Game Day Blog 5/82: Welcome to the Brad Malone Era, Hurricanes @ Oilers

Is that Brad Malone? I googled ‘Brad Malone Oilers’ and hoped to god I used the right photo. I have no idea.

It’s October 17th. The Oilers haven’t won in 13 days. Cam has been very un-Iceman. Our forward depth does not exist. Our defense looks like a merry-go-round of shit-filled misery. Leon Draisaitl is on IR with no timeline. Adversity, ladies and gentlemen. Here’s the deal: we’ve played four games. Four (4). Not forty (40). Four (4). Are there glaring and frankly disgusting holes that this team (Pistol) probably could have easily taken care of this summer? Sure. Am I worried at this stage of the season?

All it takes is one game and we’re back, people. One game. One win. One lights out performance by Connor McMVP and everybody steps off this ridiculous and unnecessary edge we’ve somehow managed to figuratively create. Preposterous. Look at this bum:

Don’t be this fan. Nobody likes this fan. This fan sucks. This is the guy who yells ‘shoot’ off the opening faceoff of a power play. This is the guy who fake celebrates winning a 50/50 ticket. This is the guy who frequently comments on message boards and Hockeybuzz and all the other toxic cesspits for the worst fans of every team to collaboratively share their pointless and destructive armchair GM thoughts, as if they goddamn matter. Never go full Can of Coffee. Be like Magoo:

This guy has never stopped believing. He’s been at every game, by himself, pumping the crowd up after every whistle and goal against. No quit in this man’s eyes. When we win the Cup, I hope Magoo gets a ring. He literally painted his car Oilers.

Tonight’s Opponent: Carolina Hurricanes

What do they have? They have a sneaky good team and it pains me to say that. I hate admitting that anybody is good. Half the time I hate to admit that even we are (subjectively) good. There’s just something about watching a professional sports franchise burp and derp their way into total ineptitude that gets my balls going. It’s a sickness. I can’t help it. Sue me. I’m not sure when it started, but I’m pretty sure it was around 2006. If so, you can thank the Carolina Hurricanes for my rather sadistic take on every team and city and player in this league. Here I am (in June, 2006). I am a young, naĂŻve, innocent teenager filled with love and hope watching his team play in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in my life. And then I watched from about row 15 in Rexall Place as my team’s chance at winning the Stanley Cup got stolen by this piece of utter and useless shit of a franchise. And suddenly, every ounce of teenage angst that I hadn’t exerted onto this Earth crashed over my being like it was a levy built out of McDonalds straws. And then, like all of you, I sat through and took it from this team and this league for about 3,650 days. Shot after shot after shot in the kidneys and the groin and the teeth until finally, I cared no more. The Carolina Hurricanes made me insufferable; immune to any sort of remorse or guilt or forgiveness. This, of course, is the same franchise responsible for taking sweaters out of existence:

You inconsiderate piss wits. 7,900 people showed up to watch their second game of the year. The Oil Kings get bigger crowds.

What do we have? Christ. Injuries. It’s like the Eskimos season, only worse, because these guys actually matter.

Want to know how my day went on Sunday? It started like this:

And abruptly ended like this:

#FreeJesse.

And here’s something new:

The standup truthers must be THRILLED at this. All the resident Twitter goalies in Edmonton have been going ballistic all over Cam’s shit since game two, apparently oblivious to the fact that he started poorly last season as well before he turned on the jets against the Jets and propelled his team into the playoffs and almost-but-should-have been nominated for a Vezina. Ugh. This is definitely a “what have you done for me since yesterday” town and that’s absurd. Truthfully, Cam needs a night off. At the risk of sounding totally cliche, he’s a student of the game and he works his ass off to perfect his craft. Giving him a night to watch the game from somewhere other than the crease will help him pick up on trends and tendencies and other facets of the game that he might not notice if he’s stuffed in the line of fire behind whatever on earth our defense is.

Now, about that defense. The good news is our boy Matty Benning is back in the lineup tonight after what was just an awful performance by Auvitu on Saturday.

The bad news is he’s back in the Russell Triangle so just throw up a prayer and wait and see.

If the forward lines are going to look like practice from yesterday then here’s what we’re seeing:

Ryan Strome’s invisibility mechanism has paid off as he’ll be playing on the 2nd line with Nuge and Looch. Jussi Jokinen, who hasn’t done much but has at least been relatively noticeable, gets demoted to line 4. That 3rd line is a 4th line disguised as a 3rd line. Tony is on line 4 and whatever I don’t even care anymore. I don’t even think Brad Malone’s dressing tonight so the title of this blog was useless. McDavid still plays for this team and yep, that still excites me all the way to the moon and back.

Oh, and speaking of McDavid. Connor was a 3/1 favourite to win the 2017-18 Hart Trophy entering the season. Free money, I know. Well guess what? MyTopSportsbooks.com has his odds down to 7/2(!!!!) since then, so for anyone wanting to buy low now’s your chance. Don’t panic, he’s still got this. After that opening night hatty, our reigning champ has just two points (and no goals) in his last three games. Meanwhile, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Auston Matthews (UGH) – the next three in the preseason-favourites list – have come out guns blazing. Ovie might be Connor’s biggest threat at the moment, having started strong with nine goals in just six games and looking motivated to put last season’s disappointing finish (just the last in a long line for Washington) in the rearview mirror. Our generational McSaviour will have to score at a consistent clip to keep pace and potentially lead the Oilers to a Pacific Division title. Can he do that?

“Does the tin man have a sheet metal cock?” You better believe it. It starts tonight.

Shoutout to Trailer Park Boys. Mr. Lahey forever. This one’s for him.

Did you know? Carolina’s owner Peter Karmanos Jr. was sued by his three, fully grown, large adult sons for over $100 million because he borrowed money from a trust account he shared with them to pay for Hurricanes-related expenses and failed to adequately pay back the money he took. God knows how he wasn’t able to get that money back:

In the spirit of karma, I hope Peter Karmanos loses everything, and forces the Canes into bankruptcy:

And then someone from the Hartford region buys these sacks of ass for less than any promise the Panthers have ever made me, moves them back to Hartford, cranks Brass Bonanza, and gives hockey its Whalers back. It’ll be the single greatest thing the Hurricanes have given the NHL.

Prediction: Actually though, Carolina is sneaky good and I sincerely mean that. I truly hate that I love most of their team. Scott Darling is straight up awesome. Friend of the blog Trevor van Riemsdyk is there but might be concussed so okay. Aho, Rask, Skinner, Faulk, Lindholm, Teravainen, Slavin. A bunch of guys your average hockey fan has probably never watched because Carolina hasn’t been on national TV since the Bush administration, but the hard-core fans have been hearing whispers about in-between Auston Matthews updates on TSN. That said, I’ve never predicted a loss and I’m definitely not ending that streak today. The only streak that’s ending is this losing one we’re currently on. Oilers win 5-3. McDavid with 3.

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