Friday, April 06, 2007

Like Getting Your Nuts Cut Off

With every game since the beginning of March a 3-0 loss (or so it seems), I cannot remember a drearier stretch of hockey. Ever. On win in nineteen games, and that one a Bettman Special on top of everything. Unbelieveable. The only good thing from all this is that the Oilers have sunk to fourth last, finally getting passed by the Caps and Hawks. So they have an outside shot at the #1 pick or could put a package together to move up. Picks are no guarantee of course but I'd rather be in the top five then somewhere down around eleven or twelve.

Interesting to note this week in the papers - Lupul downplaying his horrendous plus/minus (means nothing don't you know?). Then Mac T calling Lupul and Torres out by name for their "absence" and the fact that thet have contibuted nothing at either end of the rink for quite a while now. The fact that he basically exonerated Horcoff and Hemsky in his next points due to the fact that both are apparently in rough shape leads one to believe that there are at least two players who may have played themselves out of next year's plans (you may throw Sykora into that mix too). Mac T has three more years on his contract - who do you think is going to win this tug of war. Lupul's possible exile may be the best news to come out of this miserable month.

Watched the Isles set up a Leaks/Habs matchup on Saturday Night for that last playoff spot (although the Islanders themselves still have a shot at it). Wait for the hype Saturday night. Can they both lose? Of course as we know you never can tell but I can't see any of these guys having a shot against Les Sabres - famous last words, huh? Smytty scored a Smytty goal and was Smytty and well, goddamn it ...

And the Sens and Penguins had a nice little war going on. Sens are already in postseason form apparently. After the highlights the announcer intoning that they just couldn't cash in their opportunities.

Highlights of the Flames and Sharks and maybe its only me but Phaneuf reminds me of Ulf Samuelsson more and more. Borderline hits. Turtling. Trashtalking. I was a big fan of Phaneuf coming up but they showed a half dozen highlights of him last night and it was all the same garbage.

Big news today in the Journal - seven pages on line as Cal Nichols reveals the real reason Pronger left Edmonton. Naw, it was his wife after all. Just confirming what we knew all along.

Anyhow Easter is here which means the Exclaim Cup, three days of hockey, some great music and, hopefully, a title for Capsule Music. Mudcrutch has asked me to run a musician or two so I'll do my best - I once had Dave Bidini chasing me around his own zone, screaming obscentities at me. True story. Should be great though. Hockey. Music. All with a homerotic subtext that has become so apparent that, as one of our players remarked last week, it is no longer subtext but rather the overwhelming theme of the proceedings.

Oh well. When in Greece ...

Happy Easter everyone!


Gord said...

I firmly believe Torres is finished as an Oiler - it is too easy to get rid of him since he is a RFA.

Lupul however has two more "fairly expensive" years on his contract - nobody will take him off our hands unless we sweeten the deal.

Therefore MacTavish's comment was a wake-up call to Lupul - either get fit over the summer or hang around with the BBQ with your Sylvan Lake buddies. If you choose door #1, you could have a lucrative career - door #2 leaves you with a Rob Brown future.

As far as the March 3rd collapse goes, that was to be expected. Smyth's agent held a gun to Lowe's head with Messier night, fan favorite, Captain Canada, etc...

After Lowe got publicly bullied & bullied - offering a 5 year, $5.4 contract to an 80 point player who is on the downside of his career - Lowe finally said "scr** you" sending the message to the locker room that he would not be held hostage.

The players in the dressing room realized that the GM - not the players - was in charge - they went into temporary shock which cost them a few games.

Then on March 7, Staios & Hejda were injured for the season. The Oilers only had one defenseman left older than 23 years old in the line-up. To make things worse, they only had one defenseman who had played more than 100 NHL games.

A total collapse was to be expected - the complete lack of scoring was not - which is why Torres is gone while Lupul has the summer to decide if he is out the door also...

Simon Dekker said...

How about seeing Carolina fans in all their glory during the 2006 playoffs.
We finally finished our film so check it out at:


Anonymous said...

If Toronto wins tonight, and the Isles take both their games, the Isles are in. Toronto wins, and the Isles drop either game, Toronto's in. If Montreal wins, they're in.


Anonymous said...

If Lowe trades Torres instead of Lupul, its gonna haunt us. I can just see Torres going to another team and scoring 25+ goals. Meanwhile Lupul will be the same old Lupul, and pot maybe 20 while being horrible defensively and soft off the puck.

I don't care if Lowe trades Lupul for a 1st rounder and a prospect or something. It would free up some cap space to sign a veteran UFA who can pot 20 goals while being sound defensively.

And I agree with Gord's last 5 paragraphs.

Personally I thought our defense would wind up looking worse than our offense, but boy was I wrong. Our D/goaltending has been giving us a shot, we just can't score to save our lives.

Let's hope Roli starts tonight and we beat Calgary to make Sunday night mean something for the Flames and Avs!


Katie O'D said...

I'm watching the Avs/Flames game now and it reminded me of what you said about Phaneuf. He just came across the ice and threw an elbow at Tyler Arnason, knocking off his helmet. Then he swiftly got his ass kicked by Ian Laperriere, of course. I'm kind of with you on him. I used to be a closet Phaneuf fan but he's completely turned me off this year with some cheap hits.

I keep hearing the same thing about Horc being banged up this season. If MacT lets him off the hook, it has to be legitimate. He might not have been producing for a bit, but otherwise he's the Anti-Lupul.

Black Dog said...

katie - yep, apparently Horcoff got dinged early on and was never able to get fully healed - rather it appears he had more issues piled on as the season wore on

definitely a very disappointing season for him but MacT, who is notoriously hard on him, has been cutting him slack in the media, which tells you all you need to know

Phaneuf is a punk

Julian said...

Hey Pat, say hi to Bidini for me.

Good luck in the tournament, it looks like alot of fun.