APRIL FOOLS

letdown2

In yet another kick to the groin, the Edmonton Oilers shafted themselves — or is it bladed themselves? — in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks when coach Craig MacTavish guessed wrong on Teemu Selanne’s stick.

MacTavish thought he had it right when he asked the referees to measure the blade of Selanne’s stick with 2:11 to play, thinking it was too wide, but he got it wrong because he got bad information.

It was just another blunder to add to the misery of Oiler fans who’ve now packed Rexall Place for 151 straight games and in return have been treated to expensive beer, too many half-assed efforts, a grand total of 16 wins in 37 home games and untold heartache this season.

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I’m wondering if whoever it was that was eye-balling Anaheim’s stick rack is the same guy who looked over the Oilers roster in pre-season and whispered in MacTavish’s ear he’d bet his job this team would contend for a Northwest Division title. Or did MacT act alone?

Either way, somebody’s going to pay after April 11.

PARTING GIFT FOR MACT?

Selanne shrugged off suggestions in the post-game scrum the blade of his stick was too wide or that he’d made a quick change of twigs. The Finnish Flash instead took a bit of a poke at MacTavish.

“No, not really,” shrugged Selanne, asked if he’d swapped sticks or if it was common to replace illegal sticks with legal ones late in games. “I try to have it as wide as I can because the ice is so bad in a lot of buildings. “It’s right on the borderline, but I knew it was going to be good, so I didn’t really have to worry about it. There’s not much curve at all, but it looks pretty wide.”

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Wide enough, obviously, that MacTavish, likely convinced by his stick rack spy, gambled in the hope of going on the power play after Zack Stortini cut Anaheim’s lead to 4-3 at 17:49. “I don’t know who it was,” smiled Selanne, asked if he thought that it was MacTavish who’d been casting suspicious glances toward his stick. “Maybe I should sign the stick for him, though.”

ON EMPTY

No way Dwayne Roloson deserves to be thrown under the bus with the record-setting 33-game stretch he’s played, but he’s looked tired the last two games and it only makes sense he’s finally out of gas.

As much as he’s battled, Roloson gave up three goals on 21 shots, including a softy by Martin Skoula, in the 3-2 loss to Minnesota and there’s no way he should get beat high on the short side by Rob Niedermayer to put the Ducks up 4-1 late in the second period.

So, what do the Oilers do now? Lock Roloson’s 39-year-old bones in a hyperbaric chamber until Thursday or toss Jeff Deslauriers between the pipes when he hasn’t played a minute since Feb. 7 and hasn’t made a start since Nov. 30? That’s not an option.

As dubious as the Selanne stick measurement was, the decision not to give Deslauriers a start or two in the last 33 games, especially with three sets of back-to-back games since Feb. 16, might prove to be more costly.

For me, that’s a more damning indictment of MacTavish’s judgment than the bad call on Selanne’s lumber.

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BY THE NUMBERS

— Not to leave former GM and president of hockey operations Kevin Lowe and his scouting staff out of all the fun, Ryan Getzlaf, selected 19th overall by the Ducks in the 2003 Entry Draft, had two assists Tuesday and has 88-174-262 in 292 games.

Marc Pouliot, taken 22nd by the Oilers in 2003, was a healthy scratch for the eighth time in the last nine games. He’s scored 14-25-39 in 140 games.

— Stortini has scored five goals in the last 18 games he’s played. Shawn Horcoff has two goals in his last 18 and Ales Hemsky has three in his last 18. Who’s been the ham-handed plumber when it’s mattered?

— How many games have the Oilers lost in the second period? They have been outscored 90-74 in the middle frame this season, including 3-0 last night.

— At 16-15-6 the Oilers need to run the table in their final four games at Rexall Place just to hit 20 wins at home this season. There isn’t a team in a playoff position today with a home record nearly as lame.

— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.

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  • Ogden Brother

    albundy wrote:

    listening to Bryne om TEAM 1260 he said today that no star is going to come to Edmonton because of what happened between KLOWE and Comrie. Bryne said KLOWE asked for money back and that went all around the league. I have to believe Bryne.
    add that to the bad contracts KLOWE has signed and does it not add up to a very poor performance by KLOWE and to start the clean up he should leave even before MacT goes?

    Why are we always looking for a conspiracy theory? That may be a (small) piece of the reason but their are many, many more reasons why the "top notch" FA isn't coming here.

  • Aaron

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    @ hockeysmack:
    Nonsense. The argument was that after Comrie, no star would come to Edmonton. Chris Pronger did.
    Besides which, I could just have easily mentioned Sheldon Souray, or Thomas Vanek – who did sign a contract with the Oilers, although it was matched.
    The argument that Comrie spelled the end of star acquisitions is nonsensical.

    PLUS, Comrie himself is not a star so the argument falls apart immediately. He is a decent, 2-line player, nothing more.

  • Rick

    It's a shame that the illegal stick call was getting so much play last night and today around Oilers fandom. The game wasn't lost on that call, the game was lost in the 40 minute no show that preceded it.

