Friday, September 21, 2007

Oilers @ Canucks: Preseason Recap.

I went to the game last night with a friend of mine and I liked what I saw. Here are a few things I noticed:

- Brodziak will make this team and dress on opening night. He looks like an NHL'er out there. His speed has improved since last season, and he puts himself in the right places.

- Cogliano makes a difference out there, his speed really opens up on the ice. I think he should make the team.

- I really liked what I saw out of Souray. His shot is huge and he stuck up for Gagner when Kesler took a run at him on an offside. There was one moment on a 1on1 between Souray and some AHL'er where I noticed his problem skating backwards. He kind of lost an edge and stumbled a bit. Beyond that, it was all gravy. I think he can be very successful playing 3-4 minutes at ES with a guy like Smid.

- Tom Gilbert is better than Matt Greene. Poor Tom Gilbert.

- The top line didn't do much at ES until the third, but that's because for the first period and a half MacT was running them Power vs Power versus the twins. Needless to say, the twins were chewing them up.

- I think Gagner should make the team and play soft minutes with Hemsky and Penner. Putting either Stoll or Horc with those two either forces you to take your two best centers out of the checking game, or puts Hemsky and Penner out there in a sitatution where they are not likely to succeed (tough minutes)

- Roy had a bad night. I think he should be sent down ASAP (I think he'll make it through waivers, and if he doesn't, no big loss)

- The Greene - Smid pairing sucks as much this year as it did last year.


Scarlett said...

Greene-Smid pairing sucks because Greene is on it. Smid is fantastic when he's not playing with dunderhead Greene. And can you believe Greene might be on this team and Gilbert gets sent down? I'm hoping someone sees the light of day over there. Oilers can get really stubborn about players (remember starting the year with Conklin as your number one, confident he'd be the man, idiots). They don't want to admit they've messed up by keeping Greene! ARGH!!!!

Cogliano and Brodziak are fantastic. I hope they both make the team.

therealdeal said...

Although Souray did have a pretty big hand in that last second goal against...

Vic Ferrari said...

Brodziak has to be the surprise of camp, at this point he has made the team. A lot would have to go wrong for him to miss now, especially considering the fact that he would have to clear waivers and the Pens or Jackets would nab him for sure, even if the others didn't. When you look at quotes from MacT and previous coaches, the fact that he's improved his speed a bit, and that he's started to find ways to score points in the AHL while apparently playing a lot against the other good players in that league ... all the arrows are pointing in the right direction for this player to have a decent NHL career. Good for him.

Good to hear positive things about Cogliano. Still, hard to imagine that he wouldn't be better served by some time in the AHL. It's a big jump from college to pro. If he goes down there and is an excellent player at that level ... there will be plenty of opportunities for call ups through the season.

Greene seems to becoming the whipping boy, doesn't he? Really though, that's probably fair. Watching Bergeron play on Long Island, he played in the second pairing with Poti and looked very good. Maybe not quite as good as the stellar numbers he put up there, but good. Thing is, Poti probably moved the puck North-South more than Bergeron did. That's reasonable, he's the vet. The Oilers ditched the wrong guy.

Also, if Huddy is a defense guru, how come Greene and Staios almost always chase their man behind the net while defending the cycle ... and none of the other Dmen did? It's a legitimate question I think.

Too bad to here that Roy had a bad night, I like him. Makes plays with a purpose, fights, takes hits like a masochist. These are the games he needs to show something.

My guess is that once they start playing with live ammo ... Gagner will become invisible except for the -'s beside his name on the scoresheet. I hope the Oilers have a good look at the Brule example before they make a decision on this kid. It's a shame that they can't send him to the AHL, everyone would be better served by that except for the child labour league.

Also I think you are underrating Hemsky. The Desjardins opposition numbers are really skewed in the NW division for some reason, maybe that's part of it. Hemsky is the best choice on either wing to be playing against the good players from the other team. If MacT bushsits with him to try and get good matchups it's going to really curb his icetime. By the end of October I'm sure that MacTavish will have tried several tactics, but I suspect that the best bet is in letting Hemsky-Horcoff got power-v-power and try to win the game for the Oilers on their own. It's not a good bet, just the best one IMO.