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Photo Credit: Baggedmilk

GDB 67.0: Staying Alive (7pm MT, SNW)

I was 20 years old the first time I watched Saturday Night Fever, fifteen years after it was released. The 1977 disco film wasn’t a classic, but the soundtrack was, and still is, one of the greatest soundtracks of all-time. It remains one of the best-selling soundtracks of all-time. The Bee Gees performed seven songs, while KC and the Sunshine Band, Kool and the Gang and the Trammps were also on it. The opening scene got me hooked, maybe because of the song.

Tony Manera (John Travolta) was 19 years old and didn’t have much going for him. I related to him because at that time in my life I had no idea what I wanted to do and I was working a terrible job packing pine shakes (shingles) in Nisku. A friend of mine and told me I’d like the movie because I liked to rip it up on the dance floor at the time, so I rented it. Yes, we rented movies in the 1990s.

I was hooked from the opening scene, not so much because of Travolta or the shots of New York, but because of the opening song, Stayin’ Alive. It is such a great song. The beat just gives you some swagger. Makes you want to walk a bit taller, and with some Travolta-like strut in your step. Here is the opening, and at the 56-second mark the magic begins.

I’m sure you have different movies or songs from your teenage or early adult years which still resonate with you today. I know I do, and this movie is forever etched in my memory, due to the music more than anything. Although, Travolta was unreal on the dance floor.

Today, some of the lyrics match how the Oilers feel. They just want a shot. Right now it doesn’t look like their season is going anywhere great, but at least they are still in the competition. The odds are low they will make it, but if they keep winning they can feel good about themselves heading into the summer. History tells us if they are terrible down the stretch, the chances are slim they will be able to improve enough to make the playoffs next year.

They aren’t officially eliminated from the playoffs, and since February 19th the Oilers, 5-1-2, are tied for the most points in the NHL with 12. Their problem is Minnesota and Arizona also have 12 points so the Oilers haven’t gained any ground in the playoff race. The Oilers need to keep playing well and have to hope the Wild, Avs and Coyotes hit the skids. It is a daunting task, but as Manera showed us in the movie you have to find something to keep you going.

Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either, I really try
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose
You know it’s alright, it’s okay
I’ll live to see another day….
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive

With every victory, the Oilers are at least Stayin’ Alive and right now that is all they can control.

They should just take some cues from Manera. “Oh forget this,” and just go for it. Make things happen.

Those are some sweet moves. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, and right now the Oilers have some extra pep in their step. We’ll see if it continues on this four-game homestand where they play three teams below them in the standings.

LINEUP…

Oilers

Draisait-McDavid-Kassian
Gagner-RNH-Chiasson
Lucic-Cave-Currie
Rieder-Brodziak-Khaira

Klefbom-Larsson
Nurse-Russell
Sekera-Benning

Koskinen

Jujhar Khaira could return to the lineup after missing nine games with a hairline fracture in his foot. Khaira is better suited for a bottom-six role than Ty Rattie, and if the doctor clears Khaira he will play tonight. Ken Hitchcock said Khaira passed all the coaches tes. Now it is up to the doctor to give him the green light. Khaira said he feels good. He was wearing new protection on his skates this morning. “It was the first time I skated with them and didn’t notice a difference, so they should be good especially in the game when you aren’t thinking about it,” he said.

Leon Draisaitl has 17 goals in his last 18 games. Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane are next with 13. Draisaitl also leads in powerplay goals. The Oilers have scored 11 PP goals over the 18 games and Draisaitl has nine. The Oilers PP (11 of 50) is clicking along at 22% since January 20th, and Draisaitl has become a major threat.

“He is excellent at knowing how to hide and to find openings in unconventional scoring spots,” said Hitchcock about Draisaitl.

The total has gone OVER in 9 of Edmonton’s last 13 games at home

Canucks

Pearson-Horvat-Goldobin
Leivo-Pettersson-Boeser
Roussel-Gaudette-Granlund
Eriksson-Beagle-Motte

Edler-Biega
Pouliot-Stetcher
Sautner-SchennDemko

I wonder if Ken Hitchcock works for matchups tonight. I’d try to get McDavid out against Pettersson as much as I could. I realize you don’t have to shy away from a Horvat matchup, but I’d try for McDavid/Draisaitl against Pettersson/Boeser. Also, the Oilers need to attack the Canucks blueline, especially the third pairing where they lack some speed.

It is great to see former Oil Kings defender Ashton Sautner get a few more NHL games. He’ll play his 13th NHL game tonight.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Canucksarmy:

Another 6:00 pm start? I guess it doesn’t give the Canucks too much time to think after their win one night ago against the Leafs. The Canucks power play is still as disgusting as Brussel sprouts, stuffing, or biting into moldy cheese without looking first. Watching it feels like punishment for every time I disappointed my parents or wearing a really baggy shirt (it just looks stupid).

Thankfully, Vancouver scored a few goals last night so it’s possible they can still accomplish that. Jacob Markstrom has been proving all his critics wrong and may surpass Elias Pettersson as the team MVP this season.

Do I think the Canucks can beat the Oilers? Sure. Do I think they can outscore their problems as well? Sure. Is Derrick Pouliot and/or Luke Schenn a bad idea on defense.

Yes, yes it is.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers win four in a row for only the second time this season as they skate away with a 5-1 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Draisaitl scores his 42nd goal of the season. He adds an assist to remain on pace for 50-50. Also, RNH sets a new career-high in points with 57. Baggedmilk and other RNH fans contemplate getting a tattoo.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Andrej Sekera scores his first goal since March 23rd, 2017. Tobias Rieder smiles, and while sitting on the bench he seems to looks above and says in German, “Herr, Bitte lass mich punkten,” (translated to English means, Lord, Please let me score.”) Rieder finishes the game with two shots on goal, but no goals. He now has 76 shots on the season and is within six shots of Craig Adams NHL record for most shots in a season by a forward without scoring a goal.

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