Sunday, April 23, 2006


Oilers Playoff Game #2


Let the record show, that I blame the loss squarely on Lowetide and his "Possible Oiler Drafts" post. I mean, really, who posts about the Oilers upcoming draft on the eve of a playoff game? He claims it wasn't defeatest but . . .

Delma Huddle will be back in the line-up tonight, but Chopper will not. As A2Y notes, this makes Mac-T's job a bit tougher as he will not be able to smother Zetterberg as consistently.

It sounds like Mac-T will, again, be running some sort of trap; but I'm guessing that the forwards will be a little bit more aggressive than last game. At least I sure as hell hope so. It is one thing to adjust your game to suit the opponent, it is quite another to completely abandon your own team's greatest strengths.

Terrific insight is not required: if the Oil don't win today, the series is all but over. Prongs played a whopping 38 mins in the first game, and with the quick turnaround afternoon game, it might become an issue. Of course, it might be more of an issue for those old-timers in red. Again, staying out of the box is required, and let's hope the refs actually call a decent game today.

Finally, it is helpful(?) to note that in 1987 the Oil lost Game 1 to Detroit and went on to win the series 4-1.

Go Oil!


"It is one thing to adjust your game to suit the opponent, it is quite another to completely abandon your own team's greatest strengths."

Indeed, but that's Coach's Disease in a nutshell. I think they stare at problems so long that the bigger picture starts to elude them. Surely this is the only explanation for, "Guys, to beat the Red Wings, we're gonna have to slow our game down."

You mean all the old timers that practically skated circles around the young studs from Edmonton in overtime Friday night?

Pronger ought to be getting considerable ice time today as well, with Datsyuk's return. Unless of course he loses it and finds himself in the box multiple times.

You mean all the old timers that practically skated circles around the young studs from Edmonton in overtime Friday night?

True. And before Cosh goes bananas, it should be pointed out that the Oilers have their fair share of antiquities.

Actually, I was more ticked about what Matt said. It wasn't as though Hemsky and Stoll suddenly got slower than Brendan "Irish Lightning" Shanahan in the OT--it's just that (a) the crappy ice slowed the game to Timbits League level and (b) the Wings played the body well. Which one of those cheap Maltby goals was created by speed exactly?

Moreover, Pronger's been cooler than the Fonz for 83 games--banking on him to suddenly go apeshit on April 23 sounds more desperate than any single thing I've heard from an Oilers fan yet.

What the hell? Winchester on the 1st line? Is it possible to fire a coach mid-series? I can't wait ti hear the "playing a hunch" excuse in the post-game.

I can't remember. Does Simmons justify drinking at 11 in the morning if a day game is on and your coach is a retard?

I got blamed for something!!! Yay me!!!

Raffi had a beauty shift early today, and Detroit just got a penalty.

Strange days.

Too bad the coach won't let the Oilers take the body.

And how does Hemsky get that penalty, but Chelios doesn't get called for interference?

The refs seem intent on handing the game to the Wings. Both of Hemsky's penalties were cheap.

Or how about after the Hemsky hook when Maltby shoved his glove in his face?

But man oh man Hemsky has to not be an idiot out there. I saw three hooks from behind from him.

Could the Oilers play more boring, uninspired hockey? Have any of our forwards even got a shot on net?

And can someone from Detroit explain why the lower bowl is always half empty? I thought Detroit was "Hockeytown"?

WHOA! Where did Brad Wisbister come up with that one??? Dude's been holding out on us!

Winchester! Mac T is a genius!!!

That goal was all pronger. Great pinch and an amazing flip over to Winchester.


Weeee!!! We knew Winchester could score, at least in the AHL.

Lovely Pronger pinch!

No doubt, Pronger is coming up big this series.

Cosh, 'Wisbister' is gold, Jerry, gold.

Although "Wisbister" is unfair. Brad Isbister is a ten-year veteran of underacheived floating whereas Winchester is a rookie trying to find his legs in the NHL.

