Thursday, November 27, 2008

Starving For Offence

This one is going to be short, but not very sweet. The Oilers are starving for offence right now having scored more than 3 goals only once in their last 8 games and that was thanks to Pacal Leclaire giving his best Dean Millard impression in Columbus.

Meanwhile, the Oilers AHL affiliate in Springfield has scored 4 or more goals times in 3 of their last 4 games. 3 of the top 5 scorers in Edmonton right now are defencemen Sheldon Souray (15 points) Lubomir Visnovsky (12 points) and Tom Gilbert (11 points). Edmonton right now has just 6 players in double digits, with captain Ethan Moreau rounding out the bottom 6 with 10 points and Ales Hemsky sitting on top with 22. In the last 4 games, the Oilers top 5 forwards in scoring have combined for 13 points, which includes 3 goals. Their totals are as follows:

Hemsky-5 points in 4 games, 1 goal
Horcoff-3 points in 4 games, 1 goal
Moreau-0 points in 4 games
Cogliano-3 points in 4 games, 1 goal
Cole-2 points in 4 games, 0 goals

Now contrast that to what's happening in Springfield, and the top 3 scorers have 20 points in their last 4 games including 6 goals, and are all close or over a point per game on the season. Their totals are as follows:

Schremp-8 points in 4 games, 1 goal
Potulny-7 points in 4 games, 2 goals
Brule-5 points in 4 games, 3 goals

I'm not proposing you put any of the above 5 Oilers on waivers and call up this trio from the farm, but you could send Liam Reddox and Tim Sestito back down and likely put Steve Macintyre in Springfield on a conditioning stint after his injury and bring up the Falcons top scorers. I'm not saying these 3 would light it up in the NHL and solve the Oilers scoring problems, but a hot hand is a hot hand and what the Oilers seem to have right now is the equivalent to leaving your gloves in a snow bank overnight. It would make your line up a little softer, and Craig MacTavish has talked about not being tough enough to play against, but I think you have to try something, and calling up checkers when you're starving offensively in my mind isn't the way to solve the problem. Even a combination of the top 3 scorers might help the Oilers right now.

That's my 2 cents, what's yours?

(Schremp picture courtesy, Oilers logo courtesy


Bryanbryoil said...

Schremp of late has looked better than Nilsson ever did last season in Springfield, Potulny and Schremp are a solid duo and would form 2/3's of a solid NHL line. Brule has been getting better and looking to score and would compliment out numerous playmakers on the team.

I would call all 3 of these guys up and send some of the other guys down for conditioning stints.

Brodziak, Stortini, Sestito, and Reddox are all candidates to get sent down.

However as I said on my blog the other day, Mactavish will always revert back to thinking more defensively.

We lost 2-1, so next game he'll try to win 1-0.

More evidence that this team needs a coaching enema.

Bryanbryoil said...

BTW-Garon and Cole won't want to be coming back next year and the GM will be left with JDD and ? in terms of goaltenders because of MacT's "my way or the highway" attitude.

Anonymous said...

Here's my rant...
Dean, great comments and I totally agree, but unfortunately you have a coach that has a system that does not allow the creativity to provide offense. Do you honestly believe that we do not have the talent on this team to score more than two goals on most nights??
This is about a stubborn coach that refuses to change... It was reported last night that during the week off MacT and Cole had a meeting of the minds as to what might be best for player coach and team?? This is after a full training camp, seven preseason, and 20 games into the regular season? Does this not sound familiar to anyone, as was there not a similar meeting with Peca a few years back as to ironing out the differences as to where he the player could be most effective? Was that meeting not half, or three quarters of the way into the season as well?
This team's system is not to win at all costs, it is to play not to lose... we see it every year where the team starts the season appearing to be able to score at will, but after three or four games the offence seems to dry up and we are winning, or losing in many cases by just one goal. Look at their record last season as to how many games we had won by one goal in mostly low scoring games. Many of the games where we allowed the opposition to score late to win or tie, only having us the opportunity to win the tied games in the shoot-out, thanks to stellar goaltending.
This year we have added more offence and once again we are caught in the trap of scoring but a few goals per game, and winning or losing by a single goal.
Its frustrating and difficult to watch, as you know that we have more offensive talent on the ice than what they are showing us. The players have lost all confidence in their own abilities as well as the coach's system, as they look confused and at times disinterested..
MacT will not bring up players like Shremp because he and that ilk are not safe enough MacT players, the likes of Horcoff, Reasoner, Peterson, Moreau, and oh yes now, Pouilet. They may not score a lot of goals but they all play the safe style of game. Oh, and I don't think MacT likes to be proven wrong...
Also, those that want to totally blame Lowe for the players as well as contracts he has assembled... you can bet that MacT too had a major say as to what players were brought into the dressing room, as well as their worth. The fact that Katz had to basically get MacT and Big George together to talk to clear their differences in hopes to bring him back for some toughness, should speak volumes as to the make-up of the team.
It is time for MacT to go before they compound the mistakes and start trading away some of the unproven talent that may well excel in Oiler colors, given a different coach and system. Is it possible that it is not just Edmonton and the cool winters that are keeping players from choosing this team to play?
The Wet Coaster

Jonathan said...

I think the plan on Brule is to let him dominate in the minors for a while - he was rushed to the NHL, so I wouldn't be in any rush to get him back there again.

I think Potulny would be a good fit; he's a shot-happy player, one under-rated aspect of Curtis Glencross' game when he was lighting it up with Brodziak and Stortini. He could be a very nice fit on the 4th line.

George B said...

Agreed. I posted in my blog a line up of...

Penner Horcoff Hemsky
Nilsson Cogliano Gagner
Moreau Schremp Cole
Brule Brodziak (Stortini/Potulny)

In my opinion that is our best chance of success, instead of role players..

George B said...

One other thing...

Doesn't it appear to others like MacT is losing the room?

Bryanbryoil said...

George B-Schremp hasn't played center since early last season in Springfield.

I also don't think that Moreau and Cole would be his most ideal linemates, however he would create offense for them and dump pucks in to generate hits.

George B said...


I am not that concerned about where they play, I just think that we should play our best players.

Maybe bump Cogs down and move Schremp with thought process was that both Brule could be helped out by having some defensively responsible guys on their line.

I also thought that Schremp having Cole as a passing target since he has reverted to more of a passing game than a shooter would be a good idea with Moreau digging out pucks in the offensive zone.

Leaving Brule as the missing component of a fast physical energy line essentially taking Glencross' place.

I don't play Schremp with Hemsky and Horcoff, and would prefer to have his defensive game, although improved, sheltered by veterans.

This would give us more of the three scoring lines, not look like Cole was being sent to no man's land and still getting some offensive opportunities.

If I had to play on this team with Pouliot and Moreau, I would be pretty choked....and not a high percentage re-signing either.