Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tom Gilbert: Man's Man.

Kyle Brodziak is my roommate and we decided to go to the mall to do a bit of shopping. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a shopaholic but I managed to only buy a couple of T-shirts and no shoes. It’s pretty rare that I go into a mall and don’t come out with a pair of shoes.

After we flew into Calgary Robert Nilsson and I decided to go see a movie. I don’t know if I should admit this but it was a bit of a chick flick. Nights in Rodanthe I think it was called, with Richard Gere and Diane Lane.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gotcha! Journalism.

I don't usually involve myself in American politics, but I think everyone should see this video.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Preaseason Thoughts

Just a couple more points to add to what Kinger said below.

-I thought Trukhno started strong and faded down the stretch. He looked like he was trying to do too much through the third. Also I'm not sure he's really cut out to be a PP point man, although the issues there might have as much to do with having Roy on the opposite point as anything. There's definitely some skill there, but I was a little hot and cold on him all night.

-Colin McDonald might have an NHL career, but I doubt he's a scorer. Either way, I'm now officially cheering for him. He just personifies effort out there.

-I liked Sestito. A little like McDonald in that he was clearly trying pretty damn hard. I'm not sure he's got much to work with talent-wise, but at the least he'll be a good AHL role model.

-From what I've seen I think Brule is the best player available for that end-of-the-roster spot. However, I don't think he should get it. I'd rather see him get 30-40 games in the A to find his offense again. He's still only 21 and his development is more important than whatever marginal improvement he brings to the roster. Better to do it now, before he's waiver eligible, than regret it later.

-I heart Crazy Roli. He's worth his cap hit for that blocker punch to Bernier's head alone. You could see the first time he touched the puck how much he wanted to bat it down the ice. Kinger and I cheered like crazy when he got the chance later. We noticed that it was more a line-drive than his typical pop fly approach. A mishit? Something new being tried out in the preseason? Curious.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Preseason: Oilers @ Canucks.

MattM and I attended this evening's game at GM Place. While it was a decent game overall, the 1-2-2 that the Canucks employed after they took the lead made for a pretty dull finish. A few comments:


- We dressed an awfully young lineup and it showed. With the exception of Strudwick, even the legitimate NHLer's were only second and third year Pro's (37, 77, 12, 13, 67, 51, 46). Once the Canucks took the lead the team really deflated.

- The Powerplay had some nice puck movement and I'll be interested to see how the 37-77 pairing fairs on the second unit.


- PDO mentioned it over at PJO's , and I have to agree, Colin McDonald is a MacT type player. Every time he picked up the puck he moved it up ice with both speed and power. He also wasn't afraid to put pucks on the net. So much so that by the end of the night Matt and I were referring to weak shots from the outside as "McDonald's".

- Trukhno by my eye had a rather up and down game. He showed considerable passing skill and an ability to operate in tight. However, he was noticeably slow and often turned the puck over needlessly (while not under a lot of pressure). I liked what I saw from him but I'm not as impressed as others in the Oilogosphere. I think his game is a long way from 'NHL ready'.

- Bryan Young was not as good as MattM or I expected. After one full year in the 'A' we thought that his game would have a bit more polish. He had pretty much the inverse of 'calm feet'.

- Matt Roy hasn't changed one bit. I noticed on two separate occasions that he turned his back on his forecheckers. The guy showed some grit but he's just not an NHL defenseman.

- Strudwick was solid and hardly noticeable. I think he's a good fit for the 6/7 spot. I do however also think that Smid's job is safe.

- Gilbert Brule put together a very solid game. He played with a lot of energy and his checking style is nearly identical to the recently departed number 14 (he takes those quick short strides just before laying his shoulder into his target). He doesn't however have the obvious flaws in Torres' game: puck handling, agility (Torres has good top speed but doesn't move well side to side), and shot. I was very impressed with this kid, at just 21 years old I think he's set the bar for the 12th F spot.

- Kyle Brodziak looked like a man amongst boys. His skating has improved and he doesn't seem to have regressed from the Brodziak we saw late last season. I think he was the best Oiler forward.

- Jordan Eberle was a boy amongst men. You can see the talent but he's just not there yet.

The Rest:

- Not really much to say, Gibby and Grebs were feeling each other out and had pretty poor games. Sesito, Spurgeon, Young, Taylor, Benson looked out of place and will be cut soon. Stortini played the pest role perfectly and Potulny had his moments but was overshadowed by Brule.

- Roloson was playing with a lot of fire and I was very impressed with his gamesmanship.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Preseason: Canucks @ Oil.

A few comments on this evenings game:


- Don Taylor is a poor play by play announcer.

- The Oilers carried the play but the Canucks got a couple garbage goals. The fact that the shots were even at the end of the contest had a lot to do with the five minute penalty kill and the Oil taking their collective feet off the gas.

- The Powerplay was pretty poor. I don't think Cole is the right fit for that unit. By my eye the play seemed to die with him and he wasn't getting in front of the goalie on a consistent basis. I'm interested in seeing Gagner or Penner out there in the LW spot. I think those two big shots could make use of a big guy in front of the net (27) or a better puck distributor (89).

The Players:

Sheldon Souray:
Had by my eye his best game in Oilers silks. He was all kinds of physical and wasn't afraid to put the puck on the net. An excellent game by any measure. A part of me hopes that last years Souray was 'playing hurt' Souray. I was very impressed with his performance in both ends of the ice.

Steve Staios:
A pretty mediocre performance. Made a couple decent forays into the offensive zone but also coughed up a few pucks in his own end. We will need him to be better if we hope to make the playoffs.

Lubomir Visnovsky:
Put together a solid performance on both ends of the ice. Schneider robbed him with the glove on perhaps his best save of the game. Positioned himself well and defended the rush with both his stick and body. My one complaint is that he missed the net a number of times on the PP.

