I’ve bagged a lot on Adam Proteau and The Hockey News this year. I thought that their stuff was poorly thought out in their yearbook (and in Proteau’s online preview) and suggested that they didn’t really have a good grasp on what was happening in the Western Conference. You can see their picks here. Proteau is now taking a victory lap, trumpeting just how right he was about everything.
In fact, I’ve grown accustomed to feeling the wrath of Edmontonians since last summer. That was when my colleagues at The Hockey News and I collectively predicted the Oilers to go from Western Conference Champions in 2005-06 to a non-playoff team this season.
See, now this wasn’t really what he and his colleagues predicted. What they predicted – and what I thought was absurd – was picking the Oilers to finish behind Los Angeles, Phoenix and Columbus. Edmonton is currently 14, 8 and 12 points ahead of those three teams respectively. Los Angeles is probably the only one of those teams who can make any sort of injury argument that compares to Edmonton’s situation this season. Proteau can use all the weasel words that he wants – in an earlier comment, he said that THN people figured that the difference between 8th and 12th could be 8 points – but I don’t see how you can perceive anything but THN just blowing the call on how good the Oilers would be.
I made the argument elsewhere that I thought that the Oilers were a playoff team but acknowledged that it was close enough that, with bad luck, things wouldn’t work out. It looks like things aren’t going to work out but there really isn’t that much, if any difference, between Vancouver, Minnesota and Edmonton. Vancouver and Minnesota have fantastic OT records…Edmonton doesn’t. There’s the difference.
Almost immediately, we were inundated with the plaintive wails of offended Oilers fans, many of who swore they would have their great-great-great-great-grandchildren write equally nasty letters to our great-great-great-great-grandchildren.
With the Oilers seven points out of a playoff spot in mid-February, we don’t get many of those types of e-mails these days. And with 15 of Edmonton’s final 25 games on the road – including a six-game trip that starts tonight, and another six-gamer to finish the season – it’s unlikely we’ll get many more.
You’ll probably get even fewer as time passes and The Hockey News becomes even less relevant than it is now. Let me know how Senior Writer Mike Brophy’s assertion that Columbus is closer to the Stanley Cup than Ottawa plays out, will you?
In any case, Sather’s former and current team are beginning to look like also-rans. And with each passing day, I’m feeling very, very good about calling them exactly that.
Now, as near as I can tell, he’s feeling very good about saying that the Oilers and Rangers won’t make the playoffs now that they’re nowhere near a playoff position. Wow. Ballsy call. I’m not at all sure why this whole thing was even written, other than to trumpet how right The Hockey News was. Which they really weren’t, but that’s apparently neither here nor there. I’m looking foward to the end of the season and comparing their picks to my own, as well as a bunch of others that I collected from various blog types at the start of the season.