Showing posts with label David Staples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Staples. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OJ is # 6

As many have read that Smokin' Ray is off on vacation at the moment. So I thought I would post about an achievement that I consider pretty prestigious. That OilersJambalaya came in at #6 on Dave Staples Top 35 Oilogosphere blogs. Smokin' Ray does a fantastic job keeping things fresh, and finding stuff to talk about here on OJ. And he does the same talking about the Barons over on And a big thanks to all the readers that come here(and to OFH too). Also a big thanks to Smokin' Ray for teaming with OFH, cause it's been one whale of a ride. And the fun is just about begin with hockey season right around the corner!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oilers Jambalaya Says Thank You To The Readers

I'd like to take this time to thank all the readers that enjoy this site and the people that harass me on a daily basis. We suffered through a tough year together and I'd like to think we were a good support group. If this isn't therapy, I don't know what is.

So thank you readers, I not only appreciate you stopping by to read what we have written, but I feel privileged that you actually do read our stuff. Thanks.

I want to thank the following people that have helped me with writing here at Oilers Jambalaya this season.

Paq Twinn, Graham Martin, Scarlett, Oil Fan Nick, and Todd at NHLTalk202. I thank them and I appreciate their help, it would be hard to do this without you.

I want to take the time to say thanks to the new guy around here. Scott at has been a nice addition to OJ. We have formed a nice partnership and it's going to be very exciting next season as Scott will be at the new Oklahoma City AHL team (so far unnamed) home games. He will be our in house eyes and ears for all things OKC. So thanks Scott for joining forces with us.

I also want to thank the Springfield Falcons and the Stockton Thunder for partnering up with Oilers Jambalaya and allowing me to re-post their material this season. I feel as it improved this site and I hope you all did too.

I want to send a big thank you to Mr. David Staples from the Edmonton Journal's Cult Of Hockey blog. Every time he asked me to contribute player grades I jumped at it. Not only did it force me to be creative, but it produced more criticism for me to deal with and I felt that I grew as a writer because of it. I also want to thank David for being a nice guy. He's been good to me and I appreciate it. Thanks David.

I especially want to thank my family for putting up with my obsession called Oilers Jambalaya. Everyday my wife puts up with my "just 5 more seconds" speech and I thank her for not punching me in the face. My family means the most to me in the world and I just love the fact that they are cool with me just being me, Oiler nuts!


Next season is going to be great...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Player Grades / Oilers vs Stars / Cult of Hockey - Edmonton Journal (1/22/10)

Thanks again to David Staples for asking me to do the Player Grades for the Cult Of Hockey.

One of the things I have noticed in the last few bad losses is the lack of blocking shots.  If the Oilers want to win games, they need to block shots. Mind you, if I was on a team as bad as these guys have been playing, I may not throw my body in front of no pucks either. But regardless, if this team actually wants to win, block more shots.

The Oilers were good this game. All of them really tried to win a game, and not for us, but for themselves.  They came close but couldn't seal the deal.  With a tie game on the line, I do wonder why Quinn had the players he did out there. Why Strudwick? Why Moreau? At this point however, I don't really want/care about the answer. I just wanted a win.

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.

#10 SHAWN HORCOFF (7) - I liked the way he played. He was worse tonight than usual on the faceoffs but his overall game was pretty solid.  He has that natural chemistry with Pisani and Moreau and it really shows.  Now if for a minute you forgot all about how fat his wallet is and really watched him as a 3rd line center, he's damn good.  He's a top notch 3rd line guy. It's where he belongs and it's where he shines.  His -1 came on that last goal of the game.

#12 ROBERT NILSSON (7) - He continues his good play with another good game tonight. He made a nice play on the first Potulny goal and continued that throughout the game.  He makes some crazy plays and after the night was over he had two assists.  Nilsson was even hitting guys.  He's trying hard to be the real deal and you know what? I think he's getting there.

#13 ANDREW COGLIANO (7) - Once again his chemistry with Gagner keeps him looking good.  His speed and his ability to get open makes him stand out.   I really liked that he was shooting the puck. He had 5 shots and is seriously due for a goal or two.

#16 RYAN POTULNY (8) - Who is this guy? At the beginning of the year I didn't know or care anything about this guy. I sure do care now. He's a gem in the dirt pile we call the Oilers.  He scored the games opening goal and picked up an assist on the Gagner tie goal.  In between all that he was playing a great game. He finished the night at 50% on faceoffs and took 4 shots. He did end up tied with a team worse -2. But I don't care... I LIKE POTSY! I LIKE POTSY!

#18 ETHAN MOREAU (6) - I'm sure glad they got rid of that strange guy that used to wear that tinted visor.  He was terrible.  The new and improved Moreau was dynamite.  Seriously folks, playing with Horcoff and Pisani is the best thing for him. He has that brotherhood with those two guys and seems cool like a cucumber out there. He had 3 shots and 3 hits and played pretty damn good (for his standards).

