• Stortini can’t live by the Laraque Rules

    by Tyler Dellow • November 11, 2007 • Uncategorized • 32 Comments

    Zach Stortini seems like a likable enough guy. I’ve no doubt that his teammates like him and he’s a positive guy to have around the team. However, in all of Craig MacTavish’ time as a coach, there isn’t a single player who I’ve had a harder time understanding why he’s dressing than Stortini. He’s like the anti-Jan Hejda, a guy whose struggles to get into the lineup last year mystified me.

    As has been noted here and elsewhere, Stortini is from the Kelly Buchberger class of fighters – his best attribute is his ability to get punched in the face repeatedly without doing something socially awkward like bleeding all over the other guy (Full disclosure: Stortini would rip me apart. Nobody’s paying me to protect guys in whom tens of millions of dollars are invested though). Bucky used to get the crap kicked out of him all of the time in the late 1990′s when the Oilers didn’t really have an enforcer and someone had to stand up for Doug Weight and Ryan Smyth. Bucky was at least a serviceable lower end guy though – Stortini just can’t play hockey. He’s played 7 games this year, spending a total of 40:25 on the ice (all at ES, unsurprisingly).


    When he is on the ice, the Oilers get absolutely destroyed – I checked a few games back and the Oilers had all of three shots when he was on the ice, with twenty against. If you make the (safe) assumptions that a) MacT isn’t playing him against anyone good and b) he isn’t putting him on the ice in unfavourable situations (as of a few days ago, Stortini had 30 faceoffs in the neutral or offensive zones as opposed to 11 in his own end). He’s just not a very good hockey player at this point in his career.

    Last night’s hit on Ales Hemsky by Robyn Regehr cried out for an act of retribution from the Oilers. According to Vic Ferrari’s Time on Ice site, Stortini didn’t see a shift after the first period. Whether it was fighting Regehr or mugging one of the Flames soft talents, there has to be some sort of response to Regehr’s shot at Hemsky. I’m willing to let MacTavish and Stortini off the hook a little bit for not responding immediately to the Hemsky hit given the score and the Oilers desperate need for a win but it’s not like Flames defencemen taking cheap shots at Hemsky is a particularly new phenomenon – this has been going on since at least the first game of last season, as Andy noted in his piece after the 2006-07 season opener at Rexall. For the life of me, I can’t remember anybody doing anything about the shots at Hemsky all year long last year. In fairness to Stortini, I remember him trying to get it going with Dion Phaneuf, who proceeded to hide behind a linesman and (if I’m remembering this correctly) weep softly.

    If Stortini can’t or won’t do something about a guy like Hemsky getting hammered, what exactly is the point of his occupying a roster spot on the Oilers? This is more on the Oilers than him, I think – it’s not like serviceable fighters are tough to find. If he’s a terrible fighter and a terrible hockey player, I can’t figure out why he’s got a spot. Effectively, the Oilers are playing with 11 forwards, which doesn’t seem to make a hell of a lot of sense for a team that doesn’t exactly have a bench full of guys who the coach trusts. Jeff Friesen would probably take the league minimum at this point – is he not a better option than a guy who deters nothing and can’t play hockey to boot?

    The Battle of Alberta next Saturday is going to be interesting to watch. There aren’t a lot of games this week, so I assume that the local media will have lots of space and time to beat the drums for some vindication for Hemsky. Hopefully Stortini reads the papers and listens to the talk shows – for him to be worth a spot on the team, he needs to find a way to create a deterrent effect. If Regehr and Phaneuf don’t want to fight, if Owen Nolan doesn’t want to fight unless he catches Stortini at the end of a shift, then he needs to ask someone like Alex Tanguay and not take no for an answer, or he needs to take a big run at Tanguay.

    I’m not really an advocate of this sort of hockey, but given that the league doesn’t seem to have any interest in punishing this sort of conduct, I don’t know what else a team can do about it to try and protect their stars. The NHL has essentially thrown up its hands and abdicated any responsibility for making sure that there’s some protection when a player is vulnerable. To be worth his spot in the lineup, Stortini has to find a way to provide some sort of deterrence, whether doing so is in keeping with the Laraque Rules or not. The Oilers are hard enough to watch these days and Hemsky is one of the few bright spots. This can’t continue.

