Wake up and smell the mediocrity

The Oilers woke up this morning in 14th place in the West, one point ahead of the Wild with a five-game road trip on the horizon. As frustrated as this organization and their fans must be today, it could always be worse: you could be a Rider fan or player.

For the past few weeks fans have been demanding the Oilers tank it and position themselves for a lottery pick. News flash people: They are in 27th spot today, Ales Hemsky is done for the season, Nikolai Khabibulin still isn’t practicing and their top-two centres didn’t skate today.

If you wanted the Oilers to get a top-five pick, then be prepared for a long 55 games. But don’t expect them to trade away all of their veterans for prospects or picks. Steve Tambellini will make a move or two as the trade deadline nears if they’re out of it, but don’t expect him to completely gut this team. I’m guessing they will try to mirror more of a Carolina rebuild, compared to the lengthy rebuilds of teams like Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Right now this team is bringing a water gun to a gun fight. Their goaltenders have combined for 15 NHL starts, they have one forward who has scored more than 25 goals in a season, and only Carolina and Columbus have given up more goals so far.

Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff didn’t skate, while Robert Nilsson and Ryan Stone were on the ice, and Stone took part in every drill. Both have been cleared to play and should be in the lineup on Thursday. Horcoff is resting his shoulder, while Gagner had a non-hockey related meeting that he couldn’t get out of. Both will be ready for Thursday.

Khabibulin isn’t close to returning so the JDD and DD tandem will start the trip. Mike Comrie and Denis Grebeshkov aren’t even in the conversation as far as returning.

The Oilers had a fast-paced practice, filled with lots of line rushes, a big hit from Dean Arsene on J.F. Jacques and it ended with some four-on-four time. The problem was in the entire four-on-four scrimmage there was only one goal; a top-shelf slapper by Ethan Moreau on Devan Dubnyk. Then they practiced their shoot-outs. Andrew Cogliano and Lubomir Visnovsky were the best scoring three straight.

I suggest we here at OilersNation try to maintain a level head the remainder of the season. Please don’t waste anyone’s time by posting or linking to ridiculous trade rumours. I know you all want Shawn Horcoff traded, but it won’t happen this season, and it probably won’t happen for a few more years.

If you read that Eric Staal is coming here, make sure you count to 50 and ask yourself, “Will I look like a complete fool if I even mention this?” If you reach 50 and still are tempted to bring it up, then be prepared to be mocked. Staal is not being traded.

I am all for suggesting fair or realistic trades, or scenarios that you would like to see the Oilers take. The next few months might be painful for the Oilers and their fans, but let’s not make it anymore painful by being subjected to asinine and ridiculous rumours.

Speaking of rumours, I got a text from Wanye today. He is alive, but rattled by Hemsky’s injury, stunned at the Riders gag job and frustrated because they have no BLs in his travels. No truth to the rumour that he was in jail. He got a slap on the wrist and ten lashes on his ass, but no criminal record.

  • Oiler in Purgatory

    "As frustrated as this organization and their fans must be today, it could always be worse: you could be a Rider fan or player."

    ~Yeah, as an Oiler AND 'Rider fan I had a grand old weekend~ (note: not Rider, that was the Ottawa team)

  • @ Gregor
    Right now this team is bringing a water gun to a gun fight.

    You have to be careful about using a line like this without a reference to "The Untouchables" because Brownlee (Mr. Humour himself so I'm told) will give you crap for it .

  • "The next few months might be painful for the Oilers and their fans, but let’s not make it anymore painful by being subjected to asinine and ridiculous rumours."

    This should be the next sentence after "Pretend your mom is reading over your shoulder."

    In 48 point, red, bolded, flashing and flaming Helvetica font. With arrows pointing to the sentence on either side. And exclamation marks for good measure.

  • MoJo

    It is extremely disappointing to see the road this team is on. The beginning of the season was a tease!!! Totally agree with Gergor, Staal Jesus that's the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I can totally see us contending for the draft lottery and why the hell not, we are a bottom of the league team right now, tanking is not a goal its going to be the reality for the rest of the season. I would love to see us move some dead weight off this team come trade deadline we all know who I mean so I will spare you the list. I love this team no question but by facing facts it will make this giant sized pill that much easier to swallow.

  • BarryS

    Good points. Of course you might have to hide Horcoff's skates like the Esks did years ago with Kepley's helmet. Personally, I like seeing how the kids are playing, since it is a well known fact many players are stuck in the minors not on their play, but because of the financial necessity to players already on the big team. People should understand that even Detroit had people in the minors who could play on their team but can't because of the contract situation on the big team.

  • BarryS

    Mediocrity ?? That would be what we were smelling of our team was average. What we clearly should be smelling is pure crap. It takes longer to get rid of that smell.

  • Brocktw

    "As frustrated as this organization and their fans must be today, it could always be worse: you could be a Rider fan or player"

    Oilers, Riders & Bluejays. My three favorite teams. It does not get any worse. It cannot get any worse, can it?

  • BarryS

    I honestly had a chuckle to watch the Riders go down in flames yesterday. Not to be mean, but this is the CFL and nothing is done until the last second has clicked off the clock. Silly Riders for squandering a 16 pt lead. That's something that the Eskies would do, or the Oilers for that matter.

    Anyhow, I heard a rumour Staal was on the trading block? 🙂

    I am kidding of course. It's too bad the Oilers didn't blow this team up after Lowe stepped down. Oh well, they have no choice now.

  • Jason Gregor

    JW,

    I'm curious how 10 teams in the West have a 55% or better chance of making the playoffs when only eight of them can.

    Eight of 15 teams in the West make it, which means 53% of the teams do. While this might be too simplistic, shouldn't only eight teams have a 53% or better chance of making the playoffs at any time on that site?

    I also find it interesting that five teams in the East have a 90% of making it, while only three in the West do.

    I don't argue with the Oilers chances, but just curious…I will monitor to see how accurate the site was. Interesting look.