GDB 12.0: SLUMPBUSTER

A slumpbuster is defined as "something way below your normal standards that you know you can win at." You take what you can get to get back in the game. That’s todays game vs Columbus in a nutshell. And its a matinee too. *yawns*

To the casual fan a game like this could be described as "skippable" and "probably boring." But not here among the OilersNation hardcore who live and die with every match – even a puzzling pair of afternoon matches in a single weekend must be watched from start to finish.

Its well known that the Oilers have a 0-1,235 record in matinee games in franchise history.* They are usually emotionless affairs that are forgotten quickly afterwards. That will probably be the case today too – Columbus is still probably seething from losing to the Mighty Oil in the Draft Lottery last year but are too toothless to do anything about it.

Coming in stone cold the Oil have to lay a beatdown on the hapless Blue Jackets today. Oilers fans have watched the last 10 days or so frozen in horror. Will this be another year where we have to make up slogans to give some sizzle to the annual tank campaign?

Or will the Oil catch fire and climb back into playoff contention? A serious beatdown of the Blue Jackets getting things back on track is exactly what the doctor ordered. Then another pantsing back in Edmonton next game too.

Losing this match is not an option.

LINES

We have no idea what the lines are today. You want lines? Ask Jason Gregor. We shoot from the hip son – not from the brain. Here are the lines from last game, lets just pretend they will be the same for the sake of argument. It’s not like lines last very long when you are trying to play your way out of a losing streak anyways.

Hall-Gagner-Hemsky
Hartikainen-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Smyth-Paajarvi
Eager-Vande Velde-Petrell

PREDICTION THINGIES

This too is the domain of an expert like Jason Gregor but he INSISTS they are included in all GDBs even ones he can’t write as he is in Calgary calling the Rush game. How the heck are we supposed to predict what’s going to happen. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW DAMMIT?

Ahem.

Here goes.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers dust Columbus 6-2. The Nuge breaks out with a pair of goals and celebrates with ice cream on the way home from the rink.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Within 5 minutes of the telecast starting some announcer will say "Imagine Yakupov was a Blue Jacket?" picking the lowest hanging fruit on the proverbial branch early.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Steve Tambellini runs into Scott Howson in the press box prior to the game. Tambellini flashes his trademark smug grin recalling besting Howson at the Draft Lottery last summer. Howson – knowing his days as a GM are numbered – dissolves into tears and curses Tambo at the top of his lungs. History will remember neither man.

*Or worse even, where would you even look something like this up?

      • Rob...

        That was an incredibly weak call. A lot worse goes on in a scrum without being called. Contrast that with the stupid between the legs trip that Potter got away with and yet again the reffing leaves me baffled by how this league handles its officials.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    kruger better get ahold of his bench fast…two sets of rules…one for the young and inexperienced and one for the vets..smyth has clearly lost a step and is using his stick in an effort to keep up..either out of frustration or lack of discipline he is hurting the team ..anyone else would have been benched..

  • charliedont

    A good example of Gagner being on the ice for every goal, for and against. He is the sole reason either team scores on any given night.

    His beauty pass to PRV was as good as his chasing around Umberger was bad.

    Smyth is starting to look like a mole for other teams out there with all his blatantly dumb penalties.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      The SOLE reason? Really? And here I thought hockey was a team sport…silly me. He’s currently sitting at -1, which I’ll take over some other people’s plus/minus.

  • I am very concerned with the shots the boys are getting. We would probably be back in the basement if it were not for Doobie. Somewhere along the line before we run out of games, the boys better start scoring or its another year of taking trash talk from the irritating nuck fans……..the nuckler in particular. This guy drives me up the bend. Maybe a chat with the “Champ” will do the nuckler good.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    None of Smyths penalties hurt the hockey club, so he’s off the hook as far as the blame game goes. Give it a rest.

    .975 goaltending allows a few mistakes to easily be forgiven.

    • Rob...

      Are you trying to suggest that the only penalties that hurt a hockey club are those that result in goals against? Not only is it time where your most offensive players are typically not on the ice, but the defensive specialists are more likely going to need to block shots (get hurt), and certainly will be tiring out a lot quicker. Smyth should be damn grateful there isn’t a suitable replacement allowing him to be benched for a game. He’s turning into Ethan Moreau, but slower.

      PS: Has Belanger actually changed his game for the better or are we just appreciating him more for those specialized things he has always done well? I’ve been liking his game a lot, despite his lack of scoring touch.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Rule no.1 …..The W is all powerful and the singlemost important element in pro sports. How it’s achieved is of little importance.

        Even the Oilers better players spend 2/3rds of the game on the bench. A minute or two here and there isn’t really an issue. I’m okay with Smytty playing the role of a prick in the lineup. The Oilers don’t have enough guys who’re tougher to play against. Hooking and holding tend to catch up to teams, the more violent infractions like highsticking,elbowing,slashing types, often send a message.

        The more Ryan Smyth is pissed off, the better. Last time i checked taking penalties against the Bluejackets had very few consequences.

        Party on….Smytty. Come Saturday afternoon, first slapper hammers Jonathan Quick right between the eyes. Rip that cateye cage from the rest of his mask,put him on his heels so Yakupov gets a hatrick.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Rule #2
          – when Khabi had the .940 save % last year we waited for the bubble to burst and it did big time on the backs of one of worst ever Nov’s and Dec’s on record
          – if we do not get some 5 on 5 or PP scoring this team will have the same fate
          – Smytty could be a given a free pass for the first penalty but the 2nd no way and Kreuger has shown with Whitney that either his ice time will decrease (he’s already on 4th line)but the only place left now press box don’t be surprised when line-up gets healthy this happens.

          Observation – Rule 3?
          – I believe the Oilers will only get out of this rut (maybe with this ugly W) once their Dman making a play in breakout
          – Other than J-Schulz the only player I saw make a hockey play and beat someone in defensive zone was Petry (but even he only a couple of times)

          – if they just beat one forechecker then you have created a 5 on 4 or 4 on 3 and our forwards should be given all they need

          – after watching Detroit game and the Vancouver game you see these opponents (even their 4th thru 6th Dman) do this on a regular basis

          • Quicksilver ballet

            The all important money element of the game has prevented teams from having depth on the blueline. Even competitive teams are hard pressed to have a legitimate #1 and 2 blueliners. The role of the 4-7 guys nowadays is to rest the 1 and 2 guys till they’re able to go back on the ice. Teams invest in their top seven forwards, top 3 d, and a goaltender. The rest of the positions could probably be filled out at Walmart.

            Edmontons 4-7 d (N.Schutz,Smid,and Whitney types)are fine, as long as they remain affordable. As the kids mature and have greater impacts in games, it’ll make the contributions of the 3 or 4-7 d less noticeable.

  • 2004Z06

    Smitty is either too old/slow or is not accepting his new role. He looks like he has a piano tied to his ass and he really looks uninterested in things. I realize he is a well liked/respected player but 26 pims in 12 games is awful. All stick infractions….A sign of fatigue, or frustration. Either way a message needs to be sent. Now that Hordi is on waivers, VV can be up and Smitty can share some popcorn with Whitney.