There's no need to get this excited

Wanye
December 10 2008 11:11AM

Now occasionally your ol’ pal Wanye will find a newspaper on the ground on the way to the liquor store. Occasionally someone literate will split a morning Colt 45 with us and we force them to read us the sports section. Generally we fall down laughing with the nonsense published and today’s puffball by Robert Tychkowski is in rare form.

Now if you don’t feel like reading the entire article we can’t say we blame you. Why not click on the YouTube movie we have provided and we’ll explain the best parts to you? Yeah, that’s the stuff. They go hand in hand don’t they?

The long and the short of the article is basically this: “My, the Oilers have had a tough start to the year. Lucky it’s not their fault! Instead it is the schedule that has the team two games over .500 and in the Shitanusly® mediocre position in the standings. It’s certainly not the dozens of problems that are evident with every part of the team. Well, thank heavens for that.”

From the ‘article’

RT: Finally, a full eight weeks into the season, we get our first real look at the Edmonton Oilers.

WG: Well, this starts off with an objective bang, doesn’t it? This leading sentence screams “I am a robot who is built to do one thing -- serve my overlords on Kingsway Avenue. Beep boop beep.” Tsk tsk.

RT: The first 26 games, a gruelling, torturous and borderline unfair schedule that sent the Oilers into survival mode from the get go, told us nothing.

WG: It’s certainly not the lack of offence, physical play, defence or consistent effort that’s been the problem this year. It’s a bunch of hosebags in NYC in the schedule department that don’t want to see the Oilers succeed. How unfortunate.

RT: Up until now, there's been no way to tell if the Oilers are any good or not, and certainly no means of determining if they're capable of contending for the division lead, as so many of them predicted in training camp.

WG: Er... What? There has been no way to tell? Oh, Robert, no (shakes head sadly). We think there’s been an excellent way to tell how good the Oilers have been so far. It’s the 1560 hours of hockey that they have played since early October and their 13-11-2 record. This is a pretty indication of how good they are, wouldn’t you think?

RT: Despite near panic in some corners of the fan base and cries for a coaching change in others, it's simply not fair to judge anything based on a ridiculous, never-ending road trip.

WG: Really, dude? It’s simply not fair to judge? What on Earth are you talking about? Are you looking to upgrade your seat on the Oilers plane closer to the washroom? Are you paid in Oilers merchandise these days? If we wrote something this stupid guys like Ender and Dennis would have us for breakfast. Baggedmilk would kick us so hard in the beans that we would be sent back in time. You just can’t print this tripe and expect us to swallow it, can you?

Then he brings the good Captain into his den of lies: "The good thing about [the tough schedule to start the year] is we got through it OK."

RT then gushes: Better than OK. If you are going to grade the first 26 games, give it a B+. Coming out of it two games over .500, given the sophomore jinxes and the slumps, is really very good.

WG: Better than OK? Being in 10th place after 26 games after MacT basically told everyone that this team was going to contend for the Northwest in training camp? Better than OK? Better to gouge out your eyes and live out your days blind than run the risk of reading this crap, we think.

To close, Tychkowski puts his tough-guy pants on and really nails it on the head with some hard-hitting journalism as we look to the next chunk of games:

RT: It's showtime. They had a legitimate excuse for not looking their best over the first 26 games, now they don't. The Oilers have to flick a switch and start playing at about a .700 clip, which isn't going to happen automatically just because they're at home.

WG: Good Gods, man. This is why we don’t read the newspaper anymore.

“I’m really sensitive -- some say that’s a plus. Now I’ll go home and change.”

-- Schremp Watch: 3 GP, 0 G, 3 A, 3 Pts

-- Are you voting for Souray to be in the All Star Game? You should be.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 bingofuel
December 10 2008, 11:19AM
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Love the vid, Wanye. Sounds like RT may have had a similar premature accident in his own pants. The proof of the Oil's abilities to be division contenders will be in the pudding.

