Sunday, October 09, 2005


Happy Birthday Raffi!

First off, I want to send out some mad props (or whatever is the equivalent in the parlance of our times) to Elephant & Castle on Whyte. With no exageration, the atmosphere in that place tonight was playoff. I had no less than 3 perfect strangers ask me: "Can you believe this is only the second game of the season?" It was truly amazing - there were people with painted faces for crying out loud!

Some quick thoughts:

The differences between Pronger with his 5 blocked shots & 30 mins of icetime (including a whopping 13:07 shorthanded!) and Eric Brewer, who was a nice -5 tonight with 2 givaways, is stark. Pronger doesn't look fast, he doesn't look like a stick-handling wizard, but man does he get the job done with ease. Plus, he sure seemed like a heck of a guy during the post game schtick on CBC.

The two #1 lines were up against each other most of the night, but the Canucks' second line, Sedin-Sedin-Carter had one shot combined, while the Oilers second line (Torres-Peca-Dvorak) had 7 shots and two goals. Beautiful.

Horcoff again answers the bell.

The Oil dominated the faceoff dot: 41-27

Reasoner is a superhero. He was forced to leave the last game after blocking a shot off his foot, and what does he do tonight? Only block 5 more shots, including a few more stingers. He was terrific on the PK.

Would the Oil have come back to win this game last season?

Mac-T is doing a better job of not taking crap. BG had no ice during the second period and nothing in the third after the 8 minute mark. Harvey had only 1 shift in the second. He also showed great confidence in the young pups by tagging Torres and Hemsky for the shootout.

Jussi was terrific, especially considering that he had 18:33 of short-handed time.

32 games against division opponents: 2 down 30 to go.

Losing Smyth to a strained MCL could really hurt. Even after he left, Horc and Hemsky didn't seem as effective.

Boy Torres and Hemsky made the shootout look easy.

All three of Torres' goals were top shelf where grandma keeps the Peek Freens - beautiful every one of them. A pretty nice 24th birthday.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

PS. Anyone who posts a photo of Grabia's breasts will win a prize!


Horchoff continues to impress, three goals in two games from a guy who scored 18 in his last NHL season? Here's hoping he can develop into the "sniper" so many prognosticators think we lack and which suposedly prevents the boys in blue from making the playoffs.

Markinen should play essentially every game possible. Or barring that every game that matters. If nothing else Jussi seems to have good instincts and confidence, its reassuring as a fan to have the goaltender appear to know what he's doing.

Torres was a hero, I'm still in disbelief that somehow with less than a minute left he managed to score after Ohlund took a dumb penalty. Although with the marginal calls that had kept the Oilers in the penalty box for virtually all of the third period, I supose karma necessitates some sort of lucky break.

Hemsky could really be something once he seems to get a bit more of a scoring touch. The guy is so incredibly fast, every time you see him with the puck you know some poor smuck whom is the 4 or 5 th d man is going to get horribly burned if they are even slightly out of position. Beautiful goal in the shoot out too.

I was impressed with Bergeron, he's young but he moves the puck incredibly well. When he was playing with Pronger they were able to get up the ice at such a quick tempo. He could be awesome in a few years.

The shot blocking was amazing too, they stymied the Canucks by simply preventing rubber from reaching the net before the endless stream of penalties removed the bodies necessary to block shots with.

Despite it all they still won! Hopefully Smyth's injury isn't serious.

Now wait a damn second. The Oilers of '02 through '04 may look a bit like Archie Andrews' jalopy next to the Prongerized version, but the one thing that could always be said in defence of "those guys" is that they were a great, gutsy last-minute team. It seems to have something to do with MacT, who usually sends them out there with a set play. I had no doubt they were going to even it up, especially after Ohlund walked the d.o.g. with 48 seconds left. I said so at the time and can present witnesses if necessary: "This shizzle's going to overtizzle."

Simply put, the Edmonton Oilers are really good at playing from behind late in the game, because they've done nothing but for the last couple seasons. Hopefully the only thing that will change this year is that they are in that situation less.

My comment on Prongs' ambassadorship is here.

I have to agree with Chris, the performance of the the young Oilers was pretty good. The performance of the refs was questionable. The broadcasting skills of Greg Millen makes me want to go Kanye on the CBC. The CBC hates Oiler fans.... we could extend that to Paul Martin hates but that is different post. And Oake blindsiding Pronger with the Salary Cap question ... I don't many players are going to want to speak with Oake anymore...

Well, I'll agree that in the recent past there have been some amazing late game comebacks. I recall in the late 90s there was a three goal last minute in the playoffs against dallas. Its awesome when the team does that. However, you don't expect that a team that's been on the penalty kill all period and has 40 seconds to even it up will do so. I was pleasantly surprised.

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