Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shock and Awe

Well Ryan Smyth is now an New York Islander. The Oilers get in return: 2 prospects and a first round draft pick for 2007. Shocking? Fuck yes.

Even more shocking are the other deals Kevin Lowe made. That's right folks, he did not make any other trades. Why is Sykora, Jussi, Shaggy, Peterson, etc on this team? They are free agents in July so why not get rid of them too? From trading Smitty to not making any other trades, you've basically told the fans: we're giving up and looking towards next year. Thanks.

Even better news: I got my season ticket renewal today. Shocking, the prices go up again next year. Not the 20 percent they did last year. It looks like 6-8%. Better than the shocking 20 from last year. I'll renew, but I'm not fucking happy about this team. What is the plan Kevin??? Apparently, he did not make this deal for financial reasons, or so he says.

Following today’s trade, Oilers General Manager, Kevin Lowe said “I want to be very clear that making this trade today is a hockey decision. It was not financial. The CBA we operate with in the NHL today means you need to have a sound hockey strategy and stick to it. Today we turned a page for sure – but this is not as much about the Oilers today, but what we continue to do as part of an overall plan. Our decision is about the direction we want to take and the opportunities we have today and tomorrow with the brilliant young players we have acquired and those we have in the organization. I want everyone to know that our decision was much more to do with a plan than a reaction. Ryan is taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our opportunity is to have a sound strategy for the future.I would also like to say that Ryan Smyth has contributed a great deal over 12 seasons here in Edmonton. He should be thanked for his contribution on the ice and in the community.”

So now what? What is the plan? Oh yes, we are in a rebuilding phase. Thanks. I'm so excited for the remaining 20 games of the season. Being 9 pts out of the playoffs, the season is practically over. I would be shocked if this team made the playoffs. The mediocre players this year will have to step up (hello Lupul, that means you. Also Pisani and Torres, oh Sykora as well).

Messier is getting his number retired tonight and this obviously overshadows his night. I'm going to try to enjoy the night, enjoy watching Messier and all the former Oilers in the house. I will try to make this night about Smitty.

Lowe, you are going to be boo'd tonight, so get ready for it. I do not believe this is entirely your fault. Smitty and his lack of participation needs to mentioned. Everytime he was asked about the contract negotiations, he stated, "I haven't heard anything from my agent." Smyth, get fucking involved. This trade lies on your shoulders more so than Lowe. I believe he offered plenty of money, more than you are worth, but you dug in and became like so many other Oilers, Weight comes to mind. Ryan, I am more angry with your greed than Lowe's inability to get this done earlier in the season.

I'll blog more about Messier at the winspear last night and of course tonight's celebration. Messier has been my favorite player, and I absolutely adore him. I loved his style of play, and yes he was a dirty player at times. I loved it. He was the Gordie Howe of our generation, but better. He was gritty, determined, physical and his love of hockey was so evident. It was be a great night with number 11 going to the rafters, but of course, the Oilers will lose. Don't they always lose ceremony games? Oh and they have the emotion of seeing Smitty walk out of the dressing room.

One question before I take off for Rexall: would Smitty return in the summer and sign as a free agent? I'm not sure. He would probably want even more money than what was offered today, so I would be shocked if that occured.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The End?

Is this the end of an era? Did Ryan Smyth just play his last game as an Oiler? Does he get to play one more, Messier's retirement game on Tuesday? Will he be resigned by Tuesday or will he be traded? Questions....too many questions. I want some damn answers.

I think since Ryan is not signed yet, it's actually becoming possible he will be traded. However, some of Lowe's comments in the media lately are worrisome. Would Lowe hang onto an unsigned Smitty and risk losing him to free agency, without getting anything in return? I sure hope not. Lowe, get some balls. You have to make the move is he's not signed by Feb 27th. It has to happen.

