Game Day Blog 34/82: WCQF Rematch, Sharks @ Oilers

I still get chills.

Tonight’s Opponent: Saint Joseph Sharks

“I’ll take that!” – Zack Kassian, as he sucked the soul of out Tomas Hertl’s body:

Oh and in case you wanted to make some noise tonight, please be respectful of Rob Tychkowski’s safe place after the game. It is 2017, after all:

“Hey, you idiots, quit embarrassing yourselves and stop celebrating a gosh dang win!!” You giant idiot, Rob. That is the OPPOSITE of embarrassing. We were so loud that we parked our furniture and moved directly into the media’s head during the playoffs? Mission a-fucking-ccomplished. Put the fun police badge down for five seconds. I’m sure there’s a witty joke to be made on Twitter, why don’t you hide in your corner and let the fans who have been deprived for 10 years howl the vocals. You, who (rightfully) complains about the Oilers in-game entertainment rivalling only that of a deaf society’s funeral yet gets publicly rattled by a little noise following one of our biggest wins since 2006.

That was another edition of, “Our Media Stinks.” Now back to our regular scheduled pre-game blogging.

Their Record: 17-10-4, 38 points

Our Record: 14-17-2, 30 points

All things considered we’re only four wins or eight over time losses back of the Sharks at the moment and they’re holding down the three spot in the PAC (they have two games in hand… who cares). And this is a team we know we can beat. We did it seven times in 11 meetings last year, including stringing together three straight against the Sharks in the regular season before meeting them in the playoffs.

Also, the Quest for 35 in 52 is currently sitting at two of three. Yep, we’ve won two of our last three games, meaning we’ve won two of our last 52 games. And we know that 35 in 52 gets us to 47 wins. Two down, 33 (in 49) more to go.

What Do The Sharks Have? San Jose is the sixth oldest team in the NHL and they let Patty Marleau, a literal dinosaur, walk to Toronto this summer. Their average age is 27.9 and are right up there with some of the other geezer clubs, many of whom play in the Pacific (LA: 27.9; MIN: 28.1; ANA: 28.2; OTT: 28.4; DET: 29.1). In contrast, we’re the 27th oldest team in the league (26.1) and the age difference definitely was on display during the playoffs, especially during game six. We winded the Sharks, much to the probable displeasure of Drew Remenda, capped off by these two breakaway series clinching goals:

God, I need playoff hockey injected into my veins this year.

On the ice, Logan Couture’s stupid face leads the team with 15 goals and 26 points in 31 games. Joe Thornton is sort of near that with 22 in 31 but other than that, this team’s been pretty vanilla. Even the generally awesome Brent Burns has been mildly mediocre since his industrial-sized mega contract kicked in on July 1. Marty Jones gets the call in goal (11-7-3, 2.55 GAA, 0.914 S%). Let’s watch him get scored on some more:

What Do We Have? Adam Larsson has returned:

I’ll be honest, sometimes I didn’t even notice he was missing. But still, it’s nice to have him back and stuff. Auvitu was actually playing not terrible, but Larsson is undoubtedly a million times better so that’s nice. A blue line of 77, 25, 83, 6, 88, 4 is not too bad. A blue line of 77, 25, 83, 6, 88, 2 is even better but we all know that’s not possible. It’ll be Davey, in all likelihood. And that sucks because he’s fit right in to the team yet again. Guy’s an Edmonton goddamn Oiler and I like that.

Had a great talk with former ENS blogger Hank this weekend, who misses the blog life, and who also believes that the team might be cornered into trading a defenseman this summer, especially with the emergence of Darnell Nurse. You don’t trade Klefbom because that’s dumb, and if you trade Adam Larsson for anything less than Taylor Hall then you’re admitting you lost the trade – and FYI, you’re not getting a Hall caliber player for Adam Larsson, so we’re basically cornered into fucking hell there. Out of the regulars, this leaves:

  • Benning (pending RFA)
  • Rej (3 more years, $5.5M, NMC [becomes modified on July 1, 2019, 15 teams])
  • Russell (3 more years, $4M NMC [becomes modified on July 1, 2019, 10 teams])

Both Rej and Russell have full NMCs which are active until they both become modified in 2019. You see the issue here? Not to mention that Sekera would probably have the bigger market interest anyways, and that’s the one I don’t want to trade. It will be next to impossible to move Russell’s contract at this point, unless we find a GM dumber than ours (COUGH, Pierre Dorion COUGH, Marc Bergevin) who is willing to eat that deal as part of something else. Hell.

Up front, Nathan Walker (I legit had to Google his first name because I already forgot it) is being brought back into the lineup for reasons. Tony Slepyshev remains a healthy scratch because even more reasons. And since we activated Larsson, the Oilers need to send somebody to the minors. Auvitu will not clear waivers, Davidson is still clearly playing and is playing very well and he won’t clear waivers either. Not only is Jesse doing all the fucking but now he’s like one of our four best forwards every single night so thank the Christ that he isn’t going anywhere. This leaves human cement truck Eric Gryba, Tony Slepyshev, and Nathan Walker. Got to figure Walker will be the first one on waivers because Tony is actually good and as bad as Gryba is (very bad) he’s a vet who doesn’t deserve to be sent down right before Christmas. We make fun of these guys and their inabilities to turn or do anything productive with the puck but we’re also human, and humans have morals sometimes. So Walker is doomed, and this is sort of his last shot and trying to make a name for himself before he inevitably hits waivers tomorrow. THAT SAID, when Rej comes back shit’s really going to get interesting, and that’s when I feel we will see the last of Eric Gryba. Maybe Dorion will pick him up and bring him back to the Nation’s Capital. It can’t get worse in Ottawa. They still willingly play Dion Phaneuf every night.

Iceman cometh and we’ve won four straight with him in net so let’sssssss GO.

Did You Know? There are probably aliens hovering around our planet right now and we definitely do not have the power or the technology to stop them because we spent MONTHS trying to figure out if a dress was white and gold or black and blue. Goddammit, humanity.

Prediction: Connor has nine points in seven career regular season games against the Sharks – the fourth most he has against any team in the league. Lucic, who is now second on the team in scoring…

Also usually plays well against the Sharks, totalling 15 points in 19 career games. Jesse is walking into a friggin goldmine tonight. Oilers win 4-1. The first line combines for eight points. Jesse is getting second unit power play minutes tonight (!!!!!) so watch as he tears a hole through the Saint Joseph net on a beautiful cross ice pass from little buddy Nuge. Bandana guy aka my friend Blue will probably be there ready to fire up the boys. Let’s go.