First Star, Worst Star: November 21, 2014

1zvem1i

Time once again for everyone’s favorite new weekly feature: FIRST STAR WORST STAR!! 

FIRST STAR

grosenick

Troy Grosenick. 

I MEAN, COME ON! What’s not to love about this story? The 25 year old net minder gets called up after Alex Stalock goes down with an injury, makes his NHL debut 4 days later in which he records a 45(!!!) save shutout, AND his family is in the building? He might as well retire now because it’s going to be hard to top that moment! (And, uh, he got absolutely lit up by Buffalo the next game, so….)

I love everything about this video. His dad crying tears of joy. His brother, who thankfully got to take time off from being a roadie for Ratt to come watch the game. His mom showing literally no emotion, calmly putting on her coat as the rest of the family freaks out. Just great work top to bottom Grosenick family! 

WORST STAR

youre-the-worst-and-carry-on

You, us, we, the fans. With our never-ending theories about how the Oilers are purposely trying to lose, and knowing for sure that Daryl Katz is sleeping on a pile of our hard earned cash, cackling and masturbating at the thought of our continued misery while he reaps all the benefits of spending millions upon millions of dollars to own one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports. Not the mention the insider knowledge that Dallas Eakins is purposely making head scratching decisions because he has a personal vendetta against you, yes YOU and you alone, and just wants to make your life miserable by losing 4 out of 5 hockey games he coaches. 

When we’re not storming the comments section or Twitter decrying the injustices of being forced to spend our free time watching professional sports, entertainment if you will, we’re making sure to always be on the media’s case for never, ever, ever, once, ever saying anything bad at all about the Oilers.  

And it’s not just Oiler fans. Look at our ever embarrassing cousins in the east! On November 12th Leaf fans and their media were falling all over themselves to praise the team for their statement making game against the Bruins. That statement? Well…. actually I’m not entirely sure. That even a good team like the Boston Bruins are going to have an off night and get lit up once in a while? That hockey is pretty random? That the Leafs won one game? That one win in the middle of November somehow erases that hilarious collapse in the playoffs two years ago? Whatever it was Leaf fans across the land were riding high. 7 days and THREE games later? 

BURN THE HOUSE DOWN!! Fire the coach! Fire the GM! Fire the mascot! Trade everyone! Put Phil Kessel on trial for his heinous crimes against humanity! Fire Brian Burke again! 

Two losses, granted by a combined score of 15-4, and all of a sudden the Leafs season was basically over. 

And EVEN DUMBER THAN THAT, the Leafs come out the next game, beat Tampa handily, and people got EVEN MORE IRATE AND STUPID! Why? Well the Leafs had the audacity not to lift their sticks up at center ice for 3 seconds as everyone was filing out of the building. How disrespectful to the 300 people that didn’t leave 5 minutes early to beat the traffic! 

Sports fandom is a funny thing that I doubt I’ll truly ever understand. I’m as guilty as anyone for getting caught up in the emotional roller coaster that goes along with loving a sports franchise a little (a lot) too much. But MY LORD MAN, some of us need to take a serious look in the mirror and reevaluate our priorities here. At the end of the day watching professional sports is a hobby, it’s entertainment, it’s fun. Err, well, it’s SUPPOSED to be fun. 

This team needs to go through some major changes, that’s plain as day. But as we’ve seen for going on almost 9(!!) years now bellyaching and complaining and long winded screeds *shifty eyes* aren’t going to make a lick of difference in terms of what happens on the ice. For better or for worse (mostly worse) we chose the Oilers as the team we love and spend way too much time thinking and yelling about. We’re all obviously super passionate about this team, otherwise we wouldn’t waste tons of company time commenting on who is to blame for what at any given time. 

But I think we all just need to take a step back, take a couple of big, deep breathes, and realize that there are much, much better things to worry about than professional sports. I think we’re just making a shitty situation even worse by constantly dwelling on all the crappy parts of this team. I mean, I personally can’t even get mad at the ineptitude displayed by this team day in and day out. It’s more astonishing than anything else. Not a single win against a western conference team? NOT ONE? Not one shootout? Not a fluke goal in the dying seconds of the third to steal one? NINE YEARS WITHOUT A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME? That’s astounding! 

