Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Welcome to 1985

Wow, I haven't seen a goaltending duel like that since the mid-80's. Fantastic!

It is oddly comforting to know that no matter how bad our goalies play, we can still win. At least when we are playing Vancouver. I also found it amusing that Vancouver has so little faith in their backups that apparently giving up 6 goals isn't enough to get pulled. Boy that 7th was a bummer though, eh?

Speaking of which, it is a shame that Edmonton doesn't play Vancouver again until March, because we could really use the points.

Is Mac-T a mad genius? Three straight games he pulls the goaltender, and every time it results in a win? Crazy.

Mad props once again to the Elephant & Castle Pub on Whyte. If there is a better place to watch a game on Tee-Vee, I haven't found it.

Sometime back in September I was roundly criticized for asserting that the Oilers have balanced scoring. I have had too much to drink tonight to go through the whole season, but I will note that tonight's game featured 7 goals by 7 scorers.

Boy, looks like those Flames are really learning how to finish off games. Up 2 after the first, and give up 4 in the third. I'm all choked up, believe me.

Have I mentioned how much I love this team? There isn't a single player that I dislike. Oh sure Ullie and Cross are potential disasters waiting to happen, but they are among my favourite personalities on the team. And hey, Ullie is actually looking terrific these days. He is asserting himself on offense - shooting the puck, pinching in, etc.

I wonder how many teams this year give up 5 powerplay goals and still win.

Hemsky is so good. Man is he good. And he doesn't take any crap either - he dishes out some smack when required.

Le GG has taken a lot of heat this year, but he needs to get more icetime if only because he draws a penalty almost every time out. I'm back on his bandwagon, bigtime.

Did Naslund even play today? I've never been off the Peca bandwagon and I might just start driving the bus soon. Sure he hasn't scored like I hoped, but the way he can shut down players is worth the 3.9 and more - especially come playoffs.

Is there a better 3rd line in the league than RPM? Reasoner and Pisani are the ultimate utility guys. Someone at Hockey's Future has run the stats demonstrating that Pisani is pretty much the world's most consistently effective 5 on 5 player. And Reasoner is instant chemistry. The first line isn't clicking? Throw in Reasoner for a shift or two. The fourth line has no energy? Throw in Reasoner. The powerplay isn't firing? Hey, let's try Reasoner. I don't think I even need to talk about Moreau.

Can the goaltenders recover in time for playoffs?


I'm at a loss for words about the 7-6 win, except to say (1) it now appears the Oilers can simply score at will and (2) Markkanen didn't look especially bad on any of the four he let in, but apparently like everyone else he has to defer to The System now (which saw Conko score a humiliating own-goal almost instantly).

Anyone who missed the game can probably fill in the blanks. I just hope the Nerveless Wonder shows up to tell us what the heck happened at Pengrowth. According to these scoresheets, the mighty Kiprusoff fell to pieces against a team that had scratched its top three centres? Shurely shome mishtake?

Yeah, I'm still behind Markannen, despite dropping off to .887 SV %. Conklin looks like a wreck most of the time.

Sadly, top notch starting goalies are in short suppy.

They're just following the Eskimos example of a starter and a closer in sports other than baseball.

Anyway, three straight games where the goalie is pulled and they go on to win. It's been fun, but I hope they smarten up against LA.

As far as I was concerned, the outcome tonight was never in doubt until MacT sent Conklin in. The oafish 5th goal goes straight onto the tail end of TSN's 2005 blooper reel, and all night Conklin was (a) reliably picking the wrong side on potential wraparounds and (b) moving laterally with the exact speed of an escargot. Just to look at him I wouldn't have pegged him as an NCAA starter.

And yet the idea of trading any of these skaters for another goalie terrifies me. We're trapped in comfortable hell until the offence weakens or one of the netminders establishes semi-credibility...

(By the way, why the hell haven't we been calling this guy 'Conky' since August? Nobody here watches Trailer Park Boys?...)

I'm with you Cosh. When Mac-T made the switch I was screaming at the tee-vee to keep in Jussi.

But hey, it's tough to argue with results.

Pulling your goalie in three straight games and winning them all has got to be some kind of record. I thought Juicy looked bad on the 4th one, although it was the kind of goal that will only get you pulled when (A) it's the 4th one, and (B) you've won your past 2 games pulling the goalie.

Nice goal by Peca (2 in 3 games, he may make it to 11 on the season after all), but that penalty late is possibly THE dumbest penalty a hockey player can take. It didn't prevent a scoring chance; it virtually assured Vancouver's 6th goal; and it assured Vancouver would be on the PP trying to tie it. Of course on the "smart" side, there was that 25 foot pass to Moreau from a standstill that McGuire was raving about...

Oh, and I didn't buy the Flames PPV, so I really don't know what happened with them. My non-technical guess would be "trapped by a classic trap game": (relatively) easy-looking home game between road games against big division rivals. Also, judging by the number of goals scored from the high slot in the past 2 games, I'd say they miss Yelle. I'll have to chew on why that is exactly for a while.

That wasn't a dumb penalty by Peca, it was a complete buy-in by a referee on a horrible Ruutu acting job. Did you actually see the replay Matt? Peca barely touched him. The refs really need to crack down on the diving, especially against hack jobs like Ruttu.
There should be an unwritten rule that any player who gets called for an unsportsmanlike-diving penalty, loses all benefit of the doubt when dragged down during the season. Did you see Ruttu smirking when he got back to the bench? what a joke, you could almost hear Emilio Estevez behind the bench yelling "take the fall, act hurt...."

Why is Peca barely touching him in that situation? (I'll take your word for it--I only saw the end part replayed, where Ruutu was already down). It's not as if Jarko Ruutu falling over on contact in that situation (i.e. where he's not going to beat Pronger to the puck anyway) is unforeseeable.

I liked his huge faceoff in the 2nd period though: that 5th Vanc goal should have been scored Morrison from Conklin and Peca.

Why are people griping about the Peca penalty when the original Hemsky call should obviously never have happened? How often do you see a guy take two minutes for roughing somebody he had his back to? What did he rough him with, his powerful asscheeks? Worst penalty call of the year, and Lord knows there's been lots of competition. (Bonus marks go to TSN's production team, who made a confusing game worse by refusing to show about 50% of the penalty replays.)

Yeah, that was a pretty lame call. Infractions resulting from "Get the fuck off of me" should probably be excepted from the crackdown, or at least held to a way higher standard than we saw there.

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