GDB 32.0: Y U MAD?

Gregor asked your ol’ pal Wanye to handle the GDB today on account of the fact he is "handing out hampers to less fortunate Edmonton families today." If there is ever a reason to bang out a 400 word article for a guy in a pinch, this has to be it.

But be forewarned we aren’t in any mood to objectively look at this Oilers squadron and find a way to suggest they are going to win.

Nor are we in a mood to serve up another triple helping of negativity. We have had our fill of that too of late.

And so we will take a third approach to this GDB. We try and take the temperature of our fellow Oilers fans to see where all of our heads are at on the 32nd game of the year.


On the one hand we are living in a world where three Oilers are in the top 30 in scoring in the NHL. The last time this happened we were enrolled in elementary school, Jason Gregor had a full head of hair and Rexall Place was considered a state-of-the-art facility capable of hosting Oilers hockey well into the next century.

3 guys in the top 30? Two of them are under 22? There is another Super Sophmore that isn’t on the list because he was hurt?

Some folks will tell you that this is more than enough joy for a team that is coming off back to back last place seasons in the NHL. "Rome wasn’t built in a day" they will say, looking to the distant horizon – presumably dreaming about Rome.

For the glass is half full camp, there is nothing to be concerned about here. Nothing – not even another season on the outside looking in at the playoffs – can reverse the progress made or diminish the potential of this team in the next decade.


Even those who count themselves among the pessimistic group of Oilers fans are in far better shape than they were a couple of years ago. We aren’t exactly trying to pretend that Patrick O’Sullivan will be a servicable NHL player for years to come anymore.

You can’t find a fan or critic anywhere that will try and diminish the impact Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and MC NUUUUUUUGE have already had on the NHL and most won’t even try and put a wet blanket on what they are capable of doing in their careers.

No, for the Glass is half empty crowd it is precisely because the Oilers are laden with this impossible bounty of freshly minted talent that this season is so frustrating. "How can you go from first to worst in such fashion? Where are the veteran leaders paid to guide these sophmores and rookies through the turbulent waters of an NHL season? Why are the Captains and Assistants sitting around waiting for the Kids to do something on most nights?"

Make no mistake – Daryl "Kay-Z" Katz is going to need a winner to sell out this new building due to arrive in 2023. Say what you want about the silent owner, he didn’t become a Billionaire by overpaying under delivering staff along the way.Sooner or later something will give if things don’t improve.

You can bet on it.


It is impossible to predict the future. Unless you are the people who made the video above back in the 1960s. At that point it seems it was entirely possible to predict the future with stunning accuracy.

What if this isn’t simply a losing streak? What if the Oilers miss the playoffs for the sixth year in a row? Can Steve Tambellini really expect long term employment when his team will have failed so miserably under his watch?

Can his phasers be permanently set to "assessing" before someone is going to ask what he is doing exactly to earn his paycheque? How many years in a row can he ignore the pressing need to improve in size and grit on both the front and back ends?

Are third and fourth defensemen so hard to find that we can’t hope to bring another one in to Edmonton in any reasonable timeline? Is Ales Hemsky going be left to rot on the vine until he has injury-plagued his disinterest into half of the market value he was worth a few years ago?

What will become of our favourite NHL Ice Hockey Squadron?


The Oilers finally tweeted their lineup a few minutes ago:





No D pairings have been tweeted and if the starting goalie has been announced we haven’t seen it.

How’s that for some inside information?

  • Carl FTWinslow

    What is up with SJ? They look awful. No disrespect to the Oilers, but SJ is really playing bad, which is giving Edmonton a very good chance in this one.

  • Dan the Man

    Have to say, much better effort tonight. Just wish that somebody other than the kids would step up. I have no confidence in any of the other lines scoring or even generating any offensive zone time.

    • Dan the Man

      Way too many times, but at least it looked like a better effort from him tonight. He was trying to create but he does have to recognize when it isn’t there and get the puck deep. Looks like he was trying to make a play when it wasn’t there.

      I will take theses losses all day compared to the one in Phoenix. The Oilers carried the play for large portions of the game and the result could have gone either way.

