• Thrashers at Oilers, G67/08-09

    by Tyler Dellow • March 12, 2009 • Uncategorized • 119 Comments

    Since there’s no game thread + comments at LT’s until some time later tomorrow, I thought I’d throw one up here. I’ve tried to do it in his style and consider it to be an homage.

    Reasoner[1]

    This is Marty Reasoner. He’s funny, popular with the ladies, and MacT will be casting long, wistful glances in his direction as he taps the fourth line for a crucial defensive zone faceoff or watches Cogliano blow another draw.

    In 2006, Reasoner was a crucial part of the Oilers run to the Stanley Cup finals, as he was sent away with Yan Stastny and the draft pick that turned out to be Milan Lucic for Sergei Samsonov. Having come to the Oilers in the Weight trade, Reasoner missed the payoff to all of those painful years of development. Having endured the hard times and missed out on the beginning of the good times, he signed a two year contract with the Oilers in the summer of 2006. Good times did not ensue.

    Reasoner makes his return to Edmonton tonight as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers. He’s having a fine year by the boxcars, scoring 10-13-23 in 64 and is an astounding +9 on a terrible Thrashers team. The Thrashers are kind of like the Seattle Mariners of the late 1980′s, a team that had lost that new expansion team smell and was now just a squalid mess.

    Some good veterans and useful parts put in some time with those Mariners though, some older guys who could fill a hole like Ken Phelps. Phelps was lucky enough to get traded out Seattle in 1988 to New York, where he promptly stunk. The M’s did ok on that deal though, picking up a young RF by the name of Jay Buhner, who would go on to become an M’s icon during the halcyon days of northwest baseball in the mid 1990′s, hitting 40+ HR three years in a row between 1995 and 1997.

    The Thrashers decided that the push to catch Ottawa for 12th in the East was more important than looking to the future, so Reasoner remains a Thrasher. Their future doesn’t look particularly bright. The Oilers’ immediate future would look brighter if MacT could tap Reasoner on the shoulder for those tough defensive assignments, relieving some of the pressure on Horcoff. Without a second veteran centre, MacT is stuck trying to handle defensive zone faceoffs with Horcoff, smoke and mirrors. Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes it costs you a point in Montreal.

    Hat tip to Hot Oil for the picture.

    About Tyler Dellow

    119 Responses to Thrashers at Oilers, G67/08-09

    1. Dennis
      March 12, 2009 at

      Needs more “Pronger trade is a good one.”

    2. March 12, 2009 at

      Well done, Tyler. But I still wouldn’t wish 200+ comments on you unless I genuinely disliked you.

    3. March 12, 2009 at

      If you were really paying homage to LT, you’d find a ’70s hockey card with Reasoner in an Oakland Seals jersey.

    4. March 12, 2009 at

      Vic made one of his enigmatic appearances back when LT was being profiled by the msm. Careful what you wish for he said. Oh that vic.

      I liked the place better before the arrival of the masses. One blowhard in particular. Ok two.

      No staples interviews around here ok?

      ;)

    5. theoil
      March 12, 2009 at

      Gee, I wonder if anybody ever predicted this would happen to Lowetide’s site back when the blog vs. board debate was raging?

      Say, somebody over at HFboards disagreeing with MikeComriesGhost, maybe.

    6. PunjabiOil
      March 12, 2009 at

      Lowetide has benched us ;)

      God, what a dumb move it was letting Reaonser walk. Those MacIntyre’s, Jacques, Stortini’s and Reddox are really helping this team win games, no?

    7. PunjabiOil
      March 12, 2009 at

      By the way, well done on the GTD. Amusing really.

    8. March 12, 2009 at

      Le Sigh.

    9. imkinger
      March 12, 2009 at

      I also remember a certain visit to an LT comment thread by Mr. Ferrari a few months ago. Basically his message was that LT should start putting some of the more obnoxious commenters in their place before things get out of hand.

      That Vic, he’s a smart guy.

    10. Quain
      March 12, 2009 at

      I feel like the Southeast division is a lot like the NL in baseball. If you’re in the AL and you start to look washed up, head to the NL and add a few years to your career. There’s no way Marty is as good as his boxcars, but they’re pretty nice boxcars.

      And even if they’re inflated, Marty is a guy that could’ve and should’ve been helping this team since game one. Good call, Lowe.

    11. HBomb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Weird thing about it all (unless I was missing some deleted comments) was that it was someone getting offended by a joke about salad-tossing that was “the beginning of the end”.

      There’s been worse over there, FAR worse. I know because I was involved in one spat a couple months back (although said poster and I have entered a period of detente lately and he’s not on the list of what I would have called the “current issues” over there).

      More traffic, more garbage. It happened on HF and Oilfans. Calgarypuck has always been trash from what I can remember. It’s a natural part of the evolution of things. More population, more pollution. So it goes.

      I certainly can understand Lowetide’s frustration though. Typical of him, in his classy fashion, he’s the one issuing an apology for not controlling it, despite the fact I’ve never seen the guy take an off-side dig at, well, anyone….

    12. March 12, 2009 at

      Good stuff Ty.

      You’re the man.

    13. Schitzo
      March 12, 2009 at

      This GDT feels funny to me, and I’m not good with change.

      On the other hand, I’m glad SOMEONE is working to bring back the white tuxedo.

    14. March 12, 2009 at

      In fairness, I’d be getting married in a white tuxedo if I hadn’t already been castrated by the she-harpy.

      Actually, it went from ‘groom + groomsman in jersies re-enacting the 2007 Captain/Alternate lineup (your’s truly in the Horcoff)’ to ‘white tuxedos’ to ‘black tuxedo with tails’ to ‘… whatever the hell she decided upon.’

    15. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      These are 2 points they have to have. Have the line-ups been announced yet? I wonder if Penner draws back in or if he is doomed to sit in the press box again pounding back pizza and diet coke.

