Saturday, March 31, 2007

Vancouver Post-Game

Suck it, McGeough!

(Please fire him, or let him retire. Maybe Leanne can post a postgame, I am too infuriated that this clown can still blow his whistle. Also, Bob Cole was terrible. He sounds like my senile grandfather.)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Torture (Minnesota pre-game #2)

Clearly it's my passing out which is doing it. Worked for the Hitmen again last night, ha!

I spent most of Tuesday's game dead asleep (not my choice, darn this flu), and that seems to have clinched things. I'm told that the game was probably more enjoyable that way, especially via radio.

There's some definite positives to take from last game. A strong showing by Kipper is probably the most notable. There were times when I was conscious enough to take in the play-by-play, and just think, for any random shot, "I don't think that's going in." And ha! I was right all of the time Tuesday night despite being drugged up to the gills and semi-conscious. What else? I'm liking the pairing of Warrener and Hale a lot. I don't know what it is, but Warrener seems to be struggling less with Hale around. Or maybe that "full-body injury" is healing.

Others have chimed in with negatives... but meh, it's been a downer of a week anyways off the ice. So get well soon ST and HG (how weird is it that we all make trips to sick bay this week?), and let's go for another road win...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Agony (Minnesota Pre-Game #1)

Well, replicating exactly what I did last game will be one part easy and one part tough.

Chips? Not happening. Passing out? Should be very workable.

Tonight should be about as pleasant for the boys as it is for me. They're playing the Wild, I've got the flu.

I don't have much else to say... yes, it's a road game, yes, it's a must-win, yes, we need more points between ourselves and Colorado...

Sigh. Back to bed then...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Chicago Pre-Game

I have been awoken from the throes of apathy with a couple wins in a row over genuinely good teams. Maybe the season isn't over yet!

I do admit to being more distracted lately with my fantasy leagues. They're in the playoffs and all of my matchups are extremely close, including this week's matchup with Leanne. May the best man win, eh Leanne?

Calgary is simply the better team. Here's hoping the score reflects that...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Breathing easier

Last night's game was more like it. A 2-1 score, grabbing the lead and never ever letting go of it, and most importantly, a win. More like the Flames of yore, taking care of business in their own end before trying to rack up the score in the other end.

Here's hoping Detroit can get their act together and take #1 in the Central Division. After a game like last night, I'd much rather play them in the first round than Nashville.

Are we out of the bushes yet? Until we eliminate Colorado from the running, nope. I will also be more convinced should we pull together a game like this against Nashville, perhaps even with scoring while even-strength. Or, if Sutter doesn't have to walk into the dressing room today and give the same speech as Monday. Or, if Vokoun or Mason doesn't flop down with the puck in play, hoping to draw the goalie interference.

But we'll see? The month or so before playoffs start should be exciting - in Calgary it was too long a time where they weren't. I'd love to get in handily, but as long as we end up on top of that line instead of under, we might as well enjoy the ride...

Anyways. Anybody scared about playing Nashville tomorrow night? I know I am.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

I have to admit, I've been trying to stay away from the Flames this weekend. No reading the papers online, barely touched all the goodness that is the hockey blogosphere. I did listen to part of the game before it was time to hit the bar for St. Paddy's, but sigh, I heard enough.

Part of it was the exhaustion that resulted from doing the liveblog the other night. It was a lot of fun, I was flattered that so many of you stopped by and camped out, and I totally want to do it again. But it was more tiring than I might have thought it might be. Worth it though!

The other bit is (as everybody I'm sure is doing) trying to decide whether I want to look hard at the Flames right now. The way the last couple of weeks have been, I wonder whether they're so brittle that looking at them the wrong way might just break them into little pieces.

It doesn't look good, does it? The abysmal road record wasn't much more than a curiosity going into this month. Now it's a glaring weakness. The idle speculation we had about Playfair and how he might feel about his job security has turned into a fairly common rant amongst Flames fans and the mainstream media. We've dropped two games against divisional opponents over the last couple of days, and Colorado is within striking distance as of tonight, a mere four points away.

And it gets worse. The remnants of our last real homestand before the playoffs consist of games with Nashville and Detroit. The remnants of our season consist of a road-heavy schedule against teams we won't eat for breakfast (or midnight snacks).

