Category Archives: Edmonton Oilers

Annually Disappointed

Interesting story in The Hockey News sent over from Ian Sirota about fans in 10 cities who are completely long-suffering.

Always teased, always disappointed, their team always falling short.

And no, the Habs aren’t on the list. They’re not even on the honorable mention list. I’m not sure why. We’re annually disappointed.

It’s right here. Thank you Ian for the link.

Brandy’s Newest

My friend Brandy Saturley, a world class artist living in Victoria, has sent me her new Gretzky piece, along with info on her upcoming show in Edmonton.

So if you’re in the Edmonton area on Dec. 5th, stop in and see her incredible work. Lots of hockey images. Lots of Canadiana. She’s awesome.



Canuck Days

Desaturated Cherry

Goalie’s Mask: Red, White, and Dryden. This piece is displayed, along side one of Ken Dryden’s masks, in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, with prints available at Goalie’s Mask. Proceeds go to The Hall.

Death of a Rookie (Rise of a Hero)

Saint Kanata

Keep On Dreamin’ In The Free World

Poppies For Louise

Plante Rises

The Number 9ine

The “EH” Team

Canada Is Sweet And Salty

New Canadian Rodeo

When Warhol Came To Canada

Scientific Tracking System Kicks Off

Once again the scientific tracking system is fired up and the yellow highlighter has already been working hard.

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of yellow in October, with just a little hiccup near the middle.

Also to note – Peter Budaj allowed one goal in Edmonton and no goals in New York in his two games between the pipes.


Solid Effort From Habs

I don’t know whether the Canadiens simply played a fine home game and did most things right, or the Anaheim Ducks were flat and weren’t a shell of their normal selves.

Regardless, a great night for the Canadiens as they stayed mostly in control over 60 minutes and handed the visitors a fine-looking 4-1 win. A huge win. Just when we thought they were screwed.

On this night the Habs skated well, checked well, didn’t take an atrocious amount of stupid penalties, kept the Ducks chances to a minimum, didn’t blow the lead, and Cary Price did his job and looked confident and in control.

The funny thing is, those Ducks that we thought the Habs didn’t have much of a chance against, mainly because of the decimated lineup, have just two more points than the Montreal. Hilarious how the look can change with one big/little win.

Michael Bournival contributed a goal and an assist. Tomas Plekanec had a goal and two assists. Brian Gionta had two assists. And Rene Bourque picked things up a notch and although he didn’t score on a clear cut breakaway, he did soon after, just after coming out of the penalty box.

A real good night, and a nice thank you from the fans to Saku Koivu who was put on the ice by coach Bruce Boudreau in the last minute of play as a final hurrah, and then was given the game’s third star which of course had fans standing and cheering. A nice classy move by both Boudreau, the star selectors, and the fans.

That, and a Habs win, is the reason why hockey can be the best sport in the world. Unlike Tuesday when they blew a game to Edmonton, which made hockey the worst sport in the world.

Random Notes:

Shots on goal, Anaheim 32, Montreal 25.

With Tomas Plekanec’s three points, he now finds himself second in team points with nine, just two shy of PK.

Michael Bournival has really added some punch to the offense and now finds himself with five points and in the middle of the pack. A great situation for a kid who wasn’t sure until recently if he had a job with the big team or not.

Next game – Saturday when the Sharks come to town. Another tough test for our guys, and we now know that they can do it, injuries or not.


Habs Blow It

The Canadiens couldn’t bury the visitors when they held a nice 2-0 lead going into the second period and little by little the Edmonton Oilers chipped away, eventually coming out on top 4-3 after scoring four straight and timely goals to sink the good guys.

Now it’s Anaheim on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday, two teams at or near the top of the heap in the Western Conference.

The week looks bleak. Damn.

It had started out so well. The first period was a lively and spirited affair, back and forth, with Tomas Plekanec bulging the twine on the power play and Brendan Gallagher intercepting a clearing attempt and waltzing in to bury it and make everything right with the world.

