Wednesday, November 1, 2006

The Nashville Predators have loose morals and poor hygiene

Predators 5, Oilers 3

I didn't catch the first period but on radio, and it was supposed to be rough, but to me tonight just plain looked like we got beat by a team who played our game a bit better than we did.

Before I continue, though: that picture, like the one of the Canes I posted a while ago, both came from the NHL's evidently ridiculous My Stanley Cup campaign from last year. I can only assume from his pose and come hither eyes that Arnott is icing himself down because he just finished having sex with the better part of the Dallas-Fort Worth secretary pool, and this was somehow related to his desire to win the Stanley Cup (pregame ritual: father a child). Anyway, I also wanted to point out that, of the 13 wallpapers available to download from, ten involved players who did not make it past the first round of the playoffs, and three (Linden, Carter, and the Kings team photo) were of teams that didn't even make the playoffs. Go marketing department!

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to talk about was the whole back-to-back games thing: obviously, due to Nashville's quick start, talk in the first intermission by CHED's new resident expert Chris Joseph was how, sometimes, teams that play the night before don't actually come out flat, but energized, because they have that energy from before, blah, blah, blah. I played a hunch, and while admittedly it's a small sample size (that is, October) and put together a bit quickly (that is, since I got home), I can find pretty much no correlation whatsoever between the second game in a back-to-back and performance. Certain teams have certain tendencies (Florida has lost the second game every time, for instance), but by and large, there is virtually no noticeable performance change in the second game (teams seem to win/lose at pretty much the same rate), even allowing for things like opposing team quality.

Nor, I think is sort of obvious, should there be, really: back-to-back games almost always come after a longer-than-average break and really, more or less a full day's rest should be more than enough for world-class athletes (the third game in four nights, or something similar, might be more trouble, but I didn't look for that). Long story short: this back-to-back business seems one of those true-because-it's-accepted facts that can be bent any which way it needs to be to give talking heads something to fill space with. As such, expect to hear about it every time anyone plays a back-to-back game, regardless of its relevance.

Aside from that: are we ever going to see Jan Hejda? Who knows? Listening in, it sounded like defensive coverage was the problem that sunk the Oil in the first, and maybe Hejda, who had a fairly solid preseason, deserves a chance to settle that a bit. We still really need a d-man who can break out of the zone, by the way. Oh, and Ales Hemsky is the new porn.


Andy Grabia said...

Oh, and Ales Hemsky is the new porn

Because just when he has me thinking, "that's it?", he'll do a twist, then a turn, then a move I've never seen before, and I'll have semen in my trousers? Sure, but don't forget how little I want to do with him when I'm done.

namflashback said...

There were more than a few things sloppy by the Oilers, but this was not a Nashville team that looked tired at all. They were very sharp and very fast. If this is them when they are tired, then I would hate to see them when they are well rested.

Obviously, Edmonton could/should have done more sooner/longer/altogether. That said -- some props to a very solid Nashville road game.

On the topic of D, can't we just take all of the Nashville defenceman. I like what they do.

Andy Grabia said...

I thought our outlet passes were better than theirs last night, actually. We had, what, a couple breakaways, and a few more that just got away from guys sticks. It was our forwards in our own end that had me horrified. On that first goal, Lupul looked like the puck was a grenade. He recoiled away from it.