Round 1 of The Battle of Alberta doubleheader goes tonight in what was originally going to be an absolute blowout final two games between the Oil and the Flames. That was before GDB No. 1, when hope ran high. Fast forward to GDB 81 and this game suddenly means less than a game of chess between Paris and Nicky Hilton. It will also be just as futile and pathetic.
But even though the games mean nothing to the season overall, emotionally this game still means a lot to hardcore Oilers and Flames fans. Both camps are bitterly disappointed in their squads of late, yet Flames fans will continue to see playoff games featuring their favorite team. The OilersNation, again, will not.
TLP and Wanye have been accused of being the same person in the past. A quick search at the “imaginary internet people directory” shows they are very different. One hails from the Boston area, the other from the frozen tundra of E-town. One loves Hannah Montana, the other Billy Ray Cyrus. Both believe that their respective teams have completely dropped the ball and are willing to discuss tonight:
TLP: I have complied a list of five Reasons why the Flames have been the bigger disappointment, and by “compiled,” I mean, “hastily scribbled down on the back of my suicide note while I read a pamphlet on noose preparation.”
- Miikka Kiprusoff has a 2.85 GAA and .892 sv % since the deadline and has lost in nine of his 16 appearances.
- Dion Phaneuf, a Norris Trophy nominee just last year, has been on the ice for 116 goals against this year and is currently a -11.
- Despite a much better group around him, Jarome Iginla’s goal total has dropped from 50 in 82 games in 2007-08 to 35 in 80 this year.
- Calgary hasn’t scored a power play goal since March 23 and has given up five or more goals 16 times this year, including two eight-goal nights. The two teams that scored eight were Toronto and Tampa. Yes, you read that correctly.
- Calgary’s likely playoff opponent, barring a literal miracle taking place and the Lord Our Savior Jesus Christ intervening and preventing the Canucks from earning two points this weekend, is Chicago. The Flames went 0-3-1 against the Blackhawks this year and allowed 19 goals in four games. They also only scored seven.
So, y’know, the Flames are pretty much boned.
Wanye: Be that as it may one must remember that you Flames fans get little sympathy in the OilersNation because: a) we hate you and b) you are at least going to be able to see a first round exit. Up here? Not so much.
So here are five reasons why the Oilers have been the bigger dissappointment, by Wanye von Gretz IV.
- The Edmonton Oilers have not won more games than they’ve lost in any season since the lockout.
- No Oiler has scored 30 goals since Ryan Smyth was traded for a) a forward with 29 total points b) a forward prospect who has spent the entire year in the AHL, with 1 goal to show for it and c) a draft pick spent on a defenseman who may not even get an entry level contract.
- The entire organization is screwed. The Oilers farm team is so bad that of all the players to spend the entire season there, only one has a positive plus-minus — a 32-year old journeyman who spent last season in Austria.
- Mathieu Garon, expected to be the starting goaltender, floundered so badly that he lost his job and was traded midseason. The 24-year old prospect who replaced him as backup not only has worse numbers but is trusted so little that he hasn’t started an NHL game since November.
- Outside of Ales Hemsky, no Oilers’ forward has even 20 goals. Only one team in the NHL has both a worse penalty kill and a worse powerplay than the Oilers and only two teams have scored fewer goals at home than the Oilers.We just can’t stop at five, either…
- The Oilers best goal-scorer is in a nine-way tie for 73rd in the NHL.
- Andrew Cogliano is on pace to be the NHL’s worst faceoff man in the last decade. Sam Gagner is only marginally better.
- No Oilers player managed to reach a point per game pace this season.
- The Oilers best defensive prospect at the start of the season, Taylor Chorney, is -29 in the AHL. The Oilers are so bad that he’s currently on their NHL roster.
- Having said all of that they are still better than the Flames, who can expect back to back ass kickings from the Oilers en route to a first-round exit.
TLP: Yeah, you’re right. You guys really are the worst.
Enjoy the game, everyone.