Being back in Country for a few weeks, I have had the chance to take in a lot of Oiler games. Mind you, they have all been on TV but that is okay with me. Something new to me is HDTV and boy is it a heck of a lot better than watching an Internet feed while sitting on my couch in China at 9 in the morning.
Watching the games at a bar is still the way to go for me. The atmosphere is a lot more hockey centred than the one in my in-law's basement. I have yet to check out The Pint, but I plan to, as I've heard good things.
The one thing that seems to be trending upwards as far as the Oilers' TV experience goes is that CBC is getting more tolerable to watch. Now from what I can tell, it's a combination of replacing Kevin Weeks with Daryl "Razor" Reaugh and Sportsnet sucking even more than they did before. Reaugh seems to pick his spots a lot better than Weeks ever could. Weeks seemed to always work too hard on trying to add something to what Mark Lee was saying. Or, in great detail and long winded sentences, to describe a play on the ice that we all clearly saw with our own eyes. Maybe he'd be better on the radio, I don't know.
By the way, is it a rule that the colour commentator must be an ex-goaltender? Lou DeBrusk seems like the exception to the rule.
One place to avoid watching a game at is Shanks . It's too big and generic for me. Too much is going on there. Horse racing, golfing, bowling, etc. I prefer a smaller, hockey centered place. Also, I prefer HDTV over the big screen projector, even if the projector is bigger than Nickelback is in the eyes of football halftime show producers.
The team itself is very entertaining to watch. Some people wish they would score more but I am ecstatic that they are doing so well at keeping it out of their own net. "Team defence", they call it. I love it! They've been in every game this year and they seem to be growing in confidence as they go. In Phoenix the other night they almost came back and won it when it looked like they were done. Good on them!
Taylor Hall falls all of the time. Is this a concern? To me it says that he is out of control. Sometimes he falls and the puck finds it's way back to him but he's down and not ready for it. I'm looking forward to when he figures this out and positions himself better. RNH is gold and those two could really start cooking at any time now.
Hall and Eberle are both still learning, of course, but I was hoping that we'd see a lot less fancy stuff from the two. They shouldn't be afraid to dump it in once in a while instead of trying their magic toe drags. They'll figure it out.
The other thing I saw in Phoenix had to do with team toughness. They seemed to get handled by pretty much everyone on the ice. Is this a concern or can they continue to succeed while seemingly avoiding this kind of stuff?
Thanks for reading.