Take It to The Limit

You know I’ve always been a dreamer
And it’s so hard to change
But the dreams I’ve seen lately
Keep on turning out and burning out
And turning out the same
So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit
one more time.

-Henley, Meisner and Frey.

I’m starting to get excited about 08-09. There are several reasons for it, including Vancouver putting all their money on Sundin, Calgary’s bizarre rebuild/not rebuild and Colorado’s uneven roster makeup.

The Oiler offseason has had a certain logical progression to it. The additions of Erik Cole, Lubimor Visnosvky and Jason Strudwick addressed need and gave hope. Sam Gagner, Andrew Cogliano and other youngsters are a year older, and veterans like Sheldon Souray, Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff should be able to play more games than they did a year ago when injuries took big chunks out of their season.

In mid-summer, Craig MacTavish said “I want Reasoner back for sure” and Kevin Lowe said “we have a lot of bodies right now so we have to see what unfolds.” And we did.

My main reason for excitement comes from the coach. At his exit interview in the spring, MacT was in fine form and gave indication that he felt there would be sustain from one season to another (remember they finished pretty well, and with kids in the driver’s seat). Spring 2007 they were on a crusade to find players, this year they added some established NHL players to the group they have (Torres being the exception). Huge difference between this year and last year.

As a reminder, some more words from the coach and his exit interview, serving as a mid-summer reminder that there’s something happening:

  • Grebeshkov: “He just does it all. There’s a complete dimension to his game.”
  • Souray: “Cycle breaker. He’s strong, has a good stick and knocks people off the puck. I was pleasantly surprised about how well he could play defensively.”
  • Penner: “There’s still a considerable distance he has to go as a player. He’s scratching the surface.”
  • Depth: “We’re going to have a lot of competition at some spots.”
  • Oilers overall: “There’s something very positive that’s building here.”

Pretty exciting.

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22 Responses to "Take It to The Limit"

  1. Paper Designer says:

    *sigh*

    Is it September yet?

  2. Doogie2K says:

    Darn it, PD, I was just about to say something along the lines of “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” =)

    It’s ridiculously exciting, the possibilities of this team; it’s very hard not to get massively ahead of yourself sometimes. Clearly, the Oilers brass feel the same way. I picked a good time to quit World of WarCraft. ;)

  3. dstaples says:

    Oh, LT, that was a rancid song, that one.

    But I appreciate the sentiment. I’m feeling what I call irrational exuberance towards the Oilers. It’s probably going to play out like I just bought Bre-X one month before the guy was pushed from that chopper.

    But my bubbles not burst yet. It’s as big as North Dakota, and getting bigger every day.

    Nothing that a five-game losing skid won’t cure, and that will come, sure enough.

    But this team has age-25 and under talent to rival all but one or two teams in the league.

    So what’s your point projection for Ladislav Smid, LT?

    76 games, 7 goals, 38 assists? Oh wait, that is Smid’s 2012-13 season. And I ain’t kidding either. I’m just dreaming.

  4. Lowetide says:

    david staples: Yeah, I almost didn’t post those lyrics because it’s about a 5 mile drive from cool, but I couldn’t think of any really good lyrics to fit this and was in a hurry.

    I think the photo is sold, though.

    By the way, sorry I didn’t get back to you re: baseball references but enjoyed your blog item.

    Desjardins’ NHLE’s can easily be accessed through “behind the net.ca” or clicking on “Desjardins” on my front page and then clicking on “USHL: North America’s Fourth Junior Hockey League”, and “Projecting Junior Hockey Players” and “Translating Performance to the NHL.”

    All are worthy.

  5. DMFB says:

    What, LT, no “Scarface (Push it the Limit)”?

    Push it to the limit
    Walk along the razor’s edge
    but don’t look down, just keep your head
    and you’ll be finished

    Open up the limit
    past the point of no return
    You’ve reached the top but still you gotta learn
    how to keep it

  6. hockeyaddict101 says:

    Yes Lowetide you can not help being excited.

    It may not all come to fruition this year or even next year but by the same token I get the impression that this team will make the moves necessary without jeopardizing the core.

    Gagner feels to me like a can’t miss player and almost every Stanley cup winner or contender has two solid centers.

