Thursday, December 28, 2006

Watch Tonights Game on Yahoo (Kings @ Oilers)

Click the "Watch Live" link at game time. Depending on where you live, the game may be unavailable. I'm pretty sure it's set up so that those of us in Canada can't watch the games. Luckily, it's pretty easy to get around the security:

1. Log into your Yahoo account (sign up if you don't already have one).
2. Enable "HTTP Proxy"
3a. IE users click here for instructions.
3b. Firefox users click here for instructions.
4. Enter the address "" and port "3124" into the HTTP proxy field.
5. If you'd prefer to use another proxy, consult the NNTIME Proxy List. The Codeen network ones from the major universities are generally reliable.


Problem: I cant login to Yahoo once I setup the Proxy.
Solution: Make sure you login to Yahoo BEFORE enabling the proxy. To keep people from abusing their public proxy service, the Codeen proxies do not allow you to exchange login information with hosts.

Problem: The Video screen loads, but nothing seems to play.
Solution: It seems that Firefox has some problems displaying the Yahoo video feed. Give internet explorer a try.

Problem: All I see is a green screen or the audio is fine but the video is scrambled.
Solution: You probably have a codec problem, try installing the Combined Community Codec Pack.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Oiler Xmas Wish List

1. A 20+ minute guy to eat up ES/PK time with Gator (Brewer-esque).
2. A 4-5 guy with some decent offensive skills to play on the 2nd PP unit (Sopel comes to mind).
3. A re-worked PP featuring Hemsky on the ice for the full 2 minutes.
4. A depth forward if we can get one for cheap (Dvorak).
5. The new lines:

Smyth - Horc - Lupul
Torres - Stoll - Pisani
Dvorak - Sykora - Hemsky
Winchester - Reasoner - Thoreson

Brewer - Smith
Sopel - Staois
Bergeron - Greene/Smid

Hopefully Santa delivers.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Glimpse Into The Mind of Alexei Mikhnov?

I think the Oilers are mishandling Mikhnov, and I couldn't help but think of him when I read this Russian interview of Alexei Kaigorodov. I'm not sure whether or not MacT has really worked with the guy, but what I do know is that the coaching staff hasn't seen enough of him at the NHL level to come to any sort of concrete conclusions.

Sep 05, 2006 Alexei Mikhnov - Signed - One-year contract
Oct 23, 2006 - First Game - ES: 3:25 PP: 0:56 (One Shift)
Nov 04, 2006 Alexei Mikhnov - Sent to Minors - WBS
Dec 03, 2006 Alexei Mikhnov - Called up from Minors - WBS
Dec 14, 2006 - Second Game - ES: 7:46 PP: 1:36 (One Shift)
Dec 20, 2006 Alexei Mikhnov - Sent to Minors - WBS

Alexei Kaigorodov: "I will not return to Ottawa!"

The Magnitogorsk forward became the first NHL player to return to Russia this season. In his six matches with Ottawa, he recorded just 30 minutes of total ice time.

After his first game with Magnitogorsk, Kaigorodov sat down to do this interview with SE.

Practically before the start of the Russian League season your plans for this immediate season were unclear. Nevertheless, you had chosen to sign a contract with Ottawa. When you arrived to Canada, did they really help you?

There can be no claims of Ottawa not helping me the best that they could. I am thankful my departure from Magnitogorsk had happened without a scandal, for that was very important to them.

Did you have a sense that hockey was not just a sport to Canadians, it was a religion?

Certainly! Even in the pre-season the arenas were always full! They all understand the game, they live the game. A funny story: only five days since I arrived in Ottawa, a taxi driver recognized me and began to talk hockey with me! It was surprising!

How hard was it to get used to the new country, culture and language?

Not a real life changing problem. I had lived in a hotel everyday and was driven by a team-mate back and forth. (Volchekov) It was hard to adjust to the time zones, but I was quick to adjust to it.

What were your general impressions from training camp?

There, certainly, everything is different: new exercises, new style, and so on. During training camp there we were all divided into two teams, including those who had come from the AHL team. These teams went on and off the ice after each other. It was, in one word, interesting.

Some Europeans don't feel comfortable across the ocean. Were you able to adjust to the NHL style from what you are used to?

Certainly. We'd enter these games with smaller pass and higher speeds. But I consider myself adapted. In any case, I could not tell which is a higher calibre of hockey - NHL or here.

Are you happy with how you were treated by Ottawa?

To tell the truth, I expected greater. Probably the fault of everyone for the unsuccessful season so far - the team went to last place in the division, from losing five out of six home games. Everyone has the right to want better, in fact the Senators have many talented players: there are average players and stars like Alfredsson, Spezza, and Heatley. But for some reason we were unable to win. In general, I noticed that general managers trust players with high salaries even if nothing is guaranteed. The obvious example is their goaltender, Gerber. He has been proven to be terrible in the first six matches. Eventually they tried the other goalie and they won a game, but in the following game they again put in the Swiss goalie and lost. Ottawa is confusing, they put in the young goalie and win, then put the Swiss one back in and lose again.

