Category Archives: Edmonton Oilers

So Close And Now So Far

The Canadiens fall 3-2 in overtime when Martin St. Louis beat Dustin Tokarski, but the Montrealers absolutely made it a game, although it took two and a half periods before it clicked in.

Imagine if the Habs’ non-contributors were contributing? But when a team gets by with just a handful playing well and still takes it into overtime, it says a lot.

The Rangers aren’t that good. We’re playing without half the team.

Too many periods in these 2014 playoffs when the Canadiens have been outplayed. And yet, another game that was so close, that could’ve gone in their favour.

How close? A puck rang off the inside of the post and out again from Alex Galchenyuk with three minutes left in the third that would’ve won it.

The series only a fraction of an inch from being tied, and now it’s a 3-1 lead for New York going back to Montreal. But many good things happened in that third to give us hope, because finally the boys in general came alive and pushed.

Not everyone, but many.

Just so disheartening. Losing in overtime. And seeing guys still not showing up.

One thing’s for sure. This isn’t the same P.K. Subban we saw in the Boston series, although he tied the game in the third on a shot from the point that appeared to deflect off Brendan Gallagher.

But he doesn’t have that swagger, that dangerous flamboyance that causes fans in other buildings to boo him. The MSG folks have had no reason to let him have it.

Maybe at some point we’ll hear why PK has slowed down. Maybe he’s burned out.

Again Thomas Vanek did very little and there’s no sense dwelling on this. He is what he is.

But having said that, if you haven’t yet come close to showing up and you’re in the third round of the playoffs, it’s a serious problem. And Vanek hasn’t shown up. We need him, and that’s why it’s so maddening.

DD showed up. Gally showed up. Francis Bouillon, inserted into the lineup in place of Nathan Beaulieu, tied the game at one in the second period with a nice shot. Weaver sacrificed his body for the team.

Lots of guys showed up, although for many, not until the third. But lots haven’t yet. The clock’s ticking, and if we don’t see all hands on deck on Tuesday, with everyone giving their all, then we know for sure this team has a ways to go yet before we start thinking about the big prize.

There are no passengers on teams that go all the way. That’s not how it works. It takes blood, sweat and more sweat from every guy. The young Edmonton Oilers found that out when they lost to the New York Islanders in 1983 after the Islanders, banged, bruised, and exhausted, had just won their fourth straight title.

The Oilers learned from the Islanders that it takes supreme sacrifice, ridiculous amounts of hard work, and the willingness to do whatever it takes, even if it hurts like hell.

We’re not seeing that from a number of Canadiens. Although there’s still time. Not much though.

All we can do now is hope we see every single guy give his all from here on in. If we don’t see that, then the time definitely isn’t yet here to even think about Lord Stanley.

 

 

 

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.

MD3_2352

Invite_iconic

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.

2013

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.

Non-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.