Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Miracle?

Okay, the Oilers host Phoenix tonight and this should be an easy victory but nothing has come easy this year.

After the loss to the Ducks in the shootout on Friday, MacT threw another player under the bus, Robert Nilsson, and then drove over him again and again. Nilsson got a chance to play on the top line but was benched midway throught he second period since he was a "non-competor" according to the coach.

I must disagree with the coach on this one. Sure, Nilsson floats at times but this is bullshit. He called out a player that has been pulling a decent amount of his weight this year, and certainly when compared to others (hello Gagner). Sure, we'd prefer to see more than 10 points but I think that low point total is in direct correlation to the many different line combinations we've seen this year. We all know MacT has his favorites and Nilsson has NEVER been one of them. Gagner has received a FREE pass all season long while Penner and Nilsson get thrown under the pass, called out publicly and bashed. I don't mind players getting called out but do it fairly. Gagner has not been benched nor scratched once this year. I'm tired of his non-competing too so let's call him out too. Why not? Oh yes, he's young and we're scared to damage him. Bullshit. If Nilsson is benched, Gagner should follow suit. He's been a dead-weight all year long (he seemed to wake up last game playing with Cole).

I personally like Nilsson and think he has a lot of talent. Sure, he could be playing with more passion BUT that's the job of the coach to get that out of him. According to MacT, he's talked with Nilsson many times but I get the sense that Nilsson either had no idea or it wasn't pressed upon him heavily enough. It's too bad he's probably sitting out tonight. I hate seeing players getting fucked over while others get a free pass. Bash them all Craig, or don't bash any!!!!!

Anyways, Oilers need to come out strong tonight and win. I don't want to go out again in -30 celcius weather to see them lose. I'm tired of it. Maybe Santa shows up and gives them the gift of victory? I'm willing to go with it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Oilers are hosting the Chicago Blackhawks tonight and I'm curious which team will show up. The one who was physical and competed quite well against Vancouver or the other team who forgets to forecheck, gets few shots on net, can't kill a penalty and has no passion (we've seen that team much too often).

The Oilers have won 4 of their last 5 games so that is a positive start. But let's face it, Roli and Hemsky have been carrying this team. I'd like to see more contribution from some other players. Visnovsky and Souray have been excellent thus far this season, and I think both are getting better. I love the way Lubo carries the puck and I'd like to see the coaching staff encourage him to carry the puck into the offensive zone more often. He is so smooth and exciting.

So I think the Oilers might win tonight as long as Hemsky and Roli carry the ship.

Update: Garon gets the start tonight. Good, I hope they get him back in there on a regular rotation. You need to find out if this is your goalie of the future. It's nice that Roloson is playing well, but we all know this is his last year in Edmonton and will be gone by the trade deadline. Give Garon a real chance if possible....let's find out what he can do!

Monday, December 15, 2008

All you get is 4 games!

Yes, Rob Schremp has been sent back to the AHL after playing four games (scratched in one game). He played quite well in three of the four games, had three assists and aside from the San Jose game where he didn't play well (then again, that was a long list), he was improving. Of course, until MacT nailed his ass to the bench against Florida late in the game. Gagner didn't even spend a whole game on the fourth line and was moved up when Rob was benched.

I think this was what we expected from the Oilers: give him an adequate chance until Gagner was back from his concussion. But it didn't take long for Gagner to get back on his line....let's be honest, he didn't play his way back up as I thought he should have. I was hoping for some tough love for Gagner. He's been given lots of chances so far this season and he is so lost out there. He is dead weight right now. Sure he's "trying" or it'll come.

One more thing: why is Reddox still up and Schremp down? Oh yes, we need "energy" fourth liners. Of course. *bullshit* It's funny that I'm depending him since I was never a big fan due to all the hype but I hate to see players screwed over. He has earned a spot in the line-up.

Anyways, I think Schremp played well that he'll get another call-up down the road this season. This was a very good stepping stone and maybe this facilitates a trade??

I'm off for an Oilers focus group (from a group of season ticket holders). I have no idea what we're discussing but I'm excited. I love to give my opinion!!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Schremp - 3 games, 3 points, +2

So Schremp finally got a call-up last week from the Oilers. He has so far played in three games and has 3 points including a wicked pass to Pouliot in his first game against Dallas. While he didn't play well against San Jose (that is a long list and not exclusive to Rob), his other two games were fantastic. He looked nervous in the first period against Dallas but got his footing and had 2 assists. It's nice to see the Oilers give him a legitimate chance, not shoving him on the fourth line and playing five minutes. He actually has NHL linemates and getting second line minutes (13-14 mins). His call-up time depends on the injuries to Nilsson and Gagner but I think most Oiler fans have liked what they've seen so far. We want to see more and if this can be sustained.

The Oilers are riding a three game winning streak, their first since starting the season 4-0. Yes it's been a long time coming but it hasn't been the best hockey. They blew a 3-0 lead against LA but won in the shootout. They were outshot dramatically against San Jose (43-17) but Roloson stole the game for them and they won in overtime. So now the Oilers have several days off before starting a stretch of 12 home games in 15 so this is the time to gain some momentum. If they can't, talk of MacT's demise will surface again and should be taken very seriously. If they aren't, this team is not in it to win and I find that disgusting. I pay big bucks for my season tickets and two losing seasons is enough. If MacT is not the man, find one who is. Enough already!

This is the stretch they've been telling fans to be patient for....here it is! 12 of 15 games at home so bring it!! Many of the games are against teams they should be able to beat: 3 games against the Luongo-less Canucks, Panthers, Coyotes, Preds, Isles, Blues, etc. They should win at least 10 of the games easily but nothing has come easy for this team this season. Prepare for anything folks.

One more thing: Sean Avery. I'm not sure how everyone is feeling about this but I'm thinking he got a raw deal. Anyone else? Yes, what he said was stupid, inappropriate, disgusting, etc. But seriously, he gets 6 games for comments off the ice while certain players (ahem Celine) get nothing for blatant head shots. And of course Dallas has been throwing Avery under the bus, blaming him for their season woes and he's the perfect scapegoat, isn't he? The whole team, even the coach, are sticking him with their problems. Well, I don't think Avery plays goal does he? He's not your sniper? You have more problems and can't blame it all on Avery. Now Dallas needs to decide what to do. I think they should let him play. He's a decent hockey player, so suck it up Dallas. Otherwise, whatever. I hate seeing even assholes like Avery getting a raw deal. He's an ass, no doubt about that, but he's gotten screwed over in this situation.

Oilers play Florida on Thursday. This is a game they should win.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vote of Confidence or Not?

After another dismal showing by the Oilers against the LA Kings which was their 5 loss in 6 games, it appears the wagons are circling for the Silver Fox or are they?

Yesterday, Spector reported that

"A high ranking source within the organization said Thursday that the Oilers will make a trade to try to shake up their lineup before firing their head coach..."

A veteran Oilers player, who requested anonymity added: "Maybe a trade, then the coach. After this long, a change might be good."

So if you believe this, a trade is coming in hopes of shaking up the team. If that doesn't work, the coach is out. There has been talk about who this unnamed player is. I have no idea but I like the idea that someone is finally speaking out. The media has been very easy with MacT this year. I haven't heard anyone call him out for some of his weird moves and why I think he should be canned and soon (Pisani to center, Cole to the wrong wing, Garon sitting, Smid as a forward, bringing up non-offensive players from the AHL, etc). It's nice to see something happening.

Although, MacT did get a vote of confidence today from Tambellini. He has confidence the team will turn it around. Although I did think it wasn't a ringing endorsement of MacT but he did put it out there he has confidence in the team. My favorite part was that the team practiced really hard leading up to their disastrous loss to the LA Kings. I like hearing how our team only plays hard when it doesn't count. Great stuff!!

Anyways, a trade is up first (if you believe the source). Who goes? Who do they get? Hell, who can they get at this point?

