Friday, March 09, 2007

A Clockwork Oil


Now I am sure that there are some wags out there who would claim that the picture at left illustrates the next step for EIG, Pat LaForge, Jim Matheson and the rest of the media toadies in Edmonton as they try and convince Oiler fans that Lupul is Guy Lafleur, that Smid is Bobby Orr and that Ryan Smyth is to blame for this whole sorry mess of a season.
Good thing they dumped that Smyth guy.
But I would never say such a thing. Instead I found this shot to be a reasonable description of those Oilers fans who are suffering through the final month of this season by actually watching the games. Mike W. at CinO and I caught Wednesday's game against Tampa. I'm not sure if anyone else did. Maybe Lowetide.
I see few games so when I can I'll watch them regardless. My wife is making noises about getting one of those cable deals where you get 9439 channels and I've already warned her that if we get Sportsnet West she can expect me to watch a few more games. What can I say? I'm an idiot.
The game Wednesday was alright actually - Tampa is a fun team to watch and Vincent L. is unbelieveable. He and St. Louis had 81 goals coming into the game; the entire Oilers roster had tallied 91, iirc. By the end of the night the difference was in single digits.
And I'll give the Oilers credit - the try was there. Not much else but at least they didn't mail it in. Actually they pretty well carried the play in the first but then Staios went down and then Hejda and by the end of the game Toby Peterson was on the blueline and Bryan Young was getting pulled off his team bus and heading to the airport and the scary thing is if I were a betting man I would say that both outperform Matt Greene tonight.
Lowetide commented that Greene is going the wrong way and mused that he might be injured but I'm thinking its a head injury because Danny Syvret did what Mathieu Roy and Tom Gilbert both did before they went down and basically outplayed the big man and badly. I remember a few weeks ago when Greene looked to have found a home in the PB (well deserved) and my guess is he would still be there if not for the fact that there are now five Dmen down and out.
A microcosm of the entire season took place in a few minutes in the second period. Lupul gets the puck at centre ice and needs to dump it deep to get a change. Instead he coughs it up and Tim Taylor, of all people, completely undresses Greene who then takes a penalty. Shortly after Hejda goes down and then Jacques takes a penalty and on the ensuing PK Smid doesn't rotate over quickly enough and Prospal pops the first goal of the game.
That had it all - the youngsters without a clue, the injury to the key man, the penalties, the ineptitude on D, the complete and utter uselessness of Joffrey Lupul.
And Jason Smith looking skyward wondering (and hoping) that EIG lowball him this summer so that he can follow Smytty out of town, maybe head to San Jose. As we all know, he's the one at fault for most of this sorry season. I mean just check out Lowetide's post on the Desjardins' numbers to see what I mean. And if you check out the Internet boards (which I do not) apparently the talk there is of what a pylon old Gator is.
Right.
Anyhow back to Wednesday night and a few minutes later Gord Miller, talking about Tim Taylor, describes him as labouring and in quite a bit of pain as he has a bad hip that requires surgery.
As someone pointed out - Matt Greene isn't getting beat by the stars out there - he's getting burned by the ancient and infirm.
And I know he's a kid and all of that but so is Danny Syvret and the ex London Knight was poised and solid and played a terrific game. Which means he'll likely find himself in the minors next year or somewhere else. Despite the fact that he looks twice as good as Ye Chosen Ones (Smid and Greene).
So there you go. Not many games left and with a D consisting of Gator and not a lot else I'm thinking top five pick is a definite possibility. This team is O fer in the PS era and I can't see things getting better soon.

6 comments:

Scarlett said...

I've said it for over a year, Greene is garbage. Smid has some upside to his game and he's progressed nicely this year. I quite like him. But when you have too many green players, Smid stands out. He should have been protected a bit more. And no one should talk smack about Gator. He's had to babysit rookies all year long until they finally brought up Hedja. Damn what a year it's been.

Robert Cleave said...

You'll need Centre Ice to see the Oilers in The Centre of the Universe, Pat. The regional Sportsnet feeds black out any out of market game.

Katie O'D said...

CenterIce is pretty affordable I think. It's worth it for me because I have to watch like 20 games a week but it's a good deal no matter how many games you need to watch.
I watched the Tampa game until maybe midway through the third. At that point it wasn't worth staying up for. And I missed last night's game entirely, though in my defense I wasn't home.
Outside of Greene, who really HASN'T gotten any better, it's hard to criticize any of the de too much. The young guys like Smid, Gilbert, Roy, and Syvret have stepped in and tried their best, but there was too much responsibility on them too soon. Poor Jason Smith is stranded with no support, the only thing not falling to pieces on the blue line. I think he could get shot in the head and he'd keep playing. What's happening to this team? I can't even imagine when they'll win their next game. Ugh.

LittleFury said...

I missed the part of Smyth's farewell presser where he put a curse on this team a la the Bambino. Maybe it's on YouTube...

Kyle said...

A microcosm of the entire season took place in a few minutes in the second period. Lupul gets the puck at centre ice and needs to dump it deep to get a change. Instead he coughs it up and Tim Taylor, of all people, completely undresses Greene who then takes a penalty. Shortly after Hejda goes down and then Jacques takes a penalty and on the ensuing PK Smid doesn't rotate over quickly enough and Prospal pops the first goal of the game.

My favorite part of that play was when Lupul turns it over in the neutral zone and then identifies that he turns it over, then just nonchalantly skates off.

If I were MacT he'd be benched for the rest of the season and I'd play with a shortened bench for that play alone.

Anonymous said...

Does PS Era mean "post Smyth" or "Petr Sykora".....guess it really doesn't matter