Wednesday, November 01, 2006

 

Something Is Rotten...



Alberta's two National Hockey League teams aren't faring too well to start off the 2006/2007 season. The Flames are 3-7-1, and can't score. The Oilers are 7-5, but have lost three of their last four games, and to be honest, probably deserve to have the same record as the Flames. Goaltending has been inconsistent, powerplays have been erratic (to put it nicely), and neither team seems to have an identity. In the meantime, fans of both teams are left thinking, "huh?" The Flames and the Oilers are the last two Western Conference representatives in the Stanley Cup Finals, and have lineups that should yield consistently positive results. Yet if the current poor play continues, neither team will even make the playoffs. There is a lot of hockey left to be played this year, and both teams had similar bad starts at the beginning of last season, but two teams going on huge winning streaks two years in a row is like catching lightning in a bottle. The Flames and the Oilers are going to have to straighten out their seasons real soon, or they'll soon be planning for the next.

Comments:

Man, the Oilers look a hundred times better than the Flames. In fact, I wouldn't worry about the Oilers at all.
 


Man, the Oilers look a hundred times better than the Flames.

Wow. The Flames are that bad?
 


The Oilers deserve to be 3-8?? Sheesh, don't overreact or anything, d00d.
 


I'd rather be 7-5 and playing like crap than 3-7-1 and playing like crap...but the Oilers need to pick it up big time, cause it's not getting any easier...
e-town
 


We should have beat Nashville. They were playing their 2nd game in two nights and started their backup goalie. I am still downloading the game, and regardless of what I see, we should have won the game.
 


The Oilers are inconsistent but they do have more hope than the Flames. They have shown some good spark on some nights. They just need to get on a roll.

The Flames are deadheads, they have suffered compressor stall no relight and gravity is winning. I live in Calgary and the press are throwing this whole team under the bus. The season is long a team can have key injury and go on a skid at any time.


MAB is making me go nuts last night. They were soft on the puck all night. Hemmers goal was beaut though. Last year the team sucked when Ethan was hurt also. I think we need a big physical forward that will step in and throw down when required it would have change the mood in the building last night.
 


I still believe that the two Alberta teams are the best of the Northwest (though Minny might have something to say about that) and over the long haul this will prove out.

The Flames sure look inept right now. But Iggy and Kipper have looked better than the early going last time. The overall lack of intensity/desire/emotion is puzzling. Last season, they looked like they were trying, but it just was not happening. Right now, they don't look that good.

The Oilers have not been as good as their record (while the Flames have been every bit as bad as theirs) but they've shown a lot more desire than my side most nights. I don't think the Oilers have been 3-7-1 bad.
 


Wow. The Flames are that bad?

It pains me to say this, but...yeah. The last time Calgary looked this bad was back in the dark days of the "Young Guns". And those teams had more of an excuse to stink.
 


It's possible the Oiler contingent of the site owes its infidel brethren an apology--in making fun of the Flames' talent structure too soon we placed ourselves in the position of the boy who cried "wolf." Now woolly, blood-soaked carcasses are piling up all around you guys and you can't bring yourselves to look for the explanation that would otherwise be obvious.
 


I'd rather be 7-5 and playing like crap than 3-7-1 and playing like crap

... that's the best quote of the week.
 


I was thinking last night this team reminds me a lot of the 'young guns' years. Falling behind early every night, making it interesting late, but usually losing by a goal. One gun named Jarome looking better than the others. A coach who seems scared and confused.

I don't want to go back to that place.
 


And I'm just happy the Oilers never styled their team after a shitty Emilio Estevez movie. How much more painful would the mid-90s be to remember if they were the Men at Work era?
 


And I'm just happy the Oilers never styled their team after a shitty Emilio Estevez movie.

Hey, at least you got that age-old criticism going for ya.
 


Grabia: I like your stuff on this board, but these knee-jerk reactions are so tired. It's basically message board stuff.

The Oilers have not had the desired results, but have certainly been head and shoulders above the Flames thus far. And I don't even think the Flamers should be panicking yet either - they'll turn it around in the absence of a serious injury to one of the two breadwinners.
 


The Oilers problem is simply consistency. When they put it together they look fine, its just a matter of finding the right line combinations and getting a consistent effort.

The Flames problem is...well, everything. There haven't been a lot of positives so far this year.
 


Grabia: I like your stuff on this board, but these knee-jerk reactions are so tired. It's basically message board stuff.

I don't think it was knee-jerk at all. I think it was measured. I wasn't screaming "fire and trade everyone." Just because I don't wait until the 75th game to post something, RiversQ, doesn't mean I'm running around with my head cut off. I acknowledged that a lot of hockey was still to be played.

I find it ironic that you complain about it being message board material, and then you pull off a message board move by calling my stuff "knee-jerk" and "tired." I find your criticisms to be tired. I'm not a robot. I'm going to call it as I see it, when I see it, while trying to rationally keep my eye on the long-term. Every point matters, and streaky performance now can have disastrous long-term effects. If you don't like it, don't read it. Furthermore, and here's a novel idea, take some time and write something on your own site for once. And here's a further piece of advice: have it grounded in some first principles about the game of hockey. Maybe, you know, come up with a glossary of terms. Because 90% of what you numbers guys throw out doesn't make any sense, and you do a really shitty job explaining it. You might want to take a hint from Bill James:

"Any statistic the meaning of which can be expressed in understandable terms in a common English sentence is always to be preferred, other things being equal, to one which cannot."