After the first game in the season, you were the thirteenth forward, people were not worried. But then there was a feeling that this was "not so"?

The first game, especially the end, was not indicative of my skill. And in the first game against Montreal everything was okay: the fourth line had outperformed and won this game. The next day, when we had arrived home, the video coach had shown me a video replay of the game and the how my line was doing. I tried to change what he had recommended, but I was growing more frustrated with the less and less icetime I had recieved. It ended when we played against Boston, which I had only two shifts in the first period then none at all. Most frustrating was how the head coach had never approached me to explain at all why this was the case.

Did you analyze your own play? "Maybe that wasn't so good"?

There was nothing to analyze! What serious analysis could be made with the little icetime given to me? By the way, I was talking with both Evgeni Malkin and Stas Tchistov. Malkin told me that his coach talks to him after every play and draws out what he means, then after the game goes through the video with him. I appear to be invisible! Though my teammates very much supported me, the language barrier was impossible. We communicated fine, but not with the coaches.

And how do you feel about the team's decision to exile you?

After one of the practices, my agent had told me that the general manager had wanted to see me. The conversation from the very beginning was strange - we discussed how in the Summer I said I would not go to any AHL club. Then my agent called me everyday I was in Ottawa, and he assured me that I could return to Russia if I did not make the club. So the conversations were unclear and unpleasant. I then said through my agent (I was already in Moscow and we discussed this over the telephone) that I did not agree with going to the farm team.

And how did the General Manager react?

He said I did not understand the game. I argued "and who was supposed to help me understand?" My agent agreed with me that I simply was not given the chance. Then the manager tried to find other arguments. The farm team was necessary to help me understand the game. But why should we trust him? If they did not let me play now, what would happen when the Senators began to win (on what hope?). Would they let me interfere with the winning lines? In one word, we were decieved. The desire to go through this is not with me.

Anything else? Did they help you leave?

Yes. The team had helped me order tickets. I solved some issues with the bank, it was all quickly done. We shall see, today I have the deadline to decide on the AHL club, but the day after tomorrow I will have already left.

Did you leave Canada with a bad taste?

Yes, how do I explain this ... I was not given the chance and I felt that if I "did not pull my weight" there would have been some other question given against me. But I believe I could have played in the NHL. It was confusing: why would they bring me over, promise I could return home if I did not make the team, then banish me for doing so? I do not think it's possible to return to the NHL for two, three, four years...

So you will be finishing the season in Magnitogorsk?

Certainly. I have returned to help Metallurg this season. But what about the following season? I have a two-year contract with the Senators, but if it is the same coach I doubt I shall return. I will probably seek a trade to another club.

Or if the Senators coach is replaced?

Well, maybe, we'll see. (laughs)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What I Would LIke To See When Smytty Returns.

Smyth - Horc - Winchester/Pouliot
- Tough minutes (Winch plays well in his own zone, Pouliot is decent, and Horc and Smytty can make up for their deficiency)
Torres - Stoll - Pisani
- Tough minutes.
- Our best 3 man line this year.
Lupul - Sykora - Hemsky
- Butter soft minutes (even if it means they play only 10 minutes ES a night; I hate watching Sykora and Hemmer run around in their own zone, and let's not forget Lupul's -14)
Petersen - Reasoner - Thoreson
- Whatever is left over.

1. Horc
2. Stoll
3. Reasoner
4. Pies
5. Smytty
6. Petersen

Unit #1: Hemmer (RW) - Horc (C) - Smytty (LW) - Stoll (RD) - MAB (LD)
Unit #2: Hemmer (RW) - Pouliot (C) - Torres (LW) - Staios (RD) - Sykora (LD)

Leave Hemmer out there for the whole PP, regardless of the circumstances. I'm really confused as to why the coaching staff hasn't tried this in the past. Hemsky drives the results on the PP, so why not have him out there for the full 2 minutes?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No, Matt and I Have Not Perished in a Freak Accident

I have been too busy with exams to watch any of my downloaded games. Once I get some free time I will try to say something of substance.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Kiprusoff and The Flames: The Difference Maker.

After reading some Canucks fans talk about how Luongo hasn't made the post season because the teams in front of him haven't been very good, I decided to look at Kiprusoff and his contribution to the Flames success this year. What I found is not real surprising; Kiprusoff makes a bad team look pretty good.

