SKID HALTED

It’s only one win, against a team that isn’t very good but it was nice to see some fire and the Oilers offense come to life in the third period. This team needs any positive energy they can get these days and who better to start with than the Flames?

It’s going to take way more than one good period to fix this squad and for 40 minutes it looked like every other game this season but they pulled it out.

BAD

The first period was not the type of period you would expect to see from a team that should be desperate for wins. For a good part of the first 40 minutes the Flames had control of the game. Both Flames goals were once again a direct result of turn overs.

For whatever reason the importance of making strong plays with the puck and keeping it out of the middle of the ice in your own end doesn’t quite resonate with this group. The defensemen were especially soft with the puck and if it wasn’t for Dubnyk, many more giveaways could have easily ended up in their net.

GOOD

I really liked Gazdic’s fight tonight. The anti-fighting crowd will say “oh it was just another staged fight and served no purpose.”

I thought this was a great message to his team. Gazdic is tough but he’s not Brian McGrattan tough and I think most of the Oilers players would agree. Instead of hoping for a quiet game, he initiates a tilt with one of the toughest guys in the league and hangs in there for a very spirited scrap.

Did he win?

Probably not, but he didn’t lose. By his actions, he says to his bench that he’s willing to step up and challenge someone much bigger in his role. If he can do it, everyone else should be able to ask a little more of themselves.

When I saw guys do things like that, whether it was a guy fighting someone he probably shouldn’t or a skill guy out of his element blocking a shot or taking a run at someone, it made me want to do more. It makes guys look at themselves in the mirror and say if he’s willing to give more, why can’t I?

FERENCE

On most nights the only physical element (hitting and fighting) in the Oilers lineup has been Gazdic. I was waiting and hoping for someone other than Gazdic to step up and say enough is enough.

The players talk after every game of frustration and anger, yet we’ve never really seen anyone show it on the ice or channel it in an aggressive way. I really wanted to see someone you wouldn’t expect get pissed off. Run someone, slash someone or just yell at someone.  It’s not in the make-up of many of these players but finally someone did.

Ference gets hit twice in one shift and instead of rolling over, he got up and cleaned Stempniak’s clock. There has not been near enough push back in any form of physicality with this group, but it was great to see last night. Good on the Captain.

DUBNYK

As mentioned above, he bailed his boys out on several occasions. It was a very solid game from him. You need your goalies to make a big save or two in any game, he did that tonight.

THIRD PERIOD

This was arguably their best period of the season. You could see the jump the Eberle goal gave them. It seemed like a weight was lifted off their backs. After his goal they completely took over. The offensive production came from all the players you would expect.

The way they generated their opportunities was the key for me. They created a ton off the cycle, they were more physical and they sustained pressure in the offensive zone for most of the third. That has rarely happened all season.

WINNING

Losing sucks no matter who you are and going through skids like this is just awful as a player and miserably hard on fans. It seems like no matter what you do on the ice; it’s just not good enough to get a winning result.

They still have a long way to go and I don’t think one period means anything but at least something positive went their way for the first time in a long time.

Look at the emotion after the third period goals, all of these guys want to win. It’s just a matter of figuring out how with this group.

Finding consistency is next.

  • Spydyr

    Someone took a run at an Oiler .Then got his teeth knocked out. About effing time. It should happen every time a run is taken at one of the kids. Then it might stop.

  • Serious Gord

    sure, what Ferrence did to Stepniak might not have been 100% alright, but we at one point had a captain here who also did pretty dirty things to lay claim to his area on the ice (#11) and he is a deity in these parts for all parts of his game.

    • Serious Gord

      Messier was suspended more than ten times – if i recall correctly – during an era that was far more lenient on acts of egregious violence. Under the current eras rules ference should be disciplined. I doubt he is destined for deity status.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    When the work effort rises and the legs are moving this team can compete. But when will we see a 60 minute game, not the 20-30 (or even less) we’ve see all too frequently.

  • Batfink

    It wasn’t pretty, but a much needed victory, nonetheless! Congrats is in order.
    Back to business, I do not know if Keith plays a role in keeping his son Will in the lineup instead of Arcobello, but clearly Will pale in comparison with Arcobello’s compassions and skill! put the best team on ice, please!!!! Lucky it was the Flames they were playing last night, they would not have come back if it were a better team! Not after 40 minutes of lacklustre hockey they won’t!

