Tuesday, September 25


Phoenix Post-Game: Oil 2, Coyotes 1 (SO)

* Gilbert scored to tie it in the third; Stoll and Reasoner scored in the shootout (Schremp missed!). Garon had another solid game, including two saves in the shootout.

* I think all the assumptions about Marc Pouliot being a consistent NHL forward have to be thrown out the window. He took a couple soft penalties tonight and got little else accomplished. In the past he's come to camp out of shape and had slow starts, resulting in trips to the AHL. Maybe ending the season with the big club - a team decimated by injuries - made him complacent. Whatever the reason, he's hanging by a thread at this point, and maybe the only thing that saves him is if the Oilers decide Sam Gagner's development would be aided by another year in junior. Wouldn't be surprised if he was packaged with a defenceman in a deal before the season starts.

* Gagner was a little quiet tonight, but so were a lot of guys.

* Tom Gilbert is an NHL defencemen.

* Schremp had another nice game, making a nice pass to set-up Gilbert's goal and got some first unit PP time with Trukhno and Nilsson. I talked before about MacT possibly wanting a "show me" game from Robbie tonight, and I think he got it. Whether it's enough at this point, who knows? He's making it interesting though.

* Tomorrow night in Edmonton, Cogliano will get his audition on the #1 line with Hemsky and Penner. Another good performance would probably see him stick.

* My girlfriend just called, giddy with excitement, telling me that her favorite Oiler heart-throb (Raffi Torres) is on The Daily Show. Er, what? Bizarre, I'm going to watch.

Thoughts on the cutdowns and Calgary game tomorrow.

D-Day In The Desert

Phoenix Pre-Game: Cuts Coming

Quick notes before tonight's game:

*After assigning Adam Huxley and T.J. Kemp to Springfield yesterday, the Oil will get down to 15 forwards and 9 defencemen following tonight's game. Last cuts likely to come following tomorrow's game with Calgary. MacT would like to throw out something close to his opening night roster against Vancouver on Saturday.

* Several guys in the lineup tonight are likely getting their last look before they head to Springfield. On the blueline, Syvret, Young and Bisaillon are sure to be sent to Springfield. Bryan Young looks like he will have a career in the NHL as a stay-at-home #5 or #6 guy. He's sound and plays simple. Syvret is probably a career AHL guy or injury call-up, while Bisaillon has drawn comparisons in style and stature to Marc-Andre Bergeron. Not sure if he should be insulted by that or not. Those three cuts would get them down to 9, and then the real decision making begins. Send a deserving Gilbert down until a deal can be made? Can you risk losing Roy on waivers if you send him down? If a deal is made, who goes?

* Just thinking out loud here, but maybe Tampa Bay could be a potential trading partner. They're looking for defencemen (cheap ones at that) especially now with Boyle's injury. Can only guess as to who the Oilers would want back. If they're looking for offence, perhaps a guy like Vinny Prospal ($1.9 million) in the last year of his contract would be a fit.

* Up front there's a little more work to do. Reddox, Bodie, Trukhno, and O'Marra draw in tonight and are likely on their way out as well. Toss in Almtorp, Johansson, Spurgeon, Sestito and Simon, and that still only gets you to 18 forwards. Assuming that Poulito and Nilsson are safe, that means cutting three of the following: Brodziak, Carter, Cogliano, Gagner, Jacques, Schremp and Stortini. Carter, Jacques and Schremp is my guess...

* ...that being said, tonight might be an important night for Gagner. He won't be playing with Hemsky and Penner (Sanderson & Pouliot tonight) and it's important for him to show he can produce with other guys. Ales Hemsky could make Greener look like Jean Beliveau.

* Schremp is playing on the 4th line tonight (again) with Bodie and Reddox. Tough to say what it means, but Cogliano played there against Calgary and scored two goals. Schremp's skating probably prohibits him from playing with the fleet/skilled guys like Nilsson and Hemsky, so he's likely to be a 4th liner/PP specialist if he sticks with the Oil. It's either a "show me" move by MacT or an indicator that he's about to get sent down.

* Hope Steve Stamkos likes it 95 degrees in December. Have you seen Phoenix's roster? Who is going to be worse than them this year? Cue 8-2 Coyotes win tonight...

Post-game thoughts a little later.


NORTE: Dispatch, this desk. Today I am flying my flag at half mast bitches. Not for Kyle Wellwood and his balsa wood groin region. Not for the old Norris Division. Not even for my burgeoning realization that my NHL dreams may seriously be coming to an end. Today, I dip my paint brushes in a mix of turpentine and tears for the passing of Ken Danby.

Yet further proof that canoeing in Algonquin Park leads to death. Canada’s foremost realist painter: the aforementioned Ken Danby, has passed away at the age of 67. Who, you may ask, is Ken Danby? Besides being a national icon, he is also the man who painted the iconic AT THE CREASE (see above). RIP sir….you will be missed by painters/goalies all over the world.