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Boyle, AB • Canada • 40 Years Old • Male
I know it's only pre-season and all, but after last night's game, I need to do some whining.

Denis Grebeshkov flat-out stunk last night. He wasn't physical, he didn't move the puck well, his defensive zone coverage was suspect, and he appears to be allergic to shooting. I also seem to remember him coughing it up a few times, leading to Lightning chances to score. He didn't play like a $3mil+ player; he played like a defenseman from the minors with a bad attitude.

The Oilers were lucky to earn the regulation tie last night. They were physically dominated the entire game. You don't realize how undersized the Oilers forwards are until you see them going against a team like the Lightning. But that being said, Martin St. Louis, who is about two inches taller than a dwarf, played effectively all evening, and scored one of the nicest goals I've ever seen. Pat Quinn should sit the troops down today and make them watch video of this guy play.

The result last night was reasonable considering who wasn't in the line-up. Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Patrick O'Sullivan, Mike Comrie and Sheldon Souray all didn't dress. Andrew Cogliano looked decent on the left side with Sam Gagner, and Robert Nilsson was the best Oiler on the ice. Tom Gilbert also had a decent game for Edmonton. Gilbert Brule was given a fair amount of ice time, and some time on the power play, and he looked okay, but not great. The Lightning dressed a vetern line-up and the Oilers, after a brutal first period, held their own.

Jordan Eberle played on Thursday and did not look out of place on the Oilers. That being said, with the log jam of small forwards currently on the team, and the fact he went pointless through the pre-season, it is starting to look more likely that he will end up back in Junior this season. He should survive cut down day today or tomorrow, and may even see a few NHL games before being sent back.

With it being Friday, and with final cuts quickly approaching, it is fair to assume there will be roster moves made today. Who stays and who goes? I believe the Oilers roster will be 27 or less by Sunday, so here's my predictions for the 27 who will still be here.

Forwards(15): Mike Comrie, Patrick O'Sullivan, Dustin Penner, Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano, Shawn Horcoff, Ethan Moreau, Ales Hemsky, JF Jacques, Zack Stortini, Gilbert Brule, Ryan Stone, Jordan Eberle, Robert Nilsson, Steve MacIntyre

Defenseman(8): Sheldon Souray, Lubomir Visnovsky. Ladislav Smid, Taylor Chorney, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Jason Strudwick, Steve Staios

Goaltenders(2): Nikolai Khabibulin, Jeff DesLauriers

Injured(3): Theo Peckham, Toni Rajala, Fernando Pisani

Sent to Springfield, On Waivers or Released(5): Kip Brennan, Rob Schremp, Marc Pouliot, Devan Dubnyk, Liam Reddox

The difficult decision will come when the Oilers need to make a decision between Stone, MacIntyre, Pisani, Eberle and Brule. Brule can be sent down without needing to clear waivers, and that will be taken into consideration. He is decent in the face-off circle, but for someone who played big in Junior, he gets pushed around often in the NHL. Eberle can be returned easily to Junior. MacIntyre will likely be on the roster, but will only play in Oil games when an enforcer is needed (see Calgary Flames games). The wild card in all of this is Pisani's health situation, as that could explain his lackluster play in the pre-season. Considering his health history, it's hard to say how bad his current situation is though. For the sake of discussion, I am not including him on the roster for now.

After last night, my opening night roster prediction looks like this:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Jacques - Comrie - O'Sullivan
Cogliano - Gagner - Nilsson
Moreau - Brule - Stortini
Extras - MacIntyre, Stone

