Morning After Blog: Dagger… Dagger Directly to the Nuts

I mean… something told me… it’s like I knew it was coming the entire time. The depleted boys battled back and fought hard enough to earn at least one point out of this. We flat out controlled Toronto for the entire final 40 minutes of the hockey game with our backup goalie in net and with our 1/2D out the entire game. And it seemed like everything was going our way again. For a brief, spectacular moment, we looked like the team that resembled the magically fun team from last year. But then that cold-hearted bitch named reality kicked us all directly in the nuts. It was literal proof that God is truly woke and does in fact exist, and he hates our fucking guts. That, friends, was God’s dickheadish of a way of reminding us that no matter how good things appear, the Oilers will always go full Oilerz. I hate sports.

1st Period

Yea it was not a good start for the boys. We took a penalty like one minute in and those are basically cause for an automatic goal against these days, and sure as shit:

Ugh, Auston. And then:

If you look closely, you can see exactly where Eric Gryba’s game started to go for hell. Blind pass up the boards lands directly on Moore’s tape who then cuts in and tucks one short side on LB with Gryba defending. Not great all round.

Ah but the fourth line was ready to goddamn go:

Great hustle play by Khaira forced a turnover and bang, back of the cage for Marky Mark. When the fourth line gets scoring you know the secondary goals will be flowing all night. And that’s how it went. Sadly, like right after, the puck was back in our net:

We had three (3) orange sweaters in the general vicinity of the puck and we still managed to cough it up and allow T.O. to enter the zone and get a goal parked a behind a very much hung out to dry LB. I swear I think the crowd was louder when that one went in than when Letestu scored. Makes me vomit profusely.

3-1 Leafs (sic)

2nd Period

This is where the game began to tilt, and boy was it ever awesome. We just started taking it to Toronto. The first line looked much faster and that was with Milan the Parachute Man dragging both Connor and Jesse back on every stride. Still, they looked quicker. The second line was going. The third line was even going. Everybody was getting chances and everybody was taking their shots. That’s what I love to see. Textbook great hockey. And we were rewarded for it. Zack completed the Gordie Howe hatty not even halfway through the second:

Looked almost like a mirror of goal one. Again, awesome work by Khaira down low. And UGH that celly for the Bash Bro, my palms are SWEATY! *Knees are weak arms are so damn heavy* and suddenly it was a one goal game. I think it was around this point where I realized we had really taken complete control over the game. And it didn’t stop there nope. Daddy’s turn:

What a shot pass by… Kris Russell?! You know everything’s going your way when Kris Russell is making jaw-dropping (sorry, “positive” jaw-dropping) plays with the puck. Disclaimer: For the record, this is what us writers call “tragic irony.” Yes! So many good things!! For the first time in his career as an Oiler, all McDavid had to do was get open. I’d like to point out that if McDavid hadn’t scored then my boy Jesse was right on the doorstep ready to shoot and score and shoot and make good things happen. What an incredible human.

But before we could take a lead (well, tie, but it absolutely felt like a lead) into the end of a period, Eric Gryba felt obligated to run JVR from behind out of nowhere. The play was basically on the other side of 104th near Mercer and Gryba still drove JVR into the boards, then got up and argued the call as if to say: “Hey, my blatant idiocy was totally clean! How is that a penalty?!” Christ, Big Earl. That’s always a penalty. And then Billy Nylander rifled a bullet upstairs:

Bah GAWD that kid has a shot. Hell, Gryba.

4-3 Leafs (sic)

3rd Goddamn Period

Kris Russell’s best game as an Oiler kept rolling and he came up huge in arguably his biggest moment on the roster, certainly on the year. Let’s watch and cry, because we know:

God, even his celly was great. This, of course, would prove to be his second most dangerous shot of the game, because ultimately… as the old saying goes… the Oilers giveth, the Oilerz taketh away:

Apparently they scored an empty net goal.

Final Score: 6-4 Leafs (sic)

Here Come the Oilers:

 

Thoughts

So for the really loyal ones out there, you all know I am quite anti-Kris Russell. I think he’s a decent enough 5/6, but I most certainly wouldn’t have paid him $16 million over four years (with a NMC). So, you’re probably thinking that I’m going to use this platform as an opportunity to dump all over him. Well, you’re wrong. I am not. I will not. I actually felt pity for the man, and that’s saying something, because I generally never feel pity like… ever. The dude played his heart out and one bad mistake – and he’s absolutely owned it, because of course he has, he’s that type of teammate – cost him what was definitely going to be his best game as an Oiler. It will be an easy narrative for some Oilers fans to pin this loss on Kris, but in reality, it was Eric Gryba’s meatheadedness that directly resulted in two goals against, three if you include the one where he was in penalty box for the most unnecessary play of all time. And that ultimately rests on management’s inexplicable belief in our blue line sans Sekera. Gryba’s terrible play and untimely penalties have been a longstanding issue, and we never did anything about it. Hell.

