Saturday, October 24, 2015

Washington Capitals clean out Oiler's ears.

Winning is wonderful, there is nothing quite like it.  Just ask Charlie Sheen, his hookers and coke dealer.  When it comes to a hockey team like the Oilers, full of first round picks winning is something they haven't felt for a long time.  For the first time in forever the team is actually competitive.. well most nights.  The rub with a young team is winning also makes players deaf to coaching which is what happened last night against the Washington Capitals.

When the Oilers were winning they were cutting the ice in half, making the passing lanes smaller, clogging up the good scoring areas.  Last night there was a ton of room to pass the puck, to drive the net, to do whatever Washington wanted.  There was no physical presence to deter them.  On offence they seemed to lose a lot more battles than they won.  If you are going to dump and chase, you better get the puck or punish someone with a hit.  Too often the Oilers were soft when trying to get the puck from dump.  Making half hearted efforts.  There was a complete lack of willingness to engage the caps by our top six forwards.  When they got shots away too often they missed the net resulting in the puck leaving the zone.   

McLellan wanted to know how his team responded after winning a little.  Predictably the young Oilers when they win seem hear coaches less and press clippings more.  They start playing marshmallow hockey because playing winning hockey hurts and is hard to do, something young teams have to learn to do consistently.  There are no nights off when you make 6 figures.  Winning will never feel physically good because to win in hockey your body will end up bruised and battered.   Hall can be bullied which is how you keep him to the outside.  He lacks the Messier mean gene which he will need to find if he wants more open space.  Yakupov still likes to do cute crap when the times when he has success are when he keeps his game simple.  Instead of playing solid positionally too much dipsy doodle from top six forwards like they are in junior and can do things the wrong way and still win based on skill alone.  In junior you can be soft, not go into the hard areas, or sacrifice their body by hurling it at bigger opponents and still win.  The thing is they are not in junior and everyone in the NHL can play the game at a high level.   Every inch of ice against good teams like the Caps you have to fight for and be willing to pay the physical price, something the pretty boy first round picks of the Oilers were not willing to do.  

The good news for Oiler fans is the occasional lose can be good for a young team.  Nothing cleans the ears out like getting your ass whipped.  Now the team will be able to hear McLellan when he instructs them on how to play the game the right way.  Tis the up and down rollercoaster of learning to win consistently.  

Exciting times to be an Oiler fan and all you chumps who said the Oilers should of drafted Eichel over McDavid after 3 games... there is no cure for stupid.

The Iceman

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Would Jack Layton have beaten Justin Trudeau?

NDP losing seats to me was because people voted for Jack Layton.  The illusion in our vote for party system is we don't vote for the leader even though a lot of people do exactly that.  Who cares who your MP they always vote along party lines anyways.  Leader sets the tone for the party which follows and asks how   Jack had paid his dues, had a tangible love for Canada and was someone people had a great affection for.  Yes Canadians tend to stick to red or blue like our American friends but occasionally we like orange.  Jack Layton was someone that would of definitely shaken Ottawa up.  It would of been really interesting to see the NDP led by Jack against Trudeau and the liberals because this election was about wanting a different face and voice more than a condemnation of Stephen Harper.

David Staples articulated it best 
I don't believe Harper was bad for Canada.  We got through a recession rather unscathed.  We just needed a change, a different voice, one with a bit more hope.  If it was Jack, Justin and Harper who would you pick?   What you get would be a minority government.  

Talk to Ice
Master Iceman

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oilers taking steps forward on the ice, not scoreboard

Losing sucks.  You spend all summer hitting the weights, puking your guts up running stairs,
taking baths in ice swimming in water and you still lose.  That is the story of the Edmonton
Oilers and familiar story oil fans have seen year after year.  The good news is the way the
Oilers are losing is a lot better than they have lost in the past as there is more compete,
more structure and a willingness to engage the other team, all that have been missing for
the past ten years.  The only reason this has not resulted in more wins is because the Oilers
played some pretty darn good teams in their first four games.  St. Louis is a bully of a team.
They don't back down from any battles, play solid position hockey and will impose itself on
the other team because it can.  Nashville has a goalie you just don't score against and some
pretty big, mean dmen who many of the Oilers would just bounce off of if they hit.  Dallas has
forwards which make the oil dmen look like pylons.

