Sunday, May 21, 2006


Western Conference Finals -- Game II


First off, thanks again to the Sports Matters fellas for hosting a few of us for Game 1. Good times. We'll have to do it again sometime when the entire Oilogosphere is available.

I'm looking forward to this game. The Oilers have demonstrated that they can win after being down at the start of a series (one or two games); but they haven't yet had the opportunity to throttle a team right from the start. Tonight's game will be a great test of that elusive killer instinct.

Tonight should also -- in theory -- bring out the best of the Ducks, so I'm anticipating a better game than Game 1, which was pretty sloppy.
Part of the problem, apparently, is that it is ice that's more conducive for figure skating. It decomposes with all the pressure hockey players put on it.
Yep, I'd say that's a problem alright.

As predicted, MC has crunched the numbers and likes what he sees. IOF also has an interesting post up on Selanne and on Carlyle's crazy shift patterns. I know that I give these guys occassional grief for their heartless statistical evaluations; but man they do excellent work. Before MC I never looked too carefully at goal differential, and before IOF I sure as hell never paid more than passing attention to shift patterns -- now I find myself making crazy spreadsheets and watching hockey games with my laptop open to the NHL shift charts. I swear I've had a few games where I spent more time looking at my monitor than the tee-vee. Weird.

Pre-Game Laffs:
That last one made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside from all the luv flowing up the ole QE2. Speaking of which, thanks to the Fenwicks for coming up from sunny L.A. (Lethbridge, Alberta) to watch the Oilers roll over the team that ousted the Flames. I hope you got your photos taken beside the old City of Champions sign on your way out off town, because in a few weeks it will have bookends.

Fun Stat of the Day:
Sacamano's Key to the Game:

Prediction: 4-2 Oil (Smyth, Pisani, Horcoff, Dvorak).

Go Oil!


Selanne is a funny guy. I like guys like that.

Lupul is a good player. He may become a really good player. Is he the one who is going to be running at Pronger seven or eight times a night?

I sense that inexperience factor we saw with SJ may be about to kick in.

And maybe Raffi has his first target.

Just like the guys in baseball 30 years ago, we're wrecking hockey for everyone.

You predicted Dvorak to score a goal. Does this mean that he will be back in tonight?

I met Lupul before his NHL career started on a golf course. I remember thinking he didn't look too athletic and then he hit the gold ball through the ozone layer and I thought about killing him.

Naw, he always picks Devo, and he always picks 4-2. It's his "thing."

Apparently the Oilers are getting down with the sickness. Three missed today's practice with the flu (Smith, Torres, Bergeron) while some head woes kept Hemsky from skating. Posted the link at my burgh.

You predicted Dvorak to score a goal. Does this mean that he will be back in tonight?

One can only hope. I bet if you started picking Ullie to score it would put some pressure on the Hockey Gods to insert him in the lineup.

I'd be shocked if Smith misses this game. But if him and MAB misses and we've got Greene-Tarnstrom-Igor as our 4-5-6 guys on the backend...well I'd suggest you give the Cup to the Oilers right now if they could win with that lineup.

And I'd imagine Tarnstrom comes back if it's just one of those guys missing.

Forward wise...when's the last time Hemsky had an ES road point in these playoffs? Does he even have one? I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't. It will really kill our PP if he's missing though it could mean more spotlight for Horc but in terms of linematching it doesn't really kill us at ES.

If it's just Torres out then Moreau slides into his spot.

if both guys are out then I'd say you'll see these lines:

94-10-26...Winchester draws in because he's played there before

18-37-34...this should be pretty seamless

12-16-13...Top nine icetime for Harv and poor Stoll;);)

And who is reffing?

Apparently the Oilers are getting down with the sickness. Three missed today's practice with the flu (Smith, Torres, Bergeron) while some head woes kept Hemsky from skating.

Yup. This flu is wiping out the whole city. I came down with it at around noon today, which means the other attendees at the Oilogosphere summit should start dropping like flies in 0-48 hours. Hope it's not H5N1.

I say dress Smith anyway and have him lick Teemu at some point.

Toby Peterson? Toby Peterson? Toby Peterson?

Cole just called Smith, "Miller". The NHL needs to keep a new stat for this guy.

How about that jacket that Don Cherry was wearing? I think it's the same one that Prince sported on the cover of the 'Purple Rain' album.

Also, where's CBC with the shots of Jason Priestly? He was just interviewed during the intermission on CHED.

With that being said, the game itself has been BORING.

Well, the second was pretty good. The third really should have scared me more than it did, but Roli continues to be Roli. Hot friggin' damn.

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