Oilers 2009 Season Opener Liveblog

Tonight, live from Edmonton, the Calgary Flames are in town as they take on the Edmonton Oilers in their NHL season opener. Some liveblogging will be done on this entry. Last year Edmonton lost to Calgary 4-3 in their season opener, but won 3-2 against Colorado in their home opener. In 2007, the Oilers home and season opener were the same game, and we beat San Jose 3-2.

The Oilers have a tough act to follow after the goal-crazy festival which was the Toronto-Washington 5pm game that just ended 6-4.

Earlier tonight on Coaches Corner and on Satellite Hotstove, the recent decision in the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy hearing by Judge Baum preventing Balsillie from relocating NHL teams under bankruptcy cover was discussed. Oddly enough when looking back to previous hockey related coverage on Third Edge of the Sword I come across a disagreement between Don Cherry and myself on whether or not the NHL can be bullied by RIM. In retrospect, its not surprising that Don Cherry knew more about hockey than me. It's still disappointing.

7:47pm: They just cut to Khabibulin in his inaugural Oilers jersey. Snazzy. Hope he's hydrated.

7:58pm: Don Cherry just commented on how snazzy Sheldon Sourray was dressed. Sheldon better change next time.

7:59pm: They managed to find some of the only black men in Edmonton not staffing bar bathrooms on a Saturday night -- and inexlplicably members of cirque du soleil -- to do the gospel-themed opening music. This makes sense, since to cheer for a team featuring Pat Quinn and Mike Comrie involves a giant leap of faith.

8:00pm: Its not a party in Edmonton unless there are Scotsmen with bagpipes. One of the cirque du soleilers is fiddling while in a wire harness. I'm surprised they never used that talent in the third Matrix movie.

8:05pm: The Twitterverse is already up in arms about the quality of the entertainment. I think this is going overboard. Would have a Vancouver 2010-style Indian pow-wow have been better? Clearly this was the backup plan when Corb Lund was unavailable.

8:07pm: And a differing opinion presents itself:

Best opening nite for a sports team I've ever seen... Hundred bag-pipers rockin' the house! http://twitpic.com/k6lfp
8:08pm: When they called Cogs and O'Sullivan's names as being from Toronto, no foreign objects were thrown to the ice. Obviously, I am not at the game.

8:09pm: Penner got a pretty sizeable ovation. Clearly a giant sack of shit with "27" on the side of it would be good enough for the faithful.

8:10pm:The big "FROOOOMMMM EDMONTON!" would have worked better if Pisani wasn't on the bench with his first of 82 missed games due to injury about to come about.

8:11pm: Sheldon Sourray is from Elk Point, n'est pas? That isn't where they credited him as being from.

8:12pm: Marc Pouliott's city confused Mark Lewis. I have just cracked my first beer: PC Dry from the Superstore Liquor Outlet. This party is getting underway! Er, it was. Comrie just got announced to big cheers. Where's Hilary Duff?

8:13pm: Pat Quinn gets an ovation? Dear Lord! Embarassing moment when Bucky got a boo because he was called at the moment the Falmes stepped onto the ice.

8:15pm: Since I'm not doing a hockey pool this year with my friends, perhaps I should go on the MotherCorp's.

8:16pm: Fans invited to follow along when Paul sings the Canadian anthem. Since they were originally only going to do that for the playoffs, perhaps its a signal from the club: this is your only shot boys.

8:17pm: I'm still wearing my headgear. Actually, I just put it on. Is the sound cutting out because Paul Lorieau is dropping F-bombs into the lyrics? I wish they'd play All Hell for a Basement instead of the anthem.

8:20pm: I just ordered my pizza online from Pizza73.com. I had to, because I'd been on hold for almost 15 minutes. Ryan Stone "bulldozed" his way onto the starting lineup.

8:22pm: And Calgary scores when Glencross scores in the first 30 seconds. 0-1.

8:25pm: "Early on we're getting a feel of the identity that Pat Quinn wants to bring to Edmonton" is the comment after a big fight in front of the Calgary net. Er, Pat Quinn wants the team identity to be "having to fight to regain momentum after dropping a goal in the first 12 seconds?"

8:26pm: Stop saying Pat Quinn didn't think the Oilers "had enough crust". Iginla is getting a double minor for roughing.

8:28pm: It's 14:36 in the first period. I'm gonna start using that for my timings.

