Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Game 7 Preview: Oil Spill at Hawks

I'm sure I'm not the only one, but the Oilers have always been a second favorite team for me. Partly because I feel for any fandom that lives in a place so fucking cold, partly due to their hilarious upset of the Wings a few years back, but mostly because they're the hockey version of the Oakland A's. They're always young and cool, and fast, though the A's are rarely fast, so I guess for this metaphor to work fast in hockey would have to translate to patient at the plate in baseball. Does that work? No, not in the least? Yeah, well, we're stuck with it.

Anyway, this Oilers team is no different, in fact it's bursting at the seams with speed and skill. However, every expert on the planet has been lining up to pick the Oil to win the Northwest this year, and I'm not so convinced, merely because last year seems a mirage, with 14 shootout wins. Half that and this team would have been swimming near the dredges of the conference. They are certainly better than last season's version, but how much and what that means, I couldn't tell you. But they've certainly gotten off to a flyer this season, winning their first four, and attempting to win their first five of a season for the first time in 23 years.

The Oilers have the oddity of two D-men leading their scoring, in Souray and Grebeshkov. which might explain why their PP is clicking at about 30 percent. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, it's not good for the Hawks. You wouldn't be out of your mind to expect a repeat of the 6-5 OT orgy of madness that was these two teams' last meeting, and that's the game the Oilers want to play. Chicago's going to have to repeat their showing from Sunday, their most disciplined and responsible performance of the season. Give this Edmonton team any space and Khabby is going to be looking behind him an awful lot.

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