Oilers vs. Blues Postgame

St. Louis Blues: 7

Edmonton Oilers: 2

I had a pretty cool seat for tonight’s game; David Staples was nice enough to invite a few of us bloggers to take in the game with him, so I finally got to meet him in person.  I was also rather pleased to meet Bruce McCurdy, BlueBelle, and Smoking Ray.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much where the positives ended, as an overwhelmed Oilers’ PK allowed four goals in a 7-2 loss.  Rather than head back to the hotel and write about it immediately, I decided to go out and drink beer.  It seemed preferable.

 

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

 

1. Gilbert Brule. I’ve decided to choose my three stars exclusively from players who weren’t on the penalty kill, and Brule played fairly well despite his AHL call-up centre and Ethan Moreau on LW.

2. Denis Grebeshkov. Grebeshkov actually did appear on the penalty kill (0:42) but wasn’t scored on and had a few dangerous shots on the night. He also had at least one brain cramp but on the whole was a positive for the Oilers.

3. Tyler Dellow. Yes, it turns out a blogger can win this award. In this particular case, Tyler gets mention for perfectly summarizing my feelings about last night’s game.

 

Random Thoughts

 

The penalty kill stinks.  It has for a year and a half.  We knew it probably wasn’t coaching before MacTavish was fired, since he’s had success previously, and with a new coaching staff we know it’s probably not coaching now – unless Kelly Buchberger’s been handling the duties for both coaching staffs.  In any case, I’ve been told again and again that bringing in some grinders won’t win the team games, but given that the Oilers’ kill rate now sits at 76.6% I can’t agree with that.  Of course I didn’t agree with it in the summer either, so that doesn’t mean Steve Tambellini is going to do anything about it.

At even-strength I thought the Oilers carried the play, especially early on.  They were outscored, but in this case I think that had more to do with bounces than anything else.  The team didn’t play badly five on five.

I was happy to see Devan Dubnyk’s first NHL start in person; I was less happy when he failed to make a single big save all game.  In a 7-2 loss it’s rarely just the goalie, and it certainly wasn’t here, but he wasn’t helping things.

Ethan Moreau’s a dirty player.  He’s also an undisciplined player.  Late in the third he was hit cleanly by the Blues’ T.J. Oshie and knocked to the ice; he retaliated by tripping Oshie, approaching him from behind and cross-checking him in the neck.  It was a gutless, classless, stupid play, and frankly it turned my stomach.  But hey, he made up for it by fighting Darryl Sydor, a vintage tough guy who has participated in (count ’em) three bouts since the NHL lockout.  Last night he wasn’t fit to wear the jersey.

Bruce has more on this over at Copper & Blue, but midway through the second there was a five minute period where the Blues went from being badly outshot to taking over the game entirely.  It was nasty hockey, and the Oilers couldn’t do anything right.

In closing, I’d like to thank the Oilers.  I’ve reached the point now where I’m unable to muster the same sort of anger following a miserable loss as I have in the past.  No, I just look for positives in individual players, and I’m fairly sure it’s because I’ve written off the team.  I have no confidence in the current roster, and I have less confidence in the management team running the Oilers.  When the team first brought Tambellini on board and announced promotions for others, it was heralded in some quarters as an attempt to replicate the Detroit model.  At this point it looks more like they’re replicating the Islanders’ model.  As of today they sit dead last in the Western Conference, and have earned a spot in the draft lottery.  In the long term, perhaps that’s for the best.  A finish that low would certainly give the team an elite prospect, and might be enough to result in the ouster of the current management team.

  • Zamboni Driver

    Honest to god, the Dive for Five is just not enough. With this collection of bozos in the office, unless this team finishes

    DEAD

    LAST

    they have no hope.

    Bottom five will still enable Barry Fraser or whoeverthehell to draft a dead Lithuanian with huge upside, speed who can, in his defence, do that nifty Gretzky puck juggle from the 7Up commercial!!

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    As sad as this might sound, these are all the bad things that need to happen for things to change. I will be honest, I would have been more mad with a win last night than a loss. The intense focus on the bottom 5 is taking over, and the worse this group of Oilers look, the better IMHO. Finishing this poorly I would hope would be what is needed to get rid of Lowe and Tambo so we can hire a miracle management team cuz that is what it will take to clean up this dogs barf of a hockey team!

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I'm really puzzled why the teams current position in the standings is so suprising to people. Take away the best forward and starting goalie from any of the 7-11 place teams (and compound it by not having an NHL proven back-up) and you've got yourself a lottery team.

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Ya, this really isn't that big of a shock. It was going to take everything going right (ie little to no injuries/further development by Gagner+Cogs/little to no regression from Souray/Vish/Horc/injuries to some of the teams around them) for this team to be a 6/7 team. However they've seen a perfect storm of injuries and regression with only a handful of suprises = Lotto.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    i agree to a point about moreau.

    however, it was good to see someone at least show some frustrations after getting their a$$es handed to them at home. last year, we (fans) were on here and everywhere b1tching and moaning that the oilers got beat 10-2 and showed no emotion.

    was it pointless? probably. however, why do we have to watch everyone take runs and cheap shots at our "soft" players, yet when an oiler returns the favour, it is classless?

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      I get what you're saying, but in this case when you look at Moreau's postgame comments, it sounds like he did it not for his team, but for himself because he was embarrassed by a younger player. He even said "I don't like being hit when it's 6-2", I'm not going to let that happen."…well guess what you gutless wonder, it DID happen, and the only thing you accomplished was to take a selfish penalty that hurt the team you're supposed to be representing.

      He did it for himself, and nobody else. THAT is why he needs to get that letter off his jersey.

        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          Why should anger be directed towards Quinn? If anything, I feel a tinge of sympathy for the gaggle of misfits he's been given to turn into a silk purse.

          • Dan the Man

            My thoughts exactly! Quinn's not the problem its the little girls on the ice he has to try to teach how to play the game of hockey. And of course the two ass hats in the front office.

          • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

            Because he controls who has the C on the team. Everyone whines that Moreau has it, it's not Moreau's decision as to whether or not he has the C – It's Quinns.

            = If Moreau having the C is actually a detriment to the team, then it's Quinn who is at fault for keeping it on him.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            did mact get sympathy? nope

            mact was thrown under the bus for not being able to motivate this group…

            now, they are who we thought they were!!!

            ****smashes desk and kicks a puppy****

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      Bingo, one day we are complaining the team shows no emotion and lets itself get pushed around, the next day we are complaining when we push back. A play like that happens every night somwhere in the NHL.

      Frustration from another lose + Player no one likes anyways doing something questionable = blown out of proportion.