So I have a guilty secret. I really get a kick out of Edmonton Oilers Fans.
Yep. No irony, no mocking tone here. I love those guys. I read Oiler chat boards constantly and have not found a more passionate, knowledgeable group of fans anywhere in the league. Sure Toronto and Montreal Fans are passionate, but they are like Sarah Palin and her evil minions…the “my country right or wrong crowd.” Idiotic groupthink at the centre of their own little universe. Other teams don’t rate…or even exist.
But Edmonton fans think nothing of ripping into their own team, or each other for that matter. But at the heart of it, they love their Oil and they hate everyone else. Especially the Flames and the Canucks and their respective fan bases. The Oil fans mock, despise and may even practice some northern form of Santeria in order to place bad joss on their NW opposition. And nothing proves the point more than the Oil base reaction to the Canucks’ pre-season record. Sure they’re undefeated…but it’s only pre-season. Most other fans could care less about the Canucks’ record. But not the Oil base. They simply can’t stand the fact that the Canucks have done exceedingly well and the Oil base spew vitriol and contempt at every turn. Canucks undefeated? They hate it! The Oil base is consumed with passion and I tip my hat to them.
And the undefeated pre-season? Well, it’s nice I suppose. But the coach is more concerned with checking players out and installing systems. Winning is a bonus… but not the point. But for long suffering Canucks fans, it is a boost, and after last year’s disaster, any boost is most welcome.
And the bubble guys?. They have about eight players going for one roster spot (the 12th forward) and two or three spare positions (two extra forwards and one 7th D-man).
So who gets over the hump?
At this point, I really don’t think it matters that much. The big decisions have been made and are clear. BTW, Hansen is not a bubble player, he has made the team. The forward lines have settled 11 of the 12 positions (Johnson and Hordichuk as 2/3 of the fourth line). So they have a choice of Brown, Krog, Wellwood, Pettinger and Cowan. Everyone has their favourites, but if I had to chose, I’d say Wellwood makes the team as the number 12 forward and Brown and Pettinger hit the Black Aces squad along with Rob Davidson as the 7th D. But these are small matters. The Canucks have three lines that can score and a fourth line that can win face offs, take spot duty on the PK or PP, and a heavyweight who can drop ‘em and throw ‘em.
No wonder they are six and oh.