GDB XXIX: An afternoon dancing with the Stars

Well now it feels like hockey season. I’m sure many of you are barely getting in the house in time, after shoveling your vehicle out of 20 cm of the white stuff, to watch the Oilers take on the Stars. You probably spent an hour on your sidewalk and then got the bright idea to shovel out your car, only to have your neighbour notice you were outside so they asked if you could shovel their car out as well.

Your neighbour is either pregnant or elderly so you couldn’t be a douche and now you are trying to adjust your eyes to the TV after being blinded by the sun’s reflection off of the snow. It’s probably not the only thing that will be blinding you today.

Interestingly enough it snowed in Dallas on Tuesday, so it’s hockey weather in Texas and Alberta. Who knew?

When the puck dropped 40 hours ago in Detroit many of you thought it would be the start of the tank job. The Oilers would get blown out in Detroit and then limp into Dallas and get spanked by the Stars. The latter could still happen, but after Thursday’s game some of you are fighting the dreaded SPLIT PERSONALITY FAN.

On one shoulder you have your little devil fan dressed in an Oiler jersey convincing you that 54 games is ample time to turn this around and get into the playoffs. “Jeff Deslauriers is finally going to live up to his draft position and become an impact goalie,” your devil fan says.  

“Who needs Ales Hemsky and his sick stick handling skills, Bobby Nilsson and Patches O’Sullivan were playing in his shadow and now they flourish. Zack Stortini has always been the 4th line checking center who can win faceoffs. Ryan Potulny will be the Fernando Pisani of the 2006 playoffs and he will score 26 by seasons end. Trust me”

While you try to fight off these ridiculous notions, there is a part of you that wants to believe them. How awesome would the Oilers be next year when Hemsky returns after making the playoffs without him this year you tell yourself.

Then your Angel fan tosses his halo knocking the devil off your shoulder and rips into you.

“Wake up Kool-aid boy. This team can’t lose every game down the stretch, so the win over Detroit was just a speed bump. The Oilers aren’t tough enough, they can’t win a faceoff, their defensive zone coverage sucks and their goalie’s game fluctuates more than Oprah’s weight.

“Why do you do this to yourself? Just when you think this team is done, they win one stupid game and they suck you back in. You are blinded by your loyalty to want this team to win, that you can’t fathom another spring without playoffs. Well chump, a win over the Wings is not the beginning of a solid 55 game stretch.”

Admit it, that’s how most of you feel right now.

Last week, many of you were comfortable with the notion of missing the playoffs again, as long as the team got a top five pick, but beating Detroit has given you a glimmer of hope.

Will the Stars crush that glimmer like they did five times in the playoffs between 1998 and 2004? This Stars team doesn’t have Sergei Zubov, Jamie Langenbrunner, Brett Hull or Ken Hitchcock. Instead they have young guys like James Neal and Loui Eriksson and a red-hot Brad Richards.

Brendan Morrow is also hot with a goal in five consecutive games, and Stephane Robidas leads the NHL in hits, but the Stars are 1-4 in their last five afternoon home games.

Who the hell knows if the Oilers will win today, but unless you are stuck in your back alley, or on a side street, or taking your kids to hockey you will be watching this game with conflicted emotions.

I don’t predict scores, because I suck at sports select but I guarantee you this will happen.

Jeanshorts will complain about his hangover and the soft three he just had to pay cab fare to leave.

Dakin will be livid when the Oilers score two PP goals.

Menace will pinch a nerve in his neck from looking at his angel and devil from shift-to-shift.

Scientist will come up with another way to quote posts while calculating the length of time it will take a grader to grade every street in the city.

98% of the readers will read the comments section and never post, but secretly they will be just as irate or filled with hope as all of the posters.

And of course, Gene will have a reference to Robert Nilsson and the Lone Star State in his intro… book it!

  • Shaun Doe

    Anyone have a working link to the game? atdhe has the colour bars at the moment and Justin.tv has not one, not two, but three feeds of the canucks game posted… Shoot me in the face

  • Jeremy

    Tambo includes Cogliano in another trade rumor in hopes of another 'Penner-esque' motivational shake-up.
    Cogs to score 40 goals.
    1st rd. pick to get 80 points, BEFORE even getting drafted.

