Thursday, February 01, 2007


Oilers Game Day-Canucks

Record: 25-22-4Record: 28-19-4

• The Oilers are 1-7-1 against the Northwest Division since December 15th. That is astronomically bad. Here's a breakdown on the entire year.

Wins: Calgary, Colorado, Vancouver
Losses: Calgary, Vancouver

Wins: Colorado, Calgary
Losses:: Colorado

Wins: Vancouver, Minnesota
Losses: Colorado, Colorado, Vancouver, Calgary

Wins: Minnesota
Losses: Vancouver (OTL), Minnesota, Calgary, Calgary

Overall vs. Northwest Division: 8-10-1

Record Against:
Calgary: 2-4
Vancouver: 2-2-1
Colorado: 2-3
Minnesota: 2-1

That right there is a lesson in how to not make the playoffs. If the Oilers want to get in, they have to dominate their NW opponents in the remaining 13 games.

• The Canucks, on the other hand, have looked like the Anaheim Ducks since Christmas, recording only one regulation loss since December 26th. How are they getting it done? Smoke, mirrors and the ghost of Cliff Ronning is what I would have said a week ago, but there are some interesting numbers to look at. On the year, the Canucks Goals a Game Average is still 26th in the league (2.51). Their Goals Against Average is 6th best (2.47). Their PP is 11th, and their PK is actually now 1st overall. Not bad, but nothing that blows your mind away, other than maybe the Penalty Kill. But look at the numbers since December 26th:

49 Goals For, 31 Goals Against.

+18 GDif, 1.2 GDif/GP.

9 of 15 games have been won or lost by less than one goal, including 7 overtime games.

18 PP goals in 68 Opportunities (26%).

3 PPGA in 73 Times Shorthanded (99.96%).** Incorrect. Fixed in comments.***

Outshot in 12 of 15 games.

Goalies have faced 491 shots, and have a Save Percentage of .937.

I think it's fair to say that special teams and goaltending are winning the Canucks a bunch of hockey games. But those numbers can't possibly continue. Right? Regression to the mean, where are yoooooouuuu!?

• Tyler has a post up on the NW Division that is definitely worth checking out. I too don't understand why teams don't send a goalie and some scratched players ahead for a back-to-back-game of this magnitude. Is it a penny pinching measure, or a culture of hockey thing where the whole team has to travel together? I know it's not the playoffs yet, but the Oil aren't going to make the playoffs if they don't win games against the Canucks. If Craig Simpson can slip away for a period to talk about his backyard rink, surely Roli and a couple more boys could have been on earlier flights into Vancouver.

• I thought the Oilers played really well against Columbus. They set the tempo early, and pretty much toyed with the Blue Jackets all night long. The top two lines looked solid, and I thought both Lupul and Sykora played good games. But it's the Blue Jackets. I know they're a much better team than they were two months ago, but I'm not getting too excited about that victory.

• Roli better play damn well tonight, or he could find his tush back in that old familiar spot. Jussi has looked great in his last two starts, and frankly deserves to keep playing.

• Raffi scored two, which means he's going to get about twelve more points in the next eight games, and then disappear. I wish the Oilers could figure out his schedule. It would be great to just throw him in on the upward part of his cycle.

• I love you Raffi. Don't believe that shit I just wrote about you. Give 'em hell, buddy!

• Two items to clear up: I finally saw a notice on my bank statement about ten days ago that the cheque to the Oilers Community Foundation went through. So that is done. Again, thank you to all who donated. I have a copy of the statement and the cheque, if anyone wants to see it. Just email me. Secondly, I never got to thank everyone who came out to the BoA Day. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I apologize to any I did not get to spend a bunch of time with. To be honest, I thought most of you would stick it out a bit longer. But the Oilers loss was obviously demoralizing. It's clearly why Fenwick skipped out right after the game ended. He had to hide his sadness. So I understand.

Prediction: 3-2, Oilers. In regulation. Fingers crossed.


Smoke and mirrors Andy, smoke and mirrors.

3 PPGA in 73 Times Shorthanded (99.96%).

First off, I don't believe this is true. I show VAN since Christmas as 5 PPGA on 79 chances (93.67%).

But even if it were 3 PPGA on 73 chances, I show that as a more realistic 95.89%.

99.96% is quite a stunning number, for sure, but I think you would have to allow 3 PPGA on 7,500 chances to achieve that.