Look at how poor the Flames were when he was struggling at the start of the season:

Oct 5 @ EDM L 1-3
Oct 7 EDM W 2-1
Oct 9 SAN L 1-4
Oct 12 @ OTT W 1-0
Oct 14 @ TOR OTL 4-5
Oct 17 @ MON L 4-5
Oct 19 @ BOS L 2-3
Oct 24 PHO W 6-1
Oct 28 NAS L 2-3
Oct 30 WAS L 2-4

Flames go 3-6-1 in October, with their 3 wins coming from games where Kipper lets in 1 or less goals.

Now let's check out Kipper's play when the 'Flames' got hot in November.

Nov 1 @ DET L 2-3
Nov 4 @ STL W 3-2
Nov 7 DAL W 3-1
Nov 10 ANA W 3-0
Nov 11 @ VAN W 3-2
Nov 14 STL W 3-0
Nov 17 DET W 4-1
Nov 21 @ EDM L 1-2
Nov 22 CHI W 4-1
Nov 25 @ LOS L 1-3
Nov 28 COL W 5-2

The Flames go 8-3 with Kipper in net. All 8 wins come from games where Kipper lets in 2 goals or less goals. Also, he isn't too bad in the three losses either, posting a 2.67 GAA (a little better than league average).

Looks to me like Kiprusoff makes a bad team look pretty good. In every single game the 'Flames' have manage to win this year, Kiprusoff has let in 2 goals or less. In fact, out of the 13 wins the Flames have this season, Kiprusoff has allowed 1 or less goals in 10 of them. That's right folks, the Flames have only manage to win 3 games with Kiprusoff letting in 2 or more goals (two of them being 3-2 victories).

Friday, December 08, 2006

TVU-NHL Is No More

The brain trust behind TVU-NHL has decided to call it quits.

Hi all,

It is my sad duty to report that we're shutting down the streams. Tonight will be the last night.

Other forums have been approached by NHL legal and asked not to link or reference TVU/Viidoo and I know most of the team forums have been asked the same thing, and with the visibility of the kago name and the NHL legal team getting more aggressive about shutting down tvu we've decided it's best to shut down the streams for a while.

I'm sorry for all those who will go back to missing out on hockey but NHL1 and NHL2 are now offline. JHaul and xFloyd_x78 are on their own to stream or not stream - you can still come here to chat about hockey, p2p streaming, etc. The forum layout will change over the next day or two - I apologize for any threads that get lost along the way. *Mods, if you're interested I'll find a place for you - pm me.

Again, I'm sorry. With any luck the NHL will wake up and realize there are a ton of fans out there that they currently aren't reaching, and hopefully will do something to fix that.

I guess that's all from us!

The Kagos

An unfortunate conclusion to what had become a very popular service. For me personally, it means no more live Oilers hockey, unless of course the game is one of the few that are nationally broadcasted. While an argument can be made that piracy in all forms is wrong, I hardly think that TVU was taking any revenue away from the NHL. There are numerous markets both in Canada and abroad where Centre Ice is not available, and I believe TVU was helping to bring the game to the fans in those regions, albeit in a grainy and low quality fashion.

I think the NHL can learn something from TVU; it showed that there is demand for the streaming of hockey over the internet. If I were Mr. Bettman, I would implement a low cost pay per view system much like; thus both promoting the game abroad and increasing league revenue.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

For Those Who Squee!

I did not make this, although I wish I did.

X Should Play For Less

I've found that a lot of fans seem to think that players will/should take discounts to play for a particular team. They reason that if a particular player likes playing in a particular place, he would certainly be willing to take less money to stay. Let's call this the 'why Ryan Smyth was upset about his contract negotiations' argument.

Think of it this way: You work at a widget factory, assembling widgets. You assemble 24 widgets an hour, a rather remarkable pace. A friend of yours works at the widget factory across the street; he's a slow worker, and although he puts in the same effort as you, he can only manage 18 widgets an hour. Despite this, your friend makes 24 dollars an hour while you only make 18. At the end of the year, your boss calls you into his office to discuss a raise. He offers you 20 dollars an hour for your 24 widget an hour pace. Sure you're happy at your current job; everyone is nice to you and you really like your co-workers, but you can make a lot more money at the other factory, where it's likely that everyone will be nice to you, and you will like your co-workers.

Would you accept 20 dollars an hour, or would you go across the street and see if you can get a job at the competing widget factory?

People get caught up in the fact that hockey players make millions rather than thousands of dollars a year. Although this is true, it's important to realize that while the criteria for evaluation has changed - hockey performance rather than widget assembly - players still 'think' in the same way we do about these things.

Wouldn't you be insulted if your boss offered you a raise that was less than your under productive buddy makes across the street? I know I would.


