Mar. 13, 2013 - Issue #908: In Your Face
Pointing things out
In the Box
We're back for another week of Oilers action here at In the Box. This week Brent Oliver flies solo as Craig Douglas is knee deep in Lone Star Beer, moustached hipsters and indie-rock royalty in Austin, Texas for SXSW. Brent, on the other hand, worked at his desk all day, cursed social media feeds from Texas, and only had to endure two Oilers games this week, where—holy shit —they were on a three-game point streak and are only two points out of a playoffs spot.
Positivity? Sure. We’ll bite.
Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 (OT), March 15
Brent Oliver: The Oilers finally came home after the longest road trip in the history of the franchise, the NHL, and plenty of other things. I think the Falklands War was shorter than this road trip.
Anyhoo, the team jumped out to an impressive 2-0 lead against the Red Wings, who always seem to be really, really good. They lose Steve Yzerman, they're good. They lose, Niklas Lidström, they're good. They go through six goalies in the last 10 years, and they're really good. So when the Oilers took their collective feet of the game’s gas in the third period, leave it to Datsyuk and company to pounce, tie the game up and then win in overtime.
Frustrating, but I'm fine taking this one game with a pretty big grain of salt. We got a point against a very good team out of our division, in a shortened season. I'll take it as a glass half full thing for this game. If they shit the bed on the next one, I won't be so forgiving.
Oilers 3, Predators 2, March 17
BO: I took in this game live at Rexall for the first time as a non-blogger—just as a good ol' fan. While I had my seven-year-old in tow, I couldn't yell some of the things I wanted to at the team, especially after a pretty boring first period. I did get in a, "COME ON BROWN. JUSTIFY MY LOVE!" and after seeing Nashville's horrifically effective, nauseating neutral-zone trap at the beginning of the game, "COME ON NASHVILLE, HOW MANY GOALS ARE YOU UP?!" I’m nothing if not classy, people.
Speaking of that trap, I can't blame the Preds for it. They had lost two games in a row and were two points up on the Oilers going into a game on the road. No sense in doing anything stupid, if not mind-numbingly boring.
Speaking of stupid and mind numbing, I have to thank Sergei Kostitsyn for giving up on a two-on-one breakaway in lieu of a line change. I mean, I'm sure he was thinking, 'What's the worst that could happen?' Well, the game-winning goal, you moron, that's what.
Stauffer and Michaels on the ride home were talking about how Nashville should just plain waive him after a play like that. I can't really disagree; guys like that are more headache than their play may be worth. And this time, he tangibly lost the game for his team. So yeah! Oilers win! Points in four straight! On to another game at Rexall Wednesday against the Sharks. Hopefully someone on their team hands us the game. That would be really nice of them.
Moving forward, we see the Oilers meet the Sharks and Blues at home, then a shorty on the road against the aforementioned Nashville, and an abbreviated home at home with St Louis (of all teams). This year’s schedule sure is weird.
Craig flies solo next week as yours truly is out of this frozen hellhole for spring break with no chance of seeing NHL Hockey on Jamaican free TV. Well, I guess they had a bobsledding team once. Anything is possible.
So, until next week, when Craig sees you, In the Box.
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