GDB 58.0: IS A STREAK POSSIBLE?

When you’ve only won eight home games, you try to relish them and make sure they all count. On Tuesday Rexall was rocking and rolling like it hadn’t since the home opener victory over the Calgary Flames back on October 7th. Tonight the home town faithful will be hard pressed to match the annoying chants of Canadiens’ fans.

In grade four I was put in French Immersion because my parents wanted me to learn another language. I wasn’t a huge fan of the decision then, but love the fact I can speak two languages now. Grade four to nine in big, bad Beaumont was a great time, and then I went to Ecole Secondaire J.H Picard for high school. High scholo was a blast in the city, except for the 7 a.m bus pick up at the farm and having so many damn Habs fans in school.

I’m not a "fan" of the Oilers anymore, the job forces you to lose that feeling, but I still hate the Flames and the Habs. 1986 and 1989 were easily the two worst years of my life. Nothing will ever match those years enduring the Phleghms and Habs fans rooting for their teams in the Stanley Cup finals.

One of my best buddies, Benny, was a Habs fan and when Mike McPhee scored eight seconds into OT in Calgary v. the Flames I was happy because I hated the Flames worse. But after the Habs one in 1986, listening to him rave on about how the Canadiens were the greatest organization ever until the Oilers won the Cup in 1987 was to much to handle. I barely watched the 1989 Cup final, I chose shovelling out pig pens instead, which showed how much I hated those two teams.

Even now 20 years later, my disdain for the Habs and Flames is still there.

I’m going to visit some buddies in Calgary this weekend, and they the audacity to ask if I wanted to check out the Heritage Classic Alumni game on Saturday. I’d take cleaning out a chicken coop (chicken shit is worst smell ever) or a date with Rita Neil over watching the legends of those two franchises. Tonight I will root for a Canadiens loss just so Oiler fans in the stands won’t have to endure the chants on their way out of Rexall.

OILERS NEED TO BE READY EARLY

If the Oilers allow the Habs to score first the usual cast of annoying jersey wearing, OLE OLE OLE chanting and "we have 24 Cups" shouting fans will emerge at Rexall Place.

Even Tom Renney knows his team has to get the upper hand early.

"This team always starts well, it doesn’t matter if they’re at home or on the road, so we have to make sure we take our start to them and don’t allow them to feel real good about what it is they are up to. We have to make sure we manage our shifts well, push the pace, try to play as much hockey in their own, so they can’t feel good about their game. They have a great counter-attack game, they move the puck well and they attack with numbers and speed. We have to take care of that first, so my suggestion is to take all of that to them first and make them defend us."

While the Oilers will defend the puck and their end of the rink, it is always interesting to watch Oiler fans defend their home turf.

Leafs and Habs fans are very loyal. They show up wearing their colours regularly, and I respect that, but tonight Oiler fans should ensure that the home crowd is louder. If the Oilers listen to their coach, and get off to a good start, then the fans should be able to hold down the fort.

Sacre Bleu Oiler fans get off your hands tonight.

NO CHANGES

Renney will go with the exact same lineup from Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Stars. Nikolai Khabibulin will try to win consecutive games since beating Toronto on Dec 2nd and the Blues Dec 4th.

Gilbert Brule passed Renney’s test with flying colours. The test involves skating, turning and stopping. The skater does a "test" four times, with about two to three minutes rest between tests. In Brule’s first test he finished in 45.3 seconds and his fourth one he was 46.3 seconds, so not much of a drop off at all. Renney was impressed with the results and wants to get Brule in one more contact practice before activating him. Brule says he feels fine and is itching to get back in the lineup.

SAY NO TO DRUGS, BUT YES TO POUTINE

 

GAME DAY PREDICTION: How awesome would it be if the concessions had Poutine tonight. Poutine and sexy women go hand-in-hand in Montreal, and if the Habs brought those to Rexall Place I might not be so anti Habs. The Oilers are emotional team, and while it was only one win, they will ride the wave to their second straight tonight, 4-1 over the Habs.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Those not going to the game will love watching the game on CBC and listening to their best crew, Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson. It will be so refreshing not hearing the colour guy glow about Carey Price and Nikolai Khabibulin every time they make a routine save.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Late in the 3rd period after the Oilers score an empty net goal to secure the win, the big screen will start playing the Na na na na, Na na na na, Hey Hey Goodbye song, that Montreal sings at home. I’ll admit that it is a great way to end an evening for the home crowd. It would be awesome if the Oilers in-house production crew fired up the crowd late in the game… 

  • OilFan

    Poulliet real tough guy. Grab Horcoff with less than 2 min left when you know you won’t see this team again this year. Looks like 2 wins in a row. Careful…Sens look like they won’t win again this year….

      • Horcsky

        Did you also see if Horcoff actually cross checked him? Didn’t he get a game misconduct for cross-checking?

