Saturday, October 15, 2005

Conk out!

Alright, well, seeing as I was halfway through a longish post on last night's game before Blogger inexplicably "timed out," causing everything I'd written to drift aimlessly into the far reaches of unread space, I'm just going to post some quick notes on last night's annoyingly futile 3-2 pants-pooper to the Dallas Stars instead:

1. I had stepped out to grab some noodles on Whyte in between periods, and therefore missed what was likely Ty Conklin's most embarrassing moment to date, so if anyone can give me a good reason as to why MacT would put Conks in net for the second only to yank him after one possibly bad goal 17 seconds in, I'm all ears. If he was that doubtful of Conklin's ability to win the game, he should have quietly taken him out between periods. If this humiliation was supposed to motivate Ty and/or the Oilers, I fail to see how it will. I mean, I'm no Conklin fan, but unless the guy skated out of his crease, crosschecked his own defenceman, stole the puck and buried it in the Oilers net, I would think he deserves a chance to bounce back from a soft goal in the first minute of the second period. I don't know; it just seems to me that if you're so unhappy with a goalie's play that you're prepared to pull him in the first minute, then you might as well not have played him at all. In the end, I think this move came off as manipulative and shortsightedly reactionary. Keenan-esque, in other words.

2. Well, matt from Battle of Alberta may have felt last night's officiating was great, but I found it frustrating at best. And believe me, I'm very conscious of the fact that I may sound like one of those idiot Oilers homers who cries foul unless the refs give us 20 powerplays and six 5 on 3s every game, but I really, honestly, am having a difficult time figuring out what is and what isn't a penalty these days. There's been very little consistency in this new season, and it seems that infractions still largely exist in the minds of the refs rather than in any easy-to-follow rulebook. Last night I saw one obvious trip, a blatant boarding infraction and a clear case of holding in the third go totally uncalled for what seemed like little reason other than the fact that Rob Schick et al. had decided to "let them play." Don't get me wrong: there's a time and place for this kind of officiating. I just don't think it's the first month of a season featuring new, stricter rules that everyone is still getting used to.

3. Jani Rita has nothing to offer the Oilers. His feet are faster than his hands, he never hits and the "chances" he gets are mediocre at best; frankly, we have enough players like him, and hopefully, this experiment will be declared a failure soon so we can pull up Schremp or Statsny and see what happens. Brad Winchester, on the other hand, seems to be playing with confidence. He was hitting hard, finding the open ice, and he tried out a few bush-league dekes that totally didn't work, but which I don't mind seeing nonetheless. He probably deserves a longer look. (EDIT: Oops! Looks like that Bergeron blast that was our second goal hit Rita on the way in... so like, I guess he's useful now. Or something.)

4. The crowd's turning on Mike Peca; you could smell it in the air last night, especially after he flubbed that sweet Hemsky pass on the 2 on 1. Is it fair? Partly—but only, I think, because he's costing so much and was sold to the public as an offensive addition. For me, though, he's playing almost exactly as I expected him to. He's a checking centre who wins faceoffs, people. If we wanted scoring centre who could carry the team on his back in hard times, we should have signed Demitra.


MikeP said...

I am watching the Oilers/Flames game now and its in the second intermission. Not a bad game actually. The worst part of the game?? Jim Hughson and Greg Millen.

Now why would CBC get rid of its best hockey broadcaster and bring in a second rater?? Its a rhetorical question.