Friday, April 8, 2011

An Old Yet New Eulogy For The Edmonton Oilers

Editors note: I forgot I had a blog there for a while, to be fair the Oilers forgot how to play hockey for while, so we'll call it even (pause for laughter). This "eulogy" was written back in October, before the season started because I knew eventually the season would end, and I thought it would be fun. Commentary has been added in parentheses and the links are all current and updated like this one. Enjoy!

An Oilers Eulogy. Or, There Are No Surprises in Alberta
By Dan Moser

Well the season is over, and boy was it fun. I know it's not actually over, we are at game 70 but the Oilers have clinched 30th place so the season is over for them (close but not perfect). Let's be serious though, other than that brief bright spot in the middle of the season (well, the first game of the season), and the play of the rookies, this season has once again made me forget what NHL hockey in Edmonton looks like. Oh well, here comes another first overall draft pick. I hope Adam Larrson looks good in orange and blue (wouldn't be shocked to see Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked, either way). Let's get onto it!


Another year, another statistically disappointing year from the forwards. Once again Dustin Penner, who hit 30 goals again, and Ales Hemsky, before his injury, have proven they are the only Oiler veterans that can score consistently (If you claim you saw Ryan Jones coming you are lying). The Oilers continue to have a huge problem down the middle, Shawn Horcoff has been consistently Shawn Horcoff, and I'm pretty sure I could win a faceoff against Andrew Cogliano.

Let's try and be positive for a second though, The five games the team got out of Gilbert Brule were alright. Sam Gagner has emerged a very poor team's number one centre (I had hoped). Jean Francios Jaques has come out of his shell, played a mostly injury free season and looks to be an effective energy player (sigh, sorry).  

For me personally the biggest positive has come in former Stanley Cup Champion Colin Fraser who has stepped up and become a decent third line option for the Oilers. He plays with confidence and give 100% every night. His knack for defensive play and ability to win a faceoff have made him a mainstay on this team (Let's just all forget I wrote this paragraph).

The Rookies

Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall. The kid has skill and proved it, don't be shocked to see him step and and receive that Calder Trophy this year in Vegas (I'll blame the injury). Before the season began I often said he was the most NHL ready player on the team and boy was I right. Leading an NHL team in scoring as an 18 year old (Do you think Taylor Hall knows what POGS are?) is no easy feat, and I cannot wait to see him continue to improve and grow next season. Also despite being an Oiler, the kid just does not know how to stay down or get hurt (close). I might even buy a jersey.

Jordan Eberle has also had a great season. He hit the 20 goal mark, which is fantastic, and just think of what might have happened had he not gotten hurt late in the year (almost right). Eberle is a sniper, he scores amazing goals and has a great shot, his defensive game could use some work though.

Although he was billed to possibly be the best of the rookie, Magnus Paajarvi has had some struggles. This season was about learning the North American game for him and he is well on his way. Personally I wouldn't mid seeing him at center or possibly playing the point on the powerplay (check). His skating ability and size make him an option at both these spots.


Ryan Whitney was the bright spot this season, of course that was before his season ending knee injury (did I get that one? Was it the knee?). He is a great number two in this league and will continue to be the focal point of this back end unless a trade is made in the offseason.

Kurtis Foster was, well pretty much what we all expected. His point totals took a hit from last season, seen Stamkos? Also I can't believe he ever played on Minnesota the way he is in his own zone what oh well, you get what you pay for, At least he has that shot that has made us forget about Souray (err umm, yeah...)! Seriously though, if I have to here about his old icing injury again that's it I'll never say another nice thing about him.

Theo Peckham has been physical, which has been a nice change of pace, and Jeff Petry looks like he might be ready to play full time. Smid is the same player as he was when he was traded to Edmonton.

Tom Gilbert was out of place on this team as a number two, but the way he has played since being traded has been great for him. A change of scenery may have been exactly what he needed. Hopefully the prospect and pick the Oilers got for him turn out to be players (I wonder how I thought Gilbert could be moved. Just change his name to Penner, same thing). 

This season the Oilers goaltenders didn't win them games, but they didn't cost them games either. When a team can't score, the only way they'll win is by shutout. The Oilers need some fresh goaltending stat. 

Sure the Oilers didn't have the most man games lost this year, but the players they lost were almost all of a significant nature. Despite the great season he was having, Ales Hemsky once again had to shut down his season early because of his wonky shoulder (I thought it would be the same shoulder he hurt last season, not the other one!). Injuries to both Gagner and Horcoff made the Oilers even weaker down the middle, and with the amount of games Brule played this season, it was easy to forget he was an Oiler.

Penner and Cogliano may have played the whole season, but really with the amount of games they didn't show up for, you could just call them injured too.

Whitney, Vandermeer and Smid (close enough) all went down as well forcing the Oilers to once again call on rookies on defence who were not ready to play the NHL paced game.