    About Tyler Dellow

    32 Responses to Stortini can’t live by the Laraque Rules

    1. November 11, 2007 at

      Ty, I was at McCarthys last night after a Capsule victory (we also won Friday night and the Oilers won – hell has officially frozen over) and when Hemsky got run into the boards I was sure of two things – if he was out for any extended period of time then Burke could begin planning for that #1 pick and the Oilers weren’t going to do anything about it.

      I’m with you – the whole “code” is a lot of bs as far as I am concerned but the fact is this has been going on for a while. When the Oilers said no thanks to LeGG I had no issue with that, any guy who could barely get off the bench in the SCF wasn’t worth the dough.

      But here we have a guy who can barely get off the bench during the regular season. I’m a fan of Stortini in that he captained my hometown junior team and every game he plays in the NHL is one more then I ever thought he would play.

      But if they are going with 11 forwards then they may as well get the biggest frigging goon they can find, have him sit on the end of the bench and once in a while, open the gate and push him out there. At least there would be some sort of deterrent out there.

    2. PDO
      November 11, 2007 at

      There’s nothing wrong with Stortini, it’s not his fault he has Brad Winchester disease…

      Er, nevermind.

      The Oilers are left with two choices, they either kill one of Tanguay/Iginla/Huselius/Lombardi and get up in Regehr’s ear… or we’re forced to let Hemsky take care of himself, and the next time Regehr bears down on him he turns around and feeds him his stick and lets Regehr eat out of a straw for 8 weeks.

      Either way though, Stortini can’t play and the fact that Regehr won’t be suspended for the next game the Oilers play against the Flames speaks volumes about the competency of the NHL head office.

      It’d sure be nice if this was given some press, because that seems to be the only way the NHL cares.

    3. November 11, 2007 at

      Well, word is that Lowe’s in SF this weekend to watch the kids, so maybe he’s down there to see which of them has the most value just in case he decides to make a trade. For whatever reason he’s down there and he’s seen them win two games and he’s seen that JFJ and MP have done just about all they can do at that level. So, will he take the time to have a yarn with a kid like Jacques and really tell him what’s expected of him if he gets the chance to play next Sat?

      What I’d like to see is get 83-16 out against the Iginla line the first time possible and stick Jacques on the LW and tell the boy to just go and run Tanguay through the boards and see what happens. You can’t intimidate Iginla, reghr or Phaneuf and I think we all know that. But I wonder how Tanguay would take to a few hard hits along the walls. Or, even say, an elbow in open ice, perhaps.

      Hey, I’m with you, I don’t like advocating violence but when you fuck with hemsky, you’re fucking with the franchise. And it’s getting to be a regular thing that Reghr tries to hurt him every time we play. The Oilers have to do something about this at some point.

      The other option in the A, BTW, is Ryan Flinn. But, really, what purpose does it serve to have him come up and fight Godard? It’s not like the Flames target guys like Greene and Stortini, they know exactly what they’re doing when they make up their checklist.

      And, for me, it’s no longer enough to say, “well, we beat them on the ice.” That’s all well and good until Hemsky winds up on IR. Let’s see if the Flames like it tit for tat because right now there’s too much tit and not enough tat.

    4. mc79hockey
      November 11, 2007 at

      And, for me, it’s no longer enough to say, “well, we beat them on the ice.”

      Let’s be candid. Beating them on the ice is utterly meaningless this year, except to the extent that it hurts Calgary’s chances at a playoff berth and hurts Burke’s chances at getting that pick. The most important thing from the Oilers perspective has to be developing guys. I’d rather have Hemsky developing on the ice than celebrating the development of new bone structure to replace the vertebrae that were wrecked when Regehr drove him into the boards.

    5. HBomb
      November 12, 2007 at

      Two words gentlemen: Brian McGratton

      Two more words: Jody Shelley

      Both are legitimate enforcers who know how to do their jobs (i.e. when to initiate, when to retaliate, who to target, etc.) And I’d bet either could be had for the low, low price of a JF Jacques at this point.

      Truth is, neither guy is a Chris Neil, a heavyweight who can also play more than just marginal minutes against other team’s fourth liners….but hot damn do we need some grade-A grease in this lineup.

