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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.


  • Great post. I agree.

    A bandwagoner is someone who complains about how this team isnt worth paying the money for while theyre losing, but if they have success in the playoffs they act like the apocolypse is coming in trying to get tickets.

  • Wanye Gretz

    baggedmilk wrote:

    I disagree Wanye, I really really do want to see Craig MacTavish removed from his post.

    What if you could pick only one: playoffs or MacT fired?

  • Wanye Gretz wrote:

    baggedmilk wrote:
    What if you could pick only one: playoffs or MacT fired?

    This may be unpopular but I would honestly pick having MacT fired. It's time for a new regime and some new ideas to come into this organization. Having the Oilers sneak into the 8th spot when they're spending this close to the cap just won't do anymore.

  • Jason Gregor

    Here are the lines tonight, fresh off the presses:

    Hemsky – Horcoff – Penner
    Moreau – Cogliano – Pouliot
    Reddox – Gagner – Cole
    Strudwick – Brodziak – Stortini

    Astute fans may note the absence of Nilsson who has been benched for the evening for his lackluster effort of late.

  • RobinB

    @ Wanye Gretz:
    In this "prison of the mind," do you put on pumps, nylons and lipstick and sashay around the cellblock on Friday nights like you used to at the Remand Centre?

  • Gord

    baggedmilk wrote:

    Wanye Gretz wrote:
    baggedmilk wrote:
    What if you could pick only one: playoffs or MacT fired?
    This may be unpopular but I would honestly pick having MacT fired. It’s time for a new regime and some new ideas to come into this organization. Having the Oilers sneak into the 8th spot when they’re spending this close to the cap just won’t do anymore.

    I'm with BM on this. Squeaking into 8th isn't my idea of success. A better choice might be:
    winning the division or MacT fired?

  • I have a plan:

    I realized I haven't been enough of a fan…I've only watched/listened/live streamed every game I possibly could and paid for all the PPV's so far and I've followed closely along with most of the JL meetings.

    So, to make up for my lack of fandom…I've decided I'm wearing my jersey while I watch on my couch tonite. I'm wearing my Oiler's hat. I'm wearing my Oilers socks. I'm wearing my Oilers scarf. I'm drinking beer nicely insulated by an Oilers bottle cozy thingy. I'll even light the room by a sweet little string of Oilers themed xmas lights.

    There's no way they can lose.

    No way.

    …but if they do, I have an Oiler's Baby Pacifier to get me through it.

  • Wanye Gretz

    RobinB wrote:

    @ Wanye Gretz:
    In this “prison of the mind,” do you put on pumps, nylons and lipstick and sashay around the cellblock on Friday nights like you used to at the Remand Centre?

    Oh great, now everyone knows where we met now Robin.

  • shakey

    I have friends that I call 'blind fans'. They see nothing but roses and when we watch a game together and I groan over Staios imitating the zamboni or Pouliot giving the puck away they say that I'm so negative and I need to think happy thoughts. I don't live and die by every single Oilers game but I do get worked up when the mistakes made are the same ones that I've groaned over year after year. We lived with the 'aw shucks…small market' crap for a long time. Then we see some aggression by going after Vanek, Nylander,Penner and Hossa. Then we get a new owner, one that says he'll spend close to the cap if it means icing a competitive team but the more things change, the more they stay the same. I want to stand up and cheer until my throat bleeds but on most nights it's my stomach and my eyes that are left bleeding because of the disappointment I just witnessed. I was a fan back in the 80's and was a fan during the Shane Corson 90's and I'm still a fan but don't call me a bandwagon jumper because I expect more than we've been given. I'd love to be one of those fans that is constantly happy with their team…but it is what it is.

  • bookie

    I have supported many players of this team after the 'mases' got down on them, I have supported MacT up until this year.

    thanks for pointing out that some of us have the RIGHT to believe that a coaching change might do some good. Also worth pointing out is that we are not advocating an abandonment of coaching… just a change in who is doing it. I have my days where I defend MacT, but really every good move he make is balanced by an obviously bad one (lets put Garon on Left wing…)

    Either the team is crap or the coach is. I think the logical choice is to replace one before the other.

  • Wanye Gretz

    The Towel Boy wrote:

    Wanye Gretz wrote:
    The Towel Boy wrote:
    I have a plan:
    WHO SAW THIS COMING??
    Ouch…stung by my own venom. Curses!

    I have been meaning to throw that at ya but haven't seen the opportunity arise.

    UNTIL TODAY

  • Is today the day we witness a 32nd pants crapping by the Oilers? Who knows? I've seen the Oilers in some tough times and know that the way that this team is built it doesn't have to be that way. From icing Mats Lindgren and Alex Selivanov on the top line to almost winning it all in '06.

