Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Minnesota at Edmonton, 7:30 PM, TSN

Game Story
The bonafide scorer the Wild have been looking fo.... Oh, too soon?

Prelude to a Slump?
The Oilers are in quite the slump - two games without really trying - and the team that they last beat comes to Rexall tonight.

Once again, lets remind you that the Minnesota Wild are a mediocre team against everyone EXCEPT the Oilers. Enter a few games into the season, the game the Oilers lost right before the massive win-streak, was Minnesota. Enter 19 games ago, four seasons ago, the last time the Oilers had won in Minnesota until just a few games ago.


Andy Sutton - is finally returning tonight. Woah - I'm right for once. Corey Potter remains 4-5 games away.

Hall is out for 2-4 weeks. Could be better, but realistically, it could be worse - he could be out for the season.

Ryan O'Marra has been called up by the Oilers from Oklahoma - not the move I endorse.

You either bring up the highest scorer (Phil Cornet) or the best player (Teemu Hartikainen), not some strange depth player.

On the other hand, this means 2/3 players that were traded for Ryan Smyth now draw in. Robby Nilsson is in the KHL's AHL league. Interesting, no?

Glorious Prediction - Oilers click, Paajaarvi with an exceptional day and 3 points to break out of the slump, giving the Oilers a well-deserved 4-1 win.
Realistic Prediction - Oilers don't click. O'Marra's insertion embarasses the team. Although Father Smythmas attempts to rescue this team, the Oilers continue the incredible slump with a 4-2 drubbing. Pierre-Marc Bouchard scores the empty-netter.
ELPH Prediction - Renney calls the team out after an awful 6-0 drubbing by, of any other team, the Minnesota. Matt Cullen destroys the team. Khabi yanked after 4 goals. ELPH in full flight.

Oh, bother: Nashville and Edmonton - The Rundown

FINAL 2 - 1

Late post? What do you mean? In fact, I had to take my comp into the repair shop. It wouldn't charge.

The Bold
Eberle - Dynomite. Very proud of his level of skill. A point-per-game player at every stage of his career, the kid is an exceptional talent. Overshadowed by the likes of Hall previously and RNH/FatherSmythmas this season, a bonafide talent that might just slip under the radar and onto an all-star team.

The Awful
The Oilers team game.

So you lose Hall. Paajaarvi, I might add, did quite a job trying to replace a first overall pick. Give him another game in that spot, and I'm sure the goals will come.

So you lose Hall. Does that mean this team subsequently forgets to play hockey? It shouldn't, but it did. We forgot how to shoot, we forgot how tod ump the puck in, we made inopportune pinches, so many odd man rushes. The second period was salvaged only by Rehabibulin, whose MCP status on this team could not be denied.

The Out-of-Control
Anders Lindbeck - For serious, he's a player. Playing behind Rinne, he doesn't get that much time-on-ice. Playing on any other team, he would be. It's just Rinne - a fantastic goalie (who is anchoring my hockey pool) who can't be denied ice-time.

Teams that are looking for goaltenders, by the way, include Columbus, Calgary (Kipper can't do it forever, and Karlsson is still worse prospect than Lindbeck), NYR (but he'd play the same role!), NJ (Brodeur's swan song), and Tampa Bay (a bonafide starter-talent goalie away from owning this league).

The Beautiful
Gilbert can hit. Didn't know he could, but he can. If he wants to.
I mean, not the best play of the day,
But in good spirit, the most surprising.

And that's my beauty of the day.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Nashville at Edmonton, SNET-W, 7:30 PM

Nashville at Edmonton
It's Lidstrom. Deal with it.

Game Story
The battle of the slumping teams, the Oilers head home to hopefully fend off the Predators. That sounds wrong just typing it.

Anyways, the Oilers have been hot and cold, but according to the law of patterns, the Oil should be revved up for tonight's game. After losing in Dallas 4-1, they went to Nashville and destroyed them 6-2. They then went to Minnesota and won 5-2, which was previously thought to be impossible. Then, of course, they embarrassed themselves by losing 5-2 in Colorado, a win for Colorado at home previously thought to also be impossible.

The Predators were riding Pekka Rinne (sigh...) until he began to falter. Too many questions remain with this team, one of the primary remaining if they can find, in their elite system, a player who can score goals.
They lost to Calgary. Come on, Nashville!

Seriously - the Predators remain one elite goal scorer away from a team of dynastic proportions.

The mantra remains - all hail Trotz.

For the Predators, it looks like Francois Boullion will be out. To the Predators, it means the loss of a strong stay-at-home veteran defenceman who was providing leadership in the back end. To Oilers fans, he's that's the guy who fought that other guy that one time.

