GBD 33.0: A FESTIVUS MIRACLE?

If you aren’t a diehard Seinfeld fan you might not be aware that today is festivus. What’s that you say? Read on friends.

"Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as "another way" to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. It was created by writer Dan O’Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld as part of a comical storyline on the show.

The holiday’s celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole," practices such as the "Airing of Grievances” and "Feats of Strength," and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".

Can the Oilers give their fans a Festivus miracle by winning in Los Angeles tonight?

Just in case you haven’t grasped the true meaning of Festivus, here is a video Coles Notes version of the holiday.

 

Tom Renney hasn’t aired his grievances publicly very often this year, and even if he was given the chance I’d bet he’d carve them with a butter knife rather than a machete. He is incredibly patient, and despite many uninspired and lacklustre efforts this year he has remained surprisingly calm.

To bad Frank Costanza wasn’t coaching this team, because he’d have a long list:

  • Ryan Whitney, shoot the damn puck.
  • Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Colin Fraser, Shawn Horcoff and Ryan O’Marra feel free to spend more time working on faceoffs in practice.
  • JF Jacques be more physical.
  • Forwards on the PP – move the puck quicker.
  • Kurtis Foster, we know you have a heavy shot, so get into better shooting lanes on the PP so you can unleash it.
  • Magnus Paajarvi, you have great speed, now use it to go to the net when you beat the defender wide.
  • Mr. Renney, how about trying a forward on the point on the 2nd PP unit?
  • Steve Tambellini please get some size and grit, and they don’t all have to be "great people."
  • Rexall DJ, play better music for the sake of every Oiler fan.
  • Fans who think trading Ales Hemsky because Omark had one three-point game: Breath deeply.

DUBNYK TAKES THE POLE

Devan Dubnyk will get his ninth start of the season tonight v. the Kings, and Renney is hoping Dubnyk plays as well tonight as he did on April 10th, when he stopped 52 of 55 shots and two of three attempts in the shootout v. the Kings. Dubnyk was sensational that afternoon, and we’ll see if he is a tad rusty playing only his 3rd game in the last 26 days.

Renney also hinted that he might insert Steve MacIntyre into the lineup and take out either Jacques or Zack Stortini. It would make no sense to take out Stortini considering he was very effective in San Jose on Tuesday.

LIMA IN THE FUTURE??

I googled "predict the future+sports" looking for some photo to put in and somehow Adrianna Lima popped up. If you don’t believe me try it yourself. As far as I know she is a Victoria Secret model, but maybe she is great at sports predictions.

I’d like to say it was a festivus miracle that somehow her pic showed up in my search, so I thought I’d share.

HAPPY FESTIVUS NATION

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The young Oilers will be a bit fatigued from finishing their Christmas shopping yesterday and today. They will fall behind early, make a valiant attempt to comeback, but lose 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dubnyk will face 36+ shots. In his eight starts he has faced 41, 39, 42, 40, 34, 25, 39 and 32 shots for an average of 36.5/game. He will keep the Oilers in the game, and his play might actually get him another start within the next ten days.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Injured Kings’ D-man Matt Greene will make a surprise guest appearance in the broadcast booth. Greene, one of the funniest Oilers of all-time, will tell hilarious stories of meeting wannabe actresses, and how they didn’t believe he was a hockey player, because he drove a 3/4 ton red chevy around Rodeo Drive and is still missing two teeth.

While Greene is on air, the Kings will cycle the puck down low for 30 seconds and then score on a rebound in front of Dubnyk. Instantly numerous groups of Oiler fans will discuss how badly they wish the Oilers still had Greene, because he’d play tough in front of his net and in the corners, and because of his comedic nature. 

One somewhere one very wise wife, will turn to her husband and say, "I really wish Santa would deliver someone like Greene to the Oilers." The husband will beem with pride at his hockey-smart wife and his inner voice will tell him, "She deserves more than a new set of pots and pans for Xmas." 

Unfortunately for him after two more beers he will forget that conversation, and tomorrow he when he is crashing and banging in the mall with most of us guys frantically trying to buy a last-minute Xmas gift he’ll think new pots are a great gift. God help you brother.

AND FINALLY

I’d like to wish all of the Nation readers and writers a very Merry Christmas. I hope you get to spend some time with your loved ones. If you are fortunate enough to have a big meal and lots of gifts under the tree, drop off a donation for the Christmas Bureau or any of the other great charities for those less fortunate.

You will feel great knowing you made someone’s Christmas.

