Went to an NFL game in San Diego last Sunday, and do they know how to have fun at a sporting event. The diehards start tailgating five hours before the game, 80 per cent of them wear a Chargers’ jersey and they all have tents set up with lawn chairs, BBQs, trays of food and of course beer. There are way more chicks at football games than hockey, and most look really hot with their tight football jerseys. I recommend more tight hockey jerseys, but only for girls of course. Seeing Brownlee sporting a tight retro Canucks jersey, or Wanye looking like he’s wearing his mighty mite jersey is not something any of us want to see.
It would be foolish to think Canadians could do it 41 times a year for hockey games, not to mention the beer would freeze before we could even shotgun it, but why not during March and then into the playoffs? I say we start the trend this year. Of course that would mean the Oilers have to actually make the playoffs, but its Friday so let’s think positively.
Kudos to the techies
Wanye and the computer nerds finally get it right and the site looks great. Those tech wizards will probably have it so you can text message your posts soon enough. They will have more bells and whistles on here, so that most of us will need an instruction manual to navigate the Nation. I’ve heard rumblings of videos posts soon. God help us.
Avery gets six games, which is exactly what we expected him to get. That gives the Dallas Stars a bit more time for their lawyers to figure out if there is any chance they can release Avery without paying him. Fat chance of that happening, and really why should the Stars get off easily? Brett Hull made the dumbest signing of the summer when he handed Avery $15 million over four years.
Were any of you really surprised that Avery has been a distraction? That’s like saying you’re stunned the Oilers look like they’ll have to scratch and claw for a playoff spot, or that the New Libs on the Bloc was doomed before it got started. The Stars will have to buy him out in the summer, and it will cost them about $8 million to do so. Stupid is as stupid does, and Hull’s decision to sign Avery at that money was just as asinine as Avery’s comments earlier this week.
So as long as the glove doesn’t fit, you can get off on a murder charge, but steal your own merchandise can get you 15 in the clink. Of course no one feels sorry of OJ, but doesn’t it seem strange that he’ll spend close to 15 years making license plates for theft, yet for the past 13 years he’s been living it up after inexplicably beating the murder rap. Don’t tell me the judge wasn’t thinking, “I’ll get this SOB, and I’ll make a name for myself while doing so.”
Trust me, Jackie Glass will be a household name in the States very soon, and she’ll probably have a best seller with some lame title, How This Glass spilled the OJ!
Sam Gagner won’t play tonight due to concussion like symptoms from the Grossman hit versus Dallas. Marc Pouliot will take his spot on the right side. Reddox will centre the 4th line with Stortini and Strudwick.
Mathieu Garon will get his second straight start tonight in LA, and look for Ladislav Smid to dress in place of Jason Strudwick. There’s no way MacTavish will wait until tomorrow to put Smid back in against the Sharks. That could have devastating results for Smid after not playing defence in over a month.
The Sharks are the best team in the league by a mile right now. They’ve won nine straight, they are 14-0-1 at home, and they’ve scored 100 goals in 26 games. They have seven players with 21 or more points, only Ales Hemsky, with 26, makes that category, and only Boston and Minnesota have given up fewer goals.
The one positive for the Oilers is they play the Sharks tough in San Jose. The Oilers won both games last year, and are 5-2-1 over the past four seasons in San Jose. Conversely, they are 4-4 on the road versus the Kings.
How good was the Triple Crown Line, of Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer back in the 1980/81 season? They’re still the only line to ever have all three guys with 100 points in a season.
Dionne: 80 GP, 58 G, 77 A, 135 PTS, 70 PIM
Taylor: 72 GP, 47 G, 65 A, 112 PTS, 130 PIM
Simmer: 65 GP, 56 G, 49 A, 105 PTS, 62 PIM
You wonder how many points they would have scored if Taylor and Simmer played all the games? Compare them to San Jose’s top line and you appreciate even more how good they were. Right now Joe Thornton (32), Patrick Marleau (30) and Devon Setoguchi (29) are off to a great start, but only Thornton is on pace to score 100 points. If all three keep the same pace and play all 82 games, Thornton will get 100, Marleau 94 and Setoguchi will score 91 points. That would be a great season, but not close to the Triple Crown Line’s production. I don’t see any threesome ever matching what the boys in Yellow and Purple did 28 years ago.
Speaking of points
Hemsky is on pace for a career-best 89 points right now, and you have to think with Shawn Horcoff finally waking up and Dustin Penner actually competing on a nightly basis, Hemsky’s points should increase over the remaining 58 games. Is it possible the Oilers could have a player with more than 90 points for the first time since Doug Weight potted 104 back in 1995/96? If Hemsky stays healthy, he’ll finish with 94 points and finally have his point totals match his true ability. He might even score more goals than the 25 Weight potted in 1996.
—Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6pm on the TEAM 1260 or online at www.justagame.ca.