Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Screw Brian Burke Push: 82 Points or Bust

(Update: through Saturday night)

This thing has kind of become a moot point of late, what the Great 2008 Dinktease and all, but it's worth remembering what's really important about this season, people: not giving Coiffy McAsshole a lottery pick.

Before we go on, though, I will say that the really bizarre thing about this year's version of our last-gasp push for mediocrity is the fact that we can actually score goals. The Oilers I've come to know and support intermittently are grinders to their very core, gritting out wins with a few well-timed rebounds and some stellar goaltending. Goals were generally scored with all the ease of delivering the one true ring to the molten hellscape in which it was forged, and when opposing teams answered back—it was almost always Joe Sakic, floating into the slot on a fucking cloud and sifting in a shot that looked so natural you would swear to god he's actually the last living descendant of an ancient tribe of people who communicated solely in wrist shots—more or less all hope was lost, unless we could bounce one in off Ryan Smyth's face or something.

Now, though, when a team comes back from a 3-goal deficit, I almost get excited to see how we'll get out of this one. Will it be some ridiculous, three-dekes-and-a-no-look-pass Hemsky-to-Gagner play? Maybe Joni Pitkanen leading the rush and wiring one over the goalie's shoulder? Or how about a goal-mouth scramble tap-in for old time's sake? These are heady days, if only because being down by two goals isn't an automatic signal to start drinking a lot faster. I still don't think the playoffs are actually a legitimate shot, but hey, at least the highlight packages look good.

Anyway, with specific regards to the push, it's been a big week. The Oil can now officially do no worse than fourth-worst which, while still in the lottery, is working towards something big, especially since the teams currently occupying fourth- and fifth-worst would need to play better than .500 to pass us. Basically, there's a really good chance we won't finish in the bottom five, which, in my estimation, makes this season a success. Sure, there's a decent chance we might still finish in the bottom six, but hey, I set my sights low at the beginning, and that's where they're going to stay.

Now, then, let us sit back and enjoy a new push, the one to finish 9th in the west. If I may re-appropriate some Coolio for you all, there ain't no finish like a high-single-digits finish, cuz a high-single-digits finish is all we've been capable of for the last 12 years.

Oilers: 81 Points (T-10th worst with Florida, Buffalo)

9. Toronto (80 points; 6 games remaining): 1-5-0
8. Chicago (78 points; 7 games remaining): 2-5-0
7. Phoenix (78 points; 6 games remaining): 2-4-0
6. Columbus (77 points; 7 games remaining): 2-4-1
5. NYI (73 points; 7 games remaining): 4-2-1
4. St. Louis (71 points; 8 games remaining): 5-2-1
3. Atlanta (70 points; 5 games remaining): CAN'T PASS US
2. Tampa (66 points; 7 games remaining): CAN'T PASS US
1. LA (66 points; 6 games remaining): CAN'T PASS US


What is this?


While last time out we used the drafting of one potential Russian superstar (which turned out to be a moot point, but whatever) as our mark, being as how the Oilers are currently without our own first round pick, this year's edition takes on a more depressing veneer: keeping a potential number one pick out of the hands of Brian Burke, both for reasons of Oiler fan sanity (ie "WE LOST OUT ON STEVE STAMKOS FOR DUSTIN PENNER?!?!?!?!") and because Burke's a big, stupid fathead who is fat and stupid and has a big head.

Above is the record each team below the Oilers would need to pass them. The trick, though, is that the NHL's draft lottery means that any team in the bottom five has the potential to draft first overall: essentially, to be sure Burke doesn't draft first overall, the Oilers need to finish at least sixth-worst in the league. Also included are teams the Oilers have been ahead of since the beginning of this endeavour, to provide some perspective on just where they might finish.

Thanks to James Mirtle for the original idea.

66 comments:

JambonDan said...

I don't think I've ever seen Burkie smile - EVER. Maybe getting the #1 draft pick and sticking it to KLowe will solve that. I sure hope not. I think I hate Anaheim more than Calgary at this point.

Anonymous said...

I've been checking the nhl.com site and the league standings after every game to plead our way out of the lottery picks. But after tonights win I got mixed up and thought that they hadn't added the 2 points, so doing it myself I saw us climb to 10 worst in the league, and oh how I rejoiced. Course I was wrong, but still, only 2 points out of 10th worst. We can do it!!

Josh said...

For the love of god don't give Anaheim the 1st overall pick. I'd rather have Dallas lose any games they have left with Edmonton than have Anaheim get that pick.

Earl Sleek said...

Fun, fun, fun.

