Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Players Grades - Cult of Hockey - Oilers vs Leafs (12/30/09)
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.
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