Saturday, January 27, 2007

Type 'n Watch

Figured I'd watch tonight's game and type as I go.
Sean Burke? One of only a few players older than I. Good luck to the Oilers. Couldn't they get the Japanese guy instead? Horrible helmet. I would have thought it cool when I was in junior high, though.
Great first shift by Hemsky, Smyth, Horcoff. Moving the puck well.
Goal by Ryan Smyth. Nice to see. The Oilers are so good at keeping a lead at home.
Nedved sitting. Staios back.
Oh. Mark Lee (don't like his play by play too much). Drew Remenda is a pretty good colour guy. I don't like the timbre of his voice, but he is learning when to speak and what to say. He does know his hockey.

How come I probably won't like GHOST RIDER as much as I want to? Cartoon movies tend to disappoint (Daredevil, X-Men especially - both should have been much better). I remember going to see the first Spiderman movie in the theatre with a friend of mine. All the young kids who were new to getting Spiderman marketed to them weren't half as excited as the two of us were to see a good Spiderman movie finally. Waited about 25 years for that movie. Go Spidey.

1st period....13:20 on the clock.
Nice steal by Stoll. Just like last night, he's got no deke as he rumbles in with a hard-earned breakaway.

Staios in on the net....not much of a deker either. He does like to sneak in once in a while.

Couldn't go to the game last night. Kinda glad. I was busy hooking up a brand-new big screen projector up at RATT - shameless plug. The new one looks way better than our old dinosaur and won't shut off during a game. Apologies to the Battle of Alberta gang for that - but that night paid off with the perfect reason to upgrade. Hockey games will be that much better up there now. If only the Oilers would look as good as the big screen now does.

Fukufuji!!!!!!!! Let's hope he will need to play.

Next break, I'm going to skip the Home Depot ad (probably)and get a beer. A nice bottle of Guinness will do.
There. Beer open. The new Guinness bottles serve a great stout. You can't beat a real pint poured out of the keg into a pint glass, but for home drinking purposes the bottles are better than the cans.
And, in case any young U of A students are reading do NOT order Guinness in a jug. I've never seen so many inexperienced drinkers ask for that in my time bartending as I have in the past couple years. IT'S NOT DONE. DON'T DO IT. DON'T EVEN ASK.

Rumours of Blake to Edmonton....nice, but I'm not convinced we'll see that. He would fit well. He's like the Chris Pronger with some personality. A savvy and huge Canadian blueliner.

1st period. 8:08 left.
Where is our Anze Kopitar?

So I checked. Sean Burke, Rob Blake and Roli are the only players out there tonight older than I. This calendar year marks the year that anyone turning 18 years old after January 1st was born in 1989. That was the year I turned 18. You may have gathered that I work at a bar. This means that I will ask young snotnoses (I mean valued customers) for ID, they'll complain, and then I can tell them that I was 18 when they were born. Hand it over, kiddo.

Nice setting up on the powerplay. Bergeron doesn't look bad.
Hey guys. Help Markkanen out please. Someone head back? LA nearly scores a shortie.

1st period. 3:47 left. PP over. No goal.

Where's our Frolov? Maybe Hemsky? When Ales shoots?
Keep it up, Jussi. He really doesn't get much respect. He's a solid backup goalie. I figured at the beginning of this season that Edmonton had the best pair of goalies in the Northwest Div with Roli and Jussi. Still think so, although our backup never plays.

Crap. Goal by Cammalleri. Couldn't get out of the zone. Gave one up. Remember when I said the Oilers were good at holding a lead at home. That was, of course, sarcasm.

More to come. Period over. 23 shots in the first period between the two teams. Hm.

Hemsky scores! Within the first minute too. He seems to always score at the tail end or beginning of a period. Gotta check that.
Markkanen ain't looking that bad. Keep it up, Jussi.

FYI......Edmonton is 4-6-0 on Saturdays so far this year.
LA is 5-7-2.
Edmonton has 3 wins, 2 losses, 1 OT loss and 4 ties on January 27 in only ten games since entering the NHL on January 27th.

2nd period. 13:06 left.
Oilers kill a 2-man advantage despite two of the team's more aggressive penalty-killing d-men in the box (Smith and Staios) with slashing penalties. Dodgy one with Staios. Pretty obvious one with Smith.