Clearly there are extenuating circumstances such as 'winning the cup'. However, let's say for the sake of clarity that the team (factory) competing for your services has an equal chance of 'winning the cup'. In this case, would you you be insulted by the lowball offer? Remember, your boss knows exactly how many widgets your friend produces across the street, and exactly what he is paid to do it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oilers/Canucks Day Late Recap!

Apologies for the lateness, but I've managed to destroy my home computer and I had no internet access yesterday. Bleh.

Getting out to see your team live is amazing. Especially in enemy territory. The beauty of seeing the Oilers play at GM Place is the comraderie you feel with anyone in an Oilers jersey. Fun times.

- Horcoff looked good. Occassionally made some odd decisions with the puck in the offensive zone, but he was one of the few guys, especially in the first, who seemed to have their legs under them.

- Smid looked like a rookie with a lot of potential. He always wants to make a play, and he's generally pretty calm. That occassionally gets him in trouble, but it also makes me think he's going to be a hell of a player someday soon. Not today though. The kid gets a lot of minutes, and does okay with him, but occassionally you can tell that he's just not quite there yet.

- I thought Bergeron played well, with the exception of one poorly chosen time to wind up for a big slap shot.

- JFJ looked alright. Got out there, got in on the forecheck a bit. It looked like the game plan for those guys was more to not screw up than to try and generate any real offense. Poor guy got clobbered in his fight though.

- Pouliot looked somewhat discombobulated all night. Seemed maybe that he was nervous and couldn't really get in a rhythym with the way his line was used. It's unfortunate, but I'd rather watch the team win than watch MAP get into a groove, so he'll just have to get comfortable with irregular playtime.

- At one point, Stoll took a faceoff just outside the Oilers' blueline. The draw was kinda scrambled and he threw it back with his hand. There's a whistle, and the guy behind me starts screaming "You got one right Magoo! You got that one right!"

Overall, the Oilers weren't as bad as the shot clock would suggest. Roloson didn't have to make any spectacular saves. The best Canucks chances were spoiled by their own lack of finish. Most of their shots seemed to come from well outside and hit Roli right in the chest. Still, the Oilers will have to be better tonight to beat a team with as much firepower as the Canes.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Let's Stay Positive!

The Good News:

- The rooks will get plenty of ice time. We should get a better idea of how bright our future is.
- The easy ride the slumping vets have been getting is over.
- The Juice!
- There is a lot of parity in the NW, we can likely recover from a slide.
- If we can play .500 hockey without Hemmer and Smytty, their returns will give us a huge lift.
- Smytty can focus on getting an extension done, plus his injury should lower his value a bit.
- Is Sykora for real? We get to find out! Also, a reduction in production while Hemmer is out should lower his contract value.
- Matt Greene hits like a truck, truck, truck, thighs like what, what, what baby move your... Damn you Sisqo.
- This is depressing.
- Who am I kidding, we're doomed.
- J/K had you fooled.

A Little Cheer Up

Japanese comedian 'Hard Gay' at Yahoo Japan.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

FCP Press Conference

Link courtesy of MC.


As I mentioned in my October blog on the subject, TVU is a peer to peer internet TV network that shows a number of NHL games. As per the NHL-TVU schedule, it looks like the Ducks-Oil PPV game tomorrow night will be shown. Unfortunately, it also appears that there will be some overlap with the Pens-Islanders game, so we might miss the first period.

The NHL-TVU forum has moved to a new host. It's worth noting that the previous TVU forum was overran by some asshole Leafs fan who demanded more Toronto content. I hope that those reading this appreciate the hard work both Kago and Kagogrl do, and will hold their tongues when criticism comes to mind. Remember folks, they are spending both time and effort improving your hockey experience, and they ask for nothing in return. While I don't believe it's necessary to thank them for their service, I do think it is unacceptable to criticize them for the way in which they go about providing it.

"Joints are for children"

Pinto strikes again.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oilers vs. Chicago

I have a great deal of sympathy for Blackhawks fans. Mostly due to the man pictured here. They put up with so much for a long time now. They don't even get to watch their team suck on TV. Wirtz is a dinosaur that would be unrivaled as a terrible owner if it weren't for the pure evil of Harold Ballard. Going into the lockout, refusal to spend money had turned the once-proud franchise into a cellar dweller.

Then it looked like things were changing. This year things were turning around. They traded for Havlat and acquired Handzus and Smolinski for some more veteran forward help. With another year of development for some of the young Dmen they had, they started strong. 7-1 preseason, 4-2 in their first 6. Then the wheels started coming off. Havlat went down and still hasn't returned, Handzus is done for the year, Rene Bourque suffered a positively Malarchukian injury and Khabibulin, finally playing like the guy they paid 7 million dollars for, hurt his finger. He's back, but the other three are still out. And the Blackhawks have slipped back down in the standings.

