Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bizzaro World

If you've ever read a superman comic or watched Seinfeld, you'll be familiar with the concept of Bizzaro World. In Bizzaro World everything is opposite of our shared reality. Up is down, bad is good, and of course, the Oilers are great and the Flames terrible.

Wait, that sounds a little too close to reality.

I'll backtrack a bit. Firstly, the Oilers aren't great, that was basically a literary device I used to try draw in interest and set up my argument. So, the Oilers aren't great, but boy does it feel that way lately.

The Oilers are 6-4-0 in their last 10, Dwayne Roloson is 3-1-0 with a .941 sv %, and 2.14GAA,

Fernando Pisani is back in the Copper and Blue

Andrew Cogliano and Tom Gilbert continue to play far beyond my personal yearly expectations,

The Stoll-Torres-Stortini line is playing some moderately effective minutes. Even chipping in with a goal against Anaheim.

Sean Horcoff continues to dominate in every way. Almost any other team in the league and he'd be on a Wheaties Box.

Hell, even Allan Rourke is looking like a player now and then.

With any luck the Oilers will actually finish ahead of the Ducks in the standings and then get the higher pick. Hopefully I haven't jinxed anything.

Meanwhile, in Yraglac, the Flames are playing absolutely terrible. The Flames top heavy lineup isn't effective in special teams at all, Miikka Kipprusoff is playing average at best, shots against are down but goals against (and in my opinion scoring chances) are way up.

This defensive group couldn't stop an alcoholic from going dry. David Hale and Anders Eriksson are not even close to NHL quality defenders (check out Eriksson's 'positioning' during the Blue Jackets OT goal on Saturday. What the hell was he doing?), Dion Phaneuf is completely overstretched in terms of responsibilities and Cory Sarich is simply not good enough to be in a true shutdown role. Did anyone catch Sarich's impression of defence against Datsyuk?

The goaltending is an constant set of implosions. Kipprusoff is only playing as bad as his teammates, but unfortunately right now that is pretty bad. A lot of the goals he is letting in are not of a terrible calibre (although some are) but he is simply not making any big saves at all. I can't blame him for that OT winner on Saturday, but a year ago he probably would have made the save.

The Flames 4th and 3rd lines have become moderately better, but the second line has become utterly useless. I don't know whether Kristian Huselius' last couple seasons were flukes or Mike Keenan has killed his abilities (actually I am of course kidding, it's Keenan) but he is not handling the puck well or putting it inthe net.

Tanguay continues to play absolutely erratically, making a terrible play one minutes and an ok one the next.

There is only one real bright spot on the Flames, and it's the same bright spot the Flames had back in the 'Young Guns' days; Jarome Iginla. He continues to outperform the competition in every aspect and still keep a smile on his face during what I can only imagine to be painful interviews. I bet he feels like Mats Sundin, and no one wants to feel like Mats Sundin.

I have often thought that this team under Keenan would either win the Stanley Cup or miss the playoffs. I think that prediction still stands.

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