Matt Greene bends his ankle as if there aren't bones inside of it, sending this blogger into "one of his moods."
Watching the Oilers this season, I have as many moods as the team has shifts, usually ping-ponging mercurially between two highly polarized half-glass-full and half-glass-empty extremes, hair-triggered by either a Marty Reasoner giveaway or anytime Andrew Cogliano touches the puck. It usually goes something like this, often seconds apart:
Glass half-empty: the team is a giant piece of ass, a massively bungled failure of team management by Kevin Lowe, with about $9 million in cap space gummed up until 2012 by two free agent acquisitions that don't make this team any better, an impulse spree of wasteful spending only underscored by the number dirt-cheap rookies that are outplaying them anyway. For two years the powerplay has been a joke, as if played in slow motion with players standing around like pylons, which raises questions about Coach Craig MacTavish's "ingenuity" and overall coaching abilities. And despite 15 years of perennial mediocrity (excepting one two-month fluke run to the SCF), the fans are gullible, insecure hicks that will buy anything EIG throws at them, even if it's hiked-up tickets for a sure-loser, terrible cash-grab jerseys, shoddy $12.95 PPV infommercials, or possibly an old dog turd that happens to have an Oilers logo taped onto it.The same extreme dichotomy played out last night against Detroit. In many ways, Edmonton held up well against the best team in the league, only to let it slip away with a singular Dick Tarnstrom cock-up in the final seconds of regulation. Then again, the team did nothing on offence all game, looking very much like a team that has barely mustered 2.3 goals a game this season. Either way, this team desperately needs a veteran scoring winger, and I won't even dare bring up Ryan Smyth (5 goals, 9 points) ever again, in the interests of "moving on."
Glass half-Full: Despite losing a staggering amount of players to injury (a forward line's worth of forwards and two top defencemen at this point, but who's counting?), the Oilers have held up rather well, and remain within striking distance of a playoff spot early in the season. While the loss of Sheldon Souray to shoulder injury has hurt the team, this year's other big free agent pick up Dustin Penner has picked up his game as of late and seems to be gaining more confidence as he settles in with a new team. Meanwhile, the rookie class has been the envy of the league, with
Andrew Cogliano, Tom Gilbert, Sam Gagner and Kyle Brodziak all playing beyond their years. This team may not make the playoffs, but there's much to like about this team, especially since they've brought back an exciting brand of hockey that will culminate with Ladislav Smid lifting the Conn Smyth trophy over his head in 2009. I have hope... maybe even enough to buy a new Oilers key chain at Champions in West Edmonton Mall!