GDB XXVI: Kicked when we’re down

Is it still considered unmanly to cry? If it is, then please feel free to ignore the contents of this post. You see, when Robin Brownlee called me up this morning to tell me that he was hearing rumours that Ales Hemsky was bound for the operating table, I welled up — partly because I wish Ales well (and I do! Feel better, Hemmer!). But mostly because it sort of feels like the nail in the coffin of an already grotesque season.

We’re more than 20 games into the thick of it. We’re seven players down due to illness and injury. Gregor’s getting pissed out of shape down in Calgary for the Grey Cup, Wanye’s off in some backwater European country learning how to bake artisan bread just so, Willis is rocking the Internets at theScore.ca… And the rest of us are sitting here swallowing mouthfuls of our own fingernails as we watch an average team slide further down the bell curve.

Sweet jumping Moses, people, I have to stop thinking this way! Someone, pass the Kool-Aid.

Oh yeah!

Beat the Heat. No, seriously, do it

I know, I know Dany effin’ Heatley’s in town.

Big effin’ deal.

Oh sure, we’ve partnered with Original Joe’s in their Beat the Heat campaign to poke fun at the Heat. I’m going down there tonight to order no less than 27 Joe Burgers so that $27 can be donated to the Give Me Shelter charity. 27 burgers, Nation. If I was actually worried about Dany Heatley, I’d have 28 — just enough to put me into a coma so I could wake up tomorrow morning without a care in the world…

Yes, I would wake up and everyone would be healthy again. Hemsky’s shoulder, it would turn out, actually became super-strong allowing him to shoot harder, more often and more accurately.

Comrie would be cured of his mono, and he would score 50 goals with Hilary Duff riding on his back singing her hit song, "[insert name of Duff song here]."

Khabibulin’s back wouldn’t only be back to 100%, but he would go on to win the World Breakdancing Championships. He’d also rescue a puppy from a fire, started by another rabid puppy.

The statue of Wayne Gretzky outside RX1 would be replaced with a statue of Dustin Penner standing on a pile of skulls — skulls that once belonged to all the people who ever made a donair joke at his expense. The pile would be 12 miles high.

Back to reality

But dreams aren’t reality, kids. That’s what my expensive psychology degree taught me. We’re icing a team of youngins and ne’er-do-wells against a team of — quite literally — Sharks. Colin McDonald and Ryan O’Marra have been called up, Reddox has been sent down, and the lines they are a-changin’.

Oh, and there’s going to be another teammate for the Oilers. THE FANS. I’d wager, in spite of the Oilers’ shabby record, this is the most excited you’re going to see the fans at RX1 in a really long time. Every time the Heat touches the rubber, the sound from the crowd will be defeaning.

And that alone will win the Oilers the game. 2-1 Oilers. In a shootout. And the star of the game will be none other than Deslauriers.

If I’m wrong, I will eat as many OJ’s burgers as Penner ate donairs last season. I swear.

    • BarryS

      You know, the call ups continue to progress like they are, perhaps we will be finding some of the players we have been looking for. They play anywhere near like this the rest of the season, the playoffs are a distinct possibility. Don't know what the farm team is going to do, some of the players here are not going back.

      Of course, tomorrow is another game but we will enjoy tonight for the great game it was.

  • theindustry

    We may have lost but we played very well tonight. Cogliano has been playing like a madman the last couple games and no different tonight. At least we got a point against the #1 team in the league.

  • Harlie

    why the F didn't they have Potulny in the shootout? They send O'Sullivan out who had 6 shots and no goals while Potulny had 5 shots and 2 goals?? And Gagner has been out of position terribly and lax defensively. Cog's deserved Gagner's spot in the shootout.

    • Harlie

      I could not agree more.What were they thinking or should I say not thinking.I told it here a few times the Oilers will not miss ALES HEMSKY at all.As instead of always trying to find someone to play with him and nothing worked.I am sorry to say it's ALES HEMSKY.And now that he is hurt there is no way to trade him.I been saying this for years and no one else can see that.Tom Renny Can.Please trade him before the start of next season.
      THEBIGD

  • Ben Dover

    Not a bad game, unless you're Souray and Staios…or a paying fan hoping for a win. I didn't anticipate any points, so 1 is a gift.

