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Saturday Thoughts: Playoffs, Referees, Draft Lotteries, and More

Despite the hangover induced fog I woke up in, I started thinking about the strange trip it’s been to go from watching a team that was perennial bottom feeders to one that is only two wins away from the Western Conference Final. What a ride.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN

For Oilers fans that are being real with themselves, you know that they were lucky to steal that win last night. Anaheim outplayed the Oilers for 2/3 of the game but Cam Talbot was having no part of their comeback attempt. At the end of the day, who cares of the Oilers got outplayed – they still won the hockey game and walk away from Anaheim with a 2-0 series lead. Aside from Oilers fans, who would have seen that coming? The MSM and hockey Internet in general thought the Ducks were going to shake the Oilers down for their lunch money and instead they’re the ones handing it over.

Soak it in, Nation. We Andy Dufresne’d our way out of a sewer line full of shit to get to this point and I’m sure as hell going to enjoy the ride for as long as I can. Not to mention, I laugh every single time I think about the fact that the Ducks are paying for Pat Maroon to beat them in the playoffs. Classic!

TERRIBLE OFFICIATING IN TWO GIFS

I know that the Internet (and Randy Carlyle) think we complain about the refs a lot but it’s not like we’re doing it for no reason. Anybody with two working eyeballs that watched last night’s hockey game know that the Anaheim Ducks were getting away with playing prison rules. I’m going to show you two gifs that basically sum up just how horribly inconsistent NHL referees can be in the playoffs.

First up is this missed ignored call on Ryan Getzlaf where he literally hauled down the puck carrier without getting called. Then you’ll see the absolutely weak call on Zack Kassian that sent him to the box shortly after.

I think the piece de resistance has to be the rear naked choke on Pat Maroon that wasn’t worthy of a call despite the fact that the blind man ref was standing right there. How do you not call this? It’s awful.

I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THE DRAFT LOTTERY

I went to re-watch the highlights from last night’s game when I noticed that it was draft lottery day. Up until that moment, I had basically forgotten that the draft lottery was coming up. That’s almost unthinkable for an Oilers fan. I mean, last year we literally threw a #MakeItFive party in the hopes that we’d be able to piss the world off and win a fifth first overall pick in seven years. This year, I nearly forgot about it altogether. Isn’t it amazing what a little bit of winning can do? PLAYOFFS!

Quick, name me the top five prospects in this year’s draft. Bet you can’t! Isn’t it cool?

I’LL NEVER GET ENOUGH GRETZKY

One of the best things in the playoffs has been watching Wayne Gretzky’s reactions to just about anything. The fact that the Great One is back in the fold and involved with the team again is cool in its own right, but to see him just ask excited (or bummed out) as the fans are is one of the most fun parts about the Oilers playoff run right now. If I’m Sportsnet, I’m asking Gretzky if they can have his reactions live streaming or to have him wear a Go Pro or something because Wayne is amazing to watch.

OUR COMMUNITY IS AMAZING

This morning, Kyla wrote about answering the bell on a bet she made with Twitter that if the Oilers made the playoffs she would get a celebratory tattoo. Then I see a story over at the Journal about my man Darcy getting a Nation logo tattooed on his leg and all I could think about was how amazing our community is. What we have is a group of people that have all bonded over the Edmonton Oilers in one of the worst times in franchise history.

One of the greatest things about working here is when we throw events and I get to see people that are meeting in real life because they connected initially on this website. There are people that I talk to almost on a daily basis that I met because of this website. It’s one thing to have a site that covers the Edmonton Oilers but it’s another thing when that website means enough to people that they can bond over it. It’s a pretty cool thing that we’re building here together, Nation. Thank you for your massive part in it.

  • KenBone18

    An Oilers / OilersNation tattoo signifies two things – 1) The abysmal education level of the typical oilers fan and 2) the ultimate in bandwagon jumpery.

  • I was going down memory lane and there are some laughable moments during the last 11 years.
    I can’t remember which year but Mac T and the Oilers were going to run a 5 forward power play and change the NHL. They did not.
    2010 – Eberle scores a 1st NHL goal to remember.
    2011 – Nuge falls into the boards injures his shoulder – Hall 30 stitches during warm up
    2012- Yakupov slide against the Kings
    2013- Hall – Water Bottle – Dallas Eakins-
    Then theres other moments like
    -Tier 1 fans #Kblowe
    -Kruger fried via Skype after 1 shortened season?
    – “The swarm” “Healthy Snacks” “Craigs on it”
    -The entire Dallas Eakins Era *shudders*
    -Nikita Nikiatin
    By gawd! anyone else wanna add to the list?

