Oilers Pay-Per-View and 630 CHED
Even more compelling than a Picard/Kirk match-up is tonight's bout featuring the dearly Departed Jason Smith and new Oilers captain, Ethan Moreau. Unfortunately Moreau's foot didn't get the memo.
At any rate, it's going to be an exercise in mastering manly emotions when I see Jason Smith faceplant an Oiler for the first time. I shudder at the prospect of "Torres from Thursday night" reacting to that possible eventuality.
It's the beginning of the Season and I'm as keyed up as if it were a deciding playoff game. Can the Oilers repeat the ridiculously excellent chaos of Opening Night? Will Lupul get a hat trick? How are we going to shut down Briere? Poorly, one would think.
A few things to look forward to in an otherwise bittersweet match-up:
1.Hemsky continuing his aggressive play and getting some points
2. Nillson relaxing and not freezing when he realizes he actually has a scoring chance
3. More Cogliano and Gagner
4. Stoll keeping the pressure on
5. Torres! Torres! Torres! A blitzkrieg of unrestrained, PCP-esque hostility
6. Penner to wake up
7. Reasoner continuing to impress with his mad skillz and sweet landing strip
One thing I'm not looking forward to is the inevitable boo-ing of Lupul. I think he was as poison for this team as the next beer swilling jerk, but he's gone, he had his tough times, let it go.
Souray and Greene did a pretty decent job shutting down SJ's big guns. Greene's immobilizing of Cheechoo was the highlight of his game and I hope we see more of it. Souray wasn't actually as bad as he looked. For the few gaffes he made, I noted quite a few smart plays and I have no doubt he's working to be more effective at his actual job of defense.
Sanderson, again...solid NHL player. He's comfortable on the ice and is a calming influence on the young guys. I'm one of the few who think he's a really good part of this roster, and if we can't have Jason Smith (and we can't) at least we can have the experience of Sanderson for the kids to draw on.
A crazy mix of former Oilers and Flyers on the ice tonight. There's only one symbol to really express the back and forth of it:
My Prediction: 5-3 Oilers (Lupul with a hat trick-all assists from Briere)