Oilers Vs. Flames: Pathetic In Every Imaginable Way

Calgary Flames: 6

Edmonton Oilers: 1

I ended up watching this game without my laptop, so unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have the more in-depth analysis tonight.

God willing, though, I’ll never have to listen to the CBC “C” squad again. Mark Lee was actually slightly better than I remember him, but good lord was Kevin Weekes a train wreck. Aside from the few moments where he made blindingly obvious statements (‘so good on the defenceman for skating there,’ ‘as a goalie when a guy bowls you in that can be tough’) I wasn’t even sure we were watching the same sport, never mind the same game. I’d thought I’d hit the highest possible level of announcer annoyance with John Garrett in the last Canucks game, but Weekes managed to raise the bar. It was the worst commentating I’ve heard, ever. He made no comment all night that wasn’t either a) wrong or b) a brutally obvious generalization or c) a repetition of what Mark Lee had just said or d) a combination of any or all of the first three. His performance was so bad that it could accurately be described as worse than the Oilers’, which I’ll address presently.

The Oilers were simply miserable tonight.

Their goaltender was shaky from his first play: he was shaky skating from the net, he was shaky moving the puck, and he was shaky in the crease.

The defence was a disaster; Sheldon Souray gift-wrapped a goal and showed a lack of discipline and may have been injured, Lubomir Visnovsky was uncharacteristically poor in his own end, Jason Strudwick is not an NHL player and probably isn’t an ECHL-level skater, and Taylor Chorney was out of his depth in the AHL. On the plus side, Tom Gilbert wasn’t awful.

Up front, the forward corps mysteriously lacked Mike Comrie, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Ethan Moreau was out a-chopping, as he does. Jean-Francois Jacques doesn’t really need to play with a hockey stick; it’s superfluous to what he does out there. Robert Nilsson made a bunch of brilliant passes, half of them to teammates. Dustin Penner seems to have lost a step. Shawn Horcoff is clearly frustrated out there (although that resulted in a fight). Marc Pouliot had his worst game since coming back. Again, on the plus side: Sam Gagner was pretty good.

One final point: Lee and Weekes both seemed to be describing a spiritual experience as they gushed about the physical play and courage of Phaneuf, Regehr and Glencross. Particularly appealing were hits on O’Sullivan, Brule, Nilsson, Visnovsky, and Potulny. I just wanted to chime in with my agreement; after all, there’s nothing quite so courageous as hitting a guy 4” shorter and 50 lbs lighter (please note: I’m not complaining about the hits; I’m saying that “courage” is the wrong word to use).

  • Since Steve doesn't have a plan & arthritis is now causing him severe pain from crossing every body part possible (external & internal), you can use my five year plan Steve, just execute it, do not freelance. #1. Lose Moreau, Pisani, and Staois NOW. Ask Kevin about how he acquired Glencross & try to get 3 of them. Surely we can get a minor league / pressbox / 4th line toughness from somebody for these guys. If they work out, sign them this time, if not, Springfield just got tougher. If no takers, pressbox & buy out these guys in the summer. #2. Only forwards from this group starting next year will be Penner, Gagne, Hemsky, Cogliano, O'Sullivan, and Brule. If the young kids / trades move these guys, the only guy with grit on a third line is Brule, for anyone else, they are moved. Not a great top six, but with toughness on the third & fourth lines, it will do until the kids are ready. #3. Speed, size, toughness is your third line. Size, toughness (quit it type of toughness) & above average speed is your fourth line. If goals come from these lines, bonus. You currently have no one in your lineup that has this, so they are Falcons or gone. #4. Gilbert, Grevs, Smid are your only defensemen. Peckham & two other size, toughness guys draw in. This is weak, but will have to do until drafts / signings / trades are done. #5. Goaltending – if Bulin does not return, develop Dubs & sign someone else's backup or trade @ a modest salary. You are always looking for the next steal of a goalie until someone steps up. If Bulin returns, cheap backup & try to move. Good luck with that. #6. Horcoff. Nobody in their right mind would take this contract / player, so tell Katz you have found the man to turn around Springfield Falcons, but it is going to cost. If you can get rid of Horcoff without taking on another contact, losing a young player, high draft pick or not paying half his salary, your stock as a general manager will rise from the pathetic level to the not very good level. Well done, that a nice leap up. #7. Souray, Lubs & the few other moving parts worth something should get you a start on revamping the team. Goal is you get toughness, size, draft picks with your trades & skill with your draft picks. Don't punish yourself, you will not get a star with this bunch as bait regarding trades.
    Summary: This team will struggle, but will be a step up from the past years. It has a future, not cap restricted, will not get pushed around & is something to build upon. Once players see you have a plan, they will buy in & heck, maybe with a plan & if you get good, an UFA may want to sign. Don't forget not to sign players to long & expensive contacts unless they are world class, not the best of a bad bunch class. I understand this is a lot to learn, but you need another plan with Penner, Hemsky, Gilbert as neither are league elite players & their contacts will expire within five years, so maybe this time, trade when their stock is high, not rock bottom. Trade for potential & high draft picks as this is a five year plan, you should get some skill back for two of these guys. As for drafting, do the opposite of what you think is right & your draft picks will be great. You are welcome.