  • Merry Christmas Jason!.

    I think in the season of festivus I’ll let My 4 1/2 yr old son stay up a bit a watch the game with me. At least th efirst period. They seem to do better when he watched the game. For example he was in bed well before puck drop Tuesday and look how that turned out…and before that he watched the first two periods with me when they play the Blue Jackets. Coincidence, I think not!

    He boldly predicts, each game, the Oilers will score 6 goals with Taylor Hall getting 5! He totally loves the Oilers. I just hope his youger brother (2 yrs) will follow his lead. I looks like it so far as he loves to watch hockey (anyone)and shout ‘score!’ anytime anyone scores, not just my beloved Oilers.

    I am gonna so love this Christmass season watching my children enjoying their gifts and having fun with their cousins etc.

    GO Oilers GO!

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Anyway we could hire Frank Costanza as a guy that comes in during the intermission and yells after a poor period of play?

    Although that might kill him.

  • positivebrontefan

    Jason Gregor wrote;

    ***I googled “predict the future+sports” looking for some photo to put in and somehow Adrianna Lima popped up.***

    Well Jason I googled Adrianna Lima, and my goodness it was much better than googling “predict the future+sports”.

    Merry Christmas Oilersnation Writers and all the readers as well…unless pension plan puppets reads this…then I hope he just has a happier New Year than he had this year…he is so grumpy he makes a mad Bronte look like a Santa.

    Play safe all.

    PS. Oilers win 6-2

  • Ender

    positiveDIONbrontefan wrote:

    I googled Adrianna Lima, and my goodness it was much better than googling “predict the future+sports”.

    I had never even heard of Adrianna Lima until reading this thread. You made me curious. I now agree with you. It was much better.

    • Jason Gregor

      Give it a rest man…Today is FESTIVUS…And clearly you don’t listen to the show. I wish everyone Merry Christmas. If someone doesn’t celebrate Christmas and are offended, oh well. But please don’t hurt yourself getting off your high horse.

      • Wanyes bastard child

        After reading your Christmas GDB article Jason, I just felt I had to share this with you.

        A quick intro into the story, I live in Edmonton, my girlfriend lives in Calgary (for the moment, moving up here in the spring) and her family lives in Sylan lake. Her family consists of her mother and sister who live together. Their dad committed suicide a year and a half ago (sorry for coming down on you so hard Kip but unless its something you’ve been through, throwing out comments like you were just ain’t cool when its something you have been through… it touched a nerve)and as such Christmas is still pretty hard for them since they have to start something all over and knew again. Also, I showed my gf your annual story about your dad, she cried reading it but it really helped her 🙂

        Anywho, her family, at a loss for x-mas, not much money so no tree, dad threw away all the decorations before he went so things are in disarray at the household in Sylan. Me, being in the Christmas spirit and one that really enjoys this time of year, took action. Drove down to Calgary last friday (as I always do) we both braved the holiday crowds picked up a tree, a tree stand and with decorations picked up from the week before we were set.

        Saturday morning we got up nice and early and drove up to Sylvan lake with tree and everything required to surprise her mom, sister already knew so she could work the morning shift in order to have the evening off.

        Long story short, the weekend was an awesome one! We have a new tradition in the works for her family, made her mom’s weekend/Christmas and a great time was had by all 🙂

        Merry Christmas ON! And GO OILERS!!!

  • Quicksilver ballet

    My only grievance i could think of during this festivus celebration is that it is yet to be recongnized by the Alberta government as a stat holiday. We’ll be filing our grievances in public this evening at a Boston Pizza….would this be considered rude?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    My only grievances are…

    Build the new arena… ask any Winnipegger and they would.

    Drop #22 and #16 – waive them both

    Trade Cogliano and Brule for draft picks

    Other then that and a top 5 pick everything is going smooth.

  • Cervantes

    After their production so far this season, Brule and Cogs are unlikely to get anything near a decent draft pick. We’d probably be lucky to get a 3rd or 4th for each. They’d have to be packaged with another player to garner any useful return. Best to hold on to them until the trade deadline and hope that a team has some injuries and needs depth.

    Fraser and JFJ should be sent down, I don’t think there’s any doubting it. Replace them with O’Marra and Reddox, and you at least have an energy line, a bit of jam, and a kid getting some playing and development time. Or sign Ben Ondrus and bring him up. Or Colin MacDonald. Or any of the big bodies we have on AHL contracts.

