GDB 79.0: HOMEWARD BOUND

smyth common

In a season spent spiraling downward in an elevator shaft, there are still things to anticipate. Ryan Smyth, score that goal!!!

I’m going to miss him so much when he’s gone from the NHL, because forever is a long time. Ryan Smyth is not the player he once was, but is a useful forward in his current role. A legendary Oiler who played the heart of his career during some difficult times, he got himself traded back to the longest rebuild in history.

And we all love him for it, the kooky guy. I think we see Ryan Smyth as an everyman, a kid (like us) who loved the Oilers so much he willed himself into the league and got by on guile, sweat, blood and tears. That description doesn’t do the player justice: Ryan Smyth’s strong career is coming to an end after many miles of skilled passing, hard work and goalmouth brilliance. It’s a credit to him that advanced stats studies suggest success in scoring can be done by what he’s been doing all along: go to the net, score from two feet or less.

The GOAL—he needs one more power-play marker to own the all-time Oiler record for goals with the man advantage—should come at home and could come tonight.

He’ll cry, and so will we. Watching a kid grow to a man and push himself and his team to greater heights is always compelling. Watching Ryan Smyth do it feels like one of us found a way onto the stage and found a gear he didn’t know he had until he needed it. That isn’t true, Smyth was a very high pick, but his “skill” matches Edmonton’s sense of itself. Blue collar, get out of the damn way, get it done.

Godspeed, Smytty. Score that goal!

THE LINEUP

  • Hall-Nuge-Eberle
  • Lander-Gagner-Perron
  • Smyth-Gordon-Pinizotto
  • Hendricks-Acton-Pitlick
  • Marincin-Petry
  • Belov-Schultz
  • Fraser-Larsen

Based on early reports this morning, Oscar Klefbom is out (not at practice) and Fasth starts.

QUESTION

Jason Strudwick joined me for Saturday Sports Extra yesterday, and brought up Matt Greene as a possible solution for the Oilers next season. We know Greene (like Smyth) will bleed for his team and give all he has, but do you see him as an option for Edmonton next season?

TONIGHT

hayek3

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oiler fans go home in tears, but the good kind! Smyth scores a power-play goal with 94 seconds left and Edmonton wins 5-4.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: 1line shines like a diamond.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After Smyth’s historic goal, Wanye LEAPS to his feet, grabs the attention of the crowd cameraman, and begins a crazy dance that resembles the Tasmanian devil on the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. It launches a dancing career that sees Wanye become the next Joaquín Cortés!

Rock on, Nation! GOILERS!

  • Serious Gord

    Smyth should have been moved/retired before the lockout. That some fans are clinging to the distraction of this trivial record – and the team is too… is a disgrace.

    His title this year should be Captain Hook not Captain Canada. Is there another player with more hooking/slashing penalties per minute played this year in the entire league?

    His being a part of this team this year is about as big an indictment of how badly run this is as there is.

    • Arius Mumin

      Anybody calling other Oilers fans a disgrace for cheering on one of the all-time Oiler fan-favourites is the disgrace, serious man…

      Especially for a player who never has been part of the problem in this city, but is inconceivably been made out to be a problem by idiotic fans/media on 2 separate occasions in his storied career. If you can show me how Smytty scoring 20+ points while playing mostly on the 4th line with players who can’t skate or make/take a pass, has contributed in any way to the terrible season this team has endured, then you will be a magician. But also a liar. And a fool.

      Not surprisingly, there are always a few intellectually deficient Oilers fans out there that want to ruin it for the rest of us. Please, it is within your freedom of speech to boo Smytty for reaching a milestone while you chug down beer in the comfort of your La-z-Boy. But don’t bring the others down to your delusional and depressive stupor.

    • Czar

      Seriously Gord, you sir are an ass. You have no passion, no insight and no feelings. You need a dose of compassion and reality, preferably by suppository – I will donate to anyone who will insert one the latex gloves AND the medication.

      • Serious Gord

        I have lots of passion for this team.

        I am also a realist.

        What i am not is a hopeless romantic.

        Hopeless romantics are LOSERS. Just look at Katz. And in the mirror.

