QUICK HITS AND DAY THREE

You know Eric Belanger is struggling when even google images doesn’t have a picture of him in an Oiler jersey, instead you get tasty treats like this one of his some model named Eric Belanger. I’m sure once Belanger scores a goal in an Oiler jersey google will have a picture of him, it just won’t be on page two.

Belanger has yet to light the lamp in his 27 games as an Oiler. He admitted it is weighing on him. "You want to make a good impression with your new teammates, and while I think I’m doing other things to help the team it is frustrating not scoring. I try not to think about it, but in Canada everyone knows your stats so I hear about it all the time. I love playing here where hockey matters, but it is a different kind of pressure than what you have in Phoenix. There I wouldn’t think about it, but here, even though I try not to worry about it, it (not scoring) is always in the back of my mind."

Belanger wasn’t signed to score goals, he was signed to win draws, play solid defensively, kill penalties and chip in offensively. He’s been good in every area except scoring, but he realizes that being on the PP means he needs to start scoring.

The good news, or bad depending on how you look at it, is that Belanger had a 27-game goal-less drought last year and still finished with 13 goals. If he can somehow score 13 in the final 53 games he and the fans would be happy.

The Oilers spent lots of time working on their PP today, and while the units looked the same, it seems they will have a few new quirks, and much more movement.

QUICK HITS 

  •  I like the realignment, and once Phoenix moves east the Oilers and their fans should like it even more, because the Oilers will have a better chance (%wise) of making the playoffs. I love the playoff format, because the chances of building rivalries should increase. That will lead to more intense regular season games, because of the hatred built during the playoffs and that is great for the game, the players and the fans.
     
  • Sam Gagner has played much better the past six or seven games, and now that he finally scored I’m curious to see if that gets him going even more. He is starting to look more comfortable on the wing, and when Hall returns I’m curious to see if they finally send Magnus Paajarvi to OKC and have Gagner on 3rd line LW with Belanger and Jones.
     
  • Do we need names of the new "conferences" in the NHL? The old four names were great, but many seem to think they should re-name them instead of going back to the old four names. Do you agree? Do you care? Jim Matheson from the journal suggested naming them Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Lemieux. What do you think. I’m indifferent.
     

DAY THREE



Yesterday we raised $3,300 for Santas Anonymous. Dan F. made the generous bid and took home a pair of tickets to all 10 World Junior Championships games at Rexall Place. Thanks Dan.

TODAY

Today we will be auctioning off a great golf package. This package is awesome for the golf fanatic and you can help make Christmas very special for some families in need.

A Calloway RazrHawk Driver and a fitting at brand new Calloway Performance Centre in Sherwood Park. 
 
20 hours of golf at Evolution Golf. You can refine your game all winter.
 
Round for four, including carts, at The Ranch Golf and Country Club.
 
An Oilers Cart golf bag signed by Nugent-Hopkins, Jones and Petry from Speak Volumes Promotions.

If you want to bid you can call 780.426.8326 or email gregor@theteam1260.com Bidding starts at 2 p.m and ends at 5:45 MST.

Thanks in advance. 

  • Douche Nietzsche

    I think Belanger has been effective and I credit him for helping the team go on a roll at the start of the season for bringing confidence back in the circle.

    I would prefer they go with the old school division names for the only reason that it always confused me who was in what conference back in the day and I finally might learn them now.

    Lastly, and sorry if it has been mentioned already but Barnaby has been let go from ESPN. Driving on an axle with no tire will get ya everytime..

  • Douche Nietzsche

    Does Belanger weigh more than RNH ? Man he looks slight on the ice.
    How long can PRV-Belanger etc go without scoring ? at some point they have to break through, not asking for alot but some timely goals here and there would make things so much easier, especially down the stretch as we all know things tighten up. You need that additional scoring from time to time. Also, i mentioned it in another article, Is Sutter available from
    the Canes ? for a price obviously but this kid could bring some grit. Canes needs some firepower. I looked at their roster and it sure looks weak, as far as depth goes. A package deal perhaps ?
    PS-Ben Eager- if you are healthy please wake up, i know u have it in you.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If you have a couple beers, doesn’t Belanger look just a little like Antonio Banderas?