  • BarryS

    Who's playing goal for the stars, the one we can score against or the one we can't?

    Go Oilers – Second round or top three in the draft, only two choices. Please chose as soon as possible, roller coasters make me sick.

    • Tooles

      yeah, roller coaster here we come.

      listening to Renney's quote at practice yesterday ('you do know you didn't win the Stanley Cup in Detroit, right?') I'm inclined to believe the copper&blue boys will start the game quite confident.

      Let's just see if this a good thing or a bad thing.

  • Hemmertime

    Gregor what is this romour that 92.9 in calgary is reporting as just about done. Cogs ans our 1st pick for Staal, That's Eric Staal, with all the LTIR room we have the money works now but the years after could get pretty tight, any news on your end this is all over the HF boards.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      stop and ask yourself this:

      "self, why would carolina trade their superstar first liner for a unproven 2nd liner and a pick?"

      honestly. common sense and half a brain should tell you the answer

    • Jason Gregor

      Slap yourself for even thinking this. An 18-goal scorer and a 1st for a 100 point guy and a guy who got his team to the conference finals last year almost by himself?

      Why would an alternative rock station in Calgary report this? It is probably a promotion to see how stupid Oiler fans are and that they will believe anything. You guys are just making their campaign successful.

      And for clarification on the LTIR. Just because Hemsky goes on it, doesn't mean it is a free $2.8 million dollars.

      LTIR allows a team to go over the cap, it doesn't just eliminate Hemsky's contract value.

      • I should note that the bulk of the guys on air at 92.9 are Oiler fans. Those guys are more likely to prank Flames fans than the other way around.

        After this though I would have to add that they are stupid Oiler fans to even suggest such a deal. They are probably just among the group that believe Eklund is a credible source.

      • Tooles

        First it was a question not a statement. Second if the Canes think they are in a position for a top three pick keeping Staal doesn't help them, plus they add another top 15 pick from the Oil and get Cogs that 3 first rounders for Staal not to mention it frees up 8 mil in cap space. I never believed it in the first place but when Heatley wanted to be traded everyone used his contract as a stumbling block so Staal at 8 mil a year won't get you much more than3 first rounders. If Pies and Hemmer are both done you can go over the cap by there contracts that's 6.6 mil for this year

        • Jason Gregor

          Slap yourself was a joke…chill…

          How can you say that Staal doesn't help the Canes. YOu don't trade away a franchise player just because you are having a bad year. Carolina has won the Cup then missed playoffs for two years, then made it to the conference final last year. Jim Rutherford won't deal Eric Staal for a pick and Cogliano. No chance.

          And as I said it doesn't give the Oilers 6.6 million extra. It isn't that easy.

  • Oilers will win because I had just gotten used to the idea of them sucking the rest of the year.

    4-1 (Sully, Vish, Penner, Moreau)

    Also, anyone interested in a great deal on a broken snow shovel?

  • Hahaha…the sad part about your comment predictions is that they will probably come true.

    Are we all really that predictable?

    Oilers 18 – Stars 2

    Yeah…that should do it.

    Am I the only one that read the Devil Fan voice in Robin Brownlee's voice? *runs and hides*

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    not sure what to expect, but regardless i am in for the long haul.

    Also on the mma front. How come i have to go to wikipedia to find out anything about local mma. I know you write the odd story about the cfl and nll is the mma a future possibility?

  • Hemmertime

    Great read, and hilarious…. Patches O Sullivan…. Awesome predictions on the upcoming posts. I think the Oil will put up a great battle today, but lose in the Shoot Out. Nilsson will score another dandy and at least one wil be scored on the PP. Mr Gregor, do you forsee DD getting a start in the near future?

    • Jason Gregor

      I should credit my friend Hayley for the Patches reference. She is a die-hard Oiler fan, almost too much so, and she calls him that with disdain most of the time.

      As for DD, I don't see him getting a start on this trip, unless JDD really soils the sheets one game. None of the games are back-to-back. THey don't play back-to-back until Dec 30 and 31st…If Khabibulin is back in a week to ten days (which sounds doubtful right now) then I doubt Dubnyk gets a start, but if it is long term, then I bet Dubnyk will play one of the home games.