Popping Collars and Mustachioed Men: A Blog Post

In the fourteen days since my last post, the Oil got worked up and down the ice in three straight divisional tilts, eked out a shootout they had no business going to, and then got trounced by three teams out of the East. In seven games we've been shutout three times and outscored by a margin of 14 goals. Compared to this time last year, we're in a very similar place:

November 6, 2008: 6-6-1, 34 GF/36 GA
November 6, 2009: 7-8-1, 47 GF/50 GA

While our offense has increased, our defense has become even less competent. The rest of the NHL has been treating us like a medieval surgery patient and the routine bloodletting hasn't yet shown signs of stopping. We simply cannot blame Nikolai, because any casual observer can see our ragtag band of lost boys is just not made up of "actual" NHL players.

If they were, they'd be inoculated well in advance of the unwashed masses.

But isn't that's what being a blue collar team all about? Suffering like the peasantry, ravaged by swine flu, while the bourgeois stroll into private clinics and have their families saved. Oh, the sweet succulence of moral highground. We may not be a high-priced team loaded with talent, but we're blue collar. We're crash and bang and bust your ass up the ice and hustle even harder back down. We don't take shit, but we dole it out by the ladleful. We look to our blue collar players with their blue collar six- to seven-figure salaries and say, "Why, you fellas are just like us." Gritty, respectable folk with mortgages and kids and drinking problems and septic tanks to replace. Folks that wait in line for their vaccines.

Look, if you haven't caught on, I'll pry my tongue out of my cheek and just say it: let's have a moratorium on the term blue collar, shall we? At least in reference to professional atheletes who are anything but.

Unfortunately, the Oilers are missing players to which the descriptor usually applies and they are paying the price. Quinn's "banger on every line, with extra jam and crust" strategy has fallen apart due to injuries that have stretched on so long, we're beginning to wonder if the concept was even working in the first place.

Meanwhile, we've got a five-game road trip against some tough customers coming up. Word from Quinn on the team site is that Shelly, Horc, and Smid will board the plane, though only Laddy will likely see any action. This leaves us as sparse as we've been in October, but maybe with a couple guys back we can steal a few on the road. Ideally, the other two will get their feet under them for the subsequent home stand and we can finally ice a (nearly) completely healthy roster.

That is, of course, if Brule doesn't pull something trying to take part in Movember:

That barely haired upper lip is a Perv 'Stache waiting to happen (or as we call it: the Crosby).

While there is sure to be plenty of impressive soup strainers on the squad by the end of the month, my early favourites are the future of our blueline:

Chorney's Push Broom is an instant classic and only further warms him to my already fluttering heart. Still, Peckham's has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes me wish we hadn't sent him down...

Ah oui, but of course.


  1. Really? I woulda figured Billy Dee Williams as a Uncle Jemima's Malt Liqour kinda guy. Either way, with a stash like that, prostate cancer had better look out.

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