Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I was in high school when I had my first of many crushes. It was crazy shit. I thought about her all the time. When I saw her it made my day. If I expected to see her and I did not it would leave me crestfallen. I was mad about her until one day, urged on by some friends in the know, I asked her out. She said yes and that was the end of all that. I kid you not.
Now while that is so obviously mental in a lot of ways that was more or less an extreme. As I said, I had plenty of crushes as a young man. Some led to nothing but plenty led to more and a couple even led to long term deals. In that first case though some sort of medication would have helped.
A week ago the Oilers came back from their roadtrip and the consensus was that they were the shit. Wins over the Devils and the Rangers had left them with a winning record after playing a dozen of their first fifteen on the road. A lot of players had struggled but the team had cobbled together a good record considering, had kept themselves afloat in a tough division and the underlying numbers looked fine.
In the next three games they bombed against the Leafs, played one of their best games of the year but coughed up the lead and eventually the two points with seconds left against the Avs on Saturday and then got blanked by the Wings on Monday.
Fernando Pisani broke his ankle and is out for six to eight weeks. Kyle Brodziak got benched. And MacTavish threw down the gauntlet (and marked the beginning of the end in Edmonton for either himself or the recipient of his wrath, likely) by benching Penner for two games and calling him out in the media.
And Oiler fans, as we are wont to do, went bananas. I swear it reminds me of a trip I took to the Tampa Zoo when I lived in Florida. The chimp enclosure was a madhouse with the apes swinging and hooting and wrestling, throwing crap at each other, while the alpha male stood on the other side of the moat leering at us while he violently masturbated.
So last night in what Lowetide, who is probably the most grounded and adult of the lot of us, termed a must win game, the Oilers march into Ohio, scene of an earlier collapse, and immediately proceed to get massively outshot. And they absolutely pound the BJs. Three point nights for Hemsky and Horcoff. Gilbert, Cogliano, Souray and Visnovsky all went one and one while Gagner had two assists. Penner got his fat ass in front of LeClaire enough times to actually help and potted one himself, all the while pouting, although he did crack a smile after he scored and Pouliot said something likely completely incomprehensible to him.
"I would be a rock star!"
And Pouliot, he make a goal too, his firs' of the year, he score. And he save one too, right on the goaltender line it was. Good for him.
Meanwhile did you realize that the Oilers have three defenceman on pace for forty or more points? Crazy shit.
Crazier then that is the fact that the Oilers have nine forwards who they drafted playing for them, now that latest arrival Liam Reddox looks like he may be able to play a little. Considering that cheap young players are a necessity in this league I would say that for all of the flak that Kevin Lowe took, much of it deserved, he does deserve some kudos for this.
Hemsky Horcoff Gagner Cogliano Pisani Brodziak Pouliot Reddox Stortini
Nice. And that does not include Oiler picks Deslauriers and Peckham, the kids plucked from other organizations - Gilbert, Grebeshkov, Smid and Nilsson - and the rest of the good looking prospects on the farm and in junior.
Pisani will be missed, as he always is, but it gives this Reddox kid a chance to prove himself. Two games is two games but the kid is smart and he does the little things right.
You can tell he is new though because nobody hates his guts yet. I'll give him a week before someone pops up on thread after thread showing why he must be sent back to the AHL immediately!
Detroit tomorrow night, lads and lasses. Please proceed to your nearest Katz owned pharmacy and get your meds.
Posted by Black Dog at 11:20 AM