Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Hot Wings Wing and a Prayer Just Wing It GOILERS!

Edmonton (7-6-1) at Detroit (9-4-1)
6pm MT
TSN, 630 CHED


How can I tenuously tie the fact the Oilers play the Red Wings tonight to a ridiculous article about captains on NHL.com? Steve Yzerman...retired...was a great captain...played his last game against the Oilers—sure, that will do.

Anyway, Shawn P. Roarke has evidently been taking his blunt objects to the face too early and too often of late, as evidenced by his attempt to name the ten best captains in the league. It's not neccessarily his choices I disagree with—to be honest, I have no idea how one would properly rank captains. Roarke, though, apparently doesn't either.

Markus Naslund is listed as number ten due to the fact he "has missed just 15 games"—a good captain, I will frequently yell at people as I'm walking down the street, has strong knee ligaments and unconcussed thoughts—and the fact the 'Nucks made the playoffs in the first four years of his tenure, "a testament to his abilities." Obviously, of course, the reason the LA Kings have missed the playoffs for the past three seasons is that Mattias Norstrom couldn't lead plague rats to 16th-century London. Except that Norstrom is one above Naslund on the list. Shane Doan, whose team not only hasn't done anything lately, but is now pretty much actively trying to lose, is also above Naslund. Hmmm.

Maybe the most ridiculous comment comes further down, though, supporting Jarmoe's number three spot: "The Flames went to the Stanley Cup Final in Iginla’s first year. Coincidence? We think not." Wow! What a testament to Jarmoe's abilities to lead a team playing in front of the best goaltender in the league! His "emotional leader[ship]" sure meant a lot when the Flames were playing in front of wet paper towels and pure hope in the first half of that season (oh, and, you know, the Anaheim series last year). I'm sure Kipper would have had only two, maybe three shutouts without Jarmoe's emotions helping him make kick saves.
Though perhaps we should forgive Roarke some for his justification, since he excluded Brian Rolston, due to his non-full-time status, all the first-year captains (Elias, Brenden Morrow, Forsberg, Chara, Tim Taylor, Chris Clark, Kimmo Timonen, Jaromir Jagr and Lidstrom) and Pittsburgh's captain, since they don't have one, meaning he had about, oh, twelve people to choose from for a top-ten list. Take that, Patrick Marleau and, uh, Olli Jokinen.

But, stupid justifications in deadline-motivated articles aside, these aren't your slightly older cousin whom you've always felt obligated to sit beside at Thanksgiving due to the closeness of your ages even though she tapes CSI: New York and dropped out of an Athabasca University correspondence business program to serve bottles of Corona and get groped in the lounge at the Sawmill Pacific Fish Company's Red Wings: these are the Red Wings who haven't lost a game since we beat them in mid-October. Their team save percentage is now a respectable middle-of-the-league, as is their goal ratio. They are once again on top of their pathetic, essentially two-team division. They are the Red Wings who kick ass and then write the names of more people whose asses need kicking in the blood of the people whose asses they have just kicked!

Despite our recent troubles—I can't comment on last night's game, since I didn't see it—I am strangely unworried about tonight. The Wings always seem to bring out the best of our game, and we'll probably also be facing the decidedly undominating Hasek, who has a lot more games where his save percentage hits the wrong side of .880 than he ever used to. I think this will be the type of tight, fast, hard-hitting game that will spark us to mop the floor with the rest of this road trip. At least, I pray it will be.

Let's say 5-4 Oil in a back-and-forth, spirited affair. Winchester fights Chelios to pick up a Gordie Howe hat trick in the building where he scooped up the octopus, Horcoff has a goal and an assist to start a streak, Sykora, Lupul, and Smyth pots the winner in OT. Goilers.

I JUST READ OTHER BLOGS UPDATE: I haven't seen a good bestiality joke in some time, so it pleases me that Colby Cosh is bringing sexy back, in the form of calling Flames fans sheep-fuckers (scroll to the bottom). Amen, sir.

