Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ducks Gameday—Oh, you Oilers

Anaheim Ducks (12-10-4, t-4th in west) at Edmonton Oilers (10-14-1, t-14th in west)

I made this poster earlier this summer, but it was a pretty flimsy concept: "Hm, doesn't the name 'Penner' look kind of like the name 'Potter'?" It's not the strongest graphic to ever make its way to this blog, but considering I got nothing else ready today, it seems more than appropriate.

Dustin Penner's counting stats thus far this season have been fairly mediocre: 25 gp, 4 g, 7 a, -1. Of course, it might not be that surprising if you took a look at his last 25 games in a Duck uniform (mostly playoffs): 25 gp, 4 g, 5 a, +3. That Anaheim stretch includes Penner going scoreless throughout the month of May, something that's likely to be repeated this year unless the Oilers get some magical boost in the standings.

It's not really that Penner's useless on the ice, but he's got to be played very carefully—he's a big-bodied passenger, one who will neither be very useful in backchecking nor will be the catalyst in the offensive end. He's incredibly strong along the boards and somewhat capable with the puck, but in terms of his overall contribution, it is pretty reliant on his linemates' ability to do most of the skating, defense, and puckhandling for him, and is best utilized against pretty soft competition. These drawbacks are pretty overlookable when the big guy plays for league minimum; however with a huge paycheck in a salary-capped league, the flaws get a lot more scrutiny (see also: Bertuzzi).


Often-ignored upside: Dustin Penner kills terrorists!

I don't really want to get too critical of Oiler management (the Oilosphere has that more than covered), but the one aspect that strikes me the most about the Penner offer sheet: if I'm a GM that has publicly admitted his team's inability to attract UFAs, I wouldn't be in the business of driving up RFA salaries at the expense of UFA salaries. Sure, with the CBA being what it is, I'm sure eventually the stigma around offer sheets would have eventually disappeared, but still, it is significant that Kevin Lowe did trigger this market shift. Probably the best thing Edmonton has going for it is a solid group of young, entry-level talent; jumping the offer-sheet gun seems only to paint a dark future for keeping it together. And heck, thanks to Lowe getting desperate in the Pronger deal and the Penner deal, even a bottom finish by the $50M-payroll, injury-plagued Oilers won't yield them anything—the Ducks hold the Oiler's 1st round pick, while Lowe will pick based on Anaheim's finish.

To be fair, nothing really should be judged on the Penner offer sheet until year three or so; the five-year contract was more a long-term gamble than a short-term one, and it's entirely possible that Hemsky and friends learn to use the big body of Penner effectively or that he improves on his weaknesses and gets much more worth his salary (he still is rather new at this league). Also, it will be better gauged after we see what Burke does with his picks—I've seen little evidence so far that Burke is a draft wizard; at least nobody he's drafted so far seems willing to make the big league roster.

Anyway, I'm getting rambly; feel free to offer your Penner-thoughts or Edmonton-reaction in the comments. Meanwhile, from the Oilblog angle (one that you have to respect--nobody's had a fall from grace like they have), Covered in Oil put together a nice Oiler-drinking game for tonight; I especially like the suggestion in the comments: "Drink every time Dustin Penner looks tired."

Prediction: Ducks 3, Oilers 2. The CinO-reading crowd gets filthy drunk. Goals by McDonald, Pahlsson, and Getzlaf.

Go Ducks.

14 comments:

Andy Grabia said...

What the hell is the Oilosphere? Cmon, Earl. Shape up.

Earl Sleek said...

I actually think the charm of a term like "Oilogosphere" increases if you butcher the term every chance you get. I'm fairly guaranteed to call it something else the next time I reference it.

Julian said...

After that sweet passing drill Bertuzzi put on with McDonald & Marchant and seeing Bert charging the net and flipping over Kipper I'm feeling quite a bit better about the Bertuzzi v. Penner quotient.

Now if he can just stay healthy... and motivated...

Emily said...

"Drink every time Dustin Penner looks tired."

Oh, come on. He's not tired. He's lazy. There's a difference.

spade-in-victorhell said...

hey earl how bout drink every time perry runs a goaltender!!...make sure your fully stocked cuz youll be taking lots of shots

I "heart" perry

RudyKelly said...

I could read about that Dustin Penner signing all day. The best part about it is that you could have asked ANYONE who had watched 2 Anaheim games whether it was a good idea and they would have laughed in your face. Maybe they should have offered Kunitz 5 million! Getzlaf? 10 MILLION!!! Perry??? 96 QUADRILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!

PJ Swenson said...

Penner was pretty good at cleaning the ice with his face in San Jose last season.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm feeling quite a bit better about the Bertuzzi v. Penner quotient.

We'll see. A slumping Calgary without some blueliners and a shaky Kipper isn't the best test.

Maybe they should have offered Kunitz 5 million! Getzlaf? 10 MILLION!!! Perry??? 96 QUADRILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!

This is after years of the Oilers crying poor, too. It's like a guy winning the lottery and within six months getting more into debt than he was before the windfall.

Penner was pretty good at cleaning the ice with his face in San Jose last season.

Hey, he did score 8 points in 8 games against the Sharks last year. Numberswise, it was his favorite opponent.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh, poor KDOC. Can't even do enough research to find out that Todd Bertuzzi didn't score a goal last night.

RudyKelly said...

Okay, the Oilers fans were definitely doing the wave at that game.

Bryce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryce said...

boy, that was unpleasant.

right after the oilers got the first of the two second periods goals, I turned to my brother and said, "That's it, man, oilers just won the game. They're gonna score again right her-"

"GOOOAAL OILERS"

Andy Grabia said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

spade-in-victorhell said...

earl u need to bring out that "the art of suicide" cartoon again..might want to enlarge it too....glad i didnt watch either oiler game....