GDB LVII: Coyote Ugly

Whoever said that the 2009-10 Oilers season wouldn’t be record setting, think again. Last week the Oilers tied the franchise record with a 13-game winless streak, and tonight they have a shot at setting a dubious record: longest road losing streak. The Oilers have lost nine straight on the road, all in regulation, and haven’t won away from Rexall Place since December 11th v. the Blues.

They’ve scored a paltry nine goals in the last nine road games, getting shut out twice, while scoring once five times and twice they managed two goals. They’ve given up 36 goals during this losing streak. They’ve been outscored 36 to freaking nine! At least try and compete is what Pat Quinn should be saying prior to tonight’s tilt in Phoenix . The Oil will be hard-pressed to avoid setting the record when they face the NHL’s biggest surprise, the 35-19-5 Coyotes.

The Desert Dogs are 21-8-2 at home, and only Washington and Vancouver have more home wins. You wonder if they actually had some fans come watch them, how dominant they’d be at home. The biggest key for the Coyotes has been their ability to score first. They are 26-2-2 when scoring first, a league-best .867 winning %, while the Oilers are a woeful 6-25-3 when giving up the first goal. If the Oilers don’t score first tonight there’s a great chance they will set a new mark for road futility.

COYOTES UGLY: BUT THEY WIN

The Coyotes won’t scare anyone with their offence. Scottie Upshall led them in goals, with 18 before ripping up his ACL over a week ago. Radim Vrbata is now tied with Upshall with 18, while Shane Doan leads them with 43 points including 17 goals. The Coyotes are great at winning close games. Twelve of their 19 home wins have been by a goal. Dave Tippett has them playing good defence, but their numbers aren’t stellar. In fact, when you look at them at face value, they aren’t great. Of the eight teams currently in the playoffs in the west, only the Flames have scored fewer goals than the Coyotes, 157. Yet, the Dogs have surrendered more goals than all of them except Nashville and LA.

The Coyotes rarely lose the tight games. Twenty of their wins are one-goal wins, and they’ve lost by three four times, got blown out by four goals three times and lost by five once. Their PP is 27th in the league and their PK is 10th. The Coyotes don’t wow you with anything, although Ilya Bryzgalov has a very respectable 2.33 GAA and .919 SV%. His numbers are good, but are on par with the other top-ten goalies in the game. The fact is, the Coyotes don’t draw big crowds, they don’t have a 20-goal scorer, they aren’t the toughest team but they win which is the most important stat.

D WILL GET A BOOST

The Oilers are 1-0-1 v. the Dog this year, and they will get a boost on the backend as both Ladislav Smid and Steve Staios will play tonight. If Staios can stay healthy up to the deadline, can Steve Tambellini find a trading partner for him? He has one more year at $2.7 million and that will make it tough to move him, but if Ales Kotalik and his $3 million can be moved, then Tambellini should be able to find a taker for Staios.

GAGNER ON WAY HOME

The injuries keep mounting for the Oilers, as Sam Gagner will return to Edmonton to have his knee looked at. Gagner was hurt in Denver and has been the Oilers best player in 2010. The Oilers sit comfortably in 30th place, with a seven-point lead on Toronto and Carolina , so they didn’t really need Gagner to miss games to ensure their 48.1% chance of drafting first. Gagner needs to play, and the Oilers are hoping there is no major damage and that he’ll be able to return after the Olympic break.

With Gagner going down, Marc Pouliot will get a shot on the first line.

Pouliot has played better the last few games along side Jacques and Stortini. They’ve played a simple game and won lots of one-on-one battles. I’ll give Pouliot credit, he has used his size more recently and that has helped him. We’ll see if he plays the same way alongside Penner tonight. And it looks like Gilbert Brule and Robert Nilsson will draw back in with Gagner and Mike Comrie coming out. Not entirely sure on Brule, but that’s what it looked like to the boys watching the skate this morning in Phoenix .

