Losing Is One Thing, But 8 Goals in 6 Games?

At what point do fans who suggest blowing up this Oilers team become more than just those who follow the popular thing to say? The way the Oilers have successfully racked up a streak of 9 losses in their last 10 games, those who suggest this team is due for a change are only stating the obvious.

Now 29th in the NHL and Carolina looking more and more like they might grab that 29that spot within a matter of games, the Oilers are simply lousy.

It could be the missing players, it could be the horrid special teams, and it could be a feeling that the players have come to understand, this year isn't one where people should expect much.

Over halfway through the season, the Oilers would need to win close to 75% of their games to make the playoffs. At six games under .500, and without Hemsky, Khabibulin, Comrie and Visnovsky; the feat is next to impossible and fans, along side hopefully management realize it and are planning for the future.

This is the time that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini should be openly waving his white flag by calling the other GM's in the NHL and emphatically stating the Oilers are sellers. His exact words should be, "we're moving almost everything for picks and the future of this team, make us an offer or let's construct a plan now while the getting's good."

Let other teams know there are certain players available and what the Oilers are interested in return. Do it well before the Olympic break so that everyone knows who and what is feasible on their own teams and for their part, the Oilers should do what they can to clear space for players like Eberle, Svennson and spare parts they can get from free agency after they do everything in their power to get one of the top two draft spots.

It's taken Oilers management three long years to realize this team and anything close to it isn't going to be good enough to contend. Their current record can't even justify suggesting that missing Hemsky and Khabibulin would fix the problem. The same old "we can only judge our team when healthy" simply doesn't cut it and building a team that even if not as talented, but overall more efficient in every area of hockey is the way to go.

Everyone and their mother is starting to suggest who is likely an attractive commodity from the Edmonton Oilers before the deadline. The Oilers should be making calls about those players and frankly everyone else.

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Oilers New Year Starts In Grande Fashion: About $18 Grande To Be Exact

So the Oilers lose a stinker of a hockey game against the Flames on New Years Eve. A roster player or friend (were not 100% sure who yet) recommends a Calgary restaurant for the Oilers to ring in 2010, and the Oilers walk away looking like snobbish, elite, too good for the rules, ego driven bad guys.

Deservedly or not, Happy New Year Oilers and fans.

Sure, this situation in the grande scheme of things won't affect anyone too greatly. The players spent about $300-$400 each on New Year's Eve, the restaurant got less than it charged, but a ton of national free publicity and the fans aren't directly impacted.

Let me say though, it doesn't give a lot for already frustrated Oiler fans much to cheer about.

The Oilers made their way to a trendy Calgary restaurant. Between a total of about 45 players, the team rang up what the restaurant determined to be an $18,000 bill. The Oilers felt they were overcharged, including argueing they should have been charged per bottle not per shot (amongst which about $8,000 of the bill consisted of). There was a disagreement between the team (mainly Ethan Moreau and the restaurant manager), in which the outcome was the restaurant deducted the bill, the Oilers paid the reduced amount including adding an almost $2000 tip and leaving.

No police were involved, no violence and both sides left peacefully. Yet the restaurant called the media to share their story. Even going as far to say he's so dissappointed, he'll be donating the total revenue of the Oilers party to charity.

Hmmm... Hopefully that's true, but to me it sounds like the last thing someone might do when looking to steer this situation into good publicity.

There are elements of both angles of this story to which a person might logically choose a side. The restaurant is right in that when being served shots, you pay for the shots and not the total bottles those shots added up to.

The players may be right in that with 45 people and a restaurant that agreed to lower the price of the bill, the team isn't responsible for paying the original price.

The fans meanwhile are right in being frustrated that this is not the kind of publicity the team needs and in off all places Calgary after a bad loss, which seems like a frequent occurence for the team.

A few questions come to my mind:

* Is this a big deal partly because it took place in Calgary?
* Is this a bigger issue to us because the Oilers aren't winning?
* Was there an opportunity for all sides to avoid this issue?
* Do the Oilers players really care that this situation is in the media and only we feel the need to talk about it?

My guess, is to some degree all points except the last one are a yes in some way, shape or form.

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Go Away For 5 Days and Everything Changes. Tons of News

Why is it when you're around and trying to come up with things to talk about, nothing happens? Of course, when you leave for a few days there is all sorts of news to share.

The Oilers followed five straight road wins with seven straight losses. How nice.

The Olympic team for Canada and the rest of the world gets set, and there is big rumblings from all sorts of people that something big is coming for the Oilers.

First off, what about the dreary Oilers? Is it me, or when you finally needed your team to plummet to the bottom of the NHL, thus almost solidifying a decent draft pick, the draft is thinner than in years past? Imagine last year, had the Oilers finished bottom three (which it looks might be a lock the way they're are playing), Edmonton could be home to Tavares, Doughty or Duschene.

One of those players just made the Olympic team and is argueably the single biggest reason the LA Kings are a competitive squad.

Instead, the Oilers pick a year where the biggest name in the draft is Taylor Hall, and he'll likely be grabbed by the Carolina Hurricanes who somehow, are hands done worse than Edmonton.

Add to that players like Dustin Penner who were incredibly hot and now not even at a point-per-game pace and with Hemsky, Comrie, and Khabibulin out, and for the forseeable future, the Oilers are going to get much worse before they get better.

They play Toronto tonight, which normally would be good news, but Toronto has been a decent team and are clicking far better than an Oilers group who can't seem to find any chemistry.

Olympics

Team Canada was named and there were major surprises. Of four Flames rumoured, only one made the cut, that being Jarome Iginla who has been named as an Assistant captain. Bouwmeester, Phaneuf and Robyn Regher all were absent from the list.

Not surprisingly, Dustin Penner, who had once been given some consideration is not on the list. That said, how can you put Penner on, but keep Lecavalier, St. Louis, Jeff Carter and others off?

For the rest of the Olympics, Visnovsky, Grebeshokov were named to their respective Slovak and Russian sqauds. One deserves to be there and I'm sure you can guess who I think that is.

Tom Gilbert and Patrick O'Sullivan have a chance of making Team U.S.A, but my guess is based on their play, not a very good one.

Of course, amidst all of this is the rumours surrounding some big trades coming in the NHL as teams hit the half-way mark of the season and some injuries have occured on teams in serious contention.

The Oilers who will need a small miracle to make the playoffs, are sure to be sellers at the deadline and trades are already making the rounds including moving Ethan Moreau, Patrick O'Sullivan and Andrew Cogliano.

At this point, and has been noted by even the most patient of writers (ie. Robin Brownlee) die-hard fans all over are suggesting a blowing up of the team and if Tambellini can pull it off, moving over 75% of the team.

Brownlee even goes so far as to suggest that should Tambellini not pull it off, that he, Kevin Lowe and others in management say goodbye or be told to leave allowing Pat Quinn the opportunity to run things.

I'm not totally against it as I find Quinn's approach to how he'd like to build this team much more appealing than I do Tambellini who seems to be a lot of talk and no action. Even his talk has changed from where the season started.

Edmonton plays on PPV tonight and the way this team has played, I'd sit back and let others order it while I find a more constructive way to spend my money. However, Christmas brought our household full HD everything, and I'm interested to watch the Oilers in higher quality.

I'm sure it will out-do the quality of the play on the ice, but hey, it's the last game before New Year's...maybe the Oilers will surprise me.


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