    Bottom line is that this team is too mired in that almost a playoff team mediocrity. Most coaches in the league get maybe two seasons to turn the ship around from scratch. MacT caught lightning in a bottle in '06 and saved his ass by having that team go as far as they did. His creative coaching saw us barely squeeze in there and he got lucky with a killer team. I say fire MacT now, get someone fresh and mean to go behind our bench.

    I know it's a Calgary move but I'd rather have my kids cheering the Oilers then anyone else and hopefully they right this one sooner rather then later. Go Oilers Go, or at least make an effort.

  • tricksnard

    The Towel Boy wrote:

    wearing my Oilers socks. I’m wearing my Oilers scarf. I’m drinking beer nicely insulated by an Oilers bottle cozy thingy. I’ll even light the room by a sweet little string of Oilers themed xmas lights.

    There’s no way they can lose.

    No way.

    You didn't do this before?

    I rock the Oilers boxers, hat, jersey and a 6 pack of 50 every single game.

  • Cam

    The worst bandwagon I ever saw was in 2004 when all kinds of folks started flying Flames Flags around town. What a bunch of friggin dorks. The only time I have touched a flames flag was to ram it up someone's – oh… sorry mom…

  • Hockey Gods

    I have to chose between firing the coach, or making the playoff's. I pick canning the coach, and the whole management team. I am sick of being fed the same line of BS year after year. Call me a bandwagon jumper if you want but here is a fact.

    MacT and the management team went on record saying this is the best team they have built in years. They also went on record saying we compete for the divion title. The problem is they based this on a 20 game adreniline and booze induced strech run.

    I think the truth is we were over sold worse than that slimeball salesman at the GM dealership. We told a bunch of babyfaced kids still hoping to get their first smell of sweet sweet pelt, would lead us the promised land. The truth is 2 of our 4 lines and 3 of 6 smen have less than 3 years NHL expereince, we were also told a the backstop to this would be a jouneyman goalie who was ywt to prove he could carry the load for more than 1 consecutive season.

    I am not discounting the capabilities of our young guns, I am sure they will be excellent NHLers some day soon. I am pissed at the fact the people who are supposed to know it all believed this was a team that could compete. Either people are very shitty at their jobs, or they should be having trouble sleeping at night for fooling us all into continuing to support them.

    The men in charge have proven nothing in their time, sure we made a SCF once, but I bet the dancing man on 178th street has been laid once too, that doesn't mean he is an expert on women and relationships. 8 years of mediocrity does not qualify for job secuirity in a tough economy.

    Off with their heads, bring in a team of managers and coaches to reasses, keep the good assests we have (Deal with some of the contract wwe're locked into) and build a good team through the draft and free agency… most of build a team with an identity.

    Oiler fans, we have no one to blame but ourselves, we believed the off season propaganda.

    BTW
    If the Oilers make the playoffs and make a run I will cheer loadly, I am a fan it's my right. I will praise the players, hey they made the NHL there must be a reason. But I won't pariase coaching and management.

  • Hockey Gods

    RobinB wrote:

    Hockey Gods wrote:
    We told a bunch of babyfaced kids still hoping to get their first smell of sweet sweet pelt, would lead us the promised land.
    Pardon?

    Whoops I meant to say We were told…

  • Ender the Dragon

    bookie wrote:

    I have my days where I defend MacT, but really every good move he make is balanced by an obviously bad one (lets put Garon on Left wing…)

    I admit to being a little surprised by the fact that tonight will see a defenceman dressing as a forward again (not even Smid this time). Nonetheless, for all of you calling for MacT's head, riddle me this: What if his stupid plan actually works?

    Let's define 'works'. Realistically, what do we expect from a fourth-line winger? It ain't points, 'cuz Mr. Laraque was probably the most popular 4th liner we've had in awhile and he averaged around 15 pts a season, most of them heavy-handed assists. So what we really want is someone who makes the other team a little bit nervous for a few minutes each game and won't get scored against while they're doing it. If they chip in a point or so every half-dozen games, so much the better.

    Does anyone think Strudwick (or Smid) can't fit this description? Because if they do, then they're filling the role of a 4th line winger just fine and leave MacT the hell alone already.

    Of course, no one will give him any credit if it 'works'. They'll just assume MacT 'got away with it'. Well I for one admire the creativity that MacT has shown this year. Some of it is unconventional, but a lot of 'conventional' coaches would probably have put their head in their hands in despair long since, and taken no creative measures to make up for players who look like they're playing on 3 hours of sleep most games.

    Before anyone pipes up about how 'stupid' MacT is to have yet one more player playing out of position, let's give it a chance to work first and judge on a realistic expectation of results, shall we?

    Oh, and feel free to chip in about all the off-wing stuff not working. 'Cuz that has nothing to do with the players not showing up; that's all about how the coach didn't give them the right opportunity. Pfffft.

  • deffinatly no hockey expert

    So lets say the Oilers make the playoffs, wont MacT get himself a big contract extension?

    As well did anyone else hear the rumor of the Oilers interested in Spezza?