GDB 32: Phx v Edm

You’ll forgive us if we aren’t exactly wetting our pants in anticipation of the game tonight. See, Friday night didn’t go exactly as planned. Santa failed us. The Oilers failed us. The taxi companies failed us. Operation Red Nose failed us. The legal system failed us. Now we are left to sit at the Remand Centre looking out over a cold cityscape and wonder what went wrong.

OK fine. We aren’t really in the prison downtown. But we are in a way worse kind of prison. A prison of the mind. And that’s way worse, trust us. We are all imprisioned by a crappy team, folks, and we aren’t getting out any time soon.

Real round table analysis

We had a long talk over a tall beer with a few of the boys after the game. We accused one dude of being a bandwagon jumper –- which he took with characteristically bad humour.

“Screw you Wanye” he yelled. “I am no bandwagon jumper. I’m here every single game griping the entire time. I wish the Oilers weren’t so crappy this year. I wish that we could sit here and say ‘Wow, the forwards sure are scoring left and right.’ I wish I could say ‘It’s Christmas and I am already fairly certain the Oilers are going to make the playoffs this year.’ But that ain’t the case is it?”

It’s an interesting distinction between fans who have a legitimate axe to grind and bandwagon jumpers.

We ran into our boy Ssseth at the game on Friday. He is the prime example of an Oiler fan that has been completely failed by the squad, in our opinion. With every failed pass, weak back check and fancy play that went awry you could see his anger starting to build. Don’t get us wrong — when the Oil tied the game in the third, there was joy and high fives all around. But when the shoot-out ended, he left the building faster than Elvis leaves a concert. Don’t kid yourself: this guy is a superfan. But even superfans have their limits of the crap they can tolerate.

Is this bandwagon jumping? No. And we guess that’s the point.

No jumping here

All the comments on sites like these, all the calls to radio shows all over town, all the water cooler talk about “Whatever is to be done about that Oiler hockey squadron?” All these folks really want is a winner. No one really wants MacT to be fired. They just want the team to win. No one really wants to see Nilsson, Roloson or (insert other Oiler in the dog house here) shipped out of town. You ask anyone on here that is vehement that MacT be fired the following question and watch their reply.

“Would you rather see MacT fired or the Oilers make the playoffs?”

We will bet it will be ridiculously lopsided. In fact we will make it the poll.

Look around RX1 during any given night of late. Look at the good people who have shelled out hundreds of their own dollars for tickets –- and then thousands of dollars for flat beers. We don’t see a bandwagon jumper in the house. We have been to games in plenty of cities too, so we’ve seen the lame noise that passes for applause in all too many expansion cities.

It’s different here. But there really is a limit to how much mediocrity one team’s fans can take. And perhaps we haven’t arrived at that point yet, but it is definitely on the horizon and getting closer with every passing minute.

You can’t help but feel for the Citizens of the OilersNation. It’s nut-freezing cold out, pitch black 23 hours a day and there really ain’t shit to do up here but have a few beers and watch a few scores. So turn out to watch we do: in droves.

In RX1, at the bars, buying the PPV broadcasts or sitting around with a bunch of fellow “bandwagon jumpers” ignoring your poker game because the Oilers are down 3-1 “but on a powerplay.” Teams in 25 other cities would KILL for the level of fan dedication. Our team seems content to sit on its hands and issue a bunch of platitudes about effort and turning the corner.

So this is prison.

On a related note: we will see YOU at the JL meeting tonight.

  • Hockey Gods

    @ RobinB:
    I think I made it quite obvious earlier today that I can barely spell and can't type. Sorry BROWNLEEEEE I am becoming your biggest fan please love me back.

  • Stache_master

    I voted before reading the article… My vote is that the oil make the playoffs with or without macT.

    If it takes a firing to get things going than so be it. I have felt for some time that this coach has lost this team somehow.

    On the flipside… I do remember similar coach hating about 36 months ago, which causes some hope that all is not lost if Katz holds off on the dropkick.

  • Deep Oil

    Isn't Pat Quinn starting his new job here after the juniors and MacT gets the Denis Savard job of being team ambassador – re: carrying KLowes briefcase and shaking hands in the club lounge (no excitement here).

