Cut down nerves aplenty
As thus-far-surviving NHL hopefuls everywhere sit on pins and needles today wondering if they will remain a member of the parent club or be sent back down to the minors to further their development, I thought it interesting to note I write this blog from the lounge/waiting room at Milestone Mazda in Lethbridge – awaiting an oil change on my girlfriend’s car.
Why is that worth mentioning you ask? Well this dealership just so happens to be owned by Barry and Doug Dubnyk, father and uncle of Oiler prospect Devan, who just so happens to be neck deep in that did-I-make-it feeling of pure nausea as I write to you.
They’re all hiding it well but I’m guessing that same sickness is plaguing much of the staff in this building. I spoke with Barry briefly, who is quietly confident but knows one of either his son or Jeff Deslauriers is likely to get the axe. He thinks this is Devan’s year.
So do I.
When the 6-foot-6 monster was drafted 14th overall by the Oilers in 2004 from the Kamloops Blazers, it was clear he was pegged by management for a career in blue and orange. He’s maybe not developed quite as fast as they had hoped but he has had some decent AHL numbers considering he has played on some awful teams.
In his longest season in the minors (62G with the Springfield Falcons), the club was so bad he compiled a record of 18-41-2. However, through all of that he still managed a .910 save percentage and a GAA under three, which is pretty remarkable considering how much attack he was obviously facing any given night.
Anyway, seeing as how the Oilers are obviously riding the youth movement – mostly because it’s the only movement they have that has a chance of actually moving – I would imagine no matter which one of the two goalies in question makes the Oilers, they will see some significant time.
That basically means it comes down to which one the Oilers see as their long term guy after the Bhulin Wall’s career finally topples. I would personally be partial to a 6-foot-6, 210 lb frame but I made that clear with my unwavering advocating of Carey Price long before you know who was traded.
I asked my buddy Evan (@nasty45) — a massive Oil fan — what he thought and he said: “I’ve always been partial to JDD (Deslauriers) but I think they’re the same poison at the end of the day.”
Meaning: Either/or would be just fine.
*Update to this — Both Dubnyk and Deslauriers remained with the club after today’s cuts. However one more player must come off the roster by Wednesday and one can only imagine that will be one of the aforementioned goalies.*
A little love tap for a rookie
Quick thought on Mike Cammalleri’s slash of Nino Neiderreiter and subsequent one-game suspension: I’m not defending Cammy, nor am I saying he shouldn’t be reprimanded. But to me the poke to the face was worse than the slash, yet it gets MUCH less discussion. Meanwhile, the slash has been referred to as “Paul Bunyan-like.”
I know from experience adjectives can be hard to come by when you write everyday. But Cammy, who spends most of his time on the tongue of the media being referred to as a Smurf, never even took his back swing past his tiny little blue-skinned waist, so let’s ease up on the lumberjack references.
And since El Nino left the game with a bruised calf, can we agree to stop with the attempt-to-break-his-ankle crap? Mike Cammalleri does not = Bobby Clarke. So suspend him, fine him, hell, hold him down and let Nino slash him right back but please quit making the rookie a victim of a vicious attack. He got nipped in the lips and then smacked in the leg, leaving absolutely zero marks on his face and a bruise on his calf. No offense to Nino, who I’m positive is a tough kid, but if people keep talking about a bruise on his leg not named Charley as if it’s an injury, he’s going to look pretty silly.
He’s a rookie and a veteran reminded him of it. Sure Cammy was wrong and will pay $32,258.06 plus put his team down a superstar for opening night against the Leaves but I promise you Nino learned a lesson last night, one every budding star before him was also taught one way or another.
Lineup set, sorta
And lastly, to those who read this blog but couldn’t give a rats fat arse about which dozen millionaires will don Bleu, Blanc et Rouge and make up the Montreal Canadiéns’ starting forwards on Oct. 7, I vaguely understand your feelings, am somewhat remorseful and can halfheartedly vow this will be my last post regarding it.
But the final lineup has more or less materialized and it looks like we know who’s starting Thursday. Since Cammy is out, assume Lars Eller will take his spot and it’s going to look something like this:
Pouliot Gomez Gionta
Eller Plekanec Kostitsyn
Moen Halpern White/Darche
Pyatt Boyd Lapierre
I’d personally switch the third and fourth lines around and I’d no-doubt play White over Darche. So, how did you do with your picks? I was a lot closer than I thought I might be. Can this group win a road game in Toronto to open the season? Guess we’ll find out.
Anyway, there’s only one way to end a post this all over the map.