Target Practice

With three games in thirteen days the Oilers are seeing about as much action as Bea Arthur at a Golden Girls DVD release party. Fortunately for the Oilers, their 10-2 shitanus™ hockey festival against the Sabres occurred during the middle of this dry spell and they can now schedule unlimited private team meetings without “an actual game” to get in the way.

With nothing on the horizon until a game against Minnesota on Friday, the citizens of the Nation are left with little else to do but what we do best:

Engage in rampant, unsubstantiated speculation on subjects we have only a fraction of the information required to make qualified opinions. Hasn’t stopped us before; why should it now? And what do we personally want to talk about?

Captain Ethan Moreau

Fig 1: Ethan Moreau as indicated by the blue arrow.
Fig 1: Ethan Moreau as indicated by the blue arrow.

There has been some commentary flying around on here about comments Moreau made to CTV regarding team preparedness, ice-hockey tactics and the like. We looked for about 11 seconds to find a copy of the clip but couldn’t find it and gave up. Instead we started listening to this sweet jam:

Yeah America. We can do magic. That’s some good old-timey jammery. What year is this song from? 1927? Brownlee? You remember the band America, we bet. Are they pre-1900? “You’re the one who can put out the fiiiiiire.” Of course. It makes perfect sense.

Anyway back to Moreau

We personally like Moreau a lot due to his ability to clap in time whilst embarrassing Principe in a PPV post-game interview as well as his leadership and on ice skillery. Plus, by our count he is on pace for 18-14-32 points this season. That ain’t not all bad for a guy that haters call out on a weekly basis as being a bum. ‘Tis no bum this Moreau and a quote that we were able to find on Canoe.ca should speak to that:

“If you can imagine how a fan feels or a coach or management feels, it’s always worse for the player,” said captain Ethan Moreau, after a nearly two-hour skate. “We’re out there responsible for the loss. As bad as people feel, as frustrated as people are, you can’t match the way we feel. It’s our livelihood, it’s what we live with every day. A lot of our mood is determined by how we play on the ice and when you lose like that, it’s tough. It’s not fun walking around the city, trust me.”

Now firstly that is exactly the kind of manning up we loves to see from the man wearing the “C.” Secondly, we kind of feel for Moreau here. Imagine going to Macs to get yourself two Orange Gatorade G2s and some Doritos and the lady in front of you turns around and a wave of recognition sweeps across her aging face. Half the time you will get a very positive reaction. “Oh pardon me, sir,” she may breathlessly squeal in your face as she makes a beeline for the door, loins completely aflame.

Or it could go the other way and Shopper Sharon merely gathers her carton of Players Light King Size and walks directly into you on the way out the door. That’s some harsh shit — particularly when you are doing something as innocent as going to get yourself some G2 Dorito goodness. We always kind of think that it’s not necessarily the attention that grinds on Oilers living their lives in Edmonton but rather the wild swings in emotion. Half the time your neighbours shovel your snow for free, the other half of the year they allow the dog to do his nastiness on your front porch.

Note this chart that maps the emotional state of Oilers fans. It’s all over the map, Nation. The dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, the creamy middles… Don’t get us wrong, when the Oil put on an absolute five-alarm gong show like they did against the Sabres they deserve to have looks of death from even the smallest toddlers old enough to wear a “Oilers Draft pick 2025” T-shirt. But it must be a supreme pain in the ass for a true Champion like Moreau to look around the room and see punk-ass kids that only care about the name on the back of the jersey and couldn’t give two squirts about the logo on the front.

In our exulted opinion as a direct descendant of the 15th Archduke of Austria-Hungary, we think that we need to keep in mind who we should be roasting on a daily basis. When the hard-working grinders were shown the door for various reasons (Smith, Smyth, Reasoner, Stoll and Greene) it was with great fanfare in most cases. Many good, hard-working citizens of the Nation laughed aloud when they read the good news that so-and-so had been traded and had visions of the brighter tomorrow that is around the corner dancing in their heads.

And in some cases the moves have been for the better. Visnovsky certainly brings the talent and his A-game on most nights. He and Souray are scoring at an eye popping pace and are fast becoming cornerstones of the team. But the penalty killing blows severely and no one had the presence of mind to go out and absolutely end the life of a Sabre at the end of the worst home-ice loss in franchise history.

So as we continue on in this wasteland of No Oilers Games coming off a 10-2 loss, let’s have some perspective on who we should riddle with Nation bullets and should live to see another day. Dennis Grebeshkov for example? One of the worst goats ever to wear an Oilers jersey. What was his plus minus against Buffalo? Yeah exactly.