  • TruthHurts98

    When I saw Getzlaf haul down Connor on that break I was screaming. How can the refs be that awful unless they are A. Paid off or B. Told by the league to do absolutely everything in their power to make sure the Oilers lose and the Ducks win. The Ducks are getting away with virtually everything and it’s an embarrassment to the NHL. Crap like this wears down stars that sell tickets to games and pay for the league to run. Maybe they want a bunch of goons hacking, slashing and mucking it out. It’s pathetic and I hope the Oiler brass make a big enough stink about it to the league so that maybe, just maybe they call some of that obvious and blatant crap the Ducks are getting away with when the games shift to Oil country. If they do it’ll be an Oiler sweep. Bettman doesn’t want that of course!

      • Rob...

        I forget which section of the rulebook outlines putting the whistle away if the infraction is being committed by a veteran. Can you point it out to me. Don’t mean to sound hostile but this clearly existing unwritten rule sickens me.

        • I don’t agree with it but it’s clear as day. No call was going to called on Jumbo Joe last series either. I think that’s why the Oilers are down playing this crap B/C they will have to overcome it every step of the way.

          • Archer

            absolutely right – it’s not going to change (though the Flames cried and wailed and were rewarded by the league with a game where they got all of the power plays and the Ducks none despite the 2 teams playing a similar style) so may as well just down play it and win despite it, particularly when you see how it worked out for the Flames even with their crying being rewarded

    • Heschultzhescores

      Even the Nurse penalty, though it was a brush of a high-stick…the throwing back of the head like a soccer player is akin to a dive in my opinion. Can’t stand hockey players acting like soccer players.

  • Neumann

    Can we get some commentary on the Letestu goalie interference/Kassian disallowed goal? It looked to me like a 50/50 hockey battle to the front of the net, arms didn’t extend. Curious of others thoughts.

  • giddy

    I usually don’t care about refereeing, the game happens really fast and there’s a lot happening at once to be watching out for. Tough gig and you’re under the microscope of everyone. Whatever. Even the Getzlaf thing is whatever.

    The event that absolutely bothers me is Lindholm literally having Maroon on his belly, pulling him up in a rear naked choke after a whistle in a scrum, as Maroon is there wide-eyed looking right at the ref–whose f***ing job is to keep him safe on the ice from crap like that–for help and to break it up but the ref just stands there and allows it to happen is mind boggling in two ways: 1. The fact the ref apparently seems to think that’s totally fine and totally not penalty worthy and 2: How Lindholm does it with apparently no fear of taking a penalty, which sort of indicates to me he knew full well he would get away with something like that.

    I don’t know. If someone on the Oilers did that to an Anaheim player I’d be freaking out at them still. Totally unacceptable. I’m not here to watch a wrestling match, I’m here to watch two teams try to put a puck in a net.

    • Anton CP

      This year’s talent pool that you can just call this as “AHL draft”. I doubt that will be more than 20 to crack the NHL roster and likely around 10 can have a meaningful career in NHL.

      • Ronr68

        It’s hard to judge that kind of thing. Lots of drafts that didn’t look strong turned out good. There’s no clear cut no.1 this year. Just like the first 3 no.1 overall picks the Oilers had. I’m sure no one looked closely at Karlsson at no.9. Now he’s the only player I’d put on the same level with McDavid and Crosby.

    • Jay (not J)

      Turns out it is, and on the same day Vegas calls the Oilers cup favorites. Put a watch on those bridges in Jersey tonight. 4th first overall pick Taylor will welcome into the league.

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          that poor guy, hey? 1st overall or high 1st round picks by the Oilers year after year after year and now yet another #1 overall on his new team….which sucks now like the Oilers have for the previous decade. i’m no fan of Hall but you really have to feel for the guy! and if Jersey sucks still by the time Hall’s contract is up, i’m heading across the river and signing with the Rangers!

    • flutie

      Honestly starting to feel bad for Hall. Second time this week that the scab of his trade has been ripped off for reasons out of his control (Larson goals, NJ first overall). Just breathe Hallsy. Your time will come.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Thinking back to the Hall Larsson trade imagine if Chiarelli haggled and got the Devils to swap picks in this draft. Maybe Devils figured they were pulling a fast one on Pistol Pete as neither team had lottery protections. I have zero interest in another 1st overall prospect, but I would love to hear reaction around the league. Absolutely love it.

  • Mitch92

    I see karma has reared its ugly head in pushing the Colorado Avalanche, proud owners of the leagues worst record and its not even close, to fourth overall pick. Yes, they were climbed, mounted and traversed by the Devils, Flyers and Dallas Stars. Speaking of which, are there any goalies touted to go early this year?