With the draft lottery, and impending lottery party, coming up on Saturday I got to thinking about how badly I want the Oilers to win again. I want them to win so bad that it’s starting to affect my life. I can’t stop thinking about it, but probably not for the reasons you’d expect.
When Saturday rolls around, the Oilers will have an opportunity to pick first overall for the fifth time in the last seven years. That, my friends, is a dynasty of inadequacy (STILL A DYNASTY THOUGH, BRUH!). While fans of every other team make fun of the Oilers for being terrible, we’re just over here planning out where Matthews will fit in the lineup and when jerseys will be going on sale. For an outsider celebrating the failures of our favourite team may seem ridiculous, but it’s all we have and have had for the past 10 years.
Would it be more fun if the Oilers could win games on the ice as opposed to lottery games while everyone else is in the playoffs? Of course we’d rather see an Oilers playoff run, but that’s not where we’re at and, frankly, we’re not even close. For now, what we have to cheer about is the fact that the Oilers have a chance to win another draft lottery, draft a blue chip prospect, and piss off the entire NHL in the process. Scoring a top prospect and pissing off the NHL and fans alike sounds like a pretty good time to me.
As we already know, Auston Matthews is the top rated prospect in this year’s draft (though Laine has been making a late push). By all accounts, Matthews is ready to step into the NHL and the team that is lucky enough to snatch him up will land a beauty; a player who will more than likely turn into the kind of impact forward that can turn a franchise around. If you believe Bob McKenzie (I do), whoever drafts Matthews should expect a player that can produce at the NHL level. According to the man himself, “what Jack Eichel did this year, in the NHL, is a reasonable expectation of what Auston Matthews is going to do in 2016-17.” Ol’ Jack put up put up 56 points last year, and I certainly know a team *cough* Oilers *cough* that could use some more offense.
Last season, the Oilers finished in 26th place in terms off goals scored — only Carolina, Toronto, Vancouver, and New Jersey produced less. Needless to say, adding another offensive weapon into the lineup could benefit our team greatly. The Oilers have long had a reputation of a “young and skilled team” but they never seem to be able to score any goals. Sure, a big chunk of that has to do with our defenses inability to get the puck out of our own zone, but I digress. The point of the matter is that the Oilers need more goals, and Auston Matthews can provide that. We need this player, and I demand that we get him.
LET IT BURN
Auston Matthews aside (which is hilarious to type out), I want the Oilers to win the lottery simply for the joy of watching the hockey world burn. Having the Oilers win another lottery would send the Internet into a tailspin the likes of which have never been seen before. It’s an opportunity that may just be too good for the hockey gods to pass up. I want to open Hockey Twitter®, beer in hand, and see the type of Twitter meltdown that only an Oilers lottery win can provide. Teams like the Leafs did everything they possibly could to sewer their season and secure the best chance at drafting Matthews, but one thing Leafs fans seem to forget is that, in the eyes of hockey karma, being accidentally bad trumps being intentionally bad every single time. Don’t believe me? Just ask Buffalo. Imagine how angry Leafs fans would be. Imagine the outrage. *imagines*
The best part about this whole situation is that I won’t even be bummed out if the Oilers don’t pull out a lottery win. I mean, of course I want the Oilers to win, and have the rest of the league hate us even more, but I won’t be sad if it doesn’t happen. The Oilers won the best prize the lottery could possibly provide last year with Connor McDavid and I see winning this one as putting a hilarious cherry on top. And frankly, one of those giant Finns may actually be a better fit for what the team needs anyway. Even if the Oilers lose all three lotteries and drop down to fifth spot, we’re still in good shape. From where I blog, I would see sliding down to the 5th overall pick as adding another solid bullet in Chiarelli’s quest for a top pairing defenseman.
At the end of the day, the Oilers are in a solid position to improve regardless of what happens on Saturday. Whether or not we can pull another horseshoe out of our ass is almost inconsequential. Regardless of what happens in the lottery, the Oilers will walk away knowing that they have a piece that is going to help the hockey team in one way or another. Whether we’re heading to Buffalo with another #1 pick in our pocket, the chance at a giant Finn for the wing, or a trade bullet for Chiarelli’s offseason pursuits, there aren’t many downsides to this year’s draft. The Oilers will get better as a result of whatever happens with those magical bingo balls, and that’s something to look forward to, especially if it means that the hockey world around us crumbles in hellfire.