Next Year

It's probably too early to call it, you know with free agency and what not, but right now the Oilers will not make the playoffs next year. There better be some improvement though, anyone remember what meaningful hockey in March feels like?

Well, at least Calgary didn't make the playoffs either (bingo).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oiler Spill Podcast Episode 4: Enter Richard Shilling

Here it is FINALLY Episode Four

My guest is the only Flames blogger worth reading, though it's ben a while since he blogged, Richard Shilling of PST Free Hockey fame. We talk about the Flames and some other stuff, it's a fun one. Parts are dated but whatever. Also the first edition of the Boston Pizza Finger Cooking Rant, give cooking the finger tonight.

Hopefully you enjoyed Edmonton's Ipod, if your Ipod only has my voice on it.

InB4 the music was the best part.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What? An Uplifting Oilers Piece?

Spoiler: This season has not been a cheerful one for the majority of Oiler fans. I'm sure those masochists who like seeing the team lose every year are loving it. (That should probably be a link)

I have decided it is time to read something uplifting about the team. Lord knows I need it, I recently had a conversation with someone where I said I was jealous that Ted Danson's character in Bored To Death was being forced to go to a rehab facility in Arizona. Think about it a couple weeks in a nice temperature, people looking after you, making you food, telling you to take naps etc. No computer, no phone, it would actually be pretty relaxing. No drinking for two weeks? No problem. The only awful part would be eventually having to leave, and all that stupid group $hit.

Anyway I was writing about something.... here is part one of my five part or however many I feel like doing, Something Uplifting. Enjoy.

No Big Game Hunting!

Originally I had planned on doing a blog post comparing a team comprising of only 2011 UFA eligible players and then talk about if I thought that team could beat the Edmonton Oilers. After a quick look I decided that would be boring, absolutely a 2011 UFA team would beat the Oilers. Sometimes though when you look through a bag of garbage you find that one half eaten croissant and it tastes pretty good.

There are no real big fish this year that the Oilers can go for this offseason. Let me start by saying I am not one of those fans that gets pissed off when the Oilers go big name hunting because that player doesn't fit with the team or will cost too much money etc. What does piss me is when the Oilers pursue a player, hype me up on the player, and then do not get him. Waste of my time, which is not valuable (I spent almost a half an hour today making funny faces at myself in a mirror), but is time nonetheless.

Won't be happening this year though. A quick glance at the list will show you no real desirable big name free agents. Yes yes Brad Richards is at the top but I fully expect him to re-sign in Dallas so he doesn't count.

Looks like it will be a stress free no big name hunting summer for Oiler fans. The draft will come and go, maybe a small trade will be made, and hopefully some lower tier free agents are signed and they work out better than they did this season. Had I known I would have the story of Kurtis Foster's broken leg forced on me like a scene from A Clockwork Orange on a weekly basis I never would have cheered about the Oilers signing him.

There are a few smaller guys who did catch my interest, and it looks like the Oilers will have cap space and roster room, most of the bottom half of the roster is RFA or UFA. I won't talk goalies even though there are some interesting ones (Josh Harding). The Oilers are full at that position for now.


Eric Brewer - This one is more sentamntal than organizational need. I was a big Brewer fan before the team traded him for he who cannot be named.

Ian White - The guy is 26 and actually knows how to move the puck. He's not having a great season and currently makes just under $3 million. Plus wouldn't it be nice to see him succeed as an Oiler after he was moved by the Flames?

Chuck Kobasew - Could be a nice addition for the bottom two lines. The guy has speed, but really that's about all he has. I can't see him getting a raise, he is currently paid  $2.33 million by the Wild.

Scottie Upshall - Edmonton guy, I think, but I don't really see him leaving the desert anytime soon. The guy is the perfect patch player, he can play in all situations. Mac T would have given anything for a player like Upshall.

Mark Stuart - Good young D-man from the Bruins organization. He'd probably be the #1 on this team right now, given the injury situation.

Joel Ward - Think of him as another Ryan Jones, he is even playing in Nashville (click this you won't be disappointed, raer). The guy can hit and skate and gives 100%, he has 3rd or 4th line written all over him.

Curtis Glencross - Maybe we can steal him back from Calgary? That would probably feel nice.

Aaron Voros - Tough customer, and played well in New Jersey and New York before becoming expendable this year in Anaheim. Could be a nice replacement for the Stortini's and Jaques of the world.

Andy Greene - A New Jersey D-man he can play defence despite being on that awful team, he is also alright on the offensive front.

Zenon Konopka - Allows us to cut ties with Steve MacIntyre who I just don't really see a need for. Also he is actually really good at winning face-offs.