    Our only decent return on trades this year is going to be Gagner to a team that needs a cheap playmaker. He’s young, on a cheap contract, and is a consistent 50 point ish player. I could see, with the right team in need of offense and overloaded on D, Gags + (Brule/Cogs) + (veteran or prospect Dman) getting us a useful, almost-top-pairing young Dman to go along with Whitney and help balance us out. And that truly would be a Festivus Miracle.

    • Cervantes

      Yeah, spare parts. Spare parts don’t get you much return. Like I said, the going price for Cogs and Brule by themself is no higher than a 2nd round pick, and that’s only if Sutter forgets to take his medication.

      Sam Gagner is consistent on a subpar team, looks good to the league, is young, top 10, and on a good contract. He’s also not a 1/2 centre for us moving forward. So, you take the part that has value and isn’t what you want, and turn it into what you do want. That’s how you build good hockey teams. Identify players that have value, and spend that value.

      Sam is looking good so far this year. Move him to a team that still thinks it has a chance, before he hits a slump. Identify our needs, an almost-there 1/2 centre with size, FO winning ability, and PK ability, or a stud defenseman, take your players with value (Gagner probably has high value, I’d expect single-year players like VDM and Smid have mid value, and a bit below that I’d put Cogs, Brule, Jones, Fraser, probably in that order), and put together a package to get who you need.

      On a separate note, gosh darn but Omark is a tough little smurf. His back must be black and blue and he’s still digging away below the goal line.

        • Cervantes

          “Continuing” We’d have to have made some moves for us to be continuing…

          Facts: Sam Gagner is shorter than 6′, smaller than 180lbs, worse than 50% on faceoffs, not used on the penalty kill to any significance, not tough to play against…

          We keep saying we want to be big, tough, hard to play against, strong up the middle, a good 2-way team with skill wingers. Sam fits none of these requirements.

          We want to be a good team, we identify weakness and fix it. Sam doesn’t fit in our long-term vision, and should be moved for someone who does.

          Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player, and good kid. But we need to move him, while he has value, for someone who will contribute more to our long-term vision. Frankly, with Vande Velde, Pitlick, and Lander in the system and coming up over the next little bit, I’d rather see us with (a) Sam moved for a stud D, (b) Sam moved for a good C who can teach those kids, or (c) Sam moved to the wing when they come up.

          You don’t win in the NHL by holding on to players for sentimental value, or by not recognizing the weaknesses on your team and addressing them. Look at the mess in Calgary for reference. Sam gets us our missing piece, and frankly when next year rolls around, he wouldn’t be missed much anyways.

          • BarryS

            Don’t know who this we is. In any event, you are dreaming to think Gagner or any other Oiler can be traded for a breathing player, little alone a Stud anything. The NHL dosen’t work that way unforced and Gagner is the type to demand a trade. And we all know what you get in forced trades.

            All these trades remind of the foolish guy who traded his cow for a couple magic beans. In the original he came to a bad end. Don’t need magic beans or low draft picks either.

          • I can’t imagine a scenario where I could agree with anything you’ve written regarding Gagner. Perhaps after a frontal lobe lobotomy, but then I might find the constant stream of drool more interesting than your argument.

            I like that you have a career minor leaguer and two teenage 2nd rounders pegged as the guys who will knock Gagner out of the depth chart. And smaller than 180 lbs? He admitted to being over 200 lbs last season and only slimmed down to the 190’s.

          • Cervantes

            Knock out? Probably not. Replace? Maybe in a few years, yeah.

            Tell me how Sam Gagner helps our toughness, our PK, our Faceoffs (especially), our two-way play. Tell me how Sam Gagner is going to anchor the top two lines and go up against Dmen who are consistently 5 inches taller and 30 lbs heavier. Is he going to lead the line offensively, with his can’t-rip-a-wet-paper-bag slapshot? Or is he going to lead the 2nd line with his strong 2way play and responsible defensive prowess?

            Sam is a good playmaker, a good 2nd PP guy, and a good team guy, but he’s not one of our future top2 centres. Not with what we’ve been told is our vision for the future. Strong, big, 2-way, tough.

            Tell me where I’m wrong. Tell me how Sam possesses those features and will be a fixture on this team in the coming 5 years, and we’re not better off finding someone bigger, stronger, tougher.

          • Cervantes

            Our best forward? Not by a long shot. Good, solid, Top6 by skill, but not our best.

            18:23 per game, 4th for forwards. Not bad, not spectacular. Not indicative of a great player.

            9G 14A over 33 games. Not bad, not great.

