Zero wins and zero points this week in Oil Country as the Oilers were trashed a collective 12–5 by the Wild, Avs and Sens. GM Peter Chiarelli has promised to shake up the team and only McDavid is off limits at the trade deadline on Monday. The Oilers are weak, listless, defensively atrocious and waiting for the other shoe to drop from upper management.
Let’s all try to get through this together, shall we? Let’s pour a scotch for the boys and see if they can muster something positive to say about this week in Edmonton hockey.
Wild 5 Oilers 2
Craig Douglas: Special teams did the Oilers in on this night, and some special refereeing probably didn’t help matters, either. The Oil actually played OK during this game—not great or anything, but they (and we) weren’t put to sleep by a matchup with the Minnesota Mild for once (literally once). If the damn Oilers had been able to capitalize on one of their power plays, this game could have maybe been different. Instead, they spent four minutes in the second with a one-man advantage and combined that with the other 16 minutes to only take 10 shots in the frame. They just weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities that they did get. And so it goes: another loss to a stupid team and they sink deeper and deeper in the standings.
Oh, look: there they are at the bottom again! Of course, getting dicked by the refs doesn’t help you win games or improve morale, either—what was that shit when Taylor Hall scored on the delayed penalty call in the second period? On one hand, the Oil played pretty well and maybe even deserved to win this one; on the other hand, this team is going nowhere, and me ranting about incompetent officiating is a waste of everyone’s time.
C’est la vie.
Brent Oliver: I disagree. The Wild are never watchable.
I watched this one, like many current Oilers games, on delayed PVR. I figure if I’m going to be subjected to this nonsense, I can at least get it over with a bit quicker, with less between-period sports pundit analyses about how bad the Oilers really are. I’m well aware of how bad they are. On this night, as soon as the Wild got up 4–2, I turned to my wife and said, “Watch this.” Now, normally when I say “watch this” to my wife, it means something very different, but I digress. I placed my finger over the 4x speed button and watched the Oilers run into trap, after trap, after sped-up-Benny-Hill-esque trap. This game may as well have been 10–2: there was no way the Oilers were overcoming an excellent defensive team in a playoff spot, while on the road. The Wild—to their credit—give no shits about exciting hockey and care only for wins. What a concept.
Avalanche 3 Oilers 2
CD: I didn’t see all of this game, but I didn’t need to see it all to know it was a snooze. Any excitement was derived from yelling and screaming at the shit refereeing—and that is no way to get your excitement. The officiating was straight shit and maybe the Oil could have won with a fair shake, but lately a fair shake has been hard to come by. Don’t get me wrong: they’re not a well-built hockey club by any stretch of any imagination (they’re shit!) but there is not a lot to do lately except watch the losses pile up (what a pile!) and crab about the striped assholes who can’t or won’t do their job properly. The fucking challenge on the Hall goal? The fucking no-call on Eberle getting run into the boards? Ack!
Enough crabbing, though! It’s time again for: “Craig Presents: Real People, Real Questions; Brent Presents: Real Talk, Real Answers.”
~Craig Presents: Real People, Real Questions~
Question 1: Remember wins?
Question 2: Would the Oilers honestly be any worse in most situations if they dressed five forwards and zero D?
Question 3: Got any trade deadline predictions for us?
BO: ~Brent Presents: Real Talk, Real Answers~
Answer 1: No, I don’t remember wins.
Answer 2: No. In fact, I encourage that.
Answer 3: Trade everyone. Seriously, EVERYONE.
Peter Chiarelli has gone on record to say that every player on the roster and the system, excluding McDavid, can be moved—and for the first time in a good 15 years, I agree 100 percent with the Oilers’ current general manager. This is the guy who traded some huge talent in Boston from 2006 to 2009, all to make the team better in the long run. Well, guess what: he did that and they won the Stanley Cup. He knows this team is a hot mess. He also knows this team has hot garbage on the blue line. Remember when he plucked Chára away from the Sens, made him captain and won the Stanley Cup? The front office might be the only thing in which I currently have faith, out of the entire organization. Trade Hall. Trade Yak. Hell, trade Eberle—I don’t care how talented they are, IT’S NOT WORKING. This team plays with no passion, no heart and no desire.
Do your worst.
Also, the Oilers always stink on Hockey Night in Canada. My PVR got another workout.
Senators 4 Oilers 1
CD: Speaking of predictions, let’s start a thing in which we predict the goal totals of the upcoming losses. We can call it Predicsh! I’ll start…
Thursday—Los Angeles: 5–1
Friday—Anaheim: 3–2 (SO)
Sunday—New York: 6–3
There, that was fun—can’t wait to tune in to those losses. Speaking of speaking of predictions, let’s go back and see how shit the Oil have been since the all-star break when Brent and I attempted to prognosticate the remaining two months. I must have been high, because I said that they would go 14–13–5 and I guess Brent was even higher when he predicted that they would win more than 14 games the rest of the way. The dumb fucking Oilers are 3–8 since then, and my new prediction is that they will run the table in reverse and not win again this fucking year. There, that oughta shut ’em up.
Anyway, the Oilers played Ottawa last night and it was fucking pathetic while still being incredibly boring. Justin Schultz had the most ice time for the evening and he was so fucking lousy that I’m becoming convinced it is some sort of performance art. How else to explain his ice time versus incompetence rating (IT:I) being a solid 1.001? He is utterly terrible defensively—like, it’s so bad he has to be doing it on purpose. I think I just convinced myself this is indeed a $4M performance art project designed to see who can figure out they are watching someone trying to fail spectacularly. Either that, or this team is driving me insane. I’m not sure anymore. Fuck this. Get that asshole Schultz off this team and give me back my sanity! Trade him, waive him, whatever it takes.
Not to put all the blame on one player or anything: they were all shit with the notable exceptions of McDavid, ummmm, Talbot, and, hmmmm, maybe Davidson and Hendricks?
BO: Let’s bring it down a notch. Today would have been Dad’s 67th birthday.
I’ve often told tales about how he hated one Oiler every year, and I’m convinced he would have lost his goddamn mind over Justin Schultz being on this team. I can see him now, clasping his hand over his eyes, face towards the heavens, calling out: “Pathetic! What is he doing out there? For God’s sake play defence!” If there’s one piece of Justin Schultz’s horrific play that endears him to me, it’s that I get to hear my Dad’s voice again, yelling at the screen, complaining loudly, then sighing exhaustedly about another year of not making the playoffs and going completely in the wrong direction.
So, I owe Justin Schultz an apology. Thanks for being so bad that I can hear my late Dad.
Now, get the hell off my team.
The Oilers head down to California for back-to-back games in LA, then back home against the Islanders Sunday before the trade deadline. Is this the last version of this team that fans will see? Let’s all bloody hope so, otherwise the last 21 games of the season are going to lose out to spring training baseball—as usual.
See you next week, In The Box