The Way I See It

Robin Brownlee
November 22 2013 09:59PM

Winning, the saying goes, solves everything. While that's not true, at least as it pertains to a flawed team like the Edmonton Oilers, three straight victories has, at the very least, taken some of the edge off a decidedly and rightfully unhappy fan base.

After being booed off the ice by fans at Rexall Place just a week or so ago, the Oilers filed into their dressing room after a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday and a 7-0 whitewash of the Columbus Blue Jackets to ovations from a capacity crowd. The Oilers started this much-needed three-game respite from futility with a win down the highway in Calgary.

In the big picture that is an 82-game NHL season, 7-15-2 isn't a whole lot better than the 4-15-2 record the Oilers took into this little roll, but it sure feels like it. It most certainly changes, however temporarily, the way fans feel about themselves and their hockey team today.

It might even have you feeling better about goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has been a lightning rod for criticism after a decidedly horrendous start to the season. Fans have to be pretty happy with Dubnyk's performance during this three game stretch – the same people who were losing their minds after his first three games of the season.

Statistically speaking, Dubnyk is neither as inept as he appeared in those first three games (and several more along the way) nor the Vezina Trophy candidate he's looked like in the last three. When the dust settles after 82 games, I suspect Dubnyk will end up somewhere in the middle.

One extreme to the Other

Anybody who is saying, "Thanks for that insight, Captain Obvious," might want to take a look at some of the comments sections here from early in the season, be it Dubnyk's first three outings, or even the first month, for that matter. He was a bum. A joke. A brutal embarrassment. On and on.

While fans and media types are prone to qualifying their observations with "small sample size" these days, that pretty much went out the window as the venom was spewed here and on radio call-in shows when Dubnyk led the collective early season face plant. I don't mind the passion, by any means, but it's funny how a start abysmal beyond words plays hell with a reasoned approach when it comes to fandom.

Dubnyk allowed 13 goals on 85 shots in the first three games he played, recording Andre Racicot-like save percentages of .821, .839 and .885 in those games. In his last three games, Dubnyk has stopped 71 of 74 shots, going .943, 1.000 and, against the Panthers, .960.

With 157 games in the books (all on a bad team), I think it's safe to say we know what Dubnyk is – even if many forgot it for the first 18 games or so. In 2010-11, Dubnyk's save percentage was .916. In 2011-12 it was .914, followed by .920 last season. The numbers, again on miserable teams, show him to be a good, not great, NHL starter.

A good team, which the Oilers aren't yet, can win with Dubnyk. When this season is over, I'd be willing to wager that Dubnyk, who sits at 6-10-1 with an .896 save percentage today, falls right where he has the previous three seasons – in the .914 to .920 range.

Right in the middle between a rail car out of town and a Vezina Trophy.

WHILE I'M AT IT . . .

I can't figure out fans in this town when it comes to their perceptions of the media, although much of how they view the jobs being done by scribes and broadcasters is obviously based on how good or bad the Oilers are playing at any given time.

Reporters not willing to seek out Kevin Lowe and ask him why the hell he refuses to step down right now, if not bloody sooner – usually after a loss -- are fartcatchers and yes-men. Bought and paid for. Mouthpieces for the team and blah, blah, blah. And why don’t we ask Sam Gagner why he sucks so bad? What the hell is wrong with "you guys."

Then, when a reporter, namely Ryan Rishaug of TSN, presses Ilya Bryzgalov about why the Philadelphia Flyers paid him $23 million to go away and not play for them anymore, he's being an ass and a showboat and picking on the wrong guy because he just got here (and isn’t Kevin Lowe).

There was nothing wrong with the line of questioning Rishaug and others pursued with Bryzgalov during his first availability here. Those questions were asked and answered (very well by Bryzgalov, I thought). Then, you move on and judge Bryzgalov, as he suggested, by whatever his body of work turns out to be this season.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#51 S cottV
November 23 2013, 09:45AM
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The Oilers are a team that should be at 500 with a chance to rally for a playoff spot this year. Eakins blew this season away by over doing the change process. Should have picked his spots and run more familiar systems to start the season. Ease in change over time. The result - overly confused the player group and cost a lot of unnecessary losses. Oilers got the goaltending you might expect given the level of new systems failure that gave up way too many glaring scoring chances against. Being totally out of the playoffs in Nov was preventable. Rookie Coach hired by a rookie GM hired by an out of touch - old boys club VP.

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#52 Quicksilver ballet
November 23 2013, 12:53PM
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It is rather obvious the media types are doing their jobs while wearing "Oiler" handcuffs. Management has all the leverage in this equasion. Big brother is watching every letter typed it appears.