But in the second frame, after a nice play by Alex Galchenyuk, the tide began to turn just seconds later when Galchenyuk was slack on his checking duties and allowed Ales Hemsky a clear shot on goal which got by Carey Price, and the Oilers slowly but surely picked up steam, tied it, scored a couple more in the third, and that was that.

Except for Gionta’s goal with two seconds left to make it 4-3. Gionta even waved his hands in the air in celebration for some reason. Not sure why.

Slip, slidin’ away. Two points that could’ve been.

Randon Notes:

PK put on a show a couple of times tonight and made things dangerous that rose bums from the seats. But it wasn’t constant and it didn’t end with the red light going on. Fun to watch, yes. But the team still lost.

Saku Koivu’s Anaheim Ducks come a quackin” on Thursday. The Ducks dropped a 4-2 decision to the Leafs on Tuesday night which probably isn’t a good thing any which way you look at it.

Lethbridge native Patrick Holland wore number 82 in his NHL/Habs debut and looked okay in his six minutes or so of ice time. Must have been a nerve wracking experience for sure. Holland is 6′, 179 lbs and came over as part of the Mike Cammalleri swap.



One Game At A Time

Just one game at a time, particularly with the piling up of injuries.

If the boys beat Edmonton tonight and the Laffs lose to Anaheim, they finally catch the Torontonians in the standings. The team would also hop over the Bruins with whom they’re tied at 10 points apiece.

Then a couple of tough ones on Thursday and Saturday when Anaheim and San Jose show up to do battle, and if the guys can somehow squeak out a few points, it’s a “break on through to the other side” sort of thing.

With injuries that include key guys Max and Prust, a sprinkling of points would be an absolute points hurricane.

But if Montreal drops one to Edmonton tonight, it’s a very real possibility they suddenly find themselves on a four-game losing streak after Saturday night.

Tonight is crucial. And is it possible to get through sixty minutes without somebody else being helped off the ice?

Take it one game at a game. Where have I heard that before?

Random Note:

I wish Bridgestone’s commercial on TV would go away. It’s the one where they say if it’s cold enough for hockey, it’s cold enough for snow tires, and then show a bunch of cars dangerously sliding around on icy roads. It’s ruining my fall.


Saturday Night Stinker

Daniel Briere said after the first period that the boys found themselves on their heels because of early penalties. Unfortunately, they decided to stay on their heels for the entire game.

The amazing thing is, the Canadiens had a chance to win the thing, as bad as they were and as good as Nashville was, because nearing the end of the third period, with the score tied 1-1, Nashville took a penalty for delay of the game, and the Habs power play sprung into action.


Not even a shot on goal, and a minute later, with just 1:27 left, the Preds made it 2-1 and as far as the Canadiens win streak goes, that’s all she wrote. The couldn’t even grab a point out of it, but they didn’t deserve to anyway.

When Nashville scored their second goal, Luci let loose with a bunch of Russian words I’ll bet Google can’t translate.

The visitors were in control for most of the night, and only Carey Price and the kids were fine for the good guys. Even P.K. was ordinary, and the Preds’ two stud D-men, Shea Weber and young Seth Jones, unfortunately outplayed our Norris candidate. Most of the team looked dazed and confused throughout, whether it was even-strength or with the man-advantage, but at least the Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher trio crashed the net from time to time, with Gallagher in the second period being the lone Habs marksman.

Just one of those nights. I’m thinking about driving over to Brossard to those mansions off Rome Boulevard where I think some of them live and wait till they get home so I can give them shit.

Random Notes:

Two more injuries to report – Daniel Briere taking a head shot and Brandon Prust hurting his shoulder crashing into the boards. Do you think Louis Leblanc is waiting by the phone?

Shots on goal, Nashville 37, Montreal 29.

Eller and Bournival assisted on Gallagher’s goal.

Some of the penalty calls were questionable at best, but the gang stunk regardless.

Next up – Edmonton at the Bell on Tuesday.




