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.