Till someone goes beyond this comfort zone, it'll be for the most part, "polishing a turd" type perspective from all involved. Can't imagine how Bob Stauffer feels most nights. He must die a little inside every night for the sake of a few dollars every two weeks. Keep sending the Grim Reaper/John MacKinnon in there with 20' of rope at every occasion. They can't boot everyone out of those press conferences for asking the same questions.

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#53 Reagan
November 23 2013, 03:37PM
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Richaugs questions were ridiculous. They were not hard, more like insulting and pathetic. I'm not the only one to see it that way either. He called them hard, I called them plain old stupid. Reminds me of that line of questioning that he laid out to Mac T just a few year years ago. Egocentric and not called for. Regardless of what you media personal think, the fans are not always in your corner. It seen as negative and ego driven. Just sayin...

I may repeat myself but sometimes you need to read it a couple different ways...

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#54 Robin Brownlee
November 23 2013, 06:49PM
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michael wrote:

And your comments point directly to the dilemma that faces MacT this off season. He really has not a clue what he has in DD. Does he have a guy who is at best a middle of the road tender. And/or does he have tender who's stats are skewed because of the teams that have played in front of him? Hell of a question that I certainly have no answer for now or in the foreseeable 60 games left of this season. We really have not seen the best of DD imo because of the continuous changes to the team in the time that he has been here. Who's to say what his optimum performance may be? Were Fleury's stats any better his first couple of seasons I Pittsburgh? Louongo's in Florida? Just saying that we need to take a breath and look at all the factors.

First four NHL seasons:

Roberto Luongo: .914 Devan Dubnyk: .910 Marc-Andre Fleury: .905

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#55 Pouzar99
November 23 2013, 07:16PM
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I agree with most of what you say here, Robin. People overreacted to DD's poor start, and should not be surprised that he has returned to a good, even very good, but not great level of play.

I do not thing the Edmonton MSM is soft on Oiler management either, In fact, sometimes, like when Stauffer pretty much ran MacT the coach out of town, they can be over the top.

Any reasonable person knows Bryzgalov had to be asked about what happened in Philly. My problem is that after Bryz answered, Rishaug kept asking the same question over and over in slightly different forms, long after it was clear there was nothing more coming. I and many other Oiler fans wanted too here from Bryz on other matters.

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#56 Pouzar99
November 23 2013, 07:17PM
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I agree with most of what you say here, Robin. People overreacted to DD's poor start, and should not be surprised that he has returned to a good, even very good, but not great level of play.

I do not thing the Edmonton MSM is soft on Oiler management either, In fact, sometimes, like when Stauffer pretty much ran MacT the coach out of town, they can be over the top.

Any reasonable person knows Bryzgalov had to be asked about what happened in Philly. My problem is that after Bryz answered, Rishaug kept asking the same question over and over in slightly different forms, long after it was clear there was nothing more coming. I and many other Oiler fans wanted too here from Bryz on other matters.

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#57 Racki
November 22 2013, 11:14PM
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There are good and bad interviews by the media, whether you all want to admit it or not. I guess some people want to hear Bryzgalov get grilled about some of his issues.. not me. But I'll ease off the torch and pitchfork on anyone who doesn't ask questions I'm looking for.

Personally, I'd say Joanne Ireland is your ideal reporter, to me. She comes up with some interesting quotes from players and coaches.. much of which goes beyond the game. I also listen to you, RB, and Gregor, and really like the player interviews you guys have, although sometimes Gregor maybe needs to blast an air horn in your ear when you take the scenic route to ask your questions (I kid).

I like to hear the more personal side of players... by personal, I don't mean "why do you suck so bad", I mean stuff about players that we can't tell by watching a hockey game. Even though he won't admit it and still got paid loads, I know Bryzgalov hated being dumped by the Flyers because he wasn't good enough for them at his salary. I don't need it to be asked just to see if Bryzgalov will explode on the media. The media's job isn't to coddle players and welcome them to the city, no (although I wouldn't at all mind that), but I don't think it's their job to sniff out locker room problems for MacTavish and Eakins either.

On the flip side, if not for 24/7, I wouldn't know Bryz' wacka-doodle thoughts on bears and the universe. It may not be pertinent hockey information, and this is a piss poor example, but I like hearing the more non-hockey side about these guys and having them become more human to me. I loved Bryz' interview with the Ducks years ago where he started talking about how cold it was here. Some people hated that, but I loved it. Get these guys speaking openly about fun, non-hockey stuff! I think Gregor's writeups here where he interviews players can really get "deep" beyond the "we've got to give it 110% and stick to the game plan" canned answers.

