Saturday, December 30, 2006
Oilers/Canucks tonight. Oilers in ninth tonight, a point out of eighth, a couple of wins out of third.
It looks like the usual madcap dash for the playoffs may be starting early this season.
I picked the Flames to win the division before the season started with the Oilers challenging them if they could hang around long enough and then get some help on the back end. They've hung around but they've been sliding of late. They need help but the problem is the guys other teams will want are either the guys this team can ill afford to lose right now - Torres/Stoll or prospects like Schremp who, lets face it, is not going to be moved as this team builds towards '09.
Weird year. Other then Anaheim and San Jose, nobody really stands out in the West and, as we know, anything can happen once spring rolls around. The Oilers have been mediocre since a nice start - Roloson, Smyth and Sykora carrying the load - and lately Roloson has looked tired and the points have been harder to come by. Tonight Smid finally takes a seat and Markannen gets the start. Tomorrow the Flames. Could be a good weekend or the lads could out in the cold.
25 years since Gretzky hit 50 in his 39th game.
Not a bad player.
Smith and Staios and the Stoll line facing the Matress line. Smyth starts with Reasoner and Lupul.
Lupul gets two chances to clear the puck and fails both times. Pretty sad.
But a good backcheck his next shift.
Bergeron with a terrible giveaway. Goal. Its those types of mistakes that make people hate Marc Andre Bergeron.
Jan Hejda looks solid. Again. He always looks pretty solid.
One of the Sedins left alone and rings it off the post. The Oilers look all sort of disjointed tonight. Weird seeing the Canucks playing this close to the vest style (it may still be weird ten years from now) but they have some decent defencemen. Bieksa playing 20 minutes a game? Not a lot of offence getting generated. Everytime Hemsky gets the puck the crowd starts to buzz.
Now they start to come on. Chances for Peterson, Sykora, Pisani. Pisani, Torres and Stoll look damn good. Pisani especially is noticeable out there.
Not much on the PP. Big surprise. They have one or two decent games a month and everyone says look at the numbers - they're alright. Bleah.
Hemsky a little shaken up.
Smyth almost pots one. And Kesler chats it up with him - what a guy - talking tough to the guy with the bad hand. What a pussy.
Oilers had a good second half there. Need to keep it going in the second. Cassie interviews Stoll.
Cassie - call me!
Hrudey figured the Oilers would be at the top of the division and feels that Lowe's plan was and is a good one but he also figures they need two D. Also talks about last season's team's mental toughness and heart, even when things were terrible between the pipes, and how this year's team is missing that edge. Ethan Moreau?
Lupul saves Greene's ass. Penalty - too many men - how does that happen when you're hemmed in your own zone?
Down two now. Another great shift for the Stoll line. Pisani is flying. He looks confident. Torres too. Greene with a big hit on Naslund. Nice. Greene better watch his back - Bertuzzi might jump him next time they play the Panthers.
Another chance for Stoll coming into the play as Torres forces a turnover and sets him up in the slot. Interesting how you have the headcase, the tradebait and the 11th round pick looking like the Production Line out there. Flying.
Another whole lot of nothing on the PP. I find it hard to believe they scored three goals the other night on the PP. I really do. They look more organized and create more chances on their PK.
3-0 followed by another gong show by MAB and Greene. And another penalty. Cue the booing. I think the natives are officially about to become restless.
4-0 as Peterson fans on the clearing attempt. Looks like Markannen is going to have to suck it up and take one for the team. No chance on any of them for him. Poor Jussi.
Looks like a third straight loss at home for the Oilers and what's getting scary is that they're not even close in this one. Where's Laddy Smid? ;)
Wow, what a period. The Oilers were carrying the play and now they're done - just like that. Two PP goals against and a third one second after another expired. Phoenix beat San Jose 8-0 and Roenick had the hattrick? What the hell was in that last beer? Fiddler's Elbow. Hmmm. This must be just a strange dream. Wait, Andy Grabia is here in my living room. It is a dream.
Naw, it just seems like the world is upside down.
The Oilers look nothing like the team we fell in love with last year. Hell they don't even look like the team that charged out of the gate this fall. Lowe is on After Hours tonight. Should be interesting. I'll be in bed - have to get up with the kids early - but it will be interesting to hear what he has to say. This team is struggling right now. And we're talking badly.
Heh. Showcase is showing Blazing Saddles and its the farting scene. That's good shit. "How about some more beans, Mr. Taggart?" "I'd say you've had enough!"
Pouliot pots one. San Fernando. Goddamn!
Millen has an orgasm as Jacques gets a goalie interference penalty.
Again Stoll's line creates a chance and draws a penalty.
Nice PP. Craig Simpson screams at the ref. Thanks for coming out Simpson. Seriously.
Pouliot getting more icetime. Playing with Hemsky and Smyth. Playing four on four.
Hemsky on the PK - can't say I have seen that before.
Another PP and another doughnut.
See this is where I have an issue with those who say that statistically the PP is ok etc etc. The Canucks have three PPs in the 2nd and score on two and may as well be credited with the third. The Oilers do nothing, absolutely nothing - 0 for 5 right now - and not really generating anything to be honest. Pisani draws another penalty. How many has he drawn tonight now?
And that's that. Oh well, at least Stoll ended the agony early.
MacT tries to fix the PP by sending out everyone - Reasoner, Hejda, Staios etc. Nothing. Another goal against. That's 19 in their last three games.
Horcoff scores. Torres forces Mitchell to ring it and Hejda puts it on net.
Well, as time winds down - this one turns into another disaster. An Oiler goal early in the 2nd might have turned the tide but instead things fell apart pretty quickly. The PP was an absolute disgrace again, beyond terrible. The 5 on 3 mess at the end of the game indicative of the whole disaster.
Pisani was excellent and he and his linemates were dominant although they lacked finish. Smyth had a lot of try as always. Hejda was solid but he seems to be every time he plays. Um, nice to see Pouliot get his second. And, yeah, that's all. I stayed up for this?
Posted by Black Dog at 9:52 PM