  • Oilerz4life

    Ferrence’s actions were disgusting. He attacked a dazed and unwilling participant and caused him injury. He was hit cleanly and reacted with cowardly assault. I expect him to be suspended.

    • camdog

      You might want to change your screen name. When I see Mess in your handle I think of Mark Messier. I don’t know if you were born when he played with the Oilers, but he was one of the meanst Sob’s to ever play the game. If you thought what Ference did was bad, you would have absolutely hated Mark Messier!

    • Batfink

      LOL, like Emery was suspended? I’ll be sure to forward your concern to Mr. Shananananahanhan. You have obviously never played sport of any kind, just admired from afar. How do you know Stempniak’s mouth wasn’t writing cheques his a55 couldn’t cover? The hit was clean but an excuse for retribution. You don’t always get to see the real reasons, the chirping, the little slashes, butt ends, little dirty plays that fly under the radar. That was probably why you never saw anybody come to Stempniak’s aid. There are very few players in the NHL who take malicious delight in just punching someone for no apparent reason.

      Jeez, the outrage bus has been started, is filling up and being revved to the max this morning.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    It takes time to put all these new pieces together ,New GM, new coach nine new players ,new system. Lets face it the old system and player make up was going nowhere. I think we are seeing them come together as a team and as they do and although the playoffs are gone a much more enjoyable year as a fan is before us.

  • Greenlingj

    a win, wow…..

    im soooo excited…..

    lol i can’t quite exactly put into words how i fee about this, so ill just use a quote form one of my favourite movies.

    “lets not start sucking each others d*icks just yet”. – The Wolf

  • Greenlingj

    Highlight of the night…

    Ference busting up Stepniak’s face. Not a big fan of fighting but not a fan of people backing down on a game.

    I wonder how many of the kids watched that and went “WE CAN DO THAT?”

    Show more emotion Oilers… its amazing what passion can do for you.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Most Oilers are a bunch of sissies. The Ference incident was the highlight of the season for me.

    He got caught reaching for the puck and got absolutely leveled! I loved that he got pissed! He MADE Stepniak fight him and knocked some chiclets loose. You better believe bloody Stepniak will think twice next time he’s on the ice with Ference.

    I’m so tired of being frustrated watching these guys get run and doing absolutely nothing about it. Hemsky is probably the worst for it. Eberle too.

    Get offended! Take it personally! Those guys don’t respect you for a second! Two minute minors for what Ference did should be encouraged on this team.

    • Batfink

      Motion carried! That’s what endears players like Perron to the fans. To a lesser extent Yak as well. Amazing what lapses of play will be forgiven if they just show some try. That’s all we ask. Get angry, get involved, use that adrenaline! There are very few athletes in any sport that can be a cold clinical machine, and they are usually once in a generation talents. The rest of us mere mortals need a little something extra….

  • Serious Gord

    The gadzic fight – while entertaining was of nil value to the game. The oil sucked for another period and a half after it.

    The Ference “fight” was execrable. Stempniak hit him clean and was injured hitting the boards. He clearly didn’t want to fight yet Ference took advantage. He should be fined or suspended. And this fight also happened thirty minutes before the oil rallied.

    And the rally was just as much a credit to the flames running out of gas and lack of scoring talent – how many missed opps did they have?!

    The slump has been broken and there is a faint flicker of optimism. They play a very weak Columbus next who have lost 3 in a row. A win moves the optimism level higher. A loss puts them back in the well of despair again.

    • D-Unit

      I’ll take the opinion of a player about what a fight can do to energize a bench, rather than a consistently negative poster who thinks he knows every thing.

      Ference should be suspended? Congrats on the dumbest comment of the year. Stempniak wasn’t injured hitting the boards, get your eyes checked.

      So when Dubnyk makes saves it is because the other team can’t score. But when Edmonton can’t finish it is the forward’s fault or the other goalie is great. Typical speak out of both sides of your mouth comment from you.

      You are constantly negative. Do yourself a favour and try to enjoy a game. Feel sorry for people like you.

      • Serious Gord

        So who was the player who said it rallied the team?

        Stempniak looked shaken up after hitting the boards – i saw it and the CBC commentators both in cgy and in toronto noted it.

        Never said anything about dubnyk. But he did say after the game he got a lot of posts…

        I intend to hold the oil to a high standard. You should do the same.