We can dole out the blame paste later.

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#2 Fiveandagame
December 10 2008, 11:24AM
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I sadly read this earlier today , then considered sending him some kool-aid. Then condidered sending him Baggedmilk and Jeanshorts for an up close and personal Sack beating. Then I considered another morning 6 pak, then I pretty much lost track of where I was, then I mistakenly went back and read the article not remembering I had read it, THEN I wen through the whole process again.

DUDE is a TOOL! THERE ARE NO EXCUSES IN HOCKEY!!

If the Oilers could say that they played as hard as they could, that they gave it their all, that a team effort was there every night from the drop of the puck, yeah we could be happy with a winning record. But when a team fails to show up for the first period on more than half of their games, you can most definitely judge them.

ON the plus side the Oilers of late have had better efforts from everyone for almost the entire 60mins of hockey...which is good.

All the fans in Edmonton want is a time that battles hard every night. Win or lose we'd be happy with hard work, and as fan a lot of nights we weren't getting that.

Dude is a joke....

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#3 baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 11:28AM
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Not only would I kick the beans, I would launch myself from a 34 foot Catapult resulting in the world's most powerful (and devastating) drop kick ever recorded. Testicals would rupture, and future generations will be born with underbites and 4 Simpson-like fingers.

Do you want that, Robert Tychkowski? Chances are you do not, and you definitely don't want baggedmilk baring down on you in the "Fire MacT Bandwagon" which has more power than all of hell's chariots combined. Don't give me your sunshine and blow(pops) RT because they're not welcome anymore.

The Nation demands results, and no schedule maker in NYC, failed voodoo dolls, or Rod Phillips' sloppy seconds will change that. For shame, RT, I hope you got a few pairs of Oilers jammies because you sh*t the bed with that article.

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#4 RobinB
December 10 2008, 11:32AM
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Wanye: Do you get somebody to read the newspaper articles for you?

You sound a bit sour in accusing T of being nose deep in Oiler crack. You KNEW what to expect. You KNEW a division title was a pipe dream. Somebody wrote it right here at ON during the pre-season. Wanye? No. Willis? No. DJ? Pfft. You were warned.

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#5 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 11:39AM
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@ RobinB:

"Occasionally someone literate will split a morning Colt 45 with us and we force them to read us the sports section."

Yes I do get someone to read the articles to me.

My issue isn't really with the NW division being a pipe dream. My issue is the absolute nonsense that passes for coverage of the Oilers in the mainstream newspapers these days. It's getting worse with every season. Compare and contrast your last 5 articles with articles on the same topic in the Journal and the Sun Robin. I have - the papers are really sliding into a whirlpool of crap. Half the facts I read on the Nation aren't even AVAILABLE from any MSM source.

The dumbing down of Oilers fans is a serious issue. It's demeaning to the sport and ultimately bad for fan interest in the long run.

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#6 Ender the Dragon
December 10 2008, 11:39AM
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RT writes for the SUN. The SUN is all about shock value and provoking a reader response. What better way to achieve one's objective? Unconventional, perhaps, but you gotta give him that he's certainly provoked reader response. Maybe the story could be reprinted in the Weekly World News?

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#7 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 11:43AM
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@ Ender the Dragon:

The Sun wants to shock readers with the poor quality of their editorial pieces? I think you need to shock people into thinking differently - not shocking them with how unobjective print media has become.

You want to shock someone? Post an article with an SNL short music video called "jizz in my pants" ft. JT as it's picture.

My pulitzer can be sent via email to wanyegretz@gmail.com

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#8 Rick
December 10 2008, 11:52AM
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I agree that the fashion in which the Oilers have collected points has been less than encouraging but I don't see why pointing out the schedule is equivelant to drinking the kool-aid.

Is it reasonable to say that the few games that Edmonton has played at home is neither enough to judge them accurately on home ice or were the type of homestands that really allows a team to get some traction in racking up wins?