  • Lofty

    Wow, was planning on watching the game last night. Glad I missed that.

    I know the everyone is on the DFF bandwagon and it's looking like that is pretty much a lock. I just can't see the Oilers finishing the season with 2 rookie goalies. DD needs to go back to the minors and JDD needs a veteran to bring him along. For gods sake bring Curtis Joseph out retirement or something, Pokey Reddick, Arturs Irbe, isn't Dan Cloutier bouncing around the minors?

    The goalies aren't the only problem but you have to start somewhere.

  • As per TSN:

    Calgary Flames have shipped defenceman Dion Phaneuf, forward Fredrik Sjostrom, and defenceman Keith Aulie to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forwards Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and defenceman Ian White.

  • Dan the Man

    I loved how the CBC crew were raving about Boyds physical play and then they proceed to show a clip of him sticking out his leg and tripping Gilbert. Truly amazing physicality.

  • All I can say is that being at that game was embarrassing.

    I have been there nearly every time the Oilers come to town and loudly mock every Flame that sets foot on the ice while I proudly wear my #17 jersey.

    This time all I could do is slump in my seat with my head down to avoid all the pointing and laughing.

    There were even more fights than usual as distraught Oiler fans had nothing else to defend but their personal honor.

    Luckily I was in a box so I could distract myself from time to time with the included benefits and the mockery was limited to coming from the people with us, but I never want to experience something like that again. I'm pretty sure I have no choice now but to commit some sort of atrocity on my brother in law because of last night.

    At least I will never again have to listen to Flames fans telling me Phaneuf should be on the olympic team.

  • Slapshot

    Maybe someone should check Tamballinis contract and see if he has a no trade clause in it.Our great GM has made moves twice, last years trade deadline and last summers free agency day,other than that he sits there and does F*ck all, hell they could have hired me for half the money, I could have done a better job.

  • Mr. Brightside

    Now, now, lets give credit where credit is due. He did re-up Grebeshkov for $3.1MM somewhere in there. Grebby's second period in the Dallas game was the worst period of hockey I have ever seen an individual have. Last night wasn't much better.

    Sorry Stevie Y, I don't care how good the forwards are, if this guys is on team Russia's blue line, they CANT be considered favourites…

  • Calgary/Toronto trade:

    Calgary already mortgaged their future for this season as they dont have their 1st 2 picks this season. Did they really just sell off even more of their future for Stajan and White? 1 UFA and an RFA having a career year?

    Toronto acquires 1 big defenseman who is defensively unreliable at the expense of 2 of their best forwards?

    Did both teams just get worse? I guess Burke really wants Boston to pick in the top 2.

  • Ducey

    Nice trade by Sutter?

    I don't see it. The sum of the parts given up by the Leaves may be more than the parts given up by the Flames. But, the best player went the other way.

    I would have thought the Dion could have netted a superior offensive player at the deadline. Maybe Whitney (a passer), maybe a Kovulchuk rental, and whoever else is floating around.

    The Flames have enough depth forwards. They need a guy who will stir the drink on the PP and in key matchups.

  • Dan the Man

    The best part of the Phaneuf trade is thinking about how much he will enjoy the Toronto media.

    Also the Leafs will have over 25 Mil tied up in their D next year…wow.

  • "I keep thinking back to that second goal and how Gilbert just let the forward skate right around him and go to the net."

    I just re-watched the replay
    Gilbert forced his man [J-Bo who was coming with a swack-o-speed] wide.

    The problem was that nobody [JFJ] picked up the guy in the slot.