Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ennui and Malaise Are Not Towns In The South of France

November is one of those forgettable months. Along with February I think we could do without it although I hate March most of all because its such a goddamned tease. Then again, at least March has its pleasant moments and warm weather is right around the corner. November is grey and dreary and the excitement for Christmas has not yet ramped up. Cold frozen grass and mud, snowfalls that melt almost immediately, howling winds and people scowling as they rush by bundled up. And its dark by supper time.


On top of everything I have the mother of all head colds. We’re talking full up to the top, if I move in the night I start leaking everywhere.

So I’m a little snarly. Maybe I’m overdosing on candy and its throwing my body off (after all it is a finely tuned machine) but I’m not my usual cheery happy go lucky self.

Case in point. We played Saturday night, riding a five game winning streak. Well we came out flat and got outworked and outhustled badly. This was one of those weird games where we seriously outchanced our opponents but they cashed the few chances that they had, all five bell buddy standing alone in front of the net types, and came away with the two points. Fact is though they deserved it, we played like we didn't give a damn. They came at us hard and for some reason that always eludes me, the refs decided to put their whistles away. It’s a non contact league and bodies are flying everywhere and tempers are fraying and the refs are telling us to get up and get back into the play.

So there’s a few minutes left and the puck skips past one of our guys and their winger barrels after it and he’s got ten feet on me but I have the angle and just as he figures he’s going to shoot I lay a crosscheck on him that sends him sprawling. The whistle blows and the crowd gathers and buddy says that I am shit (but I caught him didn’t I?) and that he is going to kill me and I look at him and I smirk and I say:

You’re fat.

He sputters and I repeat myself and then I skate over to the box where the ref explains to me that had I hit his legs he would not have penalized me.

So if I had taken his legs out and sent him headfirst into the boards, all the better?

I just don’t get it.

Anyhows I’m surly. And yes I’m a dirty prick but the fuckers had been getting away with shit all fucking game so fuck them.

And last night I take the big guy out for his bedtime constitutional and the wife works today 7 to 7 so I figure I had better get a headstart on getting the garbage out. We have these new (ish) bins for garbage and recycling, they’re huge, ours is the extralarge, I think, it’s a little smaller than a Chevette. We live twelve steps or so up from the street but at least these things have wheels so its not all that bad. So I grab it from beside the house and I’m wheeling it out and I’m at the top of the stairs almost and suddenly the fucking lid cracks open and there’s a motherfucking raccoon right in front of me, trying to get out. I stagger back clutching my heart, screaming like a little girl, fucker scared the shit out of me, and he nonchalantly slides down to the ground.

Right in front of the big fellow.

Oh sweet revenge.

The first time he really got a hold of a raccoon I was worried but since then he has had multiple encounters, the raccoon winning would be like Andrew Cogliano taking the puck off of Zdeno Chara.

It ain’t fucking happening.

So my knight in shining armour tore a strip off of the fat bastard while I cheered him on adoringly. The neighbours peered disapprovingly from behind their curtains and wondered once again about how the neighbourhood had gone to pot ever since the hillbillies moved in across the street.


The above picture is just about two years old. I don’t fuck around when it comes to the facial hair and that was my contribution to Movember, I raised a few hundred bucks with that sucker.

My wife runs half marathons to raise money. I grow facial hair.

Colby Cosh, who took the pic, thought I looked very Rockford Files while Dennis King figured I looked like I had just gotten out of a Newfoundland prison.

I was in Edmonton celebrating my 40th. Horcoff scored in the shootout as the Oilers beat an equally weak Chicago club. Dick Tarnstrom, soon to be traded, got hurt. Pitkanen was awesome. Geoff Sanderson not so much. Did I mention that Chicago wasn't much of a club?

The Oilers, after the collapse of the previous season, were dreadful. Pitkanen and Gilbert were splendid on the backend and whenever Horcoff, Hemsky and Penner took the ice the Hawks were hemmed in their own end. On the other hand the Oiler kids spent most of the time running around their own zone and the rest of the team, led by veterans in Stoll, Torres and Reasoner, were reasonably competent, if nothing too special. At least they could get the puck moving the right way.

I should have kept the fucking mustache, I’d be tripping over it by now.

Hell we all know that the truth about this club is somewhere between the hot start and this stretch, which is rivaling the post Smyth trade disaster in terms of brutal ineffectiveness. In four of the past five games the club has a total of one goal.

That is truly shit.

Having to play Chorney and Strudwick and Peckham has hurt badly and there is no doubt that the flu has absolutely ravaged this club. That said there is a disturbing lack of confidence and enthusiasm in this club right now, especially frustrating after their surge out of the gate.

Is Ryan Stone that important?

One thing about Stone is that he knows how to separate a guy from the puck and how to play his position and how to get the puck to the net and one hopes that once Pisani gets fit and Stone returns and Comrie gets healthy (will he ever? Little dude has only been out, what, three weeks? Does he have the plague?) that things will get better but the problem is the same as its been for years now. Not enough fucking NHL players.

They have one line that can go toe to toe with the Wings or anyone and get that puck the length of the ice and produce offence and after that it’s a gong show. You could take your pick of players and create a perfectly effective fourth line to chip in but after that, at this time, you have a bunch of guys who are too young or too old or too dumb to play good basic fundamental hockey.

After Penner who would you send out on the LW to protect a lead? Or to break a tie? Or to do anything but bang a few bodies?

The kid line, those great hopes of two seasons ago, are bleeding goals against and doing nothing offensively.