If it is then maybe it's worth pointing out the Oilers are 5th in the conference in road winning perecentage.

Not the stuff divisional champs are made of (although they are better than them as well) but encouraging enough to believe that if they do what they are supposed to do at home, they will be in fine shape come spring time.

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#9 The Towel Boy
December 10 2008, 11:53AM
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I hate reading newspapers. The only thing they're good for is making giant paper airplanes and pirate hats.

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#10 baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 11:58AM
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RobinB wrote:

You sound a bit sour in accusing T of being nose deep in Oiler crack.

Robin,

The problem is not just with the Oilers poor performance so far this season. We are all fans and have come to expect mediocrity. The real problem is that "journalists" like Robert Tychkowski keep telling us everything is ok and riding excuse after excuse.

Almost all Oilers related segments lay blame on everyone other than the Oilers themselves. Everyone is quick to jump on players when they're not performing, but not one local personality has questioned the managing of this team and how they're using the assets. Because Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe are glory day icons they have become untouchable by the mainstream. Spector wrote a great piece on MacT being in the hot seat, but no one here acknowledged it.

I may as well toss on my baggedmilk train conductor hat and then maybe I too could write for the Sun or Journal. All these guys are taking rides and there's only one way for the train to go, and it's whichever direction the Oilers tell them to.

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#11 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 12:00PM
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@ Rick:

Let's compare and contrast the two of you.

You: Is it reasonable to say that the few games that Edmonton has played at home is neither enough to judge them accurately on home ice or were the type of homestands that really allows a team to get some traction in racking up wins?

RT: Up until now, there’s been no way to tell if the Oilers are any good or not, and certainly no means of determining if they’re capable of contending for the division lead, as so many of them predicted in training camp.

Your statement is well thought out and reasoned Rick. It is completely reasonable to say that the Oil are possibly lower in the standings because of a difficult schedule. But statements like "there's been no way to tell if the Oilers are any good or not" is a wild exaggeration and not worth the print it's written on.

I'd read you over RT any day Rick.

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#12 Jonathan Willis
December 10 2008, 12:12PM
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RobinB wrote:

Wanye: Do you get somebody to read the newspaper articles for you? You sound a bit sour in accusing T of being nose deep in Oiler crack. You KNEW what to expect. You KNEW a division title was a pipe dream. Somebody wrote it right here at ON during the pre-season. Wanye? No. Willis? No. DJ? Pfft. You were warned.

In fairness Robin, I did say that while I though the Oilers were a playoff team, I only expected them to contend with Calgary for 2nd in the division.

Pretty sure that prediction looks good so far.

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#13 Jonathan Willis
December 10 2008, 12:13PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

The Sun wants to shock readers with the poor quality of their editorial pieces?

The poor quality of the Sun's editorials has always shocked me.

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#14 Jonathan Willis
December 10 2008, 12:15PM
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Wanye Gretz wrote:

Compare and contrast your last 5 articles with articles on the same topic in the Journal and the Sun Robin. I have - the papers are really sliding into a whirlpool of crap. Half the facts I read on the Nation aren’t even AVAILABLE from any MSM source.

That, at the risk of complimenting Brownlee/Gregor is exactly true. They've done a tremendous job telling us about lineup decisions and some of the behind-the-scenes thought process going on with the Oilers.

Personally, if I want up-to-date information on the team, the first people I read are those two.

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#15 baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 12:42PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I agree with you, JW. Brownlee and Gregor are as important to OilersNation as the Rough Riders are to Saskatchewan. Brownlee has also taken it upon himself to take on the role of mentor and life coach for jeanshorts and myself. He's a stand up guy, and we're learning a lot.

Thanks for the wisdom, Robin, but there's not enough money in the world to thank you for the memories.

*manly tear*

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#16 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 12:53PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Personally, if I want up-to-date information on the team, the first people I read are those two.

baggedmilk wrote:

Brownlee has also taken it upon himself to take on the role of mentor and life coach for jeanshorts and myself.

