Game Day Blog 44/82: Hopelessly Hopeless, Oilers @ Predators
I had bronchitis over the weekend and that was the second worst thing I had to endure next to watching the Oilers. The boys had their faces pummelled in back-to-back matinee games and I sat there, like an absolute moronic shit bag, and watched every single minute of each one of those abominations. I have no idea what my expectations were, quite honestly, especially since we got the shit knocked out of us worse than Apollo Creed in Rocky IV. Did I think we were going to win those games? Am I that naïve to assume that the players would display at least some form of a heartbeat during two crucial Western Conference games? How dare I.
I’d like to go on record of saying that my 26 years of experience with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club is easily the unhealthiest relationship I’ve ever had. They will be the end of me. Good Christ, here we go again.
Tonight’s Opponent: Nashville Predators
This was, of course, shortly after the Weber for Subban trade. Two of the dumbest minds in hockey teaming up to talk about how big and mean Shea Weber is along the boards. Naturally Nashville went to the SCF last year, and Shea Weber’s big and mean board play somehow did not help Montreal get there. Strange. Wonder if Weber’s dad was a bull rider?
Their Record: 24-11-6, 54 points. Been struggling a bit since Forsberg went down. Still 15 points ahead of us.
Our Record: 18-22-3, 39 points.
Last time we played Nashville: We ran into a brick wall called Juuse Saros. It was unequivocally painful but at least we were enjoyable to watch back then.
What do they have? Hi yep they’re very good and very stacked and will probably win the Stanley Cup this year. Kyle Turris is somehow making Ottawa look worse than us and they have, without question, the best blue line in hockey. Welcome back Ryan Ellis, as well. The Preds played almost half a year without their important blue liner and got away with it because of great organizational depth and solid asset acquisitions in the offseason. You know, there was a big hole to fill, and their GM decided to seek the talent necessary for getting through it.
Off the ice, the Tennessee Titans are four days away from getting evicted from the face of the Earth by New England, and Nashville is still a gigantic bachelorette party mixed with country music and catfish, the inside of their arena looks like the aftermath of an unflushed drunken piss-filled toilet bowl, and they wear the most obnoxiously yellow helmets in the history of sports. This is the part where I remind you that we haven’t defeated the Preds since March 18, 2014.
What do we have? You don’t need my words to know what a poisonous fucking cloud of shit gas these last seven games have been. We have one win since the Christmas break. We haven’t score more than one goal in a game since December 29, 2017. We’ve been outscored 20-3 during regulation in our last five appearances. And the man responsible for this unfathomable fuckery had this to say about this diabolically disastrous campaign:
Chiarelli says he's extremely disappointed in the way the season has went. He admits he knows the fans are clamoring for change and that he's looking at a number of things. Having said that he says this is part of a grander plan and he has to stick with what they've put in place.
— OilersNow (@OilersNow) January 8, 2018
“It’s part of a grander plan.” What the…? There’s a “grander” plan? Where? What is it? Did you have your hands in it? Because if so, fuck that plan. I want no part of it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but at the start of the year, you (Peter) said this:
"We're confident that we'll be able to ice a competitive team" -Chiarelli #oilers
— OilersNation.com (@OilersNation) July 5, 2017
And now you’re backtracking? Our team, the one that you’ve built, has the competitive edge of a Xanax-induced sloth and now you’re telling us there’s a “grander plan.”
Ya friggin’ right, idiot. You’re in Edmonton, Peter. This isn’t Boston where you can throw cute words at the fans because they’re too busy watching the Pats and Red Sox anyways. This is the city that practically invented terrible hockey. You can’t bullshit us in a conversation about whether or not the Oilers stink. We stink. We were built to play in 2009 and the teams in 2018 are beating the goddamn wheels off of us. The grand plan includes selling Nuge for a lesser winger. There. Spoiler alert. Need winger depth so why not make the team worse in order to acquire it IT’S THE PRICE YOU PAY AMIRIGHT.
