It began with hand bells

Q: What is the worst Oilers game you have ever seen live?

A: December 16, 2008 — 9-2 vs the Hawks. And this is amazing remembering we had season tickets with Grandma Gretz during the dark years. The really truly dark years circa 1992-1998. In those days the Oil would get blown out most nights. But to be fair they sucked.

These Oilers? We don’t even know what they are anymore. We even felt for MacT after the game. There isn’t a bag skate hard enough to fix this squad. If you’re him and you’ve walked around the dressing room screaming and yelling, you have punched every Oiler directly in the face (Garon twice) then what? It doesn’t really matter how the Oil bounce back tonight against the Canucks. The Oil need a heart transplant, mass firings, mass hirings, every single player mentally reprogrammed, a new arena, a new coach, a new GM, new training staff and a mascot.

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You know what we love?

Being point night for the friggin’ Chicago Blackhawks. Not the Red Wings. The Blackhawks. Not a team like San Jose filled with wily veterans and big ol’ goons. The Blackhawks — a fellow squad also filled with punk assed 19-to-21 year olds. Thing is, the punks in Hawks jerseys were laughing and celebrating after every goal like it was a WHL intrasquad scrimmage, while our little friends in Copper and Blue were thinking only of getting in to Diesel Ultra Lounge later in the night. 

Well done Oilers you have truly embarrassed yourselves. And on Handbell Anthem Night to boot.

To be fair

To be fair the first seven goals were suspect. Really they could have gone either way. Right.

To be fair most fans really aren’t that upset this morning. See everyone had cleared the hell out of Dodge as soon as the 50-50 was announced. Like seriously everyone. And the millions watching at home were probably long gone by the time the score was in the books too. Only the JL kept ‘er goin all night long. Bless their hearts.

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To be fair Liam Reddox had an assist. You’ll forgive us if we wouldn’t give two shits if Liam Reddox woke up this morning and decided to never play another game of hockey ever again. There is nothing more heart breaking than listening to the remaining 45 per cent of the RX1 crowd cheering their hearts out for the 9-2 goal.

Only bright spots

The pictures from the game last night are pouring in from Citizens of the Nation. Apparently there were some folks that managed to keep their eyes open and dinners in their stomachs long enough to send their ol’ pal Wanye some great snaps. Keep them comin’ to [email protected]. We will have some up later in the day.

The most interesting thing on the whole night was finding out a friend of our co-worker once hooked up with 50 Cent.  Something about living in Washington and something something 50 Cent met her and bingo bango. Normally we would lead with news of this magnitude but today, well we just don’t have it in us.

There. You finally broke us Oilers. Thanks.

Game tonight.

woo

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  • Ender the Dragon

    The Oilers have lost back-to-back games twice this season, but generally speaking they have done all right playing 2 nights in a row. All signs suggest they should be able to turn this into some motivation for tonight.

  • J&J

    If last night did not wake this team up i dont think anything can.Is it possible that when Gagne & Nilsson were out and Schremp, Brule were up that the rest of the team felt they better step it up because if they dont these two guys would take their spot and now that they are sent back down they are feeling a little less pressure.Maybe took a bit off their game? i know they are pros but beatings like that just dont happen for no reason.

  • BUCK75 wrote:

    I wonder what the stats say about the game after the 7 goal loss at the hands of the Hawks…

    Ahh the wonder of the internet…

    11/27/92 lost 8-1 to Blackhawks. The next night they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3, they went 4-5 in the next 9.

    2/1/95 they lost 7-0 to the Hawks. The next game they beat the Leafs 5-3, then went 4-3-2 in the next 10.

    Hopefuly the record turns here, history doesn't say it will though.

  • Sweet jesus that was terrible. As a fan I don't even know where to start anymore. The coaching is subpar, the roster is a mix of groups of highly similar players (overpaid 3rd liners and 3rd pairing d-men, small offensive forwards, expensive offensive d-men, average-below average goalies) and no one the team would actually consider trading has value. Ugh. I think I might turn the TV off and utrn it back on at the draft when the Oil have another top 10 pick. Good times.

  • Gord

    J&J wrote:

    Is it possible that when Gagne & Nilsson were out and Schremp, Brule were up that the rest of the team felt they better step it up because if they dont these two guys would take their spot and now that they are sent back down they are feeling a little less pressure.

    There is no doubt that the best hockey this yeam has played is when Schremp was here. This is not because Schremp was a superstar out there making everyone look good, I feel it's the exact reason J&J mentioned – the players saw that someone was brought in who can legitimately take their spot. I recall a few of my rants on here when Reddox and Sestito were recalled about exactly that. Who cares if those two get called up, neither will take a top 6 roster spot!

