Feb. 08, 2012 - Issue #851: Jon Mick
Play it again, Sam
Looks like the Oilers are in need of new trade bait
All in all, last week was a pretty eventful stretch for the Oilers. The first game of February 2012 was one for the record books with an 8-4 win over Chicago and an eight-point night for Sam Gagner. Another Original Six team came to Edmonton and the Oilers beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in a shootout. The good fortune was snapped, unfortunately, with a 6-3 loss to Toronto at the Centre of the Universe Arena.
Don't you forget about me
I know this week belongs to Sam Gagner. I was as excited as anyone to watch him almost singlehandedly decimate the Blackhawks on his way to tying an Oiler record set by two guys whose sweaters are in the rafters. But let's not forget about our other young guns, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Since coming back from having his face stepped on by a skate—HIS FACE STEPPED ON BY A SKATE!—Hall has been on fire, scoring nine points in seven games, including a four-point, career-high night that meant absolutely nothing to anyone coming as it did against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Eberle has been even better: over the same span, he's notched 11 points.
All of which just goes to show that when you're hot, you're hot. It's no wonder the team has gone on a bit of a tear since the All-Star break—even Devan Dubnyk has stepped up to the plate, showing himself worthy of the promise he showed and battling, finally, for that number-one spot. Now we just need the veterans to start drinking from the same Gatorade bottle as the young'uns and we'll charge our way into the playoffs (it could still happen). BB
Great (somewhat fictional) moments in (somewhat embellished) Oilers history
During the 2012 All-Star break, a frustrated Sam Gagner took a unique risk to improve his team's fortunes. Just like in the Faustian legend of bluesman Robert Johson, Gagner was contacted by a mysterious stranger who claimed to be the Devil himself. The stranger told Gagner to bring him a hockey stick and meet him at a crossroads, where he would tape up the stick for him. Using the magical hockey stick could give him unearthly powers. The catch? This "Devil" would claim Gagner's soul as payment for using the occult object. "Why not?" thought the sceptical Oiler forward, who humoured the odd fellow and brought his gear. "This can't be real—and the team needs my help. Whatever."
The enchanted blade was dragged out when Gagner started the February 2, 2012 game against Chicago. We all know what happened next. Number 89 scored four goals and added four assists for an unheard-of eight points in a game. This hasn't been done since Mario Lemieux in 1989. The Oilers won. Gagner even got three more points against Detroit two days later. This scared Sam, who texted this supposed "Devil". Here's the text-message transcript:
Sam Gagner: This is scary. I didn't think it was real.
S8tn: Well it is.
Sam Gagner: My soul seems a high price for one really good game.
S8tn: Anything else U want?
Sam Gagner: Can we make the playoffs???
S8tn: Sorry. Can't do it. If Oilers make playoffs, I have to give Calgary their souls back. DY
Seriously, where is this guy? Called up after the Nuge went down, Paajarvi showed no poise, barely any hustle, and looked nothing like he did last year, when he was touted as the third piece of the puzzle that would return the Oilers to glory. Now he's like the one that fell under the couch, but you don't care about it because it's just another part of the background, not anything important. That was an overextended puzzle metaphor, but you see what I'm going for here. Does he need a sports psychologist? Should we ship him to the ECHL to build up his confidence? Is he hurt and no one knows about it? Did his pet snake die in the offseason and he's having trouble dealing with it? Can we get him a new one? BB
Oilers Player of the Week
Sam Gagner, Sam Gagner, Sam Gagner DY
Sam Gagner, Sam Gagner, Devan Dubnyk BB
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