I think Roloson is the tradebait or he should be. Maybe Garon will get back in net (check this other story out about one of the reasons he could be sitting....damn interesting if they are indeed not letting him use his goalie coach from last year when he played awesome)!!!

Oilers are in St. Louis tomorrow at noon then Dallas on Sunday. Yes, another back-to-back game on the road. Will the team wake from their coma in time??

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A desperate move?

Guess who will be playing on the wing tonight against Detroit? Ladislav Smid. Yes he is a defenseman. Yes this is weird. Yes this might be desperation. MacT mentioned this a few days ago that Smid might be a good option up front since he was a big body. Yes, that might be true but putting in someone who isn't a forward against the best team in the league is very dangerous. This can't be a good idea.


In any case, he'll be playing with Pouliot and Brodziak while Stortini and Boulerice get some time in the pressbox while MacT keeps the other three lines in tact from the surprisingly easy win against Columbus 7-2.


I'm not sure what to expect, this team is all over the place. Their powerplay was killer against Columbus, due to better puck movement. As in my previous blog, I mentioned that passing the puck quickly will give Souray a better chance to get his shot away instead of standing stationary. It worked.


I think this game will be closer than the previous game versus Detroit with a chance to win for the Oilers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Are the credits rolling yet?

I think this photo says it all. Is he responding to the game last night or questions about his future in Edmonton?

Another disaster loss for the Oilers last night where Conklin earns a shutout. One word: embarrassing. Where was this prowess when we needed it Conks?? And Pisani is out 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. That sums up their play last night: broken! They had their chances (again) but couldn't convert. How often do you get a 2-1 on the powerkill and not hit the net? All the time if you are the Oilers. If you're the Oilers, you get another 2-1 seconds later and get off a weak shot. Roli played well, made 37 saves but needs some help. I'm thinking we should let him carry the puck and see how he does on the powerplay.

Souray played his worst game last night. He took a dumb penalty when already down a man and just can't adapt on the powerplay. When you are stationary, the shot from the point is easy to block (as we saw last night) and you end up losing control of the puck. When they moved the puck from point to point, with crisp passes, the shot from the point gets through and a decent chance is had.

So are the wagons circling? Is the writing on the all? Are the final credits rolling? I don't think MacT's days are numbered today, but if this continues for another week, it can't be far off. You don't want to wait too long. They're still within striking distance. I think he is an intelligent coach and he has done some nice things for the Oilers. Until this year, the team was usually solid defensively and had a killer powerkill. He developed the fringe players into solid NHL'ers.

But if you look at his record closely, it really isn't outstanding after 7 years in Edmonton. 4 years the team missed the playoffs, they lost in the first round twice and of course the 2006 year run to the finals. That run to the finals saved his job and gave him some breathing room for the past two seasons. It can't all be placed on his head: injuries and holes in the team are part of the problem for the past two years. However, the team is healthy this year and the cast of characters is excellent and probably one of the better Oilers teams since the early 1990s (or has the potential to be).

While people might whine about the job Lowe has done in the past two years (I don't agree with that assessment completely but that's another post), Lowe stepped up to the plate this summer, hit a grand slam and gave his coach the best team he's ever had. It's now up to the coach to put the pieces together and quit trying to put a square peg in a round hole (Penner is not a third line defensive player, Moreau is not a powerplay option nor a first liner, Gagner should be put back to the wing and reunited with his kid line, and no more PK, fix the three-headed goalie monster and give Garon a start).

The Oilers are in Columbus (another back-to-back game, thanks NHL scheduling) and we'll see what the team and coach is made of tonight. Is anyone hopeful?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Losers since 1967!

Yeah you are. Losers. All day and everyday!

Okay, the game last night was a big bag of suck. And that is putting it mildly. The Oilers had a great first period, but coupled with shit refereeing and just plain bad play, they got their asses kicked in the remaining two periods.

I missed most of October's games while I was in Germany but since I've been back, I have not been impressed with this Oilers' team at all. This team has so many issues and I'm not sure if they can fix it all this season. So instead of fighting for the division and conference lead, this team at the moment will resort to tradition and fighting for the 8th playoff spot.

Okay, what are the good parts of this team? One word: Hemsky. He has been unbelievable during the past couple weeks and in every game, he has been dangerous. Sure he'll give up a bit defensively but that's nothing compared to the good he does when he is on the ice. And people, that goal was not completely his fault last night. Sure he turned over the puck at the blueline, leading to a 2-1 and a goal. But he was out-manned 2-1 on the boards, and where was the other defenseman and how about the goalie? He sure wasn't great or even good last night.

Another good on this team is Souray. All this talk about his defensive failings might have been blown out of proportion because all I see is a very solid defenseman. I really like his game. He's been so calm when under pressure.

As for the rest of the defense, it is a mixed bag. Smid was having a nice stretch when concussion-city hit. That's too bad since he had turned a corner. Gilbert is playing okay, but definitely not as well as last year. Is this contract stress?? I'm not sure what to say about Visnovsky. His stats look okay but something is missing in his game and I'm not sure what it is (check out shooting percentages....interesting to see why some of our players do not have many points and are struggling, they aren't converting: Gilbert, Gagner and Pouliot are good examples). Staios has not been bad but Strudwick is a weird case. He is almost holding his own considering he skates like I did when I was five. It is ugly folks. He can barely skate backwards.

The bad on this team is too numerous to list so let's pick out the most obvious:

-Horcoff: he's been invisible. He is dead weight at this point. Even his normally trusty defensive game has disappeared. He was dead when playing with Hemsky and is dead without him. I'm sure he'll turn it around but we're a fifth of the way through the season so he'd better pick it up soon.

-Pisani and Penner: Pisani is having problems defensively as well. Penner is not clicking with Cogliano. Cogs has speed and skill, and just does not fit with Penner. I won't get into this right now, but maybe this is coaching?? But with Penner, he does not skate. He's two steps away from the puck, but he won't skate to it. He tries to reach it with his stick instead of taking that step. Is it conditioning?

-Goalies: Way too many clunkers. Sure, they could use some defensive help but one of them needs to step up and take the starting position. JDD had a couple good games followed by the clunker last night. I think Garon starts on Saturday, or he should. He hasn't played since Nov 6th so it's time to get him back in there.

-Cole: I don't like this guy at all. I'm not sure why everyone was getting off on him when he was acquired. This might be another situation where he doesn't fit in with anyone (hello Penner).

Anyways, how much does coaching play into this? I think a lot. First up: line combinations. I missed the first month of the season so I'm going by the last two and a half weeks but damn, I've never seen the blender used so much. Hemsky has found his grove while everyone else is struggling. No combination seems to be getting much traction. Another problem is weird coaching decisions: Moreau on the powerplay (with 3 mins left in the game), reluctance to adapt and try new things, too much blender.....the list goes on.

How about the disastrous power kill? It's running at 74% and is 28th in the league (the top 10 teams are over 83%). The Leaves went 3 for 3 last night. Yet MacT stays with the same line combinations for the PK (and the PP but more about that later). They're getting killed out there. The forwards are weak on the boards and lose every battle. The d-men are the same. Souray seems to be the best option. He does seem to battle better than the rest. And Staios, how about changing things up and stop ringing it around the boards? Is it working for you yet? No no no!

Oh the powerplay is not the problem it was last year but 18% is not great considering the top teams are over 25%. Last night was the perfect example as to why the PP sucks. They run the same play night-in and night-out. Souray is on the first unit, and they pass it until they get it to him. He shoots, and is either blocked or misses the net. It's not working people and the opposition knows what you're doing. Last night, they had Souray on the second unit once and the first unit got some nice chances. But guess what? Souray got back on the first unit on the very next PP. Mix it up MacT. Give the puck to Hemsky and let him go with it until he scores. Seriously, he is your only option at this point.

I haven't said anything about Gagner but he did score his first goal last night. Easy one, but maybe this opens the flood gates? I still think the Kid Line should be put back together. Cogs needs better linemates and so does Nilsson. These two kids are getting screwed.

