Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowmen Don't Dance and Sing

My daughter’s teacher is a weird little fellow. I’m not very big, although I am extraordinarily wiry, and he’s about up to my nipples. He’s a terrific teacher, I think. Very creative and also quite demanding. Not in a “send homework home with your four year old” kind of way but he expects the kids to behave and he expects them to reach goals and I have no complaints about that. Sometimes he’s out there a bit like last year when he told us that her writing was just not where it should be. Now she’s four and a half at that time so I thought that was a bit much although to be honest her prose is pretty derivative of Hemingway. So there is that.

Her big thing now is readng. She reads everything she sees. Had me pulling books out of the bookshelf the other evening at dinner so she could read the titles. “The Romantic” “Alligator” “Insurrection in Dublin” “Trainspotting” “Certainty”

So of course now we have to be careful. Christmas shopping lists have to be hidden. Daddy has to be careful what he looks at on the laptop.

Mommy, what is Oriental Anal?

Now the latest thing that they are talking about in school is the difference between fiction and nonfiction so my daughter walks around pointing out whenever something is fiction.

That’s fiction. Pigs don’t talk.

Snowmen don’t dance and sing. That’s fiction. (of course this was worrisome because Frosty was dancing with Santa – for a second I thought there might be trouble)

Is this fiction? Dogs can’t play guitar. (Charlie Brown Christmas, which was followed by a lengthy discussion about whether or not Snoopy’s exclusion made it non fiction and an attempt to explain that it would be fictional yet realistic if it were not for Linus constantly wandering about quoting scripture and waxing philosophical.)


Now if you want to talk about fiction lets talk about Tuesday night against Chicago and its meaning in the grand scheme of things. The reality is, not very much. The Oilers have played well since the L.A. loss. They have eliminated their slow starts and they have had consistent efforts and balanced scoring and everything a team needs to get things going the right way. Even Tuesday they started well and likely deserved better then to be down two going into the second.

This isn't to say this team doesn't have warts and why the hell isn't Pouliot playing more when he has a few goals in the last two weeks and four overall and barely ever gets to play with anybody.

Like LT I think Pouliot is my cowbell. It used to be Thoresen.

And when it was three to one they were bringing it to the Hawks and then the wheels came off and just because Gilbert and Souray had a terrible night (among others) and the goaltending was iffy and they got thumped so badly that the last time they conceded nine goals it was the Winnipeg Jets who did it to them doesn’t mean that MacT is in any more trouble, if any at all, then he was before the game started.

A couple of things though. This game was in doubt and would have remained competitive if it were not for the sudden regression of the PK which had looked a little better lately. No shape to the PK, no shots getting blocked, nothing. Three PP goals for Chicago early and that broke the Oilers' back.

Now when I see Horcoff and Moreau (Moreau once broke his leg blocking a shot in preseason for Christ sakes) not blocking shots I have to think that that is deliberate, as in coached, behaviour. And while they miss Stoll and Reasoner and Pisani, obviously, the lack of down ice pressure, as Dennis pointed out, the failure to block shots and the basic gong show feel about the whole exercise leads me to believe that this is a coaching issue. Horcoff and Moreau and Brodziak and Pisani have all killed penalties and done so successfully. Is this Buchberger’s doing? If so then why is he still in charge of it? We know the answer to this because in so many ways lately this club has put the red pants on the mouse but come on. Is this a developmental year for the coaching staff too?

And for those who are on Erik Cole. Here is a guy who has been a consistent scorer for years. Yet they bring him in and first play him out of position and then play him with a guy who has one year of fourth line duty under his belt and a guy who was last an offensive force when he played for the Sudbury Wolves.

Plus very little time on the PP.

Plus he is getting the tough minutes.

So it seems to me that this is another case of a guy being misused. Why they don’t fire him up with a couple of kids to create a bona fide second scoring line is beyond me and another example of the disconnect between what is happening with this club and what seems like basic common sense.

And that friends, is not fiction.


We’re off to the Island tomorrow at noon and we’re driving it. Yes, we are mental. 1700 kilometres in a minivan with a five year old, a three year old and a five month old.

And Little Fury worries that I will run out of stories.

Hah, I say! And again, hah!

Speak to you when we arrive. Which could be anytime between Friday night and Boxing Day. Its the great unknown.


Swabbubba said...

Have a safe trip. Hope the Minivan has required DVD player or you may want to rethink the trip at the 600 K mark. As bad as it was last night it was funny Garon could not stop a beach ball like it when Hemmer shot it right back in I knew we were done right there. What ever the Chicago shot was going to bury anything we shot was not.I think we should went the 3rd with no goalie I would be amazed at what the the final score would have been. I think it would have been pretty close to the final tally.