    16. Oilman
      March 12, 2009 at

      One of the best “Frank Costanza” Seinfeld episodes has the nice Jay Buhner rant – “What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for? He had 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs last year! He has a rocket for an arm! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE DOING!”
      same episode also has “Jerry, it’s Frank Costanza. Mr. Steinbrenner’s here, George is dead, call me back.”
      Great stuff – although I don’t have to put my e-mail address in everytime I post at LT’s site:o)

    17. March 12, 2009 at

      Quain, you can’t complain now. You do realize that’s your own fault, right? ;)

    18. doritogrande
      March 12, 2009 at

      In 2006, Reasoner was a crucial part of the Oilers run to the Stanley Cup finals, as he was sent away with Yan Stastny and the draft pick that turned out to be Milan Lucic for Sergei Samsonov.

      Why you gotta say things like that man? Why?

      Another game I have to miss. There’s been too many of these recently. The new girlfriend’s makin dinner for my birthday. Her house to ourselves, so it might be better than watching a game anyway. Especially if the Oilers play down to the Thrashers’ level of competition like they do with seemingly every SE team.

      Can anyone explain why Souray is questionable for this one?

    19. Yeti
      March 12, 2009 at

      Honest question: would we not be a much better team if that 2nd for AlesII had gone for Marty instead? Perhaps Marty wasn’t on the table (why not?) but surely that would have addressed needs better than acquiring a further underachieving winger? I’m mystified.

    20. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      Yeti: We have a 3rd line center. His name is Kyle Bodziak. Please let our head coach know about him.

    21. Oilman
      March 12, 2009 at

      In 2006, Reasoner was a crucial part of the Oilers run to the Stanley Cup finals, as he was sent away with Yan Stastny and the draft pick that turned out to be Milan Lucic for Sergei Samsonov.

      Why you gotta say things like that man? Why?

      I’m sure the Oilers would have taken Nigel Williams if they’d kept the pick anyways. (They could have had him 5 spots earlier but took Petry instead.

    22. goldenchild
      March 12, 2009 at

      I have no idea wtf going on, I missed a couple of days the last thing I read was about 15 Big Love references from Dennis, is LT a morman and got pissed at Dennis? somebody fill me in . Seriously.
      Oh and Dennis am I the only one that thought we were gonna see a menage with Margie and Anna? I was sure thats where we were headed. Seriously.
      If they lose tonight, I am focusing all my attention on March Madness, Cuse vs Uconn in Big East tourny tonight and for the first time in a couple of years I don’t have to sweat it, we are already in.

    23. Unleaded
      March 12, 2009 at

      I’m standing by my original thought that we have Kotalik on the team for Hemsky, and he’s on the 1st line because of MacT. I think Mr Sakic would certainly be more useful (especially given how Kotalik has been misused), but only if you don’t want to give those at bats to the kids.

      I like Marty, and think he’s a great guy. I think he would help this team a ton right now. That said, this is a development year, and having him there to face the toughs does not make sense in hat context.

    24. Mr DeBakey
      March 12, 2009 at

      “the halcyon days of northwest baseball”

      Ah yes! I remember it well.
      That carriage ride. [You walked me home.]
      You lost a glove. [I lost a comb.]
      Ah yes! I remember it well.
      That brilliant sky. [We had some rain.]
      Those Russian songs. [From sunny Spain.]
      Ah yes! I remember it well.
      You wore a gown of gold. [I was all in blue.]
      Ah yes! I remember it well.

      “I wonder if Penner draws back in”

      Never mind that
      The Captain may draw back in?
      I thought he was done for the year.
      Things out of one eye are “A little fuzzy”
      Jayzuz.

    25. Yeti
      March 12, 2009 at

      pboy – point taken about Brodziak, although there are clearly misgivings in MacTs mind that he could (at present) step up to a heavy lifting capacity on the 3rd line. Given that we hear all the time about how MacT loves his defensibly responsible grinders, his unwillingness to put Brodz on the 3rd is either some bizarre stubborness or he truly doesn’t think he’s up to it. Given some recent decisions by MacT, I’m not sure which is correct. Perhaps both?

      As for Kotalik, please MacT just put him in the spot that Cole vacated and place Dunkin’ Dustin back on the 1st.

    26. coach pb9617
      March 12, 2009 at

      Weird thing about it all (unless I was missing some deleted comments) was that it was someone getting offended by a joke about salad-tossing that was “the beginning of the end”.

      It was my joke, and I’m still completely confused by it, unless the offended person was one of those MSMers I named.

      There’s been worse over there, FAR worse.

      Indeed it has been far worse. It’s a strange thing, there wasn’t a personal attack at all [except for hunter at the end of the prior GDT, but that's hunter and honestly, I've come to enjoy Hunter in the threads. He's like the Gary Busey of GDTs.], and nothing I said in that string was “disrespectful” towards anyone except the MSM, and all but one of them don’t deserve respect. Just a bizarre situation.

      Anyway, the long bomb passes thing has my interest piqued, so I went back and watched all six of the games that I have on DVR and couldn’t find a single game where the defense even attempted more than one or two two-zone passes. So I started comparing (as best I could with the limited camera angles) the positioning of the forwards on their breakout. I couldn’t find anything that they were doing differently (again, limited camera angles) and I couldn’t see anything that the defense was doing that had changed. So, I’ll chalk it up to circumstances that the Canadians were offering those passing lanes, rather than a gameplan swing towards the Caps breakout style. Bummer. I think that Boudreau’s system actually fits the Oilers better than whatever they run now, though it would fit much better if Vishnovsky were around. I’d love to see a change to that, especially considering the footspeed of the forward crew. They aren’t skilled enough to carry it in, they aren’t big enough to dump it and fight for it, so why not go to Boudreau’s system?

    27. R-Gib
      March 12, 2009 at

      Well done Tyler. You even included some baseball talk that I don’t understand or follow. It’s as if LTs ghost helped your fingers punch the keys… like a ouija board.

      Dorito – hindsight is 20-20 on the draft picks… but if we go back in time I still want Lowe to make that trade. Samsonov was gold.

    28. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Yeti: We have a 3rd line center. His name is Kyle Bodziak. Please let our head coach know about him.

      He’s everything that the team needs in the third center position except experienced and comfortable. The coach wants experienced and comfortable in his third line center and the only center on the team that fits is Horcoff, hence Horcoff is the team’s first and third line center.

