Oilers Vs. Flames: Pathetic In Every Imaginable Way

Jonathan Willis
January 30 2010 11:54PM

Calgary Flames: 6

Edmonton Oilers: 1

I ended up watching this game without my laptop, so unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have the more in-depth analysis tonight.

God willing, though, I’ll never have to listen to the CBC “C” squad again. Mark Lee was actually slightly better than I remember him, but good lord was Kevin Weekes a train wreck. Aside from the few moments where he made blindingly obvious statements (‘so good on the defenceman for skating there,’ ‘as a goalie when a guy bowls you in that can be tough’) I wasn’t even sure we were watching the same sport, never mind the same game. I’d thought I’d hit the highest possible level of announcer annoyance with John Garrett in the last Canucks game, but Weekes managed to raise the bar. It was the worst commentating I’ve heard, ever. He made no comment all night that wasn’t either a) wrong or b) a brutally obvious generalization or c) a repetition of what Mark Lee had just said or d) a combination of any or all of the first three. His performance was so bad that it could accurately be described as worse than the Oilers’, which I’ll address presently.

The Oilers were simply miserable tonight.

Their goaltender was shaky from his first play: he was shaky skating from the net, he was shaky moving the puck, and he was shaky in the crease.

The defence was a disaster; Sheldon Souray gift-wrapped a goal and showed a lack of discipline and may have been injured, Lubomir Visnovsky was uncharacteristically poor in his own end, Jason Strudwick is not an NHL player and probably isn’t an ECHL-level skater, and Taylor Chorney was out of his depth in the AHL. On the plus side, Tom Gilbert wasn’t awful.

Up front, the forward corps mysteriously lacked Mike Comrie, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Ethan Moreau was out a-chopping, as he does. Jean-Francois Jacques doesn’t really need to play with a hockey stick; it’s superfluous to what he does out there. Robert Nilsson made a bunch of brilliant passes, half of them to teammates. Dustin Penner seems to have lost a step. Shawn Horcoff is clearly frustrated out there (although that resulted in a fight). Marc Pouliot had his worst game since coming back. Again, on the plus side: Sam Gagner was pretty good.

One final point: Lee and Weekes both seemed to be describing a spiritual experience as they gushed about the physical play and courage of Phaneuf, Regehr and Glencross. Particularly appealing were hits on O’Sullivan, Brule, Nilsson, Visnovsky, and Potulny. I just wanted to chime in with my agreement; after all, there’s nothing quite so courageous as hitting a guy 4” shorter and 50 lbs lighter (please note: I’m not complaining about the hits; I’m saying that “courage” is the wrong word to use).

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 The Real Scuba Steve
January 30 2010, 11:57PM
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When are we gonna hit rock bottom?

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#2 Oil_Man
January 30 2010, 11:59PM
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Another sad game and now with souray out with a fractured hand we will most likely set a new league record for losses...However I will still be there watching and listening to my favorite hockey team in hope next season might be better.

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#3 The Real Scuba Steve
January 31 2010, 12:09AM
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Oil_Man wrote:

Another sad game and now with souray out with a fractured hand we will most likely set a new league record for losses...However I will still be there watching and listening to my favorite hockey team in hope next season might be better.

Souray out with a fractured hand?

Well we have to wait to the off season to see some changes.

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#4 DonDon
January 31 2010, 12:20AM
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Six games vs. Calgary and six loses! If the dimbbulbs in Oilers' hockey operations don't understand that if this franchise is ever to compete for a playoff position they must select personnel that can eventually challenge Calgary and other teams in the Western Conference. They are laughing at the Oilers in Calgary, and for good reason. The DDF is alive and well in Oilersnation.

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#5 Eddie Shore
January 31 2010, 12:23AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

Souray out with a fractured hand?

Well we have to wait to the off season to see some changes.

I actually started laughing out loud when I heard this on tsn. Of course he broke his hand.

