What’s up you sexy residents of the Beer League Heroes Universe? I’ve just been vibing around on my Kosmic quest for another Oilers dynasty run, and everything psychedelic. What a trip! Can you believe that it’s November 23rd and the Edmonton Oilers aren’t just “still in a playoff position”, they are leading the (once mighty) Pacific Division. I’m serious, this isn’t another bad trip is it? Oh no dude, did I take the infamous “Brown Woodstock Acid”?
“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” – Freddie Mercury
No bro, this is the real freakin’ deal…
Let’s face it, the LA Kings aren’t the powerhouse that they once were, and both the Sharks and Ducks are not playing up to their potential. The Flames, well, they’re playing like everyone thought that they would, and Vancouver clearly needs to dump the Sedin’s and go into full out rebuild mode. The Canucks first order of business should be to fire GM Jim Benning, before he makes any other silly signings for this aging team (IE: Loui Eriksson). Then there’s the Coyotes, who were thought to rise up from the desert with their young and talented roster. Which isn’t quite the case as of yet, but they’re young and learning the game still. And lastly, we have our beloved Edmonton Oilers, who are on the rise…finally. Could they have picked a better time to do it? The “California Three” aren’t the juggernauts that they were in the past, Vancouver needs to go into rebuild mode ASAP, and the Coyotes and Flames are finding their game still. The Time is now…
How sick are Thornton and Burns’ beards though? Hella fresh! But not badass enough for a Stanley Cup ring. Yes, San Jose did make it to the Stanley Cup Final last year, but I think that extended run may have tired out some of their older soldiers. Not to mention that Thornton himself also played in the World Cup this past summer. That’s a lot of hockey miles in one year for a 37-year-old soon to be 20 year NHL veteran. Now I’m not suggesting that Jumbo Joe is slowing down, but Marleau on the other hand…yeah guy.
I am NOT trippin’ on some bad stuff when I say this! But LA’s days are numbered as a Cup favourite. Experts have been predicting the LA downward spiral for a few years now, and they definitely have some cap crippling contracts holding them back from adding any firepower (IE: Dustin Brown). Maybe the newly named Vegas Golden Knights (ugh, don’t even get me started) will help them out by taking a big contract off of their hands in the upcoming expansion draft. But until they can fix their cap issues LA won’t be a cup contender, maybe not even a playoff team.
Then I’m not really sure what Anaheim’s issue is, just a whole lot of underachieving if you ask me (or a batch of bad Brown Woodstock Acid). I mean, they still have a competitive roster. Just a down year I guess, it happens. I still think that they’re going to finish strong this year, and will be the major competition for first place in the Pacific.
Then as I mentioned earlier, both the Flames and Coyotes are still trying to find their identities. Both rosters boast a lot of up and coming young talent, mixed in with some solid veterans. It’s only a matter of time before both teams figure their game out.
“Time is of the essence.” – Unknown
But seriously, the Oilers couldn’t have picked a better time to show some improvement in their game (thank you McWizard). No, it’s not just all McDavid, just look at the play of Cam Talbot, the surprise goal production from Tyler Pitlick, and the steady presence of rookie defenseman Matt Benning. Not too mention the offense from young vet’s like Maroon and Eberle, and the muscle from Lucic. When you also factor in the strong play of defensemen Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse, it’s easy to see why this entire team seems to have turned the proverbial corner. Are they a Western juggernaut? Not quite yet, but it’s coming. That much is easy to see. Of course, Captain Connor is leading the charge, and the NHL scoring race at the moment. But the rest of the team has also stepped up to meet the challenge. They say the best players bring out the best in their teammates, maybe this is the case with McDavid. But I think that it’s also a matter of having the same coach and systems in place for more than one season, unlike in the past. Also, it could be a matter of a whole slew of players finding their game at the same team and playing like a team. Which hasn’t really happened with past squads.
Whatever it is, it’s November and the Oilers are leading the Pacific Division. I’m just going to kick back, watch some stellar hockey, and enjoy the ride.
Stay trippy my friends!
As always, you can with me or follow me on Twitter @kosmicburrito