Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'm a professional hockey player!

Well, that was a game we scarcely deserved to win. I mean, hey, I'll take it, but it's hard to feel good about walking away from two points that you clearly should have gotten anyhow, considering the innate shittiness of our good friends down at the point factory the Columbus Blue Jackets, but to make it so hard on ourselves in the process? Needless, sirs, and far from encouraging.

For those who missed Edmonton's sleepy and unnecessarily fortunate 3-1 free-skate in Columbus last night, well, that's pretty much the game story right there. The Oilers were outshot until the third period (and embarrassingly so in the first, by a margin of 13-2), handing the Jackets' woeful power play unit four chances in the opening frame and basically playing like they really couldn't care less. And really, it's not hard to imagine why; without Rick Nash, the Jackets suck. I know that. You know that. Even my mom, for some reason, knows that. And if hockey games were fictional royalty, last night's game would be the Crown Prince of Who The Fuck Cares Castle, Hertfordshire-on-Strathwick.

The point of this meandering jibber-jabber? Well, we got two of them, but it easily could have gone the other way. The ridiculously underrated David Vyborny and rookie slackass Nikolai Zherdev looked dangerous all night, and Jody Shelley (who, amazingly, saw time on both the PP and PK for the Jackets) got his name mentioned more by the announcers than 75 per cent of the far more talented Oilers squad. Frankly, we got swarmed last night, and we have only the once-again sharp play of Jussi "13 Straight Starts" Markkanen to thank for the W. Well, and Smyth and Horcoff, too, I guess, as their tandem work down low in the right corner produced both Smith's and Pisani's goals.

And although I haven't seen it mentioned as a point of interest, it looks like Laraque was a healthy scratch last night, despite the fact that I thought he'd been playing some pretty decent hockey of late. But then again, I've missed the last two games on account of the fact that I've been putting in long hours these days (and I'm also not one of those fancy New York millionaires who wears a top hat and monocle to bed and who can afford PPV games, so for all I know he beat up Charlie Huddy in front of his kids during practice before the Dallas game—which, despite my monocle-free status, I would pay exactly one hundred Canadian dollars to see). I presume this was done so Mr. Jani Rita could once again skate around not contributing in any meaningful way, all the while wondering what the hell he could have ever possibly have done to deserve the look he's getting in Edmonton right now. If so, whatever. I worry that the only reason Rita hasn't been sent down to the AHL is that Lowe has been tricked into thinking he's worth something as trade bait. This, of course, is retarded. Will someone snap him up if we try to clear him through waivers? Oh, probably (hey, it's happened to far less intriguing players). But that doesn't mean that he's worth something. Would I grab a loonie that was falling out of the sky right in front of my face? Sure, but I wouldn't run into traffic for that same... loonie.... Did that make sense? Ah, who cares. Not me, that's who.


Matt said...

If Le GG beating up Huddy is worth $100, what would you pay to see him pound Craig Simpson? Two grand sound about right?

Colby Cosh said...

Two grand?? The special teams are clicking pretty well right now, but if you'd asked this question four weeks ago you could have held BG vs. Simmer down at the stadium, called it Heritage Classic II, and sold the place out.

Chris! said...

Yeah, matt, this is Edmonton. We built this city on fickle mush-headery. Craig Simpson is awesome now!


Matt said...

Yeah, someday later this season, MacT can fire Coach56 and buy himself two more games or so.

MikeP said...

chris, if it was Simpson's fault that the special teams sucked before, how can it not be to his credit when they do better?

Chris! said...

Honestly, I'm not sure how much the powerplay's newfound not-shittiness has to do with anything Simpson's done. In my mind, it's far more likely that it can be attributed to the addition of Pronger, Hemsky's recent realization that he's fantastic and Stoll's magic hand-cannon. More options means a less predictable system and more goals.

And yes, I realize that one could then say, "well, how was it Simpson's fault when the Oilers sucked? They just didn't have the right players." Well, hey, maybe it wasn't—but was it so unreasonable to call for the firing of the special teams coach who took the OIlers from a mid-pack ranking on PP and PK when they were just making up plays on their own, and stuffed them into the basement of the league under his guidance? It might have been a symbolic firing, but it's called being accountable.