          • Hair bag

            You’re a tool….that’s like saying a retired doctor knows nothing about medicine or health anymore because he’s out of the industry – well I guarantee he knows a lot more than you, a retired hockey player is no different. Are you Mr. Negative in all aspects of your life…..are you a know-it-all everywhere else too. Don’t worry the sky isn’t really falling on your head you can stop walking around like a troll.

          • Serious Gord

            And do you hear yourself and others?

            Would you have seen yourself writing what you write now back at the beginning of the season? The oil record is 5-15-2. You are celebrating a squeaker win over arguably the weakest roster in the league. This oil team has been an unmitigated disaster this year. A worse performance than any other year in oilers history when compared with what the expectations were for many many fans – you included.

            That I and others (DSF being another) were not fooled by the BS and remain unfooled should not be seen as negativity. Rather it is a clear eyed perspective that sees yesterday’s result for what it was:

            Nothing to celebrate. Especially when with such a big (relatively speaking) emphasis being placed on the game the team came out completely flat. They were lucky to get the win. They did nil to convince any relatively neutral observer that things have turned around in any significant way.

            If you want to be pessimistic, take a look at the remainder of the season and try and handicap what the record will be for the rest of the year – the schedule is far tougher over th next sixty than it has been over the last 22.

          • Hair bag

            I guess there is a reason for your handle SERIOUS Gord, this is sport/entertainment, not real life. I cheer for the team and ‘yes’ I do look for the positives because I am a FAN of the hockey team. However, if the team didn’t exist tomorrow my life would still go on and I would be just fine. Do I get frustrated that the results haven’t been better – you bet! But at the end of the day this is entertainment and you have to take a step back and put it into perspective. Before the season started we all knew the Oilers were not going to take a run at the Stanley Cup and realistically who knows when they will ever be in a position to do so again! It is a story unfolding before our eyes, that’s why it is intriguing because we really don’t actually know how it is going to turn out – if you are convinced that it is a tragedy stop watching and save yourself the pain – in the meantime the rest of us will hold onto the hope of better days…that is why we watch sports.

          • DSF I get. And he has alot of good points. But you? Unless you get paychecks with the Oilers logo in the top left corner signed by Patrick Laforge, most of your comments are no more than self serving at best.

            Whether the Oilers win or lose or how they play has no real impact on your life, despite your best efforts to make us believe it does. You are neither their judge nor executioner.

            If you’re a season ticket holder the only reason you still hold those seats is because you believe it gives you license to cry and complain like a little girl. You call in to Bob at Oilers Now regularly acting like you actually have a point of view that matters to the team and that they personally owe you something. They don’t.

            It’s a frickin’ game man. Be happy, be passionate, be pissed off. Who cares.

            But as far as I’m aware, nobody designated you chief representative of the fans in this city. You derive no income from such activities and you have no following.

            I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

          • Serious Gord

            Yeah I must not care. Calling into radio shows and posting on blogs for over a decade and watching the oilers play when I was living in Newfoundland when the puck drop was 11:30 nl time – that was all stuff that I did out of boredom.

            If you have ever heard me on the radio sometimes you would know you are clueless about my level of enthusiasm/passion.

            And as for my supposed relentless negativity – go back and read some of my comments on players like RNH and Hall and yak. There are future hall of famers on this team. Their careers are being destroyed by the owners and management. And mindless, unconditional support by fans makes them enablers in the destruction.

            Being critical and demanding of management and – sometimes – players is a vital function for fans of a team to perform. It is they as customers who are the ultimate pressure point on management. Try and help out some time.

          • Serious Gord

            I prefer bombastic.

            Radio is a hot medium whereas TV/video is a cool one (or at least used to be – opinion tv is very hot indeed). So being a bit over the top makes for better more listenable radio.

          • Eddie Shore

            Why soo serioussssss?

            The Oilers won Gord and wins far and few between right now so why not enjoy it? Life is too short to be doom and gloom all the time.

          • Serious Gord

            The retired player had little better perspective than I or you on what happened regarding team morale on the bench last night. And the nearly thirty minute gap between the fights and the goal (and cgy scored one in the second and the scots were essentially tied in the second) would Favour my opinion – not yours.

