GDB XLIII: Good news and bad news

Things just aren’t improving in OilersNation. There’s talk of dumping this player or that player to free up cap space, Pat Quinn cancelled the traditional team mini-vacation in favour of bag skates, and perhaps worst of all, the Oilers will be competing with the World Junior Gold Medal Final for viewers tonight. You have a choice, faithful hockey fans: watch a sure-fire exciting match up with Canada’s juniors taking on the USA… or pay $16 to see if the Oilers can down the Coyotes (because standard def is for chumps).

Is it too early for whiskey?

The good news

There is a light at the end of today’s dismal tunnel, and despite what some of you might think, it’s actually Oilers hockey. Now I’m not one to recommend you skip the World Juniors Gold Medal Match — if it’s anything like the game Canada and the US played on New Year’s Eve, it’s sure to be heart-stopping — but consider the Oilers and the Coyotes:

  • Oilers record against the ‘Yotes: 31-10-3-5 since 1996. At home, the Oilers like beating the desert dogs, with a record of 18-4-2-1.
  • If Steve Staios gets two points tonight, he’ll have racked up 200 career points.
  • The last time the Oil played the Coyotes, Deslauriers earned himself a shutout.
  • Scott Upshall is probably out for this game.

The bad news

Where there is light, however, there is darkness. Unless you’ve somehow found a way to harness the power of the sun directly to light whatever tunnel you’re talking about. But in all likelihood, you’d just burn yourself and everyone around you.

So my theory on light and darkness still stands.

Here’s why you should be worried, and maybe not spend your cash on PPV:

  • The Coyotes are shit-hot right now — currently fifth in the league, and 6-2-2 in their last ten.
  • According to the Oilers’ own game notes, Ilya Bryzgalov is in the business of eating pucks for breakfast, and spitting them back out at the opposing team’s players… generally speaking.
  • The Mighty Oil aren’t so mighty right now, with a record of 1-9-0 in their last ten.
  • At least half a dozen Oilers are still injured or sick or playing hooky.

Reality check

The question is what Oilers squad are we going to see tonight? Will it be the team that had a 5-game winning streak on the road (man, those were the days), or are these Oilers so dismayed at their own performance (and rightly so) that they’ll continue to shit the proverbial bed at RX1 tonight?

It was mentioned yesterday that the Oilers need to go at least 32-8 to have a playoff shot this season. Another question, then, is do they deliberately shit the bed now and for the end of the season? Can brass actually mandate a true, impassioned Dive For Five?

You might get your answer tonight at 7pm. Part of me still hopes the answer’s a win. An unlikely win, but a win nonetheless: 3-1 Oilers.

Oh, and Canada takes gold tonight, but it’s not going to be easy: 5-3 with an empty-netter.

  • How 'bout the Swede's today. They left their captain Magnus Johansson off the game sheet because they assumed he was going to be suspended for a hit in the prior game. He wasn't, and now he can't play in the bronze medal game because he was left off the official gamesheet. WOW

  • Cogs is a hard player and it been like that all year, none stop every year. If we trade him, it will be R.Smyth trade all over agian.

    A leader every night by his play and his hard work, so how do we repay them, by (trade).
    I don't think so.

    Cogs for captain

  • I'll be watching the Canada / USA game tonight.. no PPV. I have ordered every PPV so far this season and have always been one to order the games. Hell, I even ordered one this year and had to go out so I couldn't even watch it. 😛

    But really, tonight is Canada's night. I'm down on the Oilers, but not down enough to stop watching… except when Canada is playing.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      I didn't order the last Oilers PPV. I made a comment about how crappy the match-ups were this year for the PPV games, and somebody told me it was because it's more entertaining to watch a win than a loss. That becomes a problem when the Oil starts to lose to perennial bottom-feeders.

  • I don't really think we have to hope the Oilers delibrately throw the season to ensure a top 3 pick. Right now they are playing like the worst team in the league by far. Not much desire and hardly any skill. Even with Hemsky this is a 70-80pt team at best but without him, they are doomed. It the long run, better to be really bad for a year or two then just bad enough to miss the playoffs year after year (see Leafs). There is a future here if they let it happen. Stop going after free agents for stupid money, and save your coin for several years down the road with guys like Eberle and MPS have to get paid ( and maybe Hall too).