A coach isn't going to reveal to the media too much about his team.. and player isn't going to give too much beyond the usual answers when it comes to hockey stuff, so a LOT of the questions asked by some media (which I believe you refer to as the "fart catchers") just seem like stupid questions that a player really isn't going to answer honestly... or worse yet, there will be certain media guys that will basically answer the question in the question, or you might have the people that ask ridiculously obvious questions (ex: do you think you need more guys to step up and be leaders on the ice than just the guys with the letters?..... no s--- Sherlock).

Anyways, I might use "media" term as a swooping generality, but there are definitely good questions and bad questions. Just because you get x minutes to ask questions it doesn't mean you need to eat it all up.

P.S. TLDR @ me. oops.

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#58 Lowe Expectations
November 22 2013, 11:32PM
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Beat reporters for the most part do a good job. The bad media is the between period player interview with a sweating, breathing heavy player being asked how it felt to score that goal. That I can do without.

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#59 Romulus' Apotheosis
November 22 2013, 11:50PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I hear what you are saying on the Dubnyk front.

Some of us lone voices were saying repeatedly that Goalie slumps aren't that abnormal and barring injury or age, sudden and persistent drop offs in play are very rare for established goalies.

On the media front, I mostly agree. I think a lot of the handwringing about Bryz was overstated and I'm not entirely clear on what Lowe has to do with it.

I think you are right a lot of the frustration was misdirected at Rishaug and others.

My minor beef was on two fronts: 1) I found the questions unnecessarily repetitive; 2) I found the ones about his conduct off the ice, with the media, etc. irritating and accusatory. I still can't figure out why being mildly interesting demands this kind of negative attention.

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#60 HOFFFF
November 23 2013, 06:57AM
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Rishaug works for the Toronto Sports Network so it doesn't matter what he does or says. If local media was seeking to discredit or embarass our own players, then I would have a problem with that, unless of course it was deserved. As far as Bryz's comments about bears and the universe, thats hilarious, and we all say stupid sh*t but these guys just happen to have a mic or camera in thier face at the time. Scott Oake is another tool. Can't stand listening to him and his absurd questioning. Loved it when Penner shut him down.

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#61 MessyEH!
November 23 2013, 07:56AM
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I think everyone of us relaxed, a little, after the Doobie and Buzz tandem was rolled out by MacT.

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#62 Thumby
November 23 2013, 09:30AM
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For fun - I'd like to compare responses from DSF and RB on this set of questions - You both were/are guys in the media who will ask a tough question and will call it as he sees it and can live with the consequences. So my main questions for you both are as follows: Do you think Lowe, and by extension Katz, are oblivious to how terrible their ability to guide this franchise looks to all concerned who follow the NHL?

Do you think they feel any embarrassment about this mess they've built?

Do you think that they really think they are doing a "great job"?

Do you think Katz thinks a change might be needed?

I know the above questions will require some speculation from you but I'd love to hear a reporter pull out his brass balls and ask Lowe if he would defend his track record and explain what he'd done to justify keeping his job this long. Of course, said reporter would need to be one who was retiring that week as I'm sure his "brass balls" would be "blackballed" permanently. But I'm sure the sound bite of Lowe's response would make the "Six Rings" hall of fame!

I remember laughing when Lowe pissed off Buffalo and Anaheim with his RFA attacks but now I see why Burke was so pissed and said what he did...Lowe is obviously a buffoon! Yet Lowe maintains his position no matter how bad he's doing. IMO, it's "who you know" rearing its ugly head...or else he's got some nice polaroid's of Katz with some 80's big hair hookers safely tucked away in the safety deposit box.

To me, the amount of vitriol the fans and NHL at large have been spewing about the combined sum of turd that we have for a management team has been ignored by the Oilers brain trust (BTW, Katz is the one with the brain in "brain trust"), and our media should have a serious case of self examination and ask themselves why has Katz let this go on so long?

I guess the simple answer is if Katz gets his cash from the full house at Rexall he's not going to change a thing.

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#63 Smokey
November 23 2013, 10:39AM
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Bang on when you wrote..."Reporters not willing to seek out Kevin Lowe and ask him why the hell he refuses to step down right now."

Maybe the reporter are scared if they ask real reporter type questions then they will take more then just the donuts outta the room, what's next? The humanity!!! Its easy to just to collect your paycheck, I don't blame them, there not paid to the type of critical that makes guys like me respect them, and thus they do their job. I just don't read any of their articles or listen to their scrums, cause I don't care for cliques. I want drama.

