And so another hockey season is upon us, and for those of us in Oiler land, it couldn't come fast enough given the debacle that was last season. And what's that wafting through the air? Could it be the sweet sweet smell of optimism drifting down this way from RX1?
Well, probably not, actually, at least not in the short term. I've seen the phrase "exciting last-place hockey" being bandied around the Oilogosphere, and it's not entirely tongue-in-cheek. Yes, there are going to be some long, long nights this season. The nights when the three musketeers (pictured above) are looking every bit as young as they actually are. The nights when whichever one of our 523 goaltenders is in goal is doing his best impersonation of a menhir. The nights when it is painfully obvious just how little depth we have on defense. The playoffs are almost certain to remain a phenomenon that happens to other teams.
Oh, but there will be other nights. The nights when the sheer amount of latent skill on this team shines through, and it feels like the kids can score at will. The nights when the breakout passes are hitting guys in stride. The nights when it's the Oilers taking liberties, and not, as has been so often the case in the past, the other team. The nights when it is obvious that Shawn Horcoff was the right choice for captain, thank you very much. The nights when we can see the first germinations of playoff runs yet to come.
So sit back and enjoy - these are the humble beginnings of something pretty special!
On a side note, various sibling units are taking part in the pre-game singing of "O Fortuna," from the Carmina Burana. If that's not an awesome way to kick off a hockey season, I don't know what is! May it inspire the lads to roll over the Flame-like things from Calgary.
Oh, and the Stanley Cup? Pittsburgh over Vancouver. Book it, done.