Of course I'd be pretty happy with a 6th overall pick, but don't let me spoil the party.

Oil Pete said...

Speaking of hating teams, here is my list of top 5 most-hated teams in the NHL right now with their old ranks from the early 2000s in (#).

5) Minnesota (NR) - Diving, trapping, prick for a coach

4) Colorado (1) - Smytty, asshole cocky fans, hate faded since Roy, Forsberg, Foote and Lemioux left - now could it rekindle with 3 games left vs. these assholes

3) Calgary (2) - Battle of Alberta

2) Anaheim (NR) - Pronger, Burke, non-traditional market winning cups, blah

1) Vancouver (3) - Diving, Sedins, Kessler, pussies, the city sucks, fans are assholes

Anonymous said...

Why is there so much hate towards Burke? He hasnt really done anything besides trash Lowe publicly. Personally, he has the guts to say it how it is, Lowe is a brutally incompetent GM, but yet it is Burke that Oilers fans hate?? Its baffling to say the least!
As for hating teams
1. Minny- many reasons, although Lemaire and his systematic destroying of the games excitement is probably the major reason.
2. Calgary- Phaneuf, Kipper, Keenan and Sutter along with a host of bushmen. Also fans are BIG time bandwagoners with there red jerseys but yet emotionless attitudes at games...
3. Edmonton- not only is it the ugliest city in the league, it is filled with the most sad and pathetic fans in Canada. Once a glorious place to play, and now a wastehole with a chronic case of bad self-esteem. The team is not so much worth hating, as it has been in a state of rebuilding for the last decade.
So there, thats my 2 cents worth. Hopefully is helped

Anonymous said...

I can spot a Vancouver fan a mile away. Rebuilding for the last decade? I guess that Stanley Cup run doesn't count? They'd be doing just fine if Pronger didn't run away. I guess the Canucks have been rebuilding since the 60s then, eh? As for Burke, he's a prick, and a former Canucks GM, soon-to-be Leafs GM. No more needs to be said.

Anonymous said...

Burke might be a prick, but hes not a crappy GM. That was my point, and yes I am a Canucks fan.
And YES, the Oilers have been rebuilding a team for a decade with constant thoughts towards a young team that always gets traded away when they acheive any sense of worth in the league. The finals appearance was great and good for the city and team, but call it for what it was. A marginally talented team getting great goaltending from a average goalie and super performances from unsung and pretty much untalented players (Pisani). Without that chance spring, the Oilers have been consistently ranked as bottom dwellers by Hockey new, Sports illustrated, TSN and the countries various newspapers (Globe and Mail) at the beginning of the season for 10+ years.
Either we've missed something that you enlightened Oilers fans see, or then you have great imagination.
Back to Burke, he was fired here a few years back, and is not really liked here either. It does not take away from the fact that he is the best hockey mind in the world. Imagine the Oilers with a competent leader managing the team, they could return to there 80's status even with some luck...

Anonymous said...

To further drive home my point, you only have to look at the purpose of the post. To cheer on the team to NOT finish in the bottom 6!!! Think about it, if that is your season goal at this point, things cant be going good. And even if you dont accept it, I cant believe that there isnt a city wide massive protest towards Lowe and his ludricous management??
Instead there is a mocking of Burke?? Its like mocking someone for eating Kraft dinner as you eat shit!!!!

DMFB said...

Of course I'd be pretty happy with a 6th overall pick, but don't let me spoil the party.

Actually, with our luck, if we finish sixth we'll probably win the lottery, and then Los Angeles or whoever finishes last will take a pass on Stamkos for one of the defencemen.

Anonymous said...

Actually Burke is just disregarding the Salary Cap and making a two-year run and then trying to force his apparent power that he has in the NHL ranks to get the cap rules changed so he can continue to flaunt the system that will fortunately break his dynasty in the next year or two.

As for the Oilers, they are the youngest team in the NHL with massive injuries. I would love to see the Canucks with Luongo playing marginal, Ohlund out for the year, Sedin out for the year, Naslund injured but fighting through it, Trevor Lindon out for half the season then out for the rest of the year and Kessler out for the year. Trust me, you'd be praying for them not to finish dead last if someone else had their pick, too. Don't act all high and mighty because you have a good goalie and a bunch of divers that draw penalties for your 1 or 2 goals a game. Keep sending out the pussies to punch Hemsky while he lines up for a PP faceoff only to get knocked on your ass. Go away!

Anonymous said...