“Being a Leafs fan is HARD” Bruce Arthur exclaimed the day after No-Stick-Saulte-Gate, which is patently untrue. Yes, it sucks when the team you cheer for (or in some of our cases all the teams we cheer for) suck. It’s not fun watching your team lose night in and night out. But no one is forcing you to watch. There are a million other things you can do with your time. The Oilers are down 4-0 in the second period? Guess it’s time to fire up my NHL 15 season where my team actually wins games. The Leafs have lost 4 in a row? Instead of sticking around at home this Saturday night maybe we’ll go see a movie instead. 

I think if we spent less time yelling at each other about who has the correct terrible trade idea that will immediately turn this team around, and more time making fun of Eakins’ derpy face and making terrible puns on Twitter, we’ll all be (slightly) happier. The Oilers clearly aren’t going to make this season any fun (AGAIN!) so we might as well try to make the most of a bad situation which we have virtually no control over. 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to run away now as not to get stung by this hornets nest that I’ve just kicked. 

  • Serious Gord

    Lowetide are you Dallas Eakins?

    You are the only turkey who supports keeping Eakins!

    Oh … I get it your his mommy!

    FFS fire this clown act Eakins by noon today, no free ride out of town either!

  • The Last Big Bear

    First Star:
    The Calgary Flames, for showing up with their big boy pants on, and playing the game the way it’s meant to be played: as hard as you can.

    Worst Star:
    The Edmonton Oilers. Players, coaches, management, ownership, the whole hog. No need to explain why.

  • Serious Gord

    Katz won’t do a thing as long as the the seats are full. The Canuck fans told the owners that they would not renew their season tickets and near the end of the season there were a lot of empty seats. The fans hated gillis and torts. Katz and his management team are a joke.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Am I the only one who watches the first 5 mins intently, then finds something else to do (like read a book, do the dishes, whatever) whilst leaving the game on as “background noise”?

  • Serious Gord

    Glad you said that about the fans. Leaf fans are the absolute worst. I hate it because most players should want to play here with all the passionate loyal fans but it’s overshadowed by the complete morons who bounce between “fire everyone” and “plan the parade” every two days.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Ahem…

    The last time the Oilers did anything of note I was 18, I just found out what Whyte Ave was, many a school night was spent pissing on a dumpster at 5am and heading to class.

    Then the next thing of note was taking Taylor Hall 1st Overall… I was a out of work bum collecting EI because the job market sucked.

    Now the team has REGRESSED into hell and what am I doing?

    Oh I have a mortgage a career and a car payment, In 4 years I have made more progress than the whole damn Oilers organization.

    BUT SHAME ON ME!

  • Captain Ron

    I turned the TV off in the early part of te second. I sworeI always watch or listen no matter how bad I got. Its not getting better, you got to change course with proper management. Its not happening, and if we actually draft Eichel or McDavid.

    Never expected to make the playoffs, but compete yes. They have. The first goal last night was not on Scrivens. He can’t totally be blamed for the first one, Petry rushed up the ice and someone pinched. It is basic peewee mistakes. These mistakes are on the coaches. They keep happening and they are powerless to change the culture. Eakins was an average coach, he never one anything and has no business here. Eakins media apologists keep blaming things on MacT is not fair. This team on paper is decent. The defence was average which was better thn horrible. The forward group is assbackwards, but no centers wanted to play here in their right mind so you got a deep core of wingers.

    Frankly the seasons over. I would do these things.

    Fire Eakins
    Stop benching Marincin
    Bring Up Klefbom
    Play Hall at Center as a trial for more then 2 games.
    Bring up Bachman, send Scrivens down. I don’t believe he would get taken n waivers.
    Carry Brad Hunt as a winger or 7th defensman. He can’t defend 5×5, however he is the only remotely close powerplay QB we had all year.
    Bench Schultz and Reduce minutes if necessary.
    Sign Petry.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    @JSBMJeanshorts

    I’m glad to hear someone tell it like it is while suggesting something against his interest. More indifference means less network traffic on ON. Personally, I enjoy logging on to see the venom spew. That’s my entertainment.