#19 PATRICK O'SULLIVAN (5) - I don't know what to say about him. He was OK. Nothing fancy. He tried hard but really didn't do much at all.  He's a shooter who had a total of 2 shots on goal. So if he didn't shoot the puck then what did he do? *shrugs shoulders* One thing I do know, he was the other guy with a -2. But he didn't score like Potulny did. 

#22 JEAN-FRANCOIS JACQUES (4) - He had no effect in this game what so ever.  In his 8:30 of ice time, he only mustered up 2 hits and one good shot. Hitting is your thing. No hit? No good.

#27 DUSTIN PENNER (8) - The first period was making me nervous.  It's hard to grade people when it's all PK and no 5 on 5 action.  Penner was one of those guys that I didn't notice much. But once the nonsense was over, Penner and his line mates started to really take it to the Stars.  Penner was a force.  He was stick handling like Gretzky (maybe a stretch) and was rewarded for it by getting 2 assists.  He was one of my favorite players tonight. This was the player I was lobbying for to get picked by Team Canada for the Olympics. Glad he's back, he's been gone for too long.

#34 FERNANDO PISANI (6) - Like I said up above, Pisani fit in with those two guys.  I liked the way he played tonight. He did all the little things right and tossed 3 hits in there as well. The 3rd line is what he's good at. Keep him there Quinn.

#37 DENIS GREBESHKOV (6) - On one hand he looks great. He handles the puck well. On the other hand, he doesn't handle the puck so well. He had a few pucks slip off his stick and I'm not really sure why they didn't count as a giveaway.  He did lay out 4 hits and he had some good PP time.  I just don't know why he was out with Strudwick in the dying seconds of a tie game. Grebeshkov freaks me out and if it came down to it and I'd have to chose, I'd keep Gilbert.

#41 TAYLOR CHORNEY (5) - This was his first NHL game is a while.  He was OK and I thought that he could have played more minutes (he played 11:51). The only official stats he registered was 1 takeaway and 1 blocked shot. That just screams a 5 rating. His low point of the game was his pinch that led to the Stars third goal. To his credit, he almost made it back in time and not one forward beat him back to the zone.

#43 JASON STRUDWICK (6) - Don't get me wrong. I like Jason Strudwick. He's a good guy. But don't put him out with a game like that on the line. It's a 3-3 tie game and there is less than a minute left in the 3rd period.  Renney looks down the bench and picks... Strudwick. The winning goal was a result of a puck ending up on Struds stick just as he's losing his balance. Boom, the puck shoots off his stick and onto Neal's stick. Game over.  But for the rest of the game he was good. I liked him. The quote of the night was from Kevin Quinn. Just as Struds started fighting with those rabbit punches he throws, Quinn says, "Strudwick has the lawnmower going now". And it totally was the lawnmower. Classic!

#44 SHELDON SOURAY (7) - Souray was a great player tonight. During the 5on3's he was hacking and whacking everything in sight. All night he played rough and he really stood out as being good.  He had 5 shots and 3 hits.  Souray was a leader out there. He led by example.

#46 ZACK STORTINI (5) - He was rocked at the half way point of the game and never really amounted to much.  He had a pretty non-existent game. There is a better player than what we seen in that uniform tonight. He did manage 3 hits. So he does get a 5 because of his lousy 5:12 of ice time. But who knows... maybe he's hurt from that hit?

#71 LUBOMIR VISNOVSKY (6) - I liked him tonight. He just needs to find away to hit the net with his shot. He had 5 attempts blocked and one shot on the PP and he missed so bad it wrapped around the boards and out of the zone.  He wasn't great, but he wasn't bad either.  He played 22:50 and had 2 giveaways. 

#77 TOM GILBERT (6) - Gilbert was not bad or great. He was very Visnovsky like.  He played 22:57 and only had 1 shot hit the net.  His big moment: his assist on the first Gagner goal.  He has definitely played better games. I do like him with Souray and I don't see a compatible guy for him to play with of Souray does get traded.

#78 MARC POULIOT (5) - He was better than the other two guys he was playing with. He was 50% on faceoffs and had 2 hits in his 9:09 of ice time. It's too bad he didn't get any PP time. He needs some responsible time to gain some confidence.

#89 SAM GAGNER (8) - He played a great game from start to finish. The last few games he's really taken his game to a higher level.  His penalty was even OK in my mind as well. He tossed down a Star player and had a little spaz.  He showed emotion and his line mates feed off of it.  He scored the Oilers second goal of the game and scores the tie goal to bring the game to a crazy climax. Even though his second goal was a lucky bounce of Modano's foot and who cares. That tied the game. That was a huge goal. Ahh.. but not for long. *sigh* He was 50% on faceoffs and had 6 shots on goal.