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#6 Twiggs
January 31 2010, 12:23AM
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*hangs head*

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#7 Mad Mike
January 31 2010, 01:11AM
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Well if his hand is broke he should freeze it and keep playing every night. A big part of why these guys can't win is because they are a bunch of sucks. Pro bull rider Don Gay once rode half a season with his riding hand broke. In fact, two summers ago I broke three vertibrae in my back. The doctor who looked at my x-rays must have been on glue, because he said nothing was broken. I wound up working for a week and a half until the radiologist got a hold of me, and kept working because by that time the pain wasn't quite as bad. The point of my storey is if it isn't gonna kill you, get your ass to work!

Every night 17,000 fans pay good money to watch the Oilers. The Edmonton Oilers! Not this bunch of ............ pussies.

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#8 hatecrime
January 31 2010, 01:23AM
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i can't believe heads have not rolled yet.how long before katz snaps and says wtf?

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#9 misfit
January 31 2010, 01:26AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

When are we gonna hit rock bottom?

Oh man, you don't think it could actually get WORSE, do you?

...could it?

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#10 misfit
January 31 2010, 01:40AM
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I'm starting to get on board with the idea of Tabellini going "star hunting" this offseason, even if it means signing a 299 year old Jagr, if only for the psyche of the players who do return. I believe in the ability of guys like Visnovsky, Horcoff, Gilbert, etc., but after a season like this, they're going to need a shot of hope (which I doubt any of them are going to get from yet another 18 year old joining the team) to stave off post traumatic stress disorder and be able to go back to being productive NHLers.

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#11 Ambassador humantorch
January 31 2010, 01:42AM
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I guess that flushes our chances of trading Souray this season. Fucking yay.

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#12 Nate Full of Hate
January 31 2010, 02:05AM
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Post game drinks at Osteria de Medici???

Looks like Sheldon can head down to Palm Springs afterall...

What is the Oilers "magic number" to clinch last?

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#13 matt
January 31 2010, 02:15AM
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I couldn't agree more, the tandem of Mark Lee and Kevin Weekes is absolutely HORRIBLE! Just terrible.

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#14 jeanshorts
January 31 2010, 02:20AM
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"On the plus side, Tom Gilbert wasn’t awful."

hahaha that made me laugh out loud.

*vomits all over himself in celebration*

Wow, this DFF is really awesome fun, huh!

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#15 DrPow
January 31 2010, 02:56AM
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Lee and Weekes couldn't even get the damn city or arena they were in right. Hopefully after the Flames miss the playoffs by a single point or get swept in Round 1, Conroy hangs em up and punts Weekes to the curb.

Love the comment regarding JFJ. Hilarious.

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#16 maverick
January 31 2010, 03:53AM
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Souray hurt!? Haha, I can't help but laugh when I heard that. Sure glad, Tambellini is still pondering and thinking what he should do... now he won't be able to move a hurt souray. Too funny. Its on to plan B or C or is it D. On a side note when CBC showed a shot of Tambellini last night I swear I heard this sound ... "meow, meow, meow, meow"

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#17 Bryant
January 31 2010, 04:33AM
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DFF? we dont have to dive, what we need is a nuke to start over and dive for the next 2 years if they sign some big names they are dumb and should all be fired this team is terrible. dump Hemsky in the off season and any other player over 25 and load up on draft picks.

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#18 jake
January 31 2010, 05:18AM
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jeanshorts wrote:

"On the plus side, Tom Gilbert wasn’t awful."

hahaha that made me laugh out loud.

*vomits all over himself in celebration*

Wow, this DFF is really awesome fun, huh!

Gilbert should be wearing dresses. Physical contact allergy. Gets beat wide so easily (see 2nd goal). Gee they were bad out there.

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#19 Halfwise
January 31 2010, 07:14AM
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I have been thinking about Tambellini's repeated statements that "the players have to be accountable for their play" as if that was some justification for management being unable to assemble a competitive team even at the ECHL level.

OK Steve, you're right. Now, what does management have to be accountable for, and what does accountability look like when it's happening?

The boys are whipped in every way. It's one thing to say "We need to see what they're made of" but when it turns into humiliation of Biblical proportions, this fan and season ticket holder has seen enough.

