Grading the Players: 2008-12-17 vs Vancouver

It’s been a while, so I found myself a tad out of practise. Overall the boys didn’t play that well, and the score reflected that. I saw a comment by Roloson after the game that he thought they’d played well the first period; with all due respect to a veteran goalie, I think that’s gilding the turd a bit. They didn’t play *poorly* the first period. They were tentative, not at all physical, and slow. The second was bad. Not Chicagoan proportions poor, but yeah. The third period was better, although Penner’s goal was a bit lucky (albeit luck that was the result of a lot of hard work). Enough with the jibber jabber, on with the scoring.
Smid: 6. 12:15 of ice, mostly at evens, wound up +1. No glaring gaffes and a physical enough game. 3 blocks led the way for the Oilers, and was one behind Edler and Mitchell who played twice as much as he did. He used his stick well when he wasn’t able to take the body.
Horcoff: 5. It just wasn’t there for Horc last night, -1 and almost 6 minutes of power play time for no points. He wasn’t bad, he just wasn’t good. Saving grace was he won more faceoffs than he lost. He also had 2 shot blocks. Still, he needs to be better. Found himself playing with Pouliot later on. 0 shots is terrible.
Nilsson: 6. He was moving and got an assist, but was still -2 and had nearly 5 minutes of PP time.
Cogliano: 6. He’d have been a 5 if it wasn’t for some good work on the penalty kill, 4:50 of it. He played 21:10, MacT rode him and Horcoff all night. Later in the night he was bounced around a bit as MacT tried to find some lines that didn’t suck out loud. Why he takes any faceoffs at all is beyond me.
Moreau: 6. 3 penalties, a couple of which were good and one which wasn’t. Jumped in nicely when Gagner got run behind the net. (I didn’t like that hit when Weight took it on Sutter, and I didn’t like it last night. Legal, but dirty anyway.) Mighty slam took Salo out of the game. He’d likely have had more time on the PK, but it was usually him in the box. Also had 5 shots to lead the team, although none were really good scoring chances.
Staios: 5. Some hard work led to his +1 rating, despite his lack of points, and yeoman’s work on the PK. He was physical enough and otherwise not really noticeable, good news. (Edit: from a 6 to a 5. I forgot his piling on Roloson led directly to one of the goals against. I considered a 4, but he did do well enough otherwise.)
Cole: 5. He was hitting and skating, but lost the puck a few times and didn’t really seem to mesh well with his linemates all night. He had a fair bit of PP time (2:29) and didn’t do much with it.
Penner: 6. Goal was a great example of what happens when you muck around in the other team’s end and take the shot when you get it. He made some good defensive plays, but didn’t really go to the front of the net with authority on the power play. Would be a 5 if he hadn’t scored. Played with Moreau and Gagner later in the game.
Grebeshkov: 5. He made some good passes, but got hemmed in a fair bit too. 2 takeaways means he doesn’t get a 4.
Strudwick: 4. He barely saw the ice and didn’t look good when he was on it.
Souray: 6. Nasty and physical, but pointless in eight and a half minutes of power play time. Only two shots on net, and could never quite get himself free to get off his cannon. Missed the net twice but had a takeaway and did ok on the PK.
Stortini: 5. He barely played either, but his hit was a doozie.
Brodziak: 5. Half his icetime was killing penalties, but he also had a couple of shots on net. PK was good enough.
Visnovsky: 6. I have him down for two + marks, although he was -2. Played a lot of unproductive PP and little PK, but he still logged 21:41. He had two shots and two more blocked, but missed 3 times. (#71 is the new #6.)
Gilbert: 6. He played a lot too, 22:05 with over 7 minutes of special teams time. His one hit came shortly after he got clobbered.
Pouliot: 5. He wasn’t fast, he wasn’t hitting, his PP time amounted to zilch, but he won 3 of his 4 faceoffs. He and Horc are the only guys halfway competent at the skill. I have him down for a -.
Hemsky: 6. One assist, but -1. He was flying around but not really keeping hold of the puck the way he can. He’s one of the setup guys on the power play and deserves some blame for the atrocious showing. He found himself with
Gagner: 5. Goal was the result of some hard work, but a lack of effectiveness otherwise earlier meant he was in the doghouse a bit. 12:24 of icetime and only 1:49 on the PP. He did have 3 shots though, and was even credited with 2 hits. He wasn’t terribly productive with the puck, but did his best to be a Darcy Tucker when he didn’t have it. MacT’s opinion of his faceoff skills is obviously no higher than mine, as he took only four. Odd game for him, strong 5.
Roloson: 6. Weak 6? It’s hard to fault him directly on any of the goals but one, and he did play fairly well otherwise, particularly after he got a shot off the neck/collarbone area, he shook it off right away to follow the puck and only crumpled once the puck was cleared.
This was a game crying out for somebody to take charge. Anybody. Moreau tried, but his skills aren’t what they were, and so he just wound up in the box a lot. One of Horcoff, Hemsky, Souray, Penner, or Cole really needed to take charge, and none of them did.