#38 JEFF DESLAURIERS (N/A) - Did not play.

#40 DEVAN DUBNYK (7) - The Big Easy is what Kevin Quinn was calling him tonight on the Sportsnet broadcast. Let's see if it sticks. I really do like Dubnyk.  In my opinion, he's been better than Deslauriers lately and is making a strong case to be the backup here next year.  The first goal he barley seen and the second goal was tough to stop.  The third was a Strudwick last second deflection and he really had no chance on it. I feel bad for him because I just want to see him get his first NHL win. He was close tonight. But close sucks.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Players Grades - Cult of Hockey - Oilers vs Leafs (12/30/09)

The Oilers get killed in the giveaway department.  30 for the Oilers and 13 for the Leafs.  That's a shocking stat if you ask me.  But other than that this was a grat game for the Oilers.  A win after that long feel nice.

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.

#5 Ladislav Smid (6) - He had a hurt hand from the Iginla fight the other night so he played a more mellow, low key type of a game.  No face washes after the whistle.  He finished the night at a +1 and didn't look too bad out there.  Lucky for him he only had 1 giveaway. 

#10 Shawn Horcoff (6) - He had a real good faceoff game tonight.  He went 11W-7L-61%.  Not bad Horcoff.   He played a decent game and he didn't look like he was hurt tonight.  He picked up the assist on the first O'Sullivan goal and that should help his confidence out. He had 17:02 in ice time.

#12 Robert Nilsson (6) - At times he looks like a million bucks and at times he looks like an amateur.  Tonight he was floating in the middle somewhere.  I liked his game tonight but was still foolish with the puck at times.  I liked that he was hitting guys and he really tried to get involved in this game.  He only had two giveaways.

#13 Andrew Cogliano (5) - He started the game off like a hot potato, flying all over the place.  By the mid point he was getting cold.  He still played well, but he had more jump at the start.  On one hand he had 2 giveaways, and on the other he had 3 takeaways.  Does the good outweigh the bad?

#16 Ryan Potulny (4) - It looked like he played OK.  But did he really?  It's hard to judge him because while he didn't make any glaring mistakes (not including the tripping penalty), he really didn't do anything.  No shots, no hits, no nothing.  All he had was a blocked shot. I've seen him play better.

#18 Ethan Moreau (5) - I can't believe he made it through a game without screwing things up. *clap, clap* Mind you Quinn kept his minutes down by only playing him for 10:28.  He had two shots and one giveaway.  Not a bad night for him.  My wife was sad though... watching him play usually builds up our swear fund. EDIT: Why was he put out there in the last two minutes of the game? Is Quinn just trying to temp fate?

#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (8) - Well this was his best game in a loooooong time.  Good for him.  After his first (couldn't get more fluky) goal, he started to play with conviction and really came out strong for the last half of the game.  He handled the puck like it was meant to be on his stick.  He fired 5 shots and had two hits.  Guess what? No giveaways for this guy.  His second was a beauty and was a marvel to watch.  So maybe, just maybe, we have the "good" O'Sullivan around here now.

#22 JF Jacques (8) - His job is to hit people.  He did his job.  He flattened Komisarek twice and then fought him in a quick but decent scrap.  He had 5 hits but I swear it was way more than that.  Not only did he demolish the Leafs with his shoulder, he picked up an assist on Brule's goal in the 1st period.   He did have a giveaway but he also pulled off a takeaway. Even stevens there.  JF Jacques???  Not tonight. Tonight he was JF Great.

#24 Steve Staios (5) - He played OK but didn't deserve anything more than a 5.  On the night he had 3 giveaways.  That's not a great night. Especially for a defenseman.  But... he did show some testicular fortitude by blocking 5 shots.  He's fearless that way and I respect that aspect of his game.  But he was caught on the Kessel goal watching a Leaf go by him while Kessel was going to the net behind him.  Kessel scores and Staios looks around like he's going to sit in the timeout corner.  However, Staios did well and didn't take a penalty all game.  So I'm torn on his grade, so he gets a 5.

#27 Dustin Penner (6) - He had moments where you could see the dominant big guy in him.  You could also see the quiet, sit in the corner guy too.  He had 1 shot, 1 hit, 2 takeaways and 2 blocked shots.  Not really a banner night for Penner yet, he did take over shifts and look like an all-star while the rest looked like Pee Wee players.  I hope even without getting selected for Team Canada, he continues his great play.  His Dad was at the game and it got me thinking. Was he there on holidays or was he there to celebrate Dustin's Team Canada selection (which didn't happen)?

