GDB XXIX: An afternoon dancing with the Stars

Jason Gregor
December 05 2009 08:45AM

Well now it feels like hockey season. I’m sure many of you are barely getting in the house in time, after shoveling your vehicle out of 20 cm of the white stuff, to watch the Oilers take on the Stars. You probably spent an hour on your sidewalk and then got the bright idea to shovel out your car, only to have your neighbour notice you were outside so they asked if you could shovel their car out as well.

Your neighbour is either pregnant or elderly so you couldn’t be a douche and now you are trying to adjust your eyes to the TV after being blinded by the sun’s reflection off of the snow. It’s probably not the only thing that will be blinding you today.

Interestingly enough it snowed in Dallas on Tuesday, so it’s hockey weather in Texas and Alberta. Who knew?

When the puck dropped 40 hours ago in Detroit many of you thought it would be the start of the tank job. The Oilers would get blown out in Detroit and then limp into Dallas and get spanked by the Stars. The latter could still happen, but after Thursday’s game some of you are fighting the dreaded SPLIT PERSONALITY FAN.

On one shoulder you have your little devil fan dressed in an Oiler jersey convincing you that 54 games is ample time to turn this around and get into the playoffs. “Jeff Deslauriers is finally going to live up to his draft position and become an impact goalie,” your devil fan says.  

“Who needs Ales Hemsky and his sick stick handling skills, Bobby Nilsson and Patches O’Sullivan were playing in his shadow and now they flourish. Zack Stortini has always been the 4th line checking center who can win faceoffs. Ryan Potulny will be the Fernando Pisani of the 2006 playoffs and he will score 26 by seasons end. Trust me”

While you try to fight off these ridiculous notions, there is a part of you that wants to believe them. How awesome would the Oilers be next year when Hemsky returns after making the playoffs without him this year you tell yourself.

Then your Angel fan tosses his halo knocking the devil off your shoulder and rips into you.

“Wake up Kool-aid boy. This team can’t lose every game down the stretch, so the win over Detroit was just a speed bump. The Oilers aren’t tough enough, they can’t win a faceoff, their defensive zone coverage sucks and their goalie’s game fluctuates more than Oprah’s weight.

“Why do you do this to yourself? Just when you think this team is done, they win one stupid game and they suck you back in. You are blinded by your loyalty to want this team to win, that you can’t fathom another spring without playoffs. Well chump, a win over the Wings is not the beginning of a solid 55 game stretch.”

Admit it, that’s how most of you feel right now.

Last week, many of you were comfortable with the notion of missing the playoffs again, as long as the team got a top five pick, but beating Detroit has given you a glimmer of hope.

Will the Stars crush that glimmer like they did five times in the playoffs between 1998 and 2004? This Stars team doesn’t have Sergei Zubov, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brett Hull or Ken Hitchcock. Instead they have young guys like James Neal and Loui Eriksson and a red-hot Brad Richards.

Brendan Morrow is also hot with a goal in five consecutive games, and Stephane Robidas leads the NHL in hits, but the Stars are 1-4 in their last five afternoon home games.

Who the hell knows if the Oilers will win today, but unless you are stuck in your back alley, or on a side street, or taking your kids to hockey you will be watching this game with conflicted emotions.

I don’t predict scores, because I suck at sports select but I guarantee you this will happen.

Jeanshorts will complain about his hangover and the soft three he just had to pay cab fare to leave.

Dakin will be livid when the Oilers score two PP goals.

Menace will pinch a nerve in his neck from looking at his angel and devil from shift-to-shift.

Scientist will come up with another way to quote posts while calculating the length of time it will take a grader to grade every street in the city.

98% of the readers will read the comments section and never post, but secretly they will be just as irate or filled with hope as all of the posters.

And of course, Gene will have a reference to Robert Nilsson and the Lone Star State in his intro... book it!

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 ColmCanada
December 05 2009, 02:40PM
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Isn't Gagner supposed to be good at these things?

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#102 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:42PM
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Come on 22 round shootout!

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#103 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:43PM
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Jeddy's good. ~Khabi, get used to the bench.~

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#104 Brandon
December 05 2009, 02:44PM
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ColmCanada wrote:

Isn't Gagner supposed to be good at these things?

remember when he deked the crap out of goalies? Yeah I sure miss those days.....

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#105 Tooles
December 05 2009, 02:44PM
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HERO SHAWWWWWWWWWN HORCOFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!

