G19 Hawks at Oilers

On May 8, 1990 the Edmonton Oilers were in a little trouble. in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Down 2 games to 1, Edmonton’s leader Mark Messier was quoted in the papers as saying “we have to find a way to turn it up a notch and play with more discipline.” Famous last words.

The story goes that in the dressing room, before game 4 in Chicago, Messier stood up and stated the team couldn’t take any costly penalties. Discipline. After which he went out and damn near cut Steve Larmer’s arm off.

Messier’s performance that spring (1990) was the stuff of legends. Oiler fans who remember it cannot possibly hope for another like it, and yet it’s exactly what we’re doing.

Coach Renney finally started looking at some different lines in practice yesterday. Reports had the tune going something like this (courtesy Gregor’s twitter):

  • RNH-Smyth-Eberle
  • Horcoff-Hall-Jones
  • Gagner-Paajarvi-Hemsky
  • Belanger-Eager-Petrell-Lander-Hordichuk rotating
I’d be thrilled with that top 9, but doubt we see it for long if at all. NHL coaches love their veterans and I suspect we’ll see Horcoff and Smyth together at the slightest sign of trouble. And with a defense that boasts two new hires due to injury, trouble bought a suite to be near the action.
Sometimes it’s better not to think too much. Tonight might be an example. Cheer like hell for the home side, hope for some creativity from the coach and maybe the Hawks don’t show up two nights in a row. And if they do, maybe make a list of talking points for the people you’re watching the game with tonight. Subjects include the weather, Christmas shopping, kids and school, the government and flying south. It’s always good to be prepared on night’s like this one.

Nation Radio hits the airwaves at noon today, Team 1260. It’ll be up at Oilers Nation sometime Sunday and our scheduled guests include:

  • Jonathan Willis from Cult of Hockey, Nations Network, Hockey Prospectus and ESPN Insider. Jonathan is that rare item: a man who can converse equally well in the math hockey world and in the “saw him good” group. I’ll ask him about his recent article entitled “Statistics are Dumb” and the point he was making.
  • Trevor Maughan from Arctic Ice Hockey. We’ll talk Jets and their steady improvement, including two impressive wins this week.
  • JP Nikota from Pension Plan Puppets and Leafs Nation. The PPP people are some of the finest bloggers on the planet, and JP has been doing some excellent work re:scoring chances. I’ll attempt to mock him, but am a bit of a fan so it’ll probably be lame.
  • Tab or Sam from Committed Indians, a Blackhawk blog of some note. Chicago stumbled last night after a nice run recently, and I’ll check in and see what the CI folks think about the team, tonight’s game and Chicago’s chances this season.
  • Jesse Rogers from ESPN Chicago. We’ll talk about the importance of this road trip as an indicator of how this year’s Hawks look moving forward.

Emails welcome at nationradio@theteam1260.com and I’m on twitter now too @lowetide_ if that works better for you. I do read comments at both blogs and enjoy your input and questions for our guests. Have a great Saturday, drive safely.

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