GDB #1: Down with the haters


(Editors note: Author is Jason Gregor. We’ll attribute to him properly when he gets on the system)

Finally the Oilers will play a meaningful game for the first time in almost six months. That’s right Oiler fans six freaking months since a game really mattered in this city, and now Brownlee is already ensuring you will only have six months of hockey before another long off season.

With all due respect: Screw you Brownlee.

How the hell am I supposed to respect your picks when you changed your mind in a matter of three days? On Wednesday you had a man crush on Marc Crawford and his Dallas Stars. You had them in the playoffs, now they are out. 

The Oilers PK dropped 22 spots last year. In 2008 they were 5th, and last year 27th. Is moving up ten spots this year that hard?

So Khabibulin wasn’t great in preseason. Who cares? Any idea what his pre-season record was in previous stops? Me neither.

The Oilers need players to overachieve for once, and this year they actually have guys who will be put in a position to do so. You question Deslaurier’s ability to play well, fine. But has he shown you he can’t? It’s a question mark either way.

When you lined up at the goal line three years ago against Stauffer, no one gave you a chance, but I said you could win. Little did I know you’d had 87 knee surgeries, and had sucked back your daily dose of 16 colts prior to the race. But I still gave you a shot. And I’d do it again this year, because I don’t think you’d be any slower, but Stauff would.

Sometimes you have to believe the unexpected will happen. I ran out of gas on a date earlier this week, yet the girl thought it was funny. The fact I knew how to pour gas through the carburetor made me look good in her eyes. Who the hell who have expected that?

I want the playoffs in Edmonton, because the fans deserve them.

Wives will have the game on when their man comes home from work and they won’t complain if you watch it; in fact, they’ll watch it with their hubby. They’ll invite the neighbours over to watch the game. You’ll get tipsy and if the Oil win, the hubby’s chances of scoring increase immensely. Are you saying you don’t want that for all the guys in town?

Single guys and girls will cram the bars and many of them will lose their inhibitions during a playoff run. If a guy strolls in wearing a Souray jersey, the ladies will take a run at him, just because they want a Souray jersey lying on their floor later. If Wanye wants any action in 2010 he needs the playoffs.

Damn you Brownlee for trying to ruin that.

Don’t give us your logic on a day like today, especially when it differs from Wednesday.

No one picked the Blues and Blue Jackets to make it last year, so it is possible that the Kings and Oilers can make it this year.

After today though, the pressure is off of you. Whether you picked them to miss or I picked them to make it, starting tonight at 8:07 it’s all on Quinn and the players.

Hemsky: become a point-a-game player. Don’t tell me it is hard. I know it is, but you are damn talented so produce.

Horcoff: Don’t whiff on one-timers. You’re the hardest worker on the team, so put that effort into your one-timers and you’ll be a 28 goal scorer.

Jacques: Don’t be the hot girl at the bar. The one that lets you buy her drinks, laughs at your jokes and then goes to the washroom never to return. (Wanye told me this happened to him at the Pint last night). Don’t be a tease. You’ve shown you can be physical and add some offensive punch. Keep doing it.

O’Sullivan: You can score more than 53 points. Is 60 points too much to ask for?

Comrie: Oiler fans haven’t had a feel good story since Pisani in 2006. They won’t expect you to continue your two-point-a-game preseason pace, but I bet they’d all buy Hillary’s next album if you score 30 goals.

Stone: I’m not sure half the fans even know what you look like yet, and while 32 is the worst forward number ever, you can change all of that by staying gritty. Run with your opportunity.

Penner: Somehow the faithful have stopped ripping you during every article, don’t start coasting and giving them the ammo. Just skate, if you skate hard your 245 pound frame will get you 25 goals. Oiler fans just want to see an effort out of you. Don’t let them down.

Cogliano: Back-to-back 18 goal campaigns was pretty impressive, but it is time to take the next step. Force Quinn to put you on the top two lines, or at least some PP time. You are back on the PK and your speed should get you some breakaways. Bury them.

Brule: Win faceoffs, be a pest, and live up to being a top-ten pick. You’ve been out of the Blue Jackets organization for two years now; it is time to regain your offensive instincts. Piss off the opposition and you’ll be revered by the fans.

