Sunday, December 31, 2006

Oilers/Flames: And I Won't Forget To Put Roses On Your Grave


The Oilers suck right now and there's no two ways about it. I could make excuses for them but at this point I'm none too interested in putting lipstick on that particular pig. I'm in a pretty piss mood today as I spend the better part of it flipping back and forth between three NFL games hoping my Titans could pull off a major playoff run comeback. It wasn't to be though, and the Broncos are currently pounding the Niners anyway so Ten most likely wasn't gonna get all the last day helped it needed, but combine that with the Oilers decision to start sucking at home and I'm not exactly in a great mood here this evening.

It was frustrating enough when the Oilers sucked on the road and were picking up the slack at home but now the Oilers are allowing goals at Rexall at an alarming rate and it brings to mind the old Harry Neale line about how his team couldn't win at home or on the road but they'd be fine as soon as they found a third venue to play in.

So all that aside it's New Year's Eve and the Oilers are heading to Calgary. I'd been looking forward to this game basically all year and really only changed my tune after the Oilers lost to the Kings at Rexall this past Thursday. I figured the Oilers and Flames would be duking it out for the NW crown and this had marquee matchup written all over it and back in the not too distant days when the Oilers were playing without both 83 and 94 some of us openly talked about holding the fort until Mick and Keith returned and then we'd be ready to return to Altamont.

Well both the Glimmer Twins have returned but the Oilers remain more Dirty Work then Exile On Main Street.

This year has been a total rollercoaster and it's only because some of us didn't give a super hard look at the Oilers roster of defensemen. I still believe that forwards drive the results but the minute the Oilers began using a 20 year old as their 4th dman at ES was the minute we should've known this season was likely to end in frustration. So you take that reality and throw in the fact that Joffrey Lupul's been a bigger bust than Cherry Pepsi and that Shawn Horcoff's sniping like Sean Pronger and here we are.

I wouldn't pick the Oilers to win in Calgary even if they were banging on all eight. This always smacked to me of a homer series and the Oilers hit Cowtown running on little more than fumes.

A win tonight would be good for the confidence and great for their divisional standing but when you've gone 12-15-2 in your last 29 games, yes I'm keeping track, one win's just a blip no matter the competition.

In the meantime, subsitute Kevin Lowe for San Diego and let's remember the unfortunate remark that once temporarily ended Ron Bergundy's San Diego broadcasting career.

38 Comments:

Blogger PDO said...

They're winning a battle tonight and Jason Smith will be the best player on the ice.

12/31/2006 5:07 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

I'm looking at Smith and Horcoff to step it up tonight. Granted, neither has been near the level they showed last year in the playoffs.

But they're both taking much more heat than they deserve, IMO. At least they're giving it an honest go out there. Lupul seems to be immune to criticism because he was part of the Pronger raping...err, trade, and I'm not too happy with Tjarnqvist or Bergeron and how they're carrying the mail as this team's contingent of puckmoving blueliners.

Bottom line, I'm willing to cut 10 and 21 some slack. Some others, not so much.

As for tonight's game, I'm not holding out much hope, but knowing how stupid the Oilers are, they'll probably go and do something dumb tonight, like pulling out a big win in Calgary. Bottom line, they're going to be, at BEST, 22-17-2 at the midway point of the season, which would earn a C+ grade overall on my midseason report card.

Oh, and this article deserves a picture of Ron Burgundy at the beginning of it, based on that last line. Either that or a shot of Keith Richards getting pumped full of whatever the hell is keeping him alive.....

12/31/2006 5:23 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

I think the Oilers come out tonight and try to salvage some pride. Oildrop have some problems but Bernie Parentusoff isn't in Calgary these days. He isn't Mikka Salo but he's not Dryden either.

If the Oilers soil the bed tonight the fanbase gets personal and muskets will come out of their handsome carrying cases.

Book it.

12/31/2006 5:28 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

.500 at any point after about game 20 of the season is cause for torches and pitchforks Lowetide....so I agree with your assessment of the aftermath of any Oiler bed-shitting.