        I couldn’t actually tell from the angle on TV, but it looked the the sequence of events was, Horcoff drills Pouliot, Pouliot crosschecks Horcoff in the face, Horcoff clutches face in agony, Pouliot unleases a flurry of weak punches. Correct, or incorrect?

        • Jason Gregor

          You missed the key element. Horcoff with a crushing crosscheck to face of Pouliot after receiving crosscheck first.

          Pouliot was leaking after Horcoff’s crosscheck. Horcoff told me he got him good. Horcoff did take original crosscheck in face and responded.

          They both got five for crosschecking and five for fighting, although no one would call it a fight really.

  • JohnnyEberle

    Well that is encouraging. Nice to see them string 2 games together. Also listening to Tambellini’s interview with Kelly and Scott. I am still hoping that we do not move either Hemmer or Pens.

  • Office of the Ombudsman
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
    Station A
    Toronto, ON
    M5W 1E6

    To whom it may concern:

    The purpose of this letter is to formally complain against the coverage provided by CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada during its broadcast of the game between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.

    Specifically, we took great offense to the tone that CBC’s on-air broadcast crew took in complimenting Oilers goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin. The on-air crew, namely play-by-play man Jim Hughson and colour commentators Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy, directed far too many compliments towards Khabibulin. We feel that one compliment is too many, so we are outraged.

    As Canadians and taxpayers, we are outraged that our tax dollars are paying the salaries for people like Hughson, Simpson and Healy. Throughout the game, they used words like “great save” and “solid work” and “gobble up the puck” and “second win in a row,” to describe Khabibulin’s play. And, to top it all off, they ended up naming him the game’s first star!

    That’s simply unacceptable. Such actions make it very difficult for us to force Khabibulin out of town or compel him to leave. Simply put, we would prefer you not undermine our undermining.

    We realize that the optics of hometown fans ripping into the hometown team’s starting goaltender are somewhat unusual, but we ask that you do not judge us. We prefer to be the ones doing the judging, thank you very much.

    And the thing is, we all thought that it would be different tonight. Hughson, Simpson and Healy are acknowledged to be HNIC’s No. 1 crew – certainly better than the third stringers we normally get on the Saturday double-headers – Mark Lee and Kevin Weekes. Those guys complimented Khabibulin’s play all night ad nauseum – and we’re not kidding about that. We counted so many compliments we actually threw up all over our Tear Down the Bulin Wall posters we had on the coffee table.

    We demand that the CBC fire their broadcast crews and replace them with: The president of the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the president of the Arizona chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving and the freaky, old-school sheriff from that Arizona county that makes drunk drivers sleep outside with the scorpions. Then, and only then, will Oiler broadcasts get the balanced coverage that Nikolai Khabibulin deserves.

    We trust that you will give this matter the attention it deserves.

    Regards,

    Oiler Fans against Khabby

  • Peterborough

    What do you guys think of our D? kinda weak tonight again. Think nex years line-up looks like this:

    Whitney Gilbert

    Peckham Smid

    Plante Petry

    Foster

    its a big unit and a very young one. Look for the second and third pairing to flip as the season wears on.

  • PhillipSmithson

    Good job on predicting the final score Gregor! 4-1 it is!

    Did anyone step up and buy those tickets that were being auctioned on The Bear yesterday? It was for a good cause.

    • Jason Gregor

      More than stepped up. Chuck and Zane were battling back and forth.

      Zane bid $1,425 and Chuck went to $1,500. Chuck then said he’d donate his money and if Zane did too, that Zane could have tickets.

      So we raised $2,925 for three pairs of seats in the 2nd deck. Unreal.

  • Sweet Christ. 2 games missed, 2 big victories for the Oil. I think it’s pretty clear what I need to do.

    I need to watch every game from now until this season dies in a gutter so that these guys dont waste 60 games of sucktacular hockey just to blow 30th place by winning during the final 20.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    It would be kinda neat if the Oilers did make a trade with LA to get Braden Shenn, then in the off season sign Luke Shenn to a offer sheet that Burke can’t match LOL that would be sweet just to see Burke try and diss the Oil again

  • a lg dubl dubl

    …gawd i’m flabergasted at this…i was sooo wrong… our goalie gets two wins in a row !!!…but i wanna borrow the crystal ball gregor’s using to make his predictions … oh and the horseshoe in his A$$ too…so i’m thinking why these oilers won last nite specifically ….

    FULL MOON …

    back to normal by saturday nite

  • Oilchange64

    Even 2 wins in a row doesn’t generate a pile of comments. As per Wanye’s earlier post I think this confirms antipathy had firmly set in. Trade chat gets people going but that is about it. The team isn’t even generating water cooler chat at work anymore. The cold weather now dominates. Kind of sad. As for me, I long ago stated I was willing to write this year off. But not the next.

  • Jason Gregor

    Oilers continue winning streak as another team comes in and figures it can take it easy physically and beat the Oilers at the speed game . Atlanta will probably make same mistake , as Oilers poised to make it 3 in a row !