Moreau: Play on the edge, and the fans will be okay with a few aggressive penalties, but not one every second game. Be a leader amongst the youngsters, run the other team’s star players and chip in with your usual 15 goals. Do that and no one will question why you are the Captain.

Gagner: The coach has challenged you by starting you on the fourth line. The organization and the fans want you to be a star, so play with a chip on your shoulder and prove it. Move your feet, don’t be too fancy in the defensive zone and your ice time will increase.

Stortini: Just keep fighting and causing havoc in the offensive zone, and don’t ever play with a clean shaven face. Your character demands a missing-tooth, scruffy look and a constant yapping towards the other team. The fans are starting to warm up to you, play and fight the way you did the final 40 games last year and every time you go in on the forecheck the Rexall faithful will cheer.

Nilsson: When you get in the lineup, stop trying behind-the-back passes in the defensive zone. Use that in the offensive zone. You are probably the second-most skilled player on the team, so when you get in, showcase that. If not, it’s probably your last chance in Oilerville.

MacIntyre: Keep working your bag off in practice, so when you do get on the ice Quinn will play you some. Oiler fans have always loved the heavyweight, and if you can chip in two goals like you did last year, you should be fine.

Pisani: Try to get healthy.

Pouliot: Prove me wrong that you aren’t the goat.

Souray: Have a repeat performance from last year, including tossing one of your teammates out of the way to fight a guy. Fans love that stuff. And be prepared for the women of Edmonton to swoon even more when you ESPN half nude photo shoot comes out. Don’t get mad if they follow you all over town. Just get 100 copies and auction them off for charity. You’ll be even more of a stud.

Staios: Show that you are steady Steve. Make the simple play. Keep blocking shots, but cut down on the turnovers. The blue collar fans in Edmonton appreciate hard work, just make sure it is the effective work and they’ll support you.

Gilbert: You are 6’3”, use your size a bit more. The fans won’t expect you to be a crusher, but rub some guys out now and then. A third straight 40-point season will be good in their eyes.

Grebeshkov: Just because Wanye picked you as a goat two years running doesn’t mean you don’t have supporters. You cut down on the fire drills in your own zone and the horrendous turnovers last year, so continue that and please SHOOT the puck a bit more.

Visnovsky: Just stay healthy.

Smid: Keep battling, but keep your head up and don’t get concussed, and if you score a goal this year the fans expect one hell of a celebration afterwards. Two full seasons without a goal isn’t right. (Another crazy prediction from me, says the Smid scores a goal before Dec 1st.)

Strudwick: A repeat of last year would be fine in the eyes of Oiler fans. A few goals, some spirited scraps and if you can be an even player they will be pumped.

Khabibulin: You’ll need to win at least seven games by yourself, if you can do that you should be fine. Stay rested, mentor Deslauriers and be six games over .500 and the fans will chant “Khabby” very quickly.

Deslauriers: The orange pads will make you stand out, but your overall play needs to stand out as well. You showed since of greatness in NJ and NYR, were average and below average in your other appearances last year. The good news is you’ll get to play more frequently this year, now it is up to you to prove you are a legit back up.

Quinn: Keep the players accountable, and stay consistent with your message. And keep the funny quotes coming, because in the dog-days of the season they are a welcome change.

Who knows if the Oilers will make the playoffs, but I picked them because the city needs it. Beer prices went up, the rink is too small, and it’s been three long years since you fans have anything to really cheer about.

If I can get a second date after running out of gas, then the Oilers can make the playoffs.

  • Librarian Mike

    Wow! abandon ship everyone! Seriously people – wouldn't you have Khabby do this in the first game instead of the last one against the flaming Sucks? Could we maybe give him some time before passing judgement? I think some of the Khabby haters would be the same ones screaming if we kept Rollie – " Why did we resign Rollie when we could have have the Bulin wall for the same price and he's 4 years younger!" Patience people! and yeh, O'sullivan and Penner looked great.

  • Milli

    Sweet new layout!!!! That was a tough way to lose a game, but damn, there was effort, hitting, skating, it was like they where a good team that cared about winning. Soft to play against, they where NOT!!!!!!