I think I can see what management is made of. I have no first hand experience with colonic irrigation but I believe there is a resemblance.

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#20 OilW30
January 31 2010, 07:30AM
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In Fall for Hall news, the Leafs are about to take themselves out of the running:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308448

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#21 omg wfs
January 31 2010, 07:34AM
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Oil_Man wrote:

Another sad game and now with souray out with a fractured hand we will most likely set a new league record for losses...However I will still be there watching and listening to my favorite hockey team in hope next season might be better.

Without Souray the team can only be better! He is draining whatever trade value he had with every shift. Way to have control of the puck at your own blueline and instead of a pass just flip the puck over everybodies head for an icing when nobody was within 20 feet of you! The oilers will be lucky to get a 3rd round pick for Souray!

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#22 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
January 31 2010, 07:51AM
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OilW30 wrote:

In Fall for Hall news, the Leafs are about to take themselves out of the running:

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=308448

with the way the oilers are playing it really doesnt matter anyways. locked and loaded for dead last...lose the lottery and pick 2nd...

seguin!

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#23 srbuhr
January 31 2010, 07:58AM
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That really was poor effort by nearly every Oiler player. It seems that most of the Oilers are intimidated by the big Calgary defense. DD was terrible and with give away Grebs and Souray he didnt stand a chance - if Calgary had been playing well I think the score could have been 5 or 6 to one at the end of the first.

And speaking of accountability, the worst line was far and away 10 18 and 34. Really if the teams attitude if ever going to change its time the veterans paid the price for poor performance. Maybe Horcoff needs a nite or two in the pressbox to reflect on whether or not he wants to play at this level. The only reasonable power play all nite was when he was off for the fighting major and Cogs took his spot.

And have to agree, Souray injuring himself may have been a good thing. The way he has been playing he would have been pretty tough to move. Unfortunately this means 71 is probably gone and thats really too bad. Him and Smid should be the two defense the team is rebuilt around.

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#24 Lofty
January 31 2010, 08:03AM
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Slow clap for Tambi's sit and wait strategy. Again your skill as an NHL GM is unquestionably horrific.

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#25 Harlie
January 31 2010, 08:10AM
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Lofty wrote:

Slow clap for Tambi's sit and wait strategy. Again your skill as an NHL GM is unquestionably horrific.

yep...if Souray is hurt from last night then Tambo should be in a world of pain today too. It's too bad Souray never even got a decent shot in on Jar Jar Ginla last night. That fight was the only time I felt my pulse all night. How dreadful can things get? What an EMBARRASSMENT!

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#26 Cameron
January 31 2010, 08:11AM
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I have watching "Tale of Two Cities" on TCM." If only like were that simple, "Off with their heads!"

I have been reading Oilersnation for several months now. Seems just about everyone knows what must be done with most of the players and what must be done with the management (coaches excepted).

What is unclear to me at this time will be the response of the owner. I thought I remember him saying at the time he purchased the team, that he would let management run the business but, like all his other enterprises, they will be judged by results.

I think it is time for Mr. Katz to do some performance reviews to see how well his management team has done against their preseason objectives, goals and expectations.

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#27 dragon
January 31 2010, 08:46AM
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my head still shakes from last night. how could I believe Oilers might actually pull a surprise?

imo all went relatively well until the most incredible stick chopping play by thecaptainethanmoreau...

how long will he be captain?

i know we DFF, but is it really neccesary to have him as captain during this stretch?

young guys confidence aside, is it possible someone like Hall refusing to kill his career by playing for this type of organization next year?

i would think twice whether my son should get involved with such incompetence.

this is no longer Tambo or Lowe: it's on Katz' table.

Mr. Katz please stop insulting Edmontonians with this joke of management.

When you buy such a community toy you also have responsibility. Rise and face them!!!

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#28 dragon
January 31 2010, 08:50AM
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and, yes, i know we have to suck it up in order to enjoy first draft pick. no problem with that.

unfortunately this type of mismanagement can hurt this Oilers brand name for much longer than a couple of year of diving.

