Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Oilers Game Day-Canadiens

Record: 7-6-0Record: 7-3-3

• This is the first game in a five game road trip for the Oil, with other stops in Detroit, Columbus, St. Louis and Colorado. That's not an overly difficult schedule, but Edmonton has only won one game on this road this year. Surprisingly, seven other teams have only one Away victory. Those teams are not the sort of company the Oilers would like to keep: Philadelphia, Boston, Florida, St. Louis, Columbus, Phoenix and Los Angeles.

• In five road games, the Oilers have been oustcored 19-10, and outshot 160-130. Three games have been close (Calgary, Vancouver and Colorado), and two have been blowouts (Anaheim and Phoenix).

• Who thinks the Oilers are getting off to slow starts? I sorta did, and thought I'd check it out. The Oilers have scored first in nine of their thirteen games. In their first eight games, the Oilers scored first seven times (the October 14th game against the Avs was the exception). Their record was 6-2. In their last five games, they've scored first twice (Anaheim and Washington), and been scored on first three times. Their record was 1-4. The Oilers have ended the first period ahead by at least a goal five times, behind by at least a goal four times, and tied four times. In their last three losses, however, they have ended the period behind by a goal (kind of to be expected, really, since they, you know, they lost those games).

• Scoring by period looks like this:

1st: GF 12 GA 12

2nd: GF 8 GA 14

3rd: GF 18 GA 10

• Moral of the story: 2nd period bad, play more like 3rd?

• I still don't know how to pull the NHL's stats off into Excel, despite MC's and Vic's tutorials, but these things I'd like to know: how much time have five forwards been on the ice during the Oilers powerplay, how much time has there been at least one defenceman on the powerplay, and how many times have powerplay goals been scored in each case? I have no grievance I want to address that these numbers will help to prove or disprove. I'm just curious, especially about the total time with five forwards on the ice. I wonder if the time is substantial enough to declare the strategy a success. As was noted elsewhere (MC?), part of that success may be because our PP hasn't been in the opposing zone a ton, and the forwards as defencemen therefore haven't had to deal with opposition attacks that make them skate backwards. But no short handed goals on the season (knock knock) is still something to appreciate.

• I'm not smart enough to translate this shift chart, but I felt like the line variations were off the charts the other night. Full on blender action. It made very little sense to me, especially in the 3rd period, when we were down, and using Toby Peterson on the PP. I think Peterson is a solid hockey player, but you have to wonder what is going through the coaching staff's head at that point. Are they conceding defeat? Are they that dissatisfied with some of their cast? I'm sure the latter is the case, but I still found it puzzling. I've never been a big fan of going with the guy with the hot hand or playing the hunch.

• The other day, someone found this site by Googling "hockey jokes Flames." Note to that fine gentleman or lady: you're in the right place.

• What I find most interesting about this story in La Presse is not the mention of our site, but the fact that no Habs blogs exist in French. How can that be possible? Can someone from la belle province or elsewhere explain this to me? I would have imagined there'd by plenty.

• English readers can check out Habs Blog and Sisu Hockey for a report on Le Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouge. It looks like Chris Higgins will be out for the game against the Oil, which is fine by me. By what I've seen, including my fantasy league stats, he has been Montreal's best player.

Prediction: 6-4, Oilers. Lupul (2), MAB, Smyth, Sykora, and Torres. I scream LE BUT!!! for every goal.


We're safe from shorties tonight because Higgins is hurt. I'm going to with 4-3 Oil in OT, Horcoff with three, including the winner, and Smyth has another goal that bounces off fourteen things in front of the net and gets reviewed for about eight minutes.

The Oilers 3-1, The hockey gods owe us one....

I also wonder why there aren't any French hockey blogs. Maybe because blogging originated with other sports (baseball, etc.) and never caught on in Quebec? Or maybe if you're bilingual you'll choose to write in English as a way of drawing a larger audience (not that there are a ton of English-language Habs blogs).

"Hermit" left a comment in a previous thread pointing out that there are actually a few French Habs/hockey blogs.

Woo Woo! Feels like forever since we last played.

Just shacked up with the girlfriend who is a HUGE habs fan. I think I see my first night spent on the couch coming.

