Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Up and Down, Down and Up

An old photo of Oilers' prospect Zach Stortini from a playoff game when he captained the Sudbury Wolves - here he apparently is punching one Ottawa Dman in the back of the head while elbowing another in the face.
Good old junior hockey.
Last night another reminder of how the Oilers miss Moreau and Staios for that matter, although I find it a kind of funny how my fellow Oiler fans want revenge in a game where Hemsky was knocked out of the game. Along with four of the Wild.
I understand though. Hemsky gets manhandled a lot and you just don't see the Oilers respond in kind. Its like Ken Dryden describing Larry Robinson in The Game, his teammates ribbing him as he points and threatens an opponent who has been running rampant over the Habs, taking liberties with all of their stars. "Don't make me mad!" Point. Point. Point. "Seriously, don't make me mad or you'll really get it!"
The Oilers care. They can handle themselves. They can do some harm.
They just seem a little lost at sea at times. They remind me a bit of the team the year after 99 was traded. Something has been sucked out of them.
Hell, maybe they're just tired.
Fact is they have four veteran Dmen on this team. Two are out. (Apparently Staios was trying to play through a dislocated kneecap. I don't really know what that say about Steve Staios except, well, maybe that he is insane. He boarded with friends of a friend back in Sudbury, btw, when he was in junior, and my buddy says that he's the nicest fellow you'd ever meet. Which is nice. You always hope that the guys who cheer for are the types you'd like to have a beer with.)
Anyhow, back to the D. Two are out. Smith is playing hurt and he's exhausted. Once again, just a reminder, Roli is now seven games short of his career high in starts.
Not sure what we expect, I guess. If Lowe is not bringing in the cavalry then this team isn't going anywhere. I figured by now we'd see some help but ...
Quick thoughts:
I have a good feeling about Tom Gilbert. I hope he doesn't get traded.
Notice how San Jose has two rookie D who have played a big part in their season. Sure Carle got sent down for a short time to get refocussed but where is our Carle? Our Bernier? Our Michalek? Our Marc Edouard Vlasic? Our Ryan Clowe? Our Joe Pavelski?
For those of you who cannot count, that's two sophomores and four rookies who are all having an impact for the Sharks.
What's scary is that the Oilers' drafting and scouting has come leaps and bounds in recent years. In other words the Oilers have no players in their first or second year having the impact of any of these guys and yet they are miles ahead of where they were ten years ago. Frightening stuff.
A lot of people have asked why sign Roloson to a three year deal if you're rebuilding? What's the point? Point is without him this team is probably dead last. With him they are in competition for a playoff spot and if they could spell him and he stays healthy he will do the job for them for the next three years. He keeps them in the mix and, as we all know, if you're in the mix, anything can happen.
Down to their fifth string goalie, the Kings are definitely sellers. And apparently everyone is available for the right price. What would it take to get Vishnovsky? Quite a bit I would guess.
Dennis at IOF said it and I will agree. The Flames are likely running away with this division. Their record over the last thirty games is unreal and even without Iginla they're getting the job done. Other then that I think everyone else is still in the Oilers' sights and don't look now but the Stars are falling closer to the bottom of the pack. Modano and Zubov are due back soon but now apparently Boucher and Halpern are out. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys.
Ducks tomorrow. Flames on Saturday.
Drinking Friday and Saturday. BOA on Saturday night. Family back Sunday night.


uni said...

"An old photo of Oilers' prospect Zach Stortini from a playoff game when he captained the Sudbury Wolves - here he apparently is punching one Ottawa Dman in the back of the head while elbowing another in the face."

Might be the best caption for a photo I've seen all year. Stortini just became one of my favourite prospects based solely on you description of him =). Anyway, nice post and I find it hard to disagree. And missed them like crazy and felt lost without them ;).

Black Dog said...

ah, uni, of course

I enjoyed the two week hiatus. Got some sleep. Had some drinks. Had some time to myself.

But the fact that its temporary is the best thing about it. :)