29 October 2009

Happy Halloilerween!



Without fail the Oilers come up with something hilarious every Halloween.. remember when Horc went as Gene Principe a few years back?

This year is equally as good.

By the way, I <3 Smid, even if he has Hamthrax.

09 October 2009

Yowzers!

Do we need to have a hot off this year? I think I know who the three finalists will be.

The picture is from ESPN's body issue that came out today.

10 September 2009

#BarfOilers


I'm on twitter. I think my updates are over on the side there ->

When I saw the news of Mike Comrie's return to Edmonton, I found every funny tweet regarding the move and re-tweeted it with the tag, #BarfOilers.

Okay, I know the money is good. I know that he's probably done a lot of growing up since he left town. I know that on rare occasion, I carry a grudge. I'm looking at you, Jamie Langenbrunner.

I don't have a huge problem with Mike Comrie. That was eclipsed by the CFP incident. But what this indicates is a disconnect with management.

Bringing in Mighty Mouse doesn't move this team forward. It may prevent us from falling backwards due to the overwhelming lack of guys who can play centre. But that's not good enough. So, in the face of having a team that not just fails to make the playoffs but fails to compete, I feel we're just not gaining ground.

I feel like I should warn Hilary Duff (who I'm psyched to see on Gossip Girl this fall). Once you get the city on your side, we've got your back. But this is a town that doesn't forget. That Rich Boy on your arm, he hurt us last time around. 30 games, sitting out, and for what?

By all accounts, Duff was a fan favourite in Ottawa, where she made regular appearance watching games, often with regular fans, unlike Carrie Underwood who hid from the public.

I wish I could say the prodigal son has returned home to bring prosperity to the Oilers family. But I'm afraid he's just not enough. And his return shows the dire state this team is in.

22 April 2009

How to cover the Canucks without shooting myself

Some of you may know that I work as a news reporter in Vancouver... My shifts are evenings and weekends - prime timing for Canucks games. Unlike the sports reporters, I don't get to go to games and hear cliched answers from dreamy eyes Taylor Pyatt. During this playoff run, I get to talk to the fans. Not only do I have to go live from some sports bar every half hour all evening, I have to talk with Canucks fans at their worst. Drunken.

Part of me was happy to hear of the Canucks' sweep last night - otherwise this Friday night I would've spent my evening dealing with fans who would argue this is the best team hockey has ever seen. In 2006, every round the Oilers won, I expected it to be the last. Yet Canucks fans believe the cup is already en route.

I'll give the Canucks credit. It's a good *TEAM*. Before this round started I figured they'd do some damage in the playoffs. I don't want them to, and am praying for them to lose the next four as quickly as they swept through the the first round.

I don't want to go to another bar. I am trying to come up with ideas for how to cover a Canucks game from the fan perspective... I already did families/children. I wanted to pitch an idea where I search the city for the elusive St.Louis fan. Where should I go next?

16 April 2009

Goodbye Silver Fox

I like Craig MacTavish. I think he's a good coach who will find work elsewhere. I think his time here was done but there were some really fine moments. I wish him all the best elsewhere. It is, on some level, unfortunate that the Oilers will no longer have the hottest coach. But I digress...

I watched Tambellini's presser today and was pleased by a lot of the things he said. Sure, he's all practiced up and knows the right thing to say but what stuck with me is the fact that he did not absolve the players of their craptastic play this season. Regardless of the holes I know this team had, regardless of the coach that may have lost the room, this team underachieved.

Subpar Oilers teams have made the playoffs before, clawing their way in like the St.Louis Blues did, only to lose in the first round. (Which I anticipate will happen for them too.)

Those are the Oilers teams I miss. The ones that may have lacked skill but worked like dogs.. or like the underdogs they were.

I'm hopeful more changes are made. I'm hopeful this is the end of hiring the old boys club. I'm hopeful this team can move in the right direction.

I'm hopeful.

...and I'll miss MacT.



(my other blog has thoughts on jumping on the Canucks bandwagon)

02 April 2009

5 games left: My pre-emptive look at a failed season.

