GDB 75.0: IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME…

Tonight is like a playoff game for Oiler fans. Win and the Oilers can unofficially, scratch that, OFFICIALLY, eliminate the Calgary Flames from playoff contention. The past two seasons have been excruciatingly tough to stomach, yet Rexall Place has been sold out every night. I know the Oilers are understaffed and are playing with three 3rd lines and a 4th line tonight, but the players must recognize what a win would mean to the fans.

A true Oiler fan despises the Flames.
You loathe them.
They disgust you.
Adhor sits at the edge of your tongue when you see a Flames jersey, and for the love of hockey the Oilers better SHOW UP tonight.

You’ve watched 106 Oiler losses — yes 106, because if you don’t win it is a loss regardless of the pity point — the past two years. I know one win won’t make up for all the tears Wanye, Ender, Horcsky, K-Lowe, Kodiak, JSBW, Chris, Tambo, Bookie, OBI, Dakin, Bucknuck, Bucky, Quicksilver, Debbie, Archguy, Sammy, Joey, Chris, Peter, Homie, Rindog, Nate, Boris, Dennis, Darryl, Sara, Christine, John, Paul, George, Ringo and the rest of the Nation have shed the past two years, but I’ll bet watching an Oiler win and putting the final nail in the "Flames playoff-hopes" coffin would feel almost orgasmic at this point.

Clearly Tom Renney realizes the magnitude of the game, because he pulled out the blender and came up with the following lines hoping they can somehow score more than one goal tonight:

Hartikainen/Vande Velde/Eberle
Paajarvi/Cogliano/Omark
Jones/O’Marra/Reddox
Jacques/Fraser/MacIntyre

The defence stays the same and Devan Dubnyk starts in goal.

EIGHT THOUGHTS IS ENOUGH

  1. Rob Blake will be the Asst. GM for Canada at the upcoming World Championships and when I asked him which Oilers would be considered he said Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff and Taylor Hall if the latter two are healthy. Devan Dubnyk went last year as the 3rd goalie, and could possibly be invited back again. I wonder when Oiler fans will realize that despite his overpriced salary, Horcoff is a good NHL player. Get past the salary. He would be a 2nd line centre on many teams, and a high end third on rare teams like Det, Pitt, Phi, Van, and Chi. Horcoff isn’t flashy and won’t be a top-end scorer, but his overall game is appreciated by many scouts and opposing teams.
     
  2. I spoke with an Edmonton city police officer after the Rush game last night. I was stunned to hear that on a regular Saturday night Oiler home game there is normally eight fans kicked out of the arena, for being to drunk or fighting, and when Calgary is in town that number almost doubles. If you are going to the game, cheer loud, have fun chirping opposing fans, but act like a human being. I’ve never understood fans who think they have to fight to show loyalty to their team/jersey.
     
  3. Henrik Lundqvist has found his game again and the Rangers are 8-1-1 in their last ten. I think they will pass Montreal and finish 6th and face Boston in the 1st round. If Lundqvist stays hot in the playoffs the Bruins could be primed for an upset. The Habs could easily finish 8th with Buffalo and NYR playing well, and they’d get steamrolled by the Flyers in round one.
     
  4. You aren’t a sports fan if you weren’t intrigued watching  the Florida State and Virginia Commonwealth game last night. VCU had to play a "play-in" game just to get in the tourney, and after last night’s thrilling 72-71 OT win they are in the Elite Eight. A few years back Gary Bettman casually threw out the possibility of expanding the playoffs to 20 teams and having a similar "play-in" style. After watching VCU, I wonder if the NHL should try it? Would you be for or against a possible best-of-three series between the 7th/10th seeds and 8th/9th?
     
  5. It has only been a few games, but Teemu Hartikainen has impressed me. He won’t win any style points for skating, but he can get to the puck and his size is intriguing. I’m hesitant to get too excited about him, because I question whether I really like his game or I just like the fact the Oilers have a winger with some size who hits. I’ll need to see more games from him before pencilling him in as a roster player next year, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far.
     
  6. Colin Fraser has been ripped all year, and he’s deserved some of it, but Ryan O’Marra and Chris Vande Velde haven’t been much better since coming up; at least not yet. These final ten games should allow O’Marra and Vande Velde to recognize what areas of their game they need to improve on over the summer. I’ll be curious to see how they look at training camp next season. It is rare that young players get a chance to test themselves in the NHL and find out first hand how much better they need to become to stick in the Show. One of the few positives from all the injuries is that guys like 42, 54, 56 and 58 get a chance to experience just how good the NHL is, while allowing them to see and experience the weaknesses in their game. They should all be much more prepared to battle for a roster spot next September.
     