Tambo: at this point in time ANY action is better than no action.

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#29 Gerald R. Ford
January 31 2010, 08:51AM
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The Oil are currently on pace to finish 44(!) points behind Phoenix in the standings. Imagine selling THAT to anyone last off-season.

"No one said it would be easy. But, no one said it'd be this hard..." -Sheryl Crow

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#30 wes turner
January 31 2010, 09:02AM
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I will watch every game and hope for the best i,m worried about developing a losing culture here.more than what or who we trade.taking five wacks with yoiur hockey stick on the next shift after your team just fought to tie the game is not being a leader.changing captains will not fix all that ails the oil but would it hurt?at least sit him for a few shfts when we score or start a comeback.also devan ,jd,make a key save whatever your doing is not working.

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#31 devoknows
January 31 2010, 09:02AM
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Each and every Oiler is totally crushed mentally, it would really take another team to totally "Sh*t the bed" for us to win right now.

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#32 VK63
January 31 2010, 09:06AM
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the rush game was AWESOME!

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#33 Milli
January 31 2010, 09:09AM
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Rock Bottom, that is where we now are. 29 years, that has never been done. Dead last, swept by the flames, organizational disaster. This is the darkest day for this francishe. Tine to give Sam the C, he seems to be the only guy that actually wants to win a F0RKING HOCKEY GAME.

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#35 Deke Rivers
January 31 2010, 09:27AM
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Have we hit rock bottom? After last night we're a few feet under the rock. Perhaps the way Souray played last night, his absence for the rest of the season might signal the end of the losing streak. When do you just bench, demote, or waive, 6 guys and bring in the young guys to lose games? I don't think letting Grebs, O'Sullivan, Moreau, etc play is helping build trade value, we need to take them off the ice, make other GM's and scouts work off memory, then maybe someone will be desperate enough to trade with us.

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#36 Gerald R. Ford
January 31 2010, 09:34AM
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Phaneuf to the Leafs!

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#37 TigerUnderGlass
January 31 2010, 09:36AM
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Did anybody else think it was ridiculous that Strudwick was on the ice for the entire 5 on 3? I especially loved how he spent half of it on his knees. It looked like he wanted to prevent the pass across the ice but they would just throw it all the way around and he was so slow getting back to his feet that it made no difference.

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#38 fubar
January 31 2010, 09:41AM
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Since Steve doesn't have a plan & arthritis is now causing him severe pain from crossing every body part possible (external & internal), you can use my five year plan Steve, just execute it, do not freelance. #1. Lose Moreau, Pisani, and Staois NOW. Ask Kevin about how he acquired Glencross & try to get 3 of them. Surely we can get a minor league / pressbox / 4th line toughness from somebody for these guys. If they work out, sign them this time, if not, Springfield just got tougher. If no takers, pressbox & buy out these guys in the summer. #2. Only forwards from this group starting next year will be Penner, Gagne, Hemsky, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, and Brule. If the young kids / trades move these guys, the only guy with grit on a third line is Brule, for anyone else, they are moved. Not a great top six, but with toughness on the third & fourth lines, it will do until the kids are ready. #3. Speed, size, toughness is your third line. Size, toughness (quit it type of toughness) & above average speed is your fourth line. If goals come from these lines, bonus. You currently have no one in your lineup that has this, so they are Falcons or gone. #4. Gilbert, Grevs, Smid are your only defensemen. Peckham & two other size, toughness guys draw in. This is weak, but will have to do until drafts / signings / trades are done. #5. Goaltending – if Bulin does not return, develop Dubs & sign someone else's backup or trade @ a modest salary. You are always looking for the next steal of a goalie until someone steps up. If Bulin returns, cheap backup & try to move. Good luck with that. #6. Horcoff. Nobody in their right mind would take this contract / player, so tell Katz you have found the man to turn around Springfield Falcons, but it is going to cost. If you can get rid of Horcoff without taking on another contact, losing a young player, high draft pick or not paying half his salary, your stock as a general manager will rise from the pathetic level to the not very good level. Well done, that a nice leap up. #7. Souray, Lubs & the few other moving parts worth something should get you a start on revamping the team. Goal is you get toughness, size, draft picks with your trades & skill with your draft picks. Don't punish yourself, you will not get a star with this bunch as bait regarding trades. Summary: This team will struggle, but will be a step up from the past years. It has a future, not cap restricted, will not get pushed around & is something to build upon. Once players see you have a plan, they will buy in & heck, maybe with a plan & if you get good, an UFA may want to sign. Don't forget not to sign players to long & expensive contacts unless they are world class, not the best of a bad bunch class. I understand this is a lot to learn, but you need another plan with Penner, Hemsky, Gilbert as neither are league elite players & their contacts will expire within five years, so maybe this time, trade when their stock is high, not rock bottom. Trade for potential & high draft picks as this is a five year plan, you should get some skill back for two of these guys. As for drafting, do the opposite of what you think is right & your draft picks will be great. You are welcome.