NEEDS TO HELP OUT GM

Everyone is expecting Ethan Moreau to be moved before the deadline, and while he has played a bit better of late, he could help his GM by actually registering a point. He’s gone 33 games since scoring a goal, and he has two assists in 31 games. He’s never been a big scorer, but he needs to produce more than that. GAINEY GONE Interesting to hear that at 2 p.m. MST Bob Gainey will step down as GM of the Canadiens.

The rumours are already flying out of Montreal that Gainey was told to either trade Carey Price or step down. That seems like a stretch to me, but it will be interesting to see what the Canadiens do moving forward with their goaltending. It seems obvious that one of Price or Halak will be dealt. But, the Habs have to answer the million dollar question and pick the right one to trade.

I’m guessing Interim GM, Pierre Gauthier’s phone will be ringing of the hook once the press conference is over.

  • Jeff Carter just delivered another head shot after a Devil goal! Someone should lynch this kid. No penalty, unbelievable… I think it was a head shot, because the guy couldn't escape trying to score, actually he did score…

  • Tha Legion

    question… is @nhlsourcessay a real twitter rumor thing from hendricks hockey or another eklund? cause if it is real they are stating that moreau is a pen

    • Ender

      Scientist, you will not believe this. I just hacked into the Supercomputer (sorry, Big Guy, but your security program could use an upgrade. And what kind of password is 'hellokitty'?) and simply asked it how to fix the Oilers. I wasn't really expecting a solution; actually, kind of expected it to melt down. He-he, whoops . . .

      Anyway, the answer was nothing short of brilliant. Here it is:

      1) Katz hires a secret front-man to purchase an expansion franchise from the NHL. They name the team the Edmonton (insert cool new name here) and choose green & gold for their colors to match the Eskimos. Now the city can look tacky but unified. Price: a mere $250M. Good thing Katz is committed, right?

      2) An expansion draft is held, with the new team picking from all the unprotected players on the other 30 teams. In a shocking development, Hemsky and Gagner are 'accidentally' left unprotected and are picked up by the new team.

      3) The 2010 entry draft proceeds normally, with the Oil picking up Hall or Seguin.

      4) Following the draft, the Oilers trade several of their better players to the expansion franchise for prospects. The resulting scandal results in the Oilers GM being fired. Odd that he looks so happy about it . . .

      5) A month following the draft, Katz announces he's folding the Oilers. They will not play the 2010-11 season. A complete mercy because at this point, the UofA ringette team could dominate them. A dispersal draft is held, but there are no takers.

      6) The new Edmonton team takes the NHL by storm, with newcomers Eberle, MPS, and Hall/Seguin combining with seasoned journeymen from around the league to win the Stanley Cup in the first year of the franchise. In unrelated news, on the same night that the Cup is presented, Wanye’s house sustains severe structural damage.

      7) Katz buys the new team for a dollar. People wonder how a guy could be so lucky. Right place, right time, we guess.

      It's brilliant; BRILLIANT I tell you. Scientist, why didn't you have the Old Girl come up with this a long time ago?

      • I'm a Scientist!

        Wow! To think, all this time i had been using the SuperComputer for Science, when really all of the worlds problems could have been solved with one simple question!

        I should be mad, miffed and maybe manic at the fact that you cracked my high tech security system, but I am not. This is like discovering the holy grail! Next thing you are going to tell me is that the SuperComputer could be used for other things…like watching porn or halarious videos of dancing dogs.

        I am a changed man. Thank you Ender.

        *changes his password to 'password'*

        • Ender

          Well don't be changed quite yet. We still have to put the plan into action. After all, Katz still doesn't know he's going to be spending 250 million smackeroos in the next few months. Someone should give him a heads up.

          Say, you wouldn't mind running a little errand for the Nation, would you Scientist?

    • Ender

      The Motin fight was a bit cheap. Yeah, Terry got his @ss handed to him but it was obvious from the first that he knew that was going to happen and wanted no part of the rough stuff. Motin wouldn't take no for an answer, though, and looked pretty classless when he kept hitting Terry after he went down.

      • Dan the Man

        True enough but I'm willing to take any Oiler/Oiler prospect victory at this point.

        Also is it just me or do the Albany River Rats uniforms kinda look like Ronald McDonald's outfit?

