I want to take just a little bit of time out of our daily routine here to talk to the huddled masses of Edmonton Oilers fans, if that’s okay with you, Citizens. We’re slowly descending into the Christmas season, and that’s always an opportune time to help out the less fortunate, and reflect upon how good we have it sometimes. And the fanbase for that sinking ship up north, they are certainly struggling.
The team has lost 8 games in a row in their 8th season of what is probably a decade long rebuild, if not more. The team is misguided by a rag tag group of doddering lunkheads that have no vision, no appetite for success, and continue to steer the ship off course completely unabated by the ones who sign the checks. It’s grim, and it shows no signs of improving at all.
So, as Flames fans, maybe it’s time we put aside our petty differences once and for all, and extend an olive branch to the disenfranchised. After all, your Calgary Flames are a have team right now (as in, they HAVE been winning), and all signs point to this being a franchise that is doing their rebuild the right way, so maybe it’s selfish to keep that to ourselves.
Therefore, I’m sending out a call to you, Edmonton, and make no mistake, this is a limited time offer: I’m granting you, the fan, the opportunity to join our ranks. Become a Flames fan. It’s the lifestyle change you need, not the one you deserve.
Are we SURE the Oilers logo isn’t a teardrop?
— Ol’ Flooby (@bookofloob) November 23, 2014
What’s in it for you? Well, for one, you no longer have to cheer for a listless suck squad who can’t find their own ass when it’s planted firmly on the toilet. But I could see how you could have some misgivings about abandoning an organization you’ve probably very passionately rooted for all your life, and one that, if you’re old enough, used to provide you with results. There used to be a winning tradition in Edmonton, there used to be a day when the Oilers would collect a small army of young superstars who actually lived up to their potential and played winning hockey.
Well those days are over, and you know it. This team may never win again, so it’s time to step off. Adapt or die. The Flames assembly will welcome you with open arms if you act now. Consider it a compliance buyout of fandom. You dump the Blue for Red, no harm, no foul. It’s not very often you get an offer you can’t refuse.
If you’re somehow not convinced, let’s look at some in depth reasons why you’d want to better your life.
— Hank (@HankMarducas6) November 20, 2014
well, first of all, look at the Oilers. A continual laughing stock. This team is forever the monkey passing out from sniffing it’s own butt. The Screech of the league. The Jim Belushi of hockey.
It’s the place where potential goes to die. Dallas Eakins was, at one point, probably a very smart hockey mind. I believe the ability to make wise decisions lives within him, but in practice, this is what his system looks like:
— Grady S (@GradySas) November 20, 2014
And that’s just one example, but this sort of thing happens ALL THE TIME. All this high end first round talent just amasses itself in Edmonton, and while they may all still pan out, the rate at which they put it together is downright glacial. It took America less time to get out of Iraq. If the Oilers draft one more Top 5 pick, it’s considered a spree.
Why does Edmonton continue to drive itself into a tailspin when it’s teeming with young talent? Well that’s easy. The team got Lowe.
Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish, alleged champions, continue to cocoon their stars with a dearth of human garbage. It’s like insulating electric wires with water and lightning.
As Flames fans can attest to, you can have the most dangerous winger in the league on your team, but if you don’t have centers, you are screwed. And the Oilers are so shallow at that position they’re chafing their nipples against the sand.
The Flames, meanwhile, continue to learn from their mistakes and have acquired a real depthy core of centerman, some poised to take really big steps in the short to mid term. Backlund, Monahan, Bennett, Granlund, even guys like Stajan, Byron and Colborne, they have formed a natural competition at the position that has been breeding success. When one guy goes down (or three), the next center on the totem pole moves up a line and no one notices a difference.
It also helps that there are elite defensemen in Calgary, with Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie asserting themselves as the class pairing of the league. Edmonton spent almost 8.2 million dollars on Nikita Nikitin and Justin Schultz, and just try to get through that note without laughing.
Or, if you identify as an Oilers fan, crying.