For the Oilers, the list continues, although it may be Andy Sutton's return ga... wait, you say another 7-10 days? Potter is out 4 weeks still? Optimism was way too contagious? I'm crazy? Cool.

Mainly, we're concerned about Taylor Hall, who, for some reason, is still listed as questionable for tonight. 

I don't care that we suck monkey without him - don't play him. Let him rehab his shoulder for a good week - he will be targeted tonight if he plays. He likely won't, his MRI is today and we'll know more about the nature of his injury. Gut tells me 2 weeks. Logic and hockey gods probably command season.

Glorious Prediction - Yeah! Paajarvi gets ignited with time on the top line, as the Kid Line is reborn in epic fashion. Paajarvi gets himself a two goal, four point night, the Nuge gets a goal and three assists, and Eberle gets props for his set-up ability, long over-due. 5-0. Khabi shutout.
Realistic Prediction - Oh! More of the same. Tight game, playing defence. Paajarvi doesn't get to reunite the top line, he duds. Smyth and RNH with goals (as per usual), Eberle with an empty netter. Oilers 3 - 1*.
ELPH Prediction - Nashville breaks their slump and Rinne gets me a tonne of points when the Oilers shell him for 41 shots, but get none past him. 2-0. 

News and Notes
Boudreau fired from the Capitals - slightly unexpected, but, in my "expert" opinion, the right and wrong move. 

Is he the best coach for the organization? No.
Is Boudreau to blame for the Capitals' slow start? No.
Is he a better coach than his replacement? Probably, but time will tell.

Maurice fired from the Hurricanes - very expected, thank god they did that.

Is he the best coach for this organization? Like hell no.
Is Maurice to blame for the Hurricanes slow start? Not really, actually, but he's a major part of it and the only part they can fire without a fire sale (Staal for Paajarvi [R4]).
Is Muller a better coach than Maurice? Yes. Muller was one of the major reasons to why the Canadiens made it to the East Conf. Finals Game 7 against Philly. You don't get that good without an amazing powerplay, especially when you are coached by Jacques "I-don't-do-offence" Martin.

*Yeah. I predicted the Oilers would win. My curse was broken when the team that I picked to win won. GO OILERS

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Oh no, Oh no - Edmonton and Avalanche: The Rundown

FINAL 2 - 5

Game Story
The Bold
Sam Gagner
A mammoth game - he's getting better all the time, like McCartney would sing here.

Sam Gagner deserves better than 3rd line minutes right now, but so does Scorecoff and RNH. What can you do?

Also, Stefan Elliot. Woah.

The Awful
I don't think "Oh no" sums it up - bad is bad.

Dubnyk ripped for 4 goals in the third period, including two he REALLY should have stopped. 

Hall injured, nobody knows how long, returned in the first (stupidly) and we hope that he left because of a bruise.

If it's a bad bruise, he could be out anywhere to two games to two weeks.

If he dislocated it, he'll need rehab for at least 2 months.

If he injured any of the soft tissue around his shoulder, it means the knife and the season.

The Horrendous
Kyle Quincey. Call me a homer, call me anything. That was a dirty hit. Wilson - that was a gargantuan rocking hit that you know was coming one time or another. Nothing particularly wrong with that. If Sutton did the same to, say, Landeskog, I would say, hey, fair game*.

I don't care what junior coaches or other coaches tell you - when you target a player's arm that you KNOW is injured, it's your own damn perceptions and its your own fault. You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself. Celebrate this win in all of its glory, because it will be fleeting.

The Beautiful
Ladislav Smid.

First goal in almost 2 calendar years.

I don't care what else happened (other than the Hall hit) because this guy put a smile on the face of every Oilers fan.

Congrats, sir. Well-deserved.

View that and the SICK pass here - my beauty of the day!

*He did. He got suspended.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Edmonton at Avalanche, HNIC, 5:00 PM

Game Story
Who is that goalie? Must be one of the worst in history*!

Game Story
These teams came out flying in October, with the Oilers and Avalanche really surprising the league. The Oilers were just "so fantastic" last year, with the Avalanche being just "as fantastic", acquiring picks one and two in the first round last year. That being said, both teams had incredible starts and stats...

Until November.

With the Oilers, they couldn't win on the road.
With the Avalanche, they couldn't win at home.

They're both on the outside looking in to the playoff fishbowl, the Oilers being considerably closer.

What to do? I remain cursed. The Wild won, I was wrong again. This is both good and bad. Bet against me.

Well, Ryan Whitney played last night, and he continues. This bodes well.