I'm not for a moment acting high and mighty. I'm a hockey fan foremost, and even though my Canucks are in the playoff race, its been a honestly pretty boring season. If we dont win the cup this year, I would be pissed to see the same lineup as this season goin into the 08-09 season. We have had brutal injuries all season also,but the point is that even with the Oilers 100% healthy. Lowe steered this season into the dumps before the first puck drop. Goin into the year with Souray, Pitkanen, Staios and unproven rookies on defence was madness. He set the team up to fail, and while the rookies (Gagner, Cogliano, Gilbert) have performed admirably, they could have just as easily had a tougher time and not been so reliable. There was no way to predict the seasons that they have had, and everyone knows it. Lowe rolled the dice on a team that was short of quality-depth NHL'ers from the start, and with the injuries it only solidified his position as an ASS and foolish GM. If (and its a big if) the Oilers end up losing a top 5 pick to Burke, it HAS to be Lowes job. I cant see how you Oiler fans could stand to see him runnin the ship after not 1, but 2 disastrous seasons filled with bad trades, horrible signings and a strange injury bug.
And I resent the term pussies when I assume you are refering to Kesler and Burrows. Burrows has had 7 fights this year, and has taken on Lecavlier as his "toughest" opponent in a toe-to-toe tilt. Kesler has taken some hard hits over the last years, and takes just as much as he dishes out. Both fight and back it up. As for Cooke, he did sometimes "hide" on the bench, but it was his job to provoke and annoy the other teams. He got a bad-rap for being a hard hitter, and I dont think of him as a cheapshot artist at all. If we go along those lines anyways, how do you defend Moreau. I see him as a fragile, cheap shot artist who picks his spots and shows up 35% of the games. Kinda like Dion down south...

Andy Grabia said...

Man, Canucks fans have sure been coming out of the woodwork lately. Craazyyy.

DMFB said...

On the plus side, this guy has totally convinced me to start cheering for the Canucks! Gosedins!

Jason said...

As someone who could maybe be a voice of reason here. I think the "pussies" remark was made toward the play on HNIC when Kesler punched Hemsky 21 seconds into the game while they were lining up for a faceoff. That was a little bizaar.

And don't take this blog posting too seriously. The screw Brian Burke push is just something to motivate Oiler fans sicne playoffs seem like a distant miracle if that even.

garnet said...

Thread hijacking: who had the worst night tonight, the Capitals or the Alberta Liberals? Discuss.

Knamely Lacked said...

I heard paragraphs were still used nowadays???

DMFB said...

who had the worst night tonight, the Capitals or the Alberta Liberals?

I assume you mean the Bruins, who clearly have had the better night: they'll get a chance to avenge themselves in four days, as opposed to four years (and, of course, they actually theoretically have a chance to win next time, too).

garnet said...

Right you are, dmfb. I guess I only saw one team out there. They played each goalie twice, right? In baseball this is about the time you send in that outfielder who swears he's got a killer knuckleball.

DMFB said...

They played each goalie twice, right?

Apparently. They may as well have just kept the goalies out, for all the good they were doing: Washington's shooting percentage on the night was almost 30% (which, incidentally, was 4 points higher than the Liberals vote share).

Knamely Lacked said...

I think Jose Canseco got an opportunity like that and ended up hurting himself didn't he?

Rock Deputy said...

The finals appearance was great and good for the city and team, but call it for what it was.

OK. It was your worthless Canucks shitting the bed at the tail end of the season, freeing up a playoff spot in the final minutes that allowed a hard-working, underdog team beat the President's Trophy winners and go all the way to game 7, something Vancouver's only done once - and lost thanks to a goal by ex-Oiler Mark Messier.

Lord Bob said...

Lay off the poor Canucks fans. They don't know a lot about the playoffs. They can't help it.

baroque said...

...because Burke's a big, stupid fathead who is fat and stupid and has a big head.

For some reason that is one of the most hilarious lines I have ever read. I think the genius is in the redundancy.

Anonymous said...

Blimey if there is anythimg more pathetic it's got to be a canucks fan.

Oilers rebuilding? No problem, since at least we aren't in a 38 year BUILDING process for cup number 1.

Nucks are just 38 year old virgins.

I don't even mind Lowe and Mactavish, when I think of the nucks. LOL.

Back to reality: If the Oil win tonight, I'll start holding my breath for that perennial March 12-2 run. I'll be sure the Oilers will make the playoffs then.

Oh btw, has anyone seen my paxil?

Kirk said...

"It does not take away from the fact that he is the best hockey mind in the world."

You've got to be kidding. I could easily list a dozen guys I would hire ahead of him; instead I'll just name the ACTUAL best hockey mind in the world: Glenn Healy.