I knew it was too good to be true! Shit. How the hell did I miss the 2 goals? Uggghhhh. I triple checked, too. I missed the GA on the 26th and 27th of December, and the 6 TS on the 26th. So 93.67% it is. That's what you get when you do it manually, late at night. Shameful. Thanks, Earl.

Those two special teams rates are still pretty impressive, though.

Yeah, no doubt. Outscoring the opponents' power play by 13 goals in a 15-game stretch is pretty San Josean.

Looks like they built their streak in the same way that the Habs played in the first 30 odd games of the year.

Take heart from the Habs last 17 games when their goalie stopped playing like a god and their special teams became decidedly less special: 7-10.

Vancouver can't keep it up for the rest of the season.

How is this for insightful, detailed, analysis: We won't win if we don't score. The Rolosonanen factor becomes irrelevant if there is no game to keep the team in. PLEEASE score more than two goals tonight, boys!

So much evil in one arena tonight...

It will look as though hell has finally frozen over and the damned are playing hockey (which would be remarkably accurate)...

If there is a god maybe he/she/it will smite the accursed place and free us all of the torment of having to cheer for one of these teams over the other...

But on that note... go oil... I guess...

I feel so dirty, I think I'm going to have to have another shower...

Go Flames!

I'll be cheering in a half hearted way for the Canucks, but an Oil win won't break my heart. Just wrap it up in 60, 'K?

Off topic a bit, but I thought it interesting. I wonder if this has hit hockey yet:


URL got cutoff:

I wonder if this has hit hockey yet:


I'll be at the game tonight.

Lately I've been suffering from panic, which is unusual since I leave all the panicking of the Oilers having a crappy season and missing the playoffs to you girlie-men who have more emotion than me that if we all got tested your estrogen rates would be higher than mine.

But I digress.

I'm not medicated at all and I can say assuredly, my boys are back. I get that feeling now. The same feeling I had towards the end of last season when they were scraping to get by. The same feeling that had Ryan Smyth pick up his teeth and get an assist on the game-winning goal against San Jose. A feeling I had whenever I attended an Oilers game knowing they were going to win.

I get that feeling now.

My boys are back and they're going to take the NW division by storm, not losing any, not even in O/T or S/Os for the rest of the season.

The score tonight will be 4-2 Oil with goals by Hemsky, Smyth (BECAUSE HE HAS JESUS HAIR), Torres and an empty netter by Sykora.

I wonder if this has hit hockey yet:

I thought for sure it was going to be a link about baseball players getting diagnosed for ADHD rather than popping greenies. But the iPod info is very cool.

I'm pretty sure Roli couldn't head to Vancouver early because he needed to be on the bench as the backup goalie. Like, say, if Markannen was taken out by a streaking forward and a defenseman trying to contain him.

If we had three goalies up, then we could send one ahead. We did that last year a few times when we had Roli-Markannen-Conklin all up.

If we had three goalies up, then we could send one ahead

Obviously you'd need to have three goalies up. That was a given. But why not do so? They've been bringing players up and down all year long, why not look at your schedule over the All-Star break and figure stuff like that out?

By the way, what was the final total for the Magoo eye exam fund? If my beer-soaked memory serves, I think I kicked in twenty.


Um... UH.... Tag.. Maybe now you can show off your hockey stick. And uh the tag was for everyone on the blog. But if you don't do it I understand your decision but I'll get huffy and cross my arms and give stern looks.

The Canucks had plenty of stinkers early in the season. While I don't expect them to win at this rate for the remainder of the season, I definitely don't think they were as bad as they were playing before this little run - perhaps the last 10-15 games WAS the regression to the mean. I can't believe people actually expected the Canucks to average 2GF/game for the entire season.

Further, I think the amount of shot's Luongo has been facing misrepresents the statistics. For every San Jose, where Luongo stole the game, there have been 3 Montreals - a Canucks victory with lots of poor quality shots against.

It's important to note, that this little run the Nuckers are on has also been done without Willie Mitchell, arguably the #1a Dman.

Anyways, should be a good one tonight.

Any lip readers in the house? I would absolutely love to know what MacT and Chimera were saying to each other.

I bet it was something along the lines of:

"I really enjoyed my time in Edmonton and I really miss you, the team, and the city."

"No Jason, we miss you more."


I'm going to this game and I'm nervous, damn nervous.
The oilers are starting to get in gear and I feel the canucks are headed back to the .500 pace.

But the one thing that keeps me assured, Luongo is pissed about the Jackets game.

Time for some $7.50 pale ales.

Any lip readers in the house? I would absolutely love to know what MacT and Chimera were saying to each other.