Ladislav Smid:
The dog is off the leash. This guy looks a lot bigger and stronger than the previous two seasons. I remember tjree distinct moments when he asserted himself physically. First he put Cowan into the post to negate a scoring chance. Second, shortly after Kesler tried to jam it in late in the third he gave Daniel Sedin a nice shot to the melon in the scrum. Third, Ladi ended up on top of Raymond after he turtled vs Benson.

Theo Peckham: Shaky start, strong finish. Pecks looked real out of place in the first period. However, he really got it together in the second. He made a few nice passes out of his zone and played the body well. If it was just nerves at first (I think it was) Peckham seems like a real player. He's a year away from the big show, but from the looks of it he will make it.

Taylor Chorney: I was surprised by his passing ability, it was on par with his excellent skating. Right now he's too small to win battles in the corners, but that should work itself out over time.

Ales Hemsky: Had a pretty bad game. He seemed disinterested and particularly careless with the puck.

Shawn Horcoff: You can tell he needs to get his timing back. Scorecoff was not in the lineup this evening. He seemed reluctant to shoot and when he did it was pretty poor.

Erik Cole: An excellent player. I'm not sure if he's the right fit for the first unit PP, but his skills at evens speak for themselves. A north south power forward if I have ever seen one.

Fernando Pisani: He really looks 100% out there. To me the real difference is that he has his strength back, and can overpower players offensively and defensively.

Ethan Moreau: Captain Crunch (or Captain Hook) had a solid game. One particular play stood out to me when Moreau laid out Simek near the Canucks bench.

Dustin Penner: He was surprisingly effective on the PK. I also thought that he was a good fit on a checking line with 34 and 18.

Sam Gagner: That shootout move was absolutely sick. The guy has an incredible set of hands. It looked to me like he had very little chemistry with 78 and 88. Every time they gained the zone it looked like a game of hot potato as they made frantic passes to each other and created little in the way of scoring chances.

Marc Pouliot: Had a solid game. He made very few mistakes and was pretty good on the boards.

Rob Schremp: He just seemed out of place out there. His lines play died with him the vast majority of time. I really hope for Rob's sake that it was nerves, because if it wasn't I don't see a regular NHL job in his future.

Liam Reddox: Has decent wheels and plays with some grit. Should get his chance with the big club in the next couple seasons.

Ryan O'Marra: He barely played.

Hans Benson: Knew his role out there. He didn't try to do anything fancy and was quick to jump Raymond after his hit on Gagner.

Mathieu Garon: Had a shaky start but settled down later. He seems to be shaking off the rust.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

NHL on SopCast.

1. Download and install the required applications:

a. Download the sopcast client from this link:
b. Unzip and open the SopCast Folder.
c. Double click and install Setup-SopCast-3.0.0-2008-3-10.exe
d. Download the VLC media player from this link:
e. Double click and install vlc-0.8.6e-win32.exe
f. Download the Combined Community Codec Pack from this link:
g. Double click and install Combined-Community-Codec-Pack-2008-01-24.exe

2. Watch the games:

a. Head over to the NHL forum:
b. Open the corresponding "game day thread" (eg, Yesterday's thread is located at and the day before is located at
c1. If you are using windowsxp, just click the corresponding link next to the game inside the thread and SopCast should open and start to buffer (eg in the case of today's Carolina game, you would want to click on the part that says "PeltVision": 7:00 pm (23:00 GMT, 00:00 CET) Carolina @ Atlanta PeltVision on SOP, 250k VLC Req!)
c2. If you are using windows vista, manually open the SopCast player. With Vista, you have to right click the corresponding link in the gameday thread and select copy. Next, go to the SopCast address bar and paste the link.
d. Start the SopCast stream and let it buffer.
e. Open VLC.
f. In the "file" sections of the VLC menu, go to Open Network Stream, select "HTTP" option, and type in (If port 8902 doesn't work, try 8912).
g. The game video should now be playing in VLC.
h. You MUST leave SopCast running; closing SopCast closes the stream.
i. Make sure you mute the SopCast player audio (not VLC), so that the two audio sources don't bleed into each other.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

LiveBlogging: Oil @ Canes.

Looks like I'll be following the game via the the Carolina feed, this should be ugly.

For any of you out there without access to a video feed, feel free to join me on sopcast channel 39461

First period.

- Oilers give up a quality SC just seconds into the first period. Luckily Whitney shoots it wide.

- A second ridiculous Canes chance as Grebs gets stripped at the Carolina blue line. He recovers but nobody picks up the trailer coming down the middle.

- Predictably 12-89-34 are back together. It has been a few games since 18-13-34 have done anything, so a change seemed like a logical choice. Plus as Dennis mentioned over at LT's, 12's been playing pretty well of late.

- Hemmer makes a real pretty play and sets Horc up in the slot. Ward comes up with a good point blank save.

- So far Carolina is moving the puck really well, we need to do a better job in our own zone.

- 1-0 Canes. Just after I typed the last line, Brind'Amour beats Garon with a hard one-timer. Unless we can get control of zone possession, we are going to get blown out here. The Canes have 7 shots in the first 7 minutes.

- Oilers PP. Commodore, who is one of the best Canes PKers, gets sent to the box. Let's see if our PP can carry some of the momentum from last night.

- Hemsky takes an unsportsmanlike penalty behind the play. Wow, that's a CHINCY call. It looked to me that he complained after taking a slash in the slot. I saw it and it looked like a penalty to me. Instead of a long 5-3, well be skating 4on4 for a minute and a half then killing a 30s penalty.

- Horcoff with a real nice defensive play behind his net. He comes in and stripes Larose before he can take it to the front of the net.