It isn't realistic to expect a young team learning another new system, still thinking the game is going to be able to beat those types of teams on a consistent basis.  Oiler fans like myself have to take solace in the fact players like a Yakupov and Shultz are playing much better defensively. If you look at positional play you will notice that the Oiler players are learning to cluster together in order to provide solid puck support.  They seem to be cutting the ice in half which reduces the open shots in the middle of the ice which has plagued the team.  There is some progress being made..

What concerns me is none of the Oiler top draft picks have become the offensive dynamos we all believed being a number one draft pick meant.  Yakupov has a great shot but he seems to hit the goalie or miss the net too often leading to a breakout on the other end.  I don't know if it is confidence with him, thinking too much or he simply does not have an accurate enough shot.  Yak doesn't seem to find open space enough to give a guy like McDavid an open passing lane.  Hall works hard, skates fast and has some good plays but sometimes he can get bullied out of a game.  Nobody fears hitting Hall because he lacks the Mark Messier lose your marbles, beat you to a pulp gene.  Against Dallas everytime he touched the puck Hall was getting hit.  If were coaching against Hall I would have
my team get physical with him every time he touches the puck.  RNH has turned into a decent two way center, exactly what you want from a first overall pick.  You know he will make a good solid play but without Eberle his offensive game is very limited.

as for McDavid.. he doesn't count because he is in his first year.  Frankly you don't really have to worry too much about the kid as he does many of the things that it takes years for most people to figure out.  He back checks relentlessly, not afraid to mix it up and does play with a small edge.  McDavid might not wear a C but there is someone you can see other players wanting to follow, just in how he plays the 200 foot game.  In many ways McDavid is light years ahead of the other first round picks in the way he does things on the defensive end.

I think it is fair to say we won't be the flames or avalanche this year and in order not to lose one's marbles as a fan I think we all have to lower our expectations for this team.  Small improvements which in theory should lead to big improvement in years to come... in theory for teams not named the Oilers.

Graham Iceman

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Niqab issue splits Quebec and helps sell war against ISIS.

Elections are won and lost on emotional issues.  Find the one thing that you can paint push someone into a corner about that will over ride logic and sanity.  What gay marriage and abortion use to be. From what I heard on the radio the woman in the niqb verified who she was in private by showing her face and then in the group ceremony said the yadda yadda yadda with everyone else while she kept the niquab on.  The women in the Niqab respected our security concerns with the mountain of paperwork, showing her face when needed in private and simply wanted the group aspect, the part where she got to join this great country which respects a person's right to be different within reason, to respect who she chose to be.  Same world different eyes problem.
image of woman in a niqab
In north america we are still tramatized by Al Qaeda, which lead to Afghanistan, to Iraq and rebranded with ISIS or ISIL.  People spend too much time watching the worst of us online over and over again not understanding that the majority of us are good people.  The media we consume, which we use to define the world, is the worst aspects of mankind.  Each nation of very like minded people fed a different story of the other building distrust.  In Quebec this distrust is an emotional issue for them as they are distrustful of women in masks.  It is a brilliant move by Stephan Harper who needs to break the NDP strong hold in Quebec on a provincial level

Equally important it helps keep people saying yes spend our tax money on fighting ISIS an ideology that is the obvious consequence of western imperialism.  If we really look at history without the biases you will find depending on where books are written, you will see many of our leaders and politicians were not the brightest of folk.  It could be argued we elect these perfect people, who never once have said anything interesting in social media, never messed up, never actually lived an interesting life who can't relate to us so we are to blame for electing or allowing dumbasses to define who we are as a nation.  The most amazing thing is we will continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past.