Colorado is up tomorrow night. Reddox has been recalled. Does he play? What about Boulerice? He probably takes Stortini's place (who is lost without Glencross. Any spark he had last year is gone. You're down 5-2 with 6 minutes to go last night, and when you hit the ice, you don't hit anyone? Dude, juice up if you need to but damn, hit someone).

I think the Oilers rebound tomorrow night. They couldn't play any worse, right? And something needs to happen to this team. Maybe the road woes are the problem? Having 12 of your first 15 games on the road is tough and we should cut them some slack. They are in 8th spot, and only 2 points behind the division lead and 5 teams. But this team could end up in serious problems if they can't get it together, especially the PK.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Season Preview from Deutschland

Greetings my fellow Oilers' fans, I'm in Germany right so my post will be brief. I won't be home until after the start of the new season, will be missing quite a few games, so I'll be updating from Germany.

Souray is our new alternate captain, which I like. Okay, I just like all things related to Souray and people, get off his back. He hasn't pulled a Moreau yet so back off. If he misses two seasons, then you can get on him. I liked what I saw in the pre-season, Souray looked really good so I'm expecting good things for him this season.

It looks like neither Shremp nor Brule will make this team since they claimed some unknown tough guy from Florida. I've never heard of this guy so I'm not sure what to make of it. I think Shremp has finally earned his chance and he'll play quite a few games this year. Someone will get injured and he gets the first call, as long as he plays well in the AHL.

Hemmer is going to light it up with Cole and Horcoff. This line is going to fly along with the Kid Line, if MacT leaves them alone. It should be great years for both, and there will not be the sophmore jinx.

There are goalie issues. We have three of 'em kicking around. Garon is our number one and I think he continues his play from last year (sorry Garon haters, he is not sucking this year). Roli will get traded by February probably.....but he might end up playout out the year. I think the Oilers will be fighting for the division lead and Roli may stick with the team if that is the case.

So yes, Oilers will be fighting for the division lead with Minnesota, Calgary finishes third, and possibly out of the the playoffs, depending on the rest of the West. Oilers definitely make the playoffs, win at least one round and set themselves up for a great couple of years!!!

Book it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

RIP Reggie

Paul Newman is known to hockey fans from Slapshot. I was always shocked that a major movie star would actually be in a hockey movie. I never understood why he did it but I'm sure glad he did. While most people think of the Hanson brothers, Paul Newman rocks this movie!!!!

If you haven't seen his other filmes, I strongly suggest checking out Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.....Newman killed in that film. I always think of that role when Newman comes to mind!

RIP Paul Newman!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And let there be hockey!

The Oilers training camp started on Friday with medicals and yesterday with scrimmages. The Joey Moss Cup is being played right now with team Blue leading the Whites (Penner and Nilsson for Blue and Cole for White). This is a very exciting time for us Oiler fans. We've been without hockey for ~171 days. That is a loooong time! I guarantee we won't have that much time between hockey next year. This team makes the playoffs: no doubt about it!

I think this will be a breakout year for the team, and they'll fight for the division title with a very good chance of winning it. The other teams in the division did not improve their teams over the summer, and you could even say some of them are worse off this year. Calgary is one team that comes to mind: trading Tanguay and signing Bertuzzi were the two big moves. Neither one improves the team and the team could possibly miss the playoffs if Kipper plays like he did last year. One can only hope.......

Back to our Oilers: with new players Visnovsky, Cole, Brule, Potulny coming to town and with some other prospects (Schremp)....the team has some nice depth. This should be Hemsky's breakout year. Looks like Cole will be tried out on his wing but knowing MacT and his blender, don't get used to seeing that as things will change and change. And change.....

The first pre-season game is tomorrow and I shall be sitting in my season seat ready to cheer loud for my Oil. 171 days between hockey games.......bring on the Oil.

GOILERS!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Joining the Boys on the Bus.....

Glenn Anderson, who was finally selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, will be getting his night at Rexall Place! Glenn will join fellow Oilers in the rafters on January 18th! Yes I'm excited. This will be my fourth retirement ceremony: Fuhr, Coffey, Messier and now Anderson.

Even though Messier and Fuhr were (and are) my favorite players, Anderson was the most exciting player to watch and my playoff-favorite. He was fearless; driving and crashing the net with abandon.

I was slightly worried this ceremony night would take place in October, when I was in Germany. But whew, it's not until January when the Coyotes (and Gretzky) are in town. It'll be a special night for sure. Maybe the boys will actually win a ceremony night?

In any case, the excitement for the upcoming season, which I thought couldn't get any higher, is making it hard to concentrate at work. I think all of Edmonton has such high expectations for this team and they are not unfounded. This team is young, exciting and will only get better. Even though I'll miss the first month of the season since I'll be in Europe, I can't wait for the season to start. I'll get to catch the pre-season games before I take off and the good news is that I'll only miss 3 games while I'm gone. I was nervous I'd be missing out on 7 or 8 games but three cheers for the road trip!!!

GOILERS!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Hockey Operations Structure

I just got an email update from the Oilers with that tag line and it s on TSN's website now.

Kevin Lowe is now the President of the Edmonton Oilers. Gone is Laforge (I guess) since there is no mention of him in the announcement.

VP Kevin Prendergast is now the Assistant Manager.

We have a new GM folks: Steve Tambellini is now the man. He's been in the Canucks organization for years according to the email. I really don't know anything about him (didn't he do some work with Team Canada?).

I'm not sure what to think of this move. I really liked Lowe's moves this summer. He really redeemed himself after the past couple years of questionably deals. So just when I was enjoying his skillful moves this summer, he gets bumped upstairs and we have a new GM in town.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 1 - Canada Day and Le Free Agent Frenzy

Happy Canada Day and happy free agent frenzy day as well. There has been a trade already involving our Oilers, even before the frenzy has begun.

Raffi Torres has been traded to Columbus for Gilbert Brule. This looks like a salary dump or they're clearing the decks for some free agent signings. According to Dan Barnes at the Journal, the Oilers plan to get into the Hossa sweepstakes big time and offer at least 9 million dollars a year. I'm torn on this since I truly believe Hossa is the type of player our Ales Hemsky needs to play with. But 9 million? I don't like that at all.

But with the trades of Stoll, Torres, Greene and of course Pitkanen will be gone soon, there might be cap room for a move like that. The bigger issue is does Hossa even want to come here? Even during Visnovsky's conference call yesterday, he mentioned the cold and winter of Edmonton. Maybe we should tell everyone that we're in a major heat wave right now?

Anyways, let the frenzy begin!!!

Update: Pitkanen is off to Carolina for winger Erik Cole (4 million cap hit who has one year left on his deal. I hope there is an extension coming too. One year of Cole against several of Pitkanen is NOT a good deal).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welcome Lubomir...

I was just talking about the Oilers today and the possible trades they would make on Canada Day! Well they beat me to it but I thought Stoll and Greene would be gone.

And poof, they are outta here.

In return, the Oilers get Lubomir Visnovsky from the LA Kings. According to TSN, the Oilers also will be taking on his five-year, US$28-million contract extension he signed in July 2007.

I originally thought he was a Czech but nope, he's Slovakian. Cool, we have some Czechs and a Slovak now....Czechoslovakia baby!!!

I think this means Pitkanen is going to be gone on Canada Day. I can't see them signing him for the 5 million he wants if they just got Visnovsky. Pitkanen can snag the Oilers a top 6 forward. So that should be good news!!!

I'm thrilled that Greene is gone. Finally, I've been championing his departure for several years now. All I have to say: dreams do come true.

I feel bad for Stoll. I like him as a player, well not last year. He was a piece of crap. I thought he might bounce back this year, but that was a big maybe. He needed a change of scenery and plus, he's closer to his cougar-girlfriend Rachel Hunter. So it all works out for the best!

Welcome to Edmonton Lubomir Visnovsky!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Is it finally his time? (YES IT IS)!

