Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The End of Something - Last Dance For A One Shot Shooter

That's Drew Stafford with the mallet. ;)

Who's been reading their press clippings?

All of that goodwill washed away in the space of about a minute and a half.

Anyways to complete our look at the Oilers heading towards the deadline and then a few words about tomorrow.

So two posts ago I talked about the three types of trades the Oilers might make.

The first, the type that I think they will make and should make, would be to shore up the roster so that this club makes the playoffs and has a shot at advancing if they slip into the #5 or # 6 slot. I think they need to pick up a LW to play with Cogliano and Pisani and then a second forward to play on the fourth line, work the PK etc.

Throw in a veteran for insurance for the bottom pair and a more reliable option than Deslauriers if Roli goes down and you're done. We're talking about guys on expiring contracts, veteran guys like Dean McAmmond, for example, guys you can pick up for low round picks or marginal prospects.

The second type of trade would be an upgrade that would cost the Oilers a guy like Nilsson or Grebeshkov. What I am thinking here is the Oilers picking up a guy with a little more experience who can replace the guy they are moving out. The player coming in would likely cost a little more, would be signed for another couple of years so they hit that first year where the Oilers intend to be strong contenders and would play for a club looking to rebuild. The Oilers might have to throw in a prospect or pick as well.

For the D I'm thinking a guy who can play top four who can make that first pass and bring a little more physically. A guy like Eric Brewer might be along the lines of what I am thinking. Up front, maybe a guy like Nick Hagman.

Not these players, mind you, but use them as an example of what I am thinking.

The third type of trade is the home run. The trade for a guy like Bouwmeester or Kovalchuk (signed to a long term deal, by necessity). The trade for Vinny.

The trade for an impact guy.

Lowe made such a trade for Pronger and tried to sign Hossa this past summer.

With news that Sam Gagner is going to be out for a while nothing really changes in my estimation except that if his absence is going to be longterm then obviously Cogliano takes his spot and Brodziak or Pouliot slides into the third centre spot or they get a veteran to fill that role.

I think its important that while a team can catch lightning in a bottle now and then the fact is that the Oilers are not a contender right now. They are an average to slightly above average team. They might be good for a first round victory over Chicago or Calgary but they are a long way from Detroit or San Jose. This isn't the 2006 club which had an obvious flaw that affected their seeding. I think that most Oiler fans were pretty aware that that club was the real deal. That was a deep deep club. Veteran top four D. Good goaltending. Lots of guys who could handle the tough sledding up front. Excellent PK. Scoring from various sources. Good goaltending once they obtained Roloson. Pronger. They got some luck against the Wings but their victory in that series wasn't one of those miracle deals. They got some breaks but they were pretty fair value for it, I think. And once they found their footing against the Sharks they were good to go the rest of the way.

Now this year's club is more of the Cinderella type. They might steal a series but other then that I don't have high hopes. A nice top four D. Hemsky. An offence that may end up with seven twenty plus goal scorers. Pretty good goaltending. But a lot of holes too.

That's ok. Its a process and the Oilers are just getting there.

In other words they have to keep in mind who they figure to be part of it down the road when they are the real deal. You never say that anyone is untouchable (except Hemsky - 13th in the league in PPG presently) - if you have a shot at Bouwmeester then Gilbert comes into play - but there is a long list of players that this club should not be moving in hopes of winning a playoff round this spring, in other words to make a trade in the first category.

And a lot of prospects too. The guys that this club should be looking at should be costing them mid to low round picks and marginal prospects. Don't move Peckham or Wild or Chorney or Plante, Brule or Nash or Eberle or Omark or Jean Vande Velde or Reddox or Dubnyk.

But that's almost everyone, you might argue. And you would be right. Hell you can substitute who you want in and out of that list. Those are the guys who interest me. I don't have Schremp on that list because he isn't in the plans but if you want to include him on your list then go ahead.

Make your list of guys who you think might be Oilers in the next three to five years. Yes that includes a guy like Reddox who looks like he can play in the bottom six. Moving a guy who you can pay under a million bucks for the next five years to kill penalties and take some of the tough sledding or even outscore the other team's fourth line for twenty games from Dean McAmmond or Olaf Kolzig isn't good policy.


