Gregor just hit us up with a message and said “Hey Wanye, I’m out at the farm calving this weekend, can you get a GDB up tonight? Don’t forget to mention that the Oilers haven’t won on the road in 8 games and the Avs are 16-8 at home."
It continually amazes us how much information Gregor has rattling around in that brain of his. Even while he is elbow deep in the unmentionables of a cow bringing life into the world, he can still spit the road record of the Avalanche from memory. Not us Nation, so dial down your expectations immediately cause that just ain’t in the cards.
HOW ABOUT THIS INSTEAD
What’s that stuffed monkey dancing to MC Hammer? You can’t figure out if the Oilers have improved of late either? You also wonder if those two wins were just final death spasms from a dead hockey club too? That makes two of us dancing monkey.
WHO TO BLAME, WHO TO PRAISE?
Much like the currently rudderless OilersNation, we can’t figure out who is in charge Chez Oilers these days. Who is to credit for the two wins in the past three games? Is the message of Pat Quinn “win or so help me I will beat some of you to death with a shovel” finally getting through? Is it the continually improving play of Sam Gagner – which included a sick saucer pass to Comrie recently that made our roommate sit up on the couch and say “man, that was a sick saucer pass from Gagner to Comrie” Is it the return of the aforementioned mono-free Mike Comrie?
Is it the brains of Assistant GM L’il Ricky Olczyk, who amazingly is listed as such in the game day notes given to the media? Huh Ricky? Is it you we are mad at for our dashed hopes and dreams? HUH?
Not knowing exactly who is skippering the SS Oilerz these days, its nearly impossible to lay blame squarely on anyone in particular. Nor is it possible to pin point who has been responsible for this slight uptick in both play and expectations of late, shown in the bar graph below:
AN AVALANCHE OF PAIN
When you are sitting in 30th place in the NHL, you don’t have many bright spots to point to going into a game with anyone, much less an opponent that sits 26 points ahead of you in the standings and has only lost 6 times at home all season. To put that in perspective, the Oilers managed to lose 6 games on a 5 game home stand in mid January and it wasn’t even considered to be the low light of the month.
Still, it’s better to be positive in life – unless you are taking a drug test of course – so we have combed through the stats going into tonight’s game to find some things the Oilers have been better than the Avalanche this season. We have also worded things all positive like, making note of how crappy the Avalanche are while at the same point highlighting the rays of awesome streaming from above onto the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Squadron.
6 THINGS TO GIVE US HOPE
1. This tremendous Oilers Squad have a higher average shots (28.6 shots) per game than the lowly Avalanche (26.7)
2. The 2006 Cup Finalist Edmonton Oilers have fewer shots against (31.8) on average per game than the Avalanche (32.0) who haven’t even been to the Cup Finals in the last 13 seasons.
3. The Oilers have a player on their roster that is 100% in the shootout. The Avalanche of course, do not. Side note: Amazingly the player that has gone 2 for 2 is Shawn Horcoff.
4. The Oilers and Avalanche are currently tied in the seasonal series with two wins apiece, highlighting the Avs crippling inability to beat teams lower in the standings.
5. Ten seperate Oilers – all men of honor and might – have scored on the Avs this season. Only nine of the Avs have been able to slip one past the Oilers in these same four games.
6. The Edmonton Oilers are heavily favored by experts around the league to pick first in the 2010 Entry Draft while the Avalanche will probably draft much later in the first round, if at all.
If that ain’t enough to pump you up for tonight, we don’t know what more we can do short of helicoptering out to Gregor’s family farm and delivering all the calves ourselves, naming each and every one "victory."
And that too just ain’t in the cards.