  7. How many of you watched Ryan Nugent-Hopkins last night?  He scored two goals in sixty-six seconds late in the 3rd to give the Rebels a 5-3 lead, and he also had two assists. It was only one game, but what a great statement by the 17-year-old. If i’m you, I try to make it out to watch him live at Rexall on Monday or Thursday night.
     
  8. Thank goodness I’ll be in the seats tonight and not watching at home. I’m not a fan of the late-night CBC crew.

GOING DOWN IN FLAMES?

GAME DAY PREDICTION: I’m not sure if it is even possible, but I’m calling the Oilers 3-2. I’ll admit it; I can’t stand Calgary and this is clearly a pick influenced by emotion rather than common sense. If Tom Brady can dump one hottie, and impregnate another at the same time and still come across as a good guy, then the Oilers can win tonight.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Paul Lorieau will get an extra long ovation after it was announced earlier this week that he’ll be retiring at the end of the season. At least one poster will be pissed that his/her name wasn’t included in the list, and will post about it. Don’t be offended it was off-the-top-of-my-head list.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: A loyal Oilernation reader will win the 50/50 tonight. Upon winning the $31,964 he will post on the Nation that beers are on him at On The Rocks after the game. Immediately everyone will vacate the Nation posts, except Baggedmilk, because he doesn’t have a car and spent his cab fare on an on-line auction for an alleged pair of Britney Spears panties. BM replies to his own comments for the final ten minutes of the game, and mocks those going to OTR because he will have Brit’s panties by Monday. On Tuesday’s game v. LA, BM is MIA in the posts because he is in the hospital after trying to parachute from his balcony. He got Brit’s panties monday night, but when he opened them they were size 48 granny panties. Rather than waste them he tried to use them as a parachute while hoping to get on the next version of Jackass. Meanwhile Wanye and The Scientist are overheard laughing about the pair of panties they bought at value village and used in a prank…Coincidence??? You decide.

***I  recycled this NOAGDP, but changed the dates and $ value of the 50/50. Someone from the Nation deserves to win, and since an Oiler win is like winning the lottery right now I thought it was fitting.*** 

  • Release the Hounds

    It seems we are all in agreement. Weekes and Lee from CBC are a couple of jackasses that don’t know how to do their jobs. Is it possible to post a petition on all Oiler blogs for us fans to “sign ” to have these ignoramuses removed from all future CBC Oiler broadcasts? Let them do the Canuck games! I know that CBC has been getting emails from some us. Perhaps a petition would let them know there are many us.

    • Release the Hounds

      It never ceases to amaze me how fans project their frustrations over yet another lousy season by the team they cheer for towards the writers/broadcasters/play-by-play people who cover the games when fatigue sets in over venting at the players/management/scouting staff/coaches/trainers/team bus driver and anybody else associated with the organization.

      Are Lee and Weekes icons of broadcasting? The best in the business? No and no. Not close. Are they the slobbering/biased/no-clue fools being portrayed here? No.

      All this whining about Lee and Weekes is like the couple in an unhappy marriage that has raging fights over not putting the cap back on the toothepaste or leaving the toilet seat up. It’s not the toothepaste and the toilet seat that’s the issue, it’s the marriage.

      Petitions (dumb idea) to CBC? If you’re going to waste your time with petitions, send one to Steve Tambellini or Patrick LaForge or . . .

      • Release the Hounds

        I guess it is just your opinions and ideas that matter eh Brownlee? Any one else’s suggestions are just “dumb ideas”. So, I guess we should just accept things as they are and not strive to try and change them for the better. Sounds like you’re a real champion for change!

        • JaroslavPouzar

          Actually, if you read here often you know a lot of our readers provide plenty of insight, ideas that make sense and approaches to issues worth mulling over and debating.

          Other ideas, like your petition brainstorm, are dumb.

  • JaroslavPouzar

    WTF.. the ONE chance the Oilers have of giving their fans something to cheer about it would have been beating the a-holes from Calgary… even if it was just in the shootout. WHY is Omark not in there and Jones and Hartikainen are. That was poorly done my Renney.