Jim Matheson, maybe the biggest oblivious nincompoop in a city infested with nincompoops, has even turned on Peter Chiarelli:
Blame rests with the GM not the coach McLellan. Pretty much every move or analysis by Chiarelli after last year has not turned out. It is his team. Oilers wanted experienced coach when they hired McLellan. They have one https://t.co/nwBcgY5lEy
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) January 8, 2018
Hell hath frozen over. The media, specifically, the ones that usually hide behind their “rose-coloured glasses” and point to 200+ hockey men and/or the fact that they covered hockey in the 80s as proof of their qualifications for formulating shit awful opinions, have now started to question Peter Chiarelli’s competence. So Peter, the coward, probably recognizing this epic revolutionary trend taking place in a city where shit like this never gets going, decides he’s going to answer scripted questions on the Oilers official radio show, OilersNow, where Bob Stauffer compared this team to the Tampa Bay Lightning of last year… the one that missed the playoffs by one point despite not having Stamkos for more than 60 games.
I know you are dissapointed in the poor season to date.
In the last 10 years the Oilers have had 4 GM's and 7 Head Coaches.
Do you want to be the Cleveland Browns or learn from the Tampa Bay Lightning?… who stuck with John Cooper after tough '16-'17 season.
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) January 8, 2018
We actually deserve nothing. These are the cards we’ve been dealt and all it took was getting a generational superstar and still sucking all the shit for us to realize that we’re trapped in a box of organizational propaganda, where the message is dictated by the top suits and spread like a lethally contagious disease throughout the rest of the team and into the media’s veins. All it took was 43 games of horribly unwatchable hockey WITH Connor McDavid actively playing on our roster for the older media types to stand up and say hey, maybe it’s not all the players’ faults and maybe there is blame to be had elsewhere in this organization?
How could it be?! Everything the Fairy Godfather touches turns into taxpayer gold! Every move Chiarelli makes is justified because a good original six organization employed him when he won a Stanley Cup over there! Bob Nicholson made a CHEESEBURGER! It’s starting to feel like the media is almost sort of kind of hinting at maybe the possibility of demanding accountability instead of writing a hack piece about how Nuge must justify himself by winning face-offs. The only question I have is: how soon until heads fall? Ideally, Chiarelli gets canned before he can fuck anything else up, but we’ll wait and hold our breathes and see. Knowing who the higher ups are in this org, I extremely and sadly doubt that anything drastic from a managerial perspective goes down. If Nuge ends up being a civilian causality in this mess, I’ll be livid.
Oh and on the ice, we decided we’re not going to dress an 8th defenseman on our fourth forward line tonight. Caggiula draws back in and Rej is back after a one game absence.
Very upbeat morning skate for the Oilers. Lots of smiling and laughing. A day off in Nashville might have been the best thing for them.
— Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) January 9, 2018
Christ. Preds by 40.
Did you know? The Alabama Crimson Tide won what feels like their 450th National Championship in the last 10 years. My dad, Mad Bert, is a huge Crimson Tide fan despite having no affiliation to the school or to the state of Alabama whatsoever, and celebrated yesterday like “oh, another one of these things, classic us!” Oh ya hahahaha classic winningz and shitz lolz amiright Pops?! Meanwhile, in my personal fucking hellhole, the Oilers have a once in a millennium-caliber hockey player and we’re four games under .500 in January, the Colts have successfully killed one of football’s greatest generational quarterbacks, the Raptors have already been eliminated in the second round by Cleveland, and Peter Chiarelli has convinced everyone except Peter Chiarelli that he has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. I am mad and everything sucks.
Prediction: The hell with it. This is honestly one of those games that the Oil end up winning, just to draw everyone away from the cliff and give us the tiniest ray of hope to breathe because we’re all stupid suckers. Everything is falling apart and we kill penalties at a historically terrible rate in a gigantic tax vacuum with concrete hellscapes for washrooms, and yet, all it takes is beating the Nashville Predators on a goddamn Tuesday and everybody in Edmonton will immediately fall back in love with this team, only to have our hearts shit all over in literally the next game.
I can’t wait to write about what an “impressive road win” this was tomorrow morning while I mentally and physically prepare for the inevitable backstabbing that is all but guaranteed to take place on Friday night against Arizona. 4-3 Oilers. Connor, Lucic, Nuge, Maroon. Whatever.