Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Oilers Game Day - Wild

Season Record: 32-23-10 Season Record: 31-28-7


Is it too early to pull out the ole 'must win' label for this game?

Peca calls out the vets and, interestingly, the coaching staff:

"We're getting leads in some of these games, but then we play not to lose instead of playing to win," Michael Peca said. "We get tentative and stop being the aggressors.

"Everybody has to have more of a calming presence and it starts behind the bench. The coaches need to stay a little more relaxed in those situations and the veteran players have to show a little more poise. We're all disappointed we've allowed teams to catch us. Our goal is to catch teams ahead of us."
This is a problem that plagues most teams, but the Oil are definitely guilty of it on a consistent basis. Playing to protect leads never works.

Compulsive Scoreboard Watching:


It's about time Peca showed a little leadership. He's the type of player who can singelhandedly drag a team to victory, but he has to get back to that form of pre-2003. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

And its never to early to bring out the "must-win" tagline, not when we sit in 9th place.

Good for Peca. I like how he he even called out the coaches. That is what Joe Morgan would like to call an "intangible." You can't put a value on that.

How did I move from honest to sarcastic in two sentences? I am even turning on myself here.

It was a good move. I hope it has some effect. That last game just stunk. I don't think I can bear to watch tonight.

i'm a canucks fan. why do i feel like an oilers fan right now?

On Peca's comments regarding the coaching staff ... am I the only one who sees this as probably true, but completely inappropriate?

I think that if he's got a problem the he should talk to the guys on the team that have letter on their shirts, not to the media. And this isn't the first time this season either.

Jason Gregor on TheTeam radio here in Edmonton remarked the other day that several people "inside the Oilers organization" were upset with Peca for not coming back from injury earlier. Now I think Peca was probably right to wait until he was healthy, especially given the Oilers track record of bringing players back from injury really soon, and having them suck on the ice. But there seems to be some bad blood there.

Peca the 'Great Leader' my ass. A more honest answer from him would have been "If I was creating offense at a visible level, or even better a Joe Hulbig level, maybe this team wouldn't be in this position".

I've actually been pretty surprised at how cautious Peca is with respect to returning from injuries.

Yeah, probably it is the right thing to do, but it certainly wasn't what I expected from his reputation. And it is a pretty stark comparison with Smith, Reasoner, etc.

To be fair, he did call out the veteran players (which presumably includes himself) in addition to the coaches.

But, yeah, when you start seeing blame being bandied about in the funny papers, you know that things aren't right.

The hulbig crack made me laugh and laugh.

If his play matches his words, he can bark all he wants. Let's home he sets a tone tonight. Remember when Mike Peca used to be the best hitting forward in the NHL?

And I can't believe somone attacked Mighty Joe Hulbig. Why? Joey never hurt nobody!!!

Oh, that was the problem? Gotcha.

I suspect Peca was encouraged by the coaching staff to go to the press with this one. You'll notice his quote has the worthwhile effect of taking some of the immediate pressure off of Roloson. Getting an articulate veteran to raise the stakes publicly is a standard motivational move. We're just not used to seeing it because it's been so long since the Oilers were an underachieving array of talent, instead of an overacheiving collection of grinders, brutes, and peppy American college players. When a team this loaded loses to Columbus, someone had better goddamn well make an accounting.

I just wish we would win so Al Strachan would shut the hell up. Hearing him squawk on Sports Net last night about how the Oiler owners bitched and complained about an even playing field, and that we are still on the outside looking in now that there is one, made me angrier than Paul Martin in a press scrum. I was mad as hell. Mad, mad, mad. We all agree on this site that Steve Simmons is the worst, but can we take some time to beat up on Strachan? I don't know of a less objective reporter in sports. I am still convinced that Gretzky and the Leafs have him on their payroll. I remember watching Hot Stove, and about every two weeks his hot rumour was that Gretzky was gonna be traded to the Buds. Seeing that smug look on his face last night made me wanna leap through the screen and choke him. Please, Oilers. Do me a solid.

I know I'm writing this with a period and change less to go, but I'm alot happier with how the Oilers have looked tonight.

Samsanov on the powerplay has looked absolutely amazing. I haven't seen the Oilers cycle the puck so well all season as Samsanov, Hemskey and Smyth were doing.

Roloson is looking more solid tonight.

Smyth is playing like a "monster", and the "orbs" were in evidence. So baring a choke, solid effort and more what I was hoping for. Perhaps, it was inevitable that it would take a couple games for the tinkering to fall into place and work like the well oiled machine we desire.

"Baring a choke..."

Hasn't that been our MO for the past few weeks?

Yea Andy, there seems to be the roving period and a half where the Oilers actually try. Strangely it seems to have migrated from the end of the second and into the third, to the end of the first and through the second. Seems to lead to a alot of choking.

On the other hand they managed to hang on tonight although the third period was a pretty dismal showing. But the rest of the game was a bit more positive.

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