So with the loss in Minnesota today, the Oilers are 7 pts behind Calgary and 9 behind Minny. Obviously, they are not out of it but it's getting more and more difficult to believe in this team. After playing great on this road trip, they come out flat against Minny. Yes, Minny is a boring (ie: trapping) team that is difficult to just stay awake playing. Have I mentioned how much I hate them and their style of play? They are the New Jersey of the West and I despise them.

Today starts the Mark Messier hoopla. There is a ceremony at city hall, which I will not be able to attend, and the event at the Winspear tonight, which I will be attending. Tomorrow night, Messier's jersey is retired, and yes I will be attending that as well. Yes, that is the trade deadline as well. With Sather in town, will we see a deal with the Rangers? The Oilers have a long history of deals with them, especially since Sather took over.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Fat Lady is No Where to be Found

With an excellent win in Detroit last night (SO), the Oilers are now 5 points behind Calgary for the final playoff spot. Yes Calgary has dropped down and wouldn't it be fitting to have a Battle of Alberta fight for the last playoff spot?

Calgary plays tonight and a loss tonight, coupled with an Oiler victory over Minnesota tomorrow could really put Lowe is a precarious position. The Oilers would be 3 pts behind Calgary going into the trade deadline on Tuesday. What does Lowe do? He has to be a buyer. But this team is clicking right now, the young kids called up are playing exceptional (Pouliot, Gilbert, Thoresen, Stortini, and Jacques to a lesser degree). But with concussions to Lupul last night and Gilbert the night before, and Stoll still sitting out with his concussion, some insurance might be needed. With the exception of Stoll, who doesn't appear ready to come back any time soon, the other concussions should be out a week, more or less. So Lowe needs to keep this in mind when trying to make a deal. If he could get a veteren offensive d-man, that would be great. Greene would have to go. With Shaggy back, and Gilbert called up (even though he's out with a concussion), we have an abundance of d-men. Greene is now expendable.

But if Calgary wins today, and Edmonton loses....they're back to 5 pts behind. That doesn't necessarily signal Lowe has to be a seller. This scenario doesn't put Edmonton out of it, but the Oil have to win against Minnesota on Sunday no matter what Calgary does.

So folks, hang in there. The fat lady has gone to get a sandwich. The Oilers are coming on strong. Even though they've gone 2-2-2 on the road trip, they've played some damn fine hockey. Sure the losses to Boston and Toronto may come back to haunt the boys, but a win in Minny could set up the boys for a nice run. They play Minny twice, Phoenix and Calgary once in the next week. Big games!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Fans Hate Fighting in Hockey.....NOT.

What a great game by the Oilers last night, but even better, awesome fights between the Sens-Sabres game. Just watch Emery and the look on his face as he prepares to fight Biron. He's loving it. These two teams play again on Saturday night.

Oh yes, the Oilers play in Detroit tonight after finally winning on the road. Yes, our boys are not out of it yet. Actually, they've played some damn good hockey on this road trip. Too bad they're only 1-2-2. They deserve better than that.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Shoot the Puck or Me

Ales Hemsky, what the hell is wrong with you? Is there a reason why you will not shoot the puck?? Hemsky had several opportunities in overtime last night against Ottawa. He had the puck on his stick for what seemed like an eternity. Guess what? He didn't shoot the puck, but he didn't pass it either. He circled the net, and with the Senators all on their asses.....nope, no shot or pass. Of course, he ended up losing control of the puck, and the Oilers ended up losing in the shootout. Another game in which they had a chance to win, and blow it.

The Oilers take Ottawa and Buffalo to overtime/shootout, yet can't beat Boston or Toronto. They are now 0-2-2 on the road trip. Bloody hell.

No news on the Smitty front. Is this guy going to resign? Will he be traded before the deadline if he's not? Lowe, you'd better get a pair of balls. Either resign him now or trade his ass. Step up and get it done.