I don't know where we're going. I'm not ready to do a post-mortem on the season (and post-season) that was, but at the same time, I have to acknowledge that it doesn't look good, eternal optimist though I am. I don't see Sutter deciding to walk into the dressing room tomorrow and taking over - I am convinced at this point that barring, say, a Stanley Cup win, Playfair will have a different job next year, with the Flames organization, or outside of it.

I will say this much more. If the guys can pull through this and fight to keep that playoff spot, I will be much more confident about their chances making it through more than one round of the playoffs. They will have managed to prove that they can pull together through adversity, through challenges, through a whole lot of shit that's getting thrown at them.

Will it happen? I dunno...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hey, is there a Flames game tonight?

And, here's a great idea for a drinking game when watching a Canucks game with colour by Drew Remenda: Every time he says "slap pass", take a drink. Everyone would be smashed by the end of the 1st. God, I hate him. I hate him.

I hate him, almost as much as I hate Minnesota.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dallas liveblog

Thought I'd run away from our Flames for good, hey? It's been a bit busy between work and other things, but I haven't gone away. I haven't done a lot of useful analysis lately... maybe my play by play will be better.

11:09 PM I believe Dave has already done the post game. That will be all. Thanks for hanging out, everyone. We'll have to do it again sometime.

11:05 PM Bah. They bag an empty netter. Physicality ensues. Well...I think that's it kids....

11:02 PM Woo! The big line. 3-2, finally.

11:01 PM I didn't even have time to pick up the needles again. Another PP. I will give Dallas this - it's not as if they're trying hard to run away with this game.

10:57 PM No dice.

10:53 PM P2tog without slipping sts off needle, then K2tog over same sts...P2to...

Oh. We're on the PP again.

10:51 PM Oh, Iggy. Just shoot it. Like Ritchie just did.

10:47 PM Hagman lamed by a lousy shot block. Good pressure this PP. No dice yet. This is definitely a better effort tonight by the guys Who Were Named, but... well. We will see.

Stupid broken sticks. Susan.

10:45 PM Ha! Boucher off to the box, after some decent pressure by the boys. Am I the only one who thinks, "Chuckwagon driver" when I hear "Kelly Sutherland?"

10:44 PM Fantastic chance by Huselius. No dice. I swear I heard "Marvin Turco."

10:40 PM Noodles makes a key save on a post-PP break. PK wasn't too shoddy, but was two minutes we couldn't spend trying to score.

10:37 PM Primeau again. This is the same script we saw last night, but with more emotion.

10:32 PM Modano's back. Our Davey loses his assist, which goes to Hammer.

10:23 PM 2nd intermission, Out of Town Scoreboard edition It's a good night for the NHL. So far the lowest announced attendance is 15,091 at TD Banknorth Garden. Callups: D. Fata? Is that any relation to that prime ex-Flames prospect, Rico? And much like back in the days of Joe Who, are sportswriters 'round the league going to have to learn how to spell Dubielewicz on a regular basis?

Oh god, I think they're brothers.

10:18 PM No word from the dressing room about Regehr. We'll be lucky if they'll acknowledge that he's injured at all, much like Conroy or Warrener.

10:13 PM Hm. This doesn't work when they keep on shooting it down the ice, does it? Buzz.

10:11 PM Oooo! PP! Say what you will, it's been a good two days for that. Time to pimp the Club Card for Safeway(TM) for Score & Win (TM)

10:08 PM Guess who's on in the Hockey Update by Japanese Village(TM)? None other than Darryl Reaugh...Play resumes. Kipper hasn't traded ballcap for mask, so Noodles must be either ok, or in his playing-with-broken-sternum mode. Oh, don't start with the Dallas-leading-after-two-periods-with-two-goals-stats.

Happy thoughts!

Still no Regehr.

10:06 PM Not good. That last goal seems to have shifted the momentum of the game a bit. Noodles gets hit by a Boucher shot. Mask is off. Uh-oh.

10:02 PM I knew that was going to happen as soon as I hit Ctrl-S on my last entry. 3-1 Dallas. Oh, right! Happy thoughts! Um. Ovechkin finally puts one behind a goalie in a shootout? I check the scoresheet. Zubov is making me feel unclean. But. He is generating happy thoughts.

10:00 PM What do you think? Primeau this time. With Modano's bell rung, and a good period to this point, we better see some stepping up and the tightest PK ever.