Is it finally time for Glenn Anderson to enter the Hockey Hall of Fame? It damn well better be.....he's been eligible since 1999. 9 years of waiting is too long especially when he's been passed over for lesser players. Yes lesser players were chosen over Anderson. They include Neely, Lafontaine, Francis, MacInnis, Duff, Murphy, Gillies, Federko, Langway, Hawerchuk, Gartner, and the list goes on. All these players have made the Hall in years that Anderson was eligible. Anderson's numbers were superior to all of them, and more importantly, his pressense in the playoffs was off the charts.

Why he is not in the Hall? There are many reasons listed as a possiblity: he benefitted from a skilled Oilers team, he wasn't friendly with the media, he's a deadbeat dad, etc. I'm still confused why any of these reasons would ever be brought up. You don't need to be a good father to get into the Hall. It's based on your hockey career (or should be entirely) but people keep bringing up all these factors. His numbers alone should have gotten him into the Hall.

I can't see him being denied another year. His numbers along with his Stanley and Canada Cups should be enough to get him in. Check the list of eligible players and their stats. Anderson should get over the hump due to his Cups.

My favorite memories of Glenn was when he was flying down the ice, cutting into the middle, splitting the defense, crashing the net and shooting the puck into the net. I grew up in Manitoba where we didn't hear the rumours and information about his personal life. All I knew growing up was that he was a helleva hockey player. That is how he should be judged today.

Announcement will come at 3:30 (et) and his eight year wait should be over.

UPDATE: Welcome to the Hall of Fame Glenn Anderson!

ABOUT F'IN TIME!

Monday, June 09, 2008

CTV: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Just in, TSN/CTV has 'saved' the Hockey Theme Song. First, I didn't know the song needed saving. Second, this accounts for flat out thievery. The song didn't need to be saved. There was ongoing negotiations (or extortion) with the jingle writer Claman and CBC for the use of the song which has been in rotation for 40 years at the CBC. So with the extortion not going according to plan, Claman turns to CTV/TSN and extorts them.

CTV, big bad billionaire company, steals this song from public broadcaster CBC. Yes it's as bad as it sounds. I know CTV/TSN wants to pretend this was done to ensure the survival of the song but there wasn't much doubt that a deal would have occurred with the CBC. They would never let the song die but they sneak in, do a back-door deal and poof, it's been stolen.

According to CBC and how there was double-dealing going on:

We offered arbitration, mediation — we offered to meet their price. On Friday, when it came right down to it, we never got a response from them on our latest offer and find out, in the meantime, they appeared to be negotiating with CTV.....If that is the price CTV wants to pay, it won't be the first time nor will it be the last time, probably, that they outbid us for something. They have a lot more profits than we do...

I've become more disillusioned and disappointed with TSN over the past couple years, particularly when they started broadcasting NHL games. They've become big, fat, loud and obnoxious. They're shit as broadcasters now who depend on gossip instead of storytelling. They spend more time shelling out the rumour-de-jour instead of actually commenting on real stories. Ten years ago when I moved out on my own and got cable for the first time, I was most excited to get TSN. A sports network that was dedicated to good sports broadcasting. It simply is not anymore. Maybe because I still believe NHL hockey belongs on CBC and they put on a better broadcast. TSN is filled with loud and idiotic broadcasters (Pierre Maguire anyone?) who prefer the sound of their own voice to sport. They are not The Sports Network, they are The Toronto Network....it's all about the Leaves even when they don't make the playoffs. They are THE first story on Sportscentre and are discussed at the exclusion of everyone else. The broadcasters make Don Cherry look unbiased.

After the story broke earlier today, there were quite a few comments on TSN's website under the story and the majority of them were NOT supportive of this move. Well I just checked and many of those negative comments are no longer there. Mmm interesting TSN.

TSN/CTV should be ashamed of this underhanded and sneaky ploy. I still prefer my sports from CBC and I was heartbroken when CTV/TSN won the 2010 Olympics. They do a shit job at the Olympics. A plague on your house CTV/TSN. This was not saving the song, it was theft from the big bad rich company over a public broadcaster.

So go ahead, buy a song synonomous with the CBC. It will not reduce CBC's hockey viewership, not their better sports broadcasts. You basically will give them free advertising since this song will be associated with CBC forever. You can't destroy history. I tune into CBC for the hockey, not a song.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

2008 Stanley Cup Final - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The playoffs of 2008 will go down as one of the most boring in recent years. I can't wait for it to be over. Don't worry folks, it will be over soon. This will not be a long series nor a good one. Sure, the NHL is loving having two "big" hockey markets in the final and happy that Canada has been shutout for the first time in three playoff years. They don't want any Canadian teams in the finals since they're still half-heartedly trying to woo the American market.

One question: why the hell did we have to wait 5 days before the finals started?? Last game of the third round was on Monday. The finals start Saturday. I still can't imagine what the reasoning behind this can possibly be. There is still a chance to have a Stanley Cup winner crowned in May (if the series goes only 4 games) but the NHL really didn't do themselves any favors by waiting so long. They could have hyped the finals big time; a guaranteed winner in May. How awesome would that have been?

Anyways, I am 9-5 thus far in the playoffs....

Detroit Red Wings vs Pittsburgh (Whiney Sid's) Penguins

Like I said before, this is going to be a very short and one-sided series. Everyone seems to be jumping on the Pens bandwagon and on their knees for Sid. It ain't happenin' folks. Wings will take it to the Penguins and this will be over quickly. Pens have no chance. They'll be lucky to win one game. Detroit will use their skill to overpower the young and mediocre defense of Pittsburgh all while shutting down the Pens quasi-big guns. This series is over before it starts. Pens got to the finals not by playing awesome but by playing teams who shot themselves in the foot again and again. Osgood has been very solid and he'll outplay Fleury easily. Wings in 5, falling short of winning the Cup in May.

It'll be over soon Oiler fans....it'll be draft time and free agency soon. Plus, voting for the Hall of Fame takes place very soon. Glenn Anderson will not be denied anymore and he'll finally get into the Hall this year. I can't see him being snubbed again. Lesser players have been chosen the past couple years ahead of him, won't happen again.

GOILERS!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Canada vs Russia

Surprisingly, this is the first time that Canada and Russia will face off in the World Championship gold medal game in 50 years. Yes, not since 1958 has there been a Canada-Russia final at the worlds (psst, Canada won that game and it wasn't exactly the gold medal game. It was the last game of the round robin). This is quite surprising but Russia has really sucked and hasn't won the worlds since 1993. So they will be super motivated for today's final. So will Canada, as they try to become the first team since 1986 to win the big game at home. This is going to be a killer game.

Russia is our hockey nemesis. Sorry US, it's not you. So this is the final everyone wanted to see. Too bad it's starting in the morning instead of being shown prime-time. They didn't want to compete with the Stanley Cup playoffs but you could at least put the gold medal game at a later time. It's one game. It's not like they're going head-to-head with the Stanley Cup Finals. The idiots at the IIHL need to get their heads examined for this decision. All of Canada's games during the tournament were also played during the afternoon. I guess they don't realize many of us have jobs and can't watch it. Good thing the final is on Sunday.

Anyways, this final will probably be one of the best ones in recent years. I'm excited!

Prediction: CANADA WINS of course by a score of 5-3. 2 goals from Heatley, 1 from Nash, 1 from Spezza and an empty netter for Getzlaf.