  • Deke Rivers

    Game 1, take the positives – we out shot a team!, we out hit a team!, we had better effort from the underachievers! – it's a start and the outcomes can only get better.

  • ochocero

    it's funny – i was happy with the team even before gagner tied it up.

    POS looked good (except for the part where he didn't put the puck in the net), JFJ appears to have made his goal in life pounding phaneuf and regehr at every opportunity, and of course, i was ready to marry gagner.

    but then the Bonehead Wall…

    now, i feel really sick about the loss.

  • Courtesy Derek Zona over @ Copper & Blue (
    Scott Oake: Dustin Penner scores for the Oilers in the first period, Dustin a lot of talk about how you're in the best physical condition of your time as an Oiler but what you say, uh, is really changed is your mental approach, how so?

    Dustin Penner: I guess it has to do with the atmosphere I'm in now. You know, everybody got a clean slate with the new coaching staff and you tend to get one with the new year as well. And I've been taking advantage of it and using it as an opportunity to learn from new coach. I think positive attitudes are contagious and there's a lot of them in this room right now.

    Oake: Well you are lighter, are you prepared to say what diet adjustments you made to, uh, lose some weight?

    Penner: You guys haven't been paying attention, I've said it enough.

    Oake: Not on network TV

    Penner: Not on network? CBC isn't a network?

    Oake: Well you haven't said it to us.

    Penner: Oh. Okay. I guess it was everything in moderation. Right? I've already said the wheat or barley based drinks. So, that's the key, I'm going to write a book.

    Oake: Fair enough. Maybe you can start selling that diet.

    Penner: Are you going to buy it?

    Oake: No, not a chance.

  • stilldrinkingthekoolaid

    Lowtide is saying based on EV minutes Staios played 5 more minutes than Visnovsky, and he is taking that as a sign the Oilers would trade him for a good 2 way player and shut down defenceman.

    Wait, isn't that what we traded to get him?

  • Eddie Shore

    Site looks awesome guys!

    I thought the Oil played a good game last night. Our dzone could use a little work but that will come over time I believe. It was quite refreshing seeing the hustle, determination and grit in our home rink. Something that has been lacking for a while here.

  • Sam freaking Gagner. Kid's a gamer alright. I'm changing my star to him right now.

    With respect to Khabby's gaffe, to me the #1 culprit of the night was the crappy condition of the ice. That puck was bouncing on edge like one of those old rubber practice pucks you used to mark up your dad's garage with every winter. Khabby's brain cramp was leaving his net in the first place, but I suppose he was covering for a D that was out of position.

    And of course O'Sullivan serving up his usual basket of muffins. Tim Hortons would do well to lock him up for a long term sponsorship gig.

  • BarryS

    Now I have had time to consider it, a couple of things. On the good side, the third and fourth lines scored. On the bad side, the first and second didn't. On the last goal Khabby made a bad play, no denying, but there were no other Oilers in the picture until after Souray cane sliding into the net after the goal was scored. So the question has to be asked, were were all the great Skating defenceman we are supposed to have? Seems to me tbey got out skated on the first goal as well.

  • I'm not okay with how things broke down in the last 1:30 of the 3rd there, and the boys definitely didn't deserve to lose the way they did but I'm VERY HAPPY WITH WHAT I SAW LAST NIGHT.

    Boy it was fantastic to see those two guys behind the bench in Quinn and Renney. Was really outstanding. Overall it was an entertaining game, the building was really jumping, the intro was weird but good IMO, and I'm extremely pleased as well as relieved to see how the boys came out.

    Hard work – check.
    Making plays – check.
    Physical – check.
    Not backing down – check.
    Showing some skill – check.

    It'll be a fun season regardless if this is how they come out to play on a regular basis.

  • Ender

    David S said:

    That was supposed to be separated in paragraphs. This new site version is slammin' all my paragraphs together.

    Yeah, and I can't find an edit button, and the quoting thing is way tougher than before. This looked like the friggin' Stealth Bomber when I first saw it, but it's starting to look like the Galaxyland version of it; shiny and cool but unable to deliver a strategic missile strike. I hope more upgrades are on the way . . .