Kirk said...

Seriously, though, what about Scotty Bowman?

Oh, and congrats to Sam Gagner:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=231215&hubname=nhl

Anonymous said...

Messier is also an ex-canuck! And granted the Canucks have never won the cup. Thank heavens that the city of Vancouver has one though, it makes the Canucks slump easier to bear...

uni said...

Just watched the highlights, I thought Mike W was being a bit overboard but just wow. "YES! YES! OH HO HO!" I mean what's the point of that guy? Just strap a mic onto someone in the crowd for commentary as insightful as that.

FSN seems to have some of the worse broadcasts out there. That one is still 2nd to the one from earlier in the season, in a blatant display of homerism both the play by play and colour guys were talking about something banal like a house a player had bought, Brodziak scored, and the play by play guy took 3 seconds to finish his sentence then say "...and the Oilers scored there..." before going right back into his story with nary a peep from the color commentator as well.

This is why I don't mind any CBC commentating, not after watching so many games online and sampling so many bad broadcasts.

Anonymous said...

The Oilers have their problems, yes. No Oilers fan who isn't either a total homer or completely oblivious to reality will even try to argue otherwise.

As for the 'Nucks, their fans can take all the pot shots and cast all the thinly veiled insults they want, all the mudslinging in the world won't attach the words "Stanley Cup champions" to "Vancouver Canucks" anytime in the near future.

Oilers = 5 Cups

Canucks = 0 cups.

Conversation over.

Anonymous said...

Whats so wrong with Toronto winning? It keeps them from ever drafting well, and gives fans hope that next year is "the year" with their team as-is, preventing any untimely reassembly.

DMFB said...

Whats so wrong with Toronto winning?

All well and good, except I'd much rather see them draft high than see Brian Burke use our pick to draft high(er).

doritogrande said...

Gotta give credit where it's due.

Wasn't me what made said comment. It was PunjabiOil. Took me a while to find, but it's in the CBJ-Oilers Game Day Thread.

twain said...

Actually, I think PunjabiOil was making a clear allussion to Of Human Bondage , you just missed it.

garnet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garnet said...

We're No. 20?

Anonymous said...

Is it Burke or Penner who is fat and stupid and a big stupid fathead? Both appear to fit the mold?

Eyeris said...

Whoa! A regulation win and not giving up the lead throughout the game?! What happened to the Oilers?!!

garnet said...

And now a win in San Jose. Thank God this run didn't happen at the beginning of the season, or who knows what my expectations would've been.

Lord Bob said...

Luckily there's enough veteran experience left on the Oilers for memories of 2005's brilliant San Jose strategy "sit back, try not to screw up too much, let Ales, Fernando, and Dwayne do all the work" are still fresh in many minds.

the sieve said...

@anonymous 4:34. Mar. 8:

"Oilers = 5 Cups

Canucks = 0 cups.

Conversation over."

Give it a fucking rest. Seriously.

Trotting out Cups won 20 years ago doesn't do anything to advance your argument. It's boring, and it makes you sound like an idiot.

It's like a Toronto fan saying the Maple Leafs are better than the Oilers because the Maple Leafs have won 11 Cups to the Oilers' five. It's ridiculous.

You're right. The Canucks haven't won any Cups. But they're still going to make the playoffs, and the Oilers aren't.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Canucks MIGHT make the playoffs, as a bottom feeding Conference team.

Putting aside the mediocreness aside, I'm actually happy about Oilers young players. I got thrown off the HF boards for dissing the Gagner pick lol, and I thought Cogliano was no more than a runty little loser.

Oilers just need to stay about in the 10th or so spot, and the draft won't hurt too bad.

No playoffs. No fucking way.

DMFB said...

I think my favourite thing about this comment thread is how often it re-devolves into Canuck bashing/defending. If there is one subject we do not discuss nearly enough around here, it is how much the Canucks do, in fact, suck.

wuzzles said...

dmfb, that's because all those High-Priced Coffee Shops aren't capable of facilitating good local hockey debate for Vancouverites

the sieve said...

@dmfb: you guys started it.

@wuzzles: Good one. Next, you're going to say Canucks fans are all Teva-wearing vegans, right? Then make a joke about dope, etc. etc. Thanks. Never heard THAT before.

penaltyshots.ca said...

People forget that it isn't just a first round pick the Oilers gave up. The second and third picks are more valuable than Penner is, especially when you consider the salary they pay Penner. The first round pick, wherever it should fall, just makes this bad deal obscene.

