All great NHL teams adopt a style of play and that becomes their strength. The Bruins of my youth were big, bad and had Bobby Orr to set the offense. The current Detroit Red Wings are all about puck possession, the Oilers of the glory era were all about skating and offense and scoring goals and goals and goals. The current Oilers–especially on the road–have adopted the “wearing our ass for a hat” style and it’s beyond impossible to watch.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PAST
I have two teenagers in my house and for some reason both of them wish they’d grown up in the 70s. They are, of course, insane. I grew up in the 70s, a time when high school kids like me (the remedial reading kids) weren’t allowed into the “computer room” to see the 1600 pound, 100 by 100 by 100 “computer.” For those who didn’t grow up in the era, it looked like your parents house.
It was easy to know the computer geeks, they were the kids who would run out of the computer room and race down the hallway in tears every 10 minutes. Why? Computer crashed! It happened so often that no one really noticed, except to giggle at the sensible shoes kids running down the hall making weird noises in their Hush Puppies.
The computer breakdown was followed by a visit from a man who drove a van all the way from Lloydminster. This would have been during the gas shortage so we’re talking real money before he got out of the vehicle. The fixit man would go into the “computer” room, spend an hour or two and emerge with a list of parts that needed to be ordered (I imagined they came from Russia, it sure as hell took a long time for them to arrive). This was followed by long weeks of sadness for the sensible shoes brigade, but nothing much changed for me.
MORE TRUTH ABOUT THE PAST
The current Oilers are being run by the Hush Puppies and they really need to call the man from town. I think they have the plan but have convinced themselves that building the perfect beast (100 by 100 by 100) takes time (they ordered it from Russia). I think the plan is run and gun. If they want to be run and gun then they’ll need to add more good forwards with speed and hands while turning over some of the blue so they can headman the puck or move it forward. That’s 5 trips from Lloyd, a lot of gas and many many tears.
Run and gun is a distant bell. Right now it’s more like run slowly and shoot yourself in the foot.