Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Long Road

The Smitty-less Oilers are having a tough time. Two shutout losses were followed up by a pretty good game against Calgary. Yes they lost 4-2, but I thought they played quite well. A couple of bad bounces went against the Oilers but I was impressed with their game. I'm becoming more and more impressed with M.A. Pouliot. His second stint with the team has been fantastic. His first call-up was a disaster, and I was wondering why many bloggers out there were so high on this kid. He was called up in late November and played 18 games. I forgot he was up for that long. Probably cause he was invisible. He had 3 points during that period. He was sent back down and up he came February 9th. Since then, he's played 12 games and has 6 points with 2 assists coming in the game against Calgary. He was dynamite on the road trip, and probably should have had a dozen more points. He's had so many scoring chances. I can see him having a real good breakout year next season.

Okay, enough about Pouliot. The picture above is of Ales Hemsky. This is his team now now that Smyth is gone. He must step it up, he must start shooting more and he must take charge of this team. He's the superstar, he's the scoring leader and he has to take the next step forward in his development. Unfortunately, Hemmer reinjured his shoulder against Calgary. I'm not sure how long he's suppose to be out. His numbers look like they'll be a little off last year, but he's had a couple stretches where he's been out with an injury. But the numbers are close enough to last season, his breakout year.

So Hemsky, when he returns from his injury, needs to play out the rest of the season. Play with pride. That's all there is for now.


Anonymous said...

I agree, they played much better against Calgary.

How many more players can we lose to injury? This is bordering on ridiculous. I know there's nothing that can be done, but it's frustrating to watch.

Good for Pouliot - it's great to see the new guys hungry to make a name for themselves. The veterans don't seem as keen ...


Scarlett said...

I think it sets up nicely for Pouliot to break out next year.

I can't remember a year where the Oilers have had this many injuries. Or concussions? Damn, they had three players out at the same time with concussions. Crazy times!

Kyle said...

Looks like Hemmer will be back this season as he wasn't placed on injured reserve. Hopefully...

Vodka Boy said...

Hey Scarlett -

I've read that Kevin Lowe sent a letter to season ticket holders to give them hope for the future - something about the excitement of young'uns such as Sortini, etc.

Can you confirm, and if so can you post it? I've just seen quotes from it but not the whole thing.


Scarlett said...

Yup basically that's what he said. Here it is.

Hi, this is Kevin Lowe.

After a very eventful week around the hockey club, I wanted to take a moment and communicate to you, our most valued customers, our continued commitment to success.

As I stated last week, our hockey club will always do what we feel is in the best interest of our fans, and in the best interest of building a Stanley Cup championship team here in Oil Country.

Right now, we have a core group of veteran players and a wealth of emerging young talent. Last week’s trade brought us two more young players in Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra, and another first round draft choice in this year’s NHL draft. They will join players like Pouliot, Jacques, Stortini, Brodziak, and Schremp, just to name a few, as potential members of a championship Oilers club. Certainly, along the way, we will add to our roster through trades and free agency when the right opportunities are there, now that we have the resources to do so. Make no mistake; our plan is to return the Stanley Cup to Edmonton.

We have an exciting future ahead of us all, and we look forward to sharing it with you.

Thanks again for your ongoing support of Oilers Hockey.

Vodka Boy said...


i wonder if i'll sleep better if i print that and put it under my pillow.

Scarlett said...

Nothing is going to help any of us sleep these days.

D. said...

That letter makes me laugh.

Is it wrong that I'm hoping for more losses so we get better draft picks? I didn't think so.