    Can’t wait for the season to start!

  7. Doogie2K says:

    Wait, am I the only one here who likes the Eagles? Or at least, that song?

  8. Lowetide says:

    doogie: You have to remember we heard it 5,000 times.

    In 1976!

  9. Schitzo says:

    My biggest concern with the upcoming season is the brutal first-half schedule.

    Considering we play something like 25 of the last 40 at home, the team needs to just keep their heads above water for the first 40 games. Hopefully nobody pushes the panic button if we’re fighting for 8th place after that godawful 7 game road trip with the 3 consecutive back-to-backs.

  10. dstaples says:

    The Eagles! That’s who sang that song.

    For some reason I couldn’t remember, and I was thinking it was Kansas or some such band.

    Now, I know some people love the Eagles, but I was more of an ABBA or Bee Gees guys on the one hand, an AC/DC or Van Halen guy on the other, something a bit more propuslive than those slow-strumming Eagles.
    Though Henley’s “Boys of Summer” is a classic. One of the best opening guitar licks in all of music.

    LT. Thanks for the Desjardins’ stuff. I was digging around there myself earlier today, found a post on Kyle Okposo that broke down the NHLEs in an interesting way, showing exactly what percentage of NCAA scored 50 per cent of his NCAA total, then 40 per cent, then 25 per cent, then 10 per cent. The largest number got 25 per cent of their NCAA total in their first NHL season, if I recall.

  11. Bohologo says:

    Way too many people here harshing on the Eagles; it’s not that you dislike them, you just don’t understand them. You need to be more mellow, man.

    David Staples: Boys of Summer is a Henley song, but it was written primarily by Tom Petty’s guitarist, Mike Campbell. Tom Petty didn’t know what to do with it. Henley did-he’s mellow.

    Finally: we are in the depths of our long, national nightmare. Summer. Training camp can’t come fast enough, even if this team won’t make quite so many dreams come true.

  12. Lowetide says:

    The thing about the Eagles is their lyrics. They’re not especially good. Women are always the villans in their songs (“Lyin’ Eyes”, others) and they seem to have a simplistic view. “Take it Easy” is great because of it, but they are probably the worst lyric writers among the big American bands of the 1970s. I’d include Aerosmith but they weren’t at that level in the 1970s.

    Jackson Browne on the other hand was just all kinds of clever. “Doctor My Eyes” is still a wonderful record.

  13. Coach pb9617 says:

    This season is going to depend on the play of the goalie tandem. With so many games on the road in the first half, even a veteran team would be hard pressed to come in at .500.

  14. godot10 says:

    Apart from Thunder Road, my favorite song in this “driving” genre is by an early nineties Canadian country singer, Charlile Major.

    ////////

    Drive You Out of My MInd — Charlie Major

    Headlight beam cuts through the night
    Like the point of this knife you drove through my heart.
    Your goodbye words ringing in my ears,
    The ones I never thought I’d hear, are tearing me apart.

    Now I’m racing down this highway trying to outrun the wind;
    Trying to make some sense of what I can’t comprehend.
    And I’ll keep on driving girl, ’till I run out of road,
    Or I fall off the edge of this world.

    CHORUS:
    I’m gonna drive you out of my mind.
    I’m gonna leave this memory behind.
    If it takes ten thousand miles, I’ll keep driving day and night
    Till I drive you out of my mind.

    A lovers’ moon is taunting me
    With every mile I put between you and these broken dreams.
    I slam my foot down to the floor
    Trying hard to push for more, but still – your face I see.

    I’m riding that thin red line out on the edge of control;
    Trying to get a grasp on what I can’t get a hold.
    And I’ll keep on driving girl, ’till I run out of road,
    Or I fall off the edge of this world.

    I’ll keep on driving girl, ’till I run out of road,
    Or I fall off the edge of this world.
    Gonna drive you out of my mind.

  15. Bruce says:

    you can check out any time you like
    but you can never leave

    Hmmm … old Eagles tunes have a way of hanging around, esp. innocuous ditties like “Take It to the Limit”. Never have been much of a fan, and I think LT hit on the reason: lyrics.