  • OilFan

    “It seems we are all in agreement. Weekes and Lee from CBC are a couple of jackasses that don’t know how to do their jobs. Is it possible to post a petition on all Oiler blogs for us fans to “sign ” to have these ignoramuses removed from all future CBC Oiler broadcasts? Let them do the Canuck games! I know that CBC has been getting emails from some us. Perhaps a petition would let them know there are many us.”

    Tongue in cheek? I’m not reading any wording that suggests this is anything but a straight up suggestion. Back-pedal if you must, but be honest about it.

  • dougtheslug

    Can it get any worse, oh Citizens of Oiler Nation. Or are there more, as yet undiscovered, creative and tortuously painful ways to torment the faithful. I thought they had at last found the bottom in Detroit with the last-gasp, ref-non-call assisted, shot deflected of Cogliano (check out the latest Oil Change to see how desperately hard Cogs works to get himself from a stitch job in the Oiler dressing room to the exact time and place on the ice to cost the Oilers the improbable victory) but noooooo. More injuries. A Saharan goal scoring drought. Yet there they are up 3-1 after 2 against the Flames. Hopes rise. Perfect. Karmic bookends to a season of frustration. A 4-0 win over the flames to start and a knockout blow to their season to finish. A Jonesy goal to start the third. A celebratory mood at Rexall. weeks of frustration about to be eased. But noooooooo! Instead a slowly unfolding train wreck, complete with unbelievable puck luck, officiating so bad you simply HAVE to start believing in conspiracy theories, and an Alice in Wonderland coaching decision (I love Jonesy, but REALLY, Jonesy instead of OMARK???? come on, Tom) and it’s wrist opening time again. I’m reaching for silver linings but now I’m thinking that its all going to turn sour. RNH will be the second coming of Pat Faloon. The Oilers rebuild will turn out like St. LouisIt’s never going to end. Help me oh Citizens ofOiler Nation. I’m losing hope.

  • Oilers4ever

    Have to say.. as a guy who went to the game… Omarra and VandeVelde played well.. VandeVelde’s face off ability was awesome. Looks like we may have our guy for the dzone faceoffs and such. 68% or something. Just nuts. I only got to go to two games this year… this one and the Atlanta game. I’m glad the two I got were both entertaining and not duds… This team will get better.. considering how they lambasted the Flames for most of this game except the last 15 minutes with a team full of rookies against a veteran laden team and what was on the line for the Flames.. they did well. Just self-destructed when the Flames turned the heat up.. Neither goalie played that great (other than Dubby’s 5 bell save in the first). That was unbelieveable. Save of the year material there. Just think what this team could have done with Hemsky and Hall tonight…

  • Oilers4ever

    Nothing against you Brownlee… but I tend to agree with people here on Weekes and Lee.. and it has nothing to do with the state of the hockey team. Those two “so called” CBC callers are morons and can’t hold a candle to Simmer and Hughson. Weekes is so pro goalie it’s pathetic. Very much like Hrudey and that there other former goalie CBC uses. Don’t get me wrong.. having the NHL on CBC is good because people don’t watch the CBC for much else. And I’ve always supported the CBC for that.. HOWEVER… this year is really starting to change my mindset. There’s a reason the CFL went to TSN solely… money for one obviously. But I’d be hard pressed not to believe that some of it was also the quality of presentation between the CBC vs. TSN. Hmmm.. and imagine that Mark Lee was the doornail doing those broadcasts too and they shut them down (along with another former player moronic analyst in Walby). Maybe it’s who Lee is paired up with although I doubt it. TSN and Sportsnet in Canada kick the crap out of CBC for coverage. It would be good when this deal with the CBC expires to move all of it to TSN and the regional local coverage stays with Sportsnet for each Cdn team. Thankfully I think the Oilers only have two games left on CBC for the year. Amen to that. Maybe they’ll replace those two clowns by the time next season rolls around. I’m not saying their job is easy, but someone better could be found.

  • MLAC 77

    k, I am getting absolutely a sick stomach as the same thing happens year after year after year. We get guys from the farm come up and look decent on the worst team in the NHL and now they are full fledged NHL players. I am sorry but when you guys start to look at our talent try and think of where these players would fit on say Vancouver or Detroit and then think if they are good enough. The real reality is that other than Hall, Ebs, MPS, Gags, Whitney, Omark, Horcoff the rest of this team is not NHL players and especially not on a winning team. But nothing will change until the big problem which is KLOWE and his friends are gone.