Behold the glory of the NHL season. 82 games of rupture causing joy and excitement, culminating with the march to the post season in early April. Unless of course you count "the Edmonton Oilers" as your favourite team. Then it is 82 consecutive kicks to the junk, followed by 82 punches to the junk. (tip o’ the cap to TB)
Take tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild for example. A paltry 33-29, the Wild sit 11th in the Western Conference and fourth in the Northwest. During any other year, we would be licking our collective chops in delight of facing a sissy squad for such an easy two points. And we would be needing ’em too, wouldn’t we Nation? Of course we would! Because ordinarily we would be locked in a life and death battle for the 8th place in the West and a coveted playoff date.
But not this year, not with this squad. This year we stopped looking forward to a realistic shot at the playoffs sometime around November, which sets both a world record AND an Olympic record for quickest death of hope in a Canadian NHL Season*
Despite all of this, we can all sit and listen to the dulcet tones of Master Corey Hart and take some solace in the fact that there are some bright spots on the Titanician 2010 Edmonton Oilers. These bright spots include:
*excluding the Toronto Maple Leafs 1967-present
BRULE HAS SAVED HIS NHL CAREER
6th pick overall and a one time focus of a marathonian 4 part analysis that almost killed co-authors Jonathan Willis and Count Wanye von Gretz IV, Gilbert Brule has done himself a real service and has turned the corner in his NHL career. Despite having the flu an amazing 156 times in the past 7 months, Brule has been able to post reasonable stats of 15-17-32 pts and a respectable -5 rating on this brutal squadron.
This is a guy who would have most likely played himself right out of the league this year had he not turned his game around. A league that not so long ago welcomed him as a direct competitor to Sidney Crosby back in the 2005 Entry Draft and Brule struggled under these mighty expectations. Though having played parts of 4 other NHL seasons in a variety of situations, Brule’s 15 goals represent over half of his NHL career output. There must be collective sighs of relief at the Brule household as young Gilbert has finally lived up to his early promise and has a reasonable chance of a steady NHL work for years to come.
Say what you want about the Oilers 1,570 General Managers and Coaches, Gilbert Brule has actually turned into a fantastic reclamation project by Oilers brass. It is our sincere hope that he finishes out the regular season in fine form and the same brain trust that saw fit to trade Raffi Torres to Columbus finds it in their hearts to resigns Brule in the offseason.
POTULNY HAS 14 GOALS
Last summer you could have walked past us on the street and whispered "Ryan Potulny" in our general direction. We would have immediately replied "Who is Ryan Potulny?" at the top of our lungs, high strung as we are in the offseason. If you had been able to visit the future, or at least access Oilers statistics from the near future, you would have then smugly replied "just some dink that is going to score 14 goals for the Oilers next year."
And we would have said "HA-WHAT?"
Look at this one go! 14 goals? Who does he think he is? David Oliver circa 1994-95?
PENNER IS 3 AWAY FROM A CAREER HIGH
Whilst playing on the worst NHL team in the past 3000 years, Dustin Penner has been somehow able to shake off a brutal 2008-09 season which saw him routinely mocked, chided and jeered at by Oilers faithful. He is now a mere 3 goals off the rip roaring output of the 2006-07 season which saw him sign the 5 year, $15.6 billion dollar contract with the Edmonton Oilers. Say what you want about the "Shawn Horcoff of two years ago," DP has had a whale of a season and silenced us all in the process.
If you had told us that the Oilers would be in last place in the league this year and that not a single fan would be mad at Dustin Penner we would have kicked you square in the teeth.
DUBNYK IS ONE WIN AWAY FROM HIS FIRST NHL WIN
We aren’t saying, we’re just saying. Would it kill you guys to get the kid a win?
Ah screw it. Bring on the Wild.
PS: did you see that River Cree is giving away free tickets for all of us to go to see Cheap Trick? Cool!
PSS: Note to Jason Gregor – what is Cheap Trick? We are too young to recall any of their hit songs from the 1930s, but we bet you do.