I love Saturdays. When I was a kid, my Dad worked early morning until noon Saturday (men worked six days a week in the 1960s) and Saturday afternoon and evening we had him to ourselves. That meant fun stuff in the afternoon, and Saturday nights at Grandpa and Grandma’s, with cards, beer, smoke and Hockey Night In Canada. Those are some of my fondest memories going back to childhood. Why then would Saturday do me this way so late into our relationship?
You don’t need to go back in the record books to see how bad the Oilers have been, just living the team informs you. In my house, Saturday evening marks the end of the week, a chance to pour some wine (I have left the harder stuff behind, and beer is my summer drink, he lied), make a meal with my wife, enjoy the Leafs losing and then immediately dive into the pit of despair as the town team bleeds out on my television (or, sometimes, live).
If the Oilers Sunday to Friday are a tough follow, then Saturday is Hell’s Canyon. Since January 1st, Edmonton has given fans the following results:
- A shootout win over the Coyotes January 2nd. 4-3.
- A shootout win over the Flames, January 16th. 2-1.
- A 4-1 loss to Nashville on January 23.
- A 5-1 loss to the Habs on February 6. An especially awful game, someone should still be ashamed about that effort.
- A 2-1 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets February 13.
- A 3-2 loss to Colorado on February 20.
- A 4-0 loss to Arizona last night.
That is 2-4-1 over the last seven Saturday games, and some of those games have been incredibly poor. Last night saw the Oilers get all manner of chances, especially early, but they could not cash and the goal posts were not forgiving.
I am at a crossroads with the Oilers and Saturday night. I think next year may see me PVR the game and spend some time with my family. Until this team cobbles together enough of a roster and they can form a team, it simply isn’t worth my time. I don’t have so many Saturday nights left, to gift them to this Oilers team is folly. I think it wise to make these players prove they are worth the time. Recent evidence suggests otherwise.