My wife is an excellent cook. Rack of lamb with roasted root vegetables. Pork tenderloin with maple squash. Pasta with asparagus, chicken and zucchini.
You get the picture.
So imagine sitting down to a wonderful meal, tablecloth, good beer or wine.
Now add in a six year old and an almost four year old who live in their own little world. A world where the words bum and penis are the most hilarious words ever. (Yes yes, apple falling from the tree, I know) Throw in a fourteen month old who is as wild as her siblings, if not wilder. Her idea of a good time is to climb onto the furniture and jump up and down, laughing as her panicked mother flies across the room. She also wants to make sure that the dog, always lurking outside of the doorway to the dining room, enjoys his golden years and gets to savour different morsels off of her plate. As these go overboard the dog sneaks in, thinking (more likely not caring) that we won’t recognize his smelly massiveness in our midst. My wife goes mental, I laugh my head off, followed by the kids and the baby.
So the other night my eldest, just turned six, smart as a whip this one, was looking uncomfortable, shifting about in her chair. I asked her what was wrong and she said her bum was itchy. When she and her brother stopped laughing their heads off, I told her that she had better take care of that before bed.
You know what they say, go to bed with itchy bum, wake up with smelly finger.
Even the wife thought that one was funny.
So last night the kids are all in bed and my wife goes in to cuddle with her and as they lay there she immediately catches an unpleasant whiff.
What’s that? Did you just fart?
My daughter holds her finger up to my wife’s face.
I went to bed with an itchy bum.
The Oilers are my itchy bum. While management stumbles along year after year, a study in hopelessness, I keep coming back for more, scratching that itch, ending up smelling like poop.
Anyways, Western Conference predictions. I’m generally pretty good with these, seven out of eight playoff teams last year, the only miss, your Edmonton Oilers.
1/ San Jose – Everyone keeps talking about Heatley being the missing piece to put these guys over the top in the playoffs. He had a great playoff until the Finals when he was with the Sens so he has done it before but I think its simplistic to say that he is the answer there. In any case I think the Sharks will roll in the regular season again.
2/ Chicago – Huet is considered by most to be the weak link here but he’s always been pretty solid, imo. Its difficult to bet against the Wings but sooner or later someone has to overtake them and I think that this is the year the Hawks to do just that. Too much speed, too much talent, just a nice well rounded club.
3/ Calgary – Going against the grain here with nearly everyone picking the Canucks. I don’t think the Flames have what it takes to get it done in the playoffs but Sutter has done a decent job adding pieces here and there, as well as shedding salaries, and of course they added Bouwmeester who is going to be a difference maker. They can score goals and Jokinen will replace Cammelleri’s production just fine.
4/ Detroit – Its hard to pick against the Wings but I think they may finally slide a little this year. Losing Hossa is going to hurt them a lot and they have also lost Samuellson, Hudler and Kopecky. That’s a big chunk of forward depth and Draper, Maltby and Holmstrom are all getting older to boot. On top of that I think Lidstrom is starting to slowly decline and Osgood, while he had a fine playoff until that Talbot wrister, isn’t a guy I’d want to ride, especially on a club which likely will be chasing the puck a little more than they are used to. I might be saying all of this again next year but I think that this may be the year we see cracks in the armour.
5/ Vancouver – Someone somewhere wrote that Erhloff can replace Ohlund. All I have heard about the new guy is that he is pretty shit at even strength and that’s playing weak competition. I may be wrong but I can’t see him replacing Ohlund, even if the Swede is not what he once was. Having said that, the Canucks will be fine and I would bet that they will augment their lineup later in the season if need be. They have some nice young players but I think Calgary edges them out for the division which means they get a brutal first round matchup.
6/ St. Louis – The Blues look very good to me. They are young and they have talent and they have some nice vets in their lineup. Plus Andy Murray is a great coach. I think they are a shoo in for the playoffs.
At this point I think it becomes a bit of a crapshoot.
7/ Dallas – Everyone thinks Dallas is not only a playoff sure thing but also that they are a contender. I don’t think so. I think that Tippett is a terrific coach and I think that Crawford is not at his level and that his philosophy will not fit with this club’s personnel. I still think they sneak into the playoffs but there’s no guarantee here.
8/ Columbus – Again there will be four teams from the Central division. The BJS are a solid club with a good collection of vets and young players and a demanding coach. They’ll make it.
9/ L.A. – Adding Smyth and Williams were nice moves by Lombardi. Again a nice mix of kids with a few vets in there. Goaltending might hold them back.
10/ Minnesota – I’ve always trusted in Jack Lemaire and a part of me thinks that, like Dallas, a change in system might hurt these guys but they, like Columbus, look good to me. They will be in the playoff mix. The key will be Havlat’s health.
11/ Anaheim – A lot of folks have these guys in the playoffs, I can’t see how. Pronger and Beauchemin are gone and that is going to hurt. A big drop in quality on the blue is going to sink them.
12/ Edmonton – I’ll have a full look at the Oilers up tomorrow. With rumours that Moreau might be unable to go on Saturday apparently the Oilers will have one forward over 27 in the lineup. And its not like any of the kids are known to be quality two way players who can handle, say, the Sedins. I hope I’m wrong but I don't think so.
13/ Nashville – All that promise of a few years back gone away. They just keep shedding nice players. Too bad. This might be Barry Trotz’s last year. Someone has to take the fall.
14/ Phoenix – Nobody cares anymore. They’ll hit their stride in a hockey hotbed like Kansas City or Las Vegas.
15/ Colorado – The rebuilding begins.