The media hit pieces are two few and far between. I say this nicely that the dinosaur's doing the interviews are being turned off by many of us because we want hard questions.

If anyone has looked at the Oiler's facebook pages or comment boards, its ugly...If you listen to the Oiler's media reporters its not even softball out there. Their pinging around the beach-ball. Even when its bad they got their rose covered glasses on. Its like there a line many won't cross.

How does getting media credentials work? I assume that every reporter has to get credentials through their outlet and its approved by the Oiler mob. The only guy I recall getting away with calling a spade a spade was Spector on ol' Six Rings.

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#64 Rama Lama
November 23 2013, 10:55AM
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It seems that Duby is a slow starter and needs at least 10 games before he finds his game.........troubling for a goaltender. Maybe he has the Iggy disease?

I agree with Bryz getting grilled by some of the media members ..........this is usually a one time thing, and then you move on........unless you are Rob Ford. It would be very easy to manage Bryz and his tendencies with the media with a couple of training sessions. The only thing that he has done consistently wrong with the media ........is to trust them too much.

The guy is sought out by the media because honesty and frankness are so rare in professional sports these days, especially with well trained media savvy players. I'm cheering for Bryz all the way...........he is good for this team.

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#65 DSF
November 23 2013, 11:09AM
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Racki wrote:

I'm a firm believer that the Oilers eliminated themselves from the playoffs weeks ago, but I think it's crazy to think a team would need 109 points just to MAKE the playoffs (to my knowledge an 8th place team has never had 100+ points let alone 109 - although a 7th place team has)

Mid-high 90s should still be the number to aim for, for teams. All the top-8 Western teams won't maintain this crazy pace they're on right now.

But again, no chance the Oilers will make the playoffs this year though, so no sense in anyone getting their hopes up after the Oilers steamrolled a couple of bottom-feeder teams.

I don't know.

THE WC dominance over the EC is huge.

Boston leads the EC with 30 points which would put them 9th in the WC.

As the teams play more games within the conference things could change somewhat but that also means more 3 points games.

I think you'll need at least 100 points to make it in the WC.

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#66 **
November 24 2013, 02:18AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Double standard?

Let me get this straight. Unless Rishaug or another reporter approaches every player the same way, he's "picking his spots," employing a "double standard" and lacks credibility?

So, Gagner, who is in his seventh season with the Oilers, is making $4.8 million and is off to a lousy start coming off a broken jaw that required surgery, is in the same boat as Bryzgalov, who is being paid $23 million dollars not to play for the Flyers amid word from multiple people he's a sideshow and a distraction in the dressing room on his first day in Edmonton? It that your position?

People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time. That's especially true when it's clear Gagner came back earlier than he probably should have from his injury. Has he been good enough? No.

Fact is, that bothers him more than it does you because if you knew Gagner even a little bit you'd understand he's harder on himself than anybody and is the first player in that room to take responsibility when he doesn't play well. Fact.

Bryzgalov? Look at his numbers in Philly. Not great but not horrendous, yet he was bought out at a cost of $23 million. He couldn't find NHL work until the Oilers called him. That's worth finding out about. That was the story of the day and every reporter in town wanted to know what happened. Bryzgalov was clever and charming and might have won some people over with what he said, but the fact is he never gave a straight answer as to what went wrong in Philly.

I know I'm getting $23 million not to play for the Flyers, but I don't want to talk about that too much. I don't want to discuss possible changes to the way I conduct myself because it was their call to cut me loose, not mine. Just judge me from here on out.

Given all that, you're offering up some textbook-type theory that not approaching Gagner with the same hard-line type of questions means a reporter is picking his spots and, thus, lacks credibility?

How naïve.

Man I was with you up until this reply.

"People in any real-word situation, be it an NHL dressing room or a corporate office, earn a certain amount of slack when they've been on the job seven years. That doesn't make them immune from tough questions, but it tends to earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time".

This line of thinking right here is the problem with the Edmonton Oilers. And I'm sorry Mr. Brownlee but you just gave yourself up on this one. There is so much wrong with this statement.

First, unless you are part of a union, if you are getting paid high money and do not deliver, in any real world job which is not sports, you get fired. Even if you've been at it for 30 years. You don't get the benefit of the doubt because businesses need results on a daily basis and people's incompetence causes loss of revenue. This is real world. A guy on a rig screws up, that's millions of dollars, and he gets canned even if he's a 7 year veteran.