      So you go out and get one of these guys and have him challenge Regehr first opportunity on Saturday. If he says no, plan B involves them having to call for the guy with the windex to clean Alex Tanguay’s blood and tooth fragments off the end-board glass.

      I’m not a fan of goon hockey either, but for fucks’ sake, they cannot let Hemsky get run at like this by Rockin’ Robyn (80′s female WWF star reference) and Phrankeneuf every fucking BOA matchup.

      The cost of having to play with 11 forwards for a good chunk of the game is worth it to have such a deterrent in the lineup, IMO. With the kids in the lineup, MacT rolls back to 3 lines anyways a lot of nights, so is it really going to make THAT big a difference, in all honesty?

      There’s an obstacle to overcome here: MacT, for any good qualities he has, his teams when coachin have always reflected his pacifist nature as a player. I haven’t seen the Oilers initiate shit since 1998-99 when Ron Low was coach and Laraque absolutely massacred Rob Ray that Friday night in Buffalo.

    6. HBomb
      November 12, 2007 at

      Ok, some credit to MacT, he wasn’t ALWAYS a pacifist when a player:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BdZX8vRdhs

      This is the sort of shit I’d like to see next Saturday, actually. THAT is team tough, people.

      Tikk and Simpson double-teaming McSorley? Awesome….

    7. HBomb
      November 12, 2007 at

      One more for you guys: think we could get Dave Brown out of retirement for minimum salary?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIPmFzzWk4g

      Watch around the two and a half mark for a bit of the infamous beating he laid on Stu Grimson around New Years 1990. Gross….

      Now THAT is a purebred goon. No honor code whatsoever.

    8. Pat
      November 12, 2007 at

      I think we’re lucky that Hemsky is ridiculously durable (knock on wood). How many times have we seen him get hit and thought, “oh, s**t, this looks bad”? Yet he almost always gets back up.

      I agree with everyone about Stortini – he seems like a great guy, more than willing to do his job, but he just doesn’t have the requisite tools. And I’m with Ty – the problem is more on the Oilers than on Stortini. In fact, I’d say that the problem is mostly on MacT. Remember, this is the guy who said last year “I think it’s definitely time to ask the question and start to gather some information in terms of the elimination of fighting.” Fundamentally, MacT’s strategy is not consistent with facilitating real ‘team toughness’. I know he preaches it – you know, ‘team toughness’ by committee and the like. But we all know it’s B.S. Our problem here is philosophical – MacT’s mindset and the idea of having a real fighter just don’t mesh.

      I think we a lot of us have to stop kidding ourselves. As much as we loved to complain about Laraque – I know I sure did – we dropped the ball there. For 700k/year and a NTC, I think it would have had a sufficient preventative effect. Hell, even if he’s stapled to the bench for 59:22 a la Bryan Young, I still think it’s worth it. And if you’re willing to believe Laraque’s version of how things went down (I see no reason to doubt him here), then you know that the only reason he isn’t here is MacT. Lowe was willing to sign on the dotted line, but MacT put a kibosh on the deal.

      I feel just awful for our guys who get destroyed out there, particularly Hemsky. Stoll too. I mean, I know that there are causal speculations up the ying-yang here, but one starts to wonder: if we had a tough guy last year, would Stoll have been concussed? And in turn, would he have had the slow start that he’s now having? I dunno. To me, there’s enough smoke (i.e. injuries) to identify a fire.

    9. November 12, 2007 at

      I am of the opinion that the Oil should be pursuing Le GG himself, but I agree with Dennis that management won’t be interested because of some of the things Georgie has said since leaving (all true, btw). People seem to be concerned that Laraque wouldn’t take on a smaller player or exact revenge upon the opposing team’s star players. What they are forgetting is the liberties Boogard was taking all year last season. January 16th, 2007, anyone?

    10. mc79hockey
      November 12, 2007 at

      Is that the game where Hemsky got busted up last year Andy? I don’t have as much of a problem with Boogaard – he’s huge and he hits hard. I don’t think he’d be deterred by having to deal with Georges as a consequence. It’s the dirty stuff that irritates the hell out of me.

