Tuesday, October 25, 2005

 

Oilers Do or Die Day

Season Record: 3-5-1 Season Record: 3-4-1
Dead Last in Northwest Division
Second Last in Northwest Division

Preview


After 6 straight losses culminating with The Game We Do Not Mention, it is at least a Must Show Up game if not a Must Win for the Oilers.

Given that Colorado was getting waxed 5-1 by the Canuckleheads before May, Brisebois and Tanguay scored 99 seconds apart in the third, I imagine they will also be an ornery bunch. Just what we need.

The good news is that all this should produce an exciting game. Of course, that was my thinking when I got tickets for the last one.

But, given my new way of approaching games I'm going to go with a 3-0 Oilers win: Jussi gets the shutout, D-vo, Reasoner, Peca get the goals.

Comments:

That reminds me - what are you doing for Festivus this year?
 


Well MacT has now publicly criticized Peca for not doing enough, I'm curious to see how he responds.

Asked what's different this year, Peca said something along the lines of "producing offense consistently. Defence has always been easier for me. But I have to step up and produce."

It makes me think we have still have the wrong guy for the job. He certainly hasn't exactly exuded natural goal-scoring talent in any game I've seen. That said, he's looked mediocre even defensively at times so I hope he plays better tonight.

BTW, I had a dream last night that the Oilers won the game.

Prophecy? :|
 


I still haven't decided if I'm even going to listen to the game on the radio yet; I might to be too soon yet for my heart to be broken again...

I hate to have so little confidence in the Oilers' abilities, but, well, nothing has changed since the last game and I still don't see any concrete reason for the Oil to increase their goals scored or keep more pucks out of their net, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and say Colorado takes this 3-2 in the shootout. Edmonton will score twice on the PP and call the game a "step forward."
 


If Peca is going to produce offensively, he needs to start picking up his head. (Maybe the year off hurt him more than most).

I think I mentioned this before, but when he gets the puck on the side boards, he nearly always chips it behind the net without looking around for options.

Also, last game (or maybe Calgary) I recall him on the left side boards on the PP receiving a fairly nice crossing pass from the right pointman, after the D had been going back-and-forth a bit. Without stopping the puck, or even lifting his head, he just redirected the puck straight back to the left point, and they were no further ahead.

See, I don't have a vendetta! I have actually been watching him. I maintain that his upside is minimal, but he can clearly be better than he's been.
 


I blame this, not so much on the year off, so much as his long career in a system where dumping the puck in without looking was not only normal, it was encouraged.

He is being asked to change roles from a dump-and-chase defensive forward, to a puck possesion offensive forward.

I imagine that takes some getting used to. I'm still confident that he will come around.
 


If that's the case Chief, his potential for improvement is near-zero. If his problem is not a year of rust, but rather a decade of habits, that is cause for absolute pessimism.

The root problem, of course, is still LOFT.
 


I think of even more concern for oilfan is Pronger. Last night Pronger basically said the new rules have basically eliminated his game. That is REALLY bad news.
 


Eliminated his game my foot.

He is such an anchor back there it is incredible.

Consider, in the 7-1 loss vs Colorado, where the Avs were scoring every other shift, he was only on the ice for one of the goals against.

I'll also point out that both he and Peca were even on the night.
 


Pronger's just being a mensch and trying to take on some of the blame for the team sucking. Even the sportstalk callers who want Mactavish's head on a pike with Mike Peca's balls in its mouth acknowledge that Pronger has been terrific. He's easily the smartest defenceman I've ever seen in an Oilers uniform, he's +3 on a team that's otherwise deep in the minus, and no one has had to teach him how to make adventurous, accurate passes through the neutral zone. The one visible difficulty that might be partly ascribed to him is the power play's failure to find a workable doctrine--but I think most Oiler-watchers would hang that on MacT and Craig "What Have You Done For Me Lately, Or In Fact Ever" Simpson.

In fact, I'm a little surprised that amidst all the "fire everybody" sentiment, there has been little talk of taking the C from Gator and giving it to Pronger. It's a step worth considering. (I would also point out that Peca, as much as everybody's starting to hate him, is only -1.)
 


>I still haven't decided if I'm even going to listen to the game on the radio yet

Chris, you fairweather fan! Watching a mediocre Oilers team struggle out of the gate is A TRADITION! Covered in Oil commands you to suffer another letdown on 630 CHED!
 


Bad news for the offense - TSN.ca's Ice Chips is reporting that Torres has diarrhea (aka Terry Jones' Revenge!) and won't be playing.

My God, that's an incredible coincidence.
 


just watched the tsn thingy on schremp. I was wrong to mock him. He looks amazing.
 

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