I sound like a nutjob whose frostbite on the brain has gone deep when I say there are CEO's who run huge ass companies that make lots and lots of money selling WMD.  They need war and we are addicted to it.  There is nothing like watching a good bombing on TV.  Look at our troops blowing shit up.  Instant movies with military plots about running at bullets.

Think Russia wants a pro-west leader who will buy US WMD and not Russian?  Such a joke that they said Lybia was about human rights, not so much about Syria.  If only Syria had oil we might care more.  The fantastic thing about war is it is a fantastic way to give the economy a boast.  Nothing like a good influx of taxpayer money in the big, marching, socialist element we don't see as a socialist element like healthcare called our military.   Bob forbid we care more about saving our people instead of asking them to run at bullets.  Russia and the west sell weapons to the civil wars in both the Ukraine and middle east.  ISIS is good for business.

The niqab indirectly brings up many of the negative images we are fed in the west towards the people of the middle east.  We are told through the media we consume over and over again, without ever reading anything to the contrary to fear the women in the niqab.  It, along with any muslim religious dress is something that has been warped since 911.  They may have been branded as different wars, Afgan, Iraq and ISIS but they are the same result of Bin Laden who was the result of a previous war against Russia.  From the ashes of one war are born the the soldiers for the next and next.  The folly of an eye for an eye is it never ends and is easy.  Forgiveness is what we struggle with, war is something we are use to paying for, elections can be won and lost by issues that affect so few of us because we see the same world from different eyes with vastly different perspectives with strong geographic biases.

If it is a deciding factor in who to choose for ice in Edmonton, Alberta, then rest assured we will never ask to see your face, and we are not going to tell you how to live your life.  We at Columbia Ice have enough to do with making and delivering ice.

I like folk with or without masks.

Nobody, not one person we delivered ice to lectured me or tried to convert me.  It is amazing how people are just people who want the same thing.  Big world, vastly different experiences and yet so few understand that there could not be one way to find your way in this world and give peace to the questions of what happens next.  If you go out in public you will realize people, children, teenagers, dogs, cats disagree with eachother and often need the same information presented in different ways.  It is folly to expect or even want all people to act and think the same.  Just as a diverse DNA pool makes for a stronger people so does a diverse perspective pool.  We are stronger in Canada for having the women of the niqab.  Clearly our war based solution solving does not work.  We spend billions on accomplishing some task which is undone when we go home, then some man or woman in a suit will say we are going to spend billions more.  Maybe it is time we break down the walls of fear, mistrust and stereotypes and get to know eachother instead of trying to enforce our belief systems upon others.
Don't call me a bleeding heart liberal for not liking war.. call me a cheapskate.  you spend a fortune on making wmd, and they spend a fortune on infrastructure for their country.  We blow it up as fast as we can turn taxpayer money into WMD which is likely burning money and then use taxpayer dollars to rebuild the buildings we just blew up, go home and then have to spend billions more to stop people who spend too much time on their phones, the next generation mixed with the old puppet masters with an iphone.  At the same time America has become self sufficient with oil production.  None of us in the west need middle eastern oil anymore.  We still need to sell WMD to the areas, keeping some sort of war going on to boast the economy.  Good news is if peace is found in the middle east, we always have Russia and the Ukraine.

Anyone know what barbaric practises are legal to be made illegal?  I think the fact most health plans don't cover cialis and/or viagra is barbaric.  I think using the American ice company is barbaric when there is a local one.  Call me mentally ill, call me frostbitten, call me crazy but I am pretty much sure our judges put people in jail for being barbaric to other people.

Ernie is one of the owners, I am the Master Iceman.  Together we are Ernie Iceman and if you need ice in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, St Albert, Sherwood Park and area, give us a shout.