      Hemsky seems to be the recipient of this stuff all of the time too. It’s funny, I was thinking back and you don’t see him get pasted in the middle of the ice like you used to. He used to do these dipsy doodle moves and someone would crush him. The past two and a half years though, the hits seem to have become more the type where he’s made his play, he’s at or past the time when he can still be hit and he gets drilled. Or it’s just a cheap shot, as in the case of Regehr or, thinking back, Chelios in G4 or G6 of the Detroit series, where he chopped his feet as Hemsky was about to beat him to a puck. If our guy is going to have to take that, I’d at least like to see the Oilers make the other team pay for it.

    11. mc79hockey
      November 12, 2007 at

      If it’s not clear, I’m hesitant to draw the causal connections with respect to injuries from clean hits. I just have a hard time thinking that guys think twice about really hammering someone with a clean hit.

      “I think it’s definitely time to ask the question and start to gather some information in terms of the elimination of fighting.”

      Man, if Laraque had a wicked sense of humour, he would have phoned Stauffer’s show the day after that and done the Col. Jessup bit from A Few God Men:

      “MacT, we live in an NHL with stars. And those stars have to be guarded by men with fists. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Craig Simpson? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Todd Fedoruk and Nick Kypreos and you curse the tough guys. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Kypreos and Fedoruk’s injuries, while tragic, probably prevented other injuries. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, prevents injuries.

      You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me dropping the gloves. You want me to do it.
      We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending people who can’t fight their own fights. You use ‘em as a punchline.

      I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who puts his stars on the ice under the blanket of the very safet I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you drop your gloves and stand a post.

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with MacTavish on this point, I think he would have to acknowledge that he lives in the world that is, not the world he’d like and there has to be a better way of responding to stuff like last night than hoping that the NHL will protect you. That’s like a country without oil or other resources of interest to the first world hoping that the rest of the world will take care of them when their neighbor decides that they’d sure like some more land.

    12. Pat
      November 12, 2007 at

      Ty,

      yeah, I didn’t intend to suggest MacT’s quote is fundamentally wrong.

      I DID intend to suggest that it’s wrong for our team to operate as if that ideal currently exists.

    13. RiversQ
      November 12, 2007 at

      Pat, I think you’re focusing a little too much on the fighting. Fighting, especially fighting with goons, doesn’t really send a message anymore. I could be wrong but I think MacT would have a different opinion on fighting if the instigator rules were different.

      They could start rattling Tanguay or Huselius or scramble Lombardi’s brains once again, but I’m not really a fan of that.

      Soccer gets a bad rap on this side of the pond, but it can be a fantastically brutal sport. A bugger like Roy Keane (or a real headcase like Vinnie Jones when he still played) takes a number and makes certain he gets the right guy later in the game. If he doesn’t break his leg he’ll come just short of it. None of those guys waste their time chasing down the other team’s star player, they just find the hammer thrower and send the message with extreme prejudice.

      You don’t make Regehr smell your glove or hug him moments after a dirty hit on Hemsky – you get him when the opportunity presents itself.

      Picking up some idiot like Shelley or even a decent player like Laraque isn’t going to solve this issue because the NHL won’t let that work anymore.

    14. November 12, 2007 at

      Is that the game where Hemsky got busted up last year Andy

      Ya. Boogard took out Hemsky, Gilbert AND Hejda. Here’s a story from The Journal. Here’s some video:

      About 1:30 in, he hammers Hemsky, who does not have the puck. About 3:00 in, he slams Gilbert’s head into the boards with his stick. Neither of those were clean. The Stoll quote in the Journal article is interesting:

      “We were the smarter team. We scored on that power play,” Jarret Stoll. “Yeah, maybe that was one of those nights where Georges (Laraque) could have been pretty useful but we don’t have him.

    15. November 12, 2007 at

      I don’t have as much of a problem with Boogaard – he’s huge and he hits hard. I don’t think he’d be deterred by having to deal with Georges as a consequence. It’s the dirty stuff that irritates the hell out of me.

      Watch that video over, Tyler. They were dirty hits. The Ferraro comment about Boogard saying no one would fight him so he was going to run around on people is also interesting, as it is an actual player admitting that the only deterrent he has from doing that stuff is reciprocal attack. I’d love to see an actual quote on it.

    16. November 12, 2007 at

      I keep spelling his name wrong. Boogaard. Sorry.

    17. Pat
      November 12, 2007 at

      RiversQ:

      With all due respect,I really disagree, although maybe I should clarify – it’s not necessarily about fighting per se, it’s about having the capacity to fight.