I know Torres said, "ah fuck off Chimmy," which made me giggle because that meant Chimera's nickname is "Chimmy." Course, my spelling could be off.

Waitaminute...Where's Stoll?

Ouch, that hurt =(.

Interesting game. Was hoping for an Edmonton victory just to keep Vancouver in check, but with the Oiler's defense and Roloson's increasingly terrible goaltending, it was a bit too much to ask.

Naslund's goal in particular was awful, and it's a bit fitting it stood as the game winner. That play alone works as a metaphor for the entire Oilers season thus far.

MAB is my most favourite defenceman.

Go Canucks!

As for the Canucks, yeah hard to believe their scoring would be that low all year but they do employ a whole lot of shit in their forward group so they're gonna struggle most games I'd imagine.

Yeah, what a shitty forward group that never scores. Godammit anyways. Five goals just wasn't enough.

Not that it would have made a big difference with 27 seconds left, but why do defencemen shoot the puck into the defenders in front of them?

As soon as I saw that I knew what was going to happen next.

Thank God I didn't watch this one. Goal on a two on nothing on a horrible line change, and Roli continually sucking ass. That Naslund goal was fucking awful. Can we trade him for Ty Conklin?

I hate Joffrey Lupul the most, for tonight.

Tomorrow when I wake up it might be MA Bergeron.


"Yeah, what a shitty forward group that never scores. Godammit anyways. Five goals just wasn't enough."
aren't the Nucks last in the division for GF?

didn't the Orca's go 15 straight games without scoring more than 2 goals?

are the Nuckleheads planning the parade in Vancouver?


I don't think anyone in the northwest is planning a parade, but god-damn it feels good to beat the oilers.
So many fights in the stands in the last 5 minutes we barely saw the action.

Was at the game.

Thought neither goaltender played overly well. It's easy to complain about Nassy's goal, but RL let in some questionable ones himself.

I'm a Vancouver fan, so I don't get to see the Oilers play all that much, but I did think Smid looked quite good. I see alot of you Oilers fans giving him a fairly hard time, and I must say that I thought he was probably your best defenceman tonight. He's going to be a player in this league, sooner rather then later.

TSN turning point - that Bieksa hit on Hemsky, after he had just deked by Mitchell. Bieksa rocks him, Canucks go down and score. Also on that note, Hemsky is definitely quite a talented player but he's also quite the bitch it seems, and can be rattled off his game by constantly hitting him and rubbing him out. Perhaps its an age thing.

Roli continually sucking ass. That Naslund goal was fucking awful. Can we trade him for Ty Conklin?

I think MAB should be critiqued before Roli for that one. He didn't play it right at all, and I think he ended up screening Roli a little bit as Naslund shot the puck.

You folks have been screaming all year for your GM to get a defenceman, and now I'm truly understanding why. Who was it that hopped off the ice and gave Chouinard and Morrison a 2-on-0 from the centre line? Good Lord Vishnu, that was hard for me to watch, and I cheer for the Canucks for cryin' out loud.

Upon further review, Bergeron was flopping around like a fish on Naslund's goal, and in no way screened the shot.

It was a nice backhand, but went right through Roli's legs. Yeesh.

Fault Roli a little, but fault MAB more.

Nah, fault the whole Oiler team! They were alright tonight, but not great. The Nucks played better and deserved the win. How great? Luongo didn't have to be great in this one at all.
Jan Hejda and Jason Smith were -3.
Both teams were 0-for-7 on the PP.
At least the game wasn't decided on special teams.
If Marc Chouinard scores a breakaway goal, you KNOW the Nucks are winning this one.

So many fights in the stands in the last 5 minutes we barely saw the action.

Are you serious? Sadly, I can totally see that happening.

So boycotting the Oilers until I get some indication that someone in the organization* gives a shit. Even Joey Moss is floating for Chrissakes.

*Other than Ryan Smyth, who deserves, like, a billion dollars a year.

Are you serious? Sadly, I can totally see that happening.

Hard to tell if it was oiler fans vs. nuck fans.
But one guy was told to leave by security, told them F off, and took on around 4 or 5 of them.

The oiler fan sitting behind me was a mouthpiece also. Was calling the girl in front of us a twat and his girlfriend easy, by the 1st intermission he was sleeping on his girls shoulder.

Actually Temujin, the general feeling I got from people last night is that Naslund would have been less likely to score on a breakaway than he was with the "coverage" of MAB (nominated as "the biggest pylon in the NHL").

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