- Souray gets away with a hold that negated a clear break away. It looks like we got our even up call.

- It seems like we are gonna play pond hockey again tonight. I'm not so sure that's a good idea against a team like the Canes; they have scored a lot of goals this year.

- Great little play by 12 sending 16 and 51 on a 2 on 1. 16 elects to shoot and misses wide. Hopefully that wasn't his signature 'one good play a game'.

- The top line draws a penalty. A nice little cycle by 27-10-83 generates some sustained pressure.

- Commodore wins a battle in the corner against 3 of our guys. Nice play by the Caronlina defenseman. I've actually always thought pretty highly of the guy since I followed the Flames run the year before the lock out. I think he's one of the more underrated guys around the league.


Carolina comes out with a lot of fire and so far looks like the team that wants it more. Deja vu. During the intermission, Brind'Amour comments that before the game the team was talking about how the Oilers tend to collapse too hard and give up the high slot. Fuck.

Second period.

- Souray looks to me like he's trying to do too much again. This is the sort of play that got him in a lot of trouble during his first 8 games with the team.

- 1-1. Gagner gets the monkey off of his back as Ward lets in a fairly soft goal. Some nice puck movement as the kids find some open ice.

- Scratch the above, they gave the goal to 28. Good on him, I've always been a fan.

- Carolina colour guys embarrasses himself as he laments on how Guerin was involved in the Samsonov trade to the Oilers.

- 51 with a clear break away. Too bad he makes nothing of it and shoots wide.

- Hedican takes a careless high sticking penalty. Oilers PP. Big chance here to take this game over.

- The Carolina PK looks real sharp. We just can't seem to get setup in the zone. Shades of last years PP.

- We fail to generate anything on the PP. Honestly, that was pretty deflating, the team was really starting to come alive.

- 44 has all the time in the world to clear it out of his zone and instead puts it off of Walker. That was just a terrbile play.

- 51 with a real nice hit on Commodore, shortly after, Nilsson with a great backcheck as he knocks down the 'Oiler killer' pass to the trailer.

- 2-1 Canes. My feed cuts out and the Canes score just as I reconnect. Lame.

- Oilers get a solid chance as Stoll bangs one off of the post. 27-10-83 hit the ice for an offensive zone faceoff.

- Back to back offensive zone faceoff draw losses for Horc. Plays like these are huge, instead of our top line getting any sort of offensive pressure, they spend their shift running around in the neutral zone.

- 16 takes a bad slashing penalty. If we can kill this off in the third, it might be the momentum turner that we need right now


Our powerplay killed our momentum that period. I missed Caronlinas second goal, but I'm sure someone messed up.

Third period.

- Oilers come up with a big kill to start the period. I'm really interested to see how much energy the team shows here.

- Smid does a nice job carrying the puck up the ice. It's nice to see when Smid brings this element of his game, helps to ease the pain of his defensive deficiencies.

- 3-1 Canes.
A horrendous turnover by Souray at his own blue line leads to a Staal jam in goal. That's the nail in the coffin right there.

- The collapse continues as Thoreson takes a holding penalty in the neutral zone. This team can be so painful to watch.

- The Canes get a bunch of quality chances on the PP but Garon comes up big with a bunch of saves.

- 89 takes an interference penalty in his own zone. I think the Canes are going to score on this PP, furthering the embarrassment.

- Staal with a great swan dive to draw the penalty shot.

- 4-1 Canes. Staal scores easily, the prediction comes true!

- 5-1 Canes. Turnover, saucer pass, goal. GOILERS!

- 6-1 Canes. Kids everywhere in that replay!

- 6-2 Canes. Kids everywhere in that replay!

- 7-2 Canes.
That little fucker Staal celebrates his garbage 7-2 goal like he just clinched the cup.



Thursday, January 17, 2008

LiveBlogging: Oil @ Caps.


Unfortunately, for the second time this week, school has interfered with my ability to catch the beginning of an Oiler game. However, much to my surprise, it looks like we had a real strong first period. For any of you out there without access to a video feed, feel free to join me on sopcast channel 38858

Second period.

- 2-2. I tune into the game a minute and a half into the period and I missed two Washington goals. Sigh.

- I am really interested to see how this Oiler team responds. It's important for these guys to show some composure here.

- Oilers PP. From what I've read it was pretty solid in the first period. A goal here would certainly send a message.

- 3-2 Oilers. Our powerplay looked AWESOME. The two bombs up high opened up the down low play. The team shows some great puck movement as Hemsky goes to Horcoff who goes cross crease to Penner. That's how our powerplay should look.

- While our powerplay does look really good, I think the Caps are playing us wrong. Both this season and last, it seemed to me that aggressive PKs had our way with us and we found a lot of success against a more passive style. Washington played us way too passive in that last PK.

- 77 saves us a goal as he stretches across the crease and shuffles the puck back into Roli's. We got our Bieksa.

- Haha, one of the Washington announcers had to be corrected when he commented that Cujo had signed in Phoenix. Sad.

- Horcoff takes a bad penalty off of the faceoff. He gets his stick caught up in Semin and skates with his head down to the box.

- Semin bails out Horcoff and takes a slashing penalty just after the Caps powerplay starts.

- Oilers take another penalty. This is going to be a 4 on 3. That looks to me like an awfully weak call on Stoll.

- 3-3. Ovechkin carries up ice then makes a nice pass to Mike Green sneaking in from the point. Green makes no mistake and takes a beautiful top corner shot.

- Washington is looking really dangerous. I love how despite scoring on the Powerplay, the caps will get an extra minute of man advantage after half a minute of 4on4. Getting scored on in a 4on3 situation sucks.

