Sunday, February 15, 2009
A week ago good old Capsule faced off and won and jumped over the team we beat in the standings. Last night we faced the team we caught with that win with an opportunity to jump another place. Instead we laid an egg - our worst game of the year. We didn't skate, we were soft, we coughed up the puck. It was ugly. We were missing our two leading scorers, a couple of guys who produce offence every game, and we are an offensively challenged bunch, so that didn't help. (Our leading scorer is a newlywed so no escape for him on Valentine's Day.)
And we still could have won it. We have a terrific player who is usually money in close. He had two last week including a terrific solo dash but last night he had about a half dozen five bell chances and he couldn't cash.
We found out later that he had mistakenly taken my hands when he hit the ice so that explained a lot.
Down 2-1 we were applying some nice pressure and one of our D took a nice low shot that hit their goalie and bounced right down in front of him. I had gotten position on my man and so was all alone, not a lot of time mind you as buddy was about to level me, and I actually got the shot up where I wanted, over the goalie and ... high and wide.
(At the beginning of the year we played on a Saturday night and then again on the Sunday afternoon. I scored three goals in eighteen hours and joked that I was good until 2011. Well, we're getting there! For Fuck's Sakes!)
They chipped it out, got it deep in our zone, one of our guys missed his man and they were up two. Off the draw they got it deep again, potted another and that was it.
Its a weird league this year, really its anyone's to take. If we could pick someone up at the deadline, if there was a deadline, we'd trade futures for Tyler Dellow, a young hotshot out of BC. All we need is a bit more offence and we'd be golden. He'd put us over the top.
Big win in a big game yesterday (big big game) and hopefully the Oilers can take the Yotes and then anything more would be gravy on this trip.
Speaking of big games I was listening to the radio last night and some radio guy for the Sabres was talking about Derek Roy. Apparently he scores big goals in big games.
A nice skill to have.
The Oilers are hanging in there. But with Lubo gone for the season and Grebs out for pretty well the remainder of the season things are not looking good.
The best case for this club with all hands on deck was the fifth or sixth seed and a series with Chicago or Calgary. Underdogs but with an inkling of a chance.
Now Dallas has roared by and the Canucks are playing like we thought they would. My guess is there are two spots left. The ones that lead to a date with the Wings or the Sharks. Even with Lubo in the lineup we're talking lucky to win a game against either of those clubs I think.
So what are the Oilers to do? Well, before Lubo got hurt this was my take and I still stand by it.
I'd really like to see this club make the playoffs, especially after Lowe's botch job in 2006 and 2007. They're rebuilding and some of these kids need some playoff experience, sooner better then later, and it would just be, well, nice to actually have them play hockey that matters for a change.
What scares me is talk of moving guys for rentals. Nilsson, Smid, Brodziak, Stortini, Pouliot - if twenty games of Kuba or Guerin costs us one of those guys, a cheap useful player, then I don't want any part of it.
Make a list of prospects who you like - same goes for those guys.
This is the list I had: 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
Make sense? Don't get me wrong. I'm not married to any of these guys and other then a few players I'd move pretty well anybody if it meant making the club better.
But moving a kid who can fill a role, even that of a fourth line agitator or PK man, on the cheap for twenty games of a guy when the end result is going to be getting waxed in the first round anyways?
That's just plain short sighted and the type of move that franchises like Atlanta and the Islanders make.
Bill Guerin isn't going to put this club over the top. Sending the Islanders Linus Omark for him would be criminally stupid.
Posted by Black Dog at 9:00 PM