Oilers Rig: Meet the Blogger
Hello Oil Country, nice to meet you! My name is Greg and this is my debut as a hockey writer. Although I know too much about a lot of sports (especially the NFL and NBA), hockey is a lot closer to a religion than a fandom for me, as most of my family are hockey fans or have worked in hockey in some capacity. Throughout my life, from no other reason than interest, I have always held a detailed sense of all the teams, players, and prospects around the league, and have spent many precious August hours watching U18 tournaments instead of enjoying the sun. Needless to say I’m excited to have an outlet for a passion of mine, and hopefully I can offer some valuable insights and opinions, maybe even the occasional witty remark?
Outside of hockey, I am an artist, especially a musician. I believe sports are a performance art, like music, that can bring people together and advance conversations for better or for worse, and the social power they have should be harnessed accordingly, which of course is not always the case. At then end of the day I believe in the magic of ice hockey in all its forms, and that it should and could belong to everyone, and that the game can be used to make the world a better place. Now let’s get onto some questions so you can find out a bit more about me!
- What is your favourite Oilers memory? This may be an odd choice, but I was young enough at the time that game 3 of the 2000 1st round series against the Dallas Stars will be a game that I’ll remember forever. I didn’t know much (I was less than 10 at the time), but it felt like an intense and historic rivalry. Captain Doug Weight had a hat trick for the Oilers, while there was plenty of drama between goal reviews and skirmishes as the game wore to an end. So, I imagine like most, among the first moments I was drawn into the action and lore.
- What player do you feel will have a breakout season? Although Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, and Bouchard are strong candidates for this honour, I’ll go with Dylan Holloway. He put up really strong numbers in the NCAA last year in his sophomore season (yes, playing with Cole Caulfield helps), but he brings a much more complete style of play to the table. He has NHL size, speed, and strength, plays with intensity on offence and defence, and is a particularly strong forechecker. There’s no guarantee that he’ll even make the team at this point (some time in the AHL wouldn’t hurt), but he could definitely bring an unexpected boost to the lineup this season.
- What position do you see Flex the dog playing? Flex is primed to be successful at any role she is assigned, but I’d put her down as a goalie coach. More than any other position goaltending is a mental game, and Flex should be able to use her less-is-more pep talks to refocus the group when things go wrong.
- Can this Oilers team win a playoff series? Absolutely, I know we’re disappointed from the way things have gone since the 2017 playoffs, but there’s no reason to be fatalistic about the Oilers’ chances at beating someone. There is a checklist of steps the Oilers can complete to establish their viability as a contender, starting with becoming a top 16 team in terms of goals against.
- Should Tippett regrow his moustache this year? Of course the answer is yes, the moustache would perfectly symbolize the maturation needed from this group in order to be propelled to new heights. Lead by example and who knows, we might see the likes of Puljujarvi, Yamamoto, and Bouchard grow moustaches of their own.