The Oilers, on the other hand, have won their last 4. Roli may have stole a couple of those, but, as Mudcrutch noted, that's why you spend salary cap space on a 4 million dollar goalie. Still, a more consistent effort would be nice. So would a number of the players figuring out how to make a breakout play under pressure. A victory tonight is important. Things are far too close to throw away points.

4-2 Oilers. The Blackhawks are going to be desperate to salvage something on their western Canadian road trip and come out flying. The Oilers will probably start flat tonight and get behind a goal. Roli will keep it close and the Oilers will come back, get up 3-1, get complacent and start slacking until they only have a one goal lead again, and squeek out a victory with an empty netter in a game that will be far closer than I'd like.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oilers vs. Blues

All questionable coaching and player acquisition moves aside, St. Louis fans should thank Mike Keenan for vetoing this monstrosity. Even a roller hockey team would be embarrased to wear this.

Rematch tonight. Hopefully the Oilers can build on a good performance in Colorado and come out on fire tonight. There's really no excuse for losing to the Blues twice in a row. They aren't absolutely terrible, but with the league as close as it is now, you can't afford to throw away points.

St. Louis is sort of an interesting team this year. I think that they made some astute moves in the offseason. I wasn't a fan of the Team USA 98 reunion tour up front, but it looks like it's working out fairly well. They overpaid for McKee, but they could afford to do so. He got hurt, but you can't judge it based on that. Manny Legace was brought in to stabalize the goaltending. A bit of a gamble, because this forced them to expose Bacashihua to waivers, but I think it was a good move. Then, in my favourite move of the offseason, they gave Radek Dvorak a home. There were probably 10 teams in the league that this guy could help, but no one seemed to want him. Now it looks like he may be rediscovering a bit of scoring touch, which makes me happy. I'm pulling for the guy.

All that adds up to... not a whole lot for the Blues. They're more competitive, but they're not making the playoffs this year. On the plus side, it looks like they know how to put a team together, and that bodes well for the future. On the downside, they could really use the elite forward prospect they might have got in the draft if the management team hadn't been so competent.

5-1 Oil. Back at home, looking for revenge. Looks like Smyth survived Liles's Marchment impersonation with minimal damage and will play tonight. Hopefully the team can string a few together and get a little breathing room.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Ups and Downs of the Edmonton Oilers

Some games don't deserve analysis, and that was the case with the game against Detroit. I think it's best that we as fans just put that one behind us and move on. However, I don't think we should get too excited about the bounce back game against Columbus either. The Oil were going to come out fired up for that one if they had any sense of pride. This upcoming back to back is the real test. We find out in St. Louis if this team actually has learned something or if they were just too embarassed to suck on Friday.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On the road in Detroit - Prediction and Bonus Video

I think we win this one; the boys are going to come out strong and catch Detroit off guard. We took too many penalties in Montreal, I don't think will make the same mistake tonight. Also, I suspect that something has been done to improve the powerplay, and if it gets on track tonight, we should cruise to an easy victory.

4-1 Oil.

Post Game Montreal

I'm going to go out on a limb here: I think the Oilers current slump can be blamed for the most part on their anemic PP. After watching us dominate the first 17 minutes of the game vs Montreal, I did my best to find the source of the 2nd and 3rd period drop off, and I found the horrible oiler PP consistently lent the Habs the momentum. I believe most fans would agree that a successful PK for their team often causes a favourable shift in momentum. Keeping this in mind, the consequences of a poor PP are two-fold: first our boys are disappointed in their inability to even generate a quality scoring opportunity, and the opposing team is stoked because they just completed a big kill. Once the PP is dangerous again, look for the Oil to bounce back with a string of victories.

Some other thoughts:

- Jan Hejda is the real thing. He's physical, can shoot and most importantly, his outlet passing has been VERY good. I know it's only two games, but with what I have seen so far, Hejda has been our best defenseman at moving the puck. If I had the choice between Tjarnqvist and Hejda, I would have to go with the latter. He has played with a lot of heart in his first two games, and shouldn't be taken out of the lineup while he continues to do so.

- Matt Greene is getting a lot more tough minutes on the PK. His game has come far this year, he seems to improve every game. I would like to see him be a bit more physical, beyond that I have no criticisms.

- We were hitting again in Montreal, I wonder what MacT said/did to resurrect our physical game.

- MAB was jumping up in the rush, I was really happy to see this. I think that our offense has been stagnant in part because of a lack of pinching by the defense (not the outlet passes, the horse that the masses are beating on). Sure, we will give up more 2 on 1's, but I think the risk-reward is worth it.

- Horc and Pisani had great games. Look for them to come up big tonight in Detroit.