- 37 with a STUPID give away at his own blue line. This kid just does not get it. It's a good thing it was Brashear who had the eventual scoring chance. Still, 37's screw up has led to over a minute of caps pressure in our zone.

- 83 goes around Erskine and draws a tripping penalty. So far we've had stellar success on the PP (2 goals, plus another just after expiration). A goal here would really help to turn the momentum.

- Powerplay was largely ineffective. Some nice puck movement but the only real chance hit Penner in front of the net.

- 4-3 Caps. This is sad. After 37 gets stripped behind his own net, Roli let's in a STUPID ASS GOAL. Look to see Garon starting the third.


Generally speaking I consider myself a MacT supporter. I think that so far this year he's done a really good job with this team. With that said, what the HELL was he thinking starting Roloson. When was the last time this team played well in front of him? When was the last time he played a full 60 minutes without giving up a weak goal? I actually don't really think it's important how well Roloson plays, it seems to me that the team plays worse in front of him. Garon constantly comes up with HUGE saves that keep us in games. Roloson just can't come up with a big save, AND has been letting in real weak ones at key times (instead of going into the third tied, we are now down a goal thanks to a terrible goal with only 50s left in the period.

Third period.

- The pond hockey resumes and Stoll absolutely creams Ovechkin.

- MacT is done fucking around. 34 hits the ice with 19 and 16 against Ovechkin's line. 34 answers with a great chance down low.

- What the fuck is Roli doing out there. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

- The Caps' plugger line hems 27-10-83 in their own zone. Great stuff boys.

- Oh my God, HF must be going nuts right now 12-13-89 all hit the ice together. That's just insane. MacT has been quoted numerous times stating that he couldn't put all these guys together because doing so would be bat shit crazy. By his own reasoning, MacT is bat shit crazy.

- 4-4. The big line redeems itself and runs rampant in the Caps zone. Horcoff hits the post on golden chance, then makes no mistake on a 2nd chance about 10 second later. Smid made a GREAT play during the sequence when he took a hit to make a real nice pass down low to 83.

- This game has so much stupidity in it. Despite having already giving up a PPG and numerous chances, the Oilers take a too many men penalty.

- Moreau gets a partial breakaway and a quality chance shorthanded. The best part of it all is he followed up the chance and killed some time down low.

- Stoll makes a real good play as he intercepts a centering pass to Ovechkin. That was a real solid read by 16.

- 37 with a good defensive play after 12 turns it over at the Caps blue line. In Gilbertian fashion, he cleanly removed the puck from Fleischman's stick and calmly moved it out of his zone. Hydebeshkov is in full effect.

- Hydebeshkov makes another solid play as he forechecks and frees up a puck that Hemsky picks up and feeds to Horcoff for a quality chance in the low slot.

- Penner looks so good out there. He just willed the puck out of his zone. This guy is playing with a TON of confidence right now. I wish I was recording this game, Penner is just a different player right now. He pushes his way through the neutral zone and gives a cap defenseman a shove.


Top line, top line, top line. After having an off game versus the Kings (only one goal), 27-10-83 are back with a bang. These guys had a great third period. At this point in time, this line is the only line generating offense at ES. I'm not really sure who deserves more credit, Penner, Hemmer or Horc. Although I do subscribe to the idea that 27 really opens up space for 10 and 83, I think all three guys are driving the results.

I remember back when Hemsky was coming back from injury, 27 had been playing really well and I think it was Ferraro that commented that 27-10-83 had yet to be combined while they were all hot. Penner was cold at the start of the season, Hemsky was cold for a few games before his injury, and Horcoff was cold while Hemmer was out. I think this is what it looks like when they are all playing well, and I like it.


- Washington looks like the more dangerous team so far in OT. We need to create some sustained pressure.

- Roli makes a huge save on a Fleischmann break away.

- 10-83 have a sub par shift. One thing about Hemsky though, did you all notice how when he gained the blue line he got it in deep? This is a skill guy here folks who knows what to do to keep the GA down.

- Stoll looks confident on a break away but the puck rolls on him and he doesn't get a shot off.

- 83 splits the D with the clock running down. Wow, what an extra frame that was.


Holy heart attack extra period.


WSH Shooter #1: Gordon had Roli beat but lost an edge. We got a bit lucky there.
EDM Shooter #1: Gagner with his signature move but Kolzig doesn't bite.
WSH Shooter #2: Semin gets stopped by Roli.
EDM Shooter #2: Kolzig makes a nice stop as Hemmer goes to the backhand move.
WSH Shooter #3: It really looked to me like Roli knew he was going to shoot. Ovechkin tries to go five hole and Roli makes a big save.
EDM Shooter #3: Horcoff tries to go five-hole and Kolzig shuts the door.
WSH Shooter #4: Roli makes a great toe save on Kozlov.
EDM Shooter #4: Nilsson tries to go low blocker but doesn't telegraph his shot well.
WSH Shooter #5: Roli gives up nothing and Backstrom misses wide.
EDM Shooter #5: Pisani with a pretty poorly directed shot, easy save for Kolzig.
WSH Shooter #6: Laich with a lot of moves but misses wide.
EDM Shooter #6: Gilbert tries to go fivehole and Kolzig reads it all the way.
WSH Shooter #7: Green shoots it right into Roli's glove.
EDM Shooter #7: Stoll breaks his stick and gets nothing on the shot.
WSH Shooter #8: Fleishmann tries to go five hole and Roli closes the door.
EDM Shooter #8: Penner with the fake to his backhand and the forehand shot. He misses wide.
WSH Shooter #9: Roli with a big glove save on Brashear. WTF Brashear?
EDM Shooter #9: Marty just misses as he tries to draw Kolzig over but hits the pipe.
WSH Shooter #10: Pettinger loses the handle and misses the net.
EDM Shooter #10: Cogliano stumbles and wipes out in the corner. That was funny.
WSH Shooter #11: Erskine tries to go high with a backhand but Roli makes the save.
EDM Shooter #11: Chopper hits the post. LOL, I totally saw that coming, one post a game for 18.
WSH Shooter #12: Matt Bradley with a nice deak goal.
EDM Shooter #12: It's all on Souray here. Kolzig makes a save on the Souray slapper


We let one slip away. I definitely question a lot of MacT's choices this game, but at least we got a point. Also, it's nice to see the top line going again, we'll need them if we want to be successful on this road trip.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

LiveBlogging: Kings @ Oil.

