Friday, January 27, 2017
It is slightly ironic, not in the Alanis Morrisette sense of purchasing 10000 spoons, that's mental illness, not irony, that other than the opening salvos of this blog, back in the spring of ought six, nearly it's entirety, all of those posts, over a thousand of them, were written when the Oilers were garbage, one of the worst stretches in NHL history and now, when they are actually good, I have written not a one.
Well I am here to change that, let me tell you.
Above is a picture of the boy the last time the Oilers made the playoffs. Below that is a picture of him now. He is 11 and finishing grade 6. He plays hockey and soccer, is a hell of a student, a hilarious dude who has been to France and will be going to Italy in April and yeah ... he has had a damn good run so far.
When Pronger and Smytty and Horc and Ales Hemsky and Gator and Roli and the rest of that beautiful team were just falling short to that bullshit Carolina team (thanks Craig Simpson for that fucking power play that cost us the Stanley Cup) my son could not walk or talk and was still shitting his pants two or three times a day.
It's been too long.
This morning we wake up to the Oilers a hair out of first in their division, fourth in the conference and two points out of being alone in second, and twelve points up on the ninth place team.
Their goal differential is second best in the conference and seventh best in the league.
I am without speech.
Miles still to go before we sleep and injuries could derail everything but this just in (to steal a phrase from Jeff Veillette), the Oilers are 'actually good'. This isn't a team riding ridiculous luck or hanging on to a playoff spot for dear life after a charge through October and November. The one place they have been lucky is in the injury department. Dwayne Roloson going down in G1 of the Final in 2006 was a harbinger of what was to come as increasingly talent thin teams invariably lost what little talent they had to injuries, many of the freakish variety. While this year had been very gratifying the fact is that last year's team, healthy, would have likely finished around 20th or 21st in the standings. The leap this season has been a big one but not as huge as we think.
The injury bug has hit this club too but it has been third pairing D and fourth line wingers who have taken a beating. While poor Pitlick might disagree, guys like him and Khaira and Hendricks, Davidson and Fayne, Gryba and even Nurse, can be replaced pretty easily. Draisatl or Sekera or Talbot, not so much.
So fingers crossed there.
Posted by Black Dog at 2:20 PM