    With 3 goalies on the roster this is no room to make adjustments from game to game. After the $#!t show last night, what message can you send? That's right, ice the exact same team the very next night. My god, why hasn't K-Lo reassigned Gagner to the minors and send a message that this isn't a joke and floating won't be tolerated? Waive Horc and send him a message that we think extending his contract at $7m/year was a big mistake based on his recent effort.

    Those two are the biggest culprits as to what is wrong with the Oilers this season and yet MacT keeps rewarding them with ample ice time and high praise.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Gord wrote:

    Waive Horc and send him a message that we think extending his contract at $7m/year was a big mistake based on his recent effort.
    Those two are the biggest culprits as to what is wrong with the Oilers this season and yet MacT keeps rewarding them with ample ice time and high praise.

    How about this team figure out some accountability for the high foreheads who decided to PAY Horcoff that amount of money. "The Canadian Dollar is above par, we're sold out, oil a billion dollars a barrel….oh and Horc is pretty good….let's roll out the dough".

    No. The same guy who brought you Cole, Oates, Dopita, the dead Russian draft guy, Pouliot not Parise…
    THAT is who needs to be accountable.

    Sadly, he has a great nickname, is buddies (apparently on Gregor's speed dial!?!?) with all the media, AND was good ole #4.

  • Wanye Gretz

    Gord wrote:

    Waive Horc and send him a message that we think extending his contract at $7m/year was a big mistake based on his recent effort.

    You have got to be kidding right? Waive Shaun Horcoff? Come on dude. Let's be serious.

  • Gord

    @ Zamboni Driver:
    Firing Lowe can not fix the lack of effort on the ice right now. According to the direction management has taken with MacT, there is little else but the following to assume:
    Option 1 is the coach needs to address the players who are pulling this team down. And I'm not talking about benching Brodziak and calling him out again…
    Option 2 is trade some players to hammer the message that piss poor performances are not to be tolerated
    Option 3 is fire MacT since the players have obviously tuned him out after countless efforts to get their attention.

  • J&J

    @ Gord: Although i do agree with what you said about Schremp! The problem is first you cant send Gagner to the minors he has to go to back to the OHL if i am not mistaken (someone please correct me if i am) which i dont think should happen but i do think he needs to spend some time in the press box. maybe its not a lack of effort maybe it is simply he is not seeing the game like he should be.maybe he has way to much pressure for a 19 year old kid to handle!i think we absolutly need to open up a roster spot and bring Schremp or Brule back up, not because they are superstars or because i think Schrempy is the next coming but because it gives the young guys on this team a little more motivation and maybe some well neede time eating popcorn and watching how the game is being played

  • cole

    I give up, I have stated on here what I think is wrong with the Oil and now I really dont care anymore. The only thing different last night from ALL the other games this year is that the goalie did not bail them out by making the big save. The Oilers suck, and until they realize that the only people that can do anything about it is the 20 guys in the locker room, they will continue to suck. Heres hoping they take some pride, use the humiliation they endured last night as fuel, go to vancouver and play with some kind of effort that indicates that someone in the dressing room actually gives a rats ass about winning a few hockey games.
    Prediction: Oilers miss the playoffs, and I have been an oilers fan for close to 20 years.

  • Jonathan Willis

    Gord wrote:

    Waive Horc and send him a message that we think extending his contract at $7m/year was a big mistake based on his recent effort.

    Two points:

    1) Horcoff's extension was 5.5-million per season, and it doesn't kick in until next year. This season, he's earning 3.6-million; and that's a bargain contract when you look at what Cole and Penner are making. Whatever people's opinion of Horcoff's extension, please realize that he's a) a bargain this year and b) use the right cap figure.

    2) Waive Horcoff? Guy goes 59% on the night at faceoffs, scores a goal, and finishes -1 in a 9-2 loss, and he's the problem? Really? How does that even make sense? He threw a hit and led the team in shots on goal as well. Clearly, Horcoff is the problem. Not Erik Cole, not the invisible second line, and not the checkers who can't check or the goalies who can't make saves. It was a bad loss, but on a team with 15 or so scapegoats, why pick on a guy who was OK?

  • Jonathan Willis

    Gord wrote:

    Waive Horc and send him a message that we think extending his contract at $7m/year was a <big mistake based on his recent effort.

    Fun side note – Horcoff has 11 points in the last 9 games. What a loser! Why doesn't he even try? A real first line centre would have at least 12 points!

