Friday, November 27, 2009
(Edmonton Journal) Cult of Hockey Player Grades - Oilers vs Sharks (11-27-09)
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.
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) - He was a quiet guy in the first half of the game and then all of a sudden, he wakes up. Once he got his legs going he played well like he has all year. He is going to have to continue his strong play if the Oilers want to be competitive for the rest of the season. Luckily for Oiler fans, he showed it in the last half of the game and the Oilers had a great end to the game. He had a goal and a assist that was some nice play making with Brule. He also went 8W-5L=62% on the faceoffs. Good night for Penner.
#89 Sam Gagner (6) - He was the 3rd wheel on this 1st line. He created chances and plays but he wasn't the game breaker. Early in the game he drew the Oilers first power play by using his hustle. And later on he picked up an assist on the Brule goal and had a decent night on faceoffs with 53%. With Hemsky out, I can see him stepping up.
#10 Shawn Horcoff (4) - He did what he could with a bum shoulder. I like his willingness to bust his hump and do any type of duties that Quinn throws at him. But he ended up -3 and was bad on faceoffs at 44%. He either needs to stop playing and rest his shoulder or tell Quinn that you can not take any more faceoffs. He grimaces in pain every time he takes a draw. I understand that the team is in trouble with man power right now, but he isn't helping the team by playing.
#13 Andrew Cogliano (6) - Speedy Gonzales was ripping around tonight. Maybe he had something to prove to Heatley? Maybe not. He only had two shots but he created a lot of space out there for the others to go to. He was a +2 and seems to be playing with confidence. He really hustled and out worked the sharks all night. He seems to be responding to the coaching staff as of late and it's showing.
#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (4) - He really needs to step up and get serious about hockey. At points during the game he seemed timid and was almost scared to do anything. I don't know what to think of him anymore. He led the team in shots with six, but most of those were not even good shots. He just seems to be in a funk. And the funk stinks.
#67 Gilbert Brule (8) - Mr. Brule gets Hemsky's spot on the 1st line with Gagner and Penner and steps right in like he's always been there. In fact he may have looked better than Hemsky has with those two. Brule said that he likes to play with Penner because he knows how to find him. He's right. He scores tonight on an assist from Penner. They had a few good chances. Not only did Brule score a goal and pick up an assist, he also had three blocked shots. If he wasn't on the ice for the Sharks last goal I probably would have gave him a 9. He was that good.
#18 Ethan Moreau (6) - He wasn't bad at all. Since the talk with the leadership group he's been pretty good. He has more jump in his step. He had three shots and picked up a helper on the Potulny goal in the 3rd period. He made a great deke play in the 2nd that had me rechecking his number because the guy actually had hands. But he shot the puck wide and that was it for his big moment of the game. His biggest change in his play has been that he is trying to play hockey now, not just trying to be a thug on skates.
#22 JF Jacques (6) - The guy was a wrecking ball. He hit everyone including Dany Heatley. He didn't have the puck much but when he did he handled it appropriately. He had a good fight at the start of the game and he won it pretty clearly. He didn't make a whole lot of mistakes but it seems all he knows how to do is hit people. That's cool, but it will only get you so far.
#16 Ryan Potulny (8) - With the departure to Reddox back down to the minors it only meant that Potulny was not only going to be staying long term with the Oilers, but he's going to get a chance to succeed. Reddox just doesn't have the overall game that Potulny has. Tonight he was awesome. A big time player who busted his hump and made good things happen. He didn't wait for chances to come to him... he made them. He had two goals and was a +2. Seems like an 8 to me.
#46 Zack Stortini (5) - He only played 5:33 but still found the time to slam off 5 hits. He can't be blamed for not playing much as he was playing with the rookies. I'm saying he was a 5 because he was average tonight. But it's hard to grade a guy when they don't really play.
#42 Ryan O'Marra (5) - He had a nice body check on his first shift and never really made any mistakes when he was out. But like Stortini, it's hard to grade a guy with limited minutes. But when he played he was average.
#57 Colin MacDonald (5) - This was his 1st ever NHL game. He must have been wetting his pants getting ready for this game. I always like to watch a rookies first game. You can see the eyes sparkle and a smile or two while they sit on the bench soaking it all in. He had a good first game and maybe with a practice or two he may get more ice time.
#44 Sheldon Souray (3) - Holy cow! Souray was a train wreck. It all started when he went and took a run at Heatley in the first five minutes and pushed him down. Sweet thing to do (we all love you for it) but he went way out of position and bing, boom! San Jose goal. Not so sweet. After that it was one thing after another. He took a penalty shortly after the San Jose goal and gives them more life. He was a major culprit on why this team was so bad in the first half of the game. He was on the ice for every single Sharks goal along with Staios. So he ends up a -4 and somehow only takes one shot. (Well one shot hit the net and three were missed shots. So four in total) And... he takes a penalty in overtime with a careless high-sticking call. It was just a bad game for Souray. He will bounce back tomorrow night. *fingers crossed*
#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (5) - He wasn't great, but he wasn't bad. He always makes good plays and shows off his superior stick handling skills, but tonight he seemed a little off. His defensive plays were good but he seemed to not be pushing it offensively. It could be that Quinn wanted him to be that way but I doubt it. I just can't quite put my finger on what's wrong. He was +2 and had two shots. He needs to be better than what he did tonight. He needs to be better than average.
#77 Tom Gilbert (6) - I am going to give a lot of credit to Gilbert. Quinn has asked him to play tough and he seems to be trying to do that. Tonight he played tough. Sort of. If you look at his face in a scrum, he doesn't look mean at all. He doesn't even get mad I don't think. Well, maybe if the newest chick flick is bad he may get upset and spill his popcorn. But not during a game. He's too nice. He was +2 and didn't do much else on the scoresheet, but he didn't let any goals in and that's a job well done.
#24 Steve Staios (3) - He was on for all 4 San Jose goals along with Souray. That alone is worth a 2. However he did play average for the most part and made some good (4) shot blocks. But it just seemed like he was running around and never really played with Souray effectively. He seemed like he was in over his head and he was drowning quick. Glug!
#5 Ladislav Smid (5) - Smid was ok. He and Visnovsky need to be more physical to be effective. He kind of strayed away from it tonight and he was lucky it didn't cost him. He picked up an assist on the Potulny goal and made a great play to get him the puck. But he needs to remember that he's at his best when he's making players mad and giving out the old stink glove to worthy faces.
#43 Jason Strudwick (5) - This guy is playing not bad with Gilbert. He brings that extra little umph that Gilbert lacks. He played a pretty average game tonight but really, that's a good game for him. But he did have three giveaways and that is his achilles heal.
#38 Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (4) - He started out shaky, then he went into good goalie mode where he was looking like he could become a game breaker. Then the 3rd period went a little south. It's hard to blame him for all the goals but he needs to work on his high blocker shots and his screening shots. He needs to find the vision holes better. He also still needs to work on his puck handling. Scary stuff when he's holding that puck and a opposition player is coming at him. But with Khabibulin out for a while, he is going to get some serious playing time. So get serious because this is you chance. Take it and run.
#40 Devan Dubnyk (N/A) - He didn't play in the actual game at all. But he probably opened the door with reckless abandon and should be applauded for his efforts. *clap, clap*
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