    I can't understand why O'Sully was in the shootout. Guy couldn't score in a whorehouse with a fistfull of hundreds. Should have gone with Potulny, as he had confidence and was dangerous most of the night.

    JFJ was also a beast – 6 hits out of a team total 22. I've come to expect that, but was surprised Stortini, McDonald and O'Marra combined for 7 hits (Storts with 4) considering they only had about 5 minutes of ice. Only 4 official hits between all defensemen is unacceptable. Souray, in particular, should be ashamed of himself. Based on Quinn's post-game comments regarding SJ's last goal he could be getting more practice's off. That should wake him up.

  • Dan the Man

    This team wouldn't be that bad if we had a legit shut down unit.

    One other thought…all Oiler prospects should have mandatory shoulder surgery prior to playing an NHL game. Yes I mean you MPS and Jordan Eberle.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Was it my imagination, or was Souray absolutely brutal tonight? Three of the four goals could be atributed to his errors, including the game tieing shorty and the powerplay goal against. He missed passes, lost his check and wandered aimlessly in the defensive zone. Very poor showing for Mr. Sexy.

  • Cool Beans

    I think the fact that O'sullivan is the only player who has scored more than once in the shootout might have something to do with him going first. Yeah, he didn't score – but he looked alot better than he has been playing in the past. After scrambling for the kool-aid, I've paused and actually don't feel that bad about the effort. It looks like those aliens from the Last Starfighter might have actually brought the orignal Ethan Moreau back. And I've noticed Souray has more good games than bad so I am not too worried about him.

  • Harlie

    all this blame on Souray for the last goal against I think is a bit unwarranted. Where the hell were our forwards on that play? I'll tell you. Gagner broke his stick on the face off and tossed his stick to the side and throws his hands up in the air while he watches the play collapse down low and he doesn't make a move to grab someone or plug up the front. Meanwhile, Penner and I think it was Brule went straight up the ice acting like we won the faceoff. When they saw that Souray and Staios were struggling they floated back in a bit but were too far out to provide any help. I rewound and watched that play many times and I think there is no way that Souray should be the only guy getting the blame on that play. If our forwards collapsed back instead of not engaging we may have prevented that goal.

    • Cool Beans

      The wingers job is to go out and ensure the puck doesn't get to the point but Marleau was totally Gagners man. The center always picks up the other center off a draw.

      • Harlie

        oh I hear ya..and I agree that Souray stunk the joint out. But, Gagner really pissed me off on that play and this lack of back checking is not enamoring me of him. From all accounts Gagner is valued higher than Cogliano in our organization and I see way more jam and defensive awareness out of Cogliano. Why the hate on him? It's obvious that Gagner has great puck awareness but he should use that skill of his in our own zone and we may be a better team. Just a thought…

  • Harlie

    Actually, we did win the draw. Then Staios and Big Sexy got surprized (read: frozen) by the play. And that was their 'hattrick' for the night.

    Now explains why Quinn gave them practice off: they looked too tired (read: old) for the Sharks.

    Great game by the kids though.They should be quite frustrated with their veteran 'core'. Aside from Capt'n, noned did much (of course I don't think PDP is part of the vet core). Bloody skippin' practice.

    Canucks here we come!

    Hemsky's done but season not over till Steve sings!

  • Harlie

    Actually, we did win the draw. Then Staios and Big Sexy got surprized (read: frozen) by the play. And that was their 'hattrick' for the night.

    Now explains why Quinn gave them practice off: they looked too tired (read: old) for the Sharks.

    Great game by the kids though.They should be quite frustrated with their veteran 'core'. Aside from Capt'n, noned did much (of course I don't think PDP is part of the vet core). Bloody skippin' practice.

    Canucks here we come!

    Hemsky's done but season not over till Steve sings!