Next time, we eat the NHL.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sportsnet Fail

By Dan Moser

(Warning: This gon be ranty) This really started a few years ago. Back when I woke up early enough to watch sports highlights before I started my day Sportsnet was a decent option. The early edition of Sportsnet News featured mostly highlights and had an attractive host in Hazel Mae (sp?). Sean McCormick always seemed like an alright guy and the couple times I met him he was drunk off his ass and cheering hard for the Oilers. Darren Dreger was a bright spot in an otherwise unimpressive hockey staff. Since then things have just gone downhill.

Mae is off working for a network people watch I imagine, McCormick ran for political office, and Dreger is an insider (and a damn good one) on TSN.

For years TSN has owned the NHL Trade Deadline. Sportsnet always did a decent job of covering it though, until the year they really tried to "hip" it up and challenge TSN for the title. I guarantee the only result from Sportsnet's Trade Deadline Show in 2007 was a severe decline in viewers.

The had a pizza party.

They invited a faceless internet rumour monger (don't worry it's not a link to Eklund's site, just his Twitter account that features his phone number, why not use it?) who does not go by his own name. But wait you say, if he is faceless, how can he be shown on TV? Oh you sad simpleton, they used shadowing to cover his face!

Somehow, that did not deter them from doing a complete overhaul on programming. Why call the news show Sportsnet News when you could call it Sportsnet Connected?

We know everyone looks good in a suit, they make you look classy and professional, so Sportsnet decided they better make all their personalities look hip by wearing jeans with sports jackets, and believe me, nothing says hip more than a man old enough to be my father wearing a sports jacket, no tie, and designer jeans that he probably has to wear a girdle for just so he can squeeze into them.

Running into these guys in dark ally? No problem.

Let's talk about their hockey coverage for a moment. Their panel of experts is comprised of Nick Kypreos, Doug MacLean, and John Shannon.

I'm not entirely sure what Nick Kypreos' connection to professional hockey is. I've seen some youtube clips, and his hockeydb page and obviously his ring (I've never seen anyone so proud of a championship he had so little to do with). His lack of insight is amazing. He often speaks out of turn, off subject, pronounces names wrong and has unentertaining drawn out arguments with his cast members. To his credit, he was once a Whaler (respect) and he can speak quite eloquently for someone who made a living out of being a human punching bag.

Doug MacLean gives some decent insight as a former coach and GM. Unfortunately, he uses almost all of his air time to brag about the few success stories which occurred in Columbus during his tenure. It's mostly Rick Nash and Steve Mason. I will go ahead and create a swear jar for myself and every time Doug MacLean is on air and doesn't mention that he drafted Rick Nash I will put all of my pocket change in the jar. Then one day I'll either by something fancy for myself or waste it on a six pack of crappy beer.

I'm sure many of you, as was I at one time, are asking who is John Shannon. He is a a former producer of hockey programming. Even in the Sportsnet article announcing his hiring they use quotations when calling him a hockey man.....

...A flattering photo...

Their commercials for their hockey programming make me wish I could watch this YOP advertisement on a loop, it wouldn't be that bad after the 50th time or so.

The only thing I like about Sportsnet is the same thing I used to love about A-Channel and ITV, they show a $hit ton of Oilers games. Also I know it's a regional broadcast but I wish they would turn down the homerism, not every Khabibulin save is incredible and just because a Flames player gets knocked down does not mean the refs missed a penalty.

Homerism is what really brought me to this point. A few nights ago the Calgary Flames beat the Nashville Predators and Sportsnet went nuts. All of a sudden the Flames were not in 14th anymore and 5 points out of the playoffs (just going to assume they don't have tie-breakers). The coverage was all Flames to make playoffs over and over again with no mention of games played (they have the most of the non-playoff teams). Could the Flames make the playoffs? Sure. Will they? I doubt it. In my opinion, despite this hot streak, the Flames are simply a much worse team than many of the teams above them in the standings. This is like deja-vu. In December for some reason all of Edmonton was abuzz about the playoffs, how's that looking now?

It gets worse: "And coming up after the break, the Calgary Flames on the verge of hosting a playoff game after a huge win against Nashville?"

Anyway, my point is unless you are a soccer fan who thinks he is smarter than everyone else I don't knw why you would watch Sportsnet on a regular basis.

At this rate, I'm just not going to be watching any sports television pretty soon (If you don't know about me and The Score just watch this petty I know, maybe next year).

In other news, The Official Oiler Spill Podcast will be airing soon, Episode One will feature host The Real Dan Moser speaking with Montreal Canadiens Insider Etai Handman. Look out for it probably tomorrow.

A short web series is also being developed for the kids from Oiler Spill, tentative title: 10 Good Minutes.

