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!