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      I’m tired of Hemsky’s lack of effort and drive. He brings nothing to the table night after night and the coaching staff continues to play him. The way he saunters to the bench after his shift drives me wild, the Oil are basically in a five on four situation every time he does that! wake up Tom , and bench or trade this lazy barnicle!!!

  • Dan the Man

    After tonight the Oilers brass gotta concede they may not be making the playoffs. The kids get it, but these vets like Horc, Belanger, Hemsky, Eager don’t. The Oil need size and youth, and they gotta get rid of the chaff.

  • Dan the Man

    Well I’m at the point where I’ve accepted that this team will finish bottom three in the league, so losses don’t hurt so much anymore. At least they sort of tried tonight. Just keep trying, finish bottom three to get a good d-man, fire Tambellini, and fire Renney. It has to happen sooner or later. Never do a gm and coach go unscathed through a rebuild.

    *Sigh* How sad that I’m already looking to next year. At least we made it longer than the last couple seasons. But man it’s getting harder and harder to keep cheering this team on. But I will keep doing so. It’ll make it that much more gratifying when this team is actually good. Well…if they get good. A guy can hope.

    • Wax Man Riley

      Well I’m at the point where I’ve accepted that this team will finish bottom three in the league, so losses don’t hurt so much anymore. At least they sort of tried tonight. Just keep trying, finish bottom three to get a good d-man, fire Tambellini, and fire Renney. It has to happen sooner or later. Never do a gm and coach go unscathed through a rebuild.

      Well…. yes. You speak the truth. Didn’t Lowe say almost exactly that last year? Or Katz? (or maybe it was Stauffer, lol)

      We are supposed to have a couple crap years, followed by a year (or two) of “the kids” developing while using stop-gap, plug, i.e. transitional players. Then after that, start pulling the trigger to put your team together.

      I thought that was the plan. I’ve heard Renney was the perfect coach for the rebuild. That doesn’t mean he will he be here to win a cup.

  • Douche Nietzsche

    ho hum another loss for the Oil. Tambo is on record saying all the pieces are in place for the oilers to make a playoff run. What coolaide is he drinking ? oil brass must think the paying fans are of low hockey IQ. Quite frankly im getting a little tired of their bs. I have mention before about the asset management and lack of it. Final Payjarvi will get some play time all be it down in okc. How long did it take management to make this decision. Hemsky trade value continues to slide,still nothing is done to address the defensive wows? lack of size in our top nine. when will this get addressed ? yes we did pick up Belanger for help in the face off circle. yes can win a face off but lacks size and grit. RB suggested Steckle with size and good on the draw. He goes to Toronto instead.Where and what is our GM doing ? How much longer are we going to have to watch KLowe and his puppet Tambelini run this team into the ground. With CHristmas a week away the oil sit closer to yet another toilet bowl contention.

  • Wax Man Riley

    @Wäx Män Riley

    Of course the playoffs are the goal. Every year, every player and coach wants to win. No one likes losing and does it on purpose (maybe Penner?) for the sake of losing.

    Is Tambo losing now for the sake of winning later? Sounds counter-intuitive.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Since a 5-2 win in Minnesota, the Oilers have now gone 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. Smyth has 0 goals and 3 assists, Horcoff has 0 goals and 4 assists, and Hemsky has 1 goal and 3 assists during that stretch. Seems like it is the veterans who have been a huge reason why this team isn’t winning. Not like we needed stats to back up this theory, but when your three most seasoned vets have a COMBINED 1 goal in ten games, that is just unacceptable.

    • Wax Man Riley

      I agree that the veterans that should be contributing, but aren’t, are the problem. Most obviously Hemsky and Whitney have both struggled since coming back. Horcoff is Horcoff, and Smyth has cooled off after his torrid start, which had to happen. Goaltndeing has gone from off the charts to average.

      Would getting a servicable 3/4 defenceman for Hemsky be a trade worth doing? Do you think that anyone in the league would take a chance on Hemsky even for this relatively modest price?