9:56 PM Modano gets Phaneufed. He's down for the count. I wanna see this on the highlights with my morning cereal. HG's boy is clearly back, much abashed for his off-ice behaviour, and struggling to make amends...

9:52 PM Maher is clearly unused to the idea of Noodles playing. More good chances for our boys. They would be so good if they played like this all the time...

9:49 PM Iggy gets a fantastic chance off a blocked shot then running it in on a breakaway. Only a chance though. Damn you, Marty!

9:46 PM It sounds like it's been a good couple of shifts...except that the puck's been our zone an awful lot. Peter Maher can't keep his Finns straight. Apparently Jussi Markaanen is playing this one.

9:42 PM About not getting enough time with the man advantage... Lombardi! 2-1. Woot! From Moss and Tanguay.

9:39 PM Dammit, can't Edmonton do anything right? PP sounds ok to me. We just don't get enough time with the man advantage ;)

9:34 PM Here we go again... the radio guys seem to have been reading more positives out of Perry Berezan's spiel than I did. Modano goes to the box.

9:28 PM Perry Berezan thinks the guys have to have emotion in their bellies, like teenaged la-la-la-la-I-don't-waanna-hear-you emo kids. But with discipline!

9:18 PM Not much time in the first period thank goodness. New offensive style or not, did anybody imagine Chris Clark would bag a hat trick before anyone playing for Calgary?

9:13 PM Way to end the PP. Hamrlik gets some time off. Our guys seem pretty out of control tonight. Should I be glad I can't hear all the "combustible," "explosive," "burnout" type puns on TV right now?

9:09 PM Oh. We get to go on the PP now. How refreshing. It would have been nice if the Stars hadn't got the first chance after the penalty started. And not that we'd use him on the PP, but still no Regehr.

9:05 PM Sigh. Let's see how we play even strength, hey? Eventually? Stars ahead 2-0. Still on PP. Must not get tea stains on baby blanket in-progress.

9:02 PM Another minor. Noodles, for unsportsmanlike?

9:00 PM Hey Dave: "Bringing the only guy you know with louder lungs than you? Priceless." Eh. EH?? Man, I love having all those repetitive radio commercials... Regehr is a bit shaken up apparently. Woo! Susan can play more minutes! Woo!

8:56 PM, II I take my last comment back. Modano is one step closer to passing Joey Mullen.

8:56 PM Looks like the PK is holding together. But could we stop taking penalties? Ack ack ack...

8:51 PM Aw, Matt from BofA is doing a liveblog too? This groupthink thing is ridiculous. I swear I decided to do this spontaneously, in a grumpy-no-life-but-hockey mood.

8:46 PM PK actually came through, we're still going offside, and I've decided there's no point in tracking who's playing with who tonight. If I hadn't picked up Zubov for one of my fantasy teams, I'd be very mad at him.

8:41 PM 41 seconds into the game, and Stuart draws one for highsticking. Way to start things on a good note. Also, why the hell am I doing this working just off the radio?

8:38 PM Rough flight, eh, boys? No Hale, no Yelle, no Conroy, no Warrener. Noodles, no Kipper. Let's see what happens. I'm not taking it as a good sign that my not-typing project is done in colours of white, and green, and yellow.

For what it's worth, there were some bright spots last night. The PP, Lombardi, Moss, and Giordano, namely. It wasn't a pretty game. I don't have much else to say that hasn't already been said and won't drag us through the same old, same old again. Say, aren't we glad this isn't 2002?

Dallas Pre-Game | Dallas Post-Game

Blah blah blah must win blah blah blah string wins together blahblahblah tough road game blahblahblah turn it around bla-bla-blahhhBLAHBLAH PLAYFAIR BLAHBLAHblahblah blah...blahblahblahdamnyoueviltwinsblah :( Go Flames!


Preemptive Post-Game:
Damnit! Why can't this team play on the road, even in clutch games? I'm tired of the excuses. Minnesota has a joke of a schedule (games against awful teams like Edmonton and LA and St. Louis) and there is no way we can catch up playing like this. UGH! Disgusts me. Words escape me, except for the ones preceding this sentence.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Colorado Post-Game

An astute reader will notice this is posted during the third period of the game. Yes, we're only down by 1 goal, but it's clear that it's over. Awful effort from everyone on the team. I'm not sure what there else to say.

Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong, but I don't see it happening. I still blame Playfair, for what it's worth.

