Back in the Penthouse: Oilers @ Avalanche

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Back to status quo. Thanks to a combined 10 goals against the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks, the Oilers and el Connor find themselves back on top the Pac-7(8) and league scoring leaders respectively. Feels so good. We’re currently rocking a two game winning streak and we have a stretch of four more extremely winnable games in a row, starting tonight against our former Northwest Division rivals.

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Because duh. When you knock the best team in the Western Conference to Mundare, you dress the same 19, no questions asked. Everyone’s happy, right?! OH BUT JONATHAN WILLIS ISN’T!!!!

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Ya, the Oilers just took Chicago from behind on Monday BUT DID YOU SEE HOW BAD THE FOURTH LINE’S POSSESSION NUMBERS WERE?! *sniffs fart*

One day, the Oilers will win the Stanley Cup in four games and Jonathan Willis will write a 59 page essay about this organization’s stupidity, because Mark Fayne wasn’t dressed for the sweep.

Tonight’s Opponent

The Colorado Avalanche. This is the part where I remind you that weed is legal in the State of Colorado.

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Why They Stink

The had a sellout streak of 11 consecutive years that ended in 2006 and Av’s ownership was not only okay with it, they actually seemed pretty fired up:

Kroenke Sports Enterprises executive vice president Paul Andrews said “there are probably 27, 28 teams” that would have been thrilled with a near-sellout “on a Monday night in October, so we’re very fortunate to have had the support we’ve had over the years.”

Andrews said there was a silver lining to the end of the streak.

“The thing that we battle most in this market is that we’re always sold out, and nobody tries to buy tickets,” Andrews said. “That perception being lifted by tonight’s game, I think, will drive a lot of sellouts here in the future.”
Holy shit, that last part is so sad when you look at this:

 

Why Their Fans Stink

After bonafide NHL superstars and future hall of famers like Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque, Teemu Selanne, and some guy named Joe Sakic began to leave, so did all their fans:

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Goddamn you, Paul Andrews, there weren’t a lot of sellouts at all! One of the greatest hockey players of all time retired in 2009, and the mile high people of Colorado only filled the barn to 85% capacity during his final year. Meanwhile, the Concrete Jungle was at max capacity during Jason Strudwick’s farewell season, a season in which the Oilers finished dead last with 25 wins.

Which Av Stinks

The 780 has always loved Jarome Iginla despite the fact that he literally torched us while playing for our biggest rivals for over 15 years. He has four points in 18 games this year, but everyone will still have boners when they see Iggy fanning on one-timers while attempting to run the second unit power play.

Why They Might Not Stink

They’re fifth in the league in faceoff winning percentage. It’s literally the only category where this team ranks in the top ten. Good faceoff team.

The Roundup

Tonight, the Oilers begin a four game stretch that could easily see them pick up eight much needed points. Thanks to a middle of November vacation, we’ve not-so-quietly allowed the three California teams back into the equation. Lucky for us, we’re seven days away from surviving the gauntlet that was November, while maintaining our lead over the PAC-soon-to-be-8. SCS currently has the Oilers at an 87.2% chance of making the playoffs, with a projected record of 44-30-8 (Calgary sitting beautifully at 9.3%). If you’re an optimist who believes in probabilities, you’ll love those odds. If you’re a tormented Oilers fan who understands this team’s unprecedented ability to go full Oilerz at any given moment without warning, then you know those odds don’t mean shit until they reach 100%. We can get closer to obtaining that goal by winning the winnable games, and that starts tonight with the horrendously average Colorado Avalanche.

If you look at the bottom of almost every single offensive category, you’ll find the Avs. They’re 29th in goals for, 18th on the PP, 20th in shots for, and—great news for the Oilers—29th in the league for first period goals for. Yes, they’ve only scored seven (!!!) first period goals this season. And yet, despite their offense suffocating to death in a Colorado snowbank, they’re somehow 9-9. God knows I haven’t watched a single second of Avalanche hockey this year, so I have no idea how that’s possible. This team is so offensively anemic that Joe probably could lace them up again and still finish the season with more points than over three-quarters of their roster. Connor McDavid has more assists than their leading scorer has points. Fedor Tyutin is 89-years-old and still playing on their top pair. RENE BOURQUE IS ON THEIR POWER PLAY!

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Jesus goddamn Christ. He’s working the second unit with Iggy. The two have combined for 10 points this year, which would put them tied for 125th this season if they were one, individual bad person.

Prediction

This offensively crippled Avalanche roster does not make up for their lack of scoring by running a dominant defense. Much like everything there is about this team, they’re painfully average in that department too. They give up goals, and we have Connor. They can’t score for the life of them, and we have the Iceman. None of that bodes well for the Avalanche tonight. In previous years, this would be the ultimate trap game for your Edmonton Oilers. But this isn’t previous years. This is Connor’s world now, and the rest of the league is just living in it. Oilers win this 6-1 on goals by Connor, Uncle Jesse, the Big Rig, Matty Ice, Klefbom, and Connor again.

 

Puck drop @ 8 p.m. on SNW


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