HBomb said...

Penner Horcoff Hemsky
Cogliano Gagner Cole
Moreau Brodziak Pisani
Nilsson Pouliot Schremp

That's where they NEED to be going when San Fernando gets back....Stortini drawing in when required.

Have a safe trip Pat.

Lowetide said...

Drive safely. Lots of blankets, shovel, sand bags, chains, candles, matches, water, flash light, food and milk for youngsters (remember the sippy cups and Wet Ones--put them at your feet Mom you're going to need them!), MARS bars for mom. Full tank of gas, check the spare, take cash just in case there's no Johnny Cash.

Stop at Timmy's every chance you get.

Black Dog said...

Thanks Dad. ;)

Actually I know you've done this a million times so I am writing this down right now.

blankets, shovel, sand bags ...

Lord Bob said...

Which island is this? If it's "Vancouver", you could not physically have picked a crappier time to come out here.

So I'd at least know who to blame for all this lousy weather.

Black Dog said...

Prince Edward, L.B.

Anonymous said...

Man, I read this and thought "You're DRIVING to PEI with THREE SMALL CHILDREN?" Best of luck.

When I was eight, we did a similar drive - my mom drove me, my 6 and 4 year old sisters and my 2 year old brother across the country from northern BC to Toronto. Now THAT was thoroughly insane. Absolute highlight of the trip was when I inadvertently jammed a porcupine needle into her hand as she was hammering down the Trans-Canada. So Pat, for the love of god - make sure that your kids don't have any porcupine needles or such with them. Those things are trouble in cars.

Black Dog said...


Now of course the next question is an obvious one.

How did you come into possession of a porcupine needle?


ran one down and picked it out of the grill?


and btw you mom is a far better person then me

4 kids>3 kids

driving a further distance

by herself

completely mental

doritogrande said...

I'm looking at a 16 hour trip to Jasper just after christmas for a well deserved snowboard oddessey.

Two cars, eight 20somethings, red-bull, iPODs and no sleep. If you don't hear from me after Jan 5th or so, someone please send a search party out to...oh let's start with North Battleford and head East.

PDO said...


Beef Jerkey?


Any chance she'll point at the screen next time Cole scores and blurt out, "that's fiction. Erik Cole doesn't score!"



hunter1909 said...

It sounds like a trip for the ages.

Having been raised out west, and having been exposed to the various prejudices against maritimers; then actually growing up and realising that the maritimes, like Quebec, is the REAL Canada, makes me want to visit.

Only this week I saw a guy from Newfoundland talking on tv, and I could have sworn he was Irish.

note: Apologies to those who want to argue my Real Canada point. The whole bloody place of course IS Canada, ok? Historically however, I have this tendency to go for the maximum historical significance and fucking mounties(the west) and a bunch of losers who preferred to be under the British heel to standing on their own two feet(Ontario) simply don't cut it.

spOILer said...

Happy Birthday, Pat, and have fun.

chrissyt said...

I watch OilersTV from time to time cause they have interesting chats with the players, some of which are pretty funny (the "how well do you know your teammate?" one with Souray about a week back was pretty funny). Anyways I was pretty bored so I decided to watch "Ask A Question" with Staios.

Anyways the biggest surprise to me was when he was talking about how they were trying something new with blocking shots, or some such, and I was kinda surprised, after all if it ain't broke don't fix it. I get that we lost 2 very good Centers in Reasoner and Stoll, but why revamp the way you have forwards blocking shots, it makes no sense to me.

Although hopefully they're changing that. In the Anaheim game forwards were laying down for shots (on the PK), and lo and behold, it worked!

The only thing that really struck me as a bad move in that game was the SO order. Shoulda been Gags, Poo, Hemmer, didn't like Gagner shooting last.

Hope you had a good trip bdhs.

Black Dog said...

Thanks all.

Did someone say jerky?

Hunter - I think you have to get to as much of this country as you can. I live in southern Ontario and a lot of it is Family Compact shit but Northern Ontario is a different world entirely and then you have the Bruce and Kingston and Prince Edward County and Toronto.

Its a wonderful country and everyone should travel as much of it as they can. I've been everywhere but the territories and Saskatchewan and Manitoba but still missing out on the Gaspe, the Lakehead, the interior or outports of Newfoundland.

It goes on and on.

hunter1909 said...

Let's all face facts:

Oilers are gunning for the lottery.

Cole is worth a first round pick lol.

With MacT history, the team will rally. lol