So in closing:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Some Kinda Post

What exactly is heat vision

The NHL guardians project is dumb. I know its not supposed to be for "me", but will little kids really get into it? I have a feeling this will all be by the wayside in about seven months. Also, they got The Flame all wrong. They made no mention that he is on the wrong side of 30, makes more than $3million a year, and has a no-movement clause through 2014.

Today, I want to talk about the internet. I have already made a post at my old blog about how the internet kicks ass, specifically how it is a harbor of stupidity. This is required reading.
If you read my last post about the Jay Feaster Twitter account, hopefully you've already checked out the feed, because some pretty funny shit has been coming out of it lately. However, there is always a problem when running a joint account with someone else. People simply have different ideas of what is tasteful or not (I'm sure Jay Feaster has never had a problem with taste (too easy)). Anyways, when this tweet got sent out, I thought the account was sunk. This was sent out after the Flames last game where they were whipped 6-0 by the Minnesota Wild and Cal Clutterbuck scored a pretty soft goal:

Ooooh. There's something about telling Theo Fleury to kill himself, while he is in the United States filming a documentary about his disaster of a life, that sets off warning bells in my head. I really thought this was going to be the end of the JayFeasterGM account. There is no way that Fleury could take this seriously any longer.

Alas Flames fans, our childhood hero, is an idiot:

Alright. So looks like the whole "take your life" thing is water under the bridge. I guess I would do the same if I was in Theo's shoes. I mean, the guy still feels he can play in the NHL. If the GM of the only team I had a (barely) realistic chance sent that to me, I would probably try to laugh it off. Well, with that whole issue settled, I decided to have some more fun with the Feaster account. Remember, what people write on top, is what they originally say. Then the Feaster tweet on the bottom is the response to them:

I've been using that joke about the patches on the Flames' jerseys for quite some time now. As a matter of fact, I'm almost positive I stole it from someone else. Oh well. Now, I really was being helpful here. I was hoping that the girl (Vickie) would see the tweet, get her question answered, and her curiosity fulfilled. But, she had to go bragging to everyone about how the General Manager of the Flames ACTUALLY tweeted back at her!!

So readers, a question. Who is more gullible, Theo Fleury or Carolina fans?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Playing With Fire

If you are a Flames fan then by all accounts you should have been a Theo Fleury fan in the 1990s. I don't need to explain this. The little guy was the face of the franchise in a time of uncertainty for Calgary, and he certainly made his mark on the franchise felt, as until recently he was the Flames all-time points leader.

But as documented, he went through a rather serious fall from grace. His career took wrong turns in Colorado and New York, before blacking out in a Chicago nightclub in 2003 and ending his career. He then wrote a book called Playing With Fire which was his life story, and I didn't read it but I gather the big selling point is how he can attribute all of his life's failures to being sexually molested by Graham James when he was playing junior hockey.

One thing that Fleury likes to do is a lot of public speaking, because he wants to reach out to troubled people and try and give back to communities. The picture above is evidenced of that as I heard him speak when I was in high school. I was particularly impressed with him because he was more than willing to pose for a picture with us as opposed to Mike Vernon, who more or less told us to eat shit before eventually obliging.

What a cock

Anyways I guess Fleury really like reaching out to fans, and there's no better way to reach out to fans and promote your book than through Twitter. 

Now, myself and David Tucker have recently created a fake Twitter account on behalf of Flames Acting General Manager Jay Feaster, who I have had fun with on this blog before. Most of the time when these accounts get found out, they are shut down or made to explicitly state that they are a parody. This is how our fake Jay Feaster describes himself on Twitter:

There is seriously no way that anyone could consider this real. He makes a fat joke in his own description while taking a shot at the guy who hired him before. I recently took a look at who our followers are, that is, the people who actually choose to see what we write from this account. We have nineteen followers. One of them is Theo Fleury. Why is this worth something? Because Fleury only follows seventy-eight people, and most of them are hockey guys. 

Not to mention, most of the people the fake Jay Feaster is following are jokes about him. Like, he follows Little Caesar's Pizza, and Man VS Food, as well as other fake general manager type people on Twitter. Examples of some things we have sent from this account:

Jay Feaster
Tried to make a pitch for Kyle Wellwood's diet tips. This whole waivers thing is tricky
17 Jan

Jay Feaster
At the urinal with Loubardias last night. Turns to me and says peeing without farting is like a hotdog without mustard. Some kinda line!
14 Jan

Jay Feaster
Bruce Boudreau thinks 10am is too early for ice cream. Fuckin' health nut
12 Jan

Jay Feaster
@ Just watched the Alaskan King Crab episode, you're a coward
6 Jan

Seriously, anyone who reads this shit and thinks its serious is simply not paying attention. So after last night's Flames loss I decided to see if I could elicit a reaction from Theo (not the first time I've succeeded):

I honestly hope that Fleury figures out this account is a joke before he walks into the Saddledome to talk to Jay Feaster about his next comeback opportunity.