Like Lowetide, I'm not putting all of the blame on MacT for what happened this season. Should he quit or be fired at the season's end? Yes. He made some dangerous gambles (from position shifting to the stick call) but had any of them worked out, we could still be talking about post season chances (which are now at 8% and require the Oil to pretty much win-out the season). I commend him for trying things that other coaches wouldn't have attempted, but maybe he shouldn't have been put in particular situations by management.

In the off-season, the Oilers lost Stoll in the Lubo trade (I <3 Lubo), and Reasoner (a million dollar man) for free. Both could win faceoffs and kill penalties. No one was brought in to replace either. PK has gone from 5th to 27th. Stoll (now at 57%!) and Reasoner (53%) continue to win faceoffs for their respective teams and instead we see Shawn Horcoff taking all faceoffs. Seriously. He's done an admirable job at 54%, taking more than anyone else in the LEAGUE. Hot Rodz also is above 50% but just barely. I think the heavy reliance on Horcoff has been another factor in the mediocrity of the team. Dude is tired.

Horcoff fills the role of the top line centre on the Oilers. Would he do that on other teams? Very few. He's what I would call a "very good roleplayer". Hardworking, able to do a lot of things right, but not going to many (if any) all-star games. And he has been worked this year - leading Oilers forwards with 21:31 in ATOI per game. Yet his production will be around 50 points on the season.

The Oilers have enough skill to roll four lines, the problem with the skill is that it comes in small packages. Don't get me wrong, from what I've seen of Patrick O'Sullivan, I really like. And Liam Reddox plays much bigger than his frame would indicate. But the JFJ/Stortini's of the Oilers feel pretty one-dimensional right now in that they are AHL players in big bodies. The guys who legitimately have NHL skills tend to be small. Sure, Dustin Penner was brought in for his size and the numbers guys tell me he's still excelling, but he's hard to watch. His shuffle through the lineup and into the pressbox gives me the indication MacT wants to use him, but the team makeup isn't right.

That's the biggest issue that I can gather... a disconnect from the top to the front line. I commend the moves made to get the defensive corps that we have and while I'd rather see Strudwick take a 7th man role and Staios be 4 years younger, those are small issues when the team is just not clicking.

I listen to a lot of games and only see a few, but even the play-by-play seems to indicate a disconnect. Are there issues in the room? Is it the right mix of personalities? Or is everyone just really frustrated? I know I am.

The nail in the coffin was the recent "cheer for us, fans" video. Outside of Strudwick who had a certain charm to him and Grebs who just seemed sincere, it was awful. Awkward and not heartfelt speeches from Horcoff, Gilbert and Gagner. If you're trying to make us care (and most of us wouldn't be watching stupid videos on the Oilers website if we didn't already) you're just making a fool of us. We want to cheer. That's what makes the video so sad. Give us a reason to support the team because we're not going to accept losing. For the amount of money we pay to the organization, for the amount of money the players are taking home, they should be grateful we're still here despite some pathetic efforts as of late - when it matters most.

How about instead of doing it for the fans, do it for Dwayne Roloson? The man has kept the Oilers in almost every game in the second half of the season. It's so frustrating to listen to games where he is averaging nearly 40 saves yet the Oilers can't even forecheck.

This isn't going to be just a failed season, but one of the most frustrating I've dealt with as a fan. And it's not just because I'm stuck in Vancouver watching a team win games based on effort, good goaltending and performances from unlikely sources. It actually reminds me of a certain Oilers team in 2006.

Le Sigh.

24 March 2009

Laddy Smid: What's to like?



I was surprised to see that Ladislav Smid is a popular guy, even just among the dozen replies I got to my question. He was on more lists than anyone else, getting more points (based on my 5,4,3,2,1 system) than anyone else and averaging a placement of 3rd on everyone's lists.

What is it about Smid that we like?

His three goals ever in the NHL?
The fact that he's been thrown in as a winger this season?
His original nickname?

You tell me!

