It is as inevitable as gravity, tidal cycles and Leaf-suckage – fans and experts alike compare head coaches Pat Quinn and Craig MacTavish. The roster MacTavish commanded in his last Oilers campaign has all but entirely spilled over into Quinn’s reign, and we are tempted to draw some early conclusions. As anyone can easily observe the results have immediately improved. Though the statistical sample is limited our record stands at 6-2-1 for a strong .722 point percentage after 9 games. That, of course, has a particularly satisfying taste to the neglected palates of Oilers society, having been starved with the mediocre pastries of .500 hockey for years. But alas, this is only statistics and as Evan Esar said “It is the only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.” Still, the conclusions here seem to flow in the same vein – Pat Quinn is a better coach than Craig MacTavish. The questions are; Is Quinn really better? If so, why is he better? What has changed? How has it changed? Continue reading 'On coaching comparisons and team psychology – by Norweigan Oiler'»
It’s Battle of Alberta time again, as the Oilers head into the Saddledome for the first time this year. The two teams have already met twice this year, with the Flames winning both games. Both games were very close games. As many will recall, the first game was the game in which Khabibulin bobbled the puck in the dying seconds of a tie game and gave it away to David Moss for the easy goal. The second game was also a close one in which the Flames won in the shootout.
The Flames are coming off of a 6-3 win over Columbus all the way back on Tuesday, whereas the Oilers also beat Columbus 6-4 with the story of the game being the play of the new top line of Penner, Gagner and Hemsky. The Flames are hot at home (4-1-0), while the Oilers are 1-1-0 in only 2 road games so far this year.
From the Edmonton Journal:
There has been lots of talk of retribution for Flames’ captain Jarome Iginla after he accidentally stuck his stick between Souray’s skates and the Oilers’ defenceman plowed face-first into the boards. Souray hasn’t returned and this is the first meeting since that Oct. 8 incident, but Iginla still seems upset it happened. He contacted Souray shortly after it happened to say he was sorry.
“I texted him … I’d want to do that with anybody who was out, but especially when you know somebody pretty well,” said Iginla, who knows he made a mistake sticking his blade between Souray’s feet.
“I have a history with Sheldon. I played junior against him when I was in Kamloops and we see each other in Edmonton (in the summer).”