GDB 75: Robert Frost’s hockey wisdom lives on


A few weeks ago my neighbour strolled up to my door toting a bottle of Bacardi Limon — best drink going if you mix with water — so I let her in. We yapped for a bit, poured a few Limons, but the Oilers game came on so I pretty much gave her the proverbial nod every few seconds suggesting I was listening to her. She must have caught on that I wouldn’t be engaging in any conversation until a commercial or intermission, so she sat at my computer and checked her e-mail.

I thought it was harmless enough, until the next morning when I open my Outlook and I have some email from Audri and Jim Landford. I’m like WTF, why isn’t my spam detector working? But, of course I had to see who it was from…

Maybe Carney Lansford, one of the greatest third basemen ever, died and left me something in his will. I wasn’t a baseball enthusiast growing up, but he was one my favourite ball players.

I never played ball — hated it in fact. I tried it once when I was seven and they put me in the outfield. After six innings of swatting mosquitoes, looking like Les Nessman from WKRP in Cincinnati and getting no balls hit to me, I announced to my dad that I would not be coming back. At that age, there is no more boring sport than baseball.

Anyways, Lansford rocked and he had a great ‘stache too. And he had a cameo as Kit “hit or Die” Kesey in the 1994 remake of Angels in the Outfield.

** Yes it was a Disney movie, but I’ll watch any sports movie, and don’t say you didn’t believe in the possibility of angels when the kids started flapping their arms in the final game. Admit it, you believed a bit.***

Well Audri and Jim aren’t Carney’s parents; rather, they are some inspirational speakers or something, and my neighbour felt it was necessary that I receive these quotes. Every day now I get an inspirational quote from some famous person that is supposed to brighten my day. Yesterday it was:

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

Thanks Mark, I’ll try that one.

Today this is what I got — brace yourselves Oiler fans:

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” — Robert Frost

Frost is a famous American poet, in case you didn’t know. And I can tell you that without those inspirational words I might not have realized that in fact I would still be breathing today. Thanks, Tips.

Oh bla dee, oh bla da

Life does indeed go on, but after watching that debacle last night, you wonder if the Oilers will go on to the playoffs. And if they, many of us will have a big part of our lives put on hold until next October.

While life goes on, it sure sucks going on in a city void of playoffs. Everyone is happier when the Oilers are in the playoffs. Hell, even Brownlee’s scowl softens as young lasses who can’t name two players on the team drive around the city flashing passing motorists. (True story in the run of 2006, the JAG mobile got flashed every day by random girls after the Oil beat the Sharks in round two. Some days it pays to have your show name plastered on the Kia.)

It’s been two springs of nothing since, and after yesterday’s incredibly bad effort against the lowly Phoenix freakin’ Coyotes, I’m worried we’ll experience another flashless spring.

It was game 74 last night, and you would think that by now the PP could at least string together three consecutive passes. Or how about this novel idea: if the first unit can’t do anything, then start the second unit on the PP. Do you not want some healthy competition amongst the units?

Where was the desire? The urgency? Don’t give me this garbage about Phoenix being loose, so it’s easier for them to play. They aren’t that good. Colorado is supposed to be loose and they keep getting blown out by five or six goals a night.

The Oilers better wake up tonight. The Ducks have won five straight, and six of their last seven. They’ve won two in OT and two in the SO.

In their last two home games they are a ridiculous seven for ten on the PP. They are rotating their goalies, yet they still win. The Ducks are playing aggressive, in-your-face-yet-disciplined hockey right now. They look like a team that wants to be in the playoffs.

We’ll find out tonight if the Oilers truly want to be in the playoffs.

  • Show up early.
  • Compete.
  • Hit.
  • Shoot the damn puck.
  • Crash the crease.
  • Play Stortini.

I know he isn’t a game breaker, but at least Stortini gives you some energy and spark, and he’ll stand up to Anaheim, something very few forwards on this team seem willing to do.

As the great American Poet Robert Frost said about life: it goes on.

Well Mr. Frost, in Edmonton life sure sucks if it goes on without some NHL playoffs. And it sucks even worse if you drink pansy American beer while doing it. Here’s to some good old fashion Pilsner, Molson Canadian, OV, Labatt Blue, Black Label, Grasshopper or any other Canadian Beer that tickles your fancy.

Tonight we drink real beer, (Or Bacardi Limon with Water) and we get set for some playoffs!

** Game day update:

  • Stortini and JF Jacques are in.
  • Nilsson and Reddox are out.

This is a smart move by MacT, and we’ll see more energy in tonight’s game because of these moves.