Will we stay or will we go now?

Tonight, the Flames do battle with Colorado. We need to get out of #8 in the West to have a chance at surviving the first-round of the playoffs, so we need to string some wins together. My aggravation with Playfair continues to reach new heights, I'm sure Leanne will get sick of me yelling at him during tonight's game.

In my eyes, there is absolutely no reason why this team should not be in 1st in the NW, comfortably. The only thing I can possibly think of is the team is somewhat direction-less. As far as I can tell, there is no cohesive strategy or system which is in pale contrast to Darryl Sutter's approach. I think a lot of players simply get confused by the lack of rigid structure. This works to the benefit of many players, including most of our forwards, but it results in higher goals against also.

I'm thrilled our boys are scoring, but we're letting in too many. Last season I was far more confident in our team than this season, simply because the efforts are inconsistent and even our good efforts seem to result in a lot of goals against. This is not Flames hockey, and until we start playing Flames hockey with this new group of players, the Flames will not become a truly elite team.

I need the Flames to restore my confidence tonight. Tonight will be a litmus test for me: if they let in more than two goals, I'm going to be very, very upset.

I would make my token prediction at this point, but your guess is as good as mine. This team is unpredictable...

Edit: As I post this, I see the article from CBC in our "recent nhl feeds' feature, and see it touches on many of the same points I have. hockeygirl is in a similar depressive funk about the team as I'm in, but she seems to be seeing the bright light coming. Hopefully I can be in the same boat after tonight's game.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Enough, already!

The guys on the radio likened this in their post-game to a zombie movie... it's not a bad metaphor for the game. It was ugly, and the bad guys kept on coming back after you thought them safely dead.

I do want to give some props to St. Louis. It's clear from the two games over the last week that this isn't the same team that started the year. Definitely a team that's rebuilding, stocked full of names that might not be horribly familiar to most of us, but they've definitely improved a lot. Kudos to Andy Murray - I've liked him ever since his turn as a rather wry colour commentator during the playoffs last year.

I'm a bit annoyed that we blew as many leads as we did - especially at home, I have this sense that yes, we should be able to put away a team like this, with a two goal lead in hand. I'm going to blame our coverage in the defensive zone again. It's a bit frustrating since we were well known for being good at this not that long ago.

Well... we can always look ahead. We have a phenomenal chance to put the Avs out of their misery in Denver Wednesday. Here's hoping the boys get it done.

1:45 AM Anyone know what to make of this?

Blue Monday

Yes, yes, I know...enough with the terrible puns already!

We're all a bit down again with their performance lately. I don't have much to say about Saturday night, except that I too dropped my dinner, and John Tortorella dresses every bit as badly as our Jimmy. I'd like to see some improved defensive zone coverage, especially in our own barn. Tampa managed to generate a lot of PPs and well, goals, because we simply weren't able to clear the puck efficiently.

Other local hockey news... you have to check out the Herald's post-game summary of yesterday afternoon's Hitmen game. Crazy attendance figures for a game in the juniors, vomiting (I feel your pain, Spence), and a goalie fight! What's not to like?

Umm. Back to the big boys. I'm still not that worried about playing the Blues, particularly at home. I can't help but emphasize how important it is for the guys to try and move up the standings a bit before the playoffs start - who really wants to play Nashville for starters? More to the point, who wants to play more teams after they play Nashville for starters?

There are some bright spots out there. I think the tandem of Stuart and Regehr is improving - Stuart had what I thought was his most impressive game so far Saturday night, with some amazing plays to help out Kipper. And will we see Friesen extend his goal-scoring streak to three games? A lot of people have been dumping on Friesen all year, though I've suspected for a while that it hasn't been completely deserved. One day, when I have more free time and the inclination to do a bit of number crunching, I'll present a deeper analysis. But Friesen has been quietly playing a lot of hard minutes on the PK, and I think he's a big reason why our special teams have improved this year.

What else, what else? Hale is getting better though not ready to play yet (or should I say, not hale yet? I kill myself, hahahaha), Conroy is reportedly out with an upper body something (Saturday night I thought it was a knee or somesuch). Hopefully Lombardi can retrieve some of his minutes and get himself out of the doghouse (or is that the igloo with the cute baby seals?).

That said, I think we can expect a strong game from the boys, especially because they lost on HNIC.

