Monday, December 31, 2007



"Poor record through 2007 proportionate to number of players off the roster injured."

"Eighteen players missed a team-high 286 games last season. The running tally this time around is 169 games missed by a dozen players. And a good chunk of those injuries were incurred between Jan. 1, 2007 and tonight's final game of the calendar year. Through that stretch, the Oilers have won 30 of the 83 games they have played."
From today's Edmonton Journal, an excellent example of sports journalism in this city (this one by Hall of Famer Jim Matheson, criticizing Ray Emery for having tatoos, is also a fine example). And hey, Oilers fans, if you thought you had a right to demand a competitive hockey team on top of intelligent, critical journalism, well, you are wrong. Joanne Ireland gave head coach Craig MacTavish his excuse, and he jumped all over it.

"I don't think it's going to end. We have some guys that are game-to-game right now," MacTavish said. "I don't see a healthy team in the immediate future -- which would be nice to see. But we are battling through it as best we can."

Ah, so nice to see. That statement came right after Ireland's "30 of 83" line, so we can see where this is headed. What's that line Vince Vaughn uses in The Break-Up? I believe it's, "You take the fun out of beating you, because you have an excuse to lose." Well, this whole story takes the fun out of cheering for this team, because they just keep finding excuses to lose. No salary cap. No Chris Pronger. Old arena. Didn't know the salary cap was going up. No one wants to play here. Rebuilding. Injuries. And on and on and on. ZZZZ. And who bails them out? The local media. If there are two constants in this city, it's that the Oilers lose hockey games, and that the media doesn't hold anyone running the team accountable for poor performance. I'm now looking forward to the "Ten straight years of missing playoffs directly related to decline in grizzly bear population" headline in 2016.

FYI, a cursory glance at the Oilers roster here and here shows the loss to injury/illness as such:

Ales Hemsky: 4 games
Joni Pitkanen: 13 games
Raffi Torres: 6 games
Geoff Sanderson: 7 games
Sheldon Souray: 25 games
Dick Tarnstrom: 12 games
Fernando Pisani: 26 games
Ethan Moreau: 38 games
Matt Greene: 26 games
Dwayne Roloson: 3 games
Mathieu Roy: 17 games

So my total is 177 missed games this season, from eleven players. I don't know who Ireland included or excluded from her list, and I may be off with someone. Not counting Roy's nine games missed due to a separated shoulder would make our results much closer. Anyway, the injuries/illness this year are real. No one can deny that. There's just other reasons why this team has played so poorly this season, as well as the last. I wish certain people would stop denying that.


Well I agree with you that the media is constantly making excuses I have to disagree with your take on the team. This team plays damn entertaining hockey, even if they are losing. How many games are over early? How many blowouts? This team competes to the last minute of every game and sometimes longer. A lot of people belittle them because of 10 SO wins but you have to play 65 minutes of solid hockey to get to the SO. Also, look at your list. If you take Pitkanen, Souray, Pisani and Moreau and remove the equivalent from any other team you would see a lot more losses in their stats. This team is young and improving daily. The last four games have shown the youth with the third period collapses but they have been in every game.

You mention about the cap issues and us losing Smyth because Lowe couldn't have known that the cap was going to raise but would we be any better with him? I love Ryan but his 28 points are only 6 better than Penns and he is 12 points behind in +/-. If you include Nilsson's 15 points we are getting way more bang for the buck from those two players than this team would with one Smyth.

This team will be dominant in the next 3 years and we may have to watch a losing season or two to get there. As a fan I can handle that as I watch this team steadily improve. Anyways, here is hoping the Oilers close out '07 with a win over the Jackets.

GOILERS!!!! a side comment, as much as the Media doesn't knock the Oilers or their staff I think the Oilogosphere makes up for it as they can't get off the backs of management and it's performance. As much as they are baised for it seems a lot of the time you are as baised against.

Preaching to choir Andy. I said if the Oilers ever got the entire "Team" on the ice at one time then we could really make judgment of the end product. The MVP for the Oilers may be the trainers when we make the playoffs.

