Welcome back to In The Box, your weekly Friday look at the Edmonton Oilers by two schlubs that call themselves journalists. What’s that you say? It’s not Friday? Well, since the NHL and the Collective Bargaining Agreement required every team to take 5 days off at some point in the season, we’re left with 4 games after the All Star Break, then none untilSaturday night. Balderdash! Foo Fer All! Sassafras! Gargamel!!
The boys attempt to breakdown the three game losing streak, the slight slide of McDavid, and moving forward into (hopefully) the playoffs in April.
Wild 5 Oilers 2
Craig Douglas: Was I at this game? Boy, was I at this game. Did it suck? Boy, did it suck!
The reason it/they sucked must be due to rust after the “no one cares all-star break,” but that is no excuse these days. As mentioned, they’ve got another (unwanted by anyone) big old break coming up next week so they had better figure out a way to shake off this so-called rust.
The team played lousy, with the exception of the too little/too late third period and just didn’t look interested when compared to their boring opponents. It was made doubly frustrating by having to sit there and watch them host a festival of giveaways and mistakes, especially when remembering their strong, almost perfect play in California less than a week ago. The Minnesota Mild are ceaselessly boring, so much so that the standout highlight of this game was watching the guy two rows in front of us attempt a fully unnecessary short cut to his seats while dropping a full 20 oz. beer onto the heads of two people. The recipients of the unwanted beer shower were the very same people he was attempting to avoid inconveniencing with his little shortcut. Hey asshole! Sometimes it is just easier to say excuse me and make the people get up and let you into your row – especially when you are carrying two beers and an order of nachos balanced on a shitty cardboard tray. Next time maybe don’t go climbing all over the seats like you’re some sort of hero because you didn’t force three people to get up for five seconds. Oops, instead of having them let you in, you wound up dumping an entire pint on the heads of two of them, and they had to dry off with napkins and apparently ended up leaving after the first period and not returning to their wet seats.
Way to go, guy.
Brent Oliver: I was also at this game and thought the only way I could stomach another incessant boring pounding by the Wild was to drink many, many beers.
I got to the rink nice and early to get my “pre-game skate” in and blew nearly $100 on 4 beers. Who says we’re in a recession, huh?! Anyways, by the middle of the 1st period I had to relieve myself something fierce. I got up from my middle seats and clumsily made my way to the washroom only to find that they were right next to another bar. “Two more pints of lager my good man,” I bellowed. “That’ll be 68 dollars,” the barkeep replied. Turns out I took out a small loan earlier that day in anticipation of seeing the Minnesota ‘Snoozers,’ so I had just enough money left for a delicious tray of warm chips and coagulated orange dip to ease the pain of the game, and my rot gut.
I headed back to my seats and instead of inconveniencing my game mates, I attempted to hop over the back row and nestle gently into my ticketed spot. Dear me! Did I ever make a mess! Sadly, the ergonomically built cups and tray were not built for my 6 foot 5 frame gracefully leaping in the air, and all became dislodged as the offending lager went pouring over my fellow fans. I apologized profusely, but they decided to pursue dry cleaning, or a laundry mat, or something… I wasn’t really sure. In any case, the best part of the story was that no one noticed my minor infraction and I think I got off scott-free. Plus, I had two empty seats for my beers for the rest of the game. Score!
I don’t remember anything after that except for feeling really, really sick. And the Oilers lost. I think.
Predators 2 Oilers 0
CD: Meh, the Oil could have won this game if they’d been willing to show up for the first period and give sixty minutes worth of effort. They did not give sixty and they definitely did not win.
A slow, lethargic start followed by a second period full of giveaways led to them being down 2-0 and looking like shit compared to their opponents. When they finally showed up and turned it on for the third period, it was another one of those nights – way too little and way too late. Talbot was one of the few Oiler players (maybe the only one) who was exempt from criticism when this game was over. He played brilliantly and kept the score from being an out and out embarrassment. There was just no offensive support anywhere in sight for him. This stupid little losing streak is giving me horrible flashbacks to the past few seasons when I was forced to write about loss after loss (after loss after loss after loss after loss) and try to come up with new ways of saying that the effort just wasn’t there but there were glimpses of positive things that they can build on and blah blah fucking blah. Get back to winning!