  • Dennis Castro

    The Oilers missed the bus when it came to selecting a new head coach, if they had been thinking they would have been talking to Brent Sutter before he went to the Devils. The way he worked with the Jr. when he coached them showed that he knows how to work with young players, and I think he can get through to older players. I just think Mac T has lost the room, and nothing will improve until he is gone.

  • ramped up

    @ Dennis Castro:
    I think things can improve if they move out one goalie. If we can put that to rest we can then look to a trade. I think Staios is not very good this year for some reason…maybe he thinks his days in the NHL are numbered and wants to win a cup?? We can move him then bring up Peckham. I agree with some of the others in that the oil will not make a move on Mac-T until they have exhausted all other avenues. Look forward to another playoff run dashed if we don't make a move quickly.

  • Gord

    freeze wrote:

    Top line shat.
    Above expectation effort by the 4th.
    Great games from Cogs & Pou!! Who knew that Pou just needed to be deployed in an offensive role?!

    The fact that he was an offensive star in junior (even before having Crosby on his line) should have been the first clue.

  • Deep Oil

    @ ramped up:
    moving a goalie wont happen until trade deadline – with luongo, brodeur (injured) and Dale Tallon on drugs with two $5 and $6mm dollar tenders the market is frozen – LA wanted reclamation project Ray Emery – but his recent interview with hockey central indicated his social life in Moscow was better than Ottawa – check out the website – http://www.russianlovematch.com – bottom line is JDD had no where to go and Lowe handcuffed himself – in hindsight Rollie has earned his contract – even though his birth certificate is past best before date – he may sign here for one more year if Garon is punted as a Cujo – but better save percentage and GAA.
    Today – contracts are traded and players are just add ons – that is why Toronto will be taking on one year salary in exchange for draft picks. If teams could trade – sell salary cap to other teams – there would be way more movement – can you name a blockbuster NHL trade this year ????? Add the goaltender equation and you are playing shoot tutor all night long.

  • Ssseth

    I read this site pretty much daily, but I rarely comment.

    All I can say is holy hobble-knockers™! I'm honored to be called a superfan, I really am. God knows with this team it's not easy some days. I'm going to show my wife this and proudly proclaim "See, I told you! All those thousands upon thousands of hours (never mind dollars) of watching, reading, talking, listening, thinking, dreaming, praying and hallucinating about the Oilers have finally paid off! I'm not a lunatic, there are others like me!". Maybe she'll let me buy another jersey (you can never have enough jerseys right?). Some days I imagine my wife prays for the off seasons as much as I pray for Oil to bring home Lord Stanley's mug once again.

    So about the game on Friday night against the Ducks; It's funny, I noticed "this guy" in the row in front of me with an Oilersnation t-shirt on. I didn't think they were out yet, so it was driving me bananas wondering where he got it. Finally I cracked and had to ask. Lo' and beyold it was Wayne Gretz himself! It was great. I think I was just as pumped to meet someone from Oilersnation as he was to meet someone who reads it. 🙂 Talking with him at times during the game, I could really feel his passion for the Oilers. I think you just know a diehard fan when you meet one and he definitely fits the bill. Keep up the great work Wanye (and company), I do enjoy it!

    I was at the 'Yotes game last night as well. Does anyone know if there were some rule changes in the off season I missed? I thought a game was supposed to be 3 periods, not the 1 or 2 the Oilers have been putting in so far this year. All I want for Christmas is a consistent 60 minute effort! Oh well, at least they were able to pull off the win. I guess it’s nice to have some positive feelings about the Oil heading into Christmas, right? Being an Oilers fan all these years, I've learned to take what I can get.

    Have a safe and happy holiday season Nation!

  • Wanye Gretz

    @ Ssseth:

    Well this is a nice comment to get! Way better than the usual "Wanye – have you suffered brain damage at any point in your life?"

    "Talking with him at times during the game, I could really feel his passion for the Oilers."

    I hope my passion for Sheldon Souray came though too. And by passion I mean man crush and by man crush I mean stalker tendencies.

    I agree with the 60 minutes of effort wish too. All I want for Christmas is a 60 minute effort and a first line winger who can shoot the puck through the boards and beat the crap out of the underperforming player of the week – whomever he may be.

    Have a good Christmas and even better '09 Ssseth.

    Note: Those good wishes go only to Ssseth. The rest of you – no merry anythings.