Well this is just turning into a love-in now isn't it? Ugh. Is ANYONE finding that music video as entertaining as I am?

For reals though, the best thing about RB and JG is their willingness to say what is actually going on - not what they are told to say. This is the basic reason for the OilersNation. We got tired of reading/watching glossed over trash that had no resemblance of what is actually going on and wanted to read the truth.

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#17 I Am The Law
December 10 2008, 01:02PM
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Stupid question:

With the complaining about a "borderline unfair schedule", wasn't it because RX1 decided to host some sort of rodeo, and the Oilers were thus forced to play on the road (kind of like the NYR used to do every spring when the Barnum and Bailey circus came to town)? While the schedule has been a bit excessive, it seems like closing off access to your arena for one or two weeks screams out for long road trips...

As said by everyone else above, it's someone else's fault, but upper management is somehow completely blameless...

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#18 Bruthah
December 10 2008, 01:07PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Instead it is the schedule that has the team two games over .500 and in the Shitanusly® mediocre position in the standings.

Is everybody else in agreement that a record of 13-11-2 is a 2 games over .500 record? Seems like a .500 record to me, since those last 2 are overtime losses. Sure, the team got a point for it, but a loss is a loss.

I was trying to think of some big point to this statement, but fell short. Comments anybody?

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#19 Bruthah
December 10 2008, 01:08PM
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Crap, that was supposed to be a Wanye quote, not J-Dub.

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#20 RBK
December 10 2008, 01:08PM
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@ Bruthah: I was trying to think of some big point to this statement, but fell short. Comments anybody?

I tend to agree Bruthah. But points are points in this NHL so let's take it for what it is. It now takes 110 points to get into the playoffs for a reason ;)

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#21 Travis Dakin
December 10 2008, 01:10PM
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Bruthah wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Instead it is the schedule that has the team two games over .500 and in the Shitanusly® mediocre position in the standings. Is everybody else in agreement that a record of 13-11-2 is a 2 games over .500 record? Seems like a .500 record to me, since those last 2 are overtime losses. Sure, the team got a point for it, but a loss is a loss. I was trying to think of some big point to this statement, but fell short. Comments anybody?

Holy man EXACLTY!!!

A loss is a loss is loss. This team is .500 No more, No less.

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#22 RobinB
December 10 2008, 01:26PM
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Guys: One thing that strikes me as a glaring example of throwing underhand is the basic premise of this column.

"Finally, a full eight weeks into the season, we get our first real look at the Edmonton Oilers. The first 26 games, a gruelling, torturous and borderline unfair schedule that sent the Oilers into survival mode from the get go, told us nothing."

But at least it's over. Now that the club is rested, recovered and unpacked for an extended stay at Rexall Place, where it will play 12 of its next 15, we can, at long last, see what we've got here."

Yes, having 18 of the first 26 games on the road certainly constitutes of tough schedule, but it tells us NOTHING???

So, how does swinging to the opposite end of the spectrum with a ridiculously favourable home schedule -- isn't playing 12 out of 15 games at home an even higher percentage than 18 of 26 on the road? -- translate to "we can see what we've got here?"

Seems like pretty selective logic.

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#23 baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 01:39PM
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@ RobinB:

Selective is an understatement. Robert Tychkowski is awful, but on the bright side, his completely biased garbage will inspire all sorts of CON-ED students to finish off those night classes at MacEwan and get a job for the sun.

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#24 Rick
December 10 2008, 01:44PM
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@ RobinB:

When talking about sports isn't EVERYTHING selective logic?

I mean holy shit look at what the stat proponents try and prove.

How about this for selective, despite a much more difficult schedule this season the Oilers are 5 points ahead of where they were at the same time last year.

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#25 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 01:49PM
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Rick wrote:

How about this for selective, despite a much more difficult schedule this season the Oilers are 5 points ahead of where they were at the same time last year.

