To: Fans of the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
Re: Season Opener
Congratulations. You’ve survived an abysmal 2009-10 season. This past season was filled with injuries, lacklustre leadership, off-ice antics around New Year’s, a piss-poor point total, goaltender injury shenanigans, goaltender off-ice shenanigans, Sheldon Souray, two minutes; you feel shame, some crust, less jam, and Winless January.
But it’s all gone now. At least, tonight it could all start to go away.
I think it’s important that Edmonton enter this season with expectations – realistic, tempered expectations. Taylor Hall isn’t going to score 573 points, neither will Paajarvi nor Eberle. It’s likely that this nucleus of youth will start slow, but if April rolls along and they’ve shown improvements from their October selves, then that’s an important improvement.
Would I like to see Taylor Hall score 75 points? Sure, who wouldn’t. Is it likely? Probably not. It is nice to dream however.
An injury free season from the veterans (I’m looking at you, Khabibulin) coupled with an Oiler squad that becomes difficult to play by March or April would be a nice box to have ticked by the end of the season. The P word would be nice too, but let’s not get crazy. We can start saying that if the team isn’t mathematically eliminated in November.
Let’s take a look at the lines.
Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers – Game 1
07 OCT 2010 – 08:00 / 10 EST
Lines courtesy OilersNation.com
Hall – Horcoff – Eberle
Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
Paajarvi – Cogliano – Brule
Stortini – Fraser – Jones
Smid – Gilbert
Foster – Whitney
Vandermeer – Peckham
Things to look for: There’ll plenty to gripe about after this game, I’m sure. But for now, let’s enjoy the feeling that we’re all tied for first place in the league standings.
- It’s game one. Go forth, young Oilers. Do the little things right. Hall – MPS – Eberle: if you don’t explode all over the score sheet, that’s okay. Do the little things right. Keep your head up. Colin Fraser: Win 7 out of 11 faceoffs. Let us praise management for their savvy little move in acquiring you under the radar. Gilbert: Anchor the D. Don’t be a turnover machine. Khabibulin: Stop puck. Don’t get injured.
Killing Joke – “A New Day”
Try it loud. Go on, I haven’t steered you in the wrong direction yet.