Monday, January 08, 2007


Oilers Game Day-Soon Would Be Fine

Record: 19-18-4Record: 16-22-5

How bad is it for Edmonton Oilers right now? Well, I'm not of the belief that the season is over. I still think this team can, and probably will, make the playoffs. On the other, that belief is based on personnel and management, not on performance. The Oilers certainly don't deserve a playoff spot at this point and time. I mean, ask even a casual hockey fan about the Phoenix Coyotes and the Chicago Blawkhawks, and you'll be told that they stink. Yet the Oilers are only two points ahead of the Coyotes right now in the Western Conference, and three points ahead of the Blackhawks. That's an indication, as well as an indictment. This team has to start racking up wins, and soon.

It's also become abundantly clear that the Oilers need to make a couple of trades, and soon. The players clearly bought into the perception that their defence was inadequate, reacted accordingly, and made it into a reality. It's an intangible that I'll never be able to prove, but I can't get past the idea that this team is still sulking and feeling sorry for itself for losing Chris Pronger. Every time a goal is scored against them, every time an outlet pass fails, and every time the powerplay blows, I see 20 thought bubbles pop up on the screen, with the words
moaning around inside. And listening to them talk about him makes me want to gag. Rather than use his leaving as a tool to motivate, they've turned it into an excuse for losing. With the Oilers playing horrible team defence, and with Ladislav Smid now out, I don't think Kevin Lowe has much of a choice in whether or not to deal for a defenceman, at least if he desires to salvage this season. Perhaps he never had a choice. Over the weekend, Tim Panaccio of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Oilers were willing to part with Raffi Torres and Joffrey Lupul in order to acquire Joni Pitkanen from Philly. This morning, he is reporting Philadelphia's denial. But he also mentions that there was an Oilers scout at the Philly game against Ottawa, so there must at least be some truth to our interest in Pitkanen. Unless, of course, the scout was looking at Redden, Phillips or someone else that no one in Oil Country is thinking of. Personally, I think Torres and Lupul is too steep a price, but then again I don't have complete information on the market. That could be exactly what it is demanding for a young, puck-moving defenceman, for all I know.

Prediction: 3-0, Oilers. The Triple Crown Line is shut down, and Fernando gets the hat-trick.



Requesting permission to use said thought-bubble as an avatar until further notice, sir!

Please do. I'm just mad it's actually a text bubble, rather than a thought bubble. I realized after I finished, and am too damn lazy to change it. Maybe if Chris was here, I could do it, but not now...

Thuis road trip is going to be key to the season. If the Oilers come out of this with a good record then they may just make the playoffs. The NW is that none of the teams are doing well on the road. If we can get on a bit of a roll the season will be fine. We are only 7 points out of first in the NW. There is a lot of hockey left to play. The D is suspect adn I for one really miss a physical presence the Oilers used to have, may still have just watch Stoll and Raffi. The team needs to play simple hockey and they will win. We do have the talent up front adn we just need the D to take an extra second with the puck before making the pass. The team really needs to play the team game forwards helping D and D helping forwards. It will come around, picking up a D man would help but not at the price of Raffi & Lupul. The Oilers don't need to go a fire sale here... just play the game.
Look at the Nuck game we had some really awful luck on the 2 goals they got ... The OT goal well whatcha gonna do there...

I've said, maybe naively, since the beginning of the season that the D is not the issue. The reason we made the finals last year is because we played as a team. This year, we seem to be able to get 2/3: Defense, Offense, and Goaltending. We can't seem to get all three clicking at the same time.

I like the Nedved move. I think having another vet up front, whether he rings up points or not, will be good for holding the team together. I think it would be really nice to have another vet D-man, but Hejda might be that if/when he actually gets some decent icetime. Tjarn also, from what I've seen, holds a vet-like presence.

So, we want to trade. Who do we want to trade? At this point we may as well get rid of Jussi because nobody (coaches or players) seem to have any trust in him. He's played so few games that we should just bring up one of our goalie prospects to get as much of a job done. Roli's likely to retire soon after his contract expires, and we have two good, young, goalies in the pipe. Jussi is gone sooner or later. It may as well be sooner.

We don't want to get rid of Bergeron, as he's one of 2 Defensemen we have who will take a shot. Sure, he needs some work. Put him with Staios in Smid's absence. But we need to deal a D because we already have too many. Greene is the likely suspect there. Sure, he takes a lot of penalties, but he's generally pretty solid, and the organization is in love with Smid, so he's not leaving.

Long story short, anyone reasonable for us to trade will not give us the returns that we want. I don't think planning for the future is a bad thing, but if anybody is going to go, I'd guess it'll be Jussi and Smith. Jussi and Smith for a better D. Give Smyth the C, get a good defenseman who can get a goal now and again, and we're good. That said, I think we're pretty good right now too.

The issue right now is more leadership-based than anything else, and like last season when I was yelling to fire MacT, I'm saying it again, and it's for the same reasons. Sure, he might be solid in a playoff-type atmosphere, but the man cannot seem to hold a team together. If we had Bowman, we'd be at the top of the league right now.


Maybe I'm ruining its power by pointing it out, but I have noticed something based on the 20/20 split and based on your prediction.

If memory serves, oilers were winning (though pisani was not scoring) back when you used to predict him to do everything. Then you stopped and he started scoring, but the team started losing.

I think you are back on the right path. As much as I like the guy we should sacrifice his stats for the team.

Pisani 5 goal game tonight!

As much as I like the guy we should sacrifice his stats for the team.

I'd sacrifice my own mother for a ten game winning streak right now. Serve him up!

I don't even care that it took matt 90 minutes to bury this post. Go Kings.

Oil 6 Kings 3, princess fernando (3), Raffi, Hejda, Nedved,

You heard me, Go Kings.

Good first period. Very entertaining. Poor Horcoff can't buy a break right now, though.


Nice little solid game they got going so far. I see Bergeron's up-the-middle to-nowhere passes haven't hurt us yet.

Even Winchester is awake. Why doesn't he play like this every game?

The offense really fell apart without Ted Ginn Jr.

This Roy character just cost the Oilers yet another big goal against. I'm starting to give the theory that MacT is doing this on purpose a lot more credence.

How this is 1-1 is beyond me. We've had tons of quality scoring chances. The only advantage the Kings have is in the "freakishly ugly Russians" category.

Every time Morley Scott says "logjam" I giggle.

Shoot the puck, Ales!!!


FINALLY! Jan Hejda!

God damn Dan Hejda. Solid fucking win. Everything looked good tonight. Next stop, San Jose. That come from behind at the beginning of the season seems like it happened two year sago.

Unless Greene died without me hearing about it, then there is no way Roy should have been playing in his place.

Did I miss something... was he injured?

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