Sunday, February 8, 2009

Will Jacques' Return Free Us of the Red Ox?

First of all, the Crazy Train may have shown no offensive ability at the NHL level to date, but he adds size and speed to our bottom 6. If he can be anywhere near the form that he was in prior to his injury, this is a guy that we can't risk losing to the waiver wire.

Something will have to happen if the team remains relatively healthy and Jacques' 2 week conditioning stint ends. It will be a competition between 4 players, Jacques, Reddox, Strudwick, and MacIntyre.

MacIntyre fills a niche, Strudwick is a veteran, but Jacques is a better player and a harder hitter, and Reddox? Well, the coaches like him a lot. Jacques is an ideal 4th line player, fast, strong, physical, and despite the NHL numbers, he has decent enough hands for the role.

As much flack as Jacques has gotten for his lack of NHL production, he will add something that this team lacks, a guy that looks to hit and hit hard, while also being able to skate well enough to land those types of hits regularly.

You can keep the Red Ox, I'll take the Cray Train every day of the week instead.


alphahelix said...

But he has spent a lot of games in the NHL floating and looking lost. He has found a way to contribute.. a couple of times. Never on the score sheet, and usually not in any respectable fashion anyhow. He is as borderline as they come. If he could translate his game to the NHL then he is easily the best choice of those 4, and probably even good enough for the third line. Unfortunately, he has proven incapable of adapting thus far... I'm all for giving him another shot but it won't take long before I'll be calling for him to be thrown under the bus if he can't make a difference out there.

Bryanbryoil said...

If he's put on a line with Stortini it should fuel his physical play. IMO the Oilers should throw him a bone and give him 2nd unit PP time in front of the net in Penner's role.

Put him out there and tell him to take the body and crash the net. IMO he'll do fine in a simplified role at ES as long as they reward him a little in an offensive role on the PP.

I threw out a Jacques-Penner-Stortini line idea, IMO that would be one tough line to handle along the wall and in front of the net.