Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ye Gods, Oil lose!

Calgary "Minnesota Wild" Flames 3
Edmonton Oilers 0

The hockey gods have spoken, sending a lightning bolt through the hearts of Oilers fans everywhere. We the meager citizens of Edmonton probably didn't pray hard enough and now we have to take this loss right in the guts.

No doubt Kiprusoff was the top dawg here, but the lack of offensive finish is a bit worrying. Hemsky simply can't be our only playmaking threat for the next month while Horcoff and Smyth are out. After tonight, we'll drop below an average of 2.80 goals a game, 6 of 14 goals being on the PP, which is hardly enough to win in the "New NHL". The nice little kissoff was the sight of Torres puking blood as their empty net goal went in. Also frustrating: despite the lessons we learned against Dallas in the playoffs, it turns out that winning faceoffs doesn't seem to matter. Rrrgh!

I'm angry and I want to rabbit punch a pillow, so excuse me if this post ends up short on analysis. Contrary to what every commentator/league shill says, this was not a fun or exciting game to watch.

"The trap is gone," says Greg Millen
"Thank goodness for that," says Jim Hughson.

Meanwhile on the ice: the Flames played behind their redline for the entire third period. I guess I'd play the same way against the Oilers, but don't feed me poop and tell me its delicious. It was boring.

Greg Millen: "The refs have done a great job here, tonight."

No, they didn't. The refs called the game with same level of inconsistency as last night, which is unsurprising since they had the same refs as last night. Some calls were obvious fouls, but others even Hughson and Miller couldn't explain. There's a difference between hooking and having a stick touch another player, but I guess that's splitting hairs in the "New NHL," especially with players on both teams diving all over the place like Mike Ribeiro.

Now I think I'm going to take a hot bath and curl up around a nice Galliano Liqueur to take the edge off.


Matt said...

I hear you: for all the complaints about Minnesota Wild hockey we've ever heard, no one has ever explained why (if) they were cheating, or benefitting from lax enforcement.

A good Tom Benjamin graf last month was something like, "no rule change will make the players smaller or slower". I suppose we saw some proof of that tonight.

sacamano said...

Agreed. I wanted to throw my beer at the TV every time those NHL shills mentioned the words: "exciting", "flow", "scoring-chances".

It especially pissed me off when they said how ineffective the trap would be and how coaches are "really struggling" to find new strategies.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Minnesota looks even better this year than they have in the past - and without Gaborik!

It was painful to watch.

Chris! said...

Yep, tons of icing and I don't think I saw a Flames player in past centre for the last few minutes. It's a fine strategy to close out a game and I ain't complaining about that, but there was nothing exciting about it.

That said, in the end, it was a great game for the Flames and a woefully mediocre one for the Oilers. Our lack of scoring depth and dearth of a pure passer like Smyth was laid bare last night. The Oil just doesn't seem able to do anything in tight right now; tons of times last night when we had a guy battling at the goalmouth waiting as a pass as a winger swept in, only to watch said winger go right past the goalie, around the net and back up above the circles to look for a clear shot which wasn't there.

And look how our PP crumbles at the slightest pressure up high and on the boards; we have to expect that—Jarret Stoll's superpowers probably caught a few teams off-guard early on, but no one's giving him an inch of room now, and the unit has to pick up the slack by giving the point men more passing options. Right now, no one's moving their feet at all. Bah. (Also, why does Pronger hate shooting so much? One of the things he does better than any other dman we have is that fluttery low wrister that always seems to make it to the net. More please.)

And finally, I'll say it one more time: good effort by Winchester last night. He's taking the body and looking for shots, and you can actually feel his presence out there. I'm fairly impressed at this point. And Brodziak didn't look horribly out of place either.

Pleasure Motors said...

We definitely have to use more photoshopped images in the game recaps.