Wednesday, March 10, 2010


As we enter the stretch run and teams either battle for a playoff spot or jockey for playoff positioning a few thoughts wander by, like homeless guys looking for an alleyway to get their freak on.

Other than Detroit and the Edmonton Oilers, does anyone on the outside actually have a chance to get back into the postseason picture? Maybe Boston can be caught but by the Rangers or Thrashers? And in the Campbell I'm thinking everyone behind Detroit is done. With all of the loser points available its tough to make up ground.

If Detroit makes it does anybody want them in the first round? Nope.

What the fuck was Chicago thinking when they did not pick up a goalie? Holy shit. Your window is limited. You're going to throw away a chance at a Cup on Huet? Stupid.

That's all I've got. Basically we have fourteen teams pretty well home and cooled out unless someone falls apart. Washington and the Pens look good to win their divsions as do San Jose, Chicago and the Canucks, who have had a pretty successful marathon roadtrip. The only drama is whether the Sabres or Sens win their division.



I will give this to the Oilers. They have picked a good year to crap out if they want to keep us interested. The draft has two top guys and then all of the rest and of course the truth is that whoever goes at #3 or #5 or #15 may end up being the best of the lot but right now there are two guys who look like they are can't miss and that's it. Two guys.

And the Oilers aren't 'catching' anyone but the team right in front of them. The Leaves. The Chiefs. The Condo Guys. The Passion That Unites Us All. The Flagship Franchise. The team that makes oodles of money while setting records of futility which seems right now to be what the Oilers are aspiring to.

The problem is that if the Oilers catch the Leaves then there is a decent chance that they might not end up with the first pick or the second pick.

That's right.

Even when these guys fuck up, which is pretty well consistently constant, they might not be able to do it right.

Now I'm of the mind that having the guys who completely wrecked a team that was thisclose to winning the Cup, a team that had a superstar defenceman and a star forward and a plethora of quality veterans and youngsters and frittered them all away until the team stood dead last, all of this as a maximum cap team, probably are not the best choice to fix their mess. Nope. If I were Katz I'd be handing walking papers to Lowe and his monkey and that greasy salesman LaForge and anyone else remotely responsible for this disaster.

Still if I want to see this team crap out really nice I have to admit that by dumping three of the Oilers' remaining four healthy NHL defencemen at the deadline and bringing only Ryan Whitney and Aaron Johnson back to man the barricades with Tom Gilbert and an assortment of kids and scrubs then Tambellini did a pretty nice job of ensuring a craptastic finish. He does almost as good a job as trying to tank as he does not trying to tank when it comes to putting together a shitty hockey club. Not quite but close.

And yet after putting a club together with ADD in net and a second pair featuring Jason Strudwick, Tambo was rewarded with not one but two wins and last night the Oilers defied logic and led the Ottawas for a good part of the game, causing Oilers fans everywhere to have their hearts join a whole lot of residual throwup in their mouths.

Meanwhile the Leaves, now just four points ahead and having traded pretty well every NHL calibre forward away, insist on playing the Swedish kid goaltender, as if Ron Wilson were purposely trying to give the Bruins the first pick overall. And so last night the Leaves fell behind early in the third to those same Bruins, now missing Chara and Savard, and seeing as they (The Flagship Franchise, the Flying Tanenbaums) had not been able to score three goals since 1967 or something like that it looked like the Oilers might have a shot at pulling within two if they could beat the flu ridden Sens.

And then a funny thing happened. The Leaves scored and they just kept coming at a Bruins' team who played Dennis Wideman the entire game basically and whose best forward was pretty well Mark Recchi. And then Kulemin, who is just an absolutely terrific player - big, hard on the puck, does all of the little things right - scored in OT and a couple of hours later ADD regressed to mean after playing out of his head for two periods and at the end of the night the bulge, not the one in my oh so tight brown cordoruoy slacks mind you, was six points.