That being said, I'd be happy with a solid effort that lead to, say, a 1 goal loss. Something to build on. Just not another blowout. Roloson having a solid game and the defense playing better as a unit would at least be a start of some positive momentum.

The Oilers are going to have to steal 4 points in the coming weeks, seeing that they basically gave away the Colorado and LA losses at home in the last couple weeks. Add that to losses to all of CBJ/CHI/PHX/STL so far this season, and the Oilers should probably be at least 3 wins better than their current 18-17-2 record. At least in my mind.

12/31/2006 5:37 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

LT, I bet you wanted to strangle Lupul personally last night.

That sequence when he failed to get the puck five more feet to the blueline TWICE in the same shift pushed me over the edge and I haven't been defending him. If I was you I'd have done some damage to my living room.

The good news is that Pouliot looked pretty damn good, didn't he? He's got some composure with the puck in the offensive zone. I think he's making strides and it's nice that he's had the chance to do some learning in a controlled environment unlike Smid for example.

12/31/2006 5:53 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Did anyone catch the line combos for tonight? I'm with Riv, I liked Pouliot's game, I'd almost give him a shot with Lupul and Sykora and put 94-10-83 back together. Oh, and I'm hoping that Thoresen and Winchester are flanking Reasoner, as I was none-too-impressed with Petersen last night.

Would HS'ing Lupul about now look bad politically? He needs a kick in the ass. I know exactly what sequence Riv is referring to with regards to his inability to clear the puck last night, and it was an immediate trigger to finish my drink and go pour another one with twice as much Bacardi in it....

12/31/2006 6:07 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Smyth stoned on a breakaway early....Oilers scratches include Winchester, Petersen and MA Bergeron.

Line combos to start for the Oilers, as best as I can figure:

94-19-15
14-16-34
71-10-83
22-78-28

21-24
5-29
2-25

We'll see if they finish that way.

12/31/2006 6:13 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

RQ: I was astounded by that play. I yelled "where's your purse Nancy" and my wife gave me that "you've insulted women everywhere" look lol.

Jason Smith is having the exact same season Terry Harper had for Scotty Bowman in Montreal the year before they traded him to LA.

He doesn't look comfortable in his skin after a decade of being dependable.

Sad to see.

12/31/2006 6:22 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Oh and Pouliot, yeah it's nice to see he has a little more confidence. Still a process though, it would be nice to see him score again tonight or make a play that contributed to a goal.

2-0.

12/31/2006 6:26 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

And the shift after the Flames goal, Smid with an equally attrocious giveaway....dammit.

Now 2-0 as Roloson is trying to play the puck with no support. Fuck. Double fuck.

Well, this game, after the Oilers looked half-decnet the first few shifts, is pretty much over.

12/31/2006 6:28 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Did I say decnet? I meant decent.

Triple fuck.

12/31/2006 6:29 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Why the fuck is Calgary the luckiest fucking team on the face of the planet?

Outside of pathetic officiating (I don't care what you say - I've seen that second goal Calgary scored called a penalty on Iginla a million times), walking ass backwards into Mikka Kiprusoff and now the Oilers are severely out-chancing the Flames and end up being down 2-0 anyway.

Son of a.

12/31/2006 6:51 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Where to start:

- Roli is a buffoon.

I know the Nigerian Nimrod can hammer the puck but Roli was just really slow getting across the net on the first goal. And then on the second goal, I know Garrett feels the need to defend every bad decision by a netminder, for instance we're familar with his work during the worst of Tommy, but he can't fuck around like that if he's coming out to play the puck. To me Roli looks just like he did during the game in Ana and then his relief appearence in Phx: disinterested.

I know that doesn't make sense but that's how he looks to me.

And hot on the heels of Brashear vs Orr vs Shanahan and Orr vs Brashear vs Ovechkin...I'm sick of seeing a guy like Reghier targeting 83, which he's done 3 times already, and the Oilers not going after someone like Huseliis or Langkow?

Roli's a monkey again handling the puck and here's a tip: if you can't handle the puck then don't fucking try to be a puckhanlder.

45 seconds left on the PP and macT trots out a 24/5 point combo. I hate this team and the org right now. There's some braindead decisions being made.