Unfortunately, Sutton appears to return when we return home - Potter's prognosis is actually looking a lot better, he could be returning IN TWO GAMES. 

Plante had been called up, but I'm watching the game, and he's not playing in it.

A healthy Oilers can really do some damage.

Glorious Prediction - RNH gets another hat trick. It is HNIC, after all. 6-2
Realistic Prediction - We should, by all means, win. But we're tired. 3-2 in a shootout, we are slain by the Avalanche.
ELPH Prediction - Avalanche break out of their funk with an exceptional 4 point game from Chuck Kobasew. 5-1

*He's my hero, just so you know.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Afternoon Delight - Edmonton at Minnesota, SNET-W, 2 PM

Doesn't it seem like forever since the last time the Oilers played in the afternoon?

Cal Clutterbuck finally lands one of his punches

Game Story
Would you believe, that after all of that nagging and noodling and changing, the Wild and Oilers, supposed to be the weaker teams in the league, are suddenly 1st and 2nd in their division. The Oilers are tied for the eighth and final playoff-spot in the west, while the Wild... uh... lead the league.

I blame Dany Heatley. As every Oilers fan should.

Also, Josh Harding - dude, how?

The Wild are the league's second-hottest team, with a five game win streak (Boston woke up), while the Oilers have been hot AND cold, like Katy Perry's song. Whilst blowing out Chicago and Nashville, they failed to even show up in Dallas. Of coures, with the noted exception of R-N-H.

Injury Report et Lines
RYAN WHITNEY IS BACK. The funniest man on the twitterverse, he's finally playing a hockey game where he believes himself to be at 100%. It's like a trade for a top 4 defenceman. Cool, cool.

Barker and Sutton remain out. Sutton, however, should be back very very soon. Avalanche game, hopefully. Potter should be back mid-December.


Lines should remain the same - I personally hope Paajarvi and Lander and Eager stay together. Quick and energetic.

Glorious Prediction - The Oilers FINALLY beat Minny 4-1. RNH with two points - he could have scored four, but he was too busy laughing at Scott Cullen's trophy predictions. Smyth scores against Josh (WTF) Harding, proving he's still one of the most talented players in the league.
Realistic Prediction - This is a hot Minnesota team we're talking about. 5 wins. We're talking about an Oilers organization that can't buy a win in the state of 10 000 lakes. 3-1 Wild.
ELPH Prediction - Dany Heatley rips up our defence, although he gets injured by Smid (who laughs quietly). He scores a hat trick as Minny rips open Edmonton on their off-game 6-0

Thursday, 24 November 2011

RNH - Enforcer Extraordinare

Brendan Morrow is likely to miss 2-3 games.


Ryan. Nugent. Hopkins.


That is all.

Edmonton Quarterly - Remarks

Hello readers! There comes a time, around the quarters of the season, where there are no games to post about... at all.

As opposed to calling it the first of the few signs of the apocalypse and sprinting, I'm going to take the time to analyze our team, see how its doing in respect to what we expected before the season, what we're expecting for the next few weeks of the season, and where we should end up at the end of the season.

Report cards? Go to Lowetide, he does it the best. I'll just gloss over people and their importance.

Pre-season expectations and questions
At the beginning of the pre-season, we had a few concrete ideals about our team.
Firstly, our offence was going to be rad. For gosh sakes, we have two first-round draft picks, one of whom was scoring at a Calder Trophy potential pace (Hall) before getting himself injured in a fight, the other, RNH, was supposed to be a passer with Gretzky-like vision, but St. Louis-like size.

Oh, and Eberle, who lead our team in points. Being a rookie. Also, he did stuff for Team Canada, which was pretty cool.

Mostly, Oilers fans were stoked beyond human comprehension that, most importantly, Colin Fraser was gone. And they brought back HHM* Ryan Smyth, one of the greatest Oilers of all time, no joke. However, we couldn't expect that much from a guy well past his career prime. He just wanted to finish his career here, and he sure could bring some leadership.

Secondly, our defences was going to suck. Seriously. Whitney wasn't going to start the season, we didn't pick up the all-star defenceman we requested. Instead, we picked up an experiment in Cam Barker, a titan in Andy Sutton, and some guy named Corey Potter, destined to anchor our AHL defence.

Thirdly, our goalies were going to be mediocre. That Khabibulin had just come back from rehab, now being called Rehabibulin. After 2 disastrous seasons with the Oilers, we had very very very low hopes for him. Hopefully, he'd keep the seat warm for gigantic Devan Dubnyk, who should emerge as that all-star goaltender by the last week of the season. Hopefully, he would start all 82 games.