To go from last year's playoff highs to this season's lows.....what a fall it has been.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kevin Lowe is Awake

Marc-Andre Bergeron has been traded to the NY Islanders for....drum roll please: Denis Grebeshkov. Who? Exactly. He's playing for Yaroslav Lokomotiv this season (playing along the great Igor Ulanov). Yeah, they didn't even trade for a player that is actually playing in the NHL right now. So yes, again we're trading for the future. What the fuck?? Oh we also give up a third round draft pick. Bergeron and a pick for this kid who's not good enough to make the NYI line-up right now? Come on. Bullshit.

In the words of Kevin Lowe, "We see this as a long-term upgrade.'' Yes the future. What about now?? What are you going to do now? We now have another hole on our defense. Does this signal that you are officially a seller?? Have you given up on our season? It sure feels like it. I'm assuming we'll be calling up someone to fill this position unless more trades are coming? So I guess we'll be seeing all our minor league players from now on. Yeah, Ryan Smyth will love to resign with this team.

I know most people have given Bergeron the horns this year but I can't get down on him completely. He wasn't a horrible player. He had potential, but you can't win on potential. We have too many defensemen with potential right now. I would have preferred Greene to go before Bergeron. I fucking hate Greene.

Anyways, after a shitty game last night to the Leaves. Yeah our boys lost to the Leaves....talk about hitting rock bottom. The two best players: Thoresen and Pouliot. It's nice to see them picking up their game, and it was a sweet penalty shot goal for Pouliot. But the rest of the team needs to join them. Sure the Hemsky, Smyth and Horcoff line was buzzing all night, but no finish.

Oh yes, Minnesota won of course. 8 pts back. Are they out of it? Those games against Minny means no, but you've got to make up some ground. Next up, the only other team I would ever cheer for, the Senators. I don't cheer for them cause I'm Oilers only kind of gal, but if I did, it would be for them. I'm beginning to feel hopeless about this team. I think they can do it, but after losing to Boston and Toronto, it shows you that just because a team is better, doesn't mean they will win.

In conclusion: we're fucked.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bashing the Leaves

Edmonton is in Toronto, enemy territory, tonight. So we all know what that means: we get to listen to the broadcasters get on their knees and suck Toronto's....well you know. And to make tonight's game even more entertaining, the Leaves will be celebrating the fact that they haven't won a Stanley Cup in 40 years.

We all know the Oil do not play well following ceremonies but I'm sure watching the Leaves fawn all over their 40 year old record will spark our boys, not them. I'm predicting a humiliating loss for the Leaves. But why is this celebration happening tonight, and against the Oilers? Why not the Habs?? Yes, the Leaves are quite perplexing.

The Oilers go into this game 6 pts behind the final playoff spot (it feels like I've been saying that for months) but are coming off one helleva game against Buffalo. It was their best of the year so if they can build off that game, I have no doubt they will make the playoffs. They just need to keep rising to the occassion against mediocre teams like the Leaves. If they can, they're in.

Sometime today, the Oilers are meeting with Smitty's agent. Lowe, make it happen please.

Prediction: Oilers destroy the Leaves 99-0 with each member of the Oilers, including the goalie, getting a hat trick.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Memo to Kevin Lowe: Wake up!!

I was going to post something, but first go check out Lowetide's post about what he'd tell Kevin Lowe to do. I'm on board.

So the Oilers are 7 pts behind Minnesota and are playing the Sabres of Buffalo tonight. After losing the other night in Boston (no, that was not a typo), this road trip got off to a shitty start. So now what? Can they still go 4-2-1 like everyone seems to think they need to go? Yes, they can. But they need a win and a tie against Buffalo, Detroit or Ottawa (which means they must win in Minnesota, Columbus and Toronto). Damn, it's going to be tough but possible.

