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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 15.0: Birmingham Back-to-Backs (5pm MST, SNW)

When I was a wee young man I had the privilege of traveling to Europe for the first time. I’d never been out of North America, prior to my jaunt overseas, and I was stoked for the trip. We landed in London and after dropping off our bags I quickly went on a tour. I was amazed at their Tube (subway) system. You could take three or four escalators down to get to the platform. It was like another world underground. The escalators were very steep and the air became very stale the deeper you went. It was a bit freaky the first time I went down, but their Tube system was unreal.

There were small pubs everywhere and I got a great education on Ales. My taste in beer up until that point consisted mainly of Molson Dry, Pilsner, Kokanee or Corona. I realized quickly how much better an Ale tasted. If you’ve never tried one I highly recommend making the switch. Your taste buds will thank you.

We toured Arundel Castle, home of the Duke of Norfolk. It was spectacular. I was blown away that the Duke and Dutchess still lives in the castle. The craftsmanship was breathtaking. I highly recommend going.

We went to Stamford Bridge, home stadium of Chelsea. The atmosphere was electric. Us North Americans are very subdued at sporting events compared to our European counterparts. We really miss out.

It was amazing to see the history of the London and surrounding areas. We stayed in a small town, 45 minutes outside London by train.

I learned quickly I was a light-weight when it came to drinking beer. Those blokes can crush a pint in two or three sips. One night we went to a local pub. They started partying at 7 p.m. because the pub closed at midnight. I now realize why they can get up so easily at seven or eight the next morning — they aren’t out partying until two or three in the morning. They leave the pub and are in bed by 12:30. Start earlier, finish earlier. At least in the small town pubs.

One day we toured across the country. We stopped in Oxford for a late breakfast, then toured to the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. It is a market town, and sees over two million tourists a year. I was in full on tourist attire when we went to the the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. While I wandered around the theatre, I quoted, to myself not aloud, the only verse I knew from Romeo and Juliet…

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, far sun, and kill the envious moon…”

I forgot the rest, but for a brief moment I felt I connected with the ghosts of Stratford. In the car ride to our next stop I said my lines out loud to our hosts. They laughed and informed me I was saying it wrong.

“Arise, FAIR sun, and kill the envious moon,” is the correct line. I’d been saying that line for years, and ‘fair’ did make more sense than ‘far’ after hearing it. D’oh.

How many times have you been certain about lyrics to a song, only to be told you’ve been singing/saying them wrong for years? We could have an entire article about incorrect lyrics.

We then moved on to Birmingham. It was there that I learned about the Birmingham Back to Backs. They were the only ones left standing after being built in the 1800s. Once again, the history amazed me.

The rest of the houses had been demolished in the late 1800s and early 1900s, after the Public Health Act was introduced in 1875. They were deemed unhealthy, but the Birmingham Back-to-Backs houses remained as a reminder of their history and how prevalent they were in the country. They were built to accommodate a rapidly growing population, three to fourfold in some industrial towns. They were back-to-back houses, usually two or there stories high. A lot of people could live in a condensed area.

What does this have to do with the Oilers?

The Oilers struggles to win back-to-back games reminded me of the Birmingham Back-to-backs, which is now a Museum. They are very rare.

The Oilers haven’t won consecutive games since April 26th and 28th when they won the first two games in Anaheim during the Pacific Division Final.

Since then they haven’t been able to string together back-to-back victories, and until they do, the angst in Oilersnation will remain high. You might require an Ale or two to settle things down. I recommend Traditional from Big Rock or if you are ready, Guinness. Tasty.

LINEUP

Oilers

Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
Lucic-RNH-Slepyshev
Pakarinen-Strome-Jokinen
Malone-Letestu-Kassian

Nurse-Larsson
Klefbom-Benning
Russell-Gryba

Talbot

The Oilers didn’t skate this morning so we won’t know until warm-up if Slepyshev is ready to go. Drake Caggiula is out after blocking a shot versus the Islanders. Malone only played seven minutes on Tuesday, but it was a noticeable seven minutes. He has played with a lot of energy when he’s dressed and you hope it rubs off on some of his teammates.

Devils

Hall-Hischier-Palmieri
Bratt-Henrique-Stafford
Gibbons-Boyle-Hayes
Wood-Coleman-Noesen

Greene-Santini
Moore-Mueller
Butcher-Lovejoy

Schneider

Kyle Palmieri returns to their lineup. He missed seven games after being injured versus San Jose on October 20th. Palmieri had seven points in seven games before being injured. He will be a big boost to their offence.

Lineups (subject to change) are courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From All About the Jersey:

New Jersey will welcome the Edmonton Oilers to the Prudential Center tonight. Now, I gave Edmonton a lot of flak in that game preview on the third. I talked about the lack of reliable, consistently-scoring depth forwards that they now had thanks to GM Peter Chiarelli. And they promptly turned around that night and buried six on New Jersey.

“Ok,” said I “Even the most incompetent offensive teams score six goals once in awhile.”

I was pretty sure Edmonton wouldn’t repeat that performance. And they didn’t. They got handled two nights later by the Detroit Red Wings in a 4-0 drubbing. Another two nights later, the Oilers were on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn to play a Metropolitan rival, the New York Islanders. In that game, the Oilers were again taken to task by the opposition. The Islanders controlled most of the game, and if it were not for Cam Talbot the Oilers could’ve lost that game by three or four goals.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Devils are 0-2-1 in their last three after starting the season 9-2. But the Oilers have yet to but together back-to-back solid performances. It shouldn’t be difficult to pick them winning two games in a row, but I’m hesitant. I’ll say 3-2, but with very little confidence.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: McDavid gets two points. They are 5-5-1 when he scores a point this year, while they were 39-14-6 last year when he hit the scoresheet.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The previous four road games have ended in 2-1 scores. Three have gone to OT, and the Philly scored late in the third to win. We see three goals in the first period tonight, and the Oilers bottom six chip in with only their second EV goal of the season.

GDB BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHERBROOKE LIQUOR

Take home a growler, a crowler, a sixer, a mixer, whatever. Sherbrooke Liquor. Where’s Your Beer?

Recently by Jason Gregor:


Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 11/09/2017, 12:30pm MST