It was that bad.

Once upon a time.

Quarterly review

The Oilers, for probably the first time since the early 80s, seem to have an ALMOST PERFECT balance of old and new.

The old men and the C on this team have proven to be the most resilient and probably one of the best veteran cores in the league. Seriously. Many teams (Columbus, Carolina) remain in awe of the ridiculous core of veterans, like Jones, Scorecoff, Belanger, Hemsky, Sutton, Gilbert and Smid, that have anchored this team.

If you don't believe in that comment, you should believe in the leaders of this league. The enigmatic Russian was supposed to suck. But clearly, he doesn't believe in age, luck, fate, snowmen, Santa Claus, Batman, and basically, anything that told him that he was supposed to.

Because he has enjoyed a rejuvenation like no other goaltender has enjoyed. Even Tim Thomas, the rejuvenation that all rejuvenators attempt to reach, had good to great seasons before his breakout season in his early 30s.

Khabibulin was the worst starting goaltender in the league. After the first quarter, there are about 26 teams that would sacrifice various goats to have him on their team. He's beat out Lou, he's beat out Kipper, he's beat out Varlmarov, and is arguably the best starting goaltender in the Northwest Conference. Hell, he's been the best goaltender in the league. If he can keep this up, for one of the first times in his career, he could be in SERIOUS Vezina contention.

Speaking of SERIOUS trophy contention...
Ryan Nugent Hopkins - Pre-eminent Calder candidate. Point-per-game pace, leading all rookies in points, goals, and assists, playing on the first line of a team that is not that shallow up front, deemed too small and proving critics wrong, and has a chantable name. Boom - shoo-in.

Speaking of point-per-game pace...
Father Smythmas - my favorite player ever - continues to amaze everyone, including himself. I would have been happy for him to score... 6 goals in the first quarter. That would give him 24 goals in total, a pretty good season for a veteran.
Instead, he's all like "I'm an OILER now" and scores 11 goals, 11 assists in the first quarter. 88 points on the season. 44 goals. That, ladies and gentlemen, is above and beyond the call of duty.

In other words, the Oilers, who seemed to be in the bottom-middle of the pack, are in SERIOUS PLAYOFF CONTENTION

Also, our defence is excellent. Which is simply unexplainable. I'm just not going to try. Even without Whitney. Even with Peckham. Corey-Power-Potter-Play

Also, Eberle's scoring at a point-per-game pace.

Season Questions
I'm not going to predict what will happen to this team - because I'll screw up the team and jinx it.
But we do have questions moving forward.

To Khabibulin - what did you sell your soul for to change your career like this? Can you keep it up?

To Smyth - how do you visit so many homes in one night as Father Smythmas? Television, you say? Can you keep it up?

To RNH - "Why you so good"? Can you be the first Oiler to win the Calder?

To the Oilers - This team has performed beyond expectations. But has this team been over-performing, over-achieving, over-expecting? Can this team pull a Colorado and slip in the eighth position?

Time will tell.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Oilers feast on Predators: The Rundown

FINAL 6 - 2

Game Story
Before I begin - I have a feeling I'm cursed. Whenever I pick the Oilers to win, they lose. Whenever I pick them to lose, they win.
Another problem - the Oilers have yet to win on Sportsnet Edmonton.

I believe I will cause a ruckus next game, as I attempt to get to the bottom of this curse and pick the Oilers to win on Sportsnet Edmonton.

The Bold
The whole team game by the Oilers. From Smyth's playing like these games might be steps to a Stanley Cup to the RNH train to Horcoff putting up quiet, but spectacular numbers all over the ice to Hallsy being ballsy to Hemsky scoring in game no. 500 to Paajarvi's first game being noticable to Gagner fighting, for god's sake, to Gilbert's "Sure-coach-i'll-play-the-whole-game" to Smid's picking up 2 freaking points to Dubnyk's exceptional goaltending to keep steamrolling in the second period.

Oh, and that Eberle kid. Nice goal or two.

And, not-from-the-Oilers, Jordin Tootoo. Massive game for him, and I'm happy to see his successes.

The Awful
Really? For this game? Letting in that goal late in the third period. That was kind of mean. Giving them hope with 30 seconds left?
Meh, the officials could have called a few more penalties against the Preds... but that's homertalk.

The Out-of-Control
Pekka Rinne is one of the NHL's best goaltenders - those three goals came from the overwhelming combination of speed and skill. Take a bow, dear sir; it wasn't your fault. I need you for my hockey pool.

