G5 Oilers at Flames

The day this photo was taken there were a lot of questions about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Was he really the best available selection? Was he NHL ready? How much impact would he have in his 9-game audition before the Oilers had to make a decision on him?

Edmonton calling Red Deer: he’s not coming back.

In the short, rich history of this team, I don’t think anyone can argue Smyth’s story is a unique chapter. The guy bleeds copper and blue, mixes skill with gumption in equal parts and he’s clearly turned back the clock this fall. Big minutes, heavy minutes and impacting the game in all areas.

This isn’t Hollywood, but he’s the Natural.

Ryan Whitney could return, but which of the six D do you take out? It’s to laugh that we even ask the question after all these years. What a sweet reversal of fortune, if only for one night.

The Preds sure noticed the Oilers and they’re definitely not pleased.  Jerred Smithson: “We don’t work, we don’t skate, we don’t forecheck, we have a hardworking team that doesn’t work hard. I’ve never been a part of something like this. It’s gotta change right now, or we’re going to be on the outside looking in (the playoffs) — December we’ll be out of this. We have to change it right now.”

Coach Trotz said “back to the basics” after the game which probably means many hours of hard labor (Cool Hand Luke reference here).

I never, ever assume the Oilers will show up in Calgary with a “W” on their mind. It’s been ages, maybe since that 1-0 win by Calgary on a Marc Savard goal around the turn of the century (I think it was an opening night). The Flames have been a death trap, a suicide rap since that night.

But if they managed to win tonight, and especially if the kids wheel during a win, then I think this town will explode. To hell with worrying about the fake derricks, the real ones might be in danger if the Oilers win tonight.

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