'Nucks Nut Punch: Edmonton Endlessly Eviscerated, Dubnyk Dubious

Puck goes there. - Perry Nelson

I have seen some Christ-awful games from the Edmonton Oilers in my time. And boy, that was one of them.

What's nice about blogging on the least successful team in professional sports is that I have developed a routine for this sort of thing. Let me see, Facetious Fake Optimism.

Great sniping by Boyd Gordon on that second goal, I'm sure he'll be the power forward we all crave, which means along with Luke Gazdic and Mike Brown and Steve MacIntyre we've got more power than a reactor meltdown. Jason LaBarbera made a dandy save, so dandy that I bet we're going to forget he's Jason LaBarbera, give him an important start, and watch him get so many holes punched in him Mark Arcobello will instinctively strain pasta. And Dallas Eakins pulled the goalie three goals down with three and a half minutes left while on the powerplay, which I'm told is a good tactic, although I would humbly suggest a better one is "don't be three goals down with three and a half minutes left". But if Eakins lost track of time I don't blame him: I looked at the clock and was shocked to see it was already five past Dubnyk.

I bet the people of Vancouver will approve the Northern Gateway pipeline now, because they just got proof oil is harmless.

Ales Hemsky, good grief, it's like he's on a mission to personally shove it up the backside of every ignoramus of a writer who wanted the Oilers to trade him and give his minutes to Dale Durgeon.

There were some genuine bright points, and I feel obliged to point them out, because this is the part of the loser article where I do so. (You see how pat I've got this.) Ales Hemsky, good grief, it's like he's on a mission to personally shove it up the backside of every ignoramus of a writer who wanted the Oilers to trade him and give his minutes to Dale Durgeon. Not just the fine assist (that's two highlight-reel points for Hemmer in two losses, but yeah he's useless) but the high work rate, the backchecking, did you see him backcheck? Imagine that question as I grab any ol' Journal writer by the hair and shove him up reaaaaaal close to the screen. He and Nail Yakupov probably worked more consistently than any other Oiler forward in this nightmare of a game, and as I am a xenophobic Albertan perhaps I ought to be shocked. But I'm not, because I've watched the fucking Oilers before.

(Observe: we are now up to "abuse" in the post-game program. Look it up, this pretty much is a recipe for me at this point. Except sometimes I make a few more servings of abuse, because I think the Oilers are hungry.)

Discussing the errors of the Oilers in this game is the work of a novelist, as only he would have the time. Suffice to say that the Oilers got far more wrong than they did right, and the fact that each of those execrable goals was followed by an animated debate on which of the many, many blunderers was most at fault for the disaster would have been revealing if I wasn't trying to gouge my eyes out with a remote control. I do not pretend that Devan Dubnyk, who has a few perfectly respectable NHL seasons behind him by now, is unfit to be an NHL starter just because he had two really really awful games. That would be foolish short-term thinking, the sort that leads to mistakes like claiming two talentless hacks off waivers because one of your players got the Elephant Man treatment from a different team's talentless hack. By the way, I didn't see much in this game that counts as "deterrence", unless you count Hall hitting Dale Weise in the numbers, and given that Weise counts for nothing and Hall took a penalty I don't think you should.

I don't mean to call for dirty play, but isn't the theory behind thugs like Brown and Gazdic that they will put the fear of the hockey gods into the Canucks to prevent further transgressions? I looked at the Oilers' sabres as they came off the ice and there wasn't blood on a single one. So if I were Zack Kassian, and you can tell I'm not because I can read, the message I'd take from Dallas Eakins is "do what you like: we're going to make a show of a response but you are going to win, on the ice and off."

So let's all look forward to the next game on Monday. We've got the New Jersey Devils, who are always entertaining, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be rushed back from a serious shoulder injury! Oh, such are the joys of an Oilers fan.

With apologies to Terry Cashman:

Well Edmonton had shown it,
Craig MacT had blown it.
Both our goalies flailing all the while.
Hall coughed up the puck,
Belov, Christ, he sucked,
And down in the corners,
We all let Kesler skate for miles.

We're talkin' soft goals,
Hamhuis from the blue paint.
Talkin' soft goals,
A wrister that made Dub faint.
Smitty, Eberle and the Nick,
Each play by all them made us sick.
Especially Acton, Joensuu and Dubnyk.

Well, Petry was scoring,
I guess the plays weren't boring,
And Boyd Gordon is gonna win the Hart.
But this song is here to rail,
Three periods of fail,
When can we have a team,
that doesn't fall apart?

We're talkin' soft goals,
Hamhuis from the blue paint.
Talkin' soft goals,
A wrister that made Dub faint.
Smitty, Eberle and the Nick,
Each play by all them made us sick.
Especially Acton, Joensuu and Dubnyk.

Now, our old cap Shawn Horcoff,
Well, he showed we needed more than just some kids.
And Marty was a party,
Working the PK,
And me, I always loved Fernando,
Where did they go?

But now it's the new age,
Each game is an outrage,
Even if Hemmer picks up points in piles.
Three goons on a line,
Suits Vancouver just fine.
And six years on we
still let Kesler skate for miles.

We're talkin' soft goals,
Richardson a shorty.
Talkin' soft goals,
Smyth is almost forty!
Badger, Mike Brown, Luke Gadzic, take your pick,
They've got brains of mud and hands just like a brick.
Especially Acton, Joensuu and Dubnyk.
Acton, Joensuu and Dubnyk. (oh god, oh god, oh god).
We're talkin' Acton, Joensuu and Dubnyk...

(Thanks to Alan Hull for a third of the title.)

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