The Beautiful
Boston has repeatedly fleeced the Maple Leafs, leaving them with nothing - but in this case, they felt bad and sent Joe Colborne, an incredible (okay, not incredible, but decent) prospect their way for Tomas Kaberle. Kaberle won them a cup, but he's not playing with them anymore.

He picked up his first NHL goal on a sublime pass off Matt Frattin, which is clearly my play and beauty of the day.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Edmonton at Nashville, SNET-W, 6:00 PM

Game Day
Omark proves why he has NHL-level talen... oh wait, never mind

Game Story
The Oilers have been, well, streaky. As in they suck on the road and the win at home. But I think it goes deeper than that. In fact, every time we've been on Sportsnet Edmonton, we've lost. Huh. Go figure.

I propose we boycott that channel and move on.

Nashville, however, on a related to hockey note, has been stealing the collective thunder of the league. Pekka Rinne has been proving that his contract was not an error, but simply an accurate valueation, going 7-3-1 in his past 11 games A.C.

Fer the record, I've always thought that Rinne was an excellent player, mainly for buoying my fantasy team.

Oil Leak?
The Oilers playing on the road are a completely different team, if you haven't noticed. They're below .500, their collective play has been awful, and really, they resemble a shadow of the team that had rocked Chicago at home and kept up a 5 game win streak.

What's the problem? Coaching. 
No, I'm not hating on Tom Renney, I think he's fantastic. All I think is teams learned and realized how to play these Oilers - hit them because they're small. Make big people play against Hall. Force the Oilers to forget about speed and move on.

Here's what I think - This team will start winning some games like they are used to when Andy Sutton, a big body that can play hockey, comes back. In the mean and between time, package Hordichuk and Eager for a pugilist that can hit, skate, score and doesn't get injured when you throw a banana at him and ask him to catch. Wait a second, you say he exists? And his name is Hartikainen? No fooling?

Injury Report/Lines
Andy Sutton and Ryan Whitney, out with various injuries, remain close to but not in the lineup. 

Something tells me we'll have to spite the hockey gods to get in. Else they would have made Whitney, not Crosby, the comeback story of the year*.

Lines remain the same defunct mess that they were last game. There is a solution for lines...
The other guys.

Trust me - a Hemsky Gagner Paajarvi line is a lot better than a Hall Horcoff Hemsky line. That first line is all hot hands. That second line is all hard work. That third line has so much potential to be great.
That fourth line...

A change has been made - Plante has been recalled and Chorney has been assigned. I'm in favour of this move, because, well, Chorney is Chorney and Plante is not Chorney, therefore must be a little better.

Glorious Prediction - Oilers somehow scrape out of this one with a low-scoring 1-0 affair. Keen to keep the streak alive, Smyth scores with an assist off Ryan Nugent Hopkins
Realistic Prediction - Without an actual defence, this turns from bad to quickly worse - 3-1, with resident "hair" and Oiler killer Martin Erat breaking our back with an empty-netter
ELPH Prediction - Weber Hat-Trick. We get thumped. Because our defence is our defence. 6-2. 

*Which would have happened if Whitney morphed into Crosby. Who am I kidding?

Dallas leaves Oilers seeing Stars: The Rundown

 1 - 4


The Oilers follow up their great play against the Chicago Blackhawks with a poor effort in Dallas, as they were dropped 4-1.

The Bold
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Smyth had mammoth games. RNH looked dangerous every time he was on the ice, while Smyth continued his strong play. Both continue their remarkable pace of a point-per-game.

Tom Gilbert also played quite solid - in comparison to the rest of our defensive corps. He continues his strong play - is this a taste of his future potential perhaps being reached?
Easily his most noticeable play was deftly deflecting the wayward shot into the net away from the net, giving the Oilers a solid 20 seconds more before they let in the empty netter.

The Awful
Theo Peckham follows up his gargantuan defensive game against the Blackhawks with several suicide passes and one suicide body-slam, leaving the rookie defenceman Petry to attempt to combat a 4 on 1. Hell, Lidstrom can't do that 100% of the time.

That goal, mind you, was the 3-1 backbreaker that should not have happened.

Anton Lander needs to go to the AHL for some seasoning. He seemed out of whack.

I'm on the fence about the play about Hordichuk - but his lack of speed in comparison to someone like Eager is disappointing. Then again, Eager doesn't hit...

And an awful from Dallas - Brendan Morrow. Pugilists get less penalties. As the captain of your team, you don't take penalties in the third period hooking a guy off the face-off.

The Out-of-Control
Michael Ryder's shot. Dear god, if I was Khabibulin, I would be cowering. It was set up from a 4 on 1...