Los Angeles have only won four games on January 27th in 19 attempts with games on today's date. They have only won on the road on January 27th twice - in their first NHL season (January 27,1968) against Pittsburgh and in 2000 against Nashville. A little history lesson. This Day In History. Let's see CBC come up with that little statistic.

Shite. 2-2. Goal by Patrick O'Sullivan. Googling on The Google shows that Patrick O'Sullivan shares a name (first and last) with an up-and-coming comedic actor and an Aussie Neo-Nazi.
Shite. 3-2 LA. Willsie? I hope he gives Matt Greene his wallet back. Stole the puck and buried it.
Time for another Guinness. Even though that guy with the Irish-sounding name scored LA's tying goal. I'll pretend I stole it from him.
2nd period. Another penalty. Laddie Smid in the box. I think he registered an actual facial expression. He's like the opposite of this guy - who has many facial expressions, most of which are crazy.
Second Period Over. One and a half Guinness gone. 3-2 Kings.
Maybe Kevin Lowe should trade for a puck-moving defenceman. I wonder if anyone has brought that up yet. Just a thought that struck me.
Oilers were outshot 16-5? I guess that happens when you are killing penalties all the time. Because of all the PK lines, we haven't seen much of Stortini either. I liked the way he bounced around against Calgary, stirring things up. Did what Jacques was supposed to do.
Yay. 3-3.
Goal by Horcoff after a quick slapper by Ryan Smyth. Nice pass by Hemsky as well. Hemsky's monkey on his back/piano on his ass must be a little lighter. He's been waking up lately.
Some fun end-to-end hockey just finished with a great save by Jussi, falling on his ass to slow things down.
3rd period. 15:38 left.

Ryan Smyth with another goal!!!! 4-3 Oilers.
That means this is his eighth multiple goal game. He has 19 of his 25 goals in just eight games with seven two-goal games and one hat trick.
.....If it isn't called back. Come on refs. It didn't get kicked in.

.......IT'S GOOD. Another ugly and completely necessary Ryan Smyth goal in Ryan Smyth style. Hemsky has four points tonight already and is looking great.

I love that tight-lipped, constipated look on Marc Crawford's face when he's down. He's coached Colorado, Vancouver and now LA. Always a pest to the Oilers. You'd think from the way Oiler fans have always seemed to have had reasons to vilify him, that he'd be a bad guy, but he's quite engaging and friendly in person.
I suggest to the curious that you visit the downtown Sherlock Holmes on Oiler hockey nights (I hope to God there isn't a parade of deadbeats, then again, I don't work there) as a lot of visiting coaches and staff, as well as media guys and officials visit the old pub. That's because most NHL visitors either stay at the Westin or the Hotel Mac. Most of those hockey people are great to chat with - just don't be annoying while they're enjoying their pints and time with their pals.

Time for another beer. This time a Lowenbrau - up 1% in alcohol content from Guinness. From 4.2%alc by vol to 5.2%. Giddy up.

I just Wiki-realized that Lowenbrau is pronounced as "lervenbroy" if you pronounce it properly. As snotty as that is (remember the PAPIER-MACHE episode of Seinfeld?) I think I'll use that from now on.

3rd period. 3:18 left.
Yes, the game is still on. Oilers are playing smart with the lead so far. That Sykora, Petersen, Lupul line is doing well but I don't like that combo. But the goodl old reliable Horcoff, Hemsky, Smyth line looks great tonight.

1:45 left.

Dear Ales Hemsky. More of this please. Way more. You'll make that jump from talented youngster to player to watch with more games like this.

EEEEW. Mark Lee just said "undresses Sopel." Yuck.

1 minute left.
I love Mark Lewis' voice. He's the Oilers longtime PA announcer. That voice is as attached to Oilers lore as Joey Moss.

Jason Smith just looks scary when he drops his head and glares during faceoffs.

Now time for some EA Sports PS2 online hockey. Yes, I'll be the Oilers. Yes, I'll lose, probably to fat 15-year old shitheads.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

WOW. How did I miss that one?

While I was searching the interweb looking for a picture that would accompany a little rant I'm working on (that will have to come later) I found this little quote from Mike Modano:

“Basically, we were on our own as far as arrangements, flights, hotels, tickets. Normally, that’s something you don’t have to think about. That’s something that should be taken care of so we don’t have to worry about it and can focus on hockey and get ready to play."

This was posted during the Olympics. Apparently this was Modano's excuse for the American hockey team's poor showing in the Olympics.