Heading into Sunday old Capsule had a three game unbeaten streak. Of course we also had a five game winless streak. Ties abound. There are no soft touches in the league this year since the weak sister in the league got relegated and while we have actually had a strong year we're looking up at a lot of clubs. Sunday we had our first look at the new club in the loop, brought up to replace our departed rivals. They are surprisingly in second. Now they held over all of their points from their romp through the lower division but since being promoted they have been full value with one loss I believe. Like nearly everyone in the league they are young and fast.


They were shorthanded for this game but that's never stopped us from losing before and they had two guys who could wheel, one was a kid you went through our whole team early and slid the puck past our goalie like he was buying a carton of milk it was that easy for him.

The next shift out I went wide and got a shot off and found myself behind the net. Last year I scored from behind the net in consecutive games (a signature move though not THE signature move) so I tried to bank it in off the goalie. It went through his legs (oh sure the reverse five hole is open for fuck's sakes) but my linemate crashed in and tucked it in. Tie game.

From there it was a terrific game. They tired and we began to surge , ringing the post a few times, shots and tips finding their way just past the net, caroming off of sticks, skates and bodies. And then one of their two snipers would suddenly slip through everyone, four times our goalie found himself alone and four times he stopped them cold, one time, down and out, the puck laying in the slot with the open goal after his save, he threw up the pads in desperation and deflected the rebound into the corner, leaving the foe aghast at his failure.

And then as the last period wore on their D began to break and the chances really began to come for us and we finally finished one and we were nearly home. My next shift out one of their D pinched and the winger chipped it to me and I found myself one on one with a rangy kid, half my age I am sure.

The one thing worse then my finish on a breakaway is my ability to beat a man one on one. Even with my signature move, invariably stuffing the puck into the goalie's pads in a sad attempt to go fivehole, I probably have a dozen breakaway goals in my career. Beating a Dman one on one? When you're small, slow and you have no moves, its not a reasonable outcome. I've done it but it wouldn't be in the double digits, and I have been playing hockey forever

So I come in on your man and he's tired, I can see it, so I push the puck through his legs (FIVEHOLE!) and skate around him as he uselessly flails at me.

And I'm in all alone and of course we all know what happened next.

One miracle a game is all I get.

I need therapy to figure out this breakaway problem.

It was all moot anyhow as we killed two penalties at the end of the game and iced it with the most exciting play in hockey. Capsule wins! Capsule wins! And with that we jumped from seventh to fourth, at least momentarily.


Anyways when it comes to making babies I make Andrew Cogliano, that hot shot shooter on ice, look like, well, me on a breakaway.

I'm the Guy Lafleur of fertilization, the Mike Bossy of making babies, the Jari Kurri of conception. I'm like that kid we played on Sunday, zipping down those fallopian tubes, past every obstacle and no goalie can stop me. I'm a one shot shooter and I have the kids to prove it.

Yee Haw!

Tomorrow it all comes to an end. I'm going to let a bald man with a knife into the cock and balls zone, an area where nothing sharper than a tongue has previously been. Your man tells me that his technique involves crimping the tubes "like stereo wire" and I have to admit its heartening to know that the cutter who is going to render me infertile has a little flair to him. Its fitting, I think.

So tonight we go to the Communist bar and raise a pint to my vas deferens. Fare thee well my faithful little friends. You never let us down.

Most of the guys I have talked to say its not all that bad really, the waiting is the hardest part, laying there bare arsed, bag flapping in the wind, thinking about that blade and your balls, although one of my teammates on Capsule likened the experience to getting repeatedly kicked in the balls.

That good, huh?

One of my buddies said the worst part was driving home, realizing that if all hell broke loose and they started putting people on ice floes he'd be one of them, now useless to a new society needing all hands on deck to repopulate a brave new world.

To that end I've a freezer full of the good stuff so if world's end comes then I can save myself with my super duper, baby making, liquid gold man goop. No ice floe for me.

Because like the commercial says it tastes awful but it works.


PDO said...

I'm sure hoping you haven't experimented with that theory at the end there Pat ;).

Good luck.

I'm 20, and you're scaring me.

Oh... and for a breakaway move. Just open your stick. Just a tiny little fake like that will make most goalies go down... from there go backhand or forehand, doesn't really matter, and shelf it. Good times.

Black Dog said...

pdo - haha, no I can't say that that tagline is from personal experience

thanks for the tip - I'll give it a whirl next time, as long as I don't freeze up

naw, that will never happen ;)

Mr DeBakey said...