    Do I get angry at the Oilers? Yes! Is it right how management has created a team of quasi-functional retards on defence? No! Do I like the hate thrown around on ON? Yessir!

    Check in the column of sanity for you, JeansShorts. I’ll enjoy crazyville a little longer before completely tuning out.

  • Serious Gord

    If you’re one of those idiots who thinks you can’t fire Eakins because of continuity………… Let me ask you then. Why was Kruger fired so easily. He had the power play going at least and he was a hell of a lot more competent than Eakins!!!

    I heard the Oilers legendary leader Ference talk about everybody buying into the system. FINE. But what If the system just doesn’t work? Eakins has proven his stupid new age systems don’t lead to any success.

    It would be a real shame to see a talent like MCDAVID have to play here under the direction of a clown like Dallas Eakins.

    Yes, I agreed, Justin Schultz is an Norris Trophy candidate if the Norris Trophy was for the biggest defensive liability on a hockey team!

  • Serious Gord

    Just read lowetide. What a load of crap. Still supporting Eakins! Is lowetide on the Oil payroll now too? Not one player has stepped up and improved their play under Eakins. Edmonton media make me puke. ENOUGH ALREADY!

    • Serious Gord

      Lowetide argues that MacT Would be unfair to eakins to fire him when he has given him such a terrible roster to work with.

      And he is partly right.

      MacT should fire eakins because most NHL coaches would have gotten more out of this team.

      And then the next minute he should tender his resignation for being such a disaster as GM.

      And that would be the fair thing to do for the fans.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    Honestly, the Oilers are no longer of any sports interest to me, but the entire thing is quite interesting from a sociological point of view. I mean really, how long can Oilers management completely ignore what seems to be obvious to everyone who have been paying even a little bit of attention the past several years.

  • Serious Gord

    Here’s how I look at it…

    Either the Edmonton Oilers fans are the stupidest people in the world for going to games in person (the only stat Katz might care about or notice)

    Or the Edmonton Oilers fans are the most passionate connected fans in the world.

    I subscribe to the second theory…We might throw sweaters (expensive ones) or boo, but we have to be the most inspiring positive fans ever…or else why would we stay?! Nobody should have to pay money to see this night after night, but we do support the team because we care. Hey, at least someone cares!!!!!

  • Serious Gord

    pulled this comment from TSN, not going to give the guys name with it:

    “It behooves me. A multitude of talent and still losing. I’m not an Oiler’s fan, but, they have good management, a very good coach and the best young nucleus in the league. Motivation is the key and Eakins has proven his worth there. They just need to be on the open puck faster and press the opposing player sooner. Good things to come for this team, no trades needed, patience for another year of experience building. Hint: Peter Budaj and Marty Brodeur are looking for a job.”

    that was good for a laugh.

      • Serious Gord

        You seem to be ignoring the fact that the Pirates have made the playoffs in both of the previous two seasons. Arizona Cardinals have the best record in football this year at 9-1 and made it to the Superbowl in 2008 (and would have won if not for the worst referee bias I have seen in a SB game.) The Detroit Lions will never live down their 0-16 season, and they have been insanely bad for the past decade and a half, but at this point their future looks brighter than the Oilers.

        As for the Raiders.. they literally are on the short list for worst performance over an entire decade, just like the current Oilers team. Since the Raiders made it to the Superbowl over a decade ago they have done nothing except lose at an astonishing rate. Their record since losing that game is 54-133 (.289 winning %). A team off the top of my head that is competing with the Raiders for most futile decade is the St. Louis Rams at 47-106-1 (.305%)

        To put that in perspective, Dallas Eakins is 35-68 (.340%) and the Oilers are 176-303 (.367%) with Kevin Lowe as POHO.

        TL;DR

        It must be incredibly hard to win less than 30% of your games for an entire decade.

        • Serious Gord

          The comment I responded to asked what was the worst pro sports franchise in history. The three I mentioned have historically been awful. And factoring in their refent successes they are still more awful than the raiders.