    I saw them live in 1972, opening for Jethro Tull at the old Edmonton Gardens (Row 1 on the floor). I had never heard of the Eagles before and was stunned at how polished they were for an opening act; very tight, nice full sound. Hmmm, I thought, not really my type but these guys are going places … but then Jethro Tull came out and blew them right off the fucking stage with a typically transcendent performance (the “Thick as a Brick” tour), loaded with musical, lyrical and theatrical quality that rendered the Eagles rather pedestrian in comparison. For all the millions of records sold since, my opinion hasn’t changed a whole lot.

  16. Ribs says:

    I think I’m most excited about seeing Cole in Oilers silks. He’s got some nice speed and can really bang in the corners. I think the Western teams are in for a bit of a shock when they see this guy coming at them.

    Also exciting thoughts are having a healthy Souray that can maybe shut everyone up a little bit, another speedy guy in Visnovsky moving the play along at a pace the kids are used to, and the possibility of Poo finally making the show for real this time.

  17. IceDragoon says:

    Good day.

    I like the Eagles… love Jackson Browne… and Ian Anderson was insane. That's a pretty tall measuring stick for a young warm-up band, Bruce.

    I'm easy when it comes to music, as long as it isn't stinky-bad. Even overplayed songs don't bother me… unless they are stinky-bad.

    My eclectic tastes savour many genres from long before my time, right thru to my kids' (30,23,16) faves. They were exposed to many styles of music, and didn't force me to listen to much that was stinky-bad while fine tuning their own tastes.

    Don't know if you all caught MacT's Katz presser scrum comments… post – Stoll&Greene/Visnovsky, Torres/Brule, Pitkanen/Cole, Hossa to Det, Glencross to Cal, and pre – Reasoner to Atl…

    http://oilers.nhl.tv/team/console?
    type=fvod&id=1

    ^ inserted space

    'Oilers Insider' tab and scroll down.

    He seems even more excited than during his exit interview, tho he'd still like to have a Marty security blanket.

    L8r
    Louise

  18. shep says:

    http://www.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?hlg=20072008,2,828&event=WSH15

    This clip gets me excited about eric cole playing for the oil

  19. oilerdiehard says:

    Don't know if you all caught MacT's Katz presser scrum comments… post – Stoll&Greene/Visnovsky, Torres/Brule, Pitkanen/Cole, Hossa to Det, Glencross to Cal, and pre – Reasoner to Atl…

    http://oilers.nhl.tv/team/console?
    type=fvod&id=1

    He seems even more excited than during his exit interview, tho he'd still like to have a Marty security blanket.

    Interesting slip of the tongue by MacT near the beginning.

    “You get rid of…uh…we lose two valuable players like Stoll and Greene…”

  20. Dennis says:

    I was huge into the Eagles in HS; I was mainly a metal fan but I loved the four part harmonies and the Eagles to me will always be Randy Meisner and not Timothy B. Schmidt.

    I take exception to the fact that LT saying their lyrics were light because while a lot of it was relationship-based, “wasted time” comes to mind, you also had cool tunes like “last resort” and their old west concept album was gold.

  21. IceDragoon says:

    Sorry to take so long to reply. Busy being grandmama.
    :-D

    oilerdiehard: Interesting slip of the tongue by MacT near the beginning.

    “You get rid of…uh…we lose two valuable players like Stoll and Greene…”

    I think he was thinking ‘Pitkanen’ and then caught himself and took a round-about thru the trades that made moving him possible.

  22. oilerdiehard says:

    I think he was thinking ‘Pitkanen’ and then caught himself and took a round-about thru the trades that made moving him possible.

    Thanks for the reply ID. After posting that I watched it again. I was wondering the same thing if he was going to say something about Pitkanen there rather than Stoll and Greene.

    Even so that was an interesting slip nonetheless.

    On a side note Greene seems really disappointed he got traded. He also does not sound very excited to be going to sunny California. He even basically gave a no comment apparently according to Staples blog when asked by LA media how he felt about being traded to the Kings. Then followed that up by praising the Oilers organization “to high heaven”.

    I think it was on Gregor’s show or somewhere I heard him say he would probably just stay inside at home as he was not into beaches and that sort of thing.

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