SEARCHING FOR THE HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT

I love Saturdays. When I was a kid, my Dad worked early morning until noon Saturday (men worked six days a week in the 1960s) and Saturday afternoon and evening we had him to ourselves. That meant fun stuff in the afternoon, and Saturday nights at Grandpa and Grandma’s, with cards, beer, smoke and Hockey Night In Canada. Those are some of my fondest memories going back to childhood. Why then would Saturday do me this way so late into our relationship?

You don’t need to go back in the record books to see how bad the Oilers have been, just living the team informs you. In my house, Saturday evening marks the end of the week, a chance to pour some wine (I have left the harder stuff behind, and beer is my summer drink, he lied), make a meal with my wife, enjoy the Leafs losing and then immediately dive into the pit of despair as the town team bleeds out on my television (or, sometimes, live).

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If the Oilers Sunday to Friday are a tough follow, then Saturday is Hell’s Canyon. Since January 1st, Edmonton has given fans the following results:

  • A shootout win over the Coyotes January 2nd. 4-3.
  • A shootout win over the Flames, January 16th. 2-1.
  • A 4-1 loss to Nashville on January 23.
  • A 5-1 loss to the Habs on February 6. An especially awful game, someone should still be ashamed about that effort.
  • A 2-1 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets February 13.
  • A 3-2 loss to Colorado on February 20.
  • A 4-0 loss to Arizona last night.

That is 2-4-1 over the last seven Saturday games, and some of those games have been incredibly poor. Last night saw the Oilers get all manner of chances, especially early, but they could not cash and the goal posts were not forgiving.

I am at a crossroads with the Oilers and Saturday night. I think next year may see me PVR the game and spend some time with my family. Until this team cobbles together enough of a roster and they can form a team, it simply isn’t worth my time. I don’t have so many Saturday nights left, to gift them to this Oilers team is folly. I think it wise to make these players prove they are worth the time. Recent evidence suggests otherwise.


  • Verdad3.0

    If you want happier Saturday nights, start with firing Chiarelli and MacLelland.
    Indolence and inept willfulness.
    Also, come to terms that when players like Hall, Eberle and RNH are sent on their way, the team may actually play to win not just collect cheques.
    Gut this team as quickly as possible then happier times ahead.
    Chiarelli has sacrificed an entire season.
    Nelson should not have been replaced.
    The defense should have been dealt with last summer.
    We knew what we had last summer and it was mostly heartless and entitled.
    Chiarelli did nothing and now he reaps the whirlwind.
    An incompetent.

    40 year Alex Tanguay made more positive impact on the game than Chiarelli’s prize blunders Letestu and Reinhart.

    Hall last year for OEL was so obviously the key move, but Chiarelli had no insight or will.
    Now we are down to like Gagner returns for Hall.

    • madjam

      Maybe you should be blaming the decision to remove Kreuger from coaching and MacT. for player and coaching changes . Is Chia just another group thinker or extention of his group of Howson , Green , Lowe ,MacT. and Nicholson ? Perhaps even Katz ? If the rest were so bad why are they still in organization ? Chia just seems like a new figurehead of same managerial jungle , beholden to those people and their advice that he is supposed to be replacing and changing that group think . Has any coach been able to motivate players to levels that Ralph could and was doing ? I see new signing of Jere Sallinen from KHL – feisty left winger .

  • Verdad3.0

    Who would not trade Hall or Eberle for Vermette asap?
    One is a productive player.
    Vermette shamed them last night ,as he has for years.
    Hall must be the dumbest $6 million hockey player in the NHL.
    And Eberle the softest.
    But Chiarelli is resting.
    Can’t wait for his European restaurant tour after the end of the season.
    Can’t he just stay in the bunker and do his job on Kingsway?
    Look at video and get ready to gut this team!

  • .

    We got the apple but not the core

    We got the stats but not the score

    We got the deke but not the dangle

    We got the lane but not the angle

    But we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan But heh we’re big in Japan

    We got the rink but not the deed

    We got the gap but not the speed

    We got the chance but not the luck

    We got the zone but not the puck

    But heh we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan

    We got the snap We got release

    We got the whole of Oiler nation on its knees

    We got the fakes, we got the O

    We got the ebs we got the flow

    We got the bom but not the pin

    We got the point but not the win

    We got the check but not the man

    We got the picks but not the plan

    But heh we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan

    Heh ho they love the way we do it

    Heh ho there’s really nothing to it

    We got the snap We got release

    We got the whole of Oiler nation on its knees

    We got the fakes, we got the O

    We got the ebs we got the flow

    We got the odds but not the bet

    We got the shot but not the net

    We got the zone but not the feed

    We got the grape but not the lead

    But heh we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan we’re big in Japan
    we’re big in Japan, we’re big in Japan

  • BobbtOiler

    I hope Chia keeps Nuge, I think he makes life easier for Leon and McDavid.

    The more I hear TMac rip this team after games like this the more I like him. Finally someone connected to the team is telling the truth and the players are going to have to own their effort!!!!

  • a lg dubl dubl

    They will turn north, as you say LT! Don’t give in to the dark side.

    I too remember Saturday nights watching the Oilers kick a$$ in the mid 80s with my dad when he was home, he was gone for 2 weeks at a time because he’s in the natural gas career( now in the office for the same company, so not in the middle of nowhere for weeks on end). Those were good memories, watching great hockey and asking my pops a million questions about the game before sending me off to bed at 2nd intermission(those 8pm games sucked).

    Things will get better soon as long as PC doesn’t leave McDavid all by himself in trying to get better on the back end.