I'm going keep on predicting 5-2 for the good guys, until they win another one.

PS. One further lil' administrative note. We got off our lazy asses and finally signed ourselves up for some email action. Hate us? Love us? Let us know, at openicehits (-@-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Really Overdue (Tampa Post-Game)

(Apologies for the latency of this post, I spent today driving across southern Ontario to visit sick relatives)

That sucked.

I'm getting pretty dismayed with this team. Mediocre just isn't going to cut it. It looks like we are aiming for an 8th seed to take on a 1st seed Nashville and, well, if that's the case we may as well just pack our things and go home now.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Overdue (Tampa Bay Pre-game)

Not too much to say.

It was disappointing to have lost the last game of the road trip in Nashville, but having done a rough survey of everybody in the blogosphere, I think we all vaguely expected that sort of outcome anyways.

That said, it was disappointing to have lost it in the way we did - we were competitive through the first period, at least. I would comment more on the game, but honestly, I bailed out once Nashville scored their third of the night (it's a busy life these days, sigh).

I'm not going to be around for all of tonight's game, and hope to watch the good parts version on Dave's PVR eventually.

This could be a mostly meaningless game, with an Eastern Conference rival, but it won't be, will it? The Herald today raised an excellent point, about how it's just been too damn long since we played them. The Lightning should be less challenging than Nashville was the other night - on the other hand, we know all too well they're not a team to be taken lightly. I note that David Hale is still out of the lineup - here's hoping things will be better for him soon.

Look for the Flames to exorcise the ghosts of playoffs past (It was IN, dammit!) and kill TBay. 5-2 for the good guys. And no bloody double overtimes ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Nashville Post-Game

An accurate description of how I feel right now.

Coach Dave has some tips for the Flames:

  • Don't give the top team in the NHL two 5 on 3s.
  • Discover the phrase "defensive-zone coverage."
  • Play hard all game, don't take a shift off.
  • Somebody get Hamrlik a copy of the NHL Rulebook, that man is one confused player
The simple truth is we're not going to win anything in the post-season until we can beat top teams on the road. And we can't do it. Shape up or ship out, boys, we're getting close to the real thing.

I would post some more information specifically regarding the game, but there's really not much point. The first period we played 19 minutes, then we took a night off. I think Iginla and Friesen are the only guys who showed up tonight.

Hold me, I'm scared! (Nashville Pre-game)

Tonight is the acid test, the make-it-or-break-it, the game that sees whether the Evil Twins are still lingering in hotels across the continent, or whether they've gone back to their cave somewhere in the luggage handlers' lunch room at Calgary International.

We are riding an unprecedented TWO game winning streak on the road (I believe we had one other, but this was bracketed by multiple games back in the confines of the 'Dome). Unprecedented! There's some good things that are happening on the team. I like that they have the confidence to battle back after things haven't been going well. I like that our top line looks like, well, our top line. I like guy like Primeau and Moss and Conroy coming in and lookin' damn good.

There's still some minuses. More than a week after we got him, we have yet to see David Hale in action, and we won't get that chance tonight, as apparently he's flown back to Calgary already. There's Lombardi and his magic stick-to-the-bench act. Our reacquisition of Conroy was more or less a direct challenge to him, and the role he wants to have on this team. Dude's gotta step up. And finally, there's Kipper. He cannot let in softies like the two the other night if we want to have a chance tonight.

And Nashville? I have been saying for well over a year that they are the team that scares me sleepless in the league. They're the top team in the league at present. They're a team which has had a history of frustrating the Flames to no end. They seem to have it made this year, especially with the addition of Forsberg. To be honest, despite injuries to guys like Scott Hartnell and Steve Sullivan, it still doesn't look very good.

Against their speedy forwards, we have to go back to that gritty game which used to be the hallmark of Flames hockey. And with guys on the defense like Shea Weber, our guys will just have to outlast their guys. And goaltending...we'd better remember to put as many on the net as we can. We'll need them. I think we'll be lucky if we take this to extra time. But we shall see, won't we?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Blue Moon?

We beat the Oilers while on the road for the second time Saturday, and tonight we beat the Blues while on the road for the second time this season.

Pretty cool. We're not out of the bushes yet. While St. Louis has improved significantly since Andy Murray was hired, they're still not the type of team we're aiming for. I will be more convinced if say, we can beat Nashville on Thursday, or swallow alive another team close to that caliber.