Yeah sure
Its easy for you to criticize
You don't have to go into The Room & face those monsters.

As much as they are baised for it seems a lot of the time you are as baised against.

The team? You can't mean the team, because I wouldn't be writing about them at all if I was. As for management, I think biased is the wrong term. "Tired of" and "bored with" might be better choices. My reasons for such have to do with performance and actions, however. I'd happily swing the other way if reason dictated as such. I really haven't enjoyed writing two years of "wtf is going on here?" posts. :)

Wow. There's Ferraro, reiterating the Journal story. Said you can't even begin to evaluate this team because of injuries, or something like that. Unbelievable. Talk about giving management carte blanche.

Being a fan, a real fan, of a sports team is a lot being married. On the one hand, you are a fan for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. On the other, sometimes you wonder whether you can spend another day with your team, let alone the rest of your life. You make sacrifices for the team, you spend money on the team (sometimes a lot of money), you spend an amazing amount of time with your team . . . and sometimes it's rewarding and sometimes it's frustrating.

The media, however, is like the mother-in-law. They got the inside edge, they know the team, they are the ones who are supposed to be the professionals, the ones who understand the team for a living. And time and time again you are left shaking your head, thinking, "would it kill them to see my side for once?"

Fuck. That was one of the most boring, predictable retreads of every other Oilers game I've seen this year.

What was there, 5 scoring chances at most?

This team's offence is hopeless.

I went and had a nap when it was 2-2. Glad I did. Too many injuries, Mike. You can't judge this team until every single player is healthy, and then probably not until they've all played 30 games together after that. They need to gel, you know. :)

Anyone watching the Flames/Canucks game? Talking about homers, Millions and Simmer are being terrible here. Phaneuf pulls the typical dirty hit on Cooke (who I loathe), cross-checks Ritchie in the face, and then turtles. Yet they are shocked that Phaneuf is the only one getting the penalty. Here's the thing guys: you can't hit a guy just because the puck is near him. He has to have possession of it. Otherwise it's interference, which is what was called.

And Brian Burke is your girlfriend's first husband who may or may not get that vacant lot by the beach...

I'm listening to the game, but that means I really have no idea what the situation was. Mike Rogers thinks Ritchie should have taken a roughing on the play, however.

I have to say that I miss Ritchie. He's a scrappy little bastard, eye-shadow or not. It's not often that you find an energy player with his size and speed. Definitely a "size of the fight in the dog" kind of guy.

I could see Ritchie getting a penalty on that, too, but they were acting surprised that Phaneuf even got the initial penalty.

Okay, the Fan guys agree with you then. They said right away that the puck went past Cooke, and then Phaneuf hit him.

The media, however, is like the mother-in-law. They got the inside edge, they know the team, they are the ones who are supposed to be the professionals, the ones who understand the team for a living. And time and time again you are left shaking your head, thinking, "would it kill them to see my side for once?"

More like "Would it kill them to tell us what's REALLY going on?"

Watched the game at Joey's downtown. Man, we have zero killer instinct when things get tight. Absolutely ZERO.

david s: yours works too.

I noticed in the game notes that Vancouver has never lost a lead going into the third. But, they have never come back when they trailing going into the third.

I like those odds.

I can't even complain about Millions and numbnuts anymore because as an out of province fan I got the pleasure of watching the Oilers game with Columbus broadcasters. Wow, bad. These guys are half the age of Cole and Neale and miss twice as many calls. They mention that Columbus has a line change and on a breakout the camera goes to a close up of the Columbus bench and the players who just came off instead of on the play.

Then in the final minute when Roli is pulled they mention the empty net so the crack camera team goes to a net cam shot so we can watch live action on the other end of the ice from the net cam.

If there was ever a reason why the Americans hate hockey it has to be because of the brutal broadcasting. These guys were so biased they made Millions look like a Oilers fan.

At least the bad canadian broadcasters can keep up with the game.