      • Ender

        You know how when you're playing a game with your friends, or maybe your lady, and you always win so you decide to dial it back a bit and let someone else have a turn as the winner? There's always that point where you decide "OK, enough's enough; that lead is big enough to be safe" and you turn the jets back on so that at least when they win, you finish strong and they have to respect the fact that you were this close to taking it away from them.

        Yeah, we're almost there. We lose two or three more, it'll be OK to announce that Hemsky, Souray, and Khabi are miraculously recovered, Samwise was on a 5-day camping trip with some cutie, and Moreau, Horcoff, and POS have been given the green light to go ahead and contend for the Rocket Richard Trophy like they'd wanted to in the first place. Then we'll see some Oilers hockey. Just another couple games . . .

      • Dude. I want them to win. This DFF loser talk is for losers as far as I'm concerned.

        I listened to Don Maloney (Phoenix GM) on Stauffer's program today. He came off as confident, motivated and a man with a plan. Totally re-made his team in one summer by going with experienced NHL role players instead of lacing his team with young "maybes". Made me want to cry.

        • Something tells me that Tippet behind the bench as opposed to Gretzky might have a thing or two to do with it as well.

          The 'yotes have always looked like they had some pieces and would take a step forward. I'm sure some of it is timing and having some players that finally "get it" but I think that Tippet deserves a bunch of the credit there as well.

          Of course why would we want a coach with Quinn "the motivator" and Renney "the professor" both sit back and let Bucky "I signed autographs for Katz's kids and now have a job coaching hockey" diagram up plays in the waning moments of yet another loss.

        • Jason Gregor

          I wouldn't say he re-made his team in one year. They were in 5th place last year at All-star break and then died down the stretch, when Bryzgalov's five hole was bigger than half the girls who tried out and got canned from Coyote Ugly, Hogs and Heifers or any other establishment of that ilk.

          I agree Maloney sounded like a guy with a plan, and actually said something when asked. Funny thing is some of his young guys are struggling, yet no one cares because they have some quality character veterans. That is the one area this team needs to improve on moving forward.

  • Funny story about the "Hogs & Heifers" is that my friend was getting married the next day & didn't want to leave the eye candy there. He slept the night before his wedding on a park bench outside of Subway at the MGM.

  • The 'Hogs & Heifers' is a far better place to hang out in Vegas. A genuine meat market rock n roll dive bar just off of Freemont Street. It is just like the movie Coyote Ugly because the movie was based on it.

    Save the money you would spend at Coyote Ugly & go get abused by the hot bartenders there.

  • Ender

    Forgive me, Jeanshorts. The giggle last game was one of hysteria as the curtain of darkness comes down over the Oil. I could never be happy about Samwise getting hurt.

    I don't know if the Oilers have a team prayer before games, but the way things are going these days it might not be a bad idea.

    And Comrie out again; what on Earth is wrong with that boy?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Congrats to Ken Reid for getting a gig on TSN.

    Gregor, what happened to the "T" on his forehead? Perhaps you could have him on your show one of these days.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Why would Molson tell Gainey that? Are they really that actively involved that they want to dictate who should be moved?

    I doubt this is true, because Gainey is now saying he'd like to stick around if the above was true would we be hearing that Gainey wants to stay as an advisor?

  • Zamboni Driver

    Tip for people considering Coyote Ugly.

    Been to the one in Vegas….it has nothing to do with that picture or the flick.

    Sausage-fest with a few loaded (and not so good) broads threatening to cave in some elevated 'bars' scattered in. Like $20 to get in too.

    Skip

    it.

    Oh and yeah, O'Sullivan sucks.

    • It's true re: Coyote Ugly.

      I went to the one in NYC and it was full of bras that had been cut off patrons by staff and nailed to the wall/roof.

      I was there with my crew of Pirates, crushing Rolling Rock beers and wondering when the 10/10s would be reporting to work. We saw a brassiere cut off a lady that I couldn't recall being in the movie whilst the staff stomped on the bar and screamed in alarmingly low voices. After the embarrassed patron got down from the bar they stapled it to the roof and all went back to work.

      Tyra Banks was nowhere in sight the entire time.