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#106 Hemmertime
December 05 2009, 02:45PM
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Why doesnt Horc do more shootouts? 6/10 , and at least 4 of them have been 5-hole

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#107 ColmCanada
December 05 2009, 02:45PM
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Give that man a raise!

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#108 Horcsky
December 05 2009, 02:45PM
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HHHOOOORRRRCCCSSS!

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#109 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:45PM
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DAMMIT HORCOFF!

GAH I HATE THIS!! I should be happy but I'm disappointed! DAMN YOU OILERS!

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#110 freeze
December 05 2009, 02:45PM
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Sweet! Big 2 points!

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#111 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 02:46PM
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JDD IS TAKING THE OIL TO THE PLAYOFFFFFFFFFFS!!!!!

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#112 Horcsky
December 05 2009, 02:46PM
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Hemmertime wrote:

Why doesnt Horc do more shootouts? 6/10 , and at least 4 of them have been 5-hole

Ya who knows. Shouldn't the coaching staff be all over that stat? He does seem to score on the snapshot five-hole every time.

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#113 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 02:47PM
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PS My girlfriend texted me from a casino in Regina last night. She walks over to the craps table and who does she find?

None other than Theo Fleury.

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#114 Dan the Man
December 05 2009, 02:48PM
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TWO IN A ROW!!!!!!!!!!!

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#115 David S
December 05 2009, 02:49PM
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Man I feel bad for everybody who wants the team to tank.

NOT!!!!!!

Hahahahahaha suckers!

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#116 Jodes
December 05 2009, 02:49PM
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@Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

I see he's on the right track yet again..

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#117 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 02:50PM
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Man, I'm getting tired of them saying "You've gotta be good to be lucky and you've gotta be lucky to be good".

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#118 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:50PM
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So when does Stone get his 12 year 56 million dollar contract? He's the magic that cleans the table. Right?

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#119 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 02:50PM
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David S wrote:

Man I feel bad for everybody who wants the team to tank.

NOT!!!!!!

Hahahahahaha suckers!

Are we all allowed to hold you down and punch your stomach when the Oilers finish 10th?

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#120 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 02:52PM
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JorgeR wrote:

So when does Stone get his 12 year 56 million dollar contract? He's the magic that cleans the table. Right?

Easy, tiger. A contract like that would be kind of inappropriate before they give him the C, right?

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#121 Robin Brownlee
December 05 2009, 02:55PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

JDD IS TAKING THE OIL TO THE PLAYOFFFFFFFFFFS!!!!!

Resist the urge to turn two fluke goals in Detroit and another in Dallas into a march to the post-season. Isn't happening.

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#122 TigerUnderGlass
December 05 2009, 02:55PM
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I got a kick out of Smid saying post game, "I can't believe I scored a goal."

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#123 JorgeR
December 05 2009, 02:57PM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Easy, tiger. A contract like that would be kind of inappropriate before they give him the C, right?

Can one wear the C, and 3 As? When quinn has his inevitable Stroke on the bench maybe we should consider allowing him to be the Coach-by-Example sort of leader

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#124 Kiaser Wilhelm
December 05 2009, 02:58PM
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@Robin Brownlee

What is this? Common sense in an Oilers blog site? That has to be one of the rarest occurrences in nature!!

Good game boys, but Brownlee's right.

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#125 The Real Scuba Steve
December 05 2009, 02:59PM
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Playoffs here we come!!

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#126 David S
December 05 2009, 02:59PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Are we all allowed to hold you down and punch your stomach when the Oilers finish 10th?

Haha JS!

I just want to see the guys play to their potential and see where things end up. They do that and I don't give a crap if they finish 10th. More scrappy games like this one and I'll be happy.

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#127 jeanshorts
December 05 2009, 03:00PM
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@David S

See, in my perfect world they'd play great like today, but still find a way to lose by 2 goals.

TAYLORHALL!

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#128 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
December 05 2009, 03:01PM
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@Robin Brownlee

I guess I could edit some sarcasm into my original post, or I could spell it out.

I was being sarcastic.

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#129 Jamie B.
December 05 2009, 03:10PM
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Is it just me, or does Quinn ... maybe ... not give a crap who he puts out for the shootout? I guess he proved me wrong with Horcoff.

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#130 Heatly
December 05 2009, 03:27PM
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2 Wins in a row!!!!!!!!!!

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#131 OregonStateFan
December 05 2009, 03:31PM
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Oh well, the Oil managed to prove the 2-2 SO loss wrong. I'd like to see if the team can perform as a team over the rest of the season.

