3.18.2008

Puke and Rally

This is what I think about the Oilers season lately, a crazy New Years Eve party. They are the college freshman with the popped collar and something to prove. This is clearly done by predrinking a "2-6" to get as drunk as he can as fast as he can (see: Kevin Lowe's UFA season), putting on the only expensive shirt he owns to try and make up for the rest of his clothes (see: Souray), then storms into the party as the loudest, cockiest ass clown there. You know, the guy that talks like he's got HUGE game but is probably still trying to get his card swiped (see: anything out of management's mouth in the fall).


It gets to be 45 minutes to midnight and no one can find him until you try to go the bathroom and there he is bobbing for apples. His night is done before the clock strikes and the whole point of the party is wasted on him.

But then he finds it within himself to make sure he doesn't go down like that. The 'puke and rally' ensues. Before you know it he's back with a second wind and partying until he scores with a girl or someone carries his ass home.

So now this team is rallying, and rallying hard. A big win over Phoenix tonight puts them 5 points back with 8 games remaining and in 10th place. Still not an easy feat and we likely won't be watching any playoff games this year but impressive no less. If you had told me at the beginning of the year we would be in this spot I'd have told you that you were crazier than a shit house rat. Hell if you had said that to me weeks ago it would have been the same response.

But here we are with our Ron Low era second half rally to try and take 8th. We did some serious dry heaving on New Years and now we're on a roll. Here's our record in the differing calender years:

2007: 16-20-4
2008: 22-12-1

An impressive difference. In a time when we find out Souray is gone for the season, lose Moreau AGAIN, then throw Horcoff on the heap, this team has decided to play. They have won 10 of their last 12 games and are steamrolling their way to the finish line. We don't have to do a lot of digging to find out why. Our second line's stats since we lost Horcoff on January 29th:

Cogliano 21gp 7-10-17 +9
Nilsson 20gp 4-11-15 +8
Gagner 21gp 6-18-24 -4

Two rookies and a sophomore, and three impressive stat lines. This line has been carrying the mail for this team while MacTavish tries to get Hemsky's line working. As these kids grow older they are going to get impressive. They have given this season something to watch and for that I thank them. This team is only looking up for years to come.

And for the first time in over a calender year I've thought that just maybe...they could pull it off.

3 comments:

Rory said...

Great post! Only 3 points back of a slumping Avalanche team and the Nashville "what is hockey doing here?" Predators have a shitty schedule. Still do not like our odds since we are not exactly stellar against div. rivals. I say it will come down to the last game of the season, down to a shootout would be appropriate for Edmonton, then Brian Burke can think of things to say about how we should not be in playoffs because we got all those shootout points.

Josh said...

If we make the playoffs no doubt the shootout point will be a hot topic. Like you said Burke will probably lead the charge.

Rory said...

For sure, he's a stubborn old man that hates change, a great manager but don't care for the guy, not just for the comments he made about the Oilers after signing Penner but for most comments he makes about any change or proposal for change in the league.