GDB MINUS 1: Emotional faceoffs

anchorman

And so the preseason that saw the return of Mike Comrie, the continued fall of Rob Schremp and the dehydration of Nikolai Khabibulin draws to a close with tonight’s tilt against the Canucks. And about time if you ask us – although an uninspired preseason could lead to a brick of a start to the regular season too.

We have had the honour of observing a great many of these preseason games and like many in the Nation we are starting to shake our head at the preseason version of these Edmonton Oilers of ours. To say that the Oilers have been, well unemotional at best, is an understatement.

Anyone catch the game against the Flames? Good gravy was that a stink bomb. And the most recent outing against the Bolts? It probably left many in the City of Winnipeg thankful they haven’t had to pay that kind of money to watch that bad of an end to a game since the Jets left.

Yes, it’s a nerve racking time to be a fan of the 2009-2010 Edmonton Oilers. We traditionally use this preseason hockey to irrationally seize upon heroes, goats or anything in between to carry us through the long winter. And with the exception of Comrie’s four point night and the continued emergence of young Eberle, there hasn’t been much for us to get wound up about.

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Hopefully the Mighty Oil can start to show some life in this final preseason game tonight. We would be even more concerned if it weren’t for the presence of Coaching Newbies Pat Quinn and Tom Renney though. They seem to be watching things from the bench, arms crossed in thinkery and building some sort of plan. One must imagine that they have come to the following conclusions:

Fact: Sheldon Souray can wire the puck. This probably took about eleven seconds for the Coaching Staff to figure out, if they didn’t already know it to begin with. Mr Sexy hasn’t lost a step nor a MPH over the offseason and should be counted on to have another excellent campaign.

Fact: Jordan Eberle will eventually be a dandy. Even if the kid is eventually sent back down to Junior, Jordan Eberle has stamped his mark on the hearts of many an Oiler fan in the past couple of weeks. It may not be today, but at some point in the near future he is going to take to the ice for his rookie campaign as an Oiler and will give us many a thrill in the process.

Fact: Khabibulin is old and old things tend to try out quickly. So what exactly happened the other night against the Flames to our new ‘tender? (whispers in ear) He got dehydrated? Doesn’t that only happen to long distance Kenyan runners on mile 367 of a marathon? It happened in preseason hockey? How many years have we signed him for?

(insert awkward pause here)

Fact: The Oilers in their current state absolutely blow at faceoffs. This is really starting to get out of control. We watched the game against the Lightning with a buddy who doesn’t really follow hockey all too much. We consider him a work in progress and often sit him in front of a TV and ply him with alcahol and explain all of the tiny details about the Oilers that he could never figure out on his own. At some point during the third period he leaned over and said “boy, the Oilers sure aren’t good at winning those puck drops are they?”

When a European-Canadian of dubious lineage, who doesn’t even follow the game can spot this glaring hole – things are getting dire indeed.

Fact: The only thing lower than the faceoff % of these here Oilers is their emot-o-meter as seen is the graph below charting the performance of the Oilers in the preseason:

preseasongraph

Job Numero Uno Tonight: EMOTION

Alrighty Oilers. Listen up and listen good. It seems that the entire corps of Centremen have somehow made it into the NHL without passing Faceoffs 101 in Minor Hockey. We will leave this glaring and horrifying hole aside for the moment in the hope that you are merely saving all your faceoff wins for the regular season.

There are few other valid excuses for your absolutely abysmal performance in the circle of late. But there are even fewer reasons we can think of that would justify the cyborgian lack of emotion you have been displaying thus far. We have seen long term coma patients that have more jump to them than you.

Despite our better judgement we will be in RX1 again this evening, crushing $8 hockey beers and trying to pretend that things are going to be OK. Maybe do your increasingly nervous fans a favour and show a little jump on the eve of the regular season will you? Geez.

Lineups

Here are your lineups for tonight’s game, courtesy of the Oilers website. Try and guess which team is which!

Khabibulin gets the start, Pisani, Moreau and Pouliot remain injured.