    29. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      Yeti: I guess we will never really know if Brodziak could have been useful in that role this season because he was never really tried in it. MacT used Pisani, Penner and eventually slotted Cogs into 3rd Line Center but Brodziak and Pouliot haven’t really been given looks. IMHO, Cogliano is going to be winger and I think we would be wasting his skill set by playing him in a “shutdown” capacity. Brodziak is clearly better in the faceoff dot, plays a more physical style and is much more responsible in his own end. I really think there is going to be a coaching change in the off season and if Cogs and Brodziak both come back, they will be used much differently than they have this season.

    30. Phil
      March 12, 2009 at

      Man, I didn’t realize that Lucic was taken with an Oiler pick. Couple that with the Parise incident, and there’s two really big fish swimming away from the boat. God really does hate this team.

    31. R-Gib
      March 12, 2009 at

      … maybe that should say: “ouija (key)board”! lol

    32. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      I hear you Coach but what experience did Cogliano have before he was handed the job? Just another head scratching decision by MacT this year. IMO, Moreau-Brodziak-Pisani would be the type of line that MacT would normally love.

    33. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      As for Kotalik, please MacT just put him in the spot that Cole vacated and place Dunkin’ Dustin back on the 1st.

      Ain’t happening. Dustin looks lazy and apparently the coach has saw him lazy a bunch, so he can’t play. Reddox looks like a whirling dervish, so he plays.

      Yeti: I guess we will never really know if Brodziak could have been useful in that role this season because he was never really tried in it. MacT used Pisani, Penner and eventually slotted Cogs into 3rd Line Center

      Cogs has never been used as any sort of checker or shutdown guy this season, even though he’s on the “third line”. He’s playing softer minutes than Gagner and he takes about one own-zone faceoff every other game. The coach isn’t really using a secondary tough minute center this year – he’s heaping it all on Horcoff — look at his total faceoffs, dzone faceoffs, qualcomp and PK time — Bruce has done some nice work on Horcoff’s workload and it’s only gotten heavier in terms of minutes, matchups and faceoffs since his post. If the coach stays through next year, there’s no way that Tambellini doesn’t sign Wes Walz in the offseason, regardless of Pouliot, Brodziak, Cogliano being on the roster.

    34. March 12, 2009 at

      Basically his message was that LT should start putting some of the more obnoxious commenters in their place before things get out of hand.

      That Vic, he’s a smart guy.

      Actually, the message was that LT should start putting some of the commenters Vic didn’t like in their place, because Vic thought they were retards, including a guy like Bruce, who is a mainstay of this corner of the Internet.

      Sorry, I’m not about to get on the Vic Ferrari love train.

    35. shep
      March 12, 2009 at

      wes walz is retired (haha)

    36. March 12, 2009 at

      In fairness to MacT, he really has been using Brodziak as his secondary tough minutes center. The guy’s dzone:ozone draws ratio is ridiculous. He doesn’t play him on the third line, but he does use him for faceoffs at the end of games, on the PK and if Horc’s not available for the dzone draw (but only then it seems). Brodziak is taking tough minutes.

    37. bookie
      March 12, 2009 at

      I am a little lost today….where is LT’s comments section? What is going on?

      Seriously, anyone know what happened at LT’s thread? Was there one specific comment or battle or was it just a general decline in the rhetoric?

      Anyway, if anyone is listening, I am happy to put up with the idiots if LT is willing to open up the comments section. Until then, Kudoos to mc79 for the thread (I like picture) and the space to sit down and chat….

    38. bookie
      March 12, 2009 at

      Ok, I guess I have the story (from reading comments). I think that LT is just punishing us for a couple of hours and he will be back. Right?

    39. Yeti
      March 12, 2009 at

      Scott – I may be wrong, but my (possibly very faulty) impression is that Brodz has been taking hard draws, but then heading straight for the bench. Perhaps I’m overstating it though.

    40. March 12, 2009 at

      In fairness to MacT, he really has been using Brodziak as his secondary tough minutes center.

      Yeah, Brodziak gets all the behind pain of being the guy to take defensive zone faceoffs with none of the Pisani-love.

      Your fun fact for the day:
      The diad of Horcoff-Brodziak has 67 defensive zone draws to one offensive zone draw.

      Your ‘I need a drink’ fact for the day:
      The diad of Stortini-Brdoziak has 29 more defensive zone faceoffs than offensive zone faceoffs.

    41. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      Brodziak is taking tough minutes.

      He has played some tough minutes but let’s look at who’s he running with when he playing those minutes? MacT has him bring knives to a gunfight. I really like what Stortini has done this season but why in the world would you hard match him against another teams 1st or 2nd line? If MacT does have confidence that Brodziak could do a job for him, why wouldn’t he give him some legitimate NHL wingers who have played the shutdown role before?

    42. swabbubba
      March 12, 2009 at

      Hmmm just so we can be clear knowing the way we pick u cannot say Reasoner is Lucic. With our fearless assessment we would have taken the GM lot boy from some little town in SK. Or some other nameless person.
      But here we are in it now firmly in the drivers seat.. master of our own destiny…hang on tight as she is going to be a stormy couple weeks in the Sphere.

      Can we not all get along

      Clap Clap… Nothings going to break my stride

    43. bookie
      March 12, 2009 at

      You know, LT has made me feel just like Dustin Penner.

    44. Yeti
      March 12, 2009 at

      bookie – LT has made you feel fat, lazy and unmotivated? ;)

    45. Mr DeBakey
      March 12, 2009 at

      And hungry
      Four Seven Three Seven Three Seven Three

    46. March 12, 2009 at

      Any word on the lines today? Penner out again? The Kotalik tough minutes thing isn’t working very well I wonder if MacT would try something like

      21-89-83 soft min
      19-10-34 tough min
      12-13-78 soft min
      85-51-46 tough min

      This would be a good chance for ON to put up a decent GDT…

    47. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Something I mentioned in the now-trashed LT thread from last night:

      What about Tom Fitzgerald for head coach? I’m a big fan of Kevin Dineen if there were a change, but Fitzgerald is getting the praise heaped on lately.