I know this happened a year ago, but What The Hell? Pro athletes really do live in a different world than you and I, don't they?

Booking a flight and hotel caused you to lose? Hello? You can't pay your dog to do that for you? This is, after all, the same man who was faced with the option of playing in the minors during the lockout and the salary of about $400/month was thrown out.
And Modano says "$400 a month isn't enough to feed your dog."

Saw that little Olympic quote and was surprised I missed it. Kinda glad I missed it too. Comments like that make me question why I watch pro sports at all. They (the athletes) for the most part aren't like us.

This week's issue of In The Box, y'all.

All-Star break is over. Here's the latest In The Box which can be found every week in Vue Weekly.
We could have used the little break in Oilers hockey to talk about "THE STATE OF HOCKEY" like a bunch of other Oiler blogs did, but we were lazy.
In this week's column we discuss the YoungStars, Rexall ice and the new uniforms.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Read it.
The actual column that spawns this wee blog of leftover ideas, stuff that wouldn't fit in the column itself and random musings.
This week features Dave's favourite recent pun.

While you're at it, read the rest of Vue Weekly. Some good stuff, including TB's Haiku CD Reviews.
Very funny stuff each week.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

GIVE SMYTTY #94 (.....and a contract extension?)

It's been reported that Phoenix Coyote Yanic Perreault will be wearing Ryan Smyth's #94 in the upcoming All-Star Game.

Tradition dictates that, when two players both hold the same jersey number, the veteran player gets the choice.

Ryan Smyth will be wearing #93 instead of his traditional #94.

Perreault has played in 773 career regular season games and 54 playoff games. That equals 827 games.

Smyth has played in 752 regular season games and 68 playoff games. That equals 818 games.

Perreault was drafted by Toronto in 1991 and entered the NHL in the 93-94 season.
Smyth was drafted by Edmonton in 1994 (hence 94) and entered the NHL in 1994 (hence 94).

So Perreault has the edge in games played by 21 regular season games and 9 regular season and playoff games combined.

He has been in the league longer.

But Perreault only wore #94 for 326 regular season and 21 playoff games. He did not adopt the jersey number until he joined the Habs in 2001. Before that, he wore #44 with Toronto and Los Angeles and Toronto once again.

Ryan Smyth has worn his reliable #94 for all but three games of his NHL career. During his first season in 1994, Smytty wore #10 (other Oilers to wear that number since - Falloon, Czerkawski and now Horcoff).

So, while he has a slight edge in NHL seniority, does he really have #94 seniority?
Ryan Smyth has worn the number much longer. He's worn it for Team Canada as well.

Give Smytty his number, Perreault.
Or maybe a faceoff contest for it. Check that. Rock, paper, scissors?

Come on, Oilogosphere. This has to be a technicality we can explore. Or whine about.

Ryan Smyth wouldn't look right wearing a different number on his jersey.

He also wouldn't look right in a different NHL team's jersey. But that's another rant.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cinderella Story - Looks More Like "Sleeping Beauty" Today

The Hangover started about a month ago.

Remember those heady days of winning playoff series against the Mighty Wings, the Mighty Sharks and the Mighty Ducks. Hockey fans like myself got to see some great playoff action that didn't involve an early exit against the Mighty Stars or the Mighty Avs.
I am old enough to have been around to cheer on the Oilers in the 80's, but do you think I saw any games in person? Back then it was expected for our team to not only make the playoffs but to push their way through them and win another Cup.
This past Spring was special.

But by the time the Finals ended and Whyte Avenue was swept up and bar staff and cops had cashed their overtime cheques we forgot one thing:

It took a last-minute goal (and what a goal) from Ales Hemsky with 34 seconds left in GAME FRICKIN' 81 to allow the Oilers to squeak into the playoffs. Last team in. Had the Canucks not dropped one too many games themselves we would have been the only Canadian team (oh yeah, only Canadian team other than the LEAFS) on the outside looking in, like Canucks fans were.

In fact, at this point last season (January 16) the Oilers were sitting in fourth place in a tight race in the Northwest Division (four points behind Calgary in first)and were stuck in a 3-4-1 sinkhole after sitting atop the Northwest at Christmas.
Goaltending was still a major concern and fans were questioning Kevin Lowe for not addressing the team's serious need for a legitimate starting goalie.

Oiler fans and players are still trying to get over a great playoff run, creating a boatload of new memories and highlights and now we're all awaiting the next sugar rush. Unfortunately, just like last year, the team has to get there first.

