Thursday, November 02, 2006

Figuring It Out

In a thread yesterday I commented on how I was having a hard time getting excited about most games this season. I think part of that is a hangover from a run to get into the playoffs plus the actual playoffs - three months of living and dying with the Oil every second night. It was wonderful and it was exhausting.

Hard to get hyped about game number twelve in an eighty two game schedule. I was happy with the start and am less happy with seven and five but this team is such a work in progress that it is more intangible shit that is interesting me now then the actual results.

As I put it in a thread here last week - take a team that has been an underdog for years from a city which remembers not so long ago when the franchise had one of the great runs in hockey history. Have them barely squeak into the playoffs but then come as close as you can to winning it all without doing so. Remove a number of players from this team, including their best player and first superstar they have had in years. Have nearly every media outlet write them off before the season begins. Replace the grit and veteran savvy lost with a good dollop of skill and youth, lots and lots of youth.

Mix in a fast start, boosted by a few wins due to either great goaltending or pure skill, not necessarily due to a great allround effort. Then remove one of the last veteran "grit" guys you have, lost for the season to injury. Sprinkle in some adoring press.

And you have a mess.

That is where the Oilers are. They are a team trying to figure out who they are. Unable to win at home last season, they have been dominant there this year. An excellent road team last season, they are 1 and 4 with a five game road trip upcoming.

Their #1 centre is in a season long slump. Torres hasn't a clue what he is doing. Bergeron struggles still. Where does Lupul fit? Pisani? Even early season surprise Thoresen?

All we know is that Hemsky and Sykora have been dynamite and that Smyth looks like he is going to produce pretty well wherever he is. Also Laddy Smid has been better then expected and as an added bonus his babysitter has been terrific too. Having to take care of a kid means less benders out on the town, so to speak. (Man, do I know it!)

We also know that these guys turn over the puck way too much, that Roloson has been iffy the past week and that they need at least one defenceman (which we knew anyhow).

Etc etc.

We'll see at the quarter pole what begins ot shake out, not just with the Oil but around the league. Remember the beginning of the last season? San Jose, Anaheim, Calgary - all stank. The Canucks - a roaring start. And the Sens - the greatest team ever?

We all know how that worked out.

So we'll see - ideas are flying around as to what should be done. We'll see.


Kyle Kosior said...

Good post. I was thinking the same thing as I write a report on the Oilers for a correspondence course I am taking. I cant even peg what kind of a team they should be.

They dont seem to work hard anymore, they break out of their zone like my beer league team at law school and are in danger of taking a serious nose dive.

Not much seems to be working well.

Andy Grabia said...

This post is so knee-jerk, BDHS. It's message board stuff. How could you say the Oilers aren't playing well? I have the numbers that tell me they'll be playing well in 20 games, so how could you possibly question how they're playing now? :)

Solid post, man. One of the things I liked about the last game against the Preds were the outlet passes we were making. I don't know if it was the Preds D or what, but there were a couple of breakaway chances and some near breakaway chances as a result.

And how much of the lack of identity is due to coaching? I always hated Ron Low for never ever chaning his lines, but MacT seems to do it on a whim. It happens too much, I think, though how the hell I quantify that I don't know. But mixing the lines like that has to effect chemistry, and therefore morale and identity. As to what our identity should be, I'd look to copying the Sabres, but then again, I always want to copy the Sabres.

Vic Ferrari said...

C'mon Andy, stop kissing Pat's ass.


Does he write hockey poems? NO!

Has he ever been robbed by Brad Gilbert while passed out in the midst of sorting his hockey card collection in order of prettiness? NO!

Is he blind to Robbie's inner beauty? YES!


I think it's high time for you and me to cut this fucker loose, Andy.

Andy Grabia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andy Grabia said...

It's so true, Vic. Until you suffer for your free art, Pat, damn you, damn you all to hell!

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Screw you guys - I don't need you guys. I can sit here on my living room couch with my dog and my glass of beer and follow the game on the Score ticker - see, no score yet, yep, oh, yes, this is very good.

Andy, I take it all back. All of it. You're my eyes man! My eyes!

You're my Chris O'Donnell, buddy! Without you I'll just be sitting alone on my couch.

No description of what's going on in the game.

No multiple posts.

No Gabrielle Anwar.

Just quietly sitting here, with a sad Hoo - ahh every once in a while.

If that.



So lonely.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

But, yeah, MacT could maybe settle on lines and try and keep them together for, say, two periods, maybe.

That might help.

Andy Grabia said...

I'm here. But now you're there. I can't believe I race home for this game. I should probably just get drunk.

Andy Grabia said...

Good thing you went to bed. Ugh.