Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Skille's return, Gilbert's last 3 games

  • After missing 7 games with a concussion, Jack Skille returned to the Icehogs' lineup last Saturday for their 6-3 victory over Toronto. Rockford plays @ Rochester tonight @ 6:05.
  • As I've mentioned previously, various Oilers' blogs have been grading players after each game. Unfortunately, sandwiched between 2 decent games, Gilbert had probably the worst game of his career.

    1/30/09 Oilers 3 - Wild 1
    Mike's Blawg:
    Gilbert, 6: 20 minutes of icetime, almost 3 on the power play, and 0 shots isn't good for an offensive dman who doesn't hit. Still, he made some good passes and gobbled up icetime, so hard to complain too much too.

    2/1/09 Predators 2 - Oilers 1
    * ITEM: Gilbert had his most disastrous game of the season against Nashville, not that Louis DeBrusk or Kevin Quinn appeared to notice.

    I played defence in a men's league for years, so I know what it's like to suck, to get beaten badly and repeatedly, to cause your team to lose.

    I've also screwed up plenty of times at my real job as a journalist.

    So I suspect I have some inkling of how Tom Gilbert feels right now, though, of course, I was just a beer league hack as a hockey player, while Gilbert does this for a living in front of tens of thousands of fans.

    But it's got to hurt to have that kind of game.

    I'm talking, of course, about Gilbert's play against the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon, where the poor man singlehandedly caused both of the Nashville's two goals against the Oilers, then fanned on a shot at the end of the game that would have given the Oil a chance to tie the game.

    I'll forgive Gilbert that last play, and his turnover on the first Nashville goal by J.P. Dumont was something of a hiccup. It could have happened to anyone.

    Hey, on the same play, play-by-play announcer Kevin Quinn had a similar brain cramp. At first Quinn said that it was Jason Arnott who had scored and Ladislav Smid who had coughed up the puck, when it was neither. Quinn caught himself on the Arnott mistake, but he never corrected himself on the Smid blunder, and colour man Louis DeBrusk was unable to help out because DeBrusk evidently has a policy of never, ever, not even once, of naming an Oiler who has made a goal-causing blunder.

    I mean, how else can one explain DeBrusk's silence on Nashville's second goal? On that play Gilbert made a bad, bad mental mistake.

    First, Gilbert lost a battle at the opponent's blueline, allowing Nashville's David Legwand to charge up ice, one-on-one with Sheldon Souray. Souray had Legwand covered. Nothing bad was going to happen.

    But then Gilbert did something not so forgivable. He lost track of Nashville forward Martin Erat, who charged up ice, took a pass from Legwand and scored.

    Gilbert blew it, plain and simple, but DeBrusk's see-no-evil, speak-no-evil policy meant that the only thing he could say about the play was that Nashville sure did know how to attack with speed.

    I'm sure that next game Tom Gilbert will come back strong. Mr. DeBrusk, I'm not so sure about. He has got to be more fair-minded, not just praising good plays, but also pointing out mistakes, especially mental mistakes.

    Mr. DeBrusk, we all want you to succeed, but you've got to be more honest if your assessments to do so.
    Tom Gilbert, 1. Cost his team in this one and I'm sure he knows it. He's a smart player and he'll do better next game.

    2/3/09 Blackhawks 3 - Oilers 1
    Sheldon Souray, 6. He gave up nothing on defence but didn't do much on offence.
    Tom Gilbert, 6. Same as Souray, an OK game.
    Bruce (Oil Droppings):
    Tom Gilbert – 5: I thought he was getting owned physically for a substantial part of the game, though he did bring some nice skill plays and was on the ice for a team high 10 scoring chances for, just 7 against. Showed his lack of experience when he pulled up and didn’t take the net off on a second-period tumble into his own crease where a whistle would have been both helpful and unpenalized.
    Gilbert - Looked a touch shaky but improved as the game went on. You can tell the last game really shook his confidence. He made a couple really solid defensive stops though.
  • Speaking of Tom Gilbert, holy crap, here's 7 minutes of my life I'll never get back, with this video of TG et al bowling. And I swear the Oilers were having some promotion with Gilbert and Brodziak for the Raising the Roof Toque Campaign, but it's not on the Oilers' website anymore. *shrug*