See if RT had written this, I would have had to connect this video to another topic entirely. Why not say that fact if you are RT? It's concise, can't be argued with and makes your point nicely.

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#26 baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 02:06PM
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@ RobinB:

Although your rant was removed, I read it and will let you know.

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#27 Jonathan Willis
December 10 2008, 02:10PM
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Rick wrote:

When talking about sports isn’t EVERYTHING selective logic? I mean holy shit look at what the stat proponents try and prove.

I think you just proved your point about using selective logic - unless you really think the fellows at THN who come up with things like the "Goalie Confidence Index" and "Intimidation Quotient" really fit in the same tent as guys using math from a level higher than grade 10.

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#28 Cam
December 10 2008, 02:17PM
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This isn't the same team that played the last 20 games of the schedule last year, and that was the team everyone expected for the first 26 games. The personnel was supposed to have improved and so the expectation was that there wouldn't be a drop off; I can see a division title if that expectation was met.

It wasn't.

Yes it has been a rotten schedule, but as shown in the home games vs LA and the Leafs - there is a bigger issue than the schedule. They just didn't show up for a lot of games.

Ever since Penner came backand started playing like the player that he is being paid to be, the team has taken it up a notch. Penner, Horcoff and Cogliano have gotten back into their old form and now the wins are starting to come.

We could be drinking the koolaid yet, you guys. I think this team is starting to wake up.

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#29 The Towel Boy
December 10 2008, 02:19PM
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Bruthah wrote:

Is everybody else in agreement that a record of 13-11-2 is a 2 games over .500 record? Seems like a .500 record to me, since those last 2 are overtime losses. Sure, the team got a point for it, but a loss is a loss. I was trying to think of some big point to this statement, but fell short. Comments anybody?

I'd just like to go on record as saying I think the loser point is the stupidest thing ever. You lose...you shouldn't get rewarded...whether it be shootout or overtime loss....no win...NO POINTS.

GAWD!

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#30 Rick
December 10 2008, 02:24PM
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@ Jonathan Willis:

I don't really know what to do with that.

I take it you disagree, oh well.

Almost all stats are selective and often they get manipulated in ways to try and demonstrate way more than what can be considered reasonable.

No matter what level math is used.

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#31 Shakey
December 10 2008, 02:25PM
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So an extended home stay is more important than an extended road trip? Isn't the road where teams 'become teams'and gel and bond? Away from all the distractions of family and local media where they can just go out and focus on hockey (unless your Gilbert and Gagne and want to go see High School Musical the Musical on Broadway). It sounds stupid saying it but all teams play on the road and it's weak when you use the schedule as an excuse for under-performing. Did Mac T mean we were going to compete for the NW title by winning only at home? No...you need to win on the road. Teams that were here in November won on the road. Robert Tychkowski, shouldn't you be working on a Sean Avery story?

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#32 Chris
December 10 2008, 02:28PM
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The "Oiler Hype Machine" makes me sick... only because I regularly become a victim of it. N.W. Title? My brain says no but my heart says yes! Now let's have the main stream media pull at my heart strings...serve up some Kool-Aid...I BELIEVE!

It's not just the Sun: it's systemic. I remember listening to a post game wrap up show on CHED and Buchberger actually said to Stauffer that we were going to match the Red Wings skill in our upcoming RX1 tilt...AND STAUFFER LET IT GO!!!!! C'mon...Are they drugging him?

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#33 Bruthah
December 10 2008, 02:34PM
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The Towel Boy wrote:

Bruthah wrote: Is everybody else in agreement that a record of 13-11-2 is a 2 games over .500 record? Seems like a .500 record to me, since those last 2 are overtime losses. Sure, the team got a point for it, but a loss is a loss. I was trying to think of some big point to this statement, but fell short. Comments anybody? I’d just like to go on record as saying I think the loser point is the stupidest thing ever. You lose…you shouldn’t get rewarded…whether it be shootout or overtime loss….no win…NO POINTS. GAWD!

