There is always one person on the rollercoaster that gets to the end of the ride and says, “That’s all there is?” For as long as there have been ups there have been downs and there are always people who are going to bitch and complain right to a Stanley Cup win, then immediately start chirping the GM for his salary cap woes in the offseason before the guy is even done engraving the Cup. Do you really want to be the guy in 1981 who was calling out 99 for going cold for a few games? Cause you know those people probably existed back then in cool denim jackets and other fashions of the age.
Yes, these fashionable but misguided 1980s Oilers fans probably sat in local bars drinking stubbies of Labatt Blue and calling for heads after the Oilers got handed their asses by teams in the regular season or went cold for a stretch. Just like Oilers fans of 2017, the Negative Neds and Nancys probably thought the sky was falling all the time then too, despite the team being on the verge of greatness. But they did it with perms and cool moustaches whereas we are doing it with hipster beards and skinny jeans.
It’s just like 1980s guy arm wrestling the giant guy in the Miller ad up there, straining and stressing away when in reality he has no control over the situation whatsoever. It’s five games into the season, Nation. We can’t be this mad this early. Where would we go from here?
THIS CALLS FOR A BLUE
Surely the Oilers aren’t as bad as their first five games suggest. Powerplay: last. Penalty Killing: last. GF: dead last. GA: 32nd. Someone had the temerity to call out Connor for Heaven’s sakes — he with five points in five games, four of which are arguably some of the worst hockey games we have seen around here in awhile.
Heavens to Grundo, Nation. Does anything buy anyone slack anymore? The playoffs were five months ago. Does anyone honestly believe the Oilers won’t pull it together? Does anyone honestly think that 20/21 year old Connor coming off an ART ROSS Trophy and a 100 point season will pilot the 31st place power play all season? If you do hit me up on Twitter with bets, I will legitimately bet anyone the Oilers make the post season. What a bunch of nonsense.
Looking at Twitter, you would think that the Oilers had undrafted McDavid, traded and re-signed the 2013 team and we are all hoping Yak will evolve into a superstar still. This isn’t the team that broke our hearts all those cold winter nights. These aren’t the players or the coaching staff that will sit back, panic and reinvent the wheel, deploying a swarm defence that flies in the face of 100 years of NHL tradition and practices. There is a plan that is currently not working and a new plan will be developed and the talented Oilers will execute. End of story.
I feel like we collectively used up all the good baby jokes with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Long considered to be the youngest NHL player in the league for four consecutive seasons, Lil Nuge played in his 400th game last night — 400 games! That’s when you are considered a veteran and the top shelf NHLPA pension plan kicks in. Outrageous. If the Nuge is in his 400th game, that makes him no longer 13-years-old. That makes me 1000 years old and you 5000 years old. I miss young Nuge and his wide-eyed staring at the scoreboard. Not this moustachio’d Adonis that stands before us having his best start in years.
But wait — what do we have here?
Who is this little bug eyed Sprite twirling and whirling around the ice? Festooned with the 56 — which must stand for how many weeks old or how many centimetres high he is — he’s out there playing his heart out. Ain’t he the cutest thing you have ever seen? If the Nuge is going to go off and become a man on us, thank heavens the Hockey Gods have sent us an even younger, even smaller DARE WE EVEN SAY CUTER hockey guy.
The new guy has balls of steel and the heart of a lion. He is in the corners on the regular and the other night I saw him beeline into a scrum like he was 12 feet taller and at least 10 years older. I remember other Oilers Superstars that wouldn’t go into a scrum if they were handing out Victoria Secret Model’s phone numbers. And yet here is Yamamoto, half their size with twice their heart, right in the mix. I like this kid. I like him a lot. Will your way onto this lineup ol’ sport. You’ve got the sauce.
AND THEREFORE IN CONCLUSION
Rather than ordering paper for the new blueprints of rebuild 10.3.5, I’m going to take the first five games for what they are worth: five games of an 82 game season, a season with Young Superstars, great storylines and a Scotiabank Player of the Game who somehow stayed on the ice past warmup and made the team named Kailer Yamamoto. The sky is not falling, all is not lost.
RIP Gord Downie. When a Canadian Icon dies at 53 in the prime of his life it makes a person take pause. The Hip will reign forever in Canada and all around the World.