So big news out of Phoenix: Shane Doans signs a five year deal for $4.5 m/year. Yeah Doan got 4.5 million a year. Shocking? Damn rights it is. Check here for his stats, not impressive at all. He's never hit 70 in total points, and has 35 so far this year (on pace for 53). What the hell was the point with losing a year of hockey? Owners/GM's are back to overspending. And guess what? The cap will probably be going up another couple million next year. Revenue is up? Sure it is, especially when ticket prices are increased 15% (hello Edmonton). Has revenue really increased if you take away these ticket/concession increases? It's all an illusion.

Kevin Lowe.....there has to be something out there you can trade for? It doesn't even need to be that puck-moving defenseman. How about something to help out our offense??

Oh yes, sign Ryan Smyth. What's going on? Did he reject your first offer? Did he counter? Are you actually negotiating??? Give him 5.5/yr and let's finish it. Will he even accept that?? Does he want more? Too many questions, I want some damn answers.

So tonight, yes Edmonton wins. It'll be 3-2 for the Oil. All goals come from our defense.

Update: Well, the Oilers lose in overtime 2-1 but damn, what a great game. Now that's how our boys should play every night. Easily their best game of the year.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Game Day

It's game day folks, and no trade news yet. My thoughts are there will be none until either after the road trip or near the end of it. The Oilers play tonight vs Chicago and then Sunday against Atlanta. The Oilers (along with Colorado) are a mind-boggling 8 points behind Minnesota and and Vancouver for the playoffs. It's nice to know the Oilers have two games in hand over Minnesota and one over Vancouver, plus they play the Wild five times over the remaining games. BUT, they have got to start making up some ground. These two games before the big 7 game road trip are huge.

Tonight Chicago is in town, and guess what, they are on a bit of a run, winning four of their last five games. Maybe that works in Edmonton's favor since we all know how well they play against those mediocre teams. Stoll is still out with side-effects from a concussion, actually two of them. Thoresen has been sent down and Pouliot has been recalled. I'm not a fan of Pouliot. He's had his chances with the team this year, and has been a disappointment. He's expected to play tonight, taking the place of Winchester and centering a line of Pisani and Torres.

I have more to say, but time to get ready for the game. I'm predicting a 4-2 win for the Oilers, with goals by Hemsky, Horcoff, Pisani and Torres.

Update: Great game by the Oilers, yeah a slow boring second period, but overall, very impressive. Even though it was only a 2-1 win, it was really never in doubt. The shots on net were practically the same, but the Oilers did a great job at keeping the shots from the outside and clearing traffic. And guess who scored, Horcoff and Torres. Yeah good call from me. :)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

He's Getting a Reputation

I don't normally post or even talk about other teams, but I've got to say something about Sidney Crosby. Following today's game between Montreal and Pittsburgh, which I actually watched (another thing I do not do, is watch other teams. I'm all Oil), Crosby was whining about a high stick that was not called on him.

Here are is part of a post-game article from tsn:

Canadiens enforcer Aaron Downey started yelling at the 19-year-old superstar while derisive chants of "Faker, Faker" rained down from the upper reaches of the Bell Centre

"He told me not to go down, so I told him that if he gets a stick in the face we'll see how tough you are, we'll see if you don't go down," Crosby said of his conversation with Downey. "It's funny how you get a high stick and you're not supposed to go down any more."

For his part, Downey said his little chat had the desired affect. "I can't give away any secrets, but it worked," Downey said. "Agitating is part of my game. I told him that if you're going to be a superstar in this league, you shouldn't be acting like that."

Exactly, Crosby is earning a reputation as a faker. Yes, it was a high stick but you fell to the ice as if you had been shot. Sid, you were not. Or let's remember the spear.....fell to the ice like he'd been knifed in the stomach. Quit diving. Memo to the NHL: just because he's a superstar, he should be fined for diving. Every time there is minimal contact, he falls down immediately no matter what.

Some advise for Sid: man up.

Bob McKenzie's take on it:

What's ironic is that while Crosby's critics would try to convince you embellishment equals soft, the truth is he plays with great jam. He's like a bull terrier. He initiates more physical play and is at his best in heavy traffic like few others who have his skill and productivity.