      In fairness to MacT, he really has been using Brodziak as his secondary tough minutes center. The guy’s dzone:ozone draws ratio is ridiculous. He doesn’t play him on the third line, but he does use him for faceoffs at the end of games, on the PK and if Horc’s not available for the dzone draw (but only then it seems). Brodziak is taking tough minutes.

      Kind of, and kind of not. He’s running Brodziak in tough situations, but not tough minutes (discounting the third period of the Montreal game), if that makes any sense. Some guy :) that posts about hockey on the internet did some paintstaking work on pointing out that Brodziak is one of seven stable boys in the NHL right now.

      So the minutes that he’s starting from a whistle are pretty ridiculous, but the minutes he’s taking on the fly are pretty soft.

    48. March 12, 2009 at

      Wow, this just feels funny to be posting over here… you’ve done good Tyler, but it’s a shame the torch needed to be passed in such a way… Classy move by LT, but I hope that’s not the beginning of the end for perhaps the best site in our ridiculous community of fans with too much time on our hands.

      The point is, maybe we should all just stop complaining, using foul but funny language and just get back to watching games like we did before the ‘net turned us all into armchair GM’s with scathing wit and ill-informed speculative banter and never ending “Penner is fat” jokes.

      This is a monumentally important game tonight; in fact this entire homestand falls into the “MUST WIN 4 POINT GAME” spectrum, especially because all the teams we’re lumped in with play tonight. A win here combined with a few losses will make that game in hand in the Oilers’ pocket worth that much more.

      Go Oil

    49. March 12, 2009 at

      The Kotalik tough minutes thing isn’t working very well I wonder if MacT would try something like

      It’s not a bad lineup, but you still end up with a less than exceptional second tough minutes line.

      27-10-83 – toughs
      12-89-78
      19-13-21
      46-51-34 – second toughs

      …would be a bit better, although I don’t like the idea of Stortini playing off-wing against secondary toughs. Maybe you slot a healthy Moreau there, instead? Pouliot would look just fine there, but the 89-78 combo has been fantastic.

    50. March 12, 2009 at

      Per the Oilers Twitter:

      Game-day Update: Souray is on the ice for morning skate. Line-ups coming soon.

      That’s certainly good news.

    51. DBO
      March 12, 2009 at

      So, assuming our boy penner eats his cookies in the press box, and assuming the love in with coach and Moreau culminates in his insertion into the lineup I think the lines may look totally different. you can’t keep them the same can you? macT is an evil genius I know, but results are results. I expect Moreau right back on the wing with Cogliano and pisani, and o’Sullivan up on the 1st, Kotalik on the 2nd and Nilsson in the press box with his buddy.

      19-10-83
      21-89-78
      18-13-34
      85-51-46

    52. R-Gib
      March 12, 2009 at

      Quain – agree that splitting 89-78 would be a mistake… seems harsh to relegate 21 that far w/o giving him a few more trys… why not start with:
      27-10-83
      21-89-78
      19-13-34
      46-51-12
      Or 12 sits. There isn’t a lot of room for him anymore.

    53. R-Gib
      March 12, 2009 at

      DBO – yup that works too (with no Penner and el Capitano back). Either way, I agree that 12 has no where to go. The coach may have liked his hussle last game tho…

    54. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      That saddest part is that Rowbear was one of our best players on Tuesday…..

    55. March 12, 2009 at

      I can’t see either the second or the third line really getting broken up at the moment, regardless of the potential return of the Chopper (ugh…). I have a feeling that Pisani-lite (85) gets the shove tonight and Moreau gets eased back into the lineup with 4th line minutes. For now, and by the end of the night, 12 will be down on the 4th, 19 will be on the 1st, 21 on the 3rd and 18 will skate with Gags and Pou and try to do everything himself. But then again, that’s the kind of speculative crap I just ranted against, so don’t listen to me. I clearly have nothing to contribute today.

    56. bookie
      March 12, 2009 at

      bookie – LT has made you feel fat, lazy and unmotivated?

      Nope, that comes naturally for me, I meant that I feel like I have been banished…

    57. March 12, 2009 at

      Nilsson was great in Montreal, 7 scoring chances for, 1 against at evens, plus another 4-1 on the PP. If MacT breaks up that 12-89-78 combination after that game, that’s just MacBlending without paying attention to when it actually works.

      I’m guessing 78 may have had some tough minutes in the video room watching his ill-advised line change that was a direct contributor to the 3-3 goal. But he played well enough otherwise to be slapped for that but not sat.

      Reddox on the other hand was Brutal in Montreal, 0 scoring chances for and 6 against, several turnovers in our half of the ice (credited and otherwise), and two spearate major mistakes on that same 3-3 goal after which things came unravelled. He’s the first one to be sitting after that game, which was worse than Dustin Penner’s Worst game of the season.

      If Moreau has fuzzy vision in his passing eye it won’t change his game much. :) You know he’s first in line to get back in there as soon as he’s cleared to play. I’d prefer to put Penner back in there, not #1 on the depth chart right away for a couple of reasons, but he would do fine with 51-46 again and is a real nice option for our struggling powerplay.

    58. Peter (Engineer)
      March 12, 2009 at

      The Ms in the mid 90s were golden. I loved them. Griffey, J and Tino Maritnez, Buhner, Cora, Big Unit.

      I do wonder what their steroid budget was, tho…

      They need to make hay tonight. A solid win to get things back on track, mentally.

    59. Peter (Engineer)
      March 12, 2009 at

      Oh dear, they had A-Rod too, didn’t they?

    60. March 12, 2009 at

      Per Twitter:

      Souray a gametime decision. Penner back in, will play with Moreau.

      So…

      21-10-83
      12-89-78
      19-13-34
      27-51-18

      Not optimal, but not complete crap either.

    61. March 12, 2009 at

      Souray a gametime decision. Penner back in, will play with Moreau.

      This is from the twitter feed via the website. So much for having nothing to contribute. Let the new wave of hypothetical line combos begin.

    62. March 12, 2009 at

      @Quain: I like your lines. I was assuming Penner wasn’t playing in mine. I agree with keeping the 89-78 combo together but looking for ways to get 21-83 going.