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#39 TigerUnderGlass
January 31 2010, 09:43AM
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@fubar

Try using the "Enter" button. Then someone might actually read that mess.

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#40 Lofty
January 31 2010, 09:43AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Look, this wasn't about a lack of effort (despite what the CBC commentators would have everyone believe).

The goaltending's been brutal, but that's not an effort thing - unless people actually believe Dubnyk and Deslauriers are trying to sabotage their best shot at an NHL career.

On the defensive side of things, Jason Strudwick's the worst defenceman on the team by a mile, but does anyone believe he isn't trying? The fact that Chorney is struggling - is that a heart problem or the fact that the Oilers haven't even stuck him in AHL minutes he can handle, let alone NHL work? Has Souray given up, on a bad night but also a night he fractured his hand in a fight? Tom Gilbert, called out by various commenters for avoiding physical play, is the best shot-blocker on the team. How do people reconcile that with 'lack of heart' comments? The CBC crew ran a clip of Glencross running over Visnovsky, followed by Weekes talking about how tentative the Oilers 'D' was; but Visnovsky took the hit to make the play - that's the courageous choice, the choice of a player who hasn't called it a year yet.

Up front, Shawn Horcoff's frustration after every game in interviews is hard to watch; his fight tonight almost certainly stemmed from the same source. Players like Moreau, Pouliot, Cogliano and Jacques have plenty of issues this season, but not a lack of effort. Patrick O'Sullivan (another sequence where the CBC crew bizarrely sang Phaneuf's praises) went toe-to-toe with Dion Phaneuf in the corner and took an elbow to the face for his efforts. That's heart. Gilbert Brule was running around all night. Sam Gagner continues to compete and was the best Oiler out there.

Effort is not the issue, and this isn't a team that has stopped playing. There's plenty of room for anger, but despite Steve Tambellini's declaration to assess the team's courage, I don't think courage is one of them.

How is going into a corner showing heart? Is that not in POS's job description? No need to pat the guy on the back for doing something that he is already expected to do.

Horcoff showed heart, and I agree with most of the others but POS is a floater that does nothing to help the team.

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#41 dragon
January 31 2010, 09:49AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Look, this wasn't about a lack of effort (despite what the CBC commentators would have everyone believe).

The goaltending's been brutal, but that's not an effort thing - unless people actually believe Dubnyk and Deslauriers are trying to sabotage their best shot at an NHL career.

On the defensive side of things, Jason Strudwick's the worst defenceman on the team by a mile, but does anyone believe he isn't trying? The fact that Chorney is struggling - is that a heart problem or the fact that the Oilers haven't even stuck him in AHL minutes he can handle, let alone NHL work? Has Souray given up, on a bad night but also a night he fractured his hand in a fight? Tom Gilbert, called out by various commenters for avoiding physical play, is the best shot-blocker on the team. How do people reconcile that with 'lack of heart' comments? The CBC crew ran a clip of Glencross running over Visnovsky, followed by Weekes talking about how tentative the Oilers 'D' was; but Visnovsky took the hit to make the play - that's the courageous choice, the choice of a player who hasn't called it a year yet.