13 comments:

Colby Cosh said...

Fun brainteaser: without looking, can you name the player who leads the Edmonton Oilers in plus-minus right now?

Prepare to be WTF'd right out of your chair...

allan said...

I'm heading down to the Pacific Fish Company for some drinks.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

SweatyO said...

Yeah, it's Bergeron. Further example of why I (and others) look at the plus/minus statistic (in it's raw form, at least), with such skepticism.

He might be leading the team in that category, but I can think of six other defensemen currently on the Oilers roster that I'd rather have on the ice in a critical situation....

Good on him for putting up a nice number against weak opposition. If he got the kind of minutes Gator gets, his plus-minus would be the one thing that could go below absolute-zero....

Jordi said...

... DIE BERGERON DIE.

Pleasure Motors said...

I'm heading down to the Pacific Fish Company for some drinks.

In the interest of disclosure, I should probably admit the "cousin" alluded to above is actually a composite of a few people I know, and that the one serving Coronas and getting groped actually used to work at the Moose Factory. Aside from that, I wouldn't wish eating at one of Tom Goodchild's establishments on anyone: they're exclusively for rig pigs who've gone far enough up the oil ladder that they can afford to buy real leather jackets and think washing down a $20 well-done steak with a glass of Gallo merlot makes them classy. (Sometimes they even wear belts around their black jeans.)

Ahem, anyway, as to Bergeron: why does this city always turn against its offensive-minded defencemen? Obviously he's had some confidence issues since the Roloson thing (a costly mistake, but he's not the one who dressed Conklin as a backup), and I was certainly among the many who was unsure of how prominent a role he could play coming into the season, but he hasn't been another Cory Cross, by any stretch. He might have his issues, but I'd say he's the only one of our current d-men with a legitimate shot at 40 points, though he'll probably only get 25-30 this year.

Even if you have to hide him a little, 30-point d-men who make less than $1mil a year aren't exactly walking onto everyone's training camp roster. He's not a top-pairing guy, but I don't have too many troubles with a 17-minute defenceman who's okay enough to keep a plus, whatever his competition, and doesn't look out of place on a powerplay, especially on this team.

Andy Grabia said...

The criticism of Bergeron is unfair. Vic has repeatedly demolished this one. And I have to say that when I watch MAB, I don't really feel like he is any worse defensively than the rest of the team. In fact, my only problem is that I wish he would jump up into the play MORE often. He's got wheels, and I'd like to see some more end-to-end attempts, plus the big open ice hits he used to dish out all the time. His problem is confidence, not a lack of skills.

Scarlett said...

I used to be all on board to be a Bergeron hater, but he has steadily improved the past six or seven games, he has played pretty good. If only the rest of the defense would step up (whoa Jason Smith is the worst at -8? Yikes!). And totally Andy, more end-to-end rushes are needed. He just needs that bloody confidence cause damn, he can move.

Anonymous said...

Hey, did anyone see what happened to Williams? All I saw was a stretcher, Raffi Torres looking guilty and a whole lot of blood.

chris!

allan said...

Williams came around from behind the net with his head down, admiring his pass. Torres caught him with a legal, but high, hit, and Williams landed face-first on the ice. Based on the replay, it looks like Williams was out before he hit the ice.

It sure was gory, but it wasn't as ugly as the Michaelek hit.

She said...

Re: MAB- I see only 7-odd minutes ice time- nothing after six mins. or so into the 2nd period.

Why? What did I miss?

Anonymous said...

Christ, I feel like I didn't miss enough of that game. Every time I looked up, something ugly was happening.

chris!

Scarlett said...

Horrible game. Good hit by Torres, totally legal; just caught him with his dead down. Basically, everyone sucked tonight except Roli. He kept them in it until the third.

Epinonymous said...

I'm not very experienced with jet-lag...is it really that bad?