GDB LXI: Ain’t No Love

A question: If the Oilers play on Valentine’s Day, on PPV, during the Olympics and when they are in 30th place, will anyone watch?

Of course the diehards will, many of them haven’t seen a girl in years. 

If you are planning on switching between the Olympics and the Game, note that the pairs short program is on at 5:30 and the Men’s moguls final is at 6:30, so some of you might channel surf for the latter, although Wanye is a huge figure skating fan, so he’ll won’t risk a minute of missing all the pretty skaters jumping. Unless he has a Valentine’s Date. Which he doesn’t.

Besides fellas, is there anything more romantic that cuddling up on the couch on V-Day with your special lady and watching to see if Ryan Getzlaf has healed enough to play in the Olympics? No. No there isn’t.

Let’s be honest, that is the story line for tonight’s rare 5:00 p.m. start. Getzlaf took the pre-game skate in Calgary last night, but didn’t play and word is he wanted one more day of rest before testing his ankle. Getzlaf will dress tonight, because if he doesn’t, I doubt Steve Yzerman will keep him on the roster. Two people close to the team told me this morning that he is feeling better and is confident his ankle is strong enough to play.

If the Ducks training staff says he’ll be ready to go in four days, would Steve Yzerman roll the dice and keep him on the roster instead of adding Jeff Carter? Canada plays Norway on Tuesday and Switzerland on Thursday, so realistically they probably don’t need Getzlaf until next Sunday when they face the United States . If Getzlaf is able to practice at a high tempo by Wednesday, I’d keep him over Carter. Strength down the middle is a must, and Getzlaf has an element of skill, size and toughness that no other centre has. Eric Staal would be close, but I’m not sure even he is at Getzlaf’s level.

Getzlaf would have to re-injure himself tonight, if he plays, to keep him off the roster in my mind. Canada has to submit their Olympic roster by noon tomorrow, so we won’t know for sure until then.

BIG GAME FOR DUCKS

The Ducks’ 3-1 loss last night in Calgary pushed them four points back of the 8th place Flames, so the Ducks will be hungry to get a win and move within two before taking two weeks off. If the Preds lose to Pittsburgh this afternoon, (they were losing 1-0 when we posted this) and the Ducks win they’ll be two back of both the Flames and the Predators.

SWAN SONG

Tonight could be the final home game for Ethan Moreau, Steve Staios and Fernando Pisani in Oiler silks. The Oilers play in Nashville and Chicago prior to the March 3rd trade deadline, so look for an inspired effort from these three. None of them are oblivious to their situation, and I’d expect them to compete hard tonight, try to get a win and increase their trade value if that is at all possible.

CLASS ACT

I was taking part in the Chief’s 25-year alumni dinner last night, but I slipped out to the hotel lounge at 8:30 to watch Jennifer Heil in the women’s moguls. What a great event, and in the driving sleet Heil performed exceptionally well, only to lose to Hannah Kearney. She lost by five one-hundredth of a second.

Many of us were hoping for Gold, and until an athlete wins gold at these Olympics all we will hear is how we are the only country to not win a gold medal on home soil. It is getting old. Heil was obviously disappointed by not winning but she was very classy in defeat and that is what impressed me most. Of course other’s think Heil choked. If you think that I question if you actually watched the event.

At the bleacher report  Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter had this convoluted assessment of Heil’s performance. Side note: Who calls themselves the Hard Hitter? Really?

"You see, historically many Canadian athletes have come into the Olympic games favored in their respective events, and on far too many occasions they have come up short.

Comparatively, for whatever reason, the Americans seem to shine at the Olympics, as was the case last night in the moguls event where American Hannah Kearney finished with a gold medal effort, despite her perceived shortcomings—mainly her complete self-destruction at the 2002 Olympics in Turin where she was favored to win gold only to place a very disappointing 22nd."

Whatchu talkin ’bout Hard Hitter? You contradict yourself in your own article!

The Americans seem to shine, he says and then points out how Kearney didn’t just disappoint; she flat out choked in 2006 and finished 22nd despite being ranked number one. Heil was ranked number one and won a silver medal yesterday. Is that really not getting it done? I think “Hard Hitter” should find better examples of a choking or realize that hundredths of seconds is what makes the Olympics so special.

Final note: Happy Valentine’s Day to all the ladies, and gentlemen remember to remind her that March 14th is your day.

  • Jason Gregor

    You make this comment:

    What a great event, and in the driving sleet Heil performed exceptionally well, only to lose to Hannah Kearney. She lost by five one-hundredth of a second.

    And then put the boots to some guy (without link, as per the ON Style Guide) on the basis that the loss was a close one. As it so happens, I agree with your point that Heil performed admirably but you grossly misrepresent the basis on which she lost, let alone whether or not it was close. Was she that close to winning? I don't know. She was only 0.02 points behind the American in her speed score and got slaughtered on her other stuff. Pointing to her time as an example of how close it was is grossly misleading. It's like reporting on an Oilers game in which they lose 6-0 and talking about how the Oilers only gave up one goal in the first two periods. Doesn't mean it was a close game.

    In any event, you present the reader with the factual basis of your argument – she only lost by 5/100th's of a second. The factual basis is untrue – that's not the margin of her loss.

    This isn't complicated.

    And she didn't lose by a full point.

    You are correct sir. She lost by 0.94 points, not 1 point like I suggested. Your commitment to factual accuracy on the part of the commentariat is admirable and ought to be adopted by you in your own work. I at least mentioned that there was a points system, for example.

    • Jason Gregor

      Good to see you can actually read. Do you see the BLUE words where it says "At the Bleacher Report"…if you click on that it goes to the story. That is how they link on this site. I'd think you would have figured that out by now.

