If the Oil Change folks put a soundtrack to a hockey season that’s quickly turned into a bowel movement pie in the face for fans of the Edmonton Oilers, it should be kazoos and whoopee cushions. This is something that stinks so bad, it’s funny. Low-brow stuff.
Always a sucker for the for a cheap laugh – and it doesn’t get any cheaper than fart humor and a load of crap upside the yap – watching the Oilers lurch and stagger toward the finish line of a lockout-shortened 48-game season has gone from so bad to even worse, you’d better try to laugh or you’ll cry.
Many fans filing out of Rexall Place Monday after watching the Anaheim Ducks beat their team for fun likely don’t feel the same way, but how long can you yell down at the ice from the cheap seats or scream at the TV watching this sad-sack outfit without changing things up with a good belly laugh about the remarkable lameness of it all?
Or, like tonight, listening to a caller to the Jason Strudwick Show – that’s a tough gig with as much of a farce as this season has become — ask if the Oilers should get David Clarkson as a UFA. Sure, why not? I can’t imagine why Clarkson wouldn’t leave New Jersey and pass on 28 other teams sign with Edmonton as quickly as possible. Insert laugh track here . . .
Clarkson should ask Justin Schultz how great that would be.
MEA CULPA AND OTHER IDIOCY
. . . While I threw in enough qualifiers and caveats before suggesting I thought the Oilers would make the playoffs if everything fell their way, I can’t help but think that I fell down the stairs and hit my head without knowing it before doing so. Playoffs? Tsk.
Still, I wasn’t concussed nearly as badly as Jason Gregor, who picked them sixth, but that’s low-hanging fruit. That bit of optimism has to be the worst prediction, an NHL career for Jeff Deslauriers aside, I recall making. Then again, maybe not.
. . . Still with Clarkson because I know some pinhead will take Gregor’s scenario about trading Yakupov for a signed Clarkson and a throw-in – "Hey, Brownlee, you fool, you wanted to make that trade" – and shove it at me, I’m a lot less sure about that than I was when I said I’d make the move.
Outside of Taylor Hall, I’ve liked Yakupov’s game and his moxy more than any other Oiler down this horrid stretch. Kid looks like he cares, and that’s a start. The talent, we know about. Not nearly enough give-a-damn from most of the line-up right now.
. . . I know Theo Peckham left himself wide open for trouble with Oiler brass and coach Ralph Krueger by showing up fat and blowing a terrific opportunity for a full-time gig in the third pairing, but the team has completely bungled how they’ve handled him since.
What’s the point of having Peckham spend most of the season twisting in Edmonton rather than playing in the AHL or, what a concept, being given a chance to make amends by playing with this stellar blue line corps? Trade him. Demote him. Give him another chance. Whatever. But to let him twist? Low-class – and not a very smart move.
WHILE I’M AT IT
. . . Let the final game of this season be the last in which I lay my eyes on Eric Belanger and Jerred Smithson cloaked in Edmonton silks. Of course, it would have been nice to see Teemu Hartikainen and Anton Lander actually push one of them out of the line-up rather than get their breaks through injuries, but for the love of sanity, GM Craig MacTavish has to get them gone.
. . . Like I said earlier today (I’m not alone in this), you can bet the farm the Oilers will add another assistant to Krueger’s coaching staff for next season. I’d expect it’ll be a career coach, rather than a former player, to complement Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger.
A lot of fans keep bringing up Lindy Ruff or Dave Tippett, but you can file that in the same category as Clarkson. Is there one reason why respected and accomplished head coaches like Ruff or Tippett would even cast a sideways glance at Edmonton for any kind of coaching gig? No chance. None.
. . . Go ahead, pull my finger.
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.