Hopefully his first NHL point is not of the Joel Hulbig variety.

er, first PLAYOFF point

Can we still trade Peca?

Man, what happened to Hockeytown? I know the Oil are playing a slow it down game, but that crowd is just lame.

And it isn't just the afternoon factor, they were lame on Friday night, too.

My friend Tetsu calls to ask what the heck happened. He got bored of the game, turns it off to study and the Oil score 2.

Go study some more please!

- Ken

The last 5 minutes or so, JG hasn't said a word. Do you think he has fallen asleep? Can we keep him that way?

Man, Pisani is having a helluva game. Cosmo must be a proud papa today.

I like JG, especially since he keeps pointing out how many calls the refs are blowing . I can't believe how much holding the Wings get away with.

Typical Chelios. Hits Samsonov and then turtles. Is it too late to start a "I Hate Chelios" site?

"Wisbister" doesn't belong to me. I don't know who came up with it (Pleasure Motors @ CIO?) but I'm 99% sure I stole it from someone.

Man did I enjoy describing that goal to the pizza guy though. Poor guy really struggled with the concept of Winchester putting a laser beam top-shelf from the far end of the circle.... is available.......

- Ken

The only thing I'm afraid of is the Bergeron-Tarnstrom pairing--especially given that Babcock is exploiting that last change to full potential.

Let's see, put our two worst defensive defensemen together against Stevie Y and Robert Lang. Ugh.

Garrett shuts the hell up when he has nothing to say. Few are the ex-jock colour men of whom this can be said. Plus when he's on the mike I have random flashbacks to childhood. "I-T-Veeee! Channel 13, ca-ay-ble 8!"

And by the way, Tarnstrom is having a heck of a game, not that the Swedish dink wasn't overdue for one.

God, I thought I was the only one. JG is like comfort food to me. ITV News, M.A.S.H, then Oilers hockey on ITV.

I may have to register that site.

What are the odds that the Wings made the ice horrible on purpose? That was a sure thing for Samsonov if the puck didn't hop.


Grab that domain Andy. 'twas your idea.

The Oil have to get back on the attack. That 'playing to not lose' attitude is sliding back.

Ya, but what is with Lee saying "rope-a-dope" all the time. Give it a rest, already.


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I think it was the Alberta steak that was thrown on the ice. I'm taking a whole side of beef to the game on Tuesday.


Lee is just USELESS (wrote useful in the deleted post)

I really should just turn off the volume and listen to 630ched.

I want the oilers to make it to the next round (or deep in this one) to get a decent play-by-play man.


Agreed. Alberta beef is our loonie?


Oh I'm going to the game, alright.

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Then please: throw beef onto the ice.

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The question is what cut of beef to throw?

Lower body, upper body?

Too big is hard to throw, to small may be a problem as well....

Are you going to go cheap, or throw a nice 'AAA' ribeye out there?

Oh the choices one must make....

I was ready to hate Garrett but he's actually been pretty good from my end of things.

As for the rest of today...I'm letting it all sink in and I'm loving it!

Definitely throw a lower-body cut in honour of Pavel Datsyuk, the Invisible Man.

I won't be updating the Playoff Odds Report until after the last whistle tonight, but both sets of partisans will be glad to hear that the Oiler victory raises the chances of a Battle of Alberta meeting to one-in-seven.

Nice win for the Oilers today. The Red Wings are looking very beatable right now, and are having a lot of trouble with the Oilers' 'trap'.

I loved MacT's interview when he said 'we're not playing the trap. The Edmonton Oilers will never play the trap. It's something similar. But it is not the trap.'

Since MacT has no name for his suspiciously trap-like tactics which are not the trap, I think we should name this previously unknown and otherwise unnamed tactic 'Fred'.

The Oilers played the Fred brilliantly today.

Go Flames

Fred? Really? I was joking all game that MacT's charismatic banter would get it named something like "The MacT Special," no one knows what it is, but he sure knows what it ain't.