I agree, sudden death until somebody wins. Wins and losses, no other columns.

OR

If the league really feel teams need to be given a 'participation' point for overtime losses, how about the league give 3 points for a regulation win and 2 for an overtime win. Reward teams for destroying other teams. Teams will try harder for regulation wins and that sounds like good hockey in my books.

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#34 RBK
December 10 2008, 02:44PM
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Chris wrote:

C’mon…Are they drugging him?

If they are - I know where they are getting the drugs for less than retail pricing!

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#35 Antony Ta
December 10 2008, 02:54PM
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This RT is up there with Garrioch

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#36 sittingatmy desk
December 10 2008, 02:59PM
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lets get rid of RT and bring in DVD, he's way better....

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#37 HUGE baggedmilk fan AKA baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 02:59PM
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I think the Sun should give all Robert Tychkowski to this stand up fella that calls himself baggedmilk. This guy has got the skills, boi. Wetness enducing dresser too.

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#38 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 03:06PM
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I recently spotted a group of teen-aged girls down at the local Malted Shoppe dancing to the fresh new sounds of baggedmilk. The kids dig his rock and roll sounds!

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#39 baggedmilk is (better) than (someone)
December 10 2008, 03:11PM
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I recently spotted a group of teen-aged girls down at the local shopping centre getting (somethinged) and placed (some part) of baggedmilks (something.) They aren't big fans.

Wanye note: See - censorship free around here!

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#40 HUGE baggedmilk fan AKA baggedmilk
December 10 2008, 03:34PM
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Those tweens were losing their bowels to the slow jam deliciously entitled 'Statutory'

It's a hot new track from the forthcoming album "Young Enough for Disney, Old Enough to get Bread"

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#41 Gord
December 10 2008, 03:35PM
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The extra point was implimented to intice teams to try to win rather than let the game finish as a draw. Now that there are shoot outs to determine a winner/loser, the single point for an OT loss should be elimiated as there is no longer a reason to play for a tie.

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#42 Hoodlum
December 10 2008, 03:56PM
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Or....no points awarded until the shootout. Once OT is over, both teams get a point and then the shootout for the extra point. This gives teams a reason to play in overtime instead of sitting back and waiting for a shootout and it keeps the shootout as relevant as it ever was.@ Bruthah:

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#43 Chris
December 10 2008, 04:08PM
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I vote for no loser points. Lose in OT...loser. Lose in shootout...Loser. I guess some may argue that shootouts are unfair and not indicative of team play... Then maybe we should consider offering no points to either team at the conclusion of OT and no shootout. To garner two points you have to win. A tie means you both lose. Harsh; but I bet OT would be wild! I also bet a team that puts together a dominant streak of games could climb fast in the standings. Never going to happen. But I say, "Why not?" This isn't kindergarden...It's not Everyone-Gets-A-Trophy-Day...Fight for WINS!

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#44 Gord
December 10 2008, 04:11PM
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@ Hoodlum: That doesn't change the fact that some games are worth 2 points and others are worth 3. Either all games should be worth a total of 2 points or all games should be worth a total of 3 points. Now that there is a winner and a loser in every game, 2 points for a win and 0 for a loss should be awarded regardless if it's regulation, OT or shoot out.

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#45 Dennis
December 10 2008, 04:14PM
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1: Anytime you break things down Fire-Joe-Morgan-style, you should give praise to FJM;)

2: The real article to pick on today was Ireland's "treatment" of the PK woes.

The blog post should've been "Ireland locates target, misses mark."

She went into how bad the PK was but without getting why we miss Stoll and Reasoner and/or those types because faceoffs are even more important this year with the new rule decreeing that every PP draw comes in the O zone, the Oilers no longer block shots and, lastly, how this team doesn't have enough true proven PKers to lead us to realistically expect the rates to improve anytime soon.

