I know. I picked the Oilers to finish 6th in the West, and until it's lottery day I'm going to stick to my water pistols...err...guns.
Last night's game v the Hawks proves one thing - these Oilers are a potential cup winner down the road. Sure the Hawks thought this would be an easy game, and sure they looked a hell of a lot more competant say, in the late second period...but as we all know the race doesn't always go to the most talented. It goes to the most prepared, the one who is ready to win on the day.
I see the Oilers of 2010-11 as a team that's going to be getting it's ass handed to them by the big bad tight checking teams, and even then look out because if Hall and company explode like they already have for a few early or late goals...well...you can check all you want with a 3 goal deficit and you still lose the game when the buzzer sounds.
Similarly, those teams(like the Hawks) who are good enough to actually play hockey the way it's meant to be played, these teams will want to play and the 2010-11 Oilers will accomodate them.
Sure they have holes, sure the defence is nothing to write home about and blah blah blah. Hockey is a game of mistakes, of percentages, and ultimately of willpower. It's a game of talent also, which is manifested in Daigle like losers with all the talent in the world but no idea or guts to see the thing through, or the Bobby Orr/Taylor Hall types who actually do everything they can to get better and win.
Okay. I'm delusional. I reckoned the youngsters were going to shove this club, 1979 Wayne Gretzky-like into the playoffs.
After the first couple of games, I felt like a fucking genius. Four games after that, and I dread the rest of the season. Although it's going to be fun when they play the Rangers at the Garden in November.
MPS is already starting to worry me. He's getting a few belts, and already seems to have lost his fearlessness. Nice. Hall and Eberle, well, they're good ole boy Canucks.
I don't really know whether I want them to end up in 15th for the entire fucking season, yano?
Turns out their little 2 game win streak was a mirage viz their storming through the NHL like the ghosts of dynasties past, but look to see MPS front and centre on the top two lines from now on.
Throw the one who's struggling for points(Hall) down with the dregs for a little while.
Whatever the coach does, something tells me these three players are going to figure this league out anytime between Christmas and the trade deadline. Look for another Oilers storming up the charts late in the season, after they've dug a hole for themselves early on.
Congrats to the Flames - avoiding another humiliation, for now.
Only four games in and geez, this is a huge game for the youngsters.
Only one of them has managed to score, and the last game result means that unless the boys manage a W tonight they're already starting a losing streak.
Obviously many think this is just a bad team, going nowhere, but until I see the wheels fall off am maintaining my bold 6th place finish, lol.
You have to laugh. The odds right now look debatable, but sooner than later some of that trio will explode, and hey the Flames are already our girlfriends this season, with highlight reels to prove it.
PS: Only just learned the Flame's lost haha so they're definitely ripe for the taking tonight.
Huge game for the young Oilers - win and everything is forgiven and they have almost a week until their next game; lose and only four games in and they're on their first losing streak.
Incredibly, a L for the Flames sticks them firmly behind the eight ball, less than 10 games into the season. Hilarious.
Oilers head into Saturday's tilt with the Flames no worse off than .667 on their new record.
Of course we want them to win tonight, and in time they will be able to always beat these bad teams, but for now let's just hope the boys win in Calgary Saturday night, and let tonight be for October fun.
Calgary drops their next game of course then loses to the Oilers...lol it can happen.
But this accused fool understands hockey in ways most allegedly sane fans do not.
I was able to grow up with the greatest collection of offensive players in the history of hockey playing a few miles up the road from where I lived. Toss in Paul Coffey(in my opinion the greatest defencemen not named Bobby Orr), and the heart-attack goalie of all time in Mister Cokehead(elementary kids knew and discussed it at the time lol), and what are you left with? The Oxford University of hockey awareness.
Thurday's game was like watching some fantasy I've been harbouring since I more or less decided to get back into hockey viewing a decade ago. Namely, a seriously incredible team appearing in Oilers uniforms out of the blue, destroying the opposition. Well, I got my wish on Thursday night.
What's to come? Black Dog predicts a fairly easy schedule for October(I'm not so confident yet), and a really hard one in November(bring it on!).
Hall - skates around the offensive zone like it's the OHL.
MPS - already looks like a polished performer.
Eberle - the one player I had the most doubts about until Thursday. Oilers have stolen the next Mike Bossy.
Peckham - Dissed constantly, I always loved his rep from juniors. I've encountered a few guys like Theo - hard as nails, and simply painful to contact in any physical way. And I mean Painfull! You could tell by the third period the Flames were already scared to go near him.
This team is seriously well coached(when the fuck was the last time Oilers could claim this!??). I have no worries going forward, none whatsoever. The boys have the right sutff, and the right stuff isn't fragile.
I've always had this theory, that athletes sometimes need to be drafted by the right sports team, otherwise their careers languish.
Reggie Leach is a good example of this. I don't know who drafted him, but he was going nowhere in Boston(insane stacked team) and California(insane bad team) before going over to the Flyers where after being re-conjoined(excuse the expression, but I took a sentential calculus course once) with his junior linemate Bobby Clarke, instantly became an NHL star.
The reason I use Leach is one of my uncles saw the Flin Flon Bombers in the I dunno late 60's, and said that Leach, not Clarke was the best player on the ice.
Yet Clarke goes onto the captaincy of the Flyers, while poor Leach very nearly busts. Why? Does it follow that Gretzky's presense on the early Oilers helped the Messier's, Coffey's, Anderson's, and Kurri's, or would all of these guys have ended up starring anyway? Or, would some have been stars and some not have been stars?
I saw what an idiot savant(MacTavish did to Jani Rita and a whole lot of other young talented forwards, and I think I'm seeing the exact same situation in Toronto between Ron Wilson and Kadri.