- Raffi and Lupul were subpar, however, if somehow all our offensive weapons can get going at the same time, look out NHL

- I hate seeing fans bitch about MacT's shootout choices. If Sykora hadn't hit that post, they would all be praising him.

- I never say anything about Sykora, because I don't think he is a 'true oiler' or that he will be here next year. I also don't buy his hockey happy speech, I think he's in a contract year and signed with the oilers because he knew he would get a lot of powerplay minutes and be on the ice with Hemmer. With that said, he's been a great addition, and it will suck when he signs with Columbus for 3.8m in 2007.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

On the road in Montreal.

The Oilers visit the Habs tonight in Montreal. I think this is gonna be a big bounce back game for us. After the McGeough debacle, the team has good reason to play hard. I mentioned in my Dallas pre-game post that the Oil really need something drastic to happen to get the team out of their early season funk, it is my hope that Friday's events will provide that spark.

Prediction: 3-1 Oil.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Support The MacT Relief Fund

The boys over at The Battle of Alberta have started a MacT relief fund as a show of support to our beleaguered coach. While the "retarded" comment was clearly in poor taste, if you consider the circumstances I think our boy Craigger's handled himself rather well. I've chipped in my $20 bucks, and I encourage those who have the means to do the same.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Losing to Dallas and Mick McGeough (The Silver Lining)

I would have much rather been wrong in my prediction of tonights final score. I watched the first two periods of the game on TVU, and we looked pretty good out there. I don't think the shots in the first period were indicative of the play. Dallas took a lot of weak perimeter shots which helped to balloon their total. One thing we have to work on is late period goals. We seem to be giving up goals in the last minute of the period at an alarming frequency. These goals can be real back breakers, and I would like to see our boys work on this.

Now for the officiating.

By now we've all seen the botched goaltender interference call and the phantom gloved pass. Sure I'm pissed, but I can see a silver lining

A lot of our boys haven't been playing with much intensity this season. This evenings events are the perfect motivator to bring back the us against the world mentality we have been missing this year. It's this mentality that kept us fighting down the stretch to make the big show last year; it's this mentality that we rode all the way to game 7 of the SCF; it's this mentality we drew upon to beat Dallas in 1997.

We've been missing our spark all season. Now we're 7-6, with our backs to the wall, going into a big road trip. I think it's time the real Edmonton Oilers show up to play.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Big D Comes To Town.

Whether we win or lose this one all depends on which Oiler team shows up for the game; the one that we saw early in the season, or the one we have seen in the last 4 games. Unfortunately, I think we're going to see a lot more of the Jekyll Oilers until something big happens (falling under .500). However, despite this dreary prediction, if we can get an early lead, i think we come out of this with a convincing victory. I know it's cryptic, but it's all I got right now.

My prediction:

4-2 Dallas.

Tonights game will be broadcast on TVU; just tune into the NHL2 channel at 7:30 MST and enjoy the game.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Preds @ Oilers: Post Game Comment.

The general consensus among HF posters is that we lost this game because Nashville outworked us. I just finished watching the game, and I really can't agree with this thesis. To me, the game is best summed up as "Oilers playing catch up, and failing". We let in a couple early goals, and spent the rest of the game getting to within a goal, only to have Nashville pull away again.

Some quick comments:

- The Lupul - Sykora - Hemsky was our best line. I think Lupul's new role fits his game a lot better than the one he was asked to fill with Smytty and Horc. He could have easily had 3 goals, if some bounces had gone his way.

- Overall I like the new lines, I think the players have responded well.

- For those of you calling for Hejda, who should be taken out in favour of him? The only possible candidates are MAB, Greene and Smid; all three of these guys are playing solid hockey. Ironically, MAB has been a lot better since I published my video of his poor early season play.

- Horc made a great pass to Torres on their 2 on 1, it's too bad he couldn't bury it. Would have been nice to have the game tied up 2-2, we had a lot of momentum at that point.

- Gator and Shaggy played alright, they can both be better though.

- Greene and Smid are both studs; mark my words. Greene has made some great passes in the last few games, it's remarkable how far his game has come. Smid is by far our best defensemen with the puck. He's so cool under pressure; reminds me of Mattias Ohlund.

- Smytty is a goddamn garbage man; he always seems to score the ugliest goals. After reviewing the replay of Smyth's goal, Ferraro commented that he couldn't "do it again if he tried to"; however, I tend to think that Smytty is a lot craftier than most people think. Although he didn't break any rules (no kicking motion), I am of the belief that he knew his best opportunity to score was by skating into the puck.

- WHERE IS THE PHYSICAL PLAY. Most frustrating thing about the game was the lack of Oiler hits. Goddamn it Chopper, why did you have to break your shoulder on Markov's head.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nashville Comes to Town.