Souray - Gilbert
Visnovsky - Grebeshkov
Smid - Souray
Extra - Strudwick

Khabibulin
DesLauriers
Filed Under:   Oilers  
September 25, 2009 11:07 AM ET | Delete
I know the d let him down a few times but JDD was brutal. He was slow and out of position quite a bit. Staios and Moreau were useless. Staios seems to forget which side of the ice he should be playing on. I thought our passing was great though, we were able to move the puck up the ice well due to some nice passing.
September 25, 2009 11:17 AM ET | Delete
Brule has to be waived
September 25, 2009 11:19 AM ET | Delete
As the competition has picked it is clear that Eberle is to soft on the puck and needs more development - Back to the DubI am still waiting for any sign of life Moreau - Total contribution during pre season - He hit the postThe cuts this year are easy wait until next year and throw MPS, Omark and Lander into the mix (plus even a lottery pick)
September 25, 2009 11:21 AM ET | Delete
Why we suck...Who was the last D Man drafted by the Oilers to play 2 FULL seasons for the Oilers?If we drafted any decent D we would not have to throw crap load of cash at Souray and Vishnovsky?
September 25, 2009 11:25 AM ET | Delete
Answer Geoff Smith 2 decades ago
September 25, 2009 11:26 AM ET | Delete
"2 FULL seasons for the Oilers" - Matt Greene, before that Tom Poti
September 25, 2009 11:44 AM ET | Delete
Got me with Poti but Greene did not play 2 full seasons
September 25, 2009 11:51 AM ET | Delete
Ryan Stone seemed like he has 2 different games every shift. One second he is out the there hitting everything that moves, making plays on the boards then 2 seconds later he skates like he plays in my beer league! i'm not quite sure if we need another player who is an enigma on the ice!
September 25, 2009 11:58 AM ET | Delete
Greene was on the roster 2 years, but he hurt his anke and missed a big chunk of the 2nd full season - 39 games, something like that
September 25, 2009 12:01 PM ET | Delete
Pierre, the Oilers had posted on their website that Brule could play in three more NHL games before he'd be required to clear waivers. I assume the team would be right about this sort of thing.
KT
September 25, 2009 12:02 PM ET | Delete
I respectfully disagree with your keepers. Eberle is sent back to jr's due to lack of waivers. MacIntyre is put on waivers and sent to Springfield if he makes it through (Moreau, Jacques, and Stortini have all proved they can handle tough guys, especially the Flamers - ask Regehr
September 25, 2009 12:05 PM ET | Delete
KT, I actually am not a MacIntyre fan. He is a great guy, but he doesn't have a hockey skills to be in the NHL. However, his size and toughness are in demand. I just don't think the Oilers will let him go.
September 25, 2009 12:26 PM ET | Delete
This Brule/waiver thing has been going around all damn summer. The Oiler brass finally admittted at the start of camp that Brule has to clear. Its on video somewhere. The 3 games thing was last season. This season he has to clear.
September 25, 2009 12:34 PM ET | Delete
I'm just telling you what they had posted on their site yesterday, man. Check the pre-game notes from the Lightning game.
September 25, 2009 12:36 PM ET | Delete
http://oilers.nhl.com/club/preview.htm?id=2009010080
September 25, 2009 12:53 PM ET | Delete
I agree with Ascuitto.
September 25, 2009 1:10 PM ET | Delete
Theo Fleury was release from the Calgary Flames this morning. How do Oil fans feel about the concept of Edmonton giving him a shot?
September 25, 2009 1:27 PM ET | Delete
For what? Don't we have enough projects and too many players as it is. He brings nothing that this team needs. Maybe some heart, but that is about it.
September 25, 2009 1:30 PM ET | Delete
it that a joke max!? also we can thank staios last night for his veteran leadership on that game winning goal. There was no reason to take that penalty 200 feet from our net with 10 seconds left... F ing brutal
September 25, 2009 1:41 PM ET | Delete
LOL I love throwing stuff out there. I think seeing Theo in an Oilers jersey would be fantastic for entertainment purposes. Not sure if he would improve the team though. You have to admit, he had a decent pre-season.
September 25, 2009 1:44 PM ET | Delete
I was hoping he would make the team just so I could harass all my lames friends for having no depth in their forward positions
September 25, 2009 1:44 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
September 25, 2009 2:33 PM ET | Delete
napolean, What the hell was he doing there in the first place? Trying to be a hero instead of doing his job.
September 25, 2009 3:15 PM ET | Delete
I think they should keep Eberle till Pasani is healthy and send Stoner down now.
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