Grading the Players: 2008-10-27 vs Bruins

This was one of those fairly exciting 0-0 games, with lots of rushes either way. More going towards Edmonton’s end, although I’d say a greater percentage of the Oilers rushes wound up with good scoring chances than those of the Bruins. Everybody played fairly well tonight, with Cole doubleshifting in MacIntyre’s spot and Penner bouncing around a bit too. Honestly, there wasn’t a big difference between most of the On a personal note, I’m disappointed that apparently I now get the opposing team’s feed instead of the PPV. C’est la vie. On with the scoring.
Horcoff, 7: 50% on the dot, 3 shots, 3 takeaways but 3 giveaways. He was in the box on the game-winner, but the penalty wasn’t his fault (more to follow on that). 7 despite being pointless because his PK was good, PP was ok, and he made things happen at the right side of the rink. I had at least a couple of “10 nice stick on the backcheck” comments.
Nilsson, 7: no points, but two hits and both his shots were great chances. He was a pest for the Bruins D all night, going in hard on the forecheck and hustling back for the backcheck. He’s clearly been listening to MacTavish and was rewarded with 20 minutes of icetime. Any points at all and he’d have had an 8.
Moreau, 7: feisty, did what he needed to. Good penalty killing, two shots and three hits. He had some good rushes and great cycles.
Staios, 7: monster on the PK, he had one shot and another blocked. Tried to sneak in for the backdoor late in the game but a great play by a Bruin blocked him out. 4 shot blocks, including one that looked like it hurt – Steady Steve the Puck Magnet was at it again, Bob Gainey hates this guy. Credited with a giveaway but I didn’t notice so I don’t think it was too egregious.
Cole, 7: Only 15:16 of icetime, but he looked like he was out there a lot more. Things were happening most times he was out, he was always physical. Only one shot, three blocked though and while he only had one hit credited, he was chippy and gave the Bruins D considerable trouble, and was always there on the backcheck.
Souray, 7: only got the cannon fired once, but it was a doozy. Two other blocked shots hurt Bruins, and he even got one through. Blocked two himself, had a takeaway, and while he had no credited hits he was certainly physical. Good stick on the backcheck a few times, add that up and you get 26:28 of icetime, including over 4 minutes shorthanded. It would have been nice if he’d gotten a few more shots through. Teams are cheating to his side on the PP and when the Oilers get set up.
Hemksy, 7: like his linemate Nilsson. Five shots led the team, and several of them were doozies. He was dangling all night, moving his feet, and was unfortunate not to get a goal. He soaked up a couple of nasty hits from Aaron Ward (a guy I always wished the Oilers had picked up after the 06 Finals). Surprisingly little PP time probably due to the fact he was the one drawing the penalties.
Roloson, 7: he’s giving MacTavish a difficult decision each time he plays, just what you want to see from your backup goalie. He made several outstanding saves. If he’d made that last save, an 8 for sure. He was soaking up rebounds like mad and was very good all game when his team needed him.
Smid, 6: Another quiet game for Smid. Not quite 15 minutes of icetime, he was mistake-free with no giveaways, one hit, and two shot blocks. He didn’t see any special teams time and played his position well, holding the line when required. He did make some good breakout passes as well, with no giveaways at his own blueline.
Cogliano, 6: Didn’t make much happen on the PP and that’s partially what hurt the team tonight, so with 2:10 of PP time and 1/6 on faceoffs gives him a strong 6. He didn’t hurt the team outright and did manage 2 shots.
Penner, 6: quiet night for the big man. He played pissed off a couple of shifts, couldn’t quite get anybody lined up for a big hit though. 0 shots isn’t getting it done though, especially on the PP. He did have some nice rushes but if you can’t get a shot away, it doesn’t matter. He cycles well with whomever he plays though. He played very well defensively and saw a bit of PK time, although somehow he got outmuscled by Kessel one Boston rush.
MacIntyre, 6: it’s hard to do much in 2:16 of icetime, and while he had a big hit, it was pretty clear the Bruins didn’t want much to do with him. Stortini should have had this game, but that’s not Big Mac’s fault. He looked pretty good backchecking on Kessel when he got caught out against the shifty one. Sat on the bench for every second of the game after the first period.
Pisani, 6: very strong 6, his defensive play was good and he cycled well, but he had a couple of brainfarts and I noticed him pulling up one backcheck, not sure why but it let his man get to the net. I think he must have thought somebody else had him. 3 minutes of PK time and 50% on the faceoffs.
Grebeshkov, 6: have I ever mentioned before that he’s a high event player? He kept the puck in at the line, made some nice breakout passes, and didn’t back down from the hard play, winding up with three blocked shots. He also looked shaky sometimes with his partner Gilbert, bobbled some passes and made some weak ones of his own, and had two giveaways. He doesn’t really belong on a power play.
Brodziak, 6: fairly quiet game, linemate changes likely didn’t help him much. I have no notes on him at all. He did win 8/10 faceoffs though.
Visnovsky, 6: he was actually a fairly strong 6, although I dinged him for his penalties. One was a righteous pull down, the other not so much. With teams cheating to his partner Souray, he had a few chances to get some good shots away, although none got on net between two blocks and three misses. He needs to get that going on the PP. 24:33 of icetime with some very good defensive plays combined with some trouble handling the Bruins down low.
Gilbert, 6: chewing up even strength ice time for Huddy, he had one shot and a couple blocked. He doesn’t look good with Grebeshkov though, maybe they could try him out with Visnovsky? He looks a little tentative, and combine that with a lack of physicality and he looks more like Tom Poti than Paul Coffey. Still, he does more good than harm in his own end.
Pouliot, 6: he made some great breakout passes and played ok in his own end otherwise. He didn’t do much in the other end though, nor was he particularly physical. He needs to use his size more than he did tonight, he’s not a small man.
Gagner, 6: he’d have had a 7 if he hadn’t made the giveaway leading to Horcoff’s penalty in OT. Bad pass inside his own blueline = -1, although I’m sure he felt bad. Otherwise he was a forechecking demon, 3 shots on goal and one more blocked. He drove the net when he could and was strong along the boards. Aside from a goal and one less brain fart, couldn’t have asked for much more. Either he had a great game in the circle or he’s been taking lessons from MacT, since he won four of his five faceoffs.