Crosby is a bull terrier? Initiates physical play? Bob, do you actually believe that shit you're shoveling?? If you were talking about Ovechkin, I'd totally agree. Now that is a player who is physical and a bull terrier. Crosby is more like a toy poodle.

So basically we get more media defending the poodle, losing even more of their credibility. Come on Bob, time for you to man up too and admit Crosby's act is a detriment to the entire league. I'm not saying he's the only one doing it, but he is the superstar of the league. He needs to lead by example.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

If I Were a Hockey Player

I got tagged by Kyle so here goes: If I were a hockey player...

Team: Edmonton Oilers (is there any other team? No)

Uniform Number: 11

Position: left wing

Nickname: Goddess on ice

Dream Linemates: Messier (since I've taken his number, he'll have to pick another, which will be 76) and Anderson with Coffey/Lowe on the defense, with da Fuhr in net

Rounding out the PP: Kurri and Smyth....yes all forward powerplay

Job: Set-up woman for Messier, on and off the ice!

Signature Move: Since I've never played hockey before, I would use my figure skating abilities and distract the opposition with my triple axels and skating topless

Strengths: Obviously my goal-scoring triple axel.....no one else in the league can stop me

Weaknesses: Arrogance

Injury Problems: No injuries, men are too scared to hit me cause their wives will cut them off

Equipment: Whatever they give me

Nemesis: Every other non-Oiler player in the league. I hate everyone who is not a current Edmonton Oiler and particularly those who have been Oilers in the past. They need to watch out for their knees around me

Scandal Involvement: Cheap shots in every game. As a woman, no one hits me or drops the gloves so my actions are not policed in the NHL. I am given free-reign. It's good being a woman

Who I'd face in the Cup Finals: The Leaves.......beating the most hated team in the league will be so sweet. It would also be a 4 game sweep, with a combined score of 76-2 for the Oilers

What I'd Do With the Cup after We won: Never give it back

Would the media love me or hate me?: Love me of course, the feminists will kill them if they dare criticize or hate me :)

20 of 30 = 66.6%

Win 20 of the remaining 30 games, and you might make the playoffs. This includes a 7 game road trip this month, and a 6 game road trip to close out the season. Can it be done? More importantly, can it be done by this team? I say yes, it is possible. Am I delusional? Probably. I still think this team has the skill to do it, even with their defense, but it depends on the divisional games (and hopefully some upcoming trades).

The Oilers have:

-5 games against Minnesota
-2 games vs Calgary
-2 games vs Vancouver
-3 games vs Colorado (including one today)

Those 5 games against Minnesota are particularly important, since they are sitting in the final playoff spot.

So it's the first intermission against Colorado, and I'm just not sure about this team. They played two great games against LA and Columbus, followed by a good game, not great, against Vancouver. So far today in Colorado, there have been numerous missed chances by the Oilers and surprise, defensive miscues. Smid just got a penalty for roughing even though there were ten players on the ice involved in the scuffle at the end of the first period. Interesting choice again refs.

Hemmer scores a beauty of a goal, and it's tied 1-1. Oilers really dominated that period but once again, can't get a bunch of goals out of it. How many times have we seen that this year? Too many times. So heading into the third period, the Oilers are in it.

Oilers score two quick goals after being dominated in the third period (at one point, shots on net were 10-1 for the Avs, thanks Roli for holding the boys in the game) by Greene (that's not a typo, yes Greene) and Horcoff.

(Greene's goal is now credited to Smyth)

Sakic scores with 30 secs to go and now 3-2 for the Oilers. Memo to Staios: get the fuck out of the way. You were in the way of the goalie.

Holy fuck, the Oilers almost blew it. Smith had a chance to get it out, and fucked up and the Avs almost had another chance to score. Whoa that was close, but they got the W. That's all that matters.

I'm sure we'll all be cheering for Phoenix tonight (to beat Minnesota).