Saturday, March 10, 2007

Post 6th-straight loss Oil Dribblets

Some game against the Ducks last night, huh? What's that? You didn't see it?

Well, I don't blame ya. It's hard to put a positive spin on the last quarter of the season, and there's not much on the horizon (including a laundry list of UFAs we need, but may not acquire) to give hope for the future, unless you think there's enough Gene Principe fodder in heart-warming stories about kids like Bryan Young playing his first -- and possibly last -- NHL game.

Even Young must have been surprised by how thin the Oilers defence corps has gotten - when his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton told him he was headed to California, he thought he was being demoted to the single-A ECHL, not the big leagues. The Oilers are literally out of defenceman that they can call up, and are short a man on their roster: should we be surprised when they drop 5-1 games like last night's laffer against the Ducks?

Time for a Metaphor

When I was a kid, I put a Tent Caterpillar into a freezie wrapper and then squished it, slowly, from its ass upwards towards its head, watching it puke its own body contents from its mouth. I know. Even though I was a kid at the time, I still feel bad for squishing that poor little sucker. For the purposes of an unwieldy metaphor: Kevin Lowe is that kid, the hapless Oilers are the caterpillar, the yellow guts-puke is the soul and pride of the team, and the freezie wrap represents, uh, ...the salary cap? Uh, nevermind. But what remains is this: who wants to watch what's left of the Oilers squirm, amidst a 6-game losing streak? No one.

Oilers ownership, currently pimping their season ticket renewals, should know that a fan's goodwill can be lost as fast as its gained -- indeed, the Stanley Cup Final of last June already feels like ancient history, doesn't it? If this ass-half of a season is a harbinger of what we can expect next season, EIG can count on a lot of inflated, 21%-more-expensive tickets going unsold. Hell, fans are already leaving in droves for games they've already paid for at Rexall. A lot of Edmontonians may be "live and die with the team" lemmings, but they are also CHEAP lemmings, and nothing takes the tarnish off of a hockey product like being out of the playoffs by December.

[Mike scoots his soap box back into the corner]

By the way, this seriously can't be Schremp. What the hell have we drafted?

22 comments:

Dennis said...

You really think so Mike? I know this stuff is hard to pin down but I'd like to know the "actual" attendance for the last few home games as opposed to the paid attendance. I still think the fans will come out no matter what though. People are afraid that if they stay away the team will move. That's an outsiders opinion of course but I've never understood that blind faith that defines the Rexall dweller.

mike w said...

To clarify: I was referring to fans leaving the game early, sometimes in the second period, during the Oilers recent homestand when they were stinking it up.

Anonymous said...

I'd wager there won't be alot of PPV buyers for the last PPV game (or is it two?) either. The bars will still buy it but the folks at home...? On TV you could actually see the crowd start to dwindle in the second period, and then crowd shots getting fewer and farther between as the game progressed. So much for third period beer sales, except for those few who stay and drown their sorrows.

I shake my head at the Schremp photo... dear lord help us.

T.

Zellow Yebra said...

I was at the TB game on Wednesday and the building was full. It looked sold out until 8:00 left in the third period.

mike w said...

It looked sold out until 8:00 left in the third period.

So people left early, no?

Anonymous said...

Friends, I always make management decisions keeping in mind the law of unintended consequences. K-Lowe and EIG apologists keep trying to hang their hat on the 'business decision' peg, but I think it may just be the business that bite's them on the ass.

Yes, he did free up cap room, but what's the point if after the last year, no decent UFA wants to sign here? Think about it, you're in the last half of your career and you make the choice to take the big contract, do you choose Oniontown after watching the GM just totally shit all over the heart and soul of the team who just also might be your freind?

As someone mentioned above, what about the hit you take on merchandise, beer and PPV sales? There's also a thing called 'goodwill' which is all the intangibles that go into making your business a success, like fans actually caring about the team.

They obviously made the calculation that any negative reaction would be short term, but I'm not so sure. We're fairly deep in the lifecycle of the Lowe/MacT regime so a fair bit of customer apathy is expected anyway.

As I said before, I think the Smyth trade was the first paragraph of K-lowe's resignation letter. Won't be surprised if MacT has the good sense to step down after this year as well.

Duke

Scarlett said...

Yeah people are leaving early (not in the second) but they're still coming to the games so far.

Dennis said...

Not sure when the numbers were compiled but I read a blurb the other day that said that just two Can teams had seen an increase in viewship from last year to this one: Habs and Oilers.

That being said I'd love to get a look at the PPV buyrates for the post 94 games as opposed to the 94 games

Anonymous said...

And now for the trad-ee checkup. MAB had a goal and an assist against Washington tonight. Garth Snow is probably thinking (right now!) he is the greatest genius this planet has ever seen.

Darien said...

Well Smyth got 2 assists, but they were playing the capitals. Which the oilers... might... have a chance of beating? Oh hell...

mike w said...

Damn. Those St. Louis turds lost tonight.

Looks like we have a bit of a battle going on!

Dennis said...

Far be it for me to defend Lowe but Bergy is still making some awful plays in his own end. But Poti's doing a good job of covering it and Bergy has had the reins removed from him on the O side. He's rushing the puck and moving into the play like I'd always hoped he would with the Oil. Plus on the PP he's learning to get his shots down low and make them tippable.

mike w said...

I think it's safe to say that the jury is still on that trade.

But I hope he does well and makes my signed number 47 jersey a respectable little collector's item.

Vic Ferrari said...

mike w:

Bergeron is playing in the second pairing with Poti. He is EV+10 EV-2 on the Island, looking just at 5on5 with no empty net goals counted.

There is a sensible limit to just how lucky one fucker can be.

Contrast that with Greene ... who was EV+/- +1 while playing with Bergeron this season (over 2/3rds of his EV icetime) ... and a whopping EV+/- -16 when not with 47 (granted +0 and -6 since Bergeron was traded).

Back in 05/06, when Lowe first told us that Greene was great. Big Matt was EV+/- +2 while playing with Bergeron, -8 when he wasn't.

If you have spotted the pattern, then the answer to Aretha's beautiful musical question "who's zoomin' who" ... it should be punching you in the face. :)

Anonymous said...

Nabokov... wins... Flawless victory.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Tomorrow night, the losing stops. Surely they can beat the kings, right guys? Right?

...

anybody?...

mike w said...

BERGERON UBER ALLES!!!

I'mm drunk. MNice to see the Oil come up big.

Fish said...

Holy, you are drunk, Captain Spellcheck.

o<

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to renew your season tickets, boys! You don't wanna miss a single Oilers goal!!!

pdan - the p is silent. said...

Why do we want LA to lose? I want Edm to lose, c'mon high draft pick!

Higher Oil Losses = high pick + more chance of stuff changing this summer + showing we need Smyth

mike w said...

BERGERON UBER ALLES!!! I'mm drunk. MNice to see the Oil come up big.

I don't even remember typing this.

Remember folks: don't drink and blog post!

Lord Bob said...

I don't even remember typing this.

Actually, I thought it was the most poignant defense of Bergeron I'd seen since my since-deleted post about all the wacky things you could do with a defenseman his size, a stout double bed, and 9.6 litres of whipped cream.