Feb. 13, 2008 - Issue #643: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
In The Box
Why do vultures suddenly appear?
The Oilers treated fans to another week of wildly different results since the last Vue Weekly. A 4-1 win at home over the Chicago Blackhawks was followed up with a 4-1 loss to the (ick) Calgary Flames down south. The Oilers returned home Feb 12 to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Dave and an unusually angry TB discuss the Oilers and TB responds to the musical question “why do birds suddenly appear?” Considering the odds of making the playoffs this year, those birds just may be vultures.
Superstar? Look who’s currently topping the league in save percentage: none other than ex-Oiler and puck-cougher-upper Ty Conklin. Not only that, but he’s sporting a sparkling 14-3-3 record with the Penguins. Back during the post-Salo goalie drought of ‘04-’05, I was touting Conks as the next big Oiler puckstopper. A number of hopefuls were given the chance to grab the bull by the horns (Steve Valiquette, anyone?), but nobody, Conks included, could ever string more than two solid games together, leading us to the Roloson trade. Rolie, as you all know, had a fantastic year, dragging the city kicking and screaming to the Stanley Cup finals. Conks, you may also remember, GAVE THE FUCKING THING AWAY. Um, sorry. It’s still a little painful talking about it. Good ol’ Jussi came within a game of making it all better, but they just couldn’t overcome the bumbling of game one. Anyhoo, water under the bridge, as they say. Conks and the Penguins are enjoying a fine season, and he’s never played better. Hopefully, for all involved, when they make the playoffs, he’ll think twice before pissing around behind the net. TB
There’s a Kind of Hush (All Over the League) Feb 10’s horrific throat slash to Florida’s Richard Zednik immediately brought back memories of a similarly freakish accident to goaltender Clint Malarchuk in 1989. Both players, to the relief of hockey fans, survived the eerily close calls. Interestingly, both of the freak injuries (in both incidents, an out-of-control player’s skate blade slashed the players’ throats) occurred in Buffalo. Malarchuk’s incident was in 1989 in The Aud, the Sabres’ first NHL building. Zednik’s occurred in the team’s new HSBC Arena—across the street. Malarchuk and Zednik are not only united by their awful accidents; they both played junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks and in the NHL for the Washington Capitals. I had the opportunity to meet Malarchuk while he and some members of the Florida Panthers (the former goalie was Florida’s goalie coach back then; he coaches with Columbus now) visited a downtown lounge I had worked at. He was a funny and dynamic guy. I’m sure he noticed how many times I caught myself tactlessly staring at his neck and what may be hockey’s most infamous scar. He didn’t mention it. Probably gets that a lot. DY
Just Begun (to miss the playoffs?) I’m going to let you in on
a little secret: the Oilers are not going to make the playoffs. Okay,
it’s not a secret. It’s more like something no one wants to
talk about. But it’s true nonetheless. As of Feb 11, the Nashville
Predators are in eighth place in the Western conference with 64 points. At
this rate, they will finish with 92 points. The Oilers currently have 55
points, good for 13th in the conference. For the Oilers to make the
playoffs, the will have to win 19 of their last 25 games, a winning
percentage of 0.76. This is also assuming that none of the four teams
sandwiched in the standings between the Predators and Oilers goes on a run
of their own. It’s been quite a while since the Oilers have been able
to put together any kind of streak like that. Really, my only motivation to
cheer now is to keep the number one draft pick out of Brian Burke’s
chubby little fingers. I hate that whiny bitch. TB
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