So far in the near term, it's been wins by fluke.

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#132 BarryS
December 05 2009, 03:35PM
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I don't know what to say, an good game to watch, and a win. Looks like tanking it is not an option. Sees to me expecting management to tank on purpose is an unreasonable expection. Looks like Dustin Penner is paying for all the easy goals early on, but at least he is not coasting, is still contributing. As long as the first line keeps the checking lines on the other teams busy and needing help from other lines they don't need to score as much.

Is it a worry the goals during regular time came from defencemen not forwards?

Everytime I see Penner and Gagner backchecking and getting the puck, it makes me feel good.

Does anybody else agree the two games Nilsson has played since he got back might be hia best as an Oiler? Is he setting us up again?

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#133 BarryS
December 05 2009, 03:55PM
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Seem's to me we've lost more games than won by fluke's.

Any shot that ends up in the net might be lucky, but shots not taken almost never go in the net, unless its the one by Khabbi in game one.

Isn't the old hockey saying when you shoot, good things happen? Me, I'm just glad they are shooting. More shots, more chances for these so called flukes.

Neither of the last two wins can really be called flukes, didn't they score more than the other guys? Today they came back from down 2? Seems to me Detroil and Dallas had some say in who won and who lost and so did JDD.

A win is a win, a loss is a loss. Checked the standings, didn't see columns called fluke wins and fluke losses.

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#134 BarryS
December 05 2009, 04:01PM
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@jeanshorts

Jeanshorts, you Taylor Hall's agent or something?

So what's wrong if some of our players actually turn out and begin to play like they want to stay in the NHL and on a winning team, this team?

It is way to early to gloat or be downcast.

But if it turns out that way, I understand Crow tastes good barbecued with beersauce.

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#135 Robin Brownlee
December 05 2009, 04:34PM
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There are those who drink the Kool-Aid, and then there is Barry S, who submerges his head in the jug and refuses to stop chugging like a freshman getting hazed no matter how often reality taps him on the shoulder. You keep checking the standings and we'll see what's what after 82 games.

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#136 BarryS
December 05 2009, 07:59PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

There are those who drink the Kool-Aid, and then there is Barry S, who submerges his head in the jug and refuses to stop chugging like a freshman getting hazed no matter how often reality taps him on the shoulder. You keep checking the standings and we'll see what's what after 82 games.

So, after 30 games you're certain the Oilers are done? Me, I tend to watch each game then get over it.

Had, a year long drug induced depression in 1967 after a seven hour surgery and three day every four hour morphine shot, and a self induced four day hangover in 1975, cured me of any sort of coolaid. Sailed through the rest of the sixites and seventies impervious to the drug culture, that's to my surgeons free trip through the dark side. Been there, done that, still got the scars.

For a guy who makes his living in the writing business, you sure got a thin skin and a limited vocabulary.

Actually, 82 games will be about right to see what's what. Injuries are starting to spread around through the league and the Olympics are coming, they've affected the final standings before likely will again.

And thanks for the promotion and notice. Can't think I'm any threat to you, but by your reaction I must be.

Beer is for teenagers, whiskey is for men.

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#137 RossCreekNation
December 05 2009, 09:43PM
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*peak-a-boo*

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#138 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
December 06 2009, 07:29AM
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BarryS wrote:

Jeanshorts, you Taylor Hall's agent or something?

So what's wrong if some of our players actually turn out and begin to play like they want to stay in the NHL and on a winning team, this team?

It is way to early to gloat or be downcast.

But if it turns out that way, I understand Crow tastes good barbecued with beersauce.

care to make a wager?

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#139 BarryS
December 06 2009, 01:14PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

care to make a wager?

Sorry, one lesson of my life, not necessarily applicable to others, is if I want to lose, put money on it. Seems a little soon to be naming the number one in june or july whenever the NHL get around to having a draft.

In early december, don't actually worry to much about who will be number one draft choice, to many chance some slug will knock his block off by accident and give him a concusion. Then again, even if he is the best, no telling what the number one picking GM will do.

Like I say, Crow barbecued in beer sauce is said to be good, tastes like turtle.

Given how far back I am in all the free hockey pools I'm in, I have no illusions about any abilities I might have of judging even known talent as a GM.

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#140 MrOiler
December 06 2009, 06:58PM
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Oilers 3, Stars 2 (SO)

And the little devil punches the little angel in the nose. "There's a little koolaid for ya, Wings!"

p.s. - And a new NHL level backup goalie is found in Edmonton.

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