UPDATE: Dirty cheatin' Russians win. They score in OT on a penalty (bullshit call). Oh and our goalie sucked ass. Cam Ward: YOU SUCK! Seriously, Canada was up 4-2 heading into the third and he lets in 2 shit goals. Oh and Jovanovski....you also are full of suck.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Round 3

Is anyone still watching the playoffs? Yeah I agree. It's become quite boring. Round two killed my record. I started off at 7-1 and now I'm at 8-4. I blame the Rangers, Sharks and Habs for cocking it up. The Habs in particular dominated most of the games and yet lose. Some bad goal-tending and defensive play knocks them out when they really dominated the games. Too bad.
Round three predictions....even Fred and Barney are bored with this. But hey, we'll still watch (kinda) but these teams are bloody boring.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers

Neither team has impressed me that much. They're in the third round mostly due to the incompetence of their opponents. Maybe the Oilers will catch that kind of luck in next year's playoffs? That'd be sweet! Anyways, back to this year. Philly will finally give Sid the Whiney Kid and his Penguins a real challenge. Philly is tougher, grittier and more physical. Sid will need a pacifier when this series is done. Flyers in 6.

Detroit Red Wings vs Dallas Stars

Dallas is lucky to have made it this far. They barely got out of that San Jose series (even though being up 3-0 and were one shot from going to a 7th game) and let's face it, Detroit is rolling. They're going to roll over the Stars. Turco is only 2-10-5 against Detroit and has never won at the Joe. This will continue. Wings in 5.

There it is folks: Detroit vs Philadelphia in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. It hath been written!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

2007-2008 Playoffs Round 2

Round Two starts tonight....anyone still care? Not really but since I went 7-1 in round one, let's give round two a go for predictions. I still don't like any of these teams (Ottawa was my number two team) but I'm vaguely cheering for the Habs. Why? Maybe because everyone thought they'd finish 13th or maybe because I'm still a big fan of Kovalev. I do enjoy those Russians. They're very unlike their European counterparts; they play a gritty and skilled game. Me likes!!!

Montreal Canadiens vs Philadelphia Flyers

The Habs almost crapped themselves in round one, letting the Bruins trap their way to a game seven. Their powerplay was anemic and Price was shakey for two games. However, I think this team rebounds nicely in round two, their powerplay comes alive and Price continues his performance from game seven. Habs in 6.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers

Whiney Sid will get an early exit this year. The first round against Ottawa was a cake-walk so they're coming into this series with too much rest and not enough game action. Henrik will out-play wee Fleury who will have a huge meltdown. Unfortunately, Avery will get into the third round. Damn. Rangers in 5.

San Jose Sharks vs Dallas Stars

San Jose got a huge wake-up call in the first round so I expect them to continue their good play and will take it to the Stars big time. We would all like to thank Dallas for bouncing Anaheim (thank you very much) but you're time is over. Texas rules but not this time. Dallas the TV show rocked but not the hockey team. See y'all. Sharks in 5.

Detroit Red Wings vs Colorado Avalanche

Colorado played a good series against the Wild (my only loss in the first round) and could continue their good play. They'll need a healthy Forsberg to stand a chance (update: not playing tonight due to his groin) and they might get the leg up on the Wings. Wings, similar to the Pens, had an easy series in round one and they sleep-walked through it. I don't think I saw one hit. Avs could take advantage but I still think the Wings prevail. Wings in 6.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Classy



"Everyone talks about how much class I don't have," Avery said after breaking a series-long silence. "Well it's the end of the series and men go to war against each other. I guess he forgot to shake my hand. I don't know if anyone saw that. Of course I was going to shake his hand."

Okay but you lost us at Fatso...

"Fatso there forgot to shake my hand"

Yes Avery, you still do not have class.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Signed for 6 (and 3)

Tom Gilbert has just been signed to a contract for six years. According to TSN, it is worth $4 million a year for 6 years. I like the deal. It sounds quite reasonable especially considering he was the Oilers best defenseman all year and he was a rookie. Yes, impressive!

I would think Lowe goes after Pitkanen next (although I heard he had started negotiations with three people prior to today's signing. Probably is Stoll and Pitkanen left and maybe Glencross who is our big UFA). Of course, there is still possibly Reasoner.

Anyways, I'm happy. I adore Gilbert. He's a very good defenseman.

TSN had a stupid conclusion in the story:

Edmonton now has a decision to make on Joni Pitkanen. The 24-year-old can become a restricted free agent and the Gilbert signing creates some doubt about the Oilers bringing him back.

I certainly don't think the signing of Gilbert affects whether they sign Pitkanen or not. Joni's uncertainty is due to money; not the lack of salary cap room (due to the signing of Gilbert) but more to the unreasonable salary demands of Joni and how he is not worth anything over $4 at this point in time. I'd rather the Oil sign him to a one year deal; see him develop a bit more before they sign him. Gilbert developed big time for us. Joni needs more improvement to get the big contract. I do find him quite the dynamic player and he can shift into the offensive zone quickly. However, he sucks defensively. He needs more work on his game before he gets big money.

UPDATE: Nilsson is signed to a three-year, $5.5 million contract so a 1.8 cap hit. I like this deal too. Nilsson proved himself and he's got killer chemistry with Cogliano and Gagner. That line is going to kill for years to come! Good deals!!

More info on Gilbert's contract: Gilbert will earn $3.5 million next season with a $1.5 million signing bonus, $3.5 million in 2009-2010, $5.5 million with a $1.5 million signing bonus in 2010-2011, $5 million in 2011-2012, $3.5 million in 2012-2013, and $3 million in 2013-2014 for a salary cap average of $4 million a season.

Nilsson will earn $1.5 million next season and $2 million in each remaining season.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

2007-2008 NHL Playoff Predictions - Round 1

Playoffs starting tonight (Sens-Pens just dropped the puck) and yeah I'm watching. Although, my enthusiasm is slightly less since our Oilers aren't playing. But my belief in their future really makes a gal feel good.

I won a regular season pool with some friends by a very considerable margin. Let's try my luck at the playoffs now!!!

So here are some quick predictions. I'm doing this last minute, moments before the games start but hey, what the hell. Let's wing it!!! I went 13-2 last year (yeah I'm awesome) so let's try again!

Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins

This is the one guarentee to NOT have an upset. Montreal won all 8 games during the year and very easily! Montreal will use their speed and powerplay to kick the Bruin's ass. This is probably your best bet for a sweep. Habs in 4.

New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils

This is one of those series I don't give a damn about. Rangers are underachieving especially since overpaying for Gomez and Drury over the summer. I hope they lose big time. However, the trapping of today's game comes directly from those assholes in Jersey. I hope they lose too. Damn, one of these teams must win. This should be a goaltender's dual. Even though NY won 7 of 8 games during the season, 4 of them were in OT/SO. So this is a toss-up. I'm going against Marty Brodeur and say Rangers and Jagr show up! Rangers in 6.

Washington Capitals vs Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh did not want to play Phily (as evidence by their tanking of the last regular season game). Washington will be in tough too. Sure Washington is on fire, coming back to make the playoffs. But let's face it....they've been playing mostly the shit teams of Florida, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, etc. That's an advantage. Sure Ovechkin is going to kill Philly but the Caps are a one player team. He can't win it all himself. Flyers in 6.

Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins

I'd love to call an upset here. Ottawa is the only other team in the NHL that I kinda cheer for. I hate Pittsburgh and that whiny pussy Crosby with a passion. I'm sick of his diving. You weren't shot Sid so stop 'fake dying' on us. Ottawa is floundering and without captain Alfredsson, this series is over before it starts for the Sens. They might make it tough for the wimpy Pens, but this is another solid bet. Penguins in 6.

Detroit Red Wings vs Nashville Predators

Nashville is getting their asses handed to them in this series. They might make it kinda competitive but Detroit is not choking this year. Nashville is no Edmonton. Wings have superstud in Zetterberg and Datsyuk. They'll get into goaltending issues in the subsequent rounds. This round it is not an option! Wings in 5.

Colorado Avalance vs Minnesota Wild

Boring series. The Wild will lull the Avs into a coma on their way to victory. Not even a healthy Forsberg can save this series. Maybe if this was 2000. But it is not, so Foppa and his Avs are out in the first round. Wild in 5.