You baaaaaaaastard, Grebs.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Milli wrote:

    Ender the Dragon wrote:
    @ Wanye Gretz:
    What is with this unhealty obsession of yours with The Golden Girls? You’ve gotta let them go, man . . . they’re gonna die soon (if they haven’t already). Better to make the break beforehand, don’t you think . . .
    You know, they say (ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Wanye Gretz)

    If I don't obsess about them who should I fantasize about on long Edmonton nights as I sleep under the Terwilligar Bridge? Kathy Bates? No thanks Milli.

    I don't roll like that.

    Pssh. Kathy Bates. Yuck.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Jason Gregor: or Brownlee

    As guys who have been around reporting for a long time, what are the consequences of the reporter who mis quoted Moreau?

    Is it as simple as an icy glare from Moreau and everyone moves on, or would he face some sort of disipline; eg: losing his Oilers media credetials, or getting pistol whipped by an enraged Charlie Huddy…

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Gregor: You didn't read it correctly. I said that while I have seen 18's play decline and I don't like him as a player, I won't step on him for those comments because they were obviously framed in the wrong context.

    But, my biggest point was how funny it was for someone to talk about garbage reporting when everyone is afraid to take a shot at Kevin Lowe; or at least were afraid when he was the unavowed GM as opposed to the puppet regime we're seeing now with Tambellini.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    @ Dennis:
    Easy there Tiger. You go ask your fincial planner why he does such a craptastic job of running his business. Then tell me how he reacts. Then go in the next day and ask him if you should invest in a stock you are unsure about, I would bet the advise you recieve is less than sub-par.

    Success in life is about relationships and if tGregor or Brownlee were to blow their relationship with the Oilers they would no longer have any credibility and would put their careers in the tank.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Hockey Gods wrote:

    As guys who have been around reporting for a long time, what are the consequences of the reporter who mis quoted Moreau?
    Is it as simple as an icy glare from Moreau and everyone moves on, or would he face some sort of disipline; eg: losing his Oilers media credetials, or getting pistol whipped by an enraged Charlie Huddy…

    Nothing because it was a news guy who has been in the room once, and probably won't be back until he plans another story.Dennis wrote:

    reporting when everyone is afraid to take a shot at Kevin Lowe; or at least were afraid when he was the unavowed GM as opposed to the puppet regime we’re seeing now with Tambellini.

    I guess that depends on what your shot is. I along with others had asked him about MacTavish and why he was still here. Did he give you the answer YOU, or other wanted? No. I've interviewed lots of people and have had a perceived notion of what their answer should be, but when I ask the question they don't give that answer. Do I keep pushing and repeating until they do. No. Because my job is to ask the question, not make them give the answer I want. I've reworded a question on occasion and still don't get the answer I expected.

    How many times can you say Penner was a bad move, Horcoff clearly was an improptu signing that will haunt him. Those moves don't look good, and could have serious cap effects in the next year or two. Conversely Hemsky's contract is a gem, the Vanek offer clearly looks like it was worth it. Human Rake trade too come here was great, as were all the moves he made that year. Peca, Spacek, Tarnstrom, Roloson and Samsanov. Human Rake move to leave was bad. Lupul for Cole…ok.
    Visnovsky trade looks decent. Torres not so much right now.

    Lowe basically fired himself. Those who think Tambellini is just a puppet are fooling themselves. Lowe oversees all three legs of the organization now, Oilers, AHL and WHL and he doesn't have time to just focus on the Oilers. He is also involved in lots of business aspects of the team/s that doesn't allow him to follow players like he used to.

    Does Lowe talk with him, of course, but Tambellini will be doing all of the leg work for deals. The Garon move was Tambellini's. Does Lowe have power to approve all moves, yes, but if you think he will be veto a strong Tambellini request then this relationship won't last. I've been told that as each day passes, Tambellini becomes more and more the guy in charge of just the Oilers.

    Crapping on Lowe now would be the same as still ripping on MacTavish when he leaves. (or let go if they make the playoffs this year.) Lowe's role is different now, and as each month passes he hands more control of the Oilers to Tambellini. His focus is more business operations of Rexall Sports. Off ice as much as on ice.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Gregor: I just don't think I've ever seen a definitive piece from anyone about what Lowe did outside of the '06 season. Yes, he hit a lot of homers that year but that was one year.

    I appreciate the way you came about awnsering the same question in different formats but my point is that no one shot straight on Lowe and I've seen way more guys hint and point towards the Oilers perhaps needing a new approach behind the bench rather than a new skipper at the overall helm.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Hockey Gods: So, what's your approach? Let's say a Gregor or Brownlee did ask tough questions and irritated Lowe in the process. Now, he might never want to give them a one-on-one afterwards but they'd still get their tidbits and soundbites from scrums.