        • Hopeless in Etown

          Losers are the people who accuse others of being the same. Your daily comments slamming the Oilers do not make you seem like a passionate fan, rather you seem to be a Canucks fan – and we all know what sorry specimens they are. Get a life buddy, you obviously have an issue with feelings. Perhaps anger management or counseling on how to be a human being would help.

          • Serious Gord

            LOL. Re-read your first sentence, fool.

            My criticisms of a team that i care deeply for are in no way malicious – rather they are done with the aim of making this team better. That there are dozens upon dozens of areas worth criticizing – including the distraction and waste of cap space and ice time that keeping smyth around has been isn’t my fault – it’s the owners and managers AND their enablers whos are…

          • Serious Gord

            I am an emergency room doctor, maybe I have treated you or one of your family. You may call me a fool, it’s your right. I may seem like a loser to you, but every day I do what I can to help people. Ryan Smyth deserves this record – he will never win a Stanley Cup. You are a jerk, a fool and an ass. I stand by that opinion and I have the right to my opinion as you do. Fool I may be, jerk I am not. I guess you collect welfare while smoking and drinking – I happen to think there is more to life than slamming people. But then I guess slamming you makes me as much of an ass as you are. The difference is I can look at myself in the mirror tomorrow, can you say the same?

          • Serious Gord

            You started this battle with a (suprise!!) suppository analogy. It was you that personally slammed me – not the other way around. My criticisms of the Team and its blind supporters are within the realm of comment IMO as it is all part of the to and fro of the entertainment industry of which the Oilers and the NHL is a part.

            As for being derogative of my life – I probably make a couple multiples of your income – And do it working far fewer hours and without having to stick my fingers up someones ass.

            And spare me the nobility of being a ER doctor – you nor i are more important than the person who sells shoes or cleans toilets – you would be wise to be more humble about your career choice.

          • a lg dubl dubl

            Really people……….define yourself with Income/Profession if that makes you feel better.

            Cut each other down, if that makes you feel better, but the both of you need to check your passion before writing. This site is designed to make us all have a place to express ourselves, our team, certain players, coaches, management and so on.

            I doubt that anyone substantial reads any of our posts with awe and wonder……..so please settle down the both of you.

            We are all human and no ones opinion is worth more unless your name is WAYNE GRETZKY.

          • dougtheslug

            Hey Max, prescribe yourself a chill pill and take the rest of the day off. Let’s play nice and stick to hockey.

            What’s left of it in Edmonton, that is.

  • dougtheslug

    Ryan Smyth has all of us cheerleaders rooting for him tonight. Go get that PP goal Smytty. You have our confidence, and we can’t wait to join you in celebration.

  • Randaman

    Home stretch now – let’s do to the Canucks the same as we did at the end of last season – a 7-2 blow out. But as well as that, please can we have a “get Kassian night??” Every time that brute is on the ice, let’s go get him, make him suffer and let him have a taste of his own medicine – nothing illegal, just a message, line after line, What you do Kassian is NOT hockey and it’s not acceptable. The league doesn’t need a goon like him. My hope is that somewhere, sometime, someone will punch him clear into the next month, perhaps it will teach him a lesson (tho I doubt it.) Still, what goes around, comes around. He WILL meet his match one day. I just hope I’m watching the game.

  • dougtheslug

    Still wiping away tears watching that video of the Oilers vs Ducks. What a difference having a real number one d-man run the power play!

    Pronger in his prime was a world beater. We were lucky to see him in Oiler silks.

    Could Nurse or Ekblad evolve into a Pronger facsimile? Man, I hope so.

    • Randaman

      Drafting third at best will not land us Ekblad. Give up on this fantasy already. Draisaiti or Bennett will be the choice MacT has to make in my opinion. I like ones size and the others competitiveness. They both have serious skill but I lean towards Bennett because he is Canadian rather than European. We have lots of skill, now we need heart and compete.

      Now, as for Smytty, please get the goal and resign for one more year of fourth line duty. I do not however want him to have to play power play time next year. That signifies MacT summer failure to me.

      • Craig1981

        Defense are tricky. Seth Jones went 4th, Cam Fowler went 12th, Adam Larsson went 4th.

        It is totally possible he is gone by 3rd, but not a fantasy he isn’t. McKeen’s Hockey and Central Scouting have Bennett 1st overall. The top 3 are all really close this year.