I would say the theme for this year is "Zero Accountability." I would choose 2 Unlimited's classic "No Limits" as the theme song. (No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there's no limit! No no limits, we'll reach for the sky!)

Suck shit as a GM?

No problem, here's a 4-yr extension!

Can't stop hugging dudes in the middle of hockey game?

Good, now line up with Torres and Stoll against Crosby's line.

Want to take a run at Hemsky every game?

Might as well, because the Oilers will not do anything about it.

I think our fearless captain's downright selfish and moronic penalty in the latest CBJ shocker falls right in line with the theme too.

I love Ryan but his 28 points are only 6 better than Penns and he is 12 points behind in +/-.

Here's a crazy concept...

Careful, your head may explode...

The Oilers could have had Smyth AND Penner.


AND a top pair shutdown d-man named Jan Hejda.

Was the Oilers PP not better before the return of "hardest slapshot" Souray?

calling for the public burning of a Kevin Lowe effigy

Was the Oilers PP not better before the return of "hardest slapshot" Souray?

Possibly, in much the same way that penis cancer is better than prostate cancer.

Well, Terry Jones got his Christmas wish...and the rest of us got screwed. The EIG have rejected Katz yet again!

The 33-member group stated their desire to know if Katz would be willing to sign an agreement to keep the Oilers in Edmonton. They also wanted Katz to discuss reports that have suggested he would be willing to spend up to $100 million on a new arena for the team.

What an absolute load of crap. Those are excuses to not sell, not reasons. The real reason? Ego. Pure and simple. Of course Terry will spin it as a though the EGO, err, EIG, have saved the team yet again. This is getting ridiculous. Should have known their egos would get in the way of recognizing it was time to hand over the reins. So much for a happy New Year.

As for the team issues, we are the second youngest team in the league. I have faith that, in a couple years, we will be a strong team but only if Lowe can hold on to this young talent.

We also need to acquire a real leader/scorer with the experience of success to train the young players. I don't think this coaching staff has adapted their way of thinking for the faster game well enough to do what it takes to make players, such as Hemsky, really shine. Mac T can`t seem to keep lines together for more than 2 games, regardless of injuries.i.e. Cogliano was one of our best players to start, had acouple bad games, bang, fourth line, while Gagner is in the minus, less points, bang, first line. How can these players meld.

Moreau as captain makes no sense to me as well. He has huge energy, and maturity, but no skillset to make the people around him better. I realize there are few choices, and can't say I would be happy with anyone on the team wearing the C, but I think he`s overrated by most fans.

As for the rejected Katz offer, I agree that a deal has to made to ensure he never moves the team, based on fan interest of course, but he shouldn`t have to be obligated with the burden of a new arena. The EIG expects him to bring the heavens down to Edmonton and make them all saints. They want to be remembered as those who saved a city.

And last but not least, Edmonton media, The sky will always be blue, the grass green, and the ice wet and cold, so stop telling us what we already know, and stop trying to tell us what to think. Rant End.

Cheers !

Wow, Can, I can't believe you quoted that "No Limits" song. Allow me a minute to listen to some Naughty By Nature and think about the Expos OF of Alou-Grissom-Walker while I reconsider our friendship;)

Here I am with the Oilers: Lowe and myself haven't seen eye to eye on a lot of matters so when his moves fail, I'm vindicated but my team sucks so ultimately I lose. I'd rather that I was the dummy and Lowe the genius, not saying the opposite's true, mind you, and thatn we were winning because Smid was covering his bets and Smyth had one goal and was -56 in Colorado.

I like how the "we could've had both 94 and 27" idea's picking up steam though. This is one of the moves that Lowe made with my approval, as it were, and it would look even better to my eyes had we still had Smyth. Penner obviously brings something we've been lacking and we could've let Souray alone, gave 94 his money last winter and then just brought back Hejda for the D to replace Souray. And given we'd been so strong down the port side, we could've moved Torres for a pick and to free up money.

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