5 Ladislav Smid D
10 Shawn Horcoff C
13 Andrew Cogliano LW
19 Patrick O’Sullivan RW
22 J-F Jacques LW
24 Steve Staios D
27 Dustin Penner LW
33 Steve MacIntyre RW
35 Nikolai Khabibulin G
38 Jeff Deslauriers G
43 Jason Strudwick D
44 Sheldon Souray D
46 Zack Stortini RW
67 Gilbert Brule C
71 Lubomir Visnovsky D
77 Tom Gilbert D
83 Ales Hemsky RW
85 Liam Reddox LW
89 Sam Gagner C
91 Mike Comrie C

And here is your other lineup, starting with Cory Schneider in net. A suckier bunch of sucks hath not existed if you ask us:

3 Kevin Bieksa D
5 Christian Ehrhoff D
6 Sami Salo D
8 Willie Mitchell D
14 Alex Burrows RW
18 Steve Bernier RW
21 Mason Raymond LW
22 Daniel Sedin LW
24 Darcy Hordichuk LW
29 Aaron Rome D
30 Andrew Raycroft G
33 Henrik Sedin C
35 Cory Schneider G
37 Rick Rypien C
39 Cody Hodgson C
42 Kyle Wellwood C
55 Shane O’Brien D
56 Matt Pope RW
65 Sergei Shirokov
73 Tanner Glass RW

Final note

Did anyone notice the Canucks have a player named Tanner Glass? Is that a terrible name or what?

Prediction: Oilers 4 Canucks 2.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Heatly:

    I did the research too, bought a plasma, and found it awful bright watching hockey in a dark room without adjusting levels down. Love it for football though…
    LCD's are a little less sexy (by the numbers) but are cheaper, lighter, and give off less heat… IMO you can't go wrong with a Sharp Aquos unless you want a really big screen (above 50").

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ snoodle:

    and @ anybody else debating LCD vs. plasma…

    If the room your tv is in is ideal lighting for tv viewing (meaning, you can ideally control all the natural and artificial light sources entering the room) the plasma could be your best option. The colors are superior, the blacks are blacker and whites are whiter.

    If your tv is going to be used in a room where there may be natural light variation throughout the day, perhaps ceiling lights that you cannot dim or otherwise control, then LCD will give you a better picture because of the glare and reflection issues associated with the screen somebody posted a while ago.

    A good LCD tv? No question, no contest, Samsung Series 7 or 9. The 46"-50" range are beautiful and ideal for sports. Samsung and Sharp are LCD pioneers and leaders, it's not even close. And if you realy, really care, Samsung is a grand canyon ahead of Sharp for those that really want performance.

    I don't own a plasma for reasons stated above. I've read and heard that Panasonic Viera series Plasma are da bomb…

    My two cents…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    You gotta use that video (^^) for something – like how playa Gretz is… or the next hat trick

    Reminds me of that episode of Scrubs where JD develops the 'Hair-met' to wear on his motor-scooter.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Jimmy wrote:

    RossCreek wrote:
    You gotta use that video (^^) for something – like how playa Gretz is… or the next hat trick
    Reminds me of that episode of Scrubs where JD develops the ‘Hair-met’ to wear on his motor-scooter.

    A-ha!

    hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0rGoWtF-hs

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    Wow!
    Check out dudes hair!

    I don't even want to know how you found that video RossCreek, but the impact it has had on me is immeasurable. The look on the geisha's faces was priceless.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I've got a Pioneer Kuro Plasma in my basement and a Sony Bravia LCD in my living room upstairs. Both TV's are in rooms that I would consider bright and the Pio in the basement has two windows that are about 15 feet directly across from the TV and I still get a great picture. I also wall mounted it and put a slight downward angle on the screen so that helps with the reflection of the windows. I prefer the Pio Plasma for the brightness of the ice during hockey and the darkness of the blacks when watching movies or gaming. Both are great TV's and I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Just have to pad the wallet a bit more the Pio is all!

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Wanye Gretz:
    EPIC WIN
    "Normally, I would classify this dude as a total EPIC FAIL, but he is in Japan! Dude's face has been the object of much ridicule and scorn, because of how silly his hair had looks. But it seems like he is the winner, because this silly look – which probably prohibits him to get a job in the US – has afforded him the ability to get over to Japan! YAY! I am going to get me a hair hat for Christmas."
    http://www.allhiphop.com/stories/rumors/archive/2009/09/28/21956243.aspx

  • I'm a Scientist!

    RossCreek wrote:

    @ Wanye Gretz:
    Gotta check out your allhiphop.com rumour section to see that kind of magic.

    You wouldn't believe how often I check out the work of illseed.

    MAD RESPECT