          • Hair bag

            I don’t really know what you are trying to say here, but I think the gist of it is that there is a time limit on when players can find inspiration from the actions of their teammates….really!?! Is it not possible that someone stood up in the room in the second intermission and said, ‘ look at Cap and Gaz laying it on the line, time for the rest of us to suck it up!’ No that doesn’t apply because it happened 30min earlier so it has no bearing on the rest of the game…c’mon do better. You’re always negative but usually there is a thread of logical thinking in your posts – not this time….

          • Serious Gord

            Now you are fabricating a scenario for how the fights inspired a motivating second intermission speech. If so then it wasn’t the fights per se but the hypothetical speech the fights triggered. That’s logical?

            That’s fairy dust.

    • Serious Gord

      Huh? The fights were near the end of the first period, and Oilers came out in the 2nd looking like they gave a crap. The play by play guy said the looked like an entirely different team. What game were you watching?

    • Batfink

      Talk the team down as much as you want. You are just highlighting what some of us have been saying for a while: There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Should we have won the game? Yes, because Calgary took their eye off the prize, and at this level, even against a bottom team, that will kill you. I lay dollars to cents that’s what Hartley told his boys after the game. SJ could afford to take their foot of the gas, but SJ Calgary aint, thank Jeebus.

      Even against the stats, we deserved that win, because Flames displayed a typical Oiler trait and didn’t see her out. Just be happy it’s not another Sunday where you wake up angry/confused at what the eff happened last night.

  • camdog

    what they’ve done last night in the 3rd period, they got to do this over 60 min’s. This time, playing good for only 20 min’s worked, but they don’t play the Flames every other day.

  • GoofyGoon69

    Hopefully they can have a winning streak here. The next 2 games are beatable but I have said that 90% of the time,can someone tell me why Klefbom was called up and didn’t even play at least 1 game?

    • Serious Gord

      Klefbom was an emergency recall because there was a chance Ferrence couldn’t play, and a roster spot had to be vacated and Arcabello was the only player who didn’t have to clear waivers so he was sent down. As soon at it was clear that Ferrence was fine, (and from the licking he laid on Stempniak, he looked just fine indeed) Klefbom went back down and Arcobello came back up.

  • THRNHJE

    Consistency, it is SO key for this team. We all know this team is capable of greatness, we have seen them absolutely demolish solid teams like Chicago and Vancouver.

    If this team can just play 60 minutes of solid hockey even 80% of their games, then they are a playoff team. That consistency has just yet to be seen. As a die hard Oilers fan I really hope they can find it from more players than the only two consistent players this year: Gordon and Arcobello.

  • GoofyGoon69

    Gazdic and Ferrence (great punch btw) won this game for the Oilers. They were dead in the water until these guys injected some emotion into the game.

    Talent + Emotion = Success

    Hopefully they have a line brawl every game for the remainder of the season.

    As Cherry said last night, it seems to be working for the Flyers.

    When’s MacIntrye back?

  • It was interesting to see how tenuous a thread the confidence of poor teams hangs on. Berra letting in soft and stoppable goals was a huge boot in the junk to the flames even though they were the superior team on the evening overall.
    It was reminiscent of some of the oiler offerings of the first ten games of the year.

    However… Moral victories count for nothing and the flames get to eat a big helping of sh*t.
    Drunk wanye and Benny hill songs appear to be the keys to victory.
    :))

    Furthermore…. Dana White is a douche

  • 15w40

    I like Perrons game. Great pick up MacT. I have been waiting for the Ferrence I saw in the playoffs to emerge. Last night was a good start. He needs to play tough and dirty to be effective.

  • 15w40

    They say never to critique a win – they won, good for them, they should be happy.

    Let’s be honest, that win would only happen against calgary or a team like them.

    Hopefully it kick starts something but 20 minutes of OK hockey and 40 minutes of watching your goalie try and preserve a chance of coming back is not a recipe for success.

    Given that 2 of the 3 goals would be considered fluke or bad.

    Still a fan, just not going to resume the koolaid consumption quite yet.

    • D-Unit

      The thing of it is, the 2 fluke or bad goals count the same on the scoreboard as the fancy goals. Maybe the “talent” can learn from it. Probably not, but maybe. Plus fluke or bad goals count every time. The make 19 pretty passes and lose the puck before a shot are never goals and never count on the scoreboard.

  • 15w40

    In Calgary for the win. Funny that I have to drive three hours south to finally see one, but the corps looks I got wearing my Oilers Jersey was priceless… I got teased… Haha