Talking about how bad Lupul is right now is like seeing a guy stumbling at a bar and calling him a drunk: it's a given. Now we'll just keep watching him suck and wait to see if anyone has the balls to bring up how his bloodlines might affect a possible trade.

Millions said about Kipper, "you know he's burning inside right now." I have to say that happened to me once and then I warned all my friends about her.

Garrett on John Merrick: "Hamrlik helped him have one of the best rookie season ever for a dman." So I guess Garrett means best season ever in terms of special teams?

Millions just called Jan Hejda Dan Hejda. Isn't that guy who played Kevin's Dad on the Wonder Years?

LT's on the record as saying a lopsided loss in Cgy will spur the fans into a full throated riot and I think that makes a lot of sense. This isn't being shown over the air on CBC but there's a helluva lot of money in Alberta and I can't imagine there's too many households that don't house the local Sportsnet. Plus it's a 6pm game on NYE and it's a perfect time to start drinking before you head out to the various parties. And we'll call the Oilers the Dodgers and the Flames the Giants, ie draw your own Bonds-Iginla steriod parallels, and LA doesn't like getting pounded by SF and not even when they're playing in Pac Bell.

So I guess we'll see if this latest likely pounding spurs the fans to sput Rip Van Winkle to make a fucking move.

In the meantime, was anyone else relieved to hear that the reason Smid's been struggling lately is because he's had a toothache? Apparently that's why Koivu and Brunette were able to go around him with moves that most often succeed at the bantam level.

You gotta hate the Oilers and everything about them right now.

Seriously.

Couple more notes: I'd say Smith's player more like Valerie Harper right now. Kipper was holding 71's stick on that play so why isn't he penalized for holding?

Oh yeah and one last thing, Pronger left the game in Minny tonight after taking a shot to the foot and he didn't return.

12/31/2006 6:55 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

When it rains, it pours BK. Even the last minute, you could just see the ripple effect of the slump. One Oiler has a clear space to get the puck out of his own zone and hits his teammate, and then Reasoner has a chance to set up a SH breakaway for Stoll, and instead just dumps the puck down the boards.

If it goes bad, it goes BAD. The Oilers are outchancing the Flames, yes, but no one seems to be getting good wood on the puck.

Oh, and MacT should send JF Jacques after Robyn Regehr. Set the tone and take the Flames best d-man out of the equation for 5 minutes. And stop the Flames from taking so many fucking liberties with 83.

12/31/2006 6:57 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Oh yeah...SF pulled the upset in Denver too so Tenn wound up getting all the helped they needed today but just couldn't take care of their own business.

My kingdom for a few vets on some of my veteran teams.

Fuck.

12/31/2006 7:01 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Kari Hakkanaa, Jan Horachek and Mikko Luomma.

And now Jan hedja.

That was 2's side and he goes to attack the puckholder but wait here comes Hjeda too and leaves that side totally open. That's just dumb shit and if Lowe's just gonna piss away the year without trading some offense for defense then he should tell some of us so that we can try to care just a little bit less.

12/31/2006 7:21 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Roli just about had his Belarus moment there a second ago. Wow, what is it with Oilers tenders falling apart once we start paying them?

If Lowe makes a move in the next few days he's gonna have to pay through the nose. That'll be a change as he usually pays through the ass, ie just ask Burkie about that:D, but it's Kevin's own fault anyway. The best time to make a trade is when everything's going right. Dummies like Cherry will say you don't fuck with a winning lineup but on some squads you can clearly see the holes even when you're being successful. Or in the Oilers case you can see the holes when you're at the lofty four games over .500 heights;). Now Edm's about to slam into the .500 mark and they need dmen. Lowe knew this early on but he fucked around and fucked around and he's essentially A: outsmarted himself or B: put himself into a position where he has excuses not to deal, ie we don't need to make a move on D because Smid's gonna be good in 15 years and he's only playing poorly because his tooth hurts;)

The only bright side tonight is that in the gentlemen's 4th line vs 4th line agreement...the Oilers are owning the Flames. 78's line's already drawn two penalties and MAP just had a SC.

