Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If I Had A Million Dollars and Making Bruce's Day

I don't play the lottery. Never have. May as well light your money on fire as far as I am concerned.

Of course you can't even do that anymore, not with the coins and such.

Work's been crazy for the last while for both of us so when we had our week off just a couple back, when I was in Dublin getting fucking loaded (WHOOOOO!) and she was wrangling the freaky midgets (not so WHOOOOO!) it was a welcome respite, even for her.

Anything is better than work, sorry, even though we do both like our jobs. So we both returned to the regular world with trepedation and a couple of days later as we sat exhausted on the couch I looked over and told her that her pessimism was costing us a place in the sun, if we had it my way we'd be investing everything we own in the lottery.

And I do mean everything.

Every once in a while we chat about what we would do if we won the lottery that we never play. We have a friend whose mom and step dad have won significant amounts of cash twice, enough that they are set, and I have a buddy whose parents have done the same. Not a crazy amount like forty million bucks or something but a million or so once and then a couple hundred grand another time. Not bad luck, eh?

The wife says that she would keep working even if we hit it massively but of course that's because she's mental. I'd give notice and I'd be sitting on the back deck with a coffee and a paper before you could say Jack Robinson. I'd always thought about opening a pub but I think the hassle and pitfalls would be just to much so if I ever needed something to keep me occupied I think I would crack open a little secondhand book store, staff it with redheaded grad students dressed in black and pound away at a novel there when I could. That I could see myself doing.


Tonight the Oilers will find out if they pick first or second. They can do no worse than second and thank dog because its a two man race for top pick. Now ten years from now we may look back and see that the twelfth pick overall ended up being the top pro or that Hall ended up being Alex Daigle but right now neither pick is a bad one and both project to be very good pros I think.

I prefer Seguin for a number of reasons. He's a centre. He sounds like he's already quite well rounded as a player. He's posted his big year in only his second year in the league (Hall took three seasons). Articles about the kid portray him in a very very favourable light.

Having said that your mileage may definitely vary and I wouldn't blame you one bit. I won't shed any tears if they select Hall.

Its win/win.


In a thread over at Copper and Blue the other day there were some questions about our man Zach Stortini, specifically whether or not he had played centre in junior in Sudbury. I emailed a pal of mine back in my hometown who is a pretty astute hockey guy and asked if he could fill us in a little bit. Here is what he wrote back:

Stortini is probably the only guy on this year's team that I routinely enjoyed watching. It's been kinda cool watching the Wolves tie-in with the Oil over the last number of years. I've actually met the guy on a few occasions, back when I was running the boxing training centre. His dad had him come in and do some boxing training for a month or two over the off-season to improve his balance, footwork and abillity to throw bombs faster. Absolutely great guy. I actually work with a guy who's either related to him, or his wife is related to him somehow - so I get updates pretty often. When the new NHL 2K10 game came out and TSN did the feature on how the game consulted with big Zach for their new fighting details, the clip went around the office quite quickly.

I caught a bunch of games in his final 2 years (with the Wolves), and saw the playoffs in his last one too. He had a great playoff and did play centre in Jr, but they'd throw him out there on the wing sometimes too, depending on who he was matched up with. Foligno (Nick) was sorta in the same boat. They both played a gritty centerman role, both probably in the high 50% on face-offs, and I'd have to say the big man was their most effective player in the playoffs that year. If the Oilers can continue to develop this guy into a player and not just a scrapper, he's really capable around the net on the PP, in a Holmstrom role, and he can win some faceoffs, for a team who has centremen that I could beat with a ringette stick. To me, he seems to be a really coachable team guy who'll stick his nose in front of the net or a fist to help win.

Thank to Joe for that; he's asking around to see if he can pass along any anecdotes but I figured that Bruce at least would enjoy that information.


Bruce said...

Thanks Joe, and Pat.

Stortini is probably the only guy on this year's team that I routinely enjoyed watching.

Yeah, I know how you feel, Joe. Sad state of affairs, isn't it? Zorg was one of the very few of the young Oilers who just continued to track positively and mature his game. Meanwhile, the less said about the old Oilers, the better.

To me, he seems to be a really coachable team guy who'll stick his nose in front of the net or a fist to help win.

This is the drum I've been beating for the last three seasons. It's very easy to imagine the guy was always like this.

He's taken a few faceoffs over the years (career 13/21= 62% before this year) but that was stepped up quite a bit in 2009/10 when he took 183 draws, winning 47.5%, a respectable 3rd among the 9 Oilers who took 100 or more. Faceoffs were an issue for the Oil again in '09-10, and while Zorg was hardly the solution, he wasn't part of the problem (unlike, say, Patrick O'Sullivan, who took 12 more faceoffs than Stortini but won 16 fewer).

More to the point Zack played a regular shift at centre for a couple of stretches during the season, notably during the 5-game road winning streak in December and then again at the tail end, including a three-game winning streak in Games 79-81. Now I'm not going to say that A = B, but it's surely fair to conclude that his time at pivot didn't hurt the team. Indeed, he was the only C of any size that we had all year - Penner took some draws, but didn't otherwise play the position - so it was a welcome change to the team's look. For sure he got schooled a couple of times, but then again, who on this team didn't? At least Stortini's a guy who will actually learn a lesson from such exposures.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Bruce. It's a team that's been short on role assignments for way too long, and this is a guy who can fill the utility spots if need be. I'm not saying give Zorg PP minutes ahead of Gagne or Horcoff in the middle, but a guy who can win a few draws, bust his ass to the net and tip or bang in some dirty ones when called on is a valued man.


hunter1909 said...

Hockey now over until we all find out that in missing Taylor Hall, the premier power forward of his generation, but hey we all want Doug Weight back, right?