Must-Win Monday: Coyotes @ Oilers

The Oilers had their skills competition yesterday. In a surprising upset, Connor McDavid won fastest skater. Austin Matthews though, heavy.

Tonight, we face that team who perpetually whooped our butts for the better part of a century. But 2016, man. Weird year for sports. The Cubs won the World Series, Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl, a soccer team that nobody had ever heard of won the Premier League, Cleveland won a professional sports championship, and the Oilers beat the Coyotes in regulation. Yes, after years and years and YEARS of losing to Shane Doan Mike Smith and Oliver Ekamn-Larsson and Martin fucking Hanzal, we finally beat the Coyotes in 60 minutes!

God I miss him.

Lineup

If we could beat Calgary with a depleted roster, there’s no excuse against ‘Zona.

Tonight’s Opponent

Arizona Coyotes. Our kryptonite, until Zack Kassian assaulted every player who’s ever worn a Coyotes uniform in their franchise history.

Punched Tony Duclair right in the mouth. Kavis Reed would be proud.

Why They Stink

Gluckstern and Burke moved this franchise from Winnipeg to Phoenix because and only because they couldn’t get a better offer from Minnesota. (Just think: If the deal with Minnesota would have went through, both hockey in Arizona and the Minnesota Wild wouldn’t exist, and you wonder why I hate Winnipeg). And so, hockey in Arizona was born. The fact that there were people who truly believed this would work makes me seriously question if our era of humanity really is more intelligent than the people who drew on caves. Arizona is Florida’s Western doppelgänger. It’s 114,006 square miles of inhospitable waste that the Spanish decided was appropriate to settle on back in 1752. You idiots. Look what you gave us:

Why Their Fans Stink

I realize there’s the potential for about 87 zingers here but truth is, I can’t make fun of them. It’s too easy, like Hank’s wife. I like to work for my meals. I don’t fault the retired people of Arizona for not wanting to go watch these bums play on a random Wednesday in December. They basically built their arena on Neptune. And actually, we should give props to the 12 our 13 people who do make that commute. Like this fine gentleman, right here:

It takes some serious diehard committed shit to drive 3,700 miles only to watch the Yotes lose 2-1 in a shootout.

Which Coyote Stinks

Old balls Doan is on pace for eight goals this year, which would be his lowest total since Clinton was president.

Why They Might Not Stink

Shane Doan might be a fragment of who he once was, but he scored his 400th career goal last month against Toronto. This is the part where I remind you that we drafted Steve Kelly one spot ahead of the pride of Halkirk in the ’95 draft. For those keeping score at home, that’s 391 more career goals and counting than Steve Kelly scored in his career.

Oh, and they always beat us.

Roundup

This is a must win game. I now know how the other 29 teams must have felt every time they played us in the last 10 years. Can’t afford to throw away points in winnable games from now until April. The curse is over, so that’s no excuse anymore. Now it’s all about beating an extremely bad hockey team, at home, in front of a certainly less than electrifying home audience and their suits.

Prediction

Now that horrible curse is finally over I’m no longer terrified of these permanent basement dwellers. And since we’re playing at home, there’s a zero percent chance that the Yotes will throw on their phlogiston throwbacks, so no surprises to be had in this one. Oilers win 4-0. Jordan Eberle finally ends his ridiculously awful streak and gets the Oilers on the board with a quick first period goal. Connor actually hasn’t scored a goal in 2017, so he gets one. The NHL’s most fuego scorer, el Grande Rig, gets 2. Both are assisted by Connor. Rain drop, drop top, casual reminder that he’s got some fire shirts so go buy one.

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