Down to the final seconds. Again

For the second straight game v. the Flames the Oilers gave up a goal in the final minute, and this morning they find themselves already five points behind the Flames.

The Oilers played well enough in both games against Calgary to earn a win, but they didn’t. Pat Quinn didn’t critique the effort, but was annoyed about small plays, but the Jarome Iginla hit on Sheldon Souray really got his Irish blood boiling.

“I don’t understand the players of today. If that happened in the old days, he would have got hit over the head with a stick right after. That’s the way you used to deal with, but now you can’t touch him.

“It was a pretty dirty play in my opinion. You poke his feet out and then pile on him on top of that. Somehow they never deal with that crap, and they (the league) won’t let the vigilante stuff deal with it.”

When asked if Ethan Moreau going after Iginla was the right decision, Quinn said what many hard core hockey fans feel at times.

“In the area that I come from you do dirt with dirt. You don’t give him honour. Why would you give a man honour for that kind of a play and he honoured him with a fist fight.”

Quinn was understandably irate with the play, and I can understand why. Iginla is a hard nosed player, and an honourable one. I doubt he meant to hurt Souray, but it was still a dangerous play. When a D-man has to go back for a puck straight on, rather than from an angle, it is much more dangerous and forwards have to be aware of where their stick goes. Because it was accidental doesn’t give Iginla a free pass. It was a dangerous, not cheap, play.

Quinn was also irritated with Hemsky’s effort with the Flames goal empty.

“We had a chance to make a play to put it in the open net and we dicked around with the thing. We found a way to give them an opportunity to get in it. Was it lucky, yeah I guess it was?”

He also talked about making the right decision in the final moments in the offensive zone.

“In tight games you play percentages all the time. You don’t try to score another goal when it’s so high percentage to trap yourself. The guy who put the puck there trapped himself. Sure he got back and got organized, but then it went in from a bad angle. We can’t battle like we did all night long and lose.”

Rather than be satisfied with a good effort, Quinn is demanding more from his players, and until they start winning I don’t see that changing. This team needs to understand how to make the smart plays at the key times in games. Making the correct play at these important times is the difference between winning and losing. The Oilers have to learn how to win, and Quinn seems hell bent on ensuring that his players understand it.

Quinn wasn’t just grumpy though. He had this to say when asked about the Souray, Moreau and Andrew Cogliano photo shoot that had them posing naked for ESPN.

“It’s a new life I guess. They didn’t ask me. I don’t understand that,” he laughed. “I haven’t seen it yet, but Beefcake has always been Beefcake as far as I know.”

That picture will generate lots of reaction. I’m guessing some homophobes will cringe, while most of the women’s panty sprinklers will be on high.

Quinn’s post game comments have been incredibly entertaining. It is refreshing to hear someone speak from the heart, and you have to think that if he keeps challenging his players to be better, that eventually the wins will follow.

Wake up, people

I love that the web, and specifically that the Nation allows everyone to vent, but sometimes I wonder if some of you can only whine and complain.

Do you actually think Khabibulin was bad last night? If so, you should get some glasses. Khabibulin played fine. The save he made on the 5 on 3 was great. Sure, he looked shaky in the first two games, but if you want to be a sofa scout; understand that you evaluate a player on the current game, not the previous ones. Khabibulin has progressively gotten better, and last night he was solid.


  • Hayley Joel Osmond

    The Oil are F'd. This is the real test if they are going to show up this season. Really one weak ass fight again Iggy on a semi-dirty play. This team has a lot to prove if they are going to be a player in the west. Khabi has been unfortuante as far as lame scoring techniques is concerned(flames couldn't score real goals this week). Montreal with the back up, should prove to be a real test to inferiority. Go Oiler Go, I guess. Pat's going to pissed after tomorrow loss.