Up front, Shawn Horcoff's frustration after every game in interviews is hard to watch; his fight tonight almost certainly stemmed from the same source. Players like Moreau, Pouliot, Cogliano and Jacques have plenty of issues this season, but not a lack of effort. Patrick O'Sullivan (another sequence where the CBC crew bizarrely sang Phaneuf's praises) went toe-to-toe with Dion Phaneuf in the corner and took an elbow to the face for his efforts. That's heart. Gilbert Brule was running around all night. Sam Gagner continues to compete and was the best Oiler out there.

Effort is not the issue, and this isn't a team that has stopped playing. There's plenty of room for anger, but despite Steve Tambellini's declaration to assess the team's courage, I don't think courage is one of them.

nice try JW.

unfortunately this IS about lack of effort: mental effort!

Moreau's mental effort to take the most ill-timed penalties in the NHL,

Quinn's mental effort to find the balls to send said Moreau to the press box,

Greby's mental effort to bank the puck off the boards and out at least once every other game,

DD/JDD mental effort to stop playing the puck if you haven't read that lesson yet,

and the list can go on an on...

proposal for Oilers anthem during Tambo's era: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNBWf54RvsI

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#42 fubar
January 31 2010, 09:50AM
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tigerunderglass

Steve, you do read

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#43 BigE57
January 31 2010, 10:00AM
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Wow, was planning on watching the game last night. Glad I missed that.

I know the everyone is on the DFF bandwagon and it's looking like that is pretty much a lock. I just can't see the Oilers finishing the season with 2 rookie goalies. DD needs to go back to the minors and JDD needs a veteran to bring him along. For gods sake bring Curtis Joseph out retirement or something, Pokey Reddick, Arturs Irbe, isn't Dan Cloutier bouncing around the minors?

The goalies aren't the only problem but you have to start somewhere.

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#44 TigerUnderGlass
January 31 2010, 10:04AM
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As per TSN:

Calgary Flames have shipped defenceman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom, and defenceman Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and defenceman Ian White.

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#45 TigerUnderGlass
January 31 2010, 10:05AM
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fubar wrote:

tigerunderglass

Steve, you do read

What?

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#46 Dan the Man
January 31 2010, 10:05AM
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I loved how the CBC crew were raving about Boyds physical play and then they proceed to show a clip of him sticking out his leg and tripping Gilbert. Truly amazing physicality.

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#47 Mr. Brightside
January 31 2010, 10:13AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Lee and Weekes appear to pick the theme for the game ahead of time and stick doggedly to it regardless of what actually happens on the ice. Last night was Flames toughness and Oilers lack of heart.

I particularly liked Lee's comment after a soft chip and chase by O'Sullivan near the end of the game. Was to the effect that O'Sullivan dumped the puck in because he was scared to get hit...

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#48 TigerUnderGlass
January 31 2010, 10:15AM
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All I can say is that being at that game was embarrassing.

I have been there nearly every time the Oilers come to town and loudly mock every Flame that sets foot on the ice while I proudly wear my #17 jersey.

This time all I could do is slump in my seat with my head down to avoid all the pointing and laughing.

There were even more fights than usual as distraught Oiler fans had nothing else to defend but their personal honor.

Luckily I was in a box so I could distract myself from time to time with the included benefits and the mockery was limited to coming from the people with us, but I never want to experience something like that again. I'm pretty sure I have no choice now but to commit some sort of atrocity on my brother in law because of last night.

At least I will never again have to listen to Flames fans telling me Phaneuf should be on the olympic team.

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#49 Mr. Brightsid
January 31 2010, 10:18AM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
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props

Again we are left to sit and watch as other teams actually DO SOMETHING to improve their rosters.

We've got this patience thing down pat though...

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#50 freeze
January 31 2010, 10:21AM
Trash it!
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trashes
+1
0
props

Wow, watching this train wreck is unreal.

Hey Tambo, have a chat with Sutter. See how he moves bad contracts around and makes changes? Give that a try!

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