Happy New Year Edmonton Oilers Fans! Craig and Brent return from their turkey and scotch induced comas and escape their complicated families over the holidays to see the end of the Oilers 4 game winning streak, start of a 4 game losing streak, and a win last night in the skills competition against the Disney Assholes. If you remember last column (and honestly, in Trump adjusted terms, who can remember anything from 2 weeks ago), Brent mused the following: “Hopefully the Oilers can keep the momentum up against the Habs this weekend before heading into the break… because we’re one 3 game losing streak from being right back in shitsville.” Holy shit! He’s NostraFuckingDomas! The Oilers are indeed in Shittsville and the boys look back on the last couple weeks and look forward to the slog of three more months of Oilers hockey being essentially meaningless. Here at In the Box, we humbly present to you – The Edmonton Oilers 2018 State of the Franchise
Craig Douglas: We are back after the holiday break and the Oilers are riding a one-game winning streak after a four-game losing streak. Things went worse than anyone could have predicted – certainly much worse than I foolishly and optimistically suggested was going to happen. Silly sounding musings that were written before the break such as ‘if they can just win three out of four over Christmas’ and ‘slightly improve on special teams’ are now laughable at best, and idiotic at worst. Until last night, the team hadn’t scored a goal since they scrambled to get a loser point near the end of the Chicago game. They treated the hometown fans to two consecutive shutout losses against the teams they need to beat the most, leading to a lot of people at those games undoubtedly using tickets that they had received as presents and that was the garbage the fucking Oilers served up for them at Christmas.
Here are my thoughts moving forward:
– I don’t want to watch the games any longer, and I have great difficulty imagining someone who does.
– The solace of saying ‘They’ll always be worth watching as long as McDavid is out there is still true, but it’s starting to lose some of its sheen.
– The special teams (that were so good last year) are such shit now that I can’t believe that there hasn’t been anyone fired over it yet.
– The coach and players seem to have quit on each other, the power play is a fucking shambles and the less said about the penalty kill, the better. It seems nothing is being done to attempt to invigorate either of the special teams, but they should probably try something or anything at this point because there is no way for them to be worse.
– Please don’t make another stupid fucking trade anytime soon, Chiarelli. Especially don’t bring truth to the rumors involving RNH and any shitty players from the Montreal Canadiens.
– The last two losses have been so fucking lousy and I’m angry that I managed to watch the majority of them.
– I have to imagine that there are a lot of people who wound up watching both of those games and a now reconsidering how they will spend their precious time in the new year.
– Oh wow, they got Al Montoya after it was far too late.
– What a thoroughly un-fun season this is turning out to be.
Brent Oliver: I can’t put it any better than Craig did above, but I’ll add my 2 cents in saying I don’t think there’s any optimism left in this team. So often over the last twenty years, we could see what wasn’t working with the Edmonton Oilers – lack of scoring depth, sub-par goaltending, Steve Fucking Staios, and similar problems meant year after year of an Oilers team trying to somehow hope things got better, but never really doing anything to right the ship. They traded Yak too late, Hall too late and bumbled a number of draft chances past the 1st round and ended up with the shit stew that we’re all trying to choke through now.
This brings me to the 2018 and beyond Edmonton Oilers. While past teams were clearly lacking in secondary skill and depth, this year’s Edmonton Oilers SHOULD be better than they are – but they aren’t. McDavid is still the best player in the game, but you see other teams adjust to his playmaking and speed. For god’s sake, Anaheim was TRIPLE teaming him last night. Lucic and PoolParty are not the superstars they need to be on the wings and are more Dave Semenko (RSVP CementHead) than Jari Kurri. 90% of our defense from last year is back, and no one seems to know how to stop a goddamn power play anymore and well – Talbot can only stop so many and has been a world beater some games, but below average in others.
So, I’ll echo what Craig said earlier. I think it’s the Coaching. Why aren’t they better on the PP or PK? Why can’t they hold a league? Why do they may so many damn mistakes when trying to win a game? I can’t hide it anymore, but someone on the staff needs to go. Assistants, Special Teams, and dare I say – even Coach Todd – have to be held accountable for this team being unwatchable and even worse – unpredictable. The Oilers will again, miss the playoffs for their 13th time in 15 years and I’m thinking of raising my children as NBA fans.
Oilers 2 Ducks 1 (SO)
CD: There’s no need to bother thoroughly recapping the shitty four-game losing streak that occurred over the holiday break, but here are some brief thoughts on last nights game against stupid fucking Anaheim. I managed to catch the first period, as well as the last five minutes of the third period, the weird overtime, and the annoying shootout. It will always be a treat to defeat the stupid Disney baby movie team, but when they do it from the 26th overall spot in the standings and it moves them into a tie with a fucking pathetic franchise like Florida and leaves the team eight points back of the stupid Disney baby movie team – hardly what I’d call overly satisfying. The Oilers looked pretty good in defeating those shitheads, but at no point did they look like anything resembling a playoff team. All I saw was a team that looked slightly better than 26th overall.
Here are some dire predictions for what lies ahead:
Jan. 6 @ Dallas in the fucking afternoon
The schedule this season is an asshole. Give it a rest with the afternoon games, asshole.
Oil 3 Stars 2 (SO)
Jan. 7 @ Chicago in the fucking afternoon
What in the fuck!? Asshole!
Chicago 6 Oil 2
Jan. 9 @ SMASHVILLE 6:00 fucking PM
Ooooooooohh a night game, what a treat.
SMASHVILLE 4 Oil.
BO: I tuned in to this out of pure masochism. Could the Oilers actually lose 5 in a row, and to the shit birds no less? Well – they certainly tried. While a relatively entertaining game, at no point, did it feel like the Oilers “had this one”, even though the heat was on to end a 4 game losing streak. Once again, McDavid did his best to win the game single-handedly, with a great pass to Kris Russell of all people to pot the only regulation Oilers goal. He still got 1st star, because there was a sense that every time he touched the puck, a voice in his head said “Jesus Christ. I’m Connor Fucking McDavid. I’m gonna win this one by myself.” He would then proceed to be triple teamed and looking for a pass to get out of it, invariably turning it over thanks to Lucic shooting it 9 feet wide, or floating it into the goalie’s pads. Can we just TRY Nuge with McDavid? At this point, anything is better to jump-start the 1st line offense than Milan. Anyways, Ducks got the loser point, which meant we got the winner and the streak is over. Time to play .500 the rest of the season and finish in next to last place while watching a fucking team in Las Vegas compete for the Cup. Shoot me.
Five games coming up, then the Oilers/ NHLPAs bizarre 6 game “by week” off. Maybe the boys’ should have saved the state of the franchise for then? Bah – who cares. Not looking too promising as the schedule makers yet again have the Oilers playing a number of afternoon games to really solidify a dwindling fan base tuning out. You know who won’t be tuning out? Brent and Craig! We guarantee it.*
*Guarantee void if out of playoff spot
We’ll see you next week, In The Box