Thursday, March 23, 2006



Did someone mention sidebar updates? Samsonov with another two assists.

A few thoughts on the game:


Jeez, even I, knew Ruutu and Bertuzzi were gonna pull those moves.

Peca looked really good out there BTW...

Yeah, I didn't mention him in my recap, but Jason Smith played a great game. He still finds way to lay out big hits and plays just dirty enough.

A Roloson pokecheck would have been nice. This must be what they mean by "confidence issues." Looking distressingly scared under his mask, a balls-out Hasek he ain't.

Not his best night, but he still looks better in strecthes than Conkkanen did all season.

Man, when's the last time an Oiler goalie made a save in the shootout? The last one I recall seeing, MacT pulled Conklin for Morrison, who promptly let in the zamboni.

Peca was wicked tonight. You were dead on, Sac - the Oilers needed just one more save from Rollie.

One more time on Saturday...

I'm wondering if Markanen should play on saturday night... Roloson's played every game since he got here, and it might be nice to give him the night off seeing as we've got Colorado on Sunday. I wouldn't bet that Roloson starts both games anyway.

7 wins in regulation (not counting OT or SO) since January first. That is 7 in 30 games. Tyler, Cosh and I crunched their performance since Jan. 1 today while we were doing our baseball draft, and the general consensus was that, right now, we stink. As Cosh noted, when was the last time you saw the Oilers dominate a game? Anyone? I had to go back to the 4-2 win over Nashville, on December 30, to find a game I was comfortable with.

Despite the "even playing field" of the new CBA, and the addition of Chris Pronger, Mike Peca, Jaroslav Spacek, Dick Tarnstrom, Dwayne Roloson and Sergei Samsonov, and the emergence of Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Jarrett Stoll, we are still where we always are: barely alive for a playoff chance, and looking at a 1st round loss to Dallas. Forgive me for being contrarian here, but doesn't this embarrass anyone? And should Mac T and crew even have a job at this point?


Fuck you Gonzaga and Duke.

The only thing that matters in the regular season is making the playoffs, as the mediocre 1990 Oilers will tell you. But it is alien and strange to be cheering for an underacheiving Oilers team for once. Is it all MacT? His line choices are weird, the PP is often too static, and last Tuesday's Flaccid Fest was alarming to see in a must-win game.

But then, with a deep breath, I realize that the Oilers play in the Northwest and that five points separate the entire middle third of the Western Conference. For now, I'll give MacT the free pass if we make the playoffs...

Yeah, I'm still in the "once they make playoffs a weight will be lifted and they will go on a tear" camp.

But if they don't make playoffs . . . heads should roll.

I'm wondering if they need a shakeup in the off season, even if they do make the playoffs. MacT hasn't been getting this team rolling. They showed some signs of life last night, but not nearly enough to make it out of the first round. I'd be scared if the playoffs were to start today.

One thing I haven't heard said yet is that last night Moreau FINALLY starting to move like his ankle is feeling better, beating guys to the puck and causing more chaos. And he didn't take any stupid penalties.

I've always been a MacT supporter, but the Oilers' bizarre home-road split is pretty damning. When you give the guy the chance to set the matchups with well-rested players, he's done far worse than when the last change is taken out of his hands. Surely that's got to be held against him? I realize a team can perform better on the road just by chance or by dint of weird scheduling, but that doesn't seem to be what's happening here.

The Oilers have 10 wins in regulation at home in 35 games. They've scored more goals away and given up fewer, and the Lightning may end up being the only other team to do that. The poor goaltending has been discussed here, there and everywhere, but a team that has decent offensive players and relatively good ice should be making hay at home. They've also backslid at even strength from 03-04. If they miss the playoffs, goaltending will be the main culprit, but a proper post-mortem will include the coaching staff. Mike Peca may have been trying to deflect attention from his own poor play with his little outburst, but the home record and the numbers within don't exactly cover MacT in glory either.

I'm not sold on this line of thinking.

Why does a bad home record = bad coaching, but a great road record not equal great coaching?

Afterall, it could be argued that Mac-T is overcoming more by getting his guys to play well on the road than he would have to in order to get them to play well at home.

Nope, I'm still on the pressure-cooker theory. Rexall is a tense place at the best of times, and this season it has been particularly so.

Why are the Leafs or Canucks better at home? Because of the lack of pressure? Please. Oiler fans have been remarkably indulgent with this team, giving them a free ride due to the perceived goaltending issues. This pressure cooker nonsense doesn't get it done. Every Canadian city has equal expectations and attention. If the Oilers miss the playoffs, blaming the pressure of a building with some of the most docile fans in hockey will be an unworthy apologia.

I'm actually not so sure that all Canadian cities are equal to play in.
Toronto may have an intense limelight on players, but the expense accounts taking up most of the bottom bowl relegate the hardcore fans to farther from the ice. And I've never been to a game in Ottawa, but even this season, they haven't been consistently selling out from what I hear.

Hardcore Fans farther from the ice? like that matters.

Toronto has leafsTV, a 24 hour channel dedicted to their hockey team, plus about 7 million people in southern Ontario cheering for one team.

Can't be anymore intense than there.

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