    Eric (not Jesse,i keep getting those mixed up) needs to be a little more violent like Antonio Banderas.

    Oh, and SELL THE FARM!, trade Gagner and Hemsky. The last two lottery picks are quite simply delightful.

    That is all.

  • A-Mc

    I Like Belanger. Like stated in the article, he’s doing what he was hired to do and that is all that we can ask of him! If he does manage to kick in the offense, then so be it but i don’t see why Belanger needs to worry about scoring output.

    In the case of Magnus Paajarvi, i think it’s safe to say that everyone wants this kid to succeed. Even if he manages to score a couple goals and maybe an equal number of assists, Is his limited ice time and limiting Line mates holding back development?

    If we think about what we want out of Magnus in a couple years, we think of a kid with speed, size and the ability to generate some good offense. To me it looks like he can participate in an offensive attack, but he has little ability to actually create one on his own. On the 3rd or 4th line, with severely limited ice time, if he cannot create offense on his own then chances are his line mates probably aren’t going to create it for him. It Appears to me that Magnus will only find success if he’s a regular member on the top 2 lines, but our lines right now cannot afford to have him up there full time.

    Maybe it is time to put Magnus back down in OKC so he can learn to generate some good Offense against opponents who are a little easier. Maybe Confidence is all this kid needs. OKC will be the place for him to find some, not on the 3rd or 4th line in the NHL. He needs to develop into MORE than a 3rd or 4th line player.

    I have Magnus Pegged as being a 2nd line Winger when he fully develops. Am i ball parking this accurately?

  • Douche Nietzsche

    Although I like the idea of honoring the greats with the division names, Montreal will go Vancouver all over itself if it has to play in the Orr division, instead of the Richard division….

  • A-Mc

    I think naming the conferences after people is just wack. Whats wrong with just calling them what they are NorthWest Conference, SouthWest Conference… Not only is it logical and straight forward but it allows people who don’t normally watch hockey to understand the setup easier.

    I can just imagine it be asked whats the Howe conference… well where is it…. why is it named Howe…. who is he and what did he do to deserve being named a conference…

    Get my point. If your to dumb to understand, even generally, what the NorthWest conference means then they won’t understand hockey anyway and might as well not try.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Hode da phone der Dman…

      Your reply should’ve read, If you’re too dumb to understand, not, your to dumb to understand.

      Just sayin.

      Ever seen a brawl in a table hockey game?

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Create a diversion 20 meters in the other direction. This should allow you to increase your ON time considerably.

          A small contained fire would be sufficient.It takes about 8 minutes for the fire department to arrive. Those 8 minutes will be all yours.

          Anyone else have an issue they’d like resolved?

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            yes, i have one.

            ~there is a poster on a hockey website who i struggle dealing with. this clearly insane individual even went as far as suggesting the Oilers should dump Dubnyk and bring in Turco. A theory a long time NHLer even laughed at.

            What can i possibly do to prevent this lunatic from posting this kind of craziness??? I fear for the safety of those around him/her.~

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Ah yes, those ever present contrarians. What to do, what to do.

            Have you reasoned with this fellow, have you taken a moment to help him realize the error of his ways? Devan Dubnyk for Marty Turco eh, the timing on that could be excellent considering either Perhonen or Bunz could find themselves in the NHL like Grant Fuhr did in the early 80’s. One of these kids could surprise like that kid wearing 93 has sooner rather than later, especially if you don’t tell them they’re too young to be playing in the NHL.

            You think moving a Dubnyk and then a Hemsky could help land the Oilers another Lotto pick? That’s certainly a bold move to cut a .905 save% goaltender loose with 20 wins already in his 3 seasons in the NHL don’t you think Cableguy?

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            land another lotto pick because they will suck or land another lotto pick via trade?

            further complicates the “bring in players to help the kids now” theory if we are talking tanking again this year, dont you think quicksi..err..moneypuck?

            edit: i should specify, im not saying thats what you were trying to imply. im more just trying to get what you are saying before i waste any (more) time running around in this circle. Also, you are suggesting dubnyks .905 save% is bad right?