Go Oil! Magni Thoreson the Electric Norseman with the hatty and Roli bouncing back with a doughnut. 3-0.

An Oiler fan says:
The hockey gods owe us one....
Me: biting my tongue till it bleeds, finally spurting out, 'There is no effing way the hockey Gods 'owe' the Oilers anything for at least a generation in exile. Although getting close and then stomped does help your karma.'

Just remember guys: if you lose this game then everyone is allowed to laugh at you.

"Winchester... Some thundering right hands" -Mr. J. Short

Winnie, goin' gor the Gordie. Go Buddy!

Does anyone know what's wrong with Shaggy?

I believe it's officially time to glue MAB's ass to the bench.

Good gizzle so fizzle.

Whay do they play MAB again?

What the hell is with all these fights?

Sportsnet has shaggy with a bum hip (day-to-day). Too lazy to link.

Missed the goal wtf happened?

We have spent entirely too much time on the PK tonight.


Definately not yippee... but at least I don't get the couch.

Both coaches made awful picks for the shootout. Unfortunately, one of ours cost us the game.

Thanks for wrapping that shootout up in under 11 rounds. I only missed one Flames goal.

At what point does the 'vaunted Oilers offence' become unvaunted? I really don't think these guys can vaunt. I am seeing no vaunt. No vaunt at all. Pisani certainly had no vaunt on that lame-ass penalty shot.

Go Flames.

I really don't think these guys can vaunt. I am seeing no vaunt. No vaunt at all.

I won't disagree, although Sykora scares me. The goal he scored was sick, and I can't believe how fast he got that backhand up in the shootout.

As someone who played left vaunt in high school, I can say with some certainty, that a lot of the Oilers definitely need to go on the 21 day physically unable to vaunt list. How much is Pisani making again?

Man, this is like deja-vu all over again. Once again we find ourselves battling to stay above .500. I know it is early but would be nice to storm out of the gates. Please don't let this be a "Battle of Alberta for Eighth Place" year...

Nice to see Reasoner set one up.

Shit, you'd think Winnie and Reasoner actually did that with some regularity. They looked like a scoring line on that play. Winchester has really established himself on that fourth line. He may still be tradebait, but he's definitely gotten about 100 times better since the season started. Looked like he won that fight against Komisarek, too, which is better than his preseason would've indicated.

Lots of turnovers created tonight, especially by hits. Probably the most physical game since the Calgary games. I'd question Ferraro's thesis that Gator needed to grapple with Downey (who has not retired, it seems) in order to get his head back into it, because he was already tossing guys on their asses, but ultimately, it didn't hurt too much.

I have to say, I see where Carbo's coming from on the Greene-Johnson hit. If I'd been the ref, even though it didn't look intentional, I might have been inclined towards 5 + G, simply because it looked like Johnson was done for the night. Situations like that should be exceptions to the instigator, because while that was a letter-perfect case of its use, Souray had to do it.

I'm kind of frightened that right now, we're playing a bit like the Oilers of not-that-old, with one supreme scoring line (how about that chance for Smytty in the third that Rivet thwarted at the last second), and a bunch of try-harder guys who can't get it done. I know the middle six are better than that, but boy, it sure doesn't look like it.

I felt like Komisarek was landing the better blows even though he got jerseyed almost immediately. Which is kind of embarrassing.

Let's hope Pisani and Stoll get a real big confidence boost from being selected for the shootout ahead of Lupul. I see the logic of it (in Stoll's case I suspect MacT was trying to keep Aebischer off guard with the newly-trendy threat of a slapshot from halfway in), but come on.

Pisani shouldn't be playing at all.

I know what it's like to have a new baby around...no sleep, increased stress and worry, distraction, etc.

He really should get a month or so off. He's not helping any more than, say, Mikhnov would.

Winchester has really established himself on that fourth line.

Is this like being the world's tallest midget? Can anyone on a fourth line be called 'established'? I think maybe he's removed himself from being first 'voted off the island' keeping the bar suitably low.

Does Ryan Smyth look over at Pisani and wonder how the hell Fernando ended up spending his money?

Komisarek definately won, Winnie was flailing like a fish. And Souray was kind enough to bitchslap Greene for me. I swear intentional or not - he was in total control of himself to not do it.

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