There were some things I did like though.

Comeback kids While I predicted a 5-2 win, I didn't quite expect the Blues to get their two in the first period. Some tough luck with goaltending, but good on the guys for battling back for the 4-2 win.

The big guns For the first time in (I think) a while, the top line really did deserve top billing. The guys on the Fan 960 broadcast kept on emphasizing how Craig Conroy in particular had to get his game going after being relatively quiet - and they responded. The combination of Iggy/Conroy/Tanguay contributed to every single goal tonight.

And thanks for coming out All in all, the Flames played one of their most complete games in recent history. Good pressure throughout the game - the kind which you need if you're going to win consistently on the road.

Next up: A team that's scared me senseless since Christmas 2005. Then. I've been looking forward to the one after that since June 2004, I think. Time to get some back.

The Spirit of St. Louis (STL pre-game)

This is a big game for Calgary - not so much (I think) for the other guys.

I don't think I need to spend much time re-iterating all those things we need to watch. The Evil Twins. Defensive zone coverage. Killer instinct. Ad nauseam...

What's interesting to me is the story coming out of St. Louis right now. Any franchise that invites all guests under the age of sixteen to come in for free (as reported by the Herald this morning) and has days where they give away food for free is clearly not in good health.

At the same time, they made some shrewd trades over the deadline, and since Andy Murray was hired as head coach, have really begun to turn things around on the ice. They're still a puzzling team, with a lot of young guys. The goaltending has been hampered by injury issues all season long, and with the departure of Pronger, Guerin, Weight, and Tkachuk over the last couple of years, there really aren't any names you'd really recognize anymore.

For all intents and purposes, playoff spots in the West have already been locked up, so St. Louis has really nothing to play for besides pride, and perhaps the guys are already battling for spots on the roster. That said, their record has improved markedly over the last little while, and they will have momentum to build on next year, provided they can convince locals to come on out to the games.

I'm hoping our guys are hungrier. We got the worst deal the other night as Vancouver and Minnesota squeezed an extra point out between them, so we need to continue winning on the road. We beat Edmonton once going into Saturday and came out with two road wins against them - we have one road win in St. Louis so far this year. Let's make it two.

I want them to make a statement, preferably one that tells me just how far they'll go this year. 5-2 for the good guys.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Ryan Smyth Song

I wish I could take credit for this, but I found it circulating around online. If someone can let me know who wrote it I'll be happy to give them full credit.

Without further ado...the Ryan Smyth Song (to the tune of "American Pie"):

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How Ninety-Four used to make me smile.
And I knew if they had their chance
The Oil could make those people dance
And, maybe they’d be happy for a while.

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about the trade deadline,
But something touched me deep inside
The day The Mullet died.

So bye-bye, to this year's playoff drive.
Don't have Pronger any longer,
Or that Mike Peca guy.
Now them roughneck boys are drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?
"Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?"

Did you think we'd go all the way,
After watching Rollie play,
In the playoffs of last year?
Did you believe in Marc-Andre,
Was Pisani worth that extra pay,
And were the Oilers this year's team to fear?

Well, I know you love that long hairstyle
You've had that 'do for quite a while,
He made those goalies fret
By banging and crashing the net.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a red, red neck and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day The Mullet died.

I started singin’,
"Bye-bye" to this year's playoff drive.
Don't have Pronger any longer,
Or that Mike Peca guy.
Now us roughneck boys are drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?
"Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?"

For seventeen years we’ve had no Cup
And very, very, very little drafting luck
But that’s not how it used to be.
Then Messier came to have his number hung
In an old-time jersey with his praises sung
In a voice that came from you and me,

Oh, and while Big Dude was looking down,
The Cup was lifted and skated 'round,
Other fans were amused to see
Such blatant hypocrisy.

And while the Moose was shedding tears,
GM Lowe was avoiding jeers
By cowering underneath the arena tiers,
The day The Mullet died.

We were singing,
"Bye-bye", to this year's playoff drive.
Don't have Pronger any longer,
Or that Mike Peca guy.
Now us roughneck boys are drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?
"Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?"

I thought we'd get a D-man from the Blues
For some happy deadline news,
But that chance just upped and went away.
I went down to the Rexall rink
Where I hoped to see a team that didn't stink
But a fan there said Smytty wouldn't play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
MacT's boys were broken.
Now's there's guys I want to roast:
The owners, the coach, but KLowe most;
Now the Cup's headed for the coast (!)
Now The Mullet's died.

