Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Oilers in World of Hurt; Loyal Fans Pledge Support

Trade that piece of shit Jason Smith right now! Release him!
Right on.
I'll tell you right now that if the Oilers put their captain on the block you'd have over twenty teams lined up looking to pick up a warrior who played in the top pair of a team that came a bounce or break away from winning a Cup last season. Helped along by playing with CFP - you betcha. But I guarantee the Ducks, the Sharks, the Canes - you name a team except maybe the Sabres - would snap this guy up in a second.
Has he played well lately? Nope. But check out this and this from Vic Ferrari. I may be losing it but I also seem to remember a third post that also showed how Smith and Shaggy had a ten or more game stretch or so where their numbers were terrific, out of this world. This guy is a minus 4, people. And he's playing the toughest minutes possible, quite often with whatever stiff they can get out there with him. And as we all know he's no Bobby Orr - its not like he's generating a ton of offence out there.
You'd think the guy was making 7M a year and had spat on a bunch of handicapped kids for how people have turned on him.
Real nice.
Now, the guy is a 3/4 guy likely. Just like Staios. Put him with a guy like Pronger or Lidstrom and he can carry the load in the top pair.
And he has been lousy lately.
Just like every other guy on the team pretty well. Its called a slump. Teams have them and this squad's holes on the back end just makes everything look a lot worse.
What do they have to do?
Play like they did those couple of weeks after Hemsky and Smyth went down - remember? Simple. Trap. Or whatever you want to call it.
But we knew this was coming. Lowe wanted to be in the mix come now, I think. And a couple of weeks ago this team was in first. They could be back there next week, things are so close. But facts are facts:
Last season this team had 89 games played by rookies. 45 of those were played by defencemen, 27 by Matt Greene.
This season, so far. 184 man games played by rookies. 85 by the D.
Its a rebuild. Getting on Smith and Staios? These guys have been put into a position to fail.
They're pros. They're paid a lot of money.
But they have a goalie whose best year in Minnesota had him playing @ 50 games behind a team that made the Germans look like the Flying Frenchmen (or Oilers) of old. He's on pace for @ 70 now and he's facing more rubber then Denis Lemieux.
Out of all of the vaunt they have three guys who are either putting up similar numbers or better then last year - Pisani, Stoll and Smyth.
Horcoff was 22-51 last year. This year, halfway there, 5-15.
Hemsky was 19-58 last year. This year, 5-19 in 30 games.
Torres was 27-14 last year. This year he's 7-14 so he's matched assists already and playing a better all round game but goals are way down.
Bergeron was 15-20 last year. This year he's at 5-10.
Add to that Lupul's indifference, Moreau's injury and just plain inconsistency and you have a mess.
I have no answers. Lowe's in a position of weakness right now. Dennis has made the point that the deals should have been made when this team was hot earlier this season but the problem was that the guys carrying the team - Roli, Sykora, Hemsky and Smyth - they weren't guys you wanted to trade. The guys you might want to move had no value because they were doing nothing. Now teams will be calling looking for the guys who this team needs going forward - Stoll, Torres, the kids.
And the guy playing at the deepest position, who has value and who may not be able to take playing for the Oil Drop - he may not be going anywhere because of politics (Grandpa's an owner) and optics (CFP trade).
This could still turn uglier. As if it weren't ugly enough already. All Ryan Smyth does is score goals. 19 in 28 games now. And Sykora has 15.
And we all know who the unsigned UFAs are, right?


Doogie said...

Make that 20 in 29. That man could still hit 50 at this rate.

SweatyO said...

Could Lowe PLEASE call up Don Meehan, get him to Edmonton, and say "let's get this shit done".

Tomorrow, I mean. Not on June 28th.

If all is so quiet on the trade front, use the spare time to get Smyth extended for 4-5 more seasons Mr. Lowe!

Oh, and to go along with your Denis Lemieux reference, all I've got to say about Lupul is this:


Seriously, the guy is a floating joke out there. The only thing as undoubtable as his natural talent is his utter indifference.

Steve said...

He's on pace for @ 70 now

I think you may be confusing @ and ~.

Good post otherwise, though.

Steve the Pedantic Shithead

Black Dog said...

Isn't @ the symbol for "around" or "about"?

I've been using it that way forever.

Which may explain why my emails get returned with red ink all over them.

Anonymous said...

@ stands for "at". for example: 3 items at $1.00 ea for a total of $3.00 can be written as 3.00 @ $1.00 = $3.00

Doogie said...

No, approximately is the tilde (~). I never bothered to say anything because I assumed it was simply your own shorthand.

Shawn said...

Jason Smith is being asked to do way too much. Don't blame him, blame everyone else.

Black Dog said...

Thanks for not being a pedantic shithead like Steve, Doogie. :)

Vic Ferrari said...

This started out and finished off as an excellent commentary, but the improper use of the "@" character fucked the whole thing up for me. A shame.

Get your head on straight Pat.

Black Dog said...

Sorry Vic - its the drink.

I swear, it was the booze that made me do it.