San Jose Sharks vs Calgary Flames

Calgary actually thinks they're winning this series. There were even a couple dudes on Sportsnet predicting the Lames winning not only this series but the Stanley Cup. Come on dudes, be realistic. The Lames are lame. They are a team with no intensity, their goaltending has been off this year and you can't ride only Iginla. He'll score but no one else will. Sharks in 6.

Dallas Stars vs Anaheim Mighty Ducks

Ducks suck. Pronger is the devil. Stars use the Wild formula and comas all around. The end. Stars in 5.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Game 82

Last game of the season for our Oilers. Out are Hemsky (knee) and Brodziak (finger) and in is Sanderson, who will at least be playing his last game as an Oiler and possibly his last game ever.

Oilers play the Canucks and they have a good chance to play spoiler tonight. Canuckleheads are one point behind Nashville so a loss to the Oilers could seriously hurt their playoff chances. And I'm on board for that!!!

Anyways, even though the Oilers are out of the playoffs, I couldn't be any prouder of them. They battled to get into the race and that was nice to see. They played Oilers hockey finally: grit, speed and skill. It was nice to see that again. It had been awhile.

Oilers win tonight with Roli stealing the show (is this his last game as an Oiler as well?)!!!

UPDATE: Wait one minute folks, there is something more to tonight's game (if my calculations are correct. Preds win tonight and need one more win to this scenario to work, I think). Calgary is minutes away from losing to the Wild, which would keep them at 92 pts. Let's say Vancouver wins tonight and then beat the Lames on Saturday (in regulation), they would be tied at 92 pts. BUT....Vancouver would have one more win. Who would you rather miss the playoffs??? Calgary or Vancouver? That's an easy answer for me.

I hope our boys play hard tonight but if they happen to lose, I sure won't be too sad about it. The chance to take the Lames out of the playoffs would be soooooooo awesome!!!!

GOILERS!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Battle of Alberta Part Deux

Battle of Alberta tonight again....Oilers must win to stay in the race for the playoffs! With only two games left, gotta win em both to stand a chance. The Oilers got a nice win over these very same Lames this past weekend.

Frankenstein (aka Pitkanen) is in tonight. Apparently, his groin is good to go! Alas, Garon is not playing tonight again. Roloson had a very solid game against Calgary so hopefully he can keep it up for another couple games.

I'm calling a HUGE win for the Oil.....they're going to kick the Lames and Celine all over that ice! 4-1 for the Oil.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Battle of Alberta



I found a nice old Oilers goal just in time for tonight's big game! Gee Messier can score on the Lames in any fashion! Good Messier!!!

Oilers are 2 points behind Vancouver/Nashville for that last 8th spot but they both have games in hand on the Oilers. Last night's sloppy loss to the Avs really hurts but the Oil have to put it out of their minds, just go out and kick some Lames' ass. They were always a longshot to make the playoffs and it's still not beyond them. Just go out, play well and win. No pressure! :)

I'm assuming Roli is starting again. I think we can all agree he was Red Light Roli last night (thanks D) and embarrassing in the shootout. Not much the Oil can do but play him if Garon is still injured.

I'm calling a good Oilers win.....4-2 for the Oil. Hemmer, Cogs, Gags and Brodziak get the goals.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It finally makes sense.....

Looks like Garon has been fighting an injury over the past week (lower body) and that is the reason Roloson has started the last four games instead. I'm not sure this is why Roli has started all four games but it must be the reason for the Vancouver start. Garon had played excellent against that team all year. Roli had three starts in a row so starting Roloson for a fourth time was inexplicable even though he had won three games in a row. However, his last start against Phoenix was not a great game so I think we all figured Garon was back in net. So I guess MacT isn't the complete idiot we all thought.....he was hampered by an injury to his goalie. It must not be serious since no other goalie has been called up and Garon was backing Roli up on each of those starts.

TSN also reported that Garon did not practice Friday. Does that mean he doesn't start Saturday's big game against Colorado? Only MacT knows I guess......

Big game tomorrow folks. They are 5 pts behind Colorado for the 8th spot so another chance to get within 3 pts of the playoffs. They choked on Thursday. The team looked very tight and cautious in the early parts of the game. Okay kids, go back to not worrying about it and just have fun. You're a fun team to watch and as long as you compete hard, that's all we ask.

I predict an Oilers victory......no matter who is in net. The team is going to rebound hard and play a tough game. Oil win 3-1 (goals from Gilbert, Hemsky and Penner).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vancouver vs Edmonton: Game On!

Big game tonight......Vancouver is in town tonight and with a victory in regulation tonight, the Oilers will be only 3 points behind them for a playoff spot. Winning 10 of 12 games, the Oilers are looking to stay hot. Roloson started three straight and won them all. But I think MacT has to go back to Garon tonight for a couple reasons: Roloson did not look sharp on Tuesday night against Phoenix and Garon stole a couple games against Vancouver earlier this season.

So our kids continue to keep this team rolling with Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert, Nilsson, Brodziak and Glencross playing as seasoned veterans....there is an excellent chance tonight for a W.

A win tonight.....the bandwagon will fill up again! GO OILERS!!

Update: ROLI STARTS TONIGHT!! I'm shocked.....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Chris Pronger, aka the Double Standard

The DEVIL gets away with a very similar act that resulted in Chris Simon getting a 30 games suspension. Prongs only gets 8 games but to make this whole situation even worse, it took a better video (bullshit, the first one was clear enough) and outrage from some media to even make the NHL look at this. So Colin took out his Wheel of Justice, spun it fairly (sarcasm) and the Devil only gets 8 games. Also, he'll make it back just in time for the playoffs.

The NHL has blown another suspension call and is anyone else getting sick of it?? Simon gets 30 games while Pronger gets only 8 for basically the same action? I'd even put Pronger's act worse since he stomped on Kesler's leg not the skate boot that Simon did.

The best part is the NHL's explanation, "In attempting to free himself, Pronger carelessly and recklessly brought his foot down." Sure.....there was no attempt to injure because Pronger is known for his gentlemanly behaviour in the league.

Anyways, let's move onto our Oilers. They are in Phoenix tonight to play the Coyotes and hoping to rebound from a disastrous game in Colorado. I'm guessing Roloson gets the nod tonight since Garon has played 16 straight games (even though he was pulled in the Avs game). The team needs to tighten up their defensive game. There is too many giveaways and sloppy play. The defense (not including Greene) has played quite well along with the kid line. Hemsky and Penner really need to pick up their game. Man, are they ever missing Horcoff?! Stoll or Reasoner are horrible on that line.

To end, I want to throw out a shout-out to one of my favorite former Oilers, Igor Ulanov. I adored that man for his physical play. Sure he wasn't the best defenseman but he had character and was one of the toughtest Oilers ever. A post over at Oiler Nation by Robin Brownlee mentioned Igor when discussing the state of Joni Pitkanen and his "toughness" factor. Basically, Joni is as delicate as a 19th century lady.

This is good part from the article:

Ulanov once had to be forced off the ice by officials at Madison Square Garden after taking a slapper in the mouth because he wanted to wait until the end of the period for repairs—he ended up needing 30 stitches. Uli was wicked tough. When I asked him what the hell he was thinking, he seemed offended.

“What?” he scowled. “It’s blood on my face. My leg is not broken.” My guess is Joni and Igor would’ve had issues.

Damn I miss Igor!!!

Okay back to our Oilers tonight, Pitkanen should draw back in after missing one game with the flu. Oilers will rebound nicely and win 4-2 with goals from Hemsky, Penner and Cogliano (2).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mr. Overtime

Oops, he did it again. In fact, he did IT three times in a row. Andrew Cogliano (aka Cogs) scored in overtime last night to lift the Oilers over the St. Louis Blues. Yes folks, that is his third overtime goal. Even more impressive, it's his third overtime goal in as many games. Yes, an NHL record.

