Friday, December 7, 2007

MacT sends BFF to the press box

Looks like Coach MacTavish has put his foot down and benched Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll. TSN doesn't mention any dissension from Wednesday night, but what else is one to deduce from sitting out two players that haven't been benched since anytime that I can remember?

If it's true that either player was complaining about playing with Stortini, I don't think it's a big deal. But it's also not the right thing to do. Would they be wrong however? Nope.

This year fans love to hate Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll, but who exactly is supposed to replace these guys on the ice? Liam Reddox? JF Jacques? Torres is a plus even-strength player (and was one of last year's few even-strength bright spots) and in some games this year he was the best player on the ice. Stoll has had a rough start, but he's picked up his game as of late, (last Wednesday's third period notwithstanding) with 9 of his 12 points coming in the last four weeks. Meanwhile, according to Behind the Net, Zack Stortini is facing the toughest competition, with a -1.85 rating, the worst on the Oilers' active roster. Something is not right here.


Black Dog said...

Maybe they're going to lose the battle to try and win the war?

Raffi has been Raffi but he's making good coin now and they need more from him. Stoll has been terrible. Their job (and agreed as to wtf Stortini was part of it) Wednesday was to shut down Crosby and they failed miserably.

I like both players but if these guys were playing to their abilities this team would probably have a few more points in the standings at least.

Under Quinn (and Maurice too to a lesser extent) guys could do whatever they wanted - loaf, take bad penalties, miss assignments - and they never paid the the price. These guys are making over 2M each. They have to play better. said...

To me, neither Stoll nor Torres come off as players who lack effort in relation to their peers, which should be reason enough to never sit them out on this OIlers team,...unless there is more to the story ala Stortini.

Andrew said...

Maybe a trade?

LittleFury said...

I said it at HF, I'll say it here: Zacktoby Storteterson.

mike w said...

heh heh.

Little Fury, you're kind of on a roll, aren't you?

Andy Grabia said...

Zacktoby Storteterson.

Never has a truer thing been said.

Loxy said...

Arrested Development is funny.

Vic Ferrari said...

Nice post, Mike. It's high time that somebody mentioned that Torres and Stoll haven't been all that bad. I'm sure that they both would have hoped for better starts, Stoll especially. IMO Stoll was over-rated by a lot of Oiler fans before this season, plus he's playing his way out of concussion problems that were a threat to his career only months ago.

Stoll has been improving steadily though, at least to my eye, and overall Raffi has been one of the better forwards for this squad I think.

Hell, if not for the fact that Stoll has been on the ice for an inordinate amount of the Oilers goalpost hits, maybe he would be getting more love.

Kirk said...

loxy's right.

MikeP said...

I'd settle for less ES goals going in the Oilers net while Stoll was on, myself. Gagner's +/- per 60 is bad, but he's a rookie. Stoll's is worse, and he's an assistant captain who's not scoring. He needs to be taking a page out of Peca's book and ensure no negative events are happening if there aren't any positive ones either.

By that measure, I'm not sure why Torres gets the hook.

Clearly this is a message meant for the whole team: play better or sit, because coach is tired of your shenanigans. (Yes, I'm Captain Obvious.) Maybe MacT just couldn't decide who to sit, so he nabbed the two guys who would a) make the best demonstration, and b) would take it best.

I really doubt the guy that played with Messier would choose to bench a couple of guys if all they were doing was ragging on Stortini for blown coverage; if what they said to young Zachery factored into it, it must have gone beyond "you realize you done screwed up, right?"