#32 Ryan Stone (7) - He's a strange guy to grade. When you think he's not really doing much, he pulls out a nice hit or makes a good pass that spurs on a chain reaction of goodness.  He's a good guy to have on this team even though I thought that we didn't need him.  I guess I was wrong.  He had 4 good hits and a couple led to good chances.  Including all that he had 3 takeaways.  So what does all this mean?  He plays a simple yet effective game. 

#37 Denis Grebeshkov (6) - He sure did look better than having Strudwick back out there.  Sure Grebs makes mistakes, but he can skate, and actually skate with the puck.  So having that aspect back in the lineup was nice.  He picked up an assist on the fluky O'Sullivan goal and really was not bad, except for the 2 giveaways.  He also managed two hits.

#38 Jeff Deslauriers (8) - The guy was a monster (you don't own this word McGuire) tonight. I was so rooting for him to get the shutout but it wasn't meant to be.  Who cares really, we won.  It was funny because a couple of the stand up saves he made tonight really reminded me of Bill Ranford.  Kicks the leg out and flops back on the net for support. Classic stuff, and in the orange and blue too.  Loved it.  He made no mistakes and played a heck of a game. If he managed to get the shutout, I seriously was going to give him a 10.  Maybe I shouldn't have thought about it? Maybe I was the jinx?

#44 Sheldon Souray (7) - He was a hard one to grade.  He played the most out of all the Oilers at 24:22.  He played not bad but had 3 giveaways.  All the defence were bad at giving the puck to the Leafs.  But Souray did shoot a lot more this game.  He had 4 shots and 4 were blocked (crazy fools).  He definitely wasn't a gong show out there. 

#46 Zack Stortini (6) - With limited time on the ice it's hard to get going.  He did a good job when he was called upon on.  He had 3 hits and 2 shots.  Not a bad night for Storts.  I'm a little surprised he didn't want to go with anyone.

#67 Gilbert Brule (7) - I liked his style tonight.  He was buzzing around right from the start.  He scores the opening goal and that got the Oilers going.  That was his 10th of the season and is the 2nd Oiler do reach double digits in the goal department.  To go along with the goal he had 3 hits and 2 blocked shots.  I don't know how, but the Jacques/Horcoff/Brule line worked tonight.  I think it was because they tried to play more physical rather than trying to be a finesse line.  Good on Brule for bringing it tonight.

#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (6) - He picked up an assist on the Brule goal and looked not bad throughout the game.  His penalty was the one that the Oilers were killing when Kessel scored his goal.  So in any other game lately, that would have caused a bad rash of consequences, but tonight it only made it 3-1.  He may have had 5 blocked shots (that's brave stuff), but he also had a team worst, 4 giveaways. Ouch. 

#77 Tom Gilbert (6.5) - Yeah that's right, a 6.5.  I can't decide between a 6 and a 7 so he gets that.  He was solid tonight.  Well, minus the 3 giveaways, but hey, who wasn't giving pucks away?  He only managed 1 shot in the Leafs zone but found time to block 3 shots in the Oilers end.  That Gilbert is a nice guy.  He also managed to pick up an assist on the last O'Sullivan PP goal.  Quinn sure has been giving lots of ice time and he's making the best out of it.  Is this a new and improved Gilbert?

#89 Sam Gagner (5) - He did his thing and it didn't wow me.  In fact, it's been awhile since he's made me go wow.  While he did have an decent night at faceoffs, he also had 3 giveaways.  He seems to do a stupid pass or two every game.  It's not that they are stupid passes, just weak wristed ones and they usually don't turn out good.  He didn't get a shot on net and other than the OK faceoffs, he had nothing else to show.  Could something be ailing him? EDIT: He did get rocked hard in the game but seemed to shake it off. But it hurt.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cult of Hockey - Edmonton Journal Player Grades - Oilers vs Canucks (12/26/09)

This game would have been different if the Oilers could have killed off the penalties.  The 5 on 3 was the main game killer. Is this team on a downhill slide for the rest of the season?  Or do they turn it around and save face?


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.

#27 Dustin Penner (5) - Once again I liked what Penner brought to the table.  It's just too bad his line mates are weak.  The big guy drove to the net, blocked a Souray shot (by accident) and played well enough to look good. 

#89 Sam Gagner (4) - He played ok but was still over matched by the bigger players. You can tell by how many faceoffs he loses.  If it's a lot, then he's get out muscled throughout the game.  He didn't impress me much tonight.

#10 Shawn Horcoff (4) - I didn't notice him a whole lot. He was so-so and didn't really contribute a whole bunch.

#13 Andrew Cogliano (5) - Cogliano had some good moments in this game. I thought he drove to the net pretty good but he needed to shoot the puck when he had good opportunities. 

#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (5) - He didn't really stand out but did pick up the assist on the Potulny goal.  The fans really want this guy gone/traded and you would think that would be motivation for him to do better. But it really doesn't seem so, does it?
#67 Gilbert Brule (6) - He played a great positional game and made no mistakes.  I really liked him tonight.  He had 3 hits and had 2 shots and really buzzed around.  One of the better Oilers tonight.

