GDB 40.0: Klim Shady Gets His Shot (7pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
10 months ago
In 2002, Marshall Bruce Matters III — AKA Eminem, one of the greatest rappers of all time — released the iconic rap song, “Lose Yourself.”
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The opening is perfection.
If you had
One shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it?
Or just let it slip? 
Every human being can relate to this at some point in their life, whether it is in sports, singing, acting, your job or an important exam. There are moments in our life that can drastically alter our future.
Eminem raps eloquently about his own life and struggles.
He’s nervous
But on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting
What he wrote down
The whole crowd grows so loud
He opens his mouth
But the words won’t come out
He’s choking how
Everybody’s joking now
The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, blaow
Snap back to reality
Oh, there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He’s so mad, but he won’t give up that easy, no
He won’t have it, he knows his whole back’s to these ropes
It don’t matter, he’s dope
He knows that but he’s broke
He didn’t seize the moment the first time, but he kept coming back. He kept grinding. Kept working, but there was doubt. There were challenges.

All the pain inside amplified by the

Fact that I can’t get by with my nine-to-five
And I can’t provide the right type of life for my family
‘Cause man, these goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers
And it’s no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard, and it’s getting even harder
Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter-totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
Baby, mama drama’s screaming on her
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony’s gotten me
To the point, I’m like a snail
I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem’s Lot
So here I go it’s my shot
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got
His path to an Academy Award for Best Song was not easy or quick and the chorus for “Lose Yourself” outlined it perfectly.
You better lose yourself in the music
The moment you own it, you better never let it go (go)
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)
Why do I mention Eminem? Because of his alter ego, Slim Shady, and how a few years ago Klim Kostin’s then teammate in St. Louis, Tyler Bozak, gave him the nickname Klim Shady.
Kostin was the last pick, 31st overall, in the first round of the 2017 NHL entry draft. At 18 years young he came directly to the United States and played for the Blues’ AHL affiliate in San Antonio. He didn’t know any English at the time, he told me this morning. He played three years in the AHL, and made his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season. He played four games for the Blues.
Then he went back to Russia and played a season in the KHL, partly because of COVID and because the NHL/AHL wasn’t playing in the fall of 2020. After his season in the KHL, he returned to St. Louis and played two games in May. Last year he played 40 NHL games and 17 in the AHL. Kostin cleared waivers to start this season, before being traded to Edmonton on October 9th for Dmitri Samorukov. He reported to Bakersfield. He played nine games in the AHL, before the Oilers recalled him on November 9th. He’s played 23 games for the Oilers and scored 5-4-9. He has earned the confidence and trust of the coaching staff and tonight he will play on a line with Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman.
Five and half years after being a first-round pick, he will get a chance alongside the NHL’s leading scorer.
“I feel more excited than my first NHL game,” smiled Kostin this morning. “I’m a little nervous too, but Connor said I will be fine. Just be backdoor and he will hit me (laughs).”
Playing in the NHL is a dream come true for every player, but getting to play on a line with McDavid is a mix of excitement, nervousness and pressure with a large dose of opportunity. Patrick Maroon’s career took off when he played with McDavid. Zack Kassian’s 2019 calendar year earned him a four-year, $3.2m contract. It can be life altering if you produce. Head coach Jay Woodcroft would love to see Kostin, or any winger for that matter, produce with McDavid.
“What is great about him (Kostin), is that he is someone who has taken advantage of his opportunity here after things didn’t work out in St. Louis for whatever reason,” said Woodcroft.
“He started in the American League and has worked his way up. I didn’t know very much about him. I’d seen a bit of film. He came up and he has taken a little bit more of the ice time pie as he’s worked his way through (the lineup). He’s a big body, with good hands in tight. When he plays direct and simple, he is an effective player.”
Woodcroft has liked what he’s seen from Kostin and Kostin is a big fan of the Oilers coaches.
“I like the coaching staff here,” said Kostin. “Those guys have changed my mind, changed kind of my work ethic. They have helped me a lot every day watching video with me. They explain the little details on the ice and if I play simple, smart I will get more minutes. When you get more ice time you get more confidence.”
Kostin is likeable character. He has learned English on his own. He never took any English classes, although he joked he should have. I asked if playing with McDavid is simply about going to the net and having your stick on the ice and being ready and he chuckled while responding with, “I think anyone could play with Connor, even my dad could play with Connor (laughs). You just need to be smart and simple.”
Kostin didn’t hide his excitement about getting a chance to play with McDavid, while admitting he was nervous. Make no mistake, there is pressure that comes with playing along side McDavid. Kostin will try to block it out, but it isn’t that easy.
Kostin has quickly become a fan favourite among many Oilers fans, and many want to see him succeed. I asked Kostin if he’s noticed it the love they’ve shown him online.
“The fans are the most important thing in our sport. Everything we do is for the fans. I’m really happy they love me, and I want them to know I love them more than they do me,” said Kostin.
Will Kostin capture his moment tonight? We wait.




Kostin – McDavid – Hyman
RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – McLeod – Puljujarvi
Janmark– Holloway – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Niemelainen – Bouchard
Jack Campbell starts. Not certain Niemelainen plays, but he was off the ice before Broberg this morning. Campbell had a solid performance on the road against the Islanders, and his past few starts have been better. He still isn’t at the level he wants to be at, but he has shown signs of improvement in his past few starts. He will need to be solid tonight, because it is unlikely the Oilers will score a lot of goals against Ilya Sorokin.


Bailey – Barzal – Cizikas
Lee – Nelson – Fasching
Parise – Pageau – Beauvillier
Martin – Raty – Clutterbuck
Romanov – Dobson
Wotherspoon – Pulock
Aho – Mayfield
Sorokin makes his eighth consecutive start for the Islanders. Sorokin is third in Sv% at .926 and he’s fourth in GAA at 2.29 among goalies with 15+ games played. He’s also third in saves above expected via Sportlogiq. He’s an elite goalie and he had a 49-save shutout against Edmonton on November 23rd. If the Oilers are going to win tonight, they likely will need to be sound defensively and win a low-scoring game.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton ends its ugly five-game winless streak at home with a 3-2 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The slipper fits tonight. Kostin scores.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jack Campbell plays his best game of the season and out-duels Sorokin.

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