Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
On Sept. 19, 2008, long before all the present bitterness and acrimony, coach Craig MacTavish summed up the giddy mood in Edmonton regarding his Edmonton Oilers, telling reporters it was like the days when Chris Pronger was in town. “This is the best chance we’ve had since then to win the division. I think it’s wide open and we’re going to be right there….
“We have lots of options. We’re in a good space right now. We have the personnel to have a championship-calibre team.”
A championshp-calibre team.
Talk about painting yourself into a corner.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
So with both the under-achieving Flames and the disappointing Oilers set to reach the season’s quarter pole this week, the question needs to be asked: Which of Keenan and/or MacTavish will still be behind their team’s bench in January when the season hits the halfway mark?
Who gets fired first?
Keenan’s and MacTavish’s situations are far from similar, yet strangely, you could argue they are also exactly the same in a lot of areas.
Keenan is in only his second season behind the Calgary bench. MacTavish is in Year 8 in the Big E.
from David Staples of The Cult of Hockey,
(Dustin) Penner has been on a terrible run of games, similar to a few bad runs he had last season where he would disappear for weeks at a time. When we last saw Penner, before he was banished to the press box on Saturday, tiny Alexander Steen of the Leafs had blasted the 6-foot, 4-inch, 240-pound Oilers forward right off the puck, as if Penner were Tara Lipinski.
It would be hard for MacTavish to get any greyer than he is, so we’ll have to say that this is the kind of play that will make the Oilers coach go bald.
All that said, Penner wasn’t exactly set up for success this season. If he wanted to nurse feelings that the coach has had it in for him this season, there would be some justification.
- Before the season began, the Oilers brought in Erik Cole to take Penner’s place on the first line with Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff. That didn’t work out for Cole, Hemsky or Horcoff, who completely failed to click.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
I know the Senators are more inclined to deal winger Antoine Vemette before anybody else for a puck-moving D-man, but how is that going to shake things up in Ottawa? Believe me, the earthquake will only happen when they move centre Jason Spezza. I think the Oilers would be interested
more hockey notes
from Doug Harrison at CBC Sports,
As Edmonton Oilers fans anxiously await the return of the “real” Sam Gagner, his father, Dave, sits two time zones away in his London, Ont., home confident that better days are ahead for the promising forward….
“I don’t think there’s a player that’s ever gone through stretches where things didn’t go the way they wanted,” Dave Gagner told CBCSports.ca. “As long as [Sam] continues to play the right way, things will eventually turn for him. I think he’s handling it fairly well.”
Through Nov. 13, young Sam had two assists and one goal in 16 games this season after finishing fifth in rookie scoring last year with 49 points as an 18-year-old.
From the Edmonton Oilers:
General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today that the Edmonton Oilers have claimed forward Jesse Boulerice off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche and have placed left winger Steve MacIntyre on the NHL Injured Reserve List. [...]
Boulerice has played 170 NHL games with Philadelphia, Carolina and St. Louis, scoring 8-2-10 with 333 penalty minutes. He spent his first full season in the NHL with Carolina in 2002-03 and played a career-high 76 games with the Hurricanes in 2003-04.
from the CP via the Globe and Mail,
After exceeding expectations with the Edmonton Oilers as the youngest player in the NHL last season, Sam Gagner is struggling to find his form in his sophomore campaign.
Fifth in rookie scoring with 49 points and seventh in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2007-08 as an 18-year-old, Gagner has just two assists through 11 games this season.
While Gagner is loathe to talk about the dreaded sophomore jinx, there’s no question his start to the season has been disappointing after he set the bar so high a year ago.
Did you see those goals? Is it possible that prior to Sunday Hemsky had no goals this season or that in fact he hadn’t scored a goal in 18 games? Could that be true?
It is, but again I point to what Hemsky did on Sunday and this makes no sense. This guy should have two goals a game with his talent, not two goals this season.
It’s always been hard to understand how someone with Hemsky’s world class abilities doesn’t have the numbers to match it.
More at Sportsnet. Goal videos below:
from Gene Principe at Sportsnet,
I’ve covered the team for ten years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such surgeon-like precision by the Oilers head coach when it comes to breaking down his team and here’s how it went.
Let’s start with scoring. “We have a soft, high risk offence”. OK then how about your defence? “We’re not going backwards as fast as we’re going forwards”.
Did you think it was another slow beginning against the Bruins? “Our starts have been horrific.” And why is that the case? “We’re trying to cut corners.”
from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,
“We’re not happy about losing three in a row,” said netminder Mathieu Garon. “But we’re not at a panic point right now.”
Sam Gagner agrees.
“We can’t be too negative,” he said. “We can’t worry about it too much, but at the time we need to learn from the mistakes we made in the last few games.
“The energy in here seems to be positive, guys are upbeat, guys are working hard in practice. That’s what we need to go forward. I don’t think any negativity or guys feeling bad for themselves is going to help us.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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