BO: I also got the shakes from this loss. Too often in the past 10, no – 15, no – 20 years the Oilers failed to show up for a game and this was one of those times. Besides that, Nashville seemed to neutralize Connor McDavid through chippy play, double teaming and zone defence. I’m not complaining about the tactic, just pointing it out that this is something McDavid and the Oilers are going to have to deal with. Game plans for the games that McDavid are neutralized have to be drawn up, because frankly – it’s gonna happen more and more.
Hurricanes 2 Oilers 1
BO: Nothing beats a night out, at a bar, with your 11 year old (in a bar that allows kids) to watch the Oilers play Carolina. Wait—unless they actually win.
I was under the impression that Carolina was a garbage pile, mostly since they haven’t made the playoffs since we last played them in 2006 (Nope. Still not over it), and mostly because Cam Ward is still a goalie in the league. Isn’t he trash? I mean, didn’t he have one good year and has been shit ever since? The guy reminds me so much of the one-time starter goalies that did ok in one playoff run (Olaf Kolzig, John Vanbiesbrouck) only to be a total dirtbag for the rest of his career. Anyways, apparently Staal is also on this team—so good for Carolina.
Speaking of Carolina, some dude named “Aho,” was the best player on the ice, and when that happens – the Oilers seldom beat the other team. McDavid had a very pretty goal after a stick break and replacement, but that wasn’t enough. The stupid Hurricanes, who should move to Hamilton, beat us.
CD: I had the great fortune of missing this stupid game. Apparently some guy named Sebastian Aho scored the game winning goal for Carolina. What in the fuck?
I predict that the players and the fans of the Edmonton Oilers will be super bored all week, since the team is being forced to take its “bye-week” that no one seems to like or want. They have quite a few injuries right about now so I guess if they have to have five days off right after the all-star break, the timing is at least kind of good. We won’t be putting up another column until the following Friday so that still leaves a few games for me to incorrectly predict:
February 11 vs CHI
The Oil will come back flying after this break unlike the crap games they rolled out after the all-star break. The game will be close and rough and incredibly entertaining, maybe the most entertaining game of the Oiler’s 82 regular season match ups. McDavid nets the OT winner on a breakaway with seconds left.
Final score: Oilers 4 Blackhawks 3 OT
February 14 vs ARZ
After that horrible streak of losing to this chump team, the Oil start a streak of their own and they don’t lose to lame Coyotes during the rest of the time that they remain in Phoenix or Glendale or Tempe or wherever the fuck it is that they play and no one gives a shit.
Final score: Oilers 5 Coyotes 1
February 16 vs PHI
The Philadelphia Flyers are stupid.
Final score: Oilers 3 Stupid 1
Oilers 1 Canadiens 0 (SO)
CD: Here are my thoughts about this one:
- I’d tolerate more early-ass morning/afternoon games if they resulted in more Bob Cole and less Remanda and Quinn.
- With the retirement of Raffi Torres it looks like Andrew Shaw is gunning for the title of top asshole in the league. Seriously, I think he might be a psycho.
- Montreal fans are disgusting babies. Booing Connor McDavid and also whining and booing every time their dirty team takes a well-deserved penalty. They make me sick.
- I thought this game was actually pretty exciting despite not featuring a single real goal.
- It’s a damn good thing that the team didn’t go into the unwanted bye week on a four-game losing streak. That would have been unfathomable.
- Saturday seems like a long way off.
BO: I don’t mind giving up the extra loser point to an Eastern Conference team. The Oilers played well enough to win, against the Habs’ back-up goalie, and won in the shootout. I’ll take the two points.
To further chirp on what Craig said – why do Montreal fans boo McDavid? He was being slashed and tripped all day! Is it the same reason you ran Subban out of town – or more correctly – determined Subban was not good for your team? I may have just nailed it. Swish.
Come on Montreal. You’re a hockey town. Respect the best player in the league when he comes to visit.
No games until Saturday night, so you’re all free to “talk to your families” or “go outside” or “care about something else”, but the boys at In The Box expect you right back here on Feb 17th to discuss games against the Hawks, Yotes and Flyers. Can this last game be the start of a new winning streak? Will the 5 days off leave the oilers in a better position for s stretch run? Will they make up some points in the next week through Ducks and Sharks losses?
Ok. Maybe you do need to pay a little bit of attention.
See you next week, In The Box.