Your comment basically says not only that there is nepotism in the organization, but that you think that is ok. Which shows another problem: lack of accountability. Paying millions to someone to perform a job, he does not, but he gets a pass because he's been on the job for 7 years, that's zero fear of consequence. Which brings me to another big issue with your response: Double standard. Bryzgalov has been on the job even longer than Gagner and has proven himself even more than Gagner, so what yo are saying for Gagner should be even more true for Bryzgalov.

And that brings me to the final problem I have with your response: Philly was willing to pay Bryz all that money to go away because they thought he was a problem. SO zero nepotism there. It didn't matter to the owner that Bryz was a veteran of so many years and he didn't think that was a reason to "earn them the benefit of the doubt and buy them more time".

You contradicted yourself in your comparison. Philly proves you wrong.

Damn Sydney Crosby was getting harassed by the media a couple of weeks ago for his recent slump in point production, even though he was in the top 5 in the top NHL. What makes Gagner, or Lowe, or anyone else for that matter so special?.

The reality is some of you media guys here in Edmonton ( I don't know if elsewhere because I don't follow other cities as often) don't go to certain players or certain management guys who are favorites of such and such because you are afraid you won't get the interviews for your shows or the special guests, and that costs you ratings or sponsors.

It's business, no big deal, I understand.

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#67 DCC
November 23 2013, 12:54AM
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I don't have an issue with Bryzgalov being asked about the situation in Philly however...who was the guy asking irrelevant and yes, embarrassing questions about the weather? Was that Rishaug? In my opinion, that's where the questioning crossed the line.

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#68 Moog's helmet
November 23 2013, 02:27AM
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Not much the media can do if KLowe isn't making himself available for interviews. When KLowe lost it at the press conference the MSM especially Tychkowski as I recall really murdered him for it the next day. (How he didn't have a scripted answer for the obvious "old boys club" question still boggles the mind.) If a media member felt someone should be fired for the Oilers poor performance this year they couldn't write it about Lowe because he is adamant he has nothing to do with those decisions. Unless you wanted to insinuate he is lying. That's the kind of story that would make "sources close to the team" stop talking to you.

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#69 madjam
November 23 2013, 06:18AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

The biggest concern for now , is this team good enough to finish in top 8 over the next 60 games - not whether we make the playoffs as those odds do not favor our team with such a poor start . I don't believe we are , unless they can trade for some better defence in the interim and Dubbie and/or Breeze plays well .

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#70 gcw_rocks
November 23 2013, 07:21AM
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If those same reporters asked Lowe, MacT, and Gagner tough questions, no one would have blinked at the questions asked of bryz. It's because those reporters cherry picked when to ask the tough questions that makes them look so bad.

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#71 Thumby
November 23 2013, 08:31AM
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Larry wrote:

1. hows are d? 2. hows are 2c? 3. getting better... 4. hurtin, special teams are rising 5. that gags, yac hemmer line is alright 6. coach finally has nuge, hall, eberle back 7. goalie?

How's "are" grammar? I'd say hurting... bad. Sorry, just couldn't stop myself.

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#72 OilFanInVan
November 23 2013, 09:31AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

"So you're saying there's a chance..." Lloyd Christmas

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#73 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 09:49AM
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I've noticed the crap music too. Didn't they play a five minute Adele song right before puck drop a while ago? She's got a killer voice, but pump up music Adele is not.

We need Zombie Nation as our goal song again! Something the fans can chant along with. I can't remember which team uses the chorus from Bro Hymn by Pennywise, but that's gotta be the best goal song in the league right now.

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#74 DrunkGuyTy
November 23 2013, 09:57AM
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@OilClog

"When are the MSM going to realize the average man isn't watching the sport for Drama. "

Exactly. This is the stuff that drives me nuts. I don't give a damn about the Bryz / bears thing, any of this 24/7 or Oil Change stuff. I get that this is the networks trying to expand their market but this is becoming more and more of the focus rather than the competition of sport.

I love sports not soap operas and would like the sports networks to focus on reporting on such.

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#75 james_dean
November 23 2013, 10:03AM
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First of all great party at the pint last night.

thumbs up for every one supporting inner city children. I got a great polaroid with struds

about the rishaug thing the issue is that he asked him the same question 3 or 4 times picking on him

last night gregor and struds were buying shots for girls who kissed mark majoe. Awesome

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#76 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:08AM
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At least we don't do that heinous 'LE OLE OLE' thing they do in Montreal. Not sure if I hate it because it's associated with the Habs or because it just plain sucks.

EDIT: I think it's Chicago maybe that plays 'Seek and Destroy' by Metallica just before puck drop. Good choice, but I'd suggest Creeping Death if we're going for Metallica songs.