The Beautiful
The beautiful comes right out of Pittsburgh, where their new AHL call-up lit up the hapless New York Islanders with 2 goals and 2 assists.

Some people have made a big deal out of this insertion into the line-up... He's supposed to be a pretty highly touted player. They even give him a "moniker".

You can watch this so-called "Sid-The-Kid" goal off his first shot here, my beauty of the day.

I'll be posting later with tonight's pre-game.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Edmonton at Dallas, SNET-EDM, 6:30 PM

Game Day
Patrik Stefan shows us naysayers why he's a first overall draft pick

Game Story

Edmonton has had its share of struggles this season. Sure, they had the unbelievable October, but they had that four game stretch where they couldn't buy a win.

Then Chicago came in and that ended quickly.

Edmonton and Dallas are organizations that seem to be moving in sickly synchronicity. Both teams employ goaltenders attempting a comeback season (and succeeding very well). Both teams feature some sort of young stars. Both teams had an excellent October. Both ended up kaput-ing in November. 

Like some sort of twin dynamos, we're tied for eighth in the west*. Dallas comes into the game on a streak of five losses (including a 6-0 romp to Florida). The Oilers could have been, but then again, they played Chicago on HNIC.
It should be noted this is the Stars 3rd game in 4 nights. They could very well be quite tired, even for a home game.

Injury Report
Last game? You say nobody got injured? That's freaking crazy!!

Cam Barker (surgery recovery) remains out until March. Andy Sutton (groin) expects to play sometime this week. Eventually.

Ryan Whitney (knee? ankle? random joint? nose?) believes he can start also this week. With their return, look for Teubert and Chorney, a predictably** bad pairing, to be sent down.

If it ain't broken - don't fix it. Those were some killer lines. I was wrong about Scorecoff - he played really well. I expect him to use this comment to suck the living daylights out of that line now. 

Smyth, Hall, RNH, Eberle, Gilbert and Petry enter this game with incredibly hot hands. Smyth, in fact, has a scoring streak to rival his heyday as a 27 year old. Boom.

Sheldon Souray, former and turfed Oiler now playing for the Stars, has been lighting the lamp up like he never could for the Oilers. He's cooled off a little. After all the guy has been through***, I hope he finds success****. 

Paajarvi and Gagner bring a rather cold streak of NOT SCORING into this game. Mike Ribero, who's always been exceptional in Dallas, is cold in scoring and in faceoff play.

Also - did anyone notice RNH is winning faceoffs, and so is Hall? 

Glorious Prediction - After last game, I have this good ol' feeling that the Oilers have re-defined glorious. Eberle gets his turn with the mad hatter and pots in 3 goals. Father Smythmas registers 2 assists - the Oilers take this one 6-1.
Realistic Prediction - It is a road game, after all... The Oilers pull through on this one 3-2. Dubnyk gets the start for unexplicable reason. And the large contingent of Oilers fans (35 dollars for three games - they're getting very desperate for people) boos Souray everytime he touches the puck.
ELPH Prediction - Souray scores twice, just to stick it to his former employers, as the Stars win 5-3. Oilers fans switch their unusual posture of "Won 9-2? We're winning the cup" to "SLASH AND BURN"

**I predicted it. So hah.
***Living in Hershey? OH NO
****Outside the sport of hockey.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Oilers play offence, destroy Blackhawks: The Rundown

  9 -- 2  

Just a note at that witty title - this was the Oilers run-and-gun play that was expected at the beginning of the season, with the talent of Hall, the slickness of Petry, and the absolute domination that is the Nuge.

A game beyond my glorious dreams.

The Bold
Not much really. Just the whole thing.
When you score 9 goals, the audience chants for 10, you look around and you say "this is good". And good it was. It was simply BOLD.

Tom Gilbert played like that guy we fleeced from the Avalanche. He was dynamite, hitting people (which is a career first), pinching like he meant it, playing the point on the power-play (which is a first, because he usually doesn't play a position... come to think of it, the last two years, did we even have a power-play?), and sneaking down for a very sweet goal.

Taylor Hall - dynamite. Hows that to break out of a scoring slump? It should be noted that he does usually slump before hat tricks, as this one was after a 9 game goal drought and his other, against the non-existent Thrashers, was after a 7 game mishap.
More regularity needed.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - woah. He tied a rookie record for most points in a game - 5. He was off Gretzky's mark of 7 assists in one game... by 2. He almost had one with the Hall "what-if-I-attempt-to-dislodge-the-net-with-my-face" in the third period, and could have easily had one with his feed to Eberle when Emery and another unnoted defenseman were trying their best to impersonate fish out of water.

