Well, another week another game. Literally, ok, nearly literally. The Oilers played the Flames last Saturday resulting in a loss and the Wild for the second time in a week on Thursday suffering another loss. This schedule is just ridiculous! I bet your "honey do list" is getting checked off, but you would still rather be watching Oilers hockey. Am I right?
News is light again this week, but we'll still take a look at this week in Oil Country. Face-offs are still the major story of the day for the Oilers. The media, the bloggers, the fans, everyone is talking about face-offs and why we aren't winning them. For me, the face-off wins and the PK are what is currently and what will kill us going forward. Sadly, like with most things hockey, there is little you or I as the fans can do. So, we get to continue to sit on our couches and office chairs and speculate what needs to be done to make things better.
Of course by now you are wondering how I could possibly have not yet mentioned my favourite part of the week? That's right, I seem to have a soft spot for some of our Swedish prospects and rookies and the Magnificent Magnus scored his first goal, for me, last Saturday in Calgary. I still get this far away sappy look whenever I remember it. It was a greasy, ugly, lucky, Smytty like goal but it was a goal none the less. So, we are just waiting for the elusive Taylor Hall first NHL goal. May I say that I am not surprised he hasn't scored yet? The rest of the team isn't exactly on a scoring roll, and the schedule has not been in our favour. It will happen folks, we just have to be patient.
In news that I am not too happy with, the Edmonton Oilers are to be the first Canadian hockey team with a cheer team. I know you figure it is just because I'm a girl that I don't like it, but I assure you it is not. I've travelled to see the Oilers play in many other cities, and I have seen what some of the teams out there do with their cheer teams. In Dallas the girls have a large platform to dance on on one end of the stands. What this does is eliminate a luxury box, and easily half of a section in the lower bowl. That couldn't work in Edmonton. In Chicago they clear the ice and help with some of the demos during intermission. In most cities I can sum up what they do like this "They stand there and smile." I just don't see how this is any different than the girls that hand things out and help Mark Shultz. Maybe you have a different take on how this will add to fans' enjoyment of the game, or appreciation of hockey. I also feel that the time, money and effort spent on this campaign would be better put to use trying to drum up public support of a new arena complex. Oh well, I guess we just have to see how this pans out. Right now, I just feel that the Oilers are trying too many things and going off in too many directions. Maybe they're trying to take some of the focus off the rookies? I doubt that very much.
Oil Change the series started this week. If you missed it on TSN, or you are out of market, you can watch it on the Oilers website. Personally, I really like this series. I like the inside look that fans are seeing, I like the positive spin (shocker) and I like that I feel like I know some of what is going on. I know that many still feel that there are too many things we aren't being shown, but I honestly felt bad for management after watching on Wednesday (and then again at work on Thursday... don't tell my boss) they didn't have the easiest of tasks this summer, and the arena project still needs to be dealt with.
The other news of the week has of course been coach Tom Renney's line changes. Renney has been shuffling lines trying and hoping to generate some chemistry and assess the players we currently have up now. We'll have to see how these lines play out as soon as they have a chance to go through a few more games.
The Oil Kings were winnless this past week, losing to the Blazers again last night and could use your support by attending games. The WHL may not always have the names that you recognize, but they do represent good entertainment and good hockey for the whole family or for you and your friends.
NHL news - there were some suspensions. Most notably of course was Ryan Rypien and his altercation with fans in Minnesota. This was not a good situation for the NHL, the fans, or the Canucks. Part of my thinks that this could have been avoided if the Xcel Energy city was set up more like most other arenas. There isn't a tarp completely covering the players entrance, and there is no glass separating the players and the fans. I'm not saying that either Rypien or the fan is more at fault, but sadly this is a situation that might never have happened.
Let's have a look at some of the blogs that I found interesting this week:
The threat of a plebiscite will push Edmonton's downtown arena project to be its best - Cult of Hockey Staples
WHL Attendance - Reason for Concern - Coming Down the Pipe Flaming
The Journey - Black Dog Hates Skunks
An Oklahoma City Downtown Dilemma - Copper & Blue Livingston
Rippen on Rypien - Copper & Blue McCurdy
Magnus Paajarvi's First Goal - Like Ryan Smyth is Back in Edmonton - Copper & Blue Zona
Shooting, Faceoffs and Leanings - Oilers Nation Gregor
Blindspots: What the Oilers Don't See - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Tracking the Department of Youth - Oilers Nation Lowetide
Veteran Leadership - Oilers Nation Willis
And So It Begins... - Oilers Nation Gregor
Oilers Hokcey with a Side of Sex? - Oilers Jambalaya Smokin' Ray
Taylor Hall: Will He Stay or Will He Go? - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi
The Start of an NHL Socail Media Policy - Houses of the Hockey Burgundy
Seven Creepy Hockey Commercials - Houses of the Hockey Moldovanyi
Bourne Blog: Top 5 player distractions while sitting on the bench - Puck Daddy Bourne
Rypien Fan gets Bettman apology, disagrees with suspension -Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Bourne Blog: Why NHL players shouldn't have to tolerate fan abuse - Puck Daddy Bourne
CrowdWave: Changing NHL arena experience, for better or worse - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Upcoming NHL records and milestones - Down Goes Brown
In and around Edmonton this week the Oil Kings play two home games, Wednesday and Saturday and there are no Oilers games on either night. Atreyu plays the Edmonton Events centre on Thursday, Reba McEntire plays Rexall Place on Friday, and the one, the only Poison frontman and reality TV show star Bret Michaels plays the Shaw Conference Centre on Friday.