July 18 2014 01:27PM
Wow, it really is the silly season, isn't it?
While the default here on the coast is bleak pessimism and recrimination no matter what time of year, our friends up in Northern Alberta have no shortage of optimism when it comes to anything related to oil it seems. That includes the local hockey team, which, coincidentally enough, is named for the stuff. So it makes sense that they would be resistant to reality, no matter how much evidence there is to support it.
So why have I chosen now to pick on the Oilers? Well, it all started with that little poll the right... ---->
You can vote and click for yourself to see how it's going, but here's a screen cap for posterity:
So yes, as I sat here staring a blank screen trying to figure out what to write, pining for the days of a looming lockout and a GM trying to land a bit tuna, I glanced over to the poll and couldn't help but laugh.
But then what else should we expect from a fanbase that takes pride in continuously selling out despite such an awesome playoff history in recent years. If you're wondering just how long it's been, maybe this will help:
So yes, the Oilers are in danger of falling into turning into Maple Leafs West if they keep this up. Throw all the jerseys you want on the ice, but keep showing up and the organization has zero reason to actually make meaningful changes *cough*getridofLowe*cough*. But at this rate, Darryl Katz has absolutely no motivation to do anything about the sorry state of the Oilers and the fact that they are frittering away the careers of some pretty good young players.
Now, I'm no fan of the way Aquilini has run this team in recent years, but at least you can't fault him for making some radical changes when things don't go well. But don't underestimate the role of the fans in driving that change. From the "Fire Gillis" chants to the waning season ticket renewals, Vancouver fans were revolting and Aquilini was forced to act.
Of course, I'm sure the last thing we want to see in Edmonton is any kind of revolution, lest the twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages make an appearance. And that is not just National Post hyperbole, either!
Ok. Ok. I'll stop now.
Before the machete-wielding hordes from Oilers Nation make their way over and wreak havoc on the comments section below, let me just say that I'm (mostly) kidding. Like I said up top, it's the silly season after all.
Speaking of which, you know things are slow when the Twitter spats over nothing heat up and boil over. And by nothing, I mean almost-Canuck, Justin Schultz, who's two years with the Oilers have amounted to just that.
This particular spat between the Edmonton Journal's David Staples and Tyler Dellow's Tyler Dellow, immoratilzed over at The Hot Takery, finally exposed and named the nefarious influence that stats lovers are having on the game of hockey:
Look, all I can say is that we know scoring chances are real, we just don't know if they're caused by human behaviour.
Finally, on a personal note, I just spent a couple of days in the "home of the Kings" and I saw absolutely no sign of the Stanley Cup. I guess I know how the San Jose Sharks feel:
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