Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Big Georges

I almost forgot. It looks like the obits for BG might have been written a little too early.

He played great last night. Can he keep it up?


losing Peca will hurt BG more than anything right now. Because now Reasoner gets moved up, and whoever they bring up from the AHL will have to learn to play with BG and Harvey and therefore won't get much ice time at first, and so BG's ice time will get cut back too, and therefore he'll lose some of his momentum. Its to bad too, he was very dominant with the puck last night, even against Adam Foote, he could be such an asset if he played like that every game.

Prediction: Peca will come back from the hit noticeably improved. It doesn't sound like he'll miss more than one fixture, and the bump was his own fault for checking out the honeys in the golds. The message from Nash was "get your head in the game or get lost," and I'm deeply grateful to him for sending it.

As for Laraque, it sounds like he also got a much-needed message: Edmonton loves you, BG, but the best part of your life is OVER unless you start using your size to create chances.

God, this team is driving me bananas. It's November and it's literally impossible to say whether we've got a Cup contender or the 14th best outfit in the conference. At least in Calgary they know by now that they actively have to delude themselves if they want to feel optimistic. Up here we've just got no consistent data to work with. Go ahead and put on my tombstone that the '05 Oilers and the '05 Esks killed me, because they will have even if I die forty years from now.

You know things are bad for the Battle of Alberta when Cosh has been reduced to muttering, "Yeah, well your team sucks MORE."

"Cup contenders aren't created in the regular season, they are defined in the playoffs."

The difference this year will be seen in the first round of the playoffs when a team like Dallas/Detroit/Colorado finally shows their weaknesses, instead of being able to cover them up at the trade deadline with more money. True grit will be shown by teams in 5-8th place as there won't be as large a gap in salary and skill level players.

Problem is, are the Oilers even 8th place worthy? that is to be determined.

The Oilers need to make the big dance, and it won't be pretty watching them try to get there, however something deep down tells me that if they do get there, we will all be greatly rewarded.

of course that could be the booze talking....

The booze? I think it's Cosh that needs to be cut off. No consistent data?

"The Oilers look great sometimes, and awful at others. They're hovering around the playoff bubble." There is virtually no moment over the past 5 seasons when that statement has not been as perfectly applicable as it is now.

88, 93, 92, 92, 89: that's the Oilers point totals from the past 5 seasons. Yeah, I see how that kind of inconsistency could drive a guy crazy.

Meet the new Oil - same as the old Oil.

At least the same 'ol oilers are a better team then the same 'ol Flames. not making the playoffs for another 7 years? ouch.


If Peca comes back with his head up, even if it's solely out of fear, he should be a better player.

When I dropped this comment last week, I guess I should have inserted, "(or if he's going to keep all his teeth)".

I hope it goes without saying that I hope Peca is OK, but how come I haven't noted any Oiler scribes pointing out that Hemsky's explosion coincides exactly with him getting the hell off of Peca's line?

No consistent data? Oh please. They may be the most consistent team in the NHL, new or old. they are consistently 'on the bubble.'. They will flirt with 92 points all season and finish in 8th, 9th, 10th or thereabouts.

And what is with 'BG'? He's French, right? Shouldn't it be GG? Le Georges Grande?

So this is the new Red Mile party line? After sniggering all autumn about the Oilers' personnel changes, you're falling back on "Meh--same old Oilers"? I'm afraid part of my point was deliberately misplaced--namely, that these Oilers could still turn out much worse than the "consistent" editions of the recent past. And anyone who doesn't think they can be better has missed six or seven genuinely dominant displays by this team, as well as some headlines like "EDMONTON DESTROYS LEAGUE-BEST NASHVILLE AT HOME."

(For example, was that really Fenwick who sat with me and watched Kiprusoff steal a game in which the Oilers skaters were toying with Calgary's D like Paris Hilton with a personal massager?)

Period - the word you were looking for, Cosh, was "period", as in, "watched Kiprusoff steal a period". I also don't recall claiming that the Oilers' personnel changes would make them a worse team than the past 5 years (although they are better without Peca at all than they are with him occupying any kind of central role).

But my point again is this: were they hitting 90ish points the past 5 seasons without ever putting on any dominant displays? Of course not (although having watched only their games against Calgary, I can't actually vouch for that).

You could have written that "bananas" paragraph at just about any November-to-February point over the past 5 seasons

So I have to defer on this issue to a bunch of people who've been watching or listening to about eight Oiler games a year throughout the period in question? "Dominant" (as opposed to "scrappy" or "tenacious") is the precise English word for what those Oiler teams rarely were; the last four seasons or so have seemed mostly like a long skein of 4-3 games, no matter who they were playing. But canvas some other guys who actually follow the team, and see if they remember a lot of games in which we worked over Dallas in Dallas (and out-forechecked them and got better goaltending), or polished off any conference standings leader 5-1 (in their building, in our second game in 24 hours). Similarly, you won't find a lot of 7-1 losses.

Seriously, find me another sequence of three straight games since about 1992 in which the Oilers outscored the opposition 15-5. I'll sit here on the park bench and have a sandwich while you Oiler experts set to work!

Alright, eight minutes of exhaustive research at produced the following:

- In the 2002/03 season, the Oilers had an apparently un-dominant 3 game stretch (Dec 8-11) where they outscored their opposition 11-1.

- This was part of a longer 12 game stretch (Nov19-Dec13) where the Oilers went 10-1-1-0, outscoring their opponents 35-16.

Permit me to scoff at the idea that no Oiler fans were getting any big ideas at that time. Naturally, they won 1 of their next 9 games, and ended up with 92 points to finish 8th.

In a massive playoff push in March '02, the Oil won 6 straight games, outscoring their opponents 18-5.

They were in a bad position because they had a streak starting in January where they won 2 out of 13 games.

Meet the new Oil - same as the old Oil.

In one sense the Oilers are definitely staying true to form - they are ahead of the Flames. With a game in hand to boot.

Having to bash the oilers to make the flames seem the new Flames fan, same as the old Flames fan.

Fenwick doesn't even write about the Flames on this site anymore, unless you count the occasional red herring about the crummy TV coverage. There's a real "I'm Dancing As Fast As I Can" quality to his blogging. "I can spend an afternoon poring over Oilers schedules from 2002, or I can face the fact that this Calgary season is already an unrecognizable heap of blackened timbers. So bring on those skeds!"

You guys are unbelievable. From Brownlee's story two whole days ago:

" With the Edmonton Oilers on a two-game winning steak after victories in Dallas and Nashville -- quelling demands MacTavish and his staff be sacked and somebody, anybody, be traded for a goaltender and a bucket of pucks -- I expected someone to ask if MacT was worried overconfidence could be a problem against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight."

Two days. Two! for the sarcasm in that statement to become the reality on the ground. I'll have to remember this next time someone cracks on the Flames "bandwagon".

Um, all Sacamano said was that the Oilers are ahead of Calgary in the standings. Don't get creepily defensive or anything there, D-Fens.

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