Have we really been picking Goats and Stars on the Nation for 4 years now? Oh how time passes on the bottom of the NHL ocean floor. Not a lot of light gets down here, every day sorta looks the alike after awhile. But they say that every dog gets his day and 2013 will surely be the year that the Mighty Oil rise up from the depths of the ocean floor and stake their victorious claim of some point between the deep and the light topside.
We aren’t asking for all that much Gods of Hockey. Just a return to respectability. Respectability on the way to Dominance. Dominance on the way to showing No Mercy.
As we watch the Oil begin their ascent we will be sure to point out the people steering the sub.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
Picking a Star – and later a goat – for the season has been a long standing tradition with our crew of pirates. For the duration of the season if your Star does something mad decent – lights the lamp at a key point in a game for instance – you get to bask in the glow of the Star as he is “your guy.” Should your Star go stone cold – or get traded as was the case last year when we picked Erik Cole – you are forced to sit quietly in the corner, speaking only when spoken to as you wait for the regular season to end.
Picking a star is a tricky business that requires a great deal of thinking. Anyone can pick Ales Hemsky and be reasonably assured that they will look quasi intelligent throughout the whole season. But be like our buddy Lee in the 2006 Season who famously picked Fernando Pisani as his playoff Star – and your genius will be praised from the highest tower for years to come.
We have basically the worst luck picking stars. Not only did we pick Cole last year, we also picked Ryan Smyth the year he was traded, Chris Pronger the year he left town due to family reasons and Eric Fichaud so many years back on the hunch “he could make it as a starter in the NHL.” On that note of taking needless risks, we have deliberated the options before us, crushed a few dozen BLs over the weekend, and decided on our Star this year.
Ah 2009 Wanye. You were such a simpleton back then. Didn’t know what a Nuge is, had no particular affinity for HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk alumni and thought 14 in an Oilers Jersey vaguely thought had something to do with MacTavish. You poor silly ignorant bastard.
But you do make a fine job of explaining why you need to name Goats and Stars. In both cases you need to have "your guy" its a multi year moral imperative. So please leave both your selections below, or update your Nation Profiles if you feel so inclined. And with your actions you take us one step closer to game time.
Hmmm. This doesn’t seem to take very long to decide. Ever hear of someone by the name of KING BLOODY JORDAN BLOODY EBERLE OF BLEEDING BLOODY VICTORYLAND? THE KID IS A GENIUS WITH THE PUCK, A SUBLIME DISHER, CLUTCH CLUTCH CLUTCH AND HAS SET MANY THE LOIN OF AN EDMONTON WOMAN AFLAME IN HIS REIGN BY THUNDER.
Yeah Jordan Eberle will have to do for our 2013 selection. And every other year until the end of all recorded time after that too if you could mark it down. Coming off a season where he scored 32 goals and added 42 assists the 16th best scorer in the ENTIRE NHL is only looking to improve this season. Another year older and stronger – Eberle has been busy building on his already impressive resume leading the AHL in scoring prior to the lockout mercifully ending.
We predict Eberle will have a season of 35 goals and 40 assists. He may not be able to sustain his eye shattering 99.3% shooting percentage for the entire season as so many have already noted. However with a pile of souped up powerplay time with the return of Whitney and the addition of Schultz – 2013 will see 14 deliver the goods in the lockout shortened season. And he will do a great many other things too this year. Awesome things.
2007: Shawn Horcoff
2006: Ryan Smyth
2005: Chris Pronger
Some earlier point: Eric Fichaud
Some even earlier point: Dr. Randy Gregg
"Well ok," perhaps you are thinking to yourself "I can dimly follow this guys point about publicly naming your favourite Oiler. That makes sense assuming you are a superfan or an 8 year old kid. But why would I want to hate on an Oiler and name him my goat?"
Again why not listen to a voice from the distant past explain the deets. 2010 Wanye what you got to say?
Goat selection evolved a few years back when we had a buddy that would randomly pick an Oiler each game and rag on him mercilessly. “That dang (insert player here.) He is the worst player on the ice. (Insert GM here) should be embarrassed that he picked such a terrible player.”
(Early 2000 bandwagon jumping buddies would hate) on every random player that draws their ire, loving them the very next minute – all in the name of being an "fan." The boys didn’t think that it was sporting to cuss each and every Oiler only to shower them with praise on the next play and several half drunken arguments broke out over the span of a couple seasons to drive home the point.
Instead of playing our band wagon jumping friend on waivers, we all concocted the Goat. The Goat is intended to be the cause of all the team’s problems for the entire season. Goal just went in? Damn the Goat to hell. He wasn’t on the ice? Damn his stupid manner in which he sits on the bench.
The first year of two that we picked Grebeshkov to be our Goat was easily the best picking of our storied Goat picking career. Not only was Grebs brutal, but the team was too. We blamed him for most everything most nights and it allowed us to vent all Oilers related anger his way.
On a team that we hope finishes no higher than 30th place this year, picking the Goat is going to be key to maintaining your sanity.
Not nearly as dire this year thankfully. Flames fans may want to take some notes on sanity saving techniques with the season you are staring down this year.
This was actually quite a difficult bit of business. We don’t think that the name of the game this season will be "try and figure out ways to keep self entertained whilst the Oilers skitter about like baby fawns on a frozen pond." A lot of the really goatworthy players are gone, traded, cut or bottled up and shipped to Anaheim via the AHL and Dallas.
No instead this season should be pretty sweet. The Oilers are young and in game shape against dusty old squads of players just waiting for a groin to get pulled*
We thought about Dubnyk but it isn’t good sport to cheer against your starting goalie all year. No, we need him to be good. We ground our teeth while thinking about Horcoff collecting 12 billion dollars this season but we have far too much respect for the Captaincy of the Oilers to name him Goat. If you are in a trench and don’t like your squad commander too bad. You respect the chain of command.
But last we checked Theo Peckham still remains the property of the Oilers. We can’t figure Peckham out. A team that is willing to do anything to have young players fill spots meets a player that has looked like he had turned the corner into bonafide NHL toughian several different times. And yet there is no match?
How have we come to this Peckham?
You need to fight your way back into the lineup. And so far you aren’t even close.
2008: Dennis Grebeshkov
2007: Some guy
2005: Some other jerk
Some earlier point: Andrei Kovalenko
Some even earlier point: Jimmy Carson
*Thats what she said