The talk of the town is the resurgent powerplay. In the pregame podcast, both players and coach credit the improved play to "chemistry". I think I can buy that explanation; After all, two of the five players on our 'first unit' are new to the team this season.

Unfortunately I have class until 5:30 and a 45 minutes trip home, so I should be picking this game up shortly after the puck drops. For those of you that don't have access to the pay per view feed, you can join me and catch the game on sopcast channel 31511.

5 Minutes info the first period.

- 1-0 Kings. I turn the game on just in time to see Grebs with the blown coverage on O'Sullivan.

- 83 takes a bad penalty 50 feet from his own net. Kings go on the powerplay. This is a big kill, if we go down 2-0 this game is as good as over. The Kings have the 4th best powerplay in the league. That's not really surprising considering all the talent.

- Nice play by 44 as he knocks the puck down on the PK and clears it down the ice. 24 and 44 are starting to look gassed out there, we really need a whistle here.

- 25 with a solid play breaking up a Frolov break out pass. The Kings get numerous quality chances, but the Oilers successfully get the kill.

- PPV announcer (Kevin Quinn?) talks up 5's season. How far do you have to have your head up your ass to think he's had a good season.

- 12 shows he's not just a skill guy with a real nice dump and chase. Unfortunately it doesn't lead to much as LA moves the puck out of the zone and generates a bunch of chances. Garon comes up big with saves on Johnson in the high slot and a cross ice one-timer by Blake.

- 18 catches Handzus with his head down. As bad as we have looked so far this game, at least we have a physical presence.

- A nice long shift by 19-16-89. However, I knew it was over when I heard Quinn say that Staios had chipped it into the corner and Gagner was going to get it. Predictably Gagner lost the battle and LA cleared it down ice.

- 44 with an ill-advised clear up the middle of the ice. Vishnovsky gets a chance and Garon makes a solid save.

- Stortini does his best punching bag impression. Still, the kid deserves credit for going out there and sacrificing his body for the good of his team. Win or loss, I'm sure getting punched by a 250 lb. goon still hurts.

- WOW. Chopper absolutely destroys Jack Johnson behind the Kings net. That was sick.


From what I saw we played pretty poorly at the start of the period. Despite the bad start, we ended the first with some solid physical play. I really think that's a good way to approach a team like LA. Chopper talks about the bad start and the improvement over the last 5 minutes of the period. I gotta agree with his analysis, the team looked a lot better in the last five.

Second period.

- We need 27-10-83 to play like they did Sunday versus Calgary. A nice start to the period as Penner and Hemsky both have SCs.

- Great play by 77. After a minute+ of sustained pressure in the Kings zone, he chases down O'Sullivan and stops a potential break away. I'm really surprised he was able to catch him there, I thought that he would be gassed after such a long shift.

- 2-0 Kings. Pitkanen and Nilsson combine to give away the fuck at the Oilers blue line. It's really unfortunate that the Kings managed to capitalize on their first chance of the period.

- 24 bails out Garon and clears a puck out of the crease. Top line has a pretty brutal defensive break down, giving O'Sullivan a clear run to the net.

- Oilers put a bunch of shots on the net. Problem is they are all coming well from the outside and there doesn't seem to be anyone ready to bang in a rebound.

- It really seems like Hemsky LA is doing a good job shutting us down off of the rush. Hemsky has had numerous chances gaining the LA zone with speed but hasn't been able to do anything with it.

- Oilers barely miss out on a goal. 37 looks good as he walks in from the point and puts a puck off of Blake's leg that nearly goes in.

- Oilers PP. MacT leaves the top unit out there for an offensive zone draw despite 1 minute having already gone by in the PP. They generate a couple chances capped by a Souray blocked shot. Second unit also looked good in limited minutes, highlighted by Gagner taking the puck to the net and almost jamming it in.

- Souray with a real nice stuff of Brown at the Oilers blue line. Again, I think this is the key to beating LA (that and of course scoring some damn goals).


So far this has been a bit of a weird game. From what I've seen the Oilers have been unable to establish any sort of offensive flow. Most of the plays off of the rush seem to lead to blocked shots or pucks heading into the corners. The cycle game has been relatively effective but has still yet to lead to a goal. I think to win tonight we are going to need at least one special teams goal and a goal from our top line.

Third period.

- Slow start to the third period. We can't seem to generate any offense on the rush. Since when can LA play defense? I don't know how many times I've heard about LA getting their sticks on Oiler shots. Hemsky alone has had at least half of his shots blocked.

- Penner gets a great chance and LaBarbera comes up with a big save. It's really too bad, that's probably the best chance we have had this game.

- 18 takes a typical dumb penalty. Maybe we can score shorthanded?

- 3-0 Kings. That's a no on the SHG. LA gets a lucky bounce and Vishnovsky pots it into an open net.

- Chopper gets robbed down low by LaBarbera and Brodziak can't put the rebound into the open net. That's a huge missed opportunity. I think it's safe to say that this game is over.

- 89 does his best 'Joff' impression and fails to clear the puck out of his zone despite a lot of time and space.