You can search the depths of Twitter and Google and every single media platform you can think of to find a million different people scapegoating Kris Russell or Eric Gryba for that disasterous loss. Truthfully, however, the only scapegoat that matters in that historically painful way of losing a hockey game is staring us all right in the face. It was us. It was the Oilerz. It was the very existence of this franchise that ultimately led to what transpired on the ice. We are the problem.

Holy fuck did Eric Gryba play like diarrhoea though. Big Earl left a big dump all over the Rog ice.

Roman Polak was tasked with covering McDavid twice during the course of the game. Both times, it did not end well for Roman Polak:

The second one was the best because he had legit just stepped out of the penalty box.

I do feel bad for Kris and I do not fault him at all for that loss but I’ll tell you, the media (Spec, Matheson, et al.) sure were quick to jump all over McDavid after he turned the puck over a few times, and one of them (Spec) actually dubbed him a “turnover machine” not 40 seconds after one of his very few turnovers this year:

And that was after a game where Connor had three (3!!!) points. And then yesterday, Kris Russell legitimately turned around and teed up a fucking howitzer into our own net with one minute left in a tie game and both of these mouthbreathing numbskulls were just as quick to defend his every being:

You know that anybody who responded to Matheson’s “rose-coloured glasses” jab post-McDavid criticism with a tweet similar to this was immediately called a “troll” by the old man and/or probably blocked on the spot. These two are ass backwards, mind-numbingly mouth-breathing sacks of oatmeal who will ridicule you when you vehemently disagree or ignore you when you politely disagree but will continue to hand out their strongly opinionated takes with very little context whatsoever. For example, why were they so quick to defend Kris for scoring the game winning goal on our own net with a minute to go in the game when they were equally as quick to nail McDavid to the cross because he turned the puck over like twice? It’s a reasonably fair question to ask. I swear it’s because they’re perpetually out to prove the analytics people wrong. They hate people like Willis and Woodguy so much that they will defend Kris Russell no matter how ruthless his actions are. “Oh, Kris broke into your house and stole your watch and fucked your wife and left a shit on your rug? He’s a PRO’S PRO! Teammates love him!” But god forbid McDavid ever has a turnover.

Again, I definitely do not fault Kris for this at all. I genuinely felt terrible for the guy, and one play never costs you a game. Was it ill-advised to turn around and crush a heat-seeking own goal missile into our own cage with a minute left in the period? Definitely, yep. Was the timing brutal? Absolutely. But he stood in front of the media and owned his mistake like a goddamn champ and dammit if I don’t respect that about him. I actually think the dude is awesome and it’s just damn unfortunate about his contract, which, of course, falls on Petey’s shoulders. And truthfully, we’re not even in a position of being one minute away from OT if it’s not for how great Russell played in that game. So I’ll chalk this one up as a spine-breaking, soul-crushing, spirit-annihilating accident and move on. Calgary on Saturday, and I’m feeling another Krisbomb except it will only be in the other team’s net this time. Positive Shanny o’clock here. Let’s go.

Kassian gonna Kassian:

That was his best game of the year. When he’s on, he’s a difference maker. Man. Also he can sneaky fly, and that’s huge for a team that doesn’t have a lot of speed save for the fastest player in hockey.

Jesse had a team high seven shots on goal playing on McDavid’s wing. Just going to leave that there.

I loved Jesse on the first line. I mean, obviously. But for real, I thought he looked good out there and he got more and more comfortable as the game went on. Please keep him there. I did not like Lucic also being on that line, however. Please get him off there before he inadvertently collides with McDavid one more time okay thank you.

Oh my god this actually stings so bad.

Here’s a thing from today:

Nathan Walker is definitely a something. And in order to make room for Walker, who will apparently report directly to the big club:

Hey hey heeeeeey, goodbye. It’s funny, 24 hours ago there was a rumour that “Pete was making Iiro Pakarinen available”:

This will come as a shock, but evidently nobody was dying to catch the bait.

Hottest Take of the Night

I mean I’m sure there were many Matthews > McDavid *durrrrr* *sniffs butt* tweets by many and more Leafs fans out there but I don’t want to sort through them all to find the hottest takes. Here’s a classic example of, “It wouldn’t be an Oilers loss without someone pinning it on the goalie”:

And today kids, we have another 89-year-old who grew up watching Eddie Shore and who firmly believes that goalies should practically always be on their feet, which is why so many goalies had a great SV% of like 0.589 back in Billy’s days when the games were on the radio and tickets were 10 cents.

Ah, okay. Just one for the road:

Gator’s Grinder and MOP:

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