P.S. The rest of the voted top five would be Gagner, Horcoff, Lubo, and O'Sullivan.

22 March 2009

Who are your favourite three current Oilers?

I was thinking about this when Marty was recently in town... who is left for me to cheer for? Reasoner is long gone and not coming back. I had a soft spot for the Thoresens, the Hejdas...

Who are my top three now?

1. I <3 Lubo
2. Patty O'Sullivan (Number 19 lives on)
3. Pantsani

Now, I realize these pics go against my usual form of "underdogs" so I'll add honourable mentions to Liam "The Lion" Reddox and Laddy Smid.

Hell, just make it a top 5!

How about you? Even though this is Hot Oil, I'm not talking looks. Vote in the comments!

20 March 2009

13 March 2009

Oh snap.



Just scroll to the last 20 seconds.

12 March 2009

Guess what today is?


My boy is back in town! (Not Smyth, though his appearance in that picture is great.)

Sure, I'm not, but still..

Am I the only one who misses his clips? Just look at some of the stuff in this recent Jim Matheson story:

When Atlanta centre Marty Reasoner signed with the Thrashers last summer, he held onto his house here, but not because he was hoping his old club might get him back at the trade deadline.

"I'm looking to sell ... tell anybody who wants to buy, I'll give them two tickets to the game (today)," joked the former Edmonton Oilers forward. "I'd like to close on it before the game starts." Reasoner, who is having a very good season in Atlanta -- 23 points, plus- nine on a team solidly minus -- will be wearing a Thrashers sweater tonight and may also have brought a cardigan on the road. He did check the weather here before he checked his bags. When he found out it was sunny, but frosty, he shrugged. "All these years I spent in Edmonton, I never could figure out what they meant when they said, 'You know it's cold, but, hey, it's a dry cold,' '' said Reasoner.

Reasoner's sense of humour, not to mention his work in the faceoff circle and killing penalties, left a hole the Oilers haven't been able to fill this season.

Reasoner and Matt Greene were the dry wits in the dressing room.

"Geez, I'd rather they miss me as a player on the ice, rather than off it," he said.


Sigh.

Maybe I do wish he'd been traded to the Canucks?

05 March 2009

O'Sullivan and Kotalik: Reasons to not talk about Marty

I spent several hours glued to my computer today. Despite my Marty Watch, I was more intent on seeing what the Oilers would do. It would take until the final moment, long past the final minute, for something to come through.

Lets start with the negatives:
1. We become a bit smaller, a bit less gritty.
2. Erik Cole seems like a classy dude.

And the positives?
1. This is likely a wash: 20 games of Cole becomes 20 games of Kotalik
2. A 2nd or 5th round pick (depending on where I read) becomes Patrick O'Sullivan.
3. Both of these guys are hotter than Cole. Sorry Cole.



If you aren't familiar with the story of Patrick O'Sullivan, read it. You can't help but want him to succeed.

He's also the key to this whole thing and I commend Tambellini for working this deal out. The more I read about the numbers.. he's a shooter, he's still young, he might be small but he puts up a hit a game...

I really want it to work out.



I really just wanted to write about O'Sullivan. But Kotalik is here too, so, enjoy!

03 March 2009

Marty Reasoner Watch: 24 hours to the deadline

From Sports Illustrated's Darren Eliot:
Blackhawks

This fun, fast, young bunch out of the Windy City is "ahead of schedule" according to GM Dale Tallon in terms of rebuilding. They will get much-needed experience with this spring's appearance, putting them in the same category as the Bruins, Caps and Flyers from last year -- rising teams that made the playoffs and used that to accelerate the maturity process. The Blackhawks need a centerman with some grit who can win faceoffs -- an area in which they've struggled all season. Players such as Dominic Moore or Marty Reasoner make sense here.

Canucks

GM Mike Gillis played his hand early by bringing Mats Sundin into the mix. At this point, with goaltender Roberto Luongo rounding into form, tweaking is probably the course of action come Wednesday. Players already mentioned -- Kuba on the blueline and Reasoner up front -- are of the ilk Gillis is likely to target.


