Friday, November 20, 2009
The truth about life is this. Unless you are independently wealthy or a professional athlete or in some other profession that puts you in a position where big things happen to you a lot, life is not full of big moments. Its the small moments that make life what it is.
Sure you have your wedding and the arrival of your children and your travelling to wonderful locales. You have your love affairs and your road trips, your first kiss and your first times, buying your dog and the glory when your favourite team goes on a run or a Canadian wins Olympic gold.
But for every one of those special days there are thousands of small moments that are the story of your life. Building a model helicopter with your son. Taking your daughter out for pancakes at the local joint. Taking your kids and the dog for a walk in the little ravine in your neighbourhood, showing them a tiny snake and the trees laden with snails and the wildflowers at stream's edge. Having a beer in a pub with your dad as a vicious winter storm rages outside. Enjoying a pork roast and a bottle of wine, courtesy of your mom. Your love leaning back as she rises over you, in shadows, the streetlight drifting through the blinds the only illumination, curves and sweet pale skin. The baby throwing the rest of her dinner overboard as the dog rushes into the room. A cool October night in a village in Cork, the smell of peat in the air as you duck into a quiet pub. The light rain falling outside when you awake in the quiet dawn. Another Saturday night on the ice with Capsule. Stumbling out of the Communist Bar after pints with your good friend, lurching down the Danforth as the heavy silent snow falls around you.
So much out there. So much to life.
I love my big moments and I love my small moments and I'll take what I can get. Last week my wife got the horrible news that a girl that she played soccer with this summer had passed away. In her late twenties, diagnosed with cancer in August after going in to see about a sore back. Gone three months later. Awful stuff and a reminder that not everyone can be as lucky as my folks, down for a visit this week, nearing eighty and still full of piss and vinegar. Lucky and they'll be the first to tell you.
Naw life isn't about all of the sound and fury, the white noise, the media telling us for weeks that the end is nigh and then telling us not to panic in the next breath (ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall the msm has cast about for something to keep us on edge, first it was terrorism, now its essentially pandemics and the weather).
Its not about the big roar. Tom Cruise grimacing as he runs from some computer generated threat. Run Tom run. I wonder if that is a Scientologist thing? Isn't Will Smith a Scientologist too? He spends a lot of time in his gigantic movies running. Run run run.
Maybe its in that weirdo Tom Cruise's contract. 'Mr. Cruise must spend ten percent of finished product engaged in running'.
Mr. Cruise leaves me cold. So did Demi Moore when she was big. You know who I like? Colm Meaney. Curly thinning hair, craggy face, heavy set, sneering, smirking Irishman. I could have a beer with Colm Meaney. I'd rather watch Colm Meaney fret and fume about his teenage daughter being pregnant in The Snapper a thousand times before watching Tom Cruise running from another fucking alien spaceship. Just as I'd rather see Julie Delpy, wispy, pale beauty, spend two hours talking to Ethan Hawke, than Demi Moore playing a stripper or a lawyer or an astronaut or whatever the genius producers have figured out for her.
Oh well, to each his own I guess.
Pat Quinn talked on Friday and damn, I love listening to his pressers. He pulls no punches and he doesn't talk in cliches and he's interesting. He gives us information and you know what pisses me off? If you didn't listen to the shit on the interweb you'd never have an idea. The MSM doesn't give us but a fraction of it. Rotten. Anyways his latest is great stuff as always. What interested me and what I want to talk about, is what he says about Liam Reddox and Ryan Potulny. I especially want to talk about Reddox.
You can't keep track of what is going on without a reference when it comes to the guys coming back from injury or going down with injuries on this club but the fact is that unless a couple guys take a step back or someone else goes down, soon a decision has to be made. Even with MacIntyre gone and Pisani on injured reserve again there is about to be too many forwards on the roster.
Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky, Comrie, Gagner, O'Sullivan, Moreau, Pouliot, Stortini, Jacques, Pouliot, Stone, Nilsson, Reddox, Potulny, Brule
That's two too many.
Comrie and Nilsson are still a ways away I think and Jacques, Pouliot and Stone are all still day to day, I believe. Sounds like Jacques may be ready to go. Pouliot and Stone have just started practicing.
So no decisions need to be made yet but when the time comes what do the Oilers do?
I think Quinn's presser gives us some answers or at least some hints as to what the coach wants. He is happy with Potulny who had a poor camp but who has done well in this callup. What makes the coach happy? The PP goals are nice but what Quinn wants to talk about is Potulny's positioning, his checking, his ability to do the little things correctly.
And Reddox? The fans' whipping boy from last season? The guy whose callup was meant with scorn this season? Well, MacT, who was the ONLY reason Reddox even got a look last year apparently, must be wearing a Pat Quinn suit because Quinn talks about how Reddox was the last cut at this year's camp and how he has done everything they need from him since he came back.
Now Reddox is still a kid and at times his numbers are going to reflect this but the reality is this guy offers a lot that this this team needs. He is aggressive and he goes hard all of the time. He hits and he picks up his man and he wins puck battles. He blocks shots and clears the zone and he gets the puck deep.
Is it sexy? Robert Nilsson sexy? No.
Now he may be Patrick Thoreson redux and if he is, well that's still ok. Thoreson's biggest problem was that he wasn't a guy who would score a lot and when Curtis Glencoss arrived and immediately went on a rampage with Brodziak and Stortini, dining on the opposition's scrubs, well that was it for the Norwegian. So Thoresen went away and then so did Glencross and Brodziak so where did that leave us? With not a damn thing.
If Liam Reddox does what he does, what Patrick Thoreson did, and ends up as a fourth liner who can provide some energy and hold his own and chip in a goal here and there then he's valuable. If he can rise above that and become Pisani II well then all the better. Time will tell.
But think of the last game the Oil played. Reddox forechecked hard and that led to O'Sullivan's game winner. In subsequent shifts, by my memory, an Av was rushing hard and gained the line. Reddox got a piece of him and that resulted in change of possession. He provided an outlet for a defenceman by sagging deep into the zone and then cleared the puck. At the end of a shift he got the puck over centre and then got it deep for the change. Later on he cleared the zone again and also blocked a shot.
Doing shit that wins you games? Absolutely.
Reddox has a second coach on his side and its becoming clear that he is going to have an NHL career. MacTavish liked him. Quinn likes him. I'm thinking that if he were playing for Hitchcock or Babcock or Woodcock or Mycock he'd be getting his minutes.
Why? Because he helps the damn team win. And that's the name of the game. Rob Schremp hockey may be sexy but its loser hockey. The Oilers need a little less of that and a little more Colm Meaney. Er, Liam Reddox. I'm thinking when the dust clears he will still be standing.
Posted by Black Dog at 10:45 PM