Monday, June 26, 2006


A Murder Of One

Andy, if you want to hack on my predictive abilities, there's tens of thousands of words on this site; I'm sure you can find something I actually said to skewer.
--Matt Fenwick

To hope for more would be hubris.
--Colby Cosh

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, Oilers fans. Lost in the shuffle of a Game Seven loss and the continuing adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Pronger is the fact that the Calgary Flames, 2003-2004 Western Conference Champions and hated rival of the Edmonton Oilers, were eliminated in the 1st round of the 2005-2006 NHL playoffs. Furthermore, they were eliminated by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who the Oilers squashed in five quick games two rounds later. Furthermore, one of their greatest fans and apologists is a correspondent on this site, one Mister Matthew Fenwick. It it would be wrong--nay, it would be irresponsible!--for us to not look over some of Matthew's many comments and predictions from the past hockey season. Don't you agree? They truly are treasures.

Thursday September 15, 2005
The other potential pitfall for this site is the very real possibility that the Oilers will suck right out of the gate, and turn this whole deal into a pretty one-sided argument...

Friday September 16, 2005
Over the course of the exhibition season, though, these are a few things for which I'll be checking for encouraging signs:
• Chuck Kobasew making the leap
• Tony Amonte still having some touch
• Darren McCarty able to keep up with the flow
• Hamrlik exerting control in the Flames end
• Good puck control by Langkow
• and most importantly, Kipper not getting injured

Sunday September 18, 2005
Oilers fans at the margin think their team is going to be great this year, and want good seats on the bandwagon. God bless 'em.

Tuesday September 27, 2005
And lest we forget, the Flames still have the best all-around forward in the league, a defence that is by all accounts the top young group in the league, and a goalie who posted the lowest GAA of any season in the modern era of the NHL. And, there's that whole "making the Stanley Cup Finals" thing. I'd say high expectations aren't just appropriate, they're sensible.

Sunday October 3, 2005
Matthew Lombardi is my breakout guy. His head seems to have cleared from the hit by that despicable thug in Philly, and it says here that he displaces Langkow as Calgary’s #1 man-in-the-middle come midseason.

Thursday October 4, 2005
Much like the 2004 run, the sweetest part of the Flames' 2006 run will be that opening series, this time the 2 vs. 7 against Edmonton. Heading back to Reachall tied 1-1, the Flames win both games in OT on goals that the Oil's "Number 1 goalie" looks weak on. Then they come back to the 'Dome to mop up in Game 5, concluding the 4-goal win with Chris Simon using Jason Smith as a speedbag late in garbage time. Are you there God? It's me, Matt.

November 14
And finally, there's this: the statement that "Calgary hasn't been discernibly better than the Oilers this year" becomes less tenable every day, set against the reality of the sports pages. Why have I "hovered loftily" above my team's struggles? How about because I'm right?

Jan. 2, 2006
That-sa good one. Because we all know what a dominant force Chris Pronger has been in past playoff series…

The other good news for Flames fans is that it's clearly time to downgrade Jason Smith's rating from "solid if unspectacular" to "serviceable but slow". Chiclets is now almost useless as a penalty killer, as he's too slow to disrupt anything. He's also frequently a step behind whatever the opposing forwards are doing in his end.

When the playoffs come, four Oiler D-men are going to have to play the other 30 minutes of the game, when Pronger and M-A-B are on the bench. The thought that three of them are probably Jason Smith, Igor Ulanov, and Cory Cross is, well, soothing.

January 9, 2006
The Flames are on track for somewhere between 110 and 115 points, which will translate into 1st or 2nd spot in the conference, and most likely home-ice advantage for as long as they keep winning. Times are good in the C of Red, and there's no good reason to believe that they won't keep rolling. Go Flames.

March 9, 2006
All that said, Leclerc can't possibly be as bad with the puck going forward as he has been so far. I think Calgary is in good shape to be mighty tough in the playoffs. It's Go Time.

March 9
Actually, I think we need to keep track of Samsonov's and Lundmark's goals going forward, maybe in the sidebar (and also provide updates on Record After Trading Deadline). I hope the discrepancy doesn't embarrass me too badly.

Here's an actual prediction: Samsonov will be less productive in his first 20 games as an Oiler than Kristian Huselius was in his 1st 20 as a Flame. They're virtually the same player.