And they were singing,
"Bye-bye", to this year's playoff drive.
Don't have Pronger any longer,
Or that Mike Peca guy.
Now us roughneck boys are drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?
"Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?"

They were singing,
"Bye-bye", to this year's playoff drive.
Don't have Pronger any longer,
Or that Mike Peca guy.
Now us roughneck boys are drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’, "Did you see that Ryan Smyth cry?"

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Saturday Night's Alriiiight (Edmonton Post-Game)

First, props to Leanne for hosting a little hockey-Settlers of Catan shindig at her place last night. There were two Leafs fans, two Flames fans, and two Oilers fans that ended up coming -- only two of us went home happy with hockey. And that's how I like it.

Second, a pretty good game last night. I remain a bit concerned with how many turnovers we're giving. There was a particularly brutal one last night to give Sykora and incredible breakaway. Kipper bailed us out tonight, but I'm confident our players know that and will continue to work on reducing those giveaways.

Our defensive-zone coverage was noticeably improved, I think our new guys are starting to gel together more. Hamrlik and Phaneuf were solid, as usual. Where is Hale, by the way? I'd rather he screws up as he adjusts to the team now than in the playoffs...

I'm also amazed how fragile the Oilers are, both mentally and physically. Stortini doesn't have the balls to fight anyone on the Flames, it seems -- or MacT doesn't have the balls to let his team play with heart. Hemsky got injured, boo hoo. The Oilers, my friends, are not going to be a serious team for years to come -- maybe I'm not too unhappy with our division-heavy schedule afterall.

Thirdly, Leland Irving got himself another shutout last night. Lookin' good.

Bring on St. Louis! Time to string 'em together, boys.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Saturday, Saturdaaaaay!

Who isn't looking forward to this?

Besides the obvious suspects, of course.

It's been a lovely week to be an anti-fan. I had no idea how prophetic I was going to be, when I invited a bunch of Calgary/Edmonton fans to my place for board games and pizza, when I mentioned we could also watch the game:

"Oh! Also, there's a Calgary/Edmonton game on the tube! What could possibly go wrong?"

What indeed?

Yes, it's a road game, but it's a Saturday night game, televised on HNIC. As I noted last week, this is a good sign, since the Evil Twins seem to like to mug up to the camera more than 13-year-olds wandering down Queen Street near the CityTV building.

It's no reason to take the Oilers lightly - they probably do want to score some goals at some time this week, but the advantage is definitely to Calgary at the moment.

I'm going to keep it short and sweet. We're coming in on a high, they're going in on a low. Kipper gets a better view of Rexall Place, and the only losing that happens to the good guys will be to me, as I get slaughtered playing board games.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I take it back, I take it all back.


And nevermind the new NHL. I hope Bettman choked on his morning biscotti when he realized that we generated another trappy sister-kisser in the 'Dome last night.

My thoughts on the game (minus the ten minutes I spent passed out and oblivious to everything):

Kipper is back. Easily the best player on either team on the ice last night.
Gift-wrapped. Was it just me, or should we have been able to put more than one shot past Harding, given how little time he's spent playing? I guess we need to give some credit to Minnesota's D for collasping around him.
Gift-wrapped, Part II. Praise be to Iggy, indeed, but praise also the refs and Brett Burns. Why do other players in the NW always forget that when you make Iggy mad, he will make you pay? Not that I'm complaining. And nothng beats watching highlights in the morning and seeing that zillion-watt-smile.
MIA. Where the hell was Lombo in the second half of the game? I checked the shift chart, and it looks like he and Primeau didn't have more than a couple of shifts. You'd think he'd be good to counter a speedy team like Minnesota's becoming, but what's the story here? We saw an awful lot of Friesen/Yelle/Nilson by comparison.
Not out of the bushes. I'm still seeing a lot of trouble in the defensive zone, specifically, our inability at times to clear the puck. Also, this game reminded me a lot of the usual sorts of road games we play, probably due to our offense trying fancy-schmancy plays which don't work so well when the other guy's defense is boxed up tightly in front of their goalie.

Up next: We got a big game Saturday night. We're riding some highs, the other guys are riding some lows. Should be a good time.