I'll be at the game Saturday night, oh yes I will, hobnobbing with the wealthy in their fancy dress down by the glass at the ACC, watching ADD and the rest of the lads, and really, really, I can't believe it, but this will be the first Leafs' game I have ever attended, and I have attended many over the years, where I will be cheering right along with Vito from Woodbridge.

Damned if this year is going to be for nothing. Hall or Seguin may bust but they are no doubt picks right now and that's what I want.

Look for me Saturday night. I'll be the handsome man sitting beside Alice with a smile as wide as the great outdoors.

Magic number is fourteen or thereabouts, hard to tell with the loser points. Plus I stink with the advanced mathematics.



NeilP said...

Don't think of it as cheering for the Leafs, think of it as cheering against the Oilers. You'll feel less dirty that way.

Scott Reynolds said...

I'm cheering for Carolina to continue this run up the standings. Sure, they're nine points back of Boston now but on Jan. 1 that number was twenty-two. They were eighteen back of the Habs and now it's eleven and you get the idea. 16-9-2 since Jan. 1. They'll probably need 12-4-1 from here on in to have a chance but it would be pretty epic.

Black Dog said...

NeilP - I feel dirty as a matter of course, so perhaps dirtier is the proper adjective?

Scott - yeah the Canes have had a sweet run. They had such an awful start and those injuries and they've been terrific for a while now, even with the trades and Ward out again.

A different start and they'd be in the playoffs for sure. As it is they'll reboot over the summer and be back next year. I like Rutherford. He's not perfect but he does a good job imo

spOILer said...

I hear the movie is a travesty. I'll likely go see it tomorrow night. I was pretty sure it would be craptastic when I saw the preview during Avatar and Alice was wearing a blue dress. And now people I thought would be completely into it are calling the film awful. They obviously haven't watched enough Oiler Hockey.

The Habs are in tough in the East with everyone having games in hand.

Black Dog said...

no kidding eh? the reviews have been sparkling

I think the habs are ok, no real thought process admittedly other than it seems the goaltending is solid and they have survived most of the injuries

they seem to be on a little bit of a roll now, thats all they need, can't see the teams behind them catching fire

Pete. said...

One of my great sources of hockey-related entertainment through this awful, awful season has been reading this blog, and noticing your steadily increasing tone of extreme irritation with all things Oilers. The couple of paragraphs after "That's right" are hilarious.

It's like you've been on a slow simmer since about November. You haven't thrown the TV through the window yet, but may well be muttering darkly and developing a facial tic.

Rider Guy said...

The Carolina run scares the crap out of me. DFL at Christmas (and the subject of a huge debate at LT's about whether they were too far back to catch the freaking Oilers with 40 games to go) and now they've got an outside chance at the playoffs.

Fast forward 9 months and I can just see Lowe and Tambo, sitting in the Oilers office, team is DFL again and they are debating whether they should be looking to add guys at the deadline to try and make a late run at the playoffs because the Canes did it that one time.

PDO said...

Seguin please.

He's Johnny Toews.

Doogie2K said...

The Habs are in tough in the East with everyone having games in hand.

Who behind them is significantly better? For that matter, are the Ottawas significantly better, or did they just get lucky as shit with that 11-gamer?

Black Dog said...

Thanks Pete. Really though its just feeding my alcoholism. ;)

PDO - yeah that's what I'm thinking

Rider Guy - say it ain't so; at least they had the sense to figure it out this year although going winless in nearly twenty will do that I guess

Brad said...

If Carolina does it this year, after St. Louis did it last year (lest we forget), Rider Guy you just may prove omniscient.
And God help us all, we'll cheer them on while they do it. Hell, I'll even spend the $50 like I did last year for the last quarter season of CentreIce.

I'm hoping for a Colorado/Phoenix Western final by the way. It kills me that they make it the year after Gretz leaves.

Baroque said...

"...bobnobbing with the wealthy," eh?

Just don't puke on their fancy shoes. They REALLY hate that. I know from personal experience (not mine, honest, someone else's).

Regardless, have a good time.

jesse r said...

