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Oil Late-Season Injuries - A Blessing in Disguise


Say what you want about stocking up on paper bags for a season of un-watchable hockey, a franchise wandering the desert without direction, an entire American Hockey League team playing out the string ... there are several upsides to rock-bottom. I'm not even going to mention pole position for the dearly beloved draft lottery - the slings and arrows of Spring 2011 will only pay dividends as the team re-tools toward competitiveness.

So what's so freaking awesome, Chambers? The rookies get more ice time? You're going to waste my 2 minutes of reading time on a concept that simple?

AUDITIONS AT 4:00 p.m. IN THE SCHOOL GYMNASIUM

All these people want to know - who in the he!! is Teemu Hartikainen? Well now we know. He is a bad mother with all the size and aggression of JF Jaques ... but with hands! I believe we also have an answer to the question of whether Linus belongs in our top 6 in '11-'12.

Perhaps more importantly we can offer a response to everone who thinks Alex Giroux can snipe 30+ goals in the NHL if somebody just gave him a freaking chance. This re-build is going to succeed with young players and young players only.

NOBODY TO FALL BACK ON

It's been "everybody into the pool" for the final 15 games - the deep end that is. But not only will Eberle, Paajarvi, Omark, Petry, and Dubnyk get their fair share of ice time, they will be carrying the bag for wins and losses. And yes, up until last night we have only witnessed losses, but the kids are now solely accountable for playing competitive hockey, winning, and earning points. They can't lean on Hemsky, Penner, and Horcoff to shoulder the burden.

Tyler Seguin sure as sugar isn't learning to play a 60-minute game ... our boys have no choice.

ADD TO CART

I've been big on a scorched-earth re-build ever since Hemsky got sidelined for the season back in December of '09. I liked the strategy going into this season that we would be poor on defense and worse in goal. But for the purpose of morale, ST is going to have to spend some of the owner's money on bona fide NHL players this offseason.

Without another legit NHL centre, a goaltender not named Khabibulin to play 30+ games, and a dman who stands above 6'1" and is willing to punch a grown man in the face, next season won't even be worth watching.

LE CONCLUSION

Although the losses haven't been total blowouts, and last night's win over the passionless Canucks may very well be our Stanley Cup, the past three weeks have been so bad I only get excited to read whether we managed more than a single goal in each of these contets. But it WILL serve us better in the long run. Oh Oilers - your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need.

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