THN Rates ’76-’77 Habs The Best

For the last eight Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup wins, from 1971 to 1993, I managed to save the front pages and laminate them. (Although one, from 1977, is an inner page), and I did a little write up about each of those years.

And seeing how The Hockey News has chosen the Habs 1976-77 team as the greatest team ever, I thought I’d re-post that part of my series.

(THN’s other top five in order are the ’83-’84 Oilers, ’82-’82 Islanders, ’55-’56 Habs, and ’51-’52 Red Wings).

In the spring of 1977, as I was on the verge of getting married for the first time, Jacques Lemaire scored the overtime goal to give his team their second straight Stanley Cup in this late 1970′s run, and it was done with a lovely four-game sweep against Don Cherry and his Boston Bruins.

Is this one of the reasons you’re not crazy about the Habs, Don?

It had been quite a year for this dominating bunch. Montreal only lost eight times in 80 games and racked up a record 132 points. Nobody was going to beat them in the playoffs. You didn’t have to be Kreskin to figure it out. In fact, the team swept the Blues, took out the Islanders 4 games to 2, and then swept the Bruins. Fourteen games in total, and very similar to the 13 it had taken them the year before.

Guy Lafleur won the Conn Smythe trophy for playoff MVP and managed nine goals and 17 assists throughout. But he had this to say: “It’s my third Cup and it’s always nice, but it’s not the same excitement. I don’t think I’m the best player. It’s just that everything went well for me.”

Jacques Lemaire was the quiet hero on this ride. His teammates had told him to shoot more, and on this night, he delivered with the overtime marker. “Why shouldn’t I be happy,” said Lemaire. “I’m on a holiday. I’m on a holiday starting now. It’s about time. It still is Lafleur and Shutt, except tonight. Tonight was a mistake. They said, shoot the puck, you look good.”

Coach Scotty Bowman talked about Lafleur and Shutt. “They play more like Europeans. I’m not knocking the NHL style of play, but the Europeans make more plays on the move. That’s what Lafleur and Shutt do.”

And last word to Don Cherry. “It’s hard to believe we kept outshooting them and still can’t win a game. I still say the whole thing boiled down to those three defensemen.”

V For Victory In Vancouver

Canadiens thump Canucks 4-1 at Rogers Arena in front of 890 Canucks fans and 18,000 Habs fans.

But they wouldn’t have won if Carey Price hadn’t kept them in it early when the Canucks were outshooting Montreal by a wide margin and owning the puck way too often. Price was terrific. The Price we knew and loved. Chosen number one star and rightly so.

Seeing a big win and Price looking sharp makes staying up to 1 a.m. worth it.

That’s what we need from our number one guy – keeping his team in it until their legs kick in. If he plays like that on a regular basis, he just might be the guy in Sochi after all.

Max Pacioretty opened the scoring in the first, Price came up big stopping 14 shots, but the Canucks tied it in the second and things weren’t looking completely rosy. At least not until Lars Eller scored when he was sitting on the bench.

Eller notched his fifth of the season simply by shooting the puck into the Canucks zone as he was going off, but the puck got tangled up in Dan Hamhuis, bounced in off Roberto Luongo, and would prove to be the winner. And it was shorthanded to boot. Vancouver scored on their own net on a power play.

But still, when the period was over, Vancouver had outshot Montreal 17-11 and the outcome was unsure at best.

But it was all Montreal in the third. Max missed on a penalty shot, but Tomas Plekanec on the power play and sniper Josh Gorges both bulged the twine. Even David Desharnais and Daniel Briere found themselves with chances.

A great and successful road game for the boys, and all of a sudden they’ve won three out of four games beginning with the Flyers game at the Bell Centre. And all three wins have been by 4-1 scores.

Random Notes:

Vancouver outshot the Canadiens 40-38

Montreal went 2/3 on the power play. Canucks were 0/3. Love when the special teams are going good.

Next up – in Winnipeg on Tuesday.