For the past 57 months, every time the Oilers play a regular season game in Minnesota you’ve witnessed many more Wild celebrations than Oiler ones. The Oilers are 0-14-2 in their last 16 games in Minnesota and they’ve been outscored 58-21 in those games.
There are a few different theories as to why the Oilers can’t win at the Excel Energy Centre.
Some think it’s because their last win came on Robin Brownlee’s last road trip as a beat writer. Brownlee’s last road game writing for the Sun was also the last time the Oilers won in Minny, Jan 16th, 2007. I know Rueben is into black magic, but he swears he didn’t put the "Bronte" curse on the Oilers while vacating the Excel Energy Centre.
It might be the "Winchester Curse." Brad Winchester’s parents drove up from Wisconsin to watch their son play that night, but after taking warmup Craig MacTavish elected not to dress him. Needless to say the Winchester’s weren’t very happy. Brad didn’t re-sign in the off-season, and I wonder if he cursed the dressing room while watching the game in his suit?
***Emailer Russ pointed out that M.A Bergeron scored the last game winner in Minnesota that January evening in 2007, and today he turns 31. Maybe some strange Bergeron Karma will occur.***
The Oilers visited Minnesota three more times that yer, after the Winchester benching, and they got spanked 4-1, 3-0 and 3-0. They have never recovered, and I wonder if Tom Renney will take a page out of one of the greatest sports movie scenes ever, and "cut off the head of a live roster," to remove the curse hanging over Oilers organization in Minnesota.
"We’re dealing with a lot of shit," is one of the best lines in Bull Durham – One of the greatest sports movies of all time.
Funny thing is I have a rooster at the farm right now, Cocky, who is a tad too aggressive for my Mom’s liking, and he’s destined to get the "chop" before winter. I should have asked Renney if he needed a live rooster, because I’m sure the resident hunter on the team, Ryan Jones, would have been willing to help complete the deed.
Speaking of Jones and curses, I wonder if the Oilers will be cursed after I noticed one of the worst photo-shopped pictures in history. Across from Rexall Place on Wayne Gretzky Drive, where the Molson Canadian five Stanley Cup rings billboard used to be, is a brand new Sportsnet Billboard.
It has Sportsnet’s new colour schemes and a picture of Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff, Taylor Hall and Ryan Smyth/Jones.
This is the photo they have of "Smyth", Sure it is face, but that is clearly Jones’ gloves, stick, body and most importantly, his hair. How did they think people wouldn’t notice that wasn’t Smyth’s real hair?
Are you kidding me?
Smyth’s hair has been his calling card for years in Edmonton, and everyone knows it is sandy-blonde-light brown,not dark brown, or almost black like Jones’.
I’m all for photoshopping, but they should have asked the Nation to help them out. This is they type of photoshop Nation readers/posters produce.
That is some good photoshopping.
Renney wasn’t happy with Linus Omark’s performance in game one, and #23 will be watching from the pressbox tonight. Lennart Petrell will take his place and play in his first NHL game, and Nikolai Khabibulin gets the start between the pipes.
Dressing Khabibulin tonight, and I’m guessing Dubnyk at home v. Vancouver on Saturday, gives you the impression that Dubnyk is the #1 goalie for now. Renney hasn’t addressed who is his starter, and likely won’t for a bit, but right now Dubnyk is slightly ahead.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will remain undefeated and win 5-3. Considering they’ve scored 13 goals in their last nine games in Minnesota that prediction seems completely asinine, but if Sportsnet thinks Edmontonians wouldn’t know the difference between Smyth and Jones’ hair, then I’ll stick with the lunacy and go with Eberle leading the way with a pair of goals.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: We will see the Taylor Fedun replay at least twice during the broadcast, especially after a close chase for the puckon an icing play. I’m sure Fedun’s family would prefer not to see it again, and I’m with them.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In his season-opening debut, Gene Principe will show up with a rubber chicken. Instead of cutting of the head, because Gene is way to classy for that and it’s a family show, he will suggest the Oilers are hoping to get some rubber bounces to go their way as he tosses the chicken and picks up a puck. Book it.