Game Day Blog 38/82: Happy Canada Outdoor Game Day, Blackhawks @ Oilers

Yaaaaaa I’m not going to lie this will be a quick one. Canada game starts at 1 PM local time and I want to get my drink on early today. It will be a very, very long day of booze and hockey. Challenge absolutely accepted.

Tonight’s Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks

Imagine needing to dump Patrick Kane and his career 1.02 ppg and arguing Jonathan Toews and his career 0.86 ppg could potentially be a better Chicago athlete than Michael Jordan?

Their Record: 17-14-5, 39 points. It’s baffling to look at the standings and see the Blackhawks comfortably in second last in their division, just two points up on Colorado. It’s like maybe paying a perennial 60 points hockey player $10.5 million per year wasn’t the best idea ever?

Our Record: 17-18-2, 36 points. Time to start a new Dub streak. It’s still winning season in my eyes and so long as Connor’s out there doing this shit:

We all good baby babyyyy.

Last time we played them: We actually beat them 2-1 (in OT). Went into that game losers of four straight (ahhhhh) and you know what, since (and including) that win we’ve gone 16-13-2. Thanks for the momentum, idiots.

What do the Blackhawks have? They got their shit pumped by Vancouver, of all goddamn teams, last night. Corey Crawford is on IR for what feels like the third time in three months so Tony Forsberg took control of the crease. It’s gone exactly the way you’d think it’s gone. He’s lost his last five starts and sports a startling record of 1-5-3 this year, accompanied by a 3.33 GAA. I should and must note that it was, indeed, Tony Forsberg who started that game in October against our Edmonton Oilers, and he made something stupid like 42 saves. If he starts on the second half of a back to back and lets in two or less goals I will strongly debate standing outside in this RIDICULOUS cold ass weather with my shirt off for an hour. It would still be less painful than losing to Anton fucking Forsberg.

Their backup goalie right now is Jeff Glass (?). I swear to God I think Jeff Glass played for the World Junior team like 150 years ago.

Elsewhere on the ice, Brent Seabrook is making $105 million until he’s dead, and he has three less points than something called a Jan Rutta. They traded Artemi Panarin (33 points) for Brandon Saad (17 points), a point differential worse than Jordan Eberle (28 points) and Ryan Strome (17 points) and Saad makes $3.5 million more than Ryan Strome. Stan Bowman does not get enough credit for how badly he toasted this team’s chances of ever putting together a consistently competitive team ever again. With the Central division being arguably the strongest in hockey, Chicago could realistically miss the playoffs for five or more straight seasons thanks to a one way trip to Salary Cap Hell.

Patrick Sharp has nine points in 35 games this year, that’s two less than Zack Kassian.

What do we have?


The handsome one is BACK. We have a healthy blue line for the first time all year (eeeeekkk). This means that somebody must go down. The obvious choice would be Gryba, because he will never dress for us again (keep in mind, we willingly gave Big Earl a two year deal this summer), but since we need to make the space by about, oh, like, two hours from now, we wouldn’t have enough time to put somebody on waivers and have them clear. Thus, it will (in all likelihood) be Slepy who suffers the casualty yet again. We still might put Gryba on waivers tomorrow and call Tony back but before he makes it to Nisku, again, but logic right now is telling me that Slepy’s heading to B-Vegas. Which is okay, actually. If you’re going to play Cammalleri and the ghost of Drake Caggiula every night instead of Slepy then at least get him some playing time down stairs. Oh and Auvitu was taking reps as a forward at practice yesterday, because Oilers, making me theory even more believable.

We haven’t lost two straight since November 21 and that’s not about to happen here tonight. Calgary got a Bettman point last night so they’re four up on us. Anaheim is four up on us. Vancouver, as mentioned, beat the wheels off of Chicago last night so they’re ahead of us again. Suffice to say this is an important stretch of hockey, and it starts tonight baby let’s go.

Prediction: I’ll be in one before puck drop and the Oilers annihilate Chicago 7-2. These games usually end in a blowout one way or another, except when Anton Forsberg decides to play like the goalie equivalent of Peter Forsberg, and that’s just not going to happen tonight. Connor with three. Leon and Nuge with two points each. Jesse has a multi-point night. All four lines rip one.

Go Canada Go.