  • Jonathan Willis

    And while we're at it, an open question to everyone – which of these four players would you most want on your roster next season (keeping cap hit in mind):

    a) Dustin Penner – 4.25M
    b) Shawn Horcoff – 5.5M
    c) Ethan Moreau – 2.0M
    d) Steve Staios – 2.7M

    My persoanl answer is B, each and every time. Yes, the contract is steep, but it isn't ridiculous (yet – if the salary cap drops that could very well change), especially compared to other contracts on this team.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    And while we’re at it, an open question to everyone – which of these four players would you most want on your roster next season (keeping cap hit in mind):
    a) Dustin Penner – 4.25M
    b) Shawn Horcoff – 5.5M
    c) Ethan Moreau – 2.0M
    d) Steve Staios – 2.7M
    My persoanl answer is B, each and every time. Yes, the contract is steep, but it isn’t ridiculous (yet – if the salary cap drops that could very well change), especially compared to other contracts on this team.

    I would say 'B' too….Devil's Advocate says though….

    Which of those four, at those prices could you possibly move, especially at this salary cap. WHEN (not IF) the cap drops, there's going to be trouble. Yes, every team has bad contracts….but this team seems to have a disproportionate amount.

  • Gord

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Last year prior to injury he was excellent. Putting up points with Hemsky and Penner the last couple weeks is automatic and any other Oiler could produce at the same rate given the same opportunities. Since coming back from his shoulder injury Horcoff has been horrible and is far from the same player he was last season. Don't let the stats blind you JW.

    After Horc's new contract kicks in, he makes $7M next season, $6.5M for the next 2 seasons and $6M for the final year – that averages out to a $6.5M cap hit by my math, but if I am wrong please explain why.

  • Cam

    @ everyone except Jonathan

    Horcoff is about a 0.9 PPG player. That usually nets you 5.5 M all by it's lonesome. Factor in that he is a pretty good shutdown guy, good on faceoffs, a team leader, and he blocks shots with his face.

    He sounds liek a bargain to me. The first line is the only good one – leave them alone.

    Let's put the blame where it deserves to be – lines 2, 3, and 4. They blow. One line cannot win you a division.

  • Jonathan Willis

    @ Gord:

    It's 33 million over 6 years. I can't remember how it breaks down, but the numbers you're quoting are wrong.

    Also, I seem to recall that Jarret Stoll couldn't get it done with Hemsky and Penner, and Cole couldn't get it done with Horcoff and Hemsky, and Moreau couldn't get it done with Horcoff and Hemsky, so it's hardly automatic.

  • Cam

    Excuse the multiple posts, but I just gotta say it again.

    Lines 2, 3, and 4 blow.

    They just suck this year. It's gross. Is it any surprise that our PK is sucking too, since the specialists come from those three lines.

  • Jonathan Willis

    Gord wrote:

    After Horc’s new contract kicks in, he makes $7M next season, $6.5M for the next 2 seasons and $6M for the final year – that averages out to a $6.5M cap hit by my math, but if I am wrong please explain why.

    I see where the confusion lies – you're looking at NHL numbers.com, which doesn't show the last two years of his contract, which are worth a combined 7 million, for a 5.5M cap hit per season.

  • Dennis

    Gregor or Brownlee:

    Either of you guys want to dig and found out why we don't block shots anymore on the PK? Or why we stopped pressuring down-ice? Or why they keep employing the same stupid strategy every game?

  • OilFan in Calgary

    Why doesn't the Oilers' record on the home page update?

    Also, other websites that show the Oilers' schedule have a adopted a neat colour coding feature that helps differentiate between home and away games – have you ever considered using this technology?

  • RobinB

    @ Cam:

    Horcoff is a .9 player? You mean he's been a .9 player in two of his eight seasons, right? You're massaging the numbers big time.

    00-01 16 in 49 .32
    01-02 22 in 61 .36
    02-03 33 in 78 .42
    03-04 40 in 80 .50
    05-06 73 in 79 .92
    06-07 51 in 80 .63
    07-08 50 in 53 .94
    08-09 22 in 29 .73
    career 307 in 509 .60

    I've danced the polka twice, it doesn't make me a polka dancer. I've played darts twice. It doesn't make me a dart player. Horcoff is a handy, versatile player who has worked hard to accomplish what he has, but let's not toss out numbers that don't accurately reflect his offensive production.

    What does .60 net you "all by it's lonesome?" You and anybody else who chooses to can justify his contract if you must, but it's an overpay that's going to get worse rather than better two years from now.

  • Cam

    @RobinB

    Do you really think he will only get 0.6 PPG for the remainder of his contract? If so then of course he is an overpay.

    I think he was given those kinds of bucks this summer because he is expected to be a 0.9+ PPG a season player, which he has done for two of the last three years. I expect that of him, and if he doesn't deliver then I will concede that it wasn't a bargain, but if he does deliver then I am sure you will be happy to eat your words. Unfortunately in five years we will both probably have forgotten them.

    I should add that IMO any stat that includes pre-lockout Horcoff will not be a very good indicator of the Horcoff on the ice today. It is like watching a different player. It's only since he played in Europe that Horcoff really got his O-game.