You may notice a different name for my column. Seeing as how calling it the morning coffee when it will be hitting the front page after 12 pm makes little sense, I have stuck this one in as a temporary one until I can think of something better. Now, on to the business at hand. The Canucks split their home and home exhibition kickoff with the Flames, and that seemed to most like the way it should go. The Flames employed a good chunk of their veteran talent at the Saddledome, and the 5-1 score reflected that. The Canucks in turn had a few more familiar names in the lineup at Rogers Arena, but still nowhere near their opening night lineup and came from behind to beat the Flames 4-3. Sounds about right, no? Not according to one Flames blog, where a 12 year old kid from the 1950's said "What’s more surprising is that Calgary split with Vancouver in their home and away games Tuesday night. A team as deep and skilled as the Flames should conceivably dominate pretty much everyone". Once you've finished laughing at the early contender for delusional comment of the year, I will see you on the other side of the jump to talk about tonight's matchup against the Oilers.
As Sean mentioned, not a whole lot of news as far as who will be in the lineup for either team tonight. Chances are we will see more veterans than the first two games but a number of hopefuls will still be getting looks as they audition for spots with the Canucks and Wolves. Expect this game to be a lot rougher, as the combination of natural Canucks/Oilers hatred, the potential of ex-Canuck Darcy Hordichuk in the lineup (though to be honest, this may not be a factor. Had Hordichuk dropped his damn mitts once in a while like he was hired to do, he might still be a Canuck), and then there was this:
As I took the dogs for a walk this morning I was going over what to write today, and I began to think about the rivalry with Edmonton and how it's evolved over the years. One thing that stuck in my head is how the Edmonton media rival Toronto's for the venomous bile they spew about our boys in blue & green. They hate us. It's almost pathological how much they do. I guess going from dynasty to the dumpster the way they have breeds contempt.
Many are picking the Oilers once again to be near the bottom of the standings, and it makes you wonder how much longer before they finally begin to gel and look like a team with a large collection of high 1st round picks? They have some players who should develop into legitimate NHL superstars like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and a wealth of young and talented forwards. The problem lies at the back end for the Oilers, who after Ladislav Smid don't offer much in the way of big names. Cam Barker, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney and resident expert Andy Sutton hardly strike fear into opposing offenses. The situation in goal doesn't seem much brighter, as there's still the combination of Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk in the crease. In any case, Oiler fans will need to be patient as Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini continue this long term reclamation project.
Last night's bastards...
Bastard of the night? Could be Toronto's Ben Frattin, for having the audacity to rain on Ilya Bryzgalov's parade, with 2 goals to lead the Leafs to a 4-2 win over the Flyers. It could also be Evgeni Malkin, whose goal and assist led the Penguins to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings. It could even be Logan Couture, who popped 2 in a 6-1 Sharks romp over Anaheim. But the Bastard award goes to Mika Zibanejad, who scored the overtime winner in a 2-1 Ottawa win over those scumbags from Boston... and speaking of scumbags, if you ever wondered just how dumb Jody Shelley is, last night's chickenshit hit from behind on Toronto's Darrel Boyce pretty much answers that question for you. NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan will be looking at this one, with a suspension sure to come...
BAND OF THE DAY- AXEGRESSOR
Off to Finland for today's thrash maniacs AXEGRESSOR. This 4 piece from Turku have just released their 2nd full length album called 'Next', and I like what I hear. Very speedy, if not typical Finnish thrash. Check out 'Apocalyptician' from 'Next', and hunt these guys down. Well worth the purchase.