    • Jason Gregor

      You do know that the Smythe, Norris, Patrick and Adams divisions were named after people. Seemed to work for a long time without people not understanding what it meant. And would it be that hard to explain to them who the four greatest players in the game were?

  • Douche Nietzsche

    I read in the paper this morning, something along the lines of Renney saying he likes Belangers shot on the PP. Belangers shooting % is 0. What is there to like about 0%?

    The name suggestion by that guy is wack at best. Those players have nothing to with the conferences nor is it about them. I hope the people in the NHL get a little more creative than that guy.

    Gagher should keep getting points all day everyday until the trade day, so the Oilers can get something good for him.

    • Jason Gregor

      Gretzky played most of his career in LA and Edm, so they are in the Gretzky conference.

      Howe played in Detroit, so that is Howe conference…

      Orr Boston…and Lemieux in Pittsburgh…

      It actually makes sense considering what they did for the game.

      • Douche Nietzsche

        What about the rest of the teams in the NHL that Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Lemieux didn’t play for? I wouldn’t consider it very professional or considerate to the rest of the league.

        • RexLibris

          All of the old divisions were named after guys who had predominantly eastern backgrounds. Smythe was a former owner of the Leafs (he’s the one who named them the Maple Leafs, from the St. Patricks, after the First World War in an act of patriotism) and his name was given to our division. That never bothered me.

          But think of it this way, how much would it burn Flames fans to have to say they play in the Gretzky division. They’d be uttering his name over and over again, reopening old wounds. Sorry, am I enjoying this too much?

  • RexLibris

    I’m a big fan of a league holding on to its history. Not necessarily the way the Oilers hold on to their history, but not dismissing it out of hand the way the Islanders do, either. The MLB, for all its flaws (like the fact that they play baseball instead of hockey), seems to do well in the way they keep a foot both in the modern era and are ready to resurrect their romanticized past with names like Babe Ruth, Shoeless Joe, etc. Why am I ranting? Oh, yeah, division names. I don’t mind the Gretzky, Howe, Orr and Lemieux divisions. There’d be one for each (if they name the Eastern division “Gretzky” because he was a Ranger I’d lose it) and it alludes to, more or less, four great eras in the NHLs history. Then again, I miss the Smythe, Norris, Adams, Patrick, etc. Those were the names of the founders of our game, tossing them aside for something shiny and new just, in my opinion, belittles the league’s reputation. Traditions are made by sticking to them.

    Of course, if we’re making new names, Toronto fans can be in a division of their own, we’ll call it the Sundin division – always talked about but never accomplishing anything.

  • RexLibris

    How about these division names:
    Conference A- Gryffindor
    Conference B- Hufflepuff
    Conference C- Ravenclaw
    Conference D- Slytherin

    I found them online. Any thoughts?

  • RexLibris

    That’s what I liked about the old divisions. It might make people ask “who the heck was Smythe?” and in this age of interwebs they’d be able to find out.

    A little education might go a long way. But then I’m kind of a history nerd, so I could be biased there.

  • If the B1G 10 can call their divisions “Legends” and “Leaders”, the I don’t see a problem with calling the new NHL conferences Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux.

    How about we name them after the greatest coaches, Sather, Bowman, Burns, Lemaire.

  • stevezie

    I’m with those who don’t think Calgary wants to play in the Gretzky division, that the Flyers would probably poop in the Lemieux bowl, and I’d just as soon not have a Richard vs Orr debate (which is close enough to be legit, even if it’s obvious how it would end.) I liked the old names; so goofy they’re cool.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Gotta agree with Stevezie the old names are cool and goofy. And I definitely like the idea of proper names… but I wouldn’t mind new names… but the Gretzky, Orr etc. names may represent the greatest players but not the greatest names:

    Just imagine the Tugnutt Conference. and I can only dream one day of the Oilers winning the Tulupov Conference!

    I also like the idea of famous tough guy names: Probert; Odjick; Semenko; and what the heck Hextall

    that would be hilarious!