    If MacT deserves any critisism for last night it was for continually trotting out Horcoff and Hemsky for 20 minutes on the night when they flat out sucked from the drop of the opening face off.

  • Ogden Brother

    Zamboni Driver wrote:

    Jonathan Willis wrote:
    @ hockeysmack:
    Nonsense. The argument was that after Comrie, no star would come to Edmonton. Chris Pronger did.
    Besides which, I could just have easily mentioned Sheldon Souray, or Thomas Vanek – who did sign a contract with the Oilers, although it was matched.
    The argument that Comrie spelled the end of star acquisitions is nonsensical.
    True, the Comrie thing is ancient history, the problem now is the team is:
    a) Utterly pathetic, so who’d want to come here? (Souray is very good, but not an elite player)
    b) Unable to sign anyone decent because their ‘Braintrust’ has invested buckets full of money on garbage (irrespective of what your abacus says, Penner and Horcoff are going to kill this team)

    $$ is a small part of the problem. No one wanted to come here when the team had $$ to burn either.

  • Archaeologuy

    I heard that the Oilers are thinking of remedying their size problem in the draft by going for big bodies. Isnt that how we ended up with Marc Andre Poopypants instead of Zach Parise?

  • As a season seat holder the last 10 years it becomes frustrating watching the same Oilers teams batteling year after year,even the year we went to game seven we finished 8th,correct me if I am wrong the last 9 years under K lowe and Mac T this team has never finished better than sixth place,We where told that after the lock out we would be competetive and no fear of losing our stars,yet no stars want to come to play in Edmonton,Sure Pronger came had a look around and after one year asked to be traded,Is it the management of this team,the coaching,the organization that no one wants to come here?Our drafting record the last 10 years is a joke,I would have had more luck throwing darts on the wall than our scouting department, with some of the wasted picks they have made.Our General manager over payed Penner and Horcoff,we are now stuck with them for the long term,once he found out what a mess he made with this team he gets promoted,our coach is quick to blame his players for poor performance,yet his pp and pk is a joke he takes no responsiability for his teams poor performance, his coaching record is below 500 in the time he has been here yet we keep him around,There are other gerneral managers who will tell you they saw this coming Brian Burke to name one,This organization is in trouble,As a Oilers fan watching these guys play is diss hearting going to games is no longer fun,it is frustrating,I would hope that who ever is in charge will do something and not feed all of us Oilers fans a buch of propoganda. It is time we go in a new direction without K lowe and Mac T look at what the expansion franchises have done in the last 10 years look at what columbus has done with our Ex assaistant Gm and Hitchcock as coach what have we accomplished?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Archaeologuy:
    Don't we need skill rather than size?

    We have Stortini who fights, MacIntyre who fights, Strudwick who fights, Peckham who fights, Jacques who fights, Souray who dominates, Moreau who fights, Staois who fights… But who scores? Oh…Stortini… right.

  • Sandra

    matbe something like this?

    Hey, I'm not an offensive defencemen or a forward
    I don't score goals, rush the puck or have any hockey records.
    and I don't like Burke, Ryan or Carlyle, but i'm sure they are mourons.
    I have the boys club not a coaching staff.
    I speak english and french, not American
    and I call it Oilers Hockey not Trap
    I have a tatoo on my back
    I believe in defence not offence, Horcoff and not Getzlaf
    The Oil drop is a truly proud and noble symbol of hockey
    Fans opinions don't matter thier just coach potato's
    It is pronounced Horcoff not Horcov.
    Edmonton is the second largest hockey bed, the first "oilersnation" of hockey and the best part of the NHL
    MY NAME IS KEVIN AND I AM THE G.M.

    Thank you

  • shakey

    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:
    Fellow frustrated fan, you're wrong on one point…
    The Oilers have finished no higher than 8th place since 2000/2001.
    00/01 – 8th, 01/02 – 9th, 02/03 – 8th, 03/04 – 9th, 04/05 lock-out, 05/06 – 8th, 06/07 – 12th, 07/08 – 9th, 08/09 TBA (just not sure how far below 8th yet)

    Disgusting we've had to put up with this for so long.

  • Slurve

    @ Robin Brownlee:
    Comrie for Cory Perry and all felled through when Lowe demanded the bonus money back at 2.5 mil. Rich Winters almost choked on his steak at the Sawridge when he heard what Lowe did. Winters was more than livid at Lowe to say the least. Murray of Anaheim was thankful the deal went bust. Could have had Cory Perry…wouldn't that have been a sweet deal.

    Btw, the signing of Horcoff to a mega contract looks so bad. Horc is playing crap for a top line and well paid center. Why isn't he in MacT's doghouse? Oh right, MacT has his favorites.

    Na na na naa… hey-hey-hey goodbye…

  • Archaeologuy

    @ I'm a Scientist!:
    I'm not disagreeing with you, I just heard thats the direction they want to go.