From Globe and Mail:

Meanwhile, Atlanta still has some depth forwards to peddle before they become unrestricted free agents.

Centre Marty Reasoner has 10 goals and is on pace for a career high. He wins face-offs and is plus-nine on an awful team. Eric Perrin can play all three forwards positions and, like Reasoner, he kills penalties. Perrin wants out of Atlanta, according to the Journal-Constitution.


I'll update today as I find stuff.

Loxy out.

02 March 2009

Where does my man go?

Photobucket

Marty Reasoner won't likely be an Atlanta Thrasher after the trade deadline. He's a UFA at the end of the season and is a good depth guy who can win faceoffs and kill penalties. He's also my favourite player.

Duh.

Anyways, a friend of mine mentioned the potential of him coming to Vancouver. If I watch that happen on Wednesday, I will have no idea what to do.

None.

15 February 2009

Breaking NEWS: Marty Reasoner reads


From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Reader and movie watcher Marty Reasoner flew a lot last season when he played for Edmonton, a long way from other NHL cities. The Oilers took two two-week road trips and two one-week road trips every year.


I get too stressed watching or listening to Oilers games this season to write anything... but I'm just letting you know I'm still here.

01 February 2009

It's like a shout out



I never feel good about Sunday afternoon games. I'm sure there is probably a statistical explanation for this, but hot oil isn't the place for real depth game coverage.

Things I'm hoping for this game:

1. Roli plays decently. In other words, he stops 9 out of 10 shots. He shakes off his helmet at least once. He gives out a few hits with his blocker. I don't like when Roli gets TOO much on a roll, things fall apart after that. I just want "good enough" right now.

2. A good effort. I don't think it's much to ask of a team to put in the effort that they are paid to give. Too often this Oiler team is up and down. Just some sustained roll would be nice.

3. Ethan Moreau doesn't try too much. I'm scared he's starting to think he's an all-around player. Just don't take the stupid penalties and I'll be happy with just your pretty face.

Off to cover a Chinese New Year parade. Hopefully I can catch some of the online banter in the comments at Lowetide later.

Goilerz!

Clap clap!

28 January 2009

Not Hot

I didn't watch last night's game.
I didn't watch any of the replays.
I didn't even find out the final score.

But if it happens again, no one comes out hot.

24 January 2009

All Star Festivities


I'm trying to watch but I'm quickly falling asleep. Right now, it's the shootout competition (not the fancy one where Ovechkin put on a hat) but the straight-forward one. It's down to Hejduk, Doan and Savard. It entertains me as long as I'm on my computer doing other things.

Update: Down to Doan and Savard.

Earlier I watched Cogliano win the fastest skater. That was fun, for the 3 minutes it lasted. Oh, and I missed the hardest shot. Souray came third. The TV may have been on, but I don't remember watching. (That's how exciting this stuff is)

Update: Shane Doan wins.

Random fact: Shane Doan and Carey Price are cousins.

I've been reading a lot about how to make the NHL All Star game better. The best suggestion would be to have it in a tropical location. While I realize there's an interest in having it in NHL cities so that fans can meet the players, but the guys are going to be more hyped if it's like a holiday. (Though, for me, Montreal is a place I would holiday, but I'm not an NHL player.)

Anyways, on my other blog I'm gonna do an NHL themed Marry Boff Kill. Enjoy!

Oh, and what are the rest of the oilers doing right now?

19 January 2009

The Clip



Thanks Andy!

17 January 2009

Welcome to left field.

Au revoir, Mathieu Garon. I'm still not sure that this isn't a hallucination resulting from my hangover. Saturdays aren't just for cartoons anymore, Oilers fans.

06 January 2009

GOCANADA!

Hey there! I hope you all had a great holiday! I just thought I'd put up a quick post to congratulate Team Canada on their 5th straight gold medal at the IIHF Juniors -- especially the Oilers' own Jordan Eberle, who had an amazing tournament. And who is also hot. Nice work, fellas!