1st period, 14:13: Penner and O'Sullivan are pounding away at the net, but they can't sink it past Kipper. Still 0-1.

1st period, 13:37:Penner scores! 1-1 game now, just as the Iginla penalty ends but before Jarome can make it to the play. Sounds like the Oilers are going to be a crash the net sort of team. Is Ryan Smyth available to join the roster?

1st period, 12:55: Stortini seems to be injured. He's hobbling to the bench. This alone should improve the team +/-.

1st period, 11:55: When the next commerical break comes I will need to get the post-pizza snacks ready. Roughing penalty to Calgary coming up, Nystrom is off for 2 minutes for shoving JF Jacques and keeping him locked in at the Flames bench.

1st period, 11:11: Why is Mike Comrie #91? Who's #89 on the Oilers?

1st period, 10:31: Duhhhh, Sam Gagner. I should have known that, he's the jersey I wanna buy myself for Christmas.

1st period, 9:44: The Oilers power play under Pat Quinn is so far just as shitty as it was under Craig MacTavish. Special teams will sink this club, mark my words.

1st period, 9:04: Cogliano! Learn how to handle a stick, buddy!

1st period, 8:55 Now a penalty to the Oilers. Possibly two. Hope I wasn't right about the special teams. Pizza's here!

1st period, 7:51: Flames score while I'm getting the pizza. 1-2 for the bad guys.

1st period, 5:59: Penner with another scoring chance. Maybe I should take back the sack of shit comment. Hilary Duff reference just got announced.

1st period, 4:20: Last Saskatchewan River Pirate is getting a good play on the CBC. They still haven't had the faceoff.

1st period, 2:55: Do we not have the best ice in the league again this year? It sure looks like it.

1st period, 2:06: 20 hits in 18 minutes. Is niiiice.

1st period, 1:04: No fire in the Oilers all of a sudden. I guess they're planning to go into intermission down by a goal.

1st period, 0:12: Puck slips out of play, last play of the period is a Flames possession.

1st intermission: 14-6 are the shots for Edmonton, 2-1 is the score for Calgary. Almost 3-1, Bulin coughs up a shot that luckily hits the post.

8:58pm: That was a strange interview. Penner took the time from trashing Mac T to be completely confused what questions were being asked, and ended up harassing Oake and sounding like a moron. And angry moron. Almost as angry as me seeing another stupid AUPE commercial.

9:02pm: Two losing Ontario coaches give pressers about "simplifying" the game. Thus a 10 minute discussion of what good advice it is that didn't help Ottawa or Toronto win their games today.

9:04pm: Kelly Hrudey complimenting Dustin Penner. And this guy is opening for George W.?

9:07pm: You can buy a DVD with the Flames "10 best playoff games". I think all of them were in 1989.

2nd period, 20:00: And we're back underway. Announce team is talking about puck possession. Er.....

2nd period, 19:50: You know its the first game of the year when your last few NHL games have been on Playstation 2 and when an offside occurs your first instinct is "damn, I gotta go turn offsides off"

2nd period, 19:34: If the MotherCorp still had the CFL rights, I'm sure they would have linked their "gotta defend home ice" thesis to the "defend the turf" Esks slogan.

2nd period, 19:02: Talking about Khabibulin's dehydration issues that apparently the Oilers staff never knew about. Not good based on how much work we're giving him.

2nd period, 17:42: Looks like Comrie-O'Sullivan is going to be the combo teams need to learn to defend against. Trouble is, the Flames seems to have done this already.

2nd period, 17:20: Another fight. Stortini and Prost on the Flames are going at it. Its going on for a good long while, not a lot of fights, just two guys jockeying for position. Stortini seemed to tire out to end it.

2nd period, 16:22: Oilers can't seem to get it out of their own zone.

2nd period, 16:06: They got it out of the zone. Icing against the Oilers.

2nd period, 14:49 Oilers can't get anything going. Even in the offensive zone, Edmonton doesn't look like they can set anything up. In their own zone they're looking horrible.

2nd period, 13:56: If this Oilers team in the neutral zone were in other zones, it would be a very different game. Looks like they have to be between blue lines in order to complete their passes.

2nd period, 12:39: Oh yeah, the Oilers have been on a power play all this time. Yuck.

2nd period, 11:58: Did Hemsky just deliver a blow to Regehr? Holy Christ.

