Saturday, October 13, 2007

Same Old Same Old

After last night's loss, Lowetide posted the following, a quick synopsis of the Oilers thus far. I have seen two games this season now, Wednesday's loss to Minnesota and tonight's game, looking like a second straight loss to the Canucks.
Its a tough schedule to start the season and I think four points after tonight would have been where many would have thought this team would be at. Hell, maybe even less. Maybe Philly the only soft touch you'd think and they handled the Flames and the Canucks. But of course when you pick up two wins right off the hop then its tougher to take four straight losses.
Tonight, even more so then Wednesday, I would say the Oilers were the better team in the first period. But an error on the back end and its into intermission down one. Then early in the second they are the better team once again. A couple of PPs and a chance to bring it to even and nothing doing. The Canucks score again and then again and that's likely all she wrote.
A few things to note. Torres has had a solid game - working, doing his job, being in the right place - and nothing to show for it. That could be said about a lot of Oilers up front. And you have some that aren't even at that point.
Stoll is nowhere near it. Had dinner with friends tonight who are friends with an ex NHLer whose career was ended by concussions. Brutal stuff and I'd be surprised if Stoll looks anywhere like his old self for quite a while yet.
So with Pisani and Moreau out and Stoll out of it, Penner out of shape (although he has had flashes tonight) and MacT trying to find someone, anyone who can play with Hemsky, there seems to be a lot of sound and fury up front at ES - lots of pressure and they look good at times - but no results.
They look like a team out of sync - lots of offsides, lots of bad breaks (which generally means they are getting outworked or outplayed), lots of good work undone quickly by a single poor decision.
They look like a mediocre team.
Add to that a PP that fails to score and how long has this refrain been going on now? A goal or two on the PP in G4 or G7 of the SCF or on Wednesday or tonight or on last Monday and maybe the Oilers win one of those games. Still nothing.
And one thing that LT said in that post and that many have said since the summer - the D. A lot of guys playing one spot up. A lot of 3s and 4s and 5s.
A tough week and likely a tough season to come. This team is going to be in a lot of games, show promise and fall short.
Gagner had looked fine and Cogliano too. Gilbert has been solid. Hell, even Schremp showed flashes on one shift. Have to hang our hat on that for a while, I'm afraid.


David S said...

I agree BD. Last few games I've been thinking "WTF"? Its just that those critical errors are killing us and our vets are definitely not up to speed yet. Lotsa flash, not much finish. But for a few breaks and maybe we get another W or two. Or not. But I get a kinda cool feeling with this bunch. Trade winds are blowing. This team gels and gets a key asset or two and look out.

*The story will probably be different by Christmas, so permit me the whim of optimism until then.

Black Dog said...

david - I like this team too - what can I say? They have faced tough opposition this first stretch and have hung in there. I think Moreau being out hurts and also Stoll isn't there yet. I also think they are trying to figure out who fits where both up front and on the back end. They could get their shit together and put it together (PP - hello!) but my guess is its going to be a long season.

But a fun one. Cogliano has been terrific and Gagner is up for the duration I believe. He had a good game in Vancouver. Sending him back to London to rack up the points isn't going to make him more NHL ready I think.

Now if only Schremp or Nilsson or Jacques can get it together ...

With this D and PP though they aren't getting anywhere near the playoffs.