    63. traktor
      March 12, 2009 at

      It was obvious in preseason that Cole wasn’t a fit on a line with Hemsky and Horc but MacTavish tried to force it.

      Looks like he’s doing the same thing with 21.

      What an idiot.

    64. March 12, 2009 at

      Hmmm … disappointed to see Zorg benched, I think we’ll miss him. A very different looking fourth line without him. Hopefully a motivated Penner and a frenetic Moreau will bring energy without penalties.

      I think it’s time for Ales2 to step up to the plate and deliver something, anything, to stake an actual claim to that spot on the First line.

    65. MJSH
      March 12, 2009 at

      It is a sad day that LT has to close his game day thread. I am not a frequent poster but most certainly a daily reader. I hope that the people who messed up make things right. It is too much work to write a blog and then have to monitor the comments. Not fair to LT

    66. March 12, 2009 at

      ATL is a great bet at +145

    67. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      and never ending “Penner is fat” jokes.

      Those are jokes?

      I do wonder what their steroid budget was, tho…
      I’ve maintained for years that Griffey is the only slugger of the steroid era not on the juice. He just never acquire the enormous bulk that his counterparts did and never had that huge spike in HRs/AB like his counterparts. Buhner and Martinez on the other hand…a needle a day keeps retirement away.

      27-51-18

      That’s odd. Unless the blender kicks on early, the coach is forcing himself to play his most hated player by pairing him with his BFF.

      By the by: At LT’s joint, I said that the Montreal loss was going to be Nilsson’s fault…Dustin leaves cookies under the seat Rowbert, grab some milk.

    68. mc79hockey
      March 12, 2009 at

      I think it’s time for Ales2 to step up to the plate and deliver something, anything, to stake an actual claim to that spot on the First line.

      I prefer aLess as a nicknme for him.

    69. mc79hockey
      March 12, 2009 at

      I’ve maintained for years that Griffey is the only slugger of the steroid era not on the juice. He just never acquire the enormous bulk that his counterparts did and never had that huge spike in HRs/AB like his counterparts. Buhner and Martinez on the other hand…a needle a day keeps retirement away.

      Frank Thomas. If Edgar was on the juice, I’d be bummed. I always liked him.

    70. alice
      March 12, 2009 at

      @DBO /the love in with coach and Moreau culminates in his insertion/

      Whoa – Am I the only one who had to scan that twice? Lord above, I think I need a cold shower~

      The powerplay’s struggling?

    71. March 12, 2009 at

      I’ve maintained for years that Griffey is the only slugger of the steroid era not on the juice.

      Coach: I have seen nothing to suggest that my man Albert Pujols is anything but clean. His numbers spiked in his rookie season (.610 SLG)and have shown only modest, “natural” growth sinc3 (.624 career SLG). What has continued to improve with age is his BB:K ratio, which is also natural development.

      Mind you, Barry posted some pretty unreal stats in those latter categories too. I never did take in whether it’s the cream or the clear that affects strike zone judgement, but he’s the most patient ‘roids monkey I’ve ever seen.

    72. March 12, 2009 at

      Edgar Martinez? That guy looked like the guy who runs the corner store down the street. Can’t see it.

    73. mc79hockey
      March 12, 2009 at

      I think what’s most amazing about Pujols is how well he’s hit in his forties.

    74. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Frank Thomas.

      Damn, you’re right. I always forget about him. He’s the Eddie Murray or Eddie Matthews even, of his generation.

      If Edgar was on the juice, I’d be bummed. I always liked him.

      Whoops, wrong Martinez. I was thinking about Tino, not Edgar.

      Coach: I have seen nothing to suggest that my man Albert Pujols is anything but clean.

      Wasn’t his name one of the leaks in the Grimsley scandal? I think that is pretty suggestive.

    75. rickithebear
      March 12, 2009 at

      MC: Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez. I spent two years in calgary and got to watch a whole season of the 1989 Calgary Cannons. Those two passed thru. Got to see some great players, including Valenzuela (on rehab stint). Watched from directly behind home plate.(sick)
      These are the bodies I saw that year.

      http://www.thebaseballcube.com/rosters/1989/10122.shtml

    76. lowetide
      March 12, 2009 at

      Juan Gonzales had a beauty run of power for awhile and trailed off at a time when that stuff was available iirc.

    77. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Ricki – Omar Vizquel should have been fun to watch, huh?

      What a Herzog player he was.

      MacTavish says we might see a lot of line changes in the coming games. Many “interchangeable parts”

      This

    78. mc79hockey
      March 12, 2009 at

      The best thing about Juan Gonzales was that he turned down an 8 year $140MM contract and proceeded to make another $24MM in his career. Don’t know too many guys who can say that they’ve made a $100+MM mistake.

    79. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      If he’s going to play Penner with Moreau, that means Penner is out of position again, so why not run:

      19-10-83
      18-27-34
      78-89-21
      51-13-12

    80. March 12, 2009 at

      Wasn’t his name one of the leaks in the Grimsley scandal? I think that is pretty suggestive.

      Coach, check this out:

      http://stlcardinals.scout.com/2/574564.html

      http://thepastime.net/2006/07/chris-mihlfeld-albert-pujols-clean.html

      … and this dated yesterday:

      http://thecardinalnation.com/2009/03/11/midslingers-again-take-aim-at-pujols/

    81. Dennis
      March 12, 2009 at

      It’s locked at LT’s and I’m not sure if I posted it at ON but I absolutely nailed tonight’s lines;)

      My reasoning was:

      - if 18′s ready to come back in, he’s coming back in

      - MacT couldn’t go from calling 21 a “one-shot scorer to putting him on a 4th line or shelving him altogether

      - Even MacT couldn’t break up the 89 and 13 lines

      - he’d yank out 46 and play 18-51-27 together and save face by calling them another “checking” line.

      SMRT, people.

      SMRT;)

      I feel bad for 46 but these are the 12 best forwards we can ice; you can mess around with combos but this is the best group possible. Personally, I’d put 27 back with 10-83 and shove 18-21 flanking 51 but 21′s a one-shot scorer so I’m sure he’ll get back to the 30 goal scorer he was in Buf.