Let Teddy Peckman, who I hated on before the game, be noted.

The Awful
9 goals were scored and assisted by ... 9 people. Hall, Eberle, Petry, Gilbert, RNH, Horcoff, Father Smythmas, Jones, Hemsky.

How's that for secondary scoring? - You say there was none? Hmm...

Also, Chicago's defence. They really really miss Seabrook.

The Horrendous (Things out of our control - this could be renamed)
Duncan Keith's hit on Hall.

Duncan Keith is one of the smarter players in the league, and he knew he did something wrong with that hit. I wouldn't be surprised if Shanny shows up on that party.

And Jones' goal. That shouldn't have gone in. Good things happen when you put pucks on the net.

The Beautiful
My beauty of the day, although there were sooo many to pick from the romp in Edmonton, another destruction in Toronto, ANOTHER crazy game of the Elton John songs in Winnipeg, is going to be Paul Bissonette.

Before you crucify this choice, I'll admit: not the prettiest goal in the books. It's not "beautiful" by any means.
But for a guy so dedicated to "the fan" as Twitter's star and for dedicating it to his mummy, it's beautiful to watch.

Enjoy the story and video here - my beauty of the day!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Chicago at Edmonton, 8:00 PM, HNIC

Game Story

The Chicago Blackhawks, fresh off an embarrassing defeat to the Flames, roll into Edmonton, who hasn't won in what seems like an eternity.

The Oilers have lost four straight: three that they don't need to necessarily apologize for, a drubbing in Boston, an appearance in Detroit, and a failure in Chicago (at least we don't play them any time soon). Last game, however, against Ottawa, should have been a win and was simply depressing to watch.

The Blackhawks find themselves atop the Western Conference, seemingly willingly given up by the Oilers just a few days ago, but lost a sad match against the lowly Flames.

Injury Report
The Oilers, already losing Barker for the long haul and missing Whitney, whose unlucky streak continues into this season, learned that Potter will be out almost a month, while Sutton seems likely to miss 7-10 days.

Look forward to Sutton AND Whitney, however, returning against the Avalanche again. As long as Sutton doesn't go get himself suspended again in Denver.

Gagner (bad back [?]) and Hordichuk (ribs, illness) look to return into the lineup.

My hero, Omark, broke his ankle in the AHL. His chances of making it back to the big dance just got a lot smaller.


Forward Corps (as per practice)
Smyth - RNH - Eberle
Hall - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Gagner - Hemsky
Eager - Belanger - Lander

Questions about the above - WHERES PETRELL!? And also, please don't separate Horcoff and Smyth. Horcoff only, and I mean, only, has chemistry with Father Smythmas.

Smid - Gilbert
Peckham - Petry 
Chorney - Teubert

Questions about the above - Infinite. Play Teubert with Petry for a slicker line. Peckham can't pass.


Questions about the above - Will the real Khabibulin please stand up? The one that was the NHL's third star in October, preferably, over the one who was pulled last game.

Now I'm going to change it up here for pre-game blogs from now on:

I'll start with a GLORIOUS prediction, that is, if all goes well for the Oilers.
Follow it up with a realistic prediction, what should happen
And the ELPH prediction, what will happen if nothing good happens


Glorious Prediction - Looking up at the sky, the NUGE notices that he's playing on HNIC, and decides to follow up his hat trick with a three point night, a goal and two assists, when the Oilers suddenly wake out of their slumber and beat the Blackhawks 4-1.
Likely Prediction - The HHJ line (that horrendous second line) surprises me and scores, but it's not enough to beat Chicago, who waltzes out of Alberta with a 3-1 win.
ELPH Prediction - Patrick Kane looks up at the sky and realizes the Oilers have 2 decent defensemen, 2 decent prospects, and 2 AHLers. He and Toews combine for 8 points as the Blackhawks destroy Edmonton 7-2. 

In life...
I play ball hockey (rec) with the University - I play either goalie or D. This was my first start in net, but I do believe it may be my last. 19-1. That's depressing.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Ottawa at Edmonton: The Rundown

5 - 2

Oh boy.

Oh boy, oh boy.

What else can you say about that game?

First a breakdown: The Bold are things that we did that were good. The Awful are things we did that were just awful. The Horrendous were things that happened to this team that were not under our control. The Beautiful are things (not necessarily from the Oilers) that make the highlight reel.

The Bold
Well, those first 8 minutes were glorious.

Rushing up, we looked like a balanced attacking team. Balanced as in all-out attacking team. RNH should have had at least a goal there, hacking and slashing.

Anton Lander also had a very visible and fantastic overall game. Yeah, it was 5-2, but he scored that one where we could have made a difference*!