It certainly helps having goalies that make the saves when they need to as well, which, well, you know. Calgary, whose front office doesn’t appear to spend it’s lunch breaks huffing glue, identified that their goaltending core was not up to snuff last season, and took a laboured approach into fixing it, and boy howdy, it worked. Gone is goalie coach Clint Malarchuk, gone is Swiss Perpetual 90’s Time Loop Reto Berra. In are new coach Jordan Sigalet, and Swiss Cheese but without the holes Jonas Hiller and his bumpin’ Koho pads (an added bonus to becoming a Flames fan).
The team now boasts league average goaltending, while Edmonton has the lowest team save percentage in the league at 888. 888! At least that’s an easy number to remember.
Edmonton did of course fire it’s own goaltending coach, but that was less because yeah they probably needed to, and more because they’re too cowardly to make a real change and need a fall guy.
exclusive shot of Frederic Chabot leaving Rexall Place after being fired pic.twitter.com/fNZQx3FqdJ
— Ol’ Flooby (@bookofloob) November 24, 2014
if you need more reasons, might I suggest you peruse #HereComeTheOilers?
Can’t Even Magic
Sure, it’s no secret that the Flames are riding the waves of an insanely high PDO right now (1022 as of this writing), and that is surely going to even out along this journey, leading to some leaner results in the future. Flames fans, to some degree, have accepted this, but are also aware that some of the numbers do show inspiring possession growth over time as well, and the falling to earth will include a parachute.
To put it another way, this team can handle the decline. Hell, it’s better than where they’ve been. But while Calgary endures their time on top with a little bit of unexplainable razzle dazzle, the Oilers remain cursed.
Despite showing positive upswings in both CorsiFor and FenwickFor percentages, the Oilers, as you may have noticed, can’t win a goddamn thing.
It’s led to an annoying regression from mainstream media, reverting back to their same tired jokes and criticisms we had to endure in the days before the Summer of Corsi, but otherwise it’s mostly been hilarious. Edmonton continues to succeed downwards.
Some say that if the Oilers could get some center depth and a goalie who can make a save here or there, that this would all turn around and that these stronger possession numbers would result in more wins.
I say, Edmonton is a blighted suckhole where all logic and reason go to die, and no matter what positive moves they make to correct their litany of blunders, the sinkhole will continue to widen and this team will be stuck on the bottom forever because that’s what you get for hiring clowns to run a hockey team.
Why would anyone want to identify with that? What is wrong with you, Oiler fans, have you no pride? Are you masochists? Do you not yearn to feel joy? To remember what is it to smile?
Heh, you know I’m playing wit ya, don’t you Edmonton? There is absolutely no way I, or any of us in the C of Red, want you and your backwater subsistence anywhere near our young and precious Flames. You’d probably come down here and get your Oiler all over the place, and then it would infect everything we love and we’d never get to see the Flames win a game ever again.
And we like seeing the Flames win games.
We like it about the same amount as we like seeing the Oilers lose everything.
There’s no room for you anyway, the rest of the hockey world is already clamoring to hitch a ride on this bandwagon. I guess that’s what results get you, but I don’t know, this is new for us too.
Maybe one day you’ll get it together, and I won’t feel the need to pity you (even briefly) to the point where I want to take care of you like you’re some kind of sick, three legged puppy with asthma and wears an Oilers jersey. But I seriously doubt it. I envision a scenario, sometime in February, where your team is on the verge of finally winning a game, only to have the power at Rexall go out for days and the site of your new arena fractures itself into oblivion, and you all have to go on, as always, lurking in the darkness, hoping for someone, anyone, to extend an arm, and tell you it’s going to be okay, that the warm embrace of sweet death is nigh. And also Gretzky decides to piss on the City of Champions sign. And Messier elbows your mother. And Esa Tikannen moves to town full time.
And you totally deserve it.
Anyway, I’m the Book of Loob wishing a prosperous holiday season to you and yours.