To beat this little analogy to death. The playoff run was a Lost Weekend times ten. The thrill of that little experience left everyone a bit numb.
You ever woken up from a night or weekend of drinking/entertaining and everything felt kinda good the next morning? That's because you were still drunk.
That's how the team, fans and GM started the season. Still drunk. Ears ringing. A bit giddy. You know.
Then the Hangover stage kicked in.

Keep in mind that the core of this team just experienced not only their collective career highs but they also have to swallow what could be considered their biggest career disappointments. They surprised everyone, including themselves, by rolling through Detroit and the West Coast and then nearly winning the Damn Stanley Cup. But they didn't.

Yes. The team needs a "puck-moving defenceman." In fact, when did Oiler fans ever give a flying fuck about a "puck-moving defenceman" before? When a pretty good one (Jaro Spacek) was acquired last season, most fans went "who?" or "how many goals has he scored?"

Yes. The team needs it's scorers to step up. We used to be quite happy seeing our plugger forwards rack up 10-20 goals. Now we want Pisani to score more and Lupul to score more and Horcoff to score more. Hopefully they do. But we also have Smytty scoring enough to price himself off the team.

Yes. Kevin Lowe already knows all of this. He knows a little about hockey and I'm sure we all know a deal is on the way. When will it/they happen? Will it/they work? Who knows? Lowe ran the risk of loading up on the front (Sykora, Lupul) more than we've ever seen an Oiler GM do in a long time and let his experiment with rookie (Smid, Hejda) and rookie-ish (Greene, Bergeron) blueliners run wild. He knows they aren't cutting it. He also knows that fixing it may not be as easy as we all think. Hell, Lowe is pretty competitive. Check that. He's not pretty. He's extremely competitive. He will do what it takes to give his team a crack at the playoffs once again. He's probably stood in front of the mirror himself after some games and wondered if he should suit himself and Huddy up and show the kids a few lessons in clearing a path in front of the net.

Hangovers hurt. You puke and have a nasty headache and you swear that you'll never have the strength to drink again. Then you feel better and go out to the pub.
The Oilers are at the headache stage. I think we did a lot of puking (as fans) over the last month.
The pub is still open and the team is still welcome to tip a pint.
So far, anyway.
Analogy stretched.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Be Aloof or Be a Jerk?


There has been an ongoing debate in the sports world about celebrating on the field/ice/pitch as long as people have been paid to play games for fans.
I was just reading an article on Nashville Predator rookie Alexander Radulov. The rookie has brought with him a reputation for being demonstrative when scoring goals.

Watch the video and see a few highlights of the Russian during his time in the QMJHL. He drew some fire in his time for twirling his stick in front of the opponent's bench and using his stick like a sword, but when your coach is this guy classy play and concern for your opponent's feelings aren't always high on the priority list. The Russian music helps too. (Russian National anthem? I'm not sure. It's been awhile since I've seen Nikolai Volkoff walk to the wrestling ring) That music can make the most banal acts seem way more dramatic and grandiose than they really are. I should use Russian music in my day-to-day life.

"Raddy" has tamed his celebrating somewhat, but he is still known for being fun to watch after scoring a goal, which he's done 11 times so far this season (finally - I picked him in one of my crappy hockey pools).

The article mentions that Preds veteran Steve Sullivan has cautioned the young Russki to remember to "respect the opponent."
That means not looking like clowns on the field and remembering that it's not always about you.

In hockey, fans tend to fall into one of two camps: the "it's a game, they should have fun on the ice" camp and the "look like you've been there before" camp.
I definitely fall into the first group.
Take Wayne Gretzky as an example. One of the first things I appreciated about Wayne, after realizing we were watching history being made here in Edmonton due to his unprecedented talent, was the fact that Wayne always looked like he loved playing the game. Whether Wayne scored a goal or one of his teammates scored, Wayne always looked like he was happier than any fan in the building. He never looked cocky about it either.
Then again, when you're cheering for the Oilers and an Oiler player scores and celebrates, you don't really care. To a fan of the opposing team or an opposing player, an overenthusiastic goal celebration either pisses them off or fires up the adrenaline of the opponents.
If you ask me, there should be joy on the ice when someone scores a goal. It is a game. Screw looking like a professional. If my team scores a goal and all the players do is nonchalantly tap their sticks together, it makes me wonder if they really care or not. We do. They should be happier than the strangers who hug each other in the stands or exchange high fives.
Mario Lemieux always bugged me. He would score a highlight reel game winning goal and then quietly skate off the ice while his teammates and fans revel. Lemieux had said much later in his career that he wanted to appear humble and professional after scoring goals. He was just trying to be classy, but to me he always looked arrogant and indifferent.