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#77 TM8Trent
November 23 2013, 10:58AM
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I agree that the playoffs are nearly an impossibility for the Oilers and to be speaking about them as if they are within reach is pretty nuts.

We'd have to be crazy to think there's any chance at all.

Looking at the schedule, they have 18 games before now the end of December.

They'd have to beat Chicago (though they do play well vs the Hawks), beat the Preds & Jackets on the road, Get 8 points on a 5 game home stand (Bruins yikes), steal 4 points on the road vs Nucks, Ducks, Kings & Avs, beat the Jets, Flyers at home (doable) and grab 3 points on the road vs the lames and Yotes (doable). The likely best case scenario for the Oil is that they pick up 25 points in those 18 games. A long shot but possible I guess.

Even if they do all of that they'd be sitting with 41 points in 42 games and only just hovering around .500

In the last 40 games, they'd have to go 24-10-8 to end up with 97 points and even be near the cut off. Unless a switch has been flipped and the Oilers have turned from bottom dwellers into an elite hockey team, the odds are really bad...

C-3PO (reality): Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.

Solo(Oilernation): Never tell me the odds.

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#78 Ron
November 23 2013, 11:03AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Your inability to comprehend what was written is absolutely stunning. Really.

My bad. There I go being wrong again! For an alleged wordsmith maybe your perception is part of the issue. I understand you may not be given access to "He of the six rings whose name cannot be spoken by mere mortals". The fact Oiler management types are thin-skinned mandarins is also not your fault. If you think the haughtiness of the Edmonton media is not noticed by fans you would be what I call wrong.

Like a lot of people I've been buying my way into Oiler games for almost 35 years. Wrong as we may be we don't need you or anyone else telling us what we should be thinking.

Media upstarts like Rishaug are not long on credibility. He set a trap to goad Bryz and Bryz beat him at his own game. If Rishaug is vying for a spot on the big seat in Toronto that kind of naked ambition at other people's expense may not work out so well. I wouldn't trust a reporter who has those kinds of ethical standards.

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#79 **
November 23 2013, 04:09PM
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I don't like Ryan Rishaugh because he goes after the easy tasks. He kept trying to set up Bryzgalov for the golden quote. It is hard to respect a guy who waits for the easy catch instead of going after the really hot potatoes. He did the same thing to Yakupov if I remember correctly, again, a 20 year old, frustrated, in the middle of a media circus.

Rishaugh interviewing those 2 with "though questions" is like Tom Cruise when he said his movie training is like being a soldier in the middle east. On a scale between TMZ and CBC documentary Ryan Rishaugh was definitively following the Kardashians around town. He acted no different form that Vancouver guy who posted those colorful quotes from Thornton

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#80 He Who Knows
November 23 2013, 04:17PM
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Rishaug's tirade against Yak had some real hatred in there against Russians. Yeah Yak was yakking but for Timberlake to go off like that, was a bit much. There is definite bias. Gregor and Brownlee get it right. Struds is all good too, just because he keeps a fine balance as a fan and former player. Stauffer had credibility before he turned Katz on with the "have you had your presser" question or something along those lines when he bought the team and doomed Oil Nation. Now Big Bob is on that gravy train and sounds like he is working for Kim Jung Un's regime. Hahaha.

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#81 **
November 23 2013, 04:20PM
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The Calgary game was a great one for Dubnyk, then again every NHL goalie is bound to have one of those every now and then. On the last 2 games, yes his sv% has been very high, but the team in front of him has played much better, limiting the other side to 14 and 25 shots. Good on Dubnyk for elevating his game, and for the team to win, but he hasn't convinced me of anything yet. The guy doesn't even have a career.500% in wins/losses. His best test will come on monday against Chicago (although for some glitch in the matrix they've been Edmonton's bitc**s at Rexal as of late)

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#82 Reagan
November 24 2013, 06:51PM
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Someone keeps deleting posts in here. It's this a sign of the media screwing things?

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#83 Dave2
November 22 2013, 10:28PM
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It is because we are fans -from Wiki

The word first become popular in reference to baseball enthusiasts. (Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means "marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion". It comes from the Modern Latin fanaticus, meaning "insanely but divinely inspired"

So we can't help ourselves.

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#84 Tim in Kelowna
November 23 2013, 12:49AM
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Nice take, Rubin. But I will note that the fans calling the local media yes-men and the fans criticizing Rishaug for asking Bryzgalov a few "tough" questions are probably not the same people.

