Speaking about the end of something the Oilers just finished what may be their toughest stretch on the schedule for the year. Nearly a third of their road schedule is now done, just fifteen games into the season. A dozen games on the road, six and six, eight, six and one overall. A point out of first place
If you had told any Oiler fan that this would be their record at this point in the season I think there would have been much rejoicing. This stretch could have buried their year.
If you had told them that this would have been their record and that the special teams were sucking ass, that there was no clearcut # 1 goalie, that Nilsson would be demoted to the fourth line and Gagner would be without a goal then I think they would have held a parade.
Despite the offensive struggles of many players, the underlying numbers are terrific. Check out Dennis' work on scoring chances and Vic's analysis of some of those numbers, especially his look at Viscoff. This team, barring injury, should be a playoff team. Regardless of the tough schedule and the problems just mentioned (to mention a few) this team is not winning with smoke and mirrors.
Adding to the optimism is the end of the Pisani at centre experiment. His line was a sinkhole at ES - moving him and Cole to Horcoff's flanks give the team a line that can compete with almost any in the league.
Things are looking up.
One evening a couple of years back the dog was laying on the floor. Suddenly a big black ant began to make its way across the living room. He walked with purpose, probably heading back up to the bathroom where his tribe was busy turning our window sill into sawdust. The ant passed by the dog's ear and entered his field of vision. The big fellow lay motionless except for his eyes which tracked the ant until the bug just passed his muzzle.
And then his tongue flicked out and he ate him.