#18 Ethan Moreau (4) - He had two great chances tonight.  But other than that, he did nothing. He had 3 shots and 1 hit.  Isn't hitting people supposed to be part of his repertoire?

#22 JF Jacques (4) - Another "JFWho?" game.  He also only had 1 hit.  He seems to have the same problem as Moreau.  Isn't hitting supposed to be your thing?  1 hit really?

#16 Ryan Potulny (5) - He scores a nice/lucky goal and gets the Oilers on the board. He hustled a lot tonight.  I like the way he plays but he suits a more 3rd or 4th line type role rather than a 1st line guy and it reflected that better tonight. He would have had a 6, but he was that culprit who shot the puck over the glass.

#46 Zack Stortini (5) - He threw some good hits and had a good tilt with Rick Rypien.  At the start of the fight he was slugging him with a forearm drag punch to soften him up.  After that it was all meat clubs that he hit him with.  I was a little stunned that Rypien pulled his helmet down during the fight for protection.  How weak is that?  Quinn needs to play him more.

#32 Ryan Stone (5) - He was ok.  I didn't yell at him so that must be a good thing.  I liked his big hits and had 4 on the night.  But that's all he contributed to.  He didn't do much else.

#12 Robert Nilsson (5) - I don't think he's a fit on the 1st line with Penner and Gagner.  Brule is a better choice.  He took 2 shots and blocked 2 shots.  Not really 1st line stats.

#44 Sheldon Souray (6) - He played a pretty good game. I liked how he played.  He led the team in ice time but needed to hit the net more.

#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (5) - He was the third star of the game.  I don't know why.  He had 2 shots and 2 hits.  Other than that he was just ok.  Nothing special here.

#77 Tom Gilbert (6) - He's starting to figure out Souray and they are playing pretty good hockey together.  He played another decent game and quietly logged a ton of minutes again. He made all the right decisions and earned the trust of Quinn.  Is he morphing in front of our eyes?

#24 Steve Staios (5) - He played alright.  He blocked a few shots and didn't make any glaring mistakes.  I've been liking him more lately.  I've been respecting his playing style more and more.

#5 Ladislav Smid (5) - He played ok.  He didn't stand out as being good, but he didn't suck either.  He only had 2 hits and could have done more in that area.

#37 Denis Grebeshkov (4) - The worst of the defence.  He had 2 giveaways and looked kind of bad all game.  Is this still rust from the injury, or does the "bad Grebeshkov" make an appearance once in a while still?

#38 Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (6) - He kept this team in the game, but was burned on two power play goals that sunk it for the Oilers.  He did what he could, but the team couldn't score.  It's too bad, he deserved a win.

#40 Devan Dubnyk (N/A) - He did not play

Monday, December 21, 2009

*LIVE TweetCast #4* - The LIVE Game Day Experience (12/21/09)

Welcome to Oilers Jambalaya.  Today is a special day.  Today, both Smokin' Ray and Paq Twinn will be at the game tonight.  So what you say?  Well no one is here to moderate the comments.  But go ahead and say what you want and when we get home we will un-moderate all the comments and they will get published. 

During the day you can check in and see what is going on.  Smokin' Ray is travelling to Edmonton from Stettler starting at 1:30pm and he will be tweeting the entire trip.  Maybe something interesting happens? It will be Tweeted.  What is Paq Twinn doing before the game starts?  It will be Tweeted.  Stay tuned for all the updates.

So follow along and see what kind of crazy fun we can come up with.  If you are at the game and want to, we smoke at the Gretzky statue at the intermissions.  Come find us if you want to talk.  Just drop the code word: Jambalaya Soup

A special thanks to David Staples from the Cult of Hockey and the Edmonton Journal for providing us with tickets to the Edmonton Journal luxury box for this game.  What a night it will be. So look for us.  We will be cheering.  And cheering loudly.  GOILERS!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

(Edmonton Journal) Cult of Hockey Player Grades - Oilers vs Lightning (12/09/09)

Once again David Staples of the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey has allowed me to do the player grades for this game. You can read it here at Oilers Jambalaya or you can read it HERE.

Now I hope you understand how hard it is to grade a game that's choppy.  It was cool that we were able to see the game, but it was so choppy at times I missed little sequences.  But here is what I saw.

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.

 #27 Dustin Penner (7) - I didn't find too many faults in his game tonight.  He played pretty good and scored a typical Penner in front of the net goal. Heck, he even led the team in faceoffs.  He sure plays a complete game this year. I hope he gets more than a nod for Team Canada.

#89 Sam Gagner (6) - He played well but was still over matched in the Oilers end at times. He has been better in these last two games and he needs to find that "next level" if he's to do well as a #1 center.  He had 3 shots and his pass/shot gave him an assist on the Penner goal.  Overall, not a bad game.

