The Race For First Place: Capitals @ Oilers

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Your boy has a brand new fancy laptop that cost the company way too much money, so I’m annexing the game day duties for the day. That and Hank’s on vacation in the beautiful metropolis of Grand Prairie. Looking to bump my overall record to 2-0 this year. And what a time it would be for another Oilers victory. Looks like we’ve found ourselves in a little race. Not the lottery race, like we’re used to in Oil Country. A race for first place. Has a nice ring to it. Remember the Fall for Hall  lolol those were the days.

The drive to 81-1 resumes tonight when the 3-1-1 Capitals make their first appearance at the Iron Jungle. I really, really like being the best. I forgot how good this feels. We’ve joked about how we’re borderline untouchable and I’ve already pictured the Cup parade down Jasper in June, but to be honest, the Oilers have had a soft schedule to start the year. Tap ins against bad teams like Calgary, Carolina, and Winnipeg are nice, but it’s the tests against perennial contenders that make or break playoff teams. And this, my friends, is the second big test the Oilers face in this early season. We already passed the Blues game, now it’s time for the Caps.

Lineup

27-97-14
19-29-98
67-93-44
51-55-15

77-6
2-4
25-62

33

Looks like there’s no change to the roster tonight, which is good news for everybody who drafted Pool Party in their keeper leagues. The best goalie in the NHL starts his 7th straight game.

Tonight’s Opponent

Washington Capitals

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Why They Stink

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Listen, the last decade has been flat out cruel to the Oilers. We all know it. We’ve lived it. No franchise in the history of sports has sucked as much as we have over the last 10 years. But at least our expectations are lower than the self-esteem of a 97th Street hooker. We go into every year expecting the world to cave in because that’s what we’ve been taught to believe in Oil Country. Then there’s these Eastern Conference Canucks. Their best player ever is being called the most underachieving MVP in sports history. HISTORY. Think about that. Patrick Ewing and Dan Marino walked so Alex Ovechkin could outdo them both. Ovie has never been passed the second round in his 10 year career. You think we stink? Imagine expecting to win every year, only to get bounced by Pittsburgh or New York in the second round. Take it from Gary, here:

The Capitals have literally taken years off Gary’s life. Poor guy doesn’t look like he has much time left to see his boys win the ‘ship.

Why Their Fans Stink

Also, they didn’t exist until 2005.

Which Capital Stinks

Allow me to reintroduce you to Tom Wilson.

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Other than being bad at hockey, Tom is also very bad at managing his personal life. Last year, Tom was the subject of a heated series of rumours that involved him and Selena Gomez. To this day, arguably the greatest accomplishment of my life was signing our ad deal with Media Strike so they can pay me like 30 cents per post. I still brag about that. Tom’s linked to intimate rumours with one of the hottest girls on the planet and he denied the hell out of them. Such a stupid idiot move. This was his chance to be the NHL’s Kris Humphries. When asked, Tom could have easily smirked and said, “I don’t know” while casually dropping a subtle hint that he may have packed his bags and moved into a permanent residence inside her DMs. This was his chance at creating his very own Sistine Chapel and he blew it. Tom Wilson stinks.

Why They Might Not Stink

Braden Holtby is a goddamn God in the crease.

The Roundup

Let me reiterate: this is a huge game for the Oilers. We might be taking them seriously here at ENS, but six games for some godawful reason is not enough for the rest of the NHL culture to believe in us. Beating the Capitals tonight would be a massive statement. Holtby has been his usual lights out self, and the Caps as a team have only given up 10 goals in five games. This is not the usual Caps we’re used to watching. While they’re tied for the best defensive team in hockey, the team’s having problems putting the puck in the net. They’ve only scored 13 goals in those same five games, so they’re winning games on the back of Braden. We haven’t come close to facing a goalie this good yet.

But, we have Connor. So, you know. And while we’ve maybe faced gigantic turds of goalies since opening night, we’re still burying at an abnormal rate. This has been arguably the best offense in the league so far. One of these two superpowers will ultimately cave.

Prediction City

3-2 Oilers. Probably the most normal prediction you’ll ever see on this site. Washington Braden Holtby is so, so good. But we have the Ice Man, who’s only been the best goalie in the league so far this year. Something about this tells me we’re not going to see an offensive explosion tonight. Connor is a full point behind Auston Matthews for the league lead, so naturally he gets two. The Big Rig adds one more, and Puljujarvi drools while trying to read a board ad. The drive for 81-1 continues.

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