O’Sullivan looks lost. There is no more talk of Brule replacing Gagner or Cogliano, not that this would be that difficult at this point.

What the hell is going on?

The work of management over the past four seasons has been beaten to death here and elsewhere. Veterans and quality players who wore Oiler colours are scattered about the league; the biggest issue, as always, remains the fact that few, if any, were replaced by any quality at all.

Remember, another missed playoff season (with a cap team, again) and this club equals the disaster that followed the breakup of the dynasty clubs. Drive for five anyone?

Oh well, the Olympics are coming up, very exciting. There's no way we can lose at hockey, right? Right?!

Here is hoping that Canada wins the gold and that Ryan Smyth is there. That would make me laugh (or cry?) all the harder.

If you get geeked out about the Olympics like I do, check out the link at right, in the bottom section of links. A good friend of mine will be carrying the torch somewhere up along the beautiful Lake Superior. He's been involved in the Olympics (he worked at the Sydney Games) and he is pretty excited about the opportunity. Like all bloggers he is both a pervert and a misanthrope. ;)

He's also a hell of a hockey player. He would have taken that fucker out at the knees and then piled him into the boards for good measure.

Crazy Sudbury folk.


Krazy Rick said...

Hey Dog...

I grow my hair half way down my back, then cut it for charity, because I can't grow a mustache or a beard!! You'd think at my age I'd have something growing on my face! Usually don't need to shave for three or four days.
Kind of like the Oilers right now...lacking any offence for three or four games at a time!! Damn...sure wish they would get back to the scoring phase of the season!! Maybe after they get healthy. We Can only hope!


jdrevenge said...

Maybe we'll be a second half team?

YKOil said...

Perhaps you need to spend more time tuning. Leaks are one of those best when purposed occurences.

Oiler Mag said...

You're correct BD - Malaise is in the North of France ;-)

macaotim said...

I'd sure like to see a healthy roster have quality practice time and 5 games under their belt before I pass finalized judgment on this team.

With the players they have in the line-up (coughnilssoncough), and the call-ups, I think it has been hard to properly implement a new system/style of play. To complicate matters, when the vets return, they will also need a few games to get 'er going, which pushes back judgment day. Perhaps it will push it back to a point where this season is out of reach...I hope not.

spOILer said...

Who the hell is that ugly MoFo?

Oh. It's you.

Well that explains why I can't see any hands.

And either you're drinking 5 pints a minute or your waitress sucks.

Coach pb9617 said...

Why does Tom Berenger look hammered?

Black Dog said...

jdr - is there such a thing as a third half?

spOILer - lol, actually that's at RATT and there was a large crew there, definitely not my mess, so to speak

coach - I have actually gotten that before, no word of a lie

the Tom Berenger, I mean

well, the hammered too

Black Dog said...

macaotim/KR - the truth lies between this shit show and the opening weeks' success I would say

Quinn's remarks yesterday speak the other truth though. Not enough NHL players. Who knew?

rananda said...

you look a great deal like matt hoffman, bmx rider.



spOILer said...

That was at RATT. I was thinking it was at an outdoor patio given the evening wear, but I guess that wouldn't make much sense given the time of year.

Christ, I can't remember the last time I drank at RATT. Thought that place was for 1st years, engineering nerds and Penner-type Phys Ed students.

But then again, Dewey's doesn't even exist anymore, but I hope the Power Plant is still goin strong. Saw Long John there once or twice.

word verification: bards

Woodguy said...

I think you look like Jack Black's slimmer, meaner older brother.

I'm getting misty eyed (and got a quivering liver) with all the talk about RATT, Dewey's and The Plant.

I was the Labatt campus guy at the U 92-94. One of my duties was working the give aways at the bars.

One night I went to The Plant to give away a beer fridge for the "Find the Bear" promotion.

The band that night had the place jumping. That was the only time I saw people stop playing pool to watch the band.

During the break I had to go on stage and make the draw for the fridge. The band was busy selling T-shirts and 6 song EP cassette tapes and the lead singer got pissy with me for cutting into their selling time. So I bought a tape to placate him.

They played the rest of their set and the dance floor was a sweaty teaming mass of student bodies. The band was tight and killing it.

They finished with a funny and quirky song called "If I had a Million dollars". I hoped it was on the tape.

It was.

I lent my Barenaked Ladies EP to a girl I was sleeping with and never saw it again.

I was never as bigger fan of that band than I was that night at about 2 am. In my mind it was all downhill from then.

Olivier said...

Pat: Well, on that precise picture, you look like Eli Wallach as Tuco.

macaotim said...

I saw the skydiggers at The Plant just before I moved to Macao. Great show, small crowd, great after party. Gawd, for some indy music...

Now I miss home...thanks.

andy grabia said...

lol, actually that's at RATT and there was a large crew there, definitely not my mess, so to speak

Definitely not. Don't let the big talk fool you, guys. Pat's a pussy. Can't drink at all. What did you have, three pints that night? Maybe four? I lapped you about five times. Course I felt like garbage the next day and didn't take you around town like I promised, but whatever. Men drink, not check out WEM.

Black Dog said...

Hmm, I believe you misremember as Roger Clemens would say. I certainly checked out earlier than you on the Friday night, I will give you that.

But whereas Friday night saw the oldtimer edged out I do believe that Saturday night saw no contest, that is, someone sleeping on the couch whilst someone else (me) drank deep into the dark dark night.

Plus you have an enormous vagina, iirc. Lost my souvenir foam finger in there.