After watching parts of the Canucks-Preds game last night I have high expectations for tonights game. I don't normally watch Canuck games; however, this was an excellent opportunity to scout the elusive Nashville Predators.

Some thoughts:

- Nashville came out real strong, cycling the puck down low in the Vancouver zone. This down low pressure was a big factor in the Nashville's first two goals. The 1-0 goal, Ohlund had been stuck on the ice for a long shift, and made a lazy play to deflect the puck; fortunately, he deflected it into his own net. The second goal came on a powerplay that was drawn in part by strong Nashville forechecking.

- Vancouver got back into the game with solid goaltending and a couple weak goals.

- Nashville stopped moving their feet in the third, and without Sullivan's heroics, could have easily came out of Vancouver with the loss.

- The Preds should be tired tonight, they were fading down the stretch last night. Also, they don't have a whole lot of pressure on them to win, their road trip has already been a great success.

- If the Oilers come out hard and fast, and get an early lead, this game should be in the bag. However, if the Oil struggle putting pucks in the net past the Nashville backup, look out for a long frustrating evening.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

We Won?!?!?

Personally, I expected a more dominating performance out of the Oil. The 4-0 final is a bit deceiving, I don't feel that it is indicative of the play.

Few observations:

- We beat a bad team, and we beat their backup goalie. Sad thing is, this is something we have struggled with in the past.

- Hemsky logged 20 minutes tonight, looks like MacT is rewarding his performers. Can't say much more about this kid, he gets better every game.

- Smid (22:15) and Staios (24:45) logged the most minutes on the blue line tonight. If Stevie signs for 2.6-2.9 Million over the next 4 years, I will be one happy camper. That man is worth every penny.

- Maybe it's too early to judge, but it seems like Lupul isn't a great fit for Hemmer-Sykora.

- Fourth line looked good, made the most of their minutes.

I'll have more later when I put together the clips package.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Lose This One and You're Dead To Me

After watching them play Vancouver last night I have come to the conclusion that only 3 things could possibly make Washington win: Ovechkin, Kolzig, and the Hockey Gods sense of humour.

Losing in Anaheim was frustrating. Losing in Phoenix was embarassing. Losing to the Caps, at home, would be unacceptable.

MyTake: Oil @ Ducks 25th Oct 2006: Thoughts and Video.

- After watching the game a second time, I came to an obvious conclusion: the goaltending needed to be better. That 4th goal killed us, up to that point we were competing hard.

- We had some real fire during the PP that Stoll scored on. You could tell the boys wanted this game, it's too bad it didn't work out.

- Anaheim's D is not nearly as impressive as I expected it to be. They were easily exposed by good down low cycling.

- Matt Greene must be on some sort of referee shit list. Did he sleep with Kerry Fraser's Daughter or something.

- The BS "holding penalty" (The Oilers penalty to #2 Matt Greene, 2 minutes... for being Matt Greene, the time, 18:37) that Greene took led to an Anaheim goal.

- Getzlaf is one ugly kid.

- Selanne and Co. were invisible.

- First line was useless, they seem to be getting worse game by game. If I had to pick one, I'd say Horc's play was teh stinkiest. He didn't play his game at all, forced way too many pucks, and didn't convert on a couple golden chances.

- Pronger was matched up against Hemmer, Sykora and Thoreson, who were virtually held off the scoresheet (Hemmer, PPA). Clearly, Pronger has not lost a step.

- Good chemistry on the 3rd line, too bad Stoll hurt his back in practice.

- 4th line was damn good.

One more thing, I don't intend to discuss the Phoenix game; infact, there never was a game in Phoenix, it was all just a figment of my fevered imagination.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tonights Game on TVU

According to the Viidoo forum, tonights Oilers game will be broadcast on TVU. For those of you who missed my earlier blog on the subject, TVU is a peer to peer internet TV network.

Intestinal Parasites and Visits to the ER

You'll have to excuse my lack of updates, I have been under the weather for the last few days. I would talk about the Phoenix game, but I watched it while my brain was dying. So instead of the usual post game blurb, I will leave you with one important piece of advice:

If you are running a 39 degree fever, and have a history of getting REAL delirious when gettin' good an' fever'd, do not choose hockey as your medium of entertainment. It will fucking haunt you for hours, I spent at least 3 hours talking to myself about offsides and icings and Horcoff comes up the ice and Smytty just put it in and oh god why can't I stop thinking about hockey (this moment occurs once every 8-10 minutes, when your cognitive brain tries to assert itself on your consciousness only to be foiled seconds later by Hemmer dangles and Stoll blasts a shot from and...)

Fevers are not cool.

Once I finish appropriating the Anaheim game, I intend to watch it a second time and provide some sort of blog entry. Even though my early instinct says "Roli had an off night, end of story", I am still willing to waste two hours of my life in the name of objective analysis.