#10 Shawn Horcoff (5) - He was near invisible.  He played 22:12 and although most of those minutes were decent minutes (1:46 of PP time and 2:36 in PK time) he needs to be more effective.  This was not the same Horcoff as we seen the last two games.

#13 Andrew Cogliano (5) - Cogliano had some good moments in this game.  Nothing that was over the top or anything.  He has this way of looking like he does a lot out there, while really all he is doing is skating fast.  He reminds me of Todd Marchant, only he can't win faceoffs.

#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (4) - He was not good at all.  He brought down the 2nd line with his sub par play.  Hedman scored that goal and that was O'Sullivan's guy and he didn't take him. He just seems lost out there right now.  He only had 3 shots and if he is going to earn his money he needs goals.  And how do you get goals? You shoot.

#67 Gilbert Brule (6) - He was pretty good.  He kept trying to make nice plays to Penner and instead maybe should have taken more shots himself.  But all in all I don't have much to complain about.  He's way better than I ever thought that he could be.  And this is just the beginning for him.

#18 Ethan Moreau (4) - The Captain didn't do much tonight.  I don't know about you guys, but he's not really contributing much.  It's almost like he's just taking up minutes when someone else could eat hose minutes.  Don't get me wrong, he's not terrible right now, but he also isn't a contributor.

#22 JF Jacques (6) - He was the best player on his line.  He had 5 hits and it seems like if he is doing that, then he's doing his job. 

#16 Ryan Potulny (5) - He was another one of those looked average type of players tonight.  He did what he could and it definitely wasn't fantastic.  He was just plain jane average.

#46 Zack Stortini (9) - The man had a Gordie Howe hat trick and still added another fight to his resume near the end of the game.  This was the best that I have ever seen him.  He had 3 hits and I didn't notice a single error (other than 0 for 6 on the faceoffs) on his part tonight.  So that's why I'm giving him a 9. All this and he only played 6:22.  Should this game earn him a 10?

#32 Ryan Stone (8) - The other bash brother was also good tonight.  His fight was a good one and it impressed me that he could chuck them like that.  He was hitting everyone (I don't know how the NHL doesn't count more hits) he could and even created some scoring chances.  He also played just over six minutes tonight, but he made the most of it.

#12 Robert Nilsson (7) - He was pretty good tonight and picked up another assist.  I maybe should have given him a 6 but he plays so well with Stone and Stortini and it's helping him shine.  I'm sure that he's thankful to get back into the lineup.  He seems to be trying to not make those little mental mistakes that have plagued him in the past.

#44 Sheldon Souray (7) - He was left alone on a wicked 2 on 1 for the Lightning's first goal.  Not totally his fault, but he made a decision to take the passer and that left St Louis all alone with JDD.  He and Gilbert were on for three Oiler goals and the on for the first Tampa goal.  Although he wasn't all out aggressive, he played pretty darn good.

#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (5) - All the defence were pretty average tonight including Visnovsky.  I've seen him be better.  He played 21:00 minutes and had 1 shot and 2 blocked shots.  Not really a night to remember.

#77 Tom Gilbert (6) - It was his error (pinch) that caused the 2 on 1 and essentially, the first goal of the game.  He did however score ten minutes later to even up the score.  So does that balence things out?  He actualy was decent tonight.  It appears to me that he's been getting better as this road trip goes on.

#24 Steve Staios (5) - Quite an average game.  Not much to say here.

#5 Ladislav Smid (5) - He had a fairly decent game.  He blew a spaz and knocked some guys down.  I kept waiting for him to score another goal tonight but it never happened.

#43 Jason Strudwick (5) - Also an average game.  Oddly enough, no goals were directly his fault.

#38 Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (7) - His willingness to battle for 60 minutes helped the Oilers win this game.  He made some good saves all throughout the game.  But once again the Lightning went up high on him and scored.  How is that possible when the guy is that tall?  He's playing better than anyone expected.

#40 Devan Dubnyk (N/A) -  He did not play.


**Normal Beers and Jeers-Edmonton Oilers Recap to follow.**

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

(Cult Of Hockey) Player Grades - Oilers vs Avalanche (11/18/09)

The Cult Of Hockey Player Grades have arrived at Oilers Jambalaya.  This is Smokin' Ray coming at you live pre-recorded from two sites, mine and at The Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. 

David Staples had asked me if I would like to contribute to the player grades that he does and I accepted graciously.  David has supported me from day one so it's going to be nice to give back a little.  Is this good for you the reader?  I hope so.  Enjoy!


Despite the Oilers bad Power Play, they manage to win 6-4.  Not a bad game to watch that's for sure. To top it off... it was free on TSN.


