Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tonight's lesson

Our team blows.

Ottawa's colourman summed it up best, and not without a little disgust: the Oilers are not a transition team, with the talent to trade chances. What got them any success last year was the deep cycle and forecheck, which, unfortunately, requires smart, offensive defenceman. We have none. And so, we lose. OVER AND OVER.


Last week while quaffing pints, my friend Garnet asked me "Why haven't the Oilers called up Tom Gilbert?"


Not knowing why, I improvised an answer that questioned Tom Gilbert's "jam" and whether he had enough "grit," along with some platitudes about "paying your dues." Sure, he had a rather eye-popping 27 points in 45 AHL games this year (eye-popping for offence-starved Oilers fans, anyway), but we were all still watching Marc-Andre Bergeron slowly lose his mind on the ice wiffing on slapshots ("Bergeron" in French means "a thousand little deaths").

But after tonight's game, I wondered why we hadn't called up the guy sooner. He's looked steady in three games so far. And the offensive awareness in his game-tying goal was utterly stunning in its simplicity (ie. getting away from other players, sneaking in from the point). I'm sure that Nashville or even Vancouver fans may snicker at this, but what can I say: it's been the kind of year where we've openly pined for Tom Poti and Janne Niinimaa.


Anyway, I wasn't taken in by that little comeback tease in the end. It was a trick. Truth is, the Oilers were badly outplayed all game, setting themselves up for a special humiliation that only a Comrie or a McAmmond could deliver upon.

Dutifully, I'll take my daily spoonful of 2006-07 punishment, although in the back of my mind I still wonder what exactly triggered the curse between the second and third period of Game 1's SCF: was there open talk about the cup "being ours"? Did someone not cheer
hard enough? Did someone make fun of Joey Moss? Was a fan's playoff beard shaved prematurely?

Oil splooge:

-
In honour of our Nation's Capital, the image above is a "homage" to that political mainstay, the Editorial Cartoon.

- I looked, but not very hard: does anyone know where you can find scoring by defence sorted as team stat? I can find individual leaders, but not any sorted tally by team.

- People can stop shouting for Hemsky to shoot. He will not.

- Nice showing by Oilers fans in Ottawa, especially with the booing Mike Comrie in his home building. Let's never forget that his selfish trade request/contract holdout (ultimately settling for less money than the Oilers originally offered) cost us the playoffs.

- I feel so empty inside.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

eye-pooping, excellent!!

Andy Grabia said...

Dutifully, I'll take my daily spoonful of 2006-07 punishment, although in the back of my mind I still wonder what exactly triggered the curse between the second and third period of Game 1's SCF: was there open talk about the cup "being ours"? Did someone not cheer hard enough? Did someone make fun of Joey Moss? Was a fan's playoff beard shaved prematurely?

You wouldn't believe how much I've blamed Boutet and Sacamano for this. I've kept it to myself, but I blame them in my head four or five times a week. It's usually right after I whip myself for my own failings as a fan.

Colby Cosh said...

I didn't realize Louis-Ferdinand Celine was writing the screenplay, but it makes so much sense.

Anonymous said...

"- I feel so empty inside."

I swear this was lifted straight out of "oilspills" from the Journal.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. I think HF's Oiler farm report goes just as well for the big club:

Weaknesses:
1. Few Superstar Offensive Talents
2. No AHL Affiliate of their own
3. Stud Powerplay QB
4.
5. Lack of Scoring from Wings

I don't think 2. affects things as much as people think it does, but I'll add a 4.: being in wintery, free-agent-deterring Northwestern Canada when there are five NHL teams in California and Florida alone. I'm an Edmontonian and it suits me fine, but if YOU were being paid a million dollars a year to play hockey, would you choose Edmonton? Honestly?

-Cody

Pleasure Motors said...

You wouldn't believe how much I've blamed Boutet and Sacamano for this.

Weren't you the first goddamn one to shave your playoff beard?

James said...

I just knew the finger pointing would come around sooner or later. It's a testament to the Oilers fans that it didn't happen sooner.

Katie O'D said...

I've said it once and I'll say it again- the Oilers are my fault. I've got awful, awful hockey luck and I'm bringing it upon them. But if there's any pattern to it, they'll be a lot better off next year, at least.

mike w said...

You promise?

case said...

'puck moving defencemen' will hopefully stop the 'war on terror' one day. until then, i want a fucking volleyball stopping scrumhalf.

Andy Grabia said...

Weren't you the first goddamn one to shave your playoff beard?

Hey! Did you not read what I wrote after that?

It's usually right after I whip myself for my own failings as a fan.

But let's be clear. I corrected my mojo, and it was working. Someone else fucked up on June 5th, 2006.

mike w said...

The Hockey Gods may have also been a tad miffed at all of those celebratory playoff stabbings.

Of course, Edmontonians thought that's what they wanted. They are fickle deities, to say the least.