Saturday, November 29, 2008



Does it strike you that Gator and Smytty look a little guilty in this (rather startling) bus advertisement? So they should. Until this month I never understood fans who have claimed to become so frustrated with their own team that they began cheering against it. It seemed like an alien utterance, a moral monstrosity for any true fan. But the 2005-06 Edmonton Oilers have enlightened me. This weekend they walked into the Savvis Center with an open door to the playoffs; all they had to do was to defeat the worst team in their conference. Which had played the previous night. And which had set a franchise record for consecutive losses (13) earlier in the month. And which was starting its backup goalie, the immortal Jason Bacashihua.

The scoresheet in the consequent 2-1 loss was much too kind. The Oilers may back into the playoffs, but for the first time in my life a large part of me wants them to fail. And I don't think there can be much doubt whence the finger of blame points. Kevin Lowe's acquisitions are doing about what was expected of them, and there are few if any players (I'll give you Radek Dvorak) who are letting down the side with especial egregiousness. This is simply a failure of motivation, more usually described in other cities as "the coach losing the team." -- April 1, 2006

If you think this was a lone, or even minority, opinion on that day, you are mistaken. This isn't snark; it's perspective.


Beautifully framed Matt.

I was reading my post from way back then the other day. As I write this, it's 4-2 Oilers and they look good. Who knows, maybe another escape for MacT.

Matt is even doing the Oilers posts here now? Although Grabia has been MIA on the Oilers front for a while now.

When I went to find this post in Cosh's archives, I found that I hadn't actually remembered it as well as I thought. I didn't remember the take about MacT, and that wasn't the issue I was intending to highlight.

The issue I was intending to highlight was primarily how goddamned doomed you feel as a fan sometimes, even when your team is really good (as hindsight tells us the '06 Oilers certainly were).

The point is not that the 08/09 Oilers will be just fine -- like I've said before, I doubt they will be. The point is that if they're a lousy team, a bad game vs. LA and a bad period vs. St. Louis doesn't *prove it*, because even very good teams occasionally look awful against bad teams and lose.

Every team has a stretch where sub-par play and lousy puckluck coincide, and they look abominable. But the sun comes back out. Early in the 2nd period vs. Vancouver on Thursday, the Flames are down 2-1, and I'm thinking to myself, this fucking team isn't going anywhere. 10 minutes later they tie it up, I look backwards, and think, Cripes Matt, how do you fall into this same trap so often.

This is exactly what came to mind reading Lowetide's thread during the 1st Int this afternoon, which is why I posted this bit.

I do see the point you were trying to make Matt. My point was simply that scanning through the archives that the last time there was one of the half a dozen Oiler official bloggers here making an Oilers post that actually dealt with the hockey team was October 17. Between your satirical post of the same date and today, you've officially blogged more about the Oilers than the four Oiler bloggers on this site combined.

I know grabia posted on the 'aren't the Oilers fascists about blogs' thing and some random pop culture but really, it used to be great how there was an interplay here between posts about the Oilers and the Flames. The back and forth and name calling between various partisans was classic.

I know people get burned out on blogging as I got burned out with my politics blog back in the day. That was so long ago that it probably still links to your political blog from the same general time frame Matt. But at the moment the Battle of Alberta sort of resembles "Matt's Flames Blog".

I would reply that MacTavish has been under pressure whenever we expected the Oilers to win hockey games.

When we expect the Oilers to lose hockey games, he's been just fine. But the instant we plan on making the playoffs, the coach is killing us. This, to me, is not a compliment.

Yes, he had one good summer, but we don't hold up Pisani's playoff as what he's always capable of providing.

Dear Chris,

I'm so terribly sorry that our blog is no longer serving your needs and interests.

Feel free to fuck off.


The Management.

Management needs to chill the fuck out.

Very illuminating, and also funny, unless you are Colby.

Of course, he's a big boy. He can take it.

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