Sunday, March 26, 2006

Two Glittering, Precious Points!


Nothing screams "Giant Dork!" like taking digital pics of Oilers games from your TV. But alas, a game-stealing Oilers goalie is as rare as an ivory-billed woodpecker sighting, so I thought I'd at least document Roloson's game-winning stop on Joe Sakic in the shootout.

Looking at the Zapruder-esque frames 2 and 3, Roloson looks as much exhausted as he is relieved from winning the shootout. Playing back to back games in less than 24 hours, he's probably wondering how the hell he ended up in Edmonton in first place. The Big Mall is overrated, the Citadel is nothing but crowd-pleasing pap, and Oilers fans look as if they'll decapitate him with piano wire if the team doesn't make the playoffs. And yet, he perseveres.

And to think MacT almost played Conklin: Roloson stopped every shootout attempt, stopped 91% of his shots (anything over 90% being a rarity for Oiler goalies this year) and he has a shiny new helmet to boot. I'm still not sure how Markkanen became the third goalie, but it's irrelevant since its pretty much Roloson from here on in.

The game itself was a muddle. I didn't think the Oilers were really going to win since they were skating like they had sandbags around their ankles. Of course, Colorado played last night as well and didn't look much better, but the rink was tipping towards the Oilers end most of the game. Some flukey deflections and the coin toss of a shootout keeps in the Oil alive and well in the playoff race. What vexes me is that Edmonton never makes it easier for themselves and prove that they're a good team by beating a team 5-1 (or for once, leading the after the first period would be nice). On paper and even on the ice, the Oilers are a better team after the trade deadline: no one's taking back the Spacek, Samsonov and Roloson trades, and yet they struggle to win games. Then again, the morphine shot of another Oilers victory is good enough for one night.


- Dick Tarnstrom looked pisse pauvre early on and Matt Greene looked a little lost on some plays. Steve Staios, on the other hand, looks like he's on a bit of a run with his second goal in two games. Pronger is Pronger.

- Apparently Marc-Andre Bergeron's mysterious drop in play was injury-related. He's out for a while with some sort of tendonitis knee injury (which sucks since this sounds like a chronic injury that requires a lot of rest)

- I have viewed that Taco Bell "Good to Go" commercial 679 times. And I see the Norm MacDonald Bell beaver ads are going strong, as well. Makes me want to drink hemlock.

- Still not sure what Peca's problems have been with Edmonton (crowd-pleasing pap at the Citadel?), but he won't be around next year, that's for sure. I'm more interested in whether Samsonov would re-sign for under 3 million.

GAME RATING: 7.5 Safeway Score and Wins out of 10


Randy said...

Yes, there's little that will beat a W (see New Jersey for proof) but I'm wondering exactly where Oilers are right now. It muct be a strange place without the usual charge-at-the-windmills type of finishng kick that's characterized "Oilers hockey" in the last five or so.
I don't need to see the final mix to know that Roloson is overprice (yet was the only goalie around at the deadline), that Peca, and really, Pronger are in a strange place right now, Raffi Torres and Radek Dvorak are the only remaining principals in the oddly old fashioned 2003 Laguardia-to-Leduc cash slash.
And still in the new hockey universe, the Oilers are still lined up with Dallas, assuming that 92 points is good enough to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The more things change... I suppose.
Also Big Ups to the Maine Blackbears, former team of one Mike Morrison.

Colby Cosh said...

I suggest detaching emotionally from Samsonov right now, because in the crunch between the S's, Kevin Lowe is going to keep the Kevin Lowe-esque defenceman every time.

My guess is that (a) we bid a bitter but fond goodbye to Samsonov, (b) we re-sign Spacek, Roloson, and Peca (the latter at a deep discount--I like the guy's game presence but would you really be nervous seeing him at Rexall in another uniform?).

mikep said...

Markkanen and Conklin have been rotating the backup since Rolo arrived; Saturday night in Vancouver it was Jussi. MacT said he'd be doing as much, I think.

Anonymous said...

Can Lowe really let Samsonov go? If he does won't we hear the same old cry about the best players leaving? I think he has to at least give a publicly decent offer and then spin it that the guy didn't want to live in Edmonton or his hot model wife couldn't get work in straight to video soft porn. Not that I watch that, late at night, on Showcase.

Kudos to Rolly for being a goalie,


Colby Cosh said...

Well, let's keep in mind that Lowe/EIG LLP can probably afford to start next year a few million higher than we began this one. With the pay-per-view revenue and nearly 40 sellouts, they'd better be willing to reinvest. What market anywhere is better for an NHL team right now?

And if Samsonov can get us a couple rounds deep into playoffs, he'll more than pay for his own 2006-07 contract.

Moreover, having a good fuckin' team right from the start of the year would save Lowe the trouble of buying at the deadline in a straitened, frantic market. I would love to see this group have the chance to coalesce--if we could keep SergSam I'd be content to settle for Roloson as the #1. (What issues exist with Roli at the moment seem partly related to the D failing to adapt to his style.)

mike w said...

Peca hasn't been consistently good enough to be re-signed, and he doesn't sound like a guy who wants to stay anyway. His head is in Buffalo.

Samsonov is a bit of a holdout wizard, and me thinks that after years in Boston he may become something of a mercenary player, not that there's anything wrong with that. Just a feeling I guess...

(I cringed when Morley Scott asked him what he thought of Edmonton on only his 2nd day there, knowing Samsonov likely knew only the scenic drive from the airport and down Wayne Gretzky Drive).

Spacek seems like a better bet. He's a better player in the Oilers system and can stick around on a team that's actually reasonably good. That and we get first crack at re-signing Roloson, which might be a good idea. After this season, I suggest we sign 6 goalies in July as insurance for next year.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Working for the Oil - Spacek has played for some bad bad teams - actually playing for a team that is competitive year after year (and playing with Pronger) probably appeals to him.

If they can get Peca for a real discount and slot him in at #3 then do it but I think he's gone - he can get more elsewhere, which is fine, and I agree with Mike W. - his heart isn't in it - although I think he's going to have a strong finish.

As for Sammy - what would you pay him? That's the question. There's going to be interest in him - at what number do you say see you and good luck?

From my calcs they will have 22 million tied up in payroll before raises for RFAs - is that accurate?