- 44 has gone to the dressing room, let's hope it's just an equipment issue.

- 3-1 Kings. Penner with a steal down low and no mistake on the finish. Unfortunately it's probably too little too late. I think the Brodziak miss right after the Vishnovsky goal is going to be the difference in this game.

- Garon with a fantastic save down low against Nagy and then gets back into position to stop the rebound. It's good he's still making big saves, shows his head is still in this game.

- Dive, Dive, Dive. That should be two and two. With 3 and a half minutes left, you can't give cheap penalties like that. Good on Dustin Brown though, he has a Ryan Kesler Hattrick: a goal, some whining, and a dive.


The team came out of the gate too slow and gave up goals at key moments. I was really impressed by LA's defensive game, they stayed out of the box and kept most of the shots to the outside. Still, a 4-1 home stand is certainly a success.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

LiveBlogging: Flames @ Oil.

I'll be doing live commentary during tonights game.

In the pre-game scrum, MacT talked about putting a big stretch of wins together and getting back into some sort of post season picture. I know it's his job to stay positive, but I don't buy that he thinks this team can make the playoffs. For the first time in a long time, the team is healthy and has put together a stretch of games where they looked like the best team on the ice. However, they did it against two teams from the East that have been struggling and an overachieving Coyotes squad. Before I'm convinced the Oilers can go on a real run, they'll have to show me they can beat legitimate playoff teams (Canucks, Flames, Stars, Wings), and LOOK like they deserved to win.

As for tonights game, I think we can steal one if Garon plays exceptional. I'm curious to see if MacT tries to run 27-10-83 against Iginla or if he tries to keep them away so they can focus on scoring. Also, I wonder if the kids can have another big game against the largely veteran Flame bottom six. My guess is if we win it's going to be a low scoring affair, with points from the powerplay and the top line.


- More sopcast problems. At this rate I might just have to sign up for Centre Ice Online at the halfway point of the season. The game is on channel 31511, but the buffer can't seem to get over 70%, so the image is pretty choppy. Hopefully it settles before the puck drops.

- Stream just shot up to 100% during the pre-game commercials. If you don't have the ability to watch the game, I'd suggesting downloading the sopcast player and clicking the link in the last post.

- Top line with a nice early rush. Looks like MacT is going to use Iginla to check Stoll. I suspected that would be his choice.

- Grebeshkov with a stupid give away then a lazy penalty. Where is Tarnstrom...

- The PK comes up big and the Flames get nothing out of their early powerplay.

- Stoll wtih a nice little move on a 1on1, the guy actually is starting to look like a valuable NHL player again. I wonder how much of his resurgence can be credited to an increase in confidence. Shooters in particular seem susceptible to confidence slumps. It would be great for the Oil if confidence was his problem, rather than lingering concussion issues.

- Hemsky with a nice move on Eriksson, turning him inside out and drawing a penalty. Oilers PP.

- 1-0 Oilers.
I was JUST about to comment on how the Flames know how to effectively play against an Oiler powerplay (eg: pressure the hell out of the puck carrier) and then we score. Shows how much I know.

- 18 shows us why players like him are essential to winning games. He shows no fear as he takes the puck to the net. Lombardi, coming in on the backcheck, inadvertently takes out his own goaltender (shades of MAB anyone). Driving the puck to the net is a sign of a team that isn't afraid to get a bit dirty, something that this Oiler team has been lacking all year.

- Smid with a sick give away just inside his own blue line. Good thing he was out there against Boyd and Marcus Nilsson. As long as MacT can keep 5-35 away from anyone with any talent, they have a chance to get out of this game without hurting their team on the scoresheet.

- 89 shows us why he should never be on the ice at the same time as Iginla. A careless neutral zone pass leads to an Iginla charge and a Flame chance.

- MacT seems to be content getting 27-10-83 out there versus Tanguay's line. We'll see if Keanen tries to get away from that match up.

- Again Stoll looks like a reborn player. I honestly can't remember the last time he drove the net like that. He gets a great chance down low and forces Kipper to nake a big save.

- Oilers takes a bad penalty. Let's see if the PK can be as effective as it was in the first kill. Good start as Souray wins a battle down low and Horc carries the puck up ice.

- Robyn Regehr on the powerplay. I've seen him out there a few times this year, and he seems to have a decent shot. Now I know that the Flames don't have much offense on their blue line, but you'd think a forward would be better in that spot.


A fast paced physical first period. The Oilers convert on their only powerplay, and the PK gives up very little in two Flame opportunities.


- 2-0 Oilers. WOW. I participate in a h2h yahoo pool. I am playing MattM this week, and as of 10 seconds ago we were tied in the goals category. Talk about taking the lead in style. Hemmer makes a ridiculous move and turns Robyn Regehr into a pylon. I remember an interview with Hemsky shortly after Regehr nearly killed him the last time these teams met in the BoA. He basically said that the hit was clean but commented that Regehr (and this is a loose quote) "didn't have to try and kill (him)". It's nice to see Hemmer get a little bit of revenge.

- Flames powerplay gets a number of quality chances as the Oilers start to run around a bit in their zone. MacT really needs to settle this team down.

- We are playing with 'fire' here. The Oilers take their 2nd too many men penalty of the game. Souray starts the PK right after a long ES shift. I question Huddy's choice there, time and time again I've seen Souray looking gassed on the ice. I think playing him as often as they are is counterproductive to the idea that players should be put in situations where they can be as effective as possible.

- 46-51-12 with a real solid shift down low. With Tanguay and Nolan on the ice, the aforementioned line generates a couple chances and keeps the puck in deep.

- Oilers get lucky as a bad change leads to a Tanguay-Nolan chance and Pitkanen comes up with a big skate save.