      I don’t see how anyone can look at our team since last year and say we don’t get pushed around. Even last night, when we won, we were bullied. I don’t remember that happening so much when Laraque was around (at least to the best of my knowledge – am I wrong about that?). And it’s not that I necessarily think of Laraque, Shelley, or McGratton as some miracle cure. I’m just convinced that we do need to do something to improve our toughness. While we have guys who can play ancillary physical roles (e.g. Torres), we don’t have anybody who’ll make the opposition think twice when they go after our guys. There’s no fear of any retribution, because we don’t have anyone to exact it. We don’t have the horses to bluff any team in a game of brinksmanship.

    18. November 12, 2007 at

      Something’s screwed up at hockeyfights.com. It says that no Oiler has more fights than Phaneuf this year, and that Phaneuf won them convincingly. That can’t be right for such a sissy crybaby.

    19. November 12, 2007 at

      It says that no Oiler has more fights than Phaneuf this year, and that Phaneuf won them convincingly. That can’t be right for such a sissy crybaby.

      Yes, I can’t believe we’ve shown so much disrespect to a guy who has fought a Swede named Mattias, along with the 181 pound Stephane Veilleux. Shame on us.

    20. November 12, 2007 at

      Fine, Andy. Until he goes with anyone at any time — like so many other non-4th-liners in the league — he’s a wuss.

    21. November 12, 2007 at

      Like this guy!

    22. November 12, 2007 at

      Until he goes with anyone at any time — like so many other non-4th-liners in the league — he’s a wuss.

      Well, I’d be content with him just fighting guys he leaps into with his shoulders, but I guess it’s too much to ask for a guy to man up to his actions. Where’s the clip for that Veilleux fight, anyway? I’m eager to be blown away by Phaneuf fighting a guy 34 pounds lighter than him.

    23. PunjabiOil
      November 13, 2007 at

      Seems like Penguins fans aren’t impressed with BG

      http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?p=11181626#post11181626

    24. November 13, 2007 at

      Hey, to give Phaneuf credit, he gave Stortini some mean looks after drilling another Oiler in the head from behind near the Flames net on Saturday.

      Maybe he’s going for the Scott Stevens glare thing?

    25. November 13, 2007 at

      Whups, forgot to say, I watched the first half of the Pittsburgh game last night, BG was playing with Crosby and Malone (I think it was) and not looking terrible. He got dropped back with Ruutu pretty quickly though. Looked just like when he was an Oiler: skating around the net in circles fending off two guys. Either Parise’s a lot bigger than he looks though, or BG’s losing it – Parise gave him a run in the corner and almost knocked him over.

      I think if Edmonton gets BG back in the fold, they’re getting back exactly the same guy who sat out games in the SCF. I loved the guy, but it’s not just having 11 men on the bench during games, it’s that salary cap hit for a guy you know won’t always be dressing.

    26. November 13, 2007 at

      Every year, Georges seemed to be able to put together a stretch of remarkably effective play. Granted he bookended that with weeks of looking lost on the ice. He was, and probably is, a useful player in a narrow view. I mean nobody in their right mind would want to see him out there against Joe Thornton. And if he isn’t your last choice of winger to send over the boards for a critical faceoff in your end … I don’t know who would be.

      His one trick, keeping the puck in deep, it’s a useful one.

      I remember he had a brutal start for PHX last year, playing minutes that were beyond him by the looks of things. And then a stunning 6 or 7 week stretch of terrific 5v5 production, and next to nil for goals-against. Then back in a funk. That’s Georges.

      I remember when Gretzky made him a healthy scratch in mid season, citing his poor defensive play. That may have been fair criticism, still, at the time the Coyotes had been less likely to surrender a goal at 5v5 when Georges was on the ice than any other player.

    27. November 13, 2007 at

      Another note in Georges’ favour:

      He was terrific in the Anaheim playoff series, playing with Rem and, I think Petersen. In Anaheim Carlyle was holding back Selanne to run him at Georges’ line, and Selanne barely got a sniff. I’m sure it’s on this blog somewhere, but Georges and his linemates had dominated possession in those shifts. Numbers that were ridiculous. 8 shots for, 1 against.