I'm curious to hear what others say about goal celebrations in hockey.
I think today's athlete seems to either be too cold and indifferent after a big moment or far too arrogant. Usually the arrogance comes in American football, but it does creep into hockey occasionally.

Here's my take on some of the Oilers' goal celebrations.
Marty Reasoner: My favourite. It doesn't happen often enough, but I love when Marty celebrates a goal. Usually he pulls his fists to his arms, grins the biggest shit-eating grin (never understood that idiom) and opens his mouth like the MGM lion. His enthusiasm is great to watch.

Fernando Pisani. I don't know if others have noticed this, but when Pies scores he usually bugs his eyes out like he's afraid or confused, then sucks his cheeks in so he looks ill and skates to the Oiler bench for some high fives. He's very soft-spoken and humble and I think he is trying so hard to look humble and calm that he looks scared.

Smytty Used to look more excited than he does now, but he has more goals under his belt all the time. Still looks thrilled after big goals, whether he scores or a teammate does. It is hard for Smytty to celebrate some goals, especially when they bounce off his ass and he doesn't even get credit for the goal until later in the game. It was neat to see it was Smytty that ensured the puck was retrieved after Jan Hejda scored his first NHL goal - the OT winner against LA.

Petr Sykora Always looks thrilled to score. "Hockey Happy" - his own phrase he coined earlier this year. Looked thrilled, amazed and relieved after his goal against Minny Friday night.

Jason Smith Doesn't score much, but when he does he looks crazy, with predatory eyes and a 4 o'clock shadow. Oh wait, he always looks that way, goal or not.

Laddy Smid Who knows? If it happens, maybe he'll burst into flames. Oh, yuck. I said Flames.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

This week's IN THE BOX

Hot Off The Presses, as it were.
Read and enjoy.
Then check out the rest of Vue Weekly. See what's happenin' in Edmonton aside from the Oilers.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Something I Noticed A Ways Back....

...... thought I would share it.
Take a peek at the the character's names during this episode of Law & Order.
Semenko, Lindros, Anderson, Goring, etc.
I remember seeing this episode once upon a time when A & E would show the program every day for what seemed about twelve times a day.
That particular episode was co-written (I discovered after doing some research on the interweb) by Canadian writer, lawyer and brother of two rabbis (as I found during that research)David Shore.

Shore moved on to help create what is probably the number one TV show in Casa Del Dave and Heather - House (or House, M.D. as it was originally titled). Dr. House is one of my favourite characters on TV and, as the Wiki-reference suggests, is also a hockey fan, as he whined about the fact that the Flyers suck.
House should adopt the Oilers as a favourite team.
Maybe he could figure out what is slowly killing their playoff chances.

Great work, David Shore. Hockey fans are just better and smarter, aren't they?

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Oilers 5
Dallas 6
after an unexpected OT and shootout

Game Notes:
1- Obviously #1 - The strangest goal in quite a while to tie the game up. Watch the highlights for this one. Even though I'm sure everyone has seen it and commented on the goal already here goes:
With seconds left in the game and the Oilers with an empty net in an attempt to tie the game up, Stars forward Patrick Stefan picks up a M-A Bergeron cough-up at the Oiler blueline and attempts to carefully skate as close to the empty net as possible, misses and the Oilers quickly recover the puck, send it to Ryan Smyth who feeds clutch-meister Ales Hemsky for another important late-game goal. Crazy.
Interesting note on this goal: Two games in a row, a Marc-Andre Bergeron flub translates into a sweet Ales Hemsky goal. First the eventual winning goal against Florida came after Bergeron lost the puck at the same blueline, recovered it and fed Hemsky.
Then the weirdo goal tonight.
Bergeron's lumps of coal are being pressed into Hemsky's diamonds.

2- Bergeron should learn to use his power for good and not evil.