The Awful
Our legendary goalies Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk finished the game with a 0.571 and 0.778 save %.

I'll give you a second to ogle those numbers.

To be quite fair, the defence mis-played goal 1, and Khabibulin could do nothing about that sublime shot from Colin Greening. The Daugavins and Michalek goal (especially that Michalek goal, out of position and  caught not going down fast enough) were out of character for this year's Khabibulin.

Both goals Dubnyk let in were ones he'd like to have back. Although that Winchester goal off the non-call was pretty darn exceptional, the bang-and-slash goal in the third period was one that needs to be stopped. Okay, it didn't matter, but still...

And, as a goalie myself, I don't blame them for those bad numbers. You can't win with what happened in the horrendous part of the game. Which happens when you scroll down.

The Horrendous
We finished the game with 4 defensemen. This Oilers blogger expects there to be some serious injuries. We are, after all, the Oilers, and we are blessed with our innate ability to get injured at opportune moments.

Sutton, who's been a pleasant surprise with his defensive abilities, just got back from a suspension, only to tweak his groin in practice.
And Corey Power-Potter Play hurt himself in the second, ill-advisedly played again in the second, and hurt himself worse in the third. You're hurt, brother. Its better for the team if you just got out of there**.

The Beautiful
Craig Smith obviously felt extremely bad for Patrik Stefan all those years ago.

He must have saw his despair, a former first overall pick unable to pot a puck into an empty net and watching it go all the way for another goal across the ice.

And of course, because he felt so bad, he stopped a puck already going in because it was shot by a teammate and roofed the puck into the netting.
Two feet away from the net.

Next game is against the Blackhawks on HNIC tomorrow night at 8. Be there.

*No, no he couldn't, but he tried.
**My personal favorite is Arnold Schwarzenegger's desperate attempt to sound in desperation. 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ottawa at Edmonton, 7:30 pm, SNET-EDM

The snow blows in mystery and suspense
My heart, it beats solemnly for
Something deeper than the present.
It shakes me to the core.

I wait, in silence, for a sign
From some other godly being
To tell me what I'm waiting for
To explain what my eyes aren't seeing.

A true sadness has taken root,
Every minute, I remain empty.
An eager animal, waiting to pounce,
A racing car, a jumping filly.

I lose my own bearing in the present,
Keep on hoping it'll be better then,
I count every tick that passes by,
That brings me closer to my end.

I do not know what silence I keep
Or for what, or when, or why.
All I know is my heart keeps beating,
Waiting to make solace with the sky.

I wrote the above. Critique it if you must. I'll keep my tears to myself.


The Senators season started dramatically, going 0-5-1, but they've righted the ship, now at .500... well, sort of... (9-9-1)

The Oilers season started ridiculously and unexplainably, still sitting at 9-6-2.

Much has been made of the Oilers forward rookies versus the Senators defence rookies tonight. We know the Oilers rookies...

Erik Karlsson has been dynamic for the Sens. His play is a big reason for their turn-around, along with the "excellent play" of Jason Spezza. Jared Cowan, a familiar name for his playing on the World Junior teams that featured our Eberle, has been playing up and down in Ottawa. David Runblad should be traded to Edmonton soon, according to various sources*.

In Edmonton, the story has been (the rookie) NUGE. His excellent start has been as much a factor of his two-way game as it has been his skill. Hall has not hit the scoresheet as much, but his effort cannot be questioned. Or can it**?

A parallel story, of course, has been the re-emergence and obvious-to-happen dominance of FATHER SMYTHMAS. His happy elf, Horcoff, has been a major factor in his giving the Oilers children gifts of winter. His other elves, Ryan Jones and Ales Hemsky, have been playing solid, especially Jones.

I predict a solid game from both sides, many Oilers fans clearly underestimating the man in the other cage, Craig Anderson. But, all in all, the Oilers end up snapping their losing streak.

*Sources that I made up.
**No. It can't.


Well, well. Looks like I'm on the blog-o-sphere.


Well, welcome, first reader, to Oilyfe. I'm the blogger that blogs about the Oilers and life. Separate entities, but interdependent. This, of course, is going to be a growing experience, but hey, what can you do?

I hope to be that blogger that talks about those things that actually mean something. Well, with added delusions of grandeur for effect. Maybe comedy. Maybe seriousness. Maybe both. Come-d-rama.

I'm thinking, may have a poet day. May have Mysterious Fridays. May have cooking tuesdays. You never know. The possibilities are endless when you're having fun!


So thank you for reading, I hope to get this thing off and running soon enough.