Saturday, February 6, 2010

Player Grades - Cult of Hockey - Oilers vs Avalanche Recap (2/6/10)



Once again, David Staples at the Edmonton Journal has asked me to contribute to the Players Grades for his Cult of Hockey blog. How could I say no? I love the Cult of Hockey. So here they are.

Brule and Nilsson are sitting once again. I really don't understand why Brule is sitting. His chemistry with Penner is uncanny and with both of those guys struggling, you would think Quinn would put them together. When they have been together, they score.

Who knows, maybe Quinn is the actual ship Captain behind the Dive For Five?

The main reason the Oilers lost this game tonight is because the defence had no cohesion with the forwards. They couldn't get out of their own zone even if their lives depended on it. That was probably the most frustrating part of the game for me to watch.

The most shocking stat I found was that the Avs had more giveaways (14-7) than the Oilers did. What you say? How is that possible? I don't know?

With another loss, the "Quest for the Best" continues...

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Final Score

Edmonton Oilers - 0

Colorado Avalanche - 3

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Oilers Starting Lines

Penner-Gagner-Cogliano
O'Sullivan-Potulny-Comrie
Moreau-Horcoff-Pisani
Jacques-Pouliot-Stortini

Grebeshkov-Gilbert
Chorney-Visnovsky
Strudwick-Plante

Deslauriers
Pitton

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The Cult of Hockey Grading System: 10-perfect game, 9 extraordinary, 8 great, 7 good, 6 above average, 5 average, 4 below average, 3 poor, 2 terrible, 1 deserves to be in minors.

Player Grades

#38 Jeff Deslauriers (8) - He was by far the best Oiler tonight. He made some great saves and had some help from the posts. He did everything he could to keep this team in this game. His only weak spot of the game was the 2nd goal. JDD was weak on that goal. But you can't fault him for the loss. He was great and the Oilers didn't score.

#27 Dustin Penner (3) - He was a non factor for most of the game. His only real visible attribute tonight was his ability to handle the puck along the boards. He did that well. But that's it. He was slow, lazy and ineffective. Even more so when Gagner left the game.

#89 Sam Gagner (4) - He left the game after the 2nd period with soreness on his knee. He did go 3W-0L for faceoffs before leaving after only playing 9:37. In that short time, he had 2 shots and that's about it.

#13 Andrew Cogliano (4) - He was mostly invisible. At times he was doing what he was supposed to do, but mostly he did squat.

#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (3) - While he did take shots (5 shots), none hit the net. What good is a shot if it doesn't reach the net? He did nothing to help his line mates and was ineffective. I'm willing to bet that if he wasn't on the block, he'd be sitting.

#16 Ryan Potulny (5) - While he tried hard, his effort came up short. He had 2 shots and 2 blocked shots. He did have a team best 8W-6L for 57% on faceoffs. He was definitely not the worst Oiler tonight.

#91 Mike Comrie (6) - He wasn't afraid to take the puck to the net. He did that very well. He was the real leader on that 2nd line. He played pretty decent and I would have thought that he would have received more ice time (15:57).

#18 Ethan Moreau (5) - He was pretty decent. I know, strange for me too. I have noticed that since he has taken off the visor and has been lined up with Horcoff and Pisani, he's been good. Who would have thought that? I didn't. Moreau had 5 shots and 2 hits and wasn't a big liability.

#10 Shawn Horcoff (4) - He even had a glorious chance with just over 5 minutes left in the 3rd and he just couldn't do it. *sigh* He really isn't earning his money this year. Not even close. While he is a real good 3rd line center, he's not a $5.5 million cap hit. He was a measly 39% on the faceoff dot and only had one shot. He was out played by Moreau. Now that's sad.

#34 Fernando Pisani (4) - While Pisani wasn't a standout, he wasn't a complete bum either. He played his position well, but never registered a stat other than his one shot and one missed shot.

#22 JF Jacques (3) - I didn't like his game much. He always seems to look good in the 1st period and then disappear for the rest of the game. He did it again tonight. 1 hit and 2 blocked shots. That's it.

#78 Marc Pouliot (3) - He was promoted to the 1st line after Gagner left the game but he didn't do anything to impress.  He had one takeaway and one missed shot. He was also a team worst -2.

#46 Zack Stortini (3) - Zack who? Unless it's a rough game he's useless. He can't contribute if there is no mouthing guys off and getting in scrums. This game didn't have any of that and therefore made Storts insignificant.

#77 Tom Gilbert (7) - He has been, in my opinion, the best guy on defence for the oilers in the past few weeks. He's been playing a quiet and mistake free games. He, for the most part did that tonight. While he did have a giveaway, he had a team high, 8 blocked shots. To top it off, he also had 2 takeaways and 2 hits. I really like the way he plays and I would be disappointed if the Oilers trade him.

#37 Denis Grebeshkov (6) - He also played pretty well. He played a ton of minutes and held his own against the speedy Avalanche. He didn't register a shot on net and that is something he needs to work on. Not much point having a guy that doesn't shoot on a PP. He was also a little responsible for the 2nd Avalanche goal. He defensive coverage was not working at that moment.

#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (5) - He was a 50/50 guy tonight. No, not selling the tickets in the stands. It was more of a go to one end of the ice and look good, then skate back to the other end and look like a Bantam player. He was frustrating to watch. He somehow managed to escape a giveaway stat.

#41 Taylor Chorney (5) - Chorney was OK. Nothing to write home about. He would be better if he hit more. He did have 3 blocked shots.

#43 Jason Strudwick (4) - Slow, clumsy, awkward. That's Strudwick for you.

#48 Alex Plante (4) - He's a rookie who makes the simple rookie mistakes. He was fumbling the puck and seemed like he was panicking out there. He did have 4 hits and that's great to see. Hitting is going to be his attribute in this game.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS


-Smokin' Ray-

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