November 26, 2010

Avs probably still Kicking Themselves for Losing to Oil as Hall Nets First Game-Winning Goal

Everyone knows that the Edmonton Oilers have been a bad team this year, as their 6-11-4 record (as of Thursday night) speaks for itself. But few really know how bad. One stat potentially sheds some light on the situation: Their penalty-kill efficiency of 67.5%. Think about that for a second... on average, every three penalty kills they give up one goal, which I guess would be the NHL's version of the three-date rule.

Not only that, but they've also given up a league-high 3.86 goals per game, which, needless to say, is astoundingly high. Scoring on the Oilers has become so easy that there has been a sudden unmanageable increase in the number of horny, sexually frustrated teenagers looking to drop everything in order to pursue a career as an NHLer, which would be all fine and good if the only team they could most realistically make wasn't the Oilers.

However, all is not lost, as the future of the organization (admittedly long-term future) is still very bright. A recent TSN poll (link here) asked Canadians which of the six teams up north was in the most trouble. While the Calgary Flames seem to be running away with it right now, the Oilers are unjustifiably in second place (although one could argue that the Flames are also unjustifiably in first). Unlike the Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, the Oilers are knee-deep in top-level talent. The only problem is it's going to take a few years for that talent, like a fine wine, to mature. The Leafs may be better off right now, but when your only legitimate blue-chip prospect is Nazem Kadri you might as well forego the fermentation process altogether, get drunk off your ass as soon as possible, and try to drink away your sorrows, because they ain't ever going away any other way.

However, in the here and the now, there is a very real concern that the Oilers losing the way they have been will irreparably damage them. Thankfully Taylor Hall brought some joy, however short-lived it is to be, to the City of Champions on Thursday with the first game-winning goal of his career, scored with under 30 seconds left in the Oilers`game against the Colorado Avalanche. It may not be much, and in the end those two points may very well end up screwing the Oilers out of a top pick in June, but at least they would have screwed themselves in such a scenario... an infinitely preferable situation to the alternative, at least in hockey, anyway.

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