Happy New Year, Nation!
By baggedmilk1 month ago
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve now behind us, I wanted to kick off 2024 with a short post to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year. I hope that wherever you got up to last night when the ball dropped was filled with happiness, friendship, and whatever else it is that you’re into. For those of you who went out last night, I hope the evening’s plans didn’t hand you a hangover that will keep you at one with the couch for the foreseeable future.
As I settle in to write this post, what sticks out most is that the last 12 months were a hell of a ride. We saw Connor McDavid tear up the NHL. We saw Leon Draisaitl pick up a third 50-goal season. We watched Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put up 104 points, a feat no one ever expected him to accomplish. We went from following Jay Woodcroft into battle for a second straight playoff push to firing him only a few short months later. The highs were high, and the lows were low, but no matter what was going on, we were all here to yell at each other throughout it all.
For Oilers fans, 2023 was a winding road that was as bumpy as it was entertaining, and I can’t help but wonder what 2024 will have for us. As is the case with any new year, we’ve got a lengthy list of questions to be answered as the Oilers look to climb back into the playoff picture after the pressure of expectations put them in a team-size hole. Will they have enough time to get back in the mix as Cup contenders as we all hoped they would, or will that horrible start to the year be too much to overcome? Have we seen the last of Jack Campbell? Will Kris Knoblauch, Paul Coffey, and the rest of the staff be able to adjust the blueprint to get this team back on track with where we expected them to be at this stage of the season? Who will SIUTBOHC?
Time will give us the answers, and on this first day of a new year, I’m grateful that we get to navigate those waters together. That’s why I wanted to wrap up the article with a handful of New Year’s resolutions for the Edmonton Oilers in the hopes of manifesting a few wins over the next 12 months. As always, if you have any resolutions or ideas I’ve missed, I would love to read about them in the comments section below.
Happy New Year, Nation.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
- You will and must respect the finite resource that is Connor McDavid’s career by surrounding him with impactful teammates who can actually help him win. Connor McDavid is having another fantastic year after starting slower than normal, and I’m so incredibly grateful that we can watch him on a nightly basis. Still, we also have to make sure he’s surrounded with enough talent to allow him to bring home the ultimate prize.
- You will remember that Leon Draisaitl is the kind of player that every other team in this league would kill to have on their roster, and we have to make sure we appreciate the brilliance he brings to the table nightly.
- May Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continue to defy time itself. Not only does he look the same as he did on the day he was drafted, but he somehow has been getting better with age. Here’s to another strong finish to the season.
- May Evander Kane stay healthy for more than a few weeks. The guy is incredibly effective when his body isn’t trying to mess with him, and I hope the Universe gives him nothing but good health in the coming year.
- Mattias Ekholm’s beard will be forever magnificent. Whether he inspires you to become a well-rounded, two-way defenceman or grow a beard that is both functional and sexy, Mattias Ekholm will continue to be the Big Swedish Daddy that this city deserves.
- Kris Knoblauch will learn lessons from the failed playoff runs that preceded him. He will adjust the blueprint and get haircuts often enough to always look sharp.
- You will allow yourself to enjoy Darnell Nurse regardless of how much money he makes.
- You will NOT treat the best players on this team as whipping boys when the team falters because they’re often the ones that keep us coming back when no one else can get the job done. We must never blame the captains of the ship when there are so many jokers wasting time and money along the way.
- You will find a goaltender who can play in tandem with Stuart Skinner and not make the rest of us cringe when fear when it’s their turn to man the crease.
- You will spend your salary cap dollars wisely and will not hesitate to purge the dead weight from the roster.
- You will not surprised when Ken Holland (or whoever is next) doesn’t make the trade you hoped he would.
- You will not spend so much energy stressing about line combinations, not because you’re wrong in your assessment of where guys should be playing, but because no one at the Oilers cares to ask for our opinion.
- You will continue to complain about the price of beers at Rogers Place, but you will continue to pay for them anyway.
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