Feb. 06, 2013 - Issue #903: Moment by moment
In the Box
This week, In the Box tries to solve the mysteries of the afternoon hockey game, the lack of young gun offence and the Oilers' surprisingly stellar netminding. Enjoy!
Dallas 3 at Edmonton 2, February 6
Craig Douglas: I watched this debacle in a pub and had no sound for the last half of the game. It seems many people—myself and especially the linesmen included—didn't realize that the puck was majorly offside for Derek Roy's power play goal in the second period. The Oilers tried their best in this one despite a depleted lineup. They lost Lander to a foot injury during the game and were also without centres Horcoff, Nugent-Hopkins and Belanger. The team made it to OT after Jeff Schultz tied it with a blast from the point with 12 minutes left in the third period. However, once fucking overtime rolled around, NHL fossil Jaromir Jágr went around NHL pylon Ryan Whitney with relative ease to seal the deal for Dallas. So my 'Shithead(s) of the Weak' go to linesmen Lonnie Cameron and Greg Devorski because I'm pretty sure their whole job is to watch for glaring offsides like the one that screwed the Oil over in this game. Congratulations Shitheads.
Brent Oliver: I witnessed this whole game in the friendly confines of Rexall Place. After a particularly boring first period, the Oilers finally showed a bit of life in the second, only to lose it in OT to a guy who could very well break his hip next week due to advanced age. The lack of Nuge and Horcoff was evident in the faceoff circle where the Oil sucked mightily for the entire night. I'm glad Craig brought up the linesmen. I was expecting an offside whistle before Jágr potted the winner, but no such luck. But really, the Oilers have themselves to blame on this and other games this week. Weak defence allowing opportunities is killing this team, along with the lack of goal scoring. Wasn't this team supposed to run and gun? Weren't we going to see the return to the '80s brand of barnstorming 6-4 games? Nope. The Oilers are almost at the bottom of the NHL with goal production and Dubnyk can't keep bailing them out of these shitstorms.
Edmonton 1 at Detroit 2, February 9
CD: B.A.A.G. time, big time this weekend as the Oil played two "Bullshit American Afternoon Games" starting on Saturday versus the Amway Wings. At the risk of sounding whiny, let me just say that no one up here in America's fridge wants to watch hockey at fucking noon on a Saturday or any other day. So of course, I was at work and didn't catch much of this one. This game was notable for being Dubnyk's first rest of the season which meant here comes Khabby Bu-Bu (sorry). Khabibulin looked good stopping 28 of 30 shots, but the Oilers normally powerful power play was not so hot in this contest. The Wings somewhat-shitty power play got both of their goals and Detroit also out-hit the Oil and dominated the faceoff circle by a 2:1 ratio. I don't have much else to say about a game I barely watched other than I'd like to congratulate Sam Gagner on his 10-game point streak to start the season. The streak ended here against fucking Detroit, but we wish him many more.
BO: I hate afternoon games. HATE THEM (see last week's column/ diatribe). I was a bit surprised that they picked this game to start the Buzin Wall, but after Dubnyk lost in overtime, and a game the next day against lowly Columbus, I guess something had to give. I was surprised at how he played, pulling out some great saves for a guy who had back surgery and searching for his first win in a year. Whoa. A YEAR? This team sure sucked last year if this guy was our number one. Anyways, another game for Whitney where he was INVISIBLE making me wonder what they're going to do with this team's new Jirí Dopita. Yes, I remember Jirí Dopita
Edmonton 3 at Columbus 1, Februrary 10
CD: Another B.A.A.G. another loss ... hold the fucking phone, the Oilers won this one! At least there are only two B.A.A.G.s left this short-ass season so I guess I'll stop bitching about them ... for now. I watched the Oilers beat the consistently shitty Jean Jackets in a Calgary apartment (of all fucking places) which was covered in Oilers swag. I was down south for some skiing and two of Cowtown's biggest Oilers fans were nice enough to host your columnist and the Oilers were nice enough to halt their fucking five-game losing streak. The game featured another million penalty minutes for Oilers penalty-minute maniac Ryan Smyth, although both teams were held at bay on the power play. The game also featured the return of Eric Belanger and another night (sorry, afternoon) off for Ryan 'Sit'ney. The Oilers got a goal from Ales Hemsky as a puck bounced off Taylor Hall's skate that #83 was just able to squeeze into the net. Also, Magnus Pääjarvi finally got his first of the season, a shorthanded goal thanks to an insane feed from Sam Gagner who also sealed the deal with an empty net goal while Bobrovsky was on the bench. However, the story and the star of the game was of course Devan Dubnyk and his 39 fucking saves, wow has he looked gooood. On a side note, we washed down this game by watching the movie Goon, which was actually pretty funny and not even half as stupid as I thought it would be.
BO: Let's not all plan a parade so soon, ok? We beat the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Rick Nash-less Columbus Blue Jackets, who played their backup goalie, who was the Flyers backup last year. The Oilers have problems. If you can only muster one goal in 55 minutes against the worst team in the league's backup goalie, I rest my case. I've had the chance to watch almost every minute of the Oilers this year and I'm not sure why Coach Krueger is holding them back. This young team can skate, we've seen that. So let them skate fer chrissakes! This 1, 2-2, trap that they're executing makes them look like the goddamn Dallas Stars of the '90s. It’s awful to see young talent playing a style like this especially when they're just not that good at it. Eberle is now seven games without a goal and they better score some on Tuesday against the Stars or I'm going to start raggin’ on the coach, MacT stylez.
Dallas 4 at Edmonton 1, February 12
BO: And we're back! Remember the last home game everybody? The one where we lost to the Stars in overtime? Don't worry, this has an even more predictable ending! The Stars have frankly owned us. OWNED. Whether it was Jágr (again) killing us with a big, late goal, or a terrible shot off the glass, hitting Dubnyk in the back of the head and going in, they just seem to get the bounces. But really, here's another game where the Oilers scored one goal. ONE LOUSY GOAL. Where the fuck is the offence? I mean Lehtonen was on fire this game, but the Oilers have got to score more goals. Hall got the lone marker with a great shot on the far side, but there were only flashes of offensive pressure. This team needs a new system, so sadly, my 'Shithead of the Weak' has to go to Coach Ralph Krueger. Whether it’s the handling of Smyth and Whitney (both healthy scratches this game), or the refusal to play some run and gun offence, or the fact that after a quarter of the season the Oilers are 25th in the league for goals scored—something has to change, and it has to change now. The Oil have a few days off to regroup, but seriously, someone better start scoring soon.
CD: I watched this game on DVR well after it had ended, and even by avoiding spoilers, I had a bad feeling about it. Boy, was I right. There were not a lot of positives to take from this one, basically the play of Taylor Hall would be it and I guess Nick Schultz's huge hit on Jágr should count as a plus too. Devan Dubnyk had some stupid goals scored on him and unfortunately he seemed to be the only one who gave a shit. One goal bounced of Lennart Petrell, then off the glass, and finally off Dubnyk and into the net. Another bounced off of Nuge's helmet, then off the fucking post and into the net. However, no one wants to blame bad luck for this loss, just bad badness. Sure, it was Dallas, and Brent's right about Lehtonen having an amazing game, but Brent's way more right about something needing to change within the system. Maybe three days off and a game against a last place team is what is needed to right the squad and salvage the season. I sure fucking hope so.
That’s it for this week. The Oilers are off at home until Saturday against the Avs and then the Cup champs next Tuesday. Hopefully something gives before then.
See you next time, In the Box
More stories in front »vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy