Game Day Blog 12/82: Oh Goddamn He’s Back and He’s on Fire, Devils @ Oilers

There are about a million different ways our fan base is split right now but probably the leading factor in this Outsiders style of divide is still the Taylor Hall trade. Regardless of whether or not you’re still supportive of this trade, you can’t argue the facts from this year:

  • Taylor Hall, in his second season with the Devils, has 15 points in 11 games.
  • Milan Lucic, the guy we brought in to replace Hall, has 5 points in 11 games.
  • Adam Larsson, the guy we traded Taylor Hall for, is a steady 3/4 but is also about as offensively capable as Matt Greene.

Last year/this year who gives a shit? The Devils were a functional shipwreck last year, and Hall was stuck watching his former team run a train on the league from his couch in America’s butthole, Newark. You think he’s motivated? Everybody and their pets pointed to last season as proof that getting Hall off the roster was the single most important factor in the overall success of this franchise, but no. It was Connor McDavid playing like a mutant for 82 games and Cam Talbot popping out twins, combined with being abnormally healthy that gave this team the boost they needed to succeed. And now Taylor Hall is on a mission to shut everyone the hell up. I’m legitimately terrified about tonight. The man chip on his shoulder is the size of that fucking Vegreville egg.

On a positive note, I saved 15% by switching to GEICO.

Tonight’s Opponent: The trade was one for one:

Their Record: 9-2-0, 18 points. They have the same amount of points as Pittsburgh in FOUR less games.

The division leaders this year, so far, are Tampa, LA, New Jersey, and St. Louis. Three of those four missed the playoffs last year.

Our Goddamn Record: 3-7-1, 7 points. Fuck your hat, we’re still making the playoffs. You can even @ me, I don’t care. The McRoll we’re about to go on will be talked about for generations-ish.

What do they have? Taylor Hall sits tied for 11th in NHL scoring and is third in the NHL in points per game. His analytics are off the charts. He’s a very confident man right now:

“‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’ – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott. Shooters shoot, baby.

Anyways. Taylor’s lips aren’t the only big thing happening in Jersey right now. Nico Hischier is enjoying a fine rookie campaign with seven points in 11 games. Rookie free agent defenseman Will Butcher, who snubbed the Avs to infinity this summer, is also enjoying a fine rookie campaign with 11 in 11. Their 2016 6th round pick, Jesper Bratt, is ALSO (holy fuck) enjoying a fine ass rookie campaign, with 10 points in 11 games. They have three potential rookies of the year and this is a first place team, albeit, it’s still relatively early. Still, impressive shit out of Newark. Don’t say that too often.

Cory Schneider gets the nod.

What do we have? I think the best part of this slow start, if there are any positives that can come out of it, is that we can no longer burn through the excuse that our shitfullness is entirely to blame on Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle’s bad locker room attitudes. It’s no longer the culture they created because they GONE. GONE!! FedEx’d to Newark and Brooklyn and sold for the price of a t-shirt from H&M, all because we blamed our piss poor play on something completely fabricated and literally non-quantifiable. So maybe, just maybe, we can look our management swuare in the eyes and say, maybe if you didn’t make some extremely questionable personnel decisions then we’d be in a better place? Maybe we wouldn’t be dead last in scoring, wondering where to find scoring depth? Maybe selling assets for some cheap Chinese knock-offs wasn’t the best way to approach building a team. NOPE, LET’S SAY CONNOR MCDAVID NEEDZZ TO DO MORE!!

This is CLASSIC Edmonton. Things aren’t going well; blame the best player. It was Hemsky’s fault. It was Hall’s fault. Now McDavid needs to “do more” than 13 points in 11 games while contributing on 54% of the team’s total goals this season. Fucking guy needs to pick it up, man. HIS SUPPORTING CAST IS DOING SO MUCH!

How about once, JUST ONCE, instead of pointing the finger at our best player, you actually grab your nuts and hold the GM accountable for his decisions? What a bunch of bullshit. This is exactly what I’m talking about:

The narrative portrayed by the media labelled Hall as basically a franchise liability; a guy who had no clue how to lead a team, or win games, or carry a franchise. And people bought that. People literally sat in front of their computer monitors, like @DirtbagDonny — that mouth breathing sack of mashed potatoes — and fully bought into this god awful take because that’s what people do in Edmonton. Fuck you guys. I hope the Oilers win 9-8 in OT, and Hall gets 11 points.

I was at about a six there, you do not want to see me reach a 10.

Anyways, fuck it. The rest of the lineup looks something like this:


I hope to hell he scores tonight. Bring up Jesse (who’s on fire, by the way, big goal last night ayoooooo). No Kailer (as far as we can tell) which means he won’t play his 9th game tonight, which means we don’t have to make a decision on him by basically tomorrow. Pakarinen draws back in because we forgot how bad he is.

I’m not the biggest Kris Russell fan in the world as I’m sure all of you know, but dammit imagining Gryba and Auvitu in the lineup at the same time gives me the mumps. BUT REJ!

We need Rej back, goddamn do we need Rej back.

Did you know? Benoit Pouliot has six points this year, which doesn’t sound like much, but he’d be alone in 5th on our team in scoring as of right now. We’re paying him $1.33 million per year until 2020-21 to not play for us.

Prediction: If we want to finish with the same record as last year (103 points), we’d have to go 44-19-8 for the rest of the year. Better start now because I like those chances a hell of a lot better than I like our chances of finishing 44-18-8. Christ.

4-3 Oilers. Hall with two, because of course. McDavid with four. Tony gets his first of the year. #freeJesse