- We are starting to look a little too passive for my liking. Shades of recent blown leads are coming to mind. The team needs to put a bit of pressure on the Flames.

- 77 with a real nice separation play on Tanguay at the Oilers half boards. He calmly pins him to the boards and plays the puck back to Pitkanen. The play reminded me of how Hejda would separate guys last year. I really miss the guy and I think Lowe's biggest off season mistake was not re-signing the guy.

- 27 literally throws Lombardi off of him behind the Flames net. Ferraro comments on the mismatch and it couldn't be any more obvious.

- A couple nice shifts from 27-10-83 and 19-16-89 lead to some nice Oiler pressure.

- Staios gets beat wide and takes a penalty. Flames PP. Garon makes a brutal give away but comes up with a big save.


Another solid Oiler period. The team got lucky with some bounces and Garon came up big on numerous occasions. Tanguay's line had a couple chances, but with the exception of the late drive by Huselius leading to the Staios penalty, the Flames top line has been ineffective. If we can keep them from getting going offensively in the third, I think we have a really good chance at coming away with a win.


- The Flames start the period on the PP and Iginla gets a golden chance down low. Later, Gilbert makes a real heady play and intercepts a neutral zone pass. We need this to be our last PK of this game. With every powerplay, the Flames have looked more and more dangerous.

- Hemsky makes another great play but unfortunately Cogs can't finish. I said it about Penner during the Isles game, and I'll say it about Cogliano. If you are on the ice with Ales Hemsky, keep your head up, stick on the ice, and EXPECT to receive a pass.

- 2-1 Oilers. The Flames get a bit lucky as Langkow's backhand goes off of Staios and into the back of the net. If the Oilers play like they have in recent collapses, we will likely be in for a disappointing third period. The team really needs to keep the pressure on.

- Chopper hits the post after some nice work by Pisani along the boards. This shift by 18-13-34 is EXACTLY what we need right now. The Flames ice the puck to relieve the pressure.

- MacT goes to the top line against a tired Calgary five. Unfortunately, they fail to generate any scoring chances.

- A real nice rush by Iginla's line. Staios does a real nice job tying up Huselius and preventing an easy bang in on the rebound.

- A quality 2 on 1 with Pisani leading the rush. 34 shows some real patience and forces Kipper to make a huge save. 18-13-34 have had a real solid game together.

- More solid offensive zone pressure generated by 27-10-83 and 5-35. I've noticed that MacT loves to put 5-35 out there with the top line. I think it's a great choice, not so much because Horc et al help on the backcheck, but rather because they keep the puck up ice and thus out of our zone.

- For the third time this game, Gagner carries the puck into the Flames zone and promptly gives it away. If this kid is going to stick on a line with 16 and 19, he needs to understand that their strength lies on the cycle, and that he needs to get it in deep to generate offense.

- 25 shows us why he is considered one of the premium young offensive defensemen in the NHL. A small sneaky play leads to a nice Oiler chance and forces Kipper to cover the puck. Offensive zone faceoff coming up for the Oilers. Look for 27-10-83 to hit the ice for the draw after the lengthy TV timeout.

- An odd choice by MacT. He puts 19-16-89 out there versus the Iginla line after the TV time out. It seems to me that there is a time to check and there is a time to go PVP. Gotta get your best scorers out there for offensive draws with 5 minutes left.

- Penner fights off two Flames and holds the puck in deep giving his mates an opportunity to change.

- Crowd starts a Calgary sucks chant. I really hate those types of chants. They are awfully popular here in Vancouver at GM place.

- 19-16-89 get pinned in their zone for an extended amount of time. 16 makes a great diving play to clear it out. Keanen gets 12 out there and Gagner wisely FINALLY GETS OFF THE ICE. I am absolutely POSITIVE that he is getting an earful from MacT right now. Horcoff and Penner had already changed and had been out there for at least 15 seconds. Gagner looked as if he was going to join the rush, but probably heard MacT screaming at him to get off the ice. Shortly thereafter 83 hits the ice and DOUBLE DION comes up big with two saves on Penner down low.


An epic hockey game that left me with chills in the final minute. I love how MacT had 27(and 18)-10-83-25-77 out there for the final minute. While 25 made a gaff under pressure in his own zone late, 77 made a great play on Tanguay and stopped him from taking it to the front of the net just before time expired.

Monday, January 07, 2008

LiveBlogging: Isles @ Oil.

I'll be posting notes during this evenings game. I hope that the sopcast stream is more reliable this time around. For those of you wanting to catch some of the action, tune into sopcast channel 31511 (or click here if you have sopcast installed)

- My feed cuts out just as the game is about to start. Excellent.

- I seem to have missed the first five minutes. My feed cuts in as Hemsky gets smothered by 5 Isles at their blue line.

- Gagner playing with Reasoner. I liked the energy I saw out of 89-51-46 last game, I'm not sure how I feel about the change. Although 28-51-46 is certainly appealing as a line that can cycle and build up some energy down low.

- Hemsky with a great chance down low. 27-10-83 looks good early on.

- Grebs turns over the puck in his own zone which leads to a bit of Islander pressure. This kid constantly is making something out of nothing.

- Gagner et. al get pinned in down low by Satan's line. Ugly shift from the Oilers.

- MacT throws 27-10-83 out there against the Comrie line. I think he will try to get that match up all night.

- Gilbert with his best Grebeshkov impression as he gives it away to Park for an A+ chance in the slot.

- Some Oilers pressure draws an Islander penalty down low. Let's see which Oiler powerplay shows up tonight, the bad one or the really bad one.

- Apparently the Islanders have the 6th best penalty kill in the league. This doesn't bode well. Horrible powerplay, currently Richard Park is playing keep way in our defensive zone.

