Game Day Blog 32/82: The ‘We’re Officially Back’ Blog, Predators @ Oilers
Jesse’s visor protects his forehead and that’s it. You’re telling me that if a stick or a puck heads for his eyes that he’ll be protected in any way? No chance. His forehead? Safe. His eyes? More revealing than Emily Sears’ Instagram account. That visor is doing nothing. What a peculiar person.
The hottest scoring team in hockey is back at the Rog Mahal this evening for a brief one game home stand before flying back East for yet another road game. Some interesting scheduling going on this year. Well, at least we’re not going to the Olympics. Would hate for anything to disturb such a cohesive way of playing hockey games. Good one, Gary.
Fuck the FCC. Let’s go Oilers.
Tonight’s Opponent: Nashville Perds!
Their Record: 19-7-4, 42 points.
Nashville is 7th in GF, 8th in GA, 2nd in PP%, 10th in PK%, and are 14-2-2 in their last 18 games.
Jesus shit that’s not so bad. I mean, Nashville was an early favourite to go back to the finals this year, sure. But this is absurdly good hockey. They’ve picked up points in 13 of 15 since inserting Kyle Turris into the lineup (Ottawa, conversely, is 4-10-2 since dealing Kyle Turris).
Our Record: 13-16-2, 28 points.
About 10 days ago we were comfortably in 29th in GF. Now we’re woke and we’re in 13th. This is the best stretch of hockey we’ve had all year. I’d argue we’ve been controlling dominant in seven of our last eight games. We could and should have beat Toronto both at home and on the road. In that eight game stretch, the only game where I truly felt as though we’ve played like unequivocal diarrhoea was Philly. That’s all. Other than that, we’ve been the better team in seven of eight.
What Do The Perds Have? As mentioned, they score a LOT. Here’s part of what they did to Vancouver in a gif I’d like to title, Welcome Back to Earth, You Vancouver Assholes:
Yes, that’s former Oilers goal allower Andy Nilsson breaking the living shit out of his stick over the c-bar. What an incredible implosion by Vancouver, who are now only four points ahead of us and have dropped to 6th in the division. If NHL teams were traded on the TSX, I’d say sell the shit out of Vancouver and buy a million shares of Edmonton. Nashville absolutely took it to our division rivals last night in a literal massacre that saw them drop an Oilers’ patented touchdown on an opposing team. That’s our thing, Nashville. Bug off back to your little country Vegas and go drink to something that Tim McGraw sings.
Then there’s goddamn Teeps, our resident Nashville fan at ENS… Well, actually… To be completely honest, I don’t know if he works here anymore? That’s totally up for debate. Like, he still has a password and a login and everything like that. Pretty sure he still has the password to the Twitter account so he can hack that at anytime if he feels like it. I know he’s still an admin on the Facebook page. Does he blog? Nope. Does he get paid? Absolutely never. But is he still on the employee sheet? I guess? I haven’t read a ‘Trash Heap’ or a ‘Teeps Goes Around the NHL’ since forever ago.
On the ice, Nashville has yet to announce who their starting tendy will be tonight, but Pekka got the call in that abolishment of Vancouver last night so there’s a chance we’ll see Juuse Saros. Saros is 2-3-0 with a 3.42 GAA and an .890 SV% this year but he also hasn’t lost a start since October 28th so, ya. Nashville breeds goaltenders like horses.
Remember when Nashville was irrelevant? Like, when you listed the NHL teams alphabetically and they were always the one team you missed? I kind of miss those days. Now they’re all good and yellow and interesting and stuff. No thanks. Not my Perds. I miss the days where Davey Legwand would lead the team with 46 points and their blue line would be packed with a million different players you have never heard of. Then they unceremoniously bent over Washington in the Martin Erat for Fil Forsberg trade and now they want to contend for the Cup. And what’s worse is I almost found myself cheering for these idiots last year, instead of just cheering for the other team to lose like I normally do. You almost tricked me, Nashville. Nice try, idiots.
Your jerseys look like a washing machine experiment gone wrong.
You lost a 30 goal scorer for nothing.
You allowed Shania Twain – a Canadian music fucking ICON – to be interviewed even though she was drunker than a Khabibulin offseason. How DARE you. I wish this entire franchise would get hit by a pedal tavern driven by a drunken bachelorette party.
What Do We Have? When you score a touchdown on someone you keep the lineup as is. No changes tonight.
Connor McDavid has the exact same amount of points as he had last year through 31 games (39). And people, not mentioning names but it was Spector and Matheson and the sink pisser, have called him out for underperforming OKAYYYY he’s currently doing the exact same thing that he was doing during an MVP season last year.
This is amazingly true:
Outside shot? The @EdmontonOilers had 33 wins and 70 points in their final 52 games last season to finish with 103 points. They're 12-16-2 for 26 points after 30 games going into CBJ tonight.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) December 12, 2017
We’re currently 1-0-0 in our first of our final 52 games this year. Mark it down, Edmonton: we will be in the playoffs this year.
Remember all the assholic idiots who were ready to write this kid up as a bust?
I'm getting some flak for my stats not being 'fun' enough. So how's this:
Jesse Puljujarvi is on pace for 41 points over 82 games despite getting no PP time & only about 13.5 minutes TOI per game.
He doesn't turn 20 until after the regular season is over.
— WheatNOil (@WheatNOil) December 13, 2017
This is all I have to say to the disbelievers:
We’re currently seven back of a playoff spot heading into tonight and our captain knows how bad we need to string together wins here:
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 13, 2017
And make no mistake about it, this is a tough stretch. NSH, MIN, SJ, STL is not an easy four game swing. Three of those teams usually own our asses. This is a great test for the boys. We’ve put ourselves in this position by dogshittingly playing our way through the first two months, now it’s time to make up some ground against some good western conference teams.
Did You Know? One time, I went away on vacation during hockey season, and I left Hank in charge of the blog. Long story short, the Oilers are playing Nashville, and Teeps ends up doing a game day blog for the other team. On our site. I almost fired myself for that incalculable amount of irresponsibility.
Prediction: We haven’t handled the Perds in ages but I’m feeling it in the depths of my sadistic body tonight. I haven’t evil-laughed at Oilers games this much since probably the end of last year where Connor went on like a 500,000 game point streak and basically single-handedly guided the boys into the playoffs. And yet here I’ve been, on my couch, knee-slapping as the team has absolutely pulverized Calgary and Montreal and Columbus in about a 10 day stretch.
There’s no doubt this team’s swagger is back (not to mention Eric Gryba is basically exiled, Jesse is getting acceptable playing time, Iiro has been launched to outer space, Leon’s playing centre, Davidson has settled down the 5/6 pair, Connor and Leon are 100% healthy, etc.). We’re staring down the barrel of an imminent return of both Talbot and Larsson, Rej should be back in the next few weeks as well, and Connor is on a mission to reclaim his title as Lord of the NHL. Three back of Stammer and Kucherov? Make it zero back after tonight. Oilers win 6-3. Connor gets three points to crawl into a tie for the league lead. Nuge continues his career year with a goal. Jesse obviously gets a point. And I’m feeling extremely generous, so Ryan Strome gets a goal as well. Why not. It’s almost Christmas and the Oil are playing some damn good hockey. Season of giving, baby. Suck it, Teeps. Let’s GO.
PS – Odds Blue is at this one? One hundred million thousand per cent.
PSS – Has anybody heard from Magoo? I’m genuinely concerned.