      Now most of that was probably luck, I don’t think it would have held up. But it was enough to make Carlyle decide to start running Teemu at Stoll’s line instead. For the rest of the series. Brutal mistake by Carlyle imo.

      I think that’s when Dennis really started losing the love for Stoll. Though it might have been the series previous, which had a similar pattern that way.

      I never understood why he was scratched for the finals. A lot of things about the finals I never understood from an Oilers coaching POV. Ten-ish off days for MacTavish’s crew to think about it before, maybe it was too much.

    28. Bruce
      November 13, 2007 at

      I seem to recall that when the Oil had Big Zhawrzh (from the pronunication key in the Oilers media kits), that he handled Boogaard very well indeed, soundly defeating him on two or three different occasions (plus another after he had moved to Phoenix) … and I don’t recall Dirk the Jerk running around as he did last year, putting three Oilers inc. Hemsky on the shelf plus all that other dirty shit he was pulling on that video clip linked above. IIRC it was Jody Shelley who concussed Gilbert, have no idea whether Laraque’s absence had anything at all to do with that (wasn’t that bad of a hit other than he took advantage of an opponent in a vulnerable position) but it begs the question. More to the point, Oilers lost Moreau for the season right around the time MacT was talking about all that “team tough” crap, with Ethan leading the charge not to redemption, but to the IR.

      One thing’s for sure, if Regehr (for whom I have lost a lot of respect, btw) keeps pulling crap like that, we’re only going to have 11 forwards anyways. I’d rather the 12th was stapled to the bench or penalty box than lying in the infirmary, thank you.

      I hope the Oilers fans are merciless on Regehr Saturday. Laying a cross-check on the back of a guy’s neck and pushing him face-first into the dasher is as dirty a play as I’ve seen in a very long time. Reminds me of the days when Calgary had the likes of Paul Baxter, Neil Sheehy and Gary Suter on the blueline; in 45 years of following the game I have never before or since hated a team like I hated those ’86 Flames. But Keenan’s Flames are starting to get on my nerves.

    29. Bruce
      November 13, 2007 at

      PS: re the “team tough” clip of the Oilers-Kings. If a goal, an assist and a penalty (some say a fight) in the same game is the Gordie Howe Hat Trick, is winning the Stanley Cup, the Hart Trophy and fighting the toughest goon in the league in the same season the Mark Messier Hat Trick?

      Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Mark. You were something.

    30. PDO
      November 13, 2007 at

      I never understood why he was scratched for the finals. A lot of things about the finals I never understood from an Oilers coaching POV. Ten-ish off days for MacTavish’s crew to think about it before, maybe it was too much.

      Like developing Matt Greene while Tarnstrom was in the pressbox and putting Hemsky back into a PVP role instead of letting him run the PP and feast on soft opp?

      It was way too much time off, and it really bit us in the ass. I can’t help but think if Tarnstrom is playing instead of Greene, we don’t see a fucking idiotic play that lead to Bergeron knocking Ladd over Roli…

      It’s not even so much that Jussi wasn’t good, but it cost us games 1 and 2… and that was just too much of a fucking hole to climb out of.

      Sigh.

    31. November 14, 2007 at

      Vic, in regards to me and Stoll, just the whole way MacT used him that run and how little he produced at EV, it just showed me what MacT thought of him and what Stoll could do in such a role.

      Not everyone gets it, though. I usually buy THN’s yearbook but this year I bought the sports forecaster. Once upon a time I’d pour through these things, and back when I was in school they’d always be in my desk;) but these days, not so much. Anyway, I read the Oilers section and it had a blurb about stoll being a good two way player and able to shut down the other team’s top lines.

      Like I said, some guys just don’t get it.

    32. Bruce
      November 14, 2007 at

      I can’t help but think if Tarnstrom is playing instead of Greene, we don’t see a fucking idiotic play that lead to Bergeron knocking Ladd over Roli…

      … and I can’t help but think if Tarnstrom is playing instead of Bergeron, we don’t see that idiotic check from a physically-overmatched and out-of-position-yet-again defenceman that injured his own goaltender. Don’t forget that it was Bergeron who eventually was benched, not Greene, and the Oilers came on like gangbusters after that. Judging by subsequent events, the Oilers still like Greene (and Tarnstrom) a lot more than they do Bergeron.

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