There, that message board enough for you? I have no interest in getting involved in a "you suck/ no you suck!" conversation, but I'm tired of monkeys flinging their shit at me all the time.
 


Could be better Andy but this team is trying to figure out who they are.

If I were a Flames fan I would be more concerned for two reasons - they know how they are supposed to play and apparently are not and Iggy is actually doing his thing rather then his usual early season slump.

Having said that its so damn early its ridiculous. A month from now the Flames could be in first place.

As for the Oilers Roli's play the last week is what concerns me. That and figuring out who plays with who. I'd go Smyth/Horc/Pisani myself for starters.
 


Andy, you have monkeys?

Cool.
 


Agree with everything you said, Pat. As for the monkeys, yes, I apparently have a whole barrel of them.
 


Nobody panic. Vancouver can't beat anybody outside the Central division. Colorado ultimately can't succeed if Theodore plays net for them. And Minnesota is off to its 43rd straight great start, Gaborik and Demitra are hurt, and the fade will start any day now.
 


I was thinking last night this team reminds me a lot of the 'young guns' years. Falling behind early every night, making it interesting late, but usually losing by a goal. One gun named Jarome looking better than the others. I don't want to go back to that place.

Dear god, you just described the canucks this year.
I hope when teams do their Western Canadian road swings, the intimidation factor will still be high.
Northwest division is looking a little lame this year. Although we'll still beat on any Eastern team.
 


AG..I'm not gonna be as harsh on you as was Riv and I understand that you're tying to tie the fortunes of both teams together but seriously man..you cannot believe that the Oilers are as bad as the Flames are right now.

If you want to have some legit worries about the Oil...then I say talk about their road record and the fact we have a 5 games in 7 days jaunt coming starting next Tues and if we suck in those matches then I'll start believing some of your concerns.

But in the here and now this team is 1-4 on the road and 6-1 at home but they've earned every point of their home record as they've held the edge in scoring chances in all of their seven game thus far.

Here's the deal right now: Roli's sucked rod in three of his last four appearences. As soon as he straightens things out then the Oilers will roll again and if he doesn't then we'll be mediocre. I don't see a lot of the numbers guys panicking yet because all last season all these guys kept saying that the Oilers were outchancing teams but weren't getting the netminding but if they ever did then look out. And that's what's happening.

Fast forward to early '07 season and the Oilers were fine and dandy as long as Roli was playing great and as soon as he wasn't then the team went downhill.

Sometimes it is as simple as McKenzie made it out to be, ie his claim that they should just call the game goalie because whomever has the best one will win.

Then again maybe you're Calgary and you're goaltending's good but not great anymore yet you're not winning because you can't score because the new guy isn't up to speed yet, you've got too much money tied up in your D, cough hamrlik cough and the team's offensive fortunes depend on Steve Lombardi and Chuck Kobesuck.

But that's a team with a whole different set of problems as opposed to the Oilers with one right now and that, along with the seven point difference in the standings, is why the two teams shouldn't be grouped together.
 


The thing that sucks for the Flames is that they have moved Commodore, Montador and Leopold (and I get the fact that the first two were just depth guys when they were moved) and so their D is no longer as strong while up front nothing has really improved.

Leopold for Tanguay only works if Tanguay produces. If not then you have another hole to fill.
 


Thanks for the advice Grabia, I'll take it under consideration. Sometimes I forget you haven't been around the numbers junkies that much. A lot of this stuff has been discussed by the regulars at IOF and Lowetide ad nauseum so I try to avoid it.

What terms have you missed? It's probably time to put together a glossary post over at IOF.
 


If you were so confident in your D in the first place then why spend so much money on Hammer? And the other thing is that as a GM Sutter is still living on, and rightfully so to some extent, on the Kipper deal and then he's allowed to Flambe Reinprecht and then throw him away for nothing.

Anyway...enough about that. there aren't any flames fans here to have a discussion with anyway.
 


I don't believe the Oilers are as bad a team as the Flames, but I do believe that our record could easily be as bad as theirs. It's funny, because even the Oilers stated that they got lucky with some games early on, and I've heard many others say it around the sphere. Other than the 1st game against Calgary, and the game against Washington, there hasn't been a single game where I thought the entire team played well. Definitely large chunks, but not entire games. And I'm not trying to be knee-jerk about things. But I don't want to be a total homer, either, and ignore what to me are some pretty objective realities about this team so far. I abide by Beane's assertion that the first part of the season you watch your team, and figure out what is working and what isn't, and then in the second half you make whatever adjustments you need to (trades, call-ups, demotions, etc). So I haven't advocated trading anyone or firing anyone (well, except Simpson, and that is a long-standing grievance, not one from just this year). But I'm going say what I don't like, and there are lots of things I don't like about this team right now. Lots I like, of course, but also lots I don't like. Debating me on those points is one thing--the PP is a good example--but criticizing me for saying them is another.
 

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