Friday, October 21, 2005

Calgary 3, Edmonton less than 3

First off, sorry for being so slow to post; aside from my suddenly being very busy with a couple late story assignments, I think we all might be entering that period in a blog's life when the intoxicating rush of watching strangers fight each other about your opinions has begun to wane somewhat, resulting in everything suddenly feeling like, you know, work, which I already do too much of. But yes. We promise to pick it up real soon. Anyhow, first order of business: OILERZZZ!!!11!

Man they suck lately. Earlier in the week, my girlfriend and I were fairly excited about the prospect of getting some tickets to the Colorado game tonight, but after watching last night's painful 3-1 punchering at the hands of our most jerky-gloating-inclined rivals, I'm actually kind of glad I won't possibly be forced to sit through another pants-shitting effort tonight. There are few things in this world that are more frustrating and/or uncomfortable to watch than a bad Oilers game, folks. Yee.

Frankly, I don't have much to say about last night's game, other than it was yet another example of the OIlers totally succeeding in beating themselves (if only we still got a point for doing that or something...). The first period looked great: breakouts were fast, pucks were moved, shots were fired from everywhere and bodies were taken in the corners, and Moreau's wraparound goal was a perfect example of how one can beat Kiprusoff: he may be one of the best first-save goalies in the league, but he gets scrambly fairly easily—get him out of position and on the ice, and crowd the crease looking for a rebound. That's all we had to do. And for a brief, shining moment, it looked like we had the Flames all figured out.

Then two things happened in the second that turned the entire game around. First, the Oilers failed to capitalize on a nice, long powerplay courtesy of a Chuck Kobasew double minor, giving the Flames all the confidence they could ever want and making them realize that they were still in the game; and two, Dvorak didn't score on that shorthanded breakaway midway through the period, which I think this hurt us the most. Far be it from me to hang a loss on a single guy's neck, and that he failed to score wasn't even that surprising—but it was, in my mind, the turning point of the game. If Dvorak pots that goal, we're up by two and riding all the momentum in the world. We didn't, and just like that, it swung the other way.

Yeah, but again, I don't think the loss was the fault of any one player. Peca's not scoring, but he's owning the faceoff circle nonetheless; Markkanen looked fine, but was way more wandery than usual and wasn't communicating with his d-men on passes; Horcoff, it turns out, can't be expected to singlehandedly turn the team's fortunes around by himself, despite all the hub-bub before the game regarding his return. And Cory Cross wasn't even playing last night, so you can't even blame him (in his stead was Semenov, who looks more and more like he'd rather be dishing out hugs and aromatherapy sessions than bodychecks). Nope, this game was a team effort, lost almost exclusively by our special teams (0-6 on the PP was a killer). A bad power play? Surprising, I know.

Anyhow, whatever. Hopefully the OIlers start remembering whatever it was that they were doing different in the first three games of the season soon—because with 11 of the next 13 on the road, it's not going to get any easier.

Oh, and in somewhat unrelated news, The Fourth Period reports that the Oilers are allegedly looking to make a trade or two:

Reports out of Edmonton suggest the Oilers may be in the market for a strong, physical defenseman, and rumors are swirling that Washington Capitals blueliner Brendan Witt is the prime target.

Witt, 30, is also attracting interest from several other clubs (Boston and Pittsburgh, among others), however Capitals GM George McPhee has remained quiet regarding his attempts to deal the nine-year NHL veteran.

Meanwhile, there are also unconfirmed reports claiming that the Oilers may try and replace Ty Conklin with a more proven goaltender if a deal presents itself.

Witt, huh? What do you think? Should I laugh or cry?


swabbubba said...

Laugh baby... I was railroaded into picking this game as a tie for sport select. One thing I give the Oilers is that they have plays... the flames seem to rely on broken plays to score there goals. It works against Edmonton but with other teams that is not going to work. I cannot figure out Semenov for the life of me what happened to him. Did he get neutered? He is as passive as the come.

Anonymous said...

Cry . . . bring back Niinimaa!

Chris said...

Not going to the Avalanche game is going to look like a better and better decision. I'd be pissed off if I payed money to watch this game.