      BTW, shouldn’t we throw JDD in here tonight? I know Atl’s hot but I think Roli might steal a game or two for us if we could give him some rest and there was no difference “risking” two points by playing JDD in NJ or at MSG than it would be to play him tonight.

      Give Cal Roloson Jr. a rest, for fucksakes.

      Some other things:

      GC: I must say the whole threesome thing with Margine-Anna didn’t cross my mind though Margine absolutely does it for me. I can’t believe she was the chubby girl who went out with the ultra fat guy in Ed! BTW, I’m a Hoyas fan and we had a rough year this year – losing to St. John’s seems unforgivable – and I hate Syracuse and I have since Derrick Coleman and Billy Owens;)

      - not sure what happened at LT’s place. Maybe it was all building up or maybe it happened because the slight was directed towards Louise and her and Lain are friends in real life, as it were.

    82. March 12, 2009 at

      Marty Reasoner wasn’t on the table at the trade deadline because Don Waddell wants to sign him long-term. Apparently Reasoner likes it in Atlanta and is willing to accept a contract.

    83. Dennis
      March 12, 2009 at

      RB: interesting that you posted that link to the cube because in thinking about Edgar Martinez, I was thinking he was one of the few guys who covered the bet from all those gaudy stats from the Cannons and the PCL. It wasn’t something that guys like Patrick Lennon and old Expo Frank Bolick could do;)

      I miss the Expos so much, I legitimately feel embarrassed about it. I think I loved that team more than I have loved some people:D

    84. mc79hockey
      March 12, 2009 at

      Give Cal Roloson Jr. a rest

      If the Oil go 3-1 or better in their next 4, I think he gets a rest against Chicago.

    85. traktor
      March 12, 2009 at

      “I’m trying to find offensive opportunities for O’Sullivan. I want to get him some power-play time. I’m not going to pigeon-hole him as a checker just yet, that’s apparently my expertise to turn offence into checkers. He is in the process right now, but hopefully he has more goals in him.”

      - Craig MacTavish

    86. March 12, 2009 at

      Traktor: In fairness, MacTavish was joking.

    87. March 12, 2009 at

      @Alice: No, I had that same thought before finishing the sentence. Yikes. Wonder if it was intentional…

      @Shepso: I got kind of grumpy about that, too (linked because I’ve been too inactive of late to expect anyone to have checked in as a matter of course). I mean, I admit to having engaged in a bit of random speculation myself, but it was getting pretty silly.

    88. traktor
      March 12, 2009 at

      Jonathan:

      It may have been a joke but it’s like saying “apparently I don’t know how to run a PP.”

      It’s true.

    89. Schitzo
      March 12, 2009 at

      It may have been a joke but it’s like Kelly Buchberger saying “apparently my face scares children”.

      It’s true.

    90. George B
      March 12, 2009 at

      Didn’t see the LT shenanigans, but too bad people can’t just be respectful.

      Anyways…big game, must win, is Fat Kid back in or no? Moreau is off IR, and any word on SS?

    91. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      BTW, shouldn’t we throw JDD in here tonight? I know Atl’s hot but I think Roli might steal a game or two for us if we could give him some rest and there was no difference “risking” two points by playing JDD in NJ or at MSG than it would be to play him tonight.

      As sure as night is dark and day is light…that isn’t happening. He’s being ridden until the very end. I imagine that the coach would have some sort of coronary if he had to run out Peckham and JDD in the same lineup. That thousand yard stare that he’s made famous would be permanent by the ten minute mark.

      Give Cal Roloson Jr. a rest, for fucksakes.

      He just grinned and shook my hand, and no!, was all he said…maybe at the end of the season if they’ve got a spot or are out of it, but not any time in the next two weeks.

      maybe it happened because the slight was directed towards Louise and her and Lain are friends in real life, as it were.

      Not by me it wasn’t. I never said anything to her or about her or at her expense (Is ‘Louise’ a her or a him? this isn’t like “Alice” is a dude?), other than to respond to what was going on in Hemsky’s head about who he was producing with. My slight was very clearly directed at the print media guys that follow this team (except Penner and Nilsson) around like groupies at a Winger concert.

      Marty Reasoner wasn’t on the table at the trade deadline because Don Waddell wants to sign him long-term. Apparently Reasoner likes it in Atlanta and is willing to accept a contract.

      Good for Marty and good for Waddell. A few more moves like this and maybe he can climb out of the giant hole he dug around himself. I doubt it though because he’s got 10 players under contract next year, seven RFAs including Armstrong and Lehtonen and they’re playing in Kovalchuk’s contract year. He’s going to do something insane and shoot his team in the back of the head. Again.

      I hope Marty gets a three-year deal and makes a home of the Southeast, he’s a guy that deserves it. Though it is one less Wes Walz on the market this summer for Tambellini to bring in, it gives me another reason to watch the Thrashers besides Colby and Kovalchuk.

      Is anyone else forced to type their name and email every time they post? Is it a cookies thing? It’s really annoying.

    92. pboy
      March 12, 2009 at

      21-10-83
      12-89-78
      19-13-34
      27-51-18

      Jacques, Stortini, Reddox, MacIntyre and Peckham are the scratches. Great opportunity to get Deslauriers a start. Pretty sure that won’t be happening though….

    93. Oilman
      March 12, 2009 at

      Anyways…big game, must win, is Fat Kid back in or no? Moreau is off IR, and any word on SS?

      Penner is back in, Moreau will be taking Souray’s spot on the top pairing and will come off the bench for important faceoffs.

    94. March 12, 2009 at

      @Coach: Louise/IceDragoon is a she. She’s a RL friend of LT’s.

      Also, I asked Robert L at Eyes on the Prize about the long bomb passes, and he figures it was something the Habs had left there because Gainey hadn’t made the appropriate adjustments for the second period, and was having issues with the bench being on the wrong side of the ice (I guess it’s not like riding a bike, after all). It was something Gainey owned up to in the post-game and said that he was working on for next game.

    95. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      and Peckham are the scratches.

      So Souray is a go? He’s not the quickest guy in the first place, slowed significantly with a knee injury or an ankle injury, it seems like he would be Derian Hatcher.

      Or that kid from the Mighty Ducks movies.

