The Oilers are hosting the Vancouver Canucks tonight. The Sedins might be a little weary but it rarely makes a difference when they’re in our town. The twin piss-cutters rip through the Oilers like Anton Chigurh through west Texas.
However, Oilers fans have their own group to cheer for this season and frankly there are some very entertaining players on the home side. Ales Hemsky is his usual self, making absolutely awe-inspiring moves at breakneck speed; Dustin Penner is a little funky lately but can impact a game with one dominant shift; Sam Gagner’s working hard and smart with solid results lately; and the three kids are fun to watch no matter the score.
Before the year began, I posted my “reasonable expectations” series for all roster players. Although we’re just 8 games into the season, it’s fun to compare the guesses to the actual factual:
- Taylor Hall 74gp, 20-20-40 .541 (9gp, 2-3-5 .555)
- Magnus Pääjärvi 66gp, 12-18-30 .455 (9gp, 2-4-6 .667)
- Jordan Eberle 72gp, 12-17-29 .403 (9gp, 4-4-8 .889)
The Hall prediction is pretty close; Pääjärvi is trending ahead of the prediction and Eberle is blowing it all out of the water. It’s early, but those who made more aggressive predictions for the trio are looking much smarter than the conservative group (which includes me and no one else if I recall correctly). Good news all, my argument would be that if the trio posts north of 50 points each that would have to be considered beyond reasonable expectations. Amazing start for the group.
I have no feel for this team yet, so can’t say if they’ll put the boots to the sons of Thomas Gradin. I can say that win or lose it’ll be fun to watch. Hockey is such a fun game when the town team has players with enough skill to create anticipation every night they hit the ice.
Last season is a distant bell.