            +1. Not bad, not great.

            12.3% shooting. Not bad, not great.

            And here’s where it falls apart, for someone we’re going to count on to anchor a line.

            44.1% Faceoffs.
            5’11” and 191 lbs (generous)
            Barely 1 SH shift per game.
            17 PIM.
            44.1% Faceoffs. Can’t stress that enough.

            I’m not saying every forward has to be Stoll in the dot, or Boyle in the size department. But in all the areas the Oilers brass says they want to improve, in everything we the fans clamor for Tambo to fix, Sam is lacking. Size. Faceoffs. PK Ability. Toughness.

            I’m not saying I don’t like him, and I’m not saying he won’t improve. But he is a weak link in every area we’re supposed to be improving in, and that means he possesses two unique qualities for an Oiler. (1) He has value (2) He’s expendable. By any conventional math, that means (3) he’s on the block, or he should be.

            So, again, tell me how Sam addresses our need for size, faceoffs, PK, and toughness, and how we are better off with him as opposed to someone who addresses all those needs.

          • You can name any player on any team and say the team would better off with someone stronger, bigger, faster, blah.

            Call me when it happens. The Oil need 2 centers before Sam is out of the top 6, unless you think Horc can stay there for the next 5 years. The guy is 21 and centering the top line and doing a fine job, but apparently he possesses no attributes that can account for his success.

          • Cervantes

            Horcs is a lock for one of the top 2 spots, by virtue of his contract and the ego of our GM. I simply assume we’re stuck with him.

            So who’s our 2nd C? Ideally, we upgrade Gagner. Baring that, next year we’ll have 3 centres pushing for a spot (VV and Lander seem like 3/4 C’s to me, while 6’2, 200lb Tyler Pitlick sure sounds like he’s a top6 centre), plus the potential of a FA pickup. It’s our area of weakness, so we don’t have someone who can just step in… but, come on, you’d take Gags over a FO/PK 2nd C? Or someone to solidify our D? He’s that unexpendable? I seem to recall Horcs playing exactly the same role in between Ebs and Cannonball, with a better FO and +/- as well.

            Also, no, I would not point to many of our players and claim they should be upgraded. Hall, Ebs, Mags, all have good size and skill and ability. Jones, Omark, Storts, all fit roles and will continue to improve. Penner, Horcs and Hemmer are all solid top-6 players. We’re actually pretty good for a Top9. But swap Gags for a top9 centre with a 50%+ FO and size, and then tell me how we look.

          • Assuming Horc will be in the top 6 for the next 5 years is ludicrous given his age and injury history.

            VV, Lander, and Pitlick have POTENTIAL to be NHL centremen

            Jones, Omark, and Storts MIGHT improve.

            You speak like you’ve been to the future already. You’re ready to keep a 23 year old tiny winger who is only here because there are injuries, but the bigger 21 year old on the 1st line has no place here?

            Pretty good for a top 9? theres only 1 solid centreman under 30. that’s not good at all, and you’d rather he be off the team.

            How about instead of swapping Gagner for the bigger Jacques clone, we find the other guy and Add to the team’s depth.

            Or maybe you’re delusional enough to think this team is 4 inches and 10 lbs on a centre away from a cup.

  • When I was young a man came to our door with gifts.I have never experianced a better christmas since. I am much older and I do ok home car wife kids ect..But I just want you to know how much your genorosity does make a diferance to kids merry cristmas everyone

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Only in Edmonton do the fans want to run their top producing forward out of town.

    And people try to claim we are “the smartest fans in the league”.

  • Cervantes

    Regardless of who else is around, who else might step up, or be acquired, the bottom line is a simple one. Gagner is not big, tough, a FO winner, useful on the PK, or 2-way enough to reliably support a line. These are all qualities we’ve been told repeatedly the “Future Oilers” must have, and these are all qualities Sam does not have. His current production doesn’t factor in to any of those qualities. And really, between Hall and Eberle, I’m willing to bet Andrew Cogliano could look like a bona fide NHL Centre. Look at the time Gags spent on a line without high quality NHL wingers, and how much he floated along, and how little he produced.

    Good player, yes. Player we need, no. If we had a replacement who could slide in, I’d be all for keeping him, but we don’t. So we use him as currency to obtain what Tambo, et al, keep saying we want. Big, tough, sandpaper, FO, PK, etc. As much as everyone is saying they like Sam and how valuable he is, no-one is presenting any arguments about how he fills any of those needs. I think that says a lot.