My friends, if you’re a Seinfeld fan you know that December 23rd is Festivus, and that means it’s time for the airing of a few grievances.
Before we get started, I wanted to say that airing your grievances does not make you any less of an Oilers fan. In fact, I’d say that complaining about the team you watch multiple times per week and loving them anyway is the ultimate in fandom. That’s a dedication that the Oilers are lucky to have, and these grievances are only trying to help them get better. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.
Peter Chiarelli’s summer of doom
Alright, Peter, it’s not exactly a secret that the fanbase isn’t too happy with you right now. Over the past year you made some moves that weren’t exactly popular and the bad start to the season didn’t exactly help your cause. You signed guys to contracts that are worth too much, and the guys that were traded away were replaced with lesser versions of themselves. Not to mention, what’s the deal with the unused cap space? You traded Eberle for Strome and $3.5 million in NHL player tokens but did absolutely nothing with it. What’s that about? I’m not going to complain about the trades again, but selling the fanbase on dollars saved and doing nothing with it was a weird move. Never would have happened with a Yale man.
The Special Teams
I don’t know what’s going on with the special teams this season but they are dogshit, and that doesn’t make a lick of sense for a team that has as many talented players as the Oilers do. The power play is too stationary, you can read the plays like a book, and the fact that they’re still trying the same things is mind blowing to me. Frankly, I’m getting to a point of just being thankful that the PP doesn’t allow a chance on the Oilers’ net because scoring goals often seems like a pipe dream.
The penalty kill, on the other hand, is somehow worse than the power play. Actually, it’s getting to a point where it could be historically bad and that’s something that needs to change ASAP Rocky. At this point, I don’t know what would be more effective in terms of killing penalties — doing the same thing and failing about as often as not, or spending those two minutes on the ice crying. Something has to change.
Singling out the skilled players
If there’s one thing that drives me nuts about the Oilers’ media it’s when they single out the skilled guys and blame them for losses. We’ve had the same guy say Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had to justify his spot on the roster and blame Connor for a loss on a night when he had three points. I know this city loves blue collar guys, but it’s the skilled players that put asses in the seats and it’s generally those same guys that are big parts of wins. The media often likes to use the ‘eyeball approach’ to watching hockey but sometimes I just have no idea what the hell they’re watching.
Bloggers vs the MSM
It’s a fight that has gone on for ages and one of the dumbest arguments in all of sports — the mainstream media vs the bloggers. Frankly, I can’t think of anything sadder than this played out pissing contest that seems to flare up every few days/weeks/months. The reality is, there are plenty of bloggers out there that have been hired by NHL teams because of their work and the idea that both sides can’t have valid arguments is ridiculous. The funniest part, though, is when the MSM get high and mighty because of their access to the dressing room as if that makes their opinion any more valid. I mean, having dressing room access is great if you use it. But why is it that I don’t have a press pass (don’t want one either) and still beat all you clowns with the news of Adam Larsson’s return by more than 24 hours? Way to use your access.
Rogers Place Crowd Shots
If you’re lucky enough to get tickets to an Oilers game then I think the whole night should be an event. People shell out plenty of dough to be entertained and I think that should also consist of when there’s nothing going on on the ice. Why is it that the only move the in house media team has is to show crowd shots between every play? I remember when I was a kid and there would be game highlights spliced into movie clips, out of town highlights, trivia questions, and just general ways to make fans of the other team look like idiots. That was all good stuff. What happened to that? Does anybody remember laughter? For as much as you’re paying to be there, the Oilers should be doing more to provide value for your ticket. I need you guys to go to other arenas and see what they’re doing for their fans because the crowd shots thing is getting tiring.
While I generally appreciate a good opportunity to get day drunk, I’m annoyed by all of the matinee games the Oilers have played this year. Who was it at the NHL scheduling office that decided it would be a good idea for the Oilers’ weekend schedule to be filled with early starts. To make matters worse, the Oilers have lost four of five of those games and, all of a sudden, my daytime buzz has turned into an angry hangover by dinner time. Hockey is best played when the sun goes down, and I don’t care what baseball tells you.
FEATS OF STRENGTH
As OW-20 pointed out in the comments, no Festivus is complete without a few feats of strength. While the start of this season hasn’t necessarily gone as planned, 2017 had plenty of highs to go along with those lows. Here are a few feats of strength that come to mind for me:
- Connor McDavid hits 100 points, wins the Art Ross and Hart Trophy
- First playoff appearance in a decade? Yeah, buddy.
- Kassian’s playoff sideburns inspired a Nation
- Draisaitl’s playoffs were a thing of beauty
- The Year of Nuge is upon us
- Talbot should’ve had a Vezina nomination last year
With that, I have aired my grievances for another year and I feel better about it. If there’s something I missed, hit me up in the comments section. If there’s something that’s been bothering you about the team all year, I want to hear about it. It’s on this most special of days where we can look at the team we love and mercilessly complain about them. For if we do, a Festivus miracle may appear.