Sunday, May 14, 2006

Canada's Team

Edmonton 6(!)
San Jose 3

Sleek and economical, like a friendly puma, the Oilers
did just enough to win again, with the help of a complete San Jose meltdown in their most important game of the year. San Jose's five consecutive penalties, all dumb, pretty much gave the game to the Oilers, heading back home. Joe Thornton, looking notably petulant and grumpy, sealed the game with a silly slash on Shawn Horcoff late in the third, while Vesa Toskala is starting to resemble the Riddler with all of the questions marks swirling over his head going into Game 6 (unwarranted in the goalie's case, but I'll welcome the distraction).

The playoffs, as Ottawa fans know, is almost always unfair. If feels like 80 per cent of this series has been played in the Oilers' own zone, but the real difference has been the willingness of Oilers defencemen to risk IQ-obliterating slapshots to the face. Steve Staios took one off the forehead, Pronger blocked everything (using his eerie technique of outwaiting shooters, sometimes not even moving to block the shot) and has made Jason Smith into some sort of gladiator with offensive upside. Matt Greene and Marc-Andre Bergeron, however, scare me immensely. San Jose did an excellent job sealing the puck in the Oilers' zone, and with the icings and home team line changes, I almost couldn't bear to watch Thornton's line up against our back pair. But then there's goaltending: without Dwayne Roloson sucking in rebounds, San Jose would have consummated puck control with actual goals scored, and I'd be a very sad little man. Instead, the Oilers snatch victory from the twitchy jaws of the Sharks from San Jose.

I have to go to bed! Here's more on the game.

Shameful admission: last summer I openly wondered if we should trade Ryan Smyth for Patrick Marleau.


RiversQ said...

Shameful admission: last summer I openly wondered if we should trade Ryan Smyth for Patrick Marleau.

Thank heavens that didn't happen. Smyth would be goading Pronger into soul crushing penalties and killing us on the PP. Meanwhile MacT would be scrambling to keep Marleau as far away from the Thornton line as possible. :shudder:

Anonymous said...

Goggles Pisani is my new favorite Coiler.


Doogie2K said...

Confessing your sins is the first step towards absolution. What should his atonement be?

Coluch said...

How about the booing of "Oh Canada!"? Oh sharks fans. This is where the kid from the movie SCREAM comes in and says, "Don't you know the rules!?? Certain things must never happen if you want to stay alive..." One of those things is being disrespectful to the players (which is basically what they were doing, since half thier team is Canadian as well). I hope we show alot more class on Wednesday and give them the silent treatment.

Smyth is our Yzerman. He is so dedicated to this team, just watch him after any goal is scored. He doesn't cheer 'Yay' like most everyone else, he's a real team leader out there. Heck he's the heart & soul of the Oilers I'd say, and has been for some time. He WILL wear the C eventually, why he isn't already, I don't know, but Smith is deserving of it too so no complaints here.

Grace said...

Wow, trading Smyth away would be like trading Gretzky except worse because Smyth's been here through the bad and deserves all the good. Wayne had the fortune of playing here with great players.

For shame at you for thinking they should trade him. For shame!!!!!!

PJ Swenson said...

More photos from game 5 are here:

Sorry about the booing, but I think the refs made up for it in the last 2 games.

Chris! said...

Surely we haven't forgotten Edmonton's lusty booing of the American national anthem during the Dallas years.

Randy said...

Man, what I wouldn't give for some lusty booing right now. Read a mention of the Canada Day riot and had to sigh longingly -- that was just down the block from my old, craphole basement apt, by Chapters :(
Let me begrudgingly join the list of doubters who've reassessed the Oilers lineup in leiu of 12 goals in two games. That said, Fernando Pisani is simply not an NHL calibre player. He's not.

Steve said...

I'm with Randy - every time Pisani scores, I feel a twinge of anger at that asshole for proving my prediction that he'd never amount to anything wrong.

And yeah, I'm now predicting that the Oilers will not only beat San Jose, but beat Anaheim as well (Anaheim's looked good, but they've looked good beating Calgary and Colorado which, with due respect (i.e. none) to the Flames, isn't quite the same as looking half decent beating Detroit and San Jose.

That I've finally abandoned my post as a doubter is surely the kiss of death for the Oilers. Their season will end Friday.

Colby Cosh said...

Jeez, Swenson, the refs gave San Jose seven of the first nine power plays on Sunday night. How much more help did you want?

Coluch said...

PS, My sister won't stop calling Pisani, Piasano.

And here's some great commentary from Gretz, on how the Oilers are doing. Gretzky not surprised at playoff upsets"

Randy said...

Anaheim? Yeesh. Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, but they actually look like the "Mighty" Ducks that Michael Eisner mockingly predicted they would be. They whisked Colorado away, and beat Calgary, plus they're rested, young, fricking-super-talented.
I fear Anaheim-Buffalo in the final. Which, honestly, seems like a sexy thrill-ride. I can't believe, I just said that.
PS- Lay off Fernando. It's not his fault that the Oilers had to muck it out with guys like him for so long.

Anonymous said...

Is the anti-goggles sentiment some kind of south side snobery against a north end kid who made it good?

He only scores big goals on the fourth line, never gives up on defense. He's a working class hero y'all, deal with it!


Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

hmmm - 18 regular season goals, 7 in the playoffs, kills penalties, plays on the team's shutdown line

when you say he's not an NHL calibre player - in the original 6, perhaps?

not a great player but he's better then alright in my books

Doogie2K said...

Pisani's a good third-line scorer who'd probably make a decent second on a shitty team (Pittsburgh, Washington, etc.). He really is underrated.

Coluch said...

Pisani could make a 2nd line on ANY team when he reaches his potential. Why does everyone want to pick on him? If he's the worst that we have, I have no complaints. Besides, our third line is likely the best 3rd in the entire league (or very close to). The depth of the Oil, paired with the playing of Roli, is the key reason why we're still in the playoffs.

Steve said...

I'm not sure if these defenses of Pisani are directed at me, but if they are I should clarify: I *know* he's good. That's why I hate him, because I spent a couple of years going off about how he didn't belong in the NHL, and now he's proving me very, very wrong.