It is true that fans in this town get a little carried away when the team is losing, but imagine being a hockey scribe in a place like Sunrise, Florida: zzzzzzz

Fans in Edmonton care, and I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that they deserve a few seasons of winning hockey. The stupid comments will surely taper off once the Oilers become competitive on a regular basis.

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#85 Racki
November 23 2013, 01:42AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

I'm a firm believer that the Oilers eliminated themselves from the playoffs weeks ago, but I think it's crazy to think a team would need 109 points just to MAKE the playoffs (to my knowledge an 8th place team has never had 100+ points let alone 109 - although a 7th place team has)

Mid-high 90s should still be the number to aim for, for teams. All the top-8 Western teams won't maintain this crazy pace they're on right now.

But again, no chance the Oilers will make the playoffs this year though, so no sense in anyone getting their hopes up after the Oilers steamrolled a couple of bottom-feeder teams.

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#86 Chainsawz
November 23 2013, 09:20AM
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I won't say the right questions aren't being asked by reporters to MacTavish or Eakins. But I will say once they give their "round about and dodge it" answer, there's no follow up or accountability. When Shauger had Yakupov and Bryz in his crosshairs, he was going to fire away till either time ran out or he got the juicy quote he was fishing for. To a certain extent the same would apply to Gregor and Yak.

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#87 camdog
November 23 2013, 09:23AM
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Few thoughts:

DD was horrible to start the season, but so was Lunquist. There were about dozen starting goalies that struggled with the new rules, none as bad DD though.

The team struggled to adjust to the new system brought in my the new coach didn't help things out. Call it what we want 2 coaches in less than 50 games is not good for kids.

Team has wrong mix of forwards, Gregor's been questioning the organisation in this respect for a long time.

Any other market and K-Lowe's fired and there is no booing. The irony is if the building's empty he's gone.

When Burke made those comments about Lowe during the Penner signing I was made at Burke. Now I understand he was right.

Rishaug's questions were annoying during the press conference were annoying and childish, but they weren't a reason to turn all angry on him, his body of work other than this moment is pretty good. He cares about this team and his frustrations came through.

And worst of all the music at the games is horrible, play some dam music to pump us up rather than mellow crap a doo.

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#88 Thumby
November 23 2013, 09:33AM
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camdog wrote:

Few thoughts:

DD was horrible to start the season, but so was Lunquist. There were about dozen starting goalies that struggled with the new rules, none as bad DD though.

The team struggled to adjust to the new system brought in my the new coach didn't help things out. Call it what we want 2 coaches in less than 50 games is not good for kids.

Team has wrong mix of forwards, Gregor's been questioning the organisation in this respect for a long time.

Any other market and K-Lowe's fired and there is no booing. The irony is if the building's empty he's gone.

When Burke made those comments about Lowe during the Penner signing I was made at Burke. Now I understand he was right.

Rishaug's questions were annoying during the press conference were annoying and childish, but they weren't a reason to turn all angry on him, his body of work other than this moment is pretty good. He cares about this team and his frustrations came through.

And worst of all the music at the games is horrible, play some dam music to pump us up rather than mellow crap a doo.

This^

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#89 Sammy D
November 23 2013, 10:11AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I've noticed the crap music too. Didn't they play a five minute Adele song right before puck drop a while ago? She's got a killer voice, but pump up music Adele is not.

We need Zombie Nation as our goal song again! Something the fans can chant along with. I can't remember which team uses the chorus from Bro Hymn by Pennywise, but that's gotta be the best goal song in the league right now.

Gregor (or Strudwick?) said it best when he said to let the players pick their own song for when they score a goal. We learn something about the player away from hockey and we all celebrate a bit harder with the player cause they are playing 'his' music

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#90 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
November 23 2013, 10:13AM
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Sammy D wrote:

Gregor (or Strudwick?) said it best when he said to let the players pick their own song for when they score a goal. We learn something about the player away from hockey and we all celebrate a bit harder with the player cause they are playing 'his' music

Each player having their own personal goal song they picked themselves would actually be cool.

Also, RB, PLEASE ask Wanye to change the background, I'm begging you.

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#91 Racki
November 23 2013, 10:17AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

"There are good and bad interviews by the media, whether you all want to admit it or not."

Admit it? I'd be a fool to deny it. There's good, bad and ugly in every walk of life and the media pool has its share, or more.

Everybody in the business, me included, has asked their share of questions that are flat-out groaners and eye-rollers. We state and overstate the obvious. We miss the guts of a story in the name of deadlines and big picture stuff. On and on.

People asking the questions shouldn't be above answering some questions about what they do and why they do it. That said, when the Oilers stink, as they have for seasons on end, people get a bit over the top with their scrutiny of the media, just as they do with players, coaches and management. Human nature.

