Wednesday, March 10, 2010
As we enter the stretch run and teams either battle for a playoff spot or jockey for playoff positioning a few thoughts wander by, like homeless guys looking for an alleyway to get their freak on.
Other than Detroit and the Edmonton Oilers, does anyone on the outside actually have a chance to get back into the postseason picture? Maybe Boston can be caught but by the Rangers or Thrashers? And in the Campbell I'm thinking everyone behind Detroit is done. With all of the loser points available its tough to make up ground.
If Detroit makes it does anybody want them in the first round? Nope.
What the fuck was Chicago thinking when they did not pick up a goalie? Holy shit. Your window is limited. You're going to throw away a chance at a Cup on Huet? Stupid.
That's all I've got. Basically we have fourteen teams pretty well home and cooled out unless someone falls apart. Washington and the Pens look good to win their divsions as do San Jose, Chicago and the Canucks, who have had a pretty successful marathon roadtrip. The only drama is whether the Sabres or Sens win their division.
I will give this to the Oilers. They have picked a good year to crap out if they want to keep us interested. The draft has two top guys and then all of the rest and of course the truth is that whoever goes at #3 or #5 or #15 may end up being the best of the lot but right now there are two guys who look like they are can't miss and that's it. Two guys.
And the Oilers aren't 'catching' anyone but the team right in front of them. The Leaves. The Chiefs. The Condo Guys. The Passion That Unites Us All. The Flagship Franchise. The team that makes oodles of money while setting records of futility which seems right now to be what the Oilers are aspiring to.
The problem is that if the Oilers catch the Leaves then there is a decent chance that they might not end up with the first pick or the second pick.
Even when these guys fuck up, which is pretty well consistently constant, they might not be able to do it right.
Now I'm of the mind that having the guys who completely wrecked a team that was thisclose to winning the Cup, a team that had a superstar defenceman and a star forward and a plethora of quality veterans and youngsters and frittered them all away until the team stood dead last, all of this as a maximum cap team, probably are not the best choice to fix their mess. Nope. If I were Katz I'd be handing walking papers to Lowe and his monkey and that greasy salesman LaForge and anyone else remotely responsible for this disaster.
Still if I want to see this team crap out really nice I have to admit that by dumping three of the Oilers' remaining four healthy NHL defencemen at the deadline and bringing only Ryan Whitney and Aaron Johnson back to man the barricades with Tom Gilbert and an assortment of kids and scrubs then Tambellini did a pretty nice job of ensuring a craptastic finish. He does almost as good a job as trying to tank as he does not trying to tank when it comes to putting together a shitty hockey club. Not quite but close.
And yet after putting a club together with ADD in net and a second pair featuring Jason Strudwick, Tambo was rewarded with not one but two wins and last night the Oilers defied logic and led the Ottawas for a good part of the game, causing Oilers fans everywhere to have their hearts join a whole lot of residual throwup in their mouths.
Meanwhile the Leaves, now just four points ahead and having traded pretty well every NHL calibre forward away, insist on playing the Swedish kid goaltender, as if Ron Wilson were purposely trying to give the Bruins the first pick overall. And so last night the Leaves fell behind early in the third to those same Bruins, now missing Chara and Savard, and seeing as they (The Flagship Franchise, the Flying Tanenbaums) had not been able to score three goals since 1967 or something like that it looked like the Oilers might have a shot at pulling within two if they could beat the flu ridden Sens.
And then a funny thing happened. The Leaves scored and they just kept coming at a Bruins' team who played Dennis Wideman the entire game basically and whose best forward was pretty well Mark Recchi. And then Kulemin, who is just an absolutely terrific player - big, hard on the puck, does all of the little things right - scored in OT and a couple of hours later ADD regressed to mean after playing out of his head for two periods and at the end of the night the bulge, not the one in my oh so tight brown cordoruoy slacks mind you, was six points.
I'll be at the game Saturday night, oh yes I will, hobnobbing with the wealthy in their fancy dress down by the glass at the ACC, watching ADD and the rest of the lads, and really, really, I can't believe it, but this will be the first Leafs' game I have ever attended, and I have attended many over the years, where I will be cheering right along with Vito from Woodbridge.
Damned if this year is going to be for nothing. Hall or Seguin may bust but they are no doubt picks right now and that's what I want.
Look for me Saturday night. I'll be the handsome man sitting beside Alice with a smile as wide as the great outdoors.
Magic number is fourteen or thereabouts, hard to tell with the loser points. Plus I stink with the advanced mathematics.
Posted by Black Dog at 1:00 PM