You know, it's all fun and games, but what the Oilers are playing really isn't the original trap. As I understand it, a true trap would involve squeezing the puckcarrier in against the boards in the neutral zone and taking away his passing outlets. For much of game one, the Oilers just seemed to be standing three guys up on their own blue line with one lone forechecker staying far forward.

It'd be just as well if people stopped using this word for any especially defensive-minded arrangement of players. Doy, what team doesn't play a "trap" when it's got the lead?

I'm not sure its a trap either.

Not to show my age here or anything, but what the oil did today is reminiscent of a system that those bloody reds did in the 80's under tikhonov's reign of terror.

It requires a smart centre, and the object is to try and drive the puck carrier to the boards where either a d-man of winger awaits.

Sort of a very tentative version of a 2-1-2 forecheck.

Meh. It looks and plays like a trap. It's a trap.

The clip I saw looked like the neutral zone trap. Five players in the neutral zone, with the center at the top, like a star. Then you push the guys to the outside. The play I saw looked just like that. It would be an interesting post for someone to do, if they could look over footage from the game. Maybe someone with NHL Centre Ice,eh?

My understanding is that Lemaire picked it up from Bowman, who used it in the 70's with the Habs. As for where Bowman got it from, for some reason I have Anotoli Tarasov stuck in my head, though I can't confirm that.

Ah, here is a nice visual. That is certainly what I saw today. There is a brief history on the page before, and it goes through things on consecutive pages, if anyone wants to look.

For a lot of the game I didn't see any lone forechecker.

A few times Lidstrom/Yzerman just would up in their own zone like Bobby Orr and didn't run into anyone until centre. A bit frightening, if you ask me. But, hey, a win is a win.

Yes. That is correct. They often didn't bother with a low trap or a high trap, and just went right into the neutral zone trap.

As for that beef, it was done by guys from a radio station. Or guys who were with someone from a radio station, at least. I heard them on the radio from Detroit about an hour before the game. I am pretty sure it was people from 92.5 FM.

errrr, 'wind' up.

>A few times Lidstrom/Yzerman just would up in their own zone like Bobby Orr and didn't run into anyone until centre.

I think those were just bad Oilers line changes.

>I am pretty sure it was people from 92.5 FM.

Damn. Well then it sucks.

The neutral zone trap comes to us from the Czechs, later the Swedes, who developed to counter the high-flying USSR teams. The classic formation is the 1-2-2, with the center forechecking in the offensive end. Scotty developed the Left Wing Lock, where you send in two forecheckers, while the left wing stays back with the D. The latter system works better at steering the play to one side, along the boards. So you make it harder for the defending team to gain your zone by clogging up the middle, while the forechecker(s) are there to pick off a stray pass or two- just as we saw tonight. A trap is a trap. MacT can call it what he likes, but it was mostly the neutral zone trap, maybe 2 forecheckers later in the game? I'd have to check the tape. I was at the game, and if there ever was a 1-2-2, it was as clear as day to anyone sitting just a tad bit higher.

Oilers won because they outhustled the Wings today, and our D just blew it at the end of the 2nd. Plain and simple. No excuses.

At least we played a trap where we scored 4 goals! Which makes whatever the hell it was vastly superior to the crap that the Wild and Calgary pull.

Although if we're going to win, can we play every game on Sunday morning? I don't mind waking up and finding out we won!

Scotty didn't develop the left wing lock and the Czechs didn't develop the trap. The trap was developed in the 90's by Juha Wallin from Sweden, who swears that it was developed to be an offensive system.

The Left Wing Lock, now called a 2-3 with a slider, was brought to Scotty by his assistant, Dave Lewis, who brought it across the pond from Sweden.

Those Swedes always seem to be up to something. Ever see the Torpedo system in action? Not the version the Swedes used in the 98 Olympics, but the one used by Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League. It baffles the mind.


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