Yesterday afternoon, I made my first trip to Rexall for the 2008/2009 season. Needless to say, the drive there was a lot more fun then the drive home. My tickets weren’t very good, but the birds eye view from way up above gave me a really good over view of the play away from the puck… certainly a different perspective then from on TV, I must admit I was really surprised with the lack of energy and intensity that was projected live versus from my lazy boy at home.
The over head view also exposed the power play for what it really is… brutally predictable and completely ineffective. The Oilers effectively turn their 5 on 4’s into 3 on 4’s with their lack of puck movement, reluctance to shoot and inability to both get the puck down low and win the battle the odd time that it is there. I don’t claim to have the answers, but if at the end of the year I had to pick which areas cost this team a ticket to the post season, I’d point my fingers squarely at the not so special, special teams.
So where do we sit now? With two losses in winnable games in the past three, the home town team is in the unenviable spot of sitting in 10th place, looking up to 3 teams that have all be diligent if not spectacular lately in their respective quests for the playoffs. Over the last ten games the “bubble” teams have accumulated the following points:
St. Louis 15
“.500” hockey just doesn’t cut it at this point. Now the team isn’t done yet, and with a win on Tuesday against the Ducks, coupled with a little help from some friends, the team will be right back in the mix… But I must say, the curtain seems to be closing on this year’s version of the Edmonton Oilers.
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Written by Scott Brown