Game one. GAME FUCKING ONE and two of the top 10 worst things that could happen have happened. Nuge is missing.

And… of course…

Drake’s back.

Drake’s back and he’s technically skating with the first line while Nuge is out with whatever the fuck because Oilers. Hopefully it’s just a little jet lag? Maybe he caught a cold while in Europe? Sweden is chilly this time of year, plus all that travel… all those plane rides, and that foreign food, and being suffocated by IKEA and ABBA and shit. I’m sick just thinking about that. Maybe that game against New Jersey made him as ill as it made roughly 100 per cent of us? Hopefully it’s just a small case of diarrhea. But please… PLEASE be anything but an injury. I don’t care how major or minor. I can’t take Nuge being out this early in the year. I can’t take Drake being on the first line anywhere other than on someone else’s team. If this is anything but a placeholder I will steal Todd’s Christmas.

Also, woof… that game. So. That was bad. I didn’t blog this weekend because, I’ll be honest, I forgot my laptop and spent the weekend drinking with the entire ENS staff and former staff (Hank, Teeps, Pizza Trav, Editor Stenson) in anticipation of the first Oilers game AND what we hoped would be the first big win of the year. In the end, it was probably a good thing I didn’t have the work station with me. I was ~unpleased~ with that performance. But, I regress. After sitting on that unholy dumpster fire for a few days, I’ve chalked it up to it being played as a matinee. We all know how historically abysmal the Oilers are during matinee games. Yes, I know it was a night game in Sweden. No, I don’t care. It was a matinee here. Subconsciously, the team knew. They’re diurnally wired to stink like an abhorrently wet fart while participating in a game that takes place before 5 PM Mountain Time. That’s my narrative and I’m sticking to it. Plus, Connor looked like a better version of Jesus Christ. I was amused when he cremated four New Jersey Devils en route to setting up the first goal of the year. And Milan looked GOOD! Like, really good. Second best forward that game. I loved Jesse and Khaira’s games, too. Yes, the defense was dumpy. But we knew that would be the case. Besides, I’m convinced our best offensive defenseman was in the press box anyways. Unleash the Bear, you idiots. I’m (still) filled with a disgusting amount of faith. And yes, I’m also prepared for that ill-advised faith to inevitably come back and bite me in my axe wound. But, it also might not? And I mean, really… what do I have to lose? My dignity? Gone before 2014. My spirit? Gone somewhere between the second season of Oil Change and the Jerred Smithson trade. I’ve donated every emotional part and even some of the physical parts of my body to this godforsaken organization, and I’m absolutely proud of that. I’m all in this year. I believe this team will be good. I believe Connor will borderline single-handedly take us to that relatively unfamiliar territory other teams call “the playoffs”. We’ll bounce back on Thursday. I’ll bounce back on Thursday. Everything’s OK!

… and in the event all that positive shit fails, it’s just another year in Edmonton. Could be worse. Toronto spent a trillion dollars on John Tavares and forgot he can’t make saves, nor did they consider how paying a centre not named Auston Matthews $11 million would affect the Leafs. Get Drake Caggiula off the goddamn first line.