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 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.