Ales Hemsky (8) - He was solid all game except for his blunder with Visnovsky that led to a chance for the Avs.  He had a goal and an assist for two points tonight.  He even took 4 shots.  Not bad for a playmaker.

Sam Gagner (7) - He had a really slow start, much like everyone else did, but really turned it on at the halfway point of the game.  He scores a huge goal (for him and the team) and his pain seemed to fade away.  His hip is bothering him right now and with all the other Oiler problems, this is one guy we don't need to miss any time.  He would have scored an 8 if he didn't start so slow.

Shawn Horcoff (7) - Despite having a bum shoulder right now, he played pretty decent.  I'm not sure why Quinn has him taking 15 faceoffs in a game when he goes 33%.  He's better than that, but not right now.  At least pair him up with another center on the PK like O'Sullivan.  He scores a nice goal on a Hemsky rebound and helps to get the Oilers going early on in the game.  He made no real huge mistakes, but he is clearly hampered by his injury and his game reflects that.  You just tell he would have been awesome tonight if he was 100%.

Dustin Penner (8) - He may not have scored any points, but it's the intangibles that he brings to the table that make him worthy.  His screening and tipping is top notch right now.  He even busted his stick on a Souray tip.  How do you even see a Souray shot, never mind tipping it?  He had 7 shots tonight and was the best faceoff guy on the team.  He went 7W-8L for 47%.  Who would have thought that he could do it all?  Literally. I'd say that both him and Hemsky were close to being a 9 in my books.

Ladi Smid (7) - I think we should all tell Kevin Lowe that he was right on the Pronger trade. Ok.. let's not go quite that far yet but he sure is looking simply amazing this year.  He tallies an assist and finishes the night tied for team best, +3.  Looking at the stats you would think it would show more hits for him as he was ramming and slamming guys all game.  He is playing a consistent and reliable game for Quinn. Thank you Dany Heatley for nixing that deal.  Penner and Smid are studs for this team this year.  And it's all because of you. Sort of.

Sheldon Souray (6) - He is one mean dude.  Shortly after Moreau takes an elbow to the head, Souray does a little chin music of his own.  The refs seen that one though.  So you can hardly be mad at him for taking the penalty, it was just at the wrong time as Stortini was assessed a instigator penalty 1:01 before that.  He also finished a -1 and that doesn't help a guys rating.  Did I mention the 2 giveaways?  Yeah...  But still.  If it wasn't for all that he could have had an 8.  To make an excuse for him, he was on the ice for a lot of tough minutes.

Lubomir Visnovsky (8) - Holy cow!  When he plays well, he plays well.  He made great plays all night and he was a pleasure to watch.  His only black mark was a screw up between him and Hemsky which gave him a 1 in the takeaway column.  He had 2 assists and finished a +3 tied with Smid for the team lead.  I really would have given him a 9 if not for the giveaway.  Yes folks... he was that good.

Tom Gilbert (4) - He had a soft 1st period and was a -2 for the night.  Quinn even benched him for most of the 2nd as he only played 1:22.  He did get an assist on the Potulny goal.  That was pretty much his only good point of the game.

Dean Arsene (5) - For a guy who was playing in his 2nd ever game in the NHL, he looked calm.  I didn't see any major mistakes other than an errant pass that was picked up by the Avs late in the 3rd.  But you know Quinn is liking him when he's out there quite regular in the 3rd period.  I want to see more of this guy.  I'm liking what I see.

Patrick O'Sullivan (5) - He finally scores a goal.  It's been way to long and you could see him breath a sigh of relief right after it went in.  He had 5 shots and was 45% on the faceoff dot.  He needs to play better for a whole 60 minutes and he needs to shoot that puck with conviction.

Ryan Potulny (6) - He had a pretty solid game and was rewarded with more ice time.  He scores the tying goal and gives the crowd and the team a huge lift.  He definitely is a good call up.  Glad we have him.

Zack Stortini (3) - He spent 17 minutes not playing because of the fight (for the Moreau hit) and only played 5:16 after that.  The fight even sucked.  Wilson tied up his arms and that was it.  They struggled and it was over.  Not his greatest night.

Ethan Moreau (5) - He really wasn't all that bad before the hit to the head.  He had a shift after that and that was it for him as he didn't return.  So with him gone and Stortini not lighting it up, that was it with the 4th line.

Gilbert Brule (6) - He didn't have a bad night and he didn't have a great night either.  He was on the ice for Hejduk's 2nd goal and on the ice for the Cuminsky goal.  Both times he could have been harder on his check but wasn't.  On the good side he was on the ice for some of the Oilers goals as well.  But it is nice to see him be more consistent this year.  I was starting to wonder why we traded Torres for Brule.  But the kid is alright.

