Sunday, March 29, 2009

Testing the McCurdy Paradox

It was, I don't know, a few weeks ago that Bruce McCurdy noted that when the Oilers were out of a playoff spot then they seemed to get it together and win but whenever they had a seed and looked to be a win or two away from opening a gap between them and the pack then they coughed it up.

Since then they have gone back and forth and what I'll call the McCurdy Paradox has proven to be true. Actually this seems to go back to the All Star break when they were on a nice little run and looked like they were about to end a long long string of furious rushes to try and clinch eighth place. Instead Visnovsky went down and the team has been barely treading water ever since.

They added two NHL players at the deadline at the cost of one while one of their rivals, Anaheim, were sellers. Ravaged by injuries and too young, St. Louis fell off the pace. Brad Richards went down and the Stars collapsed. Nashville, young, devastated by years of defections, lost their captain to injury.

It was all there for the taking for the Oilers, including a favourable schedule and only a couple of weeks ago they were five points clear of the pack. This despite a long laundry list of concerns.

- Ales Hemsky's disappearance, perhaps injury related, and a public outburst of unhappiness

- Shawn Horcoff's continued offensive struggles, perhaps injured, definitely exhausted, most definitely struggling with his confidence

- Tom Gilbert and Sheldon Souray, ridden hard after Lubo's fall, slowly but surely wearing down, becoming mistake prone

- the poor PK, the poor PP, the usual for the latter, this is what cost them the Cup in '06, but the collapse of the once terrific PK still has everyone shaking their heads

- and while Erik Cole tears it up (to be fair he plays with Staal and Ruutu now rather than Moreau and Brodziak) the new kids struggle a little, Kotalik played out of position, O'Sullivan trying to find his way

It goes on and on and only Roloson has kept them anywhere near the race and why would he sign here next year when you can bet that a few contenders with goaltending issues and solid backups to boot will come calling.

A period left tonight, down two and Anaheim is winning and the Blues and Preds have blown by the Oilers and the fans are left wondering what is going on with this team.

They'll be in tenth by the end of the night and here's hoping that Bruce is right or its going to be another disappointing year out of the playoffs. MacTavish will be gone and he won't be the only one.


Anonymous said...

Major changes will be the only consolation for missing the playoffs this year, I think. I'm of the opinion that MacTavish is a good coach, but I also believe that it might be time to try someone new. A new approach to the game with a different system might work better for the team. And if the Oilers miss the playoffs, there isn't really anything to lose if the new system doesn't fit the team as well. If you're not going to make the playoffs, you might as well get a good draft pick.

Black Dog said...

I agree OF. I'm also a fan of MacT and I know there are a few left who are worried, for example, that replacing him might be a step back.

But the team, while flawed, has underachieved this year, imo. Players playing out of position or put into positions where they cannot succeed, the terrible special teams, the passive approach whenever the team is leading or even tied.

God it goes on and on.

Time for a change.

Doogie2K said...

I'm really out of touch these days, but just reading posts like this, I have to wonder if it's even worth the last half-dozen games at this point, or if I should just skip right to the rest of the WHL playoffs and call 'er a year?

slipper said...

Nobody speaks Bruce McCurdy's real name on the internet... Nobody!

Totally appropriate picture, by the way;) Reminds me of breezier days on the Oiler net.

HBomb said...

So listening to the 1260 morning show today, and apparently Darren Pang out of Phoenix is reporting that Roloson will NOT be back in Edmonton next season.

Take it for what you will, but I hope MacT, Moreau and Staios all join him on the first train out of town. New coach, new leadership core....good start if you ask me.

Black Dog said...

doogie - same old, pal; despite their flaws this team should be home and cooled, imo

The fact that they have such a home heavy schedule should be such a huge advantage for them and instead its like a millstone

Aw Slipper I miss CinO.

Black Dog said...

hbomb - I have no problem with Staios except for the price but I would deal him and Moreau - there is a market for both

As for Roli giving a 40 yr old your starting job is iffy although I certainly have no isses with how he has played

But if I were him I would sign in Detroit or elsewhere if he can find an offer and I owuld guess he could. He only has a year or two left. Why sign on for more of this?

LittleFury said...

Part of me wants to see a major overhaul in the offseason. If Katz is anything more than a fat-walleted fanboy, heads will roll, starting with MacT.

But there's another voice in the darkness of my soul that tells me MacT is going nowhere and that this team is punishment for our sins. But then, I was raised Catholic.

hunter1909 said...

LMAO @ LittleFury.

Bruce said...

Totally appropriate picture, by the way;) Reminds me of breezier days on the Oiler net.

Where the hell do you guys come up with these pix? This one looks like the yin and yang of Dustin Penner.

Black Dog said...

Google images, Bruce.

Google Purple Monkey Dishwasher. Its ridiculous.

If thst was Penner he would have eaten both horses.