Wednesday, December 1, 2010

There's no room for nice

Yes, your resident Czech-loving blogger is alive, but probably not for long.

Two days ago I mistakenly believed I had walked into an ideal win/win situation. My friend the Sens' fan and I have yearly trips to Scotiabank Place and in his entire history even before this he has failed to witness a win by his team. After I bought last year's tickets online I started getting promotions in my inbox, and usually disregarded them except for the one that I couldn't refuse, much less ignore.

Guilty pleasure for me, last place team for him. Topped off by wallet-friendly promo codes because I'm such a special customer and all. Sounds perfect, y/y?

(The other "anticipated match-up" was against the San Jose Sharks, but fortunately for Dany Heatley's ears, Thursdays didn't work for either of us.)

My purchase looked better over the weekend as the Oilers had lost all but three in November and fell by a score of 4-3 to those same Sharks on Saturday night. Despite their shortfalls, however, Edmonton takes everything minute-by-minute and know very well what's expected of them, which they do try to surpass game in and game out.

Monday was an example of that. The Sens got on the board first, much to the delight of my friend, but after failed Ottawa powerplay opportunities and a lot of back-and-forth including breakaway stoppages on both ends, Tom Gilbert (of all people) tied the game with the man advantage late in the second period, and Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule teamed up in the third to give Edmonton a 3-1 lead, topped off by Taylor Hall's first NHL empty-netter with 1:55 to go.

I was treated to death metal on the two-hour ride back home, so you can guess what kind of mood my friend was in.

Dear Habs: don't make the same mistake as me. Don't sit back and be nice, because the Oilers can and will walk all over you if you're not looking. Take advantage of any and all opportunities that present themselves, because you can very well end up on the wrong side of the coin, just like the Sens did. It's all too easy to look at where you are in the standings, but it's even easier to play like the opposite of what they state in print. (see: Florida Panthers.)

(I'm uncomfortable with briefs)
The last two tĂȘte-a-tĂȘtes between the two teams have been decided by one goal. Both teams are coming off wins. Goalies have been red-hot for both teams, which is significant for the Oilers who traveled to Montreal with three.

The Who
Brian Gionta may be Captain Mini but his presence in the win over Buffalo was huge. Rookies Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle are both up on the leaderboard in rookie scoring, the former with 5 points in his last 6 games. Ales Hemsky is back in the lineup tonight after being out with one of those nagging LBI's.

I'll be at this one too. Pray I'm not some Oilers' good luck charm or something.

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