It's so frustrating to watch
You know, last week I wrote an article, and I had some strong opinions as to what I thought was going to happen in the next few weeks with this team. There were a few people that strongly disagreed with those opinions, and that’s fine too. I still believe that this Oiler team will bust out soon. The ONLY reason I still believe is because the schedule is about to get as easy as it can in this league up until the All-star break. 8 of the next 9 are at home. However, Dallas comes into the Drug store tonight on a roll, T-Bay on Thursday who seem to have things rolling again, then a rematch against the Preds on Saturday, which is a MUST win. Interesting times in Oiler land, plus, I want to let you all know about the latest in……Jets land.First off, the last 4. 2 decent wins over 2 teams that aren’t that good. The Oilers dominated Florida on Tuesday night, then got outshot, but played strong defensively against the Ducks on Thursday and walked away with 2 in a row, and 3 of the last 4. Then Saturday…..DAMNIT! Just when you think they get it going! Now they were depleted on the blueline(Smith, Ulanov, and Cross), but that still didn’t lose the game. A BAD giveaway by Eric Brewer on the PP ended the game in the 3rd. They simply didn’t play with any intensity until the final minute of the game(as they so often like to do). Then Sunday, a game that should have been won. We had Ulanov back, but Ryan Smyth cost us one goal, BRUTAL reffing cost us another(three 5 on 3’s for the Jackets, has that EVER happened?), and Conklin looked brutal on one goal AGAIN in this game. 4-4 tie, so we end up with 1 point on a road trip where we should have been aiming for 3 at the worst!
I mentioned the Ryan Smyth penalty(cost us one goal). For those of you who don’t live in E-Town, he got benched after that for the rest of the game(3rd period). It’s about time that Mac-T sent a REAL message to this team. Ryan took what some have called a stupid penalty on Long Island that lost us the game, I said it was an AWFUL call(he bumped Aarron Asham from behind, he let up on the hit so he wouldn’t hurt him, and he still gets a penalty). But that cross check to Tyler Wright really should have been 5 and a game. Then the lazy penalty at the end of the 2nd in the Columbus game. He deserved what he got, I THINK he understands why he got sat, and that’s that.
I reported on this site on Saturday that Georges was likely to be dealt soon(Saturday was what the rumor said). Well it seems like Kevin Lowe keeps holding off on dealing him. I think he’s worried about the fan reaction, especially when he announces that Muckler gives him something he doesn’t need at all(Petr Schastlivy). I said this before, and I’ll say it again. Chris Neil. That way, you still have a fighter, and Neil can do the dirty work that Georges USE to do. The only difference is that Georges is bigger, and can control the boards better. Neil is a better skater.
Tonight we get Dallas. Tommy Salo will once again be the starter, and if the Oilers don’t win this game, I would be tempted to do something, weather it’s trading Georges, or bringing up someone like Woywitka. By the way, there was talk this week about Jani Rita being up with the team??? I never heard this, but if someone knows something, by all means let me know. My prediction is already dead of the 11 of 14 by the all star break. So I’ll make a new one. 5-1-1-1 from now until the All Star break. But the thing that makes me upset is that the tie should have come in Nashville, and a win should have been in Columbus, but this team doesn’t seem to care because they won the 2 before that, and they assume that Dallas, Phoenix, LA, Nashville, Calgary, and Minnesota will just lose the remainder of there games this season.
Now lastly, the Jets story. We had Scott Taylor on our show this morning, and he gave us some interesting info about the Winnipeg situation. His sources told him that it WAS NOT Nashville, and it WAS NOT Carolina. His sources told him that it WAS A FLORIDA BASED TEAM. His guess was the Tampa Bay Lightning because he stated that there owner has lost millions and millions on this team(as have most owners)and is convinced that the NHL has failed in Tampa Bay. However, Winnipeg is not the only city they have been looking at, and he suspects Portland, Milwaukee, and Hamilton(all cities have NHL calibure arena’s)are getting a close look as well. Winnipeg however has the inside track since they have a brand new arena, ready to go by this November. The fact is(as he stated), the NHL has failed MISERABLY in the Southern United States, and wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years the NHL were to move a few(not just one)of those teams back North, and contract a few others. Again as he said, at least the franchises stand a chance in Winnipeg, Quebec city, and Hamilton. They don’t stand a chance in T-Bay, Miami, Raleigh, Anaheim, or Phoenix. This doesn’t mean ALL the southern teams, but we’ll have to see. Remember this is just one mans opinion. And before I end this I must say that he didn’t sound really optimistic that it would happen. It is a possibility, but probably won’t happen at least until the next TV deal is done, so the NHL can have a better view on how badly they’re failing in the South.
So that’s it for this week, just let me know what you think. I think a lot of the Oiler fans have gone into the basement, especially while the Flames continue to roll. Hey, we were bound to have an off year, and they were bound to make it some year! It’s only half done, we’re only 3 points back of 8th if we win tonight, so let’s not panic. The Oilers have one of the lightest 2nd half schedules in the league(mid Febuary, and the 2nd week in March is tough, but that’s it really), so we’re not done yet Oiler fans. Maybe we should jump on the band wagon while there are still spots available!