Stop hating Burke and start hating Lowe. Lowe is the problem and if that isn't taken care of, it will only add to the Oilers 17 year streak of never finishing higher than 6th place.

grease trap said...

Can't we hate both?

Anonymous said...

It took almost 50 comments but we finally got down to the nub of this whole thing.

Burke vs Lowe.

Who do we hate more and who would emerge victorious from a no rules cage match in 'Northern Alberta, Canada' like Wolverine in the first X-Men movie?

Hate more? Gotta be K-Lowe, can't blame Burkie for taking a great deal, plus the 30 or 40 mistakes k-Lowe made beofre that had nothing to do with Burke.

Cage match? Surprisingly Lowe again. There's a casual cruelty and vindictiveness that we haven't seen the end of I predict...

Duke

Kirsten said...

Unless the Wild regain their mojo, they are handing asses to anyone at this point in time, though they did beat the Avs tonight.

DMFB said...

Mojo or, uh, nojo, a game against the Wild is almost always good for an ass-handing.

Lord Bob said...

Dustin Penner has 73 games and 41 points this year, both of which are numbers that compare favourably to the career average of almost any second round in NHL history and destroy the numbers of any third round in NHL history.

In short, one season of Dustin Penner is already more valuable than the lifetime of an average post-first-round draft pick. So if you're going to crucify Kevin Lowe, try not to be incoherent while you do it.

uni said...

That latest update was pure poetry. The description of every Oilers game I've watched since 1999 was dead on, inhuman goaltending (either godlike or sucktacular) was golden, the Sakic on a cloud was inspired, but the lost tribe that communicates in wrist shots was pure 100% concentrated awesome.

Anonymous said...

The latest update, the second paragraph in particular, is so brilliantly written and funny, I sprouted wood. Nice work.

- Oil Fan in Winnipeg

Tyler said...

Dustin Penner has 73 games and 41 points this year, both of which are numbers that compare favourably to the career average of almost any second round in NHL history and destroy the numbers of any third round in NHL history.

Wow! Does the average second and third rounder get first line minutes and $4.25MM annually?

DMFB said...

I sprouted wood.

If this blog can give at least one Oilers fan an erection, then we've done our job.

Kish said...

"Goals were generally scored with all the ease of delivering the one true ring to the molten hellscape in which it was forged"
Kudos
"Joe Sakic, floating into the slot on a fucking cloud and sifting in a shot that looked so natural you would swear to god he's actually the last living descendant of an ancient tribe of people who communicated solely in wrist shots"
double kudos.

Anonymous said...

Pretty good stuff in regards to Sakic.
Thats not the point of my rub though. Tonight is gonna be a nice dose of reality for you loser Oiler fans. Colo will win and you will lose...
And then it will return to rippin Lowe, MacT and everyone. I cant wait to see the bandwagon empty in a few hours :)
Pathetic people of Edmonton...

Anonymous said...

Send Sanderson out for a licking tonight!

-lj

andy grabia said...

And then it will return to rippin Lowe, MacT and everyone. I cant wait to see the bandwagon empty in a few hours :)

Really? Because I've had no problem ripping Lowe while we've been winning.

andy grabia said...

it was almost always Joe Sakic, floating into the slot on a fucking cloud and sifting in a shot that looked so natural you would swear to god he's actually the last living descendant of an ancient tribe of people who communicated solely in wrist shots

Can I nominate this piece of prose for an award?

mike w said...

Pathetic people of Edmonton...

So says the sad troll of Edmonton hockey blogs.

Can I nominate this piece of prose for an award?

Already taken care of. DMFB's up for "Excellence in a Paragraph" at this year's Prosies.

DMFB said...

DMFB's up for "Excellence in a Paragraph" at this year's Prosies.

It's also up for "Outstanding Use of an M-dash."

This is my year, I can feel it.

mike w said...

I love the M-Dash.

It's so much more voluptuous and declarative than the wimpy n-dash, and way better than the piece of shit "--" double dash...

Chris! said...

Pff. Who uses the N-dash anymore?

wuzzles said...

Sometimes a image has to be pushed to a blog's forefront many times in order for the delicious subtleties to reveal themselves (to a dunderhead such as I)...

...like the black "S" on Brian's black jacket, right overtop of the "D" in his team's name.

If you focus your eyes, you'll notice "Bertuzzi" on the back of his jacket, in iron-on letters, with a heart dotting the "i".

doritogrande said...

"...like the black "S" on Brian's black jacket, right overtop of the "D" in his team's name."

Fuck, I completely missed that. That made my day...along with the award winning Joe Sakic prose.