Everything else is pretty much shit though. And that includes Kevin Lowe and Craig mactavish's judgement.

12/31/2006 7:34 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

This game is over, so could someone PLEASE smash that cunt Phaneuf into the 3rd or 4th row?

Yes, I used THE dirtiest word in the English language to describe Delmore with Bodychecking. I think THAT much of him.

This is painful to watch. On their way to 2 wins in their last 10 after going 3-0 the first three games without Smyth. I count 5 wins in the last 15 games before tonight going back to FCP's return on November 28th.

Gross. Just by the way this team can't get a bounce, you can tell they are in one ugly slump right now.

12/31/2006 7:34 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

That first goal is 87% on Smith. He should get some sort of assit on that goal considering he turned the puck over and then proceeded to throw a screen in front of Roloson that would Ryan Smyth proud. I also would like to that one again on a widescreen feed just so I can see how far up the ice the Oiler forwards were before Smith even got the puck.

Roloson's puck handling was retarded, sure. But so is Amonte's one on three where not one of the three Oiler
s back actually take the man, but instead follow the puck enough so that you could fot a yacht between there asses and the end boards. Watch the play again and I swear you'll see Ryan Smyth skate by Langkow at the top of the crease and pat him on the ass before gliding to who knows where as Langkow scores.

And who's man was Kobasew!?!? Reasoner's? Sykora's? I'll give it to Marty, because he had the look of a guilty man after the fact. Apparently it takes all of twenty seconds for Lupul and Sykora's tendencies to rub off on a new linemate.

He doesn't do well with a stick in his hands, so what compelled Lupul to play the puck without one on the shift where Langkow scored? Was he planning a free kick form the corner? Get off for a change dough boy!

12/31/2006 7:42 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

They should double shift Hemsky, pull Roloson and MacT needs to shove a stick up Simpson's ass.

12/31/2006 7:42 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Lowetide:

Agreed on all three points. I'd also tell Torres "100 bucks a head" and staples Lupul's ass to the pine.

12/31/2006 7:44 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Hemsky hitting the post there was hopefully the last time the hockey God's spit on us.

Unbelievable shit.

There's no way in hell the Oilers should be losing this game.

Yet Roli is playing like a bag of suck, Jan Hejda made one of the most retarded plays I've seen in my life, and everything that Kiprusoff looks at at this point stops in mid air.

12/31/2006 7:47 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

21's actually starting to label some people. All he needs to do now is re-learn how to play D and we'll be all set.

This team seriously sucks right now. Everything about them sucks.

12/31/2006 7:48 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Torres and Smith both look mean tonight. I want to see Raffi vs. Dion in a bare-fisted brawl in the 3rd.

Oh, and if anyone wants some good news on this long, cold night for Oiler fans:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=190453&hubname=

Sweet, sweet karma. Let's hope this is the start of a LONG string of injuries for this individual.

12/31/2006 7:50 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

If anyone calls the Pronger injury karma I'm going to kill them.

If it was Karma I think the Oilers would actually get a lucky goal every once in a while, and Roloson would turn into Kiprusoff over night.

Christ.

12/31/2006 7:52 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Oops BK, I already did. Sorry man.

Can't help but laugh at his misfortune. It's human nature. At least it's MY human nature. One of my weaknesses, I suppose.

Karma would be a rousing 4-goal 3rd period comeback against the Red Team. Ring in the new year THAT way....

12/31/2006 7:58 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

Wow, first Spacek gets mugged, then Peca break his knee, and now Pronger breaks his foot. Samasanov better tread lightly.

Hey, you know what really grinds my gears? When your team's most gifted player is playing with a fucked up shoulder, and because your most gifted player is also the only one with enough sack to follow the puck into the hard spots,he's getting crushed by pussies like Regehr yet there isn't another palyer on your team's bench with enough sack to make something of it.

12/31/2006 8:00 pm  
Blogger PDO said...

Sweatyo, they get a win here and I'm popping the champaign open.

It's doable.

Just need to injure Kiprusoff.