Monday, October 23, 2006

TVU Player

Living outside of Alberta and don't have access to Centre Ice?

You need to get TVU; this great little program connects you to a peer to peer internet TV network. Just install and click on the NHL channel. Unfortunately they don't always broadcast Oiler games, but it's better than nothing. You can check out the pre-game broadcast schedule on this forum.

The Yotes-Oil game will be shown this evening; see you there!

What the Hell is Going on in Phoenix?

Phoenix is a weird team. I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy, and most teams in the NHL make sense to me. I can see what the management is going for, even if I think what they are going for is absolutely insane. But Phoenix doesn't make any damn sense. I have no idea what Barnett and Gretzky are trying to accomplish most of the time. Lets leave aside Gretzky's coaching strategies for today and just focus on the player acquisition end. There's something seriously schizophrenic about Barnett's trade history. Watching him build that team is like being Homer Simpson trying to decide if frogurt is a good idea.

Briere for Gratton - That's bad.
Gratton and Vaananen for Ballard and Morris - That's Good!
Langkow for Gauthier and Saprykin - That's bad.
Westrum for Michalek - That's Good!

The weird turnover on defense last offseason is playing the role of potassium benzoate. You may not know its bad immediately, but it is. Mara for Boynton looks to make sense. There was lots of offensive talent on the blueline, and Mara was redundant so they traded him for a roughly equivalent defenseman who plays a different style. But then they gave Jovo 6.5 million dollars. If your old offensive defenseman was redudant, why did you spend all your cap space on Jovonoski? Did you feel that your team wasn't taking enough stupid penalties?

Still, you may say that he was an FA, no big deal. Except that spending that money on Jovo means that the Coyotes big offseason forward additions were Roenick and Nolan. Add to this relying on a goalie whose best before date was apparently December 05 and anyone who cared to think about it should have known this team was going down.

Does anyone really think the Coyotes wouldn't be better with Manny Legace in goal, someone like Tjarnqvist as the primary defensive addition and the savings of 5.3 million dollars spent turning Roenick and Nolan into forwards who would have been actually been useful?

They've got young talent there. Ballard and Michalek are legit NHLers and Yandle looks like a steal, but if you're going to suck, suck cheaply.

Honestly, I'm going to be disappointed in anything less than a blowout tonight. Phoenix is exactly the sort of team the Oilers should be able to shred. Hopefully the PP can get rolling tonight, it's starting to concern me. Historically, the Oilers play down to their competition. Beating up on Phoenix would be a small step towards fixing that problem.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wings @ Oilers: Oct 21st, 2006 - Post Game Thoughts Plus Video.

- First game with any real flow, thought we looked good 5vs5.

- Spent less time running around in our zone even strength. Our breakouts were much better.

- The powerplay was absolutely terrible. We spent more than half our PP time trying to gain the zone.

- The PK was great, the Wings had very few chances.

- Not sure why people are ragging on Lupul. He's done everything that should be expected of the kid. He comes back defensively, wins battles on the boards, and scores timely goals. Also, has anyone else noticed how chippy he is? He really seems to get under peoples skin.

- The Wings are great at diving.

- Tjarnqvist has looked great in his 25+ minutes a game. His 1.6 million dollar contract is turning out to be money VERY well spent.

- Horc won some key faceoffs; it's about time.

- When I was watching the game live, I thought Chopper had broken his arm (4-6 weeks) on Markov's helmet. I was very relieved when I found out he only had a separated shoulder (day to day).

- Showed a lot of character coming back after the Datsyuk goal. That whole series of unfortunate events could have been a massive momentum swing.

- Bergy had a mistake free game, and made 4 great plays (featured in the video).

A Couple More YouTube Vids I Created.

Hemmer hit on Phaneuf.


Hemmer's dangle vs Detroit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Defending MAB

My MAB video seems to have caused quite a stir in the Oiler fan forum world:

What started primarily as an experimental foray into the art of internet video making turned into quite the shit storm. Part of the blame falls squarely on my shoulders; I had just created the accounts that I used to make the posts, and the the threads were started in a rather nonchalant manner. I think a lot of fans pegged me for a troll, bashing their players and team; I was the enemy. If these fans had actually taken the time to think about what I had created, and what tools I must have had at my disposal (in particular, EVERY oiler game on my computer) they would realize the folly in their assumption.

As I adamantly claimed in many of my replies in the aforementioned threads, I did not create this video with malicious intent. I was disappointed with Marc's performance thus far in the 06-07 campaign; however, I was not trying turn people against him. I decided to make a video and MAB's poor play was something fresh on my mind, so I went for it. I had a lot of fun making it, and would certainly do it again.

With no further adieu I present you with:

Marc-Andre Bergeron's First 6 Games of 2006-2007