I honestly don't know if Lundmark was brought in to be the 13th forward, or a 2nd-liner. I just know that the difference between his 2 goals and Samsonov's 6 for the rest of the year is hardly worth the fuss made over Sammy.

March 17, 2006
And if the Flames play the Oilers in the playoffs, I might actually worry a bit about why Kipper seems to lose his mojo when he walks into SkyRex. But the lasting impression (uh, next-morning impression) of this game for me is that the Flames are getting it together for the playoffs, while the Oilers aren't yet out of the woods.

March 20, 2006
A head-to-head playoff series seems like a great way for it to end (for the Oilers, with 6 weeks of Flames-only content to follow). Get 'er done, Mac-T.

March 28, 2006
And best of all, this is still a stronger roster than the one that won 15 playoff games in 2004. I wasn't totally sure, but some callers to the FAN960 yesterday afternoon (while trying to explain the Flames' problems) accidentally convinced me.

April Fools Day, 2006
See you in the funny pages, Oil fans. Or, the Conference Finals. Whatever.

April 10, 2006
From my perspective, the worst thing about last night's Oil loss is that now, the scenarios under which they can finish 6th and lose a BoA playoff series are fewer and less likely. 7th or 8th is effectively now a best-case scenario for Edmonton, meaning that any CGY-EDM playoff series could only be in the conference finals, with Edmonton having already beaten DET and DAL.

Uh, whatever. Just miss the playoffs already, and get a head start on the off-season shakeup.

April 11
Is it time to get the red car flags out in Edmonton yet?

April 19, 2006
There's just too many stars that would have to align for the Oil to beat Detroit 4 times in 7 games.

April 20, 2006
Jarome Iginla had a good, not great, season, and now is the time when he will, or will not, earn his money. Am I saying that if the Flames go deep in the playoffs, he gets a pass on his non-Hart Trophy-contending regular season? Well YEAH!

Go forth, Jarome, and show everyone what you're made of. We can have this discussion in July.

April 21, 2006
I'll get this out of the way right off the bat: I'm picking the Flames over the Ducks in 5. I expect Calgary to win both of the first two games; one of two in Anaheim; and Game 5 at home.

I think the Flames are the better team, but specifically, I just don't think Anaheim will beat Calgary at home.

April 21, 2006
How many times this year, I wonder, have I heard one of these variations on a theme:

Five, as in Cups, is the only number that matters... division titles are meaningless... 5 Cups... losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals constitutes a "choke"... 5-1!!!... the Clarence Campbell Bowl is a consolation prize... five cups... jeez that Western Conference Championship banner is garish... 5, 5, 5, etc. etc.

Well, fine. Oiler fans are apparently so sophisticated (or is it spoiled by success?) that mere playoff game or series victories are not legitimate cause for enthusiasm. Fair enough. I guess I'll hear from you either in about 8 weeks, or sooner for the annual discussion of which alumni should be hired/fired by the organization.

April 22, 2006
Man, would I ever love stress-free advancement into the 2nd round.

April 24, 2006
As we all know, 16 Wins is the goal of every playoff team. With yesterday's huge victory, the Oilers now have 16 playoff victories... since 1992.

Here's hoping these next 14 years are as fruitful as the last 14.

April 26, 2006
Anyway, the Flames are suddenly back in the driver's seat. They played tremendously in a game they really needed, when the doubts were creeping in: they've done that all year. Next, they need to show some killer instinct, and kick someone when they're down: they haven't done that all year. Show it to me!!!

April 30, 2006
With the Avalanche polishing off Dallas this afternoon, we are now one Oiler win and one Flames win from the first Battle of Alberta playoff series in 15 years. This needs to happen. It would please so many people...

May 2, 2006
OK, so, for the next day and a half, Oiler fans may proceed with their Algonquin Round Table on whether it's cool to cheer for the Flames ("so we can kick their asses personally!") or not ("f**k 'em right in the ear!"), and enjoy the first days since about mid-November where the Oil has been in better position than the Flames.

Rest of May, all of June, 2006


hee hee

I'm no gay and this isn't just the beer talking but this Grabia fellow is looking like a real keeper.

Sorry about Sacamano having to move to Lagos but this is a beauty right here.

"There's just too many stars that would have to align for the Oil to beat Detroit 4 times in 7 games."

In his defence, he did sorta get this one right.

