Saturday, February 17, 2007

Leafs v. Oil

The Oil
For a long time, the Oil were team 1B for me. As a teenager, they were a team I could root for in the post-season while my leafs golfed.

When they won the Cup in '90, a buddy of mine phoned me from his home in the North East corner of Edmonton and I could hear the car horns blaring in the background throughout the call.

Sadly, that's the closest I've ever been to celebrating a Cup win.

Both of these teams have more in common than any Oiler fan would willingly admit: from terrible ownership (bordering on corrupt and criminal in both cases) to their formidable history; from bringing in players on the wrong side of their careers (Nedved; Nolan; Nilson; Oates; Gingras; Laraque) to patches of horrific drafting. And, for both of these organizations, their best years are well behind them.

Yeah, the Oil had a tremendous run in the 80s that will likely never be seen again - and their fans will be the first to remind you about that - but I have to ask what's the statute of limitations on nostalgia? It's been 40 years for the Leafs and 18 for the Oil...Sure, I'd rather be on the side that only has to count to 18, but when you start measuring in decades it's a bit like bragging about being the world's tallest midget.

My dad's favourite player. I remember him playing with the Whalers and burying the Leafs one night when I was seven or eight years old. My dad was thrilled. I was right pissed off - at Keon, at my Dad and at Ballard.

Nice work by JFJ to get him back. Lowetide has a nice post on Keon as well.

The 1967 Reunion
Glad they did something for the team on this anniversary but I'm not so sure that centre ice before the game was the right time and place.

I certainly can't recall any other professional sports team recognizing a (rather embarrassing) milestone like this. At least Anne Murray wasn't brought out to mark the occasion...

I'd love to know the Leafs record following ceremonies like this one.

They lost when the Gardens closed, they lost the night they honoured Kelly, Day and Salming, they won when Sittler's 27 went up...I just have a feeling that, more often than not, these opening ceremonies end up in the L column for the Leafs.

The Penalty Shot
Likely the right call, but why the delay? That ref took his sweet time to point to centre ice...Anyone know Raycroft's stats on penalty shots? Given his stats in the shootout (23rd overall, .600 save percentage) I'd guess he's right near the bottom among active goalies. Maybe they should have stuck Aubin between the pipes for that one.

Trade Nonsense
With the Oil falling further and further from the post-season I'm extremely doubtful that they're going to be buyers in the next two weeks. This road trip (pasted by Boston?!?) has tilted the scales from buyer to seller. Moreover, the Oilers strike me as a team more in need of a puck moving D than a scrappy PP specialist like Tucker (and I'm pretty sure Craig Simpson could figure out how to make Tucker ineffective on the Oiler powerplay anyways.)

All of that to say, did anyone notice Lupul tonight? Did the guy even dress? This is who Leaf Nation is talking up? Over 14 minutes, 21 shifts, -1, 1 shot on net. Meh. The Leafs might as well spend $2.5M on the invisible man. This is not a guy I want on the Blue and White.

The Meaningless Projected Standings as of Saturday Night

TeamWin %GR Record to 92 Pts Record to 95 Pts
1. BUFFALO0.703234-18-16-17-0
2. NEW JERSEY0.667257-18-08-14-1
3. PITTSBURGH0.6162611-14-113-13-0
4. OTTAWA0.6022310-12-112-11-0
5. ATLANTA0.5752311-11-113-10-0
6. TAMPA BAY0.5752211-10-113-9-0
7. TORONTO0.5592313-10-014-8-1
8. CAROLINA0.5492112-8-114-7-0
9. NY ISLANDERS0.5422314-9-015-7-1
10. MONTREAL0.5332214-8-015-6-1
11. NY RANGERS0.5262415-8-117-7-0
12. BOSTON0.5092517-8-018-7-0
13. WASHINGTON0.4742418-6-119-4-0
14. FLORIDA0.4752217-4-119-3-0

Teams are sorted by winning percentage, not points. Teams have not been re-seeded by division standings. Philadelphia cannot make 92 or 95 points.

Math was done by hand - let me know if there are any errors...


  1. I was at this game, and was dissapointed in the pre game cermony, but also thrilled that is was only 15 minutes long. I am curious to see stats on how longer pre game cermonies affect the home team.

    The thing I don't like about the penalty shot was the Carlo's forarm is what did the tripping, so did the guy really have a full breakaway?

    Another thing I found odd, during the course of the whole game they didn't once, not once, show the out of town scoreboard on the scoreboard. Im sure had they shown the scores of the Isles and Habs game, the ACC would have cheered. Maybe.

    13 More Win to 92!

  2. That's a pretty interesting comparison between the two clubs. Especially considering they are among the first to club Leaf fans over the head with Ballard, 1967, and bringing in old players. They were also team 1B for me. Although since I am a bit younger it was during the 90s/00s for their underdog nature.

    After reading so much about how Lupul can't hack it in Edmonton how could anyone think he would get his head on straight in Toronto? The media would eat his lunch.

    Speaking of trades between Edmonton and Toronto, how many of the Oiler fans that said Steen and Kaberle were crap would rather have made that trade for Pronger than Lupul, Smid, and picks? That trade will haunt them for years.