Thursday, October 4

Oilers Win Opener, No One Shocked but Roli!

Wow. The season is now open, please form an orderly line and take a number. If your number is 16, you're a winner! A winner of hockey games that is! Sorry, that was hardly even a complete thought much less a joke. I'm just so out of breath from jumping up and down. As there's going to be one million pages written tomorrow recapping the game, in fact there are probably a lot already since I had to watch the game tivo'd, I'm just gonna timbit review this bad boy. Naughty! Naughty! Keep in mind, as a true Oiler fan I can only really dole out criticism. I don't even want to! It's just habit!

You know what those delicately glazed cakey wonders means... TIMBITS!

1. I was starting to get pretty nervous about this Penner character already. First two periods he struck me a lot like Lupul did, which is to say hardly at all. Slow, waiting for the play to come to him, weak wide wristers. Then, I started seeing what he brings. In the third he started using that massive body for good! Or sexy evil! Heck, we cycled the puck last year almost constantly, I don't remember any Oiler ever winning one of those battles along the boards. Suddenly we got a guy who can go chase it when the puck slides aimlessly from a failed Hemmer move through the middle, or a super hard completely wide Horcoff snap shot.

2. Roli! 3 posts aside (we got 2, so like, c'mon), he was looking hot tracking pucks through traffic and when something did come at him, he generally sucked it into himself the way Greener does with a Tito's taco. That was nice to see. And he won a shootout! I didn't know he could do that! But man did he get caught cheating on the tying shot, huh? I saw that he was sneaking a peek at some answers written inside that glovehand, and at one point he unrolled a laminated sheet of answers from his mouth ala Chevy Chase in Spies Like Us.

3. So, was that an A I saw on Souray's jersey? Quite the leadership there with a minute left. One other knock on the man, I don't think anyone cares how hard you can shoot at the boards. It seems he's been reading the seventy four tome series of novels the Edmonton media has written about his "howitzer" rather than practicing his aim. That being said I was pretty disappointed with the Pits. I've wanted him on the team since his draft year and he had a lackluster, uneven game. He seemed like the rookie out there, on a night when Gilbert was shining jumping up into the crease and relative rookie Greene was knocking Thornton off the puck with ease, Pitkanen was throwing weird tentative passes to no one in particular and was slow making decisions in his end. Plus side? I think those jitters come with the new defence partners, they'll dissolve in the next couple games. That and his dump and chase plays were a delight!

4. Last criticism, power play. The first power play looked great, every one after looked like a bunch of lost boys. No. Neither Corey nor Corey. Even sadder. Even sadder than the Corey's current lives. What worried me was that they were running the exact same plays as last years terrible poo stain of a PP. Yes, keep passing to Souray, they'll never guess he's gonna shoot it. They just cycle way on the outside of the zone, no one moving into the slot or either face off circle, passing and not skating. Oh they'll collapse after the shot, but why not suck the D up to the telegraphed Souray shot, and try a cross seam pass? Half the time Souray was shooting it there wasn't even a Penner in the way! Horcoff tipped more shots than Penner did! I'm saying this once and never again, imagine if Smyth has been in front on any of those Souray shots... shawing!

5. News flash, the youngsters were great. Friggin hell! It was like the old Murphy-Gelinas-Graves youngsters just givin her out there. I think this ushers in a new era of fourth line thinking. It seems that the fourth line has long been made up of defensive minded grinders who can get out, bang, and not cost the team a goal. No longer. With the new NHL and the need to develop from within the ranks, AND the insane amount of young players stepping straight in and contributing, why not give those skill guys the fourth line. If the fourth line is gonna be a liability one way or another, I'd rather see a fast skating bunch of rooks free wheeling and making a mistake than waiting to see which tough heart on his sleeve guy trip on his own blueline.

6. You know how you're not in the pre-season anymore? There weren't any career ending injuries doled out by big dumb guys trying to make teams!

Finally, Happy Birthday to Greener! I regret that I can't make it to the big party. You're a good friend and I hope you have a great birthday! Many happy returns and here's the gayest cake I could find, you ole gay-wad you!

Kevin Lowe: "We're All Gonna Die"

Lowe Responds; Pre-Game Notes

Kevin Lowe went on Tencer's show last night and of course Brian Burke came up, here's some snippets of what he had to say:

"I suspect that through all this, all the barbs that he's throwing at us and at me, is that he's sort of insinuating that Dustin Penner isn't a very good hockey player. Time will tell. I hope that Dustin Penner is reading between the lines and is using that as motivation to shove it to you know where."

I would say the exact opposite is true. If he's such a mediocre player and someone wants to pay him $4 million, AND toss you three draft picks? Shut-up and laugh all the way to the bank. At this point he's acting like the guy who just got dumped by his girlfriend and invoking the "I didn't like her anyway," excuse.

"People need to know that he really thrives on this stuff and is a little bit of a media junkie and loves the attention. I get a lot of calls from people in the hockey business; they think that he's known for going over the top and being a bit of an egomaniac and he's just further proving that that's the case."

How lucky is Chris Pronger? He's already been replaced as Public Enemy #1 in his General Manager. When do we play the Ducks?

"In the meantime he's goin' around being a bit of a blowhard. Clearly having just won the Stanley Cup I guess he figures pretty comfortable that he can go around and spend a little more time doing that."

Yeah, success will do that to a man. You should see Greener. He wins two or three faceoffs in-a-row and he comes back to the bench yappin like he's Mark Messier.

"What he's insinuating, to me anyways, is that I shouldn't do this to him because he's my friend. In other words I shouldn't try to improve the Edmonton Oilers because I'm his friend. The reality is that I have very few friends in the game. You know what life's all about you get a little bit older and you have your family and a couple of friends and then life ends."

Well, thanks very much, Kevin. I was all excited about the season opener tonight, but now I think I'm going to go spend these last fleeting moments with my loved ones before the cloak of death shrouds me in darkness.

Lowe also added: "I mean I'm already 48 years old, I don't have much time left." Clearly a wink-wink, nod-nod, towards pending RFA's Jason Spezza and Alex Ovechkin if I ever heard one.

Notes: Moreau will not play tonight. He tried to skate this morning but still too painful to push off. Forward lines shuffled a bit; expected to look as such:

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Torres - Stoll - Nilsson
Sanderson - Reasoner - Brodziak
Jacques - Cogliano - Gagner

4th line is very interesting. Suspect they will get sheltered minutes against Sharks 3rd or 4th lines. I hope we don't get killed.

Washingtron Right About Everything!

Well well well... lookee here! Hey Moose! Guess who was 100% correct about an Oilers related thing? Washingtron! That's who! Somehow, in an article in which I guessed 5 different potential captains for our beloved Oil, I managed to get everything completely right in every way. I should take this time now to urge you not to re-read the related post. I think we should all bask in the glory of my accuracy rather than look too closely at any "claims" some awesome "writer" "may" have "made".