Matt Hendricks and Boyd Gordon, who play on the same line, fml.
The Capitals are off and away on their grand Canadian adventure, and expectations are running high. As Peter noted, the team is looking healthy, playing tighter than they have in a while, and still undefeated in regular play.
Even better, first on our dance card are the Edmonton Oilers, who are not healthy, not playing tight and largely the definition of defeat lately. Plus, they have to spend much of their time in Edmonton, so there’s that, too.
We had a whole schtick worked up about Edmonton the Annoying – perhaps we’ll save it for next time, it was actually funny, which we admit is unusual for us. But sadly, in light of what appears to be a very bad no good day for all Canadians, and even the smart choice to cancel tonight’s scheduled Leafs/Sens match, we just don’t feel like making fun of anyone today, Canadians especially.
So here we give you Oiler insight from “baggedmilk”, a cheeky writer up at the OilersNation blog. He’s smart, even if our questions aren’t. Hit him up on Twitter @jsbmbaggedmilk; you can thank us later.
Q: First, how long have you been a Oilers fan, and what do you love about the team?
A: Unfortunately, I’ve been an Oilers fan my whole life. I’m born and raised in E-town and there is no other team that I could ever pledge my love for. Why I like them? That’s a good question… Uhhh… It’s getting tougher these days to come up with an answer for that. They have cool jerseys? Does that work? [Ed: yes, that works.]
Q: You’ve had better starts. What’s not working with the squad?
A: At the moment, the biggest problem for the Oilers is that there’s another team on the ice. If we could somehow start the game an hour or so before the other team shows up that would be ideal.
Honestly, I think there may just be the wrong mix of players right now. We have too many of the same guy, in a sense. Not to mention, the defensive zone coverage has been about as effective throwing bottled water on a tire fire.
Q: There’s a ton of trade speculation out there. Who needs to be traded, and who needs to be picked up?
A: I hate this crap. There are so many rumours (yeah I’m Canadian, I put a “U” in rumour) surrounding guys like Nail Yakupov that it drives me nuts. Why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to trade a guy coming off a bad year is beyond me. If they do make a trade, they should look at moving some of the defensive prospects in a package. Hell, I’d even be so ballsy as to trade next year’s first-round pick– McDavid be damned! Yeah, I said it.
Q: The Oilers were giants in the 80s– often taking out my Red Wings– but this decade hasn’t been so kind. How hard is it living under the shadow of five Cups, and now underperforming?
A: Honestly, I think we’re all being punished for what happened in the 80s. Having to hear about how good they used to be in the 80s is getting so played out – especially for younger fans. I was 6 years old the last time the Oilers won anything, so the glory days don’t really connect for me anyway. Luckily, I was old enough to get blackout wasted during the 2006 Cup run so I can keep those memories in my pocked. Man, that’s so sad… FEEL BAD FOR ME! *sigh*
Q: The Caps have been on an offensive roll lately. What are the Caps’ weaknesses the Oilers could exploit, and how about your weaknesses?
A: I think the Caps go as Ovechkin does. If the Oilers are going to have any chance at winning tonight, they’re going to need to keep Ovi in check– somehow. If they can lock him down, the Oilers have enough fire power to make a game of it. Eastern Conference teams tend to play more of a run and gun style of play, which is a lot like how the Oilers play.
What are the Oilers’ weaknesses? How much time do we have? Right now, it’s the coverage in the defensive zone that needs to improve. If the Oilers give the Caps a bunch of 5-star chances, in the slot, this could make for a long night.
Q: Washington has a reputation of being a snotty, arrogant town, while Edmonton is by most measures friendly Canadian country. How do you see the Caps, and DC in general?
A: I’ve never been to DC, but I’ve always wanted to go– I’m a big fan of history. Or maybe it’s just something about the ample drugs and alleged prostitution that gets my attention? Honestly, I think of DC as any other big city. I’m sure there are douches running amok in your fine city, just as there are anywhere.
As for the Caps, I see them as a highly skilled team with a lot to prove. I would love to make fun of Washington’s early playoff exits, but that would just make me look ridiculous. *sigh*
Q: OK, prediction time: how do you see this game playing out?
A: I think we’re in for a good game tonight regardless of the outcome. On our end, I hope that the Oilers can find a way to shut down Ovi and Backstrom just like they did with Stamkos on Monday night. On your end, I hope Taylor Hall torches your defence on numerous occasions. Final score: 3-2 Oilers
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