      But when your sole purpose is to complain and whine I guess your vision gets blurry.

      Oh by the way how is Ryan Miller progressing as a goalie? I look forward to your next opinion on a player. Interesting how when You actually express an opinion, rather than just using numbers you aren't as accurate as you think you are. Strange isn't it.

      The point was she didn't choke…and the number you listed was her speed score, not the speed she went down the hill in. You think she went down the hill in 7.03 seconds?

      She was 27.91 while Kearney was 27.86…that is five one hundredths of a second. Thanks.

    • Dan the Man

      When you consider that just about everyone who visits this website is an Oiler fan (and I'm assuming that is the audience you'd like to reach with your own blog) I never quite understand why you don't ever come on here and post anything constructive.

      It always seems to me that your sole purpose for posting anything on this site is to demonstrate what a douche you are.

      IMHO anyways.

      • Wanyes bastard child

        I think they are just envious of the talent and accolades that those like Jason and Robin have achieved in their careers and troll the ON to look for any tiny mistake that they can jump on. Its pretty pathetic really IMHO.

  • Jason Gregor

    Deslauriers can't keep letting in one obvious bad goal a game. He takes one step forward and then one step back from game-to-game. Sure he's made 17 saves so far, but the 2nd goal was horrendously weak.

  • Eric Johnson

    I'm not a moguls expert but it was said that finishing time is only one component of the scoring. The American gold medalist appeared to have a much better run in addition to the better time. Heil showed a lot of effort and grit skiing in all that slush. I don't think Canada will own the podium and that's okay with me just as long as we get the mens hockey gold medal because that's the only medal most of us really care about.

    • Jason Gregor

      My point was that the time is one component and it is such a small margin that there is no way I'd consider that choking. And it is pretty sad people say they only care about the Men's hockey gold medal. Only 7 counties are competitive, so our odds are pretty damn good. Winning a gold in speed skating would arguably be a harder feat.

  • @Jake

    I'm not sure that I buy into the idea that Canadians choke. We get all of our stuff filtered through the Canadian media, who sell us on the idea of the next Canadian medal contender being so and so. None of us care about these sports most of the time, so we've got nothing to go on.

    Even now, CTV is promoting Alexander Bilodeau going for gold tonight. Fair enough, but I went and looked at his wiki page and dual moguls seems to be more his thing than the singles. Unfortunately, dual moguls isn't an Olympic event. Is he really a contender? Should he be called a choker if he loses?

    • Eric Johnson

      Yeah, I was sort of generalizing from what I've seemed to observe over the years in terms of Canadians being highly ranked going into an Olympics and not even medalling. You are right though, it's alot to do with the media hyping athletes for viewership, can't blame them.

      I won't even pretend to have numbers to back that up, just what seems to be over the years, I could be way off.

      Heil for example, they say she won 4 events going in, but not the 5th (Olympics), hey she did great, love the silver vs. nothing.

      Did anyone just catch Brian Williams, in previewing the figure skating short program, saying it will be live later on CBC, haha, old habits die hard eh Brian?

  • Heil had a great run. The american had the run of her life, responded to the pressure amazingly as much as I hate to say.

    I think there something to the notion Canada "chokes". The conversion rate (rank going into Olympics vs. medal haul) would be quite low my guess.

    When Moreau or whoever is traded, I'll believe it when I see it.

    When do Oilers schedule their PPV? During Olympics and they are in last place? Should be an internet freebie if you ask me, heck pay people to watch.

  • My beef with bloggers is that anyone can be one. Most are nameless, faceless people who write their opinions, but unfortunately there are too many false facts in blogs. I understand the next generation gets most of their information from the Internet, but unfortunately lots of it is horribly written or inaccurate. Kids read this stuff and they believe it. I don't think bloggers truly understand the strength of their message, and also the damage it can do.

    Jen Heil didn't lose by 5/100ths of a second – she lost by a point on the basis of a judging system that factors in time.

    • Jason Gregor

      Actually she was five one-hndredths slower, but that isnt't the only criteria. And she didn't lose by a full point. And considering none of us could critique her moves with any degree of smarts I pointed out the speed.

      Mine wasn't a false fact. It was the easiest way to point out that she didn't choke. Sure, she could have tied in speed and still lost, but she finished 2nd in a sport that is decided by very small margins.

      Thanks for another insightful post.

  • Eric Johnson

    Are any broadcasters left in Edmonton to do commentary?

    Hard Hitter? Same type of person who give themselves the nickname T-Bone or speak about themselves in the third person. Jennifer Heil performed awesome and was beaten by someone who had the run of her life. Great Job!

    I'm just curious are other avid sports fans tired of the MSM making so much out of the fact that Canada has never won gold on home soil? It's bound to happen and most likely the first will come from someone not deemed a favourite which will make it even better. The whole issue is almost more annoying then how James Duthie seems to allude to Crosby and Ovechkin when talking about other sports dominant athletes.

    GO OIL!!!

    • Milli

      Ya, I'm sick of that too. We will win Gold in Vancouver. I'm also shocked that there is some outrage towards the own the podium and pride in our athletes. I actualy had a flames fan and good friend arguing that that is the wrong approach!!!! We should want to win, and yes, we should also be proud of every athlete.

  • Milli

    Ya, a tenth of a second and she choked? Nice, that dude should be choked. She skiied awesome, was very very humble in her interview after, nothing but class if you ask me.

  • Eric Johnson

    Oilers win 4-3

    Getzlaf with a Pair.

    Ethan Moreau with the Godrie Howe Hat Trick and salvages his image in Edmonton before being shipped out of town for a 7th round pick and a Ron Tugnutt autographed George Forman Grill.