Friday, November 23


Oilers lose; Greener eats all my food.

Last night I watched Greener walk out my door, flanked by two pack mules carrying away all my Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. It turned out to be an appropriate metaphor for the way the Oilers played. With a 4-7 home record, the Oilers have been pretty charitable hosts thus far this season, and last night was no different. A string of lazy penalties, turnovers and little or no urgency. Colorado came into their house, ate their dinner and left with 2 points. Now, Greener is poor and can't afford to feed himself, so my gesture was somewhat philanthropic. The Oilers? They're currently living under the Western Conference freeway underpass, and therefore, should be fighting for every morsel.

Listening to MacT's post-game comments, you could just hear the exasperation and disappointment in his voice. He sounded like a man who didn't know what to do next. The Oilers slipped to 8-13-1 with the loss, but a win last night would have put them just 4 points back of 2nd place in the conference. That's how ridiculous the standings are right now. That would have been a nice carrot to dangle in front of a young, inconsistent team. Instead they got another tough lesson in an important game.

Staying Afloat

The Oilers are starting to get healthy (albeit slowly), with Joni Pitkanen returning last night. His ability to skate the puck out of the defensive zone will be most welcome, as will his presence on the PP. MacT has talked a lot about trying to stay in the race until the injuries clear up, but with the inconsistency the team has shown, two wins in these last two home games against Chicago and Columbus are almost imperative. That's no easy task considering they are two of the most improved teams in the conference. Pisani and Souray look like they're next in the way of reinforcements, while Ethan Moreau is still 4-6 weeks away.

Lock It Up

Never mind Jarret Stoll, the most pressing RFA on Kevin Lowe's plate should be Tom Gilbert. He's shown this year that he's a top-4 guy with great poise and a head for the game. Meanwhile, Stoll, who most people thought could be an offer-sheet candidate, is playing himself out of a long term, big money deal, into a one year "show me" deal.

I'll Bet You Can't... me 10 better all-around centers than Shawn Horcoff. I'm talking offence, defence, face-offs, penalty-killer, the whole package. The best Oiler again last night.

Quick Bits (not to be confused with TimBits)

- Roloson should get the nod tomorrow against Chicago. Garon looked to be fighting the puck last night and wasn't particularly sharp (except for the shootout) in the win against Vancouver.

- It was interesting to hear Horcoff talk about the Oilers watching film of other teams PP's to see what makes them work. WHAT A NOVEL CONCEPT! If you noticed, the last two games (in which they've scored 4 PP goals) there has been much more movement away from the puck (like Gilbert's goal against Vancouver).

- Also, I like the fact that MacT has given some first unit PP time to Gagner, Cogliano and even Nilsson, but I don't need Geoff Sanderson on there.

- So much for the 'new' Raffi Torres. Now 15 games without a goal.

- Amazingly, Tom Gilbert took his first penalty of the year last night. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing.