We are past the warm days of summer and edging nearer to the gales of November. In the golden days of “Oilers as tragedy”, calling up images from popular culture that reflected the mood of Oilers nation was easy. It’s a breeze to pluck “I’ve had bad dreams, too many times, to think that they don’t mean much anymore” after a 2-7-1 month where the sun goes down before the five o’clock whistle. Last year it became necessary to lighten the mood with “walking on sunshine” and “some kind of wonderful” references. This season? Gotta keep those good vibrations happening.
OILERS IN OCTOBER
- Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
- Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER
- At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Vancouver (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- At home to: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
- On the road to: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
- At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in 10 games
- Current results: 0-0-0
OILERS PRESEASON SCORING 5X5/60
- These numbers are courtesy Natural Stat Trick.
- McDavid-Draisaitl set up nicely and Maroon had chances to cash that never arrived. That’s going to happen but the line overall looks ready.
- The Nuge line didn’t get a lot done Saturday (Nuge had a fantastic look late on the 5×4 but the defender blocked it) and will need to be more dangerous 5×5.
- The Strome line came on as the Vancouver game rolled along, there are interesting possibilities for the trio. Ryan Strome doesn’t have a lot of support but for me that Saturday game was encouraging.
- The Letestu line looks lost without Kassian, Khaira grabbed that job early and held on like a titan. Good for him, love to see that happen.
- The offense from the defenders was what you might expect in an eight game stretch.
- Final record: 82GP, 46-28-8 100PTS
- Finish: No. 2 in the Pacific Division, No. 4 in the Western Conference, No. 10 overall
- All-Star Team (mid-season): Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom, Cam Talbot
- Traded by deadline: Anton Slepyshev, Caleb Jones
- Original Prediction August 27: Source
When I made those predictions in late August, I did so with the assumption the skilled RW’s would not include Kailer Yamamoto. If I changed it today, the numbers might come in 95-98 but wouldn’t change much. The biggest tweak from my August roster is Kailer Yamamoto, who is the most promising offensive winger among the department of youth group. That’s doesn’t mean he’ll succeed but he’s earned the chance to play October hockey in the NHL. If he plays in all 10 games, you’d like to see 7+ points and a few at evens. I think he is a talented offensive player and there are Spud Webb stories in sports. Yamamoto is going to be a big part of the first month.
I always loved his music, Petty and the Heartbreakers were one of the few pre-punk/new wave bands who had no trouble at all surviving the invasion of new sounds in 1977. In later years I came to know Petty as a fantastic resource through his Buried Treasure radio show. In the hours that have elapsed since the news of his passing, it’s been an education reading from both fans and musicians of all stripes. Tom Petty touched us all, through his music and his love of other people’s music, and his ability to use his fame to shine a light on brilliant musicians who are less well known.
One of my favorite things about musicians is their ability to appreciate each other, no matter the gaps in style and presentation. I got a first hand look behind the curtain years ago in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. I drove out from Red Deer to emcee a concert that included Holly Woods and Toronto and a folk singer named Gary Fjellgaard. I was back stage having a beer maybe three hours before the show, and Fjellgaard popped in with his acoustic guitar. He grabbed a beer and we started chatting (I’d met him before at CKGY studios in Red Deer). We chatted a little and a few minutes later the guitar player from Toronto popped in to see what was going on.
Over the next hour or so, I got to watch two musicians from worlds apart find common ground on all manner of things. From guitars owned to guitars future, to songwriting inspiration to road stories (road stories are the funniest and big events happen in the middle of the night) it was amazing to see how much respect and warmth came from both sides. There was an instant connection, appreciation. I’ve never forgotten it, music truly is its own language.
Tom Petty found a way to reach us from 1976 through yesterday, through his talent and goodness. After producing the soundtrack for his generation, he followed it up by reminding that same generation about the good music they’d missed. At each step along the way, Tom Petty was exactly where he should have been. We should all be so lucky to have such a brilliant compass.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy show, 10 this morning TSN1260. Man it’s going to be a fun week! Scheduled to appear:
- Jonathan Willis, The Athletic. Waiver wire, Jaromir Jagr, Kailer Yamamoto.
- Scott Mitchell, TSN. Blue Jays winter, MLB playoffs.
- Scott Cullen, TSN. Opening night hockey, MLB playoffs.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide twitter. See you on the radio!