In my defence it was a playoff game and the guy was obstructing me. I put up with it for nearly a whole period too. Plus my stick was really old. It was due to snap any second. Really.
Aw, fuck him anyway. He had it coming, I didn’t get a penalty and nobody touched me the rest of the game. And we won the series.
Anyways I guess we’re kind of a new breed although I don’t see the big deal about it. I spend as much time as possible with my kids (they’re only young once) and my employer is very aware of the fact that its family first. I do the dishes, laundry and I change diapers. Hell, I pulled poop out of my daughter’s ass last year once. I get up with the kids in the morning and during the night. As far as I am concerned I am a parent and that is my job, not just my wife’s.
And I’m a romantic on top of that. Last Valentine’s Day I told my wife to pack a bag and wait for instructions. A sitter came over and told her to call a neighbour who in turn told her to go to an address which happened to be a nice hotel downtown. We stayed the night and had a nice dinner.
Very suave, no?
And I am very sly with the languages, lets just say. In a big way. Which is a hit.
Anyhow, with all that said I’d be happy to spend all day every day eating meat, watching sports and jerking off.. One of my new favourite words is ‘cunty’ as in: “Things were going quite well and then she got all cunty on me”.
That’s not such a hit.
I was at the doctor a couple of years back and he asked me how things were. I told him I was worried about my hearing. If there are multiple sources of noise going on then I tend to lose track. Its normal aging. He asked for an example and I, totally serious (I’m a bit dense, yeah?), said that, as an example, I could be watching the hockey game and my wife could be talking to me and I wouldn’t hear a word she said.
It wasn’t until later that I realized why he looked at me like I was a jack ass.
And there is the fact that I am the least observant person in the world. We were watching the Olympics and I was waxing poetic about the 96 relay team – Bailey, Surin, Gilbert, Esmie – and the wife looks at me, mouth agape. Because while I will remember a tiny irrelevant detail like that I will not remember to pick up a loaf of bread, quart of milk and stick of butter, despite repeated reminders and I will certainly rarely notice haircuts, new shirts, the colour of a car or the new roof on the neighbour’s house.
A few years back I was here at work in downtown Toronto, just about a two minute walk from King Subway station. And McVeigh’s and PJ O’Brien’s!
I was a little under the weather and the woman I worked with suggested I go to the Shopper’s to pick up some pick me up.
What Shoppers? I said.
As you know I’m a bit of a bullshitter so she eyed me with suspicion and then, realizing I was serious, said The one across from the subway.
Which I take every day.
There’s no Shoppers there, I said.
Yes, its right beside that discount place that has all of the clothes on racks right out on the sidewalk.
I looked at her as if she’d just stepped out of a spaceship, got up, walked downstairs and around the corner to the spot that I had passed twice daily for going on two years now and there were the racks of clothing, right by the sidewalk, right beside the Shoppers, just across from the subway station
So the Oilers continue to meander along and truth be told the season is playing out as expected. Despite the fits and starts and odd coaching moves the team is in the playoff mix. They are a better team then last year. Unlike last year at this time when they had single digit regulation wins in the previous calendar year or thereabouts, they have not relied on the shootout for their points. While Nilsson has struggled most of all and Gagner’s counting numbers are no hell, the kids have been trending upwards. Cogliano has been scoring and he has been facing tougher opposition then last year. Gagner’s underlying numbers are good even while facing tougher opponents. Brodziak is becoming a key role player and Reddox may be on his way there. Stortini has become effective once again. Pouliot too has shown signs of becoming a guy the team can rely on. And on the back end Gilbert, Grebeshkov and Smid have all done well considering their lack of experience.
There have been fits and starts with the kids but that is to be expected. I’m an optimist but I figured they would trundle along and probably squeak into a lower playoff seed.
Now fact is the window for this club, as I see it, if all goes well in terms of health and enough of the kids getting better, is as follows:
2008/2009 – compete for playoff spot
2009/2010 – should be playoff team competing for division title or midrange seed
2010/2011 and 2011/2012 – should be serious contender
That’s it and then Hemsky, Penner and Souray’s contracts will be up and Visnovsky will have one year left on his and it will be time to change direction in some way.
The good news for the Oilers is that they have the players mentioned and Horcoff and Gilbert locked up through that window and they should be able to lock up the remainder of the key kids as well. On top of that Lidstrom will have to retire someday, Vancouver is facing serious issues with free agency this summer and Calgary’s relying on Kiprusoff to reverse a declne which is pretty apparent, despite the club’s success this season.
The bad news is that it is becoming very clear that any dreams of playoff success this season are just those. Just like that Shoppers Drug Mart looming over the intersection (seriously how could I miss it – it’s a big damn building right on the corner) so is this team’s probable goal for the year – low seed and hope for the bounces in the first round to eke out an upset. More likely they are this year’s fodder.
Why do I say this? Well, coming into this season there were the Wings and everyone else and while I would hazard that Detroit remain the favourites the fact is that San Jose has spent half a season rolling over everyone and Chicago has proven that they are, if not in that first tier, certainly at the top of the next, that is, separated from the wannabes and ready to step into the breach if the Wings or Sharks falter.
And now the Flames have taken that same step, there is no doubt, and considering that Kiprusoff has been rather ordinary (and he is not the only one) I think that they still have room to grow and so now there are four teams who have clearance.
And yes you can add Vancouver to that list now as well. Even without Luongo this team has hung in there and the addition of Sundin is huge, very huge, and while some pshaw the Canucks as contenders based on this move, the fact is that if this club stays healthy then I would put them up there with Detroit and San Jose. They have talent and depth at every position and they have Luongo and a sense of urgency due to upcoming free agency and they are a bunch of mean fuckers who will do anything to win.
And Sundin is a great great player. I’ve never understood the strange regard he is held in by Leaf fans and considering the massive hype bestowed on this club and many of the lesser lights who have played for it (I remember Bill Watters proclaiming how McCabe HAD to be an Olympian in 2006 despite his shortcomings and yes I know he is a good Dman but he certainly was never at that level – buddy makes massive errors at the least opportune times) it makes me wonder how this terrific player, playing the best the other team had to offer night after night with guys like Jonas Hoglund and Poni and Antropov at his side (and I like the latter two, mind you), while Sakic got to play with Hejduk and Tanguay and Forsberg, and yet still producing, is actually, wait for it, underrated.
So that’s five clubs who have clearance on the Oilers, big clearance I would say, and while its easy to think that one or two favourites might get knocked off and obviously two of these clubs will face each other first thing in April, the fact is the idea of our nice club riddled with kids making a big move this spring went out the window when Quenneville replaced Savard and Sundin decided to move to the left coast.