Odds & Ends-Volume 207

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We begin Odds & Ends this week with thanking the Edmonton Oilers for participating in the 2017-18 season.

Yes,I’m doing it, I’m declaring their playoff and Stanley Cup chances officially dead this year. After being one of the surprise teams in the 2016-17 season and being one game away from the conference finals, they’ve been one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL this season and are showing me that last year was a total fluke and that they are back to their losing ways.

EichelMcDavid
Jack Eichel and the hapless Sabres got the best of Connor McDavid and the Oilers on Friday night.

 

Sure,they won in Boston yesterday by a score of 4-2 and looked better than they have in recent games, but honestly, it’s too much of an uphill climb for this bunch to get back into the hunt. Connor McDavid and his bunch have been underachieving and Todd McLellan looks like he’s lost his team.

I will say in their defense that their schedule has been a rough one, I’ll definitely give them that, but good teams should be able to overcome things like that. It’s come to a point where the MVP of the league in McDavid isn’t even anchoring his own line at the moment. That’s how bad it’s been in Edmonton with the Oilers thus far.

I don’t know what kind of deal can be made to improve this team,or if anyone wants to trade for any of them,save for McDavid and Draisaitl,and I know it’s only November, but this team’s playoff train is and has been derailed since the start of the season. I hope to God that I’m wrong and if I am,I’ll come on here and say so, but given this team’s past in regards to futility and the high expectations placed on them by many,including myself, I can’t help but count them out. History seems to repeat itself with this team and until they string together consecutive winning years, they’ll continue this trend.

Maybe next year,fellas.

MikeRiley.jpgI had a feeling that when Nebraska hired Mike Riley to be their head coach that it wasn’t the best move to make and that he wasn’t the guy who should be replacing Bo Pelini. Three seasons later,I was right as Riley was fired after going 19-19 in three seasons in Lincoln.

The Cornhuskers had one winning season under Riley’s tenure and are currently 4-8 this year,their worst season since 1961. Riley’s last game coached was a 56-14 spanking courtesy of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Nebraska is eyeing current Central Florida head coach Scott Frost to be their head coach and it looks like a deal may be done soon to land the 42-year-old native Nebraskan to bring the storied program back to prominence.

I honestly don’t know why this school ever got rid of Pelini to begin with. He was a very good coach for them and the guy they got to replace him came off of a losing season at Oregon State. It was a bad hire, almost as bad as when they hired Bill Callahan after he was let go from the disaster that was the 2003 season in Oakland with the Raiders. I think Frost would be a better hire and would be the right guy to lead them back to where they once were.

Don’t look now,but after an 0-4 start,the Los Angeles Chargers are now 5-6 and are just a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs for the division lead in the AFC West. The team without a fanbase went into Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and throttled the Cowboys by a score of 28-6. They’re also a game back of the final wild card spot in the AFC, currently held by the Buffalo Bills.KeenanAllen.jpg

Philip Rivers put on quite the show as he threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns. It was his first outing of more than 400 yards since 2015 when he threw for a career-high 503 yards in a loss to Green Bay. Keenan Allen has been his favorite target as of late, against Dallas he had 11 catches for 172 yards,a career high,and a 42-yard touchdown.

Luckily for the Chargers they have experience going 0-4 to start a season and make the playoffs,they did it themselves in 1992. They will now try to get back to .500 with a win against Cleveland at home. The Chargers were the only team to lose to the Browns last season and oh by the way, the Browns are still winless.

I don’t know if this team will make the playoffs,but they have surprised me. I thought they would struggle from the growing pains of moving to a new city and all,but perhaps that’s behind them and now they’re doing what they should’ve at the beginning of the season. They’re one of the hotter teams at this moment and if they do happen to clinch a playoff berth,I doubt that a lot of teams are going to want to play them.

I still think they should be in San Diego,just sayin’.

CrabtreeTalib.jpgMichael Crabtree of the Raiders and Aqib Talib of the Broncos showed all of us on Sunday that there’s absolutely no love lost between them. The two star players were involved in a sideline brawl on Sunday in Oakland’s 24-21 win.

In the first quarter on a second-and-6 during the Raiders’ second possession of the game, Crabtree blocked Talib during a 5-yard run by tailback Marshawn Lynch. Crabtree kept pushing Talib out of bounds after the play was over. Shoves between the two players were exchanged before punches were thrown. Several players joined in from both teams as Talib ripped Crabtree’s helmet away and threw it towards the stands.

Denver cornerback Chris Harris Jr. left the field the play before the fight after a confrontation with Crabtree during a play. Harris claims Crabtree punched him in the stomach before the play before the fight.

“[Crabtree] didn’t come to play football — we came to play football,” Harris said. “He came to fight — we came to play football.”

Talib also appeared to grab at a chain Crabtree was wearing,something he had done before in a meeting last season.

Crabtree and Talib were ejected as was Raiders gaurd Gabe Jackson for making contact with an official. It remains to be seen if the former two will be punished any further from the league or their respective teams.

“I don’t like it, and it’s unacceptable,” said Broncos coach Vance Joseph. “We lose one of our best players because of a personal battle, and that’s a personal battle. This is about the Broncos, so it’s unacceptable. We can’t have it — it’s non-negotiable.”

I’m not surprised that this brawl happened. These two players clearly don’t like one another and I’m sure this has been boiling over for both men since their near altercation last season. I don’t blame Crabtree so much as I blame Talib in that Talib is and has been a dirty player. I have a feeling that both players will face more discipline as this has been a slight epidemic in the league in recent weeks. A few weeks ago, we had three brawls break out in the same week. I don’t mind it as much,but I’m sure the league does and will do what they can to make sure it doesn’t happen as frequently as it has.

That’s all for Odds & Ends this week, we’ll be back with an all-new edition after The Things That Need to Go in 2018!

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