    • Klima's Bucket

      How much do you want to bet that if Kovalchuck isn't signed by July 1st Tambellini spends his whole summer with wood for him and misses the boat again.

  • Bring back Anson Carter and put him on a line with Peter Nedved and Radek Dvorak/ or Peter Sykora….
    HA!
    then trade the whole team for Ovechkin plus the next 5 years first overall picks for Crosby…thats how i would run the team

  • Is the rumor about 20+ PPV games next year true?
    I'm up in arms about paying $70 in November alone to watch the Oilers from the comfort of my home.
    If the plan is to continue bending the fans over and shoving a boot up our proverbial tail pipe, I for one will NOT stand for it!!
    I will still pay $100 for tickets, $8 beers and consequently the $60 cab fare to and from…but I'll be DAMNED if they're going to come into my house and take my money for something that should be free!!! Taking advantage of the fact that we Edmonton Oiler fans are loyal to the disgustingly bitter end *refer to current season* is UNETHICAL and the greedy pig decision makers better be ready for a revolt!!!
    …I wonder if there is a stock being sold for "Center Ice Package"?

  • Oilers4Life

    The best/worst part depending on which side of the DFF you are on, is that after Canada wins GOLD tonight, we still have the Oilers for 3 more months.
    THE good part is Crosby is coming to town in a couple of weeks, and I already watched Alex the great own the Oilers in Third Period. So not all is lost.
    Worst part is, I bought all the PPV's, so this one is going to go to waste in favour of a good hockey game.

  • Chris.

    The Oilers will probably land in the bottom five even if they improve their overall game and play around .500 for the rest of the season.

    @ MattL. I thought it was pretty cool to be in Rexall when Eberle got that magical goal agaist the Russians. We all watched it on the big screen and cheered ourselves silly. It was a nice moment to share with thousands of other Oiler fans.

  • Gregors dirty 'stash

    "Can brass actually mandate a true, impassioned Dive For Five?" I'm sure this is intended as just a rhetorical question, but there are rules against throwing games; the only way they could actually try to suck would be to make managerial decisions to negatively effect the team's success for this season: get surgeries for Bulin and Horcoff, trade Visnovsky for picks, etc. I suppose Quinn could play O'Sullivan for twenty minutes/game too, but that would probably be considered "throwing" the game too…

  • Canada v. USA should be awesome! This is the least I've seen of the WJC possibly ever. Sad, its been a Holiday tradition for years. Fack work! I saw the early beatings and I'll see this. Canadian Dustin Boyd and American Eric Nystrom have a lil side bet going on. Wonder if any Oilers do.

  • I can't wait for the CAN vs US game tonight.

    I like your 5-3 score bingofuel, I'm going with that. Eberle pots 2 tonight and future Oilers sniper Hall gets 1.

    As for Oilers game- Fall for Hall continues.

  • Chaz

    Just because things have been so negative on here lately I'd like to add a couple of general positives from the season to date so we don't get too depressed too quickly:

    Penner has shown he can play like the Power Forward Lowe had hoped for when he threw him the huge offer.

    Brule is playing more like a first rounder than I've seen to date.

    Visnovsky is continuing to prove he is a top offensive d-man in this league

    JDD has shown us he belongs in this league, although as a starter we're still not totally sure.

    We've got two top prospects charging furiously to make this team next year in Eberle and MPS.

    We get to enjoy Quinn's direct, no holds barred comments after every loss.

    We'll hopefully be getting a new barn soon.

    So let's take that rope off our neck, the gun barrell out of our mouths, and step off the ledge. Things aren't that bad….as long as we can try to focus on the positives.

  • Yeah, gave up a free ticket in the golds to stay home and watch the best two teams play in the best hockey tourny in the world. ON STANDARD DEF!

    Made the mistake of watching Edm. vs. Dallas right after the semi-final vs. Russia last year, and it almost made me hate the NHL regular season permanently.

    There is no comparison, WJHC FTW.