      • Wax Man Riley

        You could probably get a 3/4 defenceman for Hemsky, but is that what this team needs. Don’t we already have a bunch of 3/4 D-men?

        I might try to be patient with Hemsky. He has already devalued his trade value to a minimum (with both injuries and his current slump). You could probably get the same for him at the deadline as you could get now no matter how he plays. The upside is he might start being back to the normal Hemsky and his value could go up.

        • stevezie

          I’ve always maintained that Hemsky’s injuries, and now his lacklustre recent play make his real value a lot higher than his trade value, so I agree with your preaching patience.
          That said, I think we have to many 5/6 defenceman, not abunch of 3/4. Until Whitney gets his groove back and/or Potter proves he’s for real, Smid and Gilbert are the only ones who’d slot above #5 on any playoff team in the league, and Smid only reached that level this season.

  • Oilers89

    Positive from tonight, Hall in the last portion of the game was nuts, absolutely crazy, I can’t wait until we make the playoffs he has a level that no one has seen yet, and I think we got a preview tonight.

  • Jodes

    Tonight’s the kind of game I wish I could have talked to my dad about in the morning.. They were in it for at least for most of it, but fell short.

    What else can I say? In the drunken stupor I find myself in, all I can think about before the Holidays is wishing he was still around to critique this effort. Sigh..

    Man I need anothe drink.. sigh

  • Ravo

    If i had a $ for every time Hemsky lost the puck on a fancy pants deke attempt and then nonchalantly watches as the opposition breaks out and has set up in our zone while he’s crossing there blue line i could buy the new arena

  • Ravo

    Oilers played a good road game but for a few exceptions. 2-0 against Khabby? 1-0? PP goal. Khabby looked goood. The Oilers Team D looked confused. SJ size is such an xfactor.They owned edmonton on the boards and in the faceoff dot. Peckham chose an awful time to take a selfish penalty. The play was nowhere near him. Theo deserved the pine after that bonehead play. The Oilers kid line had just owned the Sharks for a minute and half. Momentum was surging and Theo decided he needed to kill that with a stupid penalty. He should join MP on the farm. He has been awful all season. Belanger looked lost. Hemsky put forth alot of effort with no result. His try was there last night. This loss is no big deal.Expected. If we had won now that would have been the surprise.

  • Ravo

    The kids are running the team and they must get much better and productive offensively in order for the team to reach playoffs . the veterans only look half decent when the kids are with them . The defence is still very inferior to most teams in all aspects , and is a long ways from being addressed . Nobody on defence can shoot worth much , or transition well or consistently with offence . Until we get much better ,faster and more diverse and talented defencmen the support for the kids will be less than is required for a playoff team . Only Smyth and Jones are playing as one would expect out of veteran support cast – the rest seem to be playing sub par .

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’m at a loss for words everybody except for the kid line and Jones looked lost.

    Can somebody tell me why Lander is still with the big club?

    If the Oil have another top 10 pick this yr ST should be Hung out to dry.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Better effort. Hemsky looked more engaged and his feet were moving. Crazy giveaways though. Peckham has been bad. I guess that’s why he couldn’t crack the lineup in the beginning of the season.

    The kids are unreal. This is the first season in a long time that I get excited to watch every game. Future best line in the NHL, maybe by the end of the year.

    The vets are not contributing offensively. Unfortunately I don’t think there is a quick solution in terms of a trade or a firing that a lot are suggesting. The best value we can get for our tradeable assets are picks. Unless we are trading one of the kids or packaging our first pick this year, we are not getting a #1 or #2 dman or a power forward.

    I think we’re stuck with this lineup until the trade deadline. Firing Renney might light a fire under the vets but I don’t like how that might effect the kids. They all seem to be playing well under Renney. JUst look at Gagner. 3 coaches in his first 4 years and we still haven’t seen the Sam Gagner we saw in his rookie year.

  • Ravo

    nice Paajarvi goal last night…the only problem with it was that there were zero defenders around him. I’m not worried about him having bad hands…we know he can score…I’m worried about him pushing the paint and trying to score in tight where the action is. That’s the whole point of his demotion is it not? Hopefully we will see some of that soon.