Saturday, September 22

I Hate Kyle Wellwood's Groin

Not even one fucking game into the 2007/08 season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are already losing man-games to injury. Not content with the 06/07 league leading stat of 335 man-games lost, the assholes that run the universe have decided that Kyle Wellwood's groin should be so sore that he'd have surgery on it on Saturday in Philadelphia, which he did.

Here is a pictureThis is an artists interpretation of Kyle Wellwood's groin. Please notice the shittyness. The inflamed, red part on the left is the part which will keep Jason Blake from scoring 43 goals this season. On the up-side, Kyle clearly has a nice set of child-bearing hips there, so the birthing process won't be that difficult for him.

The arrow coming from the muscle labeled as the "Adductor Magnus" will heretofore be known as the "Simon Gamache" because that is who is going to benefit the most from that red, aching bastard. Gamache has impressed everyone in camp and pre-season, and the only thing standing in his way was the contract status of Leafs regulars, but this has changed. The door opens for a bunch of guys now with our #'s 2 and 3 centers out for a while. In fact, that's how we came to have Wellwood as a Leaf regular in the first place. Two seasons ago he was sent down in camp only to be brought right back up when, in game 1 of the season, Mats had his eye gouged out in the city where Leafs go to get their eyes gouged out.

Alex Steen could move up to the 2 spot now, as could Chad Kilger, who seems to keep getting better with the more responsibility the Leafs give him. Steen looks bigger and stronger to me, and I hear that Matty Stajan has gotten bigger as well. I've thought for a while now that Steen was going to have a breakout year, and this just may start the whole thing rolling.

So in the next few days we should hear the real prognosis for Wellwood. Once again, we are left to juggle our line-up for the worst reasons. But, you've got to stay positive, and, as the Chinese say, Crisis = Opportunity. Wait, or is that Alcoholics Anonymous? I don't know, I always get those two mixed up. Whatever, no matter how you shake it up, it remains true. So, you hear that Kilger, Steen, Gamache, Devereaux, Pohl, Tlusty, Norte, Wash, Moose, Me?

Oil 5, Calgary 4 (OT); Cogliano shines again

Andrew Cogliano jumped to the head of the queue of Oiler rookies with another strong performance in Calgary, including the the game-winner in overtime. As it stands right now, his speed is too big of a weapon to ignore and he's also sound defensively. Over to you Sam Gagner.

Calgary fell to 0-4 in the pre-season, and this after being bag skated by Mike Keenan earlier this week. It's pre-season! Have fun with that Cowtown.

Additional thoughts:

- Calgary dressed their top five D-men (only Warrener missing) and Kiprusoff went the whole way, so it was a good test for a young Oiler group tonight.

- A little cause for concern as Ethan Moreau left the game with an ankle bruise. No x-rays taken yet, but MacT said they don't think it's broken. Hopefully it's not too serious. The Oilers can't afford to be without 'Chopper' for any extended period of time.

- Schremp played his best game of the pre-season and got increased ice-time with the Moreau injury. He still has a couple games left to make an impression, and he hasn't yet played with really skilled linemates. With the possibility of the team carrying eight defencemen to start the year, he really needs to step-up in these last few games.

- Robert Nilsson and Kyle Brodziak solidified their spots, earning more praise from MacT. The roster seems to be quickly sorting itself out.

- At age 18, Gagner would need to really 'wow' KL & MacT to justify burning a year of free agency. Had some of the other young guys not made an impact I could see it, but that's clearly not the case thus far.

- There's gonna have to be a trade on the back-end, Gilbert (who deserves to be on the team) is the only guy they can send down, and Mathieu Roy probably won't clear waivers. Who's going? Well let's start with who's not going: Souray, Pitkanen, Tarnstrom, Staios. That leaves Smid, Greene, Grebeshkov, Gilbert and Roy. It all depends on how big a deal Lowe wants to make, as some of those names would fetch a higher return. The landscape of any deal certainly changes if one of the young forwards can come in and provide offence. If they need to bring in an established scoring forward, Smid, Greene and Gilbert are the guys most teams would be interested in.

Oil in Phoenix on Tuesday with next cuts coming Wednesday, according to MacT.

Leafs also won tonight; interested to get Greener or Norte's thoughts on the impact of the Wellwood news. Wait it's bad news, so it'll probably get lost in the same black hole that ate Mark Bell.