Aside from blowing a 3-0 lead (let's not get into that yet), the Oilers held on and took the game to overtime. Cogs scored with 5 seconds left in OT with a beautiful pass from Gagner (Gags). Earlier in the season, I was shouting to put these boys together. Along with the addition of Nilsson lately, they are the dynamic trio. The kid line isn't kidding (yes that was bad). They have so much chemistry and even better, are scoring lots of goals.

Okay, let's get to this blowing leads. You know what? This team is young and yes, they're going to cock things up. But they are not blowing leads and losing like they did in December. I believe they lost 6 games in a row and were tied or leading heading into the third period. Fast forward a few months, and now when blowing a lead, the Oilers come back in OT or the shootout. Obviously we'd all like to see more regulation wins but this is a team in transition. They are developing (faster than we all thought) and becoming an Oilers team of old. Filled with physical play, using their speed and grinding out wins.

It's too bad their 7-1 run hasn't helped make up much ground. They are still 7 pts out of the playoffs. But it sure gives this fan some hope for the future.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Standing Pat

Kevin Lowe did not make any deals today as the Edmonton Oilers was among a few teams that made no moves. I figured he'd be very quiet today but not this quiet. Go listen to Lowe's press conference to get his take. I think the players he wanted to trade (ie: Roloson) had no takers and maybe nothing significent in return. I mean look at Huet; he was traded for a second round draft pick. So if a starting goalie only gets a second rounder, I can't imagine much was offered for a backup goalie with a cap hit over 3 mil.

Anyways, here is a list of all the moves today. As mentioned already, Huet was probably the most surprising considering that was the only move from Montreal today. No one even mentioned he was on the block, he went for only a second pick and Montreal is now going with a 20 yr old goalie. Hmmm it'll be an interesting playoffs for the Habs.

Toronto did as expected: no one waived their no trade clause or there was no interest in the big ticket items (McCabe). They did move Kilger, Belak and Gill for draft picks. It's almost no fun laughing at the Leaves anymore. Seriously, Ferguson really hampered this team with all the no-trade clauses. This team is a mess and will be for the near future. Time to start buying out contracts if you can't trade them. Too much money is tied up in such poor talent.

Anyways, back to our Oilers. The good news is this team could be in much worse trouble (see the Leaves). The bad news is another missed playoffs, too many injuries, and a mediocre coach. More good news is the kids: they're developing faster than most of us thought and the future looks pretty good. Yes the Oilers need to get someone to play with Hemsky, resign our RFA's, unload some contracts (Roli) and stay healthy. So we have hope.

UPDATE: Good win in the shootout (shocking, yes) for our Oilers over Detroit. Oil blow a 2-0 lead and go down 3-2 late in the third, but score with 20 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Good gritty win....seriously nice to see. Oh yes, Pitkanen went down with an injury early in the third. Not sure how bad it is....is it broken?? If the Oilers' luck continues, of course it is. We'll find out tomorrow, maybe.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Let's Make a Deal

So, who is getting traded tomorrow? There will be a couple big trades (Brad Richards and Marion Hossa will be on the move) and the rest will be salary dumps (basically for a bag of pucks).

A few names are already off the list:

-Sundin has refused to waive his no-trade clause. I'm Switzerland on this issue. He's showing his love for his team OR he's absolute lack of motivation to actually win the Stanley Cup. Maybe a bit of both? More about Toronto in a minute.

-Forsberg has signed with Colorado after weeks of indecision. Fuck, it felt like a lifetime. Bad news for Colorado; they just signed Peter Forsberg in 2008.

-Boyle has resigned a monster deal in Tampa Bay (6 years, 40 million which is a $6.66 million cap hit). Not sure this is a good signing....TB still needs an actual goalie especially since they've also just traded Prospal to Philadelphia for some pucks.

So, we know Hossa and Richards will be traded tomorrow but where will they end up? There is a story floating that Montreal is after Hossa. I'm not that high on Hossa; he's one of those types of players (ie: Europeans) that disappear in the playoffs so you'd better be careful with what you give up. However, Montreal could be a very big threat in the playoffs if they get him and he remembers to keep playing past the middle of April.

If Montreal stocks up, what will Ottawa do? The Sens just got their asses kicked by Toronto 5-0 (true sentence folks, I know this seems like a set-up for a joke, but it is not) so they must be getting worried. One problem with this team is defense (aside from starting Emery in net for five straight games. Gerber relieved him in the third after he gave up 5 goals on 21 shots. Why was he still in net after 3 or even 4 goals? Coaching is another issue in Ottawa). They traded Corvo away for Stillman and Raggaty-Ann (Commodore). Sure a bit more offense, but damn, they need more than that.

One note to Toronto: what a mess. Sundin, Kaberle, Kabina, and Tucker have all stated they will not waive their no-trade clauses. McCabe says he will think about it. How the hell can Fletcher make any changes for the better when his stupid predecessor handed out no-trade clauses like candy? He won't. Their best bet is to either buy out a couple of those guys (Kabina for sure) or sit their asses in the pressbox until they waive their no-trade clause. Also, what is TO doing? They should be tanking the rest of the season and trying to get that lottery pick. They are 6 pts out of the playoffs, and seriously, they aren't going to make it. TANK!!!!

Oh and Bryan McCabe? YOU ARE THAT BAD!!!

"I don't think we're that far off," McCabe said. "We had a ton of injuries again this year. You guys make this out to be like the worst team in the world....We're one or two players off, I think, from being a good team......I don't think we're that bad."

BAD.....VERY BAD!!!

Now we get to the OILERS. I am not expecting a trade of note tomorrow unless Lowe unloads Staios or Stoll. Those are basically our only two big trading chips. Maybe a Roloson if someone wants to take on his salary for next year. Otherwise, maybe a couple dumps (Reasoner, Sanderson) for some pucks/picks.

There is the rumour that the Rangers are after Robbie Schremp. So what is Lowe going to do? We keep hearing that Schremp is not a MacT-type player. Screw you MacT.....not every player needs to be a two-way forward. As much as everyone loves the Pisani's of the world, you need the Schremp's too! I'm not sure if you know but scoring goals is important.

I've always floated back and forth on the Scremp drama, but this kid has earned a real chance. Since Moreau is a broken piece of china these days, bring up Robbie and let him play the rest of the season. Give him huge ice time and let's see what he can really do. We can always trade him in the summer but come on, you've put so much time into this kid so give him a real shot. It's too bad he was injured late last year. He came into training camp recovered from his injury but had very little training time. So yes, he got passed by Cogliano, Gagner, Brodziak, etc. He's ready to go so give him a shot. I think there is room on the team now.

Anyways, not sure what will happen to our Oilers tomorrow but I doubt it will be as shocking as last year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Zach Attack....

The Oilers are in Nashville tonight and what are we to expect?? They have won 4 of 6 games but more importantly, they are a scrappy team again. Yes, they are intense, emotional, physical and gritty. This is the Oilers team we all know and love. Yes they had gone missing for awhile but in the past couple weeks, they have found their way home. When you even have Gags fighting, you know this team has gotten their edge back. I am lovin' it.

The Oilers have lost to the Predators six times in a row (I have no explanation....they're like Minnesota. They have our number and it's unexplainable). BUT, I think tonight is the night to end the losing streak. The Oil are going to bring the heat tonight!!

And this brings us to Zach Stortini. A few months ago, I (along with most Oiler fans) questioned his place on this team. He had trouble skating, couldn't fight (huggy bear or Sir Hugs A Lot) and seemed lost out there. Fast forward a few months, Zach has become an integral part of this team. His fourth line (with Brodziak, whom I absolutely adore, and Glencross) are lighting it up, not only in the hits department but on the scoreboard. They're actually carrying this team at times. They're taking the lead, and the rest of the team is following. They've all stepped up their intensity and physical play. This is Oilers hockey!!! I think we're all loving it! While they lost the Vancouver game, damn it was fun to watch. Aside from some shitty refereeing, it was a damn good game. We need this to continue!

Oilers win tonight 4-1 with the Zack Attack line scoring 2 goals along with Hemmer and Gags.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Are you ready to rumble??????

