretty sure Matheson meant that Atlanta needs a puck-moving defenceman.

I'm pretty sure he says the exact opposite. If I was the editor of that rag of a sports section, the alarm bells would be ringing. Put Matheson out to pasture already.

Steve said...

I agree that if they want Souray, we should be looking to deal. Penner we should hang on to - he's young, under contract for quite a while, and too early to give up on (and he's showing some promise, just not enough to justify the salary and draft picks). Hossa? This team is not one Hossa away from being a Cup contender, which is the only reason to make that deal. We're more like Hossa and one more proven scorer away from contending for the playoffs.

Let's do this rebuild right - we've got all the pieces there, except probably a goalie of the future. Make every trade about improving the 2009-2010 edition of this team, and I think I like our chances.

twain said...

Hossa is only 28--so, if he agreed to a contract, he'd still be in his prime for the 2009-2010 season.

I'd be surprised if he is being looked at, though, given the Oilers cap situation.

Chris! said...

I don't care if Hossa's a UFA next season, there's no way Atlanta trades him to Edmonton for anything less than Hemsky.

Stoll, Schremp and Tarnstrom is simply not enough for a proven 90-pointer just entering his most productive years. Surely there's another team out there in the league that's offering more than that.

Mike and I were talking about this over pints last night, and we think a straight-up trade of Tarnstrom for a rugged stay-at-home like Garnet Exelby is far more likely. Maybe Stoll is packaged for a LW (Kozlov?) or a RW with a future (Sterling?) plus a pick.

But Hossa? He's a rental and teams that are rebuilding don't do rentals. Besides, do we even have a centre who could keep up?

Black Dog said...

Horcoff and Cogliano could.

The trade would have to be contingent on Hossa signing - ie/ sign a deal and then make the trade.

Thing is that Atlanta is fucked - Hossa won't resign there - if the Oilers offer up a good package (yeah it would have to be really good) then they could get him. I could see Roli being part of the deal too - cap relief for the Oilers and some money to stay above the floor for Atlanta.

In which case Lehtonen or someone would be coming this way.

Thrashers sent a lot of kids and picks out last year for rentals - they need some back.

Pleasure Motors said...

we think a straight-up trade of Tarnstrom for a rugged stay-at-home like Garnet Exelby is far more likely

That does seem more likely, but I hope for our sake we don't do it. Have you seen Mirtle's 5v5 Goals Against post?

The last thing we need is another Matt Greene.

PJ said...

Have you seen Mirtle's 5v5 Goals Against post?

Garnet Exelby's 5v5 GA/60 is 3.74. The Thrashers' total GAA is 4.09. Matt Greene's 5v5 GA/60 is 4.35. The Oiler's total GAA is 3.33. I know this isn't comparing apples to apples, but these are very different numbers.

Pleasure Motors said...

I know this isn't comparing apples to apples, but these are very different numbers.

Point taken, but he's still getting torched while playing the easiest minutes outside of Zhitnik and McCarthy. It seems like those two, who are utterly horrible, are certainly ballooning Atlanta's GA, but I'm fairly mistrusting of any "rugged stay-at-home type" who can't actually keep the puck out of the net.

garnet said...

Ouch. Oil lose 2-1 with 24 seconds left.