There’s no need to get this excited

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.

  • Shakey

    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?

  • Chris

    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?

  • Bruthah

    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.

  • Gord

    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.

  • Hoodlum

    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:

  • Chris

    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!

  • Gord

    @ 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.

  • Dennis

    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.

  • 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.

  • David S

    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.

  • Ender the Dragon

    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?

  • Hoodlum

    @ Ender the Dragon:
    I'm still convinced the best way to work a 3 point system is to award the points after the OT period. At least if a team wins in OT, the other team gets nothing for thier extra time efforts. It would make the 5 minute period more exciting to see 2 teams fighting to get rewarded and the other gets nothing. Of course all the points made about strictly 2 point games are great, however I don't think the NHL will go that way ever again and we now and forever live in the potential 3 point a game system

  • The Towel Boy

    Smokin' Ray wrote:

    By the time I finished reading all the way to the bottom… I forgot what started the thread. Lol. Way to change the subject guys!

    You know what else I hate? Pierre Mcguire. GAWD!!

  • kris

    Ugh.

    You think RT's article is bad. Check out oilers.nhl.com There's an interview about how much Lubo likes snow and the sun and an article about Cole reading to children that was so banal I bit all of my toes off before I finished it.

  • Bruthah

    Smokin' Ray wrote:

    By the time I finished reading all the way to the bottom… I forgot what started the thread. Lol. Way to change the subject guys!

    I think that was my fault Ray. haha