Good luck with your balls, buddy.

If you don't pull through, can I have your blog?

White Dog [with black patches] Hates Yappy Little Snack-sized Dogs

Scott said...

Great writing again. I especially like hearing about your own playing experiences because when it comes to having "the moves" I can definitely relate. My one move is to take the breakaway just past one post and then slash across and go five-hole while the goalie moves across. Ever since I was six years old. It was dynamite then but it's effectiveness has a strong negative correlation with my increasing age.

Swabbubba said...

most of the time playing D and not having wheels I never really develop a move... my role was hooking or hacking at the guy with the break..I did once get a guy under the arm and pulled him right off his skates.. 2 minutes for hooking... much shame.
Most of my goals went off someones butt or skate a goal is a goal.
Frozen peas for the berries mate. Funniest thing last night was Penner getting his skate up into the guys nether regions I laughed

R-Gib said...

Yes, best of luck with that, uh, delicate *cringe* knifework. I sure hope you're not storing that stuff in popsicle cups!

My one move has always been the backhand-forehand-faketopcorner-backhandhigh shot. Used to work fairly regularly until two of the three goalies we regularly play against realized that I'm a deker who looks at the puck. Now they just poke check away when they see me going for the deke... pretty bloody effective I tell ya...

Billy said...

My sympathies, although it sounds like gettin "shut down" is a sensible choice for you. I'll probably go down that route one day also, but i'm only 33 so a kid or two is still in the plans. We got one,another comin and my wife is only 25 :)
You had a good run though, and its only fair to your lady to let her relax.

As for the breakaway, shoot man, shoot. I found that comin in on a slight angle, and snappin the puck up where you KNOW there is room as you cut back was a surefire way to bulge the onion bag. I actually got so good at it, that more often than not it would either hit the crossbar and go in, or bounce up, taking the save opportunity away from the tender altogether.

Anyways, 10-2 was a shocker for me to see last night. I don't know what to think of the Oilers these days. Minny on Friday will speak volumes...

Bruce said...

an area where nothing sharper than a tongue has previously been

BDHS: Has anybody ever mentioned you have a way with words? Oh, they have? Never mind then.

Good luck on the receiving end of that scalpel tomorrow.

[word verification: inablist]

Bruce said...

PS: If you don't mind, I'll forego having sympathy pains on your behalf tomorrow. You're on your own on this one, bud. Or should I say, on these two?

MikeP said...

Hate to break it to you, but you'll still be going on the floe. We wouldn't need you if your good stuff is in the freezer.

But maybe you could save yourself in a single chance on a breakaway... talk about putting the game on the line!

Good luck with your harblz.

Black Dog said...

Well, that wasn't so bad.

Still, um, ouch.

doritogrande said...

I hope you're using a desktop at this point. A laptop battery'll probably melt through a bag of frozen peas in no time.

I'll call the boy as the first one to sack you. The oldest is probably old enough to know that Daddy's down for a bit, am I right?

Black Dog said...

Oh they both know but neither has the foggiest. I was trying to explain it to my oldest and then she started trying to tell me about what would happen if she was a dragon and her knee was sore and then it would be hard to get up the stairs but that was silly because the dog would not let a dragon get into the house.

Mental. I can't let my guard down.

Seriously though. Piece of cake.

doritogrande said...

Man, if your dog was any sort of protector of the house, no way he let's that lizard into the yard, let alone the house.

Maybe you should consider trading up, re-naming your blog "Yellow lab hates dragons"

Black Dog said...

Yeah he's a jerk that way.

Hmm. Alcohol and painkillers are settling in quite nicely.

HBomb said...

Hmm. Alcohol and painkillers are settling in quite nicely.

That's a combination that can't be beat. It's like turkey gravy on coleslaw.

Jay said...

Nice to hear that everything went well (or as well as could be expected I guess). Hopefully the booze and percs will take you right through the weekend. How long is the pain supposed to last?

When my time comes I've always just assumed that I'll get shut down. Good to know that it isn't so bad.

Unleaded said...

You know, having a dog that is actually trying to protect you must be nice.

I've got a 2 year old white golden-doodle who's decided that everything ever created exists to play with her. If a dragon ever visits us, she'll try to wrestle with it and then chase it around while the dragon flew around in shock trying to figure out what to do with it...