  • Spydyr

    I hope he scores the goal.The fans deserve it after this year.That being said Anderson set the record with second line powerplay time.There was a couple guys wearing 99 and 17 ahead of him.He also did it in fewer games.

    Score the goal Smythy and call it a career.

    Can’t see it happening he is one of those athletes that have to be told to retire.

  • Sevenseven

    We need veteran defenders with some gas left in the tank to bring our young defenders along. I dont think matt greene is that player. I have a lot of respect for players like that, I just dont think he is the right answer for our blueline. Concussion cases are a big gamble. Pronger cant even skate around with his kids. I dont see much in free agency, I just hope Mac t is able to make the right moves this summer.

  • Eulers

    I would love see Matt Greene back with the Oilers. He would be a big upgrade on Fraser, that’s for sure. Last I heard LA was trying to re-sign him though so I won’t be holding my breath.

    Here’s hoping Smytty can get the record goal. At least it will come at home if he manages to get it this season.

  • Eulers

    The point is to fight the next Matt Greene, not the over-the-hill-broken down Matt Greene. And arguably the best way to handle heavy teams is not to try to out heavy them with Greene’s on the blue, but with puck movers like St. Louis has. One beats the heavyness of LA by playing fast. Move the puck, dammit.

    Matt Greene is a #7D defenesemen at best. A character guy to play 40 games and sit in the pressbox for 40 games.

    These types of warrior D fall off the cliff at the end. See Jason Smith after he left Edmonton.

  • Eulers

    I didn’t say we got a bag of pucks, I was saying that fans were begging for him to be moved for anything, including a bag of pucks, at the time. Sure, we got a decent return for him at the time but the point was that fans just wanted him (and Stoll) gone, whatever the return was.

    • Craig1981

      OK,then I 100% agree with you. I don’t believe there is one signal player on this roster than NEEDS to be traded away. I think they have 8-12 players on this team that could be members on a Stanley cup team. They might not 1st line players, but they have a place…..those that don’t aren’t worth a 7th rounder to anyone.

      I’m not saying we don’t need to make trades, but which players those are will be decided by the other teams GM.

  • Eulers

    Greene was one of those players the fans begged relentlessly to be traded away for a bag of pucks and then got their wish. With just a bit more patience and experience, he turned out to be a pretty good player for what he brings to the table and is precisely what the Oilers have needed these past few years.

    Does this sound like someone else on the Oilers blue line right now? Sure sounds like Petry’s situation to me. Fans crying out to have Petry traded away for a bag of pucks and I can practically guarantee that history will repeat itself and we’ll go on to watch Petry blossom into a solid player elsewhere just like Greene.

    Fans know best, you see.

    Yes, I’d like to see Greene back. He’d be an upgrade to Belov/Fraser/Potter/etc but I wonder if anyone would be happy with the dollars he might want for the role he’d be playing here.

    • Craig1981

      He was a 5-6 dman on a Stanley cup winning team (an assistant captain) I am afraid he would more than the 6-7th man on the Oilers.

      Naky, we actually got more than a bag of pucks. We got Visnovsky. The only problem was he asked for a trade the next year and Greene and Stoll (who we traded for Visnovsky) are the type of players we have missed for the last several years.

  • Czar

    Had the pleasure of meeting Ryan several times and he always had time for the fans. My son played minor hockey with his nephew during the first lock out and he showed up in the kids dressing room, I think the parents were more awe struck than any of the kids. I only lived about 5min from the rink so I asked Ryan if I could grab my Smyth jersey for him to autograph. Not only did he wait for me but he signed several items and chatted with me far longer than my kid wanted. Love the guy, on and off the ice!

  • Eulers

    Amen! Get it done, Smytty!!

    Wow. That lineup drops off a cliff after the first line and bounces on the rockface a few times on the way down to the abyss. Ouch!

  • Craig1981

    I brought up Matt Greene a few months ago and got trashed heavy! He has had a bad concussion and his year has been poor because of it, but I think a rebound is due. Plus he is still young(ish) and plays the kind of game the Oil are missing on the blue.

    I will watch the last game this season no matter what, just in case it’s Smyth’s last game.