    96. rickithebear
      March 12, 2009 at

      Coach: Vizquel was a beauty to watch defensively. 22 year old Tino Martinez in 1990 just gaudy numbers. !990 went to all the day games and some night.

      Dennis: Allways been a Expo guy. the strike killed my love of baseball. Got back into it when I dated a bluejay fan.

      Still have the Gary Carter jersey I wore the trip along the West Coast to LA in 1980. My Son will get it.

      It lead to the best Social experience of my life. Remeber I have represented my country in sports. Were at a camp KOA site in LA. All the USC players who new they would be starting the fall had a bunch of stalls near us. One of the guys saw my Gary Carter jersey on me. Came over and talked.

      Told us the story about the group. Invited us for a beer. Dad said no. But said I could go. 16 years old sitting drinking a beer with R.Lott, K. Van Horne, Brenner, M. Allen, C. Banks, B. Matthews, and J. Fisher with no idea of their future. Trip of my life so many Firsts!

    97. March 12, 2009 at

      I suspect I’m not the only person who loved Edgar Martinez. Edgar looked like the mailman, but man, did he deliver.

      One of the purest hitters it’s been my pleasure to watch, the great career that Edgar fashioned in the American League is one of the best arguments in favour of the designated hitter rule.

      I still remember the grand slam Edgar hit against the Yankees in Game 4 in Seattle in that incredible 1995 ALDS. The score was like 6- or 7-all after a great Mariners’ comeback and it must have been the bottom of the 8th. The Yanks brought in their closer (Wetteland?) to try to stem the tide, Mariners loaded the bases with none out and there was nowhere to put Martinez, a man who understood the value of the base on balls. The memories do fuzz like Ethan Moreau’s vision, so I can’t remember if Wetteland got behind in the count or tried to get ahead, but he grooved one and Edgar hit it straight over Wetteland’s head and straight over Bernie Williams’ head and straight over the 420 (?) sign in dead centre. A fly ball would have worked fine, but a 450-foot fly worked a lot better. Seems to me the Yanks got a couple runs in the 9th, so the extra runs made the difference. Until that moment I had always thought of Edgar as more of a doubles hitter, but that ball was absolutely Crushed.

      Then the next game Edgar did hit a trademark double, into the left field corner that plated both the tying and winning runs in the 11th, where Griffey came all the way around from first and just beat the tag in an incredible finish to what had been a pulsating series. Junior and Edgar were co-heroes in every possible way.

      Randy Johnson, another personal favourite, got the win in relief, just as he later did in Arizona in Game 7, also against the Yankees in the 2001 WS. Is it any wonder that Steinbrenner went after the Big Unit on the “seen him Real good” theory.

      That Seattle team was a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Disappointing that they never did make it to the Series. Funny how teams like the Rockies and the Rays and even the D’Backs all got their shot, but the AL West squads in Seattle and Oakland were in the hunt for several years around the turn of the century but never able to break through and win the damn pennant. Shit, after they beat the Yankees those ’95 Mariners lost to the Cleveland Indians of all teams.

      The Mariners were the San Jose Sharks of baseball.

    98. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Also, I asked Robert L at Eyes on the Prize about the long bomb passes, and he figures it was something the Habs had left there because Gainey hadn’t made the appropriate adjustments for the second period, and was having issues with the bench being on the wrong side of the ice (I guess it’s not like riding a bike, after all). It was something Gainey owned up to in the post-game and said that he was working on for next game.

      Thanks for asking that. It goes along with what I saw – nothing noticeably new from the Oilers. Damn. I’d freaking love it if the Oilers tore a page out of the Caps playbook for that specific purpose though.

      I know people complain that the team is split between a possession game with people who can’t possess the puck and a grinding game with people that can’t grind. So why not make the first option on the breakout the long bomb? They don’t have the skill of the Caps, but there is some footspeed to make it work, and maybe free up some neutral zone to allow them to carry the puck if the bomb isn’t there.

    99. March 12, 2009 at

      Coach: By “bomb” are you referring to any long pass or specifically the lob pass?

    100. Schitzo
      March 12, 2009 at

      So LT has comments open – are we migrating, or having a party here?

    101. Oilman
      March 12, 2009 at

      I remember that game Bruce – Mariners were down 5-0 and homers by Griffey and Edgars 1st of the game got them back in it…Martinez had 7 RBI in that game.

    102. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Coach: By “bomb” are you referring to any long pass or specifically the lob pass?

      If you watch the Canadiens game, the Oilers were able to fire some long outlet passes, both down the boards and up the middle. It was a wrinkle that we haven’t seen in a long time – Gainey notes that it was his fault.

      In this case, I’m really talking about looking for the two-zone pass immediately on any sort of turnover or breakout, like Boudreau’s boys do. They have Poti and Green to make those passes, sure, but Jurcina, Morrison, Schultz all look for that option first. Boudreau has talked about previously and it comes down to something like “We have forwards with high amounts of speed and skill, they want the puck with the opportunity to score”

      Gilbert, Vishnovsky and Grebs without the blotter can all easily play that style, so why not try and give the forwards something to work with – a system that fits them a little better? It can’t be worse than some combination of no system and two systems that don’t fit their personnel, can it?

    103. March 12, 2009 at

      Ty: LT’s open again; didn’t we almost have it all;)

      RB: I never knew you repped the country in sports and I certainly didn’t know you saw the Spos in ’80 or partied with a bunch of young Trojans.

      There Has to be more to that story; I dare say other Trojans could’ve been involved.

      Bruce: For not knowing that Wetteland was closing for the Yanks in ’95, I’d like to have you ejected from the sphere.

    104. Oilman
      March 12, 2009 at

      Dennis – you know which ex-Met got that rally started right?;o)

    105. March 12, 2009 at

      Dennis: Didn’t I say Wetteland?

      The funny thing about memory is that I have a better recollection of things from ’69 than ’96. ’69 is a good example, I remember things like Ron Swoboda’s catch and Tommy Agee’s two catches and J.C. Martin’s non-interference policy and Cleon Jones’ shoe polish and Max Yasgur’s farm and Neil Armstrong’s one small step better than pretty much any Series of recent vintage. That stuff is hardwired.