It seems that Bergeron has a unique ability to injure NHL goaltenders in key situations.
First, we all remember Bergie conspiring to injure Dwayne Roloson in the Stanley Cup Final series, ending the hot goalie's amazing playoff run and leaving us with Ty Conklin and his assist on the Carolina Game One winner.
Then Bergeron sends a rocket of a slapper right into Stars backup goalie Mike Smith, which cracks his helmet and results in the Dallas starter, Marty Turco, taking over in the third period. Up until that point, the Oilers had managed to score 4 times on Smith in 17 shots. Injuring Smith did not help the Oilers' cause. This meant the Oilers wound up facing a better goalie in Marty Turco(who stopped 10 of 11 shots in the third and two shots in OT) and one who now has a 4-1 record in shootouts.

Message to Bergy: If you do have this uncanny ability to injure goalies: Injure the other team's goalie. But don't injure a goalie that isn't doing well.
Next time. Work on it. You do have the power. Time to hone it. Try your voodoo shite on Kiprusoff in Calgary January 13th. That one will work.

3- How angry is Stoll?
The guy is a fierce competitor.
His penalty in the third period resulted in the Stars getting a 5 on 3 PP. Then it was 4-3. Then, on Stoll's remaining penalty, Dallas scored again. 4-4 tie. Despite all the distraction with the bizarro goal and the OT and the shootout, I'm sure Stoll remembers that.
Some guys bounce back. Some guys sulk. Stoll seems like a bouncer-backer.
We'll see tomorrow night.

That's the weird stuff I noticed.
Nice to see Nedved, Horcoff and Lupul all score. They all need goals badly for different reasons.
Nice to see Ryan Smyth with 20 goals in 29 games, the highest Goal Per Game total in the NHL (unless there's some call-up out there who has one goal in his first game). Can we say $5.5 million?

This Week's Column

Read and enjoy.
Then pick up an issue of Vue. You can find them at bars. How hard is that?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Baby Takes The Pain Away

I'm sure all the Oiler-watchers out there are as frustrated with our little team as I am right now.
-The team is 2-8 over the past ten games.
-The team defence is looking shaky at best and horrible most times.
-The team has been outscored 34-23 in the past ten games.
-Four of the last ten losses have come to divisional rivals.
-MacT can't decide who to bench and who to sit lately with M-A Bergeron sitting against Calgary and Thoresen sitting for awhile. Jacques and Winchester have been switching off and no one seems to know what to do with Hejda.
-Everyone is screaming for a trade and as this post on another blob (sic) implies there are nothing but great options out there and Kevin Lowe just doesn't get it. How come he hasn't dumped an underachieving player for a star yet?
-In case you don't understand sarcasm, Kevin Lowe probably knows exactly what his team needs and he probably knows it better than all of us blob-experts do. Great puck-moving defencemen aren't exactly growing on trees out there and getting them will require losing someone in return. If we are going to gain a Dan Boyle or a Sheldon Souray, a well-loved Oiler player will be going the other direction. Something will happen. And it might not help.
-The team is losing its tenuous grip on a playoff spot and losing games badly and appearing that they really can't get it together. Then again, every team out there has its own slumps. We are just seeing every bad Oiler game, every sloppy Oiler shift and every crappy stretch of losses through our blue and orange coloured glasses.

So, basically it's one of those times where it is really not a great time to be an Oilers fan. It's not much fun. It's something we do not want to face after such a sugar high of that inexplicable playoff run. We were all reminded of what it is like to once again cheer for an NHL team that everyone else is watching too - instead of a team that is largely ignored by the "hockey world". The thought of sitting out the playoffs this Spring isn't great.

Then the Oilers lose to Calgary on New Year's Eve.

And, really I don't care too much.
Because the cutest baby in the world, my 19-month old Pepper said the word "HOCKEY" for the first time just before the New Year's debacle(that we noticed anyway).

As the game was beginning, little Pepper watched the TV, grabbed her little plastic hockey stick (she saw it at the Dollar Store while the lovely Heather and I were picking up Christmas bits and pieces and didn't let go of it) and said HOCKEY.
OK, she actually says "HAW-Tee" but she says it all the time now when a game is on and I point to the TV or when I grab one of my hockey books and point to a picture.

Heather was not too thrilled. She hates hockey. She even decided, just to spite me, that Calgary is her new favourite team.

The rest of the New Dads out there will understand. It took the pain of the rest of the game right away watching little Pepper, who is learning new words all the time, say HAW-Tee.

This doesn't get the Oilers off the hook.
2007 better start out a hell of a lot better than 2006 ended.