Tuesday, January 17, 2006



Frustrating. It's tough when an opponent seems so beatable, and yet you lose. So, let's see here, what excuse can I resort to to explain another Oilers' loss:

a) goaltending
b) opponent's goaltending
c) a disgraceful job by the referees

We're all familiar with option "a", so let's stick with "c" for tonight, with a little help from "b." Ryan Miller is one of maybe ten really good goaltenders in the league, so I don't want to compare him unfairly to Markkanen. Markkanen let in the kind of goals I've seen in dozens of other games I've seen this year. I just better not see Conklin in the next game.

The refs, on the other hand, gave Buffalo 3 Five on Threes, two of the them very questionable, and simply handed the Sabres an entire half period of constant powerplay in the second. After Jim McKee tried to end Hemsky's career with a knee-on-knee, Jason Smith naturally went straight for him, only to get Kalinen jumping into the fray. According to hockey's code, Smith did the right and honourable thing for a captain, and yet he ended up costing the Oilers two minutes for "instigating" (Kalinen got a game misconduct, but that hardly helped us from being shorthanded - It was just one of those nights).

Sabres were flopping all over the ice like it was the World Cup of Soccer, and when they weren't getting called for dives they were too busy trying to draw penalties by not fighting. Fitting perhaps, that Diver-of-the-Game Derek Roy sealed it late, leaving Oilers fans to endure the inevitable slow-bleed death of a late game two-goal deficit. Clearly, the Oilers have hit a bit of a skid, with key players cooling off. Raffi Torres clearly beats himself up too much when he's not scoring and it effects his timing and decision making out there on the ice. The first liners Horcoff, Smyth and Hemsky seem to tune out out at the worst times on the back check. It's especially odd since they all get penalty kill time and are pretty good at it, especially Horcoff, who made a bunch of nifty plays near the point on Sabre Powerplays.

Cory Cross haters can put away their foam middle fingers for now, since he was one of the better Oilers defencemen out there. Matt Greene finally lived up to his North Dakota reputation for big hits, even clobbering Sabres chickenshit Andrew Peters with punches right after decking Jiri Novottny with a big, clean hit (he all stood up at the blueline and made some good defensive plays). If there was ever reason to get rid of the instigator rule (or change it somehow), it would be players like Peters, who end up chirping all game to the Oilers bench without having to do anything to show for it (Sean Avery also comes to mind). Even if we had Georges Laraque in the game, could we have even used him?

Oh, and before I choke on my own bile, I might as well add something everyone should know: Rexall Place has terrible ice. You may have heard otherwise, but the last time that was true was when that Dan Craig guy left the team in 2000 (or whatever) to work for the NHL. Anyone who's played hockey would know just from the way the puck skittered on the Oilers crucial 3rd period powerplays. For a skating team, it's a sad thing to see for a home "ice" advantage.

Phew. Okay. Time to submerge my head in a bucket of ice.



Matt said...

Chris Lee & Brad Watson, that was impressive. My memory's a bit dodgy, but I'm pretty sure that's the first time I've ever seen an NHL game where after two periods, the PP opportunities were 13 to 2 for one team.

Couldn't happen to nicer bunch of guys, of course, but that's f00ked.

Anonymous said...

I'm not even going to argue stats, fact and figures or logic anymore. Let's just sweep these 2 bitches (Juonky) right out of town. Go with Morrison. Even if we lose every game for the rest of the season, at least we do it with a gamer. Juonky is clearly unprepred to start any and every game.

I still don't understand the problem with Pat Lalime. He was a pretty good goalie until the Ottawa fans (the worst in the league) and media decided to take a dump on his head and blame him for everything. How can we not pick up a guy like that on waivers and at least give him a shot? Just what does that cost us except another start by the worst goalie tandem in the league?


Seth said...

Heartless? Are you kidding me? Don't be jealous that Buffalo has 2 goalies and you have none! Did we watch the same game? The Oilers can blame themselves for the loss.
A few points... go back and look at the McKee hit. While I will grant you that his knee was out, it never made contact.

And where were the dives? When Peters got tackled for going to the net - and was called for roughing? How about when Roy was slashed or high-sticked? And I suppose that Connolly imagined the blood on his face when he got high-sticked. To say they were diving is ridiculous. Remember one thing - your team is not infalliable- they are capable of commiting penalties.

I thought the Sabres played a gritty and hard-working road game and got what they deserved - two points. To call the Sabres heartlerss is insane. I understand that it is upsetting to lose to a team of guys that were in the AHL last week, but these things happen. The better team won the game.

mudcrutch79 said...

Lalime is as bad as Conklin (Jussi is less bad; I refuse to say better in relation to any of these assholes) and costs as much as the two of them put together. Plus, we'd still need StL to actually bring him up on waivers.

mike w said...

I stand by my "gutless" comment for the odd dive, Andrew Peters, and Jason Smith having to fight two guys at once. The Oilers did indeed take some dumb penalties and lose the game for themselves, but that was mixed in with some really bogus calls and Sabres players that fell down a lot (the call on Reasoner comes to mind, since you asked where the dives were). My complaint against the refs was their lack of situational awareness: especially when the back ref calls borderline penalties when the Oilers were already down a man.

If Andrew Peters is gonna yap off to the Oilers bench, then jab Matt Greene in the groin, he can't be surprised to find himself in a fight.

As for the McKee hit, I checked the tape a few times and it's definetely knee-on-knee - that's why Hemsky was down on the ice after the hit. I think Jim McKee's an okay guy and maybe stuck it out at the last second to keep Hemsky from beating him, but you hate to see those kinds of plays.

Sour grapes? Of course.