      But I do remember that Mariners-Yankees classic.

    106. spOILer
      March 12, 2009 at

      That 95 Mariners Yanks classic ALDS is one of my favorite social memories, similar to Rickibear’s KOA USC reminiscence.

      I was doing stats at a pre-season tilt at Northlands, up in the gondola for visiting TV – the Wings were in town.

      I can’t remember much of the game (doing stats is a horrible way to watch the game, BTW, esp. when it’s one guy tracking GAs, TWs, Hits, FOs, SCs, TOI, etc.), but it doesn’t matter because the best part came after the game.

      Once the game was over, beside the TV truck downstairs, Stauffer (he was my roommate at the time and doing the Chyron work at the games, trying to climb the media ladder) had pulled out a little old 21″ TV, ran a cord out of the truck and perched the TV on one of those old-school wooden stacking chairs. The baseball game was so fascinating that a crowd of Red Wings ended up gathered around the TV watching the classic go into extra innings.

      So I stood there shooting the shit about baseball and the Ms and the hated Yanks with Stevie Y, Primeau, Ciccarelli, Osgood, Taylor, Errey, couple of others. Nothing about hockey at all, no egos, just guys hanging out watching a wicked game.

      Was a bit of an eye-opener to see that pro athletes are fans just like the rest of us.

    107. March 12, 2009 at

      Coach: I’d love to see the Oilers start to use the scoop pass a little more. Or a lot more. The airmail pass seems to me to be getting to be more in vogue around the league, as best demonstrated by the afore-mentioned Mike Green who sprang Alex Semin for a particularly spectacular breakaway goal a while back. A goal of the year candidate in my books.

      What I like about the lob pass is that other than flubbing the play completely it’s relatively undangerous, as the pass is not going to get picked off quickly or inside the zone. But if it comes down around the far blue a speedster like, say, Cogliano has a decent chance to win the race.

      Paul Coffey used to be exceptional at this skill, but back in the day the two-line offside curtailed its effectiveness somewhat. I’d love to see Gilbert or Grebs add it to the arsenal. Seems to me I saw Grebs do this at least once in MTL, thought maybe that’s what you were referring to.

    108. March 12, 2009 at

      Come to think of it, Roli does it.

    109. coach pb
      March 12, 2009 at

      Paul Coffey used to be exceptional at this skill, but back in the day the two-line offside curtailed its effectiveness somewhat. I’d love to see Gilbert or Grebs add it to the arsenal. Seems to me I saw Grebs do this at least once in MTL, thought maybe that’s what you were referring to.

      Larry Murphy and Paul Coffey are the two best lob passers I’ve ever seen. I swear that Murphy used to have backspin and Coffey used to have frontspin and that their forwards knew it.

      As for the lob – I’ll take it. I think that there are certain skills that the team can utilize that they are not right now. It just seems to me that changing the breakout and attack to better suit them is an easy fix.

    110. March 12, 2009 at

      Bruce: I always liked that old Niinimaa flip: a backhand that cleared the zone and couldn’t be turned over. Loved that guy.

      OM: for some reason, I remember the one game playoff more between Cali/M’s. Langston kept the game in check until a weird oppo field double.

      Spoiler: that’s a cool story and I’d love to hear more of them if you spent more time in the company of athletes watching other sports. And you know what? not sure if you’re still in touch with Stauffer but if so, tell him he’s doing a great job with the interviews for the real site. Seriously.

    111. kris
      March 12, 2009 at

      I need help with something we’ve been talking about for a while that I just can’t wrap my head around.

      I don’t see why MacT seems to think that
      “Moreau-Brodziak-Pisani” wouldn’t work as a secondary tough minutes line, i.e. as a traditional checking unit. (To be clear, it might not work, but why doesn’t MacT try it for a prolonged period.)

      I mean, he obviously trusts Moreau and Pisani and probably believes they can cover a lot of mistakes for any weak line mate, including Brodziak. And MacT obviously thinks Brodziak can take own-zone draws, even with wings that MacT loves less. And MacT has been willing to throw Reddox to the wolves PvP and the fourth line to the wolves regularly. So clearly, MacT isn’t protecting Brodziak or anything.

      I mean, I’m not even saying MacT is being stupid in not putting this line together. I’m saying that given what we know about MacT’s preferences and his own views of his players that this line should make sense to him.

      In other words, MacT’s use of Brodziak doesn’t seem so much dumb or wrong as it does nonsensical or self-contradictory.

      Or am I missing something.

    112. traktor
      March 12, 2009 at

      kris:

      We know the reason why Lowe didn’t sign Marty – he thought Brodziak or Pouliot could fill the role.

      Why didn’t Brodziak or Pouliot ever get the role? Out of spite.

      It’s funny, a month into the season when MacT called out Brodziak for not playing with passion (who would’ve thought he wouldn’t be motivated to play with Smac and Bowl of Rice in a contract year?) he said that “we were expecting even bigger things from Brodziak than last year.”

      If management was expecting “even bigger things” then why didn’t he get the chance to take a bigger role?

      Should have thrown 51 to the wolves right from get-go, if he couldn’t handle it then we have 20 prospects that could be moved for a Reasoner clone.

      Judging how MacTavish has handled Dustin Penner and his reliance on Rifles it’s fairly obvious that icing the best possible lineup isn’t really his priority.

    113. March 12, 2009 at

      Beauty thread, Tyler.

    114. Bob Arctor
      March 12, 2009 at

      Any chance you can turn the time stamp on for comments?

    115. mc52tennis
      March 12, 2009 at

      Yes, how come no time stamp?

    116. Hillary
      March 12, 2009 at

      Tyler, 115 responses! Bill and I are impressed.

      clap clap (point and smile) clap clap (point and smile) clap clap (point and smile)

    117. March 12, 2009 at

      Ah, Dellow is a bum. ;)

    118. Oilman
      March 13, 2009 at

      spOIler….are you the roommate that Stauffer told that story about on the air? The one where he played a nasty trick on you with the cat’s litter box?

    119. spOILer
      March 13, 2009 at

      Oilman…

      No, I believe that was a roommate prior to me.

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