In the words of the Simpsons Dr. Nick, Heellllloooo Evvvverrybody! How was your weekend? The NHL kicked off the 2012/2013 season this past Saturday, and what a weekend it was. The first day featured a full slate of games. We had some pretty good match ups to watch on the first day of the season, the Bruins beat the Rangers at home, Ottawa went in to Winnipeg and showed the 2nd year Jets what’s up in the North East, the Penguins returned to Philly looking for revenge from last year’s playoff defeat, Anaheim travelled to Vancouver and exposed a bunch of glaring weaknesses that the Canucks have to start the season, and of course the L.A Kings raised the Stanley Cup banner before losing to the Blackhawks.
I’m not going to lie, at the beginning of the lockout I wrote an article suggesting that we the fans stayed away on the first Saturday of the season, but my mental fortitude was weak and my love for the league quickly outweighed my anger for the lockout. I watched probably 8 hours of hockey the first day, and had a few wobbly pops too.
Then Sunday came along and the Edmonton Oilers opened their season in Vancouver against a team that was embarrassed 7-2 the night before. The Oil set to open the season with high expectations based on the performances of rookies Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz , 2nd year center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins , and young veterans Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.
And the visiting squad didn’t disappoint their fans, falling behind early by two goals only to have new alternate captain Eberle spur the comeback with a disgusting back hand goal over the left shoulder of goalie Roberto Luongo. Justin Schultz didn’t miss a beat, looking like he belonged, joining the rush more than once for some glorious scoring chances. In fact, as far as this unprofessional observer could tell, with the exception of a few break downs by Corey Potter in the defensive zone and Gagner getting caught looking on the ‘Nucks second goal, the Oilers played a hell of a game. Even the 4th line played good hockey.
I can’t wait until tomorrow night’s game versus the San Jose Sharks, hopefully we will see more for the same from the boys in blue and orange. Hopefully this hangover from the weekend won’t go away for a few months.
Welcome Back NHL, Welcome Back Oilers, Welcome superstar rookies!
Other Stuff and Things………
I’ve gained a lot of twitter followers and likewise followed a lot more fans than I did last season. My timeline was on fire during the game last night, the Oilers don’t realise how lucky they are to have a fan base as passionate as you guys and gals. Watching the game along with my time line made it feel like I was watching the game at a pub or Rexall with the rest of you! #KeepItUp.
Don’t forget to follow the Oil on Whyte team on twitter
Jeff – @OilOnWhyte
Ian – @ibleedoil
Jonathan – @jonrmcleod
Troy – @heavyoilcountry
Dave – @rustyknuckler