For the record.. I hope Pronger thinks that he can play on it, tries to play on it, blocks a shot and shatters his foot.

And then Terrell Owens spits on him.

12/31/2006 8:00 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Great job on the pic, Cam. It's a nice compliment to the beatings the Oilers have been taking lately;)

12/31/2006 8:00 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Well they may lose but you have to be impressed with the passion.

12/31/2006 8:08 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Good God, Joffrey Lupul sucks. And I've seen sucks suck before, but he's one of the suckiest sucks I've ever seen suck.

Dammit, two breakaway stops on shots. Kipper is weak on the deke you dumbasses.

Ok, 5-on-3, here we go....score on this and there is a hope in hell....

12/31/2006 8:14 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Roloson is playing better this period. If they could pop two goals then maybe...

Nah.

12/31/2006 8:22 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Five minutes to go. They'll need one quick if they want to have a chance.

Seriously, would the offense SUFFER if MacT grew a set and HS'd Lupul for a game? Honestly?

As Dennis says, that Pronger deal is looking like a REAL winner right now. Weight-trade bad, so far. Lupul might be playing the role of Jochen Hecht....

12/31/2006 8:27 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Well, some of them tried in the third period. They were close to a 3rd goal on that PP, but the shot went wide.

The Oilers just look sloppy right now. Sloppy in the offensive zone, sloppy defensively, Roloson's clearly not as sharp as he can and should be....

They better kick Florida's ass this week.

Hey Dennis, didn't you say something about 7 out of 10 points from the stretch starting with the Phoenix game through New Years eve? I'd say we should all be a little disappointed with 2 of a possible 10 in that stretch...

12/31/2006 8:41 pm  
Blogger Slipper said...

I hear there's a guy playing for the baby Pens that would bring everything to the table (and I mean everything) that Lupul has to offer but at a fraction of the price. Seriously, that's how bad he is. He makes an argument in favour of Captain America.

I really beleive that in Lupul's case being a pussy is a disease and he's spreading the infection to the rest of the locker room. I think it's time to give up on him like he gives up on rough play and back checking.

12/31/2006 8:46 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Any line Lupul is on is a plus/minus sink-hole. He's the anti-Pisani.

12/31/2006 8:50 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

For what it's worth LT I thought Roli looked better in that frame too. He was actually competing and moving around the net better. There was one scrum in particular where he jumped out and froze the puck. He was garbage early on though whether it was being a dummy handling the puck or not looked interested enough or not getting far enough out in his crease. And he's sucked for such a long time now that A: you wonder just how much power he has in deciding playing time and just how much of a good thing it is and B: he's spent a lot of the capital that he'd built up with me. Yes I know he almost won us a Cup and he was great early on but he's hopefully at the end of a long period of playing poorly and we didn't see enough of Jussi during that time IMO and I'm thinking he had more than a little to do with that.

15 looks to be close to a lost cause. -17 WITHOUT playing tough mintues? For fuck sakes. Seriously.

4th line looked very good tonight. Yeah it's hard to get scored on when you face guys like Friesen and Lundmark but they were doing a good job on the forecheck by my eye.

Oilers had enough chances to win this one and they were surprisingly disciplined but this was like an old Cgy/Edm battle before Roli showed up: one goalie gave up some gifts and the other didn't. 24 looked good tonight too. There was one battle where he took on two Flames and won that fight. I liked that a lot.

One last thing, at least for now, if Horc was a field goal kicker he'd be out of a job. That guy is missing a tonne of kicks from 35 yards or less. I don't think I've seen anything this bad since that year Zholtok joined Cleary on Weight's wings. But as good as 39 was back then, Zholtok didn't have the calibre of linemates that 10 does. However this year turns out it's gonna be one of the little sidebards that I'll never forget.

12/31/2006 8:51 pm  
Blogger SweatyO said...

Dennis: methinks we're on the verge of seeing a full-time reunion of 94-10-83.

But what will happen to Lupul, the Edmonton media asks? Well, he's going to have to learn to swim, and Sykora's going to have to ditch the waterwings that are named Ales Hemsky.

12/31/2006 8:57 pm  

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