2nd period, 11:12: Ryan Stone is #32. I give this information in case he does anything.

2nd period, 10:47: Mark Lee had said that 50 goals was Iginla's career high this year. Then they show a graphic how he had 51 goals in '01-'02. Whoops.

2nd period, 9:27: Every time Lee says "Proust" it sounds like he's saying "crust". If he keeps this up, Quinn will move heaven and earth to trade for him.

2nd period, 7:51: Edmonton crowd is chanting "Calgary sucks". All Lee can mutter is that the fans are "trying to motivate their team". Its not like the "asshole" chant when Pronger is on [or Comrie until about 45 seconds ago.. -ed], you're allowed to say "sucks" on the air. How else could anybody review The Hour?

2nd period, 7:10: It still makes me shiver involuntarily watching Pat Quinn chewing gum on our Oiler bench.

2nd period, 6:39: Edmonton's penalty kill is similarly no better than last year. Phaneuf just scored to make it 1-3.

2nd period, 6:38: SAM GAGNER JUST WAILED ON CRAIG CONROY! He takes a guy on that he had no business fighting, and we all love it.

2nd period, 5:48: High sticking penalty to the new kid. Are you sure about putting Stone up and Gagner down, Quinn?

2nd period, 5:47: Turns out to be Ethan Moreau in the box.

2nd period, 4:09: "Khabibulin doesn't know where it [the puck] is!" I really really really wish Lee wouldn't keep getting chances to say that.

2nd period, 3:26: Edmonton kills off a penalty and almost, almost, scores a goal when Horcoff puts it through Kipper's 5-hole but not past the goal line.

2nd period, 2:42: Get out of our bench, ya bum!

2nd period, 2:03: SCORES! Brule hammers one from the top of the circle past Kiprusoff. 2-3 now.

2nd period, 1:29: C'mon boys, make it 3-3 going into the third.

2nd period, 0:55: Khabi loses it to a Flame behind the net, but luckily one of our boys cleared it back in time.

2nd period, 0:48: Buckcherry's "Lit Up" playing as Phaneuf gets a 2 minute minor that should hopefully not carry into the 3rd

2nd period, 0:26: Mark Lee is so used to describing plays at the Oilers end, he calls Kipper "Bulin" as he stones Hemsky.

2nd period, 0:07: With 25 seconds left in the period and a powerplay the Oilers should be skating hard and fast. What are you saving your energy for??

10:05pm: The Battle of Alberta has its gameday post up, featuring some more Twitter comments about the bagpipes.

10:12pm: CBC just played the "Peter Puck" segment. I half expected his debut to come with the disclaimer that he might disappear soon and he's only here now because Glen Sather bailed him out.

3rd period, 19:57: Crown Royal sponsors the 3-stars now? Has Molson blown their ad budget on graphic ads at Hudsons?

3rd period, 19:38: Phaneuf asked the CBC to give his grandmother happy birthday wishes. Phaneuf's grandma is wiggling her unibrown in appreciation.

3rd period, 18:46: Phaneuf penalty expires. It doesn't matter who the GM is, it doesn't matter who the coach is, it doesn't matter who the players are. An Oiler powerplay is a lot of cycling between the back defensemen and the left winger. No actual shots on goal and no actual traffic in front of the crease.

3rd period, 17:39: This iced tea I bought at the Islamic grocery is pretty good. I wonder how bad Allah will disprove if I add some rum.

3rd period, 17:05: Typically a 3-on-2 results in a scoring opportunity, or at least a shot on goal. Not when we do it. Khabibulin has his sweaty job cut out for him, Kipper has had a relatively easy night.

3rd period, 15:44: Pat Quinn is going to be the guest on "After Hours". I wonder if they'd submit my question of "are you going to lead the Oilers to as many cups as you got the Maple Leafs?"

3rd period, 15:06: Every time we play Calgary and Moss is on the ice, I keep hearing "Moss has the puck" and thinking ever-so-fleetingly that Joey Moss has somehow made the team. Right now I'm not convinced that wouldn't be a good idea.

3rd period, 14:04: Kevin Weekes is talking about Smid's attitude after being tradebait. Uh, the dude was in a possible deal for Danny Heatley. I'm pretty sure that's a boost for a player's ego.