The Oilers are in Calgary today for the Battle of Alberta. We won the battle on Monday, can we repeat and win again? I think hell yes!

Sure Calgary will be gunning for our kids after getting their asses kicked several times this week (by Chicago and our Oilers). But the Oilers seem to finally be fighting hard and competing. That is all I have really wanted all year. This team has been soft most of this year. They've forgotten their gritty style of play that catapulted them into the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006. Sure the team was down Moreau, Souray at times and Pisani. BUT....as we saw on Monday and Wednesday, this team is capable of playing the tough, forechecking and hitting style.

So the Oilers bring their swords (sticks) to Calgary, ready to pummel the Lames into contrition. Stortini will hopefully bring his fighting style from Chicago's game (he actually threw punches) instead of his usual Sir Hugs A Lot or Huggy Bear style!

Other news: Souray had surgery this week and it was suggested he might be ready to return in March. This has to be extremely wishful thinking but you never know. The Oilers are 7 points of the playoffs and while I'm not counting them out like many others are, the reality is that the Oilers have a very outside chance of making it. However, the chance is still there. They need to run the table, leap over some teams (St. Louis has four games in hand on us so that's one issue) and hope for some of those loser teams to start losing. If nothing else, we just want to see a good fight for the playoffs. I can handle another non-playoff year if they show some fire and play hard.

Will Kevin Lowe make any deals at the trade deadline? Will Pitkanen and Gilbert get signed? I am quite nervous about all the damn rumours of Pitkanen getting traded. I hear he's asking for a huge contract which is odd since sure he's a good d-man but really hasn't had a breakout year yet. He has 16 pts in 39 games this year (43 pts last year in Philly). So are his high demands his way of trying to get out of here? Does he truly believe he's worth that? Someone must be reading the blogs! We waited a whole year to get that puck-moving defenseman so I'd hate to see them trade him so quickly. He has such potential !!

One hour until gametime: I foresee a great win by the Oilers. Stortini punches Phaneuf so hard, he begins singing Celine Dion songs! 5-2 Oilers with goals by Hemsky (2), Gilbert, Cogliano and Reasoner.

Monday, February 04, 2008

To Suck or Not to Suck....that is the Oilers' question!

Oilers are officially screwed!! Yes Shawn Horcoff is now out with season-ending shoulder surgery. All together now: FUCK!!!

So are the Oilers doomed to finish in the bottom five and give that dick Burke a lottery pick? All signs are pointing to that very scenario!! I suppose there is an outside chance that the team will rally together, led by Hemsky (sorry Horcoff-lovers, this team is Hemsky). Maybe Schremp will finally get a call-up but I'm not holding my breathe. We all know how much MacT 'loves' Robbie. And of course by love....I mean hate.

Tonight: Oilers vs Lames/Shames. I won't even venture a guess as to how badly the Oilers lose this one.....maybe they'll surprise me?

Update: CUJO starts tonight for the Lamers.....looks like Edmonton has a chance in this game!

Update: Well well well, did I call this or what? Cujo gets his ass kicked tonight and the Oilers win 5-0. Yes that is the correct score! Oilers were physical, dominant, and full of energy. Hemsky, Gagner, Garon and Moreau were fantastic!! I haven't been to such a great game in weeks. Good job Oilers....Rexall was rocking tonight especially during that mini-brawl in the third period. And refs....if the goalies wanna go, let them next time. We almost got a Joseph-Garon fight. Damn refs wouldn't let Joseph near Garon.

GOILERS!!!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

See you Dick!

BIG TRADE!!!! Okay it's not but still a trade actually occured in the NHL. Yes that is big news. Anyways, Dick is gone to Columbus and in his place is Curtis Glencross. Who? Exactly....who the hell is this guy? A winger with 12 points. Yes that is exactly what this team needs: more mediocre talent. I love the "assets" from TSN that he can "score goals on occassion." I wonder what kind of occassion? Maybe leap years? Christmas? Birthdays??

So we basically got a 26 year old prospect who has spent the majority of his time in the minors. Oh well, salary dump.

The Dallas Stars are in town tonight and all signs point to another embarrassing loss. With Horcoff and Hemsky banged up with shoulder and wrist problems, and Souray on the IR, this team will be hard-pressed to scrape out a win tonight. I'd just love a good hard-fought game. Wins are not important anymore, just compete!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Almost an NHL Owner.....

Well it looks like the deal is almost done! Katz will be the next owner of the Edmonton Oilers. Although a few may still hold out, it matters not! Katz is one step away from owning this team; he will be the majority shareholder. He may have 70 % when this is done or more. But the others will have no say if they don't end up selling. Also, the internal bid by some of the EIG is now off; it has been taken off the table. Can we all say one thing? YES!!!

First, we should all recognize and show our appreciate for a group of Edmonton businessmen led by Cal Nichols who banded together a decade ago and saved this team. I remember those days when it seemed like a forgone conclusion that this team was very close to being sold to a Texan and relocated. However, this group got together and kept this team in Edmonton.

BUT.....let's not feel too bad for these boys. They'll be getting back twice their initial investment (probably more than half) so they made out damn good. However, it is time to move on. Katz is the man for this team; the man to take this team to the next level. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but I do expect changes to be made when necessary. No more hanging onto ineffective management. I'm willing to be a loyal comrade through this rebuild but it should have been a true rebuild from the start instead of flip-flopping between rebuilding and contending (ie: Souray signing). It'll be interesting to see how involved he will be.
Thank you EIG. Time to pass the torch!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

American Teams Suck!!!

Well I'm watching the Oilers play right now against Tampa Bay on PPV. Well it's early in the second period and they are already down 2-0. Wait, it's now 3-0.

A couple notes on this game so far:

-get new sticks Jarret Stoll
-Roli is playing like crap tonight. Wait, that's an insult to crap. It's been bad and he just let in a short-handed goal (still in net too)
-Greene is crapola as usual. Either he rings it around the boards or gives the puck away. Seriously...Tarnstrom is not a better option?

Okay, powerplay goal for the Oilers and now it's 3-1 with a goal by Cogs.

-kids are buzzing tonight: Cogs and Gags (with Nilsson) are great together. Only took MacT 50 games to figure that out.
-the veterans are NOT. Where are they??
-nice to see Pitkanen back
-not a good game for Gilbert either (giveaway lead to a goal already)

Anyways, with the All-Star break almost upon us, the Oilers are only 6 points out of eighth spot. BUT....this team is most likely not making the playoffs. The Oilers had to win at least 4 of this 5 game road trip but with tonight's game, this is now doubtful. They lost a shootout to Washington, humiliated in Carolina, a good win in Atlanta and already down 3-1 tonight in Tampa Bay. I really did believe this team could fight for a playoff spot but that is sure not the case recently. The team has more troubles defensively than they do offensively. I don't have enough room to list all the problems with this team but I point the finger first at MacT. From keeping goalies in too long to questionable defensive zone coverage, this man should not be the man anymore.

One final note: I hate Oilers PPV. Rob Brown is a dreadful color man. In fact, I don't believe he should be called a color man. How about a black n'white man? Yes, he's that bland and colorless.

GO OILERS!!

Oh yes, one more final note: SELL SELL SELLLLLLLL!!!!! With articles noting Katz may have 68% of the shares willing to sell to him, let's make this happen and why not all 100%? Great article by John Mackinnon. This is the point I've been making for weeks:

Let's be clear, the choice here is between the financially flush Katz and a re-constituted EIG that has to borrow money to buy out those who are prepared to sell and borrow again to help finance a downtown arena for which Katz already has pledged an infusion of $100 million cash.

Why that almost makes sense?!?!

And looks like Sid the Whiney Kid is out for 6-8 weeks. I danced a jig of joy. If he hadn't been so intent on diving and trying to draw a penalty, he would never have been hurt. Yes, I know this might come as a shock but little baby Sid likes to dive. He really should do that in a swimming pool....
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