    I just cant help but believe that the Oilers will goof up the top 10 draft pick they will likely finish with, one last bit of solid info from MacT to sway the puppet and his master in the draft.

  • Ogden Brother

    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:
    in the last 10 yrs, the Oilers are in the top5 for draft picks making it to the NHL. From the span of 1999-2008 they have had 32 draft picks dress for the team. Only teams with more are Chicago (38), Los Angeles (38), Boston (36), Washington (33). Pittsburgh and Columbus are also tied with 32.

  • Rival

    Slurve wrote:

    @ Robin Brownlee:
    Comrie for Cory Perry and all felled through when Lowe demanded the bonus money back at 2.5 mil. Rich Winters almost choked on his steak at the Sawridge when he heard what Lowe did. Winters was more than livid at Lowe to say the least. Murray of Anaheim was thankful the deal went bust. Could have had Cory Perry…wouldn’t that have been a sweet deal.
    Btw, the signing of Horcoff to a mega contract looks so bad. Horc is playing crap for a top line and well paid center. Why isn’t he in MacT’s doghouse? Oh right, MacT has his favorites.
    Na na na naa… hey-hey-hey goodbye…

    And lets also remember that the 1st that was coming back from ANA was alot lower than the one we got from Philly which ended up being Schremp.

    Just another one of the colossal mistakes made by Lowe.

  • Ogden Brother wrote:

    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:
    in the last 10 yrs, the Oilers are in the top5 for draft picks making it to the NHL. From the span of 1999-2008 they have had 32 draft picks dress for the team. Only teams with more are Chicago (38), Los Angeles (38), Boston (36), Washington (33). Pittsburgh and Columbus are also tied with 32.

    How many players have gone on to play more than 10 NHL games? Name me more than two players not named Sam Gagner who have developed into a decent NHL player,they also won 5 cups 25 years ago or so my question to you is are you satisfied with this organization performance as whole the last ten years? Are you a season ticket holder?

  • Ogden Brother

    Poo Czar wrote:

    @ Ogden Brother:
    That’s all well and good, but that number includes too many Reddox’s & Pouliot’s, not enough Mike Green’s and Ryan Getzlaf’s…

    Far more analysis is required to draw a conclusion on the drafting capabilities.

  • Ogden Brother

    oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:

    Ogden Brother wrote:
    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:
    in the last 10 yrs, the Oilers are in the top5 for draft picks making it to the NHL. From the span of 1999-2008 they have had 32 draft picks dress for the team. Only teams with more are Chicago (38), Los Angeles (38), Boston (36), Washington (33). Pittsburgh and Columbus are also tied with 32.
    How many players have gone on to play more than 10 NHL games? Name me more than two players not named Sam Gagner who have developed into a decent NHL player,they also won 5 cups 25 years ago or so my question to you is are you satisfied with this organization performance as whole the last ten years? Are you a season ticket holder?

    Umm Hemsky/Cogliano/

  • Ogden Brother wrote:

    oilersseasonticketholdersince99 wrote:
    Ogden Brother wrote:
    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:
    Name me more than two players not named Sam Gagner who have developed into a decent NHL player,they also won 5 cups 25 years ago or so my question to you is are you satisfied with this organization performance as whole the last ten years? Are you a season ticket holder?
    Umm Hemsky/Cogliano/

    Thats two who is the third?The way you defend Mac t and this organization I wouldnt be surprised if you are Toby petersons or liam reddexs brother.You are not a season seat holder, If it cost you money or you where a true Oilers fan you would agree that this organizations track record over the last decade has been a joke

  • Poo Czar

    @ Ogden Brother:
    Hey man, I love me some Oilers, but to say they're one of the top 5 drafing teams in the NHL based on that metric is just crazy.

    They've done ALRIGHT, but I think the results are pretty clear at this point, aren't they? Isn't the combined performance of Edmonton and Springfield this year a better testament of drafting acumen than how many fringe NHLers had a cup of coffee in the league over the last decade? (a number bumped signifigantly by the injury carnage a few years back I might add)

  • Ogden Brother

    @ oilersseasonticketholdersince99:

    You're all over the map.

    You really want to know what Oiler DP's in the last 10 years have turned into solid NHL'ers?

    Hemsky
    Gagner
    Cogliano
    Horcoff
    Stoll
    Greene
    Stortini
    Brodziak
    Comrie

    And really that would be over the last 7 years as it's far to soon to judge 2006 and later

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    @ Ogden Brother:

    To say that the raw number of draft picks that make the NHL team is any indication of drafting prowess is bogus. Obviously any player drafted by the Oilers has a better shot of cracking the NHL roster than a player drafted by Detroit does of cracking theirs. Does that therefore make the Oilers a better drafting team than the Wings?

  • Ogden Brother

    @ Mike Krushelnyski:

    Remember what was being replied to was:

    "Our drafting record the last 10 years is a joke"

    Seems like a far over exageration to call middle of the pack drafting a joke.