Good points all around. For the record, I wasn't saying you specifically wouldn't admit that there are bad questions from time to time. Meant the "proverbial you". But good on you for admitting your own faults when it comes to the odd question. And yes, we all mail in our jobs from time to time.

I didn't realize there was that much scrutiny of the media (honestly). I'm not sure if there really is or if it's similar to with players where the complainers are generally the loudest voices, although don't necessarily represent the majority opinion all the time. I'm pretty sure that even the worst of media types have something good for me to hear or read from time to time... but there are quite a few guys I love to listen to or read regularly.

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#92 D
November 23 2013, 10:26AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

I can always hope DSF. With the Oilers, it's probably all I've got left to keep my sanity. That and following the Kings (I used to live in LA).

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#93 dougtheslug
November 23 2013, 10:37AM
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DSF wrote:

45-10-3 would be one hell of a squeak.

After Calgary, Vancouver and Anaheim won tonight, the Oilers chances of making the playoffs have dropped to 00.20%

Context, please.

A week ago sportsclubstats.com rated Oilers likelihood of making the playoffs at .034%. After their 3 game win streak it is now 0.29%

In other words, they are now nearly 10 times likelier to make the playoffs today than they were a week ago.

So, we're saying there's a chance.......

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#94 Winnie Cooper
November 23 2013, 11:10AM
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I find it difficult to listen to Tom Gazzola conduct post game interviews.

He appears to ask every player he encounters the exact same robotic question(s). Jesus Tom, mix it up a little. Are you trying to elicit the most generic responses possible?

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#95 Oier Al
November 23 2013, 12:56PM
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Serious Gord wrote:

Intent aside, it is a bogus, bigoted comment. And it slags excellent individuals like vlad Tretiak and many many others.

Lets not forget that his current coach Patrick Roy had cops at his door a few years back for some sort of domestic non-bliss.

No one is beyond the law not even millionaire goalies.

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#96 Top Cheddar
November 23 2013, 01:51PM
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@Robin Brownlee

Did you ever ask them in person on the record (press conference or otherwise) about their performance? The fans would love to...

Not sure why the DSF reply didn't copy here. See comment 73.

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#97 Racki
November 23 2013, 02:51PM
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DSF wrote:

I don't know.

THE WC dominance over the EC is huge.

Boston leads the EC with 30 points which would put them 9th in the WC.

As the teams play more games within the conference things could change somewhat but that also means more 3 points games.

I think you'll need at least 100 points to make it in the WC.

100 pts probably isn't out of question. 109 isn't that much different, but that's 4.5 wins more... and that'd be a heck of a jump from any years ever before.

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#98 **
November 23 2013, 04:40PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

I don't dispute that. My thinking is along the lines that I don't think Dubnyk is the goalie who will take them to the promised land once (if ever) the team gets the other pieces it needs to be a contender for the cup. I just haven't seen enough in him (and maybe it's just me being too fixated on those soft goals) to make me think he'll answer the bell in the 12th round and stay on his feet until the end. Then again, he's never had the chance.p>

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#99 michael
November 23 2013, 05:13PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There isn't a goaltender in the NHL today who would be .500 playing behind the teams Dubnyk has played for. Not one.

Hell, Patrick Roy, Tony Esposito and Ken Dryden couldn't drag this team to .500 by themselves.

And your comments point directly to the dilemma that faces MacT this off season. He really has not a clue what he has in DD. Does he have a guy who is at best a middle of the road tender. And/or does he have tender who's stats are skewed because of the teams that have played in front of him? Hell of a question that I certainly have no answer for now or in the foreseeable 60 games left of this season. We really have not seen the best of DD imo because of the continuous changes to the team in the time that he has been here. Who's to say what his optimum performance may be? Were Fleury's stats any better his first couple of seasons I Pittsburgh? Louongo's in Florida? Just saying that we need to take a breath and look at all the factors.

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#100 Ed in Edmonton
November 23 2013, 07:22PM
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I believe the RR was baiting Brygalov, which might or might not be valid. As Brygalov mentioned in the scrum he had answered at least one of RR questions previously and RR asked it a second time in a somewhat different way, apparently to try to get an embarrassing quote.

This might be considered hard ball reporting and this might be okay. But there is a definitely double standard here. Why didn't RR go over to Gagner and ask him how he felt about pulling down 4.8 mill per year and having 0 goals (at that time) and minus gazillion. If you are going to be the hard ass reporter asking the tough questions, you shouldn't pick your spots. You lose your credibility.

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