Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Oilers Game Day - Anaheim

Season Record: 25-18-6 Season Record: 21-16-10


The stars aligned a little bit last night as Calgary, Vancouver, and LA all lost.

The next 5 games will go a long way to determing where Edmonton ends up this season. By my estimation they must win at least the three 'easy' games (Ducks, Phoenix, Columbus), and probably at least one of the other two (Kings, Canuckleheads).

The Ducks are currently only four points back of Edmonton for the final playoff spot, and they have two games in hand. But frankly, I don't think they are nearly as good as their point total would suggest. 10 OTL! 10? This is in contrast to Phoenix, who--despite their miserable goal differential--just might be better than their point total would indicate. If you just count wins and losses, Edmonton and Phoenix have pretty similar records, so do Edmonton and Minnesota. I feel sick just writing that.

In any case, the Oil have to go into a tough building (Ducks are 9-1-2 in their last 12 at home) and take a game. The good news is that Edmonton has the best road record in the NW (14-8-4), and they are 8-1-4 on the road over the last 13 games.

The bad news? Mac-T is starting to lose it. Word is that he bag skated the third and fourth lines, but not the top two. I'm not exactly sure why the second line got off easy--none of them have done anything recently. He must be usin' some ah dat der psy-chology.

I've always been pretty skeptical about the value of a bag skate, but I seem to recall it getting him some results last season, so we'll see.

Prediction: 5-2 Oilers (Smyth, Hemsky, Stoll, Torres, Dvorak)


10 OTL is an interesting number. It means the Ducks play a lot of close games and go to overtime a lot. So do the Oilers, but clearly they have been more successful at it.

Either way, sounds like tonight's game gets decided in a shoot-out.

I just hope Oilers aren't confused by the title of your post and go to Phoenix instead.

Whoops. The perils of the cut and paste world.

I've fixed it now.

MacT already held one of the harshest bag-skates in team history this year after the 7-1 loss in Colorado. Let the record show, your honour, that the Oilers won five of their next six.

All I heard this time was that the 3rd and 4th lines were put through a pretty long practice without pucks--sounded more like humiliation than torture.

Ah ha! I knew I remembered something of the sort. I just had the timeline wrong, which is pathetic considering it was only a few months ago.

It is even more pathetic since I wrote almost the same thing at the time.

On the psychological theory that the REAL point of the special practice was to make the TOP two lines feel rotten--sort of like Vincent d'Onofrio with the jelly donut hanging out of his face in Full Metal Jacket--I'll predict a 6-2 Oilers win. 6-4 if Jussi starts.

Didn't the Oilers have to go through some sort of a full-team hourlong bag skate last season? Is this becoming a regular Oiler tradition like rookies drunk in Times Square or losing to Dallas in the first round?

SWEET LORD, thank you JS Giguere for being a total baby!

My question is why didn't Carlyle pull the guy? He's a good goalie, but it may have been better to demand discipline from a player instead of having a pissy fight on national TV.

Oh well, I hope the Ducks sink back into the lower Standings muck and stay there.

Captain Canada strikes again!

Memo to Colby Cosh: I'm sorry I doubted you. When I got to watch 15 minutes of the game and saw a 3-1 score that apparently had held up for quite some time my first thought was: so much for Cosh's bag skate theory. An hour later I'm told the Oil won the game 5-3 and I look at them like they went crazy. Then they tell me Jiggy, who I just successfully aquired today in return for Markannan, had an unexpected Hextall moment and blew the game.

The final was actually 6-3. I think that's the closest I've come with a prediction all year. And 3-for-22 may not look good, but the Juice kept them in it early with some stone cold stops.

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