January 21 2012 04:31PM
(Wanye has instituted a new rule when it comes to BoA's: winner of the last game gets to write the losers game day post. Naturally I readily agreed because it benefited my side of the conflict. So for those Oilers faithful wondering why a scummy Flames fan is penning your GDB, kindly refer all complaints to Mr. Wanye Gretz III, Esq. - KW)
Things can't be easy for the Edmonton Oilers these days.
Everyone is hurt (or at least faking injuries) and Taylor Hall is paying teammates to step on his face, all so they don't have to play for the Oilers. And really, given how badly things have gone lo these past every-year-since-they-accidentally-made-the-Cup-final, who can blame them?
They're a bad team with no real future in front of them and it would be too bad if they were at all sympathetic characters, which they are not. By all appearances, they seem destined for yet another 30th-place finish and No. 1 overall pick, which they'll likely squander as they did the ones for Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
But the worst indignity of all, one supposes, is that the Oilers are not only so bad that players are missing three weeks with skinned knees, but rather that they actually give the Calgary Flames someone they can feel superior to. I hope you understand how embarrassing that is. Entering tonight's game - a tap-in W for the Flames if ever there was one - the visitors had a 12-point lead in the standings over their hosts, which if you'd seen the former play lately, would befuddle you to no end.
And this despite Edmonton starting the season as one of the hottest teams in the league, and Calgary having been sub-mediocre throughout. How depthlessly bad do you have to be to have, at one point, led the Western Conference, only to watch the Flames, who have no players under the age of 46, blow your doors off around mid-November?
The answer, obviously, is "as bad as the Oilers are, were and will continue to be in perpitude." This is a hockey team in a province full of them that sets the standard for abysmal. From the ice, to behind the bench to the front office. Just because they're dressed like Gretzky and Kuri doesn't mean they're going to score like them. And I mean as a team.
Okay so I'm supposed to follow the format of the previous Flames-fan-written GDBs because that's just what happens but I have prepared very little in the way notes for the Oilers because who wants to waste their time reading about how ugly Taylor Hall is these days? (Very.)
But just because it's you, I will go to the Edmonton Journal's website and see what's what.
Well who could have seen this coming? THE Anton Lander? Struggling offensively? It's unbelievable is what it is. How is it possible that a player who has never played pro or junior hockey in North America before, and never come close to cracking a point a game overseas, could struggle to the tune of two goals and five points in 42 games on a team with no scoring depth? It defies logic.
And as for the rest of his teammates, that too is shocking. Beyond the Nuge, Taytay and Ebs, the Oilers have no one to do things with the puck that are good for offense and thus I am incredulous that having all of them out injured for lengthy periods would have been a drag on the team's scoring.
Taylor Hall has a scary black eye and a scarier gash on his forehead after he got his face good and stepped on earlier this week and people wonder whether that might force the NHL to start requiring players to wear visors in warmups.
A lot of guys in the league are mad about it, because they're also mad about the threat of having to wear visors and are therefore obviously not very smart. But any conversation we have about this kind of uptick in player safety measures are good ones.
So hey, at least the Oilers have done something positive for once. And you'll notice it's because one of them stepped on another one's face. And not because they're good at hockey. Because they're not.
To be fair it was one of those ones for toddlers that has like eight pieces. But TJ Oshie isn't that bright.
Of course what that headline ignores is that the Oilers scored zero goals in that game, but that probably goes back to the first point, doesn't it?
Please, don't interpret the above as my believing that the Flames are somehow in an enviable position for this game, this season or probably this decade. They are, of course, not.
This has been in no way helped by the team's injury situation, which isn't quite as severe as the Oilers in terms of the players affected, but certainly has taken its toll on what was already a shallow, mediocre team. Alex Tanguay and Brendan Morrison both skated this morning but the former won't play tonight and the latter is a gametime decision. This is in addition ot Curtis Glencross being out between six and eight weeks.
The good news for the Flames, if you want to call it that (and I don't, particularly) is that Mike Cammalleri has been playing pretty well — largely because I think he's been real effort-y in ways that he had not been in Montreal — since coming over in trade for brickhead Rene Bourque.
This is the final night of a three-game road trip and to say the Oilers are their worst competition on it is like saying Jupiter is the biggest planet in the solar system: It's very, very obvious. The previous games were an shootout loss to the Sharks and a shootout win over the Kings, who are first and second in their division, respectively and, unlike the Flames or Oilers, comfortably in the Western Conference playoffs.
What does that mean? That the Flames are actually playing well enough to get points in games, which you can't say about Edmonton.
Because Edmonton sucks.
For those who want lines and such, Pat Steinberg has you covered.
I don't know how to make a chat window appear at the top of this post but I'm assuming one of my editors does so I leave that to him (indeed I do - ed.). Have a good night. Or don't.
In fact, you probably won't.