Lots of anger on the internet today over last night’s loss to Calgary. I would like to offer a somewhat opposing view to what has been written so far.

The best news for this fan last night was Taylor Hall’s recovery timeline. Hall makes a practice of scaring the daylights out of us and then returning quickly (I’ll always remember the Mem Cup broken neck play and the goal minutes later), and apparently he’s miles ahead of schedule.

Here are some other observations:

  • The Calgary Flames are a much better team than the standings indicate. Although not playing consistently, the Flames have made some important moves (Comeau) and are getting stellar play from some important men (JayBo, Kipper) in the lineup.Bouwmeester played 30 minutes last night against the best Edmonton can offer.
  • The second game in as many nights is a tough item for any NHL team, even if both games are at home.


  • Sam Gagner had his best game this season. If Samwise can get rolling while Hall is out and then find some chem with two of the bottom 6 forwards on a third line this team should get scoring from three lines from here on out. They have the talent.
  • This was a winnable game. Coach Renney’s line matching decisions combined with some rookie errors meant the third period was more sad than glad. The Oilers were in the game entering the third period, something that’s been a trend for quite some time.
  • Ryan Whitney isn’t going to be a go-to option against the toughs for some time. 
  • Oilers goaltending doesn’t steal games like it did early in the season.
  • The powerplay died last night. Edmonton had been very effective with the man advantage but the Flames were exceptional, in fact I don’t think any of the PPs saw many breakdowns at all. Seriously. The best opportunities all night came when two forwards were a hair late into the zone. But once there, it was textbook and CGY’s PK men were on their game all night long.


Sometimes you have to give the other man his due. When Michael Douglas was 56 years old, he married 31 year old Catherine Zeta-Jones. What are you going to do? I mean holy crap, that’s pretty impressive. Tip your hat, move on.

There are some things to be learned. Coach Renney was manhandled by my eye and never did find a way to either stop the 2 CGY lines that were going or get his 2 scoring lines loose. In fairness, that 4th line must have snuck out on the ice in the third period when he wasn’t looking, and the kid Petry had some tough moments.

Either way, it’s a loss and they’ve been doing that a lot lately. However, I’m less upset about this one than the Minny game where they had a 2-0 lead and found a way to blow it. Last night’s game was 2 in 2 nights and Calgary wasn’t exactly lying back and thinking of England.

Last night the winderkid was just averagekid, the coach got his show run, the goaltending was not spectacular and the PP was noxious. Plus some rookies looked rookieie (is that a word? should be). If it were a country song it might be "Tonight the bottle let me down" but as a hockey game it serves as an education. For a few member of the Oiler organization.

  • Semenko and Troy

    On a team where the NHL equivalence of little kids and seniors are our best players, we have to expect inconsistency.

    At least what we have seen so far are indications of what this team will be, not what it may be.

  • Chaz

    Terrible game. Petry was awful. Belanger on the PP? Why Renney why? Bad penalties and not enough ‘Jam’. So sick of always getting beat by them. I’m sure the Oilers are sick of it too….wish they’d play like it though. I know we can’t expect too much on the second half of a back to back, but Sat night on CBC against the Flames?….C’mon Oilers, we deserve better. I hope they are as disappointed in that effort as I am….

    • Ya- great point ! I’m not worried either. We all sleep better at night knowing we have a GM assessing the situation, addressing our needs and such. He’ll be wondering who yanked his drawers down when Feaster puts in an offer sheet for Hall. Timed nicely as Iginlas contract expires. Dear Santa can you please send us Oil faithful a GM.

  • Rob...

    Surprised no one has mentioned that the wheels are falling off the Khaboose.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, his SV% was in the range of .965 and now has dropped more than 30 points.

    The Oilers early season success was almost totally dependent on unsustainable goaltending and it’s no surprise that it is reverting to the mean.

    At his current .932, Khabibulin is still sitting higher than his best ever season of .923 recorded 12 years ago in Phoenix.

    I expect you’ll see him get close to his post lockout average in the .905 range in the next 10-12 games and that means more losses.

    Dubnyk is currently sitting at .905 and sports a record of 4 wins, 5 losses and a GAA of 2.90.

    That’s the likely outcome going forward.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Good analysis, LT, but despite all that it came down to the Oil getting beaten by giving up 2 PP goals on after the whistle roughing minors. I like that the team has been feistier, even dirtier, lately but they need to learn to play rough intelligently.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Our d needs some serious upgrading .Sutton is a 6th or 7th d.Peckham needs more time in OKC.Both are far to slow.Whitney has looked very ordinary.The kids are still 2 to 3 years away.We miss Potter big time.Might be time to go big fish hunting.Size up front is still an issue

    • Quicksilver ballet

      I agree Theo – wow did he look out a place numerous times. If there is ever a guy that has to keep his feet moving it’s him. Get me Steve Staois at least we’d have some grit.

      * Edit – that was a panic request for Staois

      • O.C.

        If you both are talking about that goal that tied the game at 3 then it wasn’t about footspeed. It was about a 2 dmen who should have been communicating. Both Sutton and Peckham took the guy in the middle and let Derek Smith get a clear look. They both looked really confused about who to take but they shouldn’t have been. I believe it was Ryan O’Marra who was backchecking and he had the Flame to the far right covered which meant that both Peckham and Sutton should have taken their men but they played it like a 3 on 2 and both of them played the middle. That goal was definitely frustrating because there were numerous defensive miscues. But I don’t agree about the Sutton thing. While Peckham has been up and down quite a bit Sutton has been solid and is exactly what he should be in the NHL, a third pairing defenceman. But he should be paired up with someone much more mobile than Peckham. So I do agree with the majority of the posters that the Oilers need to look at acquiring a defenceman.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Relax people, remember it’s only year two of the rebuild.

    Our PP sucked last night. And as bad as we played, if the puck didn’t hit Kipper’s stick on the Smitty rebound, the result would’ve have been different.

  • I'm Batman

    I was furious last night watching that sorry excuse for an effort. The most frustrating thing was the lack of response to the J-BO crosscheck. I’m not saying they shoulda jumped the guy, but at the very least show some emotion in your game. Hit something. How come Calgary, who has been more terrible than good this year can get up for a game like this and we can’t. This is the battle of Alberta, and if you can’t show some emotion in the battle of Alberta then there are some locker room issues to deal with I think. If they don’t play next Saturday like it’s a playoff game, then Feaster was right in saying that he looks forward to watching the battle of Alberta for years to come.

  • I'm Batman

    LT a great snapshot of the team.

    I would also add:

    – Why is Ryan Smyth taking such bad penalties in critical times? (that’s 2G back to back 1 contributed to a loss the other almost did) – Why are the D really falling back into the goalie? earlier in the year they were pressing up forcing opposing forwards to make a hockey play (see the Iggie-Smith goal Iggie had way too much time and space) – Never give the Flames that much respect ever – Next time Bo-Bo slashes/x-checks your Captain to the ground with no-call someone needs to take him to the woodshed! (inexcusable Coach Renney he’s only out there 30 minutes in the game and no one holds him accountable – what if Smid had done that to Iggie?)

  • JDP

    I can’t believe all this hype for Sam gagner. I was at the flames game and he does not have the legs to skate on this team. He can’t even keep up with smitty and horcs. Give Magnus a chance and forget about Sam.

  • book¡e

    ok – For those born this side of 1960 and/or the Atlantic Ocean – here you go (From Wikipedia).

    “Lie back and think of England” is an English saying with roughly the same meaning as “grit one’s teeth”, i.e. put up with what is happening, though this comparison is complicated by the statement’s seemingly sexual undertone. It was used both in England and among expatriates outside the country when conditions were difficult.[1] It is given as encouragement to do something unpalatable.


    The origins of the phrase are not clear. According to one urban legend, “lie back and think of England” was an instruction given to brides or women in general in the Victorian Era regarding how to cope with the sexual demands of their husbands. While childbearing was considered a patriotic duty, women were not supposed to enjoy sexual intercourse, and brides in particular would have been ignorant of the facts thereabout. One version of this legend has it that Queen Victoria gave this instruction to her daughter on her wedding night. According to other, perhaps less reliable, urban legends,[2] the phrase originated in the diary of Lady Alice Hillingdon (1857–1940) in 1912[1]:
    I am happy now that George calls on my bedchamber less frequently than of old. As it is, I now endure but two calls a week, and when I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, open my legs, and think of England.[3]

  • I'm Batman

    You know its sometimes in games like this one that I wonder.. Maybe one of our so called veteran superstars could step up and show us what character and talent put together can achieve? But Nope. Hemsky’s gotta go before the trade deadline… Well unless you can sign him to 3 Mill/Per. But that aint happenin. Here’s 1 fan hoping it happens.

  • I'm Batman

    Any coach who plays Belanger on the PP shows a lack of touch with reality. I think the cheese has finally slipped off Renney’s cracker altogether.

    Am I the only person who is getting increasingly fed up with Renney’s gobble-de-gook happy talk after games. Whether he is talking about a win or a loss his jabber doesn’t make sense.

  • O.C.

    I think it may be time to pull the trigger on a trade, thats if Tambo has been working on one, for some D.

    The Oil have the parts to get a deal done.

    Living in CGY and having to come to work and listen to this BS is getting old. Good thing the nuckleheads slapped the flames back to reality or it would have been a terrible week.

  • Rob...

    They were getting tosses because the linesman felt the wingers were pinching in, for the most part.

    Can anyone comment as to why the Flames got away with 8 men on the ice? That lead to a goal.

    The oil get called for too many men on a nightly basis!

      • Its a usual practice to try and cheat. I was watching on TV so I am not really able to comment on how much they were cheating. My best guess would be a bot of both: overzealous linesman and some guys pushing his buttons.

  • Rob...

    Oil`s problem is getting the puck out. They are starting to play more uptempo, and we are starting to see the strech pass more, but the puck is looking a timebomb in the Oilers zone. That with bad line changes is why they loss to Calgary. The Oil gave Calgary the game saturday, pissed me off….