Edmonton - Vancouver Post-Game: aagaaahhhanngghhhzzzzzzzz

Good god, the last time I was that bored I was listening to a lecture on tax law, and I'm not even a lawyer. I haven't hated myself after three hours like that since the premiere for "Twilight".

What a stupid, stupid, awful, crappy game. What an offense to the very concept of ice hockey and sporting competition. I've see short track speed skaters who were tougher in the corners. I've seen blind men who shot more accurately. I would have been happier spending that time watching Kyle Wellwood eat buckets of fried chicken.

The Oilers stank. That's not news. The Oilers always stank. Even when they won they stank. Anybody who's surprised by the Oilers dropping two in a row to better Northwest Division teams just hasn't been paying attention, but really. That wasn't getting beat, that was lifeless. That absorbed my soul. Don't do that to me again, Oilers, or I'm going to start drinking bottles of Southern Comfort and writing two thousand word posts about how much Ethan Moreau reminds me of an English teacher I had in high school that brought in a full bottle of bourbon every morning and recycled the empty by noon.

How do I evaluate a team after a game like that without just saying "you're all losers?"

Some of them were more loserish than others. Dustin Penner was the best Oiler on the ice - again - which in this case translates to being about a four out of ten but it's something. The Oil didn't get played off the rink by the Canucks, but Vancouver always had an element of control. Shawn Horcoff was okay. Lubomir Visnovsky was pretty okay. I mean, they were terrible, but they were okay relatively speaking, and the stats guys tell me that context is always important.

Zack Stortini spent far, far too much time, which is to say any time, on the powerplay again this evening. There's a lot of logic to having a big guy screening the goal on the man advantage and I can see it, but there's such a thing as forcing it. First Jean-Francois Jacques and then this? Hey, Pat Quinn: I'm pretty big and I'll sign for the league minimum to stand in front of the net and try to tip pucks whistling past me. You won't even have to pay for skates, I'll go out in snowboats. Just trying to help the Oilers out of their cap trouble and it's not like I could be less effective without smashing Ales Hemsky with a folding chair.

I mean, the guys have given me the gears about my love for soccer, but whatever you might want to say about it there's always something happening on the soccer pitch. That was just three twenty-minute periods of guys going for a warmup skate, occasionally broken up by a Canuck owning an Oiler like this were eighteenth-century Russia.

Jeff Deslauriers was pretty good. He didn't make any five-bell saves but the two goals he let through weren't softies and his rebound control, once again, didn't burn him. There's hope there. He had the best game by any Oiler goaltender this year in his first start and had a pretty good effort in his second. A lot to like. He was probably the only Oiler who I felt better about after sixty minutes rather than worse. By contrast, fellow youngster Theo Peckham looked like Steve Staios without the innate defensive instinct or soft touch. Peckham looked much better in his brief callup last season, and he's making me reconsider my position that I'd rather have him in the lineup than Jason Strudwick.

At some point, you run out of things to say. What's there to say about a game that bad? It was horrible and I'm glad it's over. Now I'm going to grab some Night Train and make my boss really regret paying me tomorrow.

The Copper & Blue Reverse Three Stars, Though After A Game Like That We're Really All Losers

18th Star: F Ethan Moreau. Didn't take any penalties, which is unusual for an Ethan Moreau game. I didn't even have anything against Moreau specifically, but of the vast melange of generally lousy hockey players the Oilers ran out, Moreau was the most mediocre. He was not conspicuously horrible, but he was conspicuous. Where I say the words "Ethan Moreau" here, close your eyes and imagine almost any Oiler in his place. It works.

After all, part of being thecaptainEthanMoreau is being the face of the team, right? Well, right now, Moreau is the face of all the crappy troops he led into what for want of a better word I must call a battle. It seems cruel to give him a leg up on the Golden Rooster for that, but hey, that's leadership.

19th Star: D Theo Peckham. Way, way, way too many early twenty-somethings on this list only eleven games through the season. These kids are going to make me drink myself into an early grave, even more than all the other things which lead to my high-functioning alcoholism

Really, you want to learn what was wrong with Peckham, go back into the game day thread and read pretty much any of Derek's comments. It was like the Theo Peckham Show in there, except instead of a carnival and a three-ring circus there was despair.

20th Star: F Patrick O'Sullivan. OH HEY SPEAKING OF DESPAIR! I loved the trade that brought Patrick O'Sullivan in for Southeast Division All-Star Erik Cole last season. Big fan of O'Sullivan's. Better defensively than most people think, nice shot, good skating, good instincts. Wait. Did I say "nice shot" and "good instincts"? Because as snipers go, this is the sort of sniper who waits for his target to get behind a clock tower, then takes the shot and ends up blowing a hole in his own general.

Unlike Zack Stortini, I know why Patrick O'Sullivan is on the power play. And he's generally a positive to this team. But my god, man! What happened to you? You could shoot the lights out in Los Angeles and you come up here and suddenly Roberto Luongo's gut sees so much rubber his crest is turning black? Did he have off-season surgery to both his wrists that replaced them with dog paws and nobody told us? Did somebody replace him with Michael Henrich while we weren't looking? What is this! He's worth a couple glasses of Wild Turkey by himself.

Season-to-Date Standings:

16 points: Jason Strudwick

11 points: Mike Comrie

8 points: Denis Grebeshkov, Nikolai Khabibulin

6 points: Jean-Francois Jacques

5 points: Patrick O'Sullivan

4 points: Ethan Moreau

3 points: Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, Theo Peckham, Ryan Stone

1 point: Tom Gilbert, Ales Hemsky

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