The problem is that if the Oilers catch the Leaves then there is a decent chance that they might not end up with the first pick or the second pick.

If you missed it, which you probably did since I'm pretty sure nobody reads my blog, I put a post up on Monday about exactly what those chances are.

Ribs said...

I like to think of it as cheering for them to get the draft pick rather than cheering for them to lose. It seems less horrible that way.

hunter1909 said...

Amazed last night to find you posted on my blog. I think you're the third person to do so, using their non-anonymous handle. It's all just a load of rubbish anyway. I only started it because Lowetide suggested i do so to deflect my lunacy, a good idea that was of his.

I have managed to get a lot of hits on it, considering the paucity(sp?) of responses, haha.

Oilers fans such as yourself(why you don't go and jump on the Hawks bandwagon is beyond me), normal types who anger slowly all have more or less caught up to my hysteria of the past twenty years. Now everyone can see what I've been trying to say all along: the team stinks to high heaven, has fuck all direction, and without a lot of tanking it's basically going nowhere other than back to the 8th place perpetual loser sweepstakes.

I want the Oilers to finish last for the next ten years, if neccessary, if for no other reason that one day in the future they will indeed have a highly talented team, easily able of placing in the regular season, then able to go forward in the playoffs on a regular basis.

shepso said...

figures that you'd be at the game on a weekend I was actually coming down from Kingston. So much for the potential meeting of bloggers in the real world plan I was trying to hatch. Next time...

by the way, that little blurb at the top you have about MacGuire is the most deeply disturbing piece of writing I've read in a really long time. Quite frankly, I think that would make Chuck Palahniuk blush. Nicely done.

Black Dog said...

Ah thanks but that's actually a little piece by Schitzo that I lifted from a comment thread over at LT's.

shepso said...

Schitzo's been on fire lately, yet it seemed just eloquently disturbed enough to be yours. Either way, it's great.
Have fun at the ACC. I'll probably be at some dive bar down on Queen West hoping for an Oiler win, just because my hatred of the Leafs is actually stronger than my hatred of the Flames...and I grew up in Edmonton...

Black Dog said...

btw for sure let me know whenever you head this way, just give me notice if possible

this wknd is bad, I have my own game tomorrow night, then Saturday night, Ireland for five days at month end, extra pints on top of that would not go over well I think

Hunter - you mean like the Thrashers? ;)

Once the playoffs come around I'll be pulling for the Hawks I'm sure. I haven't the energy to care right now though

jesse - read it, I am reassured, thanks. ;)

thanks Baroque - will do my best ;)

hunter1909 said...

Thrashers, Yotes, Panthers always finish at the bottom because their organisations are even more clueless than the Oilers, who if nothing else live and breathe real hockey market air.

I have no doubt that a lot of top draft picks is the equivalent of shooting fish in a bareel.

Now. Go get back on that Hawks bandwagon!

Bruce said...

Hey Pat, even with their loser point the Oilers lost ground last night, as the Leafs got the Bettman point in OT. (To me the third point is the Bettman point)

So the gap is now 7 points. Even with an Oiler win on Saturday it will still be a 5- (or 6-) point difference which should be ample. So you should be able to root for your own team with a clear conscience. It would be worth it for entertainment value to have the only team below the Leafs in the standings to come into the ACC and wipe the floor with them, don't you think?

Black Dog said...

Win in OT Bruce.


yeah I think I can do it. especially if Whitney is out they are well and truly done

Schitzo said...

Good lord, if Whitney is out then we're running Struds as a #2 defenceman again. Well, actually, at this point it's likely that he's been leapfrogged by Johnston.

Black Dog said...

and Peckham and Chorney and Motin and Arsene and Plante and Tyler Dellow and Traktor and Lowetide's kids. And my dog.

Other than that we're ok.

Doogie2K said...

I've considered jumping on the 'Hawks bandwagon -- I have the jersey for it -- but I'm also considering Phoenix and LA (I have three Jets jerseys). I'd love to see the Jets win their first series since I was in diapers.