January 30 2011 08:03AM
I hate the All-Star break. It doesn't count in the standings, there's a long layoff between actual games and at my age any alteration in schedule makes me grumpy. Fortunately, there are some things to do, some of them involving good old hockey.
Fort McMurray plays at Sherwood Park in AJHL play today (according to their schedule); the Oil Barons have an 18-year old named Carson Cooper who might be a player. He's headed for Yale fall 2012. If you get NHL network they're running some great Gretzky games to mark his 50th birthday and much of it involves the Oilers.
If you like to read, I suggest Stephen Brunt's excellent "Searching for Bobby Orr" and Jim Devellano's "The Road to Hockeytown." If you're of a certain vintage the Orr book offers wonderful insight into our hero (who incredibly remains so all these years later) and the Red Wings book is a stellar glance into just how hard it is to build a hockey team when you're crappy. It would serve as a reminder to Oiler fans that this thing isn't going to turn around overnight and there's a really good chance many changes will occur (front office and roster) before Stanley returns to his rigthful home (speeding down Jasper Ave at about 50 clicks in what will be called a parade but will look like a jailbreak).
If you're going to watch a hockey movie today make it Slap Shot. There are other hockey movies. Anyone remember Faceoff? A portion of it is here: www.youtube.com/watch. I don't watch the Miracle on Ice because it isn't about Canada. That might seem ridiculous but that's how I feel.
I have the Oilers 10 best games on DVD and might watch G7 against the Flyers or the Fernando blueline PK game, but I won't watch the All-Star Game. It doesn't count in the standings.
There are of course other pursuits. The hardwood floors could use some attention and a long winter of throwing items in the garage has taken its toll. I'm meeting a buddy at Timmy's in awhile for coffee and then we'll see.
If you tuned in for a prospect update, they're all killing it-still. I don't know what voodoo Stu do but it's working. Oh, and Sean Couturier seems to be responding to his recent fall down the 2011 draft rankings. He had a monster game the other night and his boxcars now read 40gp, 23-47-70 for the season. Run through Desjardins equivalencies it would be 82gp, 13-27-40. Taylor Hall's NHLE entering his draft was 82gp, 17-29-46. Couturier isn't going to be Taylor Hall, but he's a terrific prospect.