- Gilbert gets a weak shot on goal with the powerplay winding down. We managed to gain the zone and setup in only one of our five tries.

- Gilbert again puts a shot on goal that Pisani manages to tip. Dipietro forced to make a good save. At least we got one solid chance out of the man advantage.

- Hemsky with another good chance down low. Surprise, surpise, Comrie and Bergeron on the ice. MacT must salivate when he sees those two out there.


Some solid chances from 27-10-83 at ES. Beyond that, not much offense outside of a nice rush by 18 in the middle of the frame. As for the Islanders, they didn't manage to generate a whole lot of offense. it looks to me like it's going to be a button-down type game.


- 1-0 Oilers. A great little snipe by Hemmer. The top line is humming tonight.

- 2-0 Oilers. Top line, top line, top line. Horcoff getting back on track with Hemmer in the line up. The top line is looking great.

- 3-0 Oilers. Reasoner pots a quick one on a Stoll feed.

- Oilers are really coming alive here. You can see the weight drop from their shoulders.


Had some problems with my stream, wasn't able to follow the play too closely. However, it looks like things are solved for the third period.


- Islanders nearly put one away, Garon gets lucky as Sillinger rings one off the post.

- Oilers back to the powerplay. Souray gets trapped in deep leading to an Islanders chance.

- Long 5-3 coming up here for the Oil as Hunter draws a goaltender interference penalty. Stoll gets two great chances with DiPietro moving.

- Lots of quality chances that we didn't capitalize on. That powerplay looked really good. Souray hits the bar as the PP shows great puck movement.

- A quick fight between Stortini and Jackman. Give the decision to Jackman as the aptly named "huggy-bear" strikes again. I actually think that Stortini was pretty gassed at the beginning of the fight, he had already been out for a full shift.

- I think 12 is a better fit than 89 to play with 16 and 19. I think Gagner is just too weak on the puck to play with Stoll and Reasoner.

- Islanders PP. Pies takes a holding penalty as the Oil spend some time running around their own zone.

- Chop and Marty do a great job killing the first 45 seconds of the powerplay. 18 with some great work at the blue line.

- Smid hits the ice and the Islanders get a great scoring chance. Colour me surprised.

- Satan's line builds some nice pressure and gets a few chances. Souray almost gets turned around at his own blue line but recovers in time get back into position.

- Staios with a real nice play breaking up a Meyer centering pass. Oilers go up ice and Hemsky and Horcoff combine for another solid SC.

- Oilers go to the powerplay for the third time this evening as Guerin gets called for interference on Smid. Pretty weak call, it seemed that Smid was holding/interfering Guerin. I think the credit for the powerplay should go to the pressure generated by 27-10-83.

- The Kid powerplay hits the ice. Gagner is ROBBED x2 by DiPietro right on the doorstep.

- Penner has missed about 3 golden opportunities this game. I think he forgot what it was like to play with Hemmer, you really need to keep your stick on the ice ready for a pass at all times.

- 4-0 Oilers. Stoll unleashes a rocket on a Horcoff feed. Could he be regaining his confidence? I hope so, it will really improve his trade value ;).

- Brodziak shows us all why we dealt Marc-Andre Bergeron. Bergy plays him soft and stops moving his feet which gives 51 a clear run to the net. DiPietro comes up big and bails out his teammate.

- WOW. That was a ridiculous grab by DiPietro. Pitkanen with a golden opportunity down low on a Brodziak feed. I have Joni in my pool and it would have been nice to get that one.


Garon shuts the Islanders down and the Oil win a rare one in regulation. All in all a quality win; the top line comes up big, we scored a powerplay goal and Garon shut the door.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

LiveBlogging: Oil @ Blues.

Thanks to some technical difficulties with sopcast and Ubuntu, I'm just now tuning in with 13 minutes left in the third.

- Looks like we are off to a terrible start, only one shot on Legace and we are down a goal.

- This sopcast feed is really unstable, I might have to try and find another one.

- Back online with 9 minutes left.

- This sopcast feed needs more peers, it's cutting in and out. If you are reading this at game time, it's on 22668. Download the client at

- Nilsson takes a stupid penalty. Let's see how our PK looks tonight. I wonder how long it's gonna be before Robert draws out. It's been 8 games or so since he's had an impact offensively. If he isn't bringing offense, why else is he in the line up?

- A pretty solid kill. Nice play by Marty down low to break up the centering attempt. Those cross crease passes have been killing us of late.

- TV timeouts are so ridiculously long. Does anyone know when the league implemented these things? In the early 90's I attended a lot of games and I don't seem to remember these long breaks.

- A nice forecheck and cycle shift by 27-10-28. It's no secret that I'm a fan of 28's, nice to see him get a chance with the big boys.

- Chopper shows great patience on a nice rush, too bad Souray made nothing of it by blasting a shot 5 ft. wide of the net.

- Another Oilers powerplay. Johnson goes to the box for hooking. Looked like a pretty weak call. Hopefully we can get a shot this time around.

- Some pretty good puck movement, but it was all around the perimeter. Blues clear it down the ice.


From what I saw it looks like having Johnny back in the lineup isn't making much of a difference. The team looks pretty flat.

Second Period.

- 1-1. A solid forecheck leads to a Gilbert goal. Let's just try and forget that first period.

- Oh man, that was hilarious. As I said after last game, Smid is playing with more of an edge. The guy gives Backes a forearm shiv and then ends up dropping them. A pretty good fight too, I don't know much about Backes, but I'd give the decision to Ladi.

- Another fight, Stortini drops them with King. Storts is really hanging on for his life. Rob Brown: "both guys are really doing a good job keeping things in tight", hahahah.

- My feed seems to have completely cut out. Gonna try Matt's windows suggestion from the comments.