She might also have taken the time to mention that our best non-faceoff-taking PKer is on the shelf, ie Pisani.

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#46 Wanye Gretz
December 10 2008, 04:28PM
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@ Dennis: At the risk of sounding like a supreme idiot - who is Fire-Joe-Morgan?

Wasn't he a reserve running back for the Ticats in 1976?

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#47 Dennis
December 10 2008, 04:50PM
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Geebus, Gretz.

http://www.firejoemorgan.com/

Prepare to get lost for hours.

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#48 Doogie2K
December 10 2008, 05:05PM
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Since we're on the subject of teabagging the MSM, has anyone gotten into the Oilers' seeming complete unwillingness to block shots this year? Was this mentioned as a new coaching edict, or something? Because it seems like an obvious source of problems on the PK, but I've heard nothing about it from colour commentators, intermission analysis, or the limited fishwrap material I've seen.

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#49 David S
December 10 2008, 05:26PM
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So can I assume your mom was out getting groceries when you wrote this Wanye? What about the children? My god, the children.

Its long been my suspicion that this schedule has basically put the team in survival mode (as T states), despite the fact that MacT is still stuck with developing about half his roster. Tychkowski may have a sense of the over dramatic, but his basic premise might not be too far off.

Problem is that the team can't complain too much about the scehdule because until they get their own arena, they are the CFR's (read Northlands) b*tch. Besides, how can a bunch of gazillionaires complain about a tough schedule to joe fan and not come off like a whiny schoolgirl.

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#50 Ender the Dragon
December 10 2008, 05:36PM
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Gord wrote:

The extra point was implimented to intice teams to try to win rather than let the game finish as a draw. Now that there are shoot outs to determine a winner/loser, the single point for an OT loss should be elimiated as there is no longer a reason to play for a tie.

I think you're close, Gord, but still missing something fundimental to the argument. When loser points were awarded, the reasoning behind it was this:

Team A and Team B are deadlocked in the final five minutes of regulation. Both teams know that if the game ends in a tie (remember, back when this rule was implemented, sister-kissers still existed) then they get a point. The league worried that teams would, as a result, play an ultra-conservative game in OT by thinking the point-in-hand was worth more than risking getting nothing if they lost. To offset this mentality, the league said 'Here's your bloody point already. Now go out there and play some exciting hockey in OT and try and get the second point; you now have nothing to lose (unless it's a conference rival and the second point to the other team knocks you out of the playoffs, but let's not complicate things any further).

The result of this was that while teams did play more full-out in OT, the last 5 minutes of regulation remained a conservative, dull part of the game as teams tried to ensure that they were awarded at least a loser point by making it to OT.

Then along came shootouts, and this changed the mentality in OT. Now, there were two ways to get the extra point; by scoring in OT, or by lighting up the opposing goalie in the shootout. Thus, game strategies started to differ from team to team. If you were a really hot shootout team (remember the Oilers, anyone?), it played to your advantage to play the trap in OT and try to get your best three skaters on the ice alone 5 minutes later. This led to more boring OT again.

This brings us to today. What happens if we abolish the 'loser point' and say winners get points and losers get nothing? I'll tell you what will happen; history will repeat itself, teams will tighten up defensively, play the trap, and play the most boring third period and OT sessions you have ever seen, playing not to lose rather than opening up the game trying to win. Sure, the shootout will still be exciting, but now a lot more games will be decided by who has the best shootout lineup, not by who has the best hockey team.

What's the solution? Probably the best is to leave it the way it is; yeah, it ain't perfect, but everyone at least knows this system and they're still playing reasonably exciting hockey late in the game and the end product is what matters. If you argue that it absolutely must be tweaked, then maybe you could award three points in every game; all three to one team for a regulation win, and do a 2-1 split on games decided in OT. This system would at least entice teams to play right to the whistle in the third period unless they accept that they're kissing off a potential third point in the standings to play the trap and lock in their loser point. Thoughts?

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