3rd period, 13:49: Kevin Weekes: if there's gonna be a goal, its going to be a greasy, dirty goal. On behalf of all Italians, Fernando Pisani should file a human rights complaint.

3rd period, 12:49: The 4th line is really pressing here, clearly trying to show the new coach that they deserve to play on a line with Mike Comrie.

3rd period, 11:44: Iginla almost took it from Khabibulin. This is twice in one game... can we tell Nikoli that the NHL ruled goalies cannot play the puck behind the net at all and hope he buys it?

3rd period, 10:29: Oiler players are also losing their sticks a lot tonight.

3rd period, 9:40: I think that was the first Oilers neutral zone steal that resulted in a scoring attempt. Keep it up!

3rd period, 6:55: Calgary giveaway right in the front of the net, and Sam Gagner puts another notch in the "I deserve to not be on the 4th line" bedpost. 3-3 tie game. Gagne extremely happy, and did an Ovechkin-style glass-bump to celebrate.

3rd period, 5:50: And now the crowd is back into the game, chanting "lets go Oilers". Like it or not Pat Quinn, Gagner is an extremely popular player.

3rd period, 5:24: Conroy puts a hard shot on net, and the Bulin Wall stops it. It looked like a sure thing, but he was in position.

3rd period, 3:38: Souray rifles a shot that almost touches the net. Okay, it still rattles Kipper.

3rd period, 3:11: "Stop" by Against Me! plays during Oilers timeouts.

3rd period, 3:03: Holy crap! I think Calgary is the one who did the post-faceoff planning during that Edmonton timeout.

3rd period, 2:26: Oilers can't keep possession, Flames can't clear their own zone. This is a long shift.

3rd period, 0:59: One minute to go in the 3rd period! O'Sullivan just missed the net, we almost put a nail in Calgary's coffin.

3rd period, 0:46: Is it too late to get Roloson back? Bulin misplays the puck again, this time in the low slot, and David Moss gets the puck into the empty net.

3rd period, 0:16: Ah, just let it dribble back into the empty net. Again.

3rd period, 0:00: And its over: 4-3 final score, and the Calgary Flames remain undefeated in the regular season. Oilers fall to 0-1, and start the second season in a row on a losing note against Calgary.

10:51pm: Pat Quinn will be on the "critically acclaimed" AfterHours next. Who are the critics who keep acclaiming the show, out of curiosity?

10:55pm: "Awesome pregame show" says Ron McLean. How come nobody can just say "it was okay, but nothing that great"? It's the George W. Bush of pregame shows: people hate it or love it but nothing in between.

10:57pm I know I just tweeted that I was done, but I'll keep liveblogging the AfterHours coverage until I get sick of it.

11:01pm: Eliza Dushku is attending the Kings-Coyotes game tonight. She sure had good seats.... http://twitpic.com/k7c12.

11:03: No rain from the slow-driveby as AfterHours kicks off. I forgot to notice which street they were on.

11:04pm: Why are the bagpippers from Ontario?

11:05pm: The bagpippers didn't have a mic. Just take Weekes', its not like he actually needs it! It turns out these guys did the bagpipping in the new HNIC theme, which 5 seconds after I listen to I can never remember. The old one that htey have on TSN is far better. The driveby seems to be on James MacDonald bridge.

11:08pm: Kevin Weekes never sucked as bad as Khabibulin did. Okay, the tape they just played looked bad, but lets me serious, he stayed in the crease.

11:10pm: Ah good, Pat Quinn is on. His face looks so red, he must be drinking scotch as much as I am. He says he doesn't like any of our goals against.

11:11pm: Did Quinn just say that he anticipates it will take a while before the Oilers are a team that can win games?

11:13pm: Kevin Weekes is hammering Pat Quinn about putting Gagner on the 4th line. Quinn gets defensive: "you goalies are as bad as the media". Er, he's both right now, I think. Quinn doesn't think 1st through 4th line "really matters". He's making his case for demoting Gagner anyways (after admitting that 4th line was a demotion), and doing a half decent job of it. It sounds like its a good idea as he says it, but in reality I'm unconvinced. 2nd line for sure.

11:14pm: "Scott, I don't know what answer you want me to give". Quinn gives odd interviews.

11:42pm: Oh, incidently, this live blog has concluded. I'm not liveblogging the Toronto game, and like hell I want to watch the Oilers debacle a second time.


Anonymous said...

FYI, Sam Gagner is #89.