        • reaperfunkss

          I would like to weigh in here as a Raider fan since 80. Oiler’s since 79

          The Raiders are the worst franchise of the big 4 North American leagues over the last decade. Hands down. Even compared to the pile of garbage the Oilers have become the Raiders still rank as horrid.

          And yes my sports life sux since i dont overly care about MLB or NBA

          At least the eskies won a playoff game this year so I can feel good about them.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The First Home Star in the Oiler/ Hawk “game” was the 50/50 winner! We have too many Oiler players and management holding 50/50 tickets at work.They still get paid without having to wait for the draw.
    The fans can’t leave early.For the sake of the fans have the draw after the first period.

    • Serious Gord

      Some us remember when Samuel Gagne got all the stars vs the Hawks? Hall and Eberlie were more than effective in that 8-4 victory.Will the Oilers recover from last night and the past month or so?
      Will the finish the year higher than .300?

      • Serious Gord

        Puck this!! I am with @hotoil, lets go back and find out how the hell we ended up here in Hell and the Hawks ended up in Hockey Heaven when we were handing them their goddam lunch 2 years ago?

        How is this possible,and now watching the Flames play is like seeing the Hawks or Kings or Blues,while watching the Oilers is like watching an Eastern Conference Team?

        Why is our entire Conference beginning to play so differently than the Oilers and the rest of the NHL ?

        If the Oilers could just go back to the Krueger style execution maybe they could compete in this Conference.

  • Serious Gord

    “I like picking up chicks and then not sleeping with them. Follow me @JSBMJeanshorts.”

    Are you saving your precious bodily fluids for some reason?

    Fans rage can have an impact and often does.

    Not too Long ago Brian Burke fired Ron Wilson the day after a home game where the fans chanted “fire Wilson!!” For several minutes. Burke’s reason for such a late season firing was that it would be cruel to have Wilson fade that in another game.

    So I think fans should rage on – try and get the message to katz that he needs to act before the fans humiliate he and his friends even more. Granted he seems as out of touch as Marie antoinette. But they got to her eventually too (figuratively speaking of course).

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Yes we Oiler fans need to calm down especialy those suggesting the re-build in Calgary is over.

    I recall the Oilers ending the 2008 season on a 15-4-1 run, riding a hot kid line and a hot goalie.

    Was the Oilers re-build complete then too?

    It’s safe to say Oiler’s re-build has been a failure, but a tad early to say the Flames are a finished product.

    • Andy7190

      The Flames are not a finished product. Yes they are playing well for the coach, which is half the battle, but they are definitely not a finished product.

      Hartley has managed to use the young Flames speed to his advantage in his game planning, but you can still see problems against elite teams. Flames rebuild isn’t over yet, not by a long shot.

      But they have a coach…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Dear Craig McTavish,

    The time for bold moves is now. Please trade Taylor Hall and Ben Scrivens for Oliver Ekman-Larson and Mike Smith.

    Next send Yakapov and Boyd Gordon to Ottawa for both Kyle Turis and Steve Ott.

    All teams would win and the Oliers decade long hemorage would be stopped for good.

    • Serious Gord

      Even if Mike Smith were tradeable…

      That sounds like the most lateral goalie movement in the history of ever. We saw what a Scrivens-Dunbyk tandem in net looks like, and thankyoubutnothankyou.

      We will gladly give you David Schlemko and two second-round picks for Yakupov, though. Or Hall, we’ll take him if you’re offering.

      • Serious Gord

        Schlemko was on waivers and would have been a free pickup but that was not BOLD enough to get a player with NHL experience. Bold moves are what this is all about.

        just saying no regrets if you dont try, what is the definition of insanity?

  • ChinookArchYYC

    the oilers are the girlfriend that keeps cheating on you but we keep going back to her because we are scared we will never see a lady naked again if we break up

  • camdog

    I on the other disagree, it’s nice to see that apathy hasn’t set into the fan base. I love that Edmonton behind only Toronto has some of the most passionate fans of the game in the entire world.