Ouch. I hate it when your own words get thrown in your face. I feel for ya Matt but I still enjoyed this.

In his defence, he did sorta get this one right.

You are right. We kicked their asses in 6 games, not 7.

And before anyone asks, yes, I did go through every single post on this blog again to find those quotes. I generally skipped the comments, but I did read all the posts over. It was a good reminder of how the year went, really. Lots of stuff I had forgotten.

Man, that's not bad. I didn't really appreciate how smart I was...

Obviously there's some unfulfilled optimism about the Flames' postseason there (and I'm still--against reason, perhaps--holding on to high hopes for Lombardi).

My takes on the Oilers' (cough) #1 goaltending, and 3rd-pair D, obviously held up (man, Smith came up big in the playoffs though, eh?).

Also, the Samsonov v. Lundmark tally came in at 5-4, not 6-2. As for Sammy v. Tommy, Samsonov's 1st 20 games was 6-12-18; Tommy's was 7-14-21. Uh, boy, is my face red.

You know what would be fun though, if I had the technical know-how or the inclination (I have neither): put together one of those Who Said It? quizzes -- like the Ann Coulter or Hitler one -- and have people guess which derogatory comments about the Oilers were written by me, and which by depressed members of the Oilogosphere. Like, for example, this:

"The Oilers are in big trouble. They are getting out-hit, out-skated, out-hustled, out-coached, out-skilled, out everything. All they appear able to do is skate around the boards, pass to the defencemen, and have them either miss the net or have their slapshot blocked. Everything that was wrong with the Oilers this year has been brought to the surface over the past two games. [...]an entirely predictable team... looks like it will be over in four.

At least this Clippers/Suns series looks like it is gonna be a dandy."


Oh Andy, how could you? That Clippers/Sun series was HORRIBLE.

And if I were you Matt, I'd be careful about criticizing the Oilers goaltending, the way Jussi played in the finals was eerily similair to another Finnish goaltender who the Flames fanatics not only idolize, but encourage females to bare their breasts for.

There is only so much crow you can eat after all.

Matt, you obviously aren't hip to mojo magic. I predicted we would be out in four, thereby guaranteeing that the opposite would happen. Like, duh. Explains what happened to your team, though. How'd they do again?

Go forth, Jarome, and show everyone what you're made of. We can have this discussion in July.

I for one can't wait.

you pretty much summed up every Flames fan take on their on team and the Mighty Oil...

Let's Go Oilers!

Lombardi is clearly Matt's Dvorak. Sorry, dude. (And by "sorry," I do mean "neener.")

You lose game seven in the cup finals, your franchise player demands a trade, citing your city as "unliveable", I guess you have to lash out at somebody. I just feel sorry for Matt, thinking about what will happen when Kaberle finally lands in Edmonton.

Oh, snappers. That stings, or at least it would if Worst-Case Kaberle weren't still 40% better than any of the defencemen under contract in Calgary.

I'm not sure that Calgary's defence is all that mock-worthy, especially coming from Oilerphiles this week.

Nobody's mocking them. I'm just saying, a town where Bob Boughner was the #2 D-man not long ago probably shouldn't be pointing and laughing at us even if we have to downgrade from Pronger to Kaberle (with a bonus forward thrown in).

Oh, snappers. That stings, or at least it would if Worst-Case Kaberle weren't still 40% better than any of the defencemen under contract in Calgary.

God damn the crack just keeps getting better in Edmonton. Either that or you're a closet Leafs fan, though the former seems more likely.

Oh Muhly, stop being so angry. I didn't do a post about that Chuck Kobasew poster you have mysteriously hanging in your bathroom.

...stop being so angry.

Please. Tell me this whole post isn't motivated by the frustration generated by your team's managerial ineptitude. Besides Charles is a beautiful man and I don't make fun of your life size cutout of Todd Harvey that you put in your bed every night.

Tell me this whole post isn't motivated by the frustration generated by your team's managerial ineptitude.

It's not. I did it the day before the Pronger story broke. I just saved it for a few days, because the Pronger stuff came up.

How did you guys do this year, btw, Nate? I just thought I would ask, since you brought up the question of managerial ineptitude. And how did you do the ten years before that? And how many Cups did you win with those "great" Flames teams of the 80's?

Cmon, I can do this all day. Past, present or future.

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