Saturday, April 29, 2006


Edmonton 3
Detroit 2

Ethan Moreau describes the Oilers strategy against the Wings as "selective pressure": a clogged neutral zone with two forwards trying to make good reads on when to forecheck. Early in the game, we got to see the Oilers' other strategy: take really dumb penalties and hope Detroit doesn't score.

Ah, but this is where Dwayne Roloson's .935 SV% shimmers like sparkling wine. It's not like Roloson is making supersick saves in a 1997 Curtis Joseph sense; but he's definitely looking more calm and assertive than he ever has in his 20-25 games as an Oiler. His glove hand looked good, and if he popped out any rebounds Roli managed to keep them clear from the high slot. His little eyes-shut zen meditation thing between plays seems to work, and more importantly it's miles away from the scared flailing that passed for goaltending early in the season.

Goaltending gave us a chance, but the real difference was defence once again. When it comes to veracity, Giveaways can be a dubious stat, but with 28 tallies Detroit almost doubled Edmonton in that margin, most notably on two of the Oilers goals. Red Wings fans are already starting to shun Manny Legace like he has cholera, but the Oilers have either scored on the Powerplay (which has kept pace with Detroit's) or from good pinches by their defenceman that lead to crazy tip-ins. Thank the lord for the Orbs, with a team-leading 7 points in 5 games. Wrapping it up in the third, the Oilers held on to the lead playing some shut-down hockey, scrambling to stop shots with their faces if need be (a gilded foam finger goes to Horcoff for that one). Good game.

And so, after failed attempts, good times at the Friendnasium. The rest of Saturday was the dazed, sated afterglow that comes with a 3-2 series lead and a feeling that maybe, just maybe, life isn't all a meaningless shitswirl of cruelty and chaos afterall. Onward to "E-Town"!

My one game note:

An octopus was tossed on the ice with 20 seconds left, leaving me to presume that some fan kept seafood in his pants for the entire game. Nice tradition you have there, Detroitonians.


Colby Cosh said...

Actually, the thrown cephalopod was frozen, which means that if the guy had it in his pants there must have been a sizable quantity of dry ice in there too.

I wouldn't place any stock in the giveaways--Detroit started with the puck an extra ten times on faceoff wins, and would have turned it over on shots a lot more too.

Anonymous said...

i don't see why anyone would be shunning anyone with cholera, unless they were considering eating their feces. it's water-borne, not air-borne.

go oil!

mike w said...

>i don't see why anyone would be shunning anyone with cholera

Listen, I was tired. I meant Tuberculosis, I guess.

lowetide said...

Don't see TB mentioned much anymore, kind of like scurvy and the Boer war.

I wonder if Lowe overspends for Roloson? I'd bet more than feces on it.

mike w said...

The Oilers better start drafting a goalie every year.

Not a whole lot of the market this summer: Gerber, Huet, Roloson, Legace, Joseph and uh, John Grahame is available (he comes with a free tote bag).

Paul O-the O stands for Sports said...

Sign Samsonov. Trade for a goalie who isn't you know, 35+:

Denis, Toskala/Nabokov, Biron. They are out there. They are upset over lack of playing time. Most of them are French.

archetypal anonymous blogger said...

Perhaps the Oil should go after Legace.

Fuck the Red Wings!

Coluch said...

The smart move:

1- Drive to Calgary.
2- Abduct Kipper.
3- Leave Jussi in his place.
4- Punch every flames fan in the face as you leave town.

Coluch said...

ohhh, and then make kipper play backup to Roli, just to piss them off that much more.

case said...

looks like we'll be playing kipper if they go through. pre-edmonton vs. calgary riot list...
1. proven rocks and bottles used in canada day riot
2. pilsner bottles
3. that giant edmonton baseball bat
4. west edmonton attack subs armed with alberta beef torpedoes
5. large catapult i just started building today
anybody else?

Dave said...

"Alberta Beef Torpedoes"

Ha ha...

Sounds like either the worst sports team name ever, or some sort of redneck sex game.

"The Alberta Beef Torpedoes remain undefeated in the All Nude-Male BBQ Sauce High Dive tournament."

eun said...

Worst sports team name ever? Where does that leave the Edmonton Cracker Cats?

lowetide said...

There used to be a store called "Meat Liquidators" on 137 Avenue when I lived in Wellington. I would say that has the potential to be the worst name for a sports franchise ever.

So far, the BEST name is baseball's Kissimee Astros. :-)

canadia said...

notes from Detroit....

There were an impressive number of Oilers fans in JLA. In the nosebleed sections around our seats alone there were 50-60 people, including 1 puckhead. Fan of the night goes to the guy wearing a mullet wig to honor Smitty.
Before the game, a bunch of Oiler fans had a BBQ featuring Alberta beef outside the arena, next to the river. Sweet. There were 5-10 Calgary jerseys in the crowd. When we talked to some of them, we confirmed out suspicions that wearing a CGY jersey meant you were cheering for Detroit. Also seen: 3 Toronto Jerseys, 1 Colorado jersey and 1 soccer jersey. Not sure who they were cheering for.
The crowd was QUIET. To make them not seem quiet, they pumped up the crowd before the end of every commercial break by thanking the sponsors of the towel giveaway.
Red Wings fans have unreasonably high expectations and refuse to reward the team for anything less than the Cup. Down 3-1 in the third? They are booing and heading for the exits with 10 minutes left. Do they not remember Game 3? All the Oiler fans had knots in our stomachs and were threatening Hemsky that if he took another stick penalty because he was too lazy to skate.....
The DET fans decided they should boo Pronger when he touched the puck. Note to fans: it needs to be every time he touches the puck and loud. See Chelios, Chris as an example.
We were behind the DET net when Hemsky tried to stuff it in in the 1st. It was amazing how he weaved through all the defenders: looked like it got stuck on the post.
The refs really put away the whistles and it was surprising just how much quicker the game went. (much more enjoyable!)
After the game, we endured the usual taunts of "Oilers suck!" "We hate the Oilers!" as we left. Oddly enough, 75% of the comments came from the homeless people that were asking for change along the pedestrian walkways.

oilswell said...

No, stick with cholera. Got the shit beaten out of him that badly.

I dunno LT. I still pick Macon Whoopee over Kissimme Astros.