Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Reports of my demise have been exaggerated.
Its not Oilers' fatigue but just general fatigue which has made posts a little less frequent. No slowdown at work this December and with two little ones at home there is never any slowdown there either.
But off now for a few days at least. And my best friend who gets tickets every year for a game or two through his company got a pair for February 17th here in T.O. And having turned 39 yesterday plans for this 40th year include a pilgrimage to Rexall to see the Oilers in their home rink for the first time. Things are looking up.
Anyhow, that old cliche - the sports wish list, Oilers and Oilogosphere style.
For Ryan Smyth, a contract that makes him a lifetime Oiler.
For Shawn Horcoff, some luck around the net.
For Joffrey Lupul, the same. And failing that, a clue on how to contribute when the puck is not finding the back of the net.
For Ales Hemsky, more of the same, only better.
For Petr Sykora, the brains to realize that he's got a good thing going here.
For Jason Smith, some help.
For Ethan Moreau, a speedy recovery.
For Matt Greene, steady improvement.
For Laddy Smid, some more seasoning, maybe even in the minors.
For Raffi Torres, confidence.
For Fernando Pisani, a return of that playoff magic.
For MacT, a couple of reliable Dmen.
For Gary Bettman and Craig Simpson, new careers.
For the Oilers, first place in the Northwest and one more playoff win then last year so the vets who came so close can hoist that Cup!
For Earl Sleek, hopes that this season's playoff highlight will once again be "forcing a game five". Sorry Earl, nothing personal.
For God's team, another year without a Cup, to make it an even 40.
For Lowetide, a long and successful Oilers' career for Marc Antoine Pouliot.
For the lads at CinO, some more time in their days - I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that their days of regular posting are missed.
For Vic Ferrari, a poster of Marc Andre Bergeron for his bedroom ;).
For Mudcrutch, a championship for Merv.
For Andy Grabia a box with Craig Simpson's head in it, followed by a relatively painless labour when he gives birth to Fernando Pisani's lovechild.
For Loxy, Marty Reasoner, wearing a mic. And nothing else.
For the Prez, tickets to Yaroslavl.
For Alana, Dwayne Roloson, wearing just his helmet. As we know, this will pop off when things get hot and bothered.
And for anyone I forgot and for anyone who is reading this, best wishes for a great Christmas and for a healthy and happy 2007!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
But Maguire, Brownlee and the Journal's foibles are symptomatic of the sports media these days. Nary a word was said back in the day when Punch and Judy hitters starting cranking out 35 home runs a year and guys like Bonds and Sosa, suddenly had their hat sizes grow five times this big, sort of like the Grinch. Only the head, get it? Seriously, I'm of the same age bracket as these clowns and believe me, when you're pushing 40, you don't start getting a gigantic sized melon. You might get larger everywhere else but the noggin's not going anywhere.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Its funny how soon we forget why the Oilers offence was expected to be so full of "vaunt".
Six guys who scored 20 plus goals last season. Two more who had 19 and 18.
Its not like we were projecting that this team would score a lot of goals because of a couple of guys who had nice numbers in junior (Schremp and Pouliot) and a guy who had some highlight reel goals in the Russian league.
But as it was pointed out today out of all of the vaunt only three guys are on pace to score twenty plus - Smyth, Sykora and Lupul.
And Lupul has to be the quietest twenty plus scorer in history. Except for his insurance goal against the Wings way back when, has he scored a goal that means a thing this season?
And now Smyth is out. And Hemsky. And Moreau. And the D is showing the cracks we figured it would. And there will be between six to eight rookies in the lineup tonight and every night going into the foreseeable future.
You can't hide them all. Especially with Peterson, a nice player but a role player, and the trio of suck - Stoll, Torres and Lupul.
A little cranky tonight. There's 5.4 million wrapped up in these three guys and not a lot going on. Horcoff and Pisani aren't doing a whole lot either but at least they look like they've played in the NHL before. They at least can take care of their own end.
So, for Thoresen and Winchester, Pouliot and Mikhnov and big Jacques, opportunity knocks. I don't think anybody honestly thinks that any of these guys is going to carry this team anywhere. (Of course there was a guy on the TSN message board whose response to Smyth's injury was that Schremp was finally going to get his shot - a guy who can't even cut it in the AHL yet - and he would be the saviour.) But for Patrick Thoresen a chance to maybe play some tough minutes with Reasoner, or maybe with Horcoff and Pisani, or maybe just a shot to provide some offence with Sykora. For Pouliot and Winchester the same - these guys are going to get the chance to strut their stuff because there's nobody else. We're an injury or two away from Stortini and Reddox getting a regular shift. For Jacques a chance to bang some bodies and get some icetime. For Mikhnov, perhaps a chance to get out there and show that he can has some skill. This team needs it.
For Stoll, Torres, Lupul, maybe time to grow up. MacT put it pretty straight when he said that there was one guy on the team who had been willing to get dirty to get goals - now that guy is on the shelf. And for all of the worries about Moreau and Staios' contracts and the chance that Smyth might get 5 plus and for that matter that Sykora has been awol snce he lost his right hand man, let me put it this way.
I'd rather pay Moreau and Staios 4.7M then Stoll and Lupul 4.5 if this is what we get from them. At least the first two bring it every night. And Sykora may not be doing much since Hemsky went down but at least he put up some big numbers while he was healthy.
And Smyth? Well without Smyth this team is in Coyote territory. I'd say waive Stoll and give Smyth 1.7M and Sykora the rest if I had my druthers right now.
Because honestly, when Marty Reasoner is getting more done at both ends of the rink at a third of the price of Stoll and a couple of raw rookies in Thoresen and Pouliot strike me as better options to play the tough minutes then something is seriously wrong.
If this stretch kills this team it won't be on the D, as thin as it is, or the rooks, or Roloson, if he should falter. It will be on the guys who are young, who are making good dough and who should be earning it. If this December turns into a freefall then they should take the fall.
Enough is enough.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Roloson is the least of this team's problems except it has become pretty clear that he has to be at the top of his game every night for them to do well.