Liam Reddox (6) - He played a good enough game and earned an assist.  It's too bad he's not a bigger guy because he sure does throw his tiny little body around.  He plays a smart game and does the little things well.  But have no fear Reddox haters, he will go back when the Oilers get bodies back. 

Jason Strudwick (4) - All he really did was block some shots and take up some minutes from Gilbert.  He seems to have some trouble keeping up with the more quicker players.  On the Avs second goal, he was running around like a chicken with his head cut off and was a major reason why that goal was scored.  With the emergence of these younger guys, I don't see the need for him past the trade deadline.

Andrew Cogliano (5) - He had flashes of brilliance and then would fade away.  He is the only one out of the Heatley three that hasn't flourished this season.  He had a good chance tonight being on a line with Gagner but failed to produce.  Maybe he needs to see a head shrink to get his groove on.  Or dancing lessons.

Jeff Deslauriers (4) - He was super stinky in the 1st two periods.  In the first 25 minutes, he let in 3 goals on 7 shots.  I was waiting for Quinn to pull the plug but he didn't.  Maybe it's the lack of games or maybe he's not as good as we all though he was.  If I was him, I'd get serious because Dubnyk will be knocking on the door next year.


Well that's it folks.  I hope I did this game justice. Thanks for reading.


My normal Beers & Jeers Edmonton Oilers Recap to follow.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beers and Jeers #43 (Feb 12/09 vs. Atlanta Thrashers)

Well first off I need to apologise to all the Jambalaya Fans for missing the last Beers and Jeers. Now I know that this isn't much of an excuse, but I hurt my neck on Tuesday and that made it impossible to write more than one line. So that made me unable to write out the B & J. Gagner and Roli would have had beers. O'Sullivan would have been booed for taking a penalty in overtime. Some people would lay the blame to MacT for putting out the 4th line in the 3rd when Montreal scored. I do to a certain degree, but it's still the players responsibility to play a smart game. But still. The 4th line MacT? With the game on the line? Come on!


The Oilers are playing sub par and for some reason still sit in 7th before this game starts. Nothing short of amazing.


Sorry there will be no Period by period action. I missed the 1st and 2nd periods. (This is the most I have missed all season. Work. What can you do? *arms up*) However my bud Whitey is helping me out with the Beers and Jeers. Things will be back to normal next game. If you really need the break downs then check out these places. Jen Sharpe OilersNation JeanShortsBaggedMilk David Staples


Tonight's Starting Line's

Kotalik Horcoff Hemsky (Horcoff and Hemsky were pretty good. Kotalik still isn't fitting in on LW)
Nilsson Gagner Pouliot (This line is really working well together. Pouliot is playing very well. Gagner is still on fire and Nilsson scores and plays smart.)

O'Sullivan Cogliano Pisani (This line was average. O'Sullivan scores his 1st as an Oiler and plays a good game. Cogliano was not bad and not great, however he did cough up the puck in OT and that's not good at all. Pisani was also not so hot. He was kind of invisable.)
Moreau Brodziak Penner (This was a hard to judge line as Penner only played 5:03. All three were average except for Penner sticking up for Hemmer. That was good.)


Atlanta Thrashers - 4
Edmonton Oilers - 3



Sam Gagner - He was real good tonight. He seemed to be on his game tonight. He manages 5 shots and has an assist with a +1 rating. Gagner is a gamer. Well... a at the end of the season gamer. Either way it's working for him. Have a beer little dude. Cheers!

Patrick O'Sullivan - He scores his 1st goal as an Oiler and looks good doing it. He really seems t be fitting in better than Kotalik is. It shows, as MacT had him out for 19:39 of ice time.. He does need to create more. Maybe a shift or two with Hemmer would fix that? But, today he deserves a beer. Frosty? Cheers!

Shawn Horcoff - The man was good. He seemed to do everything right. And he scores a pretty nice goal. All that in 22:42 of ice time. The workhorse needs a cold beer? Cheers!

Honorable Mentions - Robert Nilsson (He played pretty good, scoring a goal and was +1. He wasn't a waste of a roster space tonight.), Ales Hemsky (He looked good and managed to pick up an assist.), Denis Grebeshkov (He sure has changed since we picked him up from the Islanders. I hope he stays.), Sheldon Souray (The man was a force. I love the way he plays.)



Smid/Strudwick Pairing - They were on the ice for the 1st two goals. Not the best way to start a game. For that alone you deserve a Booooooooooo!

Craig MacTavish - It's getting real hard to defend you anymore. Bench Penner? For what? It just seems that he makes judgement errors at every game now. My hands are up in the air because I have no idea what to thunk of him anymore. Boooooooooo!

The Entire Team - Last time I checked, 